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Author Topic: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth  (Read 9757 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #285 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.



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AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #286 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



 
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AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #287 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

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AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #288 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

 


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AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #289 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/

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AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #290 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.
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AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #291 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.

 
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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #292 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/
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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #293 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…
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AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #294 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/
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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #295 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!

READ OUR BLOG

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

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

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- Your friends at Climate Reality
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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #296 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/
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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #297 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! 
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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #298 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.

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

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #299 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/

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