Tag Archives: Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)

Report: Climate risks compound financial challenges for Midwest nuclear plants

By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network

A report released last week by Moody’s Investor Services found that five of Exelon’s six Illinois plants are at “high risk” and/or more extreme “red flag” risk for both heat and water stress. Exelon’s Quad Cities plant on the Mississippi River, meanwhile, is considered at high risk of flooding.  Other Midwestern plants are also considered at high risk for heat and/or water stress, including the Davis-Besse plant in Ohio, NextEra Energy Resources’ Point Beach plant in Wisconsin, NextEra’s Duane Arnold Energy Center in Iowa, Entergy’s Palisades plant in Michigan and Northern States Power Company’s Monticello plant in Minnesota, which is also at high risk of flooding. Continue reading here.

AP Photo/Nati Harnik: The Fort Calhoun nuclear power station in Nebraska was severely damaged by flooding in 2011 and shut down a few years later.

NUCLEAR FUSION RESEARCH

Department of Energy Announces $29 Million in Fusion Energy Technology Development, DOE News ReleaseToday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $29 million in funding for 14 projects as part of the Galvanizing Advances in Market-aligned fusion for an Overabundance of Watts (GAMOW) program.

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

Korean group buying into 852 MW of US wind farms, Renewables Now
A group of South Korean infrastructure investors has agreed to buy a 49.9% stake in an 852-MW portfolio of US wind farms in a deal with an implied aggregate enterprise value of USD 1.5 billion. 

About the Nebraska wind farm Included in the purchase: The 118–turbine Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Farm located in Antelope, Boone, and Madison counties began commercial operation in March 2014. Maximum capacity is 200,600 kilowatts (or 200.6 megawatts). The average annual output could power 60,000 homes. Omaha Public Power District has committed to buy the total 200.6 megawatts. Source: Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy 

BLOOMBERG NEW ENERGY FINANCE

Solar brings 45% of world’s new power capacity in 2019 – BNEF, Renewables Now
With record 118 GW of commissioned capacity, solar photovoltaic (PV) was the main new power generation technology source in 2019, accounting for 45% of the world’s newly-installed capacity, BloombergNEF (BNEF) says.

ØRSTED

Orsted, the World’s Offshore Wind Giant, Gets Serious About Solar, Greentech Media
Ørsted’s intense focus on offshore wind makes its push into solar all the more noteworthy, signaling a coming era of renewable energy “majors” capable of building the full range of technologies. When the Permian Energy Center comes online next year, Ørsted will be the first company to own U.S. plants spanning solar, onshore wind, offshore wind and battery storage.

Archived Nebraska News Story: Ørsted completes the onshore Plum Creek Wind project

REPURPOSING COAL ASH BASIN SITES FOR SOLAR DEVELOPMENT

Solar energy project planned for Snyder County coal ash basin site, PennLive.com
The project is funded entirely with private capital but the owners say they will receive a federal investment tax credit. “The process associated with repurposing these basins maintains their environmental integrity while allowing the land to be repurposed in a safe, effective way,” the developers say.

SEARCHABLE DATABASE OF POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS

LevelTen Energy flips the switch on global PPA marketplace, PV Magazine
For corporates with a global footprint, there is now a single place to view and compare the risk and value of each PPA available in North America and Europe.

GTECH

The Next Step for Corporate Sustainability: 24/7/365 Carbon-Free Energy Matching, Greentech Media. Corporations increasingly want locally generated renewable power that matches their consumption in near-real-time. Move over REC, and make way for the GTECH.

ELECTRIC TRUCKS

Electric trucks are gaining ground over natural gas in the waste industry, Utility Dive
Natural gas-powered vehicles have been the industry’s preferred form of alternative fuel for years, but while investments continue, 2020 is shaping up to be the year that electric breaks through.

CIRCULARITY FOR EV BATTERIES

Tesla’s co-founder is pioneering a circular system for electric vehicle batteries, GreenBiz
Redwood Materials is a startup founded by former Tesla chief technology officer JB Straubel. The company, featured in a lengthy Wall Street Journal article over the weekend, has a plan to take scrap metal from EV battery production and use that for the raw materials of other EV batteries. By sourcing leftover materials from current factories, the company can help lower the cost of batteries and also reduce considerable waste. Redwood Materials is already working with Panasonic (Tesla’s battery partner) to take scrap metal from the Gigafactory in Nevada. Straubel says that in 10 years he thinks the company can deliver battery materials for half the cost of mined materials. 

