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Author Topic: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth  (Read 18122 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #210 on: August 27, 2016, 04:46:21 pm »
Climate| Aug 26, 2016

Big Oil’s Nightmare Comes True   ;D

By Carl Pope

SNIPPET:

Quote
"This was retail politics and oil lost,"
was how Adrienne Alvord of Union of Concerned Scientists summed up the stunning environmental victory Tuesday in the California legislature, a victory which cemented the state's commitment to a 40 percent reduction in climate pollution by 2030.''

http://www.ecowatch.com/california-climate-policy-1988157045.html

 
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #211 on: September 16, 2016, 02:34:10 pm »
 

“Construction begins on power line NordLink”

Germany and Norway have started construction on NordLink, the first direct power line between the two countries that will allow the exchange of renewable energy from 2019 on, reports dpa.


The 620 kilometre long, mostly underwater transmission line showed “how well grid expansion in [the northernmost German state] Schleswig-Holstein works,” said Robert Habeck, the state’s energy transition minister.

http://www.bmwi.de/DE/Presse/pressemitteilungen,did=780192.html
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #212 on: September 16, 2016, 02:59:14 pm »
Renewables have the economic advantage over fossil fuels
Alex Kirby
   
15th September 2016
   
A new energy market analysis shows the average cost of electricity from renewables is already lower than from fossil fuels, writes Alex Kirby. And as renewables eat deeper into the 'market share' of coal and gas power plants, so the entire economics of fossil fuel power generation will unravel.

This analysis explains why renewables are already the cheapest option in a number of markets. This trend is only likely to spread as the growth of renewables undermines the economics of fossil fuels.

The cheapest way of generating energy today is to use renewable fuels
- and the authors of a new analysis predict that renewables are set to enjoy even more of an advantage within a few years.

The study by the Carbon Tracker Initiative says renewable power generation costs are already lower on average worldwide than those of fossil fuels.

It couples this with a bold claim that clean energy plants will become more cost-competitive by 2020.

The Carbon Tracker authors call for new thinking about what's happening in the energy markets in the wake of the UN climate talks in Paris last December, which concluded the Paris Agreement on tackling climate change.

They say assuming that demand for energy from fossil fuels will remain high for years ahead could be seriously mistaken.

James Leaton, Carbon Tracker's head of research, says: "Policy-makers and investors really need to question outdated assumptions on technology costs that do not factor in the direction of travel post-Paris. Planning for business-as-usual load factors and lifetimes for new coal and gas plants is a recipe for stranded assets."

Renewables undermine fossil fuel viability

The study uses a tool called a Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) sensitivity analysis to compare the power-generation costs of four new-build coal, gas, wind and solar plants.

The LCOE is a way to compare different methods of electricity generation, using the average total cost to build and operate a power plant divided by its total lifetime energy output.

And the study shows that reduced load factors (measures of efficiency) and shorter lifetimes for coal and gas plants in a world that is steadily decarbonising significantly undermine the plants' economics. It says few models so far have taken these factors into account.

At the same time, solar and wind energy can rely on lower-cost capital and cheaper technology, further improving the relative competitive position of renewables.

"This analysis explains why renewables are already the cheapest option in a number of markets", says Paul Dowling, a co-author of the report. "This trend is only likely to spread as the growth of renewables undermines the economics of fossil fuels."

Lower costs of capital for renewables will lower prices further
Carbon Tracker says another important point to consider is who is developing renewables plants. Developers and management funds with lower costs of capital are entering the market, bringing down LCOEs for more capital-intensive renewables.

And taking into account that renewable energy is spreading more widely, and that workers are becoming more at home with the technologies it employs, this reduces still further the capital costs of clean power plants.

The study says that, after 2020, the impetus developed by the Paris Agreement will see renewables on average more cost-competitive, even if fossil fuel prices fall and carbon prices are modest at around US$10 per tonne of CO2, or lower.

"Markets are having to deal with integrating variable renewables on a growing scale", says Matt Gray, senior Carbon Tracker analyst and a co-author of the report.

Quote
"Rather than continue debating whether this energy transition is already occurring, it is time to focus on developing the opportunities in energy storage and demand management that can smooth the process."   
http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2988130/renewables_have_the_economic_advantage_over_fossil_fuels.html
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #213 on: September 16, 2016, 06:59:24 pm »

Renewables - So Hot Right Now   

Quote
The International Energy Agency’s latest report signals a “broad reorientation” toward clean energy, with renewables accounting for a fifth of the total $1.8 trillion energy spending in 2015.

The highest ever investment
in renewable power shows the success of governmental measures in aiding the clean energy transition. “But we need to triple efforts to meet the Paris targets,” emphasized IEA director Fatih Birol.

https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-09-14/iea-energy-report-what-1-8-trillion-doesn-t-buy

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #214 on: September 27, 2016, 02:37:44 pm »
The future of energy is now   

by Karl Grossman

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell was speaking the other day with satisfaction about the town’s plan to have 100 percent of its electricity come from renewable energy — safe, clean, green power — by 2020. That’s just four years away.

After the East Hampton Town Board in 2014 unanimously adopted a resolution to have all the town’s electricity come from renewable sources, Mr. Cantwell said: “Making the switch to clean energy is just the right thing to do, both for the environment and for keeping more money in the local economy and creating jobs here.”

At East Hampton Town Hall recently he said: “We’re doing it!”

East Hampton is to meet its 100 percent renewable energy goal through solar energy, from panels on town-owned land and rooftops, and via wind energy from off-shore wind turbines, such as those the company Deepwater Wind is now completing east of the town in the ocean near Block Island.

East Hampton became the first municipality on the East Coast to adopt a 100 percent renewable energy goal, but other governments in the U.S. — among them cities such as San Francisco — have done the same, as have nations around the world.

Every town on Long Island could do it, too. There would be different packages of renewable power, just as there needs to be different packages globally, depending on energy resources, although solar power runs through all.


An energy revolution is underway.

“The World Can Transition to 100 percent Clean, Renewable Energy,” declares the website of The Solutions Project headquartered California. “Together,” it continues, “we can build a stronger economy, healthier families, and a more secure future. 100 percent clean is 100 percent possible. Join us.” The website, the solutionsproject.org, is full of information on current renewable energy programs. Among the articles: “139 Countries Could Be 100 percent Renewable by 2050.”

The Solutions Project, supported by leading U.S. foundations, including the Park Foundation, last month launched “The Fighter Fund, a new grant-making program for community-based groups on the front lines of the fight for clean energy and climate justice.”

And a fight is occurring. “Holding Clean Energy Hostage,” was the title of an article last month by Cathy Kunkel of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis and M.V. Ramana of the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University in the journal, Reason in Revolt. Companies tied to “traditional” energy — coal, oil, gas and nuclear — the article states, seek to block “renewable energy every step of the way.”

The sun does not send a bill. Neither does the wind. Once the infrastructure for renewable energy is built, energy flows freely, in both meanings of the word. And this threatens the old power order.

But there are new companies, such as Deepwater Wind, making huge advances in renewable energy technologies that the old order can’t put a lid on.

Just last week, for example, a new firm, Insolight, announced development of solar photovoltaic panels with 36 percent efficiency. The most advanced solar panels for use in space have 25 percent efficiency. Several years ago the efficiency of solar panels was measured in single digits. Currently, most are 18 percent to 20 percent, and the SunPower company last year began producing panels with 24 percent “world record” efficiency. With 36 percent efficiency, less space for panels is needed.

Meanwhile, the price of solar panels has gone down dramatically.

Regarding wind, the United Kingdom last month gave the go-ahead for what’s to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

This August 7, Scottish wind turbines generated “the total amount of electricity used by every home and business” in Scotland, reported the U.K. newspaper, The Independent.

There are big advances in energy storage, to end criticism of renewable energy being intermittent.
“Holy Grail of Energy Policy in Sight as Battery Technology Smashes the Old Order,” was the headline last month in another U.K. newspaper, The Telegraph.
Quote

“There’s enough wind and solar to power the world,”
said Bill Nye, the “Science Guy,” on CNN last month. And there are other renewable sources including those involving water — tidal power and wave power — as we see daily on Long Island, now being tapped around the world.

East Hampton, by “setting these bold renewable energy goals,” says Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island, is “a visionary leader in the fight against climate change and an example of how we can all become part of the solution.”

The round-the-world flight of the solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse, completed in late July, was an historical milestone. Closer to home, the boat Novela skippered by solar pioneer Gary Minnick of Flanders, arriving in Riverhead a week earlier on a journey from Florida, are symbols of a the potentially bright new energy future.


http://shelterislandreporter.timesreview.com/2016/09/24/suffolk-closeup-the-future-of-energy-is-now/

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #215 on: September 27, 2016, 03:03:47 pm »

Courts should get out of the way of energy revolution, learn from the ‘90s telecom revolution

By Reed Hundt

When the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals convenes oral arguments on the Clean Power Plan (CPP) this week, the court will act as the gatekeeper to what could be a powerful, wealth-creating transformation of the American economy away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy.

With the nation’s energy landscape already rapidly changing, the 5-4 Supreme Court stay of the Obama Administration’s cornerstone environmental rule flew in the face of the investors, innovators and city leaders who are driving the energy revolution. As a nation, we (and the courts) should draw upon the experience of the communications revolution of the 1990s, and the way smart regulation laid the foundation for today’s explosion in phone, Web and media.

By limiting pollution from power plants, the plan would slow our headlong rush to change our climate and in so doing would catalyze America’s growing renewable energy markets. 




The five Justices    who supported the Supreme Court’s unprecedented stay of the rule must have assumed that the Environmental Protection Agency regulation via the longstanding Clean Air Act would cause irreparable injury to some businesses—presumably utilities bent on burning coal to generate electricity and the firms that provide them coal.

What those Justices failed to consider is that the energy transition is taking place now, from the Iowa plains to the California desert to the mountain ridges of Maine, benefiting many more.

The parallels to the Telecom Act of 1996 are clarifying. As the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission during the act’s implementation, I wish I could impart the fundamental lesson of that law to the Court: Regulation that pushes America into the beckoning brighter future is good for business, consumers, and the world.

The 84 separate regulatory actions the FCC took to implement the ‘96 Act and the numerous separate parts of the CPP are fundamentally based on the crucial, central point that regulation to catalyze new markets can produce major economic gains, and lead to the replacement of old methods of doing business with innovative life-enhancing techniques.

Many firms, in fact, did not survive the metamorphosis of communications from analog to digital, from wire line to wireless, from circuit-switched to packet-switched, from voice to Internet. But many other firms—far more wealth-creating businesses—were born, transformed, and given a chance to flourish because of the regulatory changes of the ‘96 Act.

More than $2 trillion in new wealth was created in the 1990s for American households. The federal budgets soared from big deficits to astounding surpluses. Unemployment fell and wages increased for all income levels, for the only years between the 1960s and today. If the firms afraid of these regulatory changes had succeeded in obtaining judicial proscriptions against innovation, the country and the world would be far worse off.
Quote

It is not just a tragedy, it is a blunder that the Supreme Court in staying the CPP did not understand the importance of regulating in favor of new markets, new opportunities, change itself.

The court ignored the thousands of cities and the millions of Americans who are demanding the clean, cheap, reliable energy that wind and solar technologies now provide. The court ignored the jobs that would be created if the budding renewable energy market were allowed to blossom. The court ignored the freedom that consumers should have to choose their energy sources in a competitive market now that technology can break up utility monopolies, and they ignored the right that all Americans have to clean air.

I hear these voices every day in coalitions across the country, through my work in more than a dozen states helping investors fuel the clean energy revolution via the nonprofit Coalition for Green Capital.

This revolution of innovation is an imperative driven by climate change, a threat we do not have the luxury of waiting to solve. The Pentagon has recognized climate change as a threat multiplier, instructing commanders to prioritize resilience to climate change in their operations. Health experts warn that climate change could undo the past 50 years of public health gains—spreading famine, disease, and extreme weather in unpredictable ways. Cities are investing in major infrastructure projects to protect against rising seas and extreme storms. Fire departments are preparing for record-long and increasingly deadly forest fire seasons. Farmers are updating irrigation systems to prepare for a dwindling water supply.

Americans are doing their best to avert and adapt to climate change. They recognize the need to overcome the entrenched fossil fuel interests and infrastructure of the status quo.

The wireless revolution of the last two decades and the budding renewable energy revolution aren’t that disparate. Outdated fossil fuel infrastructure and interests are keeping us entrenched in the 19th century technology of coal-fired power. If we take the path of least resistance and do nothing, we’ll continue to pollute our planet and warm the globe to devastating effect.

But if government sets the stage so that renewable energy is allowed to flourish in every state, we’d spur major economic growth and development.
Quote
It’s time we let a 21st century clean, efficient energy system unfold – and, just like the wonders of today’s communications technology, we can look back on the marvels it produces for all of us. 

Reed Hundt is the CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital, and was the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from 1993 to 1997.



http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-environment/297756-courts-should-get-out-of-the-way-of-energy-revolution


Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #216 on: September 29, 2016, 06:24:36 pm »



Soft Energy Paths

Lessons of the First 40 Years

Article written by Amory B. Lovins, cofounder, chief scientist, and chairman emeritus of Rocky Mountain Institute.


SNIPPET 1:

When the 1973 oil shock threatened security and prosperity, America’s initial policy responses were confused and ineffectual. Intensifying business as usual — drilling oil and gas wells, building giant coal and nuclear plants, perhaps developing coal-to-liquids synfuels — was vigorously proposed, but soon began looking too costly, dirty, slow, and difficult. The huge capital requirement would choke off other needed investments and ultimately make energy prices soar, so faltering demand couldn’t pay for the costly new supplies. Yet by autumn 1976, no coherent alternative vision had been articulated. Policy imagination was stuck.

At that teachable moment, my Foreign Affairs article “Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?” reframed the energy problem and added an alternative vision of U.S. energy strategy. The “hard path” was more of the same; the “soft path” combined energy efficiency with a shift to renewable supply. The article soon became that venerable journal’s most-reprinted ever, spreading as virally as pre-Internet technologies permitted. Forty years later, a review of its initial reception and continued influence shows what lessons have and haven’t been learned.


SNIPPET 2:

Incumbent energy industries  greeted the article with skepticism, scorn, even outrage. A four-inch-thick Senate hearing record compiled three dozen pairs of critiques and responses. Nowadays it makes amusing reading, reminding us that 40 years ago energy efficiency was novel and controversial, while renewable energy was strange, threatening, or absurd. Some people still cling to those views.

When the hubbub died down, ARCO’s chief economist, Dr. David Sternlight, nicely captured the conclusion of sober observers: He for one didn’t care if I were only half right — that would be better performance than he’d seen from the rest of them. Over the next decade, the article’s thesis gained enough credence that many of its harshest critics hired RMI, founded in 1982, to help them adopt it. By the current decade, two leading journals of the electricity industry generously recognized our approach’s prescience, and the article’s thesis has broadly prevailed in the energy marketplace.

The article was so influential because rather than just proposing yet another portfolio of energy investments, it redefined their purpose and logic. Previously, the problem was where to get more energy — more, of any kind, from any source, at any price. Planners extrapolated historic growth in energy demand and built supply to meet it. The article started at the other end by asking what we want energy for — what “end-uses” we sought, such as hot showers, cold beer, mobility, comfort, smelted alumina, baked bread — and how to deliver each of those services by providing the amount, kind, scale, and source of energy best suited to the task. This end-use concept soon merged with Roger Sant’s “least-cost” language, resonant with the emerging Reaganomics emphasis on free markets. The resulting “end-use/least-cost” approach revealed the most cost-effective solutions, chosen via competition or planning, to such questions as whether to keep warm in winter by gas or electric heating, or by insulation and weatherstripping.

Different questions yield different answers, so the article contrasted two ways the U.S. energy system could evolve (Figures 1A and 1B). (at article link)

Agelbert NOTE: The two alternative energy scenarios consisted of going for more fossil fuels (Hard Path) or eliminating them with efficiency and Renewable energy (Soft Path). The hard energy path required investments, infrastructure, and institutions that precluded the soft energy path.


SNIPPET 3:

THINGS I GOT RIGHT

Climate understanding isn’t new. The 1976 Foreign Affairs article says of the hard path:

“The commitment to a long-term coal economy many times the scale of today’s makes the doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration early in the next century virtually unavoidable, with the prospect then or soon thereafter of substantial and perhaps irreversible changes in global climate. Only the exact date of such changes is in question.”

Are we there yet? Cue the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement.

Anticipating RMI’s 2002 book Small Is Profitable and today’s market trends, the article says avoided grid costs and diseconomies of scale could reduce electricity costs, and “an affluent industrial economy could advantageously operate with no central power stations at all!” It also notes that “Energy storage is often said to be a major problem of energy-income technologies.” But partly since thermal storage is easier and cheaper than electrical storage to do the same tasks, “On the whole…energy storage is much less of a problem in a soft energy economy than in a hard one.” So

Quote
“One of the article’s most controversial claims — that soft and hard energy paths are mutually exclusive — has unfortunately been borne out.”

says the market today. Renewables’ lower costs, risks, and hassles; favoring market-led over policy-driven adoption; and reinforcing individual and community choice are all now commonplace. 


The hard path’s political risks sound familiar too:

“In contrast to the soft path’s dependence on pluralistic consumer choice in deploying a myriad of small devices and refinements, the hard path depends on difficult, large-scale projects requiring a major social commitment under centralized management…. The hard path, sometimes portrayed as the bastion of free enterprise and free markets  , would instead be a world of subsidies, $100-billion bailouts, oligopolies, regulations, nationalization, eminent domain, corporate statism.” 


The grave vulnerabilities of over-centralized systems, later amplified in Brittle Power (1981/82), are also now visible.

Other gratifying content from the article includes the utility death spiral, backcasting, integrative design (demonstrated in my house seven years later), institutional barriers and solutions, cogeneration, reliance on market principles and mechanisms, and utilities’ financing customers’ solar systems (though “solar” in 1976 meant solar-thermal, as photovoltaics were still “exotic”).

Full article with several eye opening graphics and some interesting historical pictures:   



https://medium.com/solutions-journal-summer-2016/soft-energy-paths-f044e7b65443#.50kd1s7gh
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
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AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #217 on: September 30, 2016, 02:39:54 pm »

New DOE report details latest advances in solar, wind, LED lights, batteries, and electric cars.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released the 2016 update of its report, Revolution…Now: The Future Arrives for Five Clean Energy Technologies.
The must-read report reveals the game-changing progress core clean energy technologies have made over the last several years — specifically, solar, wind, LED lights, batteries, and electric cars. Accelerated deployment driven by smart government policies, both domestically and around the world, have created economies of scale and brought technologies down the learning curve faster than almost anyone expected.

“The clean energy revolution is too often always assumed to be something that would come along in 10 to 20 years,” Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz said Wednesday after the report’s release. “The message is: look around, it’s happening now.”

And these technologies have a very important synergy, as this chart shows:


Batteries are helping to enable the rapidly growing penetration of variable renewable sources like wind and solar (see my May piece, “Storing the sun’s energy just got a whole lot cheaper”). The DOE report notes that “the capacity of these grid-scale batteries has increased nearly 10-fold since 2008.”

Moreover, while “the lithium-ion battery packs used in the majority of grid-connected batteries” have declined more than 70 percent in the past decade, “analysts expect both utility and consumer scale batteries to decline in cost by another 20–27 percent in just the next two years.”

As a result, DOE projects “the total domestic energy storage market could be worth $2.9 billion by 2021, as compared to $350 million in 2015.” And that’s without considering the impact of emerging super-low-cost used (“second-life”) electric car batteries, which I discussed here.

DOE calls the soaring new battery storage market “Revolution Next,” which includes such transformational technologies as smart buildings, light-weight materials, and “Big Area Additive Manufacturing” (BAAM!), better known as 3-D printing.
   
The next time an opponent of climate action questions the cost-effectiveness and scalability of climate solutions — or the value of government clean energy policies — the top chart and indeed the whole report should be front and center in your response.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #218 on: September 30, 2016, 06:46:45 pm »
Oslo's 'climate budget' aims to halve carbon emissions in just 4 years 


Sami Grover (@samigrover)
Business / Environmental Policy
 September 29, 2016
 
Remember when Oslo said it would ban cars from the city center in the next four years? And we were impressed? Well, it seems that Norway's capital isn't satisfied with such small gestures. Reuters is reporting that Oslo has just released its new "climate budget", and it's aiming for nothing less than a 50% reduction in emissions in the next four years.

How, might you ask? ??? Here are just some of the measures being proposed:

—Raise tolls for cars to enter the city

—Cut parking spaces

—Phase out fossil-fuel heating in homes and offices

—Run the bus fleet on renewables

—Build more bike lanes


Oh, and as if that's not enough, the city is also aiming to be at net zero emissions by 2030. It's worth noting that just because the city is planning on these cuts doesn't mean they'll be achieved. As the Reuters piece points out, no country has achieved more than 5% per year cuts in carbon emissions since we started paying attention to such matters, and that was when France shifted from coal to nuclear back in the seventies.

Still, to achieve big things you have to set big goals. And even if Oslo fell 50% short of its goals, it would still have achieved cuts at a scale and a pace not ever seen before.

http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/oslos-climate-budget-aims-halve-carbon-emissions-just-4-years.html
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AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #219 on: October 12, 2016, 09:13:43 pm »
World News | Tue Oct 11, 2016 | 1:32pm EDT

As prices plunge, Africa surges into clean, cheap solar energy  
   
By Maina Waruru

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Until almost two years ago, James Mbugua, a farmer living in Karai, a village on the outskirts of Kenya’s capital, relied on kerosene to light his house, and a car battery to power his television so he wouldn't miss the news.

Part of the reason he couldn't plug into the power grid, despite being so close to Nairobi and in an area where electricity is readily available, is that he lives on government land as a squatter, with no papers to show he owns the 70-foot by 80-foot parcel where he has put up a makeshift house.

Now, however, he has found an alternative: An affordable solar system to power his home.

"I could not go on like that and had to seek an alternative way of lighting my house and I discovered that with only $150 I could use solar to light my house and power the television plus radio,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The money for the purchase, he said, came from a loan from his community savings group, which asks members to contribute $5 a month and then offers loans from that pot of cash.

The father of five grown children is one of the millions of people across Africa who are taking advantage of falling prices of home solar panel systems to get cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), home solar systems in Africa can now provide electricity for many households for as little as $56 a year – a cost lower than getting energy from diesel or kerosene.

Of the estimated 600 million people living off-grid in Africa, about 10 percent of them are now using off-grid clean energy to light their homes, according to IRENA statistics.

“About 60 million people may be using off-grid renewable electricity of some kind in Africa. That is about 10 percent of those living off–grid,” IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said at a recent off-grid renewable energy conference in Nairobi.
 

SOLAR, PHONES AND CASH

In East Africa alone, more than 350,000 people are now using solar panels to light their homes and technologies such as mobile phone-based money transfers to pay for the technology, he said. That suggests renewable energy could be a major driver to help the region meet a new U.N. Sustainable Development Goal to provide universal access to electricity by 2030.

“Here in Kenya, we find ourselves at one of the global epicenters of growth, where solar products combined with pay-as-you-go models and mobile payment technologies are breaking new ground in bottom-up electricity sector development,” Amin said.

According to Joseph Njoroge, Kenya’s energy and petroleum principal secretary, solar mini-grids – small-scale electricity networks, sometimes combined with wind power as well – are expected to play a major role in bringing electricity to sparsely populated but vast northern Kenya, as well as to other areas not connected to the national grid.
 
“We have a third of Kenya’s population living in the northern part of the country, which is also two-thirds of the total area of the country, and it is here that we shall hugely deploy solar mini-grids to attain universal access to power – possibly even before the year 2030”, Njoroge said.

Last August Kenya won $36 million in support from France to put in place 23 mini-grid systems in northern Kenya that will use solar panels, wind or a combination of the two.

60 PERCENT PRICE DROP?  :o  ;D
 
IRENA predicts that ongoing renewable energy innovation, including new business models and finance, will result in a 60 percent decrease in the cost of producing electricity from renewable mini-grids in the next 20 years.

Such significant cost drops are being seen not just in Africa but across the world, IRENA officials said. They attribute the cost declines to technological innovations, changes in regulatory policies and an improved investment environment for private money.

Solar home lighting systems – which now cost about $120 for a small-scale system in Kenya – have fallen by as much as 80 percent since 2010, according to IRENA. The agency noted that it expects the trend to continue.

At the same time, investments in off-grid solar systems globally grew by 15 times between 2012 and 2015, with $276 million spent on them in 2015.

Employment in the renewable energy sector worldwide hit 8.1 million jobs in 2015, an increase of 1.3 million compared to 2014, IRENA said. Solar panels led the way with 2.7 million jobs created. 

In addition to lighting homes for the poor, off-grid renewable energy is being used to power things like health and education facilities, agriculture and water access – helping achieve at least a dozen of the other new Sustainable Development Goals, an IRENA report said. 

(Reporting by Maina Waruru, editing by Laurie Goering)


http://www.reuters.com/article/us-africa-solar-energy-idUSKCN12B254
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #220 on: November 16, 2016, 02:13:40 pm »
How wind and solar plan to thrive during the Trump presidency

Steadily declining prices and increasing market share mean the wind and solar industries 'got it from here'

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/how-wind-and-solar-plan-to-thrive-during-the-trump-presidency/430313/


Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #221 on: November 23, 2016, 12:58:53 pm »
11/22/2016 02:52 PM     

Remember, Energy Efficiency & Renewables Mean Lower Electric Bills   

SustainableBusiness.com News

Before Trump takes over and the GOP tries once again to misinform Americans about how renewable energy raises electric bills sky high, here's the latest research.

The study, "Cleaning Up Our Act on Energy and Reaping the Benefits," by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), shows that electric bills are lowest in states that aggressively embrace energy efficiency and renewable energy. And it shows that states with the highest electric bills - and pollution - are those  that refuse to invest.

Furthermore, investing in renewables means stable electric rates, rather than the wild swings in fossil fuel prices.

Renewable Energy Electric Prices  (Chart at article link)

Iowa is a great example, where wind now supplies 31% of electricity. Residents pay only 0.6 cents more per kilowatt hour (adjusted for inflation) than in 2000. And Californians' pay just $4.25 a month more since 1990 because of a combination of renewables and efficiency. But Wyoming residents pay $16 more a month than they did in 1990 because they depend solely on fossil fuels. 

Iowa will soon run on 40% wind when the utility finishes its next huge wind project. Oh, and it also brings $11.8 billion and 6000 jobs to Iowa's economy, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Read our article, More Wind Energy Means Lower Electricity Prices.

In terms of energy efficiency, people who live in the five least-efficient states have seen electric bills increase twice as much as those in the five most efficient states. 

On the federal level, higher efficiency standards for over 60 kinds of appliances and equipment saved $63 billion on utility bills in 2015 alone.

These energy savings, along with those from building energy codes, have also cut the costs of constructing and running the electric grid, notes Ralph Cavanagh of NRDC. And thanks to efficiency, when coal plants shut down they often don't even need to be replaced. 

Read our article, Which States Have the Cheapest Electricity? Those With the Most Renewable Energy.

Here's the report:
 
Website:  www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/clean-up-energy-reap-benefits-ib.pdf

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/26697
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #222 on: November 23, 2016, 09:18:45 pm »


Wednesday, 23 Nov 2016
 
News, studies and reports on the German energy transition.
 
Climate protection stimulates economy - study

#Business & Jobs #Climate & CO2

Federal Ministry for the Environment

“Climate Action Programme works like a stimulus package”


The German government’s Climate Action Programme 2020, started in 2014 to help the country reach its goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020, could in fact be called a stimulus package, according to federal environment minister Barbara Hendricks.

Her ministry (BMUB) published a PwC study on the economic and ecologic effects of the programme, saying that the economic benefits clearly outweighed the costs of the proposed measures. “The investments triggered lead to saving energy costs, more domestic added value, and more jobs,” said Hendricks in a press release.

In total, the programme will create 430,000 additional jobs and a GDP increase of 1 percent, by 2020, writes BMUB.   


http://www.bmub.bund.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/pm/artikel/klimaschutz-zahlt-sich-aus-430000-zusaetzliche-jobs-durch-klimaschutzpaket/
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #223 on: December 05, 2016, 07:04:40 pm »
Quote
Though the U.S is more divided than ever, the world has already decided to go renewable. Even countries that have historically been more stubborn to change have already decided to try and fight climate change. Those resisting progress will quickly find themselves on the wrong side of history, so I certainly hope our President-elect wises up.

