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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 17, 2018, 05:25:47 pm »


Renewables 🌟 Now Contribute Nearly One-Fifth of U.S. Electricity Generation

By Lorraine Chow

Feb. 16, 2018 11:56AM EST

Renewable energy now makes up 18 percent of total electrical generation in the U.S., roughly double the amount a decade ago, a new report shows.

According to the sixth annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, which outlines key U.S. energy trends, renewable energy output in the power sector soared to a record high last year and could eventually rival nuclear.

The factbook, produced for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), shows that renewable generation boomed 14 percent in 2017 to hit 717 terawatt hours (TWh). This increase was driven mostly by the West Coast's rebound in hydropower generation after years of drought as well as new wind and solar projects built in 2016 coming online in 2017.

Rachel Luo, senior analyst for U.S. utilities and market reform at BNEF and lead author of the report, told Greentech Media that 18 percent might not sound like a lot but it brings renewable energy "within striking distance" of nuclear, which contributes about 20 of total annual U.S. electricity generation.

"In 2017 it's a very significant story that renewables are making a lot of headway in pushing forward the decarbonization of the power sector, even as the natural gas share decreases," she said.

Indeed, as this chart below shows, natural gas slipped 2 percent last year, from 34 percent in 2016 to 32 percent in 2017. Coal, which used to dominate the U.S. energy landscape, has also shrunk to 30 percent.

2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook

Even though natural gas is still the number one producer of U.S. power, "[its] downtick could be from a variety of factors [such as] the increasing penetration of renewables, but load growth is also stalling and … natural gas prices have recovered a little," Luo told Greentech Media.

In summary, the factbook said: "The massive and historic transformation of the U.S. energy sector clicked into a higher gear in 2017, despite new policy uncertainties. Renewable deployment grew at a near-record pace, energy productivity and GDP growth both accelerated, and the U.S. became a serious player in the global liquefied natural gas market. All of this combined to squeeze U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to a 25-year low, while keeping costs in check for consumers."

Watch here to learn more:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 16, 2018, 04:55:06 pm »

100% Renewable Electricity Worldwide Is A New Cost-Effective 🌟 Reality

February 16th, 2018 by The Beam

By Hans-Josef Fell, Energy Watch Group, and Prof. Dr. Christian Breyer, Lappeenranta University of Technology

Last year, Costa Rica beat its own record. The Central American country ran 300 days on electricity generated solely from renewable energy. Following the steps of Norway and Iceland, Costa Rica is about to showcase to the world how an emerging country can succeed in transitioning to a fossil-free electricity system.

Renewable energy is increasingly a success story in emerging and developing markets. Last year, they were leading in green energy investments. China will have added around 54 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV capacity in 2017  —  three times more than any other country has ever done, which tops China’s total amount to 120 GW of solar PV installed capacity. India is catching up too, as its government announced it would tender enough renewable energy projects to surpass 200 GW of new green capacity by 2022. According to financial analysts, by 2020 renewables will have become the cheapest form of power generation.

A global power system fully based on renewable energy is no longer a long-term vision, but a tangible reality. Yet critics of renewable energy and fossil fuels, as well as nuclear lobbyists, often use solar and wind fluctuations as their major argument to hold on to the old system.

A new groundbreaking study by the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) refutes this argument once and for all.

The first of its kind study* simulates a global electricity system based entirely on renewable energy on an hourly basis throughout a whole year. Its results prove that the existing renewable energy potential and technologies, including storage, are able to generate sufficient and secure power supply worldwide by 2050. Under favorable political conditions, a full decarbonization and nuclear phase-out of the global electricity system can succeed even earlier than that.

The study proves that 100% renewable electricity is more cost effective than the existing system, which is largely based on fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Total levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) on a global average for 100% renewable electricity will decline to 52 €/MWh (megawatt-hour) by 2050 (including curtailment, storage and some grid costs), compared to 70 €/MWh in 2015.

Due to rapidly falling costs, solar PV and battery storage will increasingly drive most of the electricity system, with solar PV reaching some 69%, wind energy 18%, hydropower 8% and bioenergy 2% of the total electricity mix in 2050 globally.

Share of electricity generation from renewable sources in 2015 and 2050. Gas capacities in 2050 only use renewable based gas. In 2050, nuclear power still accounts for a negligible 0.3% of the total electricity generation, due to the end of its assumed technical life, but could be phased out earlier.

A 100% renewable global electricity system is also way more efficient. It can reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector from about 11 GtCO2eq in 2015 to ZERO emissions by 2050. The total losses in a fully renewable electricity system are significantly lower than in the current system. And the global transition to a 100% renewable electricity system will create 36 million jobs by 2050, in comparison to 19 million jobs in 2015.

Total LCOE of global power supply in 2015 and 2050.

The global energy transition scenario is carried out in five-year time periods from 2015 until 2050 and provides handy roadmaps to 100% renewable electricity for major regions of the world: Europe, Eurasia, MENA, Sub-Saharan Africa, SAARC, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, North America and South America. These are unique roadmaps, also showing the way to fulfilling the Paris Agreement targets, signed by nearly all countries in the world.

The study shows that there is no reason to invest any single dollar in fossil fuel or nuclear power production. It also proves that energy transition is no longer a question of technical feasibility or economic viability, but of political will.

The science has proven that it is feasible.    It is now the turn of politicians, businesses and civil society to push for immediate actions, accelerating the transition.

Gaining public support is the first and most decisive prerequisite for a successful transition to renewable energy. Therefore, policy makers should adopt favourable political frameworks and instruments, promoting fast and steady growth of renewables on the one hand and phasing out all subsidies to fossil fuel and nuclear power generation on the other hand.

The German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) with a fixed feed-in-tariff is one of the best-known and proven successful policies. We also need to implement new, innovative political measures encouraging investment in renewable energy, storage and network integration simultaneously. A reformed version of the EEG  —  a hybrid renewable power plant remuneration  —  enables just that.

On the economic side of the energy transition, sufficient flow of private investment in renewables and storage technologies needs to be ensured for a smooth, fast, and cost-effective transition to 100% renewable energy.

Tendering procedures are most prominent nowadays when it comes to commissioning renewable power projects. Yet science also shows that tendering is reasonable only for renewable energy capacities above 40 MW. Otherwise they limit investors to large companies and exclude investment from decentralized actors, such as cooperatives. Tenders also limit the overall installations, whereas the feed-in-tariffs allow more and faster dynamics in the deployment of renewables.

Last but not least, research and education in the sphere of renewable energy and zero-emission technologies needs to be boosted. This will ensure more effective power generation in the future and new technological breakthroughs in the field of renewables.

The study is part of a larger study analyzing the entire energy system, including electricity, heat, mobility, desalination, and industrial demand. Lappeenranta University of Technology and the Energy Watch Group will publish the findings of the entire study in 2018.

*The study “Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy” is co-funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) and the Stiftung Mercator.

Read more from The Beam.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 25, 2018, 10:29:15 pm »

✨ 5 Reasons Why The Clean Energy Future Can’t Be Stopped

January 22, 2018  |  By Kevin Haley

Energy used to be a boring industry—no pun intended. For over a century, the proven formula for success was to drill, mine, generate, and consume more energy than the year before. But in 1976, a young energy analyst named Amory Lovins decided to question that paradigm in an article titled “Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?” This line of questioning kicked off a 35-year shift in the energy sector, giving rise to incredible innovation and a fundamental move away from legacy fuels and toward clean, cheap, low-carbon electricity and energy efficiency.

Out of this shift has emerged a new, exciting industry that’s poised to make energy cleaner and cheaper than ever before. In fact, no longer must we wonder whether renewable energy resources can power our future economy, but rather, “how quickly can we reach a truly low-carbon future?”

Simply put, it’s now safe to say that clean energy isn’t just winning—it has officially won. As we focus our efforts on accelerating the adoption of clean energy, here are five compelling reasons why the clean energy future can’t be stopped.

