The present issue of Ukrenergo Review is devoted to forecasts of the world’s energy sector future. Here you can find information about scenarios for the development of the world’s energy industry, plans of some US states and Spain to switch to alternative energy sources and build energy storage systems, as well as about who will soon become a leader in terms of solar and wind power generation.
1. IEA predicts an increase in demand for electricity by 25% by 2040.
The World Energy Outlook 2018 prepared by the International Energy Agency (IEA) presented four scenarios for the development of the global energy industry by 2040. The mentioned scenarios are: the Current Policy Scenario (CPS) reflecting no changes in the policies; the New Policy Scenario (NPS) covering the announced policy and goals; the Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), aimed at achieving climate goals and providing universal access to energy and clean air; and the Future is Electric Scenario (FiES), which simulates the increasingly important role of the power sector.
Under the NPS scenario, the world demand for energy has to increase by more than 25% by 2040 due to population growth and increase in their income, mainly in developing countries. This will require more than USD 2 trillion of investments annually for energy supply development. At the same time, governments will have a critical impact on the future of the energy sector. “Over 70% of the world’s energy investments will be governed by the state. Therefore, it is clear that global energy depends on government decisions,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.
Renewable energy sources (RES) have become the technology of choice in the energy markets, and by 2040 they will account for nearly two-thirds of the world’s power capacities. This will become possible due to cheaper technology and public policy. The share of RES in generation will increase to 40% by 2040 (as of today, it equals 25%). Electricity markets are also undergoing significant transformations. They were triggered by the growing demand for electricity, caused by the transition of a large part of the economy to digital technology, an increase in the number of electric vehicles, etc.
The Sustainability Development Scenario (SDS) offers a comprehensive approach to meeting different climate conditions, air quality and universal energy access goals. The emissions trajectory of the Sustainable Development Scenario is fully in line with achieving the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The IEA believes that each of the proposed scenarios provides for the total capacity of solar power plants (SPP) exceeding all other types of generation, except for gas, by 2040. In particular, the New Policy Scenario specifies that solar power generation will exceed wind power by 2025, hydropower – by 2030, and coal – by 2040. At the same time, the Future is Electric Scenario prescribes that the capacity of SPP will be equal to the volumes of gas generation.
2. China, the US and India to build 70% of solar power capacities by 2027.
The global solar power market will increase by 138% in the next ten years, from 395 GW in 2017 to 947 GW in 2027. Out of 552 GW of solar power capacities planned to be built all around the world by 2017, 70% will fall to only three countries, namely China, the US and India. According to Pv-magazine, such a forecast was prepared by Fitch Solutions.
Changes in China’s policy led to a reduction in investments in the solar energy sector, which slowed the growth. However, China will continue to dominate the global solar power market, increasing its capacity to 227 GW over the next decade. To achieve this level, China will have to increase the capacity of SPP by 23 GW annually between 2018 and 2027.
In general, Asian countries will dominate the expansion of the solar power sector over the next decade. It is projected that in 2027, the capacity SPP in China and India will account for 60% of the world’s capacities. As statistics show, in the first half of 2018, China was a leader in terms of solar power sector capacities – 24.3 GW, India was ranked the second – 4.9 GW, ahead of the United States – 4.7 GW. Japan, Taiwan and South Korea will also be among Top 10 countries that are leaders in solar energy generation.
At the same time, the slowdown in solar energy growth in China, as well as rising tariffs on imports of “solar equipment”, will hold back the export of Chinese solar equipment to the United States and India.
3. California to replace three gas turbine power plants by energy storage.
The California Public Utilities Commission approved a proposal from PG&E to deploy energy storage systems with a capacity of more than 2 GW produced by Tesla and other companies, replacing three gas turbine power plants. This was reported by Electrek.
The document includes four separate energy saving projects, two of which should become the world’s largest energy conservation systems. Within the framework of the projects, it is planned to build a system of energy storage with the capacity of 300 MW/1200 MWh within the PG&E network, as well as a system of 182.5 MW/730 MWh (in the future, it will reach 1.1 GWh).
It is planned that all projects will be completed by the end of 2020. The cost of the projects is not disclosed, but PG&E plans to cover costs at the expense of electricity tariffs.
4. Five US states are aimed at a 100% transition to RES.
The states of Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada and Maine, with a population of 26 million, said they intended to achieve 100% implementation of RES within their territory. Until now, only California and Hawaii had plans to switch to cleaner zero-carbon energy. This was reported by Pv-magazine.
In Colorado, the transition to RES is scheduled for 2040. At the same time, in 2020, renewable sources should account for up to 30%.
In Connecticut, the entire transition to alternative energy sources is scheduled for 2050. By 2025, their share should be 35%, in 2030 – not less than 50%, in 2040 – 80%, and in 2050 – 100%. The current implementation programme until 2030 in Connecticut provides for 40% of RES.
In Illinois, the current plan for the transition to RES in 2026 is equal to 25%.
In Nevada, the share of green generation should increase to 50% in 2030. The current implementation programme until 2025 stipulates 25% of RES implementation.
In the state of Maine, the authorities plan to move to an economy that will almost completely rely on renewable energy by 2050. The current implementation programme until 2020 provides for 40% of RES.
5. Spain plans to switch to 100% of renewable electricity by 2050.
The Spanish Government aims to introduce at least 3000 MW of solar and wind power capacities over a period of 10 years This was reported by The Guardian.
The plan specifies that by 2050, the country will switch to 100% energy generated by renewable energy sources (RES).
New licences for the works on the extraction of fossil fuels, operation of wells, etc. will be reviewd (suspended), and one fifth of the state budget will be directed for implementing measures to mitigate climate changes. These investments will start working in 2025.
Christiana Figueres, a former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), supported the draft Spanish law on climate change as “an excellent example of the Paris Agreement”. She noted that Spain had a long-term goal, which provided incentives for the expansion of modern technology.
This plan provides for the preparation of “transitional” contracts, similar to the previous package of EUR 220 million announced in October, which suspends most Spanish coal mines with the programme of early retirement of workers and simultaneous retraining for the jobs within environmentally friendly industries. The said agreements are proposed to be partly financed through conducting auctions on the sale of certificates for the emission of CO2.
The current government abolished the controversial “solar tax” that suspended the development of the existing renewable energy sector in Spain at the beginning of this decade. At the same time, the new law provides for a 35% share of renewable energy sources in the balance of power by 2030. It is also planned to increase energy efficiency by 35% over 11 years.