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

December 13, 2019

2,751 regular daily posts, linking 35,601 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 December 13, out of 97 US-licensed power reactors (including Three Mile Island, which has been closed down), 8 were at reduced output and 2 not operating.

§ Video: Energy Week #349: 12/12/2019: A system with 1,190 MW of solar and 590 MW of storage was approved for Nevada. Flooding from atmospheric rivers costs the US over $1 billion per year. A mountain climber said he is shocked by the speed of climate changes. BMW is the first car maker to promise a net-zero future. Soil can be a weapon against climate change. GMP is starting to let homeowners sell electricity to businesses. And there is more.


December 13 Energy News

December 13, 2019

COP25:

¶ “Crunch Time At Climate Talks Amid Discord On Carbon Markets” • Officials from almost 200 countries are poring over revised drafts, preparing for a last push at an annual UN summit to finalize rules for the Paris climate accord amid signs that resolving the issue of international carbon markets may be postponed for another year. [RiverBender.com]

Greenpeace activists at COP25 (Paul White | AP photo)

¶ “COP25 Hears Of Sharp Rise In Climate Court Cases Against Governments, Corporations” • Climate litigation against governments, corporations and fossil fuel companies continued to increase across the world during 2019 with more than 1,000 cases in train, according to litigants who at COP25 outlined a range of high profile cases being pursued. [Irish Times]

¶ “Youth Climate Activists Storm COP25 Stage” • Young activists took over and occupied the main stage at the COP25 climate conference in Madrid, Spain. They demanded world leaders commit to far more ambitious action to address the ecological emergency. “World leaders have left us no choice,” said 14-year-old Alexandria Villaseñor of New York. [EcoWatch]

Young activists (Pablo Blazquez Dominguez | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Rumor: Tesla Gigafactory 4 Slated To Produce 500,000 Cars A Year And Employ 10,000” • Though it has not been confirmed by Tesla, the German newspaper Bild reports that when fully completed, the new Tesla factory in Germany will be capable of building up to half a million vehicles a year and employ as many as 10,000 workers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Confirms Debut Deal For Onshore Titan” • Siemens Gamesa confirmed an order for 35 of its 5.8-155 machines for the 231MW Skaftasen wind farm from developer Arise AB and investor Foresight Group. The machines have flexible power rating up to 6.6 MW. Installation will take place in the second quarter of 2021. [reNEWS]

Siemens Gamesa wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “47.86 GW Of Renewable Energy Capacity Installed In Last Six Years” • A total of 47.86 GW of renewable energy capacity has been installed in India during the six years from March, 2014 to October, 2019. The Government has a target of installing 175 GW of renewable  capacity by the year 2022, including 100 GW from solar, and 60 GW from wind. [pv magazine India]

¶ “New Report Envisages 10-Fold Increase In Global Wind Power By 2050” • An International Renewable Energy Agency report says deep electrification, accelerated deployment of renewables, and greater energy efficiency, can together achieve over 90% of the energy-related CO₂ emissions reductions needed by 2050 to meet Paris climate targets. [UN Environment]

Block Island wind farm (Ionna 22, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Supply Turbines For Sweden’s Latest Cypress-Equipped Wind Farm” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it was selected by Holmen as the wind turbine supplier of 26 turbines for the 143-MW Blåbergsliden wind farm, Sweden. The project is GE’s second Cypress-equipped wind farm in Sweden. [POWER Magazine]

¶ “Rather Than Fight The Power, This German Town Went Fully Renewable” • The German town of Wolfhagen is particularly demonstrative of what can be achieved when municipalities adopt innovative approaches to the ownership and governance of energy infrastructure. Significant lessons can be drawn from Wolfhagen’s hybrid ownership model. [Inverse]

Wolfhagen (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Tokyo 2020 Showpiece Event Being Billed As ‘Recovery Olympics’, But For Many In Fukushima Life Remains A Struggle” • With the Fukushima nuclear disaster nearly nine years past, Tokyo organizers and Japan’s government are calling upcoming Olympic games the “Recovery Olympics.” But many Fukushima evacuees still cannot go home. [Firstpost]

US:

¶ “Moorhead Homeowners Can Go With 100% Renewable Energy In 2020” • Minnesota utility Moorhead Public Service will give customers a 100% renewable energy option next year. The utility reports that 63% of its power is already renewable, but by paying 0.5¢/kWh extra, customers will get 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. [INFORUM]

Wind turbine

¶ “US Solar Energy Industry In A Slump? Not So Fast!” • The 2019 third-quarter report from the Solar Energy Industries Association shows a strong year-over-year growth rate of 45% for the quarter. That’s not the most significant thing about it, though. The real action is in some of the 15 states reporting their best quarter ever. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Natural Gas Plant Replacing Los Angeles Coal Power To Be 100% Hydrogen By 2045: LADWP” • Los Angeles’ municipal utility is planning to convert a Utah power operation from coal to natural gas, and then to 100% hydrogen by 2045. The gas-fired generation is replacing a 1,800-MW coal plant, which will cease operations in 2025. [Utility Dive]

Coal-burning power plant (Phil Konstantin | Wikipedia)

¶ “EDF Renewables North America And Array Technologies Announce New Partnership Deal” • Array Technologies, makers of single-axis solar tracking, and EDF Renewables North America announced a new partnership between the two companies for the purchase of single-axis solar tracking equipment for nearly 2 GW of PVs over the next several years. [Business Wire]

¶ “Mortenson Chosen To Add 750 MW To Wyoming’s Wind Energy Portfolio” • Rocky Mountain Power chose Minnesota-based developer Mortenson, to build the TB Flats I & II Wind Energy Project and the Ekola Flats Wind Energy Project in Medicine Bow, Wyoming. The two projects will have a combined capacity of 750 MW. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have a gloriously gorgeous day.

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December 12 Energy News

December 12, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Methane Pulse Detected From South Sudan Wetlands” • Scientists think they can now explain at least part of the recent growth in methane levels in the atmosphere. Studies point to a big jump in emissions coming from just the wetlands of South Sudan. Microbes in saturated soil produce methane, and soils in the area are saturated. [BBC]

Fishing in the Sudd wetland (Karen Conniff, Wikimedia)

World:

¶ “Latest EDGAR Report Finds Concern Over Rising Global Carbon Emissions” • The European Commissions’ Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research released the 2018 statistics on global carbon emissions. They are alarming. They have increased enough that reaching targets laid out for 2030 will be exceedingly difficult. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Time Person Of The Year: Climate Crisis Activist Greta Thunberg” • Time magazine has chosen Greta Thunberg, the Swedish climate activist, as person of the year. Thunberg, 16, is the youngest person ever chosen. “Thunberg has become the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet,” Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote. [CNN]

Time Person of the Year

¶ “India Assures Global Investors Of Payment Security In Green Deals” • A payment security mechanism has been put in place to protect green energy investments, a official in India’s new and renewable energy ministry told investors. The investors are concerned about the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to have a relook at contracts. [Livemint]

¶ “Cape Town Seeks Urgent Permission To Buy Renewable Energy” • The City of Cape Town is pressing ahead on demands that municipalities be allowed to buy renewable energy from independent power producers in accordance with the new generation capacity regulations in the Electricity Generation Act. South Africa is in an energy crisis. [ITWeb]

Cape Town

¶ “Leaders ‘Criminally Negligent’ If They Ignore Climate Science, Says Al Gore” • Former US Vice President Al Gore told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, “It is criminally negligent for the generation of leaders in power today to stick their heads in the sand and ignore what the scientists are telling us in ever more dire terms.” [Reuters]

¶ “Almost Two-Thirds Of Australia’s Coal-Fired Generation Will Be Out By 2040, AEMO Says” • Old Australian coal-fired power plants could be shuttered earlier than expected if competition from renewable generators and carbon budgets render them uneconomic, according to a new assessment by the Australian Energy Market Operator. [The Guardian]

Solar array (Mick Tsikas | AAP)

¶ “100% Renewables Means 95% Less Water Consumption For Conventional Power Generation” • According to a new study by Finland’s LUT University, solar PV consumes between 2% and 15% of the water that coal and nuclear power plants use to produce the same amount of electricity; for wind, this percentage ranges from 0.1% to 14%. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “UK Wind Generates New Record” • Wind power in the UK set a new generation record on 10 December of almost 17 GW, just 48 hours after setting the previous record, according to National Grid data. National Grid said that wind powered electric power generation hit has high as 16,873 MW between 7:30 pm and 8:00 pm on that day. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines in Scotland (reNEWS image)

US:

¶ “Chevron Takes A $10 Billion Hit From Cheap Oil And Gas Prices” • America’s abundance of crude oil and natural gas is forcing Chevron to reduce the value of its energy portfolio. Chevron, the nation’s number two oil company, plans to take a $10 billion to $11 billion charge to reflect a gloomier outlook for oil and gas prices. [CNN]

¶ “Renewable Developers Raise Eyebrows Over GMP Green Energy Trading App” • An effort by Vermont’s largest electric utility to make it easier for business customers to buy green power is meeting resistance from some renewable energy proponents. This is because the app allows trades from already established renewable energy systems. [vtdigger.org]

Green Mountain Power solar array (Glenn Russell | VTDigger)

¶ “JFK Airport Gets NYC’s Largest Solar Energy Project” • The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced New York City’s largest solar energy project, with 7.5 MW of PVs and 13 MW of storage capacity. The installation at John F. Kennedy International Airport, was awarded to SunPower and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power Group. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dominion Energy, Vanguard Renewables Partner On Dairy Renewable Natural Gas” • Dominion Energy and Vanguard Renewables announced a nationwide strategic partnership of over $200 million to convert methane from US dairy farms to produce renewable natural gas to heat homes, power businesses, and fuel vehicles. [Biomass Magazine]

Vanguard Renewables facility (Business Wire image)

¶ “Baker Hughes Joins Growing List Of Companies Getting Power From Renewables” • Houston oil field services company Baker Hughes has joined a growing list of companies such as AT&T, Ikea, Google, and Amazon that get their power from renewable energy sources. Executives signed a 10 year renewable energy agreement with EDF. [Houston Chronicle]

¶ “With New Agreement, Fairfax County Schools, Buildings To Expand Solar Power Infrastructure” • Solar systems will be coming to dozens of public schools and facilities in Fairfax County, Virginia, with a large-scale renewable energy initiative. The county unveiled multiple power purchase agreements with solar service providers. [Reston Now]

Have a fantabulously copacetic day.

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December 11 Energy News

December 11, 2019

COP25:

¶ “Major emitters accused of blocking progress at UN talks” • Delegates from developing countries have reacted angrily to what they see as attempts to block progress at the COP25 meeting in Madrid. One negotiator told the BBC that the talks had failed to find agreement on a range of issues because of the blocking actions of some large emitters. [BBC News]

Climate protesters (Getty Images)

¶ “Innovative Hydropower Project Unveiled At COP25” • A major new energy innovation project to show how smart hydropower technologies can deliver a low-carbon, reliable, and resilient power system has been launched. The €18 million initiative was announced by the European Commission and a consortium of 19 partners at COP25. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Canada Applauded For Zero Carbon Commitment At COP25” • Climate advocates are applauding an international pledge by Canada to introduce legislation for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson made the pledge in a speech at the opening of high-level negotiations at COP25 in Madrid. [National Observer]

Environment Minister Wilkinson at COP25 (National Observer)

World:

¶ “Philippine Study Shows Evidence Of ‘Criminal Intent’ By Oil Majors, Says CIEL” • Evidence from a four-year investigation led the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines to find that 47 oil majors could be found legally and morally liable for human rights violations arising from anthropogenic climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Thick Bushfire Smoke Blankets Sydney, Causing Air Pollution To Rise 11 Times Above ‘Hazardous’ Levels” • Smoke from bushfires covered Sydney, creating unhealthy air quality conditions measuring up to 11 times the “hazardous” level. The New South Wales director of environmental health called the haze “unprecedented,” Reuters reported. [CNN]

Sydney Opera House (Rick Rycroft | AP)

¶ “The Rule Of Climate Law – Denmark Shows How It’s Done” • Binding climate legislation is now agreed upon in the Danish parliament. An astounding 167 seats out of a total of 179 agree that any sitting government in the country is now obliged to work actively towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70% in 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Denmark Unveils 10-GW Energy Islands Initiative” • The Danish government is seeking possible locations for one or more energy islands that could support at least 10 GW of offshore wind. Energy islands could be either actual islands or artificial platforms. They will act as hubs for electricity generation from surrounding offshore wind farms. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Ørsted image)

¶ “UAE Developer Seals 700-MW Egypt Green Build” • UAE-based AMEA Power is to build a 500-MW wind farm and 200-MW solar plant in Egypt after securing power purchase agreements with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company for the projects. The solar farm and wind farm are due to be online in 2021 and 2023 respectively. [reNEWS]

¶ “‘World’s First’ Fully-Electric Commercial Flight Takes Off” • An all-electric powered seaplane has taken flight for a test flight in Vancouver. It was the first flight of what the operators say is the aviation industry’s “first all-electric commercial fleet.” The six-passenger Harbour Air aircraft is fitted with a magniX electric motor system. [BBC]

Takeoff (Harbour Air And magniX)

¶ “The Arctic Saw Near-Record Heat Again In 2019. It’s An Ominous Sign For The Future Of The Planet” • In 2019, average air temperatures in the Arctic were 1.9°C (3.42 °F) above normal, the second-hottest recorded since 1900, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual Arctic Report Card. [CNN]

US:

¶ “Green Mountain Power Introduces Plan That Allows Homeowners To Sell Solar Power Direct To Businesses” • Green Mountain Power is creating a platform that will allow residential customers with rooftop solar systems to sell the electricity they generate directly to businesses for the first time in America. The program is currently limited in scope. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop PVs in Vermont (PenelopeIsMe, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Court Clears ExxonMobil Of Misleading Investors About Cost Of Climate Change” • A New York judge ruled that ExxonMobil did not mislead investors about how it accounted for the cost of climate change regulations. A spokesman for the New York attorney general’s office told CNN the state is reviewing Judge Ostrager’s decision. [CNN]

¶ “93-MWh Tesla Megapack Coming To Alaska To Save Customers Cash ” • A new 46.5-MW, 93-MWh Tesla Megapack system installed in Alaska by the Homer Electric Association, Inc, will be used to offset electricity that otherwise would have come from a peaker plant. The new battery pack will be installed at the Soldotna Power Plant. [CleanTechnica]

Homer City Hall (michaelh2001, Wikipedia, public domain)

¶ “UArizona, TEP Renewable Energy Project Proposal Approved” • The Arizona Corporation Commission approved a renewable energy project of the University of Arizona and Tucson Electric Power. UArizona will be the largest research university in the country to have a plan in place to offset the entirety of it’s greenhouse gases. [KVOA Tucson News]

¶ “Georgia Power Lowers 2 Million Pound Shield Building Roof On Plant Vogtle Nuclear Reactor” • Georgia Power completed a pair of safety milestones related to the $25 billion Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project. The company released a video of the 2 million pound roof of the Vogtle Unit 3 shield building being set into place. [Atlanta Business Chronicle]

Have a radically nice day.

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December 10 Energy News

December 10, 2019

COP25:

¶ “Without Trump’s Help, America’s Other Leaders Go It Alone In The Fight Against Climate Change” • President Trump may have the US government stepping away from the climate crisis, but a large group of US cities, states, universities, and businesses that are still committed to holding global warming below 2°C. And they are represented at COP25. [CNN]

Nancy Pelosi at COP25 (Andrea Comas | AP)

¶ “Investors Urge Governments To Step Up Climate Ambition” • Institutional investors managing more than $37 trillion in assets urged governments to step up efforts to tackle the global climate crisis in a statement issued at COP25. They want governments to phase out coal, to stop subsidies for fossil fuels, and to tax carbon emissions. [The Maritime Executive]

¶ “Put Children At Heart Of Tackling Crisis, Says UN” • Children and young people must be at the center of dealing with the climate crisis, the UN and campaigners said, as climate talks in Madrid enter their second week with little concrete progress. A number of young people are at the conference to put pressure on negotiators. [The Guardian]

Greta Thunberg and other young activists (Andrea Comas | AP)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Newly Identified Jet-Stream Pattern Could Imperil Global Food Supplies” • During the summer of 2018, highly amplified jet stream patterns remained stuck in place for unusually long periods of time, producing disastrous weather patterns. The patterns are believed to be twenty times more likely because of climate change. [Scientific American]

¶ “Flora To Fuel: Could Wind-Powered Algae Make Bioreactors Competitive?” • The BioEconomy project has a bioreactor using LED technology to grow microalgae. The  cultivation system allows integration with local renewable energy grids. Wind turbines can power photo-bioreactors that grow algae, which can then be used to make biofuels. [Power Technology]

Microalgae (Photo: NEON ja, colored by Richard Bartz)

World:

¶ “NSW Energy Minister To Renewables Opponents: ‘Enjoy Your Kodak Moment’” • New South Wales energy minister Matt Kean believes missing the economic opportunities of embracing renewable energy would be “negligent.” He told those with vested interests in the fossil fuel sector to get ready to “enjoy their Kodak moment.” [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Oil Producers And Companies In Carbon-Intensive Industries ‘Will Lose Half Their Value Within Ten Years'” • The UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment warns that carbon-intensive firms could lose 43% of their market value with the “inevitable policy response” to the climate emergency. Very progressive companies could see gains of 33%. [iNews]

Thermal generating plant (Photo: Volker Hartmann | Getty)

¶ “Renewables ‘To Become France’s Main Energy Source By 2027’” • Renewable energy is forecast to become France’s dominant energy source by 2027, according to an analysis by GlobalData. This would see it take the lead from nuclear power, which is currently the country’s most important electricity generating technology. [Energy Live News]

¶ “UK Hits Renewable Energy Record As Wind Shatters 16-GW Threshold” • The UK hit an all-time renewable energy record as wind generation broke the 16-GW threshold Sunday. According to National Grid, onshore and offshore wind generated up to 43.7% share of electricity, more than double the 20.5% that was produced by nuclear plants. [Energy Live News]

Wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Thousands Were Paid To Use Extra Renewable Electricity On Windy Weekend” • Thousands of households were paid to use extra renewable electricity over the weekend as windfarms generated unprecedented levels of clean power. Homes using a new type of smart energy tariff were urged to plug in their electric vehicles overnight. [The Guardian]

¶ “EDF Clean Power Tops 2 GW In France” • EDF Renouvelables reached the 2-GW mark for wind and solar capacity in France, following a record year for onshore wind for the company in the country. The company said in 2019 it had commissioned almost 200 MW of onshore wind capacity and had a similar volume under construction in France. [reNEWS]

Commissioning a windfarm (EDF image)

US:

¶ “Lawmakers Want Massachusetts To Be Powered With 100% Renewable Energy By 2045” • So far more than 150 state and local lawmakers have signed on in support of a plan to power Massachusetts using 100% renewable energy by 2045. The bill would place a huge emphasis on wind and solar energy, along with reducing consumption. [WWLP.com]

¶ “Renewable Energy Installations In Michigan Up By 57% In 2018” • The annual report from the Michigan Public Service Commission shows continued growth of distributed energy in the state, with a 57% growth of installations for 2018. The year saw 1,952 renewable energy installations with a combined capacity of 13,910 kW. [Daily Energy Insider]

Rooftop solar system (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Sunrise Columbia Accelerates Climate Justice Movement With Their #NobodyWins Video Campaign” • Colaborating with 17 other universities, the Sunrise Movement at Columbia made a video campaign called #NobodyWins. It aims to present a unified message calling attention to the university fossil fuel divestment movement. [CU Columbia Spectator]

¶ “Knoxville Coal Mine Company Deciding To Idle Its Mines” • Around 100 coal miners are worried about whether they’ll still have jobs after the holidays, after a Tennessee coal company decided to idle its mines. Many of those workers had lost jobs when Blackjewel went bankrupt, but were eventually hired by Kopper Glo in Knoxville. [WATE 6 On Your Side]

Have a pleasantly entertaining day.

