NewEnergyNews

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: Powerful Voices Say The New Energy Economy Is Here
  • Weekend Video: Tesla’s Texas GigaFactory Brings The Batteries
  • Weekend Video: Arizona’s “Impact Earth” Team
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Europe’s New Energy Transition Accelerating
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy Still The Best Buy
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT WEDNESDAY,:

  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: California’s Rooftop Solar Supports Questioned
  • TTTA Wednesday-The Transportation Electrification Policy Fight Goes On
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Monday Study – The Everywhere Drive To Modernize The Grid
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • Weekend Video: Carbon Offsets Go Wrong
  • Weekend Video: Russia Uses Electricity As A Weapon In Europe
  • Weekend Video: Wildfires Are Driving Firefighters Nuts (No Joke)
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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  • MONDAY’S STUDY AT NewEnergyNews, May 23:
  • The Stark Economic Risks Of The Climate Crisis

    Monday, May 23, 2022

    Monday Study – The Stark Economic Risks Of The Climate Crisis

    A time for action on climate change and a time for change in economics

    Nicholas Stern, October 2021 (Centre for Climate Change Economics and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment)

    Part I

    Urgency, scale and opportunity

    The science of climate change and the role of targets We must start with the science2. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been in existence since 1988 and has produced a series of assessment reports, published every few years, about the current state of knowledge on climate change. Each one of those assessments has been more worrying than the last. The first one, published in 1990, was extremely worrying, but the outlook has only worsened as the evidence has become ever stronger of effects coming through more quickly and with greater intensity than we expected. The latest report (the sixth Assessment Review) published in August 2021 has demonstrated even more clearly and unanimously that we are under intense time pressure if we are to be able to hold temperatures at levels which manage the most extreme risks (IPCC, 2021). Global mean surface temperature is already 1.1°C above that of the end of the 19th century, our usual benchmark…

    Urgency

    The next decade is critical. Choices made on infrastructure and capital now will either lock us in to high emissions, or set us on a low-carbon growth path which can be sustainable and inclusive. In the next 15-20 years infrastructure will roughly double; in the next 20-25 years the world economy will probably double; and in the next 40 years the urban population will likely double. If that new infrastructure, the new world economy, or the towns and cities we build look anything like the old, we will have no hope of meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The infrastructure we build in the next 15- 20 years will be decided in the next few years. That is why we have to act quickly. A sense of urgency is absolutely critical in our decision making.

    A new form of growth

    The necessary rapid change across the whole system, just described, can be a story of growth, indeed the only sustainable story of growth. In the shorter term, the necessary investments can boost demand in a world where planned savings exceed planned investments (with sluggish demand and low real interest rates). In the short and medium term it is full of innovation, investment, discovery, and new ways of doing things. It can be more efficient; and much cleaner. It can create cities where we can move and breathe, and ecosystems which are robust and fruitful. It is potentially a very attractive, different way of doing things, relative to past dirty models, with so many gains across the different dimensions of well-being. But that does not mean that it is easy. It does mean that it is sensible, it does mean that it is attractive, and it is within our grasp. We have to change radically and, particularly, invest and innovate strongly to get there. That is the challenge. But there can be a real payoff in terms of a much better form of growth. We must also remember that there is unlikely to be a long-run growth story that is high carbon; it would likely create, the IPCC reports show, a physical environment so hostile as to derail growth and undermine living standards across the board…

    Rapid technological change

    Technology has changed very rapidly over the last 15 years or so. A whole range of low-emission technologies, that are already competitive with fossil-fuel based technologies without subsidy or a carbon price, have emerged. Capital costs for renewable electricity continue to fall much faster than those for conventional technologies and many electric vehicle technologies are now close to costcompetitive with their fossil-fuel counterparts…

    The first decades of this century, the COVID crisis, and the climate crisis

    We are at a very special moment in history, facing two crises: the COVID crisis that we are experiencing right now (summer of 2021)- we hope shorter-term, although that itself depends on strong global action - and the climate crisis, which is going to stay with us for a long time. The climate crisis embodies risks and challenges that are bigger, deeper and longer-lasting even than the tragic COVID crisis. There are powerful arguments that we have to tackle these crises in a similar way; with strong, innovative investment, to drive a recovery and create a new form of development and growth. But in assessing ways forward we must begin with the first two decades of this century and paths of investment and growth…

