Wednesday, October 28, 2020

EVs Offer Big Savings Over Traditional Gas-Powered Cars - A Consumer Reports study shows that total ownership cost savings can more than make up for an electric vehicle's typically higher purchase price

When it comes to buying an electric vehicle, many consumers might like the idea, but they sometimes balk at the purchase price, which is typically higher than that of an equivalent gasoline-powered vehicle. However, new research from Consumer Reports shows that when total ownership cost is considered—including such factors as purchase price, fueling costs, and maintenance expenses—EVs come out ahead, especially in more affordable segments. (Download a PDF of the fact sheet and the complete report.)

The savings advantage can be compelling in the first few years and continues to improve the longer you own the EV. Our study shows that fuel savings alone can be $4,700 or more over the first seven years.
When comparing vehicles of similar size and from the same segment, an EV can cost anywhere from 10 percent to over 40 percent more than a similar gasoline-only model, according to CR’s analysis. The typical total ownership savings over the life of most EVs ranges from $6,000 to $10,000, CR found. The exact margin of savings would depend on the price difference between the gas-powered and EV models that are being compared.

For lower-priced models, the savings on ownership costs over the lifetime of the vehicle (200,000 miles) usually exceed the extra money paid for a comparable EV. For example, a Chevrolet Bolt costs $8,000 more to purchase than a Hyundai Elantra GT, but the Bolt costs $15,000 less to operate over a 200,000-mile lifetime, for a savings of $7,000, our study found. In the luxury segment, operating cost savings are often aided by a tighter price differential. The Tesla Model 3 is priced lower than the gas-powered BMW 330i, and priced only about $2,000 more than an Audi A4. But the savings on operating costs for the Model 3 are about $17,000 when compared with either of the popular German gas-powered sedans....
Says Chris Harto, CR’s senior policy analyst for transportation and energy, and the leader of the study. “As battery prices and technology improve, prices come down, and more attractive models hit the market, it’s only going to get better.”

Fuel savings: The study shows that a typical EV owner who does most of their fueling at home can expect to save an average of $800 to $1,000 a year on fueling costs over an equivalent gasoline-powered car.
Maintenance and repair: The study also found that maintenance and repair costs for EVs are significantly lower over the life of the vehicle—about half—than for gasoline-powered vehicles, which require regular fluid changes and are more mechanically complex. The average dollar savings over the lifetime of the vehicle is about $4,600.

Depreciation: CR’s analysts also found that newer long-range EVs are holding their value as well as or better than their traditional gasoline-powered counterparts as most new models now can be relied on to travel more than 200 miles on a single full charge. As with traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, not all EVs will lose value at the same rate as they age. Class, features, and the reputation of the vehicle’s manufacturer all have an impact on depreciation.

Currently, EVs and plug-in hybrids account for less than 2 percent of overall new vehicle sales, although that number has been on the rise since the first viable EV models began to appear on the market almost a decade ago. EVs have been forecasted to constitute anywhere from 8 to 25 percent of the new-car market by 2030. Falling manufacturing costs for the lithium-ion batteries used to power EVs and plug-in hybrids has also brought down prices, although many consumers may still balk at the price difference between EVs and the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered cars. Tesla announced this month that it would introduce a $25,000 EV within the next year, signaling that EV prices could be falling in the near future.

To be sure, total cost of ownership can vary depending upon region, electricity-service rates, access to charging, and a number of other variables. For example, someone who lives in an extremely cold region with high electricity rates and low EV incentives from state and local government agencies will pay more over the life of the vehicle than someone who lives in an area with a mild climate, inexpensive electricity, and favorable tax incentives.
Some states—such as Arizona, Texas, Alabama, and Arkansas—impose high fees on EVs that could hurt the economics of EV ownership. Also, some EV models are eligible for a federal tax incentive of up to $7,500.

The amount of money a consumer can save on fueling depends on the size of the vehicle and length of ownership, according to the study. Car owners could save an average of $800 the first year, whereas pickup owners could save $1,300 in the same period. Savings in the SUV class falls in between. After seven years of ownership, an EV in the car category will save its owner $4,700, while overall savings for electric pickup owners balloons to almost $9,000. Savings over the lifetime of a vehicle approach $9,000 in the car category and $15,000 for trucks.
By Benjamin Preston
For Full Story Go To:
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October 08, 2020

Temperature and economic activity: evidence from India

This paper investigates the impact of temperature on economic activity in India, using state-level data from 1980–2015. We estimate that a 1∘C increase in contemporaneous temperature (relative to our sample mean) reduces the economic growth rate that year by 2.5 percentage points. The adverse impact of higher temperatures is more severe in poorer states and in the primary sector. Our analysis of lagged temperatures suggests that our effects are driven by the contemporaneous effect of temperature on output; we do not find evidence of a permanent impact of contemporaneous temperatures on future growth rates.

by Anuska Jain,Roisin O'Sullivan &Vis Taraz
Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy  via Taylor Francis Online
Published online: 20 Feb 2020

Neglected No More: Housing Markets, Mortgage Lending, and Sea Level Rise

In this paper, we explore dynamic changes in the capitalization of sea-level rise (SLR) risk in housing and mortgage markets. Our results suggest a disconnect in coastal Florida real estate: From 2013-2018, home sales volumes in the most-SLR-exposed communities declined 16-20% relative to less-SLR-exposed areas, even as their sale prices grew in lockstep. Between 2018-2020, however, relative prices in these at-risk markets finally declined by roughly 5% from their peak. Lender behavior cannot reconcile these patterns, as we show that both all-cash and mortgage-financed purchases have similarly contracted, with little evidence of increases in loan denial or securitization. We propose a demand-side explanation for our findings where prospective buyers have become more pessimistic about climate change risk than prospective sellers. The lead-lag relationship between transaction volumes and prices in SLR-exposed markets is consistent with dynamics at the peak of prior real estate bubbles. 
Miami during a king tide (October 17, 2016)

by Benjamin J. Keys & Philip Mulder
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Issue Date October 2020

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

No Place Like Home: Fighting Climate Change (and Saving Money) by Electrifying America’s Households

Many Americans feel powerless to confront the enormity of climate change, especially when it seems that switching to clean energy at home — by buying electric cars or installing solar panels, for instance — is prohibitively expensive.
But [this] new report shows that the average American household can both fight climate change and save money at the same time. We can do it using existing technology, without sacrificing any comforts of home. In other words, we’ll have the same number of cars, ovens, dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners and heaters, but at dramatically lower cost and without the indoor and environmental pollution that accompany burning fossil fuels. If done right, we would create millions of new, good-paying jobs in every zip code, save each household on average between $1,050 to $2,585 per year on its energy bills, and dramatically reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions — all the while enjoying zippier cars and smarter appliances.

[This paper models] two scenarios for decarbonizing the American household. We are showing that if we want a moon shot — zero-carbon energy in every home — here's how to build the rocket.
We spend more on electricity ($1,496) than we do on education ($1,407). We spend more on natural gas ($409) than dental services ($315). And we spend more on gasoline ($1,929) than we do on meat, poultry, fish, eggs, fruit and vegetables combined ($1,817).
We see some variation state–to–state, but going electric saves significant energy across the board.

The electrified U.S. household uses substantially less energy than current homes. One area of enormous savings is the elimination of thermoelectric losses in electricity generation, assuming we will provide our future loads with renewables. The efficiency of electric cars over internal combustion engine (ICE)
vehicles also generates substantial savings.
Similarly, [the report] shows the substantial savings derived from the high efficiency of heat pumps for space and water heating.

Today, a household electrification upgrade is expensive Using price estimates5 to find the difference between fossil-fueled and electric infrastructure, we find that today it would cost a household around $70,000 to completely decarbonize, something only the wealthiest households can afford. Below, we show the capital costs by state, using the electrification plan described above. ...

We need to prioritize lowering these costs using regulatory reform and industrial scaling. We also need to prioritize financing to help American households afford these items.

The table below summarizes the most important model parameters

For reference, Australia already installs rooftop solar at around U.S. $1.20/W, and the DOE’s Sunshot program is on track to systematically bring costs down to less than $1.00/W. Batteries are available at $120/kWh in packs, and scaling predicts prices below $75/kWh by 2030.

Costs are falling, and massive scale is key As a natural trend of huge industrial scale, clean energy solutions are getting exponentially cheaper. With every doubling in delivered solar modules, the price is dropping 22%. The same watt of electricity that cost $4 in 2000 now costs just $0.26,10 and at the scale of this study, just $0.18. For battery storage, every doubling reduces price 20%. The battery pack that cost $1,000 in year 2000, now costs $130,11 and at the scale implied by this study, just $65 (even lower than we have assumed).

All of these households saving money adds up to large savings on a national scale. In the Great scenario, more than $320 billion dollars in household savings will flow into the larger economy

By Saul Griffith and Sam Calisch
Rewiring America
October 2020 | By Saul Griffith and Sam Calisch

Net zero emissions target for Australia could launch $63bn investment boom - Modelling shows moving towards a net zero emissions economy would unlock financial prospects in sectors including renewables and manufacturing

Australia could unlock an investment boom of $63bn over the next five years if it aligns its climate policies with a target of net zero emissions by 2050, according to new economic modelling.

The analysis, by the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), finds the investment opportunity created by an orderly transition to a net zero emissions economy would reach hundreds of billions of dollars by 2050 across sectors including renewable energy, manufacturing, carbon sequestration and transport.

However, if the country keeps to its current targets and climate policies, investment worth $43bn would be lost over the next five years, growing to $250bn by 2050.

The Investor Group on Climate Change represents investors in Australia and New Zealand who are focused on the effect of the climate crisis on the financial value of investments.  The organisation commissioned the consultancy Energetics to examine the domestic investment opportunities that would arise from an orderly transition to net zero emissions by 2050.

The report finds a net zero scenario would unlock $63bn in investment over the next five years, including $15bn in manufacturing, $6bn in transport infrastructure such as charging stations, and $3bn in domestic green hydrogen production, as companies and governments moved towards the stronger emissions goal.

Carbon sequestration – or carbon farming – would emerge as a major investment asset class, with estimated investment worth $33bn in nature-based solutions such as tree planting and assisted regeneration of deforested land.
Windy Hill Wind Farm, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland

The investment potential would reach hundreds of billions of dollars over the longer term to 2050, including $385bn in clean electricity, $350bn in domestic green hydrogen, $104bn in transport infrastructure and $102bn in carbon sequestration.

“What it shows is that the investment opportunities extend well beyond just the renewables industry,” said Erwin Jackson, the IGCC’s director of policy.  “Renewables are the backbone of the transition but there are massive opportunities in other sectors such as manufacturing, restoring the land, and electrification of transport.”

The report, which targets governments, companies, investors and financial regulators, says its estimates are conservative because they do not factor in the export potential of industries such as clean hydrogen.
It argues that if governments set stable policy, and companies and investors collaborate to align their decisions with the goals of the Paris agreement, then billions of dollars over the short and long term could support the jobs and wealth of millions of Australians, particularly in regional areas.

The Morrison government has refused to commit Australia to a net zero emissions target and has focused its climate policy on a new technology roadmap covering hydrogen, energy storage, “low carbon” steel and aluminium, carbon capture and storage, and soil carbon.  Under the roadmap, the government claims it will invest $18bn in technologies over 10 years.

The IGCC report notes that more than half of Australia’s two-way trading partners have set targets to reach net zero emissions by mid-century.

Morrison's rejection of 2050 net zero emissions target is at odds with Paris agreement, experts say

It warns that a business as usual “hothouse” scenario in Australia – with no net zero emissions target – would produce $43bn less in investment over five years and $250bn less by 2050 than what would be possible with a net zero target.

“Put bluntly, capital is global and it wants to invest in climate change solutions because they see it as delivering more on their long term investments,” Jackson said. “They’re going to invest more in countries that have durable, credible policies to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”

John Connor, the chief executive of the Carbon Market Institute, said the reality Australia faced was its economy was running “below capacity and it needs a new direction”.  He said clean technologies like renewable energy and transport represented significant opportunities for Australia in a post-carbon world and the country’s vast land mass, with landscapes in need of regeneration, gave it a competitive advantage in carbon sequestration.
by Lisa Cox
The Guardian www,
13 Oct 2020

Monday, October 26, 2020

Finding the Right Policy Mix to Safeguard our Climate

Unaddressed, climate change will entail a potentially catastrophic human and economic toll, but it’s not too late to change course.  Global temperatures have increased by about 1°C since the pre-industrial era because of heat-trapping green-house gases accumulating in the atmosphere. Unless strong action is taken to curb emissions of these gases, global temperatures could increase by an additional 2–5°C by the end of this century. Keeping temperatures to levels deemed safe by scientists requires bringing net carbon emissions to zero on net globally by mid-century.  Economic policy tools can pave a road toward net zero emissions by 2050 even as the world seeks to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

In the latest World Economic Outlook we make the case that economic policy tools can pave a road toward net zero emissions by 2050 even as the world seeks to recover from the COVID-19 crisis. We show that these policies can be pursued in a manner that supports economic growth, employment and income equality.