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December 9 Energy News

December 9, 2019

COP25:

¶ “Climate Change: UN Negotiators ‘playing Politics’ Amid Global Crisis” • UN negotiators meeting in Madrid have been accused of “playing politics” while the climate crisis grows. The talks are bogged down in technical details. Ministers are due to arrive in the Spanish capital this week to try to secure an ambitious outcome. [BBC]

Climate march (Getty Images)

¶ “Cities Are No Longer Waiting Around For Nations, Milan’s Mayor Says” • Because a small number of nations are blocking progress in implementing the Paris Agreement, and cities already feel their impact of climate change, they are ready to take the lead in fighting global warming, Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala told EURACTIV in an interview. [EURACTIV]

¶ “Thousands Join Greta Thunberg At Climate Change Rally In Madrid” • Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg is getting tired of all the attention she gets, and wants the media to focus on other activists as she prepares for two more events in Madrid. She said she is just a small part of a very big movement and she wants others to get attention. [EL PAÍS in English]

Indigenous Chilean activists (Ricardo Rubio | Europa Press)

¶ “COP25 Envoys Weigh Climate Loss And Damage Mechanism” • Two of the worst storms ever recorded hit developing nations this year, supercharged by the climate emergency’s rising global temperatures. Now there’s an international push to link the billions of dollars in devastation to climate change and compel rich, industrial nations to pay. [Bloomberg]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Renewable Electricity In The Mix” • When a river flows into the sea, the fresh and salt waters mix, releasing energy. If you add up the energy released at every river mouth around the globe, it is equal to the amount 2000 nuclear reactors produce. A new dialysis membrane for harvesting the energy costs only about 3% of earlier membranes. [Advanced Science News]

Mixing waters

World:

¶ “Industry, Climate Groups Issue EU Green Deal Plea” • The European Round Table for Industry, comprising the bosses of 55 of the block’s leading industrial companies, and the Coalition for Higher Ambition, a group of business, investor, trade unions, and NGO representatives, are both pushing the EU to do more to tackle the climate emergency. [reNEWS]

¶ “India Can Generate 18,000 MW Of Renewable Energy Using Biomass: Power Minister R K Singh” • India can generate around 18,000 MW of renewable energy using biomass and an additional 7,000 to 8,000 MW from bagasse cogeneration in sugar mills, according to the country’s power and renewable energy minister, R K Singh. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Biogas system

¶ “Power Prices Predicted To Fall As Much As 20% Over Next Three Years Thanks Mostly To Renewables” • The Australian Energy Market Commission forecasts that power prices will come down in all but two Australian states and territories over the next three years. The prices in Queensland are expected to fall by 20%. [NEWS.com.au]

¶ “Oil giant BP increases stake in solar developer Lightsource” • British oil and gas supermajor BP announced it will increase its stake in solar developer Lightsource in an effort to help speed up the company’s growth and its ambitions to develop 10 GW of renewable energy assets by the end of 2023. Lightsource has been renamed Lightsource BP. [RenewEconomy]

Floating solar array (Lightsoure BP image)

¶ “China Sets Up State-Owned National Oil, Gas Pipe Company In Drive To ‘Boost Competition’” • China has announced that a national oil and gas pipeline company has been established, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The move is to give investors fair access to infrastructure mainly controlled by China’s three national oil companies. [South China Morning Post]

¶ “Polluting Firms ‘Will Be Hit By Climate Policies'” • Carbon-intensive firms are likely to lose 43% of their value due to policies designed to combat climate change, according to a report commissioned by the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. Meanwhile the most progressive companies will see an uplift of 33% in their value. [BBC News]

Burning fossil fuels (Getty Images)

US:

¶ “Oak Ridge National Lab Is Deep Into Second-Use Battery Control System Development” • A lithium-ion battery used to power an automobile degrades over time, to the point when it can no longer charge or discharge rapidly enough for use in a car. But when that point comes, batteries typically have 60 to 70% of their useful life remaining. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Alliance For Clean Energy New York Pushes For Carbon Fee On Thermal Generating Stations” • New York State has an energy standard calling for 70% of its electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. But the Alliance for Clean Energy New York says the state is unlikely to meet that goal without a fee on carbon emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (Image: Alliance for Clean Energy)

¶ “Climate Activists Block Train Taking Coal To A New England Power Plant, Climate Organizer Confirms” • Climate activists blocked a train in Hooksett, New Hampshire, Sunday that was carrying a shipment of coal. They were trying to shut down the last major coal-fired power plant in New England, an organizer said. [NewsCenterMaine.com WCSH-WLBZ]

¶ “Kansas City Is First Major City In America To Offer Free Public Transportation. Is That A Good Thing?” • The city council of Kansas City voted 13-0 to make all city bus routes free. The city’s light rail is already free to use. This makes Kansas City the first major American city to make its public transportation free to use for all. [CleanTechnica]

Have a beautifully amusing day.

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December 8 Energy News

December 8, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Love Your Home” • Energy giant and offshore wind leader Ørsted is on a mission. In January, the company launched a children’s book, Is This My Home? It is urging parents to talk about the environmentally-friendly things they do every day like recycling, riding bikes, choosing public transport, or having a more plant-based diet. [The Maritime Executive]

Is This My Home?

¶ “Michael Lewis: ‘Don’t Bet Against The US. It Has An Incredible Capacity For Self-Reinvention’ ” • In his most recent book, The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, Michael Lewis applies his insider’s eye to unsung heroes of government administration, in light of the reckless dismantling of the US civil service under President Trump. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Urban Farms Are Off The Hook – And Off The Shelf (CleanTechnica Interview)” • Hydroponic startup Farmshelf has some ambitious plans for the urban agriculture revolution. If all goes according to plan, Farmshelf could make urban farms as ubiquitous – and as easy to operate – as the refrigerator in your kitchen. [CleanTechnica]

Farmshelf hydroponic farm (Photo by Tina Casey)

¶ “World’s Oceans Are Losing Oxygen At An Unprecedented And Dangerous Rate As Temperatures Rise, Study Finds” • A report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature found that oxygen levels in the ocean have declined by about 2% since the 1950s, and the volume of completely oxygen-depleted water has quadrupled since the 1960s. [CBS News]

¶ “Soil: The Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Climate Change” • Battered by effects of climate change, agriculture is also an important – in fact a necessary – partner in fighting it. The science is clear: We cannot stay beneath the most dangerous climate thresholds without sequestering a significant amount of carbon in our soils. [EcoWatch]

Sprouts

World:

¶ “Keolis Nederland BV Selects BYD To Supply Largest Electric Bus Order In Europe” • The Netherlands is getting another massive wave of new electric buses, as Keolis Nederland BV ordered 259 of them from BYD. It is the largest single order for electric buses in Europe so far, and it shows how comfortable transit operators are with them. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Greta Thunberg Criticizes World Leaders’ Climate Actions As They Meet At COP25 To Discuss The Crisis” • Greta Thunberg criticized world leaders gathered at the COP25 conference for failing to act effectively on the climate crisis. She told activists at the talks. “The climate crisis is still being ignored by those in power, and we cannot go on like this.” [CNN]

Greta Thunberg (Pierre-Philippe Marcou | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Authorities Look To Control Household Rooftop Solar Power Systems To Stabilise The Grid” • The body that runs Western Australia’s main electricity market wants the ability to remotely dump excess solar power from households, cutting the bill rebates people receive. It says this is to safeguard the grid from surging levels of renewable energy. [ABC News]

¶ “Seychelles: The Island Nation With A Novel Way To Tackle Climate Change” • In the first deal of its kind, the East African nation swapped 5% of its national debt for a cash injection to fight the effects of climate change on the ocean. In return, it promised to protect 30% of its national waters, which is an area twice the size of the UK – by the end of next year. [BBC]

Seychelles coastguard

¶ “Massive Polish Coal Mine Sparks International Dispute” • The Turow lignite coal mine in Poland is causing trouble for the environment and local communities, even those nearby in Germany and Czech Republic. Plans to further expand the huge open pit mine have caused alarm among residents who fear things might get even worse. [Herald-Whig]

¶ “The Fastest Growing Energy Sectors Of 2019” • According to the International Energy Agency, there has been relatively high growth for carbon-based energy sources over the past three years, but renewables spending continues to exceed fossil fuel-based power. India is emerging as the world’s fastest growing energy market. [OilPrice.com]

Rooftop solar system

¶ “Banks Gave $745 Billion To Groups Planning New Coal Power Plants” • Financial institutions have channeled $745 billion over the past three years into companies planning new coal-fired power plants, according to a report by environmental groups. The groups are urging global banks to stop financing the coal sector. [The Daily Star]
Coal piles and worker in China (File photo | Reuters)

US:

¶ “California Ends New Fracking Pending Results Of Scientific Study” • Despite plenty of petrodollars sloshing around California’s capitol in Sacramento, Governor Gavin Newsom halted approvals of new hydraulic fracturing in the state until the projects can be reviewed by an independent panel of scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. [CleanTechnica]

Fracking well in Texas

¶ “Molokai, Lanai Renewable Energy Bids Solicited” • Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission approved a plan from Maui Electric Co to issue a request for proposals for wind and solar power paired with energy storage for the islands of Molokai and Lanai. Renewable sources are to provide 78% of Molokai’s power and 55% to 61% of Lanai’s by 2023. [Maui News]

¶ “New England Grid Operator: Region Has Enough Power For Winter Despite Station Closing” • ISO New England says this will be the first winter without the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Massachusetts. But officials say the reactor’s retirement coincided with some solar and wind projects and several dual-energy power plants coming online. [CBS Boston]

Have an exhilaratingly easy day.

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December 7 Energy News

December 7, 2019

COP25:

¶ “COP25: Evidence Of Climate Change Not Being Met With Urgency From Wealthy Nations” • The latest evidence reinforces the need for scaled-up climate action, but wealthy countries attending the UN climate talks in Madrid, including the world largest carbon emitters, have been accused of lagging behind in embracing urgent climate action. [Irish Times]

Protesters demanding urgent action at Madrid’s city
hall (Photo: Oscar Del Pozo | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “COP 25: Renewable Energy Ambition In NDCs Must Double By 2030” • Countries are being urged to raise renewable energy ambition significantly and adopt targets to transform the global energy system in the next Nationally Determined Contributions round, according to a report to be released by the International Renewable Energy Agency. [REVE]

¶ “Oceans Finally Take Center Stage At COP25” • Oceans are a foundation for human life. The recently published Special Report on the Ocean and Crysophere in a Changing Climate, from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reveals the extent of the crisis facing humanity as the ocean and its systems begin to collapse. [The Japan Times]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

Science and Technology:

¶ “Indian Ocean Dipole: What Is It And Why Is It Linked To Floods And Bushfires?” • Flooding in East Africa and drought in Australia are both related to what is called the “Indian Ocean Dipole.” It is a phenomenon similar to El Niño, in which ocean temperatures are extreme. Models show that increased levels of CO₂ can make it more frequent. [CNN]

¶ “Permafrost Hits A Grim Threshold” • According to research based upon field observations conducted from 2003 to 2017, a large-scale carbon emission shift has occurred in the Arctic. The region had been a carbon sink, but the “entire Arctic” now emits more carbon than it absorbs. This can only be described as worse than bad news. [CounterPunch]

Collapsing permafrost (Boris Radosavljevic – CC BY 2.0)

World:

¶ “German SPD Wants To Renegotiate Climate Package” • The new leaders of Germany’s Social Democratic Party have called for a renegotiation of the country’s climate package. “The climate change package of the grand coalition is not enough,” SPD co-leader Norbert Walter-Borjans. He also challenged its fairness and effectiveness. [reNEWS]

¶ “Spain Will Hit 68% Renewable Power In 2030, But Needs More Flexibility – BNEF” • Spain will be able to meet 68% of its electricity demand with renewable energy by 2030 and 88% in 2050, according to a report co-authored by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Spanish renewables and infrastructure group Acciona SA. [Renewables Now]

El Andevalo wind farm (Iberdrola image)

¶ “BMW Group Joins ‘Getting to Zero Coalition,’ First Carmaker To Do So” • BMW Group joined the “Getting to Zero Coalition” ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid. By 2023, BMW Group will be offering 25 electrified models. Its factories in Europe have been powered by 100% green electricity since 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Danish Renewables Auction Too Successful At Driving Down Public Cost Of Clean Energy” • The average price premium to be paid over wholesale electricity rates to the successful bidders has fallen 30% in a year, prompting Danish energy authorities to muse they may be allocating too much public money to support such projects. [pv magazine International]

Denmark (Image: SteenJepsen | Pixabay)

¶ “Australia Bushfires North Of Sydney ‘Too Big To Put Out'” • A “mega blaze” raging across a 60 km (37 mile) front north of the Australian city of Sydney cannot currently be put out, fire officials have warned. The severity of the blazes so early in the fire season has caused alarm, and prompted calls for greater action to tackle climate change. [BBC]

US:

¶ “County Endorses Renewable Power Push” • A resolution to power Grand County, Utah, with 100% renewable energy by 2030 passed unanimously at Tuesday’s Grand County Council meeting despite concerns over the potential cost to customers. The council agreed to the resolution with the caveat that an opt-out clause is included. [The Times-Independent]

Moab, county seat of Grand County (Wikipedia)

¶ “Trump’s Tariffs Cost Americans 62,000 Solar Jobs” • Trump’s tariffs have harmed Americans by raising prices, cutting jobs, and losing the US billions in investment opportunities. From 2017–2021, the Solar Energy Industries Association expects 62,000 fewer jobs in the solar industry, which is more than the entire US coal mining industry. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “FPL’s Turkey Point First US Nuclear Plant To Get License Out To 80 Years” • When the NRC authorized a subsequent license renewal for two units of the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating facility in Florida, it marked the first time a reactor’s lifespan has been extended from 60 to 80 years. It is an example of the NRC failing to do its job, opponents said. [Utility Dive]

Turkey Point (FPL image)

¶ “A 2.9-MW Solar Project For 10 Schools In Richmond” • A 2.9-MW solar project by Standard Solar is supporting Richmond Public Schools. Solar arrays were installed at ten elementary and high schools throughout the Richmond, Virginia, and Dominion Energy service area. The project should be completed by the end of this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Former Radioactive Site Collapses Into Detroit River, Raising Drinking Water Safety Concerns” • A site on the Detroit River that was used to produce radioactive materials during World War II collapsed last week. While officials in the United States say the water is free of radioactivity, the city of Windsor on the Canadian side is raising concerns. [CNN]

Have an entirely delightful day.

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December 6 Energy News

December 6, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “We Need To Protect The Environment Like We Protect Our Economies” • In nature, everything is connected. This is equally true of a healthy environment and a healthy economy. We cannot hope to sustain life without taking care of nature. And we need healthy economies to lift people out of poverty and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. [CNN]

Ice off Greenland (Lucas Jackson | Reuters)

World:

¶ “New Zealand’s Glaciers Are Turning Red – And It’s Because Of Australia’s Bushfires” • One of the most startling consequences of the bushfires that are still raging across Australia, is that they have turned some of New Zealand’s famed glaciers red and pink. Westerly winds blow the smoke from the still-burning Australian fires to New Zealand. [CNN]

¶ “As He Scaled World’s 14 Highest Peaks, Nepalese Climber Shocked By Climate Change Effects” • Nepalese climber Nirmal “Nims” Purja smashed the record for taking the shortest time to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter-high mountains. But his expeditions made him acutely aware of the environmental changes the world is undergoing. [CNN]

Queue of climbers to reach the top of Mount Everest
(click to enlarge – ©Nimsdai | Project Possible | Getty Images)

¶ “Plug-In Vehicles Are 59% of Vehicle Sales in Norway in October” • When it comes to electric vehicle adoption, Norway is king of the hill. Nearly 2 out of every 3 passenger vehicles sold in Norway come with a plug. In October, the plug-in vehicle share was 59%, which is a bit higher than the 56% plug-in vehicle hold for January to October. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Army To March On Solar Power” • Public Power Solutions, a subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council, has submitted a planning application to Cotswold District Council on behalf of the Secretary of State for Defence to build a solar farm at the Duke of Gloucester Barracks in Gloucestershire. It will be the first project in a pilot program. [reNEWS]

Duke of Gloucester Barracks (Public Power Solutions image)

¶ “Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, And Karnataka Could Declare ‘ No New Coal’ Policy” • Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka could follow in the footsteps of Gujarat and Chhattisgarh to declare a ‘no new coal’ policy, new analysis says. The Indian states will not need any new coal power plants in the future, as renewable and flexible energy is cost-effective. [The Weekend Leader]

¶ “Alberta Wind Farm Starts Spinning” • Capital Power’s 202-MW first phase of the Whitla wind project in southern Alberta has started operations. The company said it will proceed with the 97-MW second phase of Whitla, with construction slated to start in 2021, and it is also on track to complete its 150-MW Cardinal Point wind farm early next year. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Pexels image)

¶ “At 50, Europe’s Oldest Nuclear Plant Not Ready To Retire” •  Europe’s oldest functioning nuclear reactor, at Switzerland’s Beznau plant, will turn 50 next week. Commercial operation began on December 9, 1969. Its lifespan is deemed dangerously long by environmentalists who are demanding that it be shut down immediately. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ “Transmission Line Foes Press For Full Environmental Review” • Opponents of a $1 billion Central Maine Power transmission project, proposed to bring Canadian hydropower to the New England grid, urged the Army Corps of Engineers to complete a full environmental impact review. CMP says that would delay a final decision by a year. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Hydro dam

¶ “EPA Watchdog Says White House Budget Office Blocked Part Of Its Investigation Into Controversial Trucks Rule” • The EPA inspector general report concluded that the EPA, and possibly the budget office, bypassed key steps when it rushed through Pruitt’s proposal to lighten regulations on some heavy-duty trucks using older, less-efficient engines. [CNN]

¶ “Vineyard Wins Connecticut Offshore Wind Tender With 804-MW Bid” • Connecticut announced it selected Vineyard Wind LLC’s 804-MW Park City Wind Project as the winner in a major solicitation for offshore wind projects. It had “a price lower than any other publicly announced offshore wind project in North America.” [Renewables Now]

Offshore wind farm (Beverley Goodwin, CC 2.0 generic)

¶ “Honolulu Makes History With Comprehensive Plastic Bill” • A comprehensive plastic phase-out bill, was approved 7–2 at the Honolulu City Council (the governing body for the island of Oahu). Activists have been working for nearly a decade. What they got is the strongest plastic phase-out bill in the country, and likely in the world. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “San Mateo County Will Have Completely Green Power By 2025, Local Agency Says” • The 200-MW Wright Solar Facility in Los Banos is the largest solar project of its kind in California. It will come online by the end of 2019, as a local agency’s latest move to supply enough green power for all of San Mateo County within the next five years. [Peninsula Press]

Wright Solar Facility (Photo: Peninsula Clean Energy)

¶ “Studies In Chattanooga And Roanoke Could Help Slash Energy Usage In Homes & Buildings” • In the US, 124 million buildings consume 40% of all the energy used and 75% of all electricity, a study published in Science Daily says. Efforts are underway in both Chattanooga and Roanoke to reduce buildings’ energy needs up to 30% by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Geronimo Starts Up 200-MW South Dakota Wind” • National Grid subsidiary Geronimo Energy has started commercial operations at its 200-MW Crocker wind farm in South Dakota. The Clark County-located facility has virtual power purchase agreements in place with Walmart and Cargill for its output. It uses GE 2.7-116 turbines. [reNEWS]

Have a wonderfully composed day.

