Corporations Are Buying More Renewables Than Ever

Companies are buying renewable power at a record pace. There are several reasons clean power is attractive. Renewable energy is often the cheapest source of electricity. Long-term contracts to buy clean power from wind and solar farms can also act as hedges against uncertain wholesale prices. Google and other big technology companies have driven the trend, but the pool of clean-power buyers is deepening.

Top 10 corporate buyers:

1 Facebook 1.1GW
2 AT&T 820MW
3 Norsk Hydro 667MW
4 Alcoa 524
5 Microsoft 473MW
6 Walmart 408MW
7 T-Mobile 160MW
8 MGM 130MW
9 Google 120MW
10 Nike 86MW 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must presume that Apple supplies its own renewables? I do not see Amazon on the list...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to EIA, renewables accounted for 24% of global generation in 2016 - ahead of gas, but below the 38% of the electricity produced from coal....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interestingly, coal is continuously dominating the  other sources since 1971. In fact, it is a big concern and needs proper attention globally...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, damirUSBiH said:

According to EIA, renewables accounted for 24% of global generation in 2016 - ahead of gas, but below the 38% of the electricity produced from coal....

Notice how gas generation increased in lock step with renewables. More you depend on renewables, more you need natural gas for offsetting the seasonal fluctuations

image.png.7b682edaca6b7f63cd4a0694eff6ffa3.png

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On ‎8‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 2:25 AM, damirUSBiH said:

According to EIA, renewables accounted for 24% of global generation in 2016 - ahead of gas, but below the 38% of the electricity produced from coal....

In this case renewables includes hydro power, which would account for the fast bulk of generation, and much of it pre-dating current obsession with green energy  - if that figure is broken down further the share of wind and solar is 2-3 per cent at most, the bulk of that in wind. In fact if you look at the IEA release closely, its a masterpiece of deception. Note that everything is expressed in growth. Sure the growth in solar and wind is impressive, but the announcement carefully leaves out the detail that its off a very low base. For a better idea of absolute shares (albeit for total energy rather than electricity) than look at https://www.iea.org/statistics/?country=WORLD&year=2015&category=Key indicators&indicator=TPESbySource&mode=chart&categoryBrowse=false

Now take a closer look at the IEA renewables stats. Note that for 2016 maybe half the increase in renewables was in hydro. If you adjust that again for capacity factor (effective output) then solar and wind look very sorry indeed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably worth noting the cost per btu. That might be driving gas as much as anything else. Silly to build more oil or coal if you have access to piped gas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 8/17/2018 at 6:38 PM, markslawson said:

In this case renewables includes hydro power, which would account for the fast bulk of generation, and much of it pre-dating current obsession with green energy  - if that figure is broken down further the share of wind and solar is 2-3 per cent at most, the bulk of that in wind. In fact if you look at the IEA release closely, its a masterpiece of deception. Note that everything is expressed in growth. Sure the growth in solar and wind is impressive, but the announcement carefully leaves out the detail that its off a very low base. For a better idea of absolute shares (albeit for total energy rather than electricity) than look at https://www.iea.org/statistics/?country=WORLD&year=2015&category=Key indicators&indicator=TPESbySource&mode=chart&categoryBrowse=false

Now take a closer look at the IEA renewables stats. Note that for 2016 maybe half the increase in renewables was in hydro. If you adjust that again for capacity factor (effective output) then solar and wind look very sorry indeed. 

Precisely!!!

Thanks for that info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious how you can separate the dirty electricity from fossil fuels and the clean electricity when it comes through the line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 8/18/2018 at 1:38 AM, markslawson said:

In this case renewables includes hydro power, which would account for the fast bulk of generation, and much of it pre-dating current obsession with green energy  - if that figure is broken down further the share of wind and solar is 2-3 per cent at most, the bulk of that in wind. In fact if you look at the IEA release closely, its a masterpiece of deception. Note that everything is expressed in growth. Sure the growth in solar and wind is impressive, but the announcement carefully leaves out the detail that its off a very low base. For a better idea of absolute shares (albeit for total energy rather than electricity) than look at https://www.iea.org/statistics/?country=WORLD&year=2015&category=Key indicators&indicator=TPESbySource&mode=chart&categoryBrowse=false

Now take a closer look at the IEA renewables stats. Note that for 2016 maybe half the increase in renewables was in hydro. If you adjust that again for capacity factor (effective output) then solar and wind look very sorry indeed. 

To some extent this is explained by the fact that Hydroelectricity has been around for about 140 years whereas commercial scale wind farms have only been around for the last 25-30 and solar for the last 10-15 years. 

Roll forward 140 years, assuming no breakthrough in fusion technology, and that we haven't vapourised ourselves, wind and solar will be one of the main sources of power to mankind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, NickW said:

To some extent this is explained by the fact that Hydroelectricity has been around for about 140 years whereas commercial scale wind farms have only been around for the last 25-30 and solar for the last 10-15 years. 

Roll forward 140 years, assuming no breakthrough in fusion technology, and that we haven't vapourised ourselves, wind and solar will be one of the main sources of power to mankind

Oh sure. What you say about hydro is true. The point I was making was that the IEA figures give the quite misleading impression that there had been a huge growth in renewables, but the reality is that most of the present capacity is pre-existing hydro, as well as geothermal (used in a couple of areas), and some biomass. As we have discussed before hydro is high value on any network as it can be called on at any time and responds very quickly. Wind and solar, in contrast is low and even negative value on any network, as you have to run the grid around them. That means that any growth depends entirely on government incentives of various sorts. If those incentives continue then maybe one day solar and wind may be significant as hydro. Maybe, if voters don't get sick of the endless subsidies and expensive electricity. Hydro has limited growth capacity in most western countries, as getting new dams built can be difficult, but not in China or India. The Chinese are the world champion dam builders.  

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, markslawson said:

Oh sure. What you say about hydro is true. The point I was making was that the IEA figures give the quite misleading impression that there had been a huge growth in renewables, but the reality is that most of the present capacity is pre-existing hydro, as well as geothermal (used in a couple of areas), and some biomass. As we have discussed before hydro is high value on any network as it can be called on at any time and responds very quickly. Wind and solar, in contrast is low and even negative value on any network, as you have to run the grid around them. That means that any growth depends entirely on government incentives of various sorts. If those incentives continue then maybe one day solar and wind may be significant as hydro. Maybe, if voters don't get sick of the endless subsidies and expensive electricity. Hydro has limited growth capacity in most western countries, as getting new dams built can be difficult, but not in China or India. The Chinese are the world champion dam builders.  

Wind and solar in many locations are reaching parity with fossil fuel prices on a kwh basis which explains why subsidies per kwh are a fraction of what they used to be. Then you have externality costs with fossil fuels (Ok I accept you don't believe such things exist but most people / governments / organisations do).

Aside from these factors many countries are favourable to wind, solar and other renewables  particularly if they don't have their own conventional energy sources and / or are aware of the need to cut Co2 and other pollutant emissions to mitigate global warming and / or local pollution issues.

In comparison to Hydro wind would only have to grow by 1% per year to reach parity with Hydro as regards where it is today. Current growth rates are >10% per annum.

Solar would need to grow at just over 2% per annum. Current growth rates are >25% per annum.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, NickW said:

Wind and solar in many locations are reaching parity with fossil fuel prices on a kwh basis which explains why subsidies per kwh are a fraction of what they used to be. Then you have externality costs with fossil fuels (Ok I accept you don't believe such things exist but most people / governments / organisations do).

Aside from these factors many countries are favourable to wind, solar and other renewables  particularly if they don't have their own conventional energy sources and / or are aware of the need to cut Co2 and other pollutant emissions to mitigate global warming and / or local pollution issues.

In comparison to Hydro wind would only have to grow by 1% per year to reach parity with Hydro as regards where it is today. Current growth rates are >10% per annum.

Solar would need to grow at just over 2% per annum. Current growth rates are >25% per annum.

 

 

 

Wow, so I guess any of us educated folks should get ready for eternal unemployment. Or careers as cashiers. An Engineering Defeee well spent.

