Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

The Green Energy Times February 2024 Issue Is Now Online


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The February, 2024 issue of Green Energy Times has gone to press and will soon be available at the usual distribution sites. A digital version is available for download as a pdf file HERE.

Individual articles will be available for download soon.

February 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Oz Offshore Consultation Is Kicked Off” • The Government of Australia is seeking feedback on the benefits and effects of future offshore wind development in a proposed area in the Indian Ocean off the Bunbury region in Western Australia. The area is at least 20km from the coast, has quality wind resources and some relatively shallow waters. [reNews]

Offshore wind turbines (insung yoon, Unsplash)

  • “Plug-in Hybrids: Are They Really A Solution To Reducing Emissions?” • Recently GM made headlines in saying they may restart production of plug-in hybrids after moving to battery EVs only in 2019. Are they moving backwards? Not necessarily. We need to move from gasoline to electricity quickly, and there may be a place for plugin-hybrids. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Kenyan Startup Roam Secures $24 Million in Funding to Accelerate Electric Mobility Solutions” • The transition to electric mobility is gaining momentum. The electric two-wheeler market has grown rapidly around the world over the past few years due to high fuel prices, rapid urbanization in developing countries, and the need to reduce air pollution. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Telis Energy Italy Ignites Renewable Revolution With 3-GW Development Plan” • In a move that signals a major shift towards renewable energy in Italy, Telis Energy Italy, a subsidiary of the British-based Telis Energy, has unveiled ambitious plans to develop 3 GW of battery storage and hybrid renewable energy projects in the country. [BNN Breaking]
  • “West Virginia House of Delegates Approves Expansion Of Renewable Energy Capacity” • The WV House of Delegates approved House Bill 5528 to increase the cap on the amount of renewable electricity a facility can generate. It also eliminates the sunset date on a state program aimed at promoting utility-scale renewable power. [Zelosos por Buenas Renovables]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

February 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “New Study Projects Geothermal Heat Pumps’ Impact On Carbon Emissions And Electrical Grid by 2050” • Modeling analysis led by the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory gives the first detailed look at how geothermal energy can relieve the electric power system and reduce carbon emissions if widely implemented across the US. [CleanTechnica]

  • “Tackling Climate Change: Understanding How Soil Traps Carbon” • A new finding explains how soil sequesters plant-based carbon from the atmosphere. The outcome may promote ideas to help tackle climate change, including strategies to prevent carbon release. With 2,500 billion tons of carbon, soil is one of Earth’s largest carbon sinks. [Digital Journal]
  • “The Texas Solar Energy Revolution Is Going Global” • The solar industry of Texas is in a weird situation politically, but that doesn’t seem to stop investors who want to pump money into the state’s economy. The latest news shows how manufacturers in other states and countries can base their clean power profiles on Texas renewable energy projects. [CleanTechnica]
  • “’Zombie Fires’ Burning At An Alarming Rate In Canada” • In the dead of Canada’s winter, the embers of last year’s record wildfire season still remain. So-called zombie fires are burning under thick layers of snow at an unprecedented rate, raising fears about what the coming summer may bring. Their smoke can be seen rising, and it can be smelled. [BBC]
  • “Greece Set to Become Major Energy Exporter to Europe” • Greece could generate billions of euros of yearly income for its economy by developing an electricity connection to central Europe and exporting the country’s vast potential in renewable energy to consumers in Germany and elsewhere, according to a recent study. [GreekReporter.com]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

February 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Climate Change Is Forcing Some Australians To Weigh Up Relocating” • Big environmental changes mean ever more Australians will confront the tough choice of whether to move home or risk staying put. Hotter and more humid weather, increased flood risks, droughts, and bushfires are already causing falling populations in some places. [Phys.org]

Australia (Elsa Guyader, Unsplash)

  • “Ford F-150 Lightning Makes It To #1 EV Market In The World – How Will It Do?” • The F-150 Lightning had just a little more than 24,000 sales in the US in 2023. That’s a far cry from the 150,000 or so annual sales the company’s targeting. But now, Ford has started exporting the F-150 Lightning, and one early market is Norway. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Morocco Will Power Homes In The UK” • UK-based Xlinks has announced the appointment of Vegar Serthwaite Larsen as CTO to lead the £1.4 billion ($1.7 billion) submarine cable project to carry renewably generated energy from Morocco to the UK. Four huge undersea cables are to supply 3.6 GW by 2030, meeting 8% of Britain’s electricity needs. [Atalayar]
  • “One Firefighter Killed, Ten More Injured In ‘Catastrophic’ House Explosion In Virginia: Officials” • A firefighter was killed and ten others injured when a house in Sterling, Virginia exploded, the fire chief said. A resident had reported smelling gas. A 500-gallon underground propane tank on the side of the house was leaking gas. [ABC News]
  • “California’s Giant Solar And Storage Initiative” • The Edwards Sanborn facility in the Mojave Desert shows innovation and commitment to sustainable practices. It can produce 875 MW from solar PVs and store 3,287 MWh in its batteries. It can power about 238,000 homes and reduce CO₂ emissions by 320,000 tons each year. [Microgrid Media]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Did Solar Power the Super Bowl?

From Inside Climate News

Did Solar Power the Super Bowl? – KileyPrice -Inside Climate News – “The entire 1.8-million-square foot stadium is climate-controlled and boasts more than 2,200 screens for fans who don’t have a front-row seat to the action. Overall, Super Bowl Sunday festivities were projected to use up around 28 megawatt-hours of electricity, which is equivalent to the power required for about 46,000 households to watch the game at home, according to environmental consulting firm NZero. However, this year, all of the electricity powering Allegiant Stadium was supplied by renewable energy, says the firm, which the Las Vegas Raiders hired to monitor the structure’s emissions. More specifically, the Raiders say the energy largely came from their contract partnership with NV Energy, which runs a 621,000-panel solar farm in the desert outside of Las Vegas. “ Article link here.

February 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “A Green Revolution Powered By Renewable Energy” • The Electric Picnic festival, nestled in the green heart of Stradbally, County Laois, is taking a bold step forward. For the first time in its history, and perhaps in the annals of festivals across Ireland and the UK, the stage will be bathed in the glow of renewable energy. [BNN Breaking]

Stradbally (Ben Eubank, Unsplash)

  • “Thailand’s Floating Solar Solution” • The largest floating hydro-solar project in the world came online in Thailand in 2021. Its success prompted the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand to advance fifteen new clean energy projects. The combined capacity from the new projects supported by EGAT will total over 2.7 GW.[CleanTechnica]
  • “The Silverspot Butterfly, Native To Three US States, Is Inching Closer To Extinction” • The silverspot butterfly, a species native to three US states, is inching closer to extinction, prompting the federal government to take immediate action. The three main threats for butterfly populations are habitat degradation, habitat loss, and climate change. [ABC News]
  • “Oregon Power Company Requests Nearly 17% Spike In Rates” • One of Oregon’s electricity companies, Pacific Power, requested a 16.9% rate adjustment to invest in wildfire risk management, transmission infrastructure, and renewable projects. In addition to the increased wildfire risk, extreme weather events were cited as a reason for the request. [KGW]
  • “Facing Warmest Winter On Record, Minnesota Forced To Pivot On Recreation Offerings” • Winter sport enthusiasts flock to Minnesota each year for activities like skiing, skating, ice fishing, and more. But as climate change driven by global warming brings shorter and less predictable winters, winter recreation is changing. [ABC News]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Webinar: Doubling the Pace of Energy Efficiency Progress

Doubling the Pace of Energy Efficiency Progress

Thursday, February 29, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET

At COP28, 132 nations, including the United States, committed to working together to make energy efficiency the “first fuel” and double the rate of energy efficiency improvements. But what will it take to actually go from 2% annual energy efficiency improvement to 4%, both in the U.S. and across the world?

Join experts from the International Energy Agency and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy for an engaging discussion on how to accelerate recent trends and leverage policy opportunities to achieve those ambitious outcomes while prioritizing equitable approaches.

 

Register for the Webinar

Speakers:

Mark Kresowik
Senior Policy Director
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Dr. Nicholas Howarth
Policy Analyst
Office of Energy Efficiency & Inclusive Transitions,
International Energy Agency

Groundbreaking Stanford Study Shows that Batteries Plus Fuel Cells Can Ensure Reliable, Cheap Clean Energy to Help Solve Climate Crisis

Study busts the myth that fossil fuels are needed to keep the lights on and finds that transitioning to clean energy can reduce costs by around 61%

Stanford, Calif.– A new groundbreaking study out of Stanford University demonstrates that combining battery storage with hydrogen fuel cells can ensure low-cost reliability when countries, including the U.S., transition to electricity grids powered by 100% clean, renewable energy. As the world undergoes a new industrial revolution away from fossil fuels to renewables in order to address air pollution, energy security and the climate crisis, the Stanford study provides a key missing piece of the puzzle. The study finds that transitioning to clean power can reduce countries’ overall annual energy costs by around 61%.

In the first study of its type, Stanford engineering professor Mark Z. Jacobson used cutting-edge computer modeling to bust the myth that fossil fuels are needed to keep the lights on 24/7, 365 days a year at low cost throughout the world.

“At this point, anyone saying that we need fossil fuels, nuclear, or any other conventional energy resource to keep the lights on 24/7 hasn’t done the analysis,” Jacobson said. “This study will help planners create a more efficient and cost-effective future energy system based on clean, renewable electricity. The results provide countries with concrete evidence and the confidence that 100% clean grids not only lower costs but are also just as reliable as the current grid system.”

Wind turbines and solar power are rapidly replacing fossil fuels worldwide as a source of electricity. However, the wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine, leading to fears of power outages. Currently, hydroelectric power and fossil gas provide most backup when insufficient coal, nuclear, or other electricity is available. What happens, though, when a country transitions to 100% renewable electricity, thereby eliminating fossil gas backup? Two of the main contenders for replacing fossil gas for storage are batteries and green hydrogen used in fuel cells. Green hydrogen is hydrogen produced from renewable electricity, such as wind, solar, or hydroelectricity.

Electricity storage is used for two main purposes: providing short bursts of large amounts of power and providing lesser amounts of power for a long time. Although batteries can be linked together to provide both short-term power and long-term energy storage, they are more cost-effective for short-term (seconds to hours) power bursts than for long-term (hours to days or weeks) storage. Green hydrogen storage, on the other hand, is more cost effective for long-term energy storage than for short-term power bursts. Hydropower can be used for both short power bursts and long-term energy storage.

Jacobson analyzed the cost of keeping the grid stable in 145 countries powered for all energy purposes (electricity, transportation, buildings, industry, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and the military) by clean, renewable energy, namely electricity and heat coming from wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and solar sources. The main electricity storage options included existing hydropower dams, batteries and green hydrogen.

The study found that existing hydropower plus batteries avoids blackouts throughout the world. However, adding green hydrogen to the mix reduces energy overall cost in some regions. Using hydropower and green hydrogen but no batteries is always more expensive than using hydropower with both batteries and green hydrogen.

The main reason for this result is that every region in the world needs short-term bursts of power with 100% renewables on the grid (thus every region needs either hydropower or batteries), but not every region needs new long-term storage. This is because such regions have either a good combination of wind and solar resources that provide energy continuously over long periods, have a lot of existing hydropower for long-term storage, and/or can use the same number of new batteries they use for short power bursts for long-term storage as well.

Jacobson also finds that combining hydrogen production and storage for grid purposes and non-grid purposes (steel production, ammonia production, and long-distance, heavy transport) generally reduces overall energy cost relative to separating such production and storage, due to economies of scale.

The study was carried out through three types of computer modeling: a three-dimensional global weather-climate-air pollution model, a spreadsheet model and a model that matches electricity, heat, cold, and hydrogen demand with supply, storage and demand response assuming perfect grid interconnection.

Five countries already have 100% renewable electricity grids, 10 have 97.3-100% renewable grids, and 35 have 50-100% renewable grids. Such grids are mostly dominated by hydropower, though. In 11 U.S. states, 51-97% of the equivalent electricity consumed is powered by renewables, with seven of those states dominated by wind and one by solar.

The study was published in iScience. Interviews available upon request.

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Mark Z. Jacobson is director of Stanford University’s Atmosphere/Energy program; a senior fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy; a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and author of “No Miracles Needed: How Today’s Technology can Save our Climate and Clean our Air.”

February 16 Green Energy News

  • “Solar And Battery Storage To Make Up 81% Of New US Electric-Generating Capacity In 2024” • Developers and power plant owners plan to add 62.8 GW of electric-generating capacity in 2024, data in the EIA’s Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory shows. The largest share is solar, at 58%, followed by batteries, at 23%, and wind, at 13%. [CleanTechnica]

Expected capacity additions (EIA image)

  • “Is Nuclear The Answer To Australia’s Climate Crisis?” • There are four arguments against nuclear power investments: Olkiluoto 3, Flamanville 3, Hinkley Point C, and Vogtle. They are major latest-generation plants completed or nearly so in Finland, the US, the UK, and France. Their cost overruns average over 300%, with more increases to come. [menafn]
  • “The Uruguay Way: Achieving Energy Sovereignty In The Developing World” • As it successfully transitions away from fossil fuels, Uruguay now generates up to 98% of its electricity from renewable sources. The country offers lessons in energy sovereignty and the importance of community engagement in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. [Earth.Org]
  • “Minnesota Power Opens 400-MW Onshore Wind RFP” • A request for proposals for up to 400 MW of wind energy, to come online by the end of 2027, was issued by Minnesota Power. The procurement of wind through this RFP will increase Minnesota Power’s wind portfolio of approximately 870 MW of owned and contracted capacity by nearly 50%. [reNews]
  • “USDA Census of Agriculture Shows US Losing Small Farms to Factory Farming But Gaining in Renewable Energy” • The latest Census of Agriculture from the US Department of Agriculture raises concerns over a loss of small farms and a growth in larger farms, while also showing some promise with the growth of renewable energy in agriculture. [EcoWatch]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

February 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Why Ice Did Not Form In The Great Lakes This Winter” • This is the winter that wasn’t in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions. The ice cover has just kept melting away since last week’s Great Lakes ice analysis showed that it was only 5.9%. With climate change, the Great Lakes are among the fastest-warming lakes in the world. [ABC News]

Lake Michigan, near Muskegon, on February 11 (Jen Day, NOAA)

  • “Permanent Magnet Motor Market Surges Amidst EV And Renewable Energy Boom” • In a world racing towards a cleaner and more sustainable future, the permanent magnet motor market is seeing an unprecedented boom. With the increasing popularity of EVs and renewable energy sources, the demand for these motors is soaring. [BNN Breaking]
  • “Only Asia On Track To Triple Renewable Energy Capacity By 2030, Fuelled By Growth In India And China: Report” • Driven by growth in India and China, Asia is at this time the largest contributor to additional global renewable energy capacity needed to triple production by 2030, report from global think tank Climate Analytics said. [Swarajya]
  • “First February Tornadoes In Wisconsin Caused $2.4 Million In Damages” • The first tornadoes ever recorded in Wisconsin in the usually frigid month of February caused damage of over $2.4 million, officials said. They struck Rock County on February 8. They hit thirty homes, killed some cattle, and damaged farming equipment and buildings. [ABC News]
  • “Texas Shatters Own Solar Power Record, Weird Political Situation Or Not” • Texas has emerged as the renewable energy pace-setter in the US, despite top public officials who don’t have very nice things to say about clean power. The big dollars are flowing into clean energy, and Texas now gets more electricity from the sun than from coal. [CleanTechnica]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.