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 climate change 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

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-‘Carbon Ideoologies’ – A Big Warning
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy Is Setting Records In Europe
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-China Taking The New Energy Lead
  • THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, July 19:

  • TTTA Thursday-New Energy Cut California’s Emissions
  • TTTA Thursday-New Energy Beyond Its Tax Credits
  • TTTA Thursday-The New Energy Stock To Buy?
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Is cap and trade the climate solution? The jury's still out
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Why are the newest distribution system buzzwords 'hosting capacity analysis'?
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ALL-STAR GAME DAY STUDY: All Star Air Pollution Data
  • QUICK NEWS, July 17: Offshore Wind Price Competitive With Nuclear; Solar Spreading As New Energy Costs Plummet
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • TODAY’s STUDY: Making Offshore Wind Work
  • QUICK NEWS, July 16: Baseball, Moneyball, and Climate Change; How Long Will New Energy Need NatGas?
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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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  • WEEKEND VIDEOS, July 21-21:

  • Supreme Court Nominee’s Climate Record
  • The Good That Wind Does
  • How Solar Serves The Heartlands

    Saturday, July 21, 2018

    Supreme Court Nominee’s Climate Record

    Judge Kavanaugh will vote to turn the climate fight over to Congress. That makes the upcoming midterm elections still more important. From NationalSierraClub via YouTube

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    The Good That Wind Does

    In the usually rural and often economically disadvantaged places where wind projects are typically built, the riches they add to the local tax base can fund the whole range of public programs, from road improvements to trash collection to elder services. From greenmanbucket via YouTube

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    How Solar Serves The Heartlands

    Solar is now beating the cost of grid electricity in many of the places where the sun shines, the cost of home battery energy storage is dropping faster than anybody expected, and blockchain is bringing the transactive grid in sight. From YaleClimateConnections via YouTube

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    Friday, July 20, 2018

    ‘Carbon Ideologies’ – A Big Warning

    'Carbon Ideologies' examines – exhaustively – non-renewable energy; These fat volumes are full of scientific exposition, data in charts, and dozen-page interviews, all to make the point that our understanding of the perils of nonrenewable energy may be too little, too late.

    Steve Donoghue, July 16, 2018 (Christian Science Monitor)

    “…Carbon Ideologies, from National Book Award-winning author William Vollmann, is] two 600-page volumes of fierce, relentless clarification (the Table of Contents has footnotes), studying at exhaustive length modern humanity's relationship with non-renewable energy sources like coal, natural gas, oil, and most of all nuclear power…[Volume 1, which Vollmann himself refers to as “particularly uninviting,” focuses on] the broader reality of climate change, and then moves to examine nuclear energy…[Volume 2 turns to the industries of coal and natural gas and oil, laying out the facts and including extensive interviews with everybody involved, from miners to merchants to energy tycoons…[The book is both the longest warning about humanity's energy habits ever written and also an uncanny, pre-emptive elegy of mammoth proportions. Vollmann spares plenty of time to fault the early 21st century's heedlessness – and his own, confessing that he, too, was often heedless of where his convenient electricity always came from…

    …These fat volumes are full of scientific exposition, data in charts, and dozen-page interviews with bit players, and all of it has one purpose: to craft ‘the punishment of full understanding’ with the repeated, emphatic assumption that all such understanding is too little, too late. The book insists that humans have already sealed their fate – the narrative speaks to a ruined world arising directly out of rampant global warming and unchecked disasters like Fukushima…[W]eirdly, the brightness and intelligence of Vollmann's own prose, absorbingly readable as always, acts as a kind of ideological counterweight to the gloom of his tidings…Vollmann himself seems almost to hope along such lines despite himself…[He] interviews dozens and dozens of people who are caught up in furthering and profiting from non-renewable energy industries, but there are many people in the world – Vollmann talks to some of them – who are every bit as invested in finding solutions before it's too late…” click here for more

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    New Energy Is Setting Records In Europe

    Europe keeps setting clean-energy records

    Akshat Rathi, July 14, 2018 (Quartz)

    “…[Two of the biggest economies in Europe just] set new records for clean energy...The UK’s electrical grid has not burned any coal for about 1,000 hours so far this year…[showing the accelerating] pace of the energy transition. In 2016 and 2017, the comparable figures for the full year stood at 210 hours and 624 hours…There are two reasons for the shift: a carbon tax on coal has made cleaner natural gas more attractive, and subsidies for solar and wind power have ensured wider deployment of new clean-energy technologies.

    “…[Germany’s push for renewable energy began] much earlier than the UK…[but its coal lobby] is a lot stronger than in the UK…[As the costs of renewable energy have come down, change is finally showing. In 2018 so far, coal generated about 35.1% of the country’s electricity…[while New Energy] sources, such as solar, wind, and biomass, generated about 36.5%. At the half-year mark, it’s the first time in Germany’s history that renewables sources have generated more electricity than coal…The pace of change is expected to accelerate. The European Union is tightening its emissions-trading scheme…[and member nations just] agreed that each country must get 32% of all its energy from renewable sources by 2030.” click here for more

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    China Taking The New Energy Lead

    China assuming the mantle of green energy leadership; The downside of China’s behemothian industrial capability is that it remains the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter. It is, however, now leading the way in green energy development

    Fernando Moncada River, July 20, 2018 (World Finance)

    The Chinese economy has long been dominated by heavy industry, the export of manufactured goods and the development of infrastructure…[They have made China] the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases…[But] China is also the global leader in renewable energy development...[and] is in the process of a transformative re-orientation of its economy, with its focus shifting increasingly towards technology and a service-based economic model…[It has also been shifting away from coal to reduce its toxic level of air pollution…[In] 2016, the World Health Organisation estimated that more than one million people a year – or just over 2,800 people a day – died in China as a result of overexposure to polluted air…

    “…[The bulk of New Energy investment] used to belong to developed nations; Europe in particular…[But in] 2017, China invested $132.6bn into renewable energy, accounting for almost 40 percent of the total global clean energy investment, as well as 46 percent of the world’s new installed capacity…According to data from the International Renewable Energy Agency, China’s] growth rates for hydroelectric, solar and wind power have all been between two and three times that of the global average…In total, Chinese renewable capacity has seen a 255 percent increase in the past 10 years. By comparison, the EU and the US have only seen a 105 percent and 97 percent increase respectively… Since 2008, China’s capacity in terms of hydroelectric power has increased by over 97 percent, while wind capacity has grown almost twentyfold…[From 2007 to 2017, China’s share of the solar market grew from 1% to 33%...[Forecasts suggest that China] will be responsible for 58 percent of global growth in solar capacity, as well as 60 percent of wind growth and 65 percent of hydroelectric…” click here for more

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    Thursday, July 19, 2018

    New Energy Cut California’s Emissions

    Renewable energy brings California emissions below 1990 levels; The state’s latest report shows that it has beat its 2020 target for emissions reductions four years early, mostly thanks to more renewable energy.

    Christian Roselund, July 17, 2018 (PV Magazine)

    “…[The latest data from California shows a] clear relationship between ongoing deployment of renewable energy and reduction in emissions, despite the closure of one of the state’s last nuclear power plants…[The state’s GHG emissions fell] to 429 million metric tons in 2016. This is below the 431 metric tons emitted in 1990 for the first time this century, and as such beats the state’s [2020] goal for emissions reductions four years early…[A detailed inventory by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) shows that this was largely due to deployment of renewable energy… Overall emissions fell 18% in 2016 alone and total electric power emissions have fallen by roughly 1/3 from over 100 million tons CO2 equivalent in 2000 to less than 70 million tons in 2016…

    …Combined rooftop and utility-scale solar met an estimated 13% of California’s electricity demand in 2017, the highest level of any U.S. state. And as solar generation has grown, generation from natural gas has fallen– as has spending on transmission…Some of the progress in 2016 and 2017 was due to very heavy hydroelectric generation, but the overall trend also shows a decline, and the biggest decreases from 2010-2016 came from lower GHG from imports…[CARB credits] the state’s 50% by 2030 Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Cap-and-Trade programs…[for reducing California’s emissions] while its population and gross domestic product (GDP) both grow… Overall emissions per capita have fallen by roughly 1/4, and emissions per unit of GDP by about 1/3, with a clear decoupling of emissions from GDP starting in the year 2003…” click here for more

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    New Energy Beyond Its Tax Credits

    Tax Equity Financing For Utilities: Another Helping Of Renewable Energy, But Hold The Tax Credits

    Brian H. Potts and Andrew C. Hanson, July 18, 2018 (Forbes)

    “…[The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has threatened to turn the clean energy boom into a fizzle because lower corporate taxes have reduced utilities' appetite for the renewables’] tax credits…[But tax equity financing could, which could overcome that threat, is on the rise.] Tax equity deals for renewable energy projects are common among private energy developers looking to stretch their capital and financial institutions eager for credits to reduce their tax liability…Under this structure, a developer and tax investor form a holding company that owns the project's assets…The financial institution contributes capital and, in exchange, receives the tax benefits (PTCs and depreciation) and cash distributions…When the tax equity partner has recovered its investment and captured the tax credits, the ownership structure flips…

    …[When the developer, which could be a utility, becomes the majority owner, it can buy out the tax equity investor's remaining fractional stake…[and own the project] for a fraction of the installed cost in exchange for handing over the tax credits and cash distributions to the investor…[It is unclear whether or how tax laws] may apply to regulated utility tax equity deals…[But the Empire District Electric Company (Empire) settlement with the Missouri Public Service Commission and the Missouri Division of Energy left largely intact the utility’s plan to use tax equity to finance up to 800 MW of wind generation…[In accordance with some basic tax equity deal parameters, it] would save customers $295 million over thirty years…[but it left final approval of the tax equity deal] subject to future proceedings…” click here for more

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    The New Energy Stock To Buy?

    1 Renewable Energy Stock I'd Buy Right Now; A double-digit decline despite nothing but good news makes this high-yielding clean energy stock an excellent buy right now.

    Matthew DiLallo, July 17, 2018 (The Motley Fool)

    "Brookfield Renewable Partners (NYSE:BEP) has shed about 12% of its value this year…[after strong numbers at the end of 2017 and solid results in 2018's first quarter…Because of that disconnect, Brookfield tops my list of renewable energy stocks that I'd buy right now…Brookfield Renewable Partners is one of the largest renewable power generating companies in the world. Overall, it owns more than 800 facilities with the capacity to produce 16,300 megawatts…[It has a diversified portfolio of hydroelectric, wind, and solar…[but hydro] is 82% of the total…[It] sells about 92% of the power it generates under long-term contracts, providing the company with very stable cash flow…[allowing it to distribute] roughly 70% of that money to investors …[The stock yielded 6.4% after this year's sell-off and 5% raise…[The company expects a cash flow of] 6% to 11% each year, which would support 5% to 9% annual distribution growth…[With $1.4 billion in liquidity, Brookfield] has ample firepower to continue expanding…[It] wants to invest $600 million to $700 million per year to add high-quality renewable assets to its portfolio…” click here for more

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    Wednesday, July 18, 2018

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Is cap and trade the climate solution? The jury's still out

    Is cap and trade the climate solution? The jury's still out; California and New England are about to find out what the market-based mechanism for reducing emissions can really do.

    Herman K. Trabish, Jan. 19, 2018 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: With the AWOL federal government’s irresponsibility on the climate change fight, action is moving to the states, giving the idea of cap-and-trade increased breathing room.

    With the Trump Administration rolling back Obama era climate regulations, action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. is falling increasingly to the states. Both New England and California have cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since launching market-based cap and trade programs. But analysts say the programs are not the primary drivers of emissions reductions. If that is true, does cap and trade work? The numbers are impressive. In 2016, the New England Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) states cut their GHGs 8.4% below the cap. Since RGGI’s 2009 launch, those states have reduced total emissions 40% while their average electricity price fell 6.4%. California has cut its emissions 10% from 2004 levels and the total revenues generated by the trading program and designated for clean energy have passed $5 billion.

    The two programs are different. RGGI caps only power sector emissions but governance is a collaboration of nine states. California’s economy-wide program is governed entirely by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Economists and analysts agree they share one key attribute: The majority of recent emissions reductions have come not from the cap and trade programs but from other factors. Key factors limiting the impact of such trading programs include an oversupply of allowances, which grant permission to utilities and other sources to emit CO2, and the political constraints of imposing excessive costs on consumers. These and other factors will need to be addressed as the programs enter their next phases. The most important factor driving recent emissions reductions was the 2008 recession and, because of it, “cap and trade has not been stress tested,” Stanford Law Professor Michael Wara told Utility Dive… click here for more

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    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Why are the newest distribution system buzzwords 'hosting capacity analysis'?

    Why are the newest distribution system buzzwords 'hosting capacity analysis'? To meet customer demand for distributed energy resources, utilities need to know what their systems can handle.

    Editor’s note: Debates about the value of DER continue but they seem to be falling out of the headlines due to climate change-induced emergencies and Washington, D.C.-induced controversies.

    Herman K. Trabish, Jan. 17, 2018 (Utility Dive)

    The three keys to distributed energy resources (DER) value in a utility's distribution system are the same as the keys to real estate's value – location, location, location. In New York and California, which are leading the work to value DER, distribution system planning is a growth industry. Determining DER's locational value is that industry’s key target, which explains why the buzzwords “hosting capacity analysis” (HCA) are being heard more and more in locational analysis debates. The initial purpose of HCA, called integration capacity analysis (ICA) in California, was to make DER interconnections faster and more efficient.

    Granular knowledge of the distribution system means very different things to key stakeholders. To DER advocates, it is the holy grail and should be implemented yesterday because it opens access to right-now marketing. To utilities, it is an unprecedented incursion into their systems, warranted by customer demand but to be implemented judiciously and methodically. But utilities should seize this opportunity, according to Sky Stanfield, lead author of the just-released “Optimizing the Grid: A Regulator's Guide to Hosting Capacity Analyses for Distributed Energy Resources,” from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)…HCA is part of “the bigger conversation about utility business models,” Stanfield told Utility Dive… click here for more

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    NO QUICK NEWS

    Tuesday, July 17, 2018

    ALL-STAR GAME DAY STUDY: All Star Air Pollution Data

    Air Pollution Inside Baseball; What major league baseball can and cannot teach us about air pollution impacts.

    Meredith Fowlie, July 9, 2018 (U.C. Berkeley Energy Institute)

    I am not a follower of major league baseball. I can’t tell you who’s up this season. I don’t know an ERA from an RBI. But this new paper, which takes a deep dive into baseball “sabermetrics”, has piqued my interest in the sport. Turns out, America’s favorite pastime has something to teach us about America’s most important environmental health risk: air pollution.

    If you are a follower of air pollution research, you know that air pollution has been linked to a long list of bad outcomes (e.g. premature mortality and dementia). You may also know these studies can be controversial. One reason is that it can be difficult to definitively establish a causal relationship. For example, if people living in areas with bad air quality are also exposed to more than their fair share of other stressors (such as poverty or limited healthcare), we risk confusing the effects of air pollution with other drivers. A related issue is that researchers often use private data on individuals’ health outcomes and medical histories to help disentangle the effects of air pollution from other factors. A troubling debate is brewing over how research using confidential data, dubbed “secret science” by the recently departed EPA administrator, can be used to inform air pollution standards and regulations.

    What does any of this have to do with baseball? Every so often, clever researchers spot the research design equivalent of a four-leaf clover. A situation where variation in pollution exposure is as-good-as randomly assigned, and all the data needed to test for causal impacts are out there in the wide-public-open. One of these rare opportunities has recently been found in major league baseball by economists (and baseball fans) James Archsmith, Anthony Heyes, and Soodeh Saberian.

    Bad Calls on Air Pollution?

    To understand what this paper is doing, you need to know something about major league umpires. I have recently learned that umpires work 142 games during a typical season. The umpire behind home plate makes about 140 split-second calls between a ball and a strike per game.

