By Anders Lorenzen, A Greener Life, a Greener World
In the wake of the global Covid-19 outbreak which has caused the biggest disruption to life as we know it and to the economy since World War II, many have been celebrating the drop in emissions from reduced industrial activity, travel and so on.
- Pope Francis Says Coronavirus May Be Symptom of Climate Crisis ... ›
- Greta Thunberg Calls for Digital Strikes Amid Coronavirus Fears ... ›
- Coronavirus Response Proves the World Can Act on Climate Change ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Virginia, which now has a Democrat as governor and Democrats in control of the statehouse, has followed the lead of several other blue states and committed itself to transition away from fossil fuels to a clean, renewable, carbon-free energy, as Vox reported. It makes Virginia the first state in the South to commit to 100 percent clean energy.
- 100% Renewable Energy Worldwide Isn't Just Possible—It's Also ... ›
- Chicago Commits to 100% Renewable Energy By 2040 - EcoWatch ›
- How's Amazon Really Doing on Renewables? - EcoWatch ›
Britain just went a record 18 days without coal in the nation's bid to eventually nix the fossil fuel, the BBC reports. It beats the previous record of one week without coal set between May 1 and May 8 in what officials told the publication would be the "new normal."
- Scotland's Record-Breaking Wind Output Enough to Power 5 Million ... ›
- Britain Achieves the 'Unthinkable' as Renewables Leapfrog Fossil ... ›
By Jo Harper
Only 10% of global energy utility companies are expanding their renewable energy capacity at a faster rate than their gas or coal-fired capacity. That is the main finding of a study by Galina Alova from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford.
The Matter of Gas<p>The report found that 10% of utilities favored growth in gas-fired power plants, dominated by the US utilities exploiting the country's shale gas reserves, followed by Russia and Germany.</p><p>"Renewables and natural gas often go hand in hand," Alova said, adding that companies often choose both in parallel. "So, it might be just in media reports we are getting this image of investing in renewables, but less coverage on continued investment in gas." </p><p>It might also be the case that gas is viewed as a transition fuel, relatively less carbon emitting and providing load-balancing services to intermittent renewables generation, Alova said.</p><p>Dave Jones, senior electricity analyst for independent climate think tank Ember, agrees with Alova that utilities have hindered the transition by "misunderstanding the future of gas." Utilities have a mindset to build big centralized power plants, replacing a coal power plant with a gas power plant, he said. "Fortunately, most of the gas hype across the world is now dying down, as wind and <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/cheap-solar-energy-prices-explained/a-53590607" target="_blank">solar now provide cheaper options</a> for generating electricity," Jones said.</p>
Green Movement Taking Place<p>Over a fifth of Europe's energy was generated by solar panels and wind turbines in the first half of 2020, according to a report by Ember. Denmark came out on top, generating 64% of its energy from these renewable sources, followed by Ireland (49%) and <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/renewables-make-up-over-half-of-germanys-power-mix/a-52986924" target="_blank">Germany</a> (42%).</p><p>In Ember's half-year review released in July, renewables exceeded fossil fuel generation for the first time ever, producing 40% of the EU's power, with fossil fuels contributing 34%. However, globally only a tenth of all energy was generated by these sources during the first half of 2020. </p><p>Last year saw the use of coal to generate electricity around the world fall by a record 3%. In part due to COVID-19, coal generation in the first half of 2020 again broke records with a drop of 8.3%. In the EU, the drop was higher, as coal energy generation fell by nearly a third.</p>
Slowly Getting There?<p>Utilities have been slow to understand how quickly wind and solar would drop in price, and also how quickly governments would want to move away from coal. "Many utilities have been caught off guard by the speed of the transition, and have suffered financially ever since," said Jones.</p><p>The world this year has generated one-tenth of its electricity from wind and solar, double from the 5% in 2015, and that increase has led to a fall in market share of coal generation, Jones added. </p><p>Valentina Kretzschmar from consultancy Wood Mackenzie says BP's recently announced strategy has created a new industry benchmark. BP plans to increase investment in its low-emission businesses, including renewable energy, by tenfold in the next decade to $5 billion (€4.5 billion) a year, while cutting back oil and gas production by 40%.</p><p>In July, Royal Dutch Shell won a deal to build a wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands, while France's Total has agreed to make several large investments in solar power in Spain and a wind farm off Scotland. Total also bought an electric and natural gas utility in Spain. Shell has said it will <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/mexico-sells-rights-to-19-offshore-oil-fields-for-over-500-million/a-42393559" target="_blank">delay offshore oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico</a> and in the North Sea.</p><p>US giants like Exxon Mobil and Chevron, however, have been slower than their European counterparts to commit to climate goals.</p><p>"I have seen a substantial shift between companies in the fossil fuel clusters toward renewables," Alova said. "This signals that the companies that have been growing fossil fuel portfolios in the earlier time periods might be switching to renewables more recently."</p>
By Cullen Howe
When Governor Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) into law in July 2019, it cemented New York State as a national leader in ramping up clean energy and the broader fight against climate change. In addition to reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050, the law requires that the state obtain 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 (and that it be emissions-free by 2040). No state has a more aggressive emissions reduction target.
1. The PSC Should Act on NYSERDA’s Petition to Boost Local Solar<p>Even before the CLCPA's passage, New York was a leader in making <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/tag/solar">solar</a> more accessible to homeowners and businesses. In 2014, Governor Cuomo established <a href="https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/NY-Sun" target="_blank">NY-Sun</a>, a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)-administered program that seeks to add 3,000 MW of installed solar capacity by 2023. The program works by establishing cash incentives for developers that decline over time as solar installations increase in different parts of the state.</p><p>The results have been impressive: Almost 1,000 MW of NY-Sun supported projects have been installed, with another 1,000 MW in the pipeline. Just this week, <a href="https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/About/Newsroom/2019-Announcements/2019-12-17-NYSERDA-Announces-Milestone-of-Two-Gigawatts-of-Solar-Capacity-Installed-in-New-York" target="_blank">NYSERDA announced</a> New York has surpassed 2,000 MW of installed solar generation (including non-NY Sun projects), enough to power almost 250,000 homes.</p><p>In addition to the 2,000 MW of solar that's been installed, another 1,262 MW of solar is under development, including 351 <a href="https://www.nrdc.org/experts/samantha-wilt/community-solar-comes-new-york" target="_blank">community solar projects</a> (this week, the Public Service Commission (PSC) approved consolidated billing for these projects, which should spur <a href="https://www.nrdc.org/experts/cullen-howe/new-york-state-greenlights-boost-community-solar" target="_blank">their deployment in the state</a>).</p><p>In November, NYSERDA filed a <a href="http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/MatterManagement/CaseMaster.aspx?MatterCaseNo=14-M-0094" target="_blank">petition</a> with the PSC seeking $573 million in additional funds to extend the NY-Sun program through 2025. If approved, approximately half of the funds would be added to existing cash incentives to support an additional 1,800 MW of solar projects. About a quarter of the money would be used to replenish "community adder" incentives for community solar projects in certain utility territories, providing additional compensation for these projects. </p><p>Importantly, NYSERDA proposes using $135 million of the additional funds to expand NY-Sun programs focused on low-to-moderate income (LMI) customers, as part of a new Framework for Solar Energy Equity. Among other things, the Framework envisions an expansion of its <a href="https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/NY-Sun/Solar-for-Your-Home/Community-Solar/Solar-for-All" target="_blank">Solar for All</a> program, which provides no-cost community solar to low-income households. It also provides incentives for projects sited on affordable housing, LMI homeowners who install rooftop solar, and projects that pair solar with energy storage. Combining solar and energy storage provides resiliency benefits and can also reduce local air pollutants from fossil fuel peaking units, which are often located in environmental justice communities.</p><p>The PSC hasn't yet acted on NYSERDA's petition, which sets forth a roadmap for meeting the state's 6,000 MW goal by 2025.</p>
2. The PSC Needs to Move Quickly to Decarbonize the Power Sector<p>Achieving 70 percent renewable energy in the power sector by 2030 won't be easy. Currently, New York gets <a href="https://www.eia.gov/state/analysis.php?sid=NY" target="_blank">28 percent of its total electricity</a> from renewable sources, and the vast majority of this (about 80 percent) comes from legacy large hydropower facilities <a href="https://www.nypa.gov/power/generation/generation-overview" target="_blank">owned and operated by the New York Power Authority</a>. Scaling up renewables to hit 70 percent in 10 years will require a massive amount of new clean generation to come online. </p><p>The first step to make this happen is commencing a proceeding to establish how this process will work, which the CLCPA requires by 2021. There is little time to waste. NRDC, along with a number of other environmental organizations and clean energy industry partners, last week <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6586462-E93F0201-61A9-4C53-A36D-EAE5C4AE6E04.html" target="_blank">filed a list of eight principles</a> we believe should guide the state through this process. The principles include establishing a full procurement schedule to get to 70 percent renewables by 2030, the creation of new tiers of renewable energy credits for existing renewable energy facilities, and a PSC final implementation order by the end of 2020. This deadline is especially important because it takes approximately four years between the approval of contracts for large-scale renewable projects and their completion and operation (thus, the state will need to approve contracts no later than 2026 for projects to be up and running by 2030).</p>
3. NY Needs to Improve the Siting Process and Ensure Adequate Transmission<p>Reaching the state's 70 by 30 goal will require that renewables projects are sited quickly and that there is enough transmission to transport this power to where it is needed. Unfortunately, the processes for both need fixing. </p><p>The siting process, known as <a href="http://www3.dps.ny.gov/W/PSCWeb.nsf/W/PSCWeb.nsf/All/D12E078BF7A746FF85257A70004EF402?OpenDocument" target="_blank">Article 10</a>, establishes a procedure for approving energy production facilities over 25 MW. However, it has not worked well for renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Major delays within the Article 10 process have resulted in a bottleneck <a href="https://buffalonews.com/2019/04/22/environmental-groups-demand-clean-energy-action-from-nys-we-cant-afford-to-wait/" target="_blank">jeopardizing over 8,000 gigawatt-hours per year of land-based wind and solar projects</a> pending before the state's Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (known as the "Siting Board"), which considers these applications. For example, although the Article 10 process should take approximately 24 months, most of the pending renewable projects have taken much longer and most are still waiting for approval or have been withdrawn. </p><p>There are a number of steps the Department of Public Service (DPS) can take to improve Article 10, including enforcing application deadlines, completing compliance reviews on a fixed timeline, and reducing reliance on paper by expanding the use of digital technologies. To its credit, DPS has increased its staff to process these applications, and last week the Siting Board approved the <a href="http://www.calpine.com/operations/power-operations/our-fleet/new-york/bluestone" target="_blank">Bluestone Wind Farm</a>, a 124 MW project located in upstate New York, in the process overruling a local law that had placed a moratorium on wind turbines. This follows <a href="http://www3.dps.ny.gov/W/PSCWeb.nsf/All/763B187DD5A792DE8525847400667D6B?OpenDocument" target="_blank">approval of three other renewable projects in the last four months</a> after only one had been approved since 2011. While these approvals are encouraging, the pace of the approval process must be dramatically increased to meet our 2030 goal.</p>
- How Renewable Energy Can Transform New York State - EcoWatch ›
- New York Announces Nation-Leading $1.4B Investment in ... ›
- New York Approves Clean Energy Standard Mandating 50% of ... ›
After revising its three-year U.S. power forecast, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has predicted major declines for fossil fuels and nuclear power alongside strong growth in renewables by 2022, according to a review of the data by the SUN DAY Campaign, a pro-renewables research and education nonprofit.
International Energy Agency Also Updates Renewables Forecast<p>The International Energy Agency (<span style="background-color: initial;">IEA</span>) has not been known for optimistic forecasts of renewables growth. In the past, <span style="background-color: initial;">IEA</span> has been criticized by groups like the <span style="background-color: initial;">UK</span>-based Environment and Climate Intelligence Unit for continuing to predict an oil and gas-dominated future, despite promising signs coming from wind and solar.</p><p>As <a href="https://www.desmog.co.uk/2018/04/04/international-energy-agency-undermining-efforts-climate-change-through-scenarios-inconsistent-paris-agreement" target="_blank">DeSmogUK reported in April 2018,</a> Dr. Jonathan Marshall, head of analysis at the nonprofit Environment and Climate Intelligence Unit, warned that the IEA's lagging forecasts on renewables growth created "a growing risk that commercial decisions are not based on the facts on the ground."</p><p>At this point, the <a href="https://thinkprogress.org/renewables-now-cheaper-than-new-coal-or-gas-across-two-thirds-of-the-world-c4980412cb53/" target="_blank">cost of wind and solar combined with battery storage</a> is cheaper than coal power, much <a href="https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/08/30/bernie-sanders-climate-plan-nuclear-phase-out-attacks" target="_blank">cheaper than new nuclear power</a>, and in many places also competitive with natural gas. In some areas, electric utilities are already moving from coal to renewables and skipping over the so-called <a href="https://www.sightline.org/2019/02/12/calling-natural-gas-a-bridge-fuel-is-alarmingly-deceptive/" target="_blank">"bridge fuel" </a>of natural gas. The argument for a <a href="https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/02/22/inevitable-death-natural-gas-bridge-fuel-renewables" target="_blank">natural gas "bridge" </a>to affordable renewable energy has been crumbling, and the economics of future power generation don't look good for this fossil fuel.</p><p>Even the skeptics at the IEA are starting to catch up. In recent reports, IEA now says renewables are expected to <a href="https://www.iea.org/renewables2019/" target="_blank">grow 50 percent in the next five years</a> and <a href="https://www.iea.org/offshorewind2019/" target="_blank">offshore wind power</a> is capable of producing more electricity than the world can use. </p><img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjA2MzM5OS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNDIzMTUyMn0.-AHa8UoLCXGScyqAk0LsHyFk1BaBkLOBgRky7PP9GLA/img.png?width=980" id="963b6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3ef570046272d2f07e54aa2036c0f497" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Offshore technical wind potential vs. electricity demand. IEA Offshore Wind Outlook 2019
It’s The Economics, Stupid<p>Meanwhile, Murray Energy, the largest coal company in the U.S. (whose CEO is a <a href="https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/04/11/rick-perry-and-bob-murray-renew-conservative-call-subsidize-coal" target="_blank">big fan of asking the Trump administration for coal bailouts</a>), <a href="https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/29/coal-giant-murray-energy-declares-bankruptcy/2494360001/" target="_blank">recently declared bankruptcy</a>. Forbes published a column explaining how that came about. The answer can be summed up in three words: <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2019/11/03/murray-energys-bankruptcy-dovetails-with-the-rise-of-tesla-and-new-energy/" target="_blank">"free market forces."</a></p><p>Another recent report highlighted those free market forces as it forecast potential losses for Europe's coal industry to the tune of <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-23/coal-power-plants-face-7-3-billion-losses-in-europe-this-year" target="_blank">$7.3 billion this year.</a></p><p>In a sign of how things are changing, Forbes interviews Robert Threlkeld, global manager for renewable energy at … General Motors.</p><p>"It is a business transformation," said Threlkeld. "Customers decide when they will use clean energy resources — not just wind and solar but also demand response and energy efficiency. It is a comprehensive solution."</p><p>Quick reminder: General Motors is currently siding with the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/28/climate/general-motors-california-emissions-trump.html" target="_blank">Trump administration</a> in the battle with California <a href="https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/10/30/oil-house-oversight-hearing-clean-car-standards" target="_blank">over fuel efficiency standards</a>. This is not a company with a track record of being "green" on principle — it's all about the money.</p><p>Which is why natural gas and nuclear are fated to suffer the same fate as coal in the power generation sector.</p><p>While the IEA and FERC have taken their time catching up to the economic reality of renewables, the free market has already caught on.</p><p>Warren Buffett is widely hailed as one of the greatest investors of all time, and he invests to make money, not save the planet. Buffett recently loaned $10 billion for a <a href="https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/05/14/fear-greed-shale-fracking-oil-warren-buffett" target="_blank">major fracked oil company merger</a> and has profited off of <a href="http://beniciaindependent.com/tags/berkshire-hathaway-inc/" target="_blank">oil trains </a>with his company BNSF for the past decade.</p><p>However, Buffett is also in the power generation business and owns utility company PacifiCorp, which in October announced long-term plans to shut down coal generation in Western states and <a href="https://earthtechling.com/2019/10/pacificorp-drops-coal-for-14000mw-of-renewables/" target="_blank">replace it with renewables</a> — not natural gas.</p><div id="a2dd7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ZLD8061576661186"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1188490551487807488" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Renewables & storage undercut natural gas prices, increase stranded assets: RMI https://t.co/TJAHBS2bCb, check out… https://t.co/wT9tRQMuCo</div> — PlantATree.urbieta.com (@PlantATree.urbieta.com)<a href="https://twitter.com/UPlantATree/statuses/1188490551487807488">1572193203.0</a></blockquote></div>
- Scientists Hit Back: Another Paper Claims 100% Renewables is ... ›
- 100+ Cities Now Powered by at Least 70% Renewables - EcoWatch ›
- All Renewables Will Be Cost Competitive With Fossil Fuels by 2020 ... ›
In April, he claimed they caused cancer, and he sued to stop an offshore wind farm that was scheduled to go up near land he had purchased for a golf course in Aberdeenshire in Scotland. He lost that fight, and now the Trump Organization has agreed to pay the Scottish government $290,000 to cover its legal fees, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
The Florida panhandle, the Alabama coast and Mississippi are seeing Hurricane Sally batter its shores Wednesday morning as the slow-moving hurricane starts to make landfall. The storm intensified overnight as it churned slowly over the Gulf of Mexico. It's expected to be a Category 2 storm when it fully makes landfall Wednesday during the mid-morning hours from 8 a.m. to noon, according to AccuWeather.
- Climate Change May Be Slowing Hurricanes, Leading to More ... ›
- Climate Denier Is Named to Leadership Role at NOAA - EcoWatch ›
- What Is a Hurricane Storm Surge, and Why Is It So Dangerous ... ›
By Simon Evans
During the three months of July, August and September, renewables generated an estimated total of 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh), compared with just 29.1TWh from fossil fuels, the analysis shows.
Transformative Decade<p>At the start of this decade in 2010, the 288TWh generated from fossil fuels accounted for around three-quarters of the UK total. It was also <a href="http://interactive.carbonbrief.org//how-uk-transformed-electricity-supply-decade/#" target="_blank">more than 10 times</a> as much electricity as the 26TWh that came from renewables.</p><p>Since then, electricity generation from renewable sources has more than quadrupled – and <a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-uk-electricity-generation-2018-falls-to-lowest-since-1994" target="_blank">demand has fallen</a> – leaving fossil fuels with a shrinking share of the total.</p><p>This shift is shown in the chart below, with the declining quarterly output from power stations burning coal, oil and gas in blue and rising generation from renewables in red.</p><p>(The quarterly chart also reflects the seasons, with demand higher in winter and lower in summer. Wind farm output is well matched with this cycle, as it tends to be windier in winter.)</p><iframe scrolling="no" frameborder="0" marginheight="0px" marginwidth="0px" style="display: initial; margin: 0 auto;" src="https://cbhighcharts2019.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/q3-2019-electricity/renewables-beating-fossil-fuels-uk.html" width="800px" height="550px"></iframe><span style="display:block; height:22px; max-width:800px;"><img src="https://s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/cbhighcharts2019/cb-logo-highcharts.svg" style="width: 22px; height: 22px; margin-top: 2px; margin-bottom: 2px; float:right; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: contain;"/></span>
New Capacity<p>Over the past year, the most significant reason for rising renewable generation has been an increase in capacity as new offshore wind farms have opened. The 1,200 megawatt (MW) Hornsea One project <a href="https://www.powerengineeringint.com/2019/10/04/final-turbines-installed-at-hornsea-1/" target="_blank">was completed</a> in October, becoming the world's largest offshore wind farm. The 588MW Beatrice offshore wind farm was completed in <a href="https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/835114/Renewables_September_2019.pdf" target="_blank">Q2 of this year</a>.</p><p>These schemes add to the <a href="https://www.renewableuk.com/page/UKWEDSearch" target="_blank">more than 2,100MW</a> of offshore capacity that started operating during 2018. Further capacity is already being built, including the 714MW East Anglia One project that <a href="https://www.offshorewind.biz/2019/09/12/east-anglia-one-generates-first-power/" target="_blank">started generating electricity</a> this year and will be completed in 2020.</p><p>In total, government contracts for offshore wind will take capacity from nearly 8,500MW today to around 20,000MW by the mid-2020s. The government and industry are jointly aiming for at least 30,000MW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, with two further contract auctions already expected.</p><p>In September, the latest auction round produced <a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-record-low-uk-offshore-wind-cheaper-than-existing-gas-plants-by-2023" target="_blank">record-low deals</a> for offshore wind farms that will generate electricity more cheaply than expected market prices – and potentially below the cost of running existing gas plants.</p><p>Other contributors to the recent increase in renewable generation include the opening of the 420MW Lynemouth biomass plant in Northumberland last year and the addition of hundreds of megawatts of new onshore wind and solar farms. (Another new 299MW biomass plant being built on Teesside, with a <a href="https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/hundreds-laid-tees-energy-plant-16669866" target="_blank">scheduled opening</a> in early 2020, is <a href="https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/unite-demands-urgent-answers-after-16723624" target="_blank">facing "major delays"</a>.)</p><p>According to the <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy" target="_blank">Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy</a> (BEIS), the rise in renewable output during the <a href="https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/835114/Renewables_September_2019.pdf" target="_blank">first</a> <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20190724204007/https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/811971/Electricity_June_2019.pdf" target="_blank">half</a> of 2019 was down to these increases in capacity, with weather conditions not unusual for the time of year.</p>
Consecutive Months<p>Carbon Brief's electricity-sector analysis shows that renewables are also estimated to have generated more electricity than fossil fuels during the individual months of August and September, the first time there have been two consecutive such months.</p><p>Previously, renewables beat fossil fuels in September 2018 – the first-ever whole month – and then again in March 2019. This means that there have only ever been four months where renewables outpaced fossil generation, of which three have been this year and two in the last two months.</p><p>This is shown in the chart, below, which also highlights the greater month-to-month variability in electricity generation and demand, which is overlaid on top of the broader seasonal cycles.</p><iframe scrolling="no" frameborder="0" marginheight="0px" marginwidth="0px" style="display: initial; margin: 0 auto;" src="https://cbhighcharts2019.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/q3-2019-electricity/renewables-fossils-monthly.html" width="800px" height="550px"></iframe><span style="display:block; height:22px; max-width:800px;"><img src="https://s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/cbhighcharts2019/cb-logo-highcharts.svg" style="width: 22px; height: 22px; margin-top: 2px; margin-bottom: 2px; float:right; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: contain;"/></span>
Methodology<p>The figures in the article are from Carbon Brief analysis of data from <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/electricity-section-5-energy-trends" target="_blank">BEIS Energy Trends chapter 5</a> and <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-trends-section-6-renewables" target="_blank">chapter 6</a>, as well as from <a href="https://www.bmreports.com/" target="_blank">BM Reports</a>. The figures from BM Reports are for electricity supplied to the grid in Great Britain only and are adjusted to include Northern Ireland.<br></p><p>In Carbon Brief's analysis, the BM Reports numbers are also adjusted to account for electricity used by power plants on site and for generation by plants not connected to the high-voltage national grid. This includes many onshore wind farms, as well as industrial gas combined heat and power plants and those burning landfill gas, waste or sewage gas.</p><p>By design, the Carbon Brief analysis is intended to align as closely as possible to the official government figures on electricity generated in the UK, reported in <a href="https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/834120/ET_5.1.xls" target="_blank">BEIS Energy Trends table 5.1</a>. Briefly, the raw data for each fuel is adjusted with a multiplier, derived from the ratio between the reported BEIS numbers and unadjusted figures for previous quarters.</p><p>Carbon Brief's method of analysis has been verified against published BEIS figures using "<a href="https://www.definitions.net/definition/HINDCAST" target="_blank">hindcasting</a>". This shows the estimates for total electricity generation from fossil fuels or renewables to have been within ±3% of the BEIS number in each quarter since Q4 2017. (Data before then is not sufficient to carry out the Carbon Brief analysis.)