Register

Peak Oil is You


Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)


Page added on November 24, 2011

Bookmark and Share

Renewable energy becoming cost competitive, IEA says

Alternative Energy

Renewable energy technology is becoming increasingly cost competitive and growth rates are in line to meet levels required of a sustainable energy future, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report on Wednesday.

The report also said subsidies in green energy technologies that were not yet competitive are justified in order to give an incentive to investing into technologies with clear environmental and energy security benefits.

The renewable electricity sector has grown rapidly in the past five years and now provides nearly 20 percent of the world’s power generation, the IEA said during the presentation of the report titled Deploying Renewables 2011.

The IEA’s report disagreed with claims that renewable energy technologies are only viable through costly subsidies and not able to produce energy reliably to meet demand.

“A portfolio of renewable energy (RE) technologies is becoming cost-competitive in an increasingly broad range of circumstances, in some cases providing investment opportunities without the need for specific economic support,” the IEA said, and added that “cost reductions in critical technologies, such as wind and solar, are set to continue.”

“The portfolio of RE technologies, which includes established hydro power, geothermal and bioenergy technologies is now, therefore, cost-competitive in an increasingly broad range of circumstances, providing investment opportunities without the need for specific economic support.”

But the IEA also defended subsidies in renewable energy technology as a necessary means to create a clean and independent energy supply system.

In the past, the IEA has been criticized by environmental groups for underplaying the role of renewable energy technologies in favor of nuclear and fossil-fuels.

“Where technologies are not yet competitive, economic support for a limited amount of time may be justified by the need to attach a price signal to the environmental and energy security benefits of RE deployment,” the report said.

The majority of renewable energy growth is taking place in OECD countries and in major emerging markets like China, India and Brazil.

The report said “the OECD was the only region where the deployment of less mature technologies (such as solar PV, offshore wind) reached a significant scale, with capacities in the order of GWs.”

Most OECD countries have large-scale subsidies in place in order to develop renewable energy technologies.

RAPID GROWTH

The IEA the renewable energy sector had grown by nearly 18 percent between 2005 and 2009, and this growth was evidence it could deliver the intended policy benefits of improved energy security, greenhouse gas reductions and other environmental benefits, as well as economic development opportunities.

“Each of the sectors has been growing strongly, at rates broadly in line with those required to meet the levels required in IEA projections of a sustainable energy future.”

Of all renewable energy technologies, the report said hydro power remained the major source of renewable electricity, at 84 percent of renewable generation, which corresponded to about 16 percent of total generation in 2009.

Other renewable electricity technologies have grown by nearly 74 percent between 2005 and 2009, it said.

“Wind has grown most rapidly in absolute terms and has overtaken bioenergy. Solar has grown at a growth rate of 50.2 percent (CAGR), and installed capacity reached about 40 gigawatt (GW) by the end of 2010,” the report said.

Reuters



10 Comments on "Renewable energy becoming cost competitive, IEA says"

  1. BillT on Thu, 24th Nov 2011 1:36 pm 

    Renewables ALL rely on oil to be made and installed. ALL of them. We will not be willing to forgo the huge quantities of oil necessary to make a difference in renewables.

    There is no 50 year life to these wind machines, nor to PV panel systems. All require expensive maintenance and replacement parts over time. Where will they come from when there is no oil to mine and refine the metals? You cannot mine thousands of tons of ores, haul them to a refinery, refine them,haul the metal to a foundry, form them into parts and then haul them to the energy site using ‘renewable’ energy.

    The ERoEI of all renewables will never let us replace even a significant percentage of today’s energy use, and certainly will NOT support any growth.

