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Hydrogen from wind and solar systems could be the ultimate solution to the planet’s pollution problem.

Hydrogen is turning into the next media star after solar and wind. In its
latest claim to fame, two spinoffs of German tech conglomerate Siemens are
joining forces to advance green hydrogen technology by building
wind-to-hydrogen systems to help decarbonize the global economy.
Green hydrogen is touted as a solution to many climate change problems: the
element can be an energy carrier, it can be used to store energy and it can
be used in fuel cells to power vehicles. Green hydrogen is a particularly
attractive option because its production comes from hydrolyzing water using
electricity produced by renewable systems, meaning it has a much lower
carbon footprint than gas- or coal-sourced hydrogen.
Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy have therefore joined a growing group of green hydrogen proponents, many of whom see it as the ultimate solution to the planet’s
pollution problem.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/German-Tech-Giant-Places-Major-Bet-On-Green-Hydrogen.html

January 18, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Nuclear power, too inflexible, is in conflict with sustainable development goals.

January 16, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, ENERGY | Leave a comment

For the USA, despite the “Green Nuclear Deal” propaganda, solar power islooking a whole lot better.

Nuclear vs Solar: The Race For Renewable Dominance , Oil Price By Alex Kimani – Nov 11, 2020

“……….. the main sticking point to the promotion of thorium as a cleaner nuclear fuel is that it remains unproven on a commercial scale. Thorium MSRs (Molten Salt Reactors) have been in development since the 1960s by the United States, China, Russia, and France, yet nothing much ever came of them. Further, only about 50 of the world’s 440 reactors can currently be configured to run on thorium.

…… Unfortunately, practical nuclear fusion remains a long-shot and could be decades away from becoming a commercial reality.

We simply don’t have the luxury of time.

Further, nuclear power in the U.S. faces an uncertain future. ……………

Solar rising

Whereas the nuclear sector comeback has its work cut out for it, solar power has clearly been on the ascendancy thanks in large part to falling costs.

Nuclear advocates have pointed to rising electricity costs in California as the reason why other states should think twice before adopting its model. Environmental Progress has reported that between 2011 and 2018, power costs in the Golden State increased by 27.9% compared to a 4% national average. This period coincided with a period when California has been aggressively ramping up its renewable generation capacity. Renewable sources currently account for ~30% of California’s electricity generation with an aim to double that by 2030 and hit 100% by 2045.

But that’s being a bit disingenuous because it fails to capture just how much solar costs have fallen over the timeframe.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), solar installation costs have dropped by more than 70% over the past decade, opening up vast new markets and systems nationwide. The organization says prices as of Q2 2020 dropped to their lowest levels in history across all market segments, with utility-scale prices ranging from $16/MWh – $35/MWh, thus making it competitive with all other forms of generation. Meanwhile, costs for the average-sized residential system were cut in half from a pre-incentive price of $40,000 in 2010 to roughly $20,000 today.

And no, renewables are not to blame for California’s blackouts.

……………..Strongly Bullish 

Despite these challenges, the solar sector remains strongly bullish.

Indeed, S&P Platts says that the shift to renewable energy is likely to continue full steam ahead regardless of fed policies noting that the energy transition has “clearly been moving forward on a regional basis,” despite lacking clear endorsement at the federal level under Trump.

It remains to be seen whether nuclear energy can command the same level of support.  https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/Nuclear-vs-Solar-The-Race-For-Renewable-Dominance.html

December 20, 2020 Posted by | politics, renewable | Leave a comment

Grid flexibility a better choice than nuclear – could save UK $millions

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

When even a right wing news medium like Forbes start questioning the ”wisdom” of nuclear development , that industry must be getting worried.

Ditch Nuclear And Save $860 Million With Grid Flexibility, U.K. Told, Forbes,   David Vetter Senior Contributor, 30 Nov 2, 

The U.K. could save money, reduce the risk of blackouts and more quickly achieve its carbon-cutting goals by abandoning plans to build more nuclear power facilities and instead invest in a flexible electricity grid, new analysis has found.

According to the report from Finnish energy tech firm Wärtsilä, the U.K. would stand to save $860 million per year if, instead of new nuclear power, the government backed grid flexibility measures, such as battery storage and thermal generation. That equates to a saving of about $33 dollars per British household per year. Crucially, the analysis revealed that even if energy generation was to remain the same as it is today, Britain could increase renewables’ share of that generation to 62% simply by adding more flexibility (renewables currently account for around 47% of electricity used, according to the government).

