Renewables win

Hopefully, this is the tipping point in changing our ways for the better. This from a financial investment firm.

A widely-used yearly benchmarking study — the Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE) from the financial firm Lazard Ltd. — reached this stunning conclusion: In many regions “the full-lifecycle costs of building and operating renewables-based projects have dropped below the operating costs alone of conventional generation technologies such as coal or nuclear.”

Building new renewables is now cheaper than just running old coal and nuclear plants

Even fracking now has limited time, only because we have still not developed enough storage capacity to smooth out renewable energy fluctuations. That will change rapidly.

Enough wind for everyone

There’s enough wind energy over the oceans to power human civilization

Although, in principle, there is enough ocean wind to power our civilization, in practice –

It’s very unlikely that we would ever build out open ocean turbines on anything like that scale — indeed, doing so could even alter the planet’s climate, the research finds. But the more modest message is that wind energy over the open oceans has large potential — reinforcing the idea that floating wind farms, over very deep waters, could be the next major step for wind energy technology.

Lovely graphs and graphics in the original paper:

Geophysical potential for wind energy over the open oceans

It’s happening anyway

Whatever the climate deniers are doing & saying, the change over to renewables is happening anyway.

States betting on giant batteries to cut carbon

A growing number of states are requiring large batteries to be used to store electricity to help expand wind and solar power. The trend is catching on quickly as at least three states have created energy storage targets or incentives so far this year.

Lawmakers in New York passed a bill last week requiring the state to create an energy storage target. Nevada passed a bill incentivizing energy storage in May, and Maryland passed an energy storage tax credit in April. Those measures follow California, Oregon, and Massachusetts, which have mandates for electricity storage in batteries.

Trump that!

It looks like solar/wind power will banish fossil fuels

‘Spectacular’ drop in renewable energy costs leads to record global boost

But we still have to move faster.

Lins said the switch to green energy needed to speed up and, crucially, start converting transport, heating and cooling to renewable sources. “The world is in a race against time,” she said.

Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who delivered the Paris agreement and is now convenor of Mission 2020, said: “The economic case for renewables as the backbone of our global energy system is increasingly clear and proven. Offering ever greater bang-for-buck, renewables are quite simply the cheapest way to generate energy in an ever-growing number of countries.”

Big battery storage is coming

Welsh battery scheme may aid growth of green energy

Solar power has grown rapidly in the last seven years, going from almost nothing to 11GW of capacity, meaning it now regularly provides more power than Britain’s last coal plants. There is also 15GW of wind power, a figure that will climb this year as major offshore windfarms come online.

Coal is being replaced by renewables

India cancelling huge coal power station because it wants to focus on renewable energy

But still a long way to go.

India wants to become a solar superpower – but its plans don’t add up

Ingenious new technologies –

New solar-powered device can create water out of thin air, even in deserts

Water harvesting from air with metal-organic frameworks powered by natural sunlight

Reality bites back

Our climate models are better than the deniers make out:

Climate change computer model vindicated 30 years later by what has actually happened

Now, 30 years later, the models have become much more detailed with fine-grained observed data to fit.

Expect investment in fossil fuels to drop as people warm to the thought of suing companies that extract and sell them takes off with climate change:

Chevron warns it could face climate change lawsuits with future oil drilling potentially ‘economically infeasible’