Top 5 Green Energy Good News Stories Today

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Solar power is poised to grow 6-fold by 2030 and could constitute between 9% and 13% of world electricity production by then. Price per kilowatt hour for solar is plummeting, so that it is on the verge of being the cheapest form of energy, outstripping coal in that regard.

In fact, the United Arab Emirates has just accepted a bid from Masdar to build a solar electricity generating farm for 2.99ยข/kWh. Coal is typically 5 cents a kilowatt hour, and this is less. Coal, game over.

China now plans to get between 1/4 and 1/3 of it electricity from wind turbines by 2030. Although 2030 sounds far away, it is as near to us as 2002– the year that Nelly complained ‘It’s getting hot in her’ [that’s not a typo) and Pink wanted to ‘Get this Party Started,’ and Condi Rice warned on Iraq that we didn’t want the smoking gun on its alleged WMD to be a mushroom cloud. China currently gets 70% of its electricity from coal, which is very, very bad for the earth and for our children and grandchildren. But this goal shows the PolitBuro is extremely serious about abandoning coal. Last year China reached 145 gigawatts of wind energy capacity. Coal is dead man walking.

The world’s largest wind turbine is being built for an offshore facility in Europe. This single tower can provide electricity to 10,000 homes.

Solar is now the fastest-growing new energy business in India. India now has 7.5 gigawatts of solar power and put in 2.2 gigawatts so far just this year. The World Bank is lending India $1 bn. for solar projects.

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Related video added by Juan Cole:

DD: “World Bank inks pact on solar energy with India”

3 Responses

  1. Often the largest air conditioning load is after the peak generation via solar. So add in the cost of the storage and then solar PV plus storage is rather more dear.

    Wind power requires some form of flexible backup due to vagaries of the winds, including ceasing. Here in the Pacific Northwest hydro power fills that role but most require the less efficient open cycle natural gas turbine.

    For a steady supply look to nuclear power plants, which China is building as rapidly as may be.

  2. Increased output from renewables is indeed heading in the right direction, but is it too little, too late?

    Even if the upper limit quoted, 13% of electricity, is reached by 2030, that amounts to only 3 or 4 percent of total CO2-e emissions.

    The remaining 96% will tip the world’s climate over the brink about 1 year later than with no renewables at all.

    Very much more carbon-free and/or carbon-sequestering capacity will be absolutely necessary, very soon.

    What can get us there?

    • From one standpoint it is already too late. Even if CO2 emissions were to be cut drastically in the next 5 years, there is enough CO2 in the environment right now that significant climate change is assured in the future.There needs to be a way to remove mass amounts of existing CO2 from the environment and then have alternative sources available for power generation in lieu of fossil fuels.

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