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Author Topic: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:  (Read 3864 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #75 on: January 10, 2018, 04:51:14 pm »
Xcel Attracts ‘Unprecedented’ Low Prices for Solar and Wind Paired With Storage

Bid attracts median PV-plus-battery price of $36 per megawatt-hour. Median wind-plus-storage bids came in even lower, at $21 per megawatt-hour.

JASON DEIGN JANUARY 08, 2018

SNIPPET:

The rate is 20 percent lower than the cheapest PV-plus-battery power-purchase agreement seen to date, which came in a NextEra Energy Resources contract for Tucson Electric Power signed in May last year, at $45 per megawatt-hour.

The NextEra deal, which included 4 hours of lithium-ion battery-based storage, saw flow battery maker ViZn Energy Systems promising to deliver solar-plus-storage at a cost of $40 per megawatt-hour, still 9 percent above the median rate seen in the Xcel bid.

GTM Research Advisor Shayle Kann said on Twitter that although the Xcel pricing came with “lots of caveats,” it is “incredible nonetheless.”

Vibrant Clean Energy CEO Dr. Christopher Clack, who last year tangled with Stanford University Professor Mark Jacobson over pathways to a 100 percent renewable energy system, tweeted: “What fabulous numbers!”   

The bids for wind-plus-storage were even lower, with a median price of $21 per megawatt-hour. The Xcel figures are also well below the unsubsidized levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for wind and solar published by Lazard last November.

The financial advisory firm estimated the current LCOE for utility-scale solar-plus-batteries to be $82 per megawatt-hour. Lazard did not calculate an LCOE for wind-plus-storage.

Lazard's estimates for wind LCOE alone were higher than Xcel’s wind-plus-storage median bid rate, with a range of $30 to $60 per megawatt-hour.

GTM Research’s director of energy storage, Ravi Manghani, said it is clear that Xcel’s bidders were expecting significant solar, wind and battery cost reductions between now and when the projects are due to go online, in 2023. 

Full article:

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/record-low-solar-plus-storage-price-in-xcel-solicitation#gs.3Uhh=DU
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AGelbert

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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #76 on: January 22, 2018, 02:14:18 pm »


🍀Texas Cities, Businesses, and Schools Know the Economic Upside of Clean Energy 🌼

January 22, 2018

By Sarah Ryan

Quote
Sarah Ryan   is Project Manager, Clean Energy, for the Environmental Defense Fund. Sarah supports the Texas clean energy team and national clean energy technology efforts. She works to demonstrate the case for clean energy solutions through hard data and sound economics. She also assists in the implementation and execution of projects that accelerate innovation and market adoption of clean energy.
         
Recently, the message on Texas clean energy has been getting clearer — the market is driving the clean energy economy forward. And some of those spreading the message are making it loud and clear.

Case in point, the city of Georgetown, a predominately Republican city  :o  ;D, shifted to 100 percent renewable energy in 2015. Jim Briggs, the city’s General Manager-Utilities, clarified, “We didn’t do this to save the world — we did this to get a competitive rate and reduce the risk for our consumers. Additionally, Briggs notes that switching to renewables will hedge against future fuel and regulatory risks.

Even if reducing risk was the primary reason for Georgetown going 100 percent renewable, the move will also slash air pollution and contribute to a healthier Texas 🏵. This shift not only has brought about a significant price decline in electricity, but has also brought millions of dollars of new investment to the city — proving to be a great economic development tool.

And Georgetown isn’t the only example. More and more Texas voices — ranging from multimillion dollar corporations to universities and school districts — are speaking up about their investments in clean energy. And the motivating reason is the same: economics.

Texas Businesses

Central Texas’ leading grocery chain, H-E-B, has always prioritized being a good steward to the community. And H-E-B is now is the largest private owner of solar power systems in the region. George Presses, vice president of fuel and energy at H-E-B, states, “Part of H-E-B’s responsibility […] is to improve our use of natural resources, which we hope will also lower energy costs.”

The Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a multinational personal care company also headquarted in Texas, is focused on becoming more energy efficient and has an ambitious 2022 greenhouse gas reduction goal of 20 percent. As the first major step towards reaching this goal, the company will purchase 245 MW of electricity from wind facilities in Texas and Oklahoma. The renewable energy will allow for a 25 percent reduction in emissions as soon as this year, surpassing the goal four years ahead of schedule. This huge reduction of 550,000 tons of carbon annually is the equivalent of removing 116,178 passenger vehicles from the road.

"These two renewable energy projects … put Kimberly-Clark on track to deliver significant multimillion dollar cost savings from energy and climate projects by 2022," Lisa Morden, Global Head of Sustainability at Kimberly-Clark, said. "It's a powerful demonstration of sustainability initiatives having both great environmental and business benefits."

Texas Power Players

Texas’ largest power-generator, Luminant, is also taking advantage of clean energy’s promising economics. In 2016 the company added 116 MW of solar power to its energy mix, and just last year purchased a solar development project, through its parent company Vistra, in West Texas with the capacity of 180 MW. Luminant, which has traditionally produced most of its energy using coal, now sees solar as a wise option. Chief executive Mac McFarland explains, “Solar energy was once previously viewed as being an expensive alternative to fossil fuels. Those days are ancient history.” 

This shift toward renewable fuel sources was accentuated by the announcement that Luminant will be closing three of its coal plants, comprising over half of the generator’s total coal capacity. The decision was made based on challenging plant and market economics, as my colleague John Hall elaborates upon in his recent blog post.

Texas Education

Private entities and cities are not the only ones taking a seat at the clean energy table — increasingly, universities and school districts are realizing the importance of renewables.

Rice University in Houston has worked with power company MP2 Energy to fully integrate several energy management products that have helped curb energy use and costs. The university also has a first-of-its-kind off-site community solar power project, integrating 3 MW of solar into Rice University’s electricity portfolio (or enough to power approximately 600 homes during peak demand). MP2 Energy’s CEO, Jeff Starcher, states, “This deal demonstrates that solar is truly becoming competitive in the most competitive electricity market in the U.S.”

In 2015, Austin-based Huston-Tillotson University became the first private historically black college or university in the nation to power its university buildings using solar energy — 240kW of solar to be exact, which will provide as much as 10 percent of the power used by the school. The resulting clean electricity will cut carbon pollution by more than 260 tons annually, enough to take 32 cars off the road. It may seem small, but it’s a big start: The university has also signed a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2048, increase renewable energy use, and expand energy and water efficiency programs. In addition to reaping the potential savings from reduced energy use and electric bills, Huston-Tillotson’s President and CEO, Colette Pierce Burnette, hopes investing in low-carbon clean energy will help “develop students into leaders prepared for a global future.”

And as for younger students, Austin Independent School District (ISD) made a commitment to purchase 30 percent of its electricity from renewables. Since then, the school district has been one of the largest subscribers to the Austin Energy GreenChoice program — Austin ISD currently gets 13 percent of its electricity from renewable energy and ranks second nationally among K-12 school purchases.

Solar and wind power are more common and affordable than ever, and Texas cities, businesses, and schools are spreading the message. With economics on our side, Texas can build a brighter, more affordable energy future.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2018/01/texas-cities-businesses-and-schools-know-the-economic-upside-of-clean-energy.html

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AGelbert

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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #77 on: June 27, 2018, 07:47:38 pm »
A Trump-supporting 🦀 Texas city runs on 100% renewable energy 🍃

Axios

Published on Jun 23, 2018

In Texas — the heart of Trump country — the city of Georgetown runs on 100% renewable energy.

Republican Mayor Dale Ross told Axios that the decision was “a no-brainer economically.”

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AGelbert

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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #78 on: July 09, 2018, 04:33:59 pm »
Quote

In Germany, when demand for electricity is low, and weather conditions are right, consumers benefit.

Over the Christmas period in 2017, for example, when demand from major energy consumers was low and unseasonably sunny conditions fueled the country’s wind and solar power plants, the price of power actually dipped below zero  , The New York Times reported. Periods of negative pricing can lead to lower electricity bills over the course of a year.

The future of energy production:

֍ Germany has invested more than $200 billion USD in renewable energy sources over the past few decades. So when the weather is windy or sunny, German plants end up with excess electricity.

֍ Traditional power grids, typically powered by fossil fuels like coal, are designed to create enough energy to meet demand. Renewable energy sources produce power based on atmospheric conditions.

֍ The International Energy Agency predicts that by 2040, renewable sources will drive 40 percent of global power generation

https://www.wisegeek.com/is-energy-always-expensive-in-germany.htm
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AGelbert

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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #79 on: July 09, 2018, 07:48:33 pm »
Sweden Will Reach Its 2030 Renewable Energy Target This Year
JULY 5, 2018

By Joe McCarthy

Renewable energy can now viably replace fossil fuels.  

Why Global Citizens Should Care

Sweden is showing that renewable energy can viably replace fossil fuels, a transition that is necessary to protect the planet from the worst consequences of climate change. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

Sweden is on pace to reach its 2030 target for renewable energy more than a decade ahead of schedule, according to Bloomberg — and wind energy 💨 is the driving factor.

For the past several years, windmill installations have soared throughout the country because of government subsidies, Business Day reports.

Sweden will have 3,681 windmills operating throughout the country by the end of 2018, and enough windmill capacity by 2020 for 12 gigawatts of energy, according to the Swedish Wind Energy Association.

In 2011, the country was only producing around 3 gigawatts of energy, Bloomberg notes.

The US, by comparison, has more than 52,000 windmills, but a population that’s more than 30 times greater than Sweden’s.

The other main source of renewable energy in Sweden is hydropower, which accounts for around half of its electricity production. Nuclear energy accounts for the bulk of the country’s remaining electricity supply, which, while not renewable, doesn’t release greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More:
Fighting Climate Change Could Save the World $30 Trillion, Report Finds

If Sweden reaches its renewable energy target ahead of schedule, it may set more ambitious targets and pursue a wholly renewable electricity grid by 2030.

Other countries are reaching their renewable energy targets early, fulfilling the Paris climate agreement’s vision of countries being able to update their goals every few years.

China, for instance, reached its 2020 emissions target 600 days ahead of schedule earlier this year and is investing three times as much as the US on renewable sources of energy.

Nordic countries, meanwhile, are transcending fossil fuels altogether. Both Iceland and Denmark can produce all of their electricity through renewables, according to the Independent.

Read More: Germany Produced Enough Renewable Energy in 6 Months for the Rest of 2018

Elsewhere, Costa Rica gets nearly all of its electricity from hydropower, and Portugal generated 103% of its electricity from renewables in March.

These achievements show that renewable energy can viably replace fossil fuels 🦖.

If investments continue to increase in clean energy alternatives, then the Paris climate agreement’s goal of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels may be within reach.

TOPICS Environment Finance & innovation Current events Wind power Renewable energy Hydropower Paris climate agreement Wind Nuclear energy Wind energy


https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/sweden-reach-renewable-energy-goal-this-year/
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AGelbert

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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #80 on: July 12, 2018, 11:52:36 am »
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.

5 Ways China’s Now A Global Climate Leader

July 11th, 2018 by Guest Contributor

Originally published on Climate Reality Project.

The world’s biggest emitter decided to take some serious climate action – and in the process renewed our hope that we will beat the climate crisis.


Ten years ago, the idea that China – the planet’s single biggest carbon polluter – would be a global leader on climate in 2018 would have sounded, well, a stretch.

But with terrifying levels of air pollution threatening to spark social unrests in earlier years and the US stepping back from the global stage under President Trump, that’s exactly what’s happened.

The story begins with a massive public health crisis, but how China responded – and five steps in particular – lays out a practical path to a low-carbon future for countries around the world.

Airpocalypse Now ☠️

How did the world’s biggest polluter become the world’s leader on climate?

It all goes back to the “Airpocalypse.”

Not too long ago, many in some of the Chinese cities were going about their business engulfed in a cloud of pollution. The gray haze could be so dense, that buildings and trees would quite literally disappear in front of your eyes. And stepping outside, even for just a minute, required wearing a facial mask to avoid directly breathing the toxic air.

How to Keep Climate Action on Track After the Paris Agreement

The source of much of that pollution wasn’t hard to find either: coal-fired power plants and vehicles on the road. Since the early 2000s, China’s economy had been growing rapidly, powered largely by coal.

The unchecked use of coal on such a huge scale didn’t take long to generate real problems. In 2005, China surpassed the United States to become the world’s biggest CO2 emitter (a title that the country has held since the 20th century). And in 2008, 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the entire world were in China, according to the World Bank.

Enough Is Enough

In 2013, the Chinese government finally decided that enough was enough, introducing a national action plan to curb air pollution, including a set of coal consumption limits for key regions including Beijing and the Pearl River Delta.

In 2016, China released its national plan for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and committed to lowering the country’s carbon intensity of GDP by 60–65 percent (below 2005 levels) by 2030 in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to Paris Agreement. As the world’s second-largest economy – and home to nearly 1.4 billion people – that’s a big deal to the world.

Growing Pains and Growing Progress

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Emissions are still rising as the country continues to grow. And although China has halt many coal projects over the past years, environmentalists have called it out for investing coal energy in other countries such as Turkey and Pakistan to satisfy its immense need for energy.

On the other hand, China has made real progress. Between 2013 and 2017, Chinese cities cut the amount of fine pollution particulates(PM2.5) in the air by an average of 32 percent. And the capital Beijing has seen a lot more sunny days as PM 2.5 concentration dropped 54 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, in comparison to the same period of 2016.

On a global level, there’s also good news. China has been instrumental in keeping the Paris Agreement process going, continuing to curb emissions and expand renewables even as the US (another huge polluter) has dramatically backed down at the federal level.

So how’s China done it? There’ve been many steps, but five have been especially key.
1. Bye-Bye, Coal

China has been slowly (but surely) moving away from coal energy. Last year, the government announced plans to cancel 103 new plants and closed the very last coal plant located in the capital, Beijing.

From 2014 to 2015, coal consumption reduced after a decade of steady increase.

2. Putting a Price on Carbon


One of China’s most impressive moves was to launch the world’s largest national carbon trading market in 2017. The goal is to encourage companies to become greener by allowing them sell or buy excessive carbon emissions. The first phase of the project only covers the power generation sector, but the initiative is expected to expand across many other areas of the economy.

3. Clean Bus Rides

China is showing the world how to move many people around quickly and cleanly.   Around 17 percent of the country’s municipal buses are electric, and the city Shenzhen holds the record for the globe’s largest electric bus fleet, with all of its 16,359 buses had gone electric last year. The achievement was only possible due to government subsidies. But in the long run, operation and maintenance costs of electric buses are significantly lower than those fueled by diesel.

4. Making the Investment in Renewables

Moving away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy is not just an effective way to clean up the planet. It’s also a good investment.

In 2017, China invested a staggering US$ 126.6 billion in renewable energy – 45 percent of the total worldwide investment. The country has been using a whole lot of green technology internally  – nearly doubled its solar generation from 2016 to 2017. But it also has its eyes on a much larger international market.

5. New Forests

China is so keen on green that it’s deploying soldiers to plant trees across the country. The goal is to replant many of the forests that were cut down for industrialization and farmland, all with an eye to removing carbon from the atmosphere on a massive scale and doing it naturally.

Sowing seeds is actually one of the country’s Paris Agreement goals – China wants to increase forest stock volume by 4.5 billion cubic meters by 2030, from its 2005 level. China is also planting a different kind of forest on its buildings to help sequester carbon.


The Takeaway


The catalyst was the sight of millions choking on industrial and power sector pollution, but the result has been one of the most influential for emissions reduction and energy transformation the world’s ever seen.

Five steps in the process have been critical:

Cutting coal

Putting a price on carbon

Cleaning up public transit

Investing in renewables

Conserve and rebuild the forest


The good news is that it doesn’t take a public health crisis for countries to embrace these and other practical solutions. The world’s second-largest economy has already shown they work, and now it’s time for other nations to follow its lead.

Want to stay updated on climate action across the globe? Join our email activist list. We’ll deliver the latest on climate science and innovative ways you can get involved in the climate movement right to your inbox.

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/07/11/5-ways-chinas-now-a-global-climate-leader/
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