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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Provincial Energy Efficiency Rankings Map of Canada

Energy Efficiency Scorecard Shows B.C. Leading, But All Provinces with Room to Improve

British Columbia leads, Saskatchewan along with Newfoundland and Labrador lag, and no province receives a score above 58 points on a 100-point scale in the first annual provincial energy efficiency scorecard released yesterday by Efficiency Canada.

Solar Panels

Study Shows One in Three Americans in Communities with 100% RE Targets

With renewable energy generation nearly doubling in the United States since 2008, a new report from UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation lists 11 states plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, as well as more than 200 cities and counties. that have either committed to or already met 100% clean electricity targets.

Renewable Energy

U.S. Solar, Wind Costs Continue Their Decline, But More Gradually

While the cost of the more established renewable electricity sources is still falling, the decline is slowing down, and regional factors can still determine the most affordable mix of supply options in different parts of the United States, according to the latest in a series of annual cost analyses released by financial advisory firm Lazard.

Cars for sale

California to Stop Buying from Automakers that Back Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback

California has declared it will stop doing business with automakers that support Donald Trump’s bid to roll back the state’s long-established right to set its own, tougher fuel economy standards.

Trump wind farm

Trump Organization to Pay $290,000 for Failed Attack on Scottish Wind Farm

Four years after his effort to block an offshore wind farm project near one of his 16 golf courses was unanimously rebuked by the UK Supreme Court, Donald Trump has been ordered to pay Scotland US$290,000 to cover its legal expenses.

B.C. Energy Efficiency Regs Quietly Do Their Job

India Faces Constraints in Drive Toward Ambitious Renewables Target

First Cyber-Attack on Wind, Solar Shows Uneven Security

‘No Excuse for Inaction’ as Global Energy Efficiency Improvements Lag

The rate at which global energy efficiency is improving has declined for the third year in a row and has hit a low point for the decade, with serious implications for consumers, businesses, and the environment, the International Energy Agency reported in an annual review released earlier this month.

Distributed Energy Could Save Texas Consumers $5.5 Billion by 2030

Integrating distributed energy resources (DERs) like solar+storage, smart thermostats, and electric vehicles into Texas’ electricity mix could save customers almost US$5.5 billion by 2030, says a new report from the Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA).

Microgrid Saves Four Lives During PG&E Power Shutoff

A microgrid in northwestern California provided life-saving emergency power when Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), desperate to manage wildfire threats, conducted its first planned Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in October.

New Net Metering Program Drives Sask Solar Company to Alberta

Controversial Mega-Dam Opens in Laos

European Investment Bank divests oil gas coal

World’s Biggest Public Lender Announces End to Fossil Project Funding

In a blockbuster announcement yesterday, the European Investment Bank pledged to end most or all of its financing for fossil energy projects by the end of 2021 and devote future financing to “accelerate clean energy innovation, energy efficiency, and renewables,” a move it says will “unlock €1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainable investment in the decade to 2030.”

IEA Drives Fossil Growth, Climate Breakdown with Latest World Energy Outlook

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is undercutting its own, essential role in confronting the climate crisis by downplaying renewable energy options and driving future investment to more expensive, higher-carbon fossil fuels, according to analysts responding to the release of its annual World Energy Outlook report earlier this week.

Monthly Flat Fee for German Homeowners Covers Solar, EV, and Battery

Homeowners in Germany will be able to rent a home solar array, an electric vehicle, and battery for a single, monthly flat rate, under a new e-mobility plan introduced last week by Bavarian energy storage company Sonnen.

IEA Sees Solar Supporting ‘Energy-Hungry Industrial Revolution’ in Africa

Though sunny Africa is currently home to far fewer solar power installations than are found in the soggy UK, an International Energy Agency (IEA) report says a solar boom, intersecting with a surging and increasingly urban population, “will ignite an energy-hungry industrial revolution” powered almost entirely by renewables.

Solar Farms Would Save 36.9 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Solar farms rank #8 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to eliminate 36.9 gigatons of carbon dioxide and produce net savings of US$5 trillion by 2050. On top of that the implementation costs of solar farms could deliver $81 billion in additional savings compared to fossil plants.

Chinese City Showcases World’s Biggest Passive Solar Project

Shell Buys Floating Wind Farm Developer

Canadian Tire Distribution Centre Cuts Energy Use by 46%

Michigan Plans First Brownfield Solar Project

McDonald’s Touts New Renewable Energy Deals

Home Storage Delivers Back-Up Power in Vermont Blackout, and EV Batteries Could Do Even Better

When a major rain and wind storm knocked out power supplies for 115,000 Vermont households on Hallowe’en, the 1,100 Green Mountain Power customers participating in a home battery pilot project did just fine.

Virginia Set to Embrace Carbon-Free Energy, Join RGGI After Democrats Win Legislative Majority

Virginia is on track to accelerate its drive for carbon-free energy and join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in the northeastern United States, after Democrats took control of the state legislature in off-year elections last week.

Buyout by Vancity Brings New Financial Clout to Green Bond Provider CoPower

Vancity Community Investment Bank has announced plans to acquire CoPower Inc., a Toronto-based green financing platform that offers green bonds to investors with as little as C$5,000 to spend.

Ford Government to Spend Two Years Researching Impacts of Climate Change

U.S. Indigenous Leaders Look to ‘Decolonize Green Power’

Australia’s Main Grid Hits 50% Renewable for First Time

Florida Regulator Pushes Back on Utility Plan to Cut Efficiency Programming

Russia Considers Banning Foreign Renewables Companies

Green Economy, Climate Change Emerge as Key Priorities for Trudeau Government

The green economy and climate change are shaping up as a key focal point for the re-elected Trudeau government, with seven cabinet portfolios set to play “key roles in helping Canada adapt to the rapidly expanding global green economy and create jobs in clean energy,” the Globe and Mail reports, citing sources familiar with the government’s emerging priorities.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Buys Major Wind Farm Operator

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is acquiring a major North American wind farm operators, in what Greentech Media describes as one of the U.S. industry’s biggest mergers and acquisitions deals of the year.

S&P Reports Booming U.S. Market for Solar+Storage

A booming solar+storage sector is catching the attention of a major U.S. investment news service, with 85 projects totalling 8,921 megawatts of storage and 4,175 MW of storage either under construction or set to begin.

German Engineers Make Substitute Steel, Concrete from Carbon-Storing Algae

German engineers have developed a process that turns algae into a carbon-sequestering replacement for steel and concrete that is as climate friendly as it is strong.

Solar Meets 80% of One-Day Power Demand in South Australia

Ontario Counties Look to Rapid Growth in Electricity Demand

U.S. Wind Wants Same Tax Incentives as Solar

Alberta Slashes Energy Efficiency Programs That Delivered 3-to-1 Return on Government Dollars

Alberta has reclaimed the dubious distinction of being the only North American jurisdiction with virtually no government support for energy efficiency programs, after mostly cancelling the rebate and incentive programs that had delivered C$692 million in energy savings, $850 million in economic impact, and 5.7 million tonnes of potential greenhouse gas emission reductions in their first two years of operation.

Get Started Now on Deeper Emissions Cuts, Climate Organizations Urge Federal Parties

The four federal parties that went out to voters this fall with strong climate policies had better get started on implementing those policies right now, a coalition of Canadian climate organizations asserted Friday.

Local Livelihoods Threatened by Amazon Mini-Dams

Chinese Firms Complete 300-MW Argentine Solar Plant

Corbyn Touts 67,000 Jobs in ‘Green Industrial Revolution’

Analysis: Encana Departure Puts Canada, Alberta at Crossroads to a Carbon-Free Future

The overwrought grief that greeted Encana Corporation’s decision to move its Calgary head office to the United States shows Canada and Alberta at a crossroads, facing an increasingly obvious choice between yesterday’s energy options and tomorrow’s.

https://pixabay.com/en/solar-energy-photovoltaic-panels-868663/

Two-Year Lag in New Solar Rebate Leaves Manitoba Falling Behind

Manitobans will have to wait another two years for the return of rooftop solar rebates the province’s public utility withdrew in 2018. At least one installer says that’s too long a lag.

Front-Line Protests, Solid Research Drive Indonesia to Quit Coal, Protect Biodiversity

From the transition off coal, to protecting the biodiverse islands that helped inspire the theory of evolution, a combination of front-line protests and solid research is pulling Indonesia toward a more aggressive response to the climate crisis.

Energy Efficiency Begins to Show Up on Winnipeg Skyline

Fossil Lobbyists Aim for Wider Influence with Minority Parliament Set to Take Office

With a new minority government about to take office in Ottawa, the fossil lobby is getting to work, aiming to extend its influence to smaller parties in the House of Commons that may have received less of its attention when Justin Trudeau’s Liberals held a parliamentary majority.

Tesla Raises Eyebrows with Latest Solar Roof Promise

Tesla Inc. has been making waves over the last week with the latest in a series of announcements for its long-promised, long-awaited solar roof. But one industry publication is declaring itself unconvinced.

Industrial Recycling Would Save 2.8 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Industrial recycling ranks #56 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with potential to keep 2.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere over a 30-year period. Using commercial waste to produce new products also addresses another persistent problem: the scarcity that occurs when industries use virgin resources faster than the Earth can reproduce them.

Queensland Plans Two Huge New Hydrogen Projects

Major Wind Turbine Maker Vestas Lays Off 600

Wind Power Could Meet Global Electricity Needs 18 Times Over

With production costs falling and green power policies on the rise, wind energy could soon be positioned to meet the world’s demand for electricity 18 times over, the International Energy Agency (IEA) concluded in an analysis released last week.

India Plans 55 Gigawatts of New Solar, Wind Development Along Border with Pakistan

India is planning 55 gigawatts of new solar and wind development along its often contentious border with Pakistan, according to a dispatch last week by Agence France-Presse.

Election Post-Mortems Point to Conservatives’ Climate Problem, Urge Massive Federal Investment in Carbon Reductions

In the wake of last week’s federal election results, two different clean transition organizations are pointing to the climate policy problem now facing Conservative politicians in Canada, and the opportunity for governments to invest in the shift off carbon.

Heat Pumps Would Save 5.2 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Heat Pumps show up as #42 in Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with experts predicting a 5.2-gigaton drop in carbon dioxide emissions through 2050 if the solution is adopted by 45% of the market. Replacing air conditioners and gas furnaces with high-efficiency heat pumps has a net implementation cost of roughly US$119 billion, but would produce estimated savings of nearly $1.55 trillion.

Vancouver Approves Landfill Gas Reclaim Project

China Starts 6-GW Inner Mongolia Wind Project

Tesla Looks to Phase Out Cobalt as Automakers Improve Lithium Ion Designs

Bottled Water Billionaires Donate $750 Million to Caltech Climate Research

World Renewable Capacity Set to Grow 50% in Five Years as Prices Keep Falling

The world’s renewable energy capacity is on track to grow 50% over the next five years, the traditionally-cautious International Energy Agency reported earlier this week, with solar installations, onshore wind, and hydropower leading the charge.

Storing Grid Power in EV Batteries Could Level Out Utility Peaks, Save Owners $560 Per Year

An automobile fleet that included even 10% electric vehicles would be enough to shift the daily electricity generation peak in California from daytime to nighttime hours if utility Southern California Edison used the cars to store renewable energy while they’re parked and draw it down when it’s needed most, according to a study released last week.

Solar Farm to Deliver Better Electricity Access, Annual Revenue to B.C. First Nation

The six communities of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation in British Columbia are looking ahead to better electricity access and C$175,000 in annual revenue after completing construction of a solar farm west of Williams Lake that is expected to generate 1.5 gigawatt-hours per year for the BC Hydro grid.

UK Labour Pitches £83 Billion in State Wind Farms

Canada’s Climate Change Election Failed to Tackle Fossil Industry Dominance, Energy System Transformation

While Canada has just concluded the first election in its history that focused in large part on climate change, the campaign still failed to produce a conversation about a future free of fossil fuels, reflecting the extent to which “oil is part and parcel of our political, economic, and cultural framework,” Corporate Mapping Project researcher Angela Carter told National Observer in a recent interview.

Alberta Looks to Renewables Boom as Corporate Procurement Gains Momentum

Canadian corporations are just beginning to catch on to a wider global trend and speed up their renewable energy purchases, and Alberta has the right mix of solar and wind resources and skilled work force to meet its share of the demand, CBC reports.

Fitch Research Sees Massive New Solar Potential in Midwestern U.S.

Market analysts at Fitch Solutions Macro Research are looking to the Midwestern United States to supply a large share of the 100 gigawatts of new solar capacity it sees the country adding over the next decade.

B.C. Regulator Takes Global View of GHG Emissions from Kitimat LNG Project

An upcoming public consultation will focus at least in part on the greenhouse gas impact of Chevron Corporation’s Kitimat LNG project, after the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) prevailed on the California-based colossal fossil to assess the project’s climate footprint from a regional and global perspective.

Banff, Alberta Sets an Example with Rapid Decarbonization Plan

The tourist town of Banff, Alberta is aiming for a rapid shift to renewable energy, as one part of the effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030 and 80% by 2050.

Artificial Leaf Promises Renewable Energy Source that Mimics Photosynthesis

The Artificial Leaf shows up on Drawdown’s list of Coming Attractions—a category of climate solutions that weren’t yet ready for widespread adoption when the book appeared, but seemed likely to contribute to a decarbonization target by mid-century. The technology would use a process based on natural photosynthesis to produce energy.

Spain Plans 12.5 GW of New Solar by 2024

Solar, Wind May Power $4-Billion Petrochemical Complex in India

Transmission Pricing Problems Put Australian Wind, Solar Projects at Risk

Ex-Fossil Workers Call for Fast Transition to Clean Energy Jobs

The climate crisis can unite Canadians rather than dividing us as long as the country can “move forward in a way that leaves no one behind,” former tar sands/oil sands workers Bruce Wilson and Lliam Hildebrand write in an op ed this week for the Edmonton Journal. And “our nation’s energy sector workers are ideally positioned to help build a vibrant and globally competitive clean energy sector.”

Indigenous Wind Farm Finishes Construction in Ontario as Buffett Invests in New Alberta Project

Two new wind farm developments are making headlines this week, with the Henvey Inlet First Nation announcing completion of the country’s biggest wind installation on Indigenous land and a company linked to U.S. mega-investor Warren Buffett putting C$200 million into a 117.6-megawatt project in Alberta.

Renewables Poised to Overtake Fossils Decades Faster Than Forecast

The world’s renewable energy industries may be poised to overtake fossil fuels decades faster than forecast, as production prices plummet and renewables’ investment returns begin to dramatically outpace oil and gas.

Taiwan Plans Fast Solar Buildup While Cambodia Records Lowest-Ever Price for Southeast Asia

Anticipating some US$7.5 billion in investment to accrue from the decision, Taiwan Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang announced plans in late September to ramp up his country’s solar deployment to 6.5 gigawatts by 2020.

GE’s Massive 12-MW Turbine to Power Two Ørsted Wind Farms Off New Jersey

Total Installed Wind Set to Blow Past Coal in Texas

UK Issues Call for 7 GW of New Offshore Wind

SaskPower Restores Solar Net Metering Program, Cuts Repayments in Half

Farmers Try New Techniques to Outrun a Changing Climate

‘Game-Changing’ Analysis: Unsubsidized Renewables, Efficiency Cost Less than New Alberta Gas Plants

Solar, wind, battery storage, energy efficiency, and demand flexibility can reliably replace coal in Alberta at less cost than new gas plants, according to “game-changing” new analysis released last week by the Calgary-based Pembina Institute.

U.S. Green Economy Produced 10 Times More Jobs Than Fossils in 2016

The U.S. green economy produced 9.5 million jobs in 2015-2016, more than 10 times as many as a lavishly-subsidized fossil fuel sector, and its US$1.3 trillion in output accounted for 7% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to analysis released this week by two researchers at University College London.

Saskatchewan Issues Proposal Call for 300 MW of New Wind Capacity

Saskatchewan is out with a new call for proposals for 300 megawatts of wind energy capacity.

Waste-to-Energy as a ‘Bridge’ Strategy Would Save 1.1 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Waste-to-Energy ranks #68 in Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to cut carbon emissions by 1.1. gigatons over a 30-year period.

U.S. Renewables+Storage to Wipe Out Coal in 10 Years, Mega-Utility CEO Tells Analysts

Unsubsidized renewable energy and battery storage are so much less expensive than conventional electricity generation that they will likely replace all coal generation in the United States within a decade, the head of the country’s biggest power utility told a conference last week.

Virginia Governor Sets Sights on 100% RE by 2050

Solar Project Envisions Africa as ‘Renewables Powerhouse’

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

Colorado Utility Inks Landmark Deal to Shift Major Steel Plant from Coal to Solar

U.S. utility Xcel Energy has announced a landmark, US$250-million deal to replace coal-fired electricity with a 240-megawatt solar power plant to power a steel mill in Colorado.

Net Zero Buildings Would Save At Least 1.7 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Net Zero Buildings place #79 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, capable of sequestering 7.1 gigatons of carbon by 2050 if only 9.7% of new buildings hit the standard. Net zero designs, which enable a structure to generate as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year, integrate multiple energy solutions, so Drawdown calculates their impact as a single system.

Manitoba Cancels Furnace Replacement Plan, Claims Commitment to Energy Efficiency

Renewables Supply 47% of Germany’s Electricity So Far This Year

Nearly 1,200 Out of Work as Siemens, Vestas Cut Jobs in Denmark, Germany

Canada Risks Missing the Cleantech Revolution as Politicians, Fossils Haggle Over Climate Policy

While Canadian politicians and fossil executives haggle over national climate and energy policy, a global wave of technological disruption is emerging as a “real threat to Canadian economic health,” analysts Tom Rand and Mike Andrade argue in the Globe and Mail.

Nuclear power plant

Ontario Power Supply to Get ‘Dirtier’ as Nuclear Refits Trigger New Demand for Gas

Ontario’s electricity supply is about to get dirtier and more carbon-intensive, as the province begins burning more natural gas to replace electricity from nuclear power plants going offline for expensive overhauls.

U.S. Utility Aims to Save $600 Million Over 20 Years by Replacing Coal with Cheaper Renewables

Big U.S. utility PacifiCorp is laying out a strategy that relies heavily on solar, energy storage, and wind and speeds up the phaseout of its economically fragile coal plants in a new integrated resource plan (IRP) covering investments through 2038.

White Pines Wind Farm Decommissioning to Begin October 15

UK Offshore Wind Sets New Record at 4.88¢/kWh

Autonomous Urbanism Blueprint Shows How Cities Can Serve Everyone

Clean Energy to Create 160,000 Jobs by 2030 While Fossils Lose 50,000

Canada will create 160,000 new clean energy jobs by 2030 while fossil employment declines by 50,000, and the clean energy sector will employ a total of 559,400 people in areas like home insulation, electric vehicle manufacturing, and wind farm maintenance—as long as government policies continue to drive toward reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

Toronto Unanimously Adopts Climate Emergency Resolution, Still Rebuilds Major Highway

The City of Toronto unanimously adopted a climate emergency resolution Wednesday morning and reaffirmed its plan to bring its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero before 2050.

Energy Efficiency Day Generates Praise for State and Local Leaders, Promises to Do More

Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New York took top billing, while Maryland won honours as the most-improved U.S. state, when the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released its 2019 50-state scorecard to coincide with Energy Efficiency Day October 2.

TC Energy Purchase Drives 75-MW Solar Farm in Alberta

EU Must Upgrade or Replace 65 GW of Onshore Wind by 2028

Northern Ireland Hits 44% Renewable Energy

Election Roundup: Parties’ Promises, Fossils Collect Campaign Data, and Climate Protesters Tread Carefully

Week three of Canada’s federal election saw a flurry of climate, energy, and environment promises from the four national party leaders, coinciding with a major United Nations climate summit in New York, dozens of successful #ClimateStrike marches across the country, and the latest IPCC report laying out the devastating impacts the climate crisis is wreaking on the world’s oceans and ice cover.

Calgary Company Ships 130 Barrels of Bitumen to China in Semi-Solid Form

A Calgary-based company says it has shipped 130 barrels of tar sands/oil sands bitumen from Edmonton to Prince Rupert, British Columbia in semi-solid form, in a first test of a new technology it says would provide a safe alternative to shipping by pipeline or rail.

University of Calgary Team Touts Nanotech for Greener, Cheaper LNG

‘Climate is Fast Outpacing Us’, Hitting ‘Sooner and Faster’ Than Expected, Agencies Warn UN Summit Delegates

The world’s leading international climate science agencies are predicting 2.9 to 3.4°C average global warming by 2100 based on governments’ current climate commitments, “a shift likely to bring catastrophic change across the globe,” The Guardian reports.

Use Government Procurement to Trigger Deeper Carbon Reductions, Green Entrepreneur Urges

Truly greening federal government procurement would move Canada much farther, faster toward a sustainable, carbon-free future than prevailing on individual consumers to “shop for a better tomorrow,” Ottawa B-Corp entrepreneur and The Energy Mix subscriber Mike Gifford writes for Medium.

Global Backlash Against Plastics Emerges as Latest Threat to Fossil Industry

Just when they thought they were ready for the decline of gasoline- and diesel-fuelled cars, driven by surging electric vehicle sales, a mounting aversion to plastics is undercutting fossil producers’ latest plan to save their industry, according to market analysts at New York-based MSCI.

Vietnam Opens 420-MW PV Solar Complex

Google Announces 1.6 GW in New Renewables Projects as U.S. Solar Procurement Hits 37.9 GW

Global tech giant Google announced a cluster of renewable energy deals totalling 1.6 gigawatts last week, just days after an analyst report placed the “contracted pipeline” for new solar capacity in the United States at 37.9 GW, driven largely by corporate purchases.

Trip to Block Island Test Site Shows U.S. Offshore Wind Has Arrived

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is out with a detailed, exquisitely-designed and -illustrated look at the offshore wind boom now getting under way off the east coast of the United States.

McKibben: A World Run on Renewables Would Never Go to War for Oil

If the world ran on renewable energy, it would never be at risk of going to war for oil, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben argues in a post for The Guardian.

Small, Sustainable Ocean Farms Would Produce Food and Fuel, Capture CO2 and Nitrogen

Ocean farming is featured as one of Drawdown’s “coming attractions”—climate solutions that weren’t ready for prime time when the book appeared, but could make a difference by mid-century. 

National Renewable Electricity Exchange Could Cut U.S. Power Bills by 20%

San José Adopts Toughest Energy Building Code Among Large U.S. Cities

Ørsted to Use Old Nuclear Transmission Line for NJ Offshore Wind Project

Polish Utility Joins Project to Build 3.6 GW of Offshore Wind

Energy Transition Plan Shows Nova Scotia Cutting Emissions 50%, Creating 15,000 Green Jobs by 2030

Supplying 90% of Nova Scotia’s electricity from renewable sources, cutting energy consumption in social housing 60%, tripling energy efficiency in the electricity sector, electrifying personal and public transportation, cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half, and creating 15,000 green jobs are the key 2030 targets in a plan for the renewal of the province’s Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, released this week by the Halifax-based Ecology Action Centre.

Mississauga to Seek Public Input on 10-Year, $450-Million Climate Plan

The City of Mississauga is going out for public comment on its draft of a 10-year, C$450-million climate plan aimed at cutting its greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.

Offshore Wind Leader Sees 30 GW of Potential Off South Korea

Chinese Engineering Company Plans 600-MW Solar Project in Poland

Malaysia Aims for 20% Renewable by 2025

Solar Sister Helps African Women Become Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs

Africa Sees Big Opportunities for Off-Grid Solar

Greens Promise 60% Carbon Cut by 2030, Fossil Subsidy Phaseout in One Year

A 65% greenhouse gas emissions cut by 2030, job transition programs for fossil workers, a ban on new pipelines, coal mining, and oil and gas drilling or mining, and an end to fossil fuel subsidies within a year are at the centre of the election platform released this week by the federal Green Party.

U.S. Aims to Strip California’s Right to Set Tougher Tailpipe Emission Standards

The Trump administration plans to follow through with an attempt to strip California of its hard-fought right to set tougher pollution control standards for cars and light trucks, the Washington Post reports, citing two senior government sources.

Airlines’ Emissions Grow More Than Twice as Fast as Fuel Efficiency

Airlines’ greenhouse gas emissions increased more than twice as fast as their improvements in fuel efficiency between 2016 and 2018, according to a new report by the International Council on Clean Transportation.

Trump Says He Cancelled Light Bulb Efficiency Rule Because LEDs Make Him ‘Look Orange’

Donald Trump may or may not have been kidding around last week when he said he was rolling back a regulation that would save U.S. consumers 25 coal plants’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions and US$14 billion per year because LED light bulbs make him look orange.

Clean Cookstoves Would Save 15.81 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Clean cookstoves are ranked #21 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the ability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 15.81 gigatons by 2050. Nearly three billion households—40% of the people on earth—prepare meals over open fires fueled by wood, coal, animal dung, or agricultural refuse. Drawdown estimates that replacing these traditional methods with newer, cleaner technologies would cost US$72.16 billion, roughly $41 per stove, for a net saving of $166 billion in total operational costs over the 30-year period.

San Diego Utility Claims Solar Costs Drive Customer Rate Hike

Ottawa Looks at Economy-Wide Electrification to ‘Reduce or Eliminate’ Fossil Fuel Use

The federal government has issued a call for consulting proposals to study how widespread electrification can “reduce or eliminate” fossil fuel use across the economy.

Researchers, Companies Look at Flash-Chargers for Electric Buses, Solar Cars that Need No Charging

A Swiss-Swedish automation company, a Japanese automaker, and an e-bus manufacturer in China are all reporting new developments in the race develop rapid recharging technologies for vehicles.

Floating Solar in Southeast Asia to Grow from 40 MW to 3 GW in Next Decade

Floating solar photovoltaic plants are arriving as an option for renewable electricity development across Southeast Asia, with analysts at Rystad Energy predicting their prevalence will grow 100-fold over the next five to 15 years as the region moves quickly to increase the share of carbon-free power in its energy mix.

Mexican Families Turn to Solar for Reliable Electricity

Rising Temperatures Will Undercut Solar Performance

New Study Shows Solar Meeting 40% of Global Power Demand, Wind 30% by 2050

Solar is on track to become the world’s biggest source of electricity by 2035 as renewable energy costs continue to fall, making it easier to electrify previously stubborn sectors like transportation and construction, according to the fourth in a series of annual analyses published by renewable energy company Statkraft.

Cut Energy Waste to Prevent Three New Gas Plants, Michigan Utility CEO Urges Consumers

A Michigan power utility is turning to its customers for reductions in energy demand that will help it keep its promise not to build any more natural gas plants.

Native American Tribes Push Toward Renewable Future

U.S. Midwest Adds 4 GW This Year, Half Renewable and Half Gas

China Funds 500 MW of Bangladesh Renewables Development

UK Company Nets Mitsubishi Investment to Deliver Off-Grid Solar in Asia

France Plans More Than 2 GW of Solar Bids in 2020

Trump’s Light Bulb Efficiency Rollback to Cost Consumers $14 Billion Per Year

In what one major business-environment coalition is calling an “unforced error”, the Trump administration is moving to weaken a George W. Bush-era light bulb efficiency standard that dates back to 2007, was due to take effect in the new year, and would save enough electricity to power every home in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

India’s Coal Sector Faces Stranded Asset Risk as Demand Falls, Water Supplies Run Short

India’s coal sector faces a multitude of serious threats, as customers report they have more supply than they need, water supplies run short, and affordable renewable energy and hydropower increasingly undercut demand for their product, states a report released last week by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and the Applied Economics Clinic at Boston’s Tufts University.

Report Links Human Rights Abuses to Raw Materials for EVs, Solar Panels, and Wind Turbines

The raw materials behind electric vehicles, solar panels, and wind turbines are being linked to local land rights infringements, corruption, violence and death, with 87% of the 23 largest companies supplying the industry’s six most essential minerals facing allegations of abuse over the last 10 years.

Oxford Properties Plans One Million Square Feet of Rooftop Solar by 2022

One of Canada’s biggest commercial real estate companies, Oxford Properties, is planning to install a million square feet (92,900 square metres) of rooftop solar panels on its retail and industrial properties across North America by 2022.

Facebook Signs 200-MW Wind Deal in Texas

Solar, Wind Lead the Pack in Latest Indiana Power Procurement

Iowa Landfill Tightens Rules for Discarded Wind Turbine Blades

Renewables Investment to Hit $2.6 Trillion from 2010-2019

Global renewable energy investment is on track to hit US$2.6 trillion in this decade, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance study released last week by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Frankfurt School’s UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance.

India’s Rajasthan State Plans 50 GW of New Solar Capacity by 2025

The state government in Rajasthan, India has laid out a plan to install 50 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2025 and establish itself as a global solar hub, PV Magazine reports, in a post republished by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

Solar+Storage Costs Less than Grid Electricity in Six European Cities

Solar plus storage is already cost-competitive across much of southern and northern Europe, and will hit grid parity across the continent by 2025, according to a new study conducted by a solar photovoltaic researcher with support from industry.

Onshore Wind Would Save 84.6 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Generating electricity with onshore wind turbines ranks #2 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. In 2017, onshore wind generated approximately 4% of the world’s electricity. Boosting that figure to 21.6% would cut CO2 emissions by 84.6 gigatons, as wind energy gradually replaces plants powered by coal, natural gas, and oil.

Waste Heat from London Underground to Warm Hundreds of Homes

Copenhagen Sets a Global Standard with 2025 Carbon Neutrality Goal

A vision of a “five-minute city”, restrictions on polluting cars, an awesomely effective transit system, and a shift to renewable energy are centrepieces of the effort to make bicycle-friendly Copenhagen a carbon-neutral city, a couple of decades ahead of most other leading municipalities and just a dozen years after it first set its 2025 target.

Global Wind Turbine Orders Hit All-Time High

NW Ontario First Nation Uses Solar to Offset Diesel

Michigan Farmers Look to Solar as New Cash Crop

Alberta Solar Developer Catches International Eye with 600-MW Project, Canada’s Biggest Ever

Southern Alberta is drawing international attention after the province approved Canada’s biggest-ever solar-electric installation, the 600-megawatt, privately-financed Travers Solar project in Vulcan County.

B.C., Ottawa Get Mixed Reviews with LNG-Fracking Industry Electrification Plan

The federal and British Columbia governments are getting mixed reviews for their plan to partly decarbonize the province’s emerging liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry by electrifying upstream fracking operations.

Don’t Let ‘Neanderthals’ Block Climate Action, Kerry Urges, as Australia Faces Winter Heat and Drought

With parts of southern and eastern Australia suffering through a winter of intense heat and drought, and the Australian Medical Association declaring health emergency, former U.S. secretary of State John Kerry called for immediate action on the climate crisis and took what The Guardian called “veiled swipes” at governments that aren’t responding.

Eastern U.S. Gears Up for 19.3-GW Offshore Wind Boom

The east coast of the United States is on the verge of a 19.3-gigawatt boom in new offshore wind capacity by 2035 that would dwarf the 30 MW currently operating offshore across the country, according to analysis released last week by S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Platts.

U.S. Rust Belt Study Finds Billions in Health Benefits in Shift to Renewables

India Plans New 5-GW Solar Park in Gujarat

Norway Project Tests Flying Wind Turbines

Automakers Side with California Against Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback

Major automakers are siding with California against the Trump administration’s push to roll back Obama-era vehicle efficiency standards, as they scramble to dodge years of court battles and regulatory uncertainty and bolster their public credibility in the face of a mounting climate crisis.

Tesla Reboots Lagging Solar Rental Business as Walmart Sues Over Rooftop Panel Fires

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to reboot his company’s lagging solar division by offering rooftop panels for rent in six U.S. states, just days before Walmart filed a lawsuit over seven fires it linked to Tesla rooftop installations between 2012 and 2018.

New Approach to Geothermal Requires No Fracking or Water, Produces No GHG Emissions

A first-of-its-kind approach to geothermal energy that uses no fracking or water and produces no greenhouse gas emissions is turning heads in central Alberta, where Calgary-based Eavor Technologies is building a C$10-million pilot plant.

Microgrids Can Deliver Decentralized Power, Boost Renewable Energy Use and Improve Public Health

Microgrids come in at #78 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. Defined as locally-managed electricity generation systems, microgrids can be powered by renewable resources like micro-wind, solar power, in-stream hydro, and biomass energy—whatever resources are available. Drawdown doesn’t quantify the carbon reduction value of microgrids independently, but includes their positive impact in its calculations for each energy source.

