I had posted the following text in the pad for the last meeting (which I could not attend) and want to bring it to a broader attention. As the Pirate Party we should think ahead and be aware of technology that is coming soon or already gaining momentum:
Looking at the available technology and cost structures it is evident that we have a regulatory problem driven by the interests of the old energy industry. The renewables are blocked in the market by every means available to the fossil energy industry.
This includes the myth of the instable power grid. Germany today has the most reliable grid ever. The number of corrective measures to stabilize the grid has risen, but not due to the renewables as most want to make you believe. Power demand too has become much more fluctuating in last couple years due energy efficiency measures. Where a converyor belt used to rund the full work day today it stops every time it is not needed. Many other devices do the same: They switch off even for the shortest time when not needed.
The cost of electricity from renewables has dropped so far that solar power in Germany costs less in production (< 3ct/kWh) than power from lignite plants. Wind is below hard coal. And that with the distorted pricing that externalizes many costs of coal. But since the renewables have no equal access to the power market they are still not where they could be.
Changing the rules of the market to give renewables an actualy access to the regular power market would drive the fossil power plants out of the market in record time.
Photovoltaics is just now on the brink of the next large step in price reduction. Solar cells based on perovskite are entering production. They are produced in a low energy process, use abundant raw materials, can be printed, and don’t need to be shielded from oxygen like organic solar cells. This should drive the cost below 1 ct/kWh for installations in Germany, southern countries even further.
Tesla has driven the cost of battery cells below 125 US$/kWh. Further price drops are ahead. BYD is currently constructing a plant that will be able to produce about 35 GWh/a in battery cells and Tesla plans more factories with >20 GWh/a each. Also battery chemistry allowing more capacity and cheaper raw material is coming to the market along with a steady improvement of the current technologies by about 5-7% per year.
So local power storage will continue to drop in cost significantly. It is already below grid parity.
The actual points that currently are in the way for more renewable power are:
- Local production and use of renewable power is often taxed in one way or another
- Regular access to the market is not readily available
- Regulations (at least in Germany) allow renewable power to be squeezed off the net for stability issues (usually that means the lignite plant wants to continue to run)
I see oil only as a secondary issue that will resolve itself shortly. About 70% of the oil goes into traffic. Electric cars are mature, only the German manufacturers try to stall to continue selling their combustion engines. Lower the emissions, enable a charging infrastruture (which should be part of the decentralization of power generation). This will lead to a fast phase out of combustion engines. The turnover of cars is about 1/16 of the total fleet per year. Add the benefits of electric cars and it will accelerate somewhat. So within a few years oil companies could lose a major chunck of their market.
We should look further forward than the other parties. There are disruptive technologies coming or already on the market. The whole energy sector will be totally redefined within a decade. We should plan for this szenario and not for the status quo.