The world is witnessing a remarkable shift in the way we produce and consume energy. Solar and wind power, once considered niche and expensive sources of electricity, are now becoming mainstream and affordable options for meeting the growing demand for clean and reliable energy.
According to a new report from RMI, a non-profit organization that promotes the energy transition, solar and wind power are expected to supply over a third of all power by 2030, up from 12 percent currently. This is equivalent to generating 12,000 to 14,000 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, which is three to four times higher than the current levels.
This rapid growth of renewable energy is driven by several factors, such as technological innovation, cost reduction, policy support, and consumer preference. The report shows that the cost of solar and wind power has dropped significantly over the past decade, making them more competitive than fossil fuels in most markets. For example, solar and battery costs have decreased by 80 percent between 2012 and 2022, while offshore wind costs are down 73 percent and onshore wind costs are 57 percent.
As a result, renewable energy is not only good for the environment, but also good for the economy. The report estimates that renewable energy will roughly halve in price again by 2030, dropping to as low as £20 per megawatt-hour (MWh) from over £40 per MWh currently. This will create more savings for consumers and businesses, as well as more jobs and opportunities for communities.
Moreover, renewable energy will also enhance the energy security and independence of countries, as they will be less dependent on imported fossil fuels that are subject to price volatility and geopolitical risks. The report projects that fossil fuel demand will be in “steep decline”, decreasing as much as 30 percent by 2030 from the 2022 peak.
The report also highlights the diversity of countries that are embracing renewable energy, beyond the traditional leaders in Europe and China. It cites examples of countries such as Uruguay, Denmark, Lithuania, Namibia, Netherlands, Palestine, Jordan, and Chile that have deployed solar and wind power at “rapid speeds”, demonstrating that “a rapid transition can be achieved across many different contexts”.
The report comes at a critical time when the world is preparing for the COP28 climate summit in November 2023, where countries are expected to update their commitments under the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement is a global pact that aims to limit global warming to well below 2.0 degrees Celsius and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also seeks to strengthen countries’ ability to cope with the impacts of climate change and support them in their efforts.
However, the report warns that the current pledges made by countries are not enough to meet the Paris Agreement goals. It says that the Global Stocktake of the United Nations, a two-year assessment of the progress of the Paris Agreement, is likely to show a major gap between what is needed and what is being done.
The report urges countries to take advantage of the exponential growth of renewable energy technologies and accelerate their deployment in key sectors such as electricity and road transport, which account for more than half of fossil fuel demand. It says that these sectors have reached tipping points in adoption and can pave the way for widespread transformation.
The report concludes that renewable energy is an unstoppable force that will reshape the global energy landscape in the coming years. It calls for more collaboration and innovation among governments, businesses, civil society, and consumers to seize this opportunity and create a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.
Are you considering getting Solar Panels?
If you are a UK homeowner considering installing solar panels, get in touch with us today! The solar energy experts here at NXTGEN Energy will be more than happy to help you on your Solar journey. We are also able to discuss alternative types of green energy products, just in case a solar PV system isn’t suitable for your home! Call us on 01268 928 690 or simply click on the ‘Enquire Now‘ button to fill out our short form, and get connected to a Solar Energy Expert.
Frequently Asked Questions about Solar Panels
The short answer is yes. Solar panels can cut 70% off your energy bills, and that proportion is growing as gas bills rise. No wonder installations have risen by 45% in the last three years, and shot up by 80% in the last year alone. But solar panels are an investment.
1-2 bedroom property, 8 solar panels generating about 2,100 kWh a year.
3 bedroom property, 12 solar panels generating about 3,100 kWh a year.
4-5 bedroom property, 16 solar panels generating about 4,200 kWh a year.
The answer depends on how much you pay for the solar panels, how much your electricity would otherwise cost, how much green energy the panels make from the sunshine you get, and whether you have a battery installed or not. The average payback period for solar PV is coming down and can be about 10 to 20 years depending on your system.
The industry standard for most solar panels’ lifespans is 25 to 30 years. Most reputable manufacturers offer production warranties for 25 years or more. The average break even point for solar panel energy savings occurs six to 10 years after installation.
Whilst there is no hard and fast rule as to how much value solar panels can add to the overall value of your property, suggestions range from 4% to 14% on average and they are certainly unlikely to detract from the value of your home, even if they aren’t the most attractive feature visually.
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