Renewables to generate 50% of worldwide electricity by 2050 (BNEF report)

Bloomberg New Energy Finance has issued its 2018 Energy Outlook report

 

“Wind and solar are set to surge to almost “50 by 50” – 50% of world generation by 2050 – on the back of precipitous reductions in cost, and the advent of cheaper and cheaper batteries that will enable electricity to be stored and discharged to meet shifts in demand and supply.  Coal shrinks to just 11% of global electricity generation by 2050.”

Here are the highlights :

 

1 - "50 by 50"

Cheap renewable energy and batteries fundamentally reshape the electricity system. Batteries boom means that half of the world’s electricity by 2050 will be generated from wind and solar.

 
2 - PV, wind and batteries trifecta.

The cost of an average PV plant falls 71% by 2050. Wind energy is getting cheaper too, and we expect it to drop 58% by 2050. PV and wind are already cheaper than building new large-scale coal and gas plants. Batteries are also dropping dramatically in cost. Cheap batteries enable wind and solar to run when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

 
3 - Coal is the biggest loser in this outlook.

Coal will shrink to just 11% of global electricity generation by 2050, from 38% currently.

 

4 - Gas consumption for power generation increases only modestly out to 2050

despite growing capacity, as more and more gas-fired facilities are either dedicated peakers or run at lower capacity factors helping to balance variable renewables, rather than run flat-out around-the-clock. Gas use declines dramatically in Europe, grows in China and picks up materially in India beyond 2040.

 
5 - Electric vehicles add around 3,461TWh of new electricity demand globally by 2050, equal to 9% of total demand.

Time-of-use tariffs and dynamic charging further support renewables integration: they allow vehicle owners to choose to charge during high-supply, low-cost periods, and so help to shift demand to periods when cheap renewables are running.

 

https://about.bnef.com/new-energy-outlook/#toc-download

 

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It will be 100% in 2030 at the current rate, which has been sustained for 40 years now. Mainstream analysts don't see that the progression is exponential.

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Wind and Solar 50 per cent by 2050 is ridiculously, hopelessly optimistic. Projecting 30 years plus into the future is bad enough but those guys are making guesstimates about the uptake of technology, which are based on other guesses about prices and yet more guesses about how those prices might affect consumer behaviour. Along the way they ignoring the supply side for those devices - that enough batteries will be made to meet the vast demand that this projection assumes - I was under the impression that it wasn't that easy to ramp up batter production - not to mention PVs and turbines.

Sure a few per cent of present energy generation is classed as renewable, but the vast bulk of that is hydro. Without hunting for the figures I think wind and solar is still under 2 per cent. The report is straight propaganda and should be ignored as such. 

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14 hours ago, markslawson said:

Wind and Solar 50 per cent by 2050 is ridiculously, hopelessly optimistic. Projecting 30 years plus into the future is bad enough but those guys are making guesstimates about the uptake of technology, which are based on other guesses about prices and yet more guesses about how those prices might affect consumer behaviour. Along the way they ignoring the supply side for those devices - that enough batteries will be made to meet the vast demand that this projection assumes - I was under the impression that it wasn't that easy to ramp up batter production - not to mention PVs and turbines.

Sure a few per cent of present energy generation is classed as renewable, but the vast bulk of that is hydro. Without hunting for the figures I think wind and solar is still under 2 per cent. The report is straight propaganda and should be ignored as such. 

I suspect there is some Journalist exaggeration here. 

I would guess it was originally 50% of electricity from renewables (all types) that got withered down to from solar and wind because this is what the average Journo perceives as renewable. 

As of 2015 23% of global electricity came from renewables (approx 75% Hydro). I think getting to 50% over the next 32 years wouldn't be that difficult. That growth will come from Solar, Wind and biogas / mass. 

Taking the UK as an example it is estimated that we will produce approx 150TWH of biogas by 2030. That alone would be enough to generate 20% of our electricity needs (and recover huge amounts of organic matter for soil conditioner) 

In regard to batteries there is a constant over focus on Lithium - which is the best for transport purposes but there are plenty of other options for stationary batteries , Sodium for example - no shortage of that. 

https://www.faradion.co.uk/

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50% is a gross exaggeration, over the last 10 years I've gotten estimates to covert my house to Solar power, not one of those estimates was below 40k.  I live in Cali where almost a quarter of the US population live.  At those prices and ROI being decades out, converting to Solar ain't gonna happen. 

solar-panels-improve-home-sale-prices.jpg

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(edited)

58 minutes ago, fozzir said:

50% is a gross exaggeration, over the last 10 years I've gotten estimates to covert my house to Solar power, not one of those estimates was below 40k.  I live in Cali where almost a quarter of the US population live.  At those prices and ROI being decades out, converting to Solar ain't gonna happen. 

solar-panels-improve-home-sale-prices.jpg

Maybe not in California at those prices......

