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Global Energy Demand & Types of Renewable Energy


What is Global Energy Demand ?

Global energy demand refers to the total amount of energy consumed by all countries in the world. It is typically measured in units of energy per year, such as terawatt-hours (TWh) or quadrillion British thermal units (Quads). The demand for energy is driven by a variety of factors, including population growth, economic development, and the level of industrialization in a given country or region. Energy is used to power homes, buildings, transportation, and industrial processes, among other things. The demand for energy is expected to grow in the coming years as the global population continues to expand and economies continue to develop.


Why is Global Energy demand growing so rapidly?

Global energy demand is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years due to a combination of factors, including population growth, urbanization, and economic development. This increase in demand is likely to put pressure on existing energy systems and may lead to the need for new, more sustainable sources of energy. Some experts predict that the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and hydro power, will become increasingly important as a way to meet this growing demand. Additionally, energy efficiency and conservation measures will also likely play a key role in helping to manage the growing demand for energy.


What is total global energy demand?

The total global energy demand varies from year to year due to changes in population, economic activity, and other factors. However, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2020, the total global energy demand was about 150,000 TWh (Terawatt-hours) and it is forecasted to continue to grow in the future. This energy is used for various purposes such as electricity, transportation, heating and cooling, and industrial processes. The majority of this energy is currently provided by fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, but there is an increasing trend towards the use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro power to meet the growing demand.


What are the Types of Renewable Energy?

There are several different types of renewable energy, each with their own unique characteristics and applications. Some of the most common types of renewable energy include:

  • Solar energy: This is the energy that is generated from the sun's rays and can be used to generate electricity or to heat buildings.

  • Wind energy: This is the energy that is generated by harnessing the power of the wind to turn turbines that drive generators to produce electricity.

  • Hydroelectric energy: This is the energy that is generated by harnessing the kinetic energy of falling water to turn turbines that drive generators to produce electricity.

  • Geothermal energy: This is the energy that is generated by harnessing the heat from the Earth's core to generate electricity or to heat buildings.

  • Biomass energy: This is the energy that is generated by burning organic matter, such as wood, crops, and agricultural waste, to produce heat or electricity.

  • Tidal energy: This is the energy that is generated by harnessing the power of the tides to turn turbines that drive generators to produce electricity.

  • Wave energy: This is the energy that is generated by harnessing the power of ocean waves to turn turbines that drive generators to produce electricity.

  • Ocean thermal energy: This is the energy that is generated by harnessing the temperature difference between the warm surface water and the colder deep water of the ocean to generate electricity.

Each of these types of renewable energy has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, and the most suitable type of renewable energy will depend on the specific conditions of the location and the energy needs.


What is Wind Power / Wind energy?

Wind power is a form of renewable energy that harnesses the power of the wind to generate electricity. It is considered a clean and sustainable energy source that produces no greenhouse gas emissions.


Wind turbines are the main technology used to generate wind power. They consist of a rotor with blades that spins when the wind blows. The spinning motion is used to drive a generator that produces electricity. Wind turbines can be installed on land or offshore in the ocean, and can vary in size from small, individual turbines to large wind farms with hundreds of turbines.


Wind power has seen significant growth in recent years, with the total global installed capacity increasing from around 17 GW in 2000 to over 730 GW by the end of 2020. It is expected to continue growing in the future as the cost of wind energy decreases and countries look to meet their renewable energy targets.


However, the wind is an intermittent resource and its output can be affected by weather conditions, so it's often used in conjunction with other forms of energy generation, like hydro, solar, or natural gas power plants to ensure a steady and reliable supply of electricity.


Largest Wind Power Plant in India

As of 2021, the largest wind power plant in India is the Kutch Wind Power Project, located in the state of Gujarat. The project has a total installed capacity of 1,140 MW and is spread across an area of around 80 sq km. The project is developed by Suzlon Energy, which is an Indian wind turbine manufacturer.


The Kutch Wind Power Project was developed in phases and commissioned between 2012 and 2016. The project was built with a total investment of around INR 7,000 crore (approximately $1 billion USD). It is considered one of the largest wind power plants in the world and has been instrumental in helping India achieve its renewable energy goals.


