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When Will Renewables Become The Dominant Source Of Energy? It May Be Sooner Than You Think

When Will Renewables Become The Dominant Source Of Energy? It May Be Sooner Than You Think
As the amount of renewable energy in global electricity networks continues to surge, a new question arises – when will renewables become the dominant source of energy?

A new report, the Lloyd’s Register 2018 Technology Radar, examines this issue and also looks at which technologies are likely to have the biggest impact in different countries and what are the key drivers and barriers to success.

A survey of 800 key industry figures found that China would be the first country to achieve grid parity, in 2022, followed by Spain and the United Arab Emirates two years later in 2024. This is the same year that Germany and the UK are expected to see grid parity for wind power, followed a year later by Denmark and the USA. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said recently that clean energy sources will be cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020.

Although a tenth of respondents said that renewables have already overtaken fossil fuels in their country, or will do so in the next two years, more than half (58%) believe that renewables will not be cost-competitive with conventional electricity generation until after 2025.

And while the cost of building utility-scale solar facilities has more than halved in the last decade, some 62% of respondents told the engineering and technology consultancy that the high cost of renewables was still the main barrier to expanding clean energy capacity.

In addition, while in many places onshore wind is already the cheapest form of energy, more than 45% of respondents said that opposition to onshore wind turbines in their countries was too strong to allow the sector to grow significantly. In Europe, 55% offered this view, even though in the UK, for example, support for onshore wind regularly tops 70% in surveys on the issue.

There was strong agreement in the report (71% of those questioned) that the business case for renewables will be boosted more by technological advances in the next five years than by policy or regulatory changes . Indeed, more than a third of those surveyed said that policy inconsistency is one of the biggest barriers to the sector’s growth. Demand-side technologies such as advanced metering infrastructure, demand response management (DRM) systems, networked sensors and accurate asset monitoring data to are among the technologies that are expected to bring the biggest improvements in performance.

A rainbow arcs over wind turbines at a wind farm in Scotland. Mike Wilkinson/Bloomberg


SOURCE: Forbes

BY:  , Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.



U.S. Energy Agency Sees Long-Term Market Gains for Renewables

  March 7, 2018

Utility Dive:

While natural gas grows the most on an absolute basis in EIA’s projections, nonhydroelectric renewable energy grows the most on a percentage basis.

EIA’s projections have natural gas’s share of generation steadily increasing market share relative to coal through 2050.

Renewable generation, on the other hand, more than doubles between 2017 and 2050, with an average annual growth rate of 2.8%. EIA projections see 80 GW of new wind and solar photovoltaic capacity being added between 2018 and 2021, spurred by declining capital costs and the availability of tax credits.

The addition of new wind farms is expected to continue, but at a slower pace after the expiration of production tax credits in the early 2020s. Although the investment tax credit for residential solar power expires and for commercial solar is reduced in that same time frame, EIA projects solar power growth will continue through 2050 for both the utility scale and small scale applications.

Between 2020 and 2050, the EIA estimates utility-scale wind capacity will grow by 20 GW, and utility-scale solar PV capacity will grow by 127 GW. Over this same period, the EIA projects utility-scale storage capacity will grow by 34 GW, driven by continued cost declines, policies such as storage mandates in California and market participation rules in the PJM Interconnection, and a need to integrate intermittent resources into the grid.

Coal-fired generation, however, does not fare as well in EIA’s outlook. The agency projects coal capacity decreasing by another 65 GW between 2017 and 2030 in the face of continued competition from low gas prices and the increasing penetration of renewables. EIA sees coal generation leveling off at about 190 GW through 2050. Tied to the decline in coal generation, the EIA projects coal production declining from 784 million short tons in 2017 to 699 million short tons in 2022.

Nuclear generation also declines in EIA’s projection, dropping to 79 GW in 2050 from 99 GW in 2017.

More: EIA: Low prices, rising production to boost gas generation through 2050



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