Renewables Can Now Self-Sustain: Four notable trends worth keeping an eye on over in 2019

20 Dec, 2018

Renewables Will Become More Self-Sustaining: Subsidies and tax incentives enabled renewables to gain traction with investors while capital cost decreases are making renewables competitive on their own. The overall cost of electricity for renewables will be even more competitive with or without their own subsidies especially if carbon emissions become taxable and increase the cost of thermal power generation relative to renewables.

Technology Will Be Key: Advances in technology are a main driver behind cost decreases for renewables. Increased wind turbine capacity from the same footprint and better efficiency of PV systems are reducing the cost per unit energy generated. Manufacturing cost decreases driven by higher demand and competitive pressures are also helping to cut equipment costs. Battery technologies, in early stage development, are likely to mirror the same cost reduction curve as solar panels as cheaper and more reliable battery systems are developed. This will make battery technologies alongside solar generation a viable and economic alternative to grid-based power.

Slow Power Demand Growth: Demand for power has stagnated in developed markets and is growing in developing markets. Advances in energy efficiency and consumption management have effectively offset organic growth in energy demand in the largest markets, and those trends are not likely to change.

EV Charging Infrastructure Will Need Investment: Electric vehicles are a potentially disruptive technology that could dramatically increase demand for electricity. The main impediments are infrastructure (which is not yet built) and the considerable investment needed ahead of the expected onslaught of EVs.

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