Renew On Line (UK) 54
Extracts from NATTA's journal
|Welcome Archives Bulletin|
12. World Round up
EU Solar visions
The European Commission has launched its Strategic Vision for Photovoltaic Technology (PV) for 2030 and Beyond. It sees the price of PV-generated electricity, currently around 25-65 Eurocents per kilowatt-hour, dropping by a factor of five by 2030, to 5-12 cents/kWh, making PV power competitive with other energy sources. World-wide PV capacity should have risen to 1000 GW by then, and PV will be contributing around 4% of world electricity. Beyond 2030, PV’s share of electricity production should increase still further, with module efficiencies rising to 30-50%, enabling up to 1000 kWh per year of electricity to be produced per square metre in sunny regions.
This “ambitious though realistic” future vision was prepared for the Commission by its Photovoltaic Technology Research Advisory Council (PV-TRAC), a high-level panel of experts from industry and research institutions.
The expert panel foresees flat plate PV module efficiencies rising to 10-25% by 2030, with concentrator PV efficiencies reaching 35%. PV system lifetimes should increase to 40 years, with annual operation and maintenance costs less than 1% of capital costs. PV modules and systems will be produced from abundant and non-toxic materials, and energy payback times should be less than 1 year.
By 2030, the European PV industry should be producing
20-40 GW of PV capacity annually and supporting between 200,000 and
400,000 jobs, many of them in the installation and building sectors.
To enable the Strategic Vision to be realised, the European Commission is setting up a ‘Technology Platform’ to bring together all the relevant stakeholders. These include research institutions, energy companies, policy makers, NGOs, consumers’ associations, architects, engineers and installers. The Platform will implement a strategic plan for PV, propose actions to policy makers, foster joint initiatives and ensure coordination between industry, researchers and the market.
Commission officials believe that co-ordination and
strategic planning on this scale is vital if
The report is at http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/energy/photovoltaics/vision_report_en.html
Despite the federal governments opposition to Kyoto, 20 states are adopting strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and according to Klaus Toepfer of the UN Environment Programme “we must keep the dialogue open so that this key country can hear, and hopefully be eventually won over, to the sound argument that combatting climate change makes both environmental and economic sense”.
Certainly the energy resource is there. Non-hydro renewables
offer ‘the greatest potential
for future growth’ of low -emmission power
And on the ground things are still happening. The extension of the federal Production Tax
Credit for wind turbines has allowed wind
projects in the
But the bigger picture still looks bleak. The US needs ‘Wind not Oil Wars’, according to Arjun Makhijani of the US Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (www.ieer.org ), who says that the $200bn or so that the USA has spent on the war and the attempted reconstruction in Iraq ‘could generate enough wind energy in the Midwest to replace essentially all of the oil that the United States imports from the Persian Gulf... The twelve Midwestern states from South Dakota and North Dakota down to New Mexico and Texas have more wind energy potential than the entire oil output of all of the members of the organization of petroleum exporting countries including all of the countries of the Persian Gulf.’
The Kyoto protocol requires Japan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6% from 1990 levels
in the period 2008-2012, but it is currently emitting about 10% more
than it did in 1990. Taishi
Sugiyama, a climate expert at the Central Research Institute of Electric
Power Industry in
been assessed as the most attractive country for renewable energy investment,
according to a global review conducted by Ernst & Young- for the
second year running, on account of its partially deregulated electricity
market with strong tariff support, positive planning environment and
high wind resource. It has also now made the installation of solar heat
collectors mandatory in all new buildings.
Greenpeace, the European Wind Energy Association and
the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry Association are backing wind power
as a key energy option for
The Chinese government has a target of obtaining 12%
of electricity from renewables by 2020, and a significant share of the
new capacity will come from wind. ‘Wind Force 12 -
has shown that, with the right policy framework, wind energy can play
a major role in China’s energy future,’ says Corin
Millais of the EWEA.
‘We believe there is a
real potential for
According to ReFocus, the
Development Funding Spreads
The government of El
Salvador has signed an energy alliance with Finland to promote renewables,
including seed funding of Euro 3m for feasibility studies for six small
hydro projects, solar-powered irrigation, a solar refrigeration system
for fish drying, studies into wind power, an environmental regulation
system for geothermal projects, and the design of a tariff compensation
fund for small-scale renewables projects.
Meanwhile, the State oil company Enap
But funding doesn’t always deliver. Since 1991, the
Global Environmental Facility has provided grants of US$200m towards
the total cost of $1.4 bn of PV projects with
half the projects based in
Australian scientists have developed an injection which reduces the amount of wind produced by sheep by 8%- methane released by their flatulence and belching accounts for 14% of the countries greenhouse gas emissions.