MARKET AND INDUSTRY TRENDS

Main article: Marketing renewable energy

Renewable energy has been more effective in creating jobs than coal or oil in the United States. [79]

RENEWABLE ENERGY GROWTH

Comparing global energy consumption, the growth of renewables is indicated by the green line [81]

By the end of 2004, global renewable energy capacity has increased by 10 to 60 percent per year for many technologies. In 2015, global investments in renewable energy increased by 5% to $ 285.9 billion, breaking the previous record of $ 278.5 billion in 2011. 2015 was also the first year that saw renewables excluding large hydropower plants, represent the majority of new power capacity (134 GW, constituting 53.6% of the total). Of the total renewable energies, the wind represented 72 GW and solar photovoltaic 56 GW; the two figures are record and strongly up on 2014 figures (49 GW and 45 GW respectively). In financial terms, solar energy accounted for 56% of total new investment and wind accounted for 38%.

Projections vary. The EIA has predicted that about two-thirds of the net additions to energy capacity will come from renewables by 2020 because of the combined political benefits of local pollution, decarbonisation and energy diversification. Some studies have established roadmaps to power 100% of the world’s energy from wind, hydro and solar energy by 2030.

According to a 2011 International Energy Agency projection, solar power producers could produce most of the world’s electricity in 50 years, reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are hurting to the environment. Cedric Philibert, Senior Analyst, IEA’s Renewable Energy Division, said, “Solar PV and solar thermal power plants could meet the global demand for electricity by 2060 and half the energy needs. The wind, hydraulic and biomass plants of the remaining generation “. “Photovoltaic and concentrated solar energy can become the main source of electricity,” said Philibert. [24]

In 2014, global wind power capacity increased by 16% to 369,553 MW. [82] Annual wind energy production is rising rapidly, reaching around 4% of global electricity consumption [83], or 11.4% in the EU [84], and is widely used in Asia and other parts of the world. United States . In 2015, worldwide photovoltaic capacity reached 227 gigawatts (GW), enough to provide 1% of global electricity demand. [85] Solar thermal power plants are operated in the United States and Spain and, as of 2016, the largest of these is the 392 MW Ivanpah Solar power generation system in California. [86] [87] The world ‘s largest geothermal energy facility is The Geysers in California, with an estimated capacity of 750 MW. Brazil has one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world, involving the production of ethanol fuel from sugar cane, and ethanol now provides 18% of the country’s automotive fuel. Ethanol fuel is also widely available in the United States.

Selected global indicators for renewable energies 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Investment in new renewable capacity (annual) (USD 10.9) [88] 182 178 237 279 256 232 270 285 241
Renewable Energy Capacity (Existing) (GWe) 1,140 1,230 1,320 1 360 1,470 1,578 1,712 1,849 2,017
Hydroelectric capacity (existing) (GWe) 885 915 945 970 990 1,018 1,055 1,064 1,096
Wind energy capacity (existing) (GWe) 121 159 198 238 283 319 370 433 487
Solar PV Capacity (connected to the network) (GWe) 16 23 40 70 100 138 177 227 303
Solar hot water capacity (existing) (GWth) 130 160 185 232 255 373 406 435 456
Ethanol production (annual) (10 9 liters) 67 76 86 86 83 87 94 98 98.6
Biodiesel production (annual) (10 9 liters) 12 17.8 18.5 21.4 22.5 26 29.7 30 30.8
Countries with political objectives
for the use of renewable energies
79 89 98 118 138 144 164 173 176
Source: Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) – Global Status Report [89] [90] [91] [92] [93] [94]

ECONOMIC TRENDS

Projected leveled cost of wind energy in the United States (left) and solar energy in Europe [95] [96]

Renewable energy technologies are becoming cheaper, thanks to technological changes and the benefits of mass production and competition in the marketplace. A 2011 IEA report said: “A portfolio of renewable energy technologies is becoming competitive in increasingly diverse circumstances, offering in some cases investment opportunities without the need for specific economic support” and adds that “Cost reductions in critical technologies like wind and solar will continue. “[97]

Hydropower and geothermal electricity produced at favorable sites are now the most economical way to generate electricity. Renewable energy costs continue to decline, and the discounted cost of electricity (LCOE) is declining for wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), concentrated solar (CSP) and some biomass technologies. [98] Renewable energy is also the most economical solution for new grid-connected capacity in areas with good resources. As the cost of renewable energy declines, the reach of economically viable applications increases. Renewable technologies are often the most economical solution for new generation capacities. When “oil-fired electricity generation is the main source of electricity generation (for example on islands, off-grid and in some countries), a renewable solution at lower cost almost always exists today”. [98] A series of studies from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the United States modeled the ‘grid in the western United States in a number of different scenarios where intermittent renewable energies accounted for 33 percent of total power. “In the models, the inefficient recycling of fossil fuel plants to offset the variation in solar and wind energy has resulted in an additional cost of” $ 0.47 to $ 1.28 for every hour MegaWatt generated “; However,

