Electricity produced from windmills and solar panels accounted for 10 percent of the USA electricity supply in the United States for the first time in March, according to a report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday. In March 2017, the country generated 10 percent of total electricity from solar power and wind power.
New renewable energy power plants are expected to account for $7.4 trillion, or 72% of the total investment expected for new power plants through to 2040, with solar accounting for $2.8 trillion and wind $3.3 trillion.
Big Oil may be ignoring the rapid growth of solar and wind energy at its own peril.
China and India joined the Paris agreement in 2016, but neither plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions anytime soon.
Wind energy has become a major driver for a sustainable energy future and, with over 500 GW of capacity installed worldwide, it is a leading source of new power generation globally.
Together, wind and solar energy accounted for more than 60 per cent of new generating capacity added a year ago, adding 8.7 gigawatts (GW) and 7.7 GW respectively. Of states with significant amounts of renewable energy, only California and Arizona had more solar generation than wind in 2016.
The scenario suggests green energy is taking root more quickly than most experts anticipate.
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This compares to the expected costs of $US44-47/MWh to refurbish and extend the life of coal fired generators beyond 50 years, as proposed by the Coalition under the guidance of the Finkel Review's modelling.
Meanwhile, over the next five or six years, the cost of new solar generation in the USA will fall to level with the cost of a new gas-fired plant, and in 2027, new solar farms will be able to compete with existing gas plants, Henbest said. Natural gas will reap $804 billion, bringing 16 per cent more generation capacity and making the fuel central to balancing a grid that's increasingly dependent on power flowing from intermittent sources, like wind and solar.
In Europe, capacity will fall by 87 per cent as environmental laws boost the cost of burning fossil fuels.
He said coal power generation is no longer socially acceptable in many parts of the country and most electric power companies prefer natural gas and renewables because they cost less.
U.S. renewables firm Tri Global Energy LLC (TGE) said today it has divested the 80-MW Fiber Winds Energy project in Texas to Lorenzo Wind, a unit of NextEra Energy Resources LLC.
The simple economics of the fall in wind and solar and its impact on fossil fuel generation will take Australia to the bottom edge of its current climate target - a 26 per cent reduction in emissions below 2005 levels by 2030.