Eppure, le cose cambiano: le rinnovabili crescono più di tutte le altre forme di energia

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Di Ugo Bardi

Nonostante la rapida crescita delle rinnovabili negli ultimi anni, fino ad oggi c’era un problema: con tutta la buona volontà, crescevano meno rapidamente delle fonti convenzionali. Non c’era troppo da stupirsi di questo fatto, con la Cina che metteva in funzione una nuova centrale a carbone ogni mese, o giù di li’.

Come conseguenza, se andavate a prendere le proiezioni dell’IEA (International Energy Agency) e dei loro accoliti, vedevate che le rinnovabili non avrebbero mai dovuto avere un impatto significativo sul panorama energetico mondiale. Era un altro tassello che reggeva la diffusa opinione che “le rinnovabili non riusciranno mai a sostituire i fossili”.

Bene, si sa che le proiezioni dell’IEA sono sempre sbagliate – nonostante i loro bei grafici colorati e il fatto che ti fanno pagare per averle. Per forza devono essere sbagliate dato che si basano sull’idea che tutto quello che succedere continuerà a succedere per sempre. Niente deve cambiare nei secoli dei secoli (amen).

Infatti, le cose sono cambiate. Le risorse fossili non sono infinite e le estrapolazioni lineari sono destinate a fallire. Con l’arrivo del picco del petrolio tutta l’economia basata sui fossili (ovvero quasi tutta) ha preso una brutta battuta di arresto. Le rinnovabili ne hanno risentito anche loro, ma molto meno dato che non dipendono direttamente da risorse finite. Le rinnovabili continuano a crescere in un economia che, al contrario, è in contrazione.

Il risultato? Che nel 2008, per la prima volta la crescita delle rinnovabili ha superato quella delle fonti fossili sia in Europa che negli Stati Uniti. E’ un altro cambiamento epocale del 2008 – un anno memorabile per tante ragioni, incluso quella di essere stato, probabilmente, l’anno del picco mondiale del petrolio.

I dati li possiamo leggere nel rapporto di REN21, un’agenzia che si occupa delle energie rinnovabili. E sono dati molto incoraggianti. Di tutte le varie fonti rinnovabili, il fotovoltaico è quello che cresce più rapidamente (addirittura il 70% in più nel 2008, rispetto al 2007). Ma anche il vento cresce bene (+29% nel 2008) e, in generale, tutti i dati sono incoraggianti.

Certo, da noi ancora c’è chi non si è accorto di tante cose (ed è memorabile la recente battuta di Lilly Gruber “ma allora il fotovoltaico non funziona di notte?”) e c’è chi ancora si perde in piccole battaglie (nomen, omen) contro le rinnovabili. Ma una nuova era sta arrivando – prima o poi se ne accorgeranno tutti.



http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/may2009/2009-05-13-01.asp

Growth of Renewables Transforms Global Energy Picture

PARIS, France, May 13, 2009 (ENS) – In 2008 for the first time, more
renewable energy than conventional power capacity was added in both
the European Union and United States, showing a “fundamental
transition” of the world’s energy markets towards renewable energy,
finds a report released today by REN21, a global renewable energy
policy network based in Paris.

Global power capacity from new renewable energy sources in 2008 was
up 16 percent over the world’s 2007 capacity from new renewable
sources, the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report shows.

“This fourth edition of REN21’s renewable energy report comes in the
midst of an historic and global economic crisis,” says Mohamed
El-Ashry, chairman of REN21.

“Although the future is unclear, there is much in the report for
optimism,” said El-Ashry, an Egyptian national who from 1991 to 2003
served as the first CEO of the Global Environment Facility, which
provides grants to developing countries for environmental projects.

Today, at least 73 countries have renewable energy policy targets, up
from 66 at the end of 2007. At least 64 countries now have some type
of policy to promote renewable power generation.

Companies are devoting an increasing amount of capital to renewables.
By August 2008, at least 160 publicly traded renewable energy
companies worldwide had a market capitalization greater than $100
million, the report shows.

Globally in 2008, solar heating capacity increased by 15 percent,
while biodiesel and ethanol production both increased by 34 percent.

China’s total wind power capacity doubled in 2008 for the fifth year
running, and developing countries, particularly China and India, are
increasingly playing major roles in both the manufacture and
installation of renewable energy, the report shows.

“The recent growth of the sector has surpassed all predictions, even
those made by the industry itself,” says El-Ashry. He attributed much
of this growth to more favorable policies amidst increasing concerns
about climate change and energy security.

In 2008, renewable energy resisted the credit crunch more
successfully than many other sectors for much of the year and new
investment reached $120 billion, up 16 percent over 2007. However, by
the end of the year, the impact of the crisis was beginning to show.

In his remarks accompanying release of the REN21 report, El-Ashry
stressed that “now is not the time to relax policies that support a
global, expanding renewable energy sector.”

“By maintaining and expanding these policies, governments, industry
and society will reap substantial economic and environmental rewards
when the economic rebound requires energy markets to meet rapidly
increasing demand,” he advised.

The report notes that in response to the financial crisis, several
governments have directed economic stimulus funding towards the new
green jobs the renewable energy sector can provide, including the
U.S. package that will invest $150 billion over 10 years in renewable
energy.

Global wind power capacity grew by 29 percent in 2008 to reach 121
gigawatts, or more than double the capacity in place at the end of
2005.

Grid-connected solar photovoltaic power continued to be the fastest
growing power generation technology, with a 70 percent increase in
existing capacity to reach 13 gigawatts.

Spain became the solar photovoltaic market leader, with 2.6 gigawatts
of new grid-tied installations. The concentrating solar power
industry saw many new entrants and new manufacturing facilities in
2008.

Solar hot water in Germany set record growth in 2008, with over
200,000 systems installed.

India emerged in 2008 as a major producer of solar photovoltaics,
with new policies leading to $18 billion in new manufacturing
investment plans or proposals.

Geothermal power capacity surpassed 10 gigawatts in 2008, led by the
United States. Direct geothermal energy delivered by ground source
heat pumps is now used in at least 76 countries.

Among the many new renewable energy targets set in 2008, Australia
targeted 45 terawatt-hours of electricity by 2020.

Brazil’s energy plan sought to slightly increase through 2030 its
existing share of primary energy from renewable energy (46 percent in
2007), and its electricity share (87 percent in 2007).

India increased its target to 14 gigawatts of new renewables capacity by 2012.

Japan set new targets for 14 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity
by 2020 and 53 gigawatts by 2030.

The EU formally adopted its target to reach a 20 percent share of
renewable energy in final consumption by 2020, setting also
country-specific targets for all member states.

Feed-in tariffs were adopted at the national level in at least five
countries for the first time in 2008 and early 2009, including Kenya,
the Philippines, Poland, South Africa, and Ukraine.

The report also shows that several hundred cities and local
governments around the world are planning or implementing renewable
energy policies and planning frameworks linked to carbon dioxide
emissions reduction.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2009. All rights reserved.

2 comments ↓

#1 roberto bussolino on 06.11.09 at 15:26

Nel frattempo la bolla del nucleare in Italia si sta sgonfiando (vedi questo articolo http://qualenergia.it/view.php?id=974&contenuto=Articolo )
e qualcuno tra coloro che devono concretamente decidere inizia a dare sonore bastonate ai proclami di regime ( http://www.repubblica.it/2009/04/sezioni/ambiente/nucleare3/nucleare-copertura/nucleare-copertura.html )
Saluti Roberto

#2 Paolo Marani on 06.12.09 at 10:27

Bella quella di Lilli Gruber.
In effetti ha ragione lei.

Il fotovoltaico non funziona di notte tanto quanto l’idroelettrico non funziona quando non piove.

E’ uguale, non trovate ?