UK CO₂ Emissions Are Lowest Since 1888 Due to Government Intervention

斗地主达人The U。K。 government may be mired in Brexit-related political chaos, but in at least one area, Westminster can claim some success: Its proved that the right mix of government policies can dramatically reduce energy-related carbon dioxide or CO2 emissions… #windenergy #renewableenergy #renewables #cleanenergy

According to the International Energy Agency.

The country has had “major transformations” in energy policy since 2012, when the Paris-based agency last published a report on the U.K., it noted. And those transformations have successfully done what they were meant to do; they’ve pushed the country towards lower emissions.

“The United Kingdom has shown real results in terms of boosting investment in renewables, reducing emissions and maintaining energy security,” Dr. Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, said in a release. “It now faces the challenge of continuing its transition while ensuring the resilience of its energy system.”

Mixing it up

 

That reduction is largely due to renewable energy taking over a greater share of the total energy mix. By 2017, “low-carbon” energy made up more than 50% of the electricity mix in the U.K., the IEA said. That was possible because of two particularly notable shifts, notably a dramatic reduction in the use of coal, and an increase in the use of wind power.

In 2017, the last year for which IEA used data, wind power rose to 15% of the total electricity mix from just 3% in 2010, and the use of coal declined to 7% of the mix, down from 29% in 2010.

In fact, the U。K。 has recently hit a landmark: on June 4, the country ended an 18-day run of not using coal power at all—a new record, according to Britain’s Electricity System Operator, which tracks coal use。 The country has said it will phase out all continuous use of coal for electricity generation by 2025。

National Grid ESO@ng_eso
 

Due to plant availability and system requirements, our current coal run has come to an end at 9。20pm this evening。 18 days and 6 hours

National Grid ESO@ng_eso
Replying to @ng_eso

斗地主达人Great Britain has now gone over 18 days (432 hours) without coal!

 
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This shifting balance—more renewable or low-carbon energy, less coal—resulted in greenhouse gas emissions falling by 35% from 1990 levels, and total greenhouse gases are down by 40%, “reaching some of the lowest recorded levels since 1888,” the agency said. (Yes, 1888.)

Government intervention

Another result: power and heat used to be the largest energy-related source of CO2 emissions in the U.K., but as those have declined, transport, at 34% of the emissions, has become the largest source.

How was this done? With government intervention—including a wide range of reforms to the country’s electricity market and through nationwide initiatives including the Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth Strategies, which set firmer emissions standards, encouraged investment in renewable energy, and implemented auctions to make renewable energy more competitive and affordable.

However, energy-related emissions make up only one part of total emissions. There, the U.K. has has also made some ambitious pledges: in May, the government Committee on Climate Change said it was possible for the country to reach “ by 2050, as opposed to the previous target of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050. However, it said a wide range of tools would be necessary to get there, from redirecting significant land away from agriculture, to pushing for electrification of cars, to Britons eating less meat.

Lest we forget, big transitions do come with big price tags. According to the Financial Times, , U.K. Chancellor Philip Hammond warned outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May of the potential cost of the net-zero plan: 1 trillion pounds, or some $1.3 trillion.

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4 Ways to Make Your Business More Eco-Friendly

Data suggests that if people with compatible jobs worked from home just half the time, the national savings could total over $700 billion per year. Going green isn’t only better for the environment — it can also be beneficial for your business’s bottom line.#solarenergy #renewableenergy #cleanenergy #renewables

斗地主达人 Pivoting towards more eco-friendly processes can save your company money, and it can also add to the list of things that set you apart from your competition. If you’re looking to reduce your business’s carbon footprint, here are four 

Embrace a remote work environment.

Ditching your office and going remote is one of the most effective ways to make your business more eco-friendly. Think about it: You’ve got employees driving to and from work every day, wasting time and energy sitting int raffic. Transitioning to a remote work environment will not only save you money but also cut down on pollution. And you don’t have to go completely remote — consider an eco-friendly initiative like introducing work-from-home Wednesdays (or Fridays). 

In fact, according to data from , if people with compatible jobs worked from home just half the time, the national savings would likely total over $700 billion per year, and the greenhouse gas reduction could be the equivalent of taking the entire New York State workforce off the road permanently. Plus, the typical business could also save $11,000 per person per year, while telecommuters would likely save between $2,000 and $7,000 per year. Tech tools available today — such as Slack for workplace communciation, Asana for task planning and Zoom for video meetings — can make it easy for your team to collaborate from home. 

Recycle your e-waste.

As tech advances, people continue to produce a lot of electronic waste, or “e-waste” — think cell phones, tablets, computers, televisions and more。 Predictions pegged 2018’s global e-waste production at about 。 Unwanted devices often end up in landfills or is shipped to developing countries, where the emissions from shredding, burning and dismantling these products is damaging to human health and the environment。

You can do your part by ensuring your team correctly recycles unwanted electronics — search online for e-waste recycling locations in your city. Your office could also get involved with donating devices to a charity such as . The organization sells smartphones and tablets to electronics restorers or recyclers, then uses the proceeds to purchase prepaid international calling cards for troops and provide emergency financial assistance to veterans.

Opt for green web hosting.

Did you know that the internet puts a significant strain on the environment? Since 2010  has been calling on major internet companies to power their data centers with renewable energy。 Facebook and Google have already committed and your company can do your part too。 By choosing green web hosting you can ensure that part of the energy comes from a  source。

There are a number of affordable web hosting solutions that will help your company reduce its carbon footprint including GreenGeeks, HostPapa, iPage and more. With green web hosting solutions you can make sure your company’s website is up and running at all times without having to worry about its adverse environmental impact.

Choose alternative energy sources.

斗地主达人If you want to  and do something beneficial for the environment, consider making use of alternative energy sources such as solar, wind or geothermal。 Depending on your office’s location, you could potentially install solar panels on the roof or use energy from a nearby wind turbine farm。

Making this type of change doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank。 You can check out the  for local, regional and state energy efficiency programs that offer grants and loans for businesses that make eco-friendly upgrades。 For instance, the California Solar Initiative offers cash rebates for every watt of solar energy installed on businesses, homes, farms, schools, government and nonprofit organizatirticles from :ons。

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NextEra Energy Predicts 50% Renewable Energy In US By 2030

At its June meeting with investors, NextEra Energy presented the audience with 235 colorful slides concerning the financial health of the company。 Many of them were identical to the slides presented at the last such meeting in May。 One was substantially different, however。#renewableenergy #cleanenergy #gogreen #energy #greenenergy #sustainability

斗地主达人In May, the company presented a slide based on data supplied by IHS Markit for calendar year 2017. It showed the United States would get 25% of its electricity from renewable energy resources by 2030. That slide was deleted from the June presentation and replaced with one based on data supplied by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for calendar year 2018. The new slide projects the country will reach 50% renewables by 2030. The difference is startling and proof of how quickly things are changing in the utility industry.

NextEra Energy is no featherweight. It has the largest market capitalization of any utility holding company. It is the parent company of Florida Power & Light, Gulf Power, and NextEra Energy Resources, among other entities. It employs 14,000 people, generates 45,900 megawatts of electricity annually, and has yearly revenue of $17 billion. Not too shabby. If it says renewables will account for half of all electricity a decade from now, other companies should sit up and take notice. Government leaders, too.

斗地主达人NextEra Energy produces more electricity from the wind and sun than any other company on the planet, according to  of Motley Fool. Its NextEra Energy Resources subsidiary operates 17 gigawatts of wind and solar power assets across the country today. It owns more installed wind power capacity than all but 7 countries and is the 5th largest capital investor in the United States. It plans to build an additional 29 gigawatts of wind and solar power assets in the coming years. This is not a company that makes predictions lightly.

How can it make such bold predictions, ones that are significantly more aggressive than those being made by other industry sources? Simple。 It feels those other sources are wildly pessimistic in their estimates。 See the first chart from Chatsko 。

There’s a huge disparity between what NextEra Energy thinks will happen and what other supposedly informed sources think will happen. A lot of CleanTechnica readers have commented over the years that forecasts from the Energy Information Administration are notoriously inaccurate. The chart shows the EIA’s forecast is 31% of electricity from renewables by 2050, while NextEra expects 50% by 2030.

Since NextEra Energy began investing in renewable energy, its market cap has increased from $12 billion in 2003 to $100 billion today. The low cost of electricity produced from wind farms — which, unlike thermal power plants, have no fuel expenses once built — frees up capital to invest elsewhere while keeping customers’ bills low, says Chatsko. Moreover, the larger a company’s commitment to renewable energy, the more capital it has to deploy to build more renewable energy systems. Size really does matter in this space.

The company’s performance is evidence that investors have nothing to fear from renewables。 Decarbonizing the grid does not mean lower profits for utility companies。 Quite the opposite, in fact, which is great news for everyone who frets about how the transition away from fossil fuels will affect the economy。

To paraphrase former General Motors CEO “Engine Charlie” Wilson, “What’s good for renewables is good for the utility industry.” Hopefully that message trickles down to other US utilities who seem to  of the renewable energy revolution.

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Quick-fix solutions to Zimbabwe’s huge electricity crisis

What are the main challenges facing Zimbabwe’s energy system? Zimbabwe has a severe energy crisis because its major sources of electricity are struggling to keep up with demand。 #energysaving #energyefficiency #energy #sustainability #renewableenergy #savetheplanet

Zimbabwe’s government has announced its facing critical power shortfalls. The country’s anchor power producer, Kariba Dam, might  production in weeks due to dropping water levels. Tafadzwa Makonese spoke to Moina Spooner from The Conversation Africa about what can be done.

 

What are the main challenges facing Zimbabwe’s energy system?

Zimbabwe has a severe energy crisis because its major sources of electricity are struggling to keep up with demand.

Kariba power plant dam – where Zimbabwe gets 57% of its electricity – has low water levels due to poor rains last year。 At the moment the dam, which sits on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, is producing just 34% of what it usually can。 If Kariba stopped producing Zimbabwe would lose about 358 MW daily, that’s about 300 000 homes without power。

On top of this, Hwange colliery – which provides almost all of Zimbabwe’s coal for power generation – is producing less because of old and deteriorating infrastructure.

Currently Zimbabwe produces 1100 MW of power against a national demand of 1500 MW。 This leaves a supply gap of 400 MW。 The deficit is catered for by imports from Mozambique and South Africa。

But payments for these imports aren’t easy to keep up with。 For the past 10 years Zimbabwe has been going through a currency crisis caused by hyperinflation。 This has severely eroded the power of local currency, leaving the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority in a financial quagmire。 They currently owe Eskom, South Africa’s power utility, over $33million。

Because of these challenges, any drop in national production means the government has to ration electricity. The government recently started a load shedding plan to prevent the collapse of the country’s power grid.

What are the short to medium term solutions?

One short-term solution could be small solar power systems that are rolled out while the government works to improve national power generation through additional hydropower plants, solar and wind farms。

Small solar systems are an effective source of electricity in off-grid communities or they could be set up as mini-grids in communities that constantly suffer from power-cuts. Zimbabwe has enough solar power to support these.

These solar systems could be made cheaper through the introduction of subsidies and tax incentives。 Even better, the government could waive taxes on all certified systems coming into the country。

And more needs to be done to publicise the use of gas in urban and rural households. Gas is underused in Zimbabwe, partly because it is more expensive compared to other energy sources including kerosene. The government could look for investments through private partnerships to build gas mines. Zimbabwe has over 40 trillion cubic feet of potentially recoverable methane gas in the Lupane-Lubimbi area. Considering the cost of building infrastructure to transport the gas from the production sites, it would be significantly cheaper to exploit these than to import from Mozambique.

Industries that need to cope with power cuts should turn to energy storage. In Johannesburg, South Africa, some industries have integrated energy storage into their micro-grids – the solar energy is stored in batteries that are used when the grid fails.

Are there experiences from other countries, in fixing a dilapidated electricity system, that Zimbabwe can draw lessons from?

Nepal and Bangladesh are good examples.

In 2014 Nepal was experiencing up to 12 hours of power cuts for the residential and industrial sector. This was finally stopped in 2017. Nepal invested heavily in run-of-the-river micro-hydropower plants. These are hydroelectric systems that harvest the energy from flowing water to generate electricity in the absence of a large dam and reservoir – as opposed to conventional hydroelectric power plants which rely on the power of water falling a large distance.

It all paid off when water levels in major rivers rose and power could be generated. By 2018 the country produced 1000 MW from 782 MW in 2016.

Zimbabwe relied heavily on the Kariba Dam power station, without establishing more hydropower plants elsewhere. It has huge small-hydro potential.

Bangladesh meanwhile shows how energy-saving behaviour – like turning off lights in unused rooms, use of solar water geysers, and use of energy efficient home appliances – under its national energy efficiency and conservation master plan reduced demand by up to 51%.

Electricity
Renewable energy
Solar power
Energy
Zimbabwe
Global perspectives

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Berkeley first city in California to ban natural gas in new buildings

The city of Berkeley will no longer allow natural gas pipes in many new buildings starting Jan。 1, 2020。 It’s the first city in California to pass such a law, officials said。 #savingenergyathome

The voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of the legislation, put forward by downtown  office and council co-sponsors Cheryl Davila, Ben Bartlett and Sophie Hahn.

斗地主达人Public support was also unanimous during 45 minutes of comment from community members and representatives of the University of California’s Office of the President (UCOP), energy giant PG&E and the Sierra Club, among others who spoke.

UCOP Associate Director of Sustainability Ryan Bell told officials UC is on board with the idea and already has a policy, as of July 1, to  in most new facilities. The university has all-electric buildings — from labs and dormitories to office space — going up around the state “in all climate zones.”

“This is proving to be a cost-effective way to meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals, saving money in all building types,” Bell said。 “Having a strong policy is essential to overcoming ‘business as usual’ in development practices and encourage the next generation of buildings being constructed。”

and will fall short of its ultimate goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”

— gas piping to heat water, space, food, etc. — except for specific building systems that have not yet been modeled for all-electric design” by the state, according to the council report on the ordinance.

The new law would apply only to building types that have been reviewed and analyzed by the California Energy Commission。 Each time the state expands its models and analyses, according to the way the ordinance was designed, the city will be able to update its law without returning to council for a new vote。

Natural gas may be allowed in new projects if an applicant can show that “it is not physically feasible to construct the building” without it, according to the ordinance language. New construction must be built so it can be converted to all-electric in the future, however.

The new ordinance includes exemptions for internal  (those that are built inside an existing home) as well as projects that the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board or planning staff determine are in the public interest。 The law includes a recommendation for a two-year staff position, which would be paid for using the city’s 。 (The position could be extended once the city sees how the pilot effort goes, staff said。)

Harrison’s presentation included a fondue demonstration by a staffer who set up an electric induction burner, then melted chocolate and dipped fresh strawberries into it. To show how safe the burner was, the staffer placed a sheet of paper between the burner and a pot to prove that the paper would not catch fire as the chocolate melted. The scent of chocolate filled the room as Harrison completed her initial remarks, causing no small amount of distraction.