NewEnergyNews: 12/01/2019 - 01/01/2020

NewEnergyNews

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

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

While the OFFICE of President remains in highest regard at NewEnergyNews, the administration's position on the climate crisis makes it impossible to regard THIS president with respect. Therefore, until November 2020, the NewEnergyNews theme song:

YESTERDAY

  • MONDAY STUDY: Making Buildings Into New Energy Assets
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: Trevor Noah Talks Climate Crisis Politics
  • Weekend Video: A Detailed Picture Of The Climate Crisis Solution
  • Weekend Video: China’s Energy SuperHighway
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Climate Crisis Impacts Will Hit Everyone
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE- Oil Major Moves Toward New Energy
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT WEDNESDAY, September 16:

  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: Don’t Stop Thinking About Recovery
  • TTTA Wednesday-Only A Price On Carbon Will Save The U.S. Economy
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • MONDAY STUDY: Electricity Needs For Electric Vehicles
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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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  • THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT WEDNESDAY, September 23:
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Interested In San Diego
  • New Energy Made Twitter Buzz In August

    Tuesday, December 31, 2019

    2019’s Biggest Climate Story

    In 2019 the public woke up to the climate crisis. When will the politicians? Poll after poll shows that people now want action. But at the international level progress is being deliberately stymied

    Stephen Buranyi, 23 December 2019 (UK Guardian)

    “…The biggest story in climate in 2019 is the way in which, after years of languishing outside the mainstream, climate activism has finally broken through. It seems obvious in retrospect that the kids were the key. Self-organised, serious, heartbreakingly frank about their anger at seeing their futures foreclosed by politicians who won’t even live to see the consequences, they have lent a powerful moral drive to the entire movement…[which] has been emboldened…[because the] link between the climate emergency and our own lives has never seemed clearer…[And] poll after poll shows that public concern, and desire for action, is at an all-time high…

    But climate politics itself still seems far from any genuine watershed moment…There has been little concrete progress…[I]n the same week that Time honoured [Greta Thunberg and] the climate movement, a loose coalition of rightwing governments – including administrations in Brazil and Australia – effectively stymied [the goal] of strengthening the Paris agreement…[The international protest] effort was always meant to lead the way, but it feels increasingly remote from the rest of the climate struggle…” click here for more

    2019’s Biggest Energy Headlines

    The Top Energy Stories Of 2019

    Robert Rapier, December 28, 2019 (Forbes)

    “…[Oil demand] growth has been slowing somewhat lately, but the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that 2019 demand grew by 1.0 million BPD, and 2020 demand growth will be 1.2 million BPD…As long as U.S. shale continues to grow [faster than oil demand growth], global supplies are deemed to be adequate and oil prices will continue to face headwinds…[In] 5-10 years, EVs will likely begin to make serious inroads into oil demand and oil prices may never recover…[The other] top energy stories of 2019 were: 1.] Attacks on Aramco oil facilities…[The temporary loss of over 5% of the world's oil production caused] a brief spike of nearly 20% in the price of oil…[2. Aramco’s initial public offering] traded at a valuation of $1.7 trillion, but quickly ran up to the $2 trillion value…

    …3. OPEC [cut] production to prop up [the] oil price…4. U.S. oil production [set] a new record of 12.8 million BPD…5. [Norway’s] fossil fuel divestment…[ExxonMobil won its] climate lawsuit…[Occidental’s] acquisition of Anadarko…[The U.S. Permian Basin passed Saudi Arabia’s] Ghawar to become the world’s biggest oil-producing region…Green New Deal…Greta Thunberg…Renewable capacity surpasses coal…[T]he trade war impact on ethanol…Russia's Floating Nuclear Power Plant…” click here for more

    Monday, December 30, 2019

    MONDAY STUDY: New York’s Utility Looks At The Climate Crisis

    Climate Change Vulnerability Study

    December 2019 (Consolidated Edison)

    Executive Summary

    In its 2013 rate case filing after Superstorm Sandy, Con Edison proposed $1 billion in storm hardening investments to build additional resiliency into its energy systems. Con Edison worked with a Storm Hardening and Resiliency Collaborative to recommend optimal investments for the proposed storm hardening funds, including the recommendation that Con Edison conduct a Climate Change Vulnerability Study (Study). As described by the New York State Public Service Commission, the purpose of this Study is to aid in the ongoing review of the Company’s design standards and development of a risk mitigation plan.1 Over the course of the Study, Con Edison regularly convened a stakeholder group to provide feedback, consisting of many of the same participants from the Storm Hardening and Resiliency Collaborative. The findings from the Study equip Con Edison with a better understanding of future climate change risks and strengthen the company’s ability to more proactively address those risks.

    This Study describes historical and projected climate changes across Con Edison’s service territory, drawing on the best available science, including downscaled climate models, recent literature, and expert elicitation. Con Edison recognizes the global scientific consensus that climate change is occurring at an accelerating rate. The exact timing and magnitude of future climate change is uncertain. To account for climate uncertainty, the Study considered a range of potential climate futures reflecting both unabated and reduced greenhouse gas concentrations through time and evaluated extreme event “stress test” scenarios.

    This Study evaluates present-day infrastructure, design specifications, and procedures against expected climate changes to better understand Con Edison’s vulnerability to climate-driven risks. This analysis identified sea level rise, coastal storm surge, inland flooding from intense rainfall, hurricane-strength winds, and extreme heat as the most significant climate-driven risks to Con Edison’s systems. Con Edison has unique energy systems, and vulnerabilities vary across those systems. The utility’s electric, gas, and steam systems are all vulnerable to increased flooding and coastal storms; workers across all commodities are vulnerable to increasing temperatures; and the electric system is also vulnerable to heat events.

