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rboyd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3450 on: April 01, 2019, 01:48:00 AM »
Any drop in the share of coal in US electricity generation may be heavily met by an increase in natural gas, as has significantly happened over the past few years. The source of US electricity in 2018 was NG 35.1%, Coal 27.4%, Nuclear 19.3%, Hydro 7%, Wind 6.6%, Solar 1.6% (EIA).

U.S. Natural Gas Demand For Electricity Can Only Grow - Fortune

"In fact, not just better suited to displace coal and nuclear, gas is also being used to back up wind and solar themselves. "Natural Gas Is The Flexibility Needed For More Wind And Solar." Texas for wind and California for solar are not examples for other states because they are exactly what you think they are: overly windy and overly sunny.

Natural gas is soaring towards being 50% of all U.S. power generation capacity. Gas' share of yearly new capacity being installed in the country was 50% in 2017, 75% in 2018, and is expected at 35% in 2019. The builds this year will center in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Louisiana.

Note: coal-based Pennsylvania increasingly turning to natural gas will be a game changer for others because of how much gas they receive from Pennsylvania, our second leading gas producing state at 20% of all U.S. output. Nearly 30 gas plants and over 26,000 MW of new gas capacity are in the works in Appalachia."

This may keep a lid on increases in renewables for a little while, especially when the current gas plant utilization rate is 66% - so more electricity could be delivered from even the current NG plants.

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

https://www.forbes.com/sites/judeclemente/2019/01/15/u-s-natural-gas-demand-for-electricity-can-only-grow/#343e691a44c7

rboyd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3451 on: April 01, 2019, 09:14:31 PM »
Yearly Global Additions of Wind Power Not Growing - Global Wind Energy Council

The GWEC is the representative body for the global wind energy industry and therefore should have the best handle on the growth in wind energy capacity. With the installed base increasing every year, the addition of the same absolute level of capacity represents a declining percentage increase. As per below, we are now below a 10% compound growth rate and that may decline further - a doubling rate that is now approaching every 10 years. A rate too slow to offset the growth in overall energy usage. Solar is growing faster, but from a smaller base - even solar+wind combined will not offset growth in energy usage unless growth accelerates markedly.

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growth of the worldwide wind market had "been stable" since 2014, with more than 50 GW of new capacity installed each year.Total installed capacity stood at 591 GW at the end of 2018, which represents an increase of 9.6 percent compared to the end of 2017, the GWEC added

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Looking ahead, the GWEC's Director of Market Intelligence Karin Ohlenforst said that the organization expected "55 GW or more to be added each year until 2023," adding that the offshore marked would "grow on a global scale."

The GWEC's figures come a week after the CEO of another industry body, WindEurope, said that 12 countries in the EU had failed to install "a single wind turbine" last year. Dickson added that growth in onshore wind fell by more than half in Germany last year and "collapsed in the U.K.," stating that, in the EU, 2018 was "the worst year for new wind energy installations since 2011."

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/26/china-leads-the-way-as-wind-energy-sees-another-year-of-stable-growth.html


rboyd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3452 on: April 01, 2019, 09:45:40 PM »
Rate of Growth In Global Solar Decelerating Rapidly

The net additions of solar capacity in China fell by 18% in 2018 (vs 2017), after a big jump the previous year. Given the scale of China solar capacity, and the importance of its growth to overall growth, this can only presage a big drop in the percentage increase in global capacity in 2018 (vs 2017). New capacity additions will drop again in China in 2019 given the policy changes.

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China put just over 43 gigawatts (GW) of new solar generation capacity into operation in 2018, down 18 percent from a year earlier, an industry group said on Thursday, after a government move to curb new capacity and ease a subsidy payment backlog.

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China announced last year that it would suspend new projects after a record 53 GW capacity increase in 2017 left it struggling to find spare grid capacity and pay a renewable subsidy backlog amounting to more than 140 billion yuan ($20.69 billion) last year.

The US will not be picking up the slack:

The absolute level of new installations fell in 2018 (so the % increase fell more). Forecast is for a doubling in the next five years, which would represent a 14.4% annual growth rate to 2023. Then another doubling in the next 7 years to 2030, a 10% annual growth rate.

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The U.S. installed 1.7 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV capacity in Q3 2018 to reach 60 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity, enough to power 11.3 million US homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). While these numbers do represent a 15% year-over-year decrease and a 20% quarter-over-quarter decrease, many positive developments were moving solar in a positive direction.

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The Solar Energy Industries Association anticipates that total installed US PV capacity is will more than double over the next 5 years, and by 2023, over 14 GW of PV capacity will be installed annually. With installations rising to around 240 GW by 2030

India incremental capacity additions fell in 2018, forecast to recover to a new high in 2019. Still a relatively small base that will not offset trends in China and the US.

Japan's growth is also slowing markedly - 17GW in 3 years is a 10% annual growth rate. Then forecast to decelerate much more after that.

The European solar market is very small versus the global market.

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Growth in Japan’s solar power sector is predicted to slow over the coming decade, according to a new analysis from the Fitch Group, but not before the industry adds 17 gigawatts (GW) worth of new solar capacity between the end of 2017 and the end of 2020.

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Specifically, while Fitch expects Japan’s solar sector to add 17 GW in the next few years, it conversely expects Japan will only see 14 GW of new solar brought online between 2021 and 2027.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-solarpower/china-installed-18-percent-less-solar-power-capacity-in-2018-idUSKCN1PB09G

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/02/24/2019-us-solar-market-outlook/

https://qz.com/india/1519929/india-will-add-a-record-level-of-solar-power-capacity-in-2019/

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/10/12/japan-to-add-17-gigawatts-of-new-solar-by-end-of-2020/

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3453 on: April 01, 2019, 10:04:21 PM »
Yearly Global Additions of Wind Power Not Growing - Global Wind Energy Council

The GWEC is the representative body for the global wind energy industry and therefore should have the best handle on the growth in wind energy capacity. With the installed base increasing every year, the addition of the same absolute level of capacity represents a declining percentage increase. As per below, we are now below a 10% compound growth rate and that may decline further - a doubling rate that is now approaching every 10 years. A rate too slow to offset the growth in overall energy usage. Solar is growing faster, but from a smaller base - even solar+wind combined will not offset growth in energy usage unless growth accelerates markedly.

Quote
growth of the worldwide wind market had "been stable" since 2014, with more than 50 GW of new capacity installed each year.Total installed capacity stood at 591 GW at the end of 2018, which represents an increase of 9.6 percent compared to the end of 2017, the GWEC added

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Looking ahead, the GWEC's Director of Market Intelligence Karin Ohlenforst said that the organization expected "55 GW or more to be added each year until 2023," adding that the offshore marked would "grow on a global scale."

The GWEC's figures come a week after the CEO of another industry body, WindEurope, said that 12 countries in the EU had failed to install "a single wind turbine" last year. Dickson added that growth in onshore wind fell by more than half in Germany last year and "collapsed in the U.K.," stating that, in the EU, 2018 was "the worst year for new wind energy installations since 2011."

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/26/china-leads-the-way-as-wind-energy-sees-another-year-of-stable-growth.html

That forecast seems low, especially when you consider that wind is now cheaper than coal and that technology advances are increasing capacity factors and decreasing prices.  Here's another forecast from a different source, looking at it by how much wind energy the largest companies are installing:

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/01/vestas-reclaims-global-wind-manufacturing-lead-as-it-finishes-q1-with-a-subsidy-free-bang/

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“The top five turbine manufacturers accounted for nearly 62% of the total installed capacity in 2018, up almost 5% on the previous year,” Mathur added. “On average, the wind market is likely to install 59 GW of annual wind capacity until 2023. Consistent growth will come from mature markets in the US and Europe, whilst additional growth is estimated to be driven by global offshore market and developing markets in South East Asia and MENA region.”

The article focuses on Vestas regaining the lead in installations and then goes on to describe their latest firm orders (for new wind farms not yet installed):

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Vestas crushed firm order intake in 2018,” said Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables Research Director, and report author, Luke Lewandowski. “The company’s 5.5 GW haul in Q4 represented more than the full-year intake of all OEMs, other than the top three. Western turbine OEMs claimed the top four positions in the ranking of full-year order intake volume, ranging from 14.2 GW for Vestas to 4.8 GW for Nordex. The latter posted strong order intake in Q4 (1.8 GW), providing some distance from Goldwind in the full-year standings. Four Chinese turbine OEMs ranked in the top 10 for full-year firm order capacity, although all except SEwind announced less capacity QoQ in Q4.”

Note that Vestas’ installations and firm order intake figures differ as the former represents confirmed installations, whereas the latter represents only confirmed orders which will not necessarily have been delivered or installed: Two figures representing two ways in which Vestas is leading the global wind turbine manufacturing industry.

That dominance has also continued into the first quarter of 2019, highlighted by ten orders announced in three days to finish off the month of March and, therefore, the first fiscal quarter of the year. A total of 1,380 MW of orders were confirmed to finish the quarter, including four small orders which also accounted for two subsidy-free projects. The first, a 17 MW project, will be Denmark’s first utility-scale subsidy-free wind project, while a 47 MW project in Scotland will be the UK’s first standalone merchant wind park progressing to construction without any direct financial support.

Other orders included a 119 MW order for the Turitea Wind Farm in New Zealand, and two orders placed for projects in Brazil — the first, a 361 MW order from French multinational electric utility ENGIE for the Campo Largo Phase 2 wind park to be located at Sento Sé and Umburanas municipalities, State of Bahia; and the second, a 206 MW order from French multinational company Quadran International for the Serrote wind park to be located at the municipality of Trairí, in the state of Ceará.

Further, Vestas took in three orders for the United States totaling 545 MW, two of which are for undisclosed customers and projects, while the third, a 143 MW order, is for the Bearkat II Wind project in Texas being developed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).

rboyd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3454 on: April 01, 2019, 10:31:13 PM »
Ken,

Your source for global wind energy growth actually pretty much agrees with my sources, 59GW vs. 55GW per year is a small difference. It still represents 10% or less yearly growth in installed capacity.

There is a whole lot of inertia in the system that is reducing renewable growth rates, Germany is a very good case. It has taken them forever to agree to close their coal fields, and they are reducing support for RE while building natural gas pipelines with the Russians. Also a lot of NIMBY stuff happening there over the building of the required high voltage lines.

Also marginal cost (even if we ignore the extra worth of dispatchable vs non-dispatchable energy) is only one variable used for energy investment purposes. A big one is the non-depreciated value of current assets (who pays for the losses?) as well as the political power of fossil fuel incumbents. Just look at what happened to the New Green Deal in the US, quietly smothered to death by the Democratic leadership, or the Canadian government deciding to buy a pipeline.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3455 on: April 01, 2019, 11:27:01 PM »
rboyd,

I know it seems slow, but even at these growth rates, the goals of the 2018 IPCC report are achievable (25% lower CO2 emissions by 2030, net zero by 2070 for limiting warming to 2C; 45% reduction by 2030, net zero by 2050 for 1.5C limit).  Full report here:

https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

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In model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40–60% interquartile range), reaching net zero around 2050 (2045–2055 interquartile range). For limiting global warming to below 2°C CO2 emissions are projected to decline by about 25% by 2030 in most pathways (10–30% interquartile range) and reach net zero around 2070 (2065–2080 interquartile range).

Using installation rates from the time when the cost of wind and solar (i.e. before 2018) were higher than fossil fuels for future installation forecasts is going to result in underestimating the future growth of wind and solar.  The operating cost of the wind and solar is close to zero (the wind and sun are free) and the installation cost is lower than the operating cost of coal.  That means it's cheaper to close a coal plant and build a new wind or solar plant instead.

With natural gas, we're still a few years away from reaching that point.  But the easily fracked areas in the US have already been done, so the costs for natural gas will only increase while the costs for wind and solar are still decreasing.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3456 on: April 01, 2019, 11:59:01 PM »
A solar farm with battery storage will replace two aging natural gas plants in Florida:

https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Solar-Energy/Building-The-Worlds-Largest-Solar-Storage-System.html

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As battery and renewable power generation costs continue to fall, utilities aim to combine solar farms with battery storage as a way to boost predictability of renewable energy generation. So power generation firms have launched an unofficial global competition for who will build the world’s biggest solar-and-storage facility.

Analysts and scientists have recently suggested that hybrid renewable power generation systems—where batteries are co-located with wind or solar farms—could be the future of clean energy and could even displace some of the old natural gas-fired plants.

Retiring fossil fuel generation is one of the goals with which Florida Power & Light Company, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, unveiled last week plans to build what it says will be the world’s largest solar-powered battery. It will replace 1,638 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity of two aging natural gas power generating units with clean and renewable energy.

The battery will be charged by an existing, co-located solar power plant and the storage center will increase the predictability of solar power, providing energy when the sun is not shining, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) said. The energy storage center will have 409 MW of capacity and is scheduled to come on line in late 2021. This capacity will be equal to some 100 million iPhone batteries.

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According to John Deutch, an Institute Professor at MIT, thanks to continuously declining costs, a hybrid renewable electricity generation system that combines wind, solar, and storage could become competitive with the cheapest fossil fuel electricity in the United States—combined-cycle natural gas generation.

According to a BloombergNEF (BNEF) analysis published last week, the benchmark levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for lithium-ion batteries has declined by 35 percent to US$187 per megawatt-hour since the first half of 2018.

Cost improvements in lithium-ion battery technology create opportunities to balance a power generation mix where the share of renewable energy is significant, according to BNEF analysts.

Moreover, batteries co-located with solar or wind projects begin to compete with coal- and gas-fired generation in many markets without subsidies, when it comes to dispatching power when the grid needs it, BNEF says. 

“Solar PV and onshore wind have won the race to be the cheapest sources of new ‘bulk generation’ in most countries, but the encroachment of clean technologies is now going well beyond that, threatening the balancing role that gas-fired plant operators, in particular, have been hoping to play,” Tifenn Brandily, energy economics analyst at BNEF, said, commenting on the analysis.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3457 on: April 03, 2019, 01:22:44 AM »
A couple of good news stories out of Germany:

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/04/01/germany-deployed-1-gw-of-solar-in-first-two-months-of-2019/

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The country added almost 1 GW of solar in the first two months of this year alone, bringing its cumulative installed PV capacity to approximately 46.9 GW by the end of February.

In a related note:

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/04/02/germany-renewables-covered-54-of-net-power-production-in-march/

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Germany set a new record in March as more than half of its power was generated from wind, PV and other renewables. In the first quarter, renewables accounted for 45.4% of net electricity generation, according to Energy Charts from Fraunhofer ISE.

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According to Energy Charts, the performance in March was largely attributable to high wind power generation, which accounted for 34.2% of net electricity generation for the month, reaching a peak of 57.7% on March 9.

PV systems accounted for an average of 7.3% of net electricity production throughout the month, according to Energy Charts. Solar PV daily generation peaked on March 30, when it accounted for 17.9% of net generation.

rboyd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3458 on: April 03, 2019, 08:32:14 PM »
IRENA 2018 Numbers

Irena (International Renewable Energy Agency) has published their numbers for 2018.

Global Growth for All Renewables Capacity
2015 9.26%
2016 8.61%
2017 8.54%
2018 7.86%

Global Growth for Hydro-Electric Capacity
2015 3.23%
2016 2.91%
2017 2.29%
2018 1.67%

Global Growth for Wind Capacity (5% of global electricity production in 2017)
2015 18.58%
2016 12.5%
2017 10.14%
2018 9.54%

Global Growth for Solar Capacity (2% of global electricity production in 2017)
2015 27.23%
2016 31.65%
2017 31.54%
2018 24.23%

https://www.irena.org/publications

https://yearbook.enerdata.net/renewables/wind-solar-share-electricity-production.html

Archimid

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3459 on: April 03, 2019, 09:48:42 PM »
Not bad at all, considering that the noise of windmills cause cancer. /s
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

rboyd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3460 on: April 03, 2019, 10:05:18 PM »
The drop in the growth of hydro capacity is interesting, I need to do some research on that. There has been a lot of reports about hydro not being that climate friendly, especially in the tropics that have very lush vegetation that will get waterlogged and emit lots of GHGs. Also, there are quite a few movements in place to stop the taking of lands for hydro projects.

A few years ago the World Bank put a lot of focus on funding new big hydro projects:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/may/14/world-bank-hydropower-dam-rethink

The collapse of a new World Bank funded dam in Laos can't help, and may slow down the gung-ho plans of the Laos government to turn it into a hydro battery for its neigbours.

https://www.devex.com/news/in-laos-a-world-bank-model-dam-and-the-myth-of-sustainable-hydropower-93716

Seems that we are ripping dams out in the North while the global south is still trying to build new ones, and quite a few of the news ones aren't achieving the output that was promised. Also, there is the issue of climate-change droughts reducing power outage in some areas (recently Brazil and South East/East Africa).

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Dams are now being removed at a rate of more than one a week on both sides of the Atlantic ... In the developing world, an estimated 3,700 dams, large and small, are now in various stages of development.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46098118

And...

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New research finds that the world’s hydroelectric dams generate a surprising amount of greenhouse gas emissions

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/nov/06/hydropower-hydroelectricity-methane-clean-climate-change-study

Laos could end up as a major GHG emitter if it builds all those dams....

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However, estimates for life-cycle global warming emissions from hydroelectric plants built in tropical areas or temperate peatlands are much higher. After the area is flooded, the vegetation and soil in these areas decomposes and releases both carbon dioxide and methane. The exact amount of emissions depends greatly on site-specific characteristics. However, current estimates suggest that life-cycle emissions can be over 0.5 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour [5,6].

To put this into context, estimates of life-cycle global warming emissions for natural gas generated electricity are between 0.6 and 2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour and estimates for coal-generated electricity are 1.4 and 3.6 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour

https://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/renewable-energy/environmental-impacts-hydroelectric-power.html



« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 10:11:50 PM by rboyd »

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3461 on: April 04, 2019, 12:55:42 AM »
One of the problems with expanding hydro is that most of the really good locations for dams have already been built.  While there may be some improvements to be had by upgrading the machinery in existing dams, hydro can't really grow much.

In contrast, solar, wind and battery storage are still improving technologies and with those improvements, are becoming economical to install in more areas.  While there may have been some short term slow down in their growth rates due to political decisions in the US and China, both solar and wind will see large growth in the coming decade now that they are cheaper than coal and competitive with natural gas.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 01:06:19 AM by Ken Feldman »

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3462 on: April 05, 2019, 12:18:38 AM »
I posted this article in the "Cars, Cars..." section, but it's relevant here too.  Falling battery prices are making wind or solar plus battery storage competitive with fossil fuel power plants:

https://grist.org/article/batteries-are-key-to-clean-energy-and-they-just-got-much-cheaper/

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Batteries are critical for our clean energy future. Luckily, their cost has dropped so low, we might be much closer to this future than we previously thought.

In a little less than a year, the cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by 35 percent, according to a new Bloomberg New Energy Finance report. Cheaper batteries mean we can store more solar and wind power even when the sun isn’t shining or wind isn’t blowing. This is a major boost to renewables, helping them compete with fossil fuel-generated power, even without subsidies in some places, according to the report. Massive solar-plus-storage projects are already being built in places like Florida and California to replace natural gas, and many more are on the way.

The new battery prices are “staggering improvements,” according to Elena Giannakopoulou, who leads the energy economics group at Bloomberg NEF. Previous estimates anticipated this breakthrough moment for batteries to arrive in late 2020, not early 2019.

According to the report, the cost of wind and solar generation is also down sharply — by between 10 to 24 percent since just last year, depending on the technology. These numbers are based on real projects under construction in 46 countries around the world.

gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3463 on: April 05, 2019, 06:24:36 PM »
A new source of funds for renewable investments is always welcome. One has to say Norway is surprisingly serious about the transition from an oil economy to a renewables economy.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/05/historic-breakthrough-norways-giant-oil-fund-dives-into-renewables
‘Historic breakthrough’: Norway’s giant oil fund dives into renewables
Experts say even nations that got rich on fossil fuels are seeing the future is green

Quote
Norway’s $1tn oil fund, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, is to plunge billions of dollars into wind and solar power projects. The decision follows Saudi Arabia’s oil fund selling off its last oil and gas assets.

Other national funds built up from oil profits are also thought to be ramping up their investments in renewables. The moves show that countries that got rich on fossil fuels are diversifying their investments and seeking future profits in the clean energy needed to combat climate change. Analysts say the investments are likely to power faster growth of green energy.

Norway’s government gave the go-ahead on Friday for its fund to invest in renewable energy projects that are not listed on stock markets. Unlisted projects make up more than two-thirds of the whole renewable infrastructure market, which is worth trillions of dollars.

Previously, it had warned that such investments could be at risk from political interference. But now the sum the fund can invest in green projects has been doubled to $14bn. “Even a fund built on oil is seeing that the future is green,” said Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO of Storebrand Asset Management.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

El Cid

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3464 on: April 05, 2019, 07:05:24 PM »
"One has to say Norway is surprisingly serious about the transition from an oil economy to a renewables economy."

LOL. Now, that the Norwegians are slowly running out of oil, they are so environment conscious. They all drive Teslas, and they produce almost all of their own energy from hydro.

But wait! Where has that 1 trillion dollar in their sovereign fund come from? They pumped as much oil as long as they could to make as much money as they can and are very much responsible for the current climate crisis. Just like British nobility: grandpa was a privateer, killing and raiding in the West Indies but his hrandson became a true gentleman, who went to Eton, very proud of his beautiful family estate

gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3465 on: April 05, 2019, 07:12:23 PM »
Even so, some are clinging to fossil fuels to the end, so the following statement is still valid.

"One has to say Norway is surprisingly serious about the transition from an oil economy to a renewables economy."
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

El Cid

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3466 on: April 05, 2019, 09:33:39 PM »
Don't worry, the Norwegians also cling to oil to the bitter end, they still pump as much as they can. They just don't use it at home but let others burn it. Environment-conscious aren't they? No more than the saudis.

(EDIT: I know its offtopic, but I just hate self-righteousness)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 09:44:18 PM by El Cid »

rboyd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3467 on: April 05, 2019, 10:05:49 PM »
Norway is still trying to find more oil and gas to export, even in the Arctic...

Norway defends new Arctic oil drilling

https://euobserver.com/energy/140648

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3468 on: April 08, 2019, 08:20:39 PM »
EV + Solar + Battery Storage Future Now Becoming Industry Norm
Quote
One out of every two orders for rooftop solar panels in Germany is now sold with a battery storage system. 120,000 households and small businesses that host solar power only represent a small section of Germany’s 81 million people, but battery prices have dropped so dramatically that Germany’s development bank has now eliminated the 2013–2018 battery rebates that had reduced costs by 30%.
...
Due to growing concerns about the environmental impacts of fossil fuels and the capacity and resilience of energy grids around the world, engineers and policymakers are increasingly turning their attention to their own energy storage solutions. Analysts are finding consensus — a green future of an electric vehicle in every garage, a solar array on every roof, and a battery in every basement is now more pragmatic than romantic. Evidence is compiling around us to ground how renewable energy and batteries will fundamentally reshape the electricity system.

As batteries become cheaper and more powerful, they will increasingly store the uneven output of wind and solar power. If there’s doubt, just look to Florida, where the Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has announced plans to build the world’s largest battery energy storage system adjacent to an existing solar power plant. Other storage systems will soon dot the Florida landscape, so, alongside efficiency upgrades to existing combustion turbines at other power plants, FPL will be able to replace 1,638 MW of traditional generating capacity. ...
https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/07/teslas-vision-of-an-ev-solar-battery-storage-now-becoming-industry-norm/
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rboyd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3469 on: April 10, 2019, 10:22:19 PM »
Global Energy Storage to Hit 158 Gigawatt-Hours by 2024, Led by US and China - Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables projects a thirteenfold increase in grid-scale storage over the next six years.

Global electricity production is over 20,000 Terawatt-Hours (5,683 in China and 3,808 in the USA), and growing at about 2.6% per year (much faster in China). That's about 55 Terawatt-Hours (55,000 Gigawatt-Hours) per day, which puts 158 Gigawatt-Hours into perspective: about a minute and a half of storage. Will be a bit better if concentrated in China and the USA. A player in retail installations, but not in grid installations for a long time yet.

It still stuns me to be reminded of the colossal amounts of energy modern societies use, an amount that keeps increasing every year as we get new clever energy-sucking devices and the poorer nations climb the consumption ladder toward the richer ones.

https://yearbook.enerdata.net/electricity/electricity-domestic-consumption-data.html


b_lumenkraft

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3470 on: April 13, 2019, 06:09:03 PM »
Fraunhofer Reports Combining Farming With Solar 186% More Efficient In Summer Of 2018

Quote
For many people, solar power is seen as a threat to farming communities. That’s because they believe farmers must  choose between raising crops or livestock and installing solar panels on their land. The Fraunhofer Institute has been conducting experiments in what it calls agrophotovoltaics for two years near Lake Constance, Germany. In the first year, it found the combination of solar and agriculture made the land 160% more productive than if it had been devoted exclusively to one or the other.

Link >> https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/12/fraunhofer-reports-combining-farming-with-solar-186-more-efficient-in-summer-of-2018/

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3471 on: April 13, 2019, 08:20:39 PM »
The Addressable Market for Utility Energy Storage Could Scale to $800 Billion
Quote
In the future, underutilized electricity generation probably will be replaced by batteries. As shown below, while the average utilization for natural gas plants in the U.S. is roughly 55%, many plants are utilized less than 25% of the time. ARK’s work suggests that replacing all of those plants would be an $83 billion energy storage opportunity in the U.S. and an $800 billion opportunity globally. As shown in the second chart below, 5,000 gigawatt hours of storage capacity would take the place of all of the underutilized facilities – whether natural gas, coal, or liquids powered – around the world. Moreover, if battery costs continue to fall below $150 per kWh the addressable market could scale well beyond $800 billion.
https://ark-invest.com/research/utility-energy-storage
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sidd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3472 on: April 14, 2019, 01:39:56 AM »
Proposal and model from Ram et al. to evolve to all renewable energy by 2050. I think they are optimistic, but I'll believe em on the total capex, about a trillion euro a year rising to three by 2050, say total of sixty odd trillion.

I attach the right panel of fig KF-3

http://energywatchgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/EWG_LUT_100RE_All_Sectors_Global_Report_2019.pdf

sidd

SteveMDFP

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3473 on: April 14, 2019, 04:31:37 PM »
Proposal and model from Ram et al. to evolve to all renewable energy by 2050. I think they are optimistic, but I'll believe em on the total capex, about a trillion euro a year rising to three by 2050, say total of sixty odd trillion.

I attach the right panel of fig KF-3

sidd

Seems plausible to me.  60 trillion in infrastructure investments needed to transition fully to a renewable energy economy.

I think the most plausible way to finance this is to take advantage of the world's massive wealth inequality.  The world has more trillions than this sloshing around in various investment vehicles--stocks,  bonds, real estate, gold, art, bitcoin.  Raise taxation rates on the wealthy by a significant amount (need not be massive).  Use this increased revenue to finance tax incentives for renewables investment.  There's then a carrot-and-stick approach to get the wealthy to put their money into these needed investments.  That's an approach to address the climate crisis within the framework of capitalism, rather than first demanding a restructuring the global economic system. 

The above could be in addition to a carbon fee-and-dividend plan.  Or in addition to other proposals.

I can't see how we'd otherwise squeeze 60 trillion out of existing utility customers or even taxpayers.

sidd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3474 on: April 14, 2019, 10:47:07 PM »
Re: 60 trillion

32 trillion USD that we know of is held in offshore accounts, looted from taxing authorities worldwide.

https://www.taxjustice.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Price_of_Offshore_Revisited_120722.pdf

https://www.taxjustice.net/2014/01/17/price-offshore-revisited/

Of which 12 trillion from poor countries.

https://www.taxjustice.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Henry-2016-missing-trillions.pptx

1.57 USD /yr trillion spend on arms.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/12/12/1570000000000-much-world-spent-arms-year/

There's your money right there.

sidd

rboyd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3475 on: April 15, 2019, 04:41:19 PM »
Vattenfall tests salt-based electricity storage technology

Interesting technology, especially if it is scaleable.

Quote
Swedish power producer Vattenfal in partnership with SaltXtechnology has started operations of a new 10 MWh salt-based power storage pilot plant. The pilot project is attached to Vattenfall's 160 MW Reuter CHP coal-fired facility in Spandau, Berlin. It will use a SaltX system that is based on nano-coated salt technology which enables this “salt battery” to be charged several thousand times and allowing the energy to be stored for months without losses. The pilot project will run until summer 2019. Vattenfall seeks to completely phase out coal in the Berlin region by 2030. The coal-fired Reuter C unit will be shutdown and will be replaced by a 120 MWh electric heat-only boiler (HOB) and a 120 MWh gas HOB by 2020.

Vattenfall owns and operates three coal-fired power plants in the Berlin area: the Reuter CHP plant along with the 140 MWe Moabit combined heat and power (CHP) and the 564 MWe Reuter West CHP plant. Vattenfall stopped its lignite-fired 185 MW Klingenberg CHP plant in May 2017. All coal-fired power plants in the Berlin area are slated to be shut down by 2030 as the Berlin government decided to ban hard coal-fired power generation in the city territory by this date to reduce CO2 emissions.

https://www.enerdata.net/publications/daily-energy-news/vattenfall-tests-salt-based-electricity-storage-technology-germany.html?utm_source=Enerdata&utm_campaign=d28d3dead0-Email_Daily_Energy_News_04_2019&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_838b1c9d18-d28d3dead0-124066705

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3476 on: April 16, 2019, 09:40:26 PM »
Renewables generated 33% of Great Britain's energy during the first quarter of this year:

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/16/renewables-generate-33-of-britains-power-in-first-quarter/

Quote
According to EnAppSys’ figures, a total of 27.2 terawatt-hours (TWh) of renewable electricity was generated over the first quarter of 2019 in Great Britain (as opposed to the United Kingdom, which includes the Republic of Ireland), 16.6 TWh of which came from wind farms (in line with previous quarters) while solar generated 2.7 TWh (up 43% from the previous quarter and up 46% from Q1 2018).

These figures from renewable generation compare favorably with the rest of Britain’s energy mix, where natural gas-fired power plants generated 32.2 TWh, or 39.5% of Britain’s total, while nuclear energy generated 13.1 TWh, or 16%.

The figures also highlight the continued decline of coal in Great Britain’s energy mix, which produced only 2.9 TWh over the first quarter, down 37.2% from the previous quarter and down 65% from the same quarter a year earlier.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3477 on: April 16, 2019, 09:44:17 PM »
Lake Turkana Wind Power on Twitter: "#LTWP is injecting #cleanenergy into the Kenyan national grid and helping to power celebrations this Easter. As Africa’s largest wind farm, we have an installed capacity of 310MW & therefore supply up to 17% of Kenya’s peak demand & 30% off peak. #WindPower #Renewables”
https://twitter.com/LTWPOfficial/status/1118041936236093441
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3478 on: April 16, 2019, 09:45:03 PM »
And here are the numbers for Europe:

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/16/european-wind-overtakes-hydro-for-second-quarter-in-a-row/

Quote
According to EnAppSys figures, wind energy across Europe recorded a new record combined power output of 103,993 megawatts (MW) for the first quarter, up from the previously recorded high of 97,759 MW in the first quarter of 2018. For the second quarter in a row and the second ever on record, European wind energy produced more electricity than hydroelectricity.

Unfortunately, while wind energy benefited from an impressive record quarter, hydro levels were significantly down due to a warm start to the year. Specifically, hydro generation levels dropped 24% from the same quarter a year earlier, which contributed to an 8% drop in the overall renewable energy generation levels. Hydro’s decline was mitigated somewhat by an 8% rise in wind levels and 14$ rise in solar output.

EnAppSys also reported that rising carbon costs and coal plant closures across Europe combined to help gas-fired power generation overtake output from other forms of fossil fuels for the first time in recent history. Specifically, gas plants produced 117 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity over the first quarter of 2019 — as compared to 104.7 TWh from hydroelectricity and 105.4 TWh from wind — while generation from coal, lignite, and gas-to-coal plants totaled 110.9 TWh. This continues to highlight the sector-wide shift away from coal-fired power generation, which in the first quarter of 2015 provided more than double the electricity generated by gas-fired plants. Since then, however, gas-fired plants increased their levels of generation by 91% while generation from coal sources have dropped by almost a third.

Gas is only better than coal if fugitive emissions are stopped.  Since a lot of Europe's gas comes from Russia, that isn't the case.  Still, the increase in wind generation is promising given that 2018 wasn't a great year for installation of new wind turbines in Europe.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3479 on: April 17, 2019, 01:47:18 AM »
...

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/16/renewables-generate-33-of-britains-power-in-first-quarter/

Quote
According to EnAppSys’ figures, a total of 27.2 terawatt-hours (TWh) of renewable electricity was generated over the first quarter of 2019 in Great Britain (as opposed to the United Kingdom, which includes the Republic of Ireland),
...
One might wonder if they have their geography wrong, do they have their numbers wrong... :-\
The Difference Between The UK, England, And Great Britain
Quote
So in summary:
    Great Britain = England, Scotland, and Wales
    UK = England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (and the full name is the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”)
    England = Just the part of the island that is England
[Edit:  I sent this info to Clean Technica.]
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 07:31:55 PM by Tor Bejnar »
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magnamentis

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3480 on: April 17, 2019, 01:26:18 PM »
...

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/16/renewables-generate-33-of-britains-power-in-first-quarter/

Quote
According to EnAppSys’ figures, a total of 27.2 terawatt-hours (TWh) of renewable electricity was generated over the first quarter of 2019 in Great Britain (as opposed to the United Kingdom, which includes the Republic of Ireland),
...
One might wonder if they have their geography wrong, do they have their numbers wrong... :-\
The Difference Between The UK, England, And Great Britain
Quote
So in summary:
    Great Britain = England, Scotland, and Wales
    UK = England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (and the full name is the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”)
    England = Just the part of the island that is England

while all you wrote is true it has to be especially emphasized that the republic of ireland does NOT belong to the the united kingdom as the quoted text in you post says. it is as you say, only "norther ireland" belongs to the UK of GB.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3481 on: April 17, 2019, 06:28:25 PM »
A 385 MW offshore wind farm was built in 5 months.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/17/siemens-gamesa-finishes-385-megawatt-arkona-offshore-wind-farm-in-record-time/

Quote
The 385 megawatt (MW) Arkona offshore wind farm was officially opened Tuesday after Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy completed the installation of 60 of its 6 MW offshore wind turbines in record time, taking only five months to complete installation and commissioning, which was well ahead of schedule.

And with wind and solar farms, the completed portions of the project can begin generating electricity well before the whole project is complete.

Quote
The installation and commissioning of the turbines is what is most impressive about the Arkona offshore wind farm, with all work at sea carried out in less than five months. Siemens Gamesa followed its 24/ONE concept which sees a turbine installed within 24 hours in an effort to reduce installation times “through efficient project management and to consequently increase customer benefit.” Thus, it took just over three months to install all the offshore turbines, after which it took only two days for all turbines to be fully operational.

With construction beginning in June, first electricity was generated and fed into the German electricity grid in late September.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3482 on: April 17, 2019, 11:18:37 PM »
Around 35 GW of new wind capacity is under construction or in advanced development in the US.

https://www.powermag.com/wind-industry-prepares-for-massive-expansion/

Quote
Construction activity on wind projects across the U.S. surged to a record level of more than 20 GW in the third quarter of 2018, and about 35.1 GW of new wind capacity was under construction or in advanced development at the end of 2018, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

In 2018, the wind industry installed 7.59 GW of new wind capacity—marking the fourth year in a row that the industry has installed at least 7 GW, the trade group said in its annual market report. Once projects in the pipeline are complete, they will boost the current total of 96.4 GW (from 56,000 wind turbines operating in 41 states plus Guam and Puerto Rico) to 131 GW.

Quote
Declining costs and the stable price of wind power are already driving new power purchases, Kieran noted. In 2018, 37 corporations, including 21 first-time buyers, signed wind energy contracts totaling a record 4.2 GW. At the end of 2018, meanwhile, commercial and industrial purchasers had signed contracts for more than 11.3 GW of wind, while utilities signed contracts for 4.3 GW.

Those agreements are transforming generation profiles in key markets, which marked notable wind power records in 2018. Southwest Power Pool (SPP), for example, generated 24% of its power from wind, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) generated 19%. Wind output records were also set across the country in “every regional transmission organization and independent system operator at some point in 2018,” Kiernan added. ERCOT, for example, experienced the most wind output at a single point in time at more than 19 GW, while SPP set a record at 16.3 GW.

Quote
Meanwhile, the wind industry is closely watching developments concerning the offshore wind sector. AWEA said that improving project economics and growing backing from state policies led to a surge in offshore wind activity in 2018. By the end of the year, project developers had a potential offshore wind pipeline of more than 25.7 GW spanning 10 states in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Great Lakes region. Six offshore wind projects, totaling 2.1 GW could be operational by 2023, it said. Over 2018, meanwhile, utilities selected 1.5 GW of offshore wind capacity through state-issued solicitations, and power purchase agreements were signed for two offshore projects totaling 1 GW at prices below $100/MWh.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3483 on: April 17, 2019, 11:47:09 PM »
After slowing down their solar investment last year, it looks like China is going to reverse the policy and provide subsidies for 30GW of solar projects this year.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/17/chinas-447-million-solar-subsidy-could-yield-30-gigawatts-in-2019/

Quote
As more information from the NEA is released and revealed, the hopes for a strong year for China’s solar industry rise.

According to several reports, the NEA’s consultation paper hinted at total solar subsidies for 2019 of RMB3 billion, or around US$447 million — which would also include RMB 750 million for residential solar projects.

Further analysis by various groups have also concluded that this level of subsidization could support over 30 GW of new solar capacity in 2019, and as much as 50 GW. Total solar installations, then — including both subsidized and unsubsidized projects — could total over 40 GW (based on the low-end predictions).

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3484 on: April 17, 2019, 11:53:45 PM »
The latest analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows that renewables plus battery storage are now cost competitive with fossil fuels.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikescott/2019/04/16/batteries-offshore-wind-lead-clean-energy-cost-cuts-as-renewables-continue-to-undercut-coal-and-gas/#2ea6794747d7

Quote
The transition to a low-carbon energy system is a few steps closer after two technologies that were immature and hugely expensive only a few years ago saw spectacular gains in cost-competitiveness in the last year.

New research from Bloomberg NEF (BNEF) shows that the cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by 35% over the past year to $187/MWh, while the cost of offshore wind is almost a quarter (24%) lower than this time 12 months ago.

Meanwhile, the costs of installing the more established technologies of onshore wind and photovoltaic (PV) solar also continued to fall. The levelized cost of energy for onshore wind projects starting construction at the start of this year was $50/MWh, 10% lower than a year ago, while solar projects are 18% cheaper at 57/MWh.

Quote
The fall in the cost of batteries is important because it opens up new opportunities for intermittent renewables including solar and wind to do many of the jobs that coal- and gas-fired power stations and nuclear, currently do.

Battery energy storage co-located with solar and wind farms are starting to be competitive with coal and gas power, even without subsidies, in providing “dispatchable power” that can be delivered when it is needed, rather than only at the time it is being generated when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. Battery storage can provide back-up power for renewable projects for anything from one to four hours at a time, BNEF says.

Tifenn Brandily, energy economics analyst at BNEF, said: “Solar PV and onshore wind have won the race to be the cheapest sources of new ‘bulk generation’ in most countries, but the encroachment of clean technologies is now going well beyond that, threatening the balancing role that gas-fired plant operators, in particular, have been hoping to play.”

rboyd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3485 on: April 18, 2019, 12:20:46 AM »
After slowing down their solar investment last year, it looks like China is going to reverse the policy and provide subsidies for 30GW of solar projects this year.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/17/chinas-447-million-solar-subsidy-could-yield-30-gigawatts-in-2019/

For the past few years, the additions to Chinese solar capacity have been (IRENA figures); 2014: 10GW; 2015: 15GW; 2016: 34GW; 2017: 53GW; 2018: 44GW. So 30-50GW (hi-lo forecasts) would be about the same to less than 2018.

If I take the mid of the forecasts for 2019, then the percentage yearly increase in installed capacity would be 2014: 60.7%; 2015: 53.9%; 2016: 79.3%; 2017: 68.7%; 2018: 34%; 2019: 22.9%. The kind of slowdown that would be expected as the installed capacity gets bigger, and therefore more absolute capacity has to be added to maintain the % growth rate.

In 2017 solar provided 1.84% of Chinese electricity generation. If they can keep going at 22% growth the solar capacity (and assuming generation grows in line with capacity) and solar electricity generation would double every 3.3 years. They would be needing to install 80GW/yr 3.3 years from now and 160GW 6.6 years from now, which should be doable. That would mean approx. 8% of Chinese electricity generation would be from solar in 2025, 16% in 2028ish and 32% in 2031ish (probably a bit lower due to the fast growth in overall electricity generation). Would be a great achievement but faster growth would be needed to reduce electricity-related GHGs given the high growth in electricity demand.

Wind was 4% of Chinese electricity generation in 2016, but that is growing at only 10% per year (doubling every 7 years). So maybe solar + wind growth could start offsetting the growth in electricity in the mid 2020s with a little help from nuclear and hydro.

Given the role of EV's in slowing oil consumption growth, and perhaps stopping that growth in the mid 2020's, then China's emissions could start falling from the mid 2020s. That would be a huge achievement for an economy growing at 6% a year, and massively expanding the use of coal until quite recently.


Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3486 on: April 18, 2019, 07:31:48 PM »
If you look at the past few years, it seems like the renewable energy sector isn't growing quickly enough to slow down carbon emissions.  However, now that the costs of renewable energy are on par (or cheaper than) fossil fuels, the growth rates will accelerate.  Here's an interview with a University of New South Wales (Australia) professor discussing projected growth rates for renewable energy.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/renewable/global-renewable-energy-industry-will-grow-ten-folds-over-seven-years-alistair-sproul-unsw/68919940

Quote
Renewable energy, especially photovoltaics (PV) and wind are the fastest-growing industries in the energy sector. Compared with fossil fuel technologies, which require ongoing fuelling, the renewable energy industry is more capital intensive. So many of the jobs are created when the renewable plants are built. At the rate of growth of 25-40 per cent year-on-year, renewables will become the dominant source of electricity over the next decade. The renewable energy sector is now in a position where there is a consistent decrease in the costs of solar PV and wind power systems at a rate of about 10 per cent per annum. Hence the transition to a clean, green renewable energy systems is both environmentally responsible and economically beneficial.

Quote
The industry is growing at 25-40 per cent per annum and will be close to ten times its present size in the next seven years or so.


Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3487 on: April 18, 2019, 07:39:41 PM »
After a slow-down in 2017, investment in wind projects in Europe increased in 2018.  With the decrease in costs and improvements in technology, it resulted in a large increase in the capacity of projects funded.



Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/18/european-new-wind-investment-reaches-e27-billion-in-2018/

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3488 on: April 19, 2019, 02:47:35 AM »
Special trucks have been designed to transport wind turbine blades up the steep and winding mountain roads.

Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) 4/15/19, 9:20 AM
How to transport wind turbine blades in difficult terrain - Baoding mountain in Yunnan province, China 
https://twitter.com/rainmaker1973/status/1117779804592451586
Video clip at the above link; full video below.

C&C trucks carrying wind turbine blades to the mountaintop

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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3489 on: April 22, 2019, 08:04:49 PM »
Solar plus storage is already cheaper than natural gas "peaker" plants (those that operate to supplement baseload power at peak load, or roughly 10% of the time).  Now a study done by a battery maker, reported in PV magazine, claims that they're competitive with "mid-merit" plants (load-following plants that operate between 10% and 45% of the time).

https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2019/04/22/solarstorage-can-outcompete-mid-merit-gas-units-not-just-peakers/

Quote
Solar plus storage has begun displacing new natural gas peaking units in Arizona, and 8minuteenergy Renewables CEO Tom Buttgenbach has said his firm can build solar plus storage at a lower price than gas peakers “anywhere in the country today.”

A new study shows that solar plus storage (S+S) also outcompetes new “mid-merit” gas units in four of five  grid service areas across the nation in a scenario where current rates of compensation for grid services hold steady over 30 years.  S+S also costs less than these gas units in a number of other cases studied.  The study was published by battery maker Fluence, a joint venture of Siemens and AES. 

Mid-merit or “load-following” units operate at an average capacity factor of about 15% to 45%, mid-way between peaker and “baseload” fossil-fired or nuclear units.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3490 on: April 23, 2019, 09:01:16 PM »
It looks like solar is outcompeting wind in Germany.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/23/solar-dominates-latest-german-renewable-auction/

Quote
Germany’s Federal Network Agency, the Bundesnetzagentur, announced last week the results from its most recent joint tender for solar and onshore wind projects. Germany currently conducts numerous auctions each year, some of which are technology-specific and others which are technology-neutral. Already this year the Bundesnetzagentur has awarded 476 MW worth of onshore wind contracts in a significantly undersubscribed tender, and another 505 MW of large-scale solar at an average price of €0.065 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), in an oversubscribed tender.

Announced last Thursday, the Bundesnetzagentur revealed that it had awarded 210 MW of solar contracts to 18 solar power bids in the joint solar and onshore wind tender. The tender was originally for a flat 200 MW but was significantly oversubscribed at 719.5 MW worth of solar projects bidding for contracts. No onshore wind contracts were awarded.

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While the most recent tender results are obviously good news for Germany’s solar industry — and representative of the industry’s strength, considering just how thoroughly oversubscribed the tender was — the auction continues to ring a warning bell for the country’s wind industry, specifically regarding the policies surrounding the development of new projects. As was highlighted in February in the wake of the first onshore wind tender of 2019, Germany’s permitting process for new onshore wind projects is hampering growth, as new permits can now take over two years to complete. Further, wind projects which do receive permits are increasingly being challenged in courts, further hampering development, with at least 750 MW worth of onshore wind projects held up in legal proceedings as of February.

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“This is now the 3rd German onshore wind auction in a row that’s been under-subscribed,” explained WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson in February. “It’s clear the permitting process is not fit for purpose. It’s taking longer and longer to get a permit. The Bundesländer are reluctant to identify new locations for wind farms. And even if wind farms do get a permit, many then get caught up in legal disputes, which is pushing up costs.

“The German Government needs to take urgent action to make permitting easier. And the Bundesländer need to identify appropriate new zones for onshore wind. If they don’t, auctions will continue to be under-subscribed, and prices will remain higher than they should be. And this will jeopardise Germany’s target of 65% renewables in electricity by 2030.”

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3491 on: April 23, 2019, 10:05:23 PM »
That's very interesting Ken, thanks for sharing.

Some numbers on that for context.

Last week 77.6% of energy in the grid was renewables. I kid you not.

The average for renewables in 2019 is now ~46%  ( ~6% solar and ~28% wind )

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3492 on: April 24, 2019, 12:33:03 AM »
Germany's transition to renewables has been impressive to watch.  I have to admit that I had my doubts when they prematurely closed their nuke plants after Fukishima, but the progress they've made has been inspiring.

My state of Washington had some great news this week.  The Legislature passed Gov. Inslee's clean energy plan!  Details of the plan are here:

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/washington-state-passes-100-clean-energy-by-2045-law

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Washington state’s Senate on Monday gave the final vote of approval to a law requiring 100 percent clean energy by 2045, joining three other states — New Mexico, California and Hawaii — with similar legislation on the books. A new Puerto Rico law requires 100 percent renewables by 2050.

Governor Jay Inslee (D), who is running for president on a climate change platform, has championed the Washington bill. It now goes to his desk for signature.

Like other states, Washington’s legislation leaves technologies such as nuclear and carbon capture and sequestration on the table.

In addition to requiring 100 percent clean energy, Washington’s law mandates a coal phaseout by 2025 and requires that utilities ratchet up their clean-energy commitments over time. Coal accounted for 13 percent of the state’s mix in 2017.

While electricity sales must be carbon-neutral by 2030, utilities can meet 20 percent of that requirement with renewable energy credits, through an “alternative compliance payment” or by investing in “energy transformation projects” that reduce the generation of electricity like energy efficiency or transportation electrification.

Note that we have one coal plant in Washington that is legally required to shut down in 2022 due to a court order.  Some utilities purchase power produced by coal plants in neighboring states.

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Washington is well on its way to meeting its targets. According to data compiled by the state's Department of Commerce, nearly 68 percent of the state’s generation in 2017 came from hydropower. Nuclear accounted for just over 4 percent and wind for nearly 3 percent. Together, coal and natural gas produced about 24 percent of electricity for the state’s utilities in 2017.

Avista, a utility that provides power in an eastern portion of the state, reports that over 50 percent of its power is already renewables — most of it hydro. Ahead of the law's final vote, Avista announced a commitment of its own to move to 100 percent clean energy by 2045. The utility also serves customers in Idaho and Oregon.

The largest utility in Washington, Puget Sound Energy, got 33 percent of its electricity from hydropower in 2017 and 6 percent from wind. Coal and natural gas accounted for 38 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Currently, PSE is working to close down the capacity it owns in Montana's Colstrip coal plant. Avista and another regulated utility that operates in Washington, PacifiCorp, are working to exit the plant as well.

We have pretty good wind resources and once you get east of the Cascades, good solar too.  While wind farms have been producing for a while, utility-scale solar is just starting up with a couple of smaller solar farms.  Hopefully this law will encourage more non-hydro renewable projects.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3493 on: April 24, 2019, 12:49:54 AM »
Here is some more information about the recently passed clean energy bill in Washington state.  It's not just a requirement for a certain percentage of energy from renewable resources, it has some innovative ideas governing utilities.

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/4/18/18363292/washington-clean-energy-bill

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Last month, New Mexico targeted 100 percent clean by 2045. The Maryland legislature recently passed a bill targeting 50 percent renewable by 2030 and looking into the viability of 100 percent by 2040. Illinois might pass a 100 percent target soon. Of course California and Hawaii already have, to say nothing of more than 100 US cities (most recently Chicago).

It’s a lot to track. So it’s understandable that there hasn’t been much coverage of the 100 percent clean energy bill that is on the verge of passing in Washington (SB 5116), the one Washington governor and presidential candidate Jay Inslee has been pushing. But it is the best of the bunch. And I’m not just saying that because I live here.

It is not just a clean energy bill. It also contains a raft of thoughtful, in some cases genuinely groundbreaking, structural changes to the way the state’s utilities do business.

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A step-down approach to decarbonizing

The bill sets three targets for the state’s utilities, ramping up in stringency over time.

By 2025, they must completely get rid of coal power (it currently supplies about 14 percent of state electricity, most of it imported).

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By 2030, they must be 100 percent carbon-neutral. Eighty percent of their power must come from “nonemitting electric generation and electricity from renewable resources.” (This language is significant: It leaves room for nuclear, natural gas with CCS, or other nonrenewable, non-carbon-emitting sources. In other words, this is a clean energy bill, not a renewable energy bill.)

The other 20 percent of the obligation can be satisfied in one of three ways:
•Renewable energy credits (RECs), i.e., vouchers certifying that someone else generated clean energy
•An administrative penalty based on tons remaining uncovered (which effectively amounts to a $100 per ton carbon tax)
•Energy Transformation Projects (ETPs)

The third is interesting. ETPs are “projects that provide energy-related goods and services other than electricity generation and result in a reduction of fossil fuel consumption and a reduction of GHG emissions, while providing benefits to the customers of a utility.” They include such things as electric car infrastructure, weatherization, or renewable natural gas (RNG — natural gas drawn from, for example, landfill or agricultural waste) projects.

These are things utilities can do to reduce their customers’ consumption of fossil fuels, but they haven’t traditionally had any way to get paid for them, so they lacked incentive. Now, if they partially decarbonize and are finding the last 20 percent difficult or expensive, they can meet their obligations with ETPs. It’s a clever way to incentivize such projects.

Over time, the required level of self-generated clean electricity rises steadily, until 2045, when all utilities must be self-generating 100 percent clean energy.

The article goes on to describe how utilities are currently required to invest in capital projects to earn a return for shareholders and aren't incentivized to consider external costs.

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First, on revenue, it grants the state’s Utilities And Transportation Commission (UTC) the authority to shift utilities from a return-on-capital model to a performance-based model. Rather than profit (and returns to shareholders) coming purely from investments in capital projects, utilities’ returns would be determined based on their performance against metrics determined by the UTC, things like carbon reduction or equity. This will align utility incentives with the state’s larger energy goals.

Second, it adds several new considerations to the regulatory compact:

1. The social cost of carbon.

The “social cost of carbon” (SCC) refers to the rough estimate by economists of the total damages, economic, environmental, and otherwise, imposed by a ton of carbon emissions. Washington’s bill requires that utilities begin taking the SCC into account in all their decisions.

Specifically, the bill requires utilities to adopt the federal government’s current SCC, as established in Executive Order 12866 — roughly $68 per ton, rising to $116 per ton by 2050 — at a discount rate of 2.5 percent. (See here for an explainer on discount rates and their role in climate policy; suffice to say, 2.5 percent is pretty low, which means it puts a lot of weight on future damages, i.e., The Children.)

The SCC is a technical (and controversial) number, but the exact level is less important than the net effect of this change, which is to define carbon reduction as in the public interest and a core part of the regulatory compact. Washington utilities will be required by law to take carbon into account.

ASILurker

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3494 on: April 24, 2019, 04:35:19 AM »
Here is some more information about the recently passed clean energy bill in Washington state.  It's not just a requirement for a certain percentage of energy from renewable resources, it has some innovative ideas governing utilities.

iow without Government actions through legislation and regulations and systemic changes the move from fossil fuels to renewables can't happen fast enough.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3495 on: April 24, 2019, 05:10:44 AM »
I am pleased with my local (Washington State) utilities fuel mix.  :) Its not perfect but it is getting there.

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3496 on: April 24, 2019, 07:34:42 AM »
Israel, supposedly a "high-tech nation", with 3300-3400 annual hours of sunlight, and half its area covered by desert, generates only ~3% of its electricity from solar. The rest is natural gas, coal and diesel. Sad.

RealityCheck

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3497 on: April 24, 2019, 05:43:57 PM »
...

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/16/renewables-generate-33-of-britains-power-in-first-quarter/

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According to EnAppSys’ figures, a total of 27.2 terawatt-hours (TWh) of renewable electricity was generated over the first quarter of 2019 in Great Britain (as opposed to the United Kingdom, which includes the Republic of Ireland),
...
One might wonder if they have their geography wrong, do they have their numbers wrong... :-\
The Difference Between The UK, England, And Great Britain
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So in summary:
    Great Britain = England, Scotland, and Wales
    UK = England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (and the full name is the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”)
    England = Just the part of the island that is England
[Edit:  I sent this info to Clean Technica.]

And just to add a further twist, the electricity market in Ireland is operated on an all-island basis. The Republic and Northern Ireland are controlled by the same market structure. (One more reason that Brexit is Bonkers).
Sic transit gloria mundi

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3498 on: April 24, 2019, 05:58:15 PM »
San Francisco to require renewable electricity from buildings
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While New York’s plan requires emission cuts from its largest buildings, San Francisco would specifically require buildings to run on electricity generated by renewables. The city’s requirement is expected to reduce 21% of emissions from commercial buildings by 2030, when the entire city aims to run on 100% renewable electricity.

San Fran’s plan has a separate timeline for its buildings to go fully renewable based on size:

By 2022 – commercial buildings over 500,000 square feet must meet the requirement
By 2024 – commercial buildings over 250,000 square feet
By 2030 – commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet
...
https://electrek.co/2019/04/24/san-francisco-100-percent-renewable-electricity/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3499 on: April 24, 2019, 06:35:05 PM »
Investors are starting to understand what the fact that new solar is now cheaper than operating coal means for investment opportunities.

https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Solar-Energy/Solar-Stocks-Are-Booming-This-Year.html

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The solar energy industry is making a major comeback. Solar stocks have been soaring across the board in 2019, and it looks like the solar sector is going to be able to keep it up, based on analyses of both majorly improved performance and extremely positive long-term projections--a winning combo.

So far this year, according to “multimedia financial services company” the Motley Fool, “First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN), and Vivint Solar (NYSE:VSLR) are all up over 40% [as of April 21] and Chinese manufacturer JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS) has nearly doubled.”

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One such country is South Africa, where a major energy crisis, brought on by years of mismanagement and high-level corruption, has left the energy grid devastated. Rolling blackouts are devastating the national economy to the tune of $284 million every day, pushing the populace to look for alternative solutions. This is where solar comes in. South Africa averages 2,500 hours of sunshine a year, which makes solar an obvious choice for a nation looking for sustainable solutions, especially now that it’s not so prohibitively expensive for a cash-strapped country like South Africa.

Despite observable cultural and societal trends like the South African solar revolution, exact numbers to quantify solar growth are somewhat hard to come by. As the Motley Fool points out, it’s hard to get exact figures on the number and size of solar installations around the world, since many countries don’t keep detailed data on total installed capacity. That being said, many analysts are making bold predictions for what could be a record-breaking year. Bloomberg New Energy Finance, for example, “expects solar installations to grow from 109 gigawatts (GW) in 2018 to 125 GW to 141 GW in 2019, or enough to power 23.1 million U.S. homes.”

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Solar energy has become far cheaper than many traditional resources. “In most of the U.S. today, it's cheaper to build a new solar or wind farm than to simply keep an existing coal plant running”, reports CBS News. One reason for this is that solar panel technology has greatly improved, but it’s mostly thanks to an economy of scale now that solar has been much more widely adopted.

What’s more, for solar panel manufacturers who have long grappled with razor-thin profit margins, if any, it’s looking like growing demand for solar energy is finally going to translate into rising profits as industry growth takes the edge off of price pressure. Solar panels are also getting more and more efficient, and as the Motley Fool puts it, “these technology improvements will help expand differentiation, increase margins, and if all goes well increase profits.”