Power trends: Solar leads Twitter mentions in February 2020

9 March 2020 (Last Updated June 22nd, 2020 13:50)

Power Technology lists the top five terms tweeted in power in February 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

Power trends: Solar leads Twitter mentions in February 2020

Power Technology lists the top five terms tweeted in power in February 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Solar – 720 mentions

From solar panels being installed over bike lanes in South Korea to Australia’s farms utilising producing tomatoes using solar power and seawater, the harnessing of solar energy across countries and industries was a widely discussed topic in February 2020. For example, an article shared by climate change campaigner Mike Hudema describes how Morocco is building a solar farm that will provide energy for 24 hours each day.

Innovations and successful solar stories were also a key aspect of the tweets. For example, Hudema describes how California is innovating to save the planet, such as building new homes with solar panels, building large-scale battery storage systems, and making all public buses carbon-free. Meanwhile, energy engineering expert Arik Ring describes how Vietnam has kickstarted a solar revolution in just two years. The country is now the biggest generator of solar energy, with a solar capacity of 5.5GW.

2. Coal – 528 mentions

Efforts to completely cut down carbon emissions and phase out coal plants by the end of 2030 were popularly discussed on Twitter this month. For example, climate and clean energy expert Justin Guay shared an article on Japan, the second-largest public financier of coal-fired power plants, having declared a review of its export policy by the end of June 2020. According to the environment minister Shinjiro Koizumi, the country will tighten conditions to support new coal plant projects overseas.

In another calibrate move, Chase, the consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. US, has decided to stop funding for coal and Arctic oil. This was tweeted by Bill Mckibben, an environmentalist and creator of the climate campaign group 350.org.

Anti-coal campaigner Mary Anne Hitt also shared an article on the Virginia House of Delegates, having passed a bill to completely phase out coal-fired generation by 2030, and the 100% of the state’s electricity being produced by renewable resources by 2050. Countries globally are stressing on the complete shutdown of coal, including France, which recently declared to end coal generation by 2022.

3. Renewables – 302 mentions

Climate emergency and the need to respond effectively to climate crises such as the Arctic sea ice melting were some of the popular discussions on Twitter. A number of companies are harnessing the power of the ocean to generate electricity, while the poorest of nations such as Malawi is getting solar power. According to climate change campaigner Mike Hudema, Eco Wave Power provides a range of machines that help in the generation of wave energy. An onshore power station then converts this energy into fluid pressure, which finally helps in producing electricity.

A number of countries such as Denmark are using the wave power to generate electricity. In fact, Samso Island in Denmark is projected to be carbon negative, with enough solar and wind power to fulfil its own and others’ needs.

Economist and energy expert Faith Birol also tweeted on the flatlining in carbon dioxide emissions in 2019, which he explains was a result of the declining emissions from electricity generation in developed economies. Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen is speeding ahead to become the first carbon-neutral capital in the next six years, and this will be driven by efforts such as being energy efficient, banning diesel cars, and encouraging cycling. A number of countries are also collaborating such as the Netherlands and Germany to build their renewable energy capacity to meet the requirements of 80 million Europeans while New Zealand is banning oil and gas development to go 100% renewable.

4. Gas – 274 mentions

The need to cut down on global emissions and no-gas, all-electric building codes becoming the norm was popularly discussed in the month of February. Dr Simon Evans, author at Carbon Brief, shared an article on the importance of cutting down global emissions by 45% by 2030, in order to restrict global warming below 1.5°C. He shares an analysis, which explains that coal use must plummet faster than oil and gas, almost 70%-80%, in the next ten years in order to keep warming below 2°C. It is the single largest contributor to emissions and produces more carbon dioxide than oil or gas.

The 2015 Paris Agreement emphasises the need to curb global temperatures below 2°C, which means the complete closure of coal power plants in the US in 2020, and doing the same until 2030. However, there is a large gap between the agreed targets and the actions taken by countries.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles breaks new ground by constructing carbon-free buildings. Mark Z Jacobson, a professor at Stanford University, shared an article on how the city is using less carbon-intensive building materials to reduce building emissions. The 26 all-electric (no gas) public buildings are currently in their construction phase. Seattle, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh have also committed to making their buildings 100% emissions-free.

Global climate change activist Christiana Figueres also highlighted the role of consumerism in gas emissions. She shared a study, which revealed that 60% of the global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the food we eat, and almost 50%-80% of the total land, material and water is used to produce that food. As a result, four-fifths of the environmental impact of consumerism comes from the products supply chain than from direct actions such as driving cars.

5. Wind – 175 mentions

The advantages of using wind energy to power homes and its increasing share in renewable energy were some of the popular topics of discussions in February. According to Hudema, a pilot project is being used to create wind energy from moving busses to generate electricity for 20,000 homes in Turkey, along with solar panels.

Meanwhile, solar, wind and batteries are outpacing natural gas-fired power generation in Texas.

Professor Mark Z Jacobson shared an article describing how solar energy is emerging as the fastest electricity source, compared to natural gas which earlier supplied half of the state’s generating capacity.

Meanwhile, the fight between fossil and clean energy continues, with the rooted oil and gas companies doing as much to get renewables out of the way. However, the renewable industry has both the scale and scope to fight back, says Jacobson, in another tweet.