  2. Kenz300 on Thu, 24th Nov 2011 3:24 pm 

    Quote- “The renewable electricity sector has grown rapidly in the past five years and now provides nearly 20 percent of the world’s power generation, the IEA said during the presentation of the report titled Deploying Renewables 2011.” “Wind has grown most rapidly in absolute terms and has overtaken bioenergy. Solar has grown at a growth rate of 50.2 percent (CAGR), and installed capacity reached about 40 gigawatt (GW) by the end of 2010,” the report said.
    ——————–
    The price of oil and coal keep rising. Wind and solar prices dropped by 40% in the last 5 years and continue to drop. The rising price of oil and coal will make wind and solar look better every year.

  3. Max Reid on Thu, 24th Nov 2011 6:03 pm 

    Renewable’s like Wind & Solar are made in factories that consume Electricity and not Oil. Share of Oil in the World’s energy consumption has gone down to 32% from 48% in 1970s.

    And the Renewable’s share is gradually increasing. Even Saudi Arabia in installing a Solar PV Plant which will replace the Oil Fired Power.

    Wind turbines and Solar PV Panels last 25 years and require least maintenance.
    In the last 3 years the price of PV panels have dropped 70% and this is promoting large scale Solar Power Generation.

  4. BillT on Fri, 25th Nov 2011 2:13 am 

    Max, you are pushing the possibilities beyond the possible. Do the math on what is required in quantities to replace oil. Yes, oil use for energy is down…for a lot of reasons, but renewables is not the big one. Efficiency is. And we have about maxed out that area. a contracting world economy will also shrink oil use, but that will only prolong the availability.

    Nothing can replace oil in the mines where it all starts. Nothing. There are millions of tons of minerals mined every year to make the world go round. ALL of those mines are run by oil. The mining machines are made and fueled by oil. Those mines are getting deeper and deeper every year, requiring more oil to recover even lower qualities of minerals and metals.

    No one seems to want to take on some real research of the real possibilities of these pipe dream renewables. Why? Because, it would quickly prove that renewables will never allow us to continue our current lifestyle into the next century…or even into the second half of this one.

    The cupboard of resources is almost bare. All of what is left is poor quality stuff that we used to throw away. And now there are 7 billion of us demanding more, more, more.

  5. Dick Burkhart on Fri, 25th Nov 2011 7:22 am 

    BillT is right on. Just because renewables are becoming cost competitive in certain situations doesn’t mean that they will ever be sufficient to run the current global economy. The IEA report, though welcome, has a misleading optimism to it.

  6. Green Jobs UK on Fri, 25th Nov 2011 10:42 am 

    Its good to see some optimism in renewables sector, I completely understand the case that renewables may not be sufficient but tidal power is constant power “source” unlike wind and solar. So the potential energy is there, its just yet to be fully harnessed.

  7. BillT on Fri, 25th Nov 2011 2:04 pm 

    Green Jobs, sounds like you are an investor in a company pimping…er, selling those tidal gadgets. Capitalism says that if a product can be profitable, someone will sell it. But, ideas are cheap and can produce profits for a few before they are proven a bust.

    There are a lot of energy ‘sources’ but few produce more energy than they consume in their life cycle. If truth be known, there are ZERO renewables that, from mines to replacement are actually net energy producers. Most are net losses. When oil is gone, so will they be.

  8. Bernz223 on Fri, 25th Nov 2011 6:45 pm 

    Yeah were going to die in the dieoff anyway so whats the point of the renewables pipe dream.

  9. fiedag on Sat, 26th Nov 2011 5:18 am 

    BillT and Dick. Die-off or not, now that photovoltaics have been invented, we will NEVER stop making them. All the inputs can be sourced with the oil which is left, or oil substitutes or synthetics. They are just too compelling an invention.

  10. Kenz300 on Sat, 26th Nov 2011 5:27 pm 

    Doing nothing is not an option. Individuals, business and countries need to develop plans for greater energy self sufficiency. Your plan may be to walk more or take mass transit. Others will install solar or wind power or insulate their homes and business. Transportation will move away from oil as a fuel source. Life will change as energy becomes more expensive. The real question is how fast will the change occur and how fast will we adapt?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *