If it’s not Sustainable, its Condition is Terminal.

April 25, 2019

2,519 regular daily posts, linking 32,188 articles

§ The most recent reported status of US nuclear power plants can be found at the US Nuclear Power Report, a distressingly dull account of NRC news, posted on non-holiday weekdays and Saturdays. As of April 25, out of 98 US-licensed reactors, 9 were at reduced output and 14 not operating.

§ Video: Energy Week #314, 04-18-2019: Farmland and solar panels make a good match. Washington state is going 100% renewable. Green Mountain Power is going 100% renewable. Climate Change is making allergy season worse. Rio Tinto, once a coal miner, is pushing renewables. VW’s CEO was charged with fraud. Indian Point will be decommissioned. And there is more.


April 25 Energy News

April 25, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Old Coal Mines, Tarnished Nukes Usurped By Land-Saving Solar” • From Appalachia in the United States to Queensland in Australia and Chernobyl in Ukraine, solar and wind farms are being developed and built in places not normally associated with clean energy, and in some regions that have long been resistant to it. [Seattle Times]

Solar park at Chernobyl (Vincent Mundy | Bloomberg)

¶ “Self-Scheduling: How Inflexible Coal Is Breaking Energy Markets” • By operating when operating costs exceed revenues, coal-fired power plant owners cost US consumers $1 billion a year in inflated utility bills. Some utilities have chosen to shut down coal plants seasonally and only operate a few months of the year. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Leading Climate Scientists Gather In Orkney As Climate Change Threat Measured At World Heritage Sites” • Leading climate scientists and heritage professionals are gathering on Orkney to measure the threat climate change poses to world heritage sites. The event is piloting new risk assessment methodology. [Press and Journal]

Orkney Heritage site

¶ “nanoFlowcell Flow Battery Test Vehicle Surpasses 200,000 Miles” • A German company, nanoFlowcell, is testing a flow battery for automotive use. This means that the battery can be recharged by pumping out used liquids and replacing them with fresh ones. The test car has actually driven for over 220,000 miles. [CleanTechnica]
nanoFlowcell test car

¶ “Thousands Of Emperor Penguin Chicks Wiped Out” • When the sea-ice on which they were being raised was destroyed in severe weather in 2016, thousands of emperor penguin chicks drowned. The colony’s 14,000 to 25,000 breeding pairs made no attempt to reestablish it, and it disappeared from satellite images altogether. [BBC]

Emperor penguin colony (Christopher Walton)

World:

¶ “$13.6 Billion Record-Breaking Solar Park Rises From Dubai Desert” • Under the Arabian sun, a monumental construction effort is making headway. Located deep within Dubai’s desert interior, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park continues to grow. It has just passed another milestone, with groundbreaking of phase four. [CNN]

¶ “The ‘Unlikely’ Group Calling For Climate Action” • Australia’s conservative capitalist farmers are beginning to push the government on climate change. They can see the devastating impacts of extreme weather on their land, as a prolonged drought cripples vast swathes of the nation. It is an issue for the election in May. [BBC]

Farm protest in Canberra (Farmers for Climate Action)

¶ “India Will Add 144 GW Renewables By 2022, Exceed 275 GW By 2027: IEEFA” • India will reach 144 GW of renewable energy capacity by fiscal year 2021-2022, not far from the 175-GW target set in 2015. This puts India on track to exceed its 275-GW target in 2027, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. [pv magazine India]

¶ “Tropical tree losses persist at high levels” • Around 12 million hectares of forest in the world’s tropical regions were lost in 2018. While this represents a decline on 2016 and 2017, it is still the fourth highest rate of loss since records began in 2001. Of particular concern is the continued destruction of what are termed primary forests. [BBC]

Amazon rain forest (Getty Images)

US:

¶ “Ford Drops $500 Million Into Rivian In Bid To Electrify Its F‑Series Trucks” • Ford announced a $500 million equity investment into electric truck and SUV builder Rivian. Ford seems to hope to get a foot in the door at Rivian so it can develop a line of electric trucks and SUVs built on top of Rivian’s electric vehicle skateboard platform. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Brayton Point Coal-Fired Generating Station Will Be Repurposed To Support Offshore Wind” • The Brayton Point plant in Massachusetts was so dirty that a Harvard University study blamed it for 106 premature deaths each year. It closed in 2017 because of economics. Now its site will be repurposed to support offshore windpower. [CleanTechnica]

Brayton Point (Credit: Z22, CC-sa | 3.0 via Wikipedia)

¶ “Occidental Trumps Chevron’s Deal For Anadarko” • A bidding war has emerged in America’s rich shale oil patch. Occidental Petroleum revealed a $76-a-share offer to acquire oil driller Anadarko Petroleum.The offer is about 20% greater than the $33 billion takeover deal Anadarko reached earlier this month with energy giant Chevron. [CNN]

¶ “Minnesota’s General Mills And Hormel Buy Wind Power To Offset Energy Used To Make Food” • General Mills And Hormel, two of Minnesota’s largest food companies, announced new wind power purchase agreements this month, to help offset the energy used to run their vast operations. The announcements came on Earth Day. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Cactus Flats wind farm in Texas (Courtesy of General Mills)

¶ “Smithfield Foods And RAE Launch Joint Venture To Create Renewable Energy, Wildlife Habitat” • Smithfield Foods and Roeslein Alternative Energy formed a joint venture to produce renewable natural gas from manure collected from Smithfield farms in Missouri. The deal also includes ecological services and developing wildlife habitat. [KTTN]

¶ “Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Rejects Vectren’s Power Plant Proposal” • A proposal to build an 850-MW power plant fueled by natural gas to replace an old coal-burning plant was rejected by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. It said the owner, Vectren, had not adequately considered less expensive alternatives. [Evansville Courier & Press]

Have a pleasantly marvelous day.

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April 24 Energy News

April 24, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Your Renewable Energy Technology Is Growing Old – What’s Next?” • The cutting-edge research at the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory will one day go to waste. But it will not go into a landfill. Researchers at NREL are making strides toward ensuring that old technology objects can be more easily recycled. [CleanTechnica]

NREL’s Flatirons campus (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Study Sets Economic Impact Of Melting Arctic Permafrost At $70 TRILLION!” • Researchers at Lancaster University studied the effects of melting Arctic ice. They concluded that permafrost melting, with a release of greenhouses gases, and melting the ice that reflects the sun’s heat back to space will increase the cost of climate change by $70 trillion. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Solar Dominates Latest German Renewable Auction” • Germany’s Federal Network Agency announced that the solar industry has walked away as the sole winner from Germany’s most recent solar and onshore wind tender, receiving contracts for the entire 210 MW awarded in an auction that was heavily oversubscribed. [CleanTechnica]

Saerbeck Energy Park

¶ “Solar Storage Team Eye Green Peaker Plants” • CellCube, a company based in Canada, is teaming up with Hive Energy and Immersa to build and develop grid-scale solar and energy storage projects in the UK. The consortium, known as HICC Energy, aims to offer green peaking and reserve power capacity to the market. [reNEWS]

¶ “Victorian Water Utilities Join Forces To Source Cheap Solar Power” • Thirteen Victorian water utilities have banded together to forge a major renewable energy off-take deal, Zero Emissions Water Ltd. The new company is to supply each corporation with 20% to 50% of its total electricity needs and lower water bills for their consumers. [RenewEconomy]

Hamilton Water Treatment Plant

¶ “UK Businesses Speed Up Shift To Clean Energy” • British companies RBS and Landsec have raised the bar for corporate leadership by taking ambitious steps across electric transport, energy efficiency, and renewable power, three critical areas for delivering a clean economy by 2050. Each company listed a set of steps it will take. [The Climate Group]

¶ “Penguin Primed For Tallinn Departure” • Finnish wave energy developer Wello’s WEC2 Penguin device has been completed and is ready to depart from a shipyard in Tallinn, Estonia, for testing in Orkney, Scotland. According to the company, the new technology has a 380% increased power production, compared to the WEC1 model. [reNEWS]

Wello WEC2 Device (Wello image)

¶ “Japan Will Not Extend Deadline For Anti-Terror Nuclear Retrofits” • Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority refused to extend deadlines for utilities to build emergency facilities for reactors in the event of a terrorist attack and will shut the units if the safeguards are not finished in time, officials from the agency said during a meeting. [Bloomberg]

¶ “‘Renewable Energy Is The Solution For Australia’ – Finance Expert Reveals Why” • Three reasons why a renewable energy solution is the answer to Australia’s future: cheaper, cleaner, and industry-building, according to a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. It also demolishes the “baseload myth.” [Energy Matters]

Baseload power

US:

¶ “Verizon Commits To Going Carbon Neutral By 2035” • Leading American telecom giant Verizon announced that it is strengthening its commitment to sustainability. It is to go carbon neutral by 2035 through a range of tools including reducing emissions directly and procuring renewable energy for its operations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bloomberg Philanthropies Commits Another $5.5 Million To United Nations Climate Change Secretariat” • Michael R Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP and former mayor of New York City, has committed $5.5 million to the UN Climate Change Secretariat to make up for the funding gap left by the US federal government. [CleanTechnica]

Michael Bloomberg

¶ “Dominion Energy & Facebook Announce 350 MW Of New Solar” • American power and energy company Dominion Energy announced together with Facebook that it would add six new solar facilities in Virginia and North Carolina totaling 350 MW for the sole purpose of supplying electricity to Facebook’s local operations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York Opens Third Large-Scale Renewables Solicitation” • New York state is seeking bids in a request for proposals for its large-scale renewable energy projects, which are aimed at helping it reach a goal of sourcing 50% to 70%, of its electricity from renewables by 2030. This is the third solicitation under its Clean Energy Standard. [Renewables Now]

New York sunrise (Anthony Quintano, CC BY 2.0)

¶ “MTA Looks To Rooftop Solar Power To Raise Much-Needed Funds” • In New York, the MTA is looking to lease over 10 million square feet of rooftop space on its buildings to companies that install solar panels. Fully realized, the project could generate over 100 MW of renewable energy, enough to power 18,000 households in the state. [Curbed NY]

¶ “Ohioans Could Be Charged More Fees In Their Electric Bill” • Environmentalists and consumer advocates warned that a bill pending in the Ohio House would increase costs for consumers and stifle renewable energy and conservation programs. The bill is a bailout for two aging nuclear power plants that are owned by FirstEnergy Solutions. [Dayton Daily News]

Have an entirely enchanting day.

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April 23 Energy News

April 23, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Greenland Is Melting Even Faster Than Experts Thought, Study Finds” • Climate change is eliminating giant chunks of ice from Greenland at such a speed that the melt has already made a significant contribution to sea level rise, according to a study. About 40% to 50% of the planet’s population is in cities that are vulnerable to sea rise. [CNN]

Arctic ice

World:

¶ “Lower Prices For Renewables Mean Fewer Coal-Powered Generating Stations In China” • China has a moratorium on building new coal-fired generating stations in ten regions where available power exceeds demand. That moratorium will end soon, but analysts believe the low cost of renewables will make new coal plants unattractive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canada iZEV Electric Car Incentive Program Begins May 1” • While the US hems and haws about the federal tax credit for electric vehicles, its cousins to the north in Canada have a mostly coherent policy that will provide a C$5,000 ($3,750) rebate to some electric car buyers. The program is called iZEV and goes into effect on May 1. [CleanTechnica]

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

¶ “Tata Power To Focus On Clean Energy, Won’t Build New Coal-Fired Plants” • Tata Power, India’s largest private integrated power company, will lead the country’s renewable energy transition by ceasing building new coal-fired power plants, a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says. [The New Indian Express]

¶ “Eni To Build Industrial-Scale Offshore Wave Power Plants” • The CEOs of Eni, Fincantieri, Cassa depositi e prestiti, and Terna signed an agreement to develop and build wave power stations on an industrial scale. They agreed to combine the expertise of the four companies to develop the Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter. [The Maritime Executive]

ISWEC platform

¶ “Britain Has Been Surviving Without Coal Power Since Thursday” • Climate change activists are still blocking streets in London, but according to tweets from the UK’s national grid, the country gone without coal power for 86 hours straight. The streetlights are still working, the internet is still switched on, and the kettles are still boiling. [Metro]

¶ “Westpac Signs PPA With Bomen Solar Farm” • Westpac, one of Australia’s largest banks, signed a power purchase agreement with Bomen Solar Farm for 63 GWh of renewable electricity annually to power its operations globally. The PPA follows Westpac’s pledge to source 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. [Energy Magazine]

Solar panels (Shutterstock image)

¶ “India Looks To Add Twelve New Nuclear Power Stations” • India will add twelve nuclear power stations to its lineup to shore up its power supply situation, the Department of Atomic Energy said, according to The Times of India. DAE secretary KN Vyas said that nuclear energy “irreplaceable,” at an industry event in Russia. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ “Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach Could Soon Be Underwater Because Of Climate Change. Lawmakers Are Fighting To Preserve It” • Hawaii state Rep Chris Lee has a 2-year-old niece. If recent climate reports about Hawaii are correct, he said, after she finishes high school, she may not be able to lie in the sun on Waikiki Beach. [CNN]

Waikiki beach (M Borsch | De Agostini Editorial | Getty Images)

¶ “Mayor Breed Unveils Plan To Power San Francisco Buildings With 100% Renewable Energy ” • San Francisco Mayor London Breed unveiled a plan for the city’s largest private commercial buildings to run on 100% renewable electricity. Those over 500,000 square feet would have to be 100% renewably powered by 2022. [CBS San Francisco]

¶ “Taylor Farms Slashes Greenhouse Gas Emissions” • Taylor Farms is North America’s largest producer of ready-to-eat vegetables. It celebrated Earth Day with the announcement that it has seen a reduction of 12,190 metric tons of CO₂ emissions over the course of the year, through use of solar, wind, fuel cells, and cogeneration. [Register Pajaronian]

Taylor Farms field (Courtesy of Taylor Farms)

¶ “New Mexico Utility Says It Will Be Emissions-Free By 2040” • Officials from the Public Service Co of New Mexico, the state’s largest electric provider, rolled out a plan to be emissions-free as early as 2040 during an Earth Day event in Albuquerque. They said PNM is the first investor-owned utility in the US to set such a goal. [Artesia Daily Press]

¶ “California Just Made More Clean Energy Than It Needed” • The California Independent Systems Operator, the state’s grid operator, has shown that for most of the period between 1:50 PM and 3:05 PM on Sunday April 21, the amount of carbon-free electricity generated in the region it covers exceeded customer demands. [pv magazine USA]

Desert wind turbines (Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “An Earth Day To Remember: Gov Sisolak Signs 50% RPS In NV” • Nevada Gov Steve Sisolak signed SB358 under blooming plums trees on the lawn between the Legislative Building and the State Capitol. Now, 50% of the state’s electricity will come from such clean renewable sources as solar, wind and geothermal, by 2030. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ “Minnesota Power Offers New Way For Customers To Go Renewable” • Minnesota Power has introduced a new renewable energy program, and doing so exceeded a state energy-savings goal. Its customers will be able to choose more renewable electricity by enrolling in Minnesota Power’s Renewable Source program. [BusinessNorth.com]

Have a guiltlessly merry day.

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April 22 Energy News

April 22, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Are You Doing Enough To Fight Climate Change On Earth Day (And Every Day)?” • On this Earth Day 2019, people in the US say that they are taking environmentally-friendly actions, yet 44% believe their actions are too small to fight climate change. A total of 32% do not feel knowledgeable about the actions they can take. And NIMBYism prevails. [CleanTechnica]

Drought (Pixabay image)

¶ “Corporate Greed Is Accelerating Climate Change. But We Can Still Head Off Disaster” • America’s economy is not only failing American citizens. It is failing the planet, and that means it is failing future generations. Corporate greed is one cause of that, and it has been taking over American politics. But there is a real possibility of change. [CNN]

¶ “How Much Does Trump Admin Love Renewable Energy? Shhh, Don’t Tell!” • Leading US corporations have been hopping on the renewable energy bandwagon to save big bucks, despite a lack of support from the current occupant of the Oval Office. The good news is that the DOE still supports renewables, including wind and solar power. [CleanTechnica]

Lone Star Wind Farm

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘It’s Already Begun’ – Feedback Loops Will Make Climate Change Even Worse, Scientists Say” • Rising Arctic temperatures set free a vast amount of carbon previously locked beneath permafrost, these additional greenhouse gases speed up warming, and that melts more permafrost. It is a feedback loop, and scientists say it has begun. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Earth Day Affirmation: New Satellite Data Confirms Earth Is Warming And Possibly At A Faster Pace” • Just in time for Earth Day, new satellite data corroborates scientists’ findings that the Earth is warming at an alarming pace. The new data from NASA’s Aqua satellite corroborates findings from the Goddard Institute of Space Studies. [Green Car Reports]

Polar Bear on Arctic ice (AWeith | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Alaska’s In The Middle Of A Record-Breaking Spring Melt, And It’s Killing People” • The average temperature for March recorded at the NOAA observatory in Utquiagvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska, was 18.6° F above normal. The above-normal temperatures are part of a trend that has been going on for many years. [ScienceAlert]

World:

¶ “Greta Thunberg’s Visit To Britain Is A Huge Moment For The Climate Movement” • This afternoon an international sensation is taking to the stage in central London. She’s young, but she is admired around the world. Her name is Greta Thunberg. She’s a 16-year-old climate hero. And she is much needed in a time of crisis. [The Guardian]

Greta Thunberg speaking in Rome (Matteo Nardone
| Pacific Press via ZUMA Wire | REX | Shutterstock)

¶ “China’s Solar Installations Dip 40% YOY To 5.2 GW In Q1 2019” • China installed 5.2 GW of solar PV capacity in the first quarter of 2019. This was a decline of nearly 40% from the first quarter of 2018, when China installed 9.65 GW of solar PV capacity. Most of what has been installed so far this year is distributed small-scale systems. [Mercom India]

¶ “Dutch Engineers Build World’s Biggest Sun-Seeking Solar Farm” • Dutch engineers are building what will be the world’s largest archipelago of islands made up of sun-tracking solar panels. Construction will begin this year on 15 solar islands on the Andijk reservoir in north Holland. Each of the first three will be 140 meters across. [The Guardian]

Floating solar system (ZoW5 Photo)

¶ “China Keen On Second Nuclear Plant In Bangladesh” • Chinese companies have expressed great interest in bidding for Bangladesh’s proposed second nuclear power plant. Two Chinese companies – Dongfang Electric Corporation and China State Construction Engineering Corporation – have started a huge lobbying effort. [Northeast Now]

US:

¶ “On Earth Day, North Carolinians Rally For 100% Clean Energy By 2050” • Citizens, scientists, legislators, and faith leaders are rallying for Earth Day on the campus of North Carolina State University in support of legislation calling for 100% clean energy by 2050. North Carolina is already a leading state for solar PV capacity. [Public News Service]

Wind turbine (Benedikt | Adobe Stock)

¶ “Clean Tech Jobs Lead Employment Statistics In Many US States” • Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and projections from the Projections Managing Partnership, Yahoo Finance has charted which jobs are in high demand in all 50 US states. It says solar panel installer is the fastest growing job in eight different states. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Energy Wonks Hope To Achieve Breakthrough At Basalt Vista Project” • The first phase of Habitat for Humanity’s Basalt Vista project in Colorado will serve as a laboratory for unparalleled management of household energy use and independence from the electrical grid. Each unit in the project will use “net-zero” energy. [Aspen Times]

Basalt Vista project (Anna Stonehouse | The Aspen Times)

¶ “Fate Of Northern Vermont Solar Projects Uncertain” • The waiting game continues for developers of eight solar projects planned for the congested northern tier of Vermont’s electrical grid. They remain on hold until grid constraint issues are addressed. The region they are in already has considerable renewable power production. [vtdigger.org]

¶ “Engie Begins Work On Jumbo Hill Wind Project In Texas” • ENGIE North America announced the start of construction of the 160-MW Jumbo Hill Wind Project in Texas. The project will use 57 GE Renewable Energy turbines, each with 127-meter rotors. The total capital investment of the Project is set to be over $150 million. [Saurenergy]

Have a wonderfully enjoyable day.

