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7 Incoming Governors Strongly Support Renewable Energy Goals

Two-thirds of voters in Arizona fell prey to one of the most vicious disinformation campaigns in the annals of US politics last Tuesday. Bombarded by more than $25 million worth of lies bought and paid for by local utility company Arizona Public Service, they turned thumbs down on a proposal that would have required the state to obtain 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources — not including nuclear — by 2030.

Arizona’s loss is several other states’ gain, however. Incoming governors in Connecticut, Maine, Colorado, Illinois,  Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon have all pledged to beef up their state’s renewable energy goals, according to a report by PV Magazine.
100% Goal In 5 States Continue reading “7 Incoming Governors Strongly Support Renewable Energy Goals”

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Germans to pay slightly lower levy for renewable energy in 2019

Germany will cut a green energy surcharge on consumers’ electricity bills by 5.7 percent next year, but savings for households will be limited as other fees are expected to rise.

Germans pay the highest electricity bills in Europe as state-induced taxes and fees account for over 50 percent of power bills.

German power network operators (TSOs) said on Monday that revenues collected to support green electricity are high and wholesale market prices have risen, allowing renewables producers to rely less on subsidies.

Next year the surcharge under the renewable energy act (EEG) – a fee that accounts for over a fifth of energy bills – will fall to 6.405 euro cents (7.4 US cents) per kilowatt hour (kWh), from 6.792 cents this year, TSOs said in a statement.

That was a steeper cut than forecast by industry group BEE last week, but may be offset by rises in other levies such as those on use of transport grids.

“Consumers should not pin too much hope on noteworthy price cuts by their electricity suppliers,” said Arik Meyer, managing director of SwitchUp, an online service for supplier switches. Continue reading “Germans to pay slightly lower levy for renewable energy in 2019”

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Harvesting renewable energy from the sun and outer space at the same time

Credit: Linda Cicero, Stanford News

Scientists at Stanford University have demonstrated for the first time that heat from the sun and coldness from outer space can be collected simultaneously with a single device. Their research, published November 8 in the journal Joule, suggests that devices for harvesting solar and space energy will not compete for land space and can actually help each other function more efficiently.

Renewable energy is increasingly popular as an economical and efficient alternative to fossil fuels, with solar energy topping charts as the worldwide favorite. But there is another powerful energy source overhead that can perform just the opposite function — outer space.

“It is widely recognized that the sun is a perfect heat source nature offers human beings on Earth,” says Zhen Chen, the first author of the study, who is a former postdoctoral research associate at Stanford in the group of Shanhui Fan and is currently a professor at the Southeast University of China. “It is less widely recognized that nature also offers human beings outer space as a perfect heat sink.”

Continue reading “Harvesting renewable energy from the sun and outer space at the same time”

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Europe to invest €100 million to boost bioeconomy

The European commission is investing €100 million (£88 million) into scaling up bio-based sectors and improving innovation as part of a strategy to improve Europe’s sustainability and enhance its bioeconomy.

The action plan is necessary, the commission says, to provide Europe with food, clean water and energy without damaging the environment and climate or using up finite biological resources. It believes that driving forward the bioeconomy – which includes sectors such as food, agriculture and forestry – will also boost growth and investment, with the potential to provide 1 million more green jobs in just over 20 years. However, it acknowledges that this will require industry and public authorities to make a concerted effort. Continue reading “Europe to invest €100 million to boost bioeconomy”

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Dubai solar park wins green energy prize

An artist’s impression of the third phase of the Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) Solar Park, awarded Solar Project of the Year. Courtesy: Masdar

A Dh50 billion solar park at the heart of Dubai’s drive to increase its use of renewable energy has won a global seal of approval.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) solar park – currently in the third phase of its development – has been named the 2018 Solar Project of the Year at the Asian Power Awards in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Abu Dhabi’s clean energy company Masdar is developing phase three of the solar park in partnership with Shua’a Energy 2.

The eco-friendly project is set be a significant contributor to the nation’s green energy strategy by 2020. Continue reading “Dubai solar park wins green energy prize”

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That $3 Trillion-a-Year Clean Energy Transformation? It’s Already Underway.

(Photo by Dennis Schroeder)

To keep global warming in check, the world will have to invest an average of around $3 trillion a year over the next three decades in transforming its energy supply systems, a new United Nations climate science report says. It won’t be cheap, but it’s also a change that’s already underway.

Much of that investment is money that would be spent on energy systems anyway. Instead of continuing to invest it in fossil fuel-based energy that worsens global warming and can harm human health, the report provides a pathway for shifting those investments to clean energy.

The landmark report, released Oct. 8 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sums up years of research into the risks to people and ecosystems if global temperatures rise 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, and it looks at how to stop that from happening. The planet has already warmed about 1°C, and it’s gaining about 0.2°C every decade, the report says.
Continue reading “That $3 Trillion-a-Year Clean Energy Transformation? It’s Already Underway.”

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Here’s one clean energy policy California shouldn’t miss

Shutterstock: Mark Geistweite

California’s decision to embrace clean, renewable energy is not just good for the environment, it’s good for California’s economy. In fact, California has the strongest clean energy economy in the nation, providing more than 500,000 jobs and contributing billions of dollars to the state’s thriving economy. As a just-released E2 analysis shows, the benefits of the clean energy economy are spreading throughout the state, creating jobs and driving investments in every county and legislative district.

This success is due to California’s leadership in embracing strong, forward-looking policies and setting high standards. The best example of this is the state’s pioneering Renewables Portfolio Standard, which set goals for how much of the state’s retail electricity sales come from renewable sources.

Starting in 2002, California established ambitious, visionary goals — goals that have not merely been met but far exceeded. That success — and the job creation it delivered — has prompted the California Legislature to consider even higher goals.

By the end of August, lawmakers will vote on SB 100, which would raise the target for the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard for 2030 from 50 percent to 60 percent. In addition, SB 100 would establish a goal for 100 percent of the electricity used in the state to come from carbon-free sources by 2045.

Given the scope, size and influence of California, passage of SB 100 could be a huge step toward creating more sustainable energy — and jobs — in America and set a path that other states can follow. Continue reading “Here’s one clean energy policy California shouldn’t miss”

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Germany Wants to Get to 65% Renewable Energy By 2030

German solar and wind farms are producing more electricity than coal now: 118 billion kilowatt-hours through this past June, according to BDEW, the German

Association of Energy and Water Industries. Clean energy is now the largest part of the EU leader’s total power mix (36.3 percent, over coal’s 35.1 percent) — but it’s frankly only one among the many drastic ways by which those models of Teutonic efficiency say they are hoping to meet their highly ambitious 2030 sustainable energy goals. Fingers crossed.

So how are they going to do it? A detailed plan produced by the German clean energy think tank Agora Energiewende — recently published in American English — lays out everything from targeted wind farm locations to temperature-controlled power grids to an electric rail overhaul. For its part, the German government has appointed a 28-person commission to produce a plan to phase out 50 percent of the country’s coal-fired power plants by 2030. There’s already questions about whether the goals are achievable: Germany’s Economy and Energy Ministry says that it will have to shutter at least that many to meet its stated 2030 carbon-reduction goals, according to Bloomberg. Their ultimate plan is to almost double their usage of renewable energies like wind and solar by 2030, bringing it up to 65 percent of their total energy portfolio.
Continue reading “Germany Wants to Get to 65% Renewable Energy By 2030”

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Biggest German gas grid operator sees role in renewable energy future

Source – Open Grid Europe GmbH.

The climate advantage of natural gas can contribute to immediate CO₂ reduction by replacing coal and oil in the power sector and in heating, says Jürgen Fuhlrott, Head of Business Development at Germany’s biggest gas transmission grid operator OGE in an interview with the Clean Energy Wire. More and more biogas and synthetic gases must be added to the mix in the German infrastructure over the coming decades, until Germany enters a world in which it only transports “green gases”. According to Fuhlrott, this will mainly be hydrogen after mid-century.

Clean Energy Wire: Germany aims to decarbonise by mid-century, hoping to reach the Paris Climate Agreement goals. Does this deprive Open Grid Europe (OGE) of its business foundation as gas transmission grid operator?

Jürgen Fuhlrott: We have to look at the situation both in the long term – 2050 – but also beforehand. In the coming years, fossil natural gas can contribute to immediate CO₂ reduction by replacing coal and oil in the power sector and in heating, but also in transport, where gas does not yet play a big role. In the end, it would be of little use to reach our targets in 2050 if – in sum – we’d emit more than allowed in the meantime.

In the medium term, gas must become more and more renewable, for example by adding more biogas or synthetic gases to the existing mix. In the long term, we will enter a world in which we will only transport green gases. It makes sense to continue using the existing gas pipelines to transport converted electricity, instead of expanding the power system beyond what’s already planned.

You highlight the climate advantage of gas over oil and coal. Are there other reasons to continue using gas? Continue reading “Biggest German gas grid operator sees role in renewable energy future”

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Europe’s New Renewable Energy Target Draws Mixed Reactions

European Union officials drew mixed responses from special-interest groups this week after agreeing to a binding renewable energy target of 32 percent by 2030. The target represents a step back for the European Parliament, which had originally proposed 35 percent.

But it is still a big improvement over the European Council’s counteroffer of 27 percent. The deal includes a clause to allow for an increase in the target by 2023.

EU Climate Action & Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete tweeted that Europe is “upping the game” as negotiators emerged from talks that lasted through the night.

And the European PV industry body SolarPower Europe claimed that “solar wins big” with the deal. This is largely thanks to a provision, thought to be the most wide-ranging of its kind, that gives EU citizens the right to produce, consume, store and sell their own electricity.

“The deal is a good one for solar,” James Watson, SolarPower Europe’s CEO, said in a press release. “We see a much more ambitious target than was expected just a few months ago and, importantly, we have a strong framework for self-consumption and prosumers.”

The right to self-generate, consume and store energy “is a major achievement,” he said. Continue reading “Europe’s New Renewable Energy Target Draws Mixed Reactions”