    This is a high-stress, high-stakes job. It requires skill and effort and sustained concentration. And thick skin given the vitriol of baseball enthusiasts contesting bad calls. As for research enthusiasts, this provides a terrific setting for assessing how short-term exposure to air pollution affects work performance and cognitive ability. There are at least four reasons I can get excited about this research set-up:

    Pollution exposure varies across games: Air pollution levels vary significantly across time and across baseball stadium locations. This allows researchers to observe umpires performing the same stressful task under very different air quality conditions.

    Random assignment of umpires to game locations!: Where a given umpire is working on a given day is determined before the season starts using an optimization algorithm that rotates umpires across 30 different stadiums (Subject to cost and logistics constraints). Upshot is that umpires are as good as randomly assigned to stadiums – and air pollution levels.

    Detailed measures of job performance: Since 2008, MLB ballparks have used high-precision pitch-tracking technology called PITCHf/x to objectively assess umpire performance. Pitch-by-pitch data track every ball thrown and ever call made by every MLB umpire since 2008. That’s a lot of balls and strikes! Public data!: If you are an econometrician interested in assessing air pollution impacts, you can download air pollution monitor data from hundreds of active PM2.5 monitors around the country. If you are a sabermatrician interested in umpire performance, you can download PITCHf/x data

    To sum up, these authors use publicly available data to estimate a causal relationship between air pollution exposure and umpire performance (measured as the share of umpire calls that agree with the computer-based assessment). After controlling for all sorts of factors that could affect an umpire’s judgement (such as venue, day-of-week, temperature, humidity, wind speed, pitch break angle, pitch type, etc.), they find a significant relationship between air pollution and on-the-job error rates:

    These estimates are somewhat noisy. But they imply that a 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentrations causes an extra 0.4 incorrect calls per 100. These negative effects show up well below the current national 24hr standard of 35 μg/m3. If you’re curious about where you sit on this concentration continuum, use this map to estimate PM2.5 exposure in your location (thank you Berkeley Earth!).

    Any baseball fan will tell you that what happens on the baseball field is just a reflection of society. Umpires are not the only ones who need cognitive effort and sensory attention to do their jobs well. If we extend results from this study beyond the baseball field, the productivity and human capital costs of air pollution exposure could be far-reaching.

    The Inside Baseball of Air Pollution

    When policymakers set air pollution standards, they’re typically more focused on first-order health impacts versus impacts on job performance. Unlike data on umpire calls, however, data on individuals’ health outcomes and medical history are private. The most rigorous research on health impacts uses confidential data to isolate the effects of air pollution on health. Indirectly, we have these health-based studies to thank for past, policy-induced improvements in U.S. air quality.

    However, a recently proposed rule could significantly limit the types of research that the EPA can use when it develops emissions standards and regulations. This may seem like obscure inside-EPA-baseball. But it’s important:

    “The proposed regulation provides that, for the science pivotal to its significant regulatory actions, EPA will ensure that the data and models underlying the science is publicly available in a manner sufficient for validation and analysis.”

    On the face of it, it’s hard to argue with principles of transparency and reproducibility. But the language of the rule is vague and concerning. Taken to an extreme, the baseball study clears the bar, but essential research that uses data protected under confidentiality agreements to document health impacts would be disbarred, even if researchers provide detailed code and documentation. We can’t make good, evidenced-based policy if some of the best evidence is locked out.

    As the editors of leading scientific journals explain in this letter, there are smarter ways to balance the need for transparency and the obligation to base regulations on the best available science. When baseball fans see a bad call, they argue against it and agitate for better. This clean air fan will be arguing against the “transparency rule” as written. The deadline for public comments has been extended through August 5.

