In a globalised world, where the actions of one country's growth can have inadvertent effects on others we cannot afford to be looking inwards, instead we should stay abreast of changes (technological, political and social) in the international community. This recent blog post from BHP Billiton (http://www.bhpbilliton.com/investors/prospects/solar-and-wind-revolution) highlights the leaps that China, Chile and Morocco have made towards diversifying their energy mix and reducing the dependency on traditional energy producing technologies. More importantly though it highlights the need for a holistic approach to the energy trilemma, an approach that involves new technologies (storage, demand side response), energy efficiency and the reduction of emissions through CCS and afforestation/reforestation.
Clearly there is no one-size fits all solution for all the countries involved and each of them should identify those solutions that are appropriate for them. One thing is true however there is a lot to be learned and experience and knowledge sharing will be key in this process. As the title of the post says weather is not country specific - here in the UK we are blessed with a variety of weather (rain foremost) but we need to release the brakes being applied now before we fall way behind.
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Combined wind and solar power generation has increased nearly 50 times over since 2000. This expansion has helped to reduce wind power costs by more than half and decreased the cost of solar panels by nearly 90%. On average, wind and solar energy are expected to reach cost-parity with incumbent technologies on a new-build, unsubsidised basis in about a decade. As an example, the chart below depicts the expected cost of building new wind and solar plants relative to new coal in China – the world’s largest power market. However, it must be noted that some markets with excellent solar or wind resources, such as Chile and Morocco, have today already passed these tipping points.