NewEnergyNews: 09/01/2019 - 10/01/2019

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 the climate crisis 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 Policy Fight Now For Transportation Electrification
  • QUICK NEWS, November 18: Every Child Will Feel It; Tinder For New Energy
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: U.S. Ocean Wind Rising
  • Weekend Video: Big Storage Explained
  • Weekend Video: Climate Anxiety In Children
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Killing Power Of The Climate Crisis
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-A World Defying White House Policy
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Best Places In The World For New Energy
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, November 14:

  • TTTA Thursday-The Pioneering Artist Climate-Heroes
  • TTTA Thursday-Tennessee Utility Powerhouse Undercuts Solar
  • TTTA Thursday-New EV Charging Rates Cut System And Driver Costs
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Diversifying the Northeast power mix with offshore wind and storage
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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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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, November 19:

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Trends In Distributed Solar Pricing and Placement
  • QUICK NEWS, November 19: Farms Can Lead Climate Crisis Solutions; Electricity Customers Saving With New Energy

    Monday, September 30, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: New Energy Investment Trends Now

    Global Trends In Renewable Energy Investment 2019

    August 2019 (Frankfurt School via (UN Environment Program and Bloomberg NEF)

    KEY FINDINGS

    ABOUT THE DECADE 2010-2019:

    n The years 2010-2019 will have seen $2.6 trillion invested in renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydro), more than treble the amount invested in the previous decade. Solar is set to have attracted the most in 2010-2019, at $1.3 trillion, with wind securing $1 trillion and biomass and waste-to-energy $115 billion.

    n China will be the top country by far in terms of the sums invested in renewables capacity during the current decade. It committed $758 billion between 2010 and the first half of 2019, with the U.S. second on $356 billion and Japan third on $202 billion.1

    n Europe as a whole invested $698 billion in 2010 to first-half 2019, with Germany contributing the most, at $179 billion, and the U.K. $122 billion. India is an increasingly important investor in renewables, and had committed $90 billion by the end of the first half of this year.

    n The decade has seen a spectacular improvement in the cost-competitiveness of renewables, with the levelized cost of electricity for solar photovoltaics 2 down 81%, for onshore wind down 46% and for offshore wind down 44%. One or other renewables technology is now the cheapest option for new generation in many countries around the world.

    n Behind these cost reductions in solar and wind have been a combination of economies of scale in manufacturing, fierce competition along the supply chain – intensified by the introduction of auctions in many countries – record-low costs of finance, and improvements in the efficiency of generating equipment.

    n There will have been more solar capacity installed during the decade than any other generating technology, fossil or renewable. Solar's additions, of some 638GW during 2010-2019, is a remarkable figure given that there were only 25GW of solar power capacity worldwide at the end of 2009.

    n The 2010-2019 period is set to have seen a net 2.4 terawatts of power capacity of all sorts installed, with solar first, coal second, and wind narrowly beating gas for third place. Nevertheless, the stock of fossil fuel power already installed, and those added this decade, has meant that global power sector emissions are likely to have risen by at least 10% between the end of 2009 and 2019

    ABOUT 2018:

    n Global investment in renewable energy capacity in 2018 was $272.9 billion, the fifth successive year in which it has exceeded $250 billion, but down 12% compared to 2017 – due in large part to a policy change that hit the financing of Chinese solar in the second half of the year.

    n The global investment figure for 2018 was achieved despite continuing falls in the capital cost of solar and wind projects. Solar kept its position as the technology attracting the most capacity investment, at $133.5 billion, although this was down 22% on 2017. Wind secured $129.7 billion, up 3%.

    n Renewable energy capacity investment was more spread out across the globe than ever, with 29 countries each investing more than $1 billion in 2018, up from 25 in 2017 and 21 in 2016. China invested the most, at $88.5 billion, down 38%, with Europe on $59.9 billion, up 45%, and the U.S. on $42.8 billion, down 6%.

    n Spain, Vietnam, Ukraine and South Africa were among the countries in the "$1 billion-plus club" that saw capacity investment jump by more than fivefold in 2018. There were also increases of 100% or more in investment in the Netherlands, Sweden, Morocco, Russia and Taiwan.

    n Investment in renewables capacity in 2018 was about three times global investment in coal and gas-fired generation capacity combined. This came despite further reductions last year in the average capital cost per MW of solar and wind projects.

    n The world added a record 167GW of new capacity of renewables excluding large hydro in 2018, with solar additions hitting their own record of 108GW. This helped renewables excluding large hydro to raise its share of global electricity generation, from 11.6% in 2017 to 12.9% in 2018, helping the world to avoid an estimated 2 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

    n Other types of investment in renewables showed increases in 2018. Government and corporate research and development was up 10% at $13.1 billion, while equity raising by specialist companies on public markets was 6% higher at $6 billion, and venture capital and private equity investment was up 35% at $2 billion. Overall renewable energy investment, including these categories as well as capacity investment, was down 11% at $288.3 billion in 2018.

    A DECADE OF RENEWABLES INVESTMENT

    n At the dawn of this decade, in January 2010, wind and solar were dots on the horizon of the world power system, accounting for only 4% of global generating capacity and much less of total electricity produced. They were also relatively expensive, and reliant on subsidies.

    n A startling transformation has since taken place. By the end of the decade of 2010-2019, in a few short months’ time, the two leading renewable energy technologies are expected to account for some 18% of global generating capacity, after the investment of some $2.4 trillion in new projects over the 10 years.

    n The cost comparison has also changed out of all recognition. Since the second half of 2009, the benchmark global levelized cost of electricity 3 for solar photovoltaics without tracking systems has fallen by 81%, the equivalent for onshore wind by 46% and offshore wind by 44%. In many countries, the cheapest source of new generating capacity in 2019 is either solar or wind.

