卫生能源的污秽秘密

翻译按:任何一个行业的革命都会遭到既有势力的阻挠。读完本文,你将精通到清洁能源为什么不可能即时取代旧能源的多少个原因,以及可能的缓解方案——政坛的参加和调剂。
正文译自《艺术学人》3月25日刊。

图片 1

管管理学人封面

Clean energy’s dirty secret

The renewables revolution is wrecking the world’s electricity markets.
Here’s what to do

  1. ALMOST 150 years after photovoltaic cells and wind turbines
    were invented, they still generate only 7% of the world’s
    electricity. Yet something remarkable is happening. From being
    peripheral to
    the energy system just over a decade ago, they are
    now growing faster than any other energy source and their falling
    costs are making them competitive with fossil fuels. BP, an oil
    firm, expects renewables to account for half of the growth in global
    energy supply over the next 20 years. It is no longer far-fetched
    to think
    that the world is entering an era of clean, unlimited and
    cheap power. About time, too.

being peripheral to: not as important as other things or people in
a particular activity, idea, or situation
e.g. The romance is peripheral to the main plot of the movie.
competitive: as good as or better than others
far-fetched: extremely unlikely to be true or to happen
e.g. The whole story sounds very far-fetched.

1)光伏电池轻风涡轮机申明大概150年后,他们依然故我只爆发世界7%的电力。但是,一些值得注意的作业正在暴发。十几年前还地处能源系统的外围,它们现在的增加速度超越任何其余能源,它们下落的基金使其和化石燃料一样有竞争力
BP,一家石油公司,推测可再生能源将占未来20年海内外能源供应增进的一半。世界正在进入一个清爽,无限和让利电力的时日不再是可疑的。也是时间难题。

  1. There is a 20trn dollars hitch, though. To get from here to
    there requires huge amounts of investment over the next few decades,
    to replace old smog-belching power plants and to upgrade the
    pylons and wires that bring electricity to consumers. Normally
    investors like putting their money into electricity because it
    offers reliable returns. Yet green energy has a dirty secret. The
    more it is deployed, the more it lowers the price of power from any
    source. That makes it hard to manage the transition to a carbon-free
    future, during which many generating technologies, clean and dirty,
    need to remain profitable if the lights are to stay on. Unless the
    market is fixed, subsidies to the industry will only grow.

hitch: a small problem that makes something difficult or delays it
for a short time
e.g. In spite of some technical hitches, the first program was a
success.
e.g. The whole show went without a hitch .

2)然则,有一个20万亿日元的小问题。从现在到未来急需在以后几十年多量的投资,以替代旧的喷出混合雾的电站和进步给顾客带来电的电缆塔和电缆。常常投资者喜欢把钱投入电力,因为它提供保障的报恩。可是,粉红色能源有一个邋遢的机要。它布置得更多,它就会让来自其他来源的电力价格回落愈多。那使得通向无碳的前程的对接难以决定,在那里面,假使要让灯继续发光的话,许多发电技术,无论清洁如故污染,需求保证盈利。除非市场是定点的,否则对行业的补贴只会拉长。

  1. Policymakers are already seeing this inconvenient truth as a
    reason to put the brakes on renewable energy. In parts of Europe
    and China, investment in renewables is slowing as subsidies are
    cut back. However, the solution is not less wind and solar. It
    is to rethink how the world prices clean energy in order to make
    better use of it.

An inconvenient
truth
是一部关于天气变化和全球变暖的纪录片,维基上译作《难以忽视的原形》——译者注
put the brakes on sth: to stop something that is happening
cut back: If you cut back something such as expenditure or cut
back on it, you reduce it.
e.g. The Government has cut back on defence spending.

3)政策制定者已经把这几个尴尬的实质看作停止可再生能源的一个缘故。在欧洲和中华的一部分地带,可再生能源的投资正在缓慢,因为补贴被削减。然则,解决方案不是更少的风和太阳能。而是重新思考世界怎么为清新能源定价,以便更好地选择它。

Shock to the system

  1. At its heart, the problem is that government-supported renewable
    energy has been imposed on a market designed in a different era.
    For much of the 20th century, electricity was made and moved by
    vertically integrated, state-controlled monopolies. From the 1980s
    onwards, many of these were broken up, privatised and liberalised,
    so that market forces could determine where best to invest. Today
    only about 6% of electricity users get their power from monopolies.
    Yet everywhere the pressure to decarbonise power supply has
    brought the state creeping back into markets. This is disruptive
    for three reasons. The first is the subsidy system itself. The other
    two are inherent to the nature of wind and solar: their
    intermittency and their very low running costs. All three help
    explain why power prices are low and public subsidies are
    addictive
    .
    4)其主导难点是,政党协助的可再生能源已经被强加到一个不比时期设计出的商海。在20世纪的大部时候,电力是由垂直整合的、国有控股的独占集团创建和运输的。从20世纪80年间开始,其中许多总揽被打破,被私有化和可行性,使市场力量可以控制最佳投资趋势。明天只有约6%的电力用户从垄断集团得到他们的电力。但是,各处去碳电力供应的压力一度使得国家幕后潜回市面。那是破坏性的,有八个原因。第一是补贴制度本身。其他五个是风和日光的特性固有的:它们的间歇性和它们格外低的运行开销。那多个原因援助解释了为啥电力价格低和公共补贴停不下来

  2. First, the splurge of public subsidy, of about 800bn dollars
    since 2008, has distorted the market. It came about for noble
    reasons—to counter climate change and prime the pump for new,
    costly technologies, including wind turbines and solar panels. But
    subsidies hit just as electricity consumption in the rich world
    was stagnating because of growing energy efficiency and the
    financial crisis. The result was a glut of power-generating
    capacity that has slashed the revenues utilities earn from
    wholesale power markets and hence deterred investment.

prime the pump: to encourage a business, industry, or activity to
develop by putting money or effort into it
slash: to greatly reduce an amount, price etc = cut
e.g. The workforce has been slashed by 50%.

5)首先,公共补贴的“挥霍”,自二〇〇八年来说约为8000亿新币,扭曲了市面。它是出于高雅的说辞——为了对抗天气变化和鞭策升高新的、昂贵的技能,包含风力涡轮机和太阳能电池板。然则,由于能源效能的四处抓好和金融危害的震慑,富裕国家的电力消耗抱残守缺,补贴就在那时候出现。结果导致过量的发电能力,大幅削减了电力服务公司从科普电力市场拿走的受益,从而阻碍了投资。

  1. Second, green power is intermittent. The vagaries of wind and
    sun—especially in countries without favourable weather—mean that
    turbines and solar panels generate electricity only part of the
    time. To keep power flowing, the system relies on conventional power
    plants, such as coal, gas or nuclear, to kick in when renewables
    falter. But because they are idle for long periods, they
    find it harder to attract private investors. So, to keep the lights
    on, they require public funds.

kick in: If something kicks in, it begins to take effect.
e.g. As discounts kicked in, bookings for immediate travel rose by
15%.
falter: to become weaker and unable to continue in an effective
way
e.g. The economy is showing signs of faltering.
idle: not working or producing anything ≠ busy
e.g. The workers have been idle for the last six months.

6)其次,红色电源断断续续。风和日光的转移莫测——
尤其是在没有合适天气的国度——意味着涡轮机和太阳能电池板仅在一部分光阴致电。为了保持电力流动,系统依靠常规的电站,例如煤、天然气或核能,在可再生能源减弱起到效果。不过因为她俩长期高居空闲景况,他们发觉很难吸引私人投资者。所以,为了有限支撑灯亮着,他们须要公共资产。

  1. Everyone is affected by a third factor: renewable energy has
    negligible or zero marginal running costs—because the wind and
    the sun are free. In a market that prefers energy produced at the
    lowest short-term cost, wind and solar take business from providers
    that are more expensive to run, such as coal plants, depressing
    power prices, and hence revenues for all.
    7)每个人都碰到第三个要素的震慑:可再生能源具有可忽略的或者是零分界运营开支——因为风和日光是免费的。在一个辅助于以压低长期资金生产能源的市场中,风能和太阳能从运行开支更高的提供商(如燃煤电厂)那里拿走生意,下跌电价,从而下落了所有人的收入。

Get smart

  1. The higher the penetration of renewables, the worse these
    problems get—especially in saturated markets. In Europe, which
    was first to feel the effects, utilities have suffered a “lost
    decade” of falling returns, stranded assets and corporate
    disruption. Last year, Germany’s two biggest electricity providers,
    E.ON and RWE, both split in two. In renewable-rich parts of America
    power providers struggle to find investors for new plants. Places
    with an abundance of wind, such as China, are curtailing wind
    farms to keep coal plants in business.

