Will Green Sources still urpass fossil fuels?

Published on Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Green sources have surpassed fossil fuels as regards new installed capacity, a trend inversion that began in 2013, when the former beat the latter by 143GW to 141GW. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance this tendency is set to grow exponentially up to 2030, when the capacity of renewable sources, led by solar and wind power, will quadruple that of gas, coal and oil put together.

"The electricity system is shifting to clean", said Bloomberg New Energy Finance founder Michael Liebreich, who underlined that "despite the reduction in oil and gas prices there is going to be a substantial buildout of renewable energy that is likely to be an order of magnitude larger than the buildout of coal and gas". An increasing number of analysts in this industry, when discussing the inverted predominance in the energy mix between traditional and renewable sources, no longer wonder 'whether' it will take place but 'when'. This interpretation is also supported by data on the ratio between global GNP and CO2 emissions in the energy sector in 2014 when, for the first time in forty years, the former grew by 3 percent without any increase in the latter, which remained at 2013 levels (32.3 billion tonnes).

Investments, technology and political choices are the three elements on which the new sustainable balance between renewable sources and fossil fuels is based. Also including progress made in energy efficiency, which brings together energy companies, consumers and resource productivity, especially of traditional fuels.

An increasingly low-carbon global energy mix actually does not only depend on sources but also on giving growing prevalence to more sustainable energy vectors, developing increasingly efficient infrastructure and distribution instruments and innovating the technology and business models of the entire energy industry.

Enel continues its wide-ranging development of production technologies, causing renewable energy to grow in terms of efficiency, installed capacity and competitiveness, as shown by EGP's increasing number of wind and solar power plants in Latin America and Africa. This way it is also achieving the optimisation of fossil fuels in terms of environmental and economic sustainability, as witnessed by the Futur-E project in Italy, modernization investments and measures aimed to improve the efficiency of thermal power plants, from the Iberian Peninsula to Russia, Italy and Latin America.

Taking action simultaneously regarding renewable and traditional sources is not the only way in which the Group is following the path of transformation that has involved the whole energy sector. Grid automation and digitalisation, the integration of distributed generation, energy storage technologies, active consumption and domotics, as well as electric mobility and Big Data are all fields for action to which the Strategic Plan for the ingoing five-year period allocates investments and projects, based on the awareness that the new balance between generation sources will have stable and sustainable grounds only through the suitable development of the entire industry along all supply chain segments.