In recent years, countries around the world are increasingly using renewable energy sources (RES) instead of traditional hydrocarbons. The sun and wind are environmentally friendly and are not consumed during use. According to experts, in the next 20 years, renewable energy will be the fastest growing sector of global energy. Experts predict that by 2035, their share in global electricity generation will increase significantly – about one and a half times from the current 21%. In Russia today, 65% of electricity is produced by thermal power plants, 18.3% by ten operating nuclear power plants, and 15.9% by hydroelectric power plants. Alternative energy in our country is poorly developed – it still accounts for less than 1%.
What are the reasons for the world to switch to renewable sources of energy, alternative energy can replace traditional energy in the coming years, and it will become popular in Russia – in the TASS material.
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In 2015, RES set a record for power generation growth, increasing it by 147 gigawatts, while nearly half was obtained through the installation of wind turbines, according to the annual report of the international renewable energy support organization REN21.
More than a third of investments in renewable energy, estimated at $329 billion, were made by China, and therefore, for the first time, developing countries outperformed developed countries in terms of financing in this sector. The number of its employees increased and reached 8.1 million. The authors of the report explained this growth by the fact that the cost of renewable energy in many markets is now comparable to the cost of conventional energy sources.
The leading role in the development of renewable energy sources continues to belong to the governments of countries. Thus, as of the beginning of 2016, 173 countries have set targets for the development of renewable energy sources, and 146 countries have pursued a policy to support this sector.
In Europe, Germany is today a leader in obtaining energy from environmentally friendly sources. The German government bet on renewable energy after the accident at the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima-1. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet then decided to phase out all 17 German nuclear power plants by 2022. It was also assumed that renewable energy would reduce the country’s dependence on energy imports and help fight monopolies in this sector of the economy. In 2014, wind, solar, biomass and water energy provided 26.2% of all electricity produced in Germany, surpassing for the first time the traditional industrial leader, lignite, which accounts for 25.4%. Some experts believe that by 2030 the country can completely switch to renewable energy, moving away from all fossils, as well as nuclear energy sources.
The United States, Canada and Mexico also intend to increase their green energy momentum – by 2025 they plan to receive half of all energy in North America from renewable sources. It currently accounts for a total of 37% of energy production in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
In Ireland in January of this year, a record for clean energy generation was set. Domestic wind turbines produced 2.8 thousand megawatts in a few hours of operation. This volume will be enough to supply 1.2 million households with electricity. Despite the fact that experts explained this phenomenon as a set of exceptionally favorable conditions – a cold air front came to the island, which affected a significant but short-term increase in winds – “green” energy will develop in the country. The government of the republic set itself an ambitious task – to double the number of wind turbines in the next five years. Ireland was one of the first countries in the European Union to use renewable energy sources. Every year the number of commercial establishments of this type in the country is increasing.
Cuba is also actively seeking to use renewable energy sources. The number of clear days per year here reaches 330, which makes the island an ideal place for the development of solar energy. According to experts, the Sun sends an average of more than 1.8 megawatts per year per square meter of Cuban territory. Local authorities plan that by 2030, about a quarter of the electricity the country needs will be generated from “green” sources. Now renewable energy sources provide only 4% of the country’s needs.
Saudi Arabia also plans to increase the share of renewable energy in its energy turnover. In 2015, the state introduced a new strategy, the main goal of which is to reduce the budget’s dependence on oil revenues. Thus, the country plans to generate up to 10 gigawatts of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2023. In 2015, it represented only 25 megawatts.
Sunshine half a year, half a year no
In Russia, in the near future, alternative energy sources are unlikely to replace traditional ones, for several reasons. First, the potential of solar and wind energy is not enough to fully meet the needs of the country. Adviser and representative of the President of the Russian Federation on climate issues Alexander Bedritsky, referring to solving the problem of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the transition to renewable energy sources, noted that this cannot be done – “especially in such northern countries as Russia, where the sun In the North for half a year yes, he’s gone six months.” “Of course, in such conditions, the capital issues of supplying energy to the industry at the expense of solar energy cannot be resolved,” the expert said. The same applies to wind energy, he said. “They are suitable for individual consumption and small industries. But our wind energy resources are mainly concentrated in the coastal areas of the seas, and they do not have a continuous coverage of the territory. Bedritsky.
Secondly, according to experts, today it is too early to talk about the end of the hydrocarbon era: in the coming years, 80% of the required energy will be generated from fossil fuels.
“In the context of oil prices having more than doubled, a lot of people are starting to talk about the fact that the era of hydrocarbons is coming to an end, and that we need to completely reorient ourselves to alternative energy sources at the moment. I think in this regard, there are no,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin. The real reasons for such conclusions are far-reaching so far.According to him, the demand for traditional energy resources is supported not only by mechanization and electrification in such countries and huge economies as China, India and some other countries, but also by the continued penetration of oil and gas chemistry products In various spheres of human life, in industrial processes.
By the way, despite the low level of use of alternative energy sources, the Russian structure of the fuel-energy balance is nevertheless one of the “greenest” in the world. As Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak stated, speaking at the session of the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi, the share of coal, one of the most “dirty” energy sources in the Russian Federation, is only about 15%, while in the United States. And Germany is about 40%, in China – 70%, and in other countries – about 30%.
money down the drain
Meanwhile, despite the huge reserves of oil, gas and coal, the Russian Federation still plans to increase energy production by relying on “green” sources. Until 2035, the share of renewables, wind and solar energy is expected to rise to 3%. Investments in the creation and development of this sector will reach 53 billion dollars by 2035. To support “green” energy in Russia, a program has been adopted, according to which grid companies are obliged to purchase electricity from renewable energy suppliers under regulated tariffs.
Implementation of renewable energy projects in Russia has serious economic reasons. And Alexei Texler, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation in particular, notes that “with the development of the northern regions and the Far East, renewable energy is gaining special importance.” And in many remote areas, the use of renewable energy significantly saves energy costs, since there is no need to import fuel oil and other conventional energy carriers. Already, these solutions today have demonstrated their economic efficiency and utility.”
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The deputy minister added, “The use of alternative energy in Crimea has become important. By implementing such solutions, in the face of electricity shortages, an additional 150 megawatts can be obtained.”
According to him, “In the next twenty years, it is planned to increase electricity production tenfold by relying on renewable energy sources.”
“Not from the point of view of business, but from the point of view of the image of the country, I think that solar energy has already taken place in Russia, and then step by step it will grow, grow and grow in size,” said the wind, speaking in January at the Gaidar Forum, Rosnano President Anatoly Chubais. He says, it could become a reality in 2017. “For me, 2017 is a year of crossroads in the wind. I see very serious prerequisites that could lead to the fact that a year later, at the next Gaidar Forum, I can say that the winds also occurred in Russia, Chubis said.
In 2024, according to the forecasts of the head of Rosnano, Russia will generate 3.5 thousand megawatts of wind power, and 1.5 thousand megawatts of solar power. “These are very serious things. This is a fact measured in tens of billions of rubles, which is already emerging before our eyes,” Chubais said. Earlier, it was reported that Rusnano plans to create two consortia with Russian and international investors to implement projects for the construction of wind power generation in Russia. According to him, Rusnano plans to invest more than 10 billion rubles in wind energy development projects in Russia.