    While Con Edison already uses a range of measures to build resilience to weather events, the vulnerabilities identified in this Study guide the company to pursue additional strategies to mitigate climate risks. The Study establishes an overarching framework that can work to strengthen Con Edison’s resilience over time. While many adaptation strategies focus on avoiding impacts altogether, a comprehensive resilience plan also requires a system that can reduce and recover from impacts, particularly following outages.

    Over the course of 2020, Con Edison will develop and file a Climate Change Implementation Plan, which will specify a governance structure and a strategy for implementing adaptation options over the next 5, 10, and 20 years. While this Study assesses vulnerabilities within Con Edison’s present-day systems to a future climate, the implementation plan must also consider the evolving market for energy services, and potential changes to services and infrastructure driven by customers, government policy and external actions over time.

    The Need for a Study

    The New York State Public Service Commission approved an Order and funding for Con Edison to conduct a Climate Change Vulnerability Study, with a requirement for delivery by the end of 2019. The Con Edison Department of Strategic Planning undertook this Study with support from more than 100 subject matter experts throughout the company and in collaboration with ICF’s climate adaptation and resilience experts and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. The Study was designed to meet three primary goals:

    1. Research and develop a shared understanding of new climate science and projected extreme weather for the service territory.

    2. Assess the risks of potential impacts of climate change on operations, planning, and physical assets.

    3. Review a portfolio of operational, planning, and design measures, considering costs and benefits, to improve resilience to climate change.

    A New Understanding of Climate Science and Extreme Weather

    Con Edison will face new challenges from a rapidly changing climate through the 21st century. To better understand these challenges, the Study characterized historical and projected changes to climate hazards within the service territory to estimate the magnitude and timing of potential climate vulnerabilities. Climate variables that present outsized impacts to Con Edison include temperature, humidity, precipitation, sea level rise, and extreme events, such as rare hurricanes and long-duration heat waves…Temperature…Humidity…Precipitation…Sea Level Rise…Extreme Events…

    Characterization of Con Edison’s Vulnerabilities to Climate Risks

    Heat and Temperature Variable

    The core electric vulnerabilities to increasing temperature and TV include increased asset deterioration, decreased system capacity, increased load, and decreased system reliability. Since the internal temperature of electric power equipment is determined by the ambient temperature as well as the power being delivered, higher ambient temperatures increase the internal operating temperature of equipment…

    Flooding from Precipitation, Sea Level Rise, and Coastal Storms

    All underground assets are vulnerable to flooding damage (i.e., water pooling, intrusion, or inundation) from precipitation events, sea level rise, and coastal storms. Following Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Con Edison protected all infrastructure in the floodplain against future 100-year storms and 1 foot of sea level rise (e.g., submersible infrastructure, flood walls, pumps, elevation). Sea level rise projections suggest that Con Edison’s 1 foot of sea level rise risk tolerance threshold may be exceeded as early as 2030 and as late as 2080…

    Extreme and Multi-Hazard Events

    The Study team reviewed the vulnerabilities of Con Edison’s electric, gas and steam systems to future extreme events based on specific, worst case extreme event narratives (Category 4 hurricane, a strong nor’easter, and a prolonged heat wave) designed to stress-test these systems.

    Storm surge driven by an extreme hurricane event (i.e., a Category 4 hurricane) has the potential to flood both aboveground and belowground assets. In addition, wind stress and windblown debris can lead to tower and/or line failure of the overhead transmission system and damage overhead distribution infrastructure, which could cause widespread customer outages…

    Resilience Management Framework

    To conceptualize how to systematically address vulnerabilities, the Study team developed a resilience management framework (Figure 2). The framework encompasses investments to better withstand changes in climate, absorb impacts from outage-inducing events, recover quickly, and advance to a better state. The “withstand” component of this framework prepares for both gradual and extreme climate risks through resilience actions throughout the life cycle of the assets. As such, many adaptation strategies fall under this category. Investments to increase the capacity to withstand also provide critical co-benefits such as enhanced blue-sky functionality and reliability of Con Edison’s systems. The resilience management framework facilitates long-term adaptation and creates positive resilience feedback so that Con Edison’s systems achieve better functionality through time. To succeed, each component of a resilient system requires proactive planning and investments.

    Adaptation Measures to Address Vulnerabilities

    Con Edison has already undertaken a range of measures to increase the resilience of its systems. For example, lessons learned and vulnerabilities exposed during past events, including Superstorm Sandy (2012) and the back-to-back nor’easters (winter storms Riley and Quinn, 2018), resulted in significant capital investments to harden the system. Looking forward, as Con Edison is investing in the system of the future—one with greater monitoring capabilities, flexibility, and reliability—it is simultaneously building a system that is more resilient to extreme weather events and climate change. In addition to new investments, Con Edison also conducts targeted annual updates to its system to ensure capacity and reliability, which help the company keep pace with recent changes in temperature and humidity.

    Withstand Gradual Changes in Climate and Extreme Events

    Resilience actions should occur systematically throughout an asset’s life cycle to enhance the ability to withstand changes in climate while also enhancing system reliability and blue-sky functionality. This can be accomplished through planning, designing, and upgrading assets in a resilient manner, with ongoing monitoring throughout.