Thats the real downside of renewables - shit all in employment. 

I would strongly advise any teenage kid against anything but video gaming and smoking if this is really the direction the world is going....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, NickW said:

Wind and solar in many locations are reaching parity with fossil fuel prices on a kwh basis which explains why subsidies per kwh are a fraction of what they used to be. Then you have externality costs with fossil fuels (Ok I accept you don't believe such things exist but most people / governments / organisations do).

Aside from these factors many countries are favourable to wind, solar and other renewables  particularly if they don't have their own conventional energy sources and / or are aware of the need to cut Co2 and other pollutant emissions to mitigate global warming and / or local pollution issues.

In comparison to Hydro wind would only have to grow by 1% per year to reach parity with Hydro as regards where it is today. Current growth rates are >10% per annum.

Solar would need to grow at just over 2% per annum. Current growth rates are >25% per annum.

 

 

 

Nick W - as I have explained to you before there is no way renewables can compete with conventional power on a grid on costs. You have to do too much to the grid when it has lots of renewables. Refer to posts in other threads for more details. I know this has been pointed out to you before and you had no adequate reply. As for the assertion "a fraction of the subsidies" this point exists only in your imagination - or it is because they've substituted targets for subsidies, to make the consumer pay instead. This point has also been made to you. Now, leave it with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

44 minutes ago, Ian Austin said:

Wow, so I guess any of us educated folks should get ready for eternal unemployment. Or careers as cashiers. An Engineering Defeee well spent.

Thats the real downside of renewables - shit all in employment. 

I would strongly advise any teenage kid against anything but video gaming and smoking if this is really the direction the world is going....

See Mark Lawson's comment directly following your comment above.

Also, despite media rumors to the contrary, global oil & gas useage is not going away any time soon. Bhimsen tried to convince me that oxen-drawn carts will make a comeback in cities as a form of "renewable energy" transportation.  I politely disagree.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, markslawson said:

there is no way renewables can compete with conventional power on a grid on costs.

^  this point needs to continue to be hammered home.  Again and again.

I really do get weary sometimes of media declaring the death of hydrocarbons, to be replaced by renewables.

A shift toward "renewable" energy will be gradual, but so far, nothing beats the "bang for the buck" for energy as hydrocarbons.  Nothing.

Hydrocarbon energy usage is not going away any time soon.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Hydrocarbon energy usage is not going away any time soon.

There will be coal fired plants 100 years from now. Coal is in a slow decline, has been for a long time relative to oil and gas. Not every country has a Henry Hub. I think as recently as 2012 coal exceeded oil in btu consumption for the world. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

^  this point needs to continue to be hammered home.  Again and again.

I really do get weary sometimes of media declaring the death of hydrocarbons, to be replaced by renewables.

They like death. Death sells. It's the ultimate clickbait. Yeah, it does get annoying. But it looks pretty and that's the only thing that counts.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Ian Austin said:

Wow, so I guess any of us educated folks should get ready for eternal unemployment. Or careers as cashiers. An Engineering Defeee well spent.

Thats the real downside of renewables - shit all in employment. 

I would strongly advise any teenage kid against anything but video gaming and smoking if this is really the direction the world is going....

If you do some reading you will be surprised to find out that in the field of renewables there are lots of opportunities for Engineers - mechanical, electrical civil, chemical, process, marine, aeronautical.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

9 hours ago, NickW said:

If you do some reading you will be surprised to find out that in the field of renewables there are lots of opportunities for Engineers - mechanical, electrical civil, chemical, process, marine, aeronautical.....

In Alberta there was recently 2 rounds of Solar/Wind auctions. Bids came in relatively low, albeit with large government support (I’ll refrain from calling it subsidies). To keep costs low, all contracts were awarded to foreign contractors such as EDF. The end of the day - no jobs created, and tax payers on the hook for tens of millions/year. Some supporters thought there would be many an entrepreneurial opportunity - guess they believe in the Easter Bunny too...

Remeber following the oil downturn, approximately 30% of the Engineers/Geoscientists in Alberta are unemployed. You wonder why we are so protective of the energy industry?

Edited by Ian Austin
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Ian Austin said:

In Alberta there was recently 2 rounds of Solar/Wind auctions. Bids came in relatively low, albeit with large government support (I’ll refrain from calling it subsidies). To keep costs low, all contracts were awarded to foreign contractors such as EDF. The end of the day - no jobs created, and tax payers on the hook for tens of millions/year. Some supporters thought there would be many an entrepreneurial opportunity - guess they believe in the Easter Bumny too...

Remeber following the oil downturn, approximately 30% of the Engineers/Geoscientists in Alberta are unemployed. You wonder why we are so protective of the energy industry?

So EDF were permitted to bring in an entirely foreign workforce? That surprises me given how particular Canada is about work VISA's.

I understand the desire for protectionism - I came out of O&G in 2016. However the energy sector has been like this for centuries.  Coal displaced wood and peat, Oil then displaced coal however coal made a comeback at least in power generation. Nuclear partly displaced coal and then gas came along and displaced the lot.

The horse and cart was partly replaced by the Canal and then railways came along and gradually displaced the canal. Motor vehicles came along and they partly displaced rail and the horse and cart disappeared into the history books.

In any case the decline in Alberta has little  to do with renewables as they don't really compete with Oil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

21 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

^  this point needs to continue to be hammered home.  Again and again.

I really do get weary sometimes of media declaring the death of hydrocarbons, to be replaced by renewables.

A shift toward "renewable" energy will be gradual, but so far, nothing beats the "bang for the buck" for energy as hydrocarbons.  Nothing.

Hydrocarbon energy usage is not going away any time soon.

This is very true but commercial  renewables (without any subsidy) are already nibbling away at the edges  in many locations.

In Perth (Oz) where I used to live there is a big market in remote wind and solar on farms and rural communities because the cost of shipping in diesel is so expensive. Also in the cities and towns solar (without any subsidies) has reach parity with grid electricity in the retail markets. With falling costs of storage within a decade it will be cheaper to generate your own and store given that its pretty much year round sunshine. Likewise in Darwin where many of my ex colleagues were going for solar and batteries over diesel gen sets to cope with the regular power cuts.

My wifes employer (US Conglomerate) have installed approx. 50KW od solar and a 1MW wind turbine as their plant has a baseload that exceeds that. No export, no subsidy - a straight forward commercial decision.

I work in the rail industry and we are increasingly going over to electric tools and battery banks instead of generators. This is not so much for cost (its currently cost neutral) but safety - reducing noise, vibration and exhaust exposures. Our crews who clear vegetation back use battery powered electric chainsaws for 70-75% of their work now. 

Anyway with the projected growth predictions for energy I don't know what everyone is worrying about. The truth is both renewables and fossil fuels will continue to grow in absolute use for decades.

Edited by NickW
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, NickW said:

So EDF were permitted to bring in an entirely foreign workforce? That surprises me given how particular Canada is about work VISA's.

I understand the desire for protectionism - I came out of O&G in 2016. However the energy sector has been like this for centuries.  Coal displaced wood and peat, Oil then displaced coal however coal made a comeback at least in power generation. Nuclear partly displaced coal and then gas came along and displaced the lot.

The horse and cart was partly replaced by the Canal and then railways came along and gradually displaced the canal. Motor vehicles came along and they partly displaced rail and the horse and cart disappeared into the history books.

In any case the decline in Alberta has little  to do with renewables as they don't really compete with Oil.

Yup, foreigners shuttled from Ontario (they were there by Visa). 

So the general public got nothing - no jobs, no cheaper electricity, although supporting with 10’s of millions 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Ian Austin said:

Yup, foreigners shuttled from Ontario (they were there by Visa). 

So the general public got nothing - no jobs, no cheaper electricity, although supporting with 10’s of millions 

More a reflection on Canadian politics then. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, NickW said:

So EDF were permitted to bring in an entirely foreign workforce? That surprises me given how particular Canada is about work VISA's.

I KNOW! Everything I learned from watching "Border Security: Canada's Front Line" tells me that they run a pretty tight ship! Go figure.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites