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.


  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: With Nuclear Out, New Energy And Natural Gas Will Be The U.S. Power Mix
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Rising Power Of U.S. Ocean Wind

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Meet Solar’s Duck Curve
  • QUICK NEWS, March 20: The Big Climate Change Legal Battle Looming; Three Solar Buys To Look At; New Wind Technologies To Protect Wildlife

  • Weekend Video: Hawking On Trump’s Misguided Climate Policy
  • Weekend Video: Thinking About Energy Efficiency
  • Weekend Video: Why Rural America Loves Wind

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-20,000 Scientists Have Signed ‘Letter To Humanity’
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The World Transition To New Energy Explained
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-French Wind Proves Huge Value To Grid
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Egypt Fires Up $2.8BIL Solar Project


  • TTTA Thursday-Arnold To Sue Big Oil for Murder By Climate Change
  • TTTA Thursday-Solar Grows On, With Big Jump By Community Solar
  • TTTA Thursday-Wind Is The Cleanest Safest New Energy
  • TTTA Thursday-Plug-In Cars Are The Cleanest Driving
  • --------------------------


    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish



    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




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


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

  • ---------------

  • Big Oil’s Plans To Dodge Climate Change Lawsuits
  • The Astonishingly High Cost Of Nuclear Power
  • The Abundance Of U.S. Ocean Wind
  • 10-Minute EV Charging

    Thursday, March 22, 2018

    Big Oil’s Plans To Dodge Climate Change Lawsuits

    Chevron Says Climate Change Lawsuit 'Not Viable' As It Prepares To Educate Judge On Science

    Daniel Fisher, March 21, 2018 (Forbes)

    “Five of the world’s largest oil and gas producers have filed a motion to dismiss a climate change lawsuit against them by the cities of Oakland and San Francisco…[A filing by] Chevron, BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell urged U.S. District Judge William Alsup to dismiss the lawsuit seeking billions of dollars to pay for costs associated with global warming. The oil companies argue the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have repeatedly rejected similar lawsuits against oil companies, the auto industry and electric utilities because Congress has given authority to regulate CO2 emissions exclusively to the Environmental Protection Agency…[The California cities’ attorneys have tried to maneuver around troublesome precedents] by painting their case as a public nuisance lawsuit seeking money to remediate the damages caused by global warming…” click here for more

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    The Astonishingly High Cost Of Nuclear Power

    Study: Santee Cooper Facing Doomsday Scenario; Residential customers on the hook for nearly $7,400 in nuclear debt … apiece …

    March 20, 2018 (FITSNEWS)

    “Customers of South Carolina’s government-run power company Santee Cooper could see their annual bills soar by anywhere between $167 and $751 over the next four decades…[T]hat’s money they won’t have on hand to invest in the state’s consumer economy…[Santee Cooper’s Uncertain Future details] the predicament in which this catastrophically mismanaged state-owned asset now finds itself – and how its spectacular failure has the potential to (continue) costing South Carolina ratepayers their hard-earned money…[With state lawmakers and regulators cheering them on, Santee Cooper and its private sector] partner SCANA spent $10 billion (including $2 billion taken directly from ratepayers) on a pair of next-generation nuclear reactors…The money was spent, but the reactors…[are not even half-finished – with the cost to complete them reportedly ranging from anywhere between $9-16 billion…The result? A $10 billion hole in the ground at the V.C. Summer nuclear power station…” click here for more

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    The Abundance Of U.S. Ocean Wind

    Offshore Wind Energy Enough to Power the Atlantic Coastal States

    Rob Sargent, March 22, 2018 (Environment America)

    “…Winds blowing off the Atlantic coast could provide four times more electricity each year than the region currently uses, and 12 of the 14 coastal states have offshore wind potential that exceeds their current electricity consumption, [according to Wind Power to Spare: The Enormous Energy Potential of Atlantic Offshore Wind.] Even if these 14 states converted all activities currently powered by gasoline, natural gas and other fossil fuels (such as transportation and home heating) to electricity, the energy provided by offshore wind turbines could still produce twice as much power as they would use…While offshore wind is a proven technology overseas, it has been slow to take off in the United States. To date, only one wind farm is operating in the U.S., off the coast of Rhode Island. Meanwhile, Europe hosts 4,100 offshore wind turbines that supply enough electricity to power more than 20 million homes each day. But more American offshore wind is on the horizon. Thirteen leased offshore wind projects are now moving forward in the U.S., which could provide enough electricity to power approximately 5.2 million homes…” click here for more

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    10-Minute EV Charging

    New Technology Is Key to 10-Minute Charging Times for Electric Cars; Pumping gas is faster, but the goal is to speed up charging.

    Rob Stumpf, March 7, 2018 (The Drive)

    “…[With all of the new plug-in vehicles] coming online, the electrical grid will be taxed. More renewable power will be required, and the chargers are fairly scarce when compared to gasoline pumps around the globe. Furthermore, lithium-ion batteries take a long time to charge…Unlike traditional batteries which produce power using a chemical reaction, [small solid state storage devices called supercapacitors produce electrostatic fields to provide short bursts of power…[They] can charge much more quickly than a traditional battery, allowing for a vehicle to charge in minutes…[They can also] provide an immense amount of power from in-vehicle charging though means of solar panels or regenerative braking…[and owners can] expect an increased longevity out of solid state, as the technology can inherently handle higher amounts of charges and discharges before depleting its usefulness; nearly a million compared to the traditional 3,000 to 5,000 charges of a lithium-ion battery…[Unfortunately,] these batteries have a difficult time holding a charge and it takes a significant amount of more cells to hold the same amount of charge…” click here for more

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    Wednesday, March 21, 2018

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: With Nuclear Out, New Energy And Natural Gas Will Be The U.S. Power Mix

    If nuclear is not in the future US energy mix, what will replace it? The U.S. had only two nuclear plants being built; now one is out and the other is uncertain

    Herman K. Trabish, Aug. 29, 2017 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: With the failure of the White House to get federal subsidies for coal and nuclear from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, it appears nuclear has returned to the back burner. For now.

    The decision to not go forward with the V.C. Summer nuclear plant because of cost overruns and construction delays shows the 1960s dream of “too cheap to meter” nuclear-generated electricity is more like a financial nightmare today. A report from Mark Cooper, senior research fellow at the Vermont Law School Energy and Environment Institute, was part of the proceeding that led to the decision by SCANA Corp and Santee Cooper in South Carolina to stop work on the Summer facility. He found the capital cost of renewables is between 12% and 25% of what Summer was costing.

    The Summer decision bolstered the economic argument against nuclear. Newer to the debate is the controversial question of nuclear’s role in the climate fight. The MIT Energy Institute’s Jesse Jenkins, co-author of a recent review of research on deep decarbonization in the power sector, said nuclear is too important a source of emissions-free electricity to abandon. Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT) Executive Director V. John White said neither national policy nor ideology should determine nuclear’s future because it is a regional question. But, because the aging U.S. nuclear fleet is an increasing safety risk, replacing them should be a plant by plant decision based on local economics, public safety and available resources… click here for more

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    ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Rising Power Of U.S. Ocean Wind

    Policymaker support key to offshore wind prospects in US; Huge price drops attract global developers but they need policy follow-through

    Herman K. Trabish, Aug. 30, 2017 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The viability of U.S. offshore wind has grown since this story ran.

    Offshore wind is not yet easy to build in the United States. But the question is no longer if a boom will happen, industry stakeholders told Utility Dive, it is when and how it will happen. Policy follow-through will be a critical component, along with improving economics and other factors. There were 111 operating offshore wind projects around the world at the end of 2016. Those projects represented 12,913 MW of installed capacity. Though only 30 of those MW are in U.S. waters, the world’s biggest developers are setting up U.S. shops and the U.S. pipeline is starting to bulge, according to the annual offshore wind market report

    The 593 offshore wind projects in the global development pipeline at the end of 2016 represented an estimated 231,000 MW of potential capacity. The U.S. project development pipeline included 28 projects, representing 24,135 MW of potential capacity. That’s 10% of the global action in a U.S. market that is barely open. There are two key reasons the offshore wind industry is coming to America. First, winning bid prices in the world's offshore wind market auctions have dropped to about $65/MWh for 2024 to 2025 completion of development projects. With those falling prices, the U.S. East Coast market is too attractive to not pursue, according to Jason Folsom who heads offshore wind in the Americas region for Siemens-Gamesa, the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine manufacturer. The second reason is new state policies spreading across New England and Mid-Atlantic states… click here for more

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    Tuesday, March 20, 2018

    TODAY’S STUDY: Meet Solar’s Duck Curve

    Ten Years of Analyzing the Duck Chart; How an NREL Discovery in 2008 Is Helping Enable More Solar on the Grid Today

    February 26, 2018 (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

    In February 2008, a team of NREL analysts led by Paul Denholm published a paperPDF that examined how to plan for future large-scale integration of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation on the electric grid. They observed a unique change in the shape of the electric load met by conventional power plants when increasing levels of PV are added to the system—and thus identified the earliest version of what was later named the “duck curve” by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).

    Since its discovery, the duck curve has become an emblem of the challenges faced by power system operators when integrating variable renewables on the grid. It highlights concerns that the conventional power system will be unable to accommodate the ramp rate and range needed to fully utilize solar energy. On days characterized by the duck shape—in particular, during sunny spring afternoons when demand is low and solar generation is high—system operators could actually have to turn off, or curtail, some of the solar power, because conventional plants can’t be stopped and started quickly enough to accommodate it. That could mean higher costs—and ultimately limit PV’s environmental benefits.

    The chart underscores the need to fully integrate distributed resources into grid system planning and operations to allow maximum use of variable generation. And today, with more state and local governments looking at policies that increase their use of advanced energy technologies—some aiming for as much as 100% electricity from renewables—finding ways to mitigate the duck is more important than ever. Fortunately, NREL has continued to develop analyses and tools to help grid system planners and operators figure out how to address this challenge.

    Here’s a recap of the history of the duck chart, and what NREL is doing today to enable more solar to be integrated on the grid.

    2008: NREL Releases Foundational Solar Grid Integration Analysis

    The 2008 NREL report was one in a series of large-scale renewable integration analyses published by the lab over the last decade. In the early 2000s, much of the lab’s grid integration analysis work was focused on wind power, as the cost of solar was so high that few utilities considered it a viable option for large-scale deployment. But NREL analysts saw the potential for dramatic solar cost reductions, and believed it was important to examine the implications of achieving such cost reductions on deployment and systems operation.

    Projecting significant levels of PV deployment in the late 2010s to early 2020s, the NREL team used a production cost modeling approach to simulate a series of PV penetrations in which up to 10% of the entire U.S. Western Interconnection’s annual electrical energy is derived from PV—producing the chart shown above for California’s power system.

    2013: CAISO Gives the Duck Chart Its Name (and Fame)

    Fast forward a few years, and as NREL projected, costs for solar declined rapidly. As a result, PV was deployed more widely, and system operators became increasingly concerned about how solar might impact the grid.

    In 2010, CAISO began projecting the impacts of increased PV on net load (or the forecasted electric load minus the expected supply of solar power) on its system through the year 2020. In 2013, CAISO produced a chart strikingly similar to NREL’s 2008 chart—and noticing its resemblance to the profile of a duck, the term “duck curve” was born.

    The moniker quickly gained traction in the industry, especially with emerging energy and environmental policy initiatives pushing for higher levels of solar PV deployment. As a result, CAISO and other system operators began to identify new operating practices that would be able to balance supply and demand with high levels of renewable generation. No longer was utility-scale solar deployment a pipe dream: system operators were now acknowledging the need to plan for increasing amounts of PV in the near future, with California leading the charge.

    Today: NREL Continues to Find Solutions to the Duck

    Today, NREL analysis is continuing to make managing the duck curve easier. To help power system planners and operators across the nation make the most of available renewable resources, NREL analysts are now studying how different combinations of supply- and demand-side options can allow greater system reliability and flexibility with high penetrations of variable generation.

    For example, this November 2015 NREL paperPDF explored the duck chart in detail, and suggested two ways to change system planning and operational practices to re-shape the curve and allow more PV on the grid. The first is to "fatten" the duck, growing its belly by increasing the flexibility of the power system—which means changing operational practices to enable more frequent power plant cycling, starts and stops, and so on. The second is to "flatten" the duck, shrinking its belly by shifting supply and demand so solar can meet parts of the load that wouldn’t normally be provided in the middle of the day. Flattening the duck typically involves adding energy storage or demand response—both options that are already being deployed in various locations around the United States. So fear not: the duck curve doesn’t spell doom for variable renewables. In the U.S., PV deployment is approaching the highest levels of solar studied in the 2008 report by Denholm et al. And thanks to more than 10 years of forward-looking grid integration analyses from NREL, grid planners and operators have access to a wealth of data, analysis, and tools to help get their proverbial ducks in row to manage it.

    Want to learn more about what NREL’s doing to help utilities integrate ever-larger quantities of variable renewables? Other recent NREL research goes into further detail on specific solutions to manage the duck—from flexible coalPDF to improved forecasting approaches to getting essential reliability services from PV

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    QUICK NEWS, March 20: The Big Climate Change Legal Battle Looming; Three Solar Buys To Look At; New Wind Technologies To Protect Wildlife

    The Big Climate Change Legal Battle Looming Big oil faces big test in climate-change court showdown with SF, Oakland

    Kurtis Alexander, March 19, 2018 (San Francisco Chronicle)

    “A San Francisco judge who must decide whether to hold the world’s largest oil companies responsible for global warming is ordering up what many are calling the most comprehensive, and unusual, debate on climate change that the courts have seen…Fossil-fuel corporations including Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell are scheduled to present their views on climate science in federal court [March 21] alongside attorneys for San Francisco and Oakland. The two cities are among several communities suing the oil giants for their alleged role in sea- level rise...U.S. District Judge William Alsup has given both sides eight questions to answer…[that] cover the basics of climate change and the latest scientific findings on what’s driving the phenomenon…Alsup appears to be searching for [ways to put on the oil companies on the record that climate change is happening and what is causing it. The cities] argue that the extraction and production of fossil fuels has heated the planet and begun lifting ocean levels above roads, homes and utilities’ infrastructure…[They] also claim that the oil and gas industries knew of the harm they were causing but sought to cover it up, much the way tobacco firms undermined research into lung cancer in past decades…” click here for more

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    Three Solar Buys To Look At 3 Growth Stocks in Solar Energy; Growth isn't equally distributed in the solar energy industry and there are three companies that stand out from the competition, each in their own way.

    Travis Hoium, March 19, 2018 (Motley Fool)

    “The solar energy industry is on a massive growth swing, increasing installations from 7.7 GW to over 100 GW annually over the past decade…Three companies that I think have the right strategy behind them and growth ahead of them in 2018 are SolarEdge Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:SEDG), SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR), and Vivint Solar Inc (NYSE:VSLR)…[SolarEdge has] arguably been the best value creator for investors over the last few years…[R]evenue has nearly tripled since 2014 and it has generated consistent profits…[SunPower] finally seems to have a strategy it can grow with long term…Residential solar has stagnated in the U.S., but that doesn't mean Vivint Solar isn't going to grow significantly in 2018. Growth will be driven by a transition from solar leases…to cash and conventional loan sales, where cash is received upfront and the developer no longer owns the panels themselves. The financial impact is that Vivint Solar's revenue can grow even if megawatts installed stay flat…[I]nvestors should keep in mind that growth hasn't always been the only measure of value creation to pay attention to in the solar industry long term. Keep an eye on margins and profitability…” click here for more

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    New Wind Technologies To Protect Wildlife New deterrent system may help prevent eagle deaths caused by wind turbines

    Kale Williams, March 19, 2018 (The Oregonian)

    “Researchers at Oregon State University are working on a system [developed with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy that] uses a vibration sensor at the base of the blade, an acoustic sensor on the generator housing and a camera on the base of the tower…[T]he camera will be able to detect when a bird is approaching, determine [the type of bird,] and…the computer would trigger a deterrent in the form of a brightly colored facsimile of a person designed to play into [the bird’s] aversion to human beings…To test the system, [the researchers] used a compressed air launcher to fire tennis balls at wind turbine blades equipped with the sensors…When a strike is detected, video recordings of the moment of impact can be analyzed to determine exactly what hit the blade [to improve the detector’s] success rate…” click here for more

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    Monday, March 19, 2018

    TODAY’S STUDY: The South Lets The Sun In

    Solar In The Southeast 2017 Annual Report

    Bryan Jacob, March 2018 (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)

    Executive Summary


    Large utilities exhibiting solar leadership in 2017 include: Duke Energy Progress, Duke Energy Carolinas, and Georgia Power – each with more than 300 watts of solar per customer (W/C). Some smaller utilities demonstrate exemplary solar watts per customer ratios; examples: Cobb EMC (635 W/C) and Mississippi Power (455 W/C). Several large utilities still operate less than 100 watts of solar per customer. Alabama Power customers, on average, were served by just 7 watts per customer in 2017.


    Leading states like North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia have exhibited strong public policy direction. Certain states, like Tennessee and Alabama, lack supportive public policies, leaving those states with projections at less than half of the region average through 2021.

    Rpaid Growth

    The Southeast has tremendous solar potential (second only to the desert southwest) and has been experiencing near exponential solar growth for the last five years. The region will have over 10,000 MW by 2019 -- and approximately 15,000 MW by 2021.

    Identifying Leaders

    Duke Energy Progress, Duke Energy Carolinas and Georgia Power are the current utility leaders on solar power. Ranking utilities by watts per customer (W/C) offers an unbiased identification of leaders in the southeast solar market. South Carolina Electric & Gas and Tampa Electric are the most notable "SunRisers" demonstrating leading levels of planned solar growth.

    Utility-Scale Dominance

    Solar growth has been dominated by utility-scale projects. Unlike market regions that offer customers choice in power supplies, monopoly utilities in the Southeast control nearly all solar development. In several states, utilities can and do impose inefficient or unnecessary constraints on distributed generation.


    Three major utility systems - Tennessee Valley Authority, Santee Cooper, and Seminole Electric Cooperative - are sticking with outdated plans with low levels of solar. For example, the monopolistic behavior of TVA is restricting solar choice across the Tennessee Valley.

    Southeast Solar Capacity Forecast Exponential Growth Since 2012

    Solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity nearly doubled each year from less than 200 MW in 2012 to almost 3,000 MW in 2016.

    Growth Continues

    From 6,000 MW in 2017, new projects will take solar to 10,000 MW in 2019. Based on utility and other industry forecasts, SACE anticipates 15,000 MW by 2021. Much of this growth represents existing contracts and commitments that remain highly certain.

    Utility-Scale Solar Dominates

    Utility-scale solar is favored by an economic advantage, policies, and discretionary utility practices that discourage customer-sited solar (“behind the meter”). Most utility-scale systems are in excess of 5 MW, many exceed 50 MW.

    Distributed Solar Projects Lags

    Despite high customer interest, less growth is predicted for smaller residential rooftop and commercial customer-sited solar accounted via net metering or related billing practices.

    Limited Grid Impacts

    Even with 15,000 MW in 2021, the corresponding solar generation is less than 3% of retail sales, considerably below levels that could trigger changes in grid operation practices.

    Large Utility System Rankings

    The two leading utilities, Duke Energy Progress (DEP) and Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC), have been propelled by North Carolina laws along with favorable regulatory terms required by the North Carolina Utilities Commission for independent power providers. Those utilities, along with South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G), have also supported solar in response to a South Carolina law which enabled new solar programs in the Palmetto state. Georgia Power’s solar programs were induced by orders of the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC). Georgia Power has responded with effective market procurement and contracting practices (including siting at military bases). The future of solar is bright across most of the Southeast. Solar will more than double on average, driven by utilities like Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric. Each of these Florida utilities announced solar expansion plans in 2017 that will propel them toward the top of the list in the coming years. However, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Santee Cooper, and Seminole Electric Cooperative are not forecast to add solar at a significant pace. Florida Power & Light (owned by NextEra) plans additional solar, but at a slower pace than rival Florida utilities. These utilities operate in a public policy vacuum and the slow pace of solar reflects outdated thinking within the utilities’ management. The 13 largest utility systems in the Southeast each serve more than 500k customers. This includes individual investor owned utilities like Georgia Power, as well as the combination of utilities organized into cooperatives like Oglethorpe and the federally-owned Tennessee Valley Authority. Also studied, but not exceeding the 500k customer benchmark are several regional municipal power agencies.

    Forecast For Select Utility Systems…Duke Energy Leads The Southeast…Southern Company…Florida Power & Light…Oglethorpe Power…Tennessee Valley Authority…

    Southeast Solar Momentum: Sunrisers Sunrisers

    The top 7 utilities with the highest forecast solar watts per customer growth operate in four different states, demonstrating solar power appeal throughout the region. Duke Energy Progress (DEP) already exhibits the highest watts per customer ratio in the Southeast, and it will more than double that by 2021. North Carolina’s new law (HB 589) is contributing to that continued growth. South Carolina’s Act 236 is also a factor for DEP as well as South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G). Price decreases for solar modules and other components have created a new economic reality for solar, driving growth across the Southeast.

    Forecast For Southeast States

    North Carolina is projected to remain the southeast leader in solar capacity and among the highest in the country (currently #2).1 Florida utilities have announced significant plans for growth in solar over the next 6 years. Georgia continues steady progress with utility-scale solar development. Alabama and Mississippi have been identified recently among the fastest growing solar states in the country2 albeit with a rather small base. Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina are the only states projecting an appreciable amount of small-scale distributed solar…Tennessee, once an early leader in small-scale, distributed solar, has relinquished that leadership posture and demonstrates limited interest to advance solar at any scale…

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    QUICK NEWS, March 19: Gotta Get Serious About New Energy; Big Money Bets Big On Plug-In Cars; Hollywoodland’s 100% New Energy Pitch

    Gotta Get Serious About New Energy We'll Need Another 363 Years to Completely Revolutionise Earth's Energy Systems; But we're not giving up.

    David Nield, 17 March 2018 (ScienceAlert)

    “…[W]e need a complete energy overhaul by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change, but at our current rate of progress…it's going to take another 363 years [according to new research]…Rather than adding 1,100 megawatts of clean energy a day, we've managed an average of just 151 megawatts…Replacing an entire planet's energy network is costly and time-consuming, not to mention politically and technically challenging…Stopping energy production from fossil fuels tomorrow would be fantastic from an environmental standpoint – but it would also leave a lot of people out of work, send plenty of companies to bankruptcy, and leave many areas without power…In other words, shifting to better energy solutions is complicated…Part of the issue is that a lot of the effects of global warming will be delayed: by the time rising sea levels, uninhabitable regions, and mass migration are right in front of us, it'll be too late to make the necessary changes…There is some hope: the progress we're making on electrifying heat production [is good and]… governments around the world are waking up to the seriousness of the problem…The opportunity to reach the necessary energy goals by 2050 may have passed, but any step in the right direction…is going to help pull us away from the worst-case scenarios…” click here for more

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    Big Money Bets Big On Plug-In Cars Over $1 Billion Bet on Electric Car Batteries Already This Year; Venture capital investment in energy storage has already doubled last year's total.

    Dave Partosiak, March 18, 2018 (The Drive)

    “…[This year alone, venture capital firms have poured in a record $1 billion into battery technology…[doubling] what firms invested last year…[China’s Farasis raised] $790 million in an agreement with one of China’s largest auto manufacturers, BAIC, to supply] 1 million battery packs over the next five years…This year, the number of investments in battery companies from venture capitalists is likely to hit 60, up from 37 last year. The first billion dollars have only been spread across 15 companies…[L]arger automotive manufacturers have been creating their own venture capital firms to invest in battery technology…[Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi’s new $1 billion venture capital fund will] invest $200 million a year over the next five years…A lot of this money is going into research for alternative materials…” click here for more

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    Hollywoodland’s 100% New Energy Pitch Study shows Los Angeles can reach 100% renewable energy by 2030 with help from solar

    Kathie Zip, March 8, 2018 (Solar Power World)

    “…[W]ith a combination of new wind and solar sources, investments in storage and energy efficiency and smart management of the grid, the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water (LADWP) can achieve a 100% clean energy system by 2030…[A] transition to an electricity grid fully powered by renewable energy can be accomplished quickly, without costing ratepayers more than they would otherwise pay [according to a new assessment]…[T]he study compares a status quo scenario with two possible options: One that relies more heavily on utility scale renewables, and one that relies more on distributed renewable energy sources, like rooftop solar…A 100% renewable plan that relies more heavily on local distributed solar energy is actually cheaper than continuing to rely on fossil fuels…[LADWP — the nation’s largest municipal utility serving almost 1.5 million residential customers and businesses — is considering] scenarios for moving Los Angeles to a 100% renewable energy grid, at the request of the City Council…[It] does not anticipate coming out with its plan until mid-2020…” click here for more

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    Saturday, March 17, 2018

    Hawking On Trump’s Misguided Climate Policy

    R.I.P. Great Spirit, Great Mind. From BBC News via YouTube

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    Thinking About Energy Efficiency

    This quick piece offers a great way to think about the path to the best deal a homeowner can get. From CSUExtension via YouTube

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    Why Rural America Loves Wind

    Wind is a new, household budget-saving crop for struggling farmers and ranchers all across the country. From YaleClimateConnections via YouTube

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    Friday, March 16, 2018

    20,000 Scientists Have Signed ‘Letter To Humanity’

    20,000 scientists give dire warning about the future in 'letter to humanity' – and the world is listening; The paper is now one of the most discussed scientific works ever and has been signed by a huge number of experts

    Andrew Griffin, 7 March 2018 (UK Independdent)

    “A dire warning to the world about its future, which predicts catastrophe for humanity, is continuing to gain momentum…[The November 2017 Letter to Humanity] has now been signed by around 20,000 scientists…[The letter argues] scientists and economists need to switch their focus from encouraging growth to conserving the planet…[because of critical environmental limits to resource-dependent economic growth…[ Oregon State University Professor of Ecology William Ripple, the letter’s lead author, said] scientists’ warning to humanity ‘has clearly struck a chord’ with both the global scientific community and the public…The publishers of the letter now say that the letter is the sixth most-discussed piece of research since Altmetric records, which track publications’ impact, began…[and] has prompted speeches in the Israeli Knesset and Canada’s BC Legislature.” click here for more

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    The World Transition To New Energy Explained

    Green energy still no closer: WEF study

    David Fogarty, March 15, 2018 (The Straits Times)

    “Most of the world's energy systems have become more accessible and more secure but not any greener…[Fostering Effective Energy Transition looked at the energy systems of 114 countries which accounted for more than 98 per cent of global gross domestic product, focusing on their electricity grids as well as fuels for transport and cooking…[It concludes there is a slowdown in global progress towards environmental sustainability, which is whether energy systems, and particularly electricity production,] is becoming more environmentally friendly over time by steadily reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) and improving air and water pollution…Globally, the energy system, through burning fossil fuels, is responsible for more than two-thirds of mankind's greenhouse gas emissions. Burning coal in power stations and steel-making is by far the single largest source of CO2 that scientists say is heating up the planet. So [seizing the economic opportunity in taking on the huge challenge of] cutting emissions, particularly from the electricity sector, will be crucial in limiting global warming…” click here for more

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    French Wind Proves Huge Value To Grid

    Wind farm proves it can provide cheaper, more precise grid security than gas generators

    Giles Parkinson, 13 March 2018 (ReNew Economy)

    “…[Results are in on the ground-breaking first trial using a wind farm to provide frequency control and ancillary services (FCAS) to the Australian grid. It shows the Hornsdale 2 wind farm, part of the huge 315MW Hornsdale wind complex that includes the Tesla big battery officially known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve,] had cut prices and delivered a more ‘precise’ service to the market operator…[It was also significant because] it coincided with a major ‘peak’ FCAS event – caused by maintenance work on the inter-connector to Victoria – that would have sent prices to $9,000MW or more in normal circumstances…[T]he intervention of the Hornsdale wind farm, along with the Tesla big battery, slashed those prices to $300/MW…It was the first concrete sign of how new technologies could break up the fossil fuel cartel that had been extracting high prices from the grid for years…[The FCAS delivered by the Hornsdale turbines over the trials delivered greater response precision, when compared to conventional generators, and provided an ‘enhanced stabilisation’ of the electricity grid…” click here for more

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    Egypt Fires Up $2.8BIL Solar Project

    Desert Sun to Power Upper Egypt With $2.8 Billion Solar Park

    Salm El Wardany, March 14, 2018 (Bloomberg News)

    “Egypt inaugurated the first solar power plant at a remote desert complex where the government plans to generate as much as 1.8 gigawatts from the sun, cutting the most populous Arab nation’s reliance on dirty and expensive fossil fuels… The 64-megawatt facility is the first of 32 units that the government targets for construction at Benban Solar park in southeastern Aswan province. The project, with all the plants, is to be completed next year at a cost of $2.8 billion…Egypt currently produces more than 90 percent of its power from oil and natural gas…Benban Solar park, along with other projects in planning, should help Egypt scale back its use of hydrocarbons as the country targets generating 20 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2022…Formerly a gas exporter, Egypt must now import liquefied natural gas, or LNG, at a high cost to meet its energy needs…[New gas fields] should help the country close its supply gap, trim its import bills and maybe even resume exports. Solar and wind projects [buoyed by a restructured incentive program] will help transform the country’s menu of energy options…” click here for more

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    Thursday, March 15, 2018

    Arnold To Sue Big Oil for Murder By Climate Change

    Schwarzenegger planning to sue oil companies for 'knowingly killing people all over the world’

    Rebecca Savransky, March 12, 2018 (The Hill)

    “Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is planning to sue oil companies, alleging they are ‘knowingly killing people all over the world.’…[H]e is still working on the timing for his push, but he is now speaking with private law firms…[He argues the climate issue is like the smoking issue in that the] tobacco industry knew for decades that smoking would kill people…[and hid] that fact from the people and denied it…[but, when taken to court,] had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars…[He said the oil companies knew from 1959 on, through internal studies, that climate change caused by fossil fuels] would kill…[He added that, like cigarettes, products that burn] fossil fuels should have warning labels…” click here for more

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    Solar Grows On, With Big Jump By Community Solar

    U.S. Solar Market Adds 10.6 GW of PV in 2017, Community Solar Soars

    March 15, 2018 (Solar Energy Industries Association)

    “…[T]he solar industry installed 10.6 gigawatts (GW) of new PV capacity in 2017, led by strong growth in the corporate and community solar segments...[O]verall growth was down from the 15 GW installed in the record-shattering 2016…[but it was a] 40 percent growth over 2015’s installation…Key findings on 2017 [by the newly released U.S. Solar Market Insight Report 2017 Year-in-Review from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)] include: …30% of all new electric generating capacity brought online in the U.S. came from solar, ranking second during that period only to natural gas…The residential PV sector fell 16% from 2016…[T]he non-residential sector grew 28% year-over-year, primarily driven by regulatory demand pull-in from looming policy deadlines in California and the Northeast, in addition to the continued build-out of a robust community solar pipeline in Minnesota…Voluntary procurement, rather than state-mandated Renewable Portfolio Standards, will continue to be the primary driver of new utility PV demand, anticipated to drive 1/3 of utility build-out in 2018…” click here for more

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    Wind Is The Cleanest Safest New Energy

    Wind Energy’s Carbon Footprint

    Vanessa Schipani, March 14, 2018 (

    “…Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claimed the ‘carbon footprint on wind [energy] is significant.’ In fact, wind power’s carbon footprint is among the smallest of any energy source…Coal’s carbon footprint is almost 90 times larger…and the footprint of natural gas is more than 40 times larger…Zinke also said wind energy kills ‘as many as 750,000 birds a year.’ This estimate is high, but not impossible. However, oil fields could kill up to 1 million birds a year [and domestic cats kill billions of birds a year]…In 2017, wind energy made up about 6.3 percent of the United States’ total electricity generation…compared with about 30 percent each for coal and natural gas and 20 percent for nuclear energy… Solar energy made up only 1.3 percent…[Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from solar, wind, and nuclear technologies are considerably lower and less variable than emissions from technologies powered by combustion-based natural gas and coal...” click here for more

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