‘The Coal Industry Is Back,’ Trump Proclaimed. It Wasn’t.

The demise of coal-fired power plants in Arizona and Kentucky shows how the president, despite promises to restore jobs, failed to counter the forces decimating the industry.

#arizona, #bureau-of-reclamation, #cameron-scott-j, #coal, #craft-joseph-w-iii, #environmental-protection-agency, #gosar-paul-1958, #grand-canyon-ariz, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #interior-department, #jewell-sally, #kentucky, #labor-and-jobs, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #lazard-llc, #mcconnell-mitch, #mines-and-mining, #murray-energy-corp, #murray-robert-e, #navajo-generating-station, #navajo-indians, #obama-barack, #presidential-election-of-2020, #prine-john, #pruitt-scott, #shutdowns-institutional, #solar-energy, #tennessee-valley-authority, #trump-donald-j, #united-mine-workers-of-america, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wehrum-william-l, #wheeler-andrew-r, #zinke-ryan-1961

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How Coal-Loving Australia Became the Leader in Rooftop Solar

Embracing solar panels to save money, homeowners have made the country a powerhouse in renewable energy.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #australia, #batteries, #coal, #electric-light-and-power, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #liberal-party-australia, #morrison-scott-1968, #politics-and-government, #queensland-australia, #solar-energy, #wildfires

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Its Electric Grid Under Strain, California Turns to Batteries

When demand exceeded supply in a recent heat wave, electricity stored at businesses and even homes was called into service. With proper management, batteries could have made up for an offline gas plant.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #batteries, #california, #california-independent-system-operator, #california-public-utilities-commission, #electric-light-and-power, #natural-gas, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #solar-energy, #wind-power

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Oil and Gas Groups See ‘Some Common Ground’ in Biden Energy Plan

Some energy executives are pleased that the former vice president is not calling for a fracking ban and said they could work with him.

#american-petroleum-institute, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #carbon-capture-and-sequestration, #edison-electric-institute, #edison-international, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #presidential-election-of-2020, #solar-energy, #tellurian-incorporated, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wind-power

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Solar panel recycling has a long way to go, and silicon may be the key

Workers in hardhats install rooftop solar panels.

Enlarge (credit: Oregon DOT / Flickr)

Solar energy is really starting to get its wings, with utility and residential installation growing at a rapid clip. While these systems generally operate for two or three decades, there inevitably comes a time to take photovoltaic panels down for replacement. What happens then has a lot to say about solar’s long-term bottom line.

The opportunity is there to turn old PV panels into new ones, reducing the technology’s environmental footprint. But in a paper published in Nature Sustainability, a group led by Garvin Heath at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory argues we have a long way to go—though they think they see the way.

A matter of purity

Currently, they say, standard practice is to hand solar panels to existing glass- or metal-recycling facilities—at best, batches of panels may be at least be run through on their own. That does little more than recover the aluminum in the frame, the copper in the wiring, and the glass sheet atop the photovoltaic cells. Laws mandating panel recycling haven’t advanced beyond the drawing board in many places yet, with the European Union and the state of Washington in the US as exceptions. The EU requires at least 75 percent of material to be recovered, and these processes can hit that mark.

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#recycling, #science, #silicon, #solar-energy

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Sunrun to Acquire Vivint in Shake-Up of Home Solar Market

Sunrun is acquiring Vivint in an all-stock deal, valued at $3.2 billion, leaving Tesla further behind as a provider of residential solar panels and batteries.

#electric-and-hybrid-vehicles, #mergers-acquisitions-and-divestitures, #solar-energy, #sunrun-inc, #tesla-motors-inc, #vivint-solar-holdings-inc

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The Next Energy Battle: Renewables vs. Natural Gas

As coal declines and wind and solar energy rise, some are pushing to limit the use of natural gas, but utilities say they are not ready to do so.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #batteries, #coal, #dominion-energy, #electric-light-and-power, #environment, #great-river-energy, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #los-angeles-department-of-water-and-power, #natural-gas, #solar-energy, #wind-power

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Atlantic Coast Pipeline Canceled as Delays and Costs Mount

The natural gas project would have crossed the Appalachian Trail. Dominion Energy, one of the pipeline’s two partners, also announced the sale of its gas transmission and storage assets.

#berkshire-hathaway-inc, #dominion-energy, #duke-energy-corporation, #natural-gas, #pipelines, #solar-energy, #wind-power

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The Sun Exchange raises $3M for crypto driven solar power in Africa

South Africa based renewable energy startup Sun Exchange has raised $3 million to close its Series A funding round totaling $4 million.

The company operates a peer-to-peer, crypto enabled business that allows individuals anywhere in the world to invest in solar infrastructure in Africa.

How’s that all work?

“You as an individual are selling electricity to a school in South Africa, via a solar panel you bought through the Sun Exchange,” explained Abe Cambridge — the startup’s founder and CEO.

“Our platform meters the electricity production of your solar panel. Arranges for the purchasing of that electricity with your chosen energy consumer, collects that money and then returns it to your Sun Exchange wallet.”

It costs roughly $5 a panel to get in and transactions occur in South African Rand or Bitcoin.

“The reason why we chose Bitcoin is we needed one universal payment system that enables micro transactions down to a millionth of a U.S. cent,” Cambridge told TechCrunch on a call.

He co-founded the Cape Town headquartered startup in 2015 to advance renewable energy infrastructure in Africa. “I realized the opportunity for solar was enormous, not just for South Africa, but for the whole of the African continent,” said Cambridge.

“What was required was a new mechanism to get Africa solar powered.”

Sub-Saharan Africa has a population of roughly 1 billion people across a massive landmass and only about half of that population has access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency.

Recently, Sun Exchange’s main market South Africa — which boasts some of the best infrastructure in the region — has suffered from blackouts and power outages.

Image Credits: Sun Exchange

Sun Exchange has 17,000 members in 162 countries who have invested in solar power projects for schools, businesses and organizations throughout South Africa, according to company data.

The $3 million — which closed Sun Exchange’s $4 million Series A — came from the Africa Renewable Power Fund of London’s ARCH Emerging Markets Partners.

With the capital the startup plans to enter new markets. “We’re going to expand into other Sub-Saharan African countries. We’ve got some clear opportunities on our roadmap,” Cambridge said, referencing Nigeria as one of the markets Sun Exchange has researched.

There are several well-funded solar energy startups operating in Africa’s top economic and tech hubs, such as Kenya and Nigeria. In East Africa, M-Kopa sells solar hardware kits to households on credit then allows installment payments via mobile phone using M-Pesa mobile money. The venture is is backed by $161 million from investors including Steve Case and Richard Branson.

In Nigeria, Rensource shifted from a residential hardware model to building solar-powered micro utilities for large markets and other commercial structures.

Sun Exchange operates as an asset free model and operates differently than companies that install or manufacture solar panels.

“We’re completely supplier agnostic. We are approached by solar installers who operate on the African continent. And then we partner with the best ones,” said Cambridge — who presented the startup’s model at TechCrunch Startup Battlefield in Berlin in 2017.

“We’re the marketplace that connects together the user of the solar panel to the owner of the solar panel to the installer of the solar panel.”

Abe Cambridge, Image Credits: TechCrunch

Sun Exchange generates revenues by earning margins on sales of solar panels and fees on purchases and kilowatt hours generated, according to Cambridge.

In addition to expanding in Africa, the startup looks to expand in the medium to long-term to Latin America and Southeast Asia.

“Those are also places that would really benefit from from solar energy, from the speed in which it could be deployed and the environmental improvements that going solar leads to,” said Cambridge.

#africa, #alternative-energy, #articles, #berlin, #bitcoin, #ceo, #east-africa, #electricity, #energy, #latin-america, #m-kopa, #m-pesa, #mobile-phones, #nigeria, #renewable-energy, #richard-branson, #series-a, #solar-energy, #solar-power, #south-africa, #southeast-asia, #steve-case, #tc, #the-sun-exchange, #united-states

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Coronavirus Pushes America’s Coal Industry to Once-Unthinkable Lows

For the first time, the United States is on track to produce more electricity from renewables than from coal this year, a climate milestone.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #coal, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #energy-information-administration, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #solar-energy, #wind, #wind-power

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The Sunday Read: The Woman Who Might Find Us Another Earth

The star-crossed life of Sara Seager, an astrophysicist obsessed with discovering the possibility of other life in the universe.

#light, #massachusetts-institute-of-technology, #milky-way-galaxy, #planets, #seager-sara-1971, #solar-energy, #solar-system

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