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    QUICK NEWS, July 17: Offshore Wind Price Competitive With Nuclear; Solar Spreading As New Energy Costs Plummet

    Offshore Wind Price Competitive With Nuclear Danish Energy Agency’s new estimate slashes price of renewable energy by 30% - bringing offshore wind on par with nuclear

    Vilhelm Carlstrom, 16 July 2018 (Business Insider – Nordic)

    “…In the past thirty years, Denmark has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 30%, and even reduced energy consumption by 7%, while GDP grew 55%...[Its , the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE) calculator compares various energy sources on lifetime costs] beyond those associated with construction and production – like the socioeconomic costs of different emissions…[In the newest update, for] facilities commencing production in 2020, the price of offshore wind has been slashed by 30%, onshore wind by 25% and solar by 40%...[due to] a significant reduction in the capital expenditure and operating costs associated with employing the new technologies, coupled with increases in productivity…The reductions bring the average costs of producing one MWh of energy to EUR 46 for Danish offshore wind projects, EUR 30 for onshore wind, and EUR 40 for photovoltaic solar energy. That brings offshore wind on par with nuclear power, while onshore wind is by far the cheapest, and solar PV closing in quickly…The agency stresses that the results will vary greatly based on assumptions and locality…” click here for more

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    Solar Spreading As New Energy Costs Plummet 32 Million New Homes Will Have Renewable Energy Via Solar Power By 2030; Developing nations may leap-frog old-school power lines.

    Matthew Phelan, July 16, 2018 (Inverse)

    “…[A]ccess to decentralized power systems — including a projected 72 million solar-powered homes — will expand access to electricity more cheaply and more sustainably than past estimates…[and] the total industry investment required to achieve this is approximately $372 billion dollars less than recent assessments by the International Energy Agency [according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance]…About $162 billion is currently likely to be spent on expanding energy access…with about $191 million needed to close the gap to universal access…[T]he report’s emphasis on decentralized energy grids that allow leap-frogging technologies aligns with [the newest United Nations approach. Energy companies can] focus their efforts on the last handful of places where traditional, old-school grid extensions remain economically viable until sometime around the mid-2020s…[Where the per-kWh price of grid-connected New Energy is not competitive, home solar systems or community level microgrids] can and do suddenly become more cost effective…[Of the 238 million new households to get electricity between now and 2030,] 72 million will use solar home systems and 34 million will benefit from microgrids…” click here for more

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    Monday, July 16, 2018

    TODAY’s STUDY, July 16: Making Offshore Wind Work

    Renewable Energy Benefits; Leveraging Local Capacity For Offshore Wind

    June 2018 (International Renewable Energy Agency)

    Key Facts

    » The cumulative installed capacity of offshore wind energy rose from 67 megawatts (MW) in 2000 to around 20 gigawatts (GW) in 2017. IRENA expects continued growth to 128 GW by 2030 and 521 GW by 2050. Cumulative investments in offshore wind are projected to reach USD 350 billion by 2030 and USD 1.47 trillion by 2050.

    » Along the way, ample opportunities arise for local value creation. Local income generation and job creation in the sector can be maximised by leveraging existing economic activities and building domestic supply chains. In particular, offshore wind energy can benefit from the many synergies in skills and occupational patterns that it shares with the offshore oil and gas sector.

    » The interaction of the offshore wind energy industry with other economic sectors generates additional revenue, both through supply chain activities and through induced demand for goods and services.

    » IRENA estimates that the wind sector employed 1.1 million people in 2017. Most of these jobs are in the larger and more mature onshore segment. By 2050, the wind sector can potentially create up to 2 million jobs.

    » In total, the development of a typical 500 MW offshore wind farm requires around 2.1 million person-days of work.

    » The labour requirements vary across the value chain, with a heavy concentration in manufacturing and procurement (59 percent of the total). The manufacturing of equipment offers the bulk of job opportunities in the sector.

    » Countries that do not have a sufficient capacity to manufacture equipment locally can derive jobs and other benefits in segments of the value chain that are easier to localise. For example, O&M accounts for 24 percent of total labour requirements; installation and grid connection represents another 11 percent of the total.

    » In order to avoid skills gaps, educational and training programmes need to be attuned to the emerging needs in the offshore wind industry. Training and skillbuilding form an important part of efforts to generate capable local supply chains.

    » Maximising local value creation depends on successfully leveraging existing expertise and capacities in other industries that can provide expertise, raw materials and intermediate products. In particular, steel, copper, lead and fiberglass are heavily used for the development of an offshore wind project.

