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New installed solar blows the doors all other new energy

Renewable installations in 2016 accounted for two-thirds of all new energy. Solar PV accounted for 43% of that. Worldwide, new coal and natural gas plants are lagging way behind new renewable energy.

Solar PV is entering a new era. For the next five years, solar PV represents the largest annual capacity additions for renewables, well above wind and hydro. This marks a turning point and underpins our more optimistic solar PV forecast which is revised up by over one-third compared to last year’s report. This revision is driven by continuous technology cost reductions and unprecedented market dynamics in China as a consequence of policy changes.

Germany renewable energy future hits speeds bumps

Germany has subsided $222 billion of renewable energy development. An impressive 33% of their power is from renewables. However, some Germans are paying much more for power while others get subsidies. Plus, emissions haven’t dropped much, primarily because Germany panicked after Fukushima, killed nuclear and brought back coal and because their businesses are booming with not much apparent regulation and planning for transportation emission.

The Green Party started in New Zealand. However Germany is where it really got going. Green roots go deep there. Greens have actual positions as powerful politicians in Germany and are part of the ruling coalition. Other members of the coalition oppose the current energy plans.

But that progress has been undone somewhat by the government’s decision to accelerate its phase out of nuclear power after the 2011 disaster in Fukushima, Japan. That has made the country more reliant on its sizable fleet of coal-fired power stations, which account for the bulk of emissions from electricity generation.

The country has yet to address the transport industry, where emissions have increased as the economy boomed and more cars and trucks hit the road. Unlike Britain and France, Germany has not set a date to end the sale of diesel and gasoline cars.

Tidal turbines online in Pentland Firth producing 6 MW

Tidal turbines, unlike other forms of renewable energy, produce absolutely predictable amounts of electricity because they use tides to generate energy. Atlantis Resources has just completed installation of four tidal turbines in the north of Scotland that look somewhat like wind turbines, except they are installed underwater. These models allow the electrical cabling to shore installed while underwater, wet, vs. previous models where it had to be done on dry land. This cuts down on maintenance costs and risk. 6 MW is roughly enough to power 6,000 homes. They plan to install 80 MW total.

The Atlantis supplied 1.5MW AR1500 turbine has been successfully reinstalled over the weekend and has commenced its commissioning procedures. With the reinstallation of the fourth and final turbine, MeyGen Phase 1A will now be capable of operating at its full 6 MW capacity generating full ROC and power revenues.

Nevada is funding startups for water innovation

Before someone gets snarky, please be aware that Las Vegas is a world leader in recycling and reusing water. Rainfall is captured in flood basins, goes through water purification and wetlands, then flows back into Lake Mead to be reused. The entire system works by gravity, no pumps are needed. Vegas has also been toilet-to-tap for years. All indoor water, including toilet water, is filtered, cleaned, and reused. The image shows the wetlands, where water is further cleaned after flowing through treatment plants via the ginormous Las Vegas Wash, which is lined with rubble from torn-down casinos to prevent erosion during flash floods. It’s also a bird sanctuary. Yes, in the Las Vegas area.

However, more can always be done. Nevada is now funding water startups to come up with innovative new ways to manage and save water.

Nevada is the driest state in the U.S. It’s no surprise there’s demand for technology to help us improve how we manage our water here,” said Allen. “Our hope is that by trying to coordinate demands for innovation we’ll end up attracting a cluster of technology companies, and create an ecosystem that kind of feeds back in on itself.”

WaterStart and its four water partners developed a priority list of innovations they want to encourage. These include water conservation improvements for hotels and commercial kitchens, technologies to capture nitrates and phosphates in wastewater as a resale commodity and identifying operational efficiencies for water utilities.

Solar PV is becoming the cheapest form of electricity.

Solar PV is half the price of coal and gas in many countries. This trend will accelerate. Unsubsidized solar will become the dominant and cheapest form of power worldwide. Interestingly, solar is more expensive in dinosaur countries like ours where troglodyte administrations insist coal will stage a comeback. It won’t. Renewable energy is the future. Not only is it cleaner, it’s cheaper. This from those crazed environmental radicals at Bloomberg.

While renewable energy continues to be more expensive in countries where coal and fossil fuels remain dominant, emerging projects elsewhere have managed to produce renewable electricity at lower costs. The Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) notes in a year-end assessment that solar power is now around half the price of coal and gas, making it cheaper than wind energy, and ultimately the cheapest form of new electricity.

BNEF predicts that, while coal and gas costs will stay low, renewables will still do better and will be the cheapest in many countries between now and 2040. Liebrich also says these favorable developments will continue regardless of subsidies: “renewable energy will beat any other technology in most of the world without subsidies.”