According to a new study by Finland’s LUT University, solar PV consumes between 2% and 15% of the water that coal and nuclear power plants use to produce just 1 MWh of output; for wind, this percentage ranges from 0.1% to 14%. Under the researchers’ best policy scenario, water consumption could be reduced by 75.1% by 2030, compared to 2015 levels.
A team of researchers modeled the country’s energy future, finding that the drought plagued municipalities could benefit massively from large scale renewables deployment. The current reliance on coal-fired power stations causes immense water consumption, worsening the problem.
With the approval for a 176 MW solar farm and 66 MW battery storage facility near Murray Bridge, South Australia’s utility-scale wind and solar pipeline has reached some 10 GW.
The 3.3 million U.K. households that get their electricity from E.on will receive only renewable energy. The company referred to a public opinion poll as a motivation for the move.
Washington is looking to become the fourth state to make the move to 100% renewable electricity, with only a senate review and the hand of Governor Inslee left in the path of SB 5116.
With solar panels already installed on dozens of its buildings, the city of Sydney has upped the ante by vowing to source 100% of its electricity needs from solar PV and wind. The commitment was endorsed by city council last week, with a new 100% renewable electricity contract to be negotiated in the coming months.
A recent Australian National University study shows that newly developed geographic information system algorithms can identify prospective sites for off-river pumped hydro projects throughout the world. The researchers, who identified around 530,000 potential sites, said pumped-hydro installations could enable large-scale energy time-shifting, as well as a range of ancillary services such as frequency regulation, which could help to integrate high levels of PV and wind into electricity systems.
Politicians take note: “The energy transition is not a question of technical feasibility or economic viability, but one of political will.” Indeed, according to a new study, it is possible to rapidly transition to a Europe 100% powered by renewables and with zero greenhouse gas emissions. Solar PV leads the charge, followed by wind. Overall, eight policy recommendations have been laid out to achieve this bold goal by 2050.
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