    Tackling the twin crises and creating a new internationalism

    Tackling the two crises requires a new and shared understanding of how to reconstruct our economies and societies and the meaning of “build back better”. That understanding should be based on a recognition of the nature and origins of the fragilities and difficulties that had been growing before the COVID crisis broke over us. Rebuilding in a different way will involve substantial investment and innovation, and the global nature of the challenges demands international collaboration. There have always been arguments for internationalism; in our current circumstances they are extraordinarily powerful…

    Realising investment for a strong and sustainable recovery

    Investment

    In section 3, I explained why strong, internationally coordinated investment should be at centre stage, right through from recovery from the COVID pandemic to transformational growth and the drive to a net-zero economy. What kind of orders of magnitude of investment do we need to make? To bring through the new ways of doing things and the new technologies required to make that happen, we have to increase investment by around 2-3 percentage points of GDP across the world, relative to the previous decade - more in some places, less in others – as well as change the composition of investment (in China, however, it is not a question of raising investment rates but changing the composition of investment). Many of these new technologies involve pulling capital increases forward, along with investing in different ways. Renewable electricity, for example, requires upfront investment whereas fuel cost savings are realised once the renewable technologies are operational. Importantly, these investments should not be seen narrowly in terms of extra costs from going “clean”; many of them have tremendous returns in terms of greater efficiency, cleaner air, better health and more. But an increase in the investment rate by 2-3 percentage points of GDP is needed to realise these gains, to recover sustainability and to put us on a new path…

    Policy

    These increases in investment, will require strong policy and a positive investment climate, including the functioning of relevant governmental institutions. Further, the many relevant market failures (see section 7b) and the urgency of change indicate the necessity of a whole range of policy instruments. Carbon pricing will be important, but alone it will not be enough. Complementary policies, including city design, regulation and standards, and investments in R&D, will also be needed…

    Finance

    Investment and innovation inevitably involve a certain amount of risk. Strong and rapid increases in investment might be seen as particularly risky, especially around infrastructure where early stage risk can be severe and the reliability of long-term revenue streams can be problematic. The necessary investment can be realised only with the right kind of finance, in the right place, at the right time, which can help reduce, share and manage the risk. Across the world there are great investment potential and strong savings. But there are important difficulties in turning opportunities into real investment programmes; good policies and social institutions have a powerful role to play…

    What we have learned since the Stern Review

    In the light of the policy analyses and arguments set out above, it is interesting to ask how issues and understanding have moved on since the publication of The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review (Stern, 2006) in October 2006. Fifteen years on, the review’s core finding – that the costs of inaction on climate change are much greater than the costs of action – which was compelling then, in my view, is now still stronger. First, the science is ever more worrying. Greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise. There is evidence that the impacts of climate change are happening faster and with greater intensity than expected. We can see ever more clearly that there are significant risks of major areas, with currently large populations, becoming unliveable; thus the risks of mass migration and conflict look increasingly severe. Each IPCC report over the last three decades has looked more worrying. The IPCC 2018 report showed how much more dangerous 2oC is than 1.5oC. And the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC on the physical science, published in August 2021, paints a still more difficult picture; time is running out for strong and decisive action if we are to hold temperature increases to 1.5oC…

    Part II

    How economics must change

    An assessment of what the current situation demands of us, particularly for this decade, was set out in Part I. That requires changing our ways of producing and consuming, rapidly and fundamentally, and creating the investment, innovation, sets of policies, and the finance that could foster and support the change. How can we bring our economics to bear in a way that informs those very real and urgent problems? How can we use economic analysis to tell us as much as it possibly can about why to do this, how to do this, and the methods and policy instruments we should use? In this section I will focus, in terms of broad analytical approaches, on where we are in the economics discipline on climate change and argue that it is time for change in the economics of climate change and, in some respects, economics generally. In the following section, 7, I will argue that our subject does have much to offer in applying our existing tools and in developing new perspectives and analyses, but we must be innovative and, as a profession, engage much more strongly on this, the biggest issue of our times…

