The evenings are getting longer and lighter, an indication that spring is upon us as daylight saving time comes into force across much of Europe and North America. With this emergence into a new season, Energy Global brings you the first issue of 2021 – our Spring issue.
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Without trying to jinx the year ahead, so far, activity in the renewables industry for the past three months has been non-stop, with contracts being signed, partnerships co-ordinated, and innovative technologies researched and developed. Whether it be the fact that countries are cracking down on their climate goals for 2030 and the Paris Agreement, or that companies are driven by a competitive spirit and are keen to be the greenest and cleanest in action, the increase in renewables on an international scale is evident and a welcome sight.
There is every confidence that this renewables drive will keep pushing on; a knowledge supported by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)’s recently shared preview of its World Energy Transitions Outlook, which anticipates a decline in fossil fuel use to 2050 by approximately 75%. The main contributors to this reduction will be oil and coal consumption, leaving natural gas as the main fossil fuel to remain in 2050, whilst renewables take charge of the greener energy mix.
As time goes on, the gap is tightening between the once-distant worlds of fossil fuels and the world of renewables. The steady departure of fossil fuels from global consumption and the rise of renewables is depicted simply when addressing CAPEX for such energy projects. Analysis conducted by Rystad Energy has found that a new record will be achieved this year for renewables, with CAPEX for projects reaching US$243 billion – not far off from spending in the oil and gas sector, which is estimated to be US$311 billion (a figure that has been in decline for some years, particularly since its heyday in 2019 of US$422 billion).
Rystad has detailed where most of the spending in the renewables sector will be utilised, with onshore wind projects climbing by US$6 billion from its 2020 spending to US$100 billion this year, and solar photovoltaics CAPEX reaching US$96 billion, up from US$88 billion in 2020. Consulting Energy Global’s website (www.energyglobal.com/) – home to the latest updates and industry news – provides a pool of information to enhance the reports published by the likes of Rystad Energy and IRENA.
Between Siemens Gamesa being awarded a contract to supply wind turbines in New Zealand, GE Renewable Energy supplying turbines to Vietnam, and Total Eren commissioning a wind farm in southern Argentina, there are numerous articles on the onshore wind sector, which is proving it is on track to spend US$100 billion this year.
However, offshore wind cannot be ignored, as CAPEX for these projects is expected to grow to US$46 billion this year, largely contributed to by China’s Rudong wind farm and Ørsted’s Hornsea 2 project in the UK. The vast scale of these projects has positive upshots throughout the industry, with companies coming onboard from across the globe – inter-array cable systems need to be supplied, protection systems put in place for cables, monopiles transported, steel platforms fabricated, turbines manufactured, etc.
In this issue of Energy Global magazine, our technical articles cover a varied spectrum of renewable energies, including a regional report on Australia’s renewables sector, research and development into tidal power, the future of energy storage, and the opportunities and advances in offshore wind, plus many more.
With a breadth of information shared, we hope this latest issue of Energy Global provides you with some new knowledge and perhaps some alternative perspectives on the future technologies shaping the renewables industry.