Six Nations Rolls Renewables Revenue Into Community Services

Maldives Install World’s Biggest Floating Solar Array

Sanders Unveils $16.3-Trillion Climate Plan as Inslee Withdraws from Presidential Race

A 2030 deadline to convert the United States electricity and transportation systems to 100% renewable energy is a centrepiece of a US$16.3-trillion Green New Deal platform released last Thursday in Paradise, California, site of last year’s devastating Camp Fire, by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Mayor of Impoverished French Town Combines Green Strategy with Social Supports

Undaunted by 28% unemployment, and the fact that Marie Le Pen’s xenophobic National Rally party continues to appeal to a majority of his constituents, the Green Party mayor of an impoverished coastal town near Calais is determined to prove that strong environmental policy means a better life for working people.

Trump Officials Throw Roadblocks at Offshore Wind Project After Accelerating Fossil Development

The Trump administration is showing a distinct double standard in a series of decisions to deregulate fossil fuel development while slowing down the landmark Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm in Massachusetts.

Bankrupt California Utility Will Still Honour $42 Billion in Solar, Wind Contracts

There were sighs of relief in California earlier this month, after utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric confirmed it will honour all its contracts with renewable energy providers as it goes through bankruptcy reorganization.

Michigan Utility Deal Could Trigger 584 MW of New Solar Capacity

Michigan ratepayers stand to benefit significantly from a proposed settlement that will find the state utility finally paying the true “avoided cost” of buying power from solar developers, which will in turn allow those developers to build 584 MW of new capacity over the next four years.

WoodMac Sees Peril in Trump-China Trade Dispute as Energy Decarbonization Lags

The increasingly bitter trade dispute between the Trump administration and China is shaping up as a new barrier to getting global greenhouse gas emissions under control.

Quebec’s Power Corporation Buys U.S. Community Solar Developer

Falling Short on Climate Target, Edmonton Plans Suite of New Carbon Reduction Programs

Faced with a shortfall between his city’s carbon reduction target and its climate programming, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson is vowing to do better.

Corporate Renewable Energy Buys Could Set All-Time Record in 2019

Corporate renewable energy purchases are on track to set another all-time record in 2019, with the United States still driving a strong growth trend and China moving toward a more prominent role.

Aircraft Fuel Efficiency Would Save 5.05 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Improving aircraft fuel efficiency ranks #43 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions, with the potential to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by 5.05 gigatons by 2050. The shift would cost US$662.4 billion, but produce net savings of $3.19 trillion.

Solar, Wind, EVs Will Be the Death of Petroleum: RenewEconomy Editor

80-MW Solar Cancellation Raises Issues with North Carolina Grid Monopoly

New Battery Design Produces Electricity from Fresh, Salt Water

Power Prices Hit $9,000/MWh as Texas Grid Declares First Supply Emergency Since 2014

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued its first emergency alert since January 2014, after record demand driven by a summer heat wave last week pushed electricity prices above $9,000 per megawatt-hour and reduced the sprawling state’s electricity reserves from at least 3,000 to less than 2,300 MW.

Living Buildings Would Revitalize the Environment, Build Community

Living buildings 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.

Edmonton Increases Solar Rebate to Make Up for Stalled Provincial Program

Renewable Grid Could Store Power in EV Battery Hubs

Spring Results Show U.S. Wind Development Hitting Record High

Solar Price Beats Grid Electricity in Every City Across China

Subsidy-free solar is now less expensive than grid electricity in virtually every city across China, according to a paper published this week in the journal Nature Energy.

New York Officials Tour Quebec Cree Territory Before Deciding on New Hydro Project

Georgia State Regulators Mandate 2.2 GW of New Solar by 2024

First Big U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Runs Into Fishing Industry Concerns

IPCC Land Report Paints Stark Picture for Food Supplies, Charts Course for Immediate Action

Global food supplies, species and ecosystem diversity, and the health and safety of populations are all in peril without immediate, wide-ranging shifts in land use, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes in a landmark report released in Geneva last week.

Tar Sands/Oil Sands Analysts Predict Implausible Growth as Renewables, EVs Crush Fossils on Price

A stunning new international analysis shows increasingly affordable wind and solar power and electric vehicles crushing oil on price and efficiency—even as Canadian fossil analysts continue to predict future growth for tar sands/oil sands production, and industry boosters tout their “marathon” effort to convince investors to take their product seriously.

‘Stunning’ Poll Results Show Canadian Public ‘Ahead of Our Politics’ on Climate Action

Two-thirds to 84% of Canadians would accept bold measures to address climate change, more than four-fifths see the climate crisis as a serious problem, 47% consider it extremely serious, and one in four “report thinking about climate change often and are getting really anxious about it,” according to a new Abacus Data poll commissioned by Seth Klein, an adjunct professor of urban studies at British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University.

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

Greens Unveil Job Transition Plan for Fossil Fuel Work Force

With the federal election campaign about to hit high gear, Green Party leader Elizabeth May was in Vancouver last week to unveil a plan to extend the federal government’s existing job transition plan for coal workers to oil and gas.

Alberta Efficiency Programs Cut GHGs by 5.7 Megatonnes, Save $692 Million Over Two Years

Energy Efficiency Alberta is earning praise at the national level, even as it faces an uncertain future in its home province, after reporting C$692 million in energy savings, $850 million in economic impact, and 5.7 million tonnes of potential greenhouse gas emission reductions over its first two years of operation.

BP Global Data Report Shows Fossil Fuel Use Surging, Renewables Falling Behind

Global fossil fuel use is continuing its rapid increase, and renewable energy development “has not only failed to halt the explosive rise in fossil carbon burning, it’s falling ever-further behind,” National Observer data analyst Barry Saxifrage reported late last month, based on data in the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

B.C. First Nation Buys Stake in Run-of-River Hydro Projects

Decentralized Wind Builds Local Power in Denmark, Scotland

Vrooman: EV Infrastructure, Better Buildings Data Would Unlock Progress Toward Decarbonization

In an exclusive interview with The Energy Mix, Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO of Vancity Credit Union, talked about the next steps the federal government could take down the road toward decarbonization, after getting at the short-term wins that she and Steven Guilbeault of Montreal looked into as co-chairs of the federal Advisory Council on Climate Action.

Republican States Lead the Transition as U.S. Regulators Push Renewables Over Coal, Natural Gas

Alert to the steadily improving economics of wind and solar—and growing ever more wary of natural gas investments becoming stranded on the fossil slag heap—U.S. state regulators are increasingly pushing utilities towards renewables, with Republican states leading the transition.

Britain’s First-Ever Citizens’ Climate Assembly Generates 600 Ideas, Demands Local Government Action

In Britain’s first-ever citizens’ assembly on climate change, participants convened by Camden council in north London came up with rooftop solar, cutting fossil fuels out of local government developments, and 15 other steps their community could take to cut emissions and boost sustainability.

Perennial Food Crops Could Boost Soil Carbon and Food Security, Reduce Deforestation

Replacing soil-depleting annual food species with perennial crops 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.

A First for Germany as Renewable Power Output Exceeds Coal Plus Nuclear

Coal Debt Impedes U.S. Energy Co-ops’ Embrace of Renewables

Alberta Village that Shifted from Coal to Oil Now Struggles with Wind

New Category on London Stock Index Favours Renewables Over Fossils

India Renewables Capacity On Track to Overshoot Paris Target by 60%

India is on track to overshoot a key Paris Agreement target by nearly 60% by obtaining close to two-thirds of its installed electricity capacity from renewable sources by 2030, according to a new report from the country’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

New Canadian Association Builds Energy Efficiency’s Profile, Beginning with the Industry Itself

With a national think tank positioning energy efficiency as a kind of “all-of-the-above” strategy to deliver lower home energy bills, boost business productivity, and cut pollution, the industry’s newly-minted trade association is embarking on an initial campaign to help energy efficiency companies and professionals see their own place in the sector.

Minnesota Sees Energy Storage Competing Against Natural Gas Peaker Plants

Minnesota is the latest U.S. state to consider grid-scale storage as a possible alternative to natural gas peaker plants, under a new state law that requires power companies to include storage in their long-range plans.

GE, BlackRock Announce New Investment in Distributed Solar, Solar+Storage

General Electric and BlackRock Real Assets, described by Greentech Media as an “asset management firm and heavyweight renewables investor,” have unveiled a joint investment in distributed solar and solar+storage projects for commercial, industrial, and public sector power consumers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Featured_picture_candidates/Barrow_Offshore_Wind_Farm

Biggest-Ever Renewables Procurement Makes New York a U.S. ‘Epicentre’ for Offshore Wind

Offshore wind developers Ørsted and Equinor and industrial workers along the eastern United States coast were the biggest winners last week as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced contracts for 1.7 gigawatts of offshore wind while signing his state’s Green New Deal into law.

New 10-Gigawatt Solar Farm Will Export Power from Australia to Singapore

A group of investors in Australia is working on a $20-billion solar farm, the world’s biggest to date, that will export most of its power by undersea cable to jurisdictions like Singapore.

Household Recycling Would Save 2.77 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Household recycling ranks #55 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. It could eliminate 2.77 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions at a net cost of US$366.9 billion, while producing net savings of $71.1 billion.

Kenya President Launches Africa’s Biggest Wind Farm

Nicaragua Lands Foreign Funding for 100-MW Solar Project

Michigan State Touts New Transparent Solar Panel

Solar Could Turn China’s Massive Belt and Road Infrastructure Plan Green

Equinor, South Korean Fossil Plan 200-MW Floating Wind Farm

India Aims for Self-Sufficiency in Solar Panel Production

Utility Safety Outages in California, Nevada Boost Interest in Solar and Storage

With utilities in two southern U.S. states resorting to planned outages to stop their equipment from sparking wildfires during dry, windy conditions, power users are looking for more reliable electricity—and solar and storage battery providers are stepping up to respond.

70% of Americans Want National Rooftop Solar Mandate

A year after California became the first state to mandate rooftop solar on all new homes, a nationally representative survey by CITE Research has found that 70% of Americans would like to see the same policy in place across the country.

Decentralized Renewables Create Jobs, Boost Economic Activity in India, Kenya, Nigeria

Off-grid energy systems already employ as many people as centralized utilities in India, Kenya, and Nigeria, and that total is expected to more than double by 2022-23, Power for All reports in its first-ever census of employment in rural electrification.

Pieridae Delays Nova Scotia LNG Decision While Chevron Unveils New Plans in B.C.

Calgary-based Pieridae Energy Inc., the company behind the C$10-billion Goldboro liquefied natural gas (LNG) development in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, has postponed the go/no-go decision on its investment by a year.

Super-Efficient Air Conditioners Hit the Shelves in India

New EV Design in The Netherlands Charges on Sunlight

Australia Greens Founder Fights Tasmania Wind Farm

Distributed Energy Reshapes U.S. Energy Landscape

Nova Scotia Approves Bay of Fundy Tidal Project

Robots Taking Over Jobs as Fossils Aim for ‘Productivity and Efficiency’

Nearly Two Dozen States Back California Fuel Economy Rule as White House Prepares to Finalize Rollback

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.