We could fund the transition to green energy with 10-30% of the world’s fossil fuel subsidy

斗地主达人A new report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) estimates the cost of subsidizing a full transition to clean energy, and comes out with a figure that is only 10-30% of the subsidy presently given to the planet-destroying fossil fuel subsidy#renewableenergy #cleanenergy #renewables

A  from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) estimates the cost of subsidizing a full transition to clean energy, and comes out with a figure that is only 10-30% of the subsidy presently given to the planet-destroying fossil fuel industries.

That is to say, a full green energy transition is a steal.

The coal/oil/gas sector currently rake in $370bn in global, annual subsidies.

“Almost everywhere, renewables are so close to being competitive that [a 10-30% subsidy swap] tips the balance, and turns them from a technology that is slowly growing to one that is instantly the most viable and can replace really large amounts of generation,” said Richard Bridle of the IISD. “It goes from being marginal to an absolute no-brainer.”

The transition from polluting fossil fuels to clean energy is already under way. Annual investment in renewables has been greater than that in fossil fuel electricity generation since 2008 and new renewable capacity has exceeded fossil fuel power each year since 2014.

But progress is slow compared with the urgency required, said Bridle. “There is no question that renewables can power the energy system,” he said. “The question now is can we transition quickly enough away from fuels like coal, and subsidy reform is a very obvious step towards that.” Very few ways of cutting emissions actually save governments money, he said.

[International Institute for Sustainable Development]

斗地主达人[Damian Carrington/Guardian]

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Better renewable energy storage could cut emissions

With proper policy support, investment in batteries and other energy storage technologies can make money and cut greenhouse gas emissions, researchers report… #renewableenergy #solarenergy #cleanenergy #windpower #renewables

Drive through nearly any corner of America long enough and giant solar farms or rows of wind turbines come into view, all with the goal of increasing the country’s renewable energy use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions。

But what some may not realize is at times these renewable energy sources can produce more power than what is needed, leaving some solar or wind energy to, in a sense, go to waste. This oversupply condition is a lost opportunity for these clean energy resources to displace pollution from fossil fuel-powered plants.

Investment could reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases by up to 90%, according to one scenario researchers examined of power systems in California and Texas. It could also increase the use of solar and wind energy at a time when climate change takes on greater urgency.

“The cost of energy storage is very important,” says study coauthor Maryam Arbabzadeh, a postdoctoral fellow at the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. “But there are some incentives we could use to make it attractive economically, one being an emissions tax.”

“Electricity generation accounts for 28% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and given the urgency of climate change it is critical to accelerate the deployment of renewable sources such as wind and solar,” says coauthor Gregory Keoleian, director of the Center for Sustainable Systems and a professor of environment and sustainability and civil and environmental engineering.

“This research clearly demonstrates how energy storage technologies can play an important role in reducing renewable curtailment and greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel power plants.”

The researchers created complex models analyzing nine different energy storage technologies. They looked at the environmental effects of renewable curtailment, which is the amount of renewable energy generated but unable to be delivered to meet demand for a variety of reasons.

They also modeled what would happen if each state added up to 20 gigawatts of wind and 40 gigawatts of solar capacity, and how a carbon dioxide tax of up to $200 per ton would economically affect all of this.

What they found was striking.

Adding 60 gigawatts of renewable energy to California could achieve a 72% carbon dioxide reduction. Then, by adding some energy storage technologies on top of that in California could allow a 90% carbon dioxide reduction. In Texas, energy storage could allow a 57% emissions reduction.

But for all of this to happen, utility companies would need a reason to invest in energy storage systems, which require large amounts of capital investment. That is where the use of a carbon tax could be helpful, Arbabzadeh says.

All nine of the energy storage technologies studied, including high-tech batteries, require a significant capital investment and all had different pros and cons. Also adding to the complexity of the research is the different types of generation mix in Texas and California.

Texas uses some coal and natural gas-fired units. California uses more inflexible resources, like nuclear, geothermal, biomass, and hydroelectric energy units, which make its renewable curtailment rates much higher than Texas.

The study appears in .

Additional researchers from Ohio State University and North Carolina State University contributed to the work. The National Science Foundation, the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, and the Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship Program funded the study.

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Why Tesla’s colossal Megapack battery is a big deal

It’s been two years since Tesla hit the switch on the world’s largest battery in South Australia you know, the one Elon Musk made a bet to build in 100 days or he’d pay for it。 Now the company’s unveiled another colossal project。 … #solarpower #solarenergy #renewableenergy #cleanenergy

斗地主达人Following the  of the Powerpack system, the tech giant has the dramatically named Megapack, a giant new battery product designed “to match global demand for massive battery storage projects.”

Tesla , a Powerpack system with 100 megawatts of capacity, in South Australia in November 2017。 Connected to Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, three hours’ drive from Adelaide, the Powerpack system was meant to alleviate some of the state’s severe energy issues。

Since then, according to a  by engineering consultants Aurecon, the battery has saved almost an estimated $40 million, while helping to stabilise the energy grid in the region.

So, how does Megapack compare?

Basically, it’s bigger。 Mega surprising, we know。 It’s a utility-scale, 250-megawatt battery that, like the Powerpack, stores excess energy generated by renewables like wind power。

Installation and connection to existing energy grids, according to Tesla, should be pretty simple. Each Megapack will be delivered assembled — battery modules, thermal management system, AC interface — with storage of up to 3 megawatt hours, and 1.5 megawatts of inverter capacity. Plus, you can DC-connect the Megapack directly to solar energy sources.

Behold, the innards.

Behold, the innards.

斗地主达人IMAGE: TESLA

And Tesla reckons it can build ’em fast — the company said that on three acres, it can construct a 250-megawatt, 1 Gigawatt hour power plant in less than three months. That’s about the same time frame Musk bet he could build the Powerpack in, and well, .

Each Megapack connects to Powerhub renewable energy monitoring software, and can also be integrated with Tesla’s machine-learning platform, Autobidder, which allows for automated trading in electricity markets.

But the big difference is the scale。 Megapack is meant for bigger installations, with Tesla claiming each system has a 60 percent increase in energy density。 The company’s blog post cites the , which has seen the Pacific Gas and Electric Company requesting approval of four cost-effective energy storage projects totaling around 567 megawatts for locations around the state。 Tesla is included in the proposal as responsible for one of these projects, a 182。5 megawatt lithium ion battery。

Tesla says the Megapack will act as a sustainable alternative to natural gas power plants, often included in those described as ‘peaker’ plants。

“Peaker power plants fire up whenever the local utility grid can’t provide enough power to meet peak demand,” the post reads. “They cost millions of dollars per day to operate and are some of the least efficient and dirtiest plants on the grid. Instead, a Megapack installation can use stored excess solar or wind energy to support the grid’s peak loads.”

The Powerpack, in conjunction with renewables, has already proven its worth propping up fossil fuel plants experiencing outages — there was that baller time Tesla’s system  nearly 620 miles (1,000 kilometres) away。

With more grunt and storage capacity, the Megapack could potentially make even bigger headlines than that。

UPDATE: July 31, 2019, 6 p.m. BST Updated details about the Moss Landing project.

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This climate change coloring book illustrates how we transition to clean energy

Most people recognize the urgent need for climate action—in a recent poll, around 70% of Americans said that they wanted the U.S. to take —but fewer clearly understand what needs to happen beyond vague ideas about solar panels and electric cars.

 A coloring book filled with comic book-style infographics is designed to help make the complex energy transition more accessible.

“When it comes to climate change, our news feeds are flooded with headlines that make it easy to confuse information with misinformation on what the future holds,” says Anika Nicolaas Ponder, team lead for sustainability and innovation at the 。 The nonprofit collaborated with the design firm  on , which was first released two years ago and is now 。 “Most of us already know we need to shift to sustainable energy sources and make fundamental changes to the way we live, but the constant barrage of information makes it hard to pin down exactly what those changes are。 Most of the well-researched information on what we can expect in the coming years and how to start preparing for it is buried in scientific reports that are dense and difficult to decipher。 People need new ways to access science-based information and act on it。”

[Photo: courtesy Ellery Studio]

The team spent hours selecting topics to focus on and translating dry data into engaging graphics like the “subsidy pie,” which shows how little government support goes to renewables and how much still goes to fossil fuels and nuclear power。 “The research and data on these topics are all out there, often for free,” says Bernd Riedel, head of Ellery Studio’s visual strategy lab。 “The challenge was to select the most salient topics and craft a coherent narrative。 With too much information, people tend to throw their hands up and disengage。 We wanted to make something that was both scientifically accurate and visually rich。”

By making a coloring book—something fun to engage with, tactile, and that demands someone’s focus—the designers wanted to engage people differently than the slew of news about the same topic, and engage people of all ages. “The energy transition will only succeed if people are aware of and enthusiastic about the possibilities of a decentralized, renewable energy supply,” says Riedel. “It’s kind of a geeky topic, so we needed to present the information in an innovative way that would inspire our audience. Clear, unique communication tools like these can be enormously effective—and that’s crucial, because we’ll need everyone on-board to make our future carbon-neutral.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world’s largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley, and contributed to the second edition of the bestselling book “Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century.”

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