I’ve been thinking a lot about innovation this month. I wrote about how wind construction companies are innovating to lower costs in our cover story and talked about that in my video above.
But I’m also thinking about BIG innovation — the world-changing kind. In April, I attended the Powering Progress Together (PPT) forum, hosted by Shell and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). Visionaries from both organizations presented their views of the future of energy.
Cho Khong, Chief Political Analyst for Shell, described two views of the future: one shows gas as the primary energy source with wind and solar also supplying large shares of energy while another shows solar power is the primary energy source by the 2030s.
Amory Lovins, Chief Scientist with RMI sees only an all-renewable future, dominated by distributed solar and wind.
Each visionary began his presentation with photos taken in the early 1900s. In only 13 years, the Easter Parade in New York City went from one filled with horses and buggies to one in which there were no horses of any kind. That means that those buggy manufacturers had only a short time to abandon their business as usual scenarios, retool and become automakers. If they waited too long, they were beat but if they jumped in too early, the market may not have been ready for them.
As Lovins stated, the pioneers have the arrows in their backs, the settlers get the land. It may be time for major fossil fuel companies to start ensuring their companies are ready for a future with wind and solar as a primary energy source and EVs dominating the transportation sector. If they are not already doing that, it may be too late.
The theory of the tragedy of the commons holds that those driven solely by self-interest will act to the detriment of the common good. One simple illustration is the depletion of fisheries by unregulated overfishing. Our industrial history also demonstrates the principle. Capitalism’s quest for maximized profit made industry race to the bottom, seeking places that allowed production at its lowest immediate cost. Now, those economies that prospered from that race are recovering from its impacts. The opportunity in the commons is global recognition of the competitive advantage in efficiency.
This fall, rangers protecting rhinos, tigers and other endangered wildlife in Nepal's famous Chitwan National Park will get a solar energy system that will light and power an isolated ranger outpost deep in the jungle.
The myth of solar PV competition is both subtle and blatant. “Competition is good for the PV industry” rings hollow based on today’s market. If that is true, then what are the reasons and can something be done about it. There just may be a difference between good healthy competition and organizational consuming unhealthy competition.
The governments of Germany, Denmark and Belgium backed a pledge to install 60 GW of new offshore wind power next decade, more than fivefold existing capacity. Energy ministers from the three countries joined chief executives from 25 companies including Dong Energy A/S, the world’s biggest offshore wind developer, to issue a statement pledging to work together to increase investment and reduce costs.
RusHydro intends to sell its 560-MW Sevan-Hrazdan Cascade located on the Hrazdan River in Armenia, according to Nikolay Shulginov, RusHydro chief executive officer.
Energy storage software and services company Greensmith Energy, E.On Climate and Renewables, and Tucson Electric Power inaugurated the Iron Horse Battery Energy Storage Project
Two commercial buildings, a factory and an aerospace research facility, both consumed 40,000 kWh of energy in January 2017. However, their energy consumption patterns were very different. The factory maintained a uniform energy consumption of 1,333 kWh per day, and for no given period did their power draw exceed 56 kW.
The short answer is no. Although recent statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration say wind exceeded hydro in total generating capacity at the end of 2016, their capacity numbers don’t include pumped storage in hydropower.
Guam Power Authority (GPA) has chosen to install two energy storage systems that will help reduce intermittent power outages that Guam has been experiencing from net metering penetration and utility-scale renewable energy projects.
General Electric Co. said it’s ready to ship a 1.5 billion euro ($1.7 billion) offshore wind platform destined for the North Sea, underscoring the industrial giant’s commitment to clean power.
One of the most vexing issues in the PV industry today is that of technical masking. Masking is all about accurately identifying technical issues, finding what is behind the curtain, the unseen, what is real but not being measured, and what is taking place that is not being accounted for.
Octopus Investments Ltd. started generating power from five subsidy-free solar plants in Italy in the latest sign that clean-energy can be profitable without government support.
In a world full of alternative facts, it should come as no surprise that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) no-longer stands for Protecting the Environment. On Jan. 20, only a day before millions of Americans took to the streets to march in support of climate action, the EPA made major changes to its website.
Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall has announced a plan to restructure its hydroelectric power division in Germany by the end of 2019.
Energy storage services firm Stem Inc. is developing an aggregated fleet of customer-sited energy storage operating in Texas.
The California Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would create a 10-year rebate program for the state’s local energy storage market. According to a bill analysis from the California legislature, SB 700 directs the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), by Dec. 1, 2018, to establish a program called the Energy Storage Initiative (ESI) to provide rebates to customers of California’s investor-owned utilites for the installation of customer-sited energy storage systems that are dispatch capable to achieve market transformation.
The U.S. residential solar market is projected to contract in 2017 after at least 16 straight years of growth, reflecting a shift in sales strategies by some major installers and increasing pressure from utilities to adjust incentives.
As the U.S. offshore wind industry emerges, private and state actors alike are eager to establish critical port infrastructure. Clear strategy from the get-go, say stakeholders, can reduce costs and accelerate deployment of offshore capacity.