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Watt’s Happening?

#124
by Don Pettit
for Peace Energy Renewable Energy Cooperative
www.peaceenergy.ca ph 250-782-3882

Clean Energy Update

The clean energies of solar and wind will continue to compete with energy sources that require no fuel to
to lead energy growth into the 21st century, having operate and produce no pollution. (Bloomberg New
already outstripped growth in fossil fuels in 2014. As Energy Finance)
time marches on, it will become more and more difficult

F
irst off, lets define what I possible! looking worse every time we do
mean by “clean” energy. The good news is that’s another study.
There are many sources of what seems to be happening: the Hydroelectricity from big
energy in the world today, used dirtiest fuels are being replaced dams is also falling out of favour:
roughly in this order: coal, natural by the cleanest. Coal, oil and gas, flooding bio-diverse river valleys
gas, hydroelectric, nuclear, wind, the classic fossil fuels, are falling and then contaminating the down-
solar, biomass and geothermal. out of favour, with a wave of coal stream ecology with mercury are
None of them come without plant closures around the world. both bad ideas.
an environmental price tag. Our Natural gas, now cheap and Nobody wants a nuclear
job is to figure out which of these plentiful thanks to frac technology, plant in their backyard, and who
is the “cleanest” with the lowest is temporarily replacing much of can blame them, when one gram
environmental price and move this coal burning, but the carbon of plutonium (the most toxic
in that direction – quickly where emissions from extracting gas are substance known) will give one
million people cancer. wide blackout caused by an “unprecedented” storm
Biofuels (such as wood waste), if properly in 2016.
burned in state of the art facilities, are considered The government sees the move to a distributed
“clean” since the carbon emitted will be re-absorbed solar/battery energy system as a move to greater
by the biosphere and turned into more biofuel. But reliability and energy security while benefiting tens
it’s still using fuel and creating waste that has to be of thousands of people directly.
dealt with.
That leaves the three I (and most experts) SOLAR PULLS AHEAD
consider to be the cleanest energy sources: wind, solar
and geothermal. All three burn no fuel, but instead Solar continues to move ahead of wind as the fastest
tap into the natural forces that nature provides free growing energy source on the planet.
of charge: the immense power of Last year saw a global increase
wind, life-giving sunlight and the
natural heat of our mostly molten . . . it will of 26% for the solar industry
(an investment of about $150
Earth. They are inexhaustible,
they produce no pollution during become more and billion), with another record
106 gigawatts expected to

more difficult
operation, they are simple and come on-line this year. That’s
relatively low-tech, safe and one million 340-watt solar

to compete with
reliable. panels installed EVERY DAY.
Nothing is perfect, but

energy sources
these three are pretty darn good. EV’s POISED TO LEAD
And their use, especially wind
and solar, is growing very rapidly.
that require no
China is positioning itself to
become the “Detroit of electric
AUSTRALIA BUILDS
fuel to operate
vehicles.” Huge battery plants
“VIRTUAL” POWER similar in size to Tesla’s

and produce no
PLANT Gigafactory are in the works,
with plans to triple the rest of
the world’s capacity combined.
pollution.
Over the next four years, 50,000
homes in South Australia will Meanwhile, the Korean
each receive a free solar panel car maker Hyundai is zooming
array and Tesla batteries, which ahead of the competition
will all be interconnected to to be the first international
create the world’s largest “virtual” power plant. automaker to bring an electric car to India, the world’s
Provided free to households and financed by largest country. Indian Prime Minister Narendra
the sale of excess electricity generated by the network, Modi wants all new cars sold in India to be electric
households will benefit with significant savings on by 2030.
their energy bills. Even Big Oil is waking up to the new reality
This innovative power plant will generate of electric transportation. Oil giant BP is installing,
250 megawatts of solar energy and will have 650 over the next two months, rapid electric car chargers
megawatt hours of battery storage. at all of its petrol stations across the U.K.
60 percent of electricity generation in Australia Can we power the whole world with clean
is from coal, with 14 percent from renewables, but electricity? Yes we can, and that’s exactly where
many of their coal plants are slated for closure. Their we’re headed.
existing system was proven fragile after the state-