SNAPSHOT: The Surge of Renewables and Energy Storage

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More than any other part of the climate change story in 2018, the continuing boom in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and affordable battery storage was a source of excitement, momentum, and hope.

By the time the year began, the plummeting cost of clean alternatives was already old news, with one industry publication stopping to mock a posted price of 1.79 cents per kilowatt-hour that still got Saudi Arabia the headline it wanted for low-cost solar development. And Project Drawdown had published its inventory of 80 proven solutions and 20 “coming attractions” that can drive the shift to a post-carbon future. In 2018, analysts and project developers showed that affordable, reliable technologies are a cornerstone of that transition, with far greater potential ahead if investment can scale up to meet the decarbonization challenge laid out in the landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on 1.5°C pathways.

A $26-Trillion Transformation

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate laid out the sheer scope of the off-carbon opportunity, reporting that the “bold action” needed to address the climate crisis could deliver at least US$26 trillion in economic benefits through 2030, produce more than 65 million low-carbon jobs, prevent 700,000 premature deaths, and generate $2.8 trillion in government revenues in that year. Renewable electricity posted record growth, but both the Renewables 2018 Global Status Report and the International Renewable Energy Agency warned that a great deal more will be needed to match the targets countries adopted under the Paris Agreement, much less the more ambitious imperatives in the IPCC report.

A carbon bubble driven by cheap renewables risked triggering a global economic crisis. Subsidy-free solar swept Europe, as countries reaped the rewards for their early support for the technology. In the United States, veteran Vox.com climate columnist David Roberts said the precipitous fall in solar costs showed that government support programs work, renewables boomed in 2017 despite a hostile White House administration and state-level uncertainties, and corporate buyers set a massive new record for renewable energy procurement.

The energy transition council established by then-Canadian natural resources minister Jim Carr anticipated a future of wind, solar, energy efficiency, and the world’s “cleanest” liquefied natural gas production. U.S. utilities and global fossils tried to fight public opinion and slow down the transition to 100% renewables; and fossil-focused Houston, Texas, recognized that it risked Rust Belt status if it didn’t embrace a renewable energy future. Regional utility planners at PJM Interconnection concluded that big power supplier FirstEnergy Solutions could replace four gigawatts of coal capacity with renewables and efficiency without compromising grid reliability, and fossils’ days were numbered after the Trump-appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission cleared the way for battery storage to compete with conventional power plants.

South Africa mapped out a shift from coal and nuclear to renewables and natural gas, Danish Oil and Natural Gas transformed itself into an offshore wind powerhouse, and European renewables outpaced coal in 2017, though a full coal phaseout was still very much a work in progress. Pollinator-friendly solar sites boosted diversity while earning community support in Minnesota, and new wind and solar installations had the potential to green the Sahara. In Australia, local investment drove wider community benefits from wind farm development, a regulator reported the new Tesla mega-battery was working faster, smarter, and cheaper than competing natural gas plants, and the “Tesla effect” fueled enthusiasm for renewables and storage.

Renewables accounted for 10.3 million jobs worldwide in 2016, en route to 28 million in 2050; the massive job count had renewables and efficiency taking hold in every U.S. zip code; an Ohio energy innovation study showed the potential for 20,000 new jobs powered by US$25 billion in new investment; and Alberta introduced a new training course for solar farm and wind technicians.

The Drive for 100% RE

With some exceptions, the drive for 100% renewable electricity gained traction in 2018, with yet another low-carbon study concluding the apparently audacious target is doable and affordable. Renewables kept beating fossil energy on cost, electricity prices below zero heralded the end of the “energy mainframe,” and an Australian utility executive declared the end of 24/7 baseload power. The “electrification of everything” was on track to triple global grid capacity by 2050, renewables and storage began outpacing natural gas for peak power supply in the United States, Bloomberg said renewables would deliver 64% of global electricity supply by 2050, Project Drawdown said greater flexibility would enable an 80% renewable grid, and other studies showed 100% renewable energy grids were already a reality.

There was some pushback on the 100% renewable energy concept, with Vox.com’s David Roberts suggesting a reality check for deep decarbonizing targets, and University of Guelph geographer and community activist Kirby Calvert contending that cities need practical programs more than “earnest” 100% renewable energy targets. A study urged grid operators to treat solar as an asset to be maximized rather than as a problem to be managed. The Calgary-based Canadian Energy Research Institute said Canadian wind and bioenergy resources came in ahead of natural gas for the most affordable carbon reductions, and First Nations sought a bigger stake as Alberta opened a 700-megawatt tender for renewable energy procurement.

The Energy Mix stopped reporting news of 500-megawatt, one-gigawatt, even two-gigawatt renewable energy installations because they just weren’t news anymore, and readers were already getting too much email. (Which meant there was another avalanche of news out there, beyond the examples in this snapshot.) A five-gigawatt solar farm won planning approval in India, and the country set a mandatory renewables target for big power consumers, as falling solar costs and alarming levels of air pollution threatened a dominant but dirty coal industry. India also began encouraging hybrid wind and solar facilities to get the most out of both technologies.

Wind was set to become Europe’s biggest electricity source by 2027, Sweden expected to reach its 2030 renewable energy target in 2018, offshore wind in the United Kingdom was on track to hit price parity in 2025 and grow sixfold by 2030, UK renewable energy capacity exceeded fossils for the first time, and subsidy-free British renewables were on track to push out natural gas by 2030. Affordable renewables were seen as an enabler for tougher EU climate targets, the low price of new renewables was undercutting existing fossil plants on the U.S. grid, and the economics of new coal and gas plants crumbled as solar and wind hit an inflection point. Analysts took a wait-and-see attitude to Saudi Arabia’s US$200-billion, 200-gigawatt solar plan, the world’s biggest if it had come to pass—and sure enough, the deal collapsed later in the year.

Low Prices, High Targets

Average wind power costs came in at 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour in the United States, a U.S. utility received “fabulous” bids of 2.1 cents for wind+storage and 3.6 cents for solar+storage, and a Nevada utility project came in at 2.37 cents. More than 100 cities produced at least 70% of their electricity from renewables in 2017, San Diego set a 2035 deadline to meet a 100% renewable energy target, Regina settled on 2050, and Edmonton planned to power 100% of its operations with renewables by 2030 after the Republican mayor of Georgetown, Texas, extolled the benefits of making the shift. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, co-chair of the 400-member Climate Mayors network, invited his counterparts across the United States to share their energy demand data as a first step in pooling their requests for proposals to renewable energy developers. California issued a new mandate that boosted energy-efficient buildings and rooftop solar, a Yale University undergrad had a plan to put more solar panels on rental rooftops, and zero-energy homes were affordable enough for mainstream markets. A proper microgrid could have prevented an 11-hour power outage at the world’s busiest airport in Atlanta, and a study by Stanford University’s Mark Z. Jacobson showed multiple pathways to grid stability in a 100% renewable energy future. De-manufacturing and recycling emerged as a new challenge for aging solar modules.

Modern bioenergy supplied half of the world’s renewables and showed big potential for future growth, but the EU renewable energy directive risked triggering enough deforestation to destroy global carbon sinks. In her closing summary of the annual Scaling Up Bio conference in Ottawa, Montreal-based environmental lawyer Karine Péloffy envisioned an “economy without a tailpipe”, but cautioned participants that “there are no silver bullets: if you think you have one, you haven’t thought about it enough, or thought about it from an ecosystem approach.”

Financing for the post-carbon transition was a mixed story in 2018. A report showed China leading the world in clean energy investment in 2017, and the country topped the annual Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index for the third year in a row, with the United States regaining second spot. The International Energy Agency saw renewables investment falling and fossil projects receiving more. Analysts predicted a solar and offshore wind boom for the Asia-Pacific, Apple’s US$300-million renewables fund was expected to power a million homes in China; and southeast Asia was urged to scrap its fossil subsidies in favour of affordable, reliable renewables.

The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board closed renewable energy investment deals in India and Ontario, a new C$2.3-billion production facility in Quebec was set to deliver durable, all-glass solar panels, the Whabouchi mine in northern Quebec, on the territory of the Cree Nation of Nemaska, looked like an early winner in the race to supply lithium for electric vehicle batteries, and Energy Mix correspondent Will Dubitsky’s analysis showed Canada missing the moment to develop a homegrown clean transportation industry.

Energy Storage Hits Prime Time

For years, as distributed renewable energy emerged as a practical alternative to traditional fossil-fired electricity generation, grid managers fretted that renewables couldn’t deliver the reliability that utilities depend on and their customers expect. In 2018, battery storage continued to transform the conversation.

Tesla’s renowned big battery in South Australia saved consumers A$35 million in four months, putting up performance numbers that defied skeptics and sent industry “bananas”. Another big battery in Australia was quietly changing attitudes about the grid. India pushed ahead with battery storage for a renewable grid, and Tesla closed a land deal for a US$2-billion battery gigafactory in Shanghai.

Solar and wind with storage became the default choice for United States utilities, and battery manufacturing in the European Union was set to grow 20-fold by 2025. Green Mountain Energy used home batteries to cut peak demand during a mid-summer heat wave and save its ratepayers US$510,000. Duke Energy floated a $1-billion green bond to fund solar+storage in North and South Dakota, a California utility replaced three natural gas peaker plants with batteries, and utility-scale storage became an enabler for distributed renewables on the grid.

A battery system in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario became Canada’s biggest, saving local businesses C$3 million per year. A new zinc-air battery design promised to undercut lithium-ion on price, and a company in China planned to start producing next-generation, low-cobalt batteries in 2019.

Energy for the Rest of Us

At its best, the shift to energy efficiency and renewable energy isn’t just a great investment opportunity, nor even just a climate solution. For decades, community energy developers and advocates have seen the potential for a more democratic energy system, where the most vulnerable in any society can better control their energy at less cost. As one organizing handbook put it in the early 1980s, no one should ever have to choose between heat and rent.

Colorado kept making news on energy access and equity, with wind becoming a new cash crop for struggling farmers, Denver busting down barriers to community solar, and state low-income solar programs setting an example for other U.S. states. Rural electrification programs needed to place greater emphasis on distributed renewables, and U.S. fossils’ war on wind was hurting Oklahoma’s poorest citizens. In storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, local solar emerged as the best way to rebuild after Hurricane María, though analysts fretted about the potential for scandal as the island began a drive toward 100% renewable energy.

Decentralized renewables brought electricity to rural Nigerians, crowdfunded solar delivered a new cash crop for small-scale farmers in Kenya, a “next-gen” utility in Africa bundled pay-as-you-go solar and Internet services, a MasterCard-based system aimed to serve 625 million off-grid customers, an emerging solar deal in sub-Saharan Africa looked set to serve 250 million more, and Ukraine was poised to go big on renewables.

In Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation announced plans to promote community-led renewable power. Ontario demolished two obsolete coal smokestacks to make way for a 44-megawatt solar farm. But a few months and one election later, a new government proceeded to demolish the province’s successful carbon cap-and-trade program and cancel 759 renewable energy contracts, while pushing ahead with a costly nuclear relicencing scheme. The province undercut investor confidence by cancelling the virtually complete White Pines wind farm at a cost of at least C$100 million to ratepayers, then introduced a poorly detailed climate plan with a new carbon reduction target that was 30 million tonnes less stringent than the one it replaced.

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Governors from 22 U.S. states plus Puerto Rico, including at least three Republicans, are urging the White House to adopt tougher fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks, contending that consumers, automakers, and the environment will all suffer from Donald Trump’s determined effort to roll those standards back.

FERC Update Shows U.S. Renewables Growing 10 Times Faster Than Fossil Electricity by 2022

A new three-year projection from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), showing renewable energy growing 10 times faster than fossil-generated electricity by 2022, is being taken as official confirmation that the country’s shift to clean power is here to stay.

New Investment, Demand from New Data Centre Make Georgia a Hot U.S. Market for Solar

The southeastern U.S. state of Georgia has emerged as the country’s hottest new market for solar, driven largely by data centre demand from tech giant Facebook and regional reaction to the punishing, 30% tariff the Trump administration imposed on solar components from China in 2018.

Prefab Passive Solar Offers Simpler, Faster Construction, Healthier Homes, Lower Emissions

With prefabricated housing gradually gaining ground in North America, Canada is beginning to see a small surge in the number of companies producing prefab, high-performance wall panels for passive solar homes.

University of Calgary Solar Car Wins International Grand Prix

Air Pollution Costs China Billions in Solar Efficiency

U.S. Appliance Efficiency Program Cuts Boost Emissions, Cost Consumers Money

Summerside, PEI Puts Demand-Side Management Ahead of New Diesel Plant

Wind Power Giant Unveils Electrothermal Energy Storage System

South Australia Aims for Net 100% RE by 2030

BC Hydro Study Probes E-Bus Role in Renewable Grid

New York Looks to Infamous Rikers Prison as Future Solar Site

Florida Utility Prevents Residents from Maximizing Rooftop Solar

Utility Sees 14 GW of New Solar Capacity Attracting Investors, Data Centres to U.S. Southeast

The mammoth Tennessee Valley Authority is planning to add up to 14 gigawatts (14 billion watts) of new solar capacity and five GW of storage by 2038, in a bid to draw business investors and data centres to the southeastern United States.

Pact for a Green New Deal Holds 150 Town Halls, Reaches 7,000 Canadians in Two Months

wo months after a diverse collection of Indigenous, civil society, environmental, and labour groups launched the Pact for a Green New Deal in Canada, organizers have issued a report summarizing key recommendations submitted to date by thousands of interested citizens.

Onshore Wind Could Meet Europe’s Electricity Needs 10 Times Over

Germany Makes Kerosene from Sunlight, Water, and CO2

Fossil-Friendly Canadian Export Agency Cited for Poor Disclosure, Environmental and Human Rights Violations

A federal export credit agency with a history of massively supporting fossil industry exports over clean technology is taking fire for failing to consider the environmental, human rights, and ethical implications of its financial support to Canadian businesses.

Alberta Towns, Utility Embrace Solar as ‘the Business of the Future’

Undaunted by a premier avowedly hostile to renewable energy, communities across Alberta are embracing solar electricity as good business, with the small southern town of Raymond determined to be the first in Canada to power itself entirely by the sun.

Ottawa-Area Solar Farm Uses Sheep for Herbicide-Free Weed Control

Two years after a family of Ottawa Valley sheep farmers partnered with French-owned EDF Renewables on a “vegetation abatement” pilot, their herd has grown, they have a significant secondary source of income, and EDF has secured a herbicide-free way to keep over-enthusiastic weeds from overtaking its solar arrays.

Solid State Wave Energy Systems Have No Moving Parts, But Many Specialized Requirements

Solid state wave energy is one of 20 carbon reduction options in Drawdown’s list of “coming attractions” that hold major future promise, but aren’t quite ready for prime time. The technology has incredible potential, but faces barriers to becoming a current, mainstream solution.

Research Finds Bike Lanes Boost Retail Sales, Home Values

MIT Reports Big Increase in Solar Cell Output

Garossino: Despite Pipeline Approval, $70-Billion Federal Plan is Canada’s Best Shot at Decarbonizing

While the Trudeau government disappointed its climate allies with its much-anticipated decision to re-approve the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, it has also crafted a more complicated record on energy and carbon by committing to C$70 billion in low-carbon investment over a 12-year span, reporter Sandy Garossino writes in a provocative post last week for National Observer.

$30-Billion PG&E Bankruptcy Plan Includes New Name, New Negotiations with Solar and Wind Suppliers

A US$30-billion bankruptcy plan, a new name, a compensation fund for wildfire victims, and the right to renegotiate contracts with older renewable energy suppliers are the elements of a plan taking shape to pull California utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) out of insolvency, after its power lines were blamed for the inferno that literally burned Paradise to the ground last summer.

World Bank Touts Solar+Storage Mini-Grids for Africa, Asia

Renewables Provide Alternative to Troubled Coal Plants in Kenya, Bangladesh

Ethiopia Hits 100% Renewables But Needs Even More

Smart Highways Would Turn Roads Into a ‘Positive Social, Environmental Force’

A shift to smart highways is one of the 20 carbon reduction options that Drawdown lists as Coming Attractions—strategies that weren’t ready for prime time when the book was published, but looked like promising approaches through mid-century.

Warren Buffett Utility in Nevada Announces ‘Hulkingly Big’ Solar+Storage Buy

Manitoba First Nation Plans Utility-Scale Solar Farm

Waste-to-Biofuel Company Aims for Circular Economy

Canada Joins California on Tailpipe Emissions Standard, Clean Vehicle Development

Canada is aligning its automobile tailpipe emissions standard with California and will work with the most populous U.S. state to promote cleaner-running vehicles, under a new agreement that puts the country onside against the Trump administration’s attempt to roll back fuel efficiency targets introduced by President Barack Obama in 2012.

GE Shuts California Gas Plant 20 Years Early, Sells Site to Battery Storage Provider

General Electric plans to close and demolish a 750-megawatt natural gas power plant in California 20 years ahead of schedule, after concluding it can’t compete with inexpensive solar- and wind-generated electricity.

Fragmented Federal Approach Drives Climate Scientists Out of the Field, Evidence for Democracy Warns

More than three-quarters of Canadian climate scientists say their highly qualified colleagues are leaving the field and 94% rely on foreign logistical support to carry out their research, thanks to a fragmented federal approach to research funding, Evidence for Democracy reports in an analysis released this week.

Africa Development Bank Plans $500-Million Fund for Small Renewables

Alberta Company Develops Hemp Bricks as Carbon-Neutral Building Material

Webinar: 1.5°C Still Doable Without ‘Unproven, Dangerous’ Geoengineering

It isn’t too late to limit average global warming to 1.5°C without resorting to geoengineering, and deploying geoengineering technologies such as carbon capture storage (CCS) and solar radiation management (SRM) would be counterproductive and dangerously irresponsible, according to panelists at an April 25 webinar.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_the_Netherlands

Norway Plans 3.5 GW of New Offshore Wind, 50% Cut in Marine Diesel by 2030

A proposal to build up to 3.5 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, coupled with a pledge to cut marine diesel use 50% by 2030, have Norway pushing for a lead in subsidy-free renewable energy while driving down its demand for the energy source that has long driven its economy.

Smart Grid Technology Would Enable ‘Variable’ Renewables, Save 0.7 to 2.1 Gigatons of Carbon Dioxide by 2050

Smart grid development is a low-carbon solution that Drawdown lists as a “coming attraction” that can help utilities accommodate the rise of renewable energy. It could also eliminate 0.7 to 2.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050.

Ottawa Directs $60 Million in Carbon Tax Revenue to Energy-Efficient Schools

Boaty McBoatFace Research Sub Makes Sea Level Rise Discovery

Oil Demand Shrinks by the Month While U.S. Solar Surges

Two nearly simultaneous market reports this week from the two sides of the energy sector—the old and the new—point to a promising trend, with demand for oil declining while solar installations surge faster than an annual statistical update can keep up.

EPA Tosses Lifeline to U.S. Coal with Rollback of Obama’s Clean Power Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled long-anticipated plans to complete its rollback of President Barack Obama’s signature Clean Power Plan, the latest in Donald Trump’s failing campaign to resuscitate his country’s dying coal industry.

Shell Brings Gulf of Mexico Expertise to Massachusetts Offshore Wind Boom

Largest-Ever Floating Offshore Wind Farm Coming Soon to Canary Islands

Queensland Coal Workers Switch to Renewables

Slow Uptake Has Countries Missing Benefits of Renewable Energy Transition, REN21 Warns

While the industry’s growth in 2018 showed that “renewable power is here to stay”, countries around the world are falling short of the full benefits they could gain from the post-carbon transition and needlessly dragging out their dependence on fossil fuels, concludes the Renewables 2019 Global Status Report, released this week by the Paris-based REN21 Secretariat.

Resource Development, Climate Impacts, Federal Negligence Bring Wood Buffalo Park Close to Heritage in Danger List

A UN agency is on the verge of placing Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada’s largest, on the World Heritage in Danger List, and urging the country to take far more strenuous measures to protect the territory and its extraordinary biodiversity.

Bid Below €50/MWh Wins 600-MW Offshore Wind Project for EDF

U.S. Water Supplies Affect Pacific Northwest Hydro Generators

Target Commits to 100% RE for U.S. Retail Operations

Starbucks Powers 3,000 Stores with Solar, Wind Projects in Three U.S. States

Solar Investors Run Afoul of DC Scammers

Senate Committee Urges Federal Support for Northern Climate Resilience

The climate resilience of Canada’s Northern communities—many of them Indigenous—is an urgent priority that calls for better financial and technical support from the Trudeau government, the Special Senate Committee on the Arctic concludes in a recent report.

Critics Scorch UK’s Net-Zero Announcement for Slow Transition, Misuse of International Carbon Credits

Soon-to-depart Prime Minister Theresa May has unveiled legislation to make the UK the first G7 country to enshrine a 2050 net-zero carbon deadline in law, with a plan that has taken fire from analysts and activists for its reliance on international carbon credits and yet-to-be-proven “negative emissions” technologies.

Subsidies Would Help Deliver Mini-Grids as Cheapest Rural Electrification for Sub-Saharan Africa

While subsidies have helped ensure the expansion of national power grid systems around the world, using public money to finance solar mini-grids is less established—a situation that needs to change in sub-Saharan Africa, investors urge, where 573 million people still live without electric power.

Autonomous Vehicle Use Could Hit 75% by 2040

Autonomous vehicles are included in Drawdown’s list of “coming attractions” as an up-and-coming climate solution that hasn’t yet become the norm.

Cities Produce Renewable Natural Gas from Food Waste

Renewables Employed 11 Million in 2018, IRENA Reports

Renewable energy employed 11 million people around the world last year despite slower annual growth in key markets like China, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) concludes in the latest edition of its annual jobs report.

U.S. Set to Add 17,000 MW of New Renewables Per Year Through 2022

The United States is on track to add 17,000 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity per year through 2022, according to analysis this week by Fitch Solutions, with plummeting technology costs and state-level programming offsetting the gradual end of federal subsidies and a continuing regulatory rollback by the Trump administration.

New Jersey Promises 100% Clean Energy by 2050

U.S. Renewable Energy Capacity Exceeds Coal for First Time

Anheuser Brewing Company Powers Past 100% RE

Batteries to Replace Diesel as Remote Alaskan Village Processes Annual Salmon Run

Inuit Call for Federal Partnership to Address ‘Life and Death’ Climate Impacts

With the Arctic warming at nearly twice the national average rate, Canada’s Inuit are urging the federal government to form a working partnership grounded in the recognition that climate change is a matter of life and death for them—even if it remains an abstraction for many living south of the (melting) ice.

Stiglitz: Green New Deal Would Deliver the Second World War-Scale Investment to Confront the Climate Crisis

Describing the climate crisis as the “third world war,” Nobel laureate and former World Bank chief economist Joseph E Stiglitz is urging critics of the Green New Deal to take a second look at an agenda that could avert catastrophe and usher in a new golden age for America.

Canada’s Biggest Rooftop Solar Array Lights Up Alberta Cannabis Grower

UK Offshore Wind Farm Looks to Drones, Robots for Maintenance

Double-Sided Solar Panels Gain Ground with 1.8-GW Purchase

https://pixabay.com/en/plastic-bottles-fishing-net-netting-388679/

Fossils See Circular Economy, Backlash Against Plastics Cutting Demand for Oil and Gas

The mounting global backlash against plastic pollution has fossil companies worried, as public opinion coalesces into a threat to businesses they’ve been counting on as a reliable source of demand for their own raw product.

Quirky Ontario Electricity Pricing Creates Opportunity for Battery Storage

Battery developers have become the unintended beneficiaries of a strange quirk in Ontario energy policies that has a growing number of commercial and industrial power consumers turning to energy storage to help avoid costly peak power supplies.

Cogeneration Would Save 3.97 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Cogeneration ranks #50 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to eliminate 3.97 gigatons of carbon dioxide at a net cost of US$279.3 billion, while producing savings of $567 billion.

Montreal Transport Companies Push Demand for Electric Vehicles

Feds Announce $1.1 Billion for District Energy in Nation’s Capital

Big UK Investment House Plans €850-Million Green Energy Fund

Africa Wind Market Grows to 18 Gigawatts

Wind Supplies 22.6% of Spain’s Electricity in May

Chile Shuts Eight Coal Plants, Sets 2040 Deadline for 100% RE

Chile is planning to close eight coal plants with combined capacity of 23,000 megawatts, or 20% of its electricity, as part of a new commitment to hit a 100% renewable energy target by 2040.

UK Powers Commercial Trucks with Food Waste

Arizona Considers High-Cost Coal-to-Biomass Conversion

World Bank Sees Pakistan Renewables Share Pushing Past World Average

Solar Transforms Remote Togo Village

Where Land is Scarce, Floating Solar Can Deliver

Quebec LNG Megaproject Would Boost Emissions by 37 Million Tonnes Per Year

The GNL Quebec liquefied natural gas megaproject would increase life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by more than 37 million tonnes per year, a group of more than 150 Quebec scientists is warning in an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier François Legault.

Ontario Climate Plan Costs Taxpayers More Than Federal Carbon Tax

The Ford government’s new climate plan for Ontario will cost taxpayers half again as much as the federal carbon tax, according to a new analysis released yesterday by Canadians for Clean Prosperity.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/waynenf/3725860708

EVs Can Halve the Payback Period for Rooftop Solar, Study Shows

Running an electric vehicle alongside rooftop solar can cut the payback period for the solar power system by more than half, according to a study by the Institute for Energy Economic and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) that gauged the impact of policy incentives—and disincentives—in the UK and Germany.

Ohio House Bill Bails Out Coal and Nuclear, Cuts Renewables and Efficiency Programs

Ohio businesses and homeowners are a big step closer to picking up the tab for their utilities’ uneconomical power plants, after the state House passed a bill last week to subsidize existing coal and nuclear capacity while cutting back on renewable energy and energy efficiency programming.

UK Renewables Investment Falls by Half, Jobs by One-Third

Morocco Receives Top Rating for Renewables Potential in Africa

Massive Renewables Needed to Green Chemicals Industry

Scientists Study Non-Toxic Microbeads as Arctic Climate Solution

Canada Can Hit Paris Targets, ‘Zero Out Carbon’ by Mid-Century, Study Shows

Canada can get its energy system on track to meet its targets under the Paris Agreement and “zero out carbon pollution” by mid-century by adopting a menu of 10 technically feasible options to cut carbon emissions, the David Suzuki Foundation concludes in a report issued last week.

NDP Outlines ‘Canadian New Deal’ While Trudeau Promises to Support Cities’ Climate Action

Pre-election commitments on climate action were in the air last week, with New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh releasing early snapshots if his party’s plan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau making new promises to cities and small businesses.

World’s Dirtiest Air, Cheapest Solar Produce Challenge and Opportunity for Modi’s Second Term

The world’s dirtiest air and its lowest prices for installed solar will be two of the influences shaping Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term of office in India, according to news reports circulating around the time of his swearing-in last week.

Roberts: Oil Change International Report Confirms No Space for New Natural Gas Development

That there is vanishingly little space for natural gas in a world that wishes to stay below 2.0°C average global warming is a fact that policy-makers—and Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential nomination—must urgently heed, Vox climate specialist David Roberts argues in a recent column.

‘Winning’ the Climate Conversation Means Changing the Subject, Pivoting to Solutions

The best way to “win” the public conversation about climate change might be to change the subject, suggest two recent posts in the New York Times and The Conversation.

Grid Flexibility Would Enable 80% Renewable Power Generation by 2050

Grid flexibility places #77 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions as an essential tool for making 80% renewable generation “a global reality” by 2050. Its costs and savings are impossible to calculate, as they will be embedded in local renewable energy projects around the globe.

Denver Company Plans to Swap Out Coal Plants for Renewables

Inukjuak Trades In Diesel for 7.5-MW Hydro Project

Sonnen Pushes Batteries to Passive Solar Homebuilders

Canada Becomes First Country to Sign ‘Zero Pledge’ for Medium, Heavy Transport Vehicles

Canada became the first country to sign on to the Drive to Zero Pledge, an international effort to boost the number of zero- and low-emission vehicles in medium- and heavy-duty transportation, from box trucks to school buses to 18-wheelers, during the Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver earlier this week.

Renewables Investment in Asia Set to Exceed Fossil Exploration by 2020

Renewable energy investment in Asia is set to edge ahead of oil and gas exploration by next year, according to international fossil analysts at Rystad Energy.

Quebec’s Legault Promises 40% Cut in Oil Consumption by 2030

Quebec will invest massively to cut its oil consumption 40% by 2030 and shift transportation, buildings, and businesses to electricity, Premier François Legault announced Sunday, during his party’s general council meeting in Montreal.

Australia Reports Rising Emissions, Sees Strong Renewables Potential, as Adani Mine Fight Intensifies

The intensity surrounding recent national elections in Australia is rolling over into the post-campaign period, with the country’s greenhouse gas emissions still rising, its potential for renewable energy development still catching attention, the fight over the massive Carmichael coal mine reaching a fever pitch, and its most heavily-populated state feeling the full force of climate-driven drought.

Coal-Powered South Africa Adopts Minimal Carbon Tax

South African industry will be subject to a carbon tax from June 1, after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the policy into law on Sunday.

Leggett: Fossils Could Topple as Suddenly as the Berlin Wall Fell

Though renewable energy investments stalled in 2018 while fossil dollars surged, legendary UK solar entrepreneur Jeremy Leggett believes a combination of public pressure and market forces will soon topple the fossil industry with a speed and conclusiveness comparable to the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

KLM Plans Big Biofuel Buy Beginning in 2022

UK on the Verge of Subsidy-Free Wind

Wind Developer Vattenfall Boosts GE’s New 12-Megawatt Offshore Turbine

Portugal Plans 1.35-GW Solar Tender

Tesla On Track to Meet New York State Jobs Target

Energy Efficiency Alberta May Survive UCP Cuts, But Homeowners, Installers Still Face Uncertainty

Alberta’s new United Conservative Party (UCP) government may be stepping away from one of its more rash campaign promises, opting to review each of the 20 programs run by Energy Efficiency Alberta rather than scrapping the entire effort.
But uncertainty over the agency’s future is still leaving homeowners in limbo and could cost the province thousands of jobs.

Global Solar Set to Surge, But Still Falls Short of Paris Targets

The solar industry is expecting a continuing surge in the years ahead, according to two reports released earlier this month, though the rapid growth still falls short of what will be needed to keep average global warming below the minimum international target of 2.0°C.

Energy Revolution Must Give Low-Income Communities Better Access to Affordable Technologies

It isn’t an energy revolution if it doesn’t “provide low-income communities with better access to affordable clean energy technologies”, Yale Environment 360 reports, in a post that points to the nearly one-third of U.S. households that struggle to cover their energy bills.

Utility-Scale Energy Storage Enables Distributed Renewables on the Grid

Critical to enabling a wholesale shift to variable sources of renewable power like solar and wind will be Utility-Scale Energy Storage which, alongside grid flexibility, places #77 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions.

Community Solar in Minnesota Helps Veterans, Families in Need

400 Million Gain Electricity Service, But Countries Fall Behind 2030 Deadline for Universal Access

Although 400 million people around the world have gained access to electricity since 2010, progress is still too slow to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of supplying “affordable, reliable, and modern energy for all” by 2030.

China Boosts Unsubsidized Renewables But Storms Ahead with Coal Production, Air Pollution

While China is surging ahead with more than 20 billion watts of unsubsidized renewable energy, the country is also seeing alarming increases in coal consumption, coal-driven air pollution, and emissions of an ozone-destroying chemical that was banned in 2012.

GAF Energy Claims Faster Installation Rate by Merging Roofing, Home Solar

With “hundreds” of installations in the last year, solar roofer GAF Energy and its parent company, global roofing manufacturer Standard Industries, claim they’re getting their product to market faster than Tesla Energy, just months after they announced their entry into the U.S. market.

Perennial Bioenergy Crops Would Save 3.33 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Increased cultivation of perennial bioenergy crops ranks #51 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by 3.33 gigatons by 2050 at a net cost of US$77.9 billion, but net savings of $542 billion.

Decades of Preparation Reduced Losses in Montecito Wildfire

Legault Touts Quebec as ‘Battery of North America’

7-MW Solar Buy Boosts Resilience for Texas Distribution Co-ops

Clean Energy Jobs Growing 60% Faster than National Average, Study Shows

Clean energy employs nearly 300,000 Canadians from coast to coast, and the sector’s job count was growing 60% faster than the Canadian average in 2017, according to a 10-province survey conducted by Navius Research and released today by Clean Energy Canada.

India Set to Exceed Paris Target, Install 80 GW of New Renewables in Five Years

India is on track to boost non-fossil energy to 45% of its electricity generation by 2022, well beyond its Paris Agreement commitment of 40%, according to a new assessment by the Moody’s credit rating agency.

Women in U.S. Solar Earn Only 74¢ on the Dollar

Spurred by new annual statistics that show women in the U.S. solar industry earning 74¢ on the dollar compared to men, and the sector’s executive teams clocking in at 88% white and 80% male, the Solar Foundation and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have released a best practices manual and launched a social media challenge.

Electrified Rail Would Save 500 Megatons of Carbon by 2050

Electrified rail places #74 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by 500 megatons by 2050. While expanding rail lines around the world from 166,000 to 621,000 miles (267,150 to about one million kilometres) would cost US$809 billion, 30 years of use would see $314 billion saved, with a further $770 billion in savings over the life of the infrastructure.

Vertical Axis Turbines Could Re-Emerge for Floating Platforms

Trump Organization Must Hit Building Retrofit Deadline or Face Millions in New York City Fines

Donald Trump’s refusal to confront the climate crisis will soon prove costly to his stumbling business empire, with a number of his New York City properties in line to be heavily fined if they are not rapidly retrofitted to reduce their currently sky-high level of emissions.

Montreal Mayor Promises New Climate Action But Critics Call for More

Montreal’s city administration is vowing to get tougher on fossil-fueled heating and fossil company divestment, but its climate plan has already led to the defection of one borough mayor who plans to advocate for faster, deeper carbon cuts as a private citizen.

Vietnam Aims to Boost Non-Hydro Renewables, Avert Climate Impacts That Would ‘Destroy 30 Million Livelihoods’

With hydroelectric resources maxed out and coal reserves in decline, Vietnam is seeking to mobilize its significant wind and solar potential—and the requisite investment of roughly US$8 billion.

In-Stream Hydro Would Save Four Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

In-stream hydro ranks #48 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by 4.0 gigatons by 2050, at a net cost of US$202.5 billion but with net savings of $568.4 billion.

Inslee Calls for $9-Trillion Green Jobs Investment, Transition for Fossil Workers

China Still the World’s Best Renewables Market After Subsidy Cuts

Lake Erie Wind Project Agrees to High-Tech Bird, Bat Monitoring

Medicine Hat Shutters Expensive Solar Thermal Plant

IEA Places Canada’s Gas-Guzzling Vehicles Dead Last in Fuel Efficiency

Canada comes in dead last in the International Energy Agency’s latest ranking of average fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre travelled, University of Calgary economist Blake Shaffer reports in a commentary for Global News.

Albertans Anxious About Future of Solar, Energy Efficiency Rebates

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s plan to cancel his province’s carbon tax has produced anxiety about the future of the solar and energy efficiency rebates introduced by the previous Rachel Notley government.

Low-Carbon Investment Must Grow 250% by 2030 to Hit Paris Targets: IEA

Low-carbon energy investment must increase 250% by 2030 if countries are to meet their targets under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the International Energy Agency warned this week.

Pressure Mounts for Emission Cuts, Speed Reductions in International Shipping

With a key International Maritime Organization (IMO) committee meeting in London this week to address pollution and greenhouse gas emissions on the high seas, environmental groups are warning that the UN agency is off-course in the effort to align the industry with a 1.5°C world.

European Development Bank Commits $100 Million to Turkish Solar

Iraq Issues 755-MW Solar Tender

Edmonton Prepares Backup Plan if UCP Cuts Energy Efficiency Funds

Fluorescent Microalgae Could Hold the Key to Super-Efficient Solar Cells

Biosolar Leaf Targets London, UK Air Pollution

Report Lays Out $68-Billion Opportunity for U.S. Offshore Wind Suppliers

A flurry of state-level commitments to offshore wind in the United States adds up to US$68.2-billion in contracts to build 18.6 gigawatts of new capacity through 2030—but only if investors can see the opportunities shaping up, according to a University of Delaware report last month that aimed to provide a “first-of-its-kind singularity” into the supply chains that will drive the industry.

U.S. Solar Celebrates Two Millionth Installation, Predicts Market Dominance in 2020s

U.S. solar is laying claim to having “reshaped the energy conversation” and aiming to “dominate in the 2020s”, after the latest data from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables showed the industry exceeding two million installations earlier in 2019, a year later than analysts originally predicted.

Tasmania Closes In on 100% RE as Australian Renewables Undercut Coal, Gas on Price

The state of Tasmania is on track to become the first in Australia to be powered 100% by renewable energy, just as an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) declares new wind and solar with battery storage less expensive than coal- and gas-fired generating stations.

Green Leasing, PACE Financing Transform 1960s Commercial Building in Cleveland

A non-descript office building in Cleveland is about to complete a big leap in operating efficiency, becoming the community’s first to finance a major energy retrofit through Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE).

B.C. Offers Bigger Energy Efficiency Incentives for Homes, Businesses

U Calgary Researcher Turns GHGs Into Carbon Microfibre

Geothermal Set to Support Farm Operations in Kenya

Cambodia Needs More Solar to Counter Problems with Hydro

IEA Flags ‘Deeply Worrying’ Stagnation in Renewable Energy Growth

The International Energy Agency is raising the alarm over 2018 statistics that show annual growth in renewable energy deployments stagnating for the first time since the turn of the century.

Bosch Plans Major Offsets Purchase to Achieve Carbon-Neutral Operations by 2020

The world’s largest automotive supplier, Germany’s Bosch, has declared its intention to be carbon neutral by 2020, thanks to increased energy efficiency, more green power, and substantial offsets.

Exxon Pitches $100 Million Over 10 Years for Biofuels, CCS Research

China Invests in South America’s Biggest Solar Farm

Saskatchewan Issues 10-MW Solar Tender

Solar, Wind Displace 35 Times as Much CO2 Per Year as CCS Has Ever Sequestered

Solar and wind energy displace roughly 35 times as much carbon dioxide each year as carbon capture and storage (CCS) has sequestered in its entire history, DeSmog Blog reports, citing a new analysis by CleanTechnica.

U.S. Solar Tax Credit Extension Would Help Communities Facing Coal Phaseout

There’s an unexpected good reason for the U.S. government to extend its solar energy tax credit through 2024, according to a new briefing note by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis: It’s an essential support for coal communities making the transition to cleaner, less expensive, low-carbon energy.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/asiandevelopmentbank/22186030516

Mini-Grids+Solar Promise Reliable Power, Community Income for World’s Poorest Countries

With mini-grid technology that allows peer-to-peer solar energy trading well in hand, the next step for poor countries like Bangladesh is to allow individual solar home systems (SHS) to connect to the public grid, a move that would boost energy equity and overall grid stability while enabling joint public-private energy planning, inclusive business consultancy Enleva states in a recent blog post.

Idaho Republican Acknowledges Climate Change, Considers Dam Removals to Save Endangered Salmon

A U.S. Congress member from deep-Republican-red Idaho is acknowledging climate change and stressing the need for action, as part of an all-out effort to save his state’s critically endangered salmon population.

Solar to Power Humanitarian Hub in South Sudan

Renewables Investors Breathe Easier After Spanish Election Result

World Bank Pushes for Cleaner Renewables Supply Chains

Buffett-Owned Utility Proposes to Replace Coal with Renewables+Storage

National Bank Looks Outside Canada for Renewable Energy Investments

Canada’s sixth-biggest bank has to look abroad for projects to meet its renewable energy investment targets, its CEO revealed during the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting late last month.

U.S. Monthly Renewables Output Set to Outpace Coal for First Time

Brick Towers Could Offer New Energy Storage Solution

Spanish Socialists Coast to Election Win with ‘Sweeping’ Ecological Transition Program

Spaniards threw their weight behind a Green New Deal program Sunday, after re-electing the pro-climate Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE).

Energy Efficiency Employs 436,000 Canadians, More Than Twice the Total in Oil and Gas

Canada’s energy efficiency sector accounted for more than twice as many jobs as oil and gas in 2018, with 436,000 permanent positions, and is on track to create about three times as many new positions as fossils are at risk of losing in 2019, according to data released this week by Calgary-based ECO Canada.

Solar+Storage Dominates Natural Gas Across Most U.S. Grid Areas

Solar+storage is beginning to undercut natural gas “peaker” plants in Arizona on price, and is now in a position to supply more affordable peak-hours electricity in every part of the United States, 8minuteenergy Renewables CEO Tom Buttgenbach asserted in a recent post by PV Magazine.

Wind Developer Invenergy Emerges as Energy Storage Leader

Wood Mackenzie Sees 124 GW of New Solar in Europe by 2024

Koch-Backed Blog Supports Trump’s False Attacks on Wind

Developer Cancels Wind Project on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Cocoa Pod Husks Emerge as Bioenergy Feedstock

Town Evacuates Ahead of Possible Dam Failure as West Quebec Floodwaters Surge

With the decommissioned Chute-Bell/Bell Falls hydro dam west of Montreal holding back “millennial” water levels and the downstream town of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge evacuated against a possible breach, authorities are watching and waiting as provincial utility Hydro-Québec predicts a 30% increase in water flow over several days.

Verizon Sets 2035 Deadline for Carbon-Neutral Operations

The urge to “do the right thing”—and a convincing business case—are driving U.S. telecom giant Verizon to embrace a 2035 deadline to make its operations carbon-neutral, a target that will encompass its energy purchases as well as direct emissions from its operations.

Solar Water Heating Would Save 6.08 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Solar water heating ranks #41 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. It could eliminate 6.08 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050 at a net cost of US$3 billion, resulting in net savings of $773.7 million.

Enerkem Raises $76.3 M in New Financing, Draws Suncor as New Investor

$3-Billion Transmission Line to Carry Wind Power from Wyoming to U.S. West

Massachusetts Approves 800-MW Offshore Wind Project

Climate and Environment Emerge as Top Public Concerns Before Canadian, Australian Elections

With federal elections coming up in Canada in October and in Australia in May, opinion polls are identifying climate change—and in Canada, waste reduction, nature conservation, and Indigenous management—as top-tier issues for voters in two of the world’s most stubborn fossil economies.

Nevada, Washington State Declare 100% Clean Energy Targets

Nevada and Washington State have been the latest in a string of U.S. jurisdictions to adopt rapid steps to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.

China Relaxes Limits on New Coal Plants, But Analysts See Renewables Boom Continuing

The last few days have seen conflicting analysis of China’s recent decision to allow new coal plant construction in 11 of its provinces, with an initial report on Bloomberg asserting that the country is “far from finished with the most-polluting fossil fuel”, but a follow-up suggesting relatively few developers will take the national government up on its offer.

Coal Plants Failed, Renewables Shone as Epic January Heat Wave Hit Australian Grid

Australia’s mammoth coal plants failed while its wind and rooftop solar installations shone during a major January heat wave in Victoria state, according to a report last week by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Silicone-Based Device Generates Renewable Electricity from Snow

A research team at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is working on a device that would generate electricity from snow.

Study Traces Options for Cutting Life Cycle Emissions from Plastic

With carbon pollution from every stage of the plastics life cycle on track to grow four-fold by mid-century, a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change lays out a set of four strategies that, taken to their extreme, could reduce those emissions by up to 93% from what they would otherwise be in 2050.

Shipping Efficiency Would Save 7.9 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Increasing transport ship efficiency places #32 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. Efficiency gains of 50% across the sector, at a net cost of US$915.9 billion, could prevent 7.9 gigatons of CO2 emissions by 2050, while saving the international marine industry US$1 trillion in fuel costs over the life of the vessels.

Gyms, Pools, Amenities Drive Up Energy Use in New Condo Buildings

Community Solar Market Still Hungry After Illinois Allocates 215 MW

Vietnam Explores ‘Huge’ Offshore Wind Potential

EU Parliament Fails to Censure Exxon for Denying Climate Change, Ignoring Summons to Testify

In a ruling that angered activists and academics fighting to hold ExxonMobil to account for its leading role in climate denial, the leaders of the European Parliament have declined to strip the fossil company’s lobbyists of their EU access badges.

New York Passes Landmark Bill to Cut Buildings’ Carbon Emissions, Energy Use

New York City has adopted a plan to reduce carbon pollution from large buildings by 40% from 2005 levels by 2030—roughly a 26% cut from present-day emissions—with an approach that limits the cost to low-income residents and creates local jobs.

Northern Holland Installing World’s Biggest Floating Solar System

A company in The Netherlands has begun work on the world’s largest floating solar installation, a network of 73,500 panels on 15 islands on the Andijk reservoir in northern Holland that will have the ability to track the sun as it crosses the sky.

Friedman: ‘Green Real Deal’ Holds the Key to Beating Trump in 2020

While the Green New Deal’s baked-in principles are laudable, it will be “getting real” and building on the growing bipartisan consensus on the urgent need for green energy that will beat Donald Trump in the 2020 U.S. federal election—thereby re-enlisting the U.S. in the fight against climate change, writes New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman.

Booming Community Solar Sector Promises Access for Low-Income Households

Determined to make good on the promise of equity contained in the phrase “community solar,” more than a dozen U.S. states and non-profit developers are working hard to ensure that low-income Americans have fair access to the power of the sun.

India Can Save by Shifting Kerosene Subsidies to Solar

Malaysian Fossil Petronas Jumps Into Solar PV Market

Auto Insurers Can Help Community Solar Spot EV Users

Clean Energy Alliance Foresees Solar Surge in Southeastern U.S. through 2022

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Commercial Buildings Drive 75% Growth in Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing

American commercial builders and retrofitters determined to deliver a lower-carbon product are signing up in droves for long-term financing using the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) mechanism and hammering home cumulative savings of 6.3 billion kWh, the amount of electricity used annually by around 25,000 commercial office buildings.

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Engineered Algae Could Produce 10,000 Barrels Per Day of Biofuel by 2025

The prospect of growing algae to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and produce nearly-carbon neutral diesel, petrochemicals, or bioplastics is moving gradually toward commercialization, with investors directing hundreds of millions of dollars into dozens of start-ups. One of those ventures, backed by genomics pioneer Craig Venter and colossal fossil ExxonMobil, says it’s on track to produce 10,000 barrels of biofuel per day by 2025.

Micro Wind Would Save 200 Megatons of Carbon by 2050

Micro wind places #76 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. If its share of global electricity generation increases to 1%, it could eliminate 0.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide at a cost of $US36.1 billion, against savings of $19.9 billion.

New Projects Would Boost Wisconsin’s Solar Capacity Five-Fold

Ontario Cuts Energy Efficiency, Talks Generalities on Climate in ‘Most Anti-Environment Budget Since Walkerton’

The Doug Ford government in Ontario released a budget last week that allocates job creation incentive funds for clean energy investments but cuts program funding for electricity conservation, even though the province could face electricity shortages as early as 2023.

Apple Pushes Suppliers to Adopt 100% RE Targets

Tech giant Apple has nearly doubled the number of suppliers it has convinced to adopt 100% renewable energy targets, bringing the total to date to 44, the company announced in a release last week.

New Coal Plants in India Collapse from 20 GW in 2015 to 1.2 Last Year

Zambia Sets Record for Cheapest Sub-Saharan Solar

Energy Efficiency Cuts Costs for Low-Income Multi-Family Households

Energy Storage to Become ‘Key Grid Asset’ with 13-Fold Growth Through 2024

The capacity of energy storage systems around the world is set to increase thirteenfold over six years, from 12 gigawatt-hours of installed capacity in 2018 to an astonishing 158 GWh in 2024, according to a new market assessment by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

Global Wind Capacity Set to Surge 50% in Five Years As GE Installs 12-Megawatt Test Turbine

Falling technology costs and expanding markets will send global wind capacity soaring by 50% over the next five years, according to an annual report by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Canadian Utilities Need 20,500 New Workers by 2022 to Replace Departing Boomers

Canada’s utilities will need at least 20,500 new workers by 2022 to keep power plants and transmission systems in operation, the Electricity Human Resources Council warns in a report issued yesterday.

B.C. Seaplane Company Sets Out to Become World’s First All-Electric Airline

Nanaimo, British Columbia-based Harbour Air is setting out to become the world’s first all-electric airline—not by developing a new fleet for delivery in the mid-2020s, but by taking the 40, mostly single-engine piston and turbine aircraft it already operates and equipping them with electric motors and lithium-ion batteries.

Two New Studies Trace Massive Glacier Loss Linked to Climate Change

North America accounts for more than half of the 369 billion tons of snow and ice the world’s glaciers are losing each year, and the Alps are on track to see two-thirds of their glacier ice melt by 2100, according to two different studies released this week.

Chicago Sets 2040 Deadline for 100% RE

Estonia Refuses Permit for 600-MW Wind Farm, Cites Security Concerns

Investors Back High-Efficiency Perovskite Solar Start-Up

Renewables Make Decarbonization $15 Trillion Cheaper, Promise $160 Trillion in Savings by 2050

The plummeting cost of solar and wind farms, coupled with government policies driving faster electrification, has cut the cost of reaching global climate goals by US$15 trillion in the last year, concludes a report issued this week by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Indonesia Sees Path to Prosperity in ‘Mainstreaming’ Low-Carbon Development

Indonesia’s planning minister has said the country will choose a low-carbon development pathway after a government report found it could significantly boost the economy.
By 2045, the centenary of Indonesia’s independence, citizens could be as wealthy as those of the Netherlands or Germany today, the report found. But it will need to make careful choices across all sectors of the economy.

Southeast Asia Sees Renewables Development Heating Up

Chinese Wind Company Boosts Transparent Solar

Midwestern Floods Cut Ethanol Supplies, Drive Up Gas Prices

500,000 Pumped Storage Sites Can Add to Energy Storage Boom

Republican Senators, Governor Call Out Trump’s ‘Idiotic’ Wind Turbine Cancer Claim

Iowa’s two Republican senators and its Republican governor are calling out Donald Trump’s latest fulminations on wind turbines after the former reality TV star claimed without evidence that noise from the devices may cause cancer.

Green Roofs Would Save 770 Megatons of Carbon by 2050

Green roofs rank #73 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. By the year 2050, an increase in green and cool roofs could save 0.77 gigatons of carbon at a net cost of US$1.39 trillion, while producing $988.5 billion in savings.

Hamilton Completes Canada’s First Passive House Retrofit for Residential Tower

Investors Back Out of Australian Solar Tower Project

Chu: Renewables at 1.5¢/kWh Could Lead to a ‘Partial Hydrogen Economy’

Scientists should start thinking about what they’ll be able to do with renewable electricity in the near future when its cost falls to 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour—and that future might include hydrogen less expensive than the equivalent produced from natural gas, former U.S. energy secretary Steven Chu said earlier this week.

Silicon Valley Start-Up Brings Off-Grid Solar Lighting to 100 Million People

A pair of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs has raised just over US$100 million on a mission to make renewable electricity available to 2.3 billion people.

44-Megawatt Nanticoke Solar Farm Goes Online, Marking One-Year Anniversary of the Day the Coal Towers Fell

The solar farm on the former site of the Nanticoke coal-fired generation station has gone into service with precisely 192,431 solar panels across 460 acres sending 44 megawatts to the Ontario grid, marking the one-year anniversary of the demolition of the plant’s 650-foot smokestacks.

Romania Looks to Hydro-Québec for New Investment

Sustainable Investments Grow 34% Over Two Years, with Climate as Prime Motivator

Sustainable investments around the world grew 34% over the last two years to US$30.7 trillion, with financial professionals pointing to climate change as a leading motivator for investors, according to the latest in a series of biennial analyses by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance.

Florida Utility to Replace Two Natural Gas Plants with World’s Biggest Battery

Florida Power & Light has announced plans to build the world’s biggest battery and charge it from an existing solar power plant to replace two of its existing natural gas generating stations, a deal it says will save its ratepayers US$100 million.

Idaho Signs Solar Contract at Record-Low 2.175¢/kWh, Sets 2045 Target for 100% Clean Power

A new, 120-megawatt solar farm in southern Idaho is on track to deliver electricity at prices started at 2.175 cents per kilowatt-hour, believed to be the lowest ever for a U.S. project.

Lookback from 2050: NPR Essay Shows How We Got Climate Change Under Control

It’s 2050. We’ve got climate change under control. And we got the job done through mass electrification, reimagining cities, protecting forests, and changing the way cows are fed.

Huge Wind Farm Will Overlook Shuttered Hazelwood Coal Plant in Australia

Indonesia Could Quit Paris Agreement Over EU Palm Oil Ban

Indonesia is threatening to withdraw from the Paris Agreement if the European Union pursues plans to ban palm oil as a component of renewable fuels.

Transport Canada Commissions Hyperloop Study

Longtime Advocate Touts New Beginning for ‘Algae as Agriculture’

Fossils Turn to 3D Printing, Fast Prototyping for New Efficiencies

Affordable Batteries with Renewables Undercut Coal, Natural Gas for Reliable Grid Power

Lithium-ion storage battery costs have fallen 35% since the first half of 2018, making unsubsidized renewable energy with storage cost-competitive coal and gas to deliver reliable, “dispatchable” grid power, according to an analysis of more than 7,000 projects released earlier this week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Nearby Neighbours Prefer Wind Farms to Fossil, Nuclear or Solar Plants, Study Finds

People who actually live near operating wind farms see them as better neighbours than fossil, nuclear, or solar plants, even if they’re located in U.S. coal country, according to a new study in the journal Nature.

74% of U.S. Coal Plants Are ‘Walking Dead’ Thanks to Cheaper Renewables

New wind and solar projects can deliver cheaper electricity than 74% of the remaining coal plants in the United States, putting 211 gigawatts (that’s 211 billion watts) at risk from cleaner, less expensive competitors.

Climate Politics Complicate Copenhagen’s Drive for Carbon Neutrality by 2025

Copenhagen is setting out to reach a carbon neutral target by 2025—in a move that will “show what’s possible, and what’s tough, for other urban governments on a warming planet,” the New York Times reports.