The Green New Deal is not an “abstract” idea. Globally economies are trending toward cleaner energies — efforts initiated by public demands, improved technologies and forward-thinking policies: The sponsors are compelled to accelerate the pace — to not just help impoverished communities but to also prevent environmental catastrophe. Think this wild-eyed? Think again. Wind costs have fallen by 67% since 2009 while utility-scale solar has dropped by 86% since that time, according to the financial adviser, Lazard.
“People have opinions about the economics of green energy investments based on a set of facts that are five years old,” says Trip Miller, managing partner at Gullane Capital Partners, in an interview. “And if you extrapolate out, we will get to the point where these energy forms just need battery technologies before they become pervasive.” Read more here.
The 25 cities involved in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge are projected to collectively cut 40 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2025, according to a new analysis released by the foundation. That’s the equivalent of eliminating 10 coal plants. The $70 million challenge brings 25 cities into a two-year accelerator program, which will offer money and technical assistance for local efforts to fight climate change. The full cohort of cities was announced last month.
Waste Dive guest opinion written by Jesse Grossman, CEO of
New Jersey-based solar energy company Soltage
The promise of utilizing the thousands of closed landfills across the country to produce clean, solar energy has been tantalizingly close to reality for years. In 2013, the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) published their best practices for installing solar on municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills, which was a watershed moment in the recognition of landfills as viable solar platforms. With 10,000 closed landfills and other brownfield sites covering 15 million acres across the country, both solar developers and landfill owners have been understandably eager to take advantage of the opportunity. To put that land area into perspective, it’s large enough that if all of the landfills in the US were covered with solar panels we could power the entire country. Read more here.
Image: Landfill Solar Farm. U.S. Department of Energy
Lazard shows ongoing cost declines in solar (w/ charts), PV Magazine. The consultancy’s 2017 study finds that the global cost of utility-scale solar has reached an unsubsidized LCOE of under $50 per megawatt-hour, making new solar cost-competitive with running existing coal or nuclear plants.
BNEF: China to install 54 GW in 2017, PV Magazine. According to a newly released forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, China is likely to install 54 GW of solar PV before the year is out, surpassing previous expectations.
6th Annual Top 100 Power People Report Published by Leading Intelligence Service A Word About Wind, North American Clean Energy. Philip Anschutz, American multi-billionaire and owner of the Power Company of Wyoming, has been named as the most influential figure in wind energy this year. Given his background, Anschutz is a somewhat surprising new entrant to the Top 100 report; his estimated $12bn wealth is largely due to the oil drilling company he took over from his father in the 1960’s. However, Anschutz is known for investing in industries that are on the cusp of major change, and the planned 3GW wind farm on his land in Wyoming is testament to the business tycoon’s conviction that wind is on the up. If completed as planned, the project will be the largest onshore wind farm in North America.
London Buses to Run on Coffee Grounds, Renewable Energy Magazine. Shell and London-based clean technology company bio-bean have partnered to power some of London’s iconic red buses using a biofuel made partly from used coffee grounds.
When it comes to investing in the future, go with renewable energy over bitcoin, CNBC. The trading charts for oil and renewable-energy stocks have diverged this year in a way that should open investor eyes. Bitcoin is going gangbusters and getting all the attention, but it’s far easier to understand the dynamics in the energy markets, and they show that renewable energy is not going backward again.
One major obstacle to increasing the proportion of renewables to non-renewables lies in the engineering challenge of adding variable power sources like wind and solar to an electric grid largely designed for the stable, predictable output of sources like coal, natural gas and nuclear. That helps explain why utilities, power producers and grid operators are scrambling to embed advanced information technology into a system that has relied on analog, human-based data collection for over a century. By equipping the grid with wireless sensors, real-time data collection and complex algorithms, experts hope to build a 21st-century grid that better supports cleaner, more-distributed and less predictable forms of renewable energy. In common parlance, this is called the smart grid. Read the entire articlehere.
Leading global companies support renewable energy finds RE100 report, Renewable Energy Magazine. RE100 now has 87 members across a wide range of sectors – including globally recognized businesses like IKEA, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Tata Motors. The reportdemonstrates how RE100 companies are now creating demand for approximately 107 terawatt/hours (TWh) of renewable power annually, which is around the same amount of electricity as consumed by The Netherlands.