|DOORWAY TO A BETTER FUTURE IS OPEN: TIMING IS EVERYTHING.|
2020 MILESTONE: RENEWABLES OUTCOMPETE FOSSIL FUELS AS NEW ENERGY SOURCES WORLDWIDE
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the cost of lithium-ion batteries has plunged 85 percent in a decade, and 30 percent in just the past year. Utilities across the U.S. have started attaching containers full of them to the grid—and they’re planning to install far more of them in the coming years.
In February 2019, Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that corporations bought a record amount of 13.4GW of clean energy through power purchase agreements (PPAs) in 2018, well over double the previous record of 6.1GW set in 2017. The amount of power bought by companies puts them alongside utilities as the biggest buyers of clean electricity, representing a major change in the structure of the market.
In February 2019, Glencore, the largest supplier of thermal coal to the international market, said it will cap production for the foreseeable future at around current levels of 145 million metric tons a year, a further signal to market that the end of thermal coal is drawing ever closer
In February 2019, the Land and Environment Court in the state of New South Wales, Australia, blocked a new coal project in a landmark case which cited 'climate change' as a key reason for the decision.
In January, 2019 new research showed that renewables overtook coal as Germany’s main source of energy for the first time in 2018, accounting for just over 40 percent of electricity production
In December 2018 BNEF reported that clean energy deployment is growing fastest in developing nations. New-build additions rose 20.4% year-on-year in these countries.
In December 2018 BNEF reported that in 2017, renewables accounted for the majority of all new power-generating capacity added, a remarkable turnabout from just a decade ago
In September 2018, we learned that the world’s biggest back up battery in South Australia by Tesla had performed faster, more accurately, more reliably and with more versatility than expected since it was turned on in November 2017. It is expected to earn more than $25 million in revenues (a third of its construction costs) in its first calendar year.
In September 2018 Japanese trading and investment powerhouse Marubeni said it will no longer invest in building new coal plants and will halve its ownership in current plants by 2030. The company, which had plans to build 13.6 more GW of coal power plant capacity in addition to the 3 GW it currently owns, will also scale up investment in renewables from 10 percent of its current portfolio to 20 percent.
In August 2018 BNEF reported that corporate purchases of renewable energy have beaten 2017’s record 5.4GW of clean energy purchases, with 7.2GW procured so far this year. Three-fifths of this procurement has come from the US, with Facebook the largest corporate buyer at more than 1.1GW of clean energy.
In July 2018 an IEA report found that final investment decisions for coal power plants fell by 18% in 2017, to just a third of their 2010 levels.
In July 2018, Ireland become the first country to divest from fossil fuels. The state’s €8bn national investment fund is now required to sell all investments in coal, oil, gas and peat “as soon as is practicable”, which is expected to mean within five years.
July 2018: Investments into clean energy in India rose 22% in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period last year, at this rate, India is expected to overtake China and become the largest growth market by the late 2020s.
In June 2018 India’s energy minister R K Singh announced a massive solar tender of 100GW (yes, that’s 100,000MW) – by far the biggest in the world. This 100 GW of solar PV will, on an annual basis, produce the same amount of electricity as 20 big coal-fired or nuclear power plants (1 GW each), running full-time.
In June 2018 BNEF said that by 2050, renewables will supply 87% of the electricity in Europe, 55% in the US, 62% in China and 75% in India
Solar PV module prices expected to fall 34% in 2018 from US$0.37 to $0.24/watt - an astounding drop in costs for any industry in any one year
In 2017 non-federal climate action and sustained investment in clean energy meant that US emissions of CO2 fell to their lowest level in 25 years.
In June 2018 Colorado’s biggest utility, Xcel Energy, filed a plan to accelerate by a decade the closure of two coal units and to replace that power with the biggest package of clean energy ever proposed in the U.S. for an individual coal retirement. The proposal will save customers more than $200 million versus running the coal plant.
June, 2018 - solar has overtaken gas and wind as the biggest source of new US Power. Developers installed 2.5 gigawatts of solar in the first quarter of 2018, up 13% from a year earlier, accounting for 55% of all new generation, with solar panels beating new wind and natural gas turbines for a second straight quarter.
In May 2018 the largest coal export port in the world (in Australia) scrapped its near decade long plans for a 70Mtpa greenfield port development at T4 citing the failure of thermal coal growth forecasts to materialise.
The number of people employed in the renewable energy sector across the globe could rise to 24 million by 2030, according to IRENA. In May 2018 there are already more than10 million RE jobs globally, with 4.2 million of them in China.
In May 2018 Germany-based Kaiserwetter Energy Asset Management, said in an internal analysis that the production cost of renewables was already lower than that of fossil fuels in 2017. Fossil fuels generated energy costs were in the range of $49 and $174 per MWh (Megawatt hours) in G20 energy markets in 2017 while renewable energy production came in between $35 and $54 per MWh.
