Updates In This Issue: Children As Change Makers - Kehkashan basu -Accelerating Climate Action - NOAA Global Climate Report - Japan's Race Against Time - Day Zero in South Africa - Baobabs on the Brink - World Annual Energy Growth - World Electric Car Fleet - Heat Wave in Pakistan - Mission 2020 - Citizens' Climate Lobby Meetings (TODAY) July 2 & 14 - What Is the World Doing? - China - India - Italy - Netherlands - Spain - The Saudi Arabia of Solar Title Goes to ... Chile - Mongolia - Canada Leads the G7 in Oil & Gas Subsidies - McKibben: Trudeau Is A Disaster for the Planet - Mindbending Jacek Yerkel
There is unprecedented international support to address climate change. International commitments are incorporated within the Sustainable Development Goals, while the 2015 Paris Agreement aimed to unite the world's nations in a single effort to tackle climate change.
Two subsequent agreements seek to limit international carbon emissions from aviation and reduce HFCs – one of the more potent greenhouse gases. Yet, delivering on these agreements will require unprecedented cooperation.
The challenge now is clear. How can companies, governments and civil society work together most effectively to meet these commitments?
"I beg you to shake off this indifference to the environment before it is too late. ... I do not want to grow up wearing a gas mask, in a world depleted of it's glorious flora and fauna." - Children's Peace Prize Winner, Kehkashan Basu
Kehkashan Basu is a 16 year old environmental and child rights activist from Dubai, Youth Ambassador for the World Future Council, winner of the 2016 International Children's Peace Prize, member of KidsRights Youngsters, and Founder of the Green Hope Foundation. Green Hope trains children and leads conferences on future justice, sustainable consumption, biodiversity conservation, social upliftment, reducing carbon footprint, and gender equality. Kehkashan’s ultimate goal is for all young people to stand up for environmental and human rights.
Spreading the message of peace, happiness and sustainability has been her passion since she was only 8 years old and she has worked tirelessly to enlist the support of children and youth across geographical boundaries. Green Hope provides a networking platform to children and youth in the region to carry forward the Rio legacy
through several environmental workshops and ground level projects on climate justice, biodiversity conservation, waste segregation and reversing land degradation. It now has over 1000 members across the Middle East, India, Brazil, USA and Canada. Green Hope Projects include the planting of over 5,000 trees.
In her role as the voice of children and youth, K. Basu has spoken at over 50 United Nations and other international summits, travelling to over 20 countries. Her internationally acclaimed work on sustainability has resulted in her appointment as the Youth Ambassador of World Future Council.
The issues that Green Hope focuses on are Climate Change, Sustainable Consumption and Production, Gender Equality, Biodiversity Conservation, usage of Clean Energy and their overall impact on children's rights.
"The environment is in us, not outside of us. The trees are our lungs, the rivers our bloodstream. We are all interconnected, and what you do to the environment, ultimately, you do to yourself." ---Ian Somerhalder
The first four months of the year were characterized by warmer-than-average conditions across much of the land and ocean surfaces. The most notable warm temperature departures from average were present across the Middle East and Far East Russia, where temperatures were +3.0°C (5.4°F) or higher.
Some of these locations had record warm April temperatures. Other areas with record warmth were observed across New Zealand and its surrounding ocean, as well as parts of Australia, and scattered across parts of the western and southern Pacific Ocean, Africa, and the Atlantic Ocean.
Near to cooler-than-average April temperatures were observed across much of North America, Scandinavia, western Russia, eastern tropical Indian Ocean, central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, and across parts of the Atlantic Ocean. No land or ocean areas had record cold January–April temperatures.
According to NCEI's Regional Analysis, four of six continents had a January–April temperature that ranked among the eight warmest such period on record, with Oceania having its warmest on record.
More than 70 people have died and dozens are missing as torrential rain hammered parts of Japan, with the prime minister, Shinzo Abe warning that rescue workers faced a “race against time”. Rainfall prompted disaster warnings on the south-western main islands of Kyushu and Shikoku, as local media reported the death toll had risen overnight to 76, with 92 people missing. Most of the deaths have occurred in Hiroshima prefecture. "There are still many people missing and others in need of help," the prime minister told reporters on Sunday.
Two million people have been ordered to evacuate. "We've never experienced this kind of rain before," a weather official said after record rainfall caused rivers to burst their banks in Hiroshima and other areas, setting off floods and landslides. These areas are facing unprecedented danger as more downpours are expected, officials warn. In the town of Motoyama, on Shikoku island, 583mm (23in) of rain fell between Friday and Saturday morning.
At one point, evacuation orders or advisories were issued for 4.72 million people, while around 48,000 members of the self-defence forces, police and firefighters were mobilised to search for trapped or injured people or to recover bodies, Kyodo news said. PM Shinzo Abe said rescuers were "working against time".
The heaviest rainfall Japan has seen in decades has caused widespread reports of cars being swept way by floodwater and people taking refuge on the roofs of their inundated homes – a frequent hazard for people living in mountainous areas.
Japan meteorological agency, which has issued its highest level warning for affected areas, said three hours of rainfall in one area in Kochi prefecture reached an accumulated 26.3cm (10.4 inches), the highest since such records started in 1976.
Nobue Kakumoto, another Hiroshima resident said her neighbourhood had been “turned into an ocean”. She added: “I’m worried because I have no idea how long it will stay like this.”
Flooding has engulfed entire villages, submerging streets up to roof level. In some places, just the top of traffic lights could be seen above the rising waters.
“My house was washed away and completely destroyed,” Toshihide Takigawa, a 35-year-old employee at a gas station in Hiroshima, told the Nikkei daily on Saturday.
In some places, with the flooding making roads impassable, rescuers were using boats or helicopters to airlift those affected to safety.
Several major manufacturers, including carmakers Daihatsu and Mitsubishi, said they had suspended operations at plants in the affected areas. Abe, who has set up an emergency response centre, said that emergency workers were “doing their utmost” to locate the missing and rescue people trapped by rising floodwater.
Cape Town became the latest poster child of drought in the Southern African region in February. The dramatic declaration of Day Zero—the date on which the taps are turned off—set for July 7 of this year — caught the attention of the world. In light of this looming deadline, the city has implemented severe water restrictions, such as daily limits on water per person; severe, mandatory decreases in water usage by agricultural users and commercial properties; and bans on unnecessary water usage.
In this manner, South Africa’s drought-stricken Cape Town has pushed back its estimate for “Day Zero,” when taps in the city run dry and people start queuing for water, to 2019. Rain is in the forecast, and data show dam levels rising elsewhere in the country. Restrictions will remain in effect.
On The Brink Of Extinction
Climate change possibly to blame for the death of Africa’s oldest baobab trees
Africa’s ancient and instantly recognisable baobab trees which have lived for millennia have suddenly begun dying within the space of a few years of one another.
Southern Africa is one of the fastest warming areas worldwide.
Baobabs are the biggest and longest-living angiosperm trees. In a paper published this week by Nature Plants, researchers investigated and dated all known large and old baobab trees in continental Africa and surrounding islands, identifying over 60 trees.
The researchers stated, “We report that nine of the 13 oldest and five of the six largest individuals have died, or at least their oldest parts/stems have collapsed and died, over the past 12 years.”
Adrian Patrut of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Romania, who co-authored the paper commented via email, “We were very shocked to record so many demises in such a short time span and across such distances, especially since these magnificent millennial trees were supposed to still outlive many generations of humans.” We suspect that an unprecedented combination of temperature increase and extreme drought stress were responsible for these demises.”
“In some cases, extreme weather conditions (due to climate change) have also played a critical role in the collapse of the trees. For instance, the Chapman baobab flushed leaves and produced flowers long before the rainy season started. Having depleted its water resources, it was no longer able to stay erect and collapsed. That year, the rainy season was several months late and many animals died. Witnesses claim that birds even dropped dead out of the sky,” said Patrut.
As levels of anthropogenic carbon dioxide continue to build in our atmosphere, we can expect to lose more of our mega-flora in the coming years, unless our world leaders take urgent action to tackle climate change. For the sake of future generations, let’s hope they do so in time to protect some of nature’s most wonderful creations.
World Economic Forum
The key trends that will shape renewable energy in 2018
Throughout the entire modern age, mankind has used fossil fuels to meet its energy requirements. Coal, oil and natural gas have lit homes and powered machinery for centuries, driving civilization forward. But as human development accelerated, the unsustainability of such energy became apparent. Global fuel supplies deteriorated and the atmosphere became more polluted. The search for renewable sources of energy began, to ensure a sustainable future.
Today, a fifth of the world’s electricity is produced by renewable energy.
In 2016, there were 160GW of clean energy installations globally. This is 10% more than in 2015, but they cost almost a quarter less. New solar power gave the biggest boost, providing half of all new capacity, followed by wind power, which provided a third, and hydropower, which gave 15%. It was the first year in history that added solar capacity outstripped any other electricity-producing technology.
World's Electric Car Fleet
Several countries have set steep capacity installation targets over the next 10 to 15 years, following COP21. Emerging giants such as China and India, aware of the excessive levels of pollution in many of their key cities, are leading this charge. Despite the US withdrawal, the targets in the Paris Agreement are still expected to be key drivers for future sector growth.
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Deadly Subtropical Storm Alberto Heads Into North Carolina - May 30, 2018
A news anchor and photojournalist covering Subtropical Storm Alberto were killed Monday while covering the storm in North Carolina. WYFF-TV's Mike McCormick and Aaron Smelwhen a tree collapsed on top of their vehicle on Highway 176, the station reported. McCormick joined the news outlet as a reporter in April 2007 and became an anchor in 2017, while Smeltzer shot news for the outlet's Spartanburg bureau for over a decade. Storm Alberto moved inland causing mudslides and flooding https://weather.com/safety/hurricane/news/2018-05-28-storm-alberto-gulf-coast-florida
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The hottest May on record moves on to June with The New Normal: Temperatures Are Trending Up Across U.S. published May 16th, 2018, by Climate Central. Normal temperatures, defined as the 30-year average at a location, are trending up across most of the U.S. Since 1980 the average continental U.S. temperature has risen 1.4°F. Stronger hurricanes, droughts, and floods are forecasted with rising temperatures.
We’re fast approaching the point when scientists say climate change could tip toward catastrophe, with sea levels rising faster along our coasts, and storms growing more powerful, and droughts and other forms of extreme weather more disruptive.
The reality of climate change demands we move quickly toward a 100% renewable energy economy.
At this most decisive moment in human history, the world is equipped with a wealth of highly compatible, painstakingly researched and documented plans to save the planet.
Among them, The Climate Mobilization's Victory Plan, Project Drawdown, the U.S. DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratories vast series of studies, the Stanford Solutions 50 Plans for 50 States, the financial support provided by the Carbon Fee and Dividend championed by the Citizens' Climate Lobby, Elon Musk, the World Bank, among many others, and already in place in many countries.
Below is the intro to Mission 2020: The Climate Turning Point, assembled by an international team of leading scientists and institutions. While not unique among these plans, the 2020 report features up front and center the earth's current carbon budget and corresponding time frame. Highlighting in no uncertain terms that the place and time to act is here and now.
“We are not faced with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.” - Pope Francis
In the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, the world’s nations have committed to “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels”.
This goal is deemed necessary to avoid incalculable risks to humanity, and it is feasible – but realistically only if global emissions peak by the year 2020 at the latest.
Let us first address the importance of remaining well below 2°C of global warming, and as close to 1.5°C as possible. The World Meteorological Organization climate report1 for the past year has highlighted that global temperature and sea levels keep rising, reaching record highs once again in 2016. Global sea ice cover reached a record low, and mountain glaciers and the huge ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are on a trajectory of accelerating mass loss. More and more people are suffering from increasing and often unprecedented extreme weather events2, both in terms of casualties and financial losses. This is the situation after about 1°C global warming since the late 19th Century. Not only will these impacts get progressively worse as warming continues, but our planet also runs a growing risk of crossing critical tipping points where major and largely irreversible changes to the Earthsystem are triggered (see Fig. 1).
Fig. 1 Tipping elements in the Earth system, in relation to past global temperature evolution since the last Ice Age 20,000 years ago as well as future warming scenarios3. The Paris range of 1.5 – 2 C warming is shown in grey; the bars show increasing risk of crossing tipping points from yellow to red. ENSO = El Niño Southern Oscillation. EAIS = East Antarctic Ice Sheet
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS in Fig. 1) has likely already been destabilised, committing the world to at least three meters of global sea-level rise in coming centuries4 – an outcome that scientists have warned about since the 1970s5. The Greenland Ice Sheet – holding enough ice to eventually raise global sea levels by seven meters – may likewise be destabilised below 2°C6. Coral reefs have suffered pan-tropical mass bleaching in 2016 and are doing so again in 2017 as a result of warming oceans, and only if global temperature stays well below 2°C some remnants of the world’s coral reefs can be saved7. The Gulf Stream system (THC in Fig. 1) appears to be already slowing8 and recent research indicates it is far more unstable than previously thought.
Because overall global temperature rise depends on cumulative global CO2 emissions, the Paris temperature range can be translated, with some uncertainty, into a budget of CO2emissions that are still permissible. This is the overall budget for the century and it lies within the range of 150 to 1050 Gt of CO2, based on updated numbers from IPCC9. At the current global emission level of 39 GtCO2 per year, the lower limit of this range would be crossed in less than four years and is thus already unachievable without massive application of largely unproven and speculative carbon dioxide removal technologies. Even the CO2 budget corresponding to the mid-point of this uncertainty range, 600 GtCO2, is equivalent to only 15 years of current emissions. Fig. 2 illustrates three scenarios with this budget and different peaking years for global emissions. It makes clear that even if we peak in 2020 reducing emissions to zero within twenty years will be required. By assuming a more optimistic budget of 800 Gt this can be stretched to thirty years, but at a significant risk of exceeding 2°C warming.
It is still possible therefore to meet the Paris temperature goals if emissions peak by 2020 at the latest, and there are signs to show we are moving in that direction as global CO2 emissions have not increased for the past three years. We will need an enormous amount of action and scaled up ambition to harness the current momentum in order to travel down the decarbonisation curve at the necessary pace; the window to do that is still open10. In summary, declining carbon emissions after 2020 is a necessity for meeting the Paris temperature limit of “well below 2 degrees”.
Two Years to Safeguard Our Planet - By 2020, here’s where the world needs to be:
Fig. 2 Three illustrative scenarios for spending the same budget of 600 Gt CO2, with emissions peaking in 2016 (green), 2020 (blue) and 2025 (red), and an alternative with 800 Gt (dashed).
II. RENEWABLES OUTCOMPETE FOSSIL FUELS AS NEW ELECTRICITY SOURCES WORLDWIDE
III. ZERO EMISSIONS TRANSPORT IS THE PREFERRED FORM OF ALL NEW MOBILITY IN THE WORLD’S MAJOR CITIES AND TRANSPORT ROUTES
IV. LARGE-SCALE DEFORESTATION IS REPLACED WITH LARGE-SCALE LAND RESTORATION, AND AGRICULTURE SHIFTS TO EARTH-FRIENDLY PRACTICES
V. HEAVY INDUSTRY – INCLUDING IRON & STEEL, CEMENT, CHEMICALS AND OIL & GAS COMMITS TO BEING PARIS COMPLIANT
VI. CITIES AND STATES ARE IMPLEMENTING POLICIES AND REGULATIONS WITH THE AIM TO FULLY DECARBONISE BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURE BY 2050
VII. INVESTMENT IN CLIMATE ACTION IS BEYOND USD $1 TRILLION PER YEAR AND ALL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS HAVE A DISCLOSED TRANSITION STRATEGY
In 2015, more than 190 nations and many thousands of non-state actors jointly resolved to safeguard and strengthen the social, environmental and economic fabric of life on our shared planet. Together we committed to manifesting a more prosperous, resilient and equitable world in 2030, and set a 1.5-2°C temperature rise limit, which fundamentally underpins this better world.
We must now act with great urgency to fulfill our shared commitment. If we are to be successful, greenhouse gas emissions must begin their steady decline by 2020. Bending the curve of emissions any later will all but eliminate our chance to stay within 1.5°C and move the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals beyond our reach. Given the stakes, failure is simply not an option.
What this moment of history demands of us is not a burden; it is a tremendous opportunity. By rising to the challenge, we can create more resilient, secure and fulfilling livelihoods; enjoy access to cleaner air and water, vital to our health; live in better buildings and more livable cities; spur innovation and improve our resource efficiency, creating new jobs, economic opportunities and growth; and regenerate the extraordinary ecosystems that make our planet rich. The intrinsic value of these benefits extends beyond economic metrics but, by 2050, efforts to slow climate change could make us $19 trillion richer in that sense too1 .
The evidence that a 2020 climate turning point is within our grasp is growing every day. Global CO2 emissions have already plateaued, and are expected to remain flat over the coming years thanks, in no small part, to China’s economic transformation, as well as the exponential growth in renewables worldwide. There are many signs that an irreversible direction of travel has been set: investment shifts, technology breakthroughs and cost reductions, a deepening understanding of eco-system services, resilient business and government leadership, as well as a staggering upsurge of citizen activism - all indicate that change is inevitable.
But when it comes to climate, timing is everything and we need to step-up the pace of change, accelerating a rapid drawdown in global emissions by 2020. Our shared mission is to ensure 6 critical milestones are met by 2020:
1. Renewables outcompete fossil fuels as new electricity sources worldwide
2. Zero emissions transport is the preferred form of all new mobility in the world’s major cities and transport routes
3. Large-scale deforestation is replaced with large-scale land restoration, and agriculture shifts to earthfriendly practices
4. Heavy industry - including iron & steel, cement, chemicals and oil & gas - commits to being Paris compliant
5. Cities and states are implementing policies and regulations to fully decarbonize buildings and infrastructure by 2050
6. Investment in climate action is beyond USD $1 trillion per year and all financial institutions have a disclosed transition strategy
Just as the Paris Agreement was a deeply shared endeavor, so delivering on its promise must be too. Our success in Paris was not an accident; it was the result of us rallying behind a common strategy, and abandoning resignation for a can-do attitude that accepted this challenge as our own. In this next phase, we will need to come together once again. Meeting these 6 milestones will not be easy, and we will need to support each other along the way to ensure the transition is just and equitable. But just as we delivered success in Paris, so we can deliver the 2020 climate turning point too. This is our moment. This is our great opportunity. ...
World resources Institute - water shortages around the world
World map of agricultural use - Marc Haim's Presentation
Solutions for a Cultivated Planet
Increasing population and consumption are placing unprecedented demands on agriculture and natural resources. Today, approximately a billion people are chronically malnourished while our agricultural systems are concurrently degrading land, water, biodiversity and climate on a global scale. To meet the world’s future food security and sustainability needs, food production must grow substantially while, at the same time, agriculture’s environmental footprint must shrink dramatically. Here we analyse solutions to this dilemma, showing that tremendous progress could be made by halting agricultural expansion, closing ‘yield gaps’ on underperforming lands, increasing cropping efficiency, shifting diets and reducing waste. Together, these strategies could double food production while greatly reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture.
SEE REFERENCES AT https://www.nature.com/articles/nature10452
Mid-Missouri Chapters in Washington D.C.
Hear about D.C. progress at July meetings
One of the most exciting events at our June conference and lobby day is the reception following our day on Capitol Hill. This year was no exception, with one highlight being when some of our good friends from Kansas got up on stage and announced that their Republican Congreswoman, Lynn Jenkins, had told them that they could tell our group that she'd be joining the Climate Solutions Caucus. The Caucus grew from 78 prior to the lobby day to 84 by the end of June. The Caucus began this Congress following the 2016 election with only 6 Republicans and 9 Democrats, and now it is balanced at 42 R's and 42 D's. While we do not have a Missouri Representative on the Caucus yet, come to our July meeting to get the full report on our Washington D.C. events, the progress we're making and how you can move climate policy forward.
Our guest for the July 14 national call will be Adele Morris of the Brookings Institution. She is a senior fellow and policy director for Climate and Energy Economics. Her research informs critical decisions related to climate change, energy, and tax policy. She is a leading global expert on the design of carbon pricing policies.
As always, joining us for the national call is optional. What’s most important is participation in our local meetings.
CCL Jefferson City July 2 meeting
The Jefferson City group will meet in advance of the national call this month to hear the update from those who lobbied on Capitol Hill, and then make plans for July. Kudos go to the Jefferson City group for making the most calls to a Missouri Representative on Congressional Call Day. We'll be talking about those details at the meetings.
Missouri River Regional Library 214 Adams St., Jefferson City, MO 65101 Story Hour Room (Upstairs, but not the big room at the top of the stairs. It is the room at the back of the children's reading/activity area.) 5:15pm to 6:30pm
Contact Jeff Holzem about the Jefferson City meeting.
CCL Columbia July 14 meeting
Columbia Chamber of Commerce Bldg. 300 S Providence Rd, Columbia, Missouri 65203 (South Doors, left of main entrance) 11:45am — Arrive for national call Noon — National call begins 12:45pm — Local meeting begins 2:15pm — Wrap things up
RSVPs not required, but they're nice via Facebook event page or email
We don't serve lunch, but you're welcome to pack one.
George Laur Columbia Group Leader Missouri Co-Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Holzem Jefferson City Group Leader email@example.com
Where Investment in Renewables is Booming
By: Mark Leon Goldberg on April 06, 2018
Today’s map comes from a new UN-backed report Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018. As the name suggests the report, which was a joint effort of the United Nations Environment Program and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, examined investment patterns in renewable energy generation.
In recent years China has topped new investments in renewables — by a long shot. The report says that in 2017, China invested about $126 billion in renewable energy, which is more than 45% of the global total. For its part, renewable energy investment in the United States was $40.5 billion in 2017, which represented a 6% drop compared to 2016.
Globally, increases in renewable energy were largely driven by new investments in solar energy, which were up 18% last year. Again, the increases in solar were driven by a surge of investment from China. Some $86.5 billion of China’s $126 billion investment in renewable energy was for solar.
Overall, the reports finds that the proportion of energy generated by renewable sources around the world was about 12% last year. This figure excludes large hydroelectric, but includes: wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, marine and small hydroelectric.
This open letter was signed in advance of the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015. It begins:
We are CEOs from 79 companies and 20 economic sectors. With operations in over 150 countries and territories, together we generated over $2.1 trillion of revenue in 2014.
In the spirit of the World Economic Forum to foster public-private cooperation, we affirm that the private sector has a responsibility to engage actively in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to help the world move to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy.
We call upon governments to take bold action at the Paris climate conference (COP 21) in December 2015 to secure a more prosperous world for all of us. We are already taking action, and we stand ready to work together with the international community to help deliver practical climate solutions. Below is a statement we prepared that outlines our vision:
Climate change is one of the biggest global challenges that will shape the way we do business now and in the coming decades.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21), to be held in Paris in December 2015, aims to deliver a new climate change agreement that will put the world on track to a low-carbon, sustainable future while keeping the rise in global temperature to under 2 degrees Celsius.
This coalition, comprising CEOs from 79 companies with operations in over 150 countries and territories, and facilitated by the World Economic Forum, believes the private sector has a responsibility to actively engage in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and to help lead the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. This coalition further seeks to catalyze and aggregate action and initiatives from companies from all industry sectors — towards delivering concrete climate solutions and innovations in their practices, operations and policies.
The undersigned, as CEO climate leaders, urge the world’s leaders to reach an ambitious climate deal at COP21, aligned with the UN Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We extend an open offer to national governments to meet and co-design tangible actions as well as ambitious, effective targets that are appropriate for their different jurisdictions.
The companies we represent are taking voluntary actions to reduce environmental and carbon footprints, setting targets to reduce our own GHG gas emissions and/or energy consumption while also collaborating in supply chains and at sectoral levels. Technological innovations will be an important element.We agree on the need for inspirational and meaningful global action and aligned messaging. We will act as ambassadors for climate action, focusing on solutions and economic opportunities and using “the science debate is over: climate change is real and addressable”* as one of the common themes to raise public awareness.We will actively manage climate risks and incorporate them in decision making — not least to realize growth opportunities. We will take steps to implement effective strategies to strengthen not only our companies’ but also societal resilience.
The global solar energy market has enjoyed growth at an exceptional rate over the recent years, facilitated by the rising solar power output from world’s top solar energy producing countries. With the growing demand for alternative and eco-friendly energy that significantly reduces carbon emissions around the world, many major countries have been rapidly increasing the capacity of their solar power facilities and other renewable energy installations over the past few years. While the global solar energy market continues to surge, the world’s top solar energy producing countries, including China, Japan, Germany and the USA are expected to maintain their leadership in global solar energy capacity in the future.
Within global renewable energy installations, solar power plants have enjoyed the fastest growth in volume over the past few years. Thanks to the vast availability and certainty of sunlight, solar power projects have outperformed other forms of renewable energy sources such as wind and geothermal. Moreover, with the advancements in technologies, including concentrated solar power generation techniques, and a decline in prices of PV modules, solar energy has become the most cost-effective source of renewable energy.
According to the recent report from BP, total solar PV power generating capacity reached 301 GW by the end of 2016, representing a 33.2% increase from 2015. A total 75 GW of new installations were added to the global solar energy capacity in 2016. The largest increments in 2016 were recorded in China (34.5 GW) and the US (14.7 GW), together accounting for two-thirds of the growth in global solar capacity. Japan provided the third largest addition (8.6 GW). China also leads in terms of cumulative installed capacity (78.1 GW), with more than a quarter of the global total. Japan (42.8 GW) moved past Germany (41.3 GW) to take second place, with the US (40.3 GW) now close behind Germany.
Read more at: https://www.bizvibe.com/blog/top-solar-energy-producing-countries/
BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity more than doubled last year, turning the country into the world’s biggest producer of solar energy by capacity, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said on Saturday.
Installed PV capacity rose to 77.42 gigawatts at the end of 2016, with the addition of 34.54 gigawatts over the course of the year, data from the energy agency showed.
China will add more than 110 gigawatts of capacity in the 2016-2020 period, according to the NEA’s solar power development plan.
Solar plants generated 66.2 billion kilowatt-hours of power last year, accounting for 1 percent of China’s total power generation, the NEA said.
The country aims to boost the mix of non-fossil fuel generated power to 20 percent by 2030 from 11 percent today.
China plans to plough 2.5 trillion yuan ($364 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020.
INDIA'S ENORMOUS SOLAR PLANT IS THE BIGGEST IN THE WORLD
China may be largest producer of solar energy in the world, but neighbouring India is no less ambitious when it comes to renewable energy. Expected to become the world’s third biggest solar market after China and the USA, it is putting its money where its mouth is. A case in point: the country has just put the world’s largest solar power plant into service. This is good news not just for India’s future energy security but also for its people’s short-term energy needs.
A signatory of the Paris Agreement, India is forecast to meet its renewable energy commitments three years early and exceed them by nearly half. The country is aiming to generate nearly 60% of its electricity from non-fossil sources by 2027.
Solar is a particular focus: it makes up only 16% of renewable energy capacity now, but is set to contribute over half of the renewables target by 2022: 100 gigawatts of 175 GW. Large installations will be key to achieving this, and the government is planning 33 solar parks in 21 states, with a capacity of at least 500 megawatts each.
Plugging a gap
Prioritising solar is not just an investment in the future, though. India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, and its energy use has doubled since 2000, according to the International Energy Agency.
Last year, the country declared that it had a power surplus for the first time ever, though The Hindu reported that 300 million people still don’t have access to electricity and power cuts continue to be ‘rampant.’ The issue, it appears, is that capacity remains unused in the grid because some state power companies simply cannot afford to buy sufficient electricity.
The Indian government has recently launched an energy ‘blueprint’, and raised its investment target for solar energy to $100 billion in an attempt to address both these near-term issues as well as securing its energy supply far into the future.
This will be important even if China is about to overtake India with an even larger solar power plant which is capable of producing 850 MW of power, enough to supply up to 200,000 households.
The Adani Group’s new site in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu covers an area of 10 square kilometers and has a capacity of 648 megawatts (MW). This is nearly 100 MW more than the previous record-holder, the Topaz Solar Farm in California.
The plant was built in only eight months, comprises 2.5 million individual solar modules and cost $679m to build. It is estimated that it will produce enough electricity to power about 150,000 homes at full capacity.
Made up of five plants in a single location, the solar photovoltaic project has helped push India's total installed solar capacity across the 10 gigawatt mark, which only a handful of countries can claim.
TAMIL NADU PRODUCES MORE WIND POWER THAN SWEDEN OR DENMARK
India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu is a world leader when it comes to renewable energy.
Its wind turbines have a combined installed capacity of 7.9 gigawatts (GW). This puts it ahead of many countries regarded as champions of green power. For example, Sweden is aiming to become one of the first countries to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. But it has a wind-power capacity of 6.7GW, a tenth less than Tamil Nadu. Denmark, considered by many as the birthplace of the modern wind energy industry, has a wind-power capacity of 5.5GW.
Figures from the Global Wind Energy Council show that there are only five European nations plus China, the US, Canada and Brazil that had larger installed wind-power capacities than Tamil Nadu in 2017.
As well as being India’s number one state for wind energy, Tamil Nadu is also top for rooftop solar, and third for overall solar capacity including large-scale solar farms.
Analysis by the Institute For Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) reveals that as a proportion of its overall electricity generating capacity, the Indian state’s renewable energy puts it among the top countries and states in the world.
The IEEFA predicts that Tamil Nadu could nearly double its wind-power capacity to 15GW by 2027.
Solar-power capacity in the state is predicted by the IEEFA to increase more than six-fold over the same period, from today’s total solar capacity of 1.7GW to 12GW of solar farms and 1.5GW of rooftop solar panels by 2027.
This rise in renewables is predicted to coincide with a slide in coal’s share in Tamil Nadu’s electricity mix, from 69% in 2017 to 42% 10 years later.
India on track to double wind capacity
While Tamil Nadu may currently lead the way on renewables, other areas of India are poised to catch up and even overtake the southern state.
Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan are already ahead of Tamil Nadu when it comes to solar-power generation, while five Indian states installed more new wind turbines than the 262 megawatts (MW) of capacity added by Tamil Nadu in 2017.
According to the World Resources Institute, the Indian states that added more wind-power capacity than Tamil Nadu last year are: Andhra Pradesh (2.2GW); Gujarat (1.3GW); Karnataka (882MW); Madhya Pradesh (357MW); and Rajasthan (888MW).
Wind energy is India’s biggest source of renewable electricity by far, accounting for nearly three times as much generating capacity as solar.
The Netherlands has a highly ambitious renewable-energy plan in the works.
The country hopes to build the world's largest offshore wind farm by 2027, along with a 2.3-square-mile artificial island to support it.
As The Guardian notes, the farm would sit at Dogger Bank, a windy and shallow site 78 miles off the East Yorkshire coast. It would deliver power to the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and later Belgium, Germany, and Denmark.
As of its completion in December, 2010, the Montalto di Castro 84 MW solar power plant developed and built by SunPower is [was] the largest power plant in the world, based on annual energy produced.
SunPower worked in close collaboration with the entire community of Montalto di Castro, making use of local design firms and skilled labour, and carefully addressing concerns about the potential cultural and environmental impact of a solar power plant. We took special measures to minimise the visual and environmental impact of the plant, including regenerating the ecology of the site, preserving the Etruscan archaeological remains, and avoiding use of concrete foundations to prevent adverse effects to the farmland.
SunPower has installed its proprietary technology and will be in charge of ongoing operations and maintenance for 20 years. Our non-invasive tracker technology allows for dual use with natural flora and livestock for vegetation management, while maximising energy output.
DOWNLOAD MONTALTO DI CASTRO SOLAR POWER PLANT CASE STUDY (PDF)
Location: Montalto di Castro, Italy SunPower Product: SunPowerTM E18 / 305W panels SunPower™ T0 tracker System size: 84 MW (dc) Annual Energy Production: 140 GW Number of Panels: 276,156 Covered Surface Area: 166 hectares
Energy independence for the entire community
Creation of local jobs
Training of local workers in management and maintenance positions
Stimulation of the local economy
Dual agricultural use e.g. sheep grazing
Promotion of environmental awareness in the community
Spain’s solar energy boom of the past decade has waned, but the Iberian peninsula nurtured innovative technologies that may pave the way for future large-scale renewable energy.
AN EARLY FOCUS ON SOLAR
The sun-drenched swaths of land in southwestern Spain seem custom-made for large solar projects. Add generous government subsidies to this hospitable climate, and the solar opportunity in regions like Andalusia and Extremadura would seem almost too good to be true.In fact, it was too good to last.In the wake of an overheated solar market and the global financial crisis, Spain has slashed its renewable energy subsidies. And the solar boom under the Mediterranean sun has gone bust—a stunning reversal of fortune: In 2008, 40 percent of the world's solar installations were in Spain.But it's hardly the end of the road for the technologies nurtured on the Iberian peninsula.
Spanish companies are working to export their know-how to the United States, Latin America and even to other European Union nations. Although the United States developed experimental solar power towers in the Mojave Desert in the wake of the 1970s energy crisis, it was nearly three decades later that Spain put the world's first commercial solar tower online in March 2007, 15 miles west of Seville in southern Spain's Sanlúcar la Mayor. The Planta Solar 10 solar tower plant, seen above with sunlight glinting at the top of its 377-foot (115-meter) tower, can provide electricity for as many as 5,500 homes and store energy for up to 30 minutes.
Like all concentrating solar plants, power towers use steam turbines to drive a generator to produce electricity. But developers long believed using circular rows of mirrors to focus the sun's rays on a central "power tower" would be more efficient than other types of reflector arrays, and would make it easier to integrate technology to store energy.From a distance, the result is an otherworldly scene akin to a high-tech crop circle or an alien amphitheater. Up close, the projects resemble fields of giant mechanical sunflowers craning their shiny faces toward a glowing tower.
A shortage of fossil fuels has stimulated a boom in investment in solar energy in Chile
After introducing regulations that opened up Chile’s oligopolistic energy sector to competition, it only took until October this year for the government to reach its target of generating 20 per cent of electricity with renewable sources by 2025, mostly with solar and wind power. It is a measure of how far Chile has come that the pledges by candidates in the presidential election campaign for the country to produce 100 per cent renewable energy by 2040 were taken seriously, and considered feasible by experts. “I don’t think anyone thought [that Chile’s transformation to renewables] would happen so quickly — and it happened without subsidies as they don’t believe in market intervention here,” says Bart Doyle, who runs the operations in Chile for the Irish company Mainstream.
Please use the sharing tools found via the email icon at the top of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found here. https://www.ft.com/content/f175ba48-d96e-11e7-a039-c64b1c09b482 “It was a straight fight between renewables and everything else. Not only did renewables win, but they won hands down,” he adds, pointing out that most other countries provide incentives to companies generating electricity through renewable sources. Although Chile’s energy auctions to supply the grid are open to all companies on equal terms, thanks to improving technology and Chile’s renewables potential, they are able to produce solar energy at about half the cost of coal-fired power stations.
The silence at El Romero is deceptive. Broken only by the ambient hum of transformers and with almost no humans in sight, there is nevertheless plenty going on beneath the surface of the giant solar panels that cover 280 hectares of the arid mountain landscape of northern Chile. About 200 megawatts per hour pulse from Latin America’s largest solar power station into nearby transmission lines that stretch more than 600km south to the capital Santiago from its location in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest and sunniest places on earth.
“This is the face of the future of Chile,” says José Ignacio Escobar, general manager in Latin America for Spain’s Acciona, which built and operates El Romero. “Chile may be poor in old energy, but it is very rich in renewables. Can you see a single cloud?” he asks, gesturing towards the indigo sky that is so clear that the world’s most powerful telescopes are built in the Atacama.
It is only recently that Chile began to harvest the formidable power of the Atacama’s sun. Just five years ago, the country produced negligible amounts of renewable energy and was heavily dependent on imports from its unreliable neighbours, suffering from blackouts and some of the highest energy prices in the world. But this shortage of fossil fuels has stimulated an unprecedented boom in investment in renewable — and especially solar — energy since then, despite a contraction in investment in almost all other sectors during a period of economic stagnation at the end of the commodities boom.
Chile is now producing some of the cheapest energy in the world, fueling hopes that it will become a solar version of Saudi Arabia. Having joined Mexico and Brazil among the top 10 renewable energy markets in the world, Chile is leading the clean energy transformation in Latin America, where investment in renewables has grown at double the global rate over the past decade.
“It’s the great silent revolution of [Michelle] Bachelet’s government, which she will be remembered for later,” says Eugenio Tironi, a sociologist, referring to Chile’s outgoing president who will be succeeded by the winner of presidential elections on December 17. Although the rapid introduction of renewable energy in Chile using market incentives is arguably Ms Bachelet’s greatest achievement, the leftist leader has preferred to trumpet reforms at the core of her agenda that are widely criticised for being poorly designed and implemented, and stifling investment.
Chile and Saudi Arabia are two very different countries, but both of them are building significant solar power – and at the lowest prices globally. It’s important to talk about both deals, with their unique qualities, so we better understand what to expect from other regions globally.
On October 3rd, Saudi Arabia announced a bid of 1.79¢/kWh for a 300MW farm. Much of the reaction to this Saudi Arabian bid was that it wasn’t a sustainable bid outside of the country – with some suggesting there was under the table money or that companies weren’t going to profit. My opinion is that high levels of interparty trust leading to low loan rates, along with some of the best sunlight in the world, drove the record pricing. Whatever the exact mix of variables that led to the record low price – it truly seems unique to a wealthy, family ruled country like Saudi Arabia.
In Chile we do have possibly the best sunshine for solar power on the planet. This is due to a combination of the driest place on earth, being on the equator and at elevation. Almost these levels of sunlight exist in Saudi Arabia, the Sahara Desert, parts of the western Australia, southwestern Africa, and the desert area between the USA and Mexico. Outside of these locations your solar panels will fundamentally produce less electricity due to fewer photons hitting them. So Chile has that going for it, and that’s nice.
However, we also have less than perfect credit and the standard interparty trust building that costs legal and finance fees. This past summer, S&P ”downgraded Chile’s long-term foreign currency rating to ‘A+’ from ‘AA-.’” Moody’s ‘changed outlook on Chile’s ratings to negative.’ In the Saudi deal, loans rates could have been 0% because the groups involved were all family heading separate government businesses, and questions about financial strength 20 years out probably didn’t come up. When Moody’s and S&P lower the credit ratings of a country, the international solar power developers like Enel end up paying higher loan rates.
The most telling piece of data though is the 26% price fall from last year to this year’s bids in Chile, and that they align almost perfectly with the price falls we saw in the Middle East between last and this year. Late last summer, a record bid around 2.42¢/kWh for a 1GW+ project landed in Abu Dhabi. This year, the price fell to about 1.79¢/kWh in the Saudi project. Both the Saudi and Chilean price falls occurred after the majority of the collapse in solar panel pricing we saw at the end of the Chinese construction season in 2016. Maybe this year’s price fall is partially related to solar panels, but not them falling in price – instead their amazingly increasing efficiency.
Analysts will tease out what percentage of the price is due to low credit and how much is due to great sunshine. The finance houses will then fine tune their models to better position themselves at the next large solar construction cash deployment opportunity.
This story is part of a special series that explores energy issues. For more, visit The Great Energy Challenge.
MONGOLIAN HERDERS FACE CULTURAL AND CLIMATE CHANGE ON ROAD TO NEW FUTURE
With about 100 sheep and goats, Jugder Samdan makes just enough to scrape by as a nomadic herder in Mongolia, basking in the sun as he watches over his animals, but he worries about the future. Samdan has seen major changes during his 70 plus years on the vast semi-arid grassland, or steppe, in central Mongolia's Arkhangai province, with shifts in politics and society impacting one of the world's last remaining nomadic cultures.
But what most concerns Samdan and fellow herders is climate change as droughts, harsh winters, and over-grazing threaten traditional livelihoods and drives younger people to the over-crowded capital, fuelling pollution, crime and mental illness.16-year-old Tsendmandakh Altantsetseg says of the traditional nomadic life, "Nature is changing. The grasslands are turning into deserts. Rivers and streams are disappearing,."
"Everybody moves to the city," Samdan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation wrapped in a felt jacket outside his ger, a traditional white, circular herder's tent or yurt made of felt. "There are too many people there."
About one quarter of Mongolians still live a traditional nomadic life in the Central Asian country sandwiched between Russia and China which has four times the land mass of Germany but is thinly-populated with about 3 million people.
But life is changing fast and about 68,000 herders a year have moved to the city since 2001, according to Ulaanbaatar's Deputy Mayor Batbayasgalan Jantsan, setting up sprawling informal ger districts lacking facilities like water and power...
Canada provides more government support for oil and gas companies than any other G7 nation and is among the least transparent about fossil fuel subsidies, a new report reveals.
“Fossil fuel subsidies undermine carbon pricing, work against the achievement of Canada’s climate targets, encourage more fossil fuel exploration and production, and allocate scarce public resources away from other priorities like health care, education and renewable energy,” says the report, which ranks the progress of G7 countries in meeting their pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.
The report comes as Canada prepares to host this week’s G7 summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, only days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced federal government plans to purchase the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which will ship diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to B.C.’s coast for export.
The study was co-authored by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Overseas Development Institute (a London, U.K.-based independent think tank) and Oil Change International, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization focused on the transition to clean energy.
Canadians support phase out of fossil fuel subsidies
Accompanied by a new Ekos poll, the research found a large majority of Canadians are strongly opposed to using public money to support oil and gas companies and want to see billions of dollars a year in subsidies phased out.The exception was Alberta — the heart of Canada’s oil and gas industry — where people polled were concerned about the economic impacts of removing government support for oil and gas corporations.
Even so, 48 per cent of Albertans polled disagreed with public subsidies for oil and gas companies. “We need to be attentive to these perspectives and concerns of the workers and the communities that are most impacted by efforts to reduce carbon pollution,” said Patrick DeRochie, climate change and energy program manager for Environmental Defence, one of the groups that sponsored the new poll.
DeRochie said targeted programs should be put into place to ensure workers who depend on the oil and gas industry are front and centre in the transition to “clean jobs in a low-carbon future.” He said the positive economic impacts of using public money for initiatives that combat climate change must also be better communicated. “That means building up the green economy, clean air and water, improved public health outcomes and new economic opportunities,” DeRochie told The Narwhal.
“A strong argument can be made even to oil and gas producing regions that public money can be better spent than subsidizing this sunset industry, especially when you consider the costs that are growing every year in terms of the climate damages, health costs and growing liabilities for the mess left behind by the oil and gas industry.”
DeRochie defined a subsidy as “any tax provision, or benefit from the government that has the effect of giving one sector an advantage over another in the economy.”...
THE WORLD EXPECTED BETTER OF TRUDEAU AS HE BACKS GAS PROJECT
When it comes to the defining issue of our day, climate change, Trudeau says all the right things. He’s got no Scott Pruitts in his cabinet. Indeed, it was Canada’s environment minister, Catherine McKenna, who pushed at the Paris climate talks for a tougher-than-expected goal: holding the planet’s rise in temperature to 1.5C (2.7F).
But words are meaningless if you keep digging up more carbon, and that’s exactly what Trudeau is doing. He’s hard at work pushing for new pipelines through Canada and the US to carry yet more oil out of Alberta’s tar sands, which is one of the ugliest climate disasters on the planet.
Last month, speaking at a Houston petroleum industry gathering, he got a standing ovation from the oilmen for saying: “No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there.”
173 billion barrels is the estimate for recoverable oil in the tar sands. If Canada digs up that oil, according to the math whizzes at Oil Change International, it will produce 30% of the carbon to take us past the 1.5C target that Canada helped set in Paris.
Canada’s got company in this scam. Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull is supposed to be more sensitive than his predecessor, a Trump-like blowhard. When he signed on his nation to the Paris climate accords, he said: “It is clear the agreement was a watershed, a turning point and the adoption of a comprehensive strategy has galvanised the international community and spurred on global action.”
Which is a fine thing to say – or would be, if your government wasn’t backing plans for the largest coal mine on Earth. That single mine, in a country of 24 million people, will produce 362% of the annual carbon emissions that everyone in the Philippines produces in the course of a year. It is obviously, mathematically and morally absurd.
Trump, of course, is working just as eagerly to please the fossil fuel industry – he’s instructed the Bureau of Land Management to make permitting even easier for new oil and gas projects, for instance. And frackers won’t even have to keep track of how much methane they’re spewing under his new guidelines. And why should they? If you believe, as Trump apparently does, that global warming is a delusion, a hoax, a mirage, you might as well get out of the way.
Trump is doing everything in his power to ignite the planet and shove it past the tipping point, but at least he’s not pretending otherwise.