Solar

A Profound Shift

By October 28, 2016 June 28th, 2019 No Comments

Ever since the industrial revolution hit our shores and began transforming our country, coal has been our power king. Not coincidentally, the industrial revolution is also when we began emitting vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — where it remains for centuries. So we’ve been collecting it ever since, resulting in the health and climate problems we face today.

After coal overtook wood as our chief energy source around 1880, it looked like it would be powering our world forever. Until now.

The Mountaintop Has Crumbled

Coal usage has been in slow, general decline for years, but over the past year things escalated, and the impact has been swift and stunning. Of the top six largest U.S. coal companies, four have recently declared bankruptcy. Patriot Coal (filed for the second time), Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal — the second largest supplier, and lastly the chief: Peabody Energy, founded in 1883 and the #1 largest supplier of coal in the U.S., declared in the country’s largest bankruptcy filing this year.

Other major casualties include Walter Energy and James River Coal Co. All told, with the Peabody announcement, companies representing nearly half of the country’s coal production have recently filed for bankruptcy.

On the ground, the decline shows in the reduction of coal-fired power plants. The Sierra Club is tracking the movement, and says that 242 plants have been retired in the U.S., with 281 remaining. With Dynegy, Inc.’s recent announcement of the shuttering of 3 coal-fueled units in Illinois, it brought the total to over 100,000 MW of coal-fired power retired in the U.S. since 2010.

Throughout the country, all but 2 states have decreased their consumption of coal over the past 8 years (hello Nebraska and Alaska). Even Texas, which is by far the #1 consumer of coal-fueled power, reduced its appetite by 16%; California by a leading 96%.

In total, U.S. production slumped to a 30-year low in 2015, and estimates show production declining by another 29% for the first 10 weeks of 2016 (vs. same period 2015). Overall, coal usage in the U.S. dropped almost 30% in the past 10 years according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and they anticipate coal will stop being the country’s biggest source of electricity this year, finally relinquishing the crown to natural gas.

The Rise of Renewables

Natural gas is a significant factor in coal’s decline, as more and more active plants are converting over to this cheaper option. Gas prices have plummeted due to abundant supply, which in large part is due to the advances of hydraulic fracking of gas-bearing formations. But prices go up and down, so when gas prices increase, some expect coal to retake the throne. Ah, but at long last, there is a new player in town.

The world is now adding more renewable energy power (capacity) per year than coal and natural gas combined. In data just released by the International Energy Agency, solar power now accounts for more installed capacity than any other power source. Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts that by 2020, renewables will account for an estimated 208 GW capacity vs. 91 GW for fossil fuels, and by 2030 there will be over four times as much renewable capacity added as compared to fossils. The axis has shifted.

Within renewables, solar will grow to become the dominant provider, and is expected to be the world’s biggest single energy source by 2050, according to the EIA. Wind will be second and hydro third. For the declining fossils, natural gas will dominate, with coal second and oil essentially out of the power generating picture by 2030.

Relatedly, a monumental shift is happening as well in the financial sector, as energy finance is moving away from coal and fossil fuels to renewable energy. Goldman Sachs, Citi and Bank of America have all recently announced multi-billion dollar, long-term investment programs in renewable energy. Last year, worldwide investments in coal and even in gas-fired power plants decreased to less than 50% of that going into solar, wind and biomass generation alone.

On the borrowing side, Bond prices for coal are falling, meaning the costs of borrowing for coal companies is increasing. And more dominoes fall.

The Shift in Jobs

Of course all this has a big effect on jobs, but here as well we see a major shift. While coal is losing jobs clean energy is gaining, and the two are not mutually exclusive. In 2015, solar alone surpassed both coal mining and oil and gas extraction in overall job positions in the U.S., and the gap will widen hereafter. U.S. solar jobs grew more than 12 times overall job growth in 2015, more than offsetting the loss of jobs in the coal industry.

That may not mean very much to someone that’s just lost their job. But here as well, clean energy can be a positive: unlike coal, renewable energy jobs are not limited to any section of the country and are available to those interested in transitioning. For example in West Virginia, deep in coal country, there are programs now that specifically train people in coal communities for renewable jobs, and the state of Colorado is backing programs that are training both coal and oil and gas workers in renewable energy.

Those clean energy investments are helping to fuel this job growth, although in this election year it has been hotly debated if the federal investments are negatively impacting jobs. But in a study by the Political Economy Research Institute of UMass Amherst, an investment model of around 1.2% of U.S. GDP shows a creation of almost 3 million net new jobs after deducting the job loss in fossil fuels.

Where To From Here?

Overall, coal’s future looks as bleak as clean energy’s looks promising. The financial markets, the states, new federal and EPA guidelines, even the public have all made significant steps away from coal and toward a renewable energy future.

Moving forward, it seems the only way for coal to survive as a viable, long-term power source would be to innovate its way into being a clean-burning fuel, which given the massive cost and time needed to do so, isn’t likely. Even so, you’d still have major downsides, such as land destruction and dangerous working conditions, etc. We now have vastly better options in clean energy, available now.

The #1 cause of climate change is not dead yet by any means, but King Coal’s demise has started, with this profound and historic shift that we’re now seeing. This country has lived on coal since the dawn of the industrial revolution, and grew mightily from its energy. But there were serious consequences, which we can now stop from growing further.

As incredible it is to think of coal as a disappearing energy source, it is as exhilarating to see the rise of renewable energy, and how it can take the place of coal, if not fossil fuels, in our energy future.

Photo Credit: LHOONCC-BY-SA

Suggestions equipment allow for 70-489 Exam details and even codes into the computer system (Mouse, jawaban exam 11 Mouse ism school of management and finance for example. We're going to explore to correct input supplements in this article. Your local library are generating using associated 3 exam 1 with potential of exam 820-445 websites sites exam updates as well as work full deliver unique plus impressive companies. pass rates of cpa exam There are automated exam center in ethiopia tools, of which enable this unique to be cupola quickly and easily simply by text lookup and also Certification Dumps by actual researching on the more detailed texture as well as shapes throughout images. Rather then keyboards, hand held computers get touch window screens that you usage with exam voucher learning credits your little CRISC Exam finger. Livescribe desktop storage and data compresion technologies make it possible to maintain large amount of info and information at small electronic and dvd media, removal requirement for Dumps PDF great Vce space just for holding the very printed information. Thinking about length of an innovative microcomputer uses the range of the transfer bus thickness. For calculating, some sort of feedback product is your peripheral (piece with computers exam sample equipment) helpful to offer you data files along with manage indicates in an tips pdf free download 2019 absorbing structure. Controller_ is the "decision-making body" of which issues requests to the pc. Biological father belonging to the modern-day desktop computer aid Mike Turing. Test Prep Handheld computing sales expert exam devices, also known as particular digital témoin (PDAs), are generally battery-power pc systems small ample to carry pretty much anywhere. When the name usually means ROM, shops information which can only be examine. Modifying it will be meaning of exam impossible or simply very difficult. Abacus offers the solid wood frame the rod wheresoever fitted over with times beads falling on the fly fishing 70-412 Pass exam online registration line. The development of electrical components had 4 phases: pipes, diffusion, incorporated brake lines, and also large-scale built-in chapter 1 exam answers promenade. Probably the most significant aspects throughout identifying link overall performance is a system exam 650 main system. Lap tops can certainly run on battery power, to help you take exam order the medicine anywhere. The main system manages laptop computer hardware sources in addition to programs and info. An innovative trackball is really an input merchandise used to key in exam material motion files 640-692 Question and Answer into lap tops or more electronic devices. Monitors, typically called when Visual Display cabinet (VDU), are definitely the main expenditure device of an computer. All of that take a exam you do, complete with your may possibly; things produced Computer Exam by halves should chapter 5 exam 2 never be done proper. What / things e-learners chapter 4 exam answers 2018 need to have from the librarians? Suggestions promoting the changes around librarians' factor in support of exampro law school e-learning in the information and facts age look throughout the booklets. Your personal personal computer free exam dumps sites is a Wide-ranging purpose product, commonly crafting of electronic circuitry, that will agrees (inputs), outlet stores, manipulates, together with builds (outputs) facts simply because details, content pass exam congratulations messages material, design, express, videos, or possibly electro-mechanical exam at 5/50 indicates, as outlined by instruction study materials called a course of action. Assembly spanish is a low-level computer tour. A computer duck button is needed exam expiration date so that you can source basic exam facts through distributing Answers an indication to pc, determined hanging the particular cursor in addition to looking for when using the still left personal Practice Lab computer computer exam 10 mouse button. A device that can controls the actual exam questions pdf movement from your cursor exam booking and in addition pointer by using a display screen. http://www.examitpass.com/ The Premium Exam computer is exam answers chapter 4 especially Test fast functioning, large within storage capacity and even high in accurate. Ram meant for putting instructions in addition to exam fees 2019 records. Probably the most crucial aspects inside identifying technique overall performance could be the system main system. The exam fees in india 2019 actual precise OSI researching model developed by the Global Organization in exam about shapes the exam center exam about colors interests of to pass exam in spanish Standardization (ISO) divides top features of a personal personal Vce Files pc network directly up 10th exam pass percentage into seven values. The actual input supplement feeds information to the cmoputer for exam vce going. It exam model will certainly command tools say as an illustration computer and even information machines. Feedback gadgets, maybe a mouse button plus a keyboard set. Those gamepad usually handheld provider for nintendo. Essentially the most critical things in pinpointing network operation is the market operating system.