NewEnergyNews: BIG MONEY, LOTS OF JOBS IN NEW ENERGY, EFFICIENCY – REPORT

NewEnergyNews

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

Every day is Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, April 17:

  • TTTA Thursday-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 1
  • TTTA Thursday-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 2
  • TTTA Thursday-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 3
  • TTTA Thursday-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 4
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    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    THE DAY BEFORE

  • THE STUDY: NEW ENERGY POSSIBILITIES – THE MICHIGAN EXAMPLE
  • QUICK NEWS, April 16: THE RACE AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE; THE FAST RISING POTENTIAL OF U.S. NEW ENERGY; BIG TEXAS WIND SHRINKS ELECTRICITY MRKT PRICE
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • THE STUDY: THE MONEY IN NEW ENERGY
  • QUICK NEWS, April 15: WORLD WIND TO BOOM THRU 2014; NAT GAS AND SOLAR WERE 75% OF U.S. 2013 NEW POWER; MAINE OFFICIALLY AFFIRMS SMART METERS’ SAFETY
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: THIS COULD BE THE REAL VALUE OF SOLAR
  • QUICK NEWS, April 14: DE-RISKED RENEWABLES HAVE MORE INVESTORS THAN DEALS; THE MYTH OF CONSOLIDATION IN SOLAR; TEXAS BREAKS MORE WIND RECORDS
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Weekend Video: Bill Maher On What’s Happening In The Oceans
  • Weekend Video: The Human Disharmony In The Climate System Symphony
  • Weekend Video: A Few Thoughts About Solar 2.0
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE- THE CLIMATE CHANGE FIGHT MOVES DOWNTOWN
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-SHIFTING AND GROWING AMONG GLOBAL SOLAR LEADERS
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-UK OFFSHORE WIND SETTING RECORDS
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-MICROGRIDS RISING AROUND THE WORLD
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is a biweekly contributor to NewEnergyNews

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT)

    November 26, 2013 (Huffington Post via NewEnergyNews)

    Everywhere we turn, environmental news is filled with horrid developments and glimpses of irreversible tipping points.

    Just a handful of examples are breathtaking: Scientists have dared to pinpoint the years at which locations around the world may reach runaway heat, and in the northern hemisphere it's well in sight for our children: 2047. Survivors of Superstorm Sandy are packing up as costs of repair and insurance go out of reach, one threat that climate science has long predicted. Or we could simply talk about the plight of bees and the potential impact on food supplies. Surprising no one who explores the Pacific Ocean, sailor Ivan MacFadyen described long a journey dubbed The Ocean is Broken, in which he saw vast expanses of trash and almost no wildlife save for a whale struggling a with giant tumor on its head, evoking the tons of radioactive water coming daily from Fukushima's lamed nuclear power center. Rampaging fishing methods and ocean acidification are now reported as causing the overpopulation of jellyfish that have jammed the intakes of nuclear plants around the world. Yet the shutting down of nuclear plants is a trifling setback compared with the doom that can result in coming days at Fukushima in the delicate job to extract bent and spent fuel rods from a ruined storage tank, a project dubbed "radioactive pick up sticks."

    With all these horrors to ponder you wouldn't expect to hear that you should also worry about the United States running out of coal. But you would be wrong, says Leslie Glustrom, founder and research director for Clean Energy Action. Her contention is that we've passed the peak in our nation's legendary supply of coal that powers over one-third of our grid capacity. This grim news is faithfully spelled out in three reports, with the complete story told in Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves (pdf). (Disclosure: I serve on CEA's board and have known the author for years.)

    Glustrom's research presents a sea change in how we should understand our energy challenges, or experience grim consequences. It's not only about toxic and heat-trapping emissions anymore; it's also about having enough energy generation to run big cities and regions that now rely on coal. Glustrom worries openly about how commerce will go on in many regions in 2025 if they don't plan their energy futures right.

    2013-11-05-FigureES4_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    Scrutinizing data for prices on delivered coal nationwide, Glustrom's new report establishes that coal's price has risen nearly 8 percent annually for eight years, roughly doubling, due mostly to thinner, deeper coal seams plus costlier diesel transport expenses. Higher coal prices in a time of "cheap" natural gas and affordable renewables means coal companies are lamed by low or no profits, as they hold debt levels that dwarf their market value and carry very high interest rates.

    2013-11-05-Table_ES2_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    2013-11-05-Figure_ES2_FULL.jpg

    One leading coal company, Patriot, filed for bankruptcy last year; many others are also struggling under bankruptcy watch and not eager to upgrade equipment for the tougher mining ahead. Add to this the bizarre event this fall of a coal lease failing to sell in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, the "Fort Knox" of the nation's coal supply, with some pundits agreeing this portends a tightening of the nation's coal supply, not to mention the array of researchers cited in the report. Indeed, at the mid point of 2013, only 488 millions tons of coal were produced in the U.S.; unless a major catch up happens by year-end, 2013 may be as low in production as 1993.

    Coal may exist in large quantities geologically, but economically, it's getting out of reach, as confirmed by US Geological Survey in studies indicating that less than 20 percent of US coal formations are economically recoverable, as explored in the CEA report. To Glustrom, that number plus others translate to 10 to 20 years more of burning coal in the US. It takes capital, accessible coal with good heat content and favorable market conditions to assure that mining companies will stay in business. She has observed a classic disconnect between camps of professionals in which geologists tend to assume money is "infinite" and financial analysts tend to assume that available coal is "infinite." Both biases are faulty and together they court disaster, and "it is only by combining thoughtful estimates of available coal and available money that our country can come to a realistic estimate of the amount of US coal that can be mined at a profit." This brings us back to her main and rather simple point: "If the companies cannot make a profit by mining coal they won't be mining for long."

    No one is more emphatic than Glustrom herself that she cannot predict the future, but she presents trend lines that are robust and confirmed assertively by the editorial board at West Virginia Gazette:

    Although Clean Energy Action is a "green" nonprofit opposed to fossil fuels, this study contains many hard economic facts. As we've said before, West Virginia's leaders should lower their protests about pollution controls, and instead launch intelligent planning for the profound shift that is occurring in the Mountain State's economy.

    The report "Warning, Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" and its companion reports belong in the hands of energy and climate policy makers, investors, bankers, and rate payer watchdog groups, so that states can plan for, rather than react to, a future with sea change risk factors.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    It bears mentioning that even China is enacting a "peak coal" mentality, with Shanghai declaring that it will completely ban coal burning in 2017 with intent to close down hundreds of coal burning boilers and industrial furnaces, or shifting them to clean energy by 2015. And Citi Research, in "The Unimaginable: Peak Coal in China," took a look at all forms of energy production in China and figured that demand for coal will flatten or peak by 2020 and those "coal exporting countries that have been counting on strong future coal demand could be most at risk." Include US coal producers in that group of exporters.

    Our world is undergoing many sorts of change and upheaval. We in the industrialized world have spent about a century dismissing ocean trash, overfishing, pesticides, nuclear hazard, and oil and coal burning with a shrug of, "Hey it's fine, nature can manage it." Now we're surrounded by impacts of industrial-grade consumption, including depletion of critical resources and tipping points of many kinds. It is not enough to think of only ourselves and plan for strictly our own survival or convenience. The threat to animals everywhere, indeed to whole systems of the living, is the grief-filled backdrop of our times. It's "all hands on deck" at this point of human voyaging, and in our nation's capital, we certainly don't have that. Towns, states and regions need to plan fiercely and follow through. And a fine example is Boulder Colorado's recent victory to keep on track for clean energy by separating from its electric utility that makes 59 percent of its power from coal.

    Clean Energy Action is disseminating "Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" for free to all manner of relevant professionals who should be concerned about long range trends which now include the supply risks of coal, and is supporting that outreach through a fundraising campaign.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    Author's note: Want to support my work? Please "fan" me at Huffpost Denver, here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anne-butterfield). Thanks.

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    Anne's previous NewEnergyNews columns:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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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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    Your intrepid reporter

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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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  • Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    BIG MONEY, LOTS OF JOBS IN NEW ENERGY, EFFICIENCY – REPORT

    Independent consultants’ research says so. Academic research says so. Anecdotal experience says so. Who DOESN’T?

    Says what?

    Says investing in New Energy and energy efficiency generates more jobs and revenues than it costs and provides emissions-free energy as a result.

    A new report from the University of California (UC) validates previous data from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) indicating California's investment in New Energy and energy efficiency from 1972 on earned back more money in revenues and jobs than its cost.

    From Sacramento to Washington, D.C., it’s time to pony up. The way to get this economy going again is to learn what every businessperson knows: You have to spend money to make money.

    Experts are whispering in the blogosphere: The UC and CARB calculations of California's savings probably dramatically underestimate what the state actually saved from its energy efficiency programs and what it can save by building New Energy infrastructure.

    To opponents of building New Energy: Which is the objectionable part, the high-quality new employment, the prosperity or the emissions-free energy?

