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Fossil to Cleantech- a selection of news from Q1 2021

Jan 2021 Australia: Coal to cleantech
NSW transition gets major boost with plans for 2 coal power stations to be given a second life as mega batteries to support renewable power. Using locations with existing connections to grid infrastructure is both cheaper and greener than building from scratch.
Eraring, Australia’s largest power station to a 700mW battery in plans by Origin energy
500mW by Neoen

Largest battery in Australia to be built at ageing NSW coal-fired power plant – ABC News

Jan 2021 Couple of fab facts about the worlds largest offshore #windfarm
“Five to six years ago, the cost of offshore wind was £150/MWh. Now it is well below the wholesale price” which is under £40
Original plan was for 2,000 15% of that number will be needed

Financial Times – Partner Content by Equinor (

Jan 2021 Wind power overtakes coal in Texas electricity generation

Wind power surged past coal in Texas’ electricity mix for the first time in 2020, the latest sign of renewable energy’s rising prominence in America’s fossil fuel heartland

2018 a quote from the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change (IPCC)

“In order to limit warming to 1.5C net global CO2 emissions need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 AND reach “net Zero” by 2050”

Summary for Policymakers — Global Warming of 1.5 ºC (

Jan 2021 In Texas in 2020 Natural gas retains market-leading position with 45% share on ERCOT, followed by wind, with 23%(about 7% in 2010), coal, with 18% (40% in 2010), nuclear, with 11%, and PV, with 2.3%. The change is charted in the link below.

Wind power overtakes coal in Texas electricity generation | Financial Times (

Jan 2021 This is the article showing what’s happened in the UK on shifting power generation from fossil fuel to renewables from 2010 to 2020

Solar & Wind Power Growth In UK From 2012–2020 (Charts) (

According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics the fastest growing occupation between 2019 and 2029 will be “wind turbine technician” while the 3rd fastest is “Solar photovoltaic installer!”

Fastest Growing Occupations : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

In the US Solar leads the 2021 pack with 39% of total new US electricity generating capacity. It’s followed by wind (31%, or 12.2 GW), natural gas (16%, or 6.6 GW), battery storage (11%, or 4.3 GW), nuclear (3%, or 1.1 GW), and Other, at 0.2 GW. So that’s 39% + 31% + 11% or 81% renewable with zero new coal plants and just 16% gas in the fossil corner. Source

U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA)
Renewables account for most new U.S. electricity generating capacity in 2021 – Today in Energy – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

December 2020 Yale polling shows support for climate change action in the US but crucially even stronger 72% support for total transition from fossil fuel to cleantech/ renewable power, transport, homes & industry by 2050 & 66% for electricity generation to 100% fossil free by 2035

2019 Numbers from Alberta “oilpatch” suggest the industry has set aside C$1.6B for cleanup but regulators estimate the cleanup cost to be between C$58B to C$250B.

Alberta officials warned oilpatch faced ‘landslide’ of failures. Then coronavirus struck Article contains video of a farm with wells now out of service and the original news report revealing the Alberta oil patch clean up estimates

Jan 2021 ESG investment goes mainstream
BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, plans to have $1.2 trillion in ESG assets within the next 10 years.
And it’s estimated that 1/3 of all assets under management in the U.S. are already sustainably invested

That’s $17.1 trillion invested in the companies making giant steps to put people and the planet first
Biden’s Boom: The $30 Trillion ESG Sector Is Set To Explode In 2021 |

Jan 2021 US Supreme Court hearing a case which will decide whether lawsuits against oil companies for the costs of climate change can be heard in state court. Legally there would be problems with ruling in favour of big oil & requiring cases to go to federal court as it could impact a massive number of non climate cases. A decision that climate cases can be heard in state court would increase the risk to the industry

David Nicholson

David Nicholson Is the founder of Rivergecko Ltd & MyUrbanCar which provide consultancy and advice for drivers and fleets to speed the transition from dirty fossil fuel transport to clean vehicles powered by renewable energy on land water and air.

The @MyUrbanCar twitter feed is a source of news & reviews of electric & plugin cars and vans in the UK.
The @rivergecko twitter feed & websites bring news and opinion on cleantech transport including cars, vans, buses, trucks, shipping, rail & aviation as well as autonomous vehicles & renewable energy, air pollution & motor industry news.

David Nicholson has worked as an underwriter at Lloyd's of London since the 1980's. His interest in technology goes back many years including interactive mapping, apps, green tech, boats, solar and cars.

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