Gas plants will get crushed by wind, solar by 2035, study says

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Generators now on drawing boards will be left uneconomical

Natural gas-fired power plants, which have crushed the economics of coal, are on the path to being undercut themselves by renewable power and big batteries, a study found.

By 2035, it will be more expensive to run 90% of gas plants being proposed in the U.S. than it will be to build new wind and solar farms equipped with storage systems, according to the report Monday from the Rocky Mountain Institute. It will happen so quickly that gas plants now on the drawing boards will become uneconomical before their owners finish paying for them, the study said.

The development would be a dramatic reversal of fortune for gas plants, which 20 years ago supplied less than 20% of electricity in the U.S. Today that share has jumped to 35% as hydraulic fracturing has made natural gas cheap and plentiful, forcing scores of coal plants to close nationwide.

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Germany to close all 84 of its coal-fired power plants, will rely primarily on renewable energy

 141CEFA2-AEEF-4278-8DFC-6CF6C30CBA3EGermany to close all 84 of its coal-fired power plants, will rely primarily on renewable energy

Germany, one of the world’s biggest consumers of coal, will shut down all 84 of its coal-fired power plants over the next 19 years to meet its international commitments in the fight against climate change, a government commission said Saturday.

The announcement marked a significant shift for Europe’s largest country — a nation that had long been a leader on cutting CO2 emissions before turning into a laggard in recent years and badly missing its reduction targets. Coal plants account for 40% of Germany’s electricity, itself a reduction from recent years when coal dominated power production.

“This is an historic accomplishment,” said Ronald Pofalla, chairman of the 28-member government commission, at a news conference in Berlin following a marathon 21-hour negotiating session that concluded at 6 a.m. Saturday. The breakthrough ended seven months of wrangling. “It was anything but a sure thing. But we did it,” Pofalla said. “There won’t be any more coal-burning plants in Germany by 2038.”

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Dutch company using living plants to power streetlights

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Dutch company harnessing electricity from living plants.

The Dutch company Plant-e, is using living plants to power more than 300 streetlights, WiFi hotspots, and cell phone chargers.  The “Starry Sky” project started in November 2014 by Plant-e near Amsterdam in an old ammunition site called HAMburg.

 

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Japan to build the world’s largest floating solar power plants

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One of Kyocera’s existing solar power plants in Japan, which has 70 MW of power capacity.

Being short on free land space is not stopping Japan from investing in renewable energy. Solar panel company Kyocera Corp, Century Tokyo Leasing Corp and Ciel Terre have announced that they’re teaming up to create two huge floating solar power plants which will be up and running by April next year.

 

 

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Top 14 architectural trends for the future

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How do you envision the future of architecture?

The great architect, Frank Lloyd Wright said, “every great architect is — necessarily — a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.”  His visions of harmonious design and innovating urban planning amounted to his own brand of organic architecture. We’d argue that Wright wasn’t just an interpreter of his time — he was able to foresee the needs and desires of ages ahead of him. The architect is — necessarily — a visionary capable of seeing into the future. (Pics and videos)

 

 

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China to Shut Down 2,000 Factories to Meet Their Energy-Efficiency Goals

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Coal has made China the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Earlier this summer, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China promised to use an “iron hand” to improve his country’s energy efficiency, and a growing number of businesses are now discovering that it feels like a fist.  The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology quietly published a list late Sunday of 2,087 steel mills, cement works and other energy-intensive factories required to close by Sept. 30.

 

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Initiative Proposed To Delay California’s Global Warming Law

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California’s global warming law calls for utilities to increase their use of renewable energy to at least 30 percent by 2020

Conservatives propose an initiative that would delay curbs on greenhouse gas emissions until the state’s unemployment rate drops to 5.5%, a level not seen since 2007.

 

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