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Annex III is intended to become a ‘living document’, which will be updated in the light of new information in order to serve as an input to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Scientists that are interested in supporting this process are invited to contact the IPCC WG III Technical Support Unit (TSU) (using email@example.com) in order to get further information concerning the submission process. Comments and new data input will be considered for inclusion in Volume 3 of the IPCC AR5 according to the procedures of the IPCC review system.
This Annex contains recent cost and performance parameter information for currently commercially available renewable power generation technologies (Table A.III.1), heating technologies (Table A.III.2) and bio-fuel production processes (Table A.III.3). It summarizes information that determines the levelized cost of energy or energy carriers supplied by the respective technologies.
The input ranges are based on assessments of various studies by authors of the respective technology chapters (Chapters 2 through 7). If not stated otherwise, the data ranges provided here are worldwide aggregates. Data are generally for 2008, but can be as recent as 2009. They represent roughly the mid-80% of values found in the literature, hence, excluding outliers. The availability and quality of different sources of data varies significantly across individual technologies for a variety of reasons. Some expert judgment is therefore required to determine data ranges that are representative of particular classes of technologies and specific periods of time and valid globally.
Solar energy is abundant and offers significant potential for near-term (2020) and long-term (2050) climate change mitigation. There are a wide variety of solar technologies of varying maturities that can, in most regions of the world, contribute to a suite of energy services. Even though solar energy generation still only represents a small fraction of total energy consumption, markets for solar technologies are growing rapidly. Much of the desirability of solar technology is its inherently smaller environmental burden and the opportunity it offers for positive social impacts. The cost of solar technologies has been reduced significantly over the past 30 years and technical advances and supportive public policies continue to offer the potential for additional cost reductions. Potential deployment scenarios range widely—from a marginal role of direct solar energy in 2050 to one of the major sources of energy supply. The actual deployment achieved will depend on the degree of continued innovation, cost reductions and supportive public policies.
Solar energy is the most abundant of all energy resources. Indeed, the rate at which solar energy is intercepted by the Earth is about 10,000 times greater than the rate at which humankind consumes energy. Although not all countries are equally endowed with solar energy, a significant contribution to the energy mix from direct solar energy is possible for almost every country. Currently, there is no evidence indicating a substantial impact of climate change on regional solar resources.
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