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The Economic Competitiveness of Renewable Energy. Pathways to 100% Global Coverage. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 2181922
  • Book
  • July 2014
  • Region: Global
  • 264 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd

Provides a comprehensive picture of today’s energy world, describes the potential for energy savings that can be achieved, and analyzes the technology developments which will lead to a 100% renewable energy-powered world

The world is at the crossroads of either quickly changing the energy picture towards implementing efficient renewable energy sources or postponing this process by another generation. Based on the author’s more than 30 years’ industrial experience, this book gives a set of assumptions by extrapolating known technology developments and shows that 100% coverage by renewable technology of global energy needs is much more probable than previously argued.

Basic facts using "rule of thumb" and "order-of-magnitude" considerations underpin the author’s argument. The book shows how energy efficiency technologies will be able to drastically reduce the energy consumption for the same quality of life. The most relevant renewable energy technologies are discussed. Solar photovoltaic, solar thermal concentrators, solar thermal wind, as well as biomass and biofuels, hydro, geothermal, wave, and tidal technologies are debated.

The conclusion of this unique book shows how and why the renewable technologies will be cost competitive and even superior to the traditional technologies in the mid-term. Market-pull instead of technology-push provide the increase of the cumulative installed volume of the new renewable technologies, thereby driving down the specific price of the critical components along Price Experience Curves.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

Foreword xiii

Preface xvii

Acknowledgements xxiii

List of Abbreviations xxv

1 Introduction 1

1.1 The Changing World 1

1.2 Why Another Book on 100% Renewables? 3

2 Analysis of Today’s Energy Situation 7

2.1 Basic Energy Terms 7

2.2 Global Energy Situation 11

2.3 Energy Sectors 13

2.4 Challenges for Fossil Fuels 16

2.5 Problems with Nuclear Energy 29

3 The Importance of Energy Efficiency Measures 33

3.1 Traditional Extrapolation of Future Energy Demands or Alternatively “The Same or with Renewables Even Better Quality of Life with Much Less Energy” 33

3.2 Decrease in End Energy Needs with a “Better Quality of Life” 35

3.3 Today’s Energy Needs with Known Energy Efficiency Measures 41

3.4 Support Mechanisms to Facilitate New Products: Ban The Old or Facilitate The New Ones 42

4 Overview of the Most Important Renewable Energy Technologies 45

4.1 Basics About the Potential of Various Renewable Technologies 45

4.2 Wind Energy 48

4.3 Solar Thermal Collectors and Concentrators 57

4.4 Bioenergy: Biomass and Fuel 66

4.5 Photovoltaics 68

4.6 Other Renewable Technologies 70

5 PV Market Development 77

5.1 Strategic and Consumer Goods in Society and Why Strategic Ones Need Initial Support 77

5.2 PV Applications and History 84

5.3 Historical PV Market Development 88

5.4 Feed-in Tariffs - Sustainable Versus Boom and Bust Market Growth 93

5.5 PV Market Development Towards 2020 101

5.6 Total Budget for Feed-in Tariff Support as Positive Investment for National Economies and Merit Order Effects for Electricity Customers 106

5.7 New Electricity Market Design for Increasing Numbers of Variable Renewable Energy Systems 110

5.8 Developments for the Future Energy Infrastructure 111

6 PV Value Chain and Technology 117

6.1 Basics of Solar Radiation and Conversion in PV Cells 117

6.2 Value Chain for Crystalline Silicon PV Systems 122

6.3 Value Chain for Thin-Film Technologies 134

6.4 Concentrated PV (CPV) and III?V Compound Solar Cells 137

6.5 New Technologies (Dye, OPV, and Novel Concepts) 138

6.6 Other Cost Components for PV Systems 141

6.7 Marimekko Plot for PV Systems and Summary Chart for Cell Efficiencies 142

7 The Astonishing Predictive Power of Price Experience Curves 147

7.1 Basics about Price Experience Curves 147

7.2 Relevant Price Experience Curves Comparable to PV 148

7.3 Lesson Learned from PECs Discussed 151

7.4 Price Experience Curve for PV Modules 152

7.5 Price Experience Curve for DC/AC inverters 159

7.6 Price Experience Curve for Wind Energy and Other Relevant Products for a 100% Renewable World 161

8 Future Technology Development 163

8.1 General Remarks on Future Technology Developments 163

8.2 Photovoltaics 164

8.3 Wind Energy 170

8.4 Solar Thermal 171

8.5 Other Renewables 171

8.6 Other System Components 171

8.7 Importance of the Renewable Energy Portfolio - in Particular Solar and Wind 175

9 Future Energy Projections - The 150 Peta-Watt-hour Challenge 179

9.1 Historical Development 179

9.2 Some Future Projections and Scenarios by Others 180

9.3 Global Energy Scenarios and Market Development of the Major Renewables from the Author’s Point of View 186

10 Likelihood of and Timeline for a World Powered by 100% Renewable Energy 203

10.1 Likelihood of a 100% Renewable World 203

10.2 Global Network or Local Autonomy? 205

10.3 Timeline for a 100% Renewable World 209

11 Conclusion: The 100% Renewable Energy Puzzle 213

References 219

Index 225

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
Winfried Hoffmann
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown