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sidd

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1350 on: July 15, 2016, 01:35:25 AM »
Re: biofuels

" ... 20 percent of global energy demand ..." is misleading.

1) stationary demand may be electrified
2) transport is the biggie for required storage energy density, and a lot of that may be electrified
3) Overbuild of renewables for liquid fuel generation through ammonia or other fuel cycle

The institute cited is not so nonpartisan, upon closer examination. Big proponent of CCS, the sourcewatch page is useful for backgrounds of various participants.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1351 on: July 16, 2016, 02:08:49 AM »
As solar floods California grid, challenges loom
As part of the fight against global warming, California law requires utilities to get 33 percent of the electricity they sell from the sun, wind and other renewable sources by 2020 and 50 percent by 2030. When electricity demand on Tuesday reached its peak, at 5:54 p.m., almost 29 percent of the electricity coursing over the grid came from renewable sources, according to the Independent System Operator.

For a brief time on May 16, renewables accounted for 56 percent of the grid’s electricity, according to the operator.

These figures don’t count the electricity generated by the more than 537,000 rooftop solar arrays on California houses and businesses. Together, those arrays can produce as much as 4,211 megawatts of electricity.

A megawatt is a snapshot figure, roughly equal to the amount of electricity used by 750 typical homes at a single moment in time.

PG&E, which is California’s largest utility, currently gets about 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and may hit 33 percent by the end of this year, CEO Tony Earley said last month. PG&E also owns a fleet of large hydroelectric dams, but under state law those dams don’t count toward California’s renewable power goals.

http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/As-heatwave-bakes-CA-solar-sets-a-big-record-8379331.php
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JimD

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1352 on: July 19, 2016, 04:46:27 PM »
Seems like the right place for this.

http://boingboing.net/2016/07/15/for-90-years-lightbulbs-were.html

For 90 years, lightbulbs were designed to burn out. Now that's coming to LED bulbs.

In 1924, representatives of the world's leading lightbulb manufacturers formed Phoebus, a cartel that fixed the average life of an incandescent bulb at 1,000 hours, ensuring that people would have to regularly buy bulbs and keep the manufacturers in business.

But hardware store LED bulbs have a typical duty-cycle of 25,000 hours -- meaning that the average American household will only have to buy new bulbs ever 42 years or so.

The lighting industry is panicked about "socket saturation," when all household bulbs have been replaced with long-lasting LED bulbs. There's signs that they're moving to limit the longevity of LED bulbs, albeit without the grossly illegal cartels of the Phoebus era. Philipps is seling $5 LED bulbs that have a 10,000 hour duty-cycle. Many no-name Chinese LED bulbs are so shoddy that they're sold by the kilo, and buyers are left to sort the totally defective (ranging from bulbs that don't work at all to bulbs that give people electrical shocks) from the marginally usable ones.

JB MacKinnon's excellent New Yorker piece tells the story of planned obsolescence and home lighting, but only skims the surface of the Internet of Things future of "smart" bulbs. It's been less than a year since Philips pushed out a firmware update that gave its light fixtures the ability to detect and reject non-Philips lightbulbs -- and thanks to laws like the DMCA, which have metastasized in the IoT era, it's a potential felony to alter your light fixture to override this behavior and force it to work with non-Philips bulbs....


And it gets much worse.

..As bulbs get smarter, they're being positioned as IoT hubs that do everything from relaying your wifi to connecting to your thermostat to serving and coordinating with your home security system. This gives them the power to gather farcical quantities of potentially compromising, sensitive information about your life inside your own home, and since a federal court just ruled that the Terms of Service accompanying these products have the force of law, there's little you can do (or sell) that will help people get out from under this kind of spying....


So you might do what I am doing and go down to the store and buy a full set of the non"Internet of Things future of "smart" bulbs" and outfit the rest of the house - after all there is zero chance I'll live another 40 years so i can avoid this disaster alltogether (unless they come kick my door down I guess...but that is what the assault rifle is for right? :).
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1353 on: July 19, 2016, 09:33:47 PM »
Germany sets a new solar storage record
With the most photovoltaic capacity of any country in Europe, Germany has begun to store its excess solar power to enhance local usage. Last year, 41% of all new solar installations were equipped with backup batteries, a world record. Although home storage may only have a limited role to play in Germany due to a highly reliable grid, globally the German initiative could provide great benefits, for example in counterbalancing the predicted increase of air conditioning usage. Once again, Germany is piloting a renewable energy strategy that will ultimately benefit the rest of the world more than the Germans themselves.

http://www.energypost.eu/germany-sets-new-solar-storage-record/
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12Patrick

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1354 on: July 19, 2016, 10:36:03 PM »
Renewables are not being built fast enough to prevent summertime Arctic Ice melt off...

jai mitchell

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1355 on: July 20, 2016, 09:29:58 PM »
Seems like the right place for this.


But hardware store LED bulbs have a typical duty-cycle of 25,000 hours -- meaning that the average American household will only have to buy new bulbs ever 42 years or so.

The lighting industry is panicked about "socket saturation," when all household bulbs have been replaced with long-lasting LED bulbs. There's signs that they're moving to limit the longevity of LED bulbs, albeit without the grossly illegal cartels of the Phoebus era. Philipps is seling $5 LED bulbs that have a 10,000 hour duty-cycle.

