Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news.
Solar panel industry repays its energy ‘debt’: study – Climate-friendly electricity generated by solar panels in the past 40 years has all but cancelled out the polluting energy used to produce them – The whole of the solar industry, all of what has been built up to and including this morning – minus all of the clean electricity produced, is net zero officially. Now, this still means the solar industry has contributed to our current total CO2 volume in the atmosphere – and future production will be part of the CO2 released – but, from here on out all production, essentially will be lower than the clean energy being produced globally. Another cool observation – authors found that for every doubling in solar capacity installed, energy used to produce solar panels decreased by 12-13 percent, and greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 17-24 percent. In general – a solar system will cover its carbon budget in 12 months.
California regulators weigh whether the state needs more power plants – This is what we really want to see start happening. When utility-scale energy generation is being discussed, solar or wind+storage are the leading players because they are cleaner. This pull back on natural gas plants has a lot to do with a power glut in California, but never before has there been true discussion of replacement with renewable sources.
Macron Seeking Stiff Carbon Costs to Avert Climate Change – $33.50/ton is the value Macron is pushing to Merkel to make as the floor carbon price, and then hoping that $/ton value spreads to broader Europe. Macron is described to me as a centrist politically, so it is surprising to hear that value coming from a ‘centrist’ – but France is more socially conscious as a whole (and we’re in Europe). Carbon tax won’t add anything to France’s nuclear heavy electricity bills – but will add it to Germany’s coal. $33.50/ton = adds $.02/kWh gas, $0.035/kWh coal & $0.30/gallon for gasoline.
China CO2 market launch set for November at earliest: government researcher – Speaking of carbon taxes – if the world’s largest contributor to CO2 takes a swing at the market, it going to have a global effect. Market was originally expected to launch in the first half of 2017, but regulators have struggled to deal with a variety of problems, including the valuation of permits trading on existing pilot exchanges, as well as data accuracy and transparency problems in some industrial sectors – It’s not going to be easy to make those who made their money off of pollution suddenly take it into consideration.
An image making the rounds again on the tubes – thought you might appreciate some math. How can 2 million tons of coal turn into about 7 million tons of CO2? Coal is carbon is the C of CO2 – atomic mass of 12. Oxygen is the O – and has an atomic mass of 16. Two Oxygens combine with the coal when it is burnt and breaks apart to an individual C to create CO2. Combine their atomic masses of 12+16+16 and we get a new atomic mass of 44. That original 2m tons of coal and 7m tons of CO2 – is a similar number to an at0mic mass of carbon at 12 to a new mass of CO2 at 44. Similarly to how a gallon of gas, weighing 6.3 pounds, will produce 20 pounds of CO2.
Offshore wind turbines vulnerable to Category 5 hurricane gusts – uniquely high-resolution simulations showed that under Category 5 conditions, mean wind speeds near the storm’s eyewall reached 90 meters-per-second, well in excess of the 50 meters-per-second threshold set by current standards – which leads to – wind direction changed by as much as 55 degrees between the tip of the rotor and its hub, creating a potentially dangerous strain on the blade. Concurrently – large turbine arrays (300+ GW installed capacity) may diminish peak near-surface hurricane wind speeds by 25–41 m s−1 (56–92 mph) and storm surge by 6–79% – So, maybe we ought be paying wind turbine installers insurance money taking on risk?
That’s pretty cool – 74% of America cares, at least some, about the environment – Thank you.
Two tweets because of the data point – 5 years in a row more money spent on capacity for renewables greater than fossils (capacity is not equal to fuel) –
Header image – 850MW solar plant in Longyangxia, China as seen from low earth orbit
Considering residential solar? Understand Solar will connect you with local contractors. Tweet me to pick apart quote.
For more electric vehicle, autonomous transport and clean technology news, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Newsletter, RSS or Facebook to get our latest articles.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.