The wind power project is connected to the national grid, and the generated electricity is supplied to various states across the country under the National Wind Energy Mission. The Kutch Wind Power Project is also expected to reduce CO2 emissions by around 2.5 million tonnes per year.


India is the fourth-largest wind power producer in the world after China, the United States and Germany, and it has set a target of achieving 60 GW of wind power capacity by 2022, and 175 GW by 2022.


What is Solar Power Energy?

Solar power is a form of renewable energy that harnesses the energy from the sun to generate electricity. It is considered a clean and sustainable energy source that produces no greenhouse gas emissions.


There are two main types of solar power systems: photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP). PV systems use solar cells to convert the sun's energy directly into electricity, while CSP systems use mirrors to concentrate the sun's energy and then convert it into heat, which is then used to generate electricity.


PV systems are the most common type of solar power systems and can be installed on residential and commercial buildings, as well as on utility-scale solar power plants. They come in different sizes, from small rooftop systems to large solar power plants that can generate hundreds of megawatts of electricity.


Solar power has seen significant growth in recent years, with the total global installed capacity increasing from around 2 GW in 2000 to over 500 GW by the end of 2020. It is expected to continue growing in the future as the cost of solar energy decreases and countries look to meet their renewable energy targets.


Like wind power, solar power is also an intermittent resource and its output can be affected by weather conditions, so it's often used in conjunction with other forms of energy generation, like hydro, wind, or natural gas power plants to ensure a steady and reliable supply of electricity.


Biggest Solar Power Plant in India

As of 2021, the biggest solar power plant in India is the Bhadla Solar Park located in the state of Rajasthan. The park has a total installed capacity of 2,245 MW, and is spread over an area of 14,000 acres. It is a project of Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL) and comprises of multiple solar power plants built by different developers.

The project was developed in phases and commissioned between 2016 and 2018. The project was built with a total investment of around INR 13,000 crore (approximately $1.8 billion USD). It is considered one of the largest solar power plants in the world and has been instrumental in helping India achieve its renewable energy goals.

The solar park is connected to the national grid, and the generated electricity is supplied to various states across the country under the National Solar Mission. The Bhadla Solar Park is also expected to reduce CO2 emissions by around 3.2 million tonnes per year.


World largest Solar Power Plant

As of 2021, the world's largest solar power plant is the Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, located in China. The park has a total installed capacity of 4,000 MW and covers an area of 27 sq km. The park was built in stages, with the first phase commissioned in 2013, and the last phase completed in 2018.


The Longyangxia Dam Solar Park is a combination of both photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) technology. The PV systems convert the sun's energy directly into electricity, while CSP systems use mirrors to concentrate the sun's energy and then convert it into heat, which is then used to generate electricity.


The solar park is connected to the national grid, and the generated electricity is supplied to various regions across the country. It is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by around 4.2 million tonnes per year, and is a part of China's ambitious renewable energy plan to increase its renewable energy capacity to more than 1,200 GW by 2020.


It is worth to mention that there are several other solar power plants in the world with a capacity larger than 4,000 MW which are under construction or in the planning phase. As renewable energy technology continues to advance, it is likely that this list of the largest solar power plants will change in the future.


Largest Floating Solar Power Plant in the World

As of 2021, the largest floating solar power plant in the world is the Anhui Huainan Huainan Pengshui Mingyang Floating Solar Power Station, located in Anhui province, China. The plant has a total installed capacity of 40 MW and covers an area of around 180 acres.


The plant was built on a man-made lake that was created by the subsidence of a coal mine, and it is connected to the national grid. The floating solar panels are anchored to the lakebed using a system of floating anchors and mooring lines, and the generated electricity is supplied to the local grid.


The floating solar power station was built by Chinese company Sungrow Power Supply Co., Ltd, and it was completed in 2017. The Anhui Huainan Huainan Pengshui Mingyang Floating Solar Power Station is considered to be the world's first large-scale floating solar power plant, and it is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by around 30,000 tonnes per year.