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April 21 Energy News

April 21, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “When Airplanes Are Designed To Be Energy Agnostic, You Know Electricity Is Banging At The Door” • Lift Air subsidiary Flight Design General Aviation GmbH, based in Germany, announced new 4-seat airplane that could be certified in a year. Importantly, it is energy agnostic, so it is ready for a full electric propulsion system. [CleanTechnica]

Flight Design aircraft

¶ “Chevron’s Fig Leaf Part 5: Who Is Behind Carbon Engineering, And What Do Experts Say?” • Carbon capture is a technology that burns so much natural gas that they produce and must capture 500 tons of CO₂ for every 1,000 they capture from the air. Who would want to do such a thing? Someone who loves seeing fossil fuels sell. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Texas Cities And Counties Can Partner With Colleges On Climate Change” • The Texas environmental movement is strong on college campuses, but Texans can do better. The situation is far more urgent than it was on the first Earth Day, in 1970. Texas higher education institutions need to reenergize the “town and gown” movement. [San Antonio Express-News]

After Hurricane Harvey (David J Phillip | Associated Press)

¶ “Finally, Smooth Sailing For Offshore Wind In Massachusetts” • Massachusetts was the scene of a long legal battle over the first offshore wind farm proposed for the US, the Cape Wind project. A group of opponents won that battle, with some help from one of the Kochs. Now the tide has turned and a massive new flotilla of wind turbines on the way. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “FirstEnergy’s Supposed ‘Green New Deal’ To Bail Out Nuclear Plants Is Really Just A Political Deal” • Oh, boy, do Ohio House Republicans have (what one GOP foe calls) a Green New Deal for you: a fast-moving plan to add $2.50 a month to each Ohioans’ residential electric bill to bail out nuclear power plants. Doesn’t that sound fair? [cleveland.com]

Nuclear power plant (Photo: AP)

World:

¶ “Sturgeon Urged To Leave Oil And Gas Behind To Create Green Deal And Jobs Boost” • Patrick Harvie, the Green Party’s co-convenor in Scotland, is to lead demands for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to develop a Green New Deal policy. He believes it will lead to over 2,000 jobs in the country’s renewable sector by 2035. [The National]

¶ “NEVS Will Build Sion Solar-Powered Electric Car At Former SAAB Factory In Sweden” • Sono Motors’ Sion will be the first production car to have built-in solar panels. Sono says the panels can generate enough electricity to drive the Sion up to 21 miles on a sunny day. National Electric Vehicle Sweden and Sono will make them in a former SAAB plant. [CleanTechnica]

Sono Motors Sion

¶ “Power Outages Are A Thing Of The Past In Zambia” • The African Development Bank Group celebrated a success, tweeting, “Power cuts are now a thing of the past in #Zambia! A major boost in electricity production, – thanks to a robust hydraulic and solar power generation industry – means the country is now self-sufficient in energy.” [SaharaReporters.com]

¶ “Battle Of Waterloo Bridge: A Week Of Extinction Rebellion Protests” • “It’s been a resounding success,” said one of the group’s organisers on Thursday. “We are holding all the sites, we are attracting loads of new members, … the police are generally positive and friendly, … and we are getting our message out there.” It is still going on. [The Guardian]

Extinction Rebellion (Facundo Arrizabalaga | EPA)

US:

¶ “PNM: Clean Energy Moves Won’t Mean Rate Hikes” • Officials from the Public Service Company of New Mexico stopped at the Western New Mexico University campus to hold a brief public meeting on their company’s role in New Mexico’s clean energy future. They said coal was no longer cost-effective for power generation. [Silver City Daily Press and Independent]

¶ “State Funding Approved For Six McHenry County Solar Projects; Dozens More Wait-Listed” • In Illinois, a company spokesman said 438 community solar projects representing 864 MW of power signed agreements with ComEd and applied to participate in the Adjustable Block Program. A total of 78 were accepted by lottery. [Northwest Herald]

Solar array (Shaw Media file photo)

¶ “Arizona Regulators Look To Revamp Rules Requiring Utilities To Buy Renewable Power” • Arizona regulators are looking at changing decades-old rules requiring utilities to buy power from certain renewable energy facilities. There is an ongoing dispute between utilities, including Tucson Electric Power Co, and some solar project developers. [Arizona Daily Star]

¶ “Clean Energy Laws Force Colstrip Owners To Weigh Options” • As the state of Washington edges closer to banning coal power by 2025, the owners of Montana’s coal-burning Colstrip Power Plant are weighing options. Colstrip supplies customers in three states, but without those in Washington it will be hard to justify running the plant. [Billings Gazette]

Colstrip power plant (Adam Fondren | Billings Gazette)

¶ “The Hydrogen Fuel Strategy Behind Nikola’s Truck Dream” • The Nikola Motor Company wants to reinvent trucking by replacing diesel heavy-duty trucks with new ones powered by hydrogen fuel cells. To address environmental concerns, it held a two-day conference on how hydrogen will be made, transported, and stored. [Ars Technica]

¶ “Janet Mills Vows More Than Just Hot Air On Climate Change” • For Gov Janet Mills, climate change is not just a matter of political debate. It is an issue that cuts to the heart of what Maine is all about. In a recent speech, she wondered if Mainers in the not-too-distant future “may not know the state we call home” if the issue is not dealt with. [Press Herald]

Have an altogether excellent day.

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April 20 Energy News

April 20, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “You Can’t Stop The Wind. But These Folks Are Trying Anyway.” • In Texas, tax breaks for fossil fuels outpace tax breaks for renewables by a rate of two to one. Guess which sector whines about unfairness? But the renewables sector is actually unstoppable, and fossil fuel interests are starting to show their desperation. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Wind turbines and oil refinery (Eric Gay | Associated Press)

¶ “Texas Proves That Booming Renewable Energy Doesn’t Bring Electricity Price Armageddon” • Many energy pundits still warn of an Armageddon of high electricity prices and unreliable grid electricity for those too reliant on renewable power generation. There’s just a tiny problem with such claims: The data do not support them. [Dallas News]

¶ “Renewable Energy: A Multi-Trillion-Dollar Marketplace Is Emerging” • The US energy grid is ageing and it’s the perfect opportunity for energy contractors to up their game and help improve the sector. And increasing commitments to renewable energy, now by four states and over a hundred cities, will push immediate change. [Born2Invest]

Solar array (Photo: Okawa Photo via Shutterstock)

¶ “Chevron’s Fig Leaf Part 4: Carbon Engineering’s Only Market Is Pumping More Oil” • The only industry group that still thinks carbon capture has merit is fossil fuels. They are spending a tiny fraction of their money so they can tout the wonders of their technology around the world while their products produce gigatons of CO₂ annually. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Better” • To truly decarbonize the US economy, we need to fully use renewable energy technologies, which are significantly safer and more cost-effective than nuclear power plants. The American Council on Renewable Energy says it has proven them more advantageous than nuclear in terms of cost and safety. [The New York Times]

Nuclear plant (Julien Warnand | EPA, via Shutterstock)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Eco-Friendly Solid Could Replace Conventional Refrigerants” • Researchers at universities in Spain and the UK have discovered a way to achieve cooling by changing the microscopic structure of neopentylglycol, which is non-toxic, non-flammable, and inexpensively manufactured from readily available organic compounds. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “The World’s Biggest Electric Vehicle Company Looks Nothing Like Tesla” • The number one producer of plug-in vehicles globally is BYD, based in Shenzhen, China. Though it gets a tiny fraction of the attention of Tesla, BYD now has about a quarter-million employees and sells as many as 30,000 vehicles every month. [Bloomberg] (Thanks to Tom Finnell)

BYD plant (Billy HC Kwok | Bloomberg Businessweek)

¶ “Solar, Wind Power Capacity Addition Slows Down In 2018-19” • The pace of Indian renewable generation additions slowed down in FY19 with just 8.6 GW of solar and wind power plants being commissioned. India added 11.8 GW of renewable capacity in FY18. The country’s installed renewable capacity now stands at 77.6 GW. [Financial Express]

¶ “China To Promote Using Wind Energy To Power Heating Systems” • China’s National Energy Administration urged local authorities to set annual targets for generating heating using energy from wind farms over the period from 2019 to 2021. The country is pushing to reduce carbon emissions from all uses of coal, including heat. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind turbine

¶ “Sungrow Debuts A New Energy Storage System” • Sungrow, based in China, premiered its new fully integrated energy storage systems at an exposition in Phoenix, Arizona. The system’s main innovation is its use of Samsung’s latest E3 Battery for a smaller size and higher energy densities, with minimized on-site work. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶ “Puerto Rico Will Stop Burning Coal Next Year” • The Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act, recently signed by Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Roselló, puts the island on track to completely ditch all non-renewable energy sources by 2050. But also, the bill says, Puerto Rico’s coal-burning power plants will get the axe in 2020. [Futurism]

Wind turbines (Distel2610 via Pixabay)

¶ “Washington Utility Avista Commits To 100% Clean Energy By 2045” • Avista announced its goal to serve its customers with 100% clean electricity by 2045 and to have a carbon-neutral supply of electricity by the end of 2027. Avista claims a long-standing history of providing clean, reliable, and affordable energy to its customers. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Nevada’s 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard Clears Legislature” • A bill increasing Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard to 50% by 2030 cleared the state assembly with no votes against it, sending it to Governor Steve Sisolak’s desk. The Senate had passed the bill unanimously. Sisolak is widely expected to sign it. [Greentech Media]

Nevada to be 50% green (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

¶ “Two-Thirds Of US Voters Say 100% Renewable Electricity By 2030 Is Important” • A 100% renewable energy mandate was considered the next most important of several options for fighting climate change in a poll, after funding innovation. But the people polled put taxes, wages, jobs, unemployment, and spending ahead of the climate. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Missouri House Backs Landowners Fighting Wind Energy Line” • The Missouri House has passed legislation that could effectively block one of the nation’s largest wind energy projects by prohibiting its developers from using eminent domain to run a high-voltage power line across the Midwest. The line would run from Kansas to Indianan. [KBIA]

Have a fantastically fortunate day.

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April 19 Energy News

April 19, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Largely Ignored Problem Of Global Peak Oil Will Seriously Hit In A Few Years” • Data from the International Energy Agency shows that with no new investment global oil production will drop by 50% by 2025. That includes oil from all unconventional sources, and new oil exploration is at the lowest level it has been since 1952. [CleanTechnica]

Pump jack (Photo: Zbynek Burival)

¶ “The Green New Deal, Socialism, And The American Dream” • The Green New Deal has been vigorously attacked as “socialism.” Nothing could be further from the truth, argues Pulitzer Prize winning historian Joseph Ellis. In fact, it is the highest and best expression of the principles upon which the United States was founded. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “David Attenborough’s Climate Change Documentary Leaves Viewers Asking, ‘What Are We Doing To This World?!'” • Sir David Attenborough’s documentary, “Climate Change: The Facts,” has aired.  Putting the issue of climate change in layman’s terms it leaves many viewers with a burning question: “What the hell are we doing to this world?!” [Stuff.co.nz]

Sir David Attenborough

Science and Technology:

¶ “It’s A Match: Satellite And Ground Measurements Agree On Warming” • Ground-based sensors, ocean buoys, and different types of satellite measurements all broadly agree with one another on Earth’s warming, despite being collected in very different ways. That provides high confidence that the results are accurate. [Scientific American]

World:

¶ “LM Wind Rolls Out First Haliade-X Blade” • LM Wind Power has produced the first 107-meter blade that will be fitted to the prototype GE Renewable Energy Haliade-X 12-MW offshore turbine. Testing and validation will begin once finishing touches are done. The prototype is being installed in the Netherlands, later this year. [reNEWS]

Haliade-X 12-MW offshore turbine (LM Wind Power image)

¶ “Singapore’s DBS Bank Shifts Financing To Renewable Energy Projects” • Singapore’s DBS Bank has announced plans to stop financing coal-powered plants as it looks to support the country’s ramping up renewable energy projects. The bank is the second in the city-state to drop further coal energy initiatives, after OCBC Bank. [Business Times]

¶ “Korea Raises Renewable Energy Target To 30% To 35% By 2040” • The government of South Korea plans to increase the proportion of energy generated from renewable sources to as much as 35% of the total by 2040 in response to growing environmental concerns, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said. [The Korea Herald]

Solar panels

¶ “Solar Hits 500 GW” • Installed solar PV capacity reached 500 GW in 2018, analysis by the International Energy Agency shows. In the latest Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Markets 2018 report, the EIA said that by last year’s end, 505 GW of PV capacity was installed worldwide in PV Power System Programme markets and other key countries. [reNEWS]

¶ “Chinese Offshore Pioneer Enters Service” • Chinese company Guodian Power has started commercial operations at the 252-MW Zhejiang Zhoushan offshore wind farm in the east China Sea. The project, which took just over two years to build, features 63 Siemens Gamesa turbines with 130-meter rotors, according to the developer. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Guodian Power image)

US:

¶ “Bernie Sanders Calls For An End To Fossil Fuels” • Bernie Sanders made a rather stunning proposal, saying climate change is “not a hoax but is an existential threat.” He wants “to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy and, in the process, create millions of good paying jobs.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Americans’ Energy Use Surges Despite Climate Change Concern” • Americans used a record amount of energy in 2018, with a 10% jump in natural gas consumption helping to lead the way, according to the Energy Information Administration. Total consumption of all fuels rose 4% year on year, the largest such increase in eight years. [Associated Press]

Rising smoke (Brian Peterson | Star Tribune via AP, File)

¶ “ENGIE North America Announces 160-MW Texas Wind Farm” • ENGIE North America, the local subsidiary of French multinational utility company ENGIE, announced that it has started construction of the 160-MW Jumo Hill Wind Project in Texas, which is expected to be completed and brought online by spring of 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Massachusetts Approves Vineyard Power Deal” • Long-term off-take contracts for the 800-MW Vineyard Wind farm being developed off the state’s coast have been approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. Officials said the off-take deals will spur economic development and ensure a “resilient energy future.” [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (Image: MHI Vestas)

¶ “New York City Sets Ambitious Climate Rules for Its Biggest Emitters: Buildings” • Plans approved by the City Council of New York are expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions from large buildings by 40% compared to 2005 levels by 2030, about 26% below current levels. Buildings account for two-thirds of the city’s emissions. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “NJ Approves $300 Million Of ZECs For Salem, Hope Creek Nukes” • New Jersey regulators approved zero-emission credits totaling $300 million for the state’s three nuclear reactors, nearly a year after the governor signed off on an ambitious energy plan aimed at boosting the use of carbon-free resources to 50% over the next decade. [RTO Insider]

Have a fundamentally fabulous day.

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April 18 Energy News

April 18, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Could Nuclear Fusion Solve Our Energy Problems?” • Nuclear fusion is the process that makes the sun hot. Harnessing it on earth could provide a vast source of clean electricity. But nuclear fusion requires a lot of heat to make it go, and we are probably decades away from building a reactor that can produce more energy than it consumes. [Yale Climate Connections]

Atom

World:

¶ “Official Warning To Banks: Get Real About Climate Change Or Risk Going Bust” • Central bankers and finance regulators from 34 countries, including the UK, France, Germany, China, and Japan, have warned banks to act urgently to fight climate change or risk going bust. The policymakers argue that banks must invest sustainably. [CNN]

¶ “Greta Thunberg Meets The Pope After Scolding EU Leaders On Climate Change” • Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg met Pope Francis at the Vatican. A day earlier, she had addressed a committee of the European Parliament, scolding them for spending their time “arguing about taxes or Brexit” in the face of a building climate crisis. [CNN]

Greta Thunberg meets Pope Francis

¶ “Vestas Installed One Out Of Five Wind Turbines Globally In 2018” • The Global Wind Energy Council published figures which confirmed that Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S dominated turbine supply in 2018. Vestas accounted for over 20% of the 50,617 MW of turbines installed during that year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Work Begins On Warwick Solar Farm – UQ’s Ticket To 100% Renewables” • Works have begun on a 64-MW solar farm owned by the University of Queensland. The Warwick solar farm will help make UQ the first major university in the world to offset 100% of its electricity usage through its own renewable energy assets. [RenewEconomy]

University of Queensland’s Warwick solar farm

¶ “Europe Invests €27 Billion In Wind In 2018” • Europe invested €27 billion in new wind farms in 2018, financing a record amount of future capacity, according to WindEurope’s annual Financing and Investment Trends report. Though the amount of money is similar to what was invested in 2017, the amount of capacity it added set a record of 16.7 GW. [reNEWS]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Finishes 385-MW Arkona Offshore Wind Farm In Record Time” • The 385-MW Arkona offshore wind farm was officially opened after Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy completed the installation of 60 of its 6 MW offshore wind turbines in record time, taking only five months to finish the job, well ahead of schedule. [CleanTechnica]

Arkona Offshore Wind Farm

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Takes Over Nearly 1 GW Of Offshore Projects From GE” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy will likely supply about 1 GW of offshore wind turbines for two French offshore wind farms, taking over supply from GE Renewable Energy, which ceded an agreement that has been plagued by delays since 2012. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “How 18 Democratic Candidates Responded To A Climate Policy Survey” • The New York Times asked all 18 declared Democratic presidential candidates for their views on a number of policy options related to climate change. While they agreed on major issues, such as return to the Paris accord, there are distinctions among them. [The New York Times]

Coal-burning power plant (J David Ake | Associated Press)

¶ “Duke Basks In 270 MW Of Carolinas Solar” • Duke Energy is to develop 270 MW of solar PV capacity under North Carolina’s Competitive Procurement of Renewable Energy program. Duke will develop six of the 14 PV projects in the program. Altogether, the program calls for development of 602 MW, most of which is to be complete in 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Maine Company Launches Renewable Energy System To Power Remote Communities” • Maine-based Ocean Renewable Power Co has already powered more than 30% of the remote Alaskan community of Igiugig. Now, it wants to increase its current reach to isolated and indigenous communities around the world. [Press Herald]

Gov Janet Mills reviewing Ocean Renewable Power Co’s RivGen Power System (Press Herald photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette)

¶ “Report Finds ‘Alarming Unaddressed Deficiencies’ In US Offshore Oil Drilling” • Even as the Trump administration has taken steps to expand offshore oil drilling, a report from Oceana, an environmentalist group, shows that thousands of oil spills are still happening and that workers in the oil and gas industry are still dying on the job. [CNN]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Announces New Solar-Plus-Storage Hybrid Project In New York” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it will partner with Helios Energy to develop a new hybrid solar-plus-storage system in upstate New York. The system is expected to reach commercial operation in the second quarter of 2020. [CleanTechnica]

GE Renewable energy storage

¶ “Heat Pumps Gain Traction As Renewable Energy Grows” • A cluster of new studies from states, environmental groups, and electric utilities suggest that as more electricity from solar and wind power is put on the nation’s electric grids, a wider use of electric heat pumps will help the US reduce its CO₂ emissions to near zero by 2050. [Scientific American]

¶ “Offshore Wind Farms Are Spinning Up In The US – At Last” • On June 1, the Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts will shut down, a victim of hard nuclear power economics. The electricity it generated will be replaced by another carbon-free source: a fleet of 84 offshore wind turbines rising nearly 650 feet above the ocean’s surface. [WIRED]

Have a downright delectable day.

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April 17 Energy News

April 17, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Oil And Gas Industry Has Way Too Much Control Over Congress” • In October 1992, the US Senate ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Yet since then, the US Congress has failed to pass a single major piece of legislation to implement the treaty. The reason is oil and gas campaign donations. [CNN]

Pump jack (US NIOSH image, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Fukushima’s Final Costs Will Approach A Trillion Dollars Just For Nuclear Disaster” • Michael Barnard: “For a year or two, I’ve been asserting that the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster would cost closer to a trillion US dollars when all costs were accounted for. Recently, I was challenged on this point and decided to document and argue my thesis.” [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Want To Limit Global Warming? Electrify Everything, Finds Study” • When the scientists say electrify everything, they mean that quite literally – all transportation, all building heating, all manufacturing, and all desalinization. A fantastical, theoretical goal? Not at all, the study says. And the job could be finished before 2050. [CleanTechnica]

e-Genius in flight (Andreas Doerr, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Tsunami (Swiss Edition)” • The Swiss plug-in electric vehicle market smashed its previous sales record (1,341 registrations) last month by registering 2,162 vehicles. The Tesla Model 3 was the main reason for this brilliant performance, with the sedan scoring 1.094 registrations, just over half of the total for Swiss EVs.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nordex Bags 1 GW In Q1 2019” • Nordex has booked 1 GW of wind turbine orders in the first three months of this year. The orders, which have a combined generating capacity of 1035 MW, are destined for projects in 13 countries. Europe accounts for 41% of the total order volume in the first quarter, and Latin America for 44%. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine rotor installation (Nordex image)

¶ “Solar Energy Jobs Doubled In 2017-18: ABS” • Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that the number of full-time jobs in the overall renewable energy sector grew by 28% to 17,740 jobs in 2017 to 2018. A large part of that increase came because jobs in large-scale solar energy projects have more than doubled. [SBS]

¶ “Amsterdam Plans To Eliminate 11,200 Parking Spots By 2025” • Amsterdam plans to reduce the cars parking in the city gradually, by 1,500 per year, until 2025. Currently, a permit is needed to access city parking, and the city will decrease the number of permits simply by declining to renew any that expire or are given up. [CleanTechnica]

Amsterdam (Pexels image)

¶ “Queensland Solar Projects Could Become ‘Unviable’ Due To Safety Regulations Row” • The Queensland government has announced that licensed electricians would be required to mount commercial solar panels from 13 May. The Clean Energy Council said the change would make Queensland an unattractive place to invest in solar power. [The Guardian]

¶ “The Amount Of Plastic In The Ocean Is A Lot Worse Than We Thought, Study Says” • The amount of plastic that has been dumped into the ocean has been increasing, according to a new study, and the problem will probably get worse. Scientists have called plastic litter “one of this generation’s key environmental challenges.” [CNN]

Plastic pollution (Greenpeace image)

US:

¶ “Microsoft Hikes Its Internal Carbon Tax In A New Sustainability Drive” • Microsoft announced that it will nearly double the internal carbon fee it charges its business units to $15 per metric ton. The company said the higher fee will help it hold its divisions accountable for their emissions as it “doubles down on sustainability.” [CNN]

¶ “100 Million Tree Planting Initiative Launched By Arbor Day Foundation” • The Arbor Day Foundation recently announced its Time for Trees initiative, which aims to plant 100 million trees by 2022. Communities, governments, corporations, and individuals will join on the work. ADF president Dan Lambe answered some questions. [CleanTechnica]

Trees, each one a carbon sink

¶ “50% Renewables Bill Passes NV Senate, Unanimously” • The Nevada Senate voted unanimously to update the law that sets the minimum amount of electricity big Nevada electricity providers must get from clean, renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind. Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard was increased to 50% by 2030. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ “Elizabeth Warren Calls For Ten-Fold Increase Of Renewable Generation On Public Lands, Waters” • Elizabeth Warren, US senator and presidential candidate, announced her plans for a targeted expansion of renewable energy development on public lands along with a moratorium on new fossil fuel leases and other measures. [pv magazine USA]

Elizabeth Warren (Image: Marc Nozelle | Flickr)

¶ “AARP Foreshadows Opposition To Ohio Nuclear Subsidies” • AARP Ohio informed top Republican lawmakers before they introduced a bill subsidizing old nuclear and certain coal power plants that the organization would aggressively fight to defeat “any legislation” imposing a customer surcharge to subsidize the nuclear plants. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Holtec Adds Indian Point Nuclear Plant To Decommissioning Portfolio” • Entergy said it will sell its Indian Point Energy Center to Comprehensive Decommissioning International, based in Camden, New Jersey. CDI is a jointly owned subsidiary of Holtec International, a company buying nuclear plants that are closed or scheduled for retirement. [S&P Global Platts]

Have a profoundly pleasant day.

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April 16 Energy News

April 16, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Our Zero Emission Future” • A low-cost shift to clean energy is now feasible for every region of the world, owing to the plummeting costs of solar and wind power, and breakthroughs in energy storage. The total system costs of renewable energy, including transmission and storage, are now roughly on par with fossil fuels. [Common Dreams]

Windpower (Arnulf Stoffel | picture alliance via Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Change Is Transforming The Economy. How Will Your Company Adapt?” • The World Economic Forum, for the third year in a row, cited “extreme weather” as the greatest threat to the global economy. Climate change is no longer a distant concern for all but a few specialized companies; it’s an imminent reality for every industry. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “China’s Solar Industry Expected To Be Subsidy-Free In 2021” • China’s solar industry is expected to transition towards a subsidy-free market which could begin as early as 2021, according to an analysis of China’s solar industry published by Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory. This year, solar subsidies are capped at 3 GW. [CleanTechnica]

Solar system standing in water (Shutterstock image)

¶ “German Prosecutors Charge Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn With Fraud” • German prosecutors have charged former Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn with fraud in a case related to the automaker’s diesel emissions-cheating scandal. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. [CNN]

¶ “EU Wind Blows Past Hydro” • Wind edged out hydro in Europe’s electricity production in the first quarter of 2019, with each providing about 15%, according to a report from energy analyst EnAppSys. The report said nuclear accounted for 29% of overall generation, gas plants generated 17%, while coal/lignite produced 16%. [reNEWS]

Wind Farm (RWE image)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa 10-MW Wind Turbine Set For World’s First Zero-Subsidy Offshore Wind Farm” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is in final talks to supply its 10-MW offshore wind turbines to the four offshore wind farms being built in the Hollandse Kust Zuid Wind Farm Zone. Their total capacity is set to be over 1,400 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “$108 Million Wind Power Plant Construction Starts In Southern Vietnam” • Construction of an offshore wind plant has begun off the Vietnam’s southern coast. The 12-turbine, 50-MW first phase of the Dong Hai 1 Wind Power Plant is expected to cost about $108 million. It is to produce about 161,000 MWh of electricity per year. [VnExpress International]

Offshore wind plant (Fokke Baarssen | Shutterstock)

¶ “Tough Challenges On Nuclear Fuel Removal” • Fukushima Daiichi’s decommissioning is entering a new phase. For the first time since the accident at the nuclear plant in March 2011, workers have started removing fuel rods from one of the reactor buildings where a meltdown occurred. But there are a number of challenges ahead. [NHK World]

UK:

¶ “Extinction Rebellion Protesters Block Some Of London’s Busiest Roads And Bridges” • Thousands of people took to the streets of central London, blockading some of its busiest roads and bridges to raise the alarm over the mounting climate crisis. They are part of a global campaign orchestrated by the British climate organization Extinction Rebellion. [CNN]

Protest in London (Leon Neal | Getty Images)

¶ “Extinction Rebellion Protest: 100 Arrests As London Roads Blocked” • Extinction Rebellion campaigners were ordered by the Met to confine their protest to Marble Arch after causing widespread disruption. Among a total of 113 arrests, five people were detained on suspicion of criminal damage at Shell’s headquarters. [BBC]

¶ “UK’s Biggest Money Manager Warns On Climate Catastrophe” • The world is facing a climate catastrophe and businesses around the world must address it urgently. That is a message from the largest money manager in the UK, Legal & General Investment Management, which manages £1 trillion worth of UK pension fund investments. [BBC]

Landscape with pollution (Image: PA)

US:

¶ “Republicans Push Anti-Wind Bills In Several States As Renewables Grow Increasingly Popular” • As the cost of renewable energy drops and its popularity rises, Republican lawmakers in several key states are ratcheting up their attacks on wind power. Wind is becoming a popular target for those with a vested interest in fossil fuels. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “Rural Electric Co-ops Dive Into Gas-Killing Solar Panels + Farmland Fray” • Like other states, Michigan has an open space preservation policy that limits the use of farmland for non-agricultural purposes. Now, under pressure from rural electric co-ops, policy makers are considering whether solar panels on farmland may be a good thing. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels on farmland

¶ “Midwest Sees Surge In Clean Energy Jobs” • The Midwest added more than 28,000 clean energy jobs in 2018, resulting in a 4% growth rate, according to a recent report released by national advocacy groups Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs. The authors note that the industry is expected to grow by 7% in 2019. [US News & World Report]

¶ “Starbucks To Fuel 360 Texas Stores With Solar Power” • Starbucks Coffee Company is teaming up with Cypress Creek Renewables and US Bank on a portfolio of solar farms across Texas. As a part of the deal, two CCR solar farms are providing enough energy for the equivalent of 360 Starbucks stores in Texas. [Retail Info Systems News]

Have an excitingly tranquil day.

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April 15 Energy News

April 15, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Trump Executive Orders Will Speed Oil And Gas Pipeline Approvals” • On a trip to Texas, Pres Trump signed two executive orders. The Transportation Department is to allow the shipment of liquefied natural gas by rail and tanker truck. The Department of Labor is to see that retirement funds prioritize returns over social or environmental issues. [CleanTechnica]

Oil train tragedy (Credit: Surete Quebec via Twitter)

¶ “Renewable Energy Advocates Learn To Not Say ‘Climate Change’ In Texas” • Renewable energy, particularly wind power, has been hugely successful in Texas, thanks in large measure to a combination of federal, state, and local incentives. But renewable energy advocates in Texas have learned to avoid the words “climate change.” [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Is Making Allergy Season Worse” • Between 1995 and 2011, fewer freeze-free days meant 11 to 27 days added to pollen season for most of the US, research shows. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, which does an annual survey of allergy seasons, noticed that they have been growing longer each year. [CNN]

Cherry blossoms

¶ “Chevron’s Fig Leaf Part 3: Carbon Engineering’s Scale And Power Problems” • Carbon Engineering’s solution would require 2-kilometer long, 20 meter high walls of noisy fans to capture 4 orders of magnitude less carbon than would be useful. It won’t run off otherwise unused renewable energy. It’s unclear where it would be useful. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Virtual Energy System Of The Future Is Coming To Life In The Orkney Isles” • Orkney continues to be at the center of the UK’s renewable energy plans, with the Scottish archipelago unveiling the ReFLEX (Responsive Flexibility) Orkney project earlier this week. The project will see a range of technologies implemented. [Forbes]

Standing Stones of Stenness (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “India To Auction Transmission Projects Worth $5 Billion To Support RE Expansion” • Reuters reported that the Indian government plans to auction 54 GW of transmission projects by March 2020, at an expected value of  around $5 billion. A senior official said 16 GW of transmission tenders will be out of the block by June. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Solar Power Funding Rose 10% To $2.8 Billion In Q1 2019” • Total corporate funding – including venture capital funding, public market, and debt financing – into the solar power sector in the first quarter of 2019 stood at $2.8 billion, which is over 10% higher than the $2.5 billion recorded in the same period last year. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar array

¶ “Taiwan Amends A Law To Accelerate Renewable Energy Development” • Taiwan’s legislature passed an amendment to the Renewable Energy Development Act, paving the way to reach the goal of having renewable energy account for 20% of total power demand in 2025. It raised the renewable energy goal from 10 GW to 27 GW. [Digitimes]

¶ “Fukushima: Removal Of Nuclear Fuel Rods From Damaged Reactor Building Begins” • Workers at the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have begun removing fuel rods from a storage pool near one of the three reactors that suffered meltdowns eight years ago. There are 566 used and unused fuel assemblies in reactor building No 3. [The Guardian]

Monitor showing operations (Photo: KYODO | Reuters)

Australia:

¶ “2020 Vision: Rooftop Solar Panels To Exceed Output Of Liddell Power Station Says Green Energy Markets” • Australian rooftop solar panel systems could generate 2,000 MW by the end of 2020, according to Green Energy Markets. That is more energy than the Liddell coal-fired power station, which is set to retire in 2022. [Energy Matters]

¶ “High Energy Prices Set To Grow Australia’s Rooftop PV Installations By 2 GW In 2019” • First-quarter data from Green Energy Markets shows double the uptake of small-scale rooftop solar over the same period last year, as record numbers of Australian residential and business consumers seek to reduce their electricity bills. [pv magazine Australia]

Solar installers

¶ “Rio Tinto Promises Not To Undermine Renewables, And Not To Prop Up Coal” • Australian mining giant Rio Tinto has pledged to support renewable energy and climate action, and to ‘publicly argue against’ government subsidies of coal power, while using its significant clout to urge associated industry groups to do the same thing. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Air Pollution Increases ER Visits – Largest US Study On The Topic Confirms It” • A study published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine shows that, as levels of ozone and fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) rise, more patients end up in the emergency room. [CleanTechnica]

Examination (Courtesy of the American Thoracic Society)

¶ “Duke Energy Proceeding With 200-MW Texas Wind Project” • Duke Energy Renewables has announced it will build and operate a 200-MW wind farm in South Texas, Kallanish Energy reports. The Mesteno Wind Project will be will be the company’s fourth wind project in Starr County. Its output will be sold into the Ercot power grid. [Kallanish Energy]

¶ “Trump Striking Out On Coal And Nuclear Energy” • President Trump is coming up empty-handed on his promises to bolster the coal and nuclear power industries. For a president who has aggressively pushed the legal and political boundaries to make good on policy priorities, particularly immigration, the lack of action in this area is striking. [Axios]

Have an upliftingly uncomplicated day.

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April 14 Energy News

April 14, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Are We Seeing A Late Combustion Age Collapse?” • We are in the midst of a big transition, and big transitions are dangerous. Choices we make today will impact the future of our species. We could usher in an age of clean power that continues our species’ climb out of poverty. Or we could have a Late Combustion Age Collapse. [CleanTechnica]

Windpower potential (Photo: Jennifer Sensiba)

¶ “Are India’s Political Parties Ignoring Climate Change?” • India needs to address climate change given its extreme vulnerability. Some of its effects are visible now in changed monsoon patterns, higher incidents of heat waves, drought, migration, and so on. However, it is less clear if the Indian electorate has registered the climate threat. [Forbes]

¶ “Chevron’s Fig Leaf Part 2: Carbon Engineering Burns Gas For 0.5 Tons Of CO₂ For Each Ton Captured” • This is the second piece in a five-part series on carbon capture, as it is proposed by Carbon Engineering. It steps through CE’s actual solution in detail, showing that for each ton of carbon captured, half a ton would be released. [CleanTechnica]

Carbon Engineering’s 1/2000th scale prototype

¶ “Nuclear Bailout Would Hurt Low-Income Citizens” • The Pennsylvania Legislature is considering transferring $500 million per year from households and businesses to the corporations that own Pennsylvania’s nuclear power plants. A windfall for the state’s nuclear industry, it would be a real hardship for many people with limited incomes. [LancasterOnline]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Pace Of Bering Sea Changes Startles Scientists” • In the winter, frigid north winds blow down from the Arctic Ocean, freeze saltwater and push sea ice south. The ice normally prevents waves from forming and locks onto beaches, walling off villages. But this year a storm pushed Norton Sound water up the Yukon River, flooding low-lying homes. [WTOP]

Iditarod (Marc Lester | Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)

¶ “Europe At Risk From Spread Of Tropical Insect-Borne Diseases” • Insect-borne diseases are on the rise and threaten to spread into many areas of Europe, scientists warn. Outbreaks of such illnesses as dengue fever and encephalitis are increasing because of climate change and the expansion of international travel and trade. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “Groningen And Drenthe Order 159 Electric Buses – Largest Electric Bus Fleet In Europe” • The Dutch provinces of Drenthe and Groningen have partnered on the purchase of 159 electric buses. That will make it the largest European the largest electric bus fleet in Europe. Sixty of those electric buses come from EBUSCO®. [CleanTechnica]

EBUSCO® Electric Bus in the Netherlands

¶ “‘Blown Away’: Rooftop Solar PV Installations Surge By Almost Half” • Australian rooftops added a record 482 MW of new PV capacity in the March quarter. Victoria’s incentive scheme stoked a 90% increase in that state’s installations. Green Energy Markets expects rooftop solar PV capacity will top 2000 MW by the end of the year. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “UP Village Becomes Renewable Energy Model With 100% Solar Power Use” • A village in Uttar Pradesh is presenting itself as a model for renewable energy usage with dependence entirely on solar power for all its needs. Solar panels have been installed at every house in Mandironwala Bhuddi as part of a government scheme. [EnergyInfraPost]

Rooftop solar system

¶ “Old Beechworth Gaol Home To New Community-Led Clean-Energy Project” • A people-powered revolution is taking place in north-east Victoria with the region’s first community-led energy network going live. Indigo Power held a symbolic switching on of the first community-owned solar power system, installed at the Old Beechworth Gaol. [ABC News]

¶ “Zimbabwe’s Largest Industrial Solar Power Plant Launched” • Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has launched the country’s first industrial solar power plant. The plant has a generating capacity of 466 kW and will operate under a 25 year Independent Power Producer License agreement with Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority. [Pumps Africa]

Solar power plant

US:

¶ “GMP All In On Renewables, Carbon-Free” • Officials at Green Mountain Power announced an “energy vision” to have all the energy the utility supplies be carbon free by 2025 and all of it generated by renewable sources by 2030. Their current energy supply is 90% carbon free and over 60% renewable, a company statement said. [Rutland Herald]

¶ “Facing Likely Closures, Owner Of Southern Illinois Coal Power Plants Supports Bill To Help Repurpose Sites …” • The owner of economically challenged coal-fired power plants in Southern Illinois is supporting legislation that would help transform those sites into facilities for utility-scale solar and energy storage projects. [STLtoday.com]

Power plant in Baldwin, Illinois (Robert Allred Photography)

¶ “Senator Hassan Joins In Introducing Bipartisan Legislation To Establish Investment Tax Credit For Energy Storage” • Maggie Hassan, US Senator from New Hampshire, joined colleagues to introduce the bipartisan Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act of 2019 to establish an investment tax credit for energy storage. [nhlabornews.com]

¶ “Solar Sandbagged In Draft TVA Resource Plan” • The Tennessee Valley Authority’s draft integrated resource plan is supposed to identify the least-cost option to supply customers with electricity. But the TVA put an artificial cap on solar of 500 MW per year in its draft IRP, a fact revealed through a Freedom of Information Act request. [pv magazine USA]

Have a perfectly lovely day.

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April 13 Energy News

April 13, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Chevron’s Fig Leaf Part 1: Carbon Engineering Burns Natural Gas To Capture Carbon From The Air” • Recently headlines announced a $68 million dollar investment in a company that is building air-carbon capture technology. Articles claimed it could scoop CO₂ from the air economically. This is the first installment of a five-part assessment. [CleanTechnica]

Carbon capture device (Courtesy Carbon Engineering)

Science and Technology:

¶ “MIT Report On Plug-in Hybrid Heavy Duty Trucks” • MIT researchers have some advice for EV advocates: Don’t ignore plug-in hybrids just because battery electrics are the ideal. Significant reductions in diesel pollution can be achieved with the right combination of flex-fuel range extender engines and electric motors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bacteria That Feed On Methane Found Thriving In The Earth’s Atmosphere” • Methane has what could be described as “super” radiation-trapping abilities. It is 30 times more potent than a CO₂ as a greenhouse gas. However, scientists have found bacteria in the air that seems to have a ravenous type of appetite for this particular gas. [Science Times]

Clouds (Pixabay image)

¶ “Cheap, Safe 100% Renewable Energy Possible Before 2050, Says Finnish Uni Study” • A global transition to the exclusive use of renewable energy sources is not only possible but cheaper and safer than reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear energy, a study from the Lappeenranta University of Technology and the Energy Watch Group shows. [YLE News]

World:

¶ “Fraunhofer Reports Combining Farming With Solar 186% More Efficient In Summer Of 2018” • The Fraunhofer Institute has conducted experiments in what it calls agrophotovoltaics for two years in Germany. In 2018, they found that the potatoes they grew beneath solar panels did better than they would have in full sun. [CleanTechnica]

PVs over crops (Credit: Fraunhofer ISE)

¶ “Half Of UK’s Electricity To Be Renewable By 2025” • Close to half of the UK’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2025, according to Carbon Brief analysis of new government projections. There are further cuts to the outlook for gas-fired electricity generation, which is now set to drop by two-fifths over the next six years. [Carbon Brief]

¶ “Power Station Project Eight Months Head Of Schedule” • Construction of a geothermal power plant near Kaikohe, New Zealand, is expected to finish eight months early and produce 25% more electricity than originally planned. Top Energy chief executive Russell Shaw said fast progress had been helped by a “fantastic summer.” [New Zealand Herald]

Steam from a test well at Ngāwhā (Photo: Top Energy)

¶ “Sunny Spell Boosts French Solar Power Generation To Record Level” • Sunny weather boosted solar power generation in nuclear-dependent France to a record level on Friday, covering 10.7% of its 59.5 GW electricity consumption at 1145 GMT, French power grid operator RTE said. French PV capacity has increased 12.7% in the last year. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ “Washington State Commits To Running Entirely On Clean Energy By 2045” • The state of Washington is now committed to making the state’s electricity supply carbon neutral by 2030 and 100% carbon-free by 2045. The bill makes it the fourth state to commit to 100 percent clean energy and adds a feather to the cap of Gov Jay Inslee. [Gizmodo]

Seattle (Photo: AP)

¶ “Massive Wind Farm To Bring More Renewable Energy To Southern Arizona” • Tucson Electric Power is to invest $370 million in a wind farm as part of an effort to have 30% of its energy come from renewable sources by 2030. The 61 turbine Oso Grande Wind Project, under construction in New Mexico, will generate up to 247 MW. [KOLD]

¶ “Turning Lemons Into Lemonade: Michigan Researches Converting Abandoned Mines Into Energy Storage” • Michigan Technological University is studying whether communities could transform abandoned mines into valuable energy storage. A pilot project at the city of Negaunee could help mining communities turn liabilities into assets. [CleanTechnica]

Old photo of an old mine

¶ “House Speaker Rolls Out Plan To Overhaul Ohio’s Energy Policy” • A proposal in the Ohio House would do away with renewable and efficiency standards, drawing a new fund to reward not only solar and wind production, but also nuclear power. The plan would grant credits to any energy source that does not emit carbon. [WVXU]

¶ “Illinois Awards 215 MW Of Community Solar, But Developers Are Left Hungry” • The Illinois Power Agency ran a solar lottery, awarding renewable energy credits to 112 community solar projects with about 215 MW of capacity. Many projects were not awarded credits, however, because the program is significantly oversubscribed. [Greentech Media]

Solar array (Photo: Shutterstock)

¶ “Chelan PUD Announces Deal with Microsoft” • Microsoft Corp announced new agreements to boost clean energy and connectivity in Washington state. The two agreements with Chelan County Public Utility District will give Microsoft carbon-free electricity for its Puget Sound campuses and broadband connectivity in Chelan County. [KPQ]

¶ “Indiana Lawmakers Reject Generation Moratorium Aimed At Saving Coal” • Indiana lawmakers defeated a controversial power plant moratorium on utility purchases or construction of assets to generate 250 MW or more until 2021. The language was aimed at preserving in-state coal generators. It could resurface later in the session. [Utility Dive]

Have an awesomely fine day.

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April 12 Energy News

April 12, 2019

World:

¶ “Global Economy Would Save Up To $160 Trillion By Shifting To Renewables, Electric Cars” • The International Renewable Energy Agency reported this week that getting to 85% renewable energy not merely possible by 2050, but thanks to plummeting prices in key clean energy technologies, the cost of saving the climate has dropped dramatically. [ThinkProgress]

PVs over water with flowering crops in the background
(Wang Wen | VCG Via Getty Images)

¶ “Japanese JV Reveals 500-MW Offshore Plan” • A joint venture of Hitachi Zosen Corporation and Eco Power is planning to build a 500-MW offshore wind farm off the coast Aomori prefecture in Japan. The joint venture company is to have up to 125 turbines, each with a capacity of 4 MW to 9.5 MW, operational some time after 2025. [reNEWS]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Jumps To #2 In France” • The French plug-in electric vehicle market recorded 6,136 registrations in March, which is up 14% year over year. A big portion of this growth came from the Tesla Model 3, which had 1,153 deliveries last month in France, the best result ever for any nameplate other than the Renault Zoe. [CleanTechnica]

Renault Zoe

¶ “Norwegian Firm May Invest €1.5 Billion In Electricity Generators In Republic” • Norwegian utility Statkraft and a partner could spend €1.5 billion ($1.69 billion) building new electricity generators in the Republic of Ireland. Statkraft began work on a €30 million wind farm at Kilathmoy on the Kerry-Limerick border this week. [Irish Times]

¶ “China Eyes One Belt One Road Initiative To Expand Renewable Energy” • China’s OBOR initiative has not found enough takers in the countries that think it will lead to a Chinese monopoly. However, linking of renewables to the initiative may act as a facelift and evince interest from countries that initially had opposed it. [Mercom India]

Wind turbines

¶ “TEPCO To Start Removing Fuel At Fukushima’s No 3 Reactor” • The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will start removing nuclear fuel from the No 3 reactor as early as next week. The work will be done with remote-controlled devices. It is the first attempt to remove spent fuel from any of the reactors damaged in the 2011 meltdowns. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ “How Coal-Killing Solar Panels Can Help US Farmers” • The DOE has a message for farmers: plant solar panels, and you can plant crops, too. The DOE published the “Farmer’s Guide to Going Solar,” answering such questions as how PV modules change the microclimates beneath them, and what effects they have on agricultural production. [CleanTechnica]

Agriculture with solar PVs

¶ “‘We Can Talk About This’ – Millennial Republicans Take A Methodical Approach To Climate Change” • In January, 41 state college Republican chairs signed an American Conservation Coalition letter to GOP leaders urging “action on clean energy and environmental issues” to ensure “conservative values are not lost on the next generation”. [The Guardian]

¶ “The EV Tax Credit Debate Heats Up In Congress” • The original tax credit for EVs was $7,500 for the first 200,000 cars from a manufacturer, declining from there. A bill has been introduced in Congress that would keep the $7,500 for the first 200,000, decrease it to $7,000 for the next 400,000, and then phase it out more quickly. [CleanTechnica]

EVs charging (DOE image)

¶ “US Power In 2018: The Good, The Better, And The Gassy” • The key 2018 figures highlight both emerging opportunities and challenges. Thankfully, this year promises to be a good one for solar and wind energy, but we still face the threat that we are locking in reliance on natural gas that does not fit with our need to slash carbon pollution. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Puerto Rico Goes 100% Renewable As Trump Administration Calls For More Gas” • Just one day after the Chicago City Council approved its mayor’s plan to move the city to 100% renewable energy by 2035, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló signed a law that sets a 100% by 2050 renewable electricity mandate for the island. [pv magazine USA]

Governor Ricardo Rosselló (FEMA image)

¶ “Dem Lawmakers Have Given Session A Noticeable Green Tint” • New Hampshire Democratic lawmakers are passing what amounts to be a green wave of legislation. It is not exactly the splashy Green New Deal resolution pushed by Democrats in the US Congress, but the director of the NH Sierra Club chapter calls it “exciting.” [New Hampshire Business Review]

¶ “Apple Surpasses Renewable Energy Goals For 2020” • Apple has announced that it will exceed, by over 1 GW, its goal of bringing 4 GW of renewable energy into its supply chain by 2020. The company also announced that is has doubled the number of suppliers that run Apple productions on 100% renewable energy. [Power Technology]

Apple Park (Credit: Daniel Lu)

¶ “Thousands Of Amazon Employees Call On CEO Jeff Bezos To Tackle Climate Change” • More than 5,000 Amazon workers called on founder and CEO Jeff Bezos to tackle climate change in the latest example of tech workers rallying to change company policies from within. An open letter posted online was signed by 5,237 employees in one day. [ABC News]

¶ “Gas, Nuclear Lobbies Butt Heads As Senate Takes Up Nuclear-Rescue Bill” • A bill aimed at saving two of Pennsylvania’s nuclear power plants from early retirement is getting an expectedly mixed reception in the state Senate. Nuclear and natural gas proponents are clashing over how to make the state’s energy markets fair. [90.5 WESA]

Have a significantly satisfying day.

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April 11 Energy News

April 11, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change Must Be Our Number 1 Priority” • We are out of time for waiting, debating and half-measures. America needs bold climate action now. And the only way we’re going to get it is if we elect a president who will make defeating climate change the No. 1 priority of the United States. That is why I am running for president. [CNN]

Jay Inslee (Inslee campaign photo)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Uber Elevate: Will Be Same Cents Per Mile In Air As On Roads” • Uber Elevate recently quoted that eVTOL air miles would cost the same as what Uber charges on the road. And with Airbus UAM’s outlook that the market will be around $50 billion by 2030, the company surely wants to make sure it is part of the equation. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “More Electric Buses Coming To Paris And Surrounding Communities” • RATP Group, the French state-owned public transportation company that serves Paris and its surrounding communities, has plans in place to retire all 4,700 conventional buses in its fleet and replace them by 2025 with zero or ultra low emissions vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Alstom Aptis electric bus (Credit: Alstom)

¶ “China’s EV Sales Grow 118% Year On Year And Fossil Sales Fall 13% – Q1 Charts!” • The China passenger car association’s first quarter figures are in, and electric vehicle sales continue their rapid rise, up 118% year on year, to over 254,000. Meanwhile, fossil vehicle sales have fallen 13% year on year, to 4,823,000 for the quarter. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “South Africa Risks $124 Billion In Face Of Low-Carbon Transition” • If South Africa does not begin to shift away from its reliance on coal for its power and export value, the country risks as much as 2 trillion Rand ($124 billion) as the rest of the world begins to shift away and reduces their need for South Africa’s coal, a report says. [CleanTechnica]

Open pit mine

¶ “Pacifico Sun Rising In Japan” • Japanese developer Pacifico Energy has started construction of a 102.144-MW solar farm in Ako, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The Ako project is being built on the site of a former golf course. Kansai Electric Power will buy all of the power generated by the plant, about 125,000 MWh/year, for 20 years. [reNEWS]

¶ “Renewables Will Dominate World’s Energy Needs, Says Global Body” • Renewable energy could become the dominant source of energy across the world, provide up to 86% of global power demand under a deeper electrification scenario, according to a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency. [RenewEconomy]

Solar panels (Source: renewables.seenews.com)

¶ “ReNew Power Commissions 300-MW Solar Plant In Karnataka” • ReNew Power announced that it commissioned a 300-MW solar plant at Pavagada Solar Park in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is ReNew Power’s largest solar plant, in terms of capacity. It will help mitigate 600,000 tonnes of CO₂ emission per year, the company said. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Abandoned Town Allows First Residents Home” • A Japanese town whose population fled the 2011 Fukushima Disaster has partially reopened eight years later, after radiation levels in parts of Okuma have been deemed safe. Only 367 people, about 3.5% of the former population, have registered to return. [BBC News]

Tsunami of 2011 washing over a sea wall (Reuters)

US:

¶ “Trump-Appointed Energy Official: Climate Change Is Real And We Must Lower Carbon Emissions” • A top federal energy regulator appointed by President Donald Trump is calling for urgent action to address climate change.  Neil Chatterjee, a Republican from Kentucky, is the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. [CNN]

¶ “Big Moment For Clean Power In The US” • Chicago has become the biggest American city to commit to transitioning to 100% renewable energy, joining 118 other cities nationwide in making the move. The Sierra Club reported that Chicago City Council had backed a resolution to take forward the goal for the entire city by 2035. [Innovators Magazine]

Chicago (Photo: Lance Anderson | Unsplash)

¶ “US Windpower Grew By 8% In 2018” • US windpower capacity grew by 8% in 2018, according to the American Wind Energy Association. It reached 96.5 GW, and supporting an industry which now boasts a record 114,000 jobs, over 500 domestic factories, and more than $1 billion a year in revenue for states and communities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Iron Mountain To Power Texas, Illinois Facilities With Renewables” •  US enterprise information management expert Iron Mountain has announced that it will power its facilities in Texas and Illinois with 100% renewable power. RPD Energy had structured deals for over 25,000 MWh of electricity annually over a three-year period.  [Renewables Now]

Texas wind park (Rockin’Rita, CC-BY-SA 2.0 generic)

¶ “Navajo Nation Embraces Renewable Energy As Era Of Coal Power Comes To An End” • Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer have announced a new Navajo tribal energy policy. In a proclamation known as Navajo Sunrise, the Nation has commited itself to promoting renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green Lawmakers Seek To Elbow Their Way Into Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Debate” • A group of Pennsylvania lawmakers declared that the “Green Dogs” intend to be players in the big energy policy poker game taking place at the state Capitol this spring. They want more renewable power, as nuclear plant operators seek subsidies. [PennLive.com]

Have a surprisingly agreeable day.

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April 10 Energy News

April 10, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Trump Mocks Climate Change. That’s A Key To Defeating Him.” • While one of Africa’s the worst weather disasters ever was unfolding, President Trump was urging Republicans not to kill the Democrats’ Green New Deal proposal. This was not because Trump wants to work with it, but because he wants to run against it in 2020. [New York Times]

Wyoming wind farm (Damon Winter | The New York Times)

World:

¶ “There’s Trouble In OPEC And Oil Prices Are Up 50%” • Venezuela is in chaos. Iran is dealing with US sanctions. And there is increased violence in Libya. Trouble in these OPEC nations helped send US oil prices back above $64 a barrel. Gasoline prices are creeping higher just as the US economy grapples with a slowdown. [CNN]

¶ “BYD Continues To Innovate, Launches The World’s Longest Electric Bus” • New energy company BYD has introduced the world’s longest electric bus. The new BYD K12A is a 27 meter (89 foot) long beast of an electric bus. It features two independent articulating points that connect its 3 separate segments. It has room for 250 riders. [CleanTechnica]

BYD K12A (BYD Image)

¶ “Netherlands Will Soon To Be Home To Europe’s Largest Floating Solar PV Project” • Dutch solar developer GroenLeven has announced that it is building a 48-MW floating solar PV project on an old sand extraction site in the Netherlands. It will be one of the largest floating PV sites in the world, and the largest in Europe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Solar PV Market To See 25% Growth, Reach 129 GW Of New Capacity In 2019” • The global solar PV market is expected to bounce back from slower growth in 2018 with a return to form in 2019, according to analysts IHS Markit.  It will see growth in the range of 25% and total solar installations nearing 130 GW, the report said. [CleanTechnica]

Disney solar farm in Florida

¶ “Atlassian Billionaires Pledge For 100% Renewable Energy By 2025” • The co-founders of Atlassian, a software development company, have made a pledge for their company to be powered with 100% renewable energy by 2025. The announcement makes them the first major Australian tech company to make such a commitment. [10 daily]

¶ “Engie JV Plans 898-MW Mexico Clean Power Push” • Engie and Tokyo Gas have formed a joint venture to develop Mexican wind and solar energy projects with a combined capacity of 898.7 MW. Their joint venture, Heolios EnTG, will develop, finance, construct, own, operate, and maintain a total of six renewable energy projects. [reNEWS]

Turbine installation (Engie image)

US:

¶ “New York Offers $30 Million For Flexible Power Grid” • New York announced funding of up to $30 million (£23 million) for projects that can improve the resiliency and flexibility of the electricity grid. Governor Andrew M Cuomo aims to generate 70% of renewable electricity by 2030 and have a carbon-free power grid by 2040. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Trump To Sign Executive Orders Meant To Free Up Oil And Gas Pipeline Development” • The Trump administration is set to announce two executive orders aimed at freeing up more pipelines to supply the US with oil and gas. The orders could give the federal government more power over states in approving energy projects. [CNN]

Pump jack (Juan Barreto | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “A Utility’s Push for Solar Fees Could Shut Down The Entrepreneurs Who Built Iowa’s Solar Economy” • A proposal before the Iowa legislature would impose monthly fees on the customers that own solar power systems. A leading supporter of the bill is MidAmerican Energy, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Groups Push For Votes on NV Renewable-Energy, Public-Lands Bills” • As the deadline approaches for bills to make it out of Nevada’s legislative committees, conservation groups are pushing for those they see as important. Senate Bill 358 would require power companies to get 50% of their energy from renewable sources by 2030. [Public News Service]

Nevada State Capitol (OK-59 | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Walz Touts Clean Energy Jobs Amid Doubts About Nuclear Power’s Role In Future” • Minnesota Gov Tim Walz and Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley said economics suggest nuclear power will not be part of Minnesota’s energy mix if the state adopts the governor’s goal of getting 100% of its energy from carbon-free sources by 2050. [TwinCities.com]

¶ “Maryland Legislature Passes Clean Energy Bill With Offshore Provisions” • Maryland lawmakers have passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which would raise the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 50% by 2030. The act incentivizes the development of 1.2 GW of additional offshore wind energy off the coast of Maryland. [North American Windpower]

Maryland

¶ “City Council Unanimously Backs Missoula Plan For 100% Clean Energy By 2030” • In Missoula, Montana, city council members unanimously voted to adopt a resolution to move the city’s electricity to 100% renewable sources by 2030. The vote makes Missoula the first city in the state to move away from fossil fuels. [KPAX-TV]

¶ “DOE Calls For Big Puerto Rico Gas Plant As Island Targets 100% Renewables” • DOE Assistant Secretary Bruce Walker told a US House committee that building a natural gas plant in Puerto Rico would enhance the island’s resilience. But the Puerto Rican legislature just passed a bill that would take it to 100% renewable energy. [Utility Dive]

Have an outstandingly superb day.

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April 9 Energy News

April 9, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Ohio’s FirstEnergy Nuclear Bailout Bill Could Undermine Funding For Renewables And Efficiency” • Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature has drafted “clean air fund” legislation that would reduce renewable energy and efficiency subsidies while increasing electricity bills about $300 million a year, just to keep its nuclear fleet running. [Greentech Media]

Davis-Besse nuclear power plant

Science and Technology:

¶ “Particulate Pollution In The Air We Breathe Kills Hundreds Of Thousands A Year, Study Finds” • Air pollution is deadly: A study links exposure to it to more than 107,000 premature deaths in the United States in 2011. Energy consumption causes 57% of the pollution-related deaths. It isn’t just killing us; it cost the country $866 billion. [CNN]

¶ “Children Who Live Near Major Roads Are More Likely To Have Developmental Delays, Study Says” • Young children who live near a major roadway are twice as likely to score lower on tests of communications skills than those who live farther away, research indicates. The study examined the effects of particulates and ozone. [CNN]

Highway traffic (Getty Images)

¶ “Renewables Are A Better Investment Than Carbon Capture For Tackling Climate Change” • Solar panels and wind turbines coupled with energy storage offer a better hope for tackling climate change than trying to capture carbon from fossil fuel power stations, according to new research published in the journal Nature Energy. [Science Daily]

¶ “Scientists Propose Alternatives To Rare Earth Elements Critical For Wind Turbines” • Wind turbine magnets usually large amounts of expensive neodymium. Researchers from the Critical Materials Institute at Ames Laboratory are working on creating magnets for wind turbines from more common and readily available elements. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbine

World:

¶ “Wind Farm Ushers In Era Of Renewable Energy In Tasmania” • The Granville Harbour wind farm will feature 31 wind turbines that measure 200 meters from their base to the tip of the blades. The project will cost $280 million to build and provide enough electricity to run 46,000 homes when completed. Its site is very windy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Storage To Hit 158 GWh By 2024” • The global energy storage market is forecast to expand 13-fold to 158 GWh by 2024, according to latest research by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The US and China are projected to dominate the market, making up 54% of GWh deployed capacity by 2024, the report said. [reNEWS]

Batteries at a wind farm (Steve Pope | Vattenfall)

¶ “Renewables, Electrification Can Reduce 75% Of Emissions” • Scaling up renewable energy and electrification could deliver more than 75% of the energy-related emission reductions needed to meet global climate goals, an International Renewable Energy Agency report said. And the payoff would be three times the cost or more. [Anadolu Agency]

¶ “Amazon Goes Greener With 229 MW Wind Power Buy” • US e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc intends to buy the output of three wind parks totaling over 229 MW in Ireland, Sweden, and the US in support its sustainability targets. The three projects are expected to generate more than 670,000 MWh of electricity annually. [Renewables Now]

Irish wind turbines (Harry Pears, CC-BY-SA 2.0 generic)

¶ “Mass Uptake Of Electric Cars Could Reduce Energy Prices And Stabilise Grid” • Electricity costs could go down and the power grid might become more stable if there is a mass uptake of electric cars under a policy put forward by the federal opposition, a report from the industry lobby group Evenergi has said. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “From Ruined Bridges To Dirty Air, EPA Scientists Price Out The Cost Of Climate Change” • By the end of the century, the manifold consequences of unchecked climate change will cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars every year, according to a study by EPA scientists. They said no part of the country will be untouched. [Virgin Islands Daily News]

Capistrano Beach (Photo: Los Angeles Times)

¶ “Climate Change Poses Security Risks, According To Decades Of Intelligence Reports” • A series of authoritative governmental and nongovernmental analyses over more than three decades lays a strong foundation for concern over the national security implications of climate change. They come from the CIA, NSA, FBI, and others. [Yale Climate Connections]

¶ “Idaho Gets Vast Majority Of Electricity From Renewables, Almost Half From Hydropower” • More than 80% of Idaho’s in-state utility-scale electricity generation came from renewable resources in 2018, behind only Vermont, according to recently released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Electric Power Monthly. [HydroWorld]

Hells Canyon Dam (Wikipedia)

¶ “California Sues EPA, NHTSA Over Auto Emissions Data Freeze Out” • In an effort to find out just what data the EPA is relying on to justify the emissions rollback, the state of California requested that information in a Freedom of Information request. It says the federal government has ignored the request, and it is suing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Duke Energy Wants Consumers To Pay For Coal Ash Clean Up” • The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality ordered Duke Energy to dig up all remaining coal ash ponds in the state and transfer the contents to lined landfills, WRAL News reported. Now Duke Energy wants its customers to pay for the cleanup. [CleanTechnica]

Have an astoundingly restful day.

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April 8 Energy News

April 8, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Air Pollution: How Does London’s New Emissions Zone Compare?” • There are several different ways of describing cities or towns that have restrictions on vehicles, with the goal of tackling air pollution. A CAZ is a clean air zone, a LEZ is a low-emissions zone. Now London has the world’s first ULEZ, or ultra-low emissions zone. [BBC]

Clean air, Gothenburg, Sweden (Getty Images)

¶ “There’s Just One Reason Republican Politicians Are Fully Attacking The Green New Deal” • The US public would love to support more clean energy, more zero-emission electric cars, cleaner air, and protection of our shared natural resources. But fossil fuel industries are not on the same page, and they support Republican candidates with money. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Coal Industry Enjoying Good Times While They Last” • This year began with some good news for global coal industry stakeholders as demand ticked up a notch. Nevertheless, signs of a deep, painful skid are growing. But exemplifying change, South Africa’s powerful Nedbank officially gave the bum’s rush to new coal power plant investments. [CleanTechnica]

Solar power for a Nedbank branch (via Solar Turtle)

World:

¶ “Tesla And Fiat Dance An Interesting Tango” • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has needed to reduce emissions from its cars, or it will be fined by the EU. One alternative is to pay a company whose cars have low emissions to have its cars counted in the fleet. So Fiat agreed to pay Tesla hundreds of millions of euros to avoid billions in fines. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In Medellín, Metrocable Connects People In More Ways Than One” • In 2004, Metro de Medellín opened the world’s first aerial tram system, Metrocable, connecting slums in the Columbian city’s hillsides to its downtown center and the rest of its transit network. The mobility they provide encourages investment in poor neighborhoods. [CleanTechnica]

Metrocable in operation (Photo: Kyle Laferriere)

¶ “Enel Green Power Switches On 86-MW Solar Plant In Colombia” • Italian energy major Enel SpA inaugurated an 86.2-MW solar PV farm in Colombia. The company’s local renewables subsidiary, Enel Green Power Colombia, has invested nearly $70 million (€62.3 million) in the El Paso PV farm, the local energy ministry announced. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Brazil Registers 51.2 GW Of Renewables For June 28 Tender” • Brazil’s state-owned energy research firm EPE unveiled on Friday that 51,204 MW of renewable energy projects have been registered for the next auction that will be held on June 28, 2019. The auction will contract hydro, wind, solar and biomass power projects. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in Brazil (Otávio Nogueira, CC-BY-2.0 Generic)

¶ “Saudi Set To ‘Boost Wind By Over 6 GW'” • Saudi Arabia will become a regional heavyweight in the Middle East’s wind power market adding over 6 GW in the next 10 years, according to new research by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The report said developers will build up to 6.2 GW of wind capacity in the country. [reNEWS]

¶ “India To Add 10,000 MW Wind Energy Capacity In 2021 ” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, the second biggest wind turbine manufacturer in the world, expects India to add between 7,000 and 10,000 MW of wind energy capacity in 2021, its global chief executive said, despite a slump in Indian projects over the last two years. [Economic Times]

Offshore windpower (AP image)

Australia:

¶ “Construction Underway At Tasmania’s Granville Harbour Wind Farm” • A 112-MW Tasmanian wind farm that will deliver a one-third increase to the state’s wind power capacity is under construction, with the final parts of the project’s turbine towers arriving in Burnie earlier this month, and the last of the turbine blades due to arrive in May. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “‘The Perfect Storm’: Hydrogen Gains Ground On LNG As Alternative Fuel” • In March, the Queensland University of Technology made history when it achieved the first export of a small quantity of clean, green hydrogen produced in Australia from renewable energy, to Japanese energy giant JXTG, proving that it was in fact possible. [The Guardian]

Hydrogen-powered bus (Paul Kane | Getty Images)

¶ “Share Economy To Assist Transition To Clean Energy” • A recent study from RMIT University and Monash University researchers has found energy sharing platforms may effectively assist the transition to new energy technologies, cleaner energy, and better consumer outcomes, enabling Australians to reduce their electricity bills. [Energy Magazine]

US:

¶ “Hawaiian Electric To Expand Renewable Energy By 2022” • Hawaiian Electric Cos are setting a 2022 target to develop more renewable energy, Kallanish Energy reports. The company wants to develop 73 MW of solar and 1,200 MWh of storage on the Island of Oahu. It also wants smaller amounts of solar and storage on the islands Maui and Hawaii. [Kallanish Energy]

Solar power in Hawaii (Reegan Moen, US DOE)

¶ “Lansing Budget Would Power All City Buildings With 100% Renewable Energy By July” • The mayor of Lansing, Michigan, proposed to use 100% renewable energy for all city government buildings. Lansing would be the first city in the state to do so. It would buy renewable energy credits from the Lansing Board of Water and Light. [Spartan Newsroom]

¶ “Entergy Lays Out New Carbon Reduction Goals” • Having met its current carbon reduction goal ahead of schedule, Entergy now says it plans to further reduce emissions to well below 2000 levels. Entergy pledges to reduce its CO₂ emission rate to 50% below 2000 levels by 2030, mostly by relying on natural gas nuclear power. [RTO Insider]

Have an outrageously comfortable day.

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April 7 Energy News

April 7, 2019

World:

¶ “Harbour Air Is Switching Over To 100% Electric Seaplanes” • Harbour Air, based in Vancouver, Canada, will be the first seafaring airline to convert its complete fleet of aircraft to be powered by electricity. Its 41 aircraft will be converted to reach a longer lifecycle with highly improved efficiency and lowered maintenance costs. [CleanTechnica]

Harbour Air aircraft

¶ “Friends Of The Earth Netherlands Files Climate Action Lawsuit Against Shell” • As a Dutch company, Royal Dutch Shell is subject to the laws of the Netherlands. On April 5, Friends Of The Earth Netherlands filed suit against Shell seeking to force it to address its role in the climate emergency confronting the world and all its people. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Morocco Strives To Reduce Energy Bill” • Said Mouline, director-general of the National Agency for the Development of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, said there is an urgent need to change consumer behaviour regarding energy use and to encourage people to use modern technology to reduce energy costs. [The Arab Weekly]

Ouarzazate solar plant in central Morocco (AP photo)

¶ “NTT To Move Forward With A New ‘Smart Energy’ Business” • Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp plans to establish a company to promote the energy business in the first half of fiscal 2019 with the aim of doubling the sales of the NTT group’s energy-related businesses to ¥600 billion ($5.37 billion) by fiscal 2025. [Japan Today]

¶ “Lessons From India For The Power Sector In sub-Saharan Africa” • Developments in renewable energy present the African energy sector with unprecedented opportunities to leapfrog in to a renewable energy future. However, new business models are needed to address the credit issues of some Sub-Saharan African companies. [Observer Research Foundation]

African wind turbines (Jason Blackeye | Unsplash)

¶ “Renewables Contributed To 21% Of Australia’s Energy Mix In 2018” • In 2018, renewable power contributed to a record amount of the Australia’s energy mix, at 21%. And according to the Clean Energy Council’s annual report, Australia currently has 14.5 GW of new renewable capacity under construction or with a financial commitment. [CSO Magazine]

¶ “As Many As 50,000 Protest Climate Change In Switzerland” • Tens of thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday in several Swiss cities against climate change, the Swiss news agency Keystone-ATS reported. Around 50,000 marched in all, the news agency report estimated, including 15,000 in Zurich, which had the largest crowd. [The Local Switzerland]

Protesters marching in Lausanne  (Fabrice Coffrini | AFP)

¶ “Spain To Pay €1 Million For Solar Project In The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone” • Under an agreement with Ukraine, Spain will spend money from its state budget for the construction of a solar power plant in Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster zone, RIA reported, citing the country’s ecology ministry. It will be the second such facility in the area. [RT]

US:

¶ “Diesel-Killing Alaska Solar Power Company Walks The Green New Deal Walk ” • Alaska’s oil-based economy has not been kind to the many Alaskans living in villages that rely on aircraft, boats, and snow machines for transportation. Solar beats diesel on cost, creates new local jobs, and helps to level the socio-economic playing field. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array in Alaska

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is #1 Luxury Car In USA” • In the first quarter of 2019, the Tesla Model 3 was again the #1 top-selling car in the US luxury car market. It was far and away the winner, with 160% of the sales of the #2 car. It was actually #13 in the overall US car market, and none of the other premium-class car even made the top 20. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Union Locals Build Support for the Green New Deal’s ‘Just Transition'” • National leadership among some labor unions have shown an early reluctance toward the Green New Deal. However, leaders at the local level are working to build support for the plan among their membership in hopes of pushing their unions in its direction. [Truthout]

Rally (Aurora Samperio | Nurphoto Via Getty Images)

¶ “Fourteen Automakers And Eight Additional Car Brands See Sales Drops In USA” • In total, fourteen auto brands saw their sales decline from March 2018 to March 2019, while another eight brands saw their net sales increase but their car sales go down. This is worth noting in the context of the Tesla Model 3’s burst onto the scene. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Three Mile Island Nuclear Reactor Dismantling Could Take Six Decades, More Than $1 Billion” • Exelon Generation, which plans to shut down Three Mile Island Unit 1 nuclear reactor in September unless Pennsylvania lawmakers come to its rescue, says decommissioning the site would take nearly 60 years and $1.2 billion. [Pocono Record]

Have a flawlessly agreeable day.

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April 6 Energy News

April 6, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “30% Fuel Savings When Flying UTC’s Hybrid-Electric Regional Planes (Soon)” • Imagine airlines saving 30% on fuel by switched to electric mobility? A hybrid-electric aircraft is one way to do that. United Technologies Corp wants us to use such airplanes based on hybrid electric turboprops for future regional, and it is already testing them. [CleanTechnica]

UTC Hybrid Electric Airplane Project 804

¶ “Report: CO₂ At Highest Level In 3 Million Years” • Scientists announced in a report that CO₂, the gas that causes most global warming, is present in our atmosphere at the highest level in 3 million years. At that time, sea levels were as much as 65 feet higher than they are now, Greenland was mostly green, and Antarctica had trees. [USA TODAY]

World:

¶ “Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund To Shift Focus To Renewable Investment” • Norway plans to tighten restrictions on coal investments for its $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund while opening it up for renewable-energy infrastructure assets. The government proposes to add absolute caps on production of thermal coal. [Energy Voice]

Sognefjord

¶ “EU Accuses German Carmakers Of Colluding To Delay Clean Air Technology” • The EU has accused German carmakers of collusion. The European Commission said Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler broke antitrust rules by acting together to delay the introduction of two emissions cleaning systems between 2006 and 2014. [CNN]

¶ “Zambia Awards Three Joint Ventures 120-MW Solar Power Tender” • Zambia awarded three regional and international companies a total of 120 MW of solar power projects, a senior government official said. Zambia is dependent on hydropower and when a drought happened in 2016, it was forced to ration electricity to its mines. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar array

¶ “Stuttgart, Home Of Porsche & Mercedes, Has Banned Older Diesels” • Every diesel vehicle over 10 years old is now effectively banned from operating in any part of the entire city area of Stuttgart, which is home to Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and 630,000 residents. The move signals the first serious diesel ban in any German city. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “TenneT Plots 2-GW Substation Revolution” • TenneT, the Dutch transmission system operator, will deploy cables and converter stations with 2-GW capacity to bring electricity ashore from offshore wind farms planned for post-2024 period. Two 2-GW DC connections will be used for the IJmuiden Ver wind energy area, TenneT said. [reNEWS]

Borwin Gamma sets sail (Credit: TenneT)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Jumps To #1 In The Netherlands, Among All Cars” • Dutch plug-in PV market had another sales surge last month, with 4,721 plug-in registrations, up 252% year over year. There were 2,195 deliveries of the Tesla Model 3 in March. By comparison, the number 2 seller for all cars was the Volvo S/V60 PHEV, at 1,462. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Belgium To Boost Wind And Gas Power As It Phases Out Nuclear” • Belgium has decided to phase out nuclear power by 2025. This means the country needs to develop new capacity to replace its seven nuclear reactors, which generate around 50% of the country’s electricity. They will be replaced by wind and gas generators. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind farm

US:

¶ “Get Ready For 1.5¢ Renewable Electricity, Steven Chu Says, Which Could Unleash Hydrogen Economy” • Former Energy Sec. Steven Chu told a roomful of scientists in Chicago they should think now what they could do with renewable electricity that costs only 1.5¢/kWh. And, he suggested, those thoughts should include hydrogen. [Forbes]

¶ “Democrats Push For Storage Tax Credit” • Democratic Congressman Mike Doyle introduced a proposal to the US House of Representatives that would create an investment tax credit for energy storage projects. The Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act aims to make energy storage an eligible technology for the ITC. [reNEWS]

US Capitol (US Congress image)

¶ “Fremont, California, Fire Station Is First In US With Solar Microgrid” • Planners in Fremont, California, appear to be the first to complete a solar microgrid system with battery backup for a fire station in the US, seeking to be more hardened against wildfire, utility blackouts, hurricanes, or other threatening events. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Is Costing The Air Force Billions” • Tyndall Air Force Base was slammed by Hurricane Michael, just one of several military bases hit by extreme weather in the past year. The high cost of repairs foreshadows a major upcoming problem for the US military. The Air Force is seeking $5 billion for repairs to just two of the bases. [CleanTechnica]

Offutt base on March 17, 2019 (US Air Force photo)

¶ “LA Could Replace Traditional Power Plants With Home Solar, Experts Say” • A report from San Francisco-based residential solar company Sunrun amounts to a sales pitch to Los Angeles city to expand the number of solar residences to at least 75,000. Together, they could replace a gas-fired power plant, saving $60 million. [NBCNews.com]

¶ “Hanover Moves Closer To Renewable Energy Goal” • The town of Hanover, New Hampshire, is making progress toward its goal of using 100% renewable energy for electricity by 2030. It is also upgrading some police vehicles to hybrid models as part of its goal to reach 100% renewable for transportation and heating by 2050. [Valley News]

Have an abundantly bountiful day.

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April 5 Energy News

April 5, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Wind Turbines Don’t Cause Cancer, But They Are Absolutely Killing Coal” • Somewhere deep within the bowels of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a small cadre of presidential aides is working feverishly to unearth proof that wind turbines cause cancer. Meanwhile, out in the sunlight, the US wind industry is bursting into flower. [CleanTechnica]

Coal-burning power plant

¶ “Donald Trump Is Trying To Kill You” • Donald Trump’s legacy will be a hugely important factor for the 2020 election. Though there is a lot we do not know about it,  one thing seems sure: Even if he’s a one-term president, Trump will have caused, directly or indirectly, the premature deaths of a large number of Americans. [New York Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Swiss Startup Innolith Claims 1000 Wh/kg Battery Break-through” • Swiss startup Innolith says it developed a lithium-ion battery with an energy density of 1,000 Wh/kg. This is four times the 250 Wh/kg rating of the latest battery from Tesla. It already has one of its batteries installed to back up the grid in Hagerstown, Maryland. [CleanTechnica]

Innolith battery (Credit: Innolith via YouTube)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Unveils New 5.8-MW Onshore Wind Turbine” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy unveiled what is believed to be the world’s most powerful onshore wind turbine this week, a new 5.8-MW turbine in two models that boast some of the largest onshore components available on the market to date. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Toyota Decides To Share Its Hybrid Powertrain Technology With The World” • In a complete policy reversal, Toyota decided to stop suing every manufacturer that offers a hybrid vehicle to the public in an effort to protect its patents on the technology. It says everyone may use the patents without royalty payments until 2030. [CleanTechnica]

2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid (Credit: Toyota)

¶ “Global Wind Turbine Order Capacity Increased 31% In 2018, Finds WoodMac” • According to Wood Mackenzie, Global wind turbine orders increased by 31% in 2018 thanks in part to a 20% fourth-quarter increase which saw 18 GW of new capacity added. The US bucked this trend, however, seeing a decline in capacity orders. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Supply 342-MW Phoenix Wind Project In Aragón, Spain” • GE Renewable Energy announced this week that it has been selected to supply wind turbines to the 342-MW Phoenix project, which will develop 10 new wind parks in Aragón, Spain. The project will use 91 of GE Renewable Energy’s 3-MW turbines. [CleanTechnica]

GE 3-MW turbine

¶ “2018 Smashed Renewables Records Across The Board, CEC Finds” • Australian investment in large-scale renewables grew from $10 billion in 2017 to $20 billion in 2018 and the amount of renewable energy capacity financially committed increased from 5.6 GW in 2017 to 14.8 GW in 2018, Clean Energy Council data show. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Spain To Shut Down Nuclear Plants And Push Forward Clean Energy Plan” • Amid a Europe-wide debate over the future of nuclear power in a renewable energy future, Spain has rolled out a schedule to close its seven nuclear power plants. At the same time, the government proposes an ambitious shift away from fossil fuels by 2050. [South EU Summit]

Almaraz nuclear plant (© Gelpi | shutterstock.com)

US:

¶ “Power-Hungry Texas Oil Drillers Get A Little Help From Solar” • Developers are set to quadruple Texas’ solar capacity by 2022, but they won’t just power homes. Solar developers are responding to demand from oil and gas drillers, whose booming operations are gobbling up electricity and pushing prices spiking above $1,000/MWh ($1/kWh). [Energy Voice]

¶ “Judge Raps Ruling Cutting Electricity Price For Small Solar Power” • A district court judge overturned a Montana Public Service Commission ruling that reduced by more than half the price NorthWestern Energy must pay for electricity generated at small solar facilities. The judge said the PSC action was in “direct contradiction” to laws. [Great Falls Tribune]

Solar pilot project (Photo: NorthWestern Energy)

¶ “Donald Trump Said Wind Turbines Cause Cancer. Chuck Grassley Called That ‘Idiotic.'” • Iowa Sen Chuck Grassley (R), a champion of wind energy, said President Donald Trump’s comments that wind turbines cause cancer were “idiotic,” in a call with reporters. There is no evidence that wind turbine sounds cause cancer. [DesMoinesRegister.com]

¶ “Two Days After Trump Claims Wind Farms Cause Cancer, Iowa Leaders Push For More Wind Energy Investment In The State” • Gov Kim Reynolds and Iowa business leaders announced a renewed push to expand Iowa wind energy two days after President Trump said there is a link between the noise from turbines and cancer. [DesMoinesRegister.com]

Wind turbines in Iowa (Brian Powers | The Register)

¶ “Disbanded By Trump, Defiant Climate Committee Moves To Aid Cities, States” • An advisory committee on climate change that was dissolved under US President Donald Trump has launched anew as an independent entity, Science for Climate Action Network. It plans to work with governments nationwide to speed up climate action. [Sight Magazine]

¶ “US Test Nuclear Reactor May Run 40% Over Cost” • The versatile test reactor, which DOE Administrator Rick Perry pushed as the flagship of the Trump administration’s advanced nuclear power research program, could cost about 40% more than a government official estimated earlier this year, a DOE document shows. [Reuters]

Have a demonstrably wonderful day.

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April 4 Energy News

April 4, 2019

World:

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Secures First Order For Its Largest Onshore Turbine” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it had been selected by Prowind GmbH to provide three Cypress units with a rated capacity of 4.8 MW for the Elfershausen onshore wind project in Germany, marking the first order for the Cypress platform. [CleanTechnica]

GE Renewable Energy Cypress Prototype

¶ “Renewable Energy Now Accounts For A Third Of All Global Power Capacity” • Renewable energy sources now account for around a third of all global power capacity, according to new figures published this week by the International Renewable Energy Agency, which revealed 171 GW of new renewable capacity was installed in 2018. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kenya On Track For 600-MW Wind Boost” • Kenya is on track to add up to 600 MW of new wind capacity over the next six years, as more of its people get access to power for the first time, a senior GE executive said. He expects Kenya to add between 50 MW and 100 MW of wind every year for the next five to six years. [reNEWS]

GE Wind turbine (GE image)

¶ “Pakistan Eyes 30% Renewables Share By 2020” • Pakistan will seek to increase renewables in its generation mix to 30% by 2030 under a plan put forth by the country’s new government. Currently 4% of the generation is from wind, solar, small hydro, and biomass plants. It will increase hydro to 30% also, from the current 25%. [Renewables Now]

Australia:

¶ “Daintree Could Be Australia’s First Renewable Only Micro-Grid, With Help From Green Hydrogen” • Queensland’s world heritage-listed Daintree region could be the site of Australia’s first microgrid based on solar power and hydrogen gas, with federal government funds helping make the 100% renewable project shovel ready. [One Step Off The Grid]

Daintree region

¶ “Renewables Smashed Records In 2018, Says Report – And Truly Trumped Coal On Cost” • A new report called 2018 a “remarkable” year for renewable energy in Australia. Investment in large-scale projects doubled, and the cost of new wind and solar, with storage included, was officially declared cheaper than new coal power. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Goldwind Team Seals Tasmanian Wind Cash” • PowerChina and Goldwind secured project financing for the 144-MW Cattle Hill wind farm in Tasmania, Australia, from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, and Westpac Banking Corporation. The wind farm is expected to be operational this year. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Goldwind image)

US:

¶ “Idaho Power PPA Sets US Low Price Record” • Idaho Power has locked in a 20-year deal to buy electricity from a 120-MW solar farm near Twin Falls to be built by Jackpot Holdings, an Idaho-based company, for a $21.75/MWh. That figure translates to just 2.175¢/kWh and is believed to be the lowest price yet in America. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Boise Adopts 100% Renewable Electricity Goal” • The Boise City Council voted to adopt a plan to move the city’s electricity to 100% renewable sources by 2035. The Sierra Club’s Idaho Chapter and Ready for 100 Action campaign celebrated Boise becoming the first city in Idaho and 115th nationwide to adopt this goal. [North American Windpower]

Boise, Idaho

¶ “Does Windmill Noise Cause Cancer? Donald Trump Renews Campaign Against Wind Power With New Claim” • In a rambling speech, Pres Trump attacked wind power, saying the turbines undermine property values, kill birds, and even cause cancer. Scientists call Trump’s opposition to renewable energy “malicious ignorance.” [Newsweek]

¶ “University Of Georgia Orders 20 Electric Buses From Proterra” • Apparently, the University of Georgia intends to be a national leader in clean, zero-emission, smooth, quiet electric buses. It is buying twenty of them and fourteen 125-kW chargers from nearby Proterra, which has a home base in nearby South Carolina. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra Catalyst E2 electric bus

¶ “California Community Choice Aggregators Bid For Partial PG&E Takeover” • The escalating war over the potential break-up of PG&E has rallied California’s nineteen Community Choice Aggregators, which are seeking to assume a greater role as owners and/or managers of solar and other renewable energy resources in the state. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Deliveries Up 110% In Q1 2019 Vs. Q1 2018” • Tesla delivered 110% more vehicles in the 1st quarter of 2019 versus the 1st quarter of 2018. The delivery total was approximately 63,000 for Q1 2019. In North America, Model 3 was yet again the best-selling mid-sized premium sedan, selling 60% more units than the runner-up. [CleanTechnica]

In the Tesla factory

¶ “Here’s How The Green New Deal Compares To A Proposed Republican Climate Plan, The Green Real Deal” • Florida Rep Matt Gaetz has unveiled his climate plan, the Green Real Deal.  He classified his climate change resolution as a “love letter to the American innovator” and a “real, serious plan to address climate change.” [Newsweek]

¶ “Subsidies Increase For Upstate Nuclear Plants, Thanks To Low Power Prices” • The cost to subsidize Central New York nuclear plants is increasing by $57 million a year. This disproves, at least for now, state regulators’ prediction that the cost would decrease over time. The good news is, subsidies are increasing because electric prices are low. [Syracuse.com]

Have an unforgettably delightful day.

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April 3 Energy News

April 3, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Bold Thinking Needed To Dig Australia Out Of Self-Inflicted Energy Import-Export Dilemma” • Australia’s largest export commodity, coal, is in accelerating structural decline, and liquid fossil fuel imports are expanding, increasing Australia’s exposure to supply chain risks. And it is all carbon-intensive, swimming against a global tide. [RenewEconomy]

Coal train (Dan Himbrechts | AAP Image)

¶ “Nuclear Power Is Not A Viable Solution For Green New Deal” • After 60 years, despite massive subsidies, the nuclear industry is dying of its own accord. It is too expensive, too dangerous, too dirty, and takes too long to deploy. To address climate change successfully, the Green New Deal must leave nuclear power behind. [The Hill]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Four Innovative Green Technologies That Shows How Scandinavia Leads The Way In Renewable Energy” • From floating solar panels to electric planes, Scandinavia leads the way in many emerging renewable energy innovations. The region leads in developing the new green technology innovations. Here are four of them. [Compelo]

Bergen, Norway (Credit: Jim Trodel | Flickr)

World:

¶ “Portugal Eyes 3-GW Wind Boost” • Portugal expects to increase its wind generation capacity to 8 GW or 9 GW by 2030, its environment minister said. Hitting the goal would mean adding about 3 GW of additional capacity. Portugal has a goal of meeting 80% of its power demand with green energy by 2030 and 100% of 2050. [reNEWS]

¶ “Enel Starts Tuning Spanish Wind Quartet” • Enel Green Power has started construction of four wind farms in the Zaragoza region of Spain, with a combined capacity of 110 MW. Total investment in the projects is about €116 million ($130 million), Enel Green Power said. The four wind farms will generate about 375 GWh per year. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Image: Enel Green Power)

¶ “Australia: 100% Renewables Could Be Cheaper, Quicker And Easier Than Thought” • Windlab CEO Roger Price unveiled modelling from a detailed study undertaken by the company, which shows that Australia could transition to 100% renewables quickly, with less investment than most expect, and deliver a considerably lower price. [Daddyhood]

¶ “Shell Quits Major US Oil Lobby Over Climate Change” • Royal Dutch Shell said that it would not renew its membership in the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers lobby next year because of “material misalignment.” The energy company says it disagrees with the group’s policies, including those on climate change. [CNN]

Climate strike

¶ “Wind To ‘Grow 300 GW In Five Years'” • Over 300 GW of new wind capacity will be added in the next five years, according to a report from the Global Wind Energy Council. The 14th “Global Wind Report” said offshore wind development will continue to accelerate with 40 GW installed over the period, accounting for 15% of new projects. [reNEWS]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Sales Booming In China, While Gigafactory 3 Construction Going 24/7” • It is a bit harder for us to monitor Tesla activity in China than in the US and Europe. However, a Chinese American Tesla enthusiast  routinely sends us intel on Tesla deliveries, Gigafactory 3 construction in Shanghai, and other matters. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 at Tiananmen Square

¶ “Germany:Renewables Covered 54% Of Net Power Production In March” • Germany set a new record in March as more than half of its power was generated from renewables, primarily solar and wind. In the first quarter, renewables accounted for 45.4% of net electricity generation, according to energy charts published by Fraunhofer ISE. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Bank Australia Commits To 100% Renewables, Calls On Business To Lead Transition” • Bank Australia, one of the largest mutual banks in the country, is calling on Australian business to shift to renewable power. It is the second Australian company to sign on with the 100% renewable power global business initiative, RE100. [One Step Off The Grid]

Wind farm

US:

¶ “Ford Claims 370 Mile Range For Electric SUV, Brings PHEV Power To Explorer And Cargo Vans” • Ford Motor Company is about to unleash an all new SUV/crossover type of vehicle that will feature more than 370 miles of range based on the WLTP protocol. It is also introducing new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Republican Governor Appoints Florida’s First Chief Science Officer” • Republican Florida Gov Ron DeSantis appointed the state’s first chief science officer, marking a “commitment to science-based solutions.” He appointed Thomas Frazer, who has been director of the University of Florida’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. [CNN]

Marshall Islands

¶ “GE Bets On Offshore Wind As Fossil Fuels Business Stumbles” • At GE Power, which makes and services natural gas and coal-fired power plants, orders have fallen precipitously. Because of this, GE’s stock has lost two-thirds of its value since the end of 2016. So GE is turning to investing in offshore windpower and renewable energy. [CNN]

¶ “GMP Says The Company, Not Ratepayers, Assumes Risks In Proposed Multiyear Rate Plan” • Green Mountain Power wants to get away from filing traditional contested rate cases that are like court trials and can happen almost annually. It asked the Public Utility Commission for permission to implement a multiyear rate plan. [Vermont Public Radio]

Have a fundamentally perfect day.

