QUICK NEWS, Oct. 13: NUCLEAR FADING, NEW ENERGY COMING ON; THE ONE BIG ADVANTAGE OF SOLAR; HALF OF GLOBAL HEAT MAY BE HIDING IN THE OCEANS
NUCLEAR FADING, NEW ENERGY COMING ON Wind, Solar Generation Capacity Catching Up with Nuclear Power; New Worldwatch Institute analysis examines global trends in renewable and nuclear power
September 30, 2014 (Worldwatch Institute)
"…Nuclear energy’s share of global power production has declined steadily from a peak of 17.6 percent in 1996 to 10.8 percent in 2013. Renewables increased their share from 18.7 percent in 2000 to 22.7 percent in 2012…Following a rapid rise from its beginnings in the mid-1950s, global nuclear power generating capacity peaked at 375.3 gigawatts (GW) in 2010. Capacity has since declined to 371.8 GW in 2013, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Adverse economics, concern about reactor safety and proliferation, and the unresolved question of what to do with nuclear waste have put the brakes on the industry…In stark contrast, wind and solar power generating capacities are now on the same soaring trajectory that nuclear power was on in the 1970s and 1980s…According to estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA), nuclear investments averaged US$8 billion per year between 2000 and 2013, compared with $37 billion for solar PV and $43 billion for wind…[N]owhere did nuclear have a major role in power generation investments…” click here for more
THE ONE BIG ADVANTAGE OF SOLAR Why go solar? Homeowners say: 'To save money'
Jackie DeAngelis, Oct. 10, 2014 (CNBC)
“Pat Kennell's motivation for installing sun power in his home is typical of the solar industry's new customer: He did it to save money…Kennell isn't alone. The residential solar market is on fire, with homeowners installing solar systems all across the country—sometimes trying to help the environment, other times just looking to save money. And while the trend has sent solar stocks on a tear, it could disrupt some traditional energy companies…U.S. home solar penetration still stands at less than 1 percent, but estimates suggest it could grow to as much as 20 to 30 percent by 2020. In dollar terms, the market is expected to hit $6 billion in just a couple of years…SolarCity, one of the industry leaders with 36 percent market share, says that its crews are working seven days a week to meet demand, and sales representatives have multiple consultations…When it comes to that traditional utility grid, however, the solar companies' gain could be utilities' pain…Investors have long loved solar stocks, the group has been on a tear. SolarCity, for example, has gone on a run of greater than 400 percent over the last five years. But analysts still like solar stocks because there is so much growth potential…The exchange-traded funds are one way to play solar, with the Guggenheim Solar ETF and the Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF…Individual names to watch include SolarCity, First Solar , Suntech, Trina Solar, and NRG Energy.” click here for more
HALF OF GLOBAL HEAT MAY BE HIDING IN THE OCEANS Global warming's effect on oceans is greater than realized, researchers say (+video) Effect of climate change on upper-ocean temperatures has been underestimated by 24 to 58 percent, a study by NASA and Livermore Laboratory concludes.
Pete Spotts, October 6, 2014 (Christian Science Monitor)
“…[G]lobal warming's effect on upper ocean temperatures between 1970 and 2004 has been underestimated by 24 to 58 percent, largely the result of sparse long-term measurements in the southern oceans, [according to new research from Lawrence Livermore National] and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory…Getting ocean heating right is important for estimating the amount of sea-level rise caused by the expansion of seawater as it warms and the amount attributed to melting of land-based glaciers and ice sheets…Ocean heat storage also influences estimates of how sensitive the climate system is to changes in greenhouse-gas levels, a key piece of the puzzle climate models must have to project possible trajectories for human-triggered climate change…Just as the oceans absorb a significant proportion of the carbon-dioxide humans add to the atmosphere, mainly through burning fossil fuels, the oceans take up about 90 percent of the heat attributed to this build-up of greenhouse gases. Southern-hemisphere oceans represent about 60 percent of the world's oceans…[T]his new study represents ‘the first time that scientists have tried to estimate how much heat we've missed…’” click here for more