Running The Numbers On A Transition To Renewable Energy

Listen to the story on Science Friday.

Over a hundred nations around the world could shift their economies entirely over to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric, a new study has found. Writing in the journal Joule, researchers map out the blend of energy sources that each of the 139 countries would need to power themselves after completely switching residential, transportation, and industrial energy needs over to electrical power.

Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University and one of the authors of the report, says that a complete shift to renewable energy sources would not be as difficult as some say, and would bring both economic and environmental benefits.

The Energy 202: Eclipse tests growing power of renewable energy

Read the full story from the Washington Post.

On Monday, Mother Nature, seemingly unprompted, provided a test of one of the more controversial ideas tossed around by the energy and environmental staff installed by President Trump.

Here’s their question: Do recent changes to way power is generated in the United States — namely, more solar and wind, less coal and nuclear — mean the nation’s grid operators will not have enough power plants to meet electricity needs when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining?

Right now, the Energy Department is finalizing an overdue study asking whether the national electric grid can handle the lost of so-called “baseload” power plantas older coal and nuclear facilities are priced out of the electricity market by cheaper renewables.

“As the utility sector prepares for the short-term impact of a solar eclipse, a much larger problem looms for solar advocates — the diminishing value of intermittent solar as a reliable source of electricity,” said Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research and a member of Trump’s transition team for energy.

The grid reliability study has been delayed since June, though Shaylyn Hynes, a press officer at the Energy Department, told me it will be published “soon.”

But the concern over grid reliability got a real-world test on Monday when the moon cast its shadow across the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina, dampening solar energy generation in the top two states for solar capacity — California and North Carolina.

How the renewable energy transition could usher in an economic revolution

Read the full story at Insurge Intelligence.

In the sixth contribution to the INSURGE symposium, ‘Pathways to the Post-Carbon Economy’, Felix FitzRoy, Professor Emeritus at the School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews, argues that scepticism of the potential for a prosperous renewable energy ignores two key issues: the colossal, yet often hidden, economic costs of fossil fuels, including huge subsidies, many times greater than renewable energy subsidies; and the myriad economic dividends that could thereby open up when a renewable energy transitions weans us away from fossil fuel dependence. More details are in the book — An Introduction to Climate Change Economics and Policy, 2nd ed.Routledge, 2016, by Felix FitzRoy and Elissaios Papyrakis.

In this context, concerns about net energy decline, while understandable, might not account for what a renewable energy transition could achieve, with the right sort of support from both government and industry. For FitzRoy, we have still barely begun to tap into the potential to scale up for renewable energy in a way that is sustainable.

The key, he says, is not in any single renewable energy source — which alone would be insufficient — but in the way multiple renewable sources can be effectively combined and integrated through a smart grid.

Renewable Energy Prevented 12,700 Premature Deaths Over Nine-Year Period, Study Says

Read the full story in e360 Digest.

The expansion of wind and solar energy, and the resulting avoided emissions from fossil fuels, helped prevent up to 12,700 premature deaths in the U.S. from 2007 to 2015, according a new study in the journal Nature Energy.

Expanding Tribal Energy Development through Partnerships Webinar: Powering Your Community with Tribal Energy

Wed, Aug 30, 2017 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM CDT
Register at

Developing an energy project is multifaceted and involves many different parties including utilities, government agencies, developers, grid operators, and financing parties. In this webinar, speakers will address the steps to developing a one- to two-megawatt energy project located on property owned or controlled by a Tribe to serve the energy needs of the tribal community. Steps will include identifying a site or building structure(s) that is economically feasible; the environmental regulations impacting the project; the local, state and federal permits required to construct and operate the project; selling the electricity produced; leveraging government incentives; how the project will be connected to the grid, operated and maintained, and utilized to the fullest benefit of the tribe, among other considerations.

If you can not participate live, webinar recordings and slides can be found at:

India preparing database of R&D accomplishments in renewable energy

Read the full story in LiveMint.

Ministry of new and renewable energy has written to ‘institutions and organizations’ involved in renewable energy research to provide inputs on their achievements.

Can sustainable stadiums be a better deal for cities and environment?

Read the full story in Curbed.

Stadiums, specifically when it comes to funding and construction, can often be bad deals for cities. Manystudies and reports have argued that publicly subsidizing new and expanded stadiums often isn’t a good deal for the public.

In Washington, D.C., a new project suggests there many be other, more sustainable ways to help finance new stadiums that offer additional benefits beyond a new place to play.