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.


  • Weekend Video: New Energy Means New Jobs
  • Weekend Video: Better Communication About The Climate Crisis
  • Weekend Video: VW Affirms Driving Is Ready To Go Electric

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Crisis Is The World’s Biggest Worry – Survey
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Record New Energy Global Growth In 2020


  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Search For A Successor Solar Policy
  • TTTA Wednesday-Local Governments Still Driving New Energy

  • Monday Study: PG&E’s Plans To Mitigate Wildfires

  • Weekend Video: Denial Goes Oh So Wrong
  • Weekend Video: Solar On Schools Can Pay For Teachers
  • Weekend Video: DOE Secretary of the Solutions Department Jennifer Granholm
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish



    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




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  • MONDAY’S STUDY AT NewEnergyNews, April 12:
  • SoCalEdison’s Newest Plan To Mitigate Wildfires

    Sunday, December 28, 2008


    The end of 2008 saw the release of some major reports on what New Energy’s future is most likely to be. In this last 2008 edition of Sunday World, NewEnergyNews revisits a pair of the most important of the reports on world New Energy, NEW ENERGY TO PASS GAS WITHIN 6 YEARS – IEA and 2008 GLOBAL SOLAR REPORT – GLOBAL GREEN GRADES THE WORLD. (A recognition of important reports on U.S. New Energy will come later this week.)

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) showed how much better New Energy is doing than many in the energy establishment realize. It also described how difficult and costly it will be to keep atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases as low as 450 ppm.

    As the IEA report came out,
    350.ORG was leading a rising grassroots call to bring atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases back to 350 ppm from the present 387 ppm level.

    Global Green’s 2008 Global Solar Report Card showed how much better the world could be doing at developing its New Energy resources. That development is simply crucial to the fight against global climate change.


    Originally posted November 13: The International Energy Agency (IEA) is not made up of wild-eyed activists or treehuggers. It thinks about energy in global terms, in very big numbers and in very traditional (fossil fuel) terms. Its members surely wouldn’t care for the joke in today’s headline.

    Yet look what the IEA says in its
    World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2008: New Energy will soon be mainstream energy, a bigger supplier of electricity to international power grids than natural gas, the 2nd biggest supplier of electricity after coal.

    The cost of developing new coal and gas sources will become more expensive while the pricing of emissions and the technology breakthroughs in New Energy will make its price more competitive.

    And not a minute too soon.

    Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director, IEA: “We cannot let the financial and economic crisis delay the policy action that is urgently needed to ensure secure energy supplies and to curtail rising emissions of greenhouse gases. We must usher in a global energy revolution by improving energy efficiency and increasing the deployment of low-carbon energy…”

    Though not as enthusiastic as the October Greenpeace report finding New Energy can generate 30% of world power by 2030, IEA does foresee New Energy producing 23%.

    Fastest expanding New Energy: Offshore wind, expected to grow 100-fold by 2030.

    Overall cost of New Energy expansion: $26.3 trillion to 2030, $1 trillion/year, though the IEA report foresees a potential delay in development caused by the current financial crisis and credit squeeze.

    Longer-term factors opposing New Energy expansion: Lack of adequate R&D, lack of spending for new transmission, regulations discouraging distributed generation and skepticism from Big Energy.

    The IEA's conservative, Big Energy perspective is revealed by the report’s focus on oil and gas production. It points out that despite the coming New Energy expansion oil, will remain the world’s main source of energy for the foreseeable future.

    Nevertheless, the report's long-term conclusions about oil are unbiased: Oilfields are failing and production costs are rising.

    Tanaka: “One thing is certain…while market imbalances will feed volatility, the era of cheap oil is over”.

    The IEA report includes a remarkable and invaluable field-by-field analysis of the historical production trends of 800 oilfields. It shows unequivocally rising production decline rates from 6.7% today to 8.6% in 2030.

    Tanaka: “Despite all the attention that is given to demand growth, decline rates are actually a far more important determinant of investment needs. Even if oil demand was to remain flat to 2030, 45 mb/d of gross capacity – roughly four times the current capacity of Saudi Arabia – would need to be built by 2030 just to offset the effect of oilfield decline…”

    As reported previously, the IEA foresees the fall in oil supply leading to $100+/barrel prices by the middle of the coming decade and even higher prices by 2020.

    The bad news in WEO 2008 is its discussion of the urgency of dealing with global climate change.

    It describes the consequences of a business-as-usual scenario, with a global temperature increase of 11 degrees Fahrenheit, as catastrophic.

    It analyzes scenarios for stabilising greenhouse gas (GhG) concentrations at 450 or 550 ppm of CO2-equivalent, the former holding the temperature increase to 5 degrees F. and the latter pushing temperature to 7 degrees F.

