Renew Economy

Wooden wind turbine

World’s first wooden wind turbine blades installed in Germany

Wooden wind turbines promise to significantly reduce CO2 emissions during construction and production costs compared to current turbine blades. Designed and manufactured by Voodin Blade Technology, a German pioneer in wind turbine blade manufacturing, the laminated veneer lumber blades are a more sustainable construction material than current materials and allow for easier recycling of decommissioned blades.

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Aerial view of large solar farm

Solar is now perhaps being installed faster than any technology in history

Cumulative global installed solar capacity in 2023 passed 1.4 terawatts (TW), which is tenfold larger than ten years ago and doubling every 3 years. At current growth rates (20% per annum), solar will pass fossil gas in 2024 and coal in 2025. Current growth rates also suggest that solar will approach 9 TW in 2031, when there will be more solar generation capacity than everything else combined.

Solar is now perhaps being installed faster than any technology in history Read more

Offshore wind turbines

Denmark plans massive 10GW offshore wind tender to insure against “Putin’s black gas”

The Danish Energy Agency announced this week plans for the largest offshore wind tender in the country’s history, which could see anywhere from 6GW to 10GW awarded from six new sites. Denmark is currently operating total offshore wind capacity of 2.7GW, with the 1GW Thor Offshore Wind Farm to be completed in 2027. A further 3GW is expected to be built on the Bornholm energy island being developed between the Danish Energy Agency and Danish TSO Energinet.

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Solar panels reflect sparkling light from the Sun

Japan “fossil fuel dinosaur” launches massive 20GW global renewables platform

Jera, Japan’s largest power company and one of the largest thermal power producers in the world, has announced the launch of a major new global renewables business, becoming the latest fossil giant to act on the existential threat of net zero to its business model. Based out of the U.K., the new company – called Jera Nex – will be tasked with delivering on Jera’s stated ambition to develop a massive 20GW of renewable capacity by 2035, enough to power millions of homes.

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Texas flag

Solar generates more power than coal in Texas for first time ever

Solar generation in Texas was 3.26 terawatt hours (TWh) in the month of March, beating the 2.96 TWh sent out by coal-fired generators. It’s the first time solar has beaten coal over a whole month in Texas, the largest user of coal for power generation of any state in the U.S. The share of coal generation in Texas is now declining rapidly, from 40% more than a decade ago and 30% in 2017 to 13.9% in 2023.

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Bifacial PV plate

British scientists develop new bifacial solar technology that generates more power at reduced cost

Scientists from the University of Surrey in England, working with colleagues at the University of Cambridge, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xidian University, and Zhengzhou University, have developed a flexible perovskite solar panel that use electrodes made of tiny carbon nanotubes. The researchers demonstrated that in addition to producing more energy than traditional solar panels, “the material cost of an all-carbon-electrode-based bifacial PSC is about 70% lower than that of a monofacial device.”

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German flag in front of building

Renewables provide a majority of energy consumption in Germany for first time ever

The share of renewable energy sources in Germany’s total energy consumption grew to 52% in 2023 thanks to the steady expansion of solar and wind power installations in electricity production and an increase in the uptake of renewable heating systems, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has said. Investments in renewable energy jumped markedly, from 22.3 billion euros in 2022 to 36.6 billion euros in the following year.

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Aerial view of large electrical power plant with many rows of solar photovoltaic panels for producing clean ecological electric energy in morning

South Australia fast-tracks 100% renewables target to 2027

The South Australia state government says it has fast tracked its target of “net 100%” renewables to 2027 – rather than 2030 – as a result of the state’s new wind and solar developments and its ambitious hydrogen plans. “Net” 100% renewables means producing enough wind and solar to meet the annual demand figure.

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Solar panels reflect sparkling light from the Sun

Rio Tinto signs contract for Australian grid’s first gigawatt scale solar project

Mining company Rio Tinto has signed a contract to buy all the electricity from what will be the biggest solar project on Australia’s main grid – a 1.1 GW facility near Gladstone in Queensland. Rio Tinto is seeking up to 4 GW of wind and solar to provide clean power to and guarantee the future of its three main assets in the region – the Boyne Island aluminium smelter, the Yarwun alumina refinery, and the Queensland alumina refinery. All three assets are now supplied by coal.

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Solar farm

Microsoft places massive 12GW solar module order, bolstering U.S. solar supply chain

Building on a previously announced 2.5GW module supply agreement signed in January 2023, Qcells will supply Microsoft with 12GW of solar modules over an 8-year period. Equivalent to powering more than 1.8 million homes annually, the solar modules will be produced in the United States at a fully integrated solar supply chain factory in Cartersville, Georgia.

Microsoft places massive 12GW solar module order, bolstering U.S. solar supply chain Read more