Renewables now cheapest of all – and at times even utterly free

We are in a dead-serious race against time when it comes to stopping our pollution of the atmosphere. Equally important is to share and spread the knowledge about how fast things are actually progressing in the right direction towards a new, sustainable energy era. Below are some recent examples.


Solar is now cheaper than any other electricity generation technology

Electricity generated with solar has become the cheapest electricity ever, anywhere, by any technology.

For the first time ever, in 2016, solar photovoltaics had the fastest electricity capacity growth compared to any other fuel. Cities around the the world are switching from diesel to electric buses, a move that is saving them money and lowering their emissions.

The installation of solar and wind systems has been doubling globally nearly every five and half years. Maintaining this rate of renewable expansion could see the world’s energy systems completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

» ThinkProgress – 20 October 2017:
Solar power crushes its own record for cheapest electricity ‘ever, anywhere, by any technology’
“The lowest price for solar power last year is the highest price now.”

Falling solar photovoltaic prices. Image: Bloomberg New Energy Finance






German wind power: Utterly FREE energy

Imagine! Germany generated enough wind power at the weekend to give consumers free energy.
What?
Yes, FREE energy.

This is what so many Australians don’t seem to get …yet, anyway: With renewables, we are on the path to a new world, where electricity only gets cheaper and cheaper.

But na! – the Australian government wants us to believe the opposite is the case. It still wants us to think that wind turbines are “utterly offensive” because it has struck a deal with the coal mining lobby.

Keeping the coal industry happy is more important to this country’s leaders than whether we wreck the climate and the Greet Barrier Reef and protect future generations from sea level rise and disasters.

Meanwhile confused consumers and businesses find themselves paying more and more for their electricity, and they complain loudly about it, because they have been told it is those greenies’ and treehuggers’ fault. As bizarre as it may sound, the government and its supporters in media have consistently been blaming renewables for making electricity more expensive, and with all the fake news flying around, it is easy to get the impression that they have had some level of success with fooling the nation.

However, one poll after the other shows that the vast majority of the Australian people wants renewable energy, and they want it NOW. The topic has potential to become a decisive election issue, and if politicians can’t see the need to change, then the voters will eventually change them.

The recent election in New Zealand is an example of that. More below.

» The Independent – 1 November 2017:
Germany generated enough wind power at the weekend to give consumers free energy
“Wind Europe said that European wind energy broke a new record on 28 October”


IEA: Global renewable electricity generation set to grow more than one-third by 2022

The renewable electricity market has witnessed an unprecedented acceleration in recent years. According to the International Energy Agency, the world’s renewable electricity capacity is set to rise sharply over the next five years. This is an expansion of 43% compared to today’s levels. Denmark is expected to be the world leader, with 70% of its electricity generation coming from variable renewables in 2022.

» Read more on www.stateofgreen.com


“Lazard reports wind and solar are now 20% cheaper than gas and half the price of new imported coal fired power. IEEFA agrees.”
~ Tim Buckley, IEEFA



 
“Renewables have undergone a transformation and are now the cheapest energy in many countries”
~ IRENA








Amazing news from New Zealand

Prime Minister elect Jacinda Ardern has put climate change at the top of her priorities:

“I do anticipate that we will be a government, as I said during the campaign, that will be absolutely focused on the challenge of climate change. That will include a zero carbon act. That will include an independent climate commission. That will include making sure that we have an all gases, all sectors emissions trading scheme.”
~ Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s new Prime Minister









New Zealand’s incoming government is hoping to make the nation greener by planting 100 million trees each year, ensuring the electricity grid runs entirely from renewable energy, and spending more money on cycle ways and rail transport.

» www.weforum.org



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Elon Musk’s break down on climate change

This lecture from Elon Musk on climate change and how to fight it is masterly:





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“Renewable forms of energy are better for the environment than fossils fuels, and technological improvements have dramatically lowered their cost while improving efficiency. So why are we still using oil and coal?

Lower prices have allowed renewables to make up ground over the last few years, but tax breaks and tariffs continue to play a vital role in keeping the coal and oil industries alive.”

» Futurism – 9 November 2017:
What Will It Take to Kill Fossil Fuels Once and for All?


Game-changing advances in renewables

“After decades of bickering, the public are sick of the politicisation and gridlock over climate and energy policy. Soaring household energy prices for outdated, dirty power have politicians feeling the heat, while game-changing advances in renewables (both battery storage and cost) have business leaders from all backgrounds coming to the table like never before. We can do so much better, and from the coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef to increasing extreme weather events, the writing’s on the wall that we must.”
~ Professor Will Steffen, Climate Councillor



» The Guardian – 28 October 2017:
‘Way off the planet’: regional businesses use renewables to slash costs
“From solar to running generators, some have quit the energy grid and several others are showing interest in ‘defecting’.”






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“Let’s create a world which runs entirely on green energy.”
~ www.orsted.dk, Denmark’s leading energy company

From black to green

» Check this inspirational video from Denmark’s largest energy company

While Australian politicians are making appalling and short-sighted decisions that result in record heat waves, destructive bush fires and hurricanes, flooding, extreme rains, prolonged drought and rising sea levels, citizens and businesses are quickly stepping up to do what is needed to protect our families from the growing dangers of climate change.

For instance, here is an energy company which has understood which way the wind blows and is transforming itself “from black to green”, as they say. And for that same reason they now change the company’s name: It used to be called DONG, which was an abbreviation for “Danish Oil and Natural Gas”. This no longer reflects what the company works with, so the company has now changed its name to Ørsted – inspired by the surname of the Danish scientist who discovered electromagnetism.

We think this is brilliant! What should hold Geelong back from picking up that same mindset and creating sustainable businesses that will continue to thrive long after the industries based on fossil fuels have disappeared?

So far Ørsted has installed every fourth offshore wind turbine on the planet. By 2025 they expect to have installed enough offshore wind turbines to supply 30 million people with clean electricity.




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Service to humanity

Billions in Change 2 shows how simple life-changing inventions provide clean water, electricity, and improve the lives of farmers. See how these inventions will enable the unlucky half of the world to improve their lives.

» www.billionsinchange.com/film


Be a doer!




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MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION:

Bank advertisement that makes a difference


Even after the Paris Agreement was signed and after the four big banks in Australia said they would align their policies accordingly, the last two years have shown that in reality they are doing close to nothing, and worst of all: they keep investing billions of dollars in fossil fuel projects.

In that frustrating light, I am pleased to see that their customers now have an alternative.

I opened an account with Bank Australia because I love what they do, and how they do it, and I want to support this.

Same reason I switched to fossil-free Future Super.

I invite you to join me. But first, watch the ad, if you haven’t already seen it. It features, among others, the Danish-Australian start-up Reground.


GetUp: The fight against climate change begins at home

Is your home loan fighting climate change, or funding it?

Anthony and Mhairi from GetUp wrote:

Are you one of 80 per cent of Australians who has their home loan with one of the Big Four — ANZ, Westpac, Commbank and NAB? If so, you’re a customer of a bank that’s lending billions of dollars to some of the dirtiest fossil fuel companies on the planet.

New research shows that the Big Four have loaned a combined $17 billion to coal, oil and gas projects since December 2015, when they all committed to keeping global warming to under 2°C.

We need to stop these dirty deals, and to do that we need to hit the Big Four where it hurts — right in the profit margins.

Every person who leaves the Big Four banks, and tells them why, puts more pressure on them to quit climate-destroying fossil fuels for good.
Will you join us? Thanks for all you do for a safer climate.

GetUp’s Brighter Banks campaign targets these banks to send a clear message — ditch fossil fuels or your customers will ditch you.
Increasingly, Australians are turning to ethical banks. These institutions have firm commitments never to invest in coal or gas.”

» Bank Australia is one such bank.





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What life will be like in 2030

“You are just waking up in the spring of 2030. Your Internet of Things bedroom opens solar powered e-windows and plays gentle music while your smart lighting displays a montage of beachfront sunrises from your recent vacation.

Your shower uses very little water or soap. It recycles your grey water and puts the excess heat back into your home’s integrated operating system. While you dress, your artificial intelligence (AI) assistant shares your schedule for the day and plays your favourite tunes.
You still start your day with caffeine but it comes from your IoT refrigerator which is capable of providing a coffeehouse experience in your home. A hot breakfast tailored to your specific nutritional needs (based on chemical analysis from your trips to the “smart toilet”) is waiting for you in the kitchen.

When it’s time to leave, an on-demand transport system has three cars waiting for you, your spouse and your kids. On the road, driverless cars and trucks move with mathematical precision, without traffic jams, routine maintenance or road rage. Accident rates are near zero.”

» World Economic Forum – 1 November 2017:
This is what life will be like in 2030

» World Economic Forum – 1 November 2017:
The power plant of the future is in your home


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» The Sustainable Studio on 11 October 2017:
The renewable energy revolution is happening



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