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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 18, 2018, 09:15:11 pm »



May 18, 2018

#Energiewende #Renewables

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

100-percent renewable German energy system possible – study

Powering a large country like Germany entirely with renewable energy is possible, and could even be cheaper than conventional energy sources, according to a study by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Technical solutions for all of the well-known problems that come with “a full energy transition” already exist, says co-author and physicist Tom Brown in a KIT press release.

Blackouts are not a problem either, Brown says, as renewables could be used to create hydrogen or methane gas reserves stored for emergencies or times of low output from wind and solar power plants.   

Find the study in English here.

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/reactions-eu-air-quality-lawsuit-100-renewables-possible-study
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 15, 2018, 08:52:20 pm »

 
Make Nexus Hot News part of your morning: click here to subscribe.

May 15, 2018

INT'L RENEWABLES: Almost half of Australian big business moving to renewables (The Guardian), why a 100-year-old Indian company is investing billions into renewable energy (Quartz), solar power could save water in thirsty Middle East, North Africa, analysis says (Thomson Reuters Foundation), almost half of Australian big business moving to renewables (The Guardian), German offshore wind pioneer said to plan $1 billion stake sale (Bloomberg)

OIL & GAS: Arctic oil 'undrillable' amid global warming: U.N.'s ex-climate chief (Reuters), Statoil to become Equinor, dropping 'oil' to attract young talent (Reuters), Shell spreads its bets around as it prepares for a greener future (New York Times $), linguistic analysis shows oil companies are giving up on climate change (Quartz), Powder River Basin sees 10,000 permit drilling battle (AP), Shell faces shareholder outcry over incident that killed 200 (Bloomberg), investors urge fossil fuel firms to shun Trump's Arctic drilling plans (The Guardian)
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 13, 2018, 02:50:57 pm »

CleanTechnica
Support CleanTechnica’s work via donations on Patreon or PayPal!

Or just go buy a cool t-shirt, cup, baby outfit, bag, or hoodie.


Costa Rica: 1st Country To Achieve Independence From Fossil Fuels?

May 13th, 2018 by Steve Hanley


City in Costa Rica image via The Real Deal Tours

Costa Rica, nestled between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south, is making plans to be entirely free of fossil fuels in the very near future. New President Carlos Alvarado, age 38, told a cheering crowd at his inauguration last week, “Decarbonization is the great task of our generation and Costa Rica must be one of the first countries in the world to accomplish it, if not the first. We have the titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in our economy to make way for the use of clean and renewable energies.”


Geothermal plant in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has made impressive strides in its campaign to rely strictly on renewable energy for its electricity. In 2017, it had 300 days in which renewables met its entire demand for electricity. It is at the forefront of geothermal energy and has taken a leading role in the world community when it comes to banning plastics.

Yet it suffers from the same curse as every other nation in the world — too damn many automobiles. On a percentage basis, Costa Rica’s new car market is growing faster than China’s, at about 25% a year, and the streets of its capitol city, San José, are choked with traffic that seems to grow worse by the day. As a result, while carbon emissions from electricity generation are falling, emissions from internal combustion engines are soaring.

Less than 2% of the cars in Costa Rica are electrics and hybrids. Last year, demand for gasoline was up 11% according to The Guardian. But president Alvarado has a plan to deal with the curse of fossil fuel powered cars. During his campaign, he announced a goal of ending fossil fuel usage by 2021. “When we reach 200 years of independent life, we will take Costa Rica forward and celebrate … that we’ve removed gasoline and diesel from our transportation,” he promised, according to a report in The Independent.


While that goal is laudable, it will be hard to reach, says José Daniel Lara, a Costa Rican energy researcher at the University of California-Berkeley who claims completely eliminating fossil fuels within just a few years is probably unrealistic, even though the plan will lay the groundwork for faster action towards that goal. “It must be seen by its rhetoric value and not by its technical precision,” Mr Lara said.


Bill McKibben

@billmckibben
 Costa Rica, which has no army, now plans to get off fossil fuel entirely in the next few years. This is what leadership looks like. https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/costa-rica-fossil-fuels-ban-president-carlos-alvarado-climate-change-global-warming-a8344541.html?amp

3:59 AM - May 12, 2018
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Regular CleanTechnica collaborator Monica Araya, who is an economist and director of Costa Rica Limpia, says her country’s plan to wean itself off of fossil fuels in all sectors, including transportation, sends a powerful message to the world. As most of the world’s developed countries dodge and weave around the subject of fossil fuels and their impact on the COP21 agreements they all agreed to, Costa Rica is holding up a mirror and saying, “Look. If we can do this, so can you!”

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Monica Araya
@MonicaArayaTica
 #Podcast by @Monocle24 talks about #CostaRica's vision to move beyond #fossilfuels. Here's a brief interview I did.  Our (new) President's decision is an idea whose time has come. It was several years in the making. It is hard but doable! (Last 6-7 min)https://monocle.com/radio/shows/the-globalist/1705/ …

9:10 AM - May 12, 2018
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Araya is also a champion of the C40 Cities program, whose mission is to change the world, one city block at a time. Cities have been leaders of climate action in recent years, and Milan is now taking a leadership role by looking at a similar target to Costa Rica’s.


C40 Cities

@c40cities
 #Milan will have a zero-emission historical city centre by 2030, banning all fossil fuel vehicles from the city centre by 2029. By signing the C40 Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Declaration, the pioneering city pledged to ensure that a major area of their city is zero emission by 2030.

7:00 AM - May 11, 2018
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Is there any guarantee that Costa Rica will succeed in banning fossil fuels by 2021? No, there is not. But establishing such a goal is an important step in moving Costa Rica and the world toward a future in which carbon emissions no longer threaten to destroy the world and all living things who depend on it for survival. If Costa Rica misses its goal by a few years or even a decade, at least it will be helping change people’s minds about fossil fuels. Attitudes change slowly, but as the Chinese saying goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step.”

Related: Busting Electric Car Myths In Costa Rica & Globally (CleanTechnica Video)


https://cleantechnica.com/2018/05/13/costa-rica-1st-country-to-achieve-independence-from-fossil-fuels/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 11, 2018, 06:22:53 pm »

GLOBAL CITIZEN

May 10, 2018

Costa Rica's New President Just Banned Fossil Fuels

By Joe McCarthy  and  Erica Sanchez

Quote
"We have the titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels.”

SNIPPET:

Costa Rica’s new president Carlos Alvarado announced a ban on fossil fuels Wednesday, establishing the small country as a major trailblazer in the global fight against climate change, according to Telesur TV.

More than 2,000 people crowded the Plaza de la Democracy in the capital San Jose to witness the historic announcement. Alvarado, who officially took office Tuesday, underlined his commitment by arriving in a hydrogen-powered bus.

"Decarbonization is the great task of our generation and Costa Rica must be one of the first countries in the world to accomplish it, if not the first," Alvarado said during the event.

"We have the titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in our economy to make way for the use of clean and renewable energies,” he added.

Full article:

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/costa-ricas-new-president-banned-fossil-fuels/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 09, 2018, 07:03:51 pm »

mmiceli@climatenexus.org



Global renewable jobs reach record high, wind farms are boosting local taxes, India installed more renewables than coal and more.

May 9, 2018: U.S. solar and wind companies are increasingly supporting Republican candidates, and vice versa. Global renewable energy jobs hit an all-time high of 10.3 million last year. Wind farms are boosting local tax bases across the U.S., in some areas by as much as 30 percent. Universities that have long offered fossil-fuel related degrees are now offering diplomas in solar and wind amid growing demand. India installed more renewable energy capacity than coal last year for the first time.



Quote
Renewable energy has become a pillar of low-carbon economic growth for governments all over the world...” said Adnan Z. Amin, director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency, on the growth of renewable energy jobs as detailed in their latest report.



