April 12 Energy News

April 12, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Coal Is Dead: It is Time to Accept It” – For years, coal supporters have been saying that a turnaround is just around the corner. China’s demand is about to pick up, clean coal has arrived, or domestic environmental regulations will be struck down and we’ll fire up coal plants once more! Let’s face it: Coal is dead. [The Current]

The General James M. Gavin plant on the Ohio River. Note the clouds of Sulfuric Acid coming from the vertical column stacks (the emissions from the Cooling Towers are just water vapor). Photo by Analogue Kid, from Wikimedia Commons.

The General James M. Gavin plant on the Ohio River. Note the clouds of Sulfuric Acid coming from the vertical column stacks (the emissions from the Cooling Towers are just water vapor). Photo by Analogue Kid, from Wikimedia Commons.

¶ “McConnell’s quest won’t rescue Appalachia” – Although Senator McConnell claims to be fighting to preserve coal miners’ jobs, bucking the White House won’t help the people who live in Appalachian coal country. Market forces, not federal policy, are killing the industry, and no policy can change that. [Heraldindependent]

¶ “Want to fight drought? Build wind turbines” – One use of water that gets overlooked is energy. Reducing dependence on fossil fuels doesn’t just reduce climate change (thereby preventing future droughts). It also helps mitigate the massive amounts of water used in conventional power plants. [Mother Nature Network]

Science and Technology:

¶ The public health burden associated with the coal industry and coal-fired power plants had some light shed on it by a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. It found that long-term improvements in air quality were strongly associated with better respiratory function among growing children. [CleanTechnica]

¶ According to Science Magazine, researchers constructed a new glass window that tints by harvesting energy from weather conditions, such as wind and precipitation. The external layer harvests static energy from the rain, creating an electric current. The second layer gathers energy from the wind. [The Weather Network]

World:

¶ Eight commercial projects varying in size between 1.8 MW and 19 MW have been granted planning permission in Scotland. Over 100 MW of large-scale solar projects in the planning stages or awaiting construction. The country currently has 153 MW of solar capacity in 31,000 installations, nearly all on rooftops. [Herald Scotland]

Offshore wind farm.

Offshore wind farm.

¶ Despite the public perception of offshore wind energy being highly expensive, electricity generated via this technology is already cheaper in Europe than that generated by gas-fired power plants or proposed nuclear projects such as the Hinkley Point C project, according to a new analysis of publicly available data. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Jordan has pre-qualified 15 local and international companies to build a $150 million solar-run power plant. The 65-75 MW plant will be located in the southern Governorate of Aqaba. The government expects 1,800 MW of renewable energy projects to connected to the national power grid by the end of 2018. [Jordan Times]

¶ Global clean energy investment in the first quarter of this year fell to its lowest quarterly level for two years, as large deals slowed in China, Europe and Brazil. Investment in renewable energy such as wind and solar power and biomass fell to $50.5 billion for the first quarter compared with $59.3 billion last year. [The Daily Star]

US:

¶ Most of the electricity generated in Colorado still comes from burning coal, but even the state’s two largest coal burners are adding far more renewable energy. The Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and Platte River Power Authority lately announced plans for new renewable energy. [The Denver Post]

¶ Senator Harry Reid is turning his attention away from political strategy for the Democratic Party, and told a clean energy group he wants to spend his remaining time in Congress making green energy options a top priority. Reid made his comments during a luncheon speech in Las Vegas. [Guardian Liberty Voice]

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