Monday, June 19, 2017

U.S. and U.K. set new solar and wind energy records

I have more good news about renewable energy, which is happening despite Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement to widespread condemnation and ridicule.  Newsy reports US sets new record for wind and solar power use.

For the first time ever, wind and solar power generated 10 percent of U.S. energy for a single month.
Scientific American reported the above, as well as some projections into the future.
The EIA projects that wind and solar will generate 10 percent of U.S. electricity year-round by 2020. But scientists say the country’s power supply could see a larger share of wind and solar by then for at least part of the year.

“I believe that by 2020, we will see the first 15 percent month, possibly a little sooner,” Clack said. “This will partly depend on the weather patterns in the year, but I could see substantial (wind and solar plant) additions before 2020 that will increase production to those levels.”
Scientific American also included some veiled editorial comment as part of its analysis.
The renewables milestone comes amid actions by the Trump administration to turn back federal climate policies intended to cut greenhouse gas emissions by embracing wind, solar and other renewable energy. Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax,” has re-committed the U.S. to coal energy, which was the largest single source of climate pollution in the U.S. until being eclipsed by the transportation sector last year.

Though the federal government is doubling down on coal, electric power companies are embracing less-polluting natural gas, wind and solar power as the cost of generating electricity from those sources falls.

March’s milestone “says that the Trump Administration is living in the last century,” Firestone said.
I agree with this statement.

Follow over the jump for news from across the pond.

The good news continues from the U.K. as The Telegraph reported UK sets new renewable energy record as wind and solar surge earlier this month.
A blustery start to summer has helped the renewable energy industry to its highest ever output as wind turbines and solar panels help to meet more than half of the UK’s electricity demand.

National Grid’s data at lunchtime on Wednesday showed that solar panels produced around 7.6GW of electricity while wind farms generated 9.5GW of power.

In addition, the UK burnt 2GW of renewable biomass, made from waste wood, and produced a modest amount of hydro electricity to help squeeze traditional power plants off the system.

The record 19.3GW output of renewable energy was enough to meet more than 50pc of midday power demand which reached 35.4GW.
The Telegraph article also concluded with a comment about the energy policies of the government.
Emma Pinchbeck, who heads up renewable energy trade body RenewableUK, said: "National Grid is confirming that low-carbon sources are generating 70pc of our electricity - with wind power the star amongst these sources."

She said the "incoming government should be proud of what the wind sector has achieved in the UK, and work with the industry to ensure that these record-breaking days for wind energy generation become our new norm".
Quite the contrast, isn't it?

The Guardian followed up on the success of renewable energy in the U.K. in Record levels of green energy in UK create strange new world for generators.
On what one grid manager called “stunning Sunday”, the carbon intensity of producing power – a key measure of progress towards climate goals – dropped below the “magic number” of 100g of CO2 per kilowatt hour for the first time. That’s the level that must be the norm by 2030, according to the government’s climate advisers.

Yet last Sunday was just one of a run of striking records for renewable power in Britain that pose profound questions for conventional generators and the companies which manage power grids.

On one Friday in May, solar power briefly eclipsed the UK’s eight nuclear power stations. The grid recently went without coal for an entire day for the first time, and the dirty fuel is now regularly absent from power supply for hours at a time.
This is not good news for utilities, as The Guardian wrote "As renewables play a greater role in the British market, they are making the price of power increasingly unstable,"  but it is good news for the planet.  It's so good, I'm bringing back Professor Farnsworth for the first time since I reported that the ozone hole was shrinking.

No comments:

Post a Comment