June 20, 2016: Energy Matters: Renewables

Courtesy of American Energy Society and Eric Vettel.

 - Featured story: The 2016 Bloomberg New Energy Finance market forecast report has been released; here is a summary of the five most important points:

   * Clean energy investments are outpacing gas and coal 2 to 1;

   * There will be no golden age for gas, except in North America;

   * Wind and solar power will reach about 60% of installed capacity worldwide in the next 25 years; 

   * Cumulatively, clean power will explode, but the amount of power from sources that produce greenhouse gases will remain steady;

   * The climate fight will be won or lost in India.

 - The 65th BP Statistical Review of World Energy has also been released. Perhaps the most compelling of its many points: global energy consumption is expected to increase by 34% between 2014 and 2035. AES Premium Members have access to this report.

 - If current trends continue, the US solar industry will install 14.5 gigawatts of capacity in 2016, about double the 7.5 gigawatts capacity installed in 2015. As a comparison, 1 gigawatt is the equivalent amount of power produced by: 400 wind turbines, 1 nuclear power plant, 1,500,000 horses, or 1 lightning bolt. (Note: for the first time, solar accounts for a majority of new power generation.) 

 - The DoE has selected three offshore wind projects to fund (Atlantic City, NJ; Lake Erie; Maine) and withdrew its support for two others (Virginia Beach and Oregon). As a result, Dominion Virginia Power lost $40 million in federal money to help build a wind turbine demonstration project. The rumor in Richmond is that Dominion isn't terribly upset: no one wanted a construction project close to the naval military base; and, Dominion tends to prefer solar over wind.

 - Hydroelectric generation across the western US is on the rise as the region's protracted drought conditions improve.