2017 proved to be an exciting year in energy but rather than telling you about why the oil price went up and why renewables are booming we decided to put down on paper some interesting statistics and facts around solar, wind, energy storage, mobility, yesteryear’s industry and pollution.
China installs more solar in a single year than the United States has achieved cumulatively to date
- China installed more than 50GW of new solar in 2017, compared with a total installed base of 50GW in the United States!
Record low renewable energy prices
- Solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) reached a low of USD17/MWh in Mexico. Similarly low prices were seen in Chile and in the Gulf. In India, Solar PPAs fell from USD70/MWh at the beginning of 2016 to less than USD40/MWh by the end of 2017.
Wind share price shock
- Despite booming stock markets in general, the shares prices of major wind power manufacturers all fell: Vestas fell 10% through 2017, Senvion fell 17%, SiemensGamesa was down 45% and Nordex dropped a whopping 56%.
- We’ve witnessed PPA levels crash all over the wind spectrum. Offshore Wind is now subsidy-free in the Netherlands, and fell to about EUR60/MWh elsewhere in the North Sea. Onshore wind is less than EUR40/MWh in Argentina and Germany, is at merchant prices in the low EUR30/MWh in Scandinavia, and USD30/MWh in Alberta, Canada!
Numbers up, Prices down, Fastest response times
- Utility Storage is now a reality, with major achievements by Tesla in California, Hawai and South Australia – over 1.4GW of new storage were commissioned last year
- USD600k per MW is the lowest installed cost for a 1MW/1MWh storage project, down 15% on 2016.
- 0.14 seconds – that was the time it took Hornsdale Tesla Battery to rescue the South Australian grid, after an unexpected outage at a coal power plant.
Digitalisation of Energy
Number of power producers in Germany
- Some 1.5m homes in Germany are producing their own electricity
Bitcoin energy usage
- Annual demand for electricity for Bitcoin ‘mining’ is estimated to be 37TWh of electricity; that is more than whole countries such as Ireland or Denmark consume in a year
Electricity usage for new smart phones
- New smart phones used around 6TWh of electricity, equivalent to the power needs of a city such as Dublin.
- That calculation is based on 1.6bn phone sales in 2017, and assuming that each one uses 4kWh of electricity annually, which costs less than one dollar per year across most of the world
Record sales of EVs
- More than 1m EVs were sold in 2017, up 40% year on year
- China achieved 40% global market share
- The town of Shenzen (12m inhabitants) has more than 16,000 Electric Buses
Automobile fuel consumption standards
- Official stats for Gerard Reid’s BMW 225XE is for fuel consumption under optimal driving conditions of 2.1 litres per 100km, or 141.2mpg based on the EU’s Combined Cycle test. Obviously, he is not very “optimised” as he has managed to only achieve 3x that at 6 litres per 100 km over the last year of driving.
Despite all the hiccups and cash burning, investors still love Tesla
- Tesla’s share price rose by 40% over the course of 2017
- Tesla’s market capitalization is now higher than Ford and Fiat Chrysler, at USD52bn
GE Market Cap down 45% in 2017
- Large gas turbines manufacturers simply cannot sell turbines in gas-importing countries, as the cost of imported fuel (above USD6/mmbtu of LNG, if not more) becomes more expensive than both solar and wind. To make matters worse, so called gas peakers are increasingly not needed in an era of demand response, batteries and other fast, low-cost alternatives.
Nuclear is fading into the past
- Westinghouse, one of the founding fathers of the global nuclear industry, filed for bankruptcy protection following a USD10bn loss. Meanwhile, in Europe, the French nuclear giant Areva, was bailed out by the French government.
- Not surprisingly, only three nuclear power stations went online globally, totalling 2.3GW new capacity. At the same time, three power stations totalling 1.3GW were retired.
New Delhi becomes the global pollution king
- Levels of carcinogenic pollutants reach 833 parts per million, 10 times that of Beijing and double hazardous level, as per World Health Organisation guidelines.
Global annual carbon emissions reach record levels
- Global CO2 emissions grew despite falling emissions in the US and Europe
- Growth was owing to 3.5% growth in Chinese emissions. China already accounts for nearly 30% of global CO2.