Renewable energy: the right path to the future.
An increasing number of energy companies are becoming interested in renewable energy and are opting for a green route in the implementation of their projects. Are you one of them?
Only 28% of electricity worldwide is generated from renewable energy sources although there are other energy sectors where it is more difficult to incorporate new energies. For example, only 10% of the world’s heat is generated from renewable energy sources [IEA, 2019].
At IDEA we are aware that the energy sector is responsible for approximately ¾ of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is mainly due to the fact that today the use of fossil fuel sources to generate energy prevails over renewable sources.
Only 28% of the world’s electricity is generated from renewable energy sources.
It is therefore necessary to change our energy model as soon as possible through an energy transformation based on the massive use of renewable energy sources.
This transformation is estimated to be able to reduce by 70% the emissions of the energy sector by 2050 [IRENA, 2020], and focuses on several technological pillars such as increasing the use of renewable energy sources.
INCREASINGLY MORE RENEWABLE
There are some actions that are currently being developed that foster the reduction of emissions in the energy sector. Such as:
- Use of renewable energy
- Capture, use and accumulation of CO2 (CCUS)
- Generation of green hydrogen from renewable energy sources.
- Innovation in sectors where electrification is difficult to implement (e.g. the use of advanced biofuels)
- Electrification of the transport and heating sectors.
The way to use these energy sources is by transforming them into electricity.
However, the picture is not entirely negative, because there are already renewable energy sources that are used on a daily basis and have been further developed to be more competitive. We are talking about wind and solar photovoltaic energy.
Electricity generation from wind energy is estimated to increase in the coming years from 514 GW in 2017 to more than 6000 GW in 2050, and solar photovoltaic from 384 GW in 2017 to more than 8500 GW in 2050 [IEA, 2019].
We are already participating in these initiatives with our client ENAGAS, who chose us to carry out the green hydrogen injection in its regasification plant in Cartagena. Click here to see the details of the project.
The key sectors in which electricity (renewable energy) will be massively introduced are transport, residential and industrial energy, and heat generation.
In those sectors where electrification is difficult to achieve, the use of advanced biofuels will be encouraged in areas such as aviation and maritime transport in the short term.
RENEWABLE ENERGY STORAGE
Due to the intermittent nature of renewable energy, the management of an electricity grid based on renewable energies is not simple. The day-night cycle of solar photovoltaic, windless of wind, and the seasonal cycles summer-winter will have to be managed.
To solve the problem of intermittency, it is necessary to store energy when there are surpluses, and thus use it at times when energy availability is lower (less solar radiation or less wind).
However, there is an energy carrier that can accumulate renewable energy that fulfils these requirements, being able to be stored and distributed, hydrogen.
There are different methods of storing electrical energy, such as: hydroelectric pumping, molten salt or batteries, but most of these methods do not support the storage of large amounts of energy in the long term, nor do they cover the necessary demand.
However, there is an energy carrier that can accumulate renewable energy while fulfilling these requirements, enabling its storage and distribution: hydrogen.
By María Retuerto, researcher at CSIC and Hydrogen expert.
Collaborator at IDEA.