    From
    Energy Efficiency, Innovation and Job Creation in California: “California’s legacy of energy policies and resulting economic growth provides evidence that innovation and energy efficiency can make essential contributions to economic growth and stability. Had the state not embarked on its ambitious path to reduce emissions over three decades ago, the California economy would be in a significantly more vulnerable position today. Looking ahead, California’s ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as mandated by the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) puts the state on a more stable economic path by encouraging even greater investment in energy saving innovation. The current financial crisis reminds us of the importance of responsible risk management. The results of this study remind us that, in addition to energy price vulnerability and climate damage, the risks of excessive energy dependence include lower long-term economic growth. A lower carbon future for California is a more prosperous and sustainable future.”

    The study used the Berkeley Energy And Resources (BEAR) model (described as “the most detailed and comprehensive forecasting tool of its kind”) to make its predictions for future impacts.

    F. Noel Perry, founder, study-funder Next 10: "As the financial world's uncertainty continues to be the cause of anxiety and fear about the future, this report provides hard evidence that energy efficiency and innovation can pave the way to economic security and growth…Whether or not we take that path depends on policy to encourage it."


    click to enlarge

    New U.C. Report Finds Past and Future State Energy Policies Deliver Needed Economic Advantage; Provides Critical Evidence as CA Faces Global Financial Crisis
    October 20, 2008 (PR Newswrie/COMTEX via MarketWatch)

    WHO
    Center for Energy, Resources and Economic Sustainability/Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California (David Roland-Holst, author); Next 10; California Air Resources Board (CARB)

    WHAT
    Energy Efficiency, Innovation and Job Creation in California finds (1) California energy efficiency policies added 1.5 million fulltime jobs in the past 3½ decades and (2) state climate policies increasing efficiency at 1%/year going forward will grow the Gross State Product (GSP) by ~$76 billion, upping household incomes and adding more new jobs.

    The numbers tell the story. (click to enlarge)

    WHEN
    - 1972 thru 2006: The report examines historical data on job creation and revenues generated.
    - Through 2020: The report examines the impacts of AB32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act which requires the states emissions to be brought to 1990 levels by 2020.

    WHERE
    The report studied the state of California.

    WHY
    - The study was funded by Next 10.
    - California energy efficiency policies: added 1.5 million fulltime (FTE) jobs (total payroll: $45+ billion).
    - State policies improving energy efficiency 1%/year: increase GSP ~$76 billion, increase real household income ~$48 billion, increase jobs ~403,000.
    - The study examined household reductions in per capita electricity use as a catalyst for economic growth.
    - Household consumption = 70% of GSP and, therefore, household expenditure is the leading determinant of energy use and employment in California.
    - Historical findings:
    (1) Aggressive policies in the 1970s to reduce energy waste and increase energy production protected California from the current economic crisis;
    (2) 1.5 million FTE (with $45 billion payroll) because building energy and efficiency has a “multiplier” effect on employment saved consumers $56 billion in energy costs;
    (3) W/every lost job due to slowed growth in energy supply chains (oil, gas, electric power, etc.) 50 new jobs were created across the state's diverse economy, and
    (4) New jobs come from less energy intensive services, generating a more emissions-free economy.
    - The study validated recommendations made by CARB toward implementation of AB 32 but found bigger economic benefits likely because CARB assumed static technology.

    click to enlarge

    - Prognostications, using BEAR:
    (1) The state should achieve 100% of the goals set by AB 32 for greenhouse gas reductions and increase the GSP (~$76 billion), increase real household income (~$48 billion) and add jobs (~403,000);
    (2) A compounding effect is expected: The first 1.4% efficiency increase = ~181,000 jobs, the next 1% gain = ~222,000 jobs, etc.;
    (3) Increased jobs in efficiency sectors and a shift to an emissions-free economy will slow but not end job growth in Old Energy industries;
    (4) Efficiency growth of 1% will drive a win-win situation for industry and consumers;
    (5) Establishing a price for emissions with a cap-and-trade system will drive the favorable changes and growth;
    (6) Energy is the world’s highest-revenue sector so efficiency changes will “…revolutionize traditional practices and increase real living standards around the world…” and
    (7) The planned changes will drive California to world leadership in the sector as it transitions to an emissions-free economy.

    QUOTES
    - Roland-Holst, U.C.Professor and report author: "Our analysis provides solid evidence that California's legacy of energy policy has grown the economy, created jobs and put billions of dollars into the pockets of consumers…At this pivotal moment in history, as global markets teeter on the financial edge, our study reveals the economic power of energy innovation and efficiency, and the promise for California if the state redoubles its efforts as proposed in the Draft Scoping Plan to implement the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32)."
    - Mike Splinter, president/CEO, Applied Materials: "The economy, energy and the environment are the great social and engineering challenges of our time…This report highlights the importance of smart policy to help accelerate adoption of future clean energy products and technologies and how they can truly make a difference to the future of our planet."

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