Brad Friedman and Desi Doyen: ‘Green News Report’ – July 22, 2014

Record wildfires burn a million acres in the Pacific Northwest; It's official: June 2014 was the hottest June globally on record; EPA moves to block massive Pebble Mine; California moves to block oil industry polluting groundwater. [Read more...]



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UK Retains Target to Cut Carbon Emissions by Half Through 2025

The U.K. will keep a target to cut greenhouse gases by half through 2025, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said, foiling the Treasury’s effort to weaken the target.



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Fifteen Clean Energy Yield Cos: Where’s The Yield?

Tom Konrad CFA

 In the first article of this survey of yield cos, I noted that many of the recent yield co IPOs have risen so far as to "lend the very term "yield co" a hint of irony" because rising stock prices are accompanied by falling annual dividend yields. [Read more...]


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Dale Hansen: The Republicans’ Minimum Wage Class Warfare

The rise of the U.S. was very much tied to innovation and creation. This conservative propensity of arguing for antiquated occupations to save menial jobs instead of embracing the sort of change that made the U.S. the world power it is today is dangerous. [Read more...]



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How Opposite Energy Policies Turned The Fukushima Disaster Into A Loss For Japan And A Win For Germany

Japan thinks of itself as famously poor in energy, but this national identity rests on a semantic confusion. Japan is indeed poor in fossil fuels — but among all major industrial countries, it’s the richest in renewable energy like sun, wind, and geothermal. For example, Japan has nine times Germany’s renewable energy resources. Yet Japan makes about nine times less of its electricity from renewables (excluding hydropower) than Germany does.



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China Poised For Significant Expansion In Wind Power Generation

by William Gregozeski, CFA

China is the world’s largest producer of electricity, surpassing the United States in 2011, with demand increasing alongside its strong, sustained growth in GDP.  Electricity generation in China has increased 9.6% annually, from 2005 to 2013, reaching 5,425.1TWh of electricity.  Coal-fired plants currently make up over two-thirds of power generation, which is partly the result of an abundance of coal in China.  Despite this growth, the country expects demand to continue to increase at a rapid pace, reaching 7.295TWh of demand in 2020 and 11,595TWh in 2040. 
 
However, the growth in electricity production from coal-fired plants has resulted in an increase in air pollution and general lack of efficiency.  China is now moving aggressively to curb pollution and increase the supply of renewable power.  The central government has prohibited new coal-fired plants to be built around Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing, which is currently in the midst of having all of its coal plants being converted to natural gas.  Its 12th Five Year Plan, running through 2015, targeted non-fossil fuel energy to account for 15% of total energy consumption.  One of the key industries expected to help meet these goals is wind power. 
 
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China is the world’s largest wind energy producer, with over 90GW of installed capacity as of the end of 2013.  Despite this large figure, the country added 16.1GW of capacity in 2013, up from 13.0GW of new capacity in 2012, and is aiming to add 18.0GW of new capacity in 2014.  By comparison, China added roughly 3.0GW of solar power in 2013, reaching 10.0GW of installed capacity.  In 2013, wind power contributed 137.1TWh of electricity generation, which equates to just 2.5% of total power generation in China.  Based on 90GW of installed capacity at the end of the year and the average wind farm in China operating for 2,000 hours in 2013, up from 1,900 hours in 2012, China’s installed wind capacity was operating at a run rate of 180.0TWh of power generation. 
 
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 While 15% is the near term renewable target, the potential of wind in China is much greater.  In 2009, researchers from Harvard and Tsinghua University found China could generate all of its power profitably from wind alone, making wind power an attractive alternative to coal power, especially as the government moves to reduce pollution.  While the potential for 100% wind power exists, there are a number of practical issues that must be resolved first, including the country’s power grid.  Roughly 15% to 20% of all of the country’s installed wind capacity is not grid connected, due to the lack of transmission infrastructure. 
 
Like other industries in China, the central government plays a key role in the power industry, controlling the power grid and electricity prices.  The power grid in China is tightly controlled by three State Owned Enterprises, led by the State Grid Corporation of China, which provides power to 88% of China and is the seventh largest company in the world, according to Forbes.  The other two grid companies in China are China Southern Power Grid and Inner Mongolia Electric Power Transmission.  Investment in the Chinese power grid has grown 11.4% annually over the last five years.  This growth should accelerate as the State Grid announced in January it plans to increase power grid construction by nearly 20%, with investments that include constructing ultra-high voltage transmission lines and cross-region grids, which should help spur demand for wind energy and enable off-grid wind capacity to be brought online. 
 
The role of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on the power production industry is also favorable to wind power.  The NDRC not only sets power prices, but also has the role of pushing for increases in renewable power production through measures such as legally requiring the power grid to purchase all renewable power and establishing a subsidy to spur investment in the industry.  Prices set by the NDRC are generally not based on market dynamics, but rather set based on the greater good of the country.  The price of coal has been volatile in recent years.  This, coupled with the constant electricity purchase price has led to large swings between profitability and losses for these producers.  On the other hand, wind is well suited to thrive in this environment due to its lack of a commodity feedstock and small ongoing operating expenses. 
 
William Gregozeski, CFA is the Director of Research at Greenridge Global, a provider of institutional-based sell-side services to underfollowed Asian-based companies and special situation stocks.  The author of this article, Greenridge Global and its affiliates do not have a beneficial ownership in the companies mentioned herein or any other disclosable conflicts of interest.
 


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Renewables Provide 56 Percent of New US Electrical Generating Capacity in First Half of 2014

According to the latest "Energy Infrastructure Update" report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower provided 55.7 percent of new installed U.S. electrical generating capacity during the first half of 2014 (1,965 MW of the 3,529 MW total installed).



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Mary Ellen Harte: Climate Change This Week: Undersea Deforestation, Churches Divest, and More!

Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.



Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, July 20 2014

How unusu... [Read more...]



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Jorge Madrid: Does Big Oil Really Care About Vulnerable Communities?

Do oil companies really care about vulnerable populations like low income people and communities of color? Could it be that they are using these families as a smokescreen for killing environmental protections and protecting their profits? [Read more...]



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California’s Clean Energy Goals In Danger

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Already locked in its third dry year, an ongoing drought could complicate California's battle against global warming and make i...

Read more: Green Energy California, Drought, Drought California, California, California Drought, Renewables, California Renewable Energy, Green Energy, Ap, California Water, Green News



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