Renewable Energy News

2022:

  • July 30: “The Gas Industry Is Pumping Money Into A Tiny Local Race To Crush A Climate Champion
    • A good look at the reality of fossil fuel industry influence on politics.
  • July 30: “Soon it will be unrecognisable’: total climate meltdown cannot be stopped, says expert
    • A stark reminder of why we need renewable energy now.
  • July 29: “Group Says U.S. Utility Will Build $13 Billion Offshore Wind Project in Vietnam
    • “A 4-GW installation would move Vietnam closer to its goal of having 11.7 GW of offshore wind power generation capacity in service by 2030. The country today has about 4 GW of operating offshore wind. In addition to the 2030 goal, officials have said they want to have 66 GW of offshore wind in operation by 2045.”
  • July 29: After Going Solar, I Felt the Bliss of Sudden Abundance: My rooftop panels showed me that a world powered by renewables would be an overflowing horn of plenty, with fast, sporty cars and comfy homes.
    • Solar is the big energy source for humanity. Fossil fuels are just a passing, highly destructive, and temporary addiction.
  • July 28: “Solar investment tax credit to be extended 10 years at 30%
    • Probably the biggest and best news of the year!
    • “The bill calls for a 10-year extension at 30% of the cost of the installed equipment, which will then step down to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034.The tax credit applies to residential adopters of solar technology. The 30% credit also applies to energy storage whether it is co-located or installed as standalone energy storage. This enables the retrofit of a battery to a solar array while taking advantage of the credit. One measure that was hoped for, but is not in the bill, was the “refundability” clause. Refundability means that if the tax credit value exceeds taxes owed on the year, it would be paid as a cash refund. This provision was not included, which hampers the value of the credit for some individuals. However, the credit can be rolled over to a following year.”
  • July 28: “In Democrats’ climate bill, oil and gas leasing locked in for a decade
    • And here is the pound of flesh that Manchin extracted for the clean energy provisions referenced above. One would be mistaken to think that there was not a tremendous amount going on behind the scenes around this agreement.
  • July 27: “Siemens’ New Home EV charger adapter ends need for electrical panel upgrades
    • Adapt for PV as well?
  • July 27: “Renewable power installation slumps across the US
    • “Solar projects were the most prone to delays, with nearly 21GW of projects currently delayed – much of which is a direct result of misguided trade actions, said the report. Solar accounts for 64% of all projects delayed. Across the US, Texas led RE development activity in the second-quarter with 23,665MW underway, representing 18% of the total project development pipeline. The ‘jumbo state’ was followed by California (13,710MW), New York (10,809MW), Indiana (7,099MW) and Virginia (6,456MW).”
  • July 27: “Manchin, in Reversal, Agrees to Quick Action on Climate and Tax Plan
    • “Congressional aides and climate activists said the climate investments were roughly in line with what had been negotiated over the past several months: tax credits to speed up the development of wind, solar, and other low-carbon energy as well as government assistance to spur technologies that Mr. Manchin favors, such as hydrogen and nuclear power. The deal will also include a means-tested $7,500 tax credit to make new electric vehicles more affordable, according to three people familiar with the details. The measure also includes a methane fee that will start in 2025, said the three people, who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the details.”
    • Possible road to extension of the solar tax credit?
  • July 27: “Manchin says he has reached deal with Democrats on economy, climate bill
    • Unfortunately the details on clean energy have not been released, and “The accord came in part because Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Biden agreed to seek and pass new legislation targeting permitting for pipelines and other infrastructure in the coming months, Manchin said.”
  • July 27: “Leaked: US power companies secretly spending millions to protect profits and fight clean energy
    • This is a rare case where the true political machinations against clean energy behind the scenes, 99% of which usually remains completely invisible except to those directly involved, have come to light. Very instructive for those involved or interested in advocacy, and why we need lots of closely involved, strong advocates.
  • July 25: “Bloomberg Declares That The Tipping Point Has Been Reached!
    • “A recent report by BloombergNEF declares that the tipping point for battery electric vehicle (BEV) ascendency has been reached globally. Although acceptance of EVs varies from country to country, a pattern has emerged. “Once 5% of new-car sales go fully electric, everything changes — according to a Bloomberg analysis of the 19 countries that have made the EV pivot.””
  • July 25: “In the field, a 50-kW solar tower reactor is fed only CO2 and water, and produces jet fuel
    • This is a truly exciting development. The article provides a good description of the catalyst, which is the real heart of this experiment. The article does not address the source of the CO2, but there is a worthwhile discussion of that issue in the publicly accessible comments.
    • Link to the technical article
    • Summary from the technical article: “In summary, the technical feasibility of the entire thermochemical process chain to produce solar liquid hydrocarbon fuels from H2O and CO2 has been demonstrated with a pilot-scale solar tower fuel plant that integrates, in series, the three main sub-systems, namely: the solar concentrating tower, the solar reactor, and the GtL unit. The solar reactor produced syngas with selectivity, purity, and quality suitable for FT synthesis. Although the ηsolar-to-syngas is still in the single digits, it has the potential to reach competitive values of over 20% by recovering rejected heat during the temperature-swing redox cycle and by improving the volumetric absorption of the porous structures. The ceria RPC remains the most critical component of the solar reactor and further progress with the manufacturing of mechanically robust porous structures remains essential. “
  • July 23: “Robot Designed to Tunnel Through the Earth Incredibly Fast Using Plasma
    • The company (“EarthGrid”) says they are aiming at renewables development. It’s easy to see why being able to cheaply underground cables would be attractive.
  • July 23: “Texas Republicans Make Renewable Energy a Political Punching Bag
    • Imagine though what would happen if all the renewables were shut down in Texas right now in this heat wave. Renewables are saving Texas for the most part right now.
  • July 22: “A pilot project in the North Sea will develop floating solar panels that glide over waves ‘like a carpet’
    • A .5 megawatt pilot project, integrated with a wind project to use ocean space more efficiently.
    • “Earlier this month, Portuguese energy firm EDP inaugurated a 5 MW floating solar park in Alqueva. It described the park, which consists of nearly 12,000 photovoltaic panels, as “the largest in Europe in a reservoir.”
    • “All the above projects feed into the idea of “hybridization,” whereby different renewable energy technologies and systems are combined on one site.”
  • July 22: “Green energy jobs are on the rise as fossil fuel companies lose workers
    • “Overall, jobs in the energy sector [in 2021] grew by about 4 percent, or about 300,000 jobs. But job gains in renewable energy markets were so strong that they effectively masked losses from several fossil fuel industries; the solar industry added tens of thousands of workers while fossil fuel industries specializing in petroleum and coal hemorrhaged nearly 40,000 workers.”
    • “It’s also possible that the trend of renewable energy job growth and fossil fuel job decline will not persist into 2022.”
  • July 21: “Company makes lithium-metal batteries that last as long as lithium-ion
    • “While many current lithium-ion batteries have power densities in the area of 270 watt-hours/kilogram, a pouch cell based on Cuberg’s technology hit 380 Wh/kg, a gain of 40 percent. When an independent lab placed the battery on a cycle of one-hour discharges and two-hour charging, it found the battery took over 670 cycles for its capacity to drop to 80 percent of its original. For comparison, many lithium-ion batteries target a 500-cycle life span.”
  • July 21: “China solar installations more than double in first half – assn
    • “China built nearly 31 gigawatts (GW) of new solar power capacity from January to June, up 137% from a year earlier,”
  • July 20: “AllEarth Renewables announces DIY Solar Kits
    • $3990 for a 2520 watt (DC) system: $1.58/watt.
  • July 20: “Tesla Stops Scheduling Solar Roof Installations in Most Markets
    • “Solar roof is now in its third iteration, and Tesla has made cost improvements and speed of installation improvements, but it remains an expensive product with problems that as resulted in serious issues for customers.”
  • July 20: “Made-in-USA solar for stable supply chains, lower emissions, fair labor
    • “Bates said that 90% of US utility-scale projects last year were CdTe, and the utility-scale sector makes up about 55% of all solar capacity added. About 20 years ago, it represented less than 1% of solar installations. “
    • Other good info on Cadtel recycling, this kind of PV in general.
  • July 20: “This 500-Year-Old Tree in California Has a Story to Tell
    • Really great, beautiful and interactive article in the New York Times (you may need a subscription) on tree ring data and drought. Provides a very vivid feel for the whole business of how megadroughts are gauged, and provides a look at the one that the Southwest is now experiencing, which the article states appears to be the strongest in 1200 years, attributable to the large, human-caused changes to greenhouse gas levels that has occurred.
  • July 20: “Delaware will give free solar panels to low-income residents
    • THIS is a good solution to the (bogus) low-income objection to solar.
  • July 15: “Energy price crisis triggers seven-year high in solar panel installations as homeowners look to save hundreds: More capacity was fitted to residential rooftops in the first six months of this year than all of last year, industry data reveal
    • This is happening in the UK, driven by high electricity prices.

  • June 30: “Berlin asks anxious heat pump industry to produce 500,000 a year
    • The oil & gas industry in Germany is not keen on ceding ground to heat pumps. “German households installed around 630,000 gas boilers alongside another 45,000 oil furnaces in 2021. In contrast, a mere 154,000 heat pumps were installed, with a record 28% increase yearly.” Hence this government push for more heat pumps.
    • Germany is also wary of having its heat pump industry fail like the solar industry in Germany did due to lack of “political reliability”
  • June 30: “Nailable Solar Roof Shingles
    • By the roofing company GAF. A potentially big boost to BIPV (Building integrated PV).
  • June 29: “Tesla is killing off coal and gas plants with its giant battery projects
    • “Megapacks [Tesla’s name] are utility-scale batteries, meaning a power company can use them as a backup to store electricity for hundreds or thousands of customers. Each Megapack battery can store three megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, enough to power about 100 US homes for a day. Tesla’s biggest battery installation involves 256 Megapack battery units with a combined storage capacity of 730 MWh, enough to power about 25,000 US homes for a day or nearly 600,000 homes for an hour.”
  • June 29: “This tiny glass pyramid could make solar panels cheaper than ever: This removes the need for solar tracking.
    • Tiny high temperature PV cells also have some advantages in terms of rapid cooling rates, so this R&D development is interesting for a number of reasons.
  • June 28: “No miracle tech needed: How to switch to renewables now and lower costs doing it
    • “We found that the overall upfront cost to replace all energy in the 145 countries, which emit 99.7 percent of world carbon dioxide, is about $62 trillion. However, due to the $11 trillion annual energy cost savings, the payback time for the new system is less than six years. The new system may also create over 28 million more long-term, full-time jobs than lost worldwide and require only about 0.53 percent of the world’s land for new energy, with most of this area being empty space between wind turbines on land that can be used for multiple purposes. Thus, we found that the new system may require less energy, cost less and creates more jobs than the current system.”


  • April 12: “Solar Overtakes Wind Energy For First Time In Global Rush For Renewables
    • This was predictable long ago based on cost trends and the much larger solar resource. Wind might actually become a fringe RE source relative to solar in a decade or two.
    • Good summary of the international RE development picture here.
    • Asia, especially China, is adding RE add a far greater rate than we are.
  • April 10, 2022: “Bioluminescent Bacteria as a Renewable Light Source”:
    • This article actually (briefly) discusses several research efforts on this topic. A critique of the remaining challenges from the article states: “”First, you have to feed the bacteria and dilute them as they grow,” he says. “That’s not so easy. Also, the phenomenon will be very temperature-dependent and I doubt that it will work in the winter. Third, bioluminescence is very dim compared to electrical lighting. But perhaps they have improved the luminescence intensity.”
  • April 6: “Bringing home Europe’s sustainability supply chain: The continent’s lithium deposits can transform European manufacturing and get Europe to its climate goals
    • Lithium supply is looking better and better. The article states but does not explain why this large European lithium deposit can be mined most sustainably than others.
    • “At present, however, the EU has only six gigafactories in operation with circa 62 GWh of lithium-ion cell production—a scale that pales in comparison to China, which has 93 gigafactories in operation at last count. By 2025 another 25 gigafactories plan to come online in Europe, increasing production capacity to 590 GWh.”

2021:

2020:

2019:

  • Sept 20, 2019: “Getting to 100% renewables requires cheap energy storage. But how cheap?”:
    • This references some leading research on the topic of energy storage, and yields a cost of storage of $20/kWh to get to 100%, but $150/kWh to get to 95%. The dramatic difference is due to rare long term gaps in solar and wind generation over multi-year timescales.