Cost of New Renewables Temporarily Rises as Inflation Starts to Bite - The cost of new-build onshore wind has risen 7% year on year, and fixed-axis solar has jumped 14%, according to the latest analysis by research company BloombergNEF (BNEF). The global benchmark levelized cost of electricity, or LCOE, has temporarily retreated to where it was in 2019. Cost rises are linked to increases in the cost of materials, freight, fuel and labor. BloombergNEF’s estimates for the global LCOE for utility-scale PV and onshore wind rose to $45 and $46 per megawatt-hour (MWh), respectively, in the first half of 2022. Despite losing some ground, this still marks an 86% and 46% reduction since 2010 in nominal terms. Global benchmarks conceal a range of country-level estimates that vary according to market maturity, resource availability, project characteristics, local financing conditions and labor costs. The cheapest renewable power projects in the first half of 2022 were able to achieve an LCOE of $19/MWh, as in best-in-class onshore wind farms in Brazil, and $21/MWh for tracking PV farms in Chile, and $57/MWh for offshore wind in Denmark. If the offshore transmission costs are excluded, the latter estimate falls to $43/MWh.
Solar Jobs Up in 47 States, Increase 9% Nationwide in 2021 - Solar energy jobs were up in 47 states and increased 9 percent nationwide from 2020 to 2021 to a total of 255,037 solar workers. These findings are in the annual National Solar Jobs Census released today by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), an independent national nonprofit organization. This job growth took place in a year of record solar installations driven by increased demand for renewable energy among residential customers, municipalities, businesses, and electric utilities. Overall, the solar industry added 21,563 jobs in 2021, with more than two-thirds of these new jobs (14,350) at installation and project development firms. “America’s solar industry came back strong from the pandemic to expand the clean energy workforce across all regions of the country,” said Larry Sherwood, President and CEO at IREC. “The future remains uncertain in light of the supply chain disruptions, trade issues, and stalled federal policy in the first part of 2022. There is potential for unprecedented job growth in the coming years if federal, state, and local leaders take action to expand clean energy use and address climate change.”
Catalyst with Shayle Kann: Seeking the holy grail of batteries on Apple Podcasts - If there were a holy grail of electric vehicle batteries, it would be low-weight, long-range, and fast-charging. It would last a million miles and cost less than anything produced today. So in the booming EV battery market, what kind of battery will check all those boxes? Who will invent it? And do we really need all those features in one battery in the first place? In this episode, Shayle talks to Sam Jaffe, vice president of battery solutions at E-Source. They trace the history of the two major competing lithium-ion chemistries: Lithium Iron (or ferrous) Phosphate (LFP) and Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC). Sam and Shayle also discuss the factors that shaped this competition, like China, Tesla, and access to capital. They discuss new partnerships between battery manufacturers and automakers, including LG and GM, Samsung SDI and Stellantis, ACC and Mercedes.