NewEnergyNews: 10/01/2019 - 11/01/2019

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 Cost Of An EV This Year
  • QUICK NEWS, October 15: Imagining Fates And Solutions; UK New Energy Going Incentive-Free
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Roadmap To The Solar Future
  • QUICK NEWS, October 14: Deniers Fate Will Be Bankruptcy; Coal’s Demise, New Energy’s Rise
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: GE Challenges The Ocean Wind Industry
  • Weekend Video: Condescension, Not Climate Facts
  • Weekend Video: Just Greta
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Red Cross Calls For Climate Crisis Volunteers
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Cities Go Where Nations Fear
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, October 10:

  • TTTA Thursday-A Bank For The Climate Crisis?
  • TTTA Thursday-Ocean Wind Now Mainstream
  • TTTA Thursday-Rooftop Solar Boosts Home Value
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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, October 16:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Securitization fever: Renewables advocates seize a Wall Street way to end coal

    Wednesday, October 16, 2019

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Securitization fever: Renewables advocates seize a Wall Street way to end coal

    Securitization fever: Renewables advocates seize Wall Street's innovative way to end coal; New laws passed across the country allow customer-backed bonds to pay off stranded coal assets in favor of renewables, but utilities are hesitant.

    Herman K. Trabish, May 28, 2019 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The idea of issuing bonds secured by utility assets to finance the energy transition is gaining traction nationally.

    With the cost of building new renewables now lower than the cost of operating most existing coal plants, the major remaining obstacle to this energy transition is resolving the financial burden of stranded coal assets.

    State legislation — like bills recently passed in Montana, Colorado and New Mexico — can give coal-owning utilities the option to issue bonds secured by the certainty of customers paying their bills. This financial strategy, called securitization, has attracted over $50 billion from investors to resolve other utility obligations, and can be used to pay off stranded coal assets.

    Accelerated depreciation, which more quickly resolves the stranded financial obligations, has also been used to transition from coal to renewables. But it imposes rate increases on customers. Securitization avoids rate increases by using new capital from bond sales to pay off obligations. But it can impose losses on investor-owned utility (IOU) shareholders.

    Utilities prefer accelerated depreciation, they told Utility Dive. Some renewables advocates also oppose securitization’s excusing of utilities from the burden of imprudent coal investments. But many renewables advocates see securitization financing the transition from coal while protecting ratepayers and coal-dependent communities. Securitization is an option in 24 states and has been used in 65 IOU transactions involving $50.9 billion in bonds, according to Saber Partners CEO Joseph Fichera.

    While it hasn't been used yet for a coal plant closure, securitization has been used to smooth deregulation, reduce renewable and distributed generation costs, defer utility debt and finance pollution control upgrades, nuclear plant losses and storm recovery, Fichera said. A bill passed March 21 in New Mexico designates it for use in shuttering PNM's San Juan Generating Station.

    Securitization can be used to retire uneconomic coal generation, Energy Innovation Director of Electricity Policy Mike O'Boyle told Utility Dive. To fully cover utilities' losses, regulators in Colorado have allowed accelerated depreciation. But that increases customer bills in the short term, while securitization "rebalances the scales in favor of consumers," O’Boyle co-author on three securitization policy briefsand former Colorado Public Utilities Commission Chair Ron Lehr told Utility Dive. Bonds issued through securitization give utilities capital to reinvest in a 'Steel for Fuel' exchange of coal assets for renewables assets that can earn comparable returns, Lehr added… click here for more

    NO QUICK NEWS

    Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: The Cost Of An EV This Year

    Update on electric vehicle costs in the United States through 2030

    Nic Lutsey and Michael Nicholas, April 2, 2019 (International Council On Clean Transportation)

    This working paper assesses battery electric vehicle costs in the 2020–2030 time frame, collecting the best battery pack and electric vehicle component cost data available through 2018. The assessment also analyzes the anticipated timing for price parity for representative electric cars, crossovers, and sport utility vehicles compared to their conventional gasoline counterparts in the U.S. light-duty vehicle market.

    INTRODUCTION

    The early launch of electric mobility is underway in many parts of the world. Plug-in electric vehicle sales amounted to more than 2% of new light-duty vehicles in 2018 and experienced more than 70% sales growth from 2017 to 2018, culminating in a worldwide total of 5 million plug-in electric vehicles at the end of 2018. Figure 1 illustrates the distribution of electric vehicle sales through 2018 among 10 countries that make up 92% of these sales, showing how the major markets in Asia, Europe, and North America have led the market development to date. Electric vehicle uptake is especially concentrated where targeted electric vehicle policies proactively address electric vehicle barriers related to model availability, cost, convenience, and consumer awareness through incentives and regulations.

    Several automakers have stated their intentions to sell more than 15 million electric vehicles per year by 2025, up from 1.2 million in 2017 and 2 million in 2018.1 This order of magnitude increase in electric vehicle deployment is directly related to the expected decline in battery pack cost over the 2017–2025 period. The increased production volume could further induce market competition and innovation in the battery supply chain, creating greater economies of scale and further cost reductions.

