Report: The world will invest $ 3.7 trillion in solar by 2040,WP, By Chris Mooney June 23 The world’s energy portfolio will get vastly cleaner by the year 2040, says a new long-term energy outlook from Bloomberg New Energy Finance — but not clean enough.
Out to 2040, the world will see a jaw-dropping growth of solar energy, especially on rooftops. BNEF projects $ 3.7 trillion of solar investment in the next 25 years — 35 percent of new electricity-generating capacity. And $2.2 trillion of that investment will be for individual rooftops or other “local” installations, rather than large utility-scale arrays…….http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/06/23/our-solar-future-still-has-a-lot-of-coal-plants-in-the-background/?postshare=3131435158010724
Uganda set for Africa’s largest privately owned solar plant, Business Day, BY MATT SMITH, JUNE 09 2015, DUBAI — Access Infra Africa, a Dubai-based company, will launch what it says will be Africa’s largest privately owned solar plant in Uganda this year, part of plans to develop electricity projects in 17 African countries, mainly based on renewable energy…….. http://www.bdlive.co.za/africa/africanbusiness/2015/06/09/uganda-set-for-africas-largest-privately-owned-solar-plant?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_term=Africa%20big%20solar&utm_campaign=Climate&__surl__=IgD8d&__ots__=1434878107303&__step__=1
Chinese enterprise funds Middle East renewables, Independent Australia Anthony M Horton 18 June 2015, New reports confirm that the future of the Middle East is in renewables, which is already cheaper and more reliable than oil. The region is predicted to become a global green economic hub, reports Anthony M Horton.
FOLLOWING A grant worth US$310 million from Hanergy, a Chinese energy enterprise that produces thin-film solar technology, Jordan will expand its power grid and increase its renewable energy production by 1 Gigawatt. As a result of Hanergy’s assistance, Jordan will achieve its goal of increasing renewable energy capacity to 40 per cent (1.8 Gigawatts) by 2020.
Jordan began removing fossil fuel subsidies and created the country’s Renewable Energy and Efficiency Fund a decade ago. This signalled the move to cleaner energy, and other Middle Eastern countries are also looking seriously at them. A report published by The Climate Group earlier this year (reported on 23 April) discussed the potential of the region to become a global green economy hub.
Their analysis, which was supported by the International Renewable Energy Agency, gave an overview of the current and future renewables landscape and explored the role that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would play in reshaping the world’s energy future, given the lessons it was learning from flagship projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in terms of the best opportunities and ways to upscale renewables.
The report also highlighted the increasing adoption of solar energy technologies as evidence of the growing appetite of the private sector……….https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/chinese-enterprise-funds-middle-east-renewables,7839
‘Green superpower’ Germany plots the way to a low-carbon world by closing Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant, SMH, June 20, 2015 Peter Hannam Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald
Leaving nuclear is not without its critics, especially among big utilities: Sweden’s Vattenfall is reportedly suing the German government for €4.7 billion ($6.9 billion) to compensate for its losses.
And yet, German policymakers seem determined to stick to an ambitious – and unilateral – goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent on 1990 levels, even if that means shutting near zero-carbon nuclear plants along the way. The cuts deepen to 55 per cent by 2030 and 80-95 per cent by 2050.
The country is also betting big that renewable energy mainly from wind, solar and hydro power will continue to surge beyond its current share of about 28 per cent of total supply…….
The dramatic plunge in renewable energy prices – with solar panels becoming about 20 per cent cheaper for every doubling of output – has undermined whatever business case existed for nuclear energy, Kraemer says.
“Solar is competitive with new coal and new nuclear [power plants], and even with old coal if you price the carbon emissions properly,” Kraemer says. [Andreas Kraemer, founder and director emeritus of the Ecologic Institute, a Berlin-based think tank.]
Germans freely admit that overly generous feed-in tariffs paid to those supplying renewable energy to the grid meant the country paid billions of euros too much to install solar panels on the roofs of some 3.5 million homes and small businesses in a country not known for its bounteous sunshine. Sunshine hours in Berlin, a relatively northern city, peak at an average of eight hours a day in May-July, but drop to just one hour by December, according to a local tourist guide.
The levy now costs users 6.17 euro cents (9¢) per kilowatt-hour, boosting residents’ costs for power to about 26 euro cents/KW-hour. [By contrast, this correspondent pays about 31¢ in Sydney for 100 per cent renewable power.]
The subsidies underpin Germany’s Energiewende, or energy transition, a policy which is gaining international attention. The word is apparently the most commonly searched-for German word, eclipsing angst and blitzkrieg, according to one local supporter.