The looming energy battle between Elon Musk and Donald Trump


 By Jacob Bayer - 12/04/16 08:30 AM EST

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/308636-the-looming-energy-battle-between-elon-musk-and-donald
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #224 on: December 10, 2016, 01:26:10 pm »
12/09/2016 02:51 PM      print story email story    ShareThis 

Cities, States Take the Lead on Climate Under Trump Administration

SustainableBusiness.com News

Under Trump, cities and states are preparing to take the lead, charging ahead on energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change, regardless of what his administration does.

They've got a great base to work from, having formed numerous pacts in the past few years that are having lots of success. And cities are the linchpin since they generate about 75% of global carbon emissions and 80% of GDP.

Since Trump was elected, 10 cities and a county joined the City Energy Project, bringing the total to 20. The Project focuses on energy efficiency of buildings - their largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. 

They share best practices, such as Los Angeles's requirement for cool roofs:Cool Roof1

The cities are an eclectic mix: Boston; Providence; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Chicago; Atlanta; Orlando; Miami-Dade County; St. Louis; Kansas City; St. Paul; New Orleans; Des Moines; Houston; Denver; Fort Collins; Salt Lake City; Reno; Los Angeles and San Jose. 

By focusing on these urban issues, the US can cut emissions up to 19% by 2035, according to the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL):

•building energy codes and incentives

•rooftop solar

•public transitrooftop photovoltaics

•smart growth



NREL could be gone under Trump, of course, taking a plethora of supporting research and tools developed to tackle climate change. 

On the international level, there's C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (17 of the world's largest cities). Some cities are reaching for 100% renewable energy, like San Diego, Vancouver and Sydney, Australia.  A "Global Platform for Sustainable Cities" launched this year to help cities use green planning processes as they grow and to integrate adaptations they will need to cope with climate change.   

EU's Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy is on track to meet its goal of a 27% emissions cut by 2020. The coalition represents 600 million people - 8% of the global population.

In September, 70 cities participated in the inaugural Global Parliament of Mayors at The Hague, with the goal of taking on issues that aren't being addressed effectively at the national level. Top issues for the meeting were climate change and immigration/refugees.

Mayor van Aartsen of The Hague said: "Unlike in the 19th and 20th centuries, the international stage is no longer the preserve of nation states. In many cases, national governments are not even equipped to deal with certain matters."

State Action

On the state level, renewable energy has been leaping forward thanks to Renewable Portfolio Standards and this year, 17 states formed the "Governors' Accord for a New Energy Future." Representing 40% of US population, governors are working together to accelerate efficiency and renewables, modernize the grid, and expand clean transportation.

They can put the federal Clean Power Plan into action - and many are on track to meet its targets - by regulating their own power plants, investing in efficiency and renewables. Northeastern states have had cap-and-trade for years under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Northwest states have banded together.

Internationally, 12 governments - mostly states - signed onto the Under 2 MOU, committing to joint action that keeps global temperatures from reaching 2°C.

The Compact of States & Regions, which tracks all efforts on climate change and provides a platform to measure and manage emissions, reports that "the vision set out in the Paris Agreement is within reach. Delivering on all 2020 targets will put these governments on track to stay below the critical warming threshold of 2 degrees C."


Backwards Federal Government 


While cities and states can fill in much of the gap left by a disinterested federal government, it will be hard to battle big initiatives that expand fossil fuels again. TransCanada can't wait for Trump to approve the Keystone Pipeline and automakers are looking forward to the repeal of Obama's historic fuel economy standards for cars and trucks.

We can forget any new supportive measures for a green economy, and if Congress wants to do some heinous things to squelch progress, they can  . How about repealing tax breaks for wind and solar? And forget government support for clean energy innovation, whether it's pushing our budding offshore wind energy industry forward or a strong R&D budget.   

Too bad, because for every dollar spent on clean energy R&D, $1.60 is created in other parts of the economy - adding about $8.6 billion to US GDP this year, according to Pew Research.

Laughably, Exxon Mobil Corp  , says it hopes the Trump administration will rely on "sound science"  ::) on deciding which regulations will be dropped.   

In the end, most people believe the transition to renewables will continue because it's too far along to be stopped. Coal is waning because of low natural gas prices and solar/ wind will be cheaper than both fossil technologies. They create lots of jobs, even in red states.

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/26702
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

 

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