Act now on Australia’s power system or pay more later

Published by The Conversation. View original article. Australia has a problem with its power system that goes to the core of many issues we’re facing at the moment — increasing coal and gas prices, changing electricity usage, and climate change. … Continue reading Act now on Australia’s power system or pay more later

RSPB now flying on 100 per cent green electricity from Ecotricity

Published by View original article.


All 127 of RSPB’s sites across the UK – encompassing all of its offices, visitor centres and reserves – are now powered by 100% green electricity from Ecotricity, Britain’s first green energy company announced today.

The move is part of the RSPB’s continued commitment to green energy in the UK.

The RSPB’s total UK electricity requirements are approximately 3.5 million kWh/annum¹ across 127 sites, which range from single person offices to a HQ in Bedfordshire housing over 500 staff.

If that amount of electricity were to be generated by a fossil fuel source, it would have resulted in 1,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere every year. Continue reading “RSPB now flying on 100 per cent green electricity from Ecotricity”

Fukushima Floating Offshore Wind Project Seeks to Halve Cost

Published by Bloomberg. View original article.

Operators of a wind farm in waters off Fukushima prefecture, site of the March 2011 nuclear disaster, aim to cut the cost of setting up the floating turbines by half as they push to commercialize the technology.

The pilot project, funded by the government and led by trading house Marubeni Corp. (8002), began operations on Nov. 11 with a 2-megawatt turbine connected to a substation. Both are about 20 kilometers (12 miles) off the coast of Fukushima. The project’s second phase will see the installation of two more turbines from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (7011) with 7 megawatts capacity each.

“The most important thing for the first phase was to float the turbine and make it work, rather than the cost,” Tomofumi Fukuda, a Marubeni official, said earlier this month in Fukushima after a ceremony to mark the start of operations. “For the second phase, it will become very important to figure out how to reduce costs to commercialize the technology.”

The effort off Fukushima is part of a broader push by Japan to diversify its sources of energy after the nuclear disaster in 2011 and the subsequent idling of the nation’s fleet of atomic power stations for safety checks. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has set a target of making floating offshore wind technology viable by 2018.

Manufacturing and installing the 2-megawatt wind power generation system, which is able to generate power for about 1,700 homes, cost slightly more than 2 million yen ($20,000) per kilowatt, Fukuda said. Operators want to reduce that to 1 million yen per kilowatt by the second phase when the next two turbines are installed, he said.

fukushima Continue reading “Fukushima Floating Offshore Wind Project Seeks to Halve Cost”

70% of people ‘happy’ with wind farms being built near their homes

Published by Blue & Green Tomorrow. View original article.

ImageThe majority of Britons (70.1%) would be happy to have a wind farm constructed in their local area, according to a poll commissioned by the Mail on Sunday.

A similar figure (68.1%) said they would prefer to live near to a wind development than a fracking plant, if forced to choose between the two.

Figures from the poll, conducted by Survation, were used in a Mail on Sunday article this weekend, which led with a statistic that said 60% of people were opposed to so-called green taxes.

Speaking on Wednesday, David Cameron said he wanted to “roll back” environmental regulations in order to reduce household bills. Liberal Democrat energy secretary Ed Davey has since vowed to “fight like a tiger” in order to preserve them.

The Mail on Sunday article, headlined Britain says ‘no’ to green levies: More than half of voters object to paying eco taxes, failed to mention the positivity towards renewable energy.

Jennifer Webber, director of external affairs at trade body RenewableUK, said the survey results “[go] to show that the loud opposition we sometimes hear just isn’t representative of general people’s views.” Continue reading “70% of people ‘happy’ with wind farms being built near their homes”

Look out for that turbine! Climate sceptics are the real Chicken Littles

Published in The Conversation by Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive scientist and Chair of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Bristol. These views are his own. View original article.

The sky is falling! Oh wait, no: it’s just the clouds moving… Sarah Smith


Several Australian corporate figures have recently disparaged climate scientists.

First, former banker David Murray questioned the integrity of climate scientists on national TV. Casting such aspersions on scientists follows the precedent set by the tobacco industry, which referred to medical researchers as an “oligopolistic cartel” that “manufactures alleged evidence.”

Attacks on scientists proceed according to the same playbook and regardless of discipline. If there is any novelty in Murray’s slur, it is that until recently he led the Future Fund, a body that is legally tasked with delivering risk-adjusted returns on the Australian Government’s budget surpluses. The adjustment of a risk by denying or ignoring it is arguably not without precedent; see the 2007 financial crisis, for example.

More recently, mining figure Hugh Morgan confronted the issue of risk head-on and declared the world’s climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to be “Chicken Littles” whose dire predictions would soon be cast aside, in the same way that the apocalyptic warnings of the Club of Rome from 40 years ago turned out to be false. (Except that when a CSIRO scientist reviewed those 40-year old projections, he found them to be remarkably accurate.)

Much is known in cognitive science about how people judge risks. It is now commonly accepted that those judgements are inherently subjective and subject to cultural biases, such as one’s attitudes towards the free market.

Thus, whereas the medical community lives up to its reputation as Chicken Littles by claiming that tobacco has adverse health effects, other institutions that arise from a different cultural background, such as Morgan’s Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), take a more heroic approach by chastising such “corrupt science” as overly alarmist. The trade-off between free-market fundamentalism and lung cancer is a matter of cultural preferences. Continue reading “Look out for that turbine! Climate sceptics are the real Chicken Littles”

Independent grid operator study confirms wind power’s economic, environmental value

Published by the American Wind Energy Association. View original article.

New research released by an independent grid operator confirms that wind energy is drastically decreasing both the price of electricity and emissions of harmful pollutants. The study was led by PJM, the independent grid operator for all or parts of 13 Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes states (Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia) and DC. The results are posted here.

Highlights of the study:

– Wind energy produces massive reductions in electricity production costs and wholesale prices. Obtaining 20% of PJM’s electricity from wind energy reduces the cost of producing electricity by $9 billion annually (about 25% of overall production costs of $37 billion), while 30% wind reduces production costs by $13 billion (about 35%) each year. Wholesale electricity prices are reduced by $9-21 billion annually across the 20% and 30% scenarios, with the high offshore scenarios producing the largest wholesale price reductions of $21 billion.  This occurs because offshore wind tends to produce more during times of peak electricity demand, offsetting more expensive gas generation. Continue reading “Independent grid operator study confirms wind power’s economic, environmental value”

Turbine tourism: Bus tours of a wind-energy park are a big hit

Published by Grist. View original article. Michigan now has nearly 900 wind turbines, and that lit a lightbulb in the entrepreneurial mind of retired teacher Gene Jorissen. Last summer, he started leading hour-long bus tours of the turbine-dotted Lakes Winds … Continue reading Turbine tourism: Bus tours of a wind-energy park are a big hit

Power up: California may force utilities to buy big batteries for renewables

Californian policymakers have driven a boom in renewable energy–driving down the price of solar and wind energy through economies of scale.  They’re now attempting to achieve similar results with energy storage. If it comes to fruition, this Californian initiative could be a game changer for transitioning towards clean, renewable energy sources. 

Published at by . View original article.

The sun would never set on solar power under an ambitious new proposal in the Golden State.

californiaThe California Public Utilities Commission is considering new rules that would require the state’s utilities to spend heavily on large batteries. That would allow wind and solar energy produced during sunny and blustery conditions to be saved and sold even on calm nights. Continue reading “Power up: California may force utilities to buy big batteries for renewables”

Wind Power Proves Effective CO2 Saver

Published by Scientific American. View original article.

Contrary to claims by critics of wind power, Spanish researchers say, the turbines do reduce carbon dioxide emissions significantly even though the wind does not blow continuously.

ImageLONDON – One of the most oft-repeated arguments of the anti-wind lobby is that turbines produce electricity only intermittently, when there is enough wind to turn them.

This, the wind critics argue, means that so much gas has to be burnt to provide a reliable back-up supply of electricity that wind power‘s overall benefit to the environment is erased.

But extensive research in Spain means this claim can now definitively be declared a myth. Wind, the researchers found, is a very efficient way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The anti-wind campaigners claim that fossil fuel plants have to be kept running at a slow speed, continuously producing CO2, just in case the wind fails. At slow speeds these plants are less efficient and so produce so much CO2, wind opponents say, that they wipe out any gains from having wind power.

Not true, according to a report published in the journal Energy by researchers at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. There are some small losses, the researchers say, but even if wind produced as much as 50 percent of Spain’s electricity the CO2 savings would still be 80 percent of the emissions that would have been produced by the displaced thermal power stations. Continue reading “Wind Power Proves Effective CO2 Saver”

Wind at wholesale price parity in world’s major markets

Published by Renew Economy. View original article.

wind_power_australia_cheapWe spend a lot of time [at Renew Economy] chronicling the dramatic price falls of solar PV, and the new technologies emerging in solar thermal, but it is sometimes forgotten that wind energy is also making important advances.

The recent report by Citigroup on the rapidly changing dynamics of global energy markets – Energy Darwinism the evolution of the energy industry” – had some important conclusions to make about wind. Continue reading “Wind at wholesale price parity in world’s major markets”