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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

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

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

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

Britain’s zero emissions policy will bring many 1000s of jobs, investing in green infrastructure

Times 19th Oct 2020, Achieving net zero emissions by 2050 will create as many as 80,000 jobs and
help to achieve Boris Johnson’s national renewal mission, a report
published today says. Investment in green infrastructure and technologies
will prevent long-term scarring of the labour market in the wake of the
Covid-19 crisis, the report by the London School of Economics adds.
It calls on the prime minister to make good on his “levelling-up” promise
this summer to “build back better, build back greener, build back
faster” after GDP collapsed by a record 19.8 per cent as a result of a
national lockdown.
The report highlights six labour-intensive areas where
government investment would create the maximum number of jobs while also
helping to achieve the UK’s commitment of carbon neutrality, including
renewable energy infrastructure, electric vehicle production and home
energy efficiency retrofits. The UK was the world’s first major economy
to enshrine in law a commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/net-zero-goal-will-be-ally-of-recovery-w09wcx7hn

October 20, 2020 Posted by | employment, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

China’s world-leading push for solar and wind energy

Renew Extra 17th Oct 2020, Renewables have been accelerating ahead in China, which is adding far more
capacity each year than any other country, with over 760GW installed so
far. By contrast, the EU has only managed 500GW, the USA 250 GW.
However, the pace of expansion in China has slowed of late. Annual onshore wind
capacity additions in China are expected to fall by over 16% to 19 GW from
2020 to 2021, given the Chinese government’s decision to end subsidies,
say analysts Wood Mackenzie.
Even so, over the next decade Wood Mac expect
250 GW of wind capacity to be added, with repowering opportunities onshore
and growth potential offshore. Indeed, some see the latter booming
dramatically. So, while wind subsidies will fall by 3.2%, wind capacity
will still grow, and PV solar seem likely to do even better: incentives for
PV will rise by 14%, with some seeing solar as the major growth area longer
term, helping China get 62% of its power from non-fossil sources by 2030.

https://renewextraweekly.blogspot.com/2020/10/china-renewables-to-expand-even-more.html

October 20, 2020 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

Solar energy is here with a vengeance – look at South Australia

Forbes 17th Oct 2020,  Anyone who follows developments in the energy sector will know that solar energy is no longer just the future but the present. According to thebInternational Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020, photovoltaic solar energy is already the cheapest source of electricity in history.
We are not talking about the future, but about the present, about current installations. Under these conditions, the fact that solar energy was able to cover the entire demand in South Australia for the first time on October 12 should not surprise us: you can bet we will see this repeated in many more places, on many more occasions and for increasingly longer periods.
The progressive increase in efficiency and decrease in the cost of photovoltaic panels is turning solar energy into the logical alternative for electricity generation. What’s more, the technology continues to evolve and that there are still incipient possibilities, such as perovskites, which promise substantial efficiency increases.

As a result, solar panels can now be fitted anywhere, covering water canals in India, on canopies over Germany’s autobahns, or on school roofs in the United States. When the economic variables of a technology change in this way, creating an oversized electricity generation grid based on solar and wind is the logical alternative, and whoever does not do so will be relegated to less efficient and, above all, dirtier energy sources.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/enriquedans/2020/10/17/what-is-happening-with-solarenergy/amp
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October 19, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, renewable | Leave a comment

Study shows that renewable energy is clearly better that nuclear at cutting greenhouse emissions

25-Year Study of Nuclear vs Renewables Says One Is Clearly Better at Cutting Emissions, Science Alert, DAVID NIELD 11 OCTOBER 2020

Nuclear power is often promoted as one of the best ways to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to generate the electricity we need, but new research suggests that going all-in on renewables such as wind and solar might be a better approach to seriously reducing the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Based on an analysis of 123 countries over a quarter of a century, the adoption of nuclear power did not achieve the significant reduction in national carbon emissions that renewables did – and in some developing nations, nuclear programmes actually pushed carbon emissions higher.

The study also finds that nuclear power and renewable power don’t mix well when they’re tried together: they tend to crowd each other out, locking in energy infrastructure that’s specific to their mode of power production.

Given nuclear isn’t exactly zero carbon, it risks setting nations on a path of relatively higher emissions than if they went straight to renewables….

It’s important to note that the study looked specifically at data from 1999-2014, so it excludes more recent innovations in nuclear power and renewables, and the scientists themselves say they have found a correlation, rather than cause and effect. But it’s an interesting trend that needs further investigation.

“The evidence clearly points to nuclear being the least effective of the two broad carbon emissions abatement strategies, and coupled with its tendency not to co-exist well with its renewable alternative, this raises serious doubts about the wisdom of prioritising investment in nuclear over renewable energy,” says Benjamin Sovacool, a professor of energy policy at the University of Sussex in the UK.

“Countries planning large-scale investments in new nuclear power are risking suppression of greater climate benefits from alternative renewable energy investments.”

The researchers suggest the tighter regulations and longer lead times associated with nuclear power are responsible for some of the statistics explored here, while the large-scale development that nuclear requires tends to leave less room for renewable projects that work on a smaller scale.

There are also broader considerations to weigh up – nuclear and renewables will be two factors among many in the policies put together by governments when it comes to reducing carbon emissions.

Plus, given the time frame, a lot of the nuclear power plants covered by this study are likely to have been getting towards the end of their lifespans, which means more energy is required to maintain them.

Whatever the ins and outs of the nuclear policies, the study does show a clear link between greater adoption of renewable projects and lower carbon emissions overall.

The study authors propose that by cutting out nuclear altogether, these renewable gains could be even greater.

This paper exposes the irrationality of arguing for nuclear investment based on a ‘do everything’ argument,” says researcher for technology policy Andrew Stirling at the University of Sussex.

“Our findings show not only that nuclear investments around the world tend on balance to be less effective than renewable investments at carbon emissions mitigation, but that tensions between these two strategies can further erode the effectiveness of averting climate disruption.”………..

it is astonishing how clear and consistent the results are across different time frames and country sets,” says Patrick Schmid, from the ISM International School of Management in Germany.

“In certain large country samples the relationship between renewable electricity and CO2-emissions is up to seven times stronger than the corresponding relationship for nuclear.”

The research has been published in Nature Energyhttps://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-why-nuclear-won-t-cut-it-if-we-want-to-drop-carbon-as-quickly-as-possible

October 13, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Offshore Wind Energy, Not Nuclear, Is the Future

October 13, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Nuclear and renewables – mutually exclusive: renewables better for climate action

Comparative impact of nuclear and renewables on CO2 emissions, By Philippe Gauthier,   Resilience.org  October 9, 2020    Countries which are heavily invested in nuclear energy remain higher CO2 emitters, on average, than countries which have invested at the same level in renewable energy. This is the main finding of a study recently published in the journal Nature Energy. The results also tend to confirm the hypothesis that it is difficult to commit both to nuclear and renewables due to a systemic incompatibility between these two approaches.

The study, led by Benjamin K. Sovacool of the University of Sussex, England, is not based on simply on an analysis of various national case studies, but on a database encompassing 123 countries over 25 years (30 favouring nuclear and 117 renewables, with some overlap between the two). The information spans two periods, 1990 to 2004 and 2000 to 2014, which makes it easier to better track the impact of the emergence of renewables in the 21st century. The data was used to verify the existence of correlations, which often turned out to be very strong (a p value of less than 0.05, or even 0.001). The results of these regressions are presented in the form of rather dry tables.

The work aimed to assess three hypotheses. The first is that the greater a country’s nuclear power generation capabilities, the lower its greenhouse gas emissions are. The second is that the greater a country’s renewable energy generation capabilities, the lower its emissions are. The third is that nuclear and renewables coexist uneasily within a national energy system and that the dominance of either delays or prevents the adoption of the other………….

Explanatory factors

What explains these rather unfavorable results for nuclear power? Data collected by the researchers shows that, on average, the delivery time is 90 months for nuclear projects, compared to 40 months for solar and wind projects. Only hydropower has longer lead times. Nuclear and hydropower projects are more prone to delays and cost overruns than smaller-scale renewable projects, which yield low carbon energy more quickly.

Renewables are also associated with a positive learning curve whereby each completed project decreases the costs and increases the performance of subsequent projects. In comparison, nuclear power exhibits a negative learning curve. The study specifically cites the case of France, where each new generation of reactors has involved increased costs or lower performance. The tightening of safety measures after each major accident (Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima) has greatly contributed to these increased costs in every country.

The study concludes that renewables have a demonstrable record of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Nuclear power has a more mixed record, due to the different nature of the energy systems in which it operates. Finally, the results tend to confirm the hypothesis of mutual exclusion already widely noted in the scientific literature. According to the researchers, countries that think they can obtain emission reductions by investing in nuclear energy may actually be forgoing even greater reductions that could be achieved by renewables.

Source:

Benjamin K. Sovacool et al. Differences in carbon emissions reduction between countries pursuing renewable electricity versus nuclear power, in Nature Energy, October 5, 2020 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-020-00696-3.epdf?

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-10-09/comparative-impact-of-nuclear-and-renewables-on-co2-emissions/

October 10, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, renewable | Leave a comment

China’s plan for dramatic switch to climate action and renewable energy

October 10, 2020 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

Russia’s nuclear giant Rosatom moving into renewable energy, energy storage, grid development

Russian nuclear giant Rosatom enters storage business

The state-owned company will manufacture module type lithium-ion traction batteries for electric vehicles, as well as energy storage systems for emergency power supplies, renewable energy resources, and the smoothing of load demand. PV Magazine , OCTOBER 9, 2020 EMILIANO BELLINI   Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corp. (Rosatom) is entering the energy storage business through its TVEL Fuel Company (TVEL) unit, which has set up a dedicated subsidiary, Renera.The new company will produce module type lithium-ion traction batteries for electric vehicles, as well as energy storage systems for emergency power supplies, renewable energy resources, and the smoothing of load demand, TVEL stated……

Rosatom is already operating in the renewable energy sector via its NovaWind unit, which mostly focuses on the wind power business.

We have an R&D center which is capable to develop energy storage solutions as for grids and substations, as well as for renewable energy sources, including both wind and solar,” the spokesperson said.,,,,,,,,https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/10/09/russian-nuclear-giant-rosatom-enters-storage-business/

October 10, 2020 Posted by | renewable, Russia | Leave a comment