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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A new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters gets at the strange and vexing question of why some car owners in the United States go to the trouble of buying plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), then rarely if ever plug them in.

Use Community Power, Grassroot Investment to Fuel Green Recovery, Energy Co-ops Urge

A group of seven renewable energy co-ops from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia is calling on the federal government to emphasize community power procurement, deep energy retrofits, and smart grid development in economic stimulus responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

4,000-MW Coal Plan ‘Won’t Provide Much Space’ for Pakistan’s Ambitious Renewables Target

Pakistan may be jeopardizing its own hopes of bringing renewable energy to 30% of its electricity mix by 2030, from 4% today, by pursuing a parallel plan to build new coal plants.

BMW Ties Executive Pay to Climate Targets

Big California Gas Utility Accused of Undermining Electrification

New Online Tools Trace U.S. Cities’ Drive to Renewables

Australia’s Biggest Wind Farm Begins Sending Power to Grid

Developer in Poland Plans 1.2-GW Wind Farm in Baltic Sea

600-MW Wind Farm in Thailand to Send Power to Vietnam

Climate Drives Failing Dam at Zambia-Zimbabwe Border to ‘Brink of Calamity’

Breakthrough Design Combines Solar, Storage in One Device

India Coal Mining Plan Endangers Ecologically Sensitive Forests, Indigenous Way of Life

India’s plan to boost an economy ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce its dependence on expensive coal imports is producing a moment of deep peril for the Hasdeo Arand, a biodiverse, ecologically sensitive forest in the state of Chhattisgarh, as the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi sets its sights on the five billion tonnes of coal beneath the surface.

New Mexico’s Off-Coal Transition Plan Includes Community Dialogue, Jobs Outside Energy

New Mexico is emerging as a promising model for governments aiming to phase out coal without leaving behind the households and communities that depend on coal industry jobs, after an Albuquerque-based private utility decided to divest its share of the 925-megawatt San Juan coal plant in 2022 and invest in 650 MW of solar generation and 300 MW of battery storage.

Wind turbines

PetroChina’s ‘Green, Low-Carbon Model’ Shows Renewables Reshaping the Future

China’s most colossal fossil is investing some of its winnings in renewable energy after selling off US$38 billion worth of pipelines, after concluding it can make more money by switching technologies.

‘Agrivoltaics’ Pairs Grazing Sheep with Solar Arrays for Mutual Baaa-nefit

Solar developers and sheep farmers are being increasingly found in harmonious co-existence across the United States—and reduced fire risk, heightened community acceptance, and a shot at spectacular cost savings are three key reasons why.

New Tariffs Against China Could Threaten India’s 100-GW Solar Target

Hydro-Québec Tests the Waters with Solar

Ohio Evangelicals Try to Move Legislators on Clean Energy

What If Consumers Could Just Buy Their Own Plug-In Batteries?

Clean Energy Can Drive Sustainable Ocean Mining: WRI

Groundbreaking New Grid Model Would Eliminate up to 80% of U.S. Emissions by 2035

A new energy model is being hailed as the long-awaited technical manual for a Green New Deal in the U.S., a roadmap to the mass electrification that will allow the country to decarbonize its power grid by 2035.

Utility-Scale Battery Project Could Be ‘Game-Changer’ for Alberta Utility

A “really cool” utility-scale storage project that matches up a local wind farm with Tesla batteries is being cast as a possible game-changer for Calgary-based TransAlta Corporation, Alberta’s biggest utility.

Inukjuak Hydro Project Starts Construction

Australian State Sets Up for Quickest Shift from Coal to Renewables

Muttitt Paper Sets Principles for Managed Fossil Phaseout

UK Grid Could Go Carbon-Negative by 2033

Offshore Wind Could Create 900,000 Jobs, Grow Eightfold by 2030

The offshore wind industry is poised to increase its output eightfold, from 29 to 234 gigawatts, and create 900,000 or more jobs by 2030, according to new analysis by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) that shows China leading the growth in installed capacity.

BC Hydro, NDP Blame COVID-19 for Site C Overruns, Despite Pre-Existing Problems

Two years after an international expert wrote a lengthy report on the myriad factors likely to lead to major construction cost overruns on the Site C hydroelectric dam, BC Hydro is blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for the multiple woes that now beset the megaproject. Not so fast, say those who have long and fiercely opposed it.

Alberta’s Fossil Tax Relief Plan Downloads Financial Pain to Small Communities

Alberta’s United Conservative Party is considering relieving the province’s oil and gas operators of their obligation to pay municipal property taxes, an act of corporate welfare that would leave rural communities unable to balance their budgets without resorting to steep residential tax hikes or savage cuts to services. 

Indigenous Off-Diesel Efforts Need Better Support: Pembina

South Australia Delivers Cheaper Power as Renewables Dominate

Hydrogen Pilot Project Coming to Alberta Next Year

Clean Energy Canada Reports Big Potential for Geothermal

FCM Offers Innovative Financing for Community Energy Efficiency

China Boosts Renewable Energy Subsidies

Dealers See Opportunities for Green Deals in Southeast Asia

New South Wales Sees Renewables Zone Powering 3.5 Million Homes

BP Declares 40% Production Cut by 2030, Boosts Renewables, After Pandemic Delivers Big Quarterly Loss

London, UK-based BP says it will reduce its fossil fuel output 40% by 2030 and scale back its dividend to shareholders for the first time since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in 2010, as the world’s fourth most colossal fossil responds to mounting calls for climate action, the economic chaos wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, and a US$6.7-billion quarterly loss.