    This paper analyzes projected electric vehicle costs from 2018 through 2030. The primary focus is on fully battery electric vehicles, with associated evaluation of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, based on bottom-up cost analyses of lithium-ion battery packs and other electric components. An assessment is made of the time frame expected for achieving upfront vehicle cost parity, which is based on initial costs, and first-owner cost comparisons for electric vehicles versus conventional gasoline vehicles. Questions about electric vehicle cost parity are broadly important to help inform the types of regulatory policy and incentives that would be most effective for the transition to a mainstream electric vehicle market…

    Battery Cost…Vehicle Cost Analysis…Electric Vehicle Price Parity…Consumer Cost Competitiveness…Consideration of Low Battery Cost…

    CONCLUSIONS

    This working paper synthesizes available technical data to analyze electric vehicle costs for cars, crossovers, and SUVs through 2030. The work assesses the time frame for upfront vehicle cost parity (based on initial costs) and firstowner cost competitiveness (based on a first owner’s use with fuel savings) for electric vehicles versus conventional gasoline vehicles. The analysis reveals two high-level findings.

    Electric vehicle initial cost parity is coming within 5–10 years.

    As battery pack costs drop to approximately $104/kWh in 2025 and $72/kWh in 2030, electric vehicle cost parity with conventional vehicles is likely to occur between 2024–2025 for shorter-range and 2026–2028 for longer-range electric vehicles. This applies to typical electric cars, crossovers, and SUVs. If faster battery cost breakthroughs lead to a further reduction in battery costs, for example to $89/kWh in 2025 and $56/kWh in 2030, this will bring electric vehicle initial cost parity forward by approximately one year.

    Cost-competitiveness for consumers approaches even faster than initial cost parity based on fuel savings.

    Analysis of first-owner 5-year ownership costs indicates that an average new vehicle buyer will see an attractive proposition to choose electric vehicles in the 2022–2026 time frame. The consumer ownership parity point for each vehicle application is one to two years sooner than initial cost parity, due to the high fuel savings of electric vehicles. For example, the first owners of 200-mile electric vehicles realize fuel savings of $3,500 for cars, $3,900 for crossovers, and $4,200 for SUVs, based on electricity costs typically being much lower than conventional vehicle gasoline expenses.

    Despite these positive findings, electric vehicles achieving cost parity does not ensure a complete transition to electric mobility. Norway, for example, provides incentives to make electric vehicles cost less than conventional vehicles.14 This has increased all-electric vehicle sales from nearly zero in 2012 to 30% of new vehicles in 2018. The relative progress in Norway underscores the importance of incentives. But it also underscores the insufficiency of cost parity to transition to an all-electric market; if cost parity was the only critical barrier, markets with such compelling incentives would more rapidly approach 100% electric. To comprehensively address the barriers to adoption, policies can encourage or require more electric models,15 a robust charging infrastructure ecosystem to ensure convenience,16 and programs to inform consumers.17

    This analysis has several limitations. The work is focused on average cars, crossovers, and SUVs without acknowledging heterogenous household vehicle needs. Technologies like plug-in electric hybrids may still be attractive for particular households, such as those with short commutes, frequent long-distance travel, and available home and workplace charging. Also, this analysis does not address pickups, which represent 11% of the U.S. light-duty vehicle market. Electric technology now has migrated from cars to crossovers and larger SUV models (e.g., Audi e-tron, Hyundai Kona, Tesla Model X, and many plug-in electric hybrids). Further migration into pickups with greater towing requirements has been slower, but electric pickup announcements continue from companies like Tesla, Ford, Rivian, and Workhorse. Improved cost analysis of charging infrastructure is also important, and cost savings depend on policies that ensure electricity prices remain relatively low.

    The findings in this paper lead to several policy implications. Battery costs, electric vehicle volume, and policy move in unison. The electric vehicle cost projections in this analysis are predicated upon sustained policy that drives increased electric vehicle battery volume. Nearly all of the electric vehicles in the world—more than 5 million through 2018—are in markets with regulations that require low-emission vehicles, offer incentives of thousands of dollars per vehicle, provide charging infrastructure, and have complementary awareness campaigns. Automaker announcements of plans to increase electric vehicle production by an order of magnitude by 2025 are largely consistent with this. Setbacks with regulations and incentives would slow progress, whereas stronger regulatory policy in more markets around the world would expedite the cost parity time frame presented here.

    Regulatory agencies have failed to acknowledge how quickly electric vehicles will reach cost parity with conventional vehicles. U.S. regulatory analysis, based on outdated data, indicates that electric vehicle costs remain dramatically higher than conventional vehicle costs through 2025.18 Based on the analysis provided herein, this is not the case. Similar analysis focused on markets around the world could, similarly, reveal that the most up-to-date electric vehicle cost data could justify much stronger regulations. As the cost parity point is reached, governments can dramatically accelerate the shift to clean mobility with regulations that spur electric vehicle deployment. -

    QUICK NEWS, October 15: Imagining Fates And Solutions; UK New Energy Going Incentive-Free

    Imagining Fates And Solutions Climate fiction is imagining a future beyond the climate crisis

    Bernadette McBride, October 11, 2019 (The Conversation via Quartz)

    “,,,[With global emissions reaching record levels, the past four years the four hottest on record, coral reefs dying, and sea levels rising, we] are headed towards a future that is hard to contemplate…[But] a literary phenomenon has grown over the past decade or two which seeks to help us imagine the impacts of climate change…[Cli-Fi deals with climate science and seeks] to engage the reader in a way that the statistics of scientists cannot…[It is probably best known for novels] set in the future, depicting a world where advanced climate change has wreaked irreversible damage upon our planet…[Examples are Oryx and Crake (2003), The Water Knife (2015), the film The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Tentacle (2015), and the] short film White (2011)…

    …[But we must] at least try to imagine a fairer world for all, rather than only visions of doom…[The rarer utopian form of cli-fi imagines] future worlds where humanity has responded to climate change in a more timely and resourceful manner…[Novels like The Dispossessed (1974), the Science in the Capital trilogy, and New York 2140 (2017)] conjure up futures where human and non-human lives have been adapted, where ways of living have been reimagined in the face of environmental disaster. Scientists, and policy makers—and indeed the public—can look to these works as a source of hope and inspiration…” click here for more

    UK New Energy Going Incentive-Free Law firm lauds 'subsidy-free clean power future'; WFW report says alternative finance models and storage solutions allow renewables to cut government ties

    10 October 2019 (ReNews Biz)

    “…[There will be a ‘net positive effect’ of a drive in Europe towards subsidy-free project financing…Infant technologies may have been allowed to grow to grid parity from government support via permitting, subsidies and energy transition targets, but it is ‘freedom from the chains of government interference’ that is the leading driver of alternative financing models, [according to] The Future of Renewable Energy report…The most popular model is the corporate power purchase agreement (CPPA), which is supported by companies increasingly making 100% renewable energy consumption a leading priority…

    Companies best suited to survive in this climate are those that are able to understand and manage merchant risk, engage with and develop CPPAs and help tackle intermittency through energy storage solutions…[G]reen issues trump all other metrics for offtakers, including security of supply, price certainty and cost savings…[Energy storage is also] expected to continue to attract significant investor interest…Lower costs and advances in technology to ensure longer life are evident now and expected to improve driven by manufacturing learning rates, cell chemistry improvements and economies of scale…Co-locating renewables projects with batteries with an increase in ‘integrated thinking’ among utilities and developers is [also] increasingly evident…” click here for more

    Monday, October 14, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: Roadmap To The Solar Future

    The Solar+ Decade, 2020 - 2030 – Leading the Energy Transition; Roadmap for Building The Solar+ Economy

    September 2019 (Solar Energy Industries Association)

    Executive Summary

    This roadmap offers a vision for the radical transformation of the nation’s energy system. It articulates where the solar industry stands today, sets the industry’s goal for the next decade and outlines the steps we must take to get there. The pages that follow will explain how the solar industry will expand exponentially from comprising 2.4% of the U.S. electricity mix today to 20% of all U.S. electricity generation by 2030.

    This is an ambitious but achievable goal. Critically, none of it will happen without a collaborative, well-funded effort led by a strong national trade association.

    We have identified four significant pillars of our plan to reach 20% by 2030 through radical market transformation:

    • We must work constructively with other industries and organizations that share our vision of radical market transformation. While our goal is predicated on solar penetration, we envision an electricity portfolio comprised of clean energy sources and technologies. Our ethos must be “aggressive collaboration.” We must be impactful and unabashed as we work with other stakeholders to advance storage, infrastructure, wind energy and any number of other technologies that will advance the solar vision and transform our markets.

    • There are a number of market accelerators that can increase solar energy adoption. Capitalizing on these accelerators, including energy storage, carbon reduction goals and electrification, will be critical to meeting our 2030 goal.

    • Market levers and policy drivers will play central roles in whether or not the solar industry reaches its destination. Climate policy, investment tax credit extension, state net energy metering, building codes and renewable portfolio standards all drive solar energy growth. Other factors include regional energy market rules, access to financing and opportunities to further reduce costs.

    • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we must manage our growth. Whether it is gaining a social license to operate by being good stewards of the land, proactively addressing recycling, modernizing the grid to allow for more solar deployment, protecting customers or ensuring a diverse customer base and workforce, we have to show that we are growing in a responsible way.

    Why set this goal of 20% by 2030 and articulate a vision of radical market transformation? Because, when we achieve this goal, we will have generated hundreds of billions of dollars in investment and created hundreds of thousands of American jobs. We will reduce carbon emissions by hundreds of millions of tons, replacing more than 150 polluting power plants. And, when done with intentionality, we will grow prosperity for all Americans by creating economic opportunity and clean abundant electricity for our communities.

    Throughout this report, we outline actionable steps that must be undertaken to realize the 20% goal. Key actions include:

    Short-term (one to two years)

    • Extend the Solar Investment Tax Credit.

    • Reduce trade barriers

    • Expand on state-level coordination with partners to strategically plan nation-wide solar advocacy

    • Strengthen trade association technical capacity and resources to further engage in regulatory proceedings, including FERC, RTO/ISO and state bodies.

    • Develop shared policy priorities in the pan-renewable space.

    • Begin crafting policy priorities for carbon legislation that will provide certainty and maximize opportunity for the solar industry.

    Mid-term (three to five years)

    • Be the voice of clean technology in the climate policy debate, including crafting carbon legislative priorities that will maximize opportunities for solar.

