Polluting giant turns to green energy to escape EU carbon risk

Blooomberg reports:

Central Europe’s third-largest polluter plans to almost triple its clean-energy capacity as emission costs surge.

Tauron Polska Energia SA is preparing to add at least 700 megawatts of clean, regulated power to “improve” its portfolio after carbon permits almost tripled over the past year, Chief Financial Officer Marek Wadowski said. That’s the equivalent of half a modern nuclear reactor and echoes moves by European utilities from Enel SpA to Vattenfall AB to boost their clean power generation.

“We’re turning in the direction of more renewable sources,” Wadowski said in an interview this week. “The rising cost of CO2 makes the profitability of coal-fired plants significantly less profitable.” [Continue reading…]

World to install over one trillion watts of clean energy by 2023

Bloomberg reports:

The world could install more than a trillion watts of renewable power over the next five years, more than the entire current generation capacity of the European Union.

The International Energy Agency’s latest annual report on renewables forecasts as much as an extra 1.3 terawatts of clean energy will be installed by 2023 under one scenario. Even in its more conservative central forecast, the agency predicts that global renewable energy capacity will grow by 1 terawatt, driven by a boom in solar installations and more accommodating government policy.

The positive outlook for clean energy comes with a warning that government support and market design is critical to ensuring that renewables continue to be invested in and built. [Continue reading…]

Hurricane Florence crippled electricity and coal — solar and wind were back the next day

CBS News reports:

Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Florence swamped North and South Carolina, thousands of residents who get power from coal-fired utilities remain without electricity.

Yet solar installations, which provide less than 5 percent of North Carolina’s energy, were up and running the day after the storm, according to electricity news outlet GTM. And while half of Duke Energy’s customers were without power at some point, according to CleanTechnica, the utility’s solar farms sustained no damage.

Traditional energy providers have fared less well. A dam breach at the L.V. Sutton Power Station, a retired coal-fired power plant near Wilmington, North Carolina, has sent coal ash flowing into a nearby river. Another plant near Goldsboro has three flooded ash basins, according to the Associated Press, while in South Carolina, floodwaters are reportedly threatening pits that contain ash, an industrial waste from burning coal.

The lesson, according to environmentalists: Utilities’ vulnerability to major storms underscores the urgency of shifting to energy that it is not only clean and renewable, but also more resilient. [Continue reading…]