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    Renewable energy; importance for global energy transition in 2023

    September 21, 2023 - Pakistan Observer


      INVESTMENT in renewable energy is seen as essential to protect the planet's future, as the effects of climate change become more and more prominent. According to a report of the International Energy Agency, a quarter of the world's electricity is now produced by renewable sources like wind, solar andhydroelectricity; this percentage is expected to rise as part of decarbonization initiatives. But there are still problems in the sector. The reliability of renewable energy sources is sometimes criticized because output varies depending on factors including the time of day, the weather, and, in the case of hydroelectric power, seasonal river flows. Power-reserved industries are relying on energy storage to address the issue of variability and instability of renewable energy sources andit is not surprising the rapid growth in the capacity in previous years. A system that captures energy at one time and stores it for later use is seen as a crucial part of the backbone enabling energy transition.

      In the majority of countries in the world, renewable electricity is subject to government support and national targets. In June 2022, China released its 14th Five-Year Plan for Renewable Energy, which sets the ambitious goal of increasing the share of renewable energy in electricity generation to 33% by 2025 (from roughly 29% in 2021) and for the first time, including a target for renewable heat consumption. As part of the Repower EU Plan, the European Commission proposed in May 2022 raising the European Union's 2030 renewable energy objective to 45% (which would require 1 236 GW of total built renewable capacity).

      Renewable energy has developed in two main stages. In most nations, the cost of renewable energy systems between 2010 and 2020 either fell below or equaled that of fossil fuels, particularly for solar and wind energy. This greatly increased the number of new initiatives. But it has subsequently become clear that solar and wind projects have put enormous strain on national grid systems, which typically can only absorb about 30% of the additional solar and wind energy generated.

      Energy storage systems also requires an enabling environment that makes it easier for them to finance and execute which calls for widespread cooperation from numerous stakeholders. The Energy Storage Partnership (ESP), which (ESMAP) Energy Sector Management Assistance Program founded and manages, seeks to finance 17.5 gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery storage by 2025, more than tripling the 4.5 GWh that are now installed across all developing nations. The program has already raised $725 million in concessional funding and will deliver 4.7 GWh of battery storage (current projects), plus an additional 2.4 GWh (upcoming pipeline).

      A hybrid power purchase agreement (PPA) framework for solar PV and battery storage is currently being developed by the ESP. All power projects are supported by hybrid power purchase agreements (PPAs) since they help establish, for instance, who will purchase the electricity and at what price. This provides the security required to secure project financing.

      The ability to store this energy has several advantages, one of which is that it reduces the squandering of renewable resources. There are occasions when the amount of electricity produced by renewable sources may be greater than what is required. When this occurs, certain renewable generators may be forced to reduce their output to keep the system 'balanced,' that is when the supply of power equals the demand. As a result, a chance to produce clean electricity has effectively been lost. These renewable energy sources can continue to produce electricity even if it isn't required right away since it can be stored till a later time when it is.

      Energy storage system integration will fundamentally alter the developing world. They will hasten the expansion of electrical access while simultaneously facilitating increased usage of renewable energy, assisting in the achievement of the global goal of net zero carbon emissions. Energy storage is predicted to be a huge business and a crucial one by 2040, when expenditure reaches trillions of dollars and some analyses say that energy systems should have decarbonized to meet climate targets. Energy storage will be essential to attaining sustainability goals as the world continues its shift to a renewable future. Research, development and infrastructure investment in storage are crucial to promote the broad use of renewable energy sources and accelerating the world's energy transition.

      In conclusion, energy storage is crucial for a future powered by renewable energy. It fills the energy supply and grid reliability gap between intermittent renewable energy production and steady energy demand. Energy storage systems pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient energy landscape by maximizing the utilization of renewable resources, providing flexibility and supporting the integration of developing technologies. By promoting the use of solar energy, governments can speed the transition to a more sustainable energy future. Promotional programs for solar energy can enhance energy security. Local solar energy production can promote energy independence and reduce reliance on foreign energy sources.


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