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Renewable Energy Blogs – How to promote renewable energy sources in remote areas Energy policy innovation enables efficient integration of renewable energy into microgrids.

, a series that provides insights, explanations, and analysis on each individual policy we support

Renewable Energy Blogs

Widespread use of renewable energy can replace centralized systems that generate and distribute energy to consumers, opening the door to a more renewable (distributed) approach to energy management. But reducing reliance on diesel and allowing communities to generate their own energy will require removing existing barriers to the deep penetration of renewables into remote diesel microgrids. Governments, utilities, communities and consumers must support the transition from centralized microgrid systems to more distributed energy generation.

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Centralized power generation involves a large infrastructure that supplies energy to consumers within a certain distance from the power source. In contrast, distributed generation uses more flexible generation technologies that are closer to the end user. Most distributed energy sources use renewable energy sources such as wind and solar (often combined with battery storage systems) and are often connected to microgrids operated by utility companies. This distributed power supply is suitable for large-scale and off-grid locations in remote areas.

The main task of the energy industry is to provide consumers with stable and reliable electricity. However, the periodic renewal of renewable energy has affected this work. Without policies governing the use of renewable energy sources, utilities can set whatever integration limits they deem safe and low-risk for their operations. To avoid disruptions, they use conservative approaches that are believed to increase reliability, instead setting limits that allow renewable energy to integrate into the grid. For example, the limits of renewable energy in remote areas are different in the north, but not higher than 20% of the central subsidy.

Smart, integrated energy systems help utilities push the limits of renewable energy efficiency. In this context, smart refers to various technological advances (such as battery storage systems and smart meters) and ways to allow renewable energy to enter the local grid without compromising stability or reliability (such as energy sector integration and regional energy market trading). Examples of these smart integrated energy system projects in Canada include:

Energy sector integration can play an important role in reducing barriers to renewable energy deployment in remote areas. Energy sector integration means strengthening coordination between different energy-consuming sectors – buildings (heating and cooling), transport, industry and electricity – to share energy, thus increasing the penetration of renewable energy and energy security. By focusing on opportunities at the intersection of energy sectors, integrated energy sectors can open the way to deeper decarbonisation of the energy system. Examples of energy sector integration:

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Significant progress in reducing diesel fuel consumption requires shifting the technological boundaries of the traditional passive energy sector to more intelligent and integrated energy systems.

Another emerging approach to increasing renewable energy supply is the use of microgrids in peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), P2P trading increases the integration of renewable energy and offers innovative solutions for better use of energy resources allocated to the local grid. Some examples include:

Progressive policies can unlock the benefits of increasing renewable energy sources. But tensions between local governments and local utilities over reliable and secure energy supplies, and the federal government’s goal of eliminating diesel dependence in northern and remote areas by 2030, will not be resolved anytime soon. Given the large investments and long-term perspectives required for the energy transition, an incomplete description of the long-term effects of both methods may be costly. In order to achieve clear success, it is necessary to include policies with renewable energy constraints in the overall energy policy mix.

Policies to promote the use of renewable energy sources in remote areas should seek to unlock innovation in smart integrated energy systems. A policy requiring utilities to conduct grid impact studies would be useful in testing the effectiveness of trade-offs between grid stability, security, and reducing reliance on diesel. They also make it possible to increase the limits of renewable energy production in accordance with all three objectives. Without due diligence requirements, utilities may continue to take a conservative approach to limiting renewable energy efficiency. Grid impact studies should be available to all communities looking to develop their own clean energy projects. In addition to creating synergies, this approach encourages data transparency, drivers and teams to work together to find viable solutions in an integrated and reliable manner without compromising network security and reliability.

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Finally, within Canada’s strong energy policy, several innovations should emerge that could increase the share of renewable energy in microgrids. Among other objectives, the framework should enable the transition to viable business models to address the risks and opportunities of renewable energy deployment in remote areas.

Next steps: Consider the role of power purchase agreement (PPA) rates and contracts in improving renewable energy projects in remote areas.

Marvin Quitoras is a senior analyst for the Institute’s 2021 Remote Area Renewable Energy Program.

The Institute is committed to maintaining your privacy and protecting the confidentiality of any personal information you may provide to us. We do not sell, share, rent or otherwise transfer your personal information. Read our full Privacy Policy. Investment in renewable energy around the world is entering a new phase, requiring governments and the private sector to rethink the way they develop projects.

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Renewable energy sources such as solar and offshore wind have played an important role in providing energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the past decade. However, global investment in renewable energy has declined over the past two decades. Global investment in renewable energy reached $326.3 billion in 2017 and fell 11.5 percent to $288.9 billion in 2018, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Global investment in renewable energy fell 14 percent in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period. in 2018.

Global investment in renewable energy is clearly slowing. What is causing this downward trend and should we be concerned?

The slowdown in investment growth in renewable energy sources is due to changing market conditions due to the global decline in solar and wind energy prices and the reduction of subsidies in many countries.

On the one hand, the unit cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and offshore wind is falling rapidly. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, the weighted average of global solar PV installation costs was US$4,621/kW in 2010 and US$1,210/kW in 2018, a decrease of 73.8% . Installation costs for offshore wind have fallen from $1,913/kW in 2010 to $1,497/kW, a decrease of nearly 22%.

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In other words, the investment required to install the same level of solar or wind power is small. Although global investment in renewable energy in 2018 fell by 11.5% compared to the previous year, new capacity additions were unchanged in both years at 171 GW. So this is definitely a welcome development that is not a cause for concern.

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On the other hand, the renewable energy market is growing as more solar and wind projects in many countries can be financed on commercial terms through auctions.

According to Energy Intelligence, solar PV will be the cheapest source of electricity by 2030, costing about $0.046/kWh, followed by offshore wind at $0.050/kWh, both $0.096/kWh is much lower than coal power. Against this backdrop, governments around the world have begun implementing feed-in tariffs, implemented during a period when the cost of renewable energy was too high, to ensure a normal return to solar and wind power. investors. .

For example, in response to the rejection of the Chinese people, the Government announced the 2018 Geru subsidy rate and the appropriate limit for the solar subsidy-in Solar subsidy. In this case, China installed 44 GW of solar PV in 2018, a decrease of 17% compared to 2018. There is a learning curve for investors to compete with traditional energy and face market risks, and market forces will eventually deteriorate. wind installations with sustainable financing rather than relying solely on government subsidies.

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Therefore, the decline in investment in renewable energy sources is not a cause for concern in itself. But we should be very concerned that 2018 was the first time since 2001 that new additions to renewable capacity did not increase in a year. According to the International Energy Agency, new capacity additions from renewable energy increased by about 180 gigawatts (GW) in 2018 compared to the previous year. That’s about 60 percent of the average increase needed to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius per year.

Clearly we need to do more. In addition to convenient and consistent policies and procedures, four technical methods should be in place

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