    • Achieve adoption of SolarAPP. • Position solar + storage as the marginal generation resource (i.e., the best, cheapest and most capable) in state and utility resource planning and procurement.

    • Build a self-sustaining, nationwide PV Recycling Network.

    • Build a workforce that better reflects our country.

    • Expand the U.S. solar supply chain and build out both new and underutilized solar technologies, including photovoltaic (PV), solar heating and cooling and concentrating solar power technologies.

    • Create a vision for longer-term financing mechanisms.

    Long-term (five years and beyond)

    • Fully-fund a 50-state policy strategy.

    • Build new transmission to support solar growth, including lines that provide regional and system-wide renewable energy and reliability benefits.

    • Work to build solar powered infrastructure that serves as a national network supporting the full electrification of the transportation sector.

    • Establish a sophisticated, locally-driven solar engagement plan to support solar expansion.

    SEIA is well positioned to lead this radical transformation and be the lynchpin for the aggressive collaboration that is needed. However, the solar industry writ large will need to actively engage on all of the areas identified in this roadmap. It will be a transformative and prosperous journey for those in the solar industry today, and the thousands of new companies and hundreds of thousands of workers who will join us on the road ahead…

    …The Vision…Collaboration…Market Accelerators…Market Levers & Policy Drivers…Managing Growth…

    Achievability

    While the 20% by 2030 goal is certainly achievable, it is not inevitable. The industry’s march to 2030 must be immediate, aggressive, collaborative and national in scope. The strategic areas of focus outlined in this roadmap have been identified by industry leaders as factors that will have significant impact on long-term growth.

    To fundamentally reshape our future, we must invest our resources on these issues, and put our political clout behind them. To successfully develop policies that drive growth, and to mitigate potential risks, we will need active engagement from outside of the solar industry. Solar energy enjoys broad public support, and is favored across the political spectrum as an energy source of the future. Taken as a whole, there is increasing public demand for all forms of clean energy, and it is incumbent upon us to capture this enthusiasm and turn it into meaningful action that will achieve results. There are more than 2 million Americans with a residential solar system, and some of the nation’s most successful and recognizable corporate brands are turning to solar and other clean energy sources to power their businesses. We need to convert these customers into advocates, and use this clout to achieve policy victories.

    Solar and other clean energy technologies are up against entrenched and well-funded interests. Our fundraising and advocacy will need to expand to make the Solar+ vision a reality. Continuing to build a robust political action presence, through the SolarPAC and other means, will be a key priority. Strategic partnerships are also critical for this work. Identifying outside interests, such as the environmental community, labor, conservative organizations, or rural economic development groups, to align with at key moments will help increase pressure on lawmakers.

    It will also be important to recognize that the changing energy landscape will create challenges for incumbent energy providers and their employees and investors. Helping these companies and individuals manage the energy transition must be an important part of the solar+ decade.

    As the national trade association for solar, and an organization committed to building a unified vision for America’s clean energy future, SEIA is laser-focused on delivering concrete results that will make the 20% goal a reality. Through the deliverables and next steps outlined in this roadmap, and with strategic and intensive collaboration with allies across disciplines, we can remove barriers and create the necessary environment for a strong clean energy future for America.

    Next Steps

    Reading this roadmap is only the beginning. Here are some steps you need to take to help support this ambitious growth for solar and clean energy in the U.S.:

    ☐ Support SEIA’s advocacy – many of the policy drivers outlined in this document will require extensive lobbying at the local, state and federal level. We are up against established interests with significant resources, and the only way to ensure favorable outcomes is to invest in a strong association to deliver advocacy wins.

    ☐ Engage with the political process – the most effective voice in any effort to persuade policymakers or the public is yours. Build relationships with your elected officials at all levels of government and engage in grasstops advocacy efforts. Engage with the SolarPAC to help the industry support solar champions on Congress.

    ☐ Invest in public and regulatory affairs – dramatic increases in solar penetration will require new customers who are not as familiar with the benefits of solar, and policy victories can only be achieved with active engagement from the voting public and from solar industry members. Supporting public awareness campaigns and public affairs work at the state and national levels will pay long-term dividends for the industry.

    ☐ Lead the industry with integrity – As advocates for a clean, affordable energy future for America, we have to grow in ways that protect consumers, communities and our land; meet the highest standards of health & safety; and build a vibrant workforce that reflects the diversity of our population. Your dedication to these pursuits will be critical in the years to come. -

    QUICK NEWS, October 14: Deniers Fate Will Be Bankruptcy; Coal’s Demise, New Energy’s Rise

    Deniers Fate Will Be Bankruptcy Firms ignoring climate crisis will go bankrupt, says Mark Carney; Bank of England governor warns of financial collapse linked to climate emergency

    Damian Carrington, 13 October 2019 (UK Guardian)

    “Companies and industries that are not moving towards zero-carbon emissions will be punished by investors and go bankrupt, the governor of the Bank of England has warned…[Mark Carney said] the global transition needed to tackle the climate crisis could result in an abrupt financial collapse…[and] the longer action to reverse emissions was delayed, the more the risk of collapse would grow…[Just 20 fossil fuel companies have produced coal, oil and gas linked to more than a third of all emissions in the modern era…The Bank of England has said up to $20tn (£16tn) of assets could be wiped out if the climate emergency is not addressed effectively. But Carney also said great fortunes could be made by those working to end greenhouse gas emissions with a big potential upside…

    Carney said disclosure by companies of the risks posed by climate change to their business was key to a smooth transition to a zero-carbon world as it enabled investors to back winners…US coal companies had already lost 90% of their value…[and] banks overexposed to the sunset sectors will suffer accordingly…[as transition to net zero carbon emissions changes] the value of every asset, raising the risk of shocks to the financial system…[while] climate action bolsters economic growth…[Recently,] Carney told big corporations they had two years to agree rules for reporting climate risks before global regulators devised their own and made them compulsory…” click here for more

    Coal’s Demise, New Energy’s Rise Coal demand projected to hit new lows through 2020

    Rebecca Beitsch, October 10, 2019 (The Hill)

    “Coal is losing ground in the U.S. energy markets despite attempts from President Trump to boost the struggling industry…[Coal’s share of U.S. electricity generation] is expected to decline] from 28 percent in 2018 to 22 percent by 2020…That would make for a 27 percent decline in coal production since 2016…Utilities across the county have announced they will be closing various coal-fired power plants, while banks have been hesitant to finance the industry’s projects…

    The Trump administration has made an effort to boost the coal industry, scrapping an Obama-era power plant rule and replacing it with one critics have contended would only allow the most modest pollution controls at power plants…[New Energy’s share of U.S. electricity generation is forecast to go] from just under 10 percent in 2018 to 12 percent by 2020…[with carbon emissions declining] by about 2 percent in 2019 and 2020, despite a nearly 3 percent rise in 2018.” click here for more

    Saturday, October 12, 2019

    GE Challenges The Ocean Wind Industry

    One turbine = 12 MW, 16,000 homes, and a new standard for offshore wind. From GE Renewable Energy via YouTube

    Condescension, Not Climate Facts

    This is not easy to listen to, but it is necessary to hear. From Friends of Science via YouTube

    Just Greta

    They can try to discredit Greta, but what she is cannot be discredited. From EKOenergy via YouTube

    Friday, October 11, 2019

    Red Cross Calls For Climate Crisis Volunteers

    IFRC joins forces with social media giant TikTok to recruit climate volunteers

    7 October 10`9 (The Climate Centre)

    “...[The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) will get help from] TikTok, regarded as the world’s leading social-media platform for short-form video, to engage a new generation of humanitarians to help end the climate crisis…

    [TikTok is bringing its more than 500 million users to]the IFRC’s Faces of Climate Change…[which seeks] volunteers of all ages, locations and backgrounds to take grass-roots climate action – anything from eating less meat to checking on elderly neighbours during a heatwave…[The campaign adds] urgency to the call for effective adaptation at the community level…” click here for more

    Cities Go Where Nations Fear

    Mayors announce Global Green New Deal at C40 Summit

    Cailin Crowe, October 10, 2019 (Smart Cities Dive)

    “…[Ninety-four mayors recognized a global climate emergency by committing to keep global heating under the Paris climate agreement goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius by supporting] a Global Green New Deal at the C40 Climate Summit…[Announced by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, it is similar to NY Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed U.S. Green New Deal, which calls for] public investment of renewable energy to support decarbonization…

    …[The participating] cities have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 22% on average…[by] deploying more than 66,000 electric buses across the C40 city streets (compared to 100 in 2009); banning or restricting use of non-recyclable plastics in 18 cities (compared to two in 2009); and committing to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2030 in 24 of the cities…The main priorities for cities with Green New Deals include accelerated timelines and ambitious goals for the buildings and transportation sectors…” click here for more

    Thursday, October 10, 2019

    A Bank For The Climate Crisis?

    Why the world needs an IMF for the climate crisis; Just like after 1945, a new dawn of international bodies is required – this time to protect and empower the global south

    Keston K Perry, 4 October 2019 (UK Guardian)

    “…In the aftermath of the second world war, countries came together and created institutions that aimed to pursue justice and peace. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations aimed to create a new world of multilateral cooperation.,,[but by ceding power to] certain dominant nations and multinational corporations, the World Bank, the IMF and the UN have ultimately exacerbated the climate crisis…[The climate emergency-driven economic and ecological instability requires] new pan-national institutions…[The effects of the climate crisis could cost] $2.5 trillion per year…[Ensuring financial stability and a mechanism for the transfer of resources through global financial markets to developing countries would require] an international climate stabilisation fund – a sort of IMF targeting the climate crisis…

    …[This body could] provide direct support to climate-exposed territories: encouraging productive diversification and tackling interconnecting inequality and displacement caused by climate change…[There is also] a need for a permanent international mechanism that delivers immediate funds, supplies, support and relief [from the wealthiest nations in the global north to the south] after major climatic and natural events…[Because the climate crisis is having a disproportionate, violent effect on the global south,] efforts to address what’s happening to our world will not be the same…We must bring] together diverse peoples from different locations to deliver a green new world.” click here for more

    Ocean Wind Now Mainstream

    The World’s Biggest Turbines and No Subsidies: How Offshore Wind Is Entering a New Era

    Geoffrey Smith, October 7, 2019 (Fortune)

    “…The winning bidders [in the UK’s most recent auction of contracts for renewable generation] were the prospective operators of a new generation of offshore wind farms that will match nuclear power plants in their generating capacity, powering not thousands, but millions of homes, all developed without subsidies. Though not scheduled to come online until 2023, the projects point to a wholesale reinvention of much of today’s energy sector, as companies that cut their teeth in the world of offshore oil and gas morph into specialists in offshore wind electricity…[The 2014 auction price of over 117 pounds/MWh has] dropped to 40.63 pounds/MWh…[which is] as likely to shave customers’ energy bills as to add to them…This is all due ultimately to one thing: scale…

    …The auction winners were three gigantic sites on the Dogger Bank—a large sandbank about the size of New Jersey 60 miles off the east coast of England—which will house wind farms capable of generating 1,200 megawatts of electricity, each one pumping out as much as the giant nuclear reactors and coal-fired stations that have provided ‘baseload’ (i.e. constant, 24/7) power to previous generations of consumers…To generate that, the joint operators of two of the three sites will be using General Electric’s new 12-megawatt Haliade-X turbines. These monsters—100 of which will be needed for each farm—are the biggest wind turbines ever built…[The Haliade-X’s 63% capacity factor is] more than coal-powered stations in the U.S…” click here for more

    Rooftop Solar Boosts Home Value

    Solar power can boost your home’s value — especially in these 10 states

    Valentina Sachez, October 5, 2019 (CNBC)

    “…Installing solar panels in a home not only helps to reduce current monthly utility bills; it can potentially increase the home’s value by up to 4.1% more than comparable homes with no solar panels, according to recent solar research done by Zillow — or an additional $9,274 for the median-valued home in the U.S…To identify the solar premium in each state, Zillow compared the sale prices of homes with and without solar-energy systems listed for sale and sold within the research period — March 2018 and February 2019. The company examined all transactions that occurred and identified which homes featured solar panels in their listing descriptions, controlling for observable attributes including size, age, location, and market value at the time it was listed for-sale. Zillow also controlled for local market dynamics and the time of the year that the home sold…

    In New Jersey, homes with solar panels can sell for 9.9% more than homes without solar-energy systems. That is a profit of $32,281 for the median-valued home in that state…However, solar premiums can vary within state lines…While the solar premium for the state of Florida is 4%, it increases to 4.6% in Orlando, Florida…In New York City the solar premium is 1.8% more than it is statewide, which translates to $23,989 more in value for the typical home in New York…And in California there are major fluctuations within metro areas: while the solar premium statewide is 3%, in San Francisco, it increases to 4.4%, in Los Angeles to 3.6% , but in Riverside, the solar premium declines to 2.7%...Other states like Utah, did not have enough homes with solar-energy systems installed to identify the solar premium…” click here for more

    Wednesday, October 09, 2019

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Want to know if California can make zero emissions by 2045? Here's what to watch

    Want to know if California can make zero emissions by 2045? Here's what to watch; To reach a zero emissions economy, California needs to eliminate natural gas by regionalizing the Western grid and coordinating local and state system planning

    Herman K. Trabish, May 21, 2019 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The urgency of the issues described here is now being recognized by states across the country.

    California plans to reach 60% renewables by 2030 and a zero emissions economy by 2045 as its investor-owned utilities (IOUs) face wildfires and bankruptcy, new and unproven electricity providers proliferate and customers demand a decentralized energy system. What could go wrong?

    The key to success is eliminating natural gas as an electricity resource, stakeholders told Utility Dive. To do that, the state must make one fundamental change at the local level and another at the transmission system level. Together, these changes will remake California's power sector. And its implementation could be a national guiding force on cost-effectively transitioning from natural gas dependence.

    Expanding access to low-cost renewables via "an optimized western regional grid" is key to the transmission system change, electricity system consultant Lorenzo Kristov recently wrote, but it faces political resistance. And local level change will come from coordinating state and local utility planning with broader power system planning to expand distributed energy resource (DER) access, but there is disagreement over how to do it.

    These changes could lead to the unprecedented levels of renewables, demand response and energy efficiency California will need after 2030, stakeholders said. But the challenges they face may require new power sector architecture, Kristov wrote, one that uses an intermediary between the transmission system and local power providers for coordination and efficiency.

    Moving away from natural gas at the system level will be easier if the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) expands its market's reach from the Pacific to the Rockies, according to some stakeholders. State policymakers worked aggressively from 2016 to 2018 to create a regional electricity market by eliminating barriers between CAISO and the 38 independent systems across the West. But the plan was rejected in 2018 by opponents who said it would risk California jobs and could subject the state's climate ambitions to hostile federal regulation.

