NewEnergyNews

NewEnergyNews

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

While the OFFICE of President remains in highest regard at NewEnergyNews, this administration's position on the climate crisis makes it impossible to regard THIS president with respect. Below is the NewEnergyNews theme song until 2020.

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: Greta On California’s Wildfires
  • Weekend Video: For Gen-Zers: STEM Is The Way
  • Weekend Video: Lewis Black On The Challenges Of Recycling
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-“Untold Suffering”
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-And The Winner Is – New Energy!
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Climate Crisis Investments Top $1 Trillion
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, November 7:

  • TTTA Thursday-Gen Z-er Burns Boomer On Climate
  • TTTA Thursday-Carbon Capture Doesn’t Capture Much Carbon
  • TTTA Thursday-The Fight For Rules To Build Storage
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Rise Of EVs And The Grid Can Manage It
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How New Energy Clears The Air -- Literally
  • QUICK NEWS, November 5: The Climate Crisis Refugee Era Has Begun; More And More New Energy
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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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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, November 11:

  • TODAY’S STUDY: New Energy Through 2024
  • QUICK NEWS, November 11: New Energy Jobs Outreach For Vets; Building Policy For Transportation Electrification

    Monday, November 11, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: New Energy Through 2024

    Renewables 2019; Market analysis and forecasts to 2024

    October 17, 2019 (International Energy Agency)

    Context

    • Despite stalling in 2018, global renewable capacity additions are set to rebound in 2019 by 12%, with solar PV driving their strongest increase in four years.

    • Wind and solar PV costs continue to decline rapidly, improving their cost competitiveness versus new coal and natural gas plants.

    • Distributed PV systems in homes, commercial buildings and industry have almost tripled since 2014, transforming the way electricity is generated and consumed.

    • The share of renewables in world electricity generation reached 25% last year while remaining at 10% in heat and below 4% in transport demand.

    • Decarbonising electricity production is a key step, but there is also an urgent need to transform “hard to abate” sectors: transport, buildings and energy-intensive industries (iron & steel, cement etc.).

    Highlights

    Renewables expand by 50% through 2024, with distributed PV alone growing as much as onshore wind. The IEA forecast is 14% higher than last year due to improved policies and increasing competitiveness

    Over the next five years, China’s distributed PV capacity becomes the world’s biggest, growth in the EU resumes, and other countries such as India emerge as new markets

    Economies of scale + better match between PV output and electricity demand in commercial/industrial applications enable higher self-consumption, saving more on electricity bills than in case of residential

    Continuing decline of solar PV costs widens the gap with retail electricity prices, increasing distributed PV’s economic attractiveness for private investors

    With improved policies, lower costs and rapid adoption, total distributed PV capacity more than doubles by 2024. However, this represents only 6% of the global technical potential.

    With improved policies, lower costs and rapid adoption, total distributed PV capacity more than doubles by 2024. However, this represents only 6% of the global technical potential.

    New policies and market reforms are needed to find a balance between the opposing interests of distributed PV owners, energy & distribution companies, and electricity consumers in general

    By addressing grid integration, policy uncertainty and financing challenges, governments can accelerate renewables growth by one-quarter, putting renewable electricity on track with sustainable energy goals

    Conclusions

    • Solar PV and wind account for 70% of global power capacity expansion over the next five years, calling for policies targeting their cost-effective and secure integration in power systems.

    • Distributed solar PV is responsible for almost half of total solar PV growth, expanding as much as onshore wind through 2024.

    • Commercial and industrial applications drive distributed PV expansion globally, as their supply and electricity demand are better matched than for residential, enabling larger savings on retail bills.

    • Distributed PV growth requires policies that find the best compromise between attracting investment, securing enough revenues for grids and ensuring a fair allocation of grid costs for all consumers.

    • Governments can put renewables on track with climate, air quality & energy access goals through stable policies addressing system integration & investment risk and focusing more on transport and heat.

    QUICK NEWS, November 11: New Energy Jobs Outreach For Vets; Building Policy For Transportation Electrification

    New Energy Jobs Outreach For Vets New Solar Veterans Initiatives to Advance Training and Career Pathways in the Solar Industry

    November 11, 2019 (The Solar Foundation)

    “…[Two new solar workforce development programs] connect transitioning military service members and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces with career training, professional development, and employment opportunities in the solar industry…[They are intended to] expand and strengthen a nationwide pipeline of talented job candidates with military experience into a range of advanced roles at solar companies across the United States…[The Solar Ready Vets Fellowship Program and the Solar Opportunities and Readiness (SOAR) Initiative] are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy]…Through the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship Program, hundreds of service members will be placed into 12-week work-based learning programs with solar employers to facilitate their transition from active duty to civilian careers.

    These service members will come from select military bases in regions with high demand for solar workers…[It] will be focused mainly on management and professional roles, such as technical sales, system design, supply chain logistics, project development, and operations, in addition to installation. Through placement with industry employers, service members will receive valuable on-the-job training, professional development, and career guidance…[T]he SOAR Initiative will connect veterans with a range of solar training, credentialing, professional development, and employment opportunities…[and] establish a Department of Labor-recognized apprenticeship; expand the eligibility of solar training for GI Bill benefits; and define expedited pathways to solar certifications based on military experience and qualifications…” click through for more info

    Building Policy For Transportation Electrification The 50 States of Electric Vehicles: States Consider a Variety of Utility-Led Transportation Electrification Initiatives in Q3 2019

    November 6, 2019 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center [NCCETC])

    “…40 states and the District of Columbia took actions related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure during Q3 2019, with the greatest number of actions relating to rebate programs, charging station deployment, and rate design for electric vehicle charging [according to the Q3 2019 update of The 50 States of Electric Vehicles from NCCETC]… 298 electric vehicle actions were taken during Q3 2019…[It was] a 41% increase over Q3 2018…[Three trends in electric vehicle actions were] (1) states and utilities focusing on rebate programs for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, (2) utilities proposing programs to address multiple charging types and locations, and (3) utilities proposing innovative electric vehicle charging pilot projects…

    …[The five top policy developments of the quarter were the] North Carolina Department of Transportation releasing its final zero-emission vehicle plan…Arizona regulators approving an electric vehicle implementation plan…The Maine Public Utilities Commission issuing a beneficial electrification request for proposals…Portland General Electric filing its transportation electrification plan with Oregon regulators; and….[the] Iowa Utilities Board exempting charging stations served by behind-the-meter generation from utility regulation…” click here for more

    Saturday, November 09, 2019

    Greta On California’s Wildfires

    Her passion to tell the truth is irresistible. From CBS News via YouTube

    For Gen-Zers: STEM Is The Way

    Succeeding in STEM is a matter of commitment. Not everybody is Einstein, but anybody willing to work course by course, problem by problem, with persistence, can find some type of career in the sciences. From U.S. Department of Energy via YouTube

    Lewis Black On The Challenges Of Recycling

    Warning: Adult language and profound wisdom here. From Lewis Black via YouTube

    Friday, November 08, 2019

    “Untold Suffering”

    Climate crisis: 11,000 scientists warn of ‘untold suffering’ – Statement sets out ‘vital signs’ as indicators of magnitude of the climate emergency

    Damian Carrington, 5 November 2019 (UK Guardian)

    “The world’s people face ‘untold suffering due to the climate crisis’ unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists [from 153 nations]… ‘We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,” it states…

    …[It says the climate crisis] ‘is accelerating faster than most scientists expected’ and is ‘more severe than anticipated’ and calls for] ending population growth, leaving fossil fuels in the ground, halting forest destruction and slashing meat eating…[It also calls for more energy efficiency and] strong carbon taxes…” click here for more

    And The Winner Is – New Energy!

    IEA: Renewable Energy Has Winning Potential; The International Energy Agency says solar is about to boom (some more) and offshore wind farms could power the whole world—18 times over! If we let them, that is. <[p> Jeff Turrentine, November 1, 2019 (Natural Resources Defense Council)

    “…[Two new International Energy Agency (IEA)] are notable for their unprecedentedly optimistic tone regarding [New Energy, which] should help put to rest any questions as to whether wind and solar have the potential to power the United States—or even the entire world…[Renewables 2019 found New Energy] capacity will expand by 50 percent between 2019 and 2024. This [equal to the total installed power capacity of the and] an increase of 1,200 gigawatts…[with 60%] predicted to be in the solar category, driven by deep drops in price that would attract businesses and factories eager to cut costs and homeowners eager to generate their own on-site electricity. China will likely lead the global pack in solar expansion, accounting for nearly half of it…

    …[and Offshore Wind Outlook 2019 found] offshore wind energy, ‘using high-quality resources available in most major markets,’ has the potential to generate more than 18 times the current [23,000 terawatt-hours (TWh)] electricity demand of the entire world…[With investments of sufficient time, money, and political willpower toward the goal of letting offshore wind live up to its full potential,] global offshore wind capacity will grow to 15 times its current size by 2040, becoming a $1 trillion industry…[China will second] behind the European Union, which is projected to expand its offshore wind capacity from 20 gigawatts today to 130 gigawatts by 2040…[But without the commitment to] investing in—and scaling up—the means to turn abundant wind and sunlight into electricity, all the IEA’s exciting scenarios will remain just that: exciting scenarios.” click here for more

    Climate Crisis Investments Top $1 Trillion

    Global investment in cutting greenhouse gases fell by 11% in 2018; Climate mitigation effort ‘cancelled out’ by outlay on fossil fuels finds CPI

    Fiona Harvey, 6 November 2019 (UK Guardian)

    “…Global climate finance hit a record high of $612bn (£476bn) in 2017…but fell back 11% after that bumper year to $546bn in 2018…Less public money for low-carbon transport and lower private-sector investment in renewable energy were the causes of the drop [according to a new report. But] the average investment for 2017 and 2018 was 25% higher than for the period 2015 and 2016…[The study] found that investment at least more than three times as high as current levels would be needed annually until 2050 to clean up the world’s energy generation systems…[A]dapting to the impacts of climate breakdown is likely to cost more than $180bn a year from 2020…

    …[Only $30bn a year was spent on adaptation] in the last two years, an increase of about a third on 2015 and 2016 levels…[The good news is that the drop-offs were largely because] money spent on renewable energy and low-carbon transport now went much further in cutting emissions, as the costs of such technology had dropped rapidly…Investment in cutting emissions in developing countries was $356bn in 2017-18, compared with $270bn for the previous two-year period. More than half of climate finance globally comes from the private sector…” click here for more

    Thursday, November 07, 2019

    Gen Z-er Burns Boomer On Climate

    ‘OK boomer’: 25-year-old politician responds to heckler during climate crisis speech

    November 6, 2019 (CNN via Fox 59)

    “…[25-year-old New Zealand lawmaker Chlöe Swarbrick was heckled while speaking about the Zero Carbon Bill, which would set a target of zero carbon emissions for the country by 2050…[S]he casually dropped a sharp-tongued retort — “OK boomer” — and, unfazed, continued talking…[The viral meme among millennials and Generation Z] exploded this year on the TikTok social media app, where countless mocking videos are calling out what young people perceive as out-of-touch Baby Boomers and their patronizing opinions…

    …[Swarbick said later in a Facebook post that people were upset about her remarks but she had learned that] ‘responding succinctly and in perfect jest to somebody heckling you about *your age* as you speak about the impact of climate change on *your generation* with the literal title of their generation makes some people very mad…So I guess millennials ruined humor. That, or we just need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and abstain from avocados. That’s the joke…’” click here for more

    Carbon Capture Doesn’t Capture Much Carbon

    Study casts doubt on carbon capture

    Taylor Kubota, October 25, 2019 (Stanford University via PhysOrg)

    “…[New research showed carbon capture] reduces only a small fraction of carbon emissions, and it usually increases air pollution…[It is] worse, from a social cost perspective, than replacing a coal or gas plant with a wind farm because carbon capture never reduces air pollution and always has a capture equipment cost. Wind replacing fossil fuels always reduces air pollution and never has a capture equipment cost…[The study] examined public data from a coal with carbon capture electric power plant and a plant that removes carbon from the air directly. In both cases, electricity to run the carbon capture came from natural gas.

