The Sun is a source for a great amount of unlimited clean energy so in the future solar energy will be able to meet all humanity’s needs in electricity. Nowadays the solar power generation market offers a number of popular solutions and the sector has been developing really fast. Renewables are among the top priorities for both nations and corporations, the rate of investments keeps on rising exponentially.
Wind power is one of the most cost-effective and common types of renewable energy. Wind power can be used almost anywhere in the world to generate electricity without environmental pollution using areas both on land and in coastal areas of the seas.
Many types of fuels, which are an alternative to traditional fossil fuels, are currently researched, developed and used in the world. There are many classifications of types of advanced fuels; in the most general way, they can be divided into solid, liquid and gaseous. According to the production method, innovative fuel is divided into those synthesized from organic raw materials (biofuel) and those synthesized from non-organic materials.
Hydropower is the conversion of the energy of water flows into electricity that can be useful for humans. In the 20th century, many countries actively and successfully developed large hydropower facilities with a capacity of several gigawatts, therefore this segment still occupies a significant share of all renewable energy in the world. Recently, more and more attention has been paid to the development of so-called small hydro generation projects.
Transport consumes about 30% of the world’s total electricity and is responsible for producing a quarter of all the carbon dioxide on the planet and a significant part of harmful emissions, while the share of renewable energy in this sector is still very small. Until 2030, the annual growth in energy consumption of the transport sector in the world will be about 1%.
The spread of renewable energy sources in private and commercial sectors leads to the output of surplus energy during peak production hours. Various manufacturers offer a variety of ways to deal with the issue, including battery storages or converting excess energy into hydrogen fuel.
The development of technologies in the field of reuse and demineralization of water is gradually becoming one of the most important global tasks because the situation with a shortage of freshwater is aggravated every year thanks to the growing industry and people’s needs, as well as a catastrophic shortage of deep-cleaning plants.
Global energy market
Considering all major technologies that generate electricity (fossil and carbon-free), 2,366 GW of power capacity was installed in 2009-2019, including 638 GW of solar energy, 529 GW of coal; and wind and gas occupying the third and fourth positions with shares in 487 GW and 438 GW, respectively.
Installed renewable energy capacities excluding large hydropower plants increased from 414 GW at the end of 2009 to over 1,650 GW by the end of 2019. A record high of 167 GW of new clean energy facilities was completed in 2018 as compared with 160 GW in 2017, and the result was achieved despite a continuing decline in capital expenditures for solar and wind energy, as well as a policy change that affected investment in China in the second half of the year.
The global share of electricity generation from renewable sources reached 12.9% in 2018, compared with 11.6% in 2017.
Global investment in new renewable energy capacities reached USD2.6 trillion during the past decade, from 2010 to 2019. In 2018, global investment in renewable energy reached USD272.9 billion, marking the ninth consecutive year of over USD200 bln funding, and the fifth year of investment surpassing USD250 bln. It was also was about three times the global investment in coal and gas-fired generation capacity combined.
Global energy market outlook
The world gradually moves from 70% of fossil fuels in 2018 to around 70% of zero-carbon energy in 2050 when wind and solar will jointly generate almost 50% of the world’s electricity. The two renewables will be complemented with the hydropower industry which will be constrained by a lack of resources, and nuclear power with its lack of flexibility and high costs.
Coal production collapses everywhere except for China, India, and Southeastern Asia. It will peak in 2026, and by 2032 it will be surpassed by solar and wind electricity. Gas-fired power generation will double until 2050.
A total of USD13.3 trillion will be invested in the construction of over 15,000 GW of new power capacities until 2050, of which 77% will be renewables. Investment in new fossil fuel facilities is seen below USD2 trillion. The development of power grids will need some USD11.4 trillion of investment in the next 30 years thanks to rising demand and consumption.