Follow the Money

Perhaps the most surefire proof of a global transition to clean energy is to follow the money. The research teams at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report that “Renewable energy sources are set to represent almost three quarters of the $10.2 trillion the world will invest in new power generating technology until 2040.” Even more significantly, across the Asia Pacific region (including the Chinese and Indian economies), BNEF reports that renewables will account for more than 60 percent of new energy investments, versus just 10 percent for coal and gas generation. That sounds like a ratio that could make a difference!

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Meanwhile, the market for green bonds—investment securities that generate money to be used for projects with environmental or climate benefits—has soared to record heights. Green bond issuance reached $155.5 billion worldwide in 2017, up 78 percent from the previous year on strong backing by the United States, China, and France. Finance experts predict additional exponential growth in 2018 and are optimistic that green bonds could be a $1 trillion market by the end of 2020.

When faced with the overwhelming amount of money flooding the sector, it’s hard to argue that the future will be anything but renewable-powered.

Renewable Energy’s Biggest Myth Goes Bust  ;D

The “expensive” renewables myth is dead and we killed it. In late December 2017, RMI announced that construction began on a 3 MW solar project in New Mexico that will sell its power below 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. This price is officially the lowest reported contract for distributed photovoltaic solar energy across the entire U.S., beating coal prices that average 6 cents and up per kilowatt-hour and competing with natural gas prices averaging 4.2 cents and up, according to Lazard.

Source: Lazard

But wait, there’s more. In January 2018, Colorado utility company Xcel Energy received “shockingly low bids” for electricity from renewable sources. How shocking? Wind power bids had a median average price of 1.8 cents per kilowatt-hour, and solar’s median bid was 2.95 cents per kilowatt hour. Even with storage technology costs included—allowing renewables to generate 24/7 just like fossil fuels—the average wind price was 2.1 cents per kilowatt hour and the average solar price was 3.6 cents per kilowatt hour. According to the Denver Post, if wind bids come in at 2 cents per kilowatt hour, customers would save $175 million versus building new fossil fuel plants.

If there’s one thing these stories tell us, it’s that the bogus myth of “expensive renewables” is well and truly dead. Not only will the low-carbon economy be better for the environment, but it will be better for electricity customers as well.

Big Business is All-in on Renewables

Source: RMI’s Business Renewables Center

In 2017 corporate renewable energy buyers reached a cumulative 10 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy projects. This milestone means that corporate-backed renewable projects now power the equivalent of more than 7 million homes. And as more companies make the choice to buy renewable energy to power their operations, the market is responding to enable smaller, more diversified companies to transact as well.

In the past year, companies buying renewables ranged from high-tech players like Google and Facebook to heavy industrials like Cummins and auto manufacturers like General Motors. Even beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev got in on the action with not one, but two renewable energy purchases including a massive wind farm in Oklahoma. Combined, these businesses and their peers contracted for 3.11 GW of power last year, the second-best year ever for corporate renewable energy buying.

It’s important to realize that these companies buy renewables not because they have to, but because it’s good for business. With more than 10 GW of new renewables coming online due to corporate buyers, the tide is turning against naysayers who believe renewables are only viable due to government intervention.

Dead Man Driving 

The days of internal-combustion-powered transportation appear to be coming to a rapid close. Over the past year or so, governments in China, India, France, Britain, and Norway all announced that they are considering bans on gas and diesel cars. In addition to the proposed internal combustion engine (ICE) bans, a number of countries are creating official sales targets for electric vehicles (EVs), including Ireland, Japan, Korea, and Spain.

And as we see with corporate renewable energy buyers, the private sector is primed to play a major role in catalyzing the shift to low-carbon EVs. At the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, Ford Motor Co. announced that it plans to grow its investment in EVs to $11 billion by 2022—nearly a 250 percent increase over initial plans to spend $4.5 billion by 2020. Analysis from Reuters shows that this commitment brings the overall EV investment pipeline from global automakers to $90 billion. General Motors alone plans to bring 20 new battery and fuel-cell electric models to market by 2023.

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Between governments seeking to control pollution and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector, and a rapidly evolving private sector eager to make money off the electrification transformation, it sure looks like the Tesla has left the garage for good on EVs.

Big Oil and Gas…And Renewables?

The renewables revolution is here to stay, but don’t take it from us. Take it from the likes of Shell, BP, and Exxon. These oil and gas giants are already planning for a low-carbon world with new investments in renewable energy companies and new climate initiatives in the wake of pressure from key shareholders.

In January 2018, Shell announced an investment of up to $217 million in a Nashville-based solar company. Shell’s VP of solar explained the decision by saying, “This joint venture partnership progresses our new energies strategy and provides our U.S. customers with additional solar renewable options.” Meanwhile, just one month earlier, BP announced its plans to invest $200 million in a major European solar developer.

While these are still relatively small clean energy bets compared to what these companies spend on their core business, this is a trend we’re going to watch closely.

Winning Isn’t Enough

 The evidence certainly suggests that renewables have won and a low-carbon future is all but inevitable. But unfortunately, that’s not good enough. Climate change still represents an existential threat to our way of life as we know it. While 2017 ranked as the second-hottest year since 1880, the Trump administration 🦀 continues “dismantling efforts to fight climate change.”

Needless to say, despite the good news on clean energy’s promises, now is the time to redouble our efforts and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy  . To quote Amory Lovins in 1976, “We shall not have another chance to get there.”


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 24, 2018, 04:57:26 pm »

Climate Nexus Energy Desk mmiceli@climatenexus.org

Companies sign record clean energy contracts ✨, France to double wind power, and more

January 24, 2018:

Companies signed a record number of clean energy contracts last year, with big technology firms leading the way. France announced a ten-point plan to double the amount of wind power by 2023 by simplifying administrative procedures.

The upcoming surge of solar power in Texas threatens $1.4 billion worth of fossil fuels. 

Puerto Rico plans to get 30 percent of its power from renewables, as part of a move to privatize its utility and modernize its grid.
Charts & graphs: 10 trends shaping the power sector in 2018

Greentech Media: Electric Airplanes Could Remake Aviation

Companies signed a record 5.4 gigawatts of clean energy long-term contracts last year -- the equivalent of at least 10 coal-fired power plants. Big tech companies like Apple and Facebook are leading the charge on these investments, even as the administration rolls back policies in support of clean energy. The U.S. led the globe, accounting for 57 percent of total company clean energy contracts. (Bloomberg)

France unrolls its ten-point plan to double wind power capacity by 2023. The plan will halve the time it takes-- currently seven to nine years-- to get wind projects up and running by simplifying administrative procedures. Globally, wind power capacity has grown by an average of 22 percent a year since 2006. The International Energy Agency estimates that in five years global renewable energy will be 30 percent of the power mix. (Reuters)

Nissan is moving into the residential solar-plus-storage business. The company has been looking into how decommissioned batteries from its fleet of Nissan Leaf electric vehicles can be repurposed for energy storage. The Nissan Energy Solar system will include a home energy management system which allows users real-time control over where their power comes from. The systems will initially only be sold in the UK, and will save users as much as 66 percent on their electric bills. (CNET)

An expected boom in solar power is threatening $1.4 billion worth of fossil-fueled electricity generation in Texas. Hefty additions of renewables to the grid are changing the economics of power markets. With an additional 15 gigawatts of solar power expected in the coming years, the increase in power supply to the grid will send wholesale electricity prices down during peak summer demand. Many fossil fuel plants rely on peak demand hours to make their profits for the year. In related news, , construction will begin this week on Texas’ largest utility-scale solar project, a 236 megawatt installation that can power the equivalent of 50,000 homes. (Bloomberg)

Puerto Rico is looking at plans for its grid that include getting 30 percent of its power to come from renewable energy. The goal is part of the governor’s plan to privatize the island’s troubled utility, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. Prior to Hurricane Maria the power authority was running the grid on an outdated system that was 28 years older than the average U.S. electric utility. Months later, less than 64 percent of Puerto Rico’s homes and businesses have power. (Reuters)

Solar advocates are urging regulators in Michigan to reject DTE Energy’s proposal to build a new natural gas plant. Instead, comments filed suggest the utility should look to a combination of solar, wind, energy efficiency and demand response to replace the generation lost from coal plants slated to retire between 2020 and 2030. The coalition of solar advocates estimates that DTE customers could save between $339 million and $1.2 billion from a clean energy portfolio. The filing opposing the proposal also suggests DTE Energy distorted its analysis and underestimated the risks of building a combined-cycle natural gas plant. (Greentech Media)

The Trump Administration 🦀 ruled to place a 30 percent tariff on imports of solar cells and modules . The tariff amount will decline over a four-year period, dropping to 15 percent on year four, and the first 2.5 gigawatts of solar imports annually will be exempt. Solar is the fastest growing new power source worldwide, and employs between 260,000 and 374,000 people in the U.S. The ruling will likely harm solar installers, who rely on low-cost hardware, and could cost the industry thousands of jobs. (Vox)

“The main driver is there are so many more companies demanding it. Large financial institutions have entered the space, and they’re big buyers,” said Kyle Harrison, a corporate energy strategy analyst for BNEF, on historic levels of company procurement of clean energy.

Make Nexus Clean Energy News part of your week: Click here to subscribe.

Send updates or feedback to Samuel T. Frank, Ph.D., at sfrank@climatenexus.org.
Copyright Climate Nexus 2016.

Climate Nexus · 171 Madison Ave., Suite 901 · New York, NY 10016 · USA
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 17, 2018, 02:21:11 pm »

54 Gigawatt  :o Chinese Solar Boom Drives Global Clean Energy Investment To New Highs, Overshadowing Australian & Mexican Momentum 

January 17th, 2018 by Joshua S Hill

With solar PV installations in China expected to have reached 54 gigawatts in 2017, new figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance show that global clean energy investment totaled $333.5 billion last year, up 3% and the second highest annual figure ever, coinciding with impressive momentum in both Mexico and Australia.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) published its annual clean energy investment figures this week, and it was good news almost all around. The mammoth year China had in terms of solar PV installations — which are expected to come in at around 54 gigawatts (GW) when all is said and done — helped push global clean energy investments to its second highest level ever, $333.5 billion, which is only 7% short of 2015’s record $360.3 billion.

China unsurprisingly led the way with a record $132.6 billion worth of clean energy investment in 2017, accounting for 40% of the global total — $86.5 billion of which was spent on solar investments, making up just over half of the world total spent on solar in 2017.

“The 2017 total is all the more remarkable when you consider that capital costs for the leading technology — solar — continue to fall sharply,” explained Jon Moore, chief executive of BNEF. “Typical utility-scale PV systems were about 25% cheaper per megawatt last year than they were two years earlier.” In other words, the decrease in solar costs has been well and truly offset by a massive increase in solar spending.

Electrical and Mechanical Services Department Headquarters Photovoltaics

“China installed about 20GW more solar capacity in 2017 than we forecast,” added Justin Wu, head of Asia-Pacific for BNEF. “This happened for two main reasons: first, despite a growing subsidy burden and worsening power curtailment, China’s regulators, under pressure from the industry, were slow to curb build of utility-scale projects outside allocated government quotas. Developers of these projects are assuming they will be allocated subsidy in future years.

“Second, the cost of solar continues to fall in China, and more projects are being deployed on rooftops, in industrial parks or at other distributed locales. These systems are not limited by the government quota. Large energy consumers in China are now installing solar panels to meet their own demand, with a minimal premium subsidy.”

The second largest clean energy investor in 2017 was the United States, which spent $56.9 billion, up only 1% on its 2016 total — which doesn’t seem like much progress, until you take into account the almost preternatural opposition to clean energy that has taken hold of the White House.

Australia wind farm

There were of course a number of countries leading the way, but two countries which deserve special attention are Mexico and Australia, which saw clean energy investment increase by 516% to $6.2 billion and 150% to $9 billion respectively, thanks in part to large wind and solar project financing.

Unfortunately, there were a few countries which also saw their levels fall in 2017. Japan saw investment drop by 16% in 2017 to $23.4 billion, Germany dropped 26% to $14.6 billion, and the UK’s level dropped by an unhealthy 56% to only $10.3 billion. When looked at as a whole, Europe’s clean energy investment dropped 26% to only $57.4 billion.

“2017 was a breakout year for the Australian Clean Energy sector, said Leonard Quong, a Senior Analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Sydney. “Total investment in clean energy in Australia rose to a record $9 billion, smashing the previous record of $6.2 billion set in 2011. However 2017 will likely mark a peak — investment will begin to taper over the coming years unless there is a significant change in government policy.”

It is unsurprising that solar was the leading recipient of clean energy investment in 2017 with a total of $160.8 billion, or around 48% of the global clean energy investment total. Wind was the second biggest sector with $107.2 billion, down 12% on 2016 levels — a disappointment offset slightly by record-breaking project financing deals for both onshore and offshore. Specifically, American Electric Power backed the 2 GW (gigawatt) Oklahoma Wind Catcher project at $2.9 billion, while Ørsted reached final investment decision on the 1.4 GW Hornsea 2 project worth an estimated $4.8 billion.

The third biggest sector receiving clean energy investment was energy-smart technologies — such as smart meters and battery storage, energy efficiency and electric vehicles — which took in $48.8 billion in 2017, up 7%. However, the remaining sectors fell far behind with the next closest, biomass and waste-to-energy, down 36% to only $4.7 billion.


Agelbert NOTE:   The Renewable Revolution is an UNSTOPPABLE TIGER! 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 16, 2018, 01:08:42 pm »

Australia Poised For Renewable Energy Breakout 

January 16th, 2018 by Steve Hanley

High electricity costs make renewable energy more attractive. That’s why Bloomberg thinks Australia is poised to have a renewable energy bonanza. “The payback period for residential solar is now as low as it was in 2012, when super-generous feed-in tariffs and subsidies drove a massive boom in installations,” says Annabel Wilton, an analysts for Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Sydney.

Solar Growth In Australia

By 2040, up to 45% of Australia’s electrical power is predicted to come from “behind the meter” systems consisting of solar panels and battery storage located on private property. If that prediction comes true, Australia will lead all other countries in renewable energy production.”We will see I think a boom over the next decade in battery storage and also solar thermal, we’re starting to see that play out now in South Australia,” says Andrew Stock of Australia’s Climate Council.

renewable energy forecast BNEF

Warren Hogan, an independent economist, says the forces behind the trend toward more renewable power include the highly publicized failures of the electrical grid in the southeastern part of the country last year together with the high cost of electricity brought on by higher prices for coal and natural gas. “The key is probably the price of electricity and energy in the domestic market, is elevated and has remained that way for a couple of years,” Hogan says, according to a report by MSN. “So that’s made the economics of these big capital investments more favorable and they are big initial capital outlays.”

Shifting Political Winds

The political winds have shifted in favor of renewables as well, Hogan says. “There is a strong support for traditional energy sources, such as coal and gas in the current Federal Government — but even in some parts of the government you’re seeing support when renewables come through. It’s being backed up by policy and support, particularly from state governments. It’s a big shift in the domestic energy scene.”

French company Neoen was the developer for the Tesla 100 MW battery storage project in South Australia last year. It is now considering a much larger storage project capable of supplying the energy needs of 57,000 homes in Queensland near its Kaban Green Power Hub southwest of Cairns. Garth Heron, Neoen’s head of wind development for Australia, tells Bloomberg that Queensland has “a lot of need for electricity storage.”

The project with Tesla “opened up [Neoen’s] thinking with respect to large-scale storage,” he says, according to a report by Forbes. Although Tesla has not yet become involved in the Queensland project, the fact that it worked well with Neoen in South Australia suggests both companies would be willing to work together again if the opportunity arises.

The Largest Solar Power Plant In Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald reports this week that the University of New South Wales has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with Maoneng Australia, whose Sunraysia solar power plant near Balranald will provide 530,000 MWh of electricity annually — more than any other solar installation in the country. The university has contracted to buy about a quarter of that supply — 124,000 MWh — which is enough to meet virtually all of its electrical energy needs. “We are seeing a strong trend amongst corporate energy users turning to PPAs as a way to hedge against future pricing movements and to meet their green energy objectives,” says a spokesperson for Australia’s Energy Action. People in Australia use words like “amongst” and “whilst” frequently.

