China on track to ‘become the world’s renewable energy superpower.’
By Marc Prosser
April 4, 2019
Renewable energy demand and capacity are growing explosively.
When looking at numbers for wind energy production, China stands above all other countries. Figures released by the Global Energy Council in late February showed that China has installed far more wind power capacity, both on land and at sea, than any other country. So, why is China such a force when it comes to wind power? Moreover, will it continue to lead the way in the coming years?
China’s Lead In Wind and Other Renewables
China is approaching the end of its 13th Energy Technology Innovation Five-Year Plan. The plan specifically mentions wind energy as a focus point, identifying wind turbines with a megawatt (MW) production capacity of between 8 and 10MW as a key technology. By the end of 2020, China aims to have 210 gigawatts (GW) of grid-connected wind energy capacity. Its capacity at the beginning of 2018 led the world with around 187 GW, compared to 89 GW for the US in second place and 56 GW for Germany in third.
Wind energy isn’t the only renewable where China is the pacesetter. A recent report from the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, set up by the International Renewable Energy Agency, pointed to China as the country in the best position to ‘become the world’s renewable energy superpower.’
China is now the world leader in production, export, and installation of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and electric vehicles. It aims to produce 50 percent of its energy from non-fossil sources, including nuclear and renewable, by 2030. . . .
Read more in original article including numerous links at:
China Energy Investment and Electricite de France Group (EDF Group) have signed a deal to jointly develop an offshore wind power project in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, People’s Daily reported.
The project is the first offshore wind power venture with both domestic and foreign investment in China. A total of 7.94 billion yuan (US$1.18 billion) will be invested, with EDF holding a 35 percent stake, it said.
The first phase of the project, with a capacity of 300,000 kilowatts, has been under construction and will be connected to the grid by the end of this year. The second phase of a capacity of 200,000 kilowatts will start construction soon and be put into operation by 2020. ...
Scotland Produced Enough Wind Energy To Power Every Home
According to new numbers published by WWF Scotland this week, wind turbines generated enough electricity in October to power 3,045,000 homes in the U.K. — more than enough for all the homes in Scotland.
WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said in a statement that “while nuclear power plants were being forced to shut because of cracks, Scotland’s wind and sunshine were quietly and cleanly helping to keep the lights on in homes across the country.”
Based on figures provided by WeatherEnergy, part of the European EnergizAIR project, the data also showed that for those homes fitted with solar panels, there was enough sunshine to meet around 40 percent of the electricity needs of an average home.
This came around the time that EDF Energy announced it was temporarily shutting down four of its U.K. reactors, or around a quarter of its total nuclear generating capacity, due to longevity issues. The four EDF reactors under investigation were commissioned in 1983 and are officially scheduled to be taken out of service in 2019. ...
In the US, as a new report projects that renewables are slated to generate more electricity than coal-fired plants for the first time ever in April 2019. Renewable energy options have been steadily on the rise with more and more public and policy emphasis being put on reducing CO2 emissions to mitigate climate change.
This month will mark the first time that coal-generated electricity totals will fall behind totals generated by hydro, biomass, wind, solar and geothermal power, according to a recent report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The IEEFA analyzed data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) Short-Term Energy Outlook and found that the trend may even continue through the month of May.
The EIA Short Term Energy Outlook estimates that renewable energy will generate 2,322 megawatt-hours of electricity per day in April and 2,271 megawatt-hours per day in May. For coal, the EIA projects that electricity output will be 1,997 megawatt-hours per day in April and 2,239 megawatt-hours per day in May, slightly less than the expected outputs for renewables.
The trend is good news for the renewable energy sector, but there are certain seasonal factors helping to give renewables a leg up. The IEEFA emphasizes that many coal plants are taken offline during the spring and fall for cleaning, maintenance, and upgrades.
Overall, it would seem that coal is on the way out, especially when you factor in the popularity and growing demand for cheap natural gas as an alternative to coal. Natural gas has been in the lead in terms of electricity generated since 2018. The IEEFA projects that this trend of renewables and natural gas outpacing coal-fired totals will become more frequent in the future.
Republicans push anti-wind bills in several states as renewables grow increasingly popular
CLIFTON BRANDON, 43, AND HIS SON, TEAGAN, 10 YEARS, CLEAN A WATER TANK FOR THEIR 300-HEAD OF BLACK ANGUS CATTLE ON THE LONE STAR WIND FARM ON JUNE 9, 2007, 17 MILES NORTH OF ABILENE, TEXAS. CREDIT: ROBERT NICKELSBERG/GETTY IMAGES
In regions like the South, the potential for renewable energy abounds. That isn't going over well with fossil fuel interests.
APR 15, 2019
As the cost of renewable energy drops and its popularity rises around the country, Republican lawmakers in several key states are ratcheting up their attacks on wind power.
Data shows that renewable alternatives to energy sources like coal are increasingly cheaper, in addition to helping offset greenhouse gas emissions. But as they continue to gain prominence, power sources like wind are becoming a popular target for those with a vested interest in fossil fuels. Now, opponents are using everything from national security arguments to targeting tax incentives in order to hobble wind power.
“It’s the inevitability of change. [The] renewable industry is creating jobs, bringing money into the communities… it just gets harder and harder to justify why we shouldn’t be doing them,” said Molly Diggins, state director for the Sierra Club’s North Carolina chapter, in an interview with ThinkProgress.
North Carolina is one of several states in which lawmakers are pushing new proposals to undercut wind energy. State Sen. Harry Brown (R) has long positioned himself as a wind power opponent and this legislative session he is pushing Senate Bill 377, the “Military Base Protection Act.” ...
The Missouri House passed legislation Thursday that could effectively block one of the nation's largest wind energy projects by prohibiting its developers from using eminent domain to run a high-voltage power line across the Midwest.
The House vote targets a $2.3 billion project that would carry electricity generated by Kansas windmills on a 780-mile (1,255-kilometer) path across rural Missouri and Illinois before hooking into a power grid in Indiana serving eastern states.
The project's private developers say it has the potential to bring affordable, renewable energy to millions of homes. But the long-delayed power line has faced opposition from some property owners in its path and trouble clearing some regulatory requirements.
It appeared to overcome a major hurdle last month when Missouri utility regulators reversed previous denials and granted their approval — a step that could allow developers to pursue condemnation cases to acquire easements from unwilling sellers.
A coalition of municipal utilities has already agreed to buy a portion of the 500 megawatts of power that would be made available in Missouri — a deal that helped persuade utility regulators that the project is in the public interest.
Then legislation intended to block that passed the House 115-35 and now heads to the Senate. If the Missouri legislation against eminent domain becomes law, the Grain Belt Express power line could be zapped — or at least forced to zigzag along a new route, if developers can find cooperative landowners.
Houston-based Clean Line Energy Partners has been working since 2010 to develop the direct-current line capable of transmitting about 4,000 megawatts of power. Chicago-based Invenergy announced last fall that it was acquiring the project, though the sale still needs regulatory approval.
Invenergy spokeswoman Beth Conley said the company is disappointed that Missouri lawmakers are attempting to stop the project. She said the power line could result in $32 million in payments to Missouri landowners and $7 million in property taxes to local Missouri governments in its first year of operation.
The Missouri Public Utility Alliance said the cheaper wind power from the transmission line could save $12.8 million annually for the residents served by 39 municipal utilities.
But some lawmakers said discounted electricity rates for certain people shouldn't justify taking property rights away from others. Though most opponents focused on the potential use of eminent domain, Republican Rep. Tim Remole also questioned the wisdom of relying on renewable energy.
"The wind does not always blow, and the sun does not always shine," Remole said. "We can depend on upon fossil fuels."
One of the project's defenders is Democratic Rep. Deb Lavender, whose suburban St. Louis hometown of Kirkwood plans to purchase some of the wind power.
"It's time for us to take our head out of the coal bin and realize there is a future for our children on this planet that we don't seem to be watching out for," Lavender said.
While in Iowa, clean energy advocates suspect the state’s largest utility is secretly behind a new organization claiming to represent farmers, consumers and businesses that oppose the state’s solar policies.
Solar Advocates Suspect Iowa Utility Is Behind Group Critical Of Net Metering
Locally generated solar and wind energy could already replace almost three-fourths of electricity made by U.S. coal plants for less than the cost of continuing to operate those plants, according to an analysis released today by two clean energy research groups.
By 2025, the share of “at risk” coal generation will jump from 74 percent to 86 percent, adds the report by Energy Innovation Policy & Technology in San Francisco and Boulder-based Vibrant Clean Energy. ..
U.K. PARLIAMENT FIRST GOVERNMENT IN THE WORLD TO DECLARE A CLIMATE EMERGENCY
The U.K. parliament declared an environment and climate emergency on Wednesday. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader who put the motion forward, called the move “a huge step forward,” according to the BBC. “This can set off a wave of action from parliaments and governments around the globe.”
The motion asks the U.K. government to achieve net-zero emissions before 2050. It also calls for government officials to come up with proposals on how to fix the U.K.’s natural environment and deliver a “zero waste economy” within the next 6 months, according to the BBC.
The state of emergency was one of the key demands of the environmental group Extinction Rebellion, which led extensive climate protests in London in April. The protests – which were joined by celebrities like Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson and teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg – paralyzed parts of London.
A Labour motion calling for the UK Parliament to be the first in the world to declare an environment and climate emergency was unanimously passed.
Climate campaigners have hailed the UK Parliament’s declaration of a climate emergency – a key demand of recent protests by Extinction Rebellion – as historic.
The motion was put forward by Labour MPs, and also states that Parliament “recognises the devastating impact that volatile and extreme weather will have on UK food production, water availability, public health and through flooding and wildfire damage”.
It also notes the UK is missing targets to protect fauna and flora, and that cuts to
the funding of conservation body Natural England are a barrier to solving the problem.
Greta Thunberg comes to Rome
Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate change activist, participated in the Fridays For Future rally in Piazza del Popolo in Rome on 19 April.
Sixteen year-old Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg tweeted: [UK Climate Emergency Declaration is]“Historic and very hopeful news. Now other nations must follow. And words must turn into immediate action.”
This prospect concerns Greta, among many other young people.
The Davis City Council declared a climate emergency on March 5 in response to the efforts of Davis citizens trained by The Climate Mobilization. The following is an except from a letter written by Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD, Founder and Director of The Climate Mobilization:
'Yesterday Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn brought a successful motion to UK Parliament to declare an Environment and Climate Emergency and begin a process of rapid decarbonization.
'"Are we content to hand down a broken planet to our children? That is the question members must ask themselves today. We have the chance to act before it’s too late. It’s a chance that won’t be available to succeeding generations. It is our historic duty to take it,” Corbyn said in his statement.
'The UK declaration follows declarations in Wales and Scotland, months of school strikes, and two weeks of Extinction Rebellion occupations that shut down large areas of London, all demanding that the government “Tell the truth and act like that truth is real!”'
Megacities around the world are being forced to contend with rising sea levels, extreme storms, and sinking infrastructure. By 2100, billions of people could be displaced by climate change unless governments meaningfully address the environmental crisis.
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo said on Tuesday that the government is preparing to spend $33 billion to move its capital city because rising levels threaten to submerge Jakarta, the Financial Times reports.
It would be the first time that a country moved its capital because of climate change.
The city, home to 10 million people, has been sinking into the the ocean twice as fast as the global average of coastal megacities, according to the BBC. By 2050, 95% of North Jakarta is expected to be underwater.
Already, the city is facing increasingly severe flooding and coastal erosion. The advance of sea levels is compounded by the city’s overdevelopment and mismanagement of groundwater supplies. As the city depletes groundwater supplies, roads and infrastructure are sinking into the ground in a phenomenon known as subsidence, BBC reports.
Instead of improving the city’s resilience to climate change, developers throughout Jakarta are building new properties in areas highly vulnerable to sea level rise and extreme storms.
The city is also dangerously overcrowded, with traffic jams costing the national economy $6.8 billion annually, NPR notes.
All of these factors have spurred the government to look for an alternative home base.
President Joko Widodo, popularly known throughout the country as Jokowi, told the press that three cities are in the running for the relocation, but before the plan can be approved, major preparations have to be made, including building appropriate infrastructure and raising the funds to enable the transition.
Jokowi also said that the move has been discussed for years now, indicating that government officials have long known that rising sea levels would make Jakarta unsuitable as a capital city.
Indonesia is ranked by HSBC as the 30th most vulnerable country to climate change, but the report also said that it has the ability to effectively adapt by investing in sustainable infrastructure and reforestation.
Residents in Jakarta worry that the relocation will merely shift the environmental degradation of the capital elsewhere.
"I hope the city will develop and the education will become as good as in Jakarta," a high school student told the BBC. "But all the land and forest that's empty space now will be used. Kalimantan [the Indonesian portion of Borneo] is the lungs of the world, and I am worried we will lose the forest we have left."
Jakarta’s relocation is a stark reminder of the urgency of climate change. For decades, governments have failed to meaningfully address the environmental crisis caused by greenhouse gas emissions pumped into the atmosphere.
Now the consequences of that inaction are being felt around the world — and by the end of the century, more than 2 billion people could be displaced by rising sea levels.
TELEVISION VIEWERS WHO SEEK OUT nature documentaries for epic panoramas and valiant battles between predator and prey might be in for a bit of a shock when they watch the latest National Geographic Channel series, Hostile Planet.
At first, the six-part series, which premieres in the United States in April 2019, uses some of the classic tropes of wilderness film making. There are epic panoramas of mountains, oceans, deserts, jungles, and grasslands. There are valiant battles among rock star species: jaguar versus caiman, snow leopard versus mountain goat, an eagle duel. Then the plot twists.
Rather than focus on beasts' intra-animal-kingdom strife and the glories of wild nature, the series centers on animals' struggle to live in a world being swiftly transformed by humans. The title⎯Hostile Planet⎯is a giveaway. This isn't the kind of wildlife documentary that celebrates nature as womb and home. Earth, we are told, is an increasingly unforgiving environment where only the strongest will survive.
The second tip that this is a departure from typical nature documentaries? Series host Bear Grylls, the outdoorsman best known for attempting to thrive in inhospitable places as the star of Man vs. Wild. In a stark departure from Sir David Attenborough's measured, wondrous delivery, Grylls infuses the natural world with survivalist swagger. He waxes apocalyptic as animals contend with avalanches, wildfires, extreme temperatures, and other catastrophic weather⎯then mimics their fortitude as he scales barren peaks and paddles wild waters.
While Grylls's jovial vibe tempers the brutal realism, the series puts no gloss on grim news. "Animals have had to adapt more in the last 50 years than in the previous 6 million years," director Guillermo Navarro told Sierra, referring to a segment on rockhopper penguins, which have experienced a drastic population reduction as fish stocks have declined. "Every year the stakes of surviving are going to get harder and harder."
. . .
Hostile Planet is distinctly contemporary, and it's clear that the show's creators geared the program to a younger, more environmentally "woke" audience. "Two and a half years ago, when we started filming, it seemed edgy," producer Tom Hugh-Jones, of Planet Earth II acclaim, told Sierra. "But now it feels untenable to make a wildlife show that doesn't acknowledge the planet's situation."
Despite its candor, Hostile Planet isn't a downer. Its main characters are showcased in dramatic, life-affirming moments⎯crossing ever-widening rivers and overcoming mid-hunt injuries. The majority survive, often in surprising ways. Yet viewers know that they might not get so lucky next season, when Earth may be even less forgiving. Ultimately, the series is a stunning if cautionary celebration of those animals that are managing to cling to the hostile edge of existence⎯for now. .
On Earth Day, April 22, 2019, the Mayor's Task force
on Climate Action and Adaptation announced
the release of the proposed
Columbia Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP).
This plan was developed over the past sixteen months with extensive input from the citizens of Columbia,city staff, task force members and a consultant with expertise in climate action plan development.
The Task force and City Staff have engaged the public at every major milestone in the plan's development. Now we need the citizens of Columbia to review the plan and provide feedback and support. There are multiple opportunities coming in the near future.
1. Request a speaker for an organization meeting such as for civic clubs, churches, PTA, Neighborhood Associations, etc.. Presentations can be customized to meet time requirements. The presentation will help acquaint your audience with the Plan. Request a speaker at Sustainability@CoMo.gov
Our pitch for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act made for a successful tabling at the Columbia Earth Day Festival. People liked hearing that it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent in the first 12 years and 90 percent by mid-century, and that it already has 32 cosponsors. They also liked hearing about our new Dial Congress strategy and signed up to help.
To learn how you can help make the Energy Innovation Act a reality, please attend our May 11 meeting at:
Columbia Chamber of Commerce Bldg. 300 S Providence Rd, Columbia, Missouri 65203 (South Doors, left of main entrance)