NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, February 19: WHERE SUN IS IN TEXAS; NEW YORK TURNS TO WIND; NEW ENERGY SAVED MONEY FOR NO CAROLINA

NewEnergyNews

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

The new challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: Much More Inhofe Now
  • Weekend Video: Jon Stewart Talks Keystone, Politics, And Jobs
  • Weekend Video: Jon Stewart On How Keystone Opponents May Be Caught In Their Own Trap
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-A NEW WAY TO SEE CLIMATE CHANGE
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-EU OCEAN WIND TO CUT COSTS, KEEP GROWING
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-COST-COMPETIVE NEW ENERGY, GERMANY’S ‘GIFT TO THE WORLD’
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-NEW ENERGY MATCHES COAL ON COST, CAPACITY IN TURKEY
  • -------------------

    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

    -------------------

    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, November 20:

  • TTTA Thursday-TOP REPUBLICAN DROPS CLIMATE DENIAL
  • TTTA Thursday-FORD ELECTRIC CARS FOR ‘THE MASSES’
  • TTTA Thursday-MIDWEST SOLAR MAKES SENSE AND CENTS
  • TTTA Thursday-NEW ENERGY JOBS BY THE BAY
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: THE MIDWEST GRID IS READY FOR 40% NEW ENERGY
  • QUICK NEWS, November 19: OHIO NEW ENERGY JOBS REPORT SUPPRESSED; SOLAR GIANT BUYS WIND DEVELOPER; BUSINESS TO MAKE IT BIG IN SMART CITIES
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: THE NEW ENERGY LIFE-CYCLE CUTS EMISSIONS
  • QUICK NEWS, November 18: U.S. TAKES WORLD LEAD IN WIND; SOLAR TO SHOW MISSOURI JOBS; WAVE ENERGY ROLLING SLOWLY IN
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • THE STUDY: A NEW TAKE ON THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF SOLAR
  • QUICK NEWS, November 17: BIG TEST FOR SOLAR ROADS KICKS OFF; FORD TURNS TO NEW ENERGY; ADVANCED BATTERY SUPPLY CHAIN TO TRIPLE
  • --------------------------

    --------------------------

    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.

    - -------------------

    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

    -------------------

    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

    -------------------

    Your intrepid reporter

    -------------------

      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

    -------------------

    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    QUICK NEWS, February 19: WHERE SUN IS IN TEXAS; NEW YORK TURNS TO WIND; NEW ENERGY SAVED MONEY FOR NO CAROLINA

    WHERE SUN IS IN TEXAS San Antonio, Austin support 85 percent of Texas solar energy installations; Legislature considering bills to help expand solar to rest of state

    February 14, 2013 (Environment Texas)

    “The municipally owned utilities in San Antonio and Austin have supported the installation of four times more solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity than the rest of Texas combined or 85 percent of the state total, according to Reaching for the Sun: How San Antonio and Austin Are Showing that Solar Is a Powerful Energy Option for Texas

    “CPS Energy, which serves San Antonio and surrounding areas, reports solar energy installations of 52.6 megawatts (MW) while Austin Energy reports 41.3 MW. Oncor, the utility serving Dallas, Fort Worth and other areas, is a distant third with 9.89 MW. On the basis of installed solar energy per customer account, Austin Energy has 0.099 kW per account, CPS energy 0.073 kw, and El Paso Electric takes third with 0.005 kW.”

    “…[The Environment Texas Research and Policy Center report] credits San Antonio and Austin’s strong policies that encourage solar power on residences and businesses, and in utility-scale installations…[S]olar energy can help reduce the need for coal and natural gas power plants that cause air pollution, contribute to global warming, and use excessive amounts of precious water for cooling…[A] recent study by the operator of Texas’ electricity grid (ERCOT) [showed] that the most cost-effective way to meet the state’s growing need for electricity on the hottest summer days is to add solar and wind energy generating capacity rather than natural gas-fired power plants.

    “…According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Texas has the potential to generate more than 100 times our current electric use from solar power. But despite the leadership of San Antonio and Austin, Texas ranks just 13th in the nation for installed solar…[S]everal bills filed in the Legislature which could help expand the state’s use of solar energy…”

    NEW YORK TURNS TO WIND New Yorkers' Green Helps Wind Power Supply More Of The Power Grid

    Jill Urban, February 10, 2013 (NY1)

    “…[T]he Barcade bar in Williamsburg…[a]Brooklyn hotspot is 100-percent powered by wind energy…Because the bar operates more than 30 arcade games, it consumes more energy than the average bar. Kermizian and the other owners decided to reduce their carbon footprint by turning to wind, and more and more New Yorkers are asking energy suppliers like Con Edison Solutions to do the same.

    “…[A]bout 20,000 residential customers…buy wind from [Con Edison]…[It is] becoming more mainstream…[like] recycling…[although many do not yet] know this is an option or that it is an easy way to have a big impact on the environment.”

    “To switch to wind energy, customers do not need to put wind turbines on their roof. Instead, they need to call their utility companies and say they want to switch to a different supplier…That new supplier will purchase the energy from a wind farm on the customer's behalf. Electricity will still be delivered through the same utility company on the same wires, but now wind energy consumers are helping to put renewable power into the grid instead of power produced by fossil fuel generation…

    “…[The estimated] added cost for an average-size city apartment to switch to wind power is about the same as a few cappuccinos per month…[I]t is a small price to pay to offset one's impact on the environment.”

    NEW ENERGY SAVED MONEY FOR NO CAROLINA New Report Shows Clean Energy’s Positive Impact on North Carolina’s Economy and Utility Rates; Since 2007, clean energy investments have created thousands of jobs.

    February 18, 2013 (North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association)

    “… The Economic, Utility Portfolio, and Rate Impact of Clean Energy Development in North Carolina [from RTI International and La Capra Associates, Inc]…is an economic analysis focused on the impacts of clean energy policy in the state…[commissioned by the] North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA)…[It] found that the key policy drivers of clean energy development in North Carolina include the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), renewable energy investment tax credit, and Utility Savings Initiative.

    “…[K]ey findings include…Clean energy policies are costing electricity ratepayers less than they would have paid without these policies. By 2026, this switch to clean energy will lead to $173 million in cost savings for electricity customers…While the broader North Carolina economy lost more than 100,000 jobs from 2007-2012, the state experienced a net gain in [clean energy development] of 21,162 job years…Tax credits taken by renewable energy projects…generated $1.87 in state or local revenue for every $1.00 of incentive…[and] clean energy policies…[generated $113 million] in net revenue…”

    “…Between 2007 and 2012, clean energy investment…increased 13-fold and generated or saved an estimated 8.2 million MWh of energy…[S]tate government energy efficiency programs saved the government an estimated $427 million of taxpayer money…[And] the total economic benefit of clean energy development in North Carolina was $1.7 billion and generated $2.56 billion in associated spending in the state economy…[M]ore than $100 million of new clean energy investment [came in just three rural counties]…

    “…[The NC] clean energy industry includes over 1,100 companies found in all regions of our state…[and] includes renewable energy, energy efficiency, high performance building, smart grid, energy storage and electric vehicles…These companies generated at least $3.7 billion in annual revenues from in-state and out-of- state activity. Based on filings with the NC Utilities Commission, there are nearly 2,300 installed or planned renewable energy systems…”

    0 Comments:

    Post a Comment

    << Home

    *