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    FOTOVOLTAICA

    Soltec Trackers is a manufacturer, installer and supplier of single-axis solar trackers, firmly committed to innovation and product optimisation in order to bring its cutting-edge technology to the market. Its main strength in solar tracker innovation includes the development of bifacial technology adapted to its product, which obtains a higher return on investment while generating more energy. Soltec boasts a global workforce of more than 1,500 people, with manufacturing facilities in Spain and Brazil, as well as offices in Australia, China, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Spain and the United States.

    Schaeffler is increasing its involvement in hydrogen technology

    Las baterías de placas bipolares son un componente importante del sistema de la pila de combustible/Stacked bipolar plates are an important component of the fuel cell system

    Schaeffler is now a steering member in the Hydrogen Council, a globally active hydrogen interest group based in Belgium. The initiative comprises 81 leading companies from the energy, transport, and industrial sectors.

    The goal of the members is to drive forward hydrogen technology in the direction of industrialization.

    Establishing hydrogen technologies globally

    We want to shape CO2-neutral, sustainable mobility with regard to the entire energy chain. We will accomplish this by using the enormous future potential of green hydrogen along the entire value-added chain, says Klaus Rosenfeld”, CEO of Schaeffler AG. “Joining the Hydrogen Council will enable us to further advance and establish hydrogen technologies together with strong partners globally.

    With its goal of achieving maximum sustainability and CO2 neutrality, Schaeffler is shaping mobility and the associated energy chain as an automotive and industrial supplier. “Hydrogen technology offers enormous potential in this area, both in terms of energy storage and emissions-free drive solutions”, says Klaus Rosenfeld. “Our core expertise in materials technology, forming technology, and surface technology will enable the efficient high-volume production of key components for the future hydrogen economy and will make a significant contribution to the company’s success.

    The establishment and development of research and development partnerships for developing and testing fuel cell components is also an important strategic task here. Schaeffler already joined the Bavarian Hydrogen Council last year.

    Key components for fuel cells

    Schaeffler has been focusing on the value-added chain of key components for fuel cells for some time. Bipolar plates are produced by precise forming and coating in the thin-layer range, which once stacked form an important component of the fuel cell system. The fuel cell stacks are energy converters, which let H2 react with O2 to form water. The electricity generated during this process can be used to power the vehicle’s electric motor. Schaeffler’s portfolio for optimized fuel cell systems is expanded by additional areas of expertise, such as electronic control systems, special high-performance bearings, smart thermal management modules or components for passive hydrogen recirculation.

    Source: Schaeffler

    The share of renewables in global power should more than double by 2030 to advance the global energy transformation, achieve sustainable development goals and a pathway to climate safety, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Renewable electricity should supply 57 per cent of global power by the end of the decade, up from 26 per cent today.

    A new booklet 10 Years: Progress to Action, published for the 10th annual Assembly of IRENA, charts recent global advances and outlines the measures still needed to scale up renewables. The Agency’s data shows that annual renewable energy investment needs to double from around USD 330 billion today, to close to USD 750 billion to deploy renewable energy at the speed required. Much of the needed investment can be met by redirecting planned fossil fuel investment. Close to USD 10 trillion of non-renewables related energy investments are planned to 2030, risking stranded assets and increasing the likelihood of exceeding the world’s 1.5 degree carbon budget this decade.

    Additional investments bring significant external cost savings, including minimising significant losses caused by climate change as a result of inaction. Savings could amount to between USD 1.6 trillion and USD 3.7 trillion annually by 2030, three to seven times higher than investment costs for the energy transformation.

    Falling technology costs continue to strengthen the case for renewable energy. IRENA points out that solar PV costs have fallen by almost 90 per cent over the last 10 years and onshore wind turbine prices have fallen by up half in that period. By the end of this decade, solar PV and wind costs may consistently outcompete traditional energy. The two technologies could cover over a third of global power needs.

    Renewables can become a vital tool in closing the energy access gap, a key sustainable development goal. Off-grid renewables have emerged as a key solution to expand energy access and now deliver access to around 150 million people. IRENA data shows that 60 per cent of new electricity access can be met by renewables in the next decade with stand-alone and mini-grid systems providing the means for almost half of new access.

    Source: IRENA

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    Global solar PV installations will continue double-digit growth rates into the new decade, according to the new 2020 Global PV Demand Forecast by IHS Markit. New annual installations in 2020 will reach 142 GW, a 14% rise over the previous year.

    The expected 142 GW are seven times that of the entire capacity that had been installed by the start of the prior decade (20 GW in 2010). The growth has been substantial in terms of geographic reach as well. There were 7 countries with more than 1 GW of installed capacity in 2010, most of them confined to Europe. IHS Markit expects more than 43 countries to meet that threshold by the end of 2020.

    Another year of double-digit global demand growth in 2020 is proof of the continued and exponential growth of solar PV installations in the last decade,” said Edurne Zoco, director, Clean Technology & Renewables, IHS Markit. “If the 2010s were the decade of technology innovation, steep cost reductions, large subsidies and dominance by a few markets then 2020 marks the decade of emerging unsubsidized solar, diversification and expansion of solar installation demand across the globe, new corporate entry players and increasing competitiveness versus conventional energy sources.

    Large markets such as China will continue to have an outsized share of new installations into the foreseeable future. However, the overreliance on China for global solar installation growth will continue to decrease in coming years as more capacity is added elsewhere. Installations outside of China, the world’s leading market, grew by as much as 53% in 2019 and are expected to continue growing by double digits in 2020. Overall, the top 10 solar markets are expected to see their collective share of the market fall to 73 %, down from 94% in 2010.

    China will remain in the preeminent position as the overall leader in solar installations. But this decade will see new markets emerging in South East Asia, Latin America and the Middle East,” said Zoco “Still, the major markets will continue to be critical for the development of the solar industry, especially as test beds of technological innovation, policy development and new business models.

    Regional highlights

    China. Solar demand in 2020 will be lower than historic installation peaks of 50 GW in 2017. Demand in China is in a transitional phase as the market moves towards solar being unsubsidized and competing with other forms of generation and there is some lingering uncertainty while awaiting the release of the new 14th Five-Year Plan to be announced next year.

    United States. Installations are expected to grow 20% in 2020, consolidating the United States’ position as the world’s second largest market. California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina and New York will be key drivers of U.S. demand growth over the next five years.

    Europe. After nearly doubling installations in 2019, Europe is expected yet to continue growing in 2020, adding more than 24 GW—a 5% increase over 2019. Spain, Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy and Ukraine will be leading sources of demand, accounting for 63% of total EU installations.

    India. Following a flat year in 2019, due to policy uncertainties and the impact of import duties on solar cells and modules, installations are expected to grow again and surpass 14 GW in 2020. Lower module prices and a large pipeline of projects are expected to spur the return to growth.

    Source: IHS Markit

    The power sector is witnessing significant changes. As 2019 draws to a close, GlobalData, looks at the key trends that will shape the industry in 2020, ranging from electric vehicles to corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs).

    Electric vehicles

    The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is set to continue on the steep trajectory witnessed in the last few years. The global EV fleet, which stood at over 5.1 million in 2018, is expected to reach around 130 million by 2030 as per International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts.

    Governments across the world are setting targets for deployments of EVs and these policy signals are encouraging industry stakeholders to invest across the EV supply chain. In addition, large power utilities such as EDF, E.ON and Enel in Europe have been investing in EV charging station infrastructure, and this market is witnessing consolidation – a trend that is expected to continue. Increasingly, power utilities are collaborating with EV manufacturers to boost their offerings in areas such as EV charging, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services, energy storage and renewable energy sources. Oil majors such as Shell, BP and Total are also placing huge bets in this market through acquisitions.

    Digitalization

    Power utilities, which have traditionally been averse to the adoption of new technologies, are now realizing their benefits and offering heavy investment. An emerging technology trends survey conducted by GlobalData reveals that cyber security, big data, cloud computing, robotics and Internet of Things (IoT) are being seen as the top five technologies that will have the maximum impact on the sector over the next three years.

    Cybersecurity is receiving the maximum attention from power companies in order to protect grids from cyber-attacks. Power utilities realize the crippling effect such attacks can have on the grid and are hence willing to invest heavily to protect against them.

    With ever more data coming out of the customers’ meters, utilities are focusing on data analytics for load forecasting, generation planning, managing peaks and increasing customers’ awareness regarding energy efficiency. Big data and cloud computing are useful tools that are aiding these initiatives. Cloud models are helping utilities to lower their IT capital expenditure (capex) and offer unlimited computing and advanced analytics, while IoT is helping power companies to remotely monitor and manage their assets. Utilities are also able to conduct predictive maintenance of their assets with the assistance of IoT.