    » To strengthen the industrial capability of domestic firms, policy measures and interventions are needed that contribute to increased competitiveness. Measures include industrial upgrading programmes, supplier development programmes, promotion of joint ventures, development of industrial clusters and investment promotion schemes.

    Introduction

    Renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, with their increasing maturity and cost-competitiveness, can help bring economic and environmental objectives into closer alignment. The energy transition can only be considered within the framework of the broader socio-economic system and changes in the energy sector have impacts throughout the broader economy. Achieving the energy transition would have significant socioeconomic impacts. The latest analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows that accelerating the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency as required to move towards a more sustainable development path (the REmap Case),1 generates a number of benefits in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), human welfare and employment relative to the Reference Case2 . At the global level, the energy transition generates a 1 percent increase in GDP by 2050, compared to the Reference Case. The socio-economic benefits go well beyond GDP improvements, including marked social and environmental benefits, or welfare, with a 15 percent increase. As for jobs, the transition could greatly boost overall employment in the energy sector and the shift to renewables would create more jobs than are lost in the fossil fuel industry. The same pathway would result in the loss of 7.4 million jobs in fossil fuels by 2050, but 19.0 million new jobs would be created in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and grid enhancement and energy flexibility, for a net gain of 11.6 million jobs (IRENA, 2018a).

    At the regional level, the outcome of the energy transition depends on regional ambition as well as regional socio-economic structures. Despite fluctuations in GDP and employment, welfare will improve significantly in all regions. However, as is the case with any economic transition, there will be regions and countries that fare better than others due to diverging structures, capacities and dynamics. Policy makers can help to make the transition process a just one by supporting the transition in the context of energy access, adopting social protection measures for people dependent on declining industries (including fossil fuels) and initiating economic diversification investments. In addition, supporting initiatives that help build and strengthen domestic supply chains capable of responding to new economic opportunities is crucial to achieve a successful global energy transition.

    This study analyses the potential of the offshore wind industry to participate in the energy transition through the opportunities it offers for local value creation for countries that choose to develop the technology. The report starts with an overview of trends and drivers in the sector (Section 1). It then analyses the potential for value creation in terms of jobs and income along the segments of the value chain with a focus on synergies with the offshore oil and gas sector (Section 2). Section 3 goes into the activities in each segment of the value chain to analyse requirements for developing a sector focusing on human resources, skills and materials. The objective is to provide policy makers with an understanding of what is required to develop a local industry and the existing capabilities that can be leveraged or potentially developed to do so. Finally, a set of recommendations are presented to support informed decisions in policy-making to maximise value creation from the development of a domestic offshore wind industry while leveraging existing industries, and contribute to a just energy transition.

    The scope of the study is global; therefore, the data presented in the report were obtained through surveys and interviews with internationally recognised experts and from desktop research that gathered information published by leading companies and specialised institutions in the offshore wind industry. A significant number of leading stakeholders were interviewed and/ or responded to questionnaires on the requirements to develop an offshore wind industry. They included project developers, component manufacturers, service providers, energy authorities and national and global associations for wind and renewable energy. The study also draws on public reports of wind energy companies, including annual reports, technical specifications and equipment handbooks, and public price lists.

    Trends In The Offshore Wind Energy Sector…Potential For Value Creation From The Deployment Of Offshore Wind…Requirements For Offshore Wind Development…

    Conclusion

    The socio-economic benefits of renewable energy have become a key consideration in building the case for its wide deployment. Increasingly, governments understand that the expansion of renewable energy entails important co-benefits that go beyond the need to reconcile energy systems with environmental protection. Economic analysis underlines the fact that the switch to renewables supports economic growth, creates employment opportunities and enhances human welfare. Opportunities for domestic value creation can be created by leveraging and enhancing capabilities in existing industries (like oil and gas) along the value chain or planning to develop them.

    To assess the case for domestic industry development in the offshore wind sector, policy makers need to analyse the labour, materials and equipment requirements of each segment of the value chain. Based on such an analysis, opportunities for leveraging local labour markets and existing industries can be identified to maximise domestic value. Regional and global market dynamics also strongly influence the decision to pursue domestic industry development.