HYDROELECTRICITY

Only a quarter of the hydropower potential estimated at 14,000 TWh / year has been developed, the regional potentials for hydropower growth in the world are 71% Europe, 75% North America, 79% South America, 95% Africa, 95% Middle East, 82% Asia-Pacific. However, the political realities of the new reservoirs in Western countries, the economic limitations in the Third World and the lack of a transmission system in the undeveloped areas, give the possibility to develop 25% of the remaining potential before 2050, the most of it being in the Asia-Pacific zone. [100] Growth is slow in western counties, but not in the conventional style of dams and reservoirs of the past. New projects take the form of run-of-river power plants and small hydroelectric plants, or by using large reservoirs. It is common to repopulate old dams, increasing their efficiency and capacity, as well as faster reactivity on the network. [101] Where circumstances permit the construction of existing dams, such as the Russell dam constructed in 1985, pumping facilities may be upgraded, which is useful for peak loads or to support intermittent wind and solar energy. . Countries with large hydro projects like Canada and Norway are spending billions of dollars to expand their networks in order to trade with neighboring countries with limited hydropower. [102] nor using large tanks. It is common to repopulate old dams, increasing their efficiency and capacity, as well as faster reactivity on the network. [101] Where circumstances permit the construction of existing dams, such as the Russell Dam built in 1985, pumping facilities may be upgraded, which is useful for peak loads or to support intermittent wind and solar energy. . Countries with large hydro projects like Canada and Norway are spending billions of dollars to expand their networks in order to trade with neighboring countries with limited hydropower. [102] nor using large tanks. It is common to repopulate old dams, increasing their efficiency and capacity, as well as faster reactivity on the network. [101] Where circumstances permit the construction of existing dams, such as the Russell dam constructed in 1985, pumping facilities may be upgraded, which is useful for peak loads or to support intermittent wind and solar energy. . Countries with large hydro projects like Canada and Norway are spending billions of dollars to expand their networks in order to trade with neighboring countries with limited hydropower. [102] as well as a faster reactivity on the network. [101] Where circumstances permit the construction of existing dams, such as the Russell Dam built in 1985, pumping facilities may be upgraded, which is useful for peak loads or to support intermittent wind and solar energy. . Countries with large hydro projects like Canada and Norway are spending billions of dollars to expand their networks in order to trade with neighboring countries with limited hydropower. [102] as well as a faster reactivity on the network. [101] Where circumstances permit the construction of existing dams, such as the Russell dam constructed in 1985, pumping facilities may be upgraded, which is useful for peak loads or to support intermittent wind and solar energy. . Countries with large hydro projects like Canada and Norway are spending billions of dollars to expand their networks in order to trade with neighboring countries with limited hydropower. [102] which is useful for peak loads or for supporting intermittent wind and solar energy. Countries with large hydro projects like Canada and Norway are spending billions of dollars to expand their networks in order to trade with neighboring countries with limited hydropower. [102] which is useful for peak loads or for supporting intermittent wind and solar energy. Countries with large hydro projects like Canada and Norway are spending billions of dollars to expand their networks in order to trade with neighboring countries with limited hydropower. [102]

WIND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT

Four offshore wind farms are located in the Thames Estuary area: Kentish Flats, Gunfleet Sands, Thanet and London Array. The latter is the largest in the world in April 2013.

Wind energy is widely used in Europe, China and the United States. From 2004 to 2014, the global installed capacity of wind energy increased from 47 GW to 369 GW, an increase of more than seven times in 10 years, and 2014 broke a new record in global installations (51 GW) . At the end of 2014, China, the United States and Germany together accounted for half of the total world capacity. [82] Several other countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind energy penetration, such as 21% of fixed electricity generation in Denmark, 18% in Portugal, 16% in Spain and 14% in Spain. in 2010 and have since continued to develop their installed capacity. [103] [104] More than 80 countries use wind energy on a commercial basis. [75]

  • Offshore wind energy
In 2014, offshore wind power accounted for 8,771 megawatts of global installed capacity. Although offshore capacity doubled in three years (compared to 4,117 MW in 2011), it accounted for only 2.3% of total wind capacity. The United Kingdom is the undisputed leader in offshore energy with half of the world’s installed capacity ahead of Denmark, Germany, Belgium and China.
  • List of offshore and onshore wind farms
In 2012, the Alta Wind Energy Center (California, 1,020 MW) is the largest wind farm in the world. [105] The London Array (630 MW) is the largest offshore wind farm in the world. The United Kingdom is the world’s largest producer of offshore wind energy, followed by Denmark. [106] There are several large offshore wind farms in operation and under construction, including Anholt (400 MW), BARD (400 MW), Clyde (548 MW), Fântânele-Cogealac (600 MW), Greater Gabbard (500 MW), Lincs (270 MW), London Array (630 MW), Lower Snake River (343 MW), Macarthur (420 MW), Shepherds Flat (845 MW) and Sheringham Shoal (317 MW).

SOLAR THERMAL

The United States has done a lot of research on photovoltaics and concentrated solar energy. The United States is among the first countries in the world for sun-generated electricity, and many of the world’s largest utilities are located in the Southwest Desert.

The world’s oldest solar thermal plant is the 354 megawatt (MW) SEGS thermal power plant in California. [107] Ivanpah Solar’s power generation system is a solar thermal project in the Mojave Desert in California, 64 miles (64 km) southwest of Las Vegas, with a gross capacity of 377 MW. [108] The 280 MW Solana Facility is a solar power station located near Gila Bend, Arizona, approximately 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Phoenix., Completed in 2013. When commissioned, it was the largest parabolic bowl plant in the world and the first US solar power station to store molten salt thermal energy. [109]

The solar thermal industry is growing rapidly with 1.3 GW under construction in 2012 and more are planned. Spain is the epicenter of the development of solar thermal energy with 873 MW under construction and 271 MW under development. [110] In the United States, 5,600 MW of solar thermal projects have been announced. [111] Several power plants were built in the Mojave Desert, southwestern United States. Ivanpah ‘s solar power installation is the most recent. In developing countries, three World Bank projects for combined cycle / combined cycle power plants in Egypt, Mexico and Morocco were approved. [112]

PHOTOVOLTAIC DEVELOPMENT

Main article: Photovoltaic growth and solar energy by country
50,000
100,000
150,000
200,000
2006
2010
2014
     Europe
     Asia Pacific
     Americas
     China
     Middle East and Africa

Global PV Capacity Growth Grouped by Region in MW (2006-2014)

Photovoltaics (PV) uses solar cells assembled in solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. It is a fast-growing technology doubling its global installed capacity every two years. Photovoltaic systems range from small, residential and commercial rooftop or integrated building facilities, to the great utility at the central photovoltaic scale. The predominant PV technology is crystalline silicon, while thin-film solar cell technology accounts for about 10% of global PV deployment. In recent years, PV technology has improved its power generation efficiency, reduced the installation cost per watt and its energy recovery time, and has reached grid parity in at least 30 different markets by 2014. [113] Financial institutions are planning a second solar “gold rush” in the near future. [114] [115] [116]

At the end of 2014, global PV capacity reached at least 177,000 megawatts. Photovoltaic has seen the fastest growth in China, followed by Japan and the United States, while Germany remains the world’s largest producer of photovoltaic energy, contributing about 7% to overall power generation. Italy meets 7.9% of its electricity needs thanks to photovoltaic energy – the highest share in the world. [117] For 2015, global cumulative capacity is expected to increase by more than 50 gigawatts (GW). By 2018, global capacity is expected to reach 430 gigawatts. This corresponds to a tripling in five years. [118] Solar power is expected to become the largest source of electricity in the world by 2050, with solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar energy contributing respectively to 16% and 11%. This requires an increase in installed PV capacity to 4,600 GW, more than half of which is expected to be deployed in China and India. [119]

PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER PLANTS

Commercial solar power plants were first developed in the 1980s. As the cost of solar electricity has decreased, the number of PV systems connected to the grid has reached millions and solar power plants of several hundred megawatts are under construction. Solar photovoltaic energy is rapidly becoming a low-cost, low-carbon technology for harnessing the renewable energy of the sun.

Many solar PV plants have been built, mainly in Europe, China and the United States. [120] The 579 MW Solar Star in the United States is the largest photovoltaic power plant in the world.

Many of these plants are integrated with agriculture and some use tracking systems that track the daily path of the sun across the sky to generate more electricity than fixed systems. There are no fuel or emissions costs during plant operation.

However, when it comes to renewable energy systems and PV, it’s not just the big systems that matter. Building-integrated photovoltaic systems or “on-site” photovoltaic systems use existing land and structures and generate electricity near where they are consumed. [121]

BIOFUEL DEVELOPMENT

Brazil produces bioethanol from sugar cane available throughout the country. A typical service station with a mixed service is labeled “A” for alcohol (ethanol) and “G” for gasoline.

Biofuels provided 3% of global transportation fuel in 2010. [75] Mandates for biofuel blending exist in 31 countries at the national level and in 29 states / provinces. [75] According to the International Energy Agency, biofuels could meet more than a quarter of the global demand for transport fuels by 2050. [122]

Since the 1970s, Brazil has had an ethanol production program that has made it the world’s second largest ethanol producer (after the United States) and the world’s largest exporter. [123] The Brazilian ethanol program uses modern equipment and cheap cane as raw material, and sugarcane waste (bagasse) is used to produce heat and electricity. [124] In Brazil, there are no more light vehicles running on pure gasoline. At the end of 2008, there were 35,000 service stations in Brazil with at least one ethanol pump. [125] Unfortunately, Operation Car Wash seriously eroded public confidence in the oil companies and involved several senior Brazilian officials.

Almost all gasoline sold today in the United States is blended with 10% ethanol [126], and motor vehicle manufacturers already produce vehicles designed to operate with much higher ethanol blends. Ford, Daimler AG and GM are among automakers selling “flexible” cars, trucks and minivans that can use gasoline and ethanol blends ranging from pure gasoline to 85% ethanol . By mid-2006, there were about 6 million ethanol-compatible vehicles on US roads. [127]

GEOTHERMAL DEVELOPMENT

Geothermal energy is cost-effective, reliable, sustainable and environmentally friendly [128], but historically limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries. Recent technological advances have broadened the range and size of viable resources, particularly for applications such as home heating, opening up a potential for widespread exploitation. Geothermal wells release greenhouse gases trapped deep in the earth, but these emissions are much lower per unit of energy than those of fossil fuels. As a result, geothermal energy has the potential to help mitigate global warming if it is widely deployed in place of fossil fuels.

The International Geothermal Association (IGA) reported that 10,715 MW of geothermal energy in 24 countries is online, which is expected to generate 67,246 GWh of electricity in 2010. [129] This represents a 20% increase in Geothermal line capacity since 2005. The AGR projects will reach 18,500 MW by 2015, due to the large number of projects currently under study, often in areas previously thought to have few exploitable resources. [129]

In 2010, the United States led the world in geothermal power generation with 3,086 MW of installed capacity from 77 power plants; [130] The largest group of geothermal power plants in the world is located at The Geysers, a geothermal field in California. [131] The Philippines follows the United States as the second largest geothermal energy producer in the world, with 1,904 MW of online capacity; geothermal energy represents about 18% of the country’s electricity production. [130]

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Renewable energy technology has sometimes been considered an expensive luxury product by critics, and affordable only in the rich developed world. This misperception has persisted for many years, but 2015 was the first year in which non-hydro renewables investments were higher in developing countries, with $ 156 billion invested, mainly in China, India and Brazil. [132]

Renewable energy can be particularly suitable for developing countries. In rural and remote areas, the transmission and distribution of energy produced from fossil fuels can be difficult and costly. Local production of renewable energy can be a viable alternative. [133]

Technological advances are opening up a huge new market for solar energy: the world’s 1.3 billion people who do not have access to the electricity grid. Although they are generally very poor, they have to pay a lot more for lighting than people in rich countries because they use inefficient kerosene lamps. Solar energy costs half of kerosene lighting. [134] In 2010, an estimated 3 million households are powered by small solar PV systems. [135] Kenya is the world leader in the number of solar energy systems installed per capita. More than 30,000 very small solar panels, each producing 12 to 30 watts, are sold each year in Kenya. Some Small Island Developing States SIDS are also turning to solar energy to reduce costs and increase sustainability. [136]

Micro-hydro configured as mini-grids also provide energy. More than 44 million households use biogas produced in domestic digesters for lighting and / or cooking, and more than 166 million homes use a new generation of more efficient biomass stoves. [25] Clean liquid fuel from renewable raw materials is used for cooking and lighting in low energy areas of the developing world. Alcohol-based fuels (ethanol and methanol) can be produced sustainably from unsweetened, starchy and cellulosic raw materials. Project Gaia, Inc. and CleanStar Mozambique are implementing clean cooking programs with liquid ethanol incubators in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Mozambique. [137]

