Category: Mega Trends & Analysis

A gust of growth in China makes 2020 a record year for wind energy

The surge in installations exceeds GWEC’s Q3 2020 forecast for China by 11 GW and makes 2020 a record year of wind growth with an estimated 82.3 GW of new wind power capacity globally, according to initial calculations by GWEC, which represents a 36% year-on-year increase in installations. According to GWEC Market Intelligence, the global wind industry is now on-track to go from strength to strength and we expect to see similar installation levels in 2021.

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Japan’s renewable energy auctions are price-centred: IRENA

Japan is a country which relies mainly on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs. However, the events at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami have shifted energy policies towards greater renewables adoption. While a FiT scheme was launched earlier, this gave way to auctions in 2017, which have since the key policy instrument driving the Japan’s transition to renewables.

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Europe’s total installed solar capacity to cross 250 GW by 2024: SolarPower Europe

After an 11% improvement in demand for solar in 2020, a 23% boost is predicted for Europe in 2021 with annual installations reaching 22.4 GW. This growth will continue into the later years with new annual additions reaching 27.4 GW in 2022. Despite a slight decrease in growth rates in 2023 and 2024, deployments of over 30 GW are expected in both years, with 30.8 GW in 2023 and 35.1 GW in 2024.

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Benchmarking Africa’s Minigrids

Over the last decade, leading authorities have repeatedly heralded minigrids as essential to providing electricity to approximately half of all unelectrified communities in Africa. Despite this, investment, political buy-in, and scale have remained elusive.

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Norway’s offshore wind industry shows high growth potential

Offshore wind is expected to become increasingly important in the global power market owing to decline in cost combined with technology advancements. Norwegian companies can capture significant shares both in domestic as well as global markets in the development, execution and operations of these offshore wind farms based on experiences in Norway and abroad.

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The Top 11 Clean Energy Developments of 2020

2020 will be a year to remember. Fortunately, we don’t only have to remember it for a global pandemic, wildfires, an economic recession, racial justice protests, and locust swarms. Plenty of exciting and positive things happened in the energy space throughout the year. Coal is on its way out, bans on gas vehicles are growing and green hydrogen is off to the races.

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Grid-scale battery storage is on the rise

Driven by technological advances, facilities are being built with storage systems that can hold enough renewable energy to power hundreds of thousands of homes. The advent of “big battery” technology addresses a key challenge for green energy — the intermittency of wind and solar.

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Quality infrastructure key for smart mini-grids

Mini-grids are complex systems with different suppliers, they are developed for different applications and there is often high regulatory uncertainty regarding their installation and operation. The sustainable market growth and long-term profitability of mini-grid systems requires Quality Infrastructure.

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Corporate renewable electricity sourcing in Europe shows continuous growth

Corporate renewable electricity sourcing in Europe has shown continuous growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the resilience and potential of Europe’s renewable energy sector. In November 2020, the cumulative contracted volume of corporate renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Europe reached the 11 GW mark, up from just 2.2 GW by the end of 2016 and with a record 3 GW contracted in 2020 alone.

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Mainstreaming Green Hydrogen in Europe

Europe could mainstream green hydrogen faster than traditional assessments suggest by creating joint investment projects along the value chain, which would allow the initial green premium, or extra cost, of green hydrogen to be measured against the sustainability value-add of a final product, and not only against the cost of competing fossil fuels. Presented below are select extracts and highlights from the white paper titled, “Mainstreaming Green Hydrogen in Europe“. The white paper summarises an independent research project conducted by Material Economics and commissioned by Breakthrough Energy, exploring what Europe can do to accelerate the growth of hydrogen, and in particular renewable energy-based (or so-called green) hydrogen.

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How Ireland is securing a sustainable energy future

The first RESS auction contracted 1,275.5MW of capacity from 19 wind farms and 63 solar projects. The latter was particularly welcome news for solar after more than a decade in which onshore wind has dominated. More generally, this strengthens the investment environment for renewables by supporting diversity in terms of the technologies available in the market.

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