QUICK NEWS, December 5: Hope Or Fear For The Climate Fight?; New Energy Hits New U.S. Market Share Highs; Wind,Solar Make Grid Stronger And Power Cheaper
Hope Or Fear For The Climate Fight? Does hope inspire more action on climate change than fear? We don’t know. On climate change communications, the science really isn’t settled.
David Roberts, December 5, 2017 (VOX)
Editor’s note: As always, David has written a piece that is worth the time it takes to click through and read in full.
“…[The most read article in New York magazine history ignited heated debate around two distinct but often often conflated or confused issues.] The first has to do with the role of emotion in climate change communication…The second has to do with the role of climate scientists in refereeing public climate debates…To make a long story short: We don’t know much of anything about how messages affect people, so everybody’s better off just doing the best they can…[A study concluded that] people have characterized the role of emotion rather too crudely…[The resulting] uncertainty suggests humility — a humility advocates have not always displayed [is needed]…Every individual is different, and emotional responses to particular images or messages [vary]…Climate scientists are of course welcome to weigh in on such matters…[but] should be careful not to smuggle subjective judgments under the banner of [scientific objectivity]…” click here for more
New Energy Hits New U.S. Market Share Highs For First Three-Quarters Of 2017, EIA Data Show: Renewable Electrical Production Up 14.7%, Biomass, Geothermal, Hydro, Solar, Wind All Increase, Coal, Natural Gas, Oil, Nuclear Power All Decrease; Renewables Provide 17.8% Of Total U.S. Generation As Solar Reaches 2.0% And Wind Is 6.0%
Ken Bossong, December 5, 2017 (EIA via Sun Day)
“…U.S. electrical generation from renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar - inc. distributed solar, wind) rose by 14.69% during the first three-quarters of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016…Simultaneously, electrical generation by fossil fuels and nuclear power combined declined by 5.41%. Nuclear power and coal both dropped by 1.5%, natural gas (including ‘other’ gas) was down by 10.7%, and oil (i.e., petroleum liquids and petroleum coke) plunged by 17.1%...Year-to-date, electrical generation by utility-scale solar (i.e., solar thermal and photovoltaic) plus small-scale solar photovoltaic rose by 43.2% and is now providing almost 2.0% (i.e., 1.99%) of total electrical generation…All other renewable energy sources showed positive growth as well: electrical output from hydropower grew 15.0%, wind by 11.5%, geothermal by 2.9%, and biomass by 1.6%. Together, electrical generation by non-hydro renewables is now nearly 10.0% (i.e., 9.92%). Wind alone is nearly 6.0% (i.e., 5.98%)…Overall, renewables accounted for 17.78% of domestic electrical generation during the first nine months of this year…” click here for more
Wind,Solar Make Grid Stronger And Power Cheaper National laboratories issue study on growing flexibility and variability of power generators; Lawrence Berkeley and Argonne National Laboratories examine the growth of solar, wind and natural gas power plant operations on wholesale power markets and the impact on nuclear and coal generators.
Mark Burger, December 5, 2017 (PV Magazine)
“…The growth of solar and wind power has highlighted the issue of negative pricing on the wholesale markets, where in some instances the availability of wind or solar power depresses prices to the point where wholesalers pay their utility customers to take the electricity off their hands. This situation has led to accusations that solar and wind power are ‘unfairly’ making market conditions difficult for fossil fuel and nuclear power plants…[Impacts of Variable Renewable Energy [VRE] on Bulk Power System Assets, Pricing, and Costs] acknowledges the growth of VRE, but indicates that the primary factor has been the growth of natural gas power plants, especially those that are able to operate on a flexible basis. Wind and solar power are at present secondary causes, while grabbing the headlines. Also noted is that nuclear and fossil fuel power plants account for the bulk of negative pricing by their inability to reduce, adjust or cease operations when demand decreases, even without the presence of significant solar and/or wind power…[Also, negative pricing is still relatively rare. What is happening, however, is overall downward pressure occurring on wholesale electric prices due to the entry of primarily [low cost] natural gas and, to a lesser extent, [low cost] wind and solar power…” click here for more