Alternative energy

The big picture

Wind and solar would struggle to replace coal-mining jobs

Renewable energy helps combat climate change, but the jobs potential is less clear.

Feb 5, 2020 - Energy & Environment
Why some in Big Oil are looking to go big in offshore wind

European oil and gas majors are leading the way.

Oct 30, 2019 - Energy & Environment
As wind and solar energy grow, so do their challenges

When it's not windy or sunny, issues can arise.

Aug 16, 2019 - Energy & Environment
Solar energy use is on the rise worldwide

A new report offers a look at the global picture on solar.

Jun 23, 2019 - Energy & Environment

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Private-sector heavyweights push for more energy R&D federal spending

Reproduced from AAAS via the American Energy Innovation Council; Chart: Axios Visuals

The chart above shows how the share of federal spending on energy research and development has largely declined over decades.

Driving the news: It's one of the data points in a report last week urging Congress to greatly expand the federal programs that help develop and commercialize climate-friendly tech.

Wind, solar power in Europe outpaces coal for the first time

Here's one thing that helped global emissions growth seemingly flatten: Wind and solar power combined outpaced coal-fired generation in the EU for the first time last year, a pair of think tanks said.

Why it matters: Energy transitions are notoriously slow — until they're not.

Wind and solar dominate new U.S. power capacity

Reproduced from EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Wind and solar make up more than three-quarters of the electricity capacity coming online in the country this year, new U.S. Energy Information Administration data show. 

Why it matters: These two renewable sources of energy are increasingly becoming cost-competitive, even while government subsidies for them are lessening, compared to traditionally dominant sources, such as natural gas and coal.

Go deeperArrowJan 15, 2020

Denmark generated almost half of its electricity from wind in 2019

Wind turbines in the Baltic Sea. Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Wind power accounted for a record 47% of the electricity consumed in Denmark in 2019, up from 41% in 2018 and 43% in 2017, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The country’s grid operator Energinet said Thursday that cost reductions and improved offshore turbines contributed to the boost.

Go deeperArrowJan 2, 2020

Why U.S. homeowners consider going solar

Forty-six percent of U.S. homeowners say they have seriously considered installing solar panels at their homes, a new Pew Research Center poll shows.

Why it matters: It signals that the residential solar market has lots of room for growth. The survey notes that only 6% of homeowners polled have already installed systems — but the Solar Energy Industries Association's (SEIA) current estimate sits at 2.1%.

Go deeperArrowDec 20, 2019

PG&E electricity shut-offs drive Californians' interest in solar power

Photo: Andrew Aitchison/InPictures via Getty Images

The solar industry came out with new data yesterday showing record residential installations in the third quarter, edging out prior highs in 2016.

The intrigue: One part of the quarterly report that caught my eye confirms that PG&E's power shut-offs are driving interest in solar-plus-battery systems, though the real effect won't be known for a while.

Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019

BP to provide Amazon with renewable electricity for European data centers

Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

BP announced Wednesday that it will start providing Amazon with renewable electricity to fuel European data centers that power the tech giant's cloud platform.

Why it matters: Data centers are very energy thirsty, and account for a great deal of the tech sector's carbon emissions.

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019

Los Angeles launches low-carbon transportation plan

Data: International Council on Clean Transportation; Chart: Axios Visuals

Los Angeles officials and partners launched a low-carbon transportation plan that's aimed, among other things, at having electric vehicles account for 80% of vehicles sold and 30% of vehicles on the road in 2028.

Why it matters: The "roadmap" unveiled last week is the latest effort among major cities to move toward more climate-friendly transit options.

Go deeperArrowDec 2, 2019

How Democrats want to change the energy tax code

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.). Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Democrats on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee have unveiled draft legislation that would extend and/or expand a suite of tax credits for climate-friendly energy sources.

Why it matters: The tax code has historically been a driver of solar and wind power deployment, as well as electric vehicle sales, and much more.

Go deeperArrowNov 20, 2019
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