New York, California, China, ..We Are Still Open for Business

June 3, 2017

chinasolar

You think California, Washington state, New York state, cities and provinces around the world, China, India, are ramping up renewables because they’re, like, ..nice?

China can’t believe their good fortune in having a brain-dead party in charge in the US. Biggest boost for them since the Iraq war.

Inside Climate News:

New York State is making a $5 billion bet that by making its power cleaner, it can become a magnet for the clean energy jobs of the future.

Its efforts stand out among the many states racing to integrate more renewables into their power grids—such as Massachusetts, Hawaii and California—not necessarily for the technology but because of what’s happening behind the scenes: New York has launched a Herculean effort to turn around an antiquated system that has deterred innovation for generations by rewarding utilities for selling more electricity.

To get utilities to embrace a changing electricity system, the state is establishing ways for the companies to be reimbursed for some of the savings from energy efficiency programs that are reducing demand for their services. It also is allowing them to reap more return on their investments in equipment needed to bring more renewable energy into the grid. And it is investing in entrepreneurs who are inventing the technology to make it all work.

The state is so gung-ho that its rules require utilities to come up with demonstration projects that test out a new business model, in partnership with at least one private sector company.

The result, say the state’s regulators, is that New York is already attracting hundreds of innovative companies of all stripes. The plum opportunities are not only in installing wind turbines and solar panels, which are generating new employment opportunities across the country, they are also in emerging technologies related to smart grid management and storage. These jobs are largely invisible to the public and, in some cases, didn’t even exist a few years ago.

While the state hasn’t yet projected overall how many jobs are in the new energy economy, they have released enticing tidbits. In January, the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) released a report projecting that by 2030, New York’s energy storage industry could realize annual revenues between $5.6 billion and $8.7 billion, with total job growth between 17,300 and 26,800 employees. Jobs in the energy storage industry already grew by 30 percent between 2012 and 2015 to 3,600.

North American Wind Power:

According to the nonprofit organization, in EIA’s 2012 Annual Energy Outlook, the agency forecast that renewable energy generation would increase by 77% from 2010 to 2025 (from 10% to 15%). In addition, the share of total electricity generation from non-hydro renewables would grow from roughly 4% in 2010 to 9% in 2035.

If one assumes growth were to continue at about the same annual pace as during the 25-year EIA forecast period (2010-2035), renewables would not be expected to reach 19.35% until roughly the year 2057 – forty years from now, the organization says.

EIA’s 2012 report further forecast that wind capacity would increase from 39 GW in 2010 to 70 GW in 2035 and that solar would reach 24 GW of capacity in 2035.

In reality, says SUN DAY, citing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) latest Energy Infrastructure Update, which includes data for the first three months of 2017, wind generating capacity already totals 84.59 GW, while utility-scale solar capacity has reached 25.84 GW (not including distributed small-scale systems, such as rooftop solar).

Moreover, the latest issue of EIA’s Electric Power Monthly (with data through March 31) reveals that renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar [including small-scale PV] and wind) accounted for 19.35% of net U.S. electrical generation during the first quarter of 2017. Of this, conventional hydropower accounted for 8.67%, followed by wind (7.10%), biomass (1.64%), solar (1.47%) and geothermal (0.47%). Combined, non-hydro renewables accounted for 10.68% of total generation.

“Not only has renewable energy’s share of total domestic electrical generation nearly doubled in the past seven years – it has reached a level of output that EIA, just five years ago, did not anticipate happening for another four decades,” states Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “While one might conclude that EIA’s methodology is seriously flawed, it is also safe to say that renewables – especially solar and wind – by now providing almost one-fifth of the nation’s electrical production, are vastly exceeding expectations and breaking records at an astonishing pace.”

New York Times:

MUMBAI, India — Just a few years ago, the world watched nervously as India went on a building spree of coal-fired power plants, more than doubling its capacity and claiming that more were needed. Coal output, officials said, would almost triple, to 1.5 billion tons, by 2020.

