Renewables are the fastest growing energy sector today, but there are still obstacles for its further development, primarily related to infrastructure and unpredictability of renewable supplies for the power production. These are some of the conclusions of the World Energy Congress 2016 held in Istanbul, Turkey, reported by the Anadolu Agency, congress’ global communication partner for 2016.
Adnan Z. Amin, director general of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), said that since 2011, the majority of capacity additions came from renewables, “more than all other resources”.
“A total of 152 GW of renewables were added in 2015, making 30 percent of total energy generation at the end of that year”, Amin said at the panel “Global renewables update: the reality of scaling up”.
“With the reduction in the technology costs, by 2025 electricity from solar will decline by 60 percent while the drop in costs will drive further investments. Innovation trends, storage possibilities and technology investments will introduce a new level of flexibility in renewable energy sector. We see that in policy and financials, there is a lot of innovation and risk mitigation occurring,” Amin explained circumstances for renewable sector acceleration in the near future.
“Lower cost renewables will not stop and renewables percentage will increase”, confirmed Jerome Pecresse, president and CEO of GE Renewable Energy. He added that his company is “selling renewable electricity to everyone, the client base has changed and grown”, and that renewables are no more “small business”.
He also warned that uncertainty needs to be limited and generation capacity needs to be optimized, in order to ensure further growth of this industry. As key step he pointed out “public policy formation, stability of tariffs and continuance of investment in renewable integration into the grid”.
“In last few years we have seen the phenomenal contribution of non-hydro renewables in the power sector. But, the nature rules renewables and the major challenge is in the unpredictability of their supplies,” explained Abid Malik, managing director of ACWA power. He also underlined the importance of the grid infrastructure, investments in transmission, infrastructure and the distribution sector.
Managing director of EWE Turkey, Frank Quante, said that renewables solutions need to be created on a small scale, then on regional and subsequently on any problems nationally and internationally.
“Complexity is too high to just find solutions from top to down. Decisions at the top level are needed, but solutions are not given there – they have to be created at the local level or regional level,” he concluded.