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Most pathways to a low-carbon economy would require the rapid deployment of renewable energy and a doubling of energy efficiency, given that the energy sector accounts for two-thirds of global emissions. Influenced by the strengthened business case of renewables and the need to decarbonize the energy sector, numerous governments have raised their ambitions and taken steps to accelerate their deployment of renewable energy.
So far, 57 countries have developed plans to decarbonize their electricity sector completely, and have set national or state renewable energy targets. Many countries are shifting to renewables because they lack oil and gas reserves and wish to be less dependent on energy imports. India, for example, is set to become ever more dependent on costly energy imports unless it changes course. A number of major oil-producing countries are also setting targets for increasing the proportion of renewables in their energy mix.
Russia auctioned 2 GW of renewables in and is planning to auction another 1 GW in In certain countries, where central governments have been slow to establish renewable energy targets, local governments and municipalities have acted in their place.
Technological innovations, including higher solar photovoltaic PV module efficiencies and taller wind turbines, have played an important role in accelerating the deployment of renewables in the electricity sector. Patenting rates suggest that more technological innovation has taken place in the field of clean energy technologies than in traditional energy fields such as fossil fuels and nuclear. Innovations in digitalization and energy storage are also opening up new frontiers.
New digital technologies, such as smart grids, the internet of things, big data, and artificial intelligence, are being applied in the energy industry, helping to raise its efficiency and accelerate the use of renewable energy within emerging smart generation and distribution systems. New energy technologies are also being developed for energy storage, vital for variable renewables such as wind and solar. Batteries, including those in electric vehicles, are expected to become an important storage technology. Electricity can also be stored in thermal form using boilers, heat pumps or chilled water.
For longer-term storage, there are other options, including compressed air energy storage or hydrogen. The actions of corporations are also driving change. They called on governments to put a price on carbon, abolish fossil fuel subsidies, and phase out thermal coal power.
The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund is taking steps to divest from coal, as are some private banks, including HSBC. A number of major multilateral development banks, such as the World Bank, are no longer financing coal investment. Global insurance companies such as Allianz and AXA have announced that they will phase out insurance coverage for particular coal projects.
As the amount of renewable energy in global electricity networks likely to have the biggest impact in different countries and what are the key drivers at a time of record high oil and gas prices, technology costs failed to fall. Renewable Energy's Impact Upon Hydrocarbon Dominance. 1. Table Of Contents• Chapter 1 Hydrocarbon Dominance• Chapter 2 G20 Nations.
Both Apple and Microsoft recently announced that their facilities are completely powered by renewable energy. Major companies, including fossil fuel companies, now recognize the carbon risk to their operations. Public opinion is also a potent force for change. In countries across the world, consumers increasingly prefer to buy products and services that have a smaller carbon footprint, and civil society movements are applying pressure on governments and companies to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions.
Religious leaders are adding to the moral arguments for acting on climate change.
Public opinion is not only being expressed through words but also through direct actions. Demonstrations against air pollution have taken place in numerous cities, from Beijing to London. Approximately 15, Australian school children took part in a school strike to demand action by their government against climate change.
Litigation is on the rise too. As a result of these dynamic forces of change, the global energy transformation is gathering momentum and accelerating. The main story of the energy transition is the rise of renewables, particularly solar and wind, and the future decline of fossil fuels. Renewables differ in many respects from fossil fuels, and these differences will have geopolitical consequences.
First, renewable energy resources are available in one form or another in most countries, unlike fossil fuels which are concentrated in specific geographic locations. This reduces the importance of current energy choke points, such as the narrow channels on widely used sea routes that are critical to the global supply of oil. Second, most renewables take the form of flows, whilst fossil fuels are stocks. Energy stocks can be stored, which is useful; but they can be used only once. In contrast, energy flows do not exhaust themselves and are harder to disrupt.
Third, renewable energy sources can be deployed at almost any scale and lend themselves better to decentralized forms of energy production and consumption. This adds to the democratizing effects of renewable energy. The energy transformation will be one of the major elements that reshape geopolitics in the 21 st century, alongside trends in demography, inequality, urbanization, technology, environmental sustainability, military capability, and domestic politics in major states.
The global energy transformation. Home The global energy transformation. Energy transformation. Figure 1.
The energy transition framework. The forces of change. Six enabling trends drive the rapid deployment of renewables. Declining cost As the costs of renewable energy technologies have fallen, the business case for renewable energy has become a major driver of change. Pollution and climate change The problems caused by fossil fuels—including widespread air pollution and climate change—have led governments, businesses, investors and the public to recognize the need to decarbonize the global economy. Renewable energy targets Influenced by the strengthened business case of renewables and the need to decarbonize the energy sector, numerous governments have raised their ambitions and taken steps to accelerate their deployment of renewable energy.
Raimi, D. Hecht, G. The Associated Press. Zinke has eagerly stepped into some of the most fraught contemporary political debates, engaging with the press on issues ranging from the role of confederate monuments in national parks Al-Sibai, to the use of private jets for professional travel Zinke, However, three primary aspects characterize and underpin the transition: energy efficiency, the growth of renewables, and electrification. Among the many human activities that produce greenhouse gases, the use of energy represents by far the largest source of emissions, with CO 2 resulting from the oxidation of carbon in fuels during combustion dominating the total GHG emissions [ 15 ]. Pezzullo, P.
Technological innovation Technological innovations, including higher solar photovoltaic PV module efficiencies and taller wind turbines, have played an important role in accelerating the deployment of renewables in the electricity sector. Corporate and investor action The actions of corporations are also driving change.
Public opinion Public opinion is also a potent force for change.
Why renewables will transform geopolitics. Figure 2.
World solar potential. Figure 3.