Renewable Energy Will Beat Fossil Fuels

Renewable Energy Will Beat Fossil Fuels

According to predictions by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, renewable energy projects will represent two-thirds of all energy investments between the years 2016 and 2040. That’s right, solar power and other renewables will eventually surpass coal and gas combined! This is excellent news for our planet’s ecosystems, and also great news for us as electricity consumers: some of the newest wind and solar farms coming online are reaching record low prices, and have become capable of competing head-on with established fossil fuels such as coal, but without the negative environmental impact.

Breaking Down the Numbers: Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that renewable energy investments from 2016 to 2040 will add up the impressive amount of 7.8 trillion dollars. Just for comparison, coal is expected to draw 1.2 trillion dollars over the same time period, not even one-sixth of the expected investment for renewables. The outlook for gas is even less promising, as it will only add up around $892 billion in investments through the year 2040. The predicted 7.8 trillion dollars in clean energy investments are split mostly among solar power ($3.4 trillion), wind power ($3.1 trillion) and hydroelectricity ($911 billion). Solar power is once again proving its feasibility as a mainstream energy source, ahead of other renewable sources, not to mention fossil fuels. Most of the new coal power plants are expected to be built in developing regions in Asia, particularly India and China, the two most populous countries in the world. On the other hand, gas will remain an important energy source for several decades in the USA. Nevertheless, at the global scale renewables will eventually surpass both coal and gas. Gas will fall behind renewable sources in the energy race by the year 2027. Coal, currently at the top of the list in terms of installed capacity, will be overtaken by renewables around the year 2037.

How Renewable Energy Will Behave by Region – Europe as a whole is expected to take the lead in clean energy adoption, with a power grid that will be 70% renewable by the year 2040. This should come as no surprise, since Ernst & Young has placed several European nations among the top 20 best countries to invest in renewable energy:

Germany – 5th place

France – 8th place

United Kingdom – 13th place

Denmark – 15th place

Netherlands – 17th place

Turkey – 19th place

Belgium – 20th place

North America is also expected to see a lot of activity in the renewable energy industry. For example, United States is expected to increase its share of clean power from 14% to 44% by the year 2040, and the country currently holds the 1st place in the Ernst & Young ranking. Canada and Mexico are not falling behind either, securing the 9th and 7th places, respectively. Mexico in particular is an example of how favorable policies can boost the adoption of renewable sources: the country recently opened up its energy sector, previously a state-owned monopoly, and it already has over 2000 megawatts of private contracts in the pipeline,distributed among solar and wind farms. Speaking of Mexico, Latin America in general is expected to see a lot of activity in the energy industry. For example, Chile and Peru share the Atacama Desert, possibly the best place for solar power in the world, receiving around 2700 peak hours of sunshine every year.

Argentina has also carried out reforms that favor renewable, and the country will now be able to benefit from its considerable wind power potential; some estimates indicate that the wind power potential of Argentina is able to cover the full energy demand of Latin America! Although China and India are expected to continue depending on coal in the long term, it doesn’t mean that these countries will not see activity in the renewable energy sector. In fact, the opposite is true: consider that these two countries have the largest populations in the world, and that translates into a considerable appetite for energy. In the Ernst & Young ranking, China sits in the 2nd place, just below the USA, and India is number three.

Article is posted by XsunX – Complete Solar Solution

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Even Automakers Like General Motors Are Going Solar

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The automotive industry is shifting to green power, and not just the cars themselves, but also the facilities used to produce them. Cars are becoming hybrid and electric, and solar power is the most promising renewable energy source to power them, given that it is found everywhere and is becoming more affordable year by year. However, automakers themselves are also implementing solar power in their manufacturing facilities, even if such facilities are used to manufacture gas cars. General Motors is a leading company in the adoption of solar power, and will soon make the production of its Chevy Corvette greener.

Earlier in December 2015, General Motors announced it would soon start installing an 850-kilowatt solar array on its Corvette manufacturing plant in Kentucky. The array is estimated to produce 1.2 million kilowatt-hours per year, which is enough energy for the manufacturing process of 850 Corvettes. Being an iconic vehicle, the Corvette will continue to be sold in the long term, even as we approach the age of electric vehicles. According to GM, the Corvette is the most efficient sports car in the market, with a highway rating of 29 mpg.

Solar Car Design

This project is part of a broader program by GM to become greener, as the company has set forth the ambitious goal of cutting down its carbon footprint by 20 percent, by the year 2020. As of now, GM is the number one automaker in the USA in terms of solar power adoption: they are soon expected to reach an installed solar power capacity of 11.4 megawatts in US-based facilities alone, and a global capacity of 48 megawatts.

According to the recently released report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), its Solar Means Business report, where it ranked US companies in general according to their adoption of solar power: GM was #21, closely followed by Toyota at #25. GM is also committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the vehicles it manufactures, and has established the following goals for the year 2017:

  1. Having 500,000 vehicles on the road using electricity, including hybrid and fully electric models. This will reduce the carbon footprint of their vehicles, while stimulating the solar power market.
  2. Doubling the number of car models in the USA which are capable of achieving a fuel efficiency above 40 mpg.

General Motors is participating in the transition to a green power grid as well. as The company is one of the founding buyers in the Business Renewables Center, an initiative by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) which has the goal of adding 60 gigawatts of solar and wind power capacity to the US grid by the year 2025. It seems President’s Clean Power Plan is having a positive response among corporations, even those not commonly considered “green” such as automakers.

You can also benefit from solar power while also making your home or business greener. Talk to our experts today to learn more about the technology and also to contact the best solar power providers and installers in your location.

Why is Solar Power Becoming Cheaper Throughout the World?

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A pair of decades ago, solar photovoltaic panels, commonly known as PV panels, were an experimental technology, with extremely high costs and hardly any business potential. But now, on the other hand, we’re getting to see solar power plants reaching energy costs under 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, in many cases before accounting for subsidies and incentives. There are many reasons that have contributed to turning photovoltaic technology into a competitive energy source.

The Technology Itself Got Cheaper – Solar modules now cost less than a dollar per watt of capacity. Of course, a functioning solar power plant costs more than that because complementary equipment is needed, and on top of that it is necessary to cover the construction cost and the financing cost. However, photovoltaic modules themselves are now cheaper than ever before.

Funding Sources Now Trust Solar Power – Banks can be very picky when it comes to funding. For example, you can’t expect to get a low interest loan if you haven’t established a credit record. The same can be said of businesses: banks and investors will offer the best terms if they trust the business. When solar power hadn’t proven its capacity to yield profits, nobody was going to lend low-interest capital to developers betting on the technology. Therefore, the higher interest had to be diluted into the cost of energy. Now that solar power is an established industry, capital for it is more abundant and interest rates have dropped.

Economies of Scale Have Made Projects Cheaper – A solar farm with multiple megawatts of capacity is much more expensive than your average residential PV system. However, the cost of one kilowatt is considerably lower for solar farms. While the price of solar modules doesn’t change that much, there are other system components that become much cheaper to install at larger scales, such as inverters and racking. Solar power is becoming more affordable for the simple reason that solar farms are getting larger.

Article is posted by XsunX – Commercial and Residential Solar Solution.