NewEnergyNews: 08/01/2021 - 09/01/2021/


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

    Monday, August 30, 2021

    Monday Study – The Growth Of New Energy In Numbers

    Renewable Energy Investment Tracker, 1H 2021

    August 3, 2021 (BloombergNEF)

    Executive Summary

    $174.3 billion Global new investment in renewable energy in 1H 2021 509% Increase in renewable public market offerings compared to 1H 2020 -30.5% Decrease in overall wind investment compared to 1H 2020 Global new investment in renewable energy This report summarizes BloombergNEF’s tracking of global investment in renewable energy up to and including 1H 2021. Globally, there was $174 billion of new investment in renewable energy in 1H 2021, an all-time high for a first half. A decline in renewable energy project investment was offset by a huge increase in public market offerings of renewable energy companies.

    ● This report covers new investment in renewable energy capacity, and equity raising by specialist companies in renewables and related areas such as energy storage. This total investment figure was $174.3 billion, up 1.8% from 1H 2020, but down 7% relative to a very strong second half of 2020.

    ● Renewable energy and related companies raised a total of $28.2 billion on public markets in 1H 2021, up 509% from last year. VC/PE expansion investment totaled $5.7 billion, up 111% on the previous year. Both figures represent all-time highs.

    ● In contrast, investments in new renewable energy projects were down 12% from the same period in 2020, at $145.8 billion in 1H 2021. Investment in large and small-scale solar projects rose to a record-breaking $78.9 billion, up 9.5% from 1H 2020. However, wind financing was down 30.5% from 1H 2020, at $58 billion.

    ● China was the largest market yet again, investing $45.5 billion in the six months to June 30, but down 20% compared to the same period in 2020. Europe drew $35.21 billion, while the U.S secured $32bn.

    ● This pack also shows trends in ‘funds in circulation’, which includes the refinancing of projects, mergers, acquisitions and buyouts. These deals totalled $68.3 billion in 1H 2021, up 17.6% year-on-year.

    ● BNEF also publishes an annual report called Energy Transition Investment Trends (web | terminal). That report covers more sectors of the energy transition, but is mainly focused on project investment and product sales. In contrast, this report is focused on renewable energy and covers both asset finance and corporate finance.

    New investment in renewable energy held steady in 1H 2021

    ● Global new investment in renewable energy totaled $174 billion in the first half of 2021, a result that is just 2% more than the same period last year. However, investment has dropped 7% relative to a very strong second half of 2020.

    ● The first-half totals in 2020 and 2021 compare favorably to those of 2018 and 2019, when total investment was only $139 billion and $137 billion, respectively.

    ● New equity raised on the public markets hit record highs in 1H 2021, as did venture capital and private equity commitments to renewable energy companies. These were major contributors to the strong overall first-half figure.

    ● Investment in solar projects was up 9% year-on-year in the first half. In contrast, wind asset finance fell year-on-year, as 1H 2020 was a bumper period for financings of major offshore wind farms.

    Investment in solar projects rose to a record $78.9 billion for the first half

    ● Investment in new solar projects in 1H 2021 was higher than in previous years, albeit lower than 2H 2020. Solar project investment often accelerates in the second half of the year to meet end-ofyear deadlines.

    ● Investment in solar projects in China rose to $4.9 billion in 2Q 2021. This is up from $2.8 billion in 1Q 2021 but down from $8.6 billion in 4Q 2020. The 2Q 2021 investment was largely driven by major financings of gigawatt-scale ‘subsidy-free’ projects developed by state-owned enterprises like China Energy Investment Corp. and Huanghe Hydropower, which must be commissioned this year.

    ● U.S. large-scale project investment rose to $6.4 billion in 2Q 2021, from $5.3 billion in 1Q 2021 and $10.9 billion in 4Q 2021. This was driven by a number of large projects closing.

    ● We have less visibility on small-scale solar investment (much of which is in Europe) due to lagging data availability. Nonetheless, pricing and customs data indicators suggests it is continuing at a healthy rate nearly everywhere.

    Wind investment held strong in Europe, lapsing subsidies cool China

    ● Wind investment in 1H 2021 topped $58 billion, matching levels seen in 2018 and 2019, but was a notable reduction from the $85 billion invested in 1H 2020. Last year, installations surged in China and the U.S. ahead of subsidies lapsing.

    ● Investment in China, the world’s largest wind market, was robust at $21 billion in 1H 2021, showcasing that developers are continuing to build projects without feed-in premiums.

    ● EMEA accounted for 36% of all investments in 1H 2021.Europe had a strong first half, with Finland emerging as the top onshore market and already doubling total investment from 2020.

    ● Investments in offshore wind are blocky, and financing can fall either side of a year’s end. New-build finance in 1H 2021 was one-third of 1H 2020. Cheaper capex is also driving down investment. RWE’s Sofia Offshore Wind Farm reached financial close as one of the cheapest projects in the U.K., at $2.9 million/MW.

    Public market issuances for renewable energy hit a record in 1H 2021

    ● Public stock markets provide the financing environment for most of the large and established players in renewable energy, including manufacturers, developers and some funds.

    ● 1H 2021 recorded the highest ever total for equity raised on public markets by clean energy companies, outpacing the volumes raised in any previous year. A bull run for clean energy shares enabled many companies to issue new shares to finance growth – though valuations are now down from their highs at the start of the year.

    ● Renewable energy and related companies raised a total of $28.2 billion on public markets in 1H 2021, up 509% from last year.

    ● Among the largest share offerings, Chinese renewable energy generator China Three Gorges Renewables raised $3.5 billion, PV manufacturer Longi Green Energy Technology raised $2.4 billion, and U.S. fuel cell company Plug Power pulled in $2 billion

    A record period for venture capital and private equity investment

    ● Venture capital and private equity expansion capital have been key elements in the growth of renewable energy and storage since these technologies emerged. Young companies have tapped specialist early-stage funds for capital, well ahead of seeking public market flotations or trade sales.

    ● In 1H 2021, VC/PE expansion investment in renewable energy and storage companies totaled $5.7 billion, up 111% on the previous year. This was an all-time record in this space.

    ● The largest deals included $2.7 billion for NorthVolt AB, a Sweden-based battery manufacturer, and $374 million for Amp Solar Group Inc., a Canada-based renewable energy generator.

    Global M&A activity boosted by a surge of deals in India

    ● Merger and acquisition activity is an important part of the renewable energy financing picture. These deals do not provide new money for technologies and developers but they enable early investors to make exits and redeploy capital on fresh opportunities.

    ● In 1H 2021, corporate M&A and private equity buyouts totaled $22.4 billion, up 25% on the previous year’s $17.9 billion.

    ● India outpaced the U.S. and China, which were the leading markets of 2020. The U.S. secured second position while China dropped to fourth behind Brazil.

    ● Among the biggest deals in this category were Adani Enterprises Ltd.’s sale of a minority stake in Adani Green Energy Ltd. to TotalEnergies SE for $2.5 billion.

    ● This was followed by Raizen Energia SA’s acquisition of Biosev SA to increase its footprint in South America’s energy market. SK Holdings Co.’s minority purchase in U.S. hydrogen fuel cell firm Plug Power Inc. for $1.5 billion was the third-largest deal.

    ● It is increasingly common for corporate entities to acquire the shares of developers with sought-after development and land rights for renewable projects rather than the assets themselves. This approach allows investors to secure these pipeline projects while managing risk exposure.

    Saturday, August 28, 2021

    The Taliban Solution To The Climate Crisis

    Afghanistan's drought and flooding are destroying poor farmers’ crops. The Taliban is delivering extreme weather-tolerant poppy seeds and buying their poppy crops for their global heroin trade. Win-win-lose?From CBS News via YouTube

    People Of Tomorrow’s Solar Industry

    Starting solar installer salary: $42,000/year. And the industry is hiring! From U.S. Dept. Of Energy via YouTube

    A Bit Of Good News In The IPCC Report

    Overall, science shows mostly bad news. But new, more accurate modeling also shows action now can still make a difference. From SciShow via YouTube

    Friday, August 27, 2021

    The Last Chance To Face The Climate Crisis

    UN Glasgow summit may be our last chance to prevent self-created climate disaster

    Joel A. Mintz, August 24, 2021 (The Hill)

    “…[In the first segment of its Sixth Assessment, issued earlier this month, he IPCC report] draws conclusions that are deeply alarming…[and] implicitly suggests an urgent need for collective action to avoid natural devastation and massive future human catastrophes…[Climate modeling] demonstrates that current climate changes have had little precedent. Atmospheric carbon levels have not been this high for at least 2 million years…[and] human activities have ‘unequivocally’ warmed our planet…

    [M]ajor alterations in natural global systems are already well underway; and without major changes in human behaviors the future will be bleak…[N]othing can stop global warming from intensifying over the next 20 years. Average surface temperatures will continue to rise over this period. The inevitable result will be life-threatening heatwaves, severe droughts, inland and coastal floods, melting glaciers, decreased mountain snowfalls, the extinction of many plant and animal species, as well as massive die-offs of many of the coral reef systems that sustain fisheries…

    …[But] a rapid shift away from fossil fuels — and toward solar, wind, geothermal and other benign techniques for generating energy — can still cause global warming to level off and decrease by 2050…[L]eaders must squarely confront the urgency of the climate crisis, and firmly commit to crucially needed actions…The forthcoming Glasgow summit provides a remarkable opportunity to do what is needed. It may also be our species' last chance…” click here for more

    The New Energy Boom Goes On

    How Renewable Energy Surged In 2020, Despite The Pandemic

    Robert Rapier, August 22, 2021 (Forbes)

    Renewable energy was the one category that bucked the global trend of declining energy consumption in 2020. Despite the 4.5% decline of primary global energy consumption — the largest since World War II — global renewable energy consumption grew by 9.7% in 2020. That was a slight decline from its 12.2% pace the year before, but it’s remarkable given how significantly the pandemic impacted total energy demand…

    Over the past decade, renewable energy consumption has grown at an average annual rate of 13.4%...[It was] the only category of energy that grew globally at double digits…[In] 2010 the world consumed 9.6 exajoules of [wind power, solar power, biofuels, geothermal energy, and power produced from biomass]…In 2020, that had tripled to 31.7 exajoules….[Power production without biofuels] accounts for 88% of all renewable energy consumption…[Wind (50.6%) and solar (27.2%) accounted for most of the consumption…[Solar power is likely to overtake wind power] as the leading source of renewable power this decade…

    …[In 2018,] China overtook the U.S. as the world’s top consumer of renewable energy…[and] its growth rate over the past decade vastly exceeds all other members of the Top 10. Cumulatively, the Top 10 consumers accounted for 75.9% of the world’s renewable energy consumption in 2020…[W]hile renewables have helped reduce the growth of carbon dioxide emissions, global carbon emissions have grown due to the overall growth rate of fossil energy consumption…” click here for more

    Wednesday, August 25, 2021

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: What The Texas Power System Needs

    'A terrible idea': Texas legislators fight over renewables' role in power crisis, aiming to avert a repeat; Texans may face future freezes if lawmakers blame renewables and fail to set winterization standards and create market-based reliability protections.

    Herman K. Trabish, May 17, 2021 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The legendary Texas attachment to its power system independence and Old Energy, as detailed here, has not remitted and is likely to be at the core of future events similar to the one described in this story.

    In efforts to prevent a repeat of the February disaster that left millions without electricity, Texas policymakers continue to disagree over the cause and appropriate mitigation efforts. The blackouts from the storm led to spikes in power prices and the deaths of at least 151 people.

    Republican leadership was quick to criticize renewables for the role they played in the blackouts, with Gov. Greg Abbott, R, claiming on national television that renewables caused the outages. They "cannot be dispatched" by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and therefore "cannot be relied upon," said state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R, who chairs the Senate Business and Commerce committee. Hancock sponsored Senate Bill (SB) 1278, which would impose reliability costs on "intermittent generation."

    But the grid operator's post-event data showed Texas renewables over-performed winter forecasts by 6.34 GW while natural gas underperformed by 15.8 GW, according to an assessment of ERCOT data by economics professor Peter Cramton, who resigned from his position as independent director of ERCOT's board after the grid failure.

    "There is no reason to attack renewables with costs for reliability that subsidize fossil fuels," Cramton said. "But we cannot accept this critical infrastructure failure. Regulators must reform the natural gas system and design reliability into the transitioning Texas electricity market."

    The many bills addressing power system weatherization and ERCOT's revenue shortfall divide Texas energy analysts and policymakers like Cramton and Sen. Hancock. There is little disagreement, however, over skepticism of the $8.3 billion proposal by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE) to operate emergency natural gas generation outside Texas's deregulated power market rules.

    But beyond punishing specific resources and undoing deregulation, there are available and affordable solutions for reliable electricity service, many in the debate said. For example, a flurry of legislation in the state legislative session ending May 31 proposed solutions that would better weatherize the power grid, improve reliability requirements and resolve power providers' $2.9 billion debt to ERCOT… click here for more

    The Skyrocketing Battery Build

    Battery Storage in the United States: An Update on Market Trends

    August 16, 2021 (Energy Information Administration/U.S. Department of Energy)

    “…[Electric power markets in the United States are undergoing significant structural change that is likely to] result in the installation of the ability of large-scale battery storage to contribute 10,000 megawatts to the grid between 2021 and 2023—10 times the capacity in 2019…The number and total capacity of large-scale battery storage systems continue to grow…[2019’s 163 large-scale battery storage systems was] a 28% increase from 2018…[More than 60% of 2019’s] large-scale battery system capacity to store energy or provide power to the grid in the United States was located in areas covered by regional grid operators PJM Interconnection (PJM) and California Independent System Operator (CAISO)…

    Small-scale battery storage also continues to grow, especially in California…In 2019, 402 MW of small-scale total battery storage power capacity existed in the United States…California accounts for 83%...The costs of installing and operating large-scale battery storage systems in the United States have declined in recent years…[2019’s average battery energy storage capital costs were $589 per kilowatthour…[B]attery storage costs fell by 72% between 2015 and 2019, a 27% per year rate of decline...

    …[Most new large-scale battery energy storage systems over the next three years are likely] to be built at power plants that also produce electricity from solar photovoltaics…Almost one-third of U.S. large-scale battery storage additions will come from states outside of regional grid operators PJM and CAISO… click here for more

    Monday, August 23, 2021

    The Officially-Determined Costs Imposed By Solar

    Cost-effectiveness of NEM Successor Rate Proposals under Rulemaking 20-08-020; A Comparative Analysis

    June 15, 2021 (Energy and Environmental Economics)

    Executive Summary

    This study compares NEM successor proposals as submitted by the parties in CPUC Rulemaking 20-08-020 to replace the existing NEM tariff (“NEM 2.0”). Only the proposals that contained sufficient detail were modeled. Eleven residential proposals and six small commercial proposals were modeled in addition to NEM 2.0, the existing tariff, which was modeled for comparison. This comparative analysis is intended to serve as a guide for the CPUC and parties to understand how the various party proposals approach reducing the cost misalignment under NEM 2.0. The analysis was done with two key principles in mind:

    • Consistency. While the party proposals differ significantly from each other, E3 used a single evaluation method, five standardized output metrics, and the same set of model inputs and assumptions to provide a consistent evaluation across proposals. E3 developed an Excel-based model to calculate annual customer bills for representative customers assuming standalone solar and solar paired with storage. For each party proposal, bill savings were calculated relative to a counterfactual customer with no solar or solar+storage system.

    • Transparency. In cases where the exact specification of a proposal could not be modeled or an assumption had to be made, it is noted in this document. In addition to this report, the Excel-based analysis tool itself will be made publicly available to provide transparency in this process.

    Dimensions of the Analysis

    The dimensions of the analysis are designed to illustrate differences between the party proposals for a range of customer types, technology, and installation years. They are the following:

    • 3 investor-owned utilities: PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E;

    • 3 customer categories: non-CARE residential1 , CARE residential, and small commercial;

    • 2 system types: solar only and solar+battery systems;

    • 2 installation years: 2023 installation year and 2030 installation year.

    Output Metrics

    For each of these customers, 5 metrics were evaluated:

    1. Simple payback period

    2. First-year cost-shift

    3. Participant Cost Test (PCT) benefit-cost ratio

    4. Ratepayer Impact Measure (RIM) benefit-cost ratio

    5. Total Resource Cost (TRC) benefit-cost ratio

    Results Summary

    To illustrate the results, this executive summary compares party proposals for a residential customer in PG&E’s service territory who adopts customer solar in 2023. This customer has an annual consumption of 7,500 kWh/year and their solar system generates an equivalent 7,500 kWh/year. In the report, different dimensions are varied one by one to illustrate differences. For example, a customer with solar+storage, a customer on CARE rates, and installation in 2030 are all considered. Complete results are provided in Appendix D and the Excel model.

