Oct 3, 2016: Energy Matters: Renewables


  - Recommended: The DoE has released its 2016 “Revolution…Now” report. This report highlights the progress of five clean energy technologies: wind turbines, solar technologies for both utility-scale and distributed photovoltaic (PV), electric vehicles and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

The top 5 states that produce electricity with renewable sources plus hydro (as a percent of the total; first half of 2016):

1. Iowa (48%)

2. Vermont (44%)

3. Kansas (39%)

4. Oklahoma (39%)

5. California (36%).  

Note: Texas has increased its renewables production by the largest absolute amount, but only 17% of its electricity is produced with renewable sources.

Note II: States with the lowest production electricty by renewable sources (2% or less): Ohio, Missouri, Delaware, Kentucky, Tennessee, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Florida. 

 - Renewables on the retreat: In California, sales of new EV hybrid automobiles account for about 4.5 percent of all new-vehicle sales statewide. That’s down from nearly 7 percent in 2013; rooftop solar, which has surged more than 1,000 percent since 2010, will barely grow next year. Residential installations are expected to increase by 21 percent this year, but in 2017 that rate is expected to drop to about 0.3 percent. The change comes as utilities push back against mandates to buy the electricity and shifting tax policies curb demand.  

- No one knows if automated vehicles will reduce or increase energy consumption related to transportation. A respected study by NREL says that it will reduce consumption by about 90% or could increase it by about 200%. A

- A new study on the true costs of solar energy has found that costs associated with the variability inherent in solar energy (i.e., the unpredictability of when the sun shines) is not as costly as installation of solar panels.