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April 2 Energy News

April 2, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “What Does Air Pollution Do To Our Bodies?” • Scientists say the impacts of air pollution are more serious than previously thought. Over the last few decades, research has revealed how gases like NO₂ and tiny particles, known as particulate matter or PM, can reach deep into the body with the danger of causing lasting damage. [BCC]

Polluting haze

¶ “Canada Is Warming At Twice The Global Rate, Report Says” • A report says Canada’s climate has been warming at double the rate of global warming, on average, and is expected to continue to do so. The report also says since 1948, when records became available, Canada’s average land temperature increased by 1.7° C (about 3° F). [CNN]

World:

¶ “Big Oil Invested More Than $1 Billion On Misleading Climate Lobbying Since Paris” • The globe’s five largest publicly traded oil and gas majors are ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP, and Total. Together, they have invested over $1 billion in misleading climate-related branding and lobbying in the three years since the Paris Agreement. [CleanTechnica]

Shell oil rig

¶ “Singapore Gets Its First ‘Zero Energy’ New Building” • A building designed to consume only as much energy as it produces has opened its doors in Singapore. The National University of Singapore welcomed students to the six-story facility in January. It is the first “net zero energy building” to be built in the city-state. [CNN]

¶ “Breaking! Tesla Takes 31% Of Norway’s Total Passenger Auto Sales In March” • Tesla sold about 5,700 vehicles in Norway in March, out of a total of 18,375 new passenger car sales for the month. That means Tesla got around 31% of the market. Fully electric cars as a whole amounted to over 58% of Norway’s total new auto market. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla in the snow

¶ “Constant Energy To Install 50 MW Of Thai Solar For Siam Cement” • Renewable power producer Constant Energy will install 50 MW of solar PVs for Siam Cement Group PCL, a Thai industrial group. The announcement said ground-mounted, rooftop, and floating solar parks will be deployed for a number of factories in Thailand. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Germany Awards 505 MW At €0.065/kWh In First Large-Scale Solar PV Tender” • Germany’s Federal Network Agency announced the winners of its first special tender for large-scale solar PV that was held in early March. There were 121 contracts awarded totaling 505 MW of capacity at an average price of €0.065/kWh (7.3¢/kWh). [CleanTechnica]

Solar array in Germany

¶ “EU Carbon Market Emissions Fell 3.3% In 2018 As Renewable Power Rose” • Emissions regulated under Europe’s carbon market fell by 3.3% last year as renewable energy increased, data analysed by Refinitiv showed. Emissions covered by the Emissions Trading System totaled 1.757 billion tonnes of CO₂ equivalent. [ZAWYA]

¶ “Plans For Grid To Operate On Zero Carbon Power By 2025” • The UK electricity system will be able to operate with 100% clean power by 2025, the company responsible for balancing the grid announced. National Grid Electricity System Operator balances the system and ensures that customers have sufficient power supplies available. [Energy Voice]

Wind turbines in the UK (Paul Thomas | Bloomberg)

¶ “China To Fall Short Of 2020 Nuclear Capacity Target” • China is the world’s third-biggest nuclear power producer by capacity, with 45.9 GW installed by end-2018 and eleven units being built. But China will fall short of its nuclear power generation capacity target for 2020, according to a forecast from the China Electricity Council. [Reuters]

US:

¶ “Climate Change In Alaska’s New Draft Science Standards” • The Alaska state board of education approved a draft of new state science standards unanimously, and climate change is included. “The standards don’t shy away from attributing climate change to human activity, due to increased carbon emissions,” KTOO reported. [National Center for Science Education]

Teller, Alaska, threatened by rising seas (Walter Holt Rose)

¶ “Tennessee Opens 200-MW Clean Power Call” • A request for proposals for 200-MW of renewable energy has been issued by the Tennessee Valley Authority. It would need to be online by the end of 2022. TVA said it expects to triple its solar portfolio by 2021 as utility-scale solar installations become an increasingly economical option. [reNEWS]

¶ “Florida Chooses World’s Largest Solar + Storage Project To Replace Gas Plants” • Florida Power & Light’s plans to build the world’s largest solar plus battery storage project are specifically intended to accelerate the retirement and replacement of two 1970s-era natural gas generating units at the company’s nearby power plant. [RenewEconomy]

Gas power plant in Florida (Daniel Oines)

¶ “SC Johnson Plans To Shift To Geothermal Power At Its Headquarters” • SC Johnson plans to use geothermal energy to heat its Racine, Wisconsin, headquarters. The company said it will reduce the its environmental footprint and position it as “a leader in the private sector in the transition to cleaner, renewable energy sources.” [Journal Times]

¶ “Former SCANA Executives Must Face Civil Fraud Charges In Federal Court, Judge Rules” • A federal judge ruled that enough evidence exists to show a jury that former SCANA executives deliberately concealed from investors the shaky status of the doomed VC Summer nuclear power plant in Fairfield County, South Carolina. [The State]

Have a beautifully comfy day.

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April 1 Energy News

April 1, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Who Should Pay For Corporate Environmental Degradation?” • Judges are holding mine owners accountable for water problems they cause. Doesn’t it also make sense that what’s known as the “tragedy of the commons” should apply to fossil fuel companies and greenhouse gasses that have contaminated our atmosphere? [CleanTechnica]

Air pollution (Pixabay image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ocean Heat Sets A New Sky High Record: UN” • The results of the 2018 research study about the ocean heat has pushed the UN to express its concerns about the effects of global warming and how it affects marine life. Over 90% of the world’s heat that is trapped around the Earth’s atmosphere accumulates in the oceans. [Science Times]

¶ “Restore Natural Forests To Meet Global Climate Goals” • International plans to restore forests to combat global warming are flawed, according to a study published in the journal Nature. It shows that 45% of the areas that countries pledged are to be commercial  tree plantations, which have reduced ability to take up CO₂. [The Ecologist]

Deforestation (Mathias Rittgerott | Rainforest Rescue)

¶ “Huge Global Study Just Smashed One Of The Last Major Arguments Against Renewables” • Here is news for those who believe that there are few sites suitable for pumped storage. Scientists have identified 530,000 sites worldwide suitable for pumped storage, capable of storing more than enough energy to power the entire planet. [ScienceAlert]

World:

¶ “The Star Of The Geneva Motor Show: Streetscooter’s e.Go Life, Citroëns Ami One, Or Tata’s Altroz EV?” • At the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, it was not easy to pick one electric car as the undisputed winner. Having said this, there are three definite contenders: the Ami One Concept, the Altroz EV, and the e.GO with its roots in StreetScooter. [CleanTechnica]

Citroën Ami One Concept (No, this is not an April Fools joke.)

¶ “Global Lithium-Ion Battery Planned Capacity Grows 4% In A Single Month” • In just one month, the planning pipeline for 2023 battery factory capacity jumped by 43 GWh, adding over 4% to the global total (50% annualized growth). Planned annual output by 2023 will soon cross 1,000 GWh of capacity Over two-thirds of it will be in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Community Funded Solar Installations Officially Opened In Bendigo” • Solar energy projects funded by Bendigo’s local community were officially opened last week in an event attended by Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.The projects were carried out through Bendigo Sustainability Group. [Solar Quotes]

Rooftop solar power

¶ “South Africa Urged To Speed Up Transition To Money-Saving Renewable Energy ” • A study from the University of Cape Town’s Energy Research Centre states that renewable energy plus flexible generation or storage provides the least-cost pathway for the electricity sector and new coal or nuclear power plants should not be built. [Business Day]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Starting To Reach Eastern Europe” • Central and Eastern Europe are not EV paradises. EVs had a 0.25% market share of Polish car sales in 2018. That may change soon as the Polish government provides consumer support through new incentives for potential EV buyers and as the more affordable Model 3 is available. [CleanTechnica]

Teslas at the November 2018 Warsaw Motor Show

¶ “Nordex Group Bags Order For 166 Of MW Wind Turbines In Argentina” • German wind turbine maker Nordex Group has announced an order to supply 38 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 166 MW in Argentina. The contract for the wind farm was awarded by Genneia, a renewable energy Independent Power Producer. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “MHI Vestas Confirms Kindcardine Floating Gig” • MHI Vestas has confirmed that it will supply turbines to the 48-MW second phase of the Kincardine floating offshore wind farm off Scotland. The deal is for V164-9.5MW machines, which will be installed on Windfloat semi-submersible foundations in water depths of 60-80 meters. [reNEWS]

Vestas V164-9.5MW turbine (Image: MHI Vestas)

US:

¶ “Energy Dept Sees Gold In US Wind Energy ‘Dead Zones'” • Last week Pres Trump ridiculed the US wind industry during a high-profile campaign stop in Minnesota. The very next day, the DOE clapped back with another $28 million in funding for research projects aimed at accelerating US wind energy development. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Corporate Giants Target 60 GW Of US Renewable Energy” • Announced late last week (28 March), REBA has committed to creating 60 GW of renewables in the US by 2025. The Alliance will seek to accelerate the uptake of clean energy in the country from the 6.2 GW of corporate renewables deals that were issued in 2018. [edie.net]

Solar array

¶ “New York Is Expected To Become The Second State To Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags” • New York may be the second US state to ban single-use plastic bags. The ban could go into place next March. It is expected to be passed as part of the state’s 2020 budget deal, which Gov Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders said they have made. [CNN]

¶ “University Moves Forward With Renewable Energy Plan” • The University of Maine System board of trustees authorized the spending of up to $5.7 million to continue negotiations for a plan to shift the Orono campus from use of fossil fuels to renewable energy. The project will also help the local economy by creating about 50 jobs. [The Maine Campus]

Have a sustainably merry day.

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March 31 Energy News

March 31, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Debunking Myths: Five Things To Know About Green Infrastructure” • Most people think that building dams, water treatment plants, and similar works is the only solution for the problems of drought, flooding, lack of safe water, but that’s only because they have never considered the many benefits of green infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

Mangrove forest (Photo via syoclo | pixabay)

¶ “Experts Examine Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Green New Deal” • The Green New Deal may have failed a recent US Senate vote, but it still remains as a political lighting rod. Stanford experts discuss the science behind the politics. Solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, and even fossils with carbon capture are considered. [Stanford University News]

¶ “Climate Change Is Here in NJ, And We Need A Green New Deal, Environmentalist Says” • The most important division in our country today is not between red and blue states. It is between green states and not-green states, as President Trump’s war on the environment places great responsibility on states to carry the climate fight. [NJ.com]

After Superstorm Sandy (Chris Knight | The Patriot-News PN)

¶ “New Book, Consumers, Prosumers, Prosumagers, Reveals Dramatic Changes Coming” • This book, by Fereidoon Sioshansi, helps readers grasp the spirit of the times, the importance of the stakes and the uncertainty of the outcomes. The 19 essays, written by experts in their respective fields, deal with disruption of utility business models. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Massive Cost And Burden To Society And The Environment Of The Internal Combustion Engine” • The internal combustion engine has transported us for more than one hundred years. But with all its convenience, has the ICE and its necessary companion fossil fuel come to burden us more than it benefits us? [CleanTechnica]

Kuwait oil field fire (Jonas Jordan, US Army Corps of Engineers)

World:

¶ “Renewables Prove Their Power” • The electricity industry is changing. In 2017, global investment in renewable energy was $310 billion, more than double global investment in fossil-fuelled and nuclear electricity combined. Numerous detailed studies suggest that 100% renewable electricity is technically and economically feasible. [Brisbane Times]

¶ “Ukraine Raises Commissioning Of Renewable Energy Facilities By 5.4 Times” • In the first quarter of 2019, the Ukraine commissioned 861.1 MW of renewable capacity, which is 5.4 times more than in the same period last year, and 16% more than in the whole 2018. The Ukraine’s renewable energy capacity has hit about 3 GW. [Kyiv Post]

Engineer descending a staircase (Photo: Yuliana Romanyshyn)

¶ “Japan To Oppose New Or Expanded Coal-Fired Power Plants In Blow To Australian Exports” • Japan’s environment minister has announced he will “in principle” oppose any new plans to build or expand coal-fired power stations, as further signs emerge of a dramatic energy pivot by Australia’s top export market for thermal coal. [The Guardian]

¶ “ASEAN Fast Becoming A Renewable Energy Hub” • Two of the four trends expected to drive Southeast Asia’s transition to renewable energy are technological innovations and favourable government policies. Two others are consumers driving the green agenda forward and the entry of new funds into the renewable energy market. [The ASEAN Post]

Geothermal power station (Bay Ismoyo | AFP Photo)

¶ “Alberta Doctors Urge Calgarians To Consider Climate Changes At The Polls” • A group of Alberta doctors want climate change action to be top of voters’ minds as they head to the polls. They are looking to target what they’re calling “ambivalence” toward the issue. They have taken a series of ads on billboards and in a newspaper. [CBC.ca]

¶ “UN Report: Extreme Weather Displaced 2 Million People In 2018” • Extreme weather events impacted close to 62 million people in 2018 and displaced over two million as of September of that year. That is just one of the alarming findings in the UN World Meteorological Organization’s Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2018. [DeSmog]

Flooding after Hurricane Florence (National Guard photo)

US:

¶ “Judge Rules Trump Executive Order Allowing Offshore Drilling In Arctic Ocean Unlawful” • A federal judge in Alaska ruled an executive order by Pres Trump allowing offshore oil drilling of millions of acres in the Arctic Ocean is “unlawful and invalid.” The ruling means a drilling ban protecting Arctic waters will go back into effect. [CNN]

¶ “Illinois’ Legislature Is Now Pro-Climate Action: Law Repeal Invites Carbon Reduction” • Illinois has repealed the Kyoto Protocol Act of 1998, which prohibited the state from creating restrictions for the “purpose of addressing the adverse effects of climate change which in whole or in part reduces emissions of greenhouse gases.” [CleanTechnica]

Global warming (Pixabay image)

¶ “Tennessee Religious Groups Plea To Ford: Support Higher Fuel Economy Standards” • A number of religious organizations, including Tennessee Interfaith Power And Light, have presented a petition to a local Ford dealer asking Ford Motor Company to support the fuel economy standards put in place by the Obama administration. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Poll Shows Pennsylvania Voters Back Climate Action” • A wide majority of Pennsylvanians registered to vote, 67%, believe climate change is already causing problems, while a similar proportion believe the state needs to do more to fix them, a Franklin & Marshall College poll showed. The findings come amid a churn of climate news. [Altoona Mirror]

Have a persistently gleeful day.

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March 30 Energy News

March 30, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Concerning Humanity’s Future: An Interview With Nick Humphrey, Climatologist And Geoscientist” • In an interview, Meteorologist/geoscientist Nick Humphrey addresses issues of climate change and how to deal with it. He addresses its dangers and the limited abilities of geoengineering and nuclear power to address it. [SF Bay Area Indymedia]

Bomb cyclone (NOAA image)

World:

¶ “Kochi Metro To Double Its Solar Power Usage To 40%” • The second phase powering of Kochi Metro with solar power is beginning with the installation of panels at Muttom yard. This will double Metro’s solar power usage to 40%. By 2020, solar power will be in use at all stations as well as depots and thirteen Metro buildings. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fell 3% In 2018” • Greenhouse gas emissions across the United Kingdom fell by 3% in 2018, according to new figures published by the country’s government this week, bringing the country’s total emissions decrease since 1990 to 44%. Emissions in 2018 stood at to 449 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. [CleanTechnica]

Coal-burning power plant

¶ “Largest Tesla Battery Storage Installation In Asia For Japanese Railway” • Tesla completed its largest battery storage installation in Asia. The 4.2-MW/7-MWh facility in Osaka, Japan, uses 42 Tesla Powerpack battery storage units, which were installed in just 2 days following their arrival onsite. The customer is Kintetsu Railway. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “PDPU To Rope In Oil Companies To Harness Geothermal Energy” • After a successful pilot project in the Indian state of Gugerat, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University plans to tap a large geothermal source for commercially viable electricity production. It is looking to help from oil companies for drilling and exploration. [ETEnergyworld.com]

PDPU (Wikipedia image)

¶ “Deutsche Telekom Tees Up New Renewable Energy Targets” • Deutsche Telekom said that it plans to cover all of its electricity needs with renewable sources by 2021. The renewable energy goal also includes T-Mobile in the US. It revised a previous target by DT to reduce its emissions by 20% by 2020 compared to those of 2008. [FierceTelecom]

¶ “UK Renewables Generate Record Levels Of Electricity In 2018” • Provisional figures published by the UK Government show that renewable energy sources generated a record 33% of electricity in 2018, increasing by 11.8% over 2017 levels, led by a record year for wind energy generation which provided 17.1% of the UK’s electricity. [CleanTechnica]

Walney Extension

¶ “Verbund Pilots Green Hydrogen In Austria” • Austrian energy company Verbund is testing the potential for partial substitution of natural gas with hydrogen at its 838-MW Mellach power plant. The ‘green’ hydrogen, made with solar and wind power, will be mixed with natural gas to drive the two gas turbines at Mellach, Verbund said. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “US Energy Utility Ameren To Trial Blockchain” • US energy utility Ameren plans to work with Opus One Solutions to build a clean energy infrastructure and trial blockchain, according to an announcement. Ameren has 2.4 million electricity customers and 900,000 natural gas customers. Ameren is working to diversify its generation portfolio. [Ledger Insights]

Solar energy

¶ “Target Announces ‘Ambitious’ And Groundbreaking New Climate Goals” • Target, the eighth largest retailer in the US, announced new climate targets to build on the company’s previous goals, which included 100% domestic emissions reduction. It laid out a new reduction target for the company’s entire supply chain. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Talk Is Still Cheap: Illinois Coal Collapse Looms” • The hits just keep on coming for the US coal industry. In the latest development, industry insiders anticipate more mines to close or consolidate in Illinois, a leading US coal-producing state. Either way, miners in Illinois are looking down the long, dark barrel of unemployment. [CleanTechnica]

Family and coal machine

¶ “Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance Includes Apple, Alphabet, GM, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, Facebook, And Disney” • The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance includes Apple, Alphabet, General Motors, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, Facebook, and Disney, plus a fair number of other companies and nonprofit organizations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Mexico’s 100% Clean Energy Law Praised For Worker Retraining, But Community Concerns Remain” • The new energy law Gov Grisham signed, which mandates 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045, also lays out a process for closing coal-fired power plants and moving workers to new jobs. But not everyone is pleased. [Greentech Media]

Coal plant (WildEarth Guardians | Flickr)

¶ “Hawaii Regulators OK Six Solar-Plus-Storage Systems For Hawaiian Electric Cos” • The Hawaiian Electric Cos won approval from state regulators for six solar-plus-battery-storage projects on three islands. HECO said it is “the largest and lowest-cost portfolio of renewable energy resources to be assembled at one time in Hawaii.” [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

¶ “Hampshire Power Transitioning To Renewable Energy” • Hampshire Power the only local nonprofit electricity supplier in Massachusetts, supplies 72% of its customers with green energy. They are looking to increase that to 100% by use of solar, wind, and agricultural anaerobic digesters that convert organic waste into biogas. [WWLP.com]

Have a completely glorious day.

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March 29 Energy News

March 29, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Young Minds Solving Climate Change” • People of the younger generations understand that there are solutions to the problems of climate change. “The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change,” said Nobel Prize nominee Greta Thunberg. [BBC]

Waterfall in the Amazon rain forest (Getty Images)

¶ “Perry’s Approval Of Secret Authorizations For Saudi Nuclear Deal Makes Experts Nervous” • Six secret authorizations have been approved by US DOE Secretary Rick Perry for companies to sell nuclear energy technology to Saudi Arabia. But Saudi Arabia has not signed any agreement not to use enriched materials to build weapons. [ThinkProgress]

World:

¶ “After Cyclone Idai, Climate Chief Warns Of More Extreme Weather” • Extreme weather events, such as Cyclone Idai, are becoming more frequent due to climate change and will intensify if countries do not take urgent action to curb global warming, the UN secretary general warned. “No country or community is immune.” [CNN]

Flooding in Mozambique after Cyclone Idai

¶ “Soaring Electric Car Sales Around The World” • Plug-in vehicles had a banner year in 2018. Global sales totaled 2.1 million units, a 64% increase from 2017. As a share of the overall light vehicle market, cars with plugs reached 2.2% for the year, and an impressive 3.8% for the month of December, according to EV-Volumes.com. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Copenhagen Way Ahead Of Official Plans – Electric Buses To Enter Operation 6 Years Early” • The media outlet TV2 Lorry reports that the citizen representation of the municipality of Copenhagen has approved phasing out all diesel buses in the city before the end of 2025, starting with the budget of 2019. This is six years ahead of schedule. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus in Copenhagen (Leif Jørgensen, Creative Commons)

¶ “It Took Just Two Summers For Renewables To Replace Hazelwood” • For CO₂ pollution, Hazelwood was the worst coal power station in Australia, but it was very important for power supplies. The AEMO said it would take eight years to replace it with a coal plant. But it took two summers to replace it with wind and solar. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “New Wind Farm To Be New Zealand’s First Large-Scale Generation Since 2014” • New Zealand electric utility Mercury will develop the country’s first large-scale generation capacity addition since 2014 with a 119-MW wind farm to be built in the south of the North Island. It has been in the development pipeline for 15 years. [RenewEconomy]

New Zealand wind energy

¶ “City Of Sydney To Go 100% Renewable For Electricity” • In a decision endorsed by Council this week, the City of Sydney has committed to using 100% renewable energy sources to meet its electricity needs. The City has already installed solar panels on dozens of its buildings and reduced electric consumption by 26% since 2006. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Vestas Feeds Subsidy-Free First In Denmark” • Vestas has won a turbine order totalling 17-MW from Hirtshals Havnefond for Denmark’s first utility-scale subsidy-free wind farm. The project, which will be located on the waterfront in the Port of Hirtshals in the northwestern part of the country, will feature four V136-4.2MW machines. [reNEWS]

Vestas V136-4.2MW (Vestas image)

US:

¶ “‘I Know A Lot About Wind,’ Trump Says. A Government FAQ Proves He Doesn’t” • “If it doesn’t blow, you can forget about television for that night,” Trump said, adding, “I know a lot about wind.” But the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy says that the power grid is capable of handling variations of wind energy. [USA TODAY]

¶ “Corporate Giants Form Alliance To Buy Renewable Energy” • Some of the top manufacturers in the US, consumer companies, and high technology firms are launching Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance. The trade organization is expected to create a boom in renewable energy purchases throughout corporate America. [Kallanish Energy]

Solar collectors in California (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Energy Industry Says NH Could Soon See Offshore Wind, Modernized Grid, More EV Chargers” • Energy industry players have announced big plans for the future of New Hampshire’s electric grid, including offshore wind. This came even as some progressive energy ideas continue to stir controversy in state government. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶ “Tucson Electric Power To Double Its Renewable Energy Output With New Mexico Wind Project” • Tucson Electric Power is building its biggest renewable-energy project yet. It is the massive Oso Grande Wind Project in southeastern New Mexico, which will help the company more than double its generation of renewable energy by 2021. [Arizona Daily Star]

New Mexico wind turbines (AE Araiza | Arizona Daily Star)

¶ “DTE Speeds Move To Renewable Energy: What It Means For Customers” • DTE Energy CEO Gerry Anderson announced a more aggressive schedule for the Detroit-based power company to reduce its carbon output and rely more on renewable energy sources including wind and solar. DTE will close its coal-burning plants early. [Detroit Free Press]

¶ “Florida Charges Ahead With 400-MW Mega-Battery” • Florida Power & Light is building the world’s largest solar-powered battery, four times the capacity of the world’s largest operating battery in South Australia. The 409-MW facility, to be commissioned in late 2021, will be charged by an existing FPL PV plant in Manatee County. [reNEWS]

Have a marvelously superior day.

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March 28 Energy News

March 28, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Greenland’s Most Critical Glacier Is Suddenly Gaining Ice, But That Might Not Be A Good Thing” • Greenland’s largest and most critical glacier, Jakobshavn, is gaining ice, according to NASA researchers. This might sound like good news, but the reason for the ice accumulation might spell disaster in the long run. [CNN]

Glacier (Joe Raedle, Getty Images Europe, Getty Images)

¶ “Awesome Solid State Battery Breakthrough News” • In theory, solid state batteries will cost less, last long, and be able to go through more charging cycles than traditional lithium-ion batteries. They may have higher energy density, weigh less, and be smaller. The need no cobalt, and they do not explode or catch fire. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “How Hydrogen Is Transforming These Tiny Scottish Islands” • Scotland’s Orkney islands produce more clean energy than their inhabitants can use, so they make hydrogen for fuel with the excess energy. If all goes according to plan, by 2021 the islands will have the world’s first sea-going car-and-passenger ferry fueled only by hydrogen. [BBC]

Wave energy generator (Credit: Alamy)

¶ “Global Energy Demand Increased 2.3% In 2018, Pushing Energy-Related Emissions Up By 1.7%” • Global energy demand increased by 2.3% in 2018, the fastest growth this decade, driven by a strong global economy and increased heating and cooling needs. This drove global energy-related CO₂ emissions up by 1.7% to 33 gigatonnes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “RenewableUK Seeks Plan For Large-Scale Deployment Of Floating Wind” • RenewableUK, the trade body for the wind and marine energy industries in the UK, launched a new industry group, the Floating Wind Steering Group, with the intention of developing a strategy for the large-scale deployment of floating wind technology. [CleanTechnica]

Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating wind farm

¶ “Vestas ‘Tops’ 2018 Turbine Orders Chart” • Global wind turbine orders grew 31% in 2018, with Danish manufacturer Vestas securing the most deals, according to a new report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The report, “Global Wind Turbine Order Analysis: Q1 2019,” said Vestas booked 14.2 GW of orders in 2018. [reNEWS]

¶ “Strong Support For South Australia’s 100% Renewables Target” • Residents of South Australia have shown overwhelming support for the 100% Renewable Energy Target by 2030, a poll indicates. Of those surveyed, 69% said they were in favor of the target regardless of their political affiliation, The Australia Institute found. [pv magazine Australia]

Hornsdale wind farm and power reserve (Image: Neoen)

¶ “IEA: One-Quarter Of Global Power Is Renewables” • Over 25% of global power output is from renewable sources, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency. The paper “Global Energy & CO₂ Status Report,” said renewables grew by 4% in 2018, representing almost one-quarter of global energy demand growth. [reNEWS]

¶ “East Java Sees Geothermal As The Most Relevant Renewable Energy” • For Java, geothermal energy is the most relevant form of renewable energy, according to East Java’s Deputy Governor, who said, “As much as 40% of the total geothermal energy in the world is in Indonesia.” East Java has thirteen potential sites for geothermal development. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Indonesia (Sakuntala Stei | Flickr, creative commons)

¶ “Making Metals With Renewable Energy” • In what’s been described as a first-of-a-kind project, Element 25, an Australian company specializing in manganese production, will test such renewable energy solutions as wind and solar for powering the electrowinning processes in the production of electrolytic manganese metal. [pv magazine Australia]

US:

¶ “Electric Vehicles Are Driving Rates Down: How Do EVs Impact Electricity Rates?” • Some people believe that charging EVs will necessarily stress the electric grid, resulting in costly upgrades that drive up electric rates. Analysis conducted by Synapse Energy Economics found the opposite has been observed in the real world. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

¶ “Trump’s Clean Car Rollbacks Would Cost Drivers More Money, Finds Surprised Bush-era Official” • A study by President George W Bush’s anti-regulatory czar found that the current fuel efficiency and emissions standards are good for the economy as a whole, mostly due to the significant savings American drivers would see at the pump. [DeSmog]

¶ “US Devotes More Coal-Killing Dollars To Cut Solar Costs” • Bad news for the US coal industry just keeps rolling in, and now natural gas stakeholders also have a reason to fret. The US Department of Energy has just announced a new $130 million round of funding aimed at driving the cost of solar power down, down, down. Ouch! [CleanTechnica]

Concentrating solar power

¶ “Mitsubishi Launches US Renewable Energy Subsidiary” • Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas has launched Oriden, a US-based renewable energy solutions provider. Located in Pittsburgh, Oriden will be fully backed by MHPS to pursue end-to-end offerings of renewable energy solutions for customers independently. [PV-Tech]

¶ “Clock Ticking On Pennsylvania Nuke Subsidy Bill Hearings” • Pennsylvania lawmakers proposed a $500 million plan to subsidize the state’s nuclear fleet, but hearings on the issue still appear to be weeks away. They do not have much time. Exelon promised to begin the four-month deactivation process for Three Mile Island on June 1. [RTO Insider]

Have an agreeably great day.

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March 27 Energy News

March 27, 2019

World:

¶ “‘Doomsday Vault’ Town Warming Faster Than Any Other On Earth” • Longyearbyen is the world’s northernmost town, just 800 miles from the North Pole. It is the capital of a cluster of Norwegian islands called Svalbard and home to the “Doomsday Vault.” It is warming faster than any other town on Earth, and the warming is a problem. [CNN]

Entrance to the doomsday vault

¶ “European Countries Are The Most Ready For Global Energy Transition” • Sweden, Switzerland, and Norway lead European countries judged by the World Economic Forum as those most ready for the global energy transition. Canada, Australia, and South Korea are the only Advanced Economies performing well below the average. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lion Electric Launches A Class 8 Truck With Up To 400-Km Range” • Lion Electric, based in Canada, is adding a new full electric class 8 truck to its lineup. It will be available with up to 400 km of range per charge and will be in production in the fall of this year. Lion Electric’s earlier vehicles include electric school buses. [CleanTechnica]

Lion8

¶ “Greens Lift 2030 Renewable Target To 100%, Would Revive Carbon Price” • Top Greens climate policies for the upcoming Australian federal election are carbon-free electricity by 2030, a halt to thermal coal exports by 2030, and an economy-wide carbon price. After the May poll, the Greens could hold the balance of power in the Senate. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Indonesia Charts A New, Low-Carbon Development Path. Will Other Countries Follow Suit?” • Indonesia’s socio-economic performance has been impressive. In two decades, the country cut extreme poverty in half and doubled per capita income. A government report says it can expect more improvement from going green. [CleanTechnica]

Indonesian farmers (International Rice Research Institute)

¶ “Germany’s Uniper Feeds Wind Power-To-Methane Into Gas Grid” • German utility Uniper has started producing methane gas derived from wind power and feeding it into the gas pipeline networks at its Falkenhagen site as the country seeks wider uses for renewable energy. The green methane is a replacement for natural gas. [Reuters]

¶ “Battery And Offshore Wind Costs ‘Tumble’” • Prices for lithium-ion battery storage as well as offshore wind have fallen more sharply than other clean generation technologies in the past year, according to BloombergNEF. The price for energy from lithium-ion batteries has fallen 35% since the first half of 2018, to $187/MWh. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (reNEWS image)

US:

¶ “Utilities ‘Driving’ US Solar-Storage Growth” • Electricity produced by storage-plus-renewables plants is now cheaper in some states than natural gas, with utilities driving adoption of the technology, a report from Navigant Research says. Renewables combined with storage have become competitive with combined cycle gas plants. [reNEWS]

¶ “Green New Deal Stalls In Senate After Largely Political Debate” • Senators had a spirited debate over the merits of the Green New Deal, a broad policy proposal from liberal Democrats to battle climate change and other social ills. But no one was willing to vote to advance the measure before final legislative language was written, and it stalled. [CNN]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

¶ “Updated Nissan Leaf Battery – 50% More Battery” • While the 2019 Nissan Leaf is part of the second-generation model of the best-selling electric vehicle, the battery pack inside the new Leaf Plus is actually more like a fifth-generation unit. The new battery is 62 kWh, and designing it to fit into the space of its 40-kWh predecessor was not easy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Square Roots And Gordon Food Service Announce First Urban Farm Campus Location” • Urban farming experts Square Roots and food distribution giant Gordon Food Service announced their first urban farm campus will be in Wyoming, Michigan. Throughout the US and Canada, the demand for locally grown food is growing. [CleanTechnica]

Tending vegetables (Square Roots photo)

¶ “Wonderful Sets Goal Of 100% Use Of Renewable Energy By 2025” • Agricultural giant The Wonderful Co, which is local to southern California, plans to announce that it will power its operations with only renewable energy by 2025, joining a growing list of companies moving away from fossil fuels for its electricity. [The Bakersfield Californian]

¶ “A Senate Bill Would Reclassify An Oregon Garbage Incinerator As A Renewable Energy Plant” • A bill before the Oregon Senate would reclassify a Covanta waste-to-energy incinerator in Brooks that burns 550 tons of garbage a day as a renewable energy plant. The bill is opposed by environmental groups and citizens. [Willamette Week]

Incinerator (Antoine Taveneaux)

¶ “Idaho Power Aims To End Use Of Coal And Natural Gas” • Idaho Power has announced a bold goal to operate its grid entirely on clean energy by 2045. Only six years ago, Idaho Power used coal for more than 40% of the power it generates for its 560,000 customers across Southern Idaho and part of eastern Oregon. [Idaho Statesman]

¶ “Start Of New Era As Decommissioning Process Begins At Oyster Creek” • Retiring a nuclear plant includes powering down the reactor, removing and cooling the spent fuel, and then loading that fuel into steel-reinforced concrete for what’s known as dry storage. The job of decommissioning will take at least eight years. [NJ Spotlight]

Have a fantabulously amusing day.

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March 26 Energy News

March 26, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “NASA Is Using Lasers In Space To Measure The Size Of Trees On Earth” • A laser imaging system on the International Space Station provides highly refined measurements to calculate the size and shape of individual trees from 250 miles above the Earth. It will help scientists gauge how much carbon is stored in forests. [CleanTechnica]

Engineer inspecting the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation system (Desiree Stover | NASA Goddard)

¶ “Can Soil Microbes Slow Climate Change?” • Some climate experts say that to combat its threat, it is now imperative for society to use carbon farming techniques that extract carbon dioxide from the air and store it in soils. A critical question is whether scientists can find ways to store more carbon while also increasing agricultural yields. [Scientific American]

World:

¶ “Slashing Fossil Fuel Use Could Save Millions Of Lives At Risk Due To Air Pollution, Study Says” • Air pollution causes many premature deaths, which can cause heart, lung and other diseases. Worldwide, 3.61 million people die each year due to outdoor pollution caused by fossil fuels, an international team of researchers estimates. [CNN]

Air pollution (Fred Dufour | AFP | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Copenhagen Net Zero By 2025 Plan May Depend More On Politics Than Technology” • Copenhagen has an ambitious plan to become the first net zero capital city by 2025. It has already reduced carbon emission by 42% compared to 2005. The biggest obstacle to reaching its goal is not technology. It is political opposition. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Finns Take Local Wind Honours” • CPC Finland secured the rights to develop the 120-MW Lakiakangas 3 wind farm in Finland’s first technology neutral renewable energy tender. The 23-turbine project will be located near Isojoki and Kristinestad in the southern Ostrobothnia region. Commissioning is planned for early 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)

¶ “Global Coal Use Up As Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rise” • Greenhouse gas emissions from energy production rose strongly again last year, according to new data from the International Energy Agency. A young fleet of coal-fired power plants in Asia accounts for a large proportion of the increase, but energy demand is growing, too. [The Guardian]

¶ “EDF Greens French Cash And Carry” • EDF subsidiary Agregio is to supply cash and carry company Metro France with 100% renewable energy under a power purchase agreement. Agregio will source power from a wind farm operated by Eurowatt for the sole benefit of Metro France.The three-year agreement covers 25 GWh of electricity. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (EDF image)

¶ “China Building Floating Nuclear Power Plants To Power Ocean Colony Of Artificial Islands In ‘sinister Military Sea Grab’” • China  is developing a fleet of floating nuclear plants as part of plans to tighten its grip on the South China Sea. The £300 million shipborne stations will bring clean energy, heat, and water to remote islands and oil rigs. [The Sun]

US:

¶ “The State(s) Of Distributed Solar – 2018 Update” • As renewable energy grows, new solar PV capacity, including from small-scale distributed solar systems (such as rooftop arrays), and shared community solar gardens have played a significant role in the overall transition to clean energy. A map shows a state-by-state breakdown. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “West Virginia Rethinks Quashing Solar Net Metering” • West Virginia has called for a time-out in its four-year effort to rewrite solar net metering rules to the detriment of both solar hosts and solar installers. This comes thanks to evidence that solar power benefits all customers and a massive campaign by Solar United Neighbors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “30 Years After Exxon Valdez, New Perspectives On Fossil Fuel Dangers” • On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez, carrying 53 million gallons of oil, hit a reef in the Gulf of Alaska, beginning an ecological nightmare. But today, the terms ‘oil extraction’ and ‘disaster’ today, evoke images of a more global and destructive force. [CleanTechnica]

Cleanup after the Exxon Valdez spill (Source: NOAA)

¶ “Shutting Down Almost Every Coal Plant And Swapping For Renewables Would Save Money, Report Finds” • Few reports make really clear how much US coal is a dead man walking. Energy Innovation analysis shows that it would cost less to tear down 74% of US coal plants and replace them with renewables than to let them keep operating. [Gizmodo]

¶ “Consumers Energy To Seek 5 GW Of Solar By 2030 Under Clean Energy Plan” • Consumers Energy filed a clean energy plan with Michigan regulators that includes a promise to add 5 GW of solar through competitive bidding by 2030, as part of its goal to cut carbon emissions by 90% and phase out all coal-fired power by 2040. [Greentech Media]

Large solar array

¶ “Puerto Rico Has Just Passed Its Own Green New Deal” • Puerto Rico has passed a bill to radically transform the island’s economy with renewable energy as the central pillar. Its legislature approved Senate Bill 1121, the Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act, which will set the island on a path to 100% renewable energy by 2050. [Forbes]

¶ “After Federal Inaction, States Consider Support For Nuclear” • For months, state legislatures and the energy industry waited for President Trump to make good on his campaign promises to subsidize coal and nuclear plants. With no action there, some states are taking matters into their own hands by developing subsidy plans of their own. [InsideSources]

Have a stunningly gorgeous day.

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