Solar and Wind to Account for 36% of Renewables by 2020
Initiatives aimed at cutting carbon emissions and establishing long term energy security will see renewable energy claim a 36% share of global cumulative installed capacity by the end of the decade, states the latest report from business intelligence firm GBI Research.
The new report explains that solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy will be the primary technologies forecast to drive global renewable energy installed capacity from 1,695 GW in 2012 to 2,762 GW in 2020 – boosting the industry’s share of the world total installed capacity from 30% to 36%.
The solar PV sector has expanded massively in recent years, and with countries including India and China announcing ambitious future solar PV targets, there are no signs of this growth abating in the near future. Correspondingly, GBI Research predicts global solar PV installed capacity to reach 331 GW by 2020 from 97 GW in 2012, climbing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.6%.
Spurred on by favourable government policies in countries such as Germany, China and the US, the global installed capacity for wind is also expected to prove a key contributor to renewable energy, more than doubling from 284 GW in 2012 to 685 GW by 2020, according to GBI Research forecasts.
The capital costs of renewable energy generation are currently higher than those of conventional methods, but government initiatives and technological advances have steadily decreased renewable generation expenditure over the last four to five years, lowering the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) and further driving the industry.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.