Renewables 24/7

Publication - February 4, 2010
Smart grid or super grid, decentralized or centralized renewable power plants? The discussion about the future of our power supply is running hot, and high-tech visions are everywhere.

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Executive summary: The global solar and wind markets have continued to grow despite the economic crisis. So as more and more renewable power generation comes online, a question arises: How do we transport and integrate renewable energy sources into existing power grids? Will the lights go out if the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining? Do we still need coal or nuclear power to provide base-load and back-up for wind and solar power?

The time to build up our climate-friendly infrastructure – comprising networked smart grids and district heating pipelines – is now. The window of opportunity is available for industrialized countries as well as developing countries. While the industrialized nations in North America, Europe, and Australia have to reinforce their 40- and 50-year old grids, developing countries – especially China and India – are in the process of building theirs for the first time.

Num. pages: 76