ORIGINAL REPORTING: 5 drivers making 100% renewables possible
5 drivers making 100% renewables possible; A new report from Clean Edge offers a toolkit for achieving big renewables targets
Herman K. Trabish, December 2, 2015 (Utility Dive)
Five factors are coming together in the energy industry to make 100% renewables a real possibility, according to Getting to 100: A Status Report on Rising Commitments Among Corporations and Governments to Reach 100% Renewables from Clean Edge and SolarCity, the nation's leading rooftop solar installer. The first factor is a continued drop in the installed cost of rooftop solar that will make it widely cost-effective. The second driver is the continued expansion of utility-scale renewables. U.S. wind and solar were “47% of all new generation capacity in 2014 and nearly 70% in the first half of 2015.
The third driver is the emergence of energy storage, and the impacts are just beginning to be felt. Costs, which fell from $3,400/kWh in 2010 to $1,600/kWh in 2014, are expected to continue to drop. Utilities and commercial customers are already finding cost-effective uses. The use of new energy storage technologies, especially batteries, grew 900% from Q2 2014 to Q2 2015. The ability to use a combination of renewables, storage, and smart connected devices to turn living and working spaces into net zero energy (NZE) buildings is the fourth driver.
The emergence of a 21st century grid is the crucial fifth and final factor in the rising potential of getting to 100% renewables. For utilities, governments and other companies looking to get to 100% renewables, the first necessary step is commitment. Even where costs are not quite at parity with old methods, renewables offer other benefits to offset the price difference. click here for more