    Advocates said regional cooperation would reduce electricity costs by expanding access to low cost renewables and eliminate building redundant infrastructure. Regionalization remains "critical to achieving deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions," Assembly Member Chris Holden, who led the 2018 legislative effort, emailed Utility Dive after his bill's defeat. "There is no way to get to a zero-carbon electric sector without a broader regional market," Independent Electricity Producers Association (IEPA) Executive Director Jan Smutny-Jones told Utility Dive… click here for more

    NO QUICK NEWS

    Tuesday, October 08, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: The Consumer Benefits Of Power Market Reforms

    Quantifying The Consumer Benefits Of The Market Reforms In The Report, “Customer Focused And Clean”

    Michael Goggin and Michael Milligan Milligan, March 2019 (Grid Strategies and Grid Solutions for Wind Solar Alliance)

    INTRODUCTION

    This report quantifies the consumer benefits provided by the primary market reforms recommended in the November 2018 Wind Solar Alliance report Customer Focused and Clean: Power Markets for the Future. 1 That report qualitatively examined opportunities for improving the market and operating practices of the grid operators in the Midwest (the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO) and the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes states (PJM). Given the growth of wind and solar generation, the report focused on how wholesale electric market rules that were developed with conventional generators in mind can be improved to better accommodate the contributions and characteristics of new resources and help meet customers’ and regulators’ demand for clean, affordable electricity. As shown below, that report recommended many reforms to electricity markets for energy, capacity, and reliability services. As this report demonstrates, these reforms can also save consumers billions of dollars per year by improving efficiency and allowing renewable resources to provide reliability services to the grid.

    This report quantifies the consumer benefits of the following categories of power market and grid operating reforms that were identified in the Customer Focused and Clean report:

    CAPACITY

    • THE COST OF IMPOSING A MINIMUM OFFER PRICE RULE IN THE CAPACITY MARKET.

    PJM has proposed a measure, called the Minimum Offer Price Rule or MOPR, that would make it difficult for renewable and nuclear resources that receive state incentives to participate in the capacity market. If implemented in a way that the contributions of those resources to meeting system capacity needs would not be counted, consumers would be forced to pay for redundant replacement capacity. This cost would only apply to PJM, as MISO only has a voluntary capacity market and has not proposed a MOPR policy to limit the participation of resources that receive incentives. This policy and the details of how it might be implemented in PJM are currently pending before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. For the purposes of this paper, the benefit of removing the MOPR policy is calculated based on the assumption that it would prevent incentivized nuclear resources and new renewable resources from receiving credit for their capacity value.

    SELF-SCHEDULING

    • THE BENEFITS OF LIMITING THE SELF-SCHEDULING OF CONVENTIONAL GENERATORS.

    In PJM and MISO, a significant share of conventional generators self-schedule their generation output instead of being dispatched by the centralized market. This can result in higher costs for consumers because the power plants that are being utilized may not be the most economic, and because there is less flexibility being offered into the market.

    FLEXIBILITY

    • LOAD PARTICIPATION IN MARKETS. Currently, most electricity rate structures do not provide consumers with an incentive to adjust their demand based on real-time changes in wholesale electricity market prices. There are several policy mechanisms by which electricity demand can become more price responsive, which would significantly reduce the cost of operating the power system.

    • INCENTIVIZE FLEXIBILITY THROUGH MARKET DESIGN. Many of the energy and reliability services reforms recommended in Customer Focused and Clean focused on properly incorporating the cost of inflexibility into market prices and allocating that cost to inflexible resources, while also rewarding flexible resources for the benefits they provide to the power system. This saves consumers money by making power system operations more efficient.

    • ALLOW RENEWABLES, STORAGE, AND OTHER NEW RESOURCES TO FULLY PARTICIPATE IN MARKETS. Currently, PJM and MISO market rules prevent renewable and storage resources from participating in reliability services markets. Preventing these resources from providing flexibility and other valuable reliability services increases consumer costs because more expensive resources must be used to provide those services.

    SEAMS

    • STREAMLINE THE SEAMS BETWEEN ISO MARKETS. Current market practices can cause unnecessary congestion at the seams between ISOs, and between ISOs and non-ISO areas, preventing economic transactions from occurring.

    The remainder of the paper is structured as follows. We first examine alternative methods that can be used to assess the value of market changes, and we provide an example that illustrates the sometimes complex interaction between different market changes. We then discuss the methods used in this paper to calculate the impacts of the selected market enhancements, followed by the results of our analysis. We conclude with a summary of our findings and suggestions for future analysis…

    SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

    In this paper we describe our analysis of some of the key market enhancements described in the Nov 2018 Wind Solar Alliance report. We used methods that allowed us to build on the work of others, adapting those results to provide an estimate of the value of key market enhancements. As such, our results are not intended to provide precise calculations of the value of these reforms, and this initial analysis could be built upon with more detailed analysis and modeling. However, we believe that our results provide a good preliminary estimate of the value of these reforms, and our results show significant consumer benefits could be obtained by adopting these market changes. Significant consumer savings could be realized by:

    • Ensuring the capacity value contributions of all resources are accounted for, preventing the retention or addition of unneeded capacity.

    • Improving the operational efficiency of bulk power markets by moving more resources away from self-scheduling and into the economic optimization that is already performed by market operators.

    • Incentivizing flexibility in the market design, providing useful signals for investors to develop flexibility resources needed for efficient power system operation, and incentivizing existing flexibility to be efficiently incorporated into operations.

    • Removing artificial barriers preventing renewables, storage, and demand response from participating in markets.

    • Improving the seams between markets, thereby lowering transaction costs of economic imports and exports between neighboring systems. -

    QUICK NEWS, October 8: Investing To Beat The Climate Crisis; All The Way To New Energy

    Investing To Beat The Climate Crisis How can I invest my money without contributing to the climate crisis?

    Eve Andrews, October 3, 2019 (Grist)

    “…If the various companies that make up your mutual fund or index fund do well, you get some money. And if any of those companies are involved in fossil fuel extraction, then you made that money on climate change…[If your priority is ethical purity, don’t] invest at all…[But if] your priority is doing everything you can as an individual to mitigate climate change, ignoring the entire world of finance might actually not be the most productive choice…[Because] there is truly no way to construct any of the infrastructure or rehome any of the people who will be displaced or develop any carbon-saving technology without money… [A government bond] is investing in a fossil-fuel friendly federal government…

    ...[A municipal bond] might be a greener way to invest…[But climate change is putting municipalities in jeopardy, making] munis a riskier bet…[I]ndividual shareholders of major companies do not have a significant enough stake to actually make their opinions matter… [T]here are a growing number of “green” funds offered by major brokerage firms that you can opt into…But a lot of them are playing pretty fast and loose around the definition of ‘green’…You can get a loan from a commercial bank to green your house or your community yourself…[You can support green community banks that] exist to support climate-forward community projects…[And you can vote out of office] the people who keep passing backwards legislation subsidizing fossil fuel companies…” click here for more

    All The Way To New Energy Can We Overcome The Last Few Hurdles For Renewable Energy?

    Charles Tower-Clark, October 4, 2019 (Forbes)

    “…[New Energy] is quickly becoming a viable alternative to fossil fuels, and significant global adoption could help to mitigate the more drastic and immediate effects of climate change…[But it] is not as simple as installing renewable technologies and plugging them into the grid…Much of the grid in the U.S. is decades old, and is not prepared to handle large amounts of renewable energy…[Also, both New Energy and consumer demand are variable and do not necessarily match up…As a result, renewables are far more cost-effective when battery technology can be deployed…While recent advances in battery capacity and longevity (as well as battery chemistry itself) are encouraging, cost is always the most significant factor that limits the adoption of new technology—despite the drastic consequences of the lack of change…

    Globally, however, the fossil fuel industry receives around $370 billion in subsidies, compared to $100 billion for renewable energy…[and] there are signs that renewable energy may not need subsidizing for much longer…[Though fossil fuels are sewn into the fabric of the economy, fossil fuel subsidies could be directed toward easing the economic impacts of a transition. Greta Thunberg’s speech at the UN Climate Summit taught us] that inaction by world leaders on climate change will no longer be tolerated…[T]here will undoubtedly be tough times ahead for fossil fuel employment as the job market shifts to new jobs. But these costs and hardships are nothing compared to the costs of doing nothing…” click here for more

    Monday, October 07, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: Charting The Crisis

    The climate crisis explained in 10 charts; From the rise and rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to possible solutions

    Damien Carrington and Cath Levett, 19 September 2019 (UK Guardian)

    The problem – rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

    The level of CO2 has been rising since the industrial revolution and is now at its highest for about 4 million years. The rate of the rise is even more striking – the fastest for 66m years – with scientists saying we are in “uncharted territory”.

    The causes – fossil fuel burning

    Billions of tonnes of CO2 are sent into the atmosphere every year from coal, oil and gas burning. There is no sign of these emissions starting to fall rapidly, as is needed.

    The causes – forest destruction

    The felling of forests for timber, cattle, soy and palm oil is a big contributor to carbon emissions. It is also a major cause of the annihilation of wildlife on Earth.

    The consequences – global temperature rise

    The planet’s average temperature started to climb steadily two centuries ago, but has rocketed since the second world war as consumption and population has risen. Global heating means there is more energy in the atmosphere, making extreme weather events more frequent and more intense.

    The consequences – ice melting in Greenland

    Greenland has lost almost 4 trillion tonnes of ice since 2002. Mountain ranges from the Himalayas to the Andes to the Alps are also losing ice rapidly as glaciers shrink. A third of the Himalayan and Hindu Kush ice is already doomed.

    The consequences – rising sea levels

    Sea levels are inexorably rising as ice on land melts and hotter oceans expand. Sea levels are slow to respond to global heating, so even if the temperature rise is restricted to 2C, one in five people in the world will eventually see their cities submerged, from New York to London to Shanghai.

    The consequences – shrinking Arctic sea ice

    As heating melts the sea ice, the darker water revealed absorbs more of the sun’s heat, causing more heating – one example of the vicious circles in the climate system. Scientists think the changes in the Arctic may be responsible for worsened heatwaves and floods in Eurasia and North America.

    The upside (I) – wind and solar energy is soaring

    Huge cost drops have seen renewable energy become the cheapest energy in many places and the rollout is projected to continue. Analysts also expect coal use to fall. But much government action is still required to reach the scale needed, and solve difficult problems such as aviation and farming.

    The upside (II) – electric vehicles

    The global fleet of electric cars and vans is still small compared with those running on fossil fuels. But sales are growing very fast. Electric cars are cheaper to run, suggesting they will become mainstream.

    The upside (III) – battery costs

    Renewable energy is intermittent, depending on when the sun shines or wind blows. So storage is vital and the cost of batteries is plummeting. But other technologies, such as generating hydrogen, will also be needed.