In a first, India installed more renewable energy capacity than coal last year. The country added almost 11,800 megawatts of renewables, more than double the amount of other fuels. The largest additions came from ground-mounted solar and wind, although these have not met national targets. While accounting for a smaller amount overall, rooftop solar, biomass, small hydro and waste-to-energy have surpassed target capacity additions. The government is aiming for 175,000 megawatts of added renewable power by 2022. (Quartz)



Wind farms are giving a boost to local tax bases in the U.S., generating new revenue for needed capital expenditures. Almost half of total installed wind capacity is located in Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma and California. In one county in Iowa, the tax base grew nearly 30 percent due to new wind projects. Tech companies such as Apple and Facebook invested almost $10 billion in data centers in the state due to the abundance of wind power. Government incentives, clean energy requirements and strength of wind power all play a role in where wind gets built. (Reuters)

An increasing number of U.S. universities that offer fossil-fuels related degrees are now offering diplomas in wind and solar technology. Although the starting salary for clean energy jobs may not be as high as those in oil and gas, many students are opting for the renewable energy jobs because of the opportunities the growing field offers. While need for workers in the oil and gas industry decreases with automation, the renewable energy industry needs skilled workers now, and educators expect that these programs will increase in size as renewables become increasingly competitive with fossil fuels. (Wall Street Journal $)



Domestic solar and wind energy companies have donated more money to Republicans than to Democrats in congressional races for the current election cycle. These industries are becoming more mainstream and receiving increasing Republican support as their economic benefits are realized. Solar and wind employ about 300,000 people across the country, almost six times more than coal mining. Polling shows that support for clean energy is widespread among voters. (Reuters)

Global renewable energy employment hit an all-time high of 10.3 million last year, according to a new report by IRENA. The total represents a 5.3 percent increase over 2016, with over 500,000 new jobs created. The solar industry accounted for the highest number overall, largely driven by China. Altogether, China, Brazil, the U.S., India, Germany and Japan accounted for 70 percent of the world’s renewable energy jobs. (CNBC)

An increasing number of Americans say their next car will be electric, according to AAA. Twenty percent of Americans now see themselves purchasing an EV when the time comes, a five percent increase from 2017. This is partially attributable to less concern about running out of battery power while driving, a fear that AAA finds to be largely unfounded. Lower maintenance costs for electric vehicles and increasing gas prices have also fueled this upward trend. While the vehicles still have higher upfront prices, credits can help offset the cost and the EV market is growing every year. (USA Today)



The dissolution of Suniva continues as the company received approval to auction off its parts. Equipment controlled by both SQN Capital Management and Suniva Wanxiang America Corp. will be sold, although there doesn’t appear to be eager buyers for the equipment.. Suniva was one of two solar companies to petition the Trump administration to place a tariff on imported solar products, but the tariffs did not help revive the company. (Greentech Media)

https://mailchi.mp/climatenexus/global-renewable-jobs-reach-record-high-wind-farms-are-boosting-local-tax-bases-india-installed-more-renewables-than-coal-and-more
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 27, 2018, 06:49:59 pm »




California State Senator: 100 Percent Renewable Energy is ‘Within Reach’ ✨
April 26, 2018

By John J. Berger
     
Whereas research reports by the world’s most eminent climatologists seem almost daily to bring foreboding climate news, renewable energy proponents who met at UC Berkeley in mid-April were decidedly upbeat about clean energy prospects.

The expert gathering, “Toward Electrification of All Sectors: Getting Across the Finish Line,” was all about getting to 100 percent renewable, affordable, and reliable electricity for all.

Convened by the Renewables 100 Policy Institute of Santa Monica, the day-and-a-half-long plenary was part strategy session, part victory lap, and part mustering evidence that speedily attaining 100 percent renewable power is feasible and practical.

Ken Alex, the governor’s senior policy advisor, began the meeting on a somber note by telling the audience that we will likely lose the late-summer Arctic sea ice cover by 2050.

Loss of the ice darkens the surface of the Arctic, increasing the absorption of heat and amplifying global heating. New unpublished research, Alex said, indicates that Arctic sea ice loss will have a substantially more powerful heating effect on the Earth than generally realized.

Supporters of clean energy were nonetheless buoyed by the rapid technological progress and steep price drops in renewable energy and electric vehicles. Both utility-scale wind and solar power have now become cheaper than coal and some natural gas power plants. More new wind and solar utility generation is now being built in the U.S. than fossil-fueled plants.

Related: Wind, Solar Provide 98 Percent of New US Generating Capacity in Jan/Feb

In a keynote to the gathering, California State Sen. Kevin de Léon, until recently the Senate President pro tempore, shared his reasons for optimism about the transition to renewable energy.

Because the state’s environmental and energy policies have turned environmental challenges into economic opportunities, he said, Californians now enjoy cleaner air, healthier water, and billions of dollars in savings on energy bills, keeping “Californians’ energy spending among the lowest in the nation.”

Since the state’s cap-and-trade carbon bill, AB 32 passed in 2006, de Léon noted, the state’s per capita GDP “has grown by nearly twice the national average—and we’ve easily outpaced the nation in job creation.”

De Léon singled out the state’s decades long record of passing the nation’s toughest vehicle emission standards, coastal protections, and energy efficiency standards, along with some of the country’s most ambitious clean energy goals.

At the forefront of these efforts, de Léon last year introduced Senate Bill 100 which would require California to get 100 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2045. SB 100 is currently in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee awaiting a vote.

“All the evidence suggests 100 percent clean energy is within reach,” de Léon declared.

Whereas California is currently committed under SB 350 (also by de Léon) to getting 50 percent of its power from renewables by 2030, SB 100 would raise the 2030 requirement to 60 percent. It would, however, count existing hydropower toward the 100 percent goal. Since the state’s power mix was 15 percent hydro in 2016, by 2030 the state could already be getting at least 75 percent of its power from renewable and zero-carbon sources.

In addition, if carbon capture and sequestration could be done “in a way that is affordable and truly clean,” de Léon said, “that would count under this bill.”

Under Senate Bill 350, California in 2015 raised its 2030 renewable electricity goal to 50 percent. The state’s prior goal had been 33 percent renewables by 2020. California’s major utilities are already close to or above 40 percent renewable power and will soon be at 50 percent.

The bill also calls for a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency in existing buildings and seeks to accelerate the electrification of the state’s transportation sector.

Representative Chris Lee of Hawaii told the conference that Hawaii, now at 30 percent renewable power, has committed to 100 percent renewables and to phase out fossil fuel power in ground transportation by 2045.

Lee said that while the state is committed to 100 percent renewables by 2045, it will achieve it by 2040—and at a savings of $5 billion, which is 8 percent of Hawaii’s GDP.

“Saving the climate is to preserve our way of life,” he stated. “It is for our survival..These problems are soluble,” he added. “Having the vision of getting to 100 percent renewable energy is what we need.”

Like Hawaii, San Francisco has committed to getting 100 percent of its power from renewables by 2045. More than 50 other U.S. cities are also committed to 100 percent renewable power.

Much to the delight of renewable energy advocates, since electric vehicles can be powered by clean electricity, Gov. Brown on January 26, 2018 issued an executive order raising the state’s 2030 target from 1.5 million zero emission vehicles to 5 million. The order will also boost the supply of charging and refueling stations for zero-emission vehicles, and it calls for the investment of $1.25 billion in cap-and-trade auction revenues in combatting carbon pollution from cars and trucks.

Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco told conferees, “If you want clean air, you absolutely have to have clean cars.”    According to the Governor’s Office, fifty percent of California’s greenhouse gases currently come from the transportation sector along with 80 percent of its smog-forming gases. Ting is sponsoring a bill in the Assembly to ban internal combustion engines in California by 2040.

China, France, the U.K., India, and Norway have announced similar or earlier deadlines for phasing out internal combustion engines.

