NewEnergyNews More: December 2017

NewEnergyNews More

Every day is Earthday.

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  • Tuesday, December 26, 2017

    Climate Change Was Impressive In 2017

    Climate Change Is Happening Faster Than Expected, and It’s More Extreme; New research suggests human-caused emissions will lead to bigger impacts on heat and extreme weather, and sooner than the IPCC warned just three years ago.

    Bob Berwyn, December 26, 2017 (Inside Climate News)

    “In the past year, the scientific consensus shifted toward a grimmer and less uncertain picture of the risks posed by climate change…[The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared that human causation is ‘extremely likely’ and the United States Global Change Research Program concluded there is not a] ‘convincing alternative explanation’…[The Royal Society called the health impacts ‘a deadly tragedy in the making’ and warned it is likelier that impacts have been underestimated that that science has been] overestimating them…[The American Meteorological Society concluded many of this year’s extreme events] would not have been possible without the influence of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions…The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)said recent melting of the Arctic was not moderating and was more intense than at any time in recorded history…” click here for more

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    Get On Board Australia’s Solar Train

    The World’s First Fully Solar-Powered Train Just Left the Station

    Lou Del Bello, December 18, 2017 (Futurism)

    “…On December 16, a fully solar-powered train took a short but groundbreaking journey in New South Wales, Australia…[The Byron Bay Railroad Company brought] the vintage passenger vehicle back to life to prove that solar power can actually work for transportation…[The train does its 1.9 mile route] solely on solar panels on its roof and at pit stops…The train originally had two diesel engines, of which one has been replaced by batteries and an electric motor. The other will serve as a backup in case of emergency, although the train will keep going under a cloudy sky, too, thanks to a 77kWh battery. The fully solar-powered train holds 100 seated passengers, with room for others to stand, and completes one round-trip journey every hour…Small vehicles are heavy, and the surface suitable for installing solar panels is too small to produce sufficient power…Trains, on the other hand, travel on a fixed route and can be quickly recharged at each stop using electricity generated by static solar panels…Since January 2017, a fleet of wind turbines have provided all the electricity needed to power the Dutch national railway. In July, Indian Railways debuted trains with solar panels on their roofs to power on-board services such as lights and fans…” click here for more

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    France Now Floating Big Wind

    France Hopes to Get More Wind Energy from Its Coasts

    December 17, 2017 (Voice of America)

    “France recently launched its first floating wind turbine…[The $29.5 million 2 MW Floatgen project is just off the French western coast. It is] France’s first attempt at offshore wind energy: electricity produced by turbines located in the ocean…[The next goal] is 50 much larger offshore turbines that are able to provide electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes…WindEurope predicts France will become Europe’s second biggest wind energy producer by 2030. Germany would remain the largest producer…Currently, wind power produces about 4 percent of France’s electricity…France is one of a few countries testing the use of floating wind turbines…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, December 19, 2017

    Climate Change’s Time Has Come

    This Is The Year We'll Know If We Can Reverse Climate Change

    Emma Loewe, December 19, 2017 (Mind Body Green)

    “…While the increase in greenhouse gas emissions has slowed down in recent years, overall emissions continue to rise…[I]f we cannot reduce, or at least steady, our emissions by 2020, there is little hope that we'll be able to keep global warming below [the 2 degrees Celsius threshold that represents the point of no return, according to the recently-published Three years to safeguard our climate from a UN multidisciplinary team. It uses] science to explain why 2020 is a major year for reducing emissions…[and] outlines a practical road map that can help citizens, cities, corporations, and governments do so. In order to reach the goal, we'll need to fuel 30 percent of the world with renewables (up from 23.7 percent in 2015), support electric vehicles so they make up at least 15 percent of new car sales globally, significantly reduce deforestation, and vow to stop building new coal-fired power plants altogether…” click here for more

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    It Starts With Customer Demand For New Energy

    Utility responds to commercial green power demand in Minnesota

    Frank Jossi, December 19, 2017 (Midwest Energy News)

