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”

Breathing new life into renewable energy

Green technology has come a long way. The next challenge for the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory is to develop ways to recycle the recycling infrastructure.

The clean energy sector faces a major stumbling block. The power it produces may be renewable, but the infrastructure it uses is far from it.

Over the past decade, advances in composite materials have allowed the construction of enormous turbine blades. Some are now longer than the wingspan of a Boeing 747. As blades have increased, so have the costs to transport them. When wind farms need to replace aging blades, it is now often cheaper to leave them lying on the ground. Continue reading “Breathing new life into renewable energy”

Twenty UK universities have agreed £50m deal to buy renewable energy from British windfarms

Twenty of the UK’s leading universities have struck a £50m deal to buy renewable energy directly from British windfarms for the first time.

The collaborative clean energy deal will supply electricity from wind farms across Scotland and Wales to universities including Newcastle University, University of Exeter and Aberystwyth University.

The landmark deal, known as a “power purchase agreement” or PPA, is the first time that public sector energy users have clubbed together to buy clean electricity.

The PPA was arranged by deal brokers at The Energy Consortium and Squeaky Clean Energy to fix the price of renewable electricity from a portfolio British windfarms for the next 10 years. Continue reading “Twenty UK universities have agreed £50m deal to buy renewable energy from British windfarms”

Renewable Energy has Space to Grow

By replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, nations could achieve their emissions commitments without encroaching on vital natural land, according to researchers in the US.

Low-emission energy sources like wind and solar can have a larger geographical footprint than fossil-fuel plants of equivalent capacity. Even so, the renewable-energy potential of already developed land is more than enough to fulfill pledges made as part of the Paris Agreement and could satisfy the total energy demand projected for 2050, the analysis shows.

At the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in 2015, 196 countries agreed to aim to limit warming to less than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. The rapid cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions needed imply a large-scale shift away from fossil fuels. Renewable-energy schemes are not without environmental impact themselves, however, so it’s important to choose locations and generation techniques that cause the least possible harm. Continue reading “Renewable Energy has Space to Grow”

Bloomberg: Flying Wind Turbines Make Their First Trip Offshore in Norway

Shell’s kite wind project deployed in the North Sea. Source: Makani Power Inc.

A carbon-fiber kite tethered to a buoy floating in waters 220 meters (761 feet) deep took flight in a test to prove that the future of offshore wind power might fly through the air.

The kite, owned by the Alphabet Inc.-subsidiary Makani and backed by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, completed its first demonstration about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) off the coast of Norway in the North Sea. Continue reading “Bloomberg: Flying Wind Turbines Make Their First Trip Offshore in Norway”

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”

Electric cars could form battery hubs to store renewable energy

A fleet of 35m electric vehicles could help the UK reach its net-zero carbon target by forming large battery hubs to store renewable energy, according to the country’s energy system operator.

National Grid predicts that by 2050 millions of electric cars will use wind and solar power to charge up within minutes to act as battery packs for when the grid needs more energy.

The grid operator’s long-range energy forecasts predict that smart charging systems will use algorithms to help cars balance demand and supply on the grid, while making the most of renewable energy and saving customers money.

It found that the plug-in car fleet could hold a fifth of the electricity produced by the UK’s solar panels, which it predicts will quadruple over the same period.

This scenario would make the UK’s ambitious target to cut emissions to net zero by 2050 achievable because it helps cut carbon from the energy and transport sectors, according to the report. Continue reading “Electric cars could form battery hubs to store 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”