Monday, April 1, 2013

Cost of renewable power generation increasing

USA: Renewable power generation is one the most crucial ways of achieving the goal of sustainable development for all countries. Significant capacity additions are being witnessed annually.

In 2012, 772.3 Gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity was installed in 2011 across the world. Of this capacity, wind and solar PV are the major renewable sources of energy and account for 49.3 percent of the cumulative renewable power installation in the world. According to an upcoming report, "Cost of Power Generation", wind is the largest renewable source and accounts for 36.8 percent of global renewable capacity.

Between 2005 and 2012, cumulative installed capacity of wind power rose from 59.8 GW to 283.9 GW. The future prospects for the wind energy industry appear to be good, largely due to strong government support. By 2020, the wind power cumulative installed capacity is expected to reach 455.8 GW.

Meanwhile, global solar PV installed capacity will continue to grow at a CAGR of 15 percent during the 2013–2020 forecast period to reach 331.2 GW by 2020.

The capital costs of renewable energy generation technologies such as solar PV and solar thermal are currently higher than those of conventional energy generation technologies. However, the capital costs of these renewable energy technologies have been declining over the last four to five years. The major drivers driving down the cost of these technologies are their technological improvements and mass deployments.

Additionally, increasing costs during long-term construction and fluctuating fuel costs for conventional power generation are reducing the gap between the electricity costs of these two technologies. These patterns indicate that the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) of renewable energy technologies is becoming competitive with the LCOE of conventional technologies.

Output of generator sets in China will be driven by government policies supporting the rapid development of alternative and clean energy such as nuclear power, wind power, and hydropower. Total investments in China's new energy industry are expected to be more than CNY 5 trillion between 2011 and 2020.

The power generation equipment industry in China is expected to maintain an annual compound growth rate of over 10 percent over the next few years. By sector, power generation equipment for wind power, nuclear power, new energy and other clean energy will achieve substantial growth while hydropower generation equipment maintains steady development. Thermal power generation equipment, however, will continue to be depressed.

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