NewEnergyNews: MORE NEWS, 9-29: CHINA TO TEST CAP™ SCIENTISTS LIKE MINN CLIMATE PLAN; NEW ENGLAND HAS WIND RICHES; SUN ON THE ROOF

NewEnergyNews

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

Every day is Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • THE STUDY: THE ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES OF NEW ENERGY – THE NORTH CAROLINA CASE
  • QUICK NEWS, April 22: ON EARTH – A QUICK LOOK BACK; OBSERVATIONS FOR EARTH DAY (continued); OBAMA ADMIN UPS BACKING FOR NEW ENERGY
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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: THE U.S. NEW ENERGY MARKET NOW AND AHEAD
  • QUICK NEWS, April 21: OBSERVATIONS FOR EARTH DAY; BACK TO OWNERSHIP IN SOLAR; 15X GROWTH FOR ASIA PACIFIC MIDROGRIDS
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: Happy Birthday Solar Cell
  • Weekend Video: Offshore Wind As A Hurricane A Wall
  • Weekend Video: Get On The Climate Policy Train
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 5 (continued from yesterday)
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 6
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 7
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 8
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

    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
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • 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
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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, September 29, 2009

    MORE NEWS, 9-29: CHINA TO TEST CAP™ SCIENTISTS LIKE MINN CLIMATE PLAN; NEW ENGLAND HAS WIND RICHES; SUN ON THE ROOF

    CHINA TO TEST CAP&TRADE
    China sees emission trading pilot in next economic plan
    Emma Graham-Harrison, September 28, 2009 (Reuters)

    "China plans to include a pilot emissions trading system in its five-year plan for economic development until 2015…[though it is not yet clear] whether it would cover carbon dioxide.

    "The government is already experimenting with small-scale schemes to tackle acid-rain causing sulfur dioxide and other pollutants using market mechanisms…[and has not stated] the potential for expanding these, or adding greenhouse gases to the list of pollutants that can be controlled and traded, but is apparently keen to at least continue exploring their potential."


    China will soon be on the Big Board of emissions trading. (click to enlarge)

    "A trial system for trading in permits to pollute was listed as one of four main emissions reductions goals in official comments about a blueprint for growth in China from 2011 to 2015, which bureaucrats are still thrashing out…The country's top climate change official, Xie Zhenhua, deputy head of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission, declined to clarify how large the trial would be, or whether it would cover greenhouse gases.

    "China is now the world's top annual emitter, and President Hu Jintao pledged at the United Nations to take on a "carbon intensity" goal that would oblige it to cut the amount of carbon dioxide produced for each dollar of its economic output…[C]arbon traders hope this could pave the way for a market like the one currently used in Europe, and have been rushing to secure a potentially lucrative foothold in China even though it is unclear how easy it will be to make money there."


    China is risking these price advantages to cut back its fossil fuel dependence and incentivize New Energy. (click to enlarge)

    "The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), owned by UK-based Climate Exchange Plc, has signed a deal to set up a Chinese emissions exchange, but has declined to say how much it will invest or when trading might start.

    "French emissions exchange BlueNext has taken steps toward a carbon trading platform in China, joining with the China-Beijing Environment Exchange to offer clients a database of Chinese carbon-cutting projects and a carbon market standard."



    SCIENTISTS LIKE MINN CLIMATE PLAN
    Report touts Minnesota's energy policy as model for nation
    Larry Bivins, September 27, 2009 (St. Cloud Times)

    "A report that paints a dramatic picture of climate change impact in the Upper Midwest also applauds Minnesota for its renewable energy policy.

    ["Confronting Climate Change in the Midwest-Minnesota] by the Union of Concerned Scientists…says the record heat of the summer of 1988 could become the norm if Minnesota emissions causing global warming are not curbed…[and] cites Minnesota’s requirement that 25 percent of electricity come from renewable resources by 2025 as a model for Washington lawmakers to follow…"

    click to enlarge

    "The House in June passed a bill that calls for a cap-and-trade program, a renewable-electricity standard and greater energy efficiency to reduce carbon emissions — the primary pollutants warming the Earth. The debate now shifts to the Senate.

    "Skeptics of climate change science say what’s happening is more an evolutionary phenomenon than a result of emissions from burning fossil fuels…[They] doubt that the long-term impact will be as serious as predicted…Opponents of the House bill — including Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, who voted against it — cite that skepticism as reason to reject the proposed legislation."


    click to enlarge

    "They and others also contend that a cap-and-trade system would cause job losses and higher fuel costs for consumers, while having a negligible impact on climate change.
    Supporters counter that the costs of doing nothing are far greater…Kevin Reuther, legal director for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy…said that while the new UCS report confirms what policymakers have heard for years, state and federal leaders have failed to respond with due attention…Reuther said the House bill was a good start…

    "The Midwest study looks at eight states — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin…The combined emissions of those states are double the output in the United Kingdom and would make the Midwest the world’s fourth-largest polluter if it were a nation…"



    NEW ENGLAND HAS WIND RICHES
    Windpower A Key Source Of Energy In New England, Report Says
    Harlan Lev, September 27, 2009 (Hartford Business Journal)

    "Windpower can be a significant resource for electricity for Connecticut and the rest of New England, according to a blueprint for developing renewable resources adopted by New England’s six governors and premiers from Eastern Canada at their annual meeting…Windpower is the area’s major renewable resource, a months-long study that is the basis for the blueprint says.

