NewEnergyNews: 07/01/2020 - 08/01/2020/


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, July 31, 2020

    Global New Energy In The Pandemic

    Renewable Energy Is Seizing Market Share During The Pandemic

    Nick Cunningham, July 22, 2020 (

    “Renewable energy has surged to capture a record share of global electricity generation, seizing more market share during the coronavirus downturn. The steep drop in electricity demand, down by more than a fifth in some parts of the world, has hit energy producers everywhere. But because renewable energy has zero variable costs – the sun and wind are free once solar and wind farms are constructed – coal and natural gas are often pushed out of the market first…

    [R]enewables in some places are seizing the opportunity…[They] accounted for 44 percent of power generation in the European Union in the second quarter, up sharply from 37.2 percent in the same period a year earlier…[The European Commission is also considering] raising the emissions reductions target to as high as 55 percent from 44 percent…[But] roughly $697 billion worth of recovery investment has been funneled into oil, gas and other carbon-intensive sectors such as aviation…[and only] $54 billion has gone to green policies…” click here for more

    The Fight For New Energy In Asia

    Renewables in Asia: It’s a tough race against fossil fuels

    Vibhushree Hamirwasia, July 27, 2020 (REN 21)

    “The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented shock to the global economy. It has also stifled the energy sector by bringing demand down at an unprecedented rate…This downward spiral is accelerating the shift away from these fuels in many markets. Except for Asia…Asia is home to over 50% of the world’s population, over 60% of the world’s largest cities and this region has seen tremendous economic growth. Economic growth comes with rapidly increasing energy demand. While renewables in Asia are on the rise, fossil fuels (especially coal and natural gas) are rising even faster…[and could offset] the global decline for coal. Over 80% of the 500 GW of global coal capacity is located in Asia and this is only expected to grow…

    Asia’s share in the global demand for coal could increase to 81% in 2030 (up from 77% now)…Already now, over 45% of the world’s CO2 emissions are concentrated in Asia. The region counts 93 of the 100 world’s most polluted cities. The connections between pollution and negative health impact are clear…In almost all other parts of the world, companies are divesting from coal and governments…[to avoid] the risk of creating future stranded assets…[But it] is harder for energy markets in developing countries to attract global finance…[Much of the coal infrastructure in developing countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Viet Nam, and Indonesia is] heavily reliant on financing from the Asian giants of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea…Change is never easy and disruption causes resistance. But Asian governments need to realize that they have a responsibility to foster change instead of resisting it…” click here for more

    Wednesday, July 29, 2020

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Cheapest is not always best in CSP v. PV comparison

    Cheapest is not always best: Concentrated solar power could beat lower price PV with new market rules; CSP can deliver greater grid stability than photovoltaics, but needs better recognition of its value to be competitive.

    Herman K. Trabish, March 26, 2020 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: CSP is under-appreciated but the coming need for longer duration storage could be a game-changer.

    Concentrated solar power's failure to gain momentum in U.S. markets is a signal that traditional resource valuations may be slowing the energy transition, a February CSP conference made clear.

    CSP, which converts the sun's heat to electricity, was once dominant, then faded when photovoltaic (PV) solar, which turns the sun's light into electricity, plummeted in price. But unlike CSP, PV, even with batteries, cannot provide the long-duration, dispatchable generation that high-renewables power systems will need, conference participants said.

    "Renewables are now mainstream and fossil fuels are the alternative," California Energy Commission (CEC) Chair David Hochschild told regulators, utility executives and analysts at the conference. With new zero-emissions mandates, "we will need a diversity of renewable resources to keep the system reliable, and we will need CSP, particularly, because of its long duration storage [potential]."

    Ambitious 100% renewables mandates drive indiscriminate procurement of the lowest-cost renewable kWh, utility executives and regulators said. But the transitioning power system requires broader value, even if the per-kWh price is higher. Restructuring markets, policies and utility planning to compensate investments in resources with a higher overall grid value, despite higher capital expenditures, will be necessary to deliver a reliable, low carbon power system, they added.

    CSP uses mirrors to concentrate the sun's heat within a single point containing a heat-retaining fluid. The captured heat creates steam that, like conventional generators, drives an electricity-generating turbine. CSP tower technologies focus the sun's heat on fluid flowing through a tower's apex. Trough technologies’ liquids flow through the focal points of trough-shaped mirrors. Heat-absorbing fluids include water or a molten liquid that more efficiently holds heat and can be stored for on-demand dispatch of electricity.

    Utility-scale PV panels release electrons when exposed to the sun's light. The electricity flows to the grid or can be stored in batteries. Cost and regulatory barriers have largely limited cost-effective battery storage to four-hour durations, although battery stacks and alternative battery chemistries that deliver longer duration storage have been piloted. In 2010, the U.S. had 0.4 GW of CSP and only 0.1 GW of utility-scale PV. But cumulative CSP installations reached only 1.7 GW by 2020, while falling panel costs led to the installation of 35.4 GW of utility-scale PV by 2020, Wood Mackenzie Senior Analyst for U.S. utility-scale solar Colin Smith emailed Utility Dive… click here for more

    Solar Policy Advancing Now

    The 50 States of Solar: All Eyes on FERC During Q2 2020

    July 22, 2020 (The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center [NCCETC])

    “…[NCCETC’s Q2 2020 50 States of Solar finds] 40 states, plus the District of Columbia, took some type of distributed solar policy action during Q2 2020…[including addressing] net metering policies (54), community solar policies (36), and residential fixed charge or minimum bill increases (27)…[Q2 2020’s 156 distributed solar policy actions revealed] three trends… (1) stakeholders expressing broad opposition to federal jurisdiction over electricity sales from customer-generators, (2) states establishing future triggers for net metering successor tariff development, and (3) states and utilities considering metering and billing infrastructure issues related to distributed generation compensation programs…

    …[The top five distributed solar policy actions of Q2 2020 were]…A petition filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding federal jurisdiction over net metering…Arkansas regulators issuing a decision to continue retail rate net metering…Kentucky Power filing the first net metering successor tariff proposal in Kentucky…Hawaii launching Phase 2 of the Community-Based Renewable Energy Program; and…The Illinois Commerce Commission opening a proceeding to set the value of its distributed generation rebate, which will eventually replace retail rate net metering in the state…” click here for more

    Monday, July 27, 2020

    Closing Out Coal The Right Way

    How To Retire Early; Making Accelerated Coal Phaseout Feasible and Just

    June 30, 2020 (Rocky Mountain Institute, Carbon Tracker Initiative, Sierra Club)

    Executive Summary

    Although coal has long been viewed as the cheapest way to power the global economy, this is no longer the case. New renewable energy is now cheaper than new coal plants virtually everywhere, even before considering coal’s dire health, climate, and environmental impacts. The cost of renewables has fallen so far that it is already cheaper to build new renewable energy capacity, including battery storage, than to continue operating 39 percent of the world’s existing coal capacity.i Based on a new global analysis—by Rocky Mountain Institute, the Carbon Tracker Initiative, and the Sierra Club—of nearly 2,500 coal plants, the share of uncompetitive coal plants worldwide will increase rapidly to 60 percent in 2022 and to 73 percent in 2025.

    The total cost of phasing out the global coal fleet through efficiently structured financial solutions is already surprisingly small and shrinking quickly. Replacing uncompetitive coal with clean energy could already save electricity customers around the world $39 billion in 2020, and these annual savings rise quickly to $86 billion in 2022 and $141 billion in 2025. Phasing out and replacing the remaining competitive share of the global coal fleet would require $155 billion in subsidies in 2020,ii with this figure dropping rapidly to $80 billion in 2022 and $36 billion in 2025 (see Exhibit ES1). In other words, the theoretical net cost to society of completing the coal-to-clean transition in 2020 would be $116 billion, but this figure drops below zero by 2022 and generates net financial savings of over $100 billion by 2025.iii Those savings—which already exist for many geographies—can be captured and recycled to support a just transition for workers and communities. These figures do not even account for the social and environmental benefits of reducing carbon dioxide and other coal pollutants.

    However, coal phaseout hasn’t kept pace with eroding economics, and the slow pace of transition is costing consumers and taxpayers money while posing a significant threat to the climate, public health, and the environment. To keep the Paris Climate Agreement’s temperature targets within reach, global coal use must decline by 80 percent below 2010 levels by 2030, requiring rapid transition in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries over the next decade and phaseout in the rest of the world by 2040. Instead, according to the International Energy Agency, global coal use has continued to increase in recent years. Meanwhile, consumers are stuck paying for expensive and dirty coal generation, the public bears the health and environmental burdens of increased air and water pollution, and taxpayers bear the expense of redressing these costly environmental and health impacts.

    A key barrier to accelerating phaseout is that the vast majority (93 percent) of global coal plants are insulated from competition from renewables by long-term contracts and noncompetitive tariffs. Customers are locked into paying for dirty and expensive coal power for years or even decades into the future, with limited options to alter these arrangements without facing penalties and costs or protracted legal and political battles. The Paris Agreement timeline necessitates switching from coal to clean long before most longterm coal power contracts expire or before coal plant investors have been fully repaid.

    In many cases, a more rapid phaseout could be unlocked by aligning the incentives of customers and taxpayers, coal plant investors, and workers and communities with moving on from these legacy contracts and noncompetitive tariffs. An approach to dealing with legacy contracts and noncompetitive tariff structures that can align incentives would simultaneously achieve the following goals: Customers would save money on day one, while taxpayers and the general public would benefit from improved health and reduced climate-related risks. Coal plant owners and investors would have the opportunity to replace coal returns with clean returns by reinvesting capital into clean resources. Workers and host communities could access resources to preserve livelihoods, protect benefits, and ensure that they can continue to thrive.

    Governments and public finance institutions can accelerate coal phaseout for assets with legacy contracts or tariffs through an integrated three-part approach: (1) refinancing to fund the coal transition and save customers money on day one, (2) reinvesting in clean energy, and (3) providing transition financing for workers and communities.

    Where clean energy already outcompetes existing coal, it may be possible to achieve all three parts as a package without additional public funds. As demonstrated by phaseout deals struck recently in the United States, funding packages can turn the value remaining in legacy contracts and noncompetitive tariffs into an engine for transition by:

    • Refinancing to free up capital to help fund coal transition while lowering customer costs (e.g., assetbacked securitization, ratepayer-backed bond securitization, and green bonds)

    • Using the new low-cost capital in part to reinvest in clean energy to allow owners to phase out coal plants and reduce customer costs further, while replacing returns from coal plants with returns from clean energy

    • Utilizing a portion of the new capital raised through refinancing to provide transition financing to coal workers and communities, offering immediate resources to preserve livelihoods, protect benefits, and ensure that host communities can continue to thrive

    In circumstances where coal remains competitive (ignoring its unpriced health and environmental costs), this three-part approach may require additional public resources in the short term. We propose two concessional finance tools that can be used in conjunction with the refinancing, reinvestment, and transition financing mechanisms to achieve these objectives. First, governments or public financiers could offer “carbon bonuses” to better reflect the unpriced benefits of transitioning from coal to clean energy, making the economics of coal phaseout more attractive. These concessional payments for each ton of emissions abated are intended to reduce the cost of coal phaseout for customers while continuing to deliver the same electricity services and providing for a fair workforce transition. Second, instead of providing subsidies for emissions reductions through direct payments, the concession could be provided through debt forgiveness. For both mechanisms, public resources should be allocated through transparent and competitive processes. We propose using reverse auctions to maximize the emissions reductions achieved and limit the risks of excess subsidies. OECD countries should finance these mechanisms domestically and fund them in poorer countries as part of their climate and development assistance. However, one point bears repeating: with the share of uncompetitive coal plants increasing quickly, this kind of financing would be needed mostly in the short term to accelerate action.

    Whether they require concessional funding or not, financial approaches to accelerating coal phaseout offer several advantages and are especially relevant to COVID-19-related stimulus spending. First, they can be structured as voluntary programs for both governments and asset owners. For example, a reverse auction to acquire outstanding debt on coal plants in exchange for closure does not mandate participation—but it can serve as a powerful mechanism to reveal the true appetite for accelerated phaseout on which subsequent policies can be built. Second, these approaches can help stakeholders find agreement on an acceptable allocation of savings and benefits, thus allowing nontraditional allies to find common ground. Third, these financial approaches can work in conjunction with local regulatory structures and market conditions. Fourth, the need to allocate stimulus spending as part of COVID-19 economic recovery presents a special opportunity to accelerate the coal-to-clean transition.

    The United States could help customers save up to $10 billion annually using the three-part approach to phase out the 79 percent of the 236 gigawatt (GW) coal fleet that is uncompetitive today. More than three-quarters of the US coal capacity is in markets where customers are locked into paying utilities based on a cost-of-service tariff. As a result, in this time of national economic distress, customers are paying more for electricity from expensive coal just when they can least afford to. Refinancing customers’ tariff obligations to phase out uncompetitive coal can bring down customer costs and fund transition assistance to support a fair and more robust recovery.

    Beyond the United States, the opportunity is ripe to accelerate the coal-to-clean transition using financial approaches that save customers money.

    •In the European Union: 81 percent of the 140 GW coal fleet is uncompetitive in 2020, and that will rise to 99 percent in 2022 and 100 percent in 2025. Phasing out and replacing uncompetitive coal plants with renewable energy plus storage would generate savings of $10 billion in 2020, $16 billion in 2022, and $21 billion in 2025.

    •In China: 43 percent of the 1,142 GW coal fleet is uncompetitive in 2020, and that will rise to 70 percent in 2022 and 94 percent in 2025. Phasing out and replacing uncompetitive coal plants with renewable energy plus storage would generate savings of $18 billion in 2020, $49 billion in 2022, and $98 billion in 2025.

    •In India: 17 percent of the 283 GW coal fleet is uncompetitive in 2020, and that will rise to 50 percent in 2022 and 85 percent in 2025. Phasing out and replacing uncompetitive coal plants with renewable energy plus storage would generate savings of $2 billion in 2020, $8 billion in 2022, and $17 billion in 2025.

    We plan to undertake further analysis on other regions in a second edition of this paper, but the preliminary data for these regions is also striking. For instance, for a group of other developing economies with aggregate coal capacity similar to that of the United States,iv replacement of the entire fleet would cost $38 billion in 2020. By 2026, continuing to operate 51 percent of this fleet will become uncompetitive relative to building new renewables plus battery storage. Given the long lead times for electricity system planning and decision-making, as well as the size of the opportunity, now is the time to start structuring accelerated coal phaseout in all regions.

    Who should take the lead in exploring and implementing these approaches at the intersection of finance and policy? We make the case that public finance institutions—green banks, multilateral and national development banks, and development finance institutions—have the mandate, capital, and expertise to create programs to deploy these innovative financial tools and help countries capture the economic opportunity of transitioning away from coal. For the past decade, these institutions have been under pressure to end financing for new coal plants, and they have largely done so. In the next 10 years, they should help take the lead in accelerating phaseout of the existing coal fleet. In so doing, they can simultaneously address multiple development challenges at low or negative cost, reducing carbon pollution, alleviating severe public health impacts, improving standards of living, reducing mortality and illness, and enhancing economic productivity.

    This report describes the coal phaseout and transition opportunity in five sections. Section 1 presents new data on the collapsing competitiveness of coal with respect to renewables. Section 2 addresses how coal phaseout can be accelerated using a three-part approach consisting of refinancing to save customers money, reinvesting in clean energy, and supporting a just transition for workers. Section 3 describes financing options for accelerating this threepart transition. Section 4 provides specific examples of how these tools could be applied in the United States. Section 5 considers their application in other jurisdictions around the world.

    Saturday, July 25, 2020

    The Tesla New Energy Juggernaut

    Tesla could be leading a multi-trillion dollar electrification transformation. From Gunilla Harris via YouTube

    The Number One Transformation

    ”Clean energy is now the cheapest or at the low end of the cost…” From greenmanbucket via YouTube

    Tomorrow’s Necessary Nuclear?

    Are small nuclear plants viable? Are they needed? From Just Have A Think via YouTube

    Friday, July 24, 2020

    Demand Rising For Action On New Energy, Climate Crisis

    Consumer and business concerns about climate change rising, despite COVID-19

    July 13, 2020 (Smart Energy International)

    “Clean energy efforts and climate action by residential consumers and businesses are poised to accelerate despite economic downturn…[Consulting firm Deloitte’s global survey data shows nearly] 6 in 10 businesses surveyed feel increased pressure to disclose climate risks…[Nine in 10 have] developed plans to address those risks…53% of surveyed residential consumers feel it’s extremely or very important that part of their electricity supply comes from renewable energy…[Sixty-five percent] renewable energy development boosting the national economy, the highest level since 2014…[Up to 68%] said they were “extremely or very concerned” about climate change and their personal carbon footprint…[M]ost consumers (80%) surveyed expect others, such as the government and corporations, to address climate change…

    [A]bout a third of respondents expect action from their employers…More than a third of respondents who identified as full- or part-time employees, students, and/or job seekers said it’s extremely or very important to work for a company with sustainability and/or climate-risk goals, and this sentiment rose to nearly 50% among millennials…The stakeholders seen as most active are employees (49%), followed by board members (42%), customers (41%) and shareholders (37%)…Sixty-three percent of businesses surveyed have increased emission reduction goals whilst 75% of business respondents said customers are asking them to procure renewable energy…More than half (51%) of businesses said they’re working to procure more electricity from renewables…[T]he highest share of electricity supply was generated with cogeneration (15%) and renewables (13%)…” click here for more

    Green Hydrogen In The Global Economy

    Renewable hydrogen: a strategic opportunity for global green recovery

    Francesco La Camera and Kadri Simson, 10 July 2020 (EURACTIV)

    “…[The European Commission green hydrogen strategy sets out] a dynamic hydrogen value chain in Europe in the next five years…[anchored in its] commitment to zero emissions by 2050…[To deliver, the EU needs] renewable based electricity, but also decarbonised fuels in sectors where electrification is not an option – like heavy industry, some areas of transport or heating…Hydrogen can fill many of these gaps…[It can also] balance a renewables-based electricity system by turning electricity into hydrogen when the wind blows or the sun shines and store large amounts of this power to be used later…We need well-designed policies to make renewable hydrogen cheaper…

    This is achievable. Renewable power is already increasingly cheaper than any new electricity…[and is] expected to decrease… [E]lectrolyser costs are already five times lower than five years ago, and are expected to further decline within the next decade…In Europe, hydrogen currently makes up less than 2% of the energy mix – it could be 13-14% by 2050…Around USD 20 billion dollars could be needed per year globally…Collaboration at global level can be a multiplier for national strategies…Hydrogen is not an answer to all the questions on the clean energy system of the future, but it can answer some of the hardest…” click here for more

    Wednesday, July 22, 2020

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: PG&E, SCE abandon big microgrid plans for temporary emergency measures as wildfire season nears

    PG&E, SCE abandon big microgrid plans for temporary emergency measures as wildfire season nears; Regulators’ push to implement a law requiring microgrid rollouts is being frustrated by the costs of traditional generation and clean energy complexities.

    Herman K. Trabish, March 23, 2020 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: CalFire reports this year’s dryness is 10% greater than last year’s. But little has been done to deploy microgrids.

    California's plans to use microgrids to limit the 2020 impacts of preventive power outages will be delayed after utility solicitations revealed cost and deployment complexities.

    The top priority of a California microgrid proceeding is to reduce impacts on customers of the public safety power shutoffs (PSPS), implemented by the utilities to reduce wildfire risks. But bids in response to solicitations by the state's two biggest investor-owned utilities (IOUs) found only temporary microgrid deployments are financially viable and none will meet clean energy advocates' call for including customer-owned distributed energy resources (DER).

    The utilities want to place fossil fuel generators at priority substations, Senior Public Policy Director and Deputy General Counsel Melissa Brandt of community choice aggregator (CCA) East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) told Utility Dive. The other approach, from clean energy advocates, would use local distributed resources. In 2018 and 2019, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) encountered customer backlash when they shut off power to customers to prevent wildfires. In response, California regulators have focused on implementing microgrids, but that will take time and money, even with leveraging customers' DER.

    For 2020, PG&E and SCE's high costs and the urgency of the approaching wildfire season make it necessary to focus on microgrids that rely on temporary fossil fuel-powered solutions, they said. In 2021, stakeholders expect to return to the debate about their differing approaches to permanent microgrids. In October 2018, PG&E, faced with a wildfire threat, shut off high risk area power lines that might spark fires. Medical emergencies, business losses, and customer protests followed, but not fires. That November, facing another wildfire threat, PG&E chose not to impose shutoffs. The Camp Fire followed, killing 86 people and destroying 18,661 structures.

    Microgrids can make PSPS more palatable by keeping some power available. To implement SB 1339, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) opened the microgrid proceeding last September. A microgrid is any "interconnected system of loads and energy resources," that can "act as a single, controllable entity," according to SB 1339. It must "connect to, disconnect from, or run in parallel with, larger portions of the electrical grid" and use DER and other power system tools… click here for more

    Big Money Can Keep Coming For New Energy

    $1T 2030 Campaign Progress Report; Expectations for Renewable Energy Finance in 2020-2023

    July 14, 2020 (American Council on Renewable Energy)

    “…[Since 2018, the $1 Trillion by 2030 American Renewable Investment Goal has gotten nearer…[M]ost analysts expect the recent booming pace of renewable investment to decline in the early 2020s…[But that can be reversed by] long-term federal policy commitment providing support for carbon-free electricity generation…[with federal, state and regional policies to promote modernization of the nation’s electrical grid… new incentives for energy storage and other enabling grid technologies…[and] expansion of state renewable portfolio standards to support increasing deployment…[with better] siting and permitting processes for renewables and transmission…

    A scale up of the energy storage market via new business models…[will improve economics and technology innovation…[and] enhance integration of renewables as its makeup of America’s power generation portfolio achieves new levels…[Also needed are increased] corporate renewable purchasing…[with high] levels of public awareness and support for renewable energy and electric vehicles as an actionable solution…[and financial innovation as capital stacks evolve to replace tax equity as a key source of project finance, and as the industry seeks a more standardized approach to finance new project offerings, such as renewables plus storage systems.” click here for more

    Monday, July 20, 2020

    MONDAY’S STUDY: Transportation’s Electrification Timeline

    Getting to 20 Million EVs by 2030 Opportunities for the Electricity Industry in Preparing for an EV Future

    Michael Hagerty, Sanem Sergici, Long Lam, June 2020 (The Brattle Group)


    The number of electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. is projected to increase from 1.5 million in 2020 to 10–35 million by 2030 and will be a major disruptor to the electric power sector

     Major adoption drivers include decreasing vehicle and battery costs, expanding EV models, increasing charging infrastructure, and growing market awareness of EVs

     Favorable federal and state policies create additional incentives for purchasing EVs, including federal and state tax credits, rebates, and Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandates Market participants throughout the industry will be involved in preparing for the transition to EVs

     Commissions are weighing the appropriate regulatory and market environments for the industry to increase EV adoption

     While most chargers to date have been installed by competitive suppliers, utilities have an important role to play by building out system infrastructure, developing EV-specific rates, and increasing customer awareness This presentation provides an assessment of the investments needed across the electric power sector to support the deployment of 20 million EVs in the U.S. by 2030 with a focus on EV charging infrastructure

     While this analysis focuses primarily on light-duty vehicles, electrification of commercial fleets and freight trucks will further magnify electrification-related opportunities.

    Key Findings

    $75–125 billion of investment is needed across the electric power sector to serve 20 million EVs by 2030

     20 million EVs will add 60–95 TWh of annual demand and 10–20 GW of peak load to the system and require 12–18 GW of renewable capacity and 1–2 million public chargers to serve EV demand

     Investments will be necessary across the supply chain, including $30–$50 billion for generation and storage, $15–$25 billion for T&D upgrades, and $30–$50 billion for EV chargers & customer-side infrastructure

     Total annual fuel savings of $12 billion/year relative to Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles translates to an estimated societal payback of 8.6 years to cover the costs of electric sector investments (7.2 years if GHG benefits are included) Over the past 5 years, public EV chargers increased by about 40% per year, a rate that must be maintained over the next decade to install an additional 1–2 million public chargers by 2030

     To date, less than $2 billion has been approved for utilities to build out the necessary EV charging infrastructure

     While CA and NY have been leading in charger deployment, utility requests for funding in other states are rising EVs present significant opportunity, but also uncertainty, to the electricity industry over the next decade

     Industry planners and policymakers should take a three-pronged approach to planning for significantly greater EVs, including (1) proactively developing an EV roadmap, (2) crafting an EV regulatory strategy, and (3) identifying win-win-win solutions that address market barriers…

    What does it take to deploy 20 million EVs by 2030?

    Projected EV sales vary significantly, and the exact number of EV deployment is not possible to predict precisely.

    In this section, we’ll explore what it takes to deploy 20 million electric vehicles by 2030.

    Growing EV fleet will significantly increase electricity demand and infrastructure needs

    System planners will need to account for several uncertainties in projecting the impacts of EV on their system and the required system upgrades

    Public chargers will need to increase by 15–30% per year (or more) to meet 2030 needs

    From 2014 to 2019, public EV chargers increased by 6x, or 40% per year (including workplace chargers)  66,000 Level 2 chargers (10 – 15 kW)  12,000 DC Fast Chargers (typically 50 – 150 kW)  About a third of the chargers are located in California U.S. will need about 1.25 million public chargers to supply 20 million EVs by 2030  20x increase in Level 2 (30% per year growth rate)  5x increase in DCFCs (15% per year) In addition, 6-10 million at-home Level 2 chargers will likely be installed at single family homes

    20 million EVs require $75-125 billion of electric sector investment by 2030

    Investment will come from market participants across the supply chain, including electric utilities, merchant developers, competitive suppliers, and EV owners  $30-50 billion for Generation & Storage to meet higher energy demand & peak loads  $15-25 billion for T&D upgrades to serve peak demand, access renewables, and connect to charging infrastructure  $30-50 billion for Chargers & Customer-Side Infrastructure to provide sufficient home, workplace, and public chargers

    The Role of Utilities in the EV Transition

    Electric utilities have an important role to play in the transition to EVs

    While regulatory and market environments influence the extent of utilities’ involvement, utilities are well-positioned to build charging infrastructure to help drive EV adoption and achieve ambitious EV targets

     Clean energy plans provide opportunities to the utilities for greater involvement in the electrification activities

     Approved funding for utilities is primarily aimed at “make-ready” infrastructure from the distribution system up to the charger, including line transformers, service lines, meters, and panel

     Chargers mostly installed by non-utility suppliers (see next slide)

    Tension between private and utility investment needs to be resolved to be able to leverage each player’s unique strength in the ecosystem

     Commissions are balancing the need to provide sufficient charging infrastructure with the desire to keep the market open to competitive suppliers

    Increased EV adoption can be a Win-Win-Win outcome across market participants

     Customers will have access to a larger network of chargers and reduced costs of achieving EV policy goals

     Private infrastructure companies will see increased demand for their products

     Utilities will see increased sales and improved asset utilization and contribute to infrastructure investments

    Private sector focuses primarily on installing publicly-available EV chargers

    ChargePoint and Tesla have more EV charging stations than any other networks, although Electrify America will likely have a larger role going forward

     To date, only 159 public charging stations are utility-owned (or 0.6% of total U.S. public charging stations)

     Tesla spent about $220 million building out its Supercharger network of over 800 stations

     Electrify America is set to invest $2 billion in Zero Emission Vehicle infrastructure by 2027 (including hydrogen refueling stations)

     ChargePoint network has 38k chargers with plans for 2.5 million globally by 2025 (majority in North America and Europe)

    Approved utility EV charging infrastructure investments rose to $1.5B through Q1 2020

     Majority of approved funding has been for installing “make-ready” infrastructure, not chargers

     EV-related program requests have increased sharply since 2016 with 27 programs approved in 2019

     To date, most programs are less than $25 million

     Only 4 requests for over $50 million approved, all in Calif.

     Small initial approvals are likely to lead to larger requests in future rate cases

     Utility programs are primarily approved on the basis of supporting state-level EV deployment goals

     Utilities will increasingly need to perform cost-effectiveness analysis as they transition from pilots to larger programs  An additional $1.4 billion is pending approval (about $60 million per request on average)

    Utility investments in EV charging infrastructure have been approved across the U.S

    California approved $1.2 billion in utility funding for EV charging infrastructure since 2016…

    New York is targeting $900 million in EV charging infrastructure funding through 2025…

    Other states have taken different approaches to approving EV infrastructure investments…

    Other states have taken different approaches to approving EV infrastructure investments

    Recommendations for Industry Planners and Policymakers

    Electricity industry should take a three-pronged approach to planning for a world with significantly greater EVs

    Proactively develop an EV roadmap to maximize opportunities and limit challenges of EV adoption

     Develop location-specific EV adoption forecasts that identify the impact of key local drivers

     Incorporate forecasts into resource, grid, and EV infrastructure planning and investments

     Design tailored EV adoption programs and mechanisms, including EV-specific rates to maximize cost savings to EV owners and limit peak load impacts

    Craft EV regulatory policies that articulate societal and non-energy benefits of EV adoption

     Propose framework for cost-effectiveness assessment that takes into account societal benefits of electrification and for prioritization of infrastructure investments; Total Value Test by EPRI/Brattle offers such a framework

     Propose a phased approach to infrastructure investment that would allow balancing risks associated with an emerging technology and customer benefits resulting from the technology

    Facilitate collaboration across the supply chain to identify win-win-win solutions that address barriers

     Identify under-served markets which are not prioritized by private investment and channel a share of investments into these markets (i.e. multi-unit buildings, low income areas, and low-traffic areas)

     Ensure best use of ratepayer funds by leveraging strengths of different market participants

     Make customer outreach a centerpiece of EV efforts and advance equitable access to infrastructure for all customers…

    Saturday, July 18, 2020

    The Biden Plan will make this nation's future better. The White House Energy Plan is similar to its plans for the virus, the economy and today’s racial and political divisions: Make things worse and sell the idea that they are not. From CNBC Television via YouTube

    Follow The Money To New Energy

    There is a major surge of interest in renewable and sustainable investments, according to someone who knows. From CNBC Television via YouTube

    The Historic Arctic Heat Wave

    The Artic is feverish…and nobody is taking care of the patient. From PBS NewsHour via YouTube

    Friday, July 17, 2020

    Action Needed For A New Energy Recovery

    Global leaders must act fast to ensure a green recovery

    `Ben Blackwell, 13 July 2020 (World Economic Forum)

    “…[There is broad consensus that renewable energy can help] to stimulate economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic…But governments so far have been slow to introduce concrete measures to promote a green recovery, and the measures that have been taken vary wildly by region and country. Failure to act promptly risks missing this opportunity…[S]ustainable recovery packages agreed from now until the end of the year will determine the degree of economic and carbon rebound for the next three years…A concerted approach has begun…[The planned €750 billion ($846 billion) EU economic recovery package includes] green recovery. But even this falls short…

    Demand for oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy will fall off a cliff in 2020, while demand for renewables will increase modestly. It’s vital that governments promote investment in sectors that can and should continue to grow, or we risk creating a negative ripple effect in the energy sector…[A] sustainable recovery could boost global GDP by 3.5% in 2023 above usual levels…Polls show that globally, 71% of people believe that the climate crisis is as serious as the pandemic, and a majority in every country want a green economic recovery…” click here for more

    Global Ocean Wind Raises World New Energy

    'Colossal' $35bn offshore wind spree keeps global renewables spend growing despite Covid; Massive project investments outweigh declines in onshore wind and solar to secure year-on-year growth in first half…

    Andrew Lee, 13 July 2020 (RECharge)

    “A ‘colossal’ six months for offshore wind finance kept global renewable energy investment on an upward track in the first half of 2020, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic…Finance for wind at sea hit $35bn in the first half of the year, up more than fourfold on the same period in 2019 and higher than last year’s 12-month total of $31.9bn, according to latest BNEF data…The massive spike offshore outweighed declines in investment for onshore wind (-21%), solar (-12%) and biomass projects to leave total renewable energy financing 5% ahead of the same stage in 2019 at $132.4bn…

    …[The roster of 28 final investment decisions to contribute to the huge first-half investment benefitted] from the 67% reduction in levelised costs achieved since 2012, and to the performance of the latest, giant turbines. But the first half of this year also owed a lot to a rush in China to finance and build, in order to take advantage of a feed-in tariff before it expires at the end of 2021…” click here for more

    Wednesday, July 15, 2020

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: A Red State Moves Toward New Energy

    A red state template for 100% renewables? Utah bill unites Rocky Mountain Power, cities and activists; HB 411's Rocky Mountain Power-communities partnership delivers customer choice "the Utah way"

    Herman K. Trabish, March 17, 2020 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: This shift shows how the drive for New Energy is coming from the bottom up and is refusing to be denied.

    Utah has done what some thought impossible — getting approval from an 80% Republican legislature to move more than one-third of the state's population to 100% renewables by 2030.

    House Bill 411 was shaped through unprecedented collaboration between Pacificorp subsidiary Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) — the state's Warren Buffett-owned electric utility — and clean energy activists. It will allow nearly 37% of the state's energy load to choose a jointly-designed 100% renewables program that will meet customer demand for choice and allow utilities to replace coal generation with lower cost renewables.

    "Rocky Mountain Power could have said, 'We're not interested in a path to 100% renewables,' and that would have set up a battle in the legislature or for municipalization," Park City Environmental Sustainability Manager and bill co-author Luke Cartin told Utility Dive. "But they wanted to help drive this change. If they didn't want to be a partner, things would be very different."

    HB 411 is a big step for Utah, which gets 80% of its energy from fossil fuels, and for coal-dependent RMP, which serves 80% of state load.

    Recent polling shows Utahns want a bigger transition to cleaner energy and cleaner air, and a new roadmap toward that transition now being debated by lawmakers suggests 411's collaborative "Utah way" approach has opened new possibilities for the state. Utah's breakthrough may also show how other coal-dependent red states can begin their own transitions, though some stakeholders say the 100% program must have a stronger provisions that new renewables are built to serve it to ensure emissions reduction gains are real.

    Nine state level jurisdictions, 159 communities, and many major utilities have 100% renewables commitments, and at least 15 states are working toward them, according to Sierra Clubs' Ready for 100 project. But Utah's 80% Republican legislature presented a challenge. It passed a joint resolution in 2010 calling climate science "questionable" and those concerned about CO2 emissions "alarmists." In the last five years, however, Utah has changed… click here for more

    New Energy In The House (Of Representatives)

    Five Takeaways From the House Select Committee’s Climate Crisis Action Plan

    Jessica Ennis, July 2, 2020 (EarthJustice)

    “…[The House of Representatives select committee on climate policy delivered its final report to Congress on June 30…[It includes five] key solutions…[It] recognizes that climate solutions that do not center equity and justice are not actually solutions…[It also] decisively recognizes that solving the climate crisis requires us to address the unrelenting attacks that corporate polluters unleash on our communities’ health…[and] calls for the Environmental Protection Agency to address the cumulative impacts that communities face from industrial and infrastructure development…

    …[The plan] supports meeting all obligations to consult with tribes…[and] for protecting 30% of U.S. lands and oceans by 2030, which would be a huge step towards the scope and scale of protections needed in the face of climate change…[It aggressively addresses] pollution from transportation, buildings, and industry…[and measures for] turning agriculture into a climate solution…” click here for more

    Monday, July 13, 2020

    A Global New Energy Recovery

    Sustainable Recovery; World Energy Outlook Special Report

    June 2020 (International Energy Agency)


    Since the scale of the economic crisis began to emerge, the IEA has been leading the calls for governments to make the recovery as sustainable and resilient as possible. This means immediately addressing the core issues of global recession and soaring unemployment – and doing so in a way that also takes into account the key challenge of building cleaner and more secure energy systems.

    As they design economic recovery plans, policy makers are having to make enormously consequential decisions in a very short space of time. These decisions will shape economic and energy infrastructure for decades to come and will almost certainly determine whether the world has a chance of meeting its long-term energy and climate goals.

    The Sustainable Recovery Plan set out in this report shows governments have a unique opportunity today to boost economic growth, create millions of new jobs and put global greenhouse gas emissions into structural decline. This work was done in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund.

    The biggest global economic shock in peacetime since the 1930s is having a severe impact on employment and investment across all sectors, including energy.

    With the global economy set to shrink by 6% in 2020, some 300 million jobs may have been lost during the second quarter of the year. This disruption has sent shock waves through energy markets, with global energy investment expected to shrink by an unparalleled 20% in 2020.

    The energy sector, particularly electricity, has played a critical role in the global response to the Covid-19 crisis.

    Uninterrupted energy supplies have enabled hospitals to provide care, food and other essentials to be delivered, and millions of people to work and study from home while maintaining social contact online. Without access to reliable and affordable electricity, the lockdowns introduced by governments to tackle the public health crisis would have resulted in far greater economic damage.

    Governments are responding to the economic crisis on a massive scale.

    So far, they have announced measures worth about USD 9 trillion, focusing primarily on emergency financial and economic relief to prevent an even deeper crisis. With more stimulus coming, attention is now turning to longer-term recovery plans that seek to repair the economic damage from the disruptions caused by confinement measures and restrictions on mobility. Some plans already include energy, and its role could grow in successive rounds of stimulus spending.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has created a historic crisis for economies and energy markets

    In response to calls from governments around the world, the IEA has produced a Sustainable Recovery Plan for actions that can be taken over the next three years.

    This detailed plan is focused on cost-effective measures that could be implemented during the specific timeframe of 2021 to 2023. It spans six key sectors – electricity, transport, industry, buildings, fuels and emerging low-carbon technologies. The plan takes into account national and international objectives for long-term growth, future-proofed jobs and sustainable development goals.

    Based on rigorous analysis conducted in co operation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Sustainable Recovery Plan has three main goals: boosting economic growth, creating jobs and building more resilient and cleaner energy systems.

    The plan sets out the policies and targeted investments for each key sector, including measures designed to: (1) accelerate the deployment of low-carbon electricity sources like new wind and solar, and the expansion and modernisation of electricity grids; (2) increase the spread of cleaner transport such as more efficient and electric vehicles, and high-speed rail; (3) improve the energy efficiency of buildings and appliances; (4) enhance the efficiency of equipment used in industries such as manufacturing, food and textiles; (5) make the production and use of fuels more sustainable; and (6) boost innovation in crucial technology areas including hydrogen, batteries, carbon capture utilisation and storage, and small modular nuclear reactors.

    Governments are set to make major decisions that will affect huge amounts of investment and shape infrastructure and industries for decades to come.

    Massive stimulus packages offer a unique opportunity to put the energy sector on a more sustainable path. Compared with the 2008 09 crisis, the costs of leading clean energy technologies such as wind and solar PV are far lower, and some emerging technologies like batteries and hydrogen are ready to scale up. Global CO2 emissions flat-lined in 2019 and are set for a record decline this year. While this drop, which results from lockdown measures and their economic impacts, is nothing to celebrate, it provides a base from which to put emissions into structural decline.

    A Sustainable Recovery Plan

    Our Sustainable Recovery Plan shows it is possible to simultaneously spur economic growth, create millions of jobs and put emissions into structural decline.

    Through detailed assessments of more than 30 specific energy policy measures to be carried out over the next three years, this report considers the circumstances of individual countries as well as existing pipelines of energy projects and current market conditions. Achieving the results outlined below would require global investment of about USD 1 trillion annually over the next three years. This represents about 0.7% of global GDP.

    This plan can add 1.1 percentage points to global economic growth each year.

    It would boost the annual growth of developing countries by around 1.3 percentage points and lead to global GDP being 3.5% higher in 2023 than it would have been otherwise. It would also bring lasting benefits to the global economy because investment in new infrastructure, such as electricity grids and more energy-efficient buildings and industries, would improve the overall productivity of both workers and capital. The measures would also accelerate the achievement of sustainable development goals: around 420 million people would gain access to clean-cooking solutions in low-income countries, and nearly 270 million people would gain access to electricity.

    The effect on employment would be significant, saving or creating roughly 9 million jobs a year over the next three years.

    Our new IEA energy employment database shows that in 2019, the energy industry – including electricity, oil, gas, coal and biofuels – directly employed around 40 million people globally. Our analysis estimates that 3 million of those jobs have been lost or are at risk due to the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, with another 3 million jobs lost or under threat in related areas such as vehicles, buildings and industry.

    The largest amount of new jobs would be in retrofitting buildings and other measures to improve their energy efficiency, and in the electricity sector, particularly in grids and renewables.

    The other major areas where jobs are created or saved include energy efficiency in industries such as manufacturing, food and textiles; low-carbon transport infrastructure; and more efficient and new energy vehicles.

    The global energy sector would also become more resilient, making countries better prepared for future crises.

    Investment in enhancing and digitalising electricity grids, upgrading hydropower facilities, extending the lifetime of nuclear power and increasing energy efficiency would improve electricity security by lowering the risk of outages, boosting flexibility, reducing losses and helping integrate larger shares of variable renewables such as wind and solar PV. Electricity grids, the backbone of secure and reliable power systems, would see a 40% increase in investment after years of decline. This would put them on a stronger footing to withstand natural disasters, severe weather and other potential threats.

    As a result of the Sustainable Recovery Plan, annual energy-related greenhouse gas emissions would be 4.5 billion tonnes lower in 2023 than they would be otherwise.

    After the 2008 09 financial crisis, global CO2 emissions bounced back with the largest increase ever recorded as the world economy started growing again. The Sustainable Recovery Plan would avoid that kind of rebound in emissions and instead put them into structural decline while still generating economic growth and creating jobs. Air pollution emissions would also decrease by 5% as a result of the plan, reducing health risks around the world.

    The plan would make 2019 the definitive peak in global emissions, putting them on a path towards achieving long-term climate goals, including the Paris Agreement.

    Energy efficiency measures would deliver the largest overall emissions reductions under the plan, accompanied by a major increase in low-carbon electricity generation. Emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from oil and gas operations would fall. Around one-third of the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions would result from measures that also save money for consumers and industries. The process of reforming inefficient fossil fuel subsidies would also accelerate, taking advantage of low oil and gas prices to avoid hurting consumers.

    A wide range of policies, initiatives and new regulatory frameworks would be required to support the deployment of this plan.

    The focus for governments should be to deliver resilient and clean energy projects that are shovel-ready. They also need to develop a strong pipeline of new projects and to tailor support for distressed industries such as the auto sector. Creating the right investment conditions will be critical for mobilising large quantities of private capital and ensuring that this aligns with the goals of the Sustainable Recovery Plan. International co-operation is also essential to help align different countries’ actions and re-establish global supply chains.

    The IEA has been leading the calls for governments to make the economic recovery as sustainable and resilient as possible.

    We first conducted detailed analysis of the impact on global energy demand and assessed the damage caused in key areas. With this report, we are identifying the most effective measures available to governments as they consider their recovery plans. The Sustainable Recovery Plan is not intended to tell governments what they must do. It seeks to show them what they can do. The IEA is providing decision-makers in government, industry and the investment community with the strongest possible data, analysis and policy options to help them choose the best path forwards. We are bringing all of these groups together to identify how to act on the findings of this report at the IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit on 9 July 2020.