The manageable costs of mitigation
Economic policies can help address climate change through two main channels: by affecting the composition of energy (high- vs. low-emission sources), and by influencing total energy usage. The costs and benefits of different policies are determined by how they exploit these distinct channels.
For example, a carbon tax makes dirty fuels more expensive, which incentivizes energy consumers to shift their consumption towards greener fuels. Total energy consumption falls too because, overall, energy is more expensive.

In contrast, policies that aim to make green energy cheaper and more abundant (subsidies or direct public investment in green energy) increase the share of low-emissions energy. However, by making energy cheaper overall, green energy subsidies continue to stimulate total energy demand or at least do not reduce it.

In line with this intuition, our latest analysis suggests pairing carbon taxes with policies that cushion the impact on consumers’ energy costs can deliver rapid emissions reductions without major negative impacts on output and employment. Countries should initially opt for a green investment stimulus—investments in clean public transportation, smart electricity grids to incorporate renewables into power generation, and retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient.

This green infrastructure push will achieve two goals.

First, it will boost global GDP and employment in the initial years of the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Second, the green infrastructure will increase productivity in low-carbon sectors, thereby incentivizing the private sector to invest in them and making it easier to adapt to higher carbon prices.
Our model-based scenario analysis suggests that a comprehensive policy strategy to mitigate climate change could boost global GDP in the first 15 years of the recovery by about 0.7 percent of global GDP on average, and employment for about half of that period leading to about 12 million extra persons being employed globally. As the recovery takes hold, preannounced and gradually rising carbon prices will become a powerful tool to deliver the needed reduction in carbon emissions.

If implemented, such a policy program would put the global economy on a sustainable path by reducing emissions and limiting climate change. The net effect would approximately halve the expected output loss from climate change and provide long-term, real GDP gains well above the current course from 2050 onward.

Transition costs
Despite the long-run benefits, and an initial boost to economic activity, such policies do impose costs along the transition. Between 2037–50, the mitigation strategy would hold global GDP down by about 0.7 percent on average each year and by 1.1 percent in 2050 relative to unchanged policies. These costs seem manageable, however, considering that global output is projected to grow by 120 percent between now and 2050. The drag on output could be further reduced if climate policies incentivize technological development in clean technologies—through R&D subsidies, for instance. Moreover, the package would be neutral for output during that period if important benefits in the form of better health outcomes (due to reduced pollution) or less traffic congestion are considered.
The transitional output costs associated with the policy package vary significantly across countries. Some of the advanced economies may experience smaller economic costs or even see gains throughout the transition. Given their earlier investments into renewables, these economies can more easily ramp up their use and avoid large adjustment costs. Countries with fast economic or population growth (India, especially) and most oil producers should expect larger economic costs by forgoing cheap forms of energy, such as coal or oil. Yet these output costs remain small for most countries and need to be weighed against avoided climate change damages and the health benefits from reducing the use of fossil fuels.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

How a Plan to Save the Power System Disappeared - A federal lab found a way to modernize the grid, reduce reliance on coal, and save consumers billions. Then Trump appointees blocked it.

On August 14, 2018, Joshua Novacheck, a 30-year-old research engineer for the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, was presenting the most important study of his nascent career.... Novacheck was sharing the results of the Interconnections Seam Study, better known as Seams. The Seams study demonstrated that stronger connections between the U.S. power system’s massive eastern and western power grids would accelerate the growth of wind and solar energy—hugely reducing American reliance on coal, the fuel contributing the most to climate change, and saving consumers billions.... 

Democrats in Congress have recently cited NREL’s work to argue for billions in grid upgrades and sweeping policy changes. But a study like Seams was politically dangerous territory for a federally funded lab while coal-industry advocates—and climate-change deniers—reign in the White House. The Trump administration has a long history of protecting coal companies.... Trump officials would ultimately block Seams from seeing the light of day....

A nearly impermeable electrical “seam” divides America’s eastern and western power grids. These giant pools of alternating current on either side of the Rockies contain a total of 950 gigawatts of power generation by thousands of power plants. (A third grid serves Texas.) But only a little over one gigawatt can cross between them. Western-grid power plants in Colorado send bulk power more than 1,000 miles away to California, for example, but merely a trickle across the seam to its next-door neighbor Nebraska. That separation raises power costs, and makes it hard to share growing surpluses of environmentally friendly wind and solar power. And years of neglect have left the grids—and the few connections between them—overloaded and ill-prepared to transition to highly variable renewable energy.  The Seams study set out to determine whether uniting America’s big grids would pay....

The fallout was swift: The lab grounded Bloom and Novacheck, prohibiting them from presenting the Seams results or even discussing the study outside NREL.... The $1.6 million study itself disappeared. NREL yanked the completed findings from its website and deleted power-flow visualizations from its YouTube channel.
Withholding NREL’s grid research is an example of what experts such as Arjun Krishnaswami, a policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council, calls the “deep politicization” of DOE and its national labs under Donald Trump. At a moment when Europe, China, and others are racing ahead with advanced long-distance energy-transmission technologies, grid experts say that technology has gone nowhere in the United States—thanks to a failure of leadership in Washington.,,,

Bloom showed off his team’s sophisticated methodology using high-resolution video simulations. One simulation showed a hypothetical heat wave in August 2038, causing air conditioners to drive up power demand. As the rising sun swept across the U.S., yellow circles representing solar plants expanded. Surplus power from solar plants in the West flooded eastward, limiting the need for pricier and dirtier midwestern coal power. And as the sun set, the Midwest’s expansive wind farms began to spin, sending power westward and minimizing use of the West’s coal- and gas-fired generators....

As expected, the simulations showed that exchanging power across the Rockies enables generators on either side to serve a wider area, reducing the number of plants required, and trims operation of the remaining fossil-fueled generators. And they demonstrated that the resulting savings in fuel and equipment more than pay for the added transmission. The benefits were particularly dramatic for the carbon-price scenario. It would eliminate up to 35 megatons of CO2 emissions a year by 2038—equivalent to the current annual carbon emissions from U.S. natural-gas production and distribution. And it would return about $2.50 or more for every $1 invested in transmission....

The design that delivered the largest cost reduction linked up transmission lines to form a new transcontinental network: a “supergrid.” Seams simulated a 7,500-mile supergrid that would ship bulk power around the U.S.—a network reaching from Washington State to Florida. Even in the study’s less-ambitious scenario, the supergrid was saving consumers $3.6 billion a year by 2038.

But there was a problem: Improving the energy grid would reduce America’s reliance on coal

Enhanced grid resilience was a likely outcome of the Seams expansions....

According to Susan Tierney, a former assistant secretary of energy who chairs NREL’s External Advisory Council, national labs have operated with considerable independence in the past: “There was an understanding that the labs have a duty to perform quality research. I was not familiar with situations where there was an editorial thumb on the scale.”

But under Trump, political appointees have made unprecedented moves to regulate how science is conducted, according to a historical analysis and warning by experts in science and the law in the journal Science. And other scientific studies—especially those related to climate change—have been similarly slow-walked or buried. One of them was a DOE-commissioned study on grid resiliency, completed in April 2018. Michael Webber, an energy expert at the University of Texas at Austin and the study’s leader, notes that his conclusion—that increased transmission, not just fuel-storing generators, helps grids respond to extreme events—conflicted with statements made by DOE leaders. “I never got a message from anybody saying ‘Please do a study that concludes coal is magical,’ so there was never direct pressure on me for that. But I could sort of read the winds,” Webber says.

In the case of Seams, DOE’s interference has had a real and practical impact. Caspary says he has been waiting for access to Seams’ simulation tools to do follow-up studies for the Southwest Power Pool. There’s a growing backlog of wind and solar projects seeking to use the Pool’s lines....

... The power-industry expert Peter Fox-Penner, who runs the Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy, says the U.S. is falling behind other major economies when it comes to creating the big grid links that make a transition to renewable energy possible. As Fox-Penner writes in his 2020 book, Power After Carbon: Building a Clean, Resilient Grid, “Without better integrated planning, we can’t even guess at the amount of transmission we need and where and how it should be built. Europe, Australia, and other countries are starting to get a good handle on these questions while the United States lags well behind.” The International Energy Agency has estimated that China’s growing interregional transmission could save its consumers and industries $9 billion a year.

Meanwhile, the nationwide report on grid congestion that DOE is required by law to update every three years—a crucial component of grid planning—is two years behind schedule.

And there are more signs of trouble at NREL, where two more grid-modeling studies are now missing in action....

by Peter Fairley, journalist who covers energy, technology, and climate change.
The Atlantic
August 20, 2020

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Green roof and green wall benefits and costs: A review of the quantitative evidence

• Review of existing research on green roofs and green walls benefits and costs.
• Focus on building scale benefits, urban scale benefits and life-cycle costs.
• Variability identification and average quantification assessment.
• Fewer studies have quantified green walls benefits and costs.
• There is high variability in data across all benefits and costs.

... Green infrastructures, like green roofs and green walls, have multiple associated environmental, social and economic benefits that improve buildings performance and the urban environment. Yet, the implementation of green roofs and green walls is still limited, as these systems often have additional costs when compared to conventional solutions.

Recent studies have been comparing these greening systems to other solutions, balancing the long-term benefits and costs. Also, there is significant research on green roofs and green walls benefits. Although, green roofs and green walls economic analyses don't include all benefits due to measuring difficulties. The associated uncertainty regarding the quantification of the benefit makes it difficult to compare the research outcomes.

This paper aims to provide a research review of existing benefits and costs of different types of green roofs and green walls. These were divided between building scale benefits, urban scale benefits and life cycle costs, focusing on the identification of results variability and assessment of their average quantification.

The analysis shows that in general, there [is little] ... data regarding intangible benefits, as the promotion of quality of life and well-being. Also, there are still few studies quantifying green walls benefits and costs. High variability in data is mostly related to the different characteristics of systems, buildings envelope, surrounding environment and local weather conditions.
Green roofs, also known as ecoroofs, living roofs or vegetated/vegetative roofs, refer to all systems which enable greening roofs, allowing the growth of different types of vegetation on top of buildings. Green roofs include a set of layers that protect the support and improve system performance. They commonly include the vegetation, growing medium (substrate), filter layer and drainage layer. These solutions are normally applied over waterproofed roofs with a root barrier and the insulation layer. Also, the green roof system must be applied over a layer with a minimum slope of 2% to drain the excessive rainwater along the roof. Compared to conventional roofs, green roofs tend to be more expensive, requiring extra maintenance depending on the vegetation type and irrigation needs. If the substrate thickness is significant the system may need an increased weight load capacity of the roof to be able to be implemented.
In general, green roofs are more energy-efficient than black roofs in all climates. Table 1 shows that maximum energy savings are obtained when comparing intensive green roofs to black roofs, especially over non-insulated roofs, reaching to 84% energy savings in the cooling season and 48% in the heating season. Also, in Csa climate, green roofs can be more effective than white roofs in the heating season, especially in buildings that are not insulated. However, in this climate green roofs are not as effective in the cooling season, except for intensive green roofs due to substrate thickness.

In the Tropical climate (Af), where only cooling is necessary, tests developed by Wong et al. in a commercial building in Singapore, demonstrate that extensive green roofs show higher energy savings than black roofs also in non-insulated buildings, obtaining average energy savings of 63%. In the Tropical desert climate (Bwh) the application of extensive green roofs was tested by Zinzi and Agnoli. Results from Cairo city in Egypt, demonstrate that in the heating season extensive green roofs are more effective than black and white roofs, reaching 22% and 52% energy savings, respectively. However, in the cooling season results are not as promising, as white roofs reveal to be more effective. In the Semi-arid hot climate (Bsh) a semi-intensive green roof was analysed by Ascioni et al.. Energy savings for cooling of this green roof reached an average of 7,25% compared to a traditional roof and were not as effective as white roofs. In cold climates (Cfb and Dfb), where winters require more heating loads, all types of green roofs have proven to be more effective than black and white roofs. In summer green roofs demonstrate to reduce energy loads when compared to black roofs but not as much as in warmer climates. In Table 1 maximum energy savings were also obtained with extensive green roofs in the Oceanic climate (Cfb) revealing to be highly effective in the cooling season reaching to 84% in insulated buildings and 100% in non-insulated buildings, but not in the heating season.

More recently some authors have studied green walls potential to improve energy efficiency in buildings, due to surface temperature reduction and shadowing provided by plants. Studies demonstrate that, in Csa climate, when compared to a conventional wall, green façades can have an energy efficiency of 34% and living walls 59% to 66%, during the cooling season.
Table 2 shows some research studies demonstrating that the addition of an extensive green roof to a building can have a significant impact on sound transmission reduction. The decrease in noise levels varies from 5 dB to 20 dB, depending on the frequencies. However, sound transmission reduction may vary according to the type of support, substrate composition and its depth, water content, and types and stage of plant species development 
Some authors have proven that green walls also have good sound absorption properties compared to other cladding materials. Like green roofs, green walls sound absorption depends on green coverage type, variety of plant species and materials used in the system. Pérez et al. obtained also a 2 dB increase in soundproofing with a living wall and a 3 dB increase with a green façade
New solutions and technologies for water recovery and water treatment can significantly contribute to buildings reduction of potable water consumption. Greywater decentralized treatment and recycling requires simpler treatment systems and reduces the impact on urban wastewater management. Local greywater recycling can achieve potential water savings of 9%–46% within the household.
Results indicate that green walls can remove 80%–90% of total suspended solids (TSS), over 90% of biological oxygen demand (BOD), 30%–50% of total nitrogen (TN), 15%–30% of total phosphorus (TP), 30%–70% of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and 20%–80% of Escherichia coli (E. coli).
Current conventional roofs include a waterproofing membrane that usually lasts between 10 and 20 years, while green roofs could ensure an in-service life of 50 years or more. However, old green roofs exist in Berlin for more than 90 years without being replaced
Current conventional roofs include a waterproofing membrane that usually lasts between 10 and 20 years, while green roofs could ensure an in-service life of 50 years or more. However, old green roofs exist in Berlin for more than 90 years without being replaced

Green roofs and green walls add property value to buildings. Several authors use several methodologies (e.g. hedonic pricing method) to estimate how the presence of green spaces, like green roofs and green walls, influence property value. Fig. 4 presents the results obtained by different authors regarding the average property value increase due to the presence of green areas, including green roofs and green walls. Based on these results an average increase of 8,24% was determined. Ichihara and Cohen estimated an increase of 16,2% in rental prices in buildings with green roofs. Perini and Rosasco identified a 2%–5% increase in property value due to the presence of green walls.


... Solutions such as green roofs or green walls, can contribute to evaporative cooling from evapotranspiration, shading, increase the surface albedo (0,7 to 0,85 versus 0,1 to 0,2) and emissivity, and complement the building insulation. The [Urban Heat Island] (UHI) mitigation potential of greening systems is conditioned by several variables as i) climate conditions (solar radiation, outdoor temperature and humidity, wind and precipitation); ii) optical variables (surface albedo and emissivity); iii) thermal variables (thermal capacity and thermal transmittance); iv) and hydrological variables (latent heat loss through evaporation by plants and soil) ... Overall, the average reduction of the surrounding temperature collected in these studies is l, 34 °C, varying between a minimum and a maximum average of 1 °C to 2,3 °C.
Table 3 shows the results obtained by different authors regarding the potential of living walls to contribute to urban noise reduction. Results indicate a variation along different frequencies and between systems. A total average urban noise attenuation of 5,5 dB was obtained, ranging between 0 and 10 dB.
Regarding extensive green roofs, high variability was identified across studies, ranging between an average minimum stormwater runoff reduction of 33% and a maximum average of 81%. Overall, extensive green roofs contribute in average 57% to decrease stormwater runoff.

Concerning to intensive green roofs, Fig. 7 also shows a 79% average stormwater runoff retention, which represents a 22% higher water retention capacity compared to extensive green roofs. This increase may be due to substrate depth. This difference is also notorious when comparing stormwater runoff average results between green roof solutions in similar climates (Cfa and Cfb), representing a 31% difference in Cfa and 10% in Cfb climates.

Fig. 10 illustrates the pollutants removal capacity of green roofs obtained by different authors through dry deposition. All values were converted to grams (g) per area unit (m2) per year. These studies show higher average removal capacity of O3 (1,96 g/m2.year), PM10 (1,47 g/m2.year) and NO2 (1,03 g/m2.year). Significant average results were also obtained for SO2 (0,41 g/m2.year), CO (0,41 g/m2.year).

Bianchini & Hewage [69] mention two examples of incentive policies. In New York City a tax reduction incentive is applied when building owners include extensive and intensive green roofs in their properties, covering at least 50% of the total roof area. This way can benefit from a tax reduction of 43€/m2 (49 USD/m2), reaching a maximum of 90.000 € (approximately 101.700 USD). Also, the city of Portland applies a stormwater fee discount of 35% for properties that reduce their impervious surfaces, including the application of green roofs.
Fig. 11 presents the installation cost of extensive, semi-intensive and intensive green roofs respectively, obtained by different authors. Results demonstrate a high variability in systems cost between countries. An average installation cost of 99 €/m2 (112 USD/m2) was identified for extensive green roofs. Semi-intensive systems tend to be more expensive than extensive green roofs as they usually include a wider variety of plant species. Results indicate an average installation cost of 130 €/m2 (147 USD/m2) for semi-intensive green roofs. Intensive green roofs tend to be more expensive to install, as they include more material and heavier plants (e.g. small trees) reaching an average installation cost of 362 €/m2 (409 USD/m2).

                                                                Fig. 11. Installation cost (€/m2) of extensive green roofs

Fig. 12 refers to the results obtained by different authors regarding the installation cost of green façades and living walls. Significant differences were also obtained between green wall systems. Green façades have an average installation cost of 190 €/m2 (215 USD/m2), as they require less material. Living walls can have more differences in cost, as there are several different systems on the market. An average installation cost of 750 €/m2 (848 USD/m2) was obtained for living walls.

Wind, Solar Are Cheapest Power Source In Most Places, BNEF Says

Wind and solar power are the cheapest form of new electricity in most of the world today.

That’s the analysis of BloombergNEF, which predicts a tipping point in five years when it will be more expensive to operate an existing coal or natural gas power plant than to build new solar or wind farms.
The findings add to research showing why renewables are spreading in most power markets. Last week, the International Energy Agency said solar is starting to take over from coal as the cheapest form of electricity.

