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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Climate Stability Depends on Fixing Supermarket Refrigeration

India Reduces Coal-Fired Electricity Production for First Time in 10 Years

Last year saw a decline in the electricity India produces from coal for the first time in a decade, the product of a slower economy plus increased reliance on renewable energy.

100-MW Municipal Solar Farm in Cincinnati Will Be Biggest in U.S.

Cincinnati is taking a victory lap after a two-year effort to build the biggest municipally-run solar farm in the United States.

Europe Could Cut Emissions 60% by Electrifying Fossil-Intensive Industries

Europe could reduce emissions in its transport, buildings, and electrical sectors 60% by 2050 by converting fossil-intensive industries to run on electricity, according to a report earlier this month by Norwegian utility Statkraft and power management company Eaton Corporation.

Think Tank Sees Green Economy Averting UK Recession

Offshore Wind to Grow Seven-Fold World-Wide by 2028

Wind in Africa, Middle East to Exceed 10 GW by 2024

Indonesia Launches 145-MW Floating Solar Project

New UK Tariff Supports Community Wind, Solar

Most U.S. Utilities Missing Full Value of Smart Meters

Canadian Pension Board Becomes Lead Shareholder in India’s Biggest Renewables Company

The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is about to become the largest shareholder in ReNew Power, India’s biggest renewable energy company, a business with 3.1 gigawatts of wind and 1.9 GW of solar generation currently in operation.

Canada On Track to Hit Carbon Reduction Target for Grid Electricity

Be sure to sit down before you read this: Canada is in good shape to meet one of its national greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, according to a report the federal government recently filed with the United Nations.

Norway State Utility Plans 9 GW New Renewables by 2025

New Study Shows Wind, Solar, Storage Australia’s Cheapest Options

Indonesia to Replace 11 GW of Coal with Renewables

IESO Sees Cost Saving Potential in Ontario Greenhouses

CCS, Hydrogen Won’t Be Ready by 2050, UK Academics Warn

Neither carbon capture and storage (CCS) nor the hydrogen economy can scale up fast enough to play a significant part in decarbonizing the UK economy by mid-century, a consortium of government-funded academics warned last week.

Wind, Solar Power Greenhouse in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut

Virginia’s 2.6-GW Turbine Deal Boosts Supply Chains for Offshore Wind

128-MW Wind Farm Goes Into Service Off Taiwan

Chinese Firm Helps Kenya Complete 50-MW Solar Farm

IEA: Electricity Emissions Hold Steady in 2019 as Developed Countries Dump Coal

Global carbon dioxide emissions from electricity unexpectedly held steady in 2019, at 33 billion tonnes, after increasing over the two previous years, even though economic activity increased by 2.9% over the same period, the International Agency reported yesterday.

Europe’s ‘Positive Energy Districts’ Deliver Community Power to the Grid

Europe is planning to set up 100 or more “positive energy districts” by 2025, enabling whole neighbourhoods to become net electricity exporters to the grid. But the success of the effort could hinge on several factors, including an aggressive energy retrofit program to reduce local energy demand.

Veteran Cleantech Investor Sees Infrastructure Funds Upping Their Game

Newfoundland and Labrador, Ottawa Set Financing Deal for Muskrat Falls Hydro

U.S. Solar Installers Embrace Opportunity in Home Batteries

PepsiCo Set to Hit 100% Renewable Electricity This Year

Wind Turbine Giant Vestas Pledges Carbon Neutrality by 2030

ASEAN Positions Itself as Renewable Energy Hub

Romanian Utility to Shutter All Coal Plants, Build Gas and Renewables by 2025

National Climate Plans Need Free-Flowing Rivers

Trump Holds Back $823 Million for Energy Efficiency, EVs

Scotland to Require Energy Retrofits when Homes Are Sold

Ottawa River flooding

Updated Climate Risk Plan Will Withdraw Disaster Aid for New Homes in Flood Plains

Canadians building or buying new homes in areas at high risk for flooding will no longer have access to federal disaster relief under a new insurance plan set to take effect in the next three years, The Energy Mix has learned.

