THURSDAY 12 JULY, 2012 |
Solar Could Play A Huge Role In Heating And Cooling
According to the International Energy Agency, solar energy could account for
approximately 16% of the world’s total low-temperature heating and cooling
requirements by the middle of the century.
A roadmap launched recently by the organisation states achieving this goal would
avoid in the region of 800 megatonnes of carbon dioxide annually; which is
nearly 50% more than Australia's total annual carbon emissions last year (546.3
megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent).
The IEA says if appropriate action is taken by governments and industry now,
solar energy could annually produce more than 16% of total final energy use for
low temperature heat and nearly 17% for cooling
"Given that global energy demand for heat represents almost half of the world’s final energy use
- more than the combined global demand for electricity and transport – solar heat can make a significant contribution in both tackling climate change and strengthening energy
security," said Paolo Frankl, Head of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Division.
In terms of cooling, solar thermal cooling technology could reduce the burden on electric grids at times of peak cooling demand by fully or partially replacing conventional
electric air conditioners
In Australia, the impact of air conditioners in terms of peak power demand is
massive; creating a huge amount of strain on electricity infrastructure and
pushing up the wholesale price of electricity to thousands of dollar per
megawatt hour at times. Even without whizz-bang solar thermal cooling
technology, solar panels have had a positive impact in reining
in wholesale electricity costs
by generating electricity at times when it's
most needed - and closer to the point of consumption.
The IEA's Technology Roadmap: Solar Heating and Cooling can be downloaded
In other news from the IEA, the organisation says it expects to see continue rapid growth
in renewables uptake over the next five years. Global power generation from hydropower, solar, wind and other renewable sources is projected to
jump by more than 40% to almost 6 400 terawatt hours (TWh), which is
approximately 1.5 times the current electricity production in the United States.
Onshore wind, bioenergy and solar PV respectively will see the largest increases
in uptake after hydropower says the IEA.
Other news for Thursday 12 July, 2012
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