    Grid-scale battery storage

    Energy storage installation among end-users (renewable energy generators, grid operators and distributed generation) is projected to witness larger growth due to smart grid development. The battery energy storage system (BESS) market, which is estimated at 4.9 gigawatt (GW) in 2018, is forecast to reach 22.2GW by 2023.

    The economies of energy storage in a wide range of applications, coupled with the falling cost of systems, will likely result in the rapid growth of battery energy storage solutions. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are emerging as crucial for energy storage, and the increasing growth of EVs has resulted in advancements in lithium-ion technologies and a steady decline in the prices of lithium-based batteries.

    Several energy storage projects in the pipeline have been accelerated by incentive programs. The deployment is expected to grow, due to a large number of countries opting for storage utilization to support their power sector transformation. The US introduced several bills and policies related to energy storage, and the country has comprehensive incentive programs supporting battery utilization. In the meanwhile, India published a national energy storage mission, outlining the country’s ambition to become a market leader in the manufacture of batteries. Similarly, China and Germany are exploiting opportunities to capitalize on the growing market for batteries.

    Microgrids

    Microgrids will continue to make inroads in the power sector, driven by the need for resiliency, energy security and the electrification of remote areas. This year has seen a number of microgrid projects being announced by companies across the world. Utilities such as Duke Energy, EDF, Engie and AusNet have been involved in the development of microgrid projects, the scale of which has also been increasing with projects as large as the 100MW Armonia Microgrid Project in Palau being developed.

    Policy developments have been encouraging. For example, Hawaii has become the first state to initiate microgrid tariffs. California is also following close behind, trying to enact legislation in this direction.

    Corporate PPAs

    Large corporates are increasingly signing PPAs with generators to meet their power needs. Most of these are signed with renewable energy generators, enabling them to increase the share of renewable energy in their total consumption. Companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft have continued to sign PPAs during 2019 and this trend is expected to continue in the future due to the expansion of the data centers market increasing their power requirements.

    Retailers such as Tesco and Walmart have also been involved in signing PPAs in 2019. The rise in corporate PPAs is fuelled by the withdrawal of feed-in-tariffs (FITs) and other incentives for wind and solar power coupled with the move towards auction mechanisms. Under these circumstances, corporate PPAs offer an opportunity for developers to sell their power profitably.

    Source: GlobalData

    Endesa X and Consum supermarkets have signed a deal for an initial 110 charging points for electric vehicles to be installed in the car parks of 55 of the cooperative’s centres. The first 23 are already up and running and another 20 are about to become operational. The charging points will be distributed throughout Andalusia, the Valencia Region, Castilla La Mancha, Catalonia and Murcia although the initiative will be expanded to more locations, and they will use 100% renewably-sourced electricity.

    The rapid chargers to be installed are rated at up to 50 kW, which means a vehicle can be charged in about half an hour (depending on the particular vehicle and how much charge the battery has to start with), the time it usually takes customers to do their shopping. Users will have to have Endesa X’s app JuicePass (available for IOS and Android) to activate the service and start the recharging process. It will not be necessary to register to use the app, since you can charge and pay each time with a credit card.

    Creating a profile in the application and registering with JuicePass has several advantages for customers: the process is expedited; detailed information of charging points, prices and operating hours is available; charging particulars can be monitored in real time and your history of charges and invoices accessed; and there are discounts off the charging price.

    Consum thus becomes the first Spanish supermarket chain to implement an extensive public access recharging network – which can also be expanded – and offer its customers this new service.

    Endesa X: Developing public access infrastructure

    This collaboration agreement with Consum allows Endesa X to move forward in its plan to expand public access charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Last year the company announced a plan to install 8,500 charging points in public access places by 2023, with an investment of €65 million, the most ambitious plan in Spain.

    In this initial phase (2018-2019), Endesa X intends to establish a network of 2,000 charging points connecting major towns and cities with more than 35,000 inhabitants and Spain’s 15,000 kilometres of major roads so as to ensure that 75% of the population has access to public charging infrastructure in their municipality. This will allow drivers to always have a charging point at a distance of less than 100 kilometres.

    In the second phase (2021-2023), a further 6,500 new public access charging points will be installed in shopping centres, car parks, hotel chains, service stations and on public roads to cater to the growth in the electric vehicle market, providing greater charging infrastructure coverage in urban areas and the main strategic transport nodes both on the mainland and in the islands.

