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Ad #: 480362

Renewable Energy Likely to Cost Much Less Than Expected

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Posted: 1/25/2023
Updated:
Expires: 7/26/2023

US : Alaska > southeast alaska
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In recent years, renewable energy sources have emerged as viable alternatives to coal and oil. They can provide power that is free of carbon dioxide emissions. However, harnessing them requires a large investment in technology and resources. Some of these costs are already falling while others are still rising. 

One key challenge is how to use renewables in grid systems. The intermittent nature of solar and wind energy means that they have to be integrated with back-up generating capacity. There is also the issue of energy storage. 

Solar power can be used to meet much of our need for heat above 60oC. For some applications, however, heat is needed below 60oC. Hydrogen can be re-burned to produce electricity when demand is high. This approach has been adopted by the WIND-projekt in Germany. A 140 MWe wind farm in Werder, Kessin and Altentreptow produces hydrogen which is stored in a tank. 

Many countries are now trying to test the limits of renewables. India and China have pledged 78 GWe of new wind and solar capacity by 2030. Meanwhile, SkyPower FAS Energy is building 3 GWe of utility-scale solar PV capacity in Nigeria and Nigeria has established a public-private partnership with SkyPower to build more. If you want to get more details about carbon offsetting, you may visit on Carbonclick. 

Wind and solar technologies are now in the same league as fossil fuels. According to the International Energy Agency, the cost of solar power is about one third that of gas and oil. Similarly, the IEA reports that hydropower has a capacity factor of 47%. Both these technologies are expected to deliver an annual increase in installed capacity of between 10 and 20 percent by the end of 2019. 

The Mediterranean Solar Plan calls for the development of 20 GWe of renewables by 2020. It is estimated that a EUR60 billion investment is needed to support the plan. If the plan succeeds, it would allow solar energy to export to Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. 

Other countries have plans for a variety of renewables. These include wind, solar, biomass and geothermal. Most of these options are accompanied by special feed-in tariffs. Renewables policies may also involve carbon emissions charges. 

As with other technologies, cost reductions are being realized rapidly. In the past few years, the cost of lithium-battery technology has fallen by 55 percent. Also, the cost of solar photovoltaic systems has fallen almost a half percent every year. Combined with the increasing scale of these renewables, the LCOE is now competitive with coal and nuclear. 

The United Nations report on the state of the climate has found that temperatures have already risen 1.2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Climate scientists say that the warming will be about two or three degrees by the end of the century. Nevertheless, with a more concerted global effort, we can cut the warming to about a half-degree. And if we can do this in the next five years, we can put trillions of dollars back into the economy. 

Although renewable energy sources are abundant, they must be used in the right places and with the right technologies. To achieve this, a national policy favoring renewables is often required. Such a policy will also include a renewables quota obligation and a priority dispatch for these energy sources.

 

 


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