As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree - 20 years ago. Next right time - today. The fact that alternative energy (wind, solar, etc.) is strongly related to this adage.
Tree "shale" were planted 35 years ago h4> To begin, it is worth mentioning "slates" as a good example. Today the situation is quite good with shales. Won its own place in the sun - reached the level of the atom (which is 4% of world energy) and continue with fanfare otvoёvyvat their share. However, I would like to dip a bit in the history of the issue. They were the difficulties and complexities? There were and are. But today it has become evident that the breaking of the US made significant leap forward:
1. Due to the shale gas production US became the number one power, ahead of Russia;
2. In the coming years are quite capable of catch up and overtake oil producer Russia and Saudi Arabia;
3. dramatically reduce the energy dependence;
4. Stimulated high technology in the oil and gas production and development of the industry - mainly due to the cheap chemical raw materials plus the rest due to a decrease in electricity prices, etc.
But it is important to understand that not slates fell on his head like manna from heaven - let the historic slate was thorny. You should start with the fact that in the late 1970s thanks to the famous Hubbert became really clear that conventional gas reserves are not infinite as well as oil. And instead of being idle or to live at the expense of imports, the United States began to solve this problem. Although a contemporary of the events in the US actions could customary on today's fashion to criticize, say, cut bureaucracy, fraud, inflated bubble.
In the early 1980s, the US Department of Energy has funded a number of R & D programs for the study of alternative and often exotic sources of gas. Ranging from low-permeability reservoirs of gas and gas hydrates ending.
As a result, in 1980 the program was introduced by subsidizing production of unconventional natural gas resources (Section 29 tax credit). When natural gas prices in the $ 2-3 per MBTE subsidize about $ 0, 5-1 for MBTE. A lot of money if an amicable way. Whether it was a loss for the US? Undoubtedly. As the state program of R & D on the same topic. Paid for it, of course, the taxpayers. But the program will begin the extraction of natural gas from sources that previously were not considered as a resource base. This made it possible to work out the necessary mining technology, get a great experience and a lot of information about the subsurface petroleum geology USA. The greatest success of the program has reached after his graduation in 2002, in the form of shale oil and gas revolution that "shot" in 2008.
So we can say with confidence that "cut" and the loss of the late 20th century than pays for itself in the 21st century. To such an extent that in addition to energy and industrial aspects of shale gas has got more and geopolitical.
Europe puts young shoots of alternative energy, difficulty at this stage is inevitable h5> It is appropriate to digress a bit and remember the First World War. It was carried out, mainly positional battles and infantry. Therefore, after its completion, France, for the protection of Germany, erected very expensive and logical for the time fortification system - the Maginot Line. Thus, the French generals were ready to "previous" war. The result was predictable - the second world paradigm shift and Germany quietly broke the Maginot Line in six weeks. Energy, as the French generals should look forward, not backward.
The situation in Europe today is identical to the US 35 years ago. Europe on himself felt that hydrocarbons are not infinite, and faced with the geopolitical aspects of energy (like the US oil embargo of Arab countries).
Everything is bad, yes. However, to sit idly no one is going. Europe is going to issue solve , rather than avoid it. Most of all, Germany is trying to be the most advanced countries of Europe.
Subsidies for alternative energy and R & D paid by taxpayers? Of course, where the same at the initial stage without it. If you think minutely, it looks like all the negative and unprofitable. But, as we remember, the new energy sector do not fall down from heaven. They need to create a multi-billion dollar investments and R & D for decades. Therefore, if it is to evaluate short-term, it seems that Europe and Germany are doing everything wrong. And if you think about what will happen to the hydrocarbon energy in 30 years? Would it ever possible the necessary import of hydrocarbons? How much will it cost? Someone will have to buy? What political concessions will have to go for them? It is obvious that the planned natural gas exports from the US to Europe for the beautiful eyes - was a political trade.
Gas is already too expensive for many people as fuel for power stations and around the world try to use cheaper sources of fuel, not to mention the oil that is used for electricity generation only in unavoidable circumstances when all other sources are unavailable. Therefore, from hydrocarbon fuels in power generation until there is only charcoal and need to look for something new for the future replacement. Look at the success of alternative power generation in Europe:
The last 16 years of alternative energy Europe is developing very rapidly, even exponentially. Another three years at a pace and catch up with the atom.
Advanced industrial country requires huge investments for the development of new energy: requires the construction of generating capacity, it is necessary to lay additional power lines in those areas that are most favorable to the wind (the coast) or solar generation (south), because not always the best wind is near a large industrial city. Need to build "smart" and sophisticated automatic balancing system and coordination of electricity, including those between states (which in a certain amount of there now). At a certain stage of development of the power needed for energy storage. All this costs money, but not limited to money - often need new technologies, new research, whole new industries.
Alternative energy sources in the medium term will be the least expensive h4> The graph above shows that the development of alternative energy is not a matter of decades. And if the "short-term" benefits from alternative energy course not, with a strategic approach is evident as its role in matters of energy independence and economic issues and the matter is this. The main issue in the framework of which there is a discussion alternativke - the cost of power generation and context are usually two: it is expensive and it is expensive today. But obviously, to discuss how alternativke should be split into components, and consider minutely in the long run. Fraunhofer Institute предоставляет your cost analysis and forecast (within the German market):
1. Wind turbine in a good location (with a capacity factor of 30%, which is not uncommon) today cheaper than any coal-fired generation.
2. coal-fired generation in Germany loses solar panels south of Spain in 2016, southern Germany in 2021 m. Refers to the large station rather than domestic solar panels.
3. Brown coal (as the cheapest of coal generation) remains competitive capable little longer.
4. The later, the hydrocarbons are less competitive capable.
The main problem alternativke h4> But there is a problem - the electricity in the tank is not zalёsh, petrochemical industry can not build on it - it is not a raw material for industry, such as natural gas. Here, perhaps, the main problem alternativke. Electricity - only part of the energy mix. If hypothetically assume that today alternativke reach 100% in the generation of electricity, it still amounts to only 45% of the primary energy in Europe:
Therefore, the power of Europe to be with a bias power. Progress is there, but as always in the energy sector - slow. Perhaps largely from here should grow roots EVs.
Unlucky atom Europe h4> Seek alternativke forces, surprisingly, and nuclear power. Fans of nuclear projects had to meet with the cold lead that one of the leading nuclear powers, France, plans to reduce from 75% to 50% share of nuclear energy in electricity generation. Maybe minutely, again, it all looks ridiculous, but strategically it is clear - the life of the reactors has long passed for half a century, and therefore, the construction of nuclear power plants and bet on nuclear strategy should be planned to ensure its uranium nuclear power plant almost a century. A uranium mines French companies are in Central Africa - who knows that there will be in 10 years, let alone 50 years or 22 th century? Simply put, the nuclear project in France on the issue of energy security change the flea - reducing dependence on gas and coal, but growing dependence on African uranium. Apparently, the second France considered a greater evil.
There are more questions than answers, there are pros, cons difficulties. But one thing is certain - the future alternative energy will begin to pay off in Europe, both economically and politically.