8)可再生能源的渗透率越高,那些标题越严重——更加是在饱和市场。在第一感受到影响的北美洲,电力服务集团惨遭了收入下跌、资产搁浅和店家瓦解的“失去的十年”。二零一八年,德意志两大电力供应商E.ON和RWE两家都分拆成两家。在美利坚合众国可再生能源丰富的地段,电力供应商很难找到新工厂的投资者。拥有大批量风力的地点,比如中华,正在削减风力发电站,以让燃煤电厂有职业可做。

  1. The corollary is that the electricity system is being
    re-regulated as investment goes chiefly to areas that benefit from
    public support. Paradoxically, that means the more states support
    renewables, the more they pay for conventional power plants, too,
    using “capacity payments” to alleviate intermittency. In effect,
    politicians rather than markets are once again deciding how to avoid
    blackouts. They often make mistakes: Germany’s support for
    cheap, dirty lignite caused emissions to rise, notwithstanding
    huge subsidies for renewables. Without a new approach the renewables
    revolution will stall.

9)推论是,电力系统正在被另行调整,因为投资主要去往收益于公私支撑的小圈子。龃龉的是,那表示接济可再生能源的国家越多,他们为正规发电厂支付的也越多,来选择“容量支付”来缓解间歇性。实际上,外交家而不是市场再次决定哪些避免停电。他们时常犯错误:德意志联邦共和国对方便、脏的褐煤的支持引起排放量上涨,即便其对可再生能源提供巨额补贴。没有一种新的办法,可再生能源革命将熄火

  1. The good news is that new technology can help fix the problem.
    Digitalisation, smart meters and batteries are enabling companies
    and households to smooth out their demand—by doing some
    energy-intensive work at night, for example. This helps to cope with
    intermittent supply. Small, modular power plants, which are easy to
    flex up or down, are becoming more popular, as are high-voltage
    grids that can move excess power around the network more
    efficiently.

smooth out: If you smooth out a problem or difficulty, you solve
it, especially by talking to the people concerned.
e.g. It’s O.K. I smoothed things out.

10)好信息是,新技巧可以协理缓解这一个题材。数字化,智能电表和电池使公司和家园可以解决她们的须求——例如在夜间做一些能源密集型的劳作。那促进应对间歇性供应。小型、模块化的电站,简单利落调节产能,变得越来越受欢迎,高压电网也足以更实用地在互连网上传输多余的电力。

  1. The bigger task is to redesign power markets to reflect the new need
    for flexible supply and demand. They should adjust prices more
    frequently, to reflect the fluctuations of the weather. At times of
    extreme scarcity, a high fixed price could kick in to prevent
    blackouts. Markets should reward those willing to use less
    electricity to balance the grid, just as they reward those who
    generate more of it. Bills could be structured to be higher or lower
    depending how strongly a customer wanted guaranteed power all the
    time—a bit like an insurance policy. In short, policymakers should
    be clear they have a problem and that the cause is not renewable
    energy, but the out-of-date system of electricity pricing. Then they
    should fix it.
    11)更大的天职是重新规划电力市场,以反映对灵活供需的新须要。他们应有更频繁地调整价格,以反映天气的骚乱。在十分稀罕的时候,高固定价格可以起效果来阻拦停电。市场应该奖励愿意利用更少的电力的人来平衡电网,正如他们奖励这个发生越来越多电力的人。账单可以被社团变为更高或更低,那有赖于客户多么显明地企盼一向保险电力供应——有点像保证单。可想而知,政策制定者应该明了,他们有标题,原因不是可再生能源,而是过时的电价制度。然后他们应有解决它。

原文出处:文学人杂志

译者:七呵夫

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