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China’s renewables end year on high note
HVC is a collaboration of 46 shareholding municipalities of Noord-Holland, Flevoland, South Holland and Friesland and six water boards in North Holland, South Holland and Gelderland. For these shareholders,
Article | February 25, 2020
The effect that fossil fuels are having on the climate emergency is driving an international push to use low-carbon sources of energy. At the moment, the best options for producing low-carbon energy on a large scale are wind and solar power. But despite improvements over the last few years to both their performance and cost, a significant problem remains: the wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun doesn’t always shine. A power grid that relies on these fluctuating sources struggles to constantly match supply and demand, and so renewable energy sometimes goes to waste because it’s not produced when needed.
Many discussions abound on how Australia can reach renewable energy targets of 50 per cent and much more. Many experts believe achieving this goal will depend on the availability of a low cost, bulk energy storage infrastructure. Pumped hydro has received much attention in this regard. While technically feasible, bulk storage still requires transmission and distribution infrastructure that is not only costly but will take considerable time to implement. A far simpler and cost effective route is the bottom-up approach of turning each house into an autonomous energy unit. The use of solar panels in homes and small industry has proven to be remarkably successful.
The propagation of artificial intelligence (AI) is making a significant impact on society, changing the way how we work, live, and communicate. AI today is allowing the world to diagnose diseases and develop clinical pathways. It is also being used to match individuals’ skill sets with job openings and create smart traffic that leads to the reduction of pollution. There are many examples of applying AI technologies in the sustainable growth of the planet and organisations. It is time to solve some of the world’s biggest problems with emerging technologies such as AI.
As businesses shut down and many work from home around the world, electricity demand has reduced in COVID-19 hotspots. This could have a knock-on effect for the renewable sector. China, where the outbreak first took hold, is the world’s biggest electricity consumer. Output from factories has been substantially diminished with many unable to return to their jobs in manufacturing. Due to the curtailing of industrial electricity use, cuts in energy consumption for 2020 could be equivalent to the power used by the whole of Chile, according to IHS Markit. In Europe, peak power consumption has also gone down. Italy, Spain, and the UK have all seen an average 10 per cent drop in energy usage with bars, restaurants, offices and factories, which remain closed as social distancing measures continue.
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