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"Faster Thank You Think: The Renewable Energy Revolution and Developing Countries"


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Channing Arndt
Faster than you think: Renewable Energy and Developing Countries
JUN 13, 2019 - 09:30 AM TO 10:30 AM EDT

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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"Faster Thank You Think: The Renewable Energy Revolution and Developing Countries"

  1. 1. Presented by Channing Arndt, Director Environment and Production Technology Division International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) June 13, 2019 Faster Than You Think: The Renewable Energy Revolution and Developing Countries
  2. 2. Reference ▪ “Faster than you think: The renewable energy revolution and developing countries.” Annual Review of Resource Economics 2019: 11(17): 1-20. ▪ Co-authors o Doug Arent. Scientific Computing and Energy Analysis; National Renewable Energy Laboratory. USA. o Faaiqa Hartley and Bruno Merven. Energy Systems, Economics and Policy Group; University of Cape Town. South Africa. o Alam Hossain Mondal. Department of Electrical Engineering, Daffodil International University. Bangladesh.
  3. 3. 2009: Pulling for clean energy
  4. 4. Internal Projections of Electricity Supply for South Africa developed around 2010 (standard least cost)
  5. 5. United States Monthly Coal Use Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. Electronic data from April 2018 Monthly Energy Review accessed on May 18, 2018.
  6. 6. United States Coal Use Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. Electronic data from April 2018 Monthly Energy Review accessed February 2019.
  7. 7. Global Perspectives
  8. 8. 1) Faster than you think Source: EIA. Annual Energy Outlook. Washington D.C.: U.S. Energy Information Administration. 2008-2009, 2010-2017. AEO 2010 AEO 2012 AEO 2014 AEO 2015 AEO 2016 AEO 2017 Actual 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 United States: Actual and Projected Utility-Scale Photovoltaic capacity, 2005-2030 (GW)
  9. 9. NREL: Updated Solar Generation Costs
  10. 10. Levelized cost comparisons (2018) - Lazard
  11. 11. Cost of Renewable Electricity at Auctions
  12. 12. Global Response in Power Generation ▪ Global investment in renewable energy in 2017 reached $279.8 billion. Source:
  13. 13. Global CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuels by Sector
  14. 14. ▪ Global emissions from 2014-17 grew in total by 1.6%. ▪ This substantial slowing in emissions is historic in that it is not coupled with the GDP trend, as cumulative global GDP grew by almost 9 percent. ▪ The reduction is associated with “a more structural change with a shift away from carbon-intensive activities, particularly in China but also in the United States (p. 12).” Source: Observations on global emissions from fossil fuels
  15. 15. Summary ▪ Rapid rates of technical of advance • Solar • Wind • Systems integration ▪ Cost levels of renewables, especially solar and wind, are clearly in competitive ranges. • Continued technical advance, which is expected, will place more renewables as least cost (subject to systems integration). ▪ Renewable generation share is becoming significant • Implications of the next two doublings of renewable power share much more profound than the previous two doublings.
  16. 16. Systems integration at center stage ▪ Wind power generation is highly variable on a turbine by turbine basis. ▪ Solar PV is not available at night and is strongly reduced with clouds. ▪ Systems integration matches supply with demand • Dispatchable supply • Demand management • Storage/Batteries
  17. 17. Seasonal variation in wind power output: USA Northern Midwest Source: J. Jenkins, unpublished dissertation.
  18. 18. Wind Machines – Scale, Capacity Factor Increasing, Manufacturing Costs Declining Off shore:
  19. 19. NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LABORATORY 19 Wind Energy Potential Increasing to More Places 80m Hub Height 2008 Turbine Technology 110m Hub Height 2014 Turbine Technology 140m Hub Height Turbine Technology
  20. 20. Offshore: GE Haliade-X 12 MW
  21. 21. Global looking forward ▪ Variable renewable sources are highly likely to represent rapidly increasing shares of electricity generation. ▪ Those best able to profit from this energy revolution will have: • Endowments in renewable resources, notably solar and wind, but also complementary dispatchable resources including hydropower. • Needs for distributed power. • The ability to systems integrate.
  22. 22. Perspectives on African Energy Futures
  23. 23. The energy revolution and Africa Those who will profit most are likely to have: 1. Endowments in renewable sources, notably solar and wind, but also hydropower. 2. Needs for distributed power. 3. The ability to systems integrate. Broadly, good news for Africa
  24. 24. South Africa Case
  25. 25. Source: Solar GIS, 2017 Worst possible sites in South Africa yield more than the best in Germany! Source: South Africa has extensive and consistent solar resources
  26. 26. …and wind resources Source:
  27. 27. RSA: Variable Renewable Energy Shares (least cost)
  28. 28. Internal Projections of Electricity Supply for South Africa developed around 2010
  29. 29. Serious Transition Issues ▪ In South Africa (and almost everywhere else), institutions are designed to burn fossil fuels and transmit power, often via state-owned monopolies or a tightly regulated private sector. ▪ A decade ago, some optimism existed that carbon capture and storage technologies would allow this structure to persist. ▪ But, this has not happened. ▪ Instead, a new paradigm reliant on variable renewable energy (VRE) is emerging.
  30. 30. Installed electricity capacity Electricity price by component price of electricity is 14% higher in 2050 – VRE replaced by nuclear and coal Constraining VRE (keep VRE out) raises the costs of power generation
  31. 31. -500 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050 differenceinemployment('000s) %differenceinrealGDP GDP (conservative) Employment (conservative) Real GDP and employment Real GDP and employment are higher when renewables are unconstrained
  32. 32. Large Opportunities and Challenges ▪ Rural electrification • Genuine potential exists to extend access to electricity to the nearly one billion people who lack it by 2030. • But, it won’t happen by itself • See IFPRI’s 2019 Global Food Policy Report ▪ Energy and development • Clear capability to develop clean, reliable, and low cost systems, particularly in developing countries. • But, must develop the ability to systems integrate. • And confront entrenched interests and habits in the power sector as well as design and implement ‘a just transition’ from coal and other affected industries.
  33. 33. Forward Thinking Questions ▪ What policies, programs, and institutions are required to realize the enormous potential for rural electrification? ▪ What are some potential downstream consequences to rapid rural electrification? • Women’s empowerment? • Large scale solar pumping and groundwater resources? ▪ How to deploy hydropower in a VRE dominated system? ▪ How should grid build plans and rural electrification strategies interact? ▪ What are the benefits of modularity of VRE systems? ▪ What institutions and regulatory framework are best suited to handling substantial VRE dependence?