    He calculated the net CO2 reduction and total cost of the carbon capture process in each case, accounting for the electricity needed to run the carbon capture equipment, the combustion and upstream emissions resulting from that electricity, and, in the case of the coal plant, its upstream emissions….including from leaks and combustion, from mining and transporting a fuel such as coal or natural gas…[It] found that in both cases the equipment captured the equivalent of only 10-11 percent of the emissions they produced, averaged over 20 years…[Considering social costs, including air pollution, potential health problems, economic costs and overall contributions to climate change,] it is always better to use the renewable electricity instead to replace coal or natural gas electricity or to do nothing…[The study did not consider what happens to carbon dioxide after it is captured, but most applications] result in additional leakage of carbon dioxide back into the air…” click here for more

    The Fight For Rules To Build Storage

    The 50 States of Grid Modernization: Energy Storage and Rate Design Activity Front and Center in Q3 2019

    October 30, 2019 (The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center [NCCETC])

    “…[Policy work on grid modernization went forward in 45 states and the District of Columbia in Q3, according to the newest update of The 50 States of Grid Modernization from NCCETC, with the greatest number of actions relating to energy storage deployment, data access policies, distribution system planning, integrated resource planning, and deployment of smart grid technologies…A total of 383 grid modernization actions were taken during Q3 2019…[That was] a 39% increase over Q3 2018…New York, Massachusetts, and California took the greatest number of actions during the quarter, followed by Minnesota, New Jersey, Hawaii, Michigan, and North Carolina…

    ...[Three trends in grid modernization were] (1) utilities filing innovative rate design proposals incorporating elements such as time-of-use rates, critical peak pricing, peak time rebates, and demand charges; (2) utility integrated resource plans increasingly including energy storage capacity additions; and (3) states and utilities developing online energy data portals…[The top five policy developments started with Maryland regulators issuing a decision on alternative ratemaking…[and were followed by Utilities filing revised grid modernization plans in North Carolina and Virginia…Massachusetts regulators rejecting National Grid’s proposed performance incentive mechanisms…The California Public Utilities Commission opening a microgrid rulemaking; and The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality releasing its Clean Energy Plan…” click here for more

    Wednesday, November 06, 2019

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Rise Of EVs And The Grid Can Manage It

    The rise of EVs could overwhelm the grid, but PG&E has a better plan; A new framework gives utilities a way to identify and seize electrification value with managed charging

    Herman K. Trabish, June 13, 2019 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The need for transportation electrification is clear but new concern about the need to manage the new load they will bring to the grid is also growing.

    The power demand from the 20 million electric vehicles (EVs) expected to be on U.S. roads by 2030, up from today's 1.1 million, could overwhelm the nation's grids.

    But the coming EV load could deliver great value to utilities and their customers if it is shifted away from high-priced peak demand periods. That would increase utilities' electricity sales without adding stress to their grids, while also lowering drivers' charging costs. Investing in the communications systems and planning needed to properly manage charging can deliver transportation electrification's full value, stakeholders told Utility Dive.

    EVs are the biggest "electric load opportunity for utilities" since the 1950s air conditioning explosion, a May 2019 Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) study reports. But without proper planning to integrate that load, "EVs could lead to grid constraints and increased transmission and distribution peaks" that require new "peaker plants, unplanned grid upgrades, and other costly solutions."

    Proper planning and investment now will allow utilities to manage the new load and use EVs as "grid assets" to "align and balance" supply and demand, and make demand more "flexible," SEPA Principal of Transportation Electrification and study lead author Erika Myers told Utility Dive.

    Utilities can be "uniquely positioned" to manage charging to serve customers and the grid if they "take critical proactive steps before EV adoption rates accelerate," Myers said. A framework developed by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), which faces the biggest EV load of any U.S. utility, shows utilities and other stakeholders in the shift to transportation electrification how to identify and seize the value in this fast-emerging market.

    The threat to the grid represented by EV growth will not be due to a lack of the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) used for charging. An estimated 9.6 million EV charging ports will be needed by 2030, according to the Edison Electric Institute, but 2018's 1.2 million North American charging ports will grow ten times to over 12.6 million by 2027, according to Navigant. Private sector EV or EVSE manufacturers could manage the coming load by aggregating their customers to provide demand response services to utilities, SEPA reported. But a utility with sufficient communications and control technology could aggregate all EV drivers in its territory, a much more significant load that will soon significantly impact system, driver and customer needs… click here for more

    NO QUICK NEWS

    Tuesday, November 05, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: How New Energy Clears The Air -- Literally

    Do Renewables Lead to Increased Air Pollution from California Power Plants?

    Mark Specht, October 9, 2019 (Union of Concerned Scientists)

    California is a national leader in the transition to clean electricity, but integrating all that renewable energy onto the grid is no easy feat. Critics of renewables have long claimed that adding variable renewables (such as wind and solar) to the grid would force fossil-fueled power plants to operate less efficiently, leading to an increase in air pollution emissions. And as states start to integrate more renewables, those claims have come back. But is this argument true? Do renewables really lead to increased air pollution? (Spoiler: I crunched the numbers for California, and the answer is no.)

    What’s the worry?

    The argument that renewables will increase air pollution is alive and well, popping up most recently in North Carolina when Duke Energy sought changes to the air permits for a few of their natural gas power plants. Even UCS has been concerned about this issue, and one of the conclusions from our Turning Down the Gas in California study was that, as California adds more and more renewables to the grid, gas plant operations will continue to change in a way that could increase air pollution from those plants.

    How exactly would more renewables increase air pollution?

    The theory is that variable renewable generation would force fossil-fueled power plants to ramp down or turn off entirely during certain times of day to accommodate renewable generation. Then, as the renewable generation peters out, the power plants would need to ramp back up or turn back on to ensure enough electricity is on the grid. These changes in power plant operations (ramping, starting, and stopping) are collectively referred to as “cycling.”

    The kicker here is that more power plant cycling, especially starting a plant, could lead to more air pollution emissions from that plant. Most natural gas, coal, and other fossil-fueled power plants have emissions control equipment designed to reduce the amount of air pollution that power plants emit. Emissions control equipment needs to be at a certain temperature to function properly, and the equipment isn’t particularly effective when a plant is starting because the equipment hasn’t been warmed up enough yet. So, if more renewables lead to more power plant cycling, then air pollution emissions could potentially go up.

    Interesting theory, but does this really happen?

    Again, this concern has been around for a while. Back in 2013, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory studied this exact question. They found that adding renewables significantly decreased air pollution emissions overall because, even though power plants were cycling more, they were generating less electricity and burning a lot less fuel. This decrease in power plant generation drove down air pollution emissions, overshadowing the effects of cycling.

    But now that it’s 2019 and California has added a tremendous amount of renewable generation (there’s been roughly a 150% increase in solar and wind generation since 2013!), I wanted to find out how the operations of California’s power plants have changed over time and if those changes have impacted air pollution emissions.

    California analysis overview

    To answer these questions, I analyzed the hourly data for California gas plants collected by continuous emissions monitoring systems. (Most of California’s gas plants are required to use this monitoring equipment and report results to the EPA.) I included data from the last decade, and I broke up the analysis to examine three different types of natural gas power plants (combined cycle, steam turbine, and gas turbine). In general, combined cycle power plants are highly efficient but not very flexible, gas turbine power plants are very flexible but less efficient, and steam turbine power plants are old, inflexible, and inefficient, and they are mostly being phased out. Finally, I focused on nitrogen oxides (or NOx) pollution in particular, since NOx is the main air pollutant from gas plants. While NOx has negative health effects on its own, it is also a precursor to ozone and particulate matter, which are even more harmful to human health.

    Are gas plant emissions changing?

    Overall, I found that total NOx emissions from California’s power plants have been trending down over the last decade. It’s been a bumpy ride, but the trend is certainly downwards (see graph below).

    The reason NOx emissions bounce around so much is because total NOx emissions depend, at least in part, on the overall level of natural gas electricity generation. For instance, NOx emissions plummeted in 2011, when record amounts of precipitation both in the Pacific Northwest and California led to a glut of hydroelectric power, significantly reducing gas generation. The very next year, 2012, saw very low levels of hydroelectric generation in California and the sudden closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, causing gas generation (and NOx emissions) to spike back up to fill in the gaps.

    There have also been changes in which types of plants are responsible for the most NOx emissions. While emissions from steam turbine units have tapered out over the last decade, emissions from gas turbines have increased. Given that power plants, particularly gas turbines, are disproportionately located in California’s most disadvantaged communities, this uptick in gas turbine emissions means that some of California’s communities might not be seeing the full benefits of this overall decrease in air pollution emissions.

    What’s causing the overall decrease in emissions?

    Quite a few factors affect the total level of NOx emissions from California’s power plants. As I’ve already mentioned, the overall amount of natural gas generation is one of those factors. After gas generation spiked up in 2012, the overall level remained roughly the same until 2016, when gas generation started declining significantly (see figure below). This decline over the past few years certainly helped to push down the total level of NOx emissions.

    Another factor that affects NOx emissions is the average NOx emissions rate, i.e. how much NOx a power plant emits in order to generate one unit of electricity. As older, dirtier gas plants were retired, and as newer gas plants with more effective emissions control technologies came online, the average NOx emissions rate has fallen significantly over the past decade (see weighted averages in figure below).

    What about cycling?

    As I mentioned earlier, cycling (ramping, starting, and stopping) of gas plants can lead to increases in NOx emissions because emissions control technologies are less effective when a plant is cycling. California’s gas plants, particularly gas turbines, have been starting much more frequently over the past decade (see figure below), with a very steady increase in the number of starts over time. While the massive increase in gas turbine starts has not dramatically increased the gas turbine NOx emissions rate, all these starts are undoubtedly keeping the overall NOx emissions rate higher than it otherwise would be.

    Are we in the clear?

    With overall NOx emissions and NOx emissions rates both going down, recent trends have been encouraging. However, California’s gas plants have been cycling more and more frequently, and UCS will remain on the lookout for future changes in air pollution emissions.

    California’s communities still face some of the worst air quality in the country, so action to improve air quality is urgently needed. UCS remains committed to ensuring that changes in power plant operations do not lead to an increase in air pollution in California’s communities.

    California is far ahead of the rest of the country in adding large amounts of renewables to the grid, and the rest of the world is watching as the state marches into uncharted territory. Because no one has ever decarbonized their electric sector to the extent that California plans, we need to keep watch for a wide range of unanticipated impacts to ensure the transition to clean energy goes as smoothly as possible.

    Analysis details:

    This analysis used EPA data for California gas plants collected by continuous emissions monitoring systems. Not all California gas plants are required to report emissions to the EPA, so this analysis focuses solely on the plants responsible for roughly 80% of California’s in-state electricity generation from natural gas.

    I conducted this analysis on a unit level, not a plant level. Some power plants in California have multiple unit types (combined cycle, gas turbine, steam turbine) installed at the same facility, and the results reported here are broken up and based on unit-specific operations. Importantly, this means that the results for power plant starts are for unit starts, not entire power plant starts.

    When analyzing NOx emissions and NOx emissions rates, I visually inspected the data and removed erroneously high values for specific units for specific years. For almost all years, the removed values accounted for less than 2% of generation for each type of gas plant. The highest removed values were for gas turbines in 2013 and 2014. In those two years, removed values accounted for 8-9% of all generation from gas turbines, which means the NOx emissions for gas turbines in 2013 and 2014 are likely being underreported by 8-9% in this analysis.

    I removed erroneously high values for NOx emissions from this analysis because, when emissions monitoring equipment is not working correctly, there is a conservative process for estimating emissions that can significantly overstate emissions during these periods. However, there is no way to distinguish between periods when an emissions monitor was not working vs. periods when emissions control equipment was not working, so it is possible that some real values were incorrectly removed from this analysis. To prevent such errors, I cross-checked all values with emissions reported by the California Air Resources Board before removing them. All values that were cross-checked and removed were substantially higher than the emissions reported to the California Air Resources Board.

    QUICK NEWS, November 5: The Climate Crisis Refugee Era Has Begun; More And More New Energy

    The Climate Crisis Refugee Era Has Begun California fires, rising seas: Millions of climate refugees will dwarf Dust Bowl by 2100; An environmental crisis in the early 1900s created 'Dust Bowl refugees.' Today's climate crisis is much bigger and will last for decades, not years.

    Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) and NYU Professor Michael Shank, November 4, 2019 (USA Today)

    “…[C]limate refugees are people who are now forced to seek refuge from the life-threatening impacts of the climate crisis…Californians are the tip of the spear this fall…[Soon] everyone in America will know what a climate refugee is…[Due to sea-level rise,] as many as 13 million Americans are projected to become climate refugees by the end of this century…This is our new reality: Americans having to move from their homes to avoid the climate crisis and its worst impacts, whether that be sea-level rise, flooding, wildfires, hurricanes or droughts…[Hundreds of thousands of “Dust Bowl refugees were created by an environmental disaster, and what is happening now is] in response to a much bigger environmental crisis and one that will last for decades, not years…

    …[T]he Department of Housing and Urban Development has provided $48 million to move an entire community out of the Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana to avoid coming climate impacts. And in Alaska, the village of Newtok recently secured more than $15 million to relocate households to safer ground…[At risk communities are investing billions in adaptive measures but we need a federal long-term, strategic assessment of our national preparedness and an action plan because the] climate crisis is upon us, whether we choose to recognize it or not…” click here for more

    More And More New Energy FERC’s Latest "Infrastructure" Report Reflects Major Changes In Its Three-Year Forecast: No New Coal Capacity; Net Reduction In Fossil Fuels; Significant Decline For Nuclear Power; Net New Wind And Solar Capacity More Than Doubles That Of Natural Gas

    Ken Bossong, November 4, 2019 (Sun Day)

    “…[In Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) U.S. electrical generating capacity revisions from earlier this year, sharp] declines are foreseen for fossil fuels and nuclear power while renewable energy (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) is forecast to experience even stronger growth than previously projected…[D]ata through August 31, 2019) indicates a net decline of [4,851 MW or] nearly five percent (4.56%) in nuclear capacity by August 2022…[New Energy] is foreseen to grow by more than 47 gigawatts (GW)…

    [N]et new natural gas generating capacity is projected to increase by 19,757 megawatts (MW)…[but]] that is more than offset by a drop of 18,957 MW in coal's net generating capacity and a decline of 3,016 MW in that of oil…[W]ind capacity is projected to grow by 27,659 MW and utility-scale solar by 17,857 MW. The other renewable sources would also increase: hydropower by 1,282 MW, biomass by 333 MW, and geothermal by 280 MW. Collectively, they would add 47,411 MW over the next three years. That is significantly more than double the projected growth in natural gas generating capacity…” click here for more

    Monday, November 04, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: The Solar Debate Right Now

    The 50 States of Solar: Q3 2019

    October 2019 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center)

    Executive Summary

    OVERVIEW OF Q3 2019 POLICY ACTION

    In the third quarter of 2019, 42 states plus DC took a total of 150 actions related to distributed solar policy and rate design (Figure 1). Table 1 provides a summary of state actions related to DG compensation, rate design, and solar ownership during Q3 2019. Of the 150 actions cataloged, the most common were related to DG compensation rules (53), followed by residential fixed charge and minimum bill increases (40), and community solar (27).

    TOP FIVE SOLAR POLICY DEVELOPMENTS OF Q3 2019

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

    Louisiana Public Service Commission Approves Net Metering Reforms

    The Louisiana Public Service Commission approved a net metering successor tariff in September 2019, which will provide avoided cost compensation for all energy exported to the grid, beginning in January 2020. Existing net metering customers will be grandfathered for 15 years, and the new rules also authorize the development of community DG facilities, which will be credited at the avoided cost rate.

    Connecticut DEEP files Proposed Shared Solar Program Rules

    The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection filed proposed program requirements for the state’s shared clean energy facility program in early July 2019. Under the proposed rules, utilities would conduct an annual solicitation of up to 25 MW for six years for shared clean energy facilities. Projects would be required to be 4 MW or under and have at least 10 subscribers, with subscribers either making a one-time payment or monthly payments.

    Xcel Energy Proposes Changes to Value of Solar Methodology in Minnesota

    Xcel Energy filed a petition in August 2019 to modify its value of solar methodology. The utility is seeking to change the way avoided distribution capacity costs are calculated. Under the current methodology, which serves as the basis for community solar credits, the value of solar is scheduled to increase from its 2019 rate of 11.09 cents per kWh to 24.84 cents per kWh in 2020.

    Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Opens New Proceeding on DERs

    The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission opened a new proceeding in September 2019 to investigate the technical, economic, and policy issues associated with DERs for the HECO companies. The proceeding will consider new DER programs, the future of existing DER programs, advanced rate designs, interconnection improvements to facilitate DER integration, and legacy equipment.