Renewable energy projects in many developing countries have demonstrated that renewable energy can contribute directly to poverty reduction by providing the energy needed for business creation and employment. Renewable energy technologies can also contribute indirectly to poverty reduction by providing energy for cooking, space heating and lighting. Renewable energy can also contribute to education by providing electricity to schools. [138]

INDUSTRY AND POLICY TRENDS

US President Barack Obama of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes more than $ 70 billion in spending and direct tax credits for clean energy and associated transportation programs. Major renewable energy companies include First Solar, Gamesa, GE Energy, Hanwha Q Cells, Sharp Solar, Siemens, SunOpta, Suntech Power and Vestas. [140]

Many national, state and local governments have also created green banks. A green bank is a quasi-public financial institution that uses public capital to stimulate private investment in clean energy technologies. [141] Green banks use a variety of financial tools to fill market gaps that hinder the deployment of clean energy.

The military has also focused on the use of renewable fuels for military vehicles. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable fuels can be produced in any country, creating a strategic advantage. The US military has already committed to 50% of its energy consumption coming from alternative sources. [142]

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organization promoting the adoption of renewable energies around the world. It aims to provide concrete policy advice and facilitate capacity building and technology transfer. IRENA was established on January 26, 2009 by 75 signatory countries of the IRENA Charter. [143] In March 2010, IRENA has 143 member states, all of which are founding members, of which 14 have also ratified the law. [144]

In 2011, 119 countries had some form of national renewable energy policy or renewable support policy. National targets now exist in at least 98 countries. There is also a wide range of policies at the national, provincial and local levels. [75]

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said renewable energy has the capacity to take the poorest nations to new levels of prosperity. [13] In October 2011, he “announced the creation of a high-level group to support energy access, energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy”, which will be co-chaired by Kandeh Yumkella, UN Energy and Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and Charles Holliday, President of Bank of America “. [145]

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

The incentive to use 100% renewable energy, for electricity, transport or even global primary energy supply, was motivated by global warming and other environmental and economic concerns . The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that there are few fundamental technological limitations to integrating a portfolio of renewable energy technologies to meet the bulk of total global energy demand . Renewable energy consumption has grown much faster than activists expected. [146] At the national level, at least 30 countries in the world already have renewable energies contributing more than 20% of the energy supply. In addition, teachers S. Pacala and Robert H. Socolow have developed a series of stabilizing wedges “that can enable us to maintain our quality of life while avoiding catastrophic climate change, and” renewable energy sources “represent globally the largest number of their “Corners”. [147]

The use of 100% renewable energy has been suggested for the first time in a Science paper published in 1975 by the Danish physicist Bent Sørensen. [148] It was followed by several other proposals, until in 1998 the first detailed analysis of scenarios with very large shares of renewable energy was published. They were followed by the first 100% detailed scenarios. In 2006, a doctoral thesis was published by Czisch in which it was shown that in a 100% renewable scenario, the energy supply could match the demand at each hour of the year in Europe and Africa. North. In the same year, Henrik Lund, Danish professor of energy, publishes a first article [149] in which he discusses the optimal combination of renewable energies, followed by several other articles on the subject. Transition to 100% renewable energy in Denmark. Since then, Lund has published several articles on 100% renewable energy. After 2009, publications began to increase sharply, covering 100% of scenarios for countries in Europe, America, Australia and other parts of the world. [150]

In 2011, Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, and Mark Delucchi published a study on 100% renewable global energy supply in the journal Energy Policy. They believe that the generation of all new energy with wind, solar and hydro by 2030 is feasible and that existing energy supply arrangements could be replaced by 2050. Barriers to implementation of Renewable energy plan are considered “primarily social and political. economic”. They also found that energy costs with a wind, solar and hydro system should be similar to current energy costs. [151]

Similarly, in the United States, the Independent National Research Council noted that there are sufficient domestic renewable resources to allow renewable electricity to play a significant role in future electricity generation and thus help counter climate change, energy security and escalating energy costs … Renewable energy is an attractive option because renewable resources available in the United States, taken collectively, can provide much larger amounts of electricity than current or projected total domestic demand. ” [152]

The most important impediments to the widespread implementation of large-scale renewable energy and low-carbon energy strategies are mainly political and not technological. According to the 2013 Post Carbon Pathways report, which has examined numerous international studies, the main obstacles are: the denial of climate change, the fossil fuel lobby, political inaction, unsustainable energy consumption, obsolete energy infrastructure and financial constraints.