“Over the past six months, UNSW has collaborated with our contract partners Maoneng and Origin to develop a Solar PPA model that leads the way in renewable energy procurement and reflects our commitment to global impact outlined in our 2025 strategy,” says Ian Jacobs, vice chancellor for the university. The PPA will be a major part of its commitment to become energy carbon neutral by 2020.

“This agreement reflects the thought leadership coming from UNSW on climate change,” Jacobs told Fairfax says. “It’s a highly competitive agreement financially [that will] allow UNSW to secure carbon emission free electricity supplies at a cost which is economically and environmentally attractive when compared to fossil fuel-sourced supplies.”

Business Is Business

There are plenty of politicians around the world who are in thrall to fossil fuel companies. But business is business, so they say, and nothing gets the attention of business people like the opportunity to slash costs. The trend toward renewables in Australia proves once again that if the people will lead, their leaders will follow — eventually.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 14, 2018, 09:41:56 pm »

Staying updated on the latest solutions, policy changes, and actions by our leaders to end the climate crisis isn’t easy. With our planet’s future at stake, it’s important to be armed with the truth about our movement’s progress.

We’ll keep you informed by sharing facts like:

֍ In 2000, analysts at the International Energy Agency projected the world would have 30 gigawatts of wind energy capacity installed by 2010. As it turned out, wind power clocked in at 200 gigawatts of capacity in 2010, exceeding the analysts’ projections by nearly seven times. In 2016, the world exceeded the analysts’ mark by over 16 times!

֍ Experts projected in 2002 that the world would install 1 gigawatt of solar power per year by 2010. That projection was beaten by nearly 17 times when 2010 rolled around. And we beat that figure 73 times over in 2016!

֍ The cost of utility-scale solar has fallen 85 percent between 2009-2016 alone.  We're getting closer to grid parity in more and more markets around the world, which means solar power increasingly costs as much as or less than electricity from fossil fuels!


Every week, we share valuable resources and facts like these to help citizens better understand how our climate is changing and the solutions that exist. We also make it easy for you to share this content with your friends and family. 

Visit our blog to stay educated and empowered on the movement for climate solutions and to learn ways to get involved. 

Get started today.

- Your friends at Climate Reality
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 12, 2018, 12:31:59 pm »

South Australia Approves World’s Largest Single-Tower Thermal Solar Plant

January 12th, 2018 by Joshua S Hill

The state of South Australia has announced approval for the construction of the world’s largest single-tower solar thermal plant to be built near Port Augusta, a 150 megawatt beast that, in the wake of the successful development of the world’s largest Li-ion battery, serves to solidify South Austalia’s role as a world leader in renewable energy.

Announced on Wednesday by South Australia’s Acting Energy Minister, Chris Picton, the State Government has approved SolarReserve’s $650 million (USD$512 million) Aurora solar thermal plant. Set to be developed 30 kilometers north of Port Augusta, Aurora will be made up of a single tower surrounded by more than 12,000 heliostats, and will be able to provide approximately 500,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity production annually. More specifically, Aurora will boast 1,100 MWh of energy storage in its integrated molten salt energy storage system, which is enough to provide 8 hours of full load power after dark. 

Image courtesy of SolarReserve

The $650 million Aurora Solar Energy Project will therefore be able to generate electricity and collect and store energy during the daytime and provide 100% of the electricity needs of all of South Australia’s schools, hospitals, police stations, and government buildings. And though there are larger solar thermal projects, this will be the world’s largest single-tower solar thermal project.

“It’s fantastic that SolarReserve has received development approval to move forward with this world-leading project that will deliver clean, dispatchable renewable energy to supply our electrified rail, hospitals, schools and other major government buildings,” said Acting Energy Minister, Chris Picton. “This approval triggers an investment of about $650 million, will create a total of about 700 construction and ongoing jobs in Port Augusta and will add new competition to the South Australian market, putting downward pressure on power prices.

“South Australia is fast becoming a global centre for the development of renewable energy with storage, with a range of other projects set to come online over the next few years.”

Rendering of the Aurora Solar Energy Project, Image courtesy of SolarReserve

Aurora will also serve to create about 4,000 direct and indirect jobs as well as 650 full-time local jobs during construction, and 50 ongoing positions during operation. The project has already had enormous support from Port Augusta locals, as well as the wider South Australian community, and is expected to begin construction sometime this year. SolarReserve, the California-based developer behind the project, will also seek to focus equipment and service purchasing in South Australia, supporting an entirely new industry and develop a new supply chain in the state which will be able to to support other such projects in and around the region.

“This important milestone is a significant step in the development of the Aurora solar thermal power station, which will bring SolarReserve’s world-leading clean power generation technology to South Australia,” added SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith. “The remarkable story of the transition of Port Augusta from coal to renewable energy — which won a competitive tender against fossil fuel — is also a preview of the future of power generation around the world.”

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 05, 2018, 01:41:22 pm »

January 5, 2018

Renewables cover German power need for 1st time

Germany's power production and consumption on 1 January. Source - Federal Network Agency 2018.

Germany has crossed a symbolic milestone in its energy transition by briefly covering around 1…
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 21, 2017, 01:00:00 pm »

Germany Predicted To Set Renewable Energy Record In 2017

December 20th, 2017 by Steve Hanley


The share of renewables among all electricity produced in Germany this year was actually closer to 36%, since Germany exports power to other European countries. The nation’s power system is “decarbonizing itself in big steps,” Kapferer says. According to his organization’s calculations, coal has fallen from 40.3% of total electric production last year to 37% this year. “The reduction of coal-fired power production is in full swing,” he told the press in Berlin recently. He added that the trend is bound to continue in coming years, as “nobody will invest in hard coal plants any longer,” due to changes in the marketplace.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 16, 2017, 04:30:23 pm »


World's Largest Solar-Wind-Storage Plant Planned for India 

By Lorraine Chow

Dec. 15, 2017 11:33AM EST


A wind, solar and battery storage plant is being planned for the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, which has faced power woes in recent months due to grid failure.
The renewable energy facility will consist of 120 megawatts of solar, 40 megawatts of wind, 20-40 megawatt-hours of battery backup and will be spread over 1,000 acres :o in the district of Anantapur.

According to CleanTechnica, such an installation will be the world's largest once commissioned.

The estimated $155 million project was jointly developed by Solar Energy Corporation of India, the renewable energy agency of Andhra Pradesh, NREDCAP and Andhra Pradesh Transco.

Significantly, the plant will receive funding through a loan from the World Bank  , which announced this week that it would stop financing oil and gas projects  ;D  to help the global shift to cleaner energy sources.

As CleanTechnica noted, the bank's support is good news for the project:

"The fact that the World Bank has agreed to fund the project means that the tariffs would likely be extremely competitive, even with the existing thermal power plants in the country. The World Bank had offered debt funding for a 750 megawatt solar power park in the state of Madhya Pradesh earlier this year. The auction for that solar park broke the record for the lowest solar power tariff in the country at that time."

Full article:


Agelbert NOTE: It's not enough to put much of a dent in the fossil fuel corporations' current profit over planet worldwide rampage of oil and (fracked) gas unrestrained and unregulated production, but it is better than nothing.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 15, 2017, 10:01:49 pm »

Latin America, A New Leader in Renewable Energy

December 12, 2017

By Katherine Olalla

Katherine is a Masters candidate at New York University Center for Global Affairs, with a concentration in Energy Policy and Environment. She is interested in sustainable development and renewable energy investment projects.

Latin America’s progress in tackling climate change is excelling and showing that its ambition plans are positioning this region as a new leader in renewable energy. In response to the threats of climate change, Latin America is taking bold climate actions to invest in renewable energy projects and adopting new energy policies to mitigate climate change impacts. As one of the most vulnerable regions to the effects of climate change, many Latin American countries showed their desire for a greener world at the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) developing strategic plans to increase the deployment of renewable energy and reduce greenhouse emissions.

First, investment in renewable energy is on the rise as a result of the frequency of natural disasters in the region. In 2017, Latin American countries experienced catastrophic floods, droughts, and storms. Hurricanes like Irma and Maria caused major impacts on the Caribbean islands like Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Hurricane Irma devastated Cuba, 158,554 were displaced from their homes, 980 health facilities were affected, and 95,000 hectares of agriculture land was damaged. Hurricane Maria hit the Dominican Republic dropping 20 inches of rain flooding hundreds of houses. In countries like Peru and Colombia, the number of fatalities caused by natural disasters linked to climate change was even higher than previous years. In Peru, more than 100 people have died as a result, of the magnitude of this year’s floods. In October 2017, Colombia faced the deadliest flood in South America where at least 254 people died in Mocoa town.

Second, many Latin American countries like Uruguay are increasing the deployment of solar and wind energy supporting the reduction of global emissions of carbon dioxide. Scientists predict that greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels will rise by 2 percent by the end of this year. The rise in use of coal in China this year has been a contributor to this problem. According to National Geographic, there are positive trends showing that Mexico and other Latin American countries are decreasing their emissions. Costa Rica was the first Latin American country to run entirely on renewable energy for more than 250 days, leading by example as the greenest countries in the region.

Read: How Uruguay Became a Wind Power Powerhouse

Latin America demonstrated leadership at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany. Countries like Brazil, Mexico and Chile are heavily investing in solar and wind energy. Brazil invested 7.1 billion in renewables in 2015 demonstrating its high potential to transit to a low-carbon economy. While Chile is proudly leading solar energy with the implementation of the biggest photovoltaics plant (El Romero) in the region that has the capacity to produce energy for 240,000 Chilean homes. Chile is also promoting renewable energy at the commercial level as Google Chile gets 100 percent of its energy from this solar power plant. Argentina and Mexico showed their interest in being part of a meaningful change by setting renewable energy targets, adopting support policies and providing fiscal incentives. Mexico excelled by being the first developing country to submit a climate pledge to the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 and the first one to address adaptation to climate change in its pledge. Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina expressed his support to renewable energy and issued a decree at the beginning of this year to make Argentina generate 8 percent of their electricity from renewable sources for the entire current year.

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23), main Latin American cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Quito, Caracas, Mexico City, and Santiago de Chile participated in global alliances among 25 global cities, where they committed to work harder and implement projects to address climate change impacts before 2020. Colombia and Ecuador were awarded at COP23 for their thriving initiatives. Colombia won the Momentum for Change award for its work with young scientists from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and Ecuador received the Impulse for Change award for the initiative, Sustainable Agriculture with Inclusion and Participation of Gender.

Latin America’s actions are showing to the rest the world that it is a regional leader for scaling up the use of renewable energy. Latin America appears to be home for some of the most promising renewable energy projects. Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico are already taking advantage of green funds. As we see the world being impacted more frequently by natural disasters caused by climate change, we will see more pro-renewables actions from Latin America.


Agelbert NOTE: I'm happy for Latin America but what they are doing to transition will probably not be enough to avoid more frequent and more intensely deadly catastrophic climate change damage.

WHY?  Because the fossil fuel industry worldwide is in a production binge! Did you know hat there are massive LNG carrier ship traffic jams in the newly expanded Panama Canal? The Canal authority is not allowing more than one natural gas ship a week.

Just a few years ago there weren't ANY of those ships going through the Canal. Now they are backed up there because of all the putput from Frackers from the USA that are exporting all they can. 

Yes, readers, instead of reducing the polluting, planet heating emissions, the fossil fuel industry worldwide has opened the production flood gates. Russia is producing more oil and gas than ever as it continues plans to extract all types of fossil fuels from the Arctic as the ice melts.

Goldman Sachs is saying Big Oil in the USA and Europe had a fantastically profitable year! The pollution business is BOOMING!

What this massive production spike of oil and gas means to the biosphere is that the radiative forcing level from the RCP 8.5 (Representative Concentration Pathway), considered  the "Business as Usual" scenario by he IPCC, is WELL BELOW the actual emissions in 2017. That's right, folks. BUSINESS AS USUAL is now producing MORE than 8.5 W/m2 of radiative forcings. IOW, they are going to have to come up with a NEW "Trump and Putin Business as Usual" Global Warming scenario called the RCP 9.0 (or greater).

The graphic below was our new reality as of 2016. Now at the end of 2017, it has only gotten WORSE.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 15, 2017, 04:54:15 pm »

European Utilities Commit To 100% Carbon-Neutral Electricity “Well Before” 2050 … Because It’s Cheaper

December 8th, 2017 by Steve Hanley


The members of Eurelectric have unanimously agreed to a Vision Declaration that commits them to an ambitious program of making all electricity generated in Europe carbon neutral by 2050. “Our industry sees a great opportunity on the path towards a progressively decarbonized and fully sustainable European energy future.

Electricity is playing a growing role in making this vision happen and Eurelectric is determined to accelerate the energy transition through a progressive electrification of Europe’s energy consumption while making the European power sector carbon-neutral well before mid-century,” says Francesco Starace. 

full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 14, 2017, 03:06:04 pm »

World Bank Puts Fossil Fuels On Notice

December 13, 2017

By Jennifer Delony Associate Editor

The World Bank Group (WBG) yesterday during the One Planet Summit in Paris said that, as of 2019, it will no longer finance exploration for and production of oil and gas. 

The One Planet Summit, which was organized by the United Nations (UN) and WBG, brought together local, regional and national leaders from around the world, along with public and private finance entities to identify ways to accelerate global efforts to fight climate change.

WBG said that it will make exceptions in its stance on gas financing in the poorest countries where it benefits energy access for the poor.

In addition, WBG said that it will present a “stock-take” of its Climate Change Action Plan, which includes targeting 28 percent of its lending for climate action by 2020, and announce new commitments and targets for after 2020 at COP24 in Poland next year.

In related news, leaders from select regions in North and South America signed a “Declaration on Carbon Pricing in the Americas” during the One Planet Summit.

According to the UN, the initiative will apply a cost of carbon to guide public investment decisions in relevant jurisdictions, and encourage private companies to do the same through internal carbon pricing.

Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico, as well as the Governors of California and Washington and the Premiers of Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec, launched the “Carbon Pricing in the Americas” cooperative framework.



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 14, 2017, 03:01:43 pm »

Hurricane Maria Windfield at 11:00 AM September 20, 2017

Multi-Billion Dollar Plan to Re-Power Puerto Rico Includes DERs, Renewables

December 12, 2017

By Jennifer Runyon Chief Editor

If Hurricane Sandy, during which millions of New Yorkers lost power and damage to the electric grid was substantial, was the spark that ignited New York’s “Reforming the Energy Vision, aka REV” then perhaps Hurricane Maria will be the spark that ignites a new energy vision for Puerto Rico.

Read: Hurricane Sandy Uncovers Strength and Simplicity of Renewable Energy Systems

On Tuesday, December 12, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced a plan to rebuild and transform Puerto Rico's electric power system with modern grid technologies and control systems. The new system will have increased renewable generation, such as wind and solar; incorporate new distributed energy resource (DER) technologies, such as energy storage and microgrids; reduce dependency on fossil fuels; and enable energy to become abundant, affordable and sustainable for the people of Puerto Rico, according to the Governors.

The plan was created by the Puerto Rico Energy Resiliency Working Group established by Governor Cuomo to aid the island in its damage assessment and power grid rebuild planning. Member of the working group include the organizations heavily involved in the energy transformation such as the New York Power Authority, DOE, ConEd, EPRI, SEPA, NREL and others.

The group released a 63-page report, “Build Back Better: Reimagining and Strengthening the Power Grid of Puerto Rico,” which offers its vision for the future of the transmission and distribution system, system operations and generation and includes damage assessments and cost estimates. An implementation roadmap is also included in the report.

The total estimated costs, including a 30 percent scope confidence escalator, come in at a whopping $17.6 billion. Of that $17.6 billion, $1.4 billion would support the development of DERs including microgrids and solar PV. Another $97 million would go to rebuild hydro and renewable power plants.

The envisioned system will be more resilient, efficient, advanced, and less dependent on fossil fuel imports that cost Puerto Ricans more than $2 billion annually, said the Governors in a press release.

Read: Microgrids, Solar, Energy Storage Could Be Foundation of Puerto Rico’s Energy Recovery

The working group's rebuild recommendations are based on experience implementing power system recovery, rebuilding and hardening in the aftermath of hurricanes encountered on the U.S. mainland over the last decade. The recommendations include the use of modern technology and incorporate lessons learned from the successful rebuild efforts in other regions after natural disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy in New York. Additionally, the plan's recommendations align with the U.S. Department of Energy's recommendations for power system hardening and resiliency.

"After Superstorm Sandy, Governor Cuomo saw firsthand the real hardships of New Yorkers without electricity and heating for days and even weeks on end," Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance, New York State.  "The Governor immediately put into action a strategy to rebuild the grid of the past with the grid of the future under Reforming the Energy Vision, or REV, for a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system. I'm proud to be part of the plan to ensure Puerto Ricans will benefit from New York's experience and knowledge as we help the U.S. territory rebuild their grid."

"In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in New York, a plan was immediately put into place to harden and enhance the power grid to ensure storms would not damage our communities in the future — and now is the time to implement a similar plan to ensure these upgrades are also completed in Puerto Rico," Governor Cuomo said. "We need to act now to transform the island's power grid and provide the people of Puerto Rico with a modern and reliable electric system."

The development of the plan was undertaken in parallel with New York State's post-hurricane assessment and restoration support to Puerto Rico that began in September. Currently, more than 450 New York State utilities workers are on the ground in Puerto Rico, working diligently to repair the island's power grid.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 02, 2017, 01:20:54 pm »


Renewable Energy Isn’t Perfect, But It’s Far Better Than Fossil Fuels  

By David Suzuki

December 2, 2017

In their efforts to discredit renewable energy and support continued fossil fuel burning, many anti-environmentalists have circulated a dual image purporting to compare a lithium mine with an oil sands operation. It illustrates the level of dishonesty to which some will stoop to keep us on our current polluting, climate-disrupting path (although in some cases it could be ignorance).

The image is a poor attempt to prove that lithium batteries and renewable energy are worse for the environment than energy from oil sands bitumen. The first problem is that the "lithium mine" is actually BHP Billiton's Escondida copper mine in Chile (the world's largest). The bottom image is of an Alberta oil sands operation, but it's an in situ underground facility and doesn't represent the enormous open-pit mining operations used to extract most bitumen.

ithium is used in batteries for electric cars, cellphones, computers and other electric devices, as well as power-grid storage systems, because it's light and highly conductive. Most lithium isn't mined. More than 95 percent comes from pumping underground brine into pans, allowing the liquid to evaporate and separating out the lithium using electrolysis.

Any real comparison between oil sands and lithium batteries shows that oil sands products, from extracting and processing to transporting and burning, are by far the most destructive. Extraction and production destroy habitat, pollute air, land and water and produce greenhouse gas emissions. Burning the fuels causes toxic pollution and wreaks havoc with Earth's climate.

Does that mean batteries are environmentally benign? No. All energy sources and technologies have some environmental impact—one reason energy conservation is crucial. A 2010 study comparing the environmental impacts of electric cars to internal combustion vehicles found the latter are far more damaging, taking into account global warming potential, cumulative energy demand and resource depletion. Battery components, including lithium, can also be recycled, and used electric car batteries can be repurposed to store energy for homes, buildings and power grids.

Lithium wasn't found to be a major environmental factor for electric car batteries, but copper, aluminum, cobalt and nickel used in the batteries have high impacts. Materials used to make other car components, for electric and internal combustion vehicles, also come with environmental impacts.

The energy sources used to charge car batteries also determine the degree of environmental impact. If coal is the main source, negative effects are much higher than if the power comes from hydroelectric or renewables such as wind and solar. But the impacts are still lower than fueling cars with gas.

One study found using lithium for a rapidly expanding electric vehicle market, as well as numerous other products and devices, could cause supplies to become scarce. As with fossil fuels, this means more destructive methods, such as mining, would be required. But these arguments are more against private automobiles than batteries. Electric vehicles are part of the short-term solution, but reducing environmental damage from transportation, including climate disruption, will require shifting as much as possible to better alternatives such as public transit, cycling and walking.

We still need batteries, though. Storage systems are essential to making the best of renewable energy. They make power available when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing. Finding ways to make them—and other renewable energy components such as solar panels and wind turbines—with minimal environmental impact is a challenge. Some components in electric vehicles and solar panels use "rare metals," which are often mined in ways that damage the environment and endanger miners. But these materials are frequently used in newer internal combustion vehicles, too.

Part of the solution is to improve labor and environmental standards in mining operations—a challenge considering many materials are mined in Africa by Chinese companies that put profit above human health and the environment.

The good news is that renewable energy and storage technologies are advancing rapidly, with attention paid to the environmental impacts of materials used to make them. The ability to recycle batteries and their components is also improving, but it needs to get better.

Renewable energy is already far better environmentally than fossil fuel energy. It's time to shift from current massive fossil fuel support and subsidies to making renewable energy as clean and available as possible.

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Editor Ian Hanington.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 12, 2017, 01:20:38 pm »

Trump Or Not, Electricity Customers Want Renewable Energy

November 12th, 2017 by Tina Casey


One good example of the strength of the consumer choice movement is CleanChoice Energy, which reached out to CleanTechnica last week to draw attention to its #2 slot in the “energy tech” category of Deloitte’s new Technology Fast 500 report.

Full article:


Agelbert Comment: GMP (Green Mountain Power) of Vermont continues to try to get its customers to pay a HIGHER rate for Renewable Energy, even though I am certain it costs them less. Instead of fostering the use of Renewable Energy, GMP is pretending to do so while trying to gouge customers such as myself for using it. 

Hey GMP, WHEN are you going to get with the Renewable Energy Program and start LOWERING your rates for Renewable Energy use so more customers will request it?

Yeah, I know, that offends your CAPITALIST 'greed is good' religion.  So it goes.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 11, 2017, 02:54:02 pm »

There's a New Push to Bring Solar to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

Brian Kahn

November 9, 2017 Filed to: HURRICANE MARIA


Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands continue to suffer through the worst blackout in U.S. history after Hurricane Maria rocked the region more than seven weeks ago. But some of the brightest spots in the otherwise slow, scandal-plagued recovery have have come from solar. And there’s a new push to turn the sun into energy.

On Wednesday, the Solar Foundation announced that it’s sending $5 million in donated equipment to the battered U.S. territories as part of the Solar Saves Lives initiative.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 09, 2017, 10:53:10 pm »


New Zealand’s prime minister wants to go fully renewable by 2035



After defying all odds and becoming New Zealand’s leader at only 37, Jacinda Ardern wants the country’s electrical grid to be powered fully by renewable energy.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 09, 2017, 10:33:34 pm »

100% Global Renewable Electricity No Longer Flight Of Fancy, More Cost-Effective Than Current System

November 9th, 2017 by Joshua S Hill


Making a global transition to a 100% renewable electricity grid has long been a dream of many, but new research published this week by the Lappeenranta University of Technology has proven it is no longer just a dream but a viable reality — a reality that is more cost-effective than the current fossil fuel-reliant system.

Presented on Wednesday during the Global Renewable Energy Solutions Showcase event (GRESS) on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn, Germany, the new study — Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy – Power Sector — was conducted by the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and the Energy Watch Group (EWG).

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 01, 2017, 05:18:12 pm »

Excellent Informative and Accurate Infographic:

What does the appetite for renewable energy investment look like in the wake of the United States' withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement? We received responses from 94 US companies and institutions - over 40 of which are in the Fortune 500 - to learn about their attitudes and practices in renewable energy post-Paris.

This infographic to gain insights on the seven key findings from this landmark research.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 26, 2017, 10:15:46 pm »

How to Keep the Lights On After a Hurricane


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 26, 2017, 10:10:58 pm »

Two Steps Forward

RMI @ 35: A conversation with Amory Lovins

Joel Makower

Monday, October 23, 2017 - 2:11am


Amory Lovins is co-founder and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, arguably the world’s most influential energy think tank that this year is celebrating its 35th anniversary. Over those 3.5 decades, RMI has provided the vision and intellectual firepower for what now is commonplace: ultra-efficient vehicles; healthy and efficient buildings; utility business models that decouple energy sales from profitability; and other things. And, above all, illuminating a path toward cheap, ubiquitous and nonpolluting energy, growing economies and creating opportunities across the globe.

Much of this began well before RMI was created, in 1982. In the wake of the 1970s energy crisis, Lovins wrote a landmark article for Foreign Affairs, Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken? in 1976. It described the two energy choices: the hard path, continuing to rely on dirty centralized energy generation; and the soft path, combining energy efficiency with a shift to renewable supply. The article became the journal’s most reprinted article and led President Jimmy Carter to invite Lovins to the Oval Office to have a discussion that helped form the president’s energy policy.

Over the years, RMI, which began in Lovins’ home in Snowmass, Colorado, now operates out of a net-zero-energy building  in nearby Basalt, along with offices in Boulder, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Beijing.

On the occasion of RMI’s 35th, I spoke to Lovins about his unwavering vision and the challenges and opportunities he sees going forward. The conversation has been edited for clarity and length.


(Lovins):We found in "Brittle Power" that a handful of people could turn off two-thirds of the oil and gas supplies to the eastern states in one evening without leaving Louisiana. But we also found the grid was more vulnerable than that, and it still is. 

Makower: So now that some of those chickens are coming home to roost — in Puerto Rico, in wildfires of northern California, in Texas and Florida and many other places around the world — are you seeing this as a teachable moment?

Lovins: Very much so — if those making the decisions care to listen. I've had, of course, many unsuccessful attempts to raise the energy security and resilience issues over the last 36 years. And other than the Department of Defense, most audiences have not been very receptive, because it contradicts their view of what they want to build.

To give an example of why this matters in the, say, Puerto Rican and Caribbean context, we've had a quite extensive effort with Carbon War Room, now part of RMI, and Richard Branson, to switch from diesel to distributed renewables on the islands.

I wrote an essay for the theater commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010. The title is Efficiency in Micropower for Reliable and Resilient Electricity Service: An Intriguing Case-Study from Cuba. I've not been to Cuba, but I had good information from people who know it well about how in 2005, Cuba had 224 serious blackout days. In 2006, it had three. In 2007, it had zero. And in 2008, two hurricanes in two weeks shredded their eastern grid, but they still sustained vital services, just as they did in recent weeks when the same things happened again. There was immense destruction, but things like hospitals kept working.

What did they do to create this extraordinary increase in resilience? Well, they started with efficiency, with a shipload full of Chinese export, credit-financed, very efficient appliances, comparable to good Energy Star models — things like lights, fans, refrigerators, rice cookers, pressure cookers and pumps. Those were mandatorily deployed all over the country. They switched to a steeply inverted tariff. They had a major public education campaign about Revolución Energética.

Most importantly, they switched the architecture of the grid from extremely centralized, based on 11 geriatric, Soviet heavy-oil plants, to much more distributed. They shut roughly half those plants and connected as netted islandable microgrids. That means that each locality normally interchanges electricity freely through the big grid with other areas, but if the big grid fails, then each locality isolates fractally, meets critical loads as best it can with local resources, and will then later detect, rethink and reconnect if the grid comes back.

In other words, it's exactly what the Pentagon doctrine has now said we should do for all our military bases so that their stuff works. And the misfortune Cuba had when they were doing this in 2005, 2006 and 2007, is that they couldn't get into the long waiting list for wind and solar, which at the time was still quite expensive because everybody else was ahead of them in the queue.

So they bought a bunch of mainly Caterpillar diesel generators. They weren't worried about the oil because Hugo Chavez would give them Venezuelan oil in exchange for doctors. That arrangement, of course, is now fraying with events in Venezuela, and they are now gradually switching to wind and solar, which is where they wanted to be in the first place.

But the combination of efficiency, some demand response and especially the resilient grid architecture produced the kind of result that we could and should have had in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.   

Excellent lengthy article outlining many truths (with supporting stats and data) the fossil fuel polluters do not want you to know about:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 25, 2017, 06:12:13 pm »

China committed to making world green again 

By Wee Kean Fong | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-25 07:35


China's pursuit of modernization is aimed at establishing total harmony between human beings and nature, said General Secretary Xi Jinping in his holistic report at the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Oct 18.

Adding that more efforts are needed to boost green growth, reduce pollution, protect the ecosystem and reform the ecological supervision system, Xi said China's ecosystem will see fundamental improvements between 2020 and 2035. That goal is in line with the country's pledge to cut carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 percent from the 2005 level by 2030. It also honors the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and manifests China's inclination to build an ecological civilization.

Over the past five years China has been scrupulously developing an eco-friendly economic growth model, by adapting a green, low-carbon approach, and its efforts seem to be paying off.

During the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-15), the country reduced its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 20 percent, which is roughly 2.34 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to World Resources Institute.

China's industrial sector, which accounts for 70 percent of its total carbon emissions, is expected to see major improvements as progress has been made in nourishing the service sector and reducing the industry's dependence on energy, especially fossil fuels. For example, the service sector accounted for 51.6 percent of China's GDP in 2016, about 11.8 percentage points higher than the industrial sector.

Consumption of fossil fuels, particularly coal, has shrunk accordingly as the country taps into renewable resources. By 2015, China had an installed non-fossil fuel energy generation capacity of 1,525 gigawatts, almost three times more than in 2005. By the end of last year, it had an installed capacity of 77 gigawatts of photovoltaic power; the figure for 2011 was just 2 gigawatts. And coal accounted for 63.7 percent of total energy consumption in 2015, 8.7 percentage points lower than in 2005.

Since 2011 at least 87 low-carbon pilot cities across the country have been working on green development. Most of them aspire to reach their peak carbon emissions before 2030; cities including Beijing and Guangzhou in South China's Guangdong province even intend to achieve that goal by 2020.

China also aims to become the world's largest market for carbon emission permits, which refers to the buying and selling of carbon permits and credits to emit carbon dioxide. The seven pilot cities traded permits for 120 million tons of carbon dioxide worth 3.2 billion yuan ($492 million) by last September, and a nationwide carbon trading market is underway.

The Paris Climate Agreement is aimed at keeping the average global rise in temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and preferably below 1.5 C. That said, global greenhouse gas emission is expected to peak by 2020, and China, one of the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters, is likely to make a big difference to it with its emission-reduction endeavors at home and abroad.

The 20 billion yuan South-South Cooperation Fund on Climate Change marks a historic move for Beijing, which has also promised to help developing countries build low carbon demonstration areas, provide personnel training and donate energy-saving renewable energy facilities. And the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, which shares the low-carbon ambition, will help the country to keep contributing to global green growth now that the United States has withdrawn from the Paris agreement.

The author is the China Climate Program Lead, World Resources Institute.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 22, 2017, 03:57:05 pm »

Alternative Energy: Love the Environment, Save More

The buzzword for the last 10 years is "alternative energy." A lot of environmentalists, economists, and home owners are labeling it as the last-ditch effort to protect Mother Earth, as well as boost a country’s economy.

Seriously, what’s with renewable energy sources that make them very popular and controversial all at the same time?
The Numerous Advantages

There are indeed so many reasons to love alternative energy. Topping the list is the fact that it is highly economical, and, despite its expensive installation cost, practical.

The word “alternative” is just another term for “renewable.” This means that the source of your energy can be replenished for all eternity. For example, the energy from the sun will never run out unless it becomes a black hole. The wind will always be present as long as there will be cold and hot air. The inner cores the earth are constantly boiling, making them good sources for geothermal energy. The kinetic energy they produce can then be converted into electrical power.

At an economic standpoint, you will never run out of sources for your electricity. This is in contrast with fossil fuels and coals that are now constantly being depleted that they will soon become very rare commodities. This will then further increase their price in the market, and consumers have to pay more for their usage.

Moreover, since home owners and businesses no longer have to completely depend on conventional sources for electricity, they can now reduce their utility bills to as much as 90 percent every year.

Second, there are already a lot of countries that are adapting alternative forms of energy for sustainability, and they are inviting their citizens to patronize them by offering tax breaks and tax credits. That spells more savings for families and businesspersons. The government is also able to save since they don’t have to spend a lot of money on importation.

For the past few years, there is the emergence of green jobs. These are positions that have been created due to the need of expertise and skills in running and managing these forms of energy. In the process, clean energy is able to generate jobs for plenty of individuals. The wind industry alone already employs 2,000 people in the United States. These renewable types of energy also opened plenty of doors for those who want to go into business. They can manufacture parts in producing wind turbines, hybrid cars, or solar panels. They may also be tapped to sell renewable energy kits to residences and small businesses.

A lot of communities are now able to sustain themselves economically. For instance, they can develop their own wind farm and sell electrical power to households in the area.

These energy sources are also considered to be very environment friendly. This is because they don’t give off carbon emissions that would only further damage the earth’s atmosphere and promote global warming. They don’t pollute the rivers or seas, destroy the forests, or cause health hazards to people.

Types of Energy Sources

The good thing about alternative energy is that there are so many of them that you can choose from—and there will be more in the coming years as technologies and science continue to improve. You can opt for the most ideal one based on a number of factors or learn to combine them to generate full electricity for your property.

One of the most popular is the solar energy. As its name implies, the power actually comes from the sun. To collect the energy, they make use of photovoltaic cells with silicon, boron, and other materials. These cells are then grouped together into frames or solar panels. They are the ones that absorb a certain amount of power from the sun that allows electrons in the cells to move freely and create current.

The panels are sometimes attached to a battery, which is then used as an energy saving device. Whenever there is not enough sunlight, the stored power can be used to generate electricity.

Another alternative energy will be wind power, which can be converted into electricity by means of an alternative energy source called turbine. Wind is simply defined as air movement. The cold air goes down just as the hot air rises. Because wind has its own mass and motion, it develops kinetic energy, which can then turn the blades found in these turbines. The blades are then controlled by the rotor. You will also find an enclosure composed of gear box, which speeds up the rotation and help produce more wind energy, and the generator, which converts wind power to electricity.

Then you have the alternative energy called hydroelectric power. More than 1 billion people all over the world are taking advantage of water energy for electricity. The way they function is very similar to wind power. The only difference is that the source of the kinetic energy will be the strong flow of water.

Though hydroelectric power plants are stable since they have been around for several years, they can also be pretty unpredictable. This is because they are highly dependent on the bodies of water of the earth as well as the rain that falls to the ground. If the weather is going to be too hot, the amount of water in these plants will drop, making it harder for them to generate enough kinetic power that can be converted into electricity.

A unique form of alternative energy will be biomass. The energy is derived from plants, even while they are still alive, to materials that are derived from them such as dead wood, food crops, and alcohol fuels. Though both fossil fuels and biomass give off carbon dioxide, new plants are able to absorb the element from the dead living things; hence, they can help lessen global warming. There are many ways on how to utilize biomass energy.

Then you have geothermal energy. This alternative energy is derived from the inner core of the earth, which is usually hot, and the heat that comes from the sun and touches the land’s surface. There are many uses of geothermal power. One of these is the production of electricity. But its efficiency is quite low, just less than 25 percent, and there could be a significant wasted exhaust heat. Hence, most plants would also use geothermal energy for heating buildings and greenhouses

The Growing Potential and Significance of Wind Energy

Wind Energy: Its Significance Today.What is the importance of wind energy? Why are there so many countries that are now shifting their electrical source from the conventional fossil fuel to wind?

More info and several links:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 06, 2017, 08:22:58 pm »

The Political Storm About To Hit US

October 6th, 2017 by George Harvey


Looking out my window here in Vermont, I can see the storm clouds are gathering, and they are not pretty. There are two storms that I see, but they are are not weather. I hope they will not hit here too badly. I expect one will hit Washington D.C. pretty hard. And with it, I expect the Republican Party will be hurting.

The first is economic, and it relates to the energy industries. It is already well underway.

Full well written and logically sound article:


Stoli Cat • 2 hours ago
I'm afraid this storm will get much worse before it gets better. The Republican Congress has no intention to impeach a man who still has sizable support from their base. Why would they? He's removing business, social and environmental rules that suit them just fine. Meanwhile, extremist judges keep getting appointed. North Korea and Iran could turn into a real nightmare. Republicans don't have the balls to step back from their deal with the Orange Devil. Democrats continue to be corporate-owned, nice and spineless.
It's going to get much worse before it gets better. Apparently this is what stupid and lazy American voters need.

•Reply•Share ›

Dan > Stoli Cat • 2 minutes ago
If the tax breaks for the rich fall apart the GOP will find itself unfunded. The donners have been very out spoken about that fact. I was just looking for a story I saw on that the other day. I think it was on TYT but I didn't see it on their you tube page. Anyway the video I saw had quotes from GOP donners which where very much along the lines of quid quo pro statements about wanting results. They are getting very in your face about the fact that they bought the government and I wonder how long the courts can turn a blind eye to it.
My advice is get to a point where you are as self reliant as possible. If things get ugly on a global scale the avg person on the streets will feel the pain. I think the great depression might look good compared to what is ahead of us. My grandfather always said the depression wasn't bad here on the farm they grew all their own food and only needed a few stables like flower and sugar which they could bater for so they got by ok. But alot of other people in town who couldn't raise their own food where not so lucky. Looking forward I think about that lesson alot and think how can I limit my dependency on purchased goods.
•Reply•Share ›
agelbert >  Stoli Cat • 14 minutes ago
Yes, it is going to get uglier and uglier. The polluters go away or humanity perishes.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr:
In the next decade there will be an epic battle for survival for humanity against the forces of ignorance and greed. It’s going to be Armageddon, represented by the oil industry on one side, versus the renewable industry on the other. And people are going to have to choose sides – including politically.

They will have to choose sides because oil and coal, they will not be able to survive – they are not going to be able to burn their proven reserves. If they do, then we are all dead. And they are quite willing to burn it.

We’re all going to be part of that battle. We are going to watch governments being buffeted by the whims of money and greed on one side, and idealism and hope on the other.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 02, 2017, 05:50:33 pm »

Hurricanes Clear The Way For Tesla To Power Puerto Rico & The Caribbean

October 2nd, 2017 by Steve Hanley

Natural disasters create destruction and pain, but also open doors to opportunity. The tsunami that destroyed the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan changed that country’s mind about relying on nuclear energy to create electricity. The devastation visited upon Puerto Rico and several other islands in the Caribbean this year has left their electrical grids in ruins. While that has created  hardships for the residents, it has opened the door to discussing whether renewable energy companies like Tesla can and should be part of the rebuilding process.

A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 17, 2017, 10:17:00 pm »

Global Warming Tipping Points and Renewable Energy Explosive Growth 

Peter Carter EGU 2017 Climate Emergency

Peter Carter 

Published on Jul 16, 2017

Peter Carter of the Climate Emergency Institute at the European Geoscience General

Assembly April 2017
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 03, 2017, 07:55:23 pm »

The 6 Countries Leading on Renewable Energy, But Could Improve on Incentives, Regulatory Support

September 1, 2017 By Jennifer Delony Associate Editor

Recently released heat maps from Sustainable Energy for All identify countries and regions where improvements would increase the share of renewables in the global energy mix to 36 percent of total final energy consumption by 2030.

More Data

Top 5 Countries Planning for Renewable Energy Expansion

United States
United Kingdom

Top 5 Countries in Incentives and Regulatory Support for Renewable Energy
United Kingdom

Top 3 Countries for Carbon Pricing and Monitoring
Republic of Korea

Source: Sustainable Energy for All

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 23, 2017, 10:33:22 pm »


Rocky Mountain Institute celebrated our 35th anniversary on August 3, 2017. RMI and special guests, friends, and supporters gathered to recognize 35 years of transforming global energy use at our award-winning Innovation Center, in Basalt, Colorado.

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