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

October 20, 2020

3,076 regular daily posts, linking 40,154 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 October 20, out of 97 US-licensed power reactors (including Three Mile Island, Indian Point 2, and Duane Arnold, which have been closed down), 8 were at reduced output and 20 not operating.

§ Video: Energy Week – 10/15/2020: Volvo is making electric fire trucks. The Icebreaker wind farm on Lake Erie is no longer subject to nighttime shutdowns. Green Hydrogen is growing quickly worldwide. Hurricane Delta made landfall in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, the same county where Laura made landfall not so many weeks ago. Five of California’s six largest wildfires in history were burning at the same time. And there is more.

§ You can get a copy of the latest Green Energy Times, the September 2020 edition, by downloading the pdf file HERE.


October 20 Energy News

October 20, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Company Thinks Its Plastic Alternative Can Help Solve Climate Change” • Such global brands as Amazon, McDonald’s, Ikea and General Motors plan to eliminate single-use plastics, reduce CO₂ emissions, and otherwise shrink their environmental footprint. Newlight Technologies hopes to speed up that process with a biodegradable plastic-like material. [CNN]

Biodegradable bag (Newlight Technologies image)

¶ “Sorry, Coal: 66% Conversion Efficiency Eyeballed For Next-Gen ‘Hot Carrler’ Perovskite Solar Cells” • In a team effort with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee spearheaded a new perovskite PV study that shines a light, so to speak, on a new pathway for improving perovskite solar cell efficiency. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “India Must Cut Pollution To Avoid Covid Disaster” • India’s dreaded pollution season has returned, as the air quality in Delhi and other northern cities has rapidly deteriorated in the last two weeks. This is bad news for the country’s fight against Covid-19, as several studies have linked air pollution to higher pandemic case numbers and deaths. [BBC]

Burning rice residue (CIAT, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Shanghai Tesla Model 3 With Cobalt-Free LFP Battery Is Now Shipping To Europe” • Last month, a Bloomberg News report said Tesla planned to ship Shanghai-made Tesla Model 3s to Europe. Now, customer pre-order agreements in France and Germany are showing up for “Model 3 – China.” Some may have LFP (LiFePO₄) batteries in them. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar To Power To Drive 50% Surge In Asia-Pacific Renewable Energy Capacity By 2025” • Analysis from Rystad Energy found the installed capacity of renewable energy in the Asia-Pacific region is set to soar from 497 GW this year to 754 GW in 2025. The driving force behind the increase will be solar, with regional PV capacity nearly doubling. [pv magazine Australia]

Large scale PV in China (Photo: Jinko Solar)

¶ “Tesla Megapack-Powered Windcharger In Alberta Goes Online” • A massive “Windcharger” in Alberta has officially started operation, according to TransAlta, the company that manages the project. The massive project, which will have energy stored in Tesla Megapacks, has a nameplate capacity of 10 MW and a total storage capacity of 20 MWh. [Teslarati]

¶ “Countries Raise The Sails On Offshore Renewables Sector” • Projections by the International Renewable Energy Agency are that global offshore wind and ocean energy installed capacity will reach 228 GW and 10 GW respectively by 2030. Ocean energy includes wave, tidal, and ocean thermal. Oceanic floating solar PVs are also considered. [Modern Diplomacy]

Offshore wind power

¶ “Poland, US Sign Civil Nuclear Power Cooperation Agreement” • According to the US Embassy in Warsaw, Poland and the US have concluded an intergovernmental cooperation agreement on the development of a civil nuclear power program and the civil nuclear power sector in Poland. The documents were signed in a virtual ceremony in the two countries. [The First News]

¶ “‘Green Jobs Key’ To UK Economic Recovery” • Green jobs in renewable energy, among other sectors, should be at the heart of the Covid-19 recovery in the UK to ensure long-term growth, according to a report, “Jobs for a strong and sustainable recovery from Covid-19,”  from the London School of Economics and Political Science. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Seb Kennedy | reNEWS)

US:

¶ “The Oil Industry Is In Crisis. ConocoPhillips Is Doubling Down” • Despite the gloom-and-doom in the oil industry and the specter of a blue wave in Washington, ConocoPhillips is doubling down on crude with a major acquisition. The company announced a $9.7 billion all-stock takeover of Concho Resources, a Permian Basin fracking company. [CNN]

¶ “Colorado’s Record-Breaking Wildfires Show ‘Climate Change Is Here And Now'” • The Cameron Peak fire, a few miles west of Fort Collins, Colorado, has engulfed over 200,000 acres and it’s still growing. It has now become the biggest wildlife in Colorado history. And it is the second fire in 2020 to set a record as largest wildfire in Colorado history. [CBS News]

Cameron Peak Fire (Loveland Fire Rescue Authority via Reuters)

¶ “New US Fuel Cell Alliance Blows Dark Green Hydrogen Cloud Over Natural Gas” • Companies in California are moving on fuel cell EVs, but the new Western State Hydrogen Alliance is aiming to promote fuel heavy duty fuel cell mobility all across the West, covering not just one but 13 states from the Rocky Mountains all the way over to Hawaii. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The United States Consumed Record Amount Of Renewable Energy In 2019” • According to the US Energy Information Administration’s Monthly Energy Review, in 2019, consumption of renewable energy in the US grew for the fourth year in a row, reaching a record 11.5 quadrillion BTUs, or 11% of total US energy consumption. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Windham County Sheriff Purchases Tesla To Add To fleet” • Electric vehicles are showing up all over the place – in your neighbor’s driveway, in the local public works department and in bus fleets around the nation. Now, in Vermont, the Windham County Sheriff’s office has one. And it will save the taxpayers a lot of money on fuel and repairs. [Brattleboro Reformer]

¶ “Canadian Solar Closes Supply Contract With Goldman Sachs Renewable Power” • Canadian Solar Inc has closed a supply contract and long term service agreement with Goldman Sachs Renewable Power LLC to deliver and integrate a 75 MW/300 MWh lithium-ion battery storage solution into the 100 MW AC Mustang solar plant in California. [Solar Industry]

Have an extraordinarily delightful day.

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October 19 Energy News

October 19, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Why The US Election Could Decide Battle Against Climate Change” • Scientists studying climate change say that the re-election of Donald Trump could make it “impossible” to keep global temperatures in check. They’re worried another four years of Trump would “lock in” the use of fossil fuels in the US for decades to come. [BBC]

Trump digs coal (Getty Images)

¶ “World Energy Outlook From IEA Is Full Of Doublespeak” • The annual World Energy Outlook from the Internatinal Energy Agency reiterates a vision in which fossil fuels continue to dominate the energy mix far into the future. This provides investors and governments with a foundation to make financial decisions favoring fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Let Nature Design Your Renewable Energy Strategy” • It is time to redesign our energy strategy. And the very same nature that created an impressive energy palette with sun, wind, water and more can show us how to do it. Every point on the globe has multiple natural resources with unique synergies. All we need to do is balance them. [Renewables Now]

Tapping ocean power (Source: Seabased AB)

¶ “Big Banks Could Lose Billions In Global Energy Transition” • US banks began to grow reluctant to provide loan financing to oil and gas firms before this year’s price collapse and pandemic. Well productiveness was lower than forecast and borrowers were sinking deeper into debt. Banks had to protect themselves. The trend has intensified across the world. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Texas Has A Big Lesson For Australia: Renewables Are Where The Money Is Flowing” • Australia is a lot like Texas. They have similar sized populations and economies and are hugely invested in resources extraction. Both have thriving renewable energy industries, powered by market investment, while gas is failing. But Australia plans to subsidize gas. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines in Texas (Drew Kolb | Flickr)

Science and Technology:

¶ “NREL Advances Thermochromic Window Technologies” • The US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory reported a breakthrough in developing a next-generation thermochromic window. The NREL scientists say that a new solar cell not only reduces the need for air conditioning but generates electricity at the same time. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Sharks Have Killed 7 People In Australia This Year, The Most Since 1934. Climate Change Could Be A Factor” • Sharks have killed seven people in Australia this year. There were no shark attack deaths in Australia in 2019, and most years see one or two deaths. While this year’s large number could be simple bad luck, it could also result from the climate crisis. [CNN]

Bull shark (iStock photo)

World:

¶ “Western Australia OKs Renewable Power Export Project” • The government of Western Australia approved development of a 15,000-MW solar and wind project, which will export electricity to Indonesia and supply the WA iron ore sector. It is the first stage of the proposed Asian Renewable Energy Hub that is targeted to expand to 26,000 MW. [Argus Media]

¶ “Solar, Storage, And Wind – Success Stories In Australia, US, And Vietnam” • Traditional power generators have a problem. It takes years to design, build, and activate any coal or gas powered facility. Building a nuclear power plant can take a decade or more. But renewables, especially solar, can come online quickly. Here are a few examples. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array in Vietnam (Courtesy of Trungnam Group)

¶ “New Zealand To Keep Oil Drilling Ban, Renewables Push” • New Zealand’s ruling Labour party has won an outright victory in national elections, after winning 64 of 120 seats in the October 17 election. It will maintain the country’s ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration, and the victory sets the scene for a further expansion of renewable energy. [Argus Media]

¶ “Australia Key Player In Global Power System Transformation Team” • The Australian Energy Market Operator has joined five power system operators around the world, each with have more than 50% renewables in its mix, in a new partnership. Its mission is “to foment a rapid clean-energy transition at unprecedented scope and scale.” [pv magazine Australia]

Floating solar system (Image: Hanwha Q Cells)

¶ “Egypt To Establish New Wind Power Complex With 2000-MW Capacity” • Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy announced that work is underway to construct a new wind power complex with a capacity of 2,000 MW in the Red Sea governorate. Of that, 500 MW will be generated by the German company Siemens. [Egypt Independent]

US:

¶ “Penn State Now Purchasing Renewable Electricity From Solar Farms” • Penn State has recently begun purchasing renewable energy from three recently built solar farms in Franklin County, according to a university release. The purchase is part of a larger goal the university has to be more sustainable and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [Onward State]

Solar farm (Courtesy of Lightsource BP)

¶ “Fisker Ocean Gets Real With Help From Magna” • This past week, Fisker announced that its upcoming Ocean electric SUV would be built by none other than automotive super-supplier Magna. It is a move that offers Fisker access to Magna’s global supply chain and gives the latest iteration of the Fisker EV brand real, instant street cred. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Offshore Wind Project Completes Final Step, Ready To Deliver Renewable Energy To Virginians” • Dominion Energy announced that final testing of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind pilot is complete. It is ready to enter commercial service, providing clean energy to Virginians. As it runs, a technical review will be under way. [WJHL-TV]

Have an entertainingly glorious day.

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October 18 Energy News

October 18, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “My Personal History With Global Warming” • I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia from 1964–1966. While I was there, I tested my skills at the highest ski resort in the world, on the impressive glacier at Mount Chacaltaya, five feet of fresh snow on top of ten feet of glacier. Returning for a visit, I found  the snow and glacier had vanished. [CleanTechnica]

Chacaltaya Refuge (Joan Simon, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “How Should the Media Talk About Climate Change?” • Activist Genevieve Guenther says the media’s refusalt to speak the words naming the cause of the disasters we suffer from is as pernicious as denial. “There is a name for the unprecedented intensity and scale and relentlessness of extreme-weather disasters,” she said. “Climate change.” [The New Yorker]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Estimating Solar Energy Potential On House Roofs Virtually – Total And Google Cloud Team Up” • Total and Google Cloud are enthusiastically sharing that they have pooled their expertise and created a tool called Solar Mapper. With this tool, they aim to accelerate PV deployment of with quick and accurate estimates of solar energy potentials. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar power (SunPower image)

World:

¶ “Foxconn Unveils EV Platform; FCA To Build EVs In Canada” • In the EV era, new car companies are springing up faster than crabgrass. BYD, NIO, Xpeng, Faraday Future, Lucid, Tesla, Kandi, Fisker, Rivian – the list is long and growing. The reason is that electric drive trains can be easily supplied, and the Taiwanese company Foxconn plans to do just that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Power To Spur Energy Transition” • BP Energy Outlook 2020 forecast that energy demand growth in China will slow dramatically, and the growth of industrial energy demand will be concentrated in the emerging world outside of China as industrial activities intensive in energy and labor are moving to lower-cost economies. [Chinadaily USA]

Wind turbine in Northwest China [Photo: Xinhua]

¶ “Nuclear Still Dominant As Renewables Gain Further Ground In Hungaryʼs Energy Mix” • In 2019, Hungary’s electricity mix had 49% nuclear, 23% gas, 15% coal, and 12% renewables. A report from the  International Atomic Energy Agency last year noted that green energy production is expected to rise “steeply” in the next few years. [Budapest Business Journal]

US:

¶ “Offshore Wind: Latest News on Turbines, State Action, And Markets from Coast to Coast” • Other news may capturing the public attention, but there are some headline-worthy happenings in the world of offshore wind, including the first turbines in US federal waters. If you could use a splash of good news, here are a few updates. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “NRDC Sues US Department Of Energy Over Efficiency Standards Process Changes” • NRDC sued the DOE for altering its energy efficiency standards-setting process to make it more difficult to set rigorous energy-saving levels for appliances and equipment. They believe the change will harm consumers and increase climate-harming pollution. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Every State COULD Be Powered With 100% Renewable Energy” • If each US state took full advantage of its renewable resources, how much of its electricity needs would that cover? Would in-state renewable generation be enough to charge EVs and power electric heating, too? The answer, in almost every state, is a resounding yes. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Energy self-reliant states (ILSR image)

¶ “Amid Climate Crisis, Many Americans Still Don’t Know What The Green New Deal Is” • A poll by the Center for American Progress Action Fund showed confusion about policy proposals in the Green New Deal. A whopping 53% of Americans couldn’t say whether the Green New Deal was favorable or unfavorable. They simply don’t know what it is. [Truth Out]

¶ “Trump Is Delaying A Crucial Climate Report. Experts Say That’s Dangerous” • Environmental advocates want to know why NOAA hasn’t released a crucial climate report. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the agency, which oversees government research on climate change threats. [The American Independent]

Have an amusingly carefree day.

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October 17 Energy News

October 17, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Sweden’s New Car Carrier Is The World’s Largest Wind-Powered Vessel” • Oceanbird is a wind-powered transatlantic car carrier is being designed by a Swedish shipbuilder, Wallenius Marine, with support from the Swedish government and several research institutions. The 35,000 ton ship will be powered by five telescoping rigid sails. [CNN]

Oceanbird (Wallenius Marine image)

¶ “New Process Turns Plastic Waste Into Hydrogen And Carbon Nanotubes” • A group of researchers in the UK, China, and Saudi Arabia think they have discovered a partial solution to the plastic waste problem. Plastics are pulverized, mixed with catalysts, and heated with microwaves. The process produces hydrogen and carbon nanotubes. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Are Europe’s Night Trains Back In Fashion?” • Sweden has been expanding its long-distance rail offerings, but it is not alone. Over the past couple of years, countries from the UK to Austria have begun introducing or revamping sleeper routes that could potentially make rail travel a more efficient and attractive option for the tourist market in the longer term. [BBC]

Night train

¶ “Germany Must Push 2030 Renewables Target To 75% Or Even 80% Percent, Its Environment Minister Says” • The German environment minister called for a sharp increase in the country’s renewables targets. Svenja Schulze said the country will have to increase renewables’ share in power use to “at least 75%, maybe even 80%” by 2030. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “LeasePlan Asks Customers To Please Stop Leasing Plugin Hybrid Company Cars” • LeasePlan is a European auto leasing company whose main function is fleet management. It advises companies it does business with not to use plug-in hybrid cars because the way companies typically use them leads to greater fuel consumption than expected. [CleanTechnica]

Mitsubishi Outlander

¶ “Government Gives Climate-Wrecking Adani Millions To ‘Attract Investment'” • The Queensland Government gave Adani a mega-million dollar tax holiday for its Carmichael thermal coal mine. Treasurer Cameron Dick said its sole reason to do that is to encourage investment. The tax support seems not to have been needed otherwise. [Independent Australia]

¶ “GE And SoftBank Energy Partner On One Of India’s Largest Wind Projects” • GE Renewable Energy has been selected by SB Energy to supply, install and commission 121 of its onshore wind turbines, totaling 327 MW, to be installed at Pritam Nagar wind farm in Madhya Pradesh, India. Its ouput could power 250,000 households. [Power Engineering International]

GE turbine (GE image)

US:

¶ “Leading Scientists Urge Voters to Dump Trump” • Science has long considered itself to be an apolitical enterprise. But in the midst of a global pandemic and with the 2020 election looming, some scientific institutions and elite journals have suddenly become willing to take a political stance against President Donald Trump and his allies. [Scientific American]

¶ “GM Rebrands Hamtramck Plant As Factory ZERO; Hummer Available Late 2021” • General Motors has committed to a future of zero-crashes, zero-emissions, and zero-congestion. Now, GM says it is rebranding the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center as Factory ZERO. It is being reconfigured for all-EV assembly, with a $2.2 billion investment. [CleanTechnica]

GM Factory ZERO Retooling (Photo: Jeffrey Sauger for GM)

¶ “Electrify America Adding 36 Ultrafast Chargers In 9 Meijer Parking Lots” • Electrify America continues its long march across the US. Most recently, it announced a partnership with Meijer, a major supercenter retail chain in the Midwest. It will be installing 36 ultrafast charging stations at nine stores. The stores are in the Chicago area and in Michigan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tucson Electric Power Looks To Expand Renewables, Raise Customer Rates” • Earlier this year Tucson Electric Power announced it would dramatically increase its renewable energy generation, with plans to get 70% of its power from renewables by 2035. That big change from its previous plan to get 30% by 2030 was due to lower costs. [Arizona Public Media]

Tucson Electric Power solar array (Christopher Conover | AZPM)

¶ “ExxonMobil Misled The Public About The Climate Crisis. Now They’re Trying To Silence Critics” • Newly leaked documents, reported by Bloomberg News, show that ExxonMobil drew up plans to expand fossil fuel production, calculated how much this would increase their CO₂ emissions, then failed to disclose those estimates to investors. [The Guardian]

¶ “Texas Wind Power Growth 2010–2019: 6% to 18% of Texas Electricity” • In 2019, wind-powered generation contributed 84,400 GWh of electricity in Texas, an 11% increase from the 75,700 GWh generated in 2018. The generation increase was largely a result of growth in Texas wind capacity, which rose almost 17% in 2019 to 28.1 GW. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in Texas (Leaflet, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “EDF Renewables Acquires 4.5-GW Solar Portfolio From Geenex Solar” • EDF Renewables North America and Geenex Solar announced the close of an agreement of up to 4.5-GW (AC) pipeline of solar development assets in the PJM transmission area in the eastern US. The transaction will accelerate EDFR growth in the PJM region. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Department Of Energy Picks Two Advanced Nuclear Reactors For Demonstration Projects” • Hoping to revive the moribund US nuclear power industry, the DOE announced that it will help build two radically new nuclear reactors within 7 years. One of them will be fueled with highly enriched uranium, reducing the number of refueling stops. [Science Magazine]

Have a pleasantly invigorating day.