    Simple Payback Period and First-year Cost Shift

    These two metrics are used to illustrate each proposal’s impact on participants and nonparticipants in customer-sited renewable generation.

    The simple payback period is an estimate of how many years of bill savings would be required to recover the upfront costs of a new solar or solar+storage system.2 A shorter payback period reflects a proposal that is more favorable for participants.

    The first-year cost shift reflects the dollar value of utility costs shifted from participants to nonparticipants in the first year after interconnection. A smaller cost shift reflects a proposal that is more favorable for nonparticipants.

    Figure 1 shows the simple payback period and first-year cost shift for a 2023 residential non-CARE solar adopter in PG&E’s service territory. There is a wide range in these metrics across the party proposals. Compared to NEM 2.0, all proposals would result in a longer payback period and a smaller first-year cost shift. However, while some proposals would retain a similar payback period to NEM 2.0 in the near-term, other proposals would result in a somewhat or substantially longer payback period and a lower cost shift.

    Across the board, the proposals that have a shorter payback period also have a larger cost shift. This reflects the fundamental tension that exists between the solar adopter and the nonparticipant. Absent non-rate funds, utility cost recovery is essentially a “zero sum game” and a tariff that provides a shorter payback period for a solar adopter will result in a larger cost shift to the nonparticipant.

    Standard Practice Manual Cost Tests

    The California Standard Practice Manual3 defines cost tests that are used to explore cost-effectiveness from different stakeholder perspectives. These cost tests reflect the net present value ratio of benefits to costs over the lifetime of the solar system.4 The exact definition of the cost tests is provided later in this document and results are provided here as an overview for this PG&E customer.

    Participant Cost Test

    Figure 2 shows the Participant Cost Test (PCT), which reflects the benefit-cost ratio from the participant perspective over the assumed life of the system. A benefit-cost ratio above 1.0 meansthat customers would find lifecycle benefits exceed lifecycle costs, which we find in 7 of the 12 cases. Compared to NEM 2.0, all proposals would reduce the PCT benefit-cost ratio.

    Ratepayer Impact Measure

    Figure 3 shows the Ratepayer Impact Measure (RIM), which reflects the benefit-cost-ratio from the nonparticipant perspective. The results show that for PG&E’s service territory, only one proposal (CARE) is not unfavorable to nonparticipant customers, as it provides a ratio of 1 (equal lifecycle benefits and costs). Compared to NEM 2.0, all proposals increase the RIM benefit-cost ratio.

    Total Resource Cost

    Figure 4 shows the Total Resource Cost (TRC), which reflects the benefit-cost ratio from the combined participant and nonparticipant perspective. When looking at the TRC for solar customers, only one factor leads to a distinction in TRC score. Community solar projects have a lower upfront cost than residential projects, leading to a higher TRC score. The CCSA proposal is based on community solar projects, whereas the other proposals are evaluated assuming customer-sited solar. All of the TRC results are less than a benefit-cost ratio of 1.0. This indicates that the costs of rooftop and community solar exceed the benefits to the grid based on the draft 2021 Avoided Cost Calculator (ACC)…

    Model Results

    This section includes example results in PG&E’s service territory. Appendix D: All Model Results includes model results for all customers, all IOUs, and all proposals. Residential 2023 Non-CARE Solar Figure 6 shows the simple payback period and first-year cost shift for a 2023 residential non-CARE solar adopter. This is the same as Figure 1 in the Executive Summary and is provided again here for comparison to other customers.

    Residential 2023 Non-CARE Solar

    Figure 6 shows the simple payback period and first-year cost shift for a 2023 residential non-CARE solar adopter. This is the same as Figure 1 in the Executive Summary and is provided again here for comparison to other customers.

    Figure 9 shows the TRC for a 2023 solar+storage customer in PG&E’s service territory. For the solar customer, the only distinction in TRC was for community systems. However, for solar+storage, there is an additional distinction among the proposals that factors into the TRC. Two different storage dispatch profiles are used depending whether a proposal’s export rate varies hourly or by TOU period. Export rates that vary hourly would encourage storage dispatch that is more aligned with underlying system costs, leading to a higher TRC value for these proposals.

    Residential 2023 Non-CARE Solar+Storage

    Figure 8 shows the simple payback period and first-year cost shift for a 2023 non-CARE solar+storage customer in PG&E’s service territory. Overall, payback periods are not considerably longer than for solaronly customers. This is largely due to the SGIP incentive, which reduces the upfront cost of storage. As a ratepayer-funded rebate, the SGIP incentive increases the cost shift for solar+storage adopters. Two proposals achieve a shorter payback period than NEM 2.0. This is because they suggest modeling the existing EV rates for solar+storage customers, while NEM 2.0 assumes the default TOU rates. Some proposals have export rates that vary hourly or with substantial variation by TOU period. Under these proposed tariffs, storage can enable the customer to capture greater value with their on-site generation, increasing bill savings and potentially reducing the payback period relative to a solar-only system.

    Figure 9 shows the TRC for a 2023 solar+storage customer in PG&E’s service territory. For the solar customer, the only distinction in TRC was for community systems. However, for solar+storage, there is an additional distinction among the proposals that factors into the TRC. Two different storage dispatch profiles are used depending whether a proposal’s export rate varies hourly or by TOU period. Export rates that vary hourly would encourage storage dispatch that is more aligned with underlying system costs, leading to a higher TRC value for these proposals.

    Residential 2023 CARE Solar

    Figure 10 shows the simple payback period and first-year cost shift for a CARE customer. In general, customer bill savings are lower for the CARE customer vs. the Non-CARE customer. For many proposals, this results in a longer payback period and a smaller first-year cost shift relative to the Non-CARE customer.

    Under NEM 2.0, there are two reasons why a CARE customer would see smaller bill savings from solar vs. a non-CARE customer. First, exports are credited at a discounted rate; and second, self-consumption of solar generation offsets imports at a discounted rate. Some proposals maintain NEM 2.0 but address the first point by crediting exports at the full non-CARE export rate; however, this does not affect the second point. These proposals achieve a simple payback period that is only slightly shorter than NEM 2.0.

    Residential 2030 Non-CARE Solar

    Figure 11 shows the simple payback period and first-year cost shift for a Non-CARE customer adopting solar in 2030. Several key changes occur between 2023 and 2030. First, the upfront cost of solar falls substantially. Second, import rates increase, which increases bill savings in proposals that allow offsetting imports with on-site generation. Third, some proposals transition from a NEM 2.0-like structure to export rates that are based on avoided costs. And fourth, avoided costs during solar hours fall considerably.

    Overall, the spread between simple payback period among the proposals increases from 2023 through 2030. NEM 2.0 becomes extremely lucrative for the participant, resulting in a 2.6-year payback period. Some other proposals have similarly short payback periods. On the other hand, proposals with compensation tied to avoided costs may see a similar payback periods for customers in 2023 and 2030.

    Residential 2030 Non-CARE Solar+Storage

    Figure 12 shows the simple payback period and first-year cost shift for a Non-CARE customer adopting solar+storage in 2030. The trends described above apply to solar+storage as well, with two key differences. First: although upfront costs for battery storage fall from 2023 through 2030, no SGIP incentive is assumed in 2030, which offsets some of the cost decline. Second: although solar avoided costs fall over this period, the solar+storage system can capture higher avoided costs in evening hours. Proposals that vary compensation dramatically based on the timing of imports and exports may see a shorter payback period for solar+storage than for solar alone…

    Saturday, August 21, 2021

    The Mega Mega-Drought, Detailed

    How dry we are…Note that one scientist says alleviating this drought would take a decade of wet years, not a rainstorm or two.From YaleClimateConnections via YouTube

    Concern Over The Energy-Water Nexus

    Drought and heat waves are changing the energy mix, according to friend of NewEnergyNews and premier energy reporter Sammy Roth. From greenmanbucket via YouTube

    Tomorrow’s Rooftop Solar

    Rooftop solar needs advanced inverters to provide what the grid really needs.From U.S. Department of Energy via YouTube

    Friday, August 20, 2021

    Global New Energy Buy-In Growing, Changing In 2021

    Renewable Energy Investment Tracker, 1H 2021

    August 3, 2021 (BloombergNEF)

    “…Globally, there was $174 billion of new investment in renewable energy in 1H 2021, an all-time high for a first half. A decline in renewable energy project investment was offset by a huge increase in public market offerings of renewable energy companies…[Total investment figure was] up 1.8% from 1H 2020, but down 7% relative to a very strong second half of 2020…Renewable energy and related companies raised a total of $28.2 billion on public markets in 1H 2021, up 509% from last year. VC/PE expansion investment totaled $5.7 billion, up 111% on the previous year. Both figures represent all-time highs…

    …In contrast, investments in new renewable energy projects were down 12% from the same period in 2020, at $145.8 billion in 1H 2021. Investment in large and small-scale solar projects rose to a record-breaking $78.9 billion, up 9.5% from 1H 2020. However, wind financing was down 30.5% from 1H 2020, at $58 billion…China was the largest market yet again, investing $45.5 billion in the six months to June 30, but down 20% compared to the same period in 2020. Europe drew $35.21 billion, while the U.S secured $32bn…[Refinancing of projects, mergers, acquisitions and buyouts] totalled $68.3 billion in 1H 2021, up 17.6% year-on-year…” click here for more

    New Energy Will Grow Global Energy Sector Jobs

    Meeting well-below 2°C target would increase energy sector jobs globally

    Sandeep Pai, Johannes Emmerling, et. al., June 2021 (One Earth)

    “…To keep global warming well-below 2°C [WB2C], fossil fuels need to dramatically decline and be replaced by low-carbon energy sources. While the technologies to replace fossil fuels are widely available, support for their expansion is often linked to the impact they have on fossil fuel jobs…We find that, by 2050, jobs in the energy sector would grow from today's 18 million to 21 million in the reference scenario…In a 2050, well-below 2°C scenario, 84% of total jobs] would be renewable jobs, 11% fossil fuels, and 5% nuclear jobs….

    While fossil fuel extraction jobs rapidly decline, these losses are compensated by gains in solar and wind jobs, particularly in the solar and wind manufacturing sector…[These projections are based on] a global dataset of job intensities across 11 energy technologies and five job categories in 50 countries with an integrated assessment model under [SSP2, where socioeconomic trends and technological change follow historical trends, SSP3, where fossil fuels challenge climate change mitigation, and sustainable SSP1]socioeconomic pathways…” click here for more

    Wednesday, August 18, 2021

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Customer Demand For New Energy Is Driving Change

    As utilities match CCAs on price, aggregators increase climate action, grow economies of scale to compete; Community choice aggregation is taking on utilities by tackling the climate crisis and going green

    Herman K. Trabish, May 4, 2021 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: Customers continue to migrate to CCAs to obtain access to New Energy.

    Community choice aggregations (CCAs), once seen primarily as a way for customers to lower their utility bills, are responding to new competitive prices from utilities by stressing their value in the energy transition.

    Nine states have CCA-enabling legislation allowing local governments to form a power providing organization for their residents. In some of those states, CCAs are serving significant numbers of former investor-owned utility (IOU) customers. But as utilities turn to low cost natural gas and renewables to keep prices down, CCAs have begun using customer demand for ambitious climate action to stay competitive, data shows.

    "Aggregation has become a tool that supplements state mandates to reach even higher levels of renewables than utilities," said former Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities Chair Ann Berwick, now leading the City of Newton’s municipal aggregation. "There is very steep growth in aggregation in Massachusetts and it is connected to customers' growing climate awareness."

    The record-setting growth of state and local governments with 100% clean energy or zero emissions targets and the growth of CCAs are linked, according to 2019 reports from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of California, Los Angeles, Luskin Center for Innovation (Luskin).

    CCAs are also forcing utilities to set higher climate and renewables goals, added Sierra Club Ready for 100 Senior Campaign Representative Drew O’Bryan. "Each CCA with a 100% renewables commitment adds pressure for the utility to accelerate the timeline of its transition." CCAs' impacts on utility and local policy objectives are changing the power system, and trends toward larger aggregations and local empowerment through greater local choice of resources may accelerate their effect, advocates told Utility Dive. But limitations of local governance and cost issues could compromise that effect, Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Vice President of External Affairs Brad Viator cautioned.

    The demand for clean energy to meet climate goals is unmistakable. In 2019, roughly 7.8 million residential and commercial-industrial retail electricity customers bought about 164 million MWh of renewable energy through green power markets, up from only 37 million MWh in 2010, according to NREL data. CCAs are playing a key role. Roughly 4.7 million CCA customers bought about 13.1 million MWh of renewable energy through CCAs in 2018, and preliminary NREL data showed participation in CCAs grew an estimated 40% more from 2018 to 2019, NREL reported. In addition, local governments procured a record 3,683 MW of new renewable capacity in 2020, the latest data from Rocky Mountain Institute and World Resources Institute show… click here for more

    New Energy Not Growing Fast Enough – YET

    Ten Years Of EIA And FERC Data Suggest Renewables Are Now On A Path To Provide 33-50% Of U.S. Electricity By 2030, Thus Falling Short Of Biden's Clean Power Goals...But Hitting 80% Remains Possible

    Ken Bossong, July 22, 2021 (SUN DAY Campaign)

    “…[The continued strong growth by renewable energy sources, unless accelerated,] will fall short of President Biden's clean power goals for 2030…[R]enewables could be one-third of U.S. electrical generation in 2030…[B]biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind…provided 22.5% of U.S. electrical generation during the first four months of 2021...[D]uring the first four months of 2011, renewables provided 13.75% of electrical production…[An average growth of] a bit less than one percent annually…Almost all the growth can be attributed to wind and solar which expanded from 3.3% in April 2011 (year-to-date) to 13.9% in April 2021 (YTD). Meanwhile, the share of electrical generation attributable to biomass, geothermal, and hydropower combined has remained virtually unchanged, accounting for between a bit less than 9% and a bit more than 10% each year…

    Should that trend continue, renewables would be on track to provide approximately one-third of U.S. electrical generation in 2030 with wind and solar combined providing about 23% and the combination of biomass, geothermal, and hydropower contributing another 10%...[T]his trend appears to be confirmed by EIA in its most recent monthly "Short-Term Energy Outlook" (STEO) which forecasts utility-scale renewables to grow from 19.8% in 2020 to 20.6% in 2021 and then to 22.5% in 2022. If small-scale solar were to be included, renewables were 20.6% of U.S. electrical generation in 2020 and are on track to exceed 21% in 2021 and 23% in 2022.[2]…

    FERC's data over the last decade further confirm likelihood of one-third renewables by 2030…[If higher growth rates (i.e., wind - 12% and solar - 30%) were replicated and sustained each year for the balance of the decade - an admittedly very challenging goal - wind could account for about 25% of U.S. electrical generation by 2030 while solar would be nearly 45%. Add in another 10% from hydropower, biomass, and geothermal and one reaches Biden's 80% target…A national clean electricity standard could make such a scenario - or comparable alternatives -realistic… click here for more

    Monday, August 16, 2021

    Monday Study – Market Forces, Political Forces And New Energy

    Blocking Rooftop Solar The companies, lobbyists and front groups undermining local clean energy

    J. David Lippeatt, Adrian Pforzheimer and Bryn Huxley-Reicher, Bronte Payne, June 2021 (Frontier Group, Environment America Research & Policy Center, U.S. PIRG)

    Executive Summary

    Solar power is cheaper, more efficient and more abundant than ever before. Over the past decade, the amount of solar energy produced in the United States has increased 30-fold, while the average cost of a residential solar energy system has fallen by more than half.1 The American public is increasingly supportive of solar energy. By 2020, according to Pew Research, 79% of Americans – a broad majority – believed that developing non-fossil fuel energy sources, including solar and wind power, should be the country’s top energy priority.2

    Solar power is helping move the United States toward a future of 100% renewable energy, while reducing global warming pollution, cleaning up the air in our communities, and empowering homeowners and business owners to generate their own electricity. And increasingly, solar power can do all that at a lower cost than electricity produced from fossil fuels.

    Utilities increasingly fear that the falling prices and rising availability of clean solar power will threaten their business model, which ties profits to the amount of capital investment they make in the grid, and sometimes to the amount of electricity sold. Consequently, in states across the country, utilities are using their money and clout to push policymakers to undercut solar power and make it harder for homeowners and small business owners to produce their own clean energy. A particular utility target is the policy used (as of June 2020) in 40 states, Washington, D.C., and some U.S. territories to ensure solar panel owners receive fair compensation for the clean energy they supply to the electric grid, known as “net metering.”3

    Recent corruption scandals in Ohio and Illinois, in which utilities and other special interests allegedly used their clout to twist public policy in their favor, highlight how far anti-solar efforts have gone. Policymakers must resist pressure from utilities and the fossil fuel industry and implement pro-solar policies that will continue America’s momentum toward clean energy.

    In 2021, a national network of utility interest groups and fossil fuel-linked think tanks continues to offer funding, advice and support to utilities across the country seeking to undermine rooftop solar power. These include:

    • Edison Electric Institute. Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the trade group that represents U.S. investor-owned electric utilities, developed the model for utilities to use in attacking solar at the state level. EEI worked with the American Legislative Exchange Council to create model legislation to attack net metering.4 EEI has trained utility executives in how to run advocacy campaigns and has consistently been a major donor to national Congressional candidates and parties.5

    • Consumer Energy Alliance. The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is a Houston-based front group for the utility and fossil fuel industry, representing companies like Florida Power & Light, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell Oil.6 CEA has spent resources or shipped representatives across the country to help utilities fight their battles in states like Florida, Indiana and Utah.7

    • The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a nationwide organization funded in part by anti-solar interests including major utilities, fossil fuel companies and affiliated lobby groups.8 ALEC claims to be primarily a membership organization but is dominated by its corporate and other outside donors, who provide 98% of its budget.9 It has worked for years to fight renewable energy and pro-solar policies across the country by coordinating with utilities and other local special interests and introducing legislation through policymakers who are ALEC members.10

    • Koch Industries. The Koch organization has provided funding to the national fight against solar by funneling tens of millions of dollars through a network of opaque nonprofits.11 The Koch-funded campaign organization Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has carried out extensive anti-solar organizing efforts.12 Koch organizations have directly supported utility fights against solar power in a number of states.13 Utilities in many states have worked with these and other national anti-solar groups to undermine pro-solar policies, with varying degrees of success.

    • Fossil fuel industry-tied group the New England Ratepayers’ Association (NERA) filed a petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2020 arguing that solar customer sales of electricity back to utilities should be considered wholesale sales under FERC’s jurisdiction, and that states thus do not have the legal right to impose net metering policies and payment rates.14 In the face of strong public and state government opposition to the petition, FERC dismissed it in July 2020, saying NERA did not prove any harm, but did not explicitly rule out any FERC jurisdiction over solar customer sales back to the grid.15

    • In Ohio, utilities have frequently attacked rooftop and utility-scale solar expansion. Former state subsidiaries of mega-utility FirstEnergy allegedly engaged in a massive $61 million bribery and influence campaign that secured the passage of a 2019 law removing state incentives for further renewable energy development and charging ratepayers to bail out uncompetitive coal and nuclear power plants.16 Despite criminal charges against key players, including the ex-speaker of the State House of Representatives, the anti-solar law remains on the books in 2021.17

    • Florida’s three investor-owned utilities (IOUs) – Florida Power & Light (FPL), Duke Energy and Tampa Electric Company – have engaged in aggressive anti-solar tactics that have kept solar power producing just 3% of all electricity in the Sunshine State.18 These tactics include donating to the campaigns of state political figures and parties, employing an army of lobbyists, funding a deceptive 2016 anti-solar ballot initiative (rejected by voters) that would have inserted language imposing barriers to rooftop solar into the state constitution, and unsuccessfully pressuring the state Public Service Commission (PSC) in September 2020 to roll back net metering rules.19

    • In Illinois, utility Ameren fought fiercely to replace net metering with lower payments to solar owners. A 2017 law gave rooftop solar customers full net metering benefits until solar generation reached 5% of utility peak demand.20 In October 2020, the utility said it had reached the 5% solar threshold and would switch to smaller rebates.21 In December 2020 the state regulator showed Ameren’s calculations were wrong and ordered it to restore full net metering payments.22 The regulator and solar advocates calculated that Illinois is unlikely to reach the 5% solar level before 2023, but the utility continues pushing to replace net metering with lower payments as soon as possible.23

    • California’s major investor-owned utilities – Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SoCal Edison) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) – are pushing for dramatic changes in the net metering policies that have helped the state become the nation’s leader in rooftop solar adoption. The utilities’ proposal would create the nation’s highest fixed charges for solar customers while slashing net metering payments.24 The changes would severely hamper the state’s solar market at a moment when the state must accelerate clean energy deployment to meet its climate and energy goals. The California Public Utilities Commission is expected to rule on the future of net metering in the state near the end of 2021.25

    • Kansas utilities have opposed solar power intensely for years. Westar Energy and Kansas City Power & Light, which merged in 2018 to form Evergy – plus Empire District Electric, the third IOU in the state – made campaign contributions and lobbied for elimination of state net metering in 2014.26 The utilities failed to get the state to scrap net metering completely, but legislators did cut the policy’s benefits to solar owners.27 Evergy kept up its attacks by imposing a demand fee in 2018 on residential solar owners – sometimes over $100 monthly – which deterred new solar customers.28 The fee was approved by the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC), the state regulator, but the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in April 2020 that the utilities and the regulator had engaged in illegal price discrimination against solar customers and remanded the issue back to KCC.29 Evergy kept the charge intact until the KCC unanimously ruled on February 25, 2021 against the demand fee in Evergy’s central territory, as well as a backup Evergy proposal for a minimum charge for all ratepayers.30 Evergy’s solar customers in other parts of the state, however, are still paying the demand fee.31

    • In May 2019, South Carolina enacted a new pro-solar law which lifted the state cap on net metering, ensured full compensation for solar power for two years, and created a customer bill of rights.32 In December 2020, however, state utility Dominion Energy South Carolina sought to raise costs and uncertainty for solar owners, proposing new fees and charges that in total would cost the average solar owner $750 annually.33 Solar advocates said the proposed changes would hamper the growth of solar power in the state, in conflict with the intent of the 2019 law.34 The state Public Service Commission held a March 23 hearing where nearly all attendees opposed the Dominion proposal, and rejected Dominion’s proposal in an April ruling.35

    State decisionmakers, including legislators, utility oversight boards and others, should resist efforts by utilities and their special interest supporters to limit the spread of rooftop solar, including to marginalized communities. Decisionmakers should reject these groups’ efforts to weaken pro-solar policies, including:

    • Caps, restrictions on or elimination of net metering;

    • Rollbacks or elimination of state renewable energy standards;

    • Unfair or discriminatory charges or tariffs on solar power system owners;

    • Utility rate structures that penalize or discourage solar installation; and

    • Other unneeded regulatory burdens on solar energy.

    States should also promote and defend policies that support the growth of rooftop solar and speed the national transition toward 100% renewable energy. These include:

    • Considering the full benefits of distributed solar energy to the grid, to ratepayers and to society in solar energy ratemaking or policy decisions;

    • Implementing strong net metering and interconnection standards, which enable many customers to meet their own electricity needs with solar power;

    • Supporting community shared solar projects and virtual net metering, which can expand public access to solar power;

    • Enacting or expanding solar carve-outs and renewable electricity standards;

    • Enabling financing mechanisms to allow for greater solar access for businesses and individuals;

    • Allowing companies that are not utilities to sell or lease solar power to residents and businesses; and

    • Investing wisely in making the electric grid more intelligent, which will facilitate a greater role for distributed sources of energy such as solar power.

    In addition, policymakers should reaffirm and strengthen U.S. national and international commitments to reduce emissions that cause global warming. Solar power will play an increasing role in reducing U.S. carbon emissions, shrinking the carbon footprint of our energy production and usage, and moving the country toward a cleaner future...

    Saturday, August 14, 2021

    Perspectives On The IPCC Report – A Good Summary From India

    This is an excellent and succinct summary of the report. “Our world is burning…” From WION via YouTube

    Perspectives On The IPCC Report – CBS

    An “alarming” new report showing humans are “unequivocally” the cause… From CBS This Morning via YouTube

    Perspectives On The IPCC Report – Germany

    ”Some of the numbers are hard to believe…” From DW News via YouTube

    Friday, August 13, 2021

    Climate Report Calls Red Alert

    Climate change: IPCC report is 'code red for humanity'

    Matt McGrath, August 9, 2021 (BBC News)

    “Human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways…[and is likely to produce] increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding, and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade…[But] a catastrophe can be avoided if the world acts fast…[because] deep cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases could stabilise rising temperatures…[according to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of scientists whose findings are endorsed by the world's governments…[The IPCC said] ‘it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oceans and land’…[and] that since 1970, global surface temperatures have risen faster than in any other 50-year period over the past 2,000 years…

    “…Global surface temperature was 1.09C higher in the decade between 2011-2020 than between 1850-1900…The past five years have been the hottest on record since 1850…The recent rate of sea level rise has nearly tripled compared with 1901-1971…It is ‘virtually certain’ that hot extremes including heatwaves have become more frequent and more intense since the 1950s, while cold events have become less frequent and less severe…[and changes to many of our planetary support systems] are irreversible on timescales of centuries to millennia…The oceans will continue to warm and become more acidic. Mountain and polar glaciers will continue melting for decades or centuries…

    The authors believe that 1.5C will be reached by 2040 in all scenarios. If emissions aren't slashed in the next few years, this will happen even earlier…The consequences of going past 1.5C over a period of years would be unwelcome…[but temperatures] will reach 1.5C above 1850-1900 levels by 2040 under all emissions scenarios…There will be an increasing occurrence of some extreme events ‘unprecedented in the historical record’ even at warming of 1.5C...[There are likely to be extreme sea level events and] fire weather in many regions…For political leaders, the report is another in a long line of wake-up calls…” click here for more

    What To Buy In The Global New Energy Boom

    20 stocks for maximum growth as the world switches to clean energy; A landmark U.N. climate report is urging policy makers to reduce carbon output. These companies operate in industries aiming to do just that.

    Philip Van Doorn, August 11, 2021 (MarketWatch)

    If you would like your investments to help protect the Earth, you might as well go in for the long term and try to make a lot of money as companies specializing in low-emissions and sustainable energy technologies grow…[The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Aug. 9 report showed] the past decade had been the warmest over the past 125,000 years…

    [Investors] need to move toward lower emissions, more sustainable power sources, smart electric grids, among other things…A diversified investment in one or more exchange traded funds [ETFs] focused on clean energy is one way to do this … ETFs have varying strategies, and definitions of alternative or clean energy companies may be broad. For example, electric-vehicle maker Tesla Inc. TSLA also makes solar-power-generation equipment and is held by QCLN, ACES and GRID. Rival EV makers Nio Inc. NIO and Xpeng Inc. XPEV are held by QCLN…

    …[S]olar energy is the most common industry [but wind, hydroelectric and geothermal energies are also represented] among companies held by ETFs in the alternative energy category…Performance among these alternative energy ETFs is mixed, but for the three- and five-year periods, all handily beat the returns of the S&P 500 Index SPX...” click here for more