NewEnergyNews

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

While the OFFICE of President remains in highest regard at NewEnergyNews, this administration's position on climate change makes it impossible to regard THIS president with respect. Below is the NewEnergyNews theme song until 2020.

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, November 23:

  • TTTA Thursday-The Turkey Song
  • TTTA Thursday-The Real Story Of Thanksgiving
  • TTTA Thursday-A Crucial, If Lesser Known, Bit Of Thanksgiving History
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Will California's 100% renewables goal get through the political process?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: What makes a successful utility-led community solar program?
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Is peak oil demand coming soon?
  • QUICK NEWS, November 21: Online Deniers Falsely Used NASA Study About Antarctic Melt; The EV As A Mini Power Plant; New Energy Price Knocks Coal, Nuclear Out Of The Market
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How Green Is The Tech World?
  • QUICK NEWS, November 20: The U.S. Is Starting To Get It; New Energy Buying Goes Mainstream; House, Senate To Face Off Over Wind Support
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • Weekend Video: Global New Energy To Boom Through 2040
  • Weekend Video: The Power Of The Sun
  • Weekend Video: World’s First Floating Wind Project
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    click image for more info about the Sunstock Solar Festival

    Research Associate and Contributing Editor Jessica R. Wunder

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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  • FRIDAY WORLD, November 24:

  • The 10 Must-Knows On Climate
  • World’s Storage To Boom Through 2030
  • New Energy To Bring 330,000 Jobs To India Through 2022
  • Aussies Can Get 50% New Energy By 2030

    Friday, November 24, 2017

    The 10 Must-Knows On Climate

    Worse climate change in the offing; The prospect of the Earth overheating dangerously has come closer, with scientists warning that worse climate change will soon affect the planet.

    Alex Kirby, November 24, 2017 (Climate News Network via Environmental Research Web)

    “…[T]he Earth’s climate has been remarkably stable since before the dawn of civilisation, but this stability is now at risk [according to the just-released The 10 Science ‘Must Knows’ on Climate Change from Future Earth]. Crossing the critical ‘tipping points’ the planet is now approaching [may human security with] abrupt and possibly irreversible shifts in the workings of the Arctic, Amazon, and other parts of the globe…The record-breaking 2017 Atlantic hurricane season offers a glimpse of the increased risks of extreme weather which may lie ahead. Examples include severe flooding, heat waves and droughts. The oceans too are changing fast, with accelerating sea-level rise and acidification…The economic costs of climate change are already being felt, and some of the world’s poorest nations are bearing the heaviest burden. Climate change will have a profound impact on human health by placing new pressures on food and water security in nations around the world…It is likely to intensify migration, civil unrest and even conflict…” click here for more

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    World’s Storage To Boom Through 2030

    Global Storage Market to Double Six Times by 2030

    November 20, 2017 (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

    “…[New research forecasts energy storage investment of $103 billion globally through 2030. The market will double six times and the U.S. will deploy a fourth of the] 125 GW/305 GWh capacity. This is a similar trajectory to the remarkable expansion that the solar industry went through from 2000 to 2015, in which the share of photovoltaics as a percentage of total generation doubled seven times. Eight countries will lead the market, with 70 percent of capacity to be installed in the U.S., China, Japan, India, Germany, U.K., Australia and South Korea. Energy storage, both utility-scale and behind-the-meter, will be a crucial source of flexibility throughout this period and will be essential to integrating increasing levels of renewable energy.” click here for more

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    New Energy To Bring 330,000 Jobs To India Through 2022

    Renewable energy sector may generate over 330,000 jobs in five years: report The report stressed that India’s clean energy initiatives can help address poverty in rural areas by providing steady incomes, skill-building opportunities to unskilled and semi-skilled worker

    Mayank Aggarwal, 24 November 2017 (LiveMint)

