The Telegraph argued that too much green energy is bad for Britain. The UK is becoming more and more dependent on the importation of foreign natural gas and this could soon become a crisis if domestic renewable energy sources are unable to produce enough electricity in the country’s unpredictable climate.

Because of a misguided faith in green energy, we have left ourselves far too dependent on foreign gas supplies, largely provided by Russian and Middle Eastern producers. Only 45 per cent of our gas consumption comes from domestic sources. All it takes is a spell of bad weather, and the closure of a gas pipeline from Belgium, to leave us dangerously exposed, and to send gas prices soaring. Talk of rationing may be exaggerated, but our energy policy is failing to deal with Britain’s fundamental incapacity to produce our own power.

There are good intentions behind a green energy policy, and no one would wilfully want to damage the environment. But green technology – in its current incarnation, anyway – is just too inefficient and expensive to meet our energy needs. In some of the worst weather for more than 30 years, green power still only provides a tiny fraction of our energy needs. Solar power is of limited use in our cold, dark, northern climate. And wind power isn’t much better – cold weather doesn’t necessarily mean windy weather.

See also The Spectator, Britain’s energy crisis: when will the lights go out?

Clean Technica told us global biofuel, wind, and solar markets will nearly double in value over the next decade. The 12th annual Clean Edge Annual Trends Report finds these markets will increase in value from $248.7 billion in 2012 to $426.1 billion by 2022. By that time biofuels (ethanol, biodiesel) will have the largest market value followed by solar and then wind.

Now that solar, wind, and biofuels have moved past early-stage growing pains and the market has begun maturing through consolidation, private financing of renewables is driving significant examples of clean energy deployment.

Global Energy World said solar and wind will push the global renewable energy market share to 36% by 2020. A new report from ADSReports says these technologies will drive global renewable energy installed capacity from 1,695 GW in 2012 to 2,762 GW in 2020 –increasing the industry’s share of the world total installed capacity from its current 30% to 36%. While the capital costs of renewable electricity generation are currently higher than those of conventional methods, both government financial and other support and technological advances will lower the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), further driving the growth of the renewable energy industry.

DesignBUILD noted renewable energy capacity in Asia-Pacific region will reach 535 GW by 2020. A report by GlobalData entitled Renewable Energy Market in Asia-Pacific to 2020 says China will lead the way. The country hopes that 15% of its electricity will be generated from renewable sources by 2020. Other countries making large investments in renewables include Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand. Across the region as a whole, the percentage of power generated by renewable energy sources is predicted to rise from 12.1% in 2011 to nearly 20% by the end of this decade.

Saudi Arabia expects to add 50 GW of renewable energy by 2030 we were told by Energy Matters. The desert kingdom plans to spend $109 billion on renewable energy projects (mostly wind and solar) over the next 20 years. This will double its electricity capacity by 2030. Solar power alone will account for 30% of this figure, more solar capacity than the entire world had in 2012.

“Saudi Arabia is determined to diversify our energy sources and reduce our dependence on hydrocarbons,” said Saudi team leader Wail Bamhair. “Renewable energy isn’t just an option, but absolutely necessary. We have the means to build renewable energy, and we need to do it.”

The north African country of Libya wnats 20% renewable energy by 2020 according to Energy Live News.

The Economic Times reported that India intends to double its renewable energy capacity by 2017. The country aims to increase its renewable capacity from 25 GW in 2012 to 55 GW by the year 2017.

The present and future of tidal power was examined by environmental LEADER. Unlike wind, tides are predictable. Yet we rarely hear of tidal projects.  The reason is that tidal technology is expensive and unpredictable. However, the post expects this problem to be resolved over the next 30 years when, it is hoped, tidal will be as recognizable as wind and solar.

The Wall Street Journal asked the question: What Renewable Energy Source Has the Most Promise? The paper gets responses from a number of experts who follow developments in the energy field.

Energy Live News foretasted the global solar market will reach $147 billion by 2018.  Transparency Market Research says global solar installations are expected to reach 60 GW in the next five years, with the market estimated to be around $147 billion (£96bn). A growing demand for green electricity, lower than expected solar prices, and government incentive schemes are expected to drive demand for solar systems. However, the analysts cautioned that wet climate across different regions leading to deterioration of solar panels, limited life of batteries used in off-grid solar systems, and slashed feed-in tariff rates could restrain market growth. Solar power broke the 100GW threshold last year, with more than 30 GW connected to the electricity grid last year. Last week this site reported Japan could become the largest solar market in the world after China.

The US city of Lancaster, California (population 150,000) is the first in that country to require all new homes to have solar panels. GEEK told us this municipality, just north of Los Angeles, will require 1.0 kilowatt of electricity be generated by each home on a lot larger than 7,000 square feet. Rural homes on 100,000 square foot or larger lots will need to generate at least 1.5 kilowatts from solar energy. The mandate is scheduled to go into effect January, 1 2014. Lancaster wants to be the first US city to produce more solar power than it consumes and thus earn a profit by selling excess power the the state power grid.

 

 

 

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