Projecting Feasible Medium-Term Growth of Wind and Solar Power Using National Trajectories and Hindcasting
59 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2023 Publication Status: Review CompleteMore...
Despite the consensus on the desirability of rapid wind and solar power expansion, scholars disagree over realistic projections of their deployment. Here, we address the challenge of using empirical data for projecting renewables growth and use hindcasting to illustrate how and why existing approaches over- or under-estimate deployment. We show that in the formative phase, when the use of renewables is under 0.6% of electricity supply nationally or under 0.2-0.3% globally, their growth is erratic and not representative of later phases with substantial deployment levels. Using national observations from countries with higher deployment of renewables, we derive S-curve parameters, test their robustness, and propose a new hybrid model which outperforms existing approaches in projecting the global use of renewables. Under the assumption of historically fastest deployment speeds being sustained in all countries, it is feasible for global wind and solar power to grow as envisioned in most 2°C-compatible scenarios.
Keywords: feasibility, energy transitions, renewable energy, climate change mitigation, technology diffusion, solar PV, wind energy
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