China installed an impressive 9.65 gigawatts (GW) of new solar PV capacity in the first quarter of 2018, up 22% on the same period a year earlier and up on analysts’ projections.
The New Zealand government announced in April 2018 it will not grant any new deep-sea oil and gas exploration permits with the aim of transitioning away from fossil fuels.
Chinese solar power led a record 157 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy capacity added worldwide in 2017, more than double the amount of new generation capacity from fossil fuels, according to a new UN report (April 2018)
Nigeria turns to renewable energy in a big way as population booms - investing more than $20bn in solar power projects in 2017 and aiming to generate 30% of its total energy from renewable sources by 2030
Saudi Arabia, the globe's biggest oil exporter, announced in March 2018 it's building the world's largest solar project: US$5bn, with 7.2 gigawatts of power being generated in 2019. The aim is to invest US$200bn by 2030 to generate about 200 gigawatts, which would provide enough for 150mln homes.
In March 2018 Portugal produced more power from clean energy than it actually needed, marking the first time in the 21st century that renewables topped 100% of its production
Tunisia said in early March 2018 it plans to invest USD 1.8 bn/ EUR 1.5 bn in renewable energy projects by 2020 as part of a 2 year multi billion dollar investment in generation and grid upgrades.
Ahn Hee-Jung, Governor of South Chungcheong – a province that hosts the majority of South Korea’s coal power, with 29 massive coal power stations including the biggest in the world said in Feb 2018 that he is committed to a “coal phase-out alliance” and declared his province “post-coal”
A January 2018 report from IRENA says that thee cost of renewable energy sources is likely to be cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020. Prices could be as low as three cents per kilowatt-hour for onshore wind and solar photovoltaic projects over the next two years. "By 2020, all the renewable power generation technologies that are now in commercial use are expected to fall within the fossil fuel-fired cost range, with most at the lower end or undercutting fossil fuels"
In parts of the US, wind and solar plants built from scratch now (early 2018) offer the cheapest power available, even counting old coal, which was long seen as unbeatable. Costs for renewable technologies are coming down so much that by the time the federal subsidies expire, wind turbines and large-scale solar arrays will still be competitive in large parts of the country.
|11 EU countries have already met their 2020 renewables targets|
Real decarbonization is already happening in 22 countries representing 20% of global emissions, where emissions are decreasing significantly while GDP continues to rise in around 22 countries including in the U.S.
India's renewable energy power generation grew 22 per cent in 2017 (April-December 2017) thanks largely to the recent massive ramp up in solar capacity addition.
|French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to shut all of his country’s coal-fired power plants by 2021.|
Over 20 countries and 2 US states and 5 Canadian provinces announced at COP23 they will phase out coal by 2030 or before in a new alliance led by the UK and Canada
Ireland announced decisive climate action in Feb 2018, including a coal phase out by 2030, a ban on diesel and petrol vehicles by 2030, electric buses for transport by 2019 and 45,000 homes to be made more energy efficient each year
|South Australia’s consumers bought 20% less electricity from the grid in 2017 than they did in 2010|
In March 2018 Microsoft announces massive purchase of solar power in Virginia in what it describes as "the single largest corporate purchase of solar energy ever in the United States. Big tech is shifting to renewables at exponential speed.
Tesla announced in early 2018, following the huge success of its 100MW/ 129MWh Powerpack project last year, that it reached a deal with the South Australian government to install solar arrays and Powerwalls on 50,000 homes to create the biggest virtual power plant in the world.
In February 2018, the Danish government decided to ban all on land + near shore drilling/search for oil and gas as it looks to a renewable energy future
A Dec 2017 report by Carbon Tracker shows that 54% of coal power in the EU is loss making and that by the mid 2020’s building new renewable capacity will be cheaper than keeping existing coal plants open.
43 businesses, led by large tech companies Apple and Facebook, are buying enough clean energy to displace 10 coal-fired power plants
Dec 12: Australia has already reached 1 gigawatt (GW) worth of solar installed in 2017 according to new figures from SunWiz, the quickest it has taken and only the second time that Australia has installed at least 1 GW.
Seven giant wind projects, each costing between $600 million and $4.5 billion, and spread between the U.S., Mexico, the U.K., Germany, China, and Australia, helped global clean energy investment to jump 40%, year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017.
The NY state offshore wind energy plan envisions $6 billion industry by 2028. The state says the industry could employ up to 5,000 people & the turbines aren’t expected to be visible from Long Island’s shore.
In December 2017 China confirmed it would not be financing the controversial Adani coal mine project in Queensland, Australia
Of the 1,675 companies that have owned coal-fired power plants or pursued development of coal-fired power capacity since 2010, over a quarter (448 companies) have exited the coal power business entirely
|Growth in solar power capacity overtook new coal-fired generation for the first time (announced in October 2017) |
According to research by EY, the amounts of traditional and renewable energy used in Europe will be similar by 2025, which will be two decades earlier than in the United States.