economics


I think this report says it all. There is 15 pages here, but it is a good read.

https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/energy-environment-report-2017.pdf

 

OCTOBER 2017
R-17-09-A
NRDC’s Fifth Annual Energy Report
AMERICA’S CLEAN
ENERGY REVOLUTION
NRDC Senior Editor, Policy Publications: Mary Annaïse Heglar
NRDC Policy Publications Editor: Tim Lau
Design and Production: www.suerossi.com
Pipeline cover image: © Rick Wilking/Reuters/Newscom
© Natural Resources Defense Council 2017
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The NRDC Annual Energy Reports were conceived by Pat Remick, and like its predecessors, this fifth edition reflects her extensive editorial supervision. The authors gratefully acknowledge the invaluable contributions of a number of people: Michelle Bright, Lara Ettenson, Mary Heglar, Roland Hwang, Katherine Kennedy, Lissa Lynch, Matthew McKinzie, John Moore, Briana Mordick, and John Walke.
Fifth Annual Energy Report
Dozens of clean energy records have been shattered across the
United States in the last year and a half. Solar energy is growing at an
unprecedented rate and the first U.S. offshore wind farm now provides
clean electricity off the coast of Rhode Island. Grid operators and utilities
are implementing new techniques and grid improvements that allow us
to integrate more clean energy into America’s electricity system without
compromising reliability. At the same time, states and utilities have
increased their energy efficiency investments, reducing energy waste and
energy costs across the U.S. economy. Taken together, the United States is
slashing climate-changing and other harmful pollutant seven as national
energy spending hits record lows. Cities, states, and businesses recognize
the economic advantages of clean energy and have taken the lead on U.S.
climate action and must continue to do so. It is clear that a low-carbon
future is more affordable and achievable than ever. The last year and a half
has proved that, despite some new political headwinds, ever-improving
economics can propel the clean energy transition in the years to come.
The good news is we don’t have to choose between the
environment and a booming economy. Clean energy
not only reduces pollution harmful to public health
and our environment, it is also one of the fast-growing
areas for U.S. jobs and contributes billions to the U.S.
economy annually.
1   Energy efficiency and renewable energy are already
the cheapest sources of new energy
in the United States over the life of the investment.
2   Building new wind and solar farms is even expected to be
cheaper than running existing coal and gas plants within
the next decade.
3   Clean energy (from energy efficiency
improvements and renewable resource additions) already
employs almost 3 million Americans.
4,5   That is more than
twice the number of jobs in the U.S. fossil extraction and
production industries.
6   Energy efficiency supports the bulk of clean energy
employment in America today, providing permanent, well-
paying jobs in the design, manufacturing, construction, and
installation of energy-efficient buildings and appliances. In
addition, energy efficiency plays a crucial role in keeping
U.S. manufacturing and other industries competitive in a
global market—reducing energy waste, lowering the costs
of domestic production, and making our facilities some
of the most efficient in the world. The U.S. Department of
Energy (DOE) estimated in 2016 that with more aggressive,
but feasible, investments in energy efficiency, industry
could save up to an additional 7.5 quads of energy annually
by 2030—about 35 percent of all power used by industry
in 2016, or about the total amount of energy used by 50
million Americans in a year.
7, 8   These electricity savings
would be worth almost $30 billion annually (using 2016
average electric prices for industry).
9   The energy intensity of the U.S. economy (energ

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The head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, announced in Tennessee that the “War On Coal” was over. This during his announcement that the EPA was with drawing the Clean Power Plan proposed by the Obama Administration. What a joke this administration is. They accuse the former head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy ,  of picking winners and losers. Well guess what? They have already been picked. Coal lost.

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2017/10/09/texas-monticello-power-plant-closes-signaling-undeniable-shift-natural-gas-renewable-energy

Texas’ Monticello power plant closes, signaling the undeniable shift to natural gas and renewable energy

Dallas Morning News Editorial

If there were any remaining doubts, the age of coal is over and the era of natural gas and renewables is officially here.

Luminant’s decision last week to shut its Monticello Power Plant near Mount Pleasant, one of Texas’ largest and dirtiest coal-fired electricity plants, is a prime example of this shift. The plant’s pending closure in January is a win for clean air and the result of the new economics of energy that renders coal-fired power plants like the Monticello facility cost-prohibitive relics.