    “India’s renewable energy sector is expected to generate more than 330,000 new jobs over the next five years (2017-2022)…[Growth of New Energy is also expected to] improve energy security, enhance energy access and help mitigate climate change...The [just-released Can renewable energy jobs help reduce poverty in India? from the World Resources Institute] stressed that India’s clean energy initiatives can also help address poverty in rural communities by providing steady incomes, healthcare benefits and skill-building opportunities to unskilled and semi-skilled workers…It emphasized that these opportunities can support India’s rural poor by offering an alternative to subsistence farming…[India’s government has targeted] 175 gigawatt (GW) of renewable power by 2022 of which 100GW will be from solar power and 60GW from wind power…The report stated that [unskilled, semi-skilled, and female] workers in rural areas face entry barriers to clean energy employment and training programmes have failed to address such issues…[It] recommended that private sector leaders should build [labor force capacity] to ensure sustainability of renewable energy projects and give rural communities a sense of ownership in off-grid projects…” click here for more

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    Aussies Can Get 50% New Energy By 2030

    Australia’s energy market: New report backs Labor’s 50 per cent renewable target; MALCOLM Turnbull’s description of a 50 per cent ¬renewables target as a ‘road to ruin’ has been contradicted by Australia’s chief scientist.

    November 20, 2017 (News.Co.Au)

    “…[Australia’s Labor Party plan to get to 50% New Energy by 2030] will not lead to major blackouts despite the government’s claims that the ‘huge renewable target’ is irresponsible…[and] electricity costs will continue to rise and electricity supply will become less reliable unless there is proper planning and investment in energy storage…[The Role of Energy Storage in Australia’s Future Energy Supply Mix from] the Australian Council of Learned Academies, shows batteries in households with rooftop solar power would be enough to secure Australia’s entire energy reliability requirement by 2030…It also shows Australia would only see major power reliability issues, and would require massive investments in storage capacity to head them off, if the amount of renewables in the market rose to 75 per cent…[The study concluded that] a major challenge would be to change consumer attitudes about batteries for home energy storage…” click here for more

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    Thursday, November 23, 2017

    The Turkey Song

    NewEnergyNews is so grateful to so many…beginning with the Marks family foundation… the blessed cowgirls of Carousel Ranch… the enduring Randolph and the Scott clan… the always inspiring guys of Akbar…the inimitable Frenchie and her Juliette…the Cowboy Country and Cowboy Palace dancers…the yellow rose of Teri…the staff at Utility Dive…the mystery of Jessica…

    Can’t forget the hard working people who regulate and run utilities and grid systems and keep the lights on…or the innovators and builders working to harvest the power of this good earth’s wind, sun, deep heat, and flowing waters who took the time to share themselves and their stories from the front lines of the fight to build a New Energy world…And, of course, the especially astute readers who keep clicking on this page…

    May you always count your blessings and may a kind fate lead you to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…

    Video from David Lundgren via YouTube

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    The Real Story Of Thanksgiving

    From the “truth hurts” files: History is always as much truth as its readers can face. From DNYCEisBackAgain via YouTube

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    A Crucial, If Lesser Known, Bit Of Thanksgiving History

    This isn’t part of the official history of Thanksgiving but it probably should be. From jasonxgoodman via YouTube

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    Wednesday, November 22, 2017

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Will California's 100% renewables goal get through the political process?

    Will California's 100% renewables goal survive the political process? With current clean energy goals in sight, liberal lawmakers are pushing the state to ratchet up its ambitions. But utility companies could prove a powerful roadblock.

    Herman K. Trabish, June 14, 2017 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: California continues to expand and refine its awe-inspiring New Energy efforts.

    Almost two-thirds of utility professionals expecting moderate or significant growth in community shared renewables over the next ten years. There are now at least 183 utility-led community solar programs with almost 380 MW in online capacity, according to the most recent Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) count. That includes 22 investor-owned utility (IOU) programs with 257 MW of capacity, 30 public power utility (muni) programs representing 41 MW, and 131 rural electric cooperative (co-op) programs with 80 MW of capacity. Those numbers are up from June 2017’s 13 IOU programs representing 91 MW, 22 muni programs with 29 MW, and 63 co-op programs with 43 MW. There are also 848 MW of announced projects in the pipeline, SEPA Utility Strategy Manager Dan Chwastyk told Utility Dive.

    Enough community solar has been developed to make clear what is needed and what obstacles to avoid as projects are being planned and built, Tom Hunt, policy director for the Clean Energy Collective (CEC) told Utility Dive. Every utility leader reached by Utility Dive mentioned community solar’s basic appeal in offering a chance to go solar for customers who cannot afford or access rooftop systems. That element is fundamental to community solar’s market potential, recently estimated by NREL to be between 32% to 49% of the overall distributed PV market in 2020 and represent between $8.2 billion and $16.3 billion in cumulative investment. Where state policy is in place, a utility customer can purchase a share in an array built by either a utility or a private developer. The utility credits the customer’s bill for the exported electricity. Where there is no state policy, a utility can offer its own program… click here for more

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    ORIGINAL REPORTING: What makes a successful utility-led community solar program?

    What makes a successful utility-led community solar program? An examination of shared solar programs across the country reveals diverse pathways to success

    Herman K. Trabish, June 8, 2017 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The divide between effective and poorly structured programs has continued to grow since this piece ran.

    California is the world’s sixth-largest economy and its Senate Bill 100 would have required 60% renewables by 2030 and targeted 100% renewables by 2045. Though it did not become law this year, lawmakers say they will bring it back in 2018. The most recent California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) numbers found California’s three investor-owned utilities (IOUs) on track to reach the state’s 50% renewables by 2030 goal in 2020, with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) at 32.9% in 2016, Southern California Edison (SCE) at 28.2%, and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) at 43.2%. But none of the IOUs supported the bill. Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles), the force behind Senate Bill 350, which last year upped the state’s mandate to 50%, is pushing for SB 100. He told Utility Dive it does three important things: It moves the 50% renewables mandate up to 2026, it imposes a 60% mandate for 2030, and it establishes a non-mandatory 100% renewables goal for 2045 that can drive regulatory agency and power sector stakeholder planning.

    Hawaii is the only other state with a 100% renewables mandate, which it must hit by 2045. But Hawaii is a small, isolated economy with one dominant electricity supplier and high power prices that support a transition to alternative sources. California’s economy, by contrast, is complex and diverse, with interests ranging from Hollywood to its oil fields. Passing and implementing a 100% renewable energy target there is sure to prove more difficult, and state power stakeholders say debate is only beginning. The most significant objections are likely to be reliability concerns. V. John White, executive director for the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT), said there is common ground for the utilities, advocates, and the Brown administration but attention should go to more than mandates for the lowest cost renewable kWh and the 100% by 2045 mandate should lead to a more robust multi-agency, public, transparent, integrated resource planning (IRP) process aimed at ensuring reliability and cutting GHGs… click here for more

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    Tuesday, November 21, 2017

    TODAY’S STUDY: Is peak oil demand coming soon?

    Peak oil demand: just around the corner?

    October 2017 (Wood Mackenzie)

    The market used to worry about peak oil supply. Now the focus has shifted to peak oil demand as the industry witnesses a structural decline in demand from the developed world, and questions the appetite of the emerging world to grow at the insatiable rates experienced over the past fifteen years. Specifically, the pace of technological change – in transport and energy storage, among other things – is fuelling the debate.

    Oil demand has already peaked across much of the developed world, starting with Japan in 2000. This contrasts with the emerging world where oil demand continues to grow rapidly. OECD demand is forecast to revert to structural decline from 2020, wiping out demand of more than three million barrels a day by 2035. While low oil prices have supported a resurgence in OECD demand since 2014, this price effect is already fading and we expect it to reverse as oil prices rise into the 2020s. Notably, OECD demand is weighed down by a combination of government policy and auto technology which have already and will continue to push vehicle fuel efficiency improvements and drive fuel substitution. Together with slow or no growth in the working age population and a mature transport sector, we see OECD transport oil demand fall significantly through the 2020s.

    In contrast non-OECD demand will continue to grow to 2035, driven by rising income levels and a growing middle class that boost the desire for mobility and the use of transport fuels. Demand for consumer goods, including plastics, and the need to move freight in an increasingly consumer-driven world will drive oil demand higher. However, government policy, auto technology, and demographics in some countries also play a role in non-OECD demand as well. While these factors may not lead to a drop in non-OECD demand, they do curb the pace of growth which is expected to decelerate through time. As in the OECD, this deceleration is mainly felt in the transport sector. Non-OECD demand is expected to grow by nearly 16 million barrels a day by 2035

    Growth in transport stutters: gasoline is the weakest link

    Of the 96 million barrels of oil consumed every day, almost 60 million are consumed in the transport sector. As technology advances - both in terms of the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines (ICE), and the move to hybrid and electric technology – the transport sector will have the most impact on oil demand. Global growth in transport stalls by 2030, with gasoline demand hit the hardest. On a global basis, gasoline demand peaks by 2030. It’s a double whammy for gasoline: in the next decade, it's a fuel efficiency story. Post-2025 it’s an EV story, as the ramp up in electric vehicle penetration displaces significant volumes of gasoline demand. The impact of peak gasoline on overall oil demand into transport is tempered by increasing demand for road freight and air travel.

    The petrochemical sector is one of the few bright spots for oil demand

    Petrochemical feedstocks make up just over 10% of total oil demand but we see significant growth over the next 20 years. Feedstocks are forecast to add 6 million barrels a day to total demand by 2035 – growing 50% from today’s 12 million barrels a day. Feedstocks include naphtha, LPG, and notably ethane – considered ‘oil’ when consumed by petrochemical plants as a feedstock.

    Demand from all other sectors account for the remaining 30% of total oil demand. A continued decline in oil used to generate power offsets modest increases from the other sectors, leaving demand in this combined category approximately flat through 2035. To summarise, we do not foresee peak oil demand before 2035. But we do see a stall in demand growth in the transport sector, driven by peak gasoline demand by 2030.

    What does the prospect of peak oil demand mean for oil producers and refiners?

    From an investment perspective, the possibility of peak oil demand could reduce upstream interest and investment in exploration. We have already seen a move away from high cost, high risk frontier plays where upfront costs are high – due to a lack of infrastructure. A focus on better understood basins and near field opportunities could persist as we continue to transition to a smaller, more efficient exploration industry. Investment in high-cost enhanced oil recovery projects, to maximise reserves recovery from late-life fields, could also be at risk.

    There are also supply-side implications from the rise of petrochemical demand versus the stall in transport demand. Liquids from natural gas production will become a key and growing feedstock for petrochemicals. Unlike oil, growth in gas supply remains relatively robust through 2035 and is a growing focus for upstream investment.

    Turning to OPEC, neither revenues nor market share are likely to be significantly affected by slowing demand growth to 2035. This is because non-OPEC production plateaus late next decade and then declines to 2035. As a result, OPEC needs to increase its productive capacity to meet demand. Those OPEC producers with rising production can expect higher oil revenues next decade as their market share rises while the supply and demand balance tightens and prices increase.

    However, OPEC producers cannot ignore the prospect of peak oil demand. They need to prepare for a future with less dependence on oil demand. As an organisation, OPEC does not currently have an explicit strategy to reduce its reliance on oil. But some OPEC nations have made this part of their domestic strategy such as Saudi Arabia through its ‘Vision 2030’ which seeks to develop non-oil focused sectors of the economy such as health care, tourism, and defence.

    Our demand outlook poses challenges to refining.

    As demand for jet fuel (kerosene) and diesel fuel (gasoil) grows against a backdrop of declining gasoline demand, the refining sector reverts to being distillate-led. This transition is further supported by the forthcoming marine fuel regulation which mandates that the international shipping community use fuels with 0.5% sulphur or equivalent as of 2020 – down from today’s mandate of 3.5%.

    The forecast decline in gasoline demand provides an opportunity for the naphtha currently converted into gasoline components, to be used as petrochemical feedstock. However, the petrochemical sector typically targets the lowest cost feedstocks, which can be ethane or NGLs derived from gas processing facilities. So we do not expect the petrochemical sector to be the saviour of the oil market and drive prices higher.Specifically, the projected decline in gasoline demand in OECD countries poses a challenge to refiners in the Atlantic Basin since it requires coastal refiners to become competitive in distant export markets.

    As oil demand growth slows in the non-OECD, refining capacity additions required in Asia for the next twenty years are approximately half of that built in the last twenty years. The competitive nature of new facilities ensures they operate at high utilisations, requiring other assets to operate at lower levels. As a result, the pace of such capacity additions in non-OECD could raise the threat of closure to Atlantic Basin refiners.

    So oil demand is not expected to peak but it won't grow at the pace the industry has seen over the past 20 years. The oil industry is right to be concerned and should start to plan for the future.

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    QUICK NEWS, November 21: Online Deniers Falsely Used NASA Study About Antarctic Melt; The EV As A Mini Power Plant; New Energy Price Knocks Coal, Nuclear Out Of The Market

    Online Deniers Falsely Used NASA Study About Antarctic Melt No, NASA Antarctica study didn’t discredit climate change science

    Amy Sherman, November 20, 2017 (PundcitFact via PolitiFact)

    “…[An online news headline referenced a real study by NASA but falsely suggested] the study debunks climate change advocates. A NASA scientist involved in the study…[said] the headline is inaccurate…[The study found] a geothermal heat source called a mantle plume lies deep below Antarctic Marie Byrd Land, explaining some of the melting that creates lakes and rivers under the ice sheet…The heat source isn’t new or increasing, but may help explain why the ice sheet collapsed so rapidly in an earlier area of climate change and remains unstable…[But the] NASA study is about the bottom of the ice sheet. Climate change has had an impact on the top of the ice sheet. Warmer ocean waters intruding on the ice shelf causes the ice shelves to break up. When grounded ice sheets exit the land and go into the water that causes sea level rise…[The researchers say nothing] in the study has anything to do with climate change…We rate [the online news story’s] claim False.” click here for more

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    The EV As A Mini Power Plant How your electric car could be 'a virtual power station'

    Theo Leggett, 21 November 2017 (BBC News)

    “…There are currently more than a billion vehicles on the road worldwide…The overwhelming majority run on petrol or diesel…But [m]anufacturers are investing heavily in developing both hybrid and pure electric models to help meet tightening emissions standards…Towns and cities want to impose restrictions on conventional cars to reduce pollution; and in the long term, some countries…want to ban them altogether…[The] number of electric cars is almost certainly going to increase dramatically over the next few years…But will we be able to generate all the electricity that millions of battery-powered vehicles will require? [The anticipated demand may not be as high as it would seem because ‘smart charging’] will allow vehicles to draw power only when it is readily available, avoiding peak periods, while ensuring that they are fully charged when their owners need them…[And it could] go a step further…[Vehicle to Grid, or V2G, may use software to regulate the charging level of multiple EVs as] energy storage devices…[that] provide specific services back to the grid…” click here for more

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    New Energy Price Knocks Coal, Nuclear Out Of The Market New study reaches a stunning conclusion about the cost of solar and wind energy; Building new renewables is now cheaper than just running old coal and nuclear plants.

    Joe Romm, November 20, 2017 (ThinkProgress)

    “In one of the fastest and most astonishing turnarounds in the history of energy, building and running new renewable energy is now cheaper than just running existing coal and nuclear plants in many areas…[According to Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE) 11.0, the cost for utility scale solar and wind power in North America] dropped 6 percent last year, while the price for coal remained flat and the cost of nuclear soared by approximately] 35 percent versus prior estimates…[That is driven by increased capital costs at various nuclear facilities currently in development and prices nuclear power] out of the market for new power…[It is more expensive to operate conventional energy sources in the developing world than it is in the United States. So the advantage renewables have over conventional sources is even larger in the rapidly growing electricity markets like India and China…The lifecycle cost of electricity from new nuclear plants is now $148 per megawatt-hour, or 14.8 cents per kilowatt-hour, while it is 5 c/kwh for utility scale solar and 4.5 c/kwh for wind. By comparison, the average price for electricity in United States is 11 cents per kWh…” click here for more

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    Monday, November 20, 2017

    TODAY’S STUDY: How Green Is The Tech World?

    Guide to Greener Electronics 2017

    October 17, 2017 (Greenpeace)

    Executive Summary

    There is no question that smartphones, PCs, and other computing devices have changed the world and our day-to-day lives in incredible ways. But behind this innovative 21st-century technology lie supply chain and manufacturing processes still reliant on 19th-century sources of energy, dangerous mining practices, hazardous chemicals, and poorly designed products that drive consumption of the Earth’s resources. This hidden reality stands in stark contrast to the forward-thinking, environmentally conscious image most IT companies project. Greenpeace launched the Rethink-IT campaign to challenge the IT sector to take responsibility for its rapidly growing footprint on the planet.

