A new report by engineering and science charity, Lloyd's Register, reveals which technologies will have the biggest impact on the future of low carbon energy according to experts.
The report, by Lloyd’s Register, is based on opinion and insight from almost 600 global experts and professionals from the low carbon power and green technologies sector.
Professionals from energy utilities and distributors, to operators and equipment manufacturers were asked to rate a number of technologies in terms of their potential impact, time it would take for them to hit the market and how likely they would be to adopt it once it has. They were also asked what they thought were the key blockers and drivers of innovation were in their sector.
Some of the key findings from the report showed that low carbon generation technologies are cost competitive and that nuclear is one of the cheapest options for power generation when you take into account lifecycle costs. The survey also found that 70 per cent of respondents believe that renewables are reaching cost parity with fossil fuels.
Solar cell was the technology that saw the most positive responses when it came to which will see the most advancement and the likelihood of adoption. Nuclear is also expected to see large strides forwards in terms of technology and in usage thanks to the struggle for energy mix. Modularisation technologies are expected to have a major impact on nuclear capabilities, despite issues with public hesitancy in some countries to adopt nuclear energy.
The innovation tipped to be the quickest to reach market and adopted is software advances in transmission and distribution. Electrical technologies are also expected to have a significant influence on power storage, more so than mechanical and chemical storage innovations. The single greatest innovation in the electrical storage space is expected to be the advent of supercapicitors, which will rapidly speed up charging times for large batteries.
Deployment is set to be a major barrier for new technologies, alongside the introduction of standardisation of regulations, which could speed up deployment and reduce costs. Almost 75 per cent of respondents agreed that there had been an increase in the scale of deployment of renewable energy resources.
Energy director of Lloyd’s Register, Alasdair Buchanan explained: “We are very encouraged by the findings, which highlight not only a growing optimism across the industry but a vigorous and intelligent debate about the pathways to decarbonisation. Clearly, there are many uncertainties about exactly how the industry will evolve, but what is inarguable is that the conversation is no longer about “should we?” but “how should we do it?””