Why the outrageous prices in California? In the Uk a 4KW system will set you back about 6K sterling - so less than $8000 

Edited by NickW
addition

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To Guillaume, You are not considering natural gas use for vehicles. I think there will be more natural gas used for vehicles than solar power.  

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NickW - the 23 per cent of energy coming from renewables you quote, with 75 per cent from hydro - that may well be the figure but the remaining 23 per cent would not be wind and PV. The remaining 25 per cent figure would include geothermal (a chunk of power in places like California, New Zealand, Iceland and so on) then there's biomass, and wood fired furnaces, and so on, and the biogas you alluded to.. the actual share of PV and wind I'd have to go looking for, but its still small. The report's claim that wind and solar - that was the actual claim, it didn't say anything about other technologies - can get to 50 per cent is straight propaganda. 

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8 minutes ago, markslawson said:

NickW - the 23 per cent of energy coming from renewables you quote, with 75 per cent from hydro - that may well be the figure but the remaining 23 per cent would not be wind and PV. The remaining 25 per cent figure would include geothermal (a chunk of power in places like California, New Zealand, Iceland and so on) then there's biomass, and wood fired furnaces, and so on, and the biogas you alluded to.. the actual share of PV and wind I'd have to go looking for, but its still small. The report's claim that wind and solar - that was the actual claim, it didn't say anything about other technologies - can get to 50 per cent is straight propaganda. 

I said at the outset that this was an error. 

In 2015 Wind provided about 3.8% of global electricity (830 twh out of a total of 22400) . This equates to approx 16% of renewables production. Wind and solar will provide a significant amount of that uplift to 50%. 

Other sources will be geothermal (somewhat limited by site availability), tidal and who knows maybe they will crack wave energy. As for the proportions well that's anyones guess but the other point to consider is that solar and wind are the resources that are most ubiquitous across the planet (unlike Geo or tidal) so its much more scaleable. Solar and wind are also easy to do in small incremental jumps (unlike Geothermal, or Tidal barrages, Hydro, or Nuclear). 

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NickW - 3.8 per cent may be right, although it still sounds high.. got a source? I'm not arguing, but I may want it for my own reference.. I see you say "significant part of the uplift". That's at least a more believable claim, but still hard to take.. In the immediate future, there may be more growth in hydro.. last time I looked at figures, the Indians were planning to dam half the Himalayas, and the Chinese are the world champion dam builders.. can't help themselves.. as for the rest well the claim in the original report has to be heavily modified  to be believable so we'll leave it at that.. 

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31 minutes ago, markslawson said:

NickW - the 23 per cent of energy coming from renewables you quote, with 75 per cent from hydro - that may well be the figure but the remaining 23 per cent would not be wind and PV. The remaining 25 per cent figure would include geothermal (a chunk of power in places like California, New Zealand, Iceland and so on) then there's biomass, and wood fired furnaces, and so on, and the biogas you alluded to.. the actual share of PV and wind I'd have to go looking for, but its still small. The report's claim that wind and solar - that was the actual claim, it didn't say anything about other technologies - can get to 50 per cent is straight propaganda. 

Europe potential estimated at 250 bn m3 - thats Eqiv of approx 50bn m3 of Natural Gas

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096014811830301X

UK - 30% growth in one year. 

https://www.fwi.co.uk/news/uk-biogas-30-year-growth-slows

Estimates of Uk potential

https://www.bioenergy-news.com/display_news/13033/biogas_could_heat_15_million_homes_in_the_uk_by_2050/

Operational site sin the UK

http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/operational-ad-sites

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15 minutes ago, markslawson said:

NickW - 3.8 per cent may be right, although it still sounds high.. got a source? I'm not arguing, but I may want it for my own reference.. I see you say "significant part of the uplift". That's at least a more believable claim, but still hard to take.. In the immediate future, there may be more growth in hydro.. last time I looked at figures, the Indians were planning to dam half the Himalayas, and the Chinese are the world champion dam builders.. can't help themselves.. as for the rest well the claim in the original report has to be heavily modified  to be believable so we'll leave it at that.. 

