In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • US homeowners who want rooftop solar grew from 40% in 2016 to 46%.
  • Mainland Spain achieves its very first coal-free day due to high winds.
  • India’s green energy use is rising, and diesel and coal consumption is dropping.
  • The Netherlands’ Groningen and Drenthe provinces welcome a fleet of 60 e-buses.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Solar popularity grows among US homeowners

According to a Pew Research Center poll [via PV Magazine], 46% of U.S. homeowners have “given serious thought to adding solar panels at their home in the past year.” That’s grown by 6% from three years ago.

The survey was conducted October 1-13, 2019, among 3,627 US adults.

What are the reasons?

  • Save money on utility bills: 96%
  • Help the environment: 87%
  • Cash in on the investment tax credit: 67%
  • Personal health reasons: 60%

Additionally, 92% of Americans favor expanding solar power overall. Further, according to Pew:

About two-thirds of US adults (67%) say the federal government is doing too little to reduce the effects of climate change, and similar shares say the same about government efforts to protect air (67%) and water quality (68%).

First coal-free day in Spain

Mainland Spain achieved its very first coal-free day as wind output hit a record high, according to grid operator REE. The coal-free day was on December 14. (Coal-fired output continued in the Balearic islands.)

According to Argus Media:

Spain registered periods of very low coal-fired generation last summer, but did not go coal free in any single hour because of technical constraints in the distribution network in the northern region of Asturias.

Portuguese utility EDP’s 562 MW Abono 2 facility was the only one of 25 coal-fired power units in mainland Spain to operate on several days in the summer.

Winds of change in India for energy sources

Tim Buckley, the director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis in Sydney, makes a case in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists about how India is moving away from coal and toward green energy. Buckley’s take is optimistic, in contrast to many of the opinions of the climate summit outcomes in Madrid. (The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists are the keepers of the Doomsday Clock.)

The main reason? Solar prices have dropped massively, allowing India to shift away from the dirty fossil fuel. (Read his article for a more in-depth look at why this shift has occurred. A need for clean air and water is a big motivator, for one.)

Buckley points out that Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is planning a fivefold expansion of the electricity generated from renewable energy sources by 2030. Buckley explains:

This means that India is committed to more than meeting the goals of its national contributions in  the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement; it is going to ‘overdeliver,’ in the parlance of economists. This development is all the more astonishing, because just a few years ago India was a villain when it came to coal use; in 2015, Modi’s ruling party had wanted to more than double India’s mining of coal, to 1.5 billion metric tons by 2020, despite the risks this posed to the climate and the country.

As India benefits from the shift to domestic renewable energy, other emerging market nations are watching, keen to leverage the same benefits for their own countries.

And therein lies a key path to global decarbonization and a much-needed solution to limit global warming.

And none too soon.

E-bus convoy in the Netherlands

Ebusco, the Dutch electric bus company whose slogan is “Zero emission is not a dream. It is a choice,” has delivered 60 e-buses to Qbuzz, a Dutch public transport company.

This week, the 60 Ebusco 2.2 (12m) low-floor (LF) intercity buses with a range of up to 350 km (250 miles) hit the road in Dutch provinces Groningen and Drenthe. They will provide transport in Groningen and Drenthe for the next decade.

Further, the buses will reduce carbon dioxide by more than 5 million kilos annually.

E-bus convoy! The 60 buses drove 250 km together to Groningen from Ebusco in Deurne. Check out the video below; it’s pretty neat.

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