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Environment

Report: Solar Will Dominate World Energy Supply in Just 15 Years

We should really feel for those poor fossil fuel barons....not!

Deutsche Bank has produced a 175 page report that will have the Koch bros and their bought and paid for minions as well as every oil, coal and natural gas company weeping in their Chevas Regal or Glenfiddich.

The report suggests that solar generated energy will be the dominant source of energy worldwide within the next 15 years. Not only that, but the solar industry will generate $5 trillion in revenue in that time while displacing fossil fuels. Ohhh...I LOVE it!!

The analysts at Deutsche, led by Vishal Shah, state the solar market potential is massive. Even today, at only 1%(130GW) installed of the possible 6,000GW, it still produces $2 trillion annually. They also predict that in the next 15 years, the market in solar will increase 10 fold!

Great news!! To find out more, carefully step around that orange extension cord...it's live!

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How will this happen? With the addition of more than a 100 million customers and solar's market share jumping to 10%.

Their predictions are underpinned by several observations. The first is that solar is at grid parity in more than half of all countries, and within two years will be at parity in around 80 per cent of countries. And at a cost of just 8c/kWh to 13c/kWh, it is up to 40 per cent below the retail price of electricity in many markets. In some countries, such as Australia, it is less than half the retail price.

The case for solar will be boosted by the emergence of cost-competitive storage, which Deutsche describes as the “next killer app” because it will overcome difficulties in either accessing the grid or net metering policies. “We believe reduction(a) in solar storage costs could act as a significant catalyst for global solar adoption, particularly in high electricity markets such as Europe,” it writes.

Grid parity is drawing near. In the last few months coal, particularly, has gone from 7:1 down to 2:1 and it's estimated that in the next year it will fall to 1:1. And coal is not the only fossil fuel where parity is occurring:

Deutcshe Bank believes that solar demand is going to accelerate in the US and elsewhere thanks to policies that support solar and the constant fall of the price of solar. Indeed they posit that the price of solar could fall below 2c/kWh by 2050.

The other part of this prediction rests on energy storage. The report from Deutsche Bank believes that energy storage, the "holy grail"...or "killer app"... of solar, will be both developmentally ready and cheap enough in five years to make solar more than competitive, even in large scale applications. In fact the cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by half within the past year. And is predicted to continue to fall.

They estimate the cost of lithium-ion batteries, currently at ~$500/kWh, will decrease by 20-30% yearly! This would bring batteries such as lithium-ion to the point of mass adaptation for commercial use by 2020.

The report also points to utilities as a major market for batteries on a large scale, as costs drop and distributed renewable energy generation deployments increase.

On the residential level, the report said households were still unlikely to go down the energy storage path in the short term, without proper pricing mechanisms in place, or access to solar plus storage energy packages.

But again, Deutsche sees this as as a major, untapped opportunity for utilities: “Over the next decade, we see a substantial opportunity for utilities to utilize smart grids through residential battery aggregation.”

So what kind of batteries do Deutsche think will be used? Well, there are several types of storage solutions and each fit niches in both commercial and home applications:

 

The newer types of batteries such as flow batteries may not make it big on the market for a couple of years yet. There are several types of flow batteries in the process of being tested. Here's an explanation of flow batteries:

A flow battery is a rechargeable fuel cell in which an electrolyte containing one or more dissolved electroactive elements flow through an electrochemical cell that reversibly converts chemical energy directly to electricity (electroactive elements are "elements in solution that can take part in an electrode reaction or that can be adsorbed on the electrode"[2]). Additional electrolyte is stored externally, generally in tanks, and is usually pumped through the cell (or cells) of the reactor, although gravity feed systems are also known.[3] Flow batteries can be rapidly "recharged" by replacing the electrolyte liquid (in a similar way to refilling fuel tanks for internal combustion engines) while simultaneously recovering the spent material for re-energization.

In other words, a flow battery is just like an electrochemical cell, with the exception that the ionic solution (electrolyte) is not stored in the cell around the electrodes. Rather, the ionic solution is stored outside of the cell, and can be fed into the cell in order to generate electricity. The total amount of electricity that can be generated depends on the size of the storage tanks.

This report doesn't even touch on electric vehicles...and there is a huge variety out there. Cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles and panel trucks, airplanes and yes..pick-up trucks are finally being sorted. For those who want some eye candy, here's the 2015 line-up of electric cars!

I REALLY feel for those poor fossil fuel barons....not! Boo hoo ... won't someone please call a waaaaambulance?

 

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