Category Archives: Eric’s Columns

Power Grid Integration and Balancing of Renewables–Cases of Germany, California, Denmark

Many power grids around the world are already transitioning to high shares of renewables.  The cases of Germany, California, and Denmark are among the leading examples.  Germany has already reached a 30% share and targets 35% by 2020. California will meet its target of 33% by 2020. Denmark is already at 33% wind power.  

How are these regions managing to integrate and balance such large shares of renewable energy?   This question must be considered in the context of the “prevailing… Read the rest

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No Rooftop Left Behind

By Eric Martinot

Imagine a time when every rooftop in the world has a solar panel on it.  Looking at Google Earth, all the rooftops you see would have panels.  Panels would provide power or heat, or both.  I am calling this vision "no rooftop left behind."  That phrase may ring familiar to Americans who recall the "no child left behind" legislation in 2001, which mandated educational standards for children—everyone is included, no one left out. Let's… Read the rest
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Reflections on Renewable Energy Past, Present, Future

By Eric Martinot

The year 2014 represents to me the end of ten years of phenomenal growth for renewable energy and the beginning of a new phase of renewable energy development. This new phase will be markedly different from the past ten years.  So I thought this would be a good opportunity to reflect a bit on the past, present, and future of renewables, based on my 25 years of experience in the field.

One of the important reasons for this type of perspective is that the current market, technology, and… Read the rest

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Eric Martinot: Ten Questions on Renewables Futures

1. In writing the REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report, you’ve talked with all these people about the future of renewables. What lessons or insights do you come away with in terms of how we are thinking about that future?

I would say, the more we really know, the more possible it all seems. Those who know about the reality of the current situation and state of technology know it can be done. But many of us are thinking 5 years, 10 years, even 20 years ago. Even people who are just a few years out of… Read the rest

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