India’s plans were cited by American critics of the Paris climate accord as proof of the futility of advanced nations trying to limit their carbon output. But now, even as President Trump pulls the United States out of the pact, India has undergone an astonishing turnaround, driven in great part by a steep fall in the cost of solar power.

Experts now say that India not only has no need of any new coal-fired plants for at least a decade, given that existing plants are running below 60 percent of capacity, but that after that it could rely on renewable sources for all its additional power needs.

Rather than building coal-fired plants, it is now canceling many in the early planning stages. And last month, the government lowered its annual production target for coal to 600 million tons from 660 million.

The sharp reversal, welcome news to world leaders trying to avert the potentially deadly effects of global warming, is a reflection both of the changing economics of renewable energy and a growing environmental consciousness in a country with some of the worst air pollution in the world.

What India does matters, because it is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind China and the United States. And its energy needs are staggering — nearly one-quarter of its population has no electricity and many others get it only intermittently.

With India’s power needs expected to grow substantially as its economy continues to expand, its energy use will heavily influence the world’s chances of containing the greenhouse gases that scientists believe are driving global warming.

Much attention at the time of the signing of the Paris agreement was focused on the role President Barack Obama played in pushing India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, to sign. In doing so, Mr. Modi committed India to achieving 40 percent of its electricity capacity from nonfossil-fuel sources by 2030.

Inside Climate News:

Renewable energy jobs are growing around the globe as prices fall and interest in clean power rises. Worldwide, 9.8 million people are now employed in the renewable energy industry, including 3 million in the booming photovoltaic solar sector, up 12 percent from just a year ago, a new study shows.

The United States has seen explosive growth in renewable energy jobs over the past three years, led by solar jobs (up 82 percent) and wind jobs (up 100 percent), according to new numbers released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Each year, IRENA counts employment in renewable energy by technology and country, including in energy generation, related construction, manufacturing of renewable energy equipment and maintenance.

The numbers tell the story.

In 2016, solar was creating U.S. jobs at 17 times the rate of the national economy, rising to more than 260,000 jobs in the U.S. solar industry today. In the U.S. wind industry, now with over 100,000 jobs, a new wind turbine went up every 2.4 hours this past quarter. One driver of this rush to build out solar and wind capacity over the past few years was the expected expiration of key federal tax credits, which were ultimately renewed but with a phase-out over time for wind and solar.

The total number of U.S. renewable energy jobs still falls short of other countries, however.

The U.S. trails the European Union in renewable energy jobs, about 806,000 jobs to over 1.2 million, according to IRENA’s numbers. (With hydropower excluded, the totals are 777,000 jobs to 1.16 million in the EU). Brazil also counts more renewable energy jobs, with 876,000, not counting hydropower.

All three are far behind behind China, the world leader in clean energy employment by far with nearly 4 million jobs, including hydropower. China’s National Energy Administration has projected renewables growth of 2.6 million jobs a year between 2016 and 2020 with a massive investment plan for renewable power generation.

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2 Responses to “New York, California, China, ..We Are Still Open for Business”

  1. Sir Charles Says:


    (The US Embassy in Berlin after Trump’s announcement)

  2. redskylite Says:

    Looks like Florida may be gearing up to capitalize from all that glorious sunshine they enjoy down there at last.

    “With Florida state government currently tied up in budget deliberations, SB 90 has not yet been delivered to Gov. Rick Scott. Once it has been, he will have 15 days to sign the bill or let it become law without his signature. With the mechanics for implementation nailed down, the constitutional amendment will extend important property tax exemptions for renewable energy installations, including solar, on both commercial and residential properties. Florida has long been a sleeping giant for the solar industry. Although it ranks third nationally in solar potential, the state is currently 15th in installed capacity. With passage of SB 90, Amendment 4 will fulfill its promise – and open up the market for solar in Florida, which is poised for takeoff.”

    http://www.theenergycollective.com/aee/2405837/passage-sb-90-forecast-solar-florida-gets-sunnier


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