NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, November 6: ATLANTIC CITY WIND ENDURED SANDY AND BACK ON LINE; TIME TO BUY SUN?; IKEA GOES ALL NEW ENERGY

NewEnergyNews

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

The challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE- STAR WARS PLANET TATOOINE’S CLIMATE CHANGE
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-BIG NEW THREAT TO CLIMATE FROM COAL-TO-GAS IN CHINA
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-INDIA VILLAGE OF 2,400 GOES 100% SOLAR WITH BATTERIES, MICROGRID
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-GERMANY IS WORLD’S MOST EFFICIENT MAJOR ECONOMY
  • THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, July 24:

  • TTTA Thursday-CLIMATE FACTS VERSUS CLIMATE CULTURE
  • TTTA Thursday-MONEY IN WIND UP FOR QUARTER, DOWN FROM 2013
  • TTTA Thursday-MIDWEST BIOFUELS CAN BE NEW ENERGY – UCS STUDY
  • TTTA Thursday-TESLA CHAMPIONS THE PLUG AND THE CAR
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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 DAY BEFORE

  • THE STUDY: EUROPE’S OFFSHORE WIND PROGRESS THIS YEAR
  • QUICK NEWS, July 23: NEW ENERGY WAS 55% OF 1H 2014 U.S. NEW BUILD; EV SALES LEAP; OCEAN ENERGY’S FINANCES UNDER SCRUTINY
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: WHY THE OIL & GAS INDUSTRY BACKS AN ALL-OF-THE-ABOVE ENERGY POLICY
  • QUICK NEWS, July 22: U.S. DOE FORESEES NEW ENERGY; THE BEST CITIES FOR NEW ENERGY; ENERGY STORAGE TO BE $50BIL MRKT
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: THE COST OF ADDING SOLAR TO A UTILITY’S OPERATIONS
  • QUICK NEWS, 7-21: U.S. WIND, SOLAR TO GROW THROUGH 2020; NEW GEOTHERMAL RISING; CHINESE HAVE RIGHTS IN OREGON WIND BUY
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • Weekend Video: Colbert Gets Into Coal Rolling
  • Weekend Video: How Solar Power Plants Store And Use Solar Energy
  • Weekend Video: A Story About People And Wind Energy
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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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  • Tuesday, November 06, 2012

    QUICK NEWS, November 6: ATLANTIC CITY WIND ENDURED SANDY AND BACK ON LINE; TIME TO BUY SUN?; IKEA GOES ALL NEW ENERGY

    ATLANTIC CITY WIND ENDURED SANDY AND BACK ON LINE The wind farm that withstood Hurricane Sandy

    Ros Davidson, 2 November 2012 (Windpower Monthly)

    “…Three of the Jersey Atlantic project’s five 1.5MW GE SLE turbines [withstood Hurricane Sandy after 90 mph winds smashed into the New Jersey coast and] were operating again by Friday…The remaining two turbines [are expected to] be up and running in the next few days…

    “…The project, operated by Infigen Energy, is at [the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) wastewater treatment plant a few miles from the shore...Matthew McGowan, Infigen’s asset management and development director, described the turbines as in ‘good shape’…High water levels may have caused some difficulties with data relay from the substations on site and with the electrical connections, said Infigen.”

    “On Sunday, the turbines had been placed in ‘hurricane mode’. They were electrically locked, taken offline and then powered up using the standby generator that controls the yaw of the nacelles so they could be turned into the winds, which were a sustained 64 mph, probably with much higher gusting, said Infigen…ACUA had approximately 25,000 additional visits to its [wind project webcam] between Sunday and Tuesday…

    “…This is not the first time a wind farm has withstood hostile environmental conditions. Last year, the Kamisu near-shore wind farm, located 40 metres off Ibaraki prefecture on Japan's east coast, withstood the country's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.”

    TIME TO BUY SUN? Order Cancellations Drive PV Book-to-Bill Ratio into Negative Territory…Capacity Rationalization and Equipment De-Bookings Provide Further Delay to Next Technology Buy Cycle

    October 22, 2012 (SolarBuzz)

    “Production equipment order cancellations and push-outs by solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers during 2012 exceeded $3 billion by the end of Q3’12, according to new research [from NPD Solarbuzz]…This has resulted in a significant reduction in order backlogs for PV equipment suppliers, with Q3’12 representing the fourth consecutive quarter of 30% Q/Q backlog declines. When combined with maintenance-only quantities of new orders seen by PV equipment suppliers, the PV book-to-bill ratio has fallen into negative territory, the first time since the industry began to take off in the mid-2000s…

    “Customers of PV…cell and module makers…continue to undergo a painful capacity rationalization process, caused by chronic over-investment dating back to 2010. However, quarterly manufacturing capacity for c-Si cells and modules remains constant at 13 GW, with new capacity coming online cancelling out the existing capacity that is being shuttered and idled…”

    “…During Q3’12, utilization rates for cell and module capacity had to be reduced considerably…However, PV manufacturers remain highly cautious about short-term capacity and production plans…[due to] several ongoing anti-dumping investigations. Some Chinese c-Si manufacturers are considering geographic diversification of their manufacturing capacity.

    “PV equipment spending is forecast to decline by more than 66% during 2012, and to remain at pre-2008 levels of $5 billion during 2013. Equipment spending is not forecast to rebound until at least 2014, with tier 1 spending accounting for over 90% of addressable revenues. PV equipment spending over the next 12-18 months will be comprised of process tool upgrades, advanced high-efficiency pilot lines, and potential geographic capacity diversification to address any trade restrictions or local content requirements…”

    IKEA GOES ALL NEW ENERGY Ikea uses sun, wind to become energy independent; As more U.S. businesses embrace renewable energy, IKEA plans to announce Tuesday that it will rely on the sun and the wind to produce all the power it uses at its stores and buildings by 2020.

    Wendy Koch, October 23, 2012 (USA Today)

    “Energy independence by 2020? …[G]lobal home furnishings retailer Ikea…[announced] plans to achieve that goal with solar and wind power…[T]he Swedish retailer says it will rely on the sun and wind to produce all the power it uses at its stores and buildings worldwide within a decade.

    “It plans to install more rooftop solar panels, erect wind farms and reduce its energy usage by replacing 1.2 million incandescent light bulbs with 85%-more-efficient LEDs (light-emitting diodes.)…Ikea already has solar panels atop 34 of its 38 U.S. stores and distribution centers…[P]arts of the U.S. also have great wind potential, and Ikea, which is building wind farms abroad, would like one stateside…”

    “Ikea, which announced earlier this month that it will sell only LED light bulbs in its stores by 2016, is not the first retailer to shoot for 100% renewable energy. Walmart has also set that goal (without specifying a timeline), and it ranks first among U.S. companies for solar power generation…Costco Wholesale ranked second, Kohl's Department Stores, third, Ikea, fourth and Macy's, fifth…

    “…[M]ore than 90% of the total energy that retailers use is embedded in the supply chain — the making of and delivering of parts and products…[Retailers say] renewable energy is no longer just about scoring public relations points… Ikea, which phased out plastic bags in 2007 and stopped selling incandescent bulbs in 2010, believes energy independence is ‘the right thing to do, not only because it's concerned about climate change but also because it wants to protect itself against higher energy prices in the future…”

    1 Comments:

    At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Solar MA said...

    WOW!! Thats insane! I wish I was there to check it out while the gust came by. Its unbelievable that they even had to lock them electrically to prevent them from blowing up and away out of the ground!

    -Sharone Tal

     

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