Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

January 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Algae That Blights Our Seas Is Harvested To Make Useful Products” • Excessive outbreaks of seaweed are clogging up waters from the Caribbean to the Baltic. Now the algae is being harvested alongside farmed crops to create ingredients for cosmetics and food products. The outbreaks happen when tiny cyanobacteria suddenly multiply rapidly. [BBC]

Mari Granström in a lab (Origin by Ocean image)

  • “How The World’s Largest Banks Are Funding Fossil Fuel Companies” • There’s no way to sugarcoat this. The world’s largest banks are providing the money fossil fuel companies need so they can continue degrading the environment to the point where the humans may no longer be able to survive on our little blue planet [CleanTechnica]
  • “Nearly 220 Million People In Pakistan Without Power After Countrywide Outage” • A nationwide power outage in Pakistan left nearly 220 million people without electricity on Monday, threatening to cause havoc in the South Asian nation already grappling with fuel shortages in the winter months. It is unclear how long the outage will last. [CNN]
  • “Climate Scientists Worry As ‘Sun Tourism’ Catches Up Fast In Himachal Pradesh” • ‘Sun tourism’ is catching up fast in the Indian mountains of Himachal Pradesh as one gets more balmy days in the winter compared to the country’s northern plains, where the fog is screening out the sun. It is a worrying sign for climate scientists. [The Weather Channel]
  • “With Its New Energy Policy, Odisha Hopes For A Frictionless Transition To Renewable Power” • The government of the Indian state of Odisha is offering exemption on duty and surcharges, along with other benefits and is targetting renewable energy capacity of 10,000 MW by 2030, according to its renewable energy policy, 2022.  [Scroll.in]

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

Just In! (from NY-GEO)

Just In! is NY-GEO’s weekly news feed for members. NY-GEO’s calendar-year memberships are open to everyone and available for as little as $35. See more information on memberships hereClick here to see some of the work a NY-GEO membership supports. We also feature three of the top news item summaries on the NY-GEO home page every Monday.

Sierra Club Notes Flaws in National Grid CLCPA Study – In an important filing with the NYS Public Service Commission, the Sierra Club has repeated its concerns over flaws in National Grid’s study on how it intends to comply with NY’s Climate Law, which requires vast reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Sierra notes problems with excessively optimistic assumptions, Grid’s justification for retention of the existing gas pipeline system, the use of hydrogen blending and the inclusion of a scenario that counts on emission reductions from outside National Grid’s purview. Sierra Club Comments here.

Joshua Berman, Senior Attorney, Sierra Club Environmental Law Program, filed Sierra Club’s memo

This Old House – Induction vs. Gas Cooktop – This old house stages a water boil off between gas and electric induction portable cooktops. They note the induction cooktop is 80-90% efficient while the gas appliance is 30-40% efficient. Tip from Sage Welch at the National Building Electrification Network and Sunstone Strategies. 6-Minute Video here.

Offshore Wind Not Causing Whale Deaths. Renewable Energy World. “Federal environmental and energy officials moved Wednesday to quell a growing controversy over whether work done by the offshore wind power industry is killing whales in the northeastern U.S., saying there is no evidence this is happening. In a briefing of reporters, Benjamin Laws, deputy chief for permits and conservation with NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources stated: ‘I want to be unambiguous: There is no information supporting that any of the equipment used in support of offshore wind development could directly lead to the death of a whale. There are no known connections between any offshore wind activities and any whale strandings.’ ” Full story here.

January 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Aptera Reveals Launch Edition EV” • Aptera held a live online event where the company revealed the Launch Edition version of its three-wheeled solar-powered car. There are some really cool things about the final design, but also some downsides early adopters will face. You can see the event yourself or read a recap and commentary. [CleanTechnica]

Aptera (Aptera image)

  • “This ‘Floating City’ Concept Could Be The Answer To Climate Change” • This ‘floating city’ concept could house up to 50,000 people and be powered by 100% renewable energy. The living spaces are all connected by walkways, airways, and waterways. Take a look at its vertical gardens and 25 acres of interconnected social spaces. [Business Insider India]
  • “‘Climate Deniers Are Victims Not Villains’ – A Psychologist’s Guide To Winning Them Over” • Climate denial comes from different kinds of people. Some are angry because they believe the fossil fuels interests. But the average climate dismissive is not an evil business mogul looking to squeeze all possible profit from the world before it burns. [Euronews]
  • “Dolphins Make A Splash In New York City’s Bronx River” • Dolphins are swimming in New York City’s Bronx River for the first time in over five years. “It’s true – dolphins were spotted in the Bronx River this week!” wrote the Parks Department. “This is great news – it shows that the decades-long effort to restore the river as a healthy habitat is working.” [CNN]
  • “This Butterfly Was Once Thought Extinct. Now It’s Off The Endangered Species List” • Fender’s blue butterfly has fluttered away from the brink of extinction. The species, once so rare it was thought to be extinct, is no longer considered endangered. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is reclassifying the species from “endangered” to “threatened.” [CNN]

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

January 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Italy Orders 7,100 MW Of Weird Floating Offshore Wind Energy Harvesters” • The floating wind field is a relatively new one, but Italy has just put in for an ambitious order of 7,100 MW from a new joint venture anchored by the startup Hexicon, which is marketing a floating wind platform that supports two wind turbines instead of just one. [CleanTechnica]

Floating offshore wind turbines (Courtesy of Hexicon)

  • “Bloomberg: China To Increase Share Of Renewable Energy Sources To 52% By End Of Year” • Beijing plans to increase the share of renewable energy sources (RES) in electricity generation in 2023 to 52% compared to 49.6% at the end of 2022. Bloomberg wrote about it with reference to the report of the China Electric Power Council. [Armenia News]
  • “An EV Heads To Daytona, But It’s Heavier Than Any Car That’s Ever Raced There” • A small fleet of EVs will be serving every race at Daytona going forward. The REV Fire Group Inc, which makes fire-fighting apparatus, announced that starting this year, its all-electric Vector fire truck will be part of the firefighting fleet at Daytona International Speedway. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Renewables Could Make Up A Quarter Of US Electricity Generation By 2024” • Renewable energy is poised to reach a milestone as the Energy Information Administration’s Short Term Energy Outlook projects that renewable sources will exceed one-fourth of the country’s electricity generation for the first time, in 2024. [Fast Company]
  • “This Winter’s Rain And Snow Won’t Be Enough To Pull The West Out Of Drought” • The West has been slammed by rain and snow. “It’s great to see a big snowpack,” said Brad Udall, a water and climate researcher at Colorado State University. “We would need five or six years at 150% snowpack to refill these reservoirs. And that is extremely unlikely.” [KUER]

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

January 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “New Africa Renewable Energy Initiative To Unleash 1.2 Terawatts” • A new consortium launched the Africa Renewable Energy Manufacturing Initiative, which was set up to help drive the financial, technical, and socioeconomic investments needed to develop 1.2 terawatts of energy potential and 14 million new jobs in Africa. [MyJoyOnline.com]

Nairobi (Mustafa Omar, Unsplash)

  • “The Race To Make Diesel Engines Run On Hydrogen” • Engineers at the University of New South Wales say they have successfully modified a conventional diesel engine to use a mix of hydrogen and a small amount of diesel oil. They claiming their patented technology has cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 85%. [BBC]
  • “Candela C-8 Electric Boat Gets Larger Polestar 2 Battery And Range Increase” • The Candela C-8 now has the Polestar 2’s 69-kWh battery, rather than the 44-kWh battery it previously came with. With the new larger battery, the C-8’s range is up to 65 miles traveling at 22 knots; previously it was 50 miles. The price of the boat is unchanged. [CleanTechnica]
  • “California Storms Were Great For Wine” • The atmospheric rivers that swept through California for two weeks caused an estimated $30 billion in damage. The torrents collapsed hillsides, uprooted trees, and washed out highways. At least 20 people died, and millions were under flood warnings. But the rain was a desperately needed gift to California wineries. [BBC]
  • “Increasing Renewables Likely To Reduce Coal And Natural Gas Generation Over Next Two Years” • In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, the Energy Information Administration projects that growth of US renewable power capacity will reduce output of both coal-fired and natural gas-fired power plants in 2023 and 2024. [CleanTechnica]

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

January 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Temperatures On Greenland Haven’t Been This Warm In At Least 1,000 Years, Scientists Report” • After years of research on the Greenland ice sheet, scientists reported in the journal Nature that temperatures there have been the warmest in at least the last 1,000 years, which is the limit for the time they can analyze by examining ice cores. [CNN]

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland (Annie Spratt, Unsplash)

  • “UK Round 4 Offshore Projects Sign Lease Agreements” • The Crown Estate has signed lease agreements for six UK offshore wind projects around the coastlines of England and Wales, which were tendered under its Round 4 seabed auction. The milestone Agreements for Lease will allow developers to progress work on nearly 8 GW of sites. [reNews]
  • “New Aircraft Design From NASA And Boeing Could Benefit Passengers In The 2030s” • NASA and Boeing will work together on the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project to build, test and fly an emission-reducing single-aisle aircraft this decade, NASA announced. The first test flight of this experimental aircraft is set to take place in 2028. [CNN]
  • “US Races Ahead In EV Manufacturing Investments” • The US is poised to attract the most investments globally in EV and battery manufacturing, for the first time surpassing announced investments in China and closing in on Europe. Companies have announced $210 billion of investments in the EV industry, up from just over $50 billion in 2021. [CleanTechnica]
  • “USDA To Make $300 Million Available For Local Renewable Energy In Nevada” • The USDA will make available $300 million for the state of Nevada to invest in renewable energy for rural areas. The funding will include $250 million from the Inflation Reduction Act. The USDA is now seeking applications for the fiscal year 2023. [KOLO] (All states have funding available.)

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

FERC Forecasts Solar to Provide Two-Thirds of New U.S. Generating Capacity Over the Next Three Years + Strong Growth by Wind

SUN DAY CAMPAIGNBrief News Update & Analysis  
   
FERC FORESEES SOLAR PROVIDING TWO-THIRDS OF NEW U.S. GENERATING CAPACITY OVER THE NEXT THREE YEARS 
 WIND WILL PROVIDE ANOTHER 15.4% AS FOSSIL FUEL AND NUCLEAR CAPACITY FALL 
Contact:         Ken Bossong, 301-588-4741 or 301-270-6477 x.6   
                           
Washington DC – Based upon a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data just released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), solar will account for nearly two-thirds (66.00%) of “high probability” additions to installed utility-scale generating capacity in the U.S. over the next three years.  
 
According to the latest issue of FERC’s monthly “Energy Infrastructure Update” (with data through November 30, 2022), “high probability” additions by solar to U.S. generating capacity between December 2022 and November 2025 will total 72,809 megawatts (MW). FERC foresees no solar capacity retirements during that time. Such growth would nearly double solar’s share of total available installed generating capacity, increasing it from 78,880-MW to 151,690-MW. (And this does not include small-scale, distributed solar capacity. [1]) 
 
In addition, wind generating capacity would grow substantially – by 16,955-MW – with just 140-MW of retirements. Hydropower is also expected to increase by 819-MW with 46-MW of retirements. 
 
While FERC projects 17,260-MW of “high probability” additions by natural gas, that capacity would be almost entirely offset by 16,954-MW of retirements. Similarly, an expected increase of 2,200-MW in new nuclear capacity would be completely negated by 2,323-MW in retirements. FERC foresees no new coal capacity over the next three years but does anticipate 17,385-MW of retirements as well as a net decrease of 1,677-MW in oil generating capacity.
 
Between “high probability” additions and retirements among all energy sources, FERC projects a net increase of 71,391-MW in installed U.S. generating capacity. In effect, new solar would account for the overall net increase in the nation’s total capacity while new wind capacity would roughly displace the net decreases in fossil fuel and nuclear capacity. 
 
If FERC’s data become reality, by November 2025, solar and wind will be nearly equal in their shares of U.S. generating capacity — 11.41% and 12.02% respectively. The combination of all renewables (i.e., including hydropower, biomass, and geothermal) will account for almost one-third (32.54%) of U.S. generating capacity – up from 27.19% today. Meanwhile, natural gas’ share will drop from 44.15% to 41.80% while coal falls from 17.34% to 15.10% and nuclear from 8.14% to 7.69%. Contributions by oil and biomass would also fall. 
 
Beyond “high probability” additions, FERC also provides data on “all additions” for each energy source that may be in the three-year pipeline. Solar dominates with 201,637-MW, followed by 67,950-MW for wind. By comparison, natural gas has only 33,547-MW. Hydropower accounts for another 12,400-MW. Consequently, it is conceivable that solar’s expanding share of U.S. generating capacity over the next three years could be even larger. 
 
The trend lines during the first eleven months of 2022 suggest the higher forecasts for solar and wind may well prove accurate. Through the end of November, renewable energy sources accounted for 72.83% of all new capacity additions in 2022 with solar in the lead (36.53%), followed by wind (35.68%) – each comfortably surpassing natural gas (27.02%). In the month of November alone, renewables were 98.11% of all new capacity additions with solar again taking the lead (727-MW), followed by wind (665-MW), and only 27-MW of new gas. 
 
As 2022 drew to a close, the share of the nation’s generating capacity provided by utility-scale solar and wind totaled 17.63% (solar – 6.27%, wind – 11.36%). That surpassed the installed generating capacity of coal (17.34%) and greatly exceeded that of either nuclear power (8.14%) or oil (3.01%).[2] 
 
“The combined generating capacity of solar and wind is now greater than either coal or nuclear power,” noted the SUN DAY Campaign’s executive director Ken Bossong.  “Moreover, if the current trajectory persists or accelerates, generating capacity by the mix of all renewables should overtake that of natural gas before 2030 and possibly much sooner.” 
  
# # # # # # # # #  
   
Sources 
   
FERC’s 6-page “Energy Infrastructure Update for November 2022” was released on January 13, 2023 and can be found at: https://cms.ferc.gov/media/energy-infrastructure-update-november-2022. For the information cited in this update, see the tables entitled “New Generation In-Service (New Build and Expansion),” “Total Available Installed Generating Capacity,” and “Generation Capacity Additions and Retirements.” FERC notes that its data are derived from Velocity Suite, ABB Inc. and The C Three Group LLC. and adds the caveat that “the data may be subject to update.”   
  
Notes:   
  
[1] FERC generally only reports data for utility-scale facilities (i.e., those rated 1-MW or greater) and therefore its data do not reflect the capacity of distributed renewables, notably rooftop solar PV which – according to the EIA – accounts for almost 30% of the nation’s electrical generation by solar. That would suggest that the total of distributed and utility-scale solar capacity combined is significantly more than the solar capacity of 6.27% reported by FERC for the first 11 months of 2022 and is perhaps closer to 8.5% – 9.0%. 
 
[2] Capacity is not the same as actual generation. Capacity factors for nuclear power and fossil fuels tend to be higher than those for most renewables. Thus, in its most recent “Electric Power Monthly” report, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that renewables accounted for 22.6% of the nation’s total electrical generation in the first 10 months of 2022 – that is, somewhat less than what FERC reported was their share (27.0%) of installed generating capacity for the same period.    
# # # # # # # # # 
   
The SUN DAY Campaign is a non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1992 to support a rapid transition to 100% reliance on sustainable energy technologies as a cost-effective alternative to nuclear power and fossil fuels and as a solution to climate change. Follow on Twitter: @SunDayCampaign 

January 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “To Integrate Renewables, Energy Storage Is A Cost-Effective Alternative: Study” • Energy storage is a cost-effective alternative to transmission lines for integrating renewable energy, supporing reliability, and modernizing the grid, according to a recent study. Storage would typically have a lighter impact on the land and shorter development time. [Utility Dive]

Transmission lines (Hush Naidoo Jade Photography, Unsplash)

  • “Billionaires Battle Over Sun Cable: David Waterworth” • Disagreements about management of Sun Cable, the world’s biggest renewable energy export project, led to numerous conflicting headlines. I was hoping that after four days, the dust might have settled and the situation might be clearer. I’m not sure, but here’s what I can make of it. [CleanTechnica]
  • “The Rich Should Pay Higher Fares To Clean Up Aviation, Says Heathrow Boss” • Rich travelers will have to pay more to fly if the aviation industry is to transition to greener fuels, the boss of one of the world’s biggest airports said. Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said that wealthy individuals and companies should pay extra to fly with sustainable aviation fuel. [CNN]
  • “Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Detained By Police In Germany At Coal Mine Protest” • Greta Thunberg was detained by German police at a protest over the expansion of a coal mine in the west German village of Lützerath. She was part of a large group of protesters that broke through a police barrier and encroached on a coal pit. [CNN]
  • “‘Big Oil Peddled The Big Lie’: UN Chief Slams Energy Giants” • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned fossil fuel giants for ignoring their own climate science, accusing the oil and gas industry of seeking to expand production despite their knowing “full well” that their business model is incompatible with human survival. [CNBC]

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

January 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “California Hit With One Final Round Of Storms” • California has been hit by a final round of storms, bringing more rain and snow to a state already reeling from at least 19 weather-related deaths. Skies will begin to look sunnier starting Tuesday, the NWS said, but a final gasp of wet weather will hit some areas on Wednesday and into Thursday. [BBC]

Flooded walnut orchard (© Frank Schulenburg, CC BY-SA 4.0)

  • “A Major Oil Exporter Is Hosting A UN Climate Summit. Opinions Are Divided” • The COP28 climate summit is mired in controversy. It is being held in one of the biggest oil exporting nations – the United Arab Emirates – and headed by one of the most prominent faces in its oil industry. Some people fear that it has been hijacked by the fossil fuels interests. [CNN]
  • “Irish Wind Farms Supply 34% Of Country’s Power” • Ireland’s wind farms provided 34% of the country’s electricity last year, saving almost €2 billion for gas, new research shows. According to an analysis published by energy specialists Baringa, Ireland’s wind farms share of the country’s electricity supply rose by four percentage points compared to 2021. [reNews]
  • “EPA Requirement Keeps Electric Buses Out Of Low-Income Schools” • In order to qualify for first round of funding from these EPA grants, school districts are being required to identify the specific diesel buses they’d replace with electric buses. The problem there is that many low-income school districts don’t own their own buses. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Battery Storage Can Help Solve Texas’ ‘Super Duck’ Challenge Of Integrating Renewable Energy” • The ERCOT grid is facing some extreme swings in its ability to match supply with growing demand for electricity, presenting an opportunity for energy storage. ERCOT is responsible for the grid and wholesale power markets in most of Texas. [Energy Storage News]

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

January 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Europe’s Warm Winter Is Robbing Putin Of A Trump Card” • The threat of cutting Russian gas supplies was Putin’s trump card, if the war he started dragged into a long winter. But the winter has been milder than expected, and Western and Central Europe have coordinated gas consumption. taking one of Putin’s largest bargaining chips out of his hands. [CNN]

Mild winter weather (Dominik Dombrowski, Unsplash)

  • “Earth Is 1.1°C Warmer Than In The 19th Century” • Since the early 1900s, the Earth has warmed up by about 1.1°C as climate change becomes the biggest destabilising factor across the world. The latest assessment by scientists at the American space agency, NASA, reveals how the planet is losing its coolness as years become warmer and warmer. [India Today]
  • “Global Leaders And Climate Activists Gather In Snowless Davos Ahead Of World Economic Forum 2023” • At the Swiss resort of Davos, where World Economic Forum 2023 is meeting, snowpack remains meagre on the lower slopes due to a massive heatwave bringing high temperatures to Europe and forcing ski resorts to shut down operations. [Earth.Org]
  • “Ørsted Applies For Four Permits For Swedish Offshore Wind Farms” • Ørsted has applied for permits to build four additional large offshore wind farms in Sweden. Pending permit approvals and a plan for offshore grid build-out, Ørsted aims to deliver the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in Sweden, Skane Offshore Wind Farm, by 2029. [reNews]
  • “Wholesale US Electricity Prices Were Volatile in 2022” • The average wholesale electricity prices at major trading hubs in the US rose throughout much of 2022 and were, at times, volatile as a result of extreme weather events. The limited availability of coal to substitute for higher-priced natural gas also contributed to higher electricity prices. [CleanTechnica]

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