    Massachusetts Regulators Reject National Grid’s Minimum Monthly Reliability Contribution

    The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an order in National Grid’s general rate case in late September 2019, rejecting the utility’s proposed minimum monthly reliability contribution (MMRC) for net metering customers, which would have taken the form of an additional fixed monthly fee. The DPU instead encouraged the state’s three investorowned utilities to work toward developing a standardized MMRC structure

    THE BIG PICTURE: INSIGHTS FROM Q3 2019

    Utilities Proposing More Modest Residential Fixed Charge Increases

    Utilities are, in general, proposing more modest residential fixed charge increases than they have in recent years. In Q3 2019, the median residential fixed charge increase requested (among only requests to increase such charges by at least 10%) was $3.00. In 2018, the median requested increase was $3.87, while the median request was $4.00 in 2017 and $4.07 in 2016. Many utilities are also filing general rate case applications that keep the residential fixed charge at its current level. At least 18 utilities currently have rate case applications pending with either a proposed fixed charge increase of less than 10%, no fixed charge increase, or a fixed charge decrease.

    States Considering Credit Adders for Community Solar Projects Serving Low-Income Customers

    While a broader trend continues of states considering how to encourage low-income participation in community solar programs, several states have recently been specifically considering credit adders for community solar projects serving low-income customers. Designing community solar programs that provide a financial benefit to subscribers has been a challenge in building low-income customer participation, so some states are considering credit adders as a method of ensuring the program provides a financial benefit. The Governor of New Hampshire signed a bill in July 2019 establishing an adder for low and moderate income community solar projects. Advocates proposed adders for residential and low-income subscribers for the second phase of Hawaii’s community-based renewable energy program. The existing Solar Massachusetts Renewable Energy Target (SMART) program also provides a credit adder for community solar projects serving low-income customers.

    Stakeholders Reaching Agreements on Net Metering Reform in Some States, But Not Others

    While stakeholders in some states, such as South Carolina, are reaching major compromise agreements on net metering reform, stakeholders remain divided in other states. In Arkansas’ net metering successor proceeding, the net metering working group was tasked with submitting a filing of agreed-upon rules, but the group reported that it was unable to reach consensus on any of the rules. In Louisiana, the Public Service Commission adopted a net metering successor tariff in September 2019, but this decision is not supported by many of the proceeding’s stakeholders, with some already filing petitions for rehearing and reconsideration. A settlement conference had been held in Louisiana, but parties were unable to reach consensus.

    QUICK NEWS, November 4: Jane Fonda, Ted Danson Arrested In Climate March; New Energy Hits Inflection Point

    Jane Fonda, Ted Danson Arrested In Climate March Ted Danson and Jane Fonda were arrested at a climate crisis protest

    Alisha Ebrahimji and Nahia Abdur-Rahman, October 26, 2019 (CNN)

    “…[Jane Fonda, fellow actor Ted Danson, and 30 others were arrested by US Capitol Police during a "Fire Drill Fridays" protest of the lack federal action on the] climate crisis…During the protest, Fonda urged resistance against new fossil fuel extractions and encouraged fellow protesters to hold elected officials accountable for pushing reforms… click here for more

    New Energy Hits Inflection Point These 2 Stunning Numbers Show That Renewable Energy Is Really Starting to Heat Up; NextEra Energy’s renewable energy development backlog shows how quickly adoption is accelerating.

    Matthew DiLallo, October 26, 2019 (The Motley Fool)

    “…[In its Q3 report, NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE), the world’s leading independent power producer (IPP) of New Energy] detailed two noteworthy numbers that together represent an inflection point for New Energy and show just how far the industry has come in recent years…[First, the] cost of adding battery storage, however, has come down tremendously…[In Q3, NextEra] added 747 MW of solar and 341 MW of battery storage, all of which will be paired with new solar projects. Year to date, more than 50% of the solar megawatts that have been added to backlog include a battery storage component…

    [NextEra] now has 561 MW of storage capacity lined up to come online in the 2021-to-2022 timeframe…[and customer demand could increase to] as much as 1,250 MW of energy storage capacity…[Second, NextEra has added nearly 4,200 MW in New Energy in 2019 to bring its total New Energy portfolio to] more than 12,300 MW…The renewable-energy sector has hit an inflection point. That's evident in the speed at which NextEra is developing new projects, as well as the increased inclusion of a battery storage component. Investors can't afford to ignore this sector any longer.” click here for more