Rystad Energy Explores Global Renewable Sector Outlook

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With climate change calling for the transition to cleaner sources of fuel, renewable energy technologies have become the go-to developments undertaken by countries worldwide. For countries in North America, Europe and Asia, renewable deployment has been accelerated, with Rystad Energy – Energy Capital & Power’s knowledge partner – investigating the outlook of these sustainable energy sources in a webinar held on May 25.

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The webinar provided a renewable energy outlook for North America, Europe and Asia, analyzing the short, medium and long-term outlooks as well as barriers to growth. Moderated by Francesca Bjørnfaten, Senior Client Analyst, speakers included Jun Yee Chew, Senior Analyst, Renewables Research; Victor Signes, Analyst, Renewable Research; Geoffrey Hebertson, Analyst, Renewables Research.

North America Pursues Large-Scale Renewable Adoption

With high renewable energy potential, states across North America are looking at deploying small- to large-scale renewable energy projects, particularly regarding solar and wind.

According to Hebertson, “We expect about a 14-15% growth per annum of installed capacity in solar. Wind will also play a huge role, particularly offshore wind. We also expect more auctions to be going around the entire US. In addition, storage has the highest growth rate, and we expect 15-16% growth per annum.”

“In order to meet high-capacity targets, projects need to be bigger and better. For onshore wind in 2022, we expect about 60% projects will be 300MW and above, solar is following the same trend. Batteries are following a similar trend and now we are starting to see 6MW and more. Batteries will play a crucial role in the build out of renewables in the US.”

Europe Has Put in Place the Fundamentals for Renewable Energy Development

Europe has put in place ambitious renewable energy programs, established with the goal of achieving net zero emissions.

Specifically, Signes explained that “Based on our forecast, we expect Europe to reach an installed capacity of 1,210 GW by 2030. Solar PV is going to be huge by 2030. We can also talk about offshore wind which will be in the renewable landscape in the next decade.”

Across the continent, countries are looking at ramping up associated investment and development in these emerging sectors, to which Signes expects “huge growth, particularly in the UK, Germany and Norway. We expect 40 GW of hydrogen on the grid. We expect Germany to be on the top but also France, the UK and Italy.”

“The cheapest form of electricity is solar PV and wind. If we want to achieve our targets, power demand that needs to be replaced by renewables is high. This illustrates how tough it will be for Europe to cut its reliance. We have countries adapting their targets based on the current unprecedented situation. We have Germany, the UK – who adapted their solar target from 40 to 50 GW – and Norway – who recently announced a new offshore wind target of 40 GW by 2030. Are we on track to reach these targets? Today, we need to increase the pace and overtake in terms of installation,” Signes continued.“Europe is depending a lot on China for the import of solar PV modules. If Europe meets difficulties in importing, it will have a significant impact on the development of projects in the short term. However, we can look at auctions which has a direct impact on the outlook. In Europe in 2022, we expect a lot of capacity to be awarded with auctions. Secondly, we need to look at the permitting system. So far the permitting system has been way too complex and the main barrier for renewable energy development due to the rules and processes that are way too slow. The good news is that most countries are addressing this issue.”

How Important is Energy Security for Asian Policy Makers?

Meanwhile, in Asia, Chew provided insight into the countries leading renewable energy development, with key primary takeaways being emphasized.

“Firstly, we expect the renewable capacity addition to continue to rise in the long term despite increasing costs for energy security and affordability. Secondly, Philippines PEP, GEAP and offshore wind roadmap is the right step to sustainable and affordable renewables development. Finally, Vietnam’s new PDP 8 will guide the growth of renewable assets especially in wind and transmission grids. However, Vietnam’s future renewables success depends on auction mechanisms and direct PPA schemes,” stated Chew.

In Asia, two predominant areas of focus are taking the spotlight: energy security and/or sustainability.

According to Chew, “[he] always likes to think of the energy landscape in terms of the energy trilemma context. What are the key drivers that inform energy strategy? China and Singapore will be focused on energy security while the energy rich countries such as Malaysia will be more focused on sustainability.”

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Charné Hollands

Charné Hollands

Charné Hollands is the Deputy Editor at Energy Capital & Power. She holds a Higher Certificate in Professional Photography and Masters in Media Studies from the University of Cape Town. Charné writes content for ECP's website and events as well as co-authored African Energy Chamber: Road to Recovery.

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