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可再生能源的颠覆威力
The disruptive power of renewables

来源:FT中文网    2017-11-14 07:12



        After years of hope and promise, renewables are beginning to establish a presence in the energy market free of the requirement for heavy subsidies or other policy interventions. The International Energy Agency’s latest review of the renewables sector records the remarkable progress that is being made, particularly in terms of falling costs.        在多年的希望和承诺之后,可再生能源开始在能源市场占得一席之地,而无需大量补贴或者其他政策干预。国际能源署(IEA)对可再生能源行业的最新研究报告,展示了这个行业正在取得的显著进展,尤其是就不断降低成本而言。
        Renewables cannot yet transform the entire energy business but in electricity they are becoming deeply disruptive to the established competitive order.        可再生能源还无法转变整个能源行业,但在电力领域,它们开始对现有的竞争秩序产生深刻的颠覆性影响。
        The IEA’s paper describes a year of remarkable progress and presents a forecast of continued growth over the next five years. The progress centres on solar power, where capacity grew by 50 per cent last year and is set to add another 660 GW by 2022. Solar and wind are beginning materially to supplement the supply from hydro.        国际能源署的报告描述了可再生能源在一年来取得的显著进展,并预测接下来5年可再生能源还将持续增长。进展集中在太阳能发电方面,去年太阳能发电装机容量增长50%,到2022年还将新增660吉瓦(GW)。太阳能和风能发电正开始起到实质性地补充水力发电的作用。
        Two-thirds of additional global power generating capacity in 2016 came from renewables. By 2022, continued growth should give them 30 per cent of the global power market with a total growth in capacity of over 920 GW. China is the market leader, rapidly adding a strong manufacturing capability to its technical strength to create an industry that is producing a dramatic reduction in costs.        2016年,全球新增的发电装机容量有三分之二来自可再生能源。到2022年,可再生能源的持续增长将使其拿下全球电力市场的30%,装机容量增加总量达到逾920吉瓦。作为市场领导者的中国,迅速将强大的制造能力与技术实力结合起来,打造出一个大幅压低成本的产业。
        The IEA’s forecast comes in sharp contrast to its previous caution on renewables. Five years ago, it produced a report suggesting we were entering the golden age of gas — encouraging some to invest in a range of very big projects, many relying on the expensive process of liquefaction. The projections of gas consumption made then were significantly overoptimistic. Actual growth has been modest, and the surge in supply has forced prices down.        国际能源署的这一预测与该机构以往对可再生能源的谨慎态度形成了鲜明对比。5年前,该机构发表报告称,我们正踏入天然气的黄金时代——这鼓励一些企业投资于一系列庞大的项目,其中许多项目依赖成本高昂的液化过程。当时对天然气消费量的增长预测显然过度乐观。实际增长是有限的,而供应量激增压低了价格。
        Is this projection of renewables growth more credible, and if so what does it mean for the global energy mix, for competing sources of supply such as gas, coal and nuclear and for climate change?        此次对可再生能源的增长预测是否更为可信?假设如果真如此,这对全球能源结构,对天然气、煤炭和核能等竞争供能来源,以及对气候变化都意味着什么?
        To the first of those questions the answer is yes. Both solar and wind have made in gains in the last two years that transform their prospects.        对第一个问题的回答是肯定的。过去两年,太阳能和风能都取得了足以转变自身前景的进步。
        China accounted for 40 per cent of the global growth in renewables, surging ahead of the targets set in its 13th five-year plan for the period to 2020. Thanks to technology and mass production, costs have fallen dramatically, particularly in solar. As a result, China accounts for half of global solar consumption and some 60 per cent of global solar cell-manufacturing capacity.        中国贡献了40%的全球可再生能源增长,大幅超过其在第十三个五年规划(2016-2020年)中设定的目标。得益于技术和规模生产,成本大幅降低,尤其是太阳能。其结果是,中国占全球太阳能消费量的一半,占全球太阳能面板制造产能的60%左右。
        Wind, which is perhaps slightly neglected in the IEA’s report, has also made great gains in both productivity and costs. The latest wind auctions found prices as low as £57.50 for the new Hornsea 2 project in the North Sea. That cost does not include the back-up necessary for when the wind fails to blow but even if that were included the net result would be a price of power well below the £ 92.50 per MW/hr cost of new nuclear. Together, wind and solar are setting a new competitive benchmark.        在国际能源署的报告中有点被忽视的风能,近年也在生产率和成本上取得了长足的进步。在最近的风能拍卖上,北海新风电项目Hornsea 2的电价低至每兆瓦小时(MW/hr) 57.5英镑。这一成本不包括在无风的情况下需要的备用发电能力的成本,但就算计入这一项,最终的成本也远低于新建核电站每兆瓦小时92.5英镑的电价。风能和太阳能共同设定了新的竞争基准。