Different year but supports my position. 

From BP Statistical Review

2017 - 4.4% of Global Electricity Production

https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy/renewable-energy/wind-energy.html

 

Why will wind contribute more

1. These are already in production 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestas_V164 -  9MW

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enercon_E-126  -7MW

GE currently testing its prototype 12MW turbine at Blyth

Floating wind turbines are being developed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floating_wind_turbine

Solar

Prices falling (both panels and inverters)

Storage mechanisms falling in cost (batteries and divert to hot water controllers) 

Efficiency increasing

Virtually limitless supply of appropriate roof spaces

Limitless supply of land with no value and extreme solar potential - North Africa, Middle East. Australia etc

 

 

 

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(edited)

yeah, right sure, how could not?

is not going to happen, and just that, Germany wasn't supposed to have all of their energy generated by wind and solar for 2020? by 2017 that number is less than 15% of their primary energy consumption, and less than 4% of gross energy consumption.

Most of the renewable energy is produced in 75% by hydropower, and a goodchunk of house HVAC and energy is produced by geothermal, and there's good reasons why they produce 90 to 95% of all renewable energy. First and all it has high capacity factors, most dams in Canada have capacity factors around 65% and some dams in Russia and Brazil like the Itaipu and Sayano Shushenskaya have capacity factors over 90%, you can regulate it's power output by simply moving a buttefly valve and not wait until the sun is strongly enough or the wind blows enough, and is cheap, the Xiluodu dam did cost 7 billion dollars, that sounds like a lot until you consider its power output of 13800MW. Plus is far from totally used, there's a worlwide hydropower potential of 60 to 125pWh/year

Geothermal shares a lot of this and with the fracking technologies that the oil industry is using there's a good chunk of possibilities that that's going to benefit the geothermal energy possibilities by means of molten salt closed loop systems.

Tidal power is also cool, good predictability, and there's a lot of potential in the world.

Gas generation is going to strongly grow by 4x atleast because saying "gas backup in solar & wind" is another way to say "the electricity comes from gas turbines, but there's solar panels and wind turbines doing nothing because they look good", when Japan decided to shut down it's powerplants where do you think the electricity came from? solar and wind?, common.

Wind just recently had capacity factors over 50% to justify it's cost, and you will need pumped storage dams to even think to use the electricity if you need it, wind power will be just a top demand supply, because a grid needs baseload power.

Concentrated thermal solar power can be the only form of solar power that's actually usefull because: It needs a steam turbine connected to a generator and then to a transformer then connected to the grid instead of solid state devices, you generating capabilities are in one place, with 1 turbine, you can use molten salts to store heat. plus it doesn't need toxic chemicals like cadmium, indium, mercury, lead, tellurium, rare earths and all the solvents and chemicals used in it's manufacturing, that are also using in the manufacturing of batteries.

And yet, solar thermal is still expensive, and unpredictable just like PV, the Crescent Dunes CSP did cost 1billion dollars has a power output of 125MW, they expected to generate 65MW, and in real life generates 15MW because is not as sunny as they thinked it would be.

People just doesn't get that a source to reemplaze Gas, Coal, and Oil as a energy source needs to fill some requirements

1-Scalable. It doesn't need to depend of the geography of a country, wind needs windy places and pumped storage, Geothermal needs volcanic countries, Tidal need shores with large tides, hydro is useful in Canada and the USA but not very much in Denmark,

2-Reliable. It can't depend if is sunny or not, or if it's windy to have a good power output

3-Controlable. You need to be able to turn it down and up when it's necessary, you can't turn the sun off and on when you need, and you can't neither turn the wind.

4-Cheap. That it doesn't cost 20 billion dollars to build, today Germany has spent more than 400 billion euros in their energiewende, for that money they could have built 100 nuclear power plants which would generate twice the electricity they need.

5-Clean. Biomass needs huge amounts of land, either by biofuels or either by burning wood. The problems are not so large until you consider soil erosion, droughts, flooding, biodiversity loss, desertification, or that it releases 4 times more CO2 than gas and oil, like it or not Fossil Fuels saved North American forests

The only energy source that qualifies for that matter is Nuclear.