This is particularly true in Texas: Hydraulic fracturing has made natural gas production cleaner and cheaper than coal.  Each year, electricity from the sun and wind contribute more megawatts to the state’s power grid. The state’s deregulated electricity market increases competition, which leaves costly, emissions belching coal-fired power plants like Monticello on the wrong side of a historic transformation.

We’re pleased that Luminant took this step after a year-long review of its operations. A decade ago, this editorial board helped lead the charge against the former TXU Corp.’s plan to build about a dozen coal-fired power plants in the state.

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Much like Solar and Wind, Electric Cars have had an up hill battle. But what does that mean. It makes it sound like this is natural. Well it is not. Electric Cars were not about “ramping up” to need. It was about battling the forces of evil who did not want alternative forms of energy to succeed. Yah that is right, the fossil fuel industry and their investors and supporters have done everything in their considerable power to prevent their success. They have lied, cheated and lobbied elected bodies all the way down to townships in Colorado for example.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/2/16400900/gm-electric-car-hydrogen-fuel-cell-2023

GM will release at least 20 all-electric cars by 2023

9 comments

Both battery and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

General Motors announced today that it will introduce two new all-electric vehicles within the next 18 months, the first of at least 20 new EVs that the automaker will launch by 2023. GM also renewed its commitment to hydrogen fuel cell technology, a clean fuel concept that still needs major infrastructure upgrades before it can become a viable alternative.

At a press conference in Detroit this morning, GM’s executive vice president of global product development Mark Reuss said that the company was “committed to an all-electric future,” but cautioned that it wasn’t going to happen “by flipping a switch.”

“These aren’t just words in a war of press releases,” Reuss added. “We are far along in our plan to lead the way to that future world.”

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Let me say right off the bat that there is a “down side” to this program in that ownership is never transferred to the tenants. In other words, in most leasing arrangements after a number of years the tenants take ownership of the solar panels. Under this program it appears that the “leasing arrangement” lasts forever. Still I would definitely participate if given the opportunity. The Dutch are really smart folks.

Press Release: Foreign investment to help tenants save up to £192M a year in energy bills

2nd September 2017

  • Department for International Trade helps secure £160 million of capital expenditure into UK renewable energy backed by Dutch investors
  • Investment will unlock £1 billion solar panel installation programme that will result in annual energy savings of up to £192m for 800,000 households

International Trade Minister Greg Hands today welcomed £160 million of capital expenditure into UK renewable energy backed by Dutch investors, the first step in a £1 billion programme to give over 800,000 poorer households access to cheap solar electricity.

The investment from Maas Capital (part of the ABN AMRO Bank), secured thanks to Department for International Trade (DIT) support, will help fund solar panels from UK firm Solarplicity to produce electricity for affordable housing across England and Wales.

The scheme will see Solarplicity partner with social housing providers to install panels on their housing stock, creating a Community Energy Scheme where tenants benefit from long-term guaranteed discounts on their bills. Around 100,000 households will receive panels in the next 18 months, and 800,000 in the next five years.

The panels will be free to social housing tenants, reducing their energy bills by an average of £240 a year, saving up to £192 million in total, with 100% renewable electricity.

The deal will also create over 1,000 new jobs to install and maintain the panels. Many of these jobs will go to veterans from the armed forces, as Solarplicity helps re-train them into new maintenance careers.

Speaking from a social housing development in Ealing, West London, where new solar panels are being installed, Minister Hands said:

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Coal is no longer economical. That says it all.

Xcel Energy plans to retire two coal-fired plants in Pueblo, increase renewables

Xcel Energy plans to retire two coal-fired plants in Pueblo, increase renewables

Consumers should come out ahead long term, utility says

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

Xcel Energy on Tuesday continued its shift away from coal, announcing an agreement to retire two of its three coal-burning units at the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo while adding substantially more wind, solar and natural gas generation.

Xcel Energy will request competitive bids before the end of the year for 1,000 megawatts of additional wind, 700 megawatts of solar and 700 megawatts of natural gas power generation under its “Colorado Energy Plan.”

The state’s largest utility also said it will retire 660 megawatts of coal-generated power from Comanche Unit 1, built in 1973, and Comanche Unit 2, built in 1975. It will continue to operate the newer and cleaner coal-fired Unit 3, which came online in 2010 and has a capacity of 750 megawatts.

