Sustainable Living

Our phones and gadgets are now endangering the planet | John Harris

Guardian - Renewable Energy - 5 hours 38 min ago
The energy used in our digital consumption is set to have a bigger impact on global warming than the entire aviation industry

It was just another moment in this long, increasingly strange summer. I was on a train home from Paddington station, and the carriage’s air-conditioning was just about fighting off the heat outside. Most people seemed to be staring at their phones – in many cases, they were trying to stream a World Cup match, as the 4G signal came and went, and Great Western Railway’s onboard wifi proved to be maddeningly erratic. The trebly chatter of headphone leakage was constant. And thousands of miles and a few time zones away in Loudoun County, Virginia, one of the world’s largest concentrations of computing power was playing its part in keeping everything I saw ticking over, as data from around the world passed back and forth from its vast buildings.

Most of us communicate with this small and wealthy corner of the US every day. Thanks to a combination of factors – its proximity to Washington DC, competitive electricity prices, and its low susceptibility to natural disasters – the county is the home of data centres used by about 3,000 tech companies: huge agglomerations of circuitry, cables and cooling systems that sit in corners of the world most of us rarely see, but that are now at the core of how we live. About 70% of the world’s online traffic is reckoned to pass through Loudoun County.

Related: ‘Tsunami of data’ could consume one fifth of global electricity by 2025

Related: Bitcoin’s energy usage is huge – we can't afford to ignore it

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Categories: Sustainable Living

Renewables will replace ageing coal plants at lowest cost, Aemo says

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 18:00

Forecast by energy market operator is a blow to Coalition MPs campaigning for new coal-fired generation

Australia’s energy market operator says the future of power generation in Australia will be renewables with storage, and gas, with those technologies able to replace the power currently supplied by coal generators at least cost.

A new forecast by the Australian Energy Market Operator (Aemo) notes 30% of Australia’s coal generators will approach the end of their technical life over the next two decades, and it says it is important to avoid premature departures if the looming transition in the national energy market is to be orderly.

Related: How Tesla's big battery is bringing Australia’s gas cartel to heel

Related: Energy policy would not be that hard if the government wasn’t hamstrung by ideologues | Simon Holmes à Court

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Categories: Sustainable Living

Last Word: Bifacial Plus Tracking Boosts Solar Energy Yield by 27 Percent

Renewable Energy World - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 15:26
While U.S. solar developers may be worried about the Section 201 tariffs another trend could help offset their impact: high-efficiency modules.
Categories: Sustainable Living

Drones Across Spain Are Spotting Dodgy Solar Panels and Wind Turbines

Renewable Energy World - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 15:20
Drones the size of manhole covers are helping Spain’s biggest utility to squeeze costs of green electricity, spotting faulty solar panels and wind-turbine blades way ahead of engineers on the ground.
Categories: Sustainable Living

California Decision Means SCE Could Use Solar, Storage to Offset New Gas Generation

Renewable Energy World - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 15:13
Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) authorized Southern California Edison (SCE) to recover in customer rates the cost of contracts for innovative clean energy resources to offset the need for new natural gas generation.
Categories: Sustainable Living

Puerto Rico's Grid Authority Loses Yet Another CEO

Renewable Energy World - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 13:45

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello named two new board members Friday. Eli Diaz and Ralph Kreil will be chair and vice chair, respectively, and the board hopes to name yet another new CEO sometime this week.

Categories: Sustainable Living

On a Mission to Cut Electricity Rates, Ontario’s Ford Says He Will Cancel Wind, Solar Contracts

Renewable Energy World - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 12:44
Renewable-power contracts from Boralex Inc. and Invenergy LLC are among those targeted for cancellation by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who’s working to terminate or wind down more than 750 contracts in a revamp of the province’s energy policies.
Categories: Sustainable Living

Using Solar Plus Storage Design to Tackle High Demand Charges

Renewable Energy World - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 11:19

Increasing penetration of distributed, renewable energy is causing an upheaval in traditional utility business models and spurring a re-examination of tariff structures that have been in place for over 100 years. Solar plus storage can help.

Categories: Sustainable Living

Apple Launches New Clean Energy Fund in China

Renewable Energy World - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 16:01

The fund will be managed through DWS Group

Categories: Sustainable Living

New York Begins Wave toward 2,400 MW of Offshore Wind

Renewable Energy World - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 15:15

The state’s Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) will procure approximately 800 MW of offshore wind through a solicitation in the fourth quarter this year.

Categories: Sustainable Living

How EPCs Can Reduce Costs in Ground Mount Solar Projects

Renewable Energy World - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 14:43
Innovations in solar ground mount foundations and racking systems have lagged behind the many evolutionary changes being made in photovoltaics, inverters, batteries and other balance of system technologies that together are driving down costs. Of course, there is not much that can be done to “enhance” a steel pile, a ground screw, rebar or concrete. Catching up will, therefore, require taking an entirely new approach to ground mount foundations. One promising technology is doing just that.
Categories: Sustainable Living

UK passes 1,000 hours without coal as energy shift accelerates

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 08:00

Revival of last eight coal plants when ‘beast from the east’ hit Britain proved to be brief

Britain has been powered for more than a thousand hours without coal this year, in a new milestone underscoring how the polluting fuel’s decline is accelerating.

