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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Pakistan’s most renowned nuclear physicist says solar power is better for Pakistan

flag-pakistanKarachi is unsafe with nuclear, solar better Pervez Hoodbhoy, Pakistan’s most renowned nuclear physicist, discusses the prospects of solar power, Chinese nuclear reactors and hopes and fears he has for Pakistan’s energy future., Eco Business,  By Zofeen T. Ebrahim, 20 Feb 17,  “………More nuclear plants don’t make economic sense to me. We are going for nuclear electricity because the Chinese badly want to sell their reactors to Pakistan – we are China’s only customer for nuclear power plants. China has loaned Pakistan 80 per cent of the amount needed for the Karachi Nuclear Power Plants (KANUPP)…..

After the tsunami initiated disaster at the plants in Fukushima, it became clear that having nuclear plants near any city was a bad idea. If something ever goes wrong with KANUPP, what will happen to Karachi defies the imagination. Fukushima was a small town of 80,000 disciplined people.

Karachi has 22 million people most of whom feel no twinge when going through a red light. Evacuating them in any disciplined manner would be impossible. And evacuate to where? A catastrophic disaster doesn’t have to be caused by a tsunami – an act of terrorism, sabotage, earthquakes, or operator error (as happened at Chernobyl in 1986) could all take us down that path…….

The global nuclear industry obviously aims to make safer reactors. But the problem is that no one can foresee all the ways in which things could go wrong. The fuel contained in a typical reactor core has more than a thousand atom bombs’ worth of fissile material.

And, even though a reactor cannot blow up in the same way as a bomb, it can release thousands of times more radioactivity than was released by the bomb explosions over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As far as our options go, Pakistan does not make nuclear power reactors. These are beyond our technological capability. Making bombs is far easier and obviously we are making lots of them……

Climate change can be better fought by concentrating on solar and wind power, making more efficient electricity grids, and by cutting down on wastage. Also, if one looks into the carbon cost of making nuclear plants, the savings due to cheap nuclear fuel are much less.

How about if we use thorium fission reactors, or is this still an academic discussion?

PH: India has been planning on doing this for 40 years. There’s still no electricity being produced by thorium fuelled reactors. In any case, it’s not an option for Pakistan because we don’t have thorium deposits and do not have the capacity to make our own nuclear power plants. http://www.eco-business.com/news/karachi-is-unsafe-with-nuclear-solar-better/

February 22, 2017 Posted by | Pakistan, renewable | Leave a comment

Offshore wind energy coming into its own as a mainstream industry

February 8, 2017 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

China more than doubled solar capacity in 2016

China’s solar power capacity more than doubles in 2016              http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-solar-idUSKBN15J0G7, 4 Feb 17,  China’s installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity more than doubled last year, turning the country into the world’s biggest producer of solar energy by capacity, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said on Saturday.

Installed PV capacity rose to 77.42 gigawatts at the end of 2016, with the addition of 34.54 gigawatts over the course of the year, data from the energy agency showed.

Shandong, Xinjiang, Henan were among the provinces that saw the most capacity increase, while Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai and Inner Mongolia had the greatest overall capacity at the end of last year, according to the data.

China will add more than 110 gigawatts of capacity in the 2016-2020 period, according to the NEA’s solar power development plan.

Solar plants generated 66.2 billion kilowatt-hours of power last year, accounting for 1 percent of China’s total power generation, the NEA said.

The country aims to boost the mix of non-fossil fuel generated power to 20 percent by 2030 from 11 percent today.

China plans to plough 2.5 trillion yuan ($364 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Helen Popper)

February 6, 2017 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

Trump administration not serious about jobs growth: ignores renewable energy

green-collarTrump Is Foolish to Ignore the Flourishing Renewable Energy Sector http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/39306-trump-is-foolish-to-ignore-the-flourishing-renewable-energy-sector  Sunday, February 05, 2017By Linda Pentz Gunter, Truthout | Op-Ed President Donald Trump claims to be focused on providing “jobs for all Americans,” but — in another example of his reliance on “alternative facts” — he has emphasized the fossil-fuel sector as the likeliest site to create those jobs. He is clearly not paying attention to the recently released figures from the US Department of Energy (DOE) that show soaring jobs growth in the US renewable energy sector.

Indeed, as Tomás Carbonell of Environmental Defense Fund wrote in December 2016, the clean energy sector “currently supports hundreds of thousands of manufacturing and construction jobs around the country, and employs far more people than the coal or oil and gas industries.”

Solar, already far outpacing fossil fuels and nuclear energy, jumped from 300,192 US jobs in 2015 to 373,807 in 2016. The industry anticipates further such growth in 2017. The wind energy sector, while smaller in actual job numbers at 101,738, nevertheless experienced even faster growth than solar, increasing by 32 percent over 2015 numbers.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s 2016 Annual Review of Renewable Energy and Jobs, employment in the US solar industry “grew 12 times as fast as overall job creation in the US economy, and surpassed those in oil and gas extraction (187,200) or coal mining (67,929).”

The United States has been steadily increasing its investment in renewable energy, according to figures in the 2016 World Nuclear Industry Status Report, which compares the nuclear and renewable energy sectors in terms of growth, installed capacity, electricity generation and general trends. However, the US — while second in the world with $44.1 billion invested in renewable energy development in 2015 — still lags far behind China, which invested $102.9 billion that same year.

The US electricity sector is likely to see further shifts in employment as the country’s aging and perpetually more dangerous nuclear fleet continues to close in a declining industry that currently employs around 68,000. However, fears that a nuclear shutdown would boost fossil fuel use have proven unfounded. Nebraska and California have announced they will replace their shuttered or imminently closing nuclear plants with solar power, wind power and energy efficiency.

In New York, after announcing the planned shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear power plant by 2021, Gov. Andrew Cuomo released plans to build the nation’s largest offshore wind energy project off the Long Island coast.

Frustratingly, Cuomo also announced a $7.6 billion state subsidy to prop up three upstate nuclear power plants. One, the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, is the same design as those that melted down in Japan. Even its owner, Entergy, which is selling the reactor to Exelon, wanted to close it. The state handout will make every nuclear job at the three plants — FitzPatrick, Nine Mile Point and Ginna — worth around $300,000 a year. Re-directing this money into the renewables sector would have created more, longer-term and safer jobs for the economically depressed region.

Globally, wind and solar are on a dramatic upward trajectory, while nuclear energy has been fundamentally flat lining since the start of the 21st century. A reduction, and eventual elimination of fossil fuel use is, of course, essential if the planet is to survive.

Sustainable new US jobs will not be created by building pipelines, sending working people back down collapsing coal mines or sending workers out to incendiary offshore oil rigs. If the Trump administration were serious about job growth, it would focus on renewable energy investment rather than make hollow promises to revive mining in declining communities where coal was once king.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | politics, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

The nuclear power ‘renaissance’ … or a dead cat bounce?

nuclear-dead-catNot just Toshiba – the global nuclear industry is in crisis everywhere, Ecologist, Jim Green 3rd February 2017    “……..Global nuclear power text-relevantcapacity increased by 9.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2016. By contrast, renewable electricity capacity growth was 153 GW in 2015 and almost certainly greater in 2016.

In broad terms, nuclear power has been stagnant for the past 20 years. Using figures from the World Nuclear Association (WNA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency, global nuclear capacity has grown 12.7% over the past 20 years and 5.7% over the past decade. But those figures include idle reactors in Japan and the inclusion of those reactors is, as former WNA executive Steve Kidd states“misleading” and “clearly ridiculous”.

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR) excludes 34 idle reactors in Japan (and one each in Taiwan and Sweden) from its calculations of current nuclear capacity. Using WNISR figures, nuclear capacity has grown by 1.7% over the past 20 years and it has declined by 4.6% over the past decade.

Year Global nuclear power capacity
Dec. 1996 347 GW
Dec. 2006 370 GW
Dec. 2016 391 GW (WNA – including reactors in long-term outage)

353 GW (WNISR – excluding reactors in long-term outage)

If we look more closely at recent figures, the picture is a little confusing. Global nuclear power capacity increased “slightly” in 2016 according to the pro-nuclear WNA while the anti-nuclear WNISR said that a “significant” number of new reactors came online. If there’s some confusion now as to the trajectory of nuclear power, that confusion is likely to grow in the next few years.

To explain, let’s first look at WNA figures on reactor construction starts:

Year Number of power reactors under construction
2008 34
2011 63
2014 71
2017 60

The nuclear power ‘renaissance’ never materialised in the since that the number of ‘operable’ reactors has hovered between 430 and 450 for the past 20 years, with no clear trend in either direction. (The number of operating reactors is currently 406 according to the WNISR, which excludes reactors in long-term outage.).

But we can see the ‘renaissance’ manifest in the sharp increase in construction starts in the few years preceding the March 2011 Fukushima disaster. Those reactors are starting to come online, and more will come online in the next few years. Thus 10 reactors came online in both 2015 and 2016 (a number not previously reached since 1990). And the number of grid connections over the past five years (32 from 2012-2016) was considerably greater than during the five years before that (17 from 2007-2011).

How will this play out in the coming years? Here are predicted reactor start-up (grid connection) figures compiled by the WNA:

Year Number of anticipated reactor start-ups
2016 12 (but only 10 actual start-ups)
2017 18
2018 10
2019 8
2020 7

We may have been premature in declaring the nuclear renaissance dead. Indeed we’re right in the middle of the renaissance. It will likely span around three years and it will be more a dead cat bounce than a renaissance. Last year, 10 reactors were grid connected and four were permanently shut down. In 2017-18, the WNA anticipates 28 grid connections; the true number will fall short of that figure but grid connections will exceed permanent shut-downs.

But that’s as good as it gets for the nuclear industry. In truth, the industry is in a world of pain.

The reactor fleet is ageing; most reactors are late middle-aged – the average age of the world’s nuclear reactor fleet is 29 years. The number of permanent shut-downs is on the rise and that trend is certain to continue:

Thus 6-10 reactors will need to be commissioned each year for the next 20-25 years just to maintain current nuclear capacity………..http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2988607/not_just_toshiba_the_global_nuclear_industry_is_in_crisis_everywhere.html

February 4, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, ENERGY | Leave a comment

Britain’s offshore wind power turns out to be much cheaper than expected

text-relevantUK offshore wind power falls below £100/MWh 4 Years ahead of schedule, REneweconomy By  on 27 January 2017 Cleantechnica

Offshore wind farm (Deepwater image)

A new report has shown the cost of UK offshore wind power has fallen below the joint UK Government and industry target of £100 per megawatt-hour four years ahead of schedule, putting offshore wind on target to become one of the cheapest large-scale clean energy sources

The third annual Cost Reduction Monitoring Framework report was delivered this week by ORE (Offshore Renewable Energy) Catapult to the Offshore Wind Programme Board, showing that the levelized cost of offshore wind has fallen by 32% since 2012, and now sits under £100 per megawatt-hour (MWh), four years ahead of the scheduled target set by the UK Government with the UK’s offshore wind industry.

Specifically, offshore wind projects reaching a Final Investment Decision in 2015 and 2016 were done at an average levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of £97/MWh, compared to £142/MWh in 2010/11.

The report also highlights that high industry confidence exists for offshore wind’s ability to continue delivering cost savings as a result of technological innovation and continued collaboration across the sector.

Additional key findings from the report include:

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Unc

January 28, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Record low in solar price and lithium batteries prices

text-relevantEnergy rEVolution: Cheap Lithium Batteries And Solar Price Hitting Record Low Of 2.42c/kWh, And May Fall Further http://kirillklip.blogspot.com.au/2016/09/energy-revolution-cheap-lithium.html We are witnessing the tipping point in the disruption of Energy Industry: Solar Power becomes the cheapest source of generated energy!  ReNewEconomy  provides the mindboggling data on the speed of race to the bottom of the cost for Solar Power. What is very important here that this new record  of US $2.42c/kWh was set not in the lab, but by the biggest manufacturer in the world JinkoSolar.

  Money talks. We are entering the exponential stage for Solar Power development in the world now and cheap lithium batteries change everything: now we can not only generate electricity using Solar Panels, but we can store it and use it when we want it. Tesla’s new  project in California will build the largest Energy Storage facility in the world in the record time using Powerpacks by the end of this year.
  Cheap clean electricity is coming into our grid systems now at rapidly increasing levels substituting coal and nuclear. Now we will have a clean energy to power millions of EVs coming fast. Electric cars are already clean and will be getting only cleaner now with every record of the amount of Solar Power generation systems installed all over the world. Lithium is the magic metal at the very heart of this Energy rEVolution and China is flexing its muscles to build the 21st-century economy to dominate New Energy space.
 EVs Are Clean And Getting Cleaner: U.S. Electricity Generation From Renewables Has Broken Records Every Month In 2016.
  “I do hope that I do not really have to address this issue anymore. Numerous studies have already confirmed that even with the existing energy mix in the US grid a few years ago Electric Cars were much cleaner than ICE ones on the full life cycle. From lithium battery making including the production of lithium to the electricity to charge this battery.   Now they are getting even cleaner with the energy mix of the US grid taken over by the renewables.
  What is very important to note today is that renewable energy is breaking records every single month this year even in the US. Energy Storage with lithium batteries will be next to grow exponentially and will consume even more lithium batteries capacity and lithium than EVs. Fossil Fuels are consumable resources and renewables are technology. The functions for the progress of development for Solar Power and Lithium Batteries are not the same as the famous Moore’s, but still very impressive with prices going down dramatically over the period of time with mass volume production. Particularly in the case with Solar Power, we are getting into the stage when the dramatic decrease in cost have made Solar the cheapest source of energy ever already.  Cheap lithium batteries change everything and now we can store electricity, the most efficient form of energy known to us, and use it when we want it. Read more.

January 28, 2017 Posted by | energy storage | Leave a comment

World Bank loan scheme ‘failing clean energy’

World-Bankhttp://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38762930 27 January 2017

A multi-billion dollar global fund is encouraging the construction of fossil fuel projects, at the expense of cleaner options, a study reports.

An NGO said that some World Bank policy loans had the effect of supporting coal, gas and oil developments while undermining renewable schemes.

It added the loans were intended to boost growth in the low carbon sector.

The World Bank disputed the report’s findings, saying it did not reflect the wider work it did with countries.

The report by NGO Bank Information Center (BIC) looks at the Bank’s Development Policy Finance (DPF) operations in four nations – Indonesia, Peru, Egypt and Mozambique.

DPF is one of the main activities of the bank, accounting for about one-third of its funding (more than US $15 billion in 2016), according to the report’s authors.

The scheme provides funding for countries in exchange for the implementation of policy agreed by both the national government and World Bank officials.

The authors say the World Bank’s Climate Action Plan considers DPF as a key instrument in help developing nations become low-carbon economies.

They added that the scheme was also essential in helping these nations meet their national commitments outlined in reducing emissions, which form the backbone of the Paris Climate Agreement.

However, BIC research found that DPF had introduced subsidies for coal in three of the four nations examined in the report (Indonesia, Egypt and Mozambique).

The authors said this had helped Indonesia become one of the world’s top coal exporting nations, while turning Mozambique – considered to be among the most at-risk nations from climate change – into a major player in the global coal sector.

“The findings were really shocking for us because in all of the countries, across the board, the Bank actually created new fossil fuel subsidies, which directly goes against what the Bank wants to achieve,” Nezir Sinani, BIC’s Europe and Central Asia manager, told BBC News.

“The World Bank has pledged to help countries adopt a low-carbon development path specifically by phasing out fossil fuels subsidies and promoting a carbon tax,” he added.

“However, the Bank’s policy lending does the opposite by introducing tax breaks for coal power plants and coal exports infrastructure.”

‘Grossly misrepresent’

A spokesperson for the World Bank told BBC News that the group disputed the picture painted by the report.

“We are deeply disappointed that after close cooperation with BIC on this report, their findings grossly misrepresent the World Bank’s engagement in these countries,” they observed.

“The report does not capture the World Bank’s broader energy work, which involves not only development policy loans, but a mix of interventions – policy reforms, investments, technical assistance – that work together to promote climate smart growth and increased energy access.

“In each of the countries mentioned in the report, the World Bank’s development policy loans do not promote the use of coal, but help support a shift towards a cleaner energy mix and low carbon growth.”

The report was published by BIC, which works with other groups in civil society to hold the World Bank and other financial institutions accountable, in collaboration with other green groups, including Greenpeace Indonesia and Friends of the Earth Mozambique.

 

January 28, 2017 Posted by | politics international, renewable | Leave a comment

Across America’s heartland, Democrats and Republicans embrace renewable energy

text-relevantClean Energy Is a Heartland
Value https://www.nrdc.org/experts/rhea-suh/clean-energy-heartland-value 
 

When it comes to supporting renewables, blue and red make green.

Among a dwindling number of politicians at the national level, there’s a pretend debate going on. Using all the scare tactics and rhetorical tricks they can muster, some apologists for the fossil fuel status quo would have you believe that we, as a nation, are divided about whether or not to move forward aggressively with clean, renewable energy like wind and solar.

