Germany renewables share jumped to to 72.4% last week

A year ago, Germany set itself a target of securing 65 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2030 – one of the more ambitious renewable energy targets anywhere in the world, but one that is still well short of the 100 per cent many experts believe is not only necessary, but possible in Germany.

Possible may be underselling it, however, if the last few weeks of electricity generation in Germany are anything to go by.

A week ago, RenewEconomy editor Giles Parkinson reported that Germany had sourced nearly 65 per cent of its electricity generation from renewables for the week finishing March 3 – “week 10”, according to the parlance of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE), from whom the data has been sourced. Continue reading “Germany renewables share jumped to to 72.4% last week”

San Francisco Municipal Utility To Focus On 100% Renewable Energy & Job Creation

Creative destruction is one of the fundamental principals of capitalism. In theory, when a business no longer serves the needs of the marketplace, it will be destroyed and replaced by one that does. That’s pretty much what officials in San Francisco have in mind as they contemplate what will replace Pacific Gas & Electric after it filed for bankruptcy in January.

“We need to take advantage of this opportunity because the crisis of climate change is a crisis,” San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen said during a recent hearing. “We really need to take it to the next level, and that next level is a complete build out so that we are providing 100 percent renewable energy to all of our customers.” Continue reading “San Francisco Municipal Utility To Focus On 100% Renewable Energy & Job Creation”

Renewable energy will be world’s main power source by 2040, says BP

Renewable energy sources will be the world’s main source of power within two decades and are establishing a foothold in the global energy system faster than any fuel in history, according to BP.

The UK-based oil company said wind, solar and other renewables will account for about 30% of the world’s electricity supplies by 2040, up from 25% in BP’s 2040 estimates last year, and about 10% today.

In regions such as Europe, the figure will be as high as 50% by 2040. The speed of growth was without parallel, the company said in its annual energy outlook.

While oil took almost 45 years to go from 1% of global energy to 10%, and gas took more than 50 years, renewables are expected to do so within 25 years in the report’s central scenario.

In the event of a faster switch to a low carbon economy, that period comes down to just 15 years, which BP said would be “literally off the charts” relative to historical shifts. Continue reading “Renewable energy will be world’s main power source by 2040, says BP”

South Dakota Could Be The Next Solar Power Powerhouse

Regardless of President* Trump’s affection for fossil fuels, the fact is that state-level action is the key to accelerating clean power in the US. A case in point is South Dakota, where a huge battle is brewing over the state’s renewable energy industry.

South Dakota also illustrates how the red-blue political divide is giving way — slowly — to market based policies. Everybody wants wind and solar now that costs have come down. States that fail to encourage the trend risk missing out on important economic development opportunities.

South Dakota doesn’t tend to make a lot of headlines in the renewable energy department, though the state is a pretty decent performer in the wind industry.

The American Wind Energy Association put South Dakota at 19th in installed wind capacity among US states for 2017, with 16 functioning wind farms totaling 601 turbines and 1.019 megawatts in capacity. Another 408 megawatts was in the pipeline as of 2017. Continue reading “South Dakota Could Be The Next Solar Power Powerhouse”

North Sea rocks could act as large-scale underwater renewable energy stores, study finds

( Getty/iStock )

Rocks at the bottom of the North Sea may provide the perfect storage location for renewable energy, according to a new study.

Excess power could be stored in the form of compressed air inside porous formations on the seabed, providing a reservoir that can provide energy on demand.

This pressurised air can be released to drive a turbine, generating a large amount of electricity.

This would allow green energy to be stored in summer and released in winter, when demand is highest.

Along with battery storage and connections linking Britain’s power supply to other European nations, experts hope compressed air energy storage will provide the UK with a constant supply of green energy. Continue reading “North Sea rocks could act as large-scale underwater renewable energy stores, study finds”

Ecolab to Support Clearway’s US Renewable Energy Projects

US-based water, hygiene, energy technologies and services provider Ecolab has agreed to provide support for Clearway Energy Group’s US renewable energy projects, including a 419MW wind farm, Mesquite Star, located in Fisher County, Texas.

Under a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA), Ecolab will support the construction of 100MW of new renewable electricity capacity within the Mesquite Star wind farm.

In 2015, Ecolab signed 5MW of community solar subscriptions with Clearway in Minnesota.

Ecolab corporate sustainability vice-president Emilio Tenuta said: “We continually work to improve the sustainability footprint of our customers’ and our own operations, and the renewable electricity generated from the Mesquite Star wind farm will help us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020 versus a 2015 baseline.” Continue reading “Ecolab to Support Clearway’s US Renewable Energy Projects”

How ‘miniature suns’ could provide cheap, clean energy

Pic: Getty Image

We’re just five years away from harnessing almost unlimited power from “miniature suns”, some start-ups say: nuclear fusion reactors that could provide abundant, cheap and clean energy.

In a world of global warming caused by our addiction to fossil fuels, there is an urgent need to find sustainable alternative sources of energy.

If we don’t, the future looks decidedly bleak for millions of people on this planet: water and food shortages leading to famine and war.

Nuclear fusion has long been heralded as a potential answer to our prayers. But it’s always been “thirty years away”, according to the industry joke.

Now several start-ups are saying they can make fusion a commercial reality much sooner. Continue reading “How ‘miniature suns’ could provide cheap, clean energy”

Regulated tariffs under fire as clean energy gains momentum

[Image source: Duke Energy / Flickr]
Electricity prices regulated by the government are commonplace in Europe, chiefly out of concern for vulnerable consumers. But they also undermine the adoption of innovative demand-response technologies, which are key to integrate higher shares of renewables and electric cars.

Real-time prices are considered essential to unlocking the next generation of digital demand-response technologies, which allow consumers to react to price signals and use electricity when it’s cheapest – for example during office hours or at night.

That was the logic behind the European Commission’s proposed reform of electricity market rules, which promised to put consumers in the driving seat of a revolution in the way power is produced, traded and consumed across Europe. Continue reading “Regulated tariffs under fire as clean energy gains momentum”

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”

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”