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December 5 Energy News

December 5, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Even 50-Year-Old Climate Models Correctly Predicted Global Warming” • Climate change doubters like to claim that computer simulations conducted decades ago didn’t accurately predict current warming. Now, the most sweeping evaluation of these older models – some half a century old – shows most of them were indeed accurate. [Science Magazine]

Hot day in Paris (Samuel Boivin | NurPhoto Via Getty Images)

¶ “Scientists Show How To Make Airplane Emissions Less Harmful” • MIT scientists are putting wind beneath policy makers’ wings, suggesting ways to modify airplane emissions, which worsen air quality and contribute to thousands of deaths annually. The researchers suggest nitrogen oxides may be more important to control than carbon. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Scottish Power Plans To Build Solar Panels Beside Wind Farms” • Scottish Power plans to get more renewable electricity from its onshore wind farms by covering the ground beside the turbines with PV panels and batteries. It applied for permission to build its first solar power projects at existing wind farms in Cornwall, Lancashire, and Coldham. [The Guardian]

Wind farm (Danny Lawson | PA)

¶ “Business Case Brings Us Closer To Realizing Renewable Energy Potential” • Tasmania may be on the verge of becoming the renewable energy battery of Australia. The Project Marinus business case confirms that a 1,500-MW Bass Strait transmission link is technically feasible and commercially viable, unlocking the island’s resources. [Mirage News]

¶ “Country’s Largest Mini-Grid Unveiled In Magway” • Mandalay Yoma Energy has launched Myanmar’s biggest solar mini-grid for rural areas in Magway Region. With the mini-grid, up to 400 households in Magway’s Lel Ma village now have access to electricity. Myanmar’s electrification rate is one of the lowest in the world at around 50%. [Myanmar Times]

Mandalay Yoma Energy solar system (Photo: Supplied)

¶ “BP To Supply Renewable Energy To Amazon’s Europe Data Centers” • BP said it will supply renewable energy to Amazon’s European data centers to drive its cloud platform. BP will begin supplying Amazon Web Services with renewable energy from more than 170 MW of new wind and solar projects in Sweden and Spain starting in 2021. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Pernod Ricard Achieves 100% Renewables Target In Australia” • Two major solar projects and an agreement with an energy wholesaler has allowed Pernod Ricard Winemakers to become Australia’s first major wine company to source all its electricity from renewables. The company’s solar installation has a capacity of 2,800 MW. [The Lead South Australia]

Installation of a bat box at Pernod Ricard Winemakers

¶ “Radiation Hotspots ‘Found Near Fukushima Olympic Site'” • The Japanese government is keen to use the Olympics to showcase Fukushima’s recovery from the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster. But Greenpeace has said it detected radiation hotspots near the starting point of the upcoming Olympic torch relay in Fukushima. [The Guardian]

¶ “Wind Tops 37 GW In India” • Wind power capacity in India has reached over 37 GW, according to the latest government figures. The data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, which covers installations up to the end of October, showed 37,090 MW had been installed across the country. Over 9.2 GW had been installed in Tamil Nadu. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Vestas Image)

US:

¶ “New York City Says Yes To More Cargo Bikes, Fewer Delivery Trucks” • To combat congestion, New York City has started a program allowing up to 100 pedal-electric delivery bikes to park in loading zones typically reserved for commercial vehicles, according to The New York Times. And smaller delivery bikes will be permitted to use bike lanes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “40 Years Of Atmospheric River Storms Left Staggering Price Tag In Western US, Study Finds” • Flooding from ‘atmospheric rivers’ caused about $43 billion in damage in western states in the last 40 years, a study from the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography found. Climate change is making the flooding worse. [The Weather Channel]

Flood in Guerneville, California (Justin Sullivan | Getty Images)

¶ “Almost Every American Supports The Extension Of Clean Energy Tax Incentives” • A study was conducted by Global Strategy Group and found that Americans overwhelmingly support extending tax incentives for clean energy and would change their vote based on the issue. 89% of voters support the extension. [Smart Energy]

¶ “NV Energy Wins Approval For 1.19 GW Of Solar, 590 MW Of Energy Storage In Nevada” • Nevada utility NV Energy said it has approval from the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada for 1.19 GW of new solar projects and 590 MW of energy storage in Nevada. The projects will help NV Energy double its renewable energy capacity. [Renewables Now]

Solar PV plant (Gilles Paire | Shutterstock)

¶ “Study Makes Case For Oregon Offshore Wind Power” • In a study, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated the levelized cost of energy from a 600-MW commercial project off Coos Bay would come in at a relatively inexpensive $63/MWh. That’s less than a third of the $197 cost of power from a 24-MW project that died in 2016. [Portland Business Journal]

¶ “Environmental Groups Ask EPA To Require Renewable Energy In Plastic Manufacturing” • Attorneys representing a coalition of 364 advocacy organizations filed a legal petition with the EPA calling for new regulations on the US plastic industry. The group says plastic manufacturing is polluting the air and worsening climate change. [KQED]

Have an utterly ducky day.

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December 4 Energy News

December 4, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “From Bird-Friendly Coffee To Chocolate Safe For The Rainforest, These Holiday Gifts Give Back” • In 2019, Impact Your World highlighted many of those who make a difference, from fighting to stop rainforest loss and bird extinction to setting up safe spaces for sex-trafficking victims. Here are low-impact ways to help while giving gifts. [CNN]

Old World Oriole (iReport)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Journal of Epidemiology: Linking Air Pollution Nanoparticles And Incident of Brain Tumors” • Previous studies have shown the minuscule but widespread bits of air pollution do get into the brain, even affecting fetal development. A study in the Journal of Epidemiology has determined air pollution can cause worse brain tumors and brain cancer. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Battery Prices Falling Sharply, Says Report” • Battery prices are falling sharply and will continue to fall, according to a study by Bloomberg NEF. The paper showed prices declining sharply between 2010 and 2019. In 2010, battery prices were above $1,100/kWh, but they decreased to $156/kWh in 2019. This is a decline of 87%. [Down To Earth Magazine]

Batteries (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Greta Thunberg Arrives In Lisbon For COP25 After Sailing Across Atlantic” • Greta Thunberg arrived in Lisbon after nearly three weeks at sea, before giving a press conference at the port alongside youth activists and crew members. Around 25,000 people from 200 countries are expected to attend the COP25 climate change conference in Madrid. [CNN]

¶ “German Grid Debuts New DC Wires” • Transmission system operators in Germany are using 525-kV DC cables as part of grid upgrades to facilitate increasing levels of energy, mainly from renewable sources. They supersede plastic-insulated 320-kV high voltage cables of the type now used to connect offshore wind farms. [reNEWS]

High voltage cable (Amprion image)

¶ “Swansea Lagoon Launches £1 Million Last-Ditch Funding Pitch” • Swansea Bay lagoon developer Tidal Power is trying to raise more than £1 million to start enabling works at its 320-MW project in Wales before consent expires next year. The outfit, based in Gloucester, has launched a £1.2 million share issue due to run until 20 March. [reNEWS]

¶ “Far Offshore Wind ‘Needs Legal Framework’” • Building offshore wind far from shore could circumvent barriers to coastal development but will need new legal frameworks for these sites, advises a new report from specialist renewable energy law firm Chatham Partners. The high seas regions sit outside the control of a single nation. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Alpha Ventus image)

¶ “Industries Can Cut Power Costs By 60% Using Renewable Energy: WWF” • In addition to cutting carbon emissions, Indian Commercial and industrial consumers can cut their electricity bills in a range between 30% and 60% by replacing grid power supply with renewable energy, according to a report from World Wildlife Fund-India. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Nokia Tasked With Major Digital Transformation Of Finland Transmission Grid” • Telecoms major Nokia has been tasked with upgrading Finland’s transmission grid to allow greater use of renewables. Fingrid selected Nokia to build an IP/MPLS network that will support the “digital transformation” of the electricity grid in Finland. [Current News]

Transmission towers (Getty Images)

¶ “Saskatchewan’s Plan For Small Nuclear Reactors Sees Local Fallout” • Environmental advocates are railing against plans announced by the Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick governments to explore development of small modular nuclear reactors. They said solar and wind are cheaper and are readily available for use now. [meadowlakeNOW]

US:

¶ “Lucid Motors Begins Construction Of Arizona Factory” • Three years ago Lucid Motors announced a deal with the state of Arizona to build a factory in Casa Grande. After several delays, construction has finally begun at what was billed as a “ground building” ceremony attended by Arizona governor Doug Ducey and a host of other dignitaries. [CleanTechnica]

Lucid Motors Air

¶ “Shell Books EDF Delivery In California” • EDF Renewables is to deliver electricity to Shell Energy North America from the 132-MW Maverick 7 solar farm, which will form part of the Palen Solar site in California. Under the terms of the 15-year power purchase agreement, electricity is expected to start flowing by the end of 2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “Council Goal Of 100% Renewable Energy May Be Attainable” • The goal is to transition the operations of the City of Greensboro to 100% renewable energy by 2040, but according to a resolution passed by the City Council on Tuesday, Dec 3, the city could make a huge step toward reaching that goal before the end of the year. [The Rhino TImes]

Renewable energy (AdobeStock image)

¶ “New Energy Secretary: Trump Has Directed Agency To Find ‘ Different Ways To Utilize Coal'” • Acting Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said he has received a directive from President Trump to boost the struggling coal industry. “What the president has directed us to do is to look for different ways to utilize coal,” Brouillette said in an interview. [The Hill]

¶ “Activists Denounce ‘Zombie’ Bellefonte Nuclear Plant As Regulators Consider License Transfer For New Owner To Finish Facility” • A year after the TVA tried to terminate the sale of its Bellefonte Nuclear Plant because the buyer could not get a nuclear license, the NRC is moving ahead again to consider a license transfer. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Have a memorably lovely day.

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December 3 Energy News

December 3, 2019

World:

¶ “Ireland unveils plan for 70% renewable energy by 2030” • Ireland has published the details of its long-awaited Renewable Electricity Support Scheme, finally unveiling details around how the country will look to increase its share of renewable energy capacity to 70% by 2030. It is the first RESS auction to receive Government approval. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm in Ireland

¶ “Russia Switches On Gas Mega-Pipeline To China As Putin Touts Closer Ties” • Russia started putting natural gas through an enormous pipeline to China worth billions of dollars, affirming increasingly close economic and political ties between the two countries. The “Power of Siberia” pipeline is more than 8,100 km (5,000 miles) long. [CNN]

¶ “Senator Demands Renewable Energy Strategy” • In Pakistan, the Leader of the House in Senate, Syed Shibli Faraz, stressed a dire need for a comprehensive strategy to promote renewable energy while keeping in view the country’s requirements. He was of the view that Pakistan’s needs could be covered by using the latest technology. [The Express Tribune]

Renewable energy (AFP image)

¶ “Lightsource BP To Construct First Brick Factory Powered By Solar” • Lightsource BP confirmed it is to begin construction of a 4.9-MW solar installation for leading brick manufacturer, Ibstock Brick, at its Leicestershire headquarters. The development will be the first brick factory in the UK to be part-powered by a solar farm. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Iberdrola To Replace Last Spanish Coal Plants With Subsidy-Free Wind And Solar” • Spanish electric utility Iberdrola says it will replace its last two Spanish coal-fired power plants with 550 MW of subsidy-free wind and solar. This new capacity brings Iberdrola’s scheduled new clean energy capacity up to 2,500 MW in 2022. It plans 10,000 MW by 2030. [RenewEconomy]

Candal wind farm in Spain (Iberdrola image)

¶ “Indonesia Must Stop Its Coal Plant Building Spree By 2020 To Meet Climate Goals” • Indonesia is one of the few countries still actively planning and building new coal plants, putting it on a trajectory to miss its climate goals to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. [The News Lens International]

¶ “Anglian Water Heads Towards Net Zero With Renewable Energy Deal” • NextEnergy Capital is to build solar projects at Anglian Water sites to help the firm decarbonize its energy use. Under an agreement, NextEnergy Capital will develop, operate, and own over 35 MW of solar assets on the sites, selling the power directly to Anglian Water. [Energy Live News]

Solar construction (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Duncan says SaskPower just investigating whether nuclear is right for Saskatchewan” • One day after Premier Scott Moe signed a memorandum of understanding on small modular nuclear reactors, Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan’s minister responsible for SaskPower, said nuclear power is a possibility, but not for years. [News Talk 650 CKOM]

¶ “Invenergy Forges 500 MW Of Colombian Ties” • US company Invenergy has formed a strategic partnership with Empresas Publicas de Medellin in Colombia to build and operate wind and solar farms in the South American country totaling almost 500 MW. The companies said the 500 WM of new renewable projects would be built by 2025. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Invenergy image)

US:

¶ “Amazon Delivers 329-MW Clean Power Hat-Trick” • Amazon announced three solar PV projects in the US and Spain totaling 329 MW to help it reach clean power targets of 80% by 2024 and 100% by 2040. Two plants, in Illinois and North Virginia, have capacities of 100 MW and 80 MW, respectively. Spain will have a 149-MW solar project. [reNEWS]

Jeff Bezos making Amazon’s climate pledge (Amazon image)

¶ “Maine Wants To Store, Not Waste, Excess Renewable Energy” • The transmission lines connecting Maine’s far-flung renewable generators to the regional electric grid sometimes are too weak to carry all their power, and the generators sometimes have to be curtailed. One power-to-gas substation could save the state 75,000 MWh per year. [Governing]

¶ “Construction Begins On Arkansas’ Largest Solar Energy Project” • A NextEra Energy Resources subsidiary and Entergy Arkansas announced that they had started construction of Arkansas’ largest solar energy project. The 850-acre, 100-MW Chicot Solar Energy Center, will have approximately 350,000 solar panels. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Solar panels (Pixabay image)

¶ “Carbon Intensity Of Power Sector Down In 2019” • Engineers from Carnegie Mellon University’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation compiled carbon emissions for the US electric power sector for the second quarter of 2019. The carbon intensity of the sector, measured in pounds of CO₂ emissions per MWh, dropped by 9% from Q2 of 2018. [engineering.cmu.edu]

¶ “Ralph Lauren To Power Its Operations By 100% Renewables By 2025” • Ralph Lauren Corp pledged to power all of its offices, distribution centers, and stores with 100% renewable energy by 2025. The company will expand its portfolio of renewables with virtual power purchase agreements, onsite solar energy assets, and other means. [Smart Energy]

Have a truly great day.

