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Renewable Energy News Us – The amount of electricity produced from renewable sources reached a record 28% in April, a breakthrough figure that shows how important renewable energy has become in the US energy market.
“It’s a ‘wow’ moment,” said Peter Kelly-Detwiler, analyst and author of “The Energy Switch,” a book on the transition to a carbon-neutral energy economy.
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The percentage of US electricity generated by renewable energy from wind, solar and hydropower dams steadily increased from 8.6% in April 2001 to 28% in April. The numbers were released this week by the US Energy Information Administration, which tracks energy data for the country.
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“Basically, the only things we’ve added to the grid in the last decade are wind, solar, and natural gas,” said Harrison Fell, an economist and engineer at Columbia University. .
This happens for two reasons: First, Kelly-Detwiler says, “Renewable energy is the most economically competitive energy currently available.” Said.
In 2021, a megawatt hour of electricity from a new wind turbine will cost between $26 and $50. The same amount of electricity from cheaper types of natural gas plants was between $45 and $74, according to Lazard, a financial consulting firm that publishes annual estimates of electricity generation costs.
Fell said federal and state mandates and incentives could also help increase the amount of clean energy used.
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“If you do the math that sums up the most profitable things, it’s going to be mostly wind and sun at this stage,” he said.
“Yes, April is usually a particularly windy month, and this spring was windier than most,” Fell said.
In the spring there will be less electricity from fossil fuels and nuclear energy. This is because fossil fuels and nuclear power plants spend less time on maintenance and refueling, which reduces production.
Historically, zero-carbon nuclear power plants have reliably produced about 20% of U.S. electricity. In April this number dropped to 18%, while the combination of wind and sun reached 19.6%.
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The decline in nuclear power is partly due to planned maintenance shutdowns, as well as the shutdown of two power plants, Indian Point in New York State and Palisades in Michigan, last year.
According to federal data, when all of America’s carbon-neutral energy sources (nuclear, wind, hydro, and solar) are combined, about 46% of U.S. electricity comes from sources that don’t contribute greenhouse gases to the environment.
“This is a milestone,” Kelly-Detwiler said. But in a few years I would look back and say, ‘The next ‘Wow!’ We’ll say it was a great stepping stone at this point.”
PS: A ‘Wow’ Moment: US Renewables Drops Record 28% in April What Drives Change? (2022, July 11) Retrieved September 19, 2022 at https:///news/2022-07-wow-moment-renewable-energy-april.html.
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According to a new analysis from the Brattle Group, six New England states are lagging behind in delivering the low-carbon energy needed to meet shared 2050 climate goals.
By the medium term, every state in New England has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% below 1990 levels.
Commissioned by the Community Solar Access Coalition, a solar industry association, late last month Brattle surveyed how much clean energy would be needed to achieve this goal if the region switched from fossil fuels to electricity.
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Despite the efficiency measures, the consultant said electricity demand will nearly double by 2050 – the same amount for the country if it follows the same path.
To deliver this energy, about four to eight times more renewable energy per year than planned for the region in 2020 must be online.
The currently planned low-carbon generation will reach approximately 830 MW of energy per year from 2030. This compares with an average of 4 to 7 GW needed in 2050 to achieve the climate targets.
“New England will need to significantly accelerate the deployment of clean energy sources to meet state-set greenhouse gas reduction targets,” said Jorgen Weiss, chairman of Bratler and co-author of the study.
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According to the report, the need is increasing with the growth of wind and solar technologies over the past 20 years. During this time, according to the report, global annual wind installations have increased by more than 11% on average and solar PV by about 41%.
Committed to buying 1,500 megawatts of electricity from yet-to-be-built offshore wind farms in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and elsewhere, it quickly created an industry.
But policymakers and the public are often unaware that if states “electrify everything”, rapid preparations will take decades.
“It’s hard for people to imagine that we haven’t reached a plateau,” Weiss said. “I don’t think the decision-makers are fully aware, nor do I think the public is aware of it.
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“And if their mindset is, ‘How can we build so many things?’ If that’s the case,” Weiss added, we risk a downturn.
In some corners of the energy policy world, Brattle failed to consider the potential role of next-generation nuclear and coal for major emissions reductions, among other technologies.
In three scenarios, the market for new cars, trucks and buses will inevitably shift to batteries and hydrogen propulsion as building owners abandon natural gas and oil in favor of electric pumps for heating and cooling. In one scenario, the renewable gas can be stored and used to generate heat or electricity.
Importing hydropower from Quebec, onshore wind in Maine and offshore wind from other states requires additional shipping Projects must obtain permits, possibly through local opposition
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The area’s offshore wind plans have faced objections from the fishing industry, helping to delay what would become the country’s first utility project in Massachusetts waters.
Annie Hawkins, executive director of the Alliance for Responsible Offshore Development, which represents fisheries groups, wondered how much specific land would be needed for states to meet even short-term offshore wind goals.
“It really doesn’t matter how many spaces it takes to get an idea of what the overall impact on fisheries will be,” he wrote in an email to E&E News.
Overall, according to the Brattle analysis, the annual clean energy replenishment will need to increase by about 9% per year from 2050.
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But Weiss said that if New England’s renewables continue to decline into the 2020s, the region will need to build more as we approach the 2050s, potentially providing an incentive for clean energy workers.
“If we slow down and don’t speed up, the window we can do regularly will close soon,” he said.
Courtesy of E&E News, LLC E&E provides daily essential energy and environmental news at www.eenews.net.
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