But there is an economic limit to the spread of those sources of clean energy, BNEF’s Chief Economist Seb Henbest said at the research group’s annual conference in London on Monday. There will come a point in every country that saturation point is reached because the technology no longer reduces generation costs compared with running the existing thermal generation fleet.  Those constraints suggest renewables will gain no more than 70% and 80% of the market for electricity generation, depending on local conditions. Even in Europe, which has some of the toughest policies encouraging renewables and discouraging fossil fuels, wind and solar are unlikely to surpass 80% of supply.  That level of penetration “is far off in pretty much every market we look at,” Henbest said in a presentation outlining the first findings of BNEF’s New Energy Outlook, which is due to be published in full later this month. “We’re not going to reach these limits anytime soon and we can of course push past these limits.”
The shift toward renewables is likely to reshape a number of industries, especially the shipping business. A third of the cargo miles hauled by shippers comes from moving fossil fuels around the globe, and 70% of that portion is oil, BNEF estimates.
Using electricity to heat homes and power cars could save energy and emissions, the report showed.

Driving an electric vehicle uses as much as three times less energy than a conventional combustion engine, BNEF said. Switching to heat pumps instead of traditional gas boilers would make warming buildings far more efficient by several multiples, according to the BNEF findings.

It estimates that melting down old steel and reforming it is five times more energy efficient than making the material from scratch.

In power generation, BNEF estimates that coal is also one of the most inefficient ways to make electricity since 65% of energy is lost in the process of burning the fuel. The energy lost in generating electricity from wind is almost zero.

By Jeremy Hodges
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)
October 19, 2020

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Carbon Tax Adjustment Mechanisms (TAMs): How They Work and Lessons from Modeling - Tax adjustment mechanisms can significantly decrease emissions uncertainty under a carbon tax while only modestly increasing the cost of emissions reductions.

Carbon taxes can provide powerful incentives for businesses and households to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Setting a tax, however, does not on its own guarantee a particular level of future emissions because it is impossible to predict exactly how a complex economy will respond to any given price level. To provide greater assurance about environmental performance, environmental integrity mechanisms (EIMs) can be built into carbon tax legislation. These innovative provisions have already been included in several recent US carbon tax proposals, including the MARKET CHOICE Act and the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (both introduced in the 115th Congress and updated and reintroduced in the 116th Congress) and the Stemming Warming and Augmenting Pay (SWAP) Act and the Climate Action Rebate Act (both introduced in the 116th Congress). 

This brief focuses on one type of EIM, a Tax Adjustment Mechanism (TAM), by which the carbon tax price path is automatically adjusted if actual emissions do not meet specified emissions reduction goals. As the TAM concept gains acceptance by the policy community and Congress, research and analysis are needed to evaluate how different TAM designs will affect emissions and economic outcomes. For example, how frequently should a tax adjustment be triggered—on the basis of annual or cumulative emissions, or both? How large should the adjustment be? And how far from a desired trajectory must emissions be before it is triggered? These design choices should be grounded in rigorous analysis with an understanding of their implications for environmental performance and cost.

In response to this critical need, Resources for the Future (RFF), in collaboration with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), has developed new modeling capacity designed to quantify the range of emissions uncertainty in carbon taxes and to evaluate the effectiveness of different TAM designs. This analysis finds that TAMs can significantly reduce emissions uncertainty and increase the probability of hitting particular emissions targets—often with very modest cost increases—but design details matter considerably in terms of both effectiveness and efficiency.

Coal Plant

Results suggest that a TAM can reduce emissions uncertainty in several ways:

by reducing the likelihood of very high emissions outcomes;
by reducing expected emissions and the range of potential expected emissions; and/or
by increasing the probability of meeting a specific emissions target.

This reduced uncertainty comes at a potential cost. By increasing the price if emissions goals are not met, TAMs generally increase expected costs of abatement. 6 These cost increases, however, are often quite modest compared with the reduction in emissions uncertainty.

The performance of a TAM ultimately depends on the design details. For example, the modeling indicates that the TAM included in the 2018 MARKET CHOICE Act (which would increase the carbon tax by $2 every two years if cumulative emissions goals are not met) reduces the upper bound of possible emissions outcomes (as measured by the 97.5th percentile of the distribution) by about 3 percent, reduces expected total cumulative emissions by 1 percent, reduces the standard deviation of the distribution by 17 percent, and increases the probability of achieving the bill’s cumulative emissions target from 54 to 72 percent. The increased certainty over emissions outcomes that the TAM provides results in an additional modest cost of approximately $1 per ton of emissions reduced (Hafstead and Williams 2020b, Table 3).

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Does Energy Star Certification Reduce Energy Use in Commercial Buildings?

A new paper finds evidence that the Energy Star program is likely identifying buildings that are already energy-efficient, rather than persuading building owners to make efficiency upgrades.

A number of policies and programs are aimed at reducing energy use in buildings—building energy codes, disclosure laws, energy-use benchmarking, and mandated or subsidized energy audits. In the United States, many of these initiatives are enacted at the state or local level. At the federal level, one of the main programs is Energy Star certification, which provides a label to top energy-performing buildings. In this paper, we evaluate changes in rents and utility expenditures following Energy Star certification using a national sample of over 4,400 office buildings combined with Energy Star data from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We find that building rents increase by 3.7 percent following certification, but that utility expenditures remain unchanged. We provide novel evidence that buildings do not make upgrades or capital investments to obtain a certification, suggesting that the Energy Star program primarily certifies buildings that are already energy-efficient.

Key Findings
Rents per square foot in Energy Star certified office buildings in the United States are 3.7 percent higher, on average, than rents in similar uncertified buildings.
Energy Star certification does not cause a change in building utility expenditures.
We find no evidence that the Energy Star program causes building owners to invest in building upgrades.
Taken together, our results suggest that Energy Star serves an information provision function, allowing building owners to communicate to prospective tenants the energy efficiency of their buildings relative to other, similar buildings

by Becka Brolinson, Karen Palmer, and Margaret A. Walls
Resources For the Future (RFF)
Working Paper (20-15)  — Sept. 11, 2020

Quantifying the Human Health Benefits of Using Satellite Information to Detect Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms and Manage Recreational Advisories in U.S. Lakes

Significant recent advances in satellite remote sensing allow environmental managers to detect and monitor cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHAB), and these capabilities are being used more frequently in water quality management. A quantitative estimate of the socioeconomic benefits generated from these new capabilities, known as an impact assessment, was missing from the growing literature on cyanoHABs and remote sensing. In this paper, we present an impact assessment framework to characterize the socioeconomic benefits of satellite remote sensing for detecting cyanoHABs and managing recreational advisories at freshwater lakes. We then apply this framework to estimate the socioeconomic benefits of satellite data that were used to manage a 2017 cyanoHAB event in Utah Lake. CyanoHAB events on Utah Lake can pose health risks to people who interact with the blooms through recreation. We find that the availability of satellite data yielded socioeconomic benefits by improving human health outcomes valued at approximately $370,000, though a sensitivity analysis reveals that this central estimate can vary significantly ($55,000–$1,057,000 in benefits) as a result of different assumptions regarding the time delay in posting a recreational advisory, the number of people exposed to the cyanoHAB, the number of people who experience gastrointestinal symptoms, and the cost per case of illness.

by Signe Stroming  Molly Robertson  Bethany Mabee  Yusuke Kuwayama  Blake Schaeffer
Volume 4, Issue 9; September 2020; First published: 18 June 2020 

Making the Most of Distributed Energy Resources - Subregional Estimates of the Environmental Value of Distributed Energy Resources in the United States

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), like rooftop solar and battery storage, have the potential to generate significant social benefits by displacing pollution-emitting electricity generators. Accurately compensating DERs for this environmental and public health value, which some regulators and experts call the “E-Value,” is imperative for making the most out of DERs’ potential. Doing so will ensure DERs are deployed, and used, when and where they create the most value for society. In practice, however, calculating the E-Value of DERs is difficult without a detailed model of the electric power sector because the benefits of avoided air pollution can vary significantly by location and time of day or time of year.

This report provides a new set of hourly E-Values for the whole United States, broken down into 19 subregions, using an open-source reduced-order dispatch model.1 Critically, these granular estimates are shown to vary considerably by geography, hour, and season. The patterns uncovered by these estimates can help policymakers design economically efficient DER policies to reduce air pollution from electricity generators. Because these results come from an open-source model, they can be particularly useful for regulators with mandates to use publicly available data in their decisionmaking or for those who desire to do their own analysis.

This report reveals three novel insights based on the hourly E-Values generated by the model. 

First, the E-Values of DERs depend crucially on the location of the DER, as some regions have more pollution-intensive electricity generators than others. 
Second, unlike the production cost savings of DERs (which are generally greater during periods of high electricity demand), there is no general and consistent pattern that can effectively characterize the E-Value of DERs throughout the day. 
Finally, the E-Value of DERs can be large – potentially greater than the benefits of avoided electricity production costs, and generally greater than what commonly used heuristics would suggest.

Policymakers can use these estimates and insights to create effective DER policies and programs. These findings highlight the need for more accurate and granular valuation of DERs, without which investments in DER technologies are likely to be either meager or misdirected. Policymakers using E-Value estimates in the design of DER compensation schemes or the assessment of other DER policies can rest assured they are making the most of DERs’ potential to deliver social benefits in their jurisdiction.
Results from the reduced-order dispatch model suggest the E-Values of DERs can vary significantly by subregion. Figure 2 displays hourly maps of the E-Value of DERs for each subregion averaged by season and time of day. This figure shows that the E-Value depends largely on the geographic region, and less so on the time of day and season. This variation is because some regions use more pollution-intensive fuels to generate electricity than others. For example, the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions are heavily dependent on coal electricity generators, which emit a large amount of CO2 and SO2 per MWh. The E-Value is relatively small in California where little-to-no electricity is generated by coal electricity generators.

Other than geographic location, population density can be a large determinate of the E-Value of DERs. Densely populated areas experience more damage from a given amount of pollution as more people are exposed. Results in Figure 2 show there are consistently higher E-Values in the Northeast compared to the Rocky Mountains, in part because the former is more densely populated than the latter. Analysis on the electric power sector done by the EPA illustrates this point in the context of PM2.5: a ton of PM2.5 released in the eastern region of the United States causes between $130,000 and $320,000 in damages, whereas the same ton in the western part of the United States causes $24,000 to $60,000 in damage. Generally, the hourly E-Value can vary significantly throughout the day, as the marginal electricity generator, marginal emissions, and associated health benefits change hourly. If the hourly E-Value were to follow a consistent and general daily pattern, policymakers could use this information to better design DER compensation policies by, for example, compensating DERs the most during the time of day they generate the most social value. But, if the E-Value does not follow a consistent and general pattern, policy makers would have to directly observe hourly marginal emissions or model the specific region to accurately compensate DERs for their intra-day variation in E-Value.
The average E-Value of DERs, across all 8760 hours in a year and 19 geographic regions, was $57/MWh (with a median of $54/MWh). This value is nearly twice the average cost of electricity simulated by the reduced-order dispatch model ($27/MWh), and greater than the national average wholesale price of electricity in 2018 ($44/MWh).26 Figure 4, which displays the simulated average production cost and average E-Value of DERs in every subregion, shows this relationship holds for every subregion except one.

Figure 4 – Simulated Energy Cost Compared to the E-Value of DERs

Each subregions color is based on the geography of the corresponding NERC region. The diagonal line represents equality between the two values, and subregions to the lower right of the diagonal lines have an average E-Value greater than average simulated energy cost. Benefits from avoided greenhouse gas emissions make up nearly half of the E-Value. Decomposing the E-Value of DERs, as done Figure 5, shows the avoided CO2 pollution is a large component of a DER’s benefits on average across all regions and hours. By using the Social Cost of Carbon, the E-Values presented in this report capture, at least in part, the large future damages from climate change (including from coastal storms, extreme weather events, and human health impacts, such as mortality from heat-related illnesses induced by the use of fossil-fuels). Ignoring the benefits of avoided greenhouse gas emissions will provide an underestimate of the total benefits of DERs. For example, recent analysis by the EPA evaluating only the public health benefits of DERs, excluding avoided GHG emissions, range from $17 to $40/MWh on average.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

State of Climate Services 2020 Report: Move from Early Warnings to Early Action - Globally 108 Million Needed International Humanitarian System Help due to Storms, Floods, Droughts and Wildfires in 2018 - Could increase 50% by 2030 and Cost $20 billion a year

Over the past 50 years, more than 11,000 disasters have been attributed to weather, climate and water-related hazards, involving 2 million deaths and US$ 3.6 trillion in economic losses. While the average number of deaths recorded for each disaster has fallen by a third during this period, the number of recorded disasters has increased five times and the economic losses have increased by a factor of seven, according to a new multi-agency report.

Extreme weather and climate events have increased in frequency, intensity and severity as result of climate change and hit vulnerable communities disproportionately hard.  Yet one in three people are still not adequately covered by early warning systems, according to the 2020 State of Climate Services report released on the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on 13 October.

In 2018, globally, around 108 million people required help from the international humanitarian system as a result of storms, floods, droughts and wildfires. By 2030, it is estimated that this number could increase by almost 50% at a cost of around US$ 20 billion a year, it says.

The report, produced by 16 international agencies and financing institutions, identifies where and how governments can invest in effective early warning systems that strengthen countries’ resilience to multiple weather, climate and water-related hazards and provides successful examples.


It stresses the need to switch to impact-based forecasting – an evolution from “what the weather will be” to “what the weather will do” so that people and businesses can act early based on the warnings.

The 2020 State of Climate Services report contains 16 different case studies on successful early warning systems for hazards including tropical cyclones and hurricanes, floods, droughts, heatwaves, forest fires, sand and dust storms, desert locusts, severe winters and glacial lake outbursts.

“Early warning systems (EWS) constitute a prerequisite for effective disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Being prepared and able to react at the right time, in the right place, can save many lives and protect the livelihoods of communities everywhere,” said World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas.

“While COVID-19 generated a large international health and economic crisis from which it will take years to recover, it is crucial to remember that climate change will continue to pose an on-going and increasing threat to human lives, ecosystems, economies and societies for centuries to come,“ he said.

“Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to move forward along a more sustainable path towards resilience and adaptation in the light of anthropogenic climate change,” Professor Taalas said in a foreword to the report.

The 2020 State of Climate Services report provides a basis for understanding how to strengthen protection for the most vulnerable, including through mechanisms such as the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative, which together with l’Agence Francaise de Développement, provided funding for the report.

Nearly 90 percent of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States have identified early warning systems as a top priority in their Nationally Determined Contributions on climate change. However, many of them lack the necessary capacity and financial investment is not always flowing into the areas where investment is most needed.

The situation is particularly acute in small island developing states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs). Since 1970, SIDS have lost US$ 153 billion due to weather, climate and water related hazards – a significant amount given that the average GDP for SIDS is US$ 13.7 billion.  Meanwhile, 1.4 million people (70% of the total deaths) in LDCs lost their lives due to weather, climate and water related hazards in that time period.

World record low solar price of $0.01316/kWh recorded at Portuguese Auction

In an auction, which took place on August 24th and 25th, licenses to produce 670 megawatts (MW) were awarded, of which about 75% were linked to Storage (483 MW) and the rest linked to "System Compensation" (177 MW) and "Contract for Differences" (10MW).

The 12 lots submitted for auction were awarded to six entities, half of which are not present in the Portugal production market. Eight lots were awarded for storage, four lots for the Compensation System, and one for the Differences Contract modality (price fixed).

Hanwha Q-Cells was the big winner of this second solar auction both in number of lots (6) and in awarded capacity (315 MW).

After the auction is concluded, gains for consumers are estimated at 559 million € (euros) over 15 years, which is equivalent to about 37.2 million  € per year.  This value corresponds to a unit gain of approximately 833,000  € for each MW awarded (15 years), which represents an increase of about 80% compared to the gain of 464 thousand  € for each MW awarded in 2019.

For the Storage modality, a weighted average discount was obtained at the reference value greater than 200%. This means that:

• Winners have abdicated from receiving a capacity prize (defined initially by the Government at 33,500  € per MW/year), highlighting that were available to pay a capacity premium system (about 37,100  € per MW/year on average);
• In addition to this amount (equivalent to a fixed and guaranteed revenue for the around 17.9 million  € / year, the winners will still have to insure the system against high price events in the market, thus ensuring a second revenue component for consumers;
• In addition, the National Electric System will have a capacity (minimum) storage capacity of almost 100 MW, contributing to absorb excesses of renewables in the network and giving the necessary flexibility to the in these periods.

In the System Compensation Modality a weighted average contribution of approximately 73,700€ per MW / year, which translates into a fixed and guaranteed revenue for the System in the order of 13 million euros / year. This figure is about 73% higher than weighted average contribution obtained in the 2019 auction.

A solar farm in Portugal [@PerEnergia Twitter] via

In the Contract for Differences only one lot was awarded at a fixed price. It was in this modality that reached the lowest tariff in the world, in the amount of € 11.14 / MWh (equivalent to a 73.3% discount on the reference rate initially set by the Government). This tariff is about 25% lower than the lowest tariff obtained in the 2019 auction, considered to be the lowest in the world (€ 14.76 / MWh).

Competitors in the Contract for Differences modality proved to be very engaged in the bidding of the respective lots, resulting in discounts to the tariff reference values ​​above 80%. In one of the lots, an offer was even registered equivalent to a tariff of € 4.54 / MWh. In all these cases, the lots ended up be auctioned off by competitors.

Finally, it should be noted that the tenderers for the 2019 auction have already completed the first phase of the Specifications, regarding the choice of land and presentation of the respective documents attesting to the right of them to be able to install photovoltaic plants.  At the moment, the contractors are already in the process of obtaining corresponding production licenses for their plants.

For example, for the Santas photovoltaic plant, the contractor Akuo Renováveis ​​Portugal, has just entered public consultation in the scope of of the environmental licensing process. This plant, which will have an installed power 180 MW, corresponds to the lot awarded to the lowest auction price in 2019 (€ 14.76 / MWh).

Government of Portugal Press Release August 26, 2020

According to PV Magazine at  the price was lower than the previous record of $0.0135/kWh bid submitted by French energy group EDF and China’s JinkoPower in a 2 GW tender held in Abu Dhabi

The article also noted that Antonio Delgado Rigal, chief executive of energy forecasting service Aleasoft, said that the 15-year contracts awarded in the auction were the key to understanding the reason of such a low price. This, combined with the rights for land and grid connection guaranteed by the auction, makes attractive bidding at low prices.  He also said that “Notwithstanding, the low prices of this Portuguese auction should not have an impact on the price of the peninsular electrical market nor on the prices of bilateral PPAs over the long term. “However, €0.01114 / kWh is not the price of PV,” he concluded.