Five of Asia’s biggest economies are expected to see exponential growth of solar, positioning the region to become a global hub of solar power, according to independent energy think tank Ember.
Ember analyzed existing national power sector development plans across China, Japan, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. It found that solar capacity is expected to grow an average of 22% annually across the five economies. Of the five, the fastest solar capacity growth rates are expected in Indonesia – 41.81% – and the Philippines – 34.64%: - Electrek
As a power crunch precipitated by an extended heat wave eased, the California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA) said that the state had more than 80,000 customer-sited batteries connected to the electric grid capable of providing 900 MW of solar power. It said that while not all the batteries were set to discharge during the peak hours of 4pm-9pm on September 6, an estimated 76% were, capable of providing up to 684 MW of power at any given moment. The trade group said that 50% of these batteries’ aggregate power was put into use during peak hours. - Renewable Energy World
Gravitational accumulation is no longer a novelty. Since 2012, the so-called “gravity batteries” have made their official debut in the world of energy storage. And today more than one company has demonstrated its potential thanks to full-scale projects that exploit mineral wells, quarries or mountains. But researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria, want to take technology to another level. Or, better, in another environment: that densely urbanized metropolis. In a new study published in the journal Energy, scientists proposed to transform skyscrapers into gigantic gravity battery. How? Through their Lift Energy Storage System, a system that would exploit lift systems and empty apartments to store energy in very high buildings. The idea is to accumulate energy by lifting containers of wet sand or other high-density materials. Basically, the LEST would benefit from any downtime of the lift, moving the sand from the bottom of the building upwards, in case of an excess of electricity production on the grid. And from top to bottom to release energy when electricity demand rises. - SEN
Hawaii is getting ready to say goodbye to its only coal power plant on Sept. 1 as part of its "aggressive push to renewable energy," according to the state's top energy official. The state received its final shipment of coal last week to the AES Hawaii power plant, located on the western side of Oahu, and s looking toward new solar and battery storage energy projects. "It's the first large fossil fuel power plant that we're retiring," said Scott Glenn, chief energy officer at Hawaii State Energy Office. "The rest of the country is also grappling with this and we don't have the tools that the rest of the country does. ... (As an island chain) we can't reach out to others for help. It's an important step for Hawaii, and I also think it's going to be something that other states look to."- USA Today
On a winter night in early 2016, Jeremy Kitson gathered in his buddy's large shed with some neighbors to plan their fight against a proposed wind farm in rural Van Wert County, Ohio. The project would be about a mile from his home. From the beginning, Kitson — who teaches physics and chemistry at the local high school — knew he didn't want the turbines anywhere near him. He had heard from folks who lived near another wind project about 10 miles away that the turbines were noisy and that they couldn't sleep. "There were so many people saying that it's horrible, you do not want to live under these things,'" Kitson says. - NPR
In a year of record-high prices for fossil fuels, as lawmakers consider new policies that can help fight inflation, renewable energy is already helping to shield Americans from steep jumps in their electricity bills. For example, in Texas, even as some observers have incorrectly blamed renewables for the state’s strained power grid, more than a third of electricity in the first half of 2022 came from wind and solar projects. Wind and solar have both set records already this year. High production from renewables and high fossil fuel prices together mean wind and solar are having an outsized impact on lowering energy costs. Based on benchmark natural gas prices, RMI estimates that, on average, wind and solar projects in Texas have avoided $20 million per day in fuel that otherwise would have been needed for fossil fuel-based power plants to meet electricity demand.- RMI
The 1.32 GW Hornsea Two will dethrone the 1.2 GW Hornsea One as the largest operating offshore wind farms in the world. It’s 462 square kilometers (178 square miles) in size, and it will power more than 1.3 million homes. Hornsea Two is off the east coast of England and was developed and is owned by Danish wind giant Ørsted. It features 165 Siemens Gamesa 8 megawatt (MW) turbines; most of the wind turbines’ blades were manufactured at Siemens Gamesa’s factory in Hull. All of Hornsea Two’s wind turbines are now commercially operational. The entire project will be fully commissioned after the final reliability runs are completed, and that’s expected later this month. - Electrek
On the surface, the Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden signed into law on Tuesday may sound like a massive government spending program. Indeed, it promises to put nearly $370 billion in federal funding behind the energy transition. But, if you dig deeper, the IRA is less about the power of government spending and more about the power of the private sector. The tax incentives, loans, and grants at its center are all intended to nudge the private sector to go faster in deploying existing technologies like wind and solar while also advancing future technologies. “The path they went down is 100% the ‘sweeten the deal path,’” says Karen Karniol-Tambour, chief investment officer for sustainability at Bridgewater. “Let’s just give lots of incentives to make the green stuff really competitive.” - Time
The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a once-in-a-career opportunity, permanently shifting the course of both the US economy and global climate to a better future. And it represents the culmination of decades of work by RMI — our experts and analysis played a direct role advancing key provisions — along with countless other NGOs, businesses, communities, scientists, and policymakers The full implications of the nearly 800-page bill continue to be assessed. But early modeling suggests its incentives will drive dramatic emission reductions: at least 40 percent by 2030, just shy of US commitments to lower emissions by half in that time. - RMI
Something unusual is happening in Hawaii: An electric utility and rooftop solar installers have agreed on a proposal to reward households for sharing clean energy with the grid at useful times. In many places around the U.S., utilities treat rooftop solar as an obstacle. They say it shifts grid-maintenance costs from customers who have solar to those who don’t, or causes headaches for their system planning and operations. Utilities in California are currently urging regulators to levy a monthly fee on anyone who adds rooftop solar, regardless of how it operates. - Canary Media
Ethanol made from corn grown across millions of acres of American farmland has become the country’s premier renewable fuel, touted as a low-carbon alternative to traditional gasoline and a key component of the country’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But a new study, published this week, finds that corn-based ethanol may actually be worse for the climate than fossil-based gasoline, and has other environmental downsides. “We thought and hoped it would be a climate solution and reduce and replace our reliance on gasoline,” said Tyler Lark, a researcher with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and lead author of the study. “It turns out to be no better for the climate than the gasoline it aims to replace and comes with all kinds of other impacts.” - Inside Climate News
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