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Renewable Energy Now Employs 10.3 Million People Globally   10 May 18The renewable energy industry employs 10.3 million people worldwide, according to new data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). And the sector is growing rapidly, adding more than 500,000 jobs last year alone, an increase of 5.3 percent from 2016, PV Magazine reported.

The solar industry accounts for the largest share of jobs in renewable energy, with nearly 3.4 million people employed in research, production, installation and maintenance of solar panels — an increase of 9 percent from 2016. The solar sector is followed by liquid biofuels, with 1.9 million jobs, and hydropower, with 1.5 million. The IRENA report finds that employment in the global wind industry decreased slightly from 2016 to 2017, shrinking to 1.15 million. China is home to 65 percent of the world’s solar jobs, and 43 percent of all renewable energy jobs. Due to the region’s robust manufacturing sector, four-fifths of all renewable energy jobs are located in Asia.

“The data underscores an increasingly regionalized picture, highlighting that in countries where attractive policies exist, the economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energy are most evident,” said Adnan Z. Amin, director general of IRENA.


May 11, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, employment, renewable | Leave a comment

California to make solar panels mandatory on new houses?

Independent 5th May 2018 , California is set to become the first US state to make solar panels
mandatory on most newly built homes. The state’s Energy Commission is due
to vote next week on new energy standards that would require virtually all
new homes to be constructed with solar panels from 2020. Currently around
20 per cent of single-family homes are constructed with solar capacity
built in, but if the new standards are approved as expected this proportion
will rise sharply.

May 7, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, USA | Leave a comment

Belgium’s move away from nuclear power – now pushing offshore wind parks

Reuters 20th April 2018, Belgium will double the area of its North Sea waters made available to
offshore wind parks after 2020, the government announced on Friday, as part
of its exit strategy from nuclear power. The country has four offshore wind
parks that produce 871 megawatts of power and wants to increase that
capacity to 2.2 gigawatts by 2020 and to 4 gigawatts by 2030. After 2020,
the government plans to designate a new, 221-square-kilometre (85 square
miles) area near French waters.

April 22, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment

Prof. Mark Jacobson – new research for 100% global renewable energy

Environmental Research Web 21st April 2018 , Dave Elliott: Prof. Mark Jacobson and his team at Stanford University got some flack for their 100% global renewable energy study last year. It said
139 countries around the world could obtain 100% of their energy from wind,
water and solar (WWS) sources by 2050.

It had been based on their 2015
study that examined the ability of 48 US states to meet all their energy
needs stably from these renewables. Some said their approach was flawed,
and, for example, relied too heavily on energy storage solutions and on
adding turbines to existing hydroelectric dams to get extra power.

In response, Jacobson and colleagues at Stanford, the University of California
at Berkeley and Aalborg University in Denmark have now produced a new
study, focusing on 20 global regions encompassing the 139 countries, with
supply and demand matching modelled for a range of storage/backup options
over the period 2050-54.

The team is adamant that there would be no major
problems with balancing. They note that many previous studies had examined
matching time-dependent demand with supply for up to 100% renewable
electricity and some has looked at all-energy matching. All had found that
‘time-dependent supply can match demand at high penetrations of renewable
energy without nuclear power, natural gas, or fossil fuels with carbon
capture’. So had they.

But they claim to have added more certainty: in
their new scenarios they say ‘100% of all end-use energy, rather than
100% of just electricity (which is ~20% of total end use energy), is
decarbonized’ with balancing solutions found ‘by considering many
storage options, namely heat storage in rocks and water; cold storage in
water and ice; electricity storage in CSP-storage, pumped hydropower,
existing hydropower reservoirs, and batteries; and hydrogen storage; and by
considering demand response and, in one scenario, heat pumps’.

April 22, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Solar power production is surging as temperatures rise across Europe

Bloomberg 18th April 2018 , Solar power production is surging as temperatures rise across Europe.
Electricity flowing from photovoltaics in Germany may reach 25.5 gigawatts,
just short of the 27-gigawatt record from last May, according to a
Bloomberg’s solar model for Europe’s biggest energy market.

April 21, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment

In 2017 Solar Power Investment Outstripped Coal, Gas And Nuclear Combined

Solar Power Investment Outstripped Coal, Gas And Nuclear Combined In 2017

  • More money was invested in solar power in 2017 than in coal, gas and nuclear power combined, according to a new report for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

    The report says that global investment in solar rose 18% to $160.8 billion, driven by the Chinese market, which was responsible for more than half of the world’s 98GW of new solar capacity.

    Solar power made up 57% of last year’s total for all renewables (excluding large hydro) of $279.8 billion, and it towered above new investment in coal and gas generation capacity, at an estimated $103 billion.

    A record 157GW of renewable power were commissioned last year, up from 143GW in 2016 and far higher than the net 70GW of fossil-fuel generating capacity added (after adjusting for the closure of some existing plants) during the same period.

    The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 report, released by UNEP and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, finds that falling costs for solar electricity, and to some extent wind power, are continuing to drive deployment of renewable technologies.

    A separate report from the International Renewable Energy Agency said that renewable capacity including large hydro grew 167GW, or 8.3%.

     The world added more solar capacity than coal, gas, and nuclear plants combined ,” said Nils Stieglitz, President of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. “This shows where we are heading, although the fact that renewables altogether are still far from providing the majority of electricity means that we still have a long way to go.” In addition to the rapid growth of the solar PV market, the amount of wind power capacity grew by 10%, IRENA said.

    Last year was the eighth in a row in which global investment in renewables, excluding large hydropower, exceeded $200 billion – and since 2004, the world has invested $2.9 trillion in these green energy sources, the study found.

    “This latest data confirms that the global energy transition continues to move forward at a fast pace, thanks to rapidly falling prices, technology improvements and an increasingly favourable policy environment, said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “Renewable energy is now the solution for countries looking to support economic growth and job creation, just as it is for those seeking to limit carbon emissions, expand energy access, reduce air pollution and improve energy security.”

    Chinese investment in solar jumped by 58% to $86.5 billion, leading to the addition of 53GW of capacity. China, the world’s biggest emitter, has set itself the target of sourcing a fifth of its electricity by 2030. Its investment in all renewable technologies was a record $126.6 billion, 31% higher than the year before.

    Asia as a whole accounted for almost two thirds of new capacity, with a tenth of the global total coming from India, mostly in solar and wind.

    The burgeoning renewable power market came in spite of the anti-clean energy sentiment of the administration of President Donald Trump and significant falls in investment in markets such as the UK. US investment fell 6% to $40.5 billion while European funding slipped by 36% to $40.9 billion, mainly because of a 65% drop-off in the U.K. to $7.6 billion and a 35% decline to $10.4 billion in Germany. Japan followed a similar trend in Japan, which dropped off 28% to $13.4 billion.

    As well as the Chinese surge, this was compensated for by sharp increases in investment in Australia (up 147% to $8.5 billion), Mexico (up 810% to $6 billion), and in Sweden (up 127 per cent to $3.7 billion).

    Angus McCrone, Chief Editor of Bloomberg New Energy Finance and lead author of the UNEP report, said: “In countries that saw lower investment, it generally reflected a mixture of changes in policy support, the timing of large project financings, such as in offshore wind, and lower capital costs per megawatt.”

    The $2.7 trillion invested in clean energy from 2007 to 2017 have increased the proportion of electricity generated by wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, marine and small hydro globally to more than 12%, from 5.2% in 2007, BNEF said, and has avoided the emission of about 1.8 gigatonnes of CO2, about the same as is emitted by the entire US transportation system.

    UN Environment head Erik Solheim said that “the extraordinary surge in solar investment shows how the global energy map is changing and, more importantly, what the economic benefits are of such a shift. Investments in renewables bring more people into the economy, they deliver more jobs, better quality jobs and better paid jobs. Clean energy also means less pollution, which means healthier, happier development.”

    However, IRENA’s Amin added that “despite this clear evidence of strength in the power generation sector, a complete energy transformation goes beyond electricity to include the end-use sectors of heating, cooling and transportation, where there is substantial opportunity for growth of renewables


April 11, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

California producing a surplus of renewable energy

California Has Too Much Green Energy, Daily Caller , TIM PEARCE,  Energy Reporter

California has frozen development on any more renewable energy sources as it wrestles with what to do with all the extra electricity it’s currently producing, Quartz reported.

Solar energy production has risen from less than one percent of California’s energy mix in 2010 to around 10 percent in 2017. On certain days when conditions are favorable, solar has supplied as much as half the energy used by Californians, according to Quartz.

The California Public Utilities Commission has proposed the state hold off on any further investment into renewable energy as individuals and businesses throughout the state continue to buy their own private sources of energy, such as solar panels secured to the tops of buildings. As more individuals invest in private energy, demand on the state’s grid lessens, Greentech Media reported.

California also has trouble predicting how much renewable energy will be needed at a certain time and controlling the power supplied. On several occasions, California paid Arizona utilities and others to take excess solar energy to avoid overloading its own grid, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“It’s really disappointing,” Independent Energy Producers Association CEO Jan Smutny-Jones told Greentech Media about California’s decision to halt renewable energy investment. “They’re basically saying, ‘There’s too much going on; we don’t know what to do, so we’re not going to do anything for a while.’” ……….

April 11, 2018 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

International Energy Agency underestimates renewable energy

Is the IEA underestimating renewables? Spreading nuclear weapons cost, DW, 26 Mar 18   Gero Rueter  Scenarios from the International Energy Agency (IEA) have failed to predict the growth of renewables and overestimated the role of nuclear. Critics say that’s a political choice.

Last year, the world’s photovoltaic power capacity overtook nuclear for the first time – reaching 402 gigawatts, compared to 353 (GW). Wind power outstripped nuclear back in 2014, and by the end of 2017 amounted to 539 GW.

According to the World Wind Energy Association, 2017 saw the installation of 52.6 GW of new wind capacity. The latest estimates from Solar Power Europe put PV capacity installed in that year at 98.9 GW.

New nuclear power facilities going online were modest in comparison – amounting to just 2.7 GW, according to Mycle Schneider, lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Report.

Back in 2010, you might not have predicted such a shift in the global energy mix – at least, not if you were basing your predictions on the International Energy Agency’s annual Word Energy Outlook (WEO), which estimated annual deployment of less than 10 GW of photovoltaic capacity.

According to this scenario, globally installed solar capacity would hit around 85 GW last year – 315 GW less than the actual figure.

Critics say this is part of a pattern of the IEA consistently underestimating the growth of renewables while making unrealistic assumptions about the development of nuclear.

The 2010 WEO estimated that nuclear capacity would reach 470 GW by the end of 2017, over 110 GW more than the current global figure.

And that imbalance has, according to a 2015 study, has continued in subsequent annual WEOs from the IEA, which ignores facts such as “climate protection and divestment of finance from the conventional energy sector.”

Political bias?

Claudia Kemfert, head of the German Institute for Economic Research’s energy and environment department, told DW the IEA has underestimated drop in renewable power costs, as well as the cost of nuclear and fossil alternatives.

“Probably for political and economic reasons, neither the external costs of fossil fuels nor the cost increases of nuclear energy have been factored in,” Kemfert said. “The fossil fuel and nuclear industries have an interest in artificially exaggerating the cost of renewables in order to influence policy in their favor.”

Sven Teske of the Institute for Sustainable Futures at Sydney University, an advisor to the International Panel on Climate Change, told DW he’d been told unofficially that how much nuclear power was included in IEA scenarios was “basically dictated.”

Hans-Josef Fell, president of the Energy Watch Group, says the IEA acts “on behalf of the OECD governments that ultimately oversee it,” and reflects their ongoing commitment to the fossil fuels sector.

And that has serious consequences, Fell says. “It is likely these scenarios are a major culprit in the global community’s failure to put a sufficiently intensive focus on renewable energy over the last ten to 20 years,” he told DW. “It paints a picture of renewables as too expensive and unable to expand fast enough.”…………

April 9, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

In 2017 global investment in renewable energy outstripped thatn in coal, gas and nuclear combined

World invested more in solar energy than coal, gas and nuclear combined in 2017, UN report revealsNew figures show ‘how much can be achieved when we commit to growth without harming the environment,’ says UN Independent UK, Josh Gabbatiss Science Correspondent @josh_gabbatiss

Global investment in renewable energy shot up last year, far outstripping investment in fossil fuels, according to a UN report.

As the price of clean energy technology plummets, it has become an increasingly attractive prospect for world governments.

China was by far the world’s largest investor in renewable energy in 2017, accounting for nearly half of the new infrastructure commissioned.

This was mainly a result of its massive support for solar power, which globally attracted nearly a fifth more investment than in the previous year. Other countries including Australia, Sweden and Mexico more than doubled the amount of money they pumped into clean energy projects……..

April 6, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, renewable | Leave a comment

France’s EDF to spend 8 billion euros ($9.8 billion) by 2035 on energy storage

Utility Dive 29th March 2018. French national utility EDF says it plans to spend 8 billion euros ($9.8
billion) by 2035 in a move to become “the European leader” in energy
storage. EDF’s goal is to develop 10 GW of storage around the world by that
same timeframe. The company already operates 5 GW of storage facilities. In
particular, EDF is targeting the residential sector in France and Europe
with a variety of self-consumption services that use batteries, as well as
Africa where the utility company hopes to develop a portfolio of 1.2
million off-grid customers by 2035 through local partnerships.

April 4, 2018 Posted by | energy storage, France | Leave a comment

Wind and solar make more electricity than nuclear for first time in UK

In 2017 Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions also fell 3% as coal use dropped and renewables climbed, Guardian,  Adam Vaughan  , 30 Mar 18 

Windfarms and solar panels produced more electricity than the UK’s eight nuclear power stations for the first time at the end of last year, official figures show.

Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions also continued to fall, dropping 3% in 2017, as coal use fell and the use of renewables climbed.

Energy experienced the biggest drop in emissions of any UK sector, of 8%, while pollution from transport and businesses stayed flat.

Energy industry chiefs said the figures showed that the government should rethink its ban on onshore wind subsidies, a move that ministers have hinted could happen soon.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of the big six lobby group Energy UK, said: “We need to keep up the pace … by ensuring that the lowest cost renewables are no longer excluded from the market.”…….


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

Saudi Arabia to build the world’s biggest solar power project

Times 29th March 2018, Saudi Arabia has announced a $200 billion plan to build the world’s biggest
solar-power project, which would end the country’s dependence on oil. The
project, which would result in panels taking up vast tracts of the desert
equivalent to a million football pitches, has been secured by Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman and could mark a change in the world’s environmental

Under the terms of the arrangement, solar-power plants would
supply enough electricity not only for Saudi Arabia but much of the Middle
East. In doing so it would allow the country to export more oil for money
and, it is claimed, help in the spread of renewable, low-carbon energy

Telegraph 28th March 2018, Saudi Arabia has cast light on its $200bn (£141bn) plans to cut its
reliance on oil by rolling out the world’s most ambitious solar power
project through a deal with SoftBank. The agreement will drive investment
in a series of solar parks across the kingdom to be built by 2030, capable
of generating enough power for 150 million homes.

March 28, 2018 Posted by | renewable, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

France to make a huge investment in energy storage

French Nuclear Giant Gambles Big On Energy Storage , Forbes, William Pentland  

Forbes, Electricite de France said today that it plans to invest a whopping $9.93 billion in electricity storage by 2035.

“Electricity-storage technologies have a potential to radically change the energy sector,” said Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy.

The French utility company said on Tuesday that the planned investment would be used to develop an estimated 10 gigawatts of additional energy storage projects, or roughly twice the total amount of capacity it currently operates.

The utility said it would target energy storage projects in the European market, especially in France, but that it would also pursue opportunities in Africa, including battery storage and storage plus solar projects in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

Over the next two years, EDF said it would use roughly one third of its investment in energy storage to acquiring projects and start-up companies focused on energy storage projects and grid applications. A portion of the investment – about $87 million – will also be used to support research and development activities in the energy storage space. ……


March 28, 2018 Posted by | energy storage, France | Leave a comment

UK considers Tidal Power Contract, with assistance from Welsh government

U.K. Weighs Tidal Power Contract Aping Hinkley Nuclear Deal, Bloomberg ,By  Alex Morales, 
  • Swansea Bay plan could open up 40 billion pounds of spending
  • U.K. and Welsh ministers seek to forge deal to enable project

U.K. officials are in intensive talks with their Welsh counterparts to kick-start a tidal power plan by copying the controversial contract awarded to Electricite de France SA for its Hinkley Point nuclear power project.

 Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd.’s Swansea Bay project would tap the ebb and flow of the tides to generate electricity. It’s been in limbo for 15 months since a government-commissioned review recommended giving it the go-ahead. The delay reflects a reluctance by ministers to accept costs for consumers that were once estimated at double the power price EDF will get.

Amid pressure from more than 100 backbench lawmakers who want the tidal plant to move ahead, ministers are grappling with how to make it palatable. The developer had proposed an initial power price a third higher than Hinkley’s. But an offer of assistance from the Welsh government has changed the game. Officials are now debating a deal on the same terms as Hinkley, according to Richard Graham, a lawmaker with the ruling Conservatives who chairs Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Marine Energy. ……..

March 27, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

UK: renewable energy becoming cheaper than nuclear power

Times 21st March 2018,Onshore wind and solar farms capable of generating more than three times as much power as the new Hinkley Point C nuclear plant could be built without any subsidy from taxpayers in Britain by 2030, energy analysts have forecast.

The plunging costs of the technologies, which were reliant on very high subsidies just a few years ago, could enable investors to build them without any government intervention by the early 2020s, said Aurora Energy Research.

The government has ended subsidy schemes for new onshore wind and solar farms, slowing their development, amid concern about their cost to consumers. Aurora, an Oxford-based consultancy, predicts that the fall in costs has brought the industry to the “cusp of breakthrough in Britain”, whereby such projects could be commercially viable even without subsidies.

It predicts that solar farms capable of generating up to 9 gigawatts and onshore wind farms with a maximum output of 5 gigawatts are likely to be built on this basis by 2030. The prediction is likely to further increase pressure on nuclear developers to show they can be cost competitive. The 3.2-gigawatt Hinkley Point C plant is only viable thanks to a subsidy contract that commits consumers to pay its developers well above the market price for power for 35 years — potentially costing tens
of billions of pounds. Renewables have only been made viable by similar commitments from government.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment