Demand flexibility shows significant potential to reduce carbon emissions from the buildings sector, as RMI found in the report The Carbon Emissions Impact of Demand Flexibility. Demand flexibility is a building’s ability to shed or shift its energy demand from one time to another, based on near-real-time signals such as the price of electricity or the carbon intensity of the grid. With the right signal structure, laws such as New York City’s Local Law 97 (LL97) could enable demand flexibility, which has the potential to cut NYC building emissions by 40 percent or so as the grid approaches full decarbonization.
RMI (accessed) 3rd June 2021 read more »
Output from wind turbines varies because wind speeds fluctuate; output from solar cells changes according to cloud cover and other factors. This is called variability, and overcoming it is crucial for increasing the share of renewables on the grid. A group of leading nations will invest $248m over the next decade to solve the issue by 2030. The effort has emerged from a clean-tech research programme called Mission Innovation (MI). Environmentalists say the sum’s a fraction of the many trillions of dollars of damages that climate change is projected to wreak on society, unless it’s curbed. But the 23 member governments involved in the programme are spending US$5.8bn per year more than in 2015 – and they say they’ll commit more public funds to clean tech if they can afford it. Solutions to the variability problem will include energy storage; for example, smart power systems which respond to changes in demand; advanced controls and artificial intelligence. Those behind MI say that half of the global emissions reductions required to achieve climate targets by 2050 depend on technologies that exist today, but are only at demonstration or prototype phase. These include hydrogen power, advanced battery storage and zero-emission fuels. Solar power and wind power are already widely affordable, but the statement says nations need to develop whole energy systems to match. Tom Burke from the climate think tank E3G told BBC News: “John Kerry, Bill Gates, et al. are wrong about the importance of R&D [research and development]. Deployment of what we already have is what matters and for which we need big bucks.”
BBC 3rd June 2021 read more »