Rystad Energy: Residential sector becoming the locomotive of solar power
Global growth of installed capacity of solar panels at year-end 2021 will for the first time be greater than in the industrial or service sectors, Rystad Energy reports in its latest review.

Total capacity additions in the residential sector will climb from 18.9 GW in 2020 to 25.2 GW in 2021 – while the other sectors will see additions decline from 20.6 GW to 19.9 GW.

   And a slowdown in additional capacity will be noted in wind power – 40 GW by the end of 2021.

   One of the reasons behind this is China’s decision to phase out subsidies for renewable energy – that will bring down the world-wide rise in capacity of onshore wind farms from 105 GW to 85 GW in 2021 and 70 GW in 2022.

     That trend, Rystad said, will reverse in 2023,  when climate issues will start to spur demand for renewable resources in order to keep the rise in temperature to within 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era.

    The fastest-growing segment of renewables will be in electrolysis capacity which will climb from 40 MW in 2020 to 800 MW in 2021. The rise may even quicken in the next few years, given that in the first 11 months of 2021, a total of 245 GW in electrolysis projects were announced – six times greater than a year earlier .

    This development will also lead to an increase in the overall capacity of renewable energy sources- from 4.7 % in 2021 to 18.9 % in 2022.

    Rystad Energy’s findings partly coincide with the assessment of the International Energy Agency (IEA)  that world-wide investment in renewables power generation will rise by 2.2 % compared to 2020 (to $367 billion).

     The effect of a low baseline will produce an even sharper increase in investment in renewables (+29 % to $7.1 billion) and in carbon dioxide capture, storage and transport technologies (259% to $600 million). The share of investment in clean Energy, according to the IEA, will reach 40.7 % in 2021. By way of comparison, in 2015, it totalled 30.4 %.

    The popularity of investing in storage devices is linked to a great extent, to an attempt to overcome one they key weakness of renewable resources – their dependence on  weather conditions. 

    The load factor for onshore wind farms in Great Britain fell from 32.6 % in the first quarter of 3921 to 17.2 % in the second quarter snd 13.2 % in the third quarter. For offshore farms, it declined from 49.9 % to 26.9% to 25.6% respectively.

    The load for solar panels over the same period never exceeded 16.3 %, according to figures from Britain’s Office for National Statistics.

    As a result, output from Britain’s onshore wind facilities declined by 24 % over the first three quarters of 3921 (to 19,4 TWh) and its offshore wind farms and solar panels by 18 % (to 23.5 TWh) and 10 % (to 10.7 TWh).


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December 2021