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

November 12, 2019

2,720 regular daily posts, linking 35,146 articles

§ The most recent reported status of US nuclear power plants can be found at the US Nuclear Power Report, a distressingly dull account of NRC news, posted on non-holiday weekdays and Saturdays. As of November 12, out of 97 US-licensed power reactors (including Three Mile Island, which has been closed down), 2 were at reduced output and 13 not operating.

§ Video: Energy Week #344: 11/7/2019: Renewable energy could save trillions of dollars. Rising seas are threatening more people than we thought. The Keystone 1 pipeline sprung a leak. Oysters may save Hong Kong. The UK halted fracking. Trump threatened to pull aid for California fires. The US is officially pulling out of the climate accord. And there is more.


November 12 Energy News

November 12, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Here’s Your Answer When Someone Asks ‘How Can It Be So Cold If There’s Global Warming?'” • The first significant cold snap of the season hits and some people wonder what happened to global warming. Parts of the US are indeed facing record cold temperatures. But, as cold as it is, all this talk of global warming is not overblown. [CNN]

Snow storm (Rich Hein | Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Renewable Energy Gives Farmers Another Reason To Love It” • As if the case for renewable energy needs any more making, along comes a new study showing that wind and solar power are good for the water table and they could help farmers survive periods of drought. Most other electric generation technologies compete with irrigation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Trends In Green Cargo Transport” • The International Chamber of Shipping’s 2019 Annual Review says a new era is upon the shipping industry due to “radical advances in communication and internet connectivity.” The organization sees the potential to enhance the efficiency, safety, and environmental performance dramatically. [CleanTechnica]

Estraden (Norsepower courtesy image)

¶ “The Most Destructive Hurricanes Are Hitting The US More Often” • Big, destructive hurricanes are hitting the US three times more frequently than they did a century ago, according to a study. Looking at 247 hurricanes that hit the US since 1900, the researchers found the top 10% of hurricanes are happening 3.3 times more frequently. [NBCNews.com]

World:

¶ “Australia’s Deadly Bushfires Bring Threat Of ‘Long And Dangerous Day Ahead'” • Two Australian states are bracing for a day of “catastrophic” risk as firefighters battle over 100 deadly active bushfires. Clouds of smoke seen as far away as New Zealand. Queensland and New South Wales have declared a state of emergency. [CNN]

Fire in Australia (Tom Bannigan | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “Darling Downs Solar Farm Ramping Up Region’s Renewable Energy” • A $200 million solar farm at Kogan, Queensland, has joined the National Electricity Market, providing 110 MW, enough energy to power up to 36,000 homes. The Darling Downs Solar Farm, owned by APA Group, was officially opened, 45 km west of Dalby. [Queensland Country Life]

¶ “Formula 1 Launches A Plan To Become Carbon Neutral By 2030” • Formula 1 has launched a plan to become carbon neutral by 2030. The intention is to wipe out the carbon footprint of activity at race tracks, including road and air transport of staff and equipment to the events. F1 says it will offset any emissions that cannot be cut. [BBC]

Formula 1 racing (AFP)

¶ “For power utilities, demand slowdown is the worst in a decade” • Indian Thermal power generation dropped 2% in April-October this year, the first such fall in at least a decade, show data from Central Electricity Authority. Part of the fall can be attributed to healthy rainfall, which lowered the agriculture load and boosted hydro power generation. [Livemint]

¶ “Government Plans To Generate 8000 MW Of Renewable Energy By 2025” • Pakistan’s National Assembly was informed today that the government is planning to generate 8000 MW of electricity through renewable energy by 2025. The Minister for Power Division said eleven windpower projects were approved to generate affordable electricity. [Radio Pakestan]

Pakistan’s National Assembly

¶ “Mercury NZ Pours In $208 Million Extra On New Zealand’s Largest Wind Farm” • Mercury will spend another NZ$208 million ($132 million) building New Zealand’s largest wind farm near Palmerston North. It had resource consent to build up to 60 turbines, but initially erected only 33 in March. However, it will now add the remaining 27 turbines. [RNZ]

¶ “Canadian Solar Wins 191-MW Brazilian PV Double” • Canadian Solar has secured the rights to develop two PV projects in Brazil with a combined capacity of over 190 MW. The company will develop and build the 152.4-MW Gameleira project in the state of Ceara and the 38.1-MW Luiz Gonzaga plant, which is located in Pernambuco. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Canadian Solar image)

¶ “Uranium Traces Detected At Undeclared Site In Iran, Confirming Suspicions First Voiced By Israel” • The UN’s nuclear watchdog has detected uranium particles at an undeclared site in Iran, it said in its latest report on the country’s nuclear program. The report  also confirmed that Iran has ramped up uranium enrichment. [South China Morning Post]

US:

¶ “Two Rural Colorado Utilities Take Tri-State Complaints To State Regulators” • La Plata Electric Association and United Power want to provide cleaner, lower cost electricity. But they are currently limited by their contract agreement with Tri-State to generate just 5% of renewable power locally. They asked state regulators to step in. [Colorado Public Radio]

Craig Station power plant (Nate Minor)

¶ “DTE Restructures To Support Growth Of Renewable Energy Portfolio” • Michigan utility DTE Energy has made three senior executive moves that the company says are aimed at accelerating its progress toward enhancing its renewable energy business. The company expects to more than double its renewable portfolio in the next five years. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Ford Electric Vehicle Chief Sees More Products, Sales Growth” • Ford global electric vehicle chief Ted Cannis says the market for EVs is sure to grow now that his company and other automakers are rolling out new vehicles. Ford Motor Co, General Motors Co, Volkswagen AG, Tesla Inc, and others are placing big bets on the technology. [ABC News]

Have a superlatively ideal day.

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November 11 Energy News

November 11, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “As Climate Change Threatens Midwest’s Cultural Identity, Cities Test Ways to Adapt” • Think of a Minnesota with almost no ice fishing, Missouri as hot and dry as Texas, and communities on rivers where catastrophic floods happen almost every year rather than every few generations. This, scientists warn, is the future if emissions continue as they are. [InsideClimate News]

Flood in Missouri (Scott Olson | Getty Images)

¶ “Is Climate Change To Blame For Australia’s Bushfires?” • In Australia, bushfires are a regular feature of the calendar, but the blazes in New South Wales and Queensland have not previously occurred on such a scale and so early in the fire season, officials say. This has led many Australians to ask how closely the fires can be linked to climate change. [BBC]

¶ “Rising Seas, Melting Ice, Raging Fires – Why Didn’t Anybody Warn Us?” • In a recent New York Times op-ed, Eugene Linden suggests reasons why scientists have been too conservative on climate change. There have been scientists who showed that rapid changes have happened in the past and can again, but they were regarded as on the fringe. [CleanTechnica]

Melting ice (NASA image)

World:

¶ “Kenya: Counties Critical In Upscaling Renewable Energy” • In Kenya, nine million households have access to off-grid energy, shows a Ministry of Energy survey, as renewable energy accounts for about 70% of Kenya’s installed capacity compared to the global average of 24%. The counties are critical for the country’s energy supply. [AllAfrica.com]

¶ “Airlines Accused Of Hypocrisy Over ‘fuel-tankering'” • A British Airways whistleblower revealed an industry-wide practice that deliberately adds weight to flights, increasing greenhouse gas emissions. “Fuel tankering” sees planes filled with extra fuel, usually to avoid paying higher prices for refuelling at their destination airports. [BBC]

Refueling

¶ “Fukushima’s Radioactive Farmland To Become Clean-Energy Hub, Powering The Region And Tokyo Metropolitan Area” • Fukushima Prefecture, site of the nuclear disaster, is now set to have its first solar farm working in January. It is part of a $2.7 billion clean energy project that includes 600 MW of solar and wind power to be completed by March 2024. [RT]

¶ “Iran And Russia Launch New Phase Of Nuclear Power Reactor Construction” • Tehran and Moscow inaugurated a new phase of construction for a second reactor at Iran’s sole nuclear power plant in Bushehr on the Gulf coast. Officials from both countries’ nuclear programs launched the new stage at a ceremony where concrete was poured. [The Japan Times]

Pouring concrete (AFP | JIJI)

Australia:

¶ “Australia’s Climate Response Among The Worst In The G20, Report Finds” • Australia’s response to climate change is one of the worst in the G20 with a lack of policy, reliance on fossil fuels and rising emissions leaving the country exposed “economically, politically and environmentally,” according to an international report. [The Guardian]

¶ “Australia Fires: Nation Braces For ‘Most Dangerous Bushfire Week Ever Seen'” • Fire chiefs in Australia have warned of “the most dangerous bushfire week this nation has ever seen”, saying New South Wales, the country’s most populous state, faces an unprecedented “catastrophic” fire day. NSW has 60 fires, 40 of which are out of control. [The Guardian]

Fire fighting (Dan Peled | EPA)

¶ “Renewables Sector Slams New Network Pricing Proposals” • The renewable energy industry slammed the Australian Energy Market Commission’s proposed approach to transmission investment, saying it would increase the cost and complexity of connecting vital projects to the NEM, undermine investor certainty, and halt new projects. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Teslas Account For 77.7% of US Electric Vehicle Sales” • Tesla as a whole accounted for 75% of US EV sales in October and 77.7% in January through October. Aside from Tesla’s offerings, there may be only two fully electric models available at dealers in all 50 states, the Chevy Bolt and Nissan LEAF. A number of models are only sold regionally. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Bolt charging

¶ “Renewable Energy Proposals Top 75” • The Hawaiian Electric Companies’ public call for additional renewable energy resources has been answered with more than 75 proposals, as the utilities move toward fossil fuel reduction. The proposals are for projects on Hawai‘i Island, Maui and O‘ahu and include grid services such projects as for rooftop solar. [Big Island Now]

¶ “McDonald’s Unveils Two New Sustainability Initiatives That Could Power 2,500 Stores” • The sustainability plans McDonald’s announced last week, including power purchase agreements with Apex Clean Energy and Ares Management for solar and wind energy in Texas, are expected to be able to power over two thousand stores. [The Rising]

Have a gracefully prosperous day.

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November 10 Energy News

November 10, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “India Doesn’t Need To Choose Between Clean Air And Growth” • In India, air pollution causes over a million deaths annually. It increases healthcare costs and leads to the loss of productivity as people take sick days, leading to a $55 billion loss in 2013. Some people believe dealing with pollution will be bad for business. That, however, is not the case. [CNN]

New Delhi (Manish Swarup | AP)

¶ “Can States And Cities Do Enough To Fight Climate Change?” • Even though President Trump has made good on his pledge to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, there’s still a lot the US can do to help the world live up to the goals of the agreement. Cities, states, businesses and other organizations have committed to reducing emissions. [Press Herald]

¶ “Toll Of Climate Change On Greenland’s Icebergs Unnerving” • The tallest icebergs in the world were towering in front of me, pristine and glistening in the Arctic sunshine. It felt unnerving to be near them, however. The tallest of the icebergs in front of us was around 80 metres high, and the icebergs of Disko Bay were once double that height. [RTE.ie]

Iceberg (Ansgar Walk, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Has Climate News Coverage Finally Turned a Corner?” • Here is some good news, for a change, about climate change: When hundreds of newsrooms focus their attention on the climate crisis, all at the same time, the public conversation about the problem gets better: more prominent, more informative, more urgent. [DeSmog]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Thirsty Future Ahead As Climate Change Explodes Plant Growth” • By the end of the century plants could consume substantially more water, leaving less for people across North America, Europe, and Central Asia, even if it rains and snows more, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience. [National Geographic]

Forest and fresh water

World:

¶ “Testing Begins For First Offshore Wind Farm In Australia” • Scientific testing is beginning for Australia’s first proposed offshore wind farm. The Star of the South wind farm is to provide up to 2000 MW, about 18% of the state’s power demand and enough for over 1.2 million homes. The cost is to be between A$8 billion ($5.5 billion) and A$10 billion. [The Age]

¶ “Volkswagen Announces Pre-Production At Chinese Electric Vehicle factory” • Volkswagen announced that it has started pre-production of the Volkswagen ID at its first purely EV-focused factory in China. China has an EV mandate that requires car makers to produce new energy vehicles or buy credits from those that do. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen EVs in California (CleanTechnica image)

¶ “Novel Attempt To Create Awareness Among Children On Energy Conservation” • A novel attempt to create awareness among children on energy conservation that had its roots in Tirupati is now a hit across India. What’s the result? Nearly five lakh (500,000) families have successfully reduced their electric power bills. [The Hindu]

¶ “AP Photos: Indian Coal Mines Still Burning After A Century” • The fires started in 1916. More than a century later, coal pits in Jharia, in a remote corner of India’s eastern Jharkhand state, continue to spew flames and clouds of poisonous fumes into the air. Coal has contributed to economic growth in India, but that came at a cost. [Daily Inter Lake]

Flames from underground (Photo: Aijaz Rahi | AP)

¶ “France’s EDF Expects Six New Nuclear Reactors To Cost €46 Billion – Le Monde” • French power utility EDF estimates it would cost at least €46 billion ($51 billion) to build six of its latest generation EPR nuclear reactors if the government decides to build them, French newspaper Le Monde reported, citing a confidential EDF document. [Douglas Daily]

US:

¶ “‘We’re Fighting For Our Lives’ – US Apple Farmers Endure Major Crop And Profit Losses As Climate Changes” • Fruit growers like Elizabeth Ryan are trying to find ways to cope with warmer winters and unprecedented heat, rain and drought. But climate change has become an impossible financial burden for many farmers. [CNBC]

Elizabeth Ryan, orchard owner (Emma Newburger | CNBC)

¶ “Changing Energy Landscape Shakes Up Rural Co-Ops” • Kit Carson Electric Cooperative in Taos is pioneering a radical new strategy to power all of its daytime electric needs entirely with solar energy by 2022. “We expect to hit our 100% daytime solar goal by 2021, a year ahead of our original schedule,” Kit Carson’s CEO said. [Albuquerque Journal]

¶ “Lake Erie’s Green Monster: Climate Change Adds Pressure To Prevent Toxic Algal Blooms” • The multi-million-dollar battle to contain Lake Erie’s green algae has gone on for decades. Now, a new urgency involves a race with the climatological clock in the algae-enhancing impact of global warming’s greater rainfall and higher temperatures. [Cleveland.com]

Toledo water intake crib (Marvin Fong | The Plain Dealer)

¶ “Even Trump Can’t Keep Coal Companies From Declaring Bankruptcy” • The US Energy Information Administration or EIA’s data says, “between 2010 and the first quarter of 2019, US power companies announced the retirement of more than 546 coal-fired power units, totaling about 102 gigawatts of generating capacity.” [Forbes]

¶ “Did Exxon Mislead Investors About Climate-Related Risks? It’s Now Up to a Judge to Decide” • Lawyers for New York State and ExxonMobil wrapped up a landmark climate fraud trial, shaping a tangle of testimony and evidence into competing narratives on whether the oil company misled investors about the risks it faces from climate regulation. [InsideClimate News]

Have a blissfully marvelous day.

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November 9 Energy News

November 9, 2019

US Federal Reserve Bank on Climate Change:

¶ “Fed Sees Climate Change Shaping Economy, Policy” • Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said the Fed will need to look at how to keep banks and the financial system resilient amid risks from extreme weather, higher temperatures, rising sea levels, and other effects of increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. [Reuters UK]

Fed Governor Lael Brainard (Brian Snyder | Reuters file photo)

¶ “Fed: $500 Billion In Losses Show Economic Threat of Climate Change” • A Fed official warned risk managers not to ignore climate change. “The US economy has experienced more than $500 billion in direct losses over the last five years due to climate and weather-related events,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York Executive Vice President Kevin Stiroh said. [Newsmax]

¶ “Climate Change Could End Mortgages As We Know Them” • Unless we address climate change, it could punch a hole through the financial system by making 30-year home mortgages effectively unobtainable in entire regions across parts of the US. That’s according to the latest research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. [msnNOW]

Farm in Vermont (Magicpiano, Wikimedia Commons)

Opinion:

¶ “Global Leaders Are Facing One Of The Scariest Years Of Climate Change Yet” • Scientists have warned about severe global impacts from climate change for over three decades. Over the past 12 months those warnings have intensified. Reports detailing the massive consequences of global warming have come at a fast and furious pace. [Quartz]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Airships Could Return To Our Crowded Skies” • The Airlander was created by Hybrid Air Vehicles, founded in 2007. Hybrid airships emit a fraction of the pollution of conventional aircraft. Now, HAV has been given over £1 million ($1.3 million) by the UK government and industry to develop all-electric propulsion producing zero pollution. [BBC]

HAV’s Airlander (Credit: HAV)

¶ “Water Is Really Hard And Expensive To Split. These Guys Might Have A Solution” • Scientists from Trinity College Dublin teamed up to solve a problem facing clean hydrogen production. They’ve been studying ways to better catalyze splitting water, the most abundant compound in the universe, into energy-ready hydrogen. [Popular Mechanics]

World:

¶ “Australia Bushfires: Two Dead In New South Wales Blazes” • At least two people are dead and seven others missing in Australian bushfires that are called “unprecedented.” Thousands of people were evacuated, and there are reports of people trapped in their homes in several places, with rescue crews unable to reach them through the fires. [BBC]

Water-bombing helicopter (Reuters)

¶ “Europe ‘On Track’ For 53% Renewable Power By 2030 Despite Country Gaps” • A mix of policy and economics puts Europe in a solid position to source more than half of its power supply from renewables by 2030, even though not all countries will reach their targets equally as fast, according to analysis from Wood Mackenzie. [PV-Tech]

¶ “Volkswagen Has An E-Mobility Plan: Make Electric Cars For Millions, Not Millionaires” • A VW factory in Zwickau used to build Golf models. One of two production lines has been shut down and converted to electric car production. The other is scheduled to shut down next year, when it will also be converted to electric car production. [CleanTechnica]

VW evolution

¶ “Niigata Prefecture Holds First Nuclear Disaster Drill In Five Years” • The Niigata prefectural government and others held a disaster drill on the assumption of an earthquake-triggered severe accident at TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear station. It was the first nuclear disaster drill held by the prefecture government in five years. [Nippon.com]

¶ “EU Finance Ministers Call For End To Fossil Fuel Funding” • The EU’s finance ministers urged the European Investment Bank and other international lending institutions, to halt their funding for oil, gas, and coal projects in a push to address climate change. It is the first time European finance ministers have taken such a stand. [Taiwan News]

Fossils fueling climate change

US:

¶ “Legislators Revisit Landmark Energy Law For New Mexico” • Leading legislators lashed out at the utility regulators of New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission and rallied around a landmark energy law that would divest the state’s main investor-owned utility from a coal-fired plant and guide new investments in renewable energy. [Las Cruces Sun-News]

¶ “The Permian Paradox: Texas Shale Players Go Green To Drill More” • As the thirst for electricity to power drilling rigs in West Texas drives the state’s energy needs to new highs, oil and gas companies are increasingly relying on wind and solar power to ensure that the shale boom continues. Occidental Petroleum Corp is an example. [Reuters]

Permian Basin wind turbines (Nick Oxford | Reuters file photo)

¶ “Navy In Europe Aims To Boost Renewable Power, Secure Energy Sources From Threats” • The US Navy’s three biggest bases in Europe are undergoing a multimillion dollar retrofit to boost energy efficiency and create alternative power sources in case the main grid is disabled by an adversary, natural disaster or storm. [Stars and Stripes]

¶ “In Napa Valley, Winemakers Fight Climate Change On All Fronts” • Every wine region has had to deal with some effect of climate change, but few outside Napa Valley have had to deal with as many devastating consequences. Climate change is blamed for extreme summer heat, an untimely cold snap, wildfires, and drought. [Forbes India]

Have spectacularly splendid day.

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November 8 Energy News

November 8, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Colorado’s Cleanest Energy Options Are Also Its Cheapest” • Of all the states in the US, Colorado may be the best prepared for a genuine, large-scale energy transition. Colorado has enormous potential for renewable energy, most of which is as yet untapped. Gov Jared Polis campaigned on a promise to target 100% clean electricity by 2040. [Vox]

Wind turbines in Colorado (US DOE image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Go With The Flow: Scientists Design Better Batteries For A Renewable Energy Grid” • Berkeley Lab researchers developed a versatile yet affordable polymer flow battery membrane that can be used to make possible long-lasting and low-cost grid batteries based solely on readily available materials such as zinc, iron, and water. [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory]

¶ “Safran’s New Aviation Electric Motors – CleanTechnica Interview” • Safran SA recently introduced a portfolio of aviation electric motors called ENGINeUS. It was introduced at NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas, where I spoke with Hervé Blanc, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Electrical Systems and Motors Division. [CleanTechnica]

Safran display at NBAA-BACE 2019 (Photo: Nicolas Zart)

World:

¶ “Toyota And BYD Form Joint Venture To Manufacture Electric Cars In China” • Toyota and BYD have formed a new jointly owned company to develop battery electric vehicles for the Chinese market. According to a joint press release, the new enterprise will be owned 50–50 by both companies and is set to begin operations next year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind And Solar Kill Coal And Nuclear On Costs, Says Latest Lazard Report” • The cost of wind and solar continue to decline and are now at the point where they beat, or at least match, even the marginal costs of coal-fired generation and nuclear power, according to the 13th and latest edition of Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis. [RenewEconomy]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Australia Bushfires: Record Number Of Emergencies In New South Wales” • Australian authorities say an “unprecedented” number of emergency-level bushfires have threatened the state of New South Wales. More than 90 blazes were raging across the state, and these are exacerbated by gusty winds and up to 35°C (95°F) heat. [BBC]

¶ “Africa Poised To Lead Way In Global Green Revolution, Says Report” • Africa is poised to lead the world’s cleanest economic revolution by using renewable energy to power a massive spread of urbanisation, says an IEA report. The report forecasts that Africa’s appetite for energy will grow at double the rate of the global average. [The Guardian]

Solar system in Eritrea (Sfm Gm World | Alamy Stock Photo)

¶ “Renewable Arm Of Tata Power Receives The LOA To Develop A 150-MW Solar Project” • Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power, has received the Letter of Award from Tata Power-Distribution to develop a 150-MW solar project in Maharashtra. Tata Power’s renewable portfolio is currently 2,628 MW. [Mercom India]

¶ “Haliade-X Starts Spinning” • GE Renewable Energy’s 12-MW Haliade-X offshore wind turbine has started turning to generate its first power. The turbine, installed in Rotterdam-Maasvlakte, will now progress to the testing phase, said the manufacturer. During testing will be carried out to obtain a type certificate for the Haliade-X in 2020. [reNEWS]

Haliade-X spinning (GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “Nuclear Regulator Says Cost-Cutting Culture Creating Mistakes, Delays At Fukushima Plant” • In response to safety and cost issues, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority is carrying out a survey into whether the operator has sufficient staff working on the project, and is seeking to have TEPCO’s board improve its preparations. [The Mainichi]

US:

¶ “McDonald’s Loving Texas Wind” • Global fast food giant McDonald’s has negotiated a virtual power purchase agreement with Apex Clean Energy and Ares Management Corporation for part of the output from the Aviator wind farm in Texas. The deal covers 220 MW from Aviator Wind West, which will have total capacity of 525 MW. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Apex Clean Energy image)

¶ “Rocky Mountain Institute Claims New Gas Generating Stations And Pipelines Are Tomorrow’s Stranded Assets” • Rocky Mountain Institute issued a report titled “A Bridge Backward?” It  says investment in new natural gas plants and distribution facilities will become an albatross around the neck of investors sooner rather than later. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Engie Breaks Ground On Texas Mega-Solar” • Engie North America has started construction of the 225-MW Long Draw solar farm in Texas. The project, which is located in Borden County, is slated to come online in the summer of 2020. It has a 15-year power purchase agreement with four Texas communities for 100% of its power. [reNEWS]
Engie solar system (Engie image)

¶ “US Energy Dept Has A Solar Power Message For Coal: Get Lost!” • Coal has been dying during Secretary Perry’s tenure, thanks in part to his agency’s promotion of renewable energy. Perry will resign later this year, but after the DOE pushes out another round of R&D funding aimed at pushing the cost of solar power far below the cost of coal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In Honolulu, An Ambitious Plastics Reduction Bill Is Moving Through City Council” • Currently there is a little bill with big impact making its way through the Honolulu City Council, and it’s set to make history. Bill 40, which has already passed two readings in the Council, is set to be one of the most ambitious plastic bills in the country. [CleanTechnica]

Have a magically magnificent day.

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November 7 Energy News

November 7, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Another Energy Tech Breakthrough Involving Jellyfish” • Jellyfish may very well have the power to save the planet. The marine creatures have long been studied for their potential to help combat major diseases from cancer to Alzheimer’s, but now they can help us with something that affects everyone on the planet: energy. [OilPrice.com]

Jellyfish (Dan90266, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Italy To Become First Country To Make Learning About Climate Change Compulsory For School Students” • From next year, Italian school students in every grade will be required to study climate change and sustainability. The lessons will be built into existing civics classes. Italy would like to make itself a world leader in environmental education. [CNN]

¶ “Order To Ban Extinction Rebellion Protests In London Unlawful, Court Rules” • London’s Metropolitan Police imposed the four-day ban on October 14, prohibiting any assembly of more than two people linked to the Extinction Rebellion protests called the “Autumn Uprising.” London’s high court has ruled that the order was unlawful. [CNN]

Extinction Rebellion demonstration

¶ “Investors Are Dumping Oil. So Why Would Anyone Buy Saudi Aramco?” • Demand growth for crude is slowing, which is an inconvenient truth for bankers pitching the Saudi Aramco IPO at a valuation of up to $2 trillion. Institutional investors are under growing pressure to ditch the oil assets they already own, and the investment case for Aramco seems weak. [CNN]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Powers Google In Sweden” • Siemens Gamesa has secured an order to supply its turbines for a 254-MW wind farm that will power Google’s data center in Sweden. The Stavro wind farm, in north Sweden, will use 62 turbines rated at 4.1-MW to supply Google and other customers. It is expected online by the end of 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Engie To Invest In 2 GW Of Australian Renewable Energy Projects” • Engie, based in France, is developing an investment fund in Australia to support 2,000 MW of solar and wind projects over the next 10 years, Reuters reported. Augustin Honorat, CEO of Engie Australia and New Zealand, said that investors appear to have particular interest. [EnerCom Inc]

¶ “Battery Supply Constraints On The World Market And Electricity Blackouts Spur South African Battery Assembly” • After the Powerwall’s launch, problems soon arose from the seemingly insatiable demand. There were not enough of the batteries for America, let alone Africa. Three startups intend to keep the lights on in South Africa. [CleanTechnica]

Freedomwon 5 kWh LiFePO₄ battery (Remeredzai Kuhudzai)

¶ “Japan Accused Of Trying To Justify Nuclear Dump” • Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace, said a Japanese government claim that it will soon run out of room at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power to store contaminated water plant is not true, and is simply an attempt to justify discharging polluted water into the Pacific Ocean. [Taipei Times]

¶ “GE Inaugurates Cherbourg Blade Plant” • GE Renewable Energy has officially inaugurated the LM Wind Power blade factory in Cherbourg, France. The facility will combine the manufacture of 107-meter long blades for the Haliade-X 12-MW offshore wind turbine and other blade models for its customers in France and abroad. [reNEWS]

Cherbourg Blade Plant (GE image)

US:

¶ “Walmart Is Re-Energizing Tesla Solar Systems After Settling Lawsuit With Tesla” • Reuters reported that Walmart and Tesla have settled a lawsuit Walmart filed in July, claiming that Tesla solar panels caught fire on the roof of seven stores in the US. In a court filing, Walmart voluntarily discontinued without prejudice, dropping the lawsuit. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Massive Wind Turbine Blade Arrives In Massachusetts For Testing” • A 107-meter-long wind turbine blade was moved to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Wind Technology Testing Center for testing. The blade, designed to be used on GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X 12MW offshore wind turbine, is to be subjected to a series of fatigue tests. [CNBC]

Turbine blade (Aram Boghosian | GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “Electric Moped Startup Revel Secures $27.6 Million In New Funding” • Electric moped startup Revel, based in New York, recently secured $27.6 million in new funding. The EV sharing startup already has more than 1,400 electric mopeds operating in its Brooklyn, Queens, Washington, DC, and Austin, Texas service areas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Natural Gas Fracking Boom Turns Bust For Big Fracker” • Chesapeake Energy was among the first to take advantage of the natural gas fracking free-for-all sparked last year, when the Trump* administration opened up more public lands for drilling. Now Chesapeake is blaming the supply glut for its current predicament, which is pretty bad. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “EDP Renewables, Shell Energy North America Sign 200 MW Solar Project” • EDP Renewables SA, through its fully owned subsidiary EDP Renewables North America LLC, and Shell Energy North America, have closed on a 15-year power purchase agreement for 200 MW that will bring the Sandrini Solar Park to Kern County, California. [ESI Africa]

¶ “AES And Google Form Clean Power Team” • AES Corporation is entering into a 10-year strategic alliance with Google to accelerate the growth and adoption of clean energy. They will leverage Google Cloud technology to pioneer innovation in the sector an to develop and implement solutions that enable broad adoption of clean energy. [reNEWS]

Have an awesomely orderly day.

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November 6 Energy News

November 6, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Last Month Was The Warmest October On Record Globally. Here’s What It Means For Climate Change” • The Copernicus Climate Change Service, which analyzes temperature data from around the planet, said October 2019 was 0.69°C (1.24°F) warmer globally than the average of all the Octobers in the 30-year span from 1981-2010. [CNN]

Warm October in New York (Spencer Platt | Getty Images) 

¶ “11,000 Scientists Warn Of ‘Untold Suffering’ Caused By Climate Change” • More than 11,000 researchers from around the world issued a grim warning of the “untold suffering” that will be caused by climate change if humanity doesn’t change its ways. The group said that as scientists, they have the “moral obligation to tell it like it is.” [CNN]

¶ “Nuclear Fusion Is ‘A Question Of When, Not If'” • Prospects for developing nuclear fusion as a feasible source of energy have significantly improved, say experts. And the UK government has recently announced an investment of £200 million to deliver electricity from a fusion reactor by 2040. But critics say huge hurdles remain. [BBC News]

Natural nuclear fusion energy source (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Turkey Generates 46% Of Electricity From Renewable Resources” • Renewable energy resources have accounted for 46% of Turkey’s electricity generation so far this year, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said. Officials said that the proportion of wind power is too low, however, and they want to increase it. [Daily Sabah]

¶ “Transitioning India’s Economy To Clean Energy” • While the Trump Administration officially started the process to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement, India is making strong progress toward its Paris commitments. While much more work is needed, India is one of the few countries that are compatible with a 2°C goal. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Mainstream Raises $580 Million For Chile Wind And Solar Projects” • Mainstream Renewable Power, the emerging markets-focused green energy company founded by entrepreneur Eddie O’Connor, has raised $580 million (€522 million) of debt for key Chilean wind and solar projects under the company’s biggest financing deal. [Irish Times]

¶ “BayWa re Builds Netherland’s Largest Floating Solar Farm” • BayWa re and Dutch partner GroenLeven, have successfully built a floating solar park in the record time of only six weeks. The Sekdoorn project in the Netherlands, near the city of Zwolle, has a capacity of 14.5 MWp, enough to power almost 4,000 local households. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Floating solar farm (BayWa re image)

¶ “GE To supply 715-MW Chinese Mega-Farm” • GE Renewable Energy and China Huaneng Group are to build a 715-MW wind farm at Puyang in Henan province, China. The deal, which is GE’s largest-ever wind order in Asia, is for 286 of the company’s 2.5-132 turbines with 130-meter soft steel towers. The developer is China Huaneng. [reNEWS]

Australia:

¶ “Answer To Renewable Power’s Top Problem Emerges In The Outback” • Early next year, one of the first power projects that combine solar and wind generation with battery storage is planned to start up in Queensland. The Kennedy Energy Park will combine 43 MW of wind and 20 MW of solar with a 2-MW Tesla battery. [Yahoo Canada Finance]

Outback

¶ “L’oréal Australia Taps South Australia Wind Farm To Go 100% Renewable” • The Australian arm of French cosmetics giant L’Oréal signed a deal with the French-owned Engie Australia and New Zealand. The five-year deal will see L’Oréal Australia buy certificates and power from Engie’s 119-MW Willogoleche Wind Farm in South Australia. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “Australia’s Main Grid Reaches 50% Renewables For First Time” • On National Electricity Market, the combined output of rooftop solar, large-scale wind, and large-scale solar reached 50.2% of the near 25 GW being produced during one trading period. The NEM supplies Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. [RenewEconomy]

Meralli Solar’s Baroota solar farm

US:

¶ “Trouble Ahead for Natural Gas?” • FERC’s figures for proposed new capacity indicates a decrease of about 20% per year during August 2017 to August 2019. Extrapolating the data suggests that proposed new additions could drop to the point that they no longer exceed retirements by 2025. And market pressure could make this happen. [Green Energy Times]

¶ “eBay Teams Up With Apple, Samsung Austin Semiconductor And Sprint On A Renewable Energy Project” • eBay announced an agreement to purchase renewable energy with Apple, Sprint, and Samsung. The joint virtual power purchase agreement will buy 75 MW from Apex Clean Energy’s White Mesa Wind Project in Crockett County, Texas. [CSRwire.com]

Apex Clean Energy wind farm (Apex Clean Energy)

¶ “Rochester Wants Renewable Power For The People” • Mayor Lovely Warren submitted legislation authorizing a community choice aggregation program to City Council of Rochester, New York. The program should save residents and small businesses money on power bills while also moving to a climate-friendly electricity supply. [Rochester City Newspaper]

¶ “Maine Floater Secures PPA Approval” • The Maine Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a power purchase agreement for the 12-MW Aqua Ventus 1 floating offshore wind farm. The two-turbine Aqua Ventus 1, which is being developed by the University of Maine, will be the first US commercial-scale floating offshore wind farm. [reNEWS]

Have an utterly superb day.

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November 5 Energy News

November 5, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Fact-Checking Trump’s California Wildfire Criticism” • As wildfires swept across California, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to criticize the state’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, for the way his administration has handled the crises. Here’s a breakdown of the President’s most recent accusations and the facts behind them. [CNN]

House on fire (Noah Berger | AP)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Oil And Gas Majors Must Cut Output 35% By 2040 To Reach Paris Targets” • A report from independent financial think tank Carbon Tracker concluded that the world’s seven leading oil and gas majors must cut production by an average of 35% by 2040 if global emissions are to be kept “well below” 2°C, in accordance with the Paris Agreement. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Satellites Are Key To Monitoring Ocean Carbon” • We need to know how much CO₂ stays in the atmosphere and how much becomes stored in the oceans or on land. The oceans in particular have helped to slow climate change as they absorb and then store the carbon for thousands of years. We can monitor changes in CO₂ with satellites. [Newswise]

Tonga (Copernicus Sentinel data processed by ESA)

World:

¶ “Citroën Commits To Fully Electric Light Commercial Vehicle Lineup By 2025” • Citroën has led in the light commercial space for years and is kicking off an effort to convert 100% of its light commercial vehicles and their passenger vehicle counterparts to electric. The company sees electric vehicles as “an important driver for Citroën’s growth.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DTEK Delivers 100 MW Ukrainian Second Helping” • Ukraine energy company DTEK has commissioned the second 100-MW phase of Prymorska wind farm, bringing total operational capacity at the facility to 200 MW, according to the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association. The project features 52 GE wind turbines. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine in the Ukraine (UWEA image)

¶ “Karusa And Soetwater Wind Farms Start Construction” • Enel, through its renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA, has started construction of the Karusa and Soetwater wind farms, with an installed capacity of 140 MW each. The plants are located in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. They are expected to be completed by the end of 2021. [ESI Africa]

¶ “South Australia’s Stunning Renewable Energy Transition, And What Comes Next” • South Australia dumped coal and sources more than half its generation from wind and solar. It is now a net exporter rather than an importer of electricity. It plans to have “net 100%” renewable energy in a decade, and a multiple of that in the future. [RenewEconomy]

Tesla battery at the Hornsdale wind farm

India:

¶ “Supreme Court Calls Chief Secretaries Of 3 States, Says People Can’t Be Left To Die” • At a marathon hearing on air pollution, India’s Supreme Court passed a slew of directions on the air pollution plaguing the country. It threatened to penalize officials at all levels and said, “You can postpone the Assembly; people cannot be left to die.” [The Hans India]

¶ “The Perfect Storm Fueling New Delhi’s Deadly Pollution” • A potent combination of pollutants, agricultural practices, weather conditions, and geography has shrouded India’s capital in a toxic, throat-searing cloud of brown smog. This type of severe seasonal increase in smog has become all too familiar over the past few years. [CNN]

Cyclist in New Delhi (Adnan Abidi | Reuters)

¶ “Tata Power And Partner Create World’s Largest Microgrid Firm” • In India, Tata Power has partnered with the Rockfeller Foundation to launch what is called the world’s largest microgrid developer. TP Renewable Microgrid will partner with local organizations to address the lack of access to affordable, reliable, clean energy among Indians. [Smart Energy]

US:

¶ “Google Workers Pen Open Letter To Company Demanding Climate Action” • In an open letter addressed to Google CFO Ruth Porat, over 1,100 of the company’s workers are asking for a climate plan. The plan incorporates specific requests that have similarly been set by workers at other tech companies, including Amazon and Microsoft. [CNN]

Google workers (Dina Litovsky | CNN)

¶ “US Begins Formal Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord” • The Trump administration announced that it will begin formally withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accord, the first step in a year-long process to back out of the agreement to reduce emissions of planet-warming gases. Trump is working to reduce federal regulations on pollution. [CNN]

¶ “More Solar Panels For DOD, One More Stab In The Back For Coal” • It looks like the Kentucky Air National Guard is tired of waiting around for the local utility to ditch coal. The 123rd Airlift Wing proudly announced plans for new rooftop solar panels, aimed at reducing its reliance on fossil fuels. The new project is a money-saver, too. [CleanTechnica]

PVs planned for the 123rd Airlift Wing (Philip Speck | DOD)

¶ “Southern Florida Among Spots At Greater Risk Due To Sea Level Rise, Finds New Machine Learning Study” • We have a very high confidence that we’ll see 8-12 inches of sea level rise by 2050. But elevations along coast lines were not really well understood, a study shows. And some places, such as southern Florida, are facing problems. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Feds Exempt Shuttered Pilgrim From Emergency Requirements” • Federal regulators have signed off on a request to exempt the now-closed Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station from certain emergency planning and preparedness requirements, the NRC announced. US Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) called the move “shocking.” [WBUR]

Have an exceedingly delightful day.

