Report: Renewable Energy to Expand by 50% in Next Five Years

Global supplies of renewable electricity are growing faster than expected and could expand by 50% in the next five years, powered by a resurgence in solar energy.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) found that solar, wind and hydropower projects are rolling out at their fastest rate in four years.

Its latest report predicts that by 2024 a new dawn for cheap solar power could see the world’s solar capacity grow by 600GW, almost double the installed total electricity capacity of Japan. Overall, renewable electricity is expected to grow by 1,200GW in the next five years, the equivalent of the total electricity capacity of the US. Continue reading “Report: Renewable Energy to Expand by 50% in Next Five Years”

More Renewables Than Fossil Fuels: The U.K. Reaches an Energy Milestone

Renewable energy has made a breakthrough in the U.K. The third quarter of this year was the first where more electricity was generated from renewable sources than from fossil fuels.

According to new analysis by the climate change analysis site Carbon Brief, Q3 saw 40% of power come from renewables such as wind, biomass and solar, while fossil fuels—almost all gas, as coal and oil now have a negligible share of the U.K. energy scene—accounted for 39% of generation. (The remaining 21% largely came from nuclear.) Continue reading “More Renewables Than Fossil Fuels: The U.K. Reaches an Energy Milestone”

How Businesses Can Further the Development of Renewable Energy

The corporate world has multiple incentives for switching to more sustainable practices. Direct savings realized by business leaders include taking advantage of tax credits and deductions and lowered utility bills. Indirect savings often take the form of increased profits as public relations improve and the company customer base grows.

How Businesses Can Further the Development of Renewable Energy

In the past, certain technologies like wind and solar posed problems for industry leaders due to intermittent outages. However improvements in equipment and storage have made wind and solar power equivalent to the traditional grid in terms of performance and reliability. Here are the reasons to convert your organization to renewable energy and reap the financial rewards. Continue reading “How Businesses Can Further the Development of Renewable Energy”

BNEF Report: As Prices Fall, Renewables Rise Worldwide

A new report from BloombergNEF (BNEF) predicts about half of the world’s power will come from renewable resources, including solar and wind, by 2050. The group’s New Energy Outlook 2019, released June 18, noted the trend will be driven by falling prices for solar, wind, and battery storage, along with trillions of dollars of investments in renewable energy projects.

BNEF said hydro and nuclear power will provide more than 20% of the world’s power by mid-century, but global coal-fired electricity production will continue to plummet, with its share of worldwide power generation dropping from 37% today to 12% in 2050.

The BNEF report said wind, solar, and battery storage will enable the power generation industry to meet its share of emission cuts required by the Paris climate agreement, at least until 2030, but other technologies will be needed to continue that trend, according to Matthias Kimmel, the report’s lead analyst.

“To get emissions where we want them to be, we need something else,” Kimmel said. Continue reading “BNEF Report: As Prices Fall, Renewables Rise Worldwide”

America’s renewable energy capacity is now greater than coal

New York (CNN Business)America’s coal industry has already been left in the dust by natural gas. Now it’s under immense pressure from the renewable energy boom.
The renewable energy sector had slightly more installed capacity than coal in April, according to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report.

That means US power plants can produce more energy from clean sources than coal for the first time in history, according to the SUN DAY Campaign, a nonprofit research group supporting sustainable energy. The breakthrough reflects the plunging cost of solar and wind as well as heightened environmental concern about coal.

“Coal has no technology path,” said Jeff McDermott, managing partner at Greentech Capital Advisors, a boutique investment bank focused on clean energy. “It’s got nowhere to go but extinction.”

The clean energy revolution is on the verge of a tipping point.

Also in April, the renewable energy sector was projected to have generated more electricity than coal, according to a separate report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. That transition was partially driven by seasonal issues.

At the same time, America has drastically cut back on its appetite for coal. Since peaking in 2008, US coal consumption has plunged 39% to the lowest level in 40 years, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Continue reading “America’s renewable energy capacity is now greater than coal”

Starbucks to power 3K stores with renewable energy by 2021

Starbucks is no stranger to green initiatives, particularly when it comes to cleaning up its energy usage. It has made several efforts to source sustainable energy, and is the top retailer to buy renewable energy, according to Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership.

  • Starbucks will power 3,000 locations with clean energy by 2021 via a partnership with LevelTenEnergy, according to a press release.
  • LevelTen procured a custom-built portfolio of three projects that include wind and solar farms in North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.
  • A data sharing collaboration between the project developers and LevelTen will allow the coffee chain to monitor its renewable energy generation, track portfolio performance and streamline contract management.

Continue reading “Starbucks to power 3K stores with renewable energy by 2021”

FT: Amplats chief calls for South Africa to open up renewable energy market

Anglo-American Platinum, the world’s biggest producer of platinum, said South Africa needs to open up its renewable energy market to allow companies to generate their own power rather than impose a blanket carbon tax on the industry.

The subsidiary of Anglo American, whose mines rely on power from the country’s struggling state utility Eskom, said the tax would impose millions of dollars of extra costs without helping it to move away from coal-based power. “We don’t have an ability to increase our renewables. There’s no policy that allows us to do that, there’s actually laws preventing us from doing that,” Chris Griffith, chief executive of the company known as Amplats, told the FT. Continue reading “FT: Amplats chief calls for South Africa to open up renewable energy market”

GE Renewable Energy Announces New Solar + Storage Hybrid Project In New York

GE Renewable Energy has announced that it will partner with Helios Energy to develop a new hybrid solar + storage system in upstate New York, which is expected to reach commercial operation in the second quarter of 2020.

Specifically, GE Renewable Energy will integrate two solar PV arrays built by Helios Energy with two battery energy storage systems comprised of GE’s Reservoir technology, Reservoir Inverter units, control systems, and combiner boxes. The two energy storage systems are expected to store and generate 3 MW/12 MWh and 2 MW/8MWh respectively.

The solar arrays to be built by Helios Energy are being built in Lenox, New York, with construction to begin later this year with commercial operation in the second quarter of 2020. Continue reading “GE Renewable Energy Announces New Solar + Storage Hybrid Project In New York”

Could wave power be the next boom in renewable energy?

In a shipyard in Portland, Oregon, a massive new energy generating device is nearly complete. In mid-May, it will begin a three-week journey to Hawaii for the first large-scale test of the tech connected to the grid. Months later, two other new technologies will also head to Hawaii to begin their own tests. It’s one step toward wider adoption of a form of renewable energy that doesn’t yet exist commercially: waves.

Continue reading “Could wave power be the next boom in renewable energy?”

China plans a solar power play in space that NASA abandoned decades ago

Image: NASA | Getty Images News | Getty Images

John Mankins has spent his professional life working on novel ideas that could transform the way humans use technology in space, solar power among them. But Mankins’ interplanetary musings went beyond the way solar is already used to power satellites and the International Space Station. During a 25-year career at NASA and CalTech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he devised multiple concepts to extend the use of solar in space, among them a solar-powered interplanetary transport vehicle and a space-based power system.

It’s that second idea, in particular, that had Mankins’ attention while holding top research positions at NASA during the 1990s and 2000s, including overseeing the $800 million Exploration Systems Research and Technology group. Mankins — who now runs his own private aerospace firm, Artemis Innovation Management Solutions — had the task of figuring out whether there was a way to deliver electricity to the planet by beaming it from space. It’s an idea that could fundamentally reshape the idea of the utility business — and give control over it, on a scale, to whichever world power gets there first.

“If you can dramatically lower the cost of space solar, you can take over most of the energy market of the world,” said Mark Hopkins, a member of the National Space Society board of directors and former Rand Corp. executive. Continue reading “China plans a solar power play in space that NASA abandoned decades ago”