Corporate Renewables Procurements Surge, But 24/7 Reliability is Essential

Daimler’s late January signing of a 100% renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) with Norwegian hydropower firm Statkraft offered momentum and a cautionary tale to the renewable electricity sector: corporate clients are going to come knocking, but only for generating capacity that is flexible enough to offer 24/7 reliability.

56% of Americans Cite Climate as Top Concern as Anxiety Crosses Party Lines

More than half of Americans see climate change as the most important issue facing society today, according to a December, 2019 Harris poll released this week by the American Psychological Association.

Climate Impact of Commercial Space Travel ‘About to Get Worse’

The wild west of commercial space travel remains unconstrained by regulations on rockets’ greenhouse gas emissions, and they’re on track to get worse as the competition among private operators heats up. But some space cowboys are beginning to channel their inner boy scout, racing to build launchers less catastrophic for the planet than the ones they currently use.

Tesla’s Solar Slide May Have Levelled Off

Oakland Co-op Turns Community Ownership Into Community Solar

Nashville Solar Farm Raises Sheep to Restore Soil, Biodiversity

Academics Pitch Replacing UK Gas Network with Piped Rainwater

South Africa Power Cuts Show Need for Renewable Energy

Alberta Solar Farm, Canada’s Biggest, Nets $500 Million from Danish Infrastructure Fund

Canada’s biggest solar farm, the 400-MW, 1,900-hectare Travers Solar Energy Project in Alberta, has received a C$500-million cash infusion from Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners that will allow Calgary-based Greengate Power to start construction at the site near the village of Lomond in Vulcan County.

Wind power turbine

Wanted: 400,000 New Recruits for UK Clean Energy Jobs by 2050

The United Kingdom will have to recruit 400,000 people into clean energy jobs of all kinds to achieve its goal of net zero emissions by 2050, according to a recent study conducted for National Grid, the country’s electricity and gas provider.

Trillion-Tree Initiative Could Distract from Climate Action, Analyst Warns

Constraints of time and space, the likelihood of accounting boondoggles, and the fact that forests are inherently unstable climate sinks, ever more so as the planet warms, could make the World Economic Forum’s newly-announced Trillion Tree Initiative a dangerous distraction from what really needs to be done to rein in the climate crisis, the MIT Technology Review warns.

Scottish Renewables Edge Out Gas for Grid Power

BlackRock Considers Gas Pipeline Buy, But Sees Renewables and Storage as Biggest Opportunity

After releasing its splashy, new climate-friendly investment policy last month, asset management giant BlackRock is still considering new investment in a US$15-billion gas pipeline network, but is signalling deep, continuing interest in the energy options that will gradually drive fossil fuels out of the market.

Wind Giant Ørsted Reports Record Profits for 2019

Canadians Take 12 Spots in Cleantech 100

Brookfield Gets Green Light for Brazilian Solar Plants

Australia’s Queensland State Backs 1,200-MW Wind Farm

Egypt’s Giant New Solar Park is Visible from Space

U.S. Agency Sees Renewables Surging But GHG Emissions Nearly Unchanged Through 2050

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is changing its tune on the rise of renewable energy, projecting for the first time in its Annual Energy Outlook that renewable energy will double its share of total generation and dash past natural gas as the country’s leading electricity source before 2050. But the agency paints a deeply troubling picture for the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, with carbon pollution dipping briefly this decade, increasing in the 2030s, and falling only 4% overall by 2050, The Hill reports.

Simplified Application Process Sends Solar Uptake through the Roof

A few simple changes in the local application process led to a 3,000% increase in the issuance of solar panel permits in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg. The municipality made the changes with guidance from SolSmart, a solar power recognition program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

India Would Need Massive New Solar Capacity to Replace 500,000 Coal Jobs

India would need to install 1,000 gigawatts of new solar capacity if it set out to replace the country’s 500,000 coal mining jobs solely with new employment in renewable energy generation, according to a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Energy Islands Could Internationalize Europe’s Wind Farm Planning

Portuguese Fossil Galp Surges Into Solar with 2.9-GW Deal

GE Sells Off 800 MW of U.S. Wind Capacity

Child labour artisan mining Congo cobalt

Surging Mineral Demand Produces Sharper Focus on ‘Ethical’ Batteries

Blockchain-enabled transparency, rigorous third-party mining standards, local production, and recycling are among the strategies in play to create batteries that are planet- and people-friendly—a tall order, given that the supply chains supporting the EV revolution remain linked to environmental degradation and human suffering.

Green Roofs Would Save 770 Megatons of Carbon by 2050

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

Qatar Plans First Utility-Scale Solar Plant Before Hosting World Cup

Smart Thermostat Start-Up Sees Gain for Newfoundland-Labrador Grid

U.S. Dairy Producers Form National Waste-to-Energy Network

Fossil Industry Sees Financial Value Collapse as Prices Stay Low, Renewables Surge

Despite record production and rapidly-rising greenhouse gas emissions, North American oil and gas companies are coming off a notably bad financial year in 2019, and analysts are predicting they won’t be any happier about their financial results in 2020.

Bellingham Washington

Bellingham, Washington Considers Natural Gas Heating Ban

The town of Bellingham, Washington has become the latest U.S. city to consider banning natural gas for home heating as a way to combat the climate crisis.

New Decade Opens with Cascade of U.S. Coal Plant Closures

The new decade is opening with a mounting cascade of plant closures in the United States coal industry, with investors abandoning ship, revenue being driven down by record-low gas and renewable energy prices, and communities asking increasingly tough questions about the economic, environmental, and health impacts of the coal-fired generating stations in their midst.

Wildfires Causing Permanent Change in Canada’s Boreal Forest

Canada’s vast boreal forest, one of the largest remaining intact ecosystems on Earth, is beginning to show signs of permanent damage and dissolution due to wildfires—which are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of climate change.

Transmission Bottlenecks Undercut Renewables in U.S. Upper Midwest

NS Community Wind Project Could Be Model for Canada

U.S. Agency to Launch Controversial ‘Plan B’ Geoengineering Experiments

power pylons sunrise grid

57% of Australians See Direct Effects of Bushfires as Power Grid Faces Peak Cooling Demand

With more than half the population directly affected by raging bushfires, a record-hot summer is producing frequent power outages on an electricity grid powered largely by the coal industry that Australia’s climate-denying government is still striving to defend.

Trump Policies Hand Poor, Non-White Areas the ‘Brunt’ of Climate Impacts

Critics are warning that the Trump administration’s proposed changes to the environmental review process for pipeline and highway megaprojects will hit poor and minority Americans hardest.

Surging Quebec SUV Sales to Drive Oil Consumption 30% Higher This Decade

Surging sales of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are on track to drive Quebec’s oil consumption up by 30% over the next decade, according to a study released by HEC Montréal.

Canadian Start-Up Nets $2M to Develop Longer-Lasting Zinc Battery

Nottingham Delivers Home Comfort, Rooftop Solar in Drive to Be UK’s First Carbon-Neutral City

Nottingham, England is setting out to transform housing, transportation, energy use, and waste management in a bid to become the country’s first carbon-neutral city by 2028, a full 22 years before the UK hopes to hit the same target.

Building Automation Would Save 4.62 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Building automation ranks #45 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. It could eliminate up to 4.62 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050 at a cost of US$68.1 billion, eventually saving building owners around $880.6 billion.

City of London Launches Green Energy Company, Expects £300 Saving for Average Family

Quebec, Atlantic Look to Boost Hydropower

Ørsted Looks to Wind to Deliver ‘Green Hydrogen’

North Macedonia Dumps Coal for Solar

FERC Oversteps Authority on Local Power Generation

Mixed Results for 2019 Show Slight Rise in Renewable Energy Investment

World renewable energy investment hit US$282.2 billion last year, slightly higher than 2018’s total of $280.2 billion, with investment declining in China but hitting a record high in the United States, Bloomberg New Energy Finance reports.

Chetwynd, B.C. ‘Renewable Hydrogen’ Plant Gets $200M Cash Injection from Macquarie

A new C$200-million “renewable hydrogen plant” is about to get off the ground in Chetwynd, British Columbia with a boost from the green energy arm of Australian infrastructure investment giant Macquarie Capital.

Summerside

High-Fives in PEI After Officials Announce $68-Million Solar+Storage Project

Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna and Egmont MP Bobby Morrissey shared a “small victorious high-five” in Summerside, PEI last week after announcing construction of a C$68-million, 21-megawatt solar farm with 10 MW of battery storage.

Geothermal Would Save 16.6 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Geothermal places #18 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions. If it could increase its share of global electricity generation from 0.66 to 4.9% by 2050, geothermal would prevent 16.6 gigatons of CO2 emissions, at a net cost of $US155.5 billion but net savings of $US 1.02 trillion.

Iberdola Builds Europe’s Biggest Solar Plant Subsidy-Free

Wind Becomes the ‘New Base Load’ in U.S. Midwest

Stricken Fukushima Plans Renewable Energy Hub

TerraForm Buyout Would Lift Toronto-Based Brookfield Renewable’s Asset Base to 22 Gigawatts

Toronto-based Brookfield Renewable Partners is pitching a US$1.5-billion offer to buy out the remaining shares of TerraForm Power Inc., a move that would boost its global portfolio of renewable energy and energy storage assets from 18 to 22 gigawatts.

LED lighting energy efficiency

LED Retrofit Cuts Lighting Costs 94%, Points to Fast ROI for Commercial Buildings

An LED lighting replacement project at a manufacturing plant in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata cut lighting costs 94% while providing better illumination, delivering the equivalent of a one-day return on investment after factoring in federal and provincial incentives.

data centres energy efficiency

Spiking Power Demand from Data Centres Could Be Unsustainable by 2040

With researchers warning that power demand from data centres is unsustainable in a climate-destabilizing world, and centre clients like Amazon and Facebook signal a strong desire for action, tech companies are working to reduce the already gigantic footprint of the world’s ballooning demand for data streaming, sharing, and storing.

Fracking Undercuts Colorado Coal Community’s Shift to Organic Farming, Renewables, Tourism

A rural Colorado community that turned to organic farming, renewable energy, and tourism to help it break its dependence on coal mining is now looking over its shoulder at oil and gas fracking projects that could undercut its hard-earned gains.

Teck Buys B.C. Solar Project for $2 Million

Google Finalizes Big Solar+Storage Buy in Nevada

Massive Dam Project Produces Tensions Between Egypt, Ethiopia

Utility-Scale Solar to Add 140 GW of New Capacity This Year

Electricity grids around the world are expected to add 140 gigawatts of new photovoltaic solar capacity this year, a 15% increase over 2019, according to analysis released last week by IHS Markit.

U.S. Grid Regulator Boosts Coal Over Renewables

European Utility Plans 14 GW of New Renewables by 2022

New Hydro Dam Floods Archaeological Treasure in Turkey

California, China Deepen Cleantech Ties

‘Good News-Bad News’ Report Shows U.S. Emissions Down 2% in 2019

The United States saw its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions decline last year, according to new analysis last week by the New York-based Rhodium Group, with reductions in the electricity sector coming on strong and fast enough to offset increases in other parts of the economy.

Surging Canadian Renewables Stocks Deliver ‘Pleasant Side Benefit’ to Ethical Investors

Shares in three Canadian renewable energy companies surged in 2019, producing a “pleasant side benefit” to investors who may have signed on for the good of the planet by “delivering gains that mock the fossil fuel-clinging political leadership in Washington,” the Globe and Mail reported in mid-December.

BC Hydro Dismisses Concerns About Fracking-Related Earthquakes Near Hydro Dam Sites

BC Hydro is dismissing concerns raised by a dam safety specialist who repeatedly warned about the risk of fracking-induced earthquakes in a region that is home to some of the province’s biggest hydroelectric dams, according to internal documents obtained by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Wave and Tidal Power Would Save 9.2 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Wave and tidal power ranks #29 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. By 2050, this alternative energy source could eliminate 9.2 gigatons of atmospheric carbon dioxide at a cost of US$412 billion. Drawdown calculates that the installations would produce a net financial loss of $1 trillion over three decades, but the investment would result in substantial emission reductions over that time.

Ontario Auditor General to Probe Nation Rise Wind Farm Cancellation

IRENA: $750B Per Year Needed to Double Renewables in 10 Years

Wind Farm, Gas Plant to Pay Compensation for UK Blackout

U.S. Agency to Approve 690-MW Nevada Solar Farm Despite Conservation Concerns

ACEEE Toolkit Connects Autonomous Vehicles to Climate, Energy Goals

Minnesota Republicans Back Clean Energy Transition Bill

UN Human Rights Panel Calls for Pause on Trans Mountain, Site C, Coastal GasLink

The committee that monitors a United Nations convention to end racial discrimination is calling on Canada to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the Site C hydro megaproject, and the Coastal GasLink pipeline until they receive approval from all affected First Nations.

Stanford Team Touts 100% Renewable Grid for 143 Countries in 24 Regions

U.S. Electric Bus Demand Outpaces Production

U.S. Renewables Set to Surpass Coal in 2021

Yurek Cancels Eastern Ontario Wind Farm Despite Looming Fears for Electricity Supply

The Doug Ford government’s abrupt cancellation of an eastern Ontario wind power development is running headlong into concerns about the reliability of the province’s electricity supply over the next two to four years.

Austria to Set 2040 Carbon Neutral Target as Greens Join Coalition Government

Austria is poised to become a European “forerunner” in climate protection and set a 2040 carbon-neutral target after the centre-right People’s Party (Oe Vp) and the Greens announced a coalition government last Thursday.

Bioenergy Faces Scrutiny Over Coal Plant Conversions, Forest Loss

Bioenergy entered 2020 facing renewed scrutiny over its potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with scientists in Europe and the United States warning that coal-to-biomass power plant conversions could actually fuel the climate crisis.

Denmark Hits Record in 2019 with 47% of Power from Wind

Coal Miners’ Kids Become Solar Installers in Rural Colorado

Irish Firm Plans to Double Solar Farm on Calgary Brownfield

India to Hit 100-GW Renewables Milestone in 2020

Moroccan Town is Africa’s First All-Solar Village

California’s 2020 Home Solar Mandate Takes Effect

Bezos-Backed Fusion Prototype Nets $65 Million in Investment

ScottishPower Plans ‘Complementary’ Solar+Storage at Onshore Wind Farms

Citing a natural complementarity, and a desire to maximize all renewable energy opportunities toward a 2050 net zero target, Glasgow-based utility ScottishPower is planning to harness the solar potential at its onshore wind farms by covering the ground beneath its turbines with solar+storage systems.

U.S. Community Solar Comes of Age, Becomes ‘Something I’d Sign My Mom Up For’

With a proven product, a more flexible approach to contracts, and a different notion of customer service and communications, community solar in the United States is getting closer to offering a broadly accessible, scaled-up product for the 50 to 75% of households that don’t have the option of installing their own rooftop systems.

EU Expected to Install 16.7 GW Solar in 2019

UK Wind Hits 16 GW, Supplies 40% of Total Demand

Scots Prefer Renewables Investments Over Gold, IT

New Greenhouse to Make Montreal Home to World’s Largest Rooftop Farm

Coal Phaseout, Renewables to Save Indiana Ratepayers $4B

Pakistan Plans 8,000 MW Renewables for National Grid

Victor: Acting on Emission Cuts, Solving ‘Hard Problems’ Matters More than Statements of Ambition

The utter failure of leadership at this year’s United Nations climate conference shows that the next step for climate leaders is to evaluate everything they do “through the lens of whether it increases the chances of followership,” international relations specialist David G. Victor writes for the New York Times.

House of Commons Motion Backs a Green New Deal for Canada

The first motion filed in the reconstituted House of Commons calls for MPs to endorse a Green New Deal for Canada.

New UK Government Faces Steep Climb on Net-Zero Target, Power Supply Post-Brexit

Implementing the United Kingdom’s net-zero by 2050 target, eliminating planning bottlenecks for offshore wind, and keeping post-Brexit power connections with Europe smooth, especially for Ireland, are three challenges facing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Greentech Media reports, in a follow-up on the election last week that brought Johnson a majority government.

Ontario’s New Hydro One CEO Plans Climate Focus

Canadian Research Boosts Lithium Ion Battery Capacity by 50%

District Energy Systems Gain Ground Despite High Up-Front Cost, Low Gas Prices

Community-based district energy systems are spreading across Canada despite steep up-front costs and tough competition from cheap natural gas, with innovative examples popping up in Vancouver, Yellowknife, Charlottetown, and more than 2,600 other places in between.

Tsilhqot’in Solar Farm Ready to Go Online

Denmark’s $30-Billion Wind Island Could Power 10 Million Homes

Major Ohio County Helps Homeowners Embrace Solar

Colorado Rethinks Dam Safety

Logging Costs Ontario 650,000 Hectares of Forest, 16.5 Mt of Carbon Storage Over 30 Years

Despite persistent claims that Canada has a near-zero deforestation rate, Ontario alone has lost an expanse of productive forest equivalent to 10 times the City of Toronto in the last 30 years, along with 16.5 million tonnes of carbon storage capacity, according to a new report released last week by the Toronto-based Wildlands League.

12-Point Agenda Lays Out Possibilities for Global Energy Efficiency Gains

A 12-point agenda released by three of the world’s leading energy efficiency councils is setting out the steps countries can take to bring annual efficiency improvements up to a Paris Agreement-compliant 3%.

Battery Costs Plummet 50% in Three Years, 87% Since 2010

Average market prices for battery packs have fallen 50% since 2016, driven by technology advances and an increase in commercial-scale purchases, and continuing price drops will contribute to a virtuous cycle of increasing global electrification, according to an annual price survey by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

landfill

Landfill Methane Would Save 2.5 Gigatons of Emissions by 2050

Producing energy from landfill methane ranks #58 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to reduce atmospheric emissions by the equivalent of 2.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050, at a net cost of -US$1.8 billion and net savings of $67.6 billion.

Ireland Aims for 70% Green Energy by 2030

Developer Brings First Geothermal to Saskatchewan Grid

Shipping Moves Closer to Mandatory Carbon Reduction R&D

Cassava Starch Feedstock Delivers Biodegradable Plastic

Bird Conservation Group Declares Against California Wind Project

Navajo Coal Plant Closure Opens Door for Solar+Storage, Distributed Power

The recent retirement of Arizona’s massive Navajo coal-fired generating station, one of America’s largest, has opened up considerable space for solar+storage, and a new frontier for Indigenous entrepreneurs seeking to ensure their communities thrive in the green economy—as they never did under the regime of fossil fuels.

Suncor Announces New 200-MW Wind Farm in Alberta

Labour Shortage Hits U.S. Solar Market

Local Content Demands Confront Europe Offshore Wind Industry

100-MW Power Purchase Shows Unsubsidized Offshore Wind Taking Off in Europe

The world’s biggest-ever contract for unsubsidized offshore wind, a 100-megawatt power purchase deal between Danish wind powerhouse Ørsted and German chemicals company Covestro, is being touted as a sign that the offshore industry is moving from the margins to the mainstream.

New Coal Plant Construction Puts Indonesia at Odds with 1.5°C Carbon Target

Even as its neighbours join the rest of the world in turning increasingly away from coal, Indonesia is charging full steam ahead with new coal plant construction, putting any hope of aligning with a 1.5°C average global warming target under the 2015 Paris Agreement in serious jeopardy along the way.

Researchers Work on E. Coli Strain That Would Eat CO2, Rather Than Emitting It

Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot have created a strain of Escherichia coli (E. coli) that metabolizes carbon dioxide rather than sugar, a “milestone” achievement that may one day play a role in lowering emissions produced in biofuel and food production, reports the journal Nature.

Ann Arbor Plans for Mixed Income Solar Development

U.S. Solar+Storage Rivals Utility-Scale Installations as California Power Shutoffs Hit Home

The U.S. residential solar market is on a fast track, with rooftop deployment numbers rivaling utility-scale plants and wildfire-induced power shutdowns turning more ratepayers in the direction of solar+storage installations.

New Zealand Studies Low-Methane Sheep

Vietnam Speeds Up Push for Renewables

EDF Plans Massive Wind Farm Off Scotland

Nuclear power plant

Lovins: Nuclear Makes Climate Crisis Worse by Blocking Faster Uptake of Cheaper Options

Contrary to industry propaganda, nuclear power plants are not an essential tool in the fight against climate change, but an increasingly dangerous drag on the deployment of more practical renewables and energy efficiency, Rocky Mountain Institute Chair and Chief Scientist Amory Lovins declares in a recent post for Forbes.

Shifting Every Texas Home from Gas to Electricity Would Save Money, Cut Carbon

Converting every single-family home in Texas from natural gas to electric heating would reduce homeowner utility bills by as much as US$450 per year, slash emissions, and be nothing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) system couldn’t handle, says a recent paper from an Austin-based energy research non-profit.

Residential LEDs Would Save 7.8 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Ranked #33 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, using residential LED lighting to replace incandescent and fluorescent bulbs could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 7.8 gigatons between now and 2050. In addition to its climate benefits, LEDs would save roughly US$1.7 trillion in energy costs over the same 30-year span.

Global Photovoltaics to Exceed 8,000 GW by 2050: IRENA

ScottishPower Plans 3.1-GW Offshore Wind Complex

St. Louis to Source All Power from Solar, Wind by 2035

Greg Rickford

Rickford Rolls with Climate-Denying Trolls to Justify Cancelled Renewables Contracts

Ontario Energy Minister Greg Rickford resorted to a terse, five-second media availability yesterday, after sustaining three days of political pressure and online mockery for citing a climate denial blog to justify his government’s decision to dismantle a brand new wind farm and cancel 758 signed renewable energy contracts.

U.S. Polls Show Wide Support for Climate Action, Fossil Phaseout

The majority of Americans believe their government must do more to protect clean water, air quality, and biodiversity and reduce the effects of climate change, and voters in early primary states are largely supportive of phasing out oil production, according to two recent polls published in the second half of this month.

Reguly: Ørsted’s ‘Black-to-Green Transformation’ Shows Benefits of Rapid Decarbonization

The success of Denmark’s rapid transition off fossil fuels over the last 10 years could point the way for “naysayers” whose “failure of the imagination” is holding off a similar shift in Canada, Globe and Mail European Bureau Chief Eric Reguly writes in a recent opinion piece.

More North Sea Oil Companies See Need to Diversify

Newly-Discovered Molecule Could Store Solar Energy for Decades

New Snow Helps Restore Glaciers in High Mountain Asia

Old Turbine Blades Could Overwhelm Germany’s Recycling System

Ski lift in winter

Gravity Machines Hold Promise for Long-Term Electricity Storage

As more and more jurisdictions set 100% clean energy targets, machines that harness the constant force of gravity to store the intermittent energy of the sun and wind may soon join lithium-ion batteries and pumped hydro as essential tools in the carbon-free toolbox.

Australia’s $20-Billion Solar Project Could Be ‘Lighthouse to World’

Florida Goes Big on Community Solar

German Firm Plans 800 MW of Unsubsidized Solar in Italy

Nova Scotia wind power

Scenario Shows Nova Scotia Phasing Out Coal, Hitting 90% Renewable Power by 2030

Nova Scotia can phase out all coal-fired electricity production and generate 90% of its power from renewable sources by 2030 under an ambitious but achievable new modelling scenario released today by the Ecology Action Centre.

Wind turbine

Opposition Demands Audit After Cancelled Renewables Contracts Cost Ontario $231M

The NDP opposition is asking Ontario’s auditor general to investigate after documents showed the province setting aside C$231 million for the Ford government’s decision to cancel a completed wind farm and break 758 smaller renewable energy contracts after it took office last year.

China coal mine

China Brings On New Coal Capacity, Sees Oil and Gas Emissions Rise

Two somewhat contradictory recent reports are pointing to alarming increases in China’s fossil fuel use and resulting greenhouse gas emissions, with the most recent warning the country’s renewed embrace of coal could be enough to undo progress around the world and defeat the targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Castlegar, B.C. Sets 100% RE Target

Alberta Pot Producer Installs Rooftop Solar System

Japan Starts $2.7-Billion Renewables Project at Fukushima

Rising Global Wind Speeds to Boost Renewable Power

NJ Sees Half of Electricity Coming from Offshore Wind by 2030s

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.