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Renewables surpass coal and nuclear says USA’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

US: Renewables to rise above coal and nuclear says FERC  https://www.smart-energy.com/renewable-energy/us-renewables-to-rise-above-coal-and-nuclear-says-ferc/  Renewables are estimated to add nearly 50,000 MW, being more than a quarter of the total capacity according to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data, issued last week by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 13 Mar 20,

According to the report, the mix of renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) provided 57.26% of new U.S. electrical generating capacity added in 2019 – swamping that provided by coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear power combined.

FERC’s latest monthly “Energy Infrastructure Update” report (with data through to December 31, 2019) reveals renewable sources (i.e. biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) accounted for 11,857 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity by the end of the year. That is a third more (33.97%) more than that of natural gas (8,557 MW), nuclear (155 MW), oil (77 MW), and coal (62 MW) combined.

Renewables have now also surpassed 22% (i.e., 22.06%) of the US’ total available installed generating capacity – further expanding their lead over coal capacity (20.89%). Among renewables, wind can boast the largest installed electrical generating capacity – 8.51% of the U.S. total, followed by hydropower (8.41%), solar (3.49%) [2], biomass (1.33%), and geothermal (0.32%). Thus, wind and solar combined now account for 12.0% of the nation’s electrical generating capacity.

Moreover, the FERC foresees renewables dramatically expanding their lead over fossil fuels and nuclear power in terms of new capacity additions during the coming three years (i.e., by December 31, 2022). Net generating capacity additions (i.e., “proposed additions under construction” minus “proposed retirements”) for renewable sources total 48,254 MW: wind – 26,403 MW, solar – 19,973 MW, hydropower – 1,460 MW, biomass – 240 MW, and geothermal – 178 MW.

By comparison, net additions for natural gas total 21,090 MW while the installed capacities for coal, nuclear, and oil are projected to drop by 18,857 MW, 3,391 MW, and 3,085 MW respectively. In fact, FERC reports no new coal capacity in the pipeline over the next three years.

Thus, while net new renewable energy capacity is projected to be nearly 50,000 MW greater within three years, that of fossil fuels and nuclear power combined will decline by over 4,200 MW. Between now and the end of 2022, new wind capacity alone will be greater than that of natural gas while that of wind and solar combined will more than double new gas capacity.

Moreover, if FERC’s data prove correct, then by the end of 2022, renewable sources will account for more than a quarter (25.16%) of the nation’s total available installed generating capacity while coal will drop to 18.63% and that of nuclear and oil will decrease to 8.29% and 2.95% respectively. Natural gas will increase its share — but only slightly – from 44.67% today to 44.78%.

As the Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign, I believed that the rapid growth of renewables and corresponding drop in electrical production by coal and oil in 2019 provides a glimmer of hope for slowing down the pace of climate change. In addition, renewables’ continued expansion in the near future – as forecast by FERC – suggests that with supportive governmental policies, these technologies could provide an even greater share of total U.S. electrical generation.


Statistics presented in this article can be found here. Read the full FERC report.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Renewable energy push for Fukushima

March 11, 2020 Posted by | Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

Bavaria’s renewable capacity growing as nuclear plant shutdown boosts power imports

February 22, 2020 Posted by | Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

Correcting Anti-Renewable Energy Propaganda

Correcting Anti-Renewable Energy Propaganda, Clean Technica  B1 By Georg Nitsche, 12 Feb 20, In 1989, pro-nuclear lobbyists claimed that wind power couldn’t even provide 1% of Germany’s electricity. A few years later, pro-nuclear lobbyists ran ads in German newspapers, claiming that renewables wouldn’t be able to meet 4% of German electricity demand.

After the renewable energy revolution took off, in 2015, the pro-nuclear power “Breakthrough Institute” published an article claiming solar would be limited to 10–20% and wind to 25–35% of a power system’s electricity.

In 2017, German (pro-nuclear power) economist Hans-Werner Sinn tweeted that more than 50% wind and solar would hardly be possible. And in 2018, Carnegie Science reported a study claiming that “wind and solar could meet most but not all U.S. electricity needs.” According to one of the authors, their research indicates that “huge amounts of storage” or natural gas would need to supplement solar and wind power.

From a pro-renewable perspective, this is encouraging. The claims about the limits of renewable energy have moved from “not even 1% of electricity” to “most but not all of the electricity.” And yet, the anti-renewables message has always been the same: renewables will lead to a dead end.

In order to underscore their point, anti-renewable energy propagandists now publish incorrect cost figures that claim a fully renewable electric grid would be unaffordable or way more expensive than other options, such as, you guessed it, nuclear power. Continue reading

February 13, 2020 Posted by | renewable, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australia May Add Record Amount of Renewable Power in 2020,

Australia May Add Record Amount of Renewable Power in 2020, Bloomberg, By James Thornhill, January 21, 2020

  • Corporate demand for clean electricity driving growth: Rystad
  •  Policy uncertainty seen undermining longer term expansion

Australia is set to add a record amount of renewable power in 2020, driven by growing corporate demand for clean electricity and to fill generation gaps created by the retirement of aging coal-fired plants.

