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-Business Gets In The Climate Fight
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The World Can Go All In On New Energy
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Bringing New Energy To Southeast Asia
  • THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, December 13:

  • TTTA Thursday-Physician, Heal Thy Earth
  • TTTA Thursday-Tanks Full Of New Energy Beat Batteries
  • TTTA Thursday-All About The Dirty New Energies
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: New solar initiatives could open business-utility collaborations
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: The regulatory two-step and the new, performance-based dance
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Way To End Coal
  • QUICK NEWS, December 11: U.S. Emissions Trending Down This Decade; 100% New Energy Movement Rolls On
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Way To A U.S. Offshore Wind Industry
  • QUICK NEWS, December 10: Climate Change, Nuclear War, And The Slow Tomorrow; Are T-RECs The Key To Real 100% 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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  • WEEKEND VIDEOS, December 15-16:

  • The Big Reveal From November
  • P2G Does Many Things With New Energy
  • Trevor Noah Talks To Al Gore

    Saturday, December 15, 2018

    The Big Reveal From November

    Republicans found out in November that either they deal with climate change “or they will be gone.” From greenman3610 via YouTube

    P2G Does Many Things With New Energy

    New Energy's variability is not as big a challenge as people think, and Power-To-Gas (P2G) can turn it into a huge opportunity. From SciShow via YouTube

    Trevor Noah Talks To Al Gore

    “It’s getting worse faster than we are developing solutions, but we are gaining momentum on things like renewable energy…” From Comedy Central

    Friday, December 14, 2018

    Business Gets In The Climate Fight

    Business is stepping up its fight against climate change. This is how

    Emily Farnworth, 29 November 2018 (World Economic Forum)

    “…[An open letter from] 50 global CEOs running organizations with a combined annual revenue of more than $1.5 trillion…[calls] on governments to step up efforts to fight against climate change… [It provides climate leaders meeting in Poland at COP24 an] opportunity to assess the business community’s role to date in helping meet its ambitious goals…[30 of the 50 organizations] reduced carbon emissions by a very healthy 9% between 2015 and 2016… 9% in one year is much greater than the average 3%...[But not] all of the signatories achieved the same rate of success…[Driven by policy,] the power sector is] moving away from coal and switching to gas and renewable electricity generation…[F]or other sectors, voluntary action is critical to accelerate emissions reductions…

    …[A new report shows that benefits are now appearing] from years of investment into clean technologies which will deliver exponential growth in the near future…[A] 23% rise in solar power between now and 2030 – roughly half of the rate at which it is growing currently – will translate to a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions from electricity generation. Similar revolutions for industry in the circular economy, or from electrification in transport fleets, will yield equivalent impacts…Also encouraging is that businesses are finding their own pathways…[498 companies have so far committed to using science-based targets to understand how they can limit emissions, while 151 have set targets that meet the criteria…” click here for more

    The World Can Go All In On New Energy

    Is 100% Renewable Energy Enough For The World? Could we power the world with 100% renewables? The answer might surprise you.

    Christopher McFadden, December 12, 2018 (Interesting Engineering)

    “Can we power the world with renewable energy alone?...The short answer is yes, but it won't be easy…A better question might be "will there ever be the will to power the world through renewables alone?". That is a much harder question to answer…If the will, both political and societal, can be achieved… it will be possible to build a renewable-only future…[Reality might force] this huge overhaul of our current energy-generation mix…[The climate debate is highly partisan, but] the basic finite nature of our current energy sources will require us to find alternative sources. Renewables might just be the perfect solution…

    …Nobody is likely to stop driving their cars, use their smart devices or the internet, or stop using energy-hungry home appliances anytime soon…[That is why] we must find a way of producing energy in such a way that can be sustainable in long-term…[T]here are some genuine concerns about the technical issues with renewable technologies…[Their variability] inhibits but doesn't rule out, their reliability as a power source…[A future renewable-only energy generation infrastructure would be mixed, or hybrid, with solar, wind, tidal, hydro-, geothermal and, most-likely nuclear, all working to compliment one another…[and] some form of energy storage will be desirable…[Several recent studies show that by 2050] all existing power plants could be readily converted to renewable alternatives completing the 100% conversion plan…” click here for more

    Bringing New Energy To Southeast Asia

    The need for renewable energy cooperation

    Eijas Ariffin, 12 December 2018 (The ASEAN Post)

    “…Vietnam’s Mekong Delta – home to 18 million inhabitants – is one of the world’s most vulnerable places to climate change…[Rising waters, storm accentuation and on-shore salinity are the main factors endangering the populations surrounding the river…Moving away from fossil fuels to New Energy is one] of the key ways to combat climate change…[The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)] has set a target of securing 23 percent of its primary energy from renewable sources by 2025…[W]ith better cooperation among ASEAN member states, it could become a possibility…

    …[C]ost-reductions on renewable energy would be one of the major benefits of renewable energy cooperation in ASEAN…[I]t could help remove barriers to obtaining permits, which the study points out is one of the primary causes of delay for renewable energy development. This would then also cut developer costs. Lower costs could attract more investment for renewable energy within the region…[R]egional renewable energy can also enhance energy security as it reduces import dependencies…ASEAN is also implementing the ASEAN Power Grid, which aims to enhance electricity trade across regional borders – complementing the rise in demand for electricity…” click here for more

    Thursday, December 13, 2018

    Physician, Heal Thy Earth

    Why Doctors Need to Join the Fight Against Climate Change

    World Medical Association President Leonid Eidelman, December 8, 2018 (Fortune)

    “…[The modern Hippocratic Oath professional codes in many countries require doctors’] dual loyalty to] patients and the society…[To uphold this responsibility, doctors] need to take an active role in defending their patients from the adverse effects of climate change…[They are] well-suited to do so…[Physicians often have close relationships with patients and their families…who respect their] obligation to advise…[Doctors can] help patients understand climate change impacts of] their use of transportation, living in environmentally efficient housing, and [eating less meat, wasting less] food, and using fewer single-use products and packaging…

    …[Doctors can also rethink] the environmental footprint of their practices…The side effect of saving natural resources is often saving] money…Hospitals have been huge energy wasters…[but sustainable] medical centers are being built and are running already—with no detriment to medical process and patient care…[Finally, doctors constitute a powerful constituency…[Medical organizations and individual doctors can talk to politicians about the human dimension of climate change predictions and] divest from high carbon dioxide-producing industries…[and boost] environmentally responsible investing…[to tell markets the environment is more valuable] than short-term returns on investments…” click here for more

    Tanks Full Of New Energy Beat Batteries

    'Sun in a box' would store renewable energy for the grid; Design for system that provides solar- or wind-generated power on demand should be cheaper than other leading options

    December 5, 2018 (Massachusetts Institute of Technology via Science Daily)

    “MIT engineers have come up with a conceptual design for a system to store renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, and deliver that energy back into an electric grid on demand…[The new design stores heat generated by excess electricity] in large tanks of white-hot molten silicon, and then converts the light from the glowing metal back into electricity when it's needed. The researchers estimate that such a system would be vastly more affordable than lithium-ion batteries…[and] would cost about half as much as pumped hydroelectric storage -- the cheapest form of grid-scale energy storage to date…

    …[The new storage system uses liquid silicon and a heat pump that] has the highest heat tolerance on record…[The system would consist of large, heavily insulated tanks] made from graphite…[The liquid silicon would be processed to a glowing heat of 4,300 degrees Fahrenheit with electricity generated from New Energy. The light would be used to generate electricity with high efficiency solar panels and the] cooled silicon can be pumped back…acting effectively as a large rechargeable battery…[Lab tests have proven the concept and the] researchers estimate that a single storage system could enable a small city…[T]he system's design is geographically unlimited…” click here for more

    All About The Dirty New Energies

    Waste of Energy; Burning garbage? Chicken poop? Your state could be getting renewable energy from nasty sources.

    Greta Jochem, December 12, 2018 (Grist)

    "…[Baltimore’s Wheelabrator trash incinerator is its] single largest source of industrial air pollution…[It spews] over 600,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually…[which is equivalent to] more than 130,000 cars driven for a year…One analysis estimates the facility’s air pollution kills an estimated 5.5 people per year…[But its energy] is considered renewable…[and gets millions] from utility companies and ratepayers as a result of the state’s renewable energy policy…[Many states include trash incineration, poultry litter incineration and paper mill-waste burning] alongside wind and solar energy…

    …[The nonprofit Food and Water Watch analyzed the 30 renewables mandates] across the country and found that everyone also included ‘dirty’ sources such as mill residue, wood, waste incineration, and waste-methane burning. Some of these generation processes emit large amounts of carbon dioxide and many release other pollutants…[And] the pollution these sources generate disproportionately affects poorer communities…[because the plants that burn them tend to be located where the percentage of the population living in poverty] was higher than the state average…” click here for more

    Wednesday, December 12, 2018

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: New solar initiatives could open business-utility collaborations

    New solar industry initiatives could open business-utility collaborations; A 2017 spike in commercial and industrial solar growth will not last, but industry efforts to educate property owners and offer better financing could be good for businesses and utilities.

    Herman K. Trabish, June 7, 2018 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: Commercial-industrial solar has again been, in 2018, a driving force in the face of otherwise flattening growth.

    The growth of solar on the U.S. power system is slowing. It has not lost its customer appeal or its importance in the climate fight and analysts say it will continue to grow — just not as fast. New solar industry initiatives are seeking to break through barriers for commercial-industrial (C&I) customers. One initiative expanded and streamlined the basic contract between a C&I customer, the solar project developer, and the provider of financing. It is expected to make opaque and complicated deals much easier and more appealing. The other initiative, a new white paper, is intended to help owners of commercial real estate (CRE) understand the advantages of supporting solar development. It is intended to show property owners how offering solar to tenants can lead to new leases that will benefit their bottom lines in the long term, despite short-term costs.

    Only the C&I solar sector has made gains in 2017 and 2018. "Solar Means Business (SMB)," the Solar Energy Industries (SEIA) annual survey of large companies leading solar adoption, shows "corporations want solar," SEIA VP Dan Whitten told Utility Dive. Tracked companies added 325 MW in 2017, driven "primarily by falling costs and changes to incentive programs in key states," SMB added. That was a 2% increase over 2016 and a 43% increase over 2015. Costs will continue to come down and more companies will add sustainability and renewables goals, opening growth opportunities, SMB reported. SEIA initiatives address remaining barriers by expanding, streamlining, and defining new opportunities for C&I solar. One is a new kind of power purchase agreement that includes on-bill commercial property-assessed clean energy financing. The other is a new white paper that better defines the opportunity… click here for more

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: The regulatory two-step and the new, performance-based dance

    Should the regulatory two-step give way to a new, performance-based dance? Critics say traditional cost-of-service ratemaking is behind the times, but newer models require a complex production from a variety of industry players.

    Herman K. Trabish, June 18, 2018 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: Advocates for more advanced rate design have become more active in regulatory and policymaking arenas since this story ran.

    Is the process used to set the prices customers pay for electricity biased against new energy technologies? Regulated utilities traditionally go through two separate processes to arrive at the rates they charge customers for electricity — long term Integrated Resource Plans and short term revenue requirements based on Cost-of-service ratemaking. Some stakeholders say the disconnect between those two processes creates an unfair disadvantage for new technologies now becoming available to utilities and system operators, like distributed solar, energy storage and advanced demand management.

    Several states, utilities and policymakers are trying to address the slant against these distributed energy resources (DERs) with a different ratemaking model. Traditional ratemaking, they say, fails to attribute long-term value to new technologies located on the distribution system, leaving those benefits out of IRP planning. The disadvantage is furthered if the new technologies are customer-owned, not offering return-on-investment opportunities for utilities. The power system is evolving and customer demand is emerging as its central driver, according to Energy Innovations VP Sonia Aggarwal said. As utilities face this new reality, today’s ratemaking two-step is giving way to a newer, performance-based ratemaking model built around a new business paradigm for electric utilities… click here for more

    NO QUICK NEWS

    Tuesday, December 11, 2018

    TODAY’S STUDY: The Way To End Coal

    Powering down coal: Navigating the economic and financial risks in the last years of coal power

    30 November 2018 (Carbon Tracker)

    Key Findings

    Follow the link above to use the interactive portal, view the data by company, country or region and download the report. This portal covers 6,685 coal units which represent ~95% (1,900 GW) of global operating capacity and ~90% (220 GW) of capacity under-construction. The portal provides current and forward-looking estimates of the (short and long-run) operating cost, gross profitability, relative competitiveness, phase-out year and stranded asset risk in a below 2°C scenario.

    Death spiral goes global – 42% of global operating fleet unprofitable in 2018 and 72% by 2040 independent of additional climate or air pollution policy

    Where profitability is defined as revenues minus long-run operating costs, our analysis finds that due to high fuel costs 42% of coal capacity operating today could be losing money. From 2019 onwards, we expect a combination of renewable energy costs, air pollution regulation and carbon pricing to result in further cost pressures and make 72% of the fleet cashflow negative by 2040. This scenario assumes fuel costs will fall over 10% (on average) after 2018 and only includes existing climate and air pollution policies. This will likely prove too conservative, especially due to the continued politicisation of air pollution.

    In liberalised markets where power generators are subject to competition, coal capacity will be forced to shut if out-of-market payments cannot be secured or environmental regulations are not reduced or delayed. In regulated markets where governments typically approve and pass on the cost of generation to consumers, politicians have four options: close high cost coal, subsidise coal generation, increase power prices to make coal viable, or subsidise power prices. Over the long-term coal power will become a net liability and those politicians in regulated markets who remain wedded to high-cost coal will be forced to choose between subsidising coal generation and power prices (which will impact the fiscal health of the state) or increase power prices (which will hurt consumers and undermine competitiveness).

    The myth of cheap coal– 35% of coal capacity costs more to run than building new renewables in 2018, increasing to 96% by 2030

    There are three economic inflection points that policymakers and investors need to track to provide the least-cost power and avoid stranded assets: when new renewables and gas outcompete new coal; when new renewables and gas outcompete operating existing coal; and when new firm (or dispatchable) renewables and gas outcompete operating existing coal. Regarding the first inflection point, by 2025 at the latest, renewables will beat coal in all markets. This estimate will likely prove too conservative as policymakers introduce transparent auctions which will intensify the deflationary trend of renewables in emerging markets. The second inflection point is where coal will face an existential crisis, as originators in liberalised markets will arbitrage the delta between the wholesale power price (which is typically set by dispatchable gas and coal generators) and the cost of new investments in renewable energy. Our analysis shows that as of today 35% of capacity could have a higher operating cost than new renewables and this may increase to 96% by 2030. This disruptive dynamic is problematic for policymakers who focus on the all-in cost for the end consumer. Inflection point three is clearly outside the scope of this analysis and will likely form part of future research with local partners. The challenge for policymakers at this point is no longer whether renewable energy will be the least cost option, but rather how to integrate wind and solar to maximise system value.

    Below 2°C scenario – coal owners could avoid $267 bn in stranded asset risk by phasing-out coal

    We define stranded asset risk as the difference between cash flows in a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario (which acknowledges existing and ratified air pollution and carbon pricing policies as well as announced retirements in company reports) and cash flows in a below 2°C scenario (which sees coal power phased-out globally by 2040). A positive stranded asset risk value means, based on existing market structures, investors and governments could lose money in the below 2°C scenario as coal capacity is cash-flow positive. A negative stranded asset risk figure means, based on existing market structures, investors and governments could avoid losses in the 2°C scenario as coal capacity is cash-flow negative. Our below 2°C scenario finds around -$267bn of stranded asset risk globally. In our business-as-usual scenario, major coal markets such as China, the US and the EU become ever more cashflow negative and thus stranded asset risk is negative. This more than offsets those regions where risk is positive, meaning the premature closure of coal consistent with the Paris Agreement is the least-cost option compared to our BAU scenario. This analysis highlights a power sector mega trend: with or without climate policy coal power is increasingly a high-cost option.

    A government problem with investor implications

    According to our analysis, 90% of operating and under construction capacity is either regulated or semi-regulated. In both liberalised and regulated markets, the economics of power generation will continue to change much more quickly than expected and in favour of low-carbon technologies. This transition will expose governments and investors – both equity and debt – to material financial risk. Equally, governments and investors have opportunities to be agents of change and to ensure an ordered transition.

    Regardless of the market structure, the continued downward trend for the costs of renewable energy will strengthen policymakers’ ability to provide consumers access to secure, affordable, and clean energy. This is particularly important for those countries who face the challenge of stimulating economic development while reducing air pollution. Moreover, commitments to renewable power over the long-term will better position governments to attract the business of multinational corporations who have already begun to gravitate towards guarantors of renewable energy supply.

    Policymakers in regulated markets will be more acutely conscious than those in liberalised markets of the financial risks that will materialise from a commitment to coal power, which over the long-term will become a net-liability. Governments will be forced to choose between subsidising coal generation and power prices (which will impact the fiscal health of the state) or increasing power prices (which will anger consumers and undermine competitiveness).

    The impact upon – and role for – investors also differs depending upon the market context. In liberalised markets, utility shareholders are highly exposed to the kind of market volatility that has plagued European utilities’ transition. Coal-heavy utilities in liberalised markets are at a strategic crossroads: continue to reinvest in existing coal capacity and hope governments ignore the overwhelming energy market trends and approve subsidies in the form of capacity and retirement payments; or divest and prepare for a low carbon future. Equity and bond investors of companies in regulated markets will also need to consider the extent to which they are insulated from cheap renewable power.

    The orderliness of the transition away from coal power rests on policymaker and investors’ willingness to prepare. In this regard, the establishment of the Powering Past Coal Alliance offers a mechanism for government and finance to work collectively. Utility investors, particularly those operating in liberalised markets, can play a critical role in engaging with their portfolio of companies. However, power markets are political constructs and, as such, governments will need to plan well ahead of time as low-carbon technologies accelerate through the three inflection points on their way to providing electricity.

    If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman

    The findings of this report are based on our coal power economics portal which is the product of a two-year modelling effort. This is the first time anyone has attempted global coverage of coal power at asset-level. While every effort was made to model capacity as comprehensively as possible, data and model anomalies are an inevitable result of the scale and scope of this project. Our objective here is simple: move first and iterate constantly. Future versions will include more accurate and comprehensive data and modelling as we undertake bespoke research in collaboration with our local partners.

    QUICK NEWS, December 11: U.S. Emissions Trending Down This Decade; 100% New Energy Movement Rolls On

    U.S. Emissions Trending Down This Decade U.S. Power Plant Emissions Down 45% Since 2010

    Lucas Davis, December 10, 2018 (U.C. Berkeley Hass Energy Institute)

    “…[T]he U.S. electric sector in 2010 was very different. Nearly twice as much power came from coal as from natural gas…U.S. power plants emitted 15 billion pounds of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and small particulates…Nitrogen oxides (NOx), small particulates (PM2.5), and carbon dioxide (CO2) are all way down [according to a new report]. But the decrease for sulfur dioxide (SO2) is stunning – down 75% since 2010. These pollutant reductions mean reduced asthma, heart disease, lung cancer, and a whole host of other significant benefits…[Economic] damages from the U.S. power sector have decreased since 2010 from $245 billion to $133 billion (in real 2014 dollars)…[That is a 46% decline, with 88% from reducing sulfur]…

    …[T]he aggregate gains are almost entirely due to lower damages from coal. Burning coal is about 18 times worse than burning natural gas in terms of local pollutants…[The damage reductions fall] into three categories…About 40% from the shift to cleaner plants, e.g., coal to natural gas…About 40% from emissions reductions at existing plants, e.g. scrubbers..About 20% from less fossil fuel generation overall, e.g. more renewables…[The report does not] causally disentangle how much of this transformation was due to cheap natural gas, versus policies like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards or Renewable Portfolio Standards…[And damages] from the U.S. power sector are still enormous and, in virtually all cases we have still failed to put a “price” on emissions. Moreover, carbon dioxide emissions have not declined nearly as much…” click here for more

    100% New Energy Movement Rolls On The 100% renewable energy movement is unstoppable…This sets the stage for the debate to shift to what resources we will use to decarbonize, and how quickly we will move.

    Christian Roselund, December 6, 2018 (PV Magazine)

    “…[Cincinnati just became] the 100th municipality to either achieve 100% renewables in its electricity supply or to set a goal for 100%...[T]his is in addition to a 100% renewable energy mandate in Hawaii and California’s mandate for full decarbonization of electricity, with both setting a target date of 2045…Sierra Club estimates that 48.7 million people, or 15% of the U.S. population, live in cities or states that have set a 100% mandate. This is in addition to more than 34 million who live in Washington D.C. and four states that have pledged to reach at least 50% renewable energy by 2040 or sooner…[And] the 2018 mid-term elections brought to Congress a new group of Democratic politicians who have led a movement calling for the entire nation to move to 100% renewable energy by 2030…[Reaching just] 80% by 2030 could require an average of around 100 GW of combined wind and solar deployments each year for the next 10 years, or 5x the current level…

    [Now] the debate is likely to shift away from whether or not electricity will be decarbonized…[to] about when and how fast this will happen, as well as what resources will be included…[Xcel Energy Colorado plans] to move to 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2050…[but] Colorado Governor-elect Jared Polis is calling [100% renewables by 2040]…The nuclear industry and its advocates will fight tooth and nail to ensure that new mandates are not limited to renewables…[But nuclear technologies] currently commercially available cannot compete with large-scale solar and wind on cost…[There is also likely to] be an increased focus on changes in the transportation electrification]…” click here for more

    Monday, December 10, 2018

    TODAY’S STUDY: The Way To A U.S. Offshore Wind Industry

    National Offshore Wind Research and Development Roadmap

    October 2018 (National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium)

    Background

    On June 15, 2018 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in partnership with The Renewables Consulting Group (RCG) and The Carbon Trust (CT), to lead the formation of a nationwide research and development consortium for the offshore wind industry. The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium (“the Consortium”) is a nationally focused, independent, not-for-profit organization led by key offshore wind industry stakeholders and research institutions.

    The Consortium is dedicated to managing industry-focused research and development of offshore wind to maximize economic benefits for the United States. The Consortium seeks to fulfill, in part, a long-term vision for offshore wind in the United States that is supported by current U.S. policy for an all-inclusive energy strategy. The 2015 DOE Wind Vision report modeled a viable scenario under which 86 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy capacity is installed in the U.S. by 2050, accounting for 7% of all U.S. electricity generation annually through large-scale project deployment in five offshore regions as shown in Figure 1. This vision for offshore wind was elaborated on by Gilman et al. in the 2016 National Offshore Wind Strategy (“the Strategy”), a collaboration between the DOE and the Department of the Interior (DOI).

    To achieve this vision, the Strategy identifies technology innovations that will be needed to address the challenges in each of the five U.S. offshore regions and to lower the costs to allow offshore wind to compete in all regional electricity markets without subsidies. The necessary cost reductions can be realized in part through targeted research and development (R&D) funded under this Consortium that removes or reduces technological and supply chain barriers to deployment and lowers development risk to investors. The Consortium envisions this research could be conducted as desktop studies, design development, and computer analysis, as well as hardware development with supporting demonstration and validation activities.

    The Consortium intends to distribute the available research funds through a series of open enrollment, competitive solicitations over the next four years, which will mirror the three research pillars described in the original DOE funding opportunity announcement (DOE FOA 1767) and summarized as follows:

    Pillar #1: Offshore Wind Plant Technology Advancement

    Technology advancements that drive significant reductions to offshore wind energy levelized cost of energy (LCOE) in the United States, which can be extended to global offshore wind markets. Accelerated innovation can reduce capital costs and development risk while increasing annual energy production, targeting long-term LCOE reductions for fixed bottom and floating offshore wind systems of 40% and 60%, respectively, relative to baseline LCOE figures presented in the Strategy (2015 U.S. Dollars) (Gilman et al. 2016). R&D conducted under Pillar #1 should also address the domestic physical siting challenges in wind turbine and wind plant technology (e.g., deep water, extreme conditions, fresh water ice, and hurricanes) as well as supply chain issues that may have unique U.S. solutions relative to European experience.

    Pillar #2: Offshore Wind Power Resource and Physical Site Characterization

    Improvements in offshore wind site characterization and site characterization technology can drive significant cost reduction in U.S. offshore wind projects by increasing annual energy production and reducing wind farm development timelines, capital costs, operations and maintenance (O&M) costs, and project financing risk. R&D under Pillar #2 should address lowering the time, cost, and/or uncertainty of resource assessment and physical site characterization.

    Pillar #3: Installation, Operations and Maintenance, and Supply Chain

    Installation costs, especially for methods that depend on high-capacity lift vessels and high levels of labor at sea can drive up the cost of floating technology capital expenditures significantly. In addition, the modeled O&M costs for an offshore wind plant in the U.S. range from $100/kW/year to $150/kW/year (2015 U.S. dollars), which represents up to 30% of the total LCOE for a fixed bottom offshore wind plant. Finally, the immaturity of the U.S. supply chain may contribute to significant project cost and additional development risk. R&D under Pillar #3 should address technology solutions that will improve installation and O&M methodologies, reduce labor at sea, encourage domestic supply chain development, and subsequently lower cost for offshore wind projects in U.S. waters. While Pillar #3 topics (Section 4) address some specific supply chain R&D areas, supply chain issues are central to the core objectives of the Consortium and consequently are cross cutting in other areas of this roadmap.

    This roadmap elaborates on the broad guidance given for these pillars by the FOA to help focus the proposal responses for the first round of competitive solicitations. The solicitations will indicate specific technical topics of interest. It is intended that successful proposals for the first solicitation will be awarded at the end of the first quarter, 2019.

    After the first round of competitive solicitations, this roadmap will be regularly revised to incorporate up-to-date stakeholder feedback and adapt to evolving Consortium guidelines. Roadmap revisions are expected to occur periodically (nominally every six months) to incorporate new research priorities and objectives and delete old objectives that have been achieved, while adhering to the Consortium’s rules of governance.

    This roadmap incorporates input approved by the offshore project developers on the Consortium’s Board of Directors who represent the intended end-users of research activities under the Consortium’s principles of operation. Input for this Roadmap was solicited by questionnaire and by interviews with board members. In addition, the roadmap relies on expertise from the Consortium’s internal technical team comprised of offshore wind expert staff from NYSERDA, DOE, RCG, the CT, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), as well as the Consortium’s various advisory groups.

    Through the input received and guided by the parameters of the DOE FOA 1767 solicitation, the greatest technical challenges to U.S. offshore wind will be addressed through R&D projects funded by the Consortium.

    Please note that all solicitations are expected to adhere to the following general principles:

     Proposers should address issues essential for cost reduction, deployment, and industry expansion specific to offshore regions of the U.S. Proposers of research topics already being addressed globally must explain why further research is necessary.

     Proposal topics will generally adhere to the three research pillars. Additionally, solicitations and project work supported by federal funding must adhere to DOE FOA 1767 guidelines and objectives. In some cases, this roadmap includes important research challenges that may be outside the scope of priorities indicated in DOE FOA 1767. These topics may not be eligible to receive federal funding but may be addressed by the Consortium in the future.

