NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, December 20: Climate Change Denial Is Good For Russia; On Price, New Energy Wins, Coal Loses; Wind Turbines Get Bigger, Wind Power Gets Cheaper

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    Tuesday, December 20, 2016

    QUICK NEWS, December 20: Climate Change Denial Is Good For Russia; On Price, New Energy Wins, Coal Loses; Wind Turbines Get Bigger, Wind Power Gets Cheaper

    Climate Change Denial Is Good For Russia Abandoning Climate Change Fight Benefits Russia

    Noah Smith, December 20, 2016 (Hartford Courant)

    “President-elect Donald Trump…has vowed to withdraw from the Paris agreement designed to limit fossil fuel use, and presented himself as a champion of the coal industry. U.S. national policy seems set for an epic shift away from alternative energy and carbon reduction…U.S. states and cities will continue efforts to curb carbon, and the steady improvements in solar and battery technology are unlikely to grind to a halt…[Oil, coal, natural gas, and coal interests around the world would win from this shift but the biggest winner probably would be the petro-state of Russia.]…

    "Without oil and gas, Russia's economy would be a shambles, and sharp declines in energy prices in the 1990s and again in the past three years sent its economy into deep recessions…In the short run, more U.S. oil drilling and gas exports hurt Russia, because they help hold down global fossil fuel prices. But in the long run, the much bigger danger to Russia comes from a permanent shift away from fossil fuels. Solar technology has been getting steadily cheaper. If solar electricity could be easily stored for night use and transportation, it would displace oil, gas and coal. The price of those commodities would crash and never recover, leaving Russia's economy a wreck…The main technological barrier to the end of the fossil fuel age now is battery technology…” click here for more

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    On Price, New Energy Wins, Coal Loses Trump’s coal revival plan won’t work; clean energy tech is already cheaper; The cost of solar power systems has dropped 30% this year alone

    Lucas Mearian, November 15, 2016 (ComputerWorld)

    While President-elect Donald Trump hopes to revive the coal industry by slashing CO2-reducing regulations, industry analysts say clean energy has become so cheap it will continue to increase its domination of the energy industry…[T]he number of coal-fired generators is still expected to be reduced by about one-third through 2030, or by about 60 gigawatts of capacity…And wind and solar are by far the fastest growing energy sectors…Last year, new installations of solar power capacity surpassed both wind and coal for the second year in a row, accounting for 32% of all new electrical capacity…The average number of employees at U.S. coal mines decreased 12% to 65,971 employees, the lowest on record…Last year alone, the solar industry added 31,000 new jobs…[T]hat was 20 times the national average for job creation…Using the EIA's LCOE figures, [“clean” coal-fired power plants have an average cost of $65 to $139 per megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity produced, natural gas-fired plants are $58.1 per MWh of electricity, nuclear power is $102.8, onshore wind is $64.5, solar is $84.7 and hydroelectric is $67.8]…” click here for more

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    Wind Turbines Get Bigger, Wind Power Gets Cheaper Sky's the limit? Reducing wind energy costs through increased turbine size; A new Berkeley Lab study shows significant potential for further turbine scaling

    Ryan Wiser, Joachim Seel, Bentham Paulos, Maureen Hand, December 19, 2016 (Utility Dive)

    “The growing size of wind turbines has helped lower the cost of wind energy to the point that it is economically competitive with fossil-fuel alternatives in some locations…[and] Recent research suggests that land-based wind turbines and, especially, offshore turbines have room to grow, offering the promise that this already-mature energy technology will see still lower costs in the future…According to the wind experts, larger turbines are on the horizon, enabling further reduction in the cost of wind energy on land and offshore. Turbine design will continue to vary by market and project site, but the experts forecast continued evolutionary growth in average turbine size on land, and more revolutionary growth offshore…” click here for more

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