When Will Electric Cars Go Mainstream? It May Be Sooner Than You Think

           

A Volkswagen e-Golf electric car being charged in Dresden, Germany, in March. Volkswagen and Tesla each have plans to produce more than 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2025. Credit Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

CLICK HERE - Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) - Electric Vehicle Outlook 2017

nytimes.com - by Brad Plumer - July 8, 2017

As the world’s automakers place larger bets on electric vehicle technology, many industry analysts are debating a key question: How quickly can plug-in cars become mainstream?

The conventional view holds that electric cars will remain a niche product for many years, plagued by high sticker prices and heavily dependent on government subsidies.

But a growing number of analysts now argue that this pessimism is becoming outdated. A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research group, suggests that the price of plug-in cars is falling much faster than expected, spurred by cheaper batteries and aggressive policies promoting zero-emission vehicles in China and Europe.

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Volvo to Drop Traditional Engines

           

GETTY IMAGES

Carmaker Volvo has said all new models will have an electric motor from 2019.

bbc.com - July 5, 2017

The Chinese-owned firm, best known for its emphasis on driver safety, has become the first traditional carmaker to signal the end of the internal combustion engine.

It plans to launch five fully electric models between 2019 and 2021 and a range of hybrid models . . .

 . . . "The announcement is significant, and quite impressive, but only in a small way. The hybrids they are promising to make might be mild hybrids, anything as basic as a stop-start system."

A stop-start system is one where electricity from batteries restart a car's petrol engine, after it has shut down when the car has come to rest at a junction, or in stationary traffic.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLES WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW . . .

CLICK HERE - Volvo, Betting on Electric, Moves to Phase Out Conventional Engines

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Rising Seas to Force Billions from Home

           

weather.com - by Pam Wright - June 28, 2017

CLICK HERE - VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Impediments to inland resettlement under conditions of accelerated sea level rise

An estimated 2 billion people will be displaced from their homes by 2100 due to climate-driven rising seas, a new study says.

Roughly one-fifth of the world's population may become climate change refugees, according to Cornell University. The majority of those will be people who live on coastlines around the world, including about 2 million in Florida alone.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Cornell University - Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100

 

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Free Resources for Disaster Resilience

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No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses, and recent events have proven that even prepared communities can be overwhelmed in a state of emergency. Our reports provide guidelines and targeted resources for all stakeholders in a disaster response, including state and local governments, emergency medical services and health care centers. Read these online for free.
CLICK HERE - Related Books

New York is Building the Energy System of Tomorrow Today

REV4NY - May 2, 2016

In New York, the energy system of tomorrow is taking shape today. What does the grid look like? Watch this video to learn more about the vision behind New York’s plan for a clean, affordable and resilient energy system for all New Yorkers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUm91OTuvLg

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BNEF - New Energy Outlook 2017

           

bnef.com

Focused on the electricity system, NEO combines the expertise of over 80 market and technology specialists in 12 countries to provide a unique view of how the market will evolve . . . 

 . . . “Renewable energy sources are set to represent almost three quarters of the $10.2 trillion the world will invest in new power generating technology until 2040, thanks to rapidly falling costs for solar and wind power, and a growing role for batteries, including electric vehicle batteries, in balancing supply and demand.”

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When Rising Seas Transform Risk Into Certainty

           

Flooding in North Miami, Florida. A 2013 World Bank study found that Miami is one of the 10 cities most at risk of damage from sea-level rise. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Amplification of flood frequencies with local sea level rise and emerging flood regimes

thebulletin.org - by Dan Drollette Jr. - June 9, 2017

According to a new study published on Wednesday by researchers from Princeton and Rutgers universities, rare floods will soon become the norm for cities like New York, San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle, as well as entire states such as Florida and Hawaii. On average, this means a 40-fold increase in the occurence of flood, unless humanity soon cuts back on the amount of carbon we pump into the atmosphere.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Rare US floods to become the norm if emissions aren't cut, study warns

 

 

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Scientists Just Documented a Massive Recent Melt Event on the Surface of Antarctica

           

An iceberg lies in the Ross Sea with Mount Erebus in the background near McMurdo Station, Antarctica, in November 2016. (AFP/Getty Images)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Nature Communications - January 2016 extensive summer melt in West Antarctica favoured by strong El Niño

washingtonpost.com - by Chris Mooney - June 15, 2017

Scientists have documented a recent, massive melt event on the surface of highly vulnerable West Antarctica that, they fear, could be a harbinger of future events as the planet continues to warm.

In the Antarctic summer of 2016, the surface of the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest floating ice platform on Earth, developed a sheet of meltwater that lasted for as long as 15 days in some places. The total area affected by melt was 300,000 square miles, or larger than the state of Texas, the scientists report.

That’s bad news because surface meltin g could work hand in hand with an already documented trend of ocean-driven melting to compromise West Antarctica, which contains over 10 feet of potential sea level rise.

