Join us as we discuss 100% Renewable Energy at PVSEC-31

Solar PV is tracking towards deployment of multi-Terawatts per year from the late 2020s. This is strictly necessary if the world is to reach net zero emissions before 2050.

 

The 100% Renewable Energy session will bring world experts together to discuss how solar PV can scale to multi-Terawatts per year deployment in partnership with wind power, regional interconnections and storage technologies to deliver a truly sustainable energy system.

We will explore pathways to supplying all global energy from renewable energy, mostly solar PV and wind. Removal of gas, oil and coal from energy production removes ¾ of global emissions.

We start with a global overview, pointing out that solar & wind already constitute ¾ of the new global generation capacity additions, because they are already the lowest-cost options today. Once electricity is mostly decarbonized then land transport, heating and industry can be electrified. For that, electricity production in developed countries will need to double or triple. Developing countries may increase electricity production by much more than a factor of 5-10.

Solar & wind have to do the heavy lifting to reach zero emissions before 2050. This means that about 100 Terawatts of solar PV and wind will be needed, deployed at a rate of 3-5 Terawatts per year. Fortunately, the low cost of solar and wind (US$20-50/MWh) means that energy prices will not change much as emissions fall rapidly. Can the PV industry take up the challenge? What PV technology will dominate? Are there problems with raw material supply and panel recycling at end of life? Is it just a technology challenge or an infrastructure challenge?

Balancing 50-100% solar and wind is straightforward using strong interstate transmission to smooth out local weather and demand; storage (pumped hydro and batteries); and demand management. Balancing 100% renewables adds about US$25/MWh to the cost of solar and wind energy using today’s technologies and cost.

Where will we place tens of billions of PV panels? – on rooftops, arid regions, waste land, co-located with agriculture or floating on reservoirs and seas? Is there enough space without conflict with agriculture and the environment?

How well do energy planners understand the leadership role of solar PV in eliminating most global greenhouse emissions? Are there signs that national and global organisations are overcoming their scepticism of solar? How will geopolitical balances change, compared to today where most of the fossil fuels resources are in the hand of less than 10 countries in the world?

Speakers are Professor Andrew Blakers from the Australian National University; Dr Thomas Reindl, Deputy CEO of the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore; Dr Pierre Verlinden, who has been at the forefront of PV development for decades; and Dr Marta Victoria from Aarhus University.