Renewable energy is on the agenda of most governments worldwide. In 2018 it is now much more viable a prospect when compared to conventional sources and the vast majority of countries have made significant voluntary pledges through the Paris Climate Agreement to dramatically increase their percentage of renewable energy production. Wind, solar and hydro sources are doing the majority of the work and are applied according to the specific climate and geography of the country deploying it. However, some technologies are advancing as quickly as they can and the world currently relies more on hydro than any other resource, which can have dramatic environmental implications. Furthermore, both wind and solar have their own environmental implications that need to be taken into consideration.
- Being boosted by a strong solar PV market and good wind growth, renewables accounted for almost two-thirds of net new power capacity around the world in 2016, with almost 165 gigawatts coming online and annual growth of around 8%. Due to the rapid manufacturing and government subsidies in China, Solar is providing the majority of new growth within the renewables market because in the last few years it has become a very attractive replacement for old technologies that are going offline, due to new low costs and better technology. Overall though, solar represents a very small portion of renewables globally and technologies such as wind and hydro are much more prominent in the energy mix.
- For the world’s biggest tech firms, securing an environmentally friendly image is crucial to their business plans. As a result many big firms have made significant commitments to use only renewable energy sourced electricity for their facilities and data centers. This comes after a number of campaigns from organizations like Greenpeace that pointed out that data centers require enormous amounts of energy, which in the past was being fulfilled by conventional energy sources.
- Whilst solar technology attracts a great deal of attention in the media, of the main renewable variants hydroelectric is by far the largest provider of electricity at present globally, representing around 65% of all renewable energy production. Its popularity comes from the consistent and high capacity electricity that hydroelectric dams can deliver. For instance the world’s very largest off shore windfarm when finished in 2020 will have a potential capacity of 1.2GW and represents the biggest and most modern wind technology project
- Examine what's happening in the power generation industry at present.
- See how different technologies are adapting to a new business environment.
- Learn which energy generation technologies are the strongest at present and the best option for countries.
- Analyse the big trends in the industry and the players capitalising on them.
- What is happening in the power generation industry?
- What are the most important new technologies?
- Which countries are pushing new developments?
- What power sources are most attractive at present?
- How can countries meet their carbon emissions targets?
- Renewable adoption is strong but plenty of challenges remain
- New era of renewable technology is encouraging good levels of adoption
- Leading global companies are increasingly demanding renewable energy
- Hydro is overwhelmingly the biggest current renewable source globally
- Current trends in the hydro industry include the building of small dams
- Offshore wind is booming, but efficiency gains are limited without new technology
- Size is the main technological achievement which may limit wind energy
- Solar is booming all over the world but particularly in China & India
- Solar’s problem was always storage, but that is now close to being resolved
- Every energy source has some environmental cost
Figure 1: Leading renewable energy countries by energy mix %
Figure 2: Renewable energy global market value and growth 2013-2017 $tn
Figure 3: Leading tech companies’ renewable energy use, 2017
Figure 4: Global renewable sources market share, 2016
Figure 5: Vattenfall’s 8.4 MW turbines
Figure 6: India’s Pavagada solar park in southern India