    "The study, by a team of engineers and economists from ISO New England, the region’s electricity grid coordinator, analyzed more than 40 scenarios to integrate primarily large-scale wind resources onshore and offshore into the grid by 2030."


    click to enlarge

    "[Key findings:] …Offshore wind resource integration offers the most cost-effective use of new and existing transmission. The study considered and tested wind resource integration scenarios from 2,000 to 12,000 megawatts…[into New England’s] 31,400 megawatts of electricity…New transmission investment would be required to integrate wind resources…"

    click to enlarge

    "[Further key findings:] …Annual wholesale electricity prices would be generally lower with the addition of renewable wind resources and demand response resources (paying businesses for conservation, voluntary energy cutbacks, and off-peak energy use) because they have low or no fuel costs…Lower levels of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide result when low-carbon-emitting-resources are used or when older fossil-fueled generators are either retired and replaced by new, natural gas combined-cycle units or repowered with more efficient combustion technologies incorporating new natural-gas fired technology with portions of the existing unit’s infrastructure.

    "The study also considered resources such as plug-in electric vehicles, expanded imports, and energy storage…[It] advocates that the states synchronize power procurement and long-term power contract activities and coordinate reviews of proposed interstate transmission facilities needed to reach renewable resources distant from population centers…"



    SUN ON THE ROOF
    Solar Power, Without All Those Panels
    Annie Eisenberg, September 26, 2009 (NY Times)

    "The main way for homes to harness solar power today is through bulky panels added to the rooftop or mounted on the ground…But companies are now offering alternatives to these fixed installations, in the less conspicuous form of shingles, tiles and other building materials that have photovoltaic cells sealed within them…

    "…[C]alled building-integrated photovoltaics…Companies are creating solar tiles and shingles in colors and shapes that fit in, for example, with the terra cotta tile roofing popular in the Southwest, or with the gray shingles of coastal saltbox cottages."


    click to enlarge

    "SRS Energy…is making curved solar roofing tiles designed to blend in with Southern California’s traditional clay tiles…A solar tile system that met half the power needs of a typical California home would cost roughly $20,000 to install after rebates…about 10 to 20 percent more than solar panels… U.S. Tile…a maker of clay tiles, will be selling SRS’s Solé Power Tiles …It will be taking orders perhaps as early as November for shipment in January… SRS Energy buys the photovoltaic cells that cover its roofing from United Solar Ovonic, a maker of flexible solar modules…[and] bonds the silicon cells to the curved Solé tiles, which are made of the same basic material as car bumpers…

    "The cells have been installed at several demonstration sites…Rather than creating an entire new roof with the solar tiles, [one homeowner]…chose to insert them in his existing roof, replacing about 300 square feet of terra cotta tiles; the job took about four hours…The solar insert in the roof will generate about 2,400 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, enough to cover a quarter to a third of a typical electric bill…"


    click to enlarge

    "A different solar material for the roofs and sides of buildings is being produced by Global Solar Energy…Atomized layers of a photovoltaic coating called CIGS are deposited in layers on a thin sheet…Crystalline photovoltaic cells, the same type as in fixed panel installations, are used within the ceramic tiles available from, among others, the Italian company System Photonics. The cells are held in place and sealed from moisture by a clear plastic protective layer made by DuPont…The tiles come in 13 colors…[B]uilt-in solar power [is] just starting in the United States, where the bulk of the installations [are] still experimental. But that will change…[T]he market for the building-integrated products [is] promising…[but depends] on when the construction and real estate markets…recover. The best time to install the photovoltaics in terms of cost and design is during building construction…

    "…[G]overnment subsidies [could] speed adoption of building-integrated photovoltaics in the United States, as they already have in Europe…In France, Germany and other countries, building-integrated solar markets are growing quickly because of subsidies and programs that pay homeowners for the electricity they generate and feed back to the power grid…[T]he incentives help homeowners in repaying the systems’ costs in five to seven years…[Experts believe aesthetics also] will be crucial to the popularity of building-integrated solar cells…"

    1 Comments:

    At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I love it! China will create their own Cap&Trade system and eventually China will be the low cost leader of carbon trading. That menas good bye European Climate Exchange, good bye Chicago Climate Exchange. The cheapest place to buy carbon will be China. Al Gore will lose billions! Wahoo!

     

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