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The inevitable renewable energy revolution will transform society

sunNo wonder Wall Street is cheering. Hailing the ‘Age of Renewables’, Citi thinks solar will soon be the cheapest electricity in many markets, even without government incentives.

Electricity’s inevitable renewables revolution, Eco Business, 5 June 14  Due to different factors and advancing technologies, the ‘Age of Renewables’ has come and it will transform not only industries but also society. 

Renewable electricity development is going to accelerate over the next few years because of trends in water, population and technology. A successful turnout in the 2015 climate talks in Paris can also be a game-changer in the demand for renewable electricity.

This position was made clear by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in April and more starkly in May by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which called for an “active transformation” through “radical action”.

To tackle climate change, most of the 4.2 terawatts of coal, gas and oil power plants – about 80 per cent of world’s electricity generating capacity – must be replaced with generators using clean energy well before 2050.

Revolutionary forces However, if climate talks should fail, as many expect given the current sorry state of affairs, there are several intensifying and complementary factors that could drive the rapid growth of renewable electricity in the years to come.

.., the coal, gas and uranium mined for burning in power plants face stiffer competition in the use of increasingly limited freshwater from other users, said the United Nations in their 2014 World Water Development Report. Water shortages and warmer water – which reduces cooling efficiency – interrupt electricity generation, such as in several cases in India and the United States last year, the World Bank noted. Switching to solar modules and wind turbines which use less water to produce electricity is, therefore, becoming critical to economic and social sustainability…..

modular architecture, mass production, and easier financing are driving down costs. US-based Tesla thinks large-scale manufacturing will cut 30 per cent from its lithium battery costs. Similarly, Australia’s Redflow expects its zinc-bromine battery prices will fall 40 per cent before 2016. Solar modules cost 62 per cent less than 2011, helping global installed capacity jump a record of 39 gigawatts in 2013 despite investment falling 23 per cent to $104 billion. Prices for other low-carbon technologies, like nuclear, offshore wind, carbon capture, meanwhile remain stubbornly high.

No wonder Wall Street is cheering. Hailing the ‘Age of Renewables’, Citi thinks solar will soon be the cheapest electricity in many markets, even without government incentives. The scale and growth in clean electricity could mean losses of $28 trillion for the global fossil fuel industry reckonsKepler Cheuvreux. Morgan Stanley foresees large-scale consumerdefections from the grid later this decade because of cheaper solar and storage – let’s call it ‘solarage’. Bernstein thinks ‘solarage’ heralds energy price deflation within a decade.


June 6, 2014 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable

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