Renewables Take Off

Renewable Energies not only avoid Carbon Dioxide - they Change the Energy Industry

The paradigm change is caused by three major changes in electricity production with renewables: 

  • Wind and solar production depends on weather (more volatility), where fossil plants used stored energy (coal, oil, gas).
  • Production plants are smaller and more decentral which changes grid topology (location, connection and voltage of electricity lines).
  • Smaller plant size, lower investment cost and location on private property allow ownership to move from utility to private (ownership and funding).

In addition to renewable energy (RE) feeding into large grids, a new application segment emerges: the diesel substitution market. Electricity from sun and wind fed into these grids is cheaper than if produced in diesel plants, so grid parity has already been surpassed there. This means that islands and other diesel grids are likely early markets for renewable energy. Most islands depend on diesel to supply electricity, so higher shares of RE lower their energy cost. They have similar challenges to integrate renewables as large continental grids and can directly benefit from our approach. “The photovoltaic (PV) potential of the Sunbelt countries – where PV can already compete with diesel generators for peak power generation without financial support – could range from 60 to 250 GW by 2020, and from 260 to 1,100 GW in 2030.”2

  1. REN21 Renewable 2014 – Global Status Report – Key Findings. 2014, p5.
  2. EPIA : Global Market Outlook – For Photovoltaic 2014-2018. 2014, p18