Clean energy acquires new heights around the globe, the World goes renewable, as there is global agreement between politicians, spiritual leaders, businesses in all industries and households. Even though renewable energy sector is just emerging in Armenia it is evident that our country is capable to be self-sufficient using only solar, wind and hydro energy instead of gas and nuclear. We keep our eyes on global developments and are happy to share with you main clean energy developments of 2015.
- A Global Agreement
Undoubtedly, the most vital event of 2015 is the Paris Agreement. For the first time in history, high-level representatives from 195 countries gathered and came into an agreement to fight against global warming, by committing to cut carbon emissions significantly. The agreement can be summarized in following key points:
- Keeping the increase in the global average temperature to below 2˚C above pre-industrial levels through the year 2100 and to “endeavor to limit” them to 1.5°C;
- Balancing carbon source and carbon sinks in the second half of this century;
- Reviewing each country’s emissions reduction contribution every five years so that it can be scaled up;
- For rich countries helping poor countries by providing “climate finance” to adapt to climate change.
- “A Moral Equivalent” by Pope Francis
Pope Francis’ comments on climate change raised awareness around the globe. Moreover, Pope released his long awaited Encyclical on the environment, called “Laudato Si (Be Praised), On the Care of Our Common Home”. Pope Francis stated that the world’s richest nations should begin paying their “grave social debt” to poorer nations and initiate specific steps on fighting against climate change. This was a call to all nations and may play a historic role in the policies implemented in the future.
- Significant Studies on Max Renewables and Efficiency & Storage
Many interesting studies concerning Clean Energy have been accomplished. According to one of them, 139 countries could satisfy all of their energy requirements from Renewables. Published in the Scientific American it shows how these nations can generate all energy required for homes, businesses, industry, transportation, etc., by the year of 2050. Armenia is among these countries.
- $329 Billion Investment in Clean Energy
According to Bloomberg, in 2015 the $329 billion was invested in the clean energy sector, which became the highest investment of all-time by beating the last record of $318 billion set in 2011.
- Renewables keep getting cheaper
Another study conducted by BNEF showed that the global average levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for different clean energy technologies reduced in 2015. Thus, the LCOE for offshore wind nudged downwards from $176 per MWh to $174, but it remains more expensive compared to $109 for solar PV and $77 for onshore wind in China.
- Renewables set record contributions
Denmark wind power generated 140% of the counties daily electricity demand. In August 2015, California set a new electricity generation peak record for utility-scale solar energy by hitting 6.391 GWt’s.
- Electric, hydrogen based and autonomous cars on the rise
Nowadays around one quarter of fossil fuel consumption and emitted greenhouse gases originates from the transportation sector. Therefore, the boost in electric mobility is extremely important for the fight against climate change and preserving the environment. The first commercial all-electric, long-range, AWD, full-size SUV has been unveiled. The all-wheel-drive Tesla Model S P85D sedan earned a top road score by Consumer Reports which in fact it broke their rating system record. Another notable event in the car industry during 2015 was the introduction of Toyota Mirai, which is one of the first hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles to be sold commercially. Meanwhile, Google has conducted extensive testing of its electric, fully self-driven car outside California and plans to introduce self-driven cars to the public by .