“It is really about the economics,” David Eves, president for Xcel Energy in Colorado, said of the retirements, which will take place before the end of 2022 and 2025. “From the company’s perspective, this plan is a response to our customers”

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Of course Illinois has already gone for wind in a big way so I should not complain. Well I could complain about Sangamon County because of its stupid rules about wind turbines. That is for another time. For now, how glorious it would have been talking offshore wind farms in New Orleans? Over beignets no less.

Why Oil-Loving Louisiana Should Embrace America’s Coming Offshore Wind Boom

Why Oil-Loving Louisiana Should Embrace America’s Coming Offshore Wind Boom

The budding wind power industry is rich in jobs, and the people of south Louisiana are ready for clean energy.

Justin Nobel | Longreads | July 2017 | 16 minutes (4,000 words)

If you’re visiting New Orleans and want to see something truly amazing, take your beer or daiquiri to-go and walk a few blocks past the Superdome—you’ll find a school being constructed on an old waste dump.

“All the toxic chemicals from the landfill are still there,” says toxicologist Wilma Subra. This includes lead, mercury, and arsenic, exposure to which can lead to reproductive damage, and skin and lung cancer. Even more astonishing, Subra says hundreds of schools across Louisiana have been built on waste dumps. Why? Dumps represent cheap land often already owned by a cash-strapped town or city, plus serve as rare high ground in a flood-prone state. And this is just the beginning of Louisiana’s nightmare.

The risk of cancer in Reserve, a community founded by freed slaves, is 800 times the national average, making the community, by one EPA metric, the most carcinogenic census tract in America—the cause is a DuPont/Denka chemical plant adjacent to the town that annually spews 250,000 pounds of the likely carcinogen chloroprene into the air. If you think the situation in Flint is bad, there are approximately 400 public water systems in Louisiana with lead or other hazardous substances leaching into the drinking water. Meanwhile, hundreds of petrochemical plants peppered across the state’s lush swampy interior freely emit carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxins into the air and water, as well as inject them deep into the earth.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Louisiana is ranked, according to different surveys, 47th in environmental quality, third in poverty, and 49th in education. Are you still gushing about your latest trip to New Orleans for Jazz Fest Presented by Shell, or French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron? “New Orleans is the best,” one visitor recently wrote to me, “you are so smart to live there!” But how smart is it to allow children to attend school built on toxin-laced waste? How smart is it to allow a community’s cancer rates to shoot off the charts? Louisiana is rich in culture, spirit, and faith, yet what type of state knowingly poisons its own people? What type of country stands by and allows it to happen?

While it is fashionable to critique President Trump for his scientific ignorance, science was misdirected long before Trump laid hands on it. It is time to open our eyes and see what is really going on in this world, to critique our society’s dinosaur methods, then step back and imagine what a new path forward might look like. It is with this aim that I begin a science column for Longreads. In my first story I’ll tour us through a land America should have never allowed to materialize—it’s what I’m calling the Louisiana Environmental Apocalypse Road Trip. As the Trump administration chucks environmental science out the window, evaporates industry regulations, and cripples agencies charged with protecting the environment, this tale is relevant for all Americans, because the poisoning happening in Louisiana could happen in your state too—in fact, it is probably already happening.

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While this piece is important, it is also kind of cutsie in the fact that all the nuclear waste mentioned is well taken care of. Still I want to make 2 points.

1, I always thought and still do, that Yucca Mountain is a perfect place to store nuclear waste. I was pissed when Obama tried to call the whole thing off and I am glad that the Trump administration is trying to reopen it. Don’t get me wrong, I do not like much of what Trump has done so far BUT this is just fine.

2, Illinois had the perfect opportunity to be the nations nuclear waste dump for real. Northern Illinois between Chicago and the Mississippi River is virtually earthquake free. Like for 1000s of years. As soon as Obama defunded Yucca Mountain we could have stepped up and said, “We will build it here”. Illinois could have gotten Billions of Dollars and 100s if not a 1000 jobs, and the waste would have had a very short train trip to disposal. They could have even used trucks. Then it would have been up to the rest of the States to figure out how to get their waste here.  But no, that would have been tooo bold, so now we are back to the beginning.

http://nprillinois.org/post/illinois-issues-prairie-states-nuclear-waste-conundrum#stream/0

Illinois Issues: The Prairie State’s Nuclear Waste Conundrum

Jul 20, 2017

The Land of Lincoln is the country’s largest de facto nuclear waste dump.

Under a federal measure passed 30 years ago, the spent fuel from America’s nuclear reactors is supposed to be permanently buried out in the Mojave Desert, tucked deep under a mountain, far from any population center and easily guarded

In reality, though, that radioactive waste – tens of thousands of tons of it – is sitting in temporary storage at dozens of current and former nuclear power sites all over the country, as it has been for decades. The largest portion of it is divided among seven sites that dot the nation’s fifth-largest state: Illinois.

The story of how the Land of Lincoln became the nation’s biggest de facto nuclear waste dump is a tale of public fear, political pragmatism and the power of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard).

It’s a story that radiates political irony. Among those responsible for Illinois’ atomic dilemma is the state’s favorite son, Barack Obama, who scuttled a decades-old project that was to have created a national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

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This was supposed to be the New Dawn of Nuclear Power, but instead it looks like its the resurgence that never was. Talk about dinosaurs.  They even look like something from another age. It is still good money poured down a bad hole. Will they never learn. Large base load is done.

http://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2017/08/02/sc-construction-shutdown-signals-floridas-nuclear-demise-critics-say-113735

South Carolina’s construction shutdown should signal Florida’s nuclear demise, critics say

TALLAHASSEE — The decision by South Carolina utilities to shut down a nuclear plant under construction should send a signal to other states, including Florida, that a supposed nuclear “renaissance” is over, critics said Tuesday.

Florida Power & Light Co. proposed building two new nuclear units at its Turkey Point power plant south of Miami, but the utility told the Public Service Commission in May that it plans to continue a planning “pause” while it seeks to learn from nuclear plants that were being built in South Carolina and Georgia.

The decision by SCE&G and Santee Cooper utilities to abandon construction in South Carolina nine years after starting shows that the Florida project is doomed, critics said. Duke Energy Florida in 2013 abandoned its plans to build a new nuclear plant in Levy County.

“I think for FPL and the people of Florida this is a time to say basically, wait a second what are we doing here?” said Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

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I was going to post on many things. There was the list of the most affordable cars or the robot that got inside of Fukushima nuclear power plant or even dissecting the new report from Rick Perry’s Department of Energy’s on renewables effect on the power grid. Still I have never heard of solar power on a train before, so this is what they say.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/indias-ageing-trains-green-makeover-solar-panels-130432410.html

AFP

India’s ageing trains get green makeover with solar panels

AFP 4 hours ago

India has added solar panels to the roof of a train in a national first as it tries to reduce its massive carbon footprint and modernise its vast colonial-era rail network.

The lighting, fans and information displays inside the train — once powered by diesel — will run off the sun’s energy after the panels were fitted to the carriage.

The train has begun journeys around the capital New Delhi, helping move just some of the 23 million passengers who use India’s rail network every day.

“We will be inducting at least four other solar-powered trains in the next six months,” Anil Kumar Saxena, Indian railways spokesperson, told AFP on Wednesday.

Batteries charged by the solar panels during the day take over if there is no sunlight, Saxena added. Only as a last resort, if the batteries perish, would diesel be used.

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I wonder what happens when they go through a tunel. Anyway, go there an read. More next week.

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Pop the corks, light the fireworks and kick up your heels. Yah, but that is not what happened. Maybe they celebrated on the west coast, but here in the midwest, there was a huge yawn. People are just not excited about saving their own lives and the only planet we have. As dolt 45 would say, so SAD.

http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/State-breaks-another-renewable-energy-record-11156443.php

California grid sets record, with 67% of power from renewables

Updated 5:10 pm, Thursday, May 18, 2017

A stretch of sunny, windy days, combined with brimming reservoirs at hydroelectric plants across the state, helped California reach a renewable energy milestone last weekend.

Early Saturday afternoon, renewable sources produced a record 67.2 percent of the electricity on the portion of the state’s power grid controlled by the California Independent System Operator. That figure does not include large hydropower facilities, which added another 13.5 percent. Based in Folsom, the ISO runs 80 percent of the state’s grid.

More than half of the renewable energy flowing across the grid at that moment on Saturday came from large solar facilities and wind farms. The ISO’s numbers do not even account for electricity from rooftop solar arrays.

Overall, renewables accounted for 42 percent of the California grid’s power on Saturday, not counting the large hydropower plants.

“The fact that the grid can handle 67 percent renewable power from multiple sources — it’s a great moment, and it shows the potential we have,” said Sachu Constantine, the director of policy at the Center for Sustainable Energy, a nonprofit clean energy advisory firm in Berkeley.

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