Renewable energy’s share of the country’s total electricity supply has almost quadrupled. Nuclear’s share has roughly halved over the same period from 27 per cent to about 14 per cent………http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/green-superpower-germany-plots-the-way-to-a-lowcarbon-world-by-closing-grafenrheinfeld-nuclear-power-plant-20150619-ghpbcf.html
Calculating your renewable energy potential? There’s an app for that GreenBiz-19 Jun e1q5 Businesses and individuals can make use of a free smartphone app to calculate the renewable energy generation potential of a given location.
Town Topics 20 June15
An electric taxi has taken to the streets of Singapore in a bid to make the already green city more eco-friendly — and it’s tailored to the tropics.
Obama commits $4bn to form clean-energy investment clearinghouse, Guardian, Brandon Keim 16 June 15 US energy secretary announces new office of technology transitions to help facilitate financing by connecting would-be investors with clean-energy firms With $4bn and a new government office, the White House has unveiled its latest clean energy initiative and cast a subtle new role for the federal government: not only is it a funder of new research, of the latest solar converter or biofuel source, but it is also a market builder.
“One of the real challenges is the gap in financing clean energy,” said Ernest Moniz, US secretary of energy, at a press conference on Monday. “There is a continuing need for new capital investment.”
The new initiative follows on a White House pledge in February to organize mission-driven renewable energy investors, concentrating their impacts and providing information to would-be investors daunted by an unfamiliar clean-energy landscape.
At the press conference on Monday, Moniz and senior advisor Brian Deese fleshed out the details: $4bn in commitments from pension funds, family foundations and other so-called impact investors, and a newly unveiled office of technology transitions that will serve as an all-purpose informational resource for clean-energy investment…….
The initiative represents the latest stage in the Obama administration’s clean-energy policies. In some quarters, these are still synonymous with Solyndra, the California-based solar cell manufacturer that went bankrupt after receiving $535m from the US department of energy.
Yet that reputation is mostly unfair – and not just because the loan program responsible for the Solyndra deal is expected to turn a $5bn profit. The US now leads the world in wind energy production; the price of solar energy has plummeted, and adoption jumped…..http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/16/obama-administration-clean-energy-investment-initiative
EU on track to meeting 20% renewable energy target https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/news/eu-track-meeting-20-renewable-energy-target EU countries are well on the way to meeting the EU’s target for 20% renewable energy in the overall energy supply by 2020, a new report shows.
Presented on 16 June, the European Commission’s renewable energy progress report reveals that 25 EU countries are expected to meet their 2013/2014 interim renewable energy targets. In 2014, the projected share of renewable energy in the gross final energy consumption is 15.3%.
“The report shows once again that Europe is good at renewables, and that renewables are good for Europe. We have three times more renewable power per capita in Europe than anywhere else in the rest of the world. We have more than one million people working in a renewable energy sector worth over €130 bn a year and we export €35 bn worth of renewables every year,” Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said.
The EU’s 2020 renewables target has resulted in around 326 Mt of avoided CO2 emissions in 2012, rising to 388 Mt in 2013. It has also led to a reduction in the EU’s demand for fossil fuels to the tune of 116 Mtoe (2013 figure), boosting the EU’s security of energy supply.
Just three EU countries are falling slightly behind in meeting their targets, and, since the interim targets will become tougher in the coming years, some EU countries will have to intensify their efforts and make use of mechanisms which allow them to cooperate with other EU countries, the report says.
It also noted that renewable energy is now a widely accepted, mainstream source of energy, with the 2020 targets being a key driver for European-led global investments in renewables and a source of inspiration for other countries the world over which now have their own targets.
The report also examined the EU’s target for 10% renewable energy in transport. The 2014 projected share is 5.7% meaning that achieving the target will be challenging but feasible, with some EU countries making good progress.
The EU publishes a progress report on renewable energy every two years.
Renewables on course to overtake coal by 2030, Australian Financial Review, by Pilita Clark, 15 June 15,Wind, solar and other types of renewable power will overtake coal to become the world’s top source of electricity in just 15 years if the pledges countries are making for a global climate change deal this year are met.
The striking finding by the International Energy Agency shows renewable power could soar from just over a fifth of global electricity generation today to nearly a third by 2030 – a bigger share than either coal, gas or nuclear plants.
This shows today’s energy companies are making a “major fatal error” if they assume climate action is not going to affect their businesses, said Fatih Birol, the IEA chief economist.
For the first time in UN climate negotiations, nearly all countries are supposed to limit their greenhouse gas emissions as part of a global agreement due to be signed in Paris in December.
The measures already unveiled by dozens of nations should sharply reduce the use of fossil fuels, especially coal, in the US, the EU and elsewhere, the IEA says in a report timed to influence negotiations for the Paris deal……..
Renewables accounted for about half of all new power plant capacity built last year, and the IEA expects that share to rise in coming years. The agency says renewable power now accounts for 22 per cent of global electricity generation, well behind coal at 41 per cent.
But the IEA’s analysis of countries’ Paris climate pledges shows that renewables’ share of generation will increase to 32 per cent by 2030, just pipping coal. http://www.afr.com/business/mining/coal/renewables-on-course-to-overtake-coal-by-2030-20150615-ghny2e
The US Could Run Exclusively On Renewable Energy By 2050 http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2015/06/the-us-could-run-exclusively-on-renewable-energy-by-2050/ ALISSA WALKERThere are many things holding up the US’s move towards renewable energy, but that one thing is not science: We already have all the technology we need to make this happen. A new study claims that a completely clean energy future is possible by 2050, and it plots roadmaps for all 50 states to achieve this goal.
The study, which is published in Energy & Environmental Science, is authored by Mark Z. Jacobson, a civil and environmental engineer who heads up Stanford’s Atmosphere and Energy Program. He’s known for publishing many similar roadmaps for America’s energy future, but this one is the most comprehensive — and useful — because it takes into consideration the unique environmental situations and policy quirks for each state.
Most enticing is this chart where incredible growth in solar and wind energy helps offset the gradual reduction in fossil fuels and nuclear energy. But the overall energy supply needed will also decrease, even with increased demand, due to better energy efficiency.
In that black zone that gets squeezed out: Nuclear power, coal with carbon capture, liquid or solid biofuels, and natural gas. Nope, not even biofuels, argues the study — since “their combustion produces air pollution at rates on the same order as fossil fuels and their lifecycle carbon emissions are highly uncertain.”
Giant Floating Solar Power Stations Are Japan’s Newest Power Source, Huffington Post 15 June 15 “……. the country is now turning to floating solar power stations, this month going live with its largest such systems to date in two reservoirs in Kato City in the nation’s Hyogo prefecture, Quartz reports. The systems consist of almost 9,000 solar panels on a bed of polyethylene and are fully waterproofed.
According to Kyocera, the electronics manufacturer behind the floating solar systems, the two new stations in Kato City are expected to generate 3,300 megawatt hours annually, providing enough electricity to power about 920 typical households. The company is also behind another floating solar farm just east of Tokyo, slated to open next March, that will be even larger, powering almost 5,000 households.
The “mega-plants” have a number of benefits compared to traditional land-based solar plants. As Wired previously reported, the floating plants generate power more efficiently because of the cooling effect of the water underneath the system. In addition, the shade generated by the stations helps reduce both water evaporation and algae growth, and the systems overall are also drought-friendly thanks to how muchwater they conserve……..
the floating islands could play a huge role in helping Japan meet its goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2040…….Japan isn’t the only country investing in these solar “islands,” either. Projects are already online or underway in India, Australia, Great Britain, Brazil and in Sonoma County, California. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/15/japan-floating-solar-power_n_7588506.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green
The Real Solyndra Scandal It’s that no one’s noticed the enormous success of the government program behind it. Slate, By Daniel Gross , 15 June 15 On Thursday, Peter Davidson, the official who took over the controversial, much-mocked Energy Department Loan Programs Office in 2013,announced he’s stepping down. Created during the Bush administration, the program received a huge influx of funds as a result of the 2009 stimulus bill, which it lent to a range of companies in the energy and transportation industries.
Early on, the program was known for its failures, especially Solyndra, which was like Benghazi before Benghazi was Benghazi—a three-syllable slogan that signified to conservatives the Obama administration’s fecklessness. A startup solar panel manufacturer, Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee and in 2011 went bankrupt. The program had other high-profile face-plants, including Fisker Automotive, a startup electric car-maker that went bust, causing the government towrite off $139 million of the $192 million loan it made.
The loan program says it has made loans to 17 entities that are currently producing power—and hence generating revenue to pay back their loans. Meanwhile, as the industry has gained scale (thanks in part to the Energy Department–backed projects), the price of building such plants has fallen. And so the private sector has seized the initiative. Solar and wind are booming in the U.S., as utilities, private equity firms, banks, startups, and Fortune 500 companies are rushing to finance the construction of dozens of large-scale emissions-free power plants. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the U.S. utility-scale solar sector grew 38 percent in 2014. From nothing before the loan guarantees, utility-scale solar now accounts for about 4 gigawatts of generating capacity. It’s a genuine growth industry, financed largely by private funds.
In a way, this dynamic is no different than the one we’ve seen over the last two centuries, in which the first efforts at commercializing a new technology—the canal, the telegraph, the railroad, the Internet—were funded by the government, and then the private sector rushed in after it was proved to work…………
As with the financial bailouts, it is likely the taxpayers will get all the money they lent to energy-related companies back—and then some. Unlike the financial bailouts, these bailouts will produce lasting social, economic, environmental, and industrial benefits.http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_juice/2015/06/peter_davidson_steps_down_from_energy_department_his_loan_program_was_responsible.html
Institutional Investor Appetite For Renewable Energy, Forbes.com, Christopher P Skroupa, 12 June 15 “…..Richard Rankin: Most people do not know how substantial renewable energy is or that, in a global context, renewable energy is competitive with and can replace conventional energy entirely.
In the Great Plains and Southwest USA, several companies have signed contracts, known
as power purchase agreements, for solar and wind energy at prices lower than that of natural gas. Renewable energy can be a cheaper alternative to fossil fuels because of the ability to harness sources of energy that are prevalent to certain locations. It is a young industry with room for growth and improvement.
However, globally, it is already as big as the apparel and fashion industry worldwide and four times the size of the semi-conductor industry. Navigant Research, in their Advanced Energy Now 2015 Market report, observed that in the US, the market for advanced energy is bigger than the airline industry, equal to pharmaceuticals and four times the size of the semi-conductor industry.
With newly available forms of financing such as YieldCos which lower the cost of capital, and policies in place that would put the industry on par with traditional carbon energy producers, there appears to be no limit to renewable energy. Demand is strengthening for renewables at a faster pace than ever before and I cannot wait to see where it takes us.
Skroupa: What sector of renewable energy is the most promising?
Rankin: Electricity generation from solar looks to me to be one of the most promising segments. Continue reading
Times of India12 June 15
BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh will generate 20,000MW renewable energy by year 2020 and renewable energy projects in the state will be
Systems flexible enough to accommodate the ups and downs of solar and wind production can be made by adjusting the power at millions of homes and businesses on a minute-by-minute or even second-by-second basis. This approach requires no new hardware, some control software and a bit of consumer engagement.
Massive balancing act..……This is an enormous challenge to grid operators in this region. Massive fluctuations in power require equally massive storage devices that can charge when the wind is blowing, and discharge during periods of calm.
Now, the balance of supply and demand for power is primarily done by generating more power rather than storage.
Grid operators draw on what is called the balancing reserves obtained from fossil fuel generators or hydro plants, when available. These power plants ramp up and down their output in response to a signal from a grid balancing authority. This is just one of many ancillary services required to maintain a reliable grid.
Many states are now scrambling to find new sources of ancillary services, and the federal government is also searching for incentives: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders 745, 755 and 784 are recent responses by a government agency to create financial incentives for responsive resources to balance the grid.
Are batteries the solution?
Storage is everywhere, but we have to think beyond electricity…………..
Through local intelligence – in the form of a chip on each device or a home computer for many devices – the collection of one million pools in Florida can be harnessed as massive batteries. Through one-way communication, each pool will receive a regulation signal from the grid operator. The pool will change state from on to off based on its own requirements, such as recent cleaning hours, along with the needs of the grid. Just as in the office building, each consumer will be assured of desired service.
Pools are, of course, just one example of a hungry but flexible load.
On-off loads such as water pumps, refrigerators or water heaters require a special kind of intelligence so that they can accurately erase the variability created from renewable generation. Randomization is key to success: To avoid synchronization (we don’t want every pool to switch off at once), the local intelligence includes a specially designed “coin-flip”; each load turns on or off with some probability that depends on its own environment as well as the state of the grid.
It is possible to obtain highly reliable ancillary service to the grid, while maintaining strict bounds on the quality of service delivered by each load. With a smart thermostat, for example, indoor temperature will not deviate by more than one degree if this constraint is desired. Refrigerators will remain cool and reliable, and pools will be free of algae………
Today, about 750,000 homeowners in Florida have signed contracts with utility Florida Power & Light, allowing them to shut down pool pumps and water heaters in case of emergencies. How can we expand on these contracts to engage millions of homeowners and commercial building operators to supply the virtual storage needed? Recent FERC rules that offer payments for ancillary services for balancing the grid are a valuable first step in providing incentives.
It is possible that little incentive is required since we are not subjecting consumers to any loss of comfort: it is the pool or fridge that provides flexibility, and not the homeowner.
A sustainable energy future is possible and inexpensive with a bit of intelligence and flexibility from our appliances. https://theconversation.com/could-one-million-smart-pool-pumps-store-renewable-energy-better-than-giant-batteries-41937
Startup’s new idea – free EV charging for the masses.
San Francisco startup Volta believes charging an electric car in public should be free, at least for the driver.
R** Record boost in new solar power continues massive industry growth.UK leads European solar energy expansion to help renewables overtake output of nuclear power as industry leaders hail ‘tipping point’ for the technology
A record amount of solar power was added to the world’s grids in 2014, pushing total cumulative capacity to 100 times the level it was in 2000.
Europe’s largest green wall
Saturday 6 June 2015 10:17AM
A UK power company has created the largest living wall in Europe – the massive vertical garden wraps the external walls of the National Grid headquarters creating more than 11,000 sq metres of green space. That’s a lot of happy birds and bees. While more and more architects some people dead against them – we find out why.http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/blueprintforliving/segment/6417820
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