Sustainable Living

UK home solar power faces cloudy outlook as subsidies are axed

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Wed, 06/27/2018 - 16:09

Lower costs and battery technology offer hope – but industry says it needs support

“I’m 87% self-powered today. Yesterday I was 100%,” Howard Richmond said, using an app telling him how much of his London home’s electricity consumption is from his solar panels and Tesla battery.

The retired solicitor lives in one of the 840,000-plus homes in the UK with solar panels and is part of an even more exclusive club of up to 10,000 with battery storage.

Related: Government rejects plan for £1.3bn tidal lagoon in Swansea

I wanted to see if I could be self-powered in north London in a cloudy rainy country

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Categories: Sustainable Living

Government got its sums wrong on Swansea Bay tidal lagoon | Letters

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Wed, 06/27/2018 - 16:07
The rejected Welsh tidal power scheme is a missed opportunity on many fronts, says the chair of the planning inspectors who studied the proposal

The rejection by ministers of the proposed Swansea Bay tidal lagoon (Report, 26 June) must be the final nail in the coffin of what was once claimed would be “the greenest government ever”.

When I and my fellow planning inspectors spent the best part of a year examining and reporting on both the principle and the detail of the project in Swansea, it was clear that this pathfinder project had important environmental, cultural and regeneration benefits.

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Categories: Sustainable Living

A California Startup That Cools With Ice Raises $40 Million

Renewable Energy World - Wed, 06/27/2018 - 14:15
Ice Energy, a California firm that uses chunks of ice to cool buildings, has secured $40 million in financing from private equity group Argo Infrastructure Partners LLC.
Categories: Sustainable Living

Grid Operators to Pumped Hydro Storage Companies: Talk to Us

Renewable Energy World - Wed, 06/27/2018 - 12:57
On Monday and Tuesday, June 25-26 in Charlotte, NC at the Grid-Scale Storage Summit, grid operators from ISO New England, PJM, and California ISO explained that now is the time that all energy storage companies need to be attending meetings and adding their voices to the mix because grid operators are currently in the process of defining rules around how they will meet FERC’s Order 841, which allows energy storage to participate in wholesale markets.
Categories: Sustainable Living

Pumped Hydropower Plus Wind, Solar Is Path To 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy World - Wed, 06/27/2018 - 12:57
If you want to build pumped storage hydropower plants, don’t talk about pumped storage hydropower. That was the message delivered by Adam Rousselle, president of Renewable Energy Aggregators (REA) during the first Grid-Scale Storage Summit, which took place on June 25-26 in Charlotte, NC.
Categories: Sustainable Living

UK environment policies in tatters, warn green groups

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Wed, 06/27/2018 - 08:59

‘Disastrous decisions’ such as Heathrow expansion and rejection of Swansea tidal lagoon spark concern over government direction

Environmental campaigners and clean air groups have warned that the government’s green credentials are in tatters after a flurry of “disastrous decisions” that they say will be condemned by future generations.

The government’s plan to expand Heathrow won overwhelming backing in the Commons on Monday – with more than 100 Labour MPs joining the majority of Tory politicians to back the plan – despite grave concerns about its impact on air pollution and the UK’s carbon emissions.

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Categories: Sustainable Living

The Guardian view on tidal energy: cost is not the whole story | Editorial

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 17:43
Ministers’ decision to shelve a pioneering wave power scheme in Swansea Bay is based on evidence – but also ideology

The UK government’s decision to shelve plans to build the world’s first tidal lagoon off Swansea Bay is a hard blow for Wales. That it comes in the wake of Airbus’s warning that 6,000 jobs at its Broughton factory in Flintshire are being put at risk by continuing uncertainty over Brexit, and on the same day that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders sounded the alarm over the future of car building in the UK, only serves to increase the pain. Ford employs 1,700 people at its Bridgend plant, while a new Aston Martin factory is due to open in south Wales next year. The tidal lagoon project, had it gone ahead, was expected to create 2,200 jobs, plus more in the supply chain. These are the kinds of jobs that Wales, so damaged by steel and coal closures, needs. But the business secretary, Greg Clark, has decided the country can’t have them because they would be too expensive.

It’s true that tidal lagoon power is costly at the moment. The so-called strike price that the government would have to agree for Swansea’s electricity, to get the project off the ground, lay between £92.70 and £150 per megawatt hour (MWh), with the difference accounted for by a Welsh government subsidy, and the duration of the contract. While the UK government’s rejection of the scheme – on which the company says it has spent £35m – was based on the higher figure of £150 over 30 years, the company said that, given a longer contract of 60 years, it could supply electricity at £92.70, the same as Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, the government’s flagship energy project in Somerset (Hinkley Point’s strike price is fixed for 35 years). The Welsh government said that its offer of a £200m subsidy made the Swansea project – meant to be the first of six British tidal lagoons, four of them in Wales – competitive with Hinkley even on a similar time span. Welsh politicians have reacted with understandable fury to Mr Clark’s announcement, which comes almost exactly 12 months after the government abandoned plans to electrify the railway from Cardiff to Swansea, and just a day after MPs voted to press ahead with another expensive infrastructure project: a third runway at Heathrow.

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Categories: Sustainable Living

Government rejects plan for £1.3bn tidal lagoon in Swansea

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Mon, 06/25/2018 - 18:06

Ministers say project is too expensive but decision sparks widespread criticism

The government has rejected plans for a £1.3bn tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, dashing industry hopes of Britain leading development of a new source of renewable energy and sparking widespread criticism.

Ministers said the project, which would have been subsidised through household energy bills for decades, was too expensive compared with alternatives such as offshore windfarms and nuclear power.

Related: UK solar power growth halves for second year running

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Categories: Sustainable Living

IRS Ruling on U.S. Credit Is an Unexpected Gift to Solar Developers

Renewable Energy World - Mon, 06/25/2018 - 11:53

The Internal Revenue Service is extending incentives for solar power and other clean energy sources by as long as four years.

 

Categories: Sustainable Living

Energy minister faces questions as Swansea tidal lagoon plan left in limbo

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Sun, 06/24/2018 - 10:05

Tidal Lagoon Power has to cut headcount after delays over decision on £1.3bn project

Britain’s energy minister will have to explain to MPs why no decision has been made on whether to support a tidal lagoon in Swansea – nearly 18 months after an independent government review backed the plan.

Claire Perry will face the business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee on Monday afternoon to answer questions on the £1.3bn clean energy project, which has been left in limbo.

Related: Green energy feels the heat as subsidies go to fossil fuels

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Categories: Sustainable Living

Green energy feels the heat as subsidies go to fossil fuels

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Sat, 06/23/2018 - 11:34
Community projects can slash household bills but the sector has ground to a halt in Britain – in contrast with schemes in Europe

The number of people generating their own power has almost flatlined, with only one new group formed in the UK last year, according to the body representing grassroots energy organisations.

Cuts to subsidies for homeowners to install solar panels and a “hostile planning approach” that has in effect banned new wind turbines are behind the “wholesale decline”, Community Energy England (CEE) said in its 2018 State of the Sector report.

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Solar Matchmaker Pairing Lenders With Commercial Developers

Renewable Energy World - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 20:36
The New York-based company is introducing an online exchange to pair commercial solar developers with lenders looking to finance projects. It’s already matched $35 million of deals ahead of its formal opening Thursday, and has a goal of $250 million this year, according to a statement.
Categories: Sustainable Living

Too Big to Succeed: Solar Titans Flop When They Climb to Top

Renewable Energy World - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 20:36
In the past decade alone, four different companies -- all Chinese -- have surged to the top of the heap, becoming the biggest solar maker in the world, only to subsequently fall flat and get overtaken by an up-and-comer.
Categories: Sustainable Living

Why the 2018 Solar Tariffs and Tax Cuts Didn’t Kill Solar PPAs

Renewable Energy World - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 20:36
Solar in the United States is still going strong despite headwinds put forth by the current administration. Why is that?
Categories: Sustainable Living

Tesla downsizing residential solar business bought for $2.6bn

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 14:35

Company to close facilities and end Home Depot partnership after buying company founded by Elon Musk’s cousins

The electric car maker Tesla is sharply downsizing the residential solar business it bought two years ago in a controversial $2.6bn deal, according to three internal company documents and seven current and former Tesla solar employees.

The latest cuts to the division that was once SolarCity – a sales and installation company founded by two cousins of Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk – include closing about a dozen installation facilities, according to internal company documents, and ending a retail partnership with Home Depot that the current and former employees said generated about half of its sales.

Related: Tesla whistleblower claims company is 'doing everything it can to silence me'

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Categories: Sustainable Living

Illinois Energy Law Lures Northeast Commercial-Industrial Solar Developer

Renewable Energy World - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 11:06
A major developer of large-scale solar in the Northeast is launching operations in Illinois, expecting the state’s new energy law to jumpstart the industry in a way similar to what happened in the company’s home state of Massachusetts.
Categories: Sustainable Living

The Public Health Benefits of Adding Offshore Wind to the Grid

Renewable Energy World - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 11:06
New plans to build two commercial offshore wind farms near the Massachusetts and Rhode Island coasts have sparked a lot of discussion about the vast potential of this previously untapped source of electricity.
Categories: Sustainable Living

Solar Prices Nosedive After China Pullback Floods Global Market

Renewable Energy World - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 11:06
Solar panels were already getting cheaper this year, and then China pulled the plug this month on about 20 gigawatts of domestic installations. The result was a glut of global inventories, and now prices are plunging even faster.
Categories: Sustainable Living

Some rare good climate news: the fossil fuel industry is weaker than ever | Bill McKibben

Guardian - Renewable Energy - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 10:00

From Wall Street to the pope, many increasingly see fossil fuels as anything but a sure bet. That gives us reason to hope

If you’re looking for good news on the climate front, don’t look to the Antarctic. Last week’s spate of studies documenting that its melt rates had tripled is precisely the kind of data that underscores the almost impossible urgency of the moment.

And don’t look to Washington DC, where the unlikely survival of the EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, continues to prove the political power of the fossil fuel industry. It’s as if he’s on a reality show where the premise is to see how much petty corruption one man can get away with.

And the third problem for the fossil fuel industry? That would be the climate movement

Related: The pipeline is surely in some people's best interest. But it's not what's best for Canada | David Suzuki

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Categories: Sustainable Living

BBOXX, DC Go Form Partnership for Pay-Go Solar in Southern Africa

Renewable Energy World - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 13:46
Two off-grid solar providers are teaming up to deliver energy services to the estimated 4.6 million people without access to reliable electricity in Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland.
Categories: Sustainable Living
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