Each Monday Nikolas Badminton, Futurist Speaker, shares the top-5 energy revolution stories that have been revealed to the world in the past week.
In Energy Revolutions – The Island Tesla Powers we look at the trends that we should be aware of today, November 28th, 2016. We see Ta’u in American Samoa powered by Tesla and Solarcity, India making the right moves, tidal turbines, and renewable electricity growth.
SolarCity and Tesla: Tau Microgrid
The island of Ta’u in American Samoa, located more than 4,000 miles from the West Coast of the United States, now hosts a solar power and battery storage-enabled microgrid that can supply nearly 100 percent of the island’s power needs from renewable energy. This provides a cost-saving alternative to diesel, removing the hazards of power intermittency and making outages a thing of the past.
Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2gwlDc4
India Wants To Be Solar Superpower & Reach 100% EVs, But Its Ambitions Still Aren’t Strong Enough
India aims to build 1 terrawatt of global solar power – four times the current worldwide total – and become a 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030. Those are great ambitions, but they still far short from what is needed for a true energy transformation away from coal, writes Dénes Scala of Lancaster University. Courtesy of The Conversation.
One of the world’s largest solar power projects has just been completed in southern India. At 648 megawatts (MW), the Kamuthi solar plant can generate as much electricity as most coal or nuclear power stations.
This is great news. But it must be only the start of an unprecedented Indian solar boom. For the country to achieve its Paris climate pledges, it will need hundreds more Kamuthis.
India has become one of the big names in renewable energy in recent years. The country championed the International Solar Alliance, an initiative launched a year ago at COP21 in Paris which is expected to be ratified at the follow-up COP22 in Morocco. It aims to mobilise US$1 trillion (£790 billion) to develop 1 terawatt of global solar power by 2030 – that’s four times more than the current worldwide total.
India has made a good start. Among its many ambitious policies include plans for more resilient grids and the deployment of large-scale energy storage to retain intermittent solar and wind power for when it’s needed. The country also aims to become, by 2030, a 100% electric vehicle nation.
All those newly-commissioned solar farms won’t be able to power the electric cars by themselves – and existing coal power plants will still be needed
Impressive renewable energy projects are springing up across India. Kamuthi’s completion means the state of Tamil Nadu now hosts both the world’s second largest solar plant and one of the world’s largest onshore wind farms. Even bigger solar plants are being built further west, in Kanataka state and in Andra Pradesh along the east coast.
This is all part of an ambitious plan to deploy 100 GW of solar power by 2022 (for reference, the current the global total is around 223 GW). The government has pledged tens of billions of dollars to these projects, while a very strong private and foundation grant-based movement is encouraging smaller-scale solar, including micro-grids and off-grid systems.
Read more at Clean Technica
Massive new tidal turbine has been deployed on the coast of Nova Scotia and now produces electricity- first in North America
When you think about renewable energy, you think about solar, wind or hydro, but rarely about tidal energy, which is technically a form of hydropower. That’s because the modern version of the technology is still in its infancy and the deployed capacity is very limited.
But there has been a significant advancement this month with a single massive tidal turbine being deployed on the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada – a first in North America.
I say that the modern version of the technology is still in its infancy because tidal energy has actually been used in its crudest form for thousands of years. In Ancient Rome and in the Middle Ages, people contained water in large storage ponds on the coasts and as the tide went out, it turned waterwheels that used mechanical power to mill grain.
Now the technology is used to power turbines and generate electricity.
There are only a few projects in operation around the world, but several more are currently in development, including the Cape Sharp Tidal in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Earlier this month, the developers, OpenHydro and Emera, deployed the first of a series of massive turbines and connected it to the local grid yesterday.
Read more at Electrek
High renewable electricity growth continued in 2015
The 2015 Renewable Energy Data Book shows that U.S. renewable electricity grew to 16.7 percent of total installed capacity and 13.8 percent of total electricity generation during the past year. Published annually by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on behalf of the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the data book illustrates U.S. and global energy statistics, including renewable electricity generation, renewable energy development, clean energy investments, and technology-specific data and trends.
“Since it was first released in 2009, the Renewable Energy Data Book has provided useful insights for policymakers, analysts, and investors,” NREL Energy Analyst Philipp Beiter said. “The 2015 version of the data book highlights the ongoing trend of growing renewable energy capacity and generation in the United States and globally.”
The 2015 Renewable Energy Data Book compiles recently available statistics for the 2015 calendar year. Key insights include:
- Renewable electricity accounted for 64 percent of U.S. electricity capacity additions in 2015, compared to 52 percent in 2014.
- Renewable electricity generation increased 2.4 percent in 2015. Solar electricity generation increased by 35.8 percent (11.7 terawatt-hours), and wind electricity generation increased by 5.1 percent (9.3 terawatt-hours), while generation from hydropower dropped by 3.2 percent (-8.2 terawatt-hours).
- The combined share of wind and solar as a percentage of renewable generation continued to grow in the U.S. in 2015. Hydropower produced more than 44 percent of total renewable electricity generation, wind produced 34 percent, biomass produced 11 percent, solar (photovoltaic and concentrating solar power) produced 8 percent, and geothermal produced 3 percent.
- Wind electricity installed capacity increased by more than 12 percent (8.1 gigawatts) in a year, accounting for more than 56 percent of U.S. renewable electricity capacity installed in 2015.
- U.S. solar electricity installed capacity increased by 36 percent (5.6 gigawatts), accounting for nearly 40 percent of newly installed U.S. renewable electricity capacity in 2015.
- In 2015, California continued to have the most installed renewable electricity capacity of any U.S. state (nearly 31 gigawatts), followed by Washington (nearly 25 gigawatts) and Texas (more than 19 gigawatts).California has a diverse mix of renewables led by solar PV, hydropower, and wind. In Washington, the main contributor to renewable capacity is hydropower, while wind is the largest contributor in Texas.
- Oklahoma had the highest growth rate (30 percent) in installed renewable electricity capacity additions in 2015, followed by North Carolina (27 percent), Utah (27 percent), and Kansas (27 percent). Additions in wind capacity were the main contributor to growth in Oklahoma and Kansas, whereas additions in solar PV capacity accounted for most of the growth in North Carolina and Utah.
- Installed renewable electricity capacity increased to more than 29 percent of total electricity capacity worldwide in 2015. Renewables accounted for more than 24 percent of all electricity generation worldwide.
Read more at Phys.org
Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.