Expand Natural Gas Energy Efficiency to Boost Economy, Create Jobs, Groups Urge Ontario

The Ontario Energy Board must expand the province’s natural gas energy efficiency programs as a way to meet provincial carbon targets, create jobs, and drive the COVID-19 economic recovery, Efficiency Canada argues in a letter it submitted yesterday to three senior provincial cabinet ministers.

Activists Urge Toronto to Build Green Recovery Through COVID Relief

Buffett-Owned Utility Plans 3.4-GW Renewables/Storage Procurement

Lenders Get Comfortable with Floating Offshore Wind

Virginia Utility CEO Steps Down After Big Losses on Pipeline Cancellation

GM Plans to Triple U.S. Fast Charging Network

China Missing Out on Trillions in Clean Investment

Changing Water Supplies Affect Hydro Output in U.S. Pacific Northwest

U.S. Home Electrification Programs Drive Energy Efficiency

Solar Can Meet Demand for Industrial Process Heat

New Study Shows Low-Carbon Technologies Cutting Industrial Emissions 86% by 2050

Businesses across 14 industrial sectors in the OECD plus Brazil, Russia, India, and China could use new technologies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions 86% by 2050, according to a new study by Boston Consulting Group for the German Engineering Federation (VDMA).

EU Green Plan Leaves Details, Responsibility to Member States

$44-Million Transmission Line Will Connect New Wind Farm on PEI

Keystone Backer TC Energy Touts Pumped Storage Project in Ontario

U.S. Hedge Fund Gets Interested in Algonquin Power’s Renewables Expansion

U.S. Coal Utility Alliant Pledges Net-Zero Carbon by 2050

Dam Delay Gives Critically Endangered Indonesian Orangutans a Reprieve

New $1.7B Danish Green Fund Shows Investors Still Interested

Norwegian Fossil Billionaire Shifts to Greener Industries

Scottish Utility SSE Aims to Become Green ‘Supermajor’

Siemens Energy Plans to Boost Renewables Investment

RBC Becomes First Canadian Bank to Sign Renewable Energy Purchase Agreement

The Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s largest chartered bank and one of its biggest boosters for new fossil infrastructure, is dipping its toe in the world of renewable energy finance by buying into two new solar farms producing a combined 39 megawatts of electricity in southeast Alberta.

Plummeting Wind Costs Could Make ‘Green’ Hydrogen Cost-Competitive by 2023

Less than two weeks after a report that renewably-produced “green” hydrogen could be cost competitive with fossil-dependent “grey” by 2030, a new analysis by banking giant Morgan Stanley says plummeting wind energy prices could push green hydrogen into the lead by 2023.

Abu Dhabi Project Sets New Low Price Record with 1.35¢/kWh for Utility-Scale Solar

Utility-scale solar has hit another absurdly low price threshold, with a consortium of four companies offering a tariff price of US1.35¢ per kilowatt hour for the two-gigawatt Al Dhafra solar farm in Abu Dhabi.

IEA Risks Credibility with Projections that Enable New Fossil Megaprojects

The International Energy Agency is giving political cover to new fossil megaprojects, and risks undermining its own influence over the next few years, by failing to put a 1.5°C limit on average global warming at the centre of its modelling and analysis, according to several analysts and campaigners cited in a review this week by Climate Home News.

Afghan Opium Farms Embrace Solar in Rapid Transformation with Consequences

The BBC is focusing its attention in an unlikely direction—the opium fields of Afghanistan’s Helmand province—for proof of how quickly solar can scale up and become profitable, for better and for worse.

Alberta Wind Project Gets Tesla Megapack Batteries

Poland Still Receives EU Climate Funding After Bailing Out Coal

Breakthrough Solar Technology Generates Power from Invisible Light

Musk Could Be in Line for ‘Unacceptable’ $55B Performance Bonus

U.S. Permitting Processes Could Delay Clean Energy as Well as Pipelines

Virginia’s Solar Push Opens Opportunities for Rural Counties

UK’s First Local Green Bond to Raise £1 Million for Solar Projects

Canary Wharf Promises 65% Emissions Cut by 2030

Renewables Offer Quick Job Turnaround for Australia

London Underground Could Soon Run on 100% Renewables

Ohio Plans Repeal of Coal, Nuclear Bailout After Bribery Scandal Snares House Speaker

The outsized political power of U.S. utilities has come into sharp focus over the last 10 days, with bribery scandals in Ohio and Illinois reaching senior politicians in both states, including the speakers of both state houses.

Place Indigenous Youth at Centre of Clean Energy Partnerships, McCarthy and Morrison Urge

Ottawa and the provinces must work harder to support Canada’s Indigenous peoples in becoming full partners in the clean energy transition—and Indigenous youth need to be encouraged, mentored, and supported to lead those partnerships, according to a recent opinion piece in iPolitics.

Storage Can Speed Transition to Renewable Grid, But Obstacles Remain, Study Finds

Increased reliance on electricity storage will make it easier for established power grids to retire their coal- and gas-fired power plants, postpone pricey and often controversial transmission line expansions, and get more output from the renewable energy installations they invest in, according to a new study in the journal Applied Energy.

Canada’s Brookfield Buys 1.2-GW Solar Project in Brazil

Alberta Pours $11 Million into Hydrogen Projects

Construction Starts Next Month on Yukon’s Biggest Solar Project

Massive Ethiopian Dam Could Produce Open Conflict with Sudan, Egypt

UK Energy Efficiency Push Only Offers 1/3 of Required Funds

Paris Rooftop Holds World’s Biggest Urban Farm

Task Force Urges $50B for ‘Bold’, Resilient Recovery, Including $27B for Building Retrofits

An independent task force of Canadian finance and policy experts is calling on the federal government to invest C$50 billion over the next five years in five “bold moves for a resilient recovery”, with a $27-billion building energy retrofit program leading a list of 22 specific policy measures.

Renewable Generation Beats Out Fossil Electricity in EU First

The first six months of 2020 saw renewables edging out fossils in Europe’s power mix for the first time, thanks to the happy conjunction of two events—good weather for renewables, and their increasing priority on the grid—and the addition of a miserable third: a pandemic-driven drop in demand.

Details Scarce as Canada Pledges to Triple Annual Energy Efficiency Improvements

The federal government is promising to triple the pace of Canada’s energy efficiency improvements to 3% per year, and the country’s energy efficiency advocacy network, Efficiency Canada, is out with a three-point plan to get started down that path.

Coalition Urges Ontario to Phase Out Gas-Fired Electricity by 2030 [Sign-On]

Nearly three dozen local, provincial, and national organizations are calling on Ontario to phase out its pricey natural gas power plants and abandon a plan that would increase carbon pollution from burning gas 300% by 2025 and 400% by 2040.

Smart City Technologies Support Post-COVID Push for Energy Efficiency, Emission Reductions

Smart city technologies are poised to increase energy efficiency and encourage sustainable living in municipalities focused on building back better after the COVID-19 pandemic and curbing their greenhouse gas emissions, Oilprice.com reports.

GE Plans 500-MW Pumped Storage Plant for Australian Renewables Complex

Vermont Utility Pushes Peak Power Reductions

Solar to Drive Most Remaining Coal Plants Out of Texas Grid

Smart Meter Owners in UK Save £270M During Lockdown

Renewables to Supply 96% of Morocco’s Power by 2050

Poland Plans 10.5 GW of New Offshore Wind

South Korea Looks to Europe for Tidal Power Expertise

Africa’s Inclusive Recovery Depends on Renewables

Tesco Inks Malaysia’s Biggest Solar Purchase Deal

Saudi Arabia Sets New Rules for Rooftop Solar

EU European Union

EU Treats Climate as ‘Pawn in Bigger Negotiation’, Adopts World’s Greenest Stimulus with Too Little Enforcement

Just a day after declaring it a “mission impossible”, leaders of 27 European countries finalized a COVID-19 recovery plan and seven-year budget worth €1.8 trillion, with nearly one-third of the total set aside for climate measures but reduced funding to key climate initiatives and only limited “green strings” to prevent investments in polluting industries.

South Korea Fails to Adopt Net-Zero Deadline with New Green Investment Plan

South Korea stepped back from setting a deadline for phasing out its greenhouse gas emissions last week is it unveiled a ₩42.7-trillion/US$35-billion plan to invest in renewable energy and environmental infrastructure.

Agro-Photovoltaics Trigger India’s ‘Solar Revolution’

Pembina Sees Doubling in Remote Renewable Projects in Last Five Years

Port of Newcastle, UK Sets Sights on 100% RE

Latest Lockdown to Drive Down California Gasoline Demand

Florida Power & Light Plans 750 MW of New Solar by 2024

BNEF Sees Cheaper Transition to Renewables for European Coal Users

Indiana Firm Touts Regenerative Farming

Record Offshore Wind Spending Keeps Renewables Investment ‘Resilient’ through Pandemic

Global investment in offshore wind development quadrupled over the first half of this year, with US$35 billion pouring into 28 new projects, despite the deep economic shock triggered by the pandemic, Bloomberg NEF reported this week.

Adow: UK’s Mozambique Pipeline Plan Is Morally, Financially Negligent

As the Boris Johnson government debates greenlighting a billion-pound loan guarantee for a gas pipeline project in Mozambique, Mohamed Adow of Power Shift Africa urges UK leaders to reject the proposal—so utterly out of touch with the climate crisis—as financially idiotic, politically myopic, and morally bankrupt.

Rystad Sees New COVID Threat to Oil Demand

Fossil Investment Begins Pivoting to Renewables, Analysts Say

Indiana Solar Farm Will Make Place for Pollinators

U.S. Completes Second Offshore Wind Farm

Illinois School to Install Eight Acres of Solar Panels

Toronto’s Cordelio Power Buys Two Illinois Wind Projects

Purdue University Researchers Aim to Crack the Code on Bifacial Solar Panels

Storage Project Will Help Iowa Town Add More Rooftop Solar

Enel, Norwegian Wealth Fund Join Forces on Renewables Projects in India

Renewables Supply Record 47% of UK Power for First Three Months of 2020

Vietnam State Fossil Turns Toward Solar, Wind

Solar, Wind Bring an End to China’s Era of Mega-Dams

Biden’s $2-Trillion Plan Points to Climate as Key Draw for Younger, First-Time Voters

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden unveiled a four-year, US$2-trillion climate strategy yesterday that represented a major acceleration from his previous plan. It was interpreted as a sign that his party sees climate change as an issue that will drive voters to the polls this fall, drawing crucial support from younger and first-time voters.

Taiwan Signs World’s Biggest Corporate Renewables Deal with Ørsted

Vietnam Greenlights Nearly 100 New Wind Projects Totalling 7 GW

Oregon Utility Issues Massive Tender for 4.3 GW of Solar, Wind, Storage

Vertical Axis Wind Design Mimics Flocks of Birds, Schools of Fish

IRENA Places UN Energy Access Goal at Heart of COVID Response

Big Businesses Push Japan for Faster Shift to Renewables

U.S. Renewables Outrun Coal, Nuclear for Second Straight Month

New Mexico Looks to Solar+Storage to Replace Massive San Juan Coal Plant

Indonesian Coal Producers Face Tough Prospects as India, China See Falling Demand

Field Experience Shows U.S. Solar Plants Lasting Longer than Expected

‘Californication’ of B.C. Grid Cuts Off Indigenous, Other Local Suppliers, Dogwood Warns [Sign-On]

Dogwood BC has launched a petition campaign against what it calls the “Californication” of British Columbia’s power grid, decrying a provincial plan to buy surplus electricity from private utilities in the Golden State while preventing B.C. First Nations and residents from producing their own power at home.

Fossils Use Resource Adequacy Concerns to Delay Grid Decarbonization

Now that renewable energy has established its cost advantage over fossil fuels, the industry’s next challenge is to show grid planners they can decarbonize without jeopardizing the reliability of their systems, climate consultant Eric Gimon writes in an analysis for Greentech Media.

Former Ohio Landfill Site to Become 50-MW Solar Farm

A New York-based developer is planning to lease the site of a former landfill near Columbus, Ohio to build a 50-megawatt solar farm.

David Suzuki Foundation Fellow Brings Power to the People

A member of the Lubicon Cree First Nation, Melina Laboucan-Massimo has a master’s degree in Indigenous governance and is the founder of Lubicon Solar and Sacred Earth Solar and co-founder of Indigenous Climate Action. She’s also the host of Power to the People, an exciting new series on APTN that explores the renewable energy revolution empowering Indigenous communities throughout Canada and around the world.

India’s Latest Solar Auction Receives Bids at 3.13¢/kWh

U.S. Clean Energy Demand Harms Canadian First Nations

Missouri Appeal Court Backs Grain Belt Express Transmission Line

Spanish Wind Giant Iberdola Looks at 9 GW of Projects Off Sweden

Denmark Boosts 2030 Offshore Wind Target to 5 GW

China’s Massive New Hydro Dam Goes Into Production

Energy Efficiency Helps Mayors Save Money, Revive Local Economies

Vancouver’s 60-Storey, Mixed-Use Passive House Building Will Be World’s Tallest

FCM, Feds Introduce Energy Retrofit Support Plan

Solar-Wind-Pumped Storage Project in India to Produce 2.75 GW

Wind turbine

Indigenous Communities Now a Top-Three Canadian Clean Energy Owner

Indigenous communities are now the third-biggest ownership bloc of clean energy projects in Canada, together operating 171 significant projects, with 26 more on the way. The Crown and private utilities are first and second in the list.

Edmonton Airport Announces Plans for 120-MW Solar Farm

The Edmonton International Airport is close to signing a deal with Germany-based Alpin Sun to create a showcase renewable energy project that will see a canola field west of its runways transformed into the world’s biggest airport-based solar farm.

U.S. Rooftop Panel Installer Sunrun Buys Competitor Vivint, Creates ‘New Solar Goliath’

The biggest home solar installer in the United States, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is buying its nearest competitor, Vivint Solar, in a deal that will make the combined company the country’s third-largest owner of solar capacity across all types of projects, reduce operating costs, and according to one news report, produce a “new solar Goliath, leaving Tesla to play David”.

Oregon Utility Tests Home Batteries as a Grid Storage Resource

The biggest utility in Oregon is launching a test to see if it can turn home batteries into an energy storage resource for the centralized grid.

Cornell Smart Parking App Cuts Congestion, Emissions

State Renewables Target Hinges on Success in New York City

U.S. Installs 2.6 GW of Wind in Three Months, Another 13.3 GW Under Construction

UK Approves 1.8-GW Wind Farm Off Norfolk Coast

Floating Solar On Track for 900% Growth in Asia-Pacific

Renewables to Power Production Process for BMW Battery Cells

Island States Look to Ocean Energy to Replace Diesel

India to Help Mali Develop 500-MW Solar Park

Mexico Supreme Court Suspends Law that Restricted Renewables

Three Projects, Three Wins: Flurry of Decisions Shows U.S. Pipelines Becoming ‘Unbuildable’

The last 48 hours have seen a dizzying series of announcements highlighting the increasingly shaky prospects for North American oil and gas pipelines, with the US$8-billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline cancelled, the U.S. Supreme Court rejecting a bid to immediately restart construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and a federal judge in Washington, D.C. ordering the Dakota Access Pipeline shut down for contravening U.S. environmental law.

Exxon Reports Second Straight Quarterly Loss, Plans U.S. Job Cuts

Colossal fossil Exxon-Mobil is reporting a second straight quarterly loss and preparing to fire up to 10% of its white collar work force in the United States, as the impact of crashing oil demand makes itself felt by the company that has most steadfastly denied that a shifting global economy could have any impact on its business.

Small Modular Reactors Raise Nuclear Waste Risk, Distract from Real Climate Solutions

The rise of “small” nuclear reactors (SMRs) raises serious concerns about radioactive waste disposal and is ultimately a distraction from real climate solutions, according to two separate analyses published days apart in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, two of the three provinces that have been touting the technology.

SolarAid Raises $300,000 for Remote Clinics in Malawi and Zambia

London, UK-based international charity SolarAid has raised more than US$300,000 to supply thousands of free solar-powered devices to medical professionals fighting the coronavirus pandemic at health clinics and isolation centres in rural Malawi and Zambia.

Alberta Wind Farm Plans 54-MW Expansion

Pandemic Sets U.S. Solar Prices Falling Faster than Expected

Maersk Funds Research for Zero-Carbon Shipping

Wind Out-Produces Gas for First Time Ever in Ireland

Illinois Considers Prospects for Great Lakes Offshore Wind

De-Damming Turns Maine River Into ‘One of the Best Nature Shows’

Air Pollution, Dust Reduce Solar Panel Output

New Jersey’s Biggest Community Solar Project Will Use Industrial Rooftops

2.7-MW Community Solar Project is Biggest in Illinois

Solar Becomes Poland’s Fastest-Growing Energy Source

As Morneau Walks ‘Tightrope’, Analysis Shows Canada’s COVID Recovery Favouring Fossils

A weekend analysis piece on CBC News lays out the “tightrope” Finance Minister Bill Morneau is walking as he tries to manage the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis—and indirectly points toward the just, green recovery that is still the most realistic cornerstone for the post-pandemic economy.

B.C. Coastal First Nations Begin Shift from Diesel to Local Hydro

Two of the 11 off-grid and largely diesel-dependent First Nations communities along the British Columbia coast are investing C$25 million in hydro power in an effort to reduce their dependence on a fuel that is both expensive and an environmental hazard.

U.S. Utilities Skip Natural Gas ‘Bridge’, Shift Directly to Renewables as Coal Plants Close

A growing number of United States utilities are skipping the natural gas “bridge” and shifting directly to renewable energy as they phase out their aging coal plants. And at least one European Union country is looking to shift its decades-old gas infrastructure in the same direction.

Dinning: Smart Stimulus Begins by Thinking Small

Ireland’s Fossil Levy to Raise €500 Million for Green Projects

Ann Arbor, MI Plans Solar-Powered Climate Resilience Hub

Illinois Equity Program Delivers Free Solar to Chicago’s South Side

New Jersey Looks to Solar for Low-Income Benefits

Five U.S. Renewables Projects that ‘Barrelled Through’ the Lockdown

Mexico, Central America, Caribbean on Track for 6.9 GW of New Wind by 2029

250-MW Floating Wind Park Will Be First in Mediterranean

Minnesota Start-Up Considers Shallow-Aquifer Geothermal

House Democrats’ Blueprint Aims for Net-Zero by 2050, Connects Racial Inequity with Rising Temperatures

A climate plan released this week by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives is receiving wide acknowledgement as a sweeping proposal that would bring the country’s greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, promote renewable energy, address environmental harms that fall disproportionately on poor and racialized communities, and implement much of the Green New Deal.

Japan Considers 100 Plant Closures, Still Sees Coal Supplying 26% of Electricity in 2030

Japan is considering plans to close 100 of its least efficient coal-fired power plants by 2030 in a bid to meet its carbon reduction targets under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

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

Australian Lobby Group Points to One Million Jobs in Green Recovery Plan

Countering Canberra’s fossil-backed call for a gas-powered pandemic recovery plan, the Australian lobby group Beyond Zero Emissions has mapped a solar- and wind-powered path to the swift creation of one million green jobs across the energy, manufacturing, and building sectors.

Puerto Ricans Are Skeptical After Canadian Firm Joins Consortium to Deliver Local Grid Services

While a Canadian utility company celebrates its part in a 15-year consortium deal to modernize and operate Puerto Rico’s hurricane-ravaged power grid, the contract award is landing poorly with local electrical engineers, environmentalists, and union leaders who’ve been advocating for a more distributed grid, and are criticizing what they see as a lack of transparency in the selection process.

200 Farmers in Netherlands Sign On for $560M Onshore Wind Farm

In an important win for community-based wind energy, more than 200 farmers in a rural area east of Amsterdam have banded together to secure US$560 million from a multinational Dutch bank to build the biggest onshore wind farm in Europe.

U.S. Dominican Nuns Raise $130 Million for ‘Holistic’ Climate Solutions Fund

Five years after Pope Francis delivered his acclaimed encyclical calling for environmental and climate justice, 16 congregations of Dominican nuns in the United States are collaborating with Morgan Stanley to create their own US$130-million climate solutions fund.

New Solar Panel Design Produces Pure, Potable Water

Michigan Clean Energy Job Losses Hit 31,000 Since Pandemic Began

IKEA Plans Build-Your-Own Solar+Storage Project in Australia

Shetlands to Host UK’s Biggest Onshore Wind Farm

3D Printing Could Deliver Taller, Cheaper Wind Turbine Towers

‘Hyper-Efficient’ Data Centres Emerge as Epicentre for Clean Energy Economy

U.S. Analysis Busts Myths, Shows No Need for New Gas Plants

It’s time to bust some myths about gas-fired electricity, renewable energy, and the United States grid, writes David Wooley, executive director of the Center for Environmental Public Policy at UC Berkeley, after a study earlier this month showed clean electricity could supply 90% of the country’s power by 2035, at less cost than non-renewable sources.

Virtual Power Plant in South California Aims to Drive Down Peak Demand

Canadian Solar Inks Australia’s Biggest Private Solar Contract with Amazon

European Bank Sends Recovery Dollars to Big Solar Project in Andalusia

O’Regan’s Net-Zero ‘Moon Shot’ Emphasizes CCS, Hydrogen, Small Modular Reactors

Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan is calling for a “moon shot” to hit the federal government’s net-zero emissions target, but he may not be thinking of the technologies that are actually ready to get the job done by 2050.

U.S. Democrats Debate Climate Policy, Introduce Green Infrastructure Measures as Fall Election Approaches

With the U.S. federal election just 131 days away, climate and clean energy are poised to take centre stage in the campaign, with Democrats debating climate policy and calling for US$70 billion in green infrastructure investment, renewables and storage industries pushing for a “majority renewables” electricity system by 2030, and even some Republicans trying to connect their fall campaign to green jobs.

U.S. Policy-Makers Are ‘Easy Prey’ for Anti-Solar Lobbyists, Study Finds

Inoculating policy-makers against utility lobbying by helping them understand the benefits of community solar will be critical to realizing the promise of energy equity that lies in the technology. 

Bureau of Land Management Blocks Solar Across 100 Million Acres of SW U.S.

EU Looks to Boost Circular Economy by Recycling Photovoltaic Waste

Nigerian Health Centres Turn to Solar to Respond to COVID Crisis

Energy Efficiency Can Boost UK Economy Post-Pandemic

Home Market for Canadian Fuel Cells May Soon Catch Up with Exports

Goldman Sachs See Renewable Investment Surging While Fossils Pay Huge Risk Premium

With global fossils paying the equivalent of a US$40 to $80 per ton carbon price to compensate for the heightened risk investors see in their projects, private dollars flowing to solar, wind, battery storage, and electric vehicles are on track to exceed oil and gas for the first time next year, kicking off a US$16-trillion surge in the course of this decade, investment bank Goldman Sachs concluded in a report issued last week.

New Jersey Unveils Plan to Become ‘Wind Turbine Capital’

Determined to be for wind energy what Texas is to fossil fuels, New Jersey has announced plans to become the go-to state for the production of offshore wind turbines, beginning with the construction of a giant port along the Delaware River.

Small-Scale Solar in Australia Could Reach 60 GW

Michigan Dam Disaster Shows Climate Impact on Infrastructure

Polish State Fossil Plans $1B Renewables Investment

UAE’s Masdar Funds 500-MW Wind Farm in Uzbekistan

Asian Development Bank Boosts 35-MW Solar Project in Bangladesh

Next Six Months Will Determine Success of Green Recovery, IEA Warns

The world’s governments can either spend the next three years and US$3 trillion entrenching the greenhouse gas emission cuts that accompanied the pandemic lockdown and creating a new narrative on climate change, or allow a record increase in oil demand next year that will push consumption back toward historic levels, the International Energy Agency warned this week.

Alberta’s Green Economy Could Produce 67,200 New Jobs by 2030

The Pembina Institute has tapped into the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans to produce a job creation plan that could begin decarbonizing the provincial economy and generate 67,200 jobs—or 67% of the current fossil work force—by 2030.

Ottawa Mulls Hydrogen and EV Strategies as Economic Recovery Plan Takes Shape

The federal government is simultaneously developing a new hydrogen strategy and working through some of the details and complexities of stepped-up electric vehicle deployment as the country’s green recovery plans continue to take shape, according to two recent reports in the Globe and Mail.

New EV Battery Would Run 16 Years, 1.25 Million Miles, Manufacturer Claims

China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co.(CATL), the largest battery maker in the world and the supplier for Tesla and Volkswagen AG, says it has created a battery with a lifespan of 16 years and running capacity of 1.24 million miles (1.99 million kilometres), an innovation with the potential to ignite the marketability of electric vehicles.

Firefighters Douse Flames Near South California Solar Plant

European Hyperloop Could Get New Attention in Pandemic Recovery

Solar Means More Pollution from Lead-Acid Batteries for Some Developing Countries

Italian Fossil Eni Embraces ‘Energy Evolution’, Green Transition

Minnesota Band Receives $46M for Net-Zero Project

Sioux Solar Development ‘Empowers’ Standing Rock

U.S. Companies Bought 4.4 GW of Wind in 2019

Report Flags Mini-Grids as ‘Missing Piece’ for Electrification

Florida Utility Falls Behind on Energy Efficiency

Efficiency Could Help U.S. Pot Farms Avert New Highs in Energy Consumption

Compostable Bioplastics Could Come from Seeds, Fish Scales

Government Stimulus Packages Lock In Fossil Growth, Squander Opportunity for Green Recovery, Global Assessment Warns

Too many governments are squandering the opportunity to build a green recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, directing dollars to technologies that will lock in their dependence on fossil fuels, the Paris-based REN21 Secretariat warned yesterday with the release of its Renewables 2020 Global Status Report.

Racial Injustice Casts Shadow Over Clean Energy Boom

America’s clean energy sector could have a bright future, pushing down electricity costs, cleaning up emissions, and potentially supporting hundreds of thousands of new jobs for years to come—but if all Americans are to benefit, much work needs to be done to address injustice in the sector, say industry observers.

UK Could Net 700,000 Low-Carbon, Renewable Jobs by 2030

Britain Goes Two Months Without Coal

UK Renewables Surge as Power Demand Shrinks

700-MW Offshore Wind Farm in Japan to Start Construction in 2021

Invenergy Pulls the Plug on Missouri Wind Farm

Australia’s Morrison Wastes $700-Million Opportunity to Push Home Energy Efficiency

Aviation Drives Rising Interest in Hydrogen Fuel

Florida Company Looks for Green Energy from Gulf Stream Current

Swiss Researchers Develop Recipe for Eco-Concrete

World’s Biggest Solar Boat Completes World Tour

Alberta Shuts Energy Efficiency Agency, Eliminates Cabinet Approval for New Tar Sands/Oil Sands Projects

Alberta is moving to phase out its energy efficiency agency and allow future tar sands/oil sands projects to proceed without cabinet approval under a 14-point omnibus bill introduced last Thursday, prompting the energy efficiency community to scorch the Jason Kenney government for shutting down a job-creating program in the midst of a deep recession.

Canada’s Green Recovery Could Produce 6.7 Million Job-Years, Cut 237 Megatonnes of Emissions by 2030

Canada could create 6.7 million person-years of quality employment by 2030, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 237 million tonnes from 2018 levels, make homes and workplaces more comfortable and flood-resistant, and save citizens C$39 billion per year in fuel, heat, and electricity by embracing a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, analysts Ralph Torrie and Céline Bak and publisher Toby Heaps argue, drawing on a series of seven Building Back Better webinars hosted by Corporate Knights.

U.S. Solar to Grow 1/3 This Year Despite Pandemic’s Drag on Home Installations

New solar installations in the United States are expected to rise by one-third this year, in spite of the slowdown brought about the coronavirus pandemic, while coal’s share of electricity generation falls by about 25%, according to data released last week.

‘Teal Deal’ Could Tap into Oceans for Climate Change Mitigation

As the window for climate action narrows, experts in marine science and economics are calling for a new “Teal Deal” that embraces the enormous potential for clean energy that lies in the world’s oceans—along with positive side benefits such as decarbonizing shipping, supporting marine fisheries, and restoring coastal habitats.

Deep Energy Retrofits Boost Local Resilience

Colossal Fossil Total Buys Controlling Share of Scottish Offshore Wind Farm

U.S. Developer Touts Hydrogen Production from Waste Plastic

India Signs First Contract for Round-the-Clock Solar

340-MW Wind Farm Near Buffalo Will Be New York State’s Biggest Yet

Renewables Deliver Boost to Iowa Economy

Taiwan Offshore Wind Farm Will Use Siemens Gamesa’s 14-MW Turbine

Black Sea to Host Romania’s First Offshore Wind Farms

Virtual Energy Audits Likely to Continue Past Pandemic Lockdown

How Renewables Can Cut Carbon, Meet Flexible Power Needs in West Africa

Morocco, Ethiopia Foster Renewables Partnership

New Study Shows Clean Power Supplying 90% of U.S. Electricity by 2035

Clean electricity could power 90% of the United States grid by 2035, at lower cost than non-renewable sources, according to a new study released this week by the University of California Berkeley and Berkeley-based GridLab that projects more than a 10% reduction in electricity costs if utilities can make the transition.

Record Renewable Energy Adoption in 2019 Still Falls Short of Climate Targets

Global clean energy investment grew 1% last year, to US$282.2 billion, and countries installed a record 184 gigawatts of new renewables capacity. But the momentum is still far short of what’s needed this decade to drive the transition off carbon, according to the latest Global Trends In Renewable Energy Investment report, published as a collaboration between BloombergNEF, the Frankfurt School, and the United Nations Environment Program.

Conservative Leadership Candidate Erin O’Toole Pledges Fossil Subsidy Phaseout

Conservative Party leadership candidate Erin O’Toole declares fossil fuel subsidies “a form of corporate welfare” and promises to phase them out if he ever forms a government, in a 50-page policy platform released Wednesday.

Cleantech Sector Still Falls Short on Diversity, Equity

Clean energy organizations across the U.S. are doing some soul-searching as protests roll across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis. And many are coming out of their self-analysis vowing to make good on long-standing promises to increase diversity, both in their ranks and within their reach.

Tesla Taps Canadian Lab for Battery Breakthrough

New Electrode Produces Hydrogen 50 Times Faster

Malaysia Opens Bids for 1 GW of Solar

Time to Double Down on Wind, Iowa Conservative Says

UK Blocks or Delays Four Offshore Wind Projects

Stelco Says Now’s the Time for Audacity

Shipping Industry Looks to Ammonia as Decarbonization Option

Enbridge Plans ‘Gradual’ Energy Transition that Still Includes New Pipelines

Calgary-based pipeliner Enbridge Inc. is planning a “gradual” transition in its global project portfolio to meet consumers’ demand for lower-emitting forms of energy, but still expects to continue investing in oil pipelines, CEO Al Monaco told the Financial Post in an interview published earlier this week.

Minneapolis Climate Plan Fails to Serve Black, Low-Income Neighbourhoods

What was greeted seven years ago as a groundbreaking local climate action plan in Minneapolis is now being flagged as a source of racial division in the city where the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white police officer, sparked massive protests and renewed attention to police brutality across the United States.

Policy U-Turns by Governments Undercut Investor Interest in Renewables

While the last year has seen a surge of interest in renewable energy among potential investors, many of them are being deterred by concerns about policy U-turns from governments.

Site C Builders Get Set to ‘Move a River’ to Make Way for Megaproject

Community Solar, Storage Can Replace Dirty Gas Peaker Plants

Corona Lockdown Speeds India’s Transition from Coal to Renewables

Israel Plans 15 GW of New Solar by 2030

U.S. Oil Refinery Shifts to Biodiesel

Missouri Utility to Test On-Bill Payments for Fund Home Energy Retrofits

A Missouri utility is moving to clear one of the barriers to home energy retrofits, with a pilot program to cover the up-front cost of the work on its customers’ behalf.

Pandemic Could Drive Growth of Distributed Renewables

Dominion Energy Plans 24 GW of New Renewables

Engie Directs U.S. Investments to Renewables, Not Gas

India’s Huge Solar Parks Spark Shift Off Carbon

Arkansas Tosses Rooftop Solar a Net Metering Lifeline

Australia Proposes 1-GW Wind-Solar-Hydrogen Plant

Siemens Gamesa Unveils 14-MW Offshore Wind Turbine, World’s Biggest

UK Renewables Face Temporary Shutoffs as Demand Plummets

New Regulation in Mexico Favours Public Utility Over Renewables

Fossils Face $25-Trillion Loss as Coronavirus Drives Industry’s ‘Decline and Fall’

The world’s fossil companies stand to lose US$25 trillion in profits as the coronavirus pandemic triggers a terminal decline in demand for oil, gas, and coal and drives down the value of fossil fuel reserves by two-thirds, according to a report released yesterday by the London, UK-based Carbon Tracker think tank.

Abandoned Golf Course to Host 100-MW Solar Farm in Japan

Two Missouri Cities Go Opposite Directions on Energy-Efficient Buildings

Demand Keeps Rising as Columbus, Ohio Exceeds EV Adoption Target

Megawatt-Scale Fuel Cells Could Drive Big, Hydrogen-Powered Ships

Researchers Will Track Climate Benefits of Coronavirus Recovery Spending

Unsubsidized 350-MW Solar Farm in Kent Will Be UK’s Biggest

China to Develop 600 MW of New Solar in Zambia

Malta Issues Tender for 15 MW Solar

Scottish Start-Up Backs Solar, Wind with Gravity-Based Storage

Developer Sets Sights on ‘Climate-Resilient’ Low-Head Hydro Turbine

Massachusetts Solar Firms Complain About New Land Use Rules

Empire State Building Retrofits Cut 10-Year Emissions by 40%

Thanks to a scrupulously well-planned retrofit, the owners of the Empire State Building have been able to reduce the structure’s emissions by 40% over the last decade. They’re now determined to cut emissions a further 40% by 2030, an ambition borne forward, in part, by the conviction that the building must remain what it has always been: a beacon of faith that better times lie ahead.

Europe’s Green Recovery Includes ‘Caveat’ for Natural Gas

The European Union has introduced an important “caveat” in its much-touted green recovery plan, with Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans admitting that natural gas will “continue to play a key role in replacing coal while helping to build a hydrogen infrastructure at least cost,” Euractiv reports.

Malaysia Plans 1-GW Solar Tender for Pandemic Recovery

Put Stimulus Funds Into Promising Pilot Projects, Smart Prosperity Urges

Singapore Utility Plans 60-MW Floating Solar Project