Category Archives: solar

US Fossil Fuel Consumption Has Peaked, and Will Never Return

US fossil fuel consumption from coal, oil, and natural gas peaked ten years ago in 2007?at 85.927 quadrillion btu, and is unlikely to ever?return. There are a number of trends underneath that peak that are worth mentioning. Briefly, coal has been in superdecline; oil consumption is back to levels last seen in the late 1990’s; […]

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Wind and Solar Fly to New Highs in the United States

Full year 2016 data just released from EIA shows that combined wind and solar reached 7% of total US electricity generation. In a system that produced a total of 4096 TWh, combined wind and solar provided 283 TWh. Breaking that down a bit further, wind provided 226.5 TWh; utility scale solar (both thermal and PV) […]

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The Next Emissions Story

If you’ve been following the emissions story the past few years, you will know that slower economic activity and the rise of renewables have started to seriously blunt the growth of global carbon. In the OECD, for example, CO2 output has surely peaked, with virtually no risk whatsoever that developed nations will return to the […]

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The Large Scale Force of Small Scale Solar

Soon, you will learn?that US solar growth?doubled last year, as the country added a gargantuan?14.6 GW of new capacity. The utility scale sector saw the highest growth rate in 2016, and that has caused some small consternation among analysts who observe a concurrent slowdown in the rate of new rooftop solar, in the residential market. […]

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Combined Wind and Solar Reach 7.2% of Total US Electricity in 1H 2016

The transition to renewables, wind and solar power in particular, has typically run ahead of expectations this decade and fresh data from the United States illustrates this phenomenon nicely. In the first half of this year, combined wind and solar provided 140.97 TWh of the 1959.20 TWh generated in the country. At the start of […]

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Peak Coal, They Said: Questions Persist about Fossil Fuel Scarcity, and the Economics of Natural Resource Extraction

Are you excited at the prospect that Coal’s Second Coming, largely driven by China over the past 20 years, has now come to a halt? You should be. Coal retirements in the United States have been aggressive, and China is increasingly meeting marginal growth for electricity through solar, wind, and hydropower. Maybe future coal growth […]

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Wind and Solar Reach 5.6% of Total US Electricity in 2015

US electricity generation has been slightly oscillating around a flatline, near 4000 TWh per year, for the last decade. However, with the great wave of coal retirements now beginning to land and with the US beginning to take a leadership role?in wind and solar deployment, the country’s energy mix–underneath that flatline–is rapidly changing. In 2010, […]

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Invasive Solar: December Issue of

Each issue of contains:?a Main Essay, a Model Portfolio, a Data Brief, and a link to a?Downloadable Podcast. Gregor Macdonald, Editor. Readers may purchase each issue individually, through Or, readers may also take a 12 month subscription through Monthly eBook – Annual Subscription. Listen?now?to this month’s podcast for free, at SoundCloud:? Podcast: […]

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World Solar Power Goes Parabolic

From a very small base, and from a tiny position in world energy supply, the buildout of global solar power is starting to go parabolic. Last year, according to the just released BP Statistical Review (you must access the Excel workbook for solar data), global solar generation nearly doubled to reach 55.7 TWh (terrawatt hours). […]

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Global Energy Use By Source in 2010

The above chart shows the latest proportions of primary energy sources, as reported by the BP Statistical Review. You can see that Renewables now appear in the data, and account for 1.32% of total world supply of energy. There are two big stories in the 2010 data from BP Statistical Review. The first I have […]

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