    Both would be difficult to achieve (and neither offers certainty of avoiding catastrophe).

    The 550 ppm scenario requires holding emissions to 33 gigatonnes in 2030, building the share of low-emissions energy from 2006’s 19% of world power to 26% in 2030 at a cost of $4.1 trillion, 0.2% of annual world GDP ($17 per person per year worldwide).

    The cost, the IEA predicts, would be offset by fuel-cost savings of $7+ trillion.

    The 450 ppm scenario will cost a lot more and cannot be done without the participation of the world’s developing economies.

    Tanaka: “We would need concerted action from all major emitters. Our analysis shows that OECD countries alone cannot put the world onto a 450-ppm trajectory, even if they were to reduce their emissions to zero…”

    450 ppm requires holding emissions to 26 gigatonnes in 2030, upping New Energy to 36% of world power and spending $9.3 trillion, 0.6% of annual world GDP.

    Fuel-cost savings, $5.8 trillion, won’t fully pay for it. But avoiding the costs of catastrophe and protecting the world’s energy sources are in everybody’s best interests and should, according to the IEA, be of primary concern when the world’s nations next meet to lay plans.

    Tanaka: “It is clear that the energy sector will have to play the central role in tackling climate change. The analysis set out in this Outlook will provide a solid basis for all countries seeking to negotiate a new global climate deal in Copenhagen.”

    World Energy Outlook 2008 Graphs

    click to enlarge

    Renewables to top gas as power source by 2015: IEA
    Nina Chestney (w/Gerard Wynn), November 12, 2008 (Reuters)
    New Energy Realities – WEO Calls for Global Energy Revolution Despite Economic Crisis
    12 November 2008 (IEA)

    International Energy Agency (Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director)

    The World Energy Outlook 2008 sees New Energy becoming the least costly world option, the only remedy for worsening climate change and the necessary choice as oil reserves drop.

    click to enlarge

    - New Energy will overtake natural gas to become the second largest source of electricity after coal sometime between 2010 and 2015.
    - World primary energy demand will grow 1.6% per year from 2006 to 2030.
    - Oil demand will grow from 85 million barrels/day (mb/d) to 106 mb/d in 2030.
    - The scenarios plotted describe ways to address global climate change after 2012.

    - IEA, based in Paris, is the energy adviser to 28 Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries.
    - China and India account for 50%+ of energy demand growth to 2030.
    - The Middle East will be the next new demand center.
    - Most increase in fossil fuel use will be in non-OECD countries.
    - In the businwess-as-usual scenario, ¾ of the GhG emissions increase to 2030 comes from China, India and the Middle East and 97% comes from non-OECD countries.
    - The scenarios plotted are for use at the 2009 UN Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen.

    - The IEA report conclusions assume no new government policies.
    - Business-as-usual foresees no global climate change deal at Copenhagen and a temperature rise of 11 degrees Fahrenheit, a “disastrous” outcome.
    - A better outcome in the form of reduced GhGs and increased New Energy will come from penalties of $180 per ton on GhGs, compared to present ~$23/tonne EU ETS costs.
    - World oil consumption is expected to be lower by 10 mb/d than predicted in the WEO 2007 due to the impact of the economic downturn, higher energy prices and new policy initiatives.
    - Demand for coal rises more than any other fuel.
    - New Energy growth is the biggest.
    - Cities’ share of world energy consumption jumps from the present 2/3 to ¾ by 2030.
    - Biofuel use is not expected to grow as rapidly as other New Energies because it competes with food crops for limited agricultural land.

    click to enlarge

    - World Energy Outlook 2008: "Renewables-based electricity generation is expected to grow substantially over the coming decades, benefiting from high fossil-fuel prices, declining investment costs and government support…"
    - Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director, IEA: “Current trends in energy supply and consumption are patently unsustainable – environmentally, economically and socially – they can and must be altered…Rising imports of oil and gas into OECD regions and developing Asia, together with the growing concentration of production in a small number of countries, would increase our susceptibility to supply disruptions and sharp price hikes. At the same time, greenhouse-gas emissions would be driven up inexorably, putting the world on track for an eventual global temperature increase of up to 6°C.”
    - Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director, IEA: “A sea change is underway in the upstream oil and gas industry with international oil companies facing dwindling opportunities to increase their reserves and production. In contrast, national companies are projected to account for about 80% of the increase of both oil and gas production to 2030…”


    Originally posted December 2: New Energy is the answer to the climate and energy crises facing today’s world. And solar energy – though not yet cost competitive – is the key New Energy. Scientists who run the numbers (see, for example, Powering The Planet from Professor Nathan Lewis of the California Institute of Technology) repeatedly affirm this THEORETICAL conclusion.

    How is the world ACTUALLY doing? There was no conclusive answer until now.
    Global Green USA has released its long anticipated 2008 Global Solar Report Card, rating 16 leading nations and the state of California for their progress in developing solar energy.

    The Solar Report Card (SRC) opening sentence: “The time has come to harness the sun.”

    The SRC grades governments for how much capacity they have developed in comparison to their natural resources and how successfully they have developed policy to support manufacturing and production capacity.

    Conclusions? The document is too thorough, comprehensive and well-documented to treat with a quick, easy summary.

    And NewEnergyNews is NOT going to give up the final grades at the top of the page.
    Click here and check out this informative, visually-rich, user-friendly, excellently-documented study.

    A few teasers from the SRC:

    With present solar technology, the world’s solar resources can provide at least 4 times the world’s yearly energy demand.

    The global solar energy industry is growing at 40-to-50%/year.

    Uniquely, solar energy development offers a cost-effective solution to reaching the 2 billion people in the world who are off all electricity grids.

    Germany got the highest grade for its combination of installed capacity and policies that will promote future growth. California finished 2nd for its big rebate program.

    Spain took 3rd place away from the U.S. with a jump in installed capacity and a new feed-in tariff.

    The U.S. held on to a high place with recent passage of a long-term tax incentive but falls far short of its potential.

    Italy, France and Greece are lagging in installed capacity but earned points for good policies.

    Australia’s policies are disappointing and its performance lags far from its potential.

    Japan’s world leadership was lost when it discontinued policies it is now, finally, re-instituting.

    China’s progressive policies and goals belie its up-to-now poor performance.

    There is little to be said for the UK, Russia and Poland.

    The report is filled with maps and charts showing each country’s potential and capacities. It is one of the most complete and useful pieces of work yet produced in the New Energy field, all the more important because it was not produced by any of the energy industries’ advocacy groups.

    So, how is the world ACTUALLY doing? There could be no more convincing evidence than the 2008 Solar Report Card that, indeed, the time has come to harness the sun.

    From the 2008 Global Solar Report Card. (click to enlarge)

    Green Cross International and American Affiliate Global Green USA Find Grossly Inadequate Investment in Solar Technologies to Fight Climate Change and Create Sustainable Energy Future; First of its kind Solar Report Card Released at Poznan…Leaders and Laggards
    Alexandra Kravetz and Ruben Aronin, December 2, 2008 (Global Green USA)

    Green Cross International (Mikhail Gorbachev, founder); U.S. affiliate Global Green USA (Matt Petersen, President/CEO and Alexandra Kravetz, Energy Program Coordinator/Solar Report Card author-researcher); International Energy Agency (IEA)

    From the 2008 Global Solar Report Card. (click to enlarge)

    Global Green’s 2008 Global Solar Report Card details and rates the world’s nations’ efforts to develop solar energy.

    Released December 2, 2008

    From the 2008 Global Solar Report Card. (click to enlarge)

    - The Solar Report Card details the performance of 16 countries – Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, UK, U.S. (and the state of California) – in developing solar energy capacity.
    - Released in Poznan, Poland, at the

    - The report highlights the policies with the most promise to develop solar energy.
    - The report looks at manufacturing and deployment of solar capacity.
    - Grading considers the countries’ commitment to foster solar energy growth.
    - Most recent IEA estimate: $250 to 300 billion/year energy subsidies worldwide, $10 billion/year New Energy subsidies.
    - Grading scheme:
    (1) 30% of the grade comes from progress to date and includes (a) cumulative installed PV, 12%, (b) cumulative installed PV/GDP, 5%, (c) cumulative installed PV/capita, 5%, (d) emissions avoided with PV, 8%;
    (2) 70% comes from drivers for future development which include (a) financial incentives, 56% [feed-in tariff or rebates and grants, 25%, tax credit, 15%, subsidized loans, 8%, & national financial incentive, 8%], (b) regulatory incentives, 12% [renewable electricity standards, 7%, interconnection, 3%, net metering, 2%], (c) indirect support via education and outreach, 2% .

    From the 2008 Global Solar Report Card. (click to enlarge)

    - Matt Petersen, President/CEO, Global Green: “Solar power has a tremendous potential to deliver substantial amounts of clean electricity while reducing electricity bills and creating new jobs in manufacturing and solar installation…Solar power will only become ubiquitously competitive once government incentives and policies help advance the markets, something that could easily be achieved by eliminating subsidies for polluting fossil fuels and investing them in solar.”
    - From the Report Card: “…[S]olar is a source of power which is not only clean but versatile; it can serve power providers’ grids as well as 2 billion people, most of whom live in rural areas not connected to the grid and rely on expensive, dirty sources of energy.”


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