FREEING ENERGY

September 2021 Clean Energy Headlines

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Hello friends and supporters of Freeing Energy,

When I started the Freeing Energy Project, my original goal was simple: I wanted to research the electricity industry and publish a book on the innovations that could accelerate the transition to clean energy. I never imagined it would take four years but what a journey it has been. I have traveled the world, interviewed 320 experts, leaders, and visionaries. I did a TED talk, wrote 100+ articles, and now co-host a top ten energy podcast

So, I couldn’t be more excited to announce that the book, also called Freeing Energy, is finally complete. The manuscript is now in the hands of several teams of talented professionals working to create four versions: hard cover, paperback, audio, and e-book. All of these are on schedule to be released early December (stay tuned for the specific date).

I can’t begin to thank all the people that have helped make the book a reality… the 60 people whose interviews are in the book, the editors, proofreaders, the designers, and so many others. There is just one remaining decision and I am hoping some of you will help.

We thought we had decided on a book jacket cover but we are having second thoughts. If you have a moment, I would appreciate your feedback on our final cover options. Please click on this link or the covers below to go to our voting and feedback page.

Finally, if you’d like to be alerted when the book is available, please share your email with us at this link.

I want to thank each of you that are reading our monthly news updates, visiting the site, or listening to our podcast. The world is at a crucial point in history and there is a role for all of us to help make the transition to sustainable energy as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Cheers,

Bill Nussey & the Freeing Energy team


Local Energy Headlines

Solar installed on new-build homes has a significantly shorter payback period. The new Realizing the Potential of Customer-sited Solar study by Bloomberg NEF and Schneider Electric makes a compelling case for global policymakers to follow California’s lead in mandating solar on newly built homes. The study finds that the five-year payback period for solar installed on buildings in California is halved for systems installed at the initial construction stage because of savings in marketing, sales, labor, and construction costs. In California, solar arrays on new builds can offer an internal rate of return of 40% per year on their investment costs in comparison with 20% offered by retrofitted systems. (PV Magazine)

Climate change is accelerating demand for backup power. Demand for backup generators has exploded over the last year as many Americans attempt to prepare their homes for the rise in extreme weather events affecting many parts of the globe. In the U.S., the vast majority of these generators are sold by one company – Wisconsin-based, Generac. The company’s stock price is up nearly 800% since the end of 2018, and its profits have doubled since June of 2020. This growth is driven by a need for localized energy, given the U.S. suffered more than 300 electricity disturbances in the last year. (NY Times)

New York governor calls for 10 GW of distributed solar by 2030. NY-Sun, a state-wide solar incentive program for distributed generation assets, is expanding its current goal of 6 GW by 2025 to 10 GW by 2030. Currently, installed projects and projects under development, bring the state to 95% of its current 6 GW. The new goal of 10 GW is expected to create over 6,000 new jobs, including long-term operations and maintenance positions. Moreover, 35% of the benefits from the investments will go directly to disadvantaged communities and low to moderate income New Yorkers. (PV Magazine)


Clean Energy Headlines

Electric Utilities face largest  threat among industries as climate risks intensify. Above all other industries, electric utilities face the greatest combined physical risk from climate hazards including extreme weather events, water stress, and wildfires, according to a data analysis from Trucost. The analysis, which ranked threats to the operation of approximately 15,000 public companies, found that utilities’ vulnerability to climate far exceeds other capital-intensive sectors such as oil, gas, industrial manufacturing and real estate. And utilities are already feeling this impact. Power producers in Texas lost over $10 billion in profits when a winter storm froze gas valves and wind turbines in February of this year, and in Louisiana hurricane Ida wiped out Entergy Corp.’s power lines in numbers unseen since Katrina. (SPGlobal)

Ford plans for closed-loop, circular supply chain for  EV batteries. Ford is partnering with the battery recycling company Redwood Materials to develop a domestic supply chain for EV batteries based on closed-loop recycling. Ford’s long-term goal is to create a circular supply chain where battery materials like lithium, nickel, copper, and cobalt are reused in new batteries, reducing the need for imports and minimizing environmental damage caused by mining. This circular supply chain will also help reduce battery costs, which will, in turn, make EVs more affordable. (Axios)

The king of oil bets on batteries for a green world. At the peak of his executive career at Glencore, Alex Beard’s team was trading as much as 7% of the world’s oil. Now, the oil giant is helping to raise money to construct a series of strategic battery sites across the U.K. to support the clean energy transition. Beard’s fund, Adaptogen Capital, plans to build storage with a capacity of at least 500 megawatts to power homes across the U.K. for when grid resources fall short. As economies move away from fossil fuels, governments and companies are looking for ways to make power grids more resilient in order to avoid supply outages and price volatility like we saw in California this past year. In terms of grid stabilization, Beard believes batteries are the “key enabling assets” that will facilitate the energy transition. (Reuters)

 

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Podcast #067 – Peter Kelly-Detwiler: What does a reimagined electric grid look like and what does it mean for us? 

Peter Kelly-Detwiler podcast

In this episode, Freeing Energy Hosts Sam Easterby and Bill Nussey catch up with leading energy industry expert Peter Kelly-Detwiler to talk about his recently published book, The Energy Swtich. Peter delves into different aspects of the transformation: how we got here, where we are going, and the implications for all of us in our daily lives. (Listen Now)

Podcast #066 – Michael Liebreich, Part 2: What are the biggest opportunities in our clean energy future?

In part two of this special interview, global renewable energy leader Michael Liebreich breaks down the core elements driving the shift to a net-zero economy and how public policy and finance influence the rate of change. Plus, Liebreich shares insights on startups and what shapes his investment strategies. (Listen Now)

Recent Articles from the Freeing Energy Project

Small-Scale Solar Installations Create 10-Times More Jobs Per Megawatt Than Utility-Scale Solar

When it comes to job creation, small scale solar, like rooftop, commercial, and community installations, create far more jobs per megawatt than building large utility-scale solar farms (read now).



Rooftop Solar Can Actually Be Cheaper Than Utility-Scale Solar Farms

One of the most overused and misunderstood arguments among clean energy supporters is the notion that large scale utility solar is cheaper to build than smaller, rooftop systems. The truth is that they compete in entirely different markets. (read now).

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