Wind Energy Beats Nuclear & Carbon Capture For Global Warming Mitigation Clean Technica July 29th, 2014 by Mike Barnard There’s an enduring myth related to wind energy and nuclear energy that needs to be put to bed. That myth is that only nuclear can be scaled to sufficient capacity to reduce the impacts of global warming, and that wind energy is much less scalable so it should be ignored.
Most recently, this appeared as a broad generalization without any supporting evidence in a pro-carbon capture series by a CCS researcher on the Siemens-sponsored Energy Collective, which features this particular myth regularly, being a bit of an echo chamber for it. Of course the nuclear industry’s PR professionals love this line as well.
And there’s another myth related to carbon capture and sequestration being more significant than renewables that has to be assessed as well.
China is the true test bed for maximum scalability of nuclear vs wind. It has a tremendous gap between demand and generation. It can mostly ignore lack of social license for nuclear. It is building both wind and nuclear as rapidly as possible. It has been on a crash course for both for about the same period of time. It has bypassed most of the regulatory red tape for nuclear which sensibly exists elsewhere given concerns about economic fallout of Fukushima-scale disasters, nuclear proliferation and terrorism. And in four years it has built significantly less nuclear generation capacity than it built of wind generation capacity in 2013 alone…….
Where does this leave the claims about nuclear and CCS?
Nuclear isn’t more scalable than wind or other renewables, in fact it’s going in reverse while renewables are being expanded rapidly. And CCS won’t dodge more climate change than renewables because wind and solar are being built in production rapidly and CCS isn’t and won’t be in comparable scales because the economics don’t support it. Both are busted myths.
Wind energy isn’t the only answer. It is likely to reach a maximum of 30% to 40% of supply in a century worldwide. That’s impressive and amazing, but far from the only tool necessary to deal with climate change. Solar will be in the same range. Storage will likely be necessary somewhere from 15% to 20% and grid interconnections will improve substantially. Biomass and geothermal will add their bits, as will tidal possibly. And demand for electricity will go up a lot as countries become richer and transportation and other forms of energy usage become electrified. It’s a complex space, and CCS has an important if smaller and only bridging role to play in it. Nuclear is useful as well, although diminishing as a percentage of total worldwide generation.
But the heavy lifting will be done by displacing fossil fuel generation with renewables, not trying to mitigate the extraordinary problems with burning fossil fuels or building nuclear generation. That’s what the empirical data tells us………. http://cleantechnica.com/2014/07/29/wind-energy-beats-nuclear-carbon-capture-global-warming-mitigation/
Wind Energy Beats Nuclear & Carbon Capture For Global Warming Mitigation Clean Technica July 29th, 2014 by Mike Barnard “……….
What is the reality of nuclear vs wind built out?
- China turned on just over 16 GW of nameplate capacity of wind generation in 2013 according to the Global Wind Energy Council.
- Over the four years of 2010 to 2014 China managed to put 4.7 GW of nuclear into operation. This is not their stated plan for nuclear which is much higher, but the actual generation capacity put into production.
- Modern wind turbines have a median 40.35% capacity factor and exceed 50% in the best wind resources according to the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) who track the actuals on this sort of thing.
- Taking similarly sourced numbers for nuclear capacity factor from the Nuclear Energy Institute, we see 90.9% capacity factors for nuclear reactors. These are apples-to-apples statistics from the same country.
Running the math, that’s about 6.5 GW of real capacity of wind energy in one year vs 4.3 GW of real capacity for nuclear over four years. That’s roughly six times more real wind energy capacity than nuclear per year. 2014 might be better than average as perhaps 2 GW have been made operational this year. We’ll see what reality brings as wind energy is being expanded rapidly as well.
Comparing 2013 only we see over six times as much real capacity from wind energy as from nuclear. There’s no reason to believe that this will change significantly as years slide by, as China is well below projections for new nuclear generation in operation, much like most jurisdictions’ experiences with the realities of getting nuclear to work.
No other geography is capable of building as much nuclear per capita as China is. India’s track record as the next biggest source of nuclear growth is poor as well, as they’ve only managed to build 4.2 GW in several decades.
Globally nuclear capacity has diminished and is expected to continue to diminish over the next few years as France shuts off 33% of its fleet in favour of mostly wind energy, Germany shuts off its fleet, Ontario intends to move from 55% to 42% supply from nuclear according to its draft long term energy plan and aging reactors globally reach end-of-life with no economic refurbishment possible. In empirical terms it doesn’t matter what anybody claims is possible: wind energy is growing rapidly while nuclear is going backwards. That’s reality.