New markets are expected to unlock growth as pilot hydrogen projects start and oil, gas and mining projects invest in off-grid renewables generation, according to Rystad Energy. The positive outlook would be a rebound for Australia’s clean energy developers after a sharp drop in investment in 2019.

“We expect the industry to bounce back in the second half of 2020,” Rystad said in a media release, citing projects with corporate power purchase agreements and the winners of government auction schemes that are scheduled to start construction this year.

Nearly 2 gigawatts of large-scale solar projects and 1.6 gigawatts of wind power are due to complete commissioning in the year ahead, up nearly 40% on 2019 levels. Wind and solar developers are also lining up to replace the Liddell coal plant in New South Wales, which is due to close by April 2023.

Still, developers may face headwinds over the longer term. The industry has already met the government’s 2020 target for renewable generation and there is no new target to replace it. Meanwhile, the profitability of projects located a long way from major demand centers has been hit by marginal loss factors — the amount of power lost along transmission lines.

Losing Momentum

Australia renewables investment fell 38% last year   “While the outlook for the commissioning of new projects still looks solid in 2020, there is a risk that activity tails off in the years ahead as the impact of falling investment starts to feed through,” said BloombergNEF analyst Leonard Quong.   AT TOP https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-21/australia-may-add-record-amount-of-renewable-power-in-2020

January 23, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, renewable | Leave a comment

In Turkey, renewable energy rising, as nuclear partnership with Japan is scrapped

January 21, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, renewable, Turkey | Leave a comment

New report: China soon to join countries where renewables are cheaper than coal

Oil Price 19th Jan 2020, In September of last year Oilprice reported an incredible milestone for renewable energy when solar and wind power became cheaper than coal in most of the world. Now, a new report released this week by Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables has heralded another milestone: China will soon be added to that list of countries in which coal is no longer more economical than renewable energy.

https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/Could-Renewables-Overtake-Coal-In-China.html

January 21, 2020 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

Fukushima Japan Vows to Achieve 100% Renewable Energy Use in 20 Years

January 13, 2020 Posted by | Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

Japan plans 100% renewable energy for Fukushima prefecture by 2040

Fukushima unveils plans to become renewable energy hub, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/05/fukushima-unveils-plans-to-become-renewable-energy-hub-japan  

Japan aims to power region, scene of 2011 meltdown, with 100% renewable energy by 2040, Justin McCurry in Tokyo , 6 Jan 2020

Fukushima is planning to transform itself into a renewable energy hub, almost nine years after it became the scene of the world’s worst nuclear accident for a quarter of a century.

The prefecture in north-east Japan will forever be associated with the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on 11 March 2011, but in an ambitious project the local government has vowed to power the region with 100% renewable energy by 2040, compared with 40% today.

The 2011 accident, triggered by a powerful earthquake and tsunami, sent large quantities of radiation into the atmosphere and forced the evacuation of more than 150,000 residents.

The 300bn yen ($2.75bn) project, whose sponsors include the government-owned Development Bank of Japan and Mizuho Bank, will involve the construction of 11 solar and 10 wind farms on abandoned farmland and in mountainous areas by the end of March 2024, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

A 80km grid will connect Fukushima’s power generation with the Tokyo metropolitan area, once heavily dependent on nuclear energy produced at the prefecture’s two atomic plants. When completed, the project will generate up to 600 megawatts of electricity, roughly two-thirds the output of an average nuclear power plant.

Despite the Fukushima disaster, the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986, Japan’s conservative government is pushing to restart idle reactors.

It wants nuclear power, which generated almost a third of the country’s power before Fukushima, to make up between 20% and 22% of its overall energy mix by 2030, drawing criticism from campaigners who say nuclear plants pose a danger given the country’s vulnerability to earthquakes and tsunami.

All of Japan’s 54 reactors were shut down after the Fukushima meltdown. Nine reactors are in operation today, having passed stringent safety checks introduced after the disaster.

Renewables accounted for 17.4% of Japan’s energy mix in 2018, according to the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, well below countries in Europe. The government iaims to increase this to between 22% and 24% by 2030 a target the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has described as ambitious but which climate campaigners criticise as insufficient.

Abe insists nuclear energy will help Japan achieve its carbon dioxide emissions targets and reduce its dependence on imported gas and oil, but his recently appointed environment minister, Shinjiro Koizumi, has called for the country’s nuclear reactors to be scrapped to prevent a repeat of the Fukushima disaster.

“We will be doomed if we allow another nuclear accident to occur. We never know when we’ll have an earthquake,” Koizumi said when he joined Abe’s cabinet in September.

The government is unlikely to meet its target of 30 reactor restarts by 2030 given strong local opposition and legal challenges.

Japan faces mounting international criticism over its dependence on imported coal and natural gas. It received the “fossil of the day” award from the Climate Action Network at last month’s UN climate change conference in Madrid after its industry minister announced plans to continue using coal-fired power.

Japan is the third-biggest importer of coal after India and China, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Its megabanks have been urged to end their financing of coal-fired plants in Vietnam and other developing countries in Asia.

January 6, 2020 Posted by | Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

How Ontario can get out of nuclear power, and reduce carbon emissions

Ontario can phase out nuclear and avoid increased carbon emissions, The Conversation, January 6, 2020  MV Ramana, Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia, Xiao Wei, MITACS Globalink Research Intern, University of British Columbia As wind and solar energy have become cheaper, they’ve become a more prominent and important way to generate clean electricity in most parts of the world.The Ontario government, on the other hand, is cancelling renewable energy projects at a reported cost of at least $230 million while reinforcing the province’s reliance on nuclear power via expensive reactor refurbishment plans.

As researchers who have examined the economics of electricity generation in Ontario and elsewhere, we argue that this decision is wasteful and ill-advised, and the unnecessary cost differential will rise further in the future.

One concern about renewables has been the intermittency of these energy sources. But studies have shown it’s feasible to have an all-renewable electric grid.

These feasibility studies, however, are always location specific. In that spirit, we have carried out detailed modelling and found that it’s possible to meet Ontario’s electricity demands throughout the year with just a combination of renewables, including hydropower, and storing electricity in batteries.

We also found that dealing with the intermittency of wind and solar energy by adding batteries would be more economical than refurbishing nuclear plants in the foreseeable future, well before the current refurbishment projects are completed.

That’s because of the expected decline in the cost of batteries used to store the electricity during the hours when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining in order to supply electricity during the periods when they aren’t. The cost of different kinds of battery technologies, such as lithium-ion or flow batteries, have come down rapidly in recent years.

Essential results

In all scenarios, the bulk of the demand was met by solar and wind power, with a lower fraction met by hydropower. Even in the scenarios with no batteries, less than 20 per cent of the electricity demand was met by nuclear power…….

In summary, our results show that for reasonable assumptions about future battery costs and the current price tag for solar and wind power, scenarios involving nuclear power are more than 20 per cent higher than the cheapest scenario involving only batteries, solar, wind and the current hydropower capacity. …

nuclear power isn’t needed to meet Ontario’s electricity needs. And the absence of nuclear power won’t have any impact on emissions in Ontario’s energy sector.https://theconversation.com/ontario-can-phase-out-nuclear-and-avoid-increased-carbon-emissions-128854?fbclid=IwAR20ANW_yAmpR7zZVw113hUp9bl7Xt2h0v1XiB1K815lFIKctZiaR8xB5Ew

January 6, 2020 Posted by | Canada, renewable | Leave a comment

The rise and rise of global offshore wind capacity


Renew Extra 4th Jan 2020, Dave Elliott: The International Energy Agency says global offshore wind capacity may increase 15-fold and attract around $1 trillion of cumulative investment by 2040, driven by falling costs, supportive government policies and some remarkable technological progress, such as larger turbines and floating foundations.
It notes that the offshore wind capacity in the EU stands at almost 20 GW. Under current policy settings, that is set to rise to nearly 130 GW by 2040. However, if the EU reaches its carbon-neutrality aims, offshore wind capacity would jump to around 180 GW by 2040 and be the region’s largest single power source.
Meantime, it notes that China’s offshore wind capacity is set to rise from 4 GW now to 110 GW by 2040. In its subsequent World Energy Outlook (WEO), the IEA says solar could be even larger:

https://renewextraweekly.blogspot.com/2020/01/offshore-wind-and-pv-will-be-big-says.html

January 6, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Egypt’s solar energy success

Reuters 17th Dec 2019, Near the southern Egyptian city of Aswan, a swathe of photovoltaic solarpanels spreads over an area of desert so large it is clearly visible from space. Designed to anchor a renewable energy sector by attracting foreign and domestic private-sector developers and financial backers, the plant now provides nearly 1.5 GW to Egypt’s national grid and has brought down the price of solar energy at a time when the government is phasing out electricity subsidies.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-solar/giant-solar-park-in-the-desert-jump-starts-egypts-renewables-push-idUSKBN1YL1WS

January 6, 2020 Posted by | Egypt, renewable | Leave a comment

Renewables – Top 10 Utility Regulation Trends of 2019

GTM 26th Dec 2019Top 10 Utility Regulation Trends of 2019: Implementing 100% clean energy commitments; Falling cost of renewables and storage drives resource plans;
Aligning utility performance with policy goals; Utilities planning for
electric transportation; DER integration and investments in a modern grid;
Energy efficiency, load-shifting and building decarbonization; Valuing DERs
for their contributions to the grid; Wildfire prevention and protection;
Customers making their own energy choices; Non-wires alternative
mechanisms.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/top-10-utility-regulation-trends-of-2019

December 30, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

In France, over the next decade renewable energy is ‘on track to overtake nuclear’

December 17, 2019 Posted by | France, renewable | Leave a comment

China’s $2.5bn renewables investment in Inner Mongolia

November 23, 2019 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment