The Renewable Energy Renaissance

The real Renaissance is in renewable energy whose sources could meet 25% of the nation's energy needs by 2025. Renewable technologies can help restore political and economic stability as well as save money…and the planet.



Renewables overtake Nuclear Years Earlier Than Expected

The latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Electric Power Monthly (with data through April 30) reveals that renewable energy sources – including wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower – are now providing a greater share of the nation’s electrical generation than nuclear power, according to a new analysis from nonprofit SUN DAY Campaign.

For the first third of this year, renewables and nuclear power have been running neck-in-neck, with renewables providing 20.20% of U.S. net electrical generation during the four-month period (from January through April) compared to 20.75% for nuclear power. Yet, SUN DAY says that in March and April, renewables surpassed nuclear power for the first time and have taken a growing lead: 21.60% (renewables) versus 20.34% (nuclear) in March and 22.98% (renewables) versus 19.19% (nuclear) in April. Read more


Germany’s “energy transition” sets sail for offshore wind turbines without subsidies 

While the global nuclear industry is pricing itself out of the energy market and into bankruptcy, Germany and the Danish offshore wind energy developer, builder and operator, DONG Energy, have agreed to build an offshore wind energy project in the German North Sea without government subsidy.  Instead, Denmark’s Dong Energy plans to rely on wholesale market prices instead of extra government support. The move further casts new nuclear power plant construction into deeper doubt.  By contrast for example, the United Kingdom’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power project completely relies upon the government’s guarantee of more than twice the current UK wholesale electricity price for the next 35 years.  Germany’s offshore wind energy project presents a competitive sea change for the offshore and deep water wind industry globally.  The North Sea wind project starts out with a 240-megawatt (MW) farm at OWP West and another 240 MW farm at Borkum Riffgrund West 2. The projects are the first unsubsidized offshore wind turbines in all of Europe. DONG Energy was additionally awarded a third project in the German North Sea for the subsidized 110 MW Gode Wind 3 offshore wind farm.  

Here in the United Staes, DONG Energy Wind Power U.S. Inc. opens an office in Boston by the end of April 2017 after striking a deal with Eversource for the development of at least 2000 MW of wind energy 15-25 miles off the coast and over the horizon from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. In August 2016, the Massachusetts state legislature adopted a comprehensive energy bill that includes a first-of-its-kind mandate to purchase 1,600 MW of offshore wind power over the next ten years. Massachusetts’ procurement process is scheduled to begin in June 2017.   DONG Energy is additionally developing more than 1000 MW of wind farms off the New Jersey coast through permits awarded by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.  The Massachusetts and New Jersey projects foretell the significant scaling up in offshore wind energy development from the 30 MW of wind turbines generating power today off of Block Island, Rhode Island.


While Trump promotes coal, other countries are turning to cheap sun power

'A Solar Saudi Arabia': While Trump promotes coal, Chile and others are turning to cheap sun power.

As reported by the Washington Post.

A companion article, "Trump aims deep cuts at energy agency that helped that helped make solar power affordable," also appeared in the Washington Post.

(U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) pointed out, many years ago, that Saudi Arabia itself, is a potential Saudi Arabia of solar power, given the potential. As the climate crisis worsens, Saudi Arabia's transition from oil production to solar power generation would be a wise move, for itself and the planet. But of course U.S. leadership on such issues would make a big difference.)


Energy Efficiency Could Offset Indian Point Shutdown, Report Says

As reported by the New York Times, Hudson Riverkeeper and Natural Resources Defense Council have commissioned a report by Synapse Energy Economics, showing that energy efficiency can readily replace the Indian Point nuclear power plant's electricity, reliably and affordably (not to mention a wee bit more safely, securely, and cleanly!).

ACEEE (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy) confirms that New York State could readily triple its energy efficiency, as already accomplished by states such as nuclear-free Vermont and Rhode Island (not to mention Massachusetts, which plans to become nuclear-free in 2019, with long-overdue Pligrim's closure.)


Senators Markey and Merkley Lead Effort Calling for 100% Clean and Renewable Energy by 2050

Transition to clean and renewable energy will help combat climate change, support continued job creation gains

As posted on Sen. Markey's (D-MA) website.