    n Overall, including other renewable energy technologies but not large hydro, capacity investment over the 2010-2019 period is set to reach $2.6 trillion. The biggest investing country, by far, during the decade is set to be China, which committed $758 billion between the beginning of 2010 and mid-year 2019. Europe as a whole invested $698 billion in that time, and the U.S. $356 billion.

    n Interest rates at record lows in major economies during the decade have been an important factor in making this possible. A much higher proportion of lifetime costs for wind and solar are incurred in advance rather than during the operating phase than for coal and gas. This upfront capital has to come from equity providers and lenders.

    n Few would have dreamt at the start of 2010 that solar would see more capacity added during the decade ahead, at 638GW, than any other generating technology – renewable, fossil fuel or nuclear. However, the greening of the electricity system still has a very long way to go. The 2010-2019 period will have seen more than 500GW of new coal plants added worldwide, pushing up overall power system emissions…

    QUICK NEWS, September 30: Greta's Secret Power; 5 New Energy Companies Driving Change

    Greta's Secret Power Greta Thunberg’s enemies are right to be scared. Her new political allies should be too; Liberal leaders line up to praise her, yet their inaction on the climate crisis shows they are not really listening to her message

    Stephen Buranyi, 30 September 2019 (UK Guardian)

    “…[Greta Thunberg] only asks world leaders to] listen to the scientists…[Her argument is simply that carbon moves the crisis] forward, and anything that facilitates that must be bad. She judges long-touted paradigms of ‘green growth’ and market-based solutions as failures…[She describes her supporters as ‘mocked’ and ‘lied about’ by] the elite…This framing releases ordinary people from complicity in the climate crisis…It isn’t just that Thunberg has made climate politics popular, she has – for the first time since the early days of the climate justice movement – made them populist on a large scale…A good reactionary recognises the potential vehicle for real change, and they hate it…

    It’s not clear where Thunberg’s politics lie, or where they will go in the future, but her rhetoric mirrors the left of the environmental movement…[She is] visibly angry…[and] her main rhetorical targets are not denialist wingnuts, but the same mainstream politicians who invite her to speak and praise her activism…[They] don’t appear to hear her when she says it’s their fault her life is ruined. It’s the reaction of a group who have long considered themselves on the correct side of the climate divide, and thus, of history…Thunberg’s great contribution is to convince the wider public of the bankruptcy of that outlook, and to indict years of missed targets as the failures that they are. Politicians don’t appear to take this shift, or her, very seriously…For the moment she and the movement she has invigorated are in a strange place, commanding immense popular support for a radical cause, and simultaneously praised by the very people they identify as the problem.” click here for more

    5 New Energy Companies Driving Change Top 5 Energy Companies that Are Changing the Face of Renewable Energy in 2019; Because renewable energy is the future!

    Kashyap Vyas, September 29, 2019 (Interesting Engineering)

    “…Countries like Paraguay and Iceland are 100% on renewable energy while Norway is 98.5 and Costa Rica is 99…Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany…[and] Quebec and British Columbia in Canada are also 100% entirely on renewable energy sources…[The leading New Energies are] solar, wind, hydropower, or geothermal… [Currently, 25% of global] energy comes from renewable sources…[and the International Energy Agency forecasts] 40% of Earth’s energy would come from renewable sources by the year 2040…[Five energy companies in the renewable sector have a] significant share in the renewable energy market…[Siemens Gamesa] is selected by Dow Jones Sustainability World Indices (DJSI World)…[It] is a pioneer in generating wind power…[GE Energy is] one of the largest wind turbine suppliers around the world…one of the largest generators of hydro turbines…[and is now focused on] hybrid energy storage systems…

    ...[Berkshire Hathaway Energy serves] almost 11.8 million customers…[with] almost 7800 megawatts of wind energy and…1,500 megawatts of solar capacity…[It also gets significant generation from] hydroelectric and] geothermal energy…[Cypress Creek Renewables is focused on] solar projects that can benefit communities…[It has built] more than 300 projects with 3.2 gigawatts of solar…[NextEra Energy is one of the world’s largest producers of wind and solar energy…[It has] a market capitalization of over $100 billion…[and] plans to invest additional $50-55 billion…[T]he role of these energy companies is critical as they are using innovative measures to improve the energy generation through renewable resources…” click here for more

    Saturday, September 28, 2019

    Plea For The Planet

    “How is it possible the most intellectual being that ever walked the planet is destroying its only home?” From World Economic Forum via YouTube

    Bill Maher – A Big Climate Challenge Ahead

    Obama EPA Head Gina McCarthy says “Do what we can do! Clean energy is going gangbusters!” From Real Time With Bill Maher via YouTube

    New Energy Will Grow Faster Than You Think

    The solar industry is growing exponentially. In some places, solar+storage already beats natural gas plants on cost. When that happens everywhere, growth will accelerate. From CNBC via YouTube

    Friday, September 27, 2019

    The Human Harms In The Climate Crisis

    'Like a sunburn on your lungs': how does the climate crisis impact health?

    Emily Holden, 16 September 2019 (UK Guardian)

    Children, pregnant women and the elderly are the most at risk from extreme weather and heat – but the impact is already felt [by patients, doctors and researchers] across every specialty of medicine…As temperatures increase, plants produce more pollen for longer periods of time, intensifying the allergy seasons…[H]eat waves could lead to premature births…In the developing world pregnant people can also suffer from food and water scarcity. Insect-borne illnesses – such as the Zika virus, which was spread by mosquitoes – are also a hazard to developing fetuses…Air pollution gets worse as temperatures rise, stressing both the heart and lungs…

    [More intense wildfires spew dangerous smoke into the air…[And hotter days make more smog which is ‘like a sunburn on your lungs’ and] may trigger an asthma attack…[Hotter days cause dehydration which can lead to] electrolyte imbalances, kidney stones and kidney failure. Patients who need dialysis as their kidneys fail can have trouble getting treatment during extreme weather events…Higher temperatures and the depletion of the ozone layer increase the risk of skin cancer…[and is linked to] salmonella and campylobacter outbreaks. Extreme rains can contaminate drinking water…

    [A]lgae blooms that thrive in higher temperatures can cause gastrointestinal problems…[Insect spread expands transmission of] malaria, dengue, Lyme disease and West Nile virus. Waterborne cholera and cryptosporidiosis increase with drought and flooding … Diseases spread by mosquitoes and ticks increase the chance of neurological problems. Extreme heat is also linked with cerebrovascular disease, a disorder that affects blood supply to the brain…[And extreme weather events, including hurricanes, floods and wildfires, often cause violent conflict which increases mental health challenges and] physical injuries…” click here for more

    The Offshore Wind Boom Is On

    The World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Will Be as Cheap as Coal

    Will Mathis (w/Mikael Holtzer), September 20, 2019 (Bloomberg News)

    The world’s biggest offshore wind park planned off the coast of England will probably in the next decade generate power cheaper than by burning coal…The most recent U.K. offshore wind auction dropped the guaranteed price 31% to] 39.65 pounds per megawatt-hour ($49.70)…[Offshore wind was a niche technology more expensive than nuclear reactors a few years ago, but] is changing the economics of energy around the world…[Utilities and energy majors] are planning to spend $448 billion through 2030 on an eightfold capacity increase…

    Projects from developers including SSE Plc, Equinor ASA and Innogy SE won offshore wind power-purchase contracts that will have the capacity to generate as much as 5.5 gigawatts of power…[SSE-Equinor’s project off England’s east coast will be] the biggest single offshore wind park in the world…One of the winning areas, known as Dogger Bank, is off the coast of Yorkshire. Three projects by Equinor and SSE were approved in the zone for a total generation of 3.6 gigawatts. Another 1.4 gigawatt project developed by Innogy was also approved in the same area…The next U.K. auction, set to take place in 2021, is expected to] draw as much as 20 billion pounds of investment in offshore wind…” click here for more

    Thursday, September 26, 2019

    The Climate Crisis Is Killing Off Ocean Life – UN Report

    Fish are in trouble with the climate crisis, IPCC report finds

    Jen Christensen, September 25, 2019 (CNN)

    Since the 1970s, the climate crisis has made our oceans warmer and more acidic, reducing the number of fish we rely on for our food and putting the future of fish in peril, according to a major UN report…Rising temperatures mean oceans will have less oxygen, and this, along with more heatwaves and increased acidification, will make fish move further away from the coast and create larger deadzones…[and] lead to the extinction of some species of fish, which Americans have been eating an increasing amount of…

    Fish plays an even bigger role internationally, providing up to half of all animal protein eaten in developing countries and it remains a leading source of vitamins and minerals…[The projected decreases in seafood] will elevate the risk of nutritional health impacts…[Scientists are ‘virtually certain’ that the ocean has warmed between 1970 and 2017…Warmer waters endanger coral reefs that are homes to many fish. Foundation species, meaning fish food, also decline…A February study noted that the increased ocean temperature has already led to more than a 4% global decline in sustainable catches…

    It's ‘virtually certain’ that the ocean has taken up between 20-30% of the total human produced carbon since the 1980s, changing the very chemistry of the ocean, making it more acidic…Without a plan of reducing carbon emissions, the ocean may be so acidic by 2080, that even creatures like some corals that had been able to withstand these conditions may erode quicker than they can rebuild…The IPCC report predicts that by 2100 the ocean will take up two to four times as much heat since 1970, and globally marine heatwaves will very likely increase by a factor of 50 by 2081-2100 if the world doesn't curb its current emissions…” click here for more

    Google Biggest New Energy Buy Yet

    Google announces 18 new renewable energy deals

    Frederic Lardinois, September 19. 2019 (Tech Crunch)

    “…[Google’s 18 renewable energy deals, its biggest buy to date, represent 1,600-megawatts] in the U.S., Chile and Europe. This brings Google’s current set of wind and solar agreements to about 5,500 megawatts (MW) and the company’s number of total renewables projects it’s involved in to 52…[The new projects are expected to] drive about $2 billion in investments in new energy infrastructure…

    They include] a total of 720 MW from solar farms in North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas…[and 125 MW in Chile] to power its data center…[M]any of Google’s earlier investments were in wind energy. Its new investments in the U.S. are mostly in solar…[because of] the declining cost of solar. In Chile, the company is investing in a hybrid solar and wind deal for the first time…[Amazon recently] pledged to run its business on 100% renewable energy by 2030 and buy 100,000 electric vans.” click here for more

    Wednesday, September 25, 2019

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Reliability Anxiety In Texas

    ERCOT's reliability anxiety: Energy groups square off on what's to blame; Attack on renewables incentives as the cause of reliability issues offers a "study 'em all!" compromise

    Herman K. Trabish, April 30, 2019 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The bills reported on here were help back by Texas renewables advocates, the fight is far from over and everyone involved expects more of the same in the next legislative session.

    With natural gas and Variable wind now nearly two-thirds of the Texas energy mix, Texans are beginning to worry about whether the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) can keep the power flowing. And they are looking for someone to blame. ERCOT, the state's grid operator, navigated last summer's record demand spikes with an 11% reserve generation margin, well below the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) 13.75% target, as the existing fossil fuel generation that has traditionally served reliability is priced out of the market by low cost natural gas and renewables.

    With the reserve margin falling, anxiety about meeting peak demand is rising for Texas policymakers who will hear from voters if the air conditioning goes off during this summer's demand surges. This reliability anxiety has sparked a debate about which of the state's various energy incentives are causing the grid's potential shortcomings.

    When demand spikes, prices rise and reserves fall as more generation is brought online, threatening the reliable delivery of electricity. In response, ERCOT increases the market price to stimulate supply. To better understand the dynamics of these temporary market distortions, some lawmakers have introduced bills calling for a study of the impact of renewables incentives. But renewable energy advocates say the more useful study would be of the impacts of all energy incentives because U.S. Department of Energy research has shown it is natural gas and not renewables that is causing the Texas reliability anxiety.

    The most highly debated bills, among a range of legislative efforts, are those calling for a study on the impacts of federal tax credits for wind and solar because high wind penetrations can determine when peak demand requires ERCOT to exercise market mechanisms to increase the power supply, Texas Association of Manufacturers (TAM) Attorney Katie Coleman told the state Senate Committee on Business and Commerce April 2. TAM, which includes manufacturers who use natural gas, supports a study of how wind's rapid growth, driven by federal and state "subsidies," has led to "increased price volatility" and "market distortions." Senate Bill (SB) 2232 would order that study.

    These studies would likely lead to recommendations by the PUCT and ERCOT about changes to incentives or market rules to better address reliability. Renewables advocates do not completely object to these bills, but say the proposed studies would not go far enough. "All energy incentives deserve study and a review of their impacts," Advanced Power Alliance President Jeffrey Clark told the committee, adding that Texas has not studied the full spectrum of energy incentives since 2008, "when the state comptroller's study showed that 96% of the state and federal incentives went to fossil fuels."

    ERCOT and the PUCT are already working on solutions to the state's supply challenges. The Operating Reserve Demand Curve (ORDC), ERCOT's mechanism to protect reliability, responds to falling reserves with an "adder" to the market price. With this year's summer reserves forecast at an all-time low, the commission ordered ERCOT to "adjust" the ORDC formula to boost short-term supply, PUCT External Affairs Director Andrew Barlow emailed Utility Dive… click here for more

    NO QUICK NEWS

    Tuesday, September 24, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: The Threats To Climate In Food Production

    Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index 2019

    August 2019 (Coller Capital)

    Executive Summary – Introduction

    The age of man could, in fact, be defined by the chicken.

    At any given time, there are nearly 23 billion domesticated chickens around the world. Humans consume nearly three times that number – 65 billion – every year.

    Domesticated chickens have been part of the human diet for over 8,000 years. However, it is only in the last 60 years, with the birth of industrial farming, that chickens have become pervasive. The industrial chicken’s lifespan is five to nine weeks. These birds have been bred to gain weight rapidly on a primarily grainbased diet. As a result, they weigh four to five times what their ancestors did in the 1950s, and their bones have a unique chemical signature. They cannot survive without human intervention. Scientists have argued that these factors make chicken bones – ubiquitous and fossilised in landfills – a leading contender as an index fossil for a proposed Anthropocene Epoch.

    The industrialisation of agriculture is not confined to chickens. Intensive farming – which prioritises feed efficiency and rapid weight gain – is now standard practice across all farmed species. It has helped to increase meat, egg and milk production by 140% since 1961, and make farm animals, led by cattle and pigs, the largest mammalian biomass on the planet. Farm animals now have 33 times the rapidly dwindling biomass of wild land mammals.4,i The rapid growth of this sector has transformed the availability and accessibility of cheap protein sources and resulted in economic and social benefits. However, these benefits have come at a steep cost: the sector is one of the primary drivers of the most serious environmental and social risks facing our planet and society (see case study). Global multinationals that breed, grow, slaughter and process livestock and fish are ultimately on the front lines of managing and mitigating these risks. The lack of scrutiny on the sector has meant that these companies have been allowed to scale their operations, markets and production volumes without clear controls. This creates systemic risks: not just for companies, but also their global food customers, investors, consumers and society at large.

    The FAIRR Initiative is working to leverage the power of institutional capital to effect change in the livestock and farmed fish sectors. One of our key research initiatives is the Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index. This ranks 60 of the world’s largest protein producers on their disclosure and management of material environmental and social risks. The Index is the world’s only benchmark dedicated to profiling animal protein producers and showcasing critical gaps and areas of best practice in the sector.

    The primary purpose of this Index is to enable and support investor decision-making on the protein sector. We hope investors will integrate the data and analysis on the performance of these global listed assets into their stewardship and investment decisions. The Index is also a benchmark to help animal protein companies assess themselves against their peers in the sector and improve their management and reporting of risks. Wherever possible, we have tried to contextualise our analysis to compare companies against their closest peers, based on business model and product composition.

    Ultimately, what these companies produce ends up on the tables and supermarket shelves of consumers around the world. Global food companies, from McDonald’s and Nestlé to Walmart, procure their meat, fish and dairy from many of the Index constituents. The Index serves as a powerful engagement tool to help food companies work with their suppliers to minimise reputational and operational risks.

    The impacts of processing 70 billion animals every year for human consumption

    Climate change: Livestock supply chains account for 7.1 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide (CO2 ), equivalent to 14.5% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.6 The biggest sources of emissions are enteric fermentation from cattle, feed production and manure storage.

    Biodiversity loss: Livestock production “is the single largest driver of habitat loss”.7 This loss is incurred through direct land conversion: 80% of all agricultural land is used for grazing and to produce monocrops such as corn and soy for animal feed. Some of the world’s most biodiverse regions such as the Amazon and the Cerrado are at the centre of an aggressive agri-industrial expansion that threatens millions of native plant and animal species. Inputs into feed and animal agriculture, including fertilisers, pesticides and veterinary drugs, degrade local ecosystems and water sources. Finally, prioritising fastgrowing ‘competitive’ breeds has led to a significant erosion of genetic diversity, even within livestock and aquatic species.8

    Antimicrobial resistance: More than 73% of all antimicrobials sold in the world are used in livestock and fish.9 For decades, protein companies have used antibiotics – including those critically important to human health – to help animals achieve slaughter weight and as a way to prevent infection from unhygienic crowded conditions. This indiscriminate use of antibiotics has increased the risk of drug-resistant infections, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to urge farmers to stop using antibiotics in healthy animals.10

    Food security: By 2050, it is estimated that the world will require 56% more crop calories, and additional agricultural land area equivalent to nearly twice the size of India, compared with 2010.11 The resource intensity of meat and dairy make them inefficient sources of calories and proteins. The livestock sector consumes around one third of global cereal production and uses 40% of global arable land. “Producing 1 kg of boneless meat requires an average of 2.8 kg human-edible feed in ruminant systems and 3.2 kg in monogastric systems.”12

    Obesity and cancer: Various studies have linked the overconsumption of animal protein, especially red and processed meat, to a variety of non-communicable diseases. A British Medical Journal study of half a million Americans found the risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, infections, kidney disease, liver disease or lung disease all increased with the amount of meat consumed.13 On average, consumers in OECD countries consume around 164 kg of red meat, poultry and dairy products each year – 450 g per day. In Europe, the average consumer eats over 180 kg of red meat, poultry and dairy products each year – nearly 500 g per day.14 This is approximately five times the amount recommended by most national dietary guidelines.15

    Water use and pollution: One third of the fresh water that is used for agriculture today goes towards livestock, primarily to produce feed.16 Agricultural runoffs – from excessive fertiliser use in corn and soy feed farms to manure from animal farms – is overwhelming local water sources. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, manure is the primary source of nitrogen and phosphorous to surface and groundwater.17 The US is one of the world’s largest producers of beef, pork, poultry and dairy. Nitrate and phosphorus loads from animal and feed agriculture along the Mississippi River is thought to have created a the largest ever ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico.18 This refers to overgrowth of algae from excessive nutrients that kills all aquatic life…

    Key Findings

    The 2019 Index demonstrates that the vast majority of companies have yet to meaningfully address even the most basic sustainability risks. Thirty-nine (of 60) companies, valued at $175 billion and with combined revenues of over $116 billion, are ranked as high risk (worst performers) by the Index…

    GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

    • The 60 companies scored an average of 17% on managing greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Forty-six companies (77%), valued at $222 billion and with revenues of $138 billion, are categorised as ‘high risk’ – i.e. they have little to no disclosure on greenhouse gas emissions targets across their operations and supply chains.

    • Tyson Foods is the only company with a science-based target for emissions reduction. But it has yet to disclose some of the biggest sources of emissions, such as enteric fermentation, feed production and manure management.

    • Seven companies have disclosed on-farm sources, including feed production, within their emissions inventory

    • Companies are reporting losses linked to climate change. Australian Agricultural Company (AACo), Australia’s biggest beef company, lost over $100 million in 2018-19, partially due to extreme flooding, yet it discloses no climate change mitigation or adaptation strategies.

    • A holistic strategy on climate management requires companies to go beyond setting targets: they must complete their emissions inventory to include all significant on-farm sources and demonstrate year-on-year reductions on absolute emissions across all three scopes.

    WATER USE AND SCARCITY

    • The 50 meat and dairy companies that have critical dependency on freshwater resources scored an average of 13% on managing water use.

    • Forty-three companies (86%), valued at $211 billion and with revenues of $156 billion, are categorised as ‘high risk’, including 12 producers who provide no discussion on how they manage water use.

    • Where companies do address water scarcity, these initiatives are focussed on their direct operations, with companies receiving average scores of 5% and 9% on water saving measures in feed and animal farming respectively.

    • 12 meat and/or dairy companies have set specific timebound water use targets for their facilities, but only two companies, Hormel Foods and Tyson Foods seem to have targets that are ‘risk differentiated,’ i.e., based on local context.

    DEFORESTATION & BIODIVERSITY

    • The 50 meat and dairy companies exposed to deforestation risks in their soy and/or cattle supply chains scored an average of 8% on managing these risks.

    • Forty-four companies (88%), valued at $229 billion and with revenues of $160 billion, are categorised as ‘high risk’, including 31 which provide no disclosure on deforestation.

    • None of the 50 meat and dairy companies in the Index have a policy to address or mitigate deforestation that covers all regions in which they source soy and/or cattle.

    • The US-China trade war is contributing to increased Chinese imports of Brazilian soy, intensifying deforestation rates in the Amazon, already up by 278% since last year.43,44

    • 88% of Asian companies – potentially some of the largest soy buyers from Brazil – have no discussion on deforestation risks. This includes the eight Chinese conglomerates that produce pork.

    • All 10 pure aquaculture companies are fully certified or working towards full certification by aquaculture certification schemes, indicating certification has become a core business requirement.

    ANTIBIOTICS

    • The 60 companies in the Index scored an average of 20% on responding to antibiotic risks

    • Fourty-six companies (77%), valued at $250 billion and with revenues of $260 billion, are categorised as ‘high risk’, including 22 who have no policy on antibiotics use and do not disclose the quantities or types of antibiotics used on their farms.

    • Just four companies - Bakkafrost, GFPT, Lerøy Seafood, Marfrig Global Foods – have committed to ending routine use of antibiotics in farm animals.

    • McDonalds and Yum! Brands have recently committed to reducing antibiotics use in their beef supply chains. But Marfrig is the only beef company that has a policy limiting antibiotics use. McDonald’s and Yum! Brands purchase from at least 14 other Index companies, including JBS, Hormel Foods and Tyson Foods. Figure 16 77% of companies are ranked as ‘high risk’ on antibiotics

    ANIMAL WELFARE

    • Meat companies score an average of 22% on welfare commitments and even lower on third-party auditing and assurance of welfare (14%).

    • Thirty-eight companies (75%), valued at $217 billion and with revenues of $201 billion, are categorised as ‘high risk’.

    • Customers such as McDonald’s and Kraft Heinz have developed cage-free commitments, but Cal-Maine, one of the US’s largest egg producers does not have a policy to produce cage-free eggs.

    • Only 53% of fish farming companies discuss the importance of animal welfare to the company.

    • The discussion remains at a high-level as the discussion tends to focus on basic metrics such as stocking densities, housing conditions and reducing mortality rates.

    • Mowi is the only producer to have some of its operations (in Scotland) certified by RSPCA Assured.

    WORKING CONDITIONS

    • Fifty companies (83%), valued at $264 billion, do not discuss human rights due diligence processes to identify, prevent and remedy human rights abuses in business operations.

    • No company discusses how it is meeting the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights.

    • In the US, serious injuries to meatpacking workers are three times higher than the industrial average.

    • Sixteen companies (32%) provide no disclosure of workrelated injury and fatalities.

    FOOD SAFETY

    • Forty companies (67%), valued at $250 billion, have food safety management certifications recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), which indicates compliance with international food safety standards.

    • 82% of companies headquartered in Europe and Russia have some level of certification, compared to only 57% of Asian companies.

    • Only two of the four Chinese dairy companies have some operations certified by a GFSI-recognised scheme – which is significant given the focus on food safety in China.

    SUSTAINABLE PROTEINS

    • Fifteen companies (25%) show evidence of some work to diversify protein products to alternatives. In the last year, eight meat and dairy companies have introduced plant-based products or announced plans for plant-based ranges.

    • Eleven companies have announced investments to grow their alternative protein portfolio. Maple Leaf Foods leads the sector, with £320 million invested in expanding alternative protein production..,

    NO QUICK NEWS

    Monday, September 23, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: The Power Of A DER Portfolio

    Capturing More Value from Combinations of PV and Other Distributed Energy Resources

    John Shenot, Carl Linvill, et al., August 2019 (Regulatory Assistance Project)

    Executive Summary

    Much has been written about the value of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation, but less about the value of some of the other distributed energy resources (DER) — other forms of distributed generation (DG), energy storage, electric vehicles (EVs), demand response (DR), and energy efficiency (EE) — or how these resources can be combined. This paper considers the types of values (or “value streams”) that combinations of DERs can create, examines three “use cases,” and explores a path for capturing more of the full value of these combinations.

    Cost of Service, Value of Service, and Value Streams

    To begin our analysis, we must clarify what we mean by “value.” The traditional cost-of-service model as used by monopoly utilities still governs some electric utility services, but a more diverse, competitive marketplace has emerged for other services — with independent power producers, energy service companies, and in some regions competitive retail electricity suppliers all in the mix. In this new marketplace, value-of-service procurement has emerged as a complement to cost-of-service ratemaking.

    Valuation and cost-benefit analyses have been staples of policy and regulatory decisions regarding ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs for more than 30 years, and the evaluation, measurement and verification (EM&V) approaches applied to these programs are instructive in considering the value of combinations of DERs. Two key principles of EM&V approaches are to consider a broad range of value streams and to consider the parties to whom each value stream accrues. (Ultimately, any question about the value of an electricity service must consider “value to whom?”) The seminal document for cost-effectiveness (C-E) testing, California’s Standard Practice Manual, defines five ways to test C-E using various methodologies to assess a program’s effect on costs and benefits for utilities, customers, program administrators, and related policy goals. The recently produced National Standard Practice Manual proposes a sixth test, one that considers societal costs more widely. Although these tests were developed to evaluate energy efficiency programs, they are often also used to evaluate DER programs and resources.

    DERs are capable of providing a wide range of value streams, which include:

    • Reducing energy costs for participants and utilities;

    • Helping utilities avoid generation capacity costs, such as through peak-shaving DR;

    • Reducing the need for utility investment in transmission and distribution capacity; and

    • Lowering prices via the demand reduction induced price effect (DRIPE).

    Quantifying the economic value of each value stream from each perspective can be difficult, inexact, and controversial. At the most basic level, quantitative values can be estimated using market prices as proxies, or the values can be administratively determined by utilities or regulators. In addition, the economics of many value streams can be time-dependent, location-dependent, or interdependent.

    Potential Value of Combinations of DERs

    A PV system installed in isolation is limited in the services and value streams it can provide. But when PV is combined with other DERs, the resources’ total value can be greater than the sum of the values of each component in isolation. Examples of the benefits of these combinations include:

    • PV + Storage: When storage is added to a PV system, the primary limitation of PV — that it only provides power when the sun shines — is alleviated. This allows customers to plan storage and use around high-value times and reduce demand charges. With further investment in microgrid technology, this combination can also enable resilience by powering critical loads during outages.

    • PV + EV: When an EV replaces a fossil-fueled vehicle, the environmental impacts depend on the fuel mix and emissions of the power system from which the vehicle is drawing energy (a measure that is likely to change over time). An EV that is charged with power generated by PV — a zero-emissions fuel — will have maximum environmental benefits. For utilities, combining an EV with PV may also reduce the need for capacity upgrades to the transmission and distribution systems.

    • PV + DR: The same technologies and techniques used for DR in isolation can be combined with PV to create even more value. For example, flexible loads such as electric water heating, air conditioning, electric space heating, and pool pumps can be programmed to take advantage of times when the generation from a customer’s PV system exceeds their momentary demand for other end uses. From a utility or independent system operator (ISO) perspective, this combination can be especially valuable in terms of flexibility…

    Current Mechanisms for Capturing the Value of DERs…Examples of Use Cases for Combining PV With Other DERs…A Path Toward Capturing More Value From DER Combinations…

    …The specific actions that can be taken fall into five broad categories, explored here. Technology, Metering, Communications, and Data Systems…Smart Retail Rate Design (Tariffs)… Markets…Planning…Utility Procurement…

    Conclusion

    The rapid growth in distributed PV and storage systems, and the projected growth in EVs, offers clear evidence that participants are realizing value from DERs — but this alone doesn’t imply that they are capturing as much value as they could or should. The past five years have seen technology developers racing to meet growing consumer demand for DERs, states filling their traditional role as “the laboratories of democracy,” and ISOs testing different market products and market rules. Although much work remains, some innovations have already proven to be successful in terms of overcoming barriers to deployment and the capture of value.

    To unlock value, the highest priority actions will vary by stakeholder and by location, and there is no reason to wait for someone to develop a comprehensive action plan. Suggested priorities include our technology, metering, communications, and data system recommendations, as well as updating rate design and prioritizing NWAs…

    QUICK NEWS, September 23: Climate Stike Makes History; Coal No Longer Competitive

    Climate Stike Makes History ‘We will make them hear us’: Millions of youths around the world strike for action; The strikes come three days before world leaders are set to gather at the United Nations for a much-anticipated climate summit

    Sarah Kaplan, Laura Lumpkin, Brady Dennis, September 20, 2019 (Washington Post)

    “In one of the largest youth-led demonstrations in history, millions of people from Manhattan to Mumbai took to the streets around the globe on Friday, their chants, speeches and homemade signs delivering the same stern message to world leaders: do more to combat climate change — and do it faster…From small island nations such as Kiribati to war-torn countries such as Afghanistan and across the United States, young people left their classrooms to demand that governments act with more urgency to wean the world off fossil fuels and cut carbon dioxide emissions…

    …[They called for transformative change] including a swift shift from fossil fuels toward clean energy, halting deforestation, protecting the world’s oceans and embracing more sustainable agriculture…Friday’s strikes, which spanned more than 150 countries, were largely planned by teenagers and arose as a grass-roots movement. They came three days before world leaders gather at the United Nations for a much-anticipated climate summit. U.N. Secretary General António Guterres has insisted that countries bring with them promises of meaningful action, such as vowing to reach net zero emissions by 2050, cutting fossil fuel subsidies and ceasing construction of coal-fired power plants…

    …The summit will offer a key test of whether the world’s nations, which came together to sign the Paris climate accord in 2015, can actually muster the resolve to scale back carbon emissions as rapidly as scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change…‘We will make them hear us,’ climate strike originagtor GretaThunberg said, adding, ‘Change is coming. Whether they like it or not.’” click here for more

    Coal No Longer Competitive The market has spoken: Coal is dying

    Matt Egan, September 20, 2019 (CNN)

    “…[The White House gutted regulations on the coal industry, falsely claimed that windmills cause cancer and installed a former coal lobbyist to lead the EPA…[but] America's aging fleet of coal-fired power plants continues to shrink. New coal plants are not getting built…Approximately 15% of America's coal fleet has been retired since 2017…Platts expects another 10% of the coal fleet will be shuttered between 2019 and 2020…Power companies that once relied on coal are promising to phase it out in favor of cleaner alternatives, including natural gas, solar and wind…

    …[Low-cost natural gas, the declining cost of renewables, and low interest rates] have paved the way for power companies to build natural gas, wind, solar, hydro and other more environmentally friendly plants…[and] cutting environmental rules hasn't tipped the scales…Natural gas and wind are expected to be the fastest-growing sources of US power generation through 2020…” click here for more

    Saturday, September 21, 2019

    From The Climate Strike: “This Thing Is Real”

    4 million marched. "Today Mother Earth wins." From Guardian News via YouTube

    “This Is Not A Drill” – Greta

    Details of the “Protect-Restore-Fund” solution to the climate crisis. From Extinction Rebellion via YouTube

    The Green New Deal In 60 Seconds

    The idea is to maximize the economic potential of New Energy to expand opportunity. The only losers would be those who won’t let go of Old Energy. From NationalSierraClub via YouTube

    Friday, September 20, 2019

    Why It Is A Crisis

    23 Reasons to Climate Strike Today; Take to the streets

    Bill McKibben, September 19, 2019 (The Nation)

    Editor’s note: Bill McKibben, the author of this piece, is recognized around the world as one of the leaders of the fight against the climate crisis.

    “…[Youth climate strikes started last fall. After the May strike of 1.4 million kids, adults were invited to join. September 20] is shaping up to be the biggest day of climate action in the planet’s history…[The many reasons to take part include because] people losing their farms to deserts and watching their islands sink beneath the waves aren’t the ones who burned the coal and gas and oil…because coral reefs are so gloriously beautiful and complex—and so vulnerable…because sun and wind are now the cheapest way to generate power around the world…

    …because we’ve already lost half the animals on the planet since 1970…because our governments move with such painful slowness…[because this could be the last opportunity] to transform our society towards justice and towards joy…because forests now seem like fires waiting to happen…[because kids are hoping their elders will stand] up for what matters…because every generation faces some great crisis, and this is ours…because half the children in New Delhi have irreversible lung damage simply from breathing…

    …because Exxon and the rest knew all about global warming in the 1980s, and then lied so they could keep cashing in…because what we do this decade will matter for hundreds of thousands of years…[because the human body can survive today’s highest temperatures for] only for a few hours…[because we don’t] want to be the first generations to leave the planet in worse shape…because batteries are ever cheaper… because the UN estimates unchecked climate change could create a billion refugees this century…because people continue] to get rich off the destruction of the planet.” click here for more

    New Energy’s Low Cost Is Taking The Market

    What’s Behind the World’s Biggest Climate Victory? Capitalism

    Lynn Doan, Brian Eckhouse, Christopher Cannon and Hannah Recht, September 15, 2019 (Bloomberg News)

    “…In 2010, coal] supplied nearly half of America’s power…This April, for the first time ever, renewable energy supplied more power to America’s grid than coal…In two-thirds of the world, they’ve become the cheapest forms of power…[and] will power half the globe by 2050…By that time, coal and nuclear will have all but disappeared in the U.S., forced out by cheaper renewables and natural gas…[It is] the biggest victory yet in the fight against global warming. Solar and wind are proliferating not because of moral do-gooders but because they’re now the most profitable part of the power business in most of the world…[And electricity generation is no longer] the world’s biggest source of greenhouse-gas emissions…

    …[Since 2016, U.S.] power plants have given off less carbon dioxide than the nation’s transportation sector, where oil continues to dominate. The turnabout owes a lot to cheap and cleaner-burning natural gas, but wind and solar farms are playing an increasingly important role…[Transportation, manufacturing, agriculture and heating and cooling homes and businesses will now] need to match the sweeping technological advances and more efficient manufacturing that have slashed the costs of solar and wind power…In a sign of where things are headed, solar installers and wind technicians are the two fastest-growing professions in the U.S. Solar now employs more people than any other power source. Wind supports almost as many jobs as gas…[and natural] gas is increasingly coming under attack…[but could temporarily replace coal] as the fuel of last resort…” click here for more

    New Energy Is A Better And Better Buy

    Wind and solar energy now cheapest forms of power in two-thirds of the world

    Danica Cullinane, September 19, 2019 (Small Caps)

    “… [The] globe will be 50% powered by renewable energy by 2037, with countries such as Australia, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom anticipated to reach the 50% mark by 2029…[but] developing countries such as India, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines will not reach the halfway mark until 2039 or later…Malaysia is not expected to reach 50% renewable power until 2049… [In 2019, wind energy is the cheapest power for Germany, Denmark and Uruguay, and] nine other countries including the US, Canada and the UK…[Solar energy is] the cheapest energy technology in 2019 for Australia, Chile, Egypt, France, India, Israel, Italy, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain and the United Arab Emirates…

    …[Natural gas is cheapest only in a few] Eastern European countries including Russia…[In five years,] coal’s list of countries has more than halved to mostly Asian nations including Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and South Korea…[By] 2030, the energy generated or stored and dispatched by [wind, solar, and lithium-ion batteries] will undercut electricity generated by existing coal and gas plants almost everywhere…[They will] reach more than 80% penetration in some markets…US$13.3 trillion (A$19.45 trillion) will be invested in new power generation assets over the next 32 years to 2050, with 77% (US$10.24 trillion) expected to go to renewables…[The majority will be in wind and solar, and it] will fund 15,145GW of new power plants between 2019 and 2050, of which 80% is zero carbon.” click here for more

    Thursday, September 19, 2019

    Youth Strike Demands Climate Action, New Energy

    Youth Climate Strike and the Generational Urgency of the Climate Crisis

    Steve Cohen, September 16, 2019 (Columbia University Earth Institute)

    “…I am confident that the world will meet the challenge of the climate crisis; but only because of the courage of…young people and the moral high ground they occupy… The global youth climate strike takes place this Friday, September 20th…[There are] more than 2500 events currently planned in 117 countries, and a large and growing number (511 and counting!) here in the US. It precedes the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City on Monday the 23rd and kicks off a week of climate actions and events planned around the world…[Y]oung people care more than old people about protecting the environment…Millennial Republicans are more likely to say global warming is happening, is human-caused, and that most scientists agree it is happening, and they are more likely to worry about global warming than older Republicans...

    [And] the gap between Republican and Democratic views on global warming is smaller for Millennials than for older generations…Climate change is a different issue for young people…[because they] have never known a world without global warming…[But we] have applied new technology to problems of air and water pollution and to waste management and we have made those problems less bad. Environmental regulation has spurred innovation…These same principles can, must and will be used to address the climate crisis. We can move from fossil fuels to renewable energy…Young people know that. And they are demanding action…[The] changes are within reach, but it will take determination…The Youth Climate Strike clearly communicates the generational urgency…” click here for more

    Attitudes On Climate Shifting

    'Americans are waking up': Two-thirds say climate crisis must be addressed

    Oliver Milman, September 17, 2019 (National Catholic Reporter)

    “Two-thirds of Americans believe climate change is either a crisis or a serious problem, with a majority wanting immediate action to address global heating and its damaging consequences…[New polling ] substantial if uneven support for tackling the issue…[More than a quarter of Americans] consider climate change a ‘crisis’…[and more] than half of polled Americans said they wanted the climate crisis to be confronted right away…There is a consensus among climate scientists that the world is heating up due to human activities such as burning fossil fuels for electricity generation and transportation, as well as cutting down forests. However, just 44% of poll respondents said human activity was a major contributor to climate change. More than a quarter said our impact was minor or nonexistent…

    [There are still] sharp ideological differences in attitudes to the climate crisis. While nearly seven in 10 Democratic voters understand that humans significantly influence the climate and 80% want immediate action, just 20% of Republicans think humans are a primary cause and barely a quarter want rapid action…[But a generational divide] cuts across party affiliation, with two-thirds of Republican voters aged under 45 considering it their duty to address the climate crisis…” click here for more

    Solar's New Surge

    U.S. Utility Solar Pipeline Soars to 37.9 GW, A New Record; The U.S. solar industry now has the largest pipeline of utility-scale solar projects in history, signaling promising future prospects for solar energy development.

    September 19, 2019 (Solar Energy Industries Association [SEIA] and Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables)

    “…[The contracted U.S. utility solar photovoltaics (PV)] pipeline has ballooned to a record 37.9 gigawatts (GW)… This follows record-high procurement of 15 GW in 2018. More than 6 GW of solar capacity were added to the five-year forecast [by Wood Mackenzie and SEIA] since last quarter because of the uptick in utility-scale deals…Utility solar project announcements surged to 11.2 GW in the first half of 2019, with 6.2 GW contracted in Q2 alone…[Residential solar deployment also] rebounded…[Several utilities have announced large solar procurements and] off-site corporate solar procurement represents 17% of the new utility-scale solar capacity announced in 2019… 55% of utility-scale projects announced in 2019 were the result of solar’s economic competitiveness with other generation sources.

    Utility-scale solar prices are at their lowest point ever, with recent power purchase agreements signed for $18 - $35 per megawatt-hour…In Q2, 1 GW of utility-scale PV came online in the United States, representing nearly half of the total 2.1 GW installed in the quarter. The residential segment, helped by emerging state markets, saw both quarterly growth of 3% and annual growth of 8%...[The] non-residential segment, comprising of commercial, industrial, non-profit and community solar installations, experienced both quarterly and annual declines due to policy transitions and persistent interconnection issues in key markets…Total installed U.S. PV capacity will more than double over the next five years, with annual installations reaching 17.6 GWdc in 2021 prior to the [transition of the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)…” click here for more