California already has almost 400,000 electric vehicles, and many jurisdictions are converting diesel bus lines to electric buses. Ryan Popple, president and CEO of electric bus company Proterra, told the conference that business is booming and the technology is improving rapidly, with battery electric buses now capable of eliminating their fossil-fueled competitors. 


Electric buses produced by 2020 will have a 225-mile range, he said, while most transit bus routes require less than 130 miles of travel per day. With electric drivelines now already cheaper than diesels, diesel and compressed natural gas bus market shares “are going to go to zero,” he predicted.

De Léon’s closing remarks were an outspoken rebuke to President Trump 🦀.

“If the President really wants to put people to work and make America the world’s energy super power, he should follow our lead…We didn’t grow into the world’s sixth largest economy and the epicenter of innovation by embracing ‘alternative facts,’ or pseudo-scientific nonsense.”

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2018/04/california-state-senator-100-percent-renewable-energy-is-within-reach.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 13, 2018, 03:18:39 pm »

Carbon Brief

TECHNOLOGY 12 April 2018  13:45

Explainer: These six metals are key to a low-carbon future🕊

SNIPPET:

The deployment of renewables and electric vehicles is expected to skyrocket as the world strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

These low-carbon technologies currently rely on a handful of key metals, some of which have been little-used to date. This raises questions over whether enough of these materials can be mined to ensure a large-scale rollout. Others are concerned that bottlenecks could appear, as metal output rises to meet demand, or that the environmental impacts of mining could undermine carbon savings elsewhere.

Carbon Brief takes a look at some of the metals attracting most attention and examines where they come from, the quantities available and whether they could pose risks to meeting the climate targets of the Paris Agreement.

Which metals are needed for low-carbon technology?

How much of these metals will be needed?

Where do metals for low-carbon tech come from?
 
Do price rises mean the world is running short of key metals?

Could shortages hold up decarbonisation?

What problems are caused by extraction?



Full article with detailed graphics:

https://www.carbonbrief.org/explainer-these-six-metals-are-key-to-a-low-carbon-future
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 06, 2018, 02:06:44 pm »

Renewables Surged Ahead of Fossil Fuels in 2017

The world invested more in renewable energy in 2017 than in all fossil fuels combined, according to a new report from the UN and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

A record 98 GW of solar energy was installed worldwide in 2017, with China leading the way with 53 GW of solar power installed. Globally, solar also generated $160.8 billion in investments, up 18 percent from 2016, while new coal and gas projects generated only $103 billion. Renewables combined added 157 GW ⚡ worldwide  , while all fossil fuels added only 70 GW.

https://www.carbonbrief.org/global-solar-capacity-grew-faster-than-fossil-fuels-2017-report
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 05, 2018, 11:27:23 pm »

EcoWatch

Renewable Energy
 
By Olivia Rosane

Apr. 04, 2018 12:25PM EST

Mainland Portugal Generated More Renewable Energy ⚡ Than It Needed  :o in March
 

Renewable energy sources ⚡ made up 103.6 percent of mainland Portugal's electricity use this March, according to industry information released Tuesday and reported by Reuters.

Portugal has been a leader in renewable energy since before 2016, when it broke records for running on renewable sources for 107 hours straight.

March's milestone indicates how far renewable technologies and capacity have come in two years.

The report, issued by the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association and the Sustainable Earth System Association, suggested March's feat is a sign of things to come.

"Last month's achievement is an example of what will happen more frequently in the near future. It is expected that by 2040 the production of renewable electricity will be able to guarantee, in a cost-effective way, the total annual electricity consumption of mainland Portugal," the report said, according to Reuters.

Portugal did still draw power from fossil fuel plants during the month to fill in between gaps in renewable supply, but those gaps were more than made up for by moments of increased renewable production.

55 percent of March's energy came from hydropower sources and 42 percent came from wind power. The month reduced the country's carbon dioxide emissions by 1.8 million tons.

"These data, besides indicating a historical milestone in the Portuguese electricity sector, demonstrate that renewable energy can be relied upon as a secure and viable source with which to completely meet the country's electricity demands," the report said.

Portugal was an early adapter and innovator in the renewable energy sector. In 2008, it switched on what was then Europe's largest onshore wind farm while continuing to construct what was then the world's largest solar farm, The Guardian reported.

According to data published by AlterNet in 2017, Portugal runs behind other European countries when it comes to renewable energy use. It is ranked No. 12 on the continent for the amount of energy it gets from renewable sources overall: 30.50 percent. Iceland, Europe's leader, meets 76.42 percent of its energy needs with renewables.

However, March's news means that Portugal is once again inspiring its neighbors. According to EURACTIV, Green European Member of Parliament Claude Turmes of Luxembourg used the milestone to argue that the EU should increase its 2030 renewable energy goal of 27 percent.

"Impressive news from Portugal: #renewables produced more than 100% of the country's electricity consumption throughout the month of March! That shows how ridiculous a 27% target for 2030 is. Who will be the next country to follow that path?" he tweeted.

https://www.ecowatch.com/portugal-renewable-energy-wind-hydropower-2556245355.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 04, 2018, 08:35:12 pm »

Climate Nexus Energy Desk

mmiceli@climatenexus.org

April 4, 2018




Connecticut’s first offshore wind farm, states & auto companies urge drivers to go electric & more

April 4, 2018: Two power companies -- one Northeastern and one Danish -- are putting together plans for what would be Connecticut’s first offshore wind farm. JinkoSolar becomes the first Chinese solar company to build a U.S. manufacturing plant since Trump’s tariffs went into effect. A $1.5 million advertising campaign between seven states and 16 automakers will encourage greater adoption of electric vehicles by focusing on their benefits. Natural gas is facing increased competition from solar and wind, which continue to drop in price.

MULTIMEDIA
Poll: Americans’ views of the environment, global warming and energy

ENERGY GANG PODCAST
Greentech Media: Trouble for Silicon Valley’s Top Car Companies



Connecticut may get its first offshore wind farm, a 200-megawatt project from Eversource Energy and Denmark’s Orsted. Known as Constitution Wind, the project would generate enough electricity to power 100,000 homes and would help Connecticut meet its clean energy goals and become a leader in offshore wind. In other offshore wind news, a recent analysis by Moody’s finds that a combination of factors including declining costs and favorable regulation will lead to rapid growth in the U.S. offshore wind market, particularly in the Northeast. (New Haven Register, New Jersey Spotlight)




Chinese solar giant JinkoSolar made the first move into U.S. manufacturing, post Trump’s solar tariffs. Jinko will invest $50 million in a partnership with NextEra Energy Resources to build up to 2.75 gigawatts of solar panels at a Jacksonville, Fla. plant over the next four years. Other companies are reportedly considering similar moves. (Greentech Media)

A $1.5 million advertising campaign will urge U.S. drivers to go electric. The campaign, known as “Drive Change. Drive Electric,” includes seven Northeastern states and 16 auto companies and will educate customers on the benefits of electric vehicles. While EV sales rose 25 percent last year, they still only account for 1.2 percent of total U.S. car sales. Domestic automakers have announced at least $19 billion in EV investments to date, and are pointing to increased driving range, lower battery costs and increased charging infrastructure as among the many incentives to make the switch. (Reuters)



The economic case for fossil fuels is rapidly decreasing as the cost of renewables continues to drop. A new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance finds that the levelized cost of energy -- which accounts for equipment, debt servicing and operating costs -- of solar and wind will be cheaper than coal in most places by 2023. The plunge in costs of lithium-ion batteries by almost 80 percent since 2010 will increase the opportunities for energy storage over the coming years. China and India currently have the cheapest solar and wind costs.  (Bloomberg)

Natural gas is facing increased competition from low-cost solar and wind. The shift is leading some utilities to abandon natural gas plans in favor of renewables. A recent report by Lazard found that power costs from utility-scale solar are now on par with those of natural gas, and that wind power has surpassed both to become the cheapest. In states like California, which has a goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2050, regulation is further driving this trend. In 2017, natural-gas power generation decreased by 7.7 percent. (New York Times $)



The Environmental Protection Agency has opened the door for federal fuel efficiency standards to be lowered. The agency ruled that the current greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards are too high, a move that could harm the production of fuel-efficient and electric vehicles by removing the need for the credits that companies receive for producing them. Honda, Toyota and Tesla all surpass the current standards and make money from selling these types of credits. (Vox)


Quote
“It’s a very different world that we’re arriving at very quickly,” energy consultant Robert McCullough said in the above New York Times story on the increasing viability of renewables over fossil fuels. “That wind farm can literally be put on a train and brought online within a year. It is moving so fast that even critics of the old path like myself have been taken by surprise.”
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 27, 2018, 07:19:04 pm »

EcoWatch

100+ Cities Now Powered by at Least 70% Renewables  ✨ 🎋 🎍

February 27, 2018

By Lorraine Chow

A growing list of cities and municipalities is leading a renewable energy revolution that their national governments either cannot—or will not—address.

More than 100 cities around the world now get at least 70 percent of their electricity from renewable sources such solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower, according to new research from the non-profit CDP. That's more than double the 40 cities reporting they were powered by at least 70 percent clean energy in 2015.

The list includes large cities with dense populations such as Auckland, New Zealand; Nairobi, Kenya; Oslo, Norway; Seattle, USA; and Vancouver, Canada.


Impressively, a remarkable 43 cities, including Burlington, Vermont; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Basel, Switzerland, are running on 100 percent renewables.

Burlington —Vermont's largest city, with a population of 42,000 people—became the first U.S. city to run entirely on renewable electricity back in 2015. The city gets all of its electricity from wind, solar, biomass and hydropower and even has its own utility and citywide grid.  

"We have seen first-hand that renewable energy boosts our local economy and creates a healthier place to work, live and raise a family," Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said. "We encourage other cities around the globe to follow our innovative path as we all work toward a more sustainable energy future."

CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, holds energy information on more than 570 of the world's cities. The research was released ahead of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change conference in Edmonton, Canada on March 5, where city governments and scientific leaders will meet on the role of cities in tackling climate change.
In the U.S., roughly 58 cities and towns, including major metropolises like Atlanta and San Diego, are rejecting fossil fuels and have announced plans to run entirely on clean energy.

And with some 275 cities now reporting the use of hydropower, 189 generating electricity from wind and 184 using solar photovoltaics, CDP expects to see more cities around the globe join this important movement.

The CDP said that much of the drive behind city climate action and reporting comes from the 7,000-plus mayors that signed up to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and have pledged to act on climate change.

"Cities are responsible for 70 percent of energy-related CO2 emissions and there is immense potential for them to lead on building a sustainable economy," said Kyra Appleby, director of cities at CDP.

"Reassuringly, our data shows much commitment and ambition. Cities not only want to shift to renewable energy but, most importantly—they can. We urge all cities to disclose to us, work together to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and prioritize the development of ambitious renewable energy procurement strategies. The time to act is now."

You can find CDP's complete list below and learn more about the project here.

Akureyri, Iceland
Alba-Iulia, Romania
Alcaldía de Córdoba, Venezuela
Angra dos Reis, Brazil
Aparecida, Brazil
Aracaju, Brazil
Arendal, Norway
Aspen, USA
Assis, Brazil
Asunción, Paraguay
Auckland , New Zealand
Bærum Kommune, Norway
Bangangté, Cameroon
Basel, Switzerland
Belém, Brazil
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Birigui, Brazil
Bogotá , Colombia
Bolzano, Italy
Braga, Portugal
Brasília, Brazil
Brotas, Brazil
Brusque, Brazil
Burlington, USA 
Cabreúva, Brazil
Cajamar, Brazil
Campinas, Brazil
Campos de Goytacazes, Brazil
Canoas, Brazil
Capivari, Brazil
Cascais, Portugal
Caxias do Sul, Brazil
Cerquilho, Brazil
Chorrera, Panama
Curitiba, Brazil
Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania
Estância Climática de São Bento do Sapucaí, Brazil
Estância Hidromineral de Águas de São Pedro, Brazil
Estância Turística de Guaratinguetá, Brazil
Estância Turística de ITU, Brazil
Eugene, USA
Extrema, Brazil
Fafe, Portugal
Fernandópolis, Brazil
Florianópolis, Brazil
Foumban, Cameroon
Gladsaxe Kommune, Denmark
Goiânia, Brazil
Harare, Zimbabwe
Hobart, Australia
Ibagué, Colombia
Inje , South Korea
Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Brazil
Kapiti Coast , New Zealand
Kisumu, Kenya
Lausanne, Switzerland
León de los Aldamas, Mexico
Limeira, Brazil
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Lorena, Brazil
Maceió, Brazil
Mairiporã, Brazil
Medellín, Colombia
Moita, Portugal
Montes Claros, Brazil
Montreal, Canada
Nairobi, Kenya
Nakuru, Kenya
Niterói, Brazil
North Vancouver, Canada
Nova Odessa, Brazil
Nyon, Switzerland
Oristano, Italy
Oslo, Norway
Palmas, Brazil
Porto, Portugal
Prince George, BC, Canada
Quelimane, Mozambique
Quito, Ecuador
Reykjavík, Iceland
Salvador, Brazil
Santiago de Cali, Colombia
Santos, Brazil
São Caetano, Brazil
São Gonçalo, Brazil
São João da Boa Vista, Brazil
São José do Rio Preto, Brazil
São José dos Campos, Brazil
Seattle, USA
Stadt Zürich, Switzerland
Stockholm, Sweden
Tatuí, Brazil
Temuco, Chile
Uberlândia, Brazil
Vancouver, Canada
Vinhedo, Brazil
Vitória, Brazil
Wellington, New Zealand
Winnipeg, Canada


https://www.ecowatch.com/renewable-energy-cities-2540308563.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 19, 2018, 04:56:21 pm »

Feast your eyes on the Virtual Power Plant ⚡💫 and other Renewable Energy Technoligies like Wave Power. 🌊

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

EcoWatch

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:


https://www.ecowatch.com/renewable-energy-us-2535432605.html
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.

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/02/16/100-renewable-electricity-worldwide-new-cost-effective-reality/
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.”

https://rmi.org/news/5-reasons-clean-energy-future-cant-stopped/

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.
.
MULTIMEDIA
Charts & graphs: 10 trends shaping the power sector in 2018

ENERGY GANG PODCAST
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)

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Quote
“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.

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/01/17/54-gw-chinese-solar-boom-drives-global-clean-energy-investment-new-highs-overshadows-australian-mexican-momentum/

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.

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/01/16/australia-poised-renewable-energy-breakout/
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!

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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.”

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/01/12/south-australia-approves-worlds-largest-single-tower-thermal-solar-plant/
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

SNIPPET:

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:

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/12/20/germany-predicted-set-renewable-energy-record-2017/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 16, 2017, 04:30:23 pm »

EcoWatch


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

By Lorraine Chow

Dec. 15, 2017 11:33AM EST

SNIPPET:

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.
Quote
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:

https://www.ecowatch.com/solar-wind-storage-2517664506.html

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

Third,
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.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/ugc/articles/2017/12/01/latin-america-a-new-leader-in-renewable-energy.html

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

SNIPPET:

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:

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/12/08/european-utilities-commit-100-carbon-neutral-electricity-well-2050-cheaper/

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.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/12/world-bank-puts-fossil-fuels-on-notice.html

 


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.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/12/multi-billion-dollar-plan-to-re-power-puerto-rico-includes-ders-renewables.html

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

EcoWatch

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.

https://www.ecowatch.com/renewable-energy-suzuki-2514182227.html



 
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

SNIPPET:

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:

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/11/12/trump-not-electricity-customers-want-renewable-energy/

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

SNIPPET:

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:



https://earther.com/theres-a-new-push-to-bring-solar-to-puerto-rico-and-the-1820256651

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