Does Anybody Know If This Lady Won?
Did not hear results on this woman’s race last week. Does anybody know she won? From ClimateReality via YouTube
Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...
WEEKEND VIDEOS, November 17-18:
Did not hear results on this woman’s race last week. Does anybody know she won? From ClimateReality via YouTube
This happened. That's all there is to say. From VICE News via YouTube
This climate scientist, a rising star, says fossil fuels have done their job and it is time to move to New Energy. From Global Weirding with Katharine Hayhoe via YouTube
What do toilets have to do with climate change?
Mayuri Bhattacharjee, 16 November 2018 (World Economic Forum)
“…[T]he rise in extreme weather events is proving challenging to sanitation systems around the world…[Despite the UN's Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.2 calling] for universal sanitation, 4.5 billion people globally lack safely managed services…[W]ater availability is becoming less predictable, and increased incidences of extreme weather events such as floods threaten sanitation facilities and risk contaminating water sources…[while] extreme drought leads to insufficient water resources for flushing sewage systems…[In India, the] world’s biggest toilet building programme, Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India Mission), is underway, aiming to end open defecation in the country by October 2019…[But] toilets built for it in flood-affected villages are] becoming dysfunctional due to the absence of climate-resilient design. And in water-scarce areas, people often resort to open defecation due to a lack of water for flushing toilets…
Nearly 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and this proportion is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. In most densely populated cities in the developing world, untreated sewage and faecal sludge are major causes of environmental and water pollution…Globally, human waste converted to fuel could have a value equivalent to about $9.5 billion of natural gas…[and there is a] business case for turning human waste into valuable resources such as fertilizer, animal feed and high-value proteins…Various stakeholder groups have recognized the need for toilets that can not only withstand extreme weather events, but also help mitigate climate change…Sanitation innovators across the world are developing products based on the principles of the circular economy…There are sparks of hope, but what we need is a global toilet revolution…” click here for more
World Energy Outlook 2018 examines future patterns of global energy system at a time of increasing uncertainties
13 November 2018 (International Energy Agency)
“Major transformations are underway for the global energy sector, from growing electrification to the expansion of renewables, upheavals in oil production and globalization of natural gas markets. Across all regions and fuels, policy choices made by governments will determine the shape of the energy system of the future…[As] geopolitical factors exert] new and complex influences on energy markets, underscoring the critical importance of energy security, …[the World Energy Outlook 2018 scenario analysis] details global energy trends and what possible impact they will have on supply and demand, carbon emissions, air pollution, and energy access…[under current and planned policies] that can meet long-term climate goals under the Paris Agreement, reduce air pollution, and ensure universal energy access…
…[Oil markets] are entering a period of renewed uncertainty and volatility, including a possible supply gap in the early 2020s. Demand for natural gas is on the rise, erasing talk of a glut as China emerges as a giant consumer. Solar PV is charging ahead, but other low-carbon technologies and especially efficiency policies still require a big push…In all cases, governments will have a critical influence…[Under current and planned policies,] energy demand is set to grow by more than 25% to 2040, requiring more than $2 trillion a year of investment in new energy supply…In power markets, renewables have become the technology of choice, making up almost two-thirds of global capacity additions to 2040, thanks to falling costs and supportive government policies…[Renewables generation is expected to be] 40% by 2040, from 25% today…” click here for more
European deal on green energy target will help drive further investment
David Foxwell, 14 November 2018 (Offshore Wind Journal)
“…The European Parliament has approved a binding EU-wide renewable energy target of 32% for 2030…[in] the Renewable Energy Directive and Governance Regulation, two key parts of Europe’s Clean Energy Package that sets the EU legal framework for renewables up to 2030…[The] final vote secured a political deal reached…[by] the 28 member states…[Three interim targets] ensure European countries progress towards the [32% renewables by] 2030 goal…
National governments now need to provide detailed National Energy and Climate Plans for 2030, in which they spell out how much renewable energy they will deploy to help meet the European target…including the [five-year plan for] timing, volumes and budget for future auctions…[including] technology-specific auctions…Finally, European countries will have to remove any administrative barriers to developing corporate renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs)…” click here for more
Artists will explore climate change with ‘A Night of Philosophy and Ideas’
Molly Glentzer, November 14, 2018 (Houston Chronicle)
“…Rice University professor Timothy Morton and performance artist Laurie Anderson will headline “A Night of Philosophy and Ideas” on Jan. 26 in Houston, the oil capital of the world, to highlight the impacts of climate change. The event] has previously been staged in Paris, New York, London and Berlin…[and similar] evenings will take place in more than 100 cities in January as part of La Nuit des idées, a project of the Institut français, Paris…[In Houston, philosophers, musicians, artists and authors from around the world will gather to explore how collective dialogue and cultural insights can prompt environmental action and motivate national and international change…
Morton will launch the evening with a talk titled, “It’s Not the End of the World. That Was a While Ago.”… Film screenings, readings, dance and art are in the mix to present and debate ideas about ecology, including how environmental concerns intersect with ethics, religion, anthropology and social justice…NASA oceanographer Josh Willis will perform as Climate Elvis, addressing the science of climate change through popular performance… [The will be exhibits by Artist Jae Rhim Lee, Houston-based artist Natasha Bowdoin and] French artist Michel Blazy…[and a screening of the] documentary “Living in the Future’s Past”… click here for more
The 50 States of Electric Vehicles: 32 States and DC Took Action on Electric Vehicles During Q3 2018
November 7, 2018 (N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center [NCCETC]) “…32 states and the District of Columbia took actions related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure during Q3 2018, with the greatest number of actions relating to Level 2 charging station deployment, followed by electric vehicle rate tariffs, rebate programs, and DC fast charging station deployment…NCCETC’s newest policy update notes three trends in electric vehicle activity apparent or emerging in Q3 2018: (1) utilities proposing demand charge alternatives for fast charging stations, (2) electric bus investment ramping up, along with vehicle-to-grid testing, and (3) utilities collecting data on electric vehicle charging patterns…
A total of 211 electric vehicle actions were taken during Q3 2018…[with New Jersey, California, New York, and Massachusetts] accounting for over half of the quarter’s activity…[T]he top electric vehicle actions taken during the quarter were…The Missouri Court of Appeals reversing a Public Service Commission decision on charging station regulation…Pepco filing its Transportation Electrification Program proposal with the DC Public Service Commission…Massachusetts and Rhode Island regulators approving electric vehicle programs for National Grid…PSE&G New Jersey filing a $261 million electric vehicle program proposal; and…California utilities filing proposals to deploy charging infrastructure at schools and state parks and beaches…” click here for more
5 Hard-to-Believe Renewable Energy Facts; Renewable energy from wind and solar went from impossibly expensive to nearly 10% of American electricity in less than 20 years. What's ahead may be even more astounding.
Maxx Chatsko, November 11, 2018 (The Motley Fool)
“…The United States exited 2017 with an estimated 115,000 megawatts of installed wind and utility-scale solar power capacity. It took decades, dozens of industry players, and tens of billions of dollars for the country to reach that level. If NextEra Energy has its way, then the next 115,000 megawatts might take significantly less effort…The company's power-generation subsidiary, NextEra Energy Resources, has plans to grow its renewable energy project backlog to 40,000 megawatts by 2020…
Perhaps equally impressive is the fact that each major region of the United States is represented in the ambitious portfolio, even those considered to have relatively poor renewable energy potential, whereas today, most wind and solar energy power capacity is concentrated in only a handful of states. Considering the business' current backlog is larger than its entire operating portfolio at the end of 2011, investors don't have to guess at the appetite for wind and solar projects among American electric utilities…” click here for more
Solar at the crossroads: Is utility-scale, distributed or both the way to go? Sunrun’s CEO sees a “war on solar” but others say changes can bring big opportunities
Herman K. Trabish, May 3, 2018 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: Rooftop solar’s internal struggle about how to cope with the industry’s changing incentive has become more significant since this story ran.
Sunrun ranks with SolarCity-Tesla and Vivint among top national installers. Its new opinion paper argues the time and money going to reinvent the bulk U.S. power system should instead be invested in distributed resources. Founded in 2007, Sunrun was the originator of the third-party ownership (TPO) financing that drove the rooftop solar boom after 2009. More recently, Sunrun became one of the first national installers to offer TPO financing for solar-plus-storage systems. CEO/Founder Lynn Jurich has strong ideas about solar’s next steps. “We are at a crossroads: We can choose a path of building a more affordable, clean, reliable energy system,” Jurich wrote. “Or, continue down a path of centralized, fossil fuel-based electricity production, building power plants and power lines that will be redundant in 10 years, while pushing consumers to go it alone.”
There is a “war on solar,” Jurich argued. It includes an “attack” on net energy metering (NEM), which “has proven to be a simple, effective system to make it possible for Americans to go solar,” she wrote. The attack also undervalues distributed solar in comparison to utility-scale solar. Caroline Choi is senior vice-president for regulatory affairs with Southern California Edison (SCE), which was named first among 400 U.S. utilities in energy storage and second in providing solar to customers by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA). There is an “either-or” quality to the paper that seems to overlook utility-scale solar in favor of distributed solar, Choi told Utility Dive. But Choi and Jurich agree that battery energy storage is central to solar’s future… click here for more
Solar has transformed into solar-plus-storage: What will net metering become? New rate designs to replace solar’s foundational policy leave solar-only behind.
Herman K. Trabish, May 7, 2018 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: Rooftop solar installers are only just beginning to understand how to cope with the changes in net energy metering described here.
When distributed solar becomes more of a stress than a service to the grid, it transforms into solar-plus-storage and begins again the struggle to build economies of scale to drive its price down to levels competitive with traditional generation. That transformation happens when distributed solar penetration levels approach the point where the system can no longer benefit from new daytime generation. It has already happened in Hawaii. Growth trends show that penetration level is coming in California, Arizona and Massachusetts. Net energy metering (NEM), the policy that solar has long relied on to drive its growth, was no longer tenable in Hawaii. It is facing the same circumstances and the same fate in California, Arizona and Massachusetts. But NEM, too, is being transformed.
Policymakers are trying new rate designs intended to drive solar-plus-storage growth the way NEM drove solar. That explains the new policy debates emerging between utilities and solar advocates at state legislatures and utility commissions across the country. The Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT) was among the renewables groups that pushed for California’s original renewables mandate and for its trend-setting increases. But California now has large deployments of renewable and distributed resources and its goal of "just building MWs" must change to be of service to the grid and help meet the state's climate goals, Executive Director V. John White told Utility Dive. New numbers from the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) Q1 2018 50 States of Solar show solar policy debates are accelerating across the country, and two examples of this shift — time-of-use rates and three-part rates with demand charges — have emerged in recent policy actions… click here for more
NO QUICK NEWS
Investigating the Economic Value of Flexible Solar Power Plant Operation, October 2018
October 2018 (Energy and Environmental Economics)
Solar power is growing rapidly around the world, driven by dramatic cost reductions and increased interest in carbon-free energy sources. Solar is a variable resource, requiring grid operators to increase the available operating range on conventional generators, sometimes by committing additional units to ensure enough grid flexibility to balance the system. At very high levels of penetration, operators may not have enough flexibility on conventional generators to ensure reliable operations.
However, modern solar power plants can be operated flexibly; in fact, they can respond to dispatch instructions much more quickly than conventional generators. Flexible solar not only contributes to solving operating challenges related to solar variability but can also provide essential grid services. This study simulates operations of an actual utility system – Tampa Electric Company (TECO) – and its generation portfolio to investigate the economic value of using solar as a flexible resource. The study explores four solar operating modes: “Must-Take,” “Curtailable,” “Downward Dispatch,” and “Full Flexibility.”
The study finds that for this relatively small utility system, Must-Take solar becomes infeasible once solar penetration exceeds 14% of annual energy supply due to unavoidable oversupply during low demand periods, necessitating a shift to the Curtailable mode of solar operations. As the penetration continues to grow, the operating reserves needed to accommodate solar uncertainty become a significant cost driver, leading to more conservative thermal plant operations and increasingly large amounts of solar curtailment. Flexible solar reduces uncertainty, enabling leaner operations and providing significant economic value. At penetration levels exceeding 20% on the TECO system, solar curtailment can be reduced by more than half by moving from the Curtailable to the Full Flexibility solar operating mode. This results in significant additional value due to reduced fuel costs, operations and maintenance costs, and air emissions.
Finally, the study evaluates the impact of flexible solar in combination with energy storage. We find that flexible solar can provide some of the same grid services as energy storage, thereby reducing the value of storage on a high-solar grid.
Solar electricity is becoming an important part of the electric generation portfolio in many regions due to rapidly declining costs and policies favoring non-emitting renewable generation. The installed capacity of solar has grown exponentially over the past two decades.
Further solar growth is expected in subsequent decades. Policy targets for renewable energy installation and decarbonization of the energy system are driving solar installations around the world. Both India and China have targets to reach more than 100 GW of installed solar capacity by the early 2020s.1 California and Hawaii have passed legislation to reach 100% renewable or zero-carbon electricity by 2045, and it is expected that solar energy will be one of the primary energy sources used meet these ambitious targets. Recent analysis on deep decarbonization pathways in California suggests that solar power could supply a large fraction of the economy-wide demand for energy by 2050.2 Europe is also expected to increase solar energy capacity to meet decarbonization targets…
Description of Case Study… Flexible Solar Production Simulation Results… Areas for Future Research…
When envisioning a power system with large amounts of variable renewable energy, system planners must include information on the least-cost manner of reliably operating that system, in both the present and future. If system operators can control the power output of variable renewable resources, these resources can be viewed as assets that help to maintain reliability rather than liabilities that create operational challenges. Bringing the operational value of dispatching variable renewables into utility resource plans may change the investments made in resources going forward. The flexibility brought by dispatching variable renewable generators could reduce the need for investments in other types of flexible resources. But dispatching renewables helps to retain their value at higher penetrations, which may induce further renewable deployment and, in turn, increase the need for other flexible resources. In either scenario, reducing operational costs and CO2 emissions from the power system is easier when solar power is treated as an active participant in grid balancing rather than an invisible part of the “net load.”
This Is What It Looks Like Take A Good Look, America. This Is What The Reckoning Looks Like
Matt Simon, November 13, 2018 (Wired)
“…[The fable is not true that a frog put into cold water won’t notice the water being brought to a boil before it’s too late, but apparently humans are not that smart…[Northern California’s] Camp Fire is only 25 percent contained, yet it is already by far the deadliest and most destructive in state history…[It has] killed 42 and destroyed nearly 7,200 structures…[Southern California’s] Woolsey Fire has scorched over 90,000 acres and leveled at least 370 structures…[This devastation] is ultimately a product of a warming world. The climate change reckoning is here. This is what inaction looks like…
…[It is not immediately observable that] Inuit peoples in northern Canada have less of the ice they rely on to hunt, coral reefs are buckling under the weight of warming and acidifying waters, climate change is making hurricanes worse…[but it is clear] California is burning…The contribution of climate change is] obvious in the data…California is already very dry due to lack of rainfall. That means parched vegetation, which means lots of fuel for fires. But as temperatures climb, the atmosphere further dehydrates vegetation…[The Camp Fire] conflagration overwhelmed the 27,000-person town of Paradise…Climate change isn’t the only factor…[but the] climate change reckoning is here, and we are all mere fabled frogs…” click here for more
Astonishing Things About New Energy, Part 1 5 Hard-to-Believe Renewable Energy Facts; Renewable energy from wind and solar went from impossibly expensive to nearly 10% of American electricity in less than 20 years. What's ahead may be even more astounding.
Maxx Chatsko, November 11, 2018 (The Motley Fool)
“…The United States is on pace to generate 275 terawatt-hours of electricity from onshore wind power in 2018, compared to just 5.6 terawatt-hours in 2000. That amounts to a whopping 4,810% increase since the turn of the century. By comparison, the S&P 500 has gained 168% in that span with dividends (and two brutal recessions) included. Therefore, it shouldn't be surprising that some of the best-performing stocks in that span belong to businesses that went all-in on the future of wind power…
NextEra Energy stock has delivered a total return (share performance plus dividends) of 1,430%...Even shares of Xcel Energy, which only began investing heavily in renewable energy in the last decade, have put up a total return of 477%...[They have nearly 21,000 megawatts of installed wind capacity combined…[and have been pivotal] in increasing wind power's share of nationwide electricity generation to nearly 7%...” click here for more
Grid Modernization – States And Utilities Test The Waters; Electric utilities propose upgrades to the grid, while regulators seek frameworks to evaluate those costs.
October 30, 2018 (ScottMadden)
Grid Modernization: A Working Definition
∙ Grid modernization is a term frequently used but not consistently defined
∙ A working definition would include investments—some of which may be considered foundational and/or DER-enabling—that improve the reliability, resiliency, efficiency, and automation of the T&D system
∙ Such investments can include a broad array of technology, including:
- Sensors, data, systems, and communications networks that enable enhanced visibility and understanding of the distribution system and control of devices and resources connected to it
- Technologies and equipment that facilitate greater customer engagement regarding energy usage and alternatives
- The underlying systems, data management, and analytics that facilitate situational awareness, asset management, contingency and risk analysis, outage management, and restoration
∙ These necessary core investments underpin the required focus on grid reliability, visibility, and resiliency. They provide the basis for increased operational flexibility, provide customers with greater insights and more options to manage their energy usage, can enable efforts toward achieving state policy goals, such as the integration of various types of DER, and are beneficial for any resource mix
Threshold Questions for Utilities Considering Grid Modernization Initiatives
∙ What is the delivery utility trying to achieve through grid modernization?
∙ There is no one-size-fits-all ∙ Clear goals make prioritization decisions easier
∙ What is a “modern” vs. “traditional” grid?
∙ New does not mean modern (e.g., new poles)
∙ Agreed-upon definitions with the regulator build trust
∙ Where is the line between grid modernization and DER enablement? Is there one?
∙ State policy goals for DER enablement
∙ Projects with synergies that support both DER and traditional grid operations (e.g., GIS)
∙ What is the line between grid modernization-related efforts and enterprise-wide efforts for initiatives, such as cybersecurity, analytics, etc.?
∙ Accelerating existing programs or projects
∙ Clear boundaries make for a more effective narrative
∙ What is considered a foundational grid modernization investment, and foundational to what?
∙ Sequence of investments based on priorities, required capabilities, and interdependencies
∙ Is the standard of cost effectiveness different?
∙ What cost-effectiveness framework should be applied to these investments, individually and as a portfolio?
∙ Relevant commission frameworks
∙ Least cost vs. greatest societal benefit
Grid Investment Continues to Grow
∙ Increasingly, utilities are looking at the energy delivery business (and related technology deployment) as an earnings growth opportunity
∙ Even traditionally “generation-heavy” utilities like Duke and AEP are developing significant grid modernization plans
∙ For the past five years, electric distribution spending (among electric and combination utilities) has been growing at nearly 6% per year
∙ In the most recent year, conductors and station equipment totaled about 50% of distribution additions, while meters comprised about 6.7%
∙ A significant amount of distribution spending may still lie ahead, especially as multi-year grid mod plans unfold
New York Demonstration Projects Pilot Varied Technologies and Features
∙ New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative required its utilities to file in July 2018 distributed system integration plans (DSIPs), many of which include innovative pilots to test various grid modernization technologies and functionalities
∙ ConEd, for example, is testing mobile energy storage in its Transportable Energy Storage System (TESS), comprised of a 500-kW, trailer-mounted system with liion batteries and power conversion and thermal control systems
∙ National Grid is demonstrating a Distributed System Platform (DSP) project that can determine locational energy value through a “Locational Marginal Pricing+Distribution+Environmental” model
∙ Other pilot projects involve electric vehicles, community solar, and DER forecasting ∙ Time will tell whether these pilots will be successful and scalable
Regulators Temper Spending, Seeking “Bang for the Buck”
∙ While many jurisdictions are pursuing policies intended to evolve the electric grid through advanced technologies, some utilities are facing pushback on the price tag of some proposals
∙ For example, both Massachusetts and New Mexico rejected AMI proposals by utilities, citing insufficient customer benefits, among other concerns
∙ Kentucky also rejected a joint proposal to install almost 1.3 million smart meters, deciding that the utilities failed to prove that smart meters wouldn’t be “wasteful duplication”
∙ Moreover, grid riders—which allow utilities to recover costs outside of traditional rate cases and are useful as technologies change—have been challenged in North Carolina and Ohio, as some parties object to potential system “gold plating” without sufficient cost-benefit analysis
Given the scrutiny and potential resistance to rate increases, utilities should spend a meaningful amount of time understanding their objectives, scoping potential technology test beds, identifying and prioritizing the potential sequencing of investments, and carefully analyzing costs versus customer benefits as they engage regulators and other stakeholders in grid modernization initiatives.
What Big Oil Is Doing About Climate Change Big Oil claims it's doing its part to combat climate change. A new study finds it's not even close.
Callum Burroughs, November 11, 2018 (Business Insider)
“Despite years of claims and commitments about clean investment and alleviating climate change, the world's largest oil companies have contributed just 1% of their spending budgets to green energy in 2018…[A new study by environmental advocates CDP, the] world's top 24 publicly-listed oil companies spent just 1.3 percent of total budgets of $260 billion on low carbon energy in 2018…70% of the energy sector's renewables capacity came from European oil majors…
Norway's Equinor leads the way with plans to spend up to 20% of its budget on renewables by 2030, while European major Total has spent the most on low-carbon energies, around 4.3% of its budget, since 2010…Shell plans to invest up to $2 billion each year in renewables and electric vehicles alongside a pledge in 2017 to halve the carbon footprint of the energy it sells by 2050...These efforts pale in comparison to the required need for drastic climate control measures...” click here for more
A Tale Of New Energy In Two States Why Nevada upped its renewable energy standards (and Arizona didn’t)
Elise Hansen and Katarina Zimmer, November 11, 2018 (Grist)
Voters in Arizona and Nevada faced an identical choice…[of whether to require their utility companies] to get half of their energy from renewable sources by 2030…Proposition 127 failed in Arizona amid what local news outlets are calling “the most expensive ballot fight” in the state’s history. Meanwhile, roughly 60 percent of voters supported Question 6 in Nevada, adopting the new renewables standard…The National Renewable Energy Laboratory ranked Nevada and Arizona first and second, respectively, among U.S. states in solar power potential in 2006. And solar is just one element of a renewable energy portfolio that can also include power from wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal sources…
…Forcing utility companies to get a minimum percentage of their energy from renewables is one of the simplest and most-effective ways to spur a transition away from fossil fuels…As Nevada now moves closer to reaching its potential, Arizona is stalled…While Nevada’s main electric company stayed neutral on the Silver State’s measure, Arizona’s electricity companies put up a big fight…[and] frequently cited the possibility that Arizonans could see increased energy costs if the measure passed…[Research showed they were false claims but they swayed voters and renewables advocates say the] outcome is “an unfortunate example” of the power wielded by investor-owned utilities…” click here for more