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October 16 Energy News

October 16, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Hydrogen Boom Will Provide A $200 Billion Boost To Wind And Solar Energy” • The renewable energy sector has lately been sizzling with very bullish projections, and a few bearish ones, coming from Wall Street. However, one corner of the market has really been hogging the limelight, and that is the hydrogen sector. [OilPrice.com]

Hydrogen station (Dr Artur Braun, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Facebook Using AI To Enhance Renewable Energy Storage Amid Climate Crisis” • With the climate crisis, Facebook and Carnegie Mellon University are teaming up to use artificial intelligence to find electrocatalysts that can enhance storage for energy generated with renewable energy, according to a blog post from Facebook. [Interesting Engineering]

¶ “SpaceX To Launch Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Satellite On November 10” • The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite will be launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on November 10. Sentinel 6 will be capable of monitoring the level of 90% of the oceans with millimeter accuracy. It will also get data on atmospheric temperature and moisture. [CleanTechnica]

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite (NASA image)

¶ “Global Warming Is Detectable Even At The Ocean Floor” • As the planet has warmed,  the surface of our oceans has absorbed much of the excess temperature in the atmosphere. Yet it isn’t just the water’s surface that has been warming, say scientists at NOAA. Global warming can now be measured that the bottom of the ocean. [Sustainability Times]

World:

¶ “Russia’s ‘Slow-Motion Chernobyl’ At Sea” • A 2019 feasibility study looking at cleaning up nuclear waste lost or dumped at sea in Russian waters found 18,000 radioactive objects in the Arctic Ocean, among them 19 vessels and 14 reactors. Some 90% of the measurable radiation is from six objects that Rosatom will raise over the next 12 years. [BBC]

K-159 before sinking (©Nuclear-Submarine-Decommissioning.ru)

¶ “The Loophole the Auto Industry Uses in the EU to Evade the Emission Rules” • The auto industry is not converting to all electric driving as fast as it could. Instead, it is converting some current dirty fossil fuel models to plugin hybrids to keep the investment in them returning a profit longer. Sadly, the data on their CO₂ emissions are wrong. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EU Lawmakers: Fossil Fuels Have No Place In EU Recovery Fund” • EU lawmakers are pushing to keep fossil fuels out of the €670 billion recovery pot the Union is handling. They’re also pushing for more of that money to be put into “green” projects. Transport & Environment reports that they voted to increase green spending from 37% to 47%. [CleanTechnica]

Pipeline (Transport & Environment via Twitter)

¶ “Major Step Forward For World-Leading Pilbara Renewable Energy Project” • The 15-GW first stage of the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, a large-scale wind and solar hybrid renewable energy project in Western Australia, could create thousands of jobs in the Pilbara region and would be one of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen projects [Mirage News]

¶ “Nova Expands Shetland Tidal Array” • Nova Innovation has celebrated its 10th birthday with the successful expansion of the world’s first tidal array in the Shetland Isles of Scotland. The company said it has installed its commercial direct-drive tidal turbine Eunice, which is now powering homes across Shetland. Two more similar turbines are coming. [reNEWS]

Eunice (Nova Innovation image)

¶ “Tasmania Liberal Government Tables 200% Renewables Bill” • Legislation to lock in Tasmania’s renewable energy target of 200% by 2040 has been introduced in the state’s Parliament, representing an ambitious plan to double the tiny island state’s hydro, wind and solar energy production and make it the “Battery of the Nation.” [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Japan To Release Over A Million Tonnes Of Contaminated Fukushima Water Into The Sea – Reports” • Japan’s government has reportedly decided to release into the sea over a million tonnes of contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Local fishermen say the move will destroy their industry. [The Guardian]

Fukushima Daiichi (Kazuhiro Nogi | AFP via Getty Images)

US:

¶ “Elementary School District To Save $40 Million From Energy Efficiency And Solar” • According to Midstate Energy, it has a contract with Cartwright Elementary School District in Phoenix to come up with a guaranteed $40 million in energy savings with no upfront cost. I say again: $40 million in energy savings with no upfront cost. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Saves Austin Central Library $100,000 A Year” • Austin, Texas, has a goal of reaching 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035. Now, that goal is saving it money. Austin Central Library has gone solar, and it’s saving a lot of money as a result of that. Specifically, from a 180-kW solar array on its roof, the library is saving $100,000 a year. [CleanTechnica]

Austin Central Library solar roof (PRNewsfoto | Apparent, Inc)

¶ “Governor Cuomo Announces PSC Approval Of Expanded Clean Energy Standard To Decarbonize New York’s Power Sector And Combat Climate Change” • Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced that the New York State Public Service Commission approved an expansion of the landmark Clean Energy Standard to achieve the state’s climate goals. [ny.gov]

¶ “More & More Bus Fleets Transition From Diesel To Battery-Electric” • Historically, most of the US public transit system has been powered by polluting fossil fuels. Now, as cities turn to zero emission transportation goals and bus fleets transition to battery-electric vehicles, quiet and sustainable public transportation is becoming more and more common. [CleanTechnica]

Have a gracefully ecstatic day.

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October 15 Energy News

October 15, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Keep It Clean: How Renewables Can Lead The Recovery From Covid-19” • Despite the profound impact of the pandemic, most of the critical issues that were facing the Australian energy industry before the pandemic haven’t changed. Many of those issues will become even more important as we look to jumpstart the economy and replace lost jobs. [Utility Magazine]

Wind farm (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Amy Coney Barrett’s Climate Dodge Isn’t Just Unscientific. It’s At Odds With Most Americans” • Twice this week, Amy Coney Barrett refused to acknowledge the scientific reality that the climate is changing. The second time, she doubled down, saying that the very issue of climate change was “a very contentious matter of public debate.” [Huffpost]

Science and Technology:

¶ “ExaWind Supercharges Wind Power Plant Simulations On Land And At Sea” • ExaWind has groundbreaking simulation capabilities so engineers can create virtual environments where they can test their designs in real-time and move forward with confidence, minimizing industry risk and ensuring optimized performance down the road. [CleanTechnica]

Simulated flow structure of a 5-MW wind turbine
rotor (Graphic by Shreyas Ananthan, NREL)

¶ “Using Ammonia To Store And Transport Renewable Energy” • Although ammonia is a gas at room temperature, it is much more readily liquified than hydrogen, enabling large quantities of energy to be stored and transported. It can be directly in fuel cells, converted back into hydrogen, or burned in an internal combustion engine. [Engineering.com]

¶ “‘Staggering’ Rise In The Number Of Natural Disasters” • A report from the UN Office on Disaster Risk Reduction says there were 7,348 disaster events recorded worldwide in 2000 to 2019, with 1.23 million fatalities and $2.97 trillion in losses. There were 4,212 reported disasters 1.19 million deaths and losses of $1.63 trillion in 1980 to 1999. [Environment Journal]

Storm over Bavaria (P Horálek, ESO, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “11% Plugin Vehicle Share In France!” • While the overall French automotive market had a so so month (down 3% in September), plugin vehicle sales continued to be steaming hot (up 322%). Plugin hybrids (PHEVs) were up 486%, to 7,867 units, faring better than 100% electric vehicles (BEVs), which were up only 138%, to 10,011 registrations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Audi And Volkswagen Both Amp Up Their Plug-In Hybrid Offerings” • In separate press releases, Audi and Volkswagen have announced two new plug-in hybrid variants for their largest SUV models – the Audi Q8 and Volkswagen Taureg. Make no mistake; both cars looks substantially different on the outside but they are virtually identical under the skin. [CleanTechnica]

Audi Q8 (Credit: Audi)

¶ “Total, Adani Expand India PV Portfolio To 2.3 GW” • Total’s joint venture with Indian renewables developer Adani is to expand its solar PV portfolio to 2,300 MW from 2,100 MW. The expansion comprises a 100-MW and a 30-MW facility in the north of India and a 75-MW installation in the west of the country. [reNEWS]

¶ “11-kW Bi-Directional ABB Chargers Coming To France, UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium” • ABB, one of the leaders of the EV charging industry, is taking a step toward bi-directional 11-kW charging. The charging station comes along with a vehicle-to-grid partnership in France with DREEV, which is to expand to the UK, Italy, Belgium, and Germany. [CleanTechnica]

V2G charging with a Nissan LEAF

¶ “Renewable Energy Investments Can Surge 35% Through FY23 In India: CRISIL” • By stimulating global investor interest and enabling regulations, India can fuel the addition of as much as 35 GW of renewable energy (solar and wind power) capacity, with ₹1.5 lakh crore ($13.6 billion) of investments through fiscal 2023, CRISIL analysis estimates. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Ikea Adelaide Constructing Unique Microgrid On Its Way To 100% Renewable Energy” • Ikea Adelaide and Planet Ark Power have come together to make good use of the vast expanse of an Ikea rooftop. They are constructing what Planet Art Power is calling Australia’s largest grid-connected commercial microgrid of its kind. [pv magazine Australia]

Rendering of Ikea Adelaide on completion (Image: Ikea Adelaide)

US:

¶ “A Ground-Mounted Home Solar Power System For Less Than $13,700?” • Answering those who think solar systems are too expensive, GoGreenSolar has a 5-kW solar power kit for only $7,228.  Together with other parts needed for installation and the labor to get that done, the total system cost is $13,700. This figure is without incentives. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hundreds Of Electric Blue Bird Buses Across The USA – Got One Yet?” • While we don’t yet have the chance to celebrate thousands of electric school buses across the USA, Blue Bird has announced that it has already sold hundreds of electric buses, and there’s been “a surge in demand for their 100% electric school buses.” [CleanTechnica]

Blue Bird Electric School Bus Safety

¶ “Arizona regulators give OK to requiring more energy efficiency from utilities” • After four years of debate, workshops and multiple attempts, the Arizona Corporation Commission gave initial approval to a new requirement for electric utilities to boost their energy-efficiency programs. They voted 4 to 1 to increase the efficiency standard. [AZCentral.com]

¶ “DOE Awards $160 Million To TerraPower And X-Energy To Build Advanced Nuclear Plants By 2027” • The DOE awarded $160 million to X-energy and TerraPower, with the potential for billions more in federal funding, as the companies strive to build a working model of their smaller scale, more flexible advanced nuclear reactor designs by 2027. [Greentech Media]

Have a transcendentally uplifting day.

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October 14 Energy News

October 14, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Mitch McConnell Leaves Kentucky Nearly Last In Everything While Drowning Democracy And US Progress In The Senate” • Kentucky is a coal state. What has happened to coal with Donald Trump in office is exactly what Hillary Clinton said. She had a plan. Donald Trump didn’t. He simply claimed that he would magically save the coal industry. [CleanTechnica]

McConnell’s successes (Risky Liberal 86.43 via Twitter)

¶ “Five Things Individuals Can Do To Fight Climate Change” • In a recent Yale poll, two-thirds of Americans said they felt personal responsibility to reduce global warming. While it is clear that “solving” climate change will require an unprecedented overhaul of the global energy system, there are things everyday people can do to reduce their carbon emissions. [Quartz]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Great Barrier Reef Has Lost Half Its Corals Within Three Decades” • Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has lost 50% of its coral populations in the last three decades, with climate change a key driver of reef disturbance, a study has found. Between a quarter and a third of all marine species rely on reef systems at some point in their life cycle. [CNN]

Great Barrier Reef corals (CNN)

¶ “Exploring Eagle Hearing And Vision Capabilities To Reduce Risk At Wind Farms” • Purdue University and the University of Minnesota are studying the visual and auditory capabilities of bald and golden eagles to help improve the deterrents used for wind energy facilities. Their findings will be made at to eagle deterrent technology developers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump Administration Study Finds Climate Change, Oil Drilling Could Threaten Polar Bears” • A study examining polar bear habitats in Alaska found that upcoming large industrial activities could have an effect on polar bear populations. The bears are already fighting for survival due to climate change factors including rapid ice loss. [KTVU San Francisco]

Polar bears in Alaska (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Queensland Transition To Renewables Would Generate Almost 10,000 Jobs, Analysis Shows” • Queensland has the potential to draw all of its electricity from renewable sources in a 15-year transition away from fossil fuels that would generate almost 10,000 jobs, according to analysis commissioned by the Queensland Conservation Council. [The Guardian]

¶ “Mainstream Secures $280 Million Construction Finance” • Wind and solar developer Mainstream Renewable Power closed a $280 million construction finance facility with AMP Capital Infrastructure Debt Fund IV to support a 1,300-MW build out in Chile. The proceeds will be used to fund 951 MW of onshore wind and 350 MW solar PV construction. [reNEWS]

Windpower construction (Mainstream Renewable Power)

¶ “Solar Energy Reaches Historically Low Costs” • In some parts of the world, solar power is the cheapest source of electricity in history, thanks to policies encouraging renewable energy growth, according to a report by the International Energy Agency. In most countries, it’s consistently cheaper to build solar farms than new gas-fired power plants. [The Verge]

¶ “Hydropower Pushes For Greater Access To Green Finance” • Hydropower, the largest source of renewable electricity, could begin using environmental, social, and corporate governance measures to bolster project financing from the end of this year. Investors are increasingly scrutizing environmental, social, and ethical standards. [Greentech Media]

Hydropower dam in Norway (Photo: Statkraft)

¶ “Tsunami-Hit Onagawa Reactor To Get Restart OK By Year’s End” • A nuclear reactor that was damaged by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami is all but certain to resume operations after the governor of the prefecture hosting the facility decided to give his blessing to its targeted 2022 restart, according to local officials. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “Tesla Cofounder JB Straubel Wants To Build The World’s Top Battery Recycling Company” • Tesla cofounder and longtime CTO JB Straubel has big plans for the battery industry. He is trying to turn his startup Redwood Materials into the world’s top battery recycling company. He also plans to create one of the largest battery materials companies. [CleanTechnica]

JB Straubel (Tesla Owners East Bay via Twitter)

¶ “The TVA’s Slower Pace Toward Renewable Energy Weakens Nashville’s Future, Report Finds” • A growing number of electric utilities in the US have made a pledge to reach “net-zero” CO₂ emissions by 2050. But not the Tennessee Valley Authority. And that, according to a report, puts the Music City at an economic disadvantage. [The Tennessean]

¶ “NREL And CharIN Test Out Megawatt Charging System In USA” • In September, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory joined forces with the Charging Interface Initiative to host a high-power EV charging connector test event. Results from the tests will help inform development of interoperable connector and inlet designs. [CleanTechnica]

Evaluating fit and ergonomics (Photo: Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Hillsboro Harnesses Renewable Power From Water Pipes” • In Hillsboro, Oregon, the concession stands, EV charging stations, and stadium lights at Ron Tonkin field are being powered with renewable energy. It’s not solar or wind power, but hydropower generated by the water flowing through the pipes right below the stadium’s parking lot. [KGW.com]

¶ “Home Depot Will Buy Enough Power From A 284-MW Solar+Storage Project To Power 150 Stores” • Enel Green Power North America is building a 284-MW Azure Sky solar+storage project. The Home Depot will buy the electricity generated from a 75-MW portion of the Azure Sky solar project through a power purchase agreement. [Solar Power World]

Have a simply spectacular day.

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October 13 Energy News

October 13, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How Green Energy Makes The Military Stronger” • As strange as it may sound to some, the defense sector is on the front line of the renewable-energy revolution. The military has always been good at innovation or adapting new technologies for its needs, and there is no need to go far for examples. The internet comes to mind. And there is cost savings. [Asia Times]

USS Ronald Reagan and others (Erwin Jacob | US Navy | AFP)

¶ “Exxon’s Latest Business Plan: Drill, Baby, Drill” • While many of the world’s largest oil companies are rushing ahead with plans to slash carbon emissions and transition to renewable energy, ExxonMobil is charting its own course, one that will help heat the Earth’s environment to the point where its customers will no longer be able to survive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How The UK’s Secret Defence Policy Is Driving Energy Policy – With The Public Kept In The Dark” • The UK government has for 15 years persistently backed new nuclear power. Given the problems of nuclear energy, it is hard to see why, aside from a commitment to being a nuclear military force. It is another reason to oppose its military use. [The Fifth Estate]

Nuclear plant (Frédéric Paulussen | Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Electric Cars Will Treble Market Share This Year In Europe” • Despite the pandemic, European EV sales have surged since 1 January, just as the emissions standards kicked in. According to Transport & Environment, which analysed sales in the first half of 2020 as well as carmakers’ compliance strategies, they will reach 10% this year and 15% in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “German Ship Completes Historic Arctic Expedition” • The German Research Vessel Polarstern has sailed back into its home port. The ship spent a year in the polar north, much of it with its engines turned off so it could simply drift in the sea-ice. And expedition leader, Prof Markus Rex, returned with a warning. “The sea-ice is dying,” he said. [BBC]

RV Polarstern returning to Bremerhaven (Annika Meyer)

¶ “Vietnamese Firm Launches Country’s Largest Solar Farm Amid Renewables Drive” • Vietnam’s Trung Nam Group has launched a 450-MW solar farm, the largest of its kind in the country. Facing shortages of energy, Vietnam is seeking to boost the proportion of renewables while reducing dependence on coal in its power mix. [The Business Times]

¶ “WA’s Whole Of System Plan Forecasts Renewable Generation On The Rise” • The Western Australian Government launched the Whole of System Plan, which gives a 20-year forecast for the South West Interconnected System. It models four scenarios of demand, technology, and economy. And it shows a huge increase in renewable generation. [Energy Magazine]

Wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “IEA: Solar Growth To Lead Renewables Charge” • Solar power growth will lead the expansion of renewables in the next ten years, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020. The report’s “stated policies scenario” suggests that clean power is set to meet 80% of global electricity demand growth over the next decade. [reNEWS]

¶ “Stop CO₂ Emissions Bouncing Back After Covid Plunge, Says IEA” • CO₂ emissions from energy use are expected to fall to 33.4 gigatonnes in 2020, to the lowest level since 2011, and the biggest year on year fall since 1900, the International Energy Agency said in its annual world energy outlook. But governments are not doing enough to prevent a rapid rebound. [The Guardian]

Coal-fired power station (Ina Fassbender | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “WA Energy Utility Synergy To Receive More Than $700 Million In Taxpayer Subsidies As Revenue Slides” • In Western Australia, taxpayers will fork out almost three-quarters of a billion dollars to subsidise loss-making electricity utility Synergy. Synergy is being battered by low prices and an onslaught of renewable energy. [ABC News]

¶ “Mainstream JV Eyes 1-GW Vietnamese Offshore Boost” • Irish developer Mainstream Renewable Power and Vietnamese joint venture partner Phu Cuong Group applied to the authorities in Vietnam to add a 1-GW second phase to the planned 400-MW first stage of the Phu Cuoong Soc Trang offshore wind farm. Commercial operations should start in 2023. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Nicholas Doherty | Unsplash)

US:

¶ “US Tesla Sales Up 22% In 3rd Quarter, US Auto Sales Down 9%” • Overall, the US auto market saw its sales decrease 9% in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the third quarter of 2019. That’s much better than earlier in the year. Across the first three quarters of the year, US auto sales were down 19%. But Tesla and a few others were up. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Polling On Climate Change: Denial Is Out, Alarm Is In” • Americans are now nearly four times more likely to say they’re alarmed about the climate crisis than to be dismissive of it. That’s the highest ratio ever since the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication first began gathering data on American attitudes about climate change back in 2008. [Grist]

Dismissal vs Alarm (Grist | CSA Images | Getty Images)

¶ “Arrival Plans First US Microfactory In South Carolina” • In an e-mail to CleanTechnica, Arrival said its first US microfactory will open in Rock Hill, South Carolina in 2021. Production will first focus on electric buses with the first delivery expected before the end of next year. Arrival says its $46 million investment into the region will create 240 new jobs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Department Of Energy Announces Over $7 Million To Protect Electric Grid From Cyberattacks In Michigan” • The DOE announced over $7 million in funding for cybersecurity company, The Dream Team LLC, to develop a first-of-its-kind infrastructure that protects the electric grid from cyberattacks on EVs and EV charging systems. [CleanTechnica]

Have an outstandingly priceless day.

