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Author: Subject: If Trump Cares About Jobs, He’ll Stay in the Paris Climate Agreement

World Class Peach





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  posted on 2/24/2017 at 11:40 AM
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/if-trump-cares-about-jobs-hell-s tay-in-the-paris-climate-agreement

If Trump Cares About Jobs, He’ll Stay in the Paris Climate Agreement
GRENNAN MILLIKEN
Feb 23 2017, 11:14am

The president promised to bring back jobs in coal, but three million people were employed by the clean energy sector last year.
One of President Donald Trump's winning campaign platforms was his promise to bring back thousands of jobs in the fossil fuel industry—particularly those lost to the shrinking coal industry— that left entire counties devastated across the country.

But as it turns out, the number of clean energy jobs created in recent years far exceeds those lost to an increasingly outdated form of energy. In fact, the Department of Energy's (DOE) 2017 US Energy and Employment Report, said 3 million Americans were employed in the clean energy sector in 2016. That equals the number of those employed in retail store jobs, and is far more than the tens of thousands of jobs lost in the coal industry.

So this week, a broad coalition of clean energy groups have launched a social media campaign (#cleanenergyjobs) to highlight just how important their industries are to the American economy. They include such organizations as the American Council on Renewable Energy and the American Wind Energy Association.



Meanwhile, Trump and his cohort have put considerable effort into dismantling Obama-era environmental regulations that they perceive to be killers of these jobs. The losses have been very real and very painful on communities across a broad swath of coal country in Middle America. Over 600 mines have closed since 2009, and production has declined by over 177,000,000 tons.

But the jobs most likely won't come back. Coal is simply not cost-competitive with other types of fuels like natural gas for generating electricity. It no longer generates as much as natural gas, and in 2015, wind and solar made up two thirds of all new electricity-generating capacity in the United States.

During this same period, however, clean energy jobs in the US took off and have showed no sign of slowing down. Investment in zero-carbon electricity generation cracked $500 billion during the last ten years, with $59 billion of investment in the last year alone. Revenue from clean energy goods and services in 2015 surpassed $200 billion—even more than the quickly growing pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

Wind and solar in particular, have been expanding at a breakneck pace and are gaining on all other energy sectors in job generation—coal, natural gas, and petroleum. From 2015-2016, solar jobs increased 25 percent, and wind jobs 32 percent. By contrast, fossil fuel industry jobs increased by just under 5 percent in that same period.

According to the DOE report, in fact, solar jobs are growing 17 times faster than all others in the US. In 2016, 1 out of every 50 new jobs created was in the solar field.

Whether this administration refuses to take climate change seriously or not—many high ranking officials have either played down its importance, or have flatly denied its existence—most other countries around the world do. In December of 2015, 195 nations agreed to take serious action to curb emissions under the Paris Climate Agreement and are not importing US coal like they used to. American coal exports fell 23 percent in 2015 and 32 percent through the first half of 2016.

Make no mistake, the coalition pushing the "#cleanenergyjobs" campaign is, at its root, defending its own future and existence. They have a vested interest in urging the current Administration to not rollback environmental incentives and rules to the point where fossil fuel is favored at the expense of clean energy. But if the US pulls out of the Paris Climate Agreement, for example, and turns away from clean energy development, it's not just their companies that will suffer, it's our economy and the environment.

"The Trump administration must stand with the U.S. business community by remaining in international climate accords," said the Environmental Entrepreneurs, one of the groups supporting the jobs campaign.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 3/4/2017 at 08:01 AM
Wow, 373,807 solar jobs vs 187,117 fossil fuel energy jobs! Wow! I never would've thought that.

Two people I know that put alot of solar panels on their homes. They often are net suppliers back into the grid. They primarily did it because of federal tax credits that have been set to expire through the years, but got extended.

I was disappointed when a close friend of mine told me he opted for imported panels. I had told him there were panels that were made in the USA, like SolarWorld, but I think he got roped into a salesman that told him the US panels were just assembled of all foreign components and aren't of the highest quality. So he went with a European made panel I think.

I'd like to dig into that solar vs fossil fuel figure. It very well may be true, I'm just a skeptic on everything. That is a huge disparity I never would've expected.

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 3/4/2017 at 08:24 AM
The drop in oil and gas prices impacted the industry quite a bit as we know.

In 2015 Texas alone lost 60,000 oil and gas jobs.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/12/31/energy-oil-gas-us-jobs/78066 610/

The chart is going off of recent 2016 data, so I guess it just depends what period in time one is looking at. But the point remains, the solar job industry is an important one.

In 2012 during the "boom" support for oil and gas industry employed 286,000.

quote:
Support involves performing supporting activities for oil and natural gas operations, including exploration, excavation, well surveying, casing work, and well construction. Support is the largest oil and gas industry category, and employed more than 286,000 people by the end of 2012, up more than 102,000 jobs from 2007. (BLS considers support to be for the above activities, and does not include jobs created in other industries such as manufacturing, housing, retail, education, and food services.)
https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=12451



At a peak in October 2014, the oil and natural gas industry supported 538,000 jobs!
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=27392

I'm happy that renewable jobs have grown, but I also believe growth potential exists in fossil fuel segments as well. For me it has never been an either-or concept, it has always been an energy independent concept. If we can produce more of the oil and other fossil fuel energy sources we need within our border and rely less on foreign nations (and all the problems that come with that); plus if we can rely on green energy products that we produce in the US instead of importing those products from other nations - I'll call that a win - win.

[Edited on 3/4/2017 by nebish]

 

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  posted on 3/4/2017 at 08:51 AM
Figured this might be a good time to brush up on some oil production and import numbers.

We are producing more and importing less while consuming about the same amount over the last 6 years:

US crude oil production:
2010 - 5.475 million barrels per day
2015 - 9.415 million barrels per day
https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_crd_crpdn_adc_mbblpd_a.htm

US crude oil imports:
2010 - 11.793 million barrels per day
2015 - 9.449 million barrels per day
https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_impcus_a2_nus_ep00_im0_mbblpd_a.htm

Consumption has remained steady:
2010 - 19.180 million barrels per day
2015 - 19.531 million barrels per day
http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_cons_psup_dc_nus_mbblpd_a.htm

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 3/5/2017 at 12:36 PM
There is more to the story.

I don't want to minimize so many jobs in the solar industry, however I do want to offer perspective and a more accurate overall job figure related to fossil fuel industry.

If you add the electric power generation figures for the 4 fossil fuel categories coal, nat gas, oil/petroleum and advanced gas you get the 187,117 - same as above chart. These are the jobs from those fuel sources that make up electric power generation. BUT, if you count the jobs that these 4 fossil fuel categories are responsible in terms of extracting or producing the actual fuels you have 886,755 + 187,117 you get 1,073,872 jobs responsible for in the fossil fuel industry.

I also wonder, what percentage of the nation's overall power generation is derived from solar? And then if we knew that in terms of say a KW, how many jobs in solar does it take to produce their respective KW vs fossil fuels?

From a solar industry site:
https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2017/01/13/doe-report-reveals-solar-now-employs -374000/

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 3/5/2017 at 12:56 PM
Found an XLS with data on EIA's site http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data.cfm#generation

2016 net generation by energy source - figures thousand megawatts
Coal - 1,240,089
Petroleum liquid - 12,674
Petroleum coke - 11,232
Natural gas - 1,380,293
Other gas - 13,000
----------------------------
2,657,288 thousand megawatts of power / 187,117 jobs = .07 jobs per thousand megawatt of power

Solar - 36,754
est solar PV - 19,467
-------------------------
56,221 thousand megawatts of power / 373,807 jobs = 6.6 jobs per thousand megawatt of power


 

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  posted on 3/6/2017 at 11:06 AM
good additional research

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 3/6/2017 at 05:15 PM
Funny story about one of the two friends of mine who have invested in solar panels for their homes.

Buddy in Colorado just moved into his new house this fall.

He is curious and hopeful about significant savings on his electric bills, he has I don't know maybe 36 of panels. They are mounted on their piers, three sets of 12 I think, and then he can tilt all of them depending on the season.

So he gets a couple bills as they move into the house and it doesn't seem like much more than what it was during construction time. Then he gets a November bill and it is like $400! Here the electric company had a standard meter on the house and the guy in charge of the solar installation never told the electric company to change out the meter so he could supply power back into the grid and then get credits on his bill for the amount he was supplying back to the grid. The meter was calculating the power their home pulled off the grid, but was also calculating (and billing) for the electric his solar panels were producing! Yeah! I'll have to see what he got figured out on that one. I know it is fixed, but don't know if anyone took financial responsibility for it. When he first told me said neither side was owning up to a mistake, the installer said he told the electric company the meter needed and to change it out, the electric company said they never received such a request.

 

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  posted on 3/7/2017 at 09:40 AM
Seems like a good place to put this

quote:
How California Utilities Are Managing Excess Solar Power

‘Virtual power plants’ would store renewable energy in batteries by day and redistribute it when demand surges after sunset

As California ramps up renewable energy, utility companies are looking to batteries to solve a supply-demand mismatch, storing excess solar power and feeding it as needed to the grid. Here, a solar farm and wind turbines in Palm Springs Calif.

By Cassandra Sweet
March 4, 2017 7:00 a.m. ET
725 COMMENTS

California utilities including PG&E Corp., Edison International and Sempra Energy are testing new ways to network solar panels, battery storage, two-way communication devices and software to create “virtual power plants” that manage green power and feed it into the power grid as needed.

The Golden State is ramping up renewable energy as it pledges to be a bulwark against the Trump administration’s pro-fossil fuel policies. But first, it has to figure out what to do with all the excess power it generates when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing.

California’s solar farms create so much power during daylight hours that they often drive real-time wholesale prices in the state to zero. Meanwhile, the need for electricity can spike after sunset, sometimes sending real-time prices as high as $1,000 a megawatt-hour.

Utility companies are looking to correct that supply-demand mismatch and ease the strain on the electric grid as California considers retiring its last nuclear plant in 2025 while nearly doubling the power it gets from renewable sources to 50% by 2030.

Last month, power company AES Corp. flipped the switch on a bank of 400,000 lithium-ion batteries it installed in Escondido, Calif., for Sempra Energy. Sempra’s San Diego utility plans to use the batteries, made by Samsung SDI Co. Ltd., to smooth out power flows on its grid.

Tesla Inc. is supplying batteries to a Los Angeles-area network that would serve Edison International, which would be the world’s largest of its kind when finished in 2020, according to the developer, Advanced Microgrid Solutions. The network would spread across more than 100 office buildings and industrial properties.

When the Edison utility needs more electricity on its system, the batteries would be able to deliver 360 megawatt-hours of extra power to the buildings and the grid, enough to power 20,000 homes for a day, on short notice. At other times, the batteries would help firms hosting the arrays to cut their utility bills, said Susan Kennedy, chief executive of Advanced Microgrid Solutions, which is developing the project.

“It will show how you can use communication and control technology to make a bunch of distributed energy assets act like one big one,” said J.B. Straubel, Tesla’s chief technical officer.

The companies declined to say how much the project would cost.

PG&E plans to use clean energy to replace the 2,200-megawatt Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, which it is proposing to shut down in 2025. The San Francisco utility, which plans to invest about $1 billion through 2020 to modernize its grid, is testing batteries, software and other technologies.

“We are rethinking the grid and how it operates,” said Steve Malnight, PG&E’s senior vice president of strategy and policy.

Virtual power plants remain a considerably more expensive option than building a traditional power plant to meet peak demand.

Stored power from lithium-ion batteries can do the work of a natural-gas peaker plant at an average cost of between $285 and $581 a megawatt-hour, according to a December report by Lazard Ltd. In contrast, electricity from a new gas peaker plant costs between $155 and $227 a megawatt-hour, according to Lazard.

But some of the equipment barely existed five years ago: As prices for technologies such as battery storage fall, utilities should be able to adopt more of them, said Michael Picker, president of the state Public Utilities Commission.

California currently has to sell excess solar power at low prices or give it away to utilities in Arizona and other states, through a real-time power market run by California’s Independent System Operator, which oversees the state grid.
Merrill Sherman

Sometimes, offering the excess power at low prices isn’t enough and prices go negative, as a way for power suppliers to encourage other utilities to take power they can’t use. That happened on 178 days last year.

Utilities in Colorado, New York and other states that plan to get a higher percentage of their power from renewables are also experimenting with virtual power-plant technology.

Consolidated Edison Inc. is using solar panels, batteries and power conservation technologies at several dozen New York City buildings to reduce peak demand by as much as 52 megawatts. Because of the $200 million project, the utility can postpone installing more than $1 billion of conventional power equipment for another 20 years, said Matthew Ketschke, a Con Edison vice president.

Virtual power plants alone, however, may not solve problems created by boosting intermittent renewable energy.

In Arizona, regulators want to double the state’s renewable energy target to 30% by 2030. But some utilities worry that adding more solar power on top of California’s already-robust supply could be costly and wasteful, even with battery storage.

“Storage may help you within the day, but a battery isn’t designed to store energy from March until it’s needed in June,” said Jeff Guldner, senior vice president of public policy at Arizona Public Service Co. in Phoenix.

Write to Cassandra Sweet at cassandra.sweet@wsj.com
https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-california-utilities-are-managing-excess-s olar-power-1488628803






Tesla batteries - made in USA!
http://www.autonews.com/article/20170104/OEM01/170109950/tesla-launches-bat tery-production-at-gigafactory

 
 


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