    Source: Endesa X

    Acciona has put two new renewable energy projects into service in Chile in the last trimester: the San Gabriel wind farm (183 MW) in the region of La Araucanía and the Almeyda photovoltaic plant (62 MWp) in the region of Atacama. This means that the company has increased its operating capacity in the country by 84%, strengthening its position as the main generator of 100% renewable electricity in the Chilean market.

    The start-up of San Gabriel and Almeyda takes Acciona’s renewables capacity in Chile to 536 MW, these two facilities joining the Punta Palmeras wind farm (45 MW) in the region of Coquimbo, grid connected in 2014, and the El Romero Solar photovoltaic plant (246 MWp) in Atacama, operational since November 2016.

    Acciona’s generation capacity will continue to grow in Chile in 2020, when it will complete the construction of the Tolpán wind farm (84 MW) in the region of La Araucanía and the Usya photovoltaic plant (64 MWp) in the region of Antofagasta. These plants are expected to enter service in the middle of the year.

    In recent years, Acciona’s growth in Chile has been the result of contracts awarded in two of the public energy auctions called for regulated market clients in Chile, and energy sale contracts with companies such as Google, Falabella, ENAMI, LATAM Airlines, Aguas Chañar and ECONSSA.

    Source: Acciona

    i-DE, Iberdrola’s electricity distribution arm, has inaugurated the first electrical energy storage system with lithium-ion batteries for distribution networks in Spain. The project, which is the first in the country, is located in the Murcian municipal district of Caravaca de la Cruz and will improve the quality of the energy supply in the surrounding area, as well as the use of solar energy generated in the area.

    The storage system, with a capacity of 3 MWh, can operate in isolation and, in the event of an interruption in supply, will be able provide up to five hours of electricity to the main districts in the surrounding area: Cañada de la Cruz, Inazares, Moralejo, Barranda, El Moral and Los Royos.

    Adverse climate and rural environment

    The special circumstances in the rural environment around Caravaca de la Cruz have determined the choice of this enclave for this innovative solution.

    In recent years, the area has been recording very adverse weather conditions that cause incidents in the distribution network. Also, it is an area consisting of various small and scattered centres of consumption, so a fault can leave several villages without service. To this is added the long distances that have to be covered to reach the source of the problem, which further complicates the resolution of incidents.

    The traditional solution would have been to construct 22 km of overhead power lines, crossing environmental protection areas. This is the reason why an innovative solution was chosen, based on energy storage installed at a point where overhead cables intersect, allowing several areas to be served with a single battery.

    The project has shown that batteries can improve the continuity of supply in contingency situations, as well as the use of photovoltaic plants connected to the impacted grid, including in isolation using only renewable energy. The batteries, in short, constitute a complement to the conventional local operation.

    Smart storage system

    There are several large photovoltaic plants in Caravaca de la Cruz that upload electricity to the grid during the hours with the most intense sunlight. A battery with these characteristics is able to adjust the voltage to the appropriate values and be ready to intervene as a second source of power supply in the event of a power failure.

    To achieve this, it has a smart storage system that is able to assess the situation and decide what part of the network will remain in operation from the battery, taking into account actual consumption at that time, the generation capacity of photovoltaic plants nearby and the state of charge of the battery, among other aspects.

    The system estimates both the consumption and the potential renewable generation power of the solar plants in the area at that time and for the following hours. It can, thus, take advantage of local power generation and, in addition, absorb excess energy, in case of excess production.

    The combination of this battery and the electricity produced by the photovoltaic plants in the area will significantly reduce the interruption times in the power supply during an emergency.
    Storage and grids, the keys to the energy model of the future

    Storage systems are key to addressing the challenges of the energy transition and are destined to become an essential element in the electrical system of the future. This is because they allow the quality of the electricity supply to be improved, ensuring the stability and reliability of the network and integrating and harnessing the energy generated by renewable sources.

    Iberdrola is a leader in energy storage, with an installed pumping technology capacity of 4,400 MW, which is currently the most efficient method. It is also undertaking numerous initiatives that combine the use of batteries with renewable energy – wind and photovoltaic – projects, as well as those oriented towards improving the quality of the supply by its grids, as is the case with the installation in Caravaca de La Cruz.

