The Arizona Corporation Commission rejected the adoption of a set of clean energy rules on Wednesday in a 3-2 vote. The rules package included a timeline for 100% carbon-free electricity, new demand-side resources standards and integrated resource planning reforms. The package would have expanded energy efficiency programs for Arizona Public Service (APS) and Tucson Electric Power (TEP), offering rebates to customers for replacing inefficient appliances and upgrading lighting. Commissioner Jim O'Connor, R, voted against the rules package despite his work last May with Commissioner Anna Tovar, D, to revive the package through a separate rulemaking. Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) called O'Connor's vote "surprising." - Utility Dive
How coal holds on in America
What would you do with an extra $5,443 a year? Converting all home appliances and cars to run on electricity could eliminate a third of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions while saving households $40bn a year by 2028, according to a new report. The report, Castles and Cars, by the new energy thinktank Rewiring Australia, found the average Australian household uses 102kWh of energy a day at a cost of $5,248 a year. Much of this cost comes from relying on petrol and gas to power cars, stoves, showers and heaters. - Guardian
The use of fossil fuels comes with a wide variety of externalized costs. The big focus tends to be on the carbon dioxide fossil fuel produces and its role in warming the climate. But fossil fuels also cause environmental damage when they're extracted, and burning them produces particulate pollution and ozone. Those substances have downstream effects on human health and agriculture. If all of these costs were included in the price of fossil fuels, then alternatives would be far more competitive.
There have been numerous attempts over the years to quantify these externalized costs. Some look at the issue from a purely economic perspective, and others look at efforts to inform policy. These efforts tend to be based on our best understanding at the time; however, as our knowledge improves, the figures can be worth revisiting. That's exactly what's been done by a team of researchers at Columbia and Duke Universities who use current climate scenarios and updated health data.
The researchers' results say that, even if you ignore the climate benefits, moving away from fossil fuels rapidly would lead to benefits that, in the US alone, can add up to trillions of dollars before the century is over. - ArsTechnica / CarbonBrief
Saudi Arabia's crown prince said on Saturday that the world's top oil exporter aims to reach "net zero" emissions of greenhouse gases, mostly produced by burning fossil fuels, by 2060 - 10 years later than the United States. He also said it would double the emissions cuts it plans to achieve by 2030. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his energy minister said Saudi Arabia would tackle climate change, but also stressed the continued importance of hydrocarbons and said it would continue to ensure oil market stability. They were speaking at the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) ahead of COP26, the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow at the end of the month, which hopes to agree deeper global emissions cuts to tackle global warming. The United States, the world's second-biggest emitter, is committed to achieving net zero, meaning that it emits no more greenhouse gases than it can capture or absorb, by 2050. But China and India, the world's biggest and third-biggest emitters, have not committed to this timeline. - Reuters
NextEra is doubling down on green hydrogen, with plans to build a 500-megawatt wind project to provide power to a hydrogen fuel cell company, the company noted Wednesday in a third quarter earnings call with analysts. The Florida-based energy giant said it continues to expand its wind portfolio as well, announcing on Wednesday's call a deal by its NextEra Energy Partners limited partnership to acquire a 100-megawatt wind project in California for $280 million, including taking on $150 million in existing project finance debt. Overall, NextEra said it has added more than 5,700 megawatts over the first nine months of 2021 to its backlog of renewable energy and storage projects. A large chunk of that — 2,160 megawatts — came during the third quarter, divided up between 1,240 megawatts of new wind projects, 515 megawatts of new solar projects and 345 megawatts of new storage assets. - Utility Dive
Record levels of renewable energy drove down electricity prices across Australia in the September quarter, with prices zero or negative for one-sixth of the time, the Australian Energy Market Operator has said in its latest report. There was also little sign of the Morrison government’s much-touted “gas-led recovery”, with a supply disruption at Victoria’s Longford gas plant initially leading to record or near-record spot prices for the fossil fuel in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. Gas’s share of the power mix also slumped one-fifth from a year earlier for the quarter as a whole. - Guardian
A 10.5 gigawatt (GW) solar and wind farm will be built in Morocco’s Guelmim-Oued Noun region, and it will supply the UK with clean energy via subsea cables. The twin 1.8 GW high voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cables will be the world’s longest. UK-based renewables company Xlinks is the project’s developer. The Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project, as it’s known, will cover an area of around 579 square miles (1,500 square kilometers) in Morocco and will be connected exclusively to the UK via 2,361 miles (3,800 km) of HVDC subsea cables. They’ll follow the shallow water route from Morocco to the UK, past Spain, Portugal, and France. The project will cost $21.9 billion. Xlinks will construct 7 GW of solar and 3.5 GW of wind, along with onsite 20GWh/5GW battery storage, in Morocco. The transmission cable will consist of four cables. The first cable will be active in early 2027, and the other three are slated to launch in 2029. An agreement has been reached with the National Grid for two 1.8GW connections at Alverdiscott in Devon. - Elektrek & XLinks
What if someone told you that we have everything we need to decarbonize most of the economy? We would just need to start electrifying every new car, furnace, water heater, drier, and cookstove, and industrial process starting right now. And yeah, and put solar on every roof that can handle it. If we are on a wartime footing for decarbonizing the economy, our guest, Saul, could be considered a 5-star general of the “electrify everything” movement. He founded or co-founded around a dozen companies and organizations. And he has a PhD from MIT in materials science and information theory. Saul is now trying to marshal the world around his “a defensible and believable” pathway for decarbonizing America with clean electricity. - Energy Gang
The world needs a “radical” shift towards renewables to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and secure the 1.5C goal, says the International Energy Agency (IEA). This would see renewable energy overtake coal by 2026, passing oil and gas before 2030. By 2050, it should go on to meet two-thirds of global energy supply and nearly 90% of electricity generation. In a 227-page report, titled “Net-zero by 2050: A roadmap for the global energy sector,” the IEA calls for “a total transformation of the energy systems that underpin our economies”. It says this is a “critical year at the start of a critical decade for these efforts”, which must start turning the world’s energy system from one dominated by fossil fuels into a future “powered predominantly by renewable energy like solar and wind”. - Carbon Brief
In a year characterized by extreme weather, avid handwashing, and increasingly remote interactions, access to electricity is more important than ever. But 12 months into the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a basic right on which thousands of Navajo Nation members are still waiting. “What it’s like to be without electricity? I don’t know how to describe it because we never had it before,” said Navajo elder and Black Mesa, Arizona, resident Percy Deal. “It’s always been this way, so we’re used to it. Until last year when this pandemic came in; that’s when we began to realize that these utilities are very important.” Electricity has long been a contentious issue for Navajo Nation residents. Of the roughly 55,000 Indigenous households located on Navajo lands, which stretch across large parts of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, ~15,000 do not have electricity. And yet the reservation is an energy-exporting hotspot, having until recently been home to the Navajo Generating Station, the largest coal-fired power plant in the western U.S, as well as many coal, uranium, oil, and fracking operations. - Grist
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