NewEnergyNews: 03/01/2017 - 04/01/2017/


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.



  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: The IRA And The New Energy Boom
  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: The IRA And the EV Revolution

  • Weekend Video: Coming Ocean Current Collapse Could Up Climate Crisis
  • Weekend Video: Impacts Of The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current Collapse
  • Weekend Video: More Facts On The AMOC

    WEEKEND VIDEOS, July 15-16:

  • Weekend Video: The Truth About China And The Climate Crisis
  • Weekend Video: Florida Insurance At The Climate Crisis Storm’s Eye
  • Weekend Video: The 9-1-1 On Rooftop Solar

    WEEKEND VIDEOS, July 8-9:

  • Weekend Video: Bill Nye Science Guy On The Climate Crisis
  • Weekend Video: The Changes Causing The Crisis
  • Weekend Video: A “Massive Global Solar Boom” Now

    WEEKEND VIDEOS, July 1-2:

  • The Global New Energy Boom Accelerates
  • Ukraine Faces The Climate Crisis While Fighting To Survive
  • Texas Heat And Politics Of Denial
  • --------------------------


    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish



    WEEKEND VIDEOS, June 17-18

  • Fixing The Power System
  • The Energy Storage Solution
  • New Energy Equity With Community Solar
  • Weekend Video: The Way Wind Can Help Win Wars
  • Weekend Video: New Support For Hydropower
  • 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




      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.


    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • WEEKEND VIDEOS, August 24-26:
  • Happy One-Year Birthday, Inflation Reduction Act
  • The Virtual Power Plant Boom, Part 1
  • The Virtual Power Plant Boom, Part 2

    Friday, March 31, 2017

    China Calls Trump ‘Selfish’ On Climate

    Climate change: China calls US 'selfish' after Trump seeks to bring back coal; State-run tabloid says Beijing cannot fill vacuum left by US and urges west to pressure Trump on global warming

    Benjamin Haas, 30 March 2017 (UK Guardian)

    “…Chinese state media has lambasted Donald Trump’s efforts to roll back many Obama-era environmental regulations, with a state-run tabloid saying that: ‘No matter how hard Beijing tries, it won’t be able to take on all the responsibilities that Washington refuses to take…Western opinion should continue to pressure the Trump administration on climate change. Washington’s political selfishness must be discouraged…China will remain the world’s biggest developing country for a long time…[It can’t] be expected to sacrifice its own development space for those developed western powerhouses…’ China is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming, followed by the US, and Chinese leaders firmly agree climate change is a real threat…[The country] is both the world’s largest exporter of renewable energy, and at the same time one of the leading exporters of coal-fired power plants…[It] has committed to having its emissions peak by 2030 as part of a deal with the US, but many forecasts say the country will reach that target years ahead of schedule…” click here for more

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    UK’s Record-Breaking Solar Weekend

    UK breaks solar energy record on sunny March weekend; Amount of electricity demanded by homes and businesses one afternoon was lower than it was during night for first time ever

    Adam Vaughan, 28 March 2017 (UK Guardian)

    "For the first time ever, the amount of electricity demanded by homes and businesses in the afternoon…was lower than it was in the night, because solar panels on rooftops and in fields cut demand so much…National Grid, which runs the transmission network, described the moment as a ‘huge milestone’…[S]olar power produced six times more electricity than the country’s coal-fired power stations on Saturday [March 25]…Continued good weather saw solar power generate significant amounts of power on Sunday and Monday too, when it was providing around 15% of electricity generation…Electricity demand usually peaks around 4pm to 6pm at this time of year, as people return home from work, with demand lower still at weekends. But the early hours of the morning are usually the quietest…[This] reversal is dramatic…” click here for more

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    North Sea Island Winds Rising

    Artificial islands to boost off-shore wind energy

    March 30, 2017 (elector)

    “Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands have put forward an ambitious plan to build a large Wind Power Hub in the North Sea. At the heart of the plan is the development of one or more artificial islands with interconnections to countries bordering the North Sea…[Three transmission system operators (TSOs) TenneT B.V. (Netherlands), (Denmark) and TenneT GmbH (Germany) agreed to develop the 100,000 MW Wind Power Hub with] infrastructure companies and fellow TSOs…The so called Power Link Islands would connect many wind farms to the mainland…[E]conomies of scale would result in significant cost reductions…” click here for more

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    Africa’s Enormous New Energy Potential

    The economic case for wind, solar energy in Africa

    March 27, 2017 (Science News)

    "To meet skyrocketing demand for electricity, African countries may have to triple their energy output by 2030…[A new assessment] has found that wind and solar can be economically and environmentally competitive options and can contribute significantly to the rising demand…Africa is in an unparalleled energy crisis rife with electricity deficiency, lack of access, and high costs…[But the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP), which together include 21 countries accounting for half the continent's population, have] wind and solar potential several times greater than their expected demand in 2030…[A]nother key finding was that system costs and impacts could be lower with robust energy trade and grid connections between countries…” click here for more

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    Thursday, March 30, 2017

    Big Biz Power Challenges Trump On Climate

    Big companies defy Trump on climate change

    Vanessa Wong, Cora Lewis, Leticia Miranda & Matthew Zeitlin, March 30, 2017 (BuzzFeed)

    “As President Trump rolls back Obama's environmental legacy, it isn't just green groups who say they'll resist America's reversal on clean electricity. Billion-dollar corporations [also plan to keep] battling carbon pollution…[Nestlé, General Mills, and Gap, have strong corporate programs to build New Energy and reduce] carbon dioxide emissions…

    [Though the US Chamber of Commerce welcomed Trump administration initiatives, Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good recently told the Wall Street Journal the utility will continue to pursue its New Energy initiatives and American Electric Power will continue its] transition to support a cleaner energy economy…Mars, Staples, Unilever, and Timberland and North Face maker VF Corp.[recently signed a petition to state governors urging them to implement the Obama administration’s] Clean Power Plan… Ben & Jerry's will also continue fighting carbon emissions, for the good of its many ice cream flavors…” click here for more

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    Trump Backs Oil As EU Ocean Wind Vision Gets Real

    While Trump OKs Keystone, Europe Puts Wind Energy Hub Plans Into Motion

    March 28, 2017 (Sustainable Brands)

    “…While President Trump is busy pursuing his fossil fuel-heavy agenda, which includes the resurrection of the TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL pipeline project…Europe continues to pursue a low-carbon future…[and transmission system operators (TSOs) TenneT TSO B.V. (Netherlands), Energinet (Denmark) and TenneT TSO GmbH (Germany) just agreed on] an important step forward for the future of large-scale renewable electricity in Europe…[They] will create an energy hub in the North Sea to support 100 gigawatts of offshore wind. Dubbed the North Sea Wind Power Hub, the project will serve as a large connection point for thousands of future offshore wind turbines and could help make the low-carbon energy transition feasible and affordable for Europeans…” click here for more

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    Spray-On Solar

    New material may make 'spray-on' solar power a reality

    Chisaki Watanabe Bloomberg, March 26, 2017 (St. Louis Posty-Dispatch)

    “…[R]esearchers and company executives think there's a good chance the economics of the $42 billion [solar] industry will soon be disrupted by something called perovskites, a range of materials that can be used to harvest light when turned into a crystalline structure…[allowing a future when solar cells can be sprayed or printed onto the windows of skyscrapers or atop sports utility vehicles — and at prices potentially far cheaper than today's silicon-based panels]…The hope is that perovskites, which can be mixed into liquid solutions and deposited on a range of surfaces, could play a crucial role in the expansion of solar energy applications with cells as efficient as those currently made with silicon. One British company aims to have a thin-film perovskite solar cell commercially available by the end of 2018…[and] solar panel makers and top universities in Europe, the U.S. and Asia are racing to commercialize the technology…” click here for more

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    Greener Laundry Rooms Will Pay Off

    New Report: Energy & Water Savings Hidden in Laundry Rooms

    Phillip Henderson, March 26, 2017 (Natural Resources Defense Council)

    “…[The value from energy and water savings makes laundry rooms in apartment buildings far more important than they were for] meeting neighbors and cleaning clothes…[ A new report gives useful guidance [on actionable insights] to building owners who pay the electricity, gas, and water bills for the laundry machines…[The millions of clothes washers and dryers in [U.S. apartment building] common area laundry rooms waste] an enormous amount of electricity, gas, and fresh water every year. More to the point, these machines waste enormous amounts of energy and water every year…Building owners can save much more from lower utility expenses for electricity, gas, and water than the cost of the new, better machines. Why do apartment building owners not routinely install ENERGY STAR® washers and dryers?...” click here for more

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    Wednesday, March 29, 2017

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: A Big Win For U.S. Ocean Wind

    A 'transformational' mandate: Greens hail Massachusetts offshore wind, renewables bill; The US trails in offshore wind, but backers say this measure could 'start a new industry'

    Herman K. Trabish, August 3, 2016 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The value proposition and essential logic of New Energy in general and offshore wind in particular continue to improve despite the misguided and uninformed efforts of the Trump administration to deny them.

    Massachusetts’ “An Act to promote energy diversity” (H. 4568) passed in a 157-to-1 House vote on July 31 that was concurred by the Senate. Backers called it “a huge step” for clean energy and “transformational” for offshore wind. The day after its passage, the biggest offshore wind energy developer in the world filed an interconnection application for an 800 MW project to be built off the Massachusetts coast. The bill calls for the state’s utilities to make two large renewable energy procurements. One is for 1,600 MW of offshore wind by 2027.

    The second procurement required by the bill is for 9.45 TWh of “clean energy generation.” It can come in three forms: hydroelectric generation, renewable resources, or renewables “firmed-up” with hydro in blended contracts. This 9.45 TWh procurement is equivalent to approximately 1,200 MW of nameplate hydropower or approximately 1,700 MW to 3,000 MW of nameplate onshore wind, depending on capacity factor assumptions. The two clean energy procurements will help Massachusetts deal with the coming closure of aging nuclear and coal facilities and diversify its fuel mix. The state has “world-class” offshore wind potential that is close to New England load centers which already pay high prices for electricity, according to a recent report from the Union of Concerned Scientists… click here for more

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    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Making Small Distributed Resources Grid-Big

    Connecting the dots: PG&E DERMs pilot aims to manage multiple aggregator platforms; PG&E wants a distributed resource management system that can interact with any vendor's software

    Herman K. Trabish, July 29, 2016 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The work to intergrate distributed resources into grid systems continues across the country but policymakers are finding the complications worthy of pilots like the one described in this story.

    Using smart inverters, residential battery storage and General Electric’s Distributed Resource Management System (DERMS), Pacific Gas & Electric is working on a pilot project to see how the technologies can strengthen the system…The ultimate goal is to see how distributed energy resource (DER) hardware and utility and aggregator operating platforms work together. If successful, the pilot project could set the stage to bring DER aggregations into utility operations. Mark Esguerra, principle of distribution planning at PG&E, said this demonstration is in anticipation of growing DER adoption among customers. Right now, PG&E has more than 250,000 customers using 1,700 MW of rooftop solar, as well as 65,000 electric vehicles (EVs) charging on its system.

    The demonstration project has attracted attention from major companies. SolarCity will provide the residential battery system and software to showcase how it can perform on a technical scale, and how its software program can mediate between the storage and the utility. Enphase sees an opportunity to break ground by testing smart inverters at customer-sited solar installations. For PG&E, the pilot is expected to help answer critical technology questions and plan investments to support the future high-DER penetration grid. GE's DERMS platform could help PG&E enable the participation of aggregated DERs in markets run by California’s bulk electricity system operator… click here for more

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    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Utilities Moving To New Energy

    Independence Day: Local utilities ditch power suppliers for renewables, stable prices; A muni and a co-op in New Mexico are the latest utilities to cut ties with their generation supplier in search of more clean energy

    Herman K. Trabish, August 1, 2016 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The move by utilities toward New Energy has continued to accelerate since this story ran.

    In the beginning, residential and small business customers started demanding more energy options, forcing utilities to respond. The most prominent examples were the proliferation of rooftop solar in Hawaii, Arizona and other states with high solar potential. Customers are now driving utilities to come up with ways to answer their demand for distributed generation while preserving their revenue streams. Investor-owned utilities have also begun facing similar demand from major corporate customers, such as the Utility-Corporate Buyer Collaborative Forum, forcing the utilities to come up with renewable energy rider programs to satisfy their key accounts.

    Now, some smaller cooperative and municipal utilities are beginning to demand a cleaner power mix from their generation suppliers. New Mexico’s Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC), for instance, recently completed a settlement to end its contract with the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and begin sourcing its power from Guzman Renewable Energy Partners. The Tri-State contract capped KCEC’s renewables usage at 5%, Kit Carson CEO Luis Reyes said, which clashed with a community-wide demand for more solar. Before Kit Carson’s move. the City of Aztec, New Mexico, became Guzman’s first utility customer after its municipal utility’s contract with the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) expired. The two important features of the Guzman offer to Aztec were the lower electricity price and the option to use more renewable power… click here for more

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    Tuesday, March 28, 2017

    TODAY’S STUDY: The Money In The Energy Transition

    Perspectives For The Energy Transition; Investment Needs for a Low-Carbon Energy System

    March 2017 (International Energy Agency and International Renewable Energy Agency)

    Executive Summary

    Investment is the lifeblood of the global energy system. Individual decisions about how to direct capital to various energy projects – related to the collection, conversion, transport and consumption of energy resources – combine to shape global patterns of energy use and related emissions for decades to come. Government energy and climate policies seek to influence the scale and nature of investments across the economy, and long-term climate goals depend on their success. Understanding the energy investment landscape today and how it can evolve to meet decarbonisation goals are central elements of the energy transition. Around two-thirds of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stem from energy production and use, which puts the energy sector at the core of efforts to combat climate change…

    IEA findings

    Limiting the global mean temperature rise to below 2°C with a probability of 66% would require an energy transition of exceptional scope, depth and speed. Energy-related CO2 emissions would need to peak before 2020 and fall by more than 70% from today’s levels by 2050. The share of fossil fuels in primary energy demand would halve between 2014 and 2050 while the share of low-carbon sources, including renewables, nuclear and fossil fuel with carbon capture and stoage (CCS), would more than triple worldwide to comprise 70% of energy demand in 2050.

    The 66% 2°C Scenario would require an unparalleled ramp up of all low-carbon technologies in all countries. An ambitious set of policy measures, including the rapid phase out of fossil fuel subsidies, CO2 prices rising to unprecedented levels, extensive energy market reforms, and stringent low-carbon and energy efficiency mandates would be needed to achieve this transition. Such policies would need to be introduced immediately and comprehensively across all countries in order to achieve the 66% 2°C Scenario, with CO2 prices reaching up to US dollars (USD) 190 per tonne of CO2. The scenario also requires broader and deeper global efforts on technology collaboration to facilitate low-carbon technology development and deployment.

    Improvements to energy and material efficiency, and higher deployment of renewable energy are essential components of any global low-carbon transition. In the 66% 2°C Scenario, aggressive efficiency measures would be needed to lower the energy intensity of the global economy by 2.5% per year on average between 2014 and 2050 (three-and-a-half times greater than the rate of improvement seen over the past 15 years); wind and solar combined would become the largest source of electricity by 2030. This would need to be accompanied by a major effort to redesign electricity markets to integrate large shares of variable renewables, alongside rules and technologies to ensure flexibility.

    A deep transformation of the way we produce and use energy would need to occur to achieve the 66% 2°C Scenario. By 2050, nearly 95% of electricity would be low-carbon, 70% of new cars would be electric, the entire existing building stock would have been retrofitted, and the CO2 intensity of the industrial sector would be 80% lower than today.

    A fundamental reorientation of energy supply investments and a rapid escalation in lowcarbon demand-side investments would be necessary to achieve the 66% 2°C Scenario. Around USD 3.5 trillion in energy sector investments would be required on average each year between 2016 and 2050, compared to USD 1.8 trillion in 2015. Fossil fuel investment would decline, but would be largely offset by a 150% increase in renewable energy supply investment between 2015 and 2050. Total demand-side investment into low-carbon technologies would need to surge by a factor of ten over the same period. The additional net total investment, relative to the trends that emerge from current climate pledges, would be equivalent to 0.3% of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2050.

    Fossil fuels remain an important part of the energy system in the 66% 2°C Scenario, but the various fuels fare differently. Coal use would decline most rapidly. Oil consumption would also fall but its substitution is challenging in several sectors. Investment in new oil supply will be needed as the decline in currently producing fields is greater than the decline in demand. Natural gas plays an important role in the transition across several sectors.

    Early, concerted and consistent policy action would be imperative to facilitate the energy transition. Energy markets bear the risk for all types of technologies that some capital cannot be recovered (“stranded assets”); climate policy adds an additional consideration. In the 66% 2°C Scenario, in the power sector, the majority of the additional risk from climate policy would lie with coal-fired power plants. Gas-fired power plants would be far less affected, partly as they are critical providers of flexibility for many years to come, and partly because they are less capitalintensive than coal-fired power plants. The fossil fuel upstream sector may, besides the power sector, also carry risk not to recover investments. Delaying the transition by a decade while keeping the same carbon budget would more than triple the amount of investment that risks not to be fully recovered. Deployment of CCS offers an important way to help fossil fuel assets recover their investments and minimise stranded assets in a low-carbon transition.

    With well-designed policies, drastic improvements in air pollution, as well as cuts in fossil fuel import bills and household energy expenditures, would complement the decarbonisation achieved in the 66% 2°C Scenario. Achieving universal access to energy for all is a key policy goal; its achievement would not jeopardise reaching climate goals. The pursuit of climate goals can have co-benefits for increasing energy access, but climate policy alone will not help achieve universal access.

    IRENA findings

    Accelerated deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures are the key elements of the energy transition. By 2050, renewables and energy efficiency would meet the vast majority of emission reduction needs (90%), with some 10% achieved by fossil fuel switching and CCS. In the REmap decarbonisation case nuclear power stays at the 2016 level and CCS is deployed exclusively in the industry sector.

    The share of renewable energy needs to increase from around 15% of the primary energy supply in 2015 to 65% in 2050. Energy intensity improvements must double to around 2.5% per year by 2030, and continue at this level until 2050.Energy demand in 2050 would remain around today’s level due to extensive energy intensity improvements. Around half of the improvements could be attributed to renewable energy from heating, cooling, transport and electrification based on cost-effective renewable power.

    The energy supply mix in 2050 would be significantly different. Total fossil fuel use in 2050 would stand at a third of today’s level. The use of coal would decline the most, while oil demand would be at 45% of today’s level. Resources that have high production costs would no longer be exploited. While natural gas can be a “bridge” to greater use of renewable energy, its role should be limited unless it is coupled with high levels of CCS. There is a risk of path dependency and future stranded assets if natural gas deployment expands significantly without long-term emissions reduction goals in mind.

    The energy transition is affordable, but it will require additional investments in low-carbon technologies. Further significant cost reductions across the range of renewables and enabling technologies will be major drivers for increased investment, but cumulative additional investment would still need to amount to USD 29 trillion over the period to 2050. This is in addition to the investment of USD 116 trillion already envisaged in the Reference Case. Reducing the impact on human health and mitigating climate change would save between two- and sixtimes more than the costs of decarbonisation.

    Early action is critical in order to limit the planet’s temperature rise to 2o C and to maximise the benefits of this energy transition, while reducing the risk of stranded assets. Taking action early is also critical for feasibly maintaining the option of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5o C. Delaying decarbonisation of the energy sector would cause the investments to rise and would double stranded assets. In addition, delaying action would require the use of costly technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

    The energy transition can fuel economic growth and create new employment opportunities. Global GDP will be boosted around 0.8% in 2050 (USD 1.6 trillion). The cumulative gain through increased GDP from now to 2050 will amount to USD 19 trillion. Increased economic growth is driven by the investment stimulus and by enhanced pro-growth policies, in particular the use of carbon pricing and recycling of proceeds to lower income taxes. In a worst-case scenario (full crowding out of capital), GDP impacts are smalller but still positive (0.6%) since the effect of progrowth policies remains favourable. Important structural economic changes will take place. While fossil fuel industries will incur the largest reductions in sectoral output, those related to capital goods, services and bioenergy will experience the highest increases. The energy sector (including energy efficiency) will create around six million additional jobs in 2050. Job losses in fossil fuel industry would be fully offset by new jobs in renewables, with more jobs being created by energy efficiency activities. The overall GDP improvement will induce further job creation in other economic sectors.

    Improvements in human welfare, including economic, social and environmental aspects, will generate benefits far beyond those captured by GDP. Around 20% of the decarbonisation options identified are economically viable without consideration of welfare benefits. The remaining 80% are economically viable if benefits such as reduced climate impacts, improved public health, and improved comfort and performance are considered. However, today’s markets are distorted – fossil fuels are still subsidised in many countries and the true cost of burning fossil fuel, in the absence of a carbon price, is not accounted for. To unlock these benefits, the private sector needs clear and credible long-term policy frameworks that provide the right incentives.

    Deep emission cuts in the power sector are a key opportunity and should be implemented as a priority. Sectoral approaches must be broadened to system-wide perspectives, to address the main challenge of reducing fossil fuel use in end-use sectors. The power sector is currently on track to achieving the necessary emissions reductions, and its ongoing efforts must be sustained, including a greater focus on power systems integration and coupling with the end-use sectors. In transport, the number of electric vehicles needs to grow and new solutions will need to be developed for freight and aviation. It is critical that new buildings are of the highest efficiency standards and that existing buildings are rapidly renovated. Buildings and city designs should facilitate renewable energy integration.

    Increased investment in innovation needs to start now to allow sufficient time for developing the new solutions needed for multiple sectors and processes, many of which have long investment cycles. Technology innovation efforts will need to be complemented by new market designs, new policies and by new financing and business models, as well as technology transfer.

    Key messages

    1. Transformation of the energy system in line with the “well below 2°C” objective of the Paris Agreement is technically possible but will require significant policy reforms, aggressive carbon pricing and additional technological innovation. Around 70% of the global energy supply mix in 2050 would need to be low-carbon. The largest share of the emissions reduction potential up to 2050 comes from renewables and energy efficiency, but all low-carbon technologies (including nuclear and carbon capture and storage [CCS]) play a role.

    2. The energy transition will require significant additional policy interventions.

    • Renewables will assume a dominant role in power generation. Skillful integration of variable renewables at very high levels becomes a key pillar of a cost-effective energy sector transition.

    • Power market reform will be essential to ensure that the flexibility needs of rising shares of variable renewables can be accommodated.

    • Ensuring access to modern energy services for those currently deprived remains a high priority, alongside improved air quality through deployment of clean energy technologies.

    3. Total investment in energy supply would not need to rise over today’s level to achieve climate targets, while there is significant additional investment needed in end-use sectors.

    • Investment needs in energy supply would not exceed the level of investment undertaken by the energy sector today. It requires appropriate and significant policy signals to ensure that investment in low-carbon technologies compatible with the “well below 2°C” objective becomes the market norm.

    • The additional investment needs in industry and households for more efficient appliances, building renovations, renewables and electrification (including electric vehicles and heat pumps) are significant. In order for energy consumers to reap the potential benefits of lower energy expenditure offered by the use of more efficient technologies, policy would need to ensure that the higher upfront investment needs could be mobilised.

    4. Fossil fuels are still needed through 2050.

    • Among fossil fuel types, the use of coal would decline the most to meet climate targets.

    • Natural gas would continue to play an important role in the energy transition to ensure system flexibility in the power sector and to substitute for fuels with higher carbon emissions for heating purposes and in transport.

    • The use of oil would fall as it is replaced by less carbon-intensive sources, but its substitution is challenging in several sectors, such as petrochemicals.

    • CCS plays an important role in the power and industry sectors in the IEA analysis while only in the industry sector in the IRENA analysis.

    5. A dramatic energy sector transition would require steady, long-term price signals to be economically efficient, to allow timely adoption of low-carbon technologies and to minimise the amount of stranded energy assets. Delayed action would increase stranded assets and investment needs significantly.

    6. Renewable energy and energy efficiency are essential for all countries for a successful global low-carbon transition, but they will need to be complemented by other low-carbon technologies according to each country’s circumstances, including energy sector potentials, and policy and technology priorities.

    7. The energy sector transition would need to span both the power and end-use sectors. • Electric vehicles would account for a dominant share of passenger and freight road transport.

    • Renewables deployment would need to move beyond the power sector into heat supply and transport.

    • Affordable, reliable and sustainable bioenergy supply would be a priority especially in light of limited substitution options in particular end-use sectors

    8. Technology innovation lies at the core of the long-term transition to a sustainable energy sector.

    • Near-term, scaled-up research, development, demonstration and deployment (RDD&D)spending for technological innovation would help to ensure the availability of crucial technologies and to further bring down their costs.

    • Not all of the needed emission reductions can be achieved with existing technology alone. Additional low-carbon technologies that are not yet available to the market at significant scale, such as electric trucks or battery storage, will be required to complement existing options.

    • Technology innovation must be complemented with supportive policy and regulatory designs, new business models and affordable financing. 9. Stronger price signals from phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and carbon pricing would help to provide a level playing field, but would need to be complemented by other measures to meet the well below 2°C objective.

    • Price signals are critical for the energy sector to ensure climate considerations are taken into account in investment decisions.

    • It is important to ensure that the energy needs of the poorest members of society are considered and adequately taken into account.

    10. The IEA and IRENA analyses presented here find that the energy sector transition could bring about important co-benefits, such as less air pollution, lower fossil fuel bills for importing countries and lower household energy expenditures. Both analyses also show that while overall energy investment requirements are substantial, the incremental needs associated with the transition to a low-carbon energy sector amount to a small share of world gross domestic product (GDP). According to IEA, additional investment needs associated with the transition would not exceed 0.3% of global GDP in 2050.1 According to IRENA, the additional investment required would be 0.4% of global GDP in 2050 with net positive impacts on employment and economic growth.

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    QUICK NEWS, March 28: New Evidence Of More Climate Trouble; Wind Now Matching Coal In The Market; New Energy Vs. Utilities In Indiana

    New Evidence Of More Climate Trouble One of the most troubling ideas about climate change just found new evidence in its favor

    Chris Mooney, March 27, 2017 (Washington Post)

    “…[S]cientists have been debating a complex and frankly explosive idea [since 2012] about how a warming planet will alter our weather…[If it’s correct, it] would have profound implications…where hundreds of millions of people live…The idea is that climate change doesn’t merely increase the overall likelihood of [extreme weather but also] changes the flow of weather…[causing] weather to become more stuck in place…[and driving] extreme droughts, heat waves, downpours and more…[A new study finds evidence that the flow of weather is, in fact, slowing. In a way, this isn’t] complicated. The Northern Hemisphere jet stream flows in a wavy pattern from west to east, driven by the rotation of the Earth and the difference in temperature between the equator and the North Pole. The flow is stronger when that temperature difference is large…But when the Arctic warms up faster than the equator does — which is part of the fundamental definition of global warming, and which is already happening — the jet stream’s flow can become weakened and elongated. That’s when you can get the resultant weather extremes…” click here for more

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    Wind Now Matching Coal In The Market Wind Energy Now Directly Competing With Coal On Cost

    Gregory Brew, March 27, 2017 (

    “…[Increasingly, companies are finding that the wind-is-cheap argument] gets better traction from skeptical consumers and fidgety investors…[because its low price allows wind to compete with natural gas and overcome] promises of President Donald Trump to bring back American coal…[Analysts say the falling costs of wind power, which are now an estimated $20/MWh as against coal’s $30/MWh, directly threatens 56 GW of coal power…Total U.S. wind energy capacity grew 19 percent in 2016 and reached 5.5 percent of total generating capacity…Much of the surge in added capacity came from power companies and utilities eager to take advantage of the PTC before it is cut from 80 percent to 60 percent…The EIA estimates that without tax credits, the costs of constructing and maintaining equal capacity wind power and natural gas power plants are nearly the same: $58.50 per MW-hour versus $56.40…” click here for more

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    New Energy Vs. Utilities In Indiana Solar energy at crossroads in Indiana

    Robert King, March 22, 2017 (IndyStar via USA Today)

    “…[Solar energy enthusiasts say] the future of a growing Indiana industry [that benefits homeowners, small businesses, churches and schools and provides good jobs and helps the planet] is at stake...[Indiana utilities say] the solar industry is well enough established in Indiana that it should be able to stand without the incentives that got it off the ground, and that could someday become costly to other power customers…[But there’s little argument that Senate Bill 309, being debated in the Indiana House, will decide the fate of] the financial incentive that helps offset the considerable installation costs of solar panels, wind turbines and other equipment for small producers, through a process called net metering…The bill would eventually lower the credit for the surplus [from its current retail rate of $0.11/kWh to the $0.035/kWh] wholesale rate…The Solar Foundation estimates that Indiana employed 2,700 people in the solar industry in 2016, up from 1,500 the prior year. An estimate by the Environmental Law & Policy Center says that, in wind and solar combined, there are nearly 4,000 people in the industry across 64 companies…” click here for more

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    Monday, March 27, 2017

    TODAY’S STUDY: New Energy Today And Tomorrow

    Advanced Energy Now 2017; Market Report Global and U.S. Market Revenue 2011-16 and Key Trends in Advanced Energy Growth

    March 2017 (Navigant Research via Advanced Energy Economy)


    Advanced energy is a $1.4 trillion global industry, almost twice the size of the global airline industry, and nearly equal to worldwide apparel revenue. The U.S. advanced energy industry generates $200 billion in revenue, nearly double beer sales, equal to pharmaceutical manufacturing, and approaching wholesale consumer electronics.

    In the six years that AEE has been tracking, advanced energy in the United States has grown by an average of 5% annually for a total of 28% compared to 2011. Growth last year was 1%, primarily due to the effect of low oil and corn feedstock prices on ethanol revenue. Without ethanol, U.S. advanced energy grew 5% in 2016, three times faster than U.S. GDP (1.6%).

    U.S. Advanced Electricity Generation was up 8% in revenue, or $3.9 billion, led by solar PV, which capped off five years of growth with a 30% surge, to $24.9 billion in 2016. U.S. Wind revenue held relatively steady at $14.1 billion – a welcome change from the boom-and-bust pattern from earlier in the decade. Sales of fuel cells for onsite power jumped 21% to $373 million.

    Overall U.S. Building Efficiency products and services grew 8%, or $5 billion, led by energy efficient lighting and commercial building retrofits, both up 7% reaching $26.4 billion and $8.4 billion, respectively.

    In U.S. Transportation, Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) revenue has grown tenfold over five years, from $700 million in 2011 to $7.8 billion in 2016, and 48% over 2015, as all-electric alternatives to gasoline-powered vehicles caught on in the marketplace.

    Under pressure from low gasoline prices, however, hybrid electric vehicles saw revenue fall for the third straight year, dropping 11% to $8.9 billion. If this trend continues, revenue from PEVs may surge past hybrid vehicles in 2017. Energy storage also had another big year, with revenue jumping 54% to $427 million in the U.S. Under price pressure from low prices of both oil and corn stock, revenue from ethanol fuel fell by nearly $7 billion, or 24%, to $20.6 billion despite steady production levels. For the second year in a row, declines in ethanol revenue counter-balanced nearly all the growth in other advanced energy market segments. Revenue from ethanol has dropped by half from its 2012 peak of $40 billion…

    Overview & Summary Findings

    For 2016, the global advanced energy market surpassed $1.4 trillion in 2016, a 7% increase compared to an updated 2015 total of $1.3 trillion. Advanced energy has grown by nearly a quarter (24%) since Navigant Research began tracking for AEE in 2011, adding $257.7 billion in revenue over six years, counting only data complete for the entire period.

    Global advanced energy is almost twice the size of the global airline industry, and nearly equal to worldwide apparel revenue.

    Almost all of the seven advanced energy market segments experienced year-on-year growth between 2015 and 2016, with only Fuel Production experiencing an annual decline (down 3%), driven by sharp drops in ethanol revenue because of low oil, gasoline, and corn feedstock prices.

    Electricity Generation remained the largest advanced energy segment globally, with $455.6 billion in revenue (up 5% over 2015). Transportation, the second largest advanced energy segment globally, experienced 8% growth over last year and reached $447 billion. At 15%, Building Efficiency capped a fifth straight year of double-digit growth with a record increase, reaching $271.6 billion in revenue in 2016.

    In the United States, the advanced energy market grew to $199.2 billion, a 1% increase compared to an updated 2015 total of $197 billion. U.S. advanced energy is nearly double beer sales, equal to pharmaceutical manufacturing, and approaching wholesale consumer electronics.

    Growth in the United States was dampened by a sharp drop in Ethanol revenue driven by low oil, gasoline, and corn feedstock prices. At $20.5 billion, Ethanol revenue represents 10% of the U.S. advanced energy total, so the drop creates a noticeable impact on the overall market. Without ethanol, U.S. advanced energy grew 5% in 2016, three times faster than U.S. GDP (1.6%).

    U.S. advanced energy has grown by over a quarter (28%) since AEE began tracking in 2011, for an average of 5% annually. This represents an addition of $39.6 billion in revenue over six years, counting only segments with data for the entire period, and outpacing the global market growth during that time.

    At $68.8 billion, Building Efficiency is the largest advanced energy segment in the United States, in contrast to the global market, which is led by Advanced Electricity Generation. At 8% over 2015, Building Efficiency experienced the second largest year-on-year growth of all the U.S. segments, and was led by the Lighting, HVAC, and Building Envelope categories.

    Since Navigant Research began tracking, the Building Efficiency segment has grown steadily at an average of about 10% annually, adding an average $4.5 billion in new revenue each year. Several product categories in this segment have more than doubled in size over the six years covered in this report, including Home Energy Management Systems, Intelligent Lighting Controls, Residential Demand Response, and Building Information Modeling.

    Advanced Electricity Generation was the second largest advanced energy segment in the United States, at $52.2 billion in 2016, and experienced 8% year-over-year growth. Led by Solar, Wind, and Gas Turbines, this segment represents over a quarter of the U.S. Advanced Energy market. Despite cost declines, Solar PV revenue in 2016 led all the other product categories with $24.9 billion in revenue – a record high for the six years AEE has been tracking. Solar PV revenue was nearly half of the U.S. Advanced Electricity Generation segment total. Wind, a product category that has seen cyclical swings over the past six years, held roughly steady at $14.1 billion in 2016. Gas Turbines were down to $9.2 billion, a fall of 12% over 2015.

    Fuel Production remained the third largest advanced energy segment, with $28.9 billion in revenue, but continued its two-year decline, down nearly 19% in 2016. Ethanol revenue, which makes up most of the Fuel Production segment, is a substantial portion of the U.S. advanced energy total. The price of ethanol is heavily influenced by oil, gasoline, and corn feedstock prices, all of which were low in 2016.

    While most liquid fuel product categories (led by Ethanol) declined, production of natural gas for transportation fuel continued to grow in 2016.

    Advanced Transportation was the fourth largest segment with $21.8 billion in 2016 revenue, down 5% due to the continued reduction in Clean Diesel Vehicle and Hybrid sales. Despite this year’s setback, over the six years of tracking the Advanced Transportation, it has nearly doubled from a relatively small starting point of $11.7 billion. Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) continue to surge at 48% growth compared to 2015. At nearly $7.8 billion in revenue, PEVs are beginning to catch up to Hybrids, at $8.9 billion, and if the trend continues could overtake them this year. Likewise, Fuel Cell Vehicles experienced substantial growth. This category saw the second straight year of triple digit annual growth, from $670,000 in 2015 to $6 million in 2016.

    Advanced Industry grew 8% over 2015, below the 15% average annual growth over six years. At $8.2 billion in revenue in 2016, this segment has nearly doubled over the six year period. Industrial Combined Heat and Power (CHP) has exhibited especially strong growth, from just over $1 billion in 2011 to $3.5 billion in 2016.

    Electricity Delivery and Management, which includes product categories related to smart grid, microgrid, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and energy storage, increased 3% to $19 billion in revenue in 2016. Growth in this segment was led by Energy Storage (up 54% to $427 million) and Microgrids (up 16% to $2.2 billion).

    Fuel Delivery reached $178 million in 2016 (down 4%), continuing its two-year decline. Low oil prices are a major impediment to natural gas vehicle purchases and, to a lesser extent, investment in fueling infrastructure.

    The Future is Already Here

    In addition to quantifying the 41 advanced energy subsegments (each with multiple product categories) that make up the advanced energy market, this report features 17 trend stories across the seven market segments. These trends can be rolled up into five over-arching trends, which, among others, are shaping the future of advanced energy.

    The Rise Of Big Data

    The use of software engines and algorithms to process and analyze large quantities of data and provide insights into how customers behave is changing the way companies do business across the economy, and energy is no exception. The Big Data Drives Demand Side Management Innovation (p.13) story shows how, in recent years, utilities and energy efficiency providers have used new data tools (home energy reports, web portals, and mobile apps) to unlock cost and energy savings for customers. Energy Use? Yes, There’s an App for That (p. 16) profiles energy applications that are targeting the $2.3 billion global Residential Home Energy Management Systems market. Meanwhile, amid the digitalization of energy, which has offered up the Internet of Things (IoT), connected devices, smart grid, and even autonomous vehicles to consumers, new challenges have arisen, including cybersecurity, which we discuss in As the Grid Goes Digital, Cybersecurity Gains Importance (p. 23).

    Hardware Cost Declines

    Advanced energy technology deployment continues to exhibit dramatic growth rates, enabled in large part by cost declines in hardware such as solar PV modules (See Solar PV Sets New Records Nationally and Globally, p. 63)), LED lighting, and increasingly battery technology – with gigafactories being built around the globe to produce these items at scale. The extreme pace of these cost and commensurate price declines have restrained market revenue growth as outlined in this report. In response to increasing market maturity and tight margins, advanced energy companies in many sectors are undergoing a shift to services, as discussed in the Lighting as a Service (p. 15) story. Market consolidation, vertical integration, scaling of manufacturing, and fierce competition will drive further cost reductions in the future.

    New Business Model Innovation

    Evolving energy consumer demands and the increasing ability of customers to exercise choice in a variety of ways are also accelerating a shift toward what Navigant Research calls the Energy Cloud. Customers are increasingly focused on engaging in the generation, purchase, and sale of energy (see Corporate Procurement of Renewable Energy Gets Creative, p. 22). If appropriately incentivized, they also can provide other services such as balancing, voltage support, and voluntary load management, address broad industry goals of greater efficiency and resilience (see New York REV Demo Projects Point Toward 21st Century Electricity System, p. 27). Meanwhile, a similar transformation is occurring in transportation as Car Sharing, Electrification, and Automation are Con-verging into a New Mobility System (p.33) explains.

    The Next Frontier Is Already Here

    A number of industries have reached tipping points or otherwise hit major milestones in 2016. For example, the first offshore wind project in the United States reached completion off the East Coast (see Rhode Island Lays Foundation for U.S. Offshore Wind, p. 65). With a 1,000% increase in revenue since 2011, the PEV market is now eating into the traditional hybrid electric vehicle market in the United States and could surpass it in terms of revenue in 2017 as discussed in Plug-in Vehicle Options Expand, Stimulating Rapid Growth (p. 35). Meanwhile, the power of national policy priorities in China, the United States, and Japan continues to stimulate markets for solar PV, biofuels (see Biofuels Meet Targets, p. 44), hydrogen vehicles and infrastructure (Can Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai Make Hydrogen Work?, p. 45), and CHP (CHP provides Onsite Power Generation for Industrial Customers, and Others, p. 49).

    Infrastructure For The Future: Replacing, Retrofitting, And Digitalization

    The supply – and pricing – of incumbent fuels and technologies will continue to impact advanced energy market growth in the future. For example, low oil prices affect natural gas vehicle (NGV) sales and infrastructure (see Natural Gas Fueling Stations Continue Slow Buildout, p.57). On the other hand, Smart Transmission, Distribution Automation Systems, and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Systems are now mainstream, as the digitalization of the electric-mechanical infrastructure moves forward. As a result, the grid will increasingly resemble a more sophisticated – but also resilient and distributed – networked system, as we discuss in Energy Storage Becomes the Glue for Virtual Power Plants (p. 25).

    Consistent with previous editions of the Advanced Energy Now Market Report, the combination of revenue data, trend stories, and forecasts highlight the broad, innovative, and evolving advanced energy marketplace. During the six years that Navigant Research has tracked the advanced energy market for AEE, this report has highlighted the pivotal role played by the United States in developing new technologies, but also in new business models that have enabled overall market growth, despite the changing landscape. Navigant Research expects this trend to accelerate in the coming years as these technologies and solution offerings continue to scale…

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    QUICK NEWS, March 27: Only PBS Is Covering Climate Change; The Job-Creating Engine That Is Wind Energy; U.S. Solar Should Follow China Solar -- Stanford

    Only PBS Is Covering Climate Change PBS is the only network reporting on climate change. Trump wants to cut it; During a record-breaking hot presidential election year, American news networks failed to report on climate change

    Dana Nuccitelli, 27 March 2017 (UK Guardian)

    “…In 2016, evening newscasts and Sunday shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as Fox Broadcast Co.’s Fox News Sunday, collectively decreased their total coverage of climate change by 66 percent compared to 2015 [ according to a new report from Media Matters]…In all of 2016, these news programs spent a combined grand total of 50 minutes talking about climate change. More than half of that come from CBS Evening News, which nevertheless only spent half as much time talking about climate change in 2016 as it had in 2015…PBS NewsHour was the only show that examined what impact a Trump or a Clinton presidency would have on climate-related issues and policies before the election. The PBS news program aired more than double the number of climate news segments as any of its network competitors…” click here for more

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    The Job-Creating Engine That Is Wind Energy Wind energy works to create American jobs

    Tom Kiernan, March 24, 2017 (The Hill)

    “The new administration is taking notice: wind energy is a job-creation engine that speeds up the path to American energy independence…[As recently acknowledged byInterior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, recent wind growth verifies recent forecasts that the industry could provide the U.S. with almost a quarter million jobs by] the end of President Trump’s first term…Many of these jobs are in manufacturing, so they help revive part of the job sector that has struggled for decades…Over 500 U.S. factories employ 25,000 workers who build wind-related parts…Many are bringing jobs back to the Rust Belt…Ohio leads the way with 62 wind factories, while Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have 26 apiece. By 2020, 33,000 Americans could be working in wind manufacturing, a gain of 8,000 U.S. factory jobs in President Trump’s first term…The wind industry also proudly offers good career opportunities for the men and women who serve our country—they find wind-related jobs at a rate 50 percent higher than the average industry…” click here for more

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    U.S. Solar Should Follow China Solar -- Stanford Stanford researchers recommend changes to U.S. solar policies, encourage collaboration with China; Stanford researchers suggest reforming U.S. solar policies and encourage closer collaboration between the United States and China on solar energy in a new report.

    Alex Shashkevitch, March 21, 2017 (Stanford News)

    “The rapidly expanding solar energy industry could meaningfully contribute to curbing climate change only if governments and the private sector approach it more economically and efficiently…A key recommendation [of new research from Stanford]is that China, which is the major driver of the global solar industry, and the United States work more closely together with each country capitalizing on its particular strengths…With a new federal administration and a new Congress, this is the time to be thinking about what…[future U.S. solar policy should be as the industry grows form 1 percent of global electricity to 16 percent or more] by the middle of this century…The U.S. government should embrace a globalizing solar industry, continue to invest in the deployment – as well as research and development – of solar energy, and, above all, prioritize plans that reduce the cost of solar power, the researchers said…” click here for more

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