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

November 20, 2018

2,363 regular daily posts, linking 29,873 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 November 20, out of 99 US-licensed reactors (including the now-closed Oyster Creek plant), 5 were at reduced output and 10 not operating.

§ Video: Energy Week, #291, November 15, 2018: Voters rejected initiatives to limit fossil fuel use. Keystone XL was halted again. Replacing coal with renewables will save ratepayers money. Five new governors are pushing for 100% renewable power in their states. Climate change is making wildfires worse. Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis has good news. And there is more.


November 20 Energy News

November 20, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe.” • The tropical rain forests of Indonesia have large amounts of carbon trapped within their trees and soil. However, slashing and burning the existing forests to make way for oil-palm cultivation had a perverse effect: It released more carbon. [New York Times]

Remains of an Indonesian rain forest cleared for palm oil
(Photo: Ashley Gilbertson for The New York Times)

¶ “Penn State Research Could Double The Life of Lithium-Ion Batteries” • One of the persistent issues that bedevils lithium-ion battery cells is growth of dendrites, unwanted hairlike formations within the cells. Researchers at Penn State University say they may have found a solution, and it could double the lives of the batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Landscape of the US Could Be Part of Its Climate Solution” • This year, as storms battered the East and fires engulfed the West, the specter of climate change has grown impossible to ignore. Keeping it at bay will require a swift transition away from fossil fuels. But part of the solution also lies in the ground beneath our feet. [Los Angeles Times]

US farm land (Brian Maffly | Salt Lake Tribune)

World:

¶ “Wind, Solar Are Now the Cheapest Sources of Power Generation” • Thanks to falling costs, unsubsidized onshore wind and solar have become the cheapest sources of electricity generation in nearly all major economies in the world, including India and China, according to a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Importing Gas to Replace Domestic Supply Could Push Emissions Up 20%, AGL says” • Controversial plans would import liquefied natural gas into Australia to fill a shortfall as domestic gas is exported to Asia. AGL, which is proposing building import terminals, conceded that the plan would significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions. [The Guardian]

LNG tanker (Photo: Bloomberg | Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “Solar Triumphs in Berlin Clean Power Sale” • Solar energy projects have secured all the 201 MW of capacity on offer in Germany’s second combined onshore wind and PV tender. Winners were 36 solar projects with an average support price of €0.0527/kWh (6.02¢/kWh). Successful prices ranged upward from a low of €0.0465/kWh. [reNEWS]

¶ “Australia Accredits 3 GW Under Renewables Target in 10 Months” • Large-scale capacity accreditations under Australia’s Renewable Energy Target topped 3 GW in the first 10 months of 2018, the Clean Energy Regulator said. Australia is well on the way to treble RET capacity accreditations this year from the 2017 record of 1.09 GW. [Renewables Now]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Corporates Make EU PPA Plea” • Microsoft, Google, and other major corporations are calling on European governments to remove barriers for them to invest in renewable energy. Around 100 organisations called for improving investment conditions by removing regulatory and administrative restrictions on corporate clean power sourcing. [reNEWS]

¶ “France to Cut Nuclear Energy Reliance by 2035 – Minister” • France aims to reduce the share of electricity produced by nuclear reactors to 50% from 75% now by 2035, its Environment Minister said. The French government has long outlined plans to shrink the country’s reliance on nuclear energy to 50%, but had not set a date. [maltawinds.com]

Fessenheim nuclear plant ( Florival fr, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Exelon Opposes Trump Mercury Rule Rollback” • After the Trump administration proposed a plan to roll back a rule limiting the amount of mercury coal generating stations can release into the environment, Exelon, one of the country’s largest electricity generators, sent representatives to meet with EPA officials in opposition of the plan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “StorEn’s Vanadium Flow Battery Has Arrived at Stony Brook University” • A prototype StorEn Technologies vanadium flow battery will undergo extensive independent validation at the Advanced Energy Research & Technology Center at Stony Brook University in New York. StorEn raised funds through equity crowdfunding. [CleanTechnica]

StorEn’s vanadium flow battery

¶ “California Utility Proposes Subscription Model for Commercial EV Charging” • PG&E proposed a new set of rate plans to the California Public Utilities Commission that would offer a new subscription model for commercial electric vehicle charging. The new plans would offer tiered subscription pricing for charging for commercial EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Minnesota is on Track to Meet its Renewable Energy Goals” • Minnesota is on its way to hitting its renewable energy goals, at no extra cost to taxpayers. A study by MN Solar Pathways predicts that Minnesota will be able to produce 70% of its power from solar and wind by 2050 at costs comparable to natural gas generation. [Scientific American]

Minneapolis

¶ “Eleven Renewable Energy Suitors for Rhode Island” • Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s goal of 1 GW of renewables by the end of 2020 has taken a 400 MW step. The state’s 400 MW Request for Proposals received a total of 41 project bids from eleven developers. The projects were cumulatively 2.5 GW of capacity. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Report: Outdated Electricity Market Rules Prevent Full Renewable Energy Participation” • Record low costs and consumer demand are driving growth in American wind and solar energy, but outdated wholesale market rules are preventing the two technologies from further reducing prices for consumers, a report says. [AltEnergyMag]

Have an enchantingly lovely day.

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November 19 Energy News

November 19, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Doom of Fossil Fuel Investments” • There is very little time to get out of pure-play oil and gas company investments without substantial losses. It is already too late to get out of pure-play coal company investments without substantial losses. Utility companies with heavy reliance on fossil fuels are also in trouble. Here is why. [CleanTechnica]

Oil rig

¶ “More Nuclear Energy is Not the Solution to Our Climate Crisis” • With the threat of climate change, there are increasing calls to keep many nuclear plants going. Bailing out financially shaky old nuclear plants is a short-sighted response to a huge challenge that requires much bigger, much more transformative thinking. [WBUR]

¶ “Hope Is Rational – Germany’s Radical Shift to Renewables and Efficiency” • Fossil fuels lobbyists might deny it, but the world is now heading towards a complete decarbonization of the energy system. It might seem daunting or even impossible, but recent innovations and megatrends may make it possible to keep global warming below 2°C. [RenewEconomy]

Solar and wind energy

Science and Technology:

¶ “Carbon-Removal Projects Could Turn Back the Clock on Climate Change” • Even if we can reduce its carbon emissions significantly, future prospects for the planet’s health look bleak. Preventing climate change may now rely on the economic viability of carbon-removal projects. The good news is that they are becoming more affordable. [The New Economy]

World:

¶ “20,000 BAIC EC-Series Sold in Another Record China Electric Car Sales Month” • Last September set a record in China, with 104,900 plug-in EV sales. And the month of October has seen that record also broken, with close to 120,000 registrations, a 14% increase. Overall, October 2018 electric vehicle sales were up 85% year over year. [CleanTechnica]

BAIC EC180

¶ “Maharashtra to Give Solar Agri Pumps at Subsidised Rates: Bawankule” • The Maharashtra government plans to give 5 horsepower solar agricultural pumps worth ₹3.5 lakh ($400,000) at a subsidised rate of ₹20,000 ($280) and 3-HP pumps costing ₹1.5 lakh at ₹15,000 to farmers, according to Energy Minister Bawankule. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Loch Ness Hydro Plant Plans May Bring Hundreds of Jobs and Power Hundreds of Thousands of Homes” • Ambitious plans for an underground hydro plant at Loch Ness, opposite the iconic Urquhart Castle, are going to the Highland Council. The Red John Pumped Storage Hydro Project would have a generating capacity of 400 MW. [Press and Journal]

Urquhart Castle (Photo: Sandy McCook)

¶ “Labor Says It Can Lower Power Prices and Emissions” • Labor says with energy policy and falling costs of renewables, emissions can be cut and prices lowered at the same time. Australia’s shadow climate change and energy minster said asking people to choose between price and emissions reduction was an “utterly false choice”. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ “Netherlands: PV Projects Totaling 3.7 GW Submitted for Autumn Round of 2018 SDE+ Program” • The Dutch Ministry of Economy announced that PV projects with a combined capacity of 3,708 MW have been submitted for the autumn round of the 2018 SDE+ program for large-scale solar and renewable energy power projects. [pv magazine International]

Another Dutch wind turbine (Image: Flickr | Elvin)

¶ “Mitsubishi Backs Japanese Mega-Battery” • Mitsubishi Electric Corp is to provide an energy management system for a 240-MW energy storage project connected to over 500 MW of wind power in Japan. Mitsubishi’s Blender Re system will monitor and control the battery and power conditions at the Kita-Toyotomi substation. [reNEWS]

¶ “Fukushima Daiichi Control Room Opened, Untouched, to Journalists After Seven Years” • In the main control room for the crippled Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, time seems to have stood still. The control room’s interior is reported to have been left almost untouched since the disaster. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima control room (Kyodo image)

US:

¶ “States Lead the Way on Pivotal Shift Toward Renewable Energy After Midterms” • The shift in the political balance at the state level from the midterm elections will produce far more benefits for the renewable energy industry than the Democratic takeover of the US House of Representatives, according to clean energy experts. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “If You Live in Aurora, Colorado, You Can Buy a New Nissan LEAF This Month for $16,360” • Xcel Energy and Tynan’s Nissan in Aurora, Colorado, are partners in a campaign to encourage people to buy an electric car. Through the end of this month, residents can purchase a new Nissan LEAF SV and get more than 50% off the sticker price. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan LEAF lineup

¶ “BHP Introduces Mine Rehabilitation, Safety Efforts to Local Regions” • BHP, in making health and safety a priority, has joined forces with Rocky Mountain Institute and Pattern Development to repurpose closed mine sites for renewable energy production in New Mexico and Arizona. The sites are to be developed for PVs and energy storage. [SafeToWork]

¶ “How Ohio can Capture $25 Billion Worth of Clean Energy Growth” • Ohio risks missing out on roughly $25 billion in investments and 20,000 new jobs over the next two decades if state officials don’t take steps soon to expand clean energy, new analysis by Synapse Energy Economics of Cambridge, Massachusetts shows. [Energy News Network]

Have a fabulously fulfulling day.

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November 18 Energy News

November 18, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change and Wildfires – How Do We Know if There Is a Link?” • Global warming does not start wildfires. The proximate cause of wildfires may be human carelessness, or it may be a natural event, such as “dry lightning” from a storm that produces little rain. But global warming does increase the risk of wildfires and makes them worse. [WFAE]

The Camp fire in Northern California (Cal Fire)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Habitat Loss Threatens All Our Futures, World Leaders Warned” • Since 1970 humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles, according to the latest Living Planet Report by WWF, which has warned that the loss of wildlife was now an emergency that is threatening our civilisation. The decline in all life is calamitous. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “The Remote Arctic Town That Is Melting Away” • As the Arctic loses ice at dramatic rates, people in Qaanaaq, the northernmost town in Greenland, are finding their homes, livelihoods, customs and very survival at risk. The town is built on permafrost, which was stable in the past, but now the permafrost is melting. (Photo gallery) [BBC]

Qaanaaq, Greenland (© Anna Filipova, all rights reserved)

¶ “Queensland Battery Grants and Loans Scheme to Push Use of Renewable Energy” • Queenslanders are being urged to switch to renewable energy options, following the introduction of a grants and loans scheme for 1,500 people to apply for them to install batteries to store solar power. Interest-free loans are available for up to A$10,000. [Brisbane Times]

¶ “France Fuel Protest: One Dead in ‘Yellow Vest’ Blockades” • One protester has died and more than 200 were injured as more than a quarter of a million people took to the streets of France, angry at rising fuel prices. The price of diesel oil, the most commonly used fuel in French cars, has risen by around 23% over the past year. [BBC]

Driver getting past protesters in France (Reuters)

¶ “Malta Taking Concrete Steps to Achieve 2020 Renewable Power Targets: Official” • Malta will reach its pledged EU2020 renewable energy targets, its Energy Minister told the Maltese Parliament. He said that Malta will source its energy through solar, biomass, biofuel, and energy generated through waste, among others. [Infosurhoy]

¶ “Canna Harnesses Atlantic Gales to Generate Power” • One thing residents on one of the UK’s remotest islands are not short of is wind. In fact, the gales where they live, 23 miles out into the Atlantic, often cancel their ferry for days on end or even keep them housebound. But now, Canna’s 18 residents are getting electricity from those winds. [Press and Journal]

Canna’s wind turbines

¶ “Developer Pushes for Geothermal Development in Northwestern Argentina” • Geothermal development company Geotermia Andina is proposing a plant at Los Despoblados in the Province of San Juan near the Chilean border. They are planning to sell electric power to local mining companies and possibly to export it to Chile. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

US:

¶ “California Wildfires: Trump Visits State’s Deadliest Blaze” • President Donald Trump went to California to survey the most destructive and deadliest wildfire in the its history. He said it had not changed his point of view on climate change, adding, “I want great climate and we’re going to have that and we’re going to have forests that are very safe.” [BBC]

Donald Trump visits Paradise, California (AFP)

¶ “Blockchain’s Power Ledger Deploys Trading Platform In Pennsylvania” • Power Ledger, a decentralized energy trading platform and winner of Richard Branson’s 2018 Extreme Tech Challenge, deployed its peer-to-peer renewable energy trading platform at the headquarters of retail electric provider American PowerNet in Pennsylvania. [BlockTribune]

¶ “Going Green: Rock County Farmland May Soon Harvest Energy Instead of Crops” • A Minneapolis-based renewable energy development company is working with landowners in Rock County, Minnesota, on what could be the state’s largest solar farm. Geronimo Energy is proposing a solar system of 150 to 200 MW. [Daily Globe]

Geronimo Energy’s Pegasus Solar Project (Submitted photo)

¶ “Solar’s Future Brightens in Southern Ohio” • A number of solar farms are being developed in southern Ohio as a result of a settlement between AEP and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, through which AEP agreed to meet the need for at least 900 MW of renewable energy. Of that, 500 MW is windpower and 400 MW is solar. [Chillicothe Gazette]

¶ “US Announces Roadmap to Accelerate Offshore Wind” • The first federally funded public-private partnership focused on advancing offshore windpower in the US, the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, released its first Research and Development Roadmap. The state of New York also provided funding. [The Maritime Executive]

Offshore wind farm

¶ “Offshore Wind Energy Cable Base Planned for New England” • Subsea power provider JDR Cable Systems and McAllister Towing and Transportation Co, Inc are planning to develop a cable service base in the northeast US to serve the emerging offshore wind energy industry. The facility would include an integrated cable training center. [WorkBoat]

¶ “TVA Writes Off $750 Million Debt on Failed Nuclear Project” • Nearly a half century after starting to build a pair of nuclear reactors in Hollywood, Alabama, the Tennessee Valley Authority is moving to close the book at its costly, unfinished venture. A former Chattanooga developer is still trying to put the project together. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Have an excitingly nifty day.

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November 17 Energy News

November 17, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Oil Demand for Cars Is Already Falling” • The International Energy Agency published its World Energy Outlook this week. It is the IEA’s annual effort at revising assessments of future demand for and supply of fuels and electricity. It says oil use for cars will start to fall in the 2020s. But the fall has already begun in some world markets. [Bloomberg]

Chevy Bolt EV concept, 2015 (GabboT, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “China’s ‘Artificial Sun’ Galaxies Away from Solving Earth’s Energy Needs, Scientist Says” • Despite the achievements at the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak reactor in China, scientist Zhang Tiankan said it might still be some time before the country is able to tap the energy produced by the nuclear fusion process. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Orbital Marine Power Unveils Design for World’s Most Powerful Tidal Turbine” • Marine energy company Orbital Marine Power revealed the design of its commercial production tidal turbine, the Orbital O2 2-MW. Orbital Marine Power is to deploy the turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney in 2020. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Tidal turbine (Orbital Marine Power image)

¶ “Renewable Energy to Enhance Food Security Across World” • Adoption of renewable energy will help ensure food security across the globe, a top official of the International Renewable Energy Agency said. Many developing countries lose 30% to 40% of agricultural harvests due to lack of storage and processing facilities in rural areas. [gulfnews.com]

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Converting Zwickau Automotive Plant to Produce Electric Vehicles” • In a move that it believes is the first of its kind in the world for a major car factory, VW is converting its auto factory in Zwickau, Germany from internal combustion vehicle production to manufacture of electric vehicles. The plant makes 330,000 cars per year. [CleanTechnica]

Inside the VW Zwickau plant

¶ “82% of G20’s Energy Supply Still Comes from Fossil Fuels” • A report published in Climate Transparency showed that 82% of the G20’s energy supply is still sourced from fossil fuels and not one of the countries’ climate pledges is sufficient to keep global warming to as low as 1.5˚C. The current trend will see global warming of 3.2˚C. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canada Among Worst Offenders as World Falls Short of Climate-Change Targets” • A study published in the journal Nature Communications finds that if all other nations set similar to current emission reduction efforts in Canada, Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia, it would result in a 5.1°C warming of the planet by the end of this century. [CBC.ca]

Toronto skyline (Frank Gunn | Canadian Press)

US:

¶ “Due to Wildfires, California Now Has the Most Polluted Cities in the World” • With wildfires raging in Northern California, San Francisco, Stockton and Sacramento were the world’s three “most polluted cities” on Friday morning, according to Berkeley Earth, a nonprofit that aggregates data from air-quality monitoring sites. [CNN]

¶ “US Military Bases Using Solar, Wind, and Battery Storage for Energy Security” • Trump says America needs coal for grid security. The military proves otherwise. Military bases are using wind, solar, and battery storage to stay resilient in the face of extreme weather or attack. They are using renewables for the sake of security. [CleanTechnica]

Assembling a solar shade canopy (US Army photo)

¶ “Solar Energy Beats Coal on Critical Infrastructure Resilience, Says DOE” • The DOE is putting $46 million into solar energy to address the problem of supplying emergency power for key community facilities. Its perspective is that on-site energy generation is the most efficient way to ensure that the lights stay on at critical facilities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vail Resorts Will Be Net Zero by 2020, Thanks to VPPA” • In July, 2017, Vail Resorts announced its Epic Promise For A Zero Footprint campaign: net zero emissions, zero waste to landfills, and zero corporate impact on the forests and habitats, all by 2030. Its power purchase agreement with Ørsted will cut the emissions by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbine (Photo: Schneider Electric)

¶ “As Trump’s Tariffs Raise the Cost of Solar Installations, Elon Musk and Tesla Cut Their Prices” • Tesla, unmoved by tariffs, is reducing prices on its solar systems 10–20% in recognition of the progress it has made streamlining its solar sales process by integrating Tesla Energy products into its existing high-traffic storefronts. [Red, Green, and Blue]

¶ “Maryland Clean Energy Bill Could Triple Offshore Wind Investment” • The future of Maryland’s energy use looks a bit greener after the midterm election. With a roster of newly elected officials in the House of Delegates and Senate, legislation promising a larger commitment to renewable energy is likely to pass in the next session. [Delmarva Daily Times]

Wind farm (Tomasz Wyszoamirski | Getty Images | iStockphoto)

¶ “Trump Says He’ll Nominate Andrew Wheeler to Head the EPA” • President Trump said he intends to nominate Andrew R Wheeler to be EPA administrator. A former coal lobbyist, Wheeler has already been instrumental in major environmental policy rollbacks, including former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. [New York Times]

¶ “Entergy Arkansas Inks Deal with Sierra Club, Others to Shutter Aging Coal, Natural Gas Plants” • Entergy Arkansas signed a historic agreement with the Sierra Club and other environmental groups to shutter the utility’s old coal-fired plants and an aging natural gas facility, and replace them with cleaner power options. [talkbusiness.net]

Have a fascinatingly pleasing day.

