Spurred by ambitious national commitments, international agreements and rapid technological progress, governments are increasingly choosing renewable energy to expand their countries’ power infrastructures. In 2014, renewables provided 23% of power generation worldwide, and with the adoption of more ambitious plans and policies, this could reach 45% by 2030.
Amid this accelerating transition, the variability of solar and wind energy — two key sources for renewable power generation — presents new challenges. It also raises questions, like ‘How do you power a country when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining?’ and ‘How does variable power fit with the delivery of reliable electricity?’
Continue reading Planning for Solar and Wind
Grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants are now mainstream and cost-competitive — making them an attractive energy option anywhere the sun shines. The most competitive utility-scale solar PV projects deliver electricity for just US 5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) without subsidies, and costs as low as US 3 cents/kWh have been achieved when conditions are perfect.
But implementing viable utility-scale solar PV projects requires project developers to draft robust plans that attract investors, and this can be a hurdle for some. As a result, many renewable energy projects stall during the development phase.
A new addition to IRENA’s online Project Navigator platform is helping developers overcome this obstacle, and spurring more large-scale solar PV deployment in the process. Continue reading Online Platform Helps Develop Bankable Solar and Wind Power Projects
Since the end of 2009, the price of solar photovoltaics (PV) has fallen more than 80%, and the Middle East and North Africa region has been quick to seize upon the opportunities this price decline presents. An estimated 2,000 MW of solar energy projects in the region will be tendered in 2016, and by 2020, $50 billion will be invested in the region’s solar sector.
Solar investment and innovation is kicking off a regional transformation in energy production. From 19 to 21 September, Dubai International Exhibition Centre hosted Intersolar Middle East, a forum and exhibition for the solar industry and its partners to continue and accelerate this transformation. Continue reading Intersolar Middle East Gathers Region’s Brightest in Solar