    Plan

    Incorporating climate change projections into Con Edison’s routine planning processes will help identify capital needs and help the systems gradually adjust to changes in climate. Some of the types of planning processes and tools that may benefit from consideration of climate change include the following:

    • Load and volume forecasting for all commodities

    • Load relief planning for the electric system, which should include reduced system capacity and higher load due to warmer temperatures

    • Working with utilities in other environments to understand how they plan and design their system for the climate Con Edison will experience in the future

    • Long-range planning for all commodities

    • Network reliability modeling and planning

    Design

    The key to designing resilient infrastructure is to update design standards, specifications, and ratings to account for likely changes in climate over the life cycle of the infrastructure. While there is uncertainty as to the exact changes in climate an asset will experience, selecting an initial climate projection design pathway allows engineers to design infrastructure in line with Con Edison’s risk tolerance. The Study team suggests an initial climate projection design pathway that follows the 50th percentile merged RCP 4.5 and 8.5 projections for sea level rise and high-end 90th percentile merged RCP 4.5 and 8.5 projections for heat and precipitation.

    Upgrade

    Changing design standards will influence the construction of new assets but does not address the vulnerability of existing assets. A flexible and adaptive approach to managing and upgrading assets will allow Con Edison to manage risks from climate change at acceptable levels, despite uncertainties about future conditions. The flexible adaptation pathways approach allows Con Edison to adjust adaptation strategies as more information about climate change and external conditions that may affect Con Edison’s operations is learned over time. Figure 3 depicts how flexible adaptation pathways are based on flexible management to maintain tolerable levels of risk.

    As conditions change over time, Con Edison will need to consistently track these changes to identify when decision making for additional or alternative adaptation strategies is required. This approach relies on monitoring indicators, or “signposts,” that provide information which is critical for adaptive management decisions. Broad categories of signposts that Con Edison should consider monitoring include climate variable observations and best available climate projections; climate impacts; and policy, societal, and economic conditions. Predetermined thresholds for these conditions signal the need for a change in action, which support decisions on when, where, and how Con Edison can take action to continue to manage its climate risks at an acceptable level…

    Absorb and Recover from the Impacts of Extreme Events

    It is neither efficient nor cost-effective for Con Edison to harden its systems to withstand every type of extreme event. Instead, Con Edison must use a broader suite of adaptation strategies to absorb and recover from the inevitable disruptions caused by extreme events exceeding their design standards. Con Edison currently incorporates “absorb” into its design and operations with, for example, a limited ability to control customer demand and shed load in extreme cases. A broader suite of strategies focuses on emergency preparedness, limiting customer impact and improving customer coping, including the following:

    • Supporting the creation of resilience hubs (spaces that support residents and coordinate resources before, during, and after extreme weather events (Baja, 2018) and have continued access to energy services)

    • Using smart meters to implement targeted load shedding to limit the impact to fewer customers during extreme events

    • Strengthening staff skills for streamlined emergency response

    • Planning for resilient and efficient supply chains

    • Coordinating extreme event preparedness plans with external stakeholders

    • Incorporating low-probability events into long-term plans

    • Expanding extreme heat worker safety protocols

    ’ • Examining and reporting on the levels of workers necessary to prepare for and recover from extreme climate events

    • Investing in energy storage, on-site generation, and energy efficiency programs

    Advance

    Advancing to a better adapted, more resilient state after an outage-inducing event (i.e., building back better/stronger) begins with effective pre-planning for post-event reconstruction. Even with proactive resilience investments, events can reveal system or asset vulnerabilities. Where assets need to be replaced during recovery, having a plan already in place for selection and procurement of assets designed to be more resilient in the future can help to ensure that Con Edison is adapting to a continuously changing risk environment. Outage-inducing events also provide important opportunities to measure the performance of adaptation investments, helping to inform additional actions that further resilience.

    Next Steps

    As a next step from this Study, Con Edison will develop a detailed Climate Change Implementation Plan to integrate the recommendations from this Climate Change Vulnerability Study. The implementation plan will be developed in close coordination with Con Edison SMEs and will utilize quarterly meetings with external stakeholders. The implementation plan will consider updates in climate science, finalize an initial climate design pathway, integrate that pathway into company specifications and processes based on input from subject matter experts, develop a timeline for action with associated costs and signposts, and recommend a governance structure. Some key items for consideration in the implementation plan include determining the appropriate amount of proactive investment, changes in the policy/regulatory and operating environment and the establishment of a reporting structure…

    Saturday, December 28, 2019

    Greta: “There is a tomorrow”

    She's just asking leaders to listen to the scientists. From Time via YouTube

    The Right Time To Do Good

    Don’t let the window close. From Climate Reality via YouTube

    Friday, December 27, 2019

    This Was The Year World Coal Lost

    Every Coal Power Plant in the World (1927-2019)

    Jeff Desjardins, December 26, 2019 (Visual Capitalist)

    “…[In developed countries,] the appetite for coal power is falling…[because of it is] a primary source of carbon emissions and air pollution…[and because of] cheap natural gas in some regions around the world…In the U.S., electricity generation from coal has been dropping since the late 2000s…[In Europe,] coal power output could fall 23% in 2019 alone…[But up until 2019, the global story has been] quite different…[From 1927 to 2018, it] continued to ramp up…

    [But preliminary] data suggests that Indian coal consumption could drop in 2019 for the first time in over a decade…[and China’s coal] capacity could be fully offset by decreasing use of the fossil fuel in developed nations…[so that] global coal power generation could fall 3% in 2019…If this trend continues, it could be a sign of a tipping point in global coal consumption — and if the sentiment around coal shifts the same way in China, the potential impact could be amplified even further…” click here for more

    Tuesday, December 24, 2019

    The Climate Crisis Down Under

    Climate change is here and things are not fine; Commentary: My world's on fire, how 'bout yours?

    Jackson Ryan, December 23, 2019 (C/NET)

    “…[In a classic 2013 cartoon, an iconic yellow dog does nothing to avert the obviously catastrophic situation it finds itself in. Instead, it remarks ‘This is fine’ as its skin melts away and its eyeballs seep out of its head like goo…In 2019, it seems prescient…[The] world is on fire…[And] many huge emitters are not on track to meet their 2030 emissions reductions pledges…[But, in August 2018, Greta Thunberg began this ‘School Strike For Climate’, and in September, 2019, 7 million people took to the streets] pleading with policymakers and governments to combat the climate crisis…This is not fine…

    …As the planet gets hotter, it makes extreme climate events like [Autralia’s catastrophic] bushfires more and more likely…As the crisis worsened, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison pushed the climate crisis to the side…The Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, slammed those raising concerns about climate change during the crisis…Many of those who had lost their homes did not agree, protesting outside New South Wales' Parliament House with buckets of ash…Those protestors don't believe the carbon dioxide we're pumping into the air started the fires. But they believe it is exacerbating them. Climate change is making the bushfire season longer…[But] Morrison said there was no scientific evidence linking the bushfires with carbon emissions and climate change. There is…None of this is fine…

    ...[R]esearch features the expertise of hundreds of scientists and researchers, using tens of thousands of sources to provide the most comprehensive, up-to-the-minute examination of the planet we can muster. They keep gathering data, it keeps telling them the same things. There is a consensus: Humans are accelerating global warming…In 2019, the climate crisis has become firmly entrenched as a battleground in the never-ending culture wars…The overwhelming majority of those scientists make it crystal clear: Unless we reduce our emissions -- dramatically and rapidly -- we will find ourselves living on a planet hotter than ever before…We are only just beginning to understand what a hotter Earth looks like…This is not fine.” click here for more

    The Urgency Of NegaWatts Around The World

    12 Strategies to Step Up Global Energy Efficiency

    5 December 2019 (Renewable Energy Magazine)

    "A drastic reduction in global energy use will be essential for an affordable and manageable transition to a renewables-based clean energy future, according to a joint 12-strategies report today by the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, and the India-based Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy…[‘Urgent action’ is needed because global] growth in energy use is largely outpacing decarbonization.

    In 2018, the [International Energy Agency (IEA)] reports, the primary energy intensity – an important indicator of how much energy the global economy uses – improved by just 1.2 percent, the slowest rate since 2010…This slowing rate of improvement is alarming and in stark contrast to IEA’s call to governments to commit to a global annual improvement in energy intensity of 3 percent a year…The twelve strategies suggested by the organizations are designed to offer a comprehensive coverage of necessary policies to deliver efficiency around the globe…” click here for more

    Working At The New New Energy

    The race to develop renewable energy technologies; Mechanical engineers rush to develop energy conversion and storage technologies from renewable sources such as wind, wave, solar, and thermal.

    Mary Beth Gallagher, December 18, 2019 (MIT News)

    “…[Roughly 80 percent of global energy consumption still comes from burning fossil fuels. As the impact of climate change on the environment becomes increasingly drastic, there is a mounting sense of urgency for researchers and engineers to develop scalable renewable energy solutions…[Wave energy has] other resources beat in two respects. First, unlike solar, waves offer a consistent energy source regardless of time of day. Second, waves provide much greater energy density than wind due to water’s heavier mass…[But unlike] wind and solar, there is no consensus in the field of wave hydrodynamics on how to efficiently capture and convert wave energy…

    …[For solar energy to have a more meaningful impact on the climate crisis,] researchers need to develop solar cell materials that are efficient, scalable, cost-effective, and reliable…To accelerate the discovery and testing of new materials [that meet all four criteria, researchers have] developed a process that uses a combination of machine learning and high-throughput experimentation…[Two perovskite materials were found to] hold promise and will be tested further…[Researchers are also] working on concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) technologies that convert sunlight into heat] to provide electricity…[A new aerogel dramatically cuts costs by enabling] sunlight concentration without focusing optics to harness thermal energy…

    ...[Researchers are developing new storage technologies that] improve the energy density of today’s electrochemical batteries by designing new earth-abundant materials] that are more cost-effective and versatile for storing cleanly generated energy. Rather than develop these materials using metals that are extracted through energy-intensive mining, she aims to build batteries using more earth-abundant materials…” click here for more

    Monday, December 23, 2019

    MONDAY STUDY: SoCal’s Utility Goes Big On New Energy

    Pathway 2045; Update to the Clean Power and Electrification Pathway

    November 2019 (Southern California Edison)

    Executive Summary

    By 2045, California will undergo a remarkable evolution. Supported by its residents, the state will achieve carbon neutrality to reduce the threat of climate change. This will require substantial decarbonization of all sectors of the economy and will necessitate rigorous planning to keep energy safe, reliable and affordable.

    ‘Pathway 2045 examines the energy implications of California’s longterm decarbonization goals on both the economy and the electric sector and maps out a feasible and low-cost path to meeting these goals. Pathway 2045 builds on The Clean Power and Electrification Pathway,1 Southern California Edison’s 2017 analysis of what will be required to meet 2030 interim goals.

    Pathway 2045 concludes that the changes required across California’s economy are profound: Decarbonization is achieved through powering 100% of retail sales* with carbon-free electricity, electrifying transportation and buildings and using low-carbon fuels for technologies that are not viable for electrification.

    ’ The remaining carbon is sequestered to reach carbon neutrality (Figure 1). Emerging technologies and practices will be required to find the most economical method to remove carbon at this scale.

    Electric sector:

    To economically meet both the 2030 and 2045 decarbonization goals, the electric sector needs to decarbonize more quickly than currently required. By 2045, significant electrification of the state’s economy combined with population and economic growth will result in a 60% increase in electricity sales from the grid and a 40% increase in peak load.

    Eighty gigawatts (GW) of new utility-scale clean generation and 30 GW of utility-scale energy storage will be required in the next 25 years. Energy storage will be essential because the most costeffective, carbon-free generation sources — wind and solar — are intermittent. Thirty additional GW of generation capacity and 10 GW of storage will come from distributed energy resources (DERs) including up to 50% of single-family homes in California which, driven by improved economics, building codes and supportive but equitable policies, are projected to have customer-sited solar by 2045.

    The grid:

    The grid must have sufficient capacity and continue to modernize to harness the full potential of DERs. Electrification will further increase customers’ reliance on the grid, underscoring the need to build in additional resilience to withstand the more frequent and severe weather conditions due to climate change impacts. Grid hardening efforts today along with system designs that accommodate increasing flexibility and more monitoring should reduce these risks. At the same time, California’s leadership in deep decarbonization can be a global model that helps mitigate the further threats of climate change.

    Natural gas and low-carbon fuels:

    Services provided by natural gas today, such as supporting electric grid reliability, will still be needed in 2045. Natural gas consumption in 2045 will decline 50% from today, and cost impacts on remaining gas customers will need to be managed. At least 40% of the remaining gas will need to be low-carbon fuels such as biomethane or hydrogen. Other hard-to-electrify sectors such as heavy-duty transportation and some industrial processes will also rely on a combination of natural gas and low-carbon fuels. Research and development is necessary to bring these lowcarbon fuels to commercial viability and required scale.

    Transportation:

    Three-quarters of light-duty vehicles, twothirds of medium-duty vehicles and one-third of heavy-duty vehicles will need to be electric by 2045. Vehicle affordability, product diversity and charging infrastructure availability are needed to accelerate adoption to meet 2030 targets and prepare for 2045.

    Buildings:

    Almost three-quarters of space and water heating needs to be electric by 2045. Given the long life cycles of space and water heating equipment, significant consumer awareness and education need to be supported now to speed adoption. Customers will benefit from the significant efficiency provided by electrification, as well as from energy efficiency and demand response programs that help to lower customer consumption and bills.

    6

    The cost and benefits for Californians:

    The clean energy and grid investments required to meet 2045 goals is a tremendous economic development opportunity for California. Utility-scale generation and storage and the supporting grid represent up to $250 billion of clean energy and grid investments and include thousands of sustaining craft and skilled jobs.

    As California decarbonizes, energy must remain affordable for all of the state’s consumers, including our most vulnerable residents. Electrification produces savings for an average household, but late adopters who continue to rely on natural gas for their homes or gasoline for their cars will be increasingly burdened in the transition.

    Robust, coordinated and targeted policies are needed to clean the power supply; build, operate and maintain a reliable and resilient grid; and move customers to adopt new technologies and programs. Advancing and scaling up adoption of new technologies will require incentives, regulations and other market transformation policies.

    Most importantly, through this transition, all California residents will benefit from greatly reduced greenhouse gas emissions (Figure 2) and new economic opportunities.

    Saturday, December 21, 2019

    What The Daily Show Knows About Christmas

    “Everything you love about Christmas is going to disappear.” From Comedy Central

    100 Years Isn’t What It Used To Be

    The odds against the earth are getting worse. From The YEARS Project via YouTube

    The Rise Of Ocean Wind

    The U.S. is just beginning to tap into the climate crisis-fighting power of offshore wind. From CNBC via YouTube

    Friday, December 20, 2019

    Answering Kids’ Climate Crisis Questions

    Five answers for kids concerned about climate change; Climate change and environmental issues are complicated. And if you have young children, it can be difficult to explain exactly what's going on…>

    Martin Kuebler, Ruby Russell, December 17, 2019 (Deutsche Welle)

    “…People don’t know yet how things will turn out in 10 years, 20 years or a 100 years from now…But there are things we can do…to understand what the problem is…and how we can all play a role in solving it…[1] Students hope that by walking out of school with banners and megaphones, and getting together with other people who want things to change, that their voices will be heard. They want the politicians, those people who make the big decisions, to get together and come up with solutions…

    [2] Most of the energy we use to make things, keep the lights on and our homes warm, turn on the air-con and power transport, comes from burning fuels like oil, gas and coal. These are called fossil fuels and when they are burned, they release carbon. Once it gets into the atmosphere, it traps a lot of heat…When the planet gets hotter, how the weather changes is different from place to place — and hard to predict…[3] Earth is about 4.5 billion years old and it has been through lots of changes, getting hotter and colder at different times. But the animals and plants that live here now like the climate just the way it is. If it changes too much, many will die…

    Climate change could mean more people will become sick. And some people have to leave their homes and look for a safer place to live…To stop the world getting too hot, we have to change the way we live…[4]…[N]early everything we do in our daily life has an effect on the climate…[5] Everyone can make changes in their daily life that mean there will be less pollution. And while our choices alone aren't enough to fix the problem, they can help to convince companies and politicians to make bigger changes…” click here for more

