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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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.

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

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

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

UK Offshore Wind Farm Looks to Drones, Robots for Maintenance

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

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

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

Quirky Ontario Electricity Pricing Creates Opportunity for Battery Storage

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

Cogeneration Would Save 3.97 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

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

Montreal Transport Companies Push Demand for Electric Vehicles

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

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

Africa Wind Market Grows to 18 Gigawatts

Wind Supplies 22.6% of Spain’s Electricity in May

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

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

UK Powers Commercial Trucks with Food Waste

Arizona Considers High-Cost Coal-to-Biomass Conversion

World Bank Sees Pakistan Renewables Share Pushing Past World Average

Solar Transforms Remote Togo Village

Where Land is Scarce, Floating Solar Can Deliver

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

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

Ontario Climate Plan Costs Taxpayers More Than Federal Carbon Tax

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morocco Receives Top Rating for Renewables Potential in Africa

Massive Renewables Needed to Green Chemicals Industry

Scientists Study Non-Toxic Microbeads as Arctic Climate Solution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grid Flexibility Would Enable 80% Renewable Power Generation by 2050

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

Denver Company Plans to Swap Out Coal Plants for Renewables

Inukjuak Trades In Diesel for 7.5-MW Hydro Project

Sonnen Pushes Batteries to Passive Solar Homebuilders

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

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

Renewables Investment in Asia Set to Exceed Fossil Exploration by 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Coal-Powered South Africa Adopts Minimal Carbon Tax

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

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

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

KLM Plans Big Biofuel Buy Beginning in 2022

UK on the Verge of Subsidy-Free Wind

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

Portugal Plans 1.35-GW Solar Tender

Tesla On Track to Meet New York State Jobs Target

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

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

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

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

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

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

Utility-Scale Energy Storage Enables Distributed Renewables on the Grid

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

Community Solar in Minnesota Helps Veterans, Families in Need

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perennial Bioenergy Crops Would Save 3.33 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

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

Decades of Preparation Reduced Losses in Montecito Wildfire

Legault Touts Quebec as ‘Battery of North America’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Electrified Rail Would Save 500 Megatons of Carbon by 2050

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

Vertical Axis Turbines Could Re-Emerge for Floating Platforms

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

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

Montreal Mayor Promises New Climate Action But Critics Call for More

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