    Electricity distribution networks are the circulatory system in the new energy model and an essential platform in the transition toward a decarbonised economy based on competitive, renewable energy. Transforming the grids into smart infrastructure responds to the challenges of an electrified economy, with greater integration of renewables, sustainable mobility, smart cities and consumption models and distributed generation.

    In this context, i-DE has allocated 2 billion euros to digitising its electricity networks, with the installation of almost 11 million digital meters, together with the infrastructure that supports them, and the adaptation of around 90,000 transformer centres in Spain, to which it has incorporated remote management, supervision and automation capabilities. It is also currently working on the digitalisation of the low voltage network and is investing in control and operation systems.

    I-DE, smart electricity grids

    The activities of i-DE the new name for Iberdrola’s electricity distribution arm – include the planning, construction and maintenance of power lines, substations, transformer centres and other infrastructure, as well as operating the system in a way that efficiently distributes energy among the various agents that produce and consume it.

    Iberdrola operates a distribution system consisting of 270,000 km of power lines in Spain and is present in 10 Autonomous Regions serving a population of 17 million. In 2018, Iberdrola’s distribution business invested almost €500 m in Spain in projects designed to improve its procedures and customer service channels; complete the roll-out of nearly 11 million smart meters and the supervision and automation of the grid.

    Iberdrola’s network business is a significant driver of the Spanish economy, generating more than 10,000 jobs in total (both direct and through its suppliers). In 2018, the company made purchases to the value of €500 m from 2,000 local companies.

    Source: Iberdrola

    Deep disparities define today’s energy world. The dissonance between well-supplied oil markets and growing geopolitical tensions and uncertainties. The gap between the ever-higher amounts of greenhouse gas emissions being produced and the insufficiency of stated policies to curb those emissions in line with international climate targets. The gap between the promise of energy for all and the lack of electricity access for 850 million people around the world.

    The World Energy Outlook 2019, the International Energy Agency’s flagship publication, explores these widening fractures in detail. It explains the impact of today’s decisions on tomorrow’s energy systems, and describes a pathway that enables the world to meet climate, energy access and air quality goals while maintaining a strong focus on the reliability and affordability of energy for a growing global population.

    As ever, decisions made by governments remain critical for the future of the energy system. This is evident in the divergences between WEO scenarios that map out different routes the world could follow over the coming decades, depending on the policies, investments, technologies and other choices that decision makers pursue today. Together, these scenarios seek to address a fundamental issue – how to get from where we are now to where we want to go.

    The path the world is on right now is shown by the Current Policies Scenario, which provides a baseline picture of how global energy systems would evolve if governments make no changes to their existing policies. In this scenario, energy demand rises by 1.3% a year to 2040, resulting in strains across all aspects of energy markets and a continued strong upward march in energy-related emissions.

    The Stated Policies Scenario, formerly known as the New Policies Scenario, incorporates today’s policy intentions and targets in addition to existing measures. The aim is to hold up a mirror to today’s plans and illustrate their consequences. The future outlined in this scenario is still well off track from the aim of a secure and sustainable energy future. It describes a world in 2040 where hundreds of millions of people still go without access to electricity, where pollution-related premature deaths remain around today’s elevated levels, and where CO2 emissions would lock in severe impacts from climate change.

    The Sustainable Development Scenario indicates what needs to be done differently to fully achieve climate and other energy goals that policy makers around the world have set themselves. Achieving this scenario – a path fully aligned with the Paris Agreement aim of holding the rise in global temperatures to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 °C – requires rapid and widespread changes across all parts of the energy system. Sharp emission cuts are achieved thanks to multiple fuels and technologies providing efficient and cost-effective energy services for all.

    What comes through with crystal clarity in this year’s World Energy Outlook is there is no single or simple solution to transforming global energy systems,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director. “Many technologies and fuels have a part to play across all sectors of the economy. For this to happen, we need strong leadership from policy makers, as governments hold the clearest responsibility to act and have the greatest scope to shape the future.”

    In the Stated Policies Scenario, energy demand increases by 1% per year to 2040. Low-carbon sources, led by solar PV, supply more than half of this growth, and natural gas accounts for another third. Oil demand flattens out in the 2030s, and coal use edges lower. Some parts of the energy sector, led by electricity, undergo rapid transformations. Some countries, notably those with “net zero” aspirations, go far in reshaping all aspects of their supply and consumption.

    However, the momentum behind clean energy is insufficient to offset the effects of an expanding global economy and growing population. The rise in emissions slows but does not peak before 2040.

    Shale output from the United States is set to stay higher for longer than previously projected, reshaping global markets, trade flows and security. In the Stated Policies Scenario, annual US production growth slows from the breakneck pace seen in recent years, but the United States still accounts for 85% of the increase in global oil production to 2030, and for 30% of the increase in gas. By 2025, total US shale output (oil and gas) overtakes total oil and gas production from Russia.

    “The shale revolution highlights that rapid change in the energy system is possible when an initial push to develop new technologies is complemented by strong market incentives and large-scale investment,” said Dr Birol. “The effects have been striking, with US shale now acting as a strong counterweight to efforts to manage oil markets.”

    The higher US output pushes down the share of OPEC members and Russia in total oil production, which drops to 47% in 2030, from 55% in the mid-2000s. But whichever pathway the energy system follows, the world is set to rely heavily on oil supply from the Middle East for years to come.

    Alongside the immense task of putting emissions on a sustainable trajectory, energy security remains paramount for governments around the globe. Traditional risks have not gone away, and new hazards such as cybersecurity and extreme weather require constant vigilance. Meanwhile, the continued transformation of the electricity sector requires policy makers to move fast to keep pace with technological change and the rising need for the flexible operation of power systems.

    The world urgently needs to put a laser-like focus on bringing down global emissions. This calls for a grand coalition encompassing governments, investors, companies and everyone else who is committed to tackling climate change,” said Dr Birol. “Our Sustainable Development Scenario is tailor-made to help guide the members of such a coalition in their efforts to address the massive climate challenge that faces us all.”

    A sharp pick-up in energy efficiency improvements is the element that does the most to bring the world towards the Sustainable Development Scenario. Right now, efficiency improvements are slowing: the 1.2% rate in 2018 is around half the average seen since 2010 and remains far below the 3% rate that would be needed.

    Electricity is one of the few energy sources that sees rising consumption over the next two decades in the Sustainable Development Scenario. Electricity’s share of final consumption overtakes that of oil, today’s leader, by 2040. Wind and solar PV provide almost all the increase in electricity generation.

    Putting electricity systems on a sustainable path will require more than just adding more renewables. The world also needs to focus on the emissions that are “locked in” to existing systems. Over the past 20 years, Asia has accounted for 90% of all coal-fired capacity built worldwide, and these plants potentially have long operational lifetimes ahead of them. This year’s WEO considers three options to bring down emissions from the existing global coal fleet: to retrofit plants with carbon capture, utilisation and storage or biomass co-firing equipment; to repurpose them to focus on providing system adequacy and flexibility; or to retire them earlier.

    Source: IEA

    Capgemini has published the 21st edition of its annual study, the World Energy Markets Observatory (WEMO) report, created in partnership with De Pardieu Brocas Maffei and Vaasa ETT. The findings point to global energy demand and Green House Gases (GHG) emissions rising in 2018, threatening progress towards climate change goals.

    Despite the continuing growth and falling cost of renewable energy sources, coal, oil and gas remain the cornerstone of growing energy consumption. Energy transition is also threatened by geopolitical and commercial tensions, and the declining level of clean energy investment. Critically, without bolder measures that go beyond existing energy transition policies, the world will very likely fail to meet the objectives of the Paris accord.

    Key points of the 2019 edition of the World Energy Markets Observatory report include:

    1. Greenhouse gases on the rise – climate change goals under threat
    Efforts to reduce Green House Gases (GHG) emissions stalled in 2018, with growth of 2% compared to a 1.6% increase in 2017 and no growth in Europe over 2014-16. GHG emissions were up in China by 2.3%, in the US by 3.4% and in India by 6.4%. These increases were driven by booming energy consumption, which grew globally at 2.3% in 2018, nearly twice the average annual growth rate since 2010. Almost 75% of that growth was driven by oil, gas and coal consumption, the highest share since 2013. Worldwide, there was a 4% increase in coal consumption, with a significant growth in coal-fired power generation.

    2. Renewables remain the fastest-growing segment, with tech enabling lower costs
    In parallel, renewables retained their status as the fastest-growing energy source worldwide, at 14.5% in 2018. Renewable energy sources continue to get cheaper, with the electricity cost of solar photovoltaic and onshore wind declining by 13%, and that of offshore wind by 1%.
    However, investment in clean energy is on the decline. In the first half of 2019 it totalled $217.6bn, 14% lower than the same period in 2018. Investment declined sharply in China, down by 39% and more moderately in the US (6%) and Europe (4%). By contrast, in India it rose by 10% to $5.9 billion.

    3. By 2040, significant disruptions will be enabled from technology and digital combinations
    Renewables energy costs continue to decrease but soft costs (acceptance), intermittency and distribution prevent for the moment these technologies to be definitively more competitive than most of the schedulable electricity generation source.
    No energy related technical breakthroughs are expected to be industrialized by the 2040 horizon. However, improvement of existing technologies will continue enabling a lower cost of renewables, electric batteries, Electric Vehicles, and small modular nuclear reactors. In addition, hydrogen for storage and mobility as well as superconductivity should be at the industrial stage cites the report. Hybrid renewable farms will also have expanded.

    4. Europe leads the march to low carbon
    Comparatively, Europe is proving up to now the most successful region in combatting climate change and implementing energy transition. Its energy demand growth was markedly lower than the rest of the world, growing by only 0.2% in 2018 compared to the global level of 2.3%. Germany leads the way, having seen a 2.2% reduction in its demand.
    Europe is on track to meet two of the three core climate objectives set by the EU for 2020: to effect a 20% reduction in GHG emissions compared to 1990, and to ensure renewables comprise at least 20% of energy consumption. National Governments have recently confirmed carbon reduction plans, including in France to cease coal-fired power generation by 2022 and generate 50% of electricity from nuclear by 2035; and in Germany to switch off all coal power plants – which accounted for 37% of its electricity generation last year – by 2038. But the challenge for 2030 and beyond remains difficult to meet.

    5. Geopolitical tensions and energy concerns are increasingly interrelated
    Both the US and China have leveraged their growing energy market dominance to their advantage in geopolitics. For the US, the growth in shale production has allowed it to overcome dependency on the Middle East: by 2025 it is expected to account for over half of the global growth in oil and gas production (75% and 40% respectively). This emerging oil independence has enabled the administration’s crackdown on OPEC nations such as Iran and Venezuela. China produces 95% of rare earth and metals which are needed to accelerate Energy Transition, a strategic advantage.

    6. China and India, giant consumers and CO2 emitters, experience very different positions on energy markets
    China has cemented its leadership status as a mature giant market, where energy is provided to all inhabitants, with the development of coal-fired power plants, with 70% of worldwide market share, and installed battery capacity (61%). China leads on the supply of most related technologies (such as fossil fuel, renewables and storage: 7 of the 10 largest worldwide equipment suppliers are Chinese). While its low-cost solar panels are becoming widespread, the report highlights that tomorrow China could also lead on nuclear technology, with 2 EPRs[1] already connected successfully to the grid. China is also responsible for supplying 95% of the global demand for rare earth metals used in high tech applications.

    In India, the question is more focused on providing electricity to all (“24/7 Power for all” program).
    Both countries will remain highly dependent on coal fired plants for at least 2 decades to meet domestic energy growing demand and will remain large CO2 emitters.

    More must be done to meet climate goals

    The report found that, given current consumption trends, existing climate change goals are looking unrealistic. However, to create meaningful impact, Governments need to go beyond the energy transition measures they already have in place. The report recommends:
    • Raising carbon prices to the level that will boost carbon-free investment
    • Increased use and reliance on renewable energy
    • Grow Electric Vehicle recharging infrastructures
    • Increasing financing for carbon capture, usage and storage RD&D
    • Promoting clean coal combustion technologies in power plants
    • Dedicating 100% of the proceeds from environmental taxes to energy transition projects (from current level of less than 50%)
    • Paving the way on building refurbishment to make them more energy efficient
    • Relying on Utilities and financial institutions to participate in the effort
    • Starting programs in order to achieve behavorial changes of any individual

    The World Energy Markets Observatory is an annual publication by Capgemini that monitors the main indicators of the electricity and gas markets in North America, Europe, Australia, South-East Asia, including for the first time this year China and India, and reports on the developments and transformations in these sectors. The 21st edition, which is drafted mainly from public data combined with Capgemini’s expertise in the energy sector, refers to data from 2018 and winter 2018/2019. Special expertise on regulation and customer behavior has been provided by research teams at De Pardieu Brocas Maffei and VaasaETT.

    Source: Capgemini

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