Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cheap as Chips Renewables

“Three years ago, we thought wind and solar would be cheap as chips, and they’ve even gone below that,” said Michael Liebreich, chief executive officer of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The plummeting price of renewable energy has bankrupted more than two dozen wind and solar manufacturers, but BNEF analysts say these lower prices could lead to a tripling of investment in the sector over the next 17 years. The collapse of companies appears to be little more than natural attrition in a fast-evolving industry with an extremely bright future.

This is comparable with the car industry where just a handful of major players emerged from the hundreds of small companies that started up from the 1880s onwards.

While suppliers are suffering from falling prices, those lower prices are making more projects profitable to develop and advancing the day when renewables can rival coal and oil on cost. 

Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that renewables will account for half of all generation capacity by 2030. They predict that much of the future market growth will be driven by low-cost attractiveness rather than by the government subsidies that have supported renewables markets so far. As costs fall, countries are paring back subsidies.


News from the Transformation tab.  

Carbon trading in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), involving nine states in the U.S. Northeast, has produced $1.6 billion in economic value added to the region. They have been so successful at reducing emissions that they plan to tighten the cap. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Now you see it, now you don't

When the stage magician makes the bird appear the audience gasps because he has conjured a bird where there was no bird before.

In the same way, a new carbon tax evokes gasps of shock as opponents complain that it is a new expense that didn't exist before.

Nonsense, of course. The magician's bird existed all along but was hidden from sight. In the same way, the cost of carbon pollution existed all along but was hidden from sight. The costs include threats to food production and water supplies; damage caused by heatwaves that are more extreme and more frequent; droughts that come more often and last longer; more severe storms and flooding; loss of habitats, plants and animals; and worsening ocean acidification.

Carbon taxes don't magically add new costs, they reveal the costs that already exist. With these costs out in the light, there's a better chance that they'll be contained so we can avoid the worst damage from dangerous climate change.


News from the Transformation tab.  

Consumer goods manufacturing giant Procter & Gamble is now sending zero waste to landfill at 45 of its sites across the globe. Procter & Gamble says less than 1% of its waste currently goes to landfill worldwide. The company has reduced the amount of waste it produces by 68% since 2008. It aims to achieve zero waste at all sites.