But the simple truth is that there is no debate: The national verdict on renewables is already in. However they may have voted in the presidential election, Americans—of all political stripes, in red states and blue ones—are overwhelmingly voting yes on clean energy. Whether it’s because it’s good for the economy, the environment, consumers, or all three, citizens and their elected officials at the state level are throwing their full support behind the next energy revolution.

renewables-not-nukes

For evidence of clean energy’s bipartisan and cross-cultural appeal, one need look no further than the American heartland—the same part of the country that gave Donald Trump his victory—where governors, legislatures, and voters have come to see investment in renewables as something to be embraced wholeheartedly and unequivocally. In the weeks just after the election, while many of us were nervously wondering what our national energy policy would look like under a President Trump and a Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, three of these states undertook significant measures to protect, or even improve, their efficiency and renewable energy standards.

In Michigan last month, a legislative package that began its life as an attempt by some lawmakers to roll back the state’s clean energy goals ended up being transformed into a set of bills that not only preserves them, but actually makes them stronger. Just before Christmas—and after much bipartisan negotiating—Republican Governor Rick Snyder personally inserted himself into the debate and ultimately sealed the deal by putting his signature on laws that will increase Michigan’s renewable energy portfolio standard from 10 percent to 15 percent while simultaneously fostering greater efficiency.

In Illinois, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed the Future Energy Jobs Bill, passed by his state’s Democrat-controlled legislature and designed, among other things, to ensure that more than $200 million a year gets channeled into renewable energy investment. Under the new law, the state’s largest electric utility will also increase efficiency to reduce demand from customers by more than 20 percent by the year 2030. Both measures will greatly help Illinois reach its goal of getting a quarter of its energy from renewables by 2025.

Meanwhile, in Ohio, Governor John Kasich has just defied members of his own party by vetoing a bill that would have continued a deplorably cynical freeze on the state’s move toward renewable energy. In defending his veto, the Republican and 2016 presidential candidate cited the economic harm that would befall his state were it to abandon its sizable investments in the clean energy sector, which currently employs nearly 90,000 Ohioans.

Each of these happy developments represents another forceful refutation of all the shopworn clichés about clean energy: that it’s practically unfeasible, for instance, or that it’s somehow inimical to job growth, or that it’s something only tree huggers care about. More and more, these clichés are being revealed for what they are: desperate and outdated political posturing. Republicans in Washington, D.C., who stubbornly cling to them should take a lesson from their counterparts in heartland states—and not just the aforementioned ones, but also states like Texas and Iowa—and get with the program. If they don’t, they’re going to look even more out of touch with public sentiment than they already do.

January 27, 2017 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Largest Offshore Wind Project in America planned for New York

Offshore wind farm (Deepwater image)Flag-USAGovernor Cuomo Announces Approval of Largest text-relevantOffshore Wind Project in the Nation BY LONG ISLAND NEWS & PR  JANUARY 26 2017  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Board of Trustees of LIPA voted to approve the nation’s largest offshore wind farm, and the first offshore wind farm in New York. Long Island, NY – January 25, 2017 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Power Authority voted to approve the nation’s largest offshore wind farm, and the first offshore wind farm in New York. The approval of the South Fork Wind Farm, a 90 megawatt development 30 miles southeast of Montauk, is the first step toward developing an area that can host up to 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind power.  The wind farm, which is out of sight from Long Island’s beaches, will provide enough electricity to power 50,000 Long Island homes with clean, renewable energy, and will help meet increasing electricity demand on the South Fork of Long Island.

The vote comes two weeks after Governor Cuomo called on LIPA to approve the wind farm project and announced an unprecedented commitment to develop up to 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 in his regional State of the State address on Long Island. The 2.4 gigawatt target, which is enough power generation for 1.25 million homes, is the largest commitment to offshore wind energy in U.S. history, helping to bring this valuable resource to New Yorkers at a scale unmatched in the United States.“New York leads the nation in pioneering clean energy innovation, and this bold action marks the next step in our unprecedented commitment to offshore wind, as well as our ambitious long term energy goal of supplying half of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project will not only provide a new, reliable source of clean energy, but will also create high-paying jobs, continue our efforts to combat climate change and help preserve our environment for current and future generations of New Yorkers.”

The LIPA Board approved a contract submitted by Deepwater Wind for the South Fork Wind Farm after a year-long process engaging the private sector for the best available clean energy generation ideas and detailed cost modeling.  Other elements of LIPA’s South Fork energy portfolio include transmission enhancements and additional clean energy solutions such as battery storage and consumer electricity demand reduction……..

Karl R. Rábago, Pace Energy and Climate Center said, “It is gratifying to see years of advocacy for clean energy development bearing fruit in such a spectacular fashion. And it is inspiring to have the leadership in New York that made it happen.”

Heather Leibowitz, Director, Environment New York said, “Offshore wind needs to be a significant part of the energy mix. It is key to putting the Empire State on a path toward an economy powered entirely by renewable energy. The 90-megawatts of energy produced off east Montauk will get us one step closer to this goal.”

Kevin Law, President and CEO of the Long Island Association said, “The offshore wind farm proposed by Deepwater Wind is an important step forward in building Long Island’s clean energy economy, creating new jobs in this industry and diversifying our fuel sources which is why the LIA has supported this project.”

John R. Durso, President, Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO said, “LIPA’s decision to enter into an agreement with Deepwater Wind is good news for the Long Island labor movement.  It is a first step in realizing the potential for a new American industry with Long Island at the epicenter.  We thank New York State for their commitment to our energy future, an opportunity which includes union jobs. We are excited to put our skilled workforce on the job.”

About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York’s economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and generating 50 percent of the state’s electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven 730 percent growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor’s $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NYhttp://www.longisland.com/news/01-25-17/cuomo-largest-offshore-wind-project-li-approved.html

January 27, 2017 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Strong business case to go 100 % renewable – leading global companies

text-relevantLEADING COMPANIES MAKE BUSINESS CASE TO GO 100% RENEWABLE, The Climate Group, 24 Jan 17 Ilario D’Amato LONDON: Leading global companies have confirmed the strong business case for sourcing 100% renewable electricity in the newly published RE100 Annual Report 2017.

RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, brings together “a growing group of major, influential companies from around the world who are setting targets to go 100% renewable energy in their electricity procurement,” says Jim WalkerCo-Founder of The Climate Group.

Growing rapidly, RE100 now has 87 members across a wide range of sectors – including globally recognized businesses like IKEA, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Tata Motors.

The report shows how RE100 companies are now creating demand for approximately 107 terawatt/hour (TWh) of renewable power annually, which is around the same amount of electricity as consumed by The Netherlands.

“Why are companies doing this? The cost of energy is coming down, rapidly,” continues Jim Walker in a video produced by CBS EcoMedia. “When you are using on-site renewables, you are managing volatility and the price of your energy supply, you are generating your own electrons and you are buying it from yourself – you don’t have to buy it at a retail price, so it’s cheaper. Just makes good business sense. Also, it’s just the right thing to do – contributing to better air quality.”

34 RE100 members have reported that they are generating renewable energy at their facilities – with wind and solar photovoltaics clearly the most popular technologies.

“We did a deal with a Texas wind farm,” confirms Nick GunnSVPGlobal Corporate ServicesHewlett Packard Enterprise: “We’re procuring now 112 megawatts of power from wind farms, which is actually enough to provide enough electricity for our entire IT infrastructure.”

“Businesses have a huge impact on the ability to inspire an energy revolution. The more companies like Hewlett Packard Enterprise demand renewable energy, the more creation of renewable energy sources there will be.

The company has the goal of raising the use of renewable energy from its current levels of 13% globally to 40% by 2020, with the ultimate target of achieving 100%. Its strategy focuses on reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency, while both generating on-site clean energy and purchasing it through agreements with off-site.

“RE100 importance lies in two factors,” says Rachel KyteCEO of Sustainable Energy for All and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. “One is that the purchasing of renewable energy in the long run positions companies to be at the leading edge of their own sector of industry. On the second hand, its importance lies in the message that sends to the financial sector.”    “OUR HOPE IS THAT RE100 JUST BECOMES THE NORM. BY 2020, THIS IS WHAT EVERY BUSINESS DOES.”

Amy Davidsen, North America Executive Director, The Climate Group………https://www.theclimategroup.org/news/leading-companies-make-business-case-go-100-renewable

January 27, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, renewable | Leave a comment

The power of wind energy and how to use it -CHINESE ASSOCIATION OF AUTOMATION

 https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-01/caoa-tpo012517.php Distributed Model Predictive Load Frequency Control of Multi-area Power System with DFIGs

CHINESE ASSOCIATION OF AUTOMATION Wind offers an immense, never ending source of energy that can be successfully harnessed to power all of the things that currently draw energy from non-renewable resources. The wind doesn’t always blow, though.

Researchers from North China Electric Power University and North China University of Science and Technology recently developed a model to help predict wind frequency and potential contributions to more traditional energy sources. The scientists published their paper in IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica (JAS).

“Reliable load frequency control is crucial to the operation and design of modern electric power systems,” wrote Yi Zhang, a doctoral student at the North China Electric Power University and an author on the paper. “Due to the randomness and intermittence of the wind power, the controllability and availability of wind power significantly differs from conventional power generation.”

Their method is based on “Model Predictive Control,” wherein checkpoints across a power grid can exchange information and adjust accordingly. The researchers decentralized this model, so that a problem in one area could be solved to benefit the entire grid. The computer algorithm predicts the variables that influence the grid (demand, supply, etcetera) and applies those constraints for any problem that any part of the system might encounter.

A traditionally controlled grid could, for example, redirect otherwise unused energy from sleeping citizens to a power-hungry hospital or some other entity that continues to require energy even during typical off times. In a decentralized system, like the one modeled by Zhang and her colleagues, the system works the same way, but instead of having to clear the redirection with every checkpoint, the variables are assumed and the action is nearly immediate.

To test their algorithm, the researchers compared the volume output and dependability of a four-part system – four plants sharing responsibility for generating power in different areas – with and without the incorporation of wind power.

In the analysis of a conventional power plant, the researchers found that their model required much less computational time compared to the traditional Model Predictive Control. That’s a major advantage, as the computing process is expensive in both time and energy.

When the researchers added the hard-to-predict wind turbines as a source of power in the model, it still worked as well. According to the scientists, the major flaw is that computational needs will increase to maintain system stability, which cannot be guaranteed in their algorithm.

“Our future work is focused on [pursuing] the implementation of [our algorithm] with guaranteeing stability and feasibility while reducing the computation and communication requirements,” Zhang wrote.

###

Fulltext of the paper is available: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=7815559

January 27, 2017 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

Victoria, Australia, shows how to develop energy efficiency

text-relevantenergy-efficiency-manVICTORIA ENGAGING WITH SMES ON RESOURCE EFFICIENCYflag-Australia https://www.theclimategroup.org/news/victoria-engaging-smes-resource-efficiency
New case study shows how the Australian state is supporting businesses on energy and materials efficiency  by Virginia Bagnoli 
24 January 2017 LONDON: The Climate Group has published a new case study, showing how the Australian state of Victoria is engaging small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to support them in improving energy and materials efficiency.

The new study demonstrates how SMEs can significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while substantially improving energy efficiency by applying sustainable resource management and energy efficient production processes.

The state of Victoria identified these gaps and designed a new program tailored to SMEs to help them change inefficient practices, save money and increase productivity through energy and materials efficiency measures.

VICTORIA’S APPROACH

SMEs have historically been difficult to reach and engage with on environmental programs due to company priorities and a traditional focus on shorter-term business requirements. Victoria understood that the program needed to align with fundamental business needs and provide multiple points of entry to make participation accessible.

Victoria’s program is also being viewed as particularly innovative due to its multi-faceted approach to addressing the challenges of information, understanding the business case and accessing capital. This approach was delivered by assessing and understanding the barriers for SMEs, communicating effectively to channel the multiple benefits associated with energy and materials savings, and leveraging existing policies and programs.

The program components targeted businesses at different stages of ‘readiness’ – ranging from businesses at an exploratory stage wanting to determine how they could benefit from energy and/or materials efficiency, through to businesses ready to implement specific projects.

Eligible businesses could apply for a grant to partly cover the cost of a materials efficiency or energy efficiency assessment. A competitive, merit‑based application process provided three rounds of grants of up to A$50,000 to support businesses in managing the costs of implementing materials efficiency projects. Grants of up to A$25,000 were available for energy efficiency projects (with businesses contributing at least half the cost of the project).

MAKING THE BUSINESS CASE FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The program ran from 2012 to 2016 and since its launch it has achieved tangible results: three rounds of grants over the past two years have provided A$3.8 million in funding to over 140 projects and these businesses are expected to save a combined A$4.74 million a year.

Recruiting businesses to the program was the greatest challenge encountered. According to the Victorian government, SMEs typically have little time to devote to what is not seen as a strategic priority for them. The key solution to this has been to convince businesses that energy and materials efficiency will help with business-critical issues and to provide financial support in order to create efficiency change and transform business performance.

Through the program, Victoria has implemented an effective method of approaching businesses and making the program attractive to them; a considerable challenge giving that materials efficiency in particular is a new concept to most businesses and service providers.

Using what was learned from the program, Victoria also recently embarked on a new initiative for SMEs, SV Business – Boosting Productivity, which will work with an additional 1,000 SMEs.

Download the Victoria case study here and find all the Policy Innovation program case studies here.

The Climate Group supports state and regional governments in developing effective climate change and clean energy policies through its Policy Innovation program. State and regional governments around the world are developing a new generation of innovative climate and energy policies and our Policy Innovation program showcases and explores these emerging models, working closely with governments for them to scale globally.

January 25, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, ENERGY | Leave a comment

Solar power costs fell 25% in only 5 months

text-relevantThe Cost of Solar Power Has Fallen 25% in Only 5 Months, Futurism, Dom Galeon, Oct 2016 It seems that we have truly entered a new era in energy production—in renewable energy production, that is. Over the past new months, the cost of solar power has plummeted, and it seems that things are going to stay this way. Indeed, “there’s no reason why the cost of solar will ever increase again,” former Masdar Clean Energy director Frank Wouters noted in a recent interview with Electrek.The cost of building solar plants has declined by 25 percent in just five months, according to two recent bids in China and Dubai.

The reduction in price follows a broader trend of solar affordability brought on by cheaper solar panels.

If governments and innovators continue to invest in these energy sources in the way that they have been, Wouters statements are easy to believe.

In just 5 months, prices have dropped some 25%. This development is shown in the recent, and staggeringly low, construction bids on solar projects in China ($0.46/W for 500MW of solar power) and Dubai ($0.023/kWh for 1.2GW of solar power).

Several factors have driven these relatively inexpensive bids. In China, solar power is incentivized. To that end, decreasing hardware prices have largely fueled the drastic drop—solar panel costs, for instance, have declined remarkably since the first quarter of this year. And in Abu Dhabi, solar panels produce more power than usual because the city enjoys some of the best sunlight exposure in the world.

Still, Abu Dhabi isn’t the only location with ideal conditions.

Last year, Costa Rica powered itself purely with renewable energy for 299 days total. This year, they already surpassed 150 days. The success, as is true in the other recent successes, isn’t just due to the country’s size or location. The government is serious in its effort to eliminate the use of fossil fuels.

And other countries are also stepping up to the plate. Thus, this most recent drops herald a notable trend that is, at the present time, showing no sign of slowing……. https://futurism.com/solar-power-cost-has-dropped-25-in-only-5-months/

January 25, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Leonardo Di Caprio gives credit to Israel for its revolutionary solar energy project

Di Caprio, Leonardoflag-IsraelLeonardo DiCaprio highlights Israeli solar tech http://www.israel21c.org/leonardo-dicaprio-highlights-israeli-solar-tech/ Actor and environmentalist puts international spotlight on Megalim Solar Power project.  JANUARY 22, 2017,Hollywood actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio uses his instagram account to spotlight environmental challenges facing the world and environmental breakthroughs.

As such, his 13.8 million followers were sent a photo of Megalim Solar Power’s Ashalim power station now being built in the Negev desert.

“The arid landscape of Israel’s Negev Desert will look like a futuristic movie in the near future. The country is building the tallest solar thermal tower in the world above its dusty sands,” writes DiCaprio on his post alongside the photo.

The Ashalim project will comprise 55,000 mirrors which will feed solar heat into a 240-meter-tall solar tower — believed to be the highest in the world.

“The tower should be able to produce enough power for about 5% of Israel’s population when it’s concluded,” writes DiCaprio. “The sunlight will be reflected by the mirrors to a boiler at the top of the tower. The boiler will then be able to convert them and heat water to steam to turn the turbine in a conventional power plant.”

The Ashalim power station, scheduled to be up and running by the end of the year, will combine three types of energy: solar thermal, photovoltaic and natural gas.

January 23, 2017 Posted by | Israel, renewable | Leave a comment