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December 2 Energy News

December 2, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How To Travel Without Destroying The Planet” • A 2018 report by journal Nature Climate Change found that tourism accounts for about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and that shopping and food are “significant” contributors. But many people are changing their habits. Awareness of climate change has driven an 8% increase in rail journeys. [CNN]

Eat local dishes (Courtesy Perry Aragon)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Biofuels Could Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 96%” • A report published by the National Academy of Sciences offers a cost-effective way to make biofuels that can be substituted for fossil fuels directly with few if any changes to the engines. They could reduce emissions up to 96% and cost a fraction of the fossil fuels they replace. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Climate Change: COP25 Talks Open As ‘Point Of No Return’ In Sight” • Political leaders and climate diplomats are meeting in Madrid for two weeks of talks amid a growing sense of crisis. Speaking ahead of the meeting, UN Secretary General António Guterres said, “the point of no return is no longer over the horizon.” [BBC via Albanian Daily News]

Spanish minister Teresa Ribera, COP President Carolina
Schmidt, and UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa (COP25 image)

¶ “Dublin Approves Debut Renewables Auction” • The Irish government approved the first capacity auction to be held under the country’s new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme. The round, which will open early next year subject to EU state aid approval, will deliver up to 3000 GWh of capacity, all of which is to come online by end-2022. [reNEWS]

¶ “Climate Crisis Forcing 20 Million People A Year From Their Homes, Oxfam Says” • Climate-fueled disasters have forced about 20 million people per year to leave their homes in the past decade, according to a new report from Oxfam. This makes the climate the biggest driver of internal displacement for the ten year period. [CNN]

Flooding in Cuba after Irma (Yamil Lage | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Portugal’s EPAL Turns To Renewables To Achieve Emission Neutrality” • Portugal’s capital water supply company EPAL announced plans to achieve emission neutrality by 2025. It is looking to produce its own energy from hydro, wind, and solar PV sources, and also take advantage of the storage in its existing water reservoirs. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Construction Starts On Pilot Green Hydrogen Plant In South Australia” • Australian Gas Networks, which operates natural gas transmission and distribution networks, announced beginning construction of a pilot facility that will produce green hydrogen and blend some of it into the local gas distribution network in South Australia. [Renewables Now]

Hydrogen facility (Image: ARENA)

¶ “New Scheme To Help Community Groups Generate Electricity” • In a major upheaval of the Irish energy sector, the Government has outlined how community groups can get into power generation under the first renewable electricity support scheme. While expanding solar and wind power, the scheme is includes “citizen energy” options. [Irish Times]

¶ “Huge Surge In Number Of Companies Targeting 100% Renewables By 2030” • The Climate Group has received more than double the number of corporate signatories first expected to its RE100 scheme. The target dates for 100% renewables now stand on average at 2028, according to its latest progress and annual insights report. [edie.net]

Solar array

¶ “Premiers Ford, Moe And Higgs Sign Deal On Development Of Small Nuclear Reactors” • The premiers of Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Ontario announced a deal to use small nuclear reactors to reduce carbon emissions. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said small reactors would be a “meaningful action” to address climate change. [Newstalk 1010]

¶ “Fukushima Melted Fuel Removal Begins 2021, End State Unknown” • Nearly nine years after the Fukushima Disaster, it is still largely uncertain how the plant will be decommissioned. In a revised road map, the toughest challenge is to remove the 800 tons of nuclear fuel that had melted and fallen to the bottoms of their primary containment vessels. [WIZM NEWS]

Fukushima Daiichi (Tomohiro Ohsumi | Pool Photo via AP, File)

US:

¶ “Solar Expected To Disrupt Texas Fossil-Fuel Apple Cart” • Texas produces far more wind-generated electricity than any other state. But when it comes to solar energy, Texas lags behind several other states. That is about to change, as Texas is expected to double its solar electricity output next year and then again the year after that. [Houston Chronicle]

¶ “Missouri Teachers Are Schooling Students On Climate Change Even Though It’s Not Required” • The visible impacts of climate change becoming a classroom topic. Teachers in Missouri are using real-world issues and collaboration to help their students understand the science of climate change and the effect it could have on local communities. [KCUR]

Little kids learning about solar power (Bigstock Images)

¶ “Colorado Rethinks Dam Safety As Climate Change Heightens Risk For State’s 27 ‘Unsatisfactory’ Structures” • A climate-driven shift toward extreme storms has compelled Colorado officials to rethink the safety of hundreds of dams across the state that hold water and mine waste. Included are 27 high-hazard dams already listed as deficient. [The Denver Post]

¶ “NJ Pushes For Clean Energy But Rate Agency Worried About Utility Bills” • Gov Phil Murphy is pressing ahead with a plan to change the way New Jersey gets its electric power, but this has New Jersey’s top consumer watchdog concerned for several reasons. For one, the plan relies on nuclear power even after the plant licenses expire. [New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio]

Have a marvelously invigorating day.

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December 1 Energy News

December 1, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “In The Fight Against Climate Change, No One Can Stand On The Sidelines” • Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund: We can avoid this bleak future, and we know what we have to do – reduce emissions, offset what cannot be reduced, and adapt to new climate realities. No individual or institution can stand on the sidelines. [CNN]

Pollution (Kevin Frayer, Getty Images)

¶ “The Five Corrupt Pillars Of Climate Change Denial” • The fossil fuel industry has spent the past 30 years sowing doubt about the reality of climate change where none exists. The latest estimate is that the world’s five largest publicly-owned oil and gas companies spend about $200 million a year on lobbying to undermine binding climate policy. [EconoTimes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “NZ Scientists To Probe Climate Threat Frozen Underground” • Scientists estimate the icy reserves of permafrost now keep about twice as much carbon as is contained in the atmosphere. Probing Antarctica’s frozen ground will give scientists from New Zealand more insight into a potentially massive sleeper source of emissions. [New Zealand Herald]

Dry valley in Antarctica (Photo: Jamie Morton)

World:

¶ “Masdar In 400-MW Armenia Solar Power Project” • Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, has entered into a formal agreement with the Armenian National Interests Fund to develop solar power projects with a total capacity of 400 MW in Armenia, an investment of between $300 million and $320 million. [Khaleej Times]

¶ “Germany Is Closing All Its Nuclear Power Plants. Now It Must Find A Place To Bury The Deadly Waste For 1 Million Years” • Where do you safely bury more than 28,000 cubic meters of deadly radioactive waste for the next million years? This is the “wicked problem” facing Germany as it closes all of its nuclear power plants in the coming years. [CNN]

Cooling tower demolition (RWE Image)

¶ “Global Call For Biogas To Address Climate Change” • Major companies in the biogas industry are calling on the world’s governments to act urgently to unlock the sector’s potential to cut global greenhouse gases emissions by at least 12% within the next 10 years, contributing towards meeting Paris Agreement targets. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Sweden Turning Into Europe’s Wind Power Hot Spot” • The Markbygden wind farm is huge, but more than that is happening in Sweden. Several other big projects are underway, including OX2 AB and Arise AB. The wind power output in the Nordic region’s largest economy is expected to double in the next three years. [Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette]

Worker preparing a wind turbine tower for installation

¶ “Wind Power Capacity To Double Over The Next Decade” • Installed wind power capacity will reach about 1,100 GW globally by 2028, up from 562 GW at the end of 2018, according to the industry forecast report from Fitch Solutions. The growth is to be fueled mainly by China, as it seeks to invest in renewable sources. [The National]

¶ “Climate Protesters Storm German Coal Mines” • Several major coal mines in eastern Germany were hit by protests as activists criticized the German government’s climate change plans and urged an immediate coal phase-out. Authorities said more than 1,000 people took part in the protests at mines in Brandenburg and Saxony. [Deutsche Welle]

Protest at mine (H Schmidt | DPA | Picture Alliance)

¶ “South Korea Pumps Money Into Overseas Coal Plants That Would Be Banned At Home” • A Greenpeace report identifies South Korea as the third-biggest public investor in overseas coal-fired power plant projects among the G-20 group of major economies. The money is going into projects that would be illegal in South Korea. [The Wire]

US:

¶ “Xcel Sees Financial Payoff In Push For Wind-Power Development” • Xcel Energy filed a document with Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission asking it to approve bringing more than $100 million of wind-energy projects into the calculations of regulated electricity rates. And the news is that the new power will be cheaper. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Wind turbines (Xcel Energy | Star Tribune)

¶ “Pelosi To Lead Group Of Democratic Lawmakers To UN Climate Change Conference” • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will lead a group of Democratic lawmakers to a United Nations conference on climate change less than a month after the Trump administration began formally withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accord. [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is #3 Best Selling Vehicle In California Through September” • The California New Car Dealers Association recently released its California Auto Outlook report. It shows that the Tesla Model 3 was only about 300 units short of being the second best selling vehicle in California for the period of January to September 2019. [CleanTechnica]

Have a faultlessly idyllic day.

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November 30 Energy News

November 30, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Is The World Ready To End The Coal Era And Embrace Clean Energy?” • Despite the United Nations calling urgently for an end to fossil fuels, hundreds of coal-fired power stations are being built. Is the world ready for a new era of clean, cheap energy for all? The UN is ramping up pressure on countries to end their reliance on coal. [UN News]

Motorbikes in Hanoi

¶ “Climate Change: Everything New Zealand Needs To Do To Get To Zero Carbon” • New Zealand has signed the Zero Carbon Bill into law, setting ambitious targets for 2050. The law has two targets, one for natural gas and another for everything else. Joel MacManus explores what New Zealand needs to do in order to meet them. [Stuff.co.nz]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Salmon Can Transform A Landscape” • Protecting salmon in coastal Canada could have benefits well beyond the water they swim in. Five species of eastern Pacific salmon spawn in British Columbia. All provide a vital food source that has been supporting ecosystems and First Nations’ cultures for at least 7,000 years. [BBC]

Mountain river (Getty Images)

¶ “SUVs Are Worse For The Climate Than You Ever Imagined” • According to a summary analysis of a report by the International Energy Agency that was released on November 13, SUVs are the second-biggest contributor to the rise in global carbon dioxide emissions during the past decade. Only the power sector is a bigger emitter. [WIRED]

¶ “InnVTek Can Build A Superhighway For Nanoparticles That Is Useful In Every Chemical And Battery Process” • Innovators at InnVTek have found a way to mix and pour materials that form into gyroids so that they make membranes. That has broad implications for a number of technical needs. One thing it can enable is better batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Gyroid of intersecting curves (US DOE image)

World:

¶ “Mercedes-Benz Owner Daimler To Cut 10,000 Jobs Worldwide” • German carmaker Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, said it will shed at least 10,000 jobs worldwide as it seeks to fund the switch to electric cars. The move comes days after rival Audi said it would cut 9,500 of its 61,000 jobs in Germany for similar reasons. [BBC]

¶ “Ofgem’s Plan For Network Charges Triggers Renewables Sector Backlash” • Ofgem passed its long-awaited, controversial plan for network charges last week, despite earlier warnings against the move. The UK electricity market regulator’s Targeted Charging Review has provoked a backlash in the renewables sector. [pv magazine International]

Transmission tower (Image: analogicus | Pixabay)

Transmission tower (Image: analogicus | Pixabay)

¶ “National Grid Electricity Transmission Signs Strategic Deal With Smart Wires To Enable Greater Volumes Of Renewable Power” • NGET awarded a five-year framework agreement to Smart Wires, a power flow control technology company. This will help decarbonize the UK grid by enabling efficient transfer of more renewable power. [Energy Global]

¶ “German Climate Package ‘Lacks’ Clean Power Ambition” • German clean power groups criticized Germany’s climate legislation’s lack of ambition on renewable energy to meet the 65% goal by 2030. Renewable energy federation BEE re-iterated industry calls to expand targets for offshore wind and remove barriers to onshore wind development. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (NEAG image)

¶ “Solar Photovoltaic Power Capacity To Exceed 8,000 GW By 2050” • Global solar PV capacity is expected to exceed 8,000 GW by 2050, 18 times the current levels, according to an analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency. Solar PV could cover a quarter of global electricity needs by mid-century, second only to wind. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “300 MW Of New Solar For China’s 800-kV UHV Transmission Project” • Chinese PV manufacturer JinkoSolar announced its first agreement to supply its Tiger modules, which were unveiled in October. The company said it will provide 300 MW of the new panels for an ultra-high voltage demonstration plant in China’s Qinghai province. [pv magazine International]

Qinghai province (© Michel Royon | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Japan’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fall To Record Low In 2018/19” • Japan’s carbon emissions fell 3.6% to a record low in the year to March 2019, government figures show. This is due to growing renewable energy, restarts of nine nuclear reactors, and warmer winter. Emissions had surged after the 2011 nuclear disaster at Fukushima. [Financial Express]

US:

¶ “Indianapolis Building Gets Highest ‘Green’ Building Certification Possible” • Indiana often falls behind in sustainable construction, but a new Indianapolis building just completed a $2.6 million effort toward certification as a top-tier “green” office space with LEED v4 Platinum certification. It is Guidon Designs’ redesign of an existing building. [Indianapolis Star]

Guidon Designs office (Photo: Guidon Designs)

¶ “How These Massachusetts Farmers Are Turning Manure And Food Waste Into Power” • According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, about 204 million pounds of turkey meat will be thrown away this Thanksgiving. NPR’s Allison Aubrey visits a state that is keeping its food waste out of landfills by sending it to farms to turn it into electricity. [PBS NewsHour]

¶ “US to Negotiate Carbon Trades Under Climate Pact Trump Shuns” • President Trump may be withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, but the US will still be a force in negotiations as international leaders gather in Madrid next week to map out rules for carbon trading as a way to limit global emissions of greenhouse gases. [Bloomberg Environment]

Have a thoroughly fabulous day.

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November 29 Energy News

November 29, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Indigenous Communities Are At The Forefront Of Climate Resilience” • Indigenous land overlaps with areas that hold 80% of Earth’s biodiversity. Indigenous communities depend intimately on this ecological richness for their economic, social, and cultural well-being. And that makes them powerful actors in the fight against climate change. [Climate Home]

Fort William First Nation (Tony Webster | Flickr)

World:

¶ “India Pollution Regulator Threatens To Shut Coal-Fired Utilities Around New Delhi” • India’s federal pollution regulator has warned coal-fired power plants around New Delhi that they could be shut down for failing to comply with deadlines to meet emissions standards, according to sources and a letter reviewed by Reuters. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Boris Johnson Replaced By Ice Sculpture After Dodging Election Debate On Climate Crisis” • Boris Johnson was criticized by party leaders and represented by a dripping ice sculpture after refusing to appear in a televised election debate focusing on climate change. His Conservative Party offered a replacement, but Channel 4 refused that. [CNN]

Channel 4 News Climate Debated (ITN News)

¶ “Enel Plugs 220 MW Of Solar Into Mexico Grid” • Enel as started operations at its 220-MW Magdalena 2 PV plant in Mexico. Magdalena 2, the first clean energy project in Tlaxcala, is the first solar farm in the country to sell its entire electricity output, around 640 GWh per year, to private offtakers on the country’s wholesale electricity market. [reNEWS]

¶ “Russia’s Taymyr Plan: Arctic Coal For India Risks Pollution” • In a decree last year President Putin ordered Russian firms to boost cargo traffic on the Northern Sea Route to an annual 80 million tonnes by 2024. Ambitious energy co-operation deals were signed with India in October, including deals for coking coal, used to make steel and aluminium. [BBC]

Russian ships on the Northern Sea Route (Getty Images)

¶ “UK Already Has The Tools To Achieve Net-Zero, Says CAT Report” • The UK could reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions using only proven technology, without relying on the promise of future developments, says a new report, Zero Carbon Britain: Rising to the Climate Emergency, from the Centre for Alternative Technology. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Ellen, World’s Largest Electric Ferry, Has Battery Equivalent To 50 Tesla Model S Batteries” • The 750-ton Ellen is the most powerful 100% electric ferry in the world. She can carry 30 vehicles and 250 passengers. She can charge at up to 4.4 MW, and battery size is 4.3 MWh, which is equivalent to about 50 Tesla Model S batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Ellen, 100% electric ferry (Photo via European Commission)

¶ “Regulator: Venting At Fukushima Reactor Failed” • Japan’s nuclear regulator says it believes that the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant failed to properly vent a vessel containing one of the plant’s reactors in the days after the March 2011 accident. It seems TEPCO had tried to vent the containment vessel of the No 2 reactor but failed. [NHK WORLD]

¶ “Croatia Aims To Boost Renewables To 36% By 2030” • Croatia is looking to increase its share of renewable energy to 36.4% by 2030. The consultancy GlobalData said the rise in renewable capacity from around 1% in 2008 to 17% in 2018 occurred because of revised targets under Zagreb’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan. [Energy Reporters]

Cres-Lošinj (Photo credit: NeedPix)

Australia:

¶ “‘Not Something To Celebrate’: Drought And Flood Cause Drop In Emissions” • Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions flatlined due to the effects of the drought, which has caused a large drop in CO₂ from the agriculture sector. But that drop and the increasing use of renewables were almost entirely offset by growing use of liquified natural gas. [The Guardian]

¶ “Meet The Farmers Embracing Climate Change And Thriving” • To Jeff Burch, modern Australian farmers need to respond to climate change. “I’m not a science specialist on weather, I just know the facts are that we’re getting less rainfall, we’re getting more different weather patterns,” he said. Mr Burch reckons the naysayers “might have to get real.” [ABC News]

Jeff Burch (Caitlyn Gribbin | ABC News)

¶ “Record Year Delivers 1770 MW Of New Renewables For Victoria” • As Australia heads into what could be a new low in investor confidence for future renewables development, a booming Victorian market has delivered a bumper year for solar and wind power, with twelve new licences issued to generate renewable electricity. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Utility To Close Coal-Fired Plant” • New Mexico’s largest electric provider says continued operation of a coal-fired power plant using carbon-capture technology wouldn’t be in the best interest of customers. Public Service Co of New Mexico made the declaration in testimony on the San Juan Generating Station’s pending closure. [KUNM]

San Juan Generating Station in New Mexico
(Steven Baltakatei Sandoval, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Dominion To Remove Virginia Plant From Its Renewable Energy Portfolio After Backlash” • Dominion, Virginia’s largest utility, finally allowed regulators to remove one of its power plants in South Virginia from its renewable energy portfolio after backlash it received after it was discovered by advocates and environmental scientists. [Public Wire]

¶ “Innergex Announces The Signature Of A Long-Term Power Purchase Agreement For The Hillcrest Solar Project In Ohio” • Innergex Renewable Energy, based in Québec, announced that it signed a long-term power purchase agreement with an unnamed US corporation for its 200-MW Hillcrest solar PV project in Brown County, Ohio. [Canada NewsWire]

Have a perfectly enjoyable day.

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November 28 Energy News

November 28, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Tipping Points – Too Risky To Bet Against” • When the IPCC introduced the idea of tipping points two decades ago, many of us have assumed that hitting them was unlikely. Now, evidence is mounting that these events could be more likely than was thought, potentially committing the world to long-term irreversible changes. [Nature]

Alaskan glacier (Frans Lanting | Nat Geo Image Collection)

¶ “Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists” • More than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now “active,” leading scientists have warned. Three of them, collapse of ice sheets in Greenland, West Antarctica, and part of East Antarctica, would commit the world to around ten meters of irreversible sea-level rise. [Science Daily]

¶ “India’s Rain Pattern Getting Affected By Global Climate Crisis” • Scientists have for the first time linked a specific phenomenon brought on by the climate crisis to reduced winter rain in India. It is a growing patch of warm seas in the Indo-Pacific ocean region that is causing droughts in some regions across the world and extreme floods in others. [Hindustan Times]

Rain in India (Satyabrata Tripathy | HT Photo)

¶ “Machine Learning Rapidly Improves Waste Sorting To Environmental And Economic Benefit” • AMP Robotics, based in Colorado is putting robots and machine learning, to work sorting trash to find recyclable materials. Where automated sorting machines have been failing, especially with the highest value waste, AMP is succeeding. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “How Old Cell Phones Are Spying On Illegal Loggers” • Through his non-profit Rainforest Connection, Topher White puts old Android smartphones in recycled plastic boxes fitted with extra microphones, battery packs, and solar panels. The devices, fastened to trees high up in the canopy, automatically alert rangers when they hear loggers. [CNN]

Installing Rainforest Connection devices (Rainforest Connection)

¶ “Renewable Energy Surge Could Power A New Industrial Australia” • In spite of the efforts of our government, Australia is going to overshoot 100% renewables, Oliver Yates, inaugural CEO of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, said. He pointed out that a 500% renewables capacity approach would “reindustrialize the country. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa To Equip 448-MW Scottish Offshore Wind Farm” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA has signed a deal with EDF Renewables to supply turbines for the 448-MW Neart Na Gaoithe offshore wind project in Scottish waters. The wind turbine manufacturer will supply 54 units of its SG 8.0-167 DD machines. [Renewables Now]

Siemens Gamesa 8-MW offshore turbine (Ørsted image)

¶ “Total Inaugurates New Caledonia Solar Power Plant” • Total Quadran, a Total subsidiary, brought online its Hélio Boulouparis 2, the second phase of the solar park, which is the most extensive solar program ever carried out in New Caledonia. It has a 16-MW capacity. The first tranche, Hélio Boulouparis 1, has been in operation since 2017. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Power And Gas ‘Coupling’ Seen As Key To EU’s Zero-Carbon Quest” • As Europe moves towards a goal of net-zero emissions, policymakers are looking at all available sources of energy. These include new low-carbon gases like hydrogen and bio-methane, which can be coupled with renewably generated electricity to decarbonize at least cost. [EURACTIV]

Offshore wind farm (Iberdrola via Flickr)

US:

¶ “LG Chem And SK Innovation Are Locked In A Cage Fighting Match That Could Destroy Them Both” • South Korea’s two largest battery makers, LG Chem and SK Innovation, are in a legal battle in the US. Each is asking the US International Trade Commission to bar the other from supplying batteries to VW, GM, Ford, Jaguar, Audi, and KIA. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “It’s Time To Ditch Your Gas Car! Greater LA Region Targets 80% EV Market Share By 2028” • The Greater Los Angeles Region, home to almost half of all Californians, is aiming to meet pollution and carbon emission goals by targeting 80% EV market share by 2028. The goal is for 30% of the private vehicle fleet of around 15 million vehicles to be EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Volt (Image courtesy of Chevrolet)

¶ “City Of St Helena Signs Up For 100% Renewable Energy With Marin Clean Energy” • The city of St Helena, California, had been using a Marin Clean Energy portfolio of 60% renewable energy. Now, the city council has decided to enroll in the Deep Green program, Marin Clean Energy’s 100% renewable energy option. [Napa Valley Register]

¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E First Edition Sold Out, Rivian-Based Lincoln SUV Planned” • According to CNET Road Show, the First Edition of the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV introduced earlier this month is now sold out in the US. And Reuters is reporting a battery electric Lincoln based on a Rivian chassis is under development. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E

¶ “In Trump-Friendly Florida And Elsewhere, GOP Pressured Over Climate Change Inaction” • Since taking office in January, Florida’s Republican governor has appointed a science officer, established a climate change czar, and pledged to spend billions of dollars to restore the Everglades and combat pollution. Other GOP politicians are also getting active. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Persistent Outages Plaguing Grand Gulf Nuclear Plant Are Adding Millions To The Bills Of New Orleans Customers” • The 1,443-MW Grand Gulf nuclear plant is supposed to run almost every single day at full capacity, providing “base load” power to New Orleans. But its many outages cost New Orleans residents millions of dollars. [The Lens]

Have a contentedly full Thanksgiving Day.

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November 27 Energy News

November 27, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change ‘Converts’ Reveal What Changed Their Minds” • In what feels like a former life, Jerry Taylor penned op-eds, appeared on cable news networks, and worked the “entire orbit of right-wing media,” arguing climate change was not a real problem. Now he is the head of a think-tank promoting a carbon tax. His change is not unique. [Deseret News]

Jerry Taylor (Cheryl Diaz Meyer, for the Deseret News)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Arctic To Be ‘Functionally Ice-Free’ In The Next 50 Years, Study Says” • A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change predicts that if the Earth continues at its current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, Arctic sea ice would regress to levels not high enough to perform its function of reflecting heat back, possibly as early as September 2044. [Globalnews.ca]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Kit Tackles Wake Impacts” • Siemens Gamesa unveiled new technology that adjusts the heading of individual offshore wind turbines to reduce production losses from wake effects. The ‘wake adapt’ feature shifts the direction of the turbine wake away from downstream machines allowing an increase in overall wind farm performance. [reNEWS]

Wake from turbines (Credit: Siemens Gamesa)

World:

¶ “China Aims To Boost Revenue For Renewable Power Firms” • China plans to make power purchasers take fair returns into account when buying renewable electricity, according to a draft rule issued by the National Energy Administration aimed at improving revenues of renewable generators. The rule applies to non-hydro renewables. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Volkswagen Motorsport Says Auf Wiedersehen To Internal Combustion Engines” • Volkswagen Motorsport, the arm of the company that coordinates all factory racing programs, says it will no longer use internal combustion engines in factory-sponsored automotive competitions. From now on, if a race car has a VW badge on it, it will be electric. [CleanTechnica]

VW race car (Volkswagen courtesy image)

¶ “Portugal: Galp Signs New Contract For Purchase Of Renewable Energy In Spain” • Galp, Portugal’s leading oil and gas company and a major generator of power, signed a twelve-year contract with Spain’s Grenergy Renovables to purchase 300 to 360 GWh per year of renewable energy, according to the Portuguese energy company. [Macau Business]

¶ “Over A Quarter Million EVs In India Have Received Subsidies, Reports Indian Government” • About 285,000 commercial EVs have been issued a total of $50 million in subsidies under India’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India program, India’s Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises said. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric bus (BYD image)

¶ “Macquarie Group Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity By 2025” • Australian investment bank Macquarie Group committed to purchasing all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The company has become the latest to join the RE100 initiative that encourages the world’s biggest companies to make the switch to renewables. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa 11-MW Giants Lined Up For HKZ” • Vattenfall will use Siemens Gamesa’s newly upgraded 11-MW DD-193 turbine for the 750-MW Hollandse Kust Zuid 1&2 offshore wind farm off the Dutch coast. Vattenfall said the Hollandse Kust Zuid zone is now planned to be fitted with approximately 140 machines. [reNEWS]

Siemens Gamesa wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa)

¶ “Enel To Build 14 GW Of Renewables By 2022 As Race to Decarbonize Heats Up” • European utility giant Enel committed half of its investment over the next few years to decarbonization, as part of a new strategic plan. Between 2020 and 2022, the Italian group will invest €11.5 billion ($12.6 billion) for 14.1 GW renewable capacity. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Nuclear Watchdog Approves Restart Of Onagawa Reactor In Miyagi Hit By 3/11 Tsunami” • The No 2 unit of Tohoku Electric Power Co’s Onagawa plant in Miyagi Prefecture received the green light after the addition of disaster prevention measures, including a 29 meter, ¥340 billion ($3.1 billion) seawall that is nearing completion. [The Japan Times]

Onagawa nuclear power plant (Kyodo)

US:

¶ “Gov Mills Orders State Agencies To Step Up Maine’s Fight Against Climate Change” • Gov Janet Mills took another step to make Maine a leader in combating climate change. She signed an executive order directing agencies to develop and implement by February 2021 a sustainability plan to meet or exceed the state’s carbon reduction goals. [Press Herald]

¶ “Massachusetts Bill Would Block Logging, Let State Forests Keep Their Carbon” • Massachusetts lawmakers have proposed novel legislation that would enlist all state forest lands in the fight against climate change by protecting them from commercial logging. The law would affect roughly 600,000 acres of forest in the state. [Ars Technica]

Rehoboth State Forest (Kenneth C Zirkel, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “How Alternative Storage Solutions Are Breaking Into The Lithium-Ion-Dominated Market” • As the year 2017 ended, 708 MW of large-scale battery capacity were operating in the US. The market is growing fast, and Arizona Public Service intends  to add 850 MW of storage by 2025. But lithium-ion storage is not the only type of storage. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Duke Energy Florida Issues $700 Million Green Bond” • The Florida-based subsidiary of US utility Duke Energy has finalized the issuance of a $700 million (€636 million) green bond to fund renewable energy investments. The company will use proceeds to finance development, construction, and procurement of solar generation and battery storage. [Renewables Now]

Have an unabashedly cheerful day.

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November 26 Energy News

November 26, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why Slowing Down Ships Could Help Save The Planet” • Shipping is one of the world’s dirtiest industries. Emissions from ships account for 3% of global emissions. But a study shows that putting speed limits on ships could have broad environmental benefits. Cutting ship speeds by 20% could reduce CO₂ emissions from ships by 24%. [CNN]

Container ship (Ingo Wagner | DPA | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “NASA’s All-Electric X-57 Experimental Plane Debut With Interview” • Empirical Systems Aerospace delivered the first configuration of the X-57 to NASA. It has two 60-kw electric motors and high-performance batteries. The early model will allow NASA to start testing. In its final configuration, the plane will have 14 electric motors and propellers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar farm helps balance UK grid – at night” • Lightsource BP said that a trial using one of its solar plants in East Sussex had successfully provided night-time reactive power voltage support services to the electricity network – a first for a solar asset in the UK. An “inexpensive tweak” to inverters can send the grid power back at a slightly different voltage. [RenewEconomy]

Solar panels at night (Lightsource BP image)

¶ “Researchers Say Nanomaterials Are Key To Energy Storage” • According to Drexel University, a main focus of battery research is finding ways to store more electrons. Using “nanostructuring,” researchers introduce particles, tubes, flakes, and stacks of nanoscale materials into storage systems components, allowing more electrons to be stored. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “‘Bleak’ Outlook As Carbon Emissions Gap Grows” • Countries will have to increase their carbon-cutting ambitions five-fold if the world is to avoid warming by more than 1.5°C, the UN says. The annual emissions gap report shows that even if all current promises are met, the world will warm by more than double that amount by 2100. [BBC]

Australian bushfire (Getty Images)

¶ “ScotlandPower Plans Major Onshore Wind Initiative” • In 2015, then UK prime minister David Cameron blocked any government support for onshore wind farms, and construction fell 80%. Now, as political parties are supporting windpower, Scottish Power has begun planning for a major expansion of onshore wind projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ACWA Connects Saudi’s First Utility Scale Renewables Plant To The Grid” • ACWA Power announced that Saudi Arabia’s first renewable energy project, the Sakaka solar plant, was connected successfully to the national grid. Full commercial operation of the 300-MW project is to be achieved before the end of the year 2019. [Power Engineering International]

Solar plant

¶ “WindEurope Plots 450-GW EU Offshore Goal” • To achieve the European Commission’s target of 450 GW of offshore wind by 2050 requires annual installation rates to rise from 3 GW today to over 20 GW in 2030, a report from WindEurope says. The study suggests that the bulk, 212 GW, should be deployed in the North Sea. [reNEWS]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Unveils 11-MW Offshore Turbine” • Siemens Gamesa unveiled an offshore wind turbine that can reach top power of 11 MW. The German-Spanish manufacturer said the “DD Flex” machine relies on “constant digital observations” to drive the power to 11 MW. It showed the machine at WindEurope Offshore 2019 in Copenhagen. [reNEWS]

Siemens Gamesa wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa)

¶ “Most Consumers Want Companies To Target 100% Renewable Energy” • A poll commissioned by Greenpeace Australia Pacific shows that the corporate shift to renewable energy is driven not only by economics, but also public expectation. Nearly three out of four Australian consumers expect companies to target 100% renewable energy. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “Solar And Battery Microgrid Achieves 90% Renewables For WA Gas Hub” • Horizon Power’s poster child for the shift to a distributed renewable grid, the Western Australia Pilbara town of Onslow, says its solar and battery microgrid is already helping to deliver “more reliable” and cleaner power, at levels of up to 90% renewables. [One Step Off The Grid]

Dust storm and Onslow salt mine (Rob McGregor, Wikimedia)

¶ “Echoing Japanese Bishops, Pope Backs Abolition Of Nuclear Power” • Speaking to survivors of Japan’s 2011 “triple disaster,” when the country was hit by a devastating mega-earthquake, a tsunami, and an incident at a nuclear plant, Pope Francis called for the abolition of nuclear facilities, echoing the voice of the local bishops. [Angelus News]

US:

¶ “Ohio Denies AEP Cost Recovery For 400 MW Of Proposed Solar, But Projects Expected To Proceed” • The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio denied American Electric Power’s request to charge customers for development of two solar projects, totaling 400 MW. It said the utility had not shown a need for the additional generation. [Utility Dive]

Solar array (Credit: Novo Nordisk)

¶ “Putting New York City’s Waterfront At The Heart Of A Renewable Energy Revolution” • Today, the East Coast looks to a pipeline of offshore wind energy projects, or ocean-based wind farms, that could generate more than 20 GW of power within 10 years. Offshore wind energy could power up to a million homes in New York within five years. [Next City]

¶ “80% Of US Accepts That There’s A Human Role In Climate Change” • Recent events, including fires, unusual temperatures, and destructive storms, may have increased public acceptance of climate change. A Pew Research Center poll says about 80% of the public accepts the evidence that human activities contribute to the changing climate. [Ars Technica]

Have an exuberantly jolly day.

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November 25 Energy News

November 25, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change: Greenhouse Gas Concentrations Again Break Records” • Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases once again reached new highs in 2018. The World Meteorological Organization says the increase in CO₂ was just above the average rise recorded over the last decade, along with other greenhouse gases. [BBC]

Pollution (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Coal: Is This The Beginning Of The End?” • This year looks set to see the largest fall in electricity production from coal on record, according to a report in the online journal Carbon Brief. It is projected to drop by 3% – which is a fall of 300 TWh, based on energy sector data from around the world for the first seven to 10 months of the year. [BBC]

¶ “Bangladesh To Assess Impact Of Integrating Renewables Into Grid” • With renewable energy taking root in Bangladesh, the government’s Power Division issued a request for expressions from interest from energy consultants to help it prepare the national grid for rising penetration from intermittent electricity generation. [pv magazine International]

Transmission system (Image: Nikhil Verma | Flickr)

¶ “Vestas Inks 118-MW EnVentus Deal At Finnish Farm” • Vestas has secured a deal to supply turbines from its EnVentus platform for the 118-MW Paskoonharju 2 wind farm in Finland. The Danish manufacturer will deliver 21 V150-5.6MW units to the EPV Energia project in the municipality of Teuva, which is being built on a merchant basis. [reNEWS]

¶ “Sweden Wind Power Park Points At Industry’s Shift Away From Subsidies” • Europe’s biggest onshore wind park is being built in a remote part of Sweden. Markbygden could be the clearest sign yet of the industry’s shift away from subsidies and towards relying on the markets that set returns for plants running on natural gas, coal or nuclear energy. [Business Day]

Wind turbines (Bob Strong | Reuters)

¶ “Statkraft Launches Wind And Solar Development Activities In Spain And Portugal” • Statkraft, Europe´s largest producer of renewable energy and leading provider of power purchase agreements, aims to develop onshore wind and solar projects in the Iberian Peninsula either in-house or through partnerships to co-develop projects. [GlobalNewswire]

¶ “Sierra Leone: Easy Solar Expands Energy Access To 300,000 People” • For more than three years, Easy Solar has been committed to expanding energy access to people without power in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone’s clean energy provider, Easy Solar, announced that it has reached a new milestone of 300,000 users nationwide. [ESI Africa]

Home solar system on a thatched roof

¶ “ARENA Commits $70 Million To ‘ Get Cracking’ On Renewable Hydrogen” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will provide up to $70 million to speed development of renewable hydrogen in Australia. The funding is expected to play a material role to support commercial-scale renewable hydrogen deployments. [EcoGeneration]

¶ “Ørsted Unveils 5-GW Energy Island Vision” • Ørsted plans to establish the island of Bornholm to deliver up to 5 GW of power. It will be Denmark’s first offshore wind cluster interconnecting with two to three neighbouring countries. The Danish company said the hub could potentially connect with Poland, Sweden and possibly Germany. [reNEWS]

Walney wind farm (Ørsted image)

US:

¶ “Facing Backlash, Dominion Says It’s Willing To Have Coal Plant Removed From Green Energy Package” • Virginia’s largest utility said it would be willing to let regulators remove a hybrid power plant that relies almost entirely on coal from a renewable energy portfolio it wants to sell to environmentally conscious consumers. [Virginia Mercury]

¶ “Black Hills Seeks Nod For 200-MW Renewables Procurement Round” • Black Hills Corp said it is seeking regulatory clearance to add 200 MW of renewable capacity in Southern Colorado through a competitive solicitation. Subsidiary Colorado Electric, (aka Black Hills Energy) filed a proposal to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines in Colorado (Mortenson | mortenson.com)

¶ “BMW Partners With Dairy Farms To Make Renewable Energy” • BMW and Straus Family Creamery are partnering to make electricity generated at the organic dairy farm available for BMW’s EV customers in California. The project was announced at an LA auto show. BMW claimed the project was the first of its kind in the auto industry. [MediaPost Communications]

¶ “Renewable Generation In US Is Set To Surpass Coal In 2021 For First Time” • It now seems likely that annual renewable energy generation in 2021 will surpass coal-fired output in the US for the first time. Coal has been rapidly declining, and renewables have been growing fast. It looks like they will be at least neck-and-neck for the year. [RenewEconomy]

Have a vastly happy day.

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November 24 Energy News

November 24, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Affecting Diversity In Some Of Australia’s Most Remote Areas, Despite Work Of Indigenous Rangers” • Three-quarters of all of Australia’s species that are currently known to be threatened occur in Indigenous tenures. And in Indigenous Protected Areas the land is protected by Indigenous Rangers.  [ABC News] (Lots of photos)

Karajarri ranger Kamahl Bangu (Ann Jones | ABC Science)

¶ “More Solar Power To Drive The All-Electric Economy Of The Sparkling Green Future” • Solar power is primarily associated with PV or thermal collection technology, but there is also a third wave of technology that mimics the process by which plants absorb and convert sunlight. It “splits” water to make hydrogen, which can be used for fuel.  [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “From China To The Outback: Logistical Nightmare Behind Transport Of Gigantic Wind Turbines” • Workers are preparing to transport a new wind farm more than 630 km inland to power one of Australia’s biggest gold mines. Fifteen 66-meter blades came in from China by ship. They are to be moved to the Agnew gold mine in the northern Goldfields. [ABC News]

Blades at Geraldton Port, WA (Zachary Bruce | ABC News)

¶ “Tehran Says It’s Designing ‘Modern’ Uranium Fuel … Enriched Above Nuclear Deal’s Limitations” • Iran is “on the verge” of producing fuel made up of highly enriched uranium, Iran’s top nuclear power official said. While it hasn’t reached weapons-grade level, the new fuel might still cross a line set by the 2015 nuclear deal. [Stock Daily Dish]

¶ “Spain Boosts Renewables Subsidies” • Spain has offered incentives to renewable energy investors to get them to abandon almost €10 billion worth of lawsuits against the government, the acting environment minister said. A number of  investors sued after the previous right-wing administration reduced renewable subsidies in 2013. [Energy Reporters]

Solar array (Wikimedia)

US:

¶ “Coal Knew, Too” • “Exxon knew.” Thanks to the work of activists and journalists, those two words have rocked the politics of climate change in recent years. Investigations have revealed the extent to which giants like Exxon Mobil and Shell were aware of the danger. But the coal industry knew, too, as early as 1966, as articles on the subject show. [HuffPost]

¶ “The Harvard-Yale Football Game Was Delayed After Students And Alumni Stormed The Field To Protest Climate Change” • The Harvard-Yale football game was delayed nearly 30 minutes after more than a hundred students and alumni flooded the field at halftime to protest against the schools’ endowments from fossil fuel companies. [CNN]

Harvard-Yale protest (@stevebene7 on Twitter)

¶ “Cornell Students, Profs Send Fossil Fuel Divestment Complaint To NY Attorney General” • Unable to persuade the Cornell Board of Trustees to divest from fossil fuels, student and faculty activists are taking the fight to the next level. The Cornell Daily Sun, says one group asked New York Attorney General Letitia James to investigate. [The College Fix]

¶ “Public Private Partnership Building Net Zero Homes For Low Income Families In Rhode Island” • In Rhode Island, a public private partnership is building five new homes for low income buyers that are designed to have no utility bills at all. The design was a project of the Rhode Island School of Design architecture program. [CleanTechnica]

Net-zero low income house (Sung Hyun Hong
and Diyi Zhang | RISD Department of Architecture)

¶ “Fracking Blows Up Investors Again: Phase 2 Of The Great American Shale Oil And Gas Bust” • The number of bankruptcy filings of oil and gas drillers since the beginning of 2015 has gone to over 200. Other drillers, such as Chesapeake Energy, whose shares closed on Friday at 59¢, are jostling for position at the filing counter. [Wolf Street]

¶ “Say What? $79 To $178 Monthly Lease For An Electric Car?” • Green Car Reports quotes numbers as low as $79 per month for the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric. That’s for a 36 month lease with $999 down and a 10,000-mile annual limit, but if we work the down payment into the monthly price, it would bring the change to about $107 per month. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Ioniq Electric ad

¶ “Ballot Initiative Aims To Increase Renewable Energy In Montana” • For the third time, a group of Montanans is working on a ballot initiative that would require 80% of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2034. Petition signatures are being collected for Initiative 87, which aims to revise energy and tax laws. [The Bozeman Daily Chronicle]

¶ “Newsom Halts Hundreds Of Fracking Permits” • California Gov Gavin Newsom halted approval of hundreds of fracking permits until independent scientists can review them. The state Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources announced it will not approve new wells that use high-pressure steam to extract oil from the underground. [Antelope Valley Press]

Have a demonstrably carefree day.

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November 23 Energy News

November 23, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “New And Strange Climate Pattern Includes More Violent El Niño Swings” • In the industrial age, El Niños have become more intense, standing to worsen storms, drought, and coral bleaching in El Niño years. A new study has found compelling evidence in the Pacific Ocean that the stronger El Niños are part of a climate pattern that is new and strange. [SciTechDaily]

Powerful El Niño events in 1997 and 2015 (NOAA)

Opinion:

¶ “Olivia Campbell Andersen: Renewable Energy Standard Needs Fixing, Now” • For young generations, clean energy is not an option, it’s an expectation. For seniors, health-impaired neighbors, and businesses, reliable and affordable electricity is a lifeblood necessity. We’ve heard scientists’ alarms, … and know time is running out to stop it. [vtdigger.org]

World:

¶ “China Can Go Carbon Neutral By 2050 While Still Growing Its Economy: Report” • China won’t have to sacrifice prosperity to go carbon neutral in the next few decades, a report says. The report by the Energy Transitions Commission in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Institute said China could triple economic output per person. [CNN]

Sheep and cooling tower in China

¶ “Samoa Climate Change Resilience Challenges Western Perceptions” • The resilience of Samoan communities in the face of climate change provides a blueprint other nations can follow, a study says. Rather than despairing at the prospect, villagers have developed a pragmatic and positive approach to impending climate changes. [Science Daily]

¶ “Electric Tour Boats In Paris To Use Repurposed Renault EV Batteries” • The Seine Alliance, a river tourism developer in Paris, has partnered with Renault to utilize used EV batteries for powering its electric tour boats. They have no exhaust fumes. They’re quiet and inexpensive to run. And the boats will not require costly new batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Electric boat at the Paris Yacht Club (Image: The Seine Alliance)

¶ “Volkswagen Will Invest $4 Billion In China, Adds ID.3 Production To Dresden Factory” • Together with its Chinese partners, Volkswagen Group accounts for 19.5% of all cars sold in China, according to Stephan Wöllenstein CEO of Volkswagen Group China. Now, the company says it will invest $4 billion in its China operations in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Positive Result For Second Yorkshire Battery” • Harmony Energy has secured planning permission from East Riding of Yorkshire Council for the construction of a second battery storage scheme at a site in Yorkshire. The 49.5-MW facility will be the second built on a one hectare site next to a substation at Cottingham, near Hull. [reNEWS]

Battery storage plant (Image: Carter Jonas)

¶ “DEME, Engie Form Belgian Hydrogen Team” • DEME Group and Engie are among seven organisations in Belgium cooperating on ways to deliver the production, transport, and storage of hydrogen to help meet the country’s 80% by 2050 renewable energy goal. They noted that hydrogen is an important carrier for renewable energy. [reNEWS]

¶ “Sunrise Movement Goes Viral Without Twitter Ads, Yet Still Influences National Narrative” • Climate action momentum is building around the US and world, in good part due to Sunrise advocacy. The word has spread without such things as insidious Twitter ads. The Sunrise Movement is accomplishing a lot with little more than people power. [CleanTechnica]

Sunrise Movement protest (Vivianne Peckham via Sunrise)

¶ “Legal Suits Mounting Against Mexican Renewable Energy Change: Lobby” • Increasing numbers of lawsuits are being brought because of a rule change by the government of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The change reduced private sector incentives to develop renewable energy, a leading business association said. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ “Solar Costs And Wind Costs So Low They’re Cheaper Than Existing Coal And Nuclear – Lazard LCOE Report” • Lazard’s latest LCOE report says cheap energy from solar and wind are competing with existing coal and nuclear plants. It can be cheaper to build new wind and solar farms than to keep existing coal and nuclear power plants going. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels at Disney World (Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Tesla Cybertruck Starts From $39,900! Better Value Than Ford F-150?” • The Tesla Cybertruck was unveiled last night. Compared with a similarly outfitted Ford F-150, its entry price of $39,900 is shockingly affordable. The F-150’s price, with similar features, would be considerably higher priced, and it would cost much more to maintain. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Federal Gulf Cod Fishery Likely To Close As Warming Waters Push Cod Numbers To Lowest On Record” • The latest Gulf of Alaska trawl survey shows the lowest cod numbers on record. That threatens to close the federal Gulf cod fishery which was slated to begin in less than two months. Cod have declined so badly that few fishermen go after them. [KTOO]

Fisherman Frank Miles (Kavitha George | Alaska’s Energy Desk)

¶ Facebook’s Newton Data Center Receives 100% Renewable Energy”” • A new solar project will have a new Facebook data center hub in Georgia 100% renewably powered. Walton Electric Membership Corporation has signed a contract with Silicon Ranch on behalf of Facebook for power from a new solar project in Newton County. [Capacity Media]

¶ “State Staff: Georgia Power Nuclear Timeline ‘significantly Challenged’” • Georgia Power’s nuclear expansion of Plant Vogtle is falling further behind schedule, according to a filing by Georgia Public Service Commission staff and consultants. The project is already years behind its original schedule and billions of dollars over budget. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Have an excitingly pleasant day.

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November 22 Energy News

November 22, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Are We Doing Enough To Tackle Global Transport Emissions?” • According to the World Resources Institute, “72% of global transport emissions come from road vehicles, which accounted for 80% of the rise in emissions from 1970-2010.” And since 2012, emissions from the transportation sector have been increasing with increased traffic. [CleanTechnica]

Traffic in Hawaii (Anthony Quintano, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “US Shale Oil Boom May Be Winding Down. What Does That Mean For America And The World?” • A cloud has appeared over fracking, as the world price of oil trends downward. The fracking industry grew in 2018, but did not grow in 2019, Halliburton laid off 3,000 workers, and dozens of fracking companies have filed for bankruptcy. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Stanford Study Says Renewable Power Eliminates Argument For Using Carbon Capture With Fossil Fuels” • New research from Stanford University professor Mark Z Jacobson questions the climate and health benefits of carbon capture technology against simply switching to renewable energy sources like solar and windpower.  [DeSmog]

Power plant

World:

¶ “This Is How You Do Climate: NSW Unveils Plans For A Renewable Energy Short-Cut” • New South Wales will rewrite electricity market rules to create a giant renewable energy zone, pour money into hydrogen, and spur consumers to offset CO₂ emissions in a policy that could shift the national debate over climate change. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “City Of Melbourne Leads Second ‘Bulk-Buy’ Renewables Auction” • Leading Melbourne universities and businesses have joined forces to buy 113 GWh per year of renewably generated electricity, in the second major bulk-buy renewables project to be led by the City of Melbourne. The details of the tender were released to a closed group. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm

¶ “Ofgem Charges Ahead With UK Grid Reforms” • UK energy regulator Ofgem is to press ahead with grid charge reforms that renewable trade associations say will undermine subsidy-free deployment. Fixed charges will be applied to all households and businesses to recuperate residual charges while some embedded benefits for generators will be scrapped. [reNEWS]

¶ “Asian Quartet ‘On Course For 19 GW Offshore'” • Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam are likely to install up to 19 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, research by Wood Mackenzie says. Taiwan leads the way with a policy framework already in place and over 5 GW of approved projects that will come online as early as 2025. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Swancor image)

¶ “Labour Confirms 52-GW UK Offshore Pledge” • Labour has reaffirmed the commitment in its General Election manifesto to have the UK installed offshore wind capacity at 52 GW by 2030. The opposition party document pledges to construct 7000 new offshore wind turbines as set out in the ‘People Power Plan’ it unveiled in September. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “As Coal Dwindles, Southwest Tribal Solar Farms Pump Out Power” • New, large-scale solar farms are bringing jobs to reservations and the first electricity to many families living on tribal lands in remote areas of the Southwest. The Navajo Tribal Utilities Authority brought online two solar projects with a total 55 MW capacity over the past year. [UPI.com]

Solar PVs (Courtesy of Navajo Tribal Utility Authority)

¶ “Facebook Likes Virginian Solar” • Facebook has signed a power purchase agreement with US solar developer Apex for most of output from the latter’s 80-MW Altavista project in Virginia. The social media company will offtake 61.6 MW from the PV farm, which is due online next year. Facebook is taking increasing amounts of renewable energy. [reNEWS]

¶ “Anbaric Proposes 16-GW New England Grid Link” • US transmission developer Anbaric has applied to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to develop the Southern New England OceanGrid, an offshore grid system off southern New England. It is designed to connect up to 16 GW of offshore wind capacity to the mainland. [reNEWS]

Marine workings (Image: Business Network for Offshore Wind)

¶ “Google To Become Largest Corporate Buyer Of Renewable Energy In South Carolina” • Google announced a collaboration with Central Electric Power Cooperative and Berkeley Electric Cooperative that will result in the construction of a new 75-MW solar farm in South Carolina. It will generate 180,000 MWh of electricity annually. [The Berkeley Observer]

¶ “Renewables Are Not Making Electricity Any More Expensive” • A report from the DOE suggests that renewables were actually lowering the price of electricity in the US. The report focused on wholesale costs in the period of 2008 to 2017, and does not detail the amount that costs of solar and wind power have continued to fall since the end of that time. [Ars Technica]

Long Island solar farm

¶ “Alabama Power Solar Fee Questioned In Public Hearing” • The Alabama Public Service Commission has heard testimony about a formal complaint filed over a fixed fee Alabama Power charges its residential solar customers. The utility says the $5 per kW fee is needed to cover the costs of having back-up power available for customers with PVs. [AL.com]

¶ “EDF Will Bail On Three Nuclear Plants, Exelon Holds The Bag” • Exelon Generation said that EDF Group is exercising a put option to sell its 49.99% interest in the Calvert Cliffs, RE Ginna, and Nine Mile Point  nuclear energy facilities. The companies will now begin negotiations for Exelon to acquire full ownership of the plants. [POWER magazine]

Have a flawlessly fantastic day.

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November 21 Energy News

November 21, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Massive Australian Blazes Will ‘Reframe Our Understanding Of Bushfire’” • Australia is on fire like it never has been before, and the “bushfire” season has barely begun. David Bowman, a fire ecologist and geographer, and the director of the Fire Centre at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, spoke with Science about the crisis. [Science Magazine]

Destroyed home (William West | AFP | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “NRDC Report: EU Subsidies Lead to Forest Destruction” • A report from the Natural Resources Defense Council says European nations are wasting $7 billion a year on subsidies for burning wood for fuel for power or heat in ways that are notoriously dirty. The EU allows wood burning to be counted as clean energy. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ “Vanishing Ice Puts Mongolia’s Reindeer Herders At Risk” • Vanishing ice patches are jeopardizing the livelihoods of reindeer herders in Mongolia, new research found. Herders in the north of the country rely on what they call “eternal ice,” which remains intact even during the summer, for drinking water and to cool down the reindeer in the heat. [CNN]

Reindeer (Photo: Batchuluun)

¶ “Gold Fields Opens Australia’s Biggest Hybrid Renewable Microgrid At Agnew Mine Near Leinster” • The first stage of the $112 million microgrid at Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine has fired up, with the 23-MW power station commissioned. The station integrates PV solar with gas and diesel to provide power for the Agnew gold mine. [The West Australian]

¶ “A Third Of Tropical African Plants Face Extinction” • A third of tropical African plants are on the path to extinction, according to a new assessment. Much of western Africa, Ethiopia, and parts of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the hardest hit regions, standing to lose more than 40% of their richness of plants. [BBC]

Eastern Africa (Thomas LP Couvreur IRD)

¶ “Acciona To Supply 173 GWh Renewable Electricity To Vidrala In Portugal” • Acciona has signed a contract with the Vidrala group to supply electricity of renewable origin in 2020 to its two glass container plants in Portugal, for an estimated need for over 173 GWh. The contract avoids emissions of around 60,000 tonnes of CO₂. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Soaring Fossil Fuel Production Is On Track To Blow Past Climate Goals” • The world’s top 10 fossil fuel-producing countries are on track to extract far more oil, gas and coal by 2030 than scientists say the planet can handle without experiencing catastrophic warming, according to a report published Wednesday. [Mother Jones]

Tesoro Oil Refinery (Kevin Schafer | Getty)

¶ “Slowdown In Renewable Investment Should Be Highest Priority For COAG Energy Council, Says CEC” • The Clean Energy Council says addressing Australia’s dramatic slowdown in renewable energy investment is the industry’s highest priority. It is pushing the COAG Energy Council to act on the issue when it meets on November 22. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “South Korea Nuclear Regulator Wants Information On Radioactive Fukushima Water Release” • Japan’s reluctance to disclose information about the release of radioactive water from its damaged Fukushima nuclear plant is hampering neighboring countries’ efforts to minimize the impact, the head of South Korea’s nuclear safety agency said. [AsiaOne]

Geiger counter (Photo: Reuters)

¶ “China Slashes Renewable Subsidies” • China will cut the total size of its renewable power subsidies to $806.5 million next year, from $1.15 billion for this year, Reuters reports. Beijing said earlier it will only approve solar and wind power installations if they generate electricity as cheaply as that generated in coal-fired power plants. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ “Municipal Power Companies In Florida Plan 223.5-MW Solar Power Plant” • Twelve municipal power companies in Florida, with cooperation with the Florida Municipal Power Association and Florida Renewable Partners, have banded together to build a massive 223.5-MW solar power plant with 900,000 panels to serve their customers. [CleanTechnica]

Tailem Bend (Leanne Davis, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Tesla And Rivian Join California’s Lawsuit Against Trump’s EPA And NHTSA” • The National Coalition for Advanced Transport, which includes makers of EVs and related products and utilities, supports the efforts of California’s Air Resources Board to reduce emissions. It is opposing Trump administration fuel economy roll-backs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Presidential Contenders Join Fellow Senators In Urging New England To Speed Clean Energy Transition” • Seven US senators from four New England states have urged the regional grid operator to speed the addition of clean energy resources and take a more active role in addressing climate change as well as accommodating state resource policies. [Utility Dive]

Capitol building (Credit: Creative Commons)

¶ “Wind-Energy Project Near Lompoc Approved By County Planning Commission” • In California, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the Strauss Wind Energy Project, proposed by an affiliate of BayWa re Global, a renewable energy firm based in Germany. The project will have 29 wind turbines. [Noozhawk]

¶ “Innergex Renewable Energy Commissions 250-MW PV Project In Texas” • Innergex Renewable Energy commissioned the 250-MW (AC) Phoebe PV project in Winkler County, Texas. Its average annual power generation is expected to be enough to power more than 50,000 Texan households. It is the largest solar farm Innergex has operating in Texas. [PV-Tech]

Have a tremendously positive day.