    The degree to which the transition to offshore wind and other renewables delivers significant socioeconomic benefits depends on several factors. To navigate the transition successfully requires careful attention to a range of policies and a dedicated effort to ensure coherence among the different policy areas and the key actors and stakeholders in each of them. The main policy areas concern deployment measures in support of renewables, industrial policies to enhance capacities along the supply chain, education and training policies to ensure a well-trained and capable workforce, and a just transition policy to smooth the path forward and maximise the concomitant socio-economic benefits.

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    QUICK NEWS, July 16: Baseball, Moneyball, and Climate Change; How Long Will New Energy Need NatGas?

    Baseball, Moneyball, and Climate Change What Baseball Can Teach Us About the Climate Change Debate

    Jacob Weindling, June 23, 2018 (Paste)

    “Roughly half of Americans don’t believe that climate change is man-made, and the reasons surrounding this mass rejection of experts have been fiercely debated…[Baseball reveals] an aversion to new statistics and metrics that help us better understand…[A]ll pitching philosophies are concentrated around producing three results: 1. Limiting walks 2. Maximizing strikeouts 3. Avoiding home runs…[Because] those three outcomes are the only events on a baseball field that the pitcher has 100% control over…[O]nce the ball is in play, there are a multitude of variables…[But when this philosophy is translated into] statistics,] old school baseball folks tend to check out of the conversation…

    Many in U.S. expect negative effects and life changes due to climate change

    [There is a new wave of statistics that old school baseball folks tend to decry, though they] are based in old school thinking…Which gets to a fundamental flaw in human nature…[P]roviding people with evidence which contradicts their beliefs will not change their mind. Stories are superior to facts and figures…Those of us that accept climate change as fact must do a better job of convincing the 52% of Americans who do not believe that climate change is caused by humans. Hurling facts and figures at them does not work—as I have learned in my time evangelizing advanced baseball statistics…Don’t tell climate change deniers that ‘studies say’ things—show them those things…[There is no shortage of evidence] and we should use it to try to rally people to the cause before it becomes catastrophically undeniable.” click here for more

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    How Long Will New Energy Need NatGas? Clean energy is catching up to natural gas; The natural gas “bridge” to sustainability may be shorter than expected.

    David Roberts, July 13, 2018 (VOX)

    …[Conventional wisdom in the energy sector for a decade has been that natural gas is the necessary bridge] from the fossil fuel present to the renewable future…Around 2015, though, just five years into gas’s rise to power, complications for this narrative began to appear. First, wind and solar costs fell so far, so fast that they are now undercutting the cost of new gas in a growing number of regions. And then batteries — which can “firm up” variable renewables, diminishing the need for natural gas’s flexibility — also started getting cheap faster than anyone expected. It happened so fast that, in certain limited circumstances, solar+storage or wind+storage is already cheaper than new natural gas plants and able to play all the same roles (and more)…

    The cost of natural gas power is tethered to the commodity price of natural gas, which is inherently volatile. The price of controllable, storable renewable energy is tethered only to technology costs, which are going down, down, down. Recent forecasts suggest that it may be cheaper to build new renewables+storage than to continue operating existing natural gas plants by 2035…That means natural gas plants built today could be rendered uncompetitive well before their rated lifespan. They could become ‘stranded assets,’ saddling utility ratepayers and investors with the costs of premature decommissioning...Meanwhile, gas’s environmental reputation has suffered from a series of reports…showing that gas’s lifecycle methane emissions are much higher than previously estimated and could virtually erase any climate advantage gas has over coal, rendering it a bridge to nowhere…” click here for more

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    Saturday, July 14, 2018

    Zero-Hour – The Youth Climate March, July 21

    One week from today in Washington, D.C. “We are simply asking for a livable future…” From Zero Hour via YouTube

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    The Good Of Wind Goes Beyond The Grid

    Tax revenues generated by wind projects pay for schools. From greenmanbucket via YouTube

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    This Is Not The First Civilization To Face It

    The choices: Die-off? Soft landing? Collapse? Collapse with resource change? From University of Rochester via YouTube

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