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October 12 Energy News

October 12, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “International Scientists Return From Arctic With Wealth Of Climate Data” • The RV Polarstern icebreaker, a ship carrying scientists on a year-long international effort to study the high Arctic, has returned to its home port in Germany carrying a wealth of data that will help researchers better predict climate change in the decades to come. [The Irish News]

Polarstern

¶ “25-Year Study Of Nuclear Vs Renewables Says One Is Clearly Better At Cutting Emissions” • Nuclear power is often promoted as one of the best ways to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to generate the electricity we need, but new research suggests that going all-in on renewables such as wind and solar might be a better approach. [ScienceAlert]

World:

¶ “Turkish Ship At Center Of Greece Row To Return To The Mediterranean” • The Turkish navy said a research ship at the center of an energy rights row will go back to disputed waters in the Mediterranean. Tensions flared with Greece in August when the Oruc Reis went to survey an area claimed by Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus for potentially rich oil and gas deposits. [BBC]

The Oruc Reis (Reuters image)

¶ “Norwegian Importer Expects EVs To Be 90% Of Volkswagen Sales In 2021” • The all new Volkswagen ID.3 was the best selling electric car in Norway in September, outpacing the vaunted Tesla Model 3. Volkswagen has always been one of the top sellers in the Norwegian market, and the government is still maintaining incentives for EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Agrophotovoltaic News: Bifacial Panels In Germany, Grazing Sheep In Austria” • Next2Sun has an innovative PV system that combines agricultural use and solar power on the same area. It has a vertical arrangement of solar modules that use sunlight from both the front and the rear, facing east and west, while the area between is used for agriculture. [CleanTechnica]

Agrophotovoltaic array (Credit: Next2Sun)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Secures 372-MW Björnberget Order” • Siemens Gamesa is to supply 60 of its 5.X platform turbines for Prime Capital and Enlight Energy’s 372-MW Björnberget wind farm in the municipality of Ånge, in central Sweden. The project will use the SG5.8-170 model, operating at 6.2 MW. The turbines are to be installed in 2022. [reNEWS]

¶ “NSW Pumped Hydro Project Fast-Tracked To Help Replace Ageing Coal-Fired Power Stations” • A billion dollar pumped hydro project planned for New South Wakes is being fast-tracked by the State Government, with hopes it will be ready ahead of upcoming coal-fired power station closures. The Oven Mountain project will have a capacity of 600 MW. [ABC News]

Pumped storage plant in Tasmania (ABC Rural: Tony Briscoe)

¶ “Joint Electricity Regulator Approves ₹2.83/kWh For 40 MW Of Wind Energy In Chandigarh” • India’s Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission approved a ₹2.83/kWh (3.9¢/kWh) tariff and a trading margin of ₹0.07/kWh for the procurement of 40 MW of wind power between Chandigarh and the Solar Energy Corporation of India. [Mercom India]

¶ “Statkraft Starts 519-MW Brazilian Project” • Statkraft is to start construction of its 519-MW Ventos de Santa Eugenia wind project in northeastern Brazil, after closing a turbine supply contract with German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex. Statkraft’s largest wind project in South America will more than double its renewable energy capacity in Brazil. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Statkraft image)

¶ “Hellenic Petroleum Will Build Greece’s Biggest Renewable Energy Project” • Greece is moving to tap its most available energy source: the sun. Greece is turning toward solar energy with the oil company Hellenic Petroleum getting €75 million ($88.62 million) in funding to build the country’s largest renewable energy project. [The National Herald]

¶ “Renewable Energy To Replace Coal In WA’s Biggest Power Grid As Solar Hollows Market, Report Predicts” • More than half of Western Australia’s remaining coal-fired electricity capacity could be phased out within five years, according to a landmark report that charts the extraordinary rise of renewable energy. It also predicts no new transmission lines. [ABC News]

Moving coal (ABC News | Tom Edwards)

US:

¶ “USA’s $100 Million Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Plan” • The US has just launched another sneak attack on coal, oil, and natural gas, with a new five-year, $100 million green hydrogen and fuel cell truck plan from the Energy Department. It is aimed squarely at pushing diesel out of the growing market for long-haul transportation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Louisiana Has Been Hit By 3 Deadly Hurricanes This Season: Reflections While Riding Out Delta” • The Gulf Coast states face tropical storms and potentially hurricanes every year. However, 2020 takes the cake. Louisiana has had to brace itself six times this year. During Laura, the winds raged for about nine so hours, but Laura was silent compared to Delta. [CleanTechnica]

Lake Charles, Louisiana, after Laura, before Delta (Josiah Pugh, Louisiana National Guard, public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “LafargeHolcim In The US Harnesses Solar Energy At Hagerstown Plant” • LafargeHolcim in the US announced the opening of a new solar field next to its Holcim Hagerstown Cement Plant in Maryland. The solar project will provide clean energy for the facility’s operations. It emphasized a boom in solar construction. [World Cement]

¶ “Question 6: Increasing Nevada’s Reliance On Renewable Energy To 50% By 2030” • Nevada’s Question 6 ballot initiative would create a constitutional guarantee that the state get at least 50% of its power from renewable sources. Although state law already mandates the 50% threshold, the constitution is much more difficult to change. [Reno Gazette-Journal]

Have an aesthetically pleasing day.

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October 11 Energy News

October 11, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “New York Pathways To Bus And Truck Electrification” • To achieve New York’s ambitious climate and clean energy goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York needs to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, the largest source of emissions in the state. [CleanTechnica]

New York City (Image by Robert Hoffmann via Unsplash)

¶ “Robert Redford: The Big Question I Want Answered” • After pointing out the importance of climate change, Covid-19, habitat destruction, and other complex issues, Robert Redford observes that while these issues threaten our way of life, they are being addressed neither by our federal leadership nor the press. He says the question is, “What do we do now?” [CNN]

¶ “Over The Water. Will Nuclear Power Plants Have To Adapt To Global Warming?” • Nuclear reactors need water to operate. There are around forty power plants in France, sited on rivers for water. These reactors represent almost half of the freshwater withdrawals carried out each year on French territory. It is four times more than agriculture. [Pledge Times]

Belleville nuclear plant (François GOGLINS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “On Wednesday, Mike Pence Downplayed Hurricanes. Last Night, Delta Proved Him Wrong” • In the debate, Mike Pence minimized the extreme weather taking place across the the US this year, claiming, “there are no more hurricanes today than there were 100 years ago.” Then Delta arrived, just one of the record-breaking events of the year. [Mother Jones]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla’s New Structural Battery Pack – It’s Not Cell-to-Pack, It’s Cell-to-Body” • Tesla’s Battery Day was not just full of surprises. When you read between the slides, Tesla made a lot of product announcements, many of which are still awaiting their discovery. The one this article is about is Tesla’s new battery pack, which is to replace its battery skateboard design. [CleanTechnica]

New Tesla battery pack

¶ “Electric Cars Cost Less To Own – Consumer Reports Agrees With Us” • For years, CleanTechnica has been publishing stories showing that as electric car technology has improved, the “total cost of ownership” comparisons have become increasingly compelling. Now, analysis published by Consumer Reports agrees. EVs save a lot of money. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Tesla And Fastned Join Forces To Build Germany’s Largest Fast Charging Station” • The Rhine–Ruhr region would be the second-largest metropolitan area in the USA if it were situated there. Some 13 million people live in its cities. But compared to the Netherlands or California, it is a charging desert. That is changing. [CleanTechnica]

Fastned charging station

¶ “SSE And Coilte Explore New €80 Million Wind Farm” • Coillte Renewable Energy and SSE Renewables are jointly exploring a 72-MW renewable energy project at Gortyrahilly, County Cork, which could involve an investment of over €80 million. The project is a proposed wind farm that could range from 60 MW to 72 MW. [Independent.ie]

¶ “Investors And Graduates Flock To The UK’s Burgeoning Windfarms” • The UK is pursuing an ambitious plan for offshore wind power. It will require an average of one wind turbine to be installed every weekday for ten years, £50 billion of investment from the private-sector, and many workers. [The Guardian]

Hywind floating windfarm (Photograph: Equinor)

¶ “Graziers Join Calls For Queensland Government To Stop Spruiking Coal And Embrace Renewable Future” • Withersfield Station has been held by the Graham family since the 1950s, but persistent drought conditions have made it much harder to run cattle. Their call to act on climate change joins many others. But the government is stuck on coal. [ABC News]

US:

¶ “New ACC Will Decide Major Moves On Clean Energy, Electric Choice” • A race for three out of the five seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission may shape the state’s move away from fossil fuels. The current commission is set to pass rules requiring “carbon-free” electricity by 2050, but the next commission will guide their application. [Arizona Daily Star]

Wind turbine blade (Chris English, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Climate Change Led To California’s Rolling Blackouts” • California energy officials said extreme heat fueled by climate change, along with poor planning, led to the rolling blackouts in August. They have repeatedly stressed that California’s efforts to increase its use of renewable energy did not cause the blackouts, and called for further increases. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “YCCD Achieves Net-Zero Energy Consumption From Renewable Energy Sources” • California’s Yuba Community College District reported on its efforts to use renewable energy on its campuses. The district said it has installed 4 MW of solar power and roughly half a megawatt of battery energy storage across five sites since 2012. [Lake County News]

Have a monumentally beneficial day.

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October 10 Energy News

October 10, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “A Nine-Point Plan For The UK To Achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions” • The last six months have seen a growing realization that decarbonizing our societies is technically possible, relatively cheap, and potentially of major benefit to society, and especially to less prosperous sectors. Here is a sensible portfolio of nine actions for the UK. [The Guardian]

Boyndie Wind Farm (Anne Burgess, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia)

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘Real And Imminent’ Extinction Risk To Whales” • More than 350 scientists and conservationists from 40 countries have signed a letter calling for global action to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises from extinction. They say more than half of all species are of conservation concern, with two on the “knife-edge” of extinction. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Police Scotland Buys 180 Hyundai Kona Electrics” • The Hyundai Kona Electric is a crossover type with relatively long range and a relatively low price. It’s one of the best selling electric vehicles in the world, and it’s also one of the top choices among police forces, particularly in Europe. Police Scotland has decided to buy 180 of them. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Kona Electric

¶ “Largest Rooftop Solar System In Europe Goes Online … On Audi Factory” • Audi Hungaria has just turned on the largest solar roof in Europe. The solar PV roof is the size of 22.4 football fields (soccer fields), includes 36,400 solar panels, and has a capacity of 12 MW.  It’s expected to generate 9.5 GWh of electricity per year, enough for 9,800 average homes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Offshore Wind Grew 19% Globally In 2019” • Global installed offshore wind capacity reached 27,064 MW in 2019, which is a 19% increase from the previous year. This and other trends can be found in the 2019 Offshore Wind Technology Data Update, released by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. [CleanTechnica]

Some types of floating platforms (Josh Bauer, NREL)

¶ “CSC Datacenter to be Powered by Vattenfall’s Renewable Energy” • Vattenfall and CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd have concluded an agreement on the supply of guarantee of origin-certified renewable energy generated at hydropower plants.  It will power the supercomputer environments of CSC’s data center in Kajaani, Finland. [HPCwire]

¶ “Farmers Can Now Avail Of A New Renewable Energy Crop” • Farmers and landowners in the UK are being urged to consider growing Miscanthus, a crop with a rising market demand. It is used for renewable power generation, domestic fuels, and livestock bedding, among other things. And it thrives on land that is unproductive. [Agriland.co.uk]

Miscanthus (Miya.m, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “World Bank Provides Funds For Sustainable Renewable Energy In Haiti” • The World Bank is providing $6.9 million in fresh funding for the Haiti Renewable Energy for All Project. The Bank aims to scale up renewable energy investments to expand access to electricity for health services, homes, businesses, and community services. [caribbeannationalweekly.com]

¶ “Russia’s Rosatom Launches Energy Storage Business” • The Russian state-controlled nuclear energy corporation Rosatom set up a subsidiary, Renera, to pursue the energy storage business. Renera will make lithium-ion batteries for EVs, energy storage systems for emergency power, renewables, and smoothing of load demand. [Renewables Now]

Lithium-ion battery for EVs (Image by Rosatom)

¶ “Romania, US To Sign $8 Billion Financing Agreement For Cernavoda Nuclear Reactors” • Romanian and US authorities will sign cooperation and financing agreements for an $8 billion (€6.8 billion) project for the modernisation of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant unit 1 and the construction of units 3 and 4, the US ambassador in Romania said. [SeeNews]

US:

¶ “Hurricane Delta Makes Landfall In Storm-Battered Louisiana” • Hurricane Delta hit land in Louisiana, which is still recovering from Hurricane Laura in August. Delta is the 10th named storm to make US landfall so far this year, breaking a record that has stood since 1916. Delta hit Creole, Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane, with winds of 100 mph. [BBC]

Track of Hurrican Delta (FleurDeOdile, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Five of California’s Six Largest Fires on Record are Burning Now” • Wildfires in this single year alone have burned more of California’s land than they did in the entire first decade of reliable recordkeeping (1984–1993). And nearly as much as the entire decade of the 1990s. And the year is not over. Here are some graphics that show their size. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dominion Energy Virginia Issues RFP For Solar Projects Under 3 MW” • Dominion Energy Virginia is continuing its solar development in the Commonwealth with a request for proposals for distributed solar projects, no larger than 3 MW (AC), to help meet renewable energy goals set forth by the company and the Commonwealth. [Solar Power World]

Have a fabulously auspicious day.

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October 9 Energy News

October 9, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Breathing Life Back Into Cities: Improving Air Quality And Equity Through Recovery Efforts” • Rocky Mountain Institute  released an analysis outlining four strategies for advancing both air quality and equity that cities can use to build back better from the pandemic, the economic downturn, and a growing reckoning with racial injustice. [CleanTechnica]

Path to a better city (RMI image, via Twitter)

¶ “Donald Trump And His Supposed Economic Success” • President Trump claims economic success based on the Dow Jones Industrial Index. But if we look at some of the other Dow Jones indices, picking some that might have profited or suffered from Trump policies, what we find is very different from what Trump might like us to believe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Wind and Solar Installations Are Smashing Records, But the Trend May Not Last” • The US is on pace to set records for wind and solar installations this year, highlighting America’s capacity to build renewables at levels once thought impossible. But whether the pace can be kept up depends in large part on what policymakers do next. [Scientific American]

Smoky Hills wind farm (Drenaline, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Michael Mann Sets The Record Straight: It’s Now Or Never” • Michael Mann is the director the Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State. He may be best known for introducing the “hockey stick” graph showing a warming climate. There has been some good news and some bad for the climate. Mann said the time to act is right now. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Mercedes Says Six New Battery Electric Models Are Coming Soon” • Mercedes Benz has yet to embrace the EV revolution fully. Although it has some battery powered models, they are not built on a dedicated EV platform. That will change in 2021 when the company begins offering cars based on a new dedicated EV platform that is scalable in every aspect. [CleanTechnica]

Electric concept coupe (Courtesy of Mercedes Benz)

¶ “Mammoth Investments In Renewables Taking Shape In Port Augusta” • South Australia’s Marshall Government welcomed the starts of construction of two renewable energy projects near Port Augusta. DP Energy and Iberdrola are investing $500 million in a hybrid wind+solar plant, and Nexif has begun the $170 million stage 2 of its Lincoln Gap Wind Farm. [Mirage News]

¶ “Enel breaks ground on 204-MW Chilean PV plant” • Enel Green Power Chile has started construction on the 204-MW Domeyko solar farm in Chile’s Antofagasta region. The project is due to be completed by July next year, and will involve a total investment of $164 million. The plant will produce around 589 GWh of electricity each year. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (Enel image)

¶ “Global Green Hydrogen Pipeline ‘Tops 60 GW'” • There are over 60 GW in the pipeline of planned green hydrogen projects, Rystad Energy research shows. The analysts said 87% of the projects are GW-scale. Europe and Australia dominate the global pipeline, which includes 11 proposed electrolyser projects with a capacity of 1 GW or more. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Waymo Goes Truly Public In Phoenix” • The Waymo One fully autonomous driving network is now open for everyone to use – in Phoenix. All you need is the Waymo app (available from App Store or Google Play). Additionally, Waymo has indicated that all 100% of its fleet in the Phoenix area is now being operated as fully electric robotaxis. [CleanTechnica]

Waymo app running

¶ “Icebreaker No Longer Subject To Night-Time Shutdown” • The Ohio Power Siting Board has adopted a motion removing a night-time shutdown requirement for the proposed 21-MW Icebreaker offshore wind farm on Lake Erie. It removed a clause that would have required turbines to be stopped during the night from March 1 to November 1. [reNEWS]

¶ “30% Of California Land Must Be Conserved Under Governor Newsom’s New Order” • Citing a need to tackle the problem of climate change, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered state agencies to conserve 30% of state land and coastal water by no later than 2030. The move is a bid to sequester carbon in the state’s natural and working lands. [Phys.Org]

Wild land in California (Credit: CC0, Public domain)

¶ “Public-Private Partnership Working Toward Renewable Hydrogen Facility In Eugene” • In Eugene, Oregon, a team of Pacific Northwest public and private organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the development of what would be one of the largest renewable hydrogen facilities in North America. [KVAL]

¶ “US DOE Provides Funding For $26 Million In Nuclear Plant Hydrogen Projects” • The US DOE has provided funding to two projects for $26 million seeking to advance hydrogen generation by nuclear reactors, starting with a facility at an Xcel Energy plant, DOE said in a statement. The recipients have to match DOE funding with an equal amount. [S&P Global]

Have a seriously amusing day.

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October 8 Energy News

October 8, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “BMW iX3 Production Has Started In China, Not USA” • BMW has begun production of the BMW iX3, its second fully electric vehicle, several years after the BMW i3 went into production in 2013. Interestingly, production of the first vehicles is in China, and there are reasons for that. US is in the midst of a sort of nonsensical cultural civil war. [CleanTechnica]

BMW iX3 battery plant in China

¶ “Mike Pence Lied BIG LEAGUE About Trump’s Environmental Record” • There were several gigantic lies that Vice President Mike Pence pushed out in the debate with Senator Kamala Harris, sometimes repeatedly, and he really should be called on them. Here is some fact checking of straight lies he told about the Trump environmental record. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Texas A&M Researchers Developing Clean Nuclear Fuel” • Researchers at Texas A&M and the US DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory have partnered with Clean Core Thorium Energy to make a proprietary thorium-based nuclear fuel. They claim it addresses such issues as cost, safety, proliferation, and managing waste. [Texas A&M University] (Not well enough – ghh.)

Research at Texas A&M (Justin Baetge | Texas A&M)

¶ “Fertiliser Use Threatens Global Climate Goals As Nitrous Oxide Emissions Soar” • The growing use of nitrogen fertilizers for farming is putting the world’s climate goals at risk, a study published in the leading scientific journal Nature has warned. The fertilizers emit nitrous oxide (N₂O), a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than CO₂. [www.businessgreen.com]

World:

¶ “Electric Fire Trucks On The Way!” • We’re finally getting electric fire trucks! Volvo Penta has an electric powertrain to put into fire trucks produced by Rosenbauer. The name of the electrified fire truck is “Revolutionary Technology.” For now, there are just 3 test trucks. They are going into trial service in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Dubai. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo Penta RT (Volvo Group image)

¶ “EU Parliament Steps It Up: 60% Carbon Emissions Cut By 2030 Proposed” • The EU Parliament voted to improve its 2030 climate target. The proposal voted through was to cut carbon emissions by 60% by 2030 rather than 40% by 2030. Clearly, the majority of new cars would need to be EVs by the end of the decade to meet this target. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Finland Logs Its Largest Electric Bus Order Ever” • Electric buses are flowing across Europe, with record order after record order. Finland has a new record for electric bus orders within its borders, as transit agency Nobina ordered 106 from BYD. Of these, 64 will go to Helsinki, and the other 42 will go to Turku. All will be in service in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

BYD eBus (BYD image)

¶ “Transition To Renewable Energy Helps India See 6% Dip In SO₂ Emissions” • India witnessed 6% decline in its sulfur dioxide emissions in 2019. It was the steepest decline in SO₂ emissions in four years, and came with India’s shift towards renewable energy initiatives, a report by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air and Greenpeace India says. [Livemint]

¶ “Aggreko Installs Hybrid Power System At Granny Smith Gold Mine” • Aggreko partnered with global gold miner Gold Fields to complete the installation of one of the world’s largest renewable energy microgrids at the Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia. The hybrid power system is powered by over 20,000 solar panels and has a battery system. [ESI Africa]

Solar system at the Granny Smith mine (Image: Aggreko)

¶ “India Considers Replacing Retiring Coal Plants With Renewables” • India’s Power Minister said the government has considered retiring coal-fired power plants in favor of renewable generation. The move would help reduce the country’s carbon footprint. India is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after China and the US. [Power Technology]
Power plant (Andreas Felske | Unsplash)

¶ “EBRD To Support Largest Renewable Energy Project In Greece” • Supporting the largest renewable energy project in Greece and the largest solar project in south-eastern Europe, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is investing €75 million in the successful Eurobond tap issuance by Hellenic Petroleum, a leading Greek energy group. [Saurenergy]

Solar panels (EBRD image)

US:

¶ “With Coal Dead, Department Of Energy Lobs Green Hydrogen Brick At Natural Gas” • With the US coal industry collapsing, we now turn to natural gas. The US DOE announced a major green hydrogen initiative with The Netherlands, which is building international collaborations aimed to squeeze natural gas out of the H₂ market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “First All-Electric Vessels In USA Launch In New York – Maid of the Mist” • The Maid of the Mist; the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation; New York Power Authority; and ABB announced that the Maid of the Mist, the iconic Niagara Falls boat tour since 1846, launched the first two all-electric passenger vessels in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Maid of the Mist (ABB image)

¶ “JPMorgan Chase, World’s Biggest Funder of Fossil Fuels, Commits to ‘Paris-Aligned’ Financing” • JPMorgan Chase has reportedly committed to push clients to align with the Paris Agreement goals and work towards net-zero emissions by 2050. Chase, the world’s biggest fossil fuels banker, did not commit to phasing out its own fossil fuels funding.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Denial Ads On Facebook Seen By Millions, Report Finds” • Advertisements on Facebook denying the reality of the climate crisis or the need for action were viewed by at least 8 million people in the US in the first half of 2020, a thinktank found. Some of the 51 climate disinformation ads said that climate change is a hoax. [The Guardian]

Have a stunningly rewarding day.

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October 7 Energy News

October 7, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Nuclear Energy – The High Cost Of A Dying Industry” • Nuclear energy has had a seriously rough year. In an article by OilPrice.com, the author asked a question: “Why is nuclear energy so expensive?” The nuclear sector, OilPrice says, simply can’t compete with the flood of low cost natural gas and renewables. It is struggling to stay alive. [CleanTechnica]

Click on the image to enlarge it (Brad Rouse, from Lazard data)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Hurricane Delta Is Intensifying Rapidly And Is Now A Category 4 Storm” • Hurricane Delta is an “extremely dangerous” major hurricane on a collision course with Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and the US Gulf Coast. It will directly impact Cancun as a dangerous Category 4 storm. At 145 mph, it’s just behind Hurricane Laura, which reached 150 mph. [CNN]

¶ “September Was The Warmest On Record, Scientists Say” • September was the warmest on record globally, according to the weather service Copernicus. It was 0.05°C hotter than September last year, which had the previous record high for the month. Scientists say it’s a clear indication of warming driven up by emissions from human society. [BBC]

Escaping heat at a British beach (PA Media)

¶”Generating Renewable Hydrogen Fuel From The Sea” • A team of researchers at Penn State funded by the US National Science Foundation integrated water purification technology into a new proof-of-concept design for a seawater electrolyzer. This method for what they call “seawater splitting” uses water that cannot serve many other purposes. [National Science Foundation]

¶ “Trillions Of Extra Economic Damages Predicted In New Study Of Climate Change Effects” • The world is underestimating the economic effects of climate change by trillions of dollars, a study published in Nature Communications shows. Current economic forecasting models fail to account for unpredictable variations in global temperatures. [Phys.Org]

Sands of time (Credit: CC0 Public Domain)

World:

¶ “UK September EV Market Share Hits 10.5%, Up 3 Times Year-On-Year” • The UK’s September plugin electric vehicle market share hit 10.5%, the highest ever level in “normal” (non-lockdown) trading months, up from 3.7% in September of 2019. The overall auto market was down just 4.4% from September 2019. Diesels took a massive 38.4% hit. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canadian Initiative Launched To Cut Electric Bus Charging Costs” • The Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium, which gives transit agencies technnology support, launched a $999,000 investment in an initiative to reduce costs for charging electric buses. Ontario energy storage company eCAMION, is leading the project. [CleanTechnica]

Charging station (Image courtesy of Solaris)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Outsells All Other Cars In Switzerland In September” • In September, the Tesla Model 3 was the best selling car in Switzerland, beating every other vehicle, however powered. The Swiss Automobile Association reported that  Tesla sold 900 Model 3s in the month. The Skoda Octavia, which sold only 500 cars, was number two. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vietnam Aims Doubling Use Of Renewables By 2030 To Reduce CO₂” • Vietnam aims to double use of renewable energy and cut CO₂ emissions 15% by 2030, reducing reliance on coal in a country threatened by climate change and power outages. Renewables will supply 15% to 20% of the power within a decade, a government website said. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Floating solar system in Da Mi, Vietnam (© Sipa | AP)

¶ “Facebook Comes Closer To 100% Renewables Target With New Solar Deal In Singapore” • Facebook sealed a deal with the solar developer Sunseap to support Facebook’s 100% renewables target for its operations in Singapore. The energy will be generated on the rooftops of around 1,200 public residential blocks and 49 government buildings. [Energy Live News]

¶ “180-MW Onshore Site Completed In Western Australia” • Bright Energy Investments completed the Warradarge wind farm in Western Australia. The 51-turbine, 180-MW wind farm will power up to its full generating capacity by the end of October. Each turbine weighs 181 tonnes with 67 meter-long blades, has a hub height of 84 meters. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Master Wen | Unsplash)

¶ “‘Thrilled’: Next Generation Climate Modelling Gets Budget Kickstart” • Federal funding for the Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator has cheered scientists who say the investment of $7.6 million will help refine predictions for everything from fire-generated thunderstorms to worsening urban heat islands. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

US:

¶ “New 100% Clean Electricity Contract Will Save MBTA $3 Million A Year In Electric Bills” • The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is working on a multi-year electricity contract to power its trains, trolleybuses, stations, and other facilities entirely on renewable power. The contract is expected to save $3 million a year. [Streetsblog MASS]

Solar roof at a transit shelter in Portland, Oregon (Trimet image)

¶ “Six Rockland County Communities Launch Cost-Cutting Renewable Energy Initiatives” • Six of the towns and villages in Rockland County, New York, are using community choice aggregation in a collective renewable energy buying effort. They were motivated partly by a potential to hasten reduced use of energy based on dirty fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tiffany & Co Joins Business For Nature’s Call To Action” • The jewelry firm Tiffany & Co joined Business For Nature’s Call To Action. Over 560 companies, with revenues of $4 trillion, have taken the stand with Business for Nature, calling on governments to adopt policies now to reverse the loss of nature that will occur this decade if no action is taken. [CleanTechnica]

Have an appropriately triumphant day.

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October 6 Energy News

October 6, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “2 Out Of 5 Of World’s Plants At Risk Of Extinction – But There’s Hope” • According to a new report from the UK’s Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, we have never before seen such threats to the biosphere. Although there is no single or easy way out of the ecological crisis, there are many reasons to save what we can find in nature. [CleanTechnica]

Wildflowers on public lands (Image retrieved from doi.gov)

¶ “DOE Says Combining Floating Solar With Hydroelectric Could Provide 40% Of The World’s Energy Needs” • A study by the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests that if floating solar panels are deployed on the over 379,000 hydro reservoirs globally, the hybrid systems could supply 16% to 40% of the world’s electricity needs. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “So Long, Farewell – Honda To Leave Formula 1 To Focus On EVs” • Honda has announced that it will cease to participate as an engine provider for the Formula 1 racing series at the end of the 2021 season. The automaker has decided to turn its focus to zero emission vehicles. Honda made it a goal to electrify two-thirds of its global automobile sales in 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Honda McLaren (Image retrieved from ata.gov.al)

¶ “European Taxpayers Fork Out €32 Billion A Year To Subsidize Polluting Company Cars” • Subsidies for company cars cost European taxpayers €32 billion every year, a study shows, and almost all of it is spent on cars burning fossil fuels. The 10 largest leasing companies alone cause 8% of EU car CO₂ emissions, due to the amount they are driven. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pope Francis Has A Message For Us – We Are All Brothers And Sisters” • Pope Francis has issued his third encyclical since he became the Pontiff to mark the anniversary of the death of St. Francis of Assisi. As he focuses on our being brothers and sisters, many may see his message a commentary on current US politics, but it is based on religion. [CleanTechnica]

Pope Francis signing the encyclical (Credit: Vatican Times)

¶ “New Plans To Make UK World-Leader In Green Energy” • The Prime Minister has set out new plans to Build Back Greener by making the UK the world leader in clean wind energy – creating jobs, cutting CO₂ emissions and boosting exports. £160 million will be made available to upgrade ports and infrastructure to increase our offshore wind capacity. [GOV.UK]

¶ “Boris Johnson To Unveil Plan To Power All UK Homes With Wind By 2030” • At a virtual Conservative party conference, Boris Johnson will promise that offshore wind energy will power every UK home within a decade, and Covid-19 will be a catalyst for green growth. “Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of jobs” will be created in the next decade. [The Guardian]

Seaton Carew beach (Photo: AJ D Foto Ltd | Alamy)

¶ “Renewables Deliver Over Half Of German Electricity In First Nine Months, Coal Plunges” • Renewable energy generated over half of German electricity across the nine months of 2020, with windpower the clear winner. Wind energy provided for nearly 27% of German electricity, followed by brown coal at 15%, and solar PV at 13%. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “GIG Invested $7 Billion In Renewables” • Macquarie’s Green Investment Group has committed or arranged just under $7 billion into various renewable energy projects over the past three years, according to its latest annual progress report. Between September 2019 to August 2020 GIG committed or arranged over £2.9 billion across a global portfolio. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Swancor image)

¶ “Two Is A Crowd: Why Renewables And Nuclear Don’t Mix, Even To Cut Emissions” • Research published in Nature Energy warns that nuclear and renewables should not be combined in any recipes for effective energy system decarbonisation, with the two generation types likely to crowd each other out and limit their effectiveness when mixed. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Newsom Signs Law to Clean California Air Inside And Out of School” • Governor Newsom signed into law a bill that will make the air safer to breathe and the water safer to drink in public schools, while reducing energy bills. It also accelerates the installation of charging infrastructure for EVs to combat the largest source of air pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Electric School Bus (Image courtesy of Proterra)

¶ “Leading Steel Maker In The US Pivots To Renewable Energy, Ditches Coal” • A gigantic steel mill in Pueblo, Colorado is getting a renewable energy makeover with a new 300-MW solar power plant. The EVRAZ North America facility is getting the new $285 million solar array. It is a move toward retiring Colorado’s largest remaining coal power plant.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “RWE Toasts 220-MW Texas Wind” • RWE has started commercial operations at the 220-MW Cranell wind farm in Texas. The $250 million project features 100 Vestas 2.2-MW turbines and will generate enough electricity to power 66,000 homes. It brings RWE’s operational wind farms in the US to 25, with installed capacity of more than 4.2 GW. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Vestas image)

¶ “Exxon Briefly Dethroned As America’s Most Valuable Energy Company” • The clean energy revolution just hit another major milestone. Solar and wind company NextEra Energy dethroned ExxonMobil as America’s most valuable energy company. Exxon was the most valuable publicly-traded company on the planet as recently as 2013. [CNN]

¶ “US Developer Breaks Ground On Louisiana PV Duo” • DE Shaw Renewable Investments and Entergy New Orleans broke ground on two solar farms totalling 70 MW in Louisiana. The Iris project is in Washington Parish and the St James project in the parish of the same name. Both developments are expected to reach commercial operation in mid-2021. [reNEWS]

Have an appreciably superior day.

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October 5 Energy News

October 5, 2020

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Opinion:

¶ “A $100 Billion Big Oil Divestiture Plan Is Coming” • The largest oil & gas companies, including ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, and BP, are projected to sell a combined $100 billion in assets worldwide as they focus on top-performing regions, particularly the US shale, according to a new analysis from consulting firm Rystad Energy. [CNBC]

Oil platform (Agência Brasil, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Presidential Climate Policy Report Card: Obama, Trump, And Biden – A CleanTechnica Exclusive” • Here is a look at the CleanTechnica climate scorecard for US administrations, past, present, and future. Obama/Biden and Biden/Harris get much better grades than Trump/Pence, which is unsurprising given President Trump’s rhetoric on the subject. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Steam Generators For Koeberg: The Most Expensive Transport Of Scrap Metal In The History Of Humankind” • The first of six new steam generators to extend the life of South Africa’s Koeberg nuclear power station was delivered by Areva. But all has not gone well at Areva on the project, and it serves to reveal yet another scam at Eskom. [Citizen]

New Koeberg junk (Eskom courtesy image)

World:

¶ “McDonald’s Among Food Firms Urging Tougher Rules On Deforestation” • UK food firms, including McDonald’s, are urging tougher rules to protect rainforests. Government ministers are planning a new law against big firms using produce from illegally deforested land. But the firms say the law should apply to all deforestation, legal or not, to slow climate change. [BBC]

¶ “Tech Unicorn’ Octopus Energy To Create 1,000 New UK Jobs” • Octopus Energy plans to create 1,000 new technology jobs at sites in London, Brighton, Warwick, and Leicester, and a new tech hub in Manchester. It looks to make the UK the “Silicon Valley of energy,” and it seeks graduates to work on a proprietary green energy technology platform. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines in Scotland (Murdo MacLeod | Guardian)

¶ “Tesla Purchases European Battery Assembly Company” • ATW Automation, a Canadian battery company, has fallen on hard times. Tesla agreed to acquire the company for an undisclosed sum according to Automotive News Europe. ATW Automation has about 120 employees and has over 20 production lines making batteries for international automakers. [CleanTechnica]

Australia:

¶ “Neoen Clinches 110-MW Wind PPA” • Neoen is set to build the 157-MW Kaban wind farm in Queensland, Australia, after signing a 110-MW power purchase agreement with CleanCo Queensland. The wind farm will consist of 28 turbines connected via a new substation into an existing 275 kV overhead transmission line. Operations are scheduled to begin in 2023. [reNEWS]

Windpower and storage (Neoen image)

¶ “Australia’s Largest Independent Oil & Gas Company Advances Renewable Hydrogen Plans, Hunts For Contractor” • Woodside Petroleum is pressing ahead with renewable hydrogen projects, with thoughts of large-scale export of hydrogen as ammonia. Woodside is looking for a contractor to design and build a plant in Tasmania. [Upstream Online]

¶ “Audi Australia commits to 100% renewable energy by 2021” • Audi Australia has pledged to obtain 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. A spokesperson told CarAdvice the pledge is for energy used in all local business operations, starting in 2021. Electricity will be sourced primarily from the Capital Wind Farm precinct in New South Wales. [CarAdvice]

Audis and wind turbines

¶ “Isolated Nursing Centre That Became A Bushfire Refuge Gets Renewable Energy Funding” • A health service in Victoria’s north-east that became a refuge during last summer’s bushfires will be able to run entirely on renewable energy after receiving funding from the state. The area around the remote Walwa Bush Nursing Centre lost power for ten days. [ABC News]

US:

¶ “Seismic Blasting By Oil & Gas Industry In Atlantic Ocean Halting On November 30” • In rare good news, the federal permits that allow fossil fuel companies to use deafening airguns, which harm many marine species, will expire on November 30 and not be renewed. Fossil fuel companies use the airguns to search for oil and gas deposits. [CleanTechnica]

Right whale and her calf (Image: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken under NOAA permit 20556-01)

¶ “NASA, SpaceX to Launch First Commercial Crew Rotation Mission to International Space Station” • NASA and SpaceX are beginning a regular cadence of missions launching American rockets from American soil to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 is set for launch on October 31. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Top Solar Power States Per Capita – CleanTechnica Report” • Here is a ranking of states by total solar power capacity per capita and some commentary. Would you have guessed that Nevada was number 1? It might not be surprising that the five top states are in very sunny areas, but would you have guessed that the number six state is Vermont? [CleanTechnica]

Have a way cool day.

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October 4 Energy News

October 4, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Trump’s Policies Indicate Love For Toxic And Deadly Pollution, Not Electric Vehicles” • When Trump claimed in the recent debate that “I think I’m all for electric cars, I’ve given big incentives for electric cars, but what they’ve done in California is just crazy,” I cracked up. Then I cried. That’s our president. He “thinks” he is all for electric cars. [CleanTechnica

Teslas (David Havasi | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Here We Go Again With This Nuclear Nonsense” • Promoting nuclear power anywhere at this point makes about as much sense as promoting zeppelins as a practical transportation option, and nowhere more so than in the Philippines. Reality and common sense, however, have never been much of an impediment to this country’s “nuclear advocacy.” [The Manila Times]

¶ “Tesla’s Future Is Not What We Thought” • I have gone through the technologies and numbers, and have come to a conclusion: what Tesla presented to us is exactly what we had hoped for and were expecting. And even though I wrote an article about Tesla needing a chain of terafactories all the way back in 2018, it seems I set the bar too low. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Tiny Robotaxi Placeholder (CleanTechnica image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why Is Battery Manufacturing So Hard? Tesla Battery Day For Dummies (Like Me)” • People might think the invention and the first prototype are the hardest part, and manufacturing a new product is just a question of capital and resources. Nothing could be more wrong. The key to any invention is inventing how to mass manufacture it. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Storm Alex: Heavy Rains Cause Severe Flooding In France And Italy” • At least two people have died and 25 are missing after a powerful storm hit southern France and north-western Italy. Named Alex, it brought fierce winds, torrential rains, and floods. Météo-France said that 450 mm (17.7 in) of rain fell in some areas over the course of just 24 hours. [BBC]

Washed out road (AFP image)

¶ “NIO Sets Quarterly And Monthly Sales Records” • While Tesla still rules when it comes to electric car sales in China, other EV manufacturers are also seeing sales gains there. NIO announced new quarterly and monthly sales records for its EVs. It has sold 26,375 all-electric vehicles in 2020, more than twice as many as at this time last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Will Light Up The Darkness” • South Africa can look forward to less load-shedding once independent power producers supply Eskom with electricity. This should happen by March 2022, or earlier. Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe paved the way for Eskom to procure renewable energy from IPPs. [Mail and Guardian]

Wind turbines in South Africa (David Harrison | M&G)

¶ “Share Of Renewable Energy Rises 26% in April to August Period, Says Official” • The share of renewable energy in India’s power mix has increased from 23% to 26% in April-August period this fiscal, a senior official said. Green energy’s share increased at a time when the power sector witnessed sluggish demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic. [News18]

¶ “ADB Approves $110 Million Grant To Enhance Power Supply In Afghanistan” • The Asian Development Bank approved a $110 million grant to boost power supply and strengthen Afghanistan’s energy sector by improving its sustainability and promoting cross-border trade in energy. The project will facilitate 500,000 new connections to customers. [Modern Diplomacy]

Afghan countryside (Ninara, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Smoke Choking California Again As Dangerous Fire Conditions Continue” • The smoky haze in much of the West created hazardous conditions that public health officials believe will have an impact even after the smoke clears. Researchers at Stanford University attributed up to 3,000 deaths in California to just one month of the wildfire smoke. [The Guardian]

¶ “Rocky Mountain Institute Study Shows Renewables Are Kicking Natural Gas To The Curb” • After analyzing the most recent data from two of  the largest US electricity markets, the Rocky Mountain Institute has come to a startling conclusion. Renewables are muscling in on natural gas. What happened to coal is now happening to gas.  [CleanTechnica]

Click on the image to enlarge it (Credit: Rocky Mountain Institute)

¶ “New York and New England Need More Clean Energy. Is Hydropower From Canada the Best Way to Get it?” • Just as New England states rush to green their electric grids, they are getting offers of hydroelectric power from Canada. But some groups of environmentalists say it is time to seize the moment to develop local wind and solar power. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Federal Bill Could Increase Prescribed Burns In California, Incentivize State To Burn At A Larger Scale” • Fire suppression, a lack of prescribed burns, and climate change are among the top reasons behind the scale and intensity of the fires in California, experts say. A federal bill could help address those issues, or at least be a starting point. [Capital Public Radio News]

Have an indescribably splendid day.

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October 3 Energy News

October 3, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Can nature heal itself? What the pandemic has shown us” • In the early days of the pandemic, there was one bright spot: nature appeared to be healing. As we lived under lockdown, we heard of unusual animal sightings, like wild goats taking over a town in Wales. Was nature still capable of healing itself, if just given some alone time? It’s probably not that simple. [CNN]

Mountain goats in Wales (Christopher Furlong | Getty Images)

¶ “‘Green Hydrogen’ From Renewables Could Become Cheapest Transformative Fuel Within A Decade” • Hydrogen made with wind and solar energy could be the cheapest transformative fuel sooner than expected, analysts believe. Chinese companies claim to make hydrogen from renewable energy for up to 80% less than official Australian estimates of two years ago. [The Guardian]

¶ “Can Renewables Push Latin America Towards A Green Recovery?” • As Latin America grapples with the pandemic, renewable energy offers a possible route to economic recovery and emissions reductions. But many hurdles remain, with some governments still betting on fossil fuels and delaying projects that would boost the clean energy grid. [Diálogo Chino]

Genneia wind farm in Argentina (Image: Genneia)

¶ “How NextEra Overtook ExxonMobil As The Largest US Energy Company” • If you had invested in Florida-based utility NextEra Energy a decade ago, your total return would have been 600%, including dividends. By contrast, if you had invested in ExxonMobil a decade ago, you have seen a total 10-year return of -25%. There are reasons for those changes. [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Responsible For Record Sea Temperature Levels, Says Study” • An unprecedented rise in sea temperatures is being driven by global warming, a major report in the peer-reviewed Journal of Operational Oceanography reveals. It shows an overall trend globally of surface warming, with the largest rise in the Arctic Ocean. [Newswise]

Waterspout (Dr Joseph Golden, NOAA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Extreme Events ‘Presage Worse To Come’ In A Warming Climate” • The list of extreme events resulting from climate change is truly mind-numbing, and understanding what it means is greatly aided by the meticulous record keeping of such federal agencies as NOAA. Clearly the number and scale of these events are on the increase. [Yale Climate Connections]

World:

¶ “The Return Of Europe’s Largest Beasts” • Populations of bison and wolf are reviving in parts of Europe, with efforts to return some of the landscape to a more natural state. A new method of conservation aims to let large areas return to wilderness, to a state without human intervention. But it can be tricky to manage that. Large beasts are not always welcome. [BBC]

Bison (© Michael Gäbler, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Unique ~$25,000 Tesla Vehicles Planned For Europe And China” • For a few years now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been briefly, occasionally, and somewhat mysteriously mentioning a potential low-cost Tesla vehicle that would have a starting price significantly below that of the Tesla Model 3. We now have a confirmation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ulstein Unveils Second Hydrogen Offshore Wind Vessel” • Norwegian company Ulstein has unveiled a second hydrogen hybrid design for the offshore wind industry. The Ulstein J102 zero emission wind turbine installation vessel will be able to operate 75% of the time in zero emission mode. Ulstein said the extra cost is less than 5% of the total CAPEX. [reNEWS]

Ulstein jackup vessel (Ulstein image)

¶ “CEO Alliance Pledges Support To EU Net-Zero Goal” • Chief executives from 11 companies, including Iberdrola, Enel, and Siemens, pledged to help achieve net-zero emissions in Europe by 2050. The European CEO Alliance, which held its inaugural meeting on October 1, supports the European Commission’s goal of 55% reduction in emissions by 2030. [reNEWS]

¶ “Bureau Expecting Surge In Renewable Energy Program” • Certificates for over 500,000 MWh are likely to be sold through a Taiwan Renewable Energy Certification Center program by the end of this year, driven by intense corporate demand for green energy, according to the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspections. [台北時報 – Taipei Times]

Iberdrola wind turbine (t.przechlewski, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Elon Musk: Tesla Aiming For 20 Million Vehicles/Year By 2030” • Just after Battery Day, Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla plans to reach sales of 20 million vehicles a year by 2030. He admits it’s an ambitious plan that “requires consistently excellent execution.” But that’s basically Tesla’s whole history. It is built on plans that many see as “impossible.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump Gives Polluting Mining Projects a Pass” • The Trump administration made an executive order to expand and fast-track polluting mining projects, posing real risks to critical water resources, nearby communities, and untouched public lands. The order impacts mining of 35 minerals that the Department of the Interior calls “critical.” [CleanTechnica]

Open pit mine (NRDC via Twitter)

¶ “Tesla Delivers Record 139,300 Vehicles In 3rd Quarter – New Graphs And Chart” • Tesla released its 3rd quarter production and delivery numbers. The total figures for both production and deliveries were new quarterly records for the company – and by far. The previous quarterly delivery record was 112,000 vehicles. Last quarter had 139,300. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Secretary Of Energy Sees Future In Colstrip Coal Plant” • Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette spoke highly of the future of coal ahead of his visit to Colstrip, Montana. He said he sees good things for the Colstrip coal-fired plant, which saw its two oldest units shut down earlier this year. Two others are still operating, but their future is uncertain. [Missoula Current]

Have a profoundly enjoyable day.

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October 2 Energy News

October 2, 2020

Of Special Note:

¶ “Coronavirus: Donald Trump And Melania Test Positive” • US President Donald Trump has said he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus and are now in quarantine. The president, aged 74 and therefore in a high-risk group, announced the news in a tweet. “We will get through this together,” he wrote. [BBC]

Donald and Melania (Anthony Quintano, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Rolls-Royce Thinks It’s Developing The Fastest Electric Airplane In The World” • Rolls-Royce has decided that it wants to produce the fastest electric airplane in the sky. It’s beyond the concept phase. Rolls-Royce has tested the technology for this on what’s called an “ionBird,” which it says is “a full-scale replica of the plane’s core.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hurricane Seasons Are Worsening Due To The Climate Crisis” • The warmer the water temperatures, the more heat energy is available, and the higher the potential is for devastating cyclonic storms to develop. As humans continue to release greenhouse gases, the likelihood of hurricane activity increases, with greater damage and loss of life. [CleanTechnica]

Hurricane Irene (NASA image)

¶ “Nuclear Fusion Reactor Could Be Producing Electricity Within A Decade” • A nuclear fusion reactor being developed in the US could be producing electricity within a decade, backers claim. It is hoped that SPARC will demonstrate energy gain from fusion by 2025, and be producing fusion energy to generate electricity to power nearby cities within 10 years. [The Streetjournal]

¶ “Principle Power-Led Team Launches Shallowfloat” • A consortium led by  Principle Power won a US grant to develop mooring technology for floating wind turbines in transitional waters. The consortium has been awarded a contract for the project by the government’s National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium. [reNEWS

Offshore support ship (Principle Power image)

World:

¶ “China’s Largest Solar-Plus-Storage Project Goes Online” • China’s largest solar-plus-storage project has been connected to the grid. How big is it? It’s 2.2 GW. Sungrow, the #1 suppliers of inverters for renewable energy projects, shared the news of the new record. The project was developed by Huanghe Hydropower Development. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coronavirus: How Pandemic Sparked European Cycling Revolution” • All across Europe, the coronavirus pandemic has triggered unprecedented investment in cycling. More than €1 billion (£907 billion, $1.1 billion) has been spent on cycling-related infrastructure and 2,300 km (1,400 miles) of new bike lanes have been rolled out. [BBC]

Bicyclists (Unsplash image)

¶ “September In Norway Goes Off The Charts – Record Plugin Vehicle Market Share Of 82%” • Electric vehicle pioneer Norway saw a massive 81.6% plugin electric vehicle market share of the overall market in September, with almost 62% being pure electric vehicles. Best sellers included the new VW ID.3, the Tesla Model 3, and Polestar 2. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “From Mountain High To Valley Low, Solar Power Plants Are Everywhere” • The world’s highest solar power plant plus battery storage facility is now operational in Tibet, delivering 40 MW, 193 MWh. And Half a world away, Duke Energy is set to embark on the construction of a 1.1 MW floating solar power plant at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. [CleanTechnica]

Floating solar array (Credit: Duke Energy)

¶ “US, Israel And UAE To Cooperate In Oil, Gas, Renewable Energy” • The US, Israel, and the UAE agreed to cooperate in the fields of oil, gas, and renewables among other energy sectors, following the signing of a peace agreement between Israel and the UAE in September. Specifically, water desalination and solar power may be areas of cooperation. [S&P Global]

US:

¶ “Younger Workers Fleeing Oil Industry, Some May Work For Elon Musk” • These are sad days in the oil patch. US fossil fuel firms eliminated about 105,000 positions, roughly 20% of their workforce. The oilfield services sector lost almost 100,000 jobs so far. Some are optimistic that the oil jobs will return someday, but Tesla is on a hiring spree now. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla seat factory in California (CleanTechnica image)

¶ “Judge Kicks William Pendley Out Of Illegal Role As Trump’s Bureau Of Land Management Acting Director” • A federal judge ruled that the Bureau of Land Management’s acting director held his job illegally and had to be removed. The Interior Secretary kept him in charge by merely changing his title. But many things he has done could be challenged. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Renewables North America Completes Solar Project For Providence Water” • EDF Renewables North America announced the 4.99 MW (AC), Pine Hill Solar Project in Johnston, Rhode Island, is now operational. EDF Renewables developed and built the project. Owner AEP OnSite Partners will supply its electricity to Providence Water. [Business Wire]

Pine Hill solar project

¶ “US Funds Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap” • The Secretary of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration awarded a grant of over $2 million to the Maine Governor’s Energy Office to develop a roadmap for establishing the state’s offshore wind power industry. The $2.166 million grant will be matched with $267,624 by the state and $112,457 locally. [reNEWS]

¶ “Researchers Use Satellite Imaging To Map Groundwater Use In California’s Central Valley” • Researchers at the University of California San Diego found a way to improve groundwater monitoring by using a remote sensing technology with climate and land cover data, to bridge gaps in the understanding of sustainable groundwater. [YubaNet]

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October 1 Energy News

October 1, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Has The World Started To Take Climate Change Fight Seriously?” • The announcement by Chinese President, Xi Jinping that China would cut emissions to net zero by 2060 is enormously important. China, the biggest greenhouse gas emitter, may have fired the starting gun on what will become a global race to eliminate fossil fuels. [BBC]

Wind turbines in China (Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “What Happened To Coal Is Happening To Oil. Shell To Cut 9,000 Jobs” • Despite Trump’s best efforts, coal has continued its steady decline as a source of power in the US and around the world as the cost of renewable energy and grid scale storage continue to fall. Now the same slow slide into oblivion is beginning for oil as well. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hours Before Presidential Debate, Coal Sinks And Floating Solar Panels Soar” • First, gigantic energy firm Vistra announced it will shutter its entire Midwest coal fleet in favor of renewables and energy storage. Then, the US DOE  suggested that almost half of all global electricity could be supplied by floating solar panels on hydropower reservoirs. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar panels (Courtesy of Vistra, “Vision Zero”)

World:

¶ “Shell To Cut Up To 9,000 Jobs In Shift To Low-Carbon Energy” • Royal Dutch Shell will cut as many as 9,000 jobs as the oil giant accelerates a shift away from fossil fuels. Shell is going through an overhaul aimed to cut costs and simplify its structure as part of that shift. The company expects the overhaul to save up to $2.5 billion annually by 2022. [CNN]

¶ “Brazilian Court Blocks Government’s Decision To Revoke Key Mangrove Protections” • A Brazilian court blocked a move by the country’s government to revoke key regulations protecting its mangroves. Mangrove swamps are homes for many species of sea birds and safe havens for young fish, crabs, and shrimp. They prevent erosion and are carbon sinks. [CNN]

Mangroves (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Tesla Will Begin Selling Chinese Model 3 With LFP Batteries This Week” • Confidential sources tell Reuters that Tesla will begin selling Model 3 cars built in Shanghai and equipped with LFP (LiFePO₄) batteries to customers in China this week. Lithium iron phosphate batteries contain no nickel and no cobalt. Prices have not been announced. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mazda Brings £25,545 Electric Crossover To Market” • The Mazda MX-30 has a fairly affordable price given that it’s a crossover and Mazda’s first EV. But that moderate price comes at the expense of quite a bit of range. It has 124 miles of range on a full charge, which would have been good 5 years ago, but is not really up to market norms today. [CleanTechnica]

Mazda MX-30

¶ “France’s Total Hikes Renewables Spending, Eyeing Big Power Growth” • Faced with oil’s gloomy long-term prospects, France’s Total said it would hike its annual investments in renewable energy and electricity by 50% as it cuts reliance on oil, emulating European rivals in a bid to become a major low-carbon power producer. [US News & World Report Money]

¶ “Shell: Liquid Hydrogen Will Be Dominant Future Fuel” • In a 26-page report, oil major Royal Dutch Shell suggested that shipping has a hydrogen-powered future as the sector moves to decarbonize its operations. While technical work on its use as a marine fuel is not yet complete, Shell believes that safe designs can be engineered. [The Maritime Executive]

Shell container ship

¶ “IRENA Presents $2 Trillion Plan To Drive 5.5 Million Renewables Jobs By 2023” • With its annual renewable energy jobs report, the International Renewable Energy Agency urged governments to more than double annual investment in energy transition technology to almost $2 trillion up to 2023 to drive the global Covid-19 recovery. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Vestas Closes Out Quarter With 415-MW Surge” • Vestas has ended the third quarter with turbine orders totalling 415 MW for wind projects in Russia, Chile, and Denmark. The biggest order is from Wind Energy Development Fund, a joint investment fund between Fortum and Rusnano, for 252 MW of turbines to go to five wind projects in Russia. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Preventable, Court Rules, With More Damages Claims Likely” • A Japanese court found both the government and TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, negligent for failing to take measures to prevent the 2011 nuclear disaster. It ordered them to pay ¥1 billion ($9.5 million) in damages, but further action could come. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “General Motors To Achieve 60% Renewable Energy Thanks To Massive Arkansas Solar Deal” • GM announced a significant step towards achieving its goal of sourcing 100% of its energy from renewables by 2040. The company has signed a power purchase agreement for a 180 MW solar project that is set to be built in Arkansas. [pv magazine USA]

GM factory (GM image)

¶ “Smoke from California Wildfires Decreases Solar Generation in CAISO” • In the first two weeks of September 2020, average solar electricity generation in the California Independent System Operator declined nearly 30% from the July 2020 average, as wildfires burned across the state. CAISO covers 90% of utility-scale solar capacity in California. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Farmers And Ranchers In Action Group Commits To UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals” • US Farmers & Ranchers in Action issued a report spotlighting the key role US agriculture plays in reaching the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They acknowledged a need for unmatched collaboration for climate-smart agriculture. [CleanTechnica]

Have an ineffably exquisite day.

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September 30 Energy News

September 30, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Two-Fifths Of Plants At Risk Of Extinction, Says Report” • Two-fifths of the world’s plants are at risk of extinction, scientists have warned. Researchers say they are racing against time to name and describe new species, before they disappear. Plants hold huge promise as medicines, fuels and foods, says a report by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [BBC]

Flower (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)

¶ “A New Cooling Technology Protects Against Severe Heat And Viral Spread” • Forrest Meggers, an associate professor in the architecture department at Princeton University, together with an international team of researchers, found a way to enable cooling off without just recirculating air. This reduces the risk of spreading airborne viruses. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “DHL Inaugurates Package Delivery In London Using Water Transportation” • Packages arriving at Heathrow airport are taken to a nearby dock on the Thames by electric vehicles. Then DHL takes them by boat down the river to London, where they are unloaded and put on pedal-powered cargo bikes for delivery to final destinations in the city. [CleanTechnica]

DHL cargo boat (DHL image)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Scores Swedish Hat-Trick” • Siemens Gamesa has signed a new deal for 11 turbines with wind power developer Eolus Vind in Sweden. The wind turbines will be delivered to three different sites: Rosenskog, Dållebo, and Boarp, all located in southern Sweden, close to the city of Jönköping. All are to be installed in 2023. [reNEWS]

¶ “Walmart Canada Triples Tesla Semi Order” • Walmart Canada said it has tripled its order to a total of 130 of the all-electric cargo haulers as part of a commitment to convert 20% of its fleet to electric trucks by the end of 2022. With all those trucks in service, the company will have one of the largest fleets of electric semis in the country. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Semi (Credit: Walmart Canada)

¶ “Global Renewable Energy Jobs Hit Record High” • Global renewables industries supported a record 11.5 million jobs in 2019, but governments will need to “supercharge” the energy transition to keep growth on track with Covid-19, said the International Renewable Energy Agency. Solar dominated growth technologically. [Recharge]

¶ “All Aboard! UK’s First Hydrogen-Powered Train Starts Trial Journeys Today” • The first-ever hydrogen-powered train will run on the UK mainline today. Today’s trials of the train, named HydroFLEX, follow almost two years of development work and more than £1 million of investment by both Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham. [Energy Live News]

HydroFLEX with factory graffiti (University of Birmingham)

Australia:

¶ “ACT Labor Promise Canberra-Wide Network Of Renewable Energy Batteries If Elected” • A network of ‘big batteries’ with a combined capacity far larger than the massive Tesla battery in South Australia would be built across Canberra, under a new plan from ACT Labor. The plan would build local storage from the current 60 MW to 250 MW. [ABC News]

¶ “Australia’s National Science Agency To Buy Solar Power Under 10-Year PPA” • In Australia, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation announced a 10-year clean energy Power Purchase Agreement with Zen Energy. The deal is set to halve the national science agency’s electricity-sourced CO₂ emissions. [pv magazine International]

132-MW solar farm in New South Wales (Image: Zen Energy)

¶ “Bringing Clean Energy To Regional Victorian Communities” • The Victorian Government is helping local businesses use more renewable energy to reduce electricity costs, create jobs, and support clean power. The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change announced over $1 million in grants as part of the New Energy Jobs Fund. [Mirage News]

US:

¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E Price Cut, And 0–60 MPH Times Published” • The Ford Mustang Mach-E just got a bit cheaper. Ford cut the price of some Mustang Mach-E versions, with the price of the Mustang Mach-E Premium down by $3,000, putting it at $47,000 (before the $7,500 federal EV tax credit). Range and acceleration times were also published. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E electric

¶ “Total Plug-In Vehicle Sales In United States Reach 1.6 Million Units” • In August 2020, cumulative plug-in vehicle sales in the US reached 1.6 million units, according to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Fully electric vehicle sales are clearly in the lead among plug-in vehicles, accounting for about 1 million of these sales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dominion Unleashes Coastal Virginia” • Dominion Energy commenced started operations at its 12-MW Coastal Virginia offshore wind farm in the US. Ørsted oversaw the installation of the offshore project’s offshore components for the US developer, including turbines and foundations, while Dominion Energy oversaw all onshore aspects. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine installation (Ørsted image)

¶ “Power Generator Vistra Pumps $850 Million Into Renewables Push In Texas” • Power generator Vistra plans to break ground on six solar projects and a battery energy storage facility in Texas in an $850 million bet on renewables. The clean power sources are expected to add nearly 1,000 MW of capacity to Vistra’s energy portfolio. [The Dallas Morning News]

¶ “Boise Co-Op Locations Now Powered By 100% Renewable Energy” • The Boise Co-op is hoping to make the city greener through a partnership with Idaho Power. The Boise Co-op locations are powered by 100% renewable energy. About 86% of it from hydropower plants, but all power will come from solar and wind beginning in 2021. [6 On Your Side]

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September 29 Energy News

September 29, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “What Is Tesla’s Contribution Toward Sustainability? Let’s Calculate” • Tesla has played an enormous role in pushing our acceleration towards sustainability – not just with vehicles, but also in the energy field. Tesla’s advanced batteries will push us even faster toward the goal of sustainability. Here, we can take a look at the numbers. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla car, Tesla roof, Tesla battery (Tesla image)

¶ “America Is Running Out Of Water?” • National Geographic recently published an article titled, “Why Is America Running Out Of Water?” Could that be? Within the next 50 years, many parts of the US may see their freshwater supply drop by a third. By 2071, half of the rivers and freshwater basins could be unable to meet local demands. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Angelo Campus Electrifies The Renewable Energy Business With BoxPower” • Princeton alumnus Angelo Campus built a business, BoxPower, to ensure those who need quick access to power can find it in a simple configuration: a shipping container equipped with solar panels, a battery for energy storage and a backup generator. [Princeton University]

BoxPower installation (BoxPower image)

¶ “New Study Shows A Vicious Circle Of Climate Change Building On Thickening Layers Of Warm Ocean Water” • Near the surface of the ocean, global warming is creating increasingly distinct layers of warm water that block flows of heat, carbon, oxygen, and nutrients within the water column, and between the oceans and atmosphere. [InsideClimate News]

World:

¶ “ICE-Breaking MG5 Gives Over 200 Miles Real Range And 35 Minute Charging To 80%, For £24,495 – Reserve Yours Quick!” • Initial UK road tests of the MG5 EV show over 200 miles of real world range, and 35 minutes to recharge from 10 to 80%, for the stunning entry price of £24,495, which is on par with rivals, but with much lower running costs. [CleanTechnica]

MG5 EV

¶ “$50 Million UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund To Extend Energy Access To Rural Communities In Belize” • The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund committed to develop Belize’s largest renewable energy rural electrification project. It will bring modern electricity services for the first time to three remote communities in the country. [ReliefWeb]

¶ “Bids Invited For Renewable Energy-Based Power Solutions For The Himalayan Region” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India invited bids to develop renewable energy solutions to meet energy needs in remote high-altitude Himalayan areas. The project will be based on energy sources that can be deployed under hostile climatic conditions. [Mercom India]

Solar array in the Himalayas

¶ “Caribbean Islands Receive $50 Million Clean Energy Boost” • A storm-resistant clean energy plant is to be built in Antigua and Barbuda to help the two-island nation recover from the effects of Hurricane Irma in 2017 and provide sustainable power. To fund the project, the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Partnership Fund is putting up $50 million. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Renewable Energy Among The Most Pandemic-Resilient Infrastructure Sub-Sectors” • The renewables sector is among the most pandemic-resilient infrastructure sub-sectors, thanks in part to its ability to secure finance as well as government efforts to grow the green economy, according to a white paper from investment firm Foresight Group. [PV-Tech]

Solar farm in Spain (Image: Foresight Group)

¶ “TEPCO: 11-Meter Seawall Completed At Fukushima Plant” • TEPCO, the owner of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, says it has completed an 11-meter-high seawall to protect the defunct facility from tsunami waves. The next move will be for TEPCO to build another seawall measuring up to 16 meters high. [NHK World]

US:

¶ “Cities Announce Massive Fossil Fuels Divestments” • Last week, 12 cities around the world announced a commitment to divest from fossil fuels, looking towards a green and just recovery from COVID-19. Los Angeles and New York City signed the declaration. Importantly, and perhaps surprisingly, so did New Orleans and Pittsburgh. [Triple Pundit]

Pittsburgh (Vidar Nordli-Mathisen | Unsplash)

¶ “Despite Major Health Risks, Trump’s EPA Plans To Leave Millions Of Lead Water Pipes In The Ground” • A draft of the Trump administration’s final Lead and Copper Rule has been leaked. It showed that the EPA will weaken safeguards for keeping lead out of drinking water. It allows lead service lines to remain in use, in some cases permanently. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Optimistic Pueblo Is Outspent In First Attempt At Utility Takeover” • Pueblo, Colorado, in its push for 100% renewable energy, went up against a power monopoly and learned the heavy costs of facing a utility giant. A podcast offers up Pueblo’s story to other municipalization efforts nationwide and speaks of the hope the movement still has. [CleanTechnica]

Pueblo City Hall (David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Ameren Announces Plans To Reach ‘Net-Zero’ Carbon Emissions By 2050, And Spend Billions On Renewable Energy” • Ameren announced that it intends to invest $8 billion in renewable energy projects over the next two decades, and will accelerate its plans to reduce carbon emissions, reaching “net-zero” carbon emissions by 2050. [STLtoday.com]

¶ “Construction Begins On 100-MW Solar Plant In Arizona” • Salt River Project and sPower have started constucting a new solar plant which will generate $10 million in 25 years of tax revenue and up to 350 construction jobs to Pinal County, in Arizona. The 100-MW project, East Line Solar, is expected to be operating in December. [Energy Digital]

Have an inexpressibly great day.

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September 28 Energy News

September 28, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “China’s Carbon Pledge Will Require Complete Inversion Of Existing System” • China has pledged to reduce carbon emissions to virtually zero by 2060. If it succeeds, it could reduce the global heating forecasts by up to 0.3°C. To do this, it will need to rethink its energy supply completely. One projection is for reliance on solar and windpower. [The Guardian]

Workers at a floating PV plant (VCG | Getty)

¶ “Air Pollution: Here For All Seasons?” • An email in my inbox proclaimed, “It’s September and we’re heading into pollution season in many regions.” But does pollution have a season? Of course, there is seasonal variability to certain pollutants, but, unfortunately, pollution lives with us in and outside our homes in every season. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why Australia’s Hydrogen Industry Should Be Renewables Only” • Environmental leader WWF Australia published a new position paper on hydrogen, which outlines why the technology presents such an enormous economic opportunity for Australia, but also why it needs to be based around renewables rather than fossil fuels. [RenewEconomy]

New South Wales windpower (CSIRO, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ørsted And Maersk Test Offshore Vessel Charging” • Ørsted and Maersk Supply Service A/S formed a partnership to test an innovative charging buoy that can bring green electricity to offshore wind farm service vessels and potentially to a wide range of maritime vessels. The buoy enables ships to turn off their engines when lying idle. [reNEWS]

¶ “The Ancient Trade Holding Back The Sahara Desert” • With climate change, the Sahara Desert has grown about 100 km southward since 1950, and it is expected to keep growing. Now, acacia trees, whose gum has been prized for its unusual culinary and medical uses, are part of a continent-wide effort to hold back the Sahara Desert. [BBC]

Acacia trees (Getty Images)

¶ “Could Thorium Revive The Nuclear Energy Industry?” • As the Trump administration seeks a bailout of the faltering nuclear industry, technology is promising of less dangerous and cheaper nuclear fuel. It hopes to substitute thorium for some of the more dangerous uranium in nuclear reactors, producing more energy and less waste. [OilPrice.com] (Need I comment?)

¶ “UpriseEnergy Demonstrates Rapid-Deploy Wind+Battery Energy Solution In A Shipping Container” • UpriseEnergy has shown a portable wind turbine. The company took a prototype from their 20,000 square foot facility in San Diego, drove it to a site a dozen miles away, set it up, and ran it for an hour, putting out about 6 kWh of electricity. [CleanTechnica]

UpriseEnergy STAR wind turbine on trailer (UpriseEnergy image)

World:

¶ “‘Energy Transition Driving The Need’: Oil Trading Giant Trafigura Turns To Wind And Solar” • Trafigura, one of the largest independent oil traders, plans to build a 2-GW renewable energy portfolio in a joint venture called Nala Renewables, with IFM Investors. The JV wants to have 2 GW operating or in late-stage development within five years. [Recharge]

¶ “Boris Johnson Promises To Protect 30% Of UK’s Land By 2030” • An extra 400,000 hectares of English countryside will be protected to support the recovery of nature under plans by Boris Johnson. He will make the commitment at a virtual UN event. He is joining 65 leaders who pledged to reverse losses in the natural world by 2030. [BBC]

Lake District (Aivin Gast, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “EU’s Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy Taking Shape” • The roadmap accompanying the European Commission’s public consultation leaves little doubt about its intentions: the EU executive wants to leverage “the huge potential of offshore renewable energy deployment” on all of the bodies of sea water around it. [EURACTIV]

US:

¶ “The Best Places For Solar Power If You Want To Clean The US Grid” • Solar power is useful everywhere, and it’s been big news lately that solar power has accounted for so much of US power capacity growth – 27% in the first half of 2020 and 60% in June. However, for cleaning the grid, solar power growth is better some places than others. [CleanTechnica]

California and the Northeast depend less on fossil fuels already

¶ “Elon Musk: “The US Is Moving Toward Sustainable Energy”” • During Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting and Battery Day event, CEO Elon Musk said something that should have dominated headlines: “The US is moving toward sustainable energy.” He noted that eventually everything we do will be done with sustainable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change May Spark Serial Washoe Wildfires” • Within 20 years, northern Washoe County, Nevada, may become the epicenter of persistent wildfires driven by higher temperatures and prevalent drought brought about by climate change. That prediction is among several grim conclusions based on analysis of climate research. [Reno News & Review]

Wildfire (Gerd Altman | Pixabay)

¶ “Overwhelming Number Of US Voters Support Climate Action” • In a poll conducted this month by The Guardian, VICE News, George Mason University, and Yale Climate Connection, an overwhelming majority of American voters said they want the federal government to support efforts to address global heating in a meaningful way. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Minnesota Professor Looking To Build Climate Change Hub” • A University of Minnesota professor is creating an extension program to bridge climate research and community outreach. She plans a hub to foster conversations about climate change and help farmers and policymakers implement changes based on their research. [Albany Times Union]

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September 27 Energy News

September 27, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “‘Two-Headed Beast’: China’s Coal Addiction Erodes Climate Goals” • China is already the top global producer and consumer of wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles. Chinese factories make two-thirds of all solar cells used worldwide. But in the first half of 2020 China approved 23 GW of new coal power projects. [Yahoo Finance UK]

Coal-burning power plant (Greg Baker | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “As Climate Displacement Accelerates, Is The US Next?” • From the extreme storms in the Atlantic and Gulf coasts to historic fires in the West, the US is facing the impacts of climate change firsthand. As people flee from ecological disasters, the US faces questions about how to respond to climate displacement, on both short and long term. [The Hill]

Science and Technology:

¶ “It’s Official – Consumer Reports Confirms EV Owners Spend Half As Much On Maintenance” • Consumer Reports did a deep dive into the data from its 2019 and 2020 reliability surveys of electric and gasoline powered vehicles. Based on the numbers, it says “drivers of electric vehicles are saving an average of 50% on maintenance and repair …” [CleanTechnica]

Inside the EV (Credit: US Department of Energy)

¶ “Zombie Storms Are Rising From The Dead Thanks To Climate Change” • “Zombie storms,” which return to life after petering out, are a new addition this year. And undead weather anomalies are becoming more common thanks to climate change. One example was tropical storm Paulette, a hurricane that petered only to return. [Livescience.com]

World:

¶ “First 100 Xpeng G3 Electric SUVs On Their Way To Norway” • The first 100 Xpeng G3 cars were put on board a ship in China and the company says it looks forward to seeing them on roads in Norway come November. Xpeng is a young car company, having been founded by He Xiaopeng in 2014, but it has solid financial backing from Alibaba. [CleanTechnica]

Xpeng G3 (Image courtesy of Xpeng)

¶ “NTPC To Stop Land Acquisition For Greenfield Thermal Projects, To Reduce Carbon Footprint Through Renewable Energy Push” • In a big change in its business strategy, India’s largest coal-fired power producer, NTPC, proposes to completely stop land acquisition for green field thermal projects and push renewable energy aggressively. [Swarajya]

¶ “In Siberia Forests, Climate Change Stokes ‘Zombie Fires'” • In a marshy clearing of a sprawling Siberian forest, a small cohort of volunteers battle a winter-resistant, underground blaze. It is a growing problem in Russia. In some places, peat has smoldered underground for around five years, and it can re-emerge, set fire to dry grass, and spread rapidly. [The Japan Times]

Extinguishing a peat fire (Alexander Nemenov | AFP-JIJI)

¶ “Nuclear Power: Suffolk’s Sizewell C Is Too Expensive Says Ed Davey” • Former Energy Secretary Ed Davey has said building a new nuclear power station at Sizewell is “too expensive” and has lost its economic case. Instead the new Liberal Democrat leader argues the government should invest more in renewable energy to help boost the economy. [BBC News]

US:

¶ “Tesla’s New Homemade Batteries Are In Test Cars On The Road Today” • The Battery Day confused some people about the availability of new Tesla batteries. What Elon Musk just clarified on Twitter is that Tesla’s new batteries are in fact in cars on the road today – well, actually, cars that have been on the road for the past several months. [CleanTechnica]

Battery Day presentation (Tesla screenshot)

¶ “Coal Dropped from 26.9% of US Electricity to 17.7% in 3 Years” • Electricity from coal power plants has declined from 26.9% of US electricity generation in the first 7 months of 2018 to 17.7% of US electricity in the first 7 months of 2020. Furthermore, that’s down from 33% in 2015, 39% in 2014, 45% in 2010, and 50% in 2005. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Dumps Coal Power and Pivots to Wind” • GE said that it plans to stop building new coal power equipment. The decision didn’t come as a surprise. Coal is going out of favor rapidly in many countries due to its status as one of the dirtiest fuels, along with falling costs for cleaner sources of energy like natural gas, wind, and solar. [Motley Fool]

GE wind turbines (CarstenE, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “USDA Invests More Than $354,000 In Energy Efficiency” • US Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Kansas Lynne Hinrichsen announced that the USDA is investing $558,552 to make energy efficiency improvements and reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and other rural-based organizations in rural Kansas. [Salina Post]

¶ “State: Power Plant Project Needs Juice” • Danskammer Energy says its $500 million proposal to upgrade a power plant in Newburgh, New York, will be able to meet state emissions goals for 2040 by converting to hydrogen or renewable natural gas from waste. The state Public Service Commission wants more details. [Highlands Current]

Danskammer power plant in Newburgh (Photo: Tom Konrad)

¶ “Fourteen New Solar Farms To Be Built In 8 Michigan Counties To Provide 500 MW Of Electricity” • Pine Gate Renewables and Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, LP, announced their first wave of solar projects into Michigan. Its fourteen solar farms in eight counties are part of a larger plan to bring more than 500 MW of renewable energy projects to the state. [mitechnews.com]

¶ “Suståne Chooses 100% Renewable Energy For Facilities” • Suståne Natural Fertilizer is a Minnesota-based manufacturer and exporter of renewable, organic, and natural slow release fertilizers and soil amendments. It announced recently that its Cannon Falls facilities’ electricity requirements are now powered by 100% renewable energy. [ECM Publishers]

Have a superbly felicitous day.

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September 26 Energy News

September 26, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Electric Vehicles Have Arrived Much Faster Than Anticipated” • Bill Gates said, “Innovation is moving at a scarily fast pace.” Nowhere is that more true than in the world of electric vehicles. Technological progress in the electrification of cars, buses, bikes, scooters, and trucks has advanced and the market for them is growing at an exponential rate. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model X (Carolyn Fortuna | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Doing Something About Global Warming Is Cheaper Than Doing Nothing” • The rallying cry from conservatives for the past 40 years is that doing something about our overheating planet is just too darn expensive. But there are many ways to address climate change, and some of them have important economic side benefits. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Super-Adaptable Chimps That Can Withstand Climate Change” • Chimpanzees, our evolutionary cousins, inhabit landscapes that range from hot and dry to cool and wet, across much of Africa. Like humans, they are capable of remarkable behavioural variability, and this might allow chimpanzees to be highly adaptable. [BBC]

Chimpanzee (Getty Images)

¶ “Airbus Wants ZEROe To Be 1st Zero-Emission Commercial Aircraft In The World … By 2035” • Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury has said, “I strongly believe that the use of hydrogen … has the potential to significantly reduce aviation’s climate impact.” To get these vehicles into operation, hydrogen fueling infrastructure has to be built out. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Tech For Artificial Reefs Increases Marine Life And Vitality” • An artificial reef is a human-made structure that may mimic characteristics of a natural reef for ocean habitats. Several companies specialize in design, manufacture, and deployment of long-lasting artificial reefs. Typically, they are constructed of limestone, steel, or concrete. [CleanTechnica]

Fish at an artificial reef (Image provided by Ocean Habitats)

World:

¶ “First Solar’s Thin-Film PV Modules Chosen For Largest Urban Solar Power Plant In Europe” • A solar power plant that is being built in Bordeaux, France, on a former landfill, is expected to be the largest “urban” solar PV power plant in Europe. The project is using solar modules from the American solar manufacturing firm, First Solar. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Plane Completes Maiden Flight In ‘World First’” • A hydrogen fuel-cell ZeroAvia six-seater Piper M-class aircraft completed its maiden flight this week, in another step forward for low and zero-emission flight. The next step will be a flight of between 250 and 300 nautical miles, taking off from the Orkney Islands. [CNBC]

Hydrogen powered plane (ZeroAvia image)

¶ “World Bank Approves $450 Million Loan” • The World Bank has approved a loan of $450 million to support Pakistan’s transition to renewable energy. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Hydropower and Renewable Energy Development project will help shift the national energy mix in the direction of clean energy resources. [The Express Tribune]

¶ “The Netherlands Publishes A Report Ahead Of A Nuclear Consultation” • The Government of the Netherlands published a report on the potential for future nuclear power. It says a new nuclear plant to come online in the Netherlands in 2040 could be expected to provide electricity at a levelized cost about 40% higher than that of offshore wind. [Power Technology]

Doel nuclear plant (Frédéric Paulussen on Unsplash)

US:

¶ “As Fossil Fuel Jobs Falter, Renewables Come To The Rescue” • From June 2019 through June 2020, US crude oil production fell 38% and natural gas production fell 31%. The unemployment rate in North Dakota rose to 11.3% in June. But fossil fuels aren’t the only energy source the state is rich in. It is prime real estate for wind power. [CBS News]

¶ “Six Graphics Explain The Climate Feedback Loop Fueling US Fires” • Wildfires in the Western US, and around the world, are getting worse. Fires in Oregon, Washington and California for the last month are off the charts compared to previous years – and fire season is still not over. Sadly, are just a preview of what’s to come, as we fritter away time. [CleanTechnica]

Cumulative burned area (World Resources Institute)

¶ “Xcel Energy Blows Away Renewable Energy Record With Its Newest Wind Farm In Colorado” • Xcel Energy set a record for its wind energy thanks to 229 turbines at a $743 million, 500-MW project completed last month. Over one hour, nearly 70% of the electricity Xcel Energy produced in Colorado came from the wind. [Denver Business Journal]

¶ “Too Small For Solar, Rikers Island Could Become NYC’S Renewable Energy Storage Site” • A plan to transform Rikers Island into a renewable energy powerhouse would focus on the island’s capacity for storing power to send to the electrical grid when demand rises, according to a panel of policy experts and New York City officials. [Queens Daily Eagle]

Rikers Island (Seth Wenig | AP)

¶ “Governor Cuomo Announces Opening Of Energy And Nature Education Center at Jones Beach State Park” • Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced the opening of the Jones Beach Energy & Nature Center. The center will educate the public about how energy shapes New York’s natural systems, and how it can help combat climate change. [ny.gov]

¶ “The US DOE Announces $80 Million For Innovative Building Technologies And Practices” • The US DOE has announced the Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies 2020 Funding Opportunity Announcement. It is to provide up to $80 million for projects that enhance energy demand flexibility in buildings and the electric power grid. [Energy.gov]

Have a resoundingly successful day.

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September 25 Energy News

September 25, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Growing Danger From Gas Pipelines” • The Merrimack Valley disaster in 2018 is remarkable, not just for its scale, but its timing. It came near the end of a decade in which officials set out to make natural gas pipelines safer. But incidents like the one in Merrimack Valley have actually grown more numerous since 2010, regulator data show. [CleanTechnica]

After a 2018 gas fire (Brocken Inaglory, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Fracking Insanity Fueled By Greedy Wall Street Banks. Wells Fargo Tops The List” • According to a joint report by Oil Change International and the Rainforest Action Network, Wells Fargo loaned the most money to fracking companies of any financial institution since the Paris Climate Accords. The report also finds fault with other banks. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Global Warming Driving California Wildfire Trends – Study” • Climate change is driving the scale and impact of recent wildfires that have raged in California, a study says. The analysis finds an “unequivocal and pervasive” role for global heating in conditions for fires, and California has greater fire risks than it had before humans started altering the climate. [CNN]

Wildfire (Getty Images)

¶ “More Green Hydrogen For The ‘Iron Bird’ Of The Future” • If fossil gas stakeholders hope to fuel a future hydrogen economy, they might want to take a reality check. The US firm Plug Power, which bills itself as the biggest purveyor of mobility-oriented hydrogen fuel cells in the world, has committed itself to a green hydrogen transition. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Total Seals 3.3-GW Spanish Solar Deal” • French energy giant Total has signed an agreement with Spanish company Ignis to develop about 3300 MW of solar projects in Spain. The projects, located near Madrid and in the Andalusia region, are expected to start operations in 2022 with the ambition of putting them all into production in 2025. [reNEWS]

Total solar farm (Total image)

¶ “Solar MD’s South Africa Ramp-Up Shows Demand For Battery Storage Is Growing” • In South Africa, load shedding has been an everyday event for years. But if enough home batteries can be installed, it could help reduce the problem. One company that has been quite active in this market is Solar MD, which is based in Cape Town. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japan Logs Sharp Rise In Renewable Energy Output Amid Pandemic” • In Japan, overall energy production declined due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but renewable energy production rose so much that its contribution to the country’s overall energy generation is currently in line with the government’s 2030 target, new preliminary figures show. [Asahi Shimbun]

Solar facility in Fukuoka Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun image)

¶ “Port Stephens One Of Three New Hunter Councils To Join Cities Power Partnership And Pledge To Tackle Climate Change” • In New South Wales, Port Stephens Council has strengthened its commitment to tackling climate change by signing up to the Cities Power Partnership, Australia’s largest local government climate network. [Port Stephens Examiner]

¶ “German renewables hits ‘almost 50%’ of consumption” • 48% of Germany’s electricity demand was supplied by renewable energy in the first three quarters of 2020, according to preliminary data. This is up five percentage points from the same period last year. Onshore wind output was up 7%, and offshore wind up 10%, from last year in the first quarter. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (reNEWS image)

¶ “Nuclear Power Is The Most Expensive Form Of Generation, Except For Gas Peaking Plants” • The levelized cost of energy from nuclear power rose from about $117/MWh in 2015 to $155 at last year’s end, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report says. The LCOE for solar PVs fell from $65/MWh to about $49, and for wind it fell from $55 to $41. [pv magazine Australia]

US:

¶ “Canoo Shows Off Its Modular Electric Skateboard” • Canoo, a southern California electric car startup, has a different approach to business than its competitors. It has a modular skateboard that can be configured to accept a number of what the company calls “top hats,” or body styles that can range from delivery vans to sports cars. [CleanTechnica]

Minimal adaptation of the Canoo scateboard (Canoo image)

¶ “Tesla “Pilot” Battery Factory Is The 13th Largest Battery Factory in World” • Tesla revealed that it intends to produce 3 TWh of batteries a year by 2030. The forecast from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence had been less than that for all lithium-ion battery producers combined. One Tesla “pilot plant” would be the world’s 13th largest battery factory. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dynegy Will Power Chicago’s Willis Tower With Wind Energy” • Dynegy entered into a multi-year partnership with Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower to provide 100% renewable electricity to the Tower. The contract with Dynegy ensures that 100% of Willis Tower’s electricity comes from wind power and assures that costs remain constant. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Loop skyline (J Crocker, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Possibility Of Illinois Reaching 100% Renewable Energy By 2050” • Gov JB Pritzker released his plan for transitioning the state of Illinois to 100% clean energy by 2050. His plan includes eight points, ranging from utility company transparency to a phase out of conventional power. All of this hopes to change Illinois’s energy footprint. [FOX Illinois]

¶ “Ohio AG Files Lawsuit To Stop Money Flowing From HB 6” • Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a civil lawsuit over the recently passed HB 6, which created the Ohio Clean Air Program supporting nuclear energy plants. He asked a court to prevent ratepayer money from going to the companies involved in a federal corruption probe. [MDJOnline.com]

Have a perfectly wonderful day.

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September 24 Energy News

September 24, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Six Big Takeaways From Tesla’s Battery Day” • The overall content of the Tesla Battery Day presentation might have been overwhelming for those who do not have a technical background in battery development. Given that, it might be a good idea to “pull the lens back” just a bit and discuss the major takeaways. Here are six. [CleanTechnica]

Elon Musk talks batteries (Source: Tesla)

¶ “The Fully Electric VW ID.4 Is A Direct Assault On Internal Combustion Crossovers” • Overall, the Volkswagen ID.4 was designed from the ground up as a solid competitor in the hot global crossover market. It is taking on popular combustion vehicles, inclluding the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and even Volkswagen’s own Tiguan. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Daring Plan To Save The Arctic Ice With Glass” • As ice in the Arctic melts, it loses the ability to reflect warming sunlight away from the Earth. A California-based non-profit Arctic Ice Project proposes to scatter a thin layer of reflective glass powder over parts of the Arctic, in an effort to protect it from the Sun’s rays and help ice grow back. [BBC]

Arctic Ice (BBC image)

World:

¶ “USAID Is Supporting Four Renewable Energy Projects In Afghanistan” • The Afghan government signed agreements with USAID-funded independent power producers to support four renewable energy projects to increase access to reliable and affordable electricity. The projects will add 110 MW of capacity to the Afghan electricity grid. [MENAFN.com]

¶ “Greenalia Starts 200-MW Gran Canaria Floater Permitting” • Spanish developer Greenalia has begun development of a 200-MW of floating offshore wind projects off the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. Greenalia has filed project and environmental planning applications for the four 50-MW projects, called Dunas, Mojo, Cardon, and Guanche. [reNEWS]

Floating offshore wind turbine (Credit: Lars Christopher)

¶ “SKF Joins Renewable Energy 100 Initiative” • As part of [Swedish manufacturing company] SKF’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality for their global manufacturing operations by 2030, the company has joined Renewable Energy 100, a global initiative uniting the world’s most influential businesses committed to using 100% renewable electricity. [Agg-Net]

¶ “World’s Operating Nuclear Fleet At 30 Year Low As New Plants Stall” • Some 408 nuclear reactors were operating in 31 countries in July 2020, a decline of 9 units from mid-2019 and 30 fewer than the 2002 peak of 438, the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report showed. Of the 52 new plants being built globally, at least 33 are behind schedule. [BW Businessworld]

Nuclear power plant (Emmanuel Foudrot | Reuters)

US:

¶ “California Governor Wants All New Cars Sold In The State To Be Zero-Emissions By 2035” • California Gov Gavin Newsom made an executive order requiring that all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the state be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of the state’s carbon pollution. [CNN]

¶ “Forty-Six New Electric Buses In Anaheim Get 20-Year Charging-As-A-Service Agreement” • In a world first, 46 new electric buses for the Anaheim Transportation Network will be charged via a 20-year charging-as-a-service agreement. The transit network for the city of Anaheim  intends to be California’s first all-electric bus fleet. [CleanTechnica]

Anaheim electric bus (Photo courtesy of AMPLY)

¶ “Statewide EVolve NY Charger Network To Expand Use Of Electric Vehicles And Make Fast Charging More Accessible And Convenient” • Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced the unveiling of New York’s first electric vehicle fast-charging hub. Four new Direct Current Fast Chargers are located at Tops Friendly Markets in LaGrangeville. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Proposed Renewable Energy Project For Poland Spring Hollis Plant” • Nestlé Waters North America announced that it intends to build a renewable energy project at its Poland Spring bottling plant in Hollis, Maine. This proposed 10-MW AC (12.97-MW DC) solar energy installation is currently in the permit application process. [NewsCenterMaine.com]

Proposed plant (Credit: Nestlé)

¶ “Tesla Officially Enters The Mining Business” • One of the many details revealed at Tesla’s Battery Day event was that it is planning to build its own cathode factory here in North America. Additionally, Elon Musk’s announcement of 10,000-acre lithium clay deposit in Nevada confirmed that Tesla is officially getting into the mining business. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Secures 576 MW Of US Orders From Invenergy” • GE Renewable Energy announced 576 MW of orders from Invenergy for 187 of its 2.X onshore wind turbines. The three contracts will power the equivalent of 160,000 American homes across three US states. GE’s 2-MW product platform has a total of more than 15 GW of installed capacity. [reNEWS]

GE wind turbine (Image: GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “Anthem Signs Solar PPA With SunEnergy1 As It Moves To 100% Renewable Energy By 2025” • Health insurance provider Anthem signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with SunEnergy1, a solar developer, owner, and operator of solar projects. The agreement is for the output from a new 20-MW solar field in Virginia. [Solar Builder]

¶ “Maine Company Looks To Tidal Power As Renewable Energy’s Next Generation” • Ocean Renewable Power Company, based in Portland, Maine, is looking to put itself on the map. It signed a memorandum of understanding with the city of Eastport on a five-year plan to develop a $10 million microgrid with primary power from tidal generation. [Energy News Network]

Have an abundantly fruitful day.

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September 23 Energy News

September 23, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Everything You Need To Know About Tesla’s New 4680 Battery Cell” • Tesla didn’t hold back at Battery Day, announcing a new tabless 4680 cell form factor. The battery has increased energy density, thermal characteristics similar to smaller cells, improved the power-to-weight ratio, and lower cost, with its manufacturing streamlined. [CleanTechnica]

“Jelly roll” (Tesla Battery Day Screenshot)

¶ “New Energy Storage System From Building Blocks, For Coal Power Plants” • A team of researchers at the University of Newcastle has come up with a way to use retired coal plant sites for large scale energy storage systems.  The storage system consists of bricks that can hold energy in the form of heat, then discharge it to run steam turbines. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “China Aims For Carbon Neutrality By 2060” • China will aim to hit peak emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, President Xi Jinping announced. Mr Xi outlined the steps when speaking via videolink to the UN General Assembly in New York. China is the world’s biggest source of carbon dioxide, responsible for around 28% of global emissions. [BBC]

This year’s low Arctic sea ice minimum (Getty Images)

¶ “New Data From Norway Shows Rapid Transition From Diesel To Electric” • Things have changed. It used to be that diesel Volkswagen Golfs sold fast in Norway, but not any more. Instead, 97% of new Golfs sold in Norway are electrics. The shift is so dramatic that Volkswagen no longer sells the Golf with a diesel engine in Norway. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Giga Shanghai Could Produce 1 Million Cars Per Year Eventually” • One comment by Elon Musk at Tesla’s 2020 Annual Shareholder Meeting was something the Tesla-oriented writers at CleanTechnica thought was new. He said that Giga Shanghai (Tesla’s factory in Shanghai) could eventually produce a million vehicles a year. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Giga Shanghai (Tesla image)

¶ “Auctions Show Indian Renewables Still Primed For Growth” • The positive outcomes of recent Indian renewables auctions demonstrate that the appetite investors have to back clean energy infrastructure is unabated despite Covid-19 disruption, according to a note from the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. [pv magazine India]

¶ “Lightsource BP Acquires 100-MW Spanish Solar Farm” • Solar developer Lightsource BP has acquired a 100-MW solar portfolio in Teruel, Spain from renewables firm Forestalia for a sum that is undisclosed. Under the terms of the sale, both parties will work closely together to progress the projects until they reach financial close and begin construction. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (Image: Lightsource BP)

¶ “Swancor Reveals 4.4-GW Formosa Plans” • Swancor Renewable Energy, backed by affiliates of US-based Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, announced plans to develop a 4.4 GW portfolio of offshore wind projects off the coast of Taiwan. Swancor says the three wind farms could generate enough electricity to power over 4.5 million homes. [4C Offshore]

¶ “Nuclear Plants In Arabian Sea Face Tsunami Risk” • A major tsunami in the northern Arabian Sea could severely impact the coastlines of India and Pakistan, which are studded with sensitive installations including several nuclear plants, according to the author of a study recently published in the journal Pure and Applied Geophysics. [PreventionWeb]

Nuclear power plant (©)

US:

¶ “Musk: Cheaper Tesla Ready ‘in About Three Years'” • At a live presentation that Elon Musk labelled “Battery Day” he also teased the possibility of a $25,000 (£19,600), fully-autonomous Tesla “in about three years time.” He also announced  a battery technology, which will provide five times more energy, six times more power, and 16% greater driving range. [BBC]

¶ “Blackstone Sets Up A $250 Million Fund For Distributed Renewable Projects” • Blackstone announced a $250 million distributed and sustainable energy fund. It plans for investments in microgrids, distributed generation, renewable energy with battery storage, energy efficiency, combined heat and power plants, and green transportation. [Mercom India]

Rooftop solar system

¶ “Shell To Fuel Microsoft With Renewable Power In Net-Zero ‘Alliance’ Deal” • Transitioning oil supermajor Shell is to begin supplying Microsoft with renewables-sourced power to help the IT giant reach its 2025 targets for 100% clean energy. The deal is part of a far-reaching “strategic alliance”, the two companies have announced. [Upstream Online]

¶ “Greenbacker Bags Colorado PV-Storage Project” • Greenbacker Renewable Energy has acquired a pre-operational solar-storage project in Colorado. The Rawhide Prairie Solar project comprises a 29-MW solar facility and a 1.3-MW battery. The project, which is in Larimer County, is expected to reach commercial operation the last quarter of 2020. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (APPA image)

¶ “Solar Wins Big In Project Selection To Advance Maine’s Clean Energy Goals” • Maine’s ambitious goals to build clean energy and address climate change reached an important milestone when the state Public Utilities Commission approved contracts for 17 renewable power projects – largely solar, but also wind, biomass, and hydroelectric. [The Bethel Citizen]

¶ “New York Wraps Up First Community PV-Storage Project” • New York State’s first community solar paired with energy storage project has been completed. IPPsolar installed the 557-kW rooftop solar system and 490 kW of Tesla batteries in Westchester County. The installation will reduce the energy costs for approximately 150 household. [reNEWS]

Have an enthrallingly gorgeous day.

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September 22 Energy News

September 22, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Airbus Wants To Build Zero-Emission Planes By 2035. Here’s How” • Airbus has unveiled its plans for bringing the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft into service by 2035. Boeing’s European rival revealed three aircraft concepts that will explore different options for using hydrogen as a primary source of power to fly planes. [CNN]

Airbus ZEROe blended-wing body design (Airbus image)

¶ “The Arctic Sea Ice Has Shrunk To The Second Lowest Number Ever Recorded, And Scientists Say It Will Get Worse” • Scientists believe the Arctic sea ice, or the floating ice cover of the Arctic Ocean, has reached its minimum extent for the year, after shrinking to the second lowest extent since record-keeping began in 1978. [CNN]

World:

¶ “UK Considers Moving ICE Ban Forward To 2030, May Encourage Small Nuclear Reactors” • The Guardian reports the UK government has a proposal under consideration to bring the existing ban on vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel internal combustion engines forward to 2030. That’s ten years earlier than previously planned. [CleanTechnica]

Citroen Ami electric cars

¶ “Global Wind And Solar Power Electricity Generation Doubled In Last Five Years” • As wind power and solar power grow, it is possible for nations around the world to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear power. Dave Jones, a Senior Electricity Analyst with EMBER, answered some questions about this trend for CleanTechnica. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nigeria’s Economic Recovery Plan And A Million-Dollar Bet On Renewable Energy” • The Central Bank of Nigeria recently announced plans to strengthen the drive for renewable energy in Nigeria. The initiative, the bank states, is part of the country’s economic sustainability plan, a policy response to the effect of the pandemic. [Techpoint Africa]

Tiny solar-powered microgrid

¶ “Dogger Bank Wind Farm Places Record-Breaking Turbine Order” • Dogger Bank Wind Farm and GE Renewable Energy announced contracts confirming the 13-MW Haliade-X turbine for two phases of the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The order is for 190 Haliade-X 13-MW turbines to be installed off the north-east coast of England. [Sea News]

¶ “Engie Inks Norther Power Offtake” • Engie has signed a power purchase agreement to supply chemicals company Ineos with electricity generated by a portion of the Norther offshore wind farm off Belgium. The 10-year PPA is for 84 MW of capacity and starts on 1 January 2021. The contract will be used for facilities in the port area of ​​Antwerp. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (MHI Vestas image)

¶ “Shell Likely To Increase Focus On Renewable Energy And Power Markets” • Shell is reportedly planning to move its focus towards renewable energy and power markets by cutting 40% of its oil and gas costs. The savings from the strategy will contribute towards Shell’s $4 billion target set after the Covid-19 outbreak, sources said. [Power Technology]

¶ “Coles Inks Deal With CleanCo To Power Queensland Operations With Solar And Wind” • Australian supermarket chain Coles will soon source nearly all of the electricity for its Queensland stores from locally generated solar and wind, after signing a 10-year contract with Queensland’s government-owned generator and retailer CleanCo. [RenewEconomy]

Acciona solar farm, Queensland

US:

¶ “Tropical Storm Beta Makes Landfall In Texas Late Monday Night” • Tropical Storm Beta made landfall near the southern end of the Matagorda Peninsula around 10 pm CDT Monday, according to a special update from the National Hurricane Center. Beta’s slow-moving approach is expected to produce rain over a long period, causing flooding. [CNN]

¶ “All Eyes On New York State’s First-Of-Its-Kind Opt-Out Community Solar Deal” • A new kind of community solar project is brewing in New York State, and if all goes as planned it will lead to more PV installations. Instead of forcing ratepayers to jump through hoops for solar power, it will automatically put solar credits onto their utility bills. [CleanTechnica]

Modes of community solar for New York (US DOE image)

¶ “Climate Clock Goes Live In New York City” • The Metronome that hangs in Union Square, New York City, usually shows the hours, minutes and seconds between midnight yesterday and midnight today. Now, two artists and a team of makers and scientists have reprogrammed it to show how much time is left to deal with climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hawaiian Electric To Quit Coal Power And Add Solar And Battery Storage” • Hawaiian Electric, the primary provider of electricity to the Hawaiian Islands, has submitted contracts for new solar and storage projects that will end the use of coal on the Islands and represent 300 MW of solar energy and nearly 2 GWh of energy storage. [RenewEconomy]

Kohala coast, Hawaii (George, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “The RPM Act – How A Multi-Billion Dollar Industry Is Trying To Ruin Our Air” • Aftermarket parts manufacturers and dealers, under their trade association, are fighting for passage of the Recognizing Protection of Motorsports Act, a bill which would cripple EPA’s ability to go after people who tamper with vehicle emissions controls. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “PepsiCo To Source 100% Renewable Electricity By 2030” • PepsiCo has plans to source 100% renewable electricity across all of its company-owned and controlled operations globally by 2030, and across its franchise and third-party operations by 2040. The transition could to reduce about 2.5 million tonnes of GHG emissions by 2040. [Plastics in Packaging]

Have a gracefully well-planned day.

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September 21 Energy News

September 21, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Intelligence Is Business Intelligence” • Politicization of climate change is clouding public perspective on the subject. Nevertheless, some leaders in the “real economy” are aligning with policymakers and civil society on the urgency of quickly slowing humanity’s contribution to accelerating climate change. We have a tool to support that. [CleanTechnica]

Solar system at Disney World (Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica)

¶ “Trump Vs TikTok Teenagers Doesn’t Help The Americans Displaced By Climate Change” • Trump’s war on TikTok has been odd to watch, and it just shows that he is more concerned about Gen Z-ers hating him than he is about Americans who lost their homes in the California wildfires or the hurricane-slammed people of Lake Charles. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Is The World Approaching Green Architecture All Wrong?” • Instead of focusing on mitigating and reducing emissions, two architects based in Miami, Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, propose a shift to a new type of green architecture where adaptation and resilience readies communities for the changes wrought by the climate crisis. [CleanTechnica]

Green architecture (Image retrieved from nasa.gov)

¶ “New Peer-Reviewed Study Shows Climate Change Impact Reduction By Making EV Batteries From Deep-Sea Rocks” • Research published in the Journal of Cleaner Production shows a carbon footprint reduction for minerals that are critical for EV batteries of up to 90%, if they come from deep-sea polymetallic nodules. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

World:

¶ “While Decisionmakers Quarrel, Danes Just Buy Electric Vehicles” • The latest numbers on the Danes’ hunger for electric vehicles suggests that the revolution is well underway, without any change in the country’s policies. According to the Danish Motorist Association FDM, sales of vehicles with a plug are surging more than expected. [CleanTechnica]

Audi e-tron display (Photo: Jesper Berggreen)

¶ “World Split On Urgency Of Tackling Rising Temperatures, Poll Suggests” • There’s growing concern among citizens all over the world about climate change, a new global poll shows. But while big majorities in poorer countries want to address climate change with the same vigour as Covid-19, support for swift action is more muted in rich countries. [BBC]

¶ “Alberta Could Lead Canada In Wind And Solar Power By 2025” • Growth in Alberta’s renewable energy sector should continue its upward trend, experts say, with one forecast anticipating a surge of projects that could have the province poised to be the Canadian leader in utility-scale wind and solar capacity as soon as 2025. [CBC.ca]

Solar farm with pump jack (Kyle Bakx | CBC)

¶ “Direct Current Microgrids To Be Tested In Europe’s Power System” • The potential of DC microgrids to advance Europe’s green energy ambitions will be shown in the project TIGON. The project is focussed on deploying DC-based grid architectures that can improve the reliability and resilience of a decentralized, renewables-based system. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Museum Memorializing Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Opens In Futaba” • A museum that archives and exhibits items related to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster opened Sunday in the northeastern Japan town that hosts the stricken power plant, helping to preserve memories and pass on lessons to future generations. [Kyodo News Plus]

Fukushima museum in Futaba (KYODO image)

¶ “Greece Breaks National And European Renewable Energy Records” • On September 14th, according to WindEurope, the wind provided 40% of Greece’s energy, the highest percentage covered by wind power in Europe. National data showed that wind, solar, and hydroelectric sources provided for 57% of the country’s needs on that day. [Greek Reporter]

US:

¶ “Wildfires, Coronavirus And An Earthquake Collided For California’s Terrible Week” • The Golden State has been trying to contain the summer’s surge of coronavirus cases while dozens of wildfires burn and smoke is making it hard to breathe. Then, as if there were not enough crises colliding, Southern California had an earthquake. [CNN]

Covid-19 testing (Kevin Winter | Getty Images)

¶ “Nuvve And Blue Bird Combine To Create Electric School Buses That Are V2G Enabled” • Nuvve Corporation, based in San Diego, and Blue Bird, the largest US school bus supplier, joined to produce electric school buses equipped with vehicle-to-grid technology. America has 480,000 school buses, and they could make up a huge virtual power plant. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Michigan’s New House Bill 6233 Wants To Ban EV Automakers From Doing Business” • Michigan politicians are trying to block any new EV makers from doing business in the state. The “Motor Vehicle Franchise Act” was created specifically to block Tesla from doing business there, an obvious favor to the state’s car dealerships. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian R1T (Ben Moon | Rivian)

¶ “72% Of Impossible Burger Sales Displace Animal-Derived Foods” • The increase of plant-based burgers in grocery stores across the US has produced a surprisingly new trend: most sales of the plant-based Impossible Burger come at the expense of animal-derived meat. That data comes from the analytics company Numerator. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Companies Ask Insurers To Say No To Fossil-Fuel And Support Renewable Businesses” • Sixty US companies, including Unilever, Patagonia, and Ben & Jerry’s, told insurers in a letter, “As insurance customers, we are expressing our desire for insurance coverage … that isn’t tied to supporting fossil fuels and actively supports renewable energy.” [Mercom India]

Have a memorably lovely day.

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September 20 Energy News

September 20, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Clearly, Biden Has Grasp On Threat Climate Change Poses” • There is near universal consensus among scientists that human activity is warming the planet. While Trump has dismissed man-made climate change as a “hoax,” Biden has put forward a $2 trillion plan to have the electricity sector free of carbon pollution by 2035. [San Antonio Express-News]

Refinery at Port Arthur, Texas (Photo: Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg)

¶ “Can Biden Decarbonize The US Power Sector In 15 Years?” • Is it feasible to completely decarbonize the power sector by 2035? A recent report by Wood Mackenzie mentioned that the US is currently on a path that would achieve 87% clean energy in the US power grid by 2050. Recent history suggests that the target is not totally unrealistic. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “A Climate Reckoning Is Coming, We Can Address It” • We will deal with the problems that climate change creates, and we will emerge at the other end. The real question is how well we deal with it and in what shape we emerge. Climate change impacts are already here, and we’re dealing with them poorly, but renewables are now cheap. [San Antonio Express-News]

Wind farm in Texas (Photo: CPS Energy)

¶ “How The Oil Industry Made Us Doubt Climate Change” • In 1981, an Exxon scientist created one of the first computer models that predicted the effects of man-made climate change. With his work, and work of others like him, Exxon continued for decades to say publically that scientists did not know. Now they are being sued for their deception. [BBC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Wireless Power Technology Could Change New Zealand’s Transmission System” • Emrod, a technology startup based in New Zealand, announced that it had developed new long-range, high-powered wireless power transmission technology that could substitute existing copper lines. It uses electromagnetic waves to transfer power over long distances. [Mercom India]

Wireless technology (Emrod image)

¶ “With Solid State Energy Storage, Oil-Rich Texas Hits Clean Tech Trifecta” • If all goes according to plans laid out by the startup EnergyX, Texas will lay claim to birthing disruptive solid state energy storage technology that shepherds more renewables onto the grid while making electric vehicles go farther, charge faster, and cost less. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Cyclone Ianos: Two Dead As ‘Medicane’ Sweeps Across Greece” • Hundreds of people were trapped in flooded buildings as Cyclone Ianos, a Mediterranean hurricane, a type of storm called a “medicane,” battered areas north of Athens. Medicanes, tropical-like cyclones, have been categorised by meteorologists only in the past 40 years. [BBC]

Battered boat in Kefalonia (Reuters image)

¶ “Uber Is Working With Renault And Nissan To Electrify Transport In Europe” • Top app-based taxi companies Uber and Lyft have been making strong strides toward electrification. And thank goodness! When Lyft and Uber drivers switch to electric cars, they cut pollution 3 times more than when a normal driver switches to an electric car. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “First DEEP Geothermal Well In Saskatchewan Exceeds Expectations” • Deep Earth Energy Production is a Canadian company that wants to use the hot water located beneath the Deadwood Formation in Saskatchewan to produce geothermal energy. The temperature of the brine sequestered beneath the surface averages 122° C. [CleanTechnica]

DEEP geothermal operation in Saskatchewan (DEEP image)

¶ “Wind Energy Is The Cheapest Renewable Source In Brazil” • The cheapest renewable generation in Brazil is wind energy, according to a survey undertaken by the Electric Power Chamber of Commerce, which analyzed five years of data. The cost of windpower has fallen from R$231/MWh (4.3¢/kWh) in 2016 to R$195/MWh (3.6¢/kWh) today. [REVE]

US:

¶ “Wildfire-Weary Californians, ‘Tired Of This Being Normal,’ Consider Uprooting Their Lives” • It’s not just the nearly 7,900 wildfires that have consumed more than 3.4 million acres and claimed 26 lives in California that have Arthur Gies looking online for a New York apartment. He realized this is not the new normal, but a prelude for what’s coming. [CNN]

Wildfire (Nancy Hamilton | Golden Eagle Films)

¶ “Tesla Giga Texas Will Be Colossal, Plans Start Trickling Out” • Tesla is planning to create not just another Gigafactory in Austin, but a massive one. For weeks, construction has been going on to build the $1.1 billion factory. And just recently, Tesla filed a site plan that gives us a glimpse of just how large this new factory will be. It will be gigantic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NJ Solar Project Designed To Keep Natural Gas Pipeline Flowing To Be Completed This Fall” • The Lambertville Solar Project will provide power for a compressor station to keep natural gas flowing in the Texas Eastern Transmission Pipeline. The 8,835 mile pipeline moves natural gas from Texas and Louisiana to the Northeast. [nj.com] (Demented)

Lambertville Solar Project (Courtesy of Enbridge)

¶ “Rivian Completes Hot Weather Towing Test Of Its R1T Electric Pickup Truck” • The Society of Automotive Engineers has an official protocol for measuring towing capacity. A vehicle must tow a trailer up a steep grade on Arizona over a route 11.4 miles long, when the temperature is at least 100°F, maintaining at least 40 mph. Rivian had a pickup do it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Utah Lawmakers Seek Details On Planned Nuclear Plant In Idaho” • With the date approaching for cities to choose whether to maintain commitments, Utah lawmakers are seeking more details on NuScale Power’s Small Modular Reactor plant. The project is 30% subscribed, and some cities that had interest in it have said they are stepping away. [Deseret News]

Have an inconceivably worthwhile day.

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