COP 21: Renewables-plus-storage can help developing world decarbonise, faces challenges

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
In some rural parts of Sub-Sahran Africa, around 85% of the population lacks basic access to electricity. Image: wikimedia, user: BanYan Tree.

Renewables with energy storage can help build low carbon energy networks in the developing world – but the twin technologies still face competition from natural gas while they gradually mature, according to an electric power systems maker and integrator.

Cleverson Takiguchi, of S&C Electric, a US-headquartered company which has worked in areas including storage integration, renewables interconnection to the grid and mircro grids, told PV Tech Storage yesterday that micro grids can increase access to electricity in economically poorer parts of the world, including some 400 million people on the African continent that have little to no access to electricity at all.

Brazilian Takiguchi, who is moving from a role as business development director for S&C’s operations in Africa to represent the company in sales in the EMEA regions, has over 20 years’ experience in the industry.

He said that there has been strong interest in Africa, especially in South Africa and in Latin America and the company has built a number of pilot projects to prove that energy storage, solar and micro grids can reliably serve a useful purpose.

Some of the parameters being examined in these pilot projects include, Takiguchi said, finding out how various types of batteries react to the desert-like climate of northern South Africa, and the possibility of providing multiple grid services through energy storage facilities.

Going forward, he said, there could be opportunities in a number of areas such as data centres, while he also mentioned that so far he sees flow batteries as a “very promising” technology for applications in both regions due to the low degradation the batteries suffer even from prolonged and intensive use.

PV Tech Storage asked if, with the intergovernmental COP21 talks on climate change just a short time away in Paris, renewables-plus-storage offered a good hope for building lower carbon energy networks. Takiguchi said that it did, but still faced competition – although this too could be an opportunity.

“Of course the opportunity [to lower carbon emissions] will be to use energy storage as an enabler for renewables interconnection, but then, of course, it will still face competition with lower carbon emissions type of generation like gas.

“Gas, it is clear has much less emissions than the traditional coal-fired power plants. But this is still a very strong competition against renewables-plus-storage, so that’s where the opportunity lies.”

Winning that competition with gas over time therefore, is a feasible aim, Takiguchi said, but the drawback is that investors and other sources of funding have had many years to familiarise themselves with gas and less time to think about newer technologies like solar with batteries. It would, however, take time.

“The big challenge of course is that gas turbine is a well known technology, big track record so when you compare that with a solar plant, wind farm with energy storage, not all investors will look at it the same way as if you had, let’s say, a 1MW gas turbine and a 1MW solar PV or wind in combination with storage, they may not look the same. So this is where I say technology maturity will play its role.

“I’d say that competition, between lower carbon generation versus renewables-plus-storage is something that will be in the market for some years, at least until the technology gets more mature,” Takiguchi said.

For the full version of this story, including further insights on Africa from Off Grid Electric and DBL Partners, visit PV Tech Storage.

19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?
26 August 2021
In this webinar, JA Solar will present its product portfolio based on the latest technologies to improve your PV projects, ensuring maximum reliability and performance. During the webinar we will receive insight from JA Solar about its solar technology roadmap and how the manufacturer is providing customers with innovative solutions to suit their needs, while we will also analyse how to determine the best product solution for each solar project.
6 September 2021
The 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will be held online from 6 - 10 September 2021, allowing PV experts from all around the globe to participate with just one click! The EU PVSEC is the world's leading forum for PV Research and Development and the biggest Conference on PV Solar Energy worldwide. That is why PV experts from all around the globe are keen on gathering together each year to be part of this specialist’s event, to present and discuss the latest developments in Photovoltaics, to network and to conduct business.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
July 30, 2021
Not only will solar be the dominant source of new power generation in Europe by 2025, cementing its position as the third largest market for solar globally, but the continent has placed the asset class at the very heart of its COVID-19 recovery strategy. As part of a week-long special report on PV Tech Premium, Liam Stoker, Edith Hancock and Jules Scully explore the drivers for solar in Europe, the key markets and the challenges that remain.
July 30, 2021
First Solar has unveiled plans to construct a 3.3GWdc module assembly facility in India, bolstering its manufacturing footprint outside of the US.
July 30, 2021
Anglo-Australian mining company BHP, in partnership with Canada’s TransAlta Renewables, is to build two solar farms and a battery storage system to help power its Mt Keith and Leinster nickel mines in Western Australia
July 30, 2021
German energy giant RWE has upgraded its earnings forecast for 2021 after “exceptionally positive” earnings trend
July 29, 2021
Tracker and racking provider Arctech has delivered SkySmart II tracking system to a 575MW agriculture-sharing solar project located in Nangong City, Hebei Province, China.
July 29, 2021
Unigreen Energy, owned by Hevel majority shareholder Ream Management LLC, has broken ground on a wafer and cell manufacturing plant that will produce 1.3GW of silicon n-type monocrystalline ingots and wafers as well as 1GW of heterojunction technology (HJT) solar cells.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK