Global Wind Power Capacity to Double by 2020

Originally published on Energy Post by Karel Beckman

Despite an overall slump in installations in 2013, the global cumulative wind power capacity will more than double from 319.6 Gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2013 to 678.5 GW by 2020, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.

wind turbines
Image courtesy: reneweconomy.com.au

The company’s latest report* states that China, the largest single wind power market, responsible for 45% of total global annual capacity additions in 2013, is expected to have a cumulative wind capacity of 239.7 GW by 2020. China overtook the US as the leading market for installations in 2010, when it added a massive 18.9 GW of wind capacity.

Harshavardhan Reddy Nagatham, GlobalData’s Analyst covering Alternative Energy, says:

China doubled its cumulative wind capacity every year from 2006 to 2009 and has continued to grow significantly since then. Supportive government policies, such as an attractive concessional program and the availability of low-cost financing from banks, have been fundamental to China’s success.

While China will continue to be the largest global wind power market through to 2020, growth for the forecast period will be slow due to a large installation base.

The report also states that the US will remain the second largest global wind power market in terms of cumulative installed capacity, increasing from 68.9 GW in 2014 to 104.1 GW in 2020.

This will largely be driven by renewable energy targets in several states, such as Alaska’s aim to reach 50% renewable power generation and Texas’ mandate to achieve 10 GW of renewable capacity, both by 2025.

Nagatham concludes:

The slump in 2013 was largely a product of a decrease in installations in the US and Spain. While there are likely to be further slight falls in annual capacity additions in 2015 and 2016, overall industry growth will not be affected as global annual capacity additions are expected to exceed 60 GW by 2020.

This article, World Wind Power To Double By 2020, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

China Leads as U.S. Falls Behind in Global Smart Grid Investment

by Joshua S Hill

According to new figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), global smart grid investment grew to $14.9 billion in 2013, up from $14.2 billion in 2012, and being led by China, who finished the year as the world’s largest smart grid market.

Renewable Energy. The Smart Grid. Image courtesy of Hitachi.
Renewable Energy. The Smart Grid. Image courtesy of Hitachi.

China’s place at the top comes at the expense of the United States, as the North American market continued to slow and China dollar investment into their smart grid exceeded that of the US, thanks in part to the installation of 62 million smart meters, a market which accounted for just under half of the total smart grid spending worldwide.

China’s investiture into smart grid technology amounted to $4.3 billion during 2013, with a large share going towards the installation of smart meters, bringing their national total up to 250 million. However, the country has indicated that it is aiming to extend the end-date for completing its metering program from 2015 to 2017.

On the flipside, US smart grid spending slowed during 2013, as the North American market shrunk 33% to $3.6 billion during 2013, thanks in part to the conclusion of US stimulus-funded projects.

Global investment in the smart grid increased relatively modestly last year after five years of rapid growth. But the fundamental drivers of the smart grid – greater grid reliability, further integration of renewable energy, and improved demand-side management – are stronger than ever.

Asian and European markets will drive growth through 2020, while in North America the focus will continue to shift from hardware to software as utilities look to squeeze additional value out of the vast amounts of grid data now available. — Colin McKerracher, senior energy-smart technologies analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance

China and the US aren’t the only markets when it comes to smart metering, but they are the largest. Bloomberg noticed several “promising signs” during 2013 for the European market, including a large metering contract in the UK, a new tender in France, and the completion of the long-awaited cost benefit analysis in Germany.

Elsewhere, Japan’s utilities are currently in the tendering and procurement stage of their smart meter deployment, while in South America, Brazil’s smart meter deployment has been delayed due to certification and financing challenges.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance sees the following developments in 2014 and beyond:

  • Asia still has years of growth ahead. Despite China’s recently announced slowdown in meter installation, China’s 5-10 year meter replacement cycle means that as this major wave of installations finishes in 2017, the first wave of replacements is expected to commence. 2014-15 will bring also an increase in distribution automation spending in China while smart grid activity in Japan, Korea, India and South East Asia will also ramp up.
  • The US is entering a second major smart grid phase: information integration. With its growing penetration rates for smart meters and distribution automation, the next phase for the US smart grid is using the new data coming in off the grid to improve areas like outage management, customer segmentation and theft detection.
  • Europe is the smart grid’s sleeping giant. Europe has installed only 55m smart meters but this is expected to rise sharply to 180m by 2020. Spain will remain as the most active market in 2014 but large-scale deployments in the UK, Germany and France will begin to ramp up in late 2015.

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This article, Global Smart Grid Investment Grows, China Leads, US Falls Behind, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Renewable Energy. Joshua S Hill.Joshua S Hill I’m a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we’re pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I work as Associate Editor for the Important Media Network and write for CleanTechnica and Planetsave. I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), Amazing Stories, the Stabley Times and Medium.   I love words with a passion, both creating them and reading them.

US-China Sign Major Climate Pact, then John Kerry Slams Deniers

by Guest Contributor Sophie Vorrath.

Originally published on RenewEconomy.

As Australia’s political leaders shift firmly into reverse on climate change, China and the US have jointly reaffirmed their commitment to contribute significantly to global efforts to meet the climate challenge.

“In light of the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change and its worsening impacts, and the related issue of air pollution from burning fossil fuels, the United States and China recognise the urgent need for action to meet these twin challenges,” the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters said in a joint statement.

The statement, issued by US Secretary of State John Kerry at the end of his Beijing visit on Saturday, committed the two countries to “collaborate through enhanced policy dialogue, including the sharing of information regarding their respective post-2020 plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions,” and to “devote significant effort and resources to secure concrete results,” by the Sixth US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue later this year.

The two sides have also reached agreement on the implementation plans for the five initiatives launched under the CCWG, including vehicle emission reductions, smart grids, carbon capture and storage, emissions data collection, and energy efficiency.

It’s a far cry from the political mood in Australia, where the climate focus is on scrapping the carbon price, winding back renewable energy targets, and on coal, coal and more coal.

On the bright side, it is perhaps thanks to countries like ours that Kerry – who announced earlier this month he was serving his last term in US politics – has embarked on a climate mission, or “climate blitz” as it has been dubbed, which he kicked off in Jakarta on Sunday with the first speech in a series that will urge the international community and world leaders to fall in line on climate.

And what a speech it was, describing climate change as one of the top global security threats, and pillorying those who deny the science behind it:

When I think about the array of global climate – of global threats – think about this: terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction – all challenges that know no borders – the reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them.

“…The science of climate change is leaping out at us like a scene from a 3D movie. It’s warning us; it’s compelling us to act. And let there be no doubt in anybody’s mind that the science is absolutely certain.

“We need to move on this, and we need to move together now. …We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific fact. Nor should we allow any room for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits.  …We certainly should not allow more time to be wasted by those who want to sit around debating whose responsibility it is to deal with this threat, while we come closer and closer to the point of no return.”

According to reports, Kerry chose Indonesia to start the blitz because the archipelago of more than 17,000 islands is particularly at risk from rising sea levels.

“Because of climate change, it’s no secret that today Indonesia is… one of the most vulnerable countries on Earth,” Kerry told the audience a high-tech US-funded cultural centre at a Jakarta mall.

“If we truly want to prevent the worst consequences of climate change from happening, we do not have time to have a debate about whose responsibility this is,” he said.

“The answer is pretty simple: It’s everyone’s responsibility. Now certainly some countries – and I will say this very clearly, some countries, including the United States, contribute more to the problem and therefore we have an obligation to contribute more to the solution. I agree with that. But, ultimately, every nation on Earth has a responsibility to do its part if we have any hope of leaving our future generations the safe and healthy planet that they deserve.”

The US-China climate pact, and Kerry’s strongly worded Indonesia speech, follow a joint US-France statement on climate action, in the form of an op-ed co-authored by Presidents Barack Obama and Francois Hollande.

Published last week in the Washington Post, the piece talked of expanding the two countries’ clean energy partnership, moving toward low-carbon growth, and doing more to help developing countries shift to low-carbon energy.

“As we work toward next year’s climate conference in Paris, we continue to urge all nations to join us in pursuit of an ambitious and inclusive global agreement that reduces greenhouse gas emissions through concrete actions,” the article said.

“The climate summit organised by the UN secretary general this September will give us the opportunity to reaffirm our ambitions for the climate conference in Paris.”

Paris will host the 21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP 21) in December 2015, which will provide the architecture for post-2020 emission cuts. It is expected to yield decisive results.

Amid all this joint reaffirming of climate ambition, the silence from down under is deafening. As can be seen in the charts below, Australia currently exists in a league of its own, leading the backwards-looking climate laggards among the developed nations.

As HSBC climate analyst Zoe Knight notes, “chart 1 shows that for some countries, emissions are still on the rise and that the rate of carbon intensity improvement is declining. While table 1 shows that the reality is not aligned with countries’ reduction pledges.”

Meanwhile, in Canberra…

This article, Kerry Slams Global Warming Deniers After US–China Pact, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

China planned 10GW of Solar in 2013, but Installed 14GW Instead

by Joshua S Hill.

China had originally planned for 10GW of installed solar capacity for each of the years 2013, 2014, and 2015, but actually hit 14GW for 2013. Now China has announced that the 2014 target will be 14GW. No word yet on the goal for 2015.
China had originally planned for 10GW of installed solar capacity for each of the years 2013, 2014, and 2015, but may have actually hit 14GW for 2013 (they’re still counting). Now China has announced that the 2014 target will be 14GW. No word yet on the goal for 2015.

Despite predictions all through 2013 suggesting that Japan would walk away the dominant solar PV market, Bloomberg New Energy Finance has revealed that China “outstripped even the most optimistic forecasts” to install a record 12 GW of photovoltaic projects in 2013.

In fact, a massive boom at the end of the year could even have pushed the nation’s market up to 14 GW, a phenomenal feat considering that no country has ever added more than 8 GW in a year.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) had predicted that Japan would come out on top in 2013, ahead of China and then the US, but with a feed-in tariff for large PV projects ending on the first of 2014, the year-end rush will not be wholly understood until March.

“The 2013 figures show the astonishing scale of the Chinese market, now the sleeping dragon has awoken” said Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “PV is becoming ever cheaper and simpler to install, and China’s government has been as surprised as European governments by how quickly it can be deployed in response to incentives.”

Even China’s state news agency could not have predicted the massive boom which took place. And in July it was announced that China aimed to add 10 GW of solar power a year for the next three years — a target they seem to have hit rather easily.

Surprisingly, many market analysis companies scoffed at China’s targets for 2014. IHS and Mercom Capital both released reports earlier this year suggesting that China would struggle to reach their aim of 12 GW for 2014, but with 2013′s impressive stats, one wonders whether analysts will be revising their predictions in the next few weeks, especially in the wake of new estimations suggesting that China is aiming for 14 GW in 2014.

With the majority of solar projects located on the country’s sunny and empty western provinces, China’s state-owned power generators China Power Investment Corporation, China Three Gorges and China Huadian Corporation have become the world’s largest owners of solar assets.

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This article, China’s Solar Market Beat All Expectations For 2013, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Joshua S HillJoshua S Hill I’m a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we’re pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I work as Associate Editor for the Important Media Network and write for CleanTechnica and Planetsave. I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), Amazing Stories, the Stabley Times and Medium.   I love words with a passion, both creating them and reading them.

China ups 2014 Solar PV Target to 14 GigaWatts

by Giles Parkinson.

Solar PV via Shutterstock
China Solar PV via Shutterstock

Originally published on RenewEconomy.

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has reportedly increased the 2014 target for new solar PV capacity installations to 14GW – up from its previous target of 12GW.

The increase was noted by Deutsche Bank analysts, who said the target represents a near 50 per cent increase on the actual capacity installation of 9.5GW of solar PV in 2013.

Chinese officials had previously said that two thirds (8GW) of the 2014 target would come from distributed solar PV (on rooftops or in smaller arrays close to consumption), but it is not clear what the percentage is in the new target.

Earlier this month, Deutsche Bank said surging demand in China, Japan and the US would underpin a “second solar gold rush”. It tipped global installations to rise to 46GW in 2014 (based on the previous 12GW target for China), and to 56GW in 2015.

China is expected to be by far the largest installer of solar PV, followed by Japan, US and Europe, each with around 8GW.

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This article, China Brings 2014 Solar PV Target Up To 14 GW, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Giles ParkinsonGiles Parkinson is the founding editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, an Australian-based website that provides news and analysis on cleantech, carbon, and climate issues. Giles is based in Sydney and is watching the (slow, but quickening) transformation of Australia’s energy grid with great interest.