Floating solar power plants have several advantages over land-based solar power plants, such as reducing evaporation from water bodies, decreasing water loss, and promoting biodiversity by creating new habitats for aquatic life. It is expected that this technology will become more popular in the future as it provides an efficient use of land, and also it is suitable for places where land is scarce or expensive.


What is Hydroelectric Power / Hydro Energy?

Hydroelectric power, also known as hydro power, is a form of renewable energy that harnesses the energy from flowing water to generate electricity. It is considered a clean and sustainable energy source that produces no greenhouse gas emissions.


The basic principle of hydroelectric power is to use the kinetic energy of falling water to turn a turbine, which in turn drives a generator to produce electricity. There are several types of hydroelectric power plants, including impoundment, diversion, and pumped storage facilities. Impoundment facilities, also called dammed facilities, are the most common type and involve building a dam on a river to create a reservoir, from which water is released to flow through a turbine. Diversion facilities do not require a dam and instead channel a portion of a river through a turbine. Pumped-storage facilities are used to store energy and generate electricity during periods of high demand by releasing water stored in an upper reservoir through a turbine.


Hydro power is the oldest and most widely used form of renewable energy, with an estimated total global installed capacity of over 1,400 GW by the end of 2020. It is a flexible source of power and can be used to meet base-load and peak-load demand.


However, hydro power can have significant environmental impacts, such as altering the flow of rivers, and can also displace local communities. Additionally, the availability of hydro power resources is geographically limited, and it's not feasible to install hydroelectric power plants in areas without suitable water resources.


Largest Hydro Power Plant in India

As of 2021, the largest hydroelectric power plant in India is the Tehri Dam, located in the state of Uttarakhand. The dam has a total installed capacity of 2,400 MW and is spread over an area of around 2 sq km. The dam is built across the Bhagirathi River and is also the highest dam in India and one of the highest in the world at a height of 260.5 meters.


The Tehri Dam was built by the Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Ltd, and it was commissioned in 2006. The project was built with a total investment of around INR 12,000 crore (approximately $1.6 billion USD). The dam is used for power generation, irrigation, and also provides drinking water to the surrounding areas.


The Tehri Dam is connected to the national grid, and the generated electricity is supplied to various states across the country. It is also expected to reduce CO2 emissions by around 3.2 million tonnes per year, and it is a part of India's ambitious hydroelectric power plan to increase its hydroelectric power capacity to more than 50 GW by 2020.


India is the fifth-largest hydroelectric power producer in the world after China, the United States, Canada, and Brazil. It has a total hydroelectric power capacity of around 45 GW, and it is expected to increase in the future as the country continues to develop its hydroelectric power resources.


What is Bioenergy or Bio energy?

Bioenergy is a form of renewable energy that is derived from biomass, which is any organic matter that is derived from plants or animals. Biomass can include things like wood, crops, agricultural waste, and even municipal waste. Bioenergy can be used to generate electricity, heat, and transportation fuels.


There are several different types of bioenergy systems, each with their own specific characteristics and applications. Some of the most common types of bioenergy include:

  • Biomass combustion: This is the most basic and widely used form of bioenergy. It involves burning biomass to generate heat, which can be used to produce electricity or to heat buildings.

  • Biogas: Biogas is produced by the anaerobic digestion of biomass, and primarily composed of methane and carbon dioxide. It can be used to generate electricity or as a fuel for transportation.

  • Biofuels: Biofuels are liquid or gaseous fuels that are produced from biomass. They can be used in place of traditional fossil fuels in transportation, such as ethanol blended with gasoline and biodiesel blended with diesel fuel.

  • Advanced bioenergy: This is a newer form of bioenergy that uses advanced technologies to convert biomass into a variety of useful products such as chemicals, plastics, and fuels.

While bioenergy is a renewable energy source, it is important to consider that the production of bioenergy can have a significant impact on the environment. The land use change, deforestation, water scarcity and air pollution are some of the challenges associated with bioenergy production. Additionally, bioenergy is not always sustainable, especially if the feedstock used is not grown in an environmentally friendly way.

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