Renewables are Winning

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Renewables are Winning

Postby KeithE » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:01 am

From the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis:
U.S. Power Sector Outlook 2021

Key Figure:

Image

Natural Gas also doing well but read last paragraph in Exec Summary

Executive summary:
The scope and speed of the transition away from fossil fuels, particularly coal, has been building for the past decade. That transition, driven by the increasing adoption of renewable energy and battery storage, is now nearing exponential growth, particularly for solar. The impact in the next two to three years is going to be transformative.
In recognition of this growth, IEEFA’s 2021 outlook has been expanded to include separate sections covering wind and solar, battery storage, coal, and gas— interrelated segments of the power generation sector that are marked by vastly different trajectories:

Wind and solar technology improvements and the resulting price declines have made these two generation resources the least-cost option across much of the U.S. IEEFA expects wind and solar capacity installations to continue their rapid rise for the foreseeable future, driven not only by their cost advantage but also by their superior environmental characteristics.

• Coal generation capacity has fallen 32% from its peak 10 years ago—and its share of the U.S. electricity market has fallen even faster, to less than 20% in 2020. IEEFA expects the coal industry’s decline to accelerate as the economic competition from renewables and storage intensifies; operational experience with higher levels of wind and solar grows; and public concern about climate change rises.

• Gas benefitted in the 2010s from the fracking revolution and the assumption that it offered a bridge to cleaner generation. IEEFA believes that the “gas bridge” has now been closed. The rise of wind and solar, plus the linked development of battery storage, has given utilities an option to largely bypass gas. In addition, growing evidence about methane emissions—a powerful greenhouse gas—throughout the gas production, distribution and consumption chain has undercut its previous environmental claims. IEEFA concludes that the sharp rise in gas-fired capacity (specifically combined cycle units) in the 2010s has reached a plateau.


Time will tell about Natural Gas but Renewables are the future.
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Re: Renewables are Winning

Postby Dave Roberts » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:41 am

I suspect that the future is still in flux and will be for some time, but I think the trends rightly reflect what is happening. In the area where I live, two massive natural gas generating facilities have been added to the grid in the past five years. At the same time, a coal facility about twenty miles from me has been mothballed. It is still kept ready for use, if needed, but there has been little steam rising there in recent years. Our area has a lot of forest products production, and Dominion Energy has one former coal plant that is now a "waste wood cogeneration facility." Solar farms dot parts of the landscape, and there are efforts being made to provide more offshore wind generation in the Atlantic about twenty miles off the coast, a project that has yet to provide electricity but seems to be strongly supported. It is definitely a time when energy production is in flux as to what the future will bring.
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Re: Renewables are Winning

Postby KeithE » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:22 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:I suspect that the future is still in flux and will be for some time, but I think the trends rightly reflect what is happening. In the area where I live, two massive natural gas generating facilities have been added to the grid in the past five years. At the same time, a coal facility about twenty miles from me has been mothballed. It is still kept ready for use, if needed, but there has been little steam rising there in recent years. Our area has a lot of forest products production, and Dominion Energy has one former coal plant that is now a "waste wood cogeneration facility." Solar farms dot parts of the landscape, and there are efforts being made to provide more offshore wind generation in the Atlantic about twenty miles off the coast, a project that has yet to provide electricity but seems to be strongly supported. It is definitely a time when energy production is in flux as to what the future will bring.


Wise words and it is good to see someone respond here.

I suspect that Wind is poised to bring upwards 30% of our energy needs by 2025. Govt funding in the distribution infrastructure (battery units at public power stations, more electric outlets added at gas stations) could move that higher. Solar will trail Wind but eventually it has more potential. Where natural gas goes depends on how strict EPA will be on Methane emissions. Coal is dead.

But even with these improvements to CO2 emissions, we will need carbon capture (reducing CO2 to 300 ppm - it is at 415 ppm right now - historically it has oscillated between 180 and 280 ppm) in the future to alleviate global warming and increasing climate disasters.

It is very doable but not with “business as usual”.
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Re: Renewables are Winning

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:19 am

Since my earlier response, I drove by a project that appears to be several hundred acres of solar panels on land that was clearcut two years ago for pines for paper mills. It would appear that the solar cells are close to coming online. There is one irony--the land belongs to a family that has been in the petroleum distribution business for at least 75 years, and the ownership of the project is in the hands of a former NASCAR driver. It says that he knows the future for his family will not be in the petroleum distribution arena alone. They are diversifying, and that example tells me more about what is ahead than anything the politicians tell me out of Washington or Richmond.
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Re: Renewables are Winning

Postby Haruo » Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:36 pm

No disrespect of Fox intended, but it's nice to see other people post here.
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