Increasing droughts, lower crop yields (just 40% already in Utah and forecast to go to 10%), and increased stress and conflict

A new study by MIT climate scientists, economists, and agriculture experts finds that certain hotspots in the country will experience severe reductions in crop yields by 2050, due to climate change’s impact on irrigation. The most adversely affected region, according to the researchers, will be the Southwest. Already a water-stressed part of the country, this region is projected to experience …

It’s always windy somewhere: Europe seeks to balance renewables. Harnessing wind in the Balkans and Scandinavia would get there

Ars Technica, By John Timmer, 18 July 2017 Renewable power sources’ intermittency could eventually cause problems as our electric grids become increasingly reliant on them. While it’s always sunny somewhere, and always windy somewhere (often somewhere else), relying on weather variations for generating consistent power means integrating power sources across a large geographic region. Many countries, including several leaders in …

World’s largest wind turbine will be as tall as a skyscraper and bend with storm winds like the palm trees that inspired them

By Annie Sneed in Scientific American, on June 26, 2017 Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler Getty Images Wind energy is soaring in the U.S.; the nation’s renewable energy capacity has more than tripled in the past nine years, and wind and solar power are largely responsible. Now businesses want to harness even more wind energy, at a cheaper price—and one of the best ways …

Texas is too windy and sunny for old energy companies to make money

By Ryan Collins, Bloomberg, 20 June 2017 As attractive a renewable-energy concept as wind power is, it’s plagued by a fundamental flaw. It blows the most in the dead of night, precisely when there’s the least demand for electricity. That’s true for just about every wind-blown spot across the U.S., from the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains in California to the coastal …

Chinese company offers free wind power training for coal miners in Wyoming

By Steve Hanley, Clean Technica, May 29th, 2017  When we think of coal country in the United States, we think of West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. But Wyoming is where the majority of American coal comes from. In fact, the Cowboy State, as it calls itself, produces four times as much coal as West Virginia. That also means it has …

Unsubsidized offshore wind power just won a German power auction – offshore wind is steady, stronger, and close to population centers

BNEF: As natural gas and coal plants are increasingly idled in favor of renewables, their capacity factors will take a big hit, and lifetime cost of those plants goes up. Think of them as the expensive back-up power for cheap renewables. Offshore wind won a German power auction without needing any subsidies: As prices plummet, offshore wind is now competitive with …

Renewable energy is ‘unstoppable’, declares Financial Times:  ‘Fossil fuels have lost. The rest of the world just doesn’t know it yet.’

At least 14 battery gigafactories are being built or planned, nine in China.  Joe Romm shares some highlights from a new, must-read, 4000-word article in the Financial Times, “The Big Green Bang: how renewable energy became unstoppable.” Traditional energy companies and mainstream financial publications are finally waking up to the new reality: The shift to renewable energy, electric cars, and …

“This is a different world from three years ago” — renewables are no longer “alternative energy”

Joe Romm, Climate Progress, April 30, 2017 Renewables and efficiency have already won the battle for the future of electricity according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).  In his keynote talk at the end of April 2017, BNEF founder and chair Michael Liebreich explained that if you blinked, you missed the clean energy revolution: “This is a different world from three …