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November 20 Energy News

November 20, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “PURPA Is Undermining The Clean Energy Transition. Colorado Has A Better Way” • The Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act, passed over 40 years ago to address the oil embargo, incentivize renewable energy, and alleviate uncertainty in the energy market, has laudable goals, but it made renewable energy expensive. Colorado has a better way. [Utility Dive]

Solar array (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “How Climate Change Could Kill The Red Apple” • An apple has to have the right genetics to be red when it ripens, but that is not the whole story. For apples to be red, they have to be grown at the right temperatures. Anything above 40°C (104°F) will turn off their ability to turn the red color people look for when they choose apples to eat. [BBC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Good News, Bad News: Global Heating May Boost Wind Farm Output Due To Stronger Wind” • There’s good news and bad news for wind energy and a warming planet. According to The Guardian, scientists have found that the world’s shifting ocean circulation patterns may have triggered a rapid increase in wind speeds over the last 10 years. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in Austria (Kwerdenker, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Many Countries Pledged To Cut Emissions Of Heat-Trapping Gases. A Report Shows Most Are Still Investing In Fossil Fuels” • Many countries are on track to produce far more fossil fuels than what scientists say is allowed in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C or even 2°C, according to a major new UN analysis titled “The Production Gap.” [CNN]

¶ “China Has Saved Hundreds Of Thousands Of Lives By Reducing Air Pollution, Study Says” • China’s raft of clean air policies saved hundreds of thousands of lives in 2017 alone, a study shows. It was conducted by Chines scientists and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. [CNN]

Power plant (Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

¶ “EasyJet 1st Airline In World To Go Carbon Neutral, Starting Today” • EasyJet announced that from today all of its flights will be carbon neutral, the first airline to do so. From now, EasyJet’s 331 airplanes will have their carbon emissions balanced through carbon removal efforts. In the future, it will switch to sustainable fuels and electric aircraft. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia Fires: ‘Catastrophic’ Alerts In South Australia And Victoria” • Heat and winds are threatening to widen Australia’s bushfire crisis, with three states warned to expect their worst conditions of the season so far. In addition to South Australia and Victoria, South Australia issued a “catastrophic” alert, the highest danger rating. [BBC]

Fire in Australia (EPA image)

¶ “Billionaires Invest In Giant Australian Solar Farm To Supply Power To Singapore” • Sun Cable has received millions of dollars of investment from a group of billionaires. If successful, the development would include a 10-GW array of panels in Northern Territory, backed by about 22 GWh in battery storage, to supply power to Singapore. [The Guardian]

¶ “Patagonia’s Hidden World Of Ice” • Straddling the border of Chile and Argentina, the Southern Patagonian Ice Field is one of the largest non-polar glaciers in the world. It stretches along the spine of the Andes for more than 350 km (about 220 miles). Now, however, the warming climate is making it thin out at a rate that is alarming. [BBC]

Southern Patagonian Ice Field (Credit: Tom Garmeson)

US:

¶ “Nikola Pushes Deeper Into Battery Electric Vehicles With Next Generation Battery Tech” • The Nikola Motor Company has news of a pending acquisition of a team that developed a next generation battery technology. It claims the battery has double the capacity of what is currently available, costs half as much, and has an acceptable lifespan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Homes To Sell Renewable Energy To Businesses In Vermont’s First Of A Kind Local Energy Marketplace” • Called Vermont Green, a pilot project by LO3 Energy also looks to solve some haunting industry issues, among them achieving 100% renewable energy, replacing net metering, and simplifying green energy purchases. [Microgrid Knowledge]

Eco-friendly house (anweber | Shutterstock)

¶ “Can America’s First Floating Wind Farm Help Open Deeper Water To Clean Energy?” • Maine may be the state with the greatest potential for offshore windpower. Now, the state could soon have turbines spinning off its coast. Aqua Ventus is a small pilot project, with two turbines, but it will be the first US floating wind farm. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Enel Turns Sod On 300-MW Aurora Wind Farm” • Enel Green Power North America has started construction of the 299-MW Aurora wind project in North Dakota. The $450 million (€406 million) wind farm is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2020. It is located near Enel’s 150-MW Lindahl wind farm, which began operations in 2017. [reNEWS]

Installing a wind turbine (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Alaska’s largest solar farm opens in Willow” • Renewable IPP officially opened Alaska’s largest solar farm last week. The 1.2-MW facility installed last year by the Renewable IPP group on a 17-acre property near Willow. It was expanded from a 140-kW pilot project, after that system showed that solar power was a viable option. [Anchorage Daily News]

¶ “New Jersey More Than Doubles Offshore Wind Target To 7.5 GW” • New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order backing a goal of 7.5 GW of offshore wind by 2035, more than doubling the state’s existing 3.5-GW target for 2030. At present, the state is heavily reliant on natural gas and nuclear power for its electricity. [Greentech Media]

Have a magnificently swell day.

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November 19 Energy News

November 19, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Does Nuclear Power Slow Or Speed Climate Change?” • Most US nuclear power plants cost more to run than they earn. Spending money on building new reactors, or operating most existing ones, makes climate change worse compared with spending the same money on more-climate-effective ways to deliver the same energy services. [Forbes]

Cooling towers at a nuclear plant in France (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Israeli Startup UBQ Says It Has The Answer To Recycling And The Circular Economy” • UBQ Materials can make raw material for plastics from ordinary household refuse. Swiss consulting firm Quantis found that using a ton of UBQ’s pellets for the same amount of polypropylene saves the equivalent of about 15 tons of CO₂ emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Company Backed By Bill Gates Claims Solar Breakthrough, Looks To Replace Fossil Fuels In Industrial Plants” • Heliogen, a company backed by Bill Gates, says it has developed a way to create concentrated solar energy at temperatures hot enough to replace fossil fuels in industrial processes that make significant contributions to global CO₂ emissions. [GeekWire]

Heliogen commercial facility in California (Heliogen Photo)

World:

¶ “Amazon Deforestation Rate Hits Highest Level In Over A Decade” • The rate of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has risen to its highest level in 11 years. About 9,762 square kilometers (3,769 square miles) of rainforest were lost for the 12 months through July 2019, according to the release from The National Institute for Space Research. [CNN]

¶ “Boris Johnson Promises 40 GW Of Offshore Wind For UK By 2030” • The UK’s current Prime Minister, ardent Brexiteer Boris Johnson, promised more offshore wind power if his Conservative Party return to power in election to be held December 12. He is promising to increase the 2030 offshore wind target from 30 GW to 40 GW. [CleanTechnica]

Hornsea One (Courtesy of Ørsted)

¶ “A Huge Red Flag? India Shutters Power Plants Citing Lack Of Demand” • Half of India’s power generation capacity using coal and nuclear power is being shut down because of lackluster demand, the Indian Express reports. It added that while some of the shutdowns have lasted just a few days, other power plants have been closed for months. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Iberdrola Plans Over 400 New PV MW In Spain” • Iberdrola is increasing its commitment to clean energy with over 400 MW of new PVs in Spain. Two of the projects, of 50 MW each, will be built in the municipality of Cedillo in Cáceres. The company also plans a PV plant with a capacity of more than 300 MW in the same area. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Iberdrola PV system (Iberdrola image)

¶ “World’s Largest ‘Green’ Hydrogen Pilot Begins Operation In Austria” • The world’s largest pilot plant for the CO₂-neutral production of hydrogen successfully commenced operation at a facility in the Austrian city of Linz. Doing so, it simultaneously set an international milestone in the advancement of new energy supply options. [Power Engineering International]

Australia:

¶ “Australia Fires: Sydney Blanketed By Smoke From New South Wales Bushfires” • People in Sydney woke up to a city shrouded in smoke, as scores of bushfires rage across the region. Strong winds overnight brought smoke from fires inland, pushing the air quality in Australia’s largest city to beyond “hazardous” levels at times. [BBC]

Sydney (Reuters image)

¶ “Neoen plans 50% expansion of South Australia’s Tesla Big Battery” • French renewable energy company Neoen confirmed it plans to increase the capacity of the Tesla Big Battery system in South Australia. The 100-MW/129-MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve will be expanded with an additional 50 MW/64.5 MWh of capacity by Tesla. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Tasmania Sees Renewable Hydrogen As Major Economic Opportunity For Island State” • Tasmania could draw its vast hydroelectric resources to emerge as a leader in the production of renewable hydrogen, with the state’s major electricity utility predicting it could deliver by far the cheapest supply of zero-emissions gas. [RenewEconomy]

Tarralea Power Station in Tasmania

US:

¶ “More Claims Of Greenwashing At Major US Electric Utilities” • A survey shows greenwashing among major US investor-owned electric utilities, which have been accused of using images and language suggesting disproportionately high ratios of renewable versus fossil fuel, while at the same time helping block renewable energy policies. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Principle Power Wins US Grant For Deepwater Floater R&D” • A consortium led by Principle Power has been selected for a $850,000 grant for a project to develop new mooring systems for deepwater floating wind platforms. Principle Power’s research and development initiative will investigate a variety of mooring components. [reNEWS]

Floating offshore wind turbine (Principle Power image)

¶ “Florida Municipals Break Ground On PV Giant” • In Florida, work is underway on construction of a municipal solar facility of over 223 MW. The Florida Municipal Solar Project will have approximately 900,000 panels at two sites in Osceola County and at one site in Orange County. Construction of phase one will continue until mid-2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Announces 350-MW Order For Foard City Wind Project In Texas” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it has been selected by Innergex Renewable Energy Inc to supply 139 2.X-127 onshore wind turbines for Innergex’s Foard City Wind project. The project, of approximately 350 MW, is located in Foard County, Texas. [STL.News]

Have an especially charming day.

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November 18 Energy News

November 18, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Metamorphosis In Fukushima – Installing 11 Solar Power Plants And 10 Wind Power Plants” • How does one renew an area devastated by nuclear waste? Kurosawa’s film Dreams deals with the issue. But in Fukushima Prefecture, it is real-life matter, with planning for 11 solar power plants and 10 wind power plants on land once considered lost. [CleanTechnica]

Tsunami damage (SPC3 Dylan McCord, US Navy)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Are We Really In A 6th Mass Extinction? Here’s The Science” • A mass extinction is usually defined as a loss of about three quarters of all species living across the entire Earth over a “short” geological period of time. “Short” is defined as anything less than 2.8 million years. And given current science, the 6th Extinction is already under way. [ScienceAlert]

World:

¶ “Huge Flow Country Wildfire ‘Doubled Scotland’s Emissions'” • A massive wildfire on peatland in the far north in May doubled Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions for the six days it burnt, a study has estimated. About 22 sqare miles (5,700 hectares) of blanket bog in the Flow Country, which lies across Caithness and Sutherland, was affected. [BBC]

Wildfire in the Flow Country (Paul Turner)

¶ “Ukrainian Power Player Hits 1-GW Milestone” • After finishing installation of a 100-MW wind farm in the Zaporizhzhia region of its home market, Ukrainian developer DTEK reached 1 GW of online renewables capacity. The company said it has spent more than €1 billion in the country to meet the target, which it had set two years ago. [reNEWS]

¶ “Engie, EDPR Select MHI Vestas 10-MW Turbines For Lion Floater” • Engie and EDPR have selected MHI Vestas to supply three 10-MW turbines to the 30-MW Golfe du Lion floating offshore wind project 16 km off the coast of Mediterranean coast of Southern France. The companies plan to use Port La Nouvelle as the assembly harbor. [reNEWS]

MHI Vestas turbine (MHI Vestas image)

¶ “€6.9 Billion EIB Backing For Renewables, Sustainable Transport And Innovation” • The European Investment Bank’s board agreed to support €6.9 billion of new financing including for new investments around the world to improve renewable energy, sustainable transport, social housing, communication, and education infrastructure. [Saurenergy]

¶ “JLL Sees Investment Opportunities In ‘Surging Demand’ For Alternative Energy” • International real estate and investment management firm JLL released a report forecasting continued coal-fired station closures and rising renewables for Australia, despite the uncertainties about a gap federal policy and grid stability. [The Fifth Estate]

Wind turbines above fog

¶ “Coal-Addicted India’s Solar And Wind Farms Save More Lives Than Those In US And China” • China, the US, and India are the world’s top carbon dioxide emitters, but solar and wind energy reduce emissions more in India than in China or the US. And in India, they can save ten times as many lives as in North America and Europe, a study says. [Quartz]

¶ “Scientists And Climate Advisers Condemn Tory Environment Record” • The Conservative party record on tackling the climate crisis is condemned by leading scientists and former government advisers. The Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, warns that the upcoming election is the last chance to halt the escalating emergency. [The Guardian]

Air pollution in London (Kathy deWitt | Alamy)

US:

¶ “US Solar Panel Prices Continue Dropping, Solar+Storage Increasing – Tracking The Sun Report” • Tracking the Sun is an annual report from Berkeley Lab on prices and trends among grid-connected, distributed solar PV systems in the US. It covers 1.6 million systems, representing 81% of all distributed PVs in the US through the end of 2018. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Suspends More Oil And Gas Leases Over What Could Be A Widespread Problem” • The Trump administration’s push to expand fossil fuel production on federal lands is hitting a snag: its own refusal to consider climate impacts. After advocacy groups sued, the Bureau of Land Management office in Utah voluntarily suspended 130 leases. [InsideClimate News]

Pump jacks (BLM image)

¶ “‘Ice Battery’ At Retreat Lowers Energy Costs” • An ice battery has been brougth back into service at the Brattleboro Retreat. At low demand times, cheap electricity can be used to freeze water in containers. Then when the day is warm, the ice is used to cool water, which is run to air handlers to cool air, avoiding the use of more costly electricity for AC. [Brattleboro Reformer]

¶ “$150 Million Calhoun County Solar Energy Center Gets Local Approval” • In Michigan, the River Fork Solar Energy Center had a conditional use permit unanimously approved by the Sheridan Township Planning Commission and Board. The $150-million project will produce 149 MW of power, enough energy for about 25,000 homes. [Battle Creek Enquirer]

Have an abundantly admirable day.

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November 17 Energy News

November 17, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Power to the people: how suburban solar could become the Uber of the energy grid” • Australians are embracing the ‘virtual power plant’, which advocates say can protect the grid, save money and combat the climate crisis. The VPPs that have been implemented save participants quite a lot of money on their electricity bills. [The Guardian]

Alan Hedges with his Tesla Powerwall battery (Photo: Tesla)

¶ “‘What could I have done?’ The scientist who predicted the bushfire emergency four decades ago” • In 1986, Dr Tom Beer was working as a CSIRO meteorologist looking at bushfires when his boss asked him to find out what the greenhouse effect might mean for the future of fires. Unfortunately, what he projected was what happened. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Arctic Sea MIGHT Already Be Ice-Free By 2024” • A study by UCLA climate scientists discovered that human-caused climate change is on its way to make a functionally ice-free Arctic Ocean starting between 2044 and 2067. There is a wide range in modeling projections, however, and some suggest that the Arctic could be ice-free in 2026 [sic]. [Nature World News]

Arctic ice (Andrew Shiva | Wikipedia | CC BY-SA 4.0)

World:

¶ “Saudi Aramco Flotation Values Oil Giant At $1.7 Trillion” • Saudi Arabia has placed a preliminary valuation on state oil company Aramco of between $1.6 trillion (£1.22 trillion) and $1.7 trillion. The company has published an updated prospectus for its initial public offering, seeking more than $25 billion for the sale of 1.5% of its shares. [BBC]

¶ “World’s Largest Floating Wind Turbine Launching Soon In Portugal” • Portugal is about to be the home of the largest floating wind turbine in the world, an 8.4-MW ABS-classed offshore wind turbine. This is continental Europe’s first large-scale floating wind farm. It is scheduled to go online by the end of 2019, a press release says. [CleanTechnica]

Floating wind turbine (Principle Power via Twitter)

¶ “FlixBus Plans Hydrogen Fuel Cell Test Fleet Of Electric Buses For Clean Long Distance Travel” • FlixBus operates long distance networks in France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, and Croatia, and also cross-border routes to Scandinavia, Spain, England, and Eastern Europe. It is moving to develop long-distance buses powered by fuel cells. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “One Year On, Most Oil-And-Gas Bailout Money Has Moved, Federal Government Says” • Canada’s $1.6-billion bailout for Alberta’s oil industry is well underway, but there is not much transparency about who is getting the money or why. Almost $1 billion of the support package has gone to companies, but the industry says it has not helped much. [Ponoka News]

Oil pump jack

¶ “KEPCO’s Gift Scandal Casts Shadow Over Kansai And 2025 Expo” • The KEPCO payoff scandal has anti-nuclear groups and renewable energy advocates hoping it will derail starting more nuclear reactors and force the company to turn to renewable energy sources or even natural gas. But at KEPCO, the worries center on political power. [The Japan Times]

¶ “China General Nuclear To Invest $2.5 Billion In Wind And Solar In Mongolia” • Inner Mongolia, with its abundant sunshine and steady breezes, lends itself naturally to wind and solar power. China General Nuclear Group announced it is investing almost $2.5 billion to build a 1-GW solar power plant there, as well as a 2-GW wind farm. [CleanTechnica]

CGN wind farm (CGN image)

US:

¶ “$649 Million Fine For Uber In New Jersey As Gig Economy Faces Pushback From State And Local Governments” • The state of New Jersey sent a bill to Uber for $649 million in unpaid unemployment taxes from 2014 through 2018. That includes more than $100 million in interest. Uber says the workers are independent contractors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Two Of America’s Biggest Coal Plants Closed This Month” • This week, Arizona’s 2.25-GW Navajo Generating Station burned its last load of coal after no buyers turned up during a two-year search. And the bankrupt owner of Pennsylvania’s 2.7-GW Bruce Mansfield unit began its shutdown, almost two years ahead of schedule. [Quartz]

Navajo Generating Station (Charles Platiau | Reuters)

¶ “Trump Administration Fights Ban On Farming Pesticides, Sucks Up To Corporate Behemoths” • The Trump administration is doing everything it can to protect three pesticides from bans in other countries and continue their global distribution. Why? The pesticides generate enormous profits to big companies that are frequent donors to US politicians. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sprint Commits To 100% Renewables Across All Operations By 2025” • Adding to its sustainable business practices, Sprint announced new corporate environmental goals. Among them is a commitment to source 100% renewable electricity across its entire operations, including all retail stores, offices, call centers, and network sites, by 2025. [Solar Power World]

Have an undeniably awesome day.

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November 16 Energy News

November 16, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Venice’s Devastating Floods Are The ‘Canary In A Coal Mine’ For Coastal Cities Worldwide” • With worldwide attention focusing on photos of people trudging through thigh-deep water, scientists, particularly those who call Venice home, say what’s happening to the Italian outpost should be a cautionary tale for coastal cities around the world. [NBCNews.com]

St Mark’s Square (Filippo Monteforte | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “We’ll Be Measuring Sea Level Rise In Feet, Not Inches” • For a long time, climate reports focused on moderate estimates of the effects. The Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Panel says water levels have increased by 7.8 inches since 1946. But it says the sea level on the Tampa Bay area could be 8½ feet higher in 2100 than it was in 2000.  [Tampa Bay Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Warming Winters May Lead To More Snow For Western New York” • Climate data going back to 1970 show that Buffalo’s average winter temperature has warmed 3.2°F. That means Lake Erie stays open much longer. And that means that more water vapor rises off the lake each year during winter, which increases the amount of snow for snowy Buffalo. [WGRZ.com]

Temperatures in Buffalo

World:

¶ “Sindh Government, Denmark To Launch Renewable Energy Projects” • During a meeting between Danish Ambassador to Pakistan Rolf Michael Hay Perreira and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, they agreed to formalize a pact between the Sindh government and Denmark to launch renewable energy projects in the province. [The Nation]

¶ “Australia’s Magellan Power Delivers Renewable Stand-Alone Power Systems To A Power Project” • Australian manufacturer Magellan Power completed delivery of renewable Stand-Alone Power Systems to Western Power, in Western Australia. The 10-kW, 25-kWh systems are for remote sites such as homes and agricultural businesses. [Utilities Middle East]

Magellan Power system

¶ “Siemens Partners With Renewable Energy Developer For Microgrids In Mining” • Siemens has partnered with German renewable energy developer juwi to work on microgrids in the mining industry. They have  agreed on developing a control system that integrates renewable electricity with a mine’s off-grid power supply. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Germany Adopts Climate Protection Act” • The Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, has adopted the climate protection act enshrining in law plans to make the country greenhouse gas emission neutral by 2050. However, some renewable energy groups, including BEE, pointed out shortcomings in the law that need to be addressed. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (reNEWS image)

¶ “Pakistan Agrees To 560-MW Wind Push” • The government of Pakistan agreed to deals with project developers for eleven wind farms totaling 560 MW. The Alternative Energy Development Board, which was set up in 2003 to facilitate clean power growth in the country, entered into agreements with the independent power producers. [reNEWS]

¶ “Japan Nuclear Plant Safety Costs Increase Five-Fold Over Six Years To ¥5.4 Trillion” • The estimated cost of safety measures at nuclear power plants across Japan has increased five-fold over the past six years to just over ¥5.38 trillion ($49.5 billion), a Mainichi Shimbun survey has shown. The survey covered fifteen nuclear power plants. [The Mainichi]

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant (Yo Naito |  Mainichi)

US:

¶ “3-GW Wind Power Project In Wyoming Moves Closer To Approval” • The Chokeberry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project is slated to have a capacity of 3 GW. If the huge Wyoming wind farm is completed, it will be the largest in the US. The Bureau of Land Management recently released a favorable environmental impact assessment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “State, Municipalities Push Back Against Solar Sprawl” • Large solar arrays may become less common in Rhode Island rural communities inundated with solar sprawl, as local and state efforts to address this simmering issue advance. One solar developer is shifting attention from large arrays to solar carports and canopies. [ecoRI news]

Clear-cutting for a solar facility in Hopkinton, Rhode Island
(Eric Bibler | Hopkinton Citizens for Responsible Planning)

¶ “Northern Virginia Operators Unite Against Dominion’s New Renewable Tariff” • Dominion has a plan for customers who opt for a premium green electricity tariff. A group including Equinix, QTS, Microsoft, and Salesforce has said the proposal is not truly renewable, and is designed to prevent competitors from offering real renewable tariffs. [DatacenterDynamics]

¶ “US Readies First Wind-Powered Steel Plant” • A $250 million Nucor Corp. “micro” mill taking shape in Sedalia, Missouri. It will be the first US steel production plant that will run on wind energy. A report last year from the group Mighty Earth noted that steel represented 7% of global carbon emissions worldwide in 2013. [E&E News]

“Micro” mill being built in Missouri (Nucor Sedalia via Facebook)

¶ “The Estée Lauder Companies Becomes First Prestige Beauty Company To Execute A Virtual Power Purchase Agreement For Renewable Energy” • The Estée Lauder Companies Inc has signed a virtual power purchase agreement for the Ponderosa wind farm in Beaver County, Oklahoma, adding renewable energy to the electricity grid. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Hunterdon County Towns Join In Renewable Energy Option” • Seven Hunterdon County municipal governments participating in the county’s electric power cooperative purchasing program chose to follow the county’s lead on the renewable energy option and save budget dollars, according to Freeholder Board Director Suzanne Lagay. [New Jersey Hills]

Have an absolutely glorious day.

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November 15 Energy News

November 15, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Long Will It Take To Replace Fossil Fuels With Renewable Sources Of Energy?” • The world is racing to replace fossil fuels with renewable sources and for good reason. People understandably ask, “How long will it take to replace fossil fuels?” The answer isn’t straightforward. But here’s some information that might help. [Mother Earth News]

Solar array (Andreas Gücklhorn, Unsplash)

¶ “There Is Bipartisan Hope Emerging On Climate Change” • Republican Sen Mike Braun of Indiana is teaming up with Delaware Democrat Chris Coons to form a bipartisan climate solutions group. Coons said, “Combating climate change will require all of us – Democrats and Republicans – to come together around bipartisan solutions.” [Fresno Bee]

¶ “When Will Renewables Flourish In Puerto Rico?” • Puerto Rico could be on the verge of a renewable energy boom that could lead the island to kick the fossil-fuel habit in the next three decades. But foot-dragging by the public utility monopolizing the production and sale of electricity on the island could shoot down these aspirations. [Caribbean Business]

Solar Brigades Take on Prepa (Screenshot)

Science and Technology:

¶ “There’s Now Evidence An Ancient ‘Political Superpower’ Failed Due To Climate Change” • At its height, the Assyrian state stretched from Egypt to western Iran. Then, in an astonishing reversal of fortune, the Neo-Assyrian Empire fell from its zenith to complete political collapse within the span of just decades. It looks like a result of climate change. [ScienceAlert]

¶ “Climate Change: Warming Signal Links Global Floods And Fires” • With homes under water in South Yorkshire, near record flooding in Venice, and burgeoning wildfires in Australia, many people are asking if and how climate change is connected to these extreme weather events. The Clausius-Clapeyron equation is part of the answer. [BBC News]

Soldiers helping out in Yorkshire (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Dutch Government Slashes Highway Speed Limit To Tackle Climate Change” • The Dutch government put forward a new climate change package. It includes a controversial proposal to lower the day-time speed limit on motorways to just 100 km/h (62 mph) from the current 130 km/h (80 mph). At night, the limit will stay the same. [CNN]

¶ “Italian Council Is Flooded Immediately After Rejecting Measures On Climate Change” • Veneto regional council was flooded for the first time in its history. “Ironically, the chamber was flooded two minutes after the majority League, Brothers of Italy, and Forza Italia parties rejected our amendments to tackle climate change,” a Council member said. [CNN]

Flood in Venice (Luca Bruno | AP)

¶ “Wind Sector To Invest $1.8 Billion In Colombia” • The wind industry will invest nearly $2 billion in Colombia following the award of 1077-MW of capacity in last month’s tender, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. The wind and solar projects will increase renewable capacity in Colombia from 1% today to 6%, said GWEC. [reNEWS]

¶ “As Deadly Australia Bushfires Rage, Sydney May Be Running Out Water” • Australia’s deadly bushfires are driven by the worst drought in decades, but fears are now growing that things could get worse. Sydney, home to more than 5 million people, faces a warning that dams could run dry by 2022, according to CNN affiliate 7News. [CNN]

New South Wales (Saed Khan | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “German State Leader To Visit Fukushima To See Recovery And Renewable Energy Efforts” • The Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia is set to pay a visit to Fukushima Prefecture in January. The state is looking at the prefecture’s efforts to use renewable energy as it endeavors to divest from nuclear and coal energy. [The Japan Times]

¶ “First Mono Bucket Sails To Deutsche Bucht” • The first of two mono bucket foundations left Bladt Industries yard in Denmark, for Northland Power’s 269-MW Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm in the North Sea. Seajacks jack-up Scylla is transporting the structure to the project site. The foundations will support two MHI Vestas V164-8.4MW turbines. [reNEWS]

Scylla setting out (Northland Power image)

US:

¶ “California Utility Reports Savings For Ratepayers By Offering Renewable Energy” • California utility MCE released a report highlighting climate action in the four Bay Area counties it serves. Record numbers of local governments have switched to 100% renewable energy, and there has been steady growth of rooftop solar and EV adoption. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Los Angeles Places Largest Single Electric Bus Order In US History – 130 BYD K7M Buses” • The Los Angeles Department of Transportation and BYD announced the largest electric bus contract in US history. The company will build 130 of its K7M electric buses for the city’s public transportation system at its factory in Lancaster, California. [CleanTechnica]

BYD K7M electric bus (Image credit: BYD)

¶ “As Utilities Cut Carbon Emissions, Some Transition Faster To Renewables” • Major utilities in Wisconsin are moving forward with plans to increase solar and wind projects as they’ve set goals to drastically reduce carbon emissions over coming decades. But some are making the transition to renewable energy faster than others. [Wisconsin Public Radio News]

¶ “Gov Northam Signs Bill To Increase Renewable Energy Consumption” • Gov Ralph Northam signed state Executive Order 43, which sets goals for Virginia institutions, such as JMU, to have 30% of their energy consumption come from renewable sources by 2022. Additionally, it calls for the state to produce 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. [The Breeze]

Have a simply superlative day.

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November 14 Energy News

November 14, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How To Cut US Carbon Pollution By Nearly 40% In 10 Years” • A study from economists at Columbia University found that a tax plan with broad support in Congress would reduce American carbon pollution by almost 40% within a decade. It would go well beyond the commitment the US made under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. [The Atlantic]

US Capitol Building (Jonathan Ernst | Reuters)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Stalled Weather Patterns Will Get Bigger Due To Climate Change” • Climate change will increase the size of stalled high-pressure weather systems called “blocking events” that have already produced some of the 21st century’s deadliest heat waves, according to a Rice University study. The events make extreme weather last longer. [Newswise]

¶ “The Climate Crisis Will Profoundly Affect The Health Of Every Child Alive Today, Report Says” • If the world continues to produce the same amount of CO₂ emissions, children born today live in a world 7.2°F (4°C) warmer by their 71st birthday, according to a report in the medical journal The Lancet. And that is really bad for their health. [CNN]

Los Angeles (Frederic J Brown | AFP | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Greta Thunberg Hitches Ride Across The Atlantic On Australian YouTubers’ Sailing Boat” • Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg has found a ride back across the Atlantic to attend the COP25 environmental summit in Madrid, thanks to a pair of Australian vloggers. She will be leaving from Virginia on the 48-foot catamaran La Vagabonde. [CNN]

¶ “Venice Floods: Climate Change Behind Highest Tide In 50 Years, Says Mayor” • Severe flooding in Venice that has left much of the Italian city under water is a direct result of climate change, the mayor says. The highest water levels in the region in more than 50 years would leave “a permanent mark,” Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro tweeted. [BBC]

Flood at St Mark’s Square (Reuters)

¶ “Western Plastics ‘ Poisoning Indonesian Food Chain'” • The burning of plastic waste in Indonesia, much of which has been sent there by the West, is poisoning the food chain, the BBC has learned. Environmental group IPEN found, in one East Java village, dioxins in chicken eggs were 70 times the level allowed by European safety standards. [BBC]

¶ “Record European Electric Bus Order (157 Volvo Buses), And Volvo Trucks Launches Urban Electric Trucks” • Volvo is not widely known in North America for buses or trucks. However, in Europe, the company is quite a big producer of commercial vehicles. And it is now rolling out some big electric vehicle news in those industries. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo Electric Bus in Sweden

¶ “Tesla Secures Manufacturing License For Gigafactory 3. Let’s Roll!” • Tesla got its manufacturing license for Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai. With Tesla already showing Chinese produced Model 3s to the Chinese press, this step is seen as the last official hurdle before Tesla officially begins production and starts ramping up consumer cars “Made in China.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “IRSN Confirms Safety Doubts On Vessels At 30 French Reactors” • A branch of the French nuclear safety authority confirmed doubts about the safety of reactor vessels at 30 French reactors, representing almost half of the country’s 62 GW atomic generation capacity. “The tanks … are subject to ageing by irradiation,” the IRSN said. [Montel]

EDF’s Fessenheim nuclear plant (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

US:

¶ “Corporate Green Energy Adoption Flourishes” • Corporations have finally put their collective weight into a green energy rush this year. The average size of the renewable energy acquisition by US corporates rose from 85.6 MW during the third quarter of 2018 to a whopping 411.4 MW in the third quarter of this year, according to GreenBiz. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Santee Cooper To Close Winyah Generating Station As Part Of Shift To Renewable Energy” • Santee Cooper has nearly $3.5 billion of debt to this day because of the failed VC Summer nuclear project. It has a new plan that includes closing coal-burning power plants, such as the Winyah Generating Station, and switching to renewable energy. [wpde.com]

Smoke stack (WPDE photo)

¶ “Clorox To Achieve About 50% Of Its Renewable Electricity Goal” • The Clorox Company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Enel Green Power North America announced that they signed a 12-year, 70-MW virtual PPA for renewable energy beginning in 2021. This will cover about half of Clorox’s 100% renewable electricity goal for 2025. [Energy Global]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Announces 494-MW Wind Turbines Orders With ENGIE For Wind Energy Projects In Oklahoma And South Dakota” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it was selected by ENGIE North America to supply a total of 180 wind turbines for the King Plains wind project in Oklahoma and the Triple H Wind project in South Dakota. [REVE]

GE wind turbine

¶ “Black Hills Energy Selects Vestas To Partner On Wind Project” • South Dakota’s Black Hills Generation Group contracted with Denmark’s Vestas to supply and commission wind turbines for the 60-MW Busch Ranch II Wind Project. It will provide enough electricity for annual needs of about 28,000 homes in southern Colorado. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “US Electric Bus Demand Outpaces Production as Cities Add to Their Fleets” • Demand for e-buses is outpacing supplies in the US, leading to hundreds of backlogged orders, according to Fred Silver, vice president of CALSTART. BloombergNEF counts 650 e-buses in the US today, compared with hundreds of thousands in China. [InsideClimate News]

Have a clearly superior day.

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November 13 Energy News

November 13, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Proposed New Rule Would Amp Up EPA War On Science” • A new rule proposed by the EPA would upend decades of scientific research – studies that have confirmed that air pollution leads to shortened life spans or that mercury impairs brain function in young children – by requiring all that confidential data be made public. [CleanTechnica]

West Virginia coal slurry pond (NASA Earth Observatory image)

¶ “The National Farmers’ Federation’s Drought Strategy Is Like Shuffling The Deck Chairs On The Titanic” • If you listen to the rhetoric from Canberra, it is apparent that the Australia’s relevant ministers would prefer to glibly talk up the farming industry potential and hope it will magically fix itself when it finally rains than to deal with what is needed. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “Australia Bushfires: Fresh Warnings In Queensland And New South Wales” • Australian authorities warn that massive bushfires will continue to pose a threat, despite “catastrophic” conditions easing. “We’ve got […] the worst of the season still ahead of us as we head into summer,” the New South Wales Rural Fire Services Commissioner said. [BBC]

Kookaburra in New South Wales (Adam Stevenson | Reuters)

¶ “Tesla To Build First European Factory In Berlin” • Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, said its first European factory will be in Berlin as the carmaker’s expansion plans power ahead. Mr Musk said the firm would also build an engineering and design center in the German capital. Tesla had earlier said that it aimed to start production in Europe in 2021. [BBC]

¶ “EV Conversions Go Mainstream in Kenya” • Based in Nairobi’s industrial area just off the famous Mombasa Road, Opibus is to begin mass EV conversions of Kenya’s minibuses and motorcycle taxis in Q1 2020. Estimates put the minibus and bus fleet at just over 100,000 vehicles, and there are about 600,000 commercial motorcycles in the country. [CleanTechnica]

Buses in Nairobi (Photo: Remeredzai Kuhudzai)

¶ “Latin America And Caribbean On The Verge Of Massive Solar Power Growth” • Latin America and the Caribbean could grow their installed solar capacity by a factor of 40 by 2050, an IRENA report shows. With investments of over $7 billion per year, the region’s PV capacity could rise from 7 GW today to over 280 GW in mid-century. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “World’s Most Powerful Wind Turbine Swoops Into UK For Testing” • The nacelle from GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X 12-MW offshore wind turbine arrived in the UK for testing at Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. The group will test the nacelle, which is the size of six double decker buses, at its facility in Blyth, Northumberland. [Energy Voice]

GE Renewable Energy turbine nacelle

¶ “Climate Change: Do More Now Or Risk Catastrophe, Warns Energy Agency” • The world’s existing climate policies will not be enough to end the upward march of record energy emissions rising beyond 2040 without a “grand coalition” of governments and investors, according to the International Energy Agency. In 2018, emissions set a record. [The Guardian]

¶ “Another Nail In Coal’s Coffin? German Steel Furnace Runs On Renewable Hydrogen In World First” • German manufacturing giant Thyssenkrupp has completed a successful, first-of-its-kind demonstration of running a steel furnace entirely on hydrogen, a development that is likely to further dent the future prospects for the global coal industry. [RenewEconomy]

Weg vom CO₂ (Photo courtesy of Thyssenkrupp)

¶ “E.ON And RWE Shake On Clean Power Deal” • E.ON and RWE Renewables have signed a power purchase agreement that will see the latter’s UK wind farms support E.ON’s drive to provide 100% renewable electricity in the UK. The 2.5-year PPA includes 20 UK wind farm assets, totaling 892 MW of wind power owned by RWE Renewables. [reNEWS]

¶ “Here’s Why North Korean Hackers Attacked India’s Nuclear Power Plant” • India’s nuclear power plant in Kudankulam, the largest nuclear power plant in the country, was infiltrated by North Korean hackers. They were not interested in damaging the plant so much as getting information about thorium reactor technology. [Business Insider India]

Kudankulam (indiawaterportal.org, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Greta Thunberg Leaves US With Simple Climate Crisis Message: Vote” • As Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who ignited a youth movement with her Friday school strikes, departs the US to sail back across the Atlantic, she is leaving behind a simple message for those who care about the climate crisis: you must vote. [The Guardian]

¶ “DTE Established Renewables Arm” • Following prior commitments to triple its renewable energy capacity over the next decade and reach “net-zero” carbon emissions by 2050 for its electric utility, DTE has deemed its renewable energy future important and demanding enough to set up a renewables arm for all aspects of its clean power business. [pv magazine USA]

Lapeer Solar Park in Michigan (Image: DTE Energy)

¶ “Leading US Solar Panel Maker Stops Making Solar Panels (But Not In US)” • Barely a year ago, the leading PV maker SunPower added a US factory to its assets, but now the company is ditching the idea of making PVs in the US. This will enable SunPower to put its focus in the US on R&D, energy storage, and other clean tech sectors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dell Pledges To Make Greener Computers Over The Next Decade” • Dell is launching efforts to shrink its carbon footprint and cut down on e-waste. It will source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040. The sustainability targets were unveiled, alongside other initiatives on diversity, inclusion, and privacy, at a summit in Texas.  [The Verge]

Have a healthfully comfortable day.

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