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Technology breakthroughs are lowering the cost of renewable energies while low-voltage direct current systems (LVDC) are being tested by experts both in the developed and developing world.
Many countries around the world are working towards producing more power from and increasing the amount of renewables to be integrated into national energy supplies.
The global transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is well under way, with record new additions of installed renewable energy capacity, thanks in part to rapidly falling costs, particularly for solar PV and wind power.
According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Renewables Market Report series for 2017, renewables accounted for almost two-thirds of net new power capacity around the world in 2016, thanks to a strong solar PV market. The Report forecasts that though coal will still be the largest source of electricity generation, renewables are expected to halve the gap down to 17% by 2022.
By 2030, total installed PV capacity could range between 1 760 gigawatts (GW) and 2 500 GW. However, if market growth is to remain sustainable, the technology must be enhanced, and the risk for investors, policy makers and consumers reduced, according to a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The leading renewable source for electricity generation globally is hydropower. In 2016, it generated 16.4% of the world's electricity, reaching 1,064 GW of installed capacity, and supplied 71% of all renewable electricity, according to a report by the World Energy Council.
A number of low voltage direct current (LVDC) trials are preparing the ground for a wider use of the technology, both in developed and developing countries.
The demand for energy is growing fast, for electricity even faster. To meet the needs of over 9 billion people by 2050, energy production will have to double while at the same time greenhouse gas emissions will have to be drastically reduced. This can only be achieved through a transition from a carbon-based economy towards a sustainable and efficient energy model that is accessible to all on the planet.
In 2015, global generation of electricity was 24 255 TWh. Hydropower accounted for around 16% of the total, making it the main renewable energy (RE) source for electricity generation. It will also play a key role in the future integration of power generated by new RE sources and in balancing its impact on the grid.
Established in 2014, IECRE, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications, is the newest of the IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems.
Energy efficiency (EE) is the most important and easily available source of energy; it can be collected along the entire energy chain, from generation, transmission and storage to final use in industry, homes or transportation. IEC standardization and conformity assessment (CA) work are central to electrical EE at all levels.
Among these, in 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a dedicated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on Sustainable Energy for All (SDG 7), while the year ended in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, where 195 countries agreed to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius
What is the future for cars, buses and trucks? Manufacturers are competing to stay relevant in the years ahead. The IEC is also paving the way with a number of forward-looking Standards.
Today, a number of different technologies are being developed to extract energy from oceans, such as tidal, river and ocean current and wave power. Though only a few large-scale systems currently operate, several are being demonstrated in Asia, Europe and North America.
Power failure recovery is a key task for governments, hospitals and private businesses to get to grips with if they want to reduce the disruption caused by power outages resulting from natural disasters. Smart and microgrids are one of the solutions and the IEC is leading the way with the appropriate Standards.
Energy in itself is not smart. What makes it smart then? The numerous technological advances that allow companies and household to use energy more efficiently.
Energy efficiency represents the biggest source of untapped energy in the world and, by helping slowing down final energy consumption, one of the main contributors in the reduction of noxious gases emissions. Improved electrical energy efficiency is made possible by standardization work performed by many IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and starts with electricity generation, distribution and storage.
Developed with the participation of industry players, including equipment manufacturers, power producers, insurance companies, test laboratories and certifying bodies, IECRE, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications, streamlines a complex process and benefits not only the wind, but other renewable energy industries such as solar and marine.
Traditionally, women have not been encouraged to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). As a result, a low number has made it into this field. Standards are meant to improve the safety and quality of products and services used by everyone. However, to achieve this, they must include the significant physiological differences between men and women and their potential impact in daily situations.
Renewable Energy (RE) plays an increasingly important role in providing global populations with clean, affordable, sustainable energy. RE production and use continues to increase thanks to the falling cost of equipment and installation.
During the United Nations Climate Convention – 2015 Paris COP 21, it was recognized that renewable energy (RE) is a key part of the answer to achieving sustainable development and reducing the impact of climate change. Global electricity networks must adapt and include RE technologies.
Over the last five years, the cost of renewable power generation technologies has dropped while the technology has improved. Biomass for power, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind can all now provide electricity competitively compared to fossil fuel-fired power generation, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Energy is the life-blood of developed and developing economies. IEC work helps enable broad access to sustainable energy and directly supports UN Sustainable Development Goals. It does so by providing universally accessible technical know-how and expertise in the form of International Standards. With them countries are able to build safer, more affordable infrastructure that is easier to maintain. To be even closer to Africa, the IEC has now opened a Regional Centre for Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.
Global energy needs are increasing constantly and with the diminishing supply of fossil fuels and rising environmental and safety concerns, renewables are likely to occupy a growing share of the future energy mix. Through its standardization and conformity assessment (CA) work, the IEC is promoting the development of renewable sources for electricity production.
The IEC, which has been at the forefront of international standardization in the wind, solar and marine energy fields for many years, has now gone a step further and launched IECRE, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications.
The ever increasing demand for electricity and the need to reduce the share of fossil fuels in power generation have led to rapid development and growth of the RE (renewable energy) sector. The IEC, which has been at the forefront of international standardization in the wind, solar and marine energy fields for many years, has now gone a step further and launched IECRE, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications.
With global energy demand forecast to increase by 33% between now and 2025, the IEC co-hosted a workshop on International Standards in support of energy efficiency and renewable energy policies in Paris on 13 March 2014.