Meanwhile, most geographies are perfectly capable of building wind farms and are, with utility-scale wind generation in 100 countries so far. For the past five years wind energy has averaged 40 GW of new operational nameplate capacity according to GWEC or 16 GW of median capacity and that is expected to grow………. http://cleantechnica.com/2014/07/29/wind-energy-beats-nuclear-carbon-capture-global-warming-mitigation/
Stand-Alone Solar Power “Container” Supports Educational Development on Remote Indonesian Island
>Panasonic, Jul 22, 2014 Indonesia consists of approximately 13,000 islands, many of which lack access to electricity due to the difficulty building large power plants and running power lines in the distinctive geography. Panasonic chose Karimunjawa Island, an island located not far from Java Island, near Jepara District, as the recipient of our installation of the Power Supply Container, an easy to set up and transport electrical supply system, in aims to make life better for the people living there.
In total, 250 people attended the ceremony, including Governor KH. Ahmad Marzuki of Jepara District, Minister Yoshiko Kijima of the Embassy of Japan in Indonesia, Representative Director Iskandar Budisaroso Kuntoadji of IBEKA, and the Executive Director Tri Mumpuni as guests of honor; and teachers and students. The guests of honor delivered congratulatory speeches; Mrs. Kijima told that she felt really happy about regional contributions through support by a Japanese company.
People in Karimunjawa Island can only use electricity at night from 6pm-6am, utilizing diesel generators. As no power is available during daytime, their crucial activities are interfered including commercial activities and certain education curriculum. In particular the opportunity to utilize electronic devices, such as fans, computers, or even lighting during the day ultimately hamper the economical development of the island. To solve this social issue, Koperasi Pundih Artah, which receives Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security, IBEKA and Panasonic have launched a project for improving the educational environment, by utilizing the Power Supply Container, under the cooperation of Jepara District and the Embassy of Japan in Indonesia.
During school hours, the Power Supply Container gives support to improve the educational environment; children can use lighting fixtures, ceiling fans and audiovisual educational materials through personal computers and TVs. When there are no classes, the electricity is sold to nearby areas through a management association of the Power Supply Container to contribute to activation of the regional community and improve the regional electricity infrastructure.
Panasonic made efforts to provide the Power Supply Container and to offer IBEKA with technical assistance in this project. Meanwhile, IBEKA is giving support for establishing management associations in Karimunjawa for independent operation of power supplies as well as provides training and supports for their operation, management and maintenance to achieve a sustainable power supply in Karimunjawa……..http://news.panasonic.net/stories/2014/0722_28041.html
12 Mainstream American Corporations Want More Renewable Energy Clean Technica, uly 17th, 2014 by Jake Richardson Just a couple of weeks ago, we reported that a number of mainstream American companies are saving about $1.1 billion a year by using renewable energy. Now, 12 prominent and very large corporations have combined their voices to say they want more renewables. Renewable energy might seem like a marginal part of American society, even something for ‘hippies,’ but if you believe that take a look at some of the companies that want more of it.
- General Motors
- Johnson & Johnson
- Proctor and Gamble
- No one would say any of these companies are ‘radical,’ so it seems that renewable energy, like solar and wind are definitely mainstream now. In other words, it’s not for ‘kooks,’ ‘granolas,’ ‘socialists,’ ‘treehuggers,’ or ‘vegans’.The twelve companies listed above are brands recognizable to almost any American. They are thoroughly mainstream and some are even part of American history. Take Johnson and Johnson, for example. This huge corporation was founded in 1886. Similarly, General Motors was founded in 1908. These two companies are part of American culture and have been around for over one hundred years……..http://cleantechnica.com/2014/07/17/12-mainstream-american-corporations-want-renewable-energy/
“World’s largest” hybrid renewable energy project unveiled in Jamaica (incl video) Gizmag, By Stu Robarts July 18, 2014 Generating renewable electricity at home or in commercial buildings is becoming increasingly viable. WindStream Technologies has installed what it says is the world’s largest wind-solar hybrid array on an office roof in Kingston, Jamaica. The array is expected to generate over 106,000 kWh annually.
The array is expected to generate 25kW of wind power and 55kW of solar power. Windstream says it will return its investment within four years and will produce savings of around US$2 million over the course of its estimated 25-year lifespan.
Career in renewable energy? 6.5m jobs for grabs, Emirates 24/7 July 12, 2014 There may now be as many as 6.5 million direct and indirect jobs in renewable energy, according to updated data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).
Earlier assessments had put the global estimate at 2.3 million jobs in 2008 (United Nations Environment Programme) and at 5 million jobs in 2012 (International Labour Organisation).
Although these estimates suggest a strong expansion in employment in renewable energy, the figures also represent successive efforts to broaden data collection across countries and sectors, reads the Worldwatch Institute’s latest Vital Signs Online trend.
The overall upward trend in renewable energy jobs has been accompanied by considerable turmoil in some industries.
Nowhere are the upheavals more noticeable than in the solar photovoltaic (PV) sector, where intensified competition, massive overcapacities, and tumbling prices have caused a high degree of turbulence in the last two to three years, but they have also triggered a boom in installations.
Global PV employment is thought to have expanded from 1.4 million jobs in 2012 to as many as 2.3 million in 2013……….
All in all, available information suggests that renewable energy has grown to become a significant source of jobs. Rising labour productivity notwithstanding, the job numbers are likely to grow in coming decades as the world’s energy system shifts toward low-carbon sources.
Solar PV has bypassed biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) as the top renewable energy job generator……….http://www.emirates247.com/news/career-in-renewable-energy-6-5m-jobs-for-grabs-2014-07-12-1.556215
Deutsche Bank lends $US1 billion in Japan’s solar gold rush, SMH, July 9, 2014 Chisaki Watanabe and Finbarr Flynn Deutsche Bank plans to lend about $US1 billion ($1.06 billion) for Japanese solar projects, joining Goldman Sachs in funding cleaner energy as the government struggles to restart nuclear power plants after the Fukushima disaster.
The bank is ready to provide financing for three to six projects in the next 12 to 18 months, said Hans Van Der Sande, director of Deutsche Bank’s structured products group at its Tokyo branch. The Frankfurt-based lender agreed last month to provide a 11.1 billion yen ($116 million) loan for a solar power project on a former golf course north of Tokyo to be operated by a unit of Spain’s Gestamp Renewables Corp.
Japan may add the most solar power capacity in the world this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, as a two- year-old incentive program attracted investors including Goldman Sachs…http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/deutsche-bank-lends-us1-billion-in-japans-solar-gold-rush-20140709-zt0uh.html#ixzz378jMBQUy
Tata, Reliance Power bet big on renewable energy, to spend Rs 1,500 crore each, Economic Times, By Shuchi Srivastava, ET Bureau | 9 Jul, 2014, MUMBAI: Two of the country’s largest power producers Tata PowerBSE -5.04 % and Reliance PowerBSE -7.70 % are betting big on renewable energy and will spend about Rs 1,500 crore each on clean energy projects this fiscal.
“Reliance Power is keen to be a part of the journey to position India as one of the world’s major solar power producers in the coming years. Given the exciting new opportunities such as the ultra mega solar PV projects and the shortfall in meeting the renewable purchase obligations by various state discoms,” said the company. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/38044771.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
India Plans World’s Largest Floating Solar Power Project (50 MW) After canal-top solar power projects, India is planning to install the world’s largest floating solar power project.Clean Technica, 4 July 14
India’s leading hydro power generator National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) is planning to set up a 50 MW solar photovoltaic project over the water bodies in the southern state of Kerala. Renewable Energy College will provide assistance to the company for implementing the project…….http://cleantechnica.com/2014/07/02/india-plans-worlds-largest-floating-solar-power-project-50-mw/
Renewable energy records set in California and Texas http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/renewable-energy-records-set-in-california-and-texas_100015571/?utm_content=buffer11a9a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#ixzz369kysSef 30. JUNE 2014 BY: IAN CLOVER Solar power in California sets new one-day record of 4.76 GW in June as Texas joins the ranks of the renewables big league, powered largely by wind. Figures from the California Independent System Operator (Cal ISO) revealed this week show that the Golden State broke its own one-day record for solar PV generation on June 1 when 4767 MW of utility scale solar energy was fed into the grid.
The record smashed California’s previous one-day best of 4100 MW in March, which also stood as the highest one-day figure for the whole of the U.S.
California’s solar footprint is growing bigger with each passing day, week and month, with May recording three times as much solar generation as recorded during the same month in 2013. In total, solar PV powered 6% of Cal ISO’s total electric load in May, rising to 14% during peak hours, according to data gathered by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In 2013, California added 2145 MW of utility scale solar.
In Texas, wind power accounted for 30% of the state’s electric load on March 26, generating 10.2 GW of electricity according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Regulators in Texas expect that record to be outstripped again shortly as the state’s wind capacity rises above 12 GW.
Last year was a record 12 months for renewable energy generation in the U.S. The solar sector grew by 41% in 2013, with California responsible for more than half of new PV capacity. For the remainder of 2014, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects California to add an additional 1728 MW of utility scale solar before the year is out.
In short, German policy gave renewables fair access to the grid, promoted competition, weakened monopolies, and helped citizens and communities own half of renewable capacity. In 2013, Germany’s nuclear generation reached a 30-year low while renewable generation, 56% greater, set a new record, reaching an average of 27% of domestic use in the first quarter of 2014 and a brief peak of 74% on 11 May.
How Opposite Energy Policies Turned The Fukushima Disaster Into A Loss For Japan And A Win For
Germany Forbes, Amory B Lovins 28 June 14 Japan thinks of itself as famously poor in energy, but this national identity rests on a semantic confusion. Japan is indeed poor in fossil fuels—but among all major industrial countries, it’s the richest in renewableenergy like sun, wind, and geothermal. For example, Japan has nine times Germany’s renewable energy resources. Yet Japan makes about nine times less of its electricity from renewables (excluding hydropower) than Germany does.
That’s not because Japan has inferior engineers or weaker industries, but only because Japan’s government allows its powerful allies—regional utility monopolies—to protect their profits by blocking competitors. Since there’s no mandatory wholesale power market, only about 1% of power is traded, and utilities own almost all the wires and power plants and hence can decide whom they will allow to compete against their own assets, the vibrant independent power sector has only a 2.3% market share; under real competition it would take most of the rest. These conditions have caused an extraordinary divergence between Japan’s and Germany’s electricity outcomes. Continue reading
To revitalize its economy and politics, Japan needs an efficiency-and-renewables leapfrog that enables the new energy economy, not protects the old one. Japanese frogs jump too, says Bashō’s famous haiku “The old pond / frog jumps in / plop.” But we’re still waiting for the plop
How Opposite Energy Policies Turned The Fukushima Disaster Into A Loss For Japan And A Win For Germany Forbes, Amory B Lovins 28 June 14 “……..More than the sacred sun on Japan’s flag, its leaders appear to worship old policies that retard wide use of the energy sources now taking over the global market. Since 2008, half the world’s added electric generating capacity has been renewable. Non-hydroelectric renewables, chiefly wind and solar, got a quarter-trillion dollars of private investment and added over 80 billion watts in each of the past three years. Three of the world’s top four economies—China, Japan, and Germany, as well as India—now produce more electricity from non-hydro renewables than from nuclear power. Japan is on that list only because its nuclear production is roughly zero; it remains the rich nations’ renewable laggard. Perhaps the unexpected May 2014 court decision that prohibited restart of the Oi reactors as unsafe, and for the first time prioritized public safety over utility profits, may signal an emergent change beyond the cosmetic reforms offered by the executive and legislative branches—2016 “deregulation” in name only.
In 2012 and 2013, China made more electricity from wind than from the world’s most aggressive nuclear power program. In 2013, China added more solar power than its first developer, the United States, has installed in its whole history. But Japan is heading in the opposite direction: of the 8 GW of renewables brought into operation in the first 20 months after it introduced renewable FITs in July 2012, 97.5% was solar and only 1% windpower. Windpower (especially onshore where it’s cheapest) is stymied, first by uniquely slow and onerous approval processes and then by outright rejection by utility monopsonists who get to bar competitors from their regional grids. Japan’s windpower association projects the same market share in 2050 that Spain achieved three years ago.
It’s not hard to figure out why. Solar power displaces daytime peak that’s costly to generate, but the way the solar feed-in tariff works, it’s profitable for utilities. In contrast, they lose money on cheap windpower that also runs at night, displacing coal and nuclear. Japan’s latest rules reiterate utilities’ right to refuse renewable power that would displace such legacy “baseload” plants. Japanese business leaders may be upset to learn that their electricity, among the world’s costliest, is even costlier because their utilities run their own costlier thermal plants while rejecting windpower with nearly zero operating cost.
The electricity reforms passed in late 2013 by the lower house of the Diet (23 years after Germany’s reforms began) still let Japan’s utilities reject cheaper renewable power for any reason or no reason. 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.
Germany also uses energy more efficiently. In each of the past three years, German electricity consumption fell while GDP grew. During 1991–2013, i.e.since reunification, German real GDP grew 33% using 4% less primary energy and 2% less electricity, and emitting 21% less carbon. Even more ambitious savings are available and planned.
In contrast, Japan’s world-leading energy efficiency gains in the 1970s later stagnated. Japanese industry has continued to improve, and remains among the most efficient of 11 major industrial nations, but Japan ranks tenth in industrial cogeneration and commercial building efficiency, eighth in truck efficiency, and next-to-last (tied with the U.S.) in car efficiency. Yet Japan’s sky-high energy prices make energy efficiency very profitable, most of all in buildings. Semiconductor company Rohm’s office opposite Kyōto Station, for example, cut its energy use 46% and repaid its cost in two years. With a few exceptions, like the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government’s efficiency efforts, few Japanese buildings have received the kind of kaizen (continuous improvement) that has long distinguished Japanese industry.
To revitalize its economy and politics, Japan needs an efficiency-and-renewables leapfrog that enables the new energy economy, not protects the old one. Japanese frogs jump too, says Bashō’s famous haiku “The old pond / frog jumps in / plop.” But we’re still waiting for the plop.http://www.forbes.com/sites/amorylovins/2014/06/28/how-opposite-energy-policies-turned-the-fukushima-disaster-into-a-loss-for-japan-and-a-win-for-germany/
German State to Reach 100% Renewable Power This Year http://inhabitat.com/german-state-to-reach-
100-renewable-power-this-year/ by Josh Marks, 06/25/14 Germany recently smashed three solar energy records in just two weeks and set a new overall renewables record last month with 74 percent clean energy use during the middle of the day. Now the Federal Republic’s northernmost — and windiest — state of Schleswig-Holstein is set to generate all of its electricity from green energy this year. The state, which borders Denmark and the North and Baltic Seas, has a goal to generate 300 percent of its electricity needs from renewables.
Schleswig-Holstein is home to more than 200 businesses in the wind energy sector with around 7,000 employees. As of 2010, wind power in Germany provided more than 96,000 jobs and that figure is expected to increase as the nation commits to phasing out nuclear energy and replacing it with renewables.
While Schleswig-Holstein aims to become the first of Germany’s 16 states to pass the 300 percent renewables mark, a Bavarian village has already blown past that milestone. In 2011, Wildpoldsried produced a whopping 321 percent of its electricity from clean energy, generating four million Euro (US $5.7 million) in revenue by selling it back to the national grid. Via CleanTechnica
Amazing Pop-Up Solar Power Station Delivers Energy Anywhere it’s Needed, Inhabitat, by Beverley Mitchell, 06/24/14 Ecosphere Technologies’ latest product combines several of our very favorite things in one easy-to-transport package: shipping containers, off-the-grid solar power, and clean drinking water generation. With their new Ecos PowerCube, the company can deliver a shipping-container-sized, self-sustaining solar power station by air, sea, rail or road to anywhere in the world it is needed.
Warren Buffett could double renewable energy investment to $30bn http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2014/06/11/warren-buffett-could-double-renewable-energy-investment-to-30bn/ Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 By Richard Heasman
Warren Buffett has said his Berkshire Hathaway holding company could invest a further $15 billion (£8.9 billion) in solar and wind projects in the US.
At a Las Vegas conference this week, the world’s third wealthiest man was reminded by his deputy Greg Abel of the company’s current $15 billion investment in the sectors.
Buffett swiftly declared that the same figure should be committed again, describing the overall potential of sustainable energy as an expanding market.
Bloomberg said Buffett responded to Abel’s prompt with, “There’s another $15 billion ready to go, as far as I’m concerned.” Buffett has remained one of the world’s leading investors in renewable energies,bankrolling major solar and wind power developments with multi-billion dollar investments.
Buffett’s Nebraska-based firm Berkshire Hathaway is now the fifth-largest in the world by market value. It has huge investments in regulated, capital-intensive businesses such as infrastructure and energy.
Buffett has described the renewables market as high in potential, with the predictability of reinvestment and large growth.
In 2011, he bought a massive California-based solar farm project from First Solar. Other investments include the acquisition of an Iowa energy holding company in 2011.
His unit now operates power grids in the UK, natural gas pipelines that run across the entirety of the US and wind farms in Iowa, Wyoming, California and Arizona.
Buffett’s pledge to boost renewables investment comes after Barack Obama declared tighter emission targets for coal power companies – with an overall aim of cutting emissions by 30% by 2030. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared this would bring net climate and health benefits of up to $82 billion (£48 billion).
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