Article - Greenbyte

July 30, 2018 — Data Insights

18 things from 2018 you may have missed in the renewable energy scene

With the first half of the year behind us, it looks like 2018 will be a bright year for the renewable energy industry. Greenbyte has gathered all the latest advancements, numbers and trends in renewables that showcase the bright future of the industry.

Sofia Pyrgioti
Marketing Coordinator, Greenbyte

1. First stage of world’s largest solar park inaugurated in India

The ambitious project includes an installation of solar panels with a capacity of 2 GW, covering an area of 52.61 square kilometers in Karnataka [1] The first phase was completed and inaugurated in March 2018, releasing 600 MW of the vast project.

2. 312,400 units of plug-in vehicles were sold in the first quarter of 2018

The sales of electric cars are 59% higher compared to the first quarter of 2017 [2]. The Chinese are encouraged to purchase electric cars, and as a result sales have risen 142%. Several companies have embarked on an EV journey, with Porsche committing to go 50% electric by 2023.

3. Germany’s renewable energy production in the first 6 months of 2018 sufficed to power the entire country’s households for the whole year

Germany is a renewable energy frontrunner in Europe and worldwide, and the numbers from this year showcase exactly that. E.on reports that a combination of solar, wind, hydro and biomass produced 104 billion KWh from January till June 2018 [3].

4. Renewable energy production accounts for 45% in Spain

In the first half of 2018, 22.6% of renewable energy came from wind, showing a 10% rise from 2017, 16.9% came from hydro, while the Iberian sun accounted for 4.6% of total energy production [4].

5. Wind installations in Europe amount to 4.5 GW

With the capacity to power 4 million households, Europe has installed 4.5 GW in the first half of 2018 [5]. Even though the number is lower than 2017, Europe is still on track when it comes to its ambitious renewable energy goals, with countries like Germany, France, Denmark and the UK leading in terms of installations.

6. TetraPak renewable energy supply reaches 50%

The company proudly announced in July that half of their energy supplies comes from renewable energy sources [6]. The company has several solar installations and renewable energy certificates and has set its renewables target to 100% by 2030.

7. Wind farm construction in the US is over 90 GW

Between April and June 2018, 5.3 GW of new wind capacity were constructed, raising the total number to over 18 GW [7]. Offshore wind farms seem to have a shining moment, with New England leading the market.

8. Renewables surpass nuclear energy by 2.5% in the USA

The EIA April 2018 report showed that renewable energy generation amounted to 22%, as opposed to nuclear energy reaching only 19.5% [8]. For the first three months of 2018, nuclear energy was ahead of renewables by a slight margin.

9. UK goes coal free for 1000 hours

Although the UK coal plants had a busy time during early 2018, it was announced that the country reached a coal free record of 1000 hours, as early as July [9]. The renewable market is going strong in the UK with more than 7.4% generation coming from solar energy.

10. 1600 solar installations and 500 kWh Tesla Powerpack batteries activated in Sydney

The large-scale battery Tesla Powerpack activated this July is not the biggest in Australia, as the 129MWh largest unit in the world unit was installed in South Australia in 2017, but it is the first of this size to be combined with such a solar installation [10]

11. Apple goes 100% renewable

The technology giant announced this April that they reached their 100% renewable energy target and committed to extending that goal to their suppliers as well [11]. Apple currently has 25 operational renewable energy projects with a capacity of 626 MW.

12. California proceeds with 100% renewable bill

On July 3rd, SB100, the bill that will make California go 100% renewable by 2045 passed for voting to the full Assembly [12]. If the bill passes and gets signed by the state’s governor, California will be the second state after Hawaii, to set a 100% renewable energy target.

13. World’s most powerful wind turbine has been installed

The first of the two 8.8 MW wind turbines can now been seen at Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Center in Aberdeen bay [13]. Donald Trump tried to block the installation of the wind turbine, as it would be visible from his international golf club, but the legal battle favored renewable energy.

14. 15 scientists announce the possibility of transmitting solar energy from space

In early 2018, a paper was published, demonstrating how lightweight tile design technology can keep costs down and successfully transfer solar energy from space, where the sun never sets! [14]

15. Facebook retires solar powered drone Aquila, after 4 years of testing

The company was testing a solar-powered drone that would provide internet connectivity since 2014 [15]. The project may have been cancelled, but other companies are picking up the idea of a solar powered drone, such as BAE Systems, who plans to use the technology for 5G and 6G communications, agriculture and border surveillance.

16. First wind project in Saudi Arabia to be awarded in 2018

Saudi Arabia may be the leader in oil exports, but it seems like the country has turned its eye towards renewables, setting a 9.5 GW goal by 2023 [16]. The first utility-scale wind farm is calculated to generate 1.4 TWh and the bids have been placed. The proud owner will be announced in December.

17. Wind farm production hits 12% in the UK

July 1st was a glorious day for the wind industry in the UK, as wind power generation reached a great 12.01%, placing third after CCGT and nuclear [17]. Wind speed and new capacity additions accounted for this incredible number. More days like this!

18. Sweden reached its 2030 renewable energy goals 12 years early

Greenbyte’s homeland is on course to hit its 2030 target by the end of 2018, and multiple wind installations are to thank! It is estimated that by December 2018, 7506 MW of wind capacity will be installed in Sweden [18].

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