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France to replace Fessenheim nuclear plant with solar power project

EU approves France’s plan to replace nuclear plant with 300 MW of PV https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/01/21/eu-approves-frances-plan-to-replace-nuclear-plant-with-300-mw-of-pv/

The commission said the project selected through the tender will receive a premium tariff under a 20-year contract, and the tender’s budget is approximately €250 million.

“The aid will be granted by the French state and will contribute to the French and European objectives of energy efficiency and energy production from renewable sources, in line with the EU’s environmental objectives, with possible distortions of competition state support being reduced to a minimum,” the commission stated.

The tender was announced by the French government in April. In July, France’s Directorate General for Energy and Climate – part of the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition – revealed details of the tendering scheme. According to that announcement, 200 MW of the tendered capacity will be for ground-mounted PV ranging in size from 500 kW up to 30 MW, with the remaining 100 MW accounted for by rooftop projects larger than 8 MW in scale.

Potential tariffs estimated

The tender was to be implemented in three phases, starting late last year and continuing in the middle and latter stages of this year, and was set to comprise three groups of installations: the ground-mounted PV; rooftop systems on buildings, greenhouses, carports or agricultural buildings with an output of 500 kW to 8 MW; and rooftops with a capacity of 100-500 kW.

Projects selected among the first two categories will be entitled to a premium feed-in tariff while installations of the third and smallest category will have access to a regular FIT. The premium tariff for ground-mounted PV is expected to be €50-70/MWh, and that for larger rooftops €70-100/MWh. Smaller rooftop projects are expected to be granted €80-110/MWh.

The 40-year-old Fessenheim nuclear site, in the Haut-Rhin department of Alsace in northeastern France, is set to be decommissioned by next year. The plant has seen more than one temporary shutdown due to safety issues. One of the most high-profile issues occurred in April 2014, when Reactor 1 was shuttered. The French Nuclear Safety Authority reported at the time that internal flooding in the non-nuclear part of the reactor had damaged safety electrical systems. After being repaired, the reactor was reconnected to the grid in May the same year.

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January 22, 2019 Posted by | France, renewable | Leave a comment

Advantages of cross-border energy interconnection between UK and Europe

Green Alliance: UK must look to EU interconnection amid ‘crumbling’ nuclear plans, Business Green, Michael Holder, 21 January 2019

  “……… New analysis by the environmental think tank highlights myriad benefits for the UK from trade in electricity with European countries, but warns leaving the EU – particularly under a ‘no-deal’ scenario – threatens to undermine opportunities to enhance cross-border interconnection.

Published on Friday, the analysis shows that a mix of increased electricity interconnection with the EU in addition to installing more renewable energy in the UK would help to keep consumer bills down, boost access to and trade in clean power, and also maintain energy security, in the face of on-going struggles to deliver planned new nuclear projects.

It follows Japanese firm Hitachi’s announcement last week that it has halted construction of the £16bn Wylfa nuclear project in Wales after failing to agree a funding support package with the government. Hitachi’s plans for another nuclear plant in Gloucestershire have also been shelved.

Green Alliance said trading power across borders with Europe could help reduce energy sector emissions in the short term without the need to build more capacity, and that interconnection could also help provide instant back up power when needed at peak times.

It also highlights the economic benefits of interconnection, with cross border trading delivering a combined value of £700m to UK markets in 2017, according to Friday’s analysis.

However, leaving the EU without a deal could cost the UK as much as £2.2bn per year at the current level of interconnection, the think tank warned.

Similar research by climate think tank E3G recently argued the merits of the UK maintaining membership of the EU internal energy market in order to fully realise the cost and carbon benefits of electricity interconnection with Europe.

At present, the UK is one of the least interconnected countries in Europe, and it therefore has the most to gain from improving its power connections with the rest of the continent, argued Chaitanya Kumar, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance……….

In the short term, Kumar suggested boosting interconnection could help strengthen the case for scaling up UK renewables capacity, and that negotiating continued participation in the EU’s internal energy market should therefore be a crucial part of the UK’s future relationship with the EU, particularly as the government’s nuclear energy plans “are crumbling”.