    “Minnesota electric cooperative [Great River Energy (GRE)] created a commercial green tariff program in response to growing demand from business customers…[T]he Dakota Electric Association requested the program and is GRE’s first customer…[It] will offset all of the electricity use at its exurban Minneapolis headquarters with wind energy credits purchased through the Wellspring for Business program…[GRE’s] 28 member cooperatives geographically cover about two-thirds of Minnesota…After fielding requests from commercial customers, [Dakota Elecrtri] approached Great River Energy and found they were receptive to the idea…The new commercial and industrial program enrolls businesses using more than 1,500 megawatt hours of electricity annually…Among business customers that have expressed interest…[most] prefer to meet sustainability goals without relying on renewable energy found in the utility’s current generation mix…A corporate aggregation feature allows companies with multiple stores or buildings to participate…[The cost, handled by on-bill tracking, is $1 per megawatt hour…5- to 10-year contracts… Great River Energy is close to signing a big box retailer to offset electricity for 12 of its stores located in eight different Great River Energy territories…” click here for more

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    Floating Solar To Turn Dirty Water Into Stored Clean Power

    Solar-powered floating rig can harvest hydrogen from seawater

    Michael Irving, December 18, 2017 (New Atlas)

    "Hydrogen is a clean fuel source, but current methods of producing it, often by converting natural gas, can undo any environmental benefit. Producing hydrogen out of sunlight and water doesn't create any CO2, and recent research has improved the efficiency and lowered the cost of devices that achieve this. Now, engineers from Columbia University have developed a ‘solar fuels rig’ that floats on the ocean, captures energy through a solar cell and uses it to harvest hydrogen from the water beneath it...The rig produces hydrogen through water electrolysis, a technique where H2 and O2 gases are separated out of water by passing an electric current through the liquid...The device developed at Columbia can split water into hydrogen and oxygen without needing a membrane. That means it can be deployed on seawater [containing impurities and micro-organisms that] would normally degrade a membrane...This unique electrolysis mechanism is hooked up to a photovoltaic cell, which generates the required electric current with energy gathered from sunlight..." click here for more

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    Monday, December 18, 2017

    How Climate Change Is Attacking The U.S. Military

    Climate Change Already Hampers U.S. Military Sites Around the World, Government Study Finds; The U.S. military is neglecting to plan for climate change-related risks facing hundreds of overseas facilities, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office.

    David Leestma, December 18, 2017 (EcoWatch)

    “…The Defense Department has identified climate change and its effects as threats to facilities, but a gap remains between determining threats and implementing solutions…[In addition to failing to plan for and incorporate climate change's risks into project designs,] many facilities are not consistently tracking costs incurred by extreme weather [according to Climate Change Adaptation; DOD Needs to Better Incorporate Adaptation into Planning and Collaboration at Overseas Installations]…Requested by the Democrats in the Senate, the study by GAO—a nonpartisan oversight agency—visited 45 military installations around the world. Only one-third of these facilities had integrated climate change adaptation into their planning…[GAO recommended systematically tracking] costs associated with climate impacts…[re-administering] its vulnerability assessment survey to include all relevant sites…[integrating] climate change adaptation into relevant standards; and…[including] climate change adaptation in host-nation agreements…[Lucian Niemeyer, the Trump-nominated assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment] pushed back against some of the study's assertions and claimed that blaming infrastructure damage on climate change is [speculative]…” click here for more

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    Research Confirms Plummeting Price Of Wind

    New Report PROVES Wind Power’s REAL cost

    Simon Mahan, December 18, 2017 (Clean Energy.Org)

    “…Old arguments regarding variable energy resources, like renewable energy, appear to be falling flat…[In 2016, wind energy surpassed 10% of total generation for fourteen states…Average wind farm installation prices have dropped to roughly $1,590/kW (kilowatt) [according to 2016 Wind Technologies Market Report]. Some projects in the Interior region of the country were installed for roughly $1,200/kW. The national average levelized cost of power purchase agreements (PPA) has reached $20 per megawatt hour ($20/MWh), or 2 cents per kilowatt hour, with a number of projects in the Interior region venturing below 2 cents. Those prices are below long-term fuel costs for natural gas power plants…Wind power remains the top energy resource entered into various interconnection queues, with just over 140,000 megawatts entered, with nearly half that amount entered just in 2016. Solar power is also experiencing explosive growth, with over 80,000 megawatts of solar power capacity entered in to queues last year…[W]ith new planned nuclear and coal units virtually eliminated, it’s clear there are massive changes underway in the electric markets…” click here for more

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    New Energy Supports Saved In Final Tax Bill

    Tax Bill Largely Preserves Incentives for Wind and Solar Power

    Brad Plumer, December 16, 2017 (Washington Post)

    “The final text of the Republican tax bill…largely preserves key tax credits for wind and solar power and electric vehicles, reversing language in earlier versions…The last-minute changes, made as lawmakers reconciled the House and Senate versions of the tax legislation, reflect the growing political clout of the wind and solar industries, which now provide more than 7 percent of the nation’s electricity and are two of the fastest-growing energy sources…[Industry groups] expressed relief [that the scheduled phase out of most of the major incentives for New Energy will remain in place]…When combined with the falling costs of wind turbines and photovoltaic panels, these incentives can make new wind and solar even cheaper than running existing fossil-fuel plants in parts of the country…Several Republican senators, including Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Dean Heller of Nevada, had [fought for the New Energies]…The American Council on Renewable Energy, an industry trade group, said it ‘remained concerned’ about changes that [could compropmise the roughly two-thirds of wind projects and three-fourths of solar projects in the United States supported by tax-equity financing through multinational investors…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, December 12, 2017

    The “Fight-Climate-Change” Diet

    The diet that helps fight climate change; Do we all have to go vegan to save the world?

    Andy Murdock, December 12, 2017 (VOX)

    “…While only around six percent of the U.S. identifies as vegan, according to one recent survey, Americans are starting to embrace some vegetarian habits: Per capita beef consumption has been declining since the 1970s, dropping off steeply in the last decade…[If everyone were to move toward] the Mediterranean diet — which is rich in nuts and beans and has a lot of fish, maybe chicken once a week, maybe red meat only once a month…[it would be] the equivalent of taking about a billion or more cars of pollution out of the planet every year…[G]lobal adoption of a Mediterranean diet could help reduce global warming by up to 15 percent by 2050…[The Mediterranean diet also] can reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases…[and increase] overall longevity…[Eliminating 90 percent of meat intake is more important than eliminating all of it and it] can take a bite out of climate change.” click here for more

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    Market For Advanced EV Batteries To Quadruple By 2026

    Market Data: Advanced Energy Storage for…Light Duty Passenger and Medium and Heavy Duty Buses and Trucks…

    4Q 2017 (Navigant Research)

    “EV sales continue to rise rapidly around the world. Declining battery costs have positioned these vehicles for dramatic market success in the years to come, and long-range EVs are now competitive in price among economy brands after subsidies. This milestone marks a threshold likely to move EVs from a niche vehicle option to the next vehicle option for many light duty (LD) and some medium/heavy duty (MD/HD) vehicle consumers. Due to the effect of emissions compliance requirements, charging infrastructure considerations, and customer awareness, sales of battery EVs (BEVs), plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs), and hybrid EVs (HEVs)—collectively referred to as xEVs—continue to vary in popularity across all regions…[Lithium ion (Li-ion) battery chemistry] has taken precedence, particularly with BEVs and PHEVs [and advanced battery energy capacity for automotive applications is expected to increase from 125 gwh in 2017 to 568 gwh in 2026]…” click here for more

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    The Low Lifecycle Costs In New Energy

    New study smashes myths about “embodied” energy in wind and solar

    Simon Evans, 12 December 2017 (Carbon Brief via RenewEconomy)

    “Building solar, wind or nuclear plants creates an insignificant carbon footprint compared with savings from avoiding fossil fuels…[Understanding future emissions from low-carbon power systems by integration of life-cycle assessment and integrated energy modelling, which] measures the full lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of a range of sources of electricity out to 2050, shows] the carbon footprint of solar, wind and nuclear power are many times lower than coal or gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS). This remains true after accounting for emissions during manufacture, construction and fuel supply…Critics sometimes argue that nuclear, wind or solar power have a hidden carbon footprint, due to their manufacture and construction…Yet zero-carbon sources of electricity are not the only ones to have a hidden, indirect carbon and energy footprint…For coal and gas, these lifecycle energy uses and emissions come from extraction machinery and fuel transport. Significantly, they also come from methane leaks at pipelines, well heads or coal mines. These lifecycle emissions continue, even if coal or gas plants add CCS, which also may not capture 100% of emissions at the power plant…” click here for more

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    Monday, December 11, 2017

    N.C. Millennial Women Unite For Climate Fight

    Bringing women together to fight climate change; In Asheville, the Collider is changing the climate conversation — by including female voices

    Lauryn Higgins, December 10. 2017 (Salon)

    “…While the discussion surrounding climate change has come a long way…[there is still a] lack of women at the table…[The Collider, a North Carolina science and business innovation advocacy group, is working to change that because it sees women as] not only a necessity to providing climate change solutions in the field of science, but in every field…[A recent study showed] that educating women…[is a powerful way to avoid emissions and by slowing] population growth…[because women with more years of education have fewer and healthier children, and actively manage their reproductive health…[The Collider’s leaders say that as women come into climate science leadership roles it is] changing the course for what is to come…” click here for more

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    The White House Threat To New Energy

    Solar and Wind Power Face Serious Threats From the Trump Administration

    Justin Worland, December 8, 2017 (Time)

    “…[C]lean energy developers face a slew of unanticipated threats from the White House and Republicans in Congress that could slow the industry’s growth in ways unimaginable just a year ago…[E]nergy analysts were skeptical of his promise to [use regulatory rollbacks to] reverse the market forces driving the decline in coal…But the administration has not stopped at mere deregulation. From the threat of a subsidy for coal-fired power plants to a tax bill that hurts the financing of clean-energy projects, Republicans in Washington have launched a campaign against renewable energy that includes market interventions that alarm other industries, including oil and gas…[A]dvocates of transitioning from fossil fuels are pushing back…[but] the changed mood in Washington threatens to undermine the confidence of companies planning to invest in renewables…[T]he Trump Administration may impose tariffs on solar panels imported from China…[That could] send the price of solar panels spiking and drive down new installations…A tariff would hurt the key Trump constituency of blue-collar workers and the proposal has faced opposition from conservative groups like The Heritage Foundation…Perhaps the most dramatic threat to renewable energy—and also the most unlikely to succeed—comes in the form of a proposed Department of Energy rule to [protect grid reliability by subsidizing] coal-fired and nuclear power plants…That argument has been widely panned, including by the Department’s own research. But the [Trump-appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] has final say…” click here for more

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    What’s Bad News In The Tax Bill For New Energy

    Another Victim Of The GOP Tax Bill? The Environment

    Frederick Hewitt, December 11, 2017 (WBUR)

    “…Most economists agree that the steep reductions in corporate tax rates [in the Republican tax plan] won’t stimulate nearly enough revenue to avoid bloating the deficit…To the list of economic sectors that will feel the hurt, add renewable energy…The House and Senate versions of the bill differ in their approaches to the wind and solar industries, but both are bad news for clean energy…[The Senate version jeopardizes] the financing of numerous clean energy projects under construction and [discourages] future clean energy investments…Wind projects have historically been financed using [the federal tax incentives]…With the proposed changes in the tax code, the tax credits for wind would be less valuable to potential investors because corporate tax rates would be lower and the credits would expire sooner…[The House version eliminates] the $7,500 tax credit for consumers who purchase electric vehicles…Its loss could be a serious blow to sales…[Both bills give big breaks to the oil and gas industry by opening new drilling opportunities and are] consistent with the pro-fossil-fuel positions that Trump and his party have been pushing…” click here for more

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    Thursday, December 7, 2017

    City Mayors Unite To Fight Climate Change

    4 Takeaways From a Gathering of Mayors on Climate Change

    Mitch Smith, December 5, 2017 (NY Times)

    “…[In the just signed Chicago Climate Charter, over] 45 American mayors committed their cities to uphold the emissions standards laid out in the Paris agreement…[It] was the latest display of hostility by some of the nation’s Democratic mayors toward [Trump] policies. Barack Obama, who was president when the Paris accord was negotiated…[appeared and called] the mayors’ newly signed agreement ‘a powerful symbol to the world’… Many of the cities that signed on, including New York City, San Francisco and Portland, Ore., had previously laid out plans to uphold their part of the Paris agreement…In June, the United States Conference of Mayors called on the administration to recommit to the Paris standards. Another group, Climate Mayors, which claims 385 members, has rallied in defense of the Paris agreement. And a coalition of states, local governments and businesses announced plans this summer to try to uphold America’s Paris commitments despite the federal withdrawal…” click here for more

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    New Energy And Big Oil Unite Against Subsidies For Coal And Nuclear

    How Trump Did the Impossible: Getting Solar and Oil Lobbyists to Unite

    Ari Natter and Jennifer A Dlouhy, December 5, 2017 (Bloomberg News)

    “…Within hours of Energy Secretary Rick Perry releasing a proposal to overhaul the country’s power markets to advantage unprofitable coal and nuke plants…[a team of unlikely allies [came together], including solar installers, oil refineries and natural gas drillers, all of whom were worried that the plan would raise electricity costs and undercut their fuel source in the power markets….[The American Council on Renewable Energy] joined the American Petroleum Institute and 19 other groups to submit comments that…dubbed the plan ill defined, unwarranted and unreasonable…The lobbying is aimed at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees the nation’s electricity markets and is set to decide by Dec. 11 whether or how to act on the Energy Department’s proposal. If approved, it could…[give] unprofitable coal power plants an edge against more economical ones that run off cheap wind, solar and natural gas…[by allowing] power plants with 90 days of fuel on site to charge customers more money. Coal and nuclear plants store their fuel at the plant; natural gas and renewables typically don’t…Estimates [of how much it would raise customers’ bills] range from a few hundred million dollars to more than $200 billion…” click here for more

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    California Would Sell Only EVs After 2040

    Electric Cars Only: California Bill Would Ban Gas-Powered Cars By 2040

    Summer Meza, December 6, 2017 (Newsweek)

    “Producing and registering gas-powered cars would be illegal in California by 2040 if an upcoming bill is passed by the state legislature…[California Assemblymember Phil Ting will introduce the bill] when lawmakers return to Sacramento for the next legislative session, as part of a plan to phase out gas-powered cars and embrace battery electric and hydrogen fuel-cell cars…Transportation is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas pollution, surpassing power plants this year for the first time in four decades, according to the Energy Information Administration. Electricity production has been moving toward ‘clean’ energy over coal in recent years, but the transport sector hasn’t made as many advances in reducing emissions…In California, gas-powered cars will be required to increase their fuel efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, but lawmakers like Ting want to take things even further…China, France, Norway, India, and the U.K. have passed similar measures and are counting on automakers to move toward affordable electric options as quickly as possible…” click here for more

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    Utilities In A Time Of Solar

    Rethinking the utility company as solar power heats up

    William Brangham, December 6, 2017 (PBS News Hour)

    …[The rapidly plummeting price of solar panels has led to a boom in rooftop installations and jobs…[and the] solar industry now employs almost three times as many people as the coal industry. This growth is also raising questions about how utility companies should respond…[One Vermont resident installed solar] panels five years ago. In the summer, with its ample sun, they generate more electricity than [the resident] can use, so the extra energy is sent to the local utility, Green Mountain Power…[and the credit is used] in the winter…[taking the bill from $200 or more per month to] nothing…[New batteries leased from Green Mountain Power for $30 a month will allow the resident to] operate independently from the grid…[and] sell electricity back to the utility during peak usage, even when the sun isn’t shining…[Green Mountain Power’s CEO sees this as part of] a consumer-led revolution to distributed resources and a completely different [utility business model and argues] even more populous cities and states need to change the way they think about energy delivery…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, December 5, 2017

    Hope Or Fear For The Climate Fight?

    Does hope inspire more action on climate change than fear? We don’t know. On climate change communications, the science really isn’t settled.

    David Roberts, December 5, 2017 (VOX)

    Editor’s note: As always, David has written a piece that is worth the time it takes to click through and read in full.

    “…[The most read article in New York magazine history ignited heated debate around two distinct but often often conflated or confused issues.] The first has to do with the role of emotion in climate change communication…The second has to do with the role of climate scientists in refereeing public climate debates…To make a long story short: We don’t know much of anything about how messages affect people, so everybody’s better off just doing the best they can…[A study concluded that] people have characterized the role of emotion rather too crudely…[The resulting] uncertainty suggests humility — a humility advocates have not always displayed [is needed]…Every individual is different, and emotional responses to particular images or messages [vary]…Climate scientists are of course welcome to weigh in on such matters…[but] should be careful not to smuggle subjective judgments under the banner of [scientific objectivity]…” click here for more

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    New Energy Hits New U.S. Market Share Highs

    For First Three-Quarters Of 2017, EIA Data Show: Renewable Electrical Production Up 14.7%, Biomass, Geothermal, Hydro, Solar, Wind All Increase, Coal, Natural Gas, Oil, Nuclear Power All Decrease; Renewables Provide 17.8% Of Total U.S. Generation As Solar Reaches 2.0% And Wind Is 6.0%

    Ken Bossong, December 5, 2017 (EIA via Sun Day)

    “…U.S. electrical generation from renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar - inc. distributed solar, wind) rose by 14.69% during the first three-quarters of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016…Simultaneously, electrical generation by fossil fuels and nuclear power combined declined by 5.41%. Nuclear power and coal both dropped by 1.5%, natural gas (including ‘other’ gas) was down by 10.7%, and oil (i.e., petroleum liquids and petroleum coke) plunged by 17.1%...Year-to-date, electrical generation by utility-scale solar (i.e., solar thermal and photovoltaic) plus small-scale solar photovoltaic rose by 43.2% and is now providing almost 2.0% (i.e., 1.99%) of total electrical generation…All other renewable energy sources showed positive growth as well: electrical output from hydropower grew 15.0%, wind by 11.5%, geothermal by 2.9%, and biomass by 1.6%. Together, electrical generation by non-hydro renewables is now nearly 10.0% (i.e., 9.92%). Wind alone is nearly 6.0% (i.e., 5.98%)…Overall, renewables accounted for 17.78% of domestic electrical generation during the first nine months of this year…” click here for more

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    Wind, Solar Make Grid Stronger And Power Cheaper

    National laboratories issue study on growing flexibility and variability of power generators; Lawrence Berkeley and Argonne National Laboratories examine the growth of solar, wind and natural gas power plant operations on wholesale power markets and the impact on nuclear and coal generators.