The UK’s last eight coal power plants staged a brief revival when the “beast from the east” pushed up gas prices earlier this year, causing coal plants to fire up.

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Categories: Sustainable Living

V2G Highlights E-Mobility Discussions at ees in San Francisco

Renewable Energy World - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 14:52
At the ees North America Conference this year, new electric mobility-focused sessions branded under the Power2Drive umbrella engaged audiences with a discussion of the convergence of renewables and electrified transportation. All of Wednesday’s Power2Drive sessions touched upon the current gap in EV infrastructure as well as strategies to balance grid demand as EV charging becomes increasingly popular.
Categories: Sustainable Living

Rising ocean waters from global warming could cost trillions of dollars | John Abraham

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 10:00

We’ll need to mitigate and adapt to global warming to avoid massive costs from sea level rise

Ocean waters are rising because of global warming. They are rising for two reasons. First, and perhaps most obvious, ice is melting. There is a tremendous amount of ice locked away in Greenland, Antarctica, and in glaciers. As the world warms, that ice melts and the liquid water flows to the oceans.

The other reason why water is rising is that warmer water is less dense – it expands. This expansion causes the surface of the water to rise.

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Categories: Sustainable Living

Energy inquiry explainer: how ACCC plans to cut your power bills

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 06:54

Competition watchdog offers governments a reform blueprint. Here’s our breakdown of its proposals

According to the competition watchdog, the national energy market is broken and needs drastic change – from consumer rebates for network costs to simpler discounts for customers, new powers to stop “market manipulation” and even government support for new generation.

After an inquiry spanning more than 12 months, in a report released on Wednesday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission made 56 recommendations. The watchdog said its suite of reforms could save average residential customers up to $419 in south-east Queensland and $409 in New South Wales by 2020.

Related: Electricity comparison websites may inflate prices, energy adviser says

Related: Abbott is angry about energy but there are bigger fish to fry | Katharine Murphy

Related: Fancy seeing you: energy foes Abbott, Frydenberg and Credlin to face off in US

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Categories: Sustainable Living

Tesla Plans China Plant With 500,000 Vehicle Capacity

Renewable Energy World - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 17:08
Tesla Inc. is planning a factory in China with a capacity for 500,000 vehicles a year, its biggest step beyond the U.S. so far, according to people familiar with the matter. Tesla is due to sign a memorandum of understanding with local entities in Shanghai, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk was to be in the city for an event with the government on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported earlier. A Tesla representative in China didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Categories: Sustainable Living

Duke Issues RFP for 680 MW of Renewable Capacity, Begins Accepting Solar Rebate Applications

Renewable Energy World - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 17:05
Two major Duke Energy solar programs are rolling out this month in North Carolina, both of which should help increase the amount of solar energy on the North Carolina grid.
Categories: Sustainable Living

Cool down nuclear plan because renewables are better bet, ministers told

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Mon, 07/09/2018 - 23:01

Government advisers say UK should back just one more new nuclear power station in the next few years

Government advisers have told ministers to back only a single new nuclear power station after Hinkley Point C in the next few years, because renewable energy sources could prove a safer investment.

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) said the government should cool down plans for a nuclear new build programme that envisage as many as six plants being built.

Related: Government needs U-turn over mania for nuclear plants

Related: Nuclear plans 'should be rethought after fall in offshore windfarm costs'

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Categories: Sustainable Living

Government needs U-turn over mania for nuclear plants

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Mon, 07/09/2018 - 23:01

Its own infrastructure adviser says more renewables is the low-cost option

Here’s a report that must not be lost in the noise of Brexit. The National Infrastructure Assessment is a once-a-parliament affair from a body that was created to save us from the deadly combination of politicians’ machismo and the electoral cycle.

More prosaically, the National Infrastructure Commission’s job is to inject long-term strategic thinking into the critical business of building important stuff. Its first report contains a devastating conclusion: the government should drop its obsession with building more and more nuclear power stations.

Related: Banks court buyers for 49% stake in UK nuclear power stations

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Categories: Sustainable Living

Lost rivers could heat London to cut capital's emissions

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Sun, 07/08/2018 - 23:01

Campaigners propose using buried rivers as source of fossil fuel-free heat

Boris Johnson’s team wanted to uncover them for Londoners. The Environment Agency explored turning them into wildlife paradises.

Now campaigners are targeting London’s lost rivers, water courses that have been gradually buried over the centuries, as a source of fossil fuel-free heat.

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Categories: Sustainable Living
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