The year 2021 has seen a major event taking place in Glasgow, the so-called UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). The leaders of nearly 200 countries came together to propose and discuss their plans to cut emissions, which resulted in a final deal called the “Glasgow Climate Pact”.
This is to say that 2021 saw a raise in the popularity and importance of topics related to climate change, global warming, sea-level rise, and renewable energy applications. The current year provides an opportunity for reviewing and assessing the challenges related to the employment of renewables and how bright their future is.
The Future of Renewables
According to recent estimates, the global renewable energy market is expected to grow by reaching 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars by 2027. In addition, global renewable consumption is anticipated to rise from 27 exajoules in 2018 to 161 exajoules by 2050. The future is becoming “greener”.
Renewable energy is characterized by the utilization of resources that can be naturally renewed. Examples of renewable energy include solar energy, wind energy, hydro energy, tidal energy, geothermal energy, and biomass energy. The exact percentages of renewable energy generation varies from country to country with hydropower often ranking first in terms of electricity generation. The second most common renewable energy source is wind power, followed by solar power, bio power, and thermal energy.
Hydropower is indeed the most widely-used renewable power source, accounting for more than 54% of the global renewable power generation capacity. Wind power accounts for approximately 24% of the world’s total energy generation capacity. Conversely, while not yet fully mainstream, solar power has witnessed an average annual growth rate of 36% in the last decade alone (data from the International Energy Agency).
The future seems to look positive for renewables, as their growth is expected to accelerate in 2022 in line with the growing concern regarding sustainability. However, energy experts foresee an ever-growing raise in the energy demand around the world, as economies continue to adapt to the long-lasting changes of the pandemic. A growing energy demand might at first look like a potential booster for renewables, but it also entails a series of challenges that need to be considered.
The Challenges of Power Supplies for Wind and Solar Projects
According to the Electric Power Annual, solar power accounted for 3% of U.S. electricity generation from all sources in 2020. In the Annual Energy Outlook 2021 (AEO2021) Reference case, solar generation will make up 14% of the U.S. total in 2035 and 20% in 2050. In 2020, wind turbines were the source of about 8.4% of total U.S. utility-scale electricity generation. Utility-scale includes facilities with at least one megawatt (1,000 kilowatts) of electricity generation capacity.
Low governmental subsidies and other forms of support are only some of the challenges renewable energy operators face. Others include inconsistent power supply – due to the intrinsic characteristics of solar and wind power – and systemic inefficiencies in power generation.
Solar and wind farms entail high installation and maintenance costs. Power supplies designed precisely for renewable applications lighten the burden on the budget and the plant equipment itself.
The costs associated with renewable energy source equipment is only one side of the challenges associated with these energy sources. As mentioned earlier, the global energy consumption is expected to rise by 2.2% in 2022, with others forecasting its increase by 2.7% on average to 2024. The sudden surge in demand that characterized 2020 and 2021 raises the efficiency requirements for the equipment involved in renewable power generation.
With renewable energy generation, the efficiency and reliability of the equipment are two of the forestanding elements to consider for ensuring stable, affordable, and long-lasting power supply. With renewables like solar power, the conditions for generating energy are not always available, especially under adverse weather conditions. For this reason, energy storage plays an important role not only in facing the unreliable conditions on which renewables need to operate but also function as a remedy against the price volatility often seen with this type of energy generation method. Electrical engineers are becoming more aware of the strategic importance of energy storage for controlling the costs and mitigating the impact of the environment on wind and solar projects.
The Solutions to These Power Supply Challenges
MORNSUN has over 23 years of experience in the power supply industry. Its wide collection of power supply solutions includes more than one series of AC/DC converters designed for PV applications (especially PV solar tracking systems). MORNSUN’s power supplies are known for their high reliability and adaptability to even the harshest power conditions.
MORNSUN will continue to support an incremental shift to greener energy sources. MORNSUN provides efficient solar self-powered solutions. In addition, MORNSUN provides energy storage systems related to sustainable energy, such as battery energy storage systems. These solutions achieve efficient and safe energy storage, resulting in lower maintenance costs. MORNSUN’s vast collection of power systems also includes a series of power supplies for renewable energy applications, including for solar and wind power systems. Their quality components and detailed design make these series of power supplies a key ally in ensuring stable power supply to wind-solar energy systems.
From highly-efficient power supplies for PV applications to advancement in renewable energy technologies, the united commitment to fighting climate change is expected to make a little but significant progress in future years.
After all, every journey starts with a first step. Our environment is asking us to run a marathon to achieve the goals of lower carbon emissions and tighter control of global temperatures.
For more info, click here