Guardian: “The global deployment of renewable energy from wind, solar and biofuels grew in 2012 but the income from the sector remained flat due to the plummeting costs for solar photovoltaic panels.” Read more
Guardian: “The comedian Griff Rhys Jones has accused the government of “random desecration” of the countryside and despoiling “pristine landscapes” through its subsidies to wind turbines and solar power.” Read more
FT: “Prices for wind turbines have fallen by a third in the past four years, the US industry association has said, putting pressure on manufacturers’ margins even while demand soared.” Read more
Business Green: “The London Array project, jointly owned by Dong Energy, Masdar and EON, yesterday announced that the first 630MW phase of the project in the Thames estuary is now fully operational.” Read more
Paul Gipe in REW: “Now, after a decade, that bill has come due. How much renewable energy could we have built with the money we spent? How far along the road toward the renewable energy transition could we have traveled? The answer: shockingly far.” Read more
REW: “Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson previously co-authored studies in 2009 and 2011, outlining what it would take to shift completely to renewable energy at a global and national scale, respectively. ….But could it be more feasible to do it on a smaller scale — say, an individual state?” Read more
REW: “According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, 1,231 MW of new in-service electrical generating capacity came on line in the United States in January 2013 — all from wind, solar, and biomass sources.” Read more
Bloomberg: BNEF’s Sydney team show “that electricity can be supplied from a new wind farm at a cost of AUD 80/MWh (USD 83), compared to AUD 143/MWh from a new coal plant or AUD 116/MWh from a new baseload gas plant, including the cost of emissions under the Gillard government’s carbon pricing scheme. However even without a carbon price (the most efficient way to reduce economy-wide emissions) wind energy is 14% cheaper than new coal and 18% cheaper than new gas.” Read more
European Energy Review: When Germany’s environment minister Peter Altmaier addressed the first-ever congress of energy cooperatives in Berlin on November 19, he knew he was looking out over one of the Energiewende’s core constituencies.” Read more
Guardian: “Backing offshore wind in preference to gas would create 70,000 more jobs and generate £20bn more GDP, according to a new report today by Cambridge Econometrics (funded by Greenpeace and WWF). Rob Gross, an energy expert at Imperial College London, said: “This report is a hugely important contribution to the UK policy debate. Economic impacts in the round are poorly understood and this report remedies that. I recommend this to all analysts of energy policy.”
Gordon Edge in the Guardian: You don’t have to be a whizz at maths to see that the targets will require a steep growth rate in renewables. It would be a remarkable trajectory, taking wind from a 1% share of the nation’s electricity to around 25% in under 15 years, overtaking nuclear power in the process. But can this actually happen? Yes it really can.” Read more
Recharge: “Ikea – which has almost 300 stores in 26 countries – plans to build on its ambitious existing renewables programme, which will see it spend €1.5bn ($1.9bn) on wind and solar projects by 2015.” Read more
Guardian: “Britain’s windfarms broke a new record on Friday by providing over four gigawatts of power to the National Grid – enough to light and heat more than 3m British homes. It beats a previous high of 3.8GW set in May and comes as a further 4GW of wind turbines are being installed, half on land and half offshore. Just before 10am, wind turbines were supplying 10.8% of the total amount of electricity going into the grid while an additional 2.2GW of “green” power was going directly into local electricity networks.”
Guardian: “…a scheme with enough capacity to power 40% of Scottish households was submitted for planning permission. The £4.5bn complex would have 339 turbines covering 300 square kilometres off Caithness, making it 50% bigger than the giant London Array scheme off Kent. It is expected to be the first in a series of deep water schemes under “Round 3″ licensing. ….The 1.5-gigawatt farm is being developed by Moray Offshore Renewables, a joint venture between Spanish oil company Repsol, and an arm of Portuguese power group EDP, which has recently become partly owned by China’s state-owned Three Gorges Corporation.”
Guardian: “The US wind energy industry is now providing enough capacity to power 13 million homes, equivalent to all of Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Alabama, and Connecticut combined. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) used the annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas last week to confirm that the sector had passed the 50GW installed capacity milestone after yet another quarter of rapid growth. The trade body said the 50GW of capacity was equivalent to the generating power of 44 coal-fired power stations or 11 nuclear power plants, resulting in emission reductions that would equate to taking 14 million cars off the road.” But the PTC is still in doubt for year-end renewal, placing 37,00 jobs at risk.
Peter Atherton, utilities analyst at Citigroup in London, says the price for a 3.2GW nuclear reactor in the UK was estimated at £4bn in 2008; now it is £7bn, based on the experience of Flamanville and Olkiluoto. Gas, wind and solar prove more attractive.
Jeff Immelt: “When I talk to the guys who run the oil companies they say look, they’re finding more gas all the time. It’s just hard to justify nuclear, really hard. Gas is so cheap and at some point, really, economics rule,” Mr Immelt told the Financial Times in an interview in London at the weekend. “So I think some combination of gas, and either wind or solar … that’s where we see most countries around the world going.”
FT: “George Osborne has offered to drop his demands for tougher cuts to onshore wind subsidies if the Liberal Democrats back down over “inflexible” targets for Britain’s shift away from fossil fuels.” Read more
Treasury want 25%, DECC want 10%, and the squabble means the decision on ROCs has been deffered to September. As well as the confidence issue, investor Luca Concone warns the UK is falling behind as Germany offered about €8bn a year to boost renewable investment, with Italy at about €6bn, compared with about £1bn in the UK.
Business Green: “Nearly eight out of 10 respondents to the DECC survey said they supported using renewable energy to provide electricity, fuel and heat, while just five per cent opposed the use of renewables. Similarly, 69 per cent agreed with the statement that “renewable energy industries and developments provide economic benefits to the UK”, while 55 per cent agreed they would be happy to have a large-scale renewable energy development in their area. In contrast, fewer than three out of 10 said they would disagree with such a development. There were also high levels of support for a variety of renewable technologies, with 83 per cent voicing support for solar power, 76 per cent backing offshore wind projects, 75 per cent supporting wave and tidal arrays, and 66 per cent coming out in favour of onshore wind farms.”