The arch-sceptics of the International Energy Agency have embraced offshore wind, saying it can meet the world’s entire electricity demand 11 times over even when zones are set aside for uses such as shipping, defence and fishing. “Its potential is vast,” said the IEA report released on Friday. Europe and North America can meet their needs three times over from shallow waters close to shore, as can much of South America, Russia, and New Zealand. This leaves plenty spare to make green hydrogen from electrolysis that can be used for back-up power, heat, transport for rail, trucks and ships, and the production of zero-carbon steel, cement and glass. “Offshore wind is set to be competitive with fossil fuels within the next decade,” the IEA said. The levelised costs will fall a further 60pc by 2040 as 12 or 15 MW giants displace the midgets of an earlier age. Digital technology, drone maintenance, and sheer scale – buttressed by plummeting finance costs – have transformed the calculus beyond recognition. Five years ago this would have been fantasy. But this year’s strike prices in the UK (£39.65 per MWh for the Dogger Bank) have been an earthquake in global policy circles. “In Europe, recent auctions indicate that offshore wind will soon beat new natural gas-fired capacity on cost,” it said. China will take longer although the 13th Five Year Plan will soon bring catalytic scale. Offshore wind will match new coal-fired capacity “around 2030”.
Telegraph 25th Oct 2019 read more »
Carbon Brief’s Simon Evans runs through their analysis of the updated forecasts in the International Energy Agency (IEA) Renewables 2019 report, released this week. In its “base case” global renewable energy capacity will increase by 50% over the next 5 years. Rising from 2,501GW in 2018 to 3,721GW in 2024, it will add the equivalent of the entire US electricity system. In the “accelerated case” it’s 60%, further adding the equivalent of Japan’s. 85% of that increase will come from wind and solar, with the rest from hydro and biomass. The IEA says it’s thanks to faster-than-expected cost reductions and policy advances. Most of the growth will come from China (40%), Europe (17%), the U.S. (11%) and India (9%). The report also says the 2018 renewables “dip” never actually happened: growth kept on track. And a “boom” in distributed solar capacity could be round the corner. But renewables will meet only two-thirds of growing global demand, so fossil fuel generation will also rise and emissions too therefore. The IEA says the three main obstacles to the transition are policy uncertainty, grid integration, and progress in developing countries.
Energy Post 23rd Oct 2019 read more »
Global benchmark prices for offshore wind have plunged 32% in the past year and 12% in the last six months, according BloombergNEF’s latest analysis released Tuesday. Benchmark prices hit $78/MWh for the second half of 2019, largely driven by cheaper equipment costs, according to analysts. Meanwhile, onshore wind and solar prices have dropped 6% and 11% respectively since the first half of 2019, hitting global benchmark prices of $47/MWh and $51/MWh. Battery storage prices also fell 35% in the past year, hitting a global average of $186/MWh. Shorter duration battery prices dropped 4% since the first half of 2019 to $112/kW/yr. Globally, short-duration batteries are cheaper than building new natural gas, with the exception of the U.S., “where cheap gas gives open-cycle gas turbines … an edge,” BNEF said.
Utility Dive 24th Oct 2019 read more »