Category: Mega Trends & Analysis

Assessing EU plans to import hydrogen from North Africa

Hydrogen is expensive to distribute via shipping and pipeline, which is why today the large majority of it is manufactured at the point of consumption. Realistically, is Europe going to be willing to pay that very significant price difference? North African governments and firms should therefore be wary of promises of large export markets for expensive to manufacture and ship green hydrogen, and the synthetic fuels made from it.

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US’s Energy Transition To Move Forward With Creative Solutions To Major Grid Connection Challenges

The US energy transition will see considerable new renewable capacity added over the decade, yet significant challenges remain to the sector’s growth. Non-hydropower renewables will continue to be the largest capacity growth segment in the US power market with over 200GW of new capacity expected between 2022 and 2031. We expect the segment’s share of total generation to rise from 17% to 27.7%.

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China remains the global wind powerhouse

China’s transition to a subsidy-free market in 2021 resulted in 34% less capacity installed in the country YoY (-24 GW), which heavily impacted the global total. However, the nearly 48 GW installed in China in 2021 indicates that strong market fundamentals remain despite the shift in policy. If we exclude China, the rest of the world added more than 47 GW of new capacity, a 14% increase YoY, driven primarily by significant growth in Asia Pacific (+134%), Northern Europe (+100%), and Latin America (+82%).

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Easing Of Solar Equipment Imports Restriction To Alleviate Risks To India’s Solar Growth

In the short term, we expect downside risks to India’s solar capacity growth to alleviate as the government of India postpones restrictions on imported solar equipment use by six months. We maintain our solar capacity forecasts as India implements basic custom duties on imported solar modules and cells, increasing the costs of solar projects and curbing stronger growth, given that domestic manufacturing is still unable to replace import quantities.

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Green Hydrogen in Chile: A Contribution to the Global Energy Transition

In November 2020, Chile published an important document setting out what was called the National Green Hydrogen Strategy. It is clear from the strategy that Chile views a significant long-term role for green hydrogen, made via electrolysis using renewable electricity. It is not clear at this point if there is room for blue hydrogen, using natural gas as a feedstock with CCS probably in the Magallanes area.

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EV adoption in the US for a net zero economy

The stage is set for significant electric vehicle (EV) growth in the coming decades, but even the most optimistic scenarios bring dramatic plot twists. The Biden administration has set a goal for the U.S. economy to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Achieving that goal will require a nationwide transition to EVs and clean energy. While EV adoption is surging, reaching many goals set by automakers and policymakers will require extensive changes that go far beyond just the vehicles on the road.

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South Korea’s lack of wind and solar hinders exporters

South Korea’s wind and solar output far below corporate needs. South Korea’s top 11 exporters consume 4.5 times more electricity than generated by wind and solar in 2020. South Korea’s biggest companies could lose a key competitive edge over the next decade, as they struggle to secure critical supplies of domestic renewable energy, without a significant boost from the incoming Yoon administration. 

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Renewable energy transition takes off in the US

IEEFA predicted last year that wind, solar and hydro’s share of the U.S. electric power market would approach 30 percent by the end of 2026. IEEFA now believes the forecast reflected the low end of possible growth, given the significant acceleration in expected solar and wind (particularly offshore) capacity installations through 2026. We now expect that clean energy’s share of the electric generation market could hit 33 percent or more.

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Europe’s Path to Clean Energy: A $5.3 Trillion Investment Opportunity

Europe builds 38% more wind and solar for power generation by 2050 in the Net Zero Scenario compared to the Economic Transition Scenario. To reach these volumes, solar and especially onshore wind capacity additions need to grow above the industry’s historical rate this decade. Over 2021-2025 alone, deployments in both scenarios need to double compared to 2016-2020, increasing a further 60-80% over 2026-2030.

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These are the countries best prepared for a green future

Iceland, Denmark and the Netherlands are the countries most prepared for a low-carbon future, according to a new report. Other countries making up the top 10 of the Green Future Index 2022 are the United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden and South Korea. The index is a ranking of 76 economies published by MIT Technology Review Insights, the custom publishing division of the bimonthly magazine at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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China will continue to lead global wind power growth in the decades to come: GWEC

China has been the world’s largest wind market by installed capacity since 2010. The continued growth of wind in China over the past decade is mainly due to ambitious policies from the central government. 2020 was a record year, with more than 54 GW of installations primarily driven by the expiration of the onshore wind FiT. Although onshore wind growth slowed down last year, China retained strong momentum in 2021.

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Ecuador’s power grid prepares for energy transition

Ecuador’s energy outlook has undergone a drastic change in recent times. The country is fast moving from conventional sources of energy to more clean, renewable-based energy. There is a shift from a heavy reliance on fossil fuels to nearly complete self-sufficiency through renewable energies, particularly hydroelectric power. It is also improving its energy transmission infrastructure to allow massive loads to be carried more efficiently at high-voltage levels.  

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Powering Up: Global electricity review

Global renewable generation capacity is expected to increase by more than 60 per cent from 2020 levels to over 4,800 GW by 2026. Renewables are also expected to account for about 95 per cent of the growth in worldwide capacity by 2026, with solar energy accounting for majority of the increase. Between 2021 and 2026, the amount of renewable capacity added is predicted to be 50 per cent more than what was added between 2015 and 2020.

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Asia’s Hydropower Sector Faces Headwinds To Growth

Hydropower projects in Asia face significant headwinds arising from environmental and social opposition, alongside financing hurdles. Hydropower projects have consistently been facing opposition stemming from environmentalists and local communities, as damming of rivers has implications for the ecology and livelihood of people around the rivers. In addition to environmental and social opposition, financing of hydropower projects remains limited, given the high capital required and long construction times before electricity is generated and sold.

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Green Nordic Energy System: TSOs Publish Strategy and Solutions Report 

The TSOs recently published the Solutions Report 2022 – Solutions for a Green Nordic Energy System, in continuation to the previous solutions reports prepared biennially since 2018. The report aims to address the challenges and describes the work on solutions and presents the Nordic TSO strategy towards 2030 focusing on onshore and offshore wind development and sector integration (with other sectors that use electricity such as transport, heating and hydrogen production).

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CAISO’s 20-Year Transmission Outlook: To Aid US’ Grid and Renewable Goals 

California’s 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018 or Senate Bill 100 (SB 100) calls for a switch over to carbon-free electricity by 2045, in addition to accelerating the integration of new renewable electricity resources into the grid. It also aims to ensure at least 60 per cent of California’s electricity is renewable by 2030. The draft develops a long-range blueprint of the interconnected high-voltage wires required to meet the above goals.

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Unlocking onshore wind in Poland

Poland’s restrictive onshore wind law limits the deployment of new wind projects to a value that is not compatible with EU’s climate targets. An update to Poland’s problematic onshore wind law is already on the table, yet the government is delaying the amendment despite huge public support. Being the cheapest energy source, onshore wind could also help lower the extremely high coal-and-gas-driven electricity prices, currently wreaking havoc in the country’s economy.

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The state of offshore wind development in the United States

The offshore wind industry in the United States crawled forward for more than a decade, slowed by litigation, protracted permitting, complex and novel regulatory frameworks, stakeholder opposition, and unfavorable energy markets. As of 2021, there were only two operational offshore wind projects in U.S. waters with a total of seven turbines. Although there are currently only seven turbines in U.S. waters, there are around 20 proposed offshore wind projects in various stages of development with a projected pipeline of 30 GW in federal lease areas issued to date.

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Global Renewables Report: Key Takeaways

We expect to see over 1,800 GW of new non-hydropower renewable capacity come online over the coming decade, a significant increase against our previous 10 year forecast of 1,400 GW. Growth is supported by global decarbonisation efforts and declining costs with Asia the leading region accounting for 57% of additions. Solar capacity growth will eclipse all other renewables combined with over 1000GW of additions expected with rooftop solar making a global resurgence.  

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