    New approaches to the economics of climate change

    I have tried to explain the limitations of the IAMs in tackling the big questions at issue: the understanding and management of extreme risk and of rapid structural change. So, what are good approaches to the economics of climate change? We are going to need a suite of different models, a variety of perspectives, and a collection of different ways of understanding different parts of the problem. And then good judgement in putting all these pieces together…

    Responsibility, opportunity, collaboration and leadership

    The strategic challenge is to move to a net-zero carbon economy within a few decades. The economics of action must be focused on the achievement of fundamental economic change at real pace, where time matters (Stern, 2018). That will involve, as I have stressed, looking at innovation, behaviour change, political economy, and the dynamics of all those elements. And we will need all of economics to take on these problems: international, industrial, labour, health, education, environment, energy, economic history and more. We should not be too narrowly focussed on a sub-discipline within economics if we are going to take on big problems of this kind; we should be economists. And we must work with other social scientists, scientists and engineers. Though we may have our specialities, we have to recognise that most elements of economics come into the challenge of climate change. There has never been anything more important, there has never been anything more fascinating, and we have much to offer from our existing set of ideas and tools if we put them to use. And we must develop new analysis and perspectives around risks and change. That is why I think it is time for change in economics…

    Saturday, May 21, 2022

    Powerful Voices Say The New Energy Economy Is Here

    Here a few of the voices at CleanPower 2022 testify to the marketplace triumph of New Energy. From American Clean Power Association via YouTube

    Tesla’s Texas GigaFactory Brings The Batteries

    Tesla calls this factory “a legitimate gamechanger” and its 8 million square feet of manufacturing space certainly appear ready to move transportation electrification ahead. From The Tesla Space via YouTube

    Arizona’s “Impact Earth” Team

    Arizona has been slow to awaken tp the climate crisis, but now it is recognizing what is happening and responding. From greenmanbucket via YouTube

    Friday, May 20, 2022

    Europe’s New Energy Transition Accelerating

    Ukraine war sparks new energy pivot

    16 May 2022 (Private Equity Wire)

    “One of the key levers in the West’s response to Russia’s Ukraine invasion has involved the energy market. The US, UK and EU have all pledged to reduce their purchases of Russian oil and gas in the years ahead, improving energy security and making gas and oil prices less volatile in the long-term…[I]t appears that the new drive for energy independence and security will revolve around the energy transition to renewables…

    ...[G]lobal renewable energy capacity is expected to rise over 60 per cent from 2020 levels to over 4800GW by 2026. Renewables will account for 95 per cent of the increase in global power capacity to that date with solar PV responsible for more than 50 per cent, given its lower cost of production than wind…China will remain the global leader in terms of capacity additions with it expected to reach 1200GW of total wind and solar capacity in 2026. India, Europe and the US alongside China account for 80 per cent of renewable capacity expansion worldwide…

    …[A]nother result of the Ukraine conflict is an “acceleration of investments in renewable and associated cleantech infrastructure [such as] faster hydrogen development and interconnection of EU electric networks”, according to a recent note from Bank of America…Movements are already being seen by governments…[Private equity] involvement is set to surge…[with continued investment in renewable energy and new capital] for hydrogen projects such as storage and electrolyser plants…[PE investment sources are calling] for a mature approach to the power and renewables sectors…[with technical expertise] to better understand the risk…” click here for more

    New Energy Still The Best Buy

    Solar PV, wind costs climbing, but still way cheaper than fossil fuel – report

    Lameez Omarjee 12 May 2022 (FIN 24)

    “Increasing commodity and freight prices are driving up the costs of solar PV and wind turbines, but these renewable energy generators are still more cost-competitive than fossil fuels like coal and gas…[According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) [Renewable Energy Market Update and outlook for 2022 and 2023,] prices of raw materials and freight costs have been rising since the start of 2021. By March 2022, the steel price increased by 50%, copper increased by 70% and aluminium doubled. Freight costs were five times higher than they were in 2021.

    This means that the prices of wind turbines and solar PV modules or panels have had to increase - reversing the previous trend of declining prices…[Solar PV and wind prices are expected] to remain higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and 2023…Rising freight costs are the main driver of higher wind prices, while solar PV increases are evenly split between freight and raw material costs…[But] higher prices of fossil fuels - natural gas, oil and coal - used in industrial processes and electricity supply to produce components in renewable energy technologies also drive costs…[and] renewable energy prices remain cost-competitive, as fossil fuel prices have risen at a much faster pace…

    …[Also,] residential and commercial users of solar PV have managed to reduce their electricity bills…[Renewable energy capacity is expected] to increase by 8% in 2022 and reach almost 320 GW. Solar PV is projected to be the front-running technology, accounting for 60% of global renewable capacity…The outlook for renewable energy deployment in 2023 depends heavily on the policy environment…[Russia's invasion of Ukraine] sparked a new urgency among some countries - especially the EU - to secure energy by transitioning clean generation while reducing dependence on fossil fuels from Russia…” click here for more

    Wednesday, May 18, 2022

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: California’s Rooftop Solar Supports Questioned

    Prominent Energy Experts and Terminator Blast CA’s Revised Support for Rooftop Solar

    Herman K. Trabish, January 18, 2022 (California Current)

    Editor’s note: The nation is watching what California will do about this.

    Those calling for overhauling the California Public Utilities Commission’s proposed changes in rooftop solar’s Net Energy Metering now include a former federal energy commission chair and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The pending decision’s “discriminatory fixed fees on existing and new solar and storage customers are unprecedented,” wrote a group of 10 energy experts in a Jan. 17 letter to the CPUC, Gov. Gavin Newsom, and California Energy Commission. The commission proposal would increase the average solar plus storage customer’s charge to $116/month for utility service, they estimated.

    That charge and a reduced per kWh credit to rooftop solar owners for generation exported to the grid would extend the investment’s payback period from the current seven to nine years to over 20 years, making solar plus storage “essentially unaffordable for just about all customers,” they said. “Most people agree that NEM needs to be reformed,” but this proposed decision “does grave injustice to the state’s ambitious goals for electrification and decarbonization,” added signatory Ahmad Faruqui, retired Brattle Group Principal and an economist-at-large. It offers a rebate for batteries but makes rooftop solar essentially out of reach financially, defeating the goal of growing storage to enhance system reliability.

    Signatories also include former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Jon Wellinghoff and Jim Lazar, author of the handbook Electricity Regulation in the U.S. Schwarzenegger agreed with their arguments in a Jan. 17 New York Times editorial. While he was the state chief, California’s 10-year “Million Solar Roofs” initiative was launched, kicking off California’s rooftop solar boom.

    California leads the nation in distributed solar, which has reached 1.3 million rooftop solar systems and over 10,000 MW of generation, but this achievement “is now under threat,” Schwarzenegger warned. The new fixed charges are essentially a “solar tax” discouraging the progress it claims to support. But he also welcomed proposed incentives to encourage adding batteries to existing and new solar installations and proposed funding of installations for low-income and disadvantaged communities.

    A CPUC-ordered study found the existing NEM “disproportionately harms low-income customers” and a January 2021 Lookback Study showed cost shifts to all customers, wrote CPUC Administrative Law Judge Kelly Hymes in her decision. This proposed decision meets Assembly Bill 327’s mandate to protect both rooftop solar growth and avoid cost shifts to other customers, she concluded…

    The pending NEM is a “massive” shift of system costs from low income non-solar owning customers to high income solar owners, argued University of California Energy Institute at Haas Director and Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy Severin Borenstein, a member of the California Independent System Operator Board of Governors, in support of the proposed decision. Rooftop solar is a “much more costly way to provide renewable energy, creates less value for the grid than alternatives, and the current NEM “is a very bad way to subsidize it,” Borenstein added… click here for more

    The Transportation Electrification Policy Fight Goes On

    The 50 States of Electric Vehicles: Federal Infrastructure Funding and Managed Charging Programs in Focus During Q1 2022

    May 4, 2022 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center [NCCETC])

    “…[The Q1 2022 edition of The 50 States of Electric Vehicles finds that all 50 states and the District of Columbia took actions related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure during Q1 2022…[The greatest number of actions related] to rebate programs, grant programs, rate design for vehicle charging, and state procurement of electric vehicles…A total of 627 electric vehicle actions were taken…[The most active states were] Massachusetts, Illinois, California, New York, Minnesota, and Hawaii…[I]n 2022, 21 states have enacted legislation related to transportation electrification…[Three Q1 2022 trends were] (1) states planning for federal electric vehicle infrastructure funding, (2) utilities developing active managed charging pilot programs, and (3) state lawmakers addressing charging infrastructure siting issues…

    …[Five of the top policy developments of the quarter were] Washington lawmakers approving a light-duty vehicle electrification target…Utilities filing new managed charging pilots in North Carolina and Wisconsin…Missouri regulators approving new utility transportation electrification programs…The Governor of North Carolina increasing the state’s zero-emission vehicle adoption target…[and] Georgia legislators adopting a resolution to study transportation electrification…” click here for more

    Monday, May 16, 2022

    Monday Study – The Everywhere Drive To Modernize The Grid

    The 50 States of Grid Modernization: Q1 2022

    Rebekah de la Mora Brian Lips Vincent Potter Autumn Proudlove David Sarkisian, April 2022 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center)

    Executive Summary

    WHAT IS GRID MODERNIZATION?

    Grid modernization is a broad term, lacking a universally accepted definition. In this report, the authors use the term grid modernization broadly to refer to actions making the electricity system more resilient, responsive, and interactive. Specifically, in this report grid modernization includes legislative and regulatory actions addressing: (1) smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure, (2) utility business model reform, (3) regulatory reform, (4) utility rate reform, (5) energy storage, (6) microgrids, and (7) demand response.

    Q1 2022 GRID MODERNIZATION ACTION

    In the first quarter of 2022, 49 states plus DC took a total of 578 policy and deployment actions related to grid modernization, utility business model and rate reform, energy storage, microgrids, and demand response. Table 1 provides a summary of state and utility actions on these topics. Of the 578 actions catalogued, the most common were related to deployment (128), policies (104), and financial incentives (103).

    TOP 5 GRID MODERNIZATION DEVELOPMENTS OF Q1 2022

    Five of the quarter’s top policy developments are highlighted below.

    Virginia Regulators Approve Dominion Energy’s Grid Transformation Plan

    In January 2022, the Virginia State Corporation Commission approved Dominion Energy’s Phase II Grid Transformation Plan. The $666.5 million plan includes investments in AMI, a customer information platform, a DER management system, intelligent grid devices, fault isolation and service restoration, voltage optimization, and cybersecurity. Dominion has also provided a timeline for system-wide implementation of time-varying rates and an opt-in systemwide peak time rebate program.

    Grid Modernization Roadmap Released in New Mexico

    The New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department released its grid modernization roadmap in January 2022, following a working group process. The roadmap includes a number of consensus recommendations, including investing in AMI, updating interconnection rules and advanced inverter standards, creating a transmission planning group, and strategically deploying energy storage.

    Hawaii PUC Approves Bring Your Own Device Tariff Framework

    The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission issued an order in January 2022, establishing an advanced DER tariff offering, which will be a Bring Your Own Device tariff. The tariff will include three enrollment options – Level 1 will involve participants making certain dispatch commitments, Level 2 will involve the utility controlling dispatch for a predetermined number of events, and Level 3 will involve compensation for system grid services. The details of these tariff options will be addressed further in Phase 2 of the proceeding.

    Maine and New Hampshire Regulators Address Statewide Energy Data Platforms

    The Maine Public Utilities Commission completed its report on the feasibility of a statewide energy data platform during Q1 2022, finding that there is no existing solution that can provide the desired functionality and that the cost and complexity for such a platform would be significant. Meanwhile, New Hampshire regulators approved a design and framework for a statewide energy data platform authorized by 2019 legislation.

    New Jersey Regulators Approve AMI Deployment for Jersey Central Power & Light

    The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities issued an order in February 2022, approving Jersey Central Power & Light’s proposed deployment of AMI throughout its service territory. The utility will install 1.15 million advanced meters, totaling $390 million in capital investment. The decision also specifies that customer AMI usage data belongs to the customer, who may share it with third parties.

    MOST ACTIVE STATES AND SUBTOPICS OF Q1 2022

    The most common types of actions across the country related to energy storage deployment (80), utility business model reforms (51), smart grid deployment (43), advanced metering infrastructure deployment (35), and time-varying rates (30).

    The states taking the greatest number of actions related to grid modernization in Q1 2022 can be seen in Figure 4. New York, Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and Minnesota saw the most action during the quarter, followed by Michigan, Hawaii, Washington, Connecticut, and Missouri. Overall, 49 states, plus DC, took actions related to grid modernization in Q1 2022.

    TOP GRID MODERNIZATION TRENDS OF Q1 2022

    States Examining Decommissioning and Recycling of Energy Storage Systems

    State legislatures considered numerous bills during Q1 2022 calling for the examination of decommissioning and recycling processes for energy storage systems. South Carolina lawmakers enacted a bill directing the Department of Health and Environmental Control to develop regulations to manage the decommissioning of solar and energy storage systems in excess of 13 acres. In Virginia, state legislators enacted bills requiring that the State Corporation Commission create a task force to analyze the life cycle of energy facilities including solar, wind, and/or battery storage. The study is to address recycling and salvage opportunities, waste strategies, and decommissioning. Legislation introduced in Tennessee would require a study that addresses end-of-life management for energy storage systems, while a Louisiana bill would establish decommissioning requirements for solar facilities, including those with energy storage.

    Utilities Pursuing Resiliency-As-A-Service Programs

    A growing number of utilities are requesting approval for “resiliency-as-a-service” programs involving customer-sited, utility-owned battery storage. In California, Liberty Utilities filed an application for a customer resiliency program, including a behind-the-meter battery energy storage offering targeting medical baseline, critical infrastructure, and large commercial segments. Liberty Utilities will own and maintain the storage systems, with participants making monthly payments. Xcel Energy filed an application with Colorado regulators to implement a resiliency service program tariff, providing utility-owned battery storage or other resiliency assets to commercial customers. DTE Electric proposed a customer-sited, utility-owned residential and commercial battery storage program in Michigan, and Georgia Power is currently developing a resilience asset service tariff to provide utility-owned distributed energy resources to commercial and industrial customers.

    State Legislators Exploring Financing and Incentives for Resiliency Improvements

    Across the country, state legislators have been considering new incentives and financing opportunities for resiliency improvements, including battery storage and microgrids. Legislation introduced in Louisiana would establish a disaster resiliency and grid stability battery incentive program, while a bill that did not advance in Florida would have created an energy security and disaster resilience pilot focused on solar-plus-storage for critical disaster resilience facilities. A Colorado bill would create a grant program to support microgrids for community resilience, and a bill introduced in California would provide grants to help local governments develop community energy resilience plans. Several states considered bills that would allow resiliency improvements to qualify for property assessed clean energy financing, with bills in Alaska and Pennsylvania advancing through one chamber and bills in Virginia and Wisconsin being signed into law.

    Saturday, May 14, 2022

    Carbon Offsets Go Wrong

    Carbon offsets can be part of the solution to the climate crisis but they have to be done right, with transparency, integrity, and rigorous accounting. From thejuicemedia via YouTube

    Russia Uses Electricity As A Weapon In Europe

    Russia is cutting the natural gas supply to EU countries to try to turn them against Ukraine. It isn’t working. From WION via YouTube

    Wildfires Are Driving Firefighters Nuts (No Joke)

    Don’t forget this dreadful cost of the climate crisis in calculating the costs and benefits of the energy transition From CNBC Television via YouTube

    Friday, May 13, 2022

    New Records For New Energy

    Renewable power is set to break another global record in 2022 despite headwinds from higher costs and supply chain bottlenecks

    11 May 2022 (International Energy Agency)

    “…The world added a record 295 gigawatts of new renewable power capacity in 2021, overcoming supply chain challenges, construction delays and high raw material prices…, according to the [according to the International Energy Agency] Renewable Energy Market Update… Global capacity additions are expected to rise this year to 320 gigawatts…Solar PV is on course to account for 60% of global renewable power growth in 2022, followed by wind and hydropower…

    In the European Union, annual additions jumped by almost 30% to 36 gigawatts in 2021…The additional renewables capacity commissioned for 2022 and 2023 has the potential to significantly reduce the European Union’s dependence on Russian gas…[depending] on the success of parallel energy efficiency measures to keep the region’s energy demand in check…Renewables’ growth so far this year is much faster than initially expected, driven by strong policy support in China, the European Union and Latin America…

    The US outlook is clouded by uncertainty over new incentives for wind and solar and by trade actions against solar PV imports from China and Southeast Asia…[T]he amount of renewable power capacity added worldwide is expected to plateau in 2023, as continued progress for solar is offset by a 40% decline in hydropower expansion and little change in wind additions… The cost of installing solar PV and wind plants is expected to remain higher than pre-pandemic levels throughout 2022 and 2023…[but remain] competitive because prices for natural gas and other fossil fuel alternatives have risen much faster… click here for more

    Russian NatGas Started The War In 2021

    Gazprom set the Russian invasion of Ukraine in motion

    Alan Riley, May 3, 2022 (Atlantic Council)

    In the run-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Gazprom was already busy setting the stage…[by keeping EU natural gas] supplies low and prices high in advance of the conflict. Moscow wanted to keep the Europeans vulnerable and therefore less likely to intervene when Russia invaded Ukraine…[Gazprom] held back natural gas from the European spot markets, and as a consequence, gas prices in Europe spiraled to unheard-of levels of more than $1000 per thousand cubic meters over the winter. Gazprom also refused to fully refill European storages, leaving energy commentators across the continent obsessing daily throughout the winter at the low level of gas stocks…

    …[A]s China came out of lockdown beginning in the spring of 2021, Chinese demand accelerated, creating a major global knock-on effect on natural gas prices…[T]his price spiral was exacerbated by a series of supply disruptions. However, Gazprom actions turned what would have been an expensive winter into a major European energy crisis…[T]his softening-up exercise did not ultimately deter the European Union from supporting Ukraine…[but] high natural gas prices and low storage levels still deter politicians in some EU member states, notably Germany and Austria, from voicing full-throttled support for Ukraine…

    Gazprom has so far been able to avoid scrutiny…partly because it began its softening-up operations well before the actual invasion took place on February 24 and partly because the supply decisions made by Gazprom looked at first sight like ordinary commercial decisions from outside the market. In fact they were not….Gazprom refilled storages across Europe—some of which it owned—through summer, in time for the winter heating season…Then suddenly, in the spring of 2021, it…began to reduce its supply to the European spot market…[which] increased spot prices…This pricing strategy was reinforced by discontinuing its more-than-decade-long practice of refilling European gas storages…By December 2021, European gas storages were at the lowest point at any time in the last five years. Gazprom made the situation still worse by draining its own storages to fulfill its own contracts rather than importing more gas…[which left] European gas storage dangerously low at the height of winter, increased market panic, and further inflated gas prices…

    In no way can Gazprom’s actions from the spring of 2021 and then on into the winter of 2021-22 be viewed as the decisions of a normal commercial supplier…[Gazprom’s reputation as a reliable and stable supplier of gas] was abandoned by the Russian state and Gazprom last year in the interest of winning a war against Ukraine…Europe did open itself to be able to be softened up…[States] undertook decarbonization without thinking through the implications for supply security, particularly by switching off coal and then deciding to just import more Russian natural gas…[A] focus on supply security is likely to become a key part of a redesigned European energy security policy…[by] making greater use of non-Russian gas sources (including LNG), deploying renewables at greater scale, and encouraging wider acceptance and adoption of nuclear power…The mistake the Kremlin made in using Gazprom so explicitly as a weapon in its war-making is that it left Gazprom open to being heavily regulated by the EU…” click here for more