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US Government’s own Energy Information Administration (EIA) says renewable energy is surging while nuclear is declining

EIA Data Undermines Trump’s Love Affair With Coal & Nuclear  August 13th, 2018 by Joshua S Hill

A handful of reports published over recent weeks by the US Government’s own Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) have revealed that coal and nuclear continue their decline across the country, while renewable energy continues to surge with longevity which will quickly take it out beyond the reach of the United States’ traditional generators.

So far this month, the EIA has published its “Electric Power Monthly” report and its “Short-Term Energy Outlook” for August, while FERC published its “Energy Infrastructure Update.” When taken together, and excluding an expected decline in utility-scale solar capacity additions, it is good news for the renewable energy industry and bad news for the United States’ coal and nuclear sectors.

Specifically, the United States’ renewable energy sources — consisting of biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind — now provide more electricity than nuclear power in over half the states across the country, and more electricity than coal in a third of the states. Further, according to data compiled from the reports by Ken Bossong of the Sun Day Campaign, over the next three years of capacity additions and retirements, the US coal industry will experience a net-loss of 15,898 megawatts (MW) and the nuclear industry will only see a net-increase of 756 MW.

Conversely, utility-scale renewable energy capacity is expected to skyrocket by 156,981 MW over the same time period, led primarily by wind energy with nearly 91 gigawatts (GW) and solar with just over 52 GW.

“EIA and FERC data underscore that the renewable energy train has left the station,” noted Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “Trying to reverse that situation with costly subsidies for environmentally-polluting nuclear power and coal defies common sense.”

“Nuclear and coal simply can’t compete with renewable energy,” said Tim Judson, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. “Renewables will be generating more power than nuclear by 2020, and nuclear is poised for the same precipitous decline as coal in the coming years.”

It’s worth noting that “capacity” is not the same as “generation” — because, as Ken Bossong explains, “nuclear and coal typically have higher capacity factors than most renewable sources” — but one need only look at the figures to see that renewable energy is catching quickly here as well. Specifically, renewable energy generation over the first five months of 2018 accounted for 20.17% of the United States’ electrical generation, while nuclear only provided 20.14%. Further, while coal still maintains a healthy lead over both renewables and nuclear with 26.6% over the first five months of 2018, this is down from 39% five years ago when renewables only accounted for 14.3%.

The only substantial negative takeaway from this bundle of official US Governmental reports is that the EIA has downgraded its forecast utility-scale solar capacity additions for 2019 from 11.4 GW to 6.3 GW “As a result of incoming data reported in the Annual Electric Generator survey.” This will be combined with an estimated 3.94 GW worth of residential, commercial, and industrial solar, bringing the total 2019 expected solar capacity additions up to 10.3 GW — a 7% growth on the 9.58 GW expected to come online this year.


August 15, 2018 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Taiwan’s energy transition from nuclear to wind and solar power

Nuclear Ghost Town Reveals Power Risk for Taiwan’s Energy Shift, Bloomberg, By Dan Murtaugh,  Miaojung Lin, and Samson Ellis   August 7, 2018, 

  • Plan to shut reactors sparks race to develop wind, solar power
  • Goal is 70% of electricity from gas, renewable sources by 2025

A map at the guard-house of the Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant in Taiwan shows what might have been: Classrooms, dormitories, a grocery store, a police station. It was supposed to be a self-contained city on the island’s northeast coast designed to meet growing demand for electricity in Asia’s seventh-largest economy.

Instead, the complex stands empty — unfinished and never used — a $10 billion casualty of growing public opposition to nuclear power. Since a disastrous 2011 reactor meltdown in Japan, more than 1,400 miles (2,250 kilometers) away, Taiwan has rewritten its energy plans. President Tsai Ing-wen ordered all of the country’s nuclear reactors to shut by 2025.

Taiwan’s Transition

Taichung gears up for wind power as Lungmen’s reactors are mothballed

That’s set off a high-risk gamble to find alternatives to nuclear, which supplies 12 percent of the island’s electricity, while limiting an increase in carbon emissions. The island’s sprint reflects a drive across the region toward cleaner energy sources such as sunlight, wind and natural gas. Nations from Australia to South Korea and mainland Chinato India are seeking to meet rising demand without belching more emissions blamed for climate change and smog.

Taiwan’s solution: Wind turbines are planned in the blustery Taiwan Strait, solar panels are popping up on coastal salt flats, and terminals are being planned to import more liquefied natural gas. But new sources could take years to develop, making power rationing and blackouts a possibility as the gap narrows between demand and generating capacity.

“There are going to be concerns over the next few years about reserve margins and power supply reliability,” said Zhouwei Diao, an IHS Markit analyst in Beijing.

The government’s plan has several parts. First, all nuclear and most oil-fueled generators will be shut. Together, they supplied 16 percent of Taiwan’s electricity in 2016. The country will still have about the same amount of coal capacity by 2025 as now, but its share of total power generation will drop to 30 percent from about half as sources of alternative energy expand. Natural gas will see the biggest usage gain, accounting for half of supply by 2025, while renewables like wind and solar will more than triple to 20 percent.

As electricity demand grows over the next seven years, the government says it will boost generating capacity while limiting carbon emissions and ridding itself of a political headache.

Taiwan’s state-run nuclear industry already was unpopular after it built a controversial waste-storage site on Orchid Island, home to one of the country’s indigenous peoples. But sentiment turned even more negative after the disaster in Japan, which occurred after a giant earthquake and tsunami. The disaster prompted countries including Germany and South Korea to ditch their nuclear programs.

Taiwan Power Co. operates three nuclear plants and was building the fourth in Lungmen when the Fukushima meltdown occurred. In 2014, the government halted construction that was nearly complete, with uranium-fuel rods in place. In 2016, the Democratic Progressive Party won election on an anti-nuclear platform. Last month, workers removed the unused fuel rods and sold them to a buyer in the U.S.

…….. The government has held firm to its plan. Part of the optimism comes from the plunging cost of building wind and solar projects around the world. There’s also expanding supplies of cheap liquefied natural gas available from the Middle East, Australia and the U.S……..

August 13, 2018 Posted by | renewable, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Renewables produced more electricity than nuclear for the first five months of 2018

US Renewables Are Closing In on Nuclear Generation, GT, Renewables produced more electricity than nuclear for the first five months of 2018.  AUGUST 09, 2018

“..After decades of stalled nuclear plant development and the recent surge of increasingly cheap wind and solar deployments, the newcomers are pulling ahead. In the first five months of 2018, renewables produced 20.17 percent of U.S. electricity and nuclear produced 20.14 percent, according to Energy Information Administration data compiled by Ken Bossong of the Sun Day Campaign.

A similar record was hit in the first three months of 2017.

In the two most recent months included in the data set, April and May, renewables outproduced nuclear by more than 10 percent. …… Renewables out-generate nuclear in more than half of states, according to an analysis of EIA data by the Sun Day Campaign.

Sun Day has a very clear stake in this race: Its mission is to promote sustainable energy and help “phase out the use of nuclear power.”..

August 10, 2018 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Optimistic report on Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon- tidal renewable energy for Britain?

Wales Online 26th July 2018 , A new task force is being set up to look at ways of resurrecting plans for
the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, which appeared dead in the water just last
month. It follows the publication of a report which said the £1.3bn
project could be delivered without the need for a UK Government financing
deal. The report concluded that the lagoon was “fundamentally a strong
and deliverable technical proposition”.Paul Marsh, of report authors
Holistic Capital, said: “We believe the project can be funded
independently of UK Government, and potentially delivered as a purely Welsh
initiative. “We believe, based on our in-depth review, that the original
£1.3bn cost of the lagoon can be reduced.

July 28, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Renewable energy headed to be 50% of total UK electricity generation by 2025.

Dave Toke’s Blog 26th July 2018 Today’s UK energy statistics reveal that renewable electricity generation
increased by around 20 per cent in just one year so that 29.3 per cent of electricity consumed came from renewable energy in 2017.

If at least 80 per cent of the offshore windfarms now in different stages of planning (let alone other renewable energy sources) come online, as could be expected, in the next 7 years, then renewable energy will comprise half of total UK electricity generation by 2025.

Electricity consumption fell once again in the year 2017 compared to 2016. Electricity consumption is now 9 per cent less than it was in 2010. over 20 GWe of offshore wind are in various stages of planning and construction. In total these would generate around 25 per cent of UK electricity.

Since the Government are saying they will hold auctions for offshore wind and some other renewables in 2019 and 2021
this means that a lot of them will be built by 2025. Of course we are going to have substantially more onshore wind and solar by 2025 to buttress these figures (although the Government are doing very little to help) meaning that electricity generated from renewable energy will top 50 per cent of total consumption in 2025/6

July 28, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Japan’s biggest utility, Tokyo Electric Power Company moving from nuclear power to renewables

Japan’s Tepco plans 7GW renewables roll-out, in pivot away from nuclear, REneweconomy, By Sophie Vorrath on 26 July 2018 

July 27, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

Solar power plant operating within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Positive News 24th July 2018 , A solar power plant has started producing electricity within the Chernobyl
Exclusion Zone, marking a new epoch for the notorious nuclear facility in
Ukraine. The €1m (£870,441), one-megawatt solar farm went live in May
and generates enough electricity to power a medium-sized village.

July 27, 2018 Posted by | renewable, Ukraine | Leave a comment

China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) acquires 75% stake in Swedish wind power project

Reuters 18th July 2018 , China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) has acquired a 75 percent
stake in a Swedish wind power project from Australia’s Macquarie Group
and GE Energy Financial Services, state news agency Xinhua reported on
Wednesday. The North Pole wind power project, located in Pitea, Sweden, is
expected to be operational by the end of 2019 with a capacity of 650,000
kilowatts, making it the single largest onshore wind power park in Europe,
Xinhua said.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, China, renewable, Sweden | Leave a comment

66% of UK voters support onshore wind power

Independent 16th July 2018 , Two-thirds of British people think the government should ditch the policies
that have all but killed off the UK’s onshore wind industry, according to a
new poll.

Since new rules governing the construction of onshore turbines
were introduced following the election in 2015, planning applications for
new wind farms have plummeted by 94 per cent. As the government struggles
to meet strict greenhouse gas emissions targets, experts have criticised
the effective ban on technology that is widely considered the UK’s cheapest
new power source.

Aside from the environmental and industry arguments for
promoting onshore wind, the technology has considerable support from the
British public, as the government’s own data on public attitudes to
renewable energy have shown. Now, a new opinion poll by YouGov has revealed
66 per cent of voters would support a change in policy that allowed onshore
wind farms to be built in places where they have local backing. Current
policies were initially introduced following a Conservative promise to
“halt the spread of onshore wind farms” which “often fail to gain public

July 18, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s academic and government experts now agree that renewable energy, not nuclear power, is Britain’s future

Telegraph 15th July 2018 , Support for renewable energy is no longer the preserve of eco-warriors, nor
the enemy of the sceptical pragmatist. Experts from academia and government
agree that after years of heavy subsidy, renewable energy is close to
paying its own way.

“Few would have imagined that by 2018 we would be
talking about a subsidy-free future for renewables,” admits Mateusz Wronski
of Aurora Energy Research. “Yet this is where we have arrived – and our
research highlights clearly the enormous prize and potential in the market,
not only in Great Britain but across Europe.”

Aurora broke ranks with traditional energy rhetoric earlier this year by publishing data showing
that new renewable energy projects are now the cheapest source of
electricity in the market and hold the promise of a multi-billion-pound
investment boom for Britain. “The subsidy-free revolution is here, and it’s
big. This is a £60bn investment opportunity in north-west Europe alone,”
Wronski says, with Britain poised to gain far more than any other country
from the coming revolution.

A rapid shift in the economics of energy has
brought renewables to the brink of a major tipping point only a few years
away. Britain could begin to host onshore wind and solar projects without
the need for subsidies from the early 2020s, to unlock about £20bn of
investment between now and 2030. At the end of the next decade, offshore
wind will follow suit.

Last week, the renewable agenda found a fresh ally.
Sir John Armitt, the chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission,
made the most hard-headed case for renewable energy yet. In the first ever
independent assessment of Britain’s infrastructure needs, the commission
dealt a blow to the Government’s nuclear ambitions by warning ministers
against striking a deal for more than one follow-up to the Hinkley Point C
project before 2025.

Instead, government should focus its efforts on
rolling out more renewable power. The pace of the zero-subsidy roll-out
could become quicker if developers are allowed to enter their “zero” bids
into the flurry of auctions held by National Grid throughout the year to
guarantee generation and an optimal frequency for the grid. By taking part
in the subsidy auctions, wind developers would soon be able to cast a bid
at or below the cost of wholesale power prices, which would effectively
mean zero added costs to bills. This would provide certainty to investors,
lower the project’s risk and reduce the cost of capital needed to bring the
projects to life. In turn, consumers would be in line for lower bills.

July 16, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Smart householders don’t just switch energy providers, they go solar

Guardian 5th July 2018 , Emeritus Professor Sue Roaf: You should talk to people in the solar
industry about the future for domestic solar power rather than just relying
on “predictions”. As a non-executive director of AES Solar Ltd in Forres,
Scotland, I can tell you that our order books are healthy, despite the
government’s solarcoaster tariffs.

We are seeing real, steady growth
because, for instance, where better to spend a small part of a pension pot
than to put in a solar water heater, PV electrics and a battery system,
thus decoupling the household budget from soaring energy prices from the

Smart householders don’t just switch energy providers, they go solar,
not least those looking for a financially safer old age. That is the sort
of compelling reason why solar has a brilliant future in the UK, not a dark

July 7, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s nuclear lobby appears to be winning, but the Tidal Lagoon Energy movement has not given up

BBC 29th June 2018 Developers hoping to pitch new tidal power stations to the UK government
have vowed to carry on with their plans despite the rejection of the
Swansea Bay lagoon.

One called on ministers to set up a competitive
tendering process. Energy Secretary Greg Clark said he was “enthusiastic”
about the technology if it could prove to be value for money. The company
behind the Swansea Bay scheme is considering its next steps.

Tidal Lagoon Power’s (TLP) £1.3bn “pathfinder” project, touted as a world-first, was
turned down by the UK government on Monday. after it was deemed too
expensive. The aim was for it to lead to a fleet of larger, more powerful
lagoons in Cardiff, Newport, Bridgewater Bay, Colwyn Bay and off the coast
of Cumbria. The decision came 18 months after an independent review,
commissioned by the UK government, had urged ministers to plough ahead.

Other developers also looking to build lagoons have been following the
situation closely. Henry Dixon, chair of North Wales Tidal Energy (NWTE)
said the government had made the “wrong decision” but that would not deter
his company from “continuing to develop and promote” its own plans. He
claimed NWTE’s proposal for a £7bn lagoon, stretching from Llandudno
eastwards towards Talacre in Flintshire, would stack up in terms of costs
as it could generate more energy and revenue than the much smaller Swansea
scheme. There were also added benefits in terms of flood prevention, he
claimed. Dale Vince, who founded Ecotricity, one of the UK’s biggest
providers of renewable energy, believes he can build cheaper lagoons in the
Solway Firth. This approach differs to TLP’s as the lagoons would be
entirely offshore, instead of being attached to the coastline. “There is
plenty of time to have a competitive tender and to get this right – as the
government have said this week,” Mr Vince said. “Swansea Bay was too
expensive and it doesn’t make sense to do it, especially when not just
other forms of renewable energy are much cheaper but other approaches to
tidal energy are too.” “We’re hoping that the government now turns round,
on the back of this decision, and creates a proper competitive process for
tidal lagoons.”

June 29, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s Tidal Lagoon energy project – would be costly to build, but very cheap for 120 years thereafter

Times 28th June 2018 , Professor Chris Binnie: Greg Clark says that the Swansea tidal
lagoon was rejected as it is three times as expensive as Hinkley C, but his
calculations are suspect. The tidal lagoon would be expensive to build, but
once built it could go on for 120 years with minimal refurbishment cost.
And letter Prof Roger Kemp: The government’s rejection of the Swansea tidal
lagoon is extremely disappointing. Greg Clark says that wind energy is
cheaper, bu t it’s a false comparison: we can predict the tides years in
advance but it is difficult to look more than a week ahead with wind.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Renewable energy thriving across Asia

Physics World 27th June 2018 Dave Elliott: Renewables are booming across Asia, but there are variations
in pace and rival options also play a role. An interesting paper by Indian
academic Nandakumar Janardhanan looks at competition in renewables in
developing countries in Asia, focusing on India and China.

Janardhana notes that “India and China, being major developing economies and having huge
energy appetite, focused heavily on strengthening their respective
alternative energy sector” so as to reduce their over-reliance on
conventional fossil fuels. He adds that “India depends on external oil
supplies to meet two thirds of its oil demand, one third of oil demand in
China is met by imports”.

As a result, the renewable energy sector has
gained great momentum in these two countries and “as innovation and
development began to lead the growth of alternative energy sector,
opportunities for expansion within their respective borders as well as
outside emerged as promising avenues for the industry from both

June 29, 2018 Posted by | ASIA, renewable | Leave a comment

Europe’s first dedicated recycling plant for old solar panels has opened in France.

Climate Action 26th June 2018 Europe’s first dedicated recycling plant for old solar panels has opened
in France. Veolia, an environmental services company, has opened the plant
in the town of Rousset, near Marseille, after securing a contract with
recycling organisation PV Cycle France.

The new deal means that Veolia will
recycle 1,300 tonnes of solar panels in 2018, which will increase to 4,000
tonnes by 2022, according to news agency Reuters. “This is the first
dedicated solar panel recycling plant in Europe, possibly in the world,”
said Gilles Carsuzaa, head of electronics recycling at Veolia.

According to
Veolia, solar capacity has grown by up to 40 percent a year in France,
equivalent to 84,000 tonnes of material in 2017 alone. The plant will now
ensure a single panel’s complex array of silver, silicon, glass, copper,
and plastics, and copper are dissembled and in working order to make new
solar panels. Solar panels have an estimated lifespan of 25 to 30 years,
meaning that many of the first generation built in the 1990s are now being
decommissioned. Veolia’s initial contract will recycle almost all of the
out-of-date solar panels in France this year.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | France, renewable | Leave a comment