“Instead of doubling down on subsidised, expensive nuclear, the government should now be focusing on building cheaper alternatives in more renewables and electricity interconnection with Europe,” he said. “The UK’s climate ambitions are not under any immediate threat from the failed nuclear plans, but that can only be guaranteed if the existing alternatives are scaled up.”

The report follows news last week that plans for a new interconnector between Peterhead and the Norway took a step forward, after securing planning permission from Aberdeenshire Council.

The North Connect transmission link would see a 415-mile cable link Peterhead with the Norwegian Coast, providing up to 1.4GW of power between the two countries from 2023.

A number of similar projects are in the pipeline, but experts fear their prospects are largely dependent on the UK securing a Brexit agreement with the EU that allows for streamlined energy trading – something that is not guaranteed under a ‘no deal’ scenario. https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3069586/green-alliance-uk-must-look-to-eu-interconnection-amid-crumbling-nuclear-plans

January 22, 2019 Posted by | ENERGY, EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

New York’s ‘Green New Deal’ for a zero carbon economy

Business Green 21st Jan 2019 New York has embraced the campaign for a ‘Green New Deal’, with Governor
Andrew Cuomo declaring last week he will launch a major programme to build
a zero carbon economy for the state.

New York’s Green New Deal was hailed
as a “nation-leading clean energy and jobs agenda” by the Governor’s
office, as it pledged to “aggressively put New York State on a path to
economy-wide carbon neutrality”. The plan includes doubling the state’s
solar capacity by 2025 and quadrupling its offshore wind capacity by 2035,
as part of a legally binding goal to deliver 100 per cent zero-carbon power
for the state by 2040.
https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3069581/new-york-unveils-green-new-deal-with-plan-to-build-net-zero-economy

January 22, 2019 Posted by | politics, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Solar power has had a “life-changing impact” for Malawi village communities

BBC 21st Jan 2019 The project has helped businesses in Malawi to generate electricity from
solar power. A solar power project to connect villages in Malawi has had a
“life-changing” impact for rural communities.

The initiative, led by Strathclyde University researchers, has seen affordable energy supply
businesses set up in four villages. The partnership, which has been backed
by a £600,000 grant from the Scottish government, ensures locals own and
operate the equipment. It includes battery chargers and power connections
for other small businesses. Only 12% of Malawi’s 18 million population is
connected to the main electricity grid, which dips to 2% in rural areas.
For the vast majority the main energy source is open fires, which puts
pressure on the country’s forests.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk- scotland-glasgow-west-46890999

January 22, 2019 Posted by | decentralised, Malawi | Leave a comment

Orkney islands produce more electricity from wind and waves than they can use

Observer 20th Jan 2019 A tech revolution – and an abundance of wind and waves – mean that the people of Orkney now produce more electricity than they can use. It seems the stuff of fantasy. Giant ships sail the seas burning fuel that has been extracted from water using energy provided by the winds, waves and tides. A dramatic but implausible notion, surely.

Yet this grand green vision could soon be realised thanks to a remarkable technological transformation that is now under way in Orkney. Perched 10 miles beyond the northern edge of
the British mainland, this archipelago of around 20 populated islands – as well as a smattering of uninhabited reefs and islets – has become the centre of a revolution in the way electricity is generated.

Orkney was once utterly dependent on power that was produced by burning coal and gas on the Scottish mainland and then transmitted through an undersea cable. Today the islands are so festooned with wind turbines, they cannot find enough uses for the emission-free power they create on their own. Community-owned wind turbines generate power for local villages; islanders drive non-polluting cars that run on electricity; devices that can turn the energy of the waves and the tides into electricity are being tested in the islands’ waters and seabed; and – in the near future – car and passenger ferries here will be fuelled not by diesel but by hydrogen, created from water that has been electrolysed using power from Orkney’s wind, wave and
tide generators.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/20/orkney-northern-powerhouse-electricity-wind-waves-surplus-power-

January 22, 2019 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Wind energy ready to supply UK electricity: time to remove the ban on onshore subsidies

Windfarm industry urges UK to lift onshore subsidies ban, Guardian, Adam Vaughan,  @adamvaughan_uk,  19 Jan 2019

Firms say 800 renewable projects ready to plug gap left after Wylfa nuclear plant scrapped  Ministers have been urged to drop their block on subsidies for onshore windfarms, as industry figures showed that nearly 800 renewable projects are ready to plug much of the power gap left by the abandonment of the Wylfa nuclear project.

