11/23/2020

News

The Plethora of Better Alternatives to Wind/Solar Power and Electric Cars

A subsequent article will then make the case that the current norm of promoting a chosen technology class as the dominant solution actually extends the reign of fossil fuels. If we want to move past the current wasteful and unhealthy fossil fueled consumerist mindset, technology neutrality is the best way to get there, while technology-forcing […]

Read More

An Electric Car Revolution Will Require Perpetual Subsidies

Adding all of these observations together, it is difficult to see BEVs displacing more than 10% of LDV fuel consumption (2% of oil consumption) without perpetual subsidies. Displacing 10% of oil consumption may be possible at a substantial subsidy cost, but pushing beyond that point really sounds increasingly wasteful. As mentioned earlier, substantially larger cuts […]

Read More

Europe’s Coming Gigafactory Boom

By 2020, at least seven new gigawatt-size battery factories are scheduled to start operating in Europe, writes Zak Derler of Climate Home News. European companies, such as car manufacturer Daimler, invest in their own regionally-based gigafactories to meet the battery demand for electric vehicles in the continent and the world.

Read More

U.S. Net Energy Imports in 2017 Fall to Their Lowest Levels Since 1982

Total net energy imports to the United States fell to 7.3 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) in 2017, a 35% decrease from 2016 and the lowest level since 1982, when both gross imports and gross exports were much lower. Gross energy imports have been generally decreasing from a high of 34.7 quads in 2007; however, […]

Read More

Why Am I Paying $65/year for Your Solar Panels?

“This is the future,” one of my neighbors recently told me, proudly showing off his rooftop solar panels, “Forget the old, inefficient utility.” The panels do look great, and, for a moment, I got caught up in my neighbor’s “green glow” of eco-righteousness. Should I be doing “my part” for climate? But wait a second. […]

Read More

This Report Card for Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions Is Not Encouraging

The International Energy Agency (IEA) issued its assessment, “Global Energy and CO2 Status Report, 2017” (Report) on March 22, 2018. The IEA reviews aspects of global energy use and greenhouse gas emission rates annually. This schedule has become even more important since the Paris Climate Agreement among virtually all nations of the world was concluded, […]

Read More

New York’s Zero Emission Credit For Upstate Nuclear Plants Upheld

Nuclear plants in New York will continue to receive payments collected from all in-state load serving entities (LSE) in recognition of their clean energy contributions. Those payments, which might be as high as $8 billion over a ten year period, may also be as low as zero during years in which the average wholesale price of electricity rises to a level at which selling power becomes profitable for the qualifying plants. In a decision filed July 25, Judge Valerie Caproni dismissed the motions filed by various electrical generators and trade groups of electrical generators that challenged the constitutionality of the New York Public Service Commission’s decision to create a Zero Emission Credit program.

Read More

Are We Headed for a Solar Waste Crisis?

Last November, Japan’s Environment Ministry issued a stark warning: the amount of solar panel waste Japan produces every year will rise from 10,000 to 800,000 tons by 2040, and the nation has no plan for safely disposing of it. Neither does California, a world leader in deploying solar panels. Only Europe requires solar panel makers to collect and dispose of solar waste at the end of their lives. All of which begs the question: just how big of a problem is solar waste?

Read More

European Council Set to Wipe Out Energy Efficiency Progress, Leading to a Decade of Higher Costs

In November last year, the European Commission’s Clean Energy Package proposed a 30 percent energy efficiency target for 2030. . . This was, as it turns out, wishful thinking, at least in this Council. Several Member States are pushing for even weaker targets. A vote on this is expected for next Monday. In particular, proposals are being prepared to water down the provisions in Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), which delivers about half of the entire savings of the Directive and is a key driver for energy efficiency in Europe.

. . . If accepted, these proposals will reduce the current ambition levels by more than 80 percent and perhaps as much as 100 percent depending on the amount of excess savings and how Member States apply these proposed terms. 

Read More

Benefiting from Green Jobs

The majority of green jobs in solar are construction jobs, that is, installing systems. A 2016 report from UC Berkeley’s Labor Center by Betony Jones, Peter Philips and Carol Zabin analyzes differences between construction jobs in the utility-scale segment of the renewable energy industry and jobs in the rooftop solar industry. The study finds that in California most workers in the utility-scale segment earn wages and benefits, and receive training that can sustain a middle class lifestyle. The report attributes this to the fact that utility-scale projects in California employ workers who belong to labor unions or receive equivalent wages and benefits to union members.

Jobs in rooftop solar, on the other hand, pay lower wages and offer more limited benefits. The Solar Foundation jobs report shows that most solar installers (69%) work on these lower paid residential and commercial distributed solar projects, not on the higher wage utility-scale projects.

Read More

California Solar Declines an Estimated 40% in January

Solar Leaderboard (solarleaderboard.com) published its January 2017 Solar Index report and initial estimates indicate that installation activity declined by approximately 40% year over year. The Solar Index tracks permits issued in select areas and is meant to be an indicator for activity across the state.

Read More

The End of the Energiewende?

The prominent German economist Heiner Flassbeck has challenged fundamental assumptions of the Energiewende at his blog site makroskop.eu. According to Flassbeck, the former Director of Macroeconomics and Development at the UNCTAD in Geneva and a former State Secretary of Finance, a recent period of extremely low solar and wind power generation shows that Germany will never be able to rely on renewable energy, regardless of  how much new capacity will be built.

Read More

Addicted to Oil: U.S. Gasoline Consumption is Higher than Ever

August was the biggest month ever for U.S. gasoline consumption. Americans used a staggering 9.7 million barrels per day. That’s more than a gallon per day for every U.S. man, woman and child.

Read More