NewEnergyNews: 08/01/2018 - 09/01/2018

NewEnergyNews

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

While the OFFICE of President remains in highest regard at NewEnergyNews, this administration's position on climate change makes it impossible to regard THIS president with respect. Below is the NewEnergyNews theme song until 2020.

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Many Values Of Solar Power Plants
  • QUICK NEWS, November 13: This Is What It Looks Like; Astonishing Things About New Energy, Part 1
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Testing Grid Modernization State By State
  • QUICK NEWS, November 12: What Big Oil Is Doing About Climate Change; A Tale Of New Energy In Two States
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: New Energy In The Midterms
  • Weekend Video: On The Algae Case In Florida
  • Weekend Video: Cleaning Up The Pacific Garbage Patch
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-A Collection On Climate Change
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Global Energy Storage Boom
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-EU Wind Builders Target Beneficial Electrification
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY,:

  • TTTA Thursday-Voters Rejected Climate Change, New Energy Efforts
  • TTTA Thursday-The Heat Stays On Grid Mod Efforts
  • TTTA Thursday-Ways To Make Retail Energy Choice Work
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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

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

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  • ORIGINAL REPORTING WEDNESDAY at NewEnergyNews, November 14:

  • Solar at the crossroads: Is utility-scale, distributed or both the way to go?
  • Solar has transformed into solar-plus-storage: What will net metering become?

    Friday, August 31, 2018

    What Climate Change Could Change (Almost Everything)

    No Ecosystem on Earth Is Safe From Climate Change; If carbon emissions continue to grow, anyone who works with the land could face ‘unprecedented challenges.’

    Robinson Meyer, August 30, 2018 (The Atlantic)

    “If climate change continues unabated, nearly every ecosystem on the planet would alter dramatically, to the point of becoming an entirely new biome, according to a new paper endorsed by 42 scientists from around the world…[T] he changes of the next 200 years could equal—and may likely exceed—those seen over the 10,000 years that ended the last Ice Age. If humanity does not stop emitting greenhouse-gas emissions, the character of the land could metamorphose: Oak forest could become grassland. Evergreen woods could turn deciduous. And, of course, beaches would sink into the sea…

    [By examining the ‘paleoecological’ record, the scientists found that between] the peak of the last Ice Age, about 20,000 years ago, and 1800 A.D., the world warmed by between 4 and 7 degrees Celsius…[T]hat ancient warming—which was caused by minute shifts in the Earth’s orbital path—raised global sea levels by almost 400 feet…[and] it could happen again, within the lifetime of babies born today: Earth could experience 4 to 5 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100 if humanity does not slow the emission of heat-trapping gases…” click here for more

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    China Is Still The Place For New Energy

    Renewable Energy: China Has Set the Benchmark High

    August 27, 2018 (BRINK Asia)

    “…[G]lobal renewable energy production is making steady inroads globally, with China being the current worldwide leader…In 2008, the total global renewable energy capacity was 1,060,668 MW. Notable increments were made for each successive year, and by 2017, the figure stood at 2,179,426 MW—a staggering increase of 105.47 percent in just nine years [according to new data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)]. In addition to Asian economies, African countries made considerable progress…[Ethiopia and South Africa made] noteworthy gains…[But] countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Djibouti and South Sudan are yet to install any renewable energy production capacity…[Actual in GWh grew] almost 58 percent over eight years. Asian countries fared the best in this regard, with a total combined output of 2,222,580 GWh…China alone accounted for three quarters of Asian renewables production and is the global leader as of 2016—producing more renewable energy than all European countries combined…” click here for more

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    South Africa To Move From Coal, Nuclear To New Energy

    Renewable energy to replace nuclear power in South Africa

    30 August 2018 (Climate Action)

    “The South African Government has approved a draft [plan] to increase renewable energy generation…Jacob Zuma, the former President, had proposed expanding the nuclear power sector by adding new nuclear capacity in excess of 9 gigawatt…[But after a vote of no confidence, he] was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa…[His cabinet] approved the updated Integrated Resources Plan (IRP 2018) which will increase renewable energy capacity and… only 1 gigawatt worth of new coal capacity will be added by 2030 and there will be over 15 gigawatt of renewable energy used including hydropower, solar and wind…[A significant reduction in South Africa’s continent-leading greenhouse gas emissions will cause a] change in the energy mix post-2030,] mainly driven by decommissioning of old coal power plants that reach their end of life…[Following the approval of the new plan,] the UK announced plans to invest £56 million into South Africa to develop energy storage technology to help supply secure renewable power in the country…” click here for more

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    Thursday, August 30, 2018

    What If The Arctic Melted And Nobody Cared?

    The Melting Arctic Is a Real-Time Horror Story — Why Doesn’t Anyone Care? This summer’s epic wildfires and other extreme weather events have a root cause

    Jeff Goodell, August 29, 2018 (Rolling Stone)

    Editor’s note: Below is the gist of an important and superbly readable piece. Click through and read the whole thing.

    "Last week, scientists learned that 40-foot piles of compacted sea ice — some of the oldest and most durable clusters in the Arctic — are breaking away from the coast of Greenland and drifting out to sea…[I]t was hardly unexpected. As the earth’s climate heats up, the idea of a ‘blue Arctic’ — that is, the disappearance of sea ice for at least part of the year, leaving only open ocean — has long been predicted by climate scientists…Some researchers believe that you might be able to kayak to the North Pole [by 2030 or 2040]…The thawing of the Arctic is one of the biggest stories of our time, even if it is playing out at a pace and in a way that virtually guarantees most people will pay little or no attention to it…

    …[This is not] simply a tragedy for polar bears; the warming Arctic is already having a tremendous impact on our world and may help explain much of the extreme weather this summer, especially in the U.S. and in western Europe. To oversimplify this only slightly, you could argue that this summer’s historic wildfires in California were predicted by heat in the Arctic…[There is growing evidence that the dynamics of weather itself are changing…[T]he jet stream, a] band of high winds around the Northern Hemisphere that significantly influences our weather in the mid-latitudes…has actually slowed down significantly in recent decades…More extreme weather is not the only immediate and alarming consequence of a melting Arctic. Another is the thawing of permafrost…[Conservative estimates find the permafrost could] release around 120 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere by 2100, which would contribute another .3 degrees Celsius of warming…In our rapidly changing world, no place is too distant or too far away to matter. Like it or not, we are all in this together. When ice melts in the Arctic, the west burns.” click here for more

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    New Energy Has Delivered Almost 20% Of U.S. Power This Year

    1st Half 2018 U.S. Electrical Generation By Renewable Sources Squeaks Past Nuclear Power; Wind + Solar Provide 10% Of Nation's Electricity…

    Ken Bossong, August 28, 2018 (Sun Day)

    "Renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) accounted for nearly 20% of net domestic electrical generation during the first half of 2018 - narrowly surpassing that provided by nuclear power…[according to just-released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Each accounted for almost one-fifth of the nation's electrical generation: renewables (including distributed solar) - 19.867%, nuclear power - 19.863%...[Solar and wind] showed strong growth with solar (i.e., utility-scale + distributed PV) expanding by 27.6% and wind by 11.2% compared to the first half of 2017. Combined, they accounted for nearly a tenth (i.e., 9.9%: wind-7.5%, solar-2.4%) of the nation's electrical generation…" click here for more

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    Calif Lawmakers Approve 100% New Energy By 2045 Goal

    California Assembly advances 100% clean energy bill

    Liam Dillon, August 28, 2018 (LA Times)

    "California would set some of the nation’s strongest clean energy goals under…the just-passed] legislation that would require California to obtain 100% of its power from clean sources by 2045…[Its cost and feasibility were] debated by lawmakers for nearly two years…Lawmakers supporting the bill said it was important that the state continue its pioneering efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions…Senate Bill 100 [was introduced by Senator Kevin De Leon and] would also require electric utilities and other service providers to generate 60% of their power from renewable sources by 2030, up from the current 50% goal…If it is signed by the governor, California would become the second state in the U.S. [following Hawaii] to rely solely on clean energy by 2045…[O]pponents, chiefly Republican legislators, argued that phasing out fossil fuels by 2045 was not achievable, and could sharply increase energy prices…

    …[The bill has been part of debate about a proposal from Gov. Jerry Brown to integrate California's electricity grid with other states in the region…[and debate about] comprehensive legislation to address wildfires…Brown has not taken a public position on SB 100…[but former] Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger] argued that Trump administration policies rolling back federal efforts to combat climate change made it all the more urgent…Former Vice President Al Gore also cited White House policies in his endorsement of the bill, saying that California must respond by leading on climate change…The politics over the bill go beyond energy policy. De León, former president pro tem of the state Senate, is running for U.S. Senate against fellow Democrat Dianne Feinstein, who is seeking a fifth full term…[Many lawmakers] have endorsed Feinstein…” click here for more

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    Wednesday, August 29, 2018

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Customer empowerment upheaval forces California into hold on renewables

    Customer empowerment upheaval forces California into hold on renewables; Utilities and renewable energy developers wait while regulators decide the future of customer choice.

    Herman K. Trabish, Feb. 22, 2018 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: Since this story was filed, California regulators and lawmakers have taken major steps to calm the upheaval with a new short term procurement mandate, a new 100% renewables mandate, and a resolution of the exit fee issue.

    California is conducting what may be the most ambitious electricity customer empowerment experiment ever done anywhere; whether it will work remains very much in doubt. The state is the national leader in both utility-scale solar and distributed solar capacities and fourth in the nation in wind capacity. Yet California’s dominant investor-owned utilities (IOUs) procured zero new MW of renewable energy capacity in 2017. And a preliminary plan released in January by state regulators proposes almost no 2018 procurement. That is the symptom. The problem is widespread power sector uncertainty causing what one key observer called an “upheaval.” The disruption does not support California’s goals to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and achieve its 60% renewable energy by 2030 mandate and 100% by 2045 goal. And it threatens the stability of utility-scale renewable energy builders.

    California’s successful transition to renewables is one cause of the current upheaval. It has left the state with midday solar overgenerationand a sharp, difficult to manage demand spike in the late afternoon and evening. Another source of upheaval is the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) decision to shutter the state’s last nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, by 2025. It raises the contentious question of how the state should fill the 2,200 MW deficit of emissions-free baseload generation. The state needs flexible generation, but natural gas peakers will make the climate goals harder to reach. The third and biggest cause of upheaval is the rise of community choice aggregation (CCA). A 2002 law allows CCAs to act as load serving entities (LSEs) and take on IOU customers. Active CCAs now serve over 1 million California electricity customers and projections show IOUs could lose 85% of their customers to alternatives by the mid-2020s… click here for more

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    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Team of rivals – Utilities, enviros unite to push electric vehicles

    Team of rivals: Utilities, enviros unite to push electric vehicles; Old adversaries from the rooftop solar fights are finding common ground on transportation electrification.

    Herman K. Trabish, Feb. 26, 2018 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The fight against undue EV fees goes on and the common ground between utilities and EV advocates continues to expand.

    In 2017, electric vehicles began to present state policymakers with regulatory turmoil previously reserved for rooftop solar. The estimated 765,000 U.S. electric vehicles (EVs) remain a very small percentage of the 250 million-plus vehicles in operation. And the almost 200,000 new EVs sold last year in the U.S. represent a tiny fraction of the total 17 million-plus in new car sales…But almost every major auto manufacturer has public plans for an EV model by 2020, according to PlugInCars. And a 2016 Bloomberg New Energy Finance report showed EVs reaching cost parity with conventional vehicles between 2022 and 2026. Just as when rooftop solar began to boom between 2012 and 2014, state legislators and regulators are responding to the rising customer demand for EVs with a flurry of policymaking activity. But whereas the rooftop solar battles often divided utilities and environmental organizations, the two are finding new common ground in transportation electrification.

    There were 227 state- and utility-level actions related to EVs proposed, pending or decided during 2017, according to a new national policy review from the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (CETC). The legislative and policy actions covered by the review are wide ranging and include studies of EV impacts and incentives, charging station buildout, and EV-specific rate designs. As with rooftop solar, some proposed state policies would act to slow the growth of electric vehicles. Special fees, which act as disincentives by adding to the total cost of EV ownership, were the most common. This is especially problematic for environmental advocates because the EV value proposition is just beginning to attract a market beyond first-adopter climate and plug-in vehicle activists. Utilities object to policies that slow EV adoption because they interfere with load growth, with the opportunity to profit from charging infrastructure buildout, and with access to the flexible load represented by EV charging that could provide utilities with grid services… click here for more

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    NO QUICK NEWS

    Tuesday, August 28, 2018

    TODAY’S STUDY: EVs Getting Cleaner As New Energy Grows New Data Show Electric Vehicles Continue to Get Cleaner

    David Reichmuth, March 8, 2018 (Union of Concerned Scientists)

    New data from the US EPA on power plant greenhouse gas emissions are in, and electric vehicles (EV) in the US are even cleaner than they were before. The climate change emissions created by driving on electricity depend on where you live, but on average, an EV driving on electricity in the U.S. today is equivalent to a conventional gasoline car that gets 80 MPG, up from 73 MPG in our 2017 update.

    Cleaner electricity means cleaner EVs

    Based on data on power plant emissions released in February 2018, driving on electricity is cleaner than gasoline for most drivers in the US. Seventy-five percent of people now live in places where driving on electricity is cleaner than a 50 MPG gasoline car. And based on where people have already bought EVs, electric vehicles now have greenhouse gas emissions equal to an 80 MPG car, much lower than any gasoline-only car available.

    To compare the climate-changing emissions from electric vehicles to gasoline-powered cars, we analyzed all of the emissions from fueling and driving both types of vehicles. For a gasoline car, that means looking at emissions from extracting crude oil from the ground, getting the oil to a refinery and making gasoline, and transporting gasoline to filling stations, in addition to combustion emissions from the tailpipe.

    For electric vehicles, the calculation includes both power plant emissions and emissions from the production of coal, natural gas and other fuels power plants use. Our analysis relies on emissions estimates for gasoline and fuels production from Argonne National Laboratory and power plants emissions data recently released by the US EPA.

    EVs getting cleaner over time

    An important difference between EVs and conventional cars is that existing EVs can get cleaner—and, over time, they are getting cleaner. It’s difficult to make burning gasoline cleaner, and electricity is trending cleaner over time as we shift away from coal and add more renewables. This means that EVs that were sold years ago can run much cleaner than when they were purchased. Our initial analysis of EV emissions used data from 2009, while this update incorporates 2016 data. By switching between these two maps, you can see the improvement made in many regions of the US.

    More efficient EVs now available too

    The maps shown above are based the efficiency of the average EV. However, there are now options on the market that are even more efficient. Using one of these more efficient EVs (Hyundai Ioniq BEV, Prius Prime, and Tesla Model 3) means lower emissions. With these cleaner EVs, 99 percent of the country is in a region where electricity emissions would be lower than a 50 MPG gasoline vehicle.

    How do other EVs compare? Use our EV emissions tool to estimate the emissions from a specific EV in your area.

    A trend that’s likely to continue

    Electric vehicles produce less emissions now because the electric grid is getting cleaner. Over the last ten years, the fraction of power from coal has fallen from nearly 50 percent to 30 percent. Over the same time, utility-scale renewable power like solar and wind power have grown to make up 10 percent of electricity generation.

    This analysis relies on data from power plants for 2016, the most current data that includes details on the geographic location of emissions. However, based on the overall data on from 2017, it looks like emissions will continue to fall, with both coal and natural gas declining while renewable power continues to increase.

    The falling emissions from electric power over the last decade also highlights the need to work to clean up electricity generation and transportation now. While we are moving in the right direction with renewable power and growing numbers of EV models, it takes time to replace existing power plants and gasoline cars. It’s vital that we accelerate the adoption of EVs, even if all power is not yet from renewable or low-carbon sources.

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    QUICK NEWS, August 28: One Less Cup Of Coffee In A Changing Climate; Fact Check – 100% New Energy Saves Land

    One Less Cup Of Coffee In A Changing Climate Opinion: Here’s how climate change is affecting your cup of coffee; Colombia’s coffee region is increasingly vulnerable to climate-change-induced disasters like flooding, drought and invasive pests

    Jessica Eise and Natalie White, August 27, 2018 (MarketWatch)

    “…[The 300,000 coffee-producers in the fertile mountains of Colombia’s coffee-producing region are] increasingly vulnerable to climate-change-induced disasters like flooding, drought,] unpredictable seasons, crop disease and invasive insects associated with climate change…[Over 90% of farmers surveyed by the MarketWatch research team] reported changes in average temperature. Some 74% said droughts had gotten longer and worse, and 61% reported an increase in mountainside erosion and landslides because of more rain…The farmers also perceived impacts of these environmental changes on their crops. Some 91% reported changes in the flowering and fruiting cycles of the coffee plants, 75% had noticed an increase in pests, and 59% reported an increase in crop disease…

    …[M]any farmers cannot rely on traditional seasonal indicators to guide them about the right time to plant, harvest or tend to their coffee crops…Organizing labor to pick the coffee beans has also become a struggle because the trees often do not flower at the same time due to unstable seasonal conditions…From 2008 to 2013, Colombia’s coffee production dropped approximately 33%...The country has worked to increase its production since then…But they’re still short of the national production goals…Other developing countries where the coffee industry is being hit hard by climate change, such as Brazil and Tanzania, have tried some successful adaptation strategies…[Farming in this] new and unpredictable environment requires a detailed understanding of…complicated economic, informational, labor and business problems… Colombian coffee farmers want to succeed, but they’ll need help in all of these areas just to survive.” click here for more

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    Fact Check – 100% New Energy Saves Land How 100% renewable energy will use much less of California's land than fossil fuels

    Mark Z. Jacobson, et. al., August 24,2018 (LA Times)

    Senate Bill 100 would transition California to 100% zero-carbon, effectively renewable electricity by 2045. Our studies provide a way to do this for all energy, including electricity…[Claims by Robert Bryce, from the Koch family- and Exxon Mobil-funded Manhattan Institute, are completely wrong that such efforts] would ‘require wrecking vast onshore and offshore territories with forests of wind turbines and sprawling solar project’…

    The fossil fuel footprint in California is 1.6% of the state’s land area…Our solar plan footprint is only 39% of the land taken up by fossil fuels. Bryce claims our onshore wind needs 16,000 square miles based on his use of three megawatts generated per square kilometer of land. However, wind land is not “footprint.” It is mostly open space that also can be used for agriculture, rangeland, wildlife or solar; thus, the same land can be used for two energy sources…Using a conservative estimate of average energy density yields 3,000 square miles of space for wind power, not 16,000…” click here for more

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    Monday, August 27, 2018

    TODAY’S STUDY: How One State Is Getting Ready To Grow Solar

    Pennsylvania’s Solar Future Plan

    July 7, 2018 (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection)

    Executive Summary

    Today Pennsylvania is well situated to lead the country into the next age of energy development: clean, renewable solar photovoltaic (PV) energy. While nearby states have embraced solar development to a greater degree than Pennsylvania, the experience they gained can now be used here to enhance both distributed generation and large “grid scale” solar PV farms connected to the transmission grid. In fact, whereas in 2000, Pennsylvania had less than one Megawatt (MW) of solar installed, today, there are over 300 MW installed in Pennsylvania. 1

    Pennsylvania is moving forward in the solar marketplace, but there is significant potential for solar to continue this growth and transform the electricity generation sector. The benefits of an increased share of solar in the electricity generation sector are enormous…

    The Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future planning project brought together expert stakeholders from across sectors to explore whether Pennsylvania has sufficient technical and economic potential to increase in-state solar generation to provide 10 percent of in-state electricity consumption by 2030. Stakeholders explored likely pathways to achieving that target and identified, through modeling, associated economic, environmental, and health impacts.

    Before the Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future stakeholder process began, it was clear that Pennsylvania already possessed a unique set of assets that can position the state to take the lead in solar development and maintain its stance as an energy leader…

    With those assets in mind, stakeholders provided input regarding pivotal factors influencing solar PV deployment and associated considerations, risks, and benefits. Several stakeholder workshops were held across the state, with diverse sector participation (FIGURE 1). During each workshop, facilitators engaged stakeholders in breakout sessions for three main workgroups: Markets and Business Models, Policy and Ratemaking, and Operations and Systems Integration. Stakeholders provided feedback within these workgroups as well as during general listening sessions.

    Stakeholder input was supported by a process of modeling and data analysis investigating three primary scenarios to achieve the 10 percent target by 2030: the Reference Scenario, the Solar A Scenario, and the Solar B Scenario.

    The Reference Scenario assumes “business as usual” markets and energy consumption within the state and offers a baseline comparison. Solar A and Solar B Scenarios articulate two contrasting pathways for achieving 10 percent solar energy demand, using the same total energy consumption as in the Reference Scenario (TABLE 1) In the Solar A and B Scenarios, most of the new solar development comes from Grid Scale solar that is connected directly to the transmission and distribution system, rather than behind the customer meter.

    The stakeholder engagement process worked to identify the most impactful and realistic strategies that would move Pennsylvania towards that the target of 10 percent solar by 2030. The stakeholders discovered that the pathway to successfully reaching the target will likely require a suite of strategies:

    1) Cross-cutting (Grid scale and Distributed)

    2) Grid Scale Solar Generation

    3) Distributed Solar Generation

    Their goal was to identify the most impactful effective strategies to maximize Pennsylvania's solar future.

    Cross-Cutting Strategies

    The cross-cutting strategies, such as changes to the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) and adoption of carbon pricing, will dramatically impact both grid scale and distributed generation.

    The key to the overall effort was to identify strategies that will bring the project costs of solar to a price point that will encourage the market’s swift adoption of the technology. The price of solar is decreasing globally, and this is projected to continue, although perhaps at a slower pace than in the past decade. While the global supply and demand for solar modules are an important factor on price that the Pennsylvania market will have little influence on, there are several local factors that impact the installed cost for new solar in the state and policies and market conditions that impact the returns on solar investments. Implementing the cross-cutting strategies could shift the price point of solar and increase both grid scale and distributed generation.

    Even if adopting these cross-cutting strategies influence the price point of solar, it is still necessary to consider costs and benefits associated with transforming the electricity generation sector. The modeling process helped guide stakeholder analysis by producing cost information relative to an increased level of solar development.

    Economic cost: The modeling found that over 15 years, the Solar A and Solar B scenarios have average net annual economic costs ranging from $513 million to $613 million. These estimates represent the lifetime costs and savings associated with the solar capacity in each scenario compared to the reference scenario.

    By way of context, Pennsylvania’s annual energy expenditures are roughly $45 billion. Therefore, over the 15-year study period the investments required for the Solar A and Solar B Scenarios are just 1.2 to 1.4 percent above current energy spending.

    Economic and environmental benefit: In addition, the modeling shows that the Solar A and Solar B scenarios both provide net economic benefits in excess of $25 billion from 2018 to 2030, when accounting for environmental externality costs. Further, in both scenarios, economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions decrease by 2-3 percent by 2030.

    Land use: Another important issue identified by the stakeholders is how much land use would be required to achieve that level of solar development for both distributed generation and grid scale. The modeling found grid scale solar would use 89 square miles (56,800 acres) in Solar A Scenario and 124 square miles (79,200 acres) in Solar B Scenario. Roof-top systems are not included in the land use numbers; however, a 2008 study on rooftop solar potential in Pennsylvania found that more there is space for more than 27 GW of solar PV panels on existing rooftops statewide alone, nearly three times the amount needed for the entire 10 percent target.

    To put the acreage into perspective, the required land use to meet the grid scale levels for each scenario represent a negligible fraction (less than three-tenths of 1 percent) of Pennsylvania’s total land area and less than half of the total abandoned mine lands in Pennsylvania. Therefore, it’s clear there is more than sufficient available land to accommodate both scenarios of Grid Scale solar within Pennsylvania and land use strategies can be pursued.

    Jobs. The modeling process estimated job impacts of the solar scenarios using the Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) model. 7 Combined with the itemized cost for solar installation and maintenance, the JEDI model uses economic input output analysis to provide an estimate of how much of the investment in solar recirculates within Pennsylvania, supporting local businesses and jobs. (TABLE 2).

    Grid Scale Strategies

    As the modeling scenarios discussed above indicate, any significant increase in statewide solar generation is expected to come, in large part, from grid scale deployments of solar. Although not necessarily required to meet the target, the modeling expects 65 to 90 percent of the solar generation to be grid scale.

    While there are cross-cutting issues that reflect on all solar deployment, there are several approaches and considerations that are relevant to only grid scale that may help alleviate some of the hurdles currently holding back grid scale solar development in Pennsylvania.

    Through the Pennsylvania Solar Future planning process, it became clear that grid scale solar will need to maintain a growth rate higher than it has averaged in the past to reach the target. However, other markets around the country have seen sustained growth well above the rates required by the solar scenarios.

    In both solar scenarios, grid scale solar grows faster than distributed solar. This is because Pennsylvania, like other nascent solar markets, has significantly more distributed solar installed today than grid scale. The solar scenarios show quick growth in grid scale largely because that sector has driven the growth in most states with mature solar markets. Under either solar scenario, implementing the strategies above will require accelerated grid scale growth.

    Distributed Generation Strategies

    The modeling scenarios assume distributed solar generation will be responsible for a smaller fraction of the overall deployment than grid scale solar—likely between 10 percent and 35 percent. In order to meet these targets, the distributed generation annual growth rate would need to be sustained at current levels for the next 12 years. Current growth rates from 2013-2017 were 22 percent for residential and 7 percent for commercial solar. The following strategies could help to support and continue the growth seen in recent years and therefore meet the target for distributed generation.

    While the scenarios are dominated by a significant build out of grid scale solar in a manner not yet experienced in Pennsylvania, efforts should also be made to overcome barriers for distributed generation and community solar so Pennsylvanians may maximize the opportunities to develop all solar resources commensurate with broader social, environmental, and economic benefits.

    The strategies contained in the PA Solar Future Plan recognize that with the removal of barriers for all sectors of solar development, the actual achievable solar penetration could far exceed the target of 10 percent by 2030 as is being demonstrated in many states in the region.

    Next Steps

    The Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future Plan demonstrates that by implementing strategies that increase solar generation, Pennsylvania will gain significant economic, environmental, and health benefits. Pennsylvania can continue its energy leadership role and advance policies that advance solar energy’s role in the state. We recognize that achieving the 10 percent target by 2030 would be challenging and would take a sustained growth rate in excess of business-as-usual. But this plan challenges the narrative that solar can’t work in Pennsylvania and presents several strategies that can be combined to create many pathways that lead to the 10 percent target, should policy makers commit to that path.

    Going forward, the Pennsylvania’s Solar Future Project Team and stakeholders will continue to discuss these strategies with an eye to implementation details and the keys to achieving market transformation, while minimizing ratepayer cost impacts.

    Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future is a project of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Energy Program’s Office (EPO) with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. DEP brought together a project team that, along with DEP and the U.S. Department of Energy, included Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture), The Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) and Pennsylvania-based solar subject matter experts (“Facilitators”) Sharon Pillar, Dr. Jeffrey Brownson, Ron Celentano, and Maureen Mulligan. The Project team took significant input from both our committed partners and our robust stakeholder group composed of over 500 members.

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    QUICK NEWS, August 27, 2018: 12 Artists Face A Changing Climate

    12 Artists Face A Changing Climate 12 Artists On: Climate Change; A dozen artistic responses to one of the greatest threats of our time.

    Zoe Lescaze, August 22, 2018 (NY Times)

    Editor’s note: Only one Quick News piece today because this story is worth the time it will take to use the link at the bottom of the post to click through and take in all the artists’ contributions.

    “Human-induced climate change, which certain politicians deny and many of us choose to ignore, threatens the survival of every species on Earth. If emissions continue at their current rate, scientists anticipate widespread coastal land loss, agricultural and economic collapse, food and water shortages, frequent and severe natural disasters, and unprecedented refugee crises…[For an ongoing NY Times arts series, 12 contemporary artists contributed works responding to climate change. Xavier Cortada will ask 6,000 Florida households] to install an ‘Underwater HOA’ yard sign (similar to the 18- by 24-inch ‘Home for Sale” yard signs used by realtors…[showing] how many feet of melted glacial water must rise before a particular property is underwater…

    …[Mary Mattingly’s] photograph was taken in Utah, at a point equidistant from Bears Ears National Monument and Daneros Uranium Mine. A recent order by President Donald J. Trump shrank the boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument by nearly 700,000 acres, and it seems likely that more mining will come to the area. The text on the pine box is from Samuel Beckett’s 1953 novel The Unnamable…[It] prompts us to ask: What do people see when they experience this land, and what is hidden? The objects in the photograph — clays used for pigments, tools containing uranium, copper used in bullets — were found in the area, and expose its contradictions: Extraction and smelting processes toxify the land and its dependents, while the extracted elements are simultaneously necessary to create the goods that sustain many ways of life…

