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Renewable, digital, decentralized: the future of energy supply

We are pleased to bring you our PES preview of Intersolar Europe 2019, the first major Solar/PV event of the year, which will take place in Munich from the 15th to 17th May. The global photovoltaic (PV) market continues to grow. According to analysts from IHS Markit, newly installed PV capacity is set to rise by 18% to 123 gigawatts in 2019, with two thirds of this capacity located outside of China.

The new installations are expected to be more widely distributed geographically, with demand growing by more than 20% compared with 2018 in 45 countries. The London-based analysts predict that Egypt, Argentina, Spain, South Africa and Vietnam alone will account for 7% of the global capacity added in 2019.

Hybrid power plants, which see photovoltaics, wind power and other renewable energies being paired with a storage system, are on the rise. The world’s largest PV/wind hybrid power plant, a 160megawatt (MW) system, is currently being developed in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. Photovoltaics will contribute 120MW of energy, with wind power producing another 40MW. The system is completed by a battery with a storage capacity of 40MW.

In Andhra Pradesh alone, combined PV/wind power plants with a capacity of 3gigawatts are due to be built by 2022. And Europe is also sending out positive signals. The 2018 decision to end the minimum import price for photovoltaic products manufactured in China, Malaysia and Taiwan has made solar energy more affordable in many EU countries.

In addition, Spain has abolished the ‘sun tax’ previously collected on PV self-consumption, which provides fresh impetus for decentralized systems. And the Spanish government recently announced ambitious plans for the future that will see the country switch over to 100 percent renewables by 2050.

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