Our pathetically slow shift to clean energy, in five charts

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We’d better pick up the pace in the 2020s.

By most measures that matter, clean energy had a stellar decade.

The cost of large wind and solar farms dropped by 70% and nearly 90%, respectively. Meanwhile, renewable-power plants around the world are producing four times more electricity than they did 10 years ago.

Similarly, electric vehicles were barely a blip at the outset of the 2010s. But automakers were on track to sell 1.8 million EVs this year, as range increased, prices fell, and companies introduced a variety of models.

But the swift growth in these small sectors still hasn’t added up to major changes in the massive global energy system, or reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions. So far, cleaner technologies have mostly met rising energy demands, not cut deeply into existing fossil-fuel infrastructure, as the charts that follow make clear.

That’s a problem. Cutting emissions rapidly enough to combat the increasing threats of climate change will require complete overhauls of our power plants, factories, and vehicle fleets, all within a few decades.

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A cost-effective battery that stores surplus wind and solar power a step closer to reality

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A home battery that is cheap, durable, safe and as big as you like that could store solar or wind power is closer to reality. Harvard University researchers report that they have tested a “flow battery” that uses cheap and abundant chemical elements, can be operated with plastic components, will not catch fire and can operate at 99 percent efficiency.

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Here’s where 620 million people in Africa live without electricity

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The International Energy Agency has come out with an in-depth analysis of Africa’s energy sector.  According to the IEA report, there are 620 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who don’t have any electricity at all — and fixing that could require burning a lot more fossil fuels.

 

 

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$100B invested in wind or solar will produce more energy than oil

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By the late 2020s or early 2030s renewables could be competing much more aggressively with the oil market.

Kepler Chevreux, a French investment bank, has produced a fascinating analysis that has dramatic implications for the global oil industry. The investment bank estimates that $100 billion invested in either wind energy or solar energy – and deployed as energy for light and commercial vehicles – will produce significantly more energy than that same $100 billion invested in oil.

 

 

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Germany generates 74% of power needs from renewable energy

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An offshore wind turbine near Rostock. Germany.

Germany’s impressive streak of renewable energy milestones continues, with renewable energy generation surging to a record portion — nearly 75 percent — of the country’s overall electricity demand by midday last Sunday. With wind and solar in particular filling such a huge portion of the country’s power demand, electricity prices actually dipped into the negative for much of the afternoon, according to Renewables International.

 

 

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World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm to be Switched On

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There are more than 100 giant turbines in the Thanet wind farm.

Arranged in formation like an advancing army, this is the world’s biggest offshore wind farm.  The array of more than 100 giant turbines towering over the North Sea will be switched on today off the coast of Kent.

 

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Germany Could Produce 100% of It’s Electricity from Renewables by 2050

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Germany is the global leader in solar power.

Germany is already a global leader in solar power, but that’s just a start as far as Germans are concerned. It’s already been shown that Germany could produce 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2050. Now the country’s environment agency is arguing that it should.

 

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Tiny Battery Traps Solar Power To Run An Entire House

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Ceramatec have created the disk, which can hold up to 20-kilowatt hours

A small disc could be the solution for the efficient and cheap storage of the sun’s energy.  A Utah-based company has found a new way to store solar energy – in a small ceramic disk which can store more power for less. Researchers at Ceramatec have created the disk, which can hold up to 20-kilowatt hours, enough to power an entire house for a large portion of the day.

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