Hitachi dropped plans for the nuclear plant in Wales this week, raising questions over what would replace it and leading the business secretary, Greg Clark, to admit that renewable energy sources are more competitively priced than nuclear.
The wind industry said if a bar on onshore windfarm subsidies was lifted it would allow the construction of 794 projects which have won consent through the planning system and are ready to build. Together they would generate around 12 terawatt hours of energy a year; two thirds of what Wylfa would have produced.

A dozen firms are behind the schemes, including small players and big names such as Scottish Power, Vattenfall, E.ON, EDF Energy and npower’s owner Innogy. But onshore windfarm installations have stalled since the government banned them from securing subsidies.

Emma Pinchbeck, the executive director of RenewableUK, which compiled the figures, said: “We have ready-to-go onshore wind that can help close the gap between the low carbon power we need and the amount government policy is actually delivering, and this week’s announcement on nuclear power has made this mammoth task even harder.”

But she said the government had “stacked the odds” against building the onshore windfarms needed to hit the UK’s carbon targets, by excluding developers from competing for subsidies in auctions. Only offshore windfarms can compete for state funds currently.

The government’s figures show onshore windfarms are the cheapest source of new electricity generation. The Hinkley Point nuclear project in Somerset won a guaranteed price of £92.50 per megawatt hour, compared with £57.50 for offshore windfarms in the early 2020s. Experts think onshore windfarms could hit around £50 per MWh…….

The Scottish energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said that after the failure of Hitachi’s projects, it was time for the UK to prioritise onshore windfarms and other renewable technologies over nuclear.

The government’s infrastructure advisers, the National Infrastructure Commission, urged a rethink that would allow onshore windfarms to compete for support…….https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/18/windfarm-industry-urges-uk-to-lift-onshore-subsidies-ban

January 19, 2019 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Renewable energy can replace UK’s Moorside, Wylfa and Sizewell C nuclear power at a much cheaper cost

ECIU (accessed) 17th Jan 2019 The future of the Government’s plans to roll out six new nuclear power
stations across Britain is looking increasingly parlous, as the Wylfa
project becomes the second power station to be scrapped in just two months.

Wylfa’s demise makes the Oldbury project extremely unlikely to proceed,
while Toshiba has already backed out of developing its Moorside station.

Their absence leaves space for new low-carbon capacity to fill the gap. Filling the ‘nuclear gap’ with
alternative low-carbon power sources would keep bills down, maintain secure
energy supply and allow the UK to maintain progress towards legally binding
climate targets.

A representative scenario, in which 80% of the energy
output of Moorside, Wylfa and Sizewell C was replaced in equal measure by
onshore and offshore wind, with the remaining 20% by solar PV would entail
an average price of £50-65/MWh, including the cost of system balancing.

This is 13-33% cheaper than the cost of energy from nuclear (not accounting
for nuclear system costs). This would see an additional 11.3 GW of onshore
wind and 5.7 GW of offshore wind capacity, as well as 20.8 GW of new solar
PV capacity. Renewable capacity is already set to increase on current
levels, as more – and cheaper – capacity continues to come online.

https://eciu.net/assets/Briefing-%E2%80%93-Filling-the-nuclear-gap-compressed.pdf

January 19, 2019 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

UK govt’s plan to let down solar householders has not gone down well

Physics World 16th Jan 2019 Dave Elliott: The UK government’s plan to abandon the feed-in tariff
(FIT) system for small renewable energy projects did not go down well,
especially since it meant the loss of the export tariff. Householders who
invested in a photovoltaic (PV) array on their roof have used that to
offset the cost of their investment by selling any extra power they
generated at a reasonable rate – 5.24 p/kWh – to their grid supplier.

However, with the FiT, along with the export tariff, to be closed to new
applicants from the end of March, they will get nothing for any exports. In
a parliamentary debate on the FiT in November last year, energy minister
Claire Perry said she aimed to avoid that situation. It certainly looked
unfair and counterproductive.

Claire Perry has now gone ahead with a
consultation on the Government’s proposals for a new market for
electricity export from small-scale PV solar, configured “so that people
are not providing it to the grid for free”. Under the proposed “Smart
Export Guarantee” (SEG), electricity suppliers would pay new small-scale
PV and other energy producers for excess electricity from homes and
businesses put back into the power grid.
https://physicsworld.com/a/after-the-fit/

January 19, 2019 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Offshore wind leads, as UK’s renewable energy is on course to overtake fossil fuels

Business Green 16th Jan 2019,  Renewables are on course to overtake fossil fuels for the first time as the UK’s primary electricity source as early as 2020, according to the latest market forecast from EnAppSys. If current trends continue, the market analyst predicts growing renewable power sources such as wind and solar
will generate 121.3TWh of electricity over the calendar year of 2020, pushing ahead of declining coal and gas-fired power sources with a forecasted 105.6TWh of generation.

The forecast assumes current trends of declining fossil fuel generation and rising renewables generation continue at the same annual rate. In 2018, coal and gas fired power stations
produced a combined 130.9TWh, a 6.7 per cent fall from the previous year’s 140.3TWh, the report states.

Meanwhile, renewable sources delivered 95.9TWh last year, rising 15.2 per cent from 2017 – a strong performance bolstered by the UK’s increasing offshore wind capacity.
https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3069376/report-renewables-to-overtake-fossil-fuels-in-uk-energy-mix-in-2020

January 17, 2019 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

‘A new world order’ – boom in renewables, decline of fossil fuels – brings change in world politics

Rise of renewables creating a ‘new world‘: report,  A new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is predicting a new world order as a consequence of the renewables boom. SBS News, 13 Jan 19,  The rapid growth of renewable energy sources and the demise of fossil fuels are causing major changes in global politics, a special commission has said in a report.The shift “will alter the global distribution of power, relations between states, the risk of conflict, and the social, economic and environmental drivers of geopolitical instability,” said the commission set up by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Solar, wind and other renewables, which currently make up around a fifth of global energy production, are growing faster than any other source, the report said.

Commission chairman and former president of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar, said the shift will likely cause China to eclipse the United States, place oil-dependent Gulf states at risk and help impoverished African nations achieve energy independence.

“It is difficult to predict when, but this change is happening comprehensively and fast,” Ragnar told AFP.

The report, entitled “A New World”, was launched at IRENA’s ninth general assembly in Abu Dhabi…….

Renewables will be a powerful vehicle of democratisation because they make it possible to decentralise the energy supply.  https://www.sbs.com.au/news/rise-of-renewables-creating-a-new-world-report

January 14, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, decentralised | Leave a comment

Australia must face up to the problem of hazardous wastes from old discarded solar panels

I have long been worried that environmentalists are seen to be enthusiastic about renewable energy, seeing it as the panacea for the world’s climate woes.  Solar power is a great technology for replacing polluting fossil fuel power, but it’s only a part of what needs to be done – in the urgently needed transition from our wasteful CONSUMER SOCIETY to a CONSERVER SOCIETY.  It must not become a contributor to the waste disaster. 

Waste crisis looms as thousands of solar panels reach end of life,  https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/waste-crisis-looms-as-thousands-of-solar-panels-reach-end-of-life-20190112-p50qzd.html By Nicole Hasham, 13 Jan 19,Thousands of ageing rooftop solar panels represent a toxic time-bomb and major economic waste unless Australia acts swiftly to keep them out of landfill, conservationists and recyclers say.

Australia’s enthusiastic embrace of rooftop solar has brought clear environmental and economic benefits, but critics say governments have dragged their feet in addressing the looming waste crisis.

As of December more than 2 million Australian households had rooftop solar installed. The uptake continues to grow due to the technology’s falling cost and rising electricity bills.

Photovoltaic panels last about 30 years, and those installed at the turn of the millennium are nearing the end of their lives. Many have already been retired due to faults or damage during transport and installation.

The nation’s environment ministers in April last year agreed to fast-track the development of new product stewardship schemes for photovoltaic solar panels and associated batteries. Such schemes make producers and retailers take responsibility for an item across its life cycle.

However, Total Environment Centre director Jeff Angel, a former federal government adviser on product stewardship, said action was long overdue and the delay reveals a “fundamental weakness” in Australia’s waste policies.

“We’ve had a solar panel industry for years which is an important environmental initiative, and it should have been incumbent on government to act in concert with the growth of the industry so we have an environmentally responsible end-of-life strategy,” he said.

Mr Angel said photovoltaic panels contain hazardous substances and “when we are sending hundreds of thousands of e-waste items to landfill we are also creating a pollution problem”.

“It’s a systemic problem that [applies to] a whole range of products”, he said, saying schemes were badly needed for paint, batteries, floor coverings, commercial furniture and many types of electronic waste.

Photovoltaic panels are predominantly made from glass, polymer and aluminium, but may also contain potentially hazardous materials such as lead, copper and zinc.

Australian Council of Recycling chief executive Peter Schmigel attributed delays in product stewardship schemes to both “bureaucratic malaise” and unfounded concern about cost.

The national television and computer recycling scheme, which since 2011 has required manufacturers and importers to participate in industry-funded collection and recycling, showed that regulatory measures can work, he said.

“Recovery rates have been out of sight since the beginning of the scheme, nobody has said anything at all about there being an inbuilt recycling cost. It generates jobs, it generates environmental outcomes and yet for some reason we have policymakers who are hesitant about [establishing similar schemes] for solar PVs and batteries,” he said.

Victoria will ban electronic waste in landfill from July 2019, including all parts of a photovoltaic system, mirroring schemes imposed in Europe.

Sustainability Victoria is also leading a project examining end-of-life management options for photovoltaic systems, which may progress to a national program. The issue is particularly pertinent in Victoria where a new $1.3 billion program is expected to install solar power on 700,000 homes.

Sustainability Victoria resource recovery director Matt Genever said there was strong support from industry, government and consumers for a national approach to photovoltaic product stewardship. Final options are due to be presented to environment ministers in mid-2019.

He rejected suggestions that plans were progressing too slowly.

“The analysis we’ve done in Victoria … shows that it’s in 2025 that we see a real ramp up in the waste being generated out of photovoltaic panels. I certainly don’t think we’ve missed the boat,” he said.

A report by the International Energy Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency in 2016 found that recoverable materials from photovoltaic panel waste had a potential value of nearly $US15 billion by 2050.

Reclaim PV director Clive Fleming, whose business is believed to be the only dedicated photovoltaic recycler in Australia, said it recycles 90 per cent of materials in a panel. The company has been lobbying for state bans on solar panels entering landfill.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority said it has commissioned research to better understand how e-waste, including solar panels, was managed. The panels can be dumped in NSW landfill, however given their life span they were “not a common item in the waste stream”, it said.

The Queensland government is developing an end-of-life scheme for batteries used in solar systems and other appliances.

A federal review of the Product Stewardship Act was expected to be completed last year, but the Department of the Environment and Energy is yet to present a report to the government.

Mr Genever hoped the review would result in a broader range of products being subject to stewardship programs and take steps to ensure voluntary schemes were effective.

Both the Smart Energy Council and the Clean Energy Council, which represent solar industry operators, said a well-designed product stewardship scheme was important and should be developed through cooperation between industry, governments and recyclers.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, renewable, wastes | Leave a comment

As coal and nuclear power stations retire, 2019 U.S. renewable generation additions expected to far outpace gas

2019 US renewable generation additions expected to far outpace gas: EIA https://www.utilitydive.com/news/2019-us-renewable-generation-additions-expected-to-far-outpace-gas-eia/545836/ AUTHOR, Iulia Gheorghiu @IMGheorghiu

Dive Brief:

  • 23.7 GW of new U.S. electric generating capacity, mostly from wind, natural gas and solar, are expected in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) inventory of electric generators.
  • In addition, EIA data shows 8 GW of primarily coal, nuclear and natural gas generation are expected to retire this year, though that number could increase as utilities continue to evaluate their generating portfolios.
  • The expected retirements include Arizona’s 2.3 GW Navajo coal-burning power plant, Exelon’s 819 MW Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania and Entergy’s 677 MW Pilgrim nuclear power station in Massachusetts.

Dive Insight:

Cheaper prices of natural gas and renewable energy have impacted the competitiveness of more traditional generation fuels.

Renewable additions are projected to more than double gas in 2019. Last year, natural gas capacity additions outpaced renewable energy additions for the first time since 2013. 2018 was also a landmark year for new capacity additions, as EIA expected nearly 32 GW of new capacity — the most in a decade.

The estimates, based on EIA data, do not include additions in the residential and commercial solar sectors, which are expected to be an additional 3.9 GW by the end of 2019.

In 2019, EIA is tracking about 6.1 GW of combined-cycle gas plants and 1.4 GW of combustion-turbine gas plants, expected to be mostly online by June, in order to meet high energy demand during the summer peak. The rest of the expected additions include wind, solar and about 2% of other renewable and battery storage capacity.

Renewable capacity typically comes online at the end of the year, according to the EIA. This matches the upcoming changes in renewable energy tax credits. The wind production tax credit will phase out completely at the end of the year from its current status at 40% of 2015 levels. On the solar side, this is the last year for a full 30% investment tax credit for developing solar energy systems, which will begin to phase down in 2020.

Utility integrated resource plans (IRPs) are beginning to show that renewables can beat out older coal plants, as the Northern Indiana Public Service Company demonstrated through its 2018 IRP analysis last fall, assessing a scenario to eliminate the resource by 2028.

Half of the 4.5 GW of coal-fired capacity expected to retire in 2019 comes from the Navajo Generation Station (NGS), which has not found enough customers for its power generation despite support from a number of groups and the Trump administration to keep it open. Last September, private equity firm Middle River Power dropped its bid to purchase the plant.

In addition, the Pilgrim nuclear plant, set to retire in May, and Three Mile Island, scheduled to retire in September, follow announcements from the plant operators of “severe economic challenges.” Exelon’s Three Mile Island failed to clear the PJM Interconnection capacity market auction in 2017 and Entergy based the decision for Pilgrim on a range of financial factors, including low current and forecast wholesale energy prices.

While the Trump administration has worked to support existing coal and nuclear power plants and to create economic conditions to add new coal and nuclear capacity, trends are pointing away from nuclear and coal additions.

“I don’t think there are any trends in the current electricity market that favor the idea of building new coal or nuclear power plants,” Tim Fox, vice president of ClearView Energy Partners, told Utility Dive.

The natural gas plants set for retirement largely consist of steam turbine plants, mostly located in California. They are older units that came online more than 50 years ago. Other capacity retirements for the year include a hydroelectric plant in Washington state and smaller renewable and petroleum capacity.

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January 12, 2019 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Over 600 Environmental Groups lobby U.S. Congress in support of Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal

More Than 600 Environmental Groups Just Backed Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal,Gizmodo, Brian Kahn , 11 Jan 19, Pressure continues to mount on Congress to get its act together on climate change. The latest salvo came on Thursday, as 626 groups delivered a letter to every member of Congress laying out their support for a Green New Deal and their demands.

The list of groups includes heavy hitters in the climate and policy world like Greenpeace, the Center for Biological Diversity, 350, and Indivisible, as well as a raft of local groups in a show of how the idea of a Green New Deal has captured grassroots activists. But the letter also highlights some areas of disagreement with previous proposals for how to shape a Green New Deal, particularly when it comes to pricing carbon and nuclear power.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez popularized the proposal for a Green New Deal to wean the U.S. off fossil fuels in a little over a decade during the midterm election, and protests on Capitol Hill have galvanized support. Add in the fact that there’s basically a decade left to get our act together to stave off the worst impacts of climate change, and it’s clear the time is here to shape the only climate plan in line with the science into a specific set of policy proposals.

“With a new House majority, which is so diverse and so representative of a new generation, now is the time to emphasize the urgent need for climate action,” Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity, told Earther.

The letter sent to Congress on Thursday lays out the 626 groups’ vision for a Green New Deal. On the energy side, it calls on the government to stop leasing federal lands for fossil fuel extraction, to end approval for new fossil fuel infrastructure, and utilize the Clean Air Act to set more stringent standards for greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. It also calls for shifting to 100 percent renewable power by 2035 if not sooner.

The letter emphasizes respecting indigenous rights and a transition away from fossil fuels that centers justice, including a “comprehensive economic plan to drive job growth and invest in a new green economy that is designed, built and governed by communities and workers.” A similar plan has been implemented in Spain to help coal workers, while the pitfalls of not engaging with the people most impacted by the transition away from fossil fuels are clear in France’s yellow vest protests.

The plan isn’t totally feasible right now because of, as Snape put it, “the toddler in the White House,” but he added that the growing impacts of climate change mean that “at some point we believe elected Republicans will have no choice but to join our effort.”

Getting Republicans under the tent may take compromise, to say nothing of other groups already on board with the Green New Deal. The letter sent to Congress notably mentions that any energy transition must “exclude all combustion-based power generation, nuclear, biomass energy, large scale hydro and waste-to-energy technologies.” …….https://earther.gizmodo.com/more-than-600-environmental-groups-just-backed-ocasio-c-1831640541?IR=T

January 12, 2019 Posted by | ENERGY, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Renewables beating coal energy in Germany

Renewables have overtaken coal as Germany’s main energy source, World Economic Forum, Reuters Staff, 4 Jan 2019  Renewables overtook coal as Germany’s main source of energy for the first time last year, accounting for just over 40 percent of electricity production, research showed on Thursday.

The shift marks progress as Europe’s biggest economy aims for renewables to provide 65 percent of its energy by 2030 in a costly transition as it abandons nuclear power by 2022 and is devising plans for an orderly long-term exit from coal.

The research from the Fraunhofer organisation of applied science showed that output of solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric generation units rose 4.3 percent last year to produce 219 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity. That was out of a total national power production of 542 TWh derived from both green and fossil fuels, of which coal burning accounted for 38 percent.

Green energy’s share of Germany’s power production has risen from 38.2 percent in 2017 and just 19.1 percent in 2010.

Bruno Burger, author of the Fraunhofer study, said it was set to stay above 40 percent this year.

“We will not fall below the 40 percent in 2019 because more renewable installations are being built and weather patterns will not change that dramatically,” he said……….https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/renewables-overtake-coal-as-germanys-main-energy-source?utm_source=Facebook%20Videos&utm_medium=Facebook%20Video

January 6, 2019 Posted by | Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

Solar power for 97 Spanish grand hotels

Observer 30th Dec 2018 Spain’s state-owned chain of paradores, the grand hotels often housed in ancient castles and monasteries, has announced that all 97 of its establishments will use only electricity from renewable sources from the start of the new year.

The 90-year-old chain said the decision to switch to green electricity had been made for both environmental and symbolic
reasons. “Paradores is a company that supports sustainable tourism in every sense of the word,” said its chair, Óscar López Águeda. “What’s more, as a public company, we also want to set an example when it comes to investments that encourage energy saving and responsible  consumption.”
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/30/spain-paradores-solar-power-pledge

December 31, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, Spain | Leave a comment