“My Shot” from HAMILTON
America is the world's shot at democracy. A democracy can be renewed in any election. From usnavi via YouTube
Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...
America is the world's shot at democracy. A democracy can be renewed in any election. From usnavi via YouTube
History lesson. From historychannel via YouTube
Read by JFK. Make them MEAN something. From PaddyIrishMan2 via YouTube
New Analysis Shows the Global Transition from Coal to Clean Energy Has Reached a Financial Tipping Point
June 30, 2020 (Rocky Mountain Institute, Carbon Tracker Initiative, and Sierra Club)
“…[It is] cheaper to build new renewable energy capacity including battery storage than to continue operating 39 percent of the world's existing coal capacity…[and the] share of uncompetitive coal plants worldwide will increase rapidly to 60 percent in 2022 and to 73 percent in 2025…[A new report shows that replacing] the entire global coal fleet with clean energy can be done at a net savings to society as early as 2022…The rapidly declining costs of renewables push net annual savings to $105 billion in 2025…[without] considering coal's dire health, climate, and environmental impacts, or accounting for the social and environmental benefits of reducing pollutants. Currently, coal phaseout hasn't kept pace with eroding economics…
…[The report] lays out options for governments and public finance institutions to accelerate coal phase-out…[through] an integrated three-part approach: 1) refinancing to fund the coal transition and save customers money on day one, 2) reinvesting in clean energy, and 3) providing transition financing for workers and communities…[O]utside the United States, a third of the global coal fleet is already more costly to continue operating than building new renewables with storage today. By 2025, that number will reach nearly 80 percent globally with several regions and countries seeing next to no competitive coal…” click here for more
A new approach to scaling-up renewable power in emerging markets
Milagros Rivas Saez, 30 June 2020 (World Economic Forum)
“…With the world going through an unprecedented pandemic, providing affordable energy to the unserved [nearly 840 million people] is even more critical for saving lives, powering health facilities and keeping people connected…Renewable energy, and especially solar power, has emerged as one of the key solutions…Utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation is developing rapidly around the world, and costs have fallen significantly…In emerging markets, the uptake of solar PV takes longer because it is difficult to attract larger and more experienced developers. Compared with other regions, the existing political and credit risks have greatly increased prices…[But] there is huge demand for innovative and scalable solutions in emerging markets…
...[A] packaged solution that offers tools and templates to governments that have proven to work…A single mandate signed by a government can include all or part of the technical, financing and guarantee products that these institutions provide…1. It de-risks projects, which delivers lower tariffs…2. It streamlines processes…3. It achieves economies of scale…[A]uthorizations signed using this approach represent more than 1 GW of new solar power generation under development, and private sector investment is expected to exceed $1 billion…[Financing] will require extensive public and private investment…[and] a pipeline of well-designed and bankable projects…Standardized approaches are helping to build affordable renewable energy pipelines. The next stage is looking at how to include energy storage in these projects…” click here for more
Green hydrogen gets real as utility business models and delivery solutions emerge; The fuel may be the only way to meet power system needs in zero emissions scenarios and the market signals to produce and use it are finally clear.
Herman K. Trabish, March 2, 2020 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: Momentum is accelerating behind green hydrogen as the bridge to a zero emissions economy.
Here are three things power sector policymakers are reaching agreement on: The mid-century goal is a zero emissions economy; wind and solar alone cannot do that; and green hydrogen may be a solution.
Green hydrogen is produced by a renewables-powered electrolyzer that splits water (H2O) to make hydrogen (H2) gas. The process makes renewable hydrogen (RH2) gas more expensive than the wind or solar used to create it, but it can generate zero emissions electricity in turbines or fuel cells, be stored in higher densities and lighter weights than batteries to meet long duration storage needs, and be used in high-heat industrial processes.
As renewables deployments rise and costs fall, "there is likely to be a good business case for renewable hydrogen," Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) Senior Principal for Industry and Heavy Transport Thomas Koch Blank told Utility Dive. Green hydrogen is not new, but today's zero-emissions ambitions and abundant, low cost wind and solar are demanding reconsideration of its value and affordability.
A groundbreaking project led by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will use an H2-natural gas blend and pilot RH2 storage at the site. These may be big steps toward a business case for RH2 in a zero-emissions economy.
"Hydrogen is a key industrial commodity around the world that we know how to use and store, but over 99% is derived by using fossil fuels, which aggravates the climate crisis, but green hydrogen can accelerate decarbonization," Green Hydrogen Coalition Founder and President Janice Lin told Utility Dive.
RH2 can be "stored for long periods and used on demand" for grid balancing and can be "combusted to generate high-temperature heat for industry," a November 2019 Center for Climate and Energy Solutions paper reported. RH2 may also be "particularly useful" as an emissions-free fuel for large vehicles like buses, trucks, airplanes and ocean shipping… click here for more
A national US power grid would make electricity cheaper and cleaner; The top 5 reasons to stitch together America’s balkanized grids.
David Roberts, June 20, 2020 (VOX)
Electricity is the fuel of the future. And as more and more of American life is electrified — transportation and buildings are already on their way — the electricity grid will face greater demands and will need to evolve to meet them…[Microgrids are the distribution system] branch of that evolution…[The bigger branch would be] a national grid…[The western interconnection, the eastern interconnection, and Texas now] largely operate independently and exchange very little power…[But] a national grid is overdue…
It will unlock renewable energy potential…[by making] sure that every region is producing as much renewable energy as possible and that the energy is put to good use…It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions… by moving away from a regionally divided electricity sector to a national system enabled by high-voltage direct-current transmission…
It will save consumers money…[Research has] found that for every $1 invested, ratepayers would see more than $2.50 in benefits…It will make the grid more reliable…[by] connecting the regions of the country into a single national grid, so that regions facing difficulty can draw power from neighbors who aren’t… [It] would create thousands of construction and maintenance jobs…” click here for more
U.S, Stimulus Strategy; Recommendations for a Zero-Carbon Economic Recovery
Ben Holland, Greg Hopkins, Uday Varadarajan, et al, June 2020 (Rocky Mountain Institute)
In response to the economic fallout from the Coronavirus outbreak, Congress acted swiftly in providing critical fiscal support to American households, business owners, healthcare providers, and key industries. Congress’ actions have provided much-needed aid to many in need.
However, the consequences of COVID-19 continue to ripple through the US economy, leaving many industries with uncertain futures. The past decade has seen significant growth in clean-tech, advanced buildings, and sustainable transportation—industries that are poised to grow further and provide significant job opportunities to a diverse group of Americans. However, these and other industries with great potential to decarbonize our economy face a challenging road ahead.
As Congress considers another stimulus package, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) recommends that our nation’s leaders consider providing financial assistance for industries, technologies, and practices that are proven to improve public health, decrease costs, create enduring job opportunities, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To jumpstart the economy, address equity, and advance a low- or zero-carbon future for the United States, RMI encourages policymakers to pursue the following key programs:
Build Back Better Buildings
A comprehensive national building retrofit program can catalyze residential and commercial building improvements at an unprecedented scale—putting money back into consumer pockets, creating new jobs, and improving equity and health outcomes for communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and the systemic challenges it is exposing. The program would include four components: mobilize the workforce to increase the energy retrofit rate tenfold, accelerate construction productivity breakthroughs, expand access to capital for all (especially underserved market segments), and bolster the workforce and project pipelines.
Enhance Access and Electrify Mobility
The United States needs a comprehensive approach for decarbonizing transportation that includes strategies for supporting the growth of the electric vehicle market while prioritizing pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit over the automobile. Such an approach would increase equitable access and convenience of mobility, while maximizing the opportunities for emissions reductions from this sector.
RMI’s proposal would involve funding to build and improve infrastructure to enhance modes of transportation including bicycling, walking, and public transit that have lower or no emissions, including prioritizing “complete streets” programs. In parallel, it would provide the investment necessary to propel the US transportation system into an electric future, by launching a nationwide deployment of charging infrastructure for personal and commercial electric vehicles and accelerating domestic electric vehicle and battery manufacturing to support that transition.
Debt Forgiveness for a Sustainable Recovery
Linking verifiable, additional emissions reductions to debt forgiveness could be a simple way to simultaneously ease the financial consequences of COVID on industries and workers while building a more economically and environmentally resilient future. A competitive process to provide such relief requiring a plan for worker transition support could provide economy-wide incentives to spur investment that can help support a more just, financially secure, and sustainable recovery.
Economic Recovery Facility for Financing Low- and Zero-Carbon Activities
The Economic Recovery Facility would accelerate the clean recovery for all Americans by providing necessary financial tools and know-how and by crowding in private investment to multiply public dollars for clean projects across the country. It creates a federal “bank” focused on clean projects with unique financing needs.
Assuming the facility is capitalized at $5 billion, RMI estimates that it would create 388,000 clean jobs in the first eight years and reduce energy costs for nearly 800,000 homes and businesses during the same period based on the impacts of the Connecticut Green Bank.
In the ten years since the previous financial crisis, clean energy industries, technologies, and practices have grown to great prominence in the United States. Thanks in part to emergency funds and seed investments made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), clean tech, energy efficiency, and sustainable transportation solutions are helping transition our economy to a low-carbon future. However, the current COVID-19 pandemic raises a great deal of uncertainty for future progress, as the country heads into the unknown territory of another economic crisis.
More so than the industries, it is individual Americans that face the most significant challenges and uncertainty in the months and years to come. In just three months, over 40 million Americans lost their jobs, as the US unemployment rate rose to levels not seen since World War II. This reality should remind us that any stimulus recommendations we put forth should ultimately reduce costs and increase equitable access to clean energy, better quality housing, and sustainable mobility options.
RMI recently released a paper, Global Stimulus Principles: The Economy We Build Should Not Be the Same Economy We Decarbonize, that provides a framework for planning and evaluating future stimulus efforts. This report emphasizes four priorities: create jobs and grow the economy; support public health and reduce air pollution; enhance economic, energy, and climate resilience; and decarbonize.
There are several possibilities for US federal policy that can address recovery from the societal and economic impacts of COVID-19 and climate change at the same time. Based on potential scale of impact and urgency, RMI has identified top four concrete policy recommendations for both short-term stimulus and long-term recovery efforts, which can be used to inform federal policy as well as state- or municipal-level implementation of federal funds.
We must not only rebuild from this crisis, but also build back better, to create a cleaner, more resilient, and more fair and humane economy and society…
The full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may not be fully understood for years to come. However, we are already bearing witness to the catastrophic impact that this virus and its economic fallout pose for the industries, technologies, and practices that are most critical for achieving a sustainable US economy. Given the many competing interests that will inevitably seek stimulus support across the energy sector, US leadership must act decisively to ensure that the clean energy progress we have made to date continues to accelerate in the years to come.
The stimulus programs recommended here are by no means meant to be all-inclusive of the full breadth of programs capable of driving a clean energy future, nor should the absence of other potential options suggest a dismissal of other opportunities. Rather, these ideas reflect Rocky Mountain Institute’s current perspectives on urgent projects with potential for near-term job growth and long-term potential for decarbonizing the US economy.
Fox said there was no danger from Covid just like they have long preached there is no danger in the climate crisis. How many chances do they get to be on the wrong side of history? From Stop funding Heat via YouTube
“How we rebuild is how we will be remembered.” From American Conservation Coalition Campus via YouTube
Some Australians don’t like their government’s plan to drive economic recovery by supporting the natural gas industry. From thejiucemedia via YouTube
The pandemic won't fix the climate crisis. This $3 trillion recovery plan could
Charles Riley, June 18, 2020 (CNN)
“…[The International Energy Agency] is calling on governments to invest $3 trillion in a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic...[Its blueprint] recommends governments spend big over the next three years on technology and infrastructure projects to create millions of jobs and make 2019 the definitive peak in global emissions…The collapse in travel and other activity triggered by pandemic lockdowns could slash carbon emissions this year by a record amount. But they're already rising fast again as economies begin to open up…
Failure to act now risks a repeat of the aftermath the 2008 global financial crisis, when governments did not prioritize stimulus spending on climate, allowing CO2 emissions to bounce back…[Governments should] overhaul electricity grids, upgrade hydropower facilities, promote electric cars, extend the life of nuclear power plants and retrofit buildings to make them more energy efficient…[Taking these and a large array of other actions] would cut 4.5 billion tonnes out of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2023 and put the world on a path to achieving the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement…
[It] would also help the global economy bounce back from its worst downturn since the 1930s…[D]irecting stimulus money to fighting the climate crisis would save or create 9 million jobs and boost global economic output by 1.1 percentage points each year…[Among the countries that have delayed decisions on clean energy are] Chile, China, Germany, Ireland and Portugal…[But Netherlands, Austria, and Sweden] have used the crisis to push ahead with climate initiatives…” click here for more
Unique Ways to Generate Renewable Energy in The Future
Benjamin Roussey, June 16, 2020 (Clean Energy Authority)
“…[G]lobal renewable power generation capacity is expanding rapidly, and has almost doubled from 2008 to 2020…[S]tartups around the world are increasingly focusing on renewable energy production…[Among the] best alternative methods is Rainergy…[Its nine meter tall device with four moving parts, an electric generator, a rainwater collector, a tank, and a battery, would] generate power from [falling] rain to fulfill the energy requirements of low-income nations…[It] is not as efficient as traditional renewable power sources…[but] can definitely prove to be a boon for underprivileged families residing in rural areas…
…[Fervo Energy and Eavor would overcome one] of the major limitations of geothermal energy resources…[They] are only found around tectonic plate boundaries…[Fervo Energy uses] horizontal directional drilling…[and Eavor’s concept] does not require much heat…[WaveRoller] generates electricity by converting ocean wave energy…[The Finnish company’s device captures the] movement of water…[It] operates in areas close to shores…within waters at depths ranging from 8 to 20 meters to ensure better grid connectivity around the clock… Taking the current global energy trends into consideration, it would be safe to say that the world's dependence on renewable power sources will significantly increase…” click here for more
Slowed pay-off from billions in AMI investment puts the technology's future in doubt; Regulators have approved billions for utilities to roll out advanced metering infrastructure but they expected new customer and system benefits, not just lower utility operation costs.
Herman K. Trabish, February 20, 2020 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: Efforts continue to get electricity providers to assimilate and use AMI data to the power system more flexible
As utility proposals grow for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) deployments, power system regulators are demanding evidence that the real-time distribution system data AMI produces justify the billion-dollar costs, causing deployment to slow.
But some utilities have begun demonstrating granular AMI data can be used to lower customer bills and lower power system costs, utilities, private sector partners and analysts told Utility Dive. "AMI is a whole new world for utilities, and they have to update systems and train people about the new possibilities," American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Policy Program Fellow Dan York told Utility Dive. "It is a powerful feedback to customers and utilities that can guide important changes in how and when energy is used."
Impediments to getting pay-offs from huge AMI investments have been significant, AMI advocates told Utility Dive.
Utilities and providers need to evolve data processing software capabilities in a regulatory system that favors hardware investments over software expensing. But leading utilities are showing they can meet regulators' demands to justify AMI costs as they gain access to the right capabilities, stakeholders said.
AMI is the combination of smart meters, "communications networks, and data management systems that collect, transmit, and record electricity consumption data in daily or shorter intervals," a January 9 ACEEE study reported.
There were over 88 million smart meters installed at the end of 2018, serving "nearly 70% percent of U.S. households," according to a January 2019 Edison Foundation report. Cumulative distribution system investments of $39 billion in 2019 brought estimated deployment to 98 million by the end of the 2019 and could reach 107 million by the end of 2020… click here for more
Just How Good An Investment Is Renewable Energy? New Study Reveals All
David Vetter, May 28, 2020 (Forbes)
“Renewable energy investments are delivering massively better returns than fossil fuels in the U.S., the U.K. and Europe, but despite this the total volume of investment is still nowhere near that required to mitigate climate change…[An Imperial College London and International Energy Agency analysis over a five- and 10-year period] found renewables investments in Germany and France yielded returns of 178.2% over a five year period, compared with -20.7% for fossil fuel investments. In the U.K., also over five years, investments in green energy generated returns of 75.4% compared to just 8.8% for fossil fuels…
In the U.S., renewables yielded 200.3% returns versus 97.2% for fossil fuels…Green energy stocks were also less volatile across the board than fossil fuels, with such portfolios holding up well during the turmoil caused by the pandemic, while oil and gas collapsed. Yet in the U.S., which provided the largest data set, the average market cap in the green energy portfolio analyzed came to less than a quarter of the average market cap for the fossil fuel portfolio—$9.89 billion for the hydrocarbons versus $2.42 billion for renewables…[But, despite the chaos in the fossil fuel markets in recent years and months, investors are] finding it hard to let go of hydrocarbons…” click here for more