The world’s most prominent energy forecaster will raise its outlook for wind and solar installations following a decade of underestimating growth in the renewables industry. The International Energy Agency, which was established as a watchdog of the industry in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, will “significantly” raise its estimates for renewables when it publishes its annual mid-term market report for the industry at the end of this month, a spokesman for Paris-based organization said.
The exceptional output brought the country membership in a small but growing club of nations proving that the vision of a world powered by renewable fuels is closer than many realize. Long derided as a fantasy, a day’s worth of energy harvested purely from the sun and the wind has lately become reality in nations such as Portugal, Denmark and Costa Rica. In those countries, and others, the gains in renewable production have come quickly and unexpectedly, offering a ray of hope amid dire predictions from scientists about the impact of carbon emissions on the planet
Negotiators from more than 170 countries on Saturday reached a legally binding accord to counter climate change by cutting the worldwide use of a powerful planet-warming chemical used in air-conditioners and refrigerators. The talks in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, have not drawn the same spotlight as the climate change accord forged in Paris last year. But the outcome could have an equal or even greater impact on efforts to slow the heating of the planet.
“What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?” Like it or not, the next president will need an answer to this question, posed by audience member Ken Bone in the second presidential debate, in the early days of his or her administration.
In the past decade, an ambitious — but still mostly hypothetical — technological strategy for meeting our global climate goals has grown prominent in scientific discussions. Known as “negative emissions,” the idea is to remove carbon dioxide from the air using various technological means, a method that could theoretically buy the world more time when it comes to reducing our overall greenhouse-gas emissions.
LM Wind Power, a blade manufacturing company, has been acquired by General Electric Co. GE struck a €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) deal with the manufacturer’s owner, Doughty Hanson & Co., and has announced that it will be incorporated as a stand-alone unit, adding in a statement that it intends to support industry customers “with the aim of expanding these relationships.”
Rapidly rising investment in renewable energy has allowed for a “decoupling” of economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions across much of the world, but the future will continue to be shaped by dynamic and sometimes volatile energy markets, according to findings released yesterday by the World Energy Council. In its latest resources report issued yesterday, the council said the past 15 years have witnessed “unprecedented change in the consumption of energy resources worldwide,” and that “most countries have achieved a more diversified energy mix” thanks to steeply falling costs for nontraditional energy fuels and technologies, including renewables.
Investors in wind and solar power are getting more capacity for their money as the cost of the technology tumbles, making alternatives to fossil fuel more competitive. That’s the conclusion of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which found dramatic improvements in wind and solar technology is helping to boost the amount of power generated from each plant — and the cash they yield. That allowed installations to grow by almost 70 percent in the last five years even as investment flat lined.
Lithium-ion is likely to remain the king of energy storage and expand its kingdom as companies like Tesla work to make batteries a common household appliance alongside its electric cars. Batteries in these roles consist of dozens of smaller lithium-ion cells in packs that store much more electricity than mobile phones, so the potential harm from a thermal runaway is much greater. On the other hand, large battery packs mean that a single failing cell doesn’t have to take out the entire system, and with sophisticated power management systems, vehicle, household and grid batteries can be made even safer.
The release of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in the first half of this year sank to their lowest level since 1991, the Energy Information Administration said yesterday. The agency attributed the decline to a warm winter, slumping use of coal-fired electricity, and strong growth in renewable and hydroelectric power. It was the first time in 25 years that emissions during the first six months of any year were that low.