It was vaguely wonderful watching Presidents Obama and Xi cement their bids for a place in history, via climate change, by announcing American and Chinese ratification of the Paris Agreement on September 3. These two nations, so far apart on so many issues, have erected glass walls around the shared climate threat and worked hard together for four years to fight it. They do so now buoyed by the strengthening momentum of climate-survival technologies, and aware of the increasing catalogue of problems faced by the energy incumbency notwithstanding climate considerations. Meanwhile, the increasingly alarming warnings they hear about the unfolding pace of global overheating from their respective scientific establishments is undoubtedly a major motivator. The great global race against time has very much begun now, and they are the undisputed leaders on the first lap. The figures for US electricity generation from renewables came out: 16.9% of the national electricity mix, up from 13.7% in 2015. A new front opened, as the first offshore wind turbine was installed. There will be hosts more. Sixteen cities have now targeted 100% of their power from renewables, and four have achieved it already: Aspen, Colorado; Burlington, Vermont; Columbia, Maryland; Greensburg, Kansas. In the cloudy UK, renewables set a new quarterly generation record of25.1% of the national mix on the back of solar growth. The new government approved the world’s largest offshore windfarm, the $7.8bn 1.8 gigawatt Hornsea 2 project. It will be installed by a former oil and gas company, now a mostly-renewables company, Dong Energy. The pace of development in storage, that vital partner for renewables, continued to amaze. Notable this month was an exhuberant survey of growth and technical advances in both batteries and renewables by the international business editor at the Telegraph, the UK Conservative government’s newspaper of choice.
Renew Economy 5th Sept 2016 read more »
Jeremy Leggett 4th Sept 2016 read more »