Renewable Revolution

Energy => Renewables => Topic started by: AGelbert on November 07, 2013, 04:12:37 pm

Title: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on November 07, 2013, 04:12:37 pm
Are you tired of pro Fossil Fuel or Nuke Puke Propaganda? ( TOO! Get the FACTS to shut down the lies, duplicity and obfuscation! Be Armed with IRON CLAD TRUTH the prevaricating liars CANNOT DENY. Save this, the most recent data available, provided by a network of more than 500 contributors and researchers from around the world, all of which is brought together by a multi-disciplinary authoring team. When the liars open their YAP, (  Make FOOLS ( of them with the TRUTH  ( and send them crawling back to their Koch Masters.(
18 Fun Renewable Energy Charts From NREL Director Dan Arvizu & Ren21′s Renewables 2013 Global Status Report  (

I had the good fortune of seeing NREL’s director, Dan Arvizu, give an optimistic renewable energy and cleantech presentation in Abu Dhabi in January. He certainly knows how to pack a presentation full of interesting charts. More recently, Dan gave a presentation in Colorado that I didn’t attend but have the slides for. (Actually, the slides are online [PDF].) Below are a few of my favorite slides from the new presentation, followed by several fun charts and tables from the key findings of Ren21’s Renewables 2013 Global Status Report. (Thanks to a reader for tipping me off to both presentations!)

Renewable Energy Charts & Facts
This first chart is on annual capacity growth rates for renewable energy technologies:


Here’s a look at the world leaders for specific clean energy technologies (at the end of 2012):


Naturally, the pure capacity leaders are not necessarily the per capita or per GDP leaders — normally they aren’t (a gripe I have with these types of ratings). For the latest on those for wind and solar, see:

Top Solar Power Countries (link at "Read more)
Top Wind Power Countries Per Capita  (link at "Read more)
Top Wind Power Countries Per GDP (link at "Read more)

The next chart, moving away from renewables to energy use on the consumer level, is a super fun one in my opinion. Ever wonder where homes & businesses are using their energy? This chart has the details:


There’s much more in Dan’s presentation, including many slides on NREL’s extremely high-tech, energy-efficient, LEED-platinum campus. Check it all out for more fun. (link at "Read more)

Below are now charts from Ren21’s Renewables 2013 Global Status Report. As always, I recommend checking out the full report. However, I’ve also gone ahead and pulled out several of my favorite charts to share below. Enjoy! (If you’ve already checked out Dan Arvizu’s presentation, you’ll notice that some of the charts from the Ren21 report were used in that.)

Global Renewable Energy Charts & Facts

Here’s an estimate of renewable energy’s share of electricity production at the end of 2012:


Non-hydro renewable being at 5.2% can be seen in a positive or a negative way. It’s much higher than it was just a few years ago, but it’s still a relatively small percentage. However you look at it, though, definitely realize that it is growing fast and will for years to come. We’re just getting started!
Here’s an even closer look at global renewable energy capacity, showing the totals by country at the end of the past 3 years:


Here’s a look at the world’s non-hydro renewable energy capacity leaders (again, in terms of total not relative capacity):


Here’s a great summary of global renewable energy jobs totals, and totals for some leading economies:



Here’s a look at how many and which countries have renewable energy policies (early 2013 compared to 2005):


 Solar Energy Charts & Facts

Getting into solar energy specifics more, here’s a look at global solar PV capacity growth:

That’s a nice curve if I’ve ever seen one!

Here’s a look at solar PV’s global capacity split at the end of 2012:


Here’s a look at the top solar PV module manufacturers at the end of 2012:


Here’s a look at the growth of solar water heating around the world:


Here are the leading solar water heating countries in terms of 2011 additions:


Wow. Go, China!  (

And this last solar chart shows global solar thermal capacity growth:


Wowza!   And expect 2013′s total to be much bigger.  :o

Wind Power Charts & Facts

Wind power has grown at a similarly impressive rate. Check out these three charts for more on that as well as on the leading wind power countries and companies:




If you might want more, check out this brief summary of the Renewables 2013 Global Status Report and then get your butt over to the report’s key findings(link at "Read more") (or just jump straight over to the full report)(link at "Read more"):

Renewable energy markets, industries, and policy frameworks have evolved rapidly in recent years. The Renewables Global Status Report provides a comprehensive and timely overview of renewable energy market, industry, investment, and policy developments worldwide. It relies on the most recent data available, provided by a network of more than 500 contributors and researchers from around the world, all of which is brought together by a multi-disciplinary authoring team. The report covers recent developments, current status, and key trends; by design, it does not provide analysis or forecasts.[/b]

Also see:
About Solar Power (link at "Read more")
About Wind Power (link at "Read more")
World Wind Power In 2012 Advances Nearly 20% (link at "Read more")


Title: South Africa: Where Clean Energy is Growing the Fastest
Post by: AGelbert on November 09, 2013, 03:06:34 pm
South Africa: Where Clean Energy is Growing the Fastest

( News

South Africa has concluded the third of five bidding rounds in its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP).

17 renewable energy projects, valued at $3.3 billion, received the go-ahead out of 93 bids. In total, 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of projects are approved: seven wind, six solar PV, two concentrating solar, one landfill gas and one biomass.

China Longyuan Power Group will develop 244 megawatts (MW) across two wind farms.  :o

Close behind it is a 100 MW solar concentrating plant to be built by Abengoa, which recently went public on Nasdaq (ABGB). Xina Solar One will have 5-hour energy storage and combined with its 100 MW KaXu Solar One, which is under construction, will be the biggest solar complex in Africa.

It makes use of parabolic trough technology:


A consortium led by Mainstream Renewable Power will build three wind projects totaling 360 MW, and will come online next year. That's in addition to 238 MW awarded in the first round of bids.

With a development pipeline of 19 GW, Mainstream recently closed a €100 million equity investment with Japanese Trading House Marubeni Corporation.

US-based SolarReserve won a bid in the previous round.

The consortium behind these projects now hold a 20% share in South Africa's solar market.

Earlier this year, Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China agreed to jointly finance projects that win bids in the program.

The program is intended to quickly boost renewable energy in the country while weaning it off coal, which supplies 85% of its electricity. 3.7 GW of renewables will be added by the end of 2016 after the five bidding rounds are completed.

Last year, investors poured $5.7 billion into South Africa renewable energy projects, which have 20 year power-purchase agreements with the utility, Eskom, reports Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Because of this program, South Africa is showing the most rapid clean energy growth in the world. (
Title: It Doesn't Have To Be So Hard: Making Renewable Energy Siting Easier
Post by: AGelbert on November 13, 2013, 08:53:48 pm
It Doesn't Have To Be So Hard: Making Renewable Energy Siting Easier (

America's Power Plan
November 12, 2013

There is a deep irony at work in the intersection of energy and the environment. The biggest threat to our planet is climate change, caused in large part by our profligate use of energy. And one of the biggest solutions is to de-carbonize our electricity system by building renewable energy projects, linked to cities and large urban centers with new transmission lines.

These renewable energy systems can require large amounts of land. But with careful planning, we can preserve conservation values while significantly reducing our carbon footprint.

A second challenge is that most renewable energy and transmission development will take place on private lands, especially farms and ranches. While farmers and ranchers are eager to see the economic benefits of hosting wind farms and supplying biomass for energy, the track record with transmission development in America gives many of them pause. But again, new policies and practices can help make new infrastructure welcome in the American countryside.

At the request of the Energy Foundation, we have developed some ideas for improved siting policies and practices, as part of America’s Power Plan. The Plan is a comprehensive response to the rapid changes in the power sector coming from new technologies, consumer demand, and policy. Siting new renewables and the associated infrastructure will be a key part of that transition.

How much land will be needed to move to a high-renewables future? The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) calculates that getting 80 percent of our power from renewables would use about 200,000 square kilometers, less than 3 percent of the U.S. land base.

Most of this would come from biomass production, such as growing prairie grasses and other fast growing species specifically for energy production. Wind power, though it needs open spaces, only takes a small amount of land away from farming and ranching. In one scenario, NREL estimates wind would need 87,000 square kilometers of space, but only use up 4,200 square kilometers.    

In a core scenario, NREL estimated the need for about 120 million “megawatt-miles” of new transmission, an investment of $6.5 billion per year between now and 2050 to reach 80 percent renewables. While this seems like a lot of lines—our current system has 150-200 million megawatt-miles—most of this would be built in the sparsely-populated wind belt (see the accompanying map). NREL also created a “constrained transmission” scenario, which limited new grid construction and forced more renewable generation closer to load. That scenario required only 25 million megawatt-miles additional, but had higher overall costs and more congestion. With thoughtful and integrated planning, we believe we can maximize the use of current lines and minimize the need for new.

Source: NREL, Renewable Electricity Futures.

While the Beltway conventional wisdom is that building transmission lines is “simply not feasible,” lines are in fact being built. Transmission investment is rising from a mid-1990s trough, with much new development intentionally benefiting renewables. In fact, new lines are starting to fill in the NREL map already. The three power systems stretching from Texas to Minnesota, called ERCOT, the Southwest Power Pool and MISO, have approved $20 billion of new lines to bring wind power to market.

Rural communities, landowners, and policymakers in these areas are willing to live with transmission partly because they see the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy, and understand the need for infrastructure. As the saying goes, “If you love renewables, you’ve got to at least like transmission.”

It is also helps that developers are becoming more sensitive to the concerns of communities and regulators. One developer, Clean Line Energy Partners, has had 600 public meetings in the process of siting a line from Iowa to Illinois.

And the federal government has become proactive in addressing siting issues on public lands early and openly, through programs launched by former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

The Bureau of Land Management has set aside 1,000 square miles of land in 24 solar-energy study areas and is evaluating them for appropriate development. These areas have the technical potential to generate nearly 100,000 megawatts of electricity or enough to power 29 million homes. Interior is working to encourage development of all renewables, especially offshore wind on the East Coast.

As part of America’s Power Plan, we have developed a set of recommendations for smart reforms of policies and business practices. With the right changes, we can see continued success in siting new generation and transmission.

First, of course, we must maximize the efficiency and use of the existing grid. “Non-wires” alternatives like targeted efficiency improvements, demand response, and distributed generation can help us wring more out of our existing transmission system.
But the current grid was built for fossil and nuclear generators. A system for renewables will need to increase access to new regions, like the Midwestern wind belt and the sunny Southwest. It will also need to be more interconnected, to minimize the impacts of variable generation, like wind and solar.

A package of reforms and best practices can reduce conflict and streamline the process of siting new projects, making it faster, cheaper, and less controversial.

New approaches include engaging stakeholders early, accelerating innovative policy and business models, and employing “smart from the start” strategies to avoid the risk of environmental and cultural-resource conflicts. Institutional reforms may be the most critical, such as greater coordination among regulatory bodies and improved grid planning and operations. Developers and regulators should work with landowners to develop new options for private lands, including innovative compensation measures.

A number of these improvements are being deployed already, such as in the Western Governors’ Association Regional Transmission Expansion Planning Project and the Interior Department’s pro-active work to site America’s first offshore wind farm.

Modernizing the grid and transitioning to clean power sources need not cause harm to landowners, cultural sites or wildlife. On the contrary, taking action today will provide long lasting benefits.

By Carl Zichella, Johnathan Hladik and Bentham Paulos

Zichella and Hladik are speaking at the Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida on November 13 in session 19B - "Seizing Opportunities in Wind Development and Planning."

Carl Zichella is Director of the Western Transmission, Land & Wildlife Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Johnathan Hladik is an attorney and energy policy advocate for the Center for Rural Affairs. Bentham Paulos is the manager of America’s Power Plan.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth:Financial Innovation Next Big Thi
Post by: Golden Oxen on November 15, 2013, 07:25:17 pm
Hi everybody. My first posting, found this article moments ago by one of my favorites Chris Nelder. Hope you find it of interest.
Agelbert I had a problem deciding if this belonged here or general discussion. Feel free to move it if it is in the wrong spot. Still feeling my way around your very well thought out site.

Financial Innovation is the Next Big Thing in Clean Energy and Efficiency


A new wave of innovation is sweeping the energy transition sector, promising to accelerate deployment and cut the costs of energy-efficiency measures, as well as wind and solar generation.

It isn’t a technological improvement, like cutting hardware and labor costs. It isn’t a policy mechanism like feed-in tariffs. It isn’t even a new business model, like selling storage services.

It’s financial innovation.

If the very words make you clutch your wallet and roll your eyes, I understand. After all, it was the innovation of mortgage-backed securities, credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations that opened the door to an unprecedented level of financial recklessness and nearly brought down the global economy five years ago.

However, at the risk of incurring the wrath of the market gods: This time it’s different.
The problem: The capital gap

Financial innovation in the cleantech sector is needed for a simple reason: Wind and solar systems (even large, utility-scale ones) and energy-efficiency upgrades are hard to finance. They typically require a homeowner or business owner or renewable project developer to come up with a significant chunk of capital up front, then receive the benefits of the investment over a long time horizon — typically, 20 years or more. They’re all a little different, making it hard to evaluate risk. Even if an investment offers an excellent return over time, coming up with the initial capital can be too high a hurdle. And when a developer manages to raise the money to build a project, it usually needs to sell the project to a long-term investor so it can free up its capital to build the next solar park or wind farm.

The natural long-term holders of assets like these are pension funds, infrastructure funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance funds, and the like. They are accustomed to investing tens or hundreds of millions of dollars at once and then receiving modest, single-digit returns over a period of decades. This is the so-called fixed-income market, where the investments are usually come in the form of very low-risk assets like Treasury bills, equity positions in historically stable sectors like utilities, or long-term, high-grade corporate debt.

The problem in the cleantech sector has been matching assets to their natural investors.

Over the past year, I’ve heard the same story over and over again. Globally, fixed-income investment entities have trillions of dollars of available capital that they would love to put into renewable energy and efficiency projects. Enough to build a huge chunk of the new infrastructure needed to transition the world from fossil fuels to renewable energy. But the available projects are too small. Whether the investment is $50,000 or $500 million, it still requires about the same level of due diligence effort to evaluate: many billable hours paid to high-priced lawyers, accountants, researchers, and fund managers. That cost can be a killer if the investment is less than (roughly) $5 million dollars; there just isn’t enough margin to justify it.

So the trick has been to find a way to “de-risk” (do the due diligence) and bundle cleantech and energy-efficiency investments, in order to be able to offer a suitably large investment to the fixed income market at an acceptably low transaction cost.

Enter financial innovation.
Solution 1: Standardization

Several recent initiatives are tackling the first part of the problem by finding ways to standardize investments.

The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) just this week released a set of standardized contracts for solar projects. The contracts, which include lease agreements for residential solar systems offered by third-party solar leasing companies and commercial power purchase agreements (PPAs) for larger systems, were developed by a working group NREL convened in the spring called Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC).

Comprising some 20 to 25 companies in the sector — including project developers, law firms, and analytical entities — SAPC analyzed many existing contracts for solar projects and figured out which parts could be standardized and which parts needed to be customizable.

I asked NREL Energy Analyst Paul Schwabe, who headed the contract standardization project, why new contracts are needed. “We see a number of benefits for those leases and PPAs,” he says. “One, lowering transaction costs for entities who don’t already have those documents available; they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Two, improving customer transparency, particularly on the residential side. By using a standard contract, the consumer can more easily compare multiple projects and know that the contract has been analyzed by a number of industry stakeholders. And three, we think it can help facilitate the pooling of cash flows into a common investment that can access capital markets.”

The working group hopes standardized contracts will reduce the cost of capital for project developers, and make it easier for customers and investors to evaluate investments. So far, the prospects are good.

“We’ve gotten buy-in from a large majority of the residential installer community, and we’ve made good inroads in the commercial industry as well,” Schwabe says. “We’ve confirmed that a large percentage of the market will use them.” The working group now has more than 125 members, he estimates, and that number is growing rapidly.

Ultimately, the standardization of contracts will make it easier to assess the expected cash flows from solar projects, and thus make it easier for investors to feel assured that projects will perform as advertised.
Solution 2: Data and metrics

The contract standardization effort is part of a broader NREL initiative to organize the industry and establish collaboration between stakeholders. NREL is also collecting data for solar performance, which will help standardize an understanding of how well various pieces of solar gear perform.

Another industry working group called TruSolar is working on a complementary set of metrics and tools to standardize solar project financing, including rating photovoltaic (PV) projects for performance and establishing credit screening criteria. TruSolar is part of SAPC. It has partnered with NREL to publicize their respective efforts and highlight the synergy between them, Schwabe says.

By collecting historical data on actual system performance and establishing standard credit criteria, the two groups will solve another part of the problem: the lack of a trusted track record.

Whereas the performance of mortgages has a well-analyzed record that stretches back over more than a century, the data trail for solar projects is only a few decades long, and only the last decade of that trail is really representative of how well modern equipment performs.

These investments in collecting data and establishing metrics will make it easier to de-risk solar projects and assign them a credit rating major investors can accept without having to do so much of their own due diligence. This will ultimately reduce the cost of capital and increase the velocity of deal-making.

Schwabe was not at liberty to say whether or not any of the major credit rating agencies are involved in SAPC, but did say that a key conclusion from an earlier NREL paper that led to its formation was that “standardization was needed for securitization and those stakeholders felt it was necessary.”
Solution 3: Securitization

Securitization is the process by which a pool of assets is bundled, graded, sliced and diced, and sold into capital markets. It’s the same process that brought the world the dreaded mortgage-backed securities. But the underlying assets in cleantech are quite different, and far less risky.

Securities in the cleantech sector rely on cash flows generated by stable things: solar equipment sits in the sun, insulation sits in buildings, and wind turbines stand and spin. As long as the gear has been properly evaluated and graded — which is part of what SAPC and TruSolar are doing — and properly maintained, then the only real risk to continued production of cash flow is weather. Fortunately, on an annual basis, insolation (the amount of light falling on a given location), wind, and temperature are quite predictable and have very long historical data records. Averaged over a period of decades, they will not deviate enough from historical averages to constitute a significant financial risk. So the actual risk of non-performance in solar- or wind- or efficiency-backed securities is far lower than the risk of a homeowner who got a “liar’s loan,” lost his job, and then couldn’t pay his mortgage.

Several new approaches to securitization in cleantech are now coming into existence.

NREL, as part of its suite of initiatives, is developing a “mock portfolio” comprising a pool of solar park assets, both commercial and residential, and testing how it might perform as a securitized investment.

SolarCity, one of the largest third-party solar leasing companies, announced this week that it will begin offering $54 million worth of “Solar Asset Backed Notes” to qualified investors. The securities, which will be secured by a pool of the company’s solar systems, leases and PPAs, will pay investors out of the cash flow those assets generate, and free up the company’s capital to invest in new projects.

Jigar Shah, the founder of SunEdison, pioneered the third-party solar leasing model companies like SolarCity and Sunrun have followed. I asked him for his take on securitization.

“The financial innovation that we’re doing now is just an extension of what we started in 2003,” he says. “We popularized it at SunEdison. Securitization is the next step. The first step was to make solar an asset class acceptable to insurance and pension funds. We got Wells Fargo, MetLife, and a few others to give SunEdison $2.3 billion in commercial paper, and something on the order of $1 billion in residential paper. Now we have the right to pursue securitization. But it only happens because the banks believe there’s a multi-billion-dollar market. Until then, the ratings agencies like S&P are not able to participate.”

Although SolarCity’s $54 million offering is tiny in the world of commercial securities, Shah sees it as significant because the company has obtained, for the first time, an investment-grade rating for commercial solar securities. Within five years, he expects the sector to be well into the billions of dollars.

In a detailed Oct. 21 essay about solar securitization for Power Intelligence, energy finance attorneys Elias Hinckley and David John Frenkil wrote that solar asset-backed securities “will enable the solar industry to access a much larger and more diverse investor base, which will eventually help to reduce the long-term cost of capital to a likely range of 3 percent to 7 percent, compared with the 8 percent to 20 percent rate required by some project finance equity and tax equity investors in the current market.”

Securitization is also coming to the building efficiency sector. Massachusetts-based insurance company Energi Insurance Services has extended its risk evaluation services for renewables to the energy-efficiency sector, including energy-savings warranties, electricity-generation performance warranties and equipment warranties. It also backstops performance guarantees offered by energy-efficiency contractors through product underwritten by the International Insurance Company of Hannover. Last month, Energi started working with NREL to analyze and quantify risk for small building energy-efficiency retrofits, giving lenders a tool they can use to rate energy-efficiency loans. Ultimately, the methodology could give rise to efficiency-backed securities, which will deliver cash flows to investors much as securitized solar projects do.
Solution 4: Crowdfunding

Oakland, Calif.-based Mosaic also offers solar asset-backed securities. Instead of being based on a pool of assets, they are issued for specific solar projects. Each note issued by the company corresponds to a certain solar installation, and the payment on those notes derives directly from the cash flow generated by the loan obligation attached to that installation.

After less than a year in business, Mosaic has more than 2,500 investors from nearly every state, who have invested as little as $25 for shares in 19 solar projects with a combined $5.7 million in asset value. Investors typically receive 4 percent to 7 percent returns annually, depending on the project. The company boasts 100 percent on-time payments with zero defaults thus far.

Speaking at the VERGE San Francisco conference last month, Mosaic CEO Billy Parish said interest is brisk in his company’s offerings. Investors are disillusioned with conventional financial markets, he says, and increasingly feel that the stock market is rigged against them. With tens of millions of dollars worth of new solar projects in the Mosaic pipeline, he is confident investors will continue to find the low risk and modest return of the notes attractive. “The transition from fossil fuels to renewables is the biggest opportunity for wealth generation this century,” he declares.

Another Mosaic innovation could open up a torrent of new capital: a security that will be eligible for purchase through IRA accounts. There is $17 trillion sitting in IRAs in the United States alone, according to Parish.

A related recent development in financial innovation will give more investors access to the cleantech sector. The JOBS Act, which President Obama signed into law in April, created a new playing field for crowdfunding that makes it easier for individuals who don’t qualify as high net worth “accredited investors” to invest small amounts in small businesses and startups which, in turn, weren’t qualified to offer public securities.

Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission finally proposed rules defining the new terms. Investors with less than $100,000 in annual income and net worth will be able to invest up to $2,000 a year, or 5 percent of annual income or net worth, whichever is greater. Those criteria are considerably looser than the ones Mosaic has operated under thus far, so it will open a much larger pool of potential investors in renewable-energy- and efficiency-backed securities.

“We’re glad to see financial innovation occurring in the renewable energy sector, including through use of securitized investments,” Parish told me.

And that’s not all. A multi-billion-dollar market in global finance for renewable energy and efficiency is now giving very large investors, like sovereign wealth funds and pension funds, easy access to these new securities. Stay tuned to this space for more on that exciting new sector.

Photo: William Kamkwamba’s old windmill, Malawi (whiteafrican/Flickr)
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on November 15, 2013, 08:00:14 pm
Thanks GO. I agree financing is definitely part of the big picture for renewables.

Mosaic is doing a great job but now that California has made a pact with B.C., Canada and some other Northwest States to price carbon, the renewable energy projects, most of which have large depreciation time horizons which do justify long term financing, as your article pointed out, will hopefully get easier financing for the large up front costs.

There are some states that are quite friendly to sustainable business ventures in renewable energy. Here's a snippet of a document written for the hypothetical venture capital investor with x amount of money for y type of renewable energy investment.

Article from July 2013: “The Most Solar-Friendly States in the US”:


Vermont won recognition in 2011 for its groundbreaking streamlined solar permitting rules, emphasizing residential and small solar installations, which it expanded in 2012. (The state’s solar “registration” process, rather than “permitting,” is described in an interview with AllEarth Renewables’ David Blittersdorf.)

Interestingly, Vermont is also at the forefront of the net metering debate. A report earlier this year found that solar net metering is a net-positive for the state, even with a state incentive factored in, and not including any tangential economic multipliers. Similar reports, and conclusions, have been published for California, New York, and Texas.

Unlike the other top 12 states, Vermont does not have a formal RPS policy; rather it has “goals” of 20 percent of electricity retail sales from renewable energy and combined heat/power by 2017 as part of a Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development (SPEED) program. Beyond that, the state has targets for each providers’ annual electricity of 55 percent of retail sales in 2017, increasing 4 percent a year until reaching 75 percent by 2032.

Rank ‘Em: The Most Solar-Friendly States in the US (

Vermont Has excellent Solar investment incentives.

Quantifying State-Policy Incentives for the Renewable Energy Investor
 Sreenivas (

( State-Policy Incentives for the Renewable Energy Investor
 Sreenivas (


I wish the Federal Reserve would jump in and assign the SAME level of interest rates for Renewable Energy add-ons to homes and businesses as for housing construction and re-finance. That would be ROCKET FUEL for getting people quickly off of fossil fuel heat and electricity in their homes. The job spurt alone would be enough to goose our economy if the Wall Street crooks would stop trying to get a war going someplace and instead get some renewable energy cheap financing going here.

Renewable energy is the quintessential  wise investment because of the excellent EROEI. I read recently that Solartech or SolarCity (not sure which) is securitizing chunks of PV power purchase agreements (PPA).These are basically 25 to 30 year bonds that facilitate financing so I am certain some money people are getting on the band wagon. If you could find out who they are and report on it, I would be grateful.    (

By the way, I'm making up for lack of certain emoticon buttons by putting images in the gallery of emoticons you can link to. You may have to size them but once you've got the right width and height, it's a cinch.

The above green smiley is set like this (without the brackets so you see the script):
 img width=30 height=40][/img
Title: Big FINANCIAL Innovation Emerging in Renewable Energy!
Post by: AGelbert on November 15, 2013, 09:17:48 pm
The Next Big Innovation in Renewable Energy Won't Be Technological
It will be financial.

Todd WoodyNov 11 2013, 3:30 PM ET

Silicon Valley solar company SolarCity last week quietly did something that could revolutionize renewable energy in the United States. No, the company did not invent a radically more efficient or cheaper photovoltaic panel. Rather, it announced it plans to sell $54 million in asset-backed securities. :o

And that is a very big deal, even if the dollar amount of the notes on offer is rather small. That’s because the assets backing the securities are leases for some of the rooftop solar systems it has installed on homes across the country. Hundreds of millions of dollars in solar leases have been signed in the U.S. in recent years.

If those leases can be bundled and sold to pension funds and other investors, “solar securitization” could open up a potentially huge new pool of capital that could be tapped to finance the expansion of renewable energy as federal and state tax breaks for renewable energy begin to expire.

For homeowners and businesses, solar securitization could translate into cheaper electricity.   A SolarCity spokesman declined to comment on the securities offering. ;)

Much of the innovation responsible for the solar industry’s explosive growth has been financial rather than technological. Half the U.S.’s solar capacity, for instance, was installed just in 2012. Driving those sales was the ability of homeowners to avoid the five-figure cost of a photovoltaic system by leasing it for a monthly payment that often is lower than what they’d pay their local utility. Anywhere between 75 and 90 percent of all solar systems are now leased as a result.

That’s a lot of demand sitting around waiting to be monetized. After all, Wall Street for years has packaged leases for planes, trains and automobiles and sold them to investors. The risk is considered manageable as rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s evaluate the credit-worthiness of such investments can rely on decades of data on the value of those rolling assets as well as the credit scores of people who sign the leases.

Solar panels, on the other hand, are a relatively new technology ( and have only become a mass market over the past few years. Then there’s the specter of the subprime mortgage debacle that crashed the global economy when the value of both the homes securing mortgage-backed securities and the credit-worthiness of the homeowners proved an illusion.

The risks of subprime solar is probably low. Solar installers like SolarCity, Sungevity, and SunRun only sign leases with customers with high credit scores. And most homeowners are likely to continue paying their electricity bill even if they can’t make their car payment. (

The big unknown, however, is the long-term performance of solar panels.  ( Manufacturers typically offer 20-year or more warranties. But as I wrote earlier this year in The New York Times, the extreme financial pressures faced by Chinese solar industry, which supplies most of the world’s photovoltaic panels, has led to cost-cutting and growing incidents of defective solar modules.  ::) Whether that is a short-term blip or indicative of a more long-term problem won’t be known for years. (SolarCity chief executive Lyndon Rive, however, told me his company has not experienced any issues with its Chinese-made panels.)

Agelbert NOTE: OF COURSE they haven't experienced any "issues" with Chinese-made panels BECAUSE the hit piece in the New York Times was overblown THEN and has proven to lack substance. I can provide links to anyone interested in seeing that there was NEVER an actual quality control problem above a tiny (less than 3%!) of production and that was ONLY for a few months. The article was a scare tactic, not a balanced piece of industrial quality control problem news.

That makes Big Data companies like kWh Analytics crucial for the success of solar securitization. The Oakland, California, startup analyzes the real-time performance of some 10,000 solar systems—including 3 million photovoltaic modules—to help investors evaluate the risk of putting money into solar assets.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded kWh $450,000. Richard Matsui, kWh’s chief executive, told The Atlantic that his company will use that money to build out a comprehensive database similar to one assembled to analyze home mortgages by a company called CoreLogic.

“Today's solar investors are flying blind, accepting unknown risks (  in exchange for the promise of financial returns,” Matsui said in a statement. “Understanding risk is essential to making investments, but is difficult without aggregated data on panel quality, inverter reliability, and customer default rates.”

Agelbert NOTE: Matsui is obviously talking his book so he can milk the "pricing renewable energy" cash cow to hilt!  >:( I think the risks are overblown. Here's why. PV is NOT a new technology; it has been tested to beat the band. We have had PV in outer space for over 40 years! Yes the efficency has improved but the durability, unlike what this article is sweating, is an establishe MTBF (mean time between/before failure) born of no nonsense testing. They will probably last longer than 25 years. Planes, trains and automobile securitized leases are FAR more risky and yet Wall Street securitizes these rapidly depreciating assets that are simply not in the same league as PV (or wind turbines, for that matter).

Renewable energy, from wind turbines to PV to geothermal to hydropower has been MUCH MORE scrutinized than dirty energy fossil fuel power plants or nuclear power plants ever were in regard to cost-benefit. So these jitters are simply NOT justified.

The securitization gate has been opened. Unlike the CRAP securitization for mortgages SCAM, this is the real thing and, if priced correctly, should be quite popular. With this financial boost the Renewable Energy "Genie" is out of the bottle! Enjoy the death of fossil and nuclear fuels! (

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: Golden Oxen on November 16, 2013, 09:25:32 am
Imagine where we would be today if our government had spent the resources on getting us out of our Global Warming Fossil Fuel burning emergency as it did bailing out the banksters from their evil ways.   :-[
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on November 16, 2013, 05:52:54 pm
Yep. It would be a different, and much healthier world. I hope it's not too late.
Title: Rocky Mountain Institute New Video
Post by: AGelbert on November 18, 2013, 12:30:02 am
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: Surly1 on November 18, 2013, 07:06:13 pm
Imagine where we would be today if our government had spent the resources on getting us out of our Global Warming Fossil Fuel burning emergency as it did bailing out the banksters from their evil ways.   

That was this generation's Apollo program, gents. And the money went right into the bankster's pockets.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on November 26, 2013, 12:27:13 am
On July 12, 2012 I posted this video arguing that the assumption that GDP GROWTH needs to TRACK energy use growth is a misconception. Zero Hedge pundits, TAE Nicole Foss, Professor Charles Hall (darling of The Oil Drum), several diners and other energy experts out there have made the same FALSE  claim over and over. I posted this video on page six of the Waste Based society thread on the Doomstead Diner Forum. Go back and read what diners had to say, Find out how WRONG they were on subsequent page comments.

In the last year and a half, everything I claimed about energy and the cost effectiveness and GREATER EROEI of renewable energy over dirty energy has been proven right. Have a nice day.  ;)

Experimental Phycisist Amory Lovins is still at the Rocky Mountain Institute and still doing outstanding work.

Here's one of his recent videos. It FURTHER reinforces THE FACT THAT GDP growth does not have to track energy use! (

A world-renowned energy expert, Amory Lovins, visits the forefront of Japan's energy shift to propose ways for its energy future. Lovins has been studying and visiting Japan since 1960s as he embarked on his profession. Lovins' message: Japan can lead the world in energy shift, if Japan realizes its potential for more energy efficiency and utilize its abundant renewable energy.

Renewable Revolution (
Title: Important: Efficiency Standards for Motors Proposed
Post by: AGelbert on November 26, 2013, 08:08:58 pm
11/26/2013 11:09 AM          

Boring But Important: Efficiency Standards for Motors Proposed ( News

It may not be exciting to read about a new energy efficiency standard, but setting ever-more stringent requirements for appliances and equipment is one of the most powerful tools for cutting energy use in the US.

This is especially true when it comes to motors - which consume about 50% of all industrial electricity, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing long-overdue efficiency standards for electric motors, which operate everything from fans and pumps used for irrigation and wastewater treatment plants to elevators and conveyor belts.

Over 30 years, these standards are expected to save 1 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity - enough to power almost every US home for a year, along with savings to businesses of $23.3 billion. In terms of carbon emissions, the savings equal taking 82 million cars off the road.



"The wide use of motors across many industries results in a substantial impact on the demand placed on power grids," says EIA, which projects that this increased efficiency will offset that of industrial output, resulting in relatively flat levels of electricity consumption by machine drives.

And the impact will be felt across the world, where US standards are influencing overseas manufacturers to improve the efficiency of their motors, too.

"Rather than trying to set slightly higher standards for electric motors already covered by two rounds of previous U.S. standards, we recommended that DOE expand the scope of coverage to many motor types not previously regulated," says American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

This approach made sense to both manufacturers and environmental groups, all of which were involved in developing the new standards. Manufacturers like the fact that they can apply the proven designs they developed for existing regulated motors to more kinds of motors.

Efficiency standards for motors now apply to almost all kinds of motors - from 1-500 horsepower.
When Secretary Moniz took over DOE this year he promised to make efficiency more of a priority. Since then he's been moving on a series of efficiency standards that have long been delayed, such as commercial refrigeration equipment, furnace fans and metal halide light fixtures.

Last year, the US used less energy than in 1999 and that's with an economy that's grown more than 25% since then. (

In fact, efficiency  has contributed more to meeting US energy demand than all other resources combined over the past 40 years - more than coal, oil, or nuclear, concludes a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on November 30, 2013, 05:54:59 pm
“The misperception that China is not acting should no longer be seen as a reason for inaction by the U.S. or any other country,” Joffe said. “This misperception is fed in part by looking only at the environmental problems China is facing, while ignoring positive developments. China faces very significant environmental challenges, but it is also taking important steps to address climate change.”
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 05, 2013, 03:25:14 pm
When Lockheed Martin Goes Green , It’s Game Over For Fossil Fuels (

When a major defense contractor like Lockheed Martin lays down some heavy stakes in the green energy field, you know it’s only a matter of time before fossil fuels lose their headlock on the global energy market.  ( Lockheed recently teamed up with the green energy innovator Concord Blue Energy to take that company’s waste-to-energy technology global, and here’s where it gets really interesting: Concord Blue has just announced a new agreement to integrate its technology with the firm LanzaTech, which specializes in capturing carbon-loaded waste gas from industrial operations and converting it to high-value products.

Title: US Government Recommits to Renewable Energy Ramp-up
Post by: AGelbert on December 05, 2013, 04:08:39 pm
US Government Recommits to Renewable Energy Ramp-up

James Montgomery, Associate Editor, 

December 05, 2013 

New Hampshire, USA -- Today the Obama administration issued an executive order re-establishing one of the proclamations from the climate change plans it issued this summer: significantly boosting the U.S. federal government's support of renewable energy to supply 20 percent of its energy consumption by 2020.

The U.S. federal government's broad climate-change initiatives issued earlier this summer gained a lot of notice for their emphasis on standards for carbon pollution reductions and energy efficiency. They also pressed the Department of Interior (DOI) to expand permitting of renewable energy projects on federal lands. Now the Obama administration is revisiting and reiterating another part of that broad climate plan: expanding the federal government's electricity consumption from renewable sources to 20 percent by 2020, nearly triple the current 7.5 percent. (It adds the window of uncertainty, though, that such a target must be "economically feasible and technically practicable.")

The order maintains the definitions of "renewable energy" as those laid out in Executive Order 13514 circa 2009: solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, ocean (tidal, wave, current, and thermal), geothermal, municipal solid waste, and new hydroelectric generation capacity from existing projects (increasing their efficiency or adding more capacity).

This 20/2020 renewables mandate prioritizes on-site production or procurement, retaining renewable energy certificates (REC); followed by purchasing the electricity and RECs, and then just purchasing the RECs alone. For on-site projects the government urges a focus on brownfield sites including contaminated lands, landfills, and mines. There's also a plan to add Green Button pilots on federal facilities, coordinating efforts among the DOE, FEMP, and EPA, which will update the Energy Star Portfolio Manager to include building energy usage data using Green Button.

Here's the official roadmap being laid out for federal renewable energy consumption:
•Fiscal 2015: Not less than 10 percent
•Fiscal 2016-17: Not less than 15 percent
•Fiscal 2018-19: Not less than 17.5 percent
•Fiscal 2020: Not less than 20 percent

Note the U.S. military arms already are under a legal mandate to reach 25 percent renewable energy consumption by 2025, which will amount to 1 GW of new installed capacity each for the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

What's missing, of course, is any direction or definition on how agencies and federal facilities should build or obtain all this new capacity, what is the overall mix among renewable sources, how much money this effort will save, or how it will be paid for.

Nevertheless, "this is a landmark moment in our nation's history," proclaimed Rhone Resch, president/CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The solar industry is already doing its part, with more than 10 GW of installed capacity and representing nearly all the nation's new electricity generation. He also urged the administration to set up a more modernized procurement process that lets agencies adopt long-term power purchase agreements (PPA).

Back in June the Union of Concerned Scientists' Mike Jacobs suggested those 20/2020 goals shouldn't be too difficult given that many states are already approaching or even exceed that number.

We'll keep updating this story as more details and analysis becomes available.
Title: Debate with a Fossil Fueler about Wind Power
Post by: AGelbert on December 10, 2013, 10:11:05 pm
Debate with a Fossil Fueler about Wind Power and the future of renewable energy:(


Quote from: agelbert on Today at 01:09:31 PM

Wind energy will be available AND cheap as long as the earth rotates and the sun shines.

Lets discuss this for a minute, from the perspective of a power engineer running some portion of the grid somewhere for a moderate sized city.

I would love to. However what you want to discuss is not my statement, since that is not challengeable.

What you want to DISCUSS is the Amount of Energy available Instantly 24/7. You want to discuss that because you labor under the view that wind power cannot deliver X number of MW when your community, all of a sudden, from 10PM to 2AM Thursday night, needs them.

The issue of the rate is a separate one you cannot seem to let go of because you are STUCK in a paradigm of varying rates according to demand. This paradigm of yours is fossil fuel base load logic based and is going the way of the dodo bird.

Fossil Fuel (FF) plants have, say 80% base load capability 24/7. They WANT people to use that baseload but, of course, people DON'T during slack periods. Consequently, the FF utility tries, by super low rates during slack periods, to get people to use it. WHY? If you REALLY know anything about power usage, you know that, below baseload, a lot of SHUNTING (throwing MW AWAY) happens. The FF PIGS don't like that. They studied the communitee and built their pollution factory to get as high a base load 24/7 as possible. They never gave a flat **** about the needs of the community, just their ****ing bottom line and YOU KNOW IT!

When baseload is exceeded and they are in prime rate quickstart gas power plant territory, they are happy as pigs in poop to provide it. They have power sharing agreements with surrounding grid blood sucking utilities to get MORE power if they are maxed out above base and peak power plant capability. EVERYTHING ROTATES around PROFIT for the FF utility, NOT SERVICE.

That's what YOU live and die by. That's what YOU think is logical. That's what YOU think energy distribution is all about. That's why YOU JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND WIND POWER.

Wind, like your ****ed up FF poison factories, is ALSO tied into the grid, which consequently, with the new electronics and computer monitoring, increase or decrease power output IRRESPECTIVE of some baseload criteria.

Baseload, beyond initial infrastructure design according to the community size, will NO LONGER be an issue although there will probably be a rate penalty for high use irrespective of the time you are using it.

The new renewable energy paradigm will NOT BE ABOUT THE COST OF ENERGY; It will be about the COST OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE. For all practical purposes, the FUEL cost of energy itself will be  ZERO so people are going to pay for the infrastructure as a service package with a TOP limit on energy use monitored by smart meters based on ENVIRONMENTAL considerations, not the baseload bottom line of the utility predatory capitalist "business model".

There isn't going to BE any "externalized cost" BULL**** for the environment to please "investors". The new business model will work more like a bond issue with the coupon based on a projected moderate profit from installation and maintenance of infrastructure, PERIOD.

I know, I'm speaking GREEK to you. Fine.

For an in depth look at the future of energy use and distribution, read this article. The author is an expert that knows far more about grid nuances than I do so you can argue with him about details.   

What Happens When Energy Prices Are Zero?  ( (

Originally published on RenewEconomy.

Numerous studies tell us that 100% renewables is possible, and cost-effective. But how to structure an energy market where there is no fuel cost? Germany is already grappling with this dilemma, and the world is watching with interest. This is part of a series of articles on Germany Energiewende. More can be found in our Insight section.

One of the big questions about scenarios for 100 per cent renewable energy production is how to structure the energy market.  (

We now know that having electricity supplied to a major economy entirely by renewable energy sources is possible, and most likely no more expensive than building new fossil fuel generation.

What we don’t know is how to structure the energy market so it provides the right incentives: If the marginal cost of solar and wind energy is close enough to zero (because there is no fuel cost), then the energy price in a 100 per cent wind and solar market is going to be zero – at least in the current market structure. But who would invest? (

Full article Here:

Read more at (

My Comment on the above article: :icon_sunny:

• 20 hours ago

Well, consider this. Without artificial scarcity or price shocks from fossil fuels, two things happen:

1) The power to buy politicians and undermine democracies is lessened which, in turn, saves trillions of dollars in war profiteering and human misery.

2) A world at peace has a much more reliable infrastructure and investment climate. Stability attracts investors for a predictable, stable yield for Renewable Energy infrastructure bond issues.

The two factors above translate to the yield on the investment being a function of the price people pay for the infrastructure that brings them the energy, period. All this machinery has MTBF cycles and can be depreciated in a thirty or forty year accounting cycle.

People will pay for service, not the energy itself, even though, of course, the target for all of us is to be carbon-neutral so the environmental consideration will always affect the pricing structure to possibly penalize high energy cost based purely on environmental considerations, not the energy cost or the infrastructure.

I bring this up because Homo Sapiens is smart enough to set up a 100% renewable energy economy and proceed to overwhelm it through over use of this "free" energy. There is a biosphere out there we can no longer neglect. This time the environmental cost, and there always will be one, must be paid as we use that energy. We do not want a repeat of the greed gluttony of the fossil fuel industry and utility company "investor" profits that encouraged polluting energy and overuse of energy as well.

Just my two cents.

Remember what Thomas Edison said in 1931. He was a wise man but we did not do what he proposed because of greed, not because we couldn't develop the technology. We must look at energy as a part of life, to be used prudently, not as an unlimited "fuel" to be used willy nilly.

1931: Edison Advocates for Solar Energy over Fossil Fuels

In a conversation with fellow inventors and entrepreneurs Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford, Thomas Edison says of renewable energy sources: "We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy—sun, wind, and tide.… I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that." [US History, 2013; About Thomas Edison, 8/19/2013]

It's time to stopped chopping the fence around the house of ALL the earthlings we share this planet with. As self aware beings responsible for 100% of the environmental degradation, if we keep putting ourselves first, we are guilty of criminal negligence.

By the way, in your energy demand calculus you also left out the FACT that there will be NUMEROUS Renewable Energy technologies ALL LINKED from geothermal to solar to wind to biomass to ocean currents using various new storage technologies in addition to the old ones from hydropower to a plethora of battery, compressed air and inertia systems. It's NOT going to be about making energy SCARCE to charge people more. That's OVER. But I know you don't agree.

It's going to be about PRUDENT (as in, respecting the needs of the biosphere) energy use, not how much you can "afford" to buy.

For over a century, you fossil fuelers have gone WAY OUT OF YOUR WAY to destroy new energy technologies by hook or by crook. In the video are a few examples. Some might be pie in the sky but MOST of them are for real and are the DEATH KNELL of the war profiteering, murderous, "energy is scarce so we have to fight, kill for and hoard"  ( ****ED UP world view the "apex predator" Intelli-MORONS among us love to CON we-the-people with.

Have a nice day.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 11, 2013, 09:23:04 pm
Attribution for the above graphic is to

In the 21st century, many countries are moving away from dependence on fossil fuels for their energy needs. A number of smaller countries have already reached 100% renewable energy, and many others are close to complete independence from fossil fuels. Some of the more notable achievements in our global pursuit of a future free of fossil fuels are:

•Iceland, which is 100% free of fossil fuels, got 26% of its energy from geothermal sources in 2009.

•At the end of June 2013, Germany’s total installed solar PV capacity was 31.19 GW, the highest in the world. Despite this solar success, however, Germany still remains dependent on some of its energy from fossil fuels.

•China’s spending to free itself from fossil fuels and develop more renewable energy may total 1.8 trillion yuan ($323 billion) in the five years through 2015 as part of the nation’s efforts to counter climate change.

•Nicaragua, which has set a goal to be 94% free of fossil fuels by 2017, aims to reduce its reliance on foreign oil from 70% to 6% by that time.

•Paraguay, one of the leading countries in the world claiming independence from fossil fuels, is 100% renewable but also exported 90% of its generated electricity (54.91 TWh) in 2008.

•By 2016, solar energy will bring electricity to 2 million Peruvians who currently do not have access to it and rely on dirty fossil fuels for cooking, lighting, and other energy needs.

•In the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, solar power’s energy potential far exceeds global electricity demand, yet this region still primarily remains dependent on fossil fuels.

•In the U.S., 29 states, plus Washington, DC, and 2 territories, have a Renewable Portfolio

Standard (RPS), meaning they will need to increase production of energy from renewable sources in the next 10-20 years in order to decrease reliance on fossil fuels.

Infographic created by Aven Satre-Meloy


Learn More:

•Mosaic President Billy Parish on the fastest way to 100% clean energy.

•Get the scoop on impact investing.

•Why you should care about crowdfunding.

 ( (
Title: Agelbert Renewable Revolution INSTITUTE 2035 U.S. Energy use Projections
Post by: AGelbert on December 14, 2013, 10:10:32 pm
A fossil fueler called 🦖 MKing brought an interesting 2009 U.S. energy use graphic which uses "quads" for the energy units. When I told him the 2009 global energy demand was 18TW, I was not talking about QUADS but let's deal with the 2009 graphic.


About 39% of the 2009 US ENERGY USE (IN QUADS) total was electrical, further "justifying" MKing's "perspective".

So what's the problem with MKing's "irrefutable" logic pointing to Renewable Energy being a DROP IN THE ENERGY BUCKET? (I seem to have had this SAME conversation with Nicole Foss about a year and a half ago...)

1) The US is not the whole planet. In fact our energy "policy" DOES NOT EXIST on a national scale. That puts the fossil fuel corporations in De Facto control of energy policy piggery.

That FACT makes us DIFFERENT and technologically and scientifically BEHIND every other developed country in the WORLD (including fossil fuel loving Russia!) in regard to energy policy and piggery in the light of global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

The U.S. is NOT an example of the global energy trends (I'm CERTAIN MKing is aware of this). Using it as an example shows the deliberate intent to use an extreme of fossil fuel use as the planetary norm to undermine the facts about exponential Renewable Energy growth (when they aren't claiming that Renewable energy growth is LINEAR and therefore will take 500 years or so to replace fossil fuels!) and paint the fossil fuel driven economy as the be all, end all of a workable civilization.

It's quite clever. But it is false because it lacks perspective, not because the facts of the year 2009 for the U.S. are "false"; They are accurate.

However, 2007 to 2009 was the apex of fossil fuel piggery and projections for the U.S.! There was LESS before and LESS after in an increasing downward slope!

You would stare open mouthed if you could see the same pie chart above in 1940. Renewable Energy from hydropower reached 33% of our electrical grid penetration, a percentage we have yet to reach again (but a lot of good people are working on it!).

2) In 2009 the situation in Europe was the antithesis of the one in the U.S. as to Renewable Energy.  MKing was obligated to show the rest of the planet but did not. If we are going to discuss planetary energy use, we need to include the whole ball of wax. 8)

Now let's see what happened AFTER 2009:


Fossil Fueler wet dreams as projected to 2035 when the above graphic was enthusiastically prepared (and shown proudly at THE 🦖 OIL DRUM web site, NO DOUBT! 😈) to make sure us treehugging renewable energy freaks "understood the REAL world".  ::)

Yes, unfortunately, PART of the above is coming to pass because of the Chinese energy explosion. But look what is happening in MKing's example (the U.S.) of fossil fuel energy love (see below).


And with the massive pollution problem in China, you KNOW that China line is peaking and will begin its inexorable descent if China, and the rest of the biosphere too, is to survive this climate mess.

Yes, MKing, I'm aware of the fact that the graph has CO2 emissions, ::)  not energy use. But when you are talking about fossil fuel use, CO2 emissions correlate exactly with burning fossil fuels. Don't try to pretend otherwise.

But your fossil fuel pals are LOATHE to project trends any way but the way they want them to go. THIS IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE PROBLEM.

You scoffed at cost not being germane in the North Sea Platforms because THE PEOPLE, NOT BIG OIL, were made to pay for it. Your "perspective" is that IF you can get away with gaming the costs so YOU don't pay them, you have a viable business model. BULLSHIT!

The mafia has been around for a long, long time because, even they learned, like you fossil fuelers never seem to, that rampant, calloused predation will backfire on you and destroy your business.

Since it hasn't happened to your "business model" YET, you think it won't. Yeah, it's ALL ABOUT DISTORTED AND ARROGANT flawed perspective. But ,hey, you use renewable energy so I guess you have something going for you.  ;)

Dear readers, you saw that fossil fueler wet dream projection from 2007 to 2035 above, right?

Well, these fine fellows have made an adjustment to their prevaricating projections (see below).

Note the attempt to make the energy total in general (and fossil fuel use descent in particular) look like a hiccup! BULLSHIT!

In order to give fossil fuelers a reality check and a bit of heartburn too, I have consulted with the top scientist at the Agelbert Renewable Revolution Institute.  He is a very learned man!  ;D  I see him regularly whenever there is a mirror around.   

Anyway, he used his top secret quantum computer to show what the U.S. energy consumption and breakdown of sources is projected to be from now to 2035.

Fossil Fuelers and Nuke Pukes will scoff publicly :P but they will ( sweat bullets privately! (

But this isn't about whether "it would be nice but we just can't swing it due to fossil FOOL corporation power and piggery"; This is a matter of national security and national survival. We DO THIS or we ARE HISTORY, PERIOD. Pass it on. The planet you save may be your own.

[img width=640[[/img]http://(

Title: History of Scientifc Predictions Based on Status Quo Linear Projections
Post by: AGelbert on December 15, 2013, 07:57:33 pm
Space travel is bunk.” — Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal of the UK, 1957 (two weeks later Sputnik orbited the Earth).

“The earth’s crust does not move”- 19th through early 20th century accepted geological science.

“Radio has no future. Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” — William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, British scientist, 1899.

“There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” — Albert Einstein, 1932

“The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.” — Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

“If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.” — Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M “Post-It” Notepads.

“Stomach ulcers are caused by stress” — accepted medical diagnosis, until Dr. Marshall proved that H. pylori caused gastric inflammation by deliberately infecting himself with the bacterium.

“That virus is a ****cat.” — Dr. Peter Duesberg, molecular-biology professor at U.C. Berkeley, on HIV, 1988

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” — Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

“Telltale signs are everywhere —from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest. Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F.” — Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University in Time Magazine’s June 24th, 1975 article Another Ice Age?

So the next time you hear about Scientifically, fastidiously, mathematically, data driven, empirical evidence projections of ENERGY USE BY SOURCE based on the STATUS QUO percentage breakdown in the PRESENT GAMED  ENERGY "playing field" dominated by fossil fuel bought and paid for energy use projection modelers in and out of government, you might want to remember that just being an expert, or even having a consensus of experts, doesn’t necessarily mean that a claim is true.
Agelbert's 2035 projection is Fartium, Hopium and UNSCIENTIFC TOO!

You might also consider that the derision and scorn directed at "outlier" projections like THIS ONE ( ( MKing and his Fossil Nuke pals consider story telling (mendacity) fartium and hopium,  is based on the status quo perception limitations that can even affect intelligent and far seeing people like Einstein.

Sure, the derision among the fossil fuelers is based on FEAR too but good luck getting them to admit that. They don't operate in the reality based community; They firmly believe they can create their own reality, totally ignoring inconvenient things like the laws of thermodynamics and entropy.

They are used to ****ting where they eat. Up until now, the biosphere has accommodated all their industrial toxins without putting a dent in their profits. But people like Agelbert and many, many other humans out there realize that these predatory fools are heading for a Seneca Cliff. That is why my energy use modeling shows a parabolic descent of the use of fossil fuels.

I could show several historic examples of disruptive technology doing the same thing but MKing and his Predatory Fossil Fueler friends won't buy it because of the old "This time it's different TRICK".  ::) They falsely believe they can play whack-a-mole with Renewable Energy now like they did several decades ago.  (

They corked it in the 1980s and, like a pot of water on high heat, it is boiling over, throwing the lid of bribes, violence based repression, corruption and mendacious fossil fuel energy bull**** to the four winds. Anybody with a lick of sense can see the transition is NOT going to be linear; it's going to be somewhere between parabolic and exponential for the INCREASE in Renewable Energy share of the total demand as well as the DECREASE in the fossil and nuclear poison fuel use.

MKing cannot envisage this because he is OWNED by the perception of the status quo. So he scoffs and asks for minutiae and detailed analysis about a FUTURE that his pals want to continually game.

He won't admit that, of course. He is smug and sure that they WILL succeed in keeping Renewable Energy to a niche. He won't admit big oil gamed the last 50 years; why should he accept publicly the FACT that they want to game the next 50? No, he will claim it was all done in a level energy cost/supply cost/benefit playing field.  (  Talk about story telling FARTIUM AND HOPIUM! (

To show you how discomfited our pet fossil fueler that drives a Volt is by my 2035 projection, notice he did not even COMMENT that MY energy project TOTAL USE for the U.S. is essentially the SAME as the original chart by the "experts" that MKing respects.

Why did I accept their figures for the total? Because I think they recognized that the growth of total energy use is DEAD IN THE WATER because of so many new efficiencies brought on by new technology (see Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute for DETAILED scientific reports and analysis of this quantum leap in energy savings - that MKing doesn't talk about  ;)).

At any rate the modeling by "respected" status quo supporting GANGS of scientists is, by the 2035 U.S. Energy Use projection chart,  admitting ONE NEW and SIGNIFICANT CHANGE in the energy use paradigm. :o  That is that GDP GROWTH does NOT HAVE TO TRACK ENERGY TOTAL DEMAND.  ( This is a HUGE admission for the "growth is IT  (" view of the predatory capitalist mindset.

I simply CORRECTED the blind spot these status quo bean counters displayed.

What's that? The Renewable Energy Explosion tidal waving over the Fossil and Nuclear fuel industries Seneca Cliff.

I find that is a rational, realistic and highly probable scenario. I think most people reading this DON'T but, around 2017, take another look at this chart.  ( 

Mking and friends will say it was a lucky shot on my part. The quantum computer I have between my ears is no match for big oil and all the scientists working for them in and out of government so I'm just farting in the wind!  (

Finally, let's talk a little about the erroneous predictions from serious scientists above. What's the common denominator? The common denominator is NOT mendacity or bought and paid for bull****. These people really believed what they were saying and really were serious, dedicated scientists dealing in empirically reached conclusions only.

What happened was twofold:

1) Status Quo linear type projection thinking instead of rapid change from disruptive technology (parabolib, exponential and/or Seneca Cliff).

2) The ETHICAL thought process of these scientists (If we have something that works to do this or that, it is costly/stupid to replace it with this new stuff). 

Other considerations like career positions and personal financial holdings certainly would prejudice even the best, clear thinking individual but that is not the common denominator UNLESS we are talking about mendacious propaganda (New Ice Age, anyone?).

Einstein was the smartest of the above bunch, wouldn't you agree? Einstein understood physics pretty well, I would say.  ( He KNEW that messing with radioactivity and making a bomb and using fission to boil water was a low probability event that, though remotely possible, didn't make any sense whatsoever from a military or energy for civilization standpoint.

He was right. He still is right!  (

But the MKing PERSPECTIVE of the predatory capitalist "war profiteering, externalize the pollution and concentrate the profits in a few hands" was not something Einstein dealt in.

He was a REALITY BASED person. He had ETHICS. They dominated his view of a proper military and energy future. Only when he thought Hitler could get the bomb first did he relent.

Even so, that God Damned Bomb provided work for about 100,000 to 400,000 people in the USA during the height of the Depression when the money was sorely needed to help the starving, hard working millions victimized by Wall Street and the Bankers.

That's just fine for the MKings of this world. The BOMB created the cabal of fascists (protected from public scrutiny by the secrecy of atomic energy) that joined with Big Oil to fnish the transition of this country into a Fascist Police State.

That's cool for the MKings of this world too.

The massive negative inertia of pure calloused behavior and arrogance toward fellow humans with less power that this new technology created in the USA business establishment was the worse thing that ever happened to this country. It brought us the MIC, game theory, unbridled belief in might is right far beyond what the robber barons had believed in and a general disdain for socially humane solutions to human problems. MKing has no problem with that either. He may admit, as Bill gates does, that it is "unfortunate" that the poor get shafted as result of capitalism but that's just the way the cookie crumbles in REAL LIFE. (

Now you may say that I am not a realist and neither was Einstein, someone I can never compare with mentally but I DO compare with ethically.

Einstein WAS a realist.  So am I.

I'm telling you, as I'm sure Einstein would as well, that all this fossil fuel and nuclear crap destroying democracy and playing king of the ****ing hill is TEMPORARY.  :o That is the historical record in meteoric climbs to power.

The descent FROM power is just as meteoric. MKing doesn't see that. Fossil fuelers don't see that. The MIC doesn't see that.

MKing thinks it's strory telling fartium and hopium to project the rapid end of COSTLY  and TOXIC fuel industries. It's not. It's the MOST probable scenario because that is how it has ALWAYS GONE in the historical record when ossified, centralized, elite power has run into decentralized, distributed power. The fact that the dynamic is now thermodynamic as well as political just adds inertia to the rapidity of the CRASH ahead for dirty energy.

I don't give a flat **** what you think, MKing. However, I am gratified that you honored my chart with some ridicule. It shows I touched the RIGHT BUTTONS.   (

Have a nice day.

To all readers, don't hesitate to pass this on with or without attribution. Let the status quo worshippers know that that they are cruising for a bruising from Renewable Energy.(
 Give them HELL! (

It's what they deserve. This is what happens when these bankrupt energy paradigm true believers argue with you:  (

Fossil Fueler and Nuke Puke STATUS QUO based linear (ignoring parabolic, exponential and Seneca Cliff historically documented effects of disruptive technology) Projection to 2035 (


High Probabilty Future due to tyranny overkill by predatory capitalist crooks suppressing cheaper Renewable Energy Technology for over 40 years up until now. (
( (


Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 16, 2013, 09:17:50 pm
MKing said (after the silly attempt at ridicule, disparagement and IQ lowballing of Agelbert.  :icon_mrgreen:)
Religious dogma?  (

Renewable zealotry?   (

Call it what you'd like, but the economists  ( who built the model for the IEA certainly have answers  ( for these kinds of questions.  ( 

My dear fossil fueler, I never said these worthy economists did NOT have the answers; I SAID they were making faulty projections, as the list of serious scientists I gave you in the last post but are SILENT about, DID.

They were RADICALLY mistaken because they projected the status quo into the future linearly. Do you have difficulty seeing that error? YEP! In fact, in regard to your following list of questions, you are avoiding the central issue here. And that is a COMPARISON of the two technologies at odds with each other.

The other day you said my "perspective" was wrong because I reasoned as to whether some technology (e,g. building North Sea Oil Drilling platforms) should, or should not have been built based on COST. Today, you are back to asking about cost. That's a bit contradictory, old bean. 8)

I would prefer you were a bit more consistent in your demands for scientific, rational, empirical and THEREFORE credibie chart data. Your calculus seems to be a moving target based on "other" factors like who has the biggest gun (see your "rapacious is good :evil4:" comments).

Now you do agree, do you not, that you cannot have it both ways? Either your fossil fuel paradigm is held together with political power born of bribes, corruption, threats and violence because it cannot compete on an HONEST EROI energy playing field or it never needed any of that heavy handed **** because it is such a "blessing" (as in wonderful, cheap, superior concentration of energy, HIGH EROI, etc. ( ).

So what do you call the big oil bull**** and propaganda lie a minute machine (nuke pukes too)? INSURANCE?

Why do you find my conclusion that the FACT that they spend millions each year to bribe, bully and produce pie in the fossil fuel sky projections like the ones you worship (with all the appropriate economic terms and buzzwords for the APPROVED formulation designed to provide CREDIBILITY), is DE FACTO proof that fossil fuels are NOT COMPETITIVE ( Renewable Energy so RELIGOUS and IRRATIONAL?  

Look in the mirror for closed minded, rigid, status quo projecting erroneous assumptions, PAL! YOU are the zealot here, not me! Every time I have zeroed in on the gaming, you dance around the low EROI and claim that the rapacious predatory **** is just fine and dandy.  (

Fossil Fueler DEMANDS some NUMBER CRUNCHING from Agelbert! (

Hell, how about just a cost of supply curve for the renewables involved?

Income elasticities would be nice to see.

Assumptions on Chinese vehicle growth, and efficiency?

How about non-OECD GDP projections, and assumptions of elasticity there?

Capital availability for the development of your renewable scenario?

Do you have these in tables Agelbert, or perhaps a spreadsheet?

And the model, do you have some documentation written up and available for review parked somewhere?

When you explain to my satisfaction WHY you feel the heavy handed tactics of Big Oil are not MENS REA because they have an INFERIOR ENERGY PRODUCT as compared with Renewable Energy, I will be glad to shower you with detailed data, discuss cost, supply, elasticity, present value, sunk costs, various depreciation mechanisms and anHONEST application of GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) AND thermodynamics in formulating a reality based EROI.

But, until you DO THAT, the answers to those questions are for me to know and you to find out. (    (

Because I REALLY want to get OUT OF THE WAY the stupid, false and misleading idea that fossil fuels are a better deal than Renewable Energy, not 10 years from now or twenty, but ALWAYS!

At that point we may found common ground in agreeing that, given certain predatory capitalist/fascist police state tactics, they very well might strong arm Renewable Energy out of prime time by all sorts of low down corrupt tactics.

However, I feel THAT FUTURE up to 2035, as the chart you so respect attempts to justify as the most probable scenario, is an outlier, is irrational and reflects a low probability and environmentally catastrophic, future.

Sure, the elite may go for that because the world popuiation can be chopped in half or more that way.

But that has NOTHING to do with sound economics, elasticity, cost/supply, EROI or CFS. IT has EVERYTHING TO DO with rapacious, power mad insanity.

But it could happen. You had better hope it doesn't.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 17, 2013, 01:19:34 am
Cost of renewable energy’s variability is dwarfed by the savings

Wear and tear on equipment costs millions, but fuel savings are worth billions.(

by John Timmer - Sept 24 2013,

The variability of renewable energy sources like solar and wind has raised concerns about how well the US electrical grid could tolerate high levels of them. Some of the early estimates suggested that the grid couldn't handle having more than 20 percent of its electricity coming from intermittent sources without needing a major overhaul. But thanks to improved practices and a bit of experience, several states are already pushing that 20 percent limit well in advance of having a smart grid in place.

Adjusting for intermittent power sources primarily comes from cycling traditional fossil fuel plants on and off to match supply with demand. And that cycling has a cost in terms of wear and tear to equipment and fuel burned without producing electricity.

So the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) produced a series of studies to look at these costs and how they compared to the savings in fuel that doesn't get burned. The answer: the cost is a tiny fraction of the ultimate savings. :o

Solar and wind power have very distinct profiles.

Solar varies the most over the course of a day, but the general outline of solar production is very predictable even if the total power delivered varies a bit with cloud cover.

Wind tends to be steadier, but the total amount being produced can change at any time of day.

To compensate for this variability, electricity suppliers essentially have to turn sources on and off. Since wind and solar have minimal operating costs—they burn no fuel—attention turns to coal and natural gas. Depending on the design of the plant, switching them on or off entails a variety of costs. Fuel gets burned without producing electricity when the plants cycle up, and a changing state entails an increased level of wear-and-tear on the equipment. Some of this went on before renewables entered the mix, but solar and wind are clearly increasing the frequency.

So, what are the costs? To find out, NREL commissioned a company called APTECH that had previously been hired by plant operators to estimate these costs. With these costs in hand, the NREL team analyzed the grid in the Western US under a number of different scenarios where intermittent renewables accounted for 33 percent of the total power. These scenarios included an even split between wind and solar sources and both 25 percent/eight percent (wind/solar and solar/wind) splits.

As expected, costs did go up. Cycling the fossil fuel plants added between $0.47 and $1.28 to each MegaWatt hour generated. Over the course of a year in the Western US grid, that adds up to between $35 and $157 million, a boost of between 13 and 24 percent. :P

That's the bad news. The rest is pretty much good. The fuel savings from not running the fossil fuel plants adds up to $7 billion  (
, meaning the added costs are, at most, two percent of the savings. The fuel burned when spinning up the fossil fuel plants also makes a minimal contribution to pollution, either in the form of CO2 or in terms of nitrogen and sulfur compounds. ;D

Perhaps the most significant news, however, is that the worst problems come earlier in the transition to renewables. "In terms of cycling costs," the report notes, "there may be a big step in going from 0 percent to 13 percent wind/solar but a much smaller step in going from 13 percent to 33 percent." In other words, once the percentage of renewables reaches a critical point, then the amount of adjustments we have to make becomes incremental.

This doesn't yet mean that all renewable power is cost effective compared to fossil fuels;( wind is very close, but solar is a bit further.  ( With current trends, however, we're only a few years away from that point.

And this report indicates that once we get there, there won't be any significant additional costs to adding them to the grid.

Agelbert NOTE: Actually, I would correct that last sentence to point out there will be significant additional costs to delaying the increased percentage of renewable energy!

WHY? Which smart grid technology, power sharing among neighboring grids and new storage technology from compressed air to battery to inertia (flywheel) storage, keeping old burners maintained won't be worth it (unless they can be converted from coal to biomass)..

Have you noticed they DID mention lost energy for spin up above but didn't mention shunting? Shunting is when a utility is trying to cut it real close on baseload "cheap" coal or nuke power so it doesn't have to use as much from the rapid spin up power plants run on natural gas which costs a bit more. When you are running a high baseload and the demand goes BELOW baseload, you CANNOT slow down a nuke or a coal plant quickly so you shunt the juice to some massive resistance (you throw it away!).

Utilities don't care about this waste because they just make it up with their rates to YOU. The bottom line is utilities LIKE to run full tilt because they make more money that way. That is why they are loathe to set up smart grids that would NEGATE the need for a high baseload!

The excuse they use is that renewable is too "intermittent". They claim they need to supply demand spikes and no way can they even guarantee a baseload common denominator to accurately figure the demand spike on and off power they need.

That simply is not true. Do you know they could have set up giant capacitor technology around nukes and never did because shunting into a massive resistance is cheaper? And WHY is it "cheaper" to throw away power than saving that "over the top" power for later? Because YOU pay for the 4.5 to 6 year MTBF fuel rod baby sitting for a few centuries after she can't boil water up to 600C or so. Such a deal!

Please understand this folks. Utilities HATE RENEWABLE ENERGY, not because it is intermittent, but because they cannot justify a high baseload coal or nuke piggery with smart grid technology.

Look at my last post on LED street lighting to see how they are NOT interested in saving energy. It's ALL about gaming the output to JUSTIFY high energy costs and collect a profit on them. Putting street lights on LED is a royal kick in the nuts to utility baseload wet dreams. Worse yet for them, LED with smart grid technology is NOT as voltage sensitive as the old street light power hogs that would blow or brown out if your voltage or frequency got too strange. Juice sucking street lights JUSTIFIES high baseload fossil fuel or nuke, steady as she goes, high output and profits (and CO2 out the ying yang too!).  LED street lights DON'T.

With 50% plus "intermittent" wind and solar on a smart grid, the computer KNOWS where every single street light is and if there is a human or car anywhere near it and shuts it down instantly as power is waxing and waning. Yes, some biofuel baseload will probably need to be available for unusual demands but that will be a the niche power source.

If demand goes up at ten pm when the sun is down, 80% of the LED street lights can be light lowered in an instant with no damage whatsoever. And then there are all the electric cars plugged in to the grid at ten p.m. ready to add to demand spike needs. Computers can handle all this. Don't let the fossil fuelers tell you any different.

Utilities want to have an excuse to run high baseload power so they can claim renewables can't cut it. It's bull****. They just want to burn more fossil fuels and charge YOU for it.

Don't let them get away with. Support 100% renewable energy in your state with biomass fired plants and storage technologies. We do NOT need the nukes or the fossil fuels, period!(

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 18, 2013, 06:12:07 pm
Michigan Conservatives Launch Group to Increase Renewable Energy!  :o  ;D News

Conservatives Launch Renewable Energy Group in Michigan! Is this a typo?  ( No, but I read the article over several times to make sure.  :D

According to Michigan Live, several Republicans have formed the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum to reduce coal use in the state while increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy.

On their facebook page, the group says, "the state must transition to clean, renewable energy sources" and that they plan to facilitate a dialogue that depoliticizes the issue." Great news!


"For too long, we have allowed the energy discourse to be dominated by the left," Larry Ward, executive director of the Forum and former political director of the Michigan Republican Party, told Michigan Live. "Conservatives have sat on the sidelines for far too long." 

Unfortunately, Conservatives haven't just sat on the sidelines, they have been actively blocking programs that would reduce coal use and increase renewable energy. >:(  On the national level, a slew of conservative groups are leading the helm from ALEC   ( to Americans for Prosperity.  (  In Michigan, a voter referendum that would have raised the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) failed because of the usual reasons: a pile of money poured into the state spreading misinformation.  >:(

The Forum wants Michigan to diversify its energy supply to include wind, solar, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, (  natural gas, nuclear and some coal.  >:(

"This is exactly what the Republican Party needs to be relevant for the next generation of voters," Michael Stroud, co-chair of the Michigan Federation of College Republicans, told Michigan Live.

Governor Snyder is holding a roundtable discussion today on Michigan's energy policies. After the referendum failed, he called for a one-year study on the state's energy future. Several public forums were held across the state and four reports were submitted to the governor. One of them shows that it's feasible for Michigan to reach 30% renewable energy by 2035.

 The referendum would have raised the state's RPS from the current target of 10% renewable energy by 2015 - which utilities are on track to meet at much lower cost than expected - to 25% by 2025.

Michigan is one of a bunch of states that's been in the news because wind power costs less than that from a new coal plant. Because of that, the utility, Consumers Energy, has cut the monthly surcharge that pays the cost of meeting Michigan's RPS and now wants to eliminate it. Over the past two years, they reduced the  surcharge from $2.50 a month to just 52 cents.

A Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council study shows the state's advanced energy manufacturing sector - solar, wind,  energy storage, and biomass - generates $5 billion a year in economic activity and supports 20,500 jobs a year. (

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 25, 2013, 04:36:38 pm  ;D
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 26, 2013, 03:10:36 pm
Dreaming Big: Six Really Far-Thinking Renewable Energy Plans   :o  ;D

New Hampshire, USA -- Every day we applaud and encourage all types of renewable energy development and deployment, in whatever forms make the most sense for their application: distributed solar PV, offshore wind, biomass conversions, hydropower (and hydro storage), geothermal. But what about those at the edge of our universe, the ones really pushing renewable energy to its limits?

During this holiday season as we reflect on the accomplishments of the past year and prepare to look ahead into 2014, we also take time to salute those who peer even further into the distance, envisioning where renewable energy can go -- and it's to some really interesting and far-out places. Some of them may be a little hard to bring to fruition, but all of them get us thinking about what's possible, and that's where the best ideas start.

To the Moon!

Since solar energy comes from the sun, why not cut out part of the middleman? Japanese engineering and construction firm Shimizu envisions the "Luna Ring," a 11,000-km belt of solar panels encircling the moon's equator, in a width from just "a few kilometers to 400 km." Power harvested from the sun would be transmitted via to enormous (20-km diameter) wireless antennas, and shot out to earth via 20-GHz microwaves, with radio beacons ensuring accurate transmission. Alongside, high-density lasers would be beamed to offshore facilities on Earth to be concentrated by a Fresnel lens and mirrors to generate solar PV power; the lasers' thermal energy would be harvested as well. Receivers and massive cabling on Earth would convert all of that into electric power, to be supplied to grids and for conversion of hydrogen. The moon itself would be tapped to produce resources to make the solar cells and panels and construction materials. Robots would perform most of the tasks, and the equipment would be assembled in space and lowered to the surface for installation.

The Luna Ring reportedly would supply up to 13,000 terawatts of power, or what Shimizu says would match the world's energy demand by 2030. Exploration would begin within the next few years, followed by a pilot demo both on Earth and the moon in the next decade, and construction beginning in 2035.

If lunar solar installs seem a bit too risky, how about orbiting solar projects? One company has NASA backing to use robots for building structures in orbit... using the most popular concept running, "additive manufacturing" -- essentially melting a metal (or plastics, in less fancy versions) in precise patterns to build up a tough finished product. The Trusselator and the "SpiderFab" would enable fabrication of carbon fiber truss structures, including solar arrays and other structures like antennae and transmitters with "kilometer-scale apertures," to help enable lower-cost space exploration and development.

Is There a Draft?

One of the more unusual ideas we've noticed in the past year is a proposal to build a downdraft chimney: sun-heated air at the top of a massive tower is cooled with a mist of water, channeled and accelerated down through the structure and out via numerous turbines at the bottom. The company, Solar Wind Energy Tower (SWET), has been approved by the City of San Luis, Arizona (just this side of the border with Mexico) for development rights to develop two of its downdraft towers, and recently signed a "letter of intent to enter into a definitive agreement" to purchase a 3,200-acre site in Mexico with "ideal attributes" for two more towers. They've also begun looking at a site in Chile's Atacama Desert, and claim interest from groups in India, South Africa, and Brazil.

The concrete tower itself would be 2,250 feet high, making it easily the planet's second-tallest structure ever built (Dubai's Burj Khalifa is tops at 2722 feet) -- and that's a significant downscale from initial designs of 3,000 feet. The base alone would be 1,500 feet at the base. Proposed yield would be 600 MWh, but a chunk of that would be used to operate the tower so the actual yield available to the grid would average around 435 MWh hourly. Proposed costs for such a tower is $1 billion, plus another $100 million to pipe in water from Mexico, plus some unspecified amount to build a desalination plant. Earlier this month the company clarified that it isn't proposing to build these massive structures itself; it just wants to license the technology to evaluate sites, and take development fees and royalties based on the tower's output.

There are significant questions about all this, from the challenges scaling up such a project (reportedly straight from a 4-foot model to full king-size) to the physics and costs involved with obtaining and pumping the water at these identified desert sites, though allegedly there would be systems in place to reuse most of what's used. A far smaller structure based on similar principles was built in Spain in the 1980s, worked for a few years at 50 kW max output, and then blew over; a 200-kW structure is currently in operation in China. Neither of them, nor a few other planned proposals, are remotely close to the scale that SWET is proposing. Moreover, other companies are pursuing solar updraft towers in Arizona at smaller scales.

Here is SWET's CEO recently describing the technology & business model, and how they arrive at projections of $18 million annually in royalty fees from each tower, how the company will be "cash-flow positive on the first project" -- and why the stock is currently trading at under a penny.

Giant concrete towers not so feasible? How about swapping all that concrete for some hot air? The man behind Richard Branson's continent-soaring balloon travails wants to alter the design from a massive permanent fixed updraft tower to an inflatable fabric-based tower. The proposed structure would be a 130-MW power station as much as 1-km high (3,280 feet), with roughly 25 percent capacity factor producing 281 GWh/year of electricity -- but at a comparative bargain investment of about $20 million.

Why Not Drones?

Amazon got a lot of buzz a few weeks ago for unveiling its dreams of a drone-powered package delivery service. But just fulfilling warehouse orders for Mr. & Mrs. John Q InternetSurfer might be ok for some drones, why not give them a higher purpose? A U.K. company wants to send them forth into the skies to harvest energy for us back down here on terraria. New Wave Energy says its 65 x 65 ft drones, supersized versions of the delightful copters found in Brookstone et al., would be rigged out with wind turbines and solar panels, sent up to heights of 50,000 feet to generate up to 50-kW of energy to be wirelessly beamed back to Earth. Thus, 8,000 of these buggers aloft in a group would be a 400 MW power plant. Alternatively, smaller-scale groupings would be perfect for deployments such as disaster relief. They suggest it'll cost £32 million and five years of development to reach commercial viability, which they compare favorably against a new Boeing 747. First things first, though: they plan to seek roughly $500,000 through Kickstarter crowdfunding.

Hydro City

OK, a man-made island for pumped hydro is pretty ambitious. So how about a pumped hydro storage system that floats?  ;D

Canadian firm Humpback Hydro is designing a platform with holding tanks that sits just "meters offshore" near the demand centers that need them most. (Cue the same argument for offshore wind, which presumably would fit nicely with this concept.) Water is pumped from the surrounding ocean or lake into the tanks, run through turbines, and then sent back into the source. It's said to be scalable from 1MW up to and even exceeding 1 GW. The company is working with the National Research Council of Canada to develop a scale-model pilot project and then one out in the field.

In case that quick elevator pitch didn't swing you, try this: they also propose to put wind turbines and solar panels on these structures for additional benefit (including powering the pumps themselves). They could also be used for desalination. And if built big enough, they'd even be able to support housing and commercial developments.

Blimps: The Civilized way to Transport

This one we first heard about at last spring's AWEA conference in Chicago. Aeros has been designing airships for transporting heavy cargo "from point-of-origin to point-of-need," cutting out all the middleman transportation infrastructure, time, and costs. Its Aeroscraft dramatically changes the game of large-scale logistics, and trust us: it looks extremely cool: cruising along at 100-120 knots at up to 12,000 ft altitudes, with 3,100 nautical mile range.

Their lowest-hanging fruit is in military and disaster recovery applications, and they just signed a deal with a European cargo firm. But they've also expressed a desire to work in renewable energy -- for example, lifting and hauling the entire wind turbine structure and components directly from the factory to a project site, even those that aren't prepared or are uneven. (Think of the highway bottlenecks that would avoid.) A key feature of the Aeros is that it can offload cargo without reballasting to stay grounded.

The company says it's still a few years away from having a 66-ton airship ready to haul wind turbine blades, but they've already projected that they can slash equipment transportation costs by two-thirds.

Solar in the Desert

We've all seen the modeling: a stamp-sized solar array in the Sahara could theoretically generate enough power for the entire planet, notwithstanding challenges in construction or interconnection or financing. The Desertec Initiative (DII) was created for the slightly less grand purpose of just getting enough juice from that desert to power supply some of Europe's power needs.

This summer the initiative ran into some controversy, though, as the Desertec Foundation decided to part ways with DII citing "many irresolvable disputes between the two entities in the area of future strategies, obligations and their communication and last but not least the managerial style of Dii’s top management." The group further cited a desire to distance itself from what it called a "maelstrom of negative publicity" surrounding those conflicts, which it said "led to resentment among the partners of the DESERTEC Foundation." Nonetheless DII is committed to staying the path, pointing to a new arm in France and a European Commission working document urging cooperation in renewable energy, as well as support from economic development interests in the MENA region, and a new partner: China's State Grid Corp. And earlier this month the EC offered to back half of the costs of a feasibility study on a desert energy project between Italy and North African nations.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 30, 2013, 11:56:20 pm

13 major clean energy breakthroughs of 2013

By Kiley Kroh and Jeff Spross

Cross-posted from ThinkProgress

While the news about climate change seems to get worse every day, the rapidly improving technology, declining costs, and increasing accessibility of clean energy is the true bright spot in the march toward a zero-carbon future. 2013 had more clean energy milestones than we could fit on one page, but here are 13 of the key breakthroughs that happened this year.

1. Using salt to keep producing solar power even when the sun goes down. Helped along by the Department of Energy’s loan program, Solana’s massive 280 megawatt (MW) solar plant came online in Arizona this October, with one unique distinction: the plant will use a ‘salt battery’ that will allow it to keep generating electricity even when the sun isn’t shining. Not only is this a first for the United States in terms of thermal energy storage, the Solana plant is also the largest in the world to use to use parabolic trough mirrors to concentrate solar energy.

2. Electric vehicle batteries that can also power buildings. Nissan’s groundbreaking “Vehicle-To-Building” technology will enable companies to regulate their electricity needs by tapping into EVs plugged into their garages during times of peak demand. Then, when demand is low, electricity flows back to the vehicles, ensuring they’re charged for the drive home. With Nissan’s system, up to six electric vehicles can be plugged into a building at one time. As more forms renewable energy is added to the grid, storage innovations like this will help them all work together to provide reliable power.

3. The next generation of wind turbines is a gamechanger. May of 2013 brought the arrival of GE’s Brilliant line of wind turbines, which bring two technologies within the turbines to address storage and intermittency concerns. An “industrial internet” communicates with grid operators, to predict wind availability and power needs, and to optimally position the turbine. Grid-scale batteries built into the turbines store power when the wind is blowing but the electricity isn’t needed — then feed it into the grid as demand comes along, smoothing out fluctuations in electricity supply. It’s a more efficient solution to demand peaks than fossil fuel plants, making it attractive even from a purely business aspect. Fifty-nine of the turbines are headed for Michigan, and two more will arrive in Texas.

4. Solar electricity hits grid parity with coal. A single solar photovoltaic (PV) cell cost $76.67 per watt back in 1977, then fell off a cliff. Bloomberg Energy Finance forecast the price would reach $0.74 per watt in 2013 and as of the first quarter of this year, they were actually selling for $0.64 per watt. That cuts down on solar’s installation costs — and since the sunlight is free, lower installation costs mean lower electricity prices. And in 2013, they hit grid parity with coal: In February, a Southwestern utility agreed to purchase electricity from a New Mexico solar project for less than the going rate for a new coal plant. Unsubsidized solar power reached grid parity in countries such as Italy and India. And solar installations have boomed worldwide and here in America, as the lower module costs have drivendown installation prices.

5. Advancing renewable energy from ocean waves. With the nation’s first commercial, grid-connected underwater tidal turbine successfully generating renewable energy off the coast of Maine for a year, the Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) has its sights set on big growth. The project has invested more than $21 million into the Maine economy and an environmental assessment in March found no detrimental impact on the marine environment. With help from the Department of Energy, the project is set to deploy two more devices in 2014. In November, ORPC was chosen to manage a wave-energy conversion project in remote Yakutat, Alaska. And a Japanese delegation visited the project this year as the country seeks to produce 30 percent of its total power offshore by 2030.

6. Harnessing ocean waves to produce fresh water. This year saw the announcement of Carnegie Wave Energy’s upcoming desalination plant near Perth, Australia. It will use the company’s underwater buoy technology to harness ocean wave force to pressurize the water, cutting out the fossil-fuel-powered electric pumps that usually force water through the membrane in the desalination process. The resulting system — “a world first” — will be carbon-free, and efficient in terms of both energy and cost. Plan details were completed in October, the manufacturing contract was awarded in November, and when it’s done, the plant will supply 55 billion litters of fresh drinking water per year.

7. Ultra-thin solar cells that break efficiency records. Conversion efficiency is the amount of light hitting the solar cell that’s actually changed into electricity, and it’s typically 18.7 percent and 24 percent. But Alta Devices, a Silicon Valley solar manufacturer, set a new record of 30.8 percent conversion efficiency this year. Its method is more expensive, but the result is a durable and extremely thin solar cell that can generate a lot of electricity from a small surface area. That makes Alta’s cells perfect for small and portable electronic devices like smartphones and tablets, and the company is in discussions to apply them to mobile phones, smoke detectors, door alarms, computer watches, remote controls, and more.

8. Batteries that are safer, lighter, and store more power. Abundant and cost-effective storage technology will be crucial for a clean energy economy — no where more so than with electric cars. But right now batteries don’t always hold enough charge to power automobiles for extended periods, and they add significantly to bulk and cost. But at the start of 2013, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory successfully demonstrated a new lithium-ion battery technology that can store far more power in a much smaller size, and that’s safer and less prone to shorts. They used nanotechnology to create an electrolyte that’s solid, ultra-thin, and porous, and they also combined the approach with lithium-sulfur battery technology, which could further enhance cost-effectiveness.

9. New age offshore wind turbines that float. Offshore areas are prime real estate for wind farms, but standard turbines require lots of construction and are limited to waters 60 meters deep or less. But Statoil, the Norwegian-based oil and gas company, began work this year on a hub of floating wind turbines off the coast of Scotland. The turbines merely require a few cables to keep them anchored, and can be placed in water up to 700 meters. That could vastly expand the amount of economically practical offshore wind power. The hub off Scotland will be the largest floating wind farm in the world — and two floating turbines are planned off the coast of Fukushima, Japan, along with the world’s first floating electrical substation.

10. Cutting electricity bills with direct current power.
Alternating current (AC), rather than direct current (DC) is the dominant standard for electricity use. But DC current has its own advantages: It’s cheap, efficient, works better with solar panels and wind turbines, and doesn’t require adaptors that waste energy as heat. Facebook, JPMorgan, Sprint, Boeing, and Bank of America have all built datacenters that rely on DC power, since DC-powered datacenters are 20 percent more efficient, cost 30 percent less, and require 25 to 40 percent less floorspace. On the residential level, new USB technology will soon be able to deliver 100 watts of power, spreading DC power to ever more low voltage personal electronics, and saving homes inefficiency costs in their electricity bill.

11. Commercial production of clean energy from plant waste is finally here. Ethanol derived from corn, once held up as a climate-friendly alternative to gasoline, is under increasing fire. Many experts believe it drives up food prices, and studies disagree on whether it actually releases any less carbon dioxide when its full life cycle is accounted for. Cellulosic biofuels, promise to get around those hurdles, and 2013 may be when the industry finally turned the corner. INOES Bio’s cellulosic ethanol plant in Florida and KiOR’s cellulosic plant in Mississippi began commercial production this year. Two more cellulosic plants are headed for Iowa, and yet another’s being constructed in Kansas. The industry says 2014′s proposed cellulosic fuel mandate of 17 million gallons will be easily met.

12. Innovative financing bringing clean energy to more people. In D.C., the first ever property-assessed clean energy (PACE) project allows investments in efficiency and renewables to be repaid through a special tax levied on the property, which lowers the risk for owners. Crowdfunding for clean energy projects made major strides bringing decentralized renewable energy to more people — particularly the world’s poor — and Solar Mosaic is pioneering crowdfunding to pool community investments in solar in the United States. California figured out how to allow customers who aren’t property owners or who don’t have a suitable roof for solar — that’s 75 percent of the state — to nonetheless purchase up to 100 percent clean energy for their home or business. Minnesota advanced its community solar gardens program, modeled after Colorado’s successful initiative. And Washington, D.C., voted to bring in virtual net metering, which allows people to buy a portion of a larger solar or wind project, and then have their portion of the electricity sold or credited back to the grid on their behalf, reducing the bill.

13. Wind power is now competitive with fossil fuels. “We’re now seeing power agreements being signed with wind farms at as low as $25 per megawatt-hour,” Stephen Byrd, Morgan Stanley’s head of North American Equity Research for Power & Utilities and Clean Energy, told the Columbia Energy Symposium in late November. Byrd explained that wind’s ongoing variable costs are negligible, which means an owner can bring down the cost of power purchase agreements by spreading the upfront investment over as many units as possible. As a result, larger wind farms in the Midwest are confronting coal plants in the Powder River Basin with “fairly vicious competition.” And even without the production tax credit, wind can still undercut many natural gas plants. A clear sign of its viability, wind power currently meets 25 percent of Iowa’s energy needs and is projected to reach a whopping 50 percent by 2018. :o  ;D

Kiley Kroh is a deputy editor of Climate Progress.

Jeff Spross is video editor and blogger for
Title: Renewable Energy Mock Porfolio makes 118% profit in 8 months!
Post by: AGelbert on January 02, 2014, 03:59:13 pm
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on January 05, 2014, 11:23:40 pm
Outrageously Positive Renewable Energy Growth Prediction!  (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: Surly1 on January 06, 2014, 06:01:21 am
Here you go, AG.

California Installed More Rooftop Solar In 2013 Than Previous 30 Years Combined (
Title: NREL: 23% Of Global Electricity Generation Supplied By Renewable Sources
Post by: AGelbert on January 06, 2014, 10:15:56 pm
Excellent data point!  ;D

Here's more good news:

NREL: 23% Of Global Electricity Generation Supplied By Renewable Sources (

Originally published on 1Sun4All.

The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) released a report – 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book – in October of 2013 regarding the status of renewable energy globally and in the US. The report has an abundance of great charts and, in reading through the pages, I discovered that renewable energy accounts for 23% of all electricity generation worldwide (4,892 TWh) (on page 41). I’ve brought out a few of the relevant charts and findings. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

In 2012, Germany led the world in cumulative solar photovoltaic installed capacity, reports the NREL. The United States leads the world in geothermal and biomass installed capacity. China leads in wind, and Spain leads in solar thermal electric generation (STEG). The following is from the 2012
Renewable Energy Data Book:

Leading Countries For Installed Renewable Energy
Image courtesy of NREL | 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book

Zach mentioned the weakness of this chart is that it doesn’t address the per capita or per GDP leaders. From his post, 18 Fun Renewable Energy Charts From NREL Director Dan Arvizu & Ren21′s Renewables 2013 Global Status Report, he offered the latest on those for wind and solar:

Top Solar Power Countries

Top Wind Power Countries Per Capita

Top Wind Power Countries Per GDP

More findings from NREL’s 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book:

Total Global Renewable Electricity Capacity
Image courtesy of NREL | 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book

The installed global renewable electricity capacity doubled between 2000 and 2012, and represents a significant and growing portion of the total energy supply both globally and in the United States.

Growth of the World’s Sustainable Energy Resources from 2000 to 2012

Agelbert NOTE: I realize most of the data does not include 2013 but I just want to add to the good news about  the massive 400 MW hydroelectric dam just completed in Bui, Ghana.

Flag of Ghana

But even before that, Ghana is  way ahead of most countries in the world in renewable energy.

Total Electrical Grid capacity (2012) = 14,675 GW

Share of fossil energy = 0%

Share of renewable energy (hydro, bio energy, thermal energy) = 99%

Share of renewable energy  (solar, wind energy) = 1%

Perhaps they aren't praised as much as countries like Denmark because of this: Ghana produces 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day on average.

Never the less, this PV project now being built shows they should be touted as a great example of a country transitioning to 100% renewable energy:The biggest photovoltaic (PV) and largest solar energy plant in Africa, the Nzema project, based in Ghana, will be able to provide electricity to more than 100,000 homes. The 155 megawatt plant will increase Ghana's electricity generating capacity by 6%.
One more thing. Ghana burns zero coal for electrical or any other purpose! That is also praiseworthy.  (
Title: 100% Renewable Energy for New York State Feasibility Study
Post by: AGelbert on January 07, 2014, 11:49:15 pm
The Fossil Fuelers are going HATE this plan to make New York State 100% powered by renewable energy by 2030! That's even ahead of my 2035 (less than 100%) prediction! Excellent! (

Examining the feasibility of converting New York State’s all-purpose energy infrastructure to one using wind, water, and sunlight

a b s t r a c t

This study analyzes a plan to convert New York State’s (NYS’s) all-purpose (for electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry) energy infrastructure to one derived entirely from wind,water, and sunlight (WWS) generating electricity and electrolytic hydrogen.  (

Under the plan, NYS’s 2030 all-purpose end-use power would be provided by

10% on shore wind (4020 5-MW turbines),

40% off shore wind (12,700 5-MW turbines),

10% concentrated solar (387 100-MW plants),

10% solar-PV plants (828 50-MW plants),

6% residential roof top PV (5 million 5-kW systems),

12% commercial/ government roof top PV (500,000 100-kW systems),

5% geothermal (36 100-MW plants),

0.5% wave (1910 0.75-MW devices),

1% tidal (2600 1-MW turbines), and

5.5% hydroelectric (6.6 1300-MW plants, of which 89% exist  ;D). At most, about 944 MW of additional installed hydroelectric will be needed.
See pdf for explanation of "6.6" hydroelectric plants meaning.

Mined natural gas and liquid biofuels are excluded from the NYS plan for the reasons given in the pdf link below. Jacobson and Delucchi (2011) explain why nuclear power and coal with carbon capture are also excluded.   ;D


The conversion would reduce NYS’s end-use power demand 37% and stabilize energy prices since fuel costs would be zero.   (

It would create more jobs than lost because nearly all NYS energy would now be produced in-state.  (

NYS air pollution mortality and its costs would decline by 4000 (1200–7600) deaths/yr, and $33(10–76) billion/yr (3% of 2010 NYS GDP), respectively, alone repaying the 271 GW installed power needed within 17 years, before accounting for electricity sales.

NYS’s own emission decreases would reduce 2050 U.S. climate costs by $3.2 billion/yr.  (

2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

So is all of this just crazy and unrealistic? Consider some facts about the impressive growth of solar energy of late:

A solar energy system is now installed every four minutes in the U.S., according to GTM Research. By 2016, that’s projected to be down to 83 seconds.

According to the Solar Energy Industry Organization, the price of a solar panel has declined 60 percent just since 2011.

Walmart is now producing more solar power at its stores than 38 U.S. states.

The producers of this study have stated they will ALSO soon publish a 100% Renewable Energy Transition Study for EVERY OTHER STATE! (

Mark Ruffalo wants you to imagine a 100 percent clean energy future (

Expect MKing to label this feasability study as "hopium and fartium".  ( What else can expect from someone enamored with Social Darwinism?" (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on January 20, 2014, 04:15:02 pm
19 Countries Form Africa Clean Energy Corridor News

19 countries have committed to developing an Africa Clean Energy Corridor to help the continent leap frog to renewable energy in the face of rising energy demand.

 Led by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), stakeholders believe a regional approach can attract the most investment and optimize the renewable energy mix.

 The corridor will span eastern Africa, from Cairo to Capetown, where transmission infrastructure is being built to meet growing energy demand.

 Currently, Ethiopia hosts the continent's biggest wind farm and has plans for 800 megawatts of wind and 1 gigawatt of geothermal. The Corbetti Project is a new model for developing large scale power projects in Africa and is part of the Power Africa initiative that President Obama announced last summer.


 IRENA will facilitate the large-scale, transborder initiative by: 
•identifying renewable energy development zones - areas of high potential - where solar, wind, geothermal or biomass projects would be clustered;

•facilitating government planning so that renewable energy has bigger share of the energy mix;

•fostering new financing models and investment frameworks that can rapidly get projects on the ground;

•building the local knowledge base and leading public information campaigns.


Demand for electricity is expected to triple in Southern Africa, and quadruple in Eastern Africa over the 25 years, making the region’s current dependence on fossil fuels increasingly unsustainable both economically and environmentally, says IRENA.

 80% of Southern Africa's energy comes from coal, which will need to expand without the growth of renewables because demand is growing at 4% a year. East Africa relies on natural gas for 60% of electricity, with demand rising 6% a year.

 “Lifting the African population out of energy poverty cannot be fulfilled if a business-as-usual approach is followed,” says Mosad Elmissiry, Head of Energy at the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, an African Union implementing body. “We need a drastic transformation in our approach to developing renewable energy, to be sure renewables are fully utilised. The Clean Energy Corridor can support and further advance the implementation of the regional and continental initiatives already on the ground for further utilisation of renewable energy in Africa.”
Environmental ministers and delegates endorsed this action plan this week.   
Established in 2009, IRENA is the global hub for renewable energy cooperation, supported by 123 countries and the European Union. Headquartered in Masdar City, United Arab Emirates, it supports countries in their transition to sustainable energy, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a center of excellence, and repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.  The inter-governmental organization promotes widespread adoption of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind.

 Last year, South Africa was one of 10 countries that formed the Renewable Energy Club, which is managed by IRENA. The US did not joing the Club! The idea is to break the logjam on confronting climate change by reframing the focus from the negative - cutting emissions - to the positive - rapidly ramping up renewable energy.

 Also last year, IRENA unveiled the first world atlas that shows every country's renewable energy potential.

 Here's a brief video from IRENA on the Africa Clean Energy Corridor:
Title: Powering the US with Renewables: A State-By-State Roadmap
Post by: AGelbert on February 24, 2014, 03:47:31 pm
Powering the US with Renewables: A State-By-State Roadmap

 James Montgomery, Associate Editor, 
 February 24, 2014

New Hampshire, USA -- What does it take to convert a city, a state, a nation, to 100 percent renewable energy? Many countries are giving it a go with very ambitious goals to be 100-percent powered by renewable energy (islands seem to have a leg up). But what about right here in the U.S., how could that be achieved for this nation? And since all politics is local (and most especially true for renewable energy policies), how could it be done by individual states?

Back in 2011 Stanford professor Mark Jacobsen envisioned what that might require, and followed that up with an analysis of how to accomplish it in New York State. (Our coverage of that, by the way, was by far our most commented story in recent memory.) Now he's extended his analysis to all 50 U.S. states, laying out a resource roadmap to how each of them could meet 100 percent of their energy needs (electricity, transportation, heating) through renewable sources by 2050 — excluding nuclear, ethanol and other biofuels. Note that none of these calculations are geared to optimize for the least-cost mix to get to 100 percent renewables usage. Levelized electricity costs from that renewables mix by 2030 are projected to be 4-11 cents/kWh (including local transmission), compared with 20-25 cents/kWh from fossil-fuel energy with added health and climate costs.

His latest results include two more deep-dives as he did for New York, showing how they could achieve all new energy capacity powered by renewables (under the aforementioned definition) by 2020, 80-85 percent of existing energy converted by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. California, he finds, can get to a 100-percent renewables footprint with the following portfolio: 55 percent solar (both distributed and large-scale, including a lot of CSP), 35 percent wind (both on- and offshore), 5 percent geothermal, and 4 percent hydroelectric, plus a big contribution from energy efficiency. (Blending wind with solar, and combining that with hydro and CSP with storage, will largely smooth out intermittency problems, he concludes.) Ultimately that will create a net 178,000 permanent jobs, avoid $131 billion in annual healthcare costs, and pay off the 631 GW of new installed power within six years.

In Washington State, Jacobson et al calculate a 2050 fully-renewables mix as: 43 percent wind, 28 percent solar PV, 26 percent hydro, 2 percent geothermal, and half a percent each of wave and tidal. New capacity additions of 137 GW would cost $228 billion but be paid off in 13 years. Note that Washington has an abundance of hydro power, and thus has a head-start for built-in storage to match up with energy demand; no new hydro will be necessary (more on that later) but he assumes existing hydro capacity will be updated to improve efficiency.

Change in percent distribution of California energy supply for all purposes (electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, industry) among conventional fuels and WWS energy over time based on the roadmap proposed. Credit: Stanford/Jacobson

Overall the methodologies were pretty much the same: "look at the footprints and areas, and how many devices of each type we would need," Jacobson explains. Compared to his previous calculations, these new findings extend the timeframe out to 2050, instead of just 2030. They're also more updated to account for current installations, such as an extensive wind energy buildout since his 2011 study, and the most recent insight into job creation.

He is also struck by the addition of mortality calculations, based on air quality data for each state spanning three years in every county, and illustrating how renewables will reduce air pollution and its direct connection to mortality. Around three percent of the U.S. GDP goes into health costs due to air pollution he says (quick math: the U.S. GDP is roughly $17 trillion, so that's $500 billion in health costs). Quantifying that at the state level with concrete numbers proves how renewable energy could address and reduce "a significant burden on society."

So which states have the smoothest pathway, relatively speaking, to achieving 100 percent renewables? The key, he says, is tapping and improving existing large-scale hydro, without adding any new ones. "Any state with hydro is amenable to making this easier," he says. Washington State would lead this pack due to its abundant hydro resources — up to 30 percent of what they'd need — plus a small but growing amount of wind and solar. He also notes the state has policies and leadership that are "very supportive of changing things." Other states that could best leverage hydro include Idaho and New York. The growing influence of wind energy in some states (Iowa, South Dakota) will help, too.

On the other hand, it won't be as easy a journey in the southeastern states, which have fewer renewables to tap into and must rely more on interconnection. (Note that his estimates don't restrict states from obtaining renewables outside their borders; this brings things like Canadian hydro into play for some northern states, as well.)

Maybe the biggest takeaway from Jacobson's updates is that broadly speaking none of it is new. "We don't have to invent a new technology to get this to work," he says. "We have to get more efficient from a cost point of view."
Title: The Power Grid Might Become The ‘Alternative’ — Off-Grid The Norm
Post by: AGelbert on February 28, 2014, 06:43:11 pm
The Power Grid Might Become The ‘Alternative’ — Off-Grid The Norm  ;D

For years, low-cost solar-plus-battery systems were seen as a distant possibility at best, a fringe technology not likely to be a threat to mainstream electricity delivery any time soon. By far, the limiting factor has been battery costs. But thanks to a confluence of factors playing out across the energy industry, the reality is that affordable battery storage is coming much sooner than most people realize. That approaching day of cheaper battery storage, when combined with solar PV, has the potential to fundamentally alter the electricity landscape.

While grid-tied solar has seen dramatic recent cost declines, until recently, solar-plus-battery systems have not been considered economically viable. However, concurrent declining costs of batteries, growing maturity of solar-plus-battery systems, and increasing adoption rates for these technologies are changing that. Recent media coverage, market analysis, and industry discussions—including the Edison Electric Institute’s January 2013 Disruptive Challenges—have gone so far as to suggest that low-cost solar-plus-battery systems could one day enable customers to cut the cord with their utility and go from grid connected to grid defected.

But while more and more people are discussing solar-plus-battery systems as a potential option at some point in the distant future, there has been a scarcity of detailed analysis to quantify when and where. Until now.


Today, Rocky Mountain Institute, HOMER Energy, and CohnReznick Think Energy released The Economics of Grid Defection: When and where distributed solar generation plus storage competes with traditional utility service. Seeking to illustrate where grid parity will happen both first and last, the report considers five representative U.S. geographies (NY, KY, TX, CA, and HI). These geographies cover a range of solar resource potential, retail utility electricity prices, and solar PV penetration rates, considered across both commercial and residential regionally specific load profiles.

The report analyzes four possible scenarios: a more conservative base case plus more aggressive cases that consider technology improvements with accelerated cost declines, investments in energy efficiency coupled with load management, and the combination of technology-driven cost declines, energy efficiency, and load management. Even our base case results are compelling, but the combined improvements scenario is especially so, since efficiency and load management reduce the required size of the system while technology improvements reduce the cost of that system, compounding cost declines and greatly accelerating grid parity.



 The results of the report show:

Solar-plus-battery grid parity is here already or coming soon for a rapidly growing minority of utility customers. Grid parity exists today in Hawaii for commercial customers, and will rapidly expand to reach residential customers as early as 2022. Grid parity will reach millions of additional residential and commercial customers in places like New York and California within a decade (see Figures 3 and 4 above).

Even before total grid defection becomes widely economic, utilities will see solar-plus-battery systems eat into their revenues.  ;D Factors such as customer desires for increased power reliability and low-carbon electricity generation are driving early adopters ahead of grid parity, including those installing smaller grid-dependent solar-plus-battery systems to help reduce demand charges, provide backup power, and yield other benefits. These early activities will likely accelerate the infamous utility death spiral—self-reinforcing upward price pressures, which make further self-generation or total defection economic faster.

Because grid parity arrives within the 30-year economic life of typical utility power assets, the days are numbered for traditional utility business models.  ;D The “old” cost recovery model, based on kWh sales, by which utilities recover costs and an allowed market return on infrastructure investments will become obsolete. Utilities must re-think their current business model in order to retain customers and to capture the additional value that such distributed investments will bring.

The results are profound, especially in geographies like the U.S. Southwest. In this region of the country, the conservative base case shows solar-plus-battery systems undercutting utility retail electricity prices for the most expensive one-fifth of load served in the year 2024; under the more aggressive assumptions, off-grid systems prove cheaper than all utility-sold electricity in the region just a decade out from today (see Figure ES3 below).



Millions of customers representing billions of dollars in utility revenues will find themselves in a position to cost-effectively defect from the grid if they so choose. The so-called utility death spiral is proving not just a hypothetical threat, but a real, near, and present one. The coming grid parity of solar-plus-battery systems in the foreseeable future, among other factors, signals the eventual demise of legacy utility business models.

Though utilities could and should see this as a threat, they can also see solar-plus-battery systems as anopportunity to add value to the grid and their business models. The United States’ electric grid is on the cusp of a great transformation, and the future of the grid need not be an either/or between central and distributed generation. It can and should be a network that combines the best of both.

Having determined when and where grid parity will happen, the important next question is how utilities, regulators, technology providers, and customers might work together to reshape the market—either within existing regulatory frameworks or under an evolved regulatory landscape—to tap into and maximize new sources of value that build the best electricity system of the future the delivers value and affordability to customers and society. These disruptive opportunities are the subject of ongoing work by the authors, covered in a forthcoming report to follow soon.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on March 31, 2014, 02:51:08 pm
03/27/2014 02:58 PM          
Vermont Raises Support for Solar While Slew of States Consider Repeal ( News

Vermont is swimming against the tide of ALEC and other Koch-sponsored Americans for Prosperity bills that are moving through the states to make it harder to grow renewable energy.

In Vermont, the legislature voted to increase solar net-metering to reward homeowners and businesses for installing solar systems. They raised the net-metering cap substantially - from 4% of a utility's peak load to 15%.

That is, utilities no longer have to compensate customers when they send solar back to the grid when net-metering payments surpass 15% of its peak demand from the previous year or from 1996, whichever is greater.

Net metering allows people with on-site solar to first use solar energy for themselves and then sell any excess back to utilities at the full retail price. Utilities, in turn, sell the energy to neighboring homes and businesses.

While Vermont's largest utility and one of the most progressive in the country, Green Mountain Power, doesn't believe there should be a cap at all, the situation is quite different in states where legislation by ALEC is being pushed.  >:(

Repeal Bills Sprout in Numerous States  >:(

Until this year, we didn't hear much from utilities, but since ALEC developed a model bill to eliminate net-metering - "Updating Net Metering Policies Resolution," it's suddenly become controversial for utilities across the country.

After meeting a measly 1% cap, Missouri utilities say they are no longer required to provide rebates for solar. Last year, solar sales surged in Missouri, adding 1,700 jobs in the state and if it were in place through this year, that number would double, according to Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association.

In Kansas, bills were introduced to eliminate net-metering, but after negotiations, have been watered down instead. They raised the maximum size of solar arrays eligible for net metering and cut the payment that people receive.

This week, the State Senate  ( ( voted to repeal the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), but it was rejected by the Assembly.   (

ALEC ( and Americans For Prosperity (  have made repealing the RPS a top priority, and the latter has been running statewide radio and TV ads.  (  >:(

The RPS - which requires 20% renewable energy by 2020 - has been driving growth of the wind industry there since 2009. It has created 13000 jobs with close to 2 gigawatts installed, and factories that make wind components have sited there. Kansas gets over 10% of electricity from wind and is benefiting from lower electric prices. And Kansas City is about to become a leading city for solar, installing rooftop systems on 80 municipal buildings.

Republican State Senator Forrest Knox says the RPS distorts the free market and therefore will drive up costs now that the federal production tax credit has expired, which has artificially propped up growth. Other senators that voted for repeal say it's time for the industry to stand on its two feet and they expect electric prices to rise 40%.

Kansas should be the first in the nation to abandon cumbersome government mandates on energy production, according to Jeff Glendening, state director of Americans for Prosperity, reports Topeka Capital Journal. (

At the same time the Kansas Senate passed the Promoting Employment Across Kansas program - which subsidizes companies that relocate to or expand in Kansas. (

Bills to kill net-metering and impose fees on solar owners have also been introduced - and so far have been defeated - in Utah and Washington. In Utah, however, they passed a bill to study the value of distributed energy.

Indiana just passed a law that eliminates the state's energy efficiency standard and ends ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs, such as free energy audits and subsidized upgrades, at the end of 2014. (

Last year, ALEC failed to roll back state RPS after getting some 120 of its model bills introduced. They added net-metering to their list for this year. Arizona passed a modified bill that is already having a negative impact on solar sales.

30 states have a mandatory RPS and 7 have a voluntary one. Over 40 states have net-metering laws.

Read a really long article on the battle between rooftop solar and utilities:
Title: Just How Off Is EIA’s Renewable Energy Outlook? How About 20+ Years?
Post by: AGelbert on April 16, 2014, 09:59:57 pm
Just How Off Is EIA’s Renewable Energy Outlook? How About 20+ Years? ???

Is the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) forecast for the future of renewable energy in America wrong? It’s an important question, considering policy decisions and private investments are often set by EIA guidance.

EIA’s “Annual Energy Outlook 2014” early release overview predicted renewables would supply only 16% of US electricity demand by 2040, but a new analysis of EIA’s own data finds the outlook is “almost certainly wrong.”

According to the Sun Day Campaign, renewables will make up a much larger percentage of America’s energy portfolio, much faster than EIA projects – roughly 20 years faster, in fact.  ;D

EIA’s Renewable Energy Forecast “Simply Wrong”

EIA data shows renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind) grew from less than 9% of total US supply in 2004 to nearly 13% in 2013 on the strength of solar photovoltaic and wind energy’s rapid growth.

US EIA renewable energy production chart via US EIA

That expansion rate raised concerns about EIA’s 16% by 2040 projection. “Given the relatively consistent growth trends of the past decade or longer for most renewable energy sources and their rapidly declining costs, it seems improbable that it will require another 27 years to grow from 13% to 16%,” said Ken Bossong, Sun Day executive director. “Thus, EIA’s forecast is not just unduly conservative; almost certainly, it is simply wrong.”

Sun Day’s analysis parsed EIA data for renewable energy sources within US net electrical generation from 2003 through 2013, and it paints a vastly different picture. If past trends continue, Sun Day forecasts, renewable energy will reach 13.5% in 2014, 14.4% in 2015, 15.3% in 2016, and 16% no later than 2018. That’s five years, not 27, if you’re counting along at home.

Interestingly, even Sun Day’s forecast may be too conservative. Five years ago, the decline of solar PV module prices as well as Production Tax Credit (PTC)-fueled boom and bust of wind may have been impossible to predict. Sun Day notes projections based on EIA data suggest hydropower, biomass, and geothermal contributions will remain largely unchanged, even as other studies suggest significant growth.

Solar And Wind Energy Lead The Charge

So if Sun Day is so bullish on renewable energy’s future, where will the US generate all this new capacity? Unsurprisingly, the answer is probably solar and wind.

Sun Day US renewables forecast chart via Sun Day

Wind energy made up 4.13% of net electrical generation in 2013, with the amount of wind power growing by an average of 22,200 thousand megawatt-hours (MWh) annually from 2007 to 2013. Uncertainty over the PTC means that pace is unlikely to continue, but Sun Day uses the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) report of 12 gigawatts in the development pipeline to forecast wind energy’s contribution to hit 4.5% in 2014, 5% in 2015, and 5.5% in 2016.

Despite record-setting new solar installations in 2013, solar energy is still one of the smallest overall contributors to US electricity supply, but that’s about to change. Grid-connected solar contributed just 0.23% of net electricity in 2013, but that’s after 50% growth from 2010-2011, 138% growth from 2011-2012, and 114% growth from 2012-2013.

Sun Day combines these growth rates with the number of projects expected to come online in 2014 and 2015 to forecast an exponential expansion of net solar generation to .45% in 2014, .9% in 2015, and 1.37% in 2016. Exciting expectations, considering EIA only expects solar to generate .5% by 2015.

Other Renewables Hold Flat

The growth of wind and solar looks even more impressive when compared to other forms of renewable energy, and shows where the real growth will occur. Hydropower, biomass, and geothermal are all projected to hold steady over the next few years.

Hydropower has long been the “baseload” renewable electricity source, and the dominant percentage of renewables in US energy supply with 6.63% in 2013, but that sector’s potential may be tapped. Some small hydro facilities and upgrades at existing plants are expected to come online, but decreased water supply due to climate change may offset those additions to hold flat. Sun Day forecasts hydropower’s share will actually decrease as other renewables surge, falling to 6.55% by 2016.

Small hydropower facility image via CleanTechnica

That same trend is expected for biomass and geothermal, as generation increases but overall percentages remain flat, according to Sun Day. Biomass (wood-based fuels, landfill gas, municipal solid waste, and other waste) is expected to hold steady at 1.48% from 2013 through 2016, and geothermal is projected to remain constant at .41% from 2013 through 2016.

While it’s worth noting EIA estimates both geothermal and biomass to increase between 2013 and 2015, that discrepancy may be a direct result of Sun Day’s more aggressive outlook.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on April 24, 2014, 01:03:59 pm
UK Awards First Guaranteed Power Price Contracts to Biomass, Offshore Wind Projects

 Alex Morales, Bloomberg 
 April 24, 2014

LONDON -- Drax Group Plc, D o n g Energy A/S and SSE Plc will get guaranteed power prices for U.K. biomass and offshore wind plants, the first renewable energy projects to benefit from a new aid program.

A project by Drax to convert a coal-fired unit at the U.K.’s biggest power plant to burn biomass was on a list of eight that the Department of Energy and Climate Change said had won the new contracts. A second unit, that had been shortlisted in December, was excluded. Five of the projects were for offshore wind, including three by Dong, one by SSE and a venture between Statoil ASA and Statkraft AS.

The contracts are the first under a new assistance system for renewables that will guarantee the price generators will get for their power for 15 years. The government said today that the eight projects will lead to as much as 12 billion pounds ($20 billion) of investment by 2020, supporting 8,500 jobs and adding as much as 4.5 gigawatts of generating capacity.

“These contracts for major renewable electricity projects mark a new stage in Britain’s green energy investment boom,” Energy Secretary Ed Davey said in the statement. “They are a significant part of our efforts to give Britain cleaner and more secure energy.”

The government is trying to spur 110 billion pounds of spending on power plants and the grid by 2020, while meeting binding renewable energy and carbon emissions targets.

Under so-called “strike prices” announced last year, coal plants that convert to biomass will get 105 pounds per megawatt- hour of power they produce for 15 years. Offshore wind farms will get from 140 pounds to 155 pounds, depending on when they are completed. That compares with the current month-ahead price of about 41 pounds.


Davey told reporters in London today that while the contracts announced today will add about 2 percent to power bills in 2020, the net effect of all the government’s energy policies, including efficiency measures, is to lower bills by 166 pounds in 2020 relative to what they would otherwise be.

The other projects to win contracts were a biomass conversion by Lynemouth Power Ltd. and a biomass-fueled combined heat and power plant by MGT Power Ltd. All of the projects had been included on a list of 10 that the department said in December were “affordable” under the new program, except for SSE’s Beatrice project, which wasn’t on that list.

Drax had two units included in the list in December, while only one was awarded a contract. The company said in an e-mailed statement today that the government has since told it that one of the units is no longer eligible for the contracts, and that the generator has begun legal proceedings to challenge that decision.

Drax Slides

“We are disappointed by today’s decision on the ineligibility of our second unit,” Drax Chief Executive Officer Dorothy Thompson said in the statement. “Nothing has changed, as far as our plans are concerned, between being deemed eligible in December and now. We have, therefore, commenced legal proceedings to challenge the decision.”

Drax shares today fell 12 percent as of 4:05 p.m. in London trading, the biggest intraday drop since July 2012.

At a press conference, Davey declined to outline the specific reasons for ruling out one Drax unit.

“We applied our published criteria to all the applicant projects,” Davey told reporters in London. “The decisions we announced today are based on that. It’s not like Drax doesn’t have options,” he said, referring to its eligibility for incentives under the renewables obligation program and so-called contracts for difference that will be started later this year.

Today’s contracts are precursors to the contracts-for- difference, or CFDs, that the government is completing. Under CFDs, utilities will receive a guaranteed price per megawatt- hour of power they produce, over a fixed number of years, regardless of the market price.

The exclusion of the second Drax unit may lend some hope to Eggborough Power Ltd., which said in December that its coal- fired plant may close if it didn’t secure the guaranteed prices that would allow it to convert to biomass.

DECC said that the two other projects listed in December have withdrawn from the process.

The government said it expects the contracts to be signed in May, when they will also take effect. Further contracts will be made available in the fall, the energy department said.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg
Title: NRDC Partnership Produces First-Ever Stock Index Excluding Fossil Fuel Companies
Post by: AGelbert on April 30, 2014, 03:58:35 pm
NRDC Partnership Produces First-Ever Stock Index Excluding  ;D  Fossil Fuel ( Companies
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 01, 2014, 07:29:10 pm
RMI: Working to achieve a world without WASTE, WANT OR WAR with Amory Lovins.(
Title: Rewiring the World With Clean Energy
Post by: AGelbert on May 02, 2014, 02:37:49 pm
( the World with Clean Energy(

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

            The Plan involves three interacting strategies which include:


       · In industrial countries, withdraw subsidies from fossil fuels and establish equivalent subsidies for clean non-carbon energy sources;

       · Create a large global fund -- perhaps through a small tax on international currency trading -- to transfer clean energy technologies to developing countries; and, 

        · Incorporate within the Kyoto framework a progressively more stringent Fossil Fuel Efficiency Standard that rises by 5 percent per year.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

          This paper contains a set three interactive strategies which we believe would  reduce carbon emissions by the 80 percent required by nature -- at the same time as it would create millions of jobs around the world, especially in developing countries. 

          To set the plan in its starkest context: the deep oceans are warming, the tundra is thawing, the glaciers are melting, infectious diseases are migrating and the timing of the seasons have changed.  And all that has resulted from one degree of warming.  By contrast, the earth will warm from 3 to 10 degrees later in this century, according to the IPCC

As NASA scientist Jim Hansen said in February, 2006: "We have to stabilize emissions of carbon dioxide within a decade, or temperatures will warm by more than one degree -- warmer than it has been for half a million years."   

          At the risk of exaggerating their potential, we believe these solutions could, at the same time, address several other major problems facing us as well.

          The most obvious, given our newfound vulnerability to guerrilla attacks, is that a worldwide transition to renewable energy would dramatically reduce the significance of oil -- and with it our exposure to the political volatility in the Middle East.

          A second security-related  connection is that a  renewable energy economy would have far more independent sources of power -- home-based fuel cells, stand-alone solar systems, regional windfarms -- which would make the nation's electricity grid a far less strategic target for terrorist attacks. 

          Perhaps a more relevant connection is that the continuing indifference to climate change by the U.S. -- which generates a quarter of the world's carbon emissions -- will likely provoke more guerrilla attacks from people whose homelands are going under from rising seas, whose crops are destroyed by weather extremes and whose borders are overrun by environmental refugees.   

          Conversely, a properly-funded global energy transition would represent the kind of proactive policy needed to begin to redress the economic inequity that threatens to split humanity irreparably between rich and poor. Just as runaway carbon concentrations are threatening to destabilize the global climate, runaway economic inequity can only continue to destabilize our global political environment.

For its own security, the U.S. needs to abandon its traditional posture toward developing countries -- which has been by turns defensive and coercive -- and replace that with a new set of policies which are expansive, inclusive and geared toward real poverty alleviation.  It seems to be an article of faith among development economists that energy investments in poor countries create far more wealth and jobs than investments in any other sector.  Were the U.S. to lead a wholesale transfer of clean energy technologies to developing countries, that would do more than anything else in the long term to undermine support for anti-U.S. terrorism.

On the economic front, it seems clear the entire global economy is susceptible to periods of stagnation, even recession.  Not long ago, some members of the Federal Reserve were even talking about deflation. 

The globally destabilizing credit crisis, the heart-stopping plunges of the stock market and the crippling uncertainty surrounding the price of oil in late 2008 triggered paralyzing fears of a deep and prolonged global economic recession. A truly floundering economy seems relatively  immune to tax cuts and interest rate reductions.  I think any recipe for stable, long-term economic health must include a component of public works programs -- in this case, a program to rewire the globe with clean energy.   ( Few economists believe the recent capital crisis will be our last. A substantial global public works program would provide a much-needed stabilizing ballast to counteract the wild swings of the market and the resulting instability of the global economy. 

      Without question, that would be the most productive investment we could make in our future.  Within a decade, it would begin to generate a major and continuing worldwide economic lift-off.  (

      No global solution, moreover, can ignore the role of the oil-producing nations -- especially in the Middle East -- without courting major and unacceptable global economic dislocations. In this regard, it is worth repeating that hydrogen is expected to be a major fuel in a post-carbon environment. Hydrogen is most easily produced by putting electricity into water. So if the nations of the Middle East were to cover their deserts with saltwater pipelines and windmills and photovoltaic panels, they could maintain their role as energy suppliers to Europe, East Asia and Africa.

 Finally there is the climate crisis itself:

Unintentionally, we have set in motion massive systems of the planet with huge amounts of inertia that have kept it relatively hospitable to civilization for the last 10,000 years. We have reversed the carbon cycle by more than 400,000 years. We have heated the deep oceans. We have loosed a wave of violent and chaotic weather. We have altered the timing of the seasons. We are living on a very precarious margin of stability.

          Against that background, we are offering this set of strategies.  We believe these strategies present a model of the scope and scale of action that is appropriate to the magnitude of the climate crisis.  To date, we have not seen other policy recommendations that adequately address either the scope or urgency of the problem.

          Largely because of inaction by the world's governments, it seems that the Kyoto goals (but not the Kyoto process) are fast becoming obsolete -- and that it is soon time to go straight for the goal of 70 percent reductions globally. Our hope is to get ideas of this scope into the conversation to help move it to an appropriate level. 

          The Plan involves three interacting strategies which include:

Agelbert NOTE: Darwininan church UBERMENSCH convinced that Caloric Intake defines Morality in our "random" universe are advised to avoid reading the info at the link because it is too CORNUCOPIAN for you DOOMER "REALISTS". Have a nice day dreaming of collapse, disaster and population die off.
( ( (

It is an error of perception to confuse the perverse joy of masochism with reality because it leads to the irrational rejection of all practical hopeful future scenarios (IOW mental box canyons are temporary FUN for doomers that lead to suicidal ideation). This abysmally stupid behavior is often disguised as a sophisticated mockery of hope (based on empirical evidence NOT pie in the sky) filled theists  cloaked with a fraudulent air of objective, hard nosed, science based conclusions (IOW Intelli-morons claim Brainiac Ubermensch status when the exact reverse is true). The fate of these Stumbling Blocks to human progress through moral behavior is grim. Believe them at your peril.

                                           Anthony G. Gelbert

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 03, 2014, 12:58:26 am
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 04, 2014, 04:23:37 pm
Even In Turmoil, Egypt Moves to Renewable Energy( News

In the midst of all the turmoil in Egypt, we're pleasantly surprised to hear that the government plans to invest in solar, reports PV Magazine.

To spur clean energy and create jobs for youth, they say they will invest up to $1 billion for several big solar projects. They also will install rooftop solar on government buildings to reduce strain on the grid.

The government "will not be able to prevent electrical power cuts" this summer, says Egypt's Minister of Electricity and Energy, but they will reduce energy consumption as much as  possible to resolved the overburdened grid within a few years, reports Daily News Egypt.

 Egypt's goal is to raise the share of renewable energy to 20% by 2020. 12% is expected to come from wind. In a separate plan for solar, they want 3.5 gigawatts by 2017 - 700 MW of solar PV and 2.8 GW of concentrating solar.

 Last year, the government's New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) asked for bids (from local and international companies) for its first major solar project. Ten, 20 megawatt solar farms would be spread over the southern Egyptian province of Aswan. Italy is helping out with a $500,000 grant.

Egypt is also taking small steps toward manufacturing solar PV modules, starting with a 21 MW capacity this fall and building to 80 MW by the end of 2016.

 "MENA" countries (Mid East, North Africa) could see $50 billion in solar investment alone by 2020, says the Middle East Solar Industry Association. They expect 37 GW of renewable energy projects to be built, with 12-15 GW of that in solar.

 There are already 2.3 GW of solar, with Israel in the lead with 842 MW, according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) and the United Arab Emirates' Directorate of Energy and Climate Change. ( (

All 21 MENA countries have renewable energy targets, up from five countries in 2007, reports PV Magazine, adding up to 107 GW by 2030. 

 Read our article, Arab Spring Spawns Middle East Youth Climate Change Movement.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 19, 2014, 01:07:44 am
China To Triple Solar Capacity To 70,000 MW By 2017, To Help Reduce Air Pollution (  (

China has thrilled the solar industry in the past few years with bigger and bigger solar installation targets. Of course, this also came on the back of solar capacity oversupply and a solar manufacturer shakeout that put many non-Chinese solar companies out of business, but it has also helped to pull manufacturers out of a financial crisis and further drive down the cost of solar for customers and the developers and installers who benefit from growing demand. China’s latest announcement is a pretty impressive solar target of 70,000 megawatts by 2017.

However, anyone who has followed the China solar story over the past few years knows that we may well see that target raised higher before too long. Furthermore, if the driving factor is air pollution, and China is going to be building even more coal power plants in the coming years, the push for clean energy is only going to get stronger. Anyhow, for more information on the new China solar target, see this Solar Love repost:

China just seems to be getting ever more ambitious with its renewable energy targets, as recent announcements have shown. Or is “ever more desperate” the more accurate way to put it? ( (

In a recent announcement, the Chinese government revealed that it would (yet again) speed up solar energy development in the country — aiming to triple installed capacity up to 70,000 megawatts (70 gigawatts) by the year 2017. The move is part of a renewed push in the country’s “war on smog” and is intended to help reduce its (great) reliance on coal-fired power plants.

If the new goals are met, then China’s installed solar capacity will surge by 50 GW in just 3 years. That’s seriously impressive installation rates. Of course, as always, that’s if the goals are met — always a big if when dealing with publicly released figures from government bodies. As it stands currently, China is home to about 20 GW of installed solar capacity.

However, it’s worth noting that China has a history of setting “low” solar targets and then raising them. A few years ago, China’s 2015 solar target was 5 GW, then it doubled that to 10 GW, then it more than doubled that to 21 GW, then it nearly doubled that to 40 GW! This all occurred within the course of about 2 years. 70 GW by 2017 sounds impressive, but we’ll see if that isn’t increased yet again in the coming years.

The announcement also noted that the current aim is to possess 150 GW of installed wind power capacity, 11 GW of biomass power, and 330 GW of hydro power by 2017.
  ;D Climate Progress provides more:

The announcement comes just two months after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s officially “declared war” on the country’s horrific and tragic smog problem, which scientists in Beijing have compared to the effects of a nuclear winter. The pollution has made headlines around the world as it has worsened, causing myriad health problems, marring cityscapes, and even giving an 8-year-old girl lung cancer. What’s more, the pollution has recently been confirmed to be caused by fossil fuel production, with coal at the forefront.  >:(  :P

China’s announcement that it would increase solar capacity also comes just days after a report found that China’s continued dependence on coal would thwart any effort to fight global warming by any other country. That report, led by the UK’s Center for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, recommended China swiftly reduce its dependency on the fossil fuel, otherwise it would be “almost impossible” for the world to avoid a situation where global warming stays below 2°C.

“The actions China takes in the next decade will be critical for the future of China and the world,” the study stated (rather starkly for such a report). “Whether China moves onto an innovative, sustainable and low-carbon growth path this decade will more or less determine both China’s longer-term economic prospects in a natural resource-constrained world, … and the world’s prospects of cutting greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to manage the grave risks of climate change.”

Something to note — last year the country approved the construction of over 100 million metric tons of new coal production capacity.  (
To put that another way, in only a single year, the country “added coal production capacity equal to 10% of total US annual usage.”

To get back to the subject of air-pollution — a decade-long study exploring the after-effects of the closure of a coal-fired power plant, ( with regard to human health, was recently released. The report shows — without any kind of ambiguity — the great cost that such plants have on human health, and, more specifically, on the health of children.  (

One of the most interesting findings of the research was that “childhood developmental scores and levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) — a key protein for brain development — are significantly higher with decreased levels of exposure to air pollution in utero.”   >:( Not really surprising, but still good to see it spelled-out so clearly.

Agelbert NOTE:Remember that the next time somebody tells you children growing up in coal country (WV) or in areas near a coal fired power plant (I.E. THE POOR and the POOR MINORITIES) all over the USA have the SAME CHANCE as the rich and upper middle class kids who AREN'T BRAIN IMPAIRED BY PROFIT OVER the PLANET in general AND THE POOR IN PARTICULAR... (


Another study conducted by the then-director of the Harvard Medical School found that coal cost the United States $500 billion a year in health and environmental impacts. Amazing. Imagine what the global total must be.
Title: South Carolina Prepares for Solar Revolution
Post by: AGelbert on May 23, 2014, 04:35:26 pm
South Carolina Prepares for Solar Revolution With Historic 105-0 State House Vote  (
Title: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth: REDUCE BEFORE YOU PRODUCE!
Post by: AGelbert on May 25, 2014, 01:20:47 am
Title: Stanford Professor’s 50-State Plan For 100-Percent Renewable Energy
Post by: AGelbert on May 25, 2014, 05:53:55 pm
Stanford Professor’s 50-State Plan For 100-Percent Renewable Energy (
Title: How Scotland is powering the renewables revolution
Post by: AGelbert on May 26, 2014, 08:56:29 pm
How Scotland is powering the renewables revolution  ;D

Michael Gray   

Scotland remains on track to produce the equivalent of 100% of its electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020, according to a recent report by WWF Scotland.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 31, 2014, 01:08:53 pm
Chile's New Energy Agenda Lays the Foundation for Sustainable Growth (

 Amanda Maxwell, NRDC 
 May 29, 2014

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet released a new Energy Agenda on May 15th, which her administration will use as the foundation for a national energy policy. The much-anticipated document outlines seven pillars, or key areas, where new and specific efforts are needed if the country is to grow sustainably and stably over the coming decades. Overall, the agenda is right on target regarding several broad issues –and a few specific ones as well— and if Bachelet and Energy Minister Máximo Pacheco are able to execute these plans, Chile’s renewable* energy and energy efficiency sectors should be able to compete with conventional energy –dirty fossil fuels and large hydro—on a more even playing ground than before.  (

A wide variety of people have been calling for more strategic and coherent government direction of the energy sector for years, and with good reason: existing and proposed plants have caused significant social and environmental damage; many new conventional projects are stalled in legal appeals; the booming growth of renewable energy has been stifled by a variety of regulatory obstacles; and energy efficiency—the energy sector’s “low-hanging fruit”—has been languishing in the background. As a result, experts warn of an impending energy crisis in the next few years, when the country will not have enough generation to power continued growth in the mining sector in particular and the economy at large. The Energy Agenda is this administration’s answer to those calls.

There are four high-level themes in the Energy Agenda which are particularly encouraging:

1.The government will take a more active role in the energy sector.
This is, in fact, the first pillar of the agenda (“A New Role of the State”), but is also present throughout the document. The historic lack of government engagement in planning and overseeing the energy sector has led to an industry in which most of the power and influence is highly concentrated in three powerful companies, resulting in the problems listed above. The agenda recognizes that the government’s role in areas such as zoning and strategic planning is fundamental if things are to improve.

2.Stakeholder participation will be incorporated into key processes.
This is major. Participatory processes are critical to making decisions that are trusted, transparent and supported by the public – and for which the decision-maker (i.e. the government) can be held accountable. The Energy Agenda describes the role of participation in several of its objectives, ranging from specific processes such as setting the new natural gas tariff in the distribution market, to more broadly creating the new “Participation and Dialogue” Section within the Ministry of Energy, to dedicating the entire seventh pillar to “Citizen Participation and Territorial Planning.”

3.Energy efficiency gets the attention it deserves. Energy efficiency was largely ignored during the past four years, although it is the fastest and most economical way to help meet future energy demand. The fifth pillar of the Energy Agenda is dedicated to energy efficiency and management, and it gets a number of things right. It is also largely in line with NRDC’s report, “From Good to Great: The Next Steps in Chilean Energy Efficiency.” First and foremost, the government will prioritize passing an Energy Efficiency Law, a “legal framework to convert [energy efficiency] into a long term State policy.” This would ensure that energy efficiency efforts are no longer at the whim of any given administration, but that they would instead be a permanent institutional priority. The document reasserts the goal of reducing national energy consumption by 20 percent by 2025 compared to BAU projections, and specifies objectives for various sectors. I’ll go into detail on this in another blog, but in the meantime here is a review from the good folks at Opower.

4.Addressing concrete obstacles to renewables. The renewable energy sector is poised to penetrate the Chilean energy market in a huge way, with over 17 GW of projects in the pipeline. Yet some key obstacles stand in the way. For example, the current system used for energy auctions heavily favors conventional projects. Financing is also more difficult for renewables –particularly geothermal – and speculation prevents real projects from going forward.  The Energy Agenda addresses them specifically. It also focuses on improving conditions for geothermal power companies, which face unique regulatory and financial barriers in Chile despite the country’s vast geothermal resources. The document also reaffirms the national commitment to meet Chile’s renewable portfolio standard of producing 20 percent of its energy with renewables by 2025. The Chilean Renewable Energy Association (ACERA) has written an excellent summary here about how the Energy Agenda’s items will benefit renewables.

There are two more specific items in the Energy Agenda that I want to call attention to as well.

First, the document calls for the creation of a government entity devoted to the collection and analysis of energy data, similar to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Although it was mentioned just briefly in the Energy Agenda, I cannot underscore the importance of this action enough. Presently, data about the energy sector in Chile is either difficult to find, outdated or different depending on which government agency database you are using. This makes it nearly impossible for academics, private companies, the media, civil society and the government itself to know the real, accurate status of energy generation, consumption, and other indicators – information necessary to make decisions about the future of the sector.

Second, the Energy Agenda’s first two annexes list the legislative bills and regulations that the administration will pursue, as well as when the government aims to pass or adopt each one. This provides civil society and the private sector with a clear schedule of the government’s agenda, for which it can be held accountable.

Of course, the devil is in the details; these objectives and ideas will only be successful if the government can follow through and make them a reality. But if President Bachelet and Minister Pacheco are able to do so, this Energy Agenda would put Chile on the path to be an innovative, sustainable energy leader in the region and around the globe. (

*The term “non-conventional renewable energy” is used in Chile to exclude large hydro (over 20 MW) from the category. For the sake of space in this blog, I use “renewable energy” though with the same intention of excluding large hydro, which I include in the “conventional energy” category.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 02, 2014, 03:05:52 pm
Germany's Wind Energy Nexus: A Tour Around Hamburg

 James Montgomery, Contributing Editor 
 June 02, 2014

Microalgae biogas system sitting in the sun at E.ON's Reitbrook facility, affixed to a solar tracker.

Demand Destruction of Fossil Fuels continues accelerating due sustainable, biosphere defending, human ingenuity in the Service of Future Generations, not calloused, conscience free greed.


It's time for Americans in the Service of Future Generations to GET WITH THE PROGRAM!
We did it with the massive, industrial scale building of Liberty Ships in WWII. We can do it again with the massive, industrial scale building of Liberty Renewable Energy Machines.

Country of Origin: United States of America
Manufacturers: Alabama Dry Dock Co, Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc, California Shipbuilding Corp, Delta Shipbuilding Co, J A Jones Construction Co (Brunswick), J A Jones Construction Co (Panama City), Kaiser Co, Marinship Corp, New England Shipbuilding Corp, North Carolina Shipbuilding Co, Oregon Shipbuilding Corp, Permanente Metals Co, St Johns River Shipbuilding Co, Southeastern Shipbuilding Corp, Todd Houston Shipbuilding Corp, Walsh-Kaiser Co.

Major Variants: General cargo, tanker, collier, (modifications also boxed aircraft transport, tank transport,
hospital ship, troopship).

Role: Cargo transport, troop transport, hospital ship, repair ship.
Operated by: United States of America, Great Britain, (small quantity also Norway, Belgium, Soviet Union, France, Greece, Netherlands and other nations).

First Laid Down: 30th April 1941
Last Completed: 30th October 1945

Units: 2,711 ships laid down, 2,710 entered service.

Despite being initially labelled an 'ugly duckling' by the newspapers, and intended to be expendable if necessary, the ships eventually caught the imagination of the public. They proved to be easy to build, reliable and versatile, exceeding even the most optimistic expectations for their overall contribution to the war effort.

It was a project on a massive scale, undertaken with great speed and efficiency. The first Liberty ship (the Patrick Henry) was launched on 27 September 1941 (and completed on 30 December 1941), which was an incredible feat considering that just seven months previously neither shipyard nor workforce existed to build her.  ( (

Average Liberty Ship deadweight = 12,500 metric tons. (33,875,000 metric tons of ships built!).

Convert short tons to metric tons by multiplying the number of short tons by 0.907184

On the GE 1.5-megawatt model the total weight is 164 tons. The corresponding weights for the Vestas V90 are 75, 40, and 152, total 267 tons, and for the Gamesa G87 72, 42, and 220, total 334 tons.

164 x 0.907184 =  148.8 metric tons 

33,875,000 divided by 148.8 =  227,655  wind turbines X 1.5 MW =  341,482 MW = .3415 TW x 20% capacity factor = 68.3 x 24 hours X 365 days = 598.3 TWh/year.

2012 wind power production   United States 140.9 TWh  26.4 % of world total wind power.

1 TWhour per year = 1,000,000 MW / 8765.8 hours in a year) 114 megawatts per hour.

USA total annual electric consumption = 3,886,400,000 MWh = 3,886,400 = GWh = 3,886 TWh.

3886.4 / 598.3 =  20 to 40% of US electrical demand just from Wind Turbines in less than five years of Liberty Ship scale manufacturing wind turbine tonnage.

Liberty Ship scale manufacturing wind turbine tonnage can provide  25 to 40% of US electrical demand  in less than five years. Double that in ten years and add in Solar Panels, Geothermal, Tide and Undersea Current and we have MORE than 100% Renewable Energy!   (  (

WE can use the excess to bioremediate the environmental damage done in the last 100 years.  WE can rid ourselves of Planet Polluting Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Poison Plants in a decade and win the Climate Victory for Future Generations! ( can set an example for all the nations on the Earth of the Proper Path to a Viable and Vibrant Bounty filled, harmonious Biosphere.

Let's GET IT DONE! Our children and grandchildren are counting on us!

Title: Developing Countries Lead Global Surge in Renewable Energy Capacity
Post by: AGelbert on June 04, 2014, 11:51:58 pm
Developing Countries Lead Global Surge in Renewable Energy Capacity
Yale Environment 360 | June 3, 2014 4:34 pm | Comments

The number of developing nations with policies supporting renewable energy has surged more than six-fold in just eight years, from 15 developing countries in 2005 to 95 early this year, according to a report from REN21, an international nonprofit renewable energy policy network.


Countries with renewable energy policies or targets in place in early 2014 (top), versus 2005 (bottom). Graphic courtesy of REN21, Renewables 2014 Global Status Report via Yale Environment 360 .

Those 95 developing nations today make up the vast majority of the 144 countries with renewable energy support policies and targets in place. The report credits such policies with driving global renewable energy capacity to a new record level last year—1,560 gigawatts, up 8.3 percent from 2012. More than one-fifth—22 percent—of the world’s power production now comes from renewable sources.

Overall, renewables accounted for more than 56 percent of net additions to global power capacity in 2013,  ;D the report says. Although financial and policy support declined in the U.S. and some European countries, China, the U.S., Brazil, Canada and Germany remained the top countries for total installed renewable power capacity. China’s new renewable power capacity surpassed new fossil fuel and nuclear capacity for the first time, the analysis found.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 05, 2014, 01:30:28 am
A truly amazing, concise (and filled with hard data easy to understand  ;D) about how we CAN transition to 100% Renewable Energy and NOT have a civilizational collapse along the way! (

Presented as a series of slides. Enjoy!  (

“Profitable Solutions to Climate, Oil, and Proliferation” by Amory B. Lovins
Title: The Book Resource Revolution: From patterns of scarcity to patterns of abundance
Post by: AGelbert on June 05, 2014, 08:37:25 pm
Inside the Book Resource Revolution (


Jun 3, 2014

Authors Amory B. Lovins Chief Scientist

Jules Kortenhorst CEO

From patterns of scarcity to patterns of abundance  (  ;D

During the first Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, economic growth and societal progress faced a problem of relative scarcity—not of resources, which were then considered inexhaustibly abundant, but of people. Making people (and the labor processes by which they manufactured goods and provided services) radically more productive, the Industrial Revolution unlocked orders-of-magnitude gains in economic growth.

Today, patterns of scarcity have shifted. People are now abundant, but many of the resources that metaphorically and literally fuel our economy, and the nature that absorbs their wastes and impacts, are becoming scarce. Continued progress must thus liberate consumption and scarcity from economic growth. We must define the next Industrial Revolution, one that makes business and the environment mutually supportive, rather than one buoyed at the expense of the other.

Natural Capitalism,
published in 1999, charted just such a pathway, based on four principles: 1) radically increase the productivity of natural resources, 2) shift to biologically inspired production models and materials with closed loops, no waste, and no toxicity, 3) move to a “service-and-flow” business model that rewards the first two shifts, and 4) reinvest in natural capital. Along the way, companies will necessarily adopt new technologies, new manufacturing processes, and new management practices—all of which will drive innovation faster.

Now the new book Resource Revolution, by Stefan Heck and Matt Rogers, similarly argues that companies have enormous opportunity to improve resource productivity dramatically, sparking the next industrial revolution. Companies like Tesla Motors, Zipcar, Opower, SolarCity, and Nest Labs, write Heck and Rogers, have capitalized on the resource revolution through five approaches: substitution, optimization, virtualization, circularity, and waste elimination.


As Heck and Rogers explain, many new materials have begun to reshape industrial and consumer products. Companies must consider every resource they use and substitute higher-performing and less expensive, less risky, or less scarce materials. One example is carbon fiber. As we showed in Reinventing Fire, automotive manufacturing investment can be cut by 80 percent with carbon fiber-based autos vs. steel-based ones, while providing lighter, more efficient, better performing, cleaner, and as safe or safer cars.


The second approach to resource revolution is optimizing a resource’s use, akin to Natural Capitalism’s charge to radically increase the productivity of natural resources. Through fundamental changes in technology, design, and processes, farsighted companies are developing ways to make natural resources—energy, minerals, water, forests—stretch five, ten, even 100 times further than they do today. For example, UPS rerouted its trucks to avoid left turns, thus reducing fuel consumption, improving safety and speed, and saving the company money. Similarly, OPower has used behavioral science and cloud-based software to motivate consumers to cut their energy consumption by two to four percent annually. RMI’s integrative design further expands the resource-productivity potential, often at lower cost and hence with expanding returns.


Virtualization encompasses moving processes out of the physical world, or not doing things actively because they’ve been automated. In some regards this is similar to Natural Capitalism’s service and flow model, in which businesses shift from selling physical goods to delivering a flow of virtual service. Why sell light bulbs when customers really want illumination? (Thomas Edison figured this out, but was overruled in 1892, and apart from street lighting, utilities have been selling kilowatt-hours ever since.)

Heck and Rogers highlight Nest Labs as one of the companies that has practiced virtualization with great success. The company took a traditional thermostat and turned it into a digital platform that provides multiple dynamic energy and security services. Another example of virtualization is telecommuting. The need to physically commute by car, bus, or train is replaced by the ability to virtually commute via telephone, email, video chat, and other forms of connectivity. Meanwhile, commuting’s resource consumption is replaced by more productive time for employees.


Finding value in products after their initial use is what happens in closed-loop, cradle-to-grave product management. Producers of goods need to be responsible for their fabrication, maintenance, and ultimate complete reuse and recycling, with zero waste. In closed-loop production systems, modeled on nature’s designs, every output either is returned harmlessly to the ecosystem as a nutrient, like compost, or becomes an input for manufacturing another product.

Heck and Rogers use the example of cars to show how circularity can produce greater gains. Systems or components can be upgraded, refurbished, reused, or materials reclaimed and recycled, leading to multiple uses, longer life, and much higher productivity. Tesla created a recycling program for its battery packs, recapturing the cobalt and separating out the lithium, allowing for much greater reuse. Another example is DuPont, which actually transforms its industrial scrap and post-consumer waste into higher-value products.

Waste Elimination

In this country the amount of material we dig up and move around and process and use and throw away amounts to about twenty times one’s body weight per person per day. Worldwide this amounts to close to a half trillion tons per year—and yet only 1 percent of it is going into durable products; the other 99 percent is waste. The second principle in Natural Capitalism, a shift to biologically inspired designs, seeks not merely to reduce waste but to design out the very concept of waste. So too write Heck and Rogers in Resource Revolution. With 3-D printers, they note, many manufacturing processes can drastically cut waste because material will only be used exactly where it’s needed, and “subtractive” manufacturing will become a thing of the past. Another example is Interface, a global manufacturer of carpets and interior furnishings. Interface built the least oil-dependent cost structure in the industry while cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 82 percent in 11 years. A quarter of its profit comes from systematically eliminating waste.

The Next Industrial Revolution

The next industrial revolution, perhaps, will be not about shifting patterns of scarcity—from people to resources—but about shifting to a new pattern of abundance and resourcefulness. Natural Capitalism offered one such pathway, creating abundance by design. Now, Resource Revolution offers a resounding and renewed call for such a shift, highlighting the necessary steps and the innovative companies leading the way.

Book cover courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Title: Eye-Opening Map of Front Groups Attacking Renewable Energy
Post by: AGelbert on June 09, 2014, 02:31:45 am
Eye-Opening Map of Front Groups Attacking Renewable Energy(   :o  >:(  (

06/06/2014 03:59 PM News

President Obama took a pretty big risk in directing the EPA to announce power plant emissions rules before the 2014 election.

Democratic candidates in coal states are reeling, but it goes much farther than that as the fossil fuel industry ramps up campaign contributions to help Republicans win the Senate majority.

They want Keystone and natural gas exports approved, and they want to expand fracking. And the last thing they want are any regulations.

You can be sure, the Koch Bros are angry about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's quest to expose what these two men are doing to our country: among his many recent attacks, he called them out for being a main cause of climate change. And he said, they are "waging a war against anything that protects the environment."

Which is true, as we have laid out in multiple news stories. The Koch Bros back some 93 groups working across the country on local, state and national levels. They are not alone, of course. Coal, oil, gas and utilities are all pushing to keep the status quo.

This powerful infographic should make it crystal clear, if you have any doubts about the extent of their influence.

Map of Front Groups Attacking State Renewable Energy Policies 2013-2014

Koch Attack Web  (

Read the report by the Energy and Policy Institute, which details what's happening in each of these states:


Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 09, 2014, 02:23:12 pm
Renewed Energy

Nature | Editorial

Reforms at the US Department of Energy are recharging research. (

04 June 2014

When physicist Steven Chu took over as head of the US Department of Energy (DOE) in 2009, he vowed to reform its research culture. Many felt that the department had become much too bureaucratic — too rigid, too unresponsive to new opportunities, too divided into disciplines and too isolated from the needs of the marketplace.

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The following year, Chu launched five Energy Innovation Hubs intended to mimic the research style that he remembered from his time working at the AT&T Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Each hub would focus on a well-defined challenge in the area of renewable energy — a top priority for the then-new administration of US President Barack Obama. It would bring together all the necessary expertise, from basic and applied research to engineering and early product development.

Four years later, there is justified, if cautious, optimism about the outcome of Chu’s experiment. Viewed purely as research projects, most of the hubs seem to be doing well. In the next few months, the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, headquartered at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, hopes to demonstrate a first-generation prototype of an ‘artificial leaf’ — a cheap, robust and highly efficient system able to make liquid fuels out of sunlight, air and water (see page 22). The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, headquartered at the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago in Illinois, is likewise making good progress towards its goal: devices that can store much more electricity in much less space than the current champions, lithium-ion batteries (see Nature 507, 26–28; 2014).

Only one of the five hubs has fallen by the wayside. The Energy Efficient Buildings hub, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was eventually judged to be too diffuse in its goals for DOE purposes, and too oriented towards trying to get people to use currently available technology. But it still exists. In April it took a new name — the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation — and relaunched itself as an independent research and demonstration centre.

There are also grounds for optimism about the hubs’ larger purpose of transforming the DOE research culture — although in this case, the progress is less clear-cut. In some ways the agency is as bureaucratic as ever. And talk of change within the department has provoked its share of resistance from individuals who feel that their programmes are threatened.

“There is considerable excitement in the Department of Energy — a sense of new opportunities, new ventures, new people.”

Nevertheless, there is considerable excitement in the DOE — a sense of new opportunities, new ventures, new people. The hubs are responsible for some of that feeling, as are innovations such as the Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy (ARPA-E), established in 2009 to fund speculative, high-risk, high-reward investigations, and a network of Energy Frontier Research Centers, launched the same year to promote cutting-edge basic research.

But at least as important is the sense that the people at the top understand and support reform. Chu’s initiatives have been continued by his successor, physicist Ernest Moniz — who last year told Congress that the hubs would be a good model for reforming the DOE’s network of 17 national laboratories. Last month, Moniz appointed a panel to review the national labs, with a report due early next year.

Obama’s administration has been supportive. In both his 2013 and 2014 State of the Union addresses, Obama called for a US$1-billion National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. An interagency programme modelled in part on the DOE’s energy hubs, this would comprise 15 or more centres looking to cut the energy, time and materials required to make things. The goal is to help US industries to compete with low-cost factories in emerging nations such as China, and to make it easier for start-up companies — including many renewable-energy firms — to bring new products to market. Congress has not yet acted on this proposal, but the administration has established several centres using existing funds from the DOE and other agencies.

Such efforts need to be supported and encouraged — especially by Congress, which holds the federal purse strings, and by the energy industry, which can tap vast amounts of cash for activities it perceives to be in its interest. And even here there is reason for optimism. Despite the ideological warfare that has riven Washington DC in recent years, both parties have generally endorsed the DOE’s reform efforts. And industry leaders seem ready to work closely with researchers to bring innovative products to market. One example is the Clean Energy Trust, a Chicago-based consortium of energy companies that supports renewable-energy start-ups.

Congress and the Obama administration could greatly help this movement by reviving the idea of the Clean Energy Deployment Administration: a ‘green bank’ that would pool public and private money for large-scale investments in clean-energy infrastructure. The idea was proposed a few years ago, but abandoned amid budget wrangles. Now that the federal deficit is easing and the economy has begun to improve, it could find renewed support on both sides of the aisle. The future, for once, is starting to look brighter. (

Nature 510, 7–8 (05 June 2014) doi:10.1038/510007b
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 09, 2014, 03:46:11 pm

How Doubling Renewable Energy Worldwide Could Save $740 Billion per Year
(  (  ( (  (  ( (  (  (  (  (

Brandon Baker | June 6, 2014 12:21 pm         

When combining all of the world’s countries, 18 percent of the world’s electricity consumption comes from renewable sources. A global agency estimates that amount could be doubled in a little more than 15 years while saving a combined $740 billion per year in the process.

The latest study, REmap 2030, from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that amping up renewables to constitute 36 percent of the international energy mix would more than offset the costs associated with fossil fuel pollution. It would also reduce the global demand for oil and gas by about 15 percent, and for coal by 26 percent.

Some of the graphics within REmap include annual investment needs and percentage breakdowns in doubling renewables’ share of the world’s TFEC—total final energy consumption—by 2030.

SLIDESHOW ► (at link  ;D)

To IRENA, the question isn’t if it can be done, but how investment dollars should be spent to ensure that renewable energy doubling happens.

“The central policy question is this: What energy sources do we want to invest in? Our data shows that renewable energy can help avert catastrophic climate change and save the world money, if all costs are considered,” Adnan Z. Amin, director-general of IRENA, said at the report’s unveiling in New York. “In answering this question, REmap 2030 makes a clear case for renewables. It shows the transition is affordable based on existing technologies, and that the benefits go well beyond the positive climate impact. (

“Countries today face a clear choice for a sustainable energy future.”  ;D
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 10, 2014, 07:20:24 pm
East Africa Pushes to Adopt Solar Energy (

 Renewable Energy World Editors 
 June 10, 2014  |  1 Comments 

LONDON -- Rwanda’s government has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Goldsol II energy consortium for the construction of a 10-MW solar power plant in Kayonza, Eastern Province.

The US$20 million project, which will be among the largest such projects in East Africa, is expected to be operational by 2016.

Comprising of TMM Renewables, Gesto Energy Africa and 3E Power Solar, the Goldsol II consortium will initially carry out a feasibility study which will then develop into a long term agreement to generate, manage and distribute power.

Commenting on the development, Valentine Rugwabiza, the Rwanda Development Board’s chief executive officer, said: “The current installed generation capacity is close to 120 MW. The 2017 energy target is 563 MW to allow for affordable access to power to cover most of the country, which is currently at 19.4 percent to increase to 70 percent by 2017.”

The solar power project was awarded to the consortium through a competitive tender project run by the Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA).

Rwanda has established a solar energy target of 20 MW by 2017.
Title: Google Aims To "Fundamentally Change the World of Power"
Post by: AGelbert on June 11, 2014, 06:51:32 pm
Google Aims To "Fundamentally Change the World of Power"

According to sources familiar with the company, Google has set its sights on transforming the delivery of electrons.

 Brian Womack and Mark Chediak, Bloomberg 
 June 11, 2014 

SAN FRANCISCO --  Google Inc. plans a deeper push into the $363.7 billion U.S. power-sales market by working on tools that help utilities deliver electricity to homes and businesses more efficiently, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The operator of the most popular Internet-search engine is in the early stages of building software and hardware tools to manage power lines and other infrastructure, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The technology is being developed by Google’s EnergyAccess team and led by Arun Majumdar, vice president of the company’s energy unit, the people said.

Google, a big consumer of electricity for the computer servers that power its services, is looking at ways to transform the century-old utility industry, which has been struggling to adapt to changing demands for power management and production. As solar, wind and other renewable energy sources come online, the power grids that transmit electricity will need to be more flexible and efficient.

“They recognize there is a huge wide-open space and that the utility companies are not stepping up to the plate,” Steven Chu, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, said of Google during an interview last month at an energy conference in Fremont, California. “They see a huge market opportunity.”

Chu said he isn’t familiar with Google’s plans and was expressing his views on what the company might do. Kelly Mason, a spokeswoman for Mountain View, California-based Google, declined to comment on its energy project and who is handling the effort.

Power Projects

Others have pushed into energy-management services. ABB Ltd., Siemens AG and Alstom SA are among the companies offering tools that can help utilities integrate rooftop solar systems and quickly respond to changes in electricity demand such as on hot summer days when air-conditioning units tax the grid.

Google, which is also funding projects in health care, computerized eyewear and self-driving cars, has been stepping up investments in recent years to make energy more clean and efficient. Earlier this year, it spent $3.2 billion to acquire Nest Labs, a digital-thermostat company, and is an investor in Atlantic Grid Development LLC, a project designed to help deliver electricity in New Jersey.

Google has also put more than $1 billion into environmentally friendly energy power projects in the U.S. and around the world. That includes everything from wind farms in Oregon to solar efforts in Germany.

Such investments have given the company experience in the power industry, preparing it to develop new products that could help with managing the increasingly complex power market.

Electric Grid

Already, advances in areas including sustainable power and home energy management have begun to threaten the traditional utility business model.

Most electricity now moves from large, centralized generation stations to homes and businesses, powering heating units, laptops and blenders. While generally effective, that approach has raised concerns for potentially being inefficient, polluting and costly -- especially when compared to the decentralized movement of bits of information on the Internet.

Now, electricity has begun to flow in new ways on the grid, empowering consumers and prompting demand for new services to efficiently manage the distribution of electricity. Technologies are emerging that will allow for more granular control and movement of electricity, similar to how data is processed and moved over broadband networks.

Google’s Energy Access team is part of a larger group looking at infrastructure, Internet access andenergy that is led by Craig Barratt, who recently joined Chief Executive Officer Larry Page’s top team of leaders, one person familiar with the company said.

Energy Control

“Google is working on innovative solutions for access to clean, low-cost electricity,” according to a job posting on Google’s website. “Google is seeking to develop technologies and products to address global opportunities for electricity delivery via new and improved infrastructure.”

The company didn’t hold back in its assessment of the potential, saying it involved “solutions that aim to fundamentally change the world of power.”

Google also has some patents that target power efficiency. One patent published in 2012 cites an apparatus to manage the flow of electricity on the grid with an eye on how the power is being used by electric vehicles, batteries and household appliances.

“Appropriate control of power use over time can compensate for variations in power supply or demand elsewhere in an electrical grid,” the patent said. “Further, such control of energy use can improve the stability of the electrical grid.”   (

Mass Production

There are at least two postings tied to the project referred to as “Energy Access/Bottom Up Grid” -- one for a hardware engineer in power electronics and the other for a mechanical/thermal engineer. The project is slated to get to “mass production,” according to one of the job listings.

Majumdar joined Google in December 2012. Before that, he worked with Chu at the Department ofEnergy, where he pushed for innovation and new products through the Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy group, known as ARPA-E.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 13, 2014, 12:14:35 am

( (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 15, 2014, 02:18:56 am
Why the Barclays Downgrade of the Entire U.S. Electricity Sector Means an Upgrade for Consumers   ;D

Barclays recently downgraded the U.S. electricity sector. That’s right, the whole sector. It’s now listed as “underweight,” meaning that if you were to hold a full portfolio of bonds for the U.S. economy, you might want to be a bit light on U.S. electric utilities, as they might not keep up with the broader economic growth trends. Why? One answer is the disruptive threat of solar-plus-battery systems.  ( From the Barclays report:

Over the next few years… we believe that a confluence of declining cost trends in distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation and residential-scale power storage is likely to disrupt the status quo. Based on our analysis, the cost of solar + storage for residential consumers of electricity is already competitive with the price of utility grid power in Hawaii. Of the other major markets, California could follow in 2017, New York and Arizona in 2018, and many other states soon after.

In the 100+ year history of the electric utility industry, there has never before been a truly cost-competitive substitute available for grid power. We believe that solar + storage could reconfigure the organization and regulation of the electric power business over the coming decade.

If that language sounds familiar, it’s because Barclays’ logic is very similar to that of our recent report, The Economics of Grid Defection, in which we forecasted the declining costs of solar plus storage and the time—coming soon—when those systems could reach parity with grid-sourced retail price electricity in a growing number of markets, including Hawaii, California, and New York. In fact, the Barclays report cites RMI as a key source in several of its analyses that lead to this conclusion.

Barclays believes we’re entering a post-monopoly world in which distributed energy resources will take a place alongside large-scale central generation as a critical energy resource and a widely available and affordable customer option. In a surprisingly strong prediction for analysts, Barclays views this transition as inevitable: “Whatever roadblocks utilities try to toss up—and there's already been plenty of tossing in the states most vulnerable to solar, further evidence of the pressures they're facing—it's already too late.”

If you’re a utility, or an investor who’s got money in utilities, that’s some ominous language. Admittedly, a downgrade suggests two possible outcomes in the near future: 1) analysts tend to move in herds, so expect more news on the U.S. electric sector soon, and 2) capital is likely to get a bit more expensive for utilities, as millions of dollars shift out of the sector.

It’s not all bad news. As we discussed recently in “Caveat Investor,” this should ultimately lead to a stronger, more resilient power sector with stronger overall valuations, but the transition is likely to be volatile. The Barclays report suggests we’re about to enter that volatile transition phase.

So, what are the major trends we can learn from this, and what does a utility downgrade mean for the future of distributed renewables?

1) Distributed energy is hitting the mainstream.
Historically, it’s renewables’ creditworthiness that has been challenged (while utilities have been considered rock solid), but now this trend appears to be reversing. We’ve seen declining costs of capital in solar (as recent securitizations demonstrate), new financial instruments emerging for related technologies, and lower costs overall. Despite this progress, there is still a large gap between the market acceptance of renewables and the market acceptance of central, fossil-fueled generation. The recent downgrade suggests that people are starting to take distributed renewables seriously, and that utilities and renewables are entering a period of equal (or at least comparable) market strength.

2) Issuing new bonds for thermal fossil generation will become more expensive. While many people focus on the construction costs of new assets (central and distributed generation alike), it’s more often the cost of capital that determines project viability. Traditionally, utilities have almost always been the lowest-cost provider of new energy resources, and part of this advantage has rested on ready access to and favorable terms from the bond market. If that advantage is eroding, then expect new players to be able to compete for providing the nation’s energy, including providers of much smaller, distributed generation.

3) Distributed storage, when combined with already mature trends in generation and energy efficiency, compounds the disruptive threat of consumer-scale investments in energy. Many people have worried that declining demand (through energy efficiency) and distributed generation are putting enormous stress on the traditional business model for investments in central generation. That has not changed at all. So why does the emergence of storage, something that doesn’t reduce consumption or increase generation, suddenly give the markets concern? Simply put, the addition of storage gives customers the option to entirely disengage from their relationship with the utility. While most customers won’t choose to leave, and for good reasons, the threat of grid defection creates consumer leverage that will slow recent upward trends in utility rates out of competitive necessity.

4) These trends are likely to accelerate.
As capital shifts from central to distributed generation, this just improves the economics of distributed resources even further, through scale benefits as well as lower cost of capital. Few people would say that we’ve even come close to market saturation for any customer segment for renewables and efficiency. As the traditional electric sector becomes a more challenging place to park capital (or even just a less certain place), more investors will start to notice that investments in distributed resources have similar risk-reward profiles, and this movement of capital will be self-reinforcing.

Barclays took a fairly surprising stance for an industry not traditionally known for looking years into the future. That’s a great sign for the markets, which need to start responding to global, long-term trends. And while the Barclays report isn’t likely to move markets in the next 6 or 12 months, it does signal an important shift under way—distributed generation is likely to be an affordable and accessible choice for more and more customers alongside traditional utility-provided electricity. More options means more competition and increased relevance of the customer. And that’s an upgrade for users of electricity everywhere. (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 17, 2014, 07:33:57 pm
New England Clean Power Link Will Generate Nearly $400 Million Annually  ;D, Says Analysis

During the construction period, planned for 2016 to 2018, the project is expected to create an average of more than 140 direct construction jobs annually in Vermont.

 Corina Rivera-Linares, Senior Analyst, TransmissionHub 
 June 16, 2014

TDI New England’s proposed New England Clean Power Link will generate nearly $400 million annually in new economic activity for the New England region as a whole during the first 10 years of commercial operations, according to a new report by London Economics International.

As noted in the report, the 150-mile underwater and underground HVDC transmission line, to be located in Vermont, will deliver 1,000 MW of clean, low-cost energy into the New England wholesale power market.

“The New England Clean Power Link is an innovative, privately financed project that will create hundreds of new jobs, save consumers millions of dollars and spur economic growth across Vermont and the wider region,” TDI New England CEO Donald Jessome said in a June 11 statement. “The significant energy savings means more money in the pockets of businesses and homeowners — savings they can then reinvest in communities throughout New England, creating long-term permanent job growth and a stronger regional economy.”

Cable manufacturing could begin as early as 2015, along with some site preparations, a company spokesperson told TransmissionHub on June 11, adding that construction would begin in early 2016 and be completed by the end of 2018.

The project is expected to begin service in early 2019. The company filed its application for the Presidential permit from the U.S. Department of Energy last month and will apply its application for approval from the Army Corps of Engineers next fall. The spokesperson also said that the company will file for the Vermont 248 siting permit by the end of this year.

London Economics, an economic, financial and advisory firm headquartered in Boston, Mass., noted in a disclaimer that it was engaged by TDI New England to develop an economic impact analysis of the proposed project, adding that the report is based upon current data concerning economic conditions in New England and on current information available concerning construction and operation of the proposed project. Additionally, the report is not intended to be a complete and exhaustive analysis of the proposed project.

London Economics analyzed the potential economic benefits of the proposed project in terms of the employment and gross domestic product (GDP) impacts to Vermont and the rest of New England, using the PI+ model developed by Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI). That model is an economic forecasting model that is widely used in the public and private sectors to simulate the dynamic and interactive effects over time and across industries that result from large investments, policy changes and infrastructure projects like the Clean Power Link, according to the report.

The model generates year-by-year estimates of the total regional effects of any specific policy initiative or large investment. London Economics also said that the model used for the analysis was a 70-sector, state-level model that covers the entire New England region. Those sectors included forestry and logging, fishing, hunting and trapping, as well as oil and gas extraction and nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing.

The model incorporates several modeling approaches, including input-output, computable general equilibrium theory, econometric equations and new economic geography theory to create a comprehensive model that understands detailed interrelated changes in a regional — or state — economy.

London Economics also noted that the model, which is used by government agencies and others, estimates comprehensive economic and demographic effects in wide-ranging initiatives, such as economic impact analysis; policies and programs for economic development, infrastructure, environment, energy and natural resources; and state and local tax changes.

Regarding modeling inputs, London Economics noted that TDI is expecting the project to undergo a 36-month construction phase, starting in 2016 and finishing by the end of 1Q19. The operating life of the project, beginning in 2Q19, is expected to go out 40 years or even longer. For its analysis, London Economics added that it has focused on the first 10 years of operation. Given the significance of the installation costs for the project, more than $80m in capital costs for the project will be spent in Vermont to build and install the project.

Additionally, the project will bring, on average, 140 direct construction jobs annually to Vermont during the construction period. Once commercial operations begin, the project is expected to reduce the wholesale market price of energy in ISO New England (ISO-NE) for the benefit of consumers.

The reduction in retail electricity costs to New England electricity customers is estimated to be about $195 million per year on average for the first 10 years of commercial operation, or 2019 to 2028, according to the analysis. Electricity cost savings are projected based on simulation modeling of the ISO-NE wholesale market — assuming a 95 percent utilization rate on the project. On average over the 10 years modeled, the project produces more than $1/MWh reduction in annual average energy prices across the region.

Based on the analysis, the project is expected to create on average more than 640 direct, indirect and induced jobs in Vermont during its 36-month construction phase and 2,000 jobs across the region, including Vermont, in the first 10 years of commercial operation.

That local employment and spending will expand state economic activity, as measured by GDP, by $58 million per annum on average, or about 0.2 percent of Vermont’s GDP based on 2012 GDP levels.

London Economics added that its analysis suggests that the economic activity that will be generated by the construction phase will ripple through the rest of the region. That phase will generate on average more than 850 jobs, including 670 indirect and induced jobs, across the region, including Vermont, and will increase New England’s regional GDP by about $78 million per year.

Furthermore, during the first 10 years of commercial operation, London Economics estimates that Vermont’s GDP would increase by an average of $30 million per annum due to reduction in energy costs, and an increase in jobs and spending within Vermont for continued operations and maintenance of the line.

Based on London Economics’ analysis of those reduced electricity costs using the PI+ model, together with the ongoing local spending by the project for operations and maintenance of the project, the project will produce an average of more than 2,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs across the region during the first 10 years of commercial operation and lead to an increase in regional GDP by an average of about $400 million per year.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 08, 2014, 02:27:10 pm

Renewable Energy Provided One-Third Of Germany’s Power In The First Half Of 2014  ;D

By Kiley Kroh on July 8, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Helped along by low demand on a holiday, Germany nevertheless set another solar power record in June, generating 50 percent   ( ( its overall electricity demand from solar for part of the day. And in May, renewable energy sources combined to account for 75 percent of power demand for part of the day. ;D

As a point of comparison, approximately 13 percent of the U.S. electricity supply was powered by renewables as of the end of 2013, roughly half of Germany’s rate.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 08, 2014, 03:58:56 pm
Investment In Clean Energy At Highest Point Since 2012 (

New investment in the global clean energy sector totaled $66.2 billion in the second quarter this year. The post Investment In Clean Energy At Highest Point Since 2012 appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Title: Spectacular NEWS! This is the DEATH KNELL of Dirty Energy Stock Prices!
Post by: AGelbert on July 12, 2014, 10:23:05 pm
Group Representing 590 Million Christians Divests From Fossil Fuel
( ( ( ( ( (

Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 01:54 PM EDT.

"Perhaps recalling the parts of the Bible in which God asks that his followers be good stewards to the Earth, the World Council of Churches, a global coalition of 345 churches moved to no longer invest in oil, gas, or coal companies and urged their members to follow their lead. ...

The move is the biggest one yet by Christian groups attempting to reconcile the damages that climate change is causing with their beliefs to serve the planet well.

In a statement sent from its meeting in Geneva, the group strongly condemned the rampant burning of fossil fuels and its effects on the environment: (  ( (

“The World Council of Churches reminds us that morality demands thinking as much about the future as about ourselves– ( that there’s no threat to the future greater than the unchecked burning of fossil fuels,” said Bill McKibben, the founder of, a global climate campaign that is supporting the divestment effort. “This is a remarkable moment for the 590 million Christians in its member denominations: a huge percentage of humanity says today ‘this far and no further.’” (

This isn’t from a fringe group either, the WCC includes many of the biggest churches in the world. The 25 million-member Church of England and the 48 million-member Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church count themselves as members of the umbrella Christian coalition group."

 (  (


Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 14, 2014, 11:52:17 pm
07/14/2014 01:09 PM    Solar Wins Big In Iowa, Next Battle is Wisconsin News

Solar just won big in Iowa in the latest battle with utilities.

Iowa's Supreme Court ruled in favor of solar leasing,  :emthup:  :icon_sunny: rejecting the utility's (and state regulators) claim  (
 that only it can sell energy. In a typical leasing arrangement, the city of Dubuque signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Eagle Point Solar, which installed and owns the solar system.   :emthup:

 Alliant Energy Corp insists that Eagle Point acted like a public utility in signing a third party power purchase agreement, infringing on its monopoly in the service area. Iowa's regulatory board agreed.

 If the case ended there, solar installers would be subject to a gamut of regulations, increasing costs and complexity for the industry, says the Environmental Law and Policy Center, which represented a coalition of solar businesses and environmental groups in the appeal. 

 Alliant Energy's service area: (at the link  ;D)

Solar Alliant Energy Service Area

"One of the important aspects of the case is that it says that the purpose of utility regulation is to protect the public, not the utility industry,"  :icon_mrgreen: Brad Klein, a senior attorney with the Environmental Law and Policy Center, told Midwest Energy News. "Generating one's own power "behind the meter" - meaning it doesn't move through a utility's distribution system - is a private transaction and should not be subject to interference by a utility."

On the East Coast, "conversations are beginning on how the electric utility industry transitions to a system that's more decentralized. We want to see these conversations happen in Iowa and the Midwest. We want to work with Alliant on approaches that are win-win," says Klein. represented a coalition of solar businesses and environmental groups in a case appealing an Iowa Utilities Board

Read our article, NY State Leads: Radical Changes Toward Distributed Energy.

Iowa gets close to 30% of its electricity from wind and is now moving to support the growth of solar. In May, the legislature voted - almost unanimously - to triple the solar tax credit and raise the rebate cap for residential and commercial projects.

What Will Happen in Wisconsin?

Amazingly, utility We Energies in Wisconsin is seeing how far it can go. Like so many utilities across the US, they want big surcharges from solar owners, and they even propose barring customers from leasing solar systems.  (

"The proposals in Wisconsin right now are some of the most damaging to the growth of the solar industry, Brad Klein, an attorney with the Environmental Law and Policy Center, told Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 15, 2014, 06:16:28 pm
The World Is Going Solar  ;D

Thom Hartmann | July 15, 2014 2:49 pm

The bottom-line is that solar power and other renewable forms of energy are the energy of today and of the future, in both developed and developing nations. Not coal. Not oil. Not natural gas. And as the richest country in the world, we need to finally embrace that fact, and lead the world in investing more in these clean and green energies that will be powering our country into the future.

Each year, Big Oil receives $500 billion in government subsidies.  >:( Can you imagine what would happen if that $500 billion went to investing in developing renewable sources of energy instead?  ;D Despite what Big Oil executives and their cronies in Washington might say, going green isn’t just a choice. It’s reality.

It’s the only option we have if we want to save the human race from a climate disaster. So, let’s start treating it like that, by investing in a secure energy future for America, and the rest of the world.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 17, 2014, 10:57:23 pm
Contrary to widespread misreportage, closing those eight reactors did not cause more fossil fuel to be burned. Whenever renewable sources run in Germany, both law and econom­ics require them to displace costlier sources, so renewables always make fossil-fueled plants run less, though often in more complex patterns.

The data confirm this: from 2010 through 2013, German nuclear output fell by 43.3 TWh, renewable output rose by 46.9 TWh, and the power sector burned almost exactly as much more coal and lignite as it burned less of the costlier gas and oil. German utilities bet against the energy transition and lost.  ;D  Now they gripe that the renewables in which most of them long underinvested have made their thermal plants too costly to run.  (
Many claim renewables could harm grid stability. So why do Germany, with 25% renewable electricity in 2013, and Denmark, with at least 47%, have Europe’s most reliable electricity, about ten times more reliable than America’s?   (

These countries, like three others in Europe (none very rich in hydropower) that used roughly half-renewable electricity in 2013—Spain 45%, Scotland 46%, Portugal 58%—simply require fair grid access and competition. Of all major industrial nations, only Japan doesn’t.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 30, 2014, 08:51:30 pm
A Province of Denmark is totally energy independent. It can be done.  (



Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Samsø, Denmark, Vineyard Power & Energy Independence

from Vineyard Voice Plus 4 years ago / Creative Commons License: by nc sa All Audiences
This video presents the reality of energy independence experienced by the people of Samsø, Denmark.

This film chronicles the success of the Danish island of Samsø in achieving energy independence through community involvement. Produced by Miljø Media, funded by European REislands and distributed by the International Network for Sustainable Energy, the film includes Samsø's perspectives and experiences with renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Much like Martha's Vineyard, Samsø, Denmark is an island community with a small core of year-rounders and an economy that relies on thousands of summer residents and visitors who take the ferry from the mainland to one of the island's two ports. Like Martha's Vineyard, much of Samsø is green, with agricultural lands and forests meeting the blue of the surrounding waters. Samsø's residents also pay higher prices on everything from sugar to tires, the result of an economy where everything is transported to the island by ferry.

One thing residents do not worry about, however, is their energy bills. By improving the efficiency of their homes and offices, using the natural resources that are found on and around the island, and working together as a community to take ownership of their future, the residents of Samsø have secured their energy future.

Eleven onshore and 10 offshore wind turbines now generate more electricity than Samsø uses.
Visitors still flock to the island to enjoy the agricultural surroundings and sparkling ocean vistas, but now the island's tourism industry has also grown to meet the interests of a whole new kind of visitor - the one interested in seeing sustainability and renewable energy at work.   ( The new education and conference center introduces thousands of tourists to Samsø's energy achievements each year.

Over the past few months, the Vineyard Energy Project (VEP) has been talking to Islanders about our energy resources and has found an overwhelming desire to take control of our Island's energy resources. Islanders have strongly supported the idea of a community-owned cooperative to generate our own power and promote energy efficiency, keeping the benefits on the Vineyard. This was underlined by the Island Plan's vision of a more sustainable energy future.

This excerpt is part of a longer "European Renewable Energy Islands." Permission for this excerpt was granted by Miljo Media.
Read More…


Agelbert NOTE: They DID IT ALL on Samsø from insulation to wind power to solar to  biofuels to selling excess electricity all at a cost of about 4,000 euros per resident in LESS than ten years! Now they've got a nice fat 200,000 Euro account from their CLEAN energy profits! (


Title: Claiming Renewable Energy can't handle the load is a myth, says Amory Lovins
Post by: AGelbert on August 07, 2014, 10:38:29 pm
 August 5, 2014

We Don’t Need a Huge Breakthrough to Make Renewable Energy Viable—It Already Is      (   (

The idea that renewable energy can't handle the load is a myth, says Amory Lovins

By  Colin Schultz

Read more:
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on August 09, 2014, 12:52:56 am
From the North American Student Energy Summit: Bright Outlook for a Carbon-free Future 

By Lauren Levin and Viktoriya Syrov 
on July 03, 2014 at 11:00 AM

California Continues To Lead U.S. In Green Technology

Breaking Energy was honored to be included in the recent North American Student Energy Summit held in New York City. Author and environmental activist Bill Hewitt and Breaking Energy’s Managing Editor Jared Anderson helped out with the Role of Media in Energy interactive breakout session in which students formulated blog posts about an important energy issue.

Students were asked to write about the following question: “Have there been any recent political and social developments that indicate significant movement towards fully decarbonized and denuclearized economies globally in the foreseeable future?” We selected the following post for publication on Breaking Energy:

“If properly harnessed, there is enough sunlight that falls on the Earth in just one hour to meet the world energy demands for a whole year,” explained Dr. Mark Jacobson, founder of The Solutions Project, to an audience of over 300 students at the first ever North American Student Energy Summit (NASES) held in New York City. Innovators and energy leaders like Jacobson, whose Solutions Project aims to power the United States on 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, along with policy makers and journalists, took the stage to present their work in the energy sector and answer challenging questions from the cross-disciplinary body of students in attendance.

As the subject of renewable energy makes its way into college curricula and news headlines –  and as we witness rising tides and an increasing number of storms – it has become more and more apparent that we live in a world of environmental thresholds. More than ever before, students are motivated to act to reduce the level of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and prevent further environmental destruction.

NASES, which was held on June 19-20,, 2014 at the United Nations and Columbia University, was one of four Regional Student Energy Summits taking place simultaneously around the world in Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe. The inaugural events, organized by nonprofit group Student Energy, aimed to connect approximately 1,200 students around the globe and inspire them to tackle the energy issues facing their nations. The issues are vast and entrenched, but the speakers at NASES were optimistic, they urged the young audience to steer the movement away from fossil fuels, as Carbon War Room COO, Peter Boyd, simply summarized it: “Go efficient and go renewable.”

Efficiency has been a driving force across all sectors during our lifetimes. In the U.S., policies now require all federal agencies to purchase only Energy Star and Federal Energy Management Program-designated products and for all new agency buildings to be constructed with LEED Gold standards in mind, setting a powerful example. On the social scale, the rise in popularity of the collaborative consumption movement has enabled the international success of sharing economy giants such as Airbnb and ZipCar, encouraging the maximized use of existing resources rather than wasteful acquisition of new products. Even the energy sector is learning lessons from sharing: a company called Sunrun leases out solar panels to homeowners in 11 states, providing users the benefit of lower energy bills and a clean source of electricity, without the often high initial installation costs.

The global community is implementing clean, renewable energy into existing and new infrastructure at unprecedented levels. “With every passing month, renewables become the most economical option in an ever greater number of places. Clean energy markets are scaling fast, with government incentives, economies of scale, and decreased production costs all factoring into the accelerating momentum for the industry,” noted Nick Blitterswyk, CEO of Urban Green Energy (UGE), a worldwide distributed renewable energy company.

The green energy sector has shown consistent growth in U.S., with 74% of electricity installations in the first quarter of 2014 being solar, and the first offshore wind farm approved this year off the coast of Massachusetts, the world’s second largest energy consumer is making great strides towards lowering carbon emissions and fulfilling the new EPA requirements of cutting carbon emissions by 30 percent of 2005 levels by 2030.

Although China has caused major unease with the proliferation of coal power plants, the government of the leading energy consumer has invested heavily in renewable energy ($54 billion in investments in renewables in 2013 compared to U.S. investment of $36.7 billion) and is leading the world in installed wind power. In Europe, Germany has set a goal to produce 35 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and 100 percent by 2050 and just this month for the first time, was able to meet 50 percent of the country’s energy demand with solar.

Some islands are also at the forefront of the carbon-free, nuclear-free movement. Floreana island in the Galapagos and El Hierro in the Canary islands have already transitioned to 100 percent renewable energy   ;Dand many other island nations plan to follow in their footsteps. These and other advancements towards a global divestment in carbon and nuclear technologies will be discussed at the upcoming September UN Climate Summit in New York, in preparation for the 2015 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, where countries are expected to make strong commitments towards a low carbon future.

The students at NASES appear ready and willing to take on the speakers’ challenges. A glimpse into the United Nations Sustainable Energy Innovation Jam breakout session, shows they are well prepared. With only 90 seconds to pitch an innovative energy idea to a panel of experts from Sustainable Energy For All, including Blitterswyk of UGE and other experts, attendees presented diverse projects with high potential for improving our energy future. From the “low hanging fruit” of converting organic waste to energy in an urban metropolis such as New York City, a solution offered by John Ortolano of Columbia University and Earl Co of NYU, to the prospect of using satellite technology to assess viability of greenroof construction on urban buildings, proposed by Columbia graduate Alan Burchell, the ideas were applauded by the judges for their creativity and feasibility. “The technology is already in place,” said Co, “we just need policy to put it into action.”

Topics: Carbon Emissions Mitigation, Climate Change, Columbia University, Emissions, Energy Policy, EPA, EPA Carbon Rule, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Innovation, Jobs, Student Energy, Student Featured, Sustainable Energy for All, United Nations
Title: Global Renewable Energy Status Uncovered
Post by: AGelbert on August 13, 2014, 12:43:01 pm
Global Renewable Energy Status Uncovered
 ( (

“Over the last 10 years, continuing technology advances and rapid deployment of many renewable energy technologies have demonstrated that the question is no longer whether renewables have a role to play in the provision of energy services, but rather how we can best increase the current pace to achieve a 100 percent renewables future with full energy access for all.” -- Arthouros Zervos, chair of REN21

REN21’s 2014 Global Status Report reveals a number of key trends for the renewables sector, shedding light on likely policy and market movements across technologies. Despite stormy weather, the analysis picks up on a positive under current for renewables.

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor 
August 13, 2014

LONDON -- More than a fifth of the world's electrical power production now comes from renewable sources and in 2013 renewables accounted for more than 56 percent of all net additions to global power capacity. These remarkable conclusions come from this year’s Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) from REN21. This highly-regarded annual analysis — the 2014 edition was released this summer — concludes that renewable electricity capacity jumped by more than 8 percent overall in 2013, to produce some 22 percent of all global power production. Total global installed renewable electricity capacity reached a staggering 1,560 GW in 2013.

The Policy Landscape

At the end of 2013, China, the United States, Brazil, Canada, and Germany remained the top five countries for total installed renewable power capacity. Excluding hydro, the top three were again China, the U.S. and Germany, but now followed by Spain and Italy and in sixth spot, India. Aside from the bare facts, the report also identifies a number of hotspots. For example, China's new renewable power capacity surpassed new fossil and nuclear capacity for the first time in 2013 while per capita, Denmark’s non-hydro renewable capacity places it as a clear lead. In the European Union, renewables represented the majority of new electric generating capacity for the sixth consecutive year, with a 72 percent share. But, relative to annual GDP, Uruguay, Mauritius, and Costa Rica were among the top countries for investment in new renewable power and fuels in 2013.

At least 144 countries now have renewable energy targets in place with 138 having renewable energy support policies, up from the 138 and 127, respectively, seen in 2012.

Inevitably policy mechanisms continued to evolve in 2013, with increasing differentiation by technology. Feed-in policies and renewable portfolio standards (RPS) remained the most commonly used support mechanism. Many countries with existing feed-in policies shifted towards premium payment schemes to top up prices traded on electricity markets. Competitive bidding gained further prominence, with the number of countries turning to public auctions rising from nine in 2009 to 55 as of early 2014.

Furthermore, the report also identifies a trend, particularly in Europe, that is seeing new policies emerge that respond to the issue of grid integration of renewable energy. This is in some cases being manifested as support for energy storage, demand-side management, and smart grid technologies, REN 21 finds. Indeed, variable output renewables achieved high levels of penetration in several countries in 2013, with wind meeting more than a third of Denmark’s and more than a fifth of Spain’s electricity demand. Meanwhile, solar met 7.8 percent of the total 2013 electricity demand in Italy.

In addition, a growing numbers of cities, states, and regions are developing strategies to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. For example, Djibouti, Scotland, and Tuvalu are targeting 100 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2020. Among those who have already achieved their goals are about 20 million Germans who live in so-called 100 percent renewable energy regions, the authors note.

This policy momentum continued in 2013 with city and local governments increasingly using their authority to regulate, make expenditure and procurement decisions, facilitate and ease the financing of renewable energy projects.

However, 2013 also saw an increasing focus on revision to existing policies, including retroactive changes that reduced financial support, either to improve policy effectiveness or to curb rising costs associated with renewables support schemes.

In some cases the reductions have exceeded even the rapid decline in technology costs, the report says. In Europe, policy uncertainty has also increased the cost of capital; as a result, the region continued to see a significant loss of start-up companies, especially in the solar PV sector, during 2013.

Technology Profiles

In the last five years, the report finds, hydropower capacity has increased by nearly 4 percent annually to approximately 1,000 GW. In 2013, hydropower and solar PV each accounted for about one-third of new renewable power capacity; however, solar PV has experienced the fastest growth of any energy technology, with growth in global capacity of 39 percent in 2013 and averaging almost 55 percent annually over the last five years. Non-hydro renewables for electricity generation, including wind, collectively grew nearly 17 percent during 2013 to more than 560 GW.

Hydropower and Marine/tidal

Global hydropower generation during 2013 was an estimated 3,750 TWh and about 40 GW of new capacity was commissioned over the year. By far the most capacity was installed in China at 29 GW, with significant capacity also added in Turkey, Brazil, Vietnam, India, and Russia.

Growth in the industry has been relatively steady in recent years, fuelled primarily by China’s expansion but modernization of ageing hydropower facilities is another growing global market. There also is increasing recognition of the grid support potential for hydropower to complement other renewables.

Ocean energy capacity,
mostly tidal power generation, was about 530 MW by the end of 2013 and a handful of pilot installations were deployed, notably in the U.K. and France. A key trend is the continued strategy of major corporations to consolidate their positions through partnerships and acquisitions.

Solar Photovoltaics

The global solar PV market had a record year, after a brief slowdown, installing more capacity than any other renewable technology except perhaps hydropower. Even as global investment in solar PV declined nearly 22 percent compared with 2012, new capacity installations increased by more than 27 percent. The solar PV market had a record year, adding about 38 GW for a total of around 138 GW. China accounted for nearly a third of the total global capacity added, followed by Japan and the U.S. During 2013, module prices stabilised, while production costs continued to fall and cell efficiencies to increase. Lower prices are opening up new markets from Africa and the Middle East to Asia and Latin America, while interest has continued to grow in corporate- and community-owned systems.

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)

Global CSP capacity was up by nearly 0.9 GW (36 percent) in 2013 to reach 3.4 GW. The U.S. and Spain remained market leaders but markets are expanding to developing countries. Beyond the leading markets, capacity nearly tripled with projects coming on-line in the United Arab Emirates, India, and China. Thermal energy storage continued to gain in importance, but revised growth projections and competition from solar PV in some countries led a number of companies to close their CSP operations. The trend towards larger plants to take advantage of economies of scale was maintained, while improved design and manufacturing techniques reduced costs.


More than 35 GW of wind power capacity was added in 2013, making a total above 318 GW, but the market was down nearly 10 GW compared with 2012, reflecting the U.S. fall in installations.

The European Union remained the top region for cumulative capacity, with Asia nipping at its heels and set to take the lead in 2014. New markets continued to emerge with, for the first time, Latin America representing a significant share of 2013 installations. Wind power was excluded from one of Brazil’s national auctions because it was pricing all other generation sources out of the market.

Offshore wind had a record year, with 1.6 GW added, almost all of it in the EU. However, the record level hides delays due to policy uncertainty and project cancellations or downsizing.


Global bioenergy electricity generation capacity was up by an estimated 5 GW to 88 GW, producing more than 400 TWh in 2013. Liquid biofuels met about 2.3 percent of global transport fuel demand in 2013, with production up by 7.7 billion litres to reach 116.6 billion litres. Ethanol production was up 6 percent, biodiesel rose 11 percent, and hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) was up by 16 percent.

As of early 2014, at least 63 countries supported transport biofuels through regulatory policies, up from 49 in 2012, and some mandates were strengthened during 2013. In some countries, however, support for first-generation biofuels was reduced due to environmental and social sustainability concerns and overall investment in new biofuel plant capacity continued to decline from its 2007 peak.

Within the bioenergy sector, 2013 trends included the increasing use of renewables in combined heat and power plants and district heating and cooling systems. Hybrid solutions in the building sector and growing use of renewable heat for industrial purposes also featured. Meanwhile, demand is driving increased international trade in biofuels, including wood pellets, and new advanced biofuel production plants were commissioned in Europe and North America.


About 530 MW of new geothermal generating capacity came on-line in 2013, bringing total global capacity to 12 GW and representing 4 percent annual growth. Governments and industry have continued technological innovation to increase efficiency and the use of low-temperature fields for both power and heat continues to expand.

Solar Thermal Heating and Cooling

Solar water and air collector capacity reached an estimated 330 GWth by the end of 2013 with China accounting for more than 80 percent of the global market. Demand in key European markets continued to slow, but expanded in countries such as Brazil. The trend towards deploying large domestic systems continued, as did growing interest in district heating, cooling, and industrial applications. China maintained its lead in manufacturing while Europe saw accelerated consolidation during the year, with several large suppliers announcing their exit from the sector. Industry expectations for market development are brightest in India and Greece.

The Current Renewable Energy Landscape?

As renewable energy markets and industries mature, the report notes, they increasingly face new and different challenges, as well as a wide range of opportunities. In 2013, renewables faced declining policy support and uncertainty in many European countries and the U.S. Grid-related constraints, utility opposition and continuing subsidies for fossil fuels were also issues.

Nonetheless, markets, manufacturing, and investment expanded further across the developing world, and it became increasingly evident that renewables are no longer dependent upon a small handful of countries, the authors’ state. They add that continuing technological advances, falling prices, and innovations in financing means renewables have become increasingly affordable for a broader range of consumers. According to Janet Sawin, the report’s lead author, “renewable energy is considered crucial for meeting current and future energy needs in a growing number of countries.” (

“Global perceptions of renewable energy have shifted considerably,” concludes Arthouros Zervos, chair of REN21. He continues: “Over the last 10 years, continuing technology advances and rapid deployment of many renewable energy technologies have demonstrated that the question is no longer whether renewables have a role to play in the provision of energy services, but rather how we can best increase the current pace to achieve a 100 percent renewables future with full energy access for all.”
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on August 27, 2014, 01:37:51 pm
US Renewable Electrical Generation Hits 14.3 Percent (

In the first half of 2014 US wind energy hit 5 percent, while solar more than doubled.
Title: 24 Hours of Reality: 24 Reasons for Hope
Post by: AGelbert on August 30, 2014, 03:10:53 pm
24 Hours of Reality: 24 Reasons for Hope

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on September 01, 2014, 08:40:01 pm
Germany Has Obtained 31% Of Its Electricity From Green Sources This Year (Through July)  ;D
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on September 08, 2014, 03:21:22 pm
Above please observe the Fossil Fueler "concept" of "doing the math"  ( CENTRALIZED ENERGY "efficiency". (

World Is Moving to Distributed Energy: 165 GW by 2023 ( News

Whether utilities, ALEC (and their coal/oil backers) like it or not, the world is moving to decentralized electricity.   ;D (

Because of Western Europe's supportive renewable energy policies, utilities there have been struggling the most, losing hundreds of billions of dollars in market capitalization. In the US, a battle is underway from the threatened industry trying to hold onto its centralized business model.

But change is underway, with distributed energy installations expected to grow from 87.3 gigawatts (GW) in 2014 to 165.5 GW in 2023, according to Navigant Research, with worldwide revenue growing from $97 billion in 2014 to more than $182 billion by 2023.

"One of the most important issues for the energy industry is striking a balance between distributed generation growth and fairly compensating utilities for the ability to effectively use the existing electrical grid as a backup service for onsite power at higher concentrations in the future," says Dexter Gauntlett, senior research analyst with Navigant Research.  "Utilities that proactively engage with their customers to accommodate distributed generation - and even participate in the market themselves - limit their risk and stand to benefit the most."

By 2018, Navigant expects new distributed capacity additions worldwide to surpass new centralized ones, and by 2023, it will eliminate the need for at least 321 GW of new large-scale power plants. Extremely efficient diesel engines will dominate in the short term, followed by solar PV and natural gas.

Distributed Energy (Graphic at link)
Credit: Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder

That's What NRG is Doing 

NRG Energy's latest initiative is a joint venture with another leader, Green Mountain Power of Vermont. They plan to make the city of Rutland an "Energy City of the Future," with intentions to spread the innovations state-wide.   

Starting next year, they will begin "transforming the distribution grid from a 100-year-old electric delivery model to a market-based platform that creates efficiencies and distributed energy solutions through renewable technologies and energy  storage," they say.   

"Our customers consistently tell us they want tools to save money and move to renewable energy, and we can show the rest of the   country how to get there," says Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain.     ;D 

"We hope to demonstrate that investing in a 21st century energy ecosystem is more sustainable, resilient, affordable and individually empowering than pouring more investment into the creaky old grid infrastructure from the 20th century," remarks David Crane, NRG's CEO. "In the course of so doing, we will prove the concepts of 'electric utility', 'renewables' and 'personal choice' are not mutually exclusive."     

Their offerings aren't new but combined, they make it easier for customers to generate and use renewable energy ... and provide revenue opportunities for the two utilities.

•comprehensive personal energy management allows subscribers to track and remotely manage energy use in homes;

•expand and connect a network of electric vehicle charging stations across Vermont using NRG's eVgo technology. Subscribers will find them at workplace and commercial locations;

•NRG is financing community solar arrays - its first, in Rutland, credits residential and business subscribers on their Green Mountain utility bill for their portion of electricity produced by solar - in exchange for a small fee.

•micro-generation solutions, such as NRG's Beacon 10, which generates up to 10 kilowatts of electricity, provides water and space heating, and battery storage for onsite solar systems.

NRG leads on solar and wind, and recently spun off NRG Yield. Green Mountain Power's "Cow Poop to Cow Power" is expanding across Vermont.

New York State is on the same track with its Reforming Energy Vision program, announced in May. No longer will utilities make money by selling more energy. Rather, revenue will come from helping customers use less energy, while "directing traffic" and "coordinating" thousands of small inputs to the grid. 

Read our article, With Renewables Rising, Business Model Changing for Utilities.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on September 09, 2014, 08:25:04 pm
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on September 14, 2014, 12:16:12 am
Ontario Gets 35% of Energy From Renewables As Coal Plants Shut Down   ;D

CleanTechnica reports that, with 2,312 megawatts (MW) of wind power, 4,091 MW of hydro and 159 MW from other sources, renewables hit 35 percent of all the energy going into the grid one day this week. That amount will vary, of course, depending on how windy it is on a given day.

“Ontario is now the first jurisdiction in North America to fully eliminate coal as a source of electricity generation,” a press release from its Ministry of Energy said when Thunder Bay closed.

Full article at link below:
Title: We Can Run the Planet on 100% Renewable Energy
Post by: AGelbert on September 14, 2014, 12:53:23 am
We Can Run the Planet on 100% Renewable Energy(

Josh Fox  (
September 10, 2014 3:30 pm

I have to write you a very deeply personal letter right now and I hope it is met with an open mind.

I have a secret to confess.

Well, it’s actually not a secret at all, it’s a very easy thing to find out if you just Google me, but I am not sure that many of you who are fans of my two documentaries GASLAND and GASLAND Part II know it.

It is this: I was not always a documentary filmmaker and I was not always an environmentalist. In fact, before the gas industry made a maelstrom out of all of our lives, I had a job that I deeply deeply loved: I was a theatre director and playwright.

I made more than 25 new works for the stage with my theatre troupe the International WOW Company. These plays would premiere in amazing places all over the world, hence our name. We performed in Thailand and Japan and the Philippines, we performed in Germany and France, we performed in New York City and in upstate New York. We made huge, fantastical, epic plays with large casts, striking imagery and powerful politics.

The theater is a kind of collective action. The theater is a motivator. A great theater production is something that you never forget about all your days.

So here is the news: I am making a new play, for the first time in five years, and I want you to come see it. I want you to be a part of this very special new kind of action. I am calling it The Solutions Grassroots Tour and it is a very different and unique kind of play that prompts a very different and unique kind of action.

Full article at link below:
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on September 14, 2014, 09:32:26 pm
Which Country Generates all of its Electricity With Renewables?  (

Iceland is the only country that generates 100% of its electricity through renewable sources, with 81% of total energy use coming from renewables. The country uses both hydro (75%) and geothermal (25%) sources to generate electricity and heat. For primary energy uses, such as transportation and heating, fossil fuels account for only 21% of energy use. The country's renewable energy sources are largely due to the island sitting on a very active spreading zone, where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates are moving away from each other.

More about renewable sources:

•Renewable energy is used from four main sources: sun, wind, water, and geothermal heat.

•By 2012, 80 countries operated wind farms totaling to over 225,000 wind turbines in use.

•in 1904, Larderello, Italy was the first community to produce electricity through geothermal energy.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on September 16, 2014, 08:53:20 pm
100% of power for Vermont city now renewable (

By Wilson Ring
Associated Press September 15, 2014

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Vermont’s largest city has a new success to add to its list of socially conscious achievements: 100 percent of its electricity now comes from renewable sources such as wind, water, and biomass.

With little fanfare, the Burlington Electric Department crossed the threshold this month with the purchase of the 7.4-megawatt Winooski 1 hydroelectric project on the Winooski River at the city’s edge.

When it did, Burlington joined the Washington Electric Co-operative, which has about 11,000 customers across central and northern Vermont and which reached 100 percent earlier this year.

‘‘It shows that we’re able to do it, and we’re able to do it cost effectively in a way that makes Vermonters really positioned well for the future,’’ said Christopher Recchia, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service.

It’s part of a broader movement that includes a statewide goal of getting 90 percent of Vermont’s energy from renewable resources by 2050, including electricity, heating, and transportation. Across the state, Vermonters are urging their electric utilities to provide them with renewable sources of power, and the utilities are listening, Recchia said.

It’s also a growing movement across the country, as governments and businesses seek to liberate themselves from using power produced by environmentally harmful fossil fuels. (

Diane Moss, the founding director of the Southern California-based Renewables 100 Policy Institute, said that she wasn’t sure if any other communities as large as Burlington — a city of 42,000 — have reached 100 percent but that many are working on it.

‘It shows that we’re able to do it, and we’re able to do it cost effectively in a way that makes Vermonters really positioned well for the future.’    (
‘‘It’s these front-runners that are showing that it’s possible,’’ Moss said.

Nearly 1,000 businesses both large and small and many communities have also committed to 100 percent, she said.

Greensburg, Kan., almost wiped out by a 2007 tornado, rebuilt with energy efficiency in mind. A 12.5-megawatt wind farm went online in 2009, producing electricity in excess of that consumed by the community of 850, said Administrator Ed Truelove.

For both Burlington and Washington Electric, reaching 100 percent was the result of a years-long strategy to wean themselves from traditional sources of power.

Utility officials in the lakefront city known for its liberal politics and extensive social service network began discussing becoming 100 percent renewable a decade ago. Four years later they realized it could be done.

‘‘The transition in thought from 2004 to 2008 was ‘We want to do this’ to ‘This actually makes economic sense for us to do this,’’’ said Ken Nolan, the manager of power resources for Burlington Electric.

Neither utility claims that each of their customers’ lights comes from renewable sources all the time. When the wind isn’t blowing and the rivers are low, they will buy power from traditional sources that include electricity generated from fossil fuels.

When the resources are right, though, they get more than they can use, and the difference is sold to other utilities. Over time, they sell more than they buy.

Another caveat that, to some, minimizes the 100 percent achievement is that both Burlington and Washington Electric sell renewable energy credits for the renewable power they produce to utilities in southern New England, where their value is highest. In turn, they buy less expensive credits from other sources to offset the credits they have sold.

Sandy Levine, of the Vermont office of the Conservation Law Foundation, commended Vermont utilities for seeking renewable sources of power but questioned the credit trading.
‘‘They are selling the renewable energy credits to customers in other states. Those customers have the renewable and clean energy benefits of that power,’’ Levine said. ‘‘Simply using accounting measures to make claims about clean energy doesn’t get us there.’’

Taylor Ricketts, the director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, an interdisciplinary research center that works on sustainability issues at the University of Vermont, said reaching 100 percent was a big achievement.
‘‘It definitely makes me feel better here at UVM to know that every time I turn on a light switch or fire up my computer or anything else, to know that it’s 100 percent renewable,’’ he said. (

Agelbert NOTE: Vermont is going to get off stinking, polluting, war sponsoring, elite welfare queen feeding fossil fuels before any other state does! ( (

Do you know what that means? It means NO COLLAPSE from lack of energy HERE!
  ( (

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on October 13, 2014, 01:53:46 pm
October 13, 2014
China Finally Tackles Solar Support  8)

China to sharply lower solar tariffs by 2020

Lofty targets contained in a new report show that China intends to push ahead with ambitious plans to build up its renewable energy sector. But perhaps the most interesting thing about this new report is word that Beijing finally intends to sharply reduce the inflated state-set fees now paid for solar and wind-produced power, in one of the sharpest indicators that it expects the industry to stop depending on government support and become commercially viable on its own. Such state support through a wide array of measures, which also include export credits and low-interest loans, have become a huge sticking point that has led to a series of trade wars between China and the west.

All that said, let’s jump right in and look at the latest aggressive targets now being finalized by Beijing under its upcoming 5 year plan for the sector between 2016 and 2020. China makes such 5 year plans for all major sectors, a relic of a Soviet-era practice for centrally planned economies. Under revised figures for its current 5-year plan, Beijing announced late last year it was aiming for national solar power-generating capacity of 35 gigawatts by the end of 2015, a very ambitious target for a country that had virtually no such capacity just 3 years earlier. (previous post)

Anyone who thought that figure looked ambitious will probably think the newest plan looks even more aggressive, aiming to build up solar generating capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2020. (English article) The country has even more ambitious plans for the wind power industry, with a target of 200 gigawatts of capacity by 2020.  ;D

At the same time, officials who are leaking details of the upcoming plan are also making it clear that state support will be phased out over the next 6 years for makers of solar panels and wind generation equipment. One of the biggest forms of support comes via artificially high state-set prices for renewable energy, which force big power companies to buy such clean energy at rates that are well above the cost of power from more conventional fossil fuels. The use of such high, state-set fees is also common in the west, used as a policy tool to promote the clean energy sector’s development.

Under the new 5 year plan, China’s tariffs for solar generated power will be reduced by a hefty 50 percent by 2020, falling from the current 0.9 yuan per kilowatt-hour to 0.6 yuan, according to an unnamed government energy official. Wind power tariffs will also be cut sharply, falling to 0.4 yuan per kilowatt-hour from the current 0.6 yuan. Equally interesting is a more general quote from the official saying the solar panel and wind equipment makers should improve the efficiency of their products “instead of depending on government subsidies.”

This is one of the first times I’ve seen a government official openly acknowledge what western governments have been saying all along, namely that Chinese solar panel makers like Trina (NYSE: TSL), Yingli (NYSE: YGE) and Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) get a big advantage over their western rivals due to extremely strong state support through a wide range of favorable policies from Beijing. Such support led Washington to slap anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar panels last year, and the European Union has also considered taking similar action.

So what does this flood of new information mean for the Chinese panel industry? The ambitious construction target means that Beijing will continue to push for construction of new solar power plants, even if such plants aren’t economically viable. That problem could become worse as solar power prices are lowered, leading to a bumper crop of unusable solar and wind power plants by 2020. That means that the big Chinese solar panel makers could see strong business over the next 5 years from a domestic building boom, but could then see a sharp slowdown if many new projects prove to be economically unviable.

Bottom line: China’s aggressive new energy power goals and determination to reduce state support could result in a building boom of economically unviable solar and wind power generation plants.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on October 13, 2014, 02:08:39 pm
Norway Approves First Direct Electricity Link to Germany   (

 Stefan Nicola, Bloomberg 
 October 13, 2014 

BERLIN -- Norway approved the construction of the first direct electricity cable to Germany and granted a license for a link to the U.K. to aid power trading between the nations.

Norway’s government granted power-grid operator Statnett SF the necessary licenses for the country’s portion of the Nord.Link project today, the German Economy Ministry said in an e-mailed statement. DC Nordseekabel GmbH, which is owned by TenneT TSO GmbH and KfW Group, will carry out construction on the German side, it said.

“This means the way is clear for the new sea-cable link,” German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in the statement. “Nord.Link will help increase supply security on both sides.” Germany has already granted all necessary permits.

The cable would be the first direct power link between the nations and have a capacity to transmit 1.4 gigawatts starting in 2018 or 2019, the ministry said. It would allow the countries to trade hydropower from Norway and wind electricity from Germany.

Norway today also granted a license to Statnett for a 1.4- gigawatt interconnector to the U.K. that’s scheduled to be completed in 2020, London-based National Grid Plc said in an e- mailed statement. The cable would link Kvilldal in Norway to Blyth in Northumberland and may bring low-cost renewable energy to the U.K. for an investment of more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion), it said.

Norway is already linked with the Netherlands through NorNed, a 700-megawatt subsea cable that began operating commercially in 2008. It also has connections with Denmark and Sweden.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg
Title: Small Scale generation now produces ONE QUARTER of world electricity
Post by: AGelbert on October 23, 2014, 03:30:40 pm
Oct 20, 2014
Authors Amory B. Lovins Chief Scientist

Titiaan Palazzi Special Aide OCS

Micropower’s Quiet Takeover

Small-scale, low-carbon generation now produces one-quarter of world electricity  :o   ;D

In a cover story and article 14 years ago about the emergent disruption of utilities, The Economist’s Vijay Vaitheeswaran coined the umbrella term “micropower” to mean sources of electricity that are relatively small, modular, mass-producible, quick-to-deploy, and hence rapidly scalable—the opposite of cathedral-like power plants that cost billions of dollars and take about a decade to license and build. His term combined two kinds of micropower: renewables other than big hydroelectric dams, and cogeneration of electricity together with useful heat in factories or buildings (also known as combined-heat-and-power, or CHP).

Besides being cost-competitive and rapidly scalable, why does micropower matter? First, as explained below, its operation releases little or no carbon.[1] Second, micropower enables individuals, communities, building owners, and factory operators to generate electricity, displacing dependence on centralized, inefficient, dirty generators. This democratizes energy choices, promotes competition, speeds learning and innovation, and can further accelerate deployment—because “vernacular” technologies accessible to many diverse market actors, even if individually small, tend to deploy faster in sum than a few big units requiring specialized institutions, complex approvals, intricate logistics, and hence long lead times.

Thanks to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which tracks investments and generating capacity, and the global expert network, which tracks capacity and (where known) electrical output, global progress in renewables has become rather transparent. Starting in 2005 and updated with a fifth edition in July 2014, RMI’s Micropower Database added a third source: industry sales data for cogeneration equipment. Tracking renewables, minus big hydro, plus cogeneration, this database documents the global progress of distributed, rapidly scalable, and (as we’ll see) no- or low-carbon generators.

The update’s most astonishing finding: micropower now produces about one-fourth of the world’s total electricity (Fig. 1). (Excellent Graphics at link:)[ img][/img][/b][/color]

Micropower’s climate implications

Operating modern renewables is essentially carbon-free, except for minor subsets fueled by biomass grown using unsustainable practices that gradually deplete soil carbon.[2] Of the estimated 3–5 percent of cogeneration fueled by biomass, most is in the forest products industry, whose biomass wastes produce most of its electricity and process heat.

Cogeneration in refineries often burns waste fuels that would otherwise be uselessly flared. Similarly, much industrial cogeneration harnesses waste heat previously thrown away. Where extra fuel is burned to make electricity as well as heat, typically far less is burned than when making them separately. If cogeneration also produces cooling and other services, it can convert as much as 93 percent of fuel energy into useful work, both in industry and in buildings. Moreover, the natural gas that fuels most cogeneration is only about half as carbon-intensive as the coal-fired power-only generation it often displaces.[3]

Big hydroelectric dams and nuclear power are also carbon-free in operation. Thus in 2013, nearly half of the world’s electricity was produced with little or no carbon release: 8.4 percent by modern renewables [4], 10.2 percent by nuclear power (set to be overtaken by modern renewables in 2015), 15.5 percent by cogeneration [5], and 13.5 percent by big hydroelectric dams (excluding the 2.8 percent small hydro classified under modern renewables).

The other half came from power-only plants, burning mainly coal. Those plants cost more to build, and often more just to run, than their competitors, so their orders are fading, their operations are dwindling, and over decades, they’ll retire in favor of cleaner, cheaper substitutes—both micropower and efficient use.

Winners and losers

Far from recognizing that they’re being rapidly overtaken, many advocates of coal or nuclear power stations don’t even acknowledge ( micropower as an important competitor —even as it grabs their markets and destroys their sales. In 2009, a senior strategic planner for a major nuclear vendor told me micropower was trivial—having failed to find it in official databases of utility-owned central power stations, without understanding the difference. And even at minor market share, micropower can have major effects. The solar 4.7 percent of Germany’s 2013 generation destroyed the incumbent utilities’ business model and wiped a half-trillion Euros off their market cap.

Yet by the end of 2013, the rapid output growth of both modern renewables and cogeneration (Fig. 1) had eclipsed shrinking nuclear power by 3.34-fold in capacity and 2.35-fold in output. Modern renewables alone, those other than big hydro dams, reached 1.95 times nuclear power’s capacity in 2013 and should exceed its annual electricity output by 2015. This role reversal (Fig. 2) is accelerating, due mainly to economics and to modular renewables’ extraordinarily dynamic scaling mechanism.

The trends are even clearer when we look at where today’s money is invested, because power plants built long ago tell us only about the past, while those now being ordered reveal the future. More new renewable capacity than fossil-fueled plus nuclear capacity was added in 2013. As orders grow for renewables but shrink for central thermal stations, Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects that by 2030, new renewable capacity, including big hydro, will exceed new thermal capacity by 7.4-fold (Fig. 3), without even counting cogeneration.

For micropower as for cellphones and personal computers, the race goes to the quick—but photovoltaic power worldwide is scaling up even faster than cellphones. Advocates who assume renewables can’t do much without a breakthrough in bulk storage of electricity are in for a rude awakening.

Banking giant UBS calls the big, slow, lumpy, expensive coal and nuclear plants “the dinosaur of the future energy system: Too big, too inflexible, not even relevant for backup power in the long run.” Such obsolete technologies are less at risk from regulatory mandates than from market defeat by a swarm of agile competitors that their promoters don’t even recognize. What a sad epitaph—Devoured by Invisible Ants. (

[1] Carbon emissions embodied in the energy and materials used to produce different kinds of energy equipment are separate, relatively small, and broadly consistent with their relative economic costs, so they’re not further examined here. New hydro dams that flood big areas can also release large amounts of methane from the rotting of submerged vegetation.

[2] U.S. woodchip exports, chiefly for cofiring Britain’s Drax coal plant, raise such concerns but aren’t in RMI’s database because Drax is a giant power-only station, not a smaller cogenerator.

[3] However, this comparison ignores the unknown degree of methane leakage from both the gas and the coal systems, the export of displaced coal that is then burned abroad, and cogeneration’s potential displacement of some carbon-free generation.

[4] RMI’s estimate of 2013 electricity production exceeds the ~6 percent stated by the authoritative global expert network. That’s because RMI includes 191 GW of small hydropower <50 MW, based on Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) transaction-based capacity data, while REN21’s 6-percent figure excludes all hydropower.

[5] Conservatively excluding large industrial installations: RMI’s database includes all cogenerating turbines up to 30 MW, but fractions decreasing down to 5 percent for ≥120 MW.

This article originally appeared on

Title: the Caribbean is blessed with world-class amounts of renewable resources
Post by: AGelbert on October 23, 2014, 06:23:51 pm
Oct 23, 2014
Authors Jesse Morris Manager

Kaitlyn Bunker, Ph.D. Associate

Four Reasons Why Natural Gas is the Wrong Choice for Electricity in the Caribbean


Efficiency and Renewables are Cheaper than LNG and Diesel

2: LNG Infrastructure Isn’t Cheap

3: LNG = Energy Price Volatility

4: Small-Scale LNG Faces Serious Contractual Challenges

A Bridge to Nowhere

Given the abundant wind and solar resources available in the Caribbean, and the still-falling costs of installing renewable generation compared with converting existing diesel resources to LNG, choosing renewables over LNG now is a smart economic decision.   ( As the case of San Andres illustrates, sinking capital into LNG would be a poor decision for most Caribbean islands facing similar challenges. There’s simply no reason to build this expensive, unnecessary natural gas bridge when the cost-saving benefits of renewables and efficiency can be captured here and now.

FULL ARTICLE WITH COST COMPARISON BAR GRAPH and detailed information at link:

Post by: AGelbert on November 13, 2014, 07:21:27 pm

In partnership with China’s Energy Research Institute, Energy Foundation China, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Rocky Mountain Institute is 18 months into a 24-month study called Reinventing Fire: China. The project is a pan-Pacific cooperative research effort to reimagine China’s future energy system as one that is clean, connected, distributed, and secure. Reinventing Fire: China is a pathway designed to enhance energy and environmental security without compromising economic growth.

The initiative’s analysis aims to measure the economic, social, and environmental benefits of rapidly deploying renewables and energy efficiency technologies in China. To do so, it focuses on an economy-wide analysis of the four energy-producing and -consuming sectors of the economy: buildings, industry, transportation, and electricity.

While the analysis is still being refined, the project team believes China might be able to more than double its 2030 target of 20 percent non-fossil supply economically by 2050.

Full article at link below:

The United States and China's Joint Climate Policy Announcement—What It Means (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on November 25, 2014, 06:50:53 pm

11/21/2014 06:29 PM     

Toyota Marks New Era With Sales of Fuel-Cell Cars ( News

Next month marks the start of a new era as Toyota begins sales of the world's first mass produced hydrogen fuel-cell car.

 Mirai goes on sale in Japan this year, and in Europe and the US (east and west coasts) toward the end of 2015. Toyota's goal is to sell 700 cars next year, 3000 by the end of 2017, and "tens of thousands" within 10 years. It has 200 pre-orders from government agencies and corporations.

"We are at a turning point in the automotive industry," says CEO Akio Toyoda. When we introduced the first hybrid car in the world (the Prius), people said we couldn't break through, and now we will do it again."

 Indeed, while Prius means "to go before," Mirai means "the future" in Japanese. The Prius "paved the way by demonstrating the future of mobility would include electric motors."
Toyota Mirai fuel cell car

 "After surviving millions of miles on the test track and 10 years of testing on public roads, in freezing cold and scorching heat, after passing extensive crash tests and after working with local governments and researchers around the world to help make sure it is easy and convenient to refuel, we are ready to deliver," he says. They also cut the cost 95% over 20 years of R&D.

Toyota Mirai fuel cell car

Mirai, with two hydrogen tanks under the seats, has a range of 400-435 miles, and can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in 9 seconds. A powertrain with an electric motor and fuel cell stack replaces the gasoline engine.

 In the US, it will retail at $57,500, ending up around $45,000 after federal and state incentives. Filling up will cost more than gas at first but will cheaper in the long run, Toyota says, and California will provide it free to Mirai owners. 

Where the Hydrogen Stations Are

"It was a big challenge when we first introduced the Prius in 1997 and it's an even bigger challenge this time because there is no infrastructure," notes Yoshikazu Tanaka, deputy chief engineer for Toyota's next generation vehicle development.

 Imagine launching a completely new car where there's hardly any place to fill up!  There are two commercial fuel stations in Japan, and 43 under construction, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, with plans for 100 by the end of 2016 - subsidized partially by the government.

Germany also plans to have 100 stations by 2017, and in the US, Hydrogen Highways are being built in California (60 stations by 2016) and in the Northeast (12 stations).

 Toyota says it's not the number of stations that are important, however, but where they are located. California, for example, would do just fine with 15% of its gas stations.   

Mike Chino, writing for Inhabitat, describes the Mirai this way:

"The Toyota Mirai drove like a dream - it floats along the road and the ride is virtually silent save for the sci-fi sound of the hydrogen pump and the whirr of the electric drivetrain. The car's electric motors give it plenty of torque and a sprightly pickup, and the vehicle's touch-sensitive controls are a pleasure to use. A counter on the dashboard displays how many miles you can drive until it's time to fill up.

The refueling process was a breeze at the Fountain Valley station [Orange County, CA]. It took a few seconds for the pump to pressurize, and then I attached the gas-like pump to the hydrogen valve and locked it in. The mechanics are remarkably similar to the way a standard gas pump operates, and the entire process took less than five minutes. The fact that it can be powered by human waste is testament to how versatile fuel cell vehicles can be."

 The final judge of fuel-cell cars will be where the hydrogen comes from - natural gas? solar or wind energy? or in this case, from biogas at a nearby wastewater treatment plant.

 Last month, the US Department of Energy announced a $1 million prize for completing the fuel cell car puzzle - developing an affordable way for people to fill-up their cars right at home. They are also working on a standard design for commercial stations.

Read our article, Get Ready For Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars, Coming Next Year.

Honda - which is working with GM to commercialize hydrogen vehicles - postponed the debut of its fuel-cell car until 2016, and VW (Golf HyMotion), Hyundai, Audi (H-Tron Quattro) and BMW all showed off their hydrogen concept cars at the Los Angeles Auto Show:

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on November 26, 2014, 03:47:44 pm
A Big Change in How the IEA Views Renewables

 Michael Kanellos 
 November 26, 2014


  ... some other notes from the 2014 report

•Subsidies for fossil fuels are four times greater those given to renewables  >:(. Fossil fuel subsidies come to approximately $550 billion a year  ( Subsidies to renewables come to around $121 billion. Renewable subsidies will rise to $230 billion by 2030 but then drop to $205 billion by 2040.

•Global investment in power infrastructure will total $21 trillion by 2040. A significant portion will go toward upgrading transmission and distribution networks. It’s needed. The average age of transformers in the U.S. is 42 years. The average lifetime expectancy of a transformer is 40 years.

•Nuclear shifts to non-OECD nations. In 2013, there were 434 nuclear reactors worldwide  >:(,  supplying 11% of the world’s power, far down from the 18% market share in 1996. Nuclear’s market share will grow to 12% by 2040  >:(, but the big change is the locations of the reactors. The bulk of the 380GW coming on line will be in China and other non-OECD nations while the majority of the 148GW retirements will come in North America  ;D, Europe and Japan  ;D. Still, nuclear remains one of the “limited options”  ::) for controlling emissions.

•Watch Sub-Saharan Africa. The region has tremendous potential for solar, geothermal, wind and natural resource extraction ( In the last five years, 30% of new oil and discoveries were made there. It will also be a hotbed of grid experimentation. 950 million people will get access for the first time to regular sources of power by 2040 and 70% of those new customers in rural areas will get power through microgrids and off grid systems.

A. G. Gelbert 
 November 26, 2014 

The slow transition to a 100% renewable energy world civilization is inevitable. And that includes shutting down of all nuclear power plants and the bioremediation of all the polluted sites that dirty energy has visited us with.

That said, it may be too late already to avoid massive die offs in the human population. The die offs in thousands of other species are already part of our new "normal" insanity of corporate profit over planet.

Some people welcome a drop in out human population. They are stupid. Why? Because the millions that may die from our overly slow foot dragging in the transition to renewable energy ARE NOT part of the upper 20% that does over 80% of the environmental damage. In other words, the pollution and pillage will continue even with a much reduced human population. The problem is in our leaders, not in the masses.

The scientists have warned us. That's all they can do. Our leaders either get real or we have had it.

The 1%'s Responsibility to Shoulder 80% of the COST of a 100% Renewable Energy World:

Fossil Fuel Fascism in Action (3 minute lesson on our Orwellian world):

Corporate Business model in ONE MINUTE:

When you are in a hole, you are supposed to stop digging. If we don't, then our species should have our scientific name changed from Homo sapiens to Homo SAPS. The biosphere is not impressed with our so called "intelligence" and "advanced" tool making. We are succeeding in killing off a large part of the biosphere which constitutes the human life support system and seed corn. If that is not stupid, suicidal evolutionary dead end behavior, I don't know what is.

If we survive it MUST be through a paradigm shift in our government and civilizational structure. I'm not holding my breath for Homo SAP to do it, but here's how it MUST be done, if we are to avoid extinction and achieve harmony with the biosphere:

Golden Rule Government: A Lawful System Based on Caring instead of Conquest:
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 01, 2014, 03:32:41 pm
Japan Should Continue Its Road Towards Renewables

Dolf Gielen, Director of Innovation & Technology, International Renewable Energy Agency
 December 01, 2014 

The power sector crisis in Japan has entered a new stage. The recent refusal of Japanese utilities to grant grid access to new renewable energy projects should not be seen as a failure of Japan’s renewable energy policy, but as a consequential and necessary phase to extend Japan’s technological leadership into the power sector.

Through its feed-in tariff for renewables projects, Japan catapulted from a laggard into a frontrunner of renewable energy deployment in less than two years. From July 2012 to the end of June 2014, more than 11 gigawatts (GW) of renewables were installed and an additional 60 GW of renewable projects have been approved. In comparison, Japan’s total installed power generation capacity equates to around 280 GW.

At a national level, the renewables contribution (4 percent) is also much lower than the renewables contribution to power production in other countries. Although Japan’s grid infrastructure is unique, small countries like Denmark (47 percent), industrial power houses like Germany (25 percent), and relatively isolated countries like Portugal (58 percent) have achieved much higher annual penetration shares.

So why are Japanese utilities calling for an indefinite time-out to review the impacts of renewables on the stability of the grid? The main technical challenge for Japan lies in its grid infrastructure, which is essentially broken up into 10 separate grids, each operated by a separate monopolistic utility. Although there are interconnections in place, the utilities have traditionally tried to balance supply and demand within their own region and cross-regional trade accounts for less than 5 percent of all power consumed. A more formidable technical barrier is the fact that half of the country operates at 50 Hz while the other half operates at 60 Hz electricity frequency.

Indeed, with large wind resources in northern Japan and demand centres in the South, new grid extensions are needed to ensure that the almost zero-cost production of wind can be used to replace the expensive and import-reliant coal, gas and oil-fired power stations in the South. However, such extensions are also expensive and unaffordable for those utilities that are already cash constrained. The imminent establishment of a national grid operator, which will take over the responsibilities for operating the grid and supporting interregional trade in March 2015, adds to the inaction of utilities today.

However, this is not the full picture. Only 0.074 GW of wind has been installed in the last two years and only 1 GW of wind capacity is in the pipeline. Almost all (98 percent) of newly installed projects in the last two years are solar photovoltaics (PV). Solar PV can be installed locally and its production patterns, especially in summer, are perfectly compatible with the peak in electricity demand for air conditioning on hot days when the sun is shining  ;D. Residential rooftop PV, which accounts for 2.4 GW or 22 percent of installed capacity in the last two years, perfectly matches demand profiles  ;D and can reduce the need for more expensive options to balance the grid. Furthermore, community-scale systems (up to 50 kW) require certified inverters, and installations above 50 kW are subject to a permitting and consultation process with the local utility to determine the connection to the grid and inverter choice.

In essence, this means that grid operators have a number of possibilities to ensure that solar PV systems and other renewables are adequately integrated into the grid. Moreover, Japanese companies are technology leaders in a whole suit of technical solutions that can aid utilities in the integration of renewables into the grid. These technological solutions include smart grid technologies, electricity storage solutions like batteries and flywheels, fuel cells and microgeneration to name a few. Widespread deployment of such advanced technologies at home will open up markets abroad.

But the challenge is not only a technical one. Japan’s Diet passed the Electricity Business Act on 11 June. This Act fully opens the retail electricity market to so-called Power Purchaser and Supplier in 2016. This means that any company is now allowed to sell electricity, including to households. This opens up a new market for companies like real-estate companies, IT suppliers, gas suppliers and other service providers to 84 million customers. Together with the rise of independently owned generation capacity, this could mean that utilities are caught between a rock and a hard place.

In all, it seems that the 10 utilities are currently caught in a perfect storm.  ;DThey have experienced an influx of companies developing new power generation, they are cash constrained due to the shutdown of their nuclear power stations after Fukushima in 2011, they face imminent investment to ensure interconnection options and upgrades of their existing grids, they will be subject to economic competition from newcomers on the market, and there are also plans to unbundle them.

Now, the question is whether one-sided action from the utilities to refrain from connecting new renewables projects to the grid will remove these clouds? An alternative is to take a longer-term perspective. This means that the short-term commercial constraints of the utilities need to be recognized, but that all stakeholders need to work together towards a 21st century grid that will turn Japan from a resource-importing country to one that will be relying on its own natural resources.  (

Because progress on renewables is expected to continue. Before 2016, solar PV panels on Japanese households may be cheaper than buying electricity from the grid.  :o  ( Wind resources are abundant and can considerably contribute to the cheap power needed to maintain a competitive industry. The many existing small hydro plants can be upgraded to provide reliable and flexible back-up generation, biomass and geothermal resources are available to provide low-cost heat, and Japan’s oceans provide abundant natural resources through offshore wind and ocean energy technologies. Japan has 25 GW pumped hydro electricity storage capacity that is idling due to the nuclear shut down, perfectly suited for storage of surplus solar PV electricity.

Considering this future, it is important that instead of a stand-off all stakeholders come together to resolve the current issues and look forward towards a bright future. The engagement of Japanese academics in a new Committee examining the grid stability issue is indeed a good start. Important lessons can be drawn from best practices abroad where grid issues have been resolved, for example in Germany and Italy. And once the current situation is resolved, Japan should take its experience and manufacturing know-how and bring its solutions to other countries that soon will also be transforming their power sector.

A. G. Gelbert   
 December 1, 2014 

The problem that the 10 grid systems in Japan have is not an energy problem or even an infrastructure problem; it is a welfare queen greed problem. Yes, as long as we are human, greed is part of the package but that does not excuse allowing it to get so predatory and economy stifling that conscienceless humans are allowed to profit from inefficiency.

In Japan, we may have a new, somewhat humorous and definitely ironic, definition of "gridlock".    (

Ever since Little John wanted to charge Robin Hood for crossing the stream over a log, we have had that problem of gate keepers that hamper progress in the service of greed.  >:(

Alternating current is used in grids BECAUSE it is EFFICIENT to send current LONG distances from the generating source. This is not hard. This is old technology.

As the article points out, PV is all over Japan so their is no excuse for not allowing the national government to beef up the transmission lines from the high wind areas in the north to the low wind areas with high electrical demand in the south. No excuse EXCEPT the corrupt status quo gravy train of grid operator gate keeping welfare queen greed.  ;)

Excess greed is the real issue. I hope Japan addresses it properly. Turf battles over energy transmission rights need to end, not just in Japan, but all over the world. Trying to hamper people from setting up their own renewable energy generating systems by repealing incentives is wrong and will backfire. The Koch brother types in Japan don't understand that there just like they are too greedy to understand it here in the USA.  (

Right here, in the USA, Renewable Energy threatens the design of our electrical grids. WHY? Because the grids were originally designed around centralized fossil fuel power plants near large populated areas.

Yes, we have a national grid divided into "islands" that have been written about here often. BUT, the really high powered transmission lines from the vast wind and geothermal sources we have in the USA have NEVER been built because the fossil fuel power plant structure never needed them. And believe me, that is the corrupt status quo that many are defending with tooth and nail.  (

The U.S. Government owns 28% of the land in the USA. Are you going to tell me that they could build giant hydropower facilities from the 1930's to the late 1940's (providing fully 33% of grid power at that time!) along with the large transmission lines needed to send that power to population centers but CANNOT do exactly the same thing for wind and geothermal?  ??? Of course they can! (

But that is a threat to every fossil fuel power plant near populated centers now belching out poisons from coal (and other fossil fuels), not limited to CO2, along with generating the profits (and welfare queen subsidies).   (

So, we see excessive greed acting as a gate keeper welfare queen to stifle beefed up transmission lines from wind and geothermal sources.  >:(

The population is waking up to that game here as well as in Japan so they are rushing to put PV everywhere they can, thereby creating demand destruction for the fossil fuelers.  (

The fossil fuelers greedballs have responded, not by waking up and reining in their excessive greed, but by attempting to roll back subsidies for renewable energy in state laws This greedy (and quixotic) behavior just makes people more determined  ( to answer this unjustified gate keeper corruption with increased energy independence.

We need more cooperation from the grid operators. They need to accept that the new normal is renewable energy and coal and fossil fuels have to go.


Once they accept that, they will back robust transmission lines that help balance the demand.

If they don't do that, we will all eventually refuse to do business with them. The writing is on the wall here and in Japan as well. They either rein in their gate keeper greed or they go bankrupt. (

TINA to a Low Carbon Economy (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 02, 2014, 02:54:09 pm
German Utility EON To Ditch Fossil Fuel Arm, Focus on Renewables   (

Stefan Nicola, Bloomberg 
 December 02, 2014  |  1 Comments 

BERLIN -- EON SE’s plan to spin off its fossil fuel plants marks a watershed moment in Germany’s renewables effort that will likely bolster the country’s already leading position in clean energy. 

EON’s announcement is the culmination of a push to wind, solar and other alternative energy forms that the German government began 14 years ago with subsidies to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels for power production. That plan gained added momentum in 2011 with a decision to close the country’s nuclear reactors following the Fukushima accident.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bold move is already beginning to pay off, with Europe’s largest economy for the first time getting more electricity from renewables this year than any other source. About a quarter of Germany’s power now comes from green energy, compared with 6.2 percent in the U.S. and 4.8 percent in France.

“We are in the midst of a giant transformation process of our energy system,” Deputy Environment Minister Jochen Flasbarth told reporters yesterday in Berlin. “Renewables are the increasingly dominant factor in the German energy mix. EON’s decision is a piece of the puzzle.”

The government intends to go further, setting goals to increase the use of alternative energy sources to as much as 45 percent of all power generated by 2035 and boost that figure to 80 percent by 2050. Germany, where the eastern countryside is already dotted with thousands of wind turbines, plans to do that in part by expanding large-scale offshore wind plants that can produce more reliably because the breeze is steadier at sea.

Closing Reactors

Merkel decided after the Fukushima accident in Japan to close the country’s eight oldest nuclear reactors and shutter the remainder by 2022. To reach stricter climate protection targets, Germany tomorrow will unveil details of a plan demanding additional emissions cuts from electricity produced using fossil fuel.

“Germany has some of the most ambitious climate protection targets and is radically rebuilding its energy system,” said Sven Diermeier, an analyst at Independent Research GmbH in Frankfurt who follows EON and rival RWE AG. “And now EON is attempting the most radical rebuilding so far of any large European utility.”

Germany’s push has come at a cost for the country’s utilities, energy-intensive industries and consumers. The influx of renewable power on the grid has undermined wholesale prices and decimated the profitability of coal and gas plants. At the same time, the taxes on electricity that subsidize renewable energy production has led to Germany having the second-highest household power prices in the European Union, according to Eurostat.


German consumers have paid a total of 106 billion euros ($132 billion) through the surcharge on their power bills to finance the clean-energy expansion. The annual cost may peak this year and drop slightly to 22 billion euros in 2015 as the government begins reducing subsidies for the industry.

Despite the expense, the shift has broad public support. A poll earlier this year showed 71 percent of Germans back the decision to close the nuclear reactors and 67 percent think the country isn’t doing enough to move to renewables, according to the Allensbach polling company.

Against this general backdrop, power companies in Germany are increasingly staking their future on green energy. EON after the split in 2016 will concentrate on renewables, distribution and marketing to households and consumers. The spun-off entity will include conventional power generation, global energy trading, exploration and production.

Renewables Focus

“There’s a new world becoming reality that’s driven by customers,” EON Chief Executive Officer Johannes Teyssen said today in Berlin of the plan to split the utility.

Vattenfall AB, owned by the Swedish state, wants to get rid of its German coal operations to focus on renewables, while ENBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG last year doubled its asset sales goal to 3 billion euros to free up cash to invest in clean energy. RWE, Europe’s biggest corporate emitter of greenhouse gases, said yesterday it didn’t plan to follow EON’s lead. RWE last year generated more than half of its power in Germany with lignite, the dirtiest fossil fuel.

“Spinning off coal, gas and oil from the core business is a smart strategy for a future-oriented company,” said Patrick Graichen, head of Agora Energiewende. “I’m sure additional utilities will follow suit -- not just in Germany, but worldwide.”

Electric Cars

Merkel is also trying to reduce the country’s emissions by pushing Germany’s auto industry to build more electric cars after French, Japanese and American carmakers got off to an early lead. Including vehicles like Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s i3 city car and an electric version of Daimler AG’s Smart two-seater, German auto manufacturers will offer 17 electric- powered models by the end of 2014, and another 12 will be going on sale next year, according to the country’s VDA automotive industry group.


The chancellor today threw her support behind incentives to reach her goal of having 1 million electric cars on German roads by 2020. The country is behind on the effort in part because the government has previously balked at subsidies like those offered in France, where consumers receive as much as 6,300 euros to help cover the higher cost of low-emission vehicles. Electric car sales in Germany last year amounted to about 7,600 vehicles, while in France demand was almost double that at 14,400.

“There’s a lot to do,” Merkel said during a press conference in Berlin. “We see that further subsidies are necessary. ( ( We must speak with the German states about that.”

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg

A. G. Gelbert 

 December 2, 2014 

Germany gets it. It's time the rest of the world did too!

Watch this one minute clip to learn why Natural Capitalism is the only REAL Capitalism. Modern so-called "Capitalism" (i.e. Crapitalism!) actually SHRINKS, DEGRADES and DESTROYS Capital!

The Next Revolution: Discarding Dangerous Fossil Fuel Accounting Practices.!/msg2089/#msg2089

TINA to a Low Carbon Economy
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 02, 2014, 10:00:02 pm
Report from the Future  ;D

 Denmark plans to be off coal by 2025 and free of all fossil fuels by 2050. Danes use more wind power per capita than anyone else in the world, half of Copenhagen gets around by bike, and they're making a fortune by supplying three out of four of the world's offshore wind turbines. Plus -- really great pastries!
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 04, 2014, 03:32:44 pm
NextEra Buys Hawaii’s Biggest Utility To Study Renewable Energy in the Island State

The move may also help remedy some of HECO's solar power interconnection problems.  (

 Mark Chediak and Ehren Goossens, Bloomberg 
 December 04, 2014  |  2 Comments 

San Francisco and New York --  NextEra Energy Inc., North America’s largest generator of wind and solar power, will take over Hawaii’s biggest electricity company in what the company sees as a proving ground for its push into green energy.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. has been among the utility owners most vulnerable to challenges caused by distributed solar power, in a state with the most expensive electricity rates in the nation. As customers defect to generating their own electricity from rooftop systems, the utility has said it aims to cut rates by 20 percent over the next 15 years by increasing renewable energy to 65 percent of its electricity mix.

“It makes a lot of sense for NextEra with all the renewables that Hawaiian Electric was going to do,” Tim Winter, an analyst at Gabelli & Co. in Rye, New York, said in a telephone interview. NextEra is “the premier renewable energy builder and developer and really good at transmission.”

NextEra Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Robo said he sees Hawaiian Electric, which serves 95 percent of Hawaii’s population, as a testing ground for the expected transition from fossil-fuels to power generated from the sun and wind.

“You can think about Hawaii as a postcard from the future of what’s going to happen in the electric industry in the United States,” Robo said by phone yesterday. “As renewable generation gets cheaper, as electric storage becomes more efficient and possible, all electric utilities are going to have to face this.”

About 11 percent of Hawaiian Electric customers have rooftop solar systems, the highest penetration in the U.S., according to the Honolulu-based utility owner.

Solar Incentives

Solar electricity, helped by federal and state tax incentives, is already as cheap as utility-supplied power in 10 states including Hawaii, Deutsche Bank AG said in a report published in October.

NextEra can use its expertise in integrating more renewables and transitioning to cleaner fuels while lowering customer bills in Hawaii, Robo said. Hawaii relies on expensive imported oil for its generators. NextEra has experience in weaning its Florida utility, FPL, off the fuel, reducing its reliance by more than 99 percent since 2001, he said yesterday during a conference call with investors.

“Given NextEra’s track record, I would think they would probably increase the operational efficiency of the company, which over the long-term should lead to lower customer bills,” said Paul Patterson, a New York-based analyst for Glenrock Associates LLC.

LNG Imports

NextEra, the nation’s largest buyer of natural gas  :P, can also use its expertise to help Hawaii import liquefied natural gas to burn to make electricity, said Hawaiian Electric Chairman and CEO Constance Lau in a conference call with investors.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for us to accelerate clean energy here in Hawaii,” Lau said in a telephone interview.

Holders of Hawaiian Electric will receive 0.2413 shares in Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra plus a 50-cent one-time dividend for each share they own, the companies said yesterday in a joint statement. As part of the deal, Hawaiian Electric will also spin off the parent of American Savings Bank.

Including an $8 a share estimated value for the bank spinoff, the deal values Hawaiian Electric at about $33.50, the companies said during an investor presentation. That gives a total value of about $3.4 billion.

Without the spinoff, the sale values Honolulu-based Hawaiian Electric at $25.69 a share, or $2.6 billion.

Including debt, the total value of the transaction is about $4.3 billion.

Shares Jump

Hawaiian Electric rose 17 percent to $33.00 after the close in trading in New York. NextEra was unchanged at $104.39.

Hawaiian Electric was incorporated in 1891 from a royal charter by King David Kalakaua, before Hawaii became part of the U.S., according to the company’s website.

The deal requires approval from state and federal regulators, in addition to shareholders. It’s expected to be completed within about 12 months. NextEra won’t make any “involuntary workforce reductions” at Hawaiian Electric for at least two years after the close, the companies said.

Citigroup Inc. is serving as financial adviser to NextEra Energy, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is legal counsel. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is advising Hawaiian Electric, with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP as legal counsel.


 December 4, 2014 

Am I the only one that finds it ironic, that NextEra is based out of Florida, and is the biggest Commercial Solar/Wind, and yet have 0 wind/solar installations in Florida, and the Florida utilities are the ones beating down, consumer laws?

The article mentions hauling in NG, quite frankly, at 30-40c/kwh for electric, they can generate enough solar for well below that cost and even make lowly hydrogen to provide night time power and still be below that cost. They don't need to be hauling in NG. They can easily be self-sufficient.   (

A. G. Gelbert   
 December 4, 2014 

I agree. This is very strange.   ( Is this about aiding the renewable energy transition or is it about a "testing ground" to see if fossil fuels (see LNG) can keep a grip on centralized power production under the guise of "Renewable Energy"?  (   (            (

It bears watching what actually happens to renewable energy in Hawaii, a state that could and should have been 100% Renewable Energy powered decades ago.  (

If Portugal, a much larger area with less Renewable energy potential than Hawaii, can reach 58% Grid Renewable Energy, there is ZERO excuse for Hawaii not being well over 100% to the point of electrifying all their transportation too.

"Renewable energy in Portugal was the source for 58.3%[1] of the country's electricity generation in 2013. In the first 10 months of 2014, renewable energy production supplied 62% of consumption: 32% from hydro, 24% from Wind, 6% from biomass and 1.3% from solar.[2]"

When you take even a cursory look at the VAST sun, wind and geothermal resources Hawaii has, it is obvious that the fossil fuel industry gamed the energy production in Hawaii from the start.

I hope that common sense prevails in Hawaii. they need fossil fuels like a hole in the head AND the pocket!


Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 06, 2014, 03:39:31 pm
A “Business” Model for Expanding Renewable Energy: The New Mexico Production Tax Credit (

 Maria Blais Costello 
 December 05, 2014  |  2 Comments

The State of New Mexico now has a total renewable generation capacity that is over 1 million kilowatts.  ;D
This huge milestone for renewable energy in New Mexico would have not been realized so soon without the NM Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (REPTC).  (

The REPTC is not just a credit on taxes owed, it is a refundable credit and can be allocated at any time to a new owner of renewable electric generation. The program supports utility-scale wind, biomass, and solar projects by providing a refundable corporate income tax credit for companies that generate electricity from renewable energy resources.

For wind and biomass, the credit is applicable on the first 400,000 MWh of electricity in each of 10 consecutive taxable years. There is a 1 cent per kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit for wind or biomass, and between 1.5–4 cents per kWh for solar generation. For solar, the credit is applicable only to the first 200,000 MWh of electricity in each taxable year. To qualify, an energy generator must have a capacity of at least 1 MW and be installed before January 2018.

This innovative program involved collaboration between utilities, industry, and state government. It has resulted in long-term economic and societal benefits, leveraged private investment, and increased renewable energy deployment.

Making a Change to Renewables Easier  (

The Energy Conservation and Management Division (ECMD) of the State of New Mexico’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department develops and implements effective clean energy programs—renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative fuels, and safe transportation of radioactive waste—to promote environmental and economic sustainability and to protect public health and safety for New Mexico’s citizens. In 2003, ECMD began implementing the REPTC with several distinct initiatives and a long-term strategy.

Quantifying the potential for renewable energy: The ECMD began this effort by developing “investment grade” wind maps for the state using an international firm whose reputation was acceptable to investment bankers. With this data, wind developers and investors became more comfortable in developing projects. Projects were advanced by at least three years because developers had reliable data at an early stage with which to base decisions.

The additional New Mexico 10-year production tax credit made wind and solar attractive investments. Since the inception of REPTC, 10 wind and 21 solar projects have been completed, leading to 2,246,000 MWh in annual energy production.

There are now 794 MW of wind and 232 MW of solar operating in New Mexico. These projects created approximately $2 billion in construction activity over the past ten years.  :o  ;D A waiting list for the tax credit includes another 677 MW of wind and 65.5 MW of solar.   (

Helping Utilities to Meet the RPS: The existence of REPTC has also made it easier for electric utilities in the state to cost-effectively meet the targets in the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Senate Bill 418 was signed into law in March 2007 and added new requirements to the states RPS. Under the new law, regulated electric utilities must have renewables meet 15 percent of the electricity needs by 2015, and 20 percent by 2020. Rural cooperatives must have renewable energy account for 5 percent of their electricity needs by 2015, increasing to 10 percent by 2020. Renewable energy can come from new hydropower facilitates, from fuel cells that are not fossil-fueled, and from biomass, solar, wind, and geothermal resources. The REPTC has assisted utilities in meeting this standard by providing a fiscal incentive. Since October 2007, the REPTC has been a refundable tax credit and can be allocated at any time to a new owner of the renewable energy generation project.

Revenue generated by land leases: Utility-scale renewable energy projects have become a steady source of revenue for the State Land Office. The New Mexico State Land Trust receives direct revenue from leasing public lands to wind, solar, and geothermal power plants. The projects qualify for the tax credit for ten years, but continue to produce renewable energy far beyond the 10-year incentive, as state land leases are commonly up to 30 years in length. Projected lease revenue for the next 38 years from renewable energy and transmission projects is projected to be $574 million.

Renewable energy projects are also leasing private land. This has become an important supplemental income source for a number of ranchers. Land leases, construction jobs and permanent maintenance positions are additional ways that renewable energy farms are supporting rural communities. A wind turbine typically generates about $20,000 in annual income to farmers and ranchers. PV systems also generate income to the land owners.

A Net Economic Benefit

For wind and biomass, the credit is $0.01 per kilowatt hour (kWh) and applies to up to 400,000 MWh for each certified generator in each of ten consecutive tax years. The statewide cap of the credit for wind and biomass is 2,000,000 MWh of production per year. For solar, the credit ranges between $0.015 and $0.04 per kWh (an average of $0.027/kWh) and applies to the first 200,000 MWh for each certified generator in ten consecutive tax years. The statewide cap of the credit for solar is 500,000 MWh.

Maximum tax liability for the state each year for the wind/biomass and solar tax credits combined is $33,500,000. In contrast, as noted above, the revenue for the next 38 years from renewable energy and transmission projects for state-owned land leases is projected to be $574 million, which spread relatively equally over that time frame will be $15 million per year, and will continue for an estimated 28 years beyond the 10-year tax incentive.

Without this tax incentive New Mexico would possibly have a small amount of wind energy, but it would in no way been able to create the substantial land lease revenue it has now with many, large-scale wind farms throughout the state. Creating the REPTC was New Mexico’s planned approach to make the state RPS acceptable to all stakeholders. In turn, this tax incentive leveraged private investment to benefit New Mexico. Since the REPTC was instated in 2003, several other states have examined the NM REPTC as a model for creating their own programs.


•The Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Program has brought wind and solar developers to invest in New Mexico, leveraging state investments. Interest has grown to the point that the state now has a project waiting list and legislators are considering increasing the cap on the annual energy production available for this credit.

•As a result of the program, 794 MW of wind capacity and 232 MW of solar capacity have been installed, representing just the beginning of clean energy development in New Mexico.

•The long-term benefits of the incentive program far outweigh the costs of the ten-year incentive program, resulting in continued economic benefits from and investments in renewable energy in the state.

Learn More about this Program

The New Mexico Renewable Energy Tax Credit Program was one of eight recipients of the 2014 State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards, an initiative of the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) to highlight exemplary state and municipal programs that advance clean energy markets. (See my previous blog from November 24, 2014.) CESA will be hosting a webinar featuring this program on December 8th. The webinar is free to attend, but registration is required. You can learn more and register here.


A. G. Gelbert 
 December 6, 2014 

Thank you, Maria Blais Costello, for this information. It's this kind of nuts and bolts, honest cost benefit analysis math doing that will enable the transition to 100% Renewable Energy.

 Anumakonda Jagadeesh 

 December 6, 2014 

Excellent. Other Developing countries can adopt this.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 15, 2014, 02:13:18 pm
A $48 Billion Opportunity for US Electric Customers (

John Farrell 
 December 15, 2014  |  1 Comments 

Electricity customers in the U.S. got good news last week. (

A new report from Accenture highlighted a potential revenue loss for U.S. utilities of $48 billion per year by 2025 due to distributed solar and energy efficiency. But where does that money go? If we pursue a democratic energy system as outlined in ILSR's new report (also released last week), it goes right into the pockets of utility customers.

Read on for an explanation of how we can achieve energy democracy ( out of the turmoil of today's electricity system.

A System Under Stress

Why are U.S. electric utilities facing huge revenue losses? Because their business model, built around a 20th century centralized command-and-control electric utility, is increasingly outdated in an age when we can produce power on rooftops from ubiquitous sunshine and manage energy individually on ubiquitous smartphones.

See the following timeline released in ILSR's new report to understand the changes being wrought.
U.S. Electricity System Timeline

There have been three waves of change crashing over the electric utility system in the past 50 years: Shock & Competition, Deregulation, and Transition. The third wave, powered by distributed renewable energy and stagnant energy demand and aided by state regulation, isn't going to recede.  (

Already, the Wall Street Journal notes that the era of growing electricity sales is likely over.

WSJ stagnant electricity demand  (

Not only is demand falling, but competition from renewable energy sources is growing. In the past few years, that competition isn't just from other large power producers, but from utility customers themselves (see the growth of "small solar" in particular (and red), representing residential and commercial installations 1 megawatt and smaller).

Renewable Energy Share of New U.S. Power Plants

The $48 Billion Question for a New Business Model (

Utilities haven't given up in the face of this threat. In fact, they're often actively fighting it while they continue to invest in the infrastructure for last century's grid  >:( (read more in ILSR's report).

These battles are the origin of "Utility 2.0," a business model discussion inside and outside of utilities that would allow electric companies to accommodate flat energy demand and rising customer energy production. It's good policy, focused on shifting the principles of the electricity system to a low-carbon, flexible, and efficient one as well as shifting utility incentives to achieve these outcomes.

But Utility 2.0 will prove inadequate if it remains indifferent to the flow of energy dollars out of communities (the $48 billion question).

Already, 500,000 U.S. homes sport solar energy and it gets more affordable every year. Rooftop solar, smartphones, and widespread energy storage will give utility customers unprecedented opportunity to control their energy usage, and to capture their share of the nation's energy dollars. A 2.0 utility business model that doesn't accommodate this opportunity for local, equitable access to energy production and management will leave many U.S. electricity consumers deeply unsatisfied.

Energy Democracy (

That's the central point of Utility 3.0, or as we call it, energy democracy. It adds two other principles – local control and equitable access – to the low-carbon, flexible, and efficient grid of the future to make the Five Pillars of Energy Democracy. The following graphic illustrates the principles of the ideal 21st century electricity system and how the policies of the electricity system contribute to achieving those desired outcomes.

Five Pillars of Energy Democracy(

How do we get to energy democracy from where we are now?[color=green]

(  (

In Vermont, the state has already identified and adopted many of the key strategies and policies, from robust net metering to integrated distribution and transmission planning.
[/color]They have an independent energy efficiency utility, and a feed-in tariff to encourage broader distributed renewable energy development.

In New York, the state is Reforming the Energy Vision, and considering how to make an open and transparent marketplace that puts utility customers on an even footing with utilities in providing key energy services. The following graphic illustrates this concept.

Energy democracy in action

Neither state has unleashed a system with real "energy democracy" yet, but they're pursuing the right principles and structure and policy that will lead in that direction. (

Will utilities survive this crashing wave of energy democracy? It depends on your definition of survive. Will they continue to profit from retaining control over the generation and transaction of power on the electricity system? Perhaps not.  ;DCould they profit from designing and deploying the infrastructure and software to make a democracy energy distribution system? Certainly. They just need a little vision. (

And we've got one to share.


This article originally posted at For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter or get the Democratic Energy weekly update.

The information and views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of or the companies that advertise on this Web site and other publications. This blog was posted directly by the author and was not reviewed for accuracy, spelling or grammar.


A. G. Gelbert   
 December 15, 2014 

Outstanding article!

I wish to add that Energy Democracy is the sure (and only!) path to obtaining political democracy in the USA. Anybody that thinks we have one is into magical thinking.

For those who think this is hyperbole, please remember what the Fossil fuel Lobby and the Nuclear Power Lobby does with their "profits". Look at the disproportionate "contributions" to MOST of our (s)elected officials over the last half century.

The dirty energy welfare queens have gotten what they paid for.

As John noted, the utilities defending fossil fuels are fighting Renewable distributed Energy tooth and nail. The Polluting Energy Industries are the friend and advocate of centralized energy. They provide the lion's share of "contributions" to PACs.

The bottom line for we-the-people is that politicians never stay bought. As long as Demand Destruction for dirty energy continues apace, less welfare queen "profits" will be available to further degrade our thoroughly degraded democracy.

The people of the English Colonies in America were able to be totally independent of England by providing for everything they needed in energy, food, shelter and clothing during the American Revolution. Americans actually had totally distributed energy, most of it renewable, in 1776.

And no, there was absolutely no reason to change that energy picture as the industrial revolution gathered steam. Centralized Energy was a stalking horse for centralized political power. It still is.

This is how the oligarchic Oil barons and captains of industry degraded our Democratic Representative Republic:

Around the year 1800, the power of a (white, land owner) American citizen's vote was reasonable (if all the adult citizens had been allowed to vote). At that time a NEW Rep could be added to a state if the Congressional district exceeded 60,000 population. In 1918-19 the COUNT of reps was UNCONSTITUTIONALLY frozen.

This assured corporations would get MORE influence while the individual voter would get less. At present your vote is worth one SIXTEENTH of what it was in the year 1800! Representative Republic? I don't think so.

I cede the floor to Patrick Henry

"But we are told that we need not fear; because those in power, being our representatives, will not abuse the powers we put in their hands. I am not well versed in history, but I will submit to your recollection, whether liberty has been destroyed most often by the licentiousness of the people, or by the tyranny of rulers.

I imagine, sir, you will find the balance on the side of tyranny. Happy will you be if you miss the fate of those nations, who, omitting to resist their oppressors, or negligently suffering their liberty to be wrested from them, have groaned under intolerable despotism!

Most of the human race are now in this deplorable condition; and those nations who have gone in search of grandeur, power, and splendor, have also fallen a sacrifice, and been the victims of their own folly. While they acquired those visionary blessings, they lost their freedom."

I imagine that Patrick Henry, who is famously quoted as saying he smelled a rat in Philadelphia (the Constitutional convention), would have preferred one elected representative for much fewer voters than 30,000. He wanted to keep a sharp eye on the reps way back when. He would probably be outraged and leading a revolution today.

Patrick Henry's rat was eaten by a Rockefeller T-Rex. We need to kill this dinosaur. The damned thing will kill us all and then start on it's own tail.

Do your part to provide a viable biosphere for future generations AND obtain a Democratic Representative Republic in the USA; go distributed Renewable Energy!

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 15, 2014, 05:55:09 pm
Excellent Comments to A $48 Billion Opportunity for US Electric Customers by John Farrell. (


 Brian Donovan   
 December 15, 2014 

Great articles, saved.

Watch out for the energy storage bugaboo. The grid already has reserve generators to deal with baseload inflexibility and unpredictable demand changes, it works just fine withe intermittent but predictable solar and wind.

15 minutes battery grid stabilization help the "old" baseload grid as much as it help the new, intermittent grid.

I see a different more democratic grid. Cities and town need to own their grid and power sources, enough to stand alone at least for several days. The grid is already organized with "distribution substations" that supple a few 100 KW at the local low voltage home use, from the higher voltage greater grid. These distribution substations are the perfect place to put MSW to energy and fuels systems feeding reserve gas turbines. The local are installs solar on every good roof and parking lot. This is a complete 24/7 system for isolated communities. This is how the third world should build their grid.

In the first world, they are already all connected to the greater grid. The advantages are numerous. They can sell excess solar and electricity from wastes. They can draw electricity from the greater grid when they want to. These distribution stations have the switches to island in the case of greater grid blackouts. No more multi state blackouts! The local communities have the power to set terms on the greater grid giant utilities. The local waste powered gas turbines are normally under control of the greater grid controllers, and collectedly backup the entire grid. Because it's distributed, the 7% grid loses nearly vanish.

Finally, we add plug in hybrid electric cars with Vehicle to Grid (V2G). Now we don't need wastefull spinning reserve. The ecars collectively use 5% of their battery charge to stabilize the grid as never before possible, down to the microsecond. The reserve generators can be shut off till needed. The ecars provide 5-15 minutes backup needed to start the reserve generators up.

Plug in hybrids can even eliminate the need for the substation reserve generator. 250 M 100kw ecars is many times the total grid power. Sine they are hybrids, just keep feeding the fuel, from wastes. Third world countries could have a system with solar panels and a plug in hybrid. Done.


William Fitch III   
 December 15, 2014 

Hi: Nice article. You have to, with RE, be able to handle times when RE is not available.

Right now in PA we are having an extremely cloudy DEC. It may be on track to be the cloudiest I have ever seen. Since Nov 26th, I have had only two days of production where I have overtaken load. The difference between Nov and Dec so far is an almost complete inversion of load vs production. This won't last forever of course, but these are the times that demand the most creative engineering solutions to maintain RE production and load matching.... Wind has been in the picture during this period which would help of course, but by itself would not fill all production "holes"....

Agelbert NOTE: See ETHANOL to fill the other Renewable Energy  production "holes".  ;D
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 23, 2014, 10:27:03 pm
Dec 23, 2014

Author: Laurie Guevara-Stone

Writer / Editor

You’ll Shoot the Climate’s Eye Out

And 10 More Surprising Stats About Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Christmas is just a few days away, and with it, also TBS’s annual marathon of A Christmas Story. Readers of a certain generation will remember it as the classic movie from 1983 in which Ralphie Parker, the central character, pines for an airsoft Red Ryder BB gun, only to be rebuffed, “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

As it turns out, he’d do a number on the climate, too. The other day a colleague alerted me to the fact that some airsoft guns use HFC 134a as a propellant. HFC 134a is 3,800 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas over a 20-year period.  :o

But here are 10 other statistics you might not know about greenhouse gas emissions and energy this holiday season:

1. If considered as a separate nation, the United States’ building stock would rank third in energy consumption: Only China and the U.S. consume more primary energy than the U.S. built environment, which uses 8 percent of the world’s primary energy, 42 percent of U.S. primary energy, and 72 percent of U.S. electricity.

2. Searching for parking burns one million barrels of oil per day: In Los Angeles alone, city drivers searching for parking in a 15-block district drove more than 950,000 miles, emitted 730 metric tons of carbon dioxide, and burned 47,000 gallons of gasoline.

3. Junk mail has a huge carbon footprint, not just a landfill footprint: The energy used to produce, deliver, and dispose of junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 2.8 million cars.

4. Micropower now produces about one-fourth of the world’s total electricity: Low- and no-carbon micropower, which includes renewables minus big hydro, plus cogeneration, now produces one-fourth of the world’s electricity. When you add big hydro and nuclear to the mix, micropower produced half the world’s electricity in 2013.

5. Photovoltaic power worldwide is scaling even faster than cellphones: For the last 14 years, global solar PV production has grown faster than 41 percent per year. The amount of solar power installed worldwide is now over 140 GW.

6. Renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuels: The cost of solar and wind power has plummeted so much in the past five years that utility-scale renewable generation is now cost competitive with, and in some markets cheaper than, coal and natural gas, even without subsidies.

7. Efficient transportation beats out the fracking revolution: Between 2004 and 2013 the decrease in driving in the U.S. along with more-efficient vehicles displaced twice as many oil imports than the U.S. fracking revolution and the consequent rise in domestic oil output.

8. Efficiency beats out natural gas:
In 2012, energy efficiency displaced nearly twice as much domestically burned coal as expanded natural gas use did. In fact, lower consumption due to 1974–2010 increases in energy efficiency was the largest single energy resource across the 11 IEA member countries’ aggregate total final consumption—bigger than oil, or than all other sources combined.

9. Universities are striving for carbon neutrality: Since 2007, the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment has encouraged almost 700 colleges and universities to commit to achieving carbon neutrality. A few small colleges have already achieved carbon neutrality, most recently Colby College in Maine.

10. There are more U.S. jobs in the solar industry than in coal mining: In 2013 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 80,030 jobs for all occupations within the coal-mining industry. Meanwhile, the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2013, stated that the solar industry employed 142,698 Americans.

Agelbert NOTE: It's nice when the hard, irrefutable, REAL WORLD data CONFIRMS what I have been saying, in writing (, for TWO AND A HALF YEARS.    (  (

For those who insisted that fossil fuels are cheaper than Renewable energy, DINNER IS SERVED:


Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 26, 2014, 06:10:15 pm
As Germans look to the future, Kaun notes that they have a broader definition of energy storage than in the United States. The U.S. definition of energy storage typically focuses on electric power in, electric power out – that is, electricity storage. Germany’s definition is broader, characterized by three main categories: power to heat, power to gas (specifically hydrogen) and power to power, which can utilize a range of storage technologies, including electrochemical (batteries), mechanical or thermal.'s Top 10 Blogs of 2014

Check out the most popular blogs posted on REW during the past year.

 Renewable Energy World Editors 
 December 26, 2014
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on January 02, 2015, 08:03:19 pm
Richard Branson and Amory Lovins Join Forces to Accelerate Clean Energy Revolution
   ( ( ( 

December 17, 2014 11:09 am

The world’s three biggest carbon emitters—the U.S., China, and the European Union—have all announced emissions goals or limits in the past few months. That’s great news, but global fossil fuel demand continues to rise, and with it, so do climate change’s risks—to the economy, to the environment, to security, to human health and to people living in poverty in areas where climate change will have a devastating impact. The most recent IPCC report (AR5) found that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal,” “human influence on the climate system is clear,” and “limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Combating climate change through energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies, clean transportation, and smarter land use can reap rewards as great economically as environmentally.

The 2014 report Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States detailed the serious economic harm we can expect from climate change if we continue on our current path. But the challenge before us is about more than averting the worst economic impacts of climate change. As highlighted in the recently released Better Growth, Better Climate report from The New Climate Economy, it’s also about finding enormous economic opportunity in clean energy solutions that both tackle global warming and unlock growth opportunities for all.

The transformation to a low-carbon future is arguably the greatest business opportunity of our time. Combating climate change through energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies, clean transportation, and smarter land use can reap great rewards both economically and environmentally.

Fortunately, an energy revolution is rising all around us—enabled by smart policies in mindful markets, and led by business for profit. Efficient energy use fuels more economic activity than oil, at far lower cost, while its potential gets ever bigger and cheaper. In each of the past three years, the world invested a quarter-trillion dollars—more than the market cap of the world’s coal industry—to add over 80 billion watts of renewable capacity (excluding big hydro dams). Generating capacity added last year was 37 percent renewable in the U.S., 68 percent in China, 72 percent in Europe and 53 percent in the world. Last year, the world invested over $600 billion in efficiency, renewables, and cogeneration.

This growth is accelerating ( solar power is scaling faster than cellphones. Last year alone, China added more solar capacity than the U.S. has added in 60 years.  :o   (

Electric vehicle sales are growing twice as fast as hybrid cars did at a comparable stage. Shrewd companies are realizing climate solutions’ enormous business opportunities—a prospect scarcely dimmed by cheaper oil, which makes only a few percent of the world’s electricity.

Global companies like IKEA, Google, Apple, Facebook, Salesforce and Walmart have committed to 100 percent renewable power. Tesla’s stock is up an astounding 660 percent over the past two years and has half the market value of General Motors Corp. The NEX index, which tracks clean energy companies worldwide, grew by 50 percent over the past two years—far outperforming the general market—while equity raisings by quoted clean energy companies more than doubled. Many of the world’s top financial firms concur that the era of coal and of big power plants is drawing to a close; Germany’s biggest utility is divesting those assets to focus on efficiency and renewables.

Yet we need to create even bigger and faster change.  ( Which is why we are delighted to announce that our two nonprofit organizations—Rocky Mountain Institute and the Carbon War Room—are joining forces.  ( By uniting two of the world’s preeminent nonprofit practitioners of market-based energy and climate solutions, we will help turn the toughest long-term energy challenges into vast opportunities for entrepreneurs to create wealth and public benefit for all.

United we stand to make a greater impact more quickly. Indeed, we already are. Our first combined program, the Ten Island Challenge, is making progress in six Caribbean countries. Caribbean economies suffer from some of the world’s highest electricity prices—perpetuating poverty, swelling national debts, and blocking sustainable development. They are also on the front lines of climate change, facing earlier impacts from sea-level rise, rising temperatures, and extreme weather events. Our alliance is laying the groundwork to transform these islands’ energy systems from dependence on costly imported diesel oil to cleaner, cost-effective efficiency and local renewables. This will cut electricity costs, boost private investment, and enhance and diversify local jobs. We are demonstrating that entire economies can adopt low-carbon solutions while strengthening their economies.

And islands are just the beginning as we build on our organizations’ initiatives already underway and on our new joint efforts to go further, faster together. In trucking, the learnings of our North American initiative will seed a new China program—strengthening an exciting collaboration with the Chinese government’s energy analysts that’s already showing the maximum share of efficiency and renewables that could support the forecasted economic growth of what will soon become the world’s largest economy. In cement, we will join forces to offset the energy surge from construction in the world’s fastest-growing economies. And we will combine our work on cracking the biggest nut of all: energy efficiency in buildings. Since they use nearly three-fourths of U.S. electricity, that’s the key to making electricity supply affordable, distributed, diverse, resilient, and largely renewable.

Switching to a fossil-fuel-free energy system will not only cost less, but will help re-ignite the world’s economies.

In the U.S. alone, Rocky Mountain Institute’s Reinventing Fire analysis found that a 158-percent bigger economy could need no coal and oil and one-third less natural gas, yet cost $5 trillion less than business as usual.
We are closer than ever before to transforming the world to a low-carbon energy system. Rocky Mountain Institute and the Carbon War Room are excited to coordinate their proven approaches to scaling transformational change worldwide. Together, we will more than double our impact on the scale and speed of the energy transformation to a clean, prosperous, secure and low-carbon world.

We will reach this better world only if we all collaborate. None of us can do this on our own.  That’s why we are thrilled to be joining forces, and hope that others will be inspired to do the same—so we can build this exciting new world of opportunities at the pace our grandchildren require.

Agelbert Comment: GO GET EM' Amory! (   (

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on January 02, 2015, 11:19:22 pm
Germany To Dump Coal? (  ;D

Snippet 1:
Germany is looking into cutting its use of coal power, at the same time that it is cutting out nuclear. (   If it does, there could be a ripple effect because Germany is a major player in the European energy market. A Berlin-based journalist said that Germany’s emphasis on renewables is already impacting electricity markets in Poland and the Czech Republic. (Denmark is also exploring how it might go coal-free, but even sooner.)

Snippet 2:
Currently about 45% of Germany’s electricity comes from burning coal. However, it was reported recently that new coal plants will not be financed there. About 24% came from solar and wind last year, but that amount could expand to 45% by 2025, if targets are met.

Snippet 3:
The decision to dump coal is not the easiest one to make, but Germany has been a world leader in renewables, so it seems only logical for fossil fuels to be phased out.

The speed at which the German government is moving on its energy transition is very impressive. Another issue is how much money Germany will save over time by reducing energy imports.

Germany To Dump Coal? (

Agelbert NOTE: Unlike fossil fuel funded "energy experts" and other assorted LIARS that publish at the Wall Street Journal, the above article tells the truth. Don't believe the mendacious propaganda that Germany is INCREASING their use of coal.  ( That is EXACTLY OPPOSITE of what is happening.  >:(

THIS is the TRUTH:
Shove the above graph in the face of any LIAR that claims Germany is using more coal and ask them if they are standing on their head when they read it!

And the liars writing these lies are doing it because Germany is teaching the world that a highly industrialized nation CAN transition quickly to 100% Renewable Energy.

This drives the profit over people and planet fossil fuelers into a frenzy. Pay close attention to what you read. The fossil fuel industry has a lot of media presstitutes on the payroll. BUT, people are realizing that they have been taken for a pollution for profit ride and it's PAYBACK TIME. 

Renewable energy= (                                ( Fuelers

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on January 26, 2015, 06:42:17 pm
Nature & Transmission Lines

Siting transmission lines is a double-edged sword. They are necessary for scaling renewable energy, but they sure are ugly and too often clear cut huge swaths of land, fragmenting forests and habitats, while emanating electromagnetic fields that can cause serious illnesses.

 Yet, these days any place that's left undeveloped can be an important haven for wildlife. Open land under transmission lines could protect 9 million acres and the land under which pipelines flow, another 12 million acres. Since these projects run hundreds (even thousands) of miles, they could create a network of conservation areas about a third the size of our national park system. They could provide crucial wildlife corridors that allow long migrations and a healthier gene pool where small, segmented populations of the same species can find each other.

 Nonprofits are also working with transportation departments to plant wildflowers in medians and along the sides of roads, another 5 million acres that can sequester carbon while aiding wildlife. 

For example, open, scrubby habitat under power lines provides habitat for endangered butterflies( and is the best place to find native bees (, Sam Droege of the US Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center told Yale 360.

Transmission Conservation

A group has formed to make it happen - the Right of Way Stewardship Council that's setting standards and certifying these lands. Three utilities - NY Power Authority, Vermont Electric and Arizona Public Service are certified and three more are seeking certification.  Utilities in Brazil and Australia are also showing interest.

"You're surrounded by evergreen closed-canopy forest and then there's this explosion of color, this linear streak of color, and it's all wildflowers," describes ecologist Kimberly Russell to Yale 360.  (

Read the full article:
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on January 26, 2015, 07:59:45 pm
01/26/2015 12:19 PM     
Renewable Energy Transmission Backbone Takes Shape Across US, Europe News

The US and Europe are making major investments in transmission infrastructure that will finally create a renewable energy backbone - driving billions of dollars in new projects and bringing clean energy to much more of the population.

 In the US, approved and newly completed transmission lines  make it possible for another 35 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy projects - mostly wind - bringing clean energy throughout the Midwest and to Southern and Eastern states.

 Just approved is the SunZia Project. At a cost of $2 billion, two parallel 500-kilovolt transmission lines will traverse 515 miles of federal, state and private lands in New Mexico and Arizona. It will enable construction of 3 GW of wind and solar resources that couldn't otherwise gain access to the grid, enough for 1 million homes. It will create about 6000 construction jobs and potentially 40,000 jobs in new renewable energy projects.

SunZia will run parallel with existing roads and power lines, avoiding major population centers and sensitive areas. The Bureau of Land Management held 28 public meetings on the project since 2009, along with working with local, state and federal agencies and Indian tribes.

"New Mexico could lead the nation in wind and solar energy production, and transmission is the key to unleashing our clean energy potential," says Senator Tom Udall (D-NM).   

In 2013, The 990-mile Gateway West Transmission Project was approved, which will be able to carry 1.5 GW of wind energy from southern Wyoming and Utah to Idaho and Washington State. Eventually it extend 2000 miles with the ability to carry 4.5 GW across western states.

Transmission Line Gateway West

 A $6.8 billion transmission project in Texas is carrying wind energy to all the state's cities - spanning 3600 miles, it can carry as much as 18.5 GW.  Minnesota is finishing off an 800-mile upgrade this year

In October, the Prairie Wind Transmission line began carrying electricity over 108 miles in Kansas, a linchpin of the "electric superhighway" being built through the windiest areas in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas and population centers. At a cost of $4 billion, it will allow another 3 GW of wind to connect to the grid in High Plains states.

In the Oklahoma panhandle, the 700-mile, 3.5 GW Plains & Eastern Clean Line will deliver wind power to Arkansas, Tennessee, and other states in the Mid-South and Southeast. It will enable more than $6 billion in new wind farms when it opens in 2018.

The Rock Island Clean Line is waiting for approval to bring wind energy from western Iowa to eastern states through Illinois. The $2 billion, 500 mile transmission line would open another 3.5 GW - $7 billion in new wind projects.

 Many of these are being built by Clean Line Energy Partners which offers annual payments to landowners who agree to host the lines.

If the wind industry keeps up the pace, it can provide 30% of US electricity by 2030, more than enough to meet the EPA's Clean Power Plan and a third of the greenhouse gas reductions President Obama committed to in its agreement with China, says Environment America.

Unfortunately, the Republican majority in Congress will probably not allow the industry to receive any further tax credits to make sure it happens.

Read our articles, Landmark Ruling Opens Grid to Renewable Energy and 100% Renewable Energy Indeed Possible, say Stanford U. Researchers.

Europe Too  (

In Europe, a planned supergrid will integrate renewable energy across all 28 countries, increasing reliability and lessening dependence on gas imports.  ( 

"Connecting Europe" will spend $7.5 billion through 2020 in cost-shared grants. Some funds will be used to build LNG plants that enable natural gas imports from countries other than Russia, but most will be used to carry renewable energy between countries, including hydro, offshore wind and tidal energy. One project is the longest under-sea cable in the world between the UK and Norway.  :o  ;D

Surpluses in one country will be sent to others that need power, making the grid much more efficient. Originally, the supergrid was also supposed to carry geothermal electricity from Iceland and the enormous Desertec Project in the Sahara Desert, but these have been tabled for now.  :(

Worldwide, the onshore wind market should reach $898 billion by 2020, up from $89 billion in 2013, according to Transparency Market Research.

Full article:
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on January 26, 2015, 11:28:37 pm
01/26/2015 04:17 PM     
Homeowners: Don't Consider Solar a Luxury, Renewables Hit Parity in Many Countries  ( News

Renewable energy costs the same or less than fossil fuels in most US states and in many parts of the world - very impressive for such a young industry.

42 of 50 Cities in US

 In the US, solar is the more economical choice in 42 of the 50 largest cities, according to Going Solar in America, by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center. Even fully financing a solar system (at 5% interest) costs homeowners less over its life than buying electricity from the local utility.

 Because of high electricity prices, installing solar is cheapest in NYC and Boston, followed by:

 Albuquerque, NM
 San Jose, CA
 Las Vegas, NV
 Washington DC
 Los Angeles, CA
 San Diego, CA
 Oakland, CA
 San Francisco

 But even people in states with moderate utility rates like North Carolina benefit because mid-Atlantic and southern states have the lowest installation costs.

Americans should no longer consider buying a solar system as a luxury, they say, but it does depend on the amount of sun and policies like the 30% federal tax credit and net-metering in the states. Over the 25 years of the solar systems people buy today, utilities are expected to increase electric rates 83%.

If the federal Investment Tax Credit stays in place, solar will cost the same or less than utility prices in 47 states by 2016, according to Deutsche Bank. If Congress allows it to fall to 10%, solar will have price parity in 36 states.

Importantly, solar costs would drop a lot more if more people understood what a great deal it is. That's because up to 64% of the cost is now "soft" customer acquisition costs, says the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center.

Read our article, Solar Has Another 'Best Year Ever' in 2014.

Home Buyers Pay More for Solar

Home buyers consistently pay about $15,000 more for homes with solar - a typical 3.6 kilowatt PV system - showing that it is increasingly viewed as a key asset that maintains home value in addition to lowering electricity costs.

 Researchers at Lawrence Berkley Lab led a team that analyzed  22,000 home sales in eight states from 2002-2013 - 4,000 of which have solar. Homes ranged in price from $200,000-$900,000.

Solar gives a home "green cachet" they conclude, because the price premium doesn't vary much based on the size of the solar system. Newer solar systems get double the premium than those eight years or older.

 The major point is "if you install solar and then sell your house, you should be able to get a significant portion of your money back. That's something we couldn't say with as much confidence before," says Ben Hoen, lead researcher. New home builders should take notice as well as those that are considering selling their house in the near term. Also, the real estate industry needs to include this when they appraise homes.

Renewables Worldwide

Onshore wind, geothermal, biomass and hydropower cost the same or less than coal, oil and gas-fired power stations, even without financial support and despite falling oil prices, says IRENA in Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014. Solar PV leads the cost decline - modules cost 75% less since the end of 2009 and 50% less for utility-scale solar PV  since 2010.

 This chart shows the growth of solar as prices come down, 2000-2014 (at link
Solar Costs Worldwide 2014

•Onshore wind consistently provides electricity at $0.05 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) without subsidies in Europe and elsewhere, compared to $0.045 to 0.14/kWh for fossil fuel power plants.

•Wind energy costs $0.06/kWh in Asia, $0.07 in North America and $0.09 in Africa.

•Residential solar PV systems cost some 70% less than in 2008

•Total costs for utility-scale solar PV dropped 65% since 2010, with the most competitive projects delivering electricity for $0.08/kWh without subsidies.

•When damage to human health from fossil fuels is factored in, along with the cost of carbon emissions, the price of fossil fuel-fired power generation rises to $0.07-$0.19/kWh.

These costs, however, vary widely based on resources and availability of financing.   

"Now is the time for a step-change in deployment for renewables," says Adnan Amin, Director-General of IRENA. "It has never been cheaper to avoid dangerous climate change, create jobs, reduce fuel import bills and future-proof our energy system with renewables. This requires public acknowledgement of the low price of renewables, an end to subsidies for fossil fuels, and regulations and infrastructure to support the global energy transition."  (

Read our article, Global Solar Hits Parity Next Year, No Subsidies Needed.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 04, 2015, 12:56:44 pm
Solar Is Creating Jobs Nearly 20 Times Faster Than Overall U.S. Economy

Anastasia Pantsios | January 15, 2015 9:56 am

All those senators  ( currently debating in Washington D.C., calling the Keystone XL pipeline approval bill an urgent “jobs creation bill,” are looking for jobs in all the wrong places.

Solar installation alone added more jobs in 2014 than both the oil and natural gas sectors—jobs that can’t be outsourced. Photo credit: The Solar Project

They should be perusing the National Solar Jobs Census 2014, the fifth annual such report compiled by the nonprofit Solar Foundation. What they’d find there puts the pipeline project to shame. Despite attacks on clean, renewable energy around the country, creating uncertainty in the sector,  job creation grew dramatically. It outperformed the slowly improving U.S. economy, creating jobs at nearly 20 times the rate of the overall economy.

Last year, jobs in solar increased by 21.8 percent, adding up to 31,000 new jobs in 2014 and bringing the total number of solar-related jobs in the U.S. to 173,800. That’s an increase of 86 percent since 2010. The vast majority—approximately 157,500— work 100 percent on solar activities.

“The solar industry has once again proven to be a powerful engine of economic growth and job creation,” said The Solar Foundation’s president and executive director Andrea Luecke. “Our Census findings show that one out of every 78 new jobs created in the U.S. over the past 12 months was created by the solar industry—nearly 1.3 percent of all jobs. It also shows for the fifth consecutive year, the solar industry is attracting highly skilled, well-paid professionals. That growth is putting people back to work and strengthening our nation’s economy.”

And despite attacks in states like Ohio, which froze its renewable energy standards last June and is talking about permanently eliminating them, The Solar Foundation projects that growth will continue. Its employer survey, which collected data from more than 7,600 U.S. businesses, found that the next year solar is likely to see a similar increase of almost 21 percent, bringing the total number of workers in the industry to 210,060.

“Demand for clean renewable power is growing,” said Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. “Solar exists at the critical intersection between energy, the economy and the environment. As the nation’s fastest growing energy source, solar is adding thousands of new jobs each year. Its growth will almost surely continue to be robust in coming years.”

The survey also found that installation remains the largest source of domestic solar employment growth, more than doubling since 2010 and that those workers are more and more diverse, with more African-Americans, Hispanics, women and veterans than in the 2013 report. Solar installation jobs have already blown past employment in the shrinking coal industry, which is now down to only 93,185 jobs. And while the oil and gas pipeline construction and extraction added 19,217 jobs in 2014, the solar installation sector created almost 50 percent more jobs.

Those jobs are that can’t be outsourced, won’t disappear in two years like the Keystone XL construction jobs and don’t come with negative health impacts or harmful impacts on the environment.

“The tremendous growth in the solar industry last year is further evidence that we can clean our air and cut climate pollution while also growing the economy,” said former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “The more data we have about the renewable energy industry, the better positioned policymakers and investors will be to make informed decisions. The Solar Jobs Census has the potential to help make that possible.”

And with jobs in the wind sector increasing  rapidly as well, supporting fossil fuel industries at the expense of renewables seems like bad economic as well as bad environmental policy.

“Americans want greater clean energy deployment, and conventional electricity generation is among the largest sources of air and water pollution in the U.S.,” said Lyndon Rive, CEO of Solar City, the largest solar employer in the U.S. “As the Census underscores, solar is providing a tremendous boost to our economy while meeting public demand for choice, competition and cleaner, more affordable energy.” (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 16, 2015, 02:38:29 pm
After a several DECADES of denying the obvious, mortgage providers are FINALLY recognizing that renewable energy INCREASES the value of a property. It's about time!    (

02/13/2015 11:05 AM     

Fannie Mae Gives Discount to Green Apartment Buildings News

For the first time, mortgages will be discounted for green buildings, which advocates have been pursuing for years.   

Fannie Mae announced that green multifamily properties will get a 10 basis point discount on interest for refinancing, acquisition and supplemental mortgage loans. To qualify, buildings can be LEED-certified, Energy Star-certified or meet Enterprise's Green Communities Criteria.

Fannie Mae is the top provider of multifamily financing in the US with a portfolio valued at more than $200 billion. 20 million families live in rental apartments and condos in the US.

 If the market interest rate is 4% for multifamily loans, for example, certified buildings would pay 3.9%, saving $95,000 in interest payments over 10 years on a $10 million dollar loan.

"This is a great demonstration of leadership from Fannie Mae, and the partnership between the multifamily finance industry and the green building industry," says Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of the US Green Building Council. "This is real money and an incentive to not only build green but also for existing buildings to achieve certification. For the first time, Fannie Mae multifamily lenders will be able to reward building owners for their better buildings."

"We clearly see the value in the triple-bottom line of certified green buildings: financial benefits of lower operating costs for owners and tenants; social benefits of better quality housing for renters; and environmental benefits for everyone," says Jeffery Hayward, executive vice president for multifamily, Fannie Mae.

And Fannie Mae will securitize the loans as Green Bonds, making them available for socially responsible investors to include them their portfolios.

 Green building advocates have long said mortgages should be cheaper because lower energy, water and maintenance bills leave more disposable income for loan recipients.

LEED Savings

LEED buildings, for example, consume 25% less energy and 11% less water on average, and have 19% lower maintenance costs, while producing a third less greenhouse gas emissions.

 In 2013, President Obama extended his Better Buildings program to multifamily housing. Under the program, building owners pledge to reduce energy consumption across their portfolios by 20% within 10 years, and agree to share best practice strategies that can be substantiated with energy data.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also provide financing to make multifamily buildings more energy and water efficient.

Here is Fannie Mae's Green Initiative:

Agelbert NOTE: THe MKings among us will NO DOUBT wail, moan and groan about "welfare queenery", "government handouts" and other "lack of responsibility" (see psychological projection on steroids  ;)) claims while studiously ignoring THEIR mega-welfare queen, 24/7, decade after decade, taxpayer theft FOR WARS AND "subsidies".  (


Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 25, 2015, 08:24:38 pm
( Hawaii Reaches 21% Renewable Energy   ( News

Hawaii Electric announced that 21% of its electricity comes from renewables, far exceeding the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that targets 15% by 2015. 

12% of residential customers have on-site solar - a penetration level that leads the nation, says the utility. Partially that's because Hawaii has very high energy prices because it imports all its oil, but it is also because the utility has been proactive on developing home-grown energy.

The utility filed a Power Supply Improvement Plan with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission which would:
•Increase renewable energy to over 65% by 2030
•Triple the amount of distributed solar by 2030
•Lower electric bills 20% by 2030

In other words, a utility is actually promoting the idea of raising the state's RPS, instead of trying to crush it like we're seeing in too many states.

In 2014, "we continued to grow our businesses in steady fashion and delivered a competitive core return on equity of 9.8% for the year as Hawaii Electric's combination of companies continues to provide us with the financial resources to efficiently invest in future opportunities," says Constance Lau, CEO.

Part of that investment is in grid modernization to be able to integrate more renewable energy. A clear, open planning process will let customers and solar contractors know how much more solar can be added each year, says Hawaii Electric.

"Even as recent oil price decreases have brought our customers bill relief, we remain focused on further reducing costs for our customers with proposed grid-scale solar and wind projects," Lau said. "We also are working with other stakeholders to bring liquefied natural gas to Hawaii as a cleaner, lower-cost alternative to oil while we continue to aggressively pursue more renewable generation sources."

Hawaii Electric is being acquired by NextEra Energy, one of the largest renewable energy developers, currently repowering parts of Altamont Pass Wind Farm and part-owners of the recently completed 550 MW Desert Sunlight Solar Project, for example. NextEra's utility side, Florida Power & Light, isn't very forward looking. 

Read our article, Hawaii Plans For Solar, Instead of Reacting To It.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 27, 2015, 01:56:43 pm
02/26/2015 01:19 PM 

California Carbon Auction Brings In $1 Billion! And Protects Forests News

California raked in $1 billion in first cap-and-trade auction of the year, and since they take place every quarter, it can look forward to raising about $4 billion this year.

December's auction brought in $400 million, so why so much more now? As of January 1, transportation fuels are included in the program.    ;D

This is a big deal. Until now, the program applied to a few hundred major stationary polluters - utilities, manufacturers and food processors. Now, it includes mobile sources - transportation fuels - which accounts for 40%  of California's emissions, expanding it dramatically. 

Refineries and fuel wholesalers have to pay for emissions tied to fuel sales. They passed the cost to motorists, raising gas prices about 10 cents a gallon at the pump.

 Even with the number of permits raised substantially, prices held steady at $12.21 per carbon credit, which gives companies the right to emit 1 ton of carbon this year.

Last year, Quebec joined the program, so the province will get a  share. When Quebec on board the program became the  Western Climate Initiative. 

Carbon Offsets Protect Forests, Help Native Americans   ;D

As part of the carbon trading program, companies can cover up to 8% of emissions with purchases of less expensive carbon offsets.

 Offsets can be used for three purposes:
•to pay businesses that destroy carbon-forcing HFCs like refrigerants;
•to pay dairies that capture methane
•to pay landowners that make a 100-year commitment to manage forests so they absorb maximum carbon from the atmosphere.

In April, California's Air Resources Board (ARB) issued the Yurok tribe over 800,000 offset credits in one of the first approved forestry projects. At the going rate of about $9 a credit, the tribe earns several million dollars to protect its forests, reports the LA Times.

Carbon Offset Yurok Land

 About half the land on its reservation is owned by logging companies and the tribe is using the proceeds to buy and restore its ancestral land along the northern California coast. 

"Due to the heavy logging activity that occurred around the Blue Creek Drainage, there's been significant degradation of habitat as well as fish population, by 80-90% from what it had been historically. We wanted to restore this land to its fullest capacity and the revenue from the carbon market offsets allowed us to do that," Vice Chair Susan Masten, told the Environmental Defense Fund.

Carbon projects allow the tribe to "maximize both revenue and the ability to preserve the forest," Chairman Thomas O'Rourke Sr., told the LA Times. It's allows us to "do our part on global warming and to preserve our way of life so that our future generations can see the pristine forest that our parents' grandparents saw."

Round Valley Indian Tribes is getting over 540,000 offset credits for its Improved Forest Management Project - 5,550 acres on its northern California reservation.

 "This reinforces our goal of sustainable forestry to maintain levels of wildlife, native plants, fish, clean water, and reduced fire threats. This project also is in line with the tribes' mission to ensure that our future generations enjoy the benefits of a healthy forest," Joe Dukepoo, Round Valley Tribal Councilman, told Indian Country Today. 

ARB set up the program with rigorous rules to make sure that  emissions reductions are "real, permanent, quantifiable, verifiable and enforceable."  A 113-page protocol for forest  projects shows how to measure the amount of carbon plants are absorbing, and requires extensive monitoring, reporting and independent verification.

Read our article, How California Will Spend the $5 Billion a Year From Cap-and-Trade.

Reader Comments (1)

 Dave Clegern

 Date Posted:
02/26/15 11:48 PM
It is incorrect to imply that California will have $1B to spend as a result of this month's carbon allowance auction. The majority of that money (considerably more than half) is returned to utilities for the benefit of their customers (to avoid rate increases, for on-bill credits twice a year, etc.) The remaining proceeds are split between California and our auction partner, the Canadian Province of Quebec. The amount of the actual total for California is also affected by the exchange rate at the time the total is tallied, and that has not yet happened. Dave Clegern Air Resources Board Public Information Officer for Climate Change Programs

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on March 14, 2015, 04:02:24 pm
Market Forces Signal Clean Energy’s Watershed Moment    (
Tom Doyle, President and CEO, NRG Renew
March 12, 2015

Business leaders have an important decision to make this year: to continue operating under the status quo or to join the list of successful companies creating a more sustainable future by contracting or investing in renewable energy and making a positive impact on their brand, customers, employees and bottom line.

In the past few months, we’ve seen exciting renewable energy announcements from market leaders such as Kaiser Permanente, Apple, Google, Starwood, Amazon, Citigroup and Blackrock.

Citing concerns about climate change and its threat to human health, Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit healthcare providers, last week announced plans to power half the electricity it uses in California with renewable energy. Having previously committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020, Kaiser Permanente is now targeting to surpass this goal by the end of 2016, accelerating its timetable by three years. To this end, Kaiser Permanente will purchase up to 70 megawatts of distributed solar power from NRG Renew to be installed on rooftops and parking shade structures at up to 170 Kaiser Permanente facilities across California, including medical offices, hospitals, clinics and data centers.
Several of the following market forces have aligned to make distributed solar power a viable, strategic option for Kaiser Permanente — and companies across all industries that are reviewing and re-evaluating their energy needs, looking for cleaner, more sustainable sources:

Cost reduction driven by technology advancements and scalability: The renewable energy industry is experiencing a decrease in infrastructure costs, finding that “solar photovoltaic modules cost three-quarters less today than they did in 2009, while wind turbine prices declined by almost a third over the same period.” The economics of clean energy are clear. In fact, some Fortune 500 companies have shaved more than $1 billion off their annual electric bills.

Grid instability and weather catastrophes have driven more interest in distributed generation: Not a lot has changed since the grid was originally built more than a century ago. In 2001, five weather-related events caused power outages that affected more than 50,000 customers. Ten years later, that figure rocketed up to 120 events that took down the grid. Weather events like Superstorm Sandy, combined with an antiquated infrastructure, signal that this pattern of unreliability will likely continue. Making the grid more resilient presents an ever-increasing cost imposed on consumers, but distributed solar and microgrids can take the strain off the grid by placing clean, solar energy generation next to a company’s load needs, helping mitigate the impact of future grid-related catastrophes.


Sustainability goals improve brand image in the eyes of customers, employees and shareholders: According to an Accenture and United Nations sustainability report surveying more than 1,000 top executives across 103 nations and 27 industries, 93 percent of CEOs see sustainability as important to the future success of their business, and 80 percent see sustainability issues as a route to competitive advantage in their industry. Not only do sustainability efforts address growing consumer demands that companies address climate change and do the right thing for the planet, but renewable energy savings can be reinvested in research and development of innovative new products to corner markets or increase market share.

Companies are hedging for the future against volatile fuel prices and escalating utility rates: In the past, companies did not have a choice where their energy would come from. Today, there are more options for companies to lock in long-term, fixed-cost, clean energy contracts such as Power Purchase Agreements or Operating Leases that allow companies to hedge against future increases in power pricing and fundamentally purchase electricity in a cheaper way.

A combination of all these factors has led to an increase in renewable investment including a rise in the number of companies embracing distributed generation as a strategic, economic and more sustainable energy option. This middle ground between residential solar and utility-scale solar is an area where single-brand, multi-site companies, such as Kaiser Permanente and Unilever, can uniquely benefit from a portfolio approach to harnessing renewable energy.

At Arizona State University, we worked with the university’s team to develop and install more than 30 installations across the campus. At our Starwood projects in Arizona, Hawaii and St. John, we’re taking a diversified, custom design-driven approach, integrating solar panels into the existing landscape to provide visually compelling installations that adds to the beauty at each resort. While the economics and electricity pricing can vary greatly, a portfolio approach spreads the pricing across the collection of projects for overall savings. And it’s an approach that will work for many companies globally that operate multiple sites from college, government and corporate campuses to shopping centers, warehouses/distribution centers and manufacturing facilities.

Our sustainable future is here.  ( Now is the time to reevaluate your energy needs and join us in rewriting the energy status quo with renewables at its core.  (

Agelbert note: The energy status quo needs to have renewables EVERYWHERE, not simply at its core.   ( And dirty energy production needs to PAY for all the pollution from the past as well as be prohibited from polluting in the present and future.  (

The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars   ( and conscience free crooks     (,    they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it!
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on March 22, 2015, 02:31:25 pm
03/20/2015 12:32 PM            
China Installs As Much Solar As Entire US This Year  :o   (  ( News

If you thought India's goals for solar were high at 15 gigawatts a year (, China can still beat that.

China says it will install 17.8 gigawatts of solar this year, raising the target 20%. That's almost as much as the entire US has at 20 GW.

If they follow last year's plan, about half will be rooftop solar - a priority for the first time - as a way to reduce pollution in populated centers  (, and get off coal ( Until now, almost all solar systems have been built in remote locations at utility-scale, requiring big investments in transmission infrastructure.

Since most people don't live in single family homes, rooftop solar and small, ground-mounted projects would be on large rooftops of industrial and commercial companies, and public buildings like rail stations and airport terminals.   ( 

According to news sources, China missed the mark last year on small solar because lots of distributed systems are more complicated to finance and install.

The country can reach 26% renewable energy by 2030, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Renewable Energy Prospects: China. Looking only at electricity, renewables could supply 40% by then (including hydro and nuclear). And that would bring 18% lower coal consumption.

"China's energy use is expected to increase 60% by 2030.  :P  How China meets that need will determine whether or not the world can curb climate change," says Adnan Amin, Director-General of IRENA.

According to IRENA, 2.6 million people work in the renewable energy industry in China.
Determined to Clean Up Pollution

 ( country has a new Minister of the Environment, Chen Jining, an environmental scientist  (   and former president of the prestigious Tsinghua University.

His predecessor was known as a "consummate insider (" that let industry ( get away with skirting requirements, which came to a head with the recent release of the film, "Under the Dome," which made headlines when it went viral. (  ( (


While the population has been protesting polluted air and water for years, the film is widely seen as the final wake-up call - China's "Silent Spring." Viewed an amazing 200 million times for a 104-minute film, it exposes the devastating impact China's industries have had on air quality, and the government that has failed to regulate them. While the media and government originally lauded the film, the files have quietly become unavailable.  >:(

Amazingly, companies have been covering up their pollution in some innovative ways, like "rigging automated pollution-monitoring systems to fudge data, discharging pollution through secret underground pipes and dumping toxic waste into rivers in the dead of night," reports CleanBiz.Asia.

Agelbert NOTE:
It's clear the Chinese Predatory Capitalists LEARNED A LOT from a certain FASCIST FOSSIL FUEL GOVERNMENT that has RUN/RUINED the USA for about a century. (
And China's air pollution is making it all the way to the US. Various pollutants, from acid rain-inducing sulphate to
black carbon, (  travel on "westerly winds," reports Reuters.

"We've outsourced our manufacturing and much of our pollution, but some of it is blowing back across the Pacific to haunt us," Steve Davis, a scientist at University of California Irvine, told Reuters. One third of China's greenhouse gases is attributed to its export industries, according to Worldwatch Institute.

Read our article, Climate Change Reframed: China, World Bank Prioritize Pollution ( (

If you think, FOR ONE SECOND, that the very same Fascist Fossil Fuel Government in the USA that is spraying nanoparticle aerosols in the troposphere TO SLOW DOWN GLOBAL WARMING SO THE FOSSIL FUEL BASTARDS can preserve their profit over people and planet CRAP, is "concerned" about the pollution from China, you have that EXACTLY backwards. ( More aerosols from MORE pollution reflects sunlight, GET IT? (

If you don't, you need to look up the term "profit over planet". And no, that will NOT work in the long run to cool the planet. BUT THE SHORT RUN is ALL that the greedball imbeciles that run our country have the mental horsepower to handle.

So EXPECT our biosphere math challenged Dr. Strangeloves to INCREASE the geo-engineering of the atmosphere in DIRECT PROPORTION to the DECREASE of polluting aerosols from China by adding MORE heavy metal aerosols to MAKE UP for the aerosols China stops putting out.   (

Have a nice day.


Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on April 06, 2015, 02:07:44 pm

04/02/2015 03:47 PM            
China's Hydrogen Tram Rolls Off Assembly Line News

The first hydrogen-powered train just came off the assembly line in China and will soon be operating in Qingdao.

It looks like a bullet train, but it is called a tram because it's meant for short city trips right now. It has a 62-mile range and a top speed of 43 mph, with room for 380 passengers.

Built by Sifang, a subsidiary of state-owned China South Rail Corporation, it runs on hydrogen fuel cells, an "advanced permanent-magnet synchronous motor and frequency converter."


China plans to spend $32 billion in the next five years to reach over 1,200 miles of tram tracks in numerous cities, up from just 83 miles now, says Xinhua News.

The city of Foshan - with 8 million people - is taking the lead on hydrogen. Last year, it invested $72 million to bring Sifang's factory and distribution system there, and they are collaborating on a national hydrogen research center in the city, reports Bloomberg.

Shanghai has Maglev trains - super high-speed trains that "float" at top speeds of 260 mph, and work is advancing on speeds as high as 371 mph.
Instead of running on wheels, Maglevs are propelled along tracks electromagnetically, eliminates friction and providing a smooth, quiet, very fast ride.

In Japan, a Super-Maglev that reaches 311 mph carried passengers during an eight day test last year. It enters full service in 2027, when it will take 1000 passengers between Tokyo and Nagoya (167 miles) in 40 minutes.

Japan wants to spread the technology and even offered the US a $4 billion loan (half the cost) to build a Super-Maglev between Baltimore and Washington DC. It would cut the one hour commute (37 miles) to 15 minutes. Another line would run from Boston to DC. Although there's been interest on both the state and federal level, it's hard to imagine the US Congress allocating funds for this anytime soon.

Renewable energy= (                          ( Fuelers

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on April 21, 2015, 09:07:01 pm
Renewables Beat Fossil Fuels Second Year in a Row  ;D

Nathanael Greene, Natural Resources Defense Council * | April 21, 2015 9:39 am

Start spreading the news: The world is now deploying more renewable energy in the production of electricity—more wind and solar power, in particular—than it is fossil fuels.  

And it has been since 2013 ( , according to the analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That year, the world added 143 gigawatts of new renewables capacity, compared to the 141 gigawatts of power generated by coal, natural gas and oil combined.

States can speed the deployment of solar by allowing third-party developers to install solar on homes, businesses and community institutions and sell the electricity the systems generate back to customers at a reduced cost. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Not only that, but by 2030, we’ll likely add a whopping four times as much renewable energy generating capacity as fossil fuel capacity, the Bloomberg folks say. “The electricity system is shifting to clean,” Michael Liebreich, of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said at the company’s The Future of Energy Summit 2015 in New York City last week. “Despite the change in oil and gas prices, there is going to be a substantial build-out of renewable energy that is likely to be an order of magnitude larger than the build-out of coal and gas.”

Power generation capacity additions (gigawatt). Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

That is great news, but it doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods, global warming-wise. Renewables still produce less energy (gigawatt-hours) than fossil fuels. Worldwide and here in the U.S., we’re still not investing nearly as much as we need to to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. But we’re making headway and the goal is in sight, assuming we continue with policies that incentivize clean energy for all it has to offer. Here I mean, of course, significant climate change mitigation, cleaner air for our kids to breathe, improved public health (and the decreased healthcare spending that comes with it), and good jobs galore.

Recent advances in the deployment of renewables, and commensurate drops in fossil fuel installation, have been made possible because many nations around the world—ours included—along with their state, provincial and local governments, have used smart policies to support renewable energy. These policies have spurred demand, sped economies of scale, driven investment in improved technologies and increased competition in the marketplace, all of which, in turn, have led to breath-taking price declines in the costs of both wind and solar power.

To continue these advances around the world, and help make renewable energy even more prevalent and accessible, there’s much we in the U.S. can do. And what we do in the U.S. is especially significant, because the progress we make here influences the world marketplace (Here’s an example: Policy-driven demand in the U.S. helped bring Chinese solar manufacturers into the market. Their efforts, in turn, significantly drove down the cost of solar panels so that last year, they cost a mind-blowing 50 cents a watt in most places. Compare that to $1.31 a watt in 2011).

There are three federal policies, at a minimum, that need to be renewed if we are to continue to push down prices and deploy more clean energy: the Production Tax Credit for wind power and the Investment Tax Credit for offshore wind power, both of which have already expired; and the 30 percent Solar Investment Tax Credit, which remains in effect through 2016. That credit has been pivotal in solar’s exponential growth in recent years, including double-digit job growth in an industry that provides good-paying jobs to many people with only high school degrees. That credit should be renewed as well.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants will also likely become a huge driver of renewable energy development here in the U.S. and, thus, help lower prices and increase deployment worldwide.

At the state level, renewable energy standards, which require utilities to get certain percentages of their electricity from sources such as solar and wind power, have been the major impetus behind clean energy development. These standards are under attack in some states by legislators connected with the fossil-fuel-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, and we should defend these standards with all we’ve got. The good news is that many states are increasing their standards so that more and more of their energy comes from renewable sources, a move the Natural Resources Defense Council encourages.

California is the current leader, with its plan to get 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. New York could pull ahead, though, with a 50 percent by 2025 standard that the Natural Resources Defense Council and its partners are promoting now. States can also speed the deployment of solar through more efficient permitting and interconnection processes, and, importantly, by allowing third-party developers to install solar on homes, businesses and community institutions and sell the electricity the systems generate back to customers at a reduced cost.

As renewable energy prices come down fast and the concentration of carbon pollution in our atmosphere continues to skyrocket, renewable energy offers a solution with benefits for everyone—cleaner air, good jobs and a safer climate for our kids. Smart policies that promote it and its many benefits are key to advances not just here in the U.S. but all the way around the world.

* Agelbert NOTE: Please do not confuse anything written for and by dirty energy defender MKing disingenuously titled "Natural Resources" with the peer reviewed and responsible work coming from Nathanael Greene of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

MKing is all about exploitation without reflection.    (

Nathanael Green is about restoration and responsible preservation.   ( 

Renewable energy= (                                ( Fuelers
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 02, 2015, 05:46:26 pm

Does RELIABLE energy have to be DIRTY energy?

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 07, 2015, 09:14:29 pm
May 4, 2015
Authors Laurie Guevara-Stone Writer / Editor

Emerging Economies Surge Forward with Renewables

A recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and several partners shows that renewable energy adoption is growing in the world’s emerging economies nearly twice as fast than in industrialized nations.

Not only are renewable energy technologies now cost competitive with fossil fuels in many developing nations, but they are often more reliable, safer, and at times cheaper than conventional grid power.

The report—covering 55 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean
—destroys the myth that fossil generation is the best way forward, and shows that the strides made by the private sector, government, and civil society have the potential to pave the way for an exciting market for renewables in Africa and beyond.   (

The top ten countries studied in the report with the best investment climate and policies for clean energy include large polluters like China, Brazil, India, and Indonesia, but also include smaller nations such as Kenya, Uganda, and Uruguay. The report looked at numerous indicators of what makes a country attractive for clean energy investment, development, and deployment, including a country’s policy and power sector structure, the level of price attractiveness for clean energy deployment, the expectations for how large the market for clean energy can become, the availability of local funds, the local cost of debt and green microfinance activity, the availability of local manufacturing and other similar types of capacity to spur clean energy projects, the level of policy support for carbon emissions reduction, and local corporate awareness of carbon issues.

Cost-Competitive Electricity

Some of the poorest countries in the world actually have very expensive and/or quite unreliable electricity. Their grids—with badly aging infrastructure—often rely on imported fossil fuels and even those with their own energy resources face shortages meaning routine brownouts, or worse, blackouts. (In countries such as Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the grid is down more than half the year, according to a Joint Research Centre, European Commission report.) Brazil’s drought is causing electricity rationing due to the country’s reliance on large hydro, and India’s coal shortage in previous years raised costs and closed power plants. When renewables such as solar and wind compete with expensive energy coupled with inadequate infrastructure, renewables reach grid parity and are more reliable and secure for populations connected to the grid.

The case is even stronger for the 1.3 billion people in the world without access to electricity. Many of these people rely on kerosene lamps that are not only costly—poor households typically spend 10 percent of their income on kerosene—but also an extreme health hazard. Access to distributed solar systems or other renewable technologies could not only bring cleaner, healthier, and more reliable power to rural areas, but can do so much more economically than trying to extend the grid.

The following four countries—countries in which renewables are growing quickly—exemplify why developing countries and emerging economies are investing in renewables … from greening their centralized grids to electrifying the billions of people still without access to electricity.


In October 2014 Brazil held its first solar-only energy auction, and the accepted bids for more than 1,000 MW of power—averaging $87/MWh—were among the lowest unsubsidized solar prices in the world and well below the peak wholesale power prices at that time of $400/MWh. Wind energy became the cheapest energy source in Brazil years ago, beating out both natural gas and hydropower.

Currently Brazil gets less than 1 percent of its electricity from solar (only 44.6 MW), 3 percent from wind, and over 70 percent from hydropower. But being in the worst drought in eighty years, the country wants to diversify its electricity supply, with a target of 3.5 GW of solar and 22.4 GW of wind power in operation by 2023, 20 percent of the country’s current generating capacity.


Solar energy in India is now cheaper than coal. And many utility companies in India are now realizing the business case for renewables over conventional power projects. Tata Power, the second-largest private sector power generating company in India, is looking to expand its renewable energy portfolio by acquiring 300 MW of wind projects in northwest India. And the country recently announced it intends to more than double its use of renewable energy, from 6 percent to at least 15 percent, by 2020.

Yet India also realizes there are many more benefits to renewable energy than alleviating climate change. The country already has over 1 million households and 10,000 rural communities using distributed renewable energy systems to provide them with basic electricity. According to a booklet the country produced for the climate talks in Lima, “Apart from electricity generation, the application of these technologies has benefited millions of rural folk by meeting their lighting, cooking, and productive energy needs in a decentralized and environmentally benign way.” Among India’s proposals are 25 more solar farms and 100,000 more solar pumps for irrigation and drinking water.


Although Kenya is the largest economy in East Africa, less than 20 percent of Kenyans have access to electricity. For people without access to grid power, often renewables are the cheapest option. Most Kenyans use kerosene for lighting, paying $0.92 per liter. For the average Kenyan family that makes less than $2 per day kerosene is not only a costly extravagance, but also an unhealthy and polluting one. This makes off-grid solar an economical and healthier choice. Around 744 buildings from health centers to schools have been hooked up to solar through Kenya’s 2009 Rural Electrification Master Plan.

The country also hopes to boost wind power generation by 630 MW. Kenya is already on its way with construction of the Lake Turkana 300 MW Wind Project spanning 40,000 acres. The project is expected to increase the country’s power generation by 17 percent, and be the cheapest source of power in the country after geothermal.


This small South American country generates about 45 percent of its electricity from hydropower. However, during dry periods, prior to 2013 the country purchased electricity from neighboring Argentina at up to $400/MWh, eight times the average cost of electricity generation in the United States. To avoid expensive imported fuels, the country embarked on a plan to install enough wind farms to generate 30 percent of the nation’s energy needs, at only $64/MWh. The installed wind capacity is now at 219 MW, and renewables generate 84 percent of Uruguay’s electricity. Because of cheap wind power, consumers saw a 5.5 percent energy bill decrease in July 2014.

Uruguay is also forging ahead with solar power, and the state electric company recently agreed to purchase electricity from a 50-megawatt solar farm at just over $90/MWh.

Smart Choices for the Future

While countries around the world experiment with renewables, many emerging economies are making it part of their long-term strategies for development. Demand continues to grow quickly—developing countries grew their grids by nearly 30 percent in the past five years, compared to 9.6 percent in OECD nations. And sub-Saharan Africa is seeing 300 percent compound annual growth in off-grid lighting.

This is thus a critical time for emerging economies around the world. Will their current dirty, expensive, unreliable grids be built out with fossil-fueled power? And how will they electrify the 1.3 billion beyond the reach of that grid?

Encouraging examples and early successes from these countries and others demonstrate that distributed solar PV and other renewables could provide an answer, but much work remains left to do in the transition from fossil fuels to clean, reliable, affordable renewable electricity.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 12, 2015, 05:32:46 pm
Hawaii Goes Green and Other Big Renewables Stories
Posted on May 12, 2015
By Juan Cole
( ( (

This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s website.

The Hawaii legislature has just passed a bill by an overwhelming margin that sets a goal of 100% renewable energy in the state by 2045. The new law requires that the state get a third of its electricity from renewables by 2020, only five years from now. Electricity in Hawaii is expensive, about 34 cents a kilowatt hour for residences, since unlike most states it depends on petroleum as the fuel for its plants, and that has to be imported across long distances. The US average cost for residential electricity is 12 cents a kilowatt hour. New solar installations can provide it as low as 6 cents a kilowatt hour, and new geothermal plants are slightly cheaper (Hawaii has a *lot* of potential geothermal power but there is substantial public resistance, and solar may be the better play). So the legislature’s plan is the only thing that makes sense, and if anything its timeline is not nearly ambitious enough. Even a developing country like Morocco plans for 42% renewables by 2020, and Scotland may well be 100% by then. Costa Rica already is.

Solar energy is playing a role in post-disaster relief works in Nepal. Small solar kits power water purification and can charge phones and provide lighting in villages, where power lines are now often down because of the massive earthquake. donate here.

China put in 5 gigawatts of new solar plants in the first three months of 2015 alone. In all of 2014, the USA did not install that much new solar, and 2014 was a remarkably good year for solar power in the US. China is near to outstripping Germany for title of country with the most solar energy. It will likely have 45 gigwatts of solar generation capacity by the end of 2015, 10 gigs more than it had planned for.

Graphic of installed Renewable Energy capacity of top ten ountries at link below.

Pakistan, habitually plagued with a lack of electricity and repeated brown-outs, has opened its first solar power plant. The newly opened plant generates 100 megawatts, but that will be increased 10-fold to 1 gigawatt over the next year. It only cost $190 mn. to build, took a year, and was installed by by China’s Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Co Ltd (TBEA). The project is part of a $46 bn. development scheme proposed by the Chinese government for Pakistan.

Dubai has earmarked $3 billion to raise the generating capacity of the Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park from 1 gigawatt to 3 gigawatts. The United Arab Emirates also announced that it will install 100 MW of solar in the north.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 13, 2015, 07:08:29 pm

Jane Jones 
 May 13, 2015 

Germany's power houses not only feel the pinch, they're done with.

The CEO of EoN held a speech last week agreeing they're finished.

And RWE's CEO said that all reserves are gone.


I wrote a posting today on:


I don't know where to put this, so here is probably the best place ...:
The share holder meeting of EoN was last week, CEO Teyssen declared the Energiewende a success and says the revolution is in full swing. The large generators are at loss, the small scale generation is the future.

Here the speech in English:

An article by Franz Alt (in German) in Telepolis:

Remarkable: Teyssen hails the successful Energiewende in Canada and Australia!

That'll give some up-swing to the people there who are still trying to digest Mr. Abbott.
Home-made power is already the cheapest power, so Teyssen.

Well, we know that.  ;D

The impact of these words should not be underestimated: Germany's laws (and those in other states as well) demand public money to be spend wisely, economical.

Some extracts:

- the hedging price in central Europe will drop from 2014= € 56.-/MWh to 2015= € 50.-/MWh

 - batteries in combination with PV will be the cheapest power

Teyssen at page 8 :

" How should we address the heterogeneous and in some cases mutually contradictory developments in our markets? Last year we thoroughly analyzed this question. We talked to a lot of people: experts in the energy industry as well as other industries, investors, researchers, startup founders, and above all with the many experts and practitioners across our company. We asked ourselves what do solar panels and gas pipelines still have in common? We asked the same question about micro CHP units and large - scale power stations, smart meters and intraday trading. Our answer is: not very much anymore "

" It became clear to us that our company’s current business profile is no longer viable for the future. We believe the integrated business model is obsolete. "
This is not a won battle, this is a total surrender. (

Another one from RWE, EoN's main competitor in Europe: (in German)

RWE has probably no financial reserves left. They should have enough money set aside by law to pay for the demolition of their atomic power plants.

But this money is gone says the boss. Everything they are going to need, for demolition of atomic power plants, for re-naturation of coal pits, for pensions and so on ...everything has to be earned in future. They're bankrupt.

In other words: they must burn coal to finance their faltering.  (
end of quote


Small-scale PV has broken the neck of Europe's utilities.   (

The ants kicked the elephants off their back.   (

And they run for their lives  (, begging for mercy for their souls. (

For 100 years these gangsters reigned the world, the bloodiest which mankind ever faced
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 16, 2015, 05:46:02 pm
Law creates Vermont’s first renewable energy standards (

John Herrick May. 15 2015, 10:40 pm

The Vermont Legislature passed a major renewable energy bill late Friday despite last-minute anxiety over where new wind and solar projects should be built.

The Senate voted 22-6 to pass H.40, a renewable energy standard that requires utilities to buy and sell more renewable electricity beginning in 2017. The bill received final approval in the House on a voice vote late Friday and now goes to Gov. Peter Shumlin’s desk.

The bill incentivizes the build out of 400 megawatts of new renewable energy generation by 2032, according to the Shumlin administration. It also encourages utilities to reduce customers’ fossil fuel consumption through the use of heat pumps and electric cars.

say the bill puts the state on a track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, generate its own power supply and save on energy costs. (

  ( say the bill does little to address local concerns about how and where wind and solar projects are built.  (  (

After days of squabbling in the Senate over policy proposals that would change how energy projects are developed, the issue was resolved temporarily with a summer study committee that will lead to siting legislation next year.

The Senate’s version of the bill put in place a requirement that solar projects meet statewide solar setback limits and local screening measures. It also makes it easier for towns to participate in the Public Service Board permitting process by giving them automatic party status.

The bill also addresses a concern that electric rates could rise due to legal issues with Vermont’s current renewable energy incentive program, known as SPEED.
At the start of the session, the Shumlin administration told lawmakers electric rates could rise 6 percent statewide if no action was taken. That’s because SPEED allows Vermont utilities to sell renewable energy credits and count them toward a state goal in 2017. Because these credits could be “double counted,” the state of Connecticut has said they may not purchase them after 2017.

Vermont utilities sell about $50 million worth of credits, largely from wind and solar projects, to keep electric rates down.
Losing the ability to sell them could increase electric rates. The renewable energy standard passed Friday would repeal SPEED, which would eliminate the risk of double counting, according to Connecticut regulators. Because Vermont would now have its own energy standards, utilities could not count them toward their Vermont goals and sell them on the REC market.

“That’s a risk for ratepayers that we want to take off the books,”  ( said Darren Springer, deputy commissioner for the Department of Public Service, before the House vote Friday. “This bill resolves that issue.”

H.40 requires utilities to offer incentives to customers to reduce their fossil fuel consumption.  ;D The program is designed to replace gasoline fueled cars with electric vehicles and oil-fired furnaces with electric heat pumps.  ( Weatherization would also count toward the requirements.

Utilities can petition regulators for a waiver from the regulations if they prove it would increase electric rates. There is also an annual reporting requirement on the rate impact of the program.

Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell, D-Windsor, was slow to move the bill through the Senate. He says he supports renewable energy development, but some developers have been irresponsible. He wanted towns to have more say in project siting.
Before the vote, Campbell said he would not support the bill without a strong siting provision, but he later voted for the bill and sent it over to the House.

“I could have killed it, but I’m not going to do that,” he said. “Sometimes it’s tough to be a leader and a statesman.”

The bill requires the Shumlin administration to report back on the impacts of renewable energy development on forest fragmentation, wildlife habitat and agricultural soils.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 17, 2015, 01:12:39 pm
7 Facts That Prove the Renewable Energy Revolution Has Arrived

Earth Policy Institute | May 17, 2015 10:54 am

The global transition to clean, renewable energy and away from nuclear and fossil fuels is well under way with remarkable developments happening every day. The Great Transition by Lester Brown, Janet Larsen, Matt Roney and Emily Adams of Earth Policy Institute lays out a tremendous range of these developments. Here are seven that may surprise you:

Over the past decade, world wind power capacity grew more than 20 percent a year. Photo credit: Shutterstock

1. Solar is now so cheap that global adoption appears unstoppable.

•The price of solar photovoltaic panels has declined 99 percent over the last four decades, from $74 a watt in 1972 to less than 70 cents a watt in 2014.

•Between 2009 and 2014, solar panel prices dropped by three fourths, helping global PV installations grow 50 percent per year.

•See more solar power facts here.

2. Wind power adoption is rapidly altering energy portfolios around the world.

•Over the past decade, world wind power capacity grew more than 20 percent a year, its increase driven by its many attractive features, public policies supporting its expansion and falling costs.

•By the end of 2014, global wind generating capacity totaled 369,000 megawatts, enough to power more than 90 million U.S. homes. Wind currently has a big lead on solar PV, which has enough worldwide capacity to power roughly 30 million U.S. homes.

•See more wind power facts here.

3. National and subnational energy policies are promoting renewables, and many governments are considering a price on carbon.

•Unfortunately, governments worldwide still subsidized the fossil fuel industry with over $600 billion, giving this aging industry five times the subsidy that went to renewables.

•But by the start of 2014, some 70 countries, including many in Europe, were using feed-in tariffs to encourage investment in renewables.

•See more energy policy facts here.

4. The financial sector is embracing renewables—and starting to turn against fossils and nuclear.

•The financial services firm Barclays downgraded the entire U.S. electricity sector in 2014, in part because in its view U.S. utilities are generally unprepared for the challenges posed by distributed solar power and battery storage.

•In January 2013, Warren Buffett gave solar energy a huge financial boost when his MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company announced an investment of up to $2.5 billion in California in what is now known as the Solar Star project. At 580 megawatts, it will become the world’s largest PV project when complete in late 2015. MidAmerican had earlier bought the Topaz solar farm in California, now tied with Desert Sunlight, another California project, as the world’s largest at 550 megawatts. As of its completion in late 2014, Topaz can generate enough electricity to power 180,000 California homes.

•See more financial sector facts here.

5. Coal use is in decline in the U.S. and will likely fall at the global level far sooner than once thought possible.

•U.S. coal use is dropping—it fell 21 percent between 2007 and 2014—and more than one-third of the nation’s coal plants have already closed or announced plans for future closure in the last five years.

•Major U.S. coal producers, such as Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, have seen their market values drop by 61 and 94 percent, respectively, as of September 2014.

•See more coal facts here.

6. Transportation will move away from oil as electric vehicle fleets expand rapidly and bike- and car-sharing spreads.

•Bike-sharing programs have sprung up worldwide in recent years. More than 800 cities in 56 countries now have fully operational bike-share programs, with over 1 million bikes. In the U.S., by the end of 2012 some 21 cities had 8,500 bikes in bike-share racks. By the end of 2016, this is expected to climb to over 70 cities with close to 40,000 bikes.

•The share of carless households increased in 84 out of 100 U.S. urban areas surveyed between 2006 and 2011. And as urbanization increases, this share will only rise.

•See more transportation facts here.

7. Nuclear is on the rocks thanks to rising costs and widespread safety concerns.

•For the world as a whole, nuclear power generation peaked in 2006 and dropped by nearly 14 percent by 2014.

•In the U.S., the country with the most reactors, nuclear generation peaked in 2010 and is now also on the decline.

•See more nuclear facts here.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 22, 2015, 08:57:39 pm
Renewable Power Can Now Flow All Over Europe ( 
Eight years in the making, EU energy stakeholders are celebrating because flow-based market coupling is now functioning in the EU.

May 20, 2015

By Rachel Morison and Weixin Zha

London and Frankfurt -- After almost two years of delays, Germany, France and their neighbors in central-western Europe connected their electricity markets on Wednesday under a system that lets prices dictate where power flows between countries.

Flow-based market coupling matches supply and demand across borders, sending electricity to where prices are highest. Average day-ahead rates are expected to rise in Germany, and decline in Belgium and the Netherlands, according to data compiled by Energy Brainpool GmbH, a Berlin-based consultant.

Eight years ago, a group of 29 energy ministers, regulators, exchanges and grid operators from Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands first agreed to improve their cross-border flows. The project, originally scheduled to start in 2013, better manages the way power networks are used, which means that on a breezy day in northern Germany, power from a wind turbine can reach a hospital in France.

“Flow-based market coupling, which is finally starting, might lead to higher exports from Germany into neighboring countries and definitely would be a supportive element for wholesale power prices in Germany,” Alfred Hoffmann, vice president for portfolio management at Vattenfall AB’s energy trading unit in Hamburg, said by phone on May 11, without being more specific.

In flow-based coupling, all cross-border paths between grids are taken into account to maximize capacity. Traditionally, flows are based on the available interconnection capacity at each border, which can hamper price convergence between national networks.

Popping Corks (

“After the successful start and intense preparation, we are popping the corks here,” Andreas Preuss, a spokesman at German grid operator Amprion GmbH, said by phone from Dortmund on Wednesday. Hourly prices for tomorrow were calculated according to the new system, he said, without being specific.

Germany has the lowest power prices in the central-west region of Europe, with an average day-ahead rate of 32.11 euros ($35.90) a megawatt-hour for the past year, exchange data show. That compares with 36 euros for France, 41.35 euros in the Netherlands and 43.46 euros for Belgium.

Prices can turn negative when electricity supply outstrips demand, especially when it’s windy and sunny. Germany, Europe’s biggest renewable-energy producer, had 109 hours of negative prices this year, double the amount in the same period of 2014, Epex Spot SE data show.

Flow-based market coupling means negative prices would be “more subdued” because it’s possible to export more from Germany, Preuss said.

Cheaper Rates  ;D

Belgian prices would have been 8.7 percent lower on average and Dutch prices 5.8 percent cheaper under market coupling last year, according to Energy Brainpool.

“We won’t see a visible jump in the spot market from one day to another,” Philipp Goetz, a consultant at Energy Brainpool, said by phone on May 13. “In the long run, it will show up” with higher prices in Germany in off-peak times and during the night when demand is lower, he said.

Fluctuating German renewable power generation may still have a bigger effect on prices than market coupling, according to Omar Ramdani, head of analysis at RheinEnergie Trading GmbH in Cologne.

“On average, prices will rise 1 to 2 euros if we don’t see counter-effects from wind and solar production,” Ramdani said Wednesday by phone.

While coupling may improve cross-border flows, the European Commission estimates Europe still needs to spend 200 billion euros on energy infrastructure by 2020, including new power links between countries.

“Market coupling will have some impact but we need more investment in cross-border capacity and interconnectors to see a big difference,” Elchin Mammadov, European utilities analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said Monday. “Once these are built the traders will follow.”

©2015 Bloomberg News
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 22, 2015, 09:33:38 pm
The developing world is beating the U.S. at clean energy  (  :(

By Tim McDonnell on 19 May 2015



Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 26, 2015, 04:50:18 pm
Wind and Solar Provide 100% of New Generating Capacity in April

Sun Day Campaign | May 26, 2015 10:00 am

In what is becoming a frequent occurrence, if not predictable pattern, renewable energy sources once again dominate in the latest federal monthly update on new electrical generating capacity brought into service in the U.S.

Wind and solar accounted for all new generating capacity placed in-service in April. Photo credit: Shutterstock

According to the recently-released “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Energy Projects, wind and solar accounted for all new generating capacity placed in-service in April. For the month, two “units” of wind (the 300-megawatt (MW) Hereford-2 Wind Farm Project in Deaf Smith County, Texas and the 211-MW Mesquite Creek Wind Project in Dawson County, Texas) came on line in addition to six new units—totaling 50 MW—of solar.

Further, wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower combined have provided 84.1 percent of the 1,900 MW of new U.S. electrical generating capacity placed into service during the first third of 2015. This includes 1,170 MW of wind (61.5 percent), 362 MW of solar (19.1 percent), 45 MW of geothermal steam (2.4 percent) and 21 MW of hydropower (1.1 percent). The balance (302 MW) was provided by five units of natural gas.

FERC has reported no new capacity for the year-to-date from biomass sources nor any from coal, oil or nuclear power.

The total contribution of geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind for the first four months of 2015 (1,598 MW) is similar to that for the same period in 2014 (1,611 MW—in addition to 116 MW of biomass). However, for the same period in 2014, natural gas added 1,518 MW of new capacity while coal and nuclear again provided none and oil just 1 MW. Renewable energy sources accounted for half of all new generating capacity added in 2014.

Renewable energy sources now account for 17.05 percent of total installed operating generating capacity in the U.S.: water—8.55 percent, wind—5.74 percent, biomass—1.38 percent, solar—1.05 percent and geothermal steam—0.33 percent (for comparison, renewables were 13.71 percent of capacity in December 2010—the first month for which FERC issued an “Energy Infrastructure Update”).

Renewable energy capacity is now greater than that of nuclear (9.14 percent) and oil (3.92 percent) combined.
In fact, the installed capacity of wind power alone has now surpassed that of oil.   ( addition, total installed operating generating capacity from solar has now reached and surpassed the one-percent threshold—a ten-fold increase since December 2010.*

“Members of Congress and state legislators proposing to curb support for renewable energy, such as Renewable Portfolio/Electricity Standards and the federal Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit, are swimming against the tide,” noted Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “With renewable energy’s clear track record of success and the ever-worsening threat of climate change, now is not the time to pull back from these technologies but rather to greatly expand investments in them.”

*Note that generating capacity is not the same as actual generation. Electrical production per MW of available capacity (i.e., capacity factor) for renewables is often lower than that for fossil fuels and nuclear power. According to the most recent data (i.e., as of February 2015) provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), actual net electrical generation from renewable energy sources now totals 13.4 percent of total U.S. electrical production; however, this figure almost certainly understates renewables’ actual contribution significantly because neither EIA nor FERC fully accounts for all electricity generated by distributed renewable energy sources (e.g., rooftop solar).
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 02, 2015, 10:31:31 pm
06/02/2015 04:03 PM   
Finally, An Apollo Program to Combat Climate Change ( News

We've needed an Apollo program on climate change for a long time, and now we are getting one.

The UK-based Global Apollo Programme to Combat Climate Change has this goal: Within 10 years, baseload wind and/or solar energy will cost less than coal in every country, and oil and gas too.

The overarching goal is for the world to get 100% of electricity from renewable energy by 2050. We can only get there if the price is irresistible.


 Recognizing that country commitments are not enough to keep world temperatures from exceeding 2C, a handful of eminent people have come together to coax them into a mission that rivals Apollo - the race to put a man on the moon in the 1960s.

 To get there, founders are calling for countries to invest the same amount spent on the Apollo program - $23 billion a year in today's money for accelerated research, development and demonstration of solar, wind, energy storage and smart grid technologies.

 Calling it the "greatest scientific challenge facing the world," they simply want to double the tiny 2% of R&D budgets the world spends each year on this research. 

 Among the seven founders are: Sir David King, UK's climate change envoy; Lord Nicholas Stern, Professor of Economics and Government at London School of Economics and Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment; ecologist Sir David Attenborough and Lord John Browne, former CEO of BP Petroleum!

Many countries are interested, they say: US, UK, India, Japan, China, Korea, Mexico and UAE. It's on the agenda for next week's G7 meeting and they plan to launch right before this year's Climate Summit in Paris.

 Nations that join the program commit to spend 0.02% of GDP on R&D through 2025, and they get a seat on the global "roadmap committee" that coordinates and oversees the process.

 Some countries, like the UK, are spending this amount now, but many aren't, and there is no coordination to maximize results, they say.

Research isn't all that's needed, carbon must be priced, they say. And prices have to come down even further to displace existing fossil fuel infrastructure.

Also in the UK, SolarCentury CEO Jeremy Leggett is asking corporations to contribute 5% of annual profits to the 5% For-Climate-and-Development Club, to eradicate poverty and stop climate change at the same time. Many are showing interest without being solicitied, he says. 

Read our article, 100% Renewable Energy Indeed Possible, say Stanford U. Researchers. (  (

Read the Global Apollo plan:   (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 05, 2015, 09:32:24 pm
Big Oil Soon to Be Extinct  ;D

Posted on Jun 5, 2015

By Pamela Alma Weymouth

(First published by 3BL Media Media/Justmeans)

What do Big Oil and whale oil have in common? According to Amory B. Lovins, chairman and chief scientist of the sustainability-focused Rocky Mountain Institute, Big Oil is soon to follow whale oil’s downward trajectory toward extinction. At the Ceres Conference 2015 for sustainable business, Lovins challenged big businesses to rethink the outdated belief that investing in fossil fuels remains the safest way to get rich (dolphins, seabirds and humanity be damned).

At first look, Lovins appears to be a nerdy, middle-aged scientist in a suit, but once he starts talking, it becomes clear that he’s actually a brilliant revolutionary. Lovins’ message hasn’t changed much in the four decades he’s been doggedly trying to get the world to embrace renewable energy, but he’s accumulated more data to prove his point to a host of unlikely converts, from communist China to Arab sheiks and presidents of companies like Texaco.

Even if you don’t care much about the environment, Lovins makes the case that you’d be economically foolish not to invest in renewable energy, because green technology today is akin to the discovery of petroleum and its effect on the whaling industry of the 19th century.  (

In 1850, oil from the whaling industry lit most homes. Yet only nine years later, Edwin Drake, an ex-railroad conductor, drilled what is widely considered to have been the first oil well in the U.S., ushering in the oil rush and the effective end of whaling for oil. Even before Drake, coal and kerosene had begun to replace whale sperm oil, because those natural resources were more affordable and efficient—just as today, hybrids, electric vehicles and biodiesel are beginning to replace gas-guzzling cars and trucks.   (

Amory Lovins / Rocky Mountain Institute  ( 

Lovins teaches us history in order to wake us up to the notion that renewable energy isn’t just a matter of what’s good for the planet. What’s more, it’s foolish, bad for our collective pocketbooks and naïve to ignore the obvious: Alternative energy and advanced technology vehicles (and renewable energy sources in all sectors) are becoming more affordable and better for national energy security, and they’re creating a huge influx of new jobs.

Lovins understands that big money, big companies and the governments of big countries don’t respond to abstract arguments about values or future doom—they respond to cost and consumer demand, hard facts.

These are points that even Republicans can get behind. While our government remains too paralyzed to collaborate across party lines, Lovins is a bridge-builder between unlikely coalitions. In 2005, Robert C. McFarlane, President Reagan’s National Security advisor, writing in The Wall Street Journal, described the Rocky Mountain Institute as “a respected center of hard-headed, market-based research.”

The institute’s research suggests that lack of consumer demand may bring the oil industry to its knees. Though this seems impossible to believe now, while gas-guzzling minivans are still the norm in many parts of North America (and elsewhere around the world), Lovins sheds light on where the tide is turning. From Zipcar and the explosion of similar shared car services now available in cities like San Francisco, to electronic bicycles in China, to Uber and Google’s self-driving cars, he shows us the emerging trend that’s pointing away from single-family cars and toward a different kind of ownership model: a rental model, a bus-bicycle-walking model. In San Francisco today, bike rentals are all the rage; parents are biking kids to school on all kinds of fancy two-wheel contraptions that weren’t seen 20 or 30 years ago, when clunky old Chevys and Fords were more often the people-movers of choice.

Big auto companies are following Europe’s lead in producing smaller cars and lighter-weight electric vehicles, as governments from across Europe to the U.S. are offering financial incentives for residents who buy environmentally friendly vehicles. They’re recognizing that some members of the millennial generation are more interested in new tech, car-sharing apps and living a simpler, more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Go here for page 2: (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 12, 2015, 05:45:12 pm
06/12/2015 02:37 PM
( Vermont Shoots For 55% Renewable Energy in Two Years, While Wisconsin Fires Climate Scientists News

Governor Shumlin of Vermont signed the most aggressive renewable energy law in the US this week.

It requires utilities to use 55% renewable energy for electricity by the end of 2017, 75% by 2032, and 90% by 2050.

There's also a carve-out for small renewable energy systems of 5 megawatts or less - they must provide at least 1% of electricity in 2017 and 10% by 2032.

Utilities must own this renewable energy or renewable energy credits (RECs) - they can't sign power purchase agreements to buy it elsewhere.

The bill also establishes an "Energy Transformation Program" under which utilities have to provide leasing or on-bill financing options that help customers pay for efficiency improvements for their homes.

"Under this bill, Vermont will pioneer a new model where utilities will be in the business of helping customers use less energy, save money, and ensure the energy they do use is from renewable sources. That's the future of energy in America, and it's starting right here in Vermont," says Governor Shumlin.

"With the signing of H.40 Vermonters will now have one stop access for services and financing to weatherize their homes and businesses, add on-site solar and replace or upgrade their current heating systems with state-of-the-art air source heat pumps," says Rep. Tony Klein, one of the sponsors.

The policies are expected to create 1000 new jobs, save Vermonters $390 million on energy costs, in addition to combating climate change.  ;D   (

Last year, Vermont raised the cap on net-metering to greater reward homeowners and businesses that install solar systems.

Vermont is part of the "Under 2 MOU" group - 12 governments that commit to joint action to keep global temperatures from reaching 2°C. ranking of state emissions ( shows Vermont produces the least in the US!    (

Agelbert NOTE: Per person, New York has the lowest emissions and Wyoming has the highest. No wonder Cheney loves Wyoming.

Meanwhile in Wisconsin

The striking difference between red and blue governors rears its head. After being told not to mention the words "climate change" or "global warming," lawmakers decided to fire those scientists.

Scientists that focus on climate change, pollution and mining are being laid off from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). They want to refocus the department on hunting and fishing, they say!   ( (

Ultra-conservative Governor Scott Walker - who is running for president - slashed 18 research positions in the state budget, leaving the department's Science Services Bureau with 13 research positions. Why? Because the positions no longer serve DNR's core mission.

The Bureau of Science Services' research plan calls for extensive study on how climate change is affecting the Great Lakes, Wisconsin's river ecosystems, and the state's forests, wildlife and fish. It also calls for research on "emerging" water pollutants such as prescription drugs, hormones and industrial additives and agents. Another line of research would develop ways to predict and mitigate the impact of sand, iron and sulfide mining on air and water, plants and animals, along with monitoring strategies for newly permitted mines, reports Wisconsin Gazette.

"All of those issues are politically inconvenient for Republicans, whose donors are involved in pollution-producing businesses that are costlier to operate under environmental regulations. Republicans, including Walker, don't allow staff to even talk about climate change, let alone the fact that an overwhelming preponderance of scientific evidence shows it's happening," says the Gazette.

"Let's offer more opportunities for sportsmen rather than going off on something that's theoretical [referring to climate change]," says Republican state Senator Tom Tiffany, who led the charge to dismantle Wisconsin's mining regulations. The mining company that benefited donated $700,000 to Walker and state Republican campaigns.
Walker is a member of ALEC and is loved by the Koch Brothers  ( He's the most anti-environment governor in the state's history.

Read our article, Wisconsin Governor Walker's Record on Clean Energy, Environment.

Agelbert NOTE: Governor Walker, like the Koch Crooks, suffers from Empathy Deficit Disorder.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 16, 2015, 02:59:11 pm
06/12/2015 05:32 PM   

Scotland Makes Energy Efficiency Its Preferred Fuel, Indonesia Announces Renewables Target   ;D News

Although Scotland has missed its aggressive climate targets in each of the past four years, the government issued a policy to decarbonize heating fuels by 2050. 

The policy designates energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority along with renewable energy. Heat accounts for more than 50% of Scotland's energy use and emissions, according to The Scotsman.

One of the goals is to connect 40,000 homes to district or communal heating by 2020.

"Reducing our dependence on volatile fossil fuels to heat our homes is a huge opportunity to cut bills, lift people out of fuel poverty, enhance energy security and cut emissions," Sam Gardner, head of policy at WWF Scotland told The Scotsman.

But the commitment needs to be backed by clear goals, milestones and a strong funding package, he says. The government says it will work out a detailed plan over the coming year, but that it would require more than £100 billion to replace outdated equipment and to make energy retrofits through 2050.

Scotland's Energy Efficiency Programme will provide support to upgrade all buildings in Scotland, and the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme launched this year to support infrastructure projects.

Scotland's goal is to reach 100% renewable energy and banned fracking this year . It is leading on tidal energy and offshore wind.    (


Indonesia Announces Renewable Energy Target 

Indonesia announced that renewable energy will provide 19% of all energy by 2019 and 25% by 2025. The country currently gets 5-6% of energy from renewables, reports Jakarta Post.

As of last year's Climate Summit, Indonesia is on track to cut emissions 26% by 2020.

 The government plans to put solar systems on government buildings, map areas of greatest geothermal potential, and create "energy forests" (doesn't sound good) and energy gardens. It plans to invest $304 billion to meet the goals over the next five years.

 We have long heard about the country's geothermal potential - about 40% of the world's total - but it still has only 1.2 gigawatt (GW) of capacity out of a potential of 29 GW. 4-5 GW will come online this year, and the goal is for 10 GW by 2025, employing as many as 800,000 people. It has strong feed-in tariffs that support development. 

Surprisingly, Indonesia ranks among the top 10 countries for renewable energy jobs. (  (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 17, 2015, 10:56:00 pm

California Sets Record; Surpasses UK, France, Spain in Installed Solar Capacity

Rhone Resch

Think about this for a second: If California was a nation, it would rank 6th in the world in installed solar capacity. Wow.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 18, 2015, 07:45:00 pm
More Truth in this comment than in the article it references. 

June 17, 2015

Bruce McFarling says:

The thesis that a carbon price is unwinnable seems to be based on a premise that winnable fights have to be on grounds that can be "bipartisan" ... and that is the premise that resulted in the politicizing of science and renewable energy policy, since you only have to turn it into a partisan issue to close the door on that bipartisan approach.

"At the national level, the effort by the extreme right to politicize science funding is a deep threat to progress in developing renewable energy technology. I think de-politicizing and increasing basic science funding and funding renewable energy research and development are winnable battles at the federal level."

The threat to progress in developing renewable energy technology is a large point of the point of politicizing science funding. If people reacting to reality gives an answer that threaten the wealth of large, established and (by definition) wealthy interests, then the immediate pursuit of narrow and short term self interest calls for obscuring reality.

De-politicizing basic science funding and funding renewable energy research and development are winnable battles, but its not likely that they will be won on a "bipartisan" model. There seems to be enough wealth at stake to guarantee dominance of at least one mainstream political party.

So they will most likely have to be won the old fashioned way, of entrenching them in the platform of one mainstream political party, whether by gaining adherence from one or from shattering the current political alignment and rebuilding it anew (as in the 1850's in the US with the collapse of the Whigs over the slavery issue), and then winning that political fight..

How the Transition to Renewable Energy Could Come

by  Steven Cohen, Executive Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Posted June 16, 2015

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 18, 2015, 08:56:51 pm
Not Your Grandparent's Grid: 6 Reasons Why Penetrations of Renewable Resources are Becoming Attainable (

Posted June 17, 2015


There are key differences between yesterday’s grid and tomorrow’s grid that should be forefront as we consider the ability of the system to integrate high levels of renewables.

•Advanced communication and IT resources are being deployed to provide grid operators with the information and tools necessary to optimize system operations, markets, and planning. 

•The benefits of geographically broad and co-optimized operating and market footprints are becoming increasingly apparent and there are significant initiatives underway globally to leverage the benefits of regional collaboration to support the reliability and economic performance of the grid while also enabling the integration of clean energy resources.

•Commercially available technologies including active power controls on wind turbines and advanced solar inverters are capable of supporting grid operations and reliability, and in some cases they are better equipped to do so than older or inflexible thermal generating units that do not respond well to automated signals.

•Electricity markets have the potential to provide investors and developers with appropriate economic signals to deploy advanced technologies that provide varying combinations of energy, capacity, and ancillary services. The development of market products beyond energy and capacity will increase the value propositions for renewable resources and there are an encouraging number of initiatives underway to augment existing markets and start new markets.

•Increasingly sophisticated distributed resources, demand response, and storage technologies are in the queue to become essential components in a system that leverages the broad capabilities of a diverse set of resources.

•The ongoing retirement of large coal generating units and the decentralization of generation assets are creating a grid that is more flexible, resilient, and better equipped to integrate renewables.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 22, 2015, 07:48:21 pm
Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Peru warned that Francis “will have many critics, because they want to continue setting rules of the game in which money takes first place. We have to be prepared for those kinds of attacks.”

The Pope took his critics into account—making it clear within the text of Laudato Si that his approach to the environment is firmly rooted in traditional Catholic views of the uniqueness of human life and the need for a non-market based common good—drawing a line clarifying that he is not preaching a “new age” form of Catholicism.

How Pope Francis’s Climate Encyclical Is Disrupting American Politics

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 29, 2015, 05:49:00 pm
06/29/2015 12:55 PM     
New York Releases Plan For Visionary Energy Policy News

Last year, NY Governor Cuomo announced the state's visionary and groundbreaking plan to transition to distributed, renewable energy, "Reforming the Energy Vision," hailed as the most aggressive in the country.

Now there's a path to make it reality.

Under the NY State Energy Plan, by 2030: 

•cut greenhouse gas emissions 40% from 1990 levels by 2030, and 80% by 2050 - from electricity, heating, industry, buildings and transportation

•renewable energy supplies 50% of energy (up from 25% now, including hydro) from solar, onshore and offshore wind, biomass and hydro

•energy efficiency in buildings 23% below 2012 levels

Plan Components

1. Transform utilities to market-based role: Rather than selling energy that's under centralized control, utilities will buy electricity from thousands of small generators  (    ( that have, for example, solar on their roof. Utilities will make money by linking them together and integrating the energy into the grid. 

Utilities must submit their plans to meet these goals by the end of this year.

2. Clean Energy Fund: $5 billion over 10 years to support NY-Sun and K-Solar, NY Green Bank , plus $1.5 billion for large scale solar and wind projects.

 3. Building Efficiency: implement advanced building codes, raise efficiency in affordable housing, move to combined heat and power, and BuildSmart NY program.

4. Minimize methane emissions from natural gas infrastructure

5. Research, development and commercialization of energy storage technologies through NY-BEST and Brookhaven National Lab.

6. Investments in electric vehicles and infrastructure - 3000  charging stations across the state over the next five years.
Read our article, New York Sets California-Like Path for Solar Energy.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 07, 2015, 11:34:59 pm
Renewables = 17% of US Electricity Production In April (Exclusive)
Published on July 7th, 2015 | by Zachary Shahan
Following my latest US electricity capacity report, let’s look at actual electricity generation. As the headline indicates, renewables accounted for 17% (or 17.1% if you want to be slightly more precise) of US electricity production in ... Read More →
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 13, 2015, 05:57:57 pm
07/09/2015 03:44 PM            
Energy Efficiency Has Penetrated Business Psyche News

Energy Efficiency is fast becoming part of the "business psyche" and energy management is considered an essential business strategy, according to a Deloitte survey.

Industries leading the way are technology, media, telecommunications and healthcare.

79% of businesses with more than 250 employees view reducing electricity costs as key to competitive advantage and 57% have formal energy reduction goals, up from 46% just last year.

Almost all - 93% - invested in energy management during the past three years - 17% of capital budgets this year.

They are moving toward energy independence, with 55% saying they generate some electricity on-site, up from 44% last year.

13% of the energy generated on-site comes from solar or wind, 9% from fuel cells, and 9% from combined heat and power.

"Based on the results of the 2014 study, we found that energy was becoming a core business competency. The findings of the 2015 study not only corroborate that result but further suggest a tipping point has been passed: thoughtful, deliberate energy consumption has permeated the business psyche, and companies, by and large, now consider energy management to be an essential aspect of corporate strategy."

Read our article, World Is Moving to Distributed Energy: 165 GW by 2023.

Manufacturers Can Do Much More
Although manufacturers are much more efficient - they use 17% less energy than in 2001, they still consume 24% of US energy, according to "Barriers to Industrial Energy Efficiency," by the Department of Energy.

The sector can cut energy use another 15-32% over the next 10 years through demand response and by incorporating efficient equipment such as advanced electric motors, lighting, sensors, controls, and combined heat and power.

In other words, most companies are still scratching the surface on efficiency.


Not surprisingly, economic constraints are cited as the main reason, but they also don't make it up on the priority list. Other reasons are perceived lack of returns and too much of a focus on short-term results. (

Efficiency has yet to become ingrained in corporate strategy for industrial manufacturing.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 14, 2015, 07:54:59 pm
He believes that in less than 10 years nearly all cars will be electric.  ;D Also he said bulk storage with batteries will grow faster than predicted. “Our view is that batteries are really going to win” over other energy storage technologies like pumped hydro, compressed air energy storage, even flow batteries, he said. “We are seeing price declines that make a lot of those technologies somewhat stranded,” he added.

“So if we can have solar generation at $0.02-0.03 per kWh and if you can have a levelized cost of a battery that may fall below $0.10 per kWh you suddenly get to have energy that is 100 percent firm and buffered from photovoltaics that is cheaper than fossil energy,” he said. That goal is in “grasping distance” according to Straubel.

Tesla CTO: Bulk Energy Storage Will Grow Much Faster Than People Expect  :o  (


Much ado about energy storage at the Intersolar 2015 opening keynote.

July 14, 2015

By Jennifer Runyon, Chief Editor
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 17, 2015, 01:53:00 pm
07/16/2015 01:26 PM     

Five Seismic Shifts In Energy On the Way News

Calling it "5 Seismic Shifts" in global power generation, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) outlines the dominant trends we'll see over the next 25 years. 

The big news is the scale of renewable energy investment we are about to see, especially in distributed solar energy. The bad news is that without more radical policies, continued fossil fuel emissions will prevent the world from reaching climate goals.

Solar, Solar Everywhere! Costs keep coming down in solar PV, driving a $3.7 trillion surge in solar investment, both large-scale and small-scale.

Power to the People: $2.2 trillion of that will go to rooftop and community-based solar systems, giving individuals and businesses electricity independence by storing it in batteries and giving billions in the developing world access to power for the first time.

Small solar and building-integrated solar will soar from 104 gigawatts in 2014 to nearly 1.8 terawatts in 2040, a 17-fold increase. Prices will drop another 47% per megawatt,  conversion efficiencies will improve and the industry will move to new materials and more streamlined production methods.

Solar on House

"Up to now, small-scale solar investment has been dominated by wealthy countries such as Germany, the US and Japan. By 2040, developing economies will have spent $1 trillion on small PV systems, in many cases bringing electricity for the first time to remote villages," says Jenny Chase, chief solar analyst at BNEF.

 Utility-scale solar PV will grow 24-fold to 1.9 terawatts, onshore wind will reach 1.8 terawatts (up five-fold) and offshore wind will grow 25 times to 198 gigawatts. Smart grid capacity will grow 17-fold to 858 GW. 

By 2030, solar will be the cheapest energy resource and by 2040, the cost of wind projects will have dropped another 32%.

 In fact, 78% of the $12.2 trillion invested in power generation will be in emerging markets. Renewables will account for two thirds of that, with $1.6 trillion still in coal, $1.2 trillion in gas and $1.3 trillion in nuclear.

For every 1 GW of new build in the Americas, 3.4 GW will be installed in Asia Pacific nations. China alone will attract $3.3 trillion, nearly double that for the Americas, BNEF says.

Solar Becomes Top Energy Source in 2018

 Looking at the shorter term, GTM Research finds 2018 will be the tipping point for solar, when it achieves grid parity worldwide and becomes the energy of choice. By 2020, the world will be installing 135 gigawatts a year, triple the current pace.

The top countries will be China, US and Japan, and Africa, Latin America and the Mid-East will jump from 1% solar today to 17%.

Demand Undershoots: at the same time, ever-increasing energy efficient technologies of all kinds will limit   energy demand growth to 1.8% a year, down from 3% a year from 1990-2012. In OECD countries, electricity demand will be lower in 2040 than in 2014.

Gas Flares Briefly: Natural gas will not be the world's "transition fuel" away from coal, except in the US. Many developing nations will opt for a twin-track of coal and renewables.

Climate Peril: Despite $8 trillion in renewable energy investments, there will still be enough fossil-fuel plants to keep world carbon emissions rising until 2029, and in 2040, emissions will still be 13% above 2014 levels. Fossil fuels will still be used for 44% of electricity production, down from 67% in 2014).

 Even with much slower energy demand growth, the world will use 56% more electricity - too much of it from coal - as population and economies expand in developing countries.

"The CO2 content of the atmosphere is on course to exceed 450 parts per million by 2035 even if emissions stay constant, so the trend we show of rising emissions to 2029 makes it very unlikely that the world will be able to limit temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Centigrade," says Seb Henbest, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for BNEF.

"The message for international negotiators preparing for the Paris climate change conference in December is that current policy settings - even combined with the vast strides renewables are making on competitiveness - will not be enough. Further policy action on emissions will be needed," he adds.

 The analysis, however, leaves out key policies that have yet to be put in place, such as EPA's Clean Power Plan in the US or China's cap-and-trade systems, which starts official operations next year. In proceeding years, a worldwide cap-and-trade system will likely coalesce.

Read our articles, World Emissions Can - and Must - Peak By 2020 and Stabilizing Our Atmosphere Costs $44 trillion through 2050.

 Read BNEF's report, New Energy Outlook 2015:
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 22, 2015, 05:59:26 pm
07/20/2015 12:48 PM     

Milestone Passed: World Adds Over 100 GW of Renewables in 2014  ;D News

2014 was another big year for renewable energy worldwide - for the first time, over 100 gigawatts (GW) were installed in one year.

 The 103 GW added - mostly solar and wind -  equals the output of all US nuclear plants combined, and is a significant increase from previous years - 86 GW in 2013, 89 GW in 2012 and 81 GW in 2011.

Renewables are edging toward supplying 10% of the world's power. They contributed 9.1% of all electricity in 2014, up from 8.5% the previous year, and that doesn't include big hydro.

 The industry grew 17% with $270 billion invested, according to the 9th Annual Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015, by the  United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Even sharply lower oil prices didn't stop the growth, thanks to major expansions of solar in China and Japan and record investments in offshore wind.

"Once again in 2014, renewables made up nearly half of the net power capacity added worldwide" says Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP.

"There is now nobody who thinks the energy system of the future will look like the energy system of the past," says Michael Liebreich, advisory board chair for Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

 Solar and wind continue to dominate with 92% of all investments. Solar jumped 25% to $150 billion - its second highest figure ever - and wind rose 11% to a record $99.5 billion. 49 GW of wind and 46 GW of solar PV were added, both records.

Seven $1 billion-plus offshore wind projects were approved in Europe, including the biggest one ever - the $3.8 billion 600 megawatt Gemini project in the Netherlands. Geothermal grew 23% to $2.7 billion invested, but biofuels, biomass and small hydro declined.

Renewable Energy Growth Worldwide 2014  (graphic at link below)

China saw record investments of $83.3 billion (up 39% from 2013) and the US came in second at $38.3 billion, up 7% on the year. Japan is third at $35.7 billion, a 10% increase and its biggest year yet.

Read our articles, World Wind Industry Grows 44% in 2014 and Solar Set To Soar Worldwide This Year, 36% Growth!

Read UNEP's report:
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 29, 2015, 02:23:20 pm
On Green Energy, Ethiopia Leaves U.S. in the Dust

Posted on Jul 28, 2015

By Juan Cole


President Obama’s state visit to Kenya and Ethiopia has involved a good deal of scolding of those countries by Western pundits. On some matters, the chiding should go in the other direction. On the issues of green energy and climate change, Ethiopia has announced initiatives that put the United States to shame.

The U.S. commits an annual crime against the earth by emitting 5.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, whereas these African countries live cleanly in this regard. They are intent on growing economically in an environmentally friendly way. On the most important environmental and economic issue of our day, the U.S. is an unrepentant and even bullying fossil-fuel dinosaur, whereas young Africa is awakening to the benefits of renewable energy.

Full article:

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 30, 2015, 06:17:29 pm
The Economics of Load Defection

Rising retail prices for grid electricity and declining costs for solar PV and batteries mean that grid-connected solar-plus-battery systems will be economic within the next 10–15 years for many customers in many parts of the country.

Utilities could see significant decline in energy sales that would support needed grid investment.

Thus it's critical that utilities, regulators, and other electricity system stakeholders urgently pursue reform on three fronts—rate structures, utility business models, and regulatory frameworks—to embrace solar, batteries, and other DERs as an integral, optimized part of the future grid, rather than as a threat to that grid. 

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on July 30, 2015, 07:13:30 pm
Germany Breaks Renewable Energy Record ( (

Emily J. Gertz, TakePart | July 30, 2015 10:39 am
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on August 04, 2015, 03:20:17 pm

The Price Is Right on Clean Energy

The Climate Reality Project | August 4, 2015 12:33 pm

Ever had one of those moments where you turn on the television and stumble onto a show from decades back that you can’t believe is even on any more? If you’re in the U.S., something like Wheel of Fortune or The Price Is Right? (And this is one of those rare instances of universal harmony where every nation has its own version). But there it is, still making the rounds with the host looking as indeterminately aged as ever and an audience dressed for today. And you can’t help thinking, “Wait, people still watch this?”

Here at Climate Reality, we’ve been having a similar thought hearing senators and media pundits rehearse the tired old claim that switching from fossil fuels to clean energy would be economic suicide: “Wait, people still believe that?”

Because—and here’s the key point—the opposite is true. Look at the list of countries making real commitments to clean energy and you’ll see a list of strong economies that aren’t suffering because they’ve embraced renewables like solar and wind power. In many cases, they’re growing—and kind of like Pat Sajak, it’s time to take the Clean Energy Would Kill the Economy show off the air once and for all. (

Changing the Channel in 2015

If this myth has been around for so long, why are we focusing on it now? And why this one in particular?

In a word: Paris. Along with everyone else in the climate community, The Climate Reality Project is working to build support for a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the UN talks in Paris later this year. If we’re successful—and world leaders make the kind of emissions reduction commitments that can keep warming within safe limits—the upshot is that we’re going to have to scale down our use of fossil fuels as a planet and scale up renewables in a big, big way. (

Naturally, the fossil fuel industry ( sees an existential threat  ( here and has its spokespeople and government supporters making the rounds to claim that any significant moves in this direction would only kill jobs and destroy the economy. ( ( Just look at all the hyperbolic invectives against the EPA’s Clean Power Plan we’re hearing here in the U.S., as one example.

These kinds of claims make for great quotes and conspiracy theories, but when you compare them to what’s already actually happening in the world, they fall apart fast.
So in the interest of a little truth-telling, over the next couple weeks, we’re highlighting some of the nations showing that clean energy economies work—and work well—beginning with a few that have been going clean and winning for a while.


You might have heard of it. You know, the world’s fourth-largest economy by gross domestic product (GDP), industrial powerhouse of Europe, world champions in soccer/football and home of major companies like Volkswagen, Deutsche Bank and Siemens.

Germany began betting big on clean energy long before it was cool, with the government taking its first significant steps to start a nationwide transition from nuclear power and fossil fuels to renewables back in the early 90s (there’s even a typically long and nearly pronounceable German word for this idea: “Energiewende” (or “energy transition”). The results have been pretty spectacular. Among other highlights:

•Between 1990 and 2010, per capita greenhouse gas emissions dropped 26 percent, even as per capita GDP grew 36 percent.

•In 2014, Germany generated more than 27 percent of its electricity with renewables, making clean energy the nation’s primary source of power and cementing its place at the top of the list of solar-powered countries. That same year, it ranked second in the world in most electricity from biopower and third in installed wind power capacity. Not too shabby.

•Meanwhile, the nation set goals of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

•Germany is also working to reduce its primary energy consumption by 20 percent below 2008 levels by 2020 and 50 percent by 2050.

It’s worth remembering that Germany has continued its clean-energy initiatives in the middle of a global recession and all while remaining one of the world’s greatest economic powers.  ;D And it somehow beat Brazil 7-1 in Brazil, which suggests there’s very little Germans can’t do when they put their collective wills to it.


Just across the border, Denmark has been taking a bit of anything-you-can-do-Germany-we-can-do-better approach to clean energy. While the nation isn’t quite the economic powerhouse of its southern neighbor, it has one of the highest standards of living in the world and has seen steady economic growth in the twenty-first century. And it’s done so while also decreasing both its energy use through ambitious conservation measures and its carbon emissions.

No surprise: renewables are a big part of this story, especially wind. The country set a new world record for wind power by getting more than 39 percent of its power from wind in 2014. Then on July 9 and 10 of this year, Denmark generated 140 percent of its energy needs with wind, sending the surplus power to neighboring nations. Plus, just in case anyone ever wanted to accuse the Danish of lacking ambition, the country aims to go from low-carbon to no-carbon and become completely independent of fossil fuels by 2050. No one on staff at Climate Reality knew Danish for “wow,” but it’s clearly time we learned.

Costa Rica

For any detractors thinking clean energy can only work in advanced economies in Europe, let’s head over to Costa Rica. The nation has taken advantage of its abundant natural resources to create real capacity in small-scale hydroelectric and geothermal power, with the result it generated 100 percent of its electricity with renewables for the first 113 days of this year. Costa Rica is also developing—and attracting investment in—other areas like solar, wind and biofuels and has committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2021.
So far, all this focus on renewables hasn’t exactly killed the nation’s economy. Instead, Costa Rica has become an upper middle-income country, experiencing steady economic growth over the past 25 years and the World Bank expects its GDP to keep growing around 4 percent annually for the next several years. Pura vida, indeed.


Admittedly, California isn’t technically a nation—the whole “California Republic” ethos notwithstanding—but this one state has the seventh-largest economy in the world, ahead of countries like Brazil, Canada and Italy. Which makes it a pretty good test case for clean energy in the U.S.—and something of an embarrassment for the anti-renewable crowd.

So what’s making the Golden State the, um, gold standard on clean energy when it comes to the U.S? The topline here is that through a combination of ambitious efficiency measures, aggressive targets and policies for emissions reduction and a deep commitment to expanding renewables, the state’s been able to do the remarkable and grow its economy without substantially increasing emissions. And not just without increasing emissions, but actually shrinking them by 25 percent per person from 1990—2012, all while growing per-capita GDP by 37 percent in the same period and creating what one report has hailed as the second-greenest economy in the world.

While pulling out all the factors contributing to this achievement would take up a post of its own (if not a book), a few in particular stand out:

•Governor Jerry Brown recently issued an executive order to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, making it possibly the most ambitious target in North America.

•California is home to the largest carbon market in North America, with a cap and trade system linked with Quebec and soon with Ontario.

•The state has developed both the policies and industry to become the leading state for solar energy in the U.S. and currently is home to the world’s three largest solar power plants. Along the way it became the first U.S. state to top 10 GW of solar capacity—or enough to power nearly 2.6 million homes—while its domestic solar industry employs nearly 55,000 workers across the solar value chain.

Looking at these figures, you have to try hard—really hard—not to reach one conclusion: if the world’s seventh-largest economy can make clean energy work, other nations and states can too. Which gives us a lot of hope looking ahead to negotiations in Paris. You might have heard the saying, “As California goes, so goes the nation.” We sure like the sound of it. (

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on August 05, 2015, 02:41:10 pm
World’s Largest Solar Project and Floating Wind Turbine Signal Global Shift to Renewable Energy  (

Lorraine Chow | August 5, 2015 1:48 pm



Thank you for this inspiring news. I would add that the coastal wind turbines about 50 to 70 miles south of Fukushima, constructed BEFORE the 2011 tsunami that caused the subsequent meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, were unscathed by the tsunami and were the ONLY power source for over a month.  Now that's what I call reliable energy! The propagandists for dirty energy that frequent these boards should be reminded of how UNRELIABLE the energy they defend is.     

Paul Kangas     

The meltdown in Fukushima, Japan caused Japan to shift towards 100% solar.
The meltdown in Chernobyl, Russia caused Germany to rush towards solar & a solar payment policy.
Germany began paying $0.99 kwh for solar. Japan is paying $0.53 kwh for solar.
This is all good. However, we want decentralized solar, locally made, from home roof tops, not giant corporate solar.
To ship the energy from these huge projects to homes, where it is needed, you lose 40% of the energy in transmission. Big is not better.
That is not "clean" energy.
If we build solar homes, each with 100 solar panels, the homes get free energy at the point of use, no transmission costs, and the working class homeowner makes $2,000. / month income from the solar. Small is better. Decentralization. That is clean energy.
This also creates jobs that cannot be off-shored.
Stop genuflecting every time some Daddy War Bucks builds a large Pen*s.
These giant energy plants were built by Fukushima, and that means General Electric and atomic energy money.
Stop and think.

reply to Paul Kangas by agelbert

I agree distributed is the best form of renewable energy. But your cost figures for German Solar power per kwh are WAY OFF (German wind is even cheaper!).

"Solar power is already cost-effective, Agora notes. “In the sunny, desert country of Dubai, a long-term power purchase contract was signed recently for 5 cents per kilowatt hour, while in Germany large solar plants deliver power for less than 9 cents. By comparison, electricity from new coal and gas-fired plants costs between 5 and 10 cents per kilowatt hour and from nuclear plants as much as 11 cents.”

By 2025, the cost of producing power in central and southern Europe will have declined to between 4 and 6 cents per kilowatt hour. (

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on August 11, 2015, 08:45:47 pm
Europe’s energy revolution marches on: one-third of power supply now renewable

June 17, 2015 by Karel Beckman

Fully one-third of electricity produced in Europe last year came from renewable energy, reports ENTSO-E (the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity). Four years ago this was just 24%. The increased share of renewables has come at the expense of fossil fuels.  ;D “There is a revolution taking place”, says Susanne Nies, Corporate Affairs Manager at ENTSO-E.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on August 20, 2015, 08:59:18 pm
Islands Become Trendsetters for Renewable Energy

by Colin McCormick - August 05, 2015

Colin McCormick is a Research Fellow looking at energy technology innovation for WRI’s Charge project.


With its new target in place, Hawaii becomes the largest island to aim for a full-renewables grid strategy.

Hawaii made waves earlier this year with the announcement that it plans to transition its electric grid to 100 percent renewables by 2045. This is the most aggressive target in the United States, and it means that the state will serve as a testbed for bringing large amounts of variable renewables onto the grid. It should be watched closely by grid managers everywhere.

It’s no coincidence that Hawaii leads the nation in its renewable ambitions. As a group of islands, Hawaii faces unique energy challenges, and it has worked closely with the U.S. Department of Energy to analyze the potential of solar energy, and examine the challenges of integrating a variety of renewables into its energy mix.

From one perspective, an island seems like a hard place to use variable renewable energy like wind and solar. Island grids are usually isolated, so they can’t rely on power from the mainland grid when there’s no sun or wind. (There are some exceptions, like the Danish island of Samso.) Island grids generally have to pay more attention to backup generation and energy storage than mainland grids, raising the overall costs of renewables.

On the other hand, most islands rely on fuel imports to run their grid. These shipments of diesel, oil or natural gas are very expensive, and anything that can reduce or eliminate them can mean big savings. It also means less reliance on imports, increasing energy security. So shifting to fuel-free renewables like solar and wind saves money on this side of the ledger.

How do these two factors balance out in practice? The answer is clear in the growing number of island communities around the world that are moving quickly to adopt renewables.

The Growth of Renewable Islands

Hybrid renewable energy technologies can provide stable power for islands. For example, El Hierro, one of the Spanish Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, operates a stand-alone electric grid to serve its population of 11,000 and run power-hungry desalination plants. Last summer, the island inaugurated a hybrid wind-hydro power plant that combines wind energy when it’s available with pumped hydroelectric storage that runs when the wind drops. This has allowed it to almost completely stop using expensive, shipped-in fuel oil. The plant has just completed one year of successful operation.

Grid management and storage solutions are also being developed and used on islands. Kodiak Island in Alaska has just shifted to fully running its grid with wind and hydro power. To make this work, the utility had to deal with the challenge of smoothly transitioning between wind and hydro generation without the power flickering. Managers handle this by using a battery-storage system that can provide a brief (90 second) amount of power to bridge the gap. With the full system in operation, Kodiak is able to almost completely eliminate imports of close to 3 million gallons of diesel per year.

Many other islands are expanding how much of their electricity can feasibly come from renewables, as IRENA and the Carbon War Room have both addressed. These islands range from extremely small—such as the tiny Pacific nation of Tokelau, which moved to entirely solar power several years ago—to relatively large—Iceland relies almost entirely on hydropower and geothermal power, although these are less variable than wind and solar.

Learning from Hawaii

With its new target in place, Hawaii becomes the largest island to aim for a full-renewables grid strategy. The lessons from balancing variable renewable generation on smaller islands will help the state as it works to handle the challenges of large amounts of renewables. And while some of these lessons will remain island-specific, many will be relevant to mainland grids.

Ubiquitous solar panels on Rooftops in Hawaii

One particular example that many utilities around the world are grappling with is the question of how much distributed renewable energy can be safely installed on the grid. Hawaii has the highest percentage of rooftop solar in the United States—one household in eight has it—which has raised some technical concerns about grid stability.  ;) In 2013, the local utility (HECO) capped the allowed amount of rooftop solar, freezing thousands of permit applications for new installations.  (  >:(

After research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) resolved those concerns, HECO doubled the cap and allowed new installations to go ahead.  (

Now it is charting new territory, including learning how to work with distributed solar companies to better use data from rooftop solar installations to improve awareness of how these systems are performing and their impact on grid stability.

As the Hawaiian grid continues to gather real-world experience in incorporating large amounts of renewables, it will serve as both a practical demonstration and a tremendously valuable testbed for how other states could follow a similar path. (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on August 23, 2015, 06:35:56 pm
World’s Second Largest Source of Electricity Is Now Renewables   (

The construction of a vast solar power plant in Germany. Photo credit: Bilfinger SE / Flickr

It probably surprises nobody to learn that coal produces more of the world’s electricity than any other fuel. But it may provide food for thought to realize that the second most widely-used fuels for power generation are now renewables.

Electricity generation from renewable sources has overtaken natural gas to become the second largest source of electricity worldwide, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has announced.

In Europe, the main renewables used to generate electricity are wind and solar power. Since 1990, global solar photovoltaic power has been increasing at an average growth rate of 44.6 percent a year and wind at 27.1 percent.  ( (

The IEA reports that electricity production last year in the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) fell slightly to 10,712 TWh (terawatt hours)—a decrease of 0.8 percent (86 TWh) compared with 2013. To put that in context, 1 TWh is 1 billion kilowatt hours and each KWh takes about 0.36 kilograms of coal to generate.

Partially Offset

This decline, the agency says, was driven by lower fossil fuel and hydro production, which were only partially offset by increases in non-hydro renewables. These grew by 8.5 percent and nuclear energy by 0.9 percent.

In 2014, solar photovoltaic power overtook solid biofuels—used in power plants that burn biomass—to become the second-largest source of non-hydro renewable electricity in OECD countries of Europe, with a share of 17.3 percent.

The IEA says overall growth in electricity generation continues to be driven by non-OECD countries. Its latest statistics, which show world electricity generation increasing by 2.9 percent between 2012 and 2013, reveal two distinct trends.

Electricity generation is leveling off within the OECD, while it is rising strongly in the rest of the world. In 2011, non-OECD countries for the first time produced more electricity than members of the OECD.

Other milestones were reached in 2013, when global non-hydro renewable electricity exceeded  oil-fired generation for the first time and renewable electricity overtook natural gas to become the world’s second largest source of electricity, producing 22 percent of the total.  (

In the same year, electricity generated by coal reached its highest level yet at 9,613 TWh, representing 41.1 percent of global electricity production  :P. The growth in coal generation was driven by non-OECD countries.  :(

Globally, more renewable energy is consumed in the residential, commercial and public services sectors than elsewhere, but there are two distinct patterns of use.

In non-OECD countries, only 22.3 percent of renewables are used for electricity and heat production and 60.7 percent in homes, commercial and public sectors. In OECD countries, more than half of the renewable primary energy supply (58.5 percent) is used for electricity and heat.

Huge Challenge

The IEA’s data will encourage renewable energy’s supporters, but they also show how much the world continues to rely on fossil fuels for its electricity.

In 1971, coal produced about 2 TWh of global electrical power, but that figure is now almost five times higher. Replacing that much generation with clean fuels will be a huge challenge, despite the very rapidly accelerating growth of renewables.

Fatih Birol, the IEA’s director, has said that, without clear direction from the UN climate summit to be held in Paris in December, “the world is set for warming well beyond the 2°C goal,”—the internationally-agreed limit for global temperature rise that is intended to prevent climate change reaching dangerous levels.

The IEA World Energy Outlook 2014 said that, by 2040, the world’s energy supply mix is likely to divide into four almost-equal parts: oil, gas, coal and low-carbon sources.

This scenario, it said, “puts the world on a path consistent with a long-term global average temperature increase of 3.6°C.”


Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on September 02, 2015, 09:00:02 pm
Shilling for Dollars

Front groups with official and impressive name such as Medicine and Public Health at the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) tend to lend an air of authoritative credibility to a given issue. It carries the impression of being an expert source.

To increase the “expert credibility” image, add someone with a few letters before and/or after their name to the staff.

But is the front group or its representatives really an expert and credible organization?  (

Full article:

Agelbert NOTE:
The short answer is NO. The ACSH is funded by a rogues gallery of polluters. The scientists they employ are bought and paid for to distort, dissemble and twist the science of applied physics (see "High Energy Density" of fossil fuels happy talk) and climate science along with several other pro-corporate and anti-people propaganda). The ACSH exists to perpetuate the profit over planet polluting status quo, PERIOD.

Why You Can’t Trust the American Council on Science and Health

Posted on April 17, 2015 by Gary Ruskin

The American Council on Science and Health is a front group for the tobacco, agrichemical, fossil fuel, pharmaceutical and other industries.


ACSH’s “Medical/Executive Director” is Dr. Gilbert Ross.[2] In 1993, according to United Press International, Dr. Ross was “convicted of racketeering, mail fraud and conspiracy,” and was “sentenced to 47 months in jail, $40,000 in forfeiture and restitution of $612,855” in a scheme to defraud the Medicaid system.[3]
ACSH’s Dr. Ross was found to be a “highly untrustworthy individual” by a judge who sustained the exclusion of Dr. Ross from Medicaid for ten years.[4]


ACSH has often billed itself as an “independent” group, and has been referred to as “independent” in the press. However, according to internal ACSH financial documents obtained by Mother Jones:

“ACSH planned to receive a total of $338,200 from tobacco companies between July 2012 and June 2013. Reynolds American and Phillip Morris International were each listed as expected to give $100,000 in 2013, which would make them the two largest individual donations listed in the ACSH documents.”[5]

“ACSH donors in the second half of 2012 included Chevron ($18,500), Coca-Cola ($50,000), the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation ($15,000), Dr. Pepper/Snapple ($5,000), Bayer Cropscience ($30,000), Procter and Gamble ($6,000), agribusiness giant Syngenta ($22,500), 3M ($30,000), McDonald’s ($30,000), and tobacco conglomerate Altria ($25,000).

Among the corporations and foundations that ACSH has pursued for financial support since July 2012 are Pepsi, Monsanto, British American Tobacco, DowAgro, ExxonMobil Foundation, Philip Morris International, Reynolds American, the Koch family-controlled Claude R. Lambe Foundation, the Dow-linked Gerstacker Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, and the Searle Freedom Trust.”[6]

ACSH has received $155,000 in contributions from Koch foundations from 2005-2011, according to Greenpeace.[7]

Indefensible and incorrect statements on science
ACSH has:

Claimed that “There is no evidence that exposure to secondhand smoke involves heart attacks or cardiac arrest.”[8]

Argued that “there is no scientific consensus concerning global warming. The climate change predictions are based on computer models that have not been validated and are far from perfect.”[9]

Argued that fracking “doesn’t pollute water or air.”[10]

Claimed that “The scientific evidence is clear. There has never been a case of ill health linked to the regulated, approved use of pesticides in this country.”[11]

Declared that “There is no evidence that BPA [bisphenol A] in consumer products of any type, including cash register receipts, are harmful to health.”[12]

Argued that the exposure to mercury, a potent neurotoxin, “in conventional seafood causes no harm in humans.”[13]


[2] “Meet the ACSH Team,” American Council on Science and Health website.

[3] “Seven Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud.” United Press International, December 6, 1993. See also correspondence from Tyrone T. Butler, Director, Bureau of Adjudication, State of New York Department of Health to Claudia Morales Bloch, Gilbert Ross and Vivian Shevitz, “RE: In the Matter of Gilbert Ross, M.D.” March 1, 1995. Bill Hogan, “Paging Dr. Ross.” Mother Jones, November 2005. Martin Donohoe MD FACP, “Corporate Front Groups and the Abuse of Science: The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH).” Spinwatch, June 25, 2010.

[4] Department of Health and Human Services, Departmental Appeals Board, Civil Remedies Division, In the Cases of Gilbert Ross, M.D. and Deborah Williams M.D., Petitioners, v. The Inspector General. June 16, 1997. Docket Nos. C-94-368 and C-94-369. Decision No. CR478.

[5] Andy Kroll and Jeremy Schulman, “Leaked Documents Reveal the Secret Finances of a Pro-Industry Science Group.” Mother Jones, October 28, 2013. “American Council on Science and Health Financial Report, FY 2013 Financial Update.” Mother Jones, October 28, 2013.

[6] Andy Kroll and Jeremy Schulman, “Leaked Documents Reveal the Secret Finances of a Pro-Industry Science Group.” Mother Jones, October 28, 2013. “American Council on Science and Health Financial Report, FY 2013 Financial Update.” Mother Jones, October 28, 2013.

[7] “Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group: American Council on Science and Health (ACSH).” Greenpeace. See also Rebekah Wilce, “Kochs and Corps Have Bankrolled American Council on Science and Health.” PR Watch, July 23, 2014.

[8] Richard Craver, “The Effects of the Smoking Ban.” Winston-Salem Journal, December 12, 2012.

[9] Elizabeth Whelan, “’Global Warming’ Not Health Threat.” PRI (Population Research Institute) Review, January 1, 1998.

[10] Elizabeth Whelan, “Fracking Doesn’t Pose Health Risks.” The Daily Caller, April 29, 2013.

[11] “TASSC: The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition,” p. 9. Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, University of California, San Francisco. November 21, 2001. Bates No. 2048294227-2048294237.

[12] “The Top 10 Unfounded Health Scares of 2012.” American Council on Science and Health, February 22, 2013.

[13] “The Biggest Unfounded Health Scares of 2010.” American Council on Science and Health, December 30, 2010.

Food For Thought, Hall of Shame

Agelbert NOTE:
Here is an excellent example of pseudo scientific baloney published by the ACSH (it's three years old but the same baloney continues to be peddled by fossil fuelers and those that swallowed their mendacious propaganda):

Energy Density: Why Gasoline Is Here To Stay  (

By Hank Campbell   ( | August 2nd 2012 11:00 PM

SNIPPET 1 - The Pretense of Objectivity Wind Up (i.e. tough love "real world" baloney mixed with sympathy laced rhetoric):

Like people who approach geopolitics with the attitude of "If people would just talk to each other, we would all along", there are a lot of naïve assumptions about just dumping gasoline.

We know it causes emissions, and emissions are bad, we know a lot of the money paid for oil goes to fund Middle Eastern terrorism, and that is bad - those things should cause both the left and the right in America to want gasoline gone. And yet it is not gone. The reason is simple: gasoline is a lot more efficient than alternative energy proponents want to believe.

SNIPPET 2 - The pitch:

Energy density is the amount of stored energy in something; in the case of gasoline we talk in America about a 1 gallon volume but I will use both metric and standard for the values. Gasoline has an energy density of about 44 megajoules per kilogram (MJ/kg), converted to American values that is 1.3 × 108 J/gallon.

SNIPPET 3 (Just ONE of SEVERAL real world AND applied physics LIES):

Ethanol was the last craze of the Anything-But-Oil contingent yet even they had to succumb to reality and recognize that the lower energy density meant 25% worse gas mileage - worse for people, worse for food prices and worse for the environment.

Agelbert NOTE: To begin with, ethanol is not a "craze". It was not a craze in 2012 and, because presently 15 billion gallons of it are made a year (, it certainly isn't one now.

But the fact that the author is so ignorant of history (Edison labs in partnership with the U.S. Navy, in the first decade of the 20th century, PROVED that ethanol was a superior fuel to gasoline - It was rather convenient for Standard Oil that Prohibition just happened to come along after Rockefeller funded the temperance movement to the tune of several million dollars...) is informative about the questionable scientific objectivity of the author.  ;)

The author puts up a happy talk graph showing gasoline as the high energy density champion over E85. He leaves out E100 (an informative omission that points squarely at a fossil fuel bias).

The chart is accurate. So what's the problem? The problem is that energy density of gasoline and ethanol is a process determined in the lab, by scientists, in certain standardized conditions. I'm CERTAIN fossil fuelers know this. The energy density of about 44 MJ/kg) for gasoline is determined by heating water, in an open flame in standard atmospheric conditions (a fixed temperature and pressure - sea level at 59 degrees F). 

If the above appears irrelevant to you, let me remind you that heating water in an open flame is an EXTERNAL combustion process. It is true that gasoline will heat that water quicker than ethanol.  ;D

But, unless you have a steam engine running your car, you need to consider how much WORK you can get from gasoline versus ethanol in an INTERNAL combustion engine. (

The author neglected to mention that ethanol (E100) has a higher octane rating than non-leaded gasoline, even though E100 has a lower energy density.  ;D High octane ratings give a fuel better mileage as long as you oxidize them in a high compression internal combustion engines. That is why tetra-ethyl lead was invented to help our children's IQ... You see, ethanol was outlawed for fuel thanks to Prohibition... And, by the way, leaded gasoline is STILL LEGAL for use in aircraft internal combustion engine, all of which are high compression engines. Do you live under the approach to general aviation airport? Then you are getting the "benefit" of still another "externalized" cost thanks to the fossil fuel industry.

When you mix gasoline with ethanol (e.g. E85) you LOWER the octane rating. IOW, you are making it LESS efficient. You are making it LESS competitive with gasoline. You are getting the waste heat disadvantage of gasoline and losing the a part of the high octane rating of ethanol. That is Inefficient. That is unscientific. That is STUPID. But that is convenient and profitable for the fossil fuel industry. You might ask yourself why E100 is in common use in Brazil, but not in the USA. I'll give you three guesses - the first two don't count.  ;)

Why ethanol's octane rating is higher than that of non-leaded gasoline if ethanol has a lower energy density? Because ethanol is of uniform chemical structure. Consequently, it burns evenly and does not suffer from pre-ignition (like low octane gasoline DOES) which can severely damage an engine.

More thermodynamically important, however,  the consistent chemical structure of E100 ensures complete combustion, aided by the fact that it carries it's own oxygen.

In addition, ethanol has extremely low waste heat because, unlike gasoline, it doesn't produce carbon deposits from incomplete combustion on the cylinder walls that increase friction and decrease engine life.

Unlike an engine running on gasoline, you can touch the block, or the manifold, of an engine running on ethanol with your hand AND KEEP IT THERE without getting burned. This has huge savings implications for engine design that the fossil fuel industry has done it's best to keep from internal combustion engine designers and manufacturers (more on that below).

IN SUMMARY, "High energy density" calculations  are based on EXTERNAL thermodynamic combustion processes. It is true that gasoline will boil water in an open flame faster than ethanol will. That doesn't have beans to do with automobiles.

But when INTERNAL combustion is involved, ethanol produces more useful work than gasoline. That has EVERYTHING to do with automobiles.

But there is more the fossil fuel industry does not want most people to know. Due to the fact that ethanol burns so cleanly and has such low waste heat, a high compression internal combustion engine specifically designed for ethanol would be about 30% lighter (i.e. a lot cheaper) because the metal alloys involved would not have to be engineered to withstand the engine stressing waste heat that gasoline generates. Of course, said internal combustion engine (ICE) could not be approved for running gasoline. Gasoline would trash an engine designed specifically to run on ethanol in short order. The fossil fuel industry would not like that at all.

A lighter ICE running ethanol would then get even more mechanical energy (i.e. WORK) out of each gallon because less engine weight would need to be moved along with the car and occupants.

The Fossil Fuel Industry knows all that. That is why they continuously try to demonize and talk down ethanol biofuel with mendacity and dissembling about "low ERoEI", "water in the fuel" and "corrosion".

I, and many others, have exposed all that fossil fuel industry self serving propaganda. But they just keep throwing it out there to try to preserve the TOTALLY unscientific basis for claiming fossil fuels are a "better fuel" than E100 (pure ethanol).

Don't believe them. And check to see who is doing the funding when you read happy talk about fossil fuels.

The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) is not objective, science based or credible. Hank Campbell, like the fossil fueler MKing that haunts the Doomstead Diner, is not interested in scientific objectivity; preserving the fossil fuel profit over planet status quo with mens rea mendacity is behind everything they write. (

Further reading that methodically takes apart some relatively recent pseudo scientific baloney by the "illustrious" Professor Charles Hall, friend of fossil fuelers everywhere.  (

Renewables have higher ERoEI than fossil fuels (


Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on September 16, 2015, 06:13:58 pm
US Green Building Industry Employs 2.3 Million People News

Did you ever think there would be 2.3 million people employed in green building in the US?    (

That's how many are employed this year, according to the 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton for the US Green Building Council. As have previous studies, it shows that green construction is rapidly outpacing conventional building and will continue to rise.

By 2018, green building will support more than 3.3 million US jobs - about a third of the construction industry - and directly contribute $304 billion to GDP, along with critical savings in energy, water and construction debris that is recycled, rather than trashed.

States are also benefiting from LEED building projects, estimated to reach $8.4 billion by 2018. Texas alone has close to 1.3 million jobs in green building.

Read our article, US Still Leads On Green Building: Top 10 Countries.

Global Real Estate Industry Embraces Sustainability 

Last year, the global real estate industry cut greenhouse gas emissions 3%, increased on-site renewable energy 50% and improved environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance 19%, says Netherlands-based GRESB, which evaluates the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios.

The global property industry is at the heart of critical global issues that include resource constraints, climate change, and urbanization. There is strong evidence that more sustainably designed and operated buildings can provide solutions to these challenging issues, while also creating value for real estate investors and shareholders," they say.

Its latest study concludes the industry is increasingly integrating ESG considerations in corporate policies, strategy, and practices, such as energy and water efficiency programs.

Report Highlights:

•More property companies and REITs issue Sustainability Reports: 707 companies and funds, representing $2.3 trillion and 61,000 assets;

•Better environmental performance: in addition to reducing emissions 3%, energy consumption is down 2.87% and water use is down 1.65%.

•On-site renewable energy generation has reached 445 gigawatt-hours (GWh), up from 296 GWh in 2014.

North American REITs and private equity funds trailed the global market slightly, with an average sustainability score of 44 compared to 46 globally. 88% of US funds have sustainability policies and a growing number - but still too small - include specific provisions that address climate risk (36%) and resilience (26%). 86% of North American property companies and funds implemented water efficiency systems over the past  four years.

Download the 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study:

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on September 21, 2015, 02:45:26 pm

100% Renewable Energy Possible by 2050, Says Greenpeace Report

Tierney Smith, TckTckTck | September 21, 2015 9:08 am

100 percent renewable energy for all is achievable by 2050, creating jobs and cutting fuel costs, according to Greenpeace’s latest Energy [R]evolution report.

Researched in collaboration with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the report finds that the clean energy transition—including the electricity, transport and heating sectors—will create 20 million jobs over the next 15 years, and—unlike coal—will provide energy access to the one third of people globally that currently have none.

Greenpeace Energy [R]evolution report author Sven Teske said:
“The solar and wind industries have come of age, and are cost-competitive with coal. It’s the responsibility of the fossil fuel industry to prepare for these changes in the labour market and make provisions.

Governments need to manage the dismantling of the fossil fuel industry which is moving rapidly into irrelevance.

Every dollar invested in new fossil fuel projects is high risk capital which might end up as stranded investment.”

Greenpeace and DLR found that the investment necessary to reach a 100 per cent renewable goal will be a considerable US$1 trillion a year.

However, this will be more than covered by the US$1.07 trillion in savings on fuel costs alone in the same period, not to mention the vast co-benefits to human health and the avoided costs from climate change-related extreme weather that come with the renewable transition.

To date, Greenpeace’s clean energy transition projections have proven to be the amongst the most accurate globally.  (

This updated roadmap plots an ambitious path, but a necessary one for the world to tread if we are to remain below the agreed 2C guardrail of average global warming.

Renewable potential has been consistently understated, but with overwhelming public support, renewable records being broken all the time in Germany and elsewhere, Tesla about to add storage to the rapidly growing Australian solar market, and California recently approving 50 percent by 2030 renewable target—to name just a few developments—momentum is growing at such a pace Greenpeace could be proven prescient once again.

Greenpeace International executive director, Kumi Naidoo said:

“We must not let lobbying by vested interests in the fossil fuel industry stand in the way of a switch to renewable energy, the most effective and fairest way to deliver a clean and safe energy future. I would urge all those who say ‘it can’t be done’ to read this report and recognize that it can be done, it must be done, and it will be for the benefit of everyone if it is done.”

With the UN climate talks in Paris looming, fossil fuel divestment gathering pace worldwide, and the renewable industry booming, there is no fork in the road—there is only forward to a clean energy future or backwards to a dirty fossil fuel past.

Countries from Sweden to Brazil, China to India are already waking up to the opportunities of a clean energy future, and with the right investment, Greenpeace says renewables will triple to 64 percent of global electricity supply—almost two thirds—by as early as 2030.

Such a transition would see CO2 emissions fall from the current 30 gigatonnes a year to 20 gigatonnes by 2030.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on September 22, 2015, 06:16:24 pm
96 Cities That Are Quitting Fossil Fuels and Moving Toward 100% Renewable Energy

Cole Mellino | September 22, 2015 9:46 am


While countries have dragged their feet for years on meaningful climate action, many cities around the world have forged ahead with sustainability efforts. In July, about 60 mayors pledged to fight climate change at a two-day conference hosted by Pope Francis.

Several cities have even made impressive strides to ditch fossil fuels in favor of renewables. Two recent reports have confirmed that 100 percent renewable energy is possible. Earlier this summer, professors out of Stanford and U.C. Berkeley laid out a plan for the U.S. to convert to 100 percent renewable energy in less than 40 years, and Monday Greenpeace published its Energy Revolution 2015 report, which proposes a pathway to a 100 percent sustainable energy supply by 2050.

A report issued last week by CDP, a a U.K.-based nonprofit, and AECOM shows that “96 cities—one third of cities participating in CDP—are already taking action to decarbonize their electricity supply. And 86 percent of these cities say taking action on climate change presents an economic opportunity.”

Full article:
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on September 30, 2015, 11:09:05 pm
Brazil pledges to cut carbon emissions 37% by 2025

Brazil becomes first major developing country to pledge an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions ahead of Paris climate talks

Associated Press

Monday 28 September 2015 08.17 EDT  Last modified on Monday 28 September 2015 11.14 EDT 

Brazil on Sunday became the first major developing country to pledge an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for an envisioned global pact against climate change.

The world’s seventh biggest greenhouse gas polluter said it would cut its emissions by 37% by 2025 from 2005 levels by reducing deforestation and boosting the share of renewable sources in its energy mix. It also indicated an “intended reduction” of 43% by 2030.

“Our goals are just as ambitious, if not more so, than those set by developed countries,”
President Dilma Rousseff said as she announced the targets at the UN in New York.
In talks on a new climate agreement, set to be adopted in Paris in December, developed countries are expected to shoulder the biggest responsibility for cutting emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. For example, the US has pledged to reduce its emissions by 26-28% between 2005 and 2025.

Major developing countries such as China and South Africa have pledged to rein in their emissions as their economies expand, rather than to slash them in absolute terms.

Brazil, however, has already achieved significant emissions cuts in the past decade primarily because of efforts to reduce deforestation in the Amazon.

Environmental groups tracking climate policy applauded Brazil for taking absolute reduction targets, but said they could have been even more ambitious.

The targets would reduce Brazilian emissions from the current level of 1.6bn tonnes a year to 1.5bn tonnes by 2025 and 1.3bn tonnes by 2030, said Viviane Romeiro of the World Resources Institute (WRI), an environmental thinktank.

“Ideally, we would have reached 1 gigaton by 2030. This pledge won’t allow us to get to that number,” she said.

Rousseff said that by 2030, Brazil, which has large dams, aims to get 66% of its electricity from hydropower and 23% from other renewable sources including wind, solar and biomass.

That’s an increase from a joint announcement with the US in June, when Brazil said it would double its non-hydropower renewable sources to 20% by 2030.

She also said that Brazil would strive to end illegal deforestation by 2030, a goal that Romeiro said it had previously hoped to achieve by this year.

A crunch issue in UN climate talks is how to divide the responsibility of fighting climate change between developed countries who have historically released the highest emissions and developing nations whose emissions are growing the fastest.
Environment minister Izabella Teixeira told the Associated Press that Brazil’s targets were consistent with its historical responsibility to deal with the problem.

“We are not increasing our emissions. We are cutting our emissions,”
she said.

Without naming anyone, she added that many countries say they want to fight global warming, “but when you check their numbers you see they are increasing their emissions”.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on October 02, 2015, 02:24:43 pm
How to Finance the Global Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy   (

Ken Berlin | October 1, 2015 9:57 am

The question of how to finance a global transition from fossil fuels to clean energy is perhaps the most critical and difficult issue in the upcoming United Nations climate negotiations that will take place in Paris, starting in late November. Three contentious issues are on the table.

First, how should developed countries mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 for mitigating and adapting to the adverse effects of climate change, largely through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) agreed upon during the Cancun round of UN negotiations. Second, what should be the balance between public and private sector funding in reaching the $100 billion a year goal. Third, to what extent should public funding be based on finance mechanisms versus grants?


All of these are important issues, but arguably, they are all encompassed within a much larger question. Namely, how much needs to be spent on renewable energy projects each year in order to enable the rapid transition to a clean energy economy?

Spending on renewable energy projects in 2014 gives a good clue to the answer. According to a study by the UN and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, public and private investors spent approximately $270 billion on renewable energy projects in 2014 (some estimates are higher, like the estimate of the investor group CERES of $310 billion). According to the study, this spending only increased renewable energy’s share of global generation by about 0.6 percent.

This rate of spending is simply way too low if we are successfully to keep carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere below the 450 parts-per-million (PPM) level that many scientists believe would keep temperature increases resulting from greenhouse gas emissions below 2 degrees Celsius. CERES and the International Energy Agency estimate that the rate of investment in clean energy needs to be doubled by 2020 and quadrupled by 2030 to $ 1 trillion/year in order to achieve the 450 PPM goal.

Thus, no matter what else we do to address climate change—whether it’s introducing a carbon tax, creating a cap-and-trade system, or adding tax incentives—we cannot transition to a clean energy economy without generating extremely large investments in renewables.

Such large investments are possible. In 2012, the world made $4 trillion in infrastructure and capital spending investments and this number is expected to increase to 9 trillion in 2025. So the funds are there. Also, $1 trillion/year level of investment in renewable energy would create massive numbers of jobs and sustained economic growth. The crucial question is what is needed to direct those funds into renewable energy investments.

The first key is that this money has to come from private investors. Governments can help, but they simply cannot generate this amount of funding on a yearly basis due to political barriers and constituent expectations.

Second, there have to be attractive projects for the investments to take place. The great news here is that renewable energy is becoming increasingly cost competitive with fossil fuel energy. If one plays out the trends, there is reason to believe that renewable energy is already competitive in much of the world and—with storage batteries included in the calculation – should be cost competitive nearly worldwide before the end of this decade.

Third, governments can play a vital role in encouraging these investments. There are a series of tools that can help with this: low-cost financing through green banks or the GCF, green bonds, loan loss reserves, public pension fund investments and risk insurance are just some examples.

Fourth, barriers to the deployment of renewable energy must be removed. As of today there are myriad laws that make the deployment of renewable energy difficult if not impossible. Classic examples include limitations on the ability of owners of rooftop solar to sell electricity back to the grid and laws that prevent the leasing of rooftop solar energy systems.

Fifth, putting a price on the cost of carbon pollution will speed up and solidify this transition since it will make renewable energy more competitive. Such a price would be fair—after all, the price of a product should include all of its costs on society.

Sixth, some of the tension in UN climate negotiations will ease as renewables become fully cost competitive (though funding for adaptation will still be an issue). Many developing countries argue that building renewable energy facilities is more expensive than building fossil-fuel-based facilities and that they are doing so only because of problems created by historical carbon emissions by developed countries. But, this argument loses immediacy if in fact renewables are fully cost competitive and installing them either has no negative impact on economic growth—or it spurs economic growth more than fossil fuel investments.

Seventh, it is far easier to finance a project than it is to support it with grants, in part because most funds lent are repaid and can be lent out again. This doesn’t mean that grants will remain unimportant. Where renewable energy is not competitive, even with low-cost financing, grants can further decrease the price of renewable energy because they do not have to be repaid. And there are some projects where the users of the energy generated cannot repay the cost of even fully competitive renewables.

Asking the right questions about finance is critical. Doing so provides clarity of purpose and focuses efforts on the key issues that have to be addressed. With UN negotiations in Paris approaching and issues with planet-wide implications on the agenda, it’s time to start asking the right questions about energy finance.

You can help ask world leaders the key questions. Join with millions around the planet demanding a strong climate agreement in Paris by adding your name to our Road to Paris petition. You’ll help build support for a breakthrough agreement at a critical moment and we’ll keep you updated on important policy developments in climate finance and other areas.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on October 04, 2015, 04:05:18 pm
Sweden to Become the World’s First Fossil Fuel-Free Nation​  (

Lorraine Chow | September 25, 2015 11:20 am

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on October 10, 2015, 06:32:57 pm
Is there any consensus on Doomstead on the cost of a RE energy system? This is including storage and transmission and all the overhead that make a system rather than a sometimes supplement.

For a grid tie system, a 10.5K system like the one below will work well. Throw in the Tesla Powerwall and you are good to go.

10.5KW Complete Grid Tie System

 Product Code: 10.5KW Complete Grid Tie System
Availability: In Stock
Weight: 4,000.00lb 

Mounting Hardware: * 10.5KW - Unirac PV SolarMount (+$2,625.00) 

 $12,390.00 (

Tesla Powerwall

The calculator assumes a home with enough solar-panel surface area to generate 7 kilowatt hours of surplus energy 365 days per year. That's enough to fill the smaller of the two available Powerwall battery packs, which sells for $3,000 before installation. Tesla will also sell a 10-kWh pack for $3,500. (

If you want to be able to handle a complete collapse scenario, you might to want have a ground sourced geothermal heat pump system for heating and cooling. This is because you can use that year round low energy temperature access for organic gardening extended growing season as well as keeping your family comfortable. Remember, no matter how harsh the climate gets, about 25 feet down (almost everywhere on the planet), temperatures are pretty constant all year round.

What goes into pricing a geothermal system?

Geothermal Heat Pump Pricing

The short answer to how cost is calculated is as follows:

Indoor Portion + Underground Loop Field = Total System Cost

The inside portion is composed of the price of the geothermal heat pump, its installation, and possible duct work modification. This is done by an HVAC contractor properly trained in geothermal.

The Underground Loop Field involves drilling (or sometimes excavating) and materials. This is usually done by a well driller. The loop field is approximately 50% of the total cost, although many factors effect this generalization.

For your particular situation the following variables are considered:

1.  Size of the Home/Building

The first factor that we'll take a look at is the size of the home or other building for which you'd like to install geothermal. Look at it like this - a 2000 sq. ft. home isn't going to require the same amount of heating and cooling as a 6000 sq. ft. church. The larger the area covered, the more heating and cooling it is going to demand. That said, a major variable of pricing is the insulation factor, which has a direct effect on how much heating and cooling is needed. Do you live in a well insulated home or a cardboard box?

2. Size of the Heat Pump

Based on the size of the home, insulation, and climate the amount of heating and cooling needed is calculated, which in turn enables a contractor to calculate the size of the heat pump for the job. Needless to say, a larger heat pump is going to be a little pricier than one that's smaller in comparison.

3. Size of the Loop Field

Next, the size of the loop field that's to be installed in the ground comes into play. The size of the system (3-ton, 4-ton, etc.) along with the climate in which your located will dictate the amount of pipe that needs to be inserted into the earth. A loop field contractor will usually charge a price per foot; therefore, the larger the system, the more pipe that needs to go into the ground, the more expensive the loop field becomes. The loop field cost can vary by region because of the availability of contractors, the ground conditions, and also the price of fuel.

4. Usability of Current Ductwork

In most cases, this shouldn't be too large of a factor, as most existing ductwork requires little to no adjustment to be suitable for geothermal heating and cooling. That said, if you don't have existing ductwork then you'll have the full expense of installing it. However, it's important to consider that this is a cost for which you are going to be responsible for regardless of what type of heating and cooling you install. Ductwork is simply a necessity of almost all HVAC systems - not an exclusive monetary addition to your geothermal system pricing.

These are some of the main players as far as the cost of your geothermal heating and cooling system goes. There are more minute components of pricing, of course, but we feel that these four (and all that they encompass) are the most important for consumers to grasp. Bottom line - Size of Home, Climate, & Labor dictate total system price. (

And don't forget to have lots of spare parts to keep all the above running. All that said, passive geothermal systems like the one discussed above are EXTREMELY reliable and durable over 50 year PLUS time spans. Even with old heat pump technology, their historical efficiency is unparalleled by anything else out there for heating and cooling. The only issue is earthquakes, of course.   8)
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on October 16, 2015, 06:03:05 pm
The Colorado
Letter: Reject fossil fuel industry’s roadblocks to solar energy



The sun can provide virtually limitless, pollution-free energy to power our lives. Solar energy is also supported by people with a wide range of political backgrounds. Incredibly, support for the development of solar energy ranges from environmentalists all the way to tea party activists. In an increasingly competitive renewable energy market, and with increasingly bipartisan support for solar, what’s getting in the way of our clean energy future?

A recent report from Environment Colorado’s research and policy center, entitled Blocking the Sun, helps shed some light on this — pun very much intended. ;D 

The report reveals major opposition to the development of solar energy from utility interest groups and fossil fuel industry-funded think tanks that are providing funding, model legislation and political cover for anti-solar campaigns across the United States and in Colorado.

Because of the overwhelming public support for solar, these special interests are resorting to some seriously shady tactics to stop the development of solar energy in its tracks.  (

The Koch brothers, who have an enormous financial stake in the fossil fuel industry through their company Koch Industries and its many subsidiaries, have provided funding to the national fight against solar by funneling tens of millions of dollars through a network of opaque nonprofits like Americans for Prosperity, which has a chapter in Colorado, and is a first-hand participant in Colorado anti-solar campaigns. Through Americans for Prosperity, and by funding anti-solar efforts by other groups, including ALEC, the Koch brothers have funded or participated in fights against solar in Colorado.

The Koch Brothers and their front groups like Americans for Prosperity   (  have resorted to shady tactics to undermine our solar power.

Now it’s personal.

This is a matter of political monopoly over the public interest and environmental sustainability. Now it’s up to our leaders to reject these attacks and support a clean energy future.  (

Katie Otterbeck (
 Solar power campaign organizer, Environment Colorado
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on October 18, 2015, 01:01:56 am
Elon Musk on the stupidity of fossil fuels dependence

The above was three years ago. Now look at all the progress Tesla has made!
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on October 31, 2015, 02:42:24 pm
10/30/2015 02:53 PM     

Which US Cities Lead on Renewable Energy Use? ( News

Surprisingly, Dallas ranks #1 this year on renewable energy use  :o, followed by Houston  :o  :o, which was #1 last year, says the EPA.

EPA's ranking rates government use of green power. Other governments in the top five are District of Columbia, Montgomery County,  Maryland, and Austin, Texas. 

Municipal buildings in Dallas now run on 100% wind and Houston gets half its electricity from a mix of wind and solar.

When we look at the top 10 renewable energy users in the US, these cities are still on the list: Intel, Microsoft, Kohl's, Apple,  Google, Mars, City of Dallas, Starbucks, US Department of Energy, and City of Houston.
Austin, Texas Contracts for More Solar   (

Once again, Austin will add a lot more solar, this time another  600 megawatts (MW) by the end of 2019. That's in addition to 118 MW approved this year and 150 MW last year, bringing it close to its goal of 35% renewable energy by 2020.

 This exceeds the entire amount of solar in the state - 300 MW as of 2014, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The reason Texas has so little solar is because of a lack of incentives compared to other states, approving the first utility-scale solar projects just last year because of low prices. 

Read our article, US Solar Production Underestimated - By Half! (  (

But Texas Remains Top US Polluter (    (

Texas leads the nation on wind energy, supplying 10.6% of its electricity, but it still burns lots of coal, gas and oil, maintaining its position as the biggest polluter among US states for the 24th consecutive year, according the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

And pollution isn't going down. In 2013, Texas spewed more carbon emissions than since 2004 - almost double that of California. So did other states that are major fossil fuel producers - especially from fracking, which boomed that year.  >:(

Calculated per capita, top carbon emitting states are (in this order): Wyoming, North Dakota, West Virginia, Alaska and Louisiana.  (

And the lowest are (in this order): New York, Vermont and California. (


Climate Change State Emissions Through 2013
Between 1990-2013, Washington DC has driven down emissions the most - an impressive 36% - followed by Delaware, New York, Massachusetts and Maryland with declines of 17-24%.  Nebraska's emissions grew the most at 28%, thanks to growth in ethanol which consumes a lot of natural gas.

Across the country, "the general trend is emissions are down and are stable,"   ( says Perry Lindstrom, EIA analyst. US emissions are down around 11% from the 2005 peak, with emissions falling in 37 states and rising in 13 between 1990-2013.

Here is EIA's analysis of state's emissions from 1990-2013:
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 18, 2015, 03:42:18 pm
12/16/2015 05:15 PM     

$1 Trillion Spending Bill Passes With Major Poison Pill News

Congress approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill for fiscal 2016 today, and there's great news for renewable energy, GMO food and wildlife ... in exchange for one, big poison pill.

The biggest news is that crucial solar and wind tax incentives are renewed for five years in exchange for lifting the 40-year ban on exporting US crude oil.

Can the difference between Democrats and Republicans be clearer? The former pulled out all the stops for renewable energy, the latter for oil.

 Why only 5 years of renewal for renewable energy, but a permanent lift for oil? And why are fossil subsidies still in place permanently? While we're thrilled that renewables will get more support, it seems like far from a fair trade.

Obama Budget 2016

Republicans (and their oil backers) claim the US oil industry needs access to the world market at this time of low prices and with Iran about to enter. Since they don't believe climate change is real, that's a non-issue.  (

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) ( told reporters that Democrats "asked for the sun and the moon and the aurora borealis"  (  in exchange for lifting the ban. (  (

To those of us who want the sun, moon and Earth, lifting the ban means oil companies will want to drill and explore everywhere and fill our country with pipelines and oil trains ...  (  increasing US emissions and putting citizens at risk.

The ban was put in place in 1975 to protect Americans from the OPEC oil embargo and future similar crises.

"This deal gives oil drillers an enormous policy win that does our economy no good and threatens climate progress made in Paris. A five-year renewable energy tax credit extension is cold comfort to everyone who supports a forward-looking clean energy economy and an end to constant oil favoritism in Congress," says Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D- AZ).

"It is corporate welfare for the most profitable industry in the history of the world, the oil industry," ( moans Senator Ed Markey (D-MA).

"By lifting the crude oil export ban, Congressional Republicans are opting to export American jobs, escalate fossil fuel development, rip up iconic American landscapes to extract more oil, and increase climate disrupting carbon emissions,"   (  says Michael Brune, Executive Director of Sierra Club.

Lifting the ban could lead to 7600 new wells - mostly fracking - each year  >:(, raising oil production by 3.3 million barrels a day and increasing emissions on par with 135 new coal-fired power plants, says Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch.

How Democrats and Republicans Faired

Generally, Democrats won relief from tough sequester spending caps and removed over 100 riders ranging from blocking the Clean Power Plan to undercutting Dodd-Frank financial regulations and the health care law. 

Republicans got a $33 billion boost for defense - a 6% increase, bringing the Pentagon budget to $523 billion, in addition to lifting the 40-year ban on oil exports.

Amazingly, Republicans also won: 

•language that bars the IRS from issuing a rule in 2016 that better defines nonprofits to prevent political and "dark money" organizations from masquerading as non-profits.

•language that blocks the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from requiring publicly traded companies to disclose political spending. 

Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Both the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind (and geothermal, biomass) and the Investment Tax Credits (ITC) for solar and off-shore wind are renewed for five years. Yes!!  (

For the first two years - which includes 2015, because it expired last year - the wind PTC is 100%. Each year after that, it declines by 20% until 2020 when it expires again.

For the first three years, the solar ITC maintains the 30% write-off for homeowners and businesses to install solar, declining to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021.

Both the PTC and ITC can be claimed when construction commences rather than when a project begins generating energy.

"While this deal does not provide parity with the permanent federal tax code benefits the fossil fuel industry enjoys, the five-year extension provides greater certainty to the clean energy industry, and helps avoid the boom-bust cycle of the year-to-year uncertainty of expiring credits," says Todd Wolf of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Without renewal, both the solar and wind industries would significantly slow down, exactly when we need to keep them growing faster. Obama's budget extended the incentives permanently.

Read our article, Expiring Tax Credits Spur Doubling of US Solar

Impacts on Environmental Side: 

•Prevents even steeper funding cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency - already cut to the bone - and increases funding for the Department of Interior;

EPA's funding levels remain flat with the lowest staffing levels since 1989. Republicans wanted another $718 million cuts for the agency they most despise.

•Removes the DARK Act, which prohibits states from requiring GMO labels on food;

•Requires labels on the GMO salmon that was just approved!

•Retains important food safety measures, such as full funding to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, increased funding for meat and poultry inspection, a ban on purchasing chicken processed in China for school lunches, and limits on beef imports that may have been exposed to foot and mouth disease!

•Forbids horse slaughter plants in the US

•Strong funding levels to enforce the Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act, for wildlife traffickingefforts, and for development of alternatives to animal testing at the National Institutes of Health.

•Requires tougher animal welfare standards at federal agricultural research facilities and strongly criticizes the USDA for allowing farm animal abuse.

•Removes a rider that blocks the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from cracking down on ivory sales in the US to stop poaching of elephants.

•Thwarted poison riders include: repeal of public health standards for air and water; blocking implementation of the Clean Power Plan; deregulating fracking on public lands; more logging in National Forests.(  Unfortunately, one poison rider that did get through blocks FWS from listing the greater sage grouse as Endangered, because of Republican concern that it could impede potential fossil fuel development.  (

•After letting the Land and Water Conservation Fund expire for the first time in 50 years, it is renewed for three years in this bill.  The main source of funds to acquire and maintain parkland in the US - it allocates $900 million in royalties from oil and gas drilling on public land - Republicans see it as a way for government to take control of more land.

Instead of being permanently re-instated at full funding, it is renewed for just three years at $450 million.
•Doesn't block President Obama's pledge to the Green Climate Fund, a critical part of the Paris Climate Agreement.

•A 7% cut for the UN Population Fund, which conservatives call a "coercive birth limitation policy." They wanted the fund eliminated.

Wolves!!  ;D  

The big news for wildlife is that Wolves in Wyoming, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin will remain protected from the zealots out to exterminate them.

If you remember, environmental groups won back that protection in court, but it would have been removed again through this spending bill. A rider - just for them - would have again stripped their protection under the Endangered Species Act. 

"We thank members of the House and Senate who stood strong for protection of wolves and recognize that a spending bill is no place to make life-and-death policy decisions for our nation's wildlife," says Drew Caputo, Earthjustice Vice-President of Litigation for Oceans, Lands and Wildlife, the attorneys for the cases.

It was a "fierce battle," says Wayne Pacelle, Executive Director the American Humane Society, which also won in court.  Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and John Barasso (R-WY) and Reps Reid Ribble (R-WI) and John Kline (R-MN) also introduced free-standing bills to de-listing wolves, but we fought it off, potentially forestalling the slaughter of 1000 wolves in 2016.

Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and 23 other Senators strongly opposed the anti-Endangered Species Act riders, as did Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and 91 House members. 

Compare with last year's $1 trillion spending bill: Details on Cromnibus: What's In It For Us? 

and the previous year, How Cleantech, Environment Fared In $1 Trillion Spending Bill.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 21, 2015, 07:17:52 pm
A positive future  ( IF, and ONLY IF, we do what MUST be done to ensure it.    (

Prepare for Business as UNusual
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 27, 2015, 03:38:37 pm
Costa Rica Powers 285 Days of 2015 With 100% Renewable Energy (

Cole Mellino | December 24, 2015 9:44 am
“We close 2015 with 99 percent clean energy!” ICE wrote on Facebook, saying that “the energy produced … in 2015 reaches 98.95 percent with renewable sources as of December 17.” (

And don't forget Uruguay.     (


Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on December 29, 2015, 06:59:28 pm
Dr. Cherry Murray Confirmed as Director of the Office of Science

December 11, 2015 - 3:04pm

WASHINGTON – Dr. Cherry Murray was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday, December 10, 2015 as the Director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

“Dr. Murray will be an outstanding Director of the Office of Science, drawing upon her experience in academia as professor and dean of one of country’s leading universities of engineering and applied sciences, key R&D leadership roles in industry, and as former head of science and technology at one of the Department’s national laboratories, ” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “I thank the Senate for the approving her nomination and look forward to working closely with her as Director.”

As Director of the Office of Science, Dr. Murray will oversee research in the areas of advanced scientific computing, basic energy sciences, biological and environmental sciences, fusion energy sciences, high energy physics, and nuclear physics. She will have responsibility not only for supporting scientific research, but also for the development, construction, and operation of unique, open-access scientific user facilities. The Office of Science manages 10 of the Department’s 17 National Laboratories.

For the past year, Dr. Murray served as the Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy and Professor of Physics at Harvard University.  Previously she was the Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University from 2009 to 2014.  Dr. Murray served as Principal Associate Director for Science and Technology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 2007 to 2009 and as Deputy Director for Science and Technology from 2004 to 2007.

Dr. Murray held a number of positions at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, formerly AT&T Bell Laboratories and previously Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. from 1978 to 2004.  She began as a Member of Technical Staff within the Physical Research Laboratory and eventually finished her tenure as Senior Vice President for Physical Sciences and Wireless Research.

Dr. Murray was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1999, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001, and the National Academy of Engineering in 2002. Dr. Murray was appointed to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling in 2010  ( She was also awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by the White House in 2014 for contributions to the advancement of devices for telecommunications, the use of light for studying matter, and for leadership in the development of the STEM workforce in the United States.  Dr. Murray received a B.S. and a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Agelbert NOTE: It is hoped that Dr. Murray, who has in the past  ( written some excellent pieces about future plentiful rooftop gardens and the potential for bountiful solar power to be used for sequestering excess CO2 from our atmosphere, has not been brought in as a stalking horse for the new "small reactor" nuclear power scam AND/OR another fossil fuel government excuse to keep burning fossil fuels through solar powered CO2 sequestering technology.  (

But I wouldn't put it past them.  :P
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on January 08, 2016, 02:55:02 pm
Nicaragua Joins Clean Energy Revolution, Vows 90% Renewables by 2020  (

Cole Mellino | January 8, 2016 11:21 am

Costa Rica is well-known for its ambitious development of renewable energy, but neighboring country Nicaragua has been charging ahead on renewables, too. The country doesn’t produce its own oil and has historically been dependent on foreign (  (

But the country is trying to change all of that by tapping into its natural resources—strong winds, bright sunshine and its 19 volcanoes.    (

Nicaraguan officials have set goals of 75 percent renewable energy by 2017 and 90 percent by 2020, ProNicaragua reported. An International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report from January 2015 found that “Nicaragua’s renewable energy sector has a bright future, both for utility-scale and small-scale projects, due to the country’s largely untapped renewable resources.”

Javier Pentzke, manager of Amayo Wind Farm, told NPR his farm’s location on the shores of Lake Nicaragua is one of the top places in the world for wind energy. “You have all the opening here from the lake all the way to the Caribbean, so it’s like a tunnel,” he said. “And it’s very steady. It’s not too gusty.”

Amayo Wind Farm RELIABLE Renewable Energy

As of June 2015, renewables made up 54 percent of all electricity production and 80 percent of the country had reliable access to the grid.

Just 10 years ago, the 64 percent of Nicaraguans with grid access regularly lost power for 4 to 5 hours per day, and only 25 percent of electricity came from renewable sources. Even just a few years ago, 12-hour blackouts were still common. But that’s all starting to change.

When Daniel Ortega assumed the presidency in 2007, he made the bold decision to invest heavily in renewables. “During the 2006-2012 period, the Central American country attracted $1.5 million in investment in renewable energy,” ProNicaragua reported. “In 2012, Nicaragua invested the fifth highest percentage worldwide of its GDP in developing renewable energy, according to the Renewables 2014 Global Status Report.”

According to last year’s report from IRENA, from 2006 to 2012, 15 percent of Nicaragua’s electricity came from wind, 16 percent from geothermal, 12 percent from hydropower and 7 percent from biomass. ProNicaragua puts the latest wind estimates at 20 to 30 percent of total electricity generation. And the country has barely begun to tap into its solar potential.

This video from NowThis sums up Nicaragua’s energy revolution:

Fossil Fuels

Agelbert NOTE: The next time somebody claims you need fossil fuels to have reliable grid electricity, tell them they are full of fossil fuel self serving, profit over planet defending baloney.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on January 14, 2016, 10:02:55 pm
( (

Jan 5, 2016
Authors Laurie Guevara-Stone Writer / Editor

Top 12 Clean Energy Developments of 2015

From a global climate accord to major domestic progress on the renewables front, 2015 was a great year for clean energy. As the 12 days of Christmas concludes today, January 5, here are—fittingly—12 things we saw as the biggest developments of the year, in no particular order.

1. Climate Accord Reached

In December, 196 nations reached a landmark accord to address climate change—committing nearly every country to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement achieved at COP21 in Paris aims to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2°C by 2100 with an ideal target of keeping temperature rise below 1.5°C. The draft agreement also sets a goal for developed countries to pay at least $100 billion per year by 2020 to developing countries for mitigation and adaptation. COP21 also held the first-ever UNFCC buildings day to improve the energy efficiency of buildings globally.

2. U.S Gets its First-Ever Clean Power Plan

In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the first-ever national standards to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. The Clean Power Plan not only cuts significant amounts of carbon and other pollutants, but also advances clean energy innovation, development, and deployment, laying an important part of the policy foundation for the long-term strategy needed to tackle the threat of climate change.

3. Keystone Pipeline Gets Nixed

After seven years of review, President Obama rejected the request for the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The 1,179-mile pipeline would have carried 800,000 barrels of petroleum a day from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf Coast. And while Congress’s end-of-year tax extenders include a lift on the decades-old oil export ban, RMI has other plans. We can avoid an estimated two billion barrels of oil consumption each year through more-efficient mobility systems around the country, a mobility transformation we’re pioneering with the cities of Austin, TX, and Denver, CO.

4. Corporations Set Renewable Energy Record

Corporations signed roughly 3 GW of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for large-scale, off-site renewable energy in 2015. This more than doubles the amount signed in 2014, and includes corporate giants such as Google, Apple, and Walmart. RMI’s Business Renewables Center to advance corporate purchasing of renewable energy has been critical in this market shift. Across 2014 and 2015, BRC-affiliated companies were part of three out of every four corporate deals.

5. Renewables Keep Getting Cheaper

Wind power is now the cheapest electricity to produce in both Germany and the U.K., even without government subsidies. And in the U.S., the increase in wind and solar have begun to cut into the use of conventional coal and gas power plants  ;D, forcing the capacity factor of gas plants down from 70 percent to 62 percent from 2014 to 2015. The cost of wind and solar are falling so much that utility-scale solar projects in the U.S. are regularly securing power purchase agreements for 5 cents per kWh or less.  (

6. Batteries Hit the Market

Tesla launched the Powerwall battery, and Vermont’s Green Mountain Power became the first utility to sell and lease behind-the-meter home battery systems to residential customers. Meanwhile, German battery maker Sonnebatterie introduced a community storage system that combines PV panels, batteries, and a software platform to allow households to buy and sell electricity within a community. While battery costs have decreased dramatically, that’s not the whole story. RMI’s report, The Economics of Battery Energy Storage, shows the greatly enhanced value batteries provide when they’re customer sited and highly utilized with stacked services.

7. Renewables Set Record Contributions

On a summer day in June, renewable energy supplied 43 percent of the UK’s electricity demand, setting a new national record. In July, Germany also set a new national record when renewable energy met 78 percent of the day’s electricity demand. And in the U.S., wind power set a new record in November with 70 gigawatts of installed generating capacity, enough to power 19 million homes.

8. Cities are Aiming for 100% Renewable

Cities around the country are setting targets to ditch fossil fuels and go 100-percent renewable. 2015 saw commitments from Las Vegas, NV (2017), Georgetown, TX (2017), San Jose, CA (2022), San Diego, CA (2035), and Vancouver, Canada (2050). And some cities are already leading the way. Aspen, CO, and Burlington, VT, became 100-percent renewable in 2015, joining the first U.S. 100-percent renewable city—Greensburg, KS.

9. The Trucking Industry Gets Greener

In June 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration announced new, more-stringent fuel economy and emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks. The move is estimated to save 1 billion metric tons of GHG emissions, 1.8 billion barrels of oil, and $170 billion in fuel costs over the lifetime of vehicles sold under the program. RMI and CWR’s Trucking Efficiency was central to informing the government's stance with multiple Confidence Reports cited in the proposed rule and accompanying impact analysis, to direct consultations with federal agencies.

10. Home Energy Efficiency Becomes Easier

In August President Obama announced plans to unlock residential PACE (property assessed clean energy) financing to make it easier for Americans to invest in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies for their homes. PACE provides 100 percent funding that is repaid over a period of up to 20 years with an assessment linked to a homeowner’s property tax bill. The announcement also included a new DOE Home Energy Score for estimating the energy use of a home, equivalent to an easily understood “miles per gallon” label for homes.

11. Electric and Autonomous Cars on the Rise

The first commercial all-electric, long-range, AWD, full-size SUV has been unveiled. The 250-mile-range Tesla X actually broke the Consumer Reports rating system. Meanwhile, Google let loose its electric, fully self-driving vehicle on the streets of Austin—the lead implementation city in our mobility transformation work—and California’s Bay Area to test its software. Google plans to introduce self-driving cars to the public by 2020.

12. The Caribbean Commits to Renewables

Montserrat became the tenth island to join RMI and CWR’s Islands Energy Partnership. Montserrat joins Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Belize, Colombia (San Andres), Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Turks and Caicos in their commitment to transition to renewable energy. Both Montserrat and Aruba have committed to achieve 100-percent renewable energy by 2020. Islands across the Caribbean are combating high electricity prices from imported fossil fuels by transitioning to renewables, and proving that entire economies can adopt low-carbon solutions while strengthening their economies.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on January 16, 2016, 05:16:27 pm
Agelbert NOTE: Here is a news summary uptdate on the WAR going on between the fossil fuel WELFARE QUEENS against renewable energy efforts to get those "Socialism For Polluters and the shaft for the rest of us" off of our backs.

The fossil fuelers are excellent game theorists. So, you have to bring a sandwich, so to speak (they are used to pounding into dirt with skullduggery anyone that points out their welfare queenery and polluting practices), when attempting to bring them to justice.

They are SOCIAL ENGINEERS for the POLLUTING ASS HOLES that degraded our democracy and are bound and determined to make we-the-people CONTINUE to subsidize profit over planet.  ( Do your part to stop them: Feel Free to Pass this on.  8)

01/14/2016 02:23 PM            
As Solar Booms, States Still Try to Stop It News


Leaders like California, New York and Vermont aren't going for it, but 27 states have enacted similar changes or are considering them, according to a report by NC Clean Energy Technology Center in North Carolina.

01/13/2016 12:54 PM         
US Solar Industry Rises to 209,000 Jobs News


Solar adoption by corporations is rising quickly, ending 2015 with 907 megawatts (MW) installed across 1700 systems - a rise of 59% during 2015, says the Solar Means Business report by Solar Energy Industries Association.

See where your state stands on solar policies:

01/15/2016 01:07 PM            
Obama Heard Us! No New Coal Leases on Public Lands News


About 30% of US energy production comes from public land and water, and amazingly, that's not counted toward US emissions because they are caused by private companies.

Pressure Has Been Building

In September, hundreds of organizations sent President Obama a letter urging him to stop new fossil leases. "Federal public lands and waters - such as our national parks, monuments, forests, wildlife refuges and oceans - are cherished resources for us all. They embody deep and diverse cultural values and provide clean air and water, recreation and solitude, and refuge for endangered wildlife."

"For far too long, the Interior Department has given away our publicly-owned fossil fuels to mining and drilling companies without regard for the damage they cause to communities and our climate," says Annie Leonard, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA.

01/15/2016 05:11 PM         
New York State Says Goodbye to Coal, Hello To Green Economy News


"My friends, this is the path for the future to ensure that the planet has a future."


Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin announced last week his intention to push for divestment of coal and ExxonMobil stocks from the state’s retirement account, and lawmakers are preparing legislation to accomplish that. (

State Treasurer Beth Pearce (fossil fuel toady   ( is not a happy camper.  (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on January 20, 2016, 03:22:59 pm

01/19/2016 03:34 PM News

Good Signs Abound For Renewable Energy Worldwide, Tackling Climate Change

If there's any good news about climate change, it's that we can still tackle it if we treat it as the emergency that it is.    (

If renewable energy doubles by 2030, reaching 36% of the global energy mix, that will provide half the emissions cuts to keep temperature rise under 2°C, and energy efficiency can supply the other half, calculates the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). 

And as we've written about so many times, there would also be great economic benefits. Over 24 million jobs would be created and about 1.1% would be added to world GDP - about $1.3 trillion, according to IRENA's report, Renewable Energy Benefits: Measuring the Economics. 

"This analysis provides compelling evidence that achieving the needed energy transition would not only mitigate climate change, but also stimulate the economy, improve human welfare and boost employment worldwide," says Adnan Amin, who heads IRENA. 

Good Signs  (

And there are signs this is happening. Even with oil prices at record lows, investment in renewables rose to $329 billion last year - the highest levels ever, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).  (

Worldwide, 64 gigawatts (GW) of wind and 57 GW of solar PV were commissioned in 2015, almost 30% more than the previous year. And this is without the leadership of Europe, where investments dropped to 2006 levels because of economic stagnation. 

China spent close to the EU and US combined - a record $111 billion, up 17% from 2014. US spending also rose 7.5% to $56 billion.     

Perhaps most importantly, more renewable energy is being  installed than coal, natural gas, and oil combined.

"These figures are a stunning riposte to all those who expected clean energy investment to stall on falling oil and gas prices. They highlight the improving cost-competitiveness of solar and wind power," says Michael Liebreich, Chairman of BNEF. 

"Wind and solar power are now being adopted in many developing countries as a natural and substantial part of the generation mix: they can be produced more cheaply than often high wholesale power prices; they reduce a country's exposure to expected future fossil fuel prices; and above all they can be built very quickly to meet unfulfilled demand for electricity. And it is very hard to see these trends going backwards, in the light of December's Paris Climate Agreement," he says.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on January 24, 2016, 10:00:00 pm
American Scientific article:

How Renewable Energy Could Make Climate Treaties Moot

Powering the U.S. and 138 other countries exclusively with wind, water, and solar would solve global warming—and is entirely doable
  ( (

By Mark Z. Jacobson on November 23, 2015


A 100-percent renewable energy system would still need to continuously meet the power demands of consumers—even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

This is a solvable problem. Our analysis found that it is possible to stabilize a renewable power system with low-cost solutions including storing excess energy generated when the sun and wind are strong in ice, water, concentrated solar power with storage, pumped hydropower and hydrogen; and by using a smarter power grid to lessen periods of excess demand.

In our simulations biomass, nuclear power, natural gas and batteries (with the exception of those in electric vehicles) were unnecessary.

The benefits of switching to this entirely renewable mix would be significant. The mean cost of energy in 2050, accounting for storage transmission, distribution, maintenance and array losses, would be 10.6 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity and 11.4 cents per kWh for all energy (2013 dollars)—comparable with energy costs today. Yet each state’s end-use power demand would drop by a mean of 39.3 percent by 2050. Nationwide, the conversion would produce a net increase of two million 40-year jobs, eliminate 48,000 premature deaths due to air pollution per year in 2050 and save $3.3 trillion per year in 2050 global climate costs. Each American would save $260 per year in energy costs and $1,500 per year in health costs.

Most recently, we developed similarly detailed road maps showing how 139 countries could switch to 100 percent renewables.

These studies suggest that, in aggregate, converting entirely to renewables would create a net of over 22 million jobs while preventing as many as seven million premature air-pollution deaths each year. The conversion would use little land. It would stabilize energy prices and reduce international conflict over energy—after all, each country will be largely energy independent.

Mark Z. Jacobson, is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program, at Stanford University.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on January 26, 2016, 08:28:04 pm
The Smart Money Is Going Green


by Caio Koch-Weser Caio Koch-Weser - January 25, 2016

The cost of solar panels has fallen by 80 percent since 2008. Photo by jonsowman/Flickr (at link below)

This post originally appeared in CNN Money.

Last month, the world reached a landmark agreement on climate change in Paris. Last week, business leaders gathered in Davos for the World Economic Forum started breathing life into that deal.

The Paris Agreement delivered a clear and credible signal that the world economy is moving in a low-carbon direction. Now it's time for companies and investors to make 2016 a 'Year of Green Finance' by putting efforts to reduce emissions on their priority list for investment and risk management.

Over the past few years, businesses have learned that strong climate action can deliver economic growth. Shares in companies taking the lead in this area outperformed the Bloomberg world index of top companies by almost 10 percent from 2010-2014.

Investors can see the way the wind is blowing, which is why the value of green bonds for sustainable infrastructure has exploded, hitting $41 billion in 2015. Over 400 investors representing $24 trillion in assets have pledged to seek out and scale up low-carbon and carbon-resilient investments.

Cost of Renewable Energy Falling Fast  (

One reason investors are so excited  ;D is because innovation is lowering the price of renewable energy much faster than anticipated. The cost of solar panels has fallen 80 percent since 2008, and solar and wind energy can now compete on cost with fossil fuels in many regions worldwide.

This has led to a drastic market shift: In 2013, new clean power capacity exceeded that of new fossil fuel capacity for the first time ever.

We can expect the shift to continue.   (  (

The cost of investing in carbon-intensive sectors is increasing. According to research from Corporate Knights, 14 funds holding more than $1 trillion in assets could have saved $22 billion had they shifted investments from the highest carbon companies to those that receive at least 20 percent of revenues from environmental markets or clean energy.

The awareness of the risks of high-carbon investment is growing, though it could still use a push.

The financial community should expect increasing pressure on companies to disclose their exposure to climate risk, and to be more transparent about the carbon intensity of their investments. (

The Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition  ( -- a joint effort by United Nations Environment Programme, its Finance Initiative, and major funds and asset managers -- announced last month that more than $600 billion in assets had been committed to de-carbonization, six times its original target. This is a clear indication that the smart money is already moving in the right direction.

Businesses and investors are acting fast, but what can policymakers do to support the clean energy transition?

For one, they can enact carbon pricing, which offers a win-win opportunity for climate and the economy. Revenues from such programs have helped to balance budgets or have been used to address other public priorities, such as employment generation or reducing inequality.

Green Investments Are Making Money  (

The transition will also require policymakers to throw their support behind green finance institutions and tools, including green banks and public capital for renewable energy and other low-carbon investments. Green banks are already successfully leveraging private capital in a number of countries and proving that such investments can be profitable. For instance, the UK Green Investment Bank expects to earn taxpayers a return of 10 percent in 2015.

In developing countries, public capital must play a key role. Without financing, the upfront costs of clean energy can deter investors and obscure the future cost advantages from lower fuel and operating costs. This is an urgent issue if ambitious renewable energy targets in countries like India are to be realized.  (

Other countries like China and Brazil have provided low cost, long-term debt for renewable energy.

We could all learn from their successes in providing cheap public financing. (

The Paris Agreement gave the world a clear signal. Early movers in business and finance will see important gains over competitors. But much work still lies ahead.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 04, 2016, 08:21:58 pm
( Feb 1, 2016 Authors Amory B. Lovins   ( Chief Scientist

As Oil Prices Gyrate  (, Underlying Trends Are Shifting To Oil's Disadvantage  (


Why should equity markets tank when oil prices do? Beats me  ;D. Among many sources of jitters, this shouldn’t be a big one (though The Economist demurs). When oil prices fall 70+ percent, oil companies and their lenders and investors suffer, so do oil-dependent communities, but oil users (far more numerous) rejoice and respend. The net macroeconomic effect sounds as positive as the middle-class tax cut that it effectively is — the OPEC-monopoly-rent tax that Congress has long seemed determined to pay to the Saudis rather than to the Treasury, finally if accidentally being respent at home.

Surely investors understand — don’t they? — that oil is a commodity. As I explained elsewhere, oil prices go down because they went up before, and they go up because they went down before.

Get used to it.  ( Commodities do that; it’s their job. If you don’t like it, don’t buy them. Buy constant-price, and usually cheaper, efficiency and renewables instead, as the national and global market is doing. Then you can avoid loop-the-loop roller-coaster rides and get your energy services cheaper, cleaner, and more reliably.


( who claimed low oil prices would crash renewables (other than biofuels) were wrong. (

Those who claimed low oil prices would crash renewables (other than biofuels) were wrong. The reason is simple. Wind and solar power make electricity. Oil makes less than four percent of world and under one percent of U.S. electricity, so oil has almost nothing to do with electricity. Thus in 2015, as oil prices kept skidding, global additions of renewable power set a new record, adding about 121 GW of wind and solar power alone. Renewables’ $329 billion investment was up 4% from 2014, says Bloomberg New Energy Finance (which tracks each transaction), but it added 30 percent more capacity because renewables got much cheaper. Solar power is booming even in the Persian Gulf, where it beats $20 oil.

Natural gas does compete with solar and windpower, and its price tends to move with oil’s, but cheaper gas doesn’t much affect renewable power either. That’s because new wind and solar power often beat even the operating costs of the most efficient gas-fired power plants anyway, even without counting the market value of gas’s price volatility. (

Yet as oil prices gyrate, it’s important to understand that underlying trends are shifting too, to oil’s disadvantage.  ( It’s happened before. In the 1850s, whalers—America’s fifth-largest industry—were astounded to run out of customers before they ran out of whales. Over five-sixths of their dominant market (lighting) vanished to competitors—oil and gas both synthesized from coal—in the nine years before Drake struck “rock oil” (petroleum) in Pennsylvania in 1859. Two decades later, Edison’s electric lamp beat whale oil, coal oil, town gas, and John D. Rockefeller’s lighting kerosene. Today in turn, most  traditional lighting is being displaced by white LEDs, which each decade get 30x more efficient, 20x brighter, and 10x cheaper. By 2020 they should own about two-thirds of the world’s general lighting market.

Agelbert NOTE: Not mentioned by Lovins, and adding to his argument  ;D, is the fact that the tax on ethanol, either for drinking or use as fuel for lighting, post Civil War made kerosene "cheaper" by Law, NOT because it was cheaper to produce. THAT was a huge factor in getting Rockefeller the fortune he used to corrupt our government on behalf of fossil fuels.

LEDs inside-out are PVs—photovoltaics, turning light into electricity. PVs often, and very soon generally, beat just the fossil-fuel cost of running traditional power plants. PVs are now less capital-intensive than Arctic oil, not counting the ability to use electrons more effectively than molecules. Costly frontier hydrocarbons like Arctic oil can’t sell for a high enough price to repay their costs. Their revenue model has been upside-down for years. Had Shell persevered instead of abandoning its $7-billion Arctic investment, and had it found oil, it wouldn’t have won durable profits.

Oil companies since 1860 and electric utilities since 1892 have sold energy commodities—molecules or electrons—rather than the services customers want, such as illumination, mobility, hot showers, and cold beer. This business model means that when customers use the energy commodity more efficiently to produce the service they want, the provider loses revenue, not cost. That’s bad for both electric utilities and hydrocarbon companies, because most (and for oil, ultimately all) of the commodity they sell can be displaced by far cheaper energy productivity.

That displacement is already well underway. ( Renewable electricity merits and gets lots of headlines, but in 2014 it raised U.S. energy supplies only a third as much as the energy saved in the same year by greater efficiency.

Over the past 40 years, Americans have saved 31 times as much energy as renewables added. Those cumulative savings are equivalent to 21 years’ current energy use. They’re simply invisible: you can’t see the energy you don’t use. But globally, it’s a bigger “supply” than oil, and inexorably, it’s going to get much, much bigger.

Oil companies worry about climate regulation, but they’re even more at risk from market competition. The oil that’ll be unburnable for climate reasons is probably less than the oil that’ll be unsellable because efficiency and renewables can do the same job cheaper. An oil business that sputters when oil’s at $90 a barrel, swoons at $50, and dies at $30 will not do well against the $25 cost of getting U.S. mobility—or anyone else’s, since the technologies are fungible—completely off oil by 2050. That cost, like the $18 per saved barrel to make U.S. automobiles uncompromised, attractive, cost-effective, and oil-free, is a 2010–11 analytic result; today’s costs are even lower and continue to fall.

In short, like whale oil in the 1850s, oil is becoming uncompetitive even at low prices ( before it became unavailable even at high prices.  (

Today’s oil glut, we hear, is caused by fracking, a bit by Canadian tar sands, and most of all by the Saudis’ awkward (though impeccably logical  ;D) unwillingness to give up their market share to higher-cost competitors. But less noticed, and equally important, is that demand has not lived up to irrationally exuberant forecasts.

Gasoline demand has trended down in the U.S. for the past eight years and in Europe for the past ten, for fundamental and durable reasons of technology, urban form, shifting values, and superior ways to get mobility and access. Suppliers have invested to supply more oil than customers want to buy. Had crimped budgets not curtailed investment budgets, oil companies would still be building pre-stranded production assets as fast as they could.

As frontier oil becomes costlier while accelerating demand-side innovations spread from rich to developing countries, led by China, oil companies face discouraging fundamentals. They’re stuck with the least attractive 6% of global reserves while parastatals keep the rest, and even that last 6% can be confiscated or taxed away at any time. Oil companies are price takers in a volatile market. They’re extraordinarily capital-intensive. They have decadal lead times. They have high technical, geological, and political risks. They’re politically fraught and interfered with; some firms have also suffered self-inflicted reputational damage that sullies the rest. Oil companies’ shrinking reserves and geographies force them into riskier and costlier projects while investors demand lower risk and higher return. Their service companies have turned into formidable competitors. Their permanent subsidies are coming under scrutiny and pressure (  Most of the reserves underpinning their balance sheets are unburnable or unsellable or both—far costlier than demand-side competitors, even at today’s oil prices, and increasingly challenged even on the supply side—so financial regulators are sniffing around mark-to-market.

What a recipe for headaches! Why be in a business like that? ( With mature provinces in decline and fiercely contested, prices volatile, ingenuity strained, exploration pushed to the ends of the earth at spiraling cost and risk, and unforeseen competitors inexorably taking away demand, should hydrocarbon companies ignore, deny, resist, diversify, hedge, finance, transform, or decline? That strategic choice is stark, tough, and increasingly urgent.

And that’s before we add oil’s volatile geopolitics—focused chiefly on the world’s most unstable and dangerous region where a Rubik’s Cube of ancient feuds ensures that, as one expert famously taught, “However bad things are in the Middle East, they can always get worse.”

One troubling scenario concerns the brittleness of Saudi Arabia’s vital 10 million barrels of oil per day—5–10 times the world oil market’s surplus. Most Saudi oil flows through terminals at Ras Tanura and Ju‘aymah and through the Abqaiq processing plant (which al Qa‘eda tried to attack a decade ago and then planned to fly hijacked planes into). These highly concentrated facilities have also been attacked, so far ineffectually. It could take decades to fix damaged key components.

Who might want to do that? Da‘ish or al Qa‘eda would win a twofer: damaging Western economies and toppling the Saudi monarchy (whose export of intolerant Wahhabist ideology, ironically, inspired jihadism in the first place). Oil exporters severely damaged by low oil prices, such as bystanders Nigeria and Venezuela, lack capability to limit Saudi output. But two very interested neighbors might not.

Iran is right across the Gulf, with two big airbases a quarter-hour’s flight from the Saudi oil chokepoints. Iran is a bitter rival, the opposite pole of the tense Shi‘a-Sunni axis, and influential with the disaffected Shi‘a population that predominates in the eastern Saudi region around the main oilfields. Iran is currently in a tiff with the Saudi leadership. Its versatile and creative military and paramilitary forces and proxies don’t not always seem under full political control. Reentering the oil market with the lifting of nuclear sanctions, Iran would like to earn more money per barrel.

Also now active in the neighborhood is militarily formidable Russia—the world leader in secret, disguised, and proxy warfare *. President Putin’s impressive ability to retain power by seeming to protect the Russian people from crises he manufactures cannot work without a viable domestic economy. At today’s oil price, Russia is likely to deplete its stability funds this year and its foreign reserves by about next year, so Mr. Putin may see a much higher oil price (plus lifted Ukraine sanctions) as an existential necessity.

*Agelbert NOTE: I disagree with Lovins that Russia is the "world leader in secret, disguised, and proxy warfare". Russia is WAY BEHIND "our" (see U.S. oligarchs) M.I.C. in that regard.

Ras Tanura and Saudi Aramco have weathered cyberattacks. (Both Iran and Russia have lately cyberattacked their neighbors—Turkey and Ukraine respectively.) There are also many options for physical attack, some hard to forestall. So far, Saudi forces have defeated both cyber- and physical attacks on key oil facilities. But attackers need succeed only once, and they could be highly motivated.

A successful attack, strangling Saudi oil output for years (and then repeatable), could make oil prices soar more than they’ve plunged. Massive global inventories could help cushion the blow, efficiency and renewables could be surged, behaviors would change, but most of 10 million at-risk barrels per day lack ready replacements. Now, that could justify a skittish Dow.

All the more reason to buy efficiency and renewables instead of oil. We’ll profit more and sleep better. (

This article originally appeared on

Photo courtesy of IrenicRhonda via Flickr, Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 04, 2016, 09:22:07 pm

A victory for clean energy and customers   (

The court’s decision is undoubtedly a victory for clean energy. It sets up FERC jurisdiction to regulate both the demand and supply sides of wholesale energy markets (i.e., interstate trade of electricity between utilities and generators), even when those markets touch on the actions of retail customers (i.e., American homes and businesses). This means that the environmental benefits of flexible demand will remain supported by federal authority, instead of being left to a patchwork of state regulations.

The decision is also a victory for consumers, because by allowing compensation for DR customers at wholesale rates, DR saves money for the grid as a whole as well. From the court’s opinion:  “[demand response] will put ‘downward pressure’ on . . . the rates wholesale purchasers pay. Compensation for demand response thus directly affects wholesale prices. Indeed, it is hard to think of a practice that does so more.” And those wholesale purchasers (i.e., the utilities that sell electricity) pass these savings on to their customers.

Financial markets immediately took notice of the impact of this decision on the business opportunity for clean energy; EnerNOC, an established DR company, saw its stock price rise 65% in the day following the court decision. It has come down some since, but still remains more than 25 percent above its one-month average prior to the SCOTUS ruling.

Full Article:   (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 05, 2016, 09:59:25 pm
A Renewables Revolution Is Toppling the Dominance of Fossil Fuels in U.S. Power  (

February 4, 2016 — 12:01 AM EST Updated on February 4, 2016 — 4:59 PM EST

Renewable energy  ( was the biggest source of new power added to U.S. electricity grids last year as falling prices and government incentives made wind and solar increasingly viable alternatives to fossil fuels.

Developers installed 16 gigawatts of clean energy in 2015,
or 68 percent of all new capacity, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in its Sustainable Energy in America Factbook released Thursday with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. That was the second straight year that clean power eclipsed fossil fuels.

The biggest growth came from wind farms, with 8.5 gigawatts of new turbines installed as developers sought to take advantage of a federal tax credit that was due to expire at the end of 2016; Congress extended it in December.

This is a long-term trend,” said Colleen Regan, a BNEF analyst who follows North American power markets. “System costs have really come down for renewables, which makes the case for installing them a lot stronger.”

Demand for energy, meanwhile, flatlined in the U.S. last year, holding steady even as the gross domestic product grew 2.4 percent, BNEF said. Since 2007, U.S. energy consumption has dropped 2.4 percent while GDP has grown by 10 percent.

U.S. clean-energy investments rose to $56 billion last year, up 7.5 percent from 2014. The majority, $30.2 billion, went to solar. Investors pumped $11.6 billion into wind energy and $11.1 billion into technology to improve grids, boost efficiency, develop storage systems and other ways to better manage power usage.

Power from natural gas-fired plants accounted for 25 percent of capacity added to grids last year.  >:( Nearly one third of all electricity in the U.S. is now generated by gas, putting it nearly on par with coal.

A record number of coal plants were shuttered in 2015, with 11 gigawatts of capacity coming off line by the end of October, and plants with another 3 gigawatts of capacity expected to close in November and December. Natural gas, meanwhile, continues to surge.

“It looks good for gas to be a larger share of electricity generation than coal in 2016,” Regan said.

Agelbert NOTE: While getting rid of coal is important, the gas that should supplant it is NOT fracked gas, which is almost as polluting as coal, when all the flaring damage and ground water pollution damage is figured in. Fracked Natural gas is an OBSCENITY! (  (

COW POWER is the ONLY kind of TRULY NATURAL GAS that should be used for whatever in our society:


Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 05, 2016, 10:27:40 pm

Investors Tip Balance Toward Renewables

Posted on Feb 4, 2016

By Tim Radford / Climate News Network
More than half of global electricity system investment is now in renewables such as wind power.

This Creative Commons-licensed piece first appeared at Climate News Network.

LONDON—Global investment in renewable energy, against expectation, now outstrips spending on fossil fuels.

Across the planet, economies have been either dependent on or addicted to fossil fuels for 150 years, but there appears to be global momentum towards better energy use and more sustainable approaches, according to a new study in Nature Energy journal.

Catherine Mitchell, professor of energy policy at the University of Exeter, UK, argues that change is on the way.
Not everybody shares her optimism. It isn’t clear that governments everywhere are acting on their own declared principles, and the argument still has to be won.

Reducing emissions

But there are clear signs of change, as demonstrated by the 195 governments that promised at the UN climate change summit in Paris last December to try to contain average global warming to around 1.5°C ­principally by reducing carbon dioxide emissions released in the combustion of fossil fuels.

Professor Mitchell says: “While the world is still dependent on fossil fuels, because energy systems have long lives, it has got to the point where more than half of global electricity system investment is in renewables, rather than fossil fuels investment.

“It is a sign that, globally, we have moved our public policy discourse and investor preferences from the old ‘dirty’ energy system to a clean one.”


“Nations have realised that meeting their climate change reduction commitments is
 no longer as expensive as they thought
”  ;D

She sees two changes that are fundamentally altering both practice and mindset.

One of these is the rapid uptake of what she calls variable power renewables—academic shorthand for wind and solar energy—within just a few countries or states. Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Spain, California and Hawaii all derive somewhere between 25% and 43% of their electricity from these sources.

The second change, which builds on the first, is a greater understanding of the value of flexibility for the secure operation of energy systems. This process began more than 40 years ago, during an energy crisis precipitated by some of the oil-producing states. There was every incentive at that time to diversify.

Fall in costs

But the increasing adoption of renewables has led to a fall in costs, which has in turn encouraged further investment.

A few nations, such as the UK, remain dominated by conventional energy systems, Professor Mitchell says, but most now support a move to a sustainable future.   (

“They are just trying to act as good global neighbours and have realised that meeting their climate change reduction commitments is no longer as expensive as they thought, and it helps, rather than makes worse, the security of their energy systems,” she says.

The recent UN agreement has led to strong support for the sustainable energy policies declared by individual nations. “However, these statements need to be backed up with appropriate governance—policies, institutions, incentives and energy system rules—to make sure they are implemented and successful,” Professor Mitchell stresses.

Tim Radford, a founding editor of Climate News Network, worked for The Guardian for 32 years, for most of that time as science editor. He has been covering climate change since 1988.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 07, 2016, 12:19:33 am
An interstate for renewable energy

January 25, 2016 •

Institutes, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES)
The United States could slash greenhouse gas emissions from power production by up to 78 percent below 1990 levels within 15 years while meeting increased demand, according to a new study by NOAA and University of Colorado Boulder researchers.

The study used a sophisticated mathematical model to evaluate future cost, demand, generation and transmission scenarios. It found that with improvements in transmission infrastructure, weather-driven renewable resources could supply most of the nation’s electricity at costs similar to today’s.

“Our research shows a transition to a reliable, low-carbon, electrical generation and transmission system can be accomplished with commercially available technology and within 15 years,” said Alexander MacDonald, co-lead author and recently retired director of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) in Boulder.

Although improvements in wind and solar generation have continued to ratchet down the cost of producing renewable energy, these energy resources are inherently intermittent. As a result, utilities have invested in surplus generation capacity to back up renewable energy generation with natural gas-fired generators and other reserves.

“In the future, they may not need to,” said co-lead author Christopher Clack, a physicist and mathematician with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at CU-Boulder.

Since the sun is shining or winds are blowing somewhere across the United States all of the time, MacDonald theorized that the key to resolving the dilemma of intermittent renewable generation might be to scale up the renewable energy generation system to match the scale of weather systems.

Audio from MacDonald at link below.

So MacDonald, who has studied weather and worked to improve forecasts for more than 40 years, assembled a team of four other NOAA scientists to explore the idea. Using NOAA’s high-resolution meteorological data, they built a model to evaluate the cost of integrating different sources of electricity into a national energy system. The model estimates renewable resource potential, energy demand, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and the costs of expanding and operating electricity generation and transmission systems to meet future needs.

The model allowed researchers to evaluate the affordability, reliability, and greenhouse gas emissions of various energy mixes, including coal. It showed that low-cost and low-emissions are not mutually exclusive.

“The model relentlessly seeks the lowest-cost energy, whatever constraints are applied,” Clack said. “And it always installs more renewable energy on the grid than exists today.”

Even in a scenario where renewable energy costs more than experts predict, the model produced a system that cuts CO2 emissions 33 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and delivered electricity at about 8.6 cents per kilowatt hour. By comparison, electricity cost 9.4 cents per kWh in 2012.

If renewable energy costs were lower and natural gas costs higher, as is expected in the future, the modeled system sliced CO2 emissions by 78 percent from 1990 levels and delivered electricity at 10 cents per kWh. The year 1990 is a standard scientific benchmark for greenhouse gas analysis.

A scenario that included coal yielded lower cost (8.5 cents per kWh), but the highest emissions.

At the recent Paris climate summit, the United States pledged to cut greenhouse emissions from all sectors up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The new paper suggests the United States could cut total CO2 emissions 31 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 by making changes only within the electric sector, even though the electrical sector represents just 38 percent of the national CO2 budget. These changes would include rapidly expanding renewable energy generation and improving transmission infrastructure.

In identifying low-cost solutions, researchers enabled the model to build and pay for transmission infrastructure improvements—specifically a new, high-voltage direct-current transmission grid (HVDC) to supplement the current electrical grid. HVDC lines, which are in use around the world, reduce energy losses during long-distance transmission. The model did choose to use those lines extensively, and the study found that investing in efficient, long-distance transmission was key to keeping costs low.

MacDonald compared the idea of a HVDC grid with the interstate highway system which transformed the U.S. economy in the 1950s. “With an ‘interstate for electrons’, renewable energy could be delivered anywhere in the country while emissions plummet,” he said.  “An HVDC grid would create a national electricity market in which all types of generation, including low-carbon sources, compete on a cost basis. The surprise was how dominant wind and solar could be.”

The new model is drawing interest from other experts in the field.

"This study pushes the envelope,” said Stanford University’s Mark Jacobson, who commented on the findings in an editorial he wrote for the journal Nature Climate Change. “It shows that intermittent renewables plus transmission can eliminate most fossil-fuel electricity while matching power demand at lower cost than a fossil fuel-based grid - even before storage is considered."  ;D

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 08, 2016, 02:58:41 pm

K.C. Whiteley: Steps to divestment

Feb. 7, 2016, 7:00 pm by Commentary

Editor’s note: This commentary is by K.C. Whiteley, wno is a retired state employee and active member of Central Vermont Climate Action, which is affiliated with 350Vermont.

As a retired state employee, I have been following the conversation about divestment of our pension funds with interest in both my own financial future and the future of our environment.

When Gov. Shumlin called on the Legislature to divest state pension funds from coal and from Exxon Mobil in his 2016 State of the State address, I thought this was an easy win-win. Out of over $4 billion invested in state retirement funds, only $7 million is invested in coal and another $32 million in oil and gas companies. We know from an analytical tool called Decarbonizer that our pension funds invested in fossil fuels, and especially in coal, have been losing money over the past three years. The tool estimates the financial impact starting in October 2012 of what would have happened if Vermont moved funds out of the largest oil and coal investments into other, hopefully, fossil free investments. The finding was alarming: our returns have lost $77 million.

Coal has been a losing investment for some time, and fund managers are advising investors to move into renewable energy or other non-fossil fuel investments. [/b]The Rockefeller Fund made news last year when it divested its $860 million portfolio from fossil fuel companies. Current estimates, including the Rockefeller Fund, total $3.4 trillion currently divesting from fossil fuels. These include churches, universities, cities and the entire California state teachers and public employees retirement funds.

Right up the road in Burlington, the Burlington Employee Retirement System, which left the state system managed by the Vermont Pension Investment Committee (VPIC) last year, is exploring divesting and moving into fossil free index funds.

Divesting from fossil fuels is the right thing to do for our personal financial futures and has the added benefit of being the right thing to do for the environment. Scientists and the agreement reached by 195 countries at the Paris climate talks concur that keeping 80 percent of fossil fuel reserves in the ground is essential to limiting the rise in temperatures to 2°C, the level after which temperature and sea level rises become unmanageable.

So where’s the disagreement coming from? It’s coming from the State Treasurer’s office and from VPIC who claim that divesting is too complex and expensive, and that the Legislature should not be entrusted to manage state pension funds. All good arguments except that the funds are losing value right now and run the risk of becoming stranded assets, and that the divestment bills currently being considered by the Legislature leave the fund management and the process and pace of divesting up to VPIC. Seems like we should be able to get to the win-win.

For Vermonters, divesting from fossil fuels beginning with coal is a good place to start. I urge the Vermont State Employees Association and the Vermont-NEA to bring their members up to speed on why divestment benefits us all so we can steer the Legislature on this critically important issue.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 18, 2016, 07:40:33 pm

Feb 17, 2016

Authors David Labrador Writer / Editor
First-Time Buyers Are Dominating Corporate Renewable Purchasing (

For years, just a handful of companies—especially Google—comprised the market for large-scale, off-site renewable energy procurement. In 2015, Google reigned again, announcing more MW of green energy than any other single company: 729 MW, including the single largest deal of the year, a 225-MW agreement to buy wind power from BRC-sponsor Invenergy. “Google continues to dominate the market,” says Lily Donge, a principal at RMI and head of its Business Renewables Center (BRC). “They continue to be juggernauts and we expect more to come from them.”

But the bigger story is about a changing of the guard: first-time corporate buyers are entering the market in droves and now account for the majority of both deal announcements and contracted MW of wind and solar energy. The deals announced in 2015 amounted to 3.44 GW of energy, nearly triple the total for 2014, which was double the total for 2013 (see figure). A whopping 2.29 GW of 2015’s year-end numbers, or slightly more than two-thirds of the total, was purchased by corporations new to utility-scale renewable energy.

2015 was the Year of the First-Time Corporate Buyer

More than 20 corporations announced major renewable energy deals in 2015; a whopping 15 of them were first-time buyers (see below), accounting for 67 percent of the 2015 market. This is a tidal shift and the BRC—with its members, sponsors, and advisors—is proud to be playing a role. BRC-affiliated companies represented 85 percent of deals and 86 percent of contracted capacity.


Their ranks included Equinix, a BRC member that announced nearly one-third of a gigawatt of renewable power in 2015, entering the market emphatically. Donge says, “Equinix entered the market with a bang—they were able to do three deals in two months.” Equinix announced deals with several market players, including BRC sponsors NextEra Energy Resources and Invenergy.

Equinix also has the distinction of being among the largest corporate renewable power purchasers despite not being in the Fortune 500. Equinix is ranked 884 on the Fortune 500 list and shows that utility-scale renewables are not the exclusive domain of the largest companies. “Over the past two years, companies outside of the Fortune 500 have gotten more involved in the market,” explains Anthony Teixeira, a senior associate at RMI and part of the BRC team. “After accounting for only eight percent of corporate renewable purchases through 2013, companies outside the Fortune 500 signed 25 percent of the contracted volume in 2014–15.”

First-time buyers continued to dominate in 2016

Less than two months into the year, first-time buyers are again putting their stamp on the market. Four deals have already been announced. At the beginning of February, BRC member Steelcase announced its first deal—for 25 MW of wind. That same week, BRC member Lockheed Martin announced its first deal as well—for 30 MW of solar. And one week later, BRC sponsor Invenergy announced 120 MW of wind with 3M.

The fourth deal announced so far this year was from BRC member Saleforce—for 24 MW of wind. But Salesforce had just announced its first deal in December 2015, so the ink was barely dry before it announced a follow-on deal in early 2016. It’s essentially a first-time buyer, too.

This flood of first-time buyers is a powerful sign of the market maturing, with more first-time buyers to follow. The BRC’s Lily Donge explains: “The moment a first-time buyer walks into any marketplace, we know that all market participants are working hard to make a good first impression. The buyers may well go for another purchase—in this case a solar or wind project—but just as importantly, their first-time deal and then repeat deals will be strong signals telling other major corporations that this is the market to be in.”

If recent signs are any indication, corporations are getting the message. A recently released Deloitte report called “corporations buying renewables” one of eight trends shaping the grid of the future. The unanswered question for now remains, “Which companies will enter the renewables market for the first time over the course of 2016?” Time will soon tell.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 19, 2016, 08:31:06 pm
02/18/2016 12:19 PM     
17 States Join to Make Clean Energy Future A Reality   ( News

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision to place the Clean Power Plan on hold, governors from 17 states are joining to make a clean energy future a reality under the "Governors' Accord for a New Energy Future."

 Governors say they plan to establish goals and benchmarks to accelerate energy efficiency and renewables, modernize the grid, and incentivize clean transportation, such as hydrogen and electric vehicles. 

Renewables Beat Gas US 2015

Signatories represent 40% of US population:
Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont.    (

The accord is based on the economic benefits of rapidly moving in this direction (  , not climate change  - which was intentionally omitted from the discussion to get bipartisan support.    (   (

Michigan is the only state in the group that's working to block the Clean Power Plan in court, and Nevada's Governor signed on after the state just eliminated distributed solar incentives.   

Importantly, governors agree that it's time to transition from fossil fuels, and that it can be done profitably.   (

New York's Governor Cuomo sees the coalition "developing an effective national energy policy to ensure a safer, greener and more sustainable future for all." 

Parallel efforts include:
•City Energy Project which focuses on energy efficiency in buildings

•Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, which consists of many of the world's largest cities

•"Under 2 MOU," led by Governor Brown, 12 governments are collaborating to stay under 2°C global temperature rise.

Read our article, Most Ambitious Climate Goals Lead to Greatest Economic Growth. 

Learn more about the Governors' Accord for a New Energy Future: 

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 24, 2016, 03:00:15 pm

Dear A. G.,

Last week, Climate Reality Founder and Chairman Al Gore spoke at the 2016 TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. This talk came nearly a decade after Vice President Gore last spoke on the TED stage, and we can say with certainty, the future of our planet looks very different today than in 2006.

Today, we’re truly hopeful.  (
Hope isn’t always easy. With global temperature records being broken month after month, rising seas off coastal cities like Miami causing “sunny day flooding,” droughts and wildfires destroying thousands of acres of forests, and more severe hurricanes and typhoons, many wonder how we’ll solve this planetary crisis in our lifetimes.

But we want to remind you that you can – and should – be hopeful. Here are a few reasons why:

•In 2000, analysts projected the world would have 30 gigawatts of wind energy capacity installed by 2010. In 2015, the world passed this mark by 14.5 times!

•Experts also projected in 2002 that the world would install 1 gigawatt of solar power per year by 2010. Last year, we beat that figure by 58 times over. And this year, we are on track to exceed that prediction by 68 times over!

•The cost of solar energy has decreased about 10 percent each year for the past 30 years, and we’re getting closer to grid parity in more and more markets around the world, which means solar power will soon cost less than electricity from fossil fuels in more and more places around the world!

Then there’s the Paris Agreement. In December, 195 nations reached a historic agreement at the UN’s COP 21 climate conference in Paris, to reduce carbon emissions and put us on a path to a sustainable future. The Paris Agreement marked a turning point for our movement and will have a positive impact on the health of people everywhere and the planet for generations to come.

Ready to learn more about the future of our planet? Watch our Chairman, Al Gore, give his latest TED talk and learn more about the challenges we’re facing, what the world can look like if our world leaders live up to their promises in the Paris Agreement, and why he’s optimistic that we can and will solve the climate crisis.

Thank you for all that you do every day,

- Your friends at Climate Reality

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 25, 2016, 06:56:53 pm
Vintage-style posters highlight clean energy projects financed through the Recovery Act  (

Article with beautiful graphics:  (  (

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 28, 2016, 03:24:28 pm
100% Renewable Energy Is Possible, Here’s How

Richard Heinberg, YES! Magazine | February 28, 2016 10:21 am

Agelbert COMMENT: The issue is not whether it is easy or hard to transition QUICKLY (in ten to 15 years MAX) to MORE than 100% Renewable energy ( we need more in order to reverse the massive pollution damage already done, including, but not limited to, returning the CO2 level back to 280 PPM).

The issue is that WE DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE.

Even Warren Buffet, no great friend of the rapid transition now required to get to 100% Renewable Energy, GETS IT. Berkshire Hathaway owns a LOT of stock in the property insurance business. They have no choice but to GET IT.

"If there is only a 1% chance the planet is heading toward a truly major disaster and delay means passing a point of no return, inaction now is foolhardy. Call this Noah’s Law: If an ark may be essential for survival, begin building it today, no matter how cloudless the skies appear." -  Warren Buffet

And we KNOW that the probability that the planet is heading toward a truly major disaster of climate catastrophe is certainly not 1%.

It's 100% if we continue on our present trajectory.

Top Climate Expert Kevin Anderson: Crisis is Worse Than We Think & Scientists Are Self-Censoring to Downplay Risk. (

The Myth About Renewable Energy Subsidies (

"The millennial atmospheric lifetime of anthropogenic CO2" by Archer and Brovkin .

"The notion is pervasive in the climate science community and in the public at large that the climate impacts of fossil fuel CO2 release will only persist for a few centuries. This conclusion has no basis in theory or models of the atmosphere/ocean carbon cycle, which we review here. The largest fraction of the CO2 recovery will take place on time scales of centuries, as CO2 invades the ocean, but a significant fraction of the fossil fuel CO2, ranging in published models in the literature from 20–60%, remains airborne for a thousand years or longer.

Ultimate recovery takes place on time scales of hundreds of thousands of years, a geologic longevity typically associated in public perceptions with nuclear waste. The glacial/interglacial climate cycles demonstrate that ice sheets and sea level respond dramatically to millennial-timescale changes in climate forcing. There are also potential positive feedbacks in the carbon cycle, including methane hydrates in the ocean, and peat frozen in permafrost, that are most sensitive to the long tail of the fossil fuel CO2 in the atmosphere."

Video: The situation is grave. A call for sanity. (

You Won’t Believe What I Found in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Regarding Climate Change – I Sure Was Surprised!  (

The biggest threat that climate change has in store for us. (

Read Oxfam's report, "Extreme Carbon Inequality"  (http://:

These studies further confirm the reality that burning fossil fuels is poisoning the biosphere. 

Global civilization is threatened within 25 years. 

The  Hansen et al June 2015 study * and the Dutton et al July 2015 study ** evidences a 6 to 25 meter (19 to 82 feet!) sea level increase in the geological record when the CO2 parts per million (PPM) atmospheric concentration was between 300 and 400PPM. As of October of 2015, the CO2 concentration is at 400PPM. It is increasing at over 3PPM per year.  

*Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 15, 20059–20179, 2015 doi:10.5194/acpd-15-20059-
© Author(s) 2015. CC Attribution 3.0 License. 

Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2C global warming is highly dangerous 

J. Hansen1, M. Sato1, P. Hearty2, R. Ruedy3,4, M. Kelley3,4, V. Masson-Delmotte5,
G. Russell4, G. Tselioudis4, J. Cao6, E. Rignot7,8, I. Velicogna8,7, E. Kandiano9,
K. von Schuckmann10, P. Kharecha1,4, A. N. Legrande4, M. Bauer11, and K.-W. Lo3,4

** Science 10 July 2015: Vol. 349  no. 6244  DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4019
Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods

A. Dutton1,*,  A. E. Carlson2,  A. J. Long3,  G. A. Milne4,  P. U. Clark2,  R. DeConto5,  B. P. Horton6,7,  S. Rahmstorf8,  M. E. Raymo9

Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity: PART THREE (

Internal Documents Expose Fossil Fuel Industry’s Decades of Deception on Climate Change. (

Our Responsibility to Future Generations (

 World War CO2 (

 For the Sake of the Children, Please Pass These Stickers On. (

: Some "minor" details Heinberg left out.  ;)

Yes there IS a drop in replacement for ALL fossil fuel use, not just aviation fuel that Heinberg claims has "no drop in replacement". It's called ETHANOL.
Op-Ed: Big Oil Tells More Lies About Ethanol, Only Idiots Believe Them (http://renewablerevolution.

And the Chinese, in cooperation with scientists from Rutgers University, ALREADY designed Lemna minor (duckweed - the fastest growing angiosperm known to man) refineries that can make fuel, textiles, plastics, pharmaceuticals, etc. (i.e. EVERYTHING we get from fossil fuels NOW) quite nicely.

And ALL that duckweed can be grown on shallow ponds (not needing to be filled more than ONCE) on non-arable land all over the planet. There is, by the way, a LOT MORE nonarable available to grow duckweed WITHOUT destroying the adjacent desert or scrub land biomes than there is arable land now used for food crops. The claim that ethanol production takes food out of people's mouths DOES NOT APPLY to duckweed because you DO NOT NEED arable land to grow duckweed SEVERAL TIMES FASTER than corn or sugar cane.

Duckweed, The Little Green Plant that Could. (

Is Duckweed The Food of the Future? (

Duckweed - a potential high-protein feed resource for domestic animals and fish. (

And, by the way, Richard Heinberg, duckweed can be burned as a fuel without refining. More importantly, it can be pelletized for animal feed and even used for a nutrition supplement for humans. That totally destroys the ridiculous claim that some may have here that growing agricultural products for fuel takes  food out of peoples mouths. That claim was used against corn and sugar cane. It was, at most, a half truth in regard to those crops. It is totally false in regard to duckweed.

And did I forget to mention that duckweed is NOW used to clean water in sewage treatment plants WITHOUT added chemicals (chemicals that use FOSSIL FUELS as a feed stock that will no longer be needed)? Richard certainly did. Not only is duckweed used to reduce fecal coliform count, it is ALSO used to clean up heavy metal contamination in stagnant water bodies. Of course, when used that way it cannot be burned or used for feed.

Richard's Heinberg's heart is in the right place but he is fighting the "last war", so to speak. He is framing our situation as a non-war emergency where we can use incremental techniques to slowly wean ourselves from fossil fuels. That is NOT going do the job.

FIRST OF ALL, we need to extract from our heads the STUPID idea that it costs a lot of money to transport energy from the harvest point (from solar wind, geothermal, tide, ocean current, etc.) to the point of use. Electrical transmission cables already DO THAT far more efficiently than ocean going tankers that leak pollutants into the oceans and pipelines that break and leak pollutants into the soil and tanker trucks that pollute the atmosphere.

ALL major industrial high thermal heat, beat and treat processes ALREADY use electrical furnaces because those are the most efficient for processing and manufacturing metals and their alloys. So ALL of heavy industry, except for back up generators than can run on ethanol, can be powered by ELECTRICITY.

ALL the factories that make ALL the Renewable energy technology harvesting hardware like solar panels and wind turbines run on electricity now. As Richard Heinberg points out, it is OBVIOUS that coal fired power plants MUST be replaced with Renewable Energy power.

And in regard to our stone age transportation system, considering that the wind and the sun and the heat of the earth (and so on) can be harvested 24/7 all over the planet and coordinated quite nicely with computer load balancing so the demand is handled near the speed of light over electrical transmission cables, it is STUPID to cling to our old polluting gasoline station network servicing over a billion polluting internal combustion machines in a shameful exercise of thermodynamic inefficiency.

Electricity can power the factories that manufacture the vehicles and manufacture the batteries that run those vehicles. Ethanol from renewable energy based agriculture ( NOT from fossil fuels, which NOW make about 5% of all the ethanol produced in the world) can power the ten percent or so of mining and large vehicles like aircraft, trucks and ships that would make up the rest of the vehicle mix.

It takes about 14 years for the average internal combustion engine to go from the factory to the junk yard for recycling. THAT MEANS, though Richard Heinberg failed to mention it, that, in only FIFTEEN YEARS, over 95% of all engines can be replaced by electric motors and ethanol powered internal combustion engines.

And, by the way, an ethanol ONLY engine (gasoline prohibited because the waste heat generated would warp the block and ruin the engine) would be about 33% lighter than one approved for gasoline because ethanol burns cleaner and cooler. You DO NOT have to over engineer the alloys to handle high temperatures with an ethanol only engine. That's ANOTHER inconvenient truth that the fossil fuel industry has kept from we-the-people. Brazil figured that out long ago.

If Richard Heinberg is concerned with stepping on the fossil fuel welfare queen toes, I think he is in denial of the grossly inefficient and polluting status quo we have no choice but to SHITCAN with extreme prejudice for our own survival. This change required is NOT "pie in the sky"; it's change or DIE!

We need a crash program to transition to a viable biosphere in a maximum of 15 years. After that  it will STILL take about a century to get clean up all the massive pollution causing the highest mammalian extinction rate before we existed from all sorts of industrial toxins spewed for the last 150 years and get our CO2 back to 280 PPM.

Below are just two of several approaches that would work to achieve this indispensable goal for our survival as a species:

Water, Energy and Waste Sustainable Development in Large Cities (

It's time for Americans in the Service of Future Generations to GET WITH THE PROGRAM! We did it with the massive, industrial scale building of Liberty Ships in WWII. We can do it again with the massive, industrial scale building of Liberty Renewable Energy Machines. (

Slow, incremental measures will not work.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 28, 2016, 07:33:26 pm
Text of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s speech to the Vermont Pension Investment Committee
Feb. 24, 2016, 10:11 am by VTD Editor

Editor’s note: This is the full text of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s presentation to the Vermont Pension Investment Committee on Feb. 23. Numbered footnotes appear at the bottom.

Good morning and thank you for inviting me to talk with VPIC about the urgent need for Vermont to divest from coal and ExxonMobil stocks.

I have called for Vermont to divest from ExxonMobil stocks. As Pulitzer-prize winning journalists have uncovered, ExxonMobil spent millions trying to persuade
 the American people not to support policies to fight climate change at the same
 time that their own internal research clearly indicated climate change was real.1

In the late 1990’s, as they designed their own offshore oil rigs to account for sea
 level rise, Mobil oil paid for advertisements telling the American people that
 climate science was uncertain and that the U.S. should not join other nations in a
 global climate agreement.2 Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, the great grand-daughter
 of ExxonMobil’s founder, donated her shares this year so that the proceeds could
 be used to support nonprofit work to fight global warming.3 After 15 years of
 failed shareholder engagement and meetings between the Rockefeller family and
 ExxonMobil to encourage diversification, she declared that “I lost faith in
 ExxonMobil’s future value.”4

Let’s be clear – If the Rockefellers cannot convince ExxonMobil to change,
 Vermont will not succeed in effecting change through shareholder engagement.

Rockefeller Goodwin wonders “[h]ow different things might be if Exxon and
 others had begun to pivot away from fossil fuels 34 years ago.” Instead, as “the
 enormity of the effects of its lies becomes more evident, ExxonMobil is positioned
 to supplant Big Tobacco as global Public Enemy No. 1.”5

She goes on to say what should be evident to all of us by now, “[t]his is not good for a company’s bottom line.”6

In testimony before the House and Senate Government Operations Committees
 last week, Vermont Law School Professor and former Public Service Board Chair
 Michael Dworkin discussed how ExxonMobil has significantly underperformed the
 S&P 500 over the last five years.7

Earlier this month several investment advisors indicated they were downgrading ExxonMobil to a sell or an underperform rating.8 Raymond James senior energy analyst Pavel Molchanov said even as the oil sector hopes for a recovery of value, “Exxon is probably the last oil stock you want.”9

For these reasons, we must divest from ExxonMobil and ensure we never
 buy another penny again

Divest from Coal

As you know, I have also called for Vermont to follow California’s lead and divest
 from corporations that derive 50 percent or more of their revenue from coal
 mining used to generate electricity, and put in a screen to ensure we never buy
 such assets again.10 Based on conversations my staff have had with the
 Treasurer’s Office, it is my understanding that out of the roughly $4 billion
 Vermont manages in pension funds, we have approximately $600 worth of stocks
 that fit this definition.

In the VPIC invitation letter to me you suggest that when it comes to divesting,
“[m]uch of the public discourse has been more about persuasion than a real
 assessment of the costs and benefits.” So for today, let’s put aside the fact that as
 a matter of moral responsibility, Vermont should not be invested in coal when our
 state is the tailpipe to the dirty energy choices made by states to our West. Let’s
 put aside the fact that coal is responsible for acid rain which has harmed our
 forests, and mercury pollution that puts poison into our fish such that pregnant
 women and children have to limit their consumption. Let’s put aside the fact that
 coal burning is a leading contributor to global warming that threatens the future
 of our planet. Let’s put aside the fact that Vermont is a leader in combatting
 climate change and together with California we can lead the country in making
 the right choices for our planet. Clearly those arguments have not persuaded this
 committee to-date to take action.

So today let’s discuss the facts about why I believe in addition to being bad moral,
 environmental, and health policy, it is straight forward bad economic policy for
 the State of Vermont to be invested in coal stocks:
 o Financial Institutions Agree, Coal is a Bad Investment – Recognizing that for
 the planet to have any chance to slow and reverse the trends of global
 warming, many large financial institutions are exiting the coal industry. In November of 2015, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley joined Citigroup, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs in pledging to “stop or scale back support for coal projects,” according to Bloomberg Business.11 In a statement Morgan Stanley said “[w]e will continue to shift our lending and capital-raising efforts toward cleaner and renewable sources of energy and reduce the proportion of our energy financing to coal mining and coal-fired power generation.”12

Wells Fargo stated that it “will continue to limit and reduce our credit exposure to the coal mining industry.”13 A new report from Citigroup delivers the news that if we are serious about meeting the agreed to climate target of 2 degrees Celsius then fossil fuel companies have stranded assets that have to stay in the ground totaling approximately $100 trillion, with coal companies accounting for more than half of that potential loss in value.14 Not the type of industry I would want my money invested in, or Vermont’s money invested in.

o Coal Use and Mining is on the Decline – In the mid-2000’s coal represented 50 percent of our nation’s power supply, today it accounts for only 35 percent according to the Energy Information Administration.15 That trend is likely to continue, because no new coal plants are being built. According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, for the entirety of 2015, a total of one new coal plant came online, producing a mere 3 megawatts of capacity. Compare that to 50 new natural gas plants totaling nearly 6,000 megawatts, or 69 wind farms totaling nearly 8,000 megawatts, or 248 solar plants totaling over 2,100 megawatts.16 The market has spoken and it’s divesting itself of coal.

As we use less coal for electric generation, coal mining both in the U.S. and
 globally is stalling. Reports from China indicate that based on lower demand,
 it plans to close over 4,000 coal mines. 17 In another blow to the industry, President Obama recently took strong action to halt new coal mining leases on public lands.18 According to the New York Times, “[t]he move represents a significant setback for the coal industry, effectively freezing new coal production on federal lands and sending a signal to energy markets that could turn investors away from an already reeling industry.”19 Perhaps it is not surprising then that CNN reports that the Dow Jones U.S. Coal Index, which captures the value of large coal corporations, “has lost a stunning 95 percent of its value since July 2011.”20

o Coal Companies are Failing – As a result of the decline in coal mining, coal
 electric generation, and coal financing outlined above, coal mining companies are failing. The second-largest coal company, Arch Coal, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, and “Arch cited weakening demand for coal in filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.”21 That follows bankruptcy filings by other major coal companies such as Walter Energy, Alpha Natural Resources, and Patriot Coal.22

Let me spend just a minute talking about Alpha Natural Resources. Alpha purchased Massey Energy before going bankrupt, and Massey, if you recall, was headed by Don Blankenship, a CEO who was found guilty this past December of willfully conspiring to violate safety standards.23 Massey is the company found to have covered up safety violations related to the Upper Big Branch mine disaster that killed 29 coal miners in 2010.24 If you think this is an isolated incident, think again. An investigation by NPR in 2014 found 2,700 mine owners who collectively owe $70 million in outstanding fines for safety violations they have not paid, and who committed a total of 130,000
 violations and had nearly 4,000 worker injuries since their initial fines went unpaid.25 I want all of our friends in the Vermont labor community to remember that if we say no to divesting from coal, we are saying yes to the idea of investing your hard-earned dollars in mining companies that have not shown a high regard for the lives and welfare of their workers.

California saw the light. Their legislature passed a bill to divest from coal, Governor Jerry Brown signed it, and it had support from diverse stakeholders including the SEIU public employees union and the Insurance Commissioner.26 The Board of the California State Teachers Retirement System voted affirmatively to divest its holding from U.S. coal companies, and Investment Committee Chair Sharon Hendricks said of the decision “[w]e determined that given the financial state of the industry, the movement of the regulatory landscape and coal’s impact on the environment, its presence
 reflects a loss of value.”27

Vermont Has a Proud History of Using Divestment as a Positive Tool for Change

I know I don’t need to tell this committee that in each of the preceding three decades, Vermont has stepped up to use divestment, thoughtfully and cautiously, when other recourse for extraordinary societal challenges had been exhausted. We used divestment to get out of companies that did business with South Africa under Apartheid in the 1980’s, thanks to leadership from then-Senator Peter Welch and Governor Madeleine Kunin. Former Representative Don Hooper said that the year Nelson Mandela was released from jail he visited South Africa and asked business leaders there why Apartheid failed. The answer he got back was “Apartheid failed because all your little divestments in Madison, WI, Cambridge, MA, the state of Vermont…made South Africa an international pariah,” helping reduce capital and investment needed for economic growth.28

We used divestment, under the leadership of then-Treasurer Jim Douglas with
 support from the legislature, to get out of Big Tobacco in the 1990’s. We owned
 more than $21 million in tobacco stocks back in the late 1990’s, but somehow
 back then it was deemed prudent and within the fiduciary responsibility to get rid
 of all of them. Then-Treasurer Douglas confirmed with the Attorney General that
 divestiture does not violate the trustees’ fiduciary responsibility.29 According to
 Pensions and Investments which wrote about the divestment at the time, “[t]he
 Vermont funds have some of their tobacco investments in an index fund with
 Alliance Capital Management, but Alliance indicated it can create a tobacco-free
 index without a problem, Mr. Douglas said.”30 Today we hear the argument that
 we cannot possibly divest of $600 of coal stocks and get our fund managers to
 screen out coal, but back in the 1990’s Jim Douglas managed to divest of many
 millions in tobacco stocks and get fund managers to create a tobacco-free index
 screen without a problem.

We used divestment under the leadership of then-Treasurer Jeb Spaulding to get
 out of businesses operating in Sudan in 2007, after the tragic events in Darfur.
 Then-Treasurer Spaulding said: The Committee believed it would be prudent, from a fiduciary position, to refrain from owning securities in companies listed on the Sudan Divestment Task Force Highest Offenders list, because the value of our portfolio could suffer if we continue holding these securities while other investors take affirmative action to sell securities on the list. Personally, I hope that by joining with other institutional and individual investors, we can do our part to apply economic pressure on the Sudanese government and companies they do business with to get serious about ending the horrific atrocities still taking place in Darfur.31

I want to ask each of you here today, and I do not mean this to be rhetorical, please raise your hand if you believe Vermont should still own Big Tobacco

Please raise your hand if you think Vermont should not have divested from South Africa at a time when Nelson Mandela was languishing in prison?

Please raise your hand if you think Vermont should not have divested from Sudan while people were killed and starved to death?

Now please raise your hand, if you still think we should invest our money in the coal industry?

Divestment in Vermont has been a seldom-used, but necessary tool to confront major challenges and put us on the right side of history. I take issue with those who say it is a slippery slope. In our form of government, elected officials live on that slope – it’s called democracy. I take issue as well with those who view divestment as symbolic, or a meaningless gesture. If Vermont were going it alone, maybe it would be symbolic. But by divesting from coal and ExxonMobil we would be joining our $4 billion in assets with $3.4 trillion worldwide that has already committed to some type of fossil fuel divestment.32 That is not a meaningless amount of investment. That represents not just our friends in California, but also Europe’s largest insurance company, many religious and educational institutions, and many large municipal pension funds and national sovereign wealth funds around the world.

I know the argument to-date seems to be around the process for making this decision. However, it does not matter if the legislature passes a bill, or if VPIC decides to make the right decision. The process is not ultimately what this is about. It is about Vermont using our power as an investor to put pressure on coal companies economically, and to protect our pensioners from holding securities that have a bleak future. As the coal industry continues to suffer economically and harm our environment and our health, and as ExxonMobil continues to oppose changing its business model even at the urging of our own Treasurer, this committee can continue to delay and to study. Or this committee can take action. I believe the time has come to act on our values, and divest.  (

1 Amy Lieberman and Susan Rust, LA Times “Big Oil braced for global warming while it fought regulations,” Dec. 31,
 2015, available at:
 3 Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, LA Times (published in Valley News), “Giving Up On ExxonMobil,” February 16, 2016,
 available at:
 11 Alex Nussbaum, Bloomberg Business, “Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley Join Banks Edging Away from Coal,”
November 30, 2015, available at:
 7 Michael Dworkin, Testimony before Vermont House and Senate Government Operations Committee, February
 19, 2016.
 8 Tom DeChristopher and Christine Wang, CNBC, “ExxonMobil Posts Earnings of 67 cents a share vs 63 cents
 estimate,” February 2, 2016, available at:
 10 Chris Megerian, LA Times, “California Pension Funds to Drop Coal-Mining Companies,” October 8, 2015, available
 12 Id.
 13 Id.
 14 Giles Parkinson, Renew Economy, “Citigroup Sees $100 Trillion of Stranded Assets if Paris Succeeds,” August 25,
 2015, available at:
 15 Rory Carroll, Reuters, “California Insurance Commissioner Calls for Coal Divestment,” Jan 25, 2016, available at:
 16 FERC Office of Energy Projects, Energy Infrastructure Update, December 2015, available at:
17 Daniel Cohan, The Hill “Plummeting Coal Use and Peaking Stockpiles,” February 17, 2016, available at:
 18 Coral Davenport, NY Times, “In Climate move, Obama Halts New Coal Mining Leases on Public Lands,” Jan 14,
 2016, available at:
 19 Id.
 20 Matt Egan, CNN Money “Wall Street Cuts Lending to Coal,” December 1, 2015, available at:
 21 Timothy Cama, The Hill, “Major coal mining company files for bankruptcy,” January 11, 2016, available at:
 22 Id.
 23 Bourree Lam, The Atlantic, “A Guilty Verdict in Don Blankenship’s Trial,” December 3, 2015, available at:; Clifford Krauss, NY
 Times, “Alpha Natural Resources, a Onetime Coal Giant, Files for Bankruptcy Protection,” August 3, 2015, available
 24 Id.
 25 Howard Berkes, NRP, “Fines Don’t Appear to Deter Mine Safety Violations,” November 16, 2014, available at:

 26 Rory Carroll, Reuters, “California Insurance Commissioner Calls for Coal Divestment,” January 25, 2016, available

 at:; Press Release,
“”Unions Add Voice In Support of California Thermal Coal Divestment,” June 12, 2015;
 27 Press Release, California State Teachers Retirement System, February 3, 2016, available at:

 28 Don Hooper, Written Testimony, Vermont Senate Government Operations Committee, February 11, 2016.
 29 Vineeta Anand, Pensions and Investments, “Funds Feeling Heat From Tobacco Investments,” April 28, 1997,
 available at:
 30 Id.
 31 Treasurer Jeb Spaulding, news release, February 20, 2007, available at:

32 Alex Nussbaum, Bloomberg, “Fossil Fuel Divestment Tops $3.4 Trillion Mark, Activists Say,” December 2, 2015,
 available at:
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 29, 2016, 10:40:45 pm
Gov. Shumlin Statement on House Action Calling for Divestment

Feb. 29, 2016, 5:28 am by Press Release

MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin issued the following statement after the House passed a resolution urging the Vermont Pension Investment Committee (VPIC) to take action to divest the state of coal and ExxonMobil stocks. The Governor made the same call for divestment in his State of the State Address. Earlier this week he addressed VPIC and made the case to its members to act quickly to divest the state of coal and ExxonMobil assets.

“I am pleased that the House has joined me in calling for action to rid our state of coal and ExxonMobil securities. 
  ( I want to thank all of the sponsors of the resolution, and in particular I want to thank House Speaker Shap Smith for his leadership on this issue. Shap has been a strong voice for action on climate change, and I appreciate his effort in the House to get this done.

“I have never expected that divestment would happen overnight. But now that the House has spoken, I expect VPIC to undertake a serious and expeditious effort to meet the goal the House and I have laid out – getting Vermont out of the business of owning coal and ExxonMobil.

“As a matter of moral and financial responsibility, there is absolutely no reason that Vermont should own either. According to NASA, January was the most unusually warm month on record, capping off the most unusually warm three month period on record. In Vermont, all it takes is one look outside to see the effects of those trends. Just this week, Vermonters experienced widespread temperature swings and intense flooding. Some of our ski areas have shut their doors temporarily to preserve snow. Already, some Vermont sugaring operations have begun making maple syrup, a potentially worrying sign for the industry. Climate change is here and it is changing the Vermont that we love.

“The time for debate is over. Let’s protect our retirees and public employees from owning assets that have a bleak economic future. Let’s join with California, and with the $3.4 trillion in funds to-date that have already made commitments to divest, and challenge the polluters who are harming our health and our environment. Let’s act to do everything we can to help preserve our planet for future generations.”
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on February 29, 2016, 10:49:22 pm
Vermont House Speaker  ( Shap Smith praises passage of resolution to urge divestment of coal, ExxonMobil stocks

Feb. 29, 2016, 5:26 am by Press Release

Dylan Giambatista (802) 828-2245

Vermont House Urges State Pension Investment Managers to Study Threat of Risky ExxonMobil and Coal Investments

Montpelier, Vt. – Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith today praised the passage of a resolution that urges the State’s pension managers to remove from their portfolio risky ExxonMobil and coal investments that could pose a threat to the state’s investment returns.

“The House took action because of legitimate concerns that corporate fossil fuel companies have not disclosed the financial risks posed by climate change,” said Speaker Smith. “ExxonMobil and coal companies are some of the world’s worst climate offenders. For too long, these corporations have put profits ahead of the health of our planet. Now we see financial consequences as coal companies hemorrhage dollars and file for bankruptcy. We call on the State’s investment managers to evaluate how the reckless behavior of fossil fuel companies will impact our investments’ long-term success.”

The House-backed resolution urges the committee that oversees retiree pension funds (VPIC) to develop a responsible strategy to eliminate ExxonMobil and coal stocks from its investment portfolio. The measure asks VPIC to study alternative investment opportunities including socially responsible and renewable energy stocks.

Speaker Smith praised the House’s approach for honoring Vermont’s commitment to sound investment practices and proactively looking ahead to assure the long-term health of the State’s pension funds: “We have an obligation to the 49,000 members of our retirement systems to manage public employee and taxpayer dollars with the utmost care. With fossil fuel stocks—particularly coal—suffering from declining profitability, it’s time for the State’s pension fund managers to assess how continued investment in coal and fossil fuels is impacting our strategic goals,” Smith concluded.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on March 01, 2016, 03:47:10 pm
02/29/2016 02:15 PM     

UK's Biggest Fossil Lobby Promotes Renewable Energy   ( ( News

Why does the biggest fossil fuel lobbying group in the UK suddenly support renewable energy? It's just one more sign that we are making progress and the times - they are a'changin.  ;D

Energy UK's chief exective says the shift is urgent because they don't want to be left behind!, reports The Guardian.

"No one wants to be running the next Nokia (referring to the mobile phone company that was squashed by forward-looking rivals), CEO Lawrence Slade told The Guardian. Clearly, the direction is toward distributed energy and away from centralized power stations.

Incredibly, Energy UK now officially supports the government's decision to phase out coal while criticizing its drastic cuts to incentives for renewable energy (

He wants efficiency measures returned and regulatory support for energy storage to support solar and wind. He wants a long term plan for renewables so that investor confidence can return, but he also favors natural gas.  :P
Since conservatives won last year's election they have dismantled just about every green program and subsidy for renewable energy, while bolstering them for nuclear and offshore oil.  ( (

And after emissions from power plants dropped 13.6% last year because of declining coal use, government officials have been calling to bring it back - to keep the lights on.

 After shedding thousands of renewable energy jobs since the incentive cuts - and investors pulling out in droves - the government slimmed the cuts for rooftop solar by 65% instead of 87%. Why the cuts at all? Like in the US, conservatives  ( claim subsidies for solar and wind should be temporary (except for fossil fuels and nuclear  ;)) and claim it leads to higher utility bills.   (

"In just one month, one nuclear plant at Hinkley would swallow up four years' worth of subsidies for the whole solar sector  >:( .

Why are ministers signing a blank cheque for expensive, outdated nuclear power while pinching pennies for an energy source on the cusp of a massive investment boom?  ( This makes no economic sense and will only put up [utility] bills in the long run," says Greenpeace.

Fracking Becomes The Plan     ( >:(

Fracking is the centerpiece of Prime Minister Cameron's energy plan. A leaked letter from three Cabinet ministers even suggests that permits should be removed from local control because the majority of citizens are squarely against it. The latest polls show 78% support for solar and wind, and 26% support for fracking. Parliament voted to allow fracking everywhere - in national parks and near drinking water supplies. In December, 159 permits were handed out, opening huge swaths of the countryside to fracking. Protests have been widespread.

Scotland banned fracking. (


"Ministers happily take credit for being climate champions on an international stage [referring to the Paris Climate Agreement] while flagrantly undermining the renewable industry here at home," Caroline Lucas, a Green Party member of the Parliament, told Reuters.

Meanwhile, the formerly booming renewable energy industry is about to fall off a cliff. Last year, wind supplied 11% of electricity, generating power for 30% of households, about 8.25 million homes. And most of Britain's major cities have pledged to run on 100% renewables before 2050. 


And this winter has the been the warmest in recorded history in England, up 7°C so far.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on March 08, 2016, 06:40:31 pm
Oregon Passes Historic Bill to Phase Out Coal and Double Down on Renewables (

Oregon just became the first state to pass legislation to get off of coal and double down on renewable energy instead. The Oregon Legislature voted Wednesday to eliminate coal generation from the state’s future and committed its largest utilities to supply at least half of their electricity from renewable resources by 2040.

Cleaning up its electricity grid will also help Oregon clean up its carbon emissions from transportation by converting the gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles on Oregon’s roadways to electric cars and trucks and plugging them into its low-carbon grid. The legislation directs utilities to propose significant investments to accelerate the deployment of charging stations for electric cars, trucks and buses in a manner that also supports integrating renewable power onto the electric grid.

Success from Consensus

Oregon’s new clean energy future was charted by unique coalition—not the usual environmentalists vs. utilities, but true consensus: regional and national environmental groups worked with the two largest electric utilities in Oregon—Portland General Electric and Pacific Power—and the state’s utility consumer advocate.

Agelbert NOTE: Yes, 2040 seems a bit far away. But the point is that this sets a trend that cannot be jawboned away by those fossil fuelers that claim their products are "competitive". They aren't. And they aren't BECAUSE they COST the government and the health care system MONEY due to missed hours of work and disabilities from health problems due to externalized fossil fuel pollution, unlike ALL Renewable Energy harvesting technologies.

From NOW ON, thanks to this Oregon Law, the COST to the business world and the government of externalized pollution will NOT be able to be ignored by the fossil fuel corporations. Oil and Gas will inevitably follow the elimination of Coal BECAUSE they ALL endanger future generations and the biosphere through pollution.

THAT will blatantly reveal to all the propagandized among us how UNCOMPETITIVE ALL FOSSIL FUELS ARE.

And then the inevitable end of the fossil fuel profit over planet "business model" will spell the doom for all the corporate dirty energy peddlers much quicker than most people anticipate.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on March 09, 2016, 09:28:39 pm
Renewable Energy Revolution Rocks On: All New Generating Capacity in January From Wind and Solar (

SUN DAY Campaign | March 7, 2016 2:09 pm

JPMorgan Becomes Latest Big Bank to Ditch Coal  ;D

Climate Nexus | March 8, 2016 9:15 am

New York pension fund could have made billions by divesting from fossil fuels – report


Moving money out of fossil fuels and into environmentally-friendly tech could have made members of the state’s pension fund an extra $4,500 each.  (  (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on March 14, 2016, 03:41:08 pm
Agelbert NOTE: Renewable Energy interests win a round at the court of appeals.  ( (
Tenth Circuit Rejects Challenge to Colorado's Renewable Energy Standards; Supreme Court Denies Cert   

 On December 7, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for writ of certiorari in  Energy & Environment Legal Institute v. Epel  , No. 15-471, which sought to overturn the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit's July 13, 2015 opinion, 793 F.3d 1160, affirming a federal district court's judgment upholding Colorado's Renewable Energy Standards.  (
Petitioners challenged the constitutionality of a Colorado statute and related regulations (the "Renewable Energy Standards") requiring "qualified retail utilities" to "generate, or cause to be generated," electricity from Colorado-approved renewable sources in specified minimum amounts. Specifically, the Renewable Energy Standards require 30 percent of electricity supplied by investor-owned utilities to be obtained from Colorado-approved renewable sources by 2020.
Petitioners ( argued that the Renewable Energy Standards eliminate competition  ( with other states by requiring a specified amount of electricity to come from renewable sources and then limiting what qualifies as a renewable source.

One example of in-state favoritism cited by petitioners ( is that the Renewable Energy Standards do not consider ocean thermal and ocean wave electricity generation—methods that cannot themselves be generated within Colorado's borders—as approved renewable sources, even though other states, such as California, do. (

Petitioners argued the Renewable Energy Standards thereby favor Colorado over other states by approving methods of electricity generation that can be generated within Colorado.

While petitioners argued in their petition for writ of certiorari that Colorado's Renewable Energy Standards violate the Commerce Clause, Full Faith and Credit Clause, and Due Process Clauses,

the only issue before the Tenth Circuit was whether the Renewable Energy Standards violate the dormant Commerce Clause under the line of cases stemming from  Baldwin v. G.A.F. Seelig, Inc., 294 U.S. 511 (1935). The Tenth Circuit found that there were only three cases total in this line:  Baldwin;  Brown-Forman Distillers Corp. v. New York State Liquor Authority, 476 U.S. 573 (1986); and  Healy v. Beer Institute, Inc., 491 U.S. 324 (1989). The court explained that the common thread among these cases is that they involved "(1) a price control or price affirmation regulation, (2) linking in-state prices to those charged elsewhere, with (3) the effect of raising costs for out-of-state consumers or rival businesses." The Tenth Circuit held that Colorado's statute did not fall within the bounds of these cases because "it isn't a price control statute, it doesn't link prices paid in Colorado with those paid out of state, and it does not discriminate against out-of-staters."

It further noted that the Renewable Energy Standards equally hurt  ;D in-state and out-of-state fossil fuel producers  (   ( that provide energy to the grid, while equally helping in-state and out-of-state renewable energy producers. (

Although the Tenth Circuit upheld Colorado's Renewable Energy Standards under the  Baldwin  line of cases—a decision that will not be reviewed by the Supreme Court—it left the door open to a challenge under other lines of dormant Commerce Clause cases, namely  Pike v. Bruce Church, Inc., 397 U.S. 137 (1970) ("allowing judges to strike down state laws burdening interstate commerce when they find insufficient offsetting local benefits"), and  City of Philadelphia v. New Jersey, 437 U.S. 617 (1978) ("appl[ying] to state laws that 'clearly discriminate' against out-of-staters").

— Jane B. Story (+1.412.394.7294,

Agelbert NOTE: The "door" left open was CLOSED when Scalia, front man for the fossil fuel fascists, went to his "reward" with "Lord" Lucifer.  (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on March 18, 2016, 04:07:16 pm
Mar 11, 2016

Authors Kaitlyn Bunker, Ph.D.  Sr. Associate
Kate Hawley, LEED AP  Sr. Associate

Learning from Islands: Renewable Transitions for Mines, Industrial Facilities, and the Military

What do mines, industrial facilities, and the military all have in common? They all have a need for reliable electricity in remote locations. It turns out these places and others can learn a lot from islands. Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room’s recent microgrid casebook, Renewable Microgrids: Profiles from Islands and Remote Communities Across the Globe, explores 10 examples of islands and remote communities from around the world that have transitioned from 100 percent oil-based electricity systems to high-penetration renewable microgrids. These communities now increasingly rely on various renewable sources of electricity and storage technologies, while also increasing their use of energy efficiency. As a result, they are seeing lower operating costs, decreased reliance on imported fuels, and overall cleaner electricity systems. Many of the lessons learned during the transition to renewable microgrids in these ten locations can be transferred to mines, industrial facilities, and military forward operating bases.

Renewable Energy for Mines

Similar to islands and remote communities, many mining operations are remote microgrids— disconnected from any distribution grid. All of the electricity needed for the operation must be generated on-site efficiently and reliably. While mines have traditionally relied on oil-based generation of electricity, such as diesel gensets, they present another great opportunity for a transition to a more-renewable microgrid.

One specific example is at the Diavik Diamond Mine, located in Canada’s Northern Territories. Prior to 2012, the mine relied solely on diesel fuel for electricity generation, which had to be transported to the mine via truck or plane. Now, 11 percent of the mine’s annual electricity needs are met by four wind turbines, with a total installed capacity of 9.2 MW. The addition of the wind turbines means that 75 fewer truckloads of diesel fuel must be transported across the seasonal ice road to the mine each year.

The Diavik mine faced similar installation challenges as Mawson Station, a research station in Antarctica and one of the cases included in Renewable Microgrids. Given their remote locations and cold climates, special provisions were required to transport and assemble wind turbine parts, as well as to ensure proper operation and maintenance once installed. Both locations are now less reliant on a transported fuel source, and are utilizing local wind power to complete their research and mining operations.

RMI and CWR have an ongoing initiative called Sunshine for Mines, which works with other mines around the globe to consider similar transitions to utilizing local resources and renewable microgrids.

Reliable Electricity for Industrial Facilities through Efficiency and Renewables

While many industrial facilities may have a connection to the larger electricity grid, they also have strict requirements for reliability and quality of their electricity supply in order to maintain their operations. Similarly, islands and remote communities require a high level of reliability in their electricity system in order to provide electricity to their residents and on-island businesses. Many islands rely on tourism as a major contributor to their economy, and keeping guests comfortable with appropriate lighting and air conditioning is important to success in that industry.

Like islands and remote communities, some industrial facilities are turning to energy efficiency and renewable energy in order to ensure a reliable supply of electricity for their operations. One example is the Texas Instruments (TI) facility in Richardson, Texas, which was the first wafer fabrication facility to achieve LEED status. During design, construction, and current occupancy of the building, TI strove to take advantage of energy efficiency opportunities. By requiring less overall energy to operate the system, it requires less overall electricity in the first place. It also saves significant amounts of money.

In Renewable Microgrids, we saw a similar utilization of energy efficiency in the case of Marble Bar and Nullagine. In these two remote towns located in Australia, energy efficiency was utilized first as a way to require less overall energy, better enabling a transition to more renewable sources of electricity.

Saving Fuel and Lives in Military Forward Operating Bases

Forward operating bases are permanent or temporary bases used by the military while on assignment in foreign countries. These bases are often not connected to a larger electricity grid, so they rely on one or more local generation resources to provide electricity. The bases may be temporary, so it is important that equipment can be easily transported to different locations. Reliability is especially important in military microgrids, since many lives depend on the consistent operation of the electrical equipment at the base. Minimizing the use of fuel is also critical, as transporting fuel to a forward operating base can cost up to $400 per gallon and can be dangerous, resulting in the loss of one life for every 24 fuel convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007.

Various branches of the military are considering energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities in order to meet the needs of forward operating bases while reducing their use of traditional fuel and the costs and risks associated with it. For example, the U.S. Marines see potential to cut back on the number of resupply convoys that are necessary for forward operating bases by transitioning to more renewable options for supply. Not only is this a benefit for each forward operating base, but it also helps to reduce oil use by the overall U.S. military, which is currently the largest consumer of both energy and oil in the world.

In a similar way for many of the locations studied in Renewable Microgrids, importing fuel to run the generators is expensive. For example, in the Falkland Islands, the use of wind energy has reduced the diesel fuel needed for electricity generation by 1.4 million liters per year. For this island community, the fuel savings is translated to the residents through lower electricity rates. In military forward operating bases, relying less on diesel fuel can save money as well as lives since less fuel convoys will be required.

The diverse set of examples illustrated in the casebook demonstrates the potential for energy transitions for similar communities around the world, as well as for similar applications like mines, industrial facilities, and military forward operating bases. In addition, the islands where the RMI-CWR team is currently working are helping to create a blueprint for high penetrations of renewables for these applications, as well as providing insight into similar transitions at a continental scale. To take deeper look at the 10 transitions from oil-based to renewable microgrids studied in our recent publication, 

please download Renewable Microgrids: Profiles From Islands and Remote Communities Across the Globe. (

Agelbert COMMENT:
From your lips to caring, intelligent people's ears.

There are still too many influential, but grossly irresponsible, people who do not care what damage they do to the environment as long as they profit form the damage ((i.e. "externalize" the costs) now and mostly future generations will have to deal with it.

 "When men act for the sake of a future they will not live to see, it is for the most part out of love for persons, places and forms of activity, a cherishing of them, nothing more grandiose. It is indeed self-contradictory to say: 'I love him or her or that place or that institution or that activity, but I don't care what happens to it after my death.' To love is, amongst other things, to care about the future of what we love" (Passmore, 1980, p. 53)

Why Dianoia is sine qua non to a Viable Biosphere. (

Our Responsibility to Future Generations (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on March 18, 2016, 10:16:32 pm
UK to enshrine 'net zero' emissions into law   (
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on March 27, 2016, 03:45:13 pm
US Heartland Powered by Clean Energy Jobs   (

Nearly 600,000 people are employed in clean energy across the Midwest and that number will only continue to grow, a new report from the Clean Energy Trust shows.

Illinois, Ohio and Michigan lead the pack with more than 300,000 combined clean energy jobs, while Wisconsin lags behind with 24,700. Energy efficiency ( is the largest employment sector within clean energy across the region, with renewable energy ( coming in second.

The clean energy sector is expected to expand more than four percent over the next year, comparable to some of the fastest growing industries in the nation, with policy incentives like tax credits for wind and solar helping to drive the growth.

Agelbert NOTE:
For more info on how Energy Efficiency DESTROYS the demand for fossil fuels, while not registering on any of the EIA charts or data the fossil fuel industry mistakenly worships, Google Amory Lovins Negawatts.

Energy Efficiency improvements in combination with Renewable Energy technologies, not just the bad economy, have been instrumental in causing the price of crude oil to crater.  (

The quantum leaps in Energy Efficiency in the past two decades, along with advances in computer electric grid load balancing software and Renewable Energy Technologies, collectively spell the Doom of the Fossil Fuel Industry. 



Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on March 27, 2016, 04:32:57 pm
Media giants Sky and Bloomberg join RE100 clean power campaign     (

Madeleine Cuff 24 March 2016
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on April 03, 2016, 09:45:04 pm
How Green Energy Is Already Taking Over the World   ( (Video)

Posted on Mar 29, 2016

By Juan Cole

This post originally ran on Truthdig contributor Juan Cole’s website.

In 2015 energy companies invested more in new renewables power plants in 2015 than in fossil fuel plants for the first time in history. The majority of these plants were planned for the developing countries, which is a sign that the technology is viewed as now less expensive.

The UNEP press release said,
“Coal and gas-fired electricity generation last year drew less than half the record investment made in solar, wind and other renewables capacity — one of several important firsts for green energy announced today in a UN-backed report.

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016 . . . says the annual global investment in new renewables capacity, at $266 billion, was more than double the estimated $130 billion invested in coal and gas power station s in 2015.

All investments in renewables, including early-stage technology and R&D as well as spending on new capacity, totaled $286 billion in 2015, some 3% higher than the previous record in 2011.

Since 2004, the world has invested $ 2.3 trillion in renewable energy (unadjusted for inflation).

 (All figures for renewables in this release include wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, biofuels, geothermal, marine and small hydro, but exclude large hydro-electric projects of more than 50 megawatts).

 Just as significantly, developing world investments in renewables topped those of developed nations for the first time in 2015. Helped by further falls in generating costs per megawatt-hour, particularly in solar photovoltaics, renewables excluding large hydro made up 54% of added gigawatt (GW) capacity of all technologies last year. It marks the first time new installed renewables have topped the capacity added from all conventional technologies.

The 134 gigawatts of renewable power added worldwide in 2015 compares to 106GW in 2014 and 87GW in 2013. Were it not for renewables excluding large hydro, annual global CO2 emissions would have been an estimated 1.5 gigatonnes higher in 2015.”

Here is how the new energy generation broke down by type of fuel:

Additional energy generating capacity, 2015:
Renewables (excl. large hydro) 134 GW
Large Hydro: 22 GW

Nuclear: 15 GW
Coal-fired: 42 GW
Gas-fired: 40 GW

What shocks me is that companies are still investing as much in new coal plants  :P  as in new gas or renewables. All fossil fuels are bad and are on their way out, but coal is in investor’s terms already a dead man walking.

Why would you do that? Quite apart from being highly polluting and now no cheaper than solar or wind, coal emits more carbon dioxide than other fossil fuels, a deadly greenhouse gas. It will likely just be outlawed in most of the world soon as a health and environmental hazard. So investing in a long-term coal plant is like piling up your cash and setting it on fire (that would also emit a lot of CO2).

And here are the past few years’ annual global investments in renewable energy

$286 billion (2015)
$273 billion (2014),
$234 billion (2013),
$257 billion (2012),
$279 billion (2011),
$239 billion (2010),
$179 billion (2009),

It is clear that there is a secular trend upwards and there is no reason to think that will change.  (

One of the things cities like about new renewables plants is that they can lock in price over say 25 years, because the cost of the fuel is zero and won’t change   (

You never know what natural gas ( cost 15 years from now, and you don’t know if the government environmental agency or ministry will outlaw coal.

Scotland just closed its last remaining coal plant (, Europe’s third largest. It was, in part, a victim of European Union carbon emissions limits. (That’s why I say it is crazy to invest in a new coal plant.)

In February, wind turbines alone met 41% of Scotland’s electricity needs!

Exemplifying the kind of thing the UNEP report found, Morocco has opened the first of three big solar plants planned at Ouarzazate on the doorstep of the Sahara (they film Game of Thrones episodes there). Morocco wants two new gigawatts from solar, two from wind, and two from new hydro by 2022.

While there are problems with the social relations involved (it is a Berber area and the government used eminent domain to acquire the land), in the medium to long term it will mean much cheaper electricity for Morocco, and less air pollution, and more jobs.  (

The plant uses molten salt batteries and so goes on working at night. (

And this is the kind of thing that is happening all over the world where Big Oil, unlike in America, can’t hog the microphone.

Renewable energy= (                                ( Fuelers
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on April 03, 2016, 09:53:54 pm
:eusa_dance:  Already the maple sugar and ski resort people in Vermont, for example, have figured out it might be a good idea to move to 100% renewable energy a bit faster. 

Largest City In Vermont Now Gets All Its Power From Wind, Water And Biomass (

Good things are coming from Vermont.


Bernie Sanders on Energy Policy

As an adamant supporter of the science that acknowledges global warming to be a man-made danger, Bernie is a strong advocate for adopting new climate-neutral energy policies. Bernie has fought for improving access to renewable energy by introducing various bills such as the Residential Energy Savings Act, the Low Income Solar Act, the Green Jobs Act, and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program. Bernie helped form a public-private partnership, Efficiency Vermont, and has partnered with the National Guard to improve military energy efficiency to make Vermont a leader in clean-energy. Bernie believes that not only should the rest of the U.S. move aggressively toward sustainability, but that we can achieve sustainability while saving money for the majority of American families.
- (

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on April 07, 2016, 05:49:33 pm
Clean energy jobs benefiting South Dakota

Monday, April 04, 2016 12:56 p.m. CDT by Jack Taylor

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO AM) -The Clean Jobs Midwest survey shows that out of 12 Midwestern states, South Dakota has the third lowest number of clean energy jobs per capita at a little more than 7,000.

However, Gail Parsons with Environmental Entrepreneurs says the state's clean-energy job growth rate is higher than average and that is driving some economic growth.

Parsons says the overall projected growth rate for the region was 4.4%, which is incredibly high for any industry. She says in South Dakota, the businesses are quite optimistic with a projected growth rate of about 5%

An estimated 25,000 new clean-energy jobs are expected to be added to the Midwest over the next year and Parsons says the region is becoming a powerhouse for those careers.

She says many think of corn, or farms, but the Midwest should be known for clean energy. Contributing over a half-million workers, certainly not fly-over country when it comes to the clean energy field.  (  (

The majority of South Dakota's clean-energy businesses says they're having a tough time finding qualified workers.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on April 16, 2016, 07:29:08 pm
 ( Apr 11, 2016

Industrialised Nations Must Lead an Exit Strategy for Fossil Fuels

Authors Rainer Baake Guest Author

Rainer Baake    ( is state secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

At the UN climate conference in Paris in December 2015, 195 countries concluded a groundbreaking climate accord. They agreed to limit global warming to well below 2C to avoid extremely dangerous and irreversible climate change.

The international community’s remaining emission “budget” is less than 1,000 gigatonnes of CO2. The Paris agreement is intended to ensure as quickly as possible that the annual global emissions go down, the budget is stretched, and the net emissions of greenhouse gases are reduced to zero over a few decades.

The challenge of limiting the combustion of oil, coal and gas to this budget is enormous in view of the fossil reserves still underground. If we were to use all the known and probable reserves to generate energy, global emissions would amount to around 15,000 gigatonnes of CO2. So limiting global warming to 2C means this: of the 15,000 thousand gigatonnes of CO2, we need to leave at least 14,000 underground.

Truly, our problem is not a scarcity of fossil resources, it is the exact opposite. We lack an exit strategy for oil, coal and gas. Energy efficiency and renewable energy are indispensable parts of a response to climate change, but they do not tell us why private companies and private individuals should stop extracting, marketing and consuming fossil fuels.

In fact, the progress made on energy efficiency and renewables can actually exacerbate the problem. An oversupply of fossil resources lowers the price and makes it even more tempting to use them. And the temptation is great: the fossil energy industry offers profits, jobs and low energy prices.

The Paris agreement says this to our children and grandchildren: “We promise not to expose you to the dangers of climate change.” If we are to keep our word, we have no alternative to decarbonisation. Our production and consumption must become carbon-neutral. There is an international consensus that the industrialised countries need to lead the way.

Germany does not need to change its climate and energy transition targets in view of the decisions made in Paris.     (  There is a consensus amongst the political parties represented in the Bundestag that Germany will reduce greenhouse gases by 80-95% by 2050 from the 1990 baseline. The Federal government and the Bundestag have decided on the following interim goals: greenhouse gas emissions are to be down 40% by 2020, 55% by 2030, and 70% by 2040.

We should regard this challenge as an opportunity for a comprehensive modernisation of our economy. The fossil fuels are being substituted by investment in efficiency technologies and renewable energy. Here, a key role will be played by digitisation. In short: we will replace oil, coal and gas with intelligence and sustainable investment by 2050 at the latest. By doing this, we will be creating high-quality growth and jobs.  (

If this transformation is to become a success story not only in climate terms, but also in economic terms, in the coming decades, we will need a paradigm shift.
The most important aspect is to avoid misallocated investments. We want to complete the switch by 2050, which gives us three-and-a-half decades.  (
Investments in fossil structures with a lifespan extending beyond 2050 will become stranded assets of the respective companies, and will require us to undertake expensive repairs in future. A forward-looking approach to modernisation which avoids lock-in effects, subsequent destruction of capital, and job losses, must put the right policies in place right now

We should therefore declare efficiency and renewable energy to be the new “rule”, the new standard investment. Investments in fossil structures must become the exception. We should only undertake them in cases where we have no alternative technologies or where the alternatives are disproportionately expensive. We need to reverse the rule-exception relationship: that is the paradigm shift.

What does the new “rule”—investment in energy efficiency and renewables—mean for the various sectors?

Power generation still accounts for by far the largest proportion of greenhouse gases. The sector is also set to grow as the decarbonisation of the heating and transport sectors will only be possible if we use more electricity. This electricity needs to stem from zero-carbon renewable sources, particularly wind and photovoltaics. We need to keep investing in these technologies.

Fossil fuel power stations have a lifespan of 40 years or more. To avoid misallocated investment which reach far beyond 2050 and to avoid lock-in effects, we should urgently dispense with new coal-fired power plants and extensions to opencast mines. Gas-fired power stations with comparatively small carbon emissions fall into the “exceptions” category, because we need them as controllable power stations for our energy security; however, natural gas will have to be replaced gradually by zero-carbon.

Of all CO2-relevant emissions, buildings have the longest lifespans, at around 100 years. We should therefore define an efficiency standard for all new buildings which, when coupled with the direct use of renewable energy and electricity, results in zero carbon emissions.
We already have the necessary technologies and they are already affordable, so that this new standard can be introduced with just a few years’ notice.  (

The challenges in the existing building stock are far greater. These buildings are dominated by gas-fired and oil-fired combustion systems which mostly heat buildings which are only moderately insulated.  :P

In the short term, a switch to using efficient condensing boilers can save a lot of CO2 emissions. As heating systems have a lifespan of 20 years, from 2030 investment in fossil fuel heating systems should stop so that we can finish the transition by 2050. The only cost-efficient way to do this is to combine it with appropriate insulation of the building envelope.

The transport sector may pose the greatest challenge. Most of the rail system has already been electrified, but almost all passenger and freight traffic on the road, in the air and on water is almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels.
Electric mobility offers us the chance to achieve the energy transition in the field of private transport.

With an average lifespan of 20 years we need to have switched from fossil-based to renewables-based engines by 2030 if we are to stop using gasoline and diesel on our roads in 2050.
The emissions of newly bought vehicles must then amount to zero. We need a road map which enables the state and the automotive industry to draw up an ambitious investment strategy for the transport sector.

The paradigm shift in the energy transition cannot be applied to all sectors. The process-related industrial emissions, and the methane emissions from agriculture, cannot be avoided by higher efficiency or a switch to renewable energy. These emissions will continue unless we manage to develop alternative technologies. But by far the largest proportion of our emissions is produced by burning oil, coal and gas.

For this reason, a cost-efficient energy transition should be oriented to investment cycles with a view to a far-reaching decarbonisation by the middle of the century. Investments in efficiency and renewable energy must become the rule, and investment in fossil structures the exception with clearly defined timelines for an exit.

By adopting this forward-looking policy, we will avoid misallocations of investment and lock-in effects. It will enable Germany to follow a sustainable path of growth—whereas a continuation of investment in fossil fuels brings incalculable economic risks.

In the aftermath of Paris, we are now seeing a race between nations to adopt the smartest and most cost-efficient modernisation policies. Thanks to its energy transition, Germany has a lead. We will have to work hard if we are to maintain this lead.    (

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on April 23, 2016, 05:09:47 pm
Americans used less energy in 2015 than in previous year, solar use makes a big leap

Megan Treacy (@mtreacy) Energy / Renewable Energy April 20, 2016


Every year, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (part of the Department of Energy) releases an energy flow chart showing how much and what types of energy were consumed in the U.S. in the past year.

In recent years there have mainly been small increases in energy use each year, but in 2015, that trend reversed and Americans actually used less energy than in the previous year.   (

( (

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on April 27, 2016, 03:59:22 pm

The executives leaving oil and gas behind for jobs in clean energy


Edinburgh, Scotland

Elaine Buck grew up in the oilfields of Texas. She started her career as a navigation engineer on seismic research vessels for Schlumberger, a big oil-services company, and worked her way to high up in the executive ranks, with a salary to match. So how has this American hydrocarbon specialist ended up living in the tiny, remote Orkney islands off northern Scotland, and working at the forefront of renewable energy?

The answer is a mix of ideology, opportunity, and economics—a combination of factors pushing people out of extractive industries and into cleaner alternatives around the world. For those with specific expertise, like Buck, deep experience working offshore has led many to move from oil and gas to the complex parallel challenges of ocean energy.

With a degree in marine science, Buck says she has “a very strong love of the ocean.” For 17 years, starting in 1992, she traveled the world with Schlumberger in a “fantastic career” that took her from Houston to Mexico, Denver, back to Houston, Bogata, to Mexico again, and on to Malaysia.

She learned a lot, she tells Quartz, but adds that she “was seeing the effects of the commercialization and the rapid exploration we were doing to try and pull as much oil out of the ground as quickly as possible.”

From an environmental perspective, “I was starting to get, you know… I was having the doubts,” she says. Those doubts crystalized in April 2010, when a massive explosion tore through the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

“That really opened my eyes,” Buck says. “And I thought: ‘You know what, I have another 15 to 20 years in the energy sector. I can now make a difference in helping [to] move from a high fossil fuel industry to a low carbon industry.” She knows that’s not going to happen overnight, but pointed to developments in international policy—like the global climate agreement made in Paris at the end of last year—that support her view that the shift is unavoidable.

In August 2014 she joined the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, in a role helping wave- and tidal-power projects develop and test their technologies.

Perks of the job

Do these renewable converts get any criticism from former colleagues for switching sides? “Not at all,” says Buck. In fact, the contrary is true, as former coworkers have asked about her path into green power (which came about via a Masters degree in renewable energy, taken with Schlumberger’s support).

The one thing she hasn’t managed to do yet is bring about actual collaboration between her former industry and her new one. But now that the prices of oil has fallen so far, squeezing profit margins, there might be more interest in trying something different.

Meanwhile, she’s happy to be raising her family with a sea view, on a group of islands that produces more than enough power to run itself via renewables. Traditional oil and gas locations—deserts, platforms—“are not the prettiest,” she says.

“I’ve had several of my friends in the oil and gas industry come up and they’re like, ‘how did you manage this? How can you live in such a beautiful part of the world?’ (

Even the Wall Street Journal  :o  ;D is facing the reality the fossil fuel fascists cannot accept.

As Oil Jobs Dry Up, Workers Turn to Solar Sector

Burgeoning solar projects offer opportunities for out-of-work rig hands, roustabouts and pipe fitters (

Don't listen to the fossil fuel industry claims that they will recover. They have the "objectivity" of a cornered animal.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 09, 2016, 10:04:54 pm
09 May 2016 | Sören Amelang, Julian Wettengel   

A new renewable record? / Study: Coal phase-out costs 71.6 billion euros

Preliminary data suggests renewable record in Germany    (


Strong winds and sun all over Germany might have pushed renewable power production to a new record share on Sunday. Renewable generation covered 95 percent of German power consumption  :o      ( at 11 o’clock on Sunday, according to preliminary data from energy think tank Agora Energiewende*.

While power consumption is estimated at around 58 gigawatts (GW), solar provided around 26 GW, wind almost 21 GW, hydro 3 GW and biomass 5 GW. But the think tank warned final data might deviate considerably from the first estimates.

“While it is possible - or even probable - we saw a new record share of renewable energy production on Sunday, it is far from certain the share was above 90 percent,” explained press spokesperson Christoph Podewils, who noted wholesale electricity prices fell to minus 125 euros per megawatt-hour at the time.

He also said it was likely that Germany will see further records of renewable share at certain peak hours in the coming months, because solar power is nearing its yearly summer peak and total installed renewable capacity, including wind, has risen considerably compared to last year.

( (

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 10, 2016, 04:03:48 pm
Agelbert NOTE: This puts the LIE (i.e. less fossil fuel use means a shrinking economy  ( ) to the claims made by the fossil fuel industry shills like Gail Tverberg and most economists in the USA.  (

Carbon Emissions Fall as U.S. Economy Grows

Climate Nexus | May 10, 2016 9:49 am

U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions declined in 2015, falling 12 percent below 2005 levels due to coal-fired power plant retirements and increased use of renewables and natural gas.

The U.S. economy has expanded 15 percent since 2005 and last year was the first time since 2012 that power sector emissions fell while the economy continued to grow, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The U.S. has pledged to reduce power sector emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 11, 2016, 03:23:21 pm
05/09/2016 12:50 PM   
22 Years Later, Interface  Still Leads Corporate World, Uses 96% Renewable Energy News


Interface,one of the first companies in the world to set a goal of 100% renewable energy, is almost there.  (

22 years ago, founder Ray Anderson realized what his carpet company was doing to the planet and became an evangelist for corporate sustainability. Now, Mission Zero (zero emissions) has achieved 96% renewable energy for US manufacturing plants. Worldwide, the company's total is 84%.

Interface's goal is to eliminate all negative impacts by 2020 - that's four years away! Unlike most corporations whose renewable energy comes from wind and solar, Interface gets 53% of its total energy from biogas.

"We hope that Interface's use of biogas will contribute to creating a marketplace for more innovation in renewables," says Erin Meezan, Vice President of Sustainability.

Read our article, Interface Flooring  Closing In On Mission Zero. (

Ray Anderson at his plant in West Point, Ga. Credit Jessica McGowan for The New York Times

We miss Ray Anderson, who passed away in 2011, a visionary and deeply caring man  ( 

Sustainability leaders like Interface are increasing supported by major stock exchanges, like FTSE Russell's new fossil-free index, Divest-Invest Developed 200 Index ( . The index omits fossil companies ( and instead includes corporate leaders, guiding investors to companies that have "low carbon risks."  (

53 major corporations have reached 50% renewable electricity  ( and are expected to attain 80% by 2020, such as Adobe, Autodesk, BMW Group, Coca-Cola, Google, Microsoft, IKEA, Johnson & Johnson, Mars Inc., Nestlé, Nike, Philips, Procter & G a m b l e, Starbucks, and Unilever.

At the Paris Climate Summit, 2,000 companies voluntarily submitted climate pledges to the United Nations. Unilever, for example, plans to be "carbon positive" in its operations by 2030, by running on 100% renewable energy, with 50% by 2020. As of 2014, it gets 28% of electricity from renewables.

Unilever says its sustainability efforts have saved $424 million so far, and brands that are most active, such as Dove, Lifebuoy, Ben & Jerry's and Comfort - perform the best, reports Reuters. 

Taken together, carbon emissions from the S&P 500 account for 15% of the world's total, equal to France, Germany and the UK combined, according to the S&P Dow Jones Carbon Emitter Scorecard.  And 50 of them   ( responsible for 75% of those emissions  >:(, mostly in the energy, materials and utilities sectors. 

Incredibly, the collective actions of just 140 companies could get the world 65% of the way toward constraining temperature rise to 2°C.   89% of corporations are actively reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared to 49% five years ago, says CEP.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 13, 2016, 02:55:13 pm
With Clean Energy Jobs Booming in Republican Districts, It’s Time to Recalibrate Climate Politics  (

Keith Gaby, Environmental Defense Fund | May 13, 2016 12:23 pm

Many elected officials want to solve climate change for the same reason activists do. Rising global temperatures will be a terrible burden on our children, cost our economy trillions and cause dangerous changes to the natural world.

But winning enough votes in Congress for bold policy changes also requires raw politics—and on that score, there’s an important, under-appreciated shift that may be improving our chances.

Photo credit: Dennis Schroeder / NREL

Look at the chart below, from Morning Consult. Clean energy jobs, in the form of utility-scale wind or solar facilities, are now mostly in Republican districts.

That’s because sunshine and wind are abundant in places such as Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas. And rural areas, often represented by Republicans, have inexpensive land available for facilities like this.


Clean energy jobs, in other words, are no longer partisan or regional, if they ever were. Texas leads the nation in wind. North Carolina and Nevada are hot beds of solar energy.

Jobs Drive Policy, for Better or Worse

There are very few things politicians care about more than their constituents’ jobs. It’s not an exaggeration to say that job stability and growth are the lens through which they see nearly every issue.

Former Secretary of State James Baker once tried to build support in Congress for the first Gulf War by saying, of the main reason to act, “if you want to sum it up in one word, it’s jobs.”

In fact, claims about job losses were used to great effect against comprehensive climate legislation in 2009. Proponents of that argument seemed to forget the far larger economic damage from unchecked climate change, but their talking points had a big impact on nervous members of Congress.

In response, environmental activists and economists talked about the very real potential for clean energy jobs—but existing always beats potential in a political fight. And the “jobs argument” was used to increase the partisan divide on climate and clean energy issues.

But now things are changing—rapidly.  (

Next time Congress considers climate legislation, the terms of the debate may be different.

Nationwide, solar jobs have grown 20 percent annually for the last three years. There are now far more jobs in that industry than in coal mining and most new electric generating capacity added last year was renewable.

Red states and congressional districts, again, are on the receiving end of a large chunk of that growth.

It could be that next time Congress considers comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation, the terms of the debate will be different. This time, the “jobs argument” would come from a bi-partisan block of politicians representing clean energy workers with real jobs.

And that might just change the whole conversation.  (    (

Rob Brown   

Rank and file Republican voters are, for whatever reasons, quickly becoming much more responsible in their views on climate change and other environmental issues than Republican politicians are. This puts the Republican party brass on the horns of a dilemma. Hopefully, the Republican party won't trot out any "Trumped up excuses" for inaction on climate change, water and air pollution and other environmental problems.

agelbert > Rob Brown

I hope you are right about the Republican party.

The bought and paid for Republicans like Lamar Smith will, however, continue to defend the "subsidies" for the fossil fuel industry welfare queens and do everything possible to prevent the desperately needed total transition to 100% Renewable Energy until they are run out of office.

Lamar Smith, like the deniers that pollute the discourse here, belong in prison.

The problem with the fossil fuel polluting status quo is that custom and prejudice accompany it and unthinking resistance to change perpetuate it. In human affairs, custom, prejudice and resistance to change are stronger than truth and logic.

That is why the fossil fuel industry did not go the way of the dodo bird decades ago.

Let us hope that common sense and prudence prevails over irrational profit over planet custom and prejudice.

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 15, 2016, 03:14:41 pm






Wind, solar, geothermal, & hydropower combined accounted for 84.1 % of the new US electric generating capacity (1,900 MW) in the first four months of 2015. Five natural gas units provided the rest.

Between January 2011 and the end of 2014, the U.S. added roughly 170,000 new natural resources and mining jobs, according to the payroll processing firm, ADP. But between the start of 2015 and June 30, 2015, roughly 76,000 of those jobs were eliminated. [1]


So the trend is away from fossil fuel related jobs and toward clean affordable renewable energy jobs.


North American Clean Energy Reported: “Employment in the renewable energy sector is growing rapidly…. In 2014, an estimated 7.7 million people worldwide worked directly or indirectly in the sector.”

Noting the economic opportunity that can come from proactive climate policies needed to protect our planet and its jobs,  the International Labour Organization echoed on its blog the union slogan that “there are no jobs on a dead planet,”.


And in a similar vein, citing the publication linked on the left, global labour leader Sharan Burrow says there are millions of new jobs on a healthy one. She is general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, which represents over 176 million workers in 162 countries.

Wind can provide 20% of US electricity by 2030 while creating 380,000 jobs.

Click photo to link to the full “US Department of Energy “Wind Vision” report (at story link below).


The “Montana Renewable Portfolio” Report (p. 1) determined the development and operation “of wind power in Montana generated nearly $400 million in spending, and 1,400 man-years of work” between 2005 and 2015. “Excluding construction booms associated with developing wind assets, wind is estimated to” have added “close to $16 million to the annual Gross State Product and about 90 jobs to yearly employment.”

The first 10 years of wind development in Montana produced $77 million for taxes and $16 million in land leases . (p. 7)(

From Montana’s Renewable Portfolio” 2015 Report by SciGaia

This was done while keeping electricity rates lower than in other states. The  “Montana Renewable Portfolio” Report (p. 2) found: “In general, rates in Montana have been 5% lower than in Mountain States; 15% below the US average, and 25% or more below the average for the Contiguous Pacific States.” And that happened despite the fact that many of those states are developing wind power that is lowering their electricity rates.

Jobs created by wind development in Montana counties are depicted in the following graphic:


Since its founding in 2004, the Apollo Alliance, a nationwide coalition of business, labor, environmental, and community leaders,  has worked to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, cut the carbon emissions that are destabilizing the climate, and expand opportunities for American businesses and workers.

Apollo’s early report, “New Energy For America,” emphasized the positive impact of investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency on the national job market. In 2008, that report evolved into the “The New Apollo Program, Clean Energy, Good Jobs: An Economic Strategy for American Prosperity,” report involving not only the electric power sector but other sectors of our economy as well. A 2003 study done for Apollo by the Perryman Group took this down to the state level, and showed how Montana could add jobs and grow its economy through renewable energies. It projected:

•An Additional $453 Million of Economic Activity in Montana

•7,670 Jobs Created, including: •559 New Manufacturing Jobs Created

•1,230 New Construction Jobs Created

•$299 Million of Increased Income

For example, there could be 369 new Montana transportation jobs when  we use windmills to produce hydrogen from water–not coal or methane–to run our cars. Enough hydrogen can be produced from the quantity of water that  flows for 29 hours past the mouth of the Mississippi River to replace the fossil fuel used by the entire US transportation industry. [1at p. 73] For Montana that is many swallows less than would be needed in the coal-synfuel scenario once proposed for Montana, that would guzzle the Tongue River.

Other Resources:

For US Government facts about renewable energy, click HERE (

Page updated 1/23/2016

Full article evidencing the inexorable and irrefutable trend AWAY from fossil fuels jobs and TOWARDS clean energy jobs, regardless of the "1980's repeat" wishful thinking  of the fossil fuel industry.

"Hitting peak oil will come faster than any of us think. But don't blame dwindling supply — it's all about disappearing demand" Amory Lovins

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 26, 2016, 02:25:08 pm

05/25/2016 01:02 PM     

Renewable Energy Employs 8.1 Million People Worldwide, Up 21% in US Wind & Solar News

While employment in fossil fuels is declining, it is rising in renewable energy worldwide.

 In renewables, there are about 400,000 more jobs than this time last year - growing 5% to 8.1 million people employed, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). In 2014, the industry grew even faster at 18%.

The top countries for renewable energy jobs are the US, China, Japan, Brazil, India and Germany, and solar PV is the biggest employer, employing 2.8 million people in manufacturing, installation and maintenance. Biofuels comes next with 1.7 million jobs, followed by wind power, with 1.1 million global jobs.

If country climate pledges are met, there will be over 24 million jobs by 2030, IRENA projects.

In the US, employment in renewable energy rose 6% over the past year, while dropping 18% in oil and gas. In China, renewable energy employs 3.5 million people compared to 2.6 million in oil and gas.

Renewable Energy Jobs May 2016 (graphic at article link)

Findings of Renewable Energy and Jobs - Annual Review 2016:
• Solar PV jobs rose 11% last year, mostly in Japan and the US. Employment is stable in China, and is down in the European Union. In the US, solar jobs grew 22%.

• Wind jobs rose 5%, mostly in the US, China and Germany. Employment in the US rose 21%.

• China leads on renewable energy employment with 3.5 million jobs, since a third of the world's installations were there in 2015.

• In the EU, Germany employs as many people as the UK, France and Italy combined. Because of the weak economy, jobs in renewables declined for the fourth year in the EU.

Read our article, 70% Renewable Energy Possible By 2030, says World Survey (

Download Renewable Energy and Jobs - Annual Review 2016   
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 27, 2016, 05:19:32 pm
2. You may explain your answer to question 1 here.

All energy scenarios with 100% ER requires a strong decrease of consumption  (  Who wants that?

Amory Lovins and yours truly disagree with the premise that ALL 100% Renewable Energy Scenarios require a strong decrease of consumption. Yes, much less ENERGY will be used, but the assumed sine qua non correlation of less energy with dead people and lower standard of living is what I strongly find fault with.

As I stated in the survey (and Amory Lovins has fastidiously laid out in peer reviewed, hard ball, no details left out published plans to transition to 100% Renewable Energy STEP BY STEP), about 3 billion people would probably die needlessly IF an overnight transition to RE occurred.

HOWEVER, if the transition matches manufacturing replacement of vehicles and other machines with RE infrastructure over a ten to 15 year period, nobody has to die and, although CONSUMPTION of fossil fuels and nuclear power goes to a statistically insignificant amount, the STANDARD of LIVING is actually IMPROVED while the ENERGY CONSUMED is reduced over 80% from EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS in the use of the available Renewable Energy.

Amory Lovins does not DO "pie in the sky". AND NEITHER DO I!   

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on May 28, 2016, 06:29:51 pm
05/24/2016 04:08 PM     

Ontario Moves On Climate, Providing a Model for All News

As Ontario enshrined its climate plan into law, Environment minister Glen Murray said it "marks the start of the next chapter in Ontario's transformation to an innovative and prosperous low-carbon economy."

Canada's most populous province will spend over $7 billion over the next four years to implement its 57-page Climate Change Action Plan. It contains about 80 policies, each with a price tag, for 2017-2021. The big goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions 15% by 2020, 37% by 2030 and 80% by 2050, from 1990 levels.

They've already shuttered all coal plants and by 2030, fossil fuels, including natural gas   ( , will not be allowed for heating  ( ;D . New building codes require all new homes heated by geothermal or electricity by 2030, and incentives will encourage efficiency upgrades in existing buildings. All homes sold must first have an energy audit. Rebates for electric vehicles will help meet the goal of 5% of all vehicles sold by 2020 and 12% by 2025.

Much of money needed to implement the plan will come from the province's cap-and-trade program, which starts next year.  It will be linked with the Western Climate Initiative, which consists of California and Quebec. A new Green Bank will finance many programs.

What Ontario will look like in 2050, taken from the Climate Change Action Plan:


According to The Globe & Mail:
•$3.8 billion in grants, rebates and other subsidies to retrofit buildings

•Up to $14,000 in rebates to buy an electric vehicle and up to $1000 for a home charger; subsidies for lower income families to get older cars off the road and free overnight electricity to charge vehicles at public outlets.  Funding will also help schools switch to electric buses and trucking companies to cleaner trucks. The regional rail network will be enhanced, as will bicycle infrastructure, such as separte bike lanes and parking at train stations. Total cost: $1.1 billion.
•Gasoline and diesel will have to have 5% lower lifecycle emissions by 2020. Natural gas will have to be derived from more renewable sources, such as biogas.

•$375 million for cleantech R&D, about half of which is for a Global Centre for Low-Carbon Mobility.

•$1.2 billion to help industry buy more energy efficient equipment and other measures to reduce emissions.

•$174 million to make the government carbon neutral through building upgrades, telecommuting, and carbon offset purchases.

"By 2050, we envision Ontarians will be using less energy and the energy we do use will be from low-carbon sources.
Communities will be climate-resilient, complete and compact. More people will choose electric or other zero-emission vehicles and transit to get swiftly and efficiently where they need to go. Agricultural lands, natural areas and ecosystems will be better protected for the benefit and enjoyment of all, including First Nations and Métis peoples who rely on our shared natural environment for sustainment and spiritual benefit.

"Ontario that will be employing new ways to reduce waste while ensuring that more of the waste produced is reintroduced to the economy. Industries will be thriving while generating fewer or zero emissions. Businesses and innovators will be creating world-leading clean technologies and products that drive new economic growth, productivity, and job creation. We must do it. We can do it. And we will do it, together," says Murray. 

Learn more:

Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 01, 2016, 08:34:56 pm
Renewable Energy Surges to Record-Breaking Levels Around the World   (
Andy Rowell, Oil Change International | June 1, 2016 9:17 am

The renewable revolution is gathering apace according to new research. Last year was an “extraordinary” record year for the sector, with “the largest global capacity additions seen to date.”

An estimated 147 gigawatts of renewable power capacity was added in 2015, according to the annual report of REN21, the renewables policy organization made up of energy experts, NGOs and governments, which is based in Paris.

In total, new installations of renewable power generation capacity rose to 1,848.5 GW globally in 2015, underlying the fact I made in yesterday’s blog that Big Oil’s demise might come sooner rather than later, in part due to the renewable revolution. (

Most importantly, slowly but surely every year, renewables are becoming more cost competitive with fossil fuels.

“I’ve been working in this sector for 20 years and the economic case is now fully there,” said Christine Lins, the executive secretary of REN21: “The fact that we had 147GW of capacity, mainly of wind and solar is a clear indication that these technologies are cost competitive (with fossil fuels).”

Lins also points out that this record renewable growth has been achieved despite huge subsidies to fossil fuels. “What is truly remarkable about these results is that they were achieved at a time when fossil fuel prices were at historic lows and renewables remained at a significant disadvantage in terms of government subsidies,” she said in a statement.

Lins continued: “For every dollar spent boosting renewables, nearly four dollars were spent to maintain our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Most worrying for Big Oil is that this is the largest ever annual increase in installed clean capacity ever. As if to emphazise the point the amount spent on renewables was double that spent on new coal and gas-fired power plants.

In total, including large hydro projects, new investment was an estimated $328.9 billion, echoing research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance from earlier in the year which put clean energy investment a fraction higher at $329.3 billion.

More than 8 million people are now employed in the sector.

Other important trends were apparent too: For the first time ever, developing nations spent more than the developed world on renewables. “For the first time in history, total investment in renewable power and fuels in developing countries in 2015 exceeded that in developed economies,” the report said.

China alone accounted for more than one-third of the global total. “The renewables industry is not just dependant on a couple of markets but it has turned into a truly global one with markets everywhere and that is really encouraging,” added Christine Lins.

The report also advocated the desperate need to integrate renewables into the current power infrastructure which was built for fossil fuels. “The renewables train is barreling down the tracks, but it’s running on 20th century infrastructure—a system based on outdated thinking where conventional base load is generated by fossil fuels and nuclear power,” said Arthouros Zervoz, chairman of REN21.

Zervoz added: “To accelerate the transition to a healthier, more secure and climate-safe future, we need to build the equivalent of a high-speed rail network—a smarter, more flexible system that maximizes the use of variable sources of renewable energy and accommodates decentralized and community-based generation.”
Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 04, 2016, 06:25:03 pm
7 Charts Show How Renewables Broke Records Globally in 2015  (

Simon Evans, Carbon Brief | June 3, 2016 12:33 pm


Global investment in renewable energy reached record levels in 2015, according to a new report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

More surprisingly, perhaps, the report shows that the $286bn poured into green energy was more than double the spending on coal– and gas-fired power.

It also shows, for the first time, that more renewable power capacity was added than other sources and that renewable energy investment was mostly in developing countries.

Carbon Brief runs through the key findings in seven charts.

Full article  at link below: (

Agelbert NOTE: ANYONE that claims the above global energy market share of Renewable Energy is not SERIOUSLY DESTROYING DEMAND for fossil fuels, is willfully ignorant of reality or is working for the fossil fuel industry (usually the same thing  ;D).

The declining energy market share of fossil fuels is the most important, and deliberately unreported, reason that the price of crude oil remains low.   

"Hitting peak oil will come faster than any of us think. But don't blame dwindling supply — it's all about disappearing demand" Amory Lovins


Title: Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
Post by: AGelbert on June 05, 2016, 05:36:32 pm
The PERFIDY of the Energy Information Administration - EIA - Official Energy Statistics from the U.S. Government


EIA  Fossil Fuel and Nuclear Power Friendly Charts Consistently Low Ball Renewable Energy

These charts by the fossil fuel friendly EIA severely understate the Renewable energy share of U.S. energy consumption BECAUSE they ONLY measure REPORTED energy use, not NEGAWATTS (off grid, non-metered and efficiency based energy demand destruction). The Rocky Mountain Institute has reported that over one third of all global rural electrical production is now Renewable Energy based.

So, why do I present these charts? Because even the EIA cannot disguise how Renewable Energy is taking market share away from the fossil fuel industry (although they do their level best to try).

Notice the change from 2012 through 2015 and you will see evidence of the Renewable Energy caused fossil fuel demand destruction. This is also the main cause of the persistently low price of oil and gas driving, at last count, over 60 oil and gas polluters into bankruptcy.
( (

AS you can see, our loyal servants in the EIA were magnanimous enough to admit ONE PERCENT increase for Renewable Energy for 2012 through 2015. Not only is that a bad joke, but excluding coal, it is downright embarrassingly defensive of the polluters from the fossil fuel AND nuclear power industries. WHY?

despite the MASSIVE economic disruptions during that time and the MASSIVE increase in Renewable energy capacity during that time period, let us ass-u-me, as the charts claim, that the total energy consumption increased 2.7 quadrillion btu from 2012 through 2015. They drop 2% off of coal but, despite  some closings of nuclear power plants, ADD a percent to nuclear power! But it gets better.

Second, they REFUSE to lower the percentage for Petroleum while adding 2 percent to fossil "natural" (i.e. FRACKED) gas. The disclaimer about "the sum of components not adding to 100%", even though in the 2015 chart they DO add up, is ridiculous.  They don't even update their boilerplate. These people have no shame.

Third, they have the unadulterated brass to claim, not just that there was a ONE PERCENT ONLY increase in the Renewable Energy share of consumption rom 2012 through 2015, but that WIND POWER added a mere 2 percent of the Renewable energy mix in FOUR YEARS!

Now take a look at 2014's fossil fuel and nuclear power friendly EIA chart next to the 2015 chart. They are DESPERATE to hide the massive increase in Renewables.

( (

2015 was a banner year for BOTH wind and solar power. 2015 saw massive demand destruction for fossil fuels causing over 60 oil and gas bankruptcies and cratering price of fossil fuels. Renewable energy use INCREASED while USE of fossil fuels due to a depressed economy and added Renewable infrastructure, DECREASED.

YET, according to our EIA bean counters, there was NO INCREASE in the Renewable energy SHARE of consumption OR A DECREASE in the oil and gas energy share from 2014 to 2015! To make it look good, they took one percent away from petroleum and handed it to "natural" FRACKED gas. LOL!  Renewable Energy consumption is allegedly STILL only 10% after a BANNER YEAR!


The EIA admits, inaccurately (remember they count only REPORTED energy from utilities, not negawatts), that 0.1 quadrillion Btu of Renewable Energy  was added. Point one quadrillion Btu DOES NOT CUT IT for a banner year in both wind and solar. They give solar a mere  2% increase and give wind, which REALLY jumped in 2015, a mere ONE PERCENT increase in the Renewable Energy mix.


The PRICE of oil and gas is not low because we are "consuming them at the same percentage"; it's low because we are consuming them at a LOWER percentage. The oil and gas pigs are not known for charitable gestures.

The PRICE of Renewable Energy infrastructure is coming down from mass production and installation. The ratio of Renewable energy installation to fossil fuel based infrastructure new installation in 2015 (which has continued into this year) is 70 to one. 

When the EV market takes off in 2017, the end will come quickly for the fossil fuel industry because they cannot make a profit when over 50% of the refinery product is for transportation fuels they cannot sell. And even without the loss of the polluting fuels product profit, the fossil fuel industry would self destruct without all their subsidy swag. But the EIA plays dumb about the all the pollution costs that we-the-people are paying.

Renewable energy is easily already over 25% of total Energy consumption in the U.S.,
though the EIA will never admit it until they "revise" the data a couple of decades from now.  ;)

Renewable Energy Growth Blows EIA Forecasts Out of the Water, Again

by Ben Jervey, originally published by DeSmog Blog | Mar 14, 2016

EIA 2040 Forecast Understates Renewables, Policy, Contingencies
April 20th, 2015 by Sandy Dechert


So far more possibilities exist than those indicated by the narrow range of assumptions that EIA has included in this latest assessment. Respected voices are saying that America can, and should, get 100% of its energy from renewables by 2050, that 80% would be good enough, or 100% by 2100, or that 50% is attainable in the next 35 years, and so on. EIA’s limited focus can support none of these.

The organization claims in Figure 4 to cover “scenarios that encompass a wide range of future crude oil price paths.” Great to have such a diverse oil perspective, but the exploration of renewable and other scenarios seems puny by comparison.

EIA responds that it never told a lie, fudged the stats or gamed the predicted numbers to favor fossil fuels and low ball Renewable Energy.

Turning to projections, some critics have argued that EIA's recent AEO Reference case projections have consistently understated the adoption of wind and solar power.

A review of past performance of EIA's projections does not offer much support for this argument, particularly when it is recognized that AEO Reference case projections deliberately incorporate existing laws and regulations that are in effect at the time the Reference case projections are developed and do not attempt to forecast future policy decisions.

Don't you just love that "does not offer much support for this argument"  pseudo erudite exercise in dismissive type fallacious debating techniques? Do all these fossil fuel tools go to the same school of double talk sophistry?

The above defense is ludicrous in the light of the FACT that their projections for fossil fuel use and nuclear power have CONSISTENTLY IGNORED the ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS (that the EPA has danced around and refused to try to enforce or over 30 years, even though they ARE on the books) that militate for a REDUCTION in the energy market share of fossil fuels and nuclear power.

NOT ONE closing of nuclear power plants was predicted by the EIA. Even the now vertiginous descent in coal use was NOT even remotely foreseen by these dirty energy defending tools, never mind the current descent in the demand for oil and gas (that they CONTINUE to low ball).

And now they want to talk about legislation as the "logical" basis for their grossly inaccurate Renewable Energy projections?   

The EIA can come up with all sorts of hemming and hawing excuses about inconsistent application of laws favoring Renewables, as if that had beans to do with the ACTUAL Renewables track record of their installation and use (which is what unbiased energy experts use to project future use and market share), but give fossil fuels and nuclear power the most rosy energy use projection scenario as the "prudent" and "most realistic" outlook...   

But the last paragraph in their response PLAINLY states WHO they are going to defend in their cherry picking energy bean counting (hint - dirty energy producers = industry stakeholders):