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November 4 Energy News

November 3, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Fossil Fuel Industry Misled Americans Deliberately About Climate Change” • For decades, the fossil fuel industry has subjected Americans to a well-funded disinformation campaign about the reality and severity of human-caused climate change. The purpose of this is to delay climate action and thereby protect fossil fuel business interests. [ThePrint]

Cooling towers (Flickr image)

¶ “As EU Debate Over Role Of Gas Builds, Methane Emerges As Europe’s Climate Blind Spot” • The EU is ignoring an urgent climate issue in its natural gas supply chain, a new policy brief by Environmental Defense Fund says. The problem is methane, a climate pollutant over 84 times as powerful as CO₂ over a 20-year timespan. [Environmental Defense Fund]

World:

¶ “Electric Aviation Company Scylax Forms Joint Venture With German Regional Airline” • Scylax GmbH, based in Munich, has entered into a joint venture with the East Frisian FLN airline for electric aircraft. The idea is to replace the airline’s current fleet of gas-powered BN-2 Norman Britten Islanders with the all-electric Scylax E10s. [CleanTechnica]

Scylax airplane (Credit: Scylax)

¶ “GCC To Create $76 Billion In Cost Savings From Renewable Energy Adoption By 2030” • The Gulf Cooperation Council is rapidly adopting renewable energy and has plans to continue to do so. A report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency predicts that the GCC could see savings of $76 billion by 2030 because of this. [Utilities Middle East]

¶ “Egypt: PPA Signed For A 200-MW Kom Ombo PV Plant” • Saudi Arabian energy company ACWA Power has signed a power purchase agreement  with the government of Egypt to develop, finance, construct and operate the Kom Ombo PV plant. The plant will have a capacity of 200 MW, which is enough to power about 130,000 households. [ESI Africa]

Solar array

¶ “EU’s New List Of Energy Projects Includes 32 Gas Facilities” • The EU says it wants to get out of fossil fuels and become climate neutral as soon as possible. But the European Commission’s latest list of energy projects eligible for EU funding includes 32 gas projects, including the construction of new LNG terminals, EURACTIV Germany reports. [EURACTIV]

India:

¶ “Delhi Air Quality: Severe Pollution Prompts Car Rationing” • The Indian capital, Delhi, has launched a car rationing system as it battles hazardous levels of pollution. However, cars are not believed to be the main cause of Delhi’s toxic air, and experts point instead to crop burning by farmers in neighbouring states to clear fields. [BBC]

Woman with a mask

¶ “Flights Diverted As New Delhi Chokes On Heavy Pollution” • Flights were delayed in and out of New Delhi’s international airport because of pollution that left the Indian capital blanketed with heavy smog. Visibility was so poor that 37 flights were diverted to other airports. Delhi’s Chief Minister called the pollution “unbearable.” [CNN]

¶ “OPIC Has Invested $350 Million In Renewable Sources In India: US State Department” • Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which is a development finance institution of the US government, has invested $350 million in six new solar and wind-power generation facilities in India, according to the US Department of State. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar park in India

US:

¶ “US Renewable Energy Generating Capacity To Grow By 47 GW – FERC Data” • According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data just released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, we are to see net decreases in generating capacities of fossil fuels and nuclear in the next three years. Renewables are expected to grow by 47 GW, however. [pvbuzz media]

¶ “California Fires: Trump Threatens To Pull Federal Aid” • President Donald Trump has threatened to cut federal funding for the wildfires sweeping California, in a Twitter spat with the state’s governor. Nearly 100,000 acres have been destroyed by wildfires in recent weeks, and thousands have been forced from their homes. [BBC]

Fire in California (AFP)

¶ “US Annual Wind Operations And Maintenance Spending To Reach $7.5 Billion” • The US is expected to increase its annual spending on the operations and maintenance of wind energy infrastructure by 50% between 2018 and 2030, according to IHS Markit. This would put the amount at $7.5 billion by the end of that time. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Trump Now Has Opening To Pull US Out Of Paris Climate Pact” • The terms of the Paris Climate Pact say no country can withdraw in the first three years. Today, the Trump actually start the withdrawal process, which begins with a letter to the UN. It would not be official for another year, which ends the day after the next US election. [ABC 57 News]

Have a wonderfully merry day.

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November 3 Energy News

November 3, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Trump Stymies California Climate Efforts Even As State Burns” • Wildfires are burning across California, and scientists say they have been made worse by a changing climate. “We’re waging war against the most destructive fires in our state’s history, and Trump is conducting a full-on assault against the antidote,” Gov Gavin Newsom said. [msnNOW]

Kincade fire (© Eric Thayer for The New York Times)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Joi Scientific’s Perpetual Hydrogen Illusion Comes Tumbling Down” • Over the past few years, a company based out of Florida, Joi Scientific, has gained millions in investment and headlines for its perpetual motion hydrogen claims. This week, the company reportedly admitted to investors that its technology doesn’t work at all. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hong Kong Oysters Served Up As Natural Defence Against Flooding Caused By Climate Change” • Environmentalists believe oysters could play a key role in protecting Hong Kong’s coastlines from the effects of climate change, including the rise in sea levels and increasingly damaging flooding brought about by extreme storms. [Yahoo Singapore News]

Joe Cheung Ho-yi, conservation education manager
at The Nature Conservancy (Photo: Jonathan Wong)

World:

¶ “Asia ‘Coal Addiction’ Must End, UN Chief Warns” • The chief of the United Nations has warned Asia to quit its “addiction” to coal in a bid to tackle climate change. UN Secretary General António Guterres said countries in the region were among the most vulnerable to global warming and should be on the “front line” of efforts to stop it. [BBC]

¶ “UK Halts All Fracking Operations In The Country” • The UK government issued an order halting all fracking operations in the country effective immediately. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland already had measures against fracking. UK Government ministers also warned shale gas companies that it will not support future fracking projects. [CleanTechnica]

Fracking (Nicholas A. Tonelli | Flickr)

¶ “19 Renewable Energy Power Plants To Be Commissioned In Iran” • By the end of this Iranian year (which began March 21, 2019), 19 renewable energy power plants will be commissioned in ten Iranian provinces, according to a spokesperson for Iran’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization, Trend reports via IRNA. [EnerCom Inc]

¶ “Vietnam Needs To Act In Mekong Delta As Land Sinking, Seas Rising: Experts” • The Mekong Delta, which spreads over 40,577 square kilometers (15,670 square miles), has been a rice bowl and aquaculture hub. The latest reports say that while the sea is rising, the delta is subsiding, and it will disappear sooner than expected. [VnExpress International]

Makeshift embankment (Photo: Thanh Nguyen | VnExpress)

¶ “Analyst Discusses Reporting Hack Of Computer System At Indian Nuclear Reactor” • A report of hackers gaining access to an Indian nuclear power plant’s computer network led to alarm, confusion, and denial before officials admitted it happened. The threat analyst who reported the issue was at a unique vantage point in the news cycle. [Security Boulevard]

US:

¶ “Triumph And Jaunt Partner To Design, Develop, Certify, And Build Full-Scale Demonstrator” • Jaunt Air Mobility and the Triumph Group announced at the 2019 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition that they would cooperate to design, build, and certify a full-scale demonstrator aircraft. They have a very unusual aircraft design. [CleanTechnica]

Jaunt Air Mobility display (Photo: Nicolas Zart)

¶ “Utility Adds 2.5 MW Of Demand Response Capabilities With Very Unusual ‘Batteries'” • Hawaiian Electric added 2.5 MW of grid services, allowing it to store energy during peak solar and wind production periods. This required no traditional batteries, flywheels, or pumped hydro, using hardware that is already in place in every residential grid. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Cranberry Farmers See Solar Promise” • Falling cranberry prices and ongoing trade wars have America’s cranberry industry eyeing a possible new savior: solar power. Some of the cranberry farmers in Massachusetts, the nation’s second-largest grower after Wisconsin, propose to install solar PVs above the bogs they harvest each fall. [Arkansas Online]

Dick Ward of Carver, Mass, at his cranberry bog

¶ “All Eyes On New Community Solar Power Program In Wappingers Falls, New York” • Ratepayers of Wappingers Falls, New York, have an opportunity to save up to 10% on their utility bills thanks to a new community solar power program. However, even with the savings, getting ratepayers to opt into a renewable energy plan can be challenging. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nebraska Has Bright Renewable Energy Future, Leaders Say” • Nebraska has lagged in wind power, but that is changing. The state tied Rhode Island last year for the biggest year-over-year percentage gain in wind power capacity (39%) and ranked fifth for overall installation growth with more than 500 MW added during the year. [KPVI News 6]

Wind turbine and farmstead (Tim Hynds | Sioux City Journal)

¶ “Critics Dispute Benefits Of Danskammer Upgrades” • A new natural-gas fired power plant has been proposed for Newburgh, New York. Danskammer Energy claims the plant will off-set air pollution from older power generators. Environmentalists look at the situation differently, saying the move goes in exactly the wrong direction. [Times Herald-Record]

¶ “Activists At PG&E Rally Call On State Leaders To Invest In Renewable Energy” • Dozens of activists rallied outside the PG&E office in San Francisco, calling on state leaders to take action against climate change. They want Gov Gavin Newsom to divest from the fossil fuel industry and support clean energy programs and grid resiliency. [SFGate]

Have a surprisingly amusing day.

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November 2 Energy News

November 2, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Katherine Hayhoe Explains The Strange Disconnect Between Evangelical Christians And Climate Science” • Katherine Hayhoe is both an evangelical Christian and co-director of the Climate Center at Texas Tech University. She explained in an opionion piece how to resolve the conflict in America between climate science and evangelical Christians. [CleanTechnica]

Katherine Hayhoe (Credit: YouTube)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Penn State Researchers Say A 10-Minute EV Recharge Is Possible With New Battery Technology” • Researchers at Penn State claim they found a way to recharge an EV in ten minutes and are targeting five minute recharging times in the near future. The trick is to heat the battery rapidly and then cool it back down quickly. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Millions Of Masks Distributed To Students In ‘Gas Chamber’ Delhi” • Five million masks are being distributed at schools in India’s capital, Delhi, after pollution made the air so toxic officials were forced to declare a public health emergency. A Supreme Court-mandated panel imposed restrictions, as air quality deteriorated to “severe” levels. [BBC]

Hospital patients in Gurgaon (Getty Images)

¶ “Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Says Company May Purchase Technology From Tesla” • FCA CEO Michael Manley announced that his company would consider buying a skateboard or rolling chassis from Tesla to serve as the basis for electric cars from a new alliance between FCA and PSA Group, parent company of Peugeot and Citroen. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind Powers Heerema Crane Vessels” • Heerema is involved in a project in the Dutch port of Rotterdam to use electricity generated by wind turbines in place of diesel generators for the power needs of its moored crane vessels. The aim of the project is to establish the feasibility of supplying shore-based clean electricity to large seagoing vessels. [reNEWS]

Heerema crane vessels (Heerema image)

¶ “Solar Electricity Can Retail For $0.027 To $0.036/kWh As Renewables Close In On Global Grid Parity” • The levelized cost of energy for solar and wind power continues to decline and has already reached parity with wholesale power prices in California, China, and parts of Europe, according to the latest report from BloombergNEF. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Diesel Vehicles Cancelled Out Cuts From Renewable Energy” • In Australia, greenhouse gas emissions from diesel-powered cars, utes (utility cars), and vans have risen sharply since 2011, effectively cancelling out the cut in pollution from new renewable energy that are replacing some coal-burning plants. [The Guardian]

Traffic (Photo: Dave Hunt | AAP)

¶ “Russia’s State-Owned Nuclear Giant Is Targeting Africa for its Growth” • Rosatom Corp is eyeing Africa as a priority regions to build more nuclear reactors and expand its business. Russia has signed over a dozen intergovernmental agreements on the continent in recent years and Rosatom is cooperating with more than 20 African countries. [Bloomberg]

¶ “China Is Bankrolling Green Energy Projects Around the World” • Not only is China today the world’s largest producer of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and electric vehicles, but it has also been the top investor in clean energy for nine out of the last ten years, according to the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. [Time]

Geothermal power station in Kenya
(Michael Gottschalk | Photothek | Getty Images)

US:

¶ “NASA And Uber Working On Our Urban Air Mobility Future” • NASA and Uber are working on urban air mobility needs. The focus is on the future for city transport for both people and packages transported by air. NASA is partnering with Uber on unmanned aircraft systems traffic management systems Uber would use for ride shares. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Great Lakes Offshore Wind: Possibility Or Pipe Dream?” • The end of a regulatory odyssey to get approval for what would be the first US freshwater offshore wind farm is now within sight for developers. Final approval is needed from the Ohio Power Siting Board for the 20.7-MW Icebreaker project, about 8 miles from downtown Cleveland in Lake Erie. [E&E News]

Ice-hardened wind farm in Finland (@Hyotytuuli, Facebook)

¶ “Nervous And Scared: Coal Workers Fear For Pensions After Murray Energy Bankruptcy” • Murray Energy’s bankruptcy puts an exclamation point on the stunning downfall of America’s coal industry. The last major company making contributions to the United Mine Workers of America’s pension plan, the company says pensions have to be dialed back. [CNN]

¶ “Native American Leaders Turn To Solar To Power Their Communities” • Over 40% of the people living in the Pine Ridge reservation have no access to electricity. And it’s hard for many Native Americans in the region to afford heating and cooling. Local renewable energy is one solution. It is also an answer to the problem of climate change. [alleghenyfront.org]

Demonstrating for the Earth (Jared Murphy | 90.5 WESA)

¶ “Solar, Energy Efficiency To Drive Drops In Load And Peak Demand Over Next Ten Years, ISO-NE Says” • ISO New England expects declining annual load and summer peak demand through 2028, largely due to solar and energy efficiency additions, its ten year system outlook says. But grid modernization efforts will be necessary, as well. [Utility Dive]

¶ “EDF Sues Interior, NOAA, NASA For Failure To Release Public Records Of Trump Administration Attacks On Climate Science” • EDF is suing to obtain public records of Trump administration efforts to undermine climate science. Three federal agencies failed to make the records available as required by the Freedom of Information Act. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Have a luxuriously brilliant day.

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November 1 Energy News

November 1, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Utilities Wield Bad Science To Stunt Clean Energy” • The climate crisis is already negatively affecting the lives of millions of Americans. Renewable energy has been growing across the US in response, but it is being opposed by big utilities that are pulling out all the stops to block a transformational shift to planet-friendly power. [Utility Dive]

Renewable energy

¶ “Polls Vs Trolls: How Koch Industries Distorts EV Incentive Debate” • The American Energy Alliance did a poll it said was designed to determine the level of support among voters for EV incentives. It asked such questions as “How much you would be willing to pay each year to support the purchase of electric vehicles by other consumers.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Coal Power Is Bleeding Cold, Hard Cash (Thank You, Captain Obvious)” • Carbon Tracker looked at the viability of the EU’s coal fleet in a report it called Apocalypse Now. It says 79% of the EU’s coal power plants are losing money. Carbon Tracker concludes that without significant subsidies, there will be no hard coal or lignite power in the EU by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

E.ON power plant (Marcusroos, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Stronger Renewable Energy Target For Victoria” • Legislation to boost Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target, help put more energy into the grid, and drive down energy prices has passed in the Victorian Parliament. Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target has been boosted to 50% by 2030, building on an existing target of 40% by 2025. [Energy Magazine]

¶ “Rising Emissions Boosting Geothermal Drilling Market” • With rising levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, the geothermal drilling market is expected to grow. Geothermal power generation is expected to post a CAGR of almost 9% during 2019-2023, according to the latest market research report by Technavio. [Power Engineering International]

Geothermal plant (Steam, not smoke)

¶ “ReNew Power To Commission 3,000 MW Capacity In 18 Months ” • Indian clean energy firm ReNew Power will add 3,000 MW of generation capacity in the next 18 months, a top company official said. A 250-MW plant was commissioned at Bikaner on October 27, taking the total generation capacity of Renew Power to 5,000 MW. [Economic Times]

¶ “Cheaper Solar Power Gains Ground In Southeast Asia” • In Southeast Asia, numerous countries are accelerating plans to harness energy from the sun in coming years. The cost of generating electricity from some solar power projects has dropped to become more affordable than gas-fired plants, officials and analysts said. [Reuters]

Solar system in Vietnam (TammyLe, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “California Fires: Goats Help Save Ronald Reagan Presidential Library” • A hungry herd of 500 goats helped save the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library from the California wildfires. In May, the library hired the goats to clear flammable scrub surrounding the complex as a preventative measure. The goats ate the brush, creating a fire break. [BBC]

¶ “Keystone Pipeline Leaks 383,000 Gallons Of Oil In North Dakota” • Part of the Keystone 1 Pipeline in North Dakota was shut down after a leak of about 9,120 barrels (383,040 gallons) of oil was discovered, TC Energy company said in a statement. A drop in pressure was detected, and the pipeline was immediately shut down, the company said. [CNN]

Oil Spill (TC Energy image)

¶ “Save The Snow: As Bridger Bowl Goes Solar, State Grapples With Renewable Energy Development” • Montana hasn’t kept up with solar growth. Its policymaking caps benefits to solar use and challenges in integrating solar energy into the state’s electrical grid. Bridger Bowl Ski Area is one place working to navigate the barriers. [The Bozeman Daily Chronicle]

¶ “Alliant Energy To Increase Solar Panel Usage Across State” • Alliant Energy announced a plan to build 1,000 MW of solar capacity in Wisconsin by 2023, enough to power about 260,000 homes. Part of their “Powering What’s Next Plan,” the company plans to break ground on their first “Community Solar” site in Fond du Lac County in 2020. [The Daily Cardinal]

Solar array (Pixabay image)

¶ “Salt Lake County Calls For 100% Renewable Energy By 2030” • Officials of Salt Lake County passed a resolution to transition the county to 100% net use of renewables by 2030. The county joins a slew of other Utah communities that have committed to similar goals, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Summit County and the city of Moab. [KUER 90.1]

¶ “Senators OK 50% Renewable Energy Goal By 2035” • The Guam Legislature passed a measure to require the Guam Power Authority to have 50% renewable energy in its portfolio by 2035 and 100% renewable energy by 2045. The bill passed with bipartisan support and will go to the governor’s desk for her signature. [The Guam Daily Post]

Solar farm on Guam (Dontana Keraskes | The Guam Daily Post)

¶ “River Falls Prepares To Be First In The State To Power City Buildings Using 100% Renewable Energy” • The City Council of River Falls acted to make their city Wisconsin’s first municipality to power city public buildings with 100% renewable energy. Beginning January 1, 2020, River Falls’ city buildings will run on 100% renewable energy. [RiverTowns]

¶ “Vogtle Opponents Get New Chance To Press Case In Court As Plant Manager Reprimanded For Firing Whistleblower” • Groups opposed to the first new nuclear reactors to receive a license in the US in decades have received another chance to get their concerns heard in court, even as construction on the project continues. [Utility Dive]

Have an impressively agreeable day.

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October 31 Energy News

October 31, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Renewable Energy Could Save Us Trillions In Health Costs” • If you’re worried about getting “windmill cancer,” we have some good news for you. According to a new study published this week in the journal Environmental Research Letters, installing more renewable energy could save the US trillions of dollars in health costs. [Inverse]

Renewable energy (Tony Webster | Flickr)

¶ “Why Thorium Nuclear Isn’t Featured on CleanTechnica Redux” • CleanTechnica is not covering thorium reactors. The Andrew Yang campaign is promising next generation reactors on the grid in eight years, but there is no empirical evidence to suggest that a 2027 time frame is remotely likely, and our top academics think it’s not helpful. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Company Turns Emissions Into Fuel” • Chicago-based LanzaTech has developed a way to turn emissions into ethanol, a renewable fuel that is commonly used in US gasoline. The key to the process is a gas-eating bacteria developed specifically for fermentation. The company says the bacteria feeds on the emissions to generate ethanol. [CNN]

First LanzaTech commercial plant in China (LanzaTech image)

World:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Breaks Records In Hot Market – Europe EV Sales Report” • The European passenger plug-in vehicle market scored some 59,000 registrations in September (+76% year over year), with fully electric vehicles reaching a record score of 41,001 units for three-digit growth (+109%). All of the top five plug-in cars were fully electric. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rising Sea Levels Threaten Hundreds Of Millions – And It’s Much Worse Than We Thought” • Hundreds of millions of people worldwide, nearly three times the number previously thought, are at risk of losing their homes as entire cities sink under rising seas over the next three decades, a paper published in the journal Nature Communications says. [CNN]

Greenland ice melt (Eric Rignot)

¶ “Record Renewable Energy Production Promises A Greener Future For UK” • A sustainable green future looks closer as record renewable energy production in UK shows rapid progress is possible. During the third quarter of 2019 renewable energy in UK provided more electricity to homes and business than fossil fuels did. [Power Technology]

¶ “Nuclear Power Corp Of India Says Detected Malware In Its Systems” • State-run Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd, which runs nuclear reactors across the country, said it had identified malware in one of its computers last month but its plant systems were unaffected. The NPCIL had earlier rejected media reports of the cyber attack. [Khabar India]

Nuclear power plant

Australia:

¶ “Consortium Proposes 80-MW Solar Farm And Green Hydrogen Facility In Victoria” • A $160 million proposal for wind or solar powered hydrogen production in Victoria is seeking government support to undertake a formal feasibility study, with the potential to grow to a $1 billion investment opportunity in Australian renewable gas. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Renewable Energy Target Now Overshot By Nearly 1 GW, Says Regulator” • Australia has already overshot its 2020 renewable energy target by nearly 1 GW since accumulating enough completed and committed projects to meet the goal in late August, according to the latest data from the Clean Energy Regulator. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbine at Cattle Hill Farm

¶ “New Green-Energy Supplier Could Cut Power Bills By $70 A Year” • A state government-owned company co-ordinating Queensland’s renewable energy sources could reduce future household and business power bills by $70 per year, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said. CleanCo has just begun operating in the National Energy Market. [Brisbane Times]

¶ “Hydro Tasmania Pushes ‘Battery Of The Nation’ Plan, Will Unlock Wind And Solar ” • A major expansion of the undersea interconnector between the Tasmanian and Victorian grids could unlock thousands of megawatts of new clean energy capacity in the National Electricity Market, while keeping prices low and improving reliability, a report argues. [RenewEconomy]

Gordon Dam

US:

¶ “California’s New Normal: How The Climate Crisis Is Fueling Wildfires And Changing Life In The Golden State” • More than a dozen wildfires displace hundreds of thousands of Californians. Millions are without power because of the fire threat. “This is only the beginning,” former California Gov Jerry Brown said. And it is because of climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Bill McKibben Fears Parts Of California Are Now Uninhabitable” • Today, forest fire season in California is months longer than it used to be, extending the period of fire risk greatly. When the rains do come, they are so intense that they often lead to life threatening mudslides. Bill McKibben has written about his fears for the state. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Tesla Is Selling Powerwalls Almost At Cost In California” • Tesla has reportedly been supply limited on the Powerwall, and economic thinking says the company shouldn’t be dropping prices on a supply-constrained product like that. But When it comes to people in need, Elon Musk often thinks with his heart and not his business head. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mayflower To Deliver Second Massachusetts Offshore Wind Farm” • The state of Massachusetts has chosen Mayflower Wind to develop an 804-MW offshore wind farm, following bid submissions filed in August. The project, located more than 20 miles south of Nantucket, is expected to start operations in 2025, according to the developer. [reNEWS]

Have a seriously lovely day.

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October 30 Energy News

October 30, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Carbon Capture: Bright Promise Or Senseless Boondoggle?” • Researchers at MIT say they have invented a new process that is effective at pulling CO₂ out of the atmosphere at concentrations as low as 400 parts per million. Stanford’s Professor Mark Jacobson, however, points out that there is more to the story than that. [CleanTechnica]

MIT carbon capture system (MIT image)

¶ “Sustainable Paper’s Best Kept Secret: Biogas” • Paper making is energy intensive. But a French paper maker, Rolland, has started to pipe methane from a landfill eight miles away to use it in its plant. This prevents escape of a powerful greenhouse gas and uses it to replace 93% of the natural gas that would have been used to operate the plant. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Seaplanes Get Electric With Magnix And Harbour Air” • Harbour Air, based in Vancouver, says it is on schedule in the conversion of the world’s first seaplane to e-plane. It is installing a 750 hp magniX motor and connecting it to the internal systems in preparation for its first flight. Harbour Air expects to complete the test by the end of the year. [CleanTechnica]

Harbour Air ePlane1 (Harbour Air image)

¶ “SP Group Launches First Zero-Emission Building In Southeast Asia Powered By Green Hydrogen” • A building in Singapore, at SP’s training center at Woodleigh Park, operates just like other buildings, but it is not grid tied. It is powered by 100% renewable energy and it is the first zero-emission building in Southeast Asia powered by green hydrogen. [CNA]

¶ “China Uses More Renewable Energy In First Nine Months” • China’s renewable energy generation rose 11% year on year, to the end of September, to 1.44 trillion kilowatt-hours, according to the National Energy Administration. Hydropower was up 7.9%, wind power was up 8.9%, and output of solar PVs rose 28.1% from a year ago. [Khmer Times]

Solar power in China (Cao Yang | Xinhua)

¶ “Audit Finds Failings At EDF Nuclear Plant” • After a report outlining the Flamanville 3 nuclear project’s failures was issued, the French government has told energy company Électricité de France to produce an urgent action plan. The plant is seven years behind schedule and billions of euros over budget. The French government is EDF’s majority shareholder. [KHL Group]

Australia:

¶ “Victoria 50% By 2030 Renewable Energy Target Voted Into Law” • A bolstered Victorian Renewable Energy Target of 50% by 2030 is now written into law, after the Labor government’s Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Amendment Bill 2019 won the vote in state parliament. This fulfills a platform by Labor in last year’s election. [RenewEconomy]

Ararat Wind Farm

¶ “‘Dawn Of Battery Age’: AGL Inks Battery Deal In Time For Liddell Exit” • Four large batteries are to be built in New South Wales. Power giant AGL struck a deal to get them in time for the looming shutdown of its Liddell coal-fired generator. Each has a capacity of 50-MW/100-MWh. Together, they could power tens of thousands of homes. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Coalition Gives $1 Billion To CEFC For 24/7 Reliable Renewable Power” • After trying for years to abolish and hamstring the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Australia’s federal government has injected another $1 billion into it to underwrite renewables integration and grid stabilization technologies. [RenewEconomy]

Montague island (Binarysequence, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Why GM is backing Trump in his fight against California” • General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, and some other foreign car makers are seeking to become a parties to a legal battle the Trump Administration brought against the state of California and 13 other states that are following its lead over whether California can set its own auto emission rules. [CNN]

¶ “Getty Fire: Authorities Issue Extreme Red Flag Warning” • An “extreme red flag warning” was issued in southern California, marking the first such alert of its kind. The warning was issued by the Los Angeles weather service. The winds are expected to reach 80 mph (128 km/h) and there is concern they will help the fire spread. [BBC]

Getty Fire in the hills of Los Angeles (Reuters)

¶ “America’s Largest Private Coal Miner Files For Bankruptcy” • The slow death of the coal industry has forced Murray Energy, the country’s largest private coal miner, to file for bankruptcy protection. Murray Energy and its subsidiaries operate 17 active mines in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Utah, and West Virginia. They employ 7,000 workers. [CNN]

¶ “Green Energy Installations In Upper Midwest Offer Best Bang For Buck” • A Harvard study finds that installing wind turbines and solar power in the Upper Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions can help maximize improvements in both public health and the economy. Windpower’s economic benefits in the Upper Midwest could be $113/MWh. [Courthouse News Service]

Renewable energy

¶ “Dominion’s Green Energy Package Comes With A Catch: Coal. Businesses Aren’t Happy” • Dominion Energy’s newest plan for a renewable energy package that environmentally conscious customers can buy is causing some big businesses, including Walmart, to push back against what they call “an unattractive offering.” [Virginia Mercury]

¶ “Non-Hydro Renewables Produce 11.4% Of US Electricity In Eight Months Of 2019” • Renewable energy sources accounted for 18.49% of net domestic electrical generation during the first eight months of 2019, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of Energy Information Administration data. Non-hydro renewable sources produced 11.44%. [Renewables Now]

Have an outrageously relaxing day.

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October 29 Energy News

October 29, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Huge Battery Investments Drop Energy-Storage Costs Faster Than Expected, Threatening Natural Gas” • The global energy transition is happening faster than the models predicted, according to a report released today by the Rocky Mountain Institute, thanks to massive investments in the advanced-battery technology ecosystem. [Forbes]

Solar plus batteries (Getty Images)

¶ “Courts And Scientists To Trump: Show Your Work On Vehicle Rules” • In its rush to roll back national vehicle emissions standards, the Trump administration is pushing science out of the process. The Union of Concerned Scientists, the scientific community, and the federal judiciary all call this an unacceptable way to make policy. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

¶ “If Facts Don’t Make You Prepare For A Hurricane, What Does?” • A study published in the journal Climatic Change looked at whether homeowners in one storm-damaged coastal county accepted climate science, and whether that made a difference in how they safeguarded their house against a future storm. The short answer: It didn’t. [Salon]

Floodwaters (Photo: Brian Blanco | AP)

Science and Technology:

¶ “No-Gold Perovskite Solar Cells Aim A Dagger At The Heart Of Fossil Fuels” • In a study published in in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, two researchers undertake an intensive review of perovskite PVs. They conclude that carbon-based materials could replace gold for the back electrode in perovskite solar cells. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “India Issues Tender For Round-The-Clock Renewable Energy Supply” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India recently issued its first tender for round-the-clock renewable energy supply, as India’s renewable energy sector evolves. SECI offered 400 MW of capacity to project developers under the tender. No tariff threshold has been specified. [CleanTechnica]

Solar PVs (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Secures Formosa 2 Turbine Deal” • Siemens Gamesa secured a contract for the supply and installation of its turbines for the 376-MW Formosa 2 offshore wind project off the coast of Taiwan. The agreement is for 47 units of the SG 8.0-167 DD turbine. Construction of Formosa 2 is expected to begin in 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Coalition Quietly Appoints Expert Panel To Salvage Emissions Policy” • In what some see as an admission that its main climate change policy is failing, the Australian government quietly appointed an expert panel to come up with new ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions and gave it less than a month to make recommendations. [The Guardian]

Bayswater power plant (Taras Vyshnya | Alamy Stock Photo)

¶ “Rwanda Joins Uganda, Egypt In Signing Nuclear Deals With Russia” • Rwanda is the latest African country to sign a nuclear deal with Russian state atomic company Rosatom. But the deals between Russia and several African countries are raising concerns from environmentalists who say nuclear energy is not always clean and does not come free. [The Observer]

¶ “Offshore Wind Costs ‘Drop 32%'” • Offshore wind costs have fallen 32% from just a year ago and 12% compared with the first half of 2019, according to new research from BloombergNEF. In its latest Levelized Cost of Electricity Update, BloombergNEF said its current global benchmark LCOE estimate for offshore wind is $78/MWh. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind support vessel (reNEWS image)

US:

¶ “California Fires: Los Angeles Hit By New Blazes” • Thousands of Los Angeles residents were told to evacuate because of a fast-moving wildfire that started near the Getty Center arts complex. California’s governor has declared a state-wide emergency as wildfires rage in many other areas. Arnold Schwarzenegger was among those who had to evacuate. [BBC]

¶ “California Faces Huge Power Cuts As Wildfires Rage” • An estimated 1.5 million more people in California are set to lose power on Tuesday as Pacific Gas & Electric tries to stop damaged cables triggering wildfires. Earlier, PG&E had cut supplies to 970,000 customers. It has just added another 650,000 to that figure due to high winds. [BBC]

Fire in California (Reuters image)

¶ “As California Burns, Clean Energy Advocates Urge An End To Investor-Owned Utilities” • While the utility PG&E shuts down power in California during a crisis worsened by the climate crisis, National Grid and ConEd are raising rates to build more fossil fuel plants. Investor-owned utilities are failing us, and there are calls to do better. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s Largest Storage Battery – 2.5 GWh – To Replace Gas Peaker Plants In Queens” • A site in Queens, New York, once was home to sixteen gas powered peaker plants. Only two remain in operation today. Soon, all of them will be demolished to make room for a 316-MW/2528-MWh storage battery that will be the largest in the world. [CleanTechnica]

Site of proposed battery (Ravenswood Development image)

¶ “MHI Generates Renewable Energy Equivalent To The Consumption Of Its Entire US Operations” • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd has achieved annual energy output from the White Deer Wind Farm, a wind power facility it acquired one year ago, equivalent to the energy consumed across its business activities in the US. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “US Bill To Increase Investment In Wind Energy” • Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Wind Energy Research and Development Bill. The legislation would sustain and enhance the DOE’s Office of Wind Energy while also increasing investment and supporting jobs in the wind industry. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have a gloriously contented day.