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'Spectacular' Drop in Renewable Energy Costs Leads to Record Global Boost

Falling solar and wind prices have led to new power deals across the world despite investment in renewables falling

           

Solar panels on sale at the Naran Tuul market in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Photograph: Seong Joon Cho/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - Global Status Report - REN21 - Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century

theguardian.com - by Damian Carrington - June 6, 2017

Renewable energy capacity around the world was boosted by a record amount in 2016 and delivered at a markedly lower cost, according to new global data – although the total financial investment in renewables actually fell.

The greater “bang-for-buck” resulted from plummeting prices for solar and wind power and led to new power deals in countries including Denmark, Egypt, India, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates all being priced well below fossil fuel or nuclear options . . .

 . . . The new renewable energy capacity installed worldwide in 2016 was 161GW, a 10% rise on 2015 and a new record, according to REN21, a network of public and private sector groups covering 155 nations and 96% of the world’s population.

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How G.O.P. Leaders Came to View Climate Change as Fake Science

           

A coal-fired power station in Mount Storm, W.Va., in January. The coal industry played an instrumental role in efforts to unwind the Obama administration’s climate policies. Credit Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

nytimes.com - by Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton - June 3, 2017

The Republican Party’s fast journey from debating how to combat human-caused climate change to arguing that it does not exist is a story of big political money, Democratic hubris in the Obama years and a partisan chasm that grew over nine years like a crack in the Antarctic shelf, favoring extreme positions and uncompromising rhetoric over cooperation and conciliation . . .

<In 2008 Senator John McCain, who had just secured the Republican nomination for President, sounded the alarm on global warming.>

 . . . Since Mr. McCain ran for president on climate credentials that were stronger than his opponent Barack Obama’s, the scientific evidence linking greenhouse gases from fossil fuels to the dangerous warming of the planet has grown stronger.

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More Than 30 States Embrace Grid Modernization, New Policy Tracker Finds

           

CLICK HERE - 50 States of Grid Modernization (60 page .PDF report)

CLICK HERE - 50 States of Solar (11 page .PDF report)

A new quarterly report from the folks who brought you '50 States of Solar' aims to chronicle grid modernization initiatives across the US

utilitydive.com - by Herman K. Trabish - May 31, 2017

Grid modernization is a hot topic in the power sector as utilities across the country replace aging infrastructure and upgrade their systems for new energy technologies.

But until now, there was no easily-accessible tool to track the myriad regulatory actions on advanced metering, non-wire alternatives, ratemaking reform and the like.

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What Happens to Earth if the US Exits the Climate Deal?

           

Credit:  AP Photo/Jim Cole, File

washingtonpost.com - Associated Press - May 27, 2017

 . . . In an attempt to understand what could happen to the planet if the U.S. pulls out of Paris, The Associated Press consulted with more than two dozen climate scientists and analyzed a special computer model scenario designed to calculate potential effects.

Scientists said it would worsen an already bad problem, and make it far more difficult to prevent crossing a dangerous global temperature threshold.

 . . . “The U.S. matters a great deal . . . That amount could make the difference between meeting the Paris limit of two degrees and missing it” . . . 

While scientists may disagree on the computer simulations they overwhelmingly agreed that the warming the planet is undergoing now would be faster and more intense.

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Are Solar and Wind Really Killing Coal, Nuclear and Grid Reliability?

           

Lessons from the Lone Star State: A surge in wind power on the Texas grid didn’t cause reliability problems (and brought down electricity prices) because regulators improved the efficiency of wholesale electricity markets. Sarah Fields Photography/Shutterstock.com

theconversation.com - by Joshua D. Rhodes, Michael E. Webber, Thomas Deetjen and Todd Davidson - May 11, 2017

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in April requested a study to assess the effect of renewable energy policies on nuclear and coal-fired power plants.

Some energy analysts responded with confusion, as the subject has been extensively studied by grid operators and the Department of Energy’s own national labs. Others were more critical, saying the intent of the review is to favor the use of nuclear and coal over renewable sources.

So, are wind and solar killing coal and nuclear? Yes, but not by themselves and not for the reasons most people think. Are wind and solar killing grid reliability? No, not where the grid’s technology and regulations have been modernized. In those places, overall grid operation has improved, not worsened.

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2016: A Historic Year for Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters in U.S.

           

CLICK HERE - NCDC - NOAA - Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Overview

climate.gov - by Adam B. Smith - January 9, 2017

NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) tracks U.S. weather and climate events that have great economic and societal impacts (www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions). Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained 203 weather and climate disasters where the overall damage costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index, as of January 2017). The cumulative costs for these 203 events exceed $1.1 trillion.

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Stunning Drops in Solar and Wind Costs Turn Global Power Market Upside Down

           

CREDIT: U.N. and BNEF

CLICK HERE - REPORT - United Nations and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) - GLOBAL TRENDS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTMENT 2017 (90 page .PDF report)

The world built more renewables for far less money last year, report UN and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

thinkprogress.org - by Joe Romm - April 6, 2017

Stunning drops in the cost of wind and solar energy have turned the global power market upside down . . .

 . . . Unsubsidized renewables have become the cheapest source of new power — by far — in more and more countries, according to a new report from the United Nations and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

In just one year, the cost of solar generation worldwide dropped on average 17 percent, the report found. The average costs for onshore wind dropped 18 percent last year, while those for offshore wind fell a whopping 28 percent.

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