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

March 24, 2019

2,487 regular daily posts, linking 31,709 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 March 22 out of 98 US-licensed reactors, 15 were at reduced output and 11 not operating.

§ Video: Energy Week #309, 03-21-2019: The Trump administration concedes that coal is collapsing. Students went on climate strike worldwide. A huge coal mining company is bankrupt. Germany got almost ¾ of its electricity from renewables for a week. Floods in the Midwest were worsened by chaotic weather. Net-zero energy houses can be far cheaper than conventional. And there is more.


March 24 Energy News

March 24, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Propaganda, Politics, And The Environment” • Democratic systems can fail when those in the position of making and maintaining laws, the politicians, put their personal ends before the society that the system was originally built to benefit. They use propaganda to achieve their ends. Democracy in America is failing because of it. [CleanTechnica]

A “Torch of freedom” that kills one in five people

¶ “Floods Show Security Threat Posed By Climate Change” • The Missouri River floodwaters surging on to the air base housing the US military’s Strategic Command overwhelmed round-the-clock sandbagging by airmen and others. It is a reminder that the kind of weather extremes escalating with climate change are not limited to the coasts. [Sumter Item]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Wow: US Government Warns There’s A Spring Flood Risk For Two-Thirds Of The Lower 48” • Historic floods have deluged vast swaths of the Midwest. But NOAA says the floods are not close to over. The agency’s 2019 Spring Outlook found that nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states are at risk for flooding in the coming months. [Yahoo News]

Flood threat

World:

¶ “Fracking Plan ‘Will Release Same CO₂ As 300 Million New Cars’” • The UK government’s fracking proposals would release the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as almost 300 million new cars, fatally undermining the obligation of the country’s ministers to tackle the escalating climate crisis, according to new research. [The Guardian]

¶ “How Climate Change Is Affecting World Cup Ski Racing Circuit” • For those who compete in the snow, climate change is obvious. From shrinking glaciers and inadequate snow cover to tempestuous storms and too much of the white stuff, racers on the World Cup circuit have to adapt to conditions noticeably different than they were ten years go. [CNN]

Petra Vlhova (Hans Bezard | Agence Zoom | Getty Images)

¶ “SolarCity Founders Peter And Lyndon Rive Join ZOLA Electric To Advance Solar In Africa” • Brothers Lyndon and Peter Rive, the co-founders of SolarCity, have a new pet project that also happens to be powered by the sun. They have moved to the rapidly growing solar-plus-storage company ZOLA Electric to bring electricity to off-grid Africa. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Joins Forces With Northvolt For European Battery Union” • As manufacturers are increasingly cooperating, Volkswagen and Northvolt, a Swedish battery maker, are joining forces to create the European Battery Union. It will include research and industry partners from seven EU nations and is to begin operating in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

VW ID Buzz

¶ “Gambia: World Bank And Europe Allocate €164 Million To Renewable Energy” • The Gambian government’s renewable energy development program is getting its first financing, €164 million, from international donors. The new funding is coming from the World Bank, the European Union, and the European Investment Bank. [AFRIK 21]

¶ “UAE Plans $163 Billion Spend On Sustainable Energy” • The UAE is taking early steps to bid farewell to the last barrel of oil. The UAE will invest Dh600 billion ($163 billion) to 2050 to meet the growing energy demand and ensure the sustainable growth of economy, said the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority in a new report. [Trade Arabia]

Solar array (©Jenson | Shutterstock)

US:

¶ “Luke Air Force Base, With The Arizona Sun, On Target With Renewable Energy Goals” • A solar effort at Luke Air Force Base that is still going on began with a huge array of PVs nearly a decade ago. The Department of Defense is increasing reliance on renewable energy to 25% at all of its military branches and institutions by 2025. [AZCentral.com]

¶ “RES Starts Construction On 160-MW Southern Oak Solar Project In US” • Renewable Energy Systems, an engineering and construction company for wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage projects, has started construction on the 160-MW Southern Oak Solar Project in Georgia. RES said it is the largest US bifacial solar project. [Compelo]

Bifacial solar system (Photo: Renewable Energy Systems Ltd)

¶ “Navajo Tribe Rejects Coal, Embraces Clean Energy” • After the defeat of tribal legislation designed to save the coal-burning Navajo Generating Station, new legislation was introduced to replace the Navajo Nation’s current energy policies, which have been focused on coal, with a vision based on sustainable and renewable energy sources. [Red, Green, and Blue]

¶ “New Bills Aim To Make Maryland Reliant On Renewable Energy” • In Maryland, environmental activists, Democratic legislators, and energy companies have been pushing for a bill that would increase the state’s renewable energy standards to 50% by 2030. That standard would increase to 100% renewable energy by 2040. [Bay Net]

Wind farm

¶ “Bangor Moving Forward In Solar Discussions” • Renewable energy may soon be making its way to Bangor, Maine. Working with Maine-based ReVision Energy, the Bangor City Council concluded a feasibility report for a potential large scale solar array in the city. It is estimated that there could be roughly $4 million in savings. [NewsCenterMaine.com]

¶ “New Hampshire Officials Unhappy With Neighbors’ Nuclear Option” • The New England states have aggressive goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adopt clean energy. But some New Hampshire officials fear that Connecticut’s decision to support the Millstone nuclear plant will increase costs for Granite State residents. [The Union Leader]

Have a phenomenally nice day.

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March 23 Energy News

March 23, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Co-ops Are Bringing Solar Power To Rural America” • In 2014, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association studied what some of its members saw as a touchy subject: local solar powered electricity. Only 20% of its 42 million members seemed interested having more solar power. But things began to change quickly. [Scientific American]

Solar array

¶ “Beneficial Electrification: Plug In For The Greener Grid!” • An NRDC report shows the US can achieve the emissions reductions it needs with bold action to increase energy efficiency, renewable energy, electrification of vehicles, buildings using clean power, and electric grid enhancements. And this is the point where beneficial electrification comes in. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Potential Of Ammonia As Carbon-Free Fuel – Major New Research Project At The University Of Aarhus” • A major new research project at the Department of Engineering at Aarhus University could revolutionize production of ammonia. And ammonia has the potential to revolutionize the entire energy and transport sector. [CleanTechnica]

Research center at Aarhus University (Lars Kruse | AU Foto)

¶ “Amnesty International Calls For Ethical Battery Technology” • Electric cars, buses, trucks, ships, and planes may be crucial to fighting the dangers of global warming. But some are warning that the process of producing lithium-ion batteries is having serious unintended environmental consequences that need to be addressed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Buses Avoid Three Times More Fossil Fuels Than Electric Cars, Finds BNEF” • A new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance claims electric buses displace far more fossil fuels than electric cars. China leads the way when it comes to reducing the use of fossil fuels, most importantly diesel, in its transportation sector. [CleanTechnica]

Electric buses in Shinzen (EyeShinzen)

World:

¶ “UBS Tightens Coal Financing Standards And Strengthens Sustainable Investments” • Swiss investment banking giant UBS has decided to further tighten its standards on coal financing transactions, ruling out project-level finance to new coal-fired power plants. It will also double penetration of its sustainable investments by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Issues Seventh National Wind Energy Tender, Offers 1.2 GW” • India is trying at the national level to makeup for the lost time to meet its target to have 60 GW of installed wind energy capacity by March 2022. India has also announced a medium-term renewable energy target of 500 GW of installed capacity by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Wind Turbines (Pexels image)

¶ “Banks Funneled $1.9 Trillion Into Fossil Fuels Since Paris Agreement” • A new report published this week shows that 33 global banks provided $1.9 trillion to fossil fuel companies since the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement at the end of 2015 and that the amount of fossil fuel financing has increased in each of the past two years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “South Pacific’s Biggest Solar Plant To Help Tonga Meet Renewable Energy Target” • Tonga Power Limited signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with Sunergise New Zealand Limited in the capital, Nuku’alofa. Sunergise will finance, build, and operate the 6-MW solar farm, the largest in the South Pacific, on Tongatapu. [Saurenergy]

Solar plant

¶ “Kuwait-Saudi Consortium Wins 500-MW Solar Project In Oman” • A consortium of Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, Kuwait’s Gulf Investment Corporation, and Alternative Energy Projects Company has won the bid to develop 500 MW of large utility-scale solar independent power projects located at Ibri in Oman, according to Reuters. [Mercom India]

US:

¶ “Avista’s Chooses Washington Wind Farm For Latest PPA” • Avista, a power company serving Washington, Idaho, and Oregon, signed a purchase power agreement with developer Clearway Energy Group for energy from Rattlesnake Flat Wind, which has already been permitted and is to be built in Adams County, Washington. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind turbines

¶ “New Mexico Takes Bold Step Toward A Cleaner, Stronger 21st Century Economy” • New Mexico Gov Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law The Energy Transition Act (SB489), advancing the state’s national leadership in renewable energy with a goal to source 50% of New Mexico’s energy from renewable sources by 2030. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Navajo Nation Company Ends Bid To Buy Power Plant, Mine” • One of the largest coal-fired power plants in the West will close this year as planned, as a Navajo Nation company ended its long-shot bid to acquire it. The Navajo Transitional Energy Company had looked into buying the power plant and the coal mine to save revenue and jobs. [Associated Press]

Navajo Generating Station (Ross D Franklin | AP File Photo)

¶ “California In ‘Extreme Peril’ From Fire Threat, Gov Gavin Newsom Says, Declares Statewide Fire Emergency To Prepare” • California Gov Gavin Newsom declared a statewide wildfire emergency, citing “extreme peril” to life and property. The declaration suspends environmental and bidding practices to speed forest clearing. [The Weather Channel]

¶ “US Finalizes $3.7 Billion Loan For Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant” • The US DOE finalized up to $3.7 billion in loan guarantees for construction of two reactors at the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, tapping a program President Donald Trump’s latest budget zeroed out. Construction of the new reactors is behind schedule and over budget. [CNBC]

Have a resoundingly successful day.

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March 22 Energy News

March 22, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “A New Energy Future For Puerto Rico Beyond Recovery” • The people of Puerto Rico have an opportunity to build a new type of energy system. They can build one that better protects residents from future super storms, improves the quality of life for everyone, and supports the island’s economy for decades to come. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Yauco, Puerto Rico

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Report Warns Of Dangers To Great Lakes Health And Economy From Climate Change” • A new report provides an updated and detailed picture for how climate change is affecting this crucial source of freshwater and, therefore, threatening public health, infrastructure, fish and wildlife, and the regional economy. [Phys.Org]

¶ “Wind Turbines Make Better Neighbors Than Power Plants” • People living near wind projects strongly prefer their spinning, clean power-producing neighbors over plants that generate electricity from fossil fuels, nuclear, or even solar, a study published in Nature Energy shows. And that is even true in states that produce coal. [Anthropoce]

Homes and turbines

World:

¶ “Load Shedding: City of Cape Town wants To Purchase Power From IPPs” • Cape Town’s mayor revived plans to take South Africa’s department of energy to court, after the recent spate of load shedding. The city is trying to have power distribution taken away from utility Eskom and handed over to independent power producers. [The South African]

¶ “Study: Fossil Fuel Generation Has No Business Case In Australia” • A study published by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and the Australian Energy Market Operator, found solar and wind are the cheapest forms of power even after storage and balancing costs were taken into account. [Greentech Media]

Coal-burning power plant (Loy Yang, Shutterstock)

¶ “ExxonMobil Faces EU Parliament Ban After No-Show At Climate Hearing” • ExxonMobil faces losing its lobby privileges at the European parliament after it failed to show up for the first hearing into climate change denial. Previously, only Monsanto has ever lost access to European MPs, parliamentary meetings, and digital resources. [The Guardian]

¶ “Energy Giants Spent $1 Billion On Climate Lobbying, PR Since Paris: Watchdog” • The five largest publicly listed oil and gas majors have spent $1 billion since the 2015 Paris climate deal on public relations or lobbying that is “overwhelmingly in conflict” with the landmark accord’s goals, a transparency watchdog said. [RTL Today]

Oil rig (RTL file photo | © AFP)

US:

¶ “Ford Announces Plans To Build Electric And Autonomous Cars In Michigan” • Ford announced it will invest $850 million to prepare its iconic Flat Rock assembly plant for building battery electric cars. And the company says it will spend an additional $50 million to equip that factory to manufacture autonomous vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Missouri Regulators Approve $2.3 Billion Grain Belt Express Transmission Line, But Fight Not Over” • Missouri regulators unanimously approved the controversial Grain Belt Express high voltage DC transmission line, designed to move 4 GW of wind energy from western Kansas to states to the east. Opponents say they will appeal. [Utility Dive]

Transmission lines

¶ “ISO NE Reports On Electric Reliability And The Future Of A Hybrid System” • ISO New England, the region’s grid operator, published its 2019 Regional Electricity Outlook, an annual report looking at the trends and challenges affecting its power system. The report shows changing grid demands with new renewables and efficiency. [Vermont Biz]

¶ “TVA Shapes Long-Range Power Plan To Boost Solar, Cut Coal In Next 20 Years” • The Tennessee Valley Authority and its customers will be getting a bigger share of power in the future from the sky than from under ground, under proposals included in a new long-range power plan being prepared by the federal utility. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Solar farm (Thomas R Machnitzki, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Donald Trump’s Solar And Wind Power Criticism Slammed By Scientists: ‘Trump Is A Dangerous, Evil Clown’” • Scientists have responded angrily to President Donald Trump’s anti-renewable energy claims. One example is that people would have to turn off their TV sets if there wasn’t enough wind to power turbines. [Newsweek]

¶ “US Solar And Wind Firms Call The ‘Green New Deal’ Too Extreme” • Representatives of America’s clean energy companies are withholding their support for the climate-fighting plan, calling it unrealistic and too politically divisive. The solar and wind industries are keen to grow their businesses in both red and blue states. [Thomson Reuters Foundation]

US solar array

¶ “Two Pennsylvania Townships Announce 100% Renewable Energy Goals” • In Pennsylvania, both Schuylkill Township and Whitemarsh Township approved resolutions to transition to 100% renewable energy. Both aim to use 100% renewable sources for electricity by 2035 and for heating and transportation by 2050, the Sierra Club said. [Solar Industry]

¶ “US Nuclear Is Dying, But It Produced More Electricity In 2018 Than Ever Before” • The Energy Information Administration says the US nuclear fleet produced 807.1 TWh of electricity, barely beating its 2010 record peak of 807 TWh. But the US nuclear industry has been in a well-documented decline. So what gives? [Ars Technica]

Have an absolutely flawless day.

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March 21 Energy News

March 21, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Who’s Behind Trump’s Claim The Green New Deal Will Cost $100 Trillion?” • President Trump’s claim that the Green New Deal would cost $100 trillion can be traced back to the Manhattan Institute, a think tank backed by fossil fuel investor Paul Singer and companies like ExxonMobil. The figure was a “guesstimate,” tweeted without cost analysis. [Truthout]

Real Fake (Cole Camplese, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Aviation Biofuel Research Kicks Into High Gear” • Researchers at the DOE’s Joint BioEnergy Institute have published a paper in the journal Energy & Environmental Science examining ways to produce bio-jet fuel blendstocks. The multi-disciplinary team is focused on optimizing each stage of the bio-jet fuel production process. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Mount Everest: Melting Glaciers Expose Dead Bodies” • Expedition operators are concerned as a number of climbers’ bodies are becoming exposed on Mount Everest as its glaciers melt. Nearly 300 mountaineers have died on the peak since the first ascent attempt and two-thirds of bodies are thought still to be buried in the snow and ice. [BBC]

Mount Everest (Frank Bienewald)

¶ “European Policymakers Endorse Net-Zero Strategy For 2050, Stronger 2030 Targets” • Members of the European Parliament voted last week on a non-binding resolution endorsing a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target for 2050 and increasing the European Union’s 2030 target. The vote was 369 to 116, with 40 abstentions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen, Wind, And Solar Powered Yacht ‘Energy Observer’ Calls On Antwerp” • The yacht Energy Observer, the world’s first oceangoing zero emissions catamaran, arrived in Antwerp. It is its 34th port of call since it began its around the world cruise in June of 2017. People can visit to learn more about the ship and its round the world voyage. [CleanTechnica]

Energy Observer

¶ “Japanese Utility Ponders 700-MW Offshore Move” • Japanese utility Tohoku Electric Power Company is participating with Renova in a feasibility study into the possibility of developing a 700-MW offshore wind farm off the coast of Japan. The Oki project would be located off the coast of Yurihonjo City in Akita prefecture. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Judge: Government Must Consider Climate Change In Oil Drilling Leases” • Federal agencies must “take a hard look” at the impact of oil and gas drilling on climate change, a federal judge ruled in a case involving oil leases. The order  could have significant implications for the Trump administration’s efforts to expand domestic energy production. [CNN]

Oil drilling (Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty)

¶ “GAF Energy Introduces Integrated Solar Roof & Shingle System” • Standard Industries, the largest roofing company in the world, has created a new division, GAF Energy. Its products enable traditional roofing contractors to offer a solar roof option whether they are building a new home or replacing the roof on an existing home. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Arcimoto Introduces A Custom-Built Electric Vehicle For Around-Town Deliveries” • Electric vehicle company Arcimoto has reshaped its two-seat Fun Utility Vehicle into a single-seat delivery vehicle, dubbed the Deliverator. The prototype shows off the solid electric vehicle drivetrain the company has spent years perfecting. [CleanTechnica]

Arcimoto Deliverator Prototype

¶ “Majority of Livingston Residents To Receive 100% Renewable Energy” • The Township of Livingston, New Jersey, is on track to become the second municipality in the state and eighth in the country to make 100% renewable energy available to a majority of its residents after the mayor and council passed resolutions enabling the shift. [TAPinto.net]

¶ “More Good News About Solar Power & Rural Electric Cooperatives” • The rural electric cooperative movement dates back to the 1930s’ New Deal, when 9 out of 10 rural households had no electricity. Now RECs are recasting themselves as solar power leaders of the Green New Deal, before there even is a Green New Deal. [CleanTechnica]

Rural solar electric power

¶ “Smithfield Foods Adding Wind Turbines To Colorado Hog Farms” • Distributed wind developer United Wind has signed an agreement with Smithfield Foods Inc to power dozens of Smithfield hog farms in Colorado with on-site wind energy. The partnership involves more than 50 distributed wind turbines totaling 3 MW. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Nevada Senator Introduces Legislation for 50% Renewables By 2030 RPS” • Nevada lawmakers will consider legislating a higher state renewable portfolio standard, after state Senator Chris Brooks filed legislation to increase the standard to 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. That is an increase from the current goal of 25% by 2025. [Greentech Media]

Solar array at Lake Meade (Credit: Shutterstock.com)

¶ “Maryland Senate Passes Solar-Powered Renewable Energy Mandate” • Maryland’s Senate passed a bill to increase the portion of electricity that utilities must source from renewable energy to 50% by 2030, including 14.5% from solar by 2028. This would be an extension of the state’s current mandate of 25% by 2020. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Trump To Finalize $3.7 Billion In Aid For Troubled Nuclear Plant” • The Trump administration will finalize $3.7 billion in loan guarantees to Southern Co and its partners who are building a troubled nuclear reactor project in Georgia, the last of its kind under construction in the US, according to two people familiar with the matter. [Bloomberg]

Have a crazy cool day.

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March 20 Energy News

March 20, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Can We Go Back To A Clean Future With Hybrid Airships?” • China is betting big on airships for freight with a partnership with French company Flying Whales. Better access to remote areas and big cost savings are the reason, but will airships open a path to cleaner air transport? There are a number of reasons to believe they can. [CleanTechnica]

Flying Whales home delivery

¶ “Storing Energy By Heating Stones To 600 Degrees Could Power Denmark For Hours” • High-temperature thermal energy storage can be cheap, non-degradable, and environmentally friendly. A new system uses storage materials combined with known charging and discharging technology to improve cost and the efficiency of energy storage. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Global Wind Installs Seen At 723 GW Over Next 10 Years” • Global wind power capacity additions in 2019-2028 are seen to reach 723 GW, with a third of them in China, a report by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables says. The global capacity is currently close to 600 GW, so it will more than double over the next 10 years. [Renewables Now]

Blades installation (Portland General Electric)

¶ “EDPR Wins 492 MW In Colombia Auction” • Renewables operator EDP Renovaveis has won two wind farm contracts in an auction held by the Colombian government. The 20-year contracts are for the 212-MW Alpha and 280-MW Beta onshore projects that EDPR is developing, both of which are expected to enter production in 2022. [reNEWS]

¶ “India’s Mega Renewable Energy Target To Drive Growth Of Wind Energy Sector: WoodMac” • Aggressive renewable energy target in India and “explosive” growth in the offshore sector are expected to drive a 10-year CAGR of 12.2% in the wind energy sector in Asia Pacific, excluding China, said a report by Wood Mackenzie. [EnergyInfraPost]

Offshore wind farm

¶ “Germany Looks To Put Thermal Storage Into Coal Plants” • The German Aerospace Center is investigating whether the country’s coal plants could be reused as energy storage assets. A pilot project will replace the boiler of an old coal plant with a molten salt thermal storage tank that will be heated using excess renewable energy. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Coal-Based Power Tariff May See Hike To Boost Renewables” • To make thermal power stations more flexible to accommodate renewable energy, Indian tariffs of coal-based electricity may be raised by as much as ₹0.45/unit (0.65¢/kWh), or about 13%, depending on the amount of green energy being generated by solar and wind plants. [EnergyInfraPost]

Coal-fired power plant

¶ “Romania’s Nuclearelectrica, US NuScale Power Sign MOU For Small Modular Reactors’ Use” • Nuclearelectrica, the operator of Romania’s sole nuclear facility, the Cernavodă nuclear power plant, has signed a memorandum of understanding with US-based NuScale Power to explore potential uses of small modular reactors in Romania. [SeeNews]

US:

¶ “Climate Change Comes To American Heartland” • Parts of the several states in the Midwest have been devastated by a wicked combination of frozen ground, accelerated snow melt, and 1 to 2 inches of rain. All of these can be attributed to some degree to changes in climatic conditions associated with a warming planet and climate change. [CleanTechnica]

Flooding in Nebraska (Credit: Nebraska National Guard)

¶ “Entergy Arkansas Plans 100-MW Solar-Plus-Storage Project” • The Arkansas subsidiary of Entergy Corp plans a new 100-MW solar power plant with a 30-MWh battery storage component. A subsidiary of NextEra Energy will build the solar park near the city of Searcy, Arkansas. The project is expected to be completed by 2021. [Renewables Now]

¶ “US Clean Energy Jobs Increased 3.6% In 2018 To Nearly 3.3 Million” • There are nearly 3.3 million Americans now working in the clean energy industry, according to a new analysis published by the national nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). The figure shows an increase of 3.6% from the previous year. [CleanTechnica]

Solar installers (SunPower image)

¶ “North Carolina Solar Power Output Increased By 36% In 2018, According To EIA Report” • According to an Energy Information Administration “Electric Power Monthly” report, North Carolina produced 7.2 million MWh of solar generation in 2018, a 36% increase. It was third in the nation for connecting new solar projects in 2018. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ “S2A Modular Offers Affordable Net Zero Homes With Tesla Renewable Energy Components” • S2A Modular is building a factory in California to build homes using net-zero energy. The best news is that with its modular approach, S2A Modular can provide a superior building for about 20% less money than a traditional structure. [CleanTechnica]

One of several designs of S2A Modular homes

¶ “Monopolies In Michigan Fear Solar, Deliver Some Of Nation’s Most Expensive Electricity” • Analysis by researchers at Michigan Technological University shows how Michigan utilities use political influence to push back against distributed solar systems, leading to the Upper Peninsula having some of the nation’s highest electricity rates. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “US Government Knew Climate Risks In 1970s, National Petroleum Council Documents Show” • A series of newly discovered documents clarify the extent to which the US government, its advisory committees and the fossil fuel industry have understood for decades the impact CO₂ emissions would have on the planet. [DeSmog]

Have a magnificently comfortable day.

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March 19 Energy News

March 19, 2019

World:

¶ “Germany Renewables Share Jumped To 72.4% Last Week” • It seems to be something of a trend. In the tenth week of the year, Germany got 65% of its electricity from renewable resources. In the eleventh week, the figure rose to 67.6%. In the twelfth week, Germany the figure hit 72.4%, not including 10.9% from nuclear power. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm (Photo: Karsten Würth, Unsplash)

¶ “Wind Farms Of Enefit Green Produced A Record Amount Of Electricity In February” • The wind farms of Enefit Green, a renewable energy company in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, produced a total of 124 GWh of electricity in February. This is ten times more than a year ago and 30% more than the previous month. [Compelo]

¶ “In Germany, Consumers Embrace A Shift To Home Batteries” • In growing numbers, homeowners in Germany are installing batteries to store solar power. As prices for energy storage systems drop, they are adopting a green vision: a solar panel on every roof, an EV in every garage, and a battery in every basement. [Yale Environment 360]

PV system on a German home (Enerix image)

¶ “Private Companies Appeal To Political Parties To Put Renewable Energy In Poll Manifestos” • On behalf of Clean Energy Access Network, a total of 160 private companies and NGOs have made an appeal to all Indian political parties to include decentralized renewable energy solutions in their manifestos for the general elections. [Prateek kapoor]

¶ “Wind Generated 35% Of British Electricity Last Week” • Wind energy accounted for 35.6% of Great Britain’s electricity generation for the week running March 8 to March 14, beating out all other generation sources. Further, offshore wind provided 21.4% of Great Britain’s electricity, beating out nuclear energy, which provided 21.3% [CleanTechnica]

Turbine of the Walney Extension

¶ “Norwegian Outfit Moots Subsidy-Free Mega-Farm” • Norsk Vind Energi has submitted plans to the Norwegian authorities for a 1500-MW onshore wind farm that would be built without subsidies. The company would start construction of the Hordavind project in 2023, if the plans are approved by the Norwegian authorities. [reNEWS]

¶ “First Australian Solar Farm In Antarctica Opens At Casey Research Station” • The first Australian solar farm in Antarctica is being switched on at Casey research station. Australian Antarctic Division’s director said the 105 solar panels of the system will provide 30 kW of energy, about 10% of the station’s total demand over a year. [Australian Antarctic Division]

Solar array in Antarctica (Photo: Doreen McCurdy)

¶ “Toyota’s Altona Site To Become Hydrogen Production And Refuelling Center” • Toyota and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency will kick in A$7.4 million ($52.5 million) to transform part of the carmaker’s decommissioned car manufacturing site in Altona, Victoria, into a hydrogen production and refuelling site. [The Guardian]

¶ “Sri Lanka To Develop 28 Small Solar Power Projects” • Sri Lanka will develop 28 small solar power projects in its north-central and eastern regions. The tariff for power generated from these projects has been set at Rs12.84 to Rs15.93/kWh (7.2¢ to 8.9¢/kWh). Sri Lanka wants to install 200 MW of solar projects by 2020 and 1,000 MW by 2025. [Mercom India]

Small solar project

US:

¶ “Maine Renews Net Metering As Lawmakers Prep New Clean Energy, Utility Reform Bills” • Maine lawmakers passed a bill to eliminate gross metering in the state and reestablish net metering for solar customers. Gov Janet Mills is thought to be likely to sign it. Other legislating to boost the state’s renewable energy is coming. [Utility Dive]

¶ “New Community Solar Project In Hartland, Vermont Converts Brownfield To Brightfield” • Long View Forest Inc and Encore Renewable Energy announced that they commissioned a 745-kW community solar array in Hartland, Vermont. The project is on a 28-acre “brownfield” property formerly used as a saw mill and lumber treatment facility. [EIN News]

Project in Hartland, Vermont

¶ “California Sets A New Solar Output Record – And It Isn’t Even Spring Yet” • California continues to break new ground in terms of integrating higher levels of solar, even when no one expects it. Data from the California Independent System Operator shows that on March 16 solar output peaked at 10,765 MW around 2:45 PM local time. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Plans Announced For $150 Million Solar Farm In Michigan” • Calhoun County, Michigan will soon be home to a $150 million solar farm with a maximum capacity of 149 MW. The River Fork Solar Project will be handled by New York-based energy company Ranger Power. It will encompass between 750 and 1,000 acres of land. [Energy Manager Today]

Solar system

¶ “Puerto Rico Is On Its Way To 100% Renewable Electricity” • A bill to mandate that the Puerto Rico’s electric system move to 100% renewable energy by 2050 has been passed in the Puerto Rico Senate. It is now being sent to the House for reconciliation, the last stop before it is expected to be signed by Governor Rosselló. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Nebraska Floods Inundate Military Bases, Cut Off Nuclear Plant” • Flooding in Nebraska and Iowa has cut roads to the Cooper nuclear power plant. The floodwater forced the operators of the Cooper nuclear plant to fly in staff and supplies by helicopter. Much of Offutt Air Force Base is flooded, as are many communities. [Thomson Reuters Foundation]

Have an invigoratingly groovy day.

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March 18 Energy News

March 18, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Answer To The UK’s Renewable Energy Future Is Blowing In The Wind” • The UK’s offshore wind sector is booming. Auctions for new capacity held in 2017 resulted in deals at half the price of those signed just two years prior, while we are seeing a steady drumbeat of new records relating to clean power production. [City A.M.]

Windpower (Source: Getty)

¶ “Trump And Republicans Are Isolated On Climate Change” • President Trump and congressional Republicans are increasingly outliers in an otherwise emerging consensus across America that climate change is a problem and that the government should pass new laws to address it. The shift is accelerating, and Republicans are starting to break ranks. [Axios]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Stability Of Solar Cells In Near Space Tested” • Chinese researchers have found that low-cost Perovskite solar cells can retain most of their power conversion efficiency in near space, providing perspectives on the cells’ future application in space. They sent the devices fixed with the cells into near space on a high-altitude balloon. [ETEnergyworld.com]

High altitude test (NASA | JPL-Caltech, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “A Fresh Vote Of Confidence For Renewables” • Scottish Power announced an investment of up to £2 billion with an aim to make electric vehicles possible for everyone. SP will increase battery storage capacity at its wind farms, develop ‘smart grids’ for customers to buy and sell electricity, and deliver charging points for electric cars. [The Scottish Farmer]

¶ “Energy From Waste And A Circular Economy: Innovative Ideas To Solve The Waste Crisis” • Food scraps are being sent to a waste-to-energy plant in Melbourne. The Yarra Valley Water plant can process up to 33,000 tonnes of food waste every year, enough to power about 2,000 homes. But other type of waste are also being processed. [ABC News]

Road from recycled materials (Image: Close the Loop)

¶ “$400 Million Solar Plan To Power For 33,000 Homes In This Area Of Oman” • Oman Power and Water Procurement Company announced that it will build a $400 million (about 154 million Omani rials) solar plant. Commercial operation of the project will start in 2021. It is to reduce CO₂ emissions by about 340,000 tonnes per year. [Times of Oman]

¶ “Energy Analysts Forecast ‘The End Of Coal’ In Asia As Japanese Investors Back Renewables” • Major Japanese investors, including some with ties to coal, are seeking to back large-scale renewables projects across Asia, marking a “monumental” shift that energy market analysts say is “the start of the end for thermal coal.” [The Guardian]

Offshore wind turbine (Yoshikazu Tsuno | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “China Can’t Quite Match Appeal Of European Firms As Asia’s Windpower Infrastructure Boom Begins” • Building a new generation of windpower infrastructure across key economies in Asia could add up to a bonanza for European firms, a rare case where state-owned Chinese companies find themselves at a disadvantage. [South China Morning Post]

¶ “Vestas Team Forecasts More Precision In Australia” • Vestas and a subsidiary are to pilot a short-term wind power forecasting tool in Australia. This will forecast energy generation from wind power more accurately, reduce generators’ dispatch uncertainty, and improve system stability by better anticipating supply from renewable sources. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Vestas image)

¶ “Court Rejects Call To Halt Nuclear Reactor In Western Japan” • A Japanese court rejected a plea by local residents to halt a nuclear reactor operated by Shikoku Electric Power Co in western Japan, one of several reactors currently running in the country. The decision is in line with past rulings by other regional courts. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “Alaska Mine Seen As A Threat To Pacific Northwest, Salmon” • Fishermen, business owners, Alaska Native organizations, and environmental groups have protested a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine at the headwaters a pristine salmon habitat for decades. Now the federal government is inching toward approving it. [The Spokesman-Review]

Stream in threatened salmon habitat (Associated Press)

¶ “New Alternative To Trump’s Wall Would Create Jobs, Renewable Energy, And Increase Border Security” • A group of scientists and engineers has proposed to several US members of Congress that the US and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas, and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border, instead of a wall. [Big Think]

¶ “Construction Of Texas’ Largest Solar Farm Gets Underway Near Midland” • Enel Green Power North America, Inc started construction of what will be the largest solar farm in Texas. The company’s 497-MW Roadrunner solar project is expected to generate around 1,200 GWh of electricity annually when it is fully operational. [El Paso Times]

Have a gloriously joyful day.

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March 17 Energy News

March 17, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Tesla Model Y Will Be World’s Safest Crossover & Quickest Affordable Crossover Or SUV” • Tesla vehicles are designed and built to be the safest consumer vehicles on the planet. The Model 3 got the highest score ever from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And the Model Y is expected to be close to that. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y

¶ “Many In Germany Still In A Diesel-Fueled Daze, In Denial About EV Transition” • The German auto industry has been through quite a scandal surrounding dieselgate. But that’s not stopping some from clinging to diesel. The Verge reports that diesel-energy enthusiasts are showing their frustration through weekly protests. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Are These Tiny, ‘Inherently Safe’ Nuclear Reactors The Path To A Carbon-Free Future?” • Many people within the nuclear industry see its future in small modular reactors. They expect the worldwide market for such reactors to reach $100 billion by 2035. There are others, however, who question the projections, both for cost and for safety. [Philly.com]

Three Mile Island nuclear plant (Carolyn Kaster | AP)

World:

¶ “Labor Promises $100 Million For ‘Solar Schools'” • Labor leader Michael Daley pledged to spend $100 million installing solar panels on hundreds of public schools in New South Wales. He linked his “solar schools package” to recent student climate strikes and said they would help teach students about renewable energy. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “New Energy And Climate Plan Stresses Focus On Solar Power” • Malta will increase its focus on solar energy under a new draft National Energy and Climate Plan, though development policies and lack of available land could slow the shift. The plan lays out key objectives for Malta of a 19% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. [Times of Malta]

Solar farms on Malta (Photo: Jonathan Borg)

¶ “School Rooftops Will Generate Solar Energy For 16,000 Houses In The West Bank” • The European Investment Bank and the Palestine Investment Fund have signed a loan agreement for $18 million to finance the installation of rooftop PV systems on 500 public schools in the West Bank. They will have a total capacity of 35 MW. [Reliefweb]

¶ “Pakistan Boosts Renewable Energy” • Pakistan has a new renewable energy policy to help reduce carbon footprints drastically by increasing its 4% renewables share to 30% by the year 2030. Together with hydro-electric resources, the clean and green resources share for electricity generation will cross 60% of total generation. [Gulf Today]

Utility employee in Islamabad (Agence France-Presse)

¶ “ENGIE Reduces Its Coal Power Stake With The Disposal Of Glow” • ENGIE announced the sale of its 69.1% stake in Glow for €2.6 billion, after official authorization by Thailand’s Energy Regulatory Commission. Glow’s facilities have a total capacity of 3.2 GW, including 2 GW powered by coal and 1 GW provided by natural gas.  [Utilities Middle East]

¶ “Role Of Solar In Nepal’s Energy Mix Looks Set To Expand” • The energy mix of Nepal, which has been dominated by hydropower, is expected to become more diverse as private developers show interest in installing solar plants in various locations. Licenses to install 317.14 MW of solar power have been awarded this year. [The Kathmandu Post]

Solar array in Nepal (Post file photo)

US:

¶ “Wyoming Coal Producer Had $718 Million Loss In 2018” • A year-end financial report indicates that coal producer Cloud Peak Energy could be 30 days away from declaring bankruptcy following a $718 million loss and a failure to renegotiate with creditors. A media report says it cannot make interest payments on its debt. [Scottsbluff Star Herald]

¶ “SEC Charges Volkswagen And Martin Winterkorn With Massive Fraud” • The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Volkswagen and its former chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, with defrauding investors. The SEC says that Winterkorn was in on the whole diesel emissions cheating scheme as far back as 2007. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot of a pre-scandal VW ad

¶ “Covanta Energy Criticizes New State Carbon Emissions Policy” • Long Island’s four waste-to-energy power plants may face millions of dollars in higher costs and potential shutdown if a new state policy to reduce carbon emissions is approved by regulators in the coming year, say officials at Covanta Energy, which owns three of the plants. [Newsday]

¶ “PSE To Buy Electricity From Planned Bickleton Solar-Energy Farm” • Puget Sound Energy will purchase all of the electric power generated at a planned Klickitat County solar farm, the 150-MW Lund Hill project, for its program to provide electricity from renewable sources, state officials and the solar farm’s operator said. [Yakima Herald-Republic]

Have a prodigiously nifty day.

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March 16 Energy News

March 16, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “‘All Generations Must Fight Climate Change'” • The Global 100% Renewable Energy Platform has called on all generations to follow the lead of school children striking today to fight climate change and transition to a clean power future. Global100RE leaders said young people in more than 100 countries around the world are demonstrating. [reNEWS]

School climate strike (Credit: Jeff Green)

World:

¶ “Shell Rebukes Trump And Doubles Down On Electricity” • Royal Dutch Shell has made it clear this week that, at least publicly, it has no interest in doing business as usual. It called on the US Trump administration to tighten methane restrictions and announced it plans to be the largest power company in the world by the early 2030s. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UN Resolution Pledges To Plastic Reduction By 2030” • One hundred and seventy countries have pledged to “significantly reduce” the use of plastics by 2030. The non-binding resolution was made over throwaway items like plastic bags. An initial proposal to phase out single-use plastic by 2025 was opposed by several nations including the US. [BBC]

Plastic litter on a beach (Getty images)

¶ “BNP Paribas Announces Plans To Hasten Divestment From Coal” • The investment arm of the world’s seventh-largest bank, BNP Paribas, announced plans to implement an enhanced coal-exclusion policy. It will tighten the company’s exclusion policy on companies engaged in mining thermal coal and generating electricity from coal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Hints At Family Of Affordable EVs Based On MEB Chassis” • At a media event, Volkswagen offered more details about the portfolio of electric cars it intends to build on the MEB platform. There may be an “MEB entry family” with prices starting as low as €20,000 ($22,700) a range of around 200 km or roughly 125 miles. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen MEB Chassis

¶ “Chernobyl: The End Of A Three-Decade Experiment” • Since the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, an area of more than 4,000 square kilometers has been abandoned, open mostly to scientific study. That could be about to change, as journalist Victoria Gill discovered during a week-long trip to the exclusion zone. [BBC]

US:

¶ “Renewable Power Transmission Line To Transport Energy From Iowa To Chicago” • Direct Connect Development Co seeks to construct a 2,100-MW high-voltage renewable power transmission line that would run underground from rural Iowa to the Chicago, Illinois area. The power line is to run along existing railroad tracks. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

Iowa wind turbines (Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Florida Power & Light Proposes New Community Solar Program That Would Largest In The United States” • Florida Power & Light Company filed a proposal with the Florida Public Service Commission for a new community solar program. It would give customers a way to participate as Florida becomes a world leader in solar energy. [Solar Builder]

¶ “How Arkansas Eliminated Third-Party Solar Barriers In A Red State” • A Republican-sponsored bill passed in Arkansas this week is seen as a major boost for solar power as it will allow third-party financing and increase project size limits in the state. The bill was passed in the Senate with a vote of 28-2 and in the House by 83-5. [Utility Dive]

Solar array

¶ “Exelon Joins Supporters Backing 100% Clean Energy In Illinois” • Exelon says it joined environmental organizations, community leaders, business groups, and lawmakers to support legislation that will move Illinois to 100% carbon-free power for customers in northern Illinois and meet US Climate Alliance commitments. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Northern Kentucky At The Forefront Of Switching To Clean, Renewable Energy” • Kentucky is shifting to clean, renewable energy sources, and Northern Kentucky is at the forefront of that movement, thanks to efforts by Duke Energy Kentucky and Owen Electric, the major electrical energy suppliers in the region. [The Lane Report]

Duke Energy project in Kentucky

¶ “New Mexico Passes Bill To Plug Cars Into Clean Electricity” • Aside from Tesla’s Superchargers, there are only six public fast-charging locations in New Mexico. That should change soon, however, thanks to bipartisan legislation backed by Governor Lujan Grisham, which is now headed to her desk to be signed into law. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ “New York Solar Power Company Investing $150 Million For Sheridan Township Project” • A New York solar power company plans to invest $150 million to install hundreds of thousands of solar panels on more than 750 acres in Sheridan Township. Ranger Power’s River Fork Solar project is planned to have a capacity of 149 MW. [Battle Creek Enquirer]

Ranger Power solar project (Photo: Provided)

¶ “Millstone Strikes Deal To Stay Open 10 More Years” • The Millstone Nuclear Power Station will stay open for another 10 years, a prospect that had been in some doubt recently even after it was selected as a winner of the final carbon-free energy competition by the Malloy administration. The announcement came just before a deadline. [CT Post]

¶ “Cooper Nuclear Station Still Operating But Preparing For Shutdown As Missouri River Hits Record Levels” • Nebraska’s lone nuclear plant prepared to shut down in the face of record rises in the Missouri River. However, as of about 6 pm, it was still operating, said Mark Becker, spokesman for the Nebraska Public Power District. [Omaha World-Herald]

Have a fantastically good day.

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March 15 Energy News

March 15, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Fighting Climate Change And Embracing Renewables” • Fighting climate change is no longer an expensive hobby for the rich. Rather, embracing renewables will make everybody richer, says the Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities, and Climate, Lars Christian Lilleholt. Denmark has reduced its emissions a lot as its economy grew. [Open Access Government]

Emissions

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Fuel Cell Material Can Run Efficiently In Reverse, Storing Energy” • Researchers have developed a fuel cell that can be run efficiently in both directions, either using hydrogen or methane to produce electricity or using electricity to produce these fuels. Their measurements suggest that they get 75% efficiency in a cycle. [Ars Technica]

World:

¶ “Global Climate Strikes Are Happening Now. Young Environmental Activists Skip School In A Call To Action.” • Tens of thousands of students in over 100 countries and 1,500 cities worldwide are walking out of class and piling into the streets, demanding that world leaders take action on a threat to their survival – climate change. [CNN]

Climate strike in Wellington, New Zealand

¶ “An Open Letter Endorsing The Global School Strike For Climate” • More than 240 scientists have already signed a document supporting students around the world in their demand for bold action to make sure the world they grow up in is livable. This article contains the text of that open letter by climate scientists. [Scientific American]

¶ “UK’s First Offshore Wind Farm To Be Decommissioned” • E.ON Energy announced that the 4-MW Blyth Offshore Wind Farm will be decommissioned beginning in April. It was the first wind farm in UK waters and has of two turbines. Since it was installed in 2000, E.ON has built 1.5 GW of wind capacity off the UK coast. [CleanTechnica]

Blyth Offshore Wind Farm (E.ON Energy image)

¶ “GE Installs World’s Largest Onshore Wind Turbine In The Netherlands, The 5.3-MW Cypress” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it has successfully installed and begun operations of the world’s largest onshore wind turbine, the Cypress 5.3-MW prototype. The new Cypress turbines are designed to produce over 20 GWh per year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “International Energy Agency Sees No Peak Oil In Sight, US To Lead Oil Supply Growth” • The International Energy Agency sees no peak in oil demand and expects the US will drive global oil supply growth over the next five years, it said in its most recent annual oil market forecast. The IEA also forecasts growth among other countries. [CleanTechnica]

Pump jack

¶ “German Storage Sector Hits €5 Billion” • The German energy storage industry’s turnover has reached €5 billion ($5.66 billion). This is an increase of 9% over 2017, according to figures released by national trade body BVES. The association said the industry also grew by 9% in terms of people employed, which now stands at 12,100. [reNEWS]

¶ “Welsh Think Tank Unveils Plan For 100% Renewable Energy By 2035” • The Welsh think tank Institute of Welsh Affairs has published the report “A plan for Wales’ renewable energy future: essential actions to re-energize Wales by 2035.” It provides a look into ways Wales could make the transition to 100% renewable energy. [Power Technology]

Welsh wind farm (Credit: Gareth Lovering Photography)

¶ “Japan Court Rejects Bid To Shut Shikoku Electric Nuclear Reactor” • A branch of the Yamaguchi District Court rejected a lawsuit to shut down Shikoku Electric Power Co’s only operating nuclear reactor, Kyodo News reported. The 890-MW reactor was restarted on October 27 of last year and is currently running at full capacity. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ “San Francisco Municipal Utility To Focus On 100% Renewable Energy And Job Creation” • A report by Renewable Energy World says San Francisco may buy the grid infrastructure left behind by PG&E to serve as the backbone for a new full service municipal utility. Its principal goals will be bringing 100% renewable energy to the city and creating jobs. [CleanTechnica]

San Francisco

¶ “Musk Adds New Model Y To Electric Car Line-Up” • Tesla has launched its latest car, the Model Y, its second mass-market electric vehicle. The first release is a long-range version with a price tag of $47,000 (€41,500, £35,489). CEO Elon Musk said a standard-range model priced at $39,000 would be available in 2021. [BBC]

¶ “Money Talks: US Clean Energy Jobs Outnumber Fossil Fuel Jobs 3-To-1” • The US economy still added 110,000 new jobs in the clean energy sector in 2018, including clean energy, clean vehicles, and energy efficiency. That brought US clean energy jobs to 3.26 million last year, almost three times the number of fossil fuel jobs. [CleanTechnica]

Clean energy worker

¶ “Renewable Energy Reduces The Highest Electric Rates In The Nation” • Coal is the primary fuel source for Midwest electric utilities. Michigan Technological University researchers found that increasing renewable energy and consumer access to distributed generation sources can save Michigan electric consumers money. [Phys.org]

¶ “Creation Of Panel Disputing Climate Change Causes White House Infighting” • Plans to create a White House panel to dispute established climate science are facing sharp opposition from within the building, according to Myron Ebell, who led the Trump transition team for the EPA. He acknowledged resistance to the plan. [Press of Atlantic City]

Have an enchantingly enjoyable day.

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March 14 Energy News

March 14, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Italian Duo Fly With Energy Kite” • Saipem, an Italian oil and gas contractor, is to work with compatriot company KiteGen Venture to develop, construct, and commercialize technology for kites to produce electricity from high altitude wind. They aim to generate 3 MW of electricity using kites connected to a ground-based generator. [reNEWS]

Kite generating system (Image: Saipem)

World:

¶ “Building-Integrated Photovoltaics Emerging, Thanks To NZEB Goals” • Incorporating solar generation in building materials may finally become a mainstream practice, with both solar windows and solar panels used to create net-zero buildings. Regulations in places like California and Germany are driving the building-integrated PVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kids Around The World Plan To Skip School This Friday To Demand Action On Climate Change” • Young people around the world are not interested in excuses when it comes to dealing with climate change. Many believe that their generation will be left to deal with catastrophic consequences, if nothing is done to stop global warming. [CNN]

Climate strike  in Brussels (Eric Lalmand | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Namibia Targets Renewable Power Generation As Main Source” • Namibia has finalized the National Renewable Energy Policy for the country and will lean heavily towards the use of the renewable power generation options as a main electrical generation source, according to the country’s Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy. [Xinhua]

¶ “The ‘Ecological Foundations Of Society’ Are In Peril, A Massive UN Report Warns” • Human activities are degrading the global environment fast enough to endanger the “ecological foundations of society” and human health, a landmark UN report says. By dealing with that, we can have less poverty and hunger while preserving the environment. [CNN]

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

¶ “RWE Targets 3-GW Annual Renewables Drive” • RWE Renewables is planning to add up to 3 GW per year of new capacity around the world. The German power company said today it will spend around €1.5 billion every year to grow its existing 9-GW portfolio. Growth will be focused on Europe, the Asia-Pacific and Americas. [reNEWS]

¶ “EDP To Invest €12 Billion Through 2022, Mostly In Renewables” • Portuguese utility Energias de Portugal SA plans roughly €12 billion ($13.6 billion) of investments over the next four years and about 75% of that amount will be directed towards renewable energy. It plans to put €5 to €5.5 of that into onshore windpower. [Renewables Now]

Timber Road Wind Farm (EDP Renewables North America)

¶ “India’s Nuke Deal With US Gets A New Life As Washington Reiterates Intent To Build Six Reactors As Planned” • Slow-moving US plans to set up six nuclear plants in India received a boost as the two nations reiterated their commitment to strengthen security and civil nuclear cooperation during the 9th India-US Strategic Security Dialogue. [Business Insider India]

US:

¶ “US Adds 10.6 GW Of Solar In 2018” • The United States added 10.6 GW of new solar PV capacity in 2018, down slightly on that installed in 2017. Nevertheless, there is an expectation that the market will rebound in the years ahead. These are the high-level findings from the US Solar Market Insight 2018 Year-in-Review Report. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array with storage in Texas

¶ “Trump Administration Concedes Coal Is Collapsing On Its Watch As Renewables Soar” • Coal production will drop nearly 8% in 2019 and 4.5% in 2020, a new analysis from the Trump administration says. But over the same two years, total renewable power generation will rise 30%, according to Energy Information Administration projections. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “Black And Latinx Americans Suffer More From Dirty Air But The EPA Is Charging Ahead With Rollbacks” • Black and Latinx Americans suffer the impacts of air pollution generated by their white counterparts, according to a study that probes the racial gap between those who cause poor air quality and those who suffer from it. [ThinkProgress]

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

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

¶ “SunPower And Sierra Club To Partner On Residential Solar Incentive Program” • Grassroots environmental organization Sierra Club has partnered with one of America’s leading solar manufacturers, SunPower, on a new incentive and rebate program open to the organization’s more than 3.5 million members and supporters. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Fires Up 100-MW Minnesota Wind” • EDF Renewables North America started commercial operations at the 100-MW Stoneray wind farm in Minnesota. The project features 39 Siemens Gamesa turbines. Electricity generated by Stoneray will be delivered to Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency starting in 2020. [reNEWS]

EDF EN wind-farm (Credit: Herve Hote)

¶ “Tesla And Pasadena Will Cooperate To Build Largest Fast Charging Facility In Western US” • Tesla and the city of Pasadena have agreed to a five year plan that will see them cooperate on the construction of the largest EV fast charging facility in the western US. The Pasadena city council voted 7 to 0 to move forward with the plan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canadian Storage Books 100-MW US Adventure” • Canadian outfit CellCube Energy Storage Systems is to develop 100 MW of energy storage projects in the US in partnership with an unnamed local energy project developer. It said the storage will be standalone plants or linked with solar to offer power for trading and ancillary services products. [reNEWS]

Have a perfectly lovely day.

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March 13 Energy News

March 13, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Wyoming’s Coal Plants Are So Unprofitable Republicans Turned To A ‘Socialist Program’ To Save Them” • Wyoming recently enacted a law that forces utilities seeking to shut down unprofitable coal plants to try to sell them first, and then to buy back the power from the new owner, even if cheaper power is available. [ThinkProgress]

Coal processing plant (Robert Nickelsberg | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Nissan LEAF Passes 400,000 Mark, Company Targets Electrification For Asian Markets” • The Nissan LEAF is the best-selling battery electric car of all time. Though Tesla is catching up, Nissan has sold over 400,000 LEAFs since it introduced the car in 2010. Now Nissan is planning to introduce the LEAF to more countries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Floating Solar Trampoline By Ocean Sun Tested By Statkraft” • Statkraft’s Albania unit bought a uniquely designed floating solar trampoline manufactured by Norwegian startup Ocean Sun for deployment at the Banja reservoir in Albania. The 2-MW array consists of four floating units of 0.5 MW each, at a total cost of €2.3 million ($2.6 million). [CleanTechnica]

Ocean Sun floating solar array (Ocean Sun image)

¶ “‘Change Now Or Pay Later’: RBA’s Stark Warning On Climate Change” • A deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia warned in a speech to the Centre for Policy Development that climate change is likely to cause economic shocks and threaten Australia’s financial stability unless businesses take immediate stock of the risks. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Europe Leads The Way To 40% Below 1990 Levels By 2030” • With the US and Canada emitting more CO₂ than ever, the only good news comes from the EU which has already met its 2020 emissions target. Agora Energiewende has just released a report explaining how Europe leads the way to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Paris (Chris Waits, Flickr, CC BY SA 2.0)

¶ “Magallanes Generates Electricity To UK Grid At EMEC” • Spanish tidal energy developer, Magallanes Renovables, has generated its first electricity into the UK national grid. Its tidal energy converter was recently connected at the European Marine Energy Centre’s tidal energy test site in Orkney, Scotland. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Volkswagen Planning 22 Million Electric Vehicles In Ten Years” • The Volkswagen Group is forging ahead with plans for almost 70 new electric models in the next ten years, instead of the 50 previously planned, thereby increasing VW’s projected number of vehicles on electric platforms to 22 million. VW plans to be CO₂-neutral by 2050. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

VW eGolf

US:

¶ “Trump Cites Debunked Greenpeace ‘Co-founder’ To Discredit ‘The Whole Climate Crisis'” • President Trump, pursuing his long-standing crusade to discredit climate science, touted a self-proclaimed environmental expert’s appearance on Fox News in support of his views. Greenpeace quickly responded, debunking Patrick Moore. [Yahoo Entertainment]

¶ “Local Initiative Underway To Fight Climate Change” • An initiative in New York State, Localizing Buffalo’s Renewable Energy Future, is led by the  University at Buffalo. It includes SUNY Buffalo State, SUNY Erie, the city of Buffalo, and Erie County. The partners goal is to increase their use of clean renewable energy by 50%. [WBFO]

Solar trackers (Photo: Chris Caya, WBFO News)

¶ “Renewable, Energy Efficiency Groups Mount United Front Vs. Trump Budget” • Energy efficiency programs, clean energy, and environmental regulations could take deep cuts if President Trump’s proposed budget gets everything what he wants. The budget bill will start, however, in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ “US Winery Harvests The Wind” • A California winemaker has realised annual energy bill savings of $50,000 thanks to an onsite wind turbine. Two years ago Scheid Family Wines pulled out roughly an eighth of a hectare of vines and replaced them with a 1.85-MW GE turbine, supplied and maintained by Foundation Windpower. [reNEWS]

Scheid Family Wines’ wind turbine (GE image)

¶ “Massachusetts And California Rank High In Energy Democracy” • Massachusetts, California, New York, and Illinois are the top four states for energy democracy, a report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance says. The states were ranked by their commitment to boosting community-level renewable energy. [Microgrid Knowledge]

¶ “North Carolina Studies Offshore Wind Potential” • North Carolina governor Roy Cooper has included funding in his 2019-2021 budget for a study looking at the potential for offshore wind off the coast of his state. Some $300,000 will be used to carry out analysis of ports to ascertain the potential for hosting offshore wind activities. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (reNEWS image)

¶ “Energy Bill’s Passage Portends End Of Coal Era In NM” • New Mexico’s Legislature has moved to Gov Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk a controversial bill designed to dramatically increase the amount of renewable energy used to produce electricity in New Mexico. The House passed the bill 43-22. It is supported by Gov Grisham. [New Mexico Political Report]

¶ “Duke Seeks To Recoup $125 Million For Abandoned Lee Nuke Project” • Duke Energy Carolinas is asking for permission to charge its South Carolina customers roughly one-quarter of the pre-construction costs of the abandoned $11 billion Lee Nuclear Project in Cherokee County as part of its $168 million rate hike request. [Spartanburg Herald Journal]

Have a memorably relaxing day.

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March 12 Energy News

March 12, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Will Make A Walk In The Woods A Much Rarer Pleasure” • Fires and drought exacerbated by climate change make new growth difficult for some species, especially in low-elevation forests, a research study says. Some forests in the western US have crossed “a critical climate threshold for post-fire tree generation.” [CNN]

Seventeen years after the Canyon Ferry Complex Fire

¶ “‘Wildly Fluctuating Forecasts’ And Flooding – A Common Theme Of Climate Change” • David Vallee, NOAA hydrologist-in-charge at the NE River Forecast Center, described NOAA’s climate data and put it into a relevant perspective. Vallee analyzed today’s “wildly fluctuating forecasts” as a symptom of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen Fuels Rockets, But What About Power For Daily Life? We’re Getting Closer” • Australia’s federal coalition government has opened public consultation on a national hydrogen strategy. Labor has also pledged to set aside funding to develop clean hydrogen. A key question to be answered is whether Australia is ready. [Phys.org]

NASA space launch (NASA image)

¶ “Air Carbon Capture’s Scale Problem: 11 Astrodomes For A Ton Of CO₂” • Air carbon capture continues to get written about as if it is an interesting technology that will play a significant role in reducing global warming. The trouble is, with 100% effective technology you would need to filter 11 Houston Astrodomes of air just to get a single ton of CO₂. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Renewables Made Up Almost 65% Of Net Power Production In Germany Last Week” • Renewable energy had a 64.8% share of electricity generation, according to solar research institute Fraunhofer ISE. The achievement was mainly due to strong production from wind facilities. Windpower supplied 48.8% of the electricity. [pv magazine International]

Renewables (Image: Naturstrom AG)

¶ “Labour Vows 50,000 Scottish Green Jobs” • Labour said it would create up to 50,000 new green jobs in Scotland as part of “Green Industrial Revolution,” at a party conference. Expanding onshore wind would produce 20,000 jobs, offshore wind would create 15,000, and a UK-wide energy efficiency program would provide 15,000. [reNEWS]

¶ “East England Leads UK Offshore Pack” • Almost 4 GW of offshore wind has been installed off the coasts of Norfolk and Suffolk in east England. That is 52% of the UK’s current 7.5 GW of installed capacity of offshore windpower, the Norfolk and Suffolk Offshore Wind Cluster said. Wind farms in the area can export power to four countries. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (NSOWC image)

¶ “South Africa: Study Shows Decentralized Renewable Energy Can Improve The Grid” • A study commissioned by the South African Wind Energy Association shows huge opportunities for corporates and municipalities to go for affordable, clean electric power, such as wind and solar systems embedded in distribution networks. [Medafrica Times]

¶ “Scott Morrison Slaps Down Barnaby Joyce On Coal In Damaging Coalition Split On Energy” • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing a damaging Coalition split on energy and a bitter row on leadership after he pushed back at demands to help fund a new coal-fired power plant in Queensland. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Coal train in Australia (CSIRO, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Bills Filed To Commit Florida To Transition To Renewable Energy” • A pair of bills have been filed in the Florida legislature that would mandate the state transition to renewable energy in the next thirty years. They would have Florida 100% renewably powered by 2050. This is the first time such a requirement has come before state lawmakers. [WUSF]

¶ “Largest Community Solar + Storage Installation In Massachusetts Is Now Open For Business” • The largest community solar + storage farm in Massachusetts is in operation. The 7.1-MW Happy Hollow Community Solar + Storage Farm was built at a former gravel pit in Winchendon. It includes 3.3 MWh of battery storage. [CleanTechnica]

Happy Hollow Community Solar farm (CleanChoice Energy)

¶ “Xcel Customers To Have New Option To Power Their Homes” • Xcel Energy customers in Wisconsin now have a new option to power their homes and businesses with clean wind and solar energy. Xcel says customers who subscribe will be able to secure up to 100% of their electricity from a blend of wind and solar resources. [WEAU]

¶ “$500 Million Nuclear Power Rescue Bill Introduced In Pennsylvania” • To save the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, a Pennsylvania lawmaker introduced a $500 million subsidy plan that he said would give all of Pennsylvania’s nuclear power operators a long-missing economic reward for being leading carbon-free power sources. [PennLive.com]

Three Mile Island

¶ “Ohio Weighs a Nuclear Plant Bailout at FirstEnergy’s Urging. Will It Boost Renewables, Too?” • A plan to have Ohio taxpayers bail out two struggling nuclear power plants was a non-starter in the legislature just a few months ago. Now, it’s a high priority. Why? Maybe because FirstEnergy spent heavily in Republican legislative primaries. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Oregon’s Small-Scale Nuclear Company Looks To Build First Plant In Idaho” • Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems wants to build a 720-MW nuclear plant at the site of the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls. It would use 12 small, modular reactors developed by NuScale to produce a little more power than the average coal plant. [OPB News]

Have a wonderfully happy day.

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March 11 Energy News

March 11, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The 100% Renewables Moonshot: We’re Closer Than You Think” • Advocates for 100% renewable energy compare the effort needed to meet that goal to putting a person on the moon. But we are closer to 100% renewable energy today than we were to the moon in 1961, when President Kennedy made his famous pledge to get us to the Moon. [The Hill]

Solar array (© Getty Images)

¶ “Mary Barra’s Impatience Could Save GM: ‘Time Is Not Our Friend'” • When General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced the company would shut down four US plants and lay off thousands of employees, it was because she could see the auto industry is changing. Her new goal for GM is, “Zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.” [CNN]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Hybrid Silicon And Perovskite Bifacial Solar Cell Achieves 30.2% Efficiency” • Scientists at the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands have developed a bifacial solar cell that is 30.2% efficient. They achieved this by putting a perovskite layer on top of an existing bifacial cell, resulting in a device that combines two technologies. [CleanTechnica]

Bifacial cell (Credit: Energy Research Center of the Netherlands)

World:

¶ “Coal Ban Not Law But ‘Strong Policy’” • Youth for Climate Hope, a coalition of five youth groups, expressed support for a decision in the Philippine province of Negros Occidental to declare the province off limits to coal power plants. They are pressing for passing a measure that would give the declaration the force of law. [Inquirer.net]

¶ “Energy Ministers Blast Brussels Renewable Targets” • As the EU’s 28 energy ministers debated the European Commission’s 2050 climate plan, five member states derided the lack of a 100% renewable target among the proposed options. One said eight of ten options are insufficient to meet goals, and the other two are not transparent. [Energy Reporters]

Freiburg, Germany (Credit: Wikimedia)

¶ “52,000 Still Displaced As Tohoku Marks Eight Years Since March 11, 2001, Disasters And Fukushima Nuclear Crisis” • Japan marked the eighth anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan that left more than 15,000 people dead and triggered a nuclear disaster that was one of the world’s worst. [The Japan Times]

Australia:

¶ “Australia Adding One Mega-Solar Project Per Month” • Australia is adding one mega-solar project equivalent per month, with the current installed base of 10 GW projected to double by the end of 2020. The latest mega-solar project is the 333-MW Darlington Point Solar Farm set to be installed near Griffith, New South Wales. [CleanTechnica]

Australia’s solar irradiance (Credit Geoscience Australia)

¶ “IKEA Introduces Electric Truck Delivery Fleet” • Currently there are only 5,000 private electric cars among 25 million Australians. But Australian businesses are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to electric vehicles. IKEA is the latest company to announce it will use electric trucks for all home deliveries by 2025. [Energy Matters]

¶ “WA Water Corp Taps Solar To Cut Grid Power Consumption In Half” • Western Australia’s government-owned water utility is embracing renewable power sources as climate change limits water availability. It has plans to install solar power systems at nine sites including offices, pump stations, treatment plants, and borefields. [One Step Off The Grid]

WA Water Corporation

¶ “Construction Begins On Mortlake South Wind Farm, Transmission Lines To Be Buried” • Construction has begun on the 157.5MW, 35-turbine wind farm being developed south of Mortlake in Victoria by Spanish renewables group Acciona. The $275 million project will ultimately include between 5-7 MWh of battery storage. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “St Regis Falls Dam A Renewable Energy Option” • Northern Power & Light, Inc, based in Saranac Lake, New York, has been approved to operate under a new state program that allows electric customers to purchase shares of the electricity from small renewable generators. The company operates a 700-kW hydroelectric plant. [Adirondack Almanack]

Azure Mountain Power in St Regis Falls (Samuel H Bailey)

¶ “Solar Field Plans Underway In Jefferson” • Plans are moving ahead for a large solar field in Jefferson, Wisconsin. Ranger Power is in the process of obtaining permits to develop a 149-MW, utility-scale photovoltaic solar facility. The solar farm, Badger State Solar, would be sited on 1,000 acres of privately owned land near an existing substation. [Daily Union]

¶ “Former Soldiers Battle Administration Over Climate Change” • Hurricane Florence left approximately $3.6 billion of damage at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. And a group of former military leaders and advisers will give testimony before congress, saying the partisan battle over climate change could harm our troops and national security. [Public News Service]

Have a positively enriching day.

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March 10 Energy News

March 10, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Utility Companies Can Lead The Electric Car Revolution And Still Make Money” • As more electric cars take to the streets, utility companies are having to rethink their business models. Many in the industry see EVs as a threat because they do not fit nicely into the electrical grid structure they have so carefully crafted over the decades. [CleanTechnica]

Transmission lines

¶ “The Bogus Number At The Center Of The GOP’s Green New Deal Attacks” • Republicans claim the Green New Deal would cost $93 trillion, a number that would dwarf the economic output of every nation on Earth. The number supposedly originated with a report by a conservative think tank, American Action Forum. But it is not there. [Politico]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Thank A House Plant: Hydrogen-Based Energy Storage Inspired By Mother Nature” • The hydrogen economy of the future may be getting closer. Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel are hot on the trail of a hydrogen-based energy storage system that could resolve at least two significant obstacles: safety and cost. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

World:

¶ “Dewa To Build 4,000-MWh Solar Plant For Dubai’s Museum Of The Future” • Dubai Electricity and Water Authority will design, construct, and operate a 4,000-MWh solar PV plant to provide renewable energy for Museum of the Future, an under-construction development in the city designed to meet LEED Platinum rating. [Construction Week Online]

¶ “Haiti: The University Planning A Green Revolution” • North Haiti Christian University is a place where students learn about sustainable agriculture. In a country where deforestation earns as many superlatives as poverty, it has had a generations-long ban on tree felling on its 19-acre campus. This produced a haven for rare, endemic birds. [BBC]

Hispaniolan parakeet (Michael McGovern)

¶ “Masdar’s Expanding Renewable Energy Portfolio Of 4 GW On Display At Intersolar Middle East Conference” • Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, announced that its renewable energy portfolio has grown by 33% over the past year, reaching 4 GW of clean energy in operation and under development across 25 countries. [ZAWYA]

¶ “Unlocking Japan’s Geothermal Energy Potential” • How Japan can meet its future energy needs is not necessarily something you think about while enjoying a nice long soak in a hot-spring bath. But renewable energy sources such as geothermal have been getting more attention since the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. [The Japan Times]

Steam rising at Beppu, a hot-spring resort city (Getty Images)

¶ “Clean Energy For Africa By Africans Makes Appearance In South Sudan” • Ugandan-based Aptech Africa planned, installed and commissioned a 79-kW ground mounted solar PV power system, which feeds a SustainPower 125-kWh lithium-ion storage system. It is the first off-grid solar-battery hybrid power system in South Sudan. [ESI Africa]

¶ “As Japan’s Leader, Junichiro Koizumi Backed Nuclear Power. Now He’s A Major Foe.” • Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan from 2001 to 2006, has come out of retirement to join a battle against entrenched business and political interests he had tangled with in the past. He has a new catchphrase: “Zero nuclear power.” [Washington Post]

Bags of waste from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
accident (Shiho Fukada for The Washington Post)

US:

¶ “Study Finds Dumping Coal Would Bring US In Line With Paris Climate Accord Goals” • A study by the physics, economics, and system science departments at Portland State University says that the US could meet the Paris Accord commitments it made in 2015 simply by eliminating coal as a source of electrical energy by 2024. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Attis Industries To Expand NY Ethanol Production, Add More Renewables” • Attis Industries announced plans to build a green tech campus near its ethanol plant in Fulton, New York. Attis is looking to buy land to set up a bio-refinery and a biodiesel plant, which could use as feedstock the corn extract produced from the ethanol facility. [Renewables Now]

Ethanol plant (Jim Parkin | Shutterstock.com)

¶ “Lawmakers Consider Proposal To Support Green New Deal Study” • Rhode Island lawmakers are considering resolutions to release the findings of a study on the state impact of the national Green New Deal. Research council project manager Michael Roles says they hope to have a report ready for legislators by May 15. [Boston Herald]

¶ “To Conserve And Protect: Vermont Land Trust Takes On New Significance In The Age Of Global Warming ” • Already, much of Vermont’s ecologically sensitive land has been set aside for protection. Vermont has one of the nation’s highest rates of land conservation, with 10% of all privately held land protected for future generations. [Seven Days]

Have an outrageously fun day.

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March 9 Energy News

March 9, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Cars Are Killing Us. It’s Time For What’s Next” • Guardian contributor George Monbiot had an epiphany. “I’m struck by the amazing variety of ways in which cars have ruined our lives,” he wrote, referring to the cancers, asthma attacks, and obesity epidemics caused in whole or in part by relying on pollution spewing transportation. [CleanTechnica]

Traffic in Moscow

¶ “Why The Green New Deal Cuts Consumer Energy Costs And Unemployment” • Critics claim that the Green New Deal is unaffordable. We conclude the opposite is true: the benefits of clean energy greatly exceed the costs. Similar findings that 100% renewable energy systems are low cost come from ten other independent research groups. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “If You Blinked, You Missed The Big News About Biofuel And The Bioeconomy” • A laundry list of federal agencies has just released a report billed as a “framework for advancing the bioeconomy.” The report is a roadmap for promoting biofuel and bioproducts that could kill coal and shrink the market for oil and natural gas, too. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Energy Storage Is Being Made Cheaper With Hemp Waste” • Alternet Systems, a company dedicated to energy storage and EV tech, has purchased land in New York to grow and process hemp as a component in supercapacitors, a form of energy storage that can be charged much faster than lithium-ion or any other type of battery. [EarthTechling]

¶ “Winter Rain On Greenland’s Ice Sheet Is Not Supposed To Happen But It’s Becoming More Frequent, Scientists Say” • It should not rain in winter in Greenland, but winter rain is becoming increasingly common on parts of its ice sheet. This leads to rapid ice melt events and is priming the ice for future melting, a study says. [The Weather Channel]

Greenland’s ice

World:

¶ “Global Wind Energy Council And World Bank To Cooperate On New Offshore Wind Development” • The Global Wind Energy Council and the World Bank Group announced plans to cooperate on efforts to develop new offshore wind in emerging markets. The potential for many countries is huge. Vietnam’s is estimated at 309 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund To Divest From Oil And Gas Exploration Stocks” • Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, with investments totaling $1 trillion under management. It announced that it will phase out oil and gas exploration companies from its portfolio. [CleanTechnica]

North Sea oil platform

¶ “Turkish Supreme Court Blocks Coal Plant, As Wave Of New Projects Stalls” • Turkey’s highest administrative court blocked a major coal power plant on the Black Sea coast, in a victory for environmentalists. The Council of State ruled Hema Elektrik’s environmental impact assessment for the 1,320-MW project was inadequate. [Climate Home]

US:

¶ “Boring Company Gets Nod From Las Vegas Authorities” • The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority decided to choose The Boring Company to develop an underground tunnel loop that will use autonomous vehicles to shuttle visitors around the Las Vegas Convention Center, The loop will be 2 miles across when completed. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Autonomous Shuttle

¶ “Pine Ridge Turbines Spin In Michigan” • DTE Energy has started commercial operations at the 161-MW Pine Ridge wind farm in Michigan. The 65-turbine project was developed and built by Invenergy, with ownership transferring to DTE on completion. Construction generated 250 jobs from 22 different Michigan companies. [reNEWS]

¶ “How One Small City Sowed The Seeds For Its Own Green New Deal” • How the little city of Holyoke, with just 40,000 people, went from having the last coal-powered plant in Massachusetts to laying claim to its largest solar farm might prove a valuable blueprint as more cities and states set goals for 100% renewable energy. [CBS News]

Mt Tom coal plant on the Connecticut River

¶ “An Illinois Bill Leans Into The Most Contentious Part Of The Green New Deal” • Though moving away from fossil fuels will cost jobs in those industries, we have not seen much in the way of climate policies that address social justice. Illinois is weighing a 100% renewable energy bill that includes jobs, equity, and social justice. [Vox]

¶ “Federal Funds To Help Turn Virginia Coal Mine Into Solar Farm” • A groundbreaking project to “re-energize” a coal mine deep in southwestern Virginia as a solar farm was green-lighted with the full $500,000 in federal funds the developers had requested late last year. The project will provide up to 3.5 MW of power. [Energy News Network]

Installing a solar system (Oregon Department
of Transportation | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Michael Bloomberg Launches “Beyond Carbon” Campaign To Shut Down All Remaining Power Plants in the US” • Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that instead of a presidential bid, he will put his energy into a campaign called Beyond Carbon. A goal is to shut down every coal-fired power plant in the US by 2030. [Green Matters]

¶ “Nuclear Regulators To Hear Dispute Over Cooling Canals At Turkey Point Reactors” • Nuclear regulators dismissed many environmental complaints, including whether Florida Power and Light used adequate sea rise projections, but they agreed to hear arguments over whether FPL fully considered cooling towers as an alternative to canals. [Miami Herald]

Have an entirely pleasant day.

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March 8 Energy News

March 8, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Wind Farm Coming? Here’s What To Expect And How To Help Your Community” • Of all forms of electrical generation, windpower is the most environmentally benign we have ever managed to create, with solar a close second. But that does not mean that it is universally accepted by communities where wind farms are being established. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbine on farm land

¶ “The US Is Responsible For 26% Of Global Warming Emissions And Is Morally Responsible To Help Solve It” • When you can get conservatives and libertarians to admit that global warming is real, serious, and caused by humans, they seem almost always to point fingers at India and China. They should look a little deeper at what is going on at home. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “SunPower Launches World’s Most Powerful Residential Solar Panels” • Solar panel manufacturer SunPower, based in Silicon Valley, announced the launch of its highly-anticipated Next Generation Technology solar panels. They will be the industry’s first-ever 400-plus-watt panels and the world’s most powerful for residential use. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Tesla Rolls Out V3 Supercharger Capable Of Delivering 1,000 Miles Of Range Per Hour” • Tesla rolled out the first of the next-generation V3 Supercharger at an exclusive event in Fremont, California. The new chargers will initially come supporting the Model 3, The Models S and X will get software updates will come over the next few months. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “UK Offshore Wind Sector Deal To Triple “Green Collar” Jobs By 2030” • The UK Government is expected to announce its long-awaited Offshore Wind Sector deal this week. It has already revealed that it intends to use the sector deal to triple “green collar” jobs to 27,000 by 2030 and ensure at least a third of all jobs are held by women. [CleanTechnica]

Dudgeon offshore wind farm

¶ “Large Hydro Projects Get ‘Renewable Energy’ Status” • India’s Union Cabinet approved a new hydroelectric policy aimed at boosting the sector, including according large hydro projects the status of renewable energy projects. So far, only smaller projects of less than 25 MW in capacity were categorized as renewable energy. [The Hindu]

¶ “Enel Green Power To Build Five Renewable Power Stations In Colombia” • Italian renewable energy company Enel Green Power has been contracted to build five renewable power stations in Colombia.The deal’s three wind farms and two solar parks are part of a 740-GWh contract awarded to EGP by the Colombian Government. [Power Technology]

Wind turbines (Credit: Jorge Mahecha)

¶ “New Victorian Wind Farm To Power 115000 Homes” • Work has begun on a new $275 million wind farm in western Victoria able to power more than 115,000 homes. The construction of the 35-turbine Mortlake South wind farm, near Mortlake in Victoria, will create 90 new jobs in the region and 34 ongoing jobs for local workers. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Acciona Tuned To Spanish TV Repeat” • Acciona won a contract to supply the Spanish TV company Radio Television Espanola with 100% renewable energy. The deal covers April 2019 to March 2021 and 206 GWh of electricity. Power will be supplied to RTVE buildings, equipment, and high-voltage electrical installations, Acciona said. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Acciona image)

¶ “Eight Years After Triple Nuclear Meltdown, Fukushima Daiichi’s Water Woes Show No Signs Of Ebbing” • Nearly a thousand storage tanks are scattered across the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. They rust in the sun as they hold a staggering 1.1 million tons of treated water used to keep the melted reactor cores cool.  [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “Wood Mackenzie Sees Utility Scale Battery Storage Doubling In 2019 And Tripling In 2020” • Wood Mackenzie’s latest report on utility scale battery storage forecasts strong growth this year followed by even stronger growth in 2020. One thing that is especially interesting is that the growth is based on simple economic considerations. [CleanTechnica]

Energy Storage (NextEra Image)

¶ “Trump Again Seeks Deep Cuts In Renewable Energy Funding” • The Trump administration is said to be seeking deep cuts spending on renewable energy and energy efficiency research again. An official familiar with the plan said the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would see the budget request for it cut by about 70%. [Bloomberg]

¶ “Wind-Solar Pairing Cuts Equipment Costs While Ramping Up Output” • A trailblazing wind-solar hybrid project in western Minnesota could be a preview of the future for renewable energy projects. The hybrid energy farm is being developed by Juhl Energy. It is among the first in the country to pair wind and solar on the same site. [Energy News Network]

Lifting the rotor into place

¶ “Push For More Renewable Energy Clears New Mexico Senate” • A bill aimed to increase New Mexico’s reliance on renewable energy and ease the economic pains of closing a coal-fired power plant in the northwest corner of the state cleared a major hurdle in the legislature. After a lengthy debate, the Senate voted 32-9 in favor of the measure. [KANW]

¶ “EDP Renewables, Microsoft Enter Wind Energy Agreements In Ohio” • EDP Renewables North America LLC, and Microsoft Corp have executed two 15-year power purchase agreements  totaling 125 MW. Together, they will bring the Timber Road IV Wind Farm to Ohio’s Paulding County. Timber Road IV is expected to be operational in 2019. [REVE]

Have a totally fortunate day.

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March 7 Energy News

March 7, 2019

World:

¶ “Finland Approves 2029 Coal Ban For Energy Use” • Finland brought forward its coal phase-out date by a year, reports say, with the new deadline set for May 1, 2029, after which coal will be banned as an energy source except in an emergency. Coal met 8% of Finland’s energy consumption demand over the first nine months of 2018. [CleanTechnica]

Coal

¶ “MHI Vestas Goes Dutch For Deutsche Bucht O&M” • MHI Vestas will use a new facility, operated in the Netherlands by DHSS, as a hub for commissioning, operations, and maintenance for the 269-MW Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm. The project is being developed by Northland Power. It will have 33 V164-8.4MW turbines. [reNEWS]

¶ “Oslo Adding 70 Electric Buses This Year” • Oslo is dedicated to becoming a zero emissions city by 2030. Several electric buses have been operating in the city for the past two years, and the lessons learned from them has convinced Ruter, the agency in charge of public transportation for Oslo, to place an order for 70 more. [CleanTechnica]

Articulated electric bus in Oslo (Credit: Elbil)

¶ “Statkraft’s Latest 1-GW Virtual Power Plant In The UK Combines Renewables, Storage, Gas” • Statkraft partnered with energy & meteorology systems to launch a 1-GW wind, solar, and battery storage virtual power plant in the UK. Statkraft operates Europe’s largest VPP, a 12-GW plant with over 1,400 wind and solar installs in Germany. [Energy Storage News]

¶ “Even In A Warmer Europe, Wind And Solar Could Still Keep The Lights On” • Europe’s electricity future could be both green and consistent, even as climate change warms the continent, a study says. That is good news for Europeans who are trying to shift their power grids toward renewable power and away from traditional power plants. [The Verge]

Power plants (Christopher Furlong | Getty Images)

¶ “Renewable Energy To Replace Fossil Fuels As UK’s Main Power Source For First Time In History, Government Says” • A new government deal with industry could see nearly a third of British electricity generated by offshore wind farms by 2030. Officials say the plan would have 70% of electricity coming from low-carbon sources. [The Independent]

¶ “Plunging Fossil Fuel Revenues Should Push Indonesia To Accelerate Its Clean Energy Revolution” • As fossil fuel revenues tumble, Indonesian subsidies for fossil fuels are becoming less sustainable. A report says that for economic stability, Indonesia should cut off the fossil fuel industry and transition to cleaner energy sources. [ASEAN Today]

Gas drilling site in Indonesia (Credit: Max Pixel)

¶ “Australian Corporate Renewable Energy Portal Has 7 GW Up For Grabs” • The Business Renewables Centre of Australia’s platform for connecting energy consuming businesses with planned renewables projects opened for business this week with 7 GW of clean energy on offer and solar and wind fairly evenly represented. [pv magazine International]

US:

¶ “Minnesota And Wisconsin Join Movement To Shift To A 100% Carbon-Free Grid” • Governors of the two states are pushing goals to have 100% of electricity be carbon free by 2050. A 2007 law required Minnesota’s electricity to reach 25% renewably sourced by 2025, but the state had already achieved that target by the end of 2017. [Greentech Media]

Wind turbines in the Midwest

¶ “Climate Change Gets Worse Management Under Trump, Investigation Finds” • The federal government is doing a worse job managing the problem of climate change under President Donald Trump, an investigation by Government Accountability Office found. It included climate change on its High Risk List report. [CNN]

¶ “Renewables Could Beat Nuclear For US Electrical Generation In 2020” • An analysis by the nonprofit SUN DAY Campaign of data released by the US Energy Information Administration confirms continued strong growth in generation by renewable energy sources in 2018. Data show they could overtake nuclear permanently in 2020. [Solar Industry]

Sunlight (iStock image)

¶ “Former Defense Leaders Warn White House It’s ‘Dangerous’ To Downplay Climate Change” • In a letter to President Trump, 58 former military and national security officials expressed deep concern about reported plans to create “a committee to dispute and undermine military and intelligence judgments on the threat posed by climate change.” [KUNC]

¶ “Solar Project, With More Than A Half-Million Panels, Proposed For Private And State Lands Near Columbia River” • One of the Northwest’s most ambitious solar projects has been proposed for 1,700 acres of private and public land in Klickitat County, Washington, near the Columbia River. Its capacity would be 150 MW. [Seattle Times]

Wind turbines (Steven Lane | The Associated Press)

¶ “Utah Bill To Move Communities To Net-Zero Energy By 2030 First Of Its Kind” • Park City, Utah adopted a goal of obtaining 100% of its electricity from a renewable energy source by 2030. A state bill that creates the framework for other communities to join Park City in its renewable energy goals will receive its first hearing this week. [KPCW]

¶ “Industrial Consumers Oppose Evolving Pennsylvania Nuclear Subsidy Proposal” • Industrial energy consumers in Pennsylvania are lining up to oppose an evolving proposal to support the state’s nuclear plants set to be released soon in the state’s General Assembly.  They said the bill would increase rates, pushing them to cut jobs. [Utility Dive]

Have an utterly fabulous day.

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March 6 Energy News

March 6, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Heat Waves As Deadly As Forest Fires Sweep Through World’s Oceans” • It is well known that the oceans are warming, but a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change is the first to examine ocean heat waves that last five days or more. The ocean heat waves are compared to “wildfires that take out huge areas of forest.” [CleanTechnica]

Ocean heat waves (Nature Climate Change via The Guardian)

¶ “Researchers Discover Efficient Way Of Producing Hydrogen To Power Electric Cars” • A team of researchers from the Chemistry Department of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, has found a way to safely, cleanly and efficiently produce hydrogen gas that can be used to power the next generation of electric vehicles. [UMass Lowell]

World:

¶ “Italy Could Be Forced To Import Olive Oil Because Of Extreme Weather” • Italy could soon be forced to import olive oil to stem a dramatic decline in production, a climate scientist has warned, as extreme weather events wreak havoc with harvests and threaten a shortage of one of the country’s most essential culinary products. [CNN]

Farmer checking olives (Tiziana Fab | AFP | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Which Airline Is Best For Carbon Emissions?” • EasyJet has come top of the league for airlines trying to cut carbon emissions to tackle climate change, a report from the London School of Economics suggests. EasyJet’s aircraft are expected to be emitting 75 g of CO₂ per passenger km by 2020, compared with 172 g for Korean Air. [BBC]

¶ “ABB To Supply Drive And Energy Storage Technologies For New Electric Ferry” • ABB was selected to supply drive and energy storage technologies for Iceland’s first electrified ferry. The 70-meter long vessel will be powered by a mind-boggling 3,000-kWh battery pack. A diesel generator will serve only to supply backup power. [CleanTechnica]

Iceland’s first electric ferry (Image by Polarkonsult)

¶ “VDA Projects $68 Billion Investment In Electric And Autonomous Cars” • Verband der Automobilindustrie, an association of German automakers, says they will, as a group, invest $68 billion over the next three years in electric and autonomous vehicle development. They expect to offer over 100 models of EVs by 2023. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Oslo Is (Almost) Car-Free And Likes It That Way” • The Oslo city center is almost entirely car-free after eliminating parking spots and banning cars on certain streets. The Norwegian capital has removed about 750 street-side parking spots in the city center. It has replaced them with bike lanes, benches, greenery, and parks. [CleanTechnica]

Oslo

¶ “Top BP Manager: We Should Take Climate Change Seriously” • Companies in the world and the oil and gas industry need to start tackling in earnest climate change, Spencer Dale, group chief economist at supermajor BP, told The Washington Post in an interview. “All the climate arguments are real, urgent and important,” Dale said. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Nuclear Power Comeback In Japan Impacting LNG Imports” • A resurgence of nuclear power in Japan will likely cut into its LNG imports this year, according to a new report by the US Energy Information Administration. Last year, Japan restarted five of the nuclear reactors shut down after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Japanese nuclear reactor

US:

¶ “Montecito Fire Protection District Solar Microgrid To Be A National Model” • A project to build a solar+storage community microgrid within the Montecito, California, fire district is being developed as a national model for other communities across the country, according to the Clean Coalition and the World Business Academy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New bill would transition Florida to 100% renewable energy by 2050” • Two Florida lawmakers want all the energy used in the Sunshine State to come from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2050. State Rep Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, and Sen José Javier Rodríguez, D-Miami, have filed identical bills, HB 1291 and SB 1762. [Creative Loafing Tampa]

Solar array (Photo via Adobe Images)

¶ “Amazon Day: Less Deliveries, Less Emissions, Less Boxes” • Amazon Prime members now have the option to schedule all package deliveries to come together, once a week on a day of their choosing. The “Amazon Day” service is a new, voluntary way to cut down your carbon footprint by cut down on delivery trips. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “More Utilities Make Big Commitments To Climate Action” • MidAmerican Energy will sell electricity generated from 100% renewable energy by 2020. The Platte River Power Authority pledged to provide 100% carbon-free energy by 2030. And Xcel Energy committed to eliminating 100% of its carbon emissions by 2050. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Wind farm (US DOE image)

¶ “Wyoming Passes Coal Support Bill In Spate Of Western Action To Save Ailing Plants” • The energy proposals across the West illustrate how state lawmakers are responding to the market transition away from coal power in the face of inaction from the White House. A Wyoming bill is designed to save coal plants that would otherwise retire. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Maryland Legislators Push For Increase In Renewable Energy, Jobs” • Maryland legislators have high hopes for passing a bill to increase the state’s renewable energy standards to 50% by 2030 and setting a plan in action to raise the standard to 100% by 2040, along with aiming to increase numbers of jobs in the renewable energy sector. [Baltimore Sun]

Have an overwhelmingly untroubled day.

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March 5 Energy News

March 5, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “This Is How Coal Ends: A Whimper, Not A Bang” • If anybody out there is wondering why President Donald Trump has been rather quiet on the topic of coal jobs these past few months, just take a look at the Westmoreland Coal Company, one of the biggest coal producers in North America – well, it was, until recently. [CleanTechnica]

Carrying coal

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bird Extinctions ‘Driven’ By Global Food Trade” • About 100 bird species are predicted to go extinct based on current farming and forestry practices, a global analysis showed. By comparison, an estimated 140 birds have been lost over the past 400 years. Cattle farming and impacts of oil seed crops like palm and soy were especially named, [BBC]

¶ “California On Fire: System Controlling State’s Wildfires Has Been Overridden, And That’s Bad News” • Findings of a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences show that a system normally dampening wildfire seasons no longer has the same impact. This shift, scientists say, appears to be here to stay. [Newsweek]

Camp Fire (Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Carbon Emissions Fall In UK For Sixth Consecutive Year” • Carbon dioxide emissions in the UK fell for the sixth consecutive year in 2018, says the Financial Times. And BusinessGreen reports that as wind, solar and bioenergy helped push up UK production of renewable energy, nuclear and gas generation fell, and coal went to record lows. [Carbon Brief]

¶ “No Blue Skies In Beijing As Chinese Capital Chokes On Smog During Key Political Meeting” • Beijing residents, who are putting up with extra security checks and traffic restrictions this week for the annual meeting of the country’s lawmakers, have an extra burden this year. They were also choking on smog, as officials issued an orange alert. [CNN]

Police officers preparing for the meeting

¶ “Developed Economies’ CO₂ Emissions Efforts Are Beginning To Pay Dividends” • Efforts of developed economies to cut carbon dioxide emissions and tackle climate change, supporting renewable energy and efficiency, are beginning to pay off, according to research published in the journal Nature Climate Change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Fastest Road Car In The World Revealed – And It’s Electric” • The Pininfarina Battista, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, is all-electric. It goes 280 miles on a single charge. It also has 1,900 break horse power, does 0-62 mph in less than two seconds, 186 mph in less than 12 seconds, has a top speed of more than 250 mph. [BBC]

Pininfarina Battista (Patrick Gosling | Stan Papior Beadyeye)

¶ “Record Renewable Energy Share Of 56.5% For German System Operator 50Hertz” • 50Hertz announced that 56.5% of the electricity consumed in 2018 across its grid area was supplied by renewable energy sources, up from the 53.4% recorded in 2017. This was due in large part to an increase in installed renewable capacity. [Daddyhood]

¶ “EU Dragged To Court For Backing Forest Biomass As ‘Renewable Energy’” • Plaintiffs from Estonia, France, Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, and the US are filing a lawsuit against the EU to challenge inclusion of forest biomass in the bloc’s renewable energy directive. Biomass makes up 60% of what the bloc claims as renewables. [EURACTIV]

Forest biomass (Greg Lobinski | Flickr)

US:

¶ “Coal Ash Contaminating Groundwater Nationwide, Groups Say” • Waste ash from hundreds of coal-fired power plants has contaminated groundwater in 39 states with toxic substances like arsenic, lithium, and mercury, according to a report by two environmental groups. The report was based on data the plants reported to the EPA. [CNN]

¶ “Voters Have Moved Away From Trump On Coal” • President Trump promised to stick up for the coal industry, but market forces led more coal-fired plants to closed under Trump in his first term than in former President Barack Obama’s first term. And recent polling suggests more Americans want to cut down on coal usage. [CNN]

Trump’s promise

¶ “Wind-Generated Electricity Five Times Higher In 2018 Than In 2008” • An analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration confirms continued strong growth in electrical generation by renewable energy sources (wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, biomass) in 2018. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “As Members Seek Cleaner Power, Colorado Energy Provider Wants To Make A Deal” • A tentative agreement about a bylaw change will be reviewed at a special meeting of the 43 member co-operatives of Tri-State Generation and Transmission. Some members have sought to leave the co-op to increase their use of  renewable energy. [Energy News Network]

Colorado power plant

¶ “Minnesota Governor Wants State Electricity Grid To Go 100% Renewable By 2050” • Minnesota Gov Tim Walz (D) introduced a new clean-energy proposal that would require the state’s electricity providers to go 100% renewable by 2050. “Climate change is an existential threat. We must take immediate action,” Walz said. [HuffPost]

¶ “Republicans Who Couldn’t Beat Climate Debate Now Seek To Join It” • US Rep John Shimkus, an Illinois Republican, can serve as just one example of the Republicans who have spent years sowing doubt about climate change or ignoring it altogether but who are now are scrambling to deal with the science they once rejected. [Yahoo News]

Have a delightfully pretty day.

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March 4 Energy News

March 4, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “We Must Keep In Mind The Costs Of The Green New Deal To Vulnerable Communities” • While the Green New Deal achieves net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, it will cost many workers in the fossil fuel industry their jobs. Specific solutions to this upheaval were given in a recent article in the Harvard Business Review. [CleanTechnica]

Appalachia

¶ “Climate Change: What Ten Presidents Have Known” • A White House memorandum addresses “the carbon dioxide problem” in straightforward terms. It warns of sea level rises that would sink New York City and Washington, DC. Produced by an adviser to President Nixon, it is one of many pieces of evidence in Juliana v United States. [CBS News]

¶ “A Short History Of Tesla Critics’ Claims” • It can be pretty interesting to go back in time and compare Tesla critics’ forecasts and predictions, the important claims Tesla critics have made, to what actually happened. There is a lot more that could be added to the list, but here is a short and simple summary of the history of pessimistic views of Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

Teslas

Science and Technology:

¶ “How do you bring a forest back?” • For a region with destroyed forests, an arid climate and depleted soils would be a recipe for disaster in an average reforestation program. For the Land Life Company, based in Amsterdam, it is an ideal place. The company reports that 96% of one group of seedlings survived a scorching summer without extra irrigation. [BBC]

¶ “Belgian Scientists Announce New Solar Panel That Makes Hydrogen” • According to Belgian news source VRT NWS, scientists at KU Leuven, located in Flanders, Belgium, say they have created a solar panel that uses sunlight to make hydrogen from the moisture in the air. It can produce up to 250 liters of hydrogen gas per day. [CleanTechnica]

Solar hydrogen generator (Credit: KU Leuven)

World:

¶ “Geneva Motor Show: Why It Will Be Electrifying ” • The Geneva International Motor Show, which gets under way in Switzerland this week, is one of the biggest events on the global auto industry calendar. With new auto emissions rules, European car manufacturers are introducing more EVs. The result may be an electrified car show. [BBC]

¶ “Electric Car Sales In Ireland Up 541% In 2019” • New car sales in Ireland are down more than 12% at the start of 2019, but EV sales are up sharply so far. In January and February, the number of electric cars registered in Ireland has almost equaled total sales of all types of cars in those months of 2018. EV sales are up over 500%, from last year. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Kona EV

¶ “Climate Change Policies Major Battleground In NSW Election” • Climate change has traditionally been viewed by Australian voters as a federal issue, but polling shows it is also on the state political agenda in New South Wales. About 20% of questions to ABC’s election campaign have been about environmental issues. [ABC News]

¶ “How A Tiny Offshore Wind Farm In Scotland Could Unseat A US President” • Scotland’s Court of Sessions ruled that Trump’s company and the Trump golf club in Aberdeen are on the hook for the country’s legal costs of his lawsuits to stop development of an offshore wind farm. But the legal ramifications of the case go beyond that. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm

US:

¶ “Tesla Will Reveal Sub-$40,000 Model Y On March 14th In California” • Tesla CEO Elon Musk dropped the news today on Twitter that the Tesla Model Y will be unveiled at an event at the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne, California, on March 14. Tesla’s new compact utility vehicle, will be 10% larger and cost 10% more than the Model 3. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wisconsin Commission, Residents Mull Proposed Solar Farms” • The Wisconsin Public Service Commission is preparing to decide the fate of two proposed solar farms that would more than quadruple the state’s solar capacity and pave the way for more utility-scale solar projects. They are among nearly 30 proposed large solar projects. [Daily Reporter]

Dan Litchfield of Invenergy showing off a solar panel (Emily Hamer | Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism via AP)

¶ “MECO Renewable Energy Percentage Rose To 38% In ’18” • Maui Electric Co produced 38% of power used in 2018 through renewable sources, up from 34% in 2017, the utility’s parent company, Hawaiian Electric Cos, said. The percentages represent renewable energy used by customers as a percentage of total utility sales. [Maui News]

¶ “More Than 70 Oregon Scientists And Researchers Urge Oregon Legislature To Take Strong Climate Action” • As another year of possibly destructive wildfires, snowpack reductions, and declining fisheries looms in Oregon, 71 scientists, public health experts, and economists signed an open letter calling on state legislators to act. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Wildfire in the Northwest (Bureau of Land Management)

¶ “Rep Lori Ehrlich Announces Two Bills To Combat Climate Change” • Massachusetts Rep Lori Ehrlich proposed a pair of bills to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by the state’s heating and transportation sectors. In 2017, there were 27,731 gas leaks reported in Massachusetts, and 15,829 are still unrepaired, her statement said. [Daily Item]

¶ “Rescuing Pennsylvania Nuclear Power Plants Could Come With Conditions” • Giving nuclear power plants what opponents call a bailout to keep them open could mean a hike in electric bills across the state. One key motivator for lawmakers could be that it steps up the fight against what some see as a bigger crisis: climate change. [The Mercury]

Have a fabulously beautiful day.

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March 3 Energy News

March 3, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Freak Weather ‘Will Make Life Harder For Business'” • First we had the Beast from the East, then the joint hottest summer on record, and now February winter temperatures have soared to all-time highs. The UK’s weather is getting more difficult to predict, and for UK businesses that is creating both opportunities and headaches. [Myjoyonline.com]

Weather

Science and Technology:

¶ “Garbage In, Energy Out: Synova Power Turns Waste Into Electricity” • The concept of turning bio waste into energy has been around for a while. But what about the biggest culprit, plastic? What if you could put bio and petrochemical waste in one end and get electricity out of the other? Synova Power says it has a practical, working solution. [Entrepreneur]

World:

¶ “Dubai’s DEWA Invites Developers For Fifth Phase Of Solar Park” • Dubai Electricity and Water Authority issued a Request for Qualification for developers to build and operate the fifth phase of its Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The solar park aims to generate 1,000 MW by 2020 and 5,000 MW by 2030. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar array

¶ “WB Okays $185 Million To Expand Renewable Energy Generation In Bangladesh” •  The World Bank has approved $185 million to install up to 310 MW of renewable energy generation capacity in Bangladesh and to mobilize the private sector to participate with a goal of meeting the growing demand for electricity in the country. [The Daily Star]

¶ “In Jujuy, China Is Building Latin America’s Largest Solar Plant: Cauchari” • In the Argentine province of Jujuy, at 4,000 meters above sea level, banners inscribed with Chinese characters flap outside a temporary office perched on a barren desert. The 300-MW plant shows increasing cooperation between China and Argentina. [Buenos Aires Times]

Cauchari solar plant (Photo: Fermin Koop)

¶ “Batteries Can Help Renewables Reach Full Potential In Africa” • In Sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 600 million people still live without access to reliable and affordable electricity, despite the region’s significant wind and solar power potential and burgeoning energy demand. Batteries can help them get reliable electric power. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “Spain And Morocco Sign Interconnector Deal” • Spain and Morocco have signed an agreement on the construction of a power interconnector under the Straits of Gibraltar. The 700-MW is due to be commissioned before 2026. Spain’s two existing cables to Morocco are Europe’s only electricity interconnections with Africa so far. [Energy Reporters]

Strait of Gibraltar

¶ “Solar Power Accounts For 50% Capacity Addition In 2018” • Solar power for the first time in India made over 50% power capacity addition in 2018 although Goods and Service Tax, safeguard duty, and land and transmission issues took a toll on large-scale power installation, according to a Mercom India Research report. [Financial Express]

¶ “Australia Plans Ambitious Hydropower Project” • Australia is planning to build a multibillion-dollar underground hydropower station in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. It is a huge and complex engineering task, which is to back up wind and solar power with pumped storage. It could generate electricity for 500,000 homes. [Voice of America]

Winter sports in the Snowy Mountains (VOA file photo)

¶ “Angus Taylor Again Falsely Claims Australia’s Greenhouse Emissions Are Falling” • The energy minister has again insisted Australia’s emissions are going down, when the government’s official figures show emissions continue to increase, as the government struggles to sell the latest incarnation of its energy policy. [The Guardian]

¶ “Achieving Paris Climate Target Could Add Billions In Fisheries Revenue” • Achieving the Paris Agreement global warming target could protect millions of tonnes in worldwide fisheries catch, as well as billions of dollars of annual revenues for countries with fisheries, a study found. The study was published in the journal Science Advances. [Financial Express]

Some of the world’s 260 million marine fishery workers

¶ “NRA Eyes Seabed Watch Of Caldera Near Kagoshima Nuclear Plant ” • The nightmare scenario of a volcanic crater erupting and spewing a pyroclastic flow over a nuclear power plant, causing catastrophic levels of radiation to be released, does not appear to be on the horizon. But Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority is not taking chances. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ “78% Of Tesla’s 2018 Model 3 Sales Were Online – Musk Email Sheds Light On New Sales Strategy” • An email Elon Musk sent to Tesla employees explains some of the reasons for Tesla’s shift in sales strategy from brick-and-mortar stores to an online focus. Notably, 78% of all Model 3 sales in 2018 were already conducted online. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

¶ “Lawmakers Question Carbon Tech Proposed In Plan To Keep San Juan Plant Running” • A New York hedge fund negotiating with the city of Farmington to take over the coal-burning San Juan Generating Station proposes to make it cleaner with a carbon capture system. But the technology is controversial and untested at this scale. [New Mexico Political Report]

¶ “The ‘Grandfather’ Of Climate Science Leaves A Final Warning For Earth” • Wallace Broecker was the man who popularized the term “global warming” and first described the critical role the world’s oceans play in the climate. Days before his death, he urged scientists to consider deploying a last-ditch solar shield to stop global warming. [NBCNews.com]

Have an inspiringly awesome day.

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March 2 Energy News

March 2, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Committee Roster Exposes Republican Fault Lines” • The Republican roster for the climate change select committee reflects the party’s larger variety of stances on climate change. It will be led by Rep Garret Graves, who is concerned about sea-level rise in his district in Louisiana. Others on the committee have deep ties to fossil fuels. [E&E News]

Rep Garret Graves (Tom Williams | CQ Roll Call | Newscom)

World:

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Awarded $87 Million Hydropower Contract In Cameroon” • GE Renewable Energy was awarded an $87 million contract by Nachtigal Hydro Power Company to provide seven 60-MW Francis turbines for the new Nachtigal hydropower plant in Cameroon. The plant will have a capacity of 420 MW. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “New Southern Energy Installs First Commercial Floating Solar Farm In Africa” • New Southern Energy, an African renewable energy company, installed a state-of-the-art microgrid at South Africa’s Marlenique Farm. The system includes the first floating solar array in Africa along with ground-mounted solar PVs. It has provisions for batteries. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Floating solar array (Courtesy: New Southern Energy)

¶ “Ukraine Reaches 1.33 GW Of Installed Solar Power” •  In 2018, newly deployed PV capacity in the eastern European country had a total capacity of 645 MW. Demand is mainly driven by large-scale projects under the Ukraine’s FIT scheme. Nonetheless, residential solar under net metering is also providing a significant contribution. [pv magazine International]

¶ “India’s Coal Power Plants Unhealthiest In World, Says Study” • Coal-fired power plants in India take the highest toll of any in the world when it comes to health, a study found. It said that China and the US are the largest producers of coal power. Coal-fired power generation is also a primary source of greenhouse gas emissions. [IndiaPost.com]

Coal-fired power plant

¶ “Gridserve To Deploy 60 MW Of Bifacial-Plus-Tracking Projects In The UK” • Two sites with capacities of 34.7 MW and 25.7 MW will supply unsubsidized power to Warrington Borough Council. The smaller project will provide the local authority’s energy needs, and the larger one will sell renewable energy on the open market. [pv magazine International]

US:

¶ “Tesla Online Sales – Bigger News Than $35,000 Model 3” • As exciting as the $35,000 Model 3 announcement is, the big news yesterday was how Tesla plans to market its cars going forward. It is closing many of its stores in the US and transitioning to a 100% online sales model. Online sales will soon be the norm for Tesla worldwide. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

¶ “SoCal Gas Seeks To Offer Renewable Natural Gas” • Southern California Gas Co announced that it has filed a request with the California Public Utilities Commission seeking to offer renewable natural gas to its 21 million customers in central and Southern California. RNG is made mainly from agricultural and food waste. [NBC Southern California]

¶ “$150 Million Solar Farm Set For Early County” • Silicon Ranch Corporation, the US solar platform for Shell and one of the largest US independent solar power producers, will invest about $150 million in three solar projects in Early County, Georgia, a statement from Governor Brian Kemp said. Their total capacity is to be 102.5 MW. [WALB]

Silicon Ranch solar panels

¶ “California Solar Rights Bill Up For March Hearing” • SB 288, California’s Solar Rights Bill, would remove barriers to solar, including outdated tariffs and delayed connections to the grid, protecting the estimated 800,000 solar homes in the state, as well as potential adopters. It is going to a Senate committee and become law this month. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Plans To Proceed With Navajo Generating Station Decommissioning Welcomed By Navajo Community” • The Navajo community in northern Arizona cautiously welcomed an announcement by the owners of the failed coal-fired Navajo Generating Station that they are still moving to decommission the plant this year. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Navajo Generating Station (Photo: Alan Stark, Flickr)

¶ “Power Plant Won’t Repower With Natural Gas, Casting Pipeline Plan In Doubt” • A controversial South Jersey Gas pipeline project’s future was thrown into question when the owner and operator of the BL England coal-fired plant in Cape May County, New Jersey, withdrew its plan to repower the facility with natural gas. [NJTV News]

¶ “State Senate Passes Bill To Move Washington To 100% Clean Energy” • The Washington State Senate passed a bill to convert the state to 100% clean renewable energy. The bill would mandate that all electrical utilities in the state transition to 100%, carbon neutral electric supply by 2030. It was passed by a vote of 28 to 19. [MyNorthwest.com]

Grand Coulee Dam

¶ “Bringing Reliable Power To The People Of Supai Through Solar PV And A Microgrid” • The remote Havasupai community of Supai, Arizona, is in the Grand Canyon. It is more than 80 miles from the nearest substation, and electric power has been unreliable and difficult to maintain. Now it is getting a solar-powered microgrid. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ “Potential Bailout Of Nuclear Industry Causing Stir” • A proposal to provide a lifeline worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Pennsylvania’s nuclear industry will be unveiled soon. Proponents say it is needed to save thousands of jobs. Owners of two Pennsylvania nuclear power plants have already signaled that they will be shut down. [TribDem.com]

Have a downright delightful day.

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March 1 Energy News

March 1, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Why Do Republicans No Longer Care About Democracy, The US Constitution, Christian Morals, National Security, The Rule Of Law, The FBI, The CIA, Honesty, And US Debt?” • Just about everything at the top of the ideological list for Republicans five to ten years ago is now trampled on by Republican leaders in Washington DC. [CleanTechnica]

Possible part of the answer (NIOSH, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Earth’s Fish Are Disappearing Because Of Climate Change, Study Says” • Climate change is endangering fish worldwide, shrinking populations by up to 35% in coastal regions near China and Japan, scientists say. Ocean warming has led to a 4% global decline in sustainable catches, according to a study published in the journal Science. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Australia Experiences Hottest Summer On Record” • Australia has experienced its hottest summer on record, according to the nation’s Bureau of Meteorology. Hundreds of individual heat records were shattered across the country over the past three months. The warm weather was 2.14°C (3.85°F) above the long-term average. [BBC]

Summer in Australia (EPA Image)

¶ “Water Utility Taps Ørsted For Offshore Power” • Ørsted has signed an agreement with Northumbrian Water enabling the 573-MW Race Bank offshore wind farm to supply 30% of the UK water company’s renewable energy demand. The 10-year deal is the first power purchase agreement of its kind in the UK, according to Ørsted. [reNEWS]

¶ “Canada Tidal Makes Waves” • Sustainable Marine Energy has generated first power from its Plat-I tidal platform in the Grand Passage of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada. The developer said it has satisfied the requirements set out by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans to commence operation. [reNEWS]

Schottel tidal turbines (Sustainable Marine Energy image)

¶ “RWE Strikes Northwester 2 Power Deal” • RWE’s supply and trading arm has signed a deal for all the electricity generated by Parkwind’s 219-MW Northwester 2 wind farm off the coast of Zeebrugge, Belgium. Northwester 2 will consist of 23 MHI Vestas V164 turbines and will produce 800 GWh of renewable electricity annually. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Senate Confirms Former Coal Lobbyist Andrew Wheeler To Lead EPA” • The Senate confirmed Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, to lead the EPA, in a 52-47 vote primarily along party lines. Wheeler has been acting administrator since July, when former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned amid a host of ethics controversies. [CNN]

Andrew Wheeler

¶ “Tesla Finally Opens Up Ordering On The $35,000 Standard Range Model 3” • The Standard Range Model 3 will come to the market with the expected 220 miles of range and be available at the $35,000 price point. With the federal, state, and local rebates, that makes the new Standard Range Tesla Model 3 affordable for many people. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Aggressive Clean Energy Bill Would Push Illinois To 100% Renewables By 2050” • An ambitious energy bill, the Clean Energy Jobs Act, has been  introduced in both chambers of the Illinois legislature. It would mandate the state shift to entirely renewable energy by mid-century with an emphasis on job creation and equity. [Energy News Network]

Illinois Statehouse

¶ “Toledo Voters Approve Lake Erie Bill Of Rights” • Voters in Toledo, Ohio, voted by 61% to 39% to approve the so-called Lake Erie Bill Of Rights, a declaration that the lake, which supplies drinking water to Toledo and many surrounding communities, has the legal right to be protected from harm from human activity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “California’s San Bernardino County Slams The Brakes On Big Solar Projects” • California’s largest county has banned the construction of large solar and wind farms on more than 1 million acres of private land. Some Residents say they do not want renewable energy projects industrializing their rural desert communities. [Los Angeles Times]

Solar project (Allen J Schaben | Los Angeles Times)

¶ “Saratoga Wind Farm Now Delivering Clean Energy” • Madison Gas and Electric’s 66-MW Saratoga Wind Farm is now fully operational and delivering sustainable, carbon-free energy to the electric grid. The wind farm is located near Saratoga, Iowa, about 200 miles west of the area served by the Madison, Wisconsin, utility. [Associated Press]

¶ “New Budget Bill Rescues NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System” • NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System was not explicitly funded in the budget and the Trump administration was set to let it die. Explicit funding was included in the latest budget bill, however, that bill has passed in both the House and the Senate, and the president signed it into law. [Eos]

USDA worker in Alaska (USDA photo)

¶ “To Save Lobsters, Maine Piles Into States Eyeing 100% Renewables” • Maine, warning that global warming is a threat to its lobsters, just joined the growing chorus of states pledging to get all of their electricity from renewable energy sources. Gov Janet Mills said her state is already seeing damage from climate change first hand. [Bloomberg]

¶ “Trump Administration Maintains That Nuclear And Clean Coal Are The Climate Solution” • Energy Secretary Rick Perry said that clean coal technology and nuclear power are the way to reduce emissions and face down global warming, using the added authority of the International Energy Agency director to bolster that position. [Washington Examiner]

Have a basically perfect day.

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February 28 Energy News

February 28, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Leahy Makes Urgent Call For Real Action On Climate Change” • “The time for delay is over. In fact, our time is running out. Let this renewed vigor in addressing climate change brought about by the bold proposed Green New Deal be the catalyst for real change. And let’s stand, as Senator Stafford and others did in 1986, and do it together.” [Vermont Biz]

Senator Patrick Leahy (Staff Sgt Michelle Gonzalez,
US Army National Guard, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy Beats Coal In Blazing Australian Summer: Energy Audit” • Renewable energy outperformed coal over Australia’s record-breaking summer of heat, The Australia Institute’s Climate and Energy Program audit shows. Large solar farms ran close to capacity in the heat while Victoria’s coal-fired power generators faltered. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Batteries Europe: New Platform Launched By European Commission” • The European Commission launched an initiative called Batteries Europe to drive battery innovation and research. The program was initiated by Dominique Ristori, the director general of Energy for the European Commission, and will be led by InnoEnergy. [CleanTechnica]

Traffic (Image via Pexels, CC0 License)

¶ “Alberta Outlines Long-Term Renewable Electricity Targets” • The Alberta government has unveiled the latest long-term targets for its Renewable Electricity Program, which aims for 30% renewable electricity in the province by 2030. The program will add 5,000 MW of green generation capacity, creating 7,000 jobs, by 2030. [Canadian Biomass]

¶ “2018 Saw 51.3 GW Of New Wind Added Globally” • The global wind industry added a total of 51.3 GW of new wind capacity in 2018 according to figures published by the Global Wind Energy Council. The figure represents an overall decrease of 3.6% from 2017, but there was some slight growth in the offshore wind market. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines

¶ “Global Oil Plows Billions Into Solar And Energy Storage” • Global oil companies are plowing billions of dollars per year into solar and into energy storage, as more nations seek to switch their energy sources away from fossil fuels. Just five out of 15 acquisition deals done in solar over the past two years, saw over $8 billion was spent. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “South Africa’s Outlook For Green Energy Getting ‘Better And Better’” • State-owned South African utility Eskom is in dire financial straits. It is straining to meet demand, unable even to maintain old coal-burning plants. So the government has turned to courting independent renewable energy producers to help power the economy. [Business Day]

Renewable energy (iStock image)

¶ “Canadian Utility Planning Hydrogen Power Generation Project” • Together, Florida-based Joi Scientific and New Brunswick Power will deploy Joi Scientific hydrogen production systems in New Brunswick. The plan is to generate hydrogen with wind turbines, hydro, and nuclear power for net-zero carbon operation. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ “Bosnia’s EPBiH Signs €69 Million Wind Turbine Deal With Siemens Gamesa” • Bosnia’s biggest power supplier EPBiH said it has signed a €69 million ($78.4 million) contract for supply of 15 wind turbines with a total capacity of 48 MW with Siemens Gamesa. The wind park will be built at Podvelezje, near the southern city of Mostar. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines (Image: PGE)

¶ “Vestas Unveils 4-MW Turbine For Severe Weather” • Vestas has launched a turbine within its 4-MW platform that is suitable for wind farms in regions with extreme climate conditions, including high wind speeds. Serial production of the V136-4.2MW Extreme Climate model is expected by mid-2021 and delivery later that year. [reNEWS]

¶ “Refinance Risk: Australia’s Green Power Profits May Be Under Threat” • The profitability of Australia’s first wave of renewable power projects may be threatened as lenders will likely push for some debt reductions when the projects come up for refinancing, according to the former chief risk assessor at the nation’s green bank. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Solar array (RCR image)

US:

¶ “eMotorWerks Looks To Save Colorado Utility Some Cash With New EV Charging Pilot” • eMotorWerks is getting into demand response with a new residential EV charging pilot in Colorado. Smart home chargers being deployed in a push to help a utility Platte River Power Authority avoid infrastructure upgrades. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Updated RPSs Will Lead To More Renewable Electricity Generation In US” • States with legally binding renewable portfolio standards accounted for 63% of electricity retail sales in the US in 2018. Although no additional states have adopted an RPS policy since 2015, several extended their existing targets in 2018 or early 2019. [Renewables Now]

Renewable power (welcomia | Shutterstock.com)

¶ “Bloomberg-Backed Accelerator Launches To Help Cities Achieve Renewable Energy Goals” • The American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator is working to help US cities reach their renewable energy goals. The program is backed by the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge and other organizations. [Energy Manager Today]

¶ “Manufacturing Giant 3M Commits To 100% Renewable Power For Global Operations” • Manufacturing and technology giant 3M has become the latest company to join RE100, the global leadership initiative bringing together companies committed to 100% renewable power, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. [The Climate Group]

Have an unabatedly charming day.

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February 27 Energy News

February 27, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Experts Are Horrified by the Military’s Portable Nuclear Reactor” • Project Dilithium, which the US Army announced last month, involves shipping small, portable nuclear reactors to military bases where they can provide electricity for stretches of about three years. The concept is making many nuclear power experts nervous. [Futurism]

Portable reactor – what could go wrong?

¶ “Green New Deal Is Feasible And Affordable ” • The Green New Deal combines ideas across several parts of the economy because the ultimate goal is sustainable development. That means an economy that delivers a package deal: good incomes, social fairness, and environmental sustainability. Fears that it is unachievable are wrong. [CNN]

World:

¶ “ScottishPower Targets £2 Billion Smarter UK Spend” • As it targets new sectors such as electric vehicle charging, smart grids and energy storage, ScottishPower is to spend up to £2 billion in the UK in 2019. The plans include a 50-MW battery storage project at its Whitelee wind farm in Scotland, the UK’s largest onshore project. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Credit: ScottishPower)

¶ “BYD Breaks Ground On Its New 20-GWh Battery Factory In Chongqing” • BYD has broken ground at its new Chongqing battery plant. The plant diversifies its battery cell production capacity beyond its older factories in Eastern China. The company is now turning the factory it announced last year into a reality. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EPC Decmil Breaks Ground On 255-MW Solar Farm In Australia, Energy Storage To Be Added” • Maoneng Australia said energy storage can improve the reliability of solar power and minimize the negative impacts of electric system modernization, as it broke ground on a 255-MW solar project in New South Wales. [Energy Storage News]

Breaking ground for a solar system (Maoneng Australia)

¶ “Decentralized Renewable Energy-Focused European Super Grid Is Least Cost Option” • Research from the Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland showed that a cross-border European super grid based on decentralized renewable energy supply is the least cost option to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Iberdrola To Invest €13.3 Billion In Renewables By 2022” • Spain’s Iberdrola will invest €34 billion ($39.6 billion) in global growth by 2022, with €13.3 billion of the amount allocated for renewable energy projects, according to the updated 2018-2022 plan. It will set aside €16 billion for networks and €3.8 billion for generation and supply. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in New Mexico (Iberdrola image)

¶ “Indian State Of Gujarat Gets Lowest Bid Of 3.59¢/kWh In 500-MW Solar Auction” • According to media reports, a subsidiary of US-based UPC Energy Limited quoted a tariff bid of ₹2.55/kWh (3.59¢/kWh) for 50 MW in an auction of 500 MW solar power capacity in Gujarat. It is one of the lowest bids ever offered in India. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Norther Delivers First Power” • First power has been delivered to the grid from MHI Vestas turbines at the 370-MW Norther offshore wind farm, which is off the coast Belgium. Of the 44 V164-8.4MW wind turbines to be installed at the wind farm, a total of 12 units have so far been erected, and four of these are already powered up. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine installation (Credit: Norther)

¶ “Indian State Tamil Nadu Eyes 9-GW Solar Capacity By 2023” • The government of Tamil Nadu, in its solar energy policy 2019 document, has specified an operational solar power capacity target of 9 GW by 2023. The government had previously set a goal of achieving 5 GW of operational solar power capacity by the same year. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “HECO Achieves 27% Renewable Mark Despite Loss Of Geothermal Due To Kilauea” • Despite the loss of geothermal power, the Hawaiian Electric Companies lost no ground in the effort to reach 100% renewable energy in 2045. The 2018 consolidated renewable portfolio standard remained the same percentage as it was in 2017, at 27%. [Big Island Now]

Lava flow near geothermal plant (Hawaii National Guard)

¶ “24M Ships First High Energy-Density Semi-Solid State Batteries” • The quest for a better battery for electric vehicle applications took a step forward this week as 24M, an innovative company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced it has shipped the first semi-solid state lithium-ion batteries to commercial customers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Partners With DTE Energy For Michigan Wind Energy” • As part of its commitment to increasing its renewable energy footprint globally and finding clean energy solutions located near its operations, General Motors Co has entered into an agreement with DTE Energy for 300,000 MWh of wind energy in the state of Michigan. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind farm in Michigan

¶ “Iron Mountain Announces Approved Science-Based Target” • Global data storage giant Iron Mountain Incorporated announced that it received formal approval from the Science Based Targets initiative of its 2025 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, one of only 150 or so companies which have received such approval. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Another Pennsylvania Township Commits To 100% Clean Energy” • Radnor Township Commissioners voted 6-1 to pass a “Ready for 100” resolution to transition to 100% clean energy by 2050. Radnor residents expressed their gratitude for the Commissioners’ leadership and forward-thinking, according to the Sierra Club. [Windpower Engineering]

Have an undeniably superb day.

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February 26 Energy News

February 26, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Listen To The Children: Political Miscalculations Pile Up Over The Green New Deal” • This week across the US, young people are visiting their Senators to plead for the Green New Deal. They tell personal stories about why the GND holds hope for their future, for a system of energy that is renewable, not rigged by fossil fuel billionaires. [CleanTechnica]

Bringing the protest to Senator Feinstein

Science and Technology:

¶ “Renewable Hydrogen ‘Already Cost Competitive,’ Say Researchers” • Hydrogen produced using renewable electricity is “already cost competitive” in niche applications, according to a paper published today in Nature Energy. This contrasts with other work on renewable hydrogen, which found it prohibitively expensive. [Carbon Brief]

¶ “How Artificially Brightened Clouds Could Stop Climate Change” • In June, 1991, Mount Pinatubo, in the Philippines, erupted. It sent 15 to 17 million tonnes of ash and sulfates into the atmosphere, reflecting some of the sunlight back into space. The result was that the average global temperature that year dropped by 0.6° C. [BBC]

Mount Pinatubo (Credit: Alamy)

World:

¶ “Siemens Enters Residential Storage Market With Junelight Smart Battery” • German industrial giant Siemens announced that it was entering the residential battery storage market with the introduction of its new Junelight Smart Battery, which is intended to meet the needs of private homes generating and storing their own energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “France Betting Big On Batteries With €700 Million Investment” • The French government sees a battery-powered future and is betting big on it with news that it will invest €700 million in the manufacturing of battery cells for electric vehicles over the next 5 years. The news came from French President Emmanuel Macron. [CleanTechnica]

Eiffel Tower

¶ “Germany Ditches Fossil Fuels And Looks To Renewable Energy” • Germany, one of the largest consumers of coal, has decided to shut down all its coal-fired plants by 2038. To make this a reality will require an investment of around $45 billion. Germany had earlier decided to shut down all its nuclear power plants by 2022. [Power Technology]

¶ “Total Eren Fills Argentine Wind Coffers” • French independent power producer Total Eren has closed $138 million financing for its 50-MW Malaspina wind farm in southern Argentina. Construction is scheduled for completion during the third quarter of 2019. The wind farm will have with 14 Senvion 3.6M114 wind turbines. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Senvion image)

¶ “South Africa’s Economy Attracts $15 Billion Through Renewable Energy” • According to Energy Minister Jeff Radebe, renewable energy procurements have created 38,701 jobs years for youth and women from the surrounding communities, and have attracted $15 billion in investment in the South African economy. [Political Analysis South Africa]

¶ “Government Funds Power Project That Relies On Massive Coal Plant Closures” • Australia’s Coalition government is backing a new power connection between Tasmania and the mainland that would be unviable unless a third of Australia’s coal-fired power capacity prematurely shuts down. Its capacity is to be 2,500 MW. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Coal-burning power plant (AP image)

¶ “Spain Targets 120 GW Of Renewable Energy Capacity In 2030” • Spain will aim at 120 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030, primarily wind and solar power. The Spanish government approved the national integrated energy and climate plan, which would have renewables provide 42% of energy consumption in 2030. [Renewables Now]

US:

¶ “Bernie Sanders Says Climate Change Is An ‘Existential Crisis'” • Democratic presidential candidate Sen Bernie Sanders said climate change is an existential crisis that will impact generations to come. He advocated for a complete overhaul of the US energy system away from fossil fuel. He said climate change is a human rights issue. [CNN]

Bernie Sanders (CNN screen shot)

¶ “New Report From Environmental Group Details Reduced Enforcement At EPA” • There has been a drastic drop in the enforcement of environmental regulations by the EPA under the Trump administration, according to a report the advocacy group Environmental Integrity Project will issue to the US Congress today. [CNN]

¶ “City Takes Big Step Towards Energy Independence, Possible Lower Rates” • San Diego’s City Council voted 7-2 to move forward with a bold plan for energy independence. They authorized the mayor to negotiate the creation of a public agency that would buy electrical power for city residents through community aggregation. [NBC 7 San Diego]

Solar farm (PSE&G image)

¶ “California’s $100 Million 2019 Low Income Solar Program Near Roll Out” • California’s investor-owned utilities are preparing to spend up to $100 million this year bringing solar to low income buildings. The Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing program is expected to launch this spring or summer, its administrator said. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Still Has No Place For Spent Nuclear Fuel, So Maine Yankee’s Owner Gets Millions” • For the fourth time since 1998, a federal judge has awarded the owners of the Maine Yankee, Connecticut Yankee, and Yankee Rowe nuclear power plants millions of dollars for the federal government’s failure to remove spent nuclear fuel. [Press Herald]

Have a quintessentially comfy day.

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February 25 Energy News

February 25, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Osborne Effect On The Auto Industry” • A perfect storm is brewing above the automotive industry, as three hardly grasped phenomena are working together. They are the Osborne effect of delayed demand, the downward curve of technology costs, and the S-curve that describes market acceptance of new technologies. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

¶ “Morrison Puts Lipstick On Tony Abbott’s Pig Of A Climate Policy” • Prime minister Scott Morrison has unveiled his climate policy. It is clearly intended to placate the core rump of climate deniers and ideologues, and to try to fool enough others that the Coalition is doing something to address a problem it barely admits exists. [RenewEconomy]

New Energy Vehicles in China:

¶ “China EV Forecast: 50% EV Market Share By 2025 – Part 1” • China is charging full speed ahead into electric vehicles, on track to sell over 2 million EVs this year, up from 1.1 million in 2018. The rapid growth has been driven partly by policy, but increasingly by consumer demand for superior technology, and better value. [CleanTechnica]

BAIC EX360

¶ “China EV Forecast: 50% EV Market Share By 2025 – Part 2, Consumer Demand” • At last count, the petite BYD Yuan had a waiting list of 40,000 customers. More folks are joining the queue, even as 10,000 units per month are being produced (and ramping up). New energy vehicles in China are in very high demand. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China EV Forecast: 50% EV Market Share By 2025 – Part 3, Ramping Production” • China’s manufacturing efforts can ramp fast. The growth in auto production went from 2.4 million in 2001 to 17 million in 2010. The EV market share of total light-duty vehicle sales is expected to increase from 4.1% in 2018 to 7.5% in 2019. [CleanTechnica]

BAIC Arcfox Lite

World:

¶ “Saudi Arabia, China Sign Renewable Energy Cooperation” • Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s National Energy Administration on renewable energy cooperation as part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the country. [Arabian Industry]

¶ “Sweden Expands Support For Off-Grid Renewable Energy In Sub-Saharan Africa” • The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency says it will expand the off-grid solar initiative it has run in Zambia to Burkina Faso, Liberia, and Mozambique. It is backing the expansion with an additional $50 million in funding. [CleanTechnica]

Buying off-grid power in Zambia (Jason J Mulikita | SIDA)

¶ “Life After Coal: Lincoln Gap Wind Farm Powers Up, Battery To Be Installed Soon” • In South Australia, the former coal town of Port Augusta continues its transformation into a major hub for renewable energy, as the 212-MW Lincoln Gap wind farm gets powered up. The state already gets over 50% of its demand from wind and solar. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “WA’s biggest wind farm from Alinta Energy to power 200,000 homes” • A $400 million wind farm generating enough power to run up to 200,000 homes will be built in Western Australia. Growing national power provider Alinta Energy announced it will build the state’s biggest wind farm about 175 km north of Perth by mid-2020. [The West Australian]

Western Australia (Edrabikau, Wikimedia Commons) 

US:

¶ “Speaker DeLeo Proposes $1 Billion For Energy Efficiency Grants” • Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo unveiled a plan to spend $1 billion over the next 10 years to help cities and towns adopt new technology designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen infrastructure projects, and reduce costs for municipalities. [New Jersey Herald]

¶ “Under Trump’s Tariffs, The US Lost 20,000 Solar Energy Jobs” • A report from the DOE in 2016 showed that solar energy was responsible for a much larger share of employment in the electric power sector (43%) than the whole of the fossil fuel industry combined (22%). It has declined since because of Trump’s trade tariffs. [Forbes]

US Solar Jobs by Year (SolarJobsCensus.org)

¶ “Arizona Utility Reveals Battery Deals That Give California A Run For Its Money” • Arizona Public Service announced that it would procure 850 MW of battery storage by 2025. Of that, 450 MW would be deployed by 2021. APS, which is the largest utility in the state, also said it would add at least 100 MW of new solar power by 2025. [Ars Technica]

¶ “‘Magic’ Military Microgrid Spells More Bad News For Diesel” • The latest development for forward operating bases comes from the microgrid company Go Electric. It is a “portable, modular, self-forming microgrid solution” that can withstand punishing conditions while maximizing fuel efficiently and improving reliability over diesel generators. [CleanTechnica]

Forward base

¶ “Snohomish County Makes Clean Energy Pledge” • In Washington state, the Snohomish County Council voted to move to a 100% renewable energy for government operations by 2045. To do this county plans to increase efficiency, switch to fuel-free alternatives, and install solar panels with storage capacity at county buildings. [The Daily Herald]

¶ “Old Florida Law Says Disney Can Build A Nuclear Power Plant. Legislators Could Change That.” • A 52-year-old state law says Disney can build a nuclear power plant on its property in Orlando. Disney does not intend to build one, but the law is an example of the resort’s political leverage it had in creating the Magic Kingdom in 1971. [Williams Review]

Have a wholly cheerful day.

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February 24 Energy News

February 24, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “We Can’t Wait For Washington’s Green New Deal. California Needs Just Transition Now” • As the deadliest wildfire in a century raged in Butte County last year, leaving 85 people dead and thousands without homes, hundreds of young people filled the halls of Congress to demand a Green New Deal. The sense of urgency is long overdue. [Sacramento Bee]

Pine Grove Mobile Home Park (Hector Amezcua)

¶ “Electric Cars Are About To Absolutely Demolish Gasmobiles” • As the technologies of EVs and batteries march on, as costs, energy density, and range improve, we are getting closer to a technological crossover point. It is a point where you have to be in a truly odd case to choose a gasoline or diesel car over an electric one. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “12-Year-Old American Boy Achieves Nuclear Fusion At Home” • A 12-year-old American boy claims to be the youngest person to achieve nuclear fusion. Jackson Oswalt of Memphis, Tennessee, bought $10,000 worth of equipment with help from his parents, and he converted an old playroom into a physics lab, Fox News reported. [The Times of Israel]

Jackson Oswalt and his fusion reactor (Fox News screenshot)

World:

¶ “‘Everyone Loves Solar’ – Climate Action Heats Up As NSW Election Issue” • Voters in New South Wales, including many conservatives, want the state government to act faster on climate change, including boosting renewable energy, two separate polling sets show. An earlier election in one district also showed voter concerns. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “AMADER Announces Four Electrification Projects Powered By Renewable Energies” • The Malian authorities will invest in renewable energies, through the launch of 4 electrification projects. This program should enable Mali to achieve electrical autonomy and also increase Mali’s electrification rate, which is estimated at 19%. [AFRIK 21]

Dam (Shutterstock image)

¶ “South Africa Committed To More Renewable Power, Radebe Says” • South Africa plans to expand use of renewable power as the coal-dependent nation expects traditional, centralized generation plants to “disappear,” its Energy Minister said. Renewable power from independent producers now accounts for less than 5% of production. [Bloomberg]

¶ “Navantia Gets Nod For Kincardine Floaters” • Spanish company Navantia has won a deal fabricate five floating foundations for the 48-MW second phase of the Kincardine project off the east coast of Scotland. The company will manufacture the Principle Power-designed substructures at the Fene yard, north-western Spain. [reNEWS]

Floating wind turbine (Principle Power image)

¶ “Kuwait Launches Phase One Of Shagaya Renewable Energy Park” • The government of Kuwait announced Phase One of the Shagaya Renewable Energy Park project. The first phase is expected to generate 70 MW of power. The next two phases are expected to generate 1,500 MW each, with the final phase at 1,000 MW. [MEConstructionNews.com]

¶ “Southeast Asia’s Solar Energy ‘Cubed'” • Vietnam had no renewable projects at all in 2016. That year, it saw coal, once an export commodity, begin to be imported. It shifted significant future capacity from coal to solar, and it now has a pipeline of 40 solar projects, with a combined capacity of 2.5 GW at various stages of development. [pv magazine Australia]

Ninh Thuan province (Nguyen Thanh Quang | Wikipedia)

US:

¶ “With A Bernie Sanders Candidacy, Clean Energy Technology Is Central To Policy Discussions” • Just 24 hours after announcing his presidential bid, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders raised $6 million from more than 225,000 donors. Part of his allure is his vision of achieving clean energy while saving money for our families. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “AES Building 100-MW Battery In Arizona To Fight The Duck Curve With Solar” • Arizona Public Service signed a contract with battery supplier AES to install 100 MW of stationary storage. The battery system will allow more renewable generation to be added to the grid, with its excess power used to charge the battery for later use. [CleanTechnica]

AES battery system

¶ “US Approves Chinese Electric Cars Imported From Kandi – Price For One Supposed To Be Below $20,000” • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved two of the cars made by Kandi, a Chinese company, for US sales. One, the subcompact K22, is expected to have a starting price of less than $20,000. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “MPSC Approves Changes To DTE Energy’s MI Green Power Plan” • The Michigan Public Service Commission has approved changes to DTE Energy’s MI Green Power plan, which gives customers a way to promote renewable energy. With the MI Green Power, customers can pay extra to support renewable energy projects. [Michigan Radio]

DTE Energy solar array (DTE Energy image)

¶ “Committee OKs Bill To Make New Mexico Carbon-Free” • The Energy Transition Act, SB 489, a bill aiming to make New Mexico’s electricity generation 100% carbon-free by 2045, made it through the Senate Conservation Committee on a 5-3 “do-pass” recommendation vote after senators voted to adopt several amendments. [Albuquerque Journal]

¶ “Trump Taps Donor With Deep Coal Ties For Top UN Position” • President Trump’s pick for ambassador to the UN, Kelly Knight Craft, is a major supporter who has argued that “both sides” of the climate science debate are equally valid. She has deep ties to the coal industry. Her husband is the CEO of the third largest coal company in the US. [ThinkProgress]

Have a heartily exultant day.

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February 23 Energy News

February 23, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Political Divide On Coal Vs Renewables Is Fake News” • New polls show that all sorts of Americans, whether Democrats, Republicans, or independents, want to close the book on our dirtiest fossil fuel. From a political standpoint, it is harder than ever to defend coal consumption. Coal is by far the dirtiest fossil fuel we have. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

The Timber Road II Wind Farm in Ohio (Doral
Chenoweth III | The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

¶ “Why switching To A Green New Deal May Not Make Your Electric Bill Spike” • It’s a nearly religious point among climate-change skeptics, not least among them President Donald Trump: If America moves quickly to reduce carbon emissions, electric bills will spike and business will suffer. But utilities are already doing it, showing it can work. [CNBC]

¶ “SB 489 Is The Clean Energy Catalyst New Mexico Needs” • SB 489, the Energy Transition Act, is a bold proposal to set a state that is mostly coal-fired down a clean energy path. It balances the urgent hunger for what could be – clear skies, bright futures, good jobs that are built to last – with the reality of dependence on coal. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Sunrise in New Mexico

¶ “Trump’s Flood Insurance Flub Could Cost Us Billions” • It is no secret that the National Flood Insurance Program has been in trouble for a while. The NFIP has been in uninterrupted debt to the US Treasury Department since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. By 2016, the program owed taxpayers a whopping $23 billion. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Hurricanes Create Natural Climate Change Labs In Puerto Rico” • The hurricanes that pounded Puerto Rico in 2017, blasting away most of its forest cover, may give scientists clues to how the world will respond to climate change and increasingly severe weather. Researchers have unique opportunities to see how rain forests recover. [Laboratory Equipment]

Power plant

¶ “Africa: Fitch Advises Mining Firms To Invest In Renewable Energy” • A report published by Fitch Solutions has indicated that due to the prevalence of off-grid remote mineral deposits in Sub-Saharan Africa, mining companies operating in the region should invest in renewable energy integrated into microgrid applications. [The North Africa Post]

¶ “Ørsted’s Hornsea Project Spawns Talk Of Offshore Wind Replacing Nuclear” • Danish developer Ørsted said its Hornsea One plant, a 1.2 GW installation that started delivering power to the grid this month, could help make up for a lack of planned nuclear generation in the UK, as plans for new reactors have fallen by the wayside. [Greentech Media]

Hornsea turbine (Credit: Ørsted)

US:

¶ “As PG&E Goes Up In Flames, Renewable Energy Steps In” • Community choice aggregation entitles groups of ratepayers to band together to get more renewable energy from their local utility. With Pacific Gas & Electric in bankruptcy, however, a group of seven CCAs in California is aiming actually to become the utility. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Disney’s New 270-Acre Solar Farm Can Power Two Of Its Theme Parks” • We had news that Disney would install a 50-MW solar farm to power its theme parks last year. We now have confirmation that it has brought the new 270-acre solar farm online in Florida. The solar farm is generating power, a company statement said. [CleanTechnica]

Disney solar park in Florida

¶ “Tallahassee Targets Renewables Future” • Florida’s capital city has become the 108th in America to commit to a future powered by 100% clean energy. A resolution adopted by the Tallahassee City Commission will see Tallahassee’s municipal operations complete the shift by 2035, with the whole community getting there by 2050. [Innovators Magazine]

¶ “Climate Change Is Here. Will Tampa Bay Finally Get ready?” • A group of officials is working to figure out how the 3.1 million people who live in the coastal plain that is the Tampa Bay area should grapple with a global crisis. It may be the first time local governments have come together in a meaningful way to plan for climate change. [Tampa Bay Times]

Tampa Bay (Luis Santana | Times)

¶ “Consumers Energy Plans Another Solar Project” • Consumers Energy announced plans to develop a solar power plant in Cadillac, Michigan. The Cadillac City Council approved an agreement to allow the Michigan energy company to place solar panels on a currently vacant site that had previously been used for manufacturing. [Solar Industry]

¶ “The White House Is Going To Keep Asking The Pentagon About The Threat From Climate Change Until It Gets An Answer It Likes” • The White House is preparing to assemble a panel of experts to evaluate the threat to US national security posed by climate change, reports say. It seems not to like the reports it gets from the Pentagon. [Business Insider]

Have a superlatively exhilarating day.

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February 22 Energy News

February 22, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Plugging The Hole: How Can Solar Fill UK Nuclear’s Void?” • The UK has had something of a rocky relationship with new nuclear in the past few years, but developments in January 2019 pushed it firmly into ‘it’s complicated’ territory. The country is now scrambling for alternatives, meaning some sort of renewable energy. [Solar Power Portal]

Nuclear power plant

Science and Technology:

¶ “IEC Report States Science Doesn’t Support Wind Turbine Sound Health Claims” • As the number of wind turbines continues to grow across Iowa, researchers find little scientific evidence to support claims of health problems caused by wind turbines, according to a report from the Iowa Environmental Council. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Supply Of Food Under Threat Due To Biodiversity Loss Across The Globe: UN Report” • According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, biodiversity in food and agriculture “is indispensable to food security and sustainable development.” But biodiversity is in decline due to shocks and stresses such as climate change. [CNN]

Arctic seed storage vault

World:

¶ “EU Installs Eight Gigawatts Of Solar In 2018, Up 36%” • SolarPower Europe has published its official estimates of 2018 new solar capacity figures. They show that the EU installed 8 GW of new solar capacity in 2018, an increase of 36% over the 5.9 GW of solar capacity installed and connected to the European grid in 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners Secures Power Deals For 900 MW In Taiwan” • CIP has signed 20-year power purchase agreements with state utility Taipower for projects totaling almost 900 MW in Taiwan. The Danish developer made deals for the 300-MW Chongneng, 542-MW Changfang, and 48-MW Xidao wind farms. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (MHI Vestas image)

¶ “Wind & Solar In China Generating 2× Nuclear Today, Will Be 4× By 2030” • The example of China provides clear proof that wind and solar are a better choice than nuclear generation for mitigating global warming. The rollout of nuclear power is slowing in China, largely because nuclear power is comparatively expensive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “1.5-GW Solar, 500-MWh Battery Project Breaks Ground In Queensland” • A project with 1.5 GW of solar PV and 500 MWh of energy storage broke ground 100 km north of Brisbane, becoming Australia’s largest solar development to enter the construction phase. The project is the first for its developer, Sunshine Energy Australia. [pv magazine Australia]

Sod-turning ceremony (Smart Energy Council via Twitter)

¶ “Oz Union Urges Action On 2-GW Offshore Giant” • Project development of Australia’s first offshore wind farm has stalled because the Energy Minister failed to sign off on an exploration license needed to assess the wind resource, the Maritime Union of Australia said. The union called on the government to award the license. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “APS Plans To Add Nearly 1 GW Of New Battery Storage And Solar Resources By 2025” • Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest investor-owned utility, announced that it will add 850 MW of battery storage and at least 100 MW of solar generation by 2025. That amounts to nearly 1 GW of new clean energy capacity. [Greentech Media]

APS battery storage (APS image)

¶ “Amazon Announces “Shipment Zero” Plan To Drive Net Zero Carbon Shipments” • Online retailer and internet megalith Amazon has announced plans to make all its shipments net zero carbon under the banner “Shipment Zero.” The Seattle-based company has an interim target of making 50% of all shipments net zero by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford To Procure Michigan Wind Power” • Ford Motor Co. has announced the procurement of 500,000 MWh of locally sourced Michigan wind energy through DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program. The electricity will be used to power Ford’s Dearborn truck plant, along with several new buildings on Ford campuses in Michigan. [North American Windpower]

Wind turbine in Michigan

¶ “Trump Ends Vehicle Emissions Negotiations Before They Begin” • According to a report by Reuters, EPA head Andrew Wheeler meet with Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, two weeks ago, but there were no substantive discussions at that time. And it is clear that there have been no actions on the EPA’s part since. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maine Governor Mills, Two Environmental Groups Back Controversial $1 Billion Transmission Project” • Maine Gov Janet Mills and two environmental groups are signing on to Central Maine Power’s bid to build the New England Clean Energy Connect, a controversial new transmission line through the state’s western forests. [WBUR]

Power lines (Jesse Costa | WBUR)

¶ “Virginia Co-op Signs Up For 300 MW Of Solar” • Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative announced that it has signed a contract for the output of 300 MW of solar that DE Shaw Renewable Investments plans to build in Virginia. DESRI said that the sites have not yet been chosen but will be in the eastern part of the state. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Feds Warn: Georgia Nuclear Project Threatened By Florida Company’s Case” • JEA, a utility based Jacksonville, Florida, no longer wants to be on the hook for costs or the energy the Vogtle nuclear plant will generate when it is completed. Plant Vogtle expansion is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Have an enthrallingly splendid day.

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