Variable renewable energy technologies to contribute 60 per cent in power generation by 2050: IRENA

The share of variable renewable energy (VRE) technologies – mainly solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind power — in power generation can increase from 4.5 per cent in 2015 to around 60 per cent by 2050, according to a report by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

It said electricity storage could play a key role in facilitating the next stage of energy transition by enabling higher share of variable renewable energy (VRE) in power systems, accelerating off-grid electrification and indirectly decarbonising the transport sector.

However, the system value of storage is often poorly accounted for in electricity markets, resulting in sub-optimal deployment of electricity storage. Based on recent analysis by IRENA, the share of renewables in global power generation is expected to grow from 25 per cent today to 86 per cent in 2050.

The rapid expansion of renewable resources prompts the need for a more flexible energy system to ensure that variable resources can be integrated into the power system reliably and effectively. Traditionally, flexibility has been provided by conventional thermal generation with high ramping capabilities, low minimum loads and short start-up times, such as open cycle gas turbines.

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