The Wärtsilä report is timely because, in a ten-point plan released earlier this month, prime minister Boris Johnson promised an additional $684 million for the nuclear sector, and the building of new large and small nuclear power stations. Notably, grid flexibility was not mentioned in the plan.

The report also raises questions about the necessity of the 3.2 gigawatt Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, under development in Somerset, southwest England, which has been dogged by controversy and delays since its inception. In addition to coming with all the usual challenges associated with nuclear fission—not least the storage of radioactive waste—the project is at least $3.6 billion over budget and has been the target of numerous lawsuits and both local and international complaints.

Speaking to Forbes.com, Ville Rimali, growth and development director at Wärtsilä Energy, explained why his firm determined that grid flexibility is a preferable alternative to nuclear, as Britain looks for a pathway to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“Flexibility unlocks more renewable energy by balancing the intermittency of wind and solar power to ensure the power supply always matches demand,” Rimali said. “For example, when more power is generated than needed, you can store the surplus in batteries to be used later. The alternative is paying renewables to switch off, which is expensive and inefficient.”

“It’s a bit like running a bath where the volume of water and the size of the plug keep changing,” he explained. “The smaller the bathtub, the more likely the water is to overflow or run out. Flexibility is like having a bigger bathtub—you can pour more water in, without the risk of running out or overflowing.” ………

 investing in nuclear power could, according to Wärtsilä, entrench an inflexible grid while making renewables such as solar and wind less cost-effective.

“New nuclear sites will rely heavily on government subsidies, negatively impact market prices and ultimately weaken the business case for renewables and flexibility,” Rimali said………   https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidrvetter/2020/11/30/ditch-nuclear-and-save-860-million-with-grid-flexibility-uk-told/?sh=2733622b1975

December 1, 2020 Posted by | ENERGY, politics, UK | Leave a comment

The global energy revolution

RethinkX 25th Nov 2020, We are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest, most profound disruption of the energy sector in over a century. Like most disruptions, this one is being driven by the convergence of several key technologies whose costs and capabilities have been improving on consistent and predictable trajectories – namely, solar photovoltaic power, wind power, and lithium-ion battery energy storage.

Our analysis shows that 100% clean electricity from the combination of solar, wind, and batteries (SWB) is both physically possible and economically affordable across the entire continental United States as well as the overwhelming majority of other populated regions of the world by 2030.

Adoption of SWB is growing exponentially worldwide and disruption is now inevitable because by 2030 they will offer the cheapest electricity option for most regions. Coal, gas, and nuclear power assets will become stranded during the 2020s, and no new investment in these technologies is rational from this point forward.

https://www.rethinkx.com/energy

November 28, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Ontario could get clean renewable energy from neighbouring provinces, with no need for nuclear power

November 26, 2020 Posted by | Canada, renewable | Leave a comment

UK could save £660m through to 2030 by scrapping Sizewell nuclear plan, switcing to flexible eneegy technologies

November 24, 2020 Posted by | ENERGY, UK | Leave a comment

Mayor of London announces solar and energy efficiency projects funded by ‘Green New Deal’

Business Green 19th Nov 2020, A host of green projects in London are set to benefit from £10m in funding
announced yesterday as part of the capital’s ‘Green New Deal Fund’, which
the Mayor of London claims could create up to 1,000 new jobs. Announced
yesterday, Sadiq Khan said the first tranche of £10m in funding would be
invested in green projects such as solar panel installations and home
energy efficiency improvements, targeting inequalities exacerbated by the
Covid-19 pandemic such as fuel poverty by helping to improve energy
efficiency, cut energy bills, and improve living conditions.

https://www.businessgreen.com/news/4023653/mayor-london-ploughs-gbp10m-green-deal-projects

November 21, 2020 Posted by | ENERGY, UK | Leave a comment

Cheap and effective, but solar energy is omitted from UK govt’s 10 point plan

Energyst 19th Nov 2020, Despite being the most cost-effective electricity generating technology for
the foreseeable future according to the Government’s own forecasts, solar
was noticeably absent from the Prime Minister’s announcement, which is
largely a repackaging of policies already announced earlier this year.