    Global New Energy Needs To Accelerate

    Stagnant In 2018, Investments For Renewable Energy Must Run Faster

    Jude Clemente, December 4, 2019 (Forbes)

    “…’[Net global power generation capacity additions for renewables in 2018 [of 180 GW] were the same as in 2017…[This was a 50% gain from 2012, but] only ~60% of the net additions needed each year…In 2018, wind was 8% of global capacity, with solar at 7%...[Models show] that by 2040 wind will reach 14% and solar 24%...Both China and the EU have been adding more renewables to the system than the U.S…

    … India, the most energy short nation on Earth, knows that it needs to up its renewable power game…[Renewables costs] must continue to fall and reliability must continue to improve…[because the] idea that India will be using less of anything is an impractical one…[in] a world adding another 2.5 billion humans and $100 trillion in GDP by 2050…” click here for more

    Corporate Deal Driving New Growth For New Energy

    Corporates going ‘green’ sees Europe renewable deals rocket

    Kelvin Ross, December 20, 2019 (Poser Engineering International)

    “Increased pressure on corporate companies to have better ‘green’ credentials and the end of government incentives has seen the number of subsidy-free renewable energy projects increase by more than 1000 per cent since 2013…[A new study] found that the number of purchase power agreement deals in Europe has increased from just four in 2013 to more than 45 in July this year, which have either been signed with a utility, an energy trader or a corporate…[The energy transition] baton has now been passed into the hands of the private sector…

    [Corporates across the globe have been under increasing pressure from consumers and investors to ‘green’ their businesses, leading them to radically change the way they purchase electricity either as signatories of PPAs or even, in many cases, as owners of renewable energy plants…[The Europe-led first phase] of the transition to renewables is set to come to an end, as capital costs have declined sufficiently to enable such projects to be economically viable on the basis of grid-parity with fossil fuels…[Solar PV capital cost reductions have reached] more than 80% and as a result, grid-parity is close to becoming a reality…[But] regulators still have the power to affect investment decisions through market design, tax framework, and grid legislation…” click here for more

    Thursday, December 19, 2019

    Comedy And The Climate Crisis

    Comedy can help us tackle the climate crisis – here’s how

    Birte Loschenkohl, December 18, 2019 (The Conversation)

    “…From the performance of funerals for lost species and glaciers to the claim that the best we can do is adapt to impending catastrophe, climate change is often narrated like a classic Greek tragedy…In many ways, such gloomy perspectives are appropriate…Millions of people are already being displaced or killed by the human-caused destabilisation of our climate…[But such narratives]tend to inspire inertia and anxiety rather than action…Narratives of hope might go some way to changing the script and galvanising a response…[And there] is nothing funny about the prospect of environmental collapse…

    I do not recommend that we turn away from tragic and apocalyptic narratives entirely – there is much truth and value to them…[But comedy allows] us to process news about climate change in a less anxiety-inducing way…[and] to reflect on who we are and how we do things in the world…[It] can point out where there are fundamental problems in our mechanical and technocratic behaviour toward the environment…[And it] might help us persevere in view of the seemingly impossible tasks ahead of us…” click here for more

    Big Solar Getting Bigger And Cheaper

    Berkeley Lab’s “Utility-Scale Solar” report sees continued growth and falling costs for big solar

    December 18, 2019 (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

    “…[The 2019 edition of Berkeley Lab’s Utility-Scale Solar report presents] analysis of empirical project-level data from the U.S. fleet of ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) projects with capacities exceeding 5 MWAC…More than 4 GWAC of new utility-scale PV capacity came online in 2018, bringing cumulative installed capacity to more than 24.5 GWAC across 39 states… Median installed project prices from a 2.5 GWAC sample of projects completed in 2018 declined to $1.6/WAC (or $1.2/WDC), with the lowest 20th percentile priced at or below $1.3/WAC (or $0.9/WDC)…

    Project-level capacity factors vary widely, from 12% to 35% (on an AC basis)… [PPA prices] continued to decline, to below $30/MWh on average and with a few PPAs even below $20/MWh (levelized, in 2018 dollars)…Although solar’s “duck curve”-related decline in wholesale market value within California has been much-publicized, in most other regions of the country, solar still provides above-average value… Adding battery storage to shift a portion of excess mid-day solar generation into evening hours is one way to increase the value of solar… [A]t least 55 GW of PV+storage projects were in the interconnection queues across the country at the end of 2018, accounting for 20% of all solar capacity in the queues…” click here for more

    Ocean Wind Could Be $70BIL Biz In 2030

    US has only one offshore wind energy farm, but a $70 billion market is on the way

    Bob Woods, December 13, 2019 (CNBC)

    “…[U.S.] offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 2,000 GW of capacity per year, nearly double the nation’s current electricity use…[S]tates along the Eastern Seaboard, from Maine to Virginia, are poised to join a renewable-energy revolution that will not only provide clean, green electricity but also create tens of thousands of jobs, revitalize distressed port cities and spur economic growth…[A] recent white paper from the Special Initiative for Offshore Wind that projects a $70 billion business pipeline in the U.S. by 2030…

    [D]eveloping 8,000 MW of offshore wind from Maryland to Maine by 2030 could create up to 36,000 full-time U.S. jobs…[Northern Europe now has a total installed capacity of 18,499 MW of offshore wind] across 11 countries…Costs have come down, technology has gone up, states have mandated ambitious renewable-energy goals, and the federal government has leased 15 commercial ocean sites for $472 million…[Advanced technology is] leading to larger, more efficient turbines that capture more wind…In New England there are four times as many proposals [for offshore wind projects] than those for natural gas-fired power plants…” click here for more

    Wednesday, December 18, 2019

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: A Big Move Toward The Energy Transition

    As co-ops struggle with stranded fossil fuel assets, Tri-State may finally embrace the energy transition; "Our goal is a transition that lowers rates. It might be hard – but it might be beautiful," the G&T's new CEO told Utility Dive.

    Herman K. Trabish, Aug. 7, 2019 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The rebellion is growing across the country by member co-ops against their power providers who will not move ahead in the energy transition.

    Though many rural power suppliers, burdened by debt from stranded fossil fuel assets, have resisted the growing shift toward renewables and distributed energy resources, some are beginning to see the economic promise of that transition. Tri-State Generation and Transmission (G&T) Association, which serves 43 member cooperatives in the West, has been a prime example of this trend. Driven by member discontent and the growing cost effectiveness of renewables, the G&T's new CEO says he wants to embrace the change.

    "I saw the need for a shift into the new energy economy before I stepped in," Duane Highly told Utility Dive. "Utilities once had almost no choice but to build coal, but now policies are different, and economics are drastically different. Our goal is a transition that lowers rates. It might be hard – but it might be beautiful."

    Stakeholders and long-time Tri-State watchers are hopeful of a transition, but want action, not words. It may be "hard" to address longstanding financial obligations in fixed fossil assets, but changes will be necessary to prevent dissatisfied member cooperatives from following former member Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) and soon-to-be former member Delta Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) to early contract exits.

    A "beautiful" transition that lowers customer rates might seem out of reach for electricity suppliers like Tri-State with deep debt in stranded fossil fuel assets, observers told Utility Dive. But if it realizes its proposed transition, it can be a model for others willing to take new approaches to their resource mixes and overcome the burden of their fossil fuel habits.

    Despite low-cost renewables options, much of "rural America" is still served by G&Ts whose resource portfolios remain dominated by fossil fuels, Erik Hatlestad, Energy Democracy Program Director for Clean Up the River Environment Minnesota, told Utility Dive. Distribution co-op customer rates and dissatisfaction are escalating as power suppliers refuse to accept "the new financial reality," Hatlestad said. "Their need to pay off their debt is creating a dictatorship of capital that is driving a pro-coal dogma."

    Similar to tensions between Tri-State and its member cooperatives, coal-reliant G&T's elsewhere are struggling to keep their members happy. The Wabash Valley Power Alliance, Tipmont Rural Electric and Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative are fighting battles for cleaner power mixes with power suppliers who see renewables as “something negative” and “from a political context and doesn't make any economic sense," Guzman Energy CEO Chris Riley told Utility Dive... click here for more

    NO QUICK NEWS

    Tuesday, December 17, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: Sea Level Rise Threatens To Sink California

    California’s Sea Level Is Rising And It’s Costing Over $6 Billion

    December 16, 2019 (SeaLevelRise.org)

    OVERVIEW

    The sea level off California’s coast is up to 6 inches higher than it was in 1950.1 This increase is mostly due to ice melting into the ocean2 and thermal expansion,3 and it’s causing major issues. Solutions in California can be complicated because the state has more coastal residents than any other in the U.S.4 as well as habitats and billions of dollars worth of real estate at risk. The state is planning over $6 billion in sea level rise solutions, which include seawall improvements, flood mitigation for major roads, and wetland restoration and fortification.

    Sea level rise is speeding up

    The sea level around San Francisco, California, has risen by 6 inches since 1950. Its speed of rise has accelerated over the last ten years and it’s now rising by about 1 inch every 10 years.1 Scientists know this because the sea level is measured every 6 minutes using equipment like satellites, floating buoys off the coast, and tidal gauges to accurately measure the local sea level as it accelerates and changes.6

    CAUSES & COMPLICATIONS

    Why Are Sea Levels Rising?

    While there are four main causes of sea level rise in California, ice melt2 and thermal expansion3 are the largest contributors. Because the rate of ice melt has been increasing significantly since 1992 and the ocean is getting warmer and expanding, California is particularly vulnerable to an increased rate of sea level rise in the future.2 Click here to learn more about these causes.

    El Niño can worsen West Coast flooding

    In California, sea level rise and flooding can be impacted by El Niño weather events, which cause warmer ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean off the West Coast.7 Because water expands as it warms, El Niño events can raise coastal sea levels for several months.8 An El Niño also pushes the southern jet stream further south, which increases rainfall in California and causes more frequent and severe floods, landslides, and coastal erosion.9 El Niño’s impacts are particularly strong in late winter, and bring the most rain to Southern California.9

    Most flooding happens in the winter

    The highest tides in California occur during winter storms that push more water to the coast, raising high tides even higher. Combined with an increased gravitational pull from the moon, and the increased water levels caused by El Niño, tides in places like San Francisco are typically over a foot higher than normal high tides.1 Add that to the 6 inches of sea level rise since 1950 and you end up with flooding even on sunny days.

    Solutions aren’t simple

    Solutions can be complicated in California because the state is home to the largest amount of coastal residents in the U.S., with over 25 million people living near the sea.4 Over $100 billion worth of property along the California coast and vast natural ecosystems are at risk.10 Sea levels are already intruding into existing wetlands, and with current urban development in California, there is no place for these wetlands to travel inland in order to survive.11 In addition, the state faces a time clock, with coastal communities already experiencing major flood events,12 and two thirds of the beaches in Southern California on track to disappear.13

    FORECAST

    What's the Future of Sea Level Rise?

    In the last decade, the speed at which California’s sea level is rising has increased, and is now rising by as much as 1 inch every 10 years. Around San Francisco, it took around 39 years for the sea level to rise around 6 inches.1 Scientists now forecast that in just the next 16 years, the sea level will have risen by another 6 inches.14

    Scientists are not certain how fast the ocean will warm and ice will melt. They expect water levels to continue to rise faster, but are not sure just how fast. Therefore scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have made predictions based on ranges from low to high. Below you can see the range of the NOAA and USACE high and intermediate forecasts for various locations around California.15 Currently, the USACE high forecast, seen as the darkest red line, is the most likely projection.

    FLOODING

    Why Are Floods More Frequent?

    When the ocean rises high enough, high tides cause flooding even on sunny days. Even though the sea level near San Diego, California, has only risen by less than an inch,10 tidal flooding has increased by 550% since 2000. Flooding even when there’s no rain Drainage systems are designed to channel excess rainwater from the streets and drain it into the sea. But with the pressure from rising sea levels and higher tides, seawater can get pushed into these pipes and spill out into the streets. This causes flooding even on days without rain.

    Increased storm surge flooding

    Unfortunately, slightly higher sea levels make hurricanes even more damaging. Just a few more inches of sea level rise allow a hurricane to push more water onto the land, even if the hurricane itself doesn’t make landfall.

    Higher sea levels create a higher launching point for storm surge. These small changes in sea level rise are enough to turn what were 100-year storm surges into much more frequent events. In fact, in a third of 55 coastal sites studied throughout the US, 100-year storm surges will be 10-year or more frequent events by 2050.18

    This means that in many coastal cities, if you bought a house with a 30-year mortgage today, by the time you paid off your mortgage you could be experiencing extreme 100-year storm surges ten times more frequently due to sea level rise alone. This does not include the added risk of more intense storms resulting from warmer water and a warmer atmosphere, which could further increase storm surge damage.

    In 2014, Hurricane Marie struck off the shores of California, bringing sustained winds of over 160 mph and 15 foot swells that caused nearly $20 million in damage.19 Without sea level rise, Hurricane Marie’s swells would have been much lower.

    COSTS

    What's at Risk in California?

    There’s a lot at risk from sea level rise and flooding in California. Higher seas off Southern California are expected to increase coastal erosion, causing breaks in seaside cliffs and changes to the state’s coastline.20 Sea level rise also threatens many popular California surf spots, as higher tides affect the way that waves break.21 Wetlands are at risk, with current high projections indicating that the state will lose the majority of its coastal wetlands within 100 years.10 Higher sea levels also increase the risk of saltwater getting into the state’s freshwater supplies, which puts California’s drinking water in danger.22

    California is spending over $6 billion on solutions

    Some cities have sufficient resources to deal with this problem while others do not. California will need solutions at the individual, local, state, and federal levels to protect its coastal communities.

    San Francisco is planning a $5 billion infrastructure improvement project for the city’s seawall, which will increase protection against sea level rise and flooding…The $1.5 billion improvement plan for California State Route 37 will include solutions that protect against sea level rise and flooding…A $120 million project at San Elijo Lagoon includes dredging and the creation of dikes to offer refuge to wildlife…

    QUICK NEWS, December 17: Moms For Climate Action; Solar Will Fight On Against White House Disdain

    Moms For Climate Action The climate crisis is our responsibility, not our children’s

    Frida Berry Eklund and Yoca Arditi-Rocha, December 16, 2019 (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

    “…For the past year, young people have been taking to the streets every Friday to fight for a secure and livable future…[M]ore than 7.6 million people from 185 countries took to the streets to demand action during the Global Climate Strike of Sept. 20–27…For parents, these climate strikes are both hopeful and heartbreaking. We are proud of our children for standing up to big and powerful governments, but it breaks our hearts to see our children so desperate for us to listen to the science that they are stepping out of their classrooms and into the streets to make themselves heard…

    If business as usual continues, our children will be living in a world that can’t feed itself and where billions are displaced, the air we breathe is toxic, the water we drink is contaminated and wildlife has been all but banished. Leaving a planet for our children with livable conditions should not be a partisan issue. It should be a basic human right…

    [T]he message from the youth is clear: Adults must act to protect their futures…This climate crisis has escalated throughout our lifetimes and it is our responsibility to solve it, not our children’s…We must put pressure on political leaders to make brave political decisions to completely de-carbonize our economies and reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 at the latest. We must act like adults and take responsibility for our actions and put the needs of our children first…” click here for more

    Solar Will Fight On Against White House Disdain Industry Vows to Continue Fight for Pro-Solar Policies, Despite Missed Opportunity This Year

    December 17, 2019 (Solar Energy Industries Association)

    “…Congress and the White House were unable to agree on including an extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in an end of year tax package, meaning the credit will decrease at the end of this year. The measure also failed to include energy storage in the ITC. This represents a missed opportunity to take an achievable step to boost the economy, add jobs and reduce carbon emissions…

    The solar ITC is a proven way to generate tens of billions of dollars in private investment each year, while substantially reducing carbon emissions…[ Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, promised to continue the] fight for meaningful policy, including provisions for clean energy storage in 2020…” click here for more