    …[Alexis Rockman’s art to] render moments of extinction, genocide, population explosion and political discord visible…[so] we might learn to confront and change the conditions leading to civilization’s collapse…[He has realized] we have a crucial Achilles heel: Our brains are wired to be tribal and to think only in the seasonal short term. Even someone as persuasive as Al Gore could not successfully galvanize the world with his books and films. The idea of ‘sacrificing’ for the future seems ridiculous to most people when they are entrenched in a daily struggle for survival. Even if they will listen, people just don’t have the collective will to do much. The engine of capitalism is too powerful…” click here for more

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    Saturday, August 25, 2018

    A Grid For Everybody

    This is a vision of a system that has a place for customer-owned resources, private sector providers, and the people who built and now operate the grid. From Electric Power Research Institute via YouTube

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    How Climate Change Killed The Dinosaurs

    A new take on the dinosaur extinction may not be right but it describes a piece of the planet’s history that is instructive. Cute animation. From The Atlantic via YouTube

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    Why Wind Is Winning

    Another short entry from Peter Sinclair’s series on the many ways wind is an undeniable option. Don’t miss Peter’s invaluable Climate Denial Crock website. From greenmanbucket via YouTube

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    Friday, August 24, 2018

    Which Baby To Save

    Hold your breath: a song of climate change

    Bob Hicok poem selected and introduced by Pulitzer Prize winner Rita Dove, August 23, 2018 (NY Times)

    “…[T]he excuses for inaction in Bob Hicok’s parable of environmental greed rapidly rise to a rousing chorus of denial. W.H. Auden’s “The Age of Anxiety” has devolved into an age of outrage whose citizenry has grown adept at justifying procrastination to the point of changing course to suit its comfort. Hicok’s exhortation to accept responsibility for our future falls on conveniently stoppered ears: The final line, with its rhyming monosyllables, lands like a judge’s gavel…

    Hold your breath: a song of climate change

    The water’s rising

    but we’re not drowning yet.

    When we’re drowning

    we’ll do something.

    When we’re on our roofs.

    When we’re deciding between saving

    the cute baby or the smart baby.

    When there aren’t enough helicopters

    or news crews to circle

    over everyone. When sharks

    are in the streets. When people

    are dying. When people

    with wine cellars

    are dying. We’ll build dams

    and dikes, put stilts

    on our V-8s and golf courses,

    cut down anyone

    who cuts down a tree,

    paint our Jesuses

    green, we’ll grow wings, we’ll go

    to the moon. Soon.

    click here for more

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    India Reaches For The Power Of Solar

    India plans 25GW solar installation in Jammu & Kashmir

    Olivia Minnock, August 24, 2018 (Energy Digital)

    “…[India’s 25 GW] solar project is set to move forward] in the Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir…[which] receives the highest solar radiation per unit area in India…[The project, which would produce enough electricity to supply over 6 million homes,] will deliver power to a transmission point in the state of Himachal Pradesh, from which it will be dispensed…Last year, India partnered with the EU in its commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement [which the U.S. abandoned under the current administration]…” click here for more

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    The Power Wind Gives To Sweden

    Sweden to Reach Renewables Target 12 Years Early on Wind Surge

    Jesper Starn, July 4, 2018 (Bloomberg News)

    “Swedish utilities and power generators have already installed so many wind turbines that the Nordic nation is on course to reach its 2030 renewable energy target late this year…[According to the Swedish Wind Energy Association, Sweden will have more than enough capacity by December] to meet a target to add 18 terawatt-hours of new renewable energy output by the end of next decade. Some new plants will be built by Norway, who Sweden share a renewable certificates market with…The surge in new installations and investment decisions has become a concern for existing power producers, who rely on subsidies to make their projects financially viable. Forward prices in the renewable certificate market are 70 percent lower for 2021 than a year earlier because of all the new installations…Final investment decisions for as many as 840 megawatts were taken in the second quarter… and a total of 7,506 megawatts of wind capacity will be installed by December…Most of the new capacity will be on land. A total of 2,609 megawatts of on-shore wind capacity will be added in 2018 and 2019…” click here for more

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