Electricity + Control

Towards the tipping point

Welcome to the fourth edition of the Lloyd’s Register Technology Radar, and the second in the series to be dedicated exclusively to low carbon power. The 2017 edition of Technology Radar found that renewable energy was largely felt to have achieved cost parity, although hydrocarbons retained their dominant position in the global energy mix. This is a reflection of the energy transformation currently under way across the globe; as communities, businesses and organisations increasingly recognise and act upon the urgent need to decarbonise economies.

Lloyds on renewable energyBut whilst this is a global challenge and the end goal is universal, the solutions are not uniform. In fact, the best energy ecosystem for any given country depends on a set of characteristics that are specific to that nation – including the natural resources available, geo-demographics, energy demand, market design, policy, technology, public appetite and social acceptance. It needs to take into account what resources are available, how can they be harnessed, how the population and industry needs and uses power (and will in the future) and therefore how the network needs to operate and adapt.

Taking this as its starting point, this research looks at the degree to which renewable energy has gained traction throughout the world – and what needs to happen to accelerate it. Based on a large survey of renewable energy professionals across the global sector and the insights of a number of industry leaders, the research illuminates the outlook for renewable energy – and highlights the technologies that are expected to deliver the greatest impact.

We are heartened by not only the optimistic outlook, but by the measured and realistic approach that is displayed throughout the results and insights in the research. Grid transformation must be based on sound understanding of each country’s individual ecosystem, and it is clear that this is advancing alongside technology, policy and investment.

We hope you find the report valuable, and we welcome your feedback.

Lloyd’s Register

About the research

The analysis in this report is based on a Lloyd’s Register survey of 792 executives working in the renewable energy sector. It was conducted by Longitude Research in November and December 2017. The survey respondents represent power and utility companies with renewable energy assets (58% of the sample), energy companies with renewable energy assets (excluding utilities and power generation) (21%), and oil and gas companies with renewable energy assets or activities (21%).

The sample is global, with 28% of respondents based in the Americas, 24% in Europe, 23% in Asia-Pacific, and the remainder in the Middle East and Africa. Companies of all sizes are represented: 25% of respondents work in firms with less than $50 million in annual revenue, 46% in firms earning between $51 million and $500 million a year, and the remaining 29% in firms with annual revenue above $500 million.

Please note that where graphs do not add up to 100%, this is due to rounding or questions where respondents were able to select multiple answers.

We would also like to thank the following individuals for the insights they provided in a series of in-depth interviews.

(Listed alphabetically by surname)

• Stephen Church, partner and energy market leader, EY
• Bruce Douglas, chairman, Global Solar Council
• David Eyton, group head of technology, BP
• Deborah Greaves, head, School of Engineering, University of Plymouth
• Walburga Hemetsberger, board member, energy transition solutions, Hydrogen Europe
• Samuel Leupold, executive VP and CEO of wind power, Ørsted
• John Liljelund, chief executive officer, AW-Energy
• Stephanie McClellan, director, special initiative on offshore wind, University of Delaware
• Lyall McLachlan, chairman, Solastor
• Paul Stangroom, head of renewables, Lloyd’s Register, Asia-Pacific
• Rebecca Sykes, technology innovation leader, Lloyd’s Register

Key findings

• The tipping point is still in the future
• A decisive tilt in the energy balance will take longer
• More than grid parity is needed to shift the energy balance
• Technology advances can change the equation
• Technology innovation overshadows policy as a growth driver
• Incremental advances will have an outsized impact. Digitisation will drive performance improvement
• Cutting innovation costs is a top priority
• More standardisation is needed

Download Technology Radar 18 infographic here.

Enquiries: Email lowcarbon@lr.org
Visit lr.org/techradar

Image credit: Copyright: nk2549 / 123RF Stock Photo

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