     Proposals should provide benefits to multiple end users. R&D projects that benefit multiple end users are expected to have a greater impact toward achieving the Consortium’s industry-wide cost reduction targets compared to R&D projects focused on a developer’s specific commercial offshore wind project.

    Although the consortium may modify the research objectives in future versions of the roadmap, it is expected the roadmap will continue to maintain an industry-focused, prioritized offshore wind R&D agenda that enables early U.S. offshore wind project development, LCOE reduction, and geographic industry expansion beyond the currently designated Wind Energy Areas…

    QUICK NEWS, December 10: Climate Change, Nuclear War, And The Slow Tomorrow; re T-RECs The Key To Real 100% New Energy?

    Climate Change, Nuclear War, And The Slow Tomorrow Former Defense Secretary Compares Climate Change To Nuclear War

    Jeff McMahon, December 9 2018 (Forbes)

    There are two existential catastrophes threatening the world, former Defense Secretary William Perry said. One is quick but avoidable, while the other is slowly unfolding…[The first is] nuclear catastrophe—and the other is a climate catastrophe. The nuclear catastrophe could happen next month, next year…[or never, Perry recently told a Stanford University audience in a dialogue with California Gov. Jerry Brown. But] it happens all at once…[T] he climate-change catastrophe is on a slow roll. It is happening. It’s happening every month, every year…[And it is] getting worse…

    …[Brown responded that nuclear war] and climate change have a similar lack of attention relative to what the threat is…[And both should get] a lot more attention…California has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions from 465 million tons per year to 435 or 440…[but has] to get down to 165…[The only way to do that is to] take every conceivable market-regulatory-investment-R&D-private-public effort…[It will require something like warfare] heroism to deal with climate change…[Perry, who was in Japan after the Hiroshima catastrophe that ended World War II, said the solution to climate change is clear] but we're not doing it…” click here for more

    Are T-RECs The Key To Real 100% New Energy? Corporate Renewable Energy 2.0: Moving Past ‘Dinosaur Power’ to 100×100 Renewables

    Taylor Sloane, December 4, 2018 (Energy Manager Today)

    “…Some forward-leaning companies have already reached [net 100% renewables] and their achievements should be celebrated…[T]he next frontier is ensuring that renewable energy is actually powering corporate facilities when they have load – 100% renewable energy 100% of the time…One hundred percent renewable energy on a net basis means that in a year, the amount of renewable energy sourced by a company is equal to the amount of electricity that the company consumed…[But as] renewable energy penetration increases, the value of additional renewable energy on the grid decreases due to falling capacity value…Adding additional solar energy to a grid that is already curtailing solar generation [during midday when the belly of the “Duck Curve” is fat with solar output] will not achieve the additionality that corporate renewable energy procurements seek, as that new solar is not offsetting the energy generated by fossil fuel generation…

    …Procuring only renewable energy on a net basis is not a scalable solution to create a sustainable renewable energy market where everyone can achieve 100% renewable energy…[T]he stretch goal is achieving 100% renewable energy 100% of the time, or 100×100. This could be accomplished using Time-matched Renewable Energy Credits, or T-RECs. Reaching 100×100 will certainly be a difficult task, but reaching 100% renewable energy on a net basis also seemed daunting 10 years ago…Based on the economics of energy storage and renewables, our modelling shows that 80-90% time-matched renewable energy consumption is realistic today for a facility with a 24/7 flat load using a combination of wind, solar and storage…Corporate leaders have already changed how electricity is procured. Continued innovation in corporate sourcing of renewable energy has the potential to drive further electricity decarbonization…” click here for more

    Saturday, December 08, 2018

    Colbert On The President’s Climate Policy

    Nobody understands our president like Colbert. From The Late Show With Stephen Colbert via YouTube

    Breaking Down The Climate Change Report

    Climate is changing faster than it ever has since humans walked the earth, but there are still things humans can do to turn things around. From CBS News via YouTube

    The Battery Factory That Could Save The World

    Tesla makes electric vehicles and installs rooftop solar but its scaling up of battery-making could transform New Energy and allow it to turn back climate change. From The Verge via YouTube