Archive

Archive for the ‘energy’ Category

100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States

July 17, 2015 Comments off

100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States (PDF)
Source: Energy & Environmental Science

This study presents roadmaps for each of the 50 United States to convert their all-purpose energy systems (for electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry) to ones powered entirely by wind, water, and sunlight (WWS). The plans contemplate 80–85% of existing energy replaced by 2030 and 100% replaced by 2050. Conversion would reduce each state’s end-use power demand by a mean of B39.3% with B82.4% of this due to the efficiency of electrification and the rest due to end-use energy efficiency improvements. Year 2050 end-use U.S. all-purpose load would be met with B30.9% onshore wind, B19.1% offshore wind, B30.7% utility-scale photovoltaics (PV), B7.2% rooftop PV, B7.3% concentrated solar power (CSP) with storage, B1.25% geothermal power, B0.37% wave power, B0.14% tidal power, and B3.01% hydroelectric power. Based on a parallel grid integration study, an additional 4.4% and 7.2% of power beyond that needed for annual loads would be supplied by CSP with storage and solar thermal for heat, respectively, for peaking and grid stability. Over all 50 states, converting would provide B3.9 million 40-year construction jobs and B2.0 million 40-year operation jobs for the energy facilities alone, the sum of which would outweigh the B3.9 million jobs lost in the conventional energy sector. Converting would also eliminate B62 000 (19 000–115000) U.S. air pollution premature mortalities per year today and B46 000 (12000–104 000) in 2050, avoiding B$600 ($85–$2400) bil. per year (2013 dollars) in 2050, equivalent to B3.6 (0.5–14.3) percent of the 2014 U.S. gross domestic product. Converting would further eliminate B$3.3 (1.9–7.1) tril. per year in 2050 global warming costs to the world due to U.S. emissions. These plans will result in each person in the U.S. in 2050 saving B$260 (190–320) per year in energy costs ($2013 dollars) and U.S. health and global climate costs per person decreasing by B$1500 (210–6000) per year and B$8300 (4700–17 600) per year, respectively. The new footprint over land required will be B0.42% of U.S. land. The spacing area between wind turbines, which can be used for multiple purposes, will be B1.6% of U.S. land. Thus, 100% conversions are technically and economically feasible with little downside. These roadmaps may therefore reduce social and political barriers to implementing clean-energy policies.

Health Effects of Cut Gas Lines and Other Petroleum Product Release Incidents — Seven States, 2010–2012

July 14, 2015 Comments off

Health Effects of Cut Gas Lines and Other Petroleum Product Release Incidents — Seven States, 2010–2012
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Large mass casualty gas explosions and catastrophic oil spills are widely reported and receive considerable regulatory attention. Smaller, less catastrophic petroleum product releases are less likely to receive publicity, although study of these incidents might help focus and prioritize prevention efforts. To describe the causes and health impacts of petroleum product release incidents (including gas explosions and oil spills), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) analyzed 2010–2012 data from the National Toxic Substance Incidents Program (NTSIP). A total of 1,369 petroleum product release incidents were reported from seven states, resulting in 512 injuries and 36 deaths. Approximately one fourth of the incidents were associated with utilities, and approximately one fifth were associated with private vehicles or residences. Approximately 10% of petroleum product releases resulted from inadvertent damage to utility lines. Understanding the characteristics of acute petroleum product releases can aid the public and utility workers in the development of preventive strategies and reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with such releases.

Effects of Recent Energy Price Reductions on U.S. Agriculture

July 13, 2015 Comments off

Effects of Recent Energy Price Reductions on U.S. Agriculture
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

Over the last half of 2014, energy prices, including crude oil and natural gas, fell sharply and are expected to remain low at least through 2016. Lower energy prices will benefit the agricultural sector mainly via lower production and transport costs.

US biofuels policy, global food prices, and international trade obligations

July 9, 2015 Comments off

US biofuels policy, global food prices, and international trade obligations
Source: American Enterprise Institute

Key Points

  • US energy policy requires that motor fuel is blended with large quantities of biofuels, produced from crops like corn and soybeans. This disrupts domestic production, prices, and trade for major crops.
  • Recent studies estimate that corn prices in the US are about 30 percent higher than they otherwise would be because of biofuel production, and staple food prices have increased worldwide by 20 percent.
  • International agricultural trade negotiations must expand beyond trimming farm payments to curtail the broader policy instruments that affect agriculture and, particularly, that divert large amounts of crops out of the food supply and drive up prices.

The U.S. Investment Tax Credit for Solar Energy: Alternatives to the Anticipated 2017 Step-Down

July 6, 2015 Comments off

The U.S. Investment Tax Credit for Solar Energy: Alternatives to the Anticipated 2017 Step-Down
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

The federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar installations is scheduled to step-down from 30% to 10% at the beginning of 2017 for corporate investors. This raises the question whether solar PV will be cost competitive post 2016 in the U.S. We examine the economics of solar PV for a sample of U.S. states and industry segments. Our model calculations indicate that for almost all of these settings the anticipated ITC step-down would render solar PV uncompetitive by early 2017, raising the specter of a ‘cliff’ for the solar industry. We identify and evaluate an alternative phase-down scenario that would reduce the ITC gradually and eliminate it completely by 2024. Provided the solar industry can maintain the pace of cost reductions demonstrated in past years, our projections indicated that solar PV would remain broadly competitive, even as federal tax support would be gradually diminished, and ultimately eliminated, under the alternative phase-down-scenario.

GAO — Electricity: Generation Mix Has Shifted, and Growth in Consumption Has Slowed, Affecting System Operations and Prices

June 30, 2015 Comments off

Electricity: Generation Mix Has Shifted, and Growth in Consumption Has Slowed, Affecting System Operations and Prices
Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

The mix of energy sources for electricity generation has changed, and the growth in electricity consumption has slowed. As shown in the figure below, from 2001 through 2013, natural gas, wind, and solar became larger portions of the nation’s electricity generation, and the share of coal has declined. These changes have varied by region. For example, the majority of wind and solar electricity generation is concentrated in a few states—in 2013, California and Arizona accounted for over half of electricity generated at solar power plants. Regarding consumption, national retail sales of electricity grew by over 1 percent per year from 2001 through 2007 and remained largely flat from that time through 2014.
</blockquote:

CBO — China’s Growing Energy Demand: Implications for the United States: Working Paper 2015-05

June 29, 2015 Comments off

China’s Growing Energy Demand: Implications for the United States: Working Paper 2015-05
Source: Congressional Budget Office

Growing rapidly in recent decades, China’s demand for energy has nearly doubled since 2005—making China the world’s largest consumer of energy. That growth and the energy policies that China pursues increase the level and possibly the volatility of some energy prices, reduce the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing firms in relation to Chinese firms but provide benefits for U.S. consumers, and increase greenhouse gas emissions. This paper examines trends in China’s energy consumption, the implications of those trends for U.S. households and businesses, and policy options that might help minimize adverse effects.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,052 other followers