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November 16 Energy News

November 16, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Warmer Planet Means Hurricanes Will Drop More Rain and Have Higher Winds” • A report published in the journal Nature, suggests that future hurricanes could drop up to 30% more rain and have winds as much as 33 miles per hour stronger than current storms if global warming reaches 2°C to 3°C, the rise that is currently expected. [CleanTechnica]

Hurricane Harvey from space

World:

¶ “Victorian Coalition Energy Policies to Drive Highest Power Prices and Pollution Levels of Major Parties: RepuTex Analysis” • A report by energy market analyst RepuTex modelled the impact of the energy policies of political parties. It was called a “confirmation that an electricity system driven by coal is the worst of all worlds.” [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “IHS Increases Its 2018 China Solar PV Outlook to 40 GW” • IHS Markit has revised its 2018 China solar PV forecast upwards to 40 GW in the wake of news that the country’s National Energy Administration is considering increasing its 2020 PV target to as much as 270 gigawatts GW. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar systems in China

¶ “Nine of 17 CPEC Power Plants to Be Run on Coal” • A deposit in Pakistan’s Thar Desert is believed to have 175 billion tonnes of coal. While coal is going out of vogue in most other parts of the world because of its environmental impact, it is expected to fuel nine of the 17 proposed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor power plants. [The Express Tribune]

¶ “Major Businesses Across 140 nations Shift to Renewables” • According to a report from RE100, a dramatic upsurge in demand for renewables is seeing multinational businesses moving away from fossil fuels in more than 140 markets around the world. Japan, Australia, Mexico, Turkey, and Taiwan are growth hotspots. [Energy Live News]

Wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Spain to Nix Nuclear and Coal Power by 2030” • Spain will close the last of its nuclear reactors and coal power plants before 2030, according to State Secretary for Energy José Dominguez. He made the announcement shortly after the government of Spain pledged to work towards a 100% renewably powered electricity system. [EURACTIV]

¶ “Innovator Tempus Energy Successfully Challenges Fossil Fuel Bias in UK Power Market” • A ruling by the European Court has decided that £5.6 billion in subsidies for fossil fuels, paid for by British taxpayers, is unlawful, in a case brought by cleantech innovation company Tempus Energy against the government of the UK. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Coal-burning power plant

US:

¶ “America’s Wind Farms Are Ready to Go It Alone” • For a quarter-century, the wind industry has been supported by federal tax credits that helped it attract investments of $250 billion. That support ends next year, but analysts and executives say the credits have done what they were supposed to do: make the industry competitive. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “SRP Plans 1,000 MW of New Solar Energy by 2025” • Salt River Project, an Arizona utility, announced plans to add 1,000 MW of solar energy to its system by the end of fiscal year 2025. The plan will increase both the pace and the total capacity of SRP’s solar energy resource goals by 700 MW, compared to the current resource plan. [Payson Roundup]

PV installation (Jeff Scheid, Las Vegas Review-Journal)

¶ “At UN Climate Talks, Trump Team Plans Sideshow on Coal” • The Trump administration is planning to set up a side-event promoting fossil fuels at the annual UN climate talks next month, repeating a strategy that infuriated global-warming activists during last year’s talks, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. [CNBC]

¶ “Shell Soaks in EDF California Sun” • EDF Renewables is to sell Shell Energy North America electricity from the Maverick 4 solar farm under a 15-year power purchase agreement. The 132-MW solar farm covers 1271 hectares (3,141 acres) of federal land and is part of the 500-MW Palen PV complex in California’s Mojave desert. [reNEWS]

EDF solar plant

¶ “US Energy Firm AES Commits to 70% Carbon Reduction in Climate Scenario Report” • AES, one of the world’s largest power companies, has released a report detailing the company’s moves to reduce carbon emissions 70% by 2030. The report also makes projections on the environmental and energy transition impacts of the move. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Developers Propose Adding Additional 350 MW of Offshore Wind Power” • Rhode Island has tripled the state’s supply of renewable energy in the last two years on the way to a 1,000-MW goal, according to Gov Gina Raimondo. Now, developers answering a call for proposals on offshore windpower have entered bids for as much as 350 MW. [newportri.com]

Block Island wind farm (Associated Press file photo)

¶ “Appalachian Power Seeks up to 200 MW of Solar” • American Electric Power subsidiary Appalachian Power issued a request for proposals for up to 200 MW of PV projects in Virginia. The company says it is looking to reduce customer costs and further diversify generating mix, which currently produces about 1,900 GWh/year of renewable energy. [Solar Industry]

¶ “DOE Considers Subsidies Modeled on Renewables for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors” • Incentives such as those used to spur widespread adoption of renewables technologies offer a promising model to address challenges to commercialize small modular reactors, says a report by the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy. [POWER magazine]

Have a prodigiously charming day.

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November 15 Energy News

November 15, 2018

World:

¶ “One Ecuadorian City Is Converting Its Entire Bus Fleet to Electric by March 2019” • The transit operator in the Ecuadorian port city of Guayaquil, long known as the ‘Gateway to the Galapagos,’ has decided to convert its entire fleet of transit buses over to electric with the purchase of 20 of BYD’s 12-meter, 80 passenger buses. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric bus

¶ “Renewable Energy Market to Garner $2,152 Billion by 2025, Reveals Report” • According to a report published by Allied Market Research, renewables industries will very likely result in an impressive growth for the entire market. It projects the global renewable energy market is to reach in excess of $2,152 billion by 2025. [Interesting Engineering]

¶ “As Electricity Demand Increases, Iceland Gets More Serious about Wind Power” • Wind power in Iceland has been in the trial stages for the past few years. Now, with a growing population and increasing demand for electricity beginning to exceed supply, a report from the Ministry of Industry recommends raising more wind turbines to help. [Reykjavík Grapevine]

Wind turbines (Tom Corser | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “UK Told to Scrutinize Biomass Use by Power Industry” • The UK government should increase its scrutiny of where biomass is coming from and ensure it is not used where low-carbon energy alternatives are available, according to the influential Committee on Climate Change, a parliamentary panel advising on energy and environment policies. [Bloomberg]

¶ “India Aiming at 100% Renewable Energy in Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep: RK Singh” • India’s power and renewable energy minister R K Singh said that the government is aiming at meeting the complete power demand of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands through renewable energy sources. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable Energy

¶ “Remote Scottish Island Uses Ultracaps, Flywheels in Hybrid Microgrid to Go (Almost) 100% Renewable” • The remote Isle of Eigg, one of the Scottish Inner Hebrides, is now host to a hybrid microgrid which incorporates flywheels and ultracapacitors for high power functions as well as solar, batteries, wind, and diesel backup. [Energy Storage News]

¶ “Vestas Confirms Dundonnell Wind Order in Victoria” • Vestas Wind Systems, confirmed that it has received an order to build the 336-MW Dundonnell wind farm in Australia and said that the project should be completed in the third quarter of 2020. Vestas will supply, install, and commission the wind farm with 80 units of its largest turbines. [Renewables Now]

Vestas turbine (Vestas Wind Systems image)

¶ “NSW in Line for 4-GW Solar, Wind and Battery Hybrid Project” • Australian developers Energy Estate and MirusWind have proposed a massive renewable energy hub in New South Wales. It will combine wind and solar energy generation with pumped hydro and other storage options to provide up to 4 GW of power. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “All Turbines Firing at Riffgrund 2” • Ørsted has delivered power from all the turbines at its 450-MW Borkum Riffgrund 2 wind farm in the German North Sea. The project features 56 MHI Vestas V164-8.0 MW machines supported by 20 suction bucket jacket and 36 monopile foundations. Turbine installation was started in May. [reNEWS]

Installing Riffgrund 2’s last turbine (Fred Olsen Windcarrier)

US:

¶ “UCS Slams Auto Manufacturers’ Response to Fuel Economy Rollback Scheme” • The time for public comment on the roll-back of fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks has ended, and the auto industry has made its recommendations. Manufacturers, with one exception, seem to want to be allowed to make things worse. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BNEF Confirms US Coal on Track for Record Capacity Decline” • Energy research giant Bloomberg New Energy Finance confirmed that US coal plant retirements are nearing an all-time high, with at least 16 GW of coal-fired plants already retired in 2018, and a further 37 GW is expected to be retired in the US market by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “California Invests in ‘By Location’ Distributed Energy Resources” • California leads the US with several pilot projects to reward rooftop solar energy generators and other distributed energy resources in specific locations as an alternative to having utilities meet needs by investing in upgrading their electricity generation networks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Indiana Gets Approval for $150 Million, 130 MW Wind Farm” • Scout Clean Energy, a Colorado-based portfolio company of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners that develops renewable energy, announced successful completion of all local permitting approvals for the 130-MW Bitter Ridge Wind Farm in Jay County, Indiana. [Energy Manager Today]

Wind farm

¶ “CPUC Report Shows Utilities Are Ahead of Renewable Energy Goals” • The California Public Utilities Commission said that its Renewables Portfolio Standard program, one of the country’s most ambitious, is ahead of target and helping to drive down renewable contract prices. California’s target is 100% renewable power by 2045. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Southern California Wildfire Roars to Life in Wilderness” • There has been progress against the wildfire in Southern California. And state regulators said that initial testing found no elevated levels of radiation or hazardous compounds after the fire burned near the site of a 1959 partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor. [Santa Monica Daily Press]

Have an entirely enjoyable day.

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November 14 Energy News

November 14, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Gloomy Prospects in IEA’s Latest World Energy Outlook” • None of the scenarios in the latest International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook show renewables growing fast enough to meet global climate goals. Under current policies, said the IEA, the world would see major increases in energy-related carbon emissions. [Greentech Media]

Coal-burning power plant in China

¶ “Fossil Fuel Companies Spend Next to Nothing on Renewable Energy” • ExxonMobil ads tout their research in clean fuels. But like other fossil fuel companies, ExxonMobil wraps itself in a cloak of environmental activism while continuing to poison every man, woman, and child with the pollution created by its business activities. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Scottish Wind Delivers Equivalent of 98% of Country’s October Electricity Demand” • New figures publicized by WWF Scotland on Monday revealed that wind energy generated the equivalent of 98% of the country’s electricity demand in October, or enough electricity to power nearly 5 million homes across the country. [CleanTechnica]

Scottish wind turbines (Ruhrfisch, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Energy Storage Is a $1.2 Trillion Investment Opportunity Globally and Is Soaring in the UK” • Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that the world energy storage market will attract $1.2 trillion in investment and grow to 942 GW by 2040, while in the UK the current pipeline already sits at an impressive 6,874 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Claims It Will Build 50 Million Electric Cars Using Its MEB Chassis” • Volkswagen head Herbert Diess boasts that his company will build 50 million EVs in coming years and that some of them will cost half as much as Tesla’s. There is talk of VW planning to introduce a sub-compact SUV-style EV retailing for $21,000. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID Crozz

¶ “Commonwealth Bank Signs up to Be 100% Renewable by 2030” • Commonwealth Bank of Australia will get the majority of its power from renewables by next year and has pledged to go completely green by 2030, as part of a push towards embracing a low-carbon future. It will buy power from the Sapphire wind farm. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ “Big Oil Spent Only 1.3% of Capital Expenditure on Green Energy in 2018” • The world’s largest oil companies spent just 1.3% of their annual budgets on climate change initiatives, a report found. Environmental research charity CDP studied the top 24 publicly listed firms, including oil giants Royal Dutch Shell, Total and BP. [The New Economy]

Oil rig

¶ “EU Parliament Approves Energy Efficiency, Renewable Targets” • The European Parliament has approved new targets to increase the use of renewables and improve energy efficiency. At least 32% of the EU’s energy use must come from renewable sources by 2030, and energy efficiency must be increased by 32.5%. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Spain Targets 100% Renewable Power by 2050” • Spain’s government has published a new draft climate plan that targets a 100% renewable energy electricity system by 2050. Its goals outstrip those adopted by the EU. The plan includes a ban on new gas and oil exploration. An intermediate goal for 2030 is to have 70% renewable sources. [EURACTIV]

Spanish wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “IAEA Urges Rapid Decision on Treated Water at Fukushima” • A team of nuclear experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency urged Japan on Tuesday to make a rapid decision on what to do with treated water containing low toxicity radioactive tritium that is accumulating at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “Sunnova Launches Solar-Plus-Battery Storage Service in Texas” • One of the leading residential solar-plus-storage services in the US, Sunnova, announced that it was expanding its offerings in the Lone Star State, as it makes its SunSafe solar-plus-batter storage offering available to homeowners in its home state of Texas. [CleanTechnica]

Solar installation (Sunnova image)

¶ “Rising Seas Threaten Hundreds of Thousands of Homes as Building Continues in At-Risk Areas” • Some 386,000 US homes are likely to be at risk of regular flooding by 2050 because of sea-level rise from climate change, under a scenario of unchecked greenhouse gas emissions, according to analysis by Zillow and Climate Central. [MarketWatch]

¶ “Vail Resorts Taps Ørsted Onshore” • Ørsted subsidiary Lincoln Clean Energy is to supply leisure and hospitality company Vail Resorts with electricity from the 230-MW Plum Creek wind farm in Nebraska under a virtual power purchase agreement covering 12 years. The deal is for delivery of 310,000 MWh per year of electricity. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Lincoln Clean Energy image)

¶ “Solar Advocates Target Nevada Mines” • A trifecta of solar advocates, the Nature Conservancy, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and the Nevada Mining Association, is targeting Nevada’s closed mines for new solar projects or other renewables to help the state meet its new 50% renewable energy portfolio standard by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “MidAmerican Energy to Launch Energy Storage Pilot Project” • MidAmerican Energy Company announced plans to install a battery energy storage system in Knoxville, enabling a utility to store electricity for later use. It will have 4 MWh of storage capacity, enough to power about 900 average Iowa homes for four hours. [Windpower Engineering]

Have a victoriously jubilant day.

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November 13 Energy News

November 13, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Victoria Coalition’s Bizarre Plan to Support Coal and ’24/7′ Power Does Not Add Up” • The incumbent Labor government is pledging a transition to 50% renewables, but the Victorian Coalition has unveiled plans to extend the life of existing coal generators and underwrite the construction of a new 500-MW power plant. [RenewEconomy]

Yallourn power station

¶ “Whoo-Hoo! Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Version 12.0 Is Here!” • Way ahead of the time fossil fuels were to be stranded assets due to climate change, the plants that are using them are rapidly becoming stranded assets themselves, because of renewable competition. Fossil fuels will have no market. Neither will nuclear fuel. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “IEEFA Australia: Thermal Coal Export Sunset Looming Closer” • Since 2016, the coal-fired power plant pipeline in major Asian markets has experienced a cumulative 74% decline, with more contraction expected. But it is the doubling of thermal coal prices since 2016 that has really caught the Australian mining industry’s attention. [pv magazine Australia]

Glencore coal mine in New South Wales (Glencore image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Coal Dumped as IEA Turns to Wind and Solar to Solve Climate Challenge” • One of the most conservative energy institutions, the International Energy Agency, has effectively abandoned the thermal coal industry, saying coal generation has to be drastically scaled down for the world to have any hope of addressing climate change. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Clean Energy Is Surging, but Not Fast Enough to Solve Global Warming” • Over the next two decades, the world’s energy system will undergo a huge transformation. But there’s a catch: The global march toward clean energy still isn’t happening fast enough to avoid dangerous global warming, the International Energy Agency warns. [WRAL.com]

Pollution

¶ “Elon Musk Slams Climate Skeptics amid California Fires: ‘It Will Get Worse'” • Elon Musk criticized climate change skeptics on Twitter, as wildfires spreading across California led to outcry from scientists. He said in his tweets, “Betting that science is wrong & oil companies are right is the dumbest experiment in history by far.” [Inverse]

World:

¶ “India Records Highest Quarterly RE Share In Power Generation” • India may have recorded its highest renewable energy penetration ever, in overall energy generation in the quarter of July-September 2018. The quarter saw a record for the total amount of power generated, but renewable energy was a greater percentage of that. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “India Adds 6 GW of Solar in H1 2018, up 46%” • Government data shows that India added just under 6 GW of solar power capacity between January and June 2018. Around 1.4 GW of wind energy capacity was also added during this time. With other technologies, the total for renewable capacity added during the period was 8.5 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Victoria: Second Big Battery Commissioned ahead of Schedule, Gannawarra and Wemen Solar Farm Now Operating” • The 25-MW/50-MWh Gannawarra Battery Storage, co-located with the Gannawarra Solar Farm, was put up ahead of schedule. The 60-MW solar farm itself is operating, as is the 110-MW Wemen Solar Farm. [pv magazine Australia]

The Wemen Solar Farm (Image: Wirsol)

¶ “Hydrogen Trial Promises Australia a Lighter Energy Load” • Green hydrogen has been flagged as a future clean energy export, and a New South Wales distributor is set to test the technology on the domestic front. A $15 million trial will use hydrogen generated by renewables to supply households through the natural gas grid. [create digital]

¶ “Turkey Opens 1-GW Onshore Sale” • Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has launched a 1-GW onshore wind tender. The sale is split into four 250-MW tranches for development across four regions – Balıkesir, Canakkale, Aydın and Mugla. A price cap has been set at 5.5¢/kWh for a 15-year power purchase agreement. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ “10% of New Vehicles Purchased in California Are EVs” • In August, nearly 1 out of 10 new vehicles purchased in the state of California were EVs (PHEVs + BEVs), according to the latest numbers from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Advanced Technology Vehicle Sales Dashboard (information provided by IHS Market). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Realtor Eyes Offshore Hub” • US real estate developer Commercial Development Company wants to reposition a former Massachusetts coal-burning power plant as a logistics port, manufacturing hub and support centre for the offshore wind energy sector. It has been renamed as the Brayton Point Commerce Center. [reNEWS]

Brayton Point power station (CDC photo)

¶ “Nebraska Clean Energy Advocates Gain At Least Two Allies on Omaha Power Board” • Nebraska clean energy supporters have two new allies on Omaha’s public power utility board, and a third race that is still too close to call could give renewable and efficiency champions a clear majority on the eight-member board. [Energy News Network]

¶ “AEP Devotes $2.7 Billion To New Renewable Generation” • American Electric Power, based in Ohio, is increasing capital investment in regulated operations. Along with investments in transmission and distribution operations, AEP plans to put $2.7 billion in new renewable generation during the period from 2019 through 2023. [North American Windpower]

Have a positively enchanting day.

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November 12 Energy News

November 12, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Economic Truth of Coal Mines” • The hyper-partisan political debate around coal conceals the surprising economic truth that coal miners, and those worried about climate change, both benefit from the current high in world coal prices. High prices for coal benefit mining companies, but they make it harder to sell coal. [The Australian Financial Review]

Processing coal (BHP Billiton image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Solar Power: Largest Study to Date Discovers 25% Loss Across UK” • Researchers at the University of Huddersfield have undertaken the largest study to date into the effectiveness of solar panels across the UK. They discovered that parts of the country are suffering an overall power loss of up to 25% because of ‘hot spots’ in the panels. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ “ACWA Power Secures 250 MW of Solar PV at 2.4¢/kWh!” • ACWA Power, based in Saudi Arabia, has added another major project to its solar power portfolio. The project will be part of the iconic Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, UAE. Power from the new 250 MW of solar PV capacity will be sold at 2.4¢/kWh. [CleanTechnica]

Solar plant in Dubai

¶ “Plunging Battery Costs to Trigger Energy Storage Boom” • Bloomberg New Energy Finance has forecast a veritable boom in energy storage installations in coming years with investments hitting $1.2 trillion by 2040. Falling battery costs will drive this boom, and BNEF projects a 52% drop for utility-scale lithium-ion systems by 2030. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Singapore Launches Blockchain-Based Renewable Energy Marketplace” • A blockchain-based marketplace in renewable energy certificates was launched in Singapore. The platform was launched by SP Group, which owns and operates electricity and gas transmission and distribution businesses in Singapore and Australia. [pv magazine International]

Singapore (Image: Leonid laitskyi | Flickr)

¶ “Kenya Targets Green Energy Sufficiency by 2020, Says President Kenyatta” • Kenya is setting a target to attain a 100% transition to green energy by 2020 as it scales up investment in renewable energy to address the climate change challenge concretely, President Uhuru Kenyatta said. It is currently getting 70% of its power renewably. [Citizen TV]

¶ “Faroes to Fly Minesto Tidal Kite” • Swedish tidal developer Minesto secured an agreement to supply two 100-kW devices to Faroe Islands power utility SEV by 2020. Installation of the first DG100 unit is planned for late 2019 or early 2020, with the second device to be installed in 2020. SEV committed to buy the electricity generated. [reNEWS]

Minesto tidal kite

¶ “Container with Radioactive Waste Being Stored at Laem Chabang Port” • An unknown amount of radioactive waste has been detected inside an export container at the Laem Chabang Deep Seaport in Thailand. The Aftermath Stainless Steel and Metal Recycling Company owns the container, but the specific kind of waste is unknown. [The Thaiger]

Australia:

¶ “Smart Battery System Saves more than $2,000 a Year on Electricity Bills” • Power bills will fall by more than A$2,000 ($1,440) per year for owners of a new smart battery system. Systems like those from PowerPlay identify times of household off-peak electricity use. They can choose to store power or sell it to the grid. [Energy Matters]

PowerPlay ap in use

¶ “NSW Turbocharges Grid to Tap Wind and Solar Power Surge” • The government  of New South Wales wants to bring forward $2.5 billion worth of high voltage transmission projects to shore up the power grid and accommodate $23 billion of renewable energy investment that is currently held up by grid capacity problems. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ “Victorian Liberals Pledge New Power Station to Lower Electricity Bills” • A plan to build a new coal or gas plant would involve packaging-up power contracts from major energy users, like the state’s hospitals, schools and transport systems, totalling about 500 MW, and putting a 10-year contract out to tender to supply those needs. [ABC News]

Yallourn power station (Photo: Julian Smith | AAP)

¶ “Energy Generators Cool on Coalition Vow to Build New Power Plant” • Victoria’s biggest power providers warned against a Coalition promise to underwrite a large new power station, to be powered by coal or gas, arguing government intervention in the energy market could stifle private investment, with long-term consequences for customers. [The Age]

US:

¶ “Climate Change Helped Make California a Tinder Box for its Record-Setting Wildfires” • Camp Fire, which is devastating Sierra Nevada foothills, has become the most destructive wildfire in California’s history. By the evening of November 10, it had scorched 105,000 acres of land and killed 23 people, with more than 100 people still unaccounted for. [Quartz]

The Camp Fire (Noah Berger | AP)

¶ “TVA Facebook Contract Shows Solar Growth, but There is a Catch, Environmentalists Say” • The Tennessee Valley Authority unveiled a solar project split into two sites in Tennessee and Alabama. It will provide a new Facebook data center with over 300 MW of power. Environmentalists praise the move but say the TVA should do more. [WPLN]

¶ “Coal Loses Again as US Military Pushes Clean Power Envelope” • An Association of Defense Communities report provides evidence that cities and states can help US military facilities become more resilient and secure, simply by adopting stronger clean power policies that apply to the civilian world – in other words, by ditching coal. [CleanTechnica]

Have a delightfully gleeful day.

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November 11 Energy News

November 11, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “What Changes Will Maine’s New Government Bring to Your Life?” • Swept to sizable majorities in last week’s elections, Maine’s Democrats will be in full control of state government for the first time since 2010. They are likely to look for ways to address a number of pressing issues, one of which is climate change. [Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel]

Maine State House (Joe Phelan, staff photo)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Solar Enables More Homes to Participate in Demand Response” • As more households and businesses install rooftop solar and begin tracking their energy production, an increasing number of solar hosts are diving into a variety demand response opportunities – some at the behest of the utilities – to reduce their electricity bills. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sustainable Architecture: The Beauty behind Energy-Efficient Buildings” • Creating buildings with the lowest possible carbon emissions, while still being aesthetically pleasing, is a challenge that is being addressed. Here are some of our favorite sustainable architectural projects, found in Shanghai, Paris, Dhaka, and Barcelona. [CleanTechnica]

Forêt Blanche, to be built near Paris

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy TNB’s Way to Tackle Escalating Cost” • In Malaysia, the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry is targeting the growth of non-hydro renewable energy’s proportion of the generating mix from the current 2% to 20% by 2025-2030. Fossil fuels currently supply 95% of the country’s power. [The Sun Daily]

¶ “Israel Will Ban Gasoline and Diesel Vehicles after 2030” • After December 31, all passenger cars sold in Israel will be electric and all trucks will be powered by electricity or compressed natural gas, if a proposal currently under consideration gets approved by the government. A final decision is expected by the end of this year. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus

¶ “Albania Picks Group Led by India Power for Solar Plant” • Albania’s government picked a group led by India Power Corporation Ltd to build the country’s first solar power station, the Energy Ministry said. The 100-MW solar project will cost €70 million euros ($79.34 million). About 90% of Albania’s power comes from hydro. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Triton Knoll Project Well Underway as Siemens Awards Contracts” • Siemens Transmission & Distribution Ltd has awarded its first major contracts for the UK-based Triton Knoll offshore wind farm. The Triton Knoll project is to have a capacity of 860 MW and will be able to power the equivalent of 800,000 UK households. [Energy Digital]

Offshore wind construction

¶ “100,000 Coal Jobs on the Line” • The predicted loss of about 100,000 jobs in the coal sector over the next decade due to the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy has raised the spectre of ghost towns and destroyed communities, in some parts of South Africa. Renewables will provide jobs, but not in the same parts of the country. [News24]

¶ “Jordan Inaugurates 50-MW Wind Farm” • Jordan’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources inaugurated a wind plant in Tafileh governorate, southwest of Amman, at a total cost of $102 million. He said Jordan is focusing on providing energy sources from local and eco-friendly resources to ensure energy security and independence. [REVE]

Gamesa wind turbines in Jordan

¶ “TEPCO Plans Tests to See How Much Melted Uranium Fuel Has Cooled in Damaged Reactors” • The owner of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami nearly eight years ago, says it plans to conduct tests early next year to see how much melted uranium fuel has cooled in the damaged reactors. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “Hurricane-Broken Air Power Base Has an Alternative to Rebuild for Resilience” • Rebuilding the hurricane-wrecked Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida will come with a massive price tag, but experts say it offers a chance to make the base more resilient to the effects of extreme weather. Hurricane Michael hit Tyndall as a Category 4 storm. [Infosurhoy]

Tyndall Air Force Base

¶ “New Wind May Be Cheaper than Old, Reliable Coal” • Wind farms have cost less to build and operate than coal-fired power plants for some time. The trend of lower costs for renewables has crossed a threshold: it is sometimes cheaper to build a brand new wind facility than keep an old coal plant burning, according to Lazard Ltd. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶ “Santa Rosa Council Considers Requirement for New Homes to be Independent of Natural Gas” • Santa Rosa may require that new homes be equipped to operate without natural gas, a shift city leaders hope could cut carbon emissions and accelerate the green building designs gaining favor after last year’s destructive wildfires. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

California wildfires (US DOD photo)

¶ “Public Service Commission Key to Tony Evers’ Climate Agenda” • Governor-elect Tony Evers has pledged to move Wisconsin toward entirely renewable energy by mid-century. It is not clear just how he might accomplish that without cooperation from the Legislature, which remains under Republican control. [Portage Daily Register]

¶ “Wins by Democratic Attorneys General Threaten to Multiply Climate Suits against Big Oil” • Democrats scored a string of state attorney general victories on election night, ousting some loyal oil and gas allies and threatening to add to mounting lawsuits against the industry over climate change. The party flipped four states. [HuffPost]

Have a stupendously excellent day.

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November 10 Energy News

November 10, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “America’s 10 Most Eco-Friendly Ski Resorts” • To find out which US ski resorts are leading environmentally, we asked sustainability experts from organizations like Protect Our Winters, the National Ski Areas Association, and Stoke Certified for their picks. Here are ten winter resorts that are truly making their impacts. [Outside Magazine]

Sugarbush (Sugarbush image)

¶ “Trump’s Keystone XL Tar Sands Oil Pipeline Promise, Unkept and Undone” • The federal judge for the District of Montana who overturned permit for the Keystone XL pipeline issued an order that all but guarantees the project will die another death by a thousand cuts. He ordered a complete do-over on economic and environmental impacts. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Amazon Forests Failing to Keep Up with Climate Change” • New research has assessed the impact of global warming on thousands of tree species across the Amazon to discover the winners and losers from 30 years of climate change. The analysis found adaptations are not quick enough to keep up with the changing environment. [Science Daily]

Research (Adriane Esquivel Muelbert, University of Leeds)

World:

¶ “Fluence Battery Ordered for 212-MW Australian Wind Farm” • Fluence, the energy storage specialist formed by Siemens AG and AES Corp, announced that it will provide a 10-MW battery storage system to be integrated with the 212-MW Lincoln Gap wind farm, currently under construction near Port Augusta in South Australia. [Renewables Now]

¶ “MHI Vestas to Provide its 9.5-MW Wind Turbines for Northwester 2 in Belgium” • MHI Vestas announced that it was selected by offshore wind developer and operator Parkwind to provide its 9.5-MW wind turbines for the 219-MW Northwester 2 Offshore Wind Power Plant to be built off the coast of Belgium in the North Sea. [CleanTechnica]

Northwester 2 Parkwind

¶ “Egypt: 2 GW of Solar Power Soon, and Country Achieves COP21 Goals” • Voltalia, based in France, announced the start of construction on a 32-MW solar power plant in Egypt. The electricity produced by the Ra Solar power plant will bring Egypt’s installed solar capacity to 2 GW. The country will thus achieve its COP 21 objectives. [AFRIK 21]

¶ “Labour Takes Aim at ‘Environmentally Reckless’ Policy as Government Defends Renewables Record” • The government of the UK is being “environmentally reckless” and not acting on the “tremendous economic opportunities” new technologies like tidal and floating wind turbines offer, according to a Labour shadow secretary. [Current News]

Installing floating wind turbine (Ørjan Richardsen | Equinor)

¶ “Denmark-Netherlands Subsea Power Cable Reaches Dutch Coast” • A subsea power line set to link the networks of Denmark and the Netherlands reached the Dutch coast. The 325 km (202 mile) long power line has a capacity of around 700 MW and is expected to become fully operational in the third quarter of 2019. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ “California Looks to Stationary Energy Storage as a Solution to Peaker Plants” • Central California electric utility Pacific Gas & Electric is planning to replace three old natural gas power plants in its network with stationary energy storage installations from Tesla. California is looking to add 1.3 GW of storage to its power grid by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Rising smoke (Photo: Pexels)

¶ “MidAmerican Energy Testing Storing Electricity in Utility-Scale Battery System” • MidAmerican Energy says it is installing a utility-scale battery storage system so it can bank electricity for later use. The battery system will enhance MidAmerican’s renewable energy reliability, so it can meet grid needs at peak demand times. [DesMoinesRegister.com]

¶ “Caltrain to Use Renewable Energy at San Jose Facilities” • Caltrain’s board has approved enrolling in the San Jose Clean Energy program to provide renewable energy to the railroad’s facilities in San Jose, California. The decision means that 100% of Caltrain’s power will come from renewable sources starting in 2019. [Progressive Rail Roading]

Caltrain in operation (Photo: Caltrain via Twitter)

¶ “State’s Largest Solar Farm Nearing Production” • Washington’s largest solar farm will begin commercial production next month in the Columbia Basin town of Lind. Nearly 82,000 solar panels have been installed. Sensors adjust the angle of the flat, blue panels throughout the day, allowing them to maximize the capture of solar rays. [The Daily World]

¶ “University of Texas Study Highlights Wind’s Low Cost” • Wind, solar and natural gas have the lowest levelized cost of electricity in the majority of counties across the United States, according to a new report from The University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute, part of a series of white papers on the Full Cost of Electricity. [Into the Wind]

Wind farm

¶ “Five New State Governors Aim for 100% Renewables” • Five governors-elect in Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Connecticut, and Maine, states with a combined population of 26 million, put forth campaign goals of 100% renewable electricity. Currently, only California and Hawaii have a deadline to move to 100% zero-carbon electricity. [pv magazine International]

¶ “SCANA CEO pleads ignorance amid pressure of federal probe into SC nuclear project” • The possibility of criminal charges against a South Carolina utility and its leaders for management of a failed nuclear project loomed over the seventh day of Public Service Commission hearings. The utility’s CEO continued to plead ignorance. [The State]

Have an impressively agreeable day.

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November 9 Energy News

November 9, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Big Auto Has a Problem: Evolve Too Slowly or Cannibalize Cash Cows” • Legacy automakers have a dilemma on their hands. Transitioning to electric cars is hard. To get some understanding, Seeking Alpha’s Scott Morton takes a look at GM’s vexing EV challenges as the company tries to face off with Elon Musk on Tesla’s turf. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Photo: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

World:

¶ “Enel to Build 220-MW Solar Plant in Mexico” • Enel Green Power is adding another 220 MW of solar generation to its clean energy portfolio in Mexico, with the Magdalena II solar park in the state of Tlaxcala. With 550,000 PV modules, the solar plant is expected to be in operation by the end of 2019, generating 600 GWh per year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Polish Government Plans 9 GW of Onshore and Offshore Wind” • The Polish Government announced plans to develop 8 GW of offshore wind by 2035, a move the country will sign into law. At the same time, the Government opened a 1-GW onshore wind energy auction that could yield prices from €43/MWh to 63/MWh. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines

¶ “Renewables Reach Record 20% Share of Q3 Supply in Australia’s NEM” • In the third quarter of 2018, renewables generation in Australia’s National Electricity Market passed a 20% share in the supply mix for the first time. Renewables increased with new wind and solar power capacity and high hydropower output. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Towering Gravity-Based ‘Batteries’ Are Coming to India” • A Swiss company with operations based in California, Energy Vault, announced that Indian power giant Tata is the first client for its gravity powered energy storage system. When there is excess power available, huge bricks are raised at a tower. When they are lowered, power is generated. [Popular Mechanics]

Rendering of Energy Vault system at a wind farm

¶ “Solar Cleans Up in French Tech-Neutral Renewable Auction” • Solar energy has won all 200 MW of capacity on offer in what is claimed to be France’s first technology-neutral renewables tender. The French Government published results showing 16 winners bid at an average of €54.94/MWh (£47.8 or $62.28/MWh) for the projects. [Energy Live News]

US:

¶ “Vivint Solar Reaches 1 GW of Rooftop Solar amidst Strong Q3 and California Expansion” • American residential solar provider Vivint Solar started the month of November with three big announcements. It surpassed the 1-GW milestone for rooftop solar systems, and it announced a strong third quarter and growth in California. [CleanTechnica]

Vivint installation

¶ “Federal Judge Halts Keystone XL Pipeline Construction” • A US District Judge found that the US government’s use of a 2014 environmental review to justify issuing a presidential permit for construction of the cross-border pipeline violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. [CNN]

¶ “Voters Raise Nevada Renewables Goal to 50%, NV Energy has $2 Billion Plans” • Nevada voters approved a measure to increase the renewable energy portfolio standard for state utilities from 15% in 2025 to 50% by 2030, a goal for which NV Energy is preparing with $2 billion worth of requests for proposals this year. [CleanTechnica]

Nevada solar array (Credit: Berkshire Hathaway Energy)

¶ “Nancy Pelosi Plans to Push for Revival of Climate Change Committee in New Congress” • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is poised to engage in setting up a committee focused on climate change in the new Congress. The panel would allow party members on Capitol Hill to draw attention to the threat posed by of global warming. [CNN]

¶ “Indiana Utility Says Replacing Coal with Renewables will Save Customers $4 Billion” • Coal is king in Indiana when it power generation, but not for much longer. Northern Indiana Public Service Co has found a mix of solar, wind, energy storage, and demand management will save its customers $4 billion over the next 30 years. [CleanTechnica]

Schahfer generating station

¶ “Tesla Plans to Spend up to $3 Billion a Year on Gigafactories over next 24 Months” • In its latest 10-Q filing with the SEC, Tesla says it is planning to spend big on upgrading Gigafactories 1, 2, and 3. In fact, it plans to spend up to $3 billion a year over the next two years. It also says it expects to pay for most of that from current earnings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canadians to Grow Entergy Sunflower” • Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy is joining with Entergy to develop the 100-MW Sunflower solar farm in Mississippi. Recurrent will build the project, which will be owned by Entergy Mississippi when operational. The solar farm is earmarked for completion no later than 2022. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Canadian Solar image)

¶ “New York Offers 800-MW Offshore Prize” • New York state launched an 800-MW offshore wind solicitation with bids due in February 2019. Awards for projects will come in spring 2019 in time to take advantage of federal tax credits. New York plans to host 2.4 GW of offshore wind to help meet its 50% green energy targets for 2030. [reNEWS]

¶ “Group Warns over a Third of US Nuclear Power Plants Could Retire” • More than a third of US nuclear power plants could shut for economic reasons over the next decade, according to a study released by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The UCS is a public policy group that focuses on environmental and energy issues. [CNBC]

Have an unrestrainedly amusing day.

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November 8 Energy News

November 8, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Even in a Carbon-Constrained World, FirstEnergy’s Nuclear Bailout Proposal in Ohio Must Be Rejected” • The threat of climate change is increasingly dire and the need to dramatically cut carbon emissions is even more urgent. But FirstEnergy’s bailout proposals for its struggling nuclear plants must be rejected. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Davis Besse nuclear plant

¶ “Floating Solar is Best Solution for Colorado Town’s High Electric Bills” • When a town has high electric bills and no available land for a solar farm, a floating solar plant on the pond of a waste water plant makes great sense. Walden, Colorado, population 750, elevation 8,000 feet plus, and land area of 0.34 square miles, is such a town. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Choppy Waters for Greek Shipping Sector” • As the US this week reinstated a global ban on Iranian oil exports, there are few countries outside of Iran that will be more affected by the move than Greece. This is because Greece’s merchant shipping fleet, the biggest in the world by tonnage, is also the largest carrier of Iranian oil. [BBC]

Loading Iranian oil on a tanker (Getty Images)

¶ “Enel Flush for Moroccan Wind Surge” • Enel Green Power and local partner Nareva have reached financial close on the 180-MW Midelt wind farm in Morocco, which will be the first stage of the 850-MW Projet Eolien Integre complex. Enel said construction of the €230 million Midelt project will take about two years to complete. [reNEWS]

¶ “Innovation Think Tank Says Tesla isn’t Disruptive, but Mini-EVs Are” • In China, EVs have been miniaturized. They can cost as little as $1,000, are made from stamped steel, have no safety features to speak of, have maximum speeds of 25 to 43 miles per hour, and do not require driver’s licenses. Millions are sold each year. [CleanTechnica]

Low speed electric car in China

¶ “Labor Dials Up its Renewable Energy Target To 50% by 2030” • Half of Victoria’s energy could come from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydro power within 12 years, if the Andrews government is re-elected. According to The Age, Labor will promise to raise Victoria’s renewable energy target from 40% to 50% by 2030. [The Canberra Times]

¶ “China, US Keep Top Positions on EY’s Renewables Index” • There is little movement in the top 10 of Ernst & Young’s latest Renewable energy country attractiveness index, as ongoing geopolitical instability is causing caution among leading renewable energy markets, EY said. China is still number one, and the US number two. [Renewables Now]

Co-located solar and wind parks (Photo: Istock)

¶ “Toshiba to Pull Out of UK Nuclear Power Project” • Plans for a new nuclear power station in Cumbria have been scrapped after the Japanese conglomerate Toshiba announced it was winding up the UK unit behind the project. Toshiba said it would take a ¥18.8 billion (£125 million, $170 million) hit from closing its subsidiary, NuGeneration. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “The Environmental Ballot Measures that Midterm Voters Backed or Rejected” • A number of  statewide measures on ballots in the midterm election related to climate change and the environment. Voters in 37 states considered whether they were for or against initiatives related to renewable energy, carbon emissions and offshore drilling. [CNN]

Voters lining up early in Oklahoma (Mike Simons | Tulsa World)

¶ “Voters Just Elected Six More Scientists to Congress” • The next Congress will have at least six newly elected scientists, including a nuclear engineer and a biochemist. Supporters say these scientist-legislators, all Democrats, will bring a fact-based approach to public policy and impact such issues as nuclear disarmament and climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Voters in Three US States Reject Initiatives to Curb Fossil Fuel Use” • Voters in the states of Colorado, Arizona, and Washington rejected ballot initiatives that sought to curb fossil fuels use by restricting drilling, putting a fee on carbon emissions and mandating wider use of renewable energy. The results were a win for the fossil fuels industry. [Raw Story]

Oil pumps (Shuttershock image)

¶ “Colorado Governor-Elect has US’ Most Ambitious Renewable Goal” • Jared Polis, a Democratic congressman from Colorado who was elected governor in Tuesday’s midterms, has promised the state will run only on renewable power by 2040. That would phase out fossil fuel generation in Colorado even faster than in California and Hawaii. [Climate Home]

¶ “Backers of Failed Prop 127 to Continue Push for Arizona Renewables” • Backers of a defeated ballot measure aimed at greatly increasing renewable energy in Arizona will continue to push for more wind and solar power. Proposition 127 failed by more than a 2-to-1 margin, after multi-million-dollar campaigns on both sides. [Public News Service]

Arizona solar array (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Wind, Solar Help Slash CO2 Power Emissions 28% Since 2005” • According to new findings from the DOE’s Energy Information Administration, US electric power sector CO2 emissions have declined 28% since 2005 because of slower electricity demand growth and changes in the mix of power sources used to generate electricity. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Power to Learn: Puerto Rico Schools Get the Microgrid Treatment” • Economics often decide the fate of a microgrid proposal, but sometimes the calculator should be set aside. Such is the case with a program launched by the Rocky Mountain Institute and Save the Children to build school microgrids in Puerto Rico. [One Step Off The Grid]

Have a breathtakingly gorgeous day.

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November 7 Energy News

November 7, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Reveal Strange Molecule that Can Store Sun’s Energy for 18 Years” • A Swedish research team believes it found a breakthrough for energy storage. A specialized solar thermal fluid can hold the sun’s energy for long periods of time and expel that energy on demand when activated by putting it through a catalytic process. [Forbes]

Solar heating system (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ “Wireless Charging at 120 kW by Electromagnetic Induction” • US DOE researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have now come up with an induction charging system capable of operating at a power of 120 kW, with up to a 6-inch gap between the primary and secondary coils, and at an efficiency of about 97%. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Global Wind Turbine Market Value to Hit $48 Billion by 2022, Led by APAC” • Led by the Asia Pacific region, the global wind turbine market is expected to continue to grow over the next few years, GlobalData figures show. Market value is projected to be $47.83 billion in 2022, up from $44.75 billion in 2017, driven largely by onshore development. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in Xinjiang China

¶ “China May Increase its 2020 Solar Target to 200 Gigawatts or Higher” • China’s National Energy Administration floated the idea that it might increase its 2020 solar target to at least 210 GW, and potentially as high as 270 GW, in a move that is expected to impact China’s annual capacity additions and PV manufacturing significantly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Non-Hydro Renewables to Replace Nuclear in Germany, Reaching 71.9% by 2030” • With Germany set to phase out its nuclear capacity by 2022, leading analysts GlobalData predicts that non-hydro renewables will almost exclusively fill the remaining capacity, and by 2030 will contribute over 70% to the country’s power mix. [CleanTechnica]

Saerbeck wind and solar

¶ “Western Australia Trials Tesla PowerBank Community Storage System” • Western Australia’s state-owned energy retailer Synergy and grid operator Western Power are experimenting with a community battery. For $1 dollar a day, families can store any excess electricity from their PV systems to a common battery for later use. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Renewables Capacity Overtakes Fossil Fuels for the First Time” • The UK’s energy industry set another record, with renewables capacity overtaking fossil fuel capacity for the first time. A report from Drax Electric Insights shows available UK renewables capacity stands at 42 GW, while fossil fuel capacity has fallen to 40.6 GW. [businessgreen.com]

Offshore wind farm

¶ “European Battery Manufacturing to Grow 20-Fold by 2025” • Europe is on track to increase its battery-making capacity by 20 times in the next seven years, hitting 90 GWh of manufacturing output per year by 2025. The figures, from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, show Europe gaining ground on Asian manufacturing. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Floating Nuclear Power Plant Starts first Reactor in Russia” • Russia’s floating nuclear power plant achieved a sustained chain reaction of one of the two reactors at its mooring in Murmansk harbour. The Akademik Lomonosov’s second reactor will be started up and tests carried out before the plant is towed to Pevek next year. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Akademik Lomonosov nuclear plant (Credit Rosatom)

US:

¶ “Renewables Reduced Wholesale Power Costs by $5.7 Billion in Texas” • The Economic Value of Renewable Energy to Texas, a report by the Wind Solar Alliance, is very revealing. In addition to job growth, reduced pollutants, and projected numbers for economic development, there are also figures for the economic benefits of leasing and local taxes. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Proterra and Daimler Team Up to Manufacture Electric School Buses” • At the 44th annual National Association of Pupil Transportation Conference, Proterra and Daimler introduced the latest Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner eC2 electric school bus powered by Proterra. Recharging takes about 3 hours using a 60-kW charging system. [CleanTechnica]

Electric school bus from Thomas

¶ “Clean Energy Mandate Proposition 127 Fails in Victory for Utility Company” • In Arizona, the clean energy constitutional amendment, Proposition 127, is on track to fail by a wide margin, as Arizona voters appear to have rejected a ballot measure that the state’s largest utility company claimed would raise electric power bills. [Phoenix New Times]

¶ “Insurance Company Ullico Invests in 1.3 GW of US Wind, Solar” • Ullico Inc, a labor-owned insurance and investment company based in Washington, DC, agreed to invest in a portfolio of over 70 solar and wind projects located across the US and owned by affiliates of Alberta Investment Management Corp and The AES Corp. [North American Windpower]

US wind farm

¶ “New Kansas Wind Farm to Provide 80% of Washburn University’s Power” • Washburn University, located in Topeka, Kansas, will be purchasing 4 MW of power from a new 300 MW wind farm to be constructed in northeast Kansas. The contract will cover about 80% of the energy needs of two Washburn campuses. [North American Windpower]

¶ “In Boost for Renewables, US Rep Polis Wins Colorado Governor’s Race” • Colorado has chosen Democrat Jared Polis to be governor, marking a win for the candidate’s goal of reaching 100% renewables by 2040. Campaigning, Polis had pointed to the low cost of utility-scale windpower and the benefits energy storage. [S&P Global Platts]

Have a uniquely worry-free day.

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November 6 Energy News

November 6, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “South Africa’s Complicated Coal Conundrum” • Coal supplies 77% of the South African electrical output, and coal mining operations employ hundreds of thousands of the country’s workers. But global trends, working against “dirty energy,” are threatening to tear South Africa’s already divided society further apart. [The South African]

Coal mine (The South African file photo)

¶ “Five Midterm Votes that Could Have an Outsize Impact on Climate Change” • This is the era of deregulation in the nation’s capital, as Trump is rolling back climate change regulations and withdrawing the US from the Paris climate agreement. At the state level, though, advocates and lawmakers around the country are fighting back. [Las Vegas Sun]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Large Hydropower Dams ‘Not Sustainable’ in the Developing World” • A study says large-scale hydropower projects in Europe and the US have been disastrous for the environment. The authors fear that the unsustainable nature of these projects has not been recognised in the developing world, where thousands of dams are being built. [BBC]

Overflow at Oroville dam in California (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “FRV Signs Power Purchase Agreement for its Sixth Solar Project in Australia” • Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, a global developer of renewable utility-scale projects, announced that it signed a power purchase agreement with Snowy Hydro for 67.8 MW of the Goonumbla Solar Farm project to be developed in New South Wales. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Campaign Group Slams Insurers of New Coal Power Plant” • The Unfriend Coal campaign, which in July promised to expose any insurer who underwrites the new 660-MW coal power plant in the Czech Republic, has kept its word. It singled out Generali, which has announced a climate plan, for hypocrisy as it insured a new coal plant. [Insurance Business]

Coal plant (iStock image)

¶ “UK Trial of Hydrogen Blended Gas to Kick Off” • A trial in the UK of blending up to 20% hydrogen into the gas supply has been given the green light by the Health and Safety Executive. The trial is due to start next year and will see up to 20% of hydrogen blended with the normal gas supply in part of Keele University’s gas network. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Bungala Solar Farm Goes Fully Online as Australia’s Biggest Solar Project to Date” • The second phase of the Bungala Solar Project, a 110 MW solar power plant, started feeding electricity into the grid last week, making Bungala the nation’s largest operating solar farm. The Bungala project now has a capacity of 220 MW. [pv magazine International]

The Bungala solar farm (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “No More Diesel: Largest Solar Farm in Seychelles Fully Powers a Remote Island” • The remote island of Alphonse is now completely powered by the largest PV farm in Seychelles. This means diesel fuel will no be longer needed to generate electric energy, according to a top official of the Islands Development Company. [Seychelles News Agency]

¶ “Drilling Gets Underway at United Downs for UK’s First Geothermal Energy Plant” • Drilling has started on the UK’s first geothermal electricity plant. Geothermal Engineering Ltd launched the drilling operations on site at United Downs, in Cornwall. The £18 million demonstration will supply up to 3 MW of electricity. [Cornwall Live]

United Downs Deep Geothermal Power (Image: GEL)

¶ “Canada, New England Talk Trade, Politics and Clean Energy” • Energy made up $130 billion of the $750 billion that changed hands last year between Canada and the US, the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world. On both sides of the border many question why the Trump administration would risk that relationship with tariffs. [RTO Insider]

¶ “Nuclear Energy’s Slow Return Hurts Japan’s Power Producers” • A new study shows that the Japanese nuclear industry is unlikely to reach a government target of providing at least 20% of the country’s energy by 2030. As few as six reactors might restart from the shutdown following the Fukushima Disaster over the next five years. [Voice of America]

Ikata nuclear plant (Mari Saito | Reuters)

US:

¶ “Climate Change may Increase Heat Waves, Coastal Damage, and Wildfires in California” • The California Natural Resources Agency recently released a statewide climate change assessment. The report says climate change impacts will get worse. With more heat waves, there might be 11,000 heat-related deaths each year by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Virginia Gives Nod to 12-MW Wind Demo off Virginia Beach” • The State Corporation Commission, Virginia’s regulatory agency, approved a 12-MW offshore wind demonstration project. The wind farm is being developed by Ørsted A/S and Dominion Energy. Its two 6-MW turbines will be about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. [Renewables Now]

Installing a 6-MW turbine (Siemens AG, All Rights Reserved)

¶ “Consumer Reports Survey Finds Most Americans Want More Renewable Energy” • A survey conducted for Consumer Reports finds the vast majority of Americans want less pollution and more renewable energy. Consumers Union submitted the results to the EPA as part of the public comment process on rolling back the Clean Power Plan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Large Solar Farm to be Installed in Alabama to Power Facebook Data Center” • A large solar plant is being built to power Facebook’s new data center in the Rocket City, Alabama. The Tennessee Valley Authority is contracted with First Solar, based in Tempe, Arizona, to install a 277-MW solar power farm in Colbert County. [Birmingham Business Journal]

Have an extraordinarily fortunate day.

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November 5 Energy News

November 5, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Ten Simple Changes to Help Save the Planet” • Climate change is real, and we are starting to see some of the ways that it affects us. It increases the likelihood of flooding in Miami and elsewhere, threatens the millions of people living along the Brahmaputra River, and disrupts reproduction of plants and animals. Here are things to do. [BBC]

Solar array on water

¶ “Why China Indirectly Controls EV Markets” • China produces about two thirds of the world’s supply of lithium-ion batteries, the type most commonly used in EVs. And these highly valuable batteries make up a staggering 40% of the cars’ value. Europe is far from being able to compete with China on EV battery production. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “The Power of Purpose: Abundance is the New Sustainability” • One thinker preaching a more optimistic worldview is Peter Diamandis, founder of the X-Prize Foundation and Singularity University. He and Peter Koettler wrote a book, “Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think.” It should be required reading for every CEO and CMO. [Forbes]

Abundance is the New Sustainability
(Jeremy Bishop | Unsplash)

¶ “Wanted: An Australian Energy Policy to Kickstart A$25 billion of Investment” • Years of energy policy flip-flops are holding up billions of dollars of investment even as Australia looks to prevent a repeat of blackouts suffered over the past two years. And the country pays some of the highest electricity costs in the industrialized world. [Business Insider]

World:

¶ “Delhi Panic over Toxic Air ahead of Indian Festival Diwali” • Panic gripped the Indian capital Delhi as residents woke up to a blanket of thick grey smog ahead of Diwali, the festival of lights. Pollution levels were 20 times the World Health Organisation’s recommended limit. The firecrackers used for the festival are expected to make the air even worse. [BBC]

Delhi smog

¶ “Australian Capital Territory Officially Opens 91-MW Wind Farm” • A wind farm of 91 MW has started feeding power into the grid of the ACT, according to transmission system operator TransGrid. The wind farm moves the ACT closer to achieving its goal of getting 100% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Kansai Electric Targets Solar Power Trading among Homes” • People who have PVs in areas served by Kansai Electric Power Co may soon be able to sell electricity to other households. KEPCO started a study with the University of Tokyo, MUFG Bank, and Nihon Unisys Ltd on a system to allow electricity sales among individuals. [Asahi Shimbun]

Saitama Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

¶ “ScottishPower Links with Car Dealership to Make Electric Vehicle Switch ‘Simpler’” • ScottishPower announced a new agreement with UK car dealership Arnold Clark to make the switch to EVs “simpler.” Consumers will be able to lease or buy EVs, have a charging point installed at home, and sign up to a 100% renewable energy tariff. [Energy Voice]

¶ “‘We Want to do Everything We Can’: NSW Readies for Renewables Surge” • New solar and wind farms being planned for New South Wales have twice the capacity of the state’s coal-fired power stations, prompting the state government to set aside $55 million to help smooth their introduction. There may be $27 billion in renewable investment. [The Canberra Times]

Moree solar farm

¶ “UK Batteries Charge towards 7 GW” • Average capacity for new battery storage projects has increased to 27 MW today from 10 MW in 2016, and more than 300 UK-based businesses are operating in the sector, R-UK said. An R-UK database will allow R-UK members to access information on nearly 400 UK energy storage projects. [reNEWS]

¶ “German Renewables Share Jumps to 38% for 2018, Nearly Catches Coal” • Germany is edging ever closer to its national target of 65% renewable energy by 2030. New data shows that wind and solar produced 38% of the electricity consumed in the country in the first nine months of 2018, reaching 43% in January, April and May. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines

¶ “Taiwan: Pursuing a New Green Energy Revolution in the East” • In a bid to strengthen its national energy security, the Taiwanese Government has set ambitious renewable energy targets for 2025. It is acting to attract foreign investment, and at the same time intends to phase out nuclear power by the same date. [Power Technology]

US:

¶ “National Right-Wing Media Outlets Bash Renewable Energy Ballot Initiative in Arizona” • National right-wing media outlets The Daily Caller and Washington Free Beacon have between them published two dozen articles criticizing Proposition 127, a clean energy ballot initiative in Arizona. The initiative calls for 50% renewable electricity by 2030. [Salon]

Solar array at sunset

¶ “A US City is Building Tiny Homes in People’s Back Gardens” • The Multnomah Idea Lab, a government agency in Multnomah County, Oregon, is tasked with finding innovative solutions in the county’s human services sector. It came up with a pilot program to house homeless families in tiny homes in the back gardens of willing homeowners. [BBC]

¶ “On Climate Change, Trump Disavows his own Scientists, Government” • The National Climate Assessment, the most complete and up-to-date report published by the federal government, concludes that there is no convincing alternative explanation for climate change other than human causes. Trump dismissed it without reading it. [Axios]

Have a thoroughly peachy day.

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November 4 Energy News

November 4, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Putting Speed Bumps in Hurricane Alley” • New research suggests that massive installations of wind turbines could lessen the deluge when powerful hurricanes bring devastating amounts of rain onto land. During such recent storms as Harvey and Florence this could have meant less destruction and fewer deaths. [EcoWatch]

Wind farm

¶ “Fish and Plants Already Affected by Climate Change in South Africa’s Oceans” • Scientists researching climate change in South African have found evidence that it is affecting fish and plants in the ocean. South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries said evidence shows species are moving based on rising temperatures. [MyBroadband]

¶ “Tides and Technology for Future Electricity Supply” • There is hope that new marine renewable technologies can increase Australia’s power supply by capturing the energy in waves and tides. Wave Swell Energy, is working with Tasmanian scientists at the Australian Maritime College on projects to see this goal achieved. [Tasmania Examiner]

Tidal turbine (Supplied photo)

World:

¶ “China Has Record Electric Car Sales Month” • After a few months threatening to break the all-time record (102,635 units, set last December), the Chinese plug-in electric vehicle market finally hit a new high, with some 104,900 plug-in vehicles being registered in September. This is up 66% and in line with previous months’ growth rates. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Southeast Asia’s Renewables Held Back by Policy Inaction: Irena” • Southeast Asia is a potential hotspot for renewable energy, yet the region has not met expectations because it lacks policy frameworks that would encourage investment, the International Renewable Energy Agency’s general director told Reuters in an interview. [Jakarta Globe]

Coal shipment (Beawiharta | File Photo | Reuters)

¶ “Energy Sector Has Lion’s Share of Schneider Electric’s Investments in Egypt: Sheta” • Egypt aspires to have its energy sector meet development requirements, maximize efficient use of traditional and renewable resources contributing to economic growth and competitiveness, achieve social justice, and preserve the environment. [Daily News Egypt]

¶ “Moroccan Wind Farm Certified ‘Green’ by Dubai Carbon” • Morocco is a renewable energy leader in the Arab world, with 3.6 GW of renewable energy plants already supplying its power grid and 3.6 GW more in development. The country is committed to having 52% of its power capacity be from renewable resources by 2030. [Technical Review Middle East]

Wind power (Unsplash image)

¶ “Offshore Wind Projects Hasten Asia’s Renewable Shift from Solar” • China is starting to build its largest offshore wind-power facility as part of an accelerating shift in Asia away from solar to wind and other renewable resources. Wood Mackenzie sees windpower capacity in Asia growing by a factor of 20 over the next decade. [Nikkei Asian Review]

US:

¶ “NH Missing from State Coalition Opposing Clean Power Plan Rollback” • The EPA wants to replace the Obama-era plan with a rule that loosens CO2 emissions standards. When the attorneys general of 26 states, cities, and counties laid out their strong opposition, New Hampshire is the only New England state not among them. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

Coal-burning power plant in New Hampshire (PSNH image)

¶ “Dominion Energy Moving Swiftly toward Renewable Energy Goal” • In 2015, when Dominion Energy’s solar portfolio was just over 1 MW, it set a goal of 400 MW under development in Virginia by 2020. It now has 824 MW in operation or under development in the state. It is also adding both onshore and offshore windpower. [REVE]

¶ “For the Puerto Rican Island of Vieques, Rebuilding Seems like a Never-Ending Task” • Families living on the island of Vieques have waited for electric power ever since Maria hit. There is no plan to restore the underwater cable that once transmitted electricity from the Puerto Rico mainland. The power authority aims to build microgrids. [NBCNews.com]

Still living in a tent (Brock Stoneham | NBC News)

¶ “Republican Senator Proposes Taking Away US EV Tax Credit” • US Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) proposed killing off the federal EV tax credit via a bill he has introduced in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the “Fairness for Every Driver Act.” He claims the EV tax credit is a benefit largely for the wealthy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vogtle Reactors Move Forward, Despite Co-Owner Concerns” • After a debate on a “go or no go” vote, the co-owners of Plant Vogtle, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, Oglethorpe Power, and Dalton Utilities, decided to continue construction on the nuclear reactors Units 3 and 4, despite never-ending cost overruns. [Atlanta Progressive News]

Have an indubitably superb day.

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November 3 Energy News

November 3, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Six Environmental Ballot Measures Attract Massive Out-of-State and Industry Cash” • Voters in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, and Washington will head to the polls on November 6 with the chance to decide on hotly contested environmental regulations. A lot of industry cash is being spent to influence the vote. [Center for Public Integrity]

Colorado view of mountains and a
Nodding donkey (David Zalubowski | AP)

¶ “Access to Electricity Is Growing Rapidly Around the World – Except in Africa” • For the first time ever, there are fewer than a billion people without electricity globally, new data from the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2018 shows. But most of the half billion people who have got electric power since 2011 are in Asia. [Quartz]

¶ “Coal’s Last Gasp Is a Win-Win for the Economy and Public Health” • Coal plants are shutting down at a record pace because the power they produce is too costly. But the biggest economic benefit of replacing coal plants with renewables is not in the ratepayers’ monthly electric bills. It is the savings that will come with cleaner air. [Environmental Working Group]

Pollution, a major health issue

World:

¶ “UK Weather More Extreme Due to Climate Change, Says Met Office” • Climate change has led to an increase of extreme weather events in the UK, according to the country’s weather service. The coldest days in the past decade were 1.7°C warmer than between 1961 and 1990, while the warmest days were 0.8° hotter. [CNN]

¶ “UK Pushing Pure Electric Cars … By Cutting Support for Plug-in Hybrids” • The UK is 10th in Europe for the percentage of new cars that are plug-ins, and the large majority of those plug-ins have been hybrids. The UK is aiming to change that. It is trying to stimulate more pure-electric car sales and phase out the plug-in hybrids. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan LEAF UK

¶ “Experts Back Mike Cannon-Brookes: Australia can be Clean Energy Superpower” • Energy experts backed billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes’ claim that Australia can become a clean energy superpower by using wind, solar, and pumped hydro to deliver some of the world’s cheapest electricity, forcing coal out of the power system. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ “Germany Plans 20% FIT Cut for Commercial and Industrial Solar” • The ruling coalition released a draft bill by the Federal Ministry of Economics with a proposal for a 20% FIT reduction for solar systems ranging from 40 kW to 750 kW. The thought is that with the decline in the cost of PVs, the feed-in tariff should also decline. [pv magazine International]

Large rooftop solar system

¶ “Japanese Sodium-Sulfur and Lithium Batteries Used in German Grid Demonstrator Project” • A ceremony was held in Niedersachsen, Germany, to mark commencement of operations at a ‘hybrid’ energy storage plant. The project uses 4 MW / 20 MWh of sodium-sulfur with 7.5 MW / 2.5 MWh of lithium-ion batteries. [Energy Storage News]

US:

¶ “Tesla and Panasonic Producing ~60% of World’s EV Batteries, and Tesla Service Coming Soon to a Continent Near You!” • In response to an article by Teslarati, Elon tweeted that Tesla and Panasonic are together the world’s largest EV battery producer. Musk indicated that they are producing about 60% of the world’s EV batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 manufacture

¶ “Supreme Court Won’t Block Children’s Climate Change Lawsuit” • The Supreme Court rejected the request by the Trump administration to stop a lawsuit brought by youths who are seeking to hold the government accountable for failing to do enough to fight climate change. The lawsuit could be stopped in a different court or later, however. [CNN]

¶ “New Solar Projects to Supply SV Clean Energy” • Silicon Valley Clean Energy has signed two long-term agreements with EDF for the largest solar-plus-storage projects to be built in California. It will be used to serve Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and Hollister. The two projects will provide 153 MW of solar and 47 MW of storage. [Morgan Hill Times]

Power lines on San Benito farmland

¶ “$1 Billion Palen Solar Project Gains Fed Approval for 500 MW PV, Side-Steps California Energy Commission” • The decade-old 500 MW Palen Solar Project has finally won decisive federal approval to go ahead as an estimated $1 billion PV project in the California desert, covering up to 3,140 acres of land, after years of controversy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Avangrid Plans 2 GW of – Including Offshore Wind – and Thousands of Jobs” • Avangrid CEO James P Torgerson, speaking at a conference, said his company has plans to inject a combined 2 GW of renewable energy into the New England power grid, create thousands of jobs. Much of the new capacity would be offshore windpower. [Windpower Engineering]

Offshore windpower

¶ “Tampa Electric Solar Plan Blazes with Another 260 MW” • Tampa Electric won state approval to add 260 MW of solar to its generation fleet by January and to recover the cost. The five separate projects are the second phase of the utility’s solar program, which will involve an $850 million investment and add 600 MW of solar capacity by 2021. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SCE&G Lied to Regulators to Keep VC Summer Project Alive” • On at least two occasions, SCE&G intentionally buried damaging reports that could have prompted the South Carolina Public Service Commission to scrutinize or cancel the Cayce-based utility’s $9 billion nuclear construction project, the commissioners were told. [The State]

Have a totally copacetic day.

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November 2 Energy News

November 2, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “These Red and Blue States are Tackling Climate Change Since Trump Won’t” • If you have been focused on reports of climate disaster, or on the Trump administration’s relentless attacks on environmental safeguards and climate science, you are likely to worry that we are not making progress at all. But look a little closer. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Colorado wind farm (Jeffrey Beall, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Why Hiroshima and Nagasaki are Safe, but Chernobyl Isn’t” • Over 1.6 million people live and seem thrive in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where nuclear bombs were dropped. The Chernobyl exclusion zone, however, a 30 square kilometer area surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power disaster, remains very largely uninhabited. [We Are The Mighty]

World:

¶ “Germany Headed for Largest Emissions Drop Since 2009 Recession” • Strong renewable power production and warm temperatures lowered Germany’s CO2 emissions by around 7% in the first nine months of 2018, AG Energiebilanzen calculated. If the decrease is sustained, it would be the sharpest decline since the 2009 recession. [Clean Energy Wire]

Lignite plant Niederaussem (Photo: Rolfcosar, Wikipedia)

¶ “Billionaire Tackles Government ‘Dishonesty’ on Renewables” • Australian software billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of being dishonest when he blamed renewables for rising power bills. Cannon-Brookes called on clean energy supporters to back his “Fair Dinkum Power” movement. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Snowy Hydro Smashes Price Benchmarks for ‘Fair Dinkum’ Wind and Solar” • The Australian federal government-owned utility Snowy Hydro announced stunning new prices for “firm” (dispatchable) wind and solar power after awarding contracts to eight wind and solar projects. The result is power costing below current wholesale. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines (Image: RawFilm, Unsplash)

¶ “Italy Adds 42.3 MW of Solar in September” • Newly installed PV capacity for the first nine months of this year has reached 300.9 MW. September was the month with the largest growth this year. Italy has now almost reached the 20 GW milestone, with approximately 19,983 MW of installed PV systems in the country. [pv magazine International]

¶ “UK ‘Needs 133 GW’ Clean Power to Hit Climate Goals” • The UK will need to have 133 GW of low-carbon power by 2050 if it is to hit legally-binding carbon targets of the Climate Change Act, an Aurora Energy Research report said. It found an 80% cut in carbon emissions would require an additional 93 GW of capacity, up from 40 GW now. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ “The North Carolina Governor’s Ambitious Climate Goal” • North Carolina would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2025 under a statewide goal set by Gov Roy Cooper. With Cooper’s executive order, North Carolina has joined states like Colorado, California, and others that have set ambitious climate change goals. [Governing]

¶ “In Iowa Farm Country, These Candidates are Taking on Climate Deniers” • This election will test how long Iowa is willing to tolerate elected leaders who deny one of the greatest risks to the farming industry. “One thing about climate change – farmers care about that,” a political science professor at the University of Iowa said. [InsideClimate News]

Flooding in Iowa (Tony Webster, CC-BY-2.0)

¶ “Allete Advances North Dakota Wind” • Allete Clean Energy has started construction of the 106-MW Glen Ullin wind farm in North Dakota. Glen Ullin has been under development since 2011 and will feature 43 GE turbines, which will be a mix of 2.3-MW and 2.5-MW hardware, Allete said. It will supply electricity to Xcel Energy. [reNEWS]

¶ “San Diego Selects New Flyer for 6 Long Range Fully Electric Buses” • The race into fully electric long range buses is heating up as San Diego puts in an order for six of New Flyer’s new 40-foot buses. The buses will be equipped with 480-kWh batteries, which will support the longer range routes being explored by the pilot. [CleanTechnica]

New Flyer’s Xcelsior CHARGE bus

¶ “Philadelphia Plans a Massive Solar Plant in Adams County” • Philadelphia’s plan to cut its carbon emissions now includes a proposal to purchase energy from a massive solar farm, with a capacity of 70 MW, in south central Pennsylvania. The proposal is part of the city’s plan to use renewable energy for all city operations by 2030. [witf.org]

¶ “Local Utilities Shun Coal, Promote Renewable Energy” • Coal has become a dirty word to the four electric utilities that serve the pristine Grand Traverse region. Traverse City Light & Power, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Consumers Energy, and Great Lakes Energy Cooperative all have plans to reduce their carbon emissions. [Traverse City Business News]

Michigan’s first community solar project

¶ “Smart Grid Study Predicts More Growth in Energy Sector Jobs” • Clean energy jobs are booming, especially in Minnesota. Employment in Minnesota’s energy sector could increase by 300%, according to a recent study conducted by the McKnight Foundation. It is an estimated 14,000 winds jobs and 36,000 solar jobs by 2050. [Workday Minnesota]

¶ “Indiana’s NIPSCO Plots Coal Phaseout, Transition to Renewables” • Northern Indiana Public Service Co LLC has unveiled an initiative designed to transition customers to a more affordable and sustainable energy mix. The company laid out a blueprint to transition northern Indiana’s energy generation away from coal. [North American Windpower]

Have an outrageously comfortable day.

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November 1 Energy News

November 1, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “World’s Oceans have Absorbed 60% More Heat than Previously Thought, Study Finds” • Research published in the journal Nature suggests that the Earth is more sensitive to fossil fuel emissions than experts thought, as oceans absorb heat much faster than was understood. The implications for the fight against climate change are serious. [CNN]

Great Barrier Reef (CNN image)

World:

¶ “Double Time for Siemens Gamesa in India” • Siemens Gamesa has won an order from ReNew Power for two wind farms with a combined capacity of 177-MW in two Indian states. The wind turbine manufacturer will build a 100.8-MW project in the Kutch district of Gujarat, and a 76-MW project in the Osmanabad district of Maharashtra. [reNEWS]

¶ “EasyJet to Test Nine-Passenger Electric Airplane in 2019” • EasyJet, a low cost airline specializing in short flights in Europe and the UK, is working with US startup Wright Electric to build an electric airplane that it can use to carry passengers. The two companies intend to begin testing a nine-passenger electric airplane in 2019. [CleanTechnica]

Wright Electric airplane

¶ “German Battery Charges UK Council” • German storage specialist Tesvolt has supplied a 4-MW battery storage facility connected to a 7-MW solar park in southern England. The project, which sits on a 35-hectare former landfill site, stabilizes the power network, and it will earn West Sussex county council grid balancing revenues. [reNEWS]

¶ “MHI Vestas Continues to Expand Local Taiwanese Footprint” • Offshore wind energy giant MHI Vestas announced that it had signed a contract for the manufacture of wind turbine towers in Taiwan with CS Wind/Chin Fong as the company continues to build up its footprint in the next global offshore wind energy hub. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm in a squall (Image not by JMW Turner)

¶ “Berlin Offers 4-GW Fillip for Onshore, Solar” • Berlin has agreed to offer 4 GW of new onshore wind and solar PV capacity over the next three years. According to a draft agreement hammered out by German ruling parties CDU and SPD, some 1000 MW will be put to tender next year, followed by 1400 MW in 2020 and 1600 MW in 2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “Tesla Battery Storage Successfully Integrated with Tidal Energy Array” • A Scottish cleantech company, Nova Innovation, has integrated an existing tidal energy array with energy storage in a Tesla Powerpack. Nova Innovation’s successfully integrated power plant is the world’s first grid-connected ‘baseload’ tidal power station. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Tidal turbine (Nova Innovation image)

¶ “Share of Solar Rises to 7.46% of India’s Total Installed Power Capacity” • Renewable energy capacity additions continue to increase in India, accounting for approximately 21.41% of India’s capacity mix at the end of September 2018. In June 30, 2018, renewable energy sources accounted for 20.93% of total installed capacity. [Mercom India]

¶ “Coal Report Says Australian Exports have Peaked and are in ‘Terminal Long-Term Decline'” • Australian coal exports have entered a “terminal long-term decline,” says a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. It says high prices have pushed global energy markets towards cheaper and cleaner alternatives. [The Guardian]

Coal machinery (William West | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Fire Dies Down at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Plant” • TEPCO says power cables caught fire at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant on the Sea of Japan coast, but the fire has died down. TEPCO reported the fire at around 6:28 AM. Firefighters later confirmed the fire had died down. All 7 nuclear reactors at the plant are now offline. [NHK World]

¶ “SA’s Energy Future Unpacked” • South Africa’s energy blueprint, the draft integrated resource plan, takes nuclear off the table, but opinion is divided over the inclusion of coal in the mix. The plan envisages renewable energy making up 26% of the installed power supply in 2030; the largest allocations will be 15% for wind and 10% for solar. [Financial Mail]

Wind turbines (Photo: William Campbell-Corbis | Getty Images)

US:

¶ “EPA Quietly Telling States they can Pollute More” • The Environmental Protection Agency has quietly signaled it may allow states to release more ozone air pollution, commonly known as smog, dirtying the air in those states and neighboring ones, though the agency had not reviewed the health impact of such a move. [CNN]

¶ “Seven US States Set to Double their Wind Capacity” • The US wind industry installed 612 MW of capacity in the third quarter, the American Wind Energy Association said. Arkansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and South Dakota have enough wind energy under construction to double their capacities. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm

¶ “Gas Companies Face Californian Wipe-Out, Say S&P, Moody’s” • Ratings agencies cay California gas companies face credit downgrades, after the state pledged to get all of its power from renewable sources by 2045. Though there is no immediate threat to most gas generators, on the long term, the stability of the industry is questionable. [Climate Home]

¶ “Engie Opens Second Front in Kansas” • Engie North America has started construction of the 196-MW East Fork wind farm in Kansas. The new wind installation is the second phase of the 276-MW Solomon Forks development. The $228 million East Fork project is located near the city of Colby in the northwestern part of the state. [reNEWS]

Have a gloriously happy day.

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October 31 Energy News

October 31, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Batteries, Hydro, Hydrogen: What are Australia’s Best Options for Renewable Storage?” • New analysis of energy storage technologies commissioned by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency suggests that the cost of storage is lower than most people might think. There is no one best technology, but several are cheaper than fossil fuels. [RenewEconomy]

Noor tower in Morocco

World:

¶ “New Renewables Cheaper than Old Coal in Southeast Asia” • Analysis from independent financial think tank Carbon Tracker has concluded that it would be cheaper to build new solar PV and onshore wind capacity than continue operating existing coal-fired power plants in large parts of Southeast Asia by the end of the next decade. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India’s 1.5 Million Electric Vehicles and Why You’ve Never Heard of Them” • in India has rickshaws by the thousands, and they are being converted to low cost electric vehicles by the thousands. Over 1.5 million electric rickshaws are already zipping silently around the country in an electric vehicle revolution you probably never heard of. [CleanTechnica]

Auto-rickshaw

¶ “SunPower Serves Oz Mega-Solar” • Solar panel maker and developer SunPower has teamed up with German partner Innogy and the latter’s subsidiary Belectric to deliver what could be Australia’s largest solar power plant. The 349-MW Limondale project, located near Balranald, New South Wales, will be operational in mid-2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Global Fossil Fuel Consumption Subsidies up above $300 Billion in 2017, IEA Reports” • With efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption subsidies, from 2012 to 2016 they were almost halved from a 2012 high of half a trillion dollars, but new data from the International Energy Agency shows that these subsidies crept up in 2017. [CleanTechnica]

Nodding donkey and wind turbines

¶ “With Green Mosques and Schools, Amman Pushes for Zero Emissions” • Amman, Jordan, is one of more than 70 cities worldwide that are aiming to become “carbon neutral” by 2050. This means that they will produce no more climate-changing emissions than they can offset, such as by planting trees to absorb carbon dioxide. [Voice of America]

¶ “NSW Launches Emerging Energy Program to Replace Coal Generation” • The New South Wales Coalition government launched one of the most significant energy transition projects in Australia. The Emerging Energy Program is designed to help replace most of the state’s ageing coal plants with wind, solar, and storage within 15 years. [RenewEconomy]

Nyngan solar power plant

UK:

¶ “EasyJet Plans Electric Planes by 2030” • EasyJet, the British-based budget airline, has pledged to develop a fleet of electric planes to cover short-haul routes by 2030, effectively reducing carbon emissions and noise from its operations. The no-frills carrier is in partnership with US-based manufacturer Wright Electric. [CNN]

¶ “UK Floating Wind Could Support 17,000 Jobs and Generate £33.6 Billion in Value by 2050” • A report from Crown Estate Scotland found that not only does floating offshore wind have an important role to play in the UK’s plans to generate 50 GW from offshore wind by 2050, it could also provide £33.6 billion ($42.9 billion) in added value. [CleanTechnica]

Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm

¶ “Scotland Aims to Lead Floating Revolution” • Scotland will continue to back floating offshore wind to avoid missing a slice of the action for what will be a global industry, the Floating Offshore Wind UK 2018 conference heard. Scotland’s Energy Minister told delegates that not supporting the industry would be a missed opportunity. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Swinerton Breaks Ground on 200-MW SoCal Solar Project” • Swinerton Renewable Energy, in partnership with New Energy Solar and DE Shaw Renewable Investments, broke ground on the 200-MW Mount Signal 2 in Southern California’s Imperial Valley. Completion of Mount Signal 2 is estimated for December 2019. [Commercial Property Executive]

Solar array

¶ “Feds Are ‘Trying to Silence’ the Kids Suing the Trump Administration over Global Warming” • The Supreme Court is considering the DOJ’s petition for writ of mandamus. Federal attorneys question whether the kids have a right to “a climate system capable of sustaining human life” under the Constitution or public trust doctrine. [CNN]

¶ “Pricing Pressure Hits GE Renewable Energy’s Q3 Profit” • GE Renewable Energy saw its third-quarter profit shrink by 72% year-on-year to $60 million (€52.8 million), even though its revenues improved. The company blamed the profit decrease on “continued pricing challenges” in the market and lower project repowering volumes. [Renewables Now]

GE wind turbines (Photo: General Electric)

¶ “Largest California Solar-Plus-Storage Project Agreement Signed ” • Recurrent Energy signed 15-year power purchase agreements with Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Monterey Bay Community Power for a 150-MW solar plant with 180 MWh of storage, the largest contracted solar-plus-storage project in California. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “New Renewables, Nuclear Bring Down US Electricity Emissions by ~13%” • Analysis by the DOE puts some numbers on how zero-carbon energy has brought down US power sector emissions. It is almost all wind, which went from 0.4% to 6.3% of generation from 2005 to 2017, and solar, which increased from about 0% to 1.9%. [pv magazine USA]

Have a magically dreamy day.

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October 30 Energy News

October 30, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Clean Energy is Cheap, Surging – and Headed for a Fall” • Australia’s Clean Energy Council lists 69 large-scale projects that have reached “financial close” and may be under construction. And rooftop solar panels are being installed at an astonishing rate. But with unclear policy, the picture is murkier than this suggests. [The Guardian]

Bungala Solar Farm (Photo: Che Chorley for the Guardian)

¶ “Can Illinois Handle a 2000% Jump in Solar Capacity? We’re About to Find Out” • A new state law requires utilities to increase their purchases of renewable energy, to get at least 25% of the state’s electricity from clean energy by 2025, much of it from solar. To ramp up by the deadline, the state needs two things: workers and projects. [InsideClimate News]

Science and Technology:

¶ “This is the ‘Last Generation’ That Can Save Nature, WWF Says” • Global wildlife populations have fallen by 60% in just over four decades, as accelerating pollution, deforestation, climate change, and other man-made factors have created a “mind-blowing” crisis, the World Wildlife Fund has warned in a damning new report. [CNN]

African elephant

¶ “Passive Radiative Cooling Moves out of the Lab and into the Real World” • In August of 2017, we brought you news of a new hybrid material that can lower the temperature of a building without the use of electricity, using a process known as passive radiative cooling. Now, it is being prepared to go to market in the real world. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bitcoin Predicted to be the Nail in the Coffin of Climate Change” • Bitcoin alone, with its insignificant utility, could push global temperatures over the 2°C catastrophic threshold by 2034, if the cryptocurrency gets adopted at the same pace as other broadly used technologies, says a report in the journal Nature Climate Change. [Forbes]

Representation of Bitcoin virtual money

World:

¶ “Scottish Power to Replace Gas, Hydro Projects with UK Offshore Wind” • Iberdrola subsidiary Scottish Power will use offshore wind power to replace the capacity of the gas and hydro power projects it is selling to Drax, with wind becoming its sole source of electricity production, Iberdrola’s director of Offshore told Reuters. [Reuters Africa]

¶ “More than 90% of World’s Children Breathe Toxic Air, Report Says, as India Prepares for Most Polluted Season” • Around 93% of the world’s children under 15 years of age, 1.8 billion children, breathe air so polluted that it puts their health and development at serious risk, according to a report published by the World Health Organization. [CNN]

Uncertain life with air pollution

¶ “South Korea to Build 4-GW Massive Renewable Energy Farm on Saemangeum” • South Korea will establish a 4-GW renewable energy production complex on Saemangeum, a vast tract of reclaimed land on the west coast. The central and provincial governments will build a 3-GW solar power farm on land and a 1-GW offshore wind farm near Gunsan. [Pulse News]

¶ “Climate Lawsuit Against German Government Mirrors Our Children’s Trust Suit in US” • Three German farmers and Greenpeace filed a lawsuit against the German government in the Berlin administrative court. The suit claims the government has failed to take the actions needed to meet the country’s climate protection goals for 2020. [CleanTechnica]

There is no Planet B (Credit: Frankfurter Allgemeine)

¶ “EDF Snaps Up Land as it Eyes New Reactors, Renewables” • EDF is looking to buy land around at least three of its nuclear power plants, potentially to build new reactors or expand its capacity of renewables. The land could be used “to develop new means of carbon-free energy production, whether from nuclear or renewables. [Montel]

¶ “UK Budget ‘Missed Opportunity’ for Clean Power” • The Chancellor’s Autumn budget is a missed opportunity for the UK government to back renewable energy and clean growth, trade groups say. The budget lacked clarity on several issues facing the renewable energy industry, according to the Renewable Energy Association. [reNEWS]

Parliament (Image: FreeImages)

US:

¶ “US Coal on Track for Record Capacity Decline, Closing 15.4 GW” • The closure of coal-fired power plants across the US is currently on track to set a new record this year, with at least 22 plants going dark, a 15.4-GW decline, according to a new report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Cinemark, AEP Strike 40-MW Wind PPA in Texas” • US movie theatre chain Cinemark USA Inc said it has signed a virtual power purchase agreement for up to 40 MW of AEP Energy Partners’ Trent Mesa wind farm in Texas. This will be enough electricity to meet the demand of 120 Cinemark theatres or nearly 14,000 homes. [Renewables Now]

Trent Mesa wind farm (Photo: Business Wire)

¶ “San Diego Zoo Selects EDF Renewables for 1-MW/4-MWh Battery Installation” • The San Diego Zoo chose EDF Renewables North America to install a new 1-MW/4-MWh battery at the facility to save money on its electrical bills through the battery’s peak shaving functionality. The zoo’s payments will depend on the savings delivered. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DC Moves Toward Getting Rid of Fossil Fuels Altogether” • Washington, DC, could adopt the nation’s first 100% renewable energy bill, in what supporters say would be the most aggressive, fastest-acting climate change legislation in the country. The bill being considered would move the district to 100% renewable electricity by 2032. [Washington Examiner]

Have an incredibly productive day.

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October 29 Energy News

October 29, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Energy Transitions are Nothing New but the One Underway is Unprecedented and Urgent” • As a historian who has studied the oil industry’s earliest years and petroleum’s role in world history, I believe that keeping the world habitable for future generations will depend on a swift transition to more sustainable energy sources. [Cosmos]

Horsepower, before an earlier transition

¶ “Renewable Energy Empowers Consumers to Take Charge of Their Energy Usage” • A quiet revolution is occurring in the dark corners of the grid. Advances in technology are reducing carbon emissions while empowering consumers to take more control of their energy usage. This is causing a seismic change in the role of public utilities. [The New Economy]

¶ “Power Prices and Carbon Emissions are Both Rising, but Could Lower Emissions Cut Your Bills?” • In the aftermath of last week’s disastrous Wentworth by-election, which recorded one of the biggest swings in a by-election in modern history, Coalition leaders have acted like a jilted lover whose attitude is: It’s not me, it’s you. [ABC News]

Hazelwood power station (Image: Greenpeace | AAP)

¶ “The Myth of Donald Trump’s ‘Beautiful Clean Coal’” • Trump made reviving what he calls “beautiful clean coal” a cornerstone of his legislative agenda, vowing to bring back jobs to the ailing industry. His administration has also argued that keeping coal plants provides a cheap and secure energy source. But it is a myth. [BloombergQuint]

World:

¶ “Origin Energy’s Pumped Hydro Expansion Plan Wins ARENA Backing” • Origin Energy’s bid to nearly double the capacity of its Shoalhaven Pumped Hydro Storage Scheme in New South Wales won federal government funding, as part of a significant new stage in the transition to a renewable energy dominated grid in Australia. [RenewEconomy]

Kangaroo Valley Pumping Station

¶ “World’s Ten Biggest Automakers and Their EV Plans” • Tesla has busted open the mainstream electric vehicle market, but it cannot electrify transportation by itself. We need a rapid shift to electric cars (and other clean technologies) or we’re massively screwed. Here is what the top ten car manufacturers are doing in a shift to EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “He’s Turning Lights On in War-Torn Rural Somalia, One Panel at a Time” • With a company backed by his own funds, along with those of friends and family, a man named Wiliq has brought electricity to 1,000 people so far by installing 70 kW of solar panels. A little electricity brings many other benefits, however, including information. [OZY]

Somali farmers riding Somali-made Solar EVs

¶ “SP Launches Platform for Households, Small Producers of Solar Energy to Sell ‘Green Credits'” • To link up small producers of solar energy in Singapore with buyers keen to offset their carbon footprint, SP Group launched a digital marketplace powered by blockchain technology, thus ensuring safe, transparent, and fast transactions. [The Straits Times]

¶ “Tasmanian First Wave Power Trial” • Tasmania’s first wave energy trial earmarked for ocean waters off King Island will be launched in 2019. The $8 million trial will see a wave energy converter unit installed in the ocean off King Island by its inventors, Wave Swell Energy, with the support of Hydro Tasmania and government. [The Advocate]

Artist impression of wave energy converter (Supplied image)

¶ “Hydroelectric Power Generating Capacity to Rise 150 MW by Next Summer” • Iran’s Energy Ministry plans to increase the capacity of the country’s hydropower plants by 150 MW by June 21, 2019, IRNA reported. Iran also plans to add 598 MW of new renewable power plants to the country’s current 650 MW by the same date. [Tehran Times]

¶ “French Public Opinion Growing Against Nuclear Power” • Over half (53%) of French people said they were now opposed to nuclear power, in the survey by pollster Odoxa. Five years ago, 67% said they were in favor. The change in opinion has been attributed to the growth and improvement in renewable energy sources. [The Connexion]

French nuclear plant (Max Pixel, CC0)

US:

¶ “Santa Monica Approves Cleaner Electric Utility Options” • The Santa Monica City Council approved 100% renewable energy as the default selection for all residential electricity customers from February of 2019. This will offer Santa Monica’s residents and businesses the ability to use electric utility options from cleaner sources. [LA Canyon News]

¶ “Smithfield Announces Plans to Cover Hog Lagoons, Produce Renewable Energy” • Smithfield Foods says it plans to cover most of its hog lagoons in North Carolina to generate renewable energy and to protect the waste pits from heavy rains. During Hurricane Florence’s rains the lagoons caused environmental problems. [North Carolina Health News]

Biogas generator

¶ “Ameren Cleared to Build 400-MW Wind Farm in Missouri” • Missouri’s Public Service Commission approved construction of the 400-MW High Prairie wind farm, which Ameren Missouri agreed to acquire earlier this year. The plant, in northeastern Missouri, is expected to be the largest in the state, once it is commissioned in 2020. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Nuclear Plant Continues to Invest in Alternative Energy” • Energy Northwest is building a 5-MW combined solar PV and battery storage facility in Washington State near Richland. Energy Northwest operates the Columbia nuclear plant, the White Bluffs Solar Station, the Nine Canyon Wind Project, and several hydro projects. [Forbes]

Have a fantastically good day.

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October 28 Energy News

October 28, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Where To for Australia’s Renewable Energy Sector?” • The Australian Government has no plans to revise the country’s renewable energy target “with anything” after 2020. It will reach its watered-down goal for 2026 anyway, so why bother? Some analysts expect this to cause a slowdown of renewable growth. Others see things differently. [CleanTechnica]

Australian wind farm (Wikipedia)

¶ “Why Canadian Tar Sands Oil may be Doomed” • At current prices, $19 per barrel, Canadian tar sands oil producers are losing money on every barrel of oil they dig out. Despite signs earlier this year the industry would “turn profitable in 2018,” a much more likely scenario at this point is a fourth straight year of losses. [NationofChange] (Thanks to Tad Montgomery)

¶ “What Mary Barra’s National EV Mandate Plan Says – and Doesn’t Say – about General Motors” • The public comment period on the federal government’s plan to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards will end soon. Just before the deadline, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, submitted her company’s position. [CleanTechnica]

The Wimpy approach (Credit: The Awl)

¶ “Some Minnesotans Find Ways to Take Action on Climate Change Challenges” • Many Minnesotans are rethinking their daily habits as evidence mounts on the perils of climate change. While the science suggests that individual actions by households cannot solve the problem alone, their action is needed to address the issue. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

¶ “Why a Democratic Candidate Opposing Offshore Drilling Is Getting Republican Support in Trump Country” • Ocean engineer Joe Cunningham is a scientist who turned Democratic candidate for Congress. He has always opposed offshore drilling, and if elected, he will “make sure we never do” drill along South Carolina’s coast. [Gizmodo]

Beach near Charleston (Photo: Getty)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change a Threat to Even the Most Tolerant Oysters” • Severe weather events associated with climate change may cause flooding that threatens the survival of the Olympia oyster, new research suggests. The findings will be presented today at a conference of the American Physiological Society in being held in New Orleans. [Science Codex]

¶ “Dry Lakes and Dust Storms: Dramatic Changes to Yukon Glaciers are Warning for Planet, Researchers Say” • The Yukon’s enormous glaciers are thinning very quickly, creating huge environmental changes. The dramatic changes are an early warning of what climate change could mean for the rest of the planet, researchers say. [CBC.ca]

Kaskawulsh glacier

World:

¶ “$658 Million Deal Signed to Supply Power to 210,000 Homes in South Africa” • Saudi company ACWA Power has announced plans to invest $658 million in South Africa. The company said it will build the 100-MW Redstone concentrated solar thermal power, which will supply enough power to meet the needs of 210,000 homes. [Arab News]

¶ “Spain Scraps Solar Tax in Energy Market Shakeup that Threatens Coal” • Spain is scrapping a tax widely criticised for undermining solar power, in the latest energy policy reversal by the country’s new socialist government. The move also dims the outlook for coal power. Details of the new law will be published next month. [Energy and Carbon]

Spanish rooftop solar array

¶ “Seventy of the Largest Wind Turbines Ever Seen in Africa Will Head for the Karoo” • Enel Green Power placed an order for 70 of massive turbines from Vestas, one of the world’s largest wind turbine makers. The turbines, each of 4.2 MW, are intended for wind projects in South Africa’s Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces. [Business Insider South Africa]

US:

¶ “Portland General Electric to Award 100 MW of Renewables” • Portland General Electric, a public utility in Oregon, is on track to award a number of 20-year contracts for a cumulative 100 MW of renewable energy generation by the end of this year, with short-list proposed projects including wind, solar, and battery storage. [CleanTechnica]

Lime wind farm (Photo: Bureau of Land Management)

¶ “Billionaire Brawl: Warren Buffett vs Sheldon Adelson in Nevada” • Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns NV Energy, a government-regulated monopoly that ranks as the state’s largest utility. And Adelson is bankrolling a campaign to break up the company and take control of where his power-hungry casinos buy electricity. [Politico]

¶ “SunPower to Install Solar Systems at 19 Walmart Stores and Two Distribution Centers” • Walmart announced an agreement with SunPower to install solar systems at 19 stores and two distribution centers in Illinois. The project will include rooftop and ground-mounted solar systems, with construction set to begin in 2019. [Business Chief]

Urban solar system

¶ “As Trump Slashes Environmental Regulations, the EPA Union Forms the Crux of an Internal Resistance” • The American Federation of Government Employees represents EPA workers, and as the Trump Administration works to hasten climate change, the union and the employees it represents have proven to be a source of resistence. [Salon]

¶ “As Trump Wavers on Yucca Mountain, Nuclear Waste, Costs Mount” • A remark by President Trump that he would not support development of the federal government’s politically embattled nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain may not have been his most noticed statement. But his inaction will have continuing high costs. [Madison.com]

Have a truly fabulous day.

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October 27 Energy News

October 27, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Fate of the Ocean: Our Ocean Conference” • With much of the world’s attention now fixated on climate change, the Our Ocean conference on the island of Bali is a great opportunity to address the health of the oceans and garner commitments to save it from the scourges of pollution, overfishing, and transnational crime. [Council on Foreign Relations]

Ocean fish (David Loh | Reuters)

¶ “Trump Administration Toots Offshore Wind Horn, Blows Hot Air at Coal” • Trump swept into office on the promise of bringing back coal jobs, but so far the big winners are coal’s competition: oil, natural gas, and even renewable energy. Yes, renewables. The US Bureau of Ocean Management is promoting the US offshore wind industry. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “What Happens in the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic” • Many people find it hard to understand the global nature of climate change. What does a polar bear trapped on an iceberg in Prudhoe Bay have to do with pelicans in Pensacola, for instance? The folks at the Aspen Global Change Institute did a video to explain the connections. [CleanTechnica]

Polar bear (Credit: The Smithsonian)

World:

¶ “UK Renewable Energy Industry Urges Government to Allow Onshore Wind Auctions” • Fourteen major renewable energy companies sent a joint letter to the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, urging him to drop current restrictions on onshore wind that prevent its competing in Government power auctions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Asia Pacific to See 355 GW of Solar and Offshore Wind Boom in the Next Five Years” • The Asia Pacific region is expected to add a further 355 GW of new PV capacity over the next five years, despite expectations that installations will decline this year. And the region’s offshore wind industry is predicted to grow 20-fold over the next decade. [CleanTechnica]

Solar power in China

¶ “Adani Goes Green in Coal Country for its First Australian Project” • Adani Enterprises Ltd, best known in Australia for its stalled Carmichael coal project, is nearing completion of a solar power farm in a region of Queensland closely associated with coal mining. The first phase of Rugby Run will be commissioned this year. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “Waaree Energies Bags Contract for 60-MW Solar Power Project in Vietnam” • Solar PV module manufacturer Waaree Energies announced it has bagged a contract for a 60-MW ground-mounted solar power project in Vietnam. The country’s government has adopted a goal that will see installation of 12 GW of solar PVs. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar array

¶ “Japan Rejects UN Call to Stop Returns to Fukushima” • Japan’s government has rejected calls from a UN rights expert to halt the return of women and children to areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster over radiation fears. After the 2011 Fukushima Disaster, the government of Japan increased the acceptable level of radiation 20-fold. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “GM Plans to Supply Energy to its Arlington Assembly Plant Using Wind Power” • General Motors has been launching initiatives to make its business more sustainable and eco-friendly. GM recently announced that its assembly plant in Arlington, Texas, is set to be powered entirely by wind energy within the next few years. [The News Wheel]

Wind farm

¶ “Tesla Pushing out ‘Drive on Navigation’ Autopilot Feature Tonight” • Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted the news that the new Autopilot feature “Drive on Navigation” would be pushed out to the fleet of production vehicles. When similar news broke for the release of Tesla’s version 9.0, the release was spread out over nearly two weeks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Pushes National Electric Car Plan as Trump Tries to Roll Back Emissions Standards” • In response to an administration proposal to roll back fuel economy requirements, General Motors is calling for the federal government to start a nationwide program to put EVs on the road, modeled on California’s Zero Emission Vehicle program. [CNN]

Chevrolet Bolt EV

¶ “Amazon is Investing Millions to Keep Packaging out of Landfills” • Efforts to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills in the United States is attracting big-name investors. Amazon announced that it would invest $10 million in the Closed Loop Fund, joining such other companies as Walmart, PepsiCo, Unilever, Coca-Cola. [CNN]

¶ “Minnesota, New York Lead on Shared Renewables, California, Connecticut Fall Short” • The Interstate Renewable Energy Council released its annual scorecard grading states on their shared renewables programs, including community solar. Minnesota got an A. New York scored A-. California got a D, and Connecticut got a D-. [Utility Dive]

Solar array in New York (Lucas Braun, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Holland Wind Turbine Takes a Step Forward, but Path Ahead Still Uncertain” • Development of the Dairy Air Wind project Holland, Vermont, moved ahead a bit when the Public Utility Commission reversed a May ruling putting the project on hold while it determined how its power would impact the local electrical grid. [vtdigger.org]

¶ “No Release of Radiological Material at Hanford Nuclear Waste Site” • Employees at Washington state’s Hanford nuclear waste site were asked to “take cover” for several hours because steam was coming from a small building in one of the site’s tunnels, officials said. The DOE later said inspections confirmed there was no radiological release. [CNN]

Have a delightfully superior day.

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October 26 Energy News

October 26, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Five Cheap Ways to Remove CO2 from the Atmosphere” • An assessment done by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine highlights a number of technologies that are available to be used right now to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and sequester it. The costs to do this range from $20 to $100 per tonne. [BBC]

Planted and growing mangrove swamp (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Sodium-Ion Batteries to Pump Bondi Sewage in Test of Cheaper Li-Ion Alternative” • A project developed at the University of Wollongong is underway to test a comparable, low-cost alternative to lithium-ion battery storage. The sodium-ion battery packs are in use, after commissioning of the project this week. [RenewEconomy]

World:

¶ “Life in a City Without Cars” • In 1999, when Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores became the mayor of Pontevedra, Spain, it was a city in decline. He immediately set about to reduce pollution and congestion by stopping cars and motorbikes from using the downtown area. Partly because of this, Pontevedra is now thriving. [CleanTechnica]

Pontevedra (Credit: Luis Pereiro Gomez)

¶ “European Parliament Backs Single-Use Plastics Ban” • To curb ocean pollution, the European Parliament voted to ban a range of single-use plastics and ensure most bottles are recycled. Under the proposal, 10 single-use plastic products would be banned by 2021 and EU states obliged to recycle 90% of plastic bottles by 2025. [CNN]

¶ “Onshore Wind to See ‘Years of Growth’ in Eastern Europe” • The onshore wind industry is set for “years of growth” across Eastern Europe, according to a report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The company’s analysts predict 16 GW of onshore wind capacity will be installed in the region over the next 10 years. [CleanTechnica]

Ulyanovsk wind farm in Russia (Fortum)

¶ “Businesses Unite to Drive Uptake of Renewable Energy in Australia” • RE100, the global corporate leadership initiative, has had its first meeting with Australian businesses on renewable electricity, demonstrating the potential for corporate sourcing of renewables to help shift the energy market in Australia away from polluting coal. [The Climate Group]

¶ “European Renewable Firm Statkraft to Build Irish Wind Farm” • European renewable energy firm Statkraft is set to begin construction on a €31.5 million wind farm in south-west Ireland next month. The 23.1-MW Kilathmoy wind farm is Statkraft’s first in Ireland. The wind farm is expected to be operational late next year. [Irish Times]

Wind farm (iStock image)

¶ “CanWEA: Canada’s Wind Power Industry ‘Ready to Deliver’” • The Alberta and Saskatchewan governments expressed strong support for wind energy at the opening of the 34th CanWEA Conference and Exhibition in Calgary. Also, the Canadian Wind Energy Association presented its vision for the country’s wind industry. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Oil and Gas Majors Need to Invest $20 Billion Yearly to Dominate in Renewables” • Majors account for a 15% share of the global oil and gas market. If those majors want to capture the same market share in renewables, it would require them to collectively invest $200 billion, according to a new report from Wood Mackenzie. [Greentech Media]

Offshore wind farm (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

¶ “Low Tariffs Test Plans on Nuclear Power” • India’s plans to triple its nuclear power capacity from the current 6,780 MW to 22,480 MW by 2031 will face challenges. These include falling renewable energy tariffs, as low as ₹3/kWh (4.1¢/kWh), and high funding requirements, according to nuclear energy executives of the Nuclear Power Corporation. [Telegraph India]

US:

¶ “Science Group to Illinois: Close More Coal Plants, and do it Quickly” • A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that the projected growth in energy efficiency and renewable energy from the Future Energy Jobs Act can replace generation from Illinois coal plants while keeping the lights on across the state. [Energy News Network]

Pollution

¶ “More and More Democrats are Running on a Total Phaseout of Fossil Fuels” • More than 1,400 Democrat candidates running for every level of office this November have committed to some form of a goal to mandate 100% clean, zero-emissions electricity in their state by 2050, according to the League of Conservation Voters. [Washington Examiner]

¶ “City of Kent, Washington, Joins PSE’s Renewable Energy Program” • The City of Kent, Washington, signed an agreement to purchase nearly all of its power from local renewable energy resources through Puget Sound Energy’s Green Direct program. The program helps cities and organizations buy renewable power. [North American Windpower]

Wind farm (Photo: iStock)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Answers Kansas Call for Southern” • Almost 200 MW of wind turbines will be supplied by Siemens Gamesa for Southern Power’s Reading wind farm in Kansas. The order covers 62 turbines for the 198.5-MW wind project in Lyon and Osage counties. The company already has over 1 GW of wind turbines installed in Kansas. [reNEWS]

¶ “Spaniards Soak in Carolinas Sun” • Spanish renewables developer X-Elio has acquired the 103-MW Lily solar project in South Carolina. Construction of the project is already underway, with commercial operations expected by the end of 2019. A 20-year power purchase agreement is in place with South Carolina Electricity and Gas. [reNEWS]

Have a mystifyingly lovely day.

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October 25 Energy News

October 25, 2018

World:

¶ “Enel Clean Power Output Jumps 25%” • Enel renewables output rose almost 25% in the first nine months of 2018 to 74,572 GWh from 59,743 GWh in the same period last year. Hydro accounted for almost 50,000 GWh of the generation, with wind supplying 16,345 GWh. The remainder was made up of solar, geothermal and others. [reNEWS]

Rock Creek wind farm (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Thermal Power Capacity Addition to Fall by 60% in Five Years: Report” • Ratings agency Crisil, in a report given exclusively to Mint, expects only about 35 GW of new coal-fired power plants to be added to India’s power generation portfolio from FY19 to FY23. In contrast, India added 88 GW of capacity in the preceding five years. [Livemint]

¶ “South Africa is Investing in Batteries to Stop Frustrating Electricity Blackouts” • Eskom, the South African grid supplier, released a 19-page report outlining how it planned to implement its battery storage program. The two-phase program will start with an 800-MW distributed battery network. This first phase is due by December 2019. [Quartz]

Eskom infrastructure (Siphiwe Sibeko | Reuters)

¶ “Iran to Have 1.15 GW of Renewables by Summer 2019” • Iran’s total installed renewable power generation capacity totalled 650 MW at the end of September and is set to expand to 1,150 MW by next summer, according to the country’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization. Around 39% of the capacity is made up of PVs. [Renewables Now]

¶ “PV High Five for EDF in Israel” • EDF Renewables has put five solar farms in Israel’s Negev Desert into commission. The projects, which total 101 MW, are the 60-MW Mashabei Sadeh, 14-MW Pduyim, 13-MW Mefalsim, 7-MW Kfar Maimon, and 7-MW Bitha facilities. They are located on 130 hectares and are made up of 307,400 solar panels. [reNEWS]

EDF’s Catalina solar array in California (EDF image)

¶ “Vattenfall Makes 80-MW Local Gain” • Vattenfall has acquired the 80-MW Vargtrask wind farm in Sweden from Nordisk Vindkraft for an undisclosed price. The project, located in the Asele and Lycksele municipalities in Vasterbotten county, has a permit for up to 21 turbines and could be operational in 2021-2022, Vattenfall said. [reNEWS]

¶ “SaskPower Reveals Golden Wind Ticket” • The 200-MW Golden South wind farm is the successful project in SaskPower’s latest renewables procurement process. The project will consist of up to 60 turbines and built south of the town of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan. Developer Potentia Renewables expects it to be online by 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)

¶ “Tohoku Electric to Scrap Aging No 1 Unit at Onagawa Nuclear Plant” • Tohoku Electric Power Co said it will scrap the idled No 1 unit at its Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture, more than 30 years after it started operations. The company said additional safety measures would be difficult and the reactor would be unprofitable. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “Exxon ‘Systematically’ Misled Investors, NY AG Says” • For years ExxonMobil duped shareholders about the serious threat its fossil fuels empire faces from the global crackdown on carbon emissions, according to a lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General. The lawsuit alleges that Exxon executed a “longstanding fraudulent scheme.” [CNN]

Refinery (Getty Images)

¶ “Tesla Delivers ‘Historic’ $311 Million Profit” • Tesla reported a quarterly profit for the third time in its 15-year history. The electric car-maker made a record $311.5 million (£242 million, €273) in the three months to 30 September, as the pace of car deliveries accelerated. CEO Elon Musk had promised a profit to investors earlier this year. [BBC]

¶ “Dominion Makes 500-MW Green Call in Virginia” • Dominion Energy issued a request for proposals for 500 MW of onshore wind and solar generation for Virginia. The company plans to develop up to 3 GW of renewable power under the state’s Grid Transformation and Security Act. Dominion will issue an RFP each year until the target it met. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ “America Made Strong Gains With Clean Energy, Efficiency, and Carbon Cuts but Faces Climate “Crossroads”” • The US is far ahead of 10-year government projections for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon pollution cuts but must greatly accelerate clean energy progress to help avert climate disaster, a report says. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ “A Solar Project in Rural Alaska Takes Aim at Sky-High Electric Bills” • A renewable energy project in the Northwest Alaska village of Buckland aims to demonstrate solar and wind power’s potential to reduce the region’s sky-high utility costs. Three solar arrays will switch on this week, and a battery system is coming next year. [Alaska Public Radio Network]

Buckland solar arrays (Nathaniel Herz | Alaska’s Energy Desk)

¶ “SoCal Municipalities Select 100% Renewable Electricity Default” • The Ventura County, California, board of supervisors voted to set a default of 100% renewable electricity when the county launches service through the Clean Power Alliance in 2019, the Sierra Club has announced. It is the first county to set a default to 100% renewable. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Oil Spill Settlement Pays for Climate Curriculum in Gulf States” • The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is spending part of a $500 million oil spill settlement to provide climate change education at middle and high school levels in Gulf Coast communities vulnerable to sea-level rise and other climate threats. [Scientific American]

Have a totally magnificent day.

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October 24 Energy News

October 24, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “How your Local Elected Officials can Support Clean Energy” • Municipal elections often fall off the radar during national ones, but cities retain a surprising amount of power over their energy future. Here is a list of eleven resolutions, actions, and rules that can make your local city council or mayor a clean energy champion. [CleanTechnica]

Aspen, Colorado (Daniel Case, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Green Climate Fund Approves $1 Billion for Climate Action in Developing Countries” • The Green Climate Fund approved over $1 billion to nineteen new projects and programs aimed to support climate action across developing nations. The Fund’s total portfolio is now over $4.6 billion. It also launched its first replenishment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s Second Floating Offshore Wind Farm Takes Next Big Step Forward” • What may become the world’s second floating offshore wind farm has received a financial boost. The European Investment Bank announced its intention to give a €60 million loan to Portuguese company Windplus for a planned 25-MW demonstration project. [CleanTechnica]

Hywind Scotland floating offshore wind farm

¶ “Scott Morrison Escalates Threats to Energy Companies as Experts Dispute Price Claims” • Australian Energy retailers are being ordered by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to slash their prices from January 1 or face the prospect of drastic regulation, amid pressure for a royal commission into “dodgy” practices that hurt customers. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Shell Joins Global Wind Energy Council” • In what must be a sign of the End Times, the Global Wind Energy Council made it known that oil and gas megalith Shell joined as a board-level member. The move might have been unthinkable two decades ago. The company is expanding its wind business as part of its Shell New Energies Strategy. [CleanTechnica]

Shell headquarters in the Hague

¶ “South Africa’s Eskom Plans First Major Battery Storage Project” • South Africa’s state-run power firm Eskom said it is planning its first major battery storage project. A source at Eskom, told Reuters that the project would be rolled out in phases across 90 sites, with a tender for the first phase pencilled in for early next year. [Reuters Africa]

¶ “Swansea Seeks Private Backers for Tidal Lagoon” • Swansea Council has invited private backers to undertake the delivery of the proposed 320-MW Swansea Bay tidal lagoon after efforts to secure a Contract for Difference price support from the UK government came to naught. The project is expected to cost £1.3 billion. [reNEWS]

Swansea Bay tidal lagoon (Image: Tidal Lagoon Power)

¶ “Coalition Could Indemnify New Coal Projects Against Potential Carbon Price” • Australia’s energy minister, Angus Taylor, has signalled the country’s federal government could indemnify new power generation projects against the future risk of a carbon price, and says it could also support the retrofitting of existing coal plants. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “An Oil Spill You have Never Heard Of Could Become one of the Biggest Environmental Disasters in the US” • The Taylor oil spill is still surging since it started, six years before the tragedy at Deepwater Horizon in 2010. It may have dumped 30,000 gallons of oil each day since it began, and the environmental destruction just continues. [CNN]

Typical Gulf oil platform (Photo: Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg)

¶ “A utility in coal country doubles down on renewables” • In a political climate where the fight over propping up coal versus expanding renewable energy has split many into partisan camps, Delta-Montrose Electric Association reminds us that economic sensibilities are the driving force behind transitioning to a new energy economy. [High Country News]

¶ “US Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement Hits Record Levels” • So far this year (as of October 19) there have been 59 deals signed by US corporations for a total of 4.96 GW. This is already a new record over the previous high of 3.22 GW set in 2015. It also represents the greatest number of first-time buyers in a single year. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Image: Alveston 3Mills)

¶ “Trump Just Gave Renewable Energy a Long-Awaited Victory” • Trump signed a $6.1 billion spending bill that gives hydropower a big victory by establishing two government task forces to speed up construction of electricity-producing dams. It also boosts pumped storage plants that can help back up solar and wind resources. [Washington Examiner]

¶ “NextEra’s Clean Energy Ambitions Just Keep Getting Bigger” • With its third quarter 2018 results, NextEra announced it has completed its most successful quarter ever for renewable energy origination, adding 2.1 GW of renewable energy its backlog. This amount includes 447 MW of solar and 120 MW of battery storage projects. [pv magazine USA]

NextEra solar project (Image: ABC 31 | WAAY)

¶ “Youth Plaintiffs File Response with Supreme Court Pointing to the Government’s Serious Mischaracterization of Juliana v US” • Attorneys for youth plaintiffs in the landmark climate lawsuit, Juliana v US, filed their response with the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, requesting that the Court allow their trial to proceed. [NationofChange]

¶ “Exelon CEO: Carbon Price Preferable to ‘Band-Aid’ Nuke Subsidies” • Chris Crane, the CEO of the nation’s largest nuclear operator has renewed his call for a price on carbon emissions, saying it would be preferable to current state subsidies for nuclear plants or a federal plant bailout contemplated by the White House. [Utility Dive]

Have a decidedly untroubled day.

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October 23 Energy News

October 23, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Global Warming Still on Track for 4°C Despite Strong Carbon Prices, According to Schroders” • The cost of carbon in Europe has soared to its highest levels for almost a decade but it has not been enough to slow the pace of global warming, according to Schroders’ latest Climate Progress Dashboard update. It remains on track for 4°C. [CleanTechnica]

Power plant

World:

¶ “VW Looks to Tap into Lucrative Chinese Market with New Shanghai Factory” • Volkswagen is building its first full-scale electric vehicle factory just a few miles outside of Shanghai. The new factory will be dedicated to building fully electric vehicles for the entire VW group based on the company’s modular electric battery platform. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Air Quality In Bergen, Norway’s EV Capitol, Better Than At Any Time Since 2003” • Bergen is known for its scenic beauty but it is also known for something less pleasant: smog. Bergen’s temperature inversions trap all emissions from the cars and buildings. But Bergen’s smog is disappearing as the percentage of EVs grows. [CleanTechnica]

Bergen (Pssmidi Pål S Schaathun, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Renewable Energy Share in India’s Power Generation Reaches All-Time High in August 2018” • Renewable energy technologies contributed a record 13.4% to Indian energy generation in August 2018. The previous high was 13.3%, set in the preceding month. The year-on-year increase in renewable generation for August was a whopping 51%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Iran’s Operational PV Capacity Reaches 250 MW” • Numbers released by Iran’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization show the country’s renewable energy deployment reached a total of 650 MW, with solar having a 39% share of that. Iran is expected to reach 1 GW of renewable power capacity in 2019. [pv magazine International]

Blu Terra 2 solar plant (Image: Gruppo Maresca)

¶ “Enel Commences Construction of 475-MW Solar Park in Brazil” • The Brazilian green power unit of Italian energy major Enel SpA said it has started construction work on the 475-MW DC Sao Goncalo solar park in the northeastern state of Piaui. The total cost is expected to be about R$1.4 billion ($380 million, €331 million). [Renewables Now]

¶ “Battery project breaks new ground in Victoria” • Power network owner AusNet Services joined with EnergyAustralia, a retailer, to deliver Victoria’s first grid-scale electricity storage project. It is sited at a place in Victoria where an increasing amount of renewable energy has raised concerns about grid stability. [The Australian Financial Review]

Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia

¶ “Argentina Signs 300 MW of RenovAr Solar Power Contracts” • Argentina has signed contracts with three of the solar power projects that were selected in round 2 of the RenovAr renewable energy auction program. Each of the solar PV projects, La Pirka, Ullum X, and Verano Capital Solar One, has an installed capacity of 100 MW. [Renewables Now]

¶ “New 310-MW wind power project promises drop in electricity cost” • Kenyans could start paying lower electricity costs after the expected addition of 310 MW of cheaper renewable energy to the national grid. The project has 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 kW. The company said would all be on the grid by next week. [The Standard]

Lake Turkana Wind Power project (Kimamo Kabii, Standard)

¶ “Australia’s ‘Largest’ Solar Microgrid Set to Slash Power Costs in Victoria Coal Hub” • Victoria’s coal power hub, the Latrobe Valley, may soon host Australia’s “largest” renewable energy microgrid. A consortium of local companies announced that a $15 million solar and battery storage project won a $3 million state government grant. [One Step Off The Grid]

US:

¶ “The Northam Administration Wants a ‘Prominent Role’ for Virginia in Offshore Wind. Can They Pull it Off?” • Virginia is looking to assume a “prominent role” in the developing the East Coast offshore wind industry by collaborating with neighbouring states, according to the director of the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. [Virginia Mercury]

Offshore wind farm (CCO Creative Commons via Pixabay)

¶ “Tesla Powerwall Keeps a Remote Home Powered Through 42-Hour Utility Outage” • A Northern California man in PG&E’s electrical service territory had his electricity turned off by the utility for 42 hours for high wildfire risk yet was able to run his home on his Tesla Powerwall for the entire time. It had 9% charge remaining at the end. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Republicans Learn to Love Wind and Solar Jobs after Once Mocking Them” • Republicans used to deride so-called “green jobs” when former President Barack Obama promised to create millions of them. Now there are nearly 3.2 million clean energy jobs in America, and the industry has more jobs than fossil fuels in 42 states. [Washington Examiner]

Renewable energy (Ron Thomas | Getty Images)

¶ “Cape Cod Landing for Offshore Wind Cable Approved by Barnstable” • Barnstable officials agreed to grant Vineyard Wind a power cable easement at Covell Beach in the village of Centerville. The vote followed negotiation of a host community agreement that will pay the town up to $32 million over the next 25 years. [MassLive.com]

¶ “Judge expected to overturn law that forced customers to pay for failed SC nuclear project” • A South Carolina judge is expected to overturn the law that put electricity customers on the hook for a failed nuclear project. Such a ruling would upend a high-stakes fight over who pays for one of the biggest financial fiascos in state history. [Charleston Post Courier]

Have a perfectly exquisite day.

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October 22 Energy News

October 22, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Counting the Ways to Store Renewable Energy” • A mind-boggling array of energy storage technologies is being tested in labs and workshops across the globe. Among them are chemical, electro-chemical, mechanical, and thermal energy storage systems, all competing to get the attention of whoever whats to store energy. [Chemical & Engineering News]

Offshore wind power (Shutterstock image)

¶ “World’s First Successful Ammonia Synthesis Using Renewable Hydrogen” • JGC Corp and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology announced that a joint project used renewable energy to generated hydrogen and synthesize ammonia from the hydrogen, then used the ammonia to fuel a gas-powered generator. [ChemEngOnline]

¶ “Sunflare’s Lightweight Solar Lets Solar Go Where it Couldn’t Go Before” • Sunflare’s CIGS solar cells are manufactured with a proprietary technology that prints the cells onto a stainless steel backing. The sheet of stainless that they’re printed on is durable and flexible, and opens up new options for how and where solar panels are placed. [CleanTechnica]

Sunflare’s Solar Power International show display

World:

¶ “New trial launched to create ‘green’ gas from solar power” • Energy company Jemena has partnered with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency in a $15 million trial to convert excess solar and wind power into hydrogen gas. The hydrogen will be stored, distributed, and used in Jemena’s New South Wales gas network. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Suzhou Forum Calls for Faster Energy Transformation for Better Lives and Prosperity” • The Third International Forum on Energy Transitions met in Suzhou, China, aiming to identify solutions to scale up renewable energy innovations, accelerate power sector transformation, and increase renewable energy financing. [Modern Diplomacy]

IRENA director Adnan Amin in Suzhou

¶ “Taiwan triumph for Siemens Gamesa” • Ørsted has chosen Siemens Gamesa as the preferred supplier for the first 900-MW of the Greater Changhua offshore wind farms in Taiwan. Siemens Gamesa will deliver approximately 112 of its 8.0-167 machines for the project. The wind farm’s offshore construction planned to start in 2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “Atlantis makes Scots tidal splash” • Simec Atlantis Energy has redeployed two Andritz Hydro tidal turbines at its 6-MW MeyGen Phase 1A array in the Pentland Firth off Caithness in Scotland. The company said the two 1.5-MW machines had restarted generation at full capacity following maintenance at its Nigg Energy Park base in Easter Ross. [reNEWS]

Andritz turbine

¶ “SA’s renewable energy stance riles nuclear industry” • South Africa’s nuclear energy industry is unhappy with the country’s energy plans, which pave the way for the adoption of renewable energy. The Integrated Resource Plan covers coal, natural gas, windpower, solar, and hydropower, but does not even mention nuclear in the mix. [ITWeb]

US:

¶ “Walmart Will Buy Energy from New Randolph County Wind Farm” • Walmart has agreed to buy 60 MW of power from the Headwaters II wind farm, which is expected to begin operation in Randolph County, Indiana, sometime in 2020. The purchase is part of a larger agreement between the company and EDP Renewables. [Palladium-Item]

Randolph County wind farm

¶ “San Diego on Verge of Getting Electricity Choice” • The city of San Diego has adopted a Climate Action Plan that calls for a 50% cut in greenhouse emissions by 2035, as well as 100% renewable electric power generation in the same timeframe. Now, it has to work out the details of how it will do that, with or without its utility, SDG&E. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Duke Energy Florida Restores More Than 75,000 Customer Outages in the Panhandle Following Hurricane Michael; Rebuilding Efforts Continue” • Duke Energy Florida has restored power to more than 75,000 customers. Nearly 3,800 customers in Bay and Gulf counties, where systems were heavily damaged, still have no electricity. [Yahoo News]

Michael’s wreckage (Photo: Florida National Guard)

¶ “Portland-based Hopworks Urban Brewery Now Powered by 100% Renewable Energy Supplied by 3 Phases Renewables” • In Portland, Oregon, Hopworks Urban Brewery is having leading West Coast clean energy supplier 3 Phases Renewables supply their brewery and restaurant with 100% renewable energy. The deal saves HUB money. [New Kerala]

¶ “OPPD proposes goals of 50% renewables, 20% cut in ‘carbon intensity'” • The Omaha Public Power District board’s latest draft of Strategic Directive 7 sets a goal of providing at least 50% of its retail electricity from renewable resources while aiming to reduce the utility’s overall “carbon intensity” by 20% from 2010 to 2030. [Omaha World-Herald]

Have an ecstatically gleeful day.

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October 21 Energy News

October 21, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Is Climate Science Denial Leading to Human Rights Violations, Asks Philippines Commission” • As climate change liability increasingly lands in courtrooms around the globe, the Philippines Commission on Human Rights is taking a different and unique approach, investigating climate change impacts as a human rights infringement. [DeSmog]

Philippine boy (Asian Development Bank, Creative commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Warn Flooding to be More Common in Central Texas” • The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration changed the amount of rainfall it takes to qualify as a 100-year event in central Texas. This will have consequences for infrastructure design, flood plain development, and flood insurance. [Austin American-Statesman]

¶ “Are Extreme Weather Events Linked to Climate Change?” • Can a Single Extreme Weather Event be Attributed to Climate Change? Ten years ago the answer to this question was a solid “no.” But the science of identifying singular extreme weather events as results of human-caused climate change is changing fast. [Scientific American]

After Hurricane Michael (Hector Retamal | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “NEA Taps Toshiba to Pilot Hydrogen Power in Off-Grids” • The Philippines’ National Electrification Administration signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese firm Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corp to collaborate on developing self-sufficient hydrogen energy systems for off-grid areas in the country. [Philippine Star]

¶ “French Fund Eyes Investment in Brexit Britain’s Offshore Wind ” • Fresh from the listing of the €1.4 billion (£1.2 billion, $1.6 billion) renewable energy giant Neoen last year, Omnes Capital is plotting a major push into British wind next year. Unfazed by Brexit, it seems, Neoen plans to invest half a billion euros in UK windpower. [Telegraph.co.uk]

British offshore windpower (Simon Belcher | Alamy)

¶ “EDF Slammed over Flamanville Faults” • A source at the French nuclear watchdog, Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire, accused EDF, the state-run utility, of delaying the disclosure that at least 33 welds at the European pressurised reactor under construction in Flamanville were substandard and need to be repaired at a cost of around €400 million. [Energy Reporters]

Australia:

¶ “Josh Frydenberg Rules Out Stronger Climate Polices Despite Wentworth Debacle” • Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg continues to insist that the government’s climate policies are “settled” despite acknowledging the issue was a factor in the Wentworth by-election, where the government suffered a battering. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Hazelton Power Station (CSIRO, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Australia’s First Big Waste-to-Energy Treatment Plant to Transform Energy in the Peel Region” • Household, commercial, and industrial waste from a region of Western Australia will soon be diverted from landfill, part of a $675 million energy project to tackle the growing recycling crisis. It will be Australia’s first big waste-to-energy plant. [Mandurah Mail]

¶ “US City Empowers Australian Councils to Develop Solar as Lack of Federal Climate Policy Causes Concern” • Mayor Rex Parris of Lancaster, California, attributes an increase in jobs, new manufacturers moving to the city, and a reduction in crime to the city’s net-zero energy policy. He spoke with Australian council representatives. [ABC Local]

Solar system (Binarysequence, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Tesla Model S Still #1 Large Luxury Car in USA – By Far” • Rather than just beating the competition in the large luxury car class, the Model S seems to be demolishing it. Tesla Model S sales have remained steady, but its lead in sales has grown from previous quarters because of declining sales of competing luxury car models. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Prices for New Tesla Model 3 and Other Popular EVs Lower than Used Prices” • Over a year into its production run, the Tesla Model 3 is still selling at significantly higher prices on the used market than it sells for new. Is this a joke? No, it’s real, and it is actually the new normal for the best value EVs in several markets around the world. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 on the California Coast

¶ “In a Hyper-Partisan Era, Both Democrats and Republicans Agree on Renewable Energy” • Democrats and Republicans actually have some common ground in the area of renewable energy. The two parties apparently view renewable energy as a necessity for all Americans, a study in the journal Environmental Politics shows. [Citizen Truth]

¶ “ISO New England Learns Lessons from Deep Freeze Last Winter” • With lessons learned from the bitter cold snap that kept much of New England in the deep freeze during the holidays last winter, ISO New England, which manages the regional power grid, has changed its procedures and is looking for long-term solutions. [Valley News]

Have an undeniably auspicious day.

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