The renewable revolution is still a phenomenon that is truly taking the world by storm, to prevent the adverse effects of climate change.
The nation is somewhat divided. The G20 summit in Hamburg this weekend accommodated 20 world leaders, and whilst 19 of these were united in their commitment to the Paris climate accord, U.S. President Donald Trump remained isolated due to his withdrawal from the treaty.
It’s hardly surprising; according to a recent study from Greenpeace, renewable resources such as wind and solar will be the cheapest power source in G20 by 2030. In fact, renewables have been cheaper than power generated from coal and nuclear power plants for the last two years alone.
Whilst 2017 poses a particularly uncertain dynamic for the U.S. renewable market, European renewables are spearheading the renewable revolution, tenfold.
As a global leader in both onshore and offshore wind energy, Europe boasts 153.7GW of installed wind capacity. Reliance on renewable sources is growing rapidly in a bid to reduce the adverse effects of global warming; in 2016, 12.5GW of renewable energy capacity was built in Europe alone and 1,567MW of this was offshore wind.
Wind energy is now the second largest source of power in Europe, but as energy demand continues to increase, more will need to be done in order to keep up momentum. The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) have predicted that 600GW of wind energy is required in order to meet current goals, so we can expect to see a surge in innovative renewable projects to facilitate this growth.
TenneT have announced plans for the 100GW North Sea Power Hub project, which will see a daisy chain of linked turbines installed in the North Sea. These turbines will connect to an artificial island which will be designed specifically to manage turbines and their output in order to supply the UK, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands through subsea cabling.
In order to meet these growing demands, the global wind-turbine generator market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 10.16% over the next four years alone. As one of the most efficient sources of power generation, we’re seeing an increase in research and development investments which is ultimately leading to product innovation.
Most recently, University of Bristol have teamed up with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult for an innovative £2m research project in an attempt to double the power of offshore wind turbines by 2025.
As a whole, the renewable energy industry employs more than 8.1million people worldwide; an increase of 5% from the previous year’s statistics. We know that the renewable sector is beneficial to local economies; not only do projects benefit the agricultural industry financially, but they create more jobs due to the specific skill set requirements.
From wind energy to hydropower, the renewable revolution is showing no signs of slowing down. Earlier this week, Apple announced that it will build its second data centre in Denmark. The centre will be completely powered by renewables, and power all online services across Europe, including iMessage and the App store.
They’re not alone; just last week, Google announced that they would purchase all electricity generated from the largest solar park in the Netherlands over the next ten years as a means of powering their Eemshaven data centre which opened last year.
It would seem that nowhere is out of bounds… Engie SA have begun a pre-feasibility study after eyeing up the radioactive zone surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in Ukraine for a GW-size solar farm.
With renewable energy continually on the rise, will the world be able to achieve the Paris targets without America’s input?