        Hydro is also neglected but is just as important given the strong base and growth potential, especially in areas such as south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.        水电也被这份报告忽略了,但考虑到其强大的基数和增长潜力,尤其是在南亚和撒哈拉以南非洲地区,这类可再生能源也同样重要。
        The IEA’s projection that renewables capacity can grow worldwide by more than 40 per cent over the next five years looks reasonable and could be even higher if policy makers and regulators can resolve the challenge of growing supplies from dispersed sources, including businesses producing their own power and selling any surplus into the grid. The old, dying model uses just a few central sources.        国际能源署预测,全球范围内可再生能源的发电装机容量将在未来5年增长逾40%,这看起来是合理的,如果政策制定者和监管机构能够解决发展分散供电来源的挑战,包括企业自行发电、并将剩余电力出售给电网,这个数字还可能更高。正在被淘汰的旧模式使用为数不多的中央供电来源。
        The growth of renewables will, of course, have some uncomfortable consequences for existing suppliers. Electricity demand is growing but additional low-cost sources will displace competing fuels. Coal is the most vulnerable, especially where emissions are regulated. But gas will also lose market share and in some places will be relegated to a balancing fuel, topping up demand when needed. Even that role will be threatened if storage technology can solve the problems of intermittency.        当然,可再生能源的增长会对现有供应商带来一些不太愉快的影响。电力需求正在增长,但新增的低成本来源将取代与之竞争的燃料。煤炭是最容易受到影响的,尤其是在排放受到监管的地方。但天然气也将失去市场份额,而且在一些地方将会降级为用来保持发电量平衡的燃料,在有需要的时候提供备份发电能力。但如果储能技术可以解决可再生能源发电间断性的问题,连天然气的这种角色都会受到威胁。
        The advances in renewables change the market structure and open up prospects in many countries. For instance, distributed off-grid solar power generation in areas such as India and sub-Saharan Africa could lift millions of people out of subsistence poverty. The IEA’s estimate is that up to 70m more people could be provided with basic electricity services in their homes over the next five years.        可再生能源的进步改变了市场结构,在许多国家打开了新的前景。比如,印度和撒哈拉以南非洲等地区的分布式脱网太阳能发电,能够让数百万人脱离生存贫困。国际能源署估计,接下来5年,将有7000多万人首次在家里用上基本电力服务。
        So, in terms of the electricity market we are at a moment of significant transition. The economics of every other potential source of supply will be measured against the falling costs of wind and solar.        因此,就电力市场而言,我们处在一个重大转变时刻。其他每一种潜在供电来源的经济性,都将与风能和太阳能发电不断下降的成本作比较。
        As a business proposition, renewables look set to advance and, given China’s dominance, radical restructuring of the rest of the sector looks essential to create genuine global competition. In Europe and the US there is too much fragmentation and too few economies of scale. Supply chains are not well integrated and there is too little long-term capital to support the possible growth.        作为一个商业提议,可再生能源看起来还将继续发展,同时考虑到中国的主导地位,要建立真正的全球竞争,对该行业的其他部分进行大规模重构看起来必不可少。在欧洲和美国,可再生能源的碎片化过于严重,规模经济严重不足。供应链也没有得到很好的整合,支持潜在增长的长期资本太少。
        But these are all problems of success and can be sorted out. Renewables are no longer an afterthought in the energy business. They are a growing, competitive sector in their own right, and a source of disruption and risk to the incumbents.        但这些都是与成功相伴的问题,是能够解决的。可再生能源不再是能源业务中一件被人事后想起来的事情,而是一个处于成长期、有竞争力的行业,给现有能源供应商带来了颠覆和风险。
        It is important, however, to maintain a sense of proportion. Wind and solar are focused almost entirely on the production of electricity, which represents around 40 per cent of final energy demand worldwide and accounts for a slightly higher proportion of total emissions.        然而,保持一种比例观念很重要。风能和太阳能几乎完全被用于发电,而电力占全球最终能源需求的40%左右,目前在总排放量中所占比例略高一些。
        The main areas of energy consumption — heat, transport beyond light vehicles and industrial use including the production of steel, cement and petrochemicals — are as yet largely unaffected. In some of those areas electrification is possible, if expensive. In others any change in the energy supply mix seems a long way off. What is happening in renewables is a substantial advance, but it is not the end of the story.        能源消费的主要领域——供暖;轻型车辆以外的交通工具;以及生产钢铁、水泥和石化产品等工业用途——还基本不受影响。在上述这些领域中,有一些在理论上可以电气化(尽管可能成本高昂)。在其他一些领域,能源供应结构的任何改变都是遥远未来的事情。可再生能源当前取得了重大进步,但这还不是故事的结束。
                
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