VALUE OF STORAGE

Going beyond Order 841 to more meaningful FERC storage policyUtility Dive article contributed by Sean Baur, engineering manager for GlidePath and a 2020 fellow with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute. Only with more fundamental changes can wholesale markets start to recognize the full value of storage, and finally allow it to fairly compete evenly with the resources it will need to replace as part of a larger clean energy transition.

Solar beats gas when utilities use all-source procurements

By William Driscoll, PV Magazine

With an all-source procurement, a utility solicits bids to identify the costs of solar, wind and storage, which can be “significantly less expensive than new gas,” as an Indiana utility found. A clean energy group calls for state regulators to require all-source procurements, for the vertically integrated utilities that serve half the country. The report’s authors are offering a webinar to discuss their findings on Thursday, April 30. The report is titled “Making the most of the power plant market: Best practices for all-source electric generation procurement.” The ten case studies are presented in an appendix. The authors are John D. Wilson, Mike O’Boyle, Ron Lehr and Mark Detsky. Read more here.

MORE U.S. NEWS

GLOBAL NEWS

DISTRIBUTED WIND & MICROGRIDS

Struggling Distributed Wind Sector Eyes Role in Microgrids Market, Greentech Media
Makers of small wind turbines have been crushed by solar energy. New R&D funding and a possible role in microgrids keep the sector hopeful.

WOODEN WIND TOWERS

First Wooden Wind Power Tower Erected In Sweden, Renewable Energy Magazine
The wind towers in wood can be built at a significantly lower cost than steel, which lowers the production cost of the wind power-generated electricity. The carbon dioxide absorbed by trees as they grow is stored in the wooden towers, which means that the wind turbines are climate neutral right from the start.

EV NEWS

10th Annual National Solar Jobs Census: Solar Jobs Up Nationwide and in 31 States After Two Years of Losses

News Release, The Solar Foundation

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. solar industry employed nearly 250,000 workers in 2019, an increase of more than 5,600 jobs (or 2.3%) since 2018, according to the 10th annual National Solar Jobs Census released today by The Solar Foundation. This marks a resurgence in solar industry employment following two years of job losses in 2017 and 2018.

The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit educational and research organization, issues the National Solar Jobs Census each year to provide comprehensive and reliable data on the U.S. solar workforce. Since the first Solar Jobs Census was published, American solar jobs have increased 167%, from just over 93,000 jobs in 2010 to 249,983 jobs in 2019.

Read the entire news release here.

Links to More Information

Photo Credit: The Solar Foundation

Additional Recommended Reading

BNEF: Corporations signed contracts for 8.6 GW of clean energy in 2019

By Michelle Froese, Windpower Engineering

U.S. corporations bought 5.95 GW of clean energy in 2019, closing in on the 2018 total, according to BloombergNEF’s (BNEF) recently published, 2H 2019 Corporate Energy Market Outlook. The report shows that companies are once again flocking to Texas – historically the largest corporate procurement market in the country – where 40% of the activity in 2019 has occurred. However, just 1 GW of deals in the U.S. have come from green tariffs with regulated utilities. It is unlikely to reach the 2.6 GW seen in all of 2018.

This may be a result of buyer apprehension, as several companies have been involved in highly publicized legal battles with regulated utilities over clean energy buying. Companies are instead favoring the virtual PPA model, which has made up 82% of all U.S. deals in 2019. Read more here.

Resources for Businesses


RE100:
191 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why.

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)
In 2018, four leading NGOS — Rocky Mountain InstituteWorld Wildlife FundWorld Resources Institute, and Business for Social Responsibility — merged their renewable energy programs, the Business Renewables Center, the Future of Internet Power, the Buyers Principles, and Green Tariff programs. This programmatic consolidation builds upon their collective success and offers a single streamlined solution.

REBA’s goal is to catalyze 60 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy by 2025, and expand the number of organizations buying clean power from dozens today to tens of thousands.

 

U.S. Renewable Energy Map: A Guide for Corporate Buyers,
World Resources Institute

 

Save the Date!
September 12, 2019 at 7 pm – Nebraskans for Solar’s September Speaker: David Bracht, Attorney With Kutak Rock and Former Nebraska Energy Office Director, UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 201 & 205. Mr. Bracht will provide an overview of Nebraska’s wind and solar development and our state’s potential for future growth.

Specific topics will include:

  • power purchase agreements
  • virtual power purchase agreements
  • commercial and industrial use of solar
  • the potential for combined solar and battery installations
  • incentives and depreciation

GreenBiz Webcasts

How the Green New Deal Can Unify Rather than Divide Us

Written by Ken Kimmel, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists

The “Green New Deal,” which seemed to spring out of nowhere, has captured the attention of many of us who recognize that the need to prevent runaway climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. Its inspiring title calls to mind an era when our country worked together to pull out of a depression. Its main proponents are young people—who better than the up-and-coming generation to demand that the former one leaves behind a world that is habitable? And, it calls for action on a scale that aligns with the best available science.

Unfortunately, many who oppose acting on climate change are using the Green New Deal as a political football . . . Those of us who want the United States to lead on climate change, whether such action is called a Green New Deal, or another inspiring frame (e.g., 100% clean energy by mid-century) must not let this happen. The key is to define the Green New Deal before the caricatures stick, by showing that, while it is ambitious, it is realistic and affordable. We can succeed if we follow these principles: Continue reading here.

Previously posted YouTube video exemplifying local “micro” Green New Deals sprouting up all across the country: How one small city sowed the seeds for its own Green New Deal

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Puerto Rico passes 100% renewable energy bill as it aims for storm resilience, Utility Dive
The U.S. territory will join Hawaii, California and Washington, D.C., with its 100% RPS target, which includes interim goals of 40% renewables by 2025 and 50% by 2040. Photo Credit: Flickr user Ricardo’s Photography

NEW REPORT

Battery Power’s Latest Plunge in Costs Threatens Coal, Gas, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

The most striking finding in this [levelized cost of electricity update], for the first-half of 2019, is on the cost improvements in lithium-ion batteries. These are opening up new opportunities for them to balance a renewables-heavy generation mix. Batteries co-located with solar or wind projects are starting to compete, in many markets and without subsidy, with coal- and gas-fired generation for the provision of ‘dispatchable power’ that can be delivered whenever the grid needs it. 

NEW DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SOLAR RESEARCH PROJECT

News Release: Department of Energy Announces $130 Million for Early-Stage Solar Research Project
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $130 million for new research to advance early-stage solar technologies. These projects will help to achieve affordable and reliable energy to enhance America’s economic growth and energy security . . . This funding program targets five research areas: photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP), soft costs reduction, innovations in manufacturing, and solar systems integration. These projects will make solar energy more affordable, reliable, and secure, while working to boost domestic solar manufacturing, reduce red tape, and make PV more resilient to cyberattack.

Previously Announced DOE Funding for Solar Energy Integration

For more information on the Solar Energy Technologies Office, visit their website HERE.

BNEF: U.S. solar installations grew in 2018 despite tariffs

Written by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

Today we got our first real estimate of solar installations in 2018, which indicates that despite four different rounds of tariffs – not to mention net metering and rate design battles and the gutting of PURPA at the state level – solar installations still grew 6% in 2018 to 11.7 GWdc.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released these numbers as only one data point in its Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, published in collaboration with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy.  Continue reading here.

Free Webinar: 2019 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook

February 26, 2019, 1:30 to 2:30 pm: Join the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Clean Energy Business Network for this webinar briefing and Q&A on the 2019 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.   

Bloomberg New Energy Finance: Coal to fade as cost of renewables falls even faster

By Mark Hutchins, PV Magazine 

The latest long-term forecast from analysts Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predicts solar energy costs to drop a further 66% by 2040, and onshore wind by 47%. Given these predictions, BNEF expect that renewables will undercut the majority of fossil based generation by 2030, even in India and China. Read more.

Download the report here.

Photo credit: CNBC

You’ll Never Believe How Cheap New Solar Power Is

By Joe Romm, Climate Progress

Solar energy has been advancing considerably faster than anyone expected just a few years ago thanks to aggressive market-based deployment efforts around the globe . . . If you are looking for one chart to sum up the whole solar energy miracle, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Chairman Michael Liebreich has one from his keynote address at BNEF’s annual conference in April titled “In Search of the Miraculous”:

Click chart to enlarge it. 

BNEF

Solar’s exponentially declining costs and exponentially rising installations (the y-axis is a logarithmic scale).

Read the complete article here. 

ALSO IN THE NEWS
Solar energy powering up in Illinois, Peoria Journal Star
Data centers, renewable energy thrive in Iowa, Newton Daily News
Wisconsin’s largest solar project delivering power to Alliant Energy customers, PR Newswire
Meet Eight Young Energy Innovators With Ingenious Ideas, Smithsonion