</p><p>For example, in the second quarter of 2019, a Carbon Brief hindcast estimates gas generation at 33.1TWh, whereas the published BEIS figure was 34.0TWh. Similarly, it produces an estimate of 27.4TWh for renewables, against a BEIS figure of 27.1TWh.</p><p>The Carbon Brief estimated totals for fossil fuels and renewables are very close in Q3 2019, coming within 0.5TWh of each other. This means that despite the relatively low level of uncertainty in the estimates, their relative position could be reversed in the official BEIS data.</p><p>This serves to emphasize the fact that the broader trend of decline for fossil fuels and an increase for renewables is of far greater significance than the precise figures for any individual quarter.</p><p>In contrast to Carbon Brief's analysis, figures published by consultancy <a href="https://www.enappsys.com/" target="_blank">EnAppSys</a> for the third quarter of 2019 <a href="https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/42d1d7_05a6259d8486422e9783a3d852bb4537.pdf" target="_blank">suggest that</a> fossil fuels generated slightly more electricity than renewables. There are several reasons for this difference.</p><p>First, the company's analysis is for Great Britain only, whereas Carbon Brief's covers the UK overall. Second, it reports on electricity "supplied" in the country, including imports, whereas Carbon Brief estimates the amount of electricity "generated" within the UK only.</p><p>Third, Carbon Brief's analysis is, by design, aligned with the quarterly <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/energy-trends" target="_blank">BEIS Energy Trends</a> data for electricity generation, whereas EnAppSys uses its own approach.</p><p>For comparison, <a href="https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/42d1d7_3ffce1328967400f97678b53bc4e8b55.pdf" target="_blank">EnAppSys reported</a> for the second quarter of 2019 that 28.3TWh was supplied in GB from gas, whereas <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/electricity-section-5-energy-trends" target="_blank">BEIS reports</a> that 34.0TWh was generated in the UK. Similarly EnAppSys reported 23.1TWh coming from renewables, against a BEIS figure of 27.1TWh.</p>
- UK Achieves First Coal-Free Week Since Industrial Revolution ... ›
- Britain Just Went Nearly Three Weeks Without Coal, a New Record ... ›
- Clean Power Overtaking Fossil Fuels in Britain in 2019 - EcoWatch ›
By Grant Smith
From 2009 to 2012, Gregory Jaczko was chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which approves nuclear power plant designs and sets safety standards for plants. But he now says that nuclear power is too dangerous and expensive — and not part of the answer to the climate crisis.
The U.S. government just smashed its own records when an auction on Friday to lease thousands of acres off the Massachusetts coast for offshore wind development brought in a whopping $405.1 million, signaling that this particular renewable energy sector is finally taking off at high speeds, Utility Drive reported.
<div id="14b13" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3dabcc399c214226e768937f555a5ebc"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1289943962405318657" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Tropical Storm #Isaias no longer expected to restrengthen into a hurricane. 🌀 The vertical wind shear shredder has… https://t.co/kqBsJOS3Tj</div> — Ryan Maue (@Ryan Maue)<a href="https://twitter.com/RyanMaue/statuses/1289943962405318657">1596381581.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="dea35" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="132c2812ba753aaaf415ad33fb7ff2c0"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1290213982947737600" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Here are the 5 am EDT Monday, August 3 Key Messages for Tropical Storm #Isaias. For the full advisory on #Isaias, v… https://t.co/5MbSBJmEhI</div> — National Hurricane Center (@National Hurricane Center)<a href="https://twitter.com/NHC_Atlantic/statuses/1290213982947737600">1596445959.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="80487" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="dcd38a3bef604d3ff7ef47552482cbe4"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1290216672976986113" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">There is a moderate risk of flash flooding across portions of the eastern Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states from… https://t.co/C5Ys46ZetX</div> — National Hurricane Center (@National Hurricane Center)<a href="https://twitter.com/NHC_Atlantic/statuses/1290216672976986113">1596446600.0</a></blockquote></div>
- Atlantic Faces Fifth 'Above-Normal' Hurricane Season in a Row ... ›
- Isaias Menaces Bahamas and Florida as 2020 Season's Second ... ›
On Wednesday, Danish energy company Orsted announced a major investment program as it seeks to become one of the "renewable majors" leading a global shift away from planet-warming fuels, Reuters reported.