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可再生能源超过化石燃料:英国实现新能源里程碑

David Meyer 2019年10月24日

英国的可再生能源取得了突破性进展。今年第三季度,该国的可再生能源发电量超过了化石燃料。

根据气候变化分析网站Carbon Brief的最新分析,英国第三季度的发电量中有40%来自于可再生能源,例如风能、生物能和太阳能,化石燃料占总发电量的39%,化石燃料几乎全是天然气,因为现在煤炭和石油在英国能源里的所占份额几乎可以忽略不计。(剩下的21%主要来自于核能。)

Carbon Brief称,达到该里程碑也印证了英国的电力网络运营商英国国家电网(National Grid)的预测,即今年化石燃料的发电量将低于“零碳”能源,其中包括核能,但不包括燃烧后会排放温室气体的生物能。

英国可再生能源增长的主要原因是电网发电量增加,特别是海上风电场。英国的风力发电规模发展极为迅速,主要是因为风能涡轮机变得更大也更高效,相关项目在商业上的可行性提升,不像过去一样依赖于英国政府发放的补贴。

那么,英国可再生能源所占份额与其他国家相比如何?

领先者

有些国家的电网完全(或几乎完全)依靠可再生能源,例如冰岛、挪威和哥斯达黎加。在很大程度上是因为有自然资源可以利用,主要是水力发电,还有大量地热。

英国并未吹嘘有大量地热能源,但明年夏天将在康沃尔启动名叫“热岩”的钻探项目。英国水电设施相对较少。风倒是不缺。

欧盟邻国

利用可再生能源方面,欧盟各国中瑞典表现最好。其目标是到2040年可再生能源产量达到100%,而且在七年前便已经实现2020年的目标——50%。今年国际能源署指出,该组织的各成员国里,瑞典的主要能源供应组合中化石燃料所占比例最低。

德国的能源转型是最广为人知的绿色能源计划之一,去年,德国可再生能源份额突破了40%的门槛。不过,2018年化石燃料仍占德国能源的45%左右。

德国和英国的关键区别在于核能发挥的作用。德国正在急切地淘汰核电,去年核电站发电量占全年总发电量仅略超过13%;而在英国,上一季度核电仍占总发电量的19%。

西班牙去年五分之二的电力来自于可再生能源,其中约一半来自于风能。上个月,葡萄牙43%的能源为可再生能源,非可再生能源仅占42%。

全球情况

与之前提到的国家相比,去年中国可再生能源在发电组合中所占的份额接近27%,相对较低。随着能源需求不断增加,中国仍然是全球最大的二氧化碳排放来源。

不过要记住中国规模庞大。去年,中国的可再生能源投资也占全球的近三分之一。

另一个主要的碳排放国印度也逐渐转向可再生能源,目前印度可再生能源所占比例仅略高于19%。去年,日本可再生能源发电量占总量比例为17.4%。

至于美国,去年可再生能源占总发电量的18%,煤炭占27%,较之前一年有所下降,但另一化石燃料天然气填上了空缺。(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

According to new analysis by the climate change analysis site Carbon Brief, Q3 saw 40% of power come from renewables such as wind, biomass and solar, while fossil fuels—almost all gas, as coal and oil now have a negligible share of the U.K. energy scene—accounted for 39% of generation. (The remaining 21% largely came from nuclear.)

Carbon Brief said the milestone backed up the prediction by National Grid, the operator of the British power transmission network, that fossil fuels would this year account for less generation than “zero carbon” energy sources—in other words, including nuclear but not biomass, the burning of which emits greenhouse gases.

The rise in renewables’ British fortunes is largely down to more capacity coming online, particularly offshore wind farms. The scale of wind power generation in the country is in the midst of a massive boost, not least because the turbines are becoming bigger and more efficient—this means such projects are commercially viable, and do not need the subsidies handed out in the past by the U.K. government.

So how does the British renewables share compare with those of other countries?

Frontrunners

Some countries’ power grids run entirely (or almost entirely) on renewable energy, with examples including Iceland, Norway and Costa Rica. This is largely a function of the natural sources available to them—mainly hydro power, with a hefty dash of geothermal.

The U.K. doesn’t boast so many geothermal energy sources—though a drilling project to tap into “hot rocks” will begin in Cornwall next summer—and it has relatively few hydro power installations. But it has no shortage of wind.

EU neighbors

Sweden is the top performer in the European Union when it comes to use of renewable energy. It’s targeting 100% renewable energy production by 2040 and met its 2020 goal—50%—seven years ago. In fact, the International Energy Agency noted this year that Sweden had the lowest share of fossil fuels in its primary energy-supply mix of any country that’s a member of the organization.

Germany’s Energiewende (energy transition) is one of the most highly publicized green energy plans out there, and it saw renewable energy production cross the 40%-share threshold last year. However, fossil fuels still accounted for around 45% of German energy generation in 2018.

A key difference between the German and British situations is the role played by nuclear energy. In Germany, where it is being urgently phased out, nuclear had a share of just over 13% of last year’s power generation; in the U.K., nuclear still accounted for 19% of generation last quarter.

Spain took two fifths of its electricity from renewable sources last year, with about half of that coming from wind. And last month, 43% of Portugal’s energy also came from renewable sources, versus 42% from non-renewables.

Global scene

China’s share of renewables in its power-generation mix is, at almost 27% last year, relatively low compared with some of the above-mentioned countries. With ever-increasing energy demands, the country remains the world’s biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions.

However, remember China’s scale. The country was also responsible for nearly a third of the world’s renewables investment last year.

India, another major carbon-emitter, is gradually leaning more on renewable power, which currently accounts for just over 19% of generation. Japan’s renewables share of generation stood at 17.4% last year.

As for the United States, last year saw renewables take a 18% share of power generation—coal’s share, at 27%, was down on the previous year but natural gas, another fossil fuel, is what’s taking up the slack.

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