Technology solutions to change…

The energy of change

Technology solutions to change…

Renewable Energy: Global Deployment Trends


We are making significant progress in generating renewable energy, but we have not passed the finish line yet. Countries everywhere are boosting solar, wind and other renewable projects, often with the aid of state and private funding. Today, we take a closer look at the current global deployment trends for renewable energy.

Renovable Tendencias Interior

Out of 7.5 billion people, 1.4 billion don´t have access to affordable electricity. Currently the growing energy demand is being fulfilled by burning fossil fuels, which is an unrealistic approach and can only achieve short term goals. The good news is that we are leading comfortable lives, while on the down side the Earth is in danger due to drought, a rise in sea level and an increase in global average temperature. Emissions anywhere are a threat to the environment everywhere, unlike say; natural disasters, terrorism or a civil war which only affects a particular region or place.

Global deployment trends are positive: we are on course to generating as much as 2000 GW of power from renewable energy by the end of 2017.

Not only do we need to be strongly committed, but we also must take the necessary steps to curb carbon dioxide emissions. By the end of 2017, nearly 2,000 GW of energy will be generated from renewable energy. Out of this, 161 GW was added solely in 2016, and a significant 70 GW from photovoltaics – a record high for 2016 – and which Asia contributed heavily to (58 %) as the fastest growing energy market. Low carbon policy will also counter the price of fuels from fossils.

Solar energy (81,000 TW) received from the sun, is more than 5,000 times higher than the current energy demand. Though by 2020, the amount of energy obtained from clean sources will be double the figures for 2012, but this is not sufficient. To make energy more efficient, affordable and available, while cutting the greenhouse emission we need disruptive technology with high forecasted production growth. Science has provided many ways to harness solar energy but achieving this at a cost competitive price is challenging.  We need to keep our efforts on both revolutionary and evolutionary technology to create a balance while keeping an eye on the future.

This will not happen next month or year. It may even take another 10-20 years, but action must be taken now in order to save our planet. Post Paris (COP 21) summit, Bill Gates is leading a team of investors, called Breakthrough Energy Ventures which will invest $1 billion to making scientific breakthrough and providing cheap and reliable green energy for our planet. Industries can only be successful by deploying the technology they have and developing the technology they need.

The price of electricity that is generated by photovoltaic technology is down approx. 70 % compared to the price five years ago.

Energy from renewables is already cost-effective in many geographical regions, and has potential to further cost cutting with the economy of scale. The price of electricity from photovoltaic technology, has fallen around 70 % in the last five years, and recently Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority has achieved a record cost of 0.242 $ (2.42 cent), per kilowatt hour (kWh) to install 1.17GW of solar energy through competitive bidding. This is also significantly lower than the cheapest cost of 0.291 $ (2.90 Cent), in Chile, achieved last year.

Back in 2000, the Sheik Ahmed  Zaki Yamani, the former Saudi oil minister is famously quoted as saying that: “The Stone Age came to an end, not because we had a lack of stones, and the oil age will come to an end not because we have a lack of oil”.

Shahzada Ahmad, Principal Scientist at Abengoa Research

Shahzada Ahmad, Principal Scientist at Abengoa Research

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