Lloyd’s Register published its low-carbon technology report, made up from insights by respondents who were asked to rate technologies in terms of their potential impact, the amount of time it would take for them to hit the market, and how likely they are to be adopted. They were also asked to reflect on the pace and success of innovation in their sector – and what they see as the key drivers and blockers.
The report found that low-carbon generation technologies are cost competitive. Nuclear is one of the cheapest options for power generation when lifecycle costs are taken into account, and it will continue to be part of the solution to climate change long into the future. Although public acceptance is a major challenge in some countries, nuclear is likely to contribute to the energy mix for the foreseeable future.
Some 70% of survey respondents say that renewables are now reaching cost parity with fossil fuels.
Solar cell technology is likely to have a major impact. Renewables respondents are most optimistic about the potential of advances in solar cell technology – and the likelihood of adoption.
Software advances will be instrumental in transmission and distribution. They are seen by respondents as the innovation that will be the quickest to arrive and the most likely to be adopted. Blockchain software could reshape the way we think about the transmission and distribution of power by enabling a new era of peer-to-peer low-carbon generation.
It is electrical technologies that will transform storage, rather than mechanical storage or chemical technology innovations. Respondents expect supercapacitors, which will rapidly speed up charging times for large batteries, to have the greatest impact on storage.
Standardisation is a much-needed development for the low-carbon sector. Industry experts agree that regional and global consensus on regulations could speed up deployment and further reduce costs.
Find the whole report here