    Mark Burger, December 5, 2017 (PV Magazine)

    “…The growth of solar and wind power has highlighted the issue of negative pricing on the wholesale markets, where in some instances the availability of wind or solar power depresses prices to the point where wholesalers pay their utility customers to take the electricity off their hands. This situation has led to accusations that solar and wind power are ‘unfairly’ making market conditions difficult for fossil fuel and nuclear power plants…[Impacts of Variable Renewable Energy [VRE] on Bulk Power System Assets, Pricing, and Costs] acknowledges the growth of VRE, but indicates that the primary factor has been the growth of natural gas power plants, especially those that are able to operate on a flexible basis. Wind and solar power are at present secondary causes, while grabbing the headlines. Also noted is that nuclear and fossil fuel power plants account for the bulk of negative pricing by their inability to reduce, adjust or cease operations when demand decreases, even without the presence of significant solar and/or wind power…[Also, negative pricing is still relatively rare. What is happening, however, is overall downward pressure occurring on wholesale electric prices due to the entry of primarily [low cost] natural gas and, to a lesser extent, [low cost] wind and solar power…” click here for more

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    Monday, December 4, 2017

    Al Gore On The Speed And Reach Of The New Energy Revolution

    Why Al Gore isn't giving up the climate change fight; ‘We’re in the early stages of a global sustainability revolution that has the magnitude of the Industrial Revolution but the speed of the Digital Revolution.’

    Alesandra Portenza, December 1, 2017 (The Verge)

    “…[Al Gore says] no matter what kind of discouraging signals the current administration sends,] there are signs of hope…[New Energy costs have fallen to] a few cents per kilowatt-hour…and 37 coal mines are closing in India this year…[The New Energy transition] could move faster with good policy, [he says,] but the cost reduction curves for renewable energy and energy storage and efficiency improvements and electric vehicles are now revolutionizing business and every human endeavor. We’re in the early stages of a global sustainability revolution…[Things tend to take longer] than you think they will, but then they happen much faster than you thought they could…[and we are at the inflection point] where changes are beginning to happen faster…The momentum is increasing daily…” click here for more

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    Google Hits 100% New Energy For 2017

    Google is officially 100% sun and wind powered – 3.0 gigawatts worth

    John Fitzgerald Weaver, November 30, 2017

    “Google is officially off-setting 100% of its energy usage with either wind or solar power…Google’s energy infrastructure investments have totaled over $3.5 billion globally, with about two-thirds being in the US…[Recently completed deals for 535 MW of new wind power] brings Google over 3 GW worldwide…cementing Google as the largest corporate purchaser of renewables on the planet…Citing a cost decrease of 60%-80% in wind and solar as the driving factor, Google has been investing heavily in renewables [since 2010, and, as] of November of 2016, they’d participated in 20 renewable energy projects…Google is the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy…This is nearly twice as much as the next largest purchaser of renewables, Amazon, at about 1.5GW…Interestingly, just yesterday it was reported that Google shut down the lead source portion of Project Sunroof. It was suggested that Google’s logic for cancelling the program – even with an overflow of companies around the country asking for access for the leads – was that they thought selling leads for solar power was not their main skill set…The company now redirects Project Sunroof users to solar companies in Google’s main search directory…” click here for more

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    The Newest Energy Storage Numbers

    Lazard’s latest annual Levelized Cost of Storage Analysis (LCOS 3.0), conducted with support from Enovation Partners, shows declining cost trends among commercially deployed technologies such as lithium-ion, but with wide variations depending on the type of application and battery technology.

    November 2, 2017 (Lazard)

    “Among commercially deployed technologies, lithium-ion continues to provide the most economical solution across use cases analyzed in [Lazard’s just-released Levelized Cost of Storage, 3.0], although competing flow battery technologies claim to offer lower costs for certain applications…[U]nder some scenarios, certain applications of energy storage technologies are attractive; these uses relate primarily to strengthening the power grid and accessing cost savings and other sources of value for commercial and industrial energy users through reducing utility bills and/or participating in demand response programs…Industry participants expect costs to decrease significantly over the next five years, driven by scale and related cost savings, improved standardization and technological improvements, supported in turn by increased demand as a result of regulatory/pricing innovation, increased renewables penetration and the needs of an aging and changing power grid in the context of a modern society…[L]ithium-ion capital costs are expected to decline as much as 36% over the next five years…” click here for more

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