Yet again an international report/body confirming that deployment of renewables outstripped deployment of coal in 2015. As the article says this is an encouraging sign and globally positive.
A huge amount of wind and solar was deployed across the globe and yet still hydro is the largest contributor to overall production which bodes well for all three bearing in mind how much resource is yet untapped.
However, what piqued my interest in the article is the statistic that although 150 GW has been installed "it should be noted that plants rarely produce above a third of their total potential". My question is what is happening to the other 2/3rds ? While I would never expect 100% production the figures seem very low. I am no technical guru but is this another problem that storage can solve or at least partially solve? Would the installation of more energy storage facilities improve that figure and if not then at least they would ensure that the full 50GW is utilised by the world's grid.
All the more reason therefore that in the UK we need to respond to OFGEM's call for evidence on smarter energy systems. How smart can it currently be if we are only achieving a third of our renewables potential production...
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The International Energy Agency (IEA)has recently released figures for the performance of the renewable energy market in comparison to coal in 2015 and the results are encouraging. The IEA found that last year was the first time new installations of renewable plants surpassed coal for the first time, and went on to project that renewables will be able to provide enough energy to meet total demand in Europe and the USA within five years. The Agency’s report found that a total capacity of 153GW was installed in the renewable sector last year, accounting for over half of all new installations of any kind. Despite trailing behind in terms of new installations in 2015, hydropower is still far and away the biggest source of green energy worldwide, with over 70% of all renewables coming from water-powered sources.