Renewable Energy May Be Cheaper than Fossil Fuels

“Conventional” levelized cost of energy (LCOE) calculations compare unfavorably with the Carbon Tracker Initiative’s proposed calculations under assumptions the report’s authors believe are more realistic. Carbon Tracker Initiative has released a study that might surprise the general public. The global study, “End of the Load for Coal and Gas?,” found renewable energy is now more cost-effective than fossil fuels. These data conflict with conventional wisdom that coal and gas are the cheapest fuels available. The authors, Paul Dowling and Matt Gray, reached their conclusion by examining the assumptions behind levelized cost of energy (LCOE) calculations. They found that current assumptions re

Solar Is the Largest Employer in U.S. Electric Power Generation Industry

Credit: Solar employment accounts for the largest share of workers in the electric power generation sector, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In a new report "U.S. Energy and Employment Report," the DOE explains that the traditional energy and energy efficiency sectors employs about 6.4 million people in the United States. In 2016, these sectors added over 300,000 net new jobs, roughly 14% of all jobs created in the nation. Solar technologies, both PV and concentrating, employ almost 374,000 workers. As a result, solar accounted for 43% of the electric power generation workforce. This was followed by fossil fuel generation employment, which accounted for

NYSERDA Announces 30 Percent Job Growth in New York’s Energy Storage Industry Over Four Years, Bring

Credit: NYS storage industry’s annual global revenues grew 50 percent to $906 million between 2012 and 2015, projected increase to $8.7 billion by 2030 Supports Governor’s Directive to Reach 50 Percent Renewable Power by 2030 The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced today that jobs in the State’s energy storage sector grew to approximately 3,900 – a 30 percent increase from 2012 through 2015, according to a recently completed report. New York’s commitment to clean energy, including its nation-leading energy goals, have helped spur the strong growth, which also saw annual industry revenues reach an estimated $906 million during t


NY Green Bank Transactions will Lead to Approximately $927 Million of Total Investment in Clean Energy Projects in New York During the Year NY Green Bank today announced that it closed 13 transactions during 2016, which will result in financing for thousands of clean energy projects, including solar, fuel cells and energy efficiency, demonstrating it is building momentum and filling a significant need in expanding clean energy financing markets in the State. The projects are expected to create new jobs in New York’s clean energy economy, while spurring substantial economic development. “Private sector developers, investors and financial institutions are expressing a strong, ongoing interest

Trump's Victory Creates Uncertainty for Wind and Solar Power

Solar panels and wind turbines. Credit: President Donald Trump has disputed climate change, pledged a revival of coal and disparaged wind power, and his nominee to head the Energy Department was once highly skeptical of the agency's value. What this means for states' efforts to promote renewable energy is an open question. States that are pushing for greater reliance on wind and solar power are not quite sure what to expect as Trump takes over. Many of them depend heavily on federal renewable-energy tax credits, grants and research, much of which comes from the Energy Department. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Trump's pick to lead the department, presents a contradictory fig

How 2016 Became Earth’s Hottest Year on Record

Global temperatures have continued to rise, making 2016 the hottest year on the historical record and the third consecutive record-breaking year, scientists say. Of the 17 hottest years ever recorded, 16 have now occurred since 2000.In the historical record, months early in the year, like February and March, have moved further away from the norm than the rest of the year. Scientists expect that the early months of 2017 will continue to show levels of warming beyond the norm, but likely not at the level of 2016 because a strong El Niño weather pattern is now subsiding. Human-induced climate change has made it at least 160 times more likely that three consecutive years after 2000 would be reco

Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year

Ice in the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi Sea region. “What’s going on in the Arctic is really very impressive; this year was ridiculously off the chart,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Credit Esther Horvath Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016 — trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row. The findings come two days before the inauguration of an American president who has called global

UMass Amherst climate scientists say Northeast will warm sooner than most of U.S.

New York City Skyline AMHERST, Mass. – Results of a new study by researchers at the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggest that temperatures across the northeastern United States will increase much faster than the global average, so that the 2-degrees Celsius warming target adopted in the recent Paris Agreement on climate change will be reached about 20 years earlier for this part of the U.S. compared to the world as a whole. NE CSC postdoctoral researcher Ambarish Karmalkar and geosciences professor Raymond Bradley's study explores how climate across the U.S. will be affected by the recent Paris agreement to limit global average temperat

The irreversible momentum of clean energy

Credit: Ideal Energies Barack Obama The release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) due to human activity is increasing global average surface air temperatures, disrupting weather patterns, and acidifying the ocean (1). Left unchecked, the continued growth of GHG emissions could cause global average temperatures to increase by another 4°C or more by 2100 and by 1.5 to 2 times as much in many midcontinent and far northern locations (1). Although our understanding of the impacts of climate change is increasingly and disturbingly clear, there is still debate about the proper course for U.S. policy—a debate that is very much on display during the current presidential transi

DOE: More Transmission Equals A Lot More U.S. Wind

A new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) report confirms that adding even limited electricity transmission can significantly reduce the costs of expanding wind energy to supply 35% of U.S. electricity by 2050. The report, entitled “Reducing Wind Curtailment through Transmission Expansion in a Wind Vision Future,” is authored by the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). It affirms the findings of the DOE’s 2015 Wind Vision, which showed that a future in which wind provides 20% of U.S. electricity in 2030 and 35% in 2050 is achievable and would provide significant economic, energy security and health benefits to the nation, the DOE says. For the study, NREL simulated the operation of

New York City's closest nuclear power plant to shut by 2021

FILE PHOTO: The Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, New York, is seen from across the Hudson River, April 6, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo Entergy Corp's over 40-year old Indian Point nuclear power plant will be shut by 2021 because of concerns for the safety of millions of New Yorkers in and around the Big Apple, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday. After fighting for nearly a decade to renew the plant's licenses, Entergy has agreed to shut the reactors, which supply about a quarter of New York City's power needs, giving the state time to find alternative power sources. "I am proud to have secured this agreement with Entergy to close the facility 14 years ahead of sche

Earth on the edge: Record breaking 2016 was close to 1.5°C warming

Annual global air temperature at a height of two metres (left axis) and estimated change from the beginning of the industrial era (right axis). Sources: Copernicus Climate Change Service, ECMWF, for data from 1979; Met Office Hadley Centre, NASA and NOAA for blended data prior to 1979. (Credit: ECMWF, Copernicus Climate Change Service) The first global analysis of the whole of 2016 has confirmed last year as the warmest on record and saw the planet near a 1.5°C warming, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). The latest figures from C3S, part of the EU’s Copernicus earth observation programme, show that 2016’s global temperature exceeded 14.8°C, and was around 1.3°C highe

China Aims to Spend at Least $360 Billion on Renewable Energy by 2020

China is leading the world in renewable energy, investing both domestically and internationally. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters China intends to spend more than $360 billion through 2020 on renewable power sources like solar and wind, the government’s energy agency said on Thursday. The country’s National Energy Administration laid out a plan to dominate one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, just at a time when the United States is set to take the opposite tack as Donald J. Trump, a climate-change doubter, prepares to assume the presidency. The agency said in a statement that China would create more than 13 million jobs in the renewable energy sector by 2020, curb the growth of gree

San Diego’s Climate Action Plan Making Progress—And Creating Jobs

San Diego Gas & Electric gets some of its renewable energy from the Manzana Wind Project near Rosamond, CA. Courtesy SDG&E It’s been a year since the city of San Diego approved its climate action plan with the aim to create a cleaner, greener San Diego now and for years to come by eliminating half of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions and generating all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035. In the recent 2016 Climate Action Plan Annual Report, the city offers some facts and figures that show progress has been made over the past six years that puts the city ahead at this early point in the plan and offers promise for creating increased local job opportunities in clean energy tec

How a $50K Grant Helps a County Get Climate Smart

Image: Pixabay Orange County, New York, is taking steps to get climate smart by studying its watersheds and preparing infrastructure adaptation strategies. Orange County, New York, received more than $50,000 in funding from the Department of Environmental Conservation to continue with the state’s Climate Smart Communities Certification process. The county’s next step includes developing a county-wide Natural Resource Inventory (NRI), so Orange County is partnering with the Wallkill River Watershed Alliance, the Orange County Water Authority and the State University of New York at New Paltz. The partners will also conduct vulnerability assessments and develop climate adaptation strategies aro

Plug-in electric car sales in Dec: Bolt EV launches; Leaf, Volt rise

First 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV buyers, Fremont, California: Bobby Edmonds, Bill Mattos, Steve Henry As sales results trickle in from automakers throughout the day, industry analysts will be waiting to see whether enough buyers signed on the line to make 2016 a new record sales year. Among cars with plugs, however, the trend was clearly up—and December saw the first sales of the long-awaited 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, the 238-mile battery-electric hatchback. Chevrolet reported that it sold 579 Bolt EVs last month, a decent start if not the four-figure number some had secretly hoped for. Numerous comments and letters from Green Car Reports readers indicate that the Bolt EV launch in states outside

Push for Geothermal Tax Credit in the Executive Budget

Part of Governor Cuomo's Clean Energy Standard aims to use more geothermal systems for heating and cooling. But last year he vetoed a bill that would have given homeowners a 25-percent tax credit for installing the system. And a federal tax credit expired at the end of the year. So supporters of geothermal are calling on Cuomo to include the tax credit in this year's executive budget. Bill Nowak with NY-GEO and Renee Vogelsang with New Yorkers for Clean Power join us to explain. View video at #Geothermal #Renewableenergy

Indian firm makes carbon capture breakthrough

Tuticorin thermal power station near the port of Thoothukudi on the Bay of Bengal, southern India. The plant is said to be the first industrial-scale example of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU). Photograph: Roger Harrabin A breakthrough in the race to make useful products out of planet-heating CO2 emissions has been made in southern India. A plant at the industrial port of Tuticorin is capturing CO2 from its own coal-powered boiler and using it to make baking soda. Crucially, the technology is running without subsidy, which is a major advance for carbon capture technology as for decades it has languished under high costs and lukewarm government support. The firm behind the Tuticorin proc

Massive solar farm proposed for Selkirk

A rendering of how a proposed 8 megawatt solar farm in Selkirk would look from area properties. Photo: Rulison, Larry A developer is planning an 8 megawatt solar farm in Selkirk that would easily be the largest built so far in the Capital Region. Plans for the solar farm have been submitted to town of Bethlehem officials, which must approve the project. The developer is NextEra Energy, a Florida solar energy developer that has done other large solar farms in town. The largest solar farms locally are about 2.5 megawatts, although much larger projects are in the pipeline, including a 98 megawatt solar farm being planned for Montgomery County. The Selkirk project would be located at 93 Bridge S

Cape Vincent solar project operational

AMANDA MORRISON / WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES The village of Cape Vincent’s solar array, shown above in October, is now operational after National Grid finished its connections to the system. CAPE VINCENT — National Grid connected the village’s entire solar array to its electric circuit feeder without requiring the Board of Trustees pay additional fees, making it operational six months after its installation. Robert J. Campany, project manager for Fourth Coast Inc., which oversaw the project, said National Grid connected the 140-kilowatt solar array to its feeder in November after re-evaluating its infrastructure and deciding it could support the project. The board announced the array’s operation

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