I would like to see a subsidy for lighting that brings the cost down but also allows for a lifetime limit of 10,000 hours of operation.  This will allow for technology improvements in future retrofits.  In another 10 years the energy per lumen of lighting may be 1/3 what it is today, if those bulbs today work for another 20 years well we will have locked in wasteful energy use.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1356 on: July 21, 2016, 12:55:59 AM »
Scientific Research Reveals Agricultural Benefits of Ground Mount Solar
Ground mounted solar installations across the U.S. are becoming more popular, both in utility and residential PV markets. As a result, many people are starting to wonder what the environmental impact will be of community solar projects and large solar arrays. This week, environmental scientists at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom released new research on the topic.

One major finding from the study was the agricultural benefit provided by ground mounted panels in offering cooler growing environments in arid climates. In the past, there has been widespread concern that the surface area needed for a ground mounted solar installation could displace necessary farming operations. However, the study revealed that the shade and cool temperatures generated beneath panels could actually broaden agricultural horizons in desolate farming climates. “The shade under the panels may allow crops to be grown that can’t survive in full sun,” said Dr. Alona Armstrong, lead author on the study. “Also, water losses may be reduced and water could be collected from the large surfaces of the solar panels and used for crop irrigation."


Solar panels study reveals impact on the Earth
http://phys.org/news/2016-07-solar-panels-reveals-impact-earth.html
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1357 on: July 21, 2016, 01:02:44 AM »
Texas Seeing Biggest Solar Boom in the U.S. in 2016
A number of U.S. states have seen strong growth in solar adoption in 2016, but perhaps the most remarkable solar boom is taking place in the state of Texas. Last month, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) told the press that all power plants created in Texas over the next 15 years will be powered by solar. Simply put, the Lone Star State wants all new large-scale energy projects to be renewable ones, and solar will be the only resource for utility scale installations. Considering the state’s reputation as a center for the oil and gas industry, this proclamation by Texas’ energy leaders is certainly a symbolic one for the future of solar. “I think what sets Texas apart is the combination of the open deregulated wholesale market and the ease with which new technologies can connect to the grid,” said Warren Lasher, Director of Systems Planning at ERCOT.

Booming solar industry could mean big business for Texas
http://amarillo.com/news/latest-news/2016-07-12/booming-solar-industry-could-mean-big-business-texas
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1358 on: July 25, 2016, 09:16:15 PM »
A win for solar customers in Texas.

El Paso Electric Agrees to Kill Solar Fee for Customers
The move is a win for consumer and environmental groups that said the fee would dim solar’s prospects in El Paso.
https://www.texasobserver.org/el-paso-solar-fee-dimmed/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1359 on: July 25, 2016, 10:00:18 PM »
Philips Lighting company to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations by 2020

As part of The Climate Group’s RE100 campaign, a collaborative initiative of influential businesses committed to reach 100% renewable electricity, Philips has also confirmed its intention to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations by 2020 – a pledge made during COP21.

The company is also one of the more than 40 groups of stakeholders that are part of the Global Lighting Challenge, which collectively have so far pledged 6 billion LED lighting products and deployed over 100 million LED bulbs globally.

Philips also participates in The Climate Group’s global campaign LED = Lower Emissions Delivered, set to encourage local governments, cities and utilities to embrace the carbon and cost benefits of switching to LED. The campaign, launched last year during Climate Week NYC, is part of The Climate Group’s call on every single city and utility around the world to schedule the switch of their street lighting to LEDs (or as energy efficient) by 2025.
https://www.theclimategroup.org/news/harry-verhaar-philips-lighting-circular-economy-and-smart-led-will-“drive-climate-change-agenda
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1360 on: July 26, 2016, 02:16:07 AM »
U.S.:  New Program Will Make District of Columbia A Leader On Renewable Energy
The nation’s capital will get half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2032, officials announced Monday.

The new, 50 percent renewable portfolio standard will require the District’s utilities to increase electricity from sources such as wind and solar from the current goal of 20 percent by 2020 to 50 percent by 2032, getting at least 5 percent from solar. In addition, under a jobs and installation program, more than 100,000 low-income D.C. households will be outfitted with solar over the next 16 years.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/07/25/3801553/dc-50-percent-renewable-goal/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1361 on: July 29, 2016, 09:51:11 PM »
World’s largest solar power plant planned for Chernobyl nuclear wasteland
The world’s most famous and damaging nuclear meltdown is now being considered for the world’s largest solar power plant. The Ukrainian nuclear power station Chernobyl had a nuclear meltdown on April 26, 1986. Since then 1,600 square miles of land has been deemed an ‘exclusion zone’ as the radiation levels are too high for human health. But in a recent interview, Ukraine’s ecology minister said the government was negotiating with two US investment firms and four Canadian energy companies, which have expressed interest in the Chernobyl’s solar potential.
...
The Chernobyl site has really good potential for renewable energy,” Ukraine’s environment minister Ostap Semerak, 44, said at an interview in London. “We already have high-voltage transmission lines that were previously used for the nuclear stations, the land is very cheap and we have many people trained to work at power plants. We have normal European priorities, which means having the best standards with the environment and clean energy ambitions,”

http://electrek.co/2016/07/29/worlds-largest-solar-power-plant-planned-for-chernobyl-nuclear-wasteland/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1362 on: July 29, 2016, 10:04:45 PM »
Nuclear Power Advocates Claim Cheap Renewable Energy Is A Bad Thing
By Joe Romm
The big picture reality is this: The world is finally starting to take some serious action to avoid catastrophic climate change, which means first the electric grid will decarbonize, and then the transportation system. That means global coal use peaks or plateaus first — and then oil does.
...
The result of this revolution, they conclude, is that “On our wind and solar numbers, emissions in IEA scenarios could peak as early as c.2020, rather than 2030.”
...
Yes, it is true that this revolution is happening so fast that it is “transforming the competitive dynamics in industries like lighting, power generation and autos,” as Goldman Sachs noted. And that means there will be dislocations.

For instance, the clean energy revolution means other low-carbon or zero-carbon technologies that haven’t reached the point of exponential growth — and that are not experiencing learning curve improvements in cost and performance — are very likely to fall further and further behind. That is where nuclear power finds itself. As do hydrogen fuel cell cars.

It also means that the electric grid in particular will go through some growing pains as it starts to integrate renewables at a faster pace than anybody thought possible just a few years ago. The Times, bizarrely, has chosen to publish article after article over-emphasizing and indeed exaggerating those growing pains, while projecting a future for nuclear power that currently doesn’t exist.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/07/28/3802326/nuclear-power-renewables-cheap/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1363 on: July 31, 2016, 06:38:45 PM »
Europe:  Offshore Wind Investments So Far This Year Already Beating 2015
Europe’s offshore wind-power industry attracted more investment in the first half of 2016 than it did during the whole of last year, according to figures from trade association WindEurope.
Investment hit a record 14 billion euros ($15.4 billion) in the first six months of 2016, exceeding the 13.3 billion euros invested in 2015, according to the organization’s report Wednesday.

Britain, the world’s biggest market for the renewable energy technology, drove first half growth in offshore wind, attracting 10.4 billion euros. Germany secured 2.5 billion, Denmark attracted 999 million euros, and Finland the remaining 121 million euros.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-27/offshore-wind-investments-so-far-this-year-already-beating-2015
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1364 on: July 31, 2016, 08:51:20 PM »
The permitting process is often said to be the most onerous part of installing solar, and after my own experience, I have to agree!  Good on California for making it easier. :)

California's Fast-Track Solar Permits Let the Sun Shine In Faster—and Cheaper
California cities are leading the nation in eliminating one of the biggest hurdles to the growth of residential solar: lengthy and confusing permitting.

Spurred by a recent state law, hundreds of California communities have streamlined their permit process for small residential solar systems over the past year, some bringing it down to a single day. Some cities have also fast-tracked inspections to within a few days of permit approvals. The outcome? The state's biggest cities are now processing and signing off on hundreds of these solar projects each month.

San Jose, for example, streamlined its permit review and approval process last August and has since approved more than 4,500 residential rooftop solar permits. That's a nearly 600 percent increase over the previous year, when San Jose, California's third-largest city, permitted a mere 661.

"We want to make it fast and easy so that no one can hesitate due to bureaucratic red tape to be able to make the transition to a greener energy source," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told InsideClimate News.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/29072016/california-fast-track-solar-permits-let-sun-shine-faster-cheaper-san-jose-los-angeles
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1365 on: August 04, 2016, 04:20:31 AM »
The World Nears Peak Fossil Fuels for Electricity
Coal and gas will begin their terminal decline in less than a decade, according to a new BNEF analysis.
Already, in many regions, the lifetime cost of wind and solar is less than the cost of building new fossil fuel plants, and that trend will continue. But by 2027, something remarkable happens. At that point, building new wind farms and solar fields will often be cheaper than running the existing coal and gas generators. "This is a tipping point that results in rapid and widespread renewables development," according to BNEF.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-13/we-ve-almost-reached-peak-fossil-fuels-for-electricity
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Darvince

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1366 on: August 05, 2016, 10:28:30 PM »
Even that doesn't seem fast enough for the reality to me, compared to the notoriously conservative IEA. I fully expect that the decline in coal seen through the last three years will continue and possibly even accelerate. Additionally, favorable legislation could push the solar doubling time past even its neck-breaking 2.5 year pace.

sidd

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1367 on: August 07, 2016, 12:39:25 AM »
There is a useful paper by the (USA) National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners

http://pubs.naruc.org/pub/88954963-0F01-F4D9-FBA3-AC9346B18FB2

I especially recommend the sections on effective lifetime, Value of Resource and Value of Service.

Some discussion is at

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/naruc-rate-design-manual-reignites-debate-over-cost-shift-value-of-solar/423586/

I would ignore the comments in the latter link by Ashley Brown, who was a shill when "serving" as an Ohio regulator, and remains a shill today. Those of Jim Lazar reward careful reading.

sidd

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1368 on: August 09, 2016, 01:29:42 AM »
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse:  ...Very exciting! Proud to see [Rhode Island's] hard work come to fruition as @DeepwaterWind enters its final phase of construction. Bravo!

The US #offshorewind industry has started. 1st turbine installation complete at 8:30am @DeepwaterWind @GErenewables
https://twitter.com/jgrybowski/status/761179813155569664
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ghoti

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1369 on: August 09, 2016, 03:00:06 AM »
Hopefully Block Island RI can demonstrate to the US what Orkney Island has shown can be done in the UK.

Orkney - Island of the Future...
https://youtu.be/FXe1hBvlylw

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1370 on: August 09, 2016, 03:20:38 AM »
Windfarms do not discourage tourists, economists find
Lindsay Roberts, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: "This research joins the growing body of evidence that clearly shows there is no negative impact on the tourism industry from the development of onshore wind.

"In fact, the study found that employment in tourism in the majority of areas immediately surrounding wind farms grew faster than in the wider local authority areas where they were situated.

"Last year Scottish Renewables found that more than 13,000 miles had been covered by runners and cyclists alone on infrastructure tracks installed for wind farms and hydropower schemes.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/windfarms-wind-turbines-tourism-biggar-economics-scotland-a7168071.html
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1371 on: August 10, 2016, 03:21:37 AM »
Elon Musk announces ‘Solar Roof’ product, Tesla/SolarCity will go after the roof industry
Tesla CEO Elon Musk was on SolarCity’s conference call for its second quarter financial results today, which is unusual for the Chairman, but understandable considering the impending deal for Tesla to acquire the solar installer. During the call, Musk announced that SolarCity will unveil a “solar roof” as opposed to “solar modules on a roof”.

While Musk didn’t elaborate on the product itself, he made it clear that Tesla/SolarCity will go after the roof industry with its new products, rather than only installing solar modules on existing roofs.
...
The CEO explained that it will open up a new market for the company. Rive added that there are 5 million new roofs installed every year in the US and if your roof is about to need to be replaced, you don’t want to invest in solar panels to install on it since you are about to take it down, but if the solar panels are the roof and you need to redo it anyway, there’s no reason not to go with a power-generating roof. Musk sees a “huge” market for the roofs nearing their end of life.

Musk added that the new business plan will work alongside SolarCity’s current installations on existing roofs. It will not cannibalize the existing product.
https://electrek.co/2016/08/09/tesla-solarcity-solar-roof-elon-musk/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1372 on: August 11, 2016, 03:20:26 PM »
Scotland just produced enough wind energy to power it for an entire day
Strong winds combined with low demand on a sunny summer Sunday help Scotland reach ‘significant milestone’ on path towards ditching fossil fuels entirely
The figures showed that wind turbines in Scotland provided 39,545 megawatts per hour (MWh) of electricity to the National Grid for 24 hours on Sunday. Scotland’s total electricity consumption for that day was 37,202MWh.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/scotland-wind-energy-renewable-power-electricity-wwf-scotland-a7183006.html
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1373 on: August 12, 2016, 10:11:56 PM »
The linked research finds that recent market advances in renewable energy (like solar & wind) have both promoted the use of shale gas/fracking (via natural gas power plants) and have served to suppress the growth of battery use in the power grid.  The longer this situation goes on the more we will be tied to the use of shale gas (which due to leaks typically has a higher GWP than coal) for at least the service life of these fast reacting fossil fuel plants.

Elena Verdolini, Francesco Vona, David Popp (July 2016), "Bridging the Gap: Do Fast Reacting Fossil Technologies Facilitate Renewable Energy Diffusion?", NBER Working Paper No. 22454

http://www.nber.org/papers/w22454?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntw

Abstract: "The diffusion of renewable energy in the power system implies high supply variability. Lacking economically viable storage options, renewable energy integration has so far been possible thanks to the presence of fast-reacting mid-merit fossil-based technologies, which act as back-up capacity. This paper discusses the role of fossil-based power generation technologies in supporting renewable energy investments. We study the deployment of these two technologies conditional on all other drivers in 26 OECD countries between 1990 and 2013. We show that a 1% percent increase in the share of fast-reacting fossil generation capacity is associated with a 0.88% percent increase in renewable in the long run. These results are robust to various modifications in our empirical strategy, and most notably to the use of system-GMM techniques to account for the interdependence of renewable and fast-reacting fossil investment decisions. Our analysis points to the substantial indirect costs of renewable energy integration and highlights the complementarity of investments in different generation technologies for a successful decarbonization process."

See also:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/08/11/turns-out-wind-and-solar-have-a-secret-friend-natural-gas/?utm_term=.d2204a6ba5c7

Extract: "Because of the particular nature of clean energy sources like solar and wind, you can’t simply add them to the grid in large volumes and think that’s the end of the story. Rather, because these sources of electricity generation are “intermittent” — solar fluctuates with weather and the daily cycle, wind fluctuates with the wind — there has to be some means of continuing to provide electricity even when they go dark. And the more renewables you have, the bigger this problem can be.

Now, a new study suggests that at least so far, solving that problem has ironically involved more fossil fuels — and more particularly, installing a large number of fast-ramping natural gas plants, which can fill in quickly whenever renewable generation slips.



“Our paper calls attention to the fact that renewables and fast-reacting fossil technologies appear as highly complementary and that they should be jointly installed to meet the goals of cutting emissions and ensuring a stable supply,” the paper adds.

The type of “fast-reacting fossil technologies” being referred to here is natural gas plants that fire up quickly. For example, General Electric and EDF Energy currently feature a natural gas plant in France that “is capable of reaching full power in less than 30 minutes.” Full power, in this case, means rapidly adding over 600 megawatts, or million watts, of electricity to the grid.
“This allows partners to respond quickly to grid demand fluctuations, integrating renewables as necessary,” note the companies.

“When people assume that we can switch from fossil fuels to renewables they assume we can completely switch out of one path, to another path,” says Verdolini. But, she adds, the study suggests otherwise.

Verdolini emphasized this merely describes the past — not necessarily the future. That’s a critical distinction, because the study also notes that if we reach a time when fast-responding energy storage is prevalent — when, say, large-scale grid batteries store solar or wind-generated energy and can discharge it instantaneously when there’s a need — then the reliance on gas may no longer be so prevalent.

Other recent research has suggested that precisely because of this overlap between fast-firing natural gas plants and grid scale batteries — because they can play many of the same roles — extremely cheap natural gas prices have helped the industry out-compete the storage sector and slowed its growth."
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sidd

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1374 on: August 17, 2016, 08:11:55 PM »
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/2015-wind-technologies-market-report

price down, capacity factor over 40% for new install.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1375 on: August 18, 2016, 09:09:55 PM »
U.K. Approves World’s Largest Wind Farm
The U.K. government on Tuesday approved phase two of the world’s largest wind farm, adding 300 turbines to a project 55 miles off England’s shore, in the North Sea.

The Hornsea Two project will provide 1.8 gigawatts of generating power, in addition to the first phase’s 1.2 gigawatts. In all, the 3 gigawatts provided by Hornsea is enough to power 2.5 million average (U.S.) households. At that size, the combined project is roughly equivalent to a nuclear power plant.

“Offshore wind is already on course to meet 10 percent of the U.K.’s electricity demand by 2020,” said Huub den Rooijen, Director of Energy, Minerals and Infrastructure at The Crown Estate, the government’s asset management firm. ...
https://thinkprogress.org/uk-biggest-offshore-wind-project-approved-dd1b90d6593a
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1376 on: August 20, 2016, 07:45:32 PM »
Solar Sells in Chile for Cheapest Ever at Half the Price of Coal
The Spanish developer Solarpack Corp. Tecnologica won contracts to sell power from a 120-megawatt solar plant for $29.10 a megawatt-hour at an energy auction this week.

That’s the lowest price on record for electricity from sunshine, surpassing a deal in Dubai in May. It’s the cheapest to date for any kind of renewable energy, and was almost half the price of coal power sold in the same event. According to Solarpack General Director Inigo Malo de Molina, it’s one of the lowest rates ever for any kind of electricity, anywhere.
...
The location for this particular power plant is also a factor, in northern Chile’s Atacama desert. It’s high in the Andes, close to the equator and is considered one of the sunniest and driest places on Earth. It’s ideal for solar energy, and will generate more electricity than projects in areas that get less sunshine.
Chile’s government is planning to complete transmission lines that will let the solar farm deliver power to the entire country, which prompted Solarpack and other developers to bid so low, Molina said.
...
In Chile’s power auctions, developers offer to provide a certain amount of capacity at a specific price, without saying what type of power plant they’re planning to build. Bids are listed from cheapest to most expensive, and distribution companies select the lowest-cost proposals available until reaching their target capacity.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-19/solar-sells-in-chile-for-cheapest-ever-at-half-the-price-of-coal
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1377 on: August 21, 2016, 05:37:38 PM »
There are more jobs in renewable energy than in oil, gas, and coal combined -- IRENA
A word to the burly coal miners who complained that cutting coal out of our energy mix would take away their jobs when the Climate Action Plan was up for debate. Jobs in solar energy now outnumber jobs in coal mining and the oil and gas industry added together, says a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Solar may be taking away old jobs, but it’s offering new ones. That’s especially true for women. IRENA found that the renewable energy sector employs more women than oil, gas, and coal. In fact, the percentage of women working in solar is rising — up from 19 percent in 2013 to 24 percent of the estimated 209,000 solar jobs in the United States. That’s not yet great — women hold 47 percent of the jobs in our economy. But it’s still a higher percentage than in the bro-topia that is the conventional energy industry.
...
One of the most interesting markets for solar is in countries with unstable electrical grids, such as Bangladesh, India, and Kenya. It’s possible that those countries will be at the forefront of adopting small, independent solar systems, in much the same way that Egypt and other countries without widespread telephone access were early cellphone adopters. In North Korea, small, personal solar panels are on the rise, bought by people who need to charge cellphones when the grid goes down.

http://grist.org/business-technology/there-are-more-jobs-in-renewable-energy-than-in-oil-gas-and-coal-combined/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1378 on: August 23, 2016, 01:50:18 AM »
Solar Energy News:
> New Solar Device Can Purify Water
> Virginia Governor Launches Back to Back Utility Scale Solar Projects
> Salem, MA Will Host New Schools with Solar Energy
> SolarCity to Layoff Employees, Cut Executive Salaries
http://news.energysage.com/solar-energy-news-new-solar-device-can-purify-water/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1379 on: August 24, 2016, 12:20:21 AM »
“Farming the wind, so natural to do!”

Hosting Wind: How One Community Embraced its Wind Farm
http://blog.ucsusa.org/john-rogers/wind-farm-community
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budmantis

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1380 on: August 24, 2016, 01:21:08 AM »
“Farming the wind, so natural to do!”

Hosting Wind: How One Community Embraced its Wind Farm
http://blog.ucsusa.org/john-rogers/wind-farm-community


I'll take wind over fossil fuels any day, but what do you say to people that claim wind turbines pose a hazard for birds and some folks living near a proposed wind farm object to the aesthetic damage it causes to their view. I suppose even clean energy has its tradeoffs. I'd be interested in your point of view on this.

sidd

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1381 on: August 24, 2016, 06:49:01 AM »
1) Re: bird mortality from wind turbines

Can't put up a  wind farm without doing the eco impact studies these days, including bird migrations and resident avians. Turbines are  larger, blades move slower, so you dont have nearly the numbers of trailing edge vacuum evisceration that you used to. The move away from lattice to smooth towers with no convenient perches helped a great deal.

2) Re: Aesthetics

Cool. If they can pay for more expensive electric, they can have their view.

There's plenty of room for wind. Build it where you minimize impact.

sidd

budmantis

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1382 on: August 24, 2016, 07:23:28 AM »

2) Re: Aesthetics

Cool. If they can pay for more expensive electric, they can have their view.

There's plenty of room for wind. Build it where you minimize impact.

sidd

Good answers, thanks sidd.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1383 on: August 24, 2016, 04:25:03 PM »
“Farming the wind, so natural to do!”

Hosting Wind: How One Community Embraced its Wind Farm
http://blog.ucsusa.org/john-rogers/wind-farm-community


I'll take wind over fossil fuels any day, but what do you say to people that claim wind turbines pose a hazard for birds and some folks living near a proposed wind farm object to the aesthetic damage it causes to their view. I suppose even clean energy has its tradeoffs. I'd be interested in your point of view on this.


10,000 times more birds are killed by cats than by wind turbines.  Your house (especially windows) and car also kill more.  (Data from 2014 State of Birds report.)

As to aesthetics:  If we had all viewed pollution-spewing smokestacks and tailpipes as negatively as those opposed view wind turbines, we would not be in the mess we are in today!   :P  :-\
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 04:34:45 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1384 on: August 24, 2016, 04:40:04 PM »
As a follow-up to the Solar City layoffs (see Reply #1379 above):  Elon Musk and the Solar City chiefs bought millions-worth of Solar City bonds with their own money.

Elon Musk and Rive brothers personally bought $100 million worth of SolarCity (SCTY) bonds ahead of Tesla (TSLA) merger
https://electrek.co/2016/08/24/elon-musk-and-rive-brothers-personally-bought-100-million-worth-of-solarcity-scty-bonds-ahead-of-tesla-tsla-merger/
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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1385 on: August 25, 2016, 05:58:03 PM »
Colorado Settlement to Pay Solar Owners Higher Rates for Peak Power
After proposing higher fixed charges, Colorado's biggest electricity utility worked with solar advocates on a compromise, following deals in other states.
Colorado's largest electricity provider, Xcel Energy, reached a rate settlement that will pay homeowners with rooftop solar systems a premium price for power they produce when demand is highest.
...
The proposed settlement comes on the heels of similar deals in other states. In Texas, El Paso Electric recently dropped its request for a $15 per month fee on customers with rooftop solar installations. Earlier this month, the New Mexico Public Utilities Commission blocked a proposed 31 percent increase in the per-kilowatt charge for customers with solar installations.

They are the latest twists in a back-and-forth battle between the solar industry and electric power companies over net metering, a billing mechanism adopted in the late 1970s that pays people with rooftop solar for the unused electricity they feed back into the grid.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/23082016/colorado-solar-panels-net-metering-peak-power-demand-xcel-energy-rate-settlement
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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1386 on: August 26, 2016, 07:29:03 PM »
From desmogblog:
U.S. Electricity Generation From Renewables Has Broken Records Every Month in 2016

Electricity generation from wind, solar, and other renewable energy technologies have set monthly records every month so far in 2016, based on data through June released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration yesterday.

“Both hydroelectric and nonhydroelectric renewables have contributed to this trend, but in different ways. After a lengthy West Coast drought, hydro generation has increased and is now closer to historical levels. Nonhydro renewable generation continues to increase year-over-year and has exceeded hydro generation in each month since February 2016,” the EIA said in a statement.
...
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1387 on: August 28, 2016, 03:45:13 AM »
America's First Offshore Wind Farm Is Almost Ready [photos]
A milestone for American renewable energy that has been almost a decade in the making is nearing completion off the coast of Rhode Island. The nation’s first offshore wind farm is now rising and is expected to be completed this fall. ...

The five-turbine, 30-megawatt project off the coast of Block Island is actually tiny compared to the 100-plus turbine farms that are common in Europe. What will be the world's largest offshore wind farm, with 300 turbines and 1,800 megawatts, was just approved this week in the U.K. But America has been far slower to adopt offshore wind technology, with proposals stalled by regulators and lawsuits.
...
Overall, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates the technical potential for offshore wind in the U.S. to be more than 4,000 gigawatts, much more electricity than the entire country currently consumes.
https://www.fastcoexist.com/3062881/world-changing-ideas/americas-first-offshore-wind-farm-is-almost-ready
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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1388 on: August 28, 2016, 04:05:06 AM »
Mexico’s largest solar energy project aims at sustainability
In 2013, sweeping energy reforms were passed, which laid the ground rules and regulations for the creation of a solar energy industry in Mexico, making projects of this magnitude possible.

Mexico’s intense sunshine draws solar energy investors. Their goal in the next eight years is to help Mexico generate 35 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources.

“This is Mexico’s largest solar energy project,” Representative Juan Carlos Marin said. “Eventually, it’s expected to become the largest in Latin America and after that, the largest solar energy production project in the world.”

http://www.cctv-america.com/2016/08/24/mexicos-largest-solar-energy-project-aims-at-sustainability
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1389 on: September 01, 2016, 08:36:27 PM »
"There are plenty of arguments to be had about the costs of quickly ramping up renewables, or the right policies to get there. But anyone who says that the densely populated eastern US can’t do it without threatening service and reliability is, according to the best available research, simply wrong."

The Eastern US could get a third of its power from renewables within 10 years. Theoretically.
NREL did not model a substantial role for emerging technologies and practices like grid-connected battery storage and demand response. If those techs flourish — and signs are good —it's likely the grid could accommodate much more than 30 percent in 10 years.

http://www.vox.com/2016/8/31/12721206/eastern-us-30-percent-renewables
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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1390 on: September 06, 2016, 02:33:37 AM »
Australia Energy disruption: Solar plus storage to be cheaper than grid in 2017
Some utilities may think that it will be up to a decade before there is a mass market uptake of battery storage, and the chair of the Australian Energy Market Operator may even try to convince themselves that the technology won’t be commercial for another two decades, but they might be kidding themselves: New research suggests that the cross-over point between the value of solar and storage and grid prices for Australian households may occur within one year.

That, at least, is the conclusion of research from Curtin University’s Jemma Green and Peter Newman, which suggests that the A1 tariff – the standard tariff offered to households by state owned retailer Synergy in West Australia – will become more expensive than the combined value of rooftop solar and battery storage some time in 2017
...
He said that did not meant that people were going to “leap off the grid” in big numbers straight away. That’s because when that point is reached there are “intangible benefits” of being connected to the network, and it would cost a lot more to install enough batteries to deal with the consumer’s demand peaks, or days of cloudy weather.

“But as soon as these lines diverge by a significant amount – and overtake the benefits of being connected to the network, then what happens?”

The answer, he pointed out in another graph, is a big problem for the utilities that make their money from supplying power to households, because a lot of that demand will now disappear from view, and go “behind the meter.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/energy-disruption-solar-plus-storage-to-be-cheaper-than-grid-in-2017-2017
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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1391 on: September 06, 2016, 10:52:14 PM »
Offshore wind power giants commit to US base
Massachusetts has signed a letter of intent with Dong, Deepwater Wind and OffshoreMW to lease a marine terminal as a base for offshore projects.

The developers will lease the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as a staging and deployment location for future wind projects.

http://renews.biz/104051/offshore-giants-commit-to-us-base/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1392 on: September 12, 2016, 02:33:33 AM »
Australia's solar power production to triple with 12 new plants to be built
The construction of 12 new solar power plants in Australia will triple the nation's large-scale solar power production, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) says.

The federally funded agency has announced a $92 million investment in six plants in Queensland, five in New South Wales and one at Cervantes in Western Australia.

ARENA said they would increase Australia's large-scale solar capacity from 240 megawatts to 720 megawatts, providing enough energy to power 150,000 average Australian homes.

The agency said the projects were also expected to unlock almost $1 billion of commercial investment and boost regional Australian economies.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-08/aust-solar-power-production-triple-with-12-new-plants-beingbuilt/7826302
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1393 on: September 13, 2016, 02:00:44 PM »
Obama administration proposes massive 7200TWh/year offshore wind energy program which would double nation’s electric output
The Obama administration unveiled their gargantuan National Offshore Wind Strategy last Friday.  If executed, this joint plan by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of the Interior (DOI) could possibly output 7,200 terawatt-hours a year, which would be enough to provide “nearly double the total electric generation of the United States in 2015.”

The official, detailed plan laid out by the DOE and DOI states the following in the opening paragraph of their executive summary:

“Offshore wind energy holds the promise of significant environmental and economic benefits for the United States. It is an abundant, low-carbon, domestic energy resource. It is located close to major coastal load centers, providing an alternative to long-distance transmission or development of electricity generation in these land-constrained regions. Once built, offshore wind farms could produce energy at low, long-term fixed costs, which can reduce electricity prices and improve energy security by providing a hedge against fossil fuel price volatility.”

Essentially what the two departments are trying to convey is that there is an abundance of wind energy that can be harvested off of United States coastlines, and that once built, the benefits that our country will reap from the infrastructure will greatly outweigh the capital costs laid out initially, especially by avoiding the inconsistent fossil fuel price and diversifying our energy sources.
https://electrek.co/2016/09/12/obama-administration-looking-to-take-advantage-of-the-abundant-offshore-wind-resources-with-new-national-initiative/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1394 on: September 13, 2016, 11:38:22 PM »
Scotland becomes home to the first phase of the world’s largest underwater tidal energy farm
While solar and wind energy have been out in the market for a while, tidal power is still in its infancy stage and Jenny Hogan, policy director of Scottish Renewables, highlighted that fact in regards to the MeyGen project:

“This is still an incredibly young technology, and future development is absolutely dependent on continued support from Holyrood, Westminster and Brussels, who have all played a vitally important part in the growth of the sector to date.”

Her main point being that because the technology is still in its very early phases, it will take massive support and backing from the industry in order to make tidal energy financially feasible. So while we do not know the exact figures on how much each underwater turbine costs, we can assume that the price is fairly high at the moment. But besides the hefty cash outlay, one primary advantage that tidal energy has over wind is that it is more predictable than wind currents are, so we could see a more predictable, and potentially shorter, payback period once tidal power hits its stride in the future. ...

No word on when the other three turbines will be constructed and placed, but once finished, the total capacity, at least for this phase (1A), should be close to 6 MW. Additionally, once MeyGen fully builds out their lease to its full 398 MW capacity, it will run for 25 years and then be decommissioned.
https://electrek.co/2016/09/13/scotland-becomes-home-to-the-first-phase-of-the-worlds-largest-underwater-tidal-energy-farm/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1395 on: September 20, 2016, 06:42:39 PM »
The next generation of residential solar panels might be indistinguishable from a beautiful metal roof.

Forward Solar shows how a SolarCity/Tesla roof could look better than a traditional roof while generating electricity
 https://electrek.co/2016/09/20/forward-solar-roof-solar-city-tesla/

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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1396 on: September 20, 2016, 08:32:31 PM »
Solar just hit its lowest price ever
Oil-rich Abu Dhabi is planning a massive solar project.
This week saw the lowest-ever bid for electricity from a proposed solar plant, worldwide. A proposed development in Abu Dhabi will sell its electricity for 2.42 cents a kilowatt-hour (kWh).

The bid answered a request for proposals from the state electric company for a 350-megawatt (MW) solar plant.

For context, the average price per kWh for residential electricity in the United States — from all sources — is 12.73 cents. Wholesale prices for electricity can vary dramatically, but a set of record-low bids last summer for solar in Austin were around 4 cents per kWh. A 350 MW plant provides enough electricity to power about 57,000 average U.S. homes.

https://thinkprogress.org/solar-low-price-record-68db04b796b3
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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1397 on: September 20, 2016, 09:49:44 PM »
Excellent Joe Romm Presentation on renewable price points and the global transformation toward renewables over the next 2 decades.

https://thinkprogress.org/video-almost-everything-you-know-about-climate-change-solutions-is-outdated-a1dc0380b96#.704z8qydr
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1398 on: September 22, 2016, 04:33:37 PM »
In 2007, the city of Greensburg, Kansas was destroyed by the powerful winds of a tornado. Now, wind powers the city.
https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/video-calm-after-storm-how-greensburg-kansas-achieved-100-renewable-electricity
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1399 on: September 26, 2016, 06:29:17 PM »
Solar power cost down 25% in five months – “There’s no reason why the cost of solar will ever increase again”
On August 11 a bid of US$0.46/W was put forward to build 500MW of solar power in China (a roughly calculated levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) at $0.019/kWh). This past week we saw a bid of $0.023/kWh to build 1.2GW of solar power in Abu Dhabi. This price of $0.023/kWh is almost 25% lower than the $0.0299/kWh was bid in late April for a series of projects also in Abu Dhabi. These extremely aggressive price falls are partially driven by unique situations – a Chinese solar panel production glut and historically low costs of money. But also because of technology as Frank Wouters, the former director of Masdar Clean Energy, says, “We’re still learning how to further reduce the cost of solar cells and other components, as well as operation and maintenance costs. There’s no reason why the cost of solar will ever increase again.”
...
GreentechMedia made a now quaint seeming prediction that solar costs would fall “40% by 2020” in September of 2015 – little did they know it might happen before the end of 2016. Expect broader consequences of these falling prices when combined with public support for taxing polluting energy sources. “Negatively” priced electricity will drive economic restructuring to take advantage of our new found energy bounty. Years ago, we saw... German energy prices during the daytime collapse due to peak solar power production. In advanced energy markets electricity users are being paid to use energy at those peak production moments. We’re now testing and scaling infrastructure technologies to harvest this excess electricity – batteries to store the electricity, interconnecting countries to move the electricity, production of hydrogen to fuel cars and store and pumping water (and trains?) against gravity for later use. Soon though – we’ll change where/when we manufacture our goods, make our metals, power our transportation, grow our food and clean our water. These changes in energy costs will reverberate through the economic and technological system of the globe – destroying millions of jobs in old energy, while driving trillions of investment in new infrastructure.
https://electrek.co/2016/09/26/solar-power-cost-down-25-in-five-months-theres-no-reason-why-the-cost-of-solar-will-ever-increase-again/
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