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Category: Energy News

20 posts

US utility Florida Power & Light has announced its ’30-by-30’ initiative to expand their renewables portfolio.

The initiative aims to install more than 30 million solar panels by 2030 and the project will be the largest including solar installation by a regulated utility in the world.

The program will help FPL to achieve a 67 percent fleet-wide reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, compared to the national average.

The plan will make Florida a world leader in solar adoption and will include investing in energy storage to optimise renewable energy generation, storage and use.

Eric Silagy, CEO of FPL, said: “FPL is not your traditional electric company.

“We’re a technology company that delivers power, and we’ve long believed in making smart, forward-thinking infrastructure investments to produce tangible, long-term benefits – cleaner air, lower electric rates and reliable service – for our customers and our state.

“Now we’re taking our long-standing clean energy commitment to the next level. Bottom line, this bold, innovative plan is the right thing to do for our customers and for our fast-growing state, and we look forward to working with local and state officials and our regulators to make this vision a reality.”

“As Florida’s energy needs continue to grow at a rapid pace, it is important that we diversify our energy resources. This is vital to the economic well-being of our State and quality of life for residents.”

The company’s first investment in solar was in 1984, a 10KW photovoltaic facility in Miami. Today, FPL is operating 18 utility-scale solar power plants and hundreds of other universal solar installations across Florida.

“It’s why our customers enjoy electricity that is among the cleanest and most reliable in the country for a price more than 30% below the national average, added Silagy.

The plan will allow the utility to generate 40 percent of its energy from emission-free resources by 2030.

Efforts by FPL to retire fossil fuel energy generation has resulted in reducing its reliance on foreign oil more than 99%, saving its customers more than $9.5 billion in fuel costs and in preventing 120 million tons of carbon emissions from being produced.

The utility serves more than five million customer accounts or an estimated 10 million+ people across the state of Florida.

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Spain has set out plans to switch entirely to renewable electricity by 2050, with goals that go further than current European Union plans.

Under the new strategy, greenhouse gas emissions from Spain would be cut by 90 per cent compared to 1990 levels by the middle of the century.

The nation intends to invest massively in wind and solar power over the next decade, while banning new licences for fossil fuel drilling and fracking wells.

It is also planning to source 70 per cent of electricity from renewables by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2050. In 2017 Spain got roughly a third of its power from renewable sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

Experts have welcomed the move as evidence Spain is “deadly serious” about fighting climate change, and an example to other nations in setting ambitious targets.

The country’s socialist government set out this strategy ahead of other European nations in a draft law.

“It is exciting to see Spain setting the pace in its commitment to a 100 per cent renewable powered future,” said James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe. “Spain’s energy ambition is a wake-up call to all the other states across the world, as it demonstrates what we know – it is possible to power large economies by renewables in the very near future.”

The country intend to go beyond the current EU target of 32 per cent and install 35 per cent overall renewable energy by 2030, with at least 70 per cent renewable electricity.

It is also aiming to improve energy efficiency by 35 per cent, once again going beyond the EU target of 32.5 per cent.

In their announcement, the Spanish authorities have emphasised a “just transition”, shutting down coal mines but ensuring that there are sufficient retirement packages and retraining to ensure no one is left behind in the transition.

“The draft Spanish climate law is an excellent example of the implementation of the Paris agreement: it sets a long-term goal, provides incentives on scaling up zero emission technologies and cares about a good transition for the workforce,” said Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “As an early mover Spain will gain economically and create new jobs in the renewables sector.”

Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation, described the Spanish government’s action as “groundbreaking”.

She said: “By planning on going carbon neutral Spain shows that the battle against climate change is deadly serious, that they are ready to step up, and plan to reap the rewards of decarbonisation.”

She added that Spain was showing the European Commission the way before it presented its long-term climate strategy at the end of November.

The UK is currently aiming to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, but experts have warned that stricter targets will be required to avoid the worst effects of global warming.

The government has asked its advisers to look into the measures required to implement stricter targets, but it has also faced criticism for its failure to support renewable sources like onshore wind, and its continued support for fracking.

In December nations will meet in Poland to discuss the best ways to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement and set out an urgent strategy for the coming years.

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The majority of America’s new energy capacity additions in 2019 will come from renewable energy sources, according to figures published by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The agency estimates that 23.7GW will be added to the US electric power sector, with 64% of this coming from wind and solar power, and that 8.3GW of energy will be retired in 2019, with more than half of the scheduled retirements coming from coal.

Of the 23.7GW that will be added, 46% (10.9GW) will come from the wind energy sector, with big projects in Texas, Iowa and Illinois making up more than half of the additions for the year.

A further 18% (4.3GW) will come from major solar power projects in Texas, California and North Carolina. The EIA also estimates that a further 3.9GW of solar power will enter service in the residential and commercial sectors.

The final additions will come from natural gas (34%) and other renewables and battery storage (2%).

4.5GW of coal power is estimated to be retired by the end of the year. This includes the Navajo Generating Centre in Arizona, which will account for 2.3GW of the total when it is expected to close at the end of 2019. The total is smaller than the 13.7GW reduction in 2018, the second highest amount of coal capacity retired in a year. Despite US President Donald Trump championing coal during his election campaign, the decline of US coal production has continued under his administration.

Two nuclear power plants in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are set to be retired in September, at a combined total of 1.5GW (18%), and 2.2GW of natural gas (27%) will cease production this year.

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The analysis finds oil and gas-related conflict may decline, as will the strategic importance of some maritime chokepoints.

This week at the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), political and business leaders from around the world outlined the far-reaching geopolitical implications of an energy transformation driven by the rapid growth of renewable energy.

The leaders said in a new report that the geopolitical and socio-economic consequences of a new energy age may be as profound as those which accompanied the shift from biomass to fossil fuels two centuries ago. These include profound changes such as:

  • in the relative position of states;
  • the emergence of new energy leaders;
  • more diverse energy actors;
  • changed trade relationships; and
  • the emergence of new alliances.

The Commission’s report A New World suggests that the energy transformation will change energy statecraft as we know it. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy sources are available in one form or another in most geographic locations. This abundance will strengthen energy security and promote greater energy independence for most states.

At the same time, as countries develop renewables and increasingly integrate their electricity grids with neighbouring countries, new interdependencies and trade patterns will emerge. The analysis finds oil and gas-related conflict may decline, as will the strategic importance of some maritime chokepoints.

The energy transformation will also create new energy leaders, the Commission points out, with large investments in renewable energy technologies strengthening the influence of some countries.

China, for instance, has enhanced its geopolitical standing by taking the lead in the clean energy race to become the world’s largest producer, exporter and installer of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and electric vehicles. Fossil-fuel exporters may see a decline in their global reach and influence unless they adapt their economies for the new energy age.

“This report represents the first comprehensive analysis of the geopolitical consequences of the energy transition driven by renewables, and a key milestone in improving our understanding of this issue,” said Commission Chair Olafur Grimsson, the former President of Iceland.

“The renewables revolution enhances the global leadership of China, reduces the influence of fossil fuel exporters and brings energy independence to countries around the world. A fascinating geopolitical future is in store for countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. The transformation of energy brings big power shifts.”

“The global energy transformation driven by renewables can reduce energy-related geopolitical tensions as we know them and will foster greater cooperation between states. This transformation can also mitigate social, economic and environmental challenges that are often among the root causes of geopolitical instability and conflict,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA.

“Overall, the global energy transformation presents both opportunities and challenges,” continued Mr. Amin. “The benefits will outweigh the challenges, but only if the right policies and strategies are in place. It is imperative for leaders and policy makers to anticipate these changes, and be able to manage and navigate the new geopolitical environment.”

The Commission says countries that are heavily reliant on fossil fuel imports can significantly improve their trade balance and reduce the risks associated with vulnerable energy supply lines and volatile fuel prices by developing a greater share of energy domestically. With energy at the heart of human development, renewables can help to deliver universal energy access, create jobs, power sustainable economic growth, improve food and water security, and enhance sustainability, climate resilience and equity.

The report was launched by the Commission at IRENA’s ninth Assembly in the presence of ministers and senior policy makers from more than 150 countries. A full list of Commissioners together with the report can be found here.

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Costa Rica has generated more than 98 percent of its power through renewable sources for the fourth year in a row, the state energy body said Thursday.

In 2018, just 1.44 percent of the central American country’s electricity came from fossil fuel plants, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said in a statement.

ICE power director Luis Pacheco said Costa Rica’s electricity generation system had made it “an example for the region and the world.”

River water is the main source of energy, providing 73.87 percent of the country’s needs, followed by wind (15.6 percent) and geothermal energy from its volcanos (8.38 percent).

Costa Rica avoided using its fossil fuels plants in 300 days during 2018; the last instance came on May 17.

October was the month in which it generated the most renewable electricity, some 976.78 gigawatts an hour, the ICE said.

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The so-called sharing economy has given rise to new forms of business, such as AirBnB and Uber. Could the same sharing approach work in the utility business?

A Missouri S&T researcher thinks it can, and she has developed a model for a peer-to-peer network through which consumers could buy, sell and share energy.

What are the pros and cons of solar shingles?

Solar shingles are one of the newest ways to introduce your home to renewable energy. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, the U.S. reached a cumulative 53.3 gigawatts of solar energy capacity in 2017, enough to power over 10 million homes. And if you’re reading this, you’re likely interested in upgrading your home to get in on the action while the 30% solar tax credit remains.

Julia Morgan, a Missouri S&T Ph.D. student in systems engineering, is researching energy sharing among peer-to-peer networks.

“More consumers are yearning to use renewable energies, and energy providers are trying to fill that gap between what’s already being done and what consumers want,” says Julia Morgan, a Ph.D. student in systems engineering at Missouri S&T.

For her research, Morgan is studying how individuals who get their power from multiple sources – from solar panels and wind turbines to more conventional sources – could form communities for energy sharing with each other and local utility companies. She’s presented two research papers on the topic at international conferences for the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) and the Institute of Industrial Systems Engineers (IISE).

Morgan says that sharing communities include not only consumers of electricity, but also “prosumers” – end-users who both consume and produce electricity using their own renewable energy generators. The idea of energy sharing is to meet individual energy needs through renewable energies and to sell excess energy within a sharing community when households produce more electricity than they need. By sharing energy generation and demand, prosumers could see a cost savings and become more self-sufficient.

Dr. Ruwen Qin, Morgan’s advisor and an associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, says there are several benefits to sharing energy for consumers and utility companies.

“Sharing unused generation from renewable energy sources within a community benefits all participants in the community,” says Qin. “Consumers not only enjoy clean energy generated locally at a lower price than paying for the utility, but prosumers may also be able to sell the excess electricity to the community at a more attractive price.”

Qin says energy sharing could also help utility companies by lowering the impact of uncertain renewable generation on the grid.

An energy sharing community includes various participants from utility companies to prosumers, who both consume and produce electricity.

Morgan pointed to an example of a functioning microgrid operating in Brooklyn, New York. The Brooklyn Microgrid (BMG) allows its participants to “engage in a sustainable energy network and choose their preferred energy sources, locally.” BMG is a blockchain-enabled platform that allows for energy transactions through an online marketplace. Participants include energy companies, solar communities, residential and business consumers, as well as residential and business prosumers.

So how close are Americans to connecting homes together to form energy sharing communities and larger systems?

“Given that it’s already happening on a small scale, I’d say we’re pretty close,” says Morgan. “Give it a decade, and you’ll see more of that. If we can start to connect multiple communities of microgrids, they can be each other’s energy backup instead of the utility company.”

Qin points out that each end-user – consumer or prosumer – of a sharing community will need a home energy management system to help them participate in the sharing community. Energy sharing also requires a system that manages the energy sharing at the community level. Morgan focuses on addressing these two technical needs in her Ph.D. study.

Utility companies could play multiple roles in energy sharing systems, according to Morgan. Without building additional infrastructure, sharing communities will need utility companies for their energy distribution network. The communities may also need to rely on utility companies to serve as coordinators of the sharing systems. Utilities provide end-users with not only electricity, but also infrastructure and coordination services for energy sharing, and these services will likely be new revenue streams for the companies.

Morgan says her next step is to gather data to gain a better understanding of the current system and improve a system for energy sharing.

News Source: https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2019/01/the-sharing-economys-next-frontier-energy-sharing.html

The Trump administration is not likely to stop the growth of the renewables market in the U.S. The tax incentives rolled out during the Obama administration have served their purpose and the lion is now out of its cage. Renewables are here to stay.

Renewables have been growing in developed and developing markets over the last decade. Why? Falling costs thanks to advancements in technology, first with wind power and evolving with solar in recent years. In fact, more efficient technology has made renewables competitive to the point that the phasing out of incentives has begun. Over the past decade, investors have gained confidence in how these sources of energy can be predicted. And the more costs continue to decline for renewables, the more they will take market share away from the traditional energy markets.

Proof of the sector’s staying power, and solar in particular, rests with the very ratings Fitch assigns to these projects and how stable they have performed over time. Whereas the somewhat uneven rating performance of wind projects belies a market very much in its infancy and trying to find its footing, Fitch-rated solar projects have been upgraded over the last year and are emblematic of a renewable energy source that has ironed out the proverbial kinks in recent years.

So with renewable energy undoubtedly entrenching itself as a global industry over the last decade, what will the next 10 years bring? The short answer is “more growth” and notably, “self-sustaining growth.” As the market evolves, growth will this time be supported by advancements in battery storage technology. While developing markets will see demand for power continue to grow, the same trend will likely flatten out for developed markets, though the expected roll-out of electric vehicles could add to demand.

Solar installed capacity in Western Europe and North America is expected to advance steadily through 2026. Credit: Fitch

Solar installed capacity in Western Europe and North America is expected to advance steadily through 2026. Credit: Fitch

Power consumption will also become more dynamic over the next decade. The roll-out of smart meters in developed markets will allow for better real-time demand and price signaling, with digital integration within households likely to accelerate this process. Self-generation may culminate in a move toward local distributed systems in some locations, though self-generation is not universally achievable. Gas-fired generation is still very important and may in fact increase thanks to the abundance and flexibility of global liquefied natural gas. Even coal, deemed by many to be a globally obsolete form of energy generation, will remain in countries with domestic coal resources, though its slow and inevitable decline is continuing in developed markets.

Below are five notable trends worth keeping an eye on over the next 12 months:

Renewables Will Become More Self-Sustaining: Subsidies and tax incentives enabled renewables to gain traction with investors while capital cost decreases are making renewables competitive on their own. Tax policy changes in the U.S. would likely reduce benefits for renewables projects, though overall costs for renewables are likely to continue declining as global demand increases. The overall cost of electricity for renewables will be even more competitive with or without their own subsidies especially if carbon emissions become taxable and increase the cost of thermal power generation relative to renewables.

Technology Will Be Key: Advances in technology are a main driver behind cost decreases for renewables. Increased wind turbine capacity from the same footprint and better efficiency of PV systems are reducing the cost per unit energy generated. Manufacturing cost decreases driven by higher demand and competitive pressures are also helping to cut equipment costs. Similarly, operating costs are falling for renewables as the number of qualified operators and technicians grows. Battery technologies, in early stage development, are likely to mirror the same cost reduction curve as solar panels as cheaper and more reliable battery systems are developed. This will make battery technologies alongside solar generation a viable and economic alternative to grid-based power.

Slow Power Demand Growth: Demand for power has stagnated in developed markets and is growing in developing markets. Advances in energy efficiency and consumption management have effectively offset organic growth in energy demand in the largest markets, and those trends are not likely to change. Market forces are replacing the oldest and most costly utility scale thermal plants with gas-fired and renewables capacity in greater numbers. Sustained economic growth may allow energy demand to outpace efficiency-driven demand reduction, but the vulnerability of the currently favorable phase of the economic cycle increases with time.

EV Charging Infrastructure Will Need Investment: Electric vehicles are a potentially disruptive technology that could dramatically increase demand for electricity. Not only will massive EV fleets require power to charge their batteries, those same batteries can be leveraged while plugged into smart networks to help act as distributed resources to balance supply and demand. The main impediments are infrastructure (which is not yet built) and the considerable investment needed ahead of the expected onslaught of EVs. While growing rapidly, the EV market has still not materialized to levels predicted by earliest investors; rapid growth may follow the introduction of exciting and affordable new vehicles promised by cutting edge manufacturers.

Power Prices Remain Stagnant: Many competitive power markets are saturated with oversupply. As a result, they have some of the lowest real electricity prices in history, with some markets regularly exposed to negative wholesale power prices. Modern gas-fired plants are helping to keep prices low even when renewable resources are not available. And markets or regions with relatively higher prices will attract those same competitors and technologies, likely leading to similar price pressure. Power prices are vulnerable to many potential shocks be it new emissions regulations, changes to tax codes, technology disruptions, political turbulence or environmental activism, though any pricing jolt may only be temporary.

The Trump administration’s rejection of the Paris Accord is not likely to stop the growth of the renewables market in the U.S. The tax incentives rolled out during the Obama administration have served their purpose and the lion is now out of its cage. Renewable energy is here to stay. And with much of the buildout in renewables coming from state government incentives that far supersede any efforts at the Federal level, renewables are in a position to self-sustain growth over the next decade.

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MIT researchers developed a “city battery” root, capable of storing excess heat in molten silicon.

The researchers say the so-called “sun in a box” can store excess energy from solar and wind, and return it as an electric grid on demand.

The battery allows the city to power when the sun is absent, but around the clock.

The new design stores heat in large tanks of hot white molten silicon. It can then convert light from the glowing metal to electricity when needed.

The researchers estimate that a single storage system could provide a small city of about 100,000 homes with fully renewable energy.

The upgraded battery will be much cheaper than lithium-ion batteries, which have been proposed as a viable (albeit costly) way to store renewable energy.

The new storage system relies on the use of fields extended from large mirrors, to focus the sunlight on a central tower, where the light is converted to heat, which eventually turns into electricity.

Concentrated solar plants store solar heat in large tanks filled with molten salt, which is heated to high temperatures, about 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

When electricity is needed, the hot salt is pumped through a heat exchanger, transferring the salt heat to vapor. The turbine converts the steam into electricity.

The team looked for another non-salt way to store heat at much higher temperatures and settled on silicon, one of the most abundant metals on Earth, could withstand incredibly high temperatures, exceeding 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Last year, the team developed a pump that could withstand such intense heat and could pump liquid silicon through a renewable storage system. They also made a miniature graphite tank, filled with liquid silicon to test the plan.

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https://arabic.rt.com/technology/987497-%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%AA%D9%83%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%B4%D9%85%D8% B8% D8% D8% D9% 84% D8% B8% D9% 86% D8% AF% D9% 88% D9% 82% D9% 85% D8% AF% D9% 8A% D9% 86% D8% A9 /

Turkey is one of the fastest growing economies among EU and OECD member countries, thanks to successfully
implemented macroeconomic policies and structural reforms. After a decrease during the 2009 global economic crisis,
Turkish economy bounced back with strong growth rates and than settled into a more sustainable pace of 4.1% in 2013, 2.9% in
2014 and 4.0% in 2015 in real TL terms.
Owing to the prominent economic performance, Turkey attracted around USD 160 billion of foreign direct investment
between 2003 and 2015 and Turkish economy is expected to attract USD 70 billion of FDI within the next 4 years. As of
2016, more than 50,000 foreign companies have operations in Turkey.


Turkey’s solar power production increased 175 percent year-on-year to 2.8 million megawatts per hour in 2017. Solar installed power increased from 939 megawatts to 2.978 megawatts on an annual basis, an increase of 217 percent in general Issued by the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority on Monday.

Solar energy production in total electricity production rose to 0.97 percent in 2017, up from 0.38 percent in 2016. Electricity generated by solar energy now ranked sixth in power supply after natural gas, coal and energy. Hydropower, wind and geothermal energy.

Wind power production rose 15.2 percent to 17.9 million megawatts in 2017, according to data from the Turkish Energy Regulatory Authority.

Turkey, in a bid to encourage the deployment of solar energy to other renewable energy sources such as wind in recent years, has launched a renewable energy area tender for 1,000 megawatts of solar power in 2017, but in January 2018, the country Of those tenders to promote the development of photovoltaic solar cells on the roofs of buildings.

According to legislation amended by the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority in January 2018, Turkish citizens are allowed to install solar panels with a maximum capacity of 10 kW, while reducing the red line slightly from the previous.

In addition, as part of Turkey’s policy to diversify renewable energy sources, the Renewable Energy Sources project launched the first unit of solar cell and panels manufactured locally in the country to produce solar energy at a ceremony in Ankara in December.

On the other hand, the Turkish branch of the Solar Society “GÜNDER” that Turkey has the capacity to increase the capacity of solar power currently installed by 46 thousand MW on an area covering 1.1 billion square meters.

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