In this week’s Energy Trends – Can Renewables Replace Fossil Fuels we look at how the renewables promise is shaping up.
Can renewable energy take the place of fossil fuels as the leading supplier of energy to the global electricity grid?
What happens when renewable energy floods the grid? How are renewables doing in the US compared to nucleur? When will renewables reach a tipping point? What about tidal energy Finally, will solar be used in flight?
Power Worth Less Than Zero Spreads as Green Energy Floods the Grid
As solar and wind energy begin to bring more frequent bursts of energy to the grid around the world, traditional utilities companies running power stations are having to deal with a new problem… negative pricing.
Germany is leading the charge for number of hours in 2018 with negative pricing for energy production on the grid.
Other areas like Australia and California, as well as the countries that Germany’s grid feeds, are also affected.
When a glut of energy from renewables feeds the grid, traditional means of generating power, like coal and gas plants, get a signal to turn off generation. That’s easier said than done with these old plants.
This is a nice problem to have, and shows that with proper planning, energy storage solutions, and a distributed grid, renewables can solve our electricity generation needs.
“We are seeing the end of the energy mainframe. The world will have to learn new techniques — how to invest in small-scale distributed energy” – Neil Eckert, chairman of Aggregated Micro Power Holdings Plc
Read more at Bloomberg
US Renewables Are Closing In on Nuclear Generation
Following on from negative pricing, we’re also seeing how renewables are close to beating nucleur in terms of the amount of power generated in the US.
In the first five months of 2018, renewables (20.17 per cent) produced more electricity than nuclear (20.14 per cent).
Cheap solar and wind was primarily the reason, but hydro-electric power, geothermal, and bio-mass are all included in the renewables section.
The tide is definitely turning even in pro-Republican, anti-climate change action states: renewables are outperforming nuclear in over half of all states.
Read more at Green Tech Media
When Renewables Replace Fossil Fuels
When will renewables reach a tipping point where they replace fossil fuels for energy production?
Analysts from the big oil companies think it won’t happen for decades: BP thinks 35 years, Exxon says 76, the IEA has recently cut its estimate from 60 to 35 years.
Other analysts think it will be much sooner based on the increased rate of production coming from wind and solar versus the rate of increase in global demand for energy.
We stand “at the onset of the biggest disruption in oil markets ever” – Rabah Arezki, head of commodities at the International Monetary Fund
Read more of the 2017 report at Stratfor
Tidal Energy Projects Proliferating Around the World
A dark horse in the renewables race is tidal energy.
It has less support than solar and wind yet it’s more predictable and been around since medieval times.
The basic tenet of tidal energy is using falling water to spin turbines.
Many countries like the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, China, Russia, South Korea, and India, are utilizing tidal energy.
Read more at Industry Tap
A Solar-Powered Aircraft Just Flew for a Record 26 Days Straight
Finally, we look at something other than energy production… the use of renewables in flight.
Airbus’s Zephyr S solar-powered plane just recently flew a record 26 days minus 3 hours straight.
Don’t get too excited yet though… this is more a drone than a passenger aircraft.
Its potential uses as a pseudo-satellite are multiple ranging from Internet delivery to monitoring wild fires.
Read more at QZ
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Nikolas is a world-leading Futurist Speaker that drives leaders to take action in creating a better world for humanity. He promotes exponential thinking along with a critical, honest, and optimistic view that empowers you with knowledge to plan for today, tomorrow, and for the future.