In this list
Electric Power | Natural Gas

G20 flexibility needs assessed at 3,500 GW for 100% renewable energy systems

Commodities | Energy | Electric Power | Renewables | Natural Gas

Hydrogen: Beyond the Hype

Electric Power

Platts Forward Curves – Gas and Power

Shipping | Energy | Coronavirus | Agriculture | Metals

Asia Pacific Shipping Forum

Shipping | Containers

Port of New York sets new monthly record for container volume in March

Natural Gas

Italy’s shifting gas sector dynamics make strong case for easing storage rules

G20 flexibility needs assessed at 3,500 GW for 100% renewable energy systems

Highlights

Gas engine/battery mix 'least-cost option'

Renewables scale-up to support future fuels

Gas engines to be able to use 100% hydrogen

New York — The G20 countries will need over 3,500 GW of flexible capacity to run 100% renewable energy systems at least cost, gas engine and battery storage manufacturer Wärtsilä said March 31.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

The flexibility requirement breaks down into 2,594 GW of battery energy storage and 933 GW of flexible gas power capacity, the latter capable of running on future fuels like renewable hydrogen, the supplier said.

"The lowest-cost 100% renewable system would require 12,900 GW of electricity production capacity across the G20 by 2030, dominated by wind and solar," Wärtsilä said.

Modelling by the manufacturer seeks to show a cost-optimal capacity mix in 145 countries and regions. It outlines flexibility needs across grids in 2030 starting from the ground up rather than building on existing energy systems.

As such some elements of a country's "cost-optimal mix" may already have been exceeded, such as in the UK, where installed solar capacity of 13 GW outstrips Wärtsilä's model for just 8.3 GW.

Explore: The Platts Atlas of Energy Transition

Balancing intermittency with a combination of flexible gas and energy storage would be 38% cheaper than relying on energy storage alone, it said.

Sushil Purohit, President, Wärtsilä Energy, said, "Last month's UN climate report gives a clear message for G20 leaders: to decarbonize at the lowest cost, high levels of renewable energy must be scaled up by 2030."

Carbon-neutral fuel production needs high levels of renewables, he said, to decarbonize all energy intensive sectors, including power and mobility.

"A significant degree of overcapacity is needed to account for the variability of wind and solar generation. Excess electricity can then be utilized to produce future fuels with Power-to-X technology," Wartsila said.

It was developing a combustion process to allow the burning of 100% hydrogen and other future fuels in its gas engines, it said.

100% RENEWABLES: LEAST COST FLEXIBILITY MODEL RESULTS (GW)

Wind
Solar
Flexible gas
Battery storage
Germany
185
181.4
52.6
41.7
Italy
54
192.5
14.1
73
France
141.7
105
33.8
24.2
UK
122.5
8.3
42.2
7.3
Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar
54.7
107.5
7.7
33.5
Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg
63.4
52.7
20.8
12.2

Note: cost-optimal capacity mix for 100% renewable systems in 2030 starting from the ground up rather than building on existing energy systems

Source: Wartsila Atlas of 100% Renewable Energy

100% RENEWABLES: TOP TWELVE GLOBAL FLEXIBILITY TAKERS (GW)

Flexible gas
Battery storage
China
242.9
823.2
US
178.7
495.9
India
81.2
449.1
Mexico
26.9
169.4
Korea
26.9
104.9
Japan
36.4
85.9
Germany
52.6
41.7
Indonesia
10.2
82.4
Italy
14.1
73.0
Russia
52.7
26.0
France
33.8
24.2
Saudi Arabia
19.2
38.2

Source: Wartsila Atlas of 100% Renewable Energy

Platts Atlas of Energy Transition