    The Guide to Greener Electronics (the Guide, published by Greenpeace USA) provides an analysis of what 17 of the world’s leading consumer electronics companies are doing to address their environmental impacts, and where Greenpeace thinks work still needs to be done. From 2006 to 2012, Greenpeace published the Guide with regularity, and as a result saw steady progress from companies to eliminate hazardous materials from products and make them more energy-efficient. Now, it is clear the impacts of the linear take-make-waste business model employed by device manufacturers extend beyond the concerns of hazardous e-waste.

    With the relaunch of the Guide, we have focused on measuring three critical impact areas tied to product design and responsible supply chain management across the electronics sector:

    Energy: Reduction of greenhouse gases through efficiency and renewable energy Resource Consumption: sustainable design and use of recycled materials

    Chemicals: Elimination of hazardous chemicals from both the product itself and manufacturing

    Within each impact area, companies are graded on transparency, commitment, performance and advocacy efforts. In this edition of the Guide we have focused on the largest electronic device brands (smartphones, tablets, and personal computers) in East Asia, North America, and Europe.

    Time to Re-Think IT

    Mining for essential and finite raw materials often endangers workers and leaves the Earth irreversibly scarred. Coal-powered manufacturing contributes to rising global temperatures and the devastating impacts of climate change.

    The companies that are designing and manufacturing our devices must take into account the significant impacts they are having on our planet and the increasing demand from the public to define innovation not by fewer millimeters and more megapixels, but by how they are made—with renewable energy, reusable materials, and long-lasting design.

    Resolving the pollution problems created along the complex supply chain will not happen overnight, but it must begin at once. Fortunately, disrupting the status quo is nothing new to the IT sector. Now is the time for the tech sector to channel its expertise into reinventing the way that electronic devices are made and used in society, to reverse the ever-increasing consumption of the planet’s finite resources and reliance on fossil fuels, creating a circular and renewably powered business model that other sectors can follow.

    Major Findings

    -Lack of transparency in supply chain: Despite representing the majority of the environmental footprint for most electronic manufacturers, most companies publish little information on their suppliers, keeping their environmental performance and impacts hidden from view. Of the 17 companies evaluated, only six publish a basic list of suppliers and only Fairphone and Dell provide details on the products or services from each supplier. Among the top 3 brands in the global smartphone market, Huawei is the only brand reporting nothing about its supply chain greenhouse gas emissions.

    -Supply chain driving demand for dirty energy: Upwards of 70 to 80% of the carbon footprint during the lifespan of personal computing devices occurs during manufacturing. Despite impressive progress a number of companies have made in starting the transition of their offices and data centers to renewable energy, nearly all of the companies have yet to address the rapidly growing carbon footprint and dependence on dirty energy in their supply chains. Apple is the only company thus far that has committed to 100% renewable power for its supply chain. Estimated GHG emissions (both own operations and supply chain) for the 17 companies in this guide were more than 103 million metric tons of Co2e in 2016, or roughly the same level emissions for the Czech Republic in one year.

    -Samsung lagging on renewable energy: Samsung is both the largest manufacturer of smartphones worldwide and a supplier of key components to many of the other brands in the Guide, yet the company is holding the sector back by failing to tackle its climate change responsibility by committing to 100% renewable energy for its operations.The company used more than 16,000 GWh of energy in 2016, with just 1% coming from renewables.

    -Chinese smartphone brands gaining global market share, but losing in green commitment: Chinese smartphone manufacturers, Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi together occupied over a quarter of the global smartphone market share in quarter two of 2017[1]. However, they score below average in all three impact areas, especially lacking transparency and substantial commitment in renewable energy. Huawei, now one of the top 3 smartphone brands in the world, has yet to realize its tremendous potential in environmental leadership.

    -Amazon remains one of the least transparent: Amazon remains one of the least transparent companies in the world in terms of its environmental performance, as it still refuses to report the greenhouse gas footprint of its own operations. While Amazon is willing to talk about its recent renewable energy deals, the company provides few details on its sourcing of recycled materials that are going into its devices, nor does it publish any restrictions on hazardous chemicals in its devices or being used in its supply chain as other leading electronics brands provide.

    -Planned obsolescence as design feature: Faced with market saturation for their devices in many countries, companies across the sector have increasingly changed the design of their products in a way that accelerates the replacement cycle by, making them difficult to service or upgrade, shortening the useful life of otherwise functional devices. Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung are among the companies moving in the wrong direction on sustainable product design. HP, Dell, and Fairphone are the notable exceptions to this trend, producing a growing number of products that are repairable and upgradable.

    -Lack of urgency, transparency in tackling global e-waste problem: Worldwide e-waste volumes are expected to surpass 65 million metric tons in 2017[2]. While a number of brands now offer some voluntary take-back programs, there is little if any reporting on what is actually being collected or where it goes upon collection. The end result: less than 16% of global e-waste volumes are estimated to be recycled in the formal sector,[3] despite the valuable materials contained within. Often “recycled” e-waste ends up at informal recyclers and handled in ways that endanger worker health and the local environment.[4]

    -Use of secondary materials remains limited, with some recent progress: While a few IT companies have incorporated recycled plastics in their products for several years, very little progress has been made in sourcing other secondary materials into new products. Fairphone incorporates recycled tungsten, and Dell has shown success in using closed-loop plastic collected from its take-back channel. Apple recently committed to “closing the loop” for its materials, starting with tin and aluminum.

    -Stalled commitments to product detox: Numerous companies, including Acer, Apple, Samsung, LG, Lenovo, Dell and HP made commitments in 2009/2010 to phase out PVC and BFRs from their products, to stem the tide of toxic e-waste. Now in 2017, only Apple and Google products are free of BFR and PVC across their product lines.

    -Lack of transparency and monitoring of workplace chemicals: To eliminate hazardous releases to the environment from manufacturing facilities and also to protect worker health and safety, all companies in the Guide have work to do to identify and eliminate hazardous chemicals used in the production of their products, improve worker health and safety due diligence, and develop safe substitutions. Apple, Dell, Google, HP and Microsoft are the only companies in the Guide that publish their list of substances that must be restricted in the manufacturing of their devices (MRSL).

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    QUICK NEWS, November 20: The U.S. Is Starting To Get It; New Energy Buying Goes Mainstream; House, Senate To Face Off Over Wind Support

    The U.S. Is Starting To Get It Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change; After months of intense hurricanes, heat waves, and droughts, a survey finds a record number of Americans worried about climate change

    Dana Nuccetelli, November 20, 2017 (UK Guardian)

    “…Americans are still poorly-informed about the causes of global warming. Only 54% understand that it’s mostly human-caused, while 33% incorrectly believe global warming is due mainly to natural factors…[even though] the lastest science shows humans are responsible for 1°C global surface warming over the past 150 years – approximately 100% of the warming we’ve observed…[According to the just-released Climate Change In The American Mind, Americans are nevertheless growing increasingly concerned about climate change. A record 22% are very worried about it (double the number in the March 2015 survey), and 63% of Americans are at least somewhat worried about climate change. That’s probably because they perceive direct climate impacts – 64% of survey participants think that global warming is affecting the weather, and 33% said it’s having a big influence…Americans also connecting the dots to specific extreme weather events. About 54% said that climate change worsened the extreme heat waves, wildfires, and hurricanes that pummeled the country in 2017…” click here for more

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    New Energy Buying Goes Mainstream NREL Study: ‘Demand For Green Power Is Ubiquitous’ In The U.S.

    Joseph Bebon, November 16, 2017 (Solar Industry)

    “…The U.S. voluntary green power market continues to grow, with about 6.3 million voluntary customers buying 95 million MWh of renewable electricity in 2016, a 19% increase in sales from 2015…[and the] voluntary green power market represents about 28% of all U.S. non-hydro renewable electricity sales [according to Climate Change In The American Mind]. The vast majority of green power customers are residential…[but] large non-residential customers have driven significant increases in green power sales in recent years. Non-residential customers – especially corporations – are finding new ways to procure green power through power purchase agreements and innovative utility renewable contracts. Electricity customers can also purchase green power through utility green pricing, unbundled renewable energy certificates, competitive suppliers, community choice aggregations, and community solar…[D]emand for green power is ubiquitous; customers buy green power in every state in the U.S. in both urban and rural areas. Green power generation is similarly widespread, with contributions from every state and 18 different states generating more than 1 million MWh of green power in 2016…” click here for more

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    House, Senate To Face Off Over Wind Support U.S. House Tax Bill Bad for Wind Energy; Renewable projects fare better under the Senate’s tax reform measure.

    Sonia Smith, November 17, 2017 (Texas Monthly)

    “Abundant wind, a self-contained electrical grid, and renewable friendly subsidies led Texas to become the national leader in wind energy…[Wind turbines have replaced pump jacks on the state’s landscape. Its installed] wind capacity has more than doubled in the last seven years, to 21,450 megawatts…[But] the U.S. House approved a bill provision that would retroactively cut the production tax credit (PTC) for wind, geothermal, and “closed-loop” biofuel facilities]. Critics say these changes, if they make it into law, will chill growth in the [industries] and derail billions of dollars worth of planned projects…[The renewable energy PTC provides a 2.3-cent per kilowatt hour tax incentive for the first ten years’ output of renewable plants that broke ground in 2015 and 2016. Under a] 2015 phaseout deal, projects breaking ground this year receive 80 percent of the credit, while those starting construction in 2018 and 2019 would get 60 percent and 40 percent respectively…[The House plan cuts the 2.3-cent-per-kilowatt-hour tax credit to 1.5 cents and retroactively changes eligibility. Provisions in the Senate version of the bill protect the PTC. The differences will force a showdown before the bill can be sent to the president]…” click here for more

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    Saturday, November 18, 2017

    Global New Energy To Boom Through 2040

    The latest projections from the traditionally conservative International Energy Agency shows wind and solar taking over. From the International Energy Agency via YouTube

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    The Power Of The Sun

    Dubai has reached the “tipping point” and is turning from fossil fuels to solar. From General Electric via YouTube

    From via YouTube

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    World’s First Floating Wind Project

    Norway’s Statoil just brought its 30 MW Hywind project online off Scotland’s coast. As the world's first utility-scale floating wind project, this stunning engineering achievement opens up a huge New Energy opportunity. From Statoil via YouTube

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    Friday, November 17, 2017

    Three Top Takeaways From The Bonn Climate Summit

    3 things we learned at this week’s U.N. climate change meeting

    Joshua Busby, November 17, 2017 (Washington Post)

    “…[Three key things emerged from the just-completed global climate conference. First, the] status quo is stable, for now…[After the president announced] in June that the United States would withdraw from the [international] agreement, COP23 took on added political significance…[But all] other parties, including China, India and the European Union, reaffirmed their commitments…[and a] host of U.S. governors, mayors and nonstate actors also struck a defiant pose…[Second, the] climate is still getting worse…[Emission reductions have reached] only about one-third of the level needed to be to keep global temperatures from increasing more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels…[And, third, it is] still not clear whether other actors can fill the gap left by the United States…[Commitments from Europe, China, and substate and nonstate actors will be tested and the world will] find out if they can succeed.” click here for more

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    Seven Global New Energy Trends

    World Energy Outlook: Seven key trends shaping the low-carbon economy

    George Ogleby, 15 November 2017 (edie.net)

    “…[The first of seven key trends identified in the just-released World Energy Outlook 2017 is that] global energy demand will rise by 30% … the equivalent of adding the energy needs of another China and India…[W]ithout improvements in energy efficiency, the projected rise in final energy usage would more than double…[The second is that despite broadly remaining flat in the past three years, global CO2 emissions are expected to increase slightly by 2040…[Renewable energy is set to become a cheaper form of new power generation that gas by the mid-2020s and] meet two-fifths of the increase in primary demand…

    The growth of low-carbon energy sources and absence of large-scale carbon capture and storage will reportedly signify the ‘end of the boom years’ for coal, which is expected to decline by almost 15%...[T]he global car fleet will double to reach two billion…The global EV fleet is anticipated to surge from two million today to 280 million by 2040…Global oil demand is expected to continue to grow to around 105 million barrels a day by 2040, while natural gas use is projected to rise by 45% to 2040, with industrial demand becoming the largest area for growth…[And, finally, the] health impacts of global emissions will remain severe…Premature deaths from outdoor air pollution will rise globally from three million today to more than four million in 2040…” click here for more

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