Op-Ed: Asking the Wrong Questions on Energy

Source: By Satyajit Das, Bloomberg View • Posted: Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

To adapt Thomas Pynchon, if the wrong question is asked, the answer doesn’t matter. Today, the world seems to be consciously framing its energy problems in a way that avoids the right questions, and thus true solutions.

CO2 isn’t ‘primary’ cause of climate change — Perry

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said carbon dioxide is not the primary driver of climate change, stirring the global warming debate ahead of his appearance on Capitol Hill this week. On CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Perry was asked if he believes CO2 is the main factor driving fluctuating Earth and climate temperatures. He said “no,” adding that he thinks “most likely” the ocean waters and the environment are the main drivers.

Can offshore wind revive America’s ports? This town hopes so

Source: Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

This salt-caked fishing port has been flush with wind prospectors ever since Massachusetts legislators passed a law for massive wind development in the shallow waters south of Martha’s Vineyard. Ed Anthes-Washburn, a local port official, estimates he gives five harbor tours a month to wind industry representatives. Planning for the industry’s arrival now occupies much of his time, alongside proposals to redevelop several old industrial sites and a Seattle-style fish pier.

Op-Ed: Renewable energy no threat to electric grid, as Trump aides claim

Source: By David Hochschild and David Olsen, San Fransisco Chronicle • Posted: Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan famously removed solar panels from the White House roof, capping a misguided energy policy that severely slashed investment in renewable energy. Thirty-one years later, President Trump has committed a more consequential mistake by rejecting the Paris climate accord. But the story of how solar energy survived and thrived after Reagan holds an encouraging lesson for us.

Mind the “storage” gap: how much flexibility do we need in a high renewables future?

Source: By Brendan Pierpont, America's Power Plan • Posted: Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Imagine for a moment that we have built enough wind and solar power plants to supply 100 percent of the electricity a region like California or Germany consumes in a year. Sure, the wind and sun aren’t always available, so this system would need flexible resources that can fill in the gaps. But with continuing rapid cost declines of wind, solar, and batteries, it’s possible that very ambitious renewable energy targets can be met at a cost that is competitive with fossil fuels.

A bitter scientific debate just erupted over the future of America’s power grid

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Scientists are engaged in an increasingly bitter and personal feud over how much power the United States can get from renewable sources, with a large group of researchers taking aim at a popular recent paper that claimed the country could move beyond fossil fuels entirely by 2055. In 2015, Stanford professor Mark Jacobson and his colleagues argued that between 2050 and 2055, the United States could be entirely powered by “clean” energy sources and “no natural gas, biofuels, nuclear power, or stationary batteries are needed.”

Lack of power lines delays sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest wind farm

Source: By Stine Jacobsen, Reuters • Posted: Monday, June 19th, 2017

The biggest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa is ready for launch but will remain idle until next year as Kenya’s government has not yet installed the transmission lines needed to get the clean power to customers, the provider of the turbines said. Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems installed 365 turbines at Lake Turkana in the hot desert north of the east African country in March, completing construction in less than a year and two months ahead of schedule.

Renewable surge to accelerate coal ‘collapse’ — report

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, June 19th, 2017

Solar and wind power are set to “dominate” the future of global electricity and push coal plants out of business faster than expected, said a report released this morning from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, an analysis firm. Renewables are projected to constitute three-quarters of the $10 trillion invested globally by 2040 in new generation, largely because of a plunge in costs, BNEF said. Solar energy costs will likely fall an additional 66 percent by 2040, while onshore wind costs will likely plunge 47 percent, said the report.

OIRA works quietly on updating social cost of carbon

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, June 19th, 2017

Not far from the White House, some of the federal government’s most influential number crunchers are still working on the social cost of carbon. President Trump’s executive order on energy independence effectively signaled “pencils down” on federal work to estimate the monetary damage of greenhouse gas emissions, disbanding the interagency working group that calculated the dollar value on the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet and society.

Global power sector emissions to peak in 2026: Report

Source: By Susanna Twidale, Reuters • Posted: Monday, June 19th, 2017

Global emissions of greenhouse gases from the power sector are expected to peak in 2026, but will still be some way above levels needed to limit temperature rises in line with the Paris climate agreement, research showed on Thursday. Overall, $10.2 trillion will be invested in new global power generation between 2017 and 2040, with renewable power sources such as wind and solar accounting for almost three quarters of that, a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said.