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October 28 Energy News

October 28, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Why Is Tesla Now The Most Valuable American Automaker?” • I cannot speak for the rest of the $58.78 billion market cap of Tesla, but from my perspective as a tiny shareholder who has covered Tesla professionally for several years, I’ve got a few thoughts on why it is Tesla has become the most valuable American automaker. [CleanTechnica]

Driving on Sunshine

¶ “Nuclear Power In France: Imagining The Industry’s Future” • The Flamanville reactor has raised crucial questions about the future of nuclear power. In 2007, final cost was estimated at €3.3 billion, and the plan was for the plant was to open in 2012. EDF has just annonced costs now estimated at €12.4 billion, with commissioning in 2022. [MENAFN.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Renewable Power Developers Discover More Energy Sources Make Better Projects” • Hybrid power projects that combine energy sources are a growing trend. Solar only works during the day and wind only when it is windy but by combining them, especially with battery storage or other backup, power can be more reliable and predictable. [CTV News]

Cows and windpower (Charlie Riedel | AP | The Canadian Press)

World:

¶ “112 EV Charging Stations To Be Installed Around Iceland” • A grant of over ISK 30 million ($240,463) will help shift Iceland to EVs by increasing charging infrastructure. The grant will be used for installation of 110 charging stations. The project is part of the government’s action plan on climate change and infrastructure development. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BHE Canada Seeks Approval For 117.6-MW Zero-Subsidy Alberta Wind Project” • BHE Canada, a unit Berkshire Hathaway Energy, submitted its application for the construction and grid-connection of the 117.6-MW Rattlesnake Ridge wind project in Alberta. The C$200 million ($153.2 million) project is not seeking government subsidies. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm (Author: fantastklywell)

¶ “Up To 27 Coal-Burning Power Plants To Suspend Operation To Reduce Fine Dust” • The South Korean government decided to suspend operations of up to 27 coal-fired power plants during the period of December to March, when high-density fine dust usually blankets the country. The plan is also to ban old cars from the streets during the period. [NewsworldKorea]

¶ “Youth File Lawsuit Against Federal Government For Lack Of Climate Plan” • In a lawsuit filed Friday, fifteen young Canadians asked the Federal Court to compel the Canadian government to develop a climate recovery plan using the best available science. They claim that the effects of climate change are already giving them medical problems. [National Observer]

Parties to the lawsuit (Canadian Press photo)

¶ “Tesco Expands Its Solar Capacity With New 5 MW PPA With EDF” • EDF Renewables three new power purchase agreements with supermarket giant Tesco, to provide a total of 60 MW of power. A deal to build 17 roof mounted PV systems is included. The solar installations will be made up of 15,000 solar PV panels, with a capacity of 5 MW. [Solar Power Portal]

Australia:

¶ “Crookwell 3 Wind Farm Blocked As NSW Seeks To Protect Coal Mine Developments” • The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission has blocked the proposed 102-MW Crookwell Stage 3 wind farm, refusing to give planning consent to the project while citing concerns about visual impacts. NSW is also planning to protect coal mines. [RenewEconomy]

Landscape with wind farm

¶ “NSW, Canberra Finally Wake Up To Grid Needs Ahead Of Liddell Coal Closure” •  The New South Wales and federal governments have finally seen the need for more transmission capacity. They announced funding for an upgrade to the link between NSW and Queensland to be completed before the Liddell coal station closes in 2023. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “A$73 Trillion Will Be Required To Stop Climate Change.” • According to the latest analysis by investment bank Morgan Stanley, halting climate change will require $50 trillion (A$73 trillion) of investment. It said five key areas will be required: renewable energy: EVs, clean hydrogen, biofuels and carbon capture and storage. [Business Insider Australia]

Offshore wind farm (Axel Schmidt | Getty Images)

US:

¶ “Pressure From Hirono Leads To Investigation Into ‘Suppression Of Science’ At USDA” • An investigation is looking into “potential suppression and alteration of scientific reports, documents, and communications by political employees” at the USDA, Sen Mazie Hirono announced. Nineteen democratic senators requested the probe in June. [Maui Now]

¶ “The NBAA Pushes Electric Air Mobility In The Las Vegas Limelight” • At the National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas, the exhibition outdid itself this year. Electric urban air mobility was present with numerous players. What was different? This wasn’t the timid show of electric UAM shows of the past. [CleanTechnica]

Airbus Vahana eVTOL Display (Photo by Nicolas Zart)

¶ “How The Military Will Spark The Death Of Fossil Fuels” • While partisan debates continue to rage about climate change, carbon taxes, and Greta Thunberg, one of the world’s largest and most powerful organizations has quietly been leading the charge for new clean energy technologies. It is the US Department of Defense. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Flirting With Disaster: Flood Zones Still Uninsured Years After Sandy” • Seven years after Superstorm Sandy deluged New York City, more than eight out of 10 properties in coastal areas the federal government deems extremely vulnerable to the next disaster are without flood insurance, an investigation by THE CITY found. [THE CITY]

Have a fantastically beneficial day.

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October 27 Energy News

October 27, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “There May Be No Industry With More At Stake With An Elizabeth Warren Presidency Than Energy” • It’s been a tough market for energy stocks as global oversupply and falling oil prices have pressured companies’ bottom lines, and it could be about to get worse. Sen Elizabeth Warren’s energy plan is seemingly already having effects. [CNBC]

Elizabeth Warren in Aiken, SC (Sean Rayford | Getty Images)

¶ “Yes, Reversing The Climate Crisis Will Be Profitable” • Ibrahim AlHusseini, is the founder and CEO of the investment firm FullCycle Energy Fund, which aims to scout and back those companies most likely to solve the climate crisis. Sierra recently sat down with him to learn more about the private sector’s power to reverse the planetary crisis. [Sierra Magazine]

¶ “Rising Waters Bring Tough Choice: Fight Or Flight” • Fight or flight. That’s the dilemma people living at water’s edge face as a hotter climate pushes Puget Sound and nearby rivers higher. Fleeing to higher, drier ground can be wrenching, while digging in and trying to hold the waters back can be costly, or even dangerous. [KUOW News and Information]

Science in a salt marsh (Photo credit: John Ryan | KUOW)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Illinois Scientists Are Perfecting The Analysis Of Past Climate Change” • To understand how the climate will change in the future, a professor at the University of Illinois is developing understanding of how climate has changed in the past. He studies isotopes in the structure of ancient coral to see how they show effects of a changing climate. [Big Ten Network]

World:

¶ “India Directs Government Companies To Buy Renewable Energy” • The Indian government has directed public sector companies to increase investment in renewable energy. The government-owned companies have been directed to either sign power purchase agreements to buy renewable energy or set up power projects on their own. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Image: Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica.com)

¶ “Total Targets 25 GW Renewable Energy Capacity By 2025” • The CEO of French oil major Total, said in an interview that by 2025 Total wants to have global installed capacity of 25 GW in renewable energy power. He said Total invests about $1.5-2 billion per year in low-carbon electricity, which is more than it invests in oil and gas exploration. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Britain Pushes Towards Coal-Free Future As Old Power Plants Come Crashing Down” • This year, Britain has gone its longest stretch since the 1880s without using coal to keep the lights on. National Grid, which supplies electricity to England, Scotland and Wales, says coal is “quickly becoming an irrelevance” in Britain. [ABC News]

Coal mine (Phil Noble | Reuters)

¶ “Extinction Rebellion Bring Protest Groups Together Against Sizewell C Plans” • A protest planned to take place near the Sizewell nuclear plant was thwarted when EDF arranged for metal barriers and security staff to occupy an access road to the site. Undaunted but remaining peaceful, the protest was moved to a nearby location. [East Anglian Daily Times]

US:

¶ “Kincade Fire: Mass Blackout Begins Amid California Wildfires” • In California, power cuts expected to affect more than two million people have begun as fires in that state continue to grow. Pacific Gas & Electric initiated the precautionary blackout due to forecasts of extreme winds. it is expected to be the largest in state’s history. [nbnews24]

Wildfire in California (AFP)

¶ “Hyundai To Begin Autonomous Electric Shuttle Service In Irvine, California Next Month” • Hyundai says it will invest $35 billion in autonomy and advanced vehicle technology by 2025. The South Korean automaker said it is partnering with Pony.ai and Via to offer an autonomous shuttle service called BotRide in Irvine, California. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Chuck Schumer Has A Plan To Boost Electric Car Sales: Massive Rebates” • Chuck Schumer has a plan to offer consumers large rebates if they switch from a gasoline powered car to an electric car. The catch is that the cars purchased have to be assembled in the US by American workers using predominantly US-made parts. [CleanTechnica]

Have an exuberantly joyful day.

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October 26 Energy News

October 26, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “‘It’s All Quite Devastating’: Documenting The Rapid Loss Of Arctic Sea Ice” • The Arctic is heating twice as fast as the global average. The effects of changes in the Arctic are playing out worldwide, however. CNN spoke to three photographers and filmmakers who have made it their mission to document an evolving Arctic landscape. [CNN]

Arctic Photographer Esther Horvath (Harold Jager)

¶ “Get Ready For A Rural America Wind Power Renaissance” • Rick Perry is retiring from the US DOE. While in office, Perry went out of his way to voice support for the President at every opportunity, but his cheerleading often seemed to coincide with a new renewable energy initiative or some other enthusiastic pronouncement on renewables. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Airbus Vahana Flies” • Airbus just completed the 100th test flight of the Vahana eVTOL demonstrator, its Alpha One full-size aircraft. This comes as Eduardo Dominquez-Puerto, Airbus Head of Urban Air Mobility, talked in an Airbus video about how the company is well placed to take full advantage of the eVTOL urban air mobility race. [CleanTechnica]

Changing out batteries (Vahana courtesy photo)

¶ “UN Scientists Say There Is A Way To Delay Climate Change For 20 Years For Pocket Change” • Rene Castro Salazar, of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, told Time that almost half of the 5 billion acres of land around the world that have been degraded could be restored for $300 billion, about two months of worldwide military spending. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New UAF Climate Report Highlights Rapidly Changing Alaska Ecosystems” • Alaska has broken so many climate records over the last five years, it suggests the state has crossed a threshold into increasingly rapid ecosystem changes, according to a report by scientists at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. [KTOO]

Port Heiden’s coast (Photo courtesy of Jaclyn Christensen)

¶ “Stanford Study Casts Doubt On Carbon Capture” • Research by Mark Z Jacobson at Stanford University, published in Energy and Environmental Science, suggests that carbon capture can cause more harm than good. Jacobson said carbon capture only reduces “a small fraction of carbon emissions, and it usually increases air pollution.” [Stanford University News]

World:

¶ “Japanese Renewable Energy Company To Add 200 MW Of Solar Power To The [Zambian] Grid Next Year” • According to a Reuters report, Japanese renewable energy company Univergy Solar is to invest more than $200 million in two solar power projects in Zambia. They will add 200 MW to the country’s national grid next year. [Lusaka Times]

Solar power station (Lusaka Times image)

¶ “Centre Plans To Run Ladakh Completely On Renewable Energy” • India’s Union government plans to make Ladakh the first Indian union territory to run entirely on renewable energy. The government wants to add solar power units to the territory’s already installed hydro plants to meet all its power demand from renewable energy sources. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “Australia’s Pipeline Of Renewable Energy Projects Swells Over 130 GW” • Australia’s pipeline of grid-scale solar, wind and battery projects is growing at an unprecedented pace in 2019. According to Rystad Energy, a consulting company based in Norway, it now stands at 133 GW, up from 94 GW at the start of the year. [pv magazine Australia]

Renewable energy (Pixabay image)

¶ “Argentina Slouches Toward China Debt Bondage On Eve Of Election” • As Argentine voters go to the polls to elect their next president, surveys show the leftist, anti-American opposition camp with a comfortable lead. This could put the country into closer ties with China, which is already loaning billions to build a nuclear power station there. [Nikkei Asian Review]

US:

¶ “Governor Calls Plains ‘Renewable Energy Corridor’” • Eastern Colorado’s plains offer “huge potential” for green energy, according to Colorado Gov Jared Polis. His assessment came after a recent visit to Yuma County where he and Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg toured wind turbines and livestock facilities. [Journal Advocate]

Wind turbines

¶ “Coal Miners, Including Those Who Protested In Kentucky, Receive Back Pay” • Around 1,700 Former Blackjewel coal miners, including some in Kentucky who blocked a coal train from moving, have finally been paid after a layoff and months of protests. Although their paychecks have been paid out, their benefits have not. [CNN]

¶ “Rio Tinto Starts Producing Lithium In California From Old Mining Waste” • Rio Tinto Group is starting pilot production of lithium in California, sifting through old mining waste instead of excavating new areas, as the electric car battery revolution fuels demand. The company has found lithium carbonate at an old boron mine. [Los Angeles Times]

Old Rio Tinto borax mine (David McNew | Getty Images)

¶ “House Democrats Set To Introduce First-Of-Its-Kind Climate Refugee Bill” • House Democrats are set to introduce the first major piece of legislation to establish protections for migrants displaced by climate change, ramping up a push for a long-overdue framework for how the US should respond to a crisis already unfolding on its shores. [Grist]

¶ “Mass Attorney General Healey Sues ExxonMobil For Misleading Consumers And Investors” • Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is suing ExxonMobil, alleging the oil giant is misleading consumers and investors about the role its products play in climate change. The lawsuit, alleges that the company’s “deception campaign” is ongoing. [WBUR]

Have a basically gorgeous day.

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October 25 Energy News

October 25, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Nuclear Industry’s $23 Billion Bailout Request Shows Why It Should Have ‘No Role To Play’ In Solving Climate Crisis: Study” • A proposed bailout of the US nuclear power industry that could cost $23 billion over ten years shows clearly why the climate crisis needs solutions that focus on renewable resources, Friends of the Earth said. [Common Dreams]

Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant (Jeff Fusco | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Wheels Of Fortune? A New Age For Electric Motors” • Motors are about to get much more attention from the media, according to the head of technology trends at the Advanced Propulsion Centre, a joint venture of the automotive industry and the UK government, said. That is because they are key components of EVs and they are changing fast. [BBC]

¶ “The Problem Of Thinning Arctic Sea Ice” • After spending considerable time finding Arctic ice thick enough to be safe to work on, at 85° north latitude, Polarstern has finally moored to an ice flow. Over the coming days the team will begin setting up an ice camp around Polarstern, carefully putting out equipment that the ice can support. [BBC]

Polarstern (Credit: Sebastian Grote | AWI)

World:

¶ “The UK Once Hoped For An American-Style Fracking Boom. It’s Not Happening” • The UK once hoped that fracking would unlock shale energy reserves, creating jobs and new tax revenues. That now looks unlikely to ever happen. The fracking industry faces big challenges, one of which is that the cost of renewable energy is falling fast. [CNN]

¶ “eHang Is About To Make Aviation History, With First eVTOL Service Coming In December” • eHang is readying the launch of the very first eVTOL urban air mobility service in Guangzhou, China, this December. eHang wants to become a full-stack UAM solution and will most likely be the first eVTOL aircraft operator in service. [CleanTechnica]

eHang AVV (Photo courtesy of eHang)

¶ “P&G Purchases 100% Renewable Electricity In US, Canada And Western Europe” • The Procter & Gamble Company announced that it reached its 2020 goal of purchasing 100% renewable electricity in the US and Canada. P&G exceeded its original goal by extending the purchase of 100% renewable electricity to Western Europe. [Business Wire India]

¶ “IMF Advocates For Carbon Assessments” • Climate change is an existential threat, and yet, there is a general paralysis about what to do to stop it. The International Monetary Fund released a report that resorts to classical economic theory to solve the problem by making polluters pay the costs imposed on society by their pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Carbon pricing (IMF image)

¶ “Offshore Wind Needs $1.2 Trillion To Hit Climate Goals, IEA Says” • Offshore wind farms around the world are set to draw $840 billion of investments adding 20 GW per year over the next two decades, the International Energy Agency said. But the IEA said meeting climage goals will require 40 GW per year and investments of $1.2 trillion. [Investing.com]

¶ “Offshore Wind ‘To Be $1 Trillion Industry'” • Global offshore wind capacity could increase 15-fold and attract $1 trillion of cumulative investment by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency. The EU 2040 tally could rise to 180 GW and become the region’s largest single source of electricity if it reaches its carbon-neutrality aims. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (ABB image)

¶ “Remote WA Community Taken Off Grid And Supplied With Renewable Energy” • A community in Western Australian has become the first in Australia to be taken off the grid and supplied renewable energy instead. Horizon Power is removing traditional poles and wires east of Esperance, after installing solar and batteries with diesel backup. [ABC News]

¶ “Offshore Wind Leads German Renewables Growth” • Offshore wind is the fastest growing renewable energy source in Germany, increasing output by 31% in the first three quarters of this year, compared with the same period of 2018. In this year’s first three quarters, 17 billion kWh of electricity were produced, compared to 12.9 billion kWh in 2018. [reNEWS]

Arkona wind farm (reNEWS image)

US:

¶ “Boulder Starting Work To Bring Solar Panels To 14 Facilities” • Boulder, Colorado, is about to expand its renewable energy portfolio enough to power 600 homes. The city’s project will add solar panels to 14 city facilities to bring 2.5 MW of generation online, a news release said. It is expected to save $1.5 million over 30 years. [Boulder Daily Camera]

¶ “Kincade fire: Thousands evacuated as California wildfire rages” • About 2,000 people have been evacuated from their homes as a wildfire rages through California’s wine country. Nearly 180,000 homes are without power after Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power in 15 southern California counties to prevent the risk of any accidental fires. [BBC]

Fire in wine country (AFP image)

¶ “Port Houston To Start Using Renewable Energy” • The Port Houston Authority has approved a plan to buy electricity from renewable sources to meet its operational needs. The port will now start talks with retail electric providers MP2 Energy Texas, Constellation New Energy and NRG Business Solutions to buy renewable electricity. [Ship Technology]

¶ “Engie Aims To Green US SMEs” • Engie Resources is offering small and medium-sized enterprises renewable energy supply contracts under a new package. Its ‘portfolioRE’ program will supply physical clean power through traditional retail contracts along with renewable energy certificates, through customer aggregation. [reNEWS]

Have a honestly fabulous day.

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October 24 Energy News

October 24, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “From Wyoming To Australia, Coal’s Heartlands Are Retreating” • From the Rocky Mountains to the Rhineland and Australia’s Great Dividing Range, the tide of the coal industry is receding. Since 2010, when coal provided electricity cheaper than renewables, coal has declined 42%. Now electricty from coal is more expensive. [Bloomberg]

Sunset industry (Marius Becker | DPA | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Google Spends Millions On Climate Denial” • As a young company, Google had a motto: “Don’t be evil.” That was then. This is now. We find out the company that once wanted to do only good is a major contributor to organizations like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has aggressively pursued a denialist agenda. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “What Would Happen In An Apocalyptic Blackout?” • In our modern world, almost everything, from our financial systems to our communication networks, need electricity. Water supplies, sewer systems, and other critical infrastructure rely on electricity to run. With no power, transportation grinds to a halt, but that is just the beginning of the problems. [BBC]

Lights out

¶ “Let’s Not Bank On Natural Gas” • New Jersey no longer has to choose between policies that protect health, climate, and natural resources, and those that protect our pocketbooks. The state is drafting a new Energy Master Plan in a time when renewable energy is already cheap and reliable, the exact opposite of what many people assume. [NJ.com]

World:

¶ “Toyota, Mazda, And Honda To Join The Electric Car Party” • Japanese automakers have been behind the curve when it comes to manufacturing electric cars since the EV revolution began nearly a decade ago. At first, they focused on hydrogen fuel cell technology instead of batteries. But EVs are developing, as fuel cell cars languish. [CleanTechnica]

Possible look of the future (Toyota image)

¶ “Amazon To Get 265 MW Of New Wind And Solar For Data Centers” • Amazon.com Inc unveiled plans for three new wind and solar projects in the US and the UK that will bring 265 MW of power generation capacity for its data centres. The plans are for 50 MW of windpower in Scotland and 215 MW of solar power from two US projects. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Australia’s Carbon Emissions Set To Peak Next Year As Wind And Solar Energy Soars” • Australia’s carbon emissions are set to peak as early as next year before dropping on the back of rapid wind and solar energy deployment, research from the Australian National University has predicted. But the researchers caution about needs for transmission and storage. [SBS]

Solar system in Australia (AAP image)

¶ “Colombia Awards 1.3 GW In Clean Power Auction” • Colombia has awarded renewables capacity to five wind farms and three solar plants totaling 1298 MW in an energy auction. The average price was the equivalent of about 2.8¢/kWh (€0.025/kWh), or about a third of the current average cost of generation in bilateral contracts. [reNEWS]

¶ “Labour Unveils Plans For Carbon-Neutral Energy System By 2030s” • The Labour Party is unveiling plans to create a carbon-neutral energy system by the 2030s. They would see insulation upgrades for every home in the UK and enough new solar panels to cover 22,000 football pitches. The current plans would see a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. [The Guardian]

Rebecca Long-Bailey (Michael Bowles | Rex | Shutterstock)

¶ “Russia’s Next Nuclear Power Play Is Underway” • Energy-rich Azerbaijan’s desire to pursue nuclear power has raised questions among some experts, but Russia’s stated readiness to participate in nuclear construction in Azerbaijan has attracted even more attention. The plant will cost Azerbaijan about $10 billion, but it comes with Russian presence. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ “Air Quality In The US Is Getting Worse And Could Be Killing Thousands, Study Finds” • After improving for the better part of a decade, air quality in the US is getting worse again. And it could be associated with nearly 10,000 premature deaths and billions of dollars in damages, according to a working paper with new analysis of EPA data. [CNN]

Gas flare (David McNew | Getty Images)

¶ “Justice Department Sues California Over Air Pollution Agreement With Canada” • The US Justice Department sued California, claiming that an environmental agreement the state entered with the Canadian province of Quebec to combat air pollution was illegal because it amounted to a treaty or compact between a US state and a foreign power. [CNN]

¶ “Federal Science Panel Heavy With Business People” • After nearly three years, President Trump made his first appointments to the White House science advisory committee. Seven people were named to the panel, most with business backgrounds. Just one is a current academic, Birgitta Whaley, a chemistry professor at UC Berkeley. [Inside Higher Ed]

White House (Getty Images)

¶ “Ørsted And Equinor ink New York offshore power pacts” • Ørsted  and Equinor have signed power purchase agreements with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for the 880-MW Sunrise Wind and 816-MW Empire Wind projects, respectively. Siemens Gamesa 8-MW turbines are set to be used at the wind farms. [reNEWS]

¶ “Smithfield, Dominion Energy Double Investment In RNG Venture” • Smithfield Foods, Inc and Dominion Energy are doubling their investment in renewable natural gas projects across the US to $500 million through 2028. The joint venture had focused on projects in North Carolina, Virginia, and Utah, but will expand to other areas. [National Hog Farmer]

Have a respectably advantageous day.

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October 23 Energy News

October 23, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tiny Shell Fossils Reveal How Ocean Acidification Can Cause Mass Extinction” • Ocean acidification caused a mass extinction of marine life a little less than 66 million years ago, research into tiny shell fossils has shown. This could have implications for the current climate crisis, which is also making the oceans more acidic. [CNN]

Fish and healthy coral (Donald Miralle | Getty Images)

¶ “Replacing Coal With Gas Or Renewables Saves Billions Of Gallons Of Water” • The transition from coal to natural gas and renewables in the US electricity sector is dramatically reducing the industry’s water use, a new Duke University study finds. Natural gas uses far less water than coal, and renewables far less than that. [Duke Today]

World:

¶ “Portugal’s Galp Ups Investment Plan, Seeks More Renewable Energy, Natural Gas” • Portugal’s oil company Galp Energia earmarked €1 billion ($1.11 billion) to €1.2 billion in annual investment until 2022 in an increase from up to €1 billion under a previous plan. It wants to expand its natural gas and renewable energy business. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar array (Getty Images)

¶ “Turkish Firms Invited To Invest In Renewable Energy Sector” • Pakistan has invited Turkish companies to invest in its power sector as upcoming renewable energy policy is to pave way for incentive-driven investment in the country. A draft renewable energy policy aims to have 25% of capacity be renewable or alternative by 2025. [The News International]

¶ “Renewables Power 20% Of Italy’s Power Demand In 2019” • Non-hydropower renewables met around 21.7% of Italian electric demand for the period to date in 2019, statistics by power grid operator Terna SpA show. Over the same period in 2018, their share was 20.4%. In addition, hydro provided 34.82 GWh of the 241.94 GWh of demand. [Smart Energy]

Venice (Credit: Frederic Beccari | Unsplash)

¶ “City Of Sydney Council Signs Major Renewable Electricity Deal” • In March this year, City of Sydney committed to using 100% renewables to meet all its electricity needs. The city has now announced that it sealed a $60 million deal that will see all of the Council’s electricity supplied from wind and solar energy sources from July next year. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “EDF To Power UK Mega-Theme Park” • EDF Energy will be partnering with the London Resort to make it one of the most sustainable theme parks in the world. Under a 25-year concession to be signed on the grant of planning, EDF Energy will build, own and operate the onsite renewable energy generation and storage facilities for resort. [reNEWS]

London Resort site (Image: The London Resort)

¶ “UK To Use Finance Meant For Green Energy To Support Fracking In Argentina” • The UK plans to invest in Argentina’s controversial oil shale industry using a £1 billion export finance deal intended to support green energy, according to government documents seen by the Guardian. A memo spoke of Argentina’s “huge shale resources.” [The Guardian]

¶ “African Countries Mull Nuclear Energy As Russia Extends Offers” • African countries, with growing populations, will need much more energy. Russia, one of the main exporters of nuclear technology, is taking a lead in forming partnerships with African countries to develop it, says the World Nuclear Association’s Jonathan Cobb. [Deutsche Welle]

Nuclear power plant

US:

¶ “EVs Take Center Stage At Solar Power International 2019” • At Solar Power International in Salt Lake City, a key theme was the integration of electric vehicle charging infrastructure into the fold of the solar-powered smart home. CleanTechnica kicked off SPI 2019 with a 5-hour session called EVs 101, hosted by Utah Clean Cities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Engie Wind On Walmart US Shopping List” • Engie US Wind is to supply electricity to Walmart from two under-construction wind farms in the US under virtual power purchase agreements totalling 366 MW. Walmart is buying 166 MW from the Prairie Hill project in Texas and 200 MW from the King Plains facility in Oklahoma. [reNEWS]

Installing a wind turbine (Engie image)

¶ “Historic Congressional Hearing Targets Big Oil’s Climate Denial” • The first ever congressional hearing on Big Oil’s history of climate denial aims to show that more than 40 years ago, oil industry research proved that burning fossil fuels harms the environment, but that oil companies misled the public about it to keep profits up. [Public News Service]

¶ “Storage Player Unveils US Battery Plant Plan” • US company Kore Power is planning to build a lithium-ion battery plant in its home country to support global growth efforts for its energy storage system. The 305,000-square-meter plant is expected to support up to 2000 jobs by providing batteries for the Mark 1TM storage system. [reNEWS]

Rendering of plant (Kore Power image)

¶ “Lawmakers Introduce Renewable Energy Bills” • Michigan representatives have introduced a series of bills to contribute to Michigan’s growing clean, renewable energy industry. They are looking forward to lifting the state’s cap on distributed electricity generation because of the impact it has made on the solar industry to date. [WLNS]

¶ “Third Ohio City Commits To 100% Renewable Energy” • The city council of the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, Ohio, passed a resolution establishing a goal of 100% clean, renewable energy. Lakewood joins Cleveland and Cincinnati as the third Ohio city, to make this commitment. It is also the state’s first suburban community to do so. [Solar Power World]

Have a way cool day.

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October 22 Energy News

October 22, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Much US Electricity Will Come From Renewables in 2030?” • NextEra Energy has made some of the most optimistic projections about the future of renewable energy. I wanted to check that and calculated for myself how much US electricity could come from renewables by 2030. I think we should all actually be much more optimistic. [Motley Fool]

Wind farm (Corey Coyle, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Storing Renewable Energy In Mineshaft Weights May Be Cheaper Than Using Batteries” • A system that stores excess renewable energy by using weights suspended above disused mineshafts could be cheaper than batteries according to a report by independent analysts at Imperial College London. A test system is being built. [E&T Magazine]

¶ “Boston Will Likely See A Warmer, Milder Winter This Year” • Boston is in for a warmer, milder winter this year, the NOAA 2019-2020 Winter Seasonal Outlook says. This matches a multi-year trend of warmer winters across the US. This year’s absence of an El Niño or La Niña season means the overall trend of global warming will be more visible. [Daily Free Press]

Charles River in February (Sophie Park | DFP file photo)

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Booming. But It’s Not Growing Fast Enough To Fight Climate Change” • Renewable power capacity is expected to surge by 50% globally in the next five years, the International Energy Agency says. But the growth of renewables will still be “well short” of what is required to meet aggressive climate change goals. [CNN]

¶ “ABB Supports Asia-Pacific Hydrogen Pilot” • ABB is to supply technology to a clean energy project in Australia that will deliver hydrogen to Japan. The Swiss company will provide automation, electrification, and instrumentation for the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain pilot project. Construction of the small-scale pilot facilities in Victoria started this year. [reNEWS]

Liquid hydrogen facility (ABB image)

¶ “BYD Rolls Into Busworld Europe With An End-To-End Transit Plus Clean Energy Solution” • BYD charged into Busworld Europe 2019 this week in Brussels touting its ability to deliver a “total transport solution.” It allows transit operators not only to electrify their fleet, but to power them with BYD technology as well. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “City Of Newcastle Becomes The First Council To Move To 100% Renewable Energy” • The City of Newcastle will be the first local government in New South Wales to have 100% renewable electricity, after signing a 10-year power purchase agreement with energy retailer Flow Power. The city is in a region already moving to low-carbon power. [Newcastle Herald]

Wallsend Library (Photo: City of Newcastle)

¶ “France May Yet Pursue 100% Renewable Power Strategy – Minister” • France has yet to decide whether to build new nuclear reactors and could yet pursue a long-term strategy of 100% renewable energy, Environment Minister Elisabeth Borne said. She disagrees with the CEO of EDF, who had said France is preparing to build new reactors. [Reuters UK]

¶ “UK Set For First Cryogenic Storage” • Highview Power is to construct the UK’s first commercial cryogenic energy storage facility at the site of a decommissioned thermal power station in England. The 50-MW plant uses liquid air as the storage medium and will be the first of a portfolio of projects that the company is planning in the UK. [reNEWS]

Cryogenic battery plant (Highview Power image)

US:

¶ “Exxon Accused Of Misleading Investors On Climate Change” • An unprecedented climate change lawsuit against ExxonMobil is set to go ahead in New York State. The company is accused of misleading investors about the potential costs to its business of climate regulation. The case is at the forefront of a rising number of legal actions faced by oil and gas firms. [BBC]

¶ “Fossil Fuel Execs Lied To The Public About Climate Science For Years” • just days before ExxonMobil goes on trial in New York state for allegedly lying to its investors about the risks of climate change, a team of academic researchers released a report detailing the company’s decades-long campaign to mislead the wider public about climate crisis. [VICE]

Rex Tillerson (Brian Harkin | Getty Images)

¶ “PG&E Head Says To Expect Rolling Blackouts For The Next 10 Years” • Pacific Gas & Electric is shutting parts of the California grid down to prevent wildfires during periods of dry, windy weather. The CEO of PG&E told the California Public Utilities Commission that the state will likely see blackouts for another 10 years, NPR reported. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York Advances 316-MW Battery Charge” • The New York Public Service Commission has given approval to LS Power’s 316-MW Ravenswood energy storage project proposed for New York City. A Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity has been awarded to the project for the plant, which will be built at Long Island City. [reNEWS]

New York skyline (FreePhotos image)

¶ “Oil Majors Dump Millions Of Cubic Feet Of Methane Directly Into The Atmosphere” • A report by the New York Times and Greenpeace finds oil companies are releasing more natural gas into the atmosphere than ever – enough to meet the needs of Arizona or South Carolina. Despite its value, they find it cheaper to throw it away. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ex-Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen Introduces A Renewable Energy Firm” • A new business venture by former Tennessee Gov Phil Bredesen is to help companies fund PVs in communities with dirty electric grids. He will introduce Clearloop at a conference headlined by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. [Columbia Daily Herald]

Have a perfectly perfect day.

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October 21 Energy News

October 21, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “UK Man Invents Aluminum-Air Battery In His Garage” • Former Royal Navy officer Trevor Jackson began experimenting with aluminum air batteries at home in 2001. Now he says he has a new electrolyte that makes it possible for his battery to power an electric car for up to 1,500 miles. One hitch is that the battery is not recharged; it is replaced. [CleanTechnica]

Household materials (Chemicum via YouTube)

World:

¶ “Thanks, Tesla – Porsche Taycan EV Outperforms Fossil Panamera Sibling” • The Porsche Taycan offers much higher performance, compared to its gas-powered Panamera sedan sibling, and is less expensive. This applies for other Porsche models as well. Surely some mistake by Porsche? Perhaps not; it has to compete with Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Commercial Rooftops Will Lead Renewables Growth In The Next Five Years” • The International Energy Agency is accused often of underrating the potential for renewables in the global energy mix. But the press release on the IEA’s Renewables 2019 report calls the potential for rooftop solar over the next five years “breathtaking.” [pv magazine International]

Installing rooftop solar (Image: CoCreatr | Flickr)

¶ “Brazil Awards 2.24 GW Of Renewables In Oct 18 Tender” • Brazil awarded renewable power supply contracts to projects with a combined capacity of around 2,245 MW in Friday’s tender, the Power Trading Chamber announced. Contracts were awarded for over 250,000 GWh at an average price of R$176.09/MWh ($42.81/MWh). [Renewables Now]

¶ “Greenpeace Urges Philippine Gov’t To Look Into Abundant Sources Of Clean, Safe, Renewable Energy” • Greenpeace called on the Philippine government to stop all plans to pursue nuclear energy, oil exploration, and coal expansion, and instead focus on maximizing the country’s abundant potential for clean, safe renewable energy. [Manila Bulletin]

Rainbow Warrior (Manila Bulletin File Photo | AFP)

¶ “Coal Miners See Future In Romania’s Renewable Energy Sector” • Like other mining areas across the world, almost all the mines in Romania’s Jiu Valley have closed. Miners are out of work, and the once thriving region is depressed. The Romanian Wind Energy Association is giving miners a chance to find work in wind power. [New Europe]

¶ “Renewable Energy To Expand By 50% In Next Five Years – Report” • Renewable electricity is growing faster globally than expected and could expand by 50% in the next five years, powered by solar energy. The International Energy Agency found that solar, wind, and hydropower projects are growing at their fastest rate in four years. [The Guardian]

Isle of May, Scotland (Mike Powles | FLPA | Rex | Shutterstock)

¶ “Trading Coal For Clean Energy, BHP Takes $1 Billion Hit At Chilean Mines” • Australia’s biggest miner, BHP, is replacing coal-fired power supplying its two copper-mining operations in Chile with renewables, cutting costs 20%. BHP said it would take a $780 million (A$1.14 billion) charge for the cancellation of its coal contracts. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “2,000 Would-Be Greta Thunbergs: London Summit Unites World’s Environment Prodigies” • The world’s largest global forum for young leaders is about to open, as over 2,000 young people from across the world converge on London. One Young World’s tenth annual summit will welcome young delegates from more than 190 countries. [The Guardian]

2018 Opening of OYW (Martyn Hicks | One Young World)

¶ “Vestas Scores 61-MW Taiwan Double” • Vestas has secured a 61-MW turbine order from WPD for the Chuangwei and Leadway wind farms in Taiwan. The Danish manufacturer will supply, transport, install and commission a total of 17 V117-3.45MW machines delivered in 3.6-MW power optimised mode. It also has a 15-year management agreement. [reNEWS]

¶ “Trade Barriers ‘Hitting Wind Industry'” • The Global Wind Energy Council is calling on world governments to refrain from putting up trade barriers that impact turbine equipment. It wants to ensure an open investment climate for companies financing the global energy transition, as dealing with climate change will need investments of $2.4 trillion per year. [reNEWS]

Installing a blade (GWEC image)

¶ “Japan Atomic Power To Get ¥350 Billion To Reboot Plant” • Japan Atomic Power Co, a wholesaler of electricity generated at its nuclear plants, is likely to receive about ¥350 billion ($3.22 billion) in funding from five major utility firms to help it resume operations at the Tokai No 2 nuclear station northeast of Tokyo, sources close to the matter say. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “Virginia Signs Blockbuster Renewable Energy Contract With Dominion. That’s The Good News” • The state of Virginia signed a deal with Dominion Energy that it calls the largest renewable energy agreement by any US state. What could be wrong with this picture? Dominion Energy has opposed renewable energy for years and may continue to do so. [CleanTechnica]

Solar farm at sunrise (Dominion Energy image)

¶ “President’s Windmill Hatred Is A Worry For Booming Industry” • Land-based turbines are rising by the thousands from the remote Texas plains to farm towns of Iowa. And the wind boom is expanding offshore, as big corporations plan to invest $70 billion on offshore wind farms. But President Donald Trump hates wind turbines. [FOX 61]

¶ “Coal Miners Facing Layoffs As Output Dips” • It is the clearest sign yet that America’s coal country is headed for widespread job cuts: The amount of coal being produced per US miner is at the lowest level in eight years. Despite actions by President Donald Trump, US production is expected to slide 10% this year, and jobs are at risk. [NWAOnline]

Have an exquisitely pleasant day.

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October 20 Energy News

October 20, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Dark Money Protecting The ‘Worst Energy Policy In The Country’” • Ohio is the first state to reverse its renewable energy standards and efficiency targets, all while funneling more money to coal. Leah Stokes, an environmental political science professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, called it the “worst energy policy in the country.” [Grist]

Pollution (Contributor | The Washington Post | Getty Images)

¶ “Decarbonizing Economy Requires Lot More Electricity” • With broad consensus that we must decarbonize our economy, the question is how. A Brattle Group report found that cutting emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050 means demand for electricity will actually need to grow to roughly twice its current levels. [CommonWealth magazine]

¶ “‘Killer Fog’ And Bringing Science Back To The EPA, Whether The EPA Wants It Or Not” • We have long known air pollution is a killer. It may be why Clara Ford wouldn’t drive a Model T, but drove an electric car instead. The Trump administration’s lack of concern for public health puts the matter on the public. Caring citizens are working on solutions. [CleanTechnica]

PM 2.5, tiny bits of soot (US EPA image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “New NOAA Weather Prediction System Improves Severe Weather Forecasts” • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its weather prediction system this June with a climate model that will include data from updated oceanic science, allowing for more accurate climate-change-related severe weather forecasting. [Medill Reports: Chicago]

World:

¶ “Hungary Looking For A Renewable Spot In The Sun” • Hungary is rich in renewable energy potential as solar, wind, biomass and thermal energy are all easily accessible for the Central European country. Combined with the creation of smart cities, these factors can contribute to a greener and more pleasant future. [Budapest Business Journal]

PV system in Hungary (CivertanS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “30 GW Of Renewable Plants To Be Built Along Western Border In India” • India is thinking about building 30 GW of renewable power sources in a desert along its western border, individuals acquainted with the arrangement have indicated. The area, in Gujarat and Rajasthan, is known as a bright, breezy, and bone-dry region. [ELE Times]

¶ “Extreme Weather Linked To Greater Public Trust In Science, Survey Shows” • Auckland physics professor Shaun Hendy said people are seeing the evidence of climate change with their own eyes. Thirty years ago scientists would have struggled to have their climate change work noticed, but now it seems more and more people are taking note. [Stuff.co.nz]

Floodwaters in Nagano after Typhoon Hagibis

¶ “Chinese Technology Helps Cubans Shift To Solar Energy” • In the outskirts of the Cuban city of Pinar del Rio, some 150 km west from Havana, is a solar park with over 15,500 panels made by the Chinese solar energy company Yingli. Cuba has 65 solar parks operating, 15 others under construction, and plans for a total of 191. [Xinhua]

US:

¶ “Investors Rejoice: US Renewables Could Top Coal by 2022” • According to the Energy Information Administration, coal-fired power plants will account for just 22% of the American electricity production in 2020. The EIA also says that renewable power sources will provide up to 19% of American electricity in 2020. That means investment opportunities. [Motley Fool]

Wind turbines (Getty Images)

¶ “Toxic Chemical In 99% Of Americans’ Blood” • PFOA is a synthetic chemical. It’s known as a ‘forever chemical’ because it doesn’t break down. It is known to cause six types of diseases, including two types of cancer. It spreads in groundwater, so it is in the blood of 99% of Americans. The good news is that we can treat the water for it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Jersey Reaches Renewable Energy Milestone With 3 GW Of Solar Installed In-State” • The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities announced that the state has surpassed 3 GW of solar power and 116,000 solar installations statewide. New Jersey ranks in the top ten in the number of residential and business solar installations among all states. [STL.News]

Inspecting a solar system

¶ “Rocky Mountain Power Parent Company Makes It Clear: Renewables Are About To Proliferate In The West” • Digging for finite resources is expensive, and we’re becoming awfully good at harnessing abundant and free fuel courtesy of sun and wind. PacifiCorp, the largest grid operator in the West, embodies that accelerating transition. [The Park Record]

¶ “In Monticello, A City At The Center Of The Nuclear Energy Debate” • Xcel Energy’s Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant’s license is set to expire in 2030.  Xcel plans to retire its two coal plants in the Upper Midwest, adding more natural gas, solar, and wind, but it wants to keep the nuclear plant operating until at least 2040. [Minnesota Public Radio News]

Have a conspicuously restful day.

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October 19 Energy News

October 19, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Why We’re Rethinking The Images We Use For Our Climate Journalism” • After the Guardian‘s editors considered the language they use to cover environmental issues, they turned their attention to images. When it comes to images on climate change, people love pictures of polar bears, but they respond to pictures relating to their own lives. [The Guardian]

Air pollution in the UK (Steve Garvie, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Hostage-Taking New Tactic In Offshore Natural Gas Pipeline Wars” • National Grid claims that New York’s decision to nix a new natural gas pipeline resulted in a gas shortage, and they can’t provide gas hookups to hundreds of buildings in New York City and elsewhere. Now it looks like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called their bluff. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Croissant-Making Method Leads To Breakthrough In Sustainable Energy Storage” • Inspired by croissant-making techniques, researchers came up with improved energy storage, according to a study. Having pressed and folded a capacitor covered with a plastic film, researchers were able to increase energy storage by a factor of thirty. [iNews]

Croissant (Public Domain Pictures)

¶ “Researchers Announce A Battery That Runs On Lithium And Carbon Dioxide” • Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have published a paper in the journal Advanced Materials that says they have successfully designed a lithium-carbon dioxide battery that is fully rechargeable and remains stable for up to 500 charging cycles. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Swiss Election: Why Melting Alps Could Create A Green Wave” • Climate change has risen to the top of Switzerland’s political agenda and observers are eyeing a possible “green tsunami” in 20 October elections. Combined, the Greens and Green Liberals get 18% of the vote in opinion polls, putting them in second place among Swiss parties. [BBC]

Mourning the Pizol glacier (Getty Images)

¶ “Volvo To Introduce A New EV Each Year, Sell 50% BEVs By 2025” • Volvo is moving quickly to produce more EVs. “A Volvo built in 2025 will leave a carbon footprint that is 40% lower than a car we build today,” Volvo Cars CEO Samuelsson said. Volvo plans to achieve that number by selling 50% battery electric vehicles by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Porsche And Boeing Sign An Agreement To Work On ‘Premium’ eVTOL Aircraft” • Boeing and Porsche have signed a memorandum of understanding to look into the “premium” electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft market. The two companies will create an international team focusing on various aspects of urban air mobility. [CleanTechnica]

Kitty Hawk Heaviside (Courtesy Kitty Hawk Corp website)

¶ “Haven Power Lands Renewable Energy Contract With Ford” • Haven Power, based in Ipswich, secured a renewable electricity contract with automotive giant Ford to supply renewable electricity to three of its manufacturing plants in the UK. Haven Power will supply Ford with 250 MW of electricity, reducing its CO₂ emissions. [CSO Magazine]

¶ “UK CfD3 Winners Sign Contracts” • Offshore projects totaling 5500 MW have signed the Contracts for Difference offered in the UK’s third round allocation, the Low Carbon Contracts Company said. Four remote island wind farms with combined capacity of over 274 MW have also signed the contracts offered to them, LCCC said. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (SSE Image)

¶ “South Africa Plans 22-GW Renewables Surge” • South Africa plans to build more than 22 GW of new wind, solar and storage capacity up to 2030, the government’s 2019 integrated resource plan says. The plan, which maps out the energy mix for the next 10 years, envisages 14.4 GW of new wind, 6 GW of new solar and 2,088 MW of storage. [reNEWS]

¶ “India To Add 20,000 MW Of Nuclear Power Generation Capacity Over Next Decade” • India is set to add around 20,000 MW of nuclear power generation capacity over the next decade, KN Vyas, Secretary at the the Department of Atomic Energy and the Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission said at an industry event. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Nuclear plant

US:

¶ “The Single Biggest Threat To US Oil Jobs” • Reuters’ John Kemp reports, citing official data, that the oil and gas support segment had shed 14,000 jobs between October last year and August this year. That’s a 5% decline, and combined with other data from the industry, it does suggest that a slowdown is in motion. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Facebook And Google: Utilities Must Take Lead On Grid Decarbonization” • Corporate procurement now ranks among the top drivers of large-scale US renewables purchases. But it’s not the long-term answer to clean energy deployment, the technology executives said at an event hosted by the American Council on Renewable Energy. [Greentech Media]

Data center (Credit: Google)

¶ “Commonwealth of VA Announces Largest Renewable Energy Contract in Nation” • The Commonwealth of Virginia announced a landmark agreement. It is the largest contract that any state has negotiated to buy renewable energy to power state government. Dominion Energy will supply the state with 420 MW of wind and solar power. [The Roanoke Star]

¶ “Scientific Integrity Act Passes House Committee” • Legislation to protect scientific integrity in US federal agencies was approved by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in a 25 to 6 vote that included bipartisan support. The bill would require federal science agencies to adopt and enforce a scientific integrity policy. [Eos]

Have a fabulously happy day.

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October 18 Energy News

October 18, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Planting A Trillion Trees Will Not Halt Climate Change” • A group of 46 scientists from around the world, led by Dr Joseph Veldman, urge caution about plans to address climate change through massive tree planting. They published a message of concern in the journal Science, urging that care be used not to plant trees in the wrong areas. [Newswise]

Savanna in Bolivia (JW Veldman, Texas A&M)

¶ “With 10% Penetration, EVs Could Shift All Residential Peak Load To Night, Analysis Of SoCal Ed Finds” • Electric vehicles have the potential to act as virtual power plants that can help utilities soak up midday renewable energy and discharge in the evenings to reduce peak load, according to a study from Jackson Associates. [Utility Dive]

World:

¶ “Snowy 2.0: Australia’s Divisive Plan For A Vast Underground ‘Battery'” • The Snowy 2.0 project will carve tunnels through 27 km (17 miles) of rock to make a pipeline linking two reservoirs. The pumped storage project could cover 10% of the nation’s peak demand. But some opposing it say it is too expensive and will take too long to build. [BBC]

Snowy Hydro’s lower reservoir (Snowy Hydro image)

¶ “Fortescue Signs Up To Alinta Plans To Use Solar To Power Huge Iron Ore Mines” • Power utility Alinta Energy and mining giant Fortescue Metals have won federal government backing for their plans to help power the miner’s Pilbara iron ore operations solar and battery storage. A 60-MW PV plant will be sited near the mines. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Who Is Funding The Fossil Fuel Industry?” • Analysis by The Guardian shows that big banks have invested more than $700 billion in new coal, oil, and natural gas projects since the Paris climate accords of 2015. In all, 33 financial institutions provided about $1.9 trillion in funding to the fossil fuel sector in 2016 through 2018. [CleanTechnica]

Greenpeace action (Greenpeace image)

¶ “Aker Solutions And EDP Renewables To Develop Floating Wind Farm In Ulsan, South Korea” • WindPower Korea, EDP Renewables, and Aker Solutions formed a consortium, initially to develop a 500-MW floating wind farm off the coast of Ulsan, South Korea. The country is planning to have 13 GW of offshore windpower by 2030. [PRNewswire]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Scores 360-MW Chilean Treble” • Siemens Gamesa has signed three contracts to supply turbine orders worth 359 MW to customers in Chile. The agreements cover the installation and commissioning of 82 SG 4.5-145 turbines, with flexible power ratings. Installation of the turbines is scheduled for 2020. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Climate Crisis Will Not Be Discussed At G7 Next Year, Says Trump Official” • The climate crisis will not be formally discussed at the G7 summit in June next year, Donald Trump’s acting White House chief of staff told reporters. He announced that the G7 summit would take place at a golf resort owned by Donald Trump. [The Guardian]

¶ “Nuclear Power Doesn’t Stack Up Says The Australia Institute” • The Australia Institute rejected suggestions Australia should adopt nuclear power, saying it just doesn’t stack up. It released a report saying electricity from nuclear plants is too expensive, and the plants are “essentially uninsurable,” so risks would be borne by the public. [NEWS.com.au]

NuScale small modular reactor (NuScale image)

US:

¶ “US Energy Secretary Quits Amid Trump Inquiry” • Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who has been drawn into the Trump impeachment inquiry, will resign. President Trump confirmed the former Texas governor’s departure. Mr Perry’s exit had been rumored for months even before he became entangled in a controversy over Ukraine. [BBC]

¶ “Wells Fargo Enters Its Largest Solar Energy Deal” • Wells Fargo announced a 10-year structured renewable energy agreement with Reliant, an NRG Energy company, for nearly 62,000 MWh of solar energy annually for operations in Texas. The NRG Renewable Select plan will provide 100% of the bank’s electricity in the ERCOT region. [Saurenergy]

Texas solar project

¶ “MI Power Grid Program Aims To Help Michiganders With Transition to Renewable Power” • Michigan has a new program to help consumers adapt to the transition to renewable power. Gov Gretchen Whitmer announced the MI Power Grid program, which will provide information about clean energy and work to add it to the grid. [9&10 News]

¶ “NJ Transit’s Plans For A Power Plant Stink, Environmentalists Say” • Environmentalists braved a Nor’easter to protest NJ Transit plans to build a natural gas-fired power plant in Kearny. The TransitGrid project would build a 140-MW gas-fired power plant, funded by a $409 million grant from federal Superstorm Sandy resiliency funds. [NJ.com]

Protesters outside NJ Transit’s headquarters

¶ “Consumers Energy Unveils Clean Energy Plan” • Patti Poppe, CEO of Consumers Energy, a Michigan public utility, didn’t always believe in climate change. That has changed. “The evidence is there,” she said. “You can’t avoid it.” Now, the utility has a clean energy plan that will replace coal-burning plants with wind and solar. [Battle Creek Enquirer]

¶ “Missouri Commission Wants Legislators To Scrap Nuclear Plant Funding Law” • State legislators are being asked by the Missouri Air Conservation Commission to repeal a law passed by the state’s voters in 1976 that prohibits utility companies from charging customers to cover the cost of building nuclear plants until they are running. [St Louis Public Radio]

Have an abundantly propitious day.

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October 17 Energy News

October 17, 2019

World:

¶ “‘UK Needs To Back’ Floating Wind, Says New Report” • Additional government support and continued trade links with Europe are needed to ensure the UK maintains its lead in deploying floating wind, a report from the University of Strathclyde advises. It reviewed 60 offshore projects and has five recommendations. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Equinor image)

¶ “Phase 2 Of Tesla Gigafactory 3 Will House Battery Manufacturing Facility” • A report by China’s Global Times says Tesla completed construction of the parts of its Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai that will produce automobiles. Now it has begun work on “phase 2” of the factory, which will house a battery making facility. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Zealand Edges Closer Towards Achieving Renewable Energy Target” • New Zealand has a target of 90% of electricity to be renewably sourced by 2025. Energy in New Zealand 2019 notes that renewable electricity’s share increased from 82% in 2017 to 84% in 2018. The country is getting 40% of total energy from renewables. [Solar Quotes]

New Zealand hydro dam (Seriocomic, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Russian Ministry Mulls Ban On Foreign-Led Renewables Projects” • Russia’s industry and trade ministry is considering banning foreign-led companies from designing and installing renewable energy plants, the newspaper Vedomosti said. It said future developments would probably sub-contract them to foreign partners, increasing costs. [Recharge]

¶ “Eden Project Secures Funding For Phase One Of Geothermal Plan” • The Eden Project and EGS Energy Limited, both located in Cornwall, announced funding has been secured to drill the first well for its pioneering geothermal heat and power project. With the £16.8 million in funding, they say they can start drilling next summer. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Eden Project (Jon, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Germany’s Largest Solar Farm Will Also Be Subsidy-Free” • German utility EnBW signed off on the investment for a 180-MW subsidy-free solar farm. It will be Germany’s largest solar farm, and EnBW says it will be the first major unsubsidized solar project in the country. The company expects commissioning to take place in 2020. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Haliade-X Prototype Stands Tall In Rotterdam” •  A 12-MW Haliade X wind turbine prototype has been installed in the Dutch Port of Rotterdam by GE Renewables. The 260-meter tall test turbine, which is next to Sif’s Maasvlakte yard, will be energised shortly. GE expects to complete type testing new platform by the end of next year. [reNEWS]

GE Haliade-X turbine (GE Renewables image)

¶ “Lithuania May Outlaw Purchasing Electricity From Belarus NPP” • Lithuania’s president presented the parliament with amendments to the laws preventing acquisition of electricity in countries with hazardous nuclear power plants. The Belarusian NPP being built had been declared a threat to national security, public health, and the environment. [Belsat]

¶ “Another Insurer To Withdraw Coverage From Oil Sands” • Starting next year, Axis Capital Holdings Ltd will stop writing new insurance and facultative reinsurance for oil sands extraction and pipeline projects. The insurance industry has been warning for years about the consequences of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. [Canadian Underwriter]

Iceberg

US:

¶ “Solar+Storage Killer App From DR Microgrid” • Start-up DR Microgrid, of Santa Ana, CA recently showed a plug-and-play solar+storage+nanogrid system. It is a residential or commercial-scale microgrid designed for a single home or building, which typically do not involve more than 100 kW of renewable generation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Philadelphia Launches Regional Collaborative To Tackle Climate Change, Recycling, Renewable Energy” • The Climate Collaborative of Greater Philadelphia was to be a way for local organizations to coordinate efforts on climate change, energy, and recycling. The number of sign-ups was nearly double what was expected. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Solar arrays (Community Energy Solar)

¶ “Big Businesses Weigh In Against PGE Renewables” • A group of big businesses is objecting to a Portland General Electric plan to acquire new renewable energy resources, beyond a wind, solar, and energy-storage project already in the works, by 2023. AWEC includes major companies such as Boeing, Georgia Pacific, and Microsoft. [Portland Business Journal]

¶ “IEA Wins $67 Million Iowa Wind Contract To Power Up State Renewables” • Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives has won the construction of a new wind energy project, the 130-MW Richland Wind Farm in Iowa valued at about $67 million. Work on the Richland project is to begin in late October with full operation by September 2020. [Smart Energy]

Wind turbines in Aveyron (Image: Wikipedia)

¶ “Renewables Have Overtaken Fossil Fuels In The UK, But America Is ‘Headed In The Opposite Direction,’ According To Expert” • Renewable energy sources produced 40% of total energy consumed in Britain in the third quarter of 2019. In the US, by contrast, fossil fuels made up 80% of the total energy consumption for all sectors. [Newsweek]

¶ “Cubico Closes 162-MW Texas PV Cash” • Cubico Sustainable Investments has achieved financial close on the 162-MW Wagyu solar farm in Texas. The project has a 15-year corporate power purchase agreement with Starbucks and a 12-year physical hedge from BP. Wagyu is expected to become fully operational in the third quarter of 2020. [reNEWS]

Have a radically flawless day.

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October 16 Energy News

October 16, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “What happens when a city bans car from its streets?” • Many modern cities have been built around cars, with huge amounts of space set aside for roads and parking. Now, some cities are trying to design the car out of the urban landscape altogether. Both Oslo and Madrid have started work on plans to ban cars from their centers. [BBC]

Oslo (Getty Images)

¶ “Getting Real Serious About Renewable Hydrogen In Real America” • Renewable energy critics used to complain that wind and solar were unreliable because they were intermittent. Now that very characteristic has created an opportunity for renewable hydrogen production, using excess renewable energy to produce hydrogen, which can be stored. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “To Encourage Climate Action, Talk Up the Benefits Of Adaptation” • New studies indicate that the unwillingness of climate change believers to take basic protective steps suggests that policymakers trying to encourage climate action are better off talking about the benefits of mitigation than about the dangers of a warming planet. [Scientific American]

After Hurricane Florence (Credit: Sean Rayford Getty Images)

¶ “Argentina May Be the Hottest Renewable Energy Market You Haven’t Heard Of. Can It Spur a Global Boom?” • An innovative approach unlocked Argentina’s renewable energy market, making it “the most interesting in the world” in just three years. It could open the door to billions in renewable investment in developing nations worldwide. [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Extreme Snowfall Kept Most Plants And Animals In One Arctic Ecosystem From Reproducing” • Climate scientists predict that parts of the Arctic will see more precipitation and more extreme seasonal fluctuations, as the globe warms. Snowfalls in 2018 were so heavy in parts of Greenland that some species could not breed. [Science News]

Arctic sanderling (J Reneerkens)

World:

¶ “Google Unveils $150 Million Investment To Power Manufacturing With Renewables” • Google committed to invest $150 million (£118 million) in helping its key manufacturers to source renewable power and decarbonized their grids. Google predicts that its initial investment will catalyze around $1.5 billion of investment in renewables globally. [edie.net]

¶ “Record Melting Sees Swiss Glaciers Shrink 10% In Five Years” • Glaciers in Switzerland have shrunk 10% in the past five years, a rate that has never been seen before in over a century of observations, according to new research. The summer 2019 heatwave saw glacier melt rates break records, leading to huge losses in ice volume. [CNN]

Swiss glacier (Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Berkshire Hathaway Unveils 118-MW Alberta Wind Plan” • Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary BHE Canada is planning to build a 117.6-MW wind farm in Alberta. The company expects construction of the Rattlesnake Ridge to start next year, having signed a long-term power purchase agreement for most of the 475 GWh per year output. [reNEWS]

¶ “European Tidal Nets €47 Million Aye For TIGER” • The EU-funded Interreg program launched a €47 million tidal project to install up to 8 MW of capacity in and around the English Channel. The Tidal Stream Industry Energiser Project aims to boost the prospects for tidal stream in the UK and France through use of economies of scale. [reNEWS]

Tidal turbine (Image: Simec Atlantis)

¶ “Renewable Capacity Additions Exceed New Coal In India” • Coal power station capacity addition is seeing a declining trend in India. Between financial years 2012 and 2016, 10-20 GW of new coal-power station capacity was added every year to the grid. But, in the last three years, this dropped to 5 GW and is further declining. [Down To Earth Magazine]

¶ “Ofgem Offers To Reduce Costs Of Hinkley Point Transmission Link” • UK gas and electricity markets regulator Ofgem plans to offer £637 million to National Grid Electricity Transmission for construction of a transmission link for the new Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor. The offer is intended to save money for both investors and customers. [Power Technology]

Hinkley Point A and B (Credit: Richard Baker)

US:

¶ “Notre Dame Embraces Renewable Energy, Cuts Coal-Fired Plant” • The University of Notre Dame is shuttering its coal-fired power plant a year ahead of schedule thanks to a sustainable energy plan that’s seen the campus embrace renewable energy. The university had set a goal to reduce emissions 50% by 2030, but it has achieved that already. [Miami Herald]

¶ “Trump Administration Proposes New Logging In Nation’s Largest National Forest” • The Trump administration is proposing opening more than 180,000 acres of the country’s largest national forest for logging. The Agriculture Department proposal would allow road construction to log the huge Tongass National Forest. [CNN]

Tongass National Forest

¶ “A Northern California Refinery Fire Has Been Contained After Sending Residents To Shelter In Place” • Two large ethanol tanks burned at a NuStar Energy facility in Crockett, according to a Contra Costa County Fire Department spokesman. The fire spread to nearby vegetation, but it was contained in less than seven hours. [CNN]

¶ “Green Cab Ditches Hybrids In Favor Of Teslas For Its Taxi Fleet” • The Green Cab taxi company in Madison, Wisconsin, announced that it is converting its fleet of taxis from hybrids to electric vehicles. When the move is completed, it will make Green Cab the first in the nation to operate a fleet of fully electric taxis. [CleanTechnica]

Have a uniquely worthwhile day.

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October 15 Energy News

October 15, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Rise Of Renewables May See Off Oil Firms Decades Earlier Than They Think” • The rising world reliance on fossil fuels may end decades earlier than the most polluting companies predict, offering early signs of hope on the climate crisis. Energy experts are adjusting their forecasts as clean energy develops far more quickly than expected. [The Guardian]

Windfarm in Northumberland (Murdo Macleod | The Guardian)

¶ “‘I’m Standing Here In The Middle Of Climate Change’: How USDA Is Failing Farmers” • American farmers are being slammed by climate change, but the Agriculture Department is doing practically nothing to help them adapt to it. Experts are predict that this is the new norm: increasingly extreme weather across much of the US. [Politico]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Exposure To Pollution Linked To ‘Silent Miscarriages'” • Pregnant women who have been exposed to high levels of pollution face an increased risk of “silent miscarriage” in the first trimester, according to a study. A “silent miscarriage” happens when a fetus hasn’t formed or has died, but the placenta and embryonic tissue remain. [CNN]

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

¶ “Did The US Navy Solve Clean Energy With A Compact Fusion Reactor?” • In a patent application, Salvatore Pais, of the US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, claims to have invented a compact fusion reactor. The patent claims that a device 1 to 6.5 feet in size could generate between a gigawatt and a terawatt of electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “An Arctic Expedition On Thin Ice” • The icebreaker Polarstern and its crew reached 85 degrees north on their Arctic voyage only to make a worrying discovery that threatens the success of the expedition. The problem is that they need to find ice that will support their activities, including a runway for aircraft, and the ice they are finding is not thick enough. [BBC]

Polarstern on thin ice

World:

¶ “Uniti Announces Pricing” • Uniti, an electric car startup from Sweden, announced pricing details for Uniti One, its 3-passenger city car. With the larger of the two available batteries, UK prices will start at £15,100 ($19,050), after a government incentive of £3,500 is deducted. With the larger battery, the Uniti One is said to have a range of 300 km (186 miles). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Irish Are Motoring Greener And Cleaner: Electric And Hybrid Vehicles Now Account For Over 10% Of Irish Auto Sales” • Green motoring is on the increase month by month in Northern Europe, as we’ve reported extensively. We are now happy to bring a report on the continuing growth of electric vehicles in Ireland. [CleanTechnica]

Free charging at a grocery (Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Wind Energy Could Supply One Third Of Global Power By 2040, Says Siemens” • Wind energy could supply more than one third of global electric power demand by 2040, and this could save up to four million lives a year, according to a new study commissioned by wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Equinor To Proceed With 88-MW Hywind Tampen Offshore Wind Farm” • Norwegian energy company Equinor confirmed Final Investment Decision on the 88-MW Hywind Tampen offshore wind farm, which is to supply power to oil and gas platforms in the Norwegian Sea, the first ever to be powered by a floating offshore wind farm. [CleanTechnica]

Illustration of the Hywind Tampen project (Equinor image)

UK:

¶ “Ban Air Miles To Combat Climate Crisis, UK Committee Recommends” • Air miles programs should be banned and a levy on frequent flyers put in place to reduce carbon emissions from aviation, the UK government’s climate advisory body said in a report. The measure is one of a number of recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change. [CNN]

¶ “Extinction Rebellion: Police Ban London Protests” • The Extinction Rebellion activists say they left London’s Trafalgar Square after police issued a ban on the group’s climate change protests. Demonstrators protesting in the capital after 21:00 BST could be arrested. The protests, which began last Monday, have seen more than 1,400 arrests. [BBC]

Police remove an Extinction Rebellion protester (PA Media)

¶ “The UK Company Turning Waste Plastic Into Fuel For Hydrogen Cars” • Britain produces about 5 million metric tons of plastic waste every year, but less than a third of that is recycled. Roughly half ends up in landfills. UK company Powerhouse Energy wants to use this plastic deluge and other waste to produce energy. [CNN]

US:

¶ “Poll: Ohio Voters Support Renewable Energy And Oppose The State’s Recent Nuclear Subsidy” • More than six in 10 (63%) Ohioans think developing more renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, should be the most important priority for addressing Ohio’s energy needs. A majority (54%) oppose subsidizing nuclear and coal plants. [Solar Builder]

Voters in Ohio

¶ “Xcel Energy Plans To Close Two Of Its Coal Fired Plants In Pueblo To Make Way For A Greener Future” • Xcel Energy plans to close two of its coal-fired plants a decade early to make way for a greener future. The plants are in Pueblo, Colorado. The renewable energy industry is growing right next to retiring coal-burning plants. [The Denver Channel]

¶ “Legislation That Would Double Guam’s Renewable Energy Goal Receives Support” • A senate bill aimed at raising the amount of Guam’s electricity produced from the current goal of 25% to 50% by 2035 received general support during a public hearing. A question arose about whether a solar farm or rooftop solar is better. [The Guam Daily Post]

Have an exceptionally fortuitous day.

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October 14 Energy News

October 14, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “George P Shultz To Republicans: Climate Action Is An Insurance Policy Reagan Would Like” • When Ronald Reagan got behind the effort to save the ozone layer, there was much less scientific consensus than there is now on climate change, and  uncertainty was holding up action. Reagan pointed out a need for action as an insurance policy. [Forbes]

Reagan and Shultz (Bettmann Archive)

¶ “LBJ Warned Us On Climate 54 Years Ago” • As we careen toward the “tipping point” on climate change many of our fellow citizens wonder why someone didn’t warn us long ago so we could have done something. Someone did. And they did it a relatively long time ago. We were warned in 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson. [Blog for Iowa]

World:

¶ “EDF Renewables Commissions 130 MW Of Solar Energy Capacity In Egypt” • EDF Renewables said it commissioned 130 MW of solar energy capacity in Egypt, as it steps up the pace of its development in North Africa. EDF said the latest plants moved it closer to meeting its goal of doubling its net renewable energy capacity worldwide. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar farm (iStock image)

¶ “Iran Says It Discovered A Natural Gas Reserve That Could Create $40 Billion In Revenue” • Iran announced that it has discovered a natural gas reserve with the capacity to produce nearly 400 million barrels of gas condensate. It could generate a total of $40 billion. Iran has the world’s fourth largest reserves of hydrocarbons. [CNN]

¶ “For The First Time Renewables Overtake Fossil Fuels In UK Power Generation” • In the UK, renewable sources generated more electricity than fossil fuel power plants over the past three months. This year’s third quarter was the first since 1882 in which renewables outpaced fossil fuels, climate website Carbon Brief said. [The London Economic]

Solar farm (PA)

¶ “German Rail Operator Holds Europe-Wide PPA Tender For Green Power” • German railway operator Deutsche Bahn has launched a tender for 5% of its annual electricity supply from renewable sources for the next eight years, aiming to get nearer to its long-term target of 100% green power by 2038. The rail operator’s is already 57% green. [Reuters]

¶ “Queensland Green Lights New $350 Million Wind Farm” • The Queensland Government gave the green light for a A$350 million ($237 million) wind farm, south-west of Gladstone. The Banana Range wind farm will have a capacity of 180 MW, and it will boost the wind capacity of Queensland to 224 MW, enough to power a million homes. [Energy Magazine]

Wind farm and Milky Way (shutterstock image)

¶ “Great Britain Witnesses Soaring Battery Storage Exports To Distribution Networks” • Battery storage exports to the UK’s distribution networks have jumped to almost 49 GWh in 2018 from 50 MWh in 2014, according to a report released by the Renewable Energy Association and energy market data hub operator ElectraLink. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Extinction Rebellion: London Takes Deep Breath As Climate Activists Hold Nerve For Second Week Of Protests” • London is braced for another week of chaos as Extinction Rebellion plan to bring further disruption. Climate activists are holding their nerve despite the arrest toll from the last week of protests reaching more than 1,300. [iNews]

Doctors supporting Extinction Rebellion (Image: PA Wire)

¶ “Typhoon Hagibis Leaves As Many As 35 Dead As Japan Continues Rescue” • Typhoon Hagibis was the largest storm to hit Japan in decades. Nearly 6 million people were urged to evacuate, and 370,000 homes had no power. Floods washed away bags of soil contaminated by the Fukushima Disaster, and nuclear plants need inspection for damage. [The Indian Express]

US:

¶ “Loon, Hermit Thrush Among Vermont Birds Threatened By Climate Change” • Some of Vermont’s most iconic native birds, including the common loon, white-throated sparrow and the hermit thrush – the state bird – are under threat from climate change, according to a new report from the National Audubon Society. [vtdigger.org]

Loon (Shirley Donald | Audubon Photography Awards)

¶ “Experts Axed By Trump’s EPA Are Preparing Their Own Pollution Report” • Twenty experts who had served on the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee but were canned as the Donald Trump administration stocked its panels with industry shills, met this week to continue their work independently, NBC News reported. [Gizmodo Australia]

¶ “Duke Professor Selected For ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ Initiative” • In a time of ecological crisis, one Duke professor has been tapped as part of a newly formed group to fight it. James Clark, Nicholas Professor of Environmental Science, is one of 43 scientists and social scientists working on the Make Our Planet Great Again Initiative. [Duke Chronicle]

Great planet (Jim Liu | The Chronicle)

¶ “North Carolina To Be 100% Renewable By 2050, But This Does Not Include Wood Fuel” • North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper recently issued an executive order calling for the Department of Environmental Quality to develop a plan to get the state to be carbon neutral by 2050. The DEQ deemed burning trees for fuels as not low-carbon or renewable. [EP Magazine]

¶ “Facing Climate Change, ExxonMobil Ramps Up Energy Research” • ExxonMobil has been creating partnerships with universities in recent years totaling at least $75 million, and it just inked another, unprecedented $100 million deal with the DOE. Environmentalists and some academic experts view these collaborations with deep skepticism. [Axios]

Have a superbly glorious day.

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October 13 Energy News

October 13, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Australia’s tortured energy debate: what is the state of play?” • There are a lot of moving parts in Australia’s tortured energy debate – and many of the parts are moving in the wrong direction. With parliament set to resume next week, and with energy back on the agenda, it is timely to recap the state of play for energy. [The Guardian]

Liddell power station (Jonny Weeks | The Guardian)

¶ “The Executive Branch Must Stop Suppressing Science” • Our ability to keep the public safe and move the country forward economically rests, in large part, on government science and research. That foundational work is endangered by manipulation for political ends, and the ramifications are vast and should concern all Americans. [Scientific American]

¶ “Why The Shift Toward Renewable Energy Is Not Enough” • The climate and biodiversity crises reflect the stories that we have allowed to infiltrate the collective psyche of industrial civilization. It is high time to let go of these stories. Regain clarity. Make room for other stories that can help us reshape our ways of being in the world. [GreenBiz]

Protest (Alex Hsuan Tsui | Shutterstock)

¶ “The Harm From Worrying About Climate Change” • Worry about climate change is affecting more people as global warming becomes more apparent around the world. But there is a solution that can help improve this anxiety and slow climate breakdown at the same time. And it helps to recognize that climate anxiety isn’t a pathology. [BBC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Russian Scientists Say They’ve Found The Highest-Ever ‘Flares’ Of Methane In Arctic Waters” • Russian scientists doing research in Arctic waters found the most powerful ever methane jets shooting up from the seabed to the water’s surface, they said. Amounts of methane in the air over the East Siberian Sea were up to nine times the global average. [CNN]

Russian scientists aboard ship (Tomsk Polytechnic University)

World:

¶ “Twenty Corporations Responsible For A Third Of All Carbon Emissions” • Climate Accountability published a report that tracks the CO₂ attributable to corporations since the Industrial Revolution began. It finds just 90 companies were responsible for two thirds of all CO₂ emissions, and a mere 20 of them are responsible for 30%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “StreetScooter Plans To Enter US And Chinese Markets With New Electric Delivery Trucks” • Deutsche Post purchased EV startup StreetScooter in 2014. Then it started to replace all 70,000 vehicles in its fleet with electric trucks, and to sell trucks to other companies. Now it is planning to build factories in the US and China. [CleanTechnica]

StreetScooter delivery truck (StreetScooter image)

¶ “Saudi Arabia’s Renewables Drive Remains In First Gear” • Saudi Arabia has promised to diversify its economy away from fossil fuels, but so far there has been limited evidence of large renewable energy projects. Fossil-fuel production has risen and Saudi delegates refuse to accept international climate reports presented to the UN. [Energy Reporters]

¶ “Scientists Endorse Mass Civil Disobedience To Force Climate Action” • Over 300 scientists from at least 20 countries, including climate scientists, physicists, biologists, and others, endorsed a civil disobedience campaign to force governments to act to tackle climate change. They warning that failure to do so could inflict “incalculable human suffering.” [bdnews24.com]

Extinction Rebellion demonstration in London (Reuters)

US:

¶ “‘If They Don’t Do It, We Will’: Greta Thunberg Rallies Climate Strikers For Long Haul” • Young people must be prepared to strike for a long time for action on climate change and not back down, the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has told a rally in Denver. Thunberg said she and fellow youth activists would not beg. [The Guardian]

¶ “Loons Likely To Disappear From Minnesota Due To Climate Change, New Report Warns” • Minnesota could lose its beloved state bird in coming decades if humans don’t stall climate change and prevent the common loon from shifting north, a report by the National Audubon Society, Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink says. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Loon (David Joles | Star Tribune)

¶ “Renewable Energy Firm Doubles Down On Western Wind Projects” • Pattern Development, a California-based renewable energy developer, plans to increase its investments by seven-fold, with an economic impact of $1.2 billion, as it prepares to build more wind farms in New Mexico and West Texas over the next several years. [Longview News-Journal]

¶ “President Trump’s Support Of US Uranium Producers Awaits The Nuclear Fuel Working Group Report” • The Nuclear Fuel Working Group is due to release its report to President Trump in the next few days (by mid October) and a positive outcome is going to be needed to help re-establish the US domestic uranium supply chain. [InvestorIntel]

Have an entirely untroubled day.

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