 

Edited by Sebastian Meana

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NickW - thanks for the link. I'll take that as read. As for the rest go and read up on the extraordinary troubles that Germany, for one, has been having in changing its energy mix - on how they dump electricity on neighbours in order to claim a large percentage of renewables, or on how they can't turn off their brown coal plants. Denmark (in the BP release) gets away with what it does because its a small country with access to dams in Norway and Sweden, both of which have much larger economies, and so on. As for putting wind turbines and PV panels in remote areas as your last point suggests, do you have any idea of the vast investment that would require? Transmission lines out to say, the outback (plenty of land out there) would be hundreds of kilometres long. Where are the maintenance crews going to live? Sure the cost of wind generators have been coming down but if you're going to put them in remote areas, the cost of the equipment is the least of your troubles. We've discussed your fantasies over energy storage in another thread. There is much more that I could say  but I suspect I'm wasting my time. I'll leave it with you.

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19 hours ago, markslawson said:

NickW - thanks for the link. I'll take that as read. As for the rest go and read up on the extraordinary troubles that Germany, for one, has been having in changing its energy mix - on how they dump electricity on neighbours (I would agree this is bad practice) in order to claim a large percentage of renewables, or on how they can't turn off their brown coal plants (Due to a poor policy decision by Germany to drop Nuclear). Denmark (in the BP release) gets away with what it does because its a small country with access to dams in Norway and Sweden (an arrangement which suits all parties. Nor and Sweden get to buy surplus (cheap) Danish wind energy on windy days and sell Denmark (expensive) Hydro power on calm days. The benefit for Denmark is that this arrangement negates the need to invest in storage facilities), both of which have much larger economies, and so on. As for putting wind turbines and PV panels in remote areas as your last point suggests, do you have any idea of the vast investment that would require? Transmission lines out to say, the outback (plenty of land out there) would be hundreds of kilometres long (Why go that far out? the facilities can be within a say 20 km of the city boundary in most cases - you can get approx 100MW of PV on a km2 of land take a look at Riyadh, Dubai, Jubail, Abu Dhabi to name a few.) . Where are the maintenance crews going to live? (In houses - probably in the local towns and cities). Sure the cost of wind generators have been coming down but if you're going to put them in remote areas, the cost of the equipment is the least of your troubles. We've discussed your fantasies over energy storage in another thread. There is much more that I could say  but I suspect I'm wasting my time. I'll leave it with you.

Answers in bold^^^^^

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On 6/23/2018 at 6:03 PM, NickW said:

Maybe not in California at those prices......

Why the outrageous prices in California? In the Uk a 4KW system will set you back about 6K sterling - so less than $8000 

Sir I’d winder how they’re doing it so cheap in the UK. In Calgary, Canada, a 3kW system would put you back $10k CDN. Accounting for government rebates (75 c/Watt) as well as escalation in the electricity it displaces, interest in loan (a low 3%), I could pay off a 3 kW roof mounted system in 22 years. No bracketing to incline to the proper setting for latitude, just mounted flush to roof  

Capacity factor is a real thing. It is 15% here. What is it in the UK?

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4 hours ago, Ian Austin said:

Sir I’d winder how they’re doing it so cheap in the UK. In Calgary, Canada, a 3kW system would put you back $10k CDN. Accounting for government rebates (75 c/Watt) as well as escalation in the electricity it displaces, interest in loan (a low 3%), I could pay off a 3 kW roof mounted system in 22 years. No bracketing to incline to the proper setting for latitude, just mounted flush to roof  

Capacity factor is a real thing. It is 15% here. What is it in the UK?

Competition maybe - the UK is densely populated unlike Alberta. Also i would anticipate lower wage costs and cheaper import costs - we are about 20 miles from Europes 2nd biggest container port. Also are regulations a factor - if Canada is anything like OZ excessive regs double the cost of everything.

SE England where I live the annual production from 1KW mounted on an inclined roof (south facing) is approx 1000kwh. Thats 11.4%

4000 kwh used with a diverter that uses surplus to heat water (50% of electricity produced)  will give a return of about 10% per year. The much reduced feed in tariff is viewed as a kind of tax relief on investment in energy plant. 

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