A chance for greater energy autonomy anywhere
"Only renewables are truly sustainable; that’s why the future belongs to them"
Available in all countries, renewable (REN) energy sources (RES) are at the center of the energy transition. RES growth is being boosted as countries seek to strengthen energy security: yes, energy security, not climate change, is driving clean energy investments .
Energy markets & policies have changed as a result of the Russo-Ukrainian (and now the Palestinian-Israeli) conflict, not just for the time being, but for decades to come, encouraging countries to increasingly turn to RES to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels .
Dispatchable or not
Dammed hydro power and biomass (biofuels) are examples of dispatchable (controllable) RES. In turn, variable renewable energy (VRE) sources, such as solar & wind, varies according to the weather conditions and may require a form of energy storage (ES).
Cheapest for electricity
Utility-scale solar PV & onshore wind are the cheapest options for new electricity gen in a significant majority of countries worldwide. RES will become the largest source of global electricity gen by early 2025, surpassing coal .
Increased RES penetration & electrification are driving changes to modernize power grids. Transmission is the single biggest bottleneck in the power sector today, forcing grid operators to curtail renewables from one location and dispatch higher cost power from elsewhere [WM, 2023].
Grid codes have a particular role in the renewable’s integration paradigm. They specify a set of minimum technical & operational rules to be followed when connecting generators to the grid, defining conditions for accessing the grid. They cover frequency & voltage stability, high & low voltage ride through, and reactive power capacity . By complying with these rules, power plants ensure system stability when connected to the grid.
Energy storage (ES) have an important role in getting RES more predictable. ES solves the intermittent problem by storing extra energy produced by wind or solar gen units for later use. For additional information, please read Article #4 (“Energy storage: a perfect partner for solar PV”). ES, grid-forming inverter (GFM), and digital control can strengthen operating grids, contributing to a large RES hosting.
RES capacity is expected to increase over 8% in 2022 compared with last year, pushing through the 300 GW mark for the first time.
Solar PV is forecast to account for 60% of the increase in global RES capacity in 2022, with the commissioning of 190 GW, a 25% gain from last year.
Utility-scale projects account for almost 2/3 of overall PV expansion in 2022, mostly driven by a strong policy environment in China and the EU driving faster deployment.
95% of electricity gen in 2050 will come from fossil-free sources.
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