While the Government has yet to make its ambitions for UK solar clear there
is lively activity taking place in other parts of the public sector. The
City of London has announced a new 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
with developer Voltalia, which will see a 50MW solar park built in Dorset
to supply the City with clean power. STA chief executive Chris Hewett said,

“It is disappointing that Number 10 has yet to grasp the opportunity
presented by solar in the UK. Not only is it set to be the cheapest power
source for years to come, it also provides good jobs and business
opportunities up and down the country.

https://theenergyst.com/uk-solar-industry-body-criticises-lack-of-support-in-ten-point-green-plan/

November 21, 2020 Posted by | politics, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Book review: The Case for Degrowth

Book review: The Case for Degrowth, Jeremy Williams, The Earthbound Report  , 16 Nov 20,  “………….  What are the objectives of degrowth? It’s not shrinking the economy for the sake of it. The aim is to get GDP growth out of the driving seat and then steer towards “what really matters: not GDP, but the health and wellbeing of our people and our planet.”

As things currently stand, the drive for growth constantly stands in the way of good ideas. We know that fossil fuels should be left in the ground to avoid dangerous climate change, but growth says dig them up and sell them. We know that rising house prices are driving a wedge between the rich and the poor and the old and the young, but economic growth says don’t you dare intervene. And if it’s not delivering for you, if you’re one of those young people priced out of decent housing, then there’s a solution for you: more growth. It will trickle down to you, apparently, if you’re hard working and eternally patient.

Or there’s the alternative, which is to stop taking growth as the primary measure of progress and get on with delivering what people need. So many political directions open up when GDP growth takes a back seat and we get on with delivering what people need more directly.

Naturally this is an option for developed countries, as Katherine Trebeck and I describe in our book The Economics of Arrival. Growth has a purpose when it actually does lift people out of poverty, and when it is used to build the infrastructure and the institutions that a healthy society depends on. When it’s just feathering the nests of the already rich, and destroying the living world in the process, it’s time to move on to more qualitative forms of progress.

In fact, downsizing in the rich world may be a key enabler of flourishing elsewhere. “There is no technological or policy fix that can generalize to nine billion people the material standard of living currently enjoyed by a minority at high cost to others.” Instead, “high-consumption nations and people must degrow to free space for low-consumption ones.”

The Case for Degrowth explores these issues in concise terms, and presents five ‘path-breaking’ policies that would forge a new direction:
  • A Green New Deal
  • universal incomes and services
  • policies to reclaim the commons
  • shorter working hours
  • public finance that supports the first four

Being a short book, it no doubt opens up lots of other questions that the authors don’t cover, though the frequently asked questions at the end captures many of them. Perhaps the one that still sticks out for me is the word ‘degrowth’ itself. In my opinion it doesn’t capture the positivity of a vision for qualitative progress, for improvement rather than enlargement. I know it’s an old debate. We had it when founding the Postgrowth Institute ten years ago, and it doesn’t feel resolved today.

Still, The Case for Degrowth is a brief and straightforward explainer, and a good starting point for anyone who wants to get their head around the degrowth movement and what it wants to acheive.

November 17, 2020 Posted by | ENERGY, resources - print | Leave a comment

Super power: Here’s how to get to 100pct wind, solar and storage by 2030 — RenewEconomy

Deep disruption: New report from futurist Tony Seba and RethinkX says transition to 100pct renewables possible by 2030, and the “super” surplus of wind and solar can be used to power transport and industry. The post Super power: Here’s how to get to 100pct wind, solar and storage by 2030 appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Super power: Here’s how to get to 100pct wind, solar and storage by 2030 — RenewEconomy
A team led by renowned Stanford University futurist Tony Seba says most of
the world can transition to 100 per cent wind, solar and storage
electricity grids within the coming decade, in what they describe as the
fastest, deepest and most profound disruptions ever seen in the energy
industry.
The RethinkX team led by Seba, one of the few analysts to
correctly forecast the plunging cost of solar over the last decade,
predicts that the disruption caused solar, wind and lithium-ion battery
storage, or SWB, will be similar to the digital disruption of information
technology. “Just as computers and the Internet slashed the marginal cost
of information and opened the door to hundreds of new business models that
collectively have had a transformative impact upon the global economy, so
too will SWB slash the marginal cost of electricity and create a plethora
of opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship.”
“Our analysis
shows that 100% clean electricity from the combination of solar, wind, and
batteries (SWB) is both physically possible and economically affordable
across the entire continental United States as well as the overwhelming
majority of other populated regions of the world by 2030.
“Adoption of
SWB is growing exponentially worldwide and disruption is now inevitable
because by 2030 they will offer the cheapest electricity option for most
regions. Coal, gas, and nuclear power assets will become stranded during
the 2020s, and no new investment in these technologies is rational from
this point forward.”
The analysis from Seba and the RethinkX team is just
the latest of a series of important reports that have been released in
recent weeks and months that look at the pace of technology change, the
energy transition and climate goals.

October 29, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Every dollar wasted on nuclear power is a dollar not invested in clean energy

October 26, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, ENERGY | Leave a comment

USA: Millions of jobs in clean energy and infrastructure – analysis finds.

Investing $2 Trillion in US Clean Energy and Infrastructure Could Create Millions of ‘Good Jobs,’ Analysis Finds

“We don’t have to choose between a strong economy or a healthy environment—we can have both,” says an EPI data analyst.  Common Dreams, byJessica Corbett, staff writer   – 20 Oct 20, Pursuing trade and industrial policies that boost U.S. exports and eliminate the trade deficit while investing $2 trillion over four years in the nation’s infrastructure, clean energy, and energy efficiency improvements could support 6.9 to 12.9 million “good jobs” annually by 2024, according to an analysis published Tuesday.

The new report from a trio of experts at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a U.S.-based think tank, comes as the country continues to endure the public health and economic consequences of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 220,000 lives and millions of jobs in the United States alone this year.

As hurricanes and wildfires made worse by human-caused climate change have ravaged communities in the U.S. and around the world throughout the pandemic, demands have mounted for policymakers to use the Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity to #BuildBackBetter by incorporating ambitious plans to address the planetary emergency in relief and recovery packages.

“Our policymakers urgently need to confront climate change and the deep recession caused by a global pandemic. One way to do this is investing a substantial part of our budget to reduce our carbon emissions while also creating good jobs,” EPI data analyst Zane Mokhiber, who co-authored the report, said in a statement. “We don’t have to choose between a strong economy or a healthy environment—we can have both.”……….   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/20/investing-2-trillion-us-clean-energy-and-infrastructure-could-create-millions-good?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=twitter

October 22, 2020 Posted by | climate change, employment, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Queensland, Australia to get the ‘world’s greenest city’

Renew Economy 21st Oct 2020, French energy giant Engie backs Greater Springfield development, aiming to be ‘world’s greenest city’, with zero emissions transport plan. The post Energy giant Engie supercharges green city development with support for EVs, hydrogen transport appeared first on RenewEconomy.

A new city being developed in south-east Queensland aiming to become one of
the world’s greenest is set to get a boost, with a new roadmap launched with the backing of one of the world’s largest energy companies.

Greater Springfield, which is located around 30km south-west of Brisbane and has
grown to a population of 45,000 has released a new master plan that will see electric vehicle charging infrastructure and a hydrogen fuelled bus network rolled out, in an effort to create the ‘world’s greenest city’ by 2038.

The city is one of Australia’s largest privately funded city developments, including a mix of residential and business districts, and has attracted a campus of the University of Southern Queensland.
Energy giant Engie supercharges green city development with support for EVs, hydrogen transport — RenewEconomy

October 22, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change, renewable | Leave a comment

The very genuine promise of cheap electricity – solar power

Nuclear power never delivered on its promise, but will solar?  John Quiggin, Canberra Times, 19 Oct 20, 

The International Energy Agency attracted attention recently when executive director Fatih Birol declared that solar would be “the new king of electricity markets.” Long known for its conservative view of renewables, the IEA’s latest Global Energy Review marked a radical change. Instead of growing slowly over time, solar (along with wind and other renewables) is now seen as meeting all new electricity demand, with coal set for a sharp decline. …….

Solar modules cost virtually nothing to operate, and last a long time. Manufacturers’ warranties typically run for 25 years, guaranteeing at least 80 per cent performance. Experience and experimental evidence suggest this is conservative: even after thirty years, modules installed today should still be working at around 85 per cent of their initial capacity. A working lifetime of twenty-five years is therefore conservative…………
Once a solar module has been installed, a zero rate of interest means that the electricity it generates is virtually free. Spread over the lifetime of the module, the cost is around 2c/kwh (assuming $1/watt cost, 2000 operating hours per year and a 25-year lifetime). That cost would be indexed to the rate of inflation, but would probably never exceed 3c/kwh. There is, then, a real possibility that solar PV and other renewable technologies could fulfil the promise made decades ago by the promoters of nuclear power: that it will deliver electricity “too cheap to meter”. (Even with access to cheap capital, nuclear power never delivered on that promise.)

The prospect of electricity this cheap might seem counter-intuitive to anyone whose model of investment analysis is based on concepts like “present value” and payback periods. But in the world of zero real interest rates that now appears to be upon us, such concepts are no longer relevant. Governments can, and should, invest in projects whenever the total benefits exceed the costs, regardless of how those benefits are spread over time.

October 20, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment