The Middle East, Caribbean, and Oceania account for 283 billion cubic meters of freshwater demand, and solar- and wave-powered desalination can be the low-cost solution, according to Lux Research. Desalination — converting sea water into fresh water — will grow at 8 percent annually to 140 million cubic meters daily in 2020, Lux predicts, reflecting soaring demand in some parts of the world and growing viability of renewable energy technologies.
The success of solar plus storage is defining the growth potential of renewable energy. Solar plus storage is a key necessity for solar to overcome limitations like intermittency and the lack of power after dark.In fact, Lux Research predicts that distributed storage for solar systems will be worth $8 billion in 2026, as solar combines with storage to continue its remarkable growth.
The automotive industry, like the power sector, is under intense pressure to lower emissions and increase efficiency. What will this mean for electric vehicles? Over the next decade, auto manufacturers will need to meet aggressive fuel efficiency targets — 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) in the U.S. 95 grams of carbon dioxide emission per kilometer in Europe. While advanced technologies like all-electric vehicles, super-light carbon fiber composites, and hydrogen fuel cells will all be available, Lux Research predicts that micro-hybrids will provide the most economical route to meeting 2025 targets.
More and more companies are realizing the importance of tracking, reporting, and meeting corporate sustainability goals, according to Lux Research, driven by a combination of consumer desires, retailer demands, and greater concern for resource scarcity and productivity.
Lux warns that much of the “low-hanging fruit” has been picked, so further improvements will rely on sophisticated tools like emerging big data and geospatial analytics, to help companies make more informed decisions about sustainability goals.
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have become the dominant technology in grid storage, accounting for 90 percent of systems proposed in 2014, according to Lux Research.
Molten salt batteries still account for a majority of installations by energy capacity, because of NGK Insulators’ early lead, but are no longer the technology of choice, Lux contends.
The global solar industry is predicted grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3 percent — from 37.5 GW in 2013 to 65.6 GW in 2019, according to Lux Research. China will lead the growth, but Lux warns that emerging trade disputes and global policies could cast a shadow over short-term prospects.
Energy storage, driven largely by electronics and plug-in vehicles, will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8 percent to $50 billion in 2020 — with dramatic shifts coming from the transportation industry — according to Lux Research.
My friends at Lux Research last month released a report titled “Cloudy with a Chance of Energy: Evaluating Technologies to Manage Grid Intermittency.”
Since many are turning to manufactured energy-storage devices like batteries, supercapacitors and flywheels to improve grid stability — and the PR summary said, “To minimize curtailment, utilities will have to install enough grid storage to capture and shift at least 0.5% of the total electricity generated over the course of the year” — I was like a kid on Christmas morning when my copy arrived.
As renewables like wind and solar approach 30% grid penetration, operators will need to increase the flexibility of their grids using natural gas generation, manage up to 2% of their peak loads with automated demand response (AutoDR), and employ energy storage for at least 0.5% of the annual electricity generated to avoid renewables curtailment and outages, according to Lux Research.
Last month Lux Research released a bottom-up evaluation of the cost effectiveness of eight energy storage technologies in six grid-scale applications throughout 44 countries, including all 50 U.S. states. Their report titled “Grid Storage under the Microscope: Using Local Knowledge to Forecast Global Demand” predicts that annual global demand for grid-scale energy storage will reach an astounding 185.4 gigawatt-hours (GWh) by 2017 and represent a $113.5 billion incremental revenue opportunity for an industry that currently generates sales of $50 to $60 billion a year.