August 16 Energy News

August 16, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Climate change makes some organisms go extinct, but increases others. According to the author of a newly released study, “it is not so easy to determine the number of wild boars in Europe.” However, in the recent decades, more and more boars have wound up as road kill and in hunting bags – a strong indication that local populations are growing and gaining ground. [Nature World News]

One possible beneficiary of climate change is a boar. Photo: pixabay

A possible beneficiary of climate change. Photo: pixabay

¶ According to the Taskforce on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Resilience, worldwide food shortages, dramatic price increases, and volatile market conditions may take place every 30 years in about 25 years from now, instead of taking place once a century. To cover this and population increase, food production may need to improve by over 60%. [Modern Readers]

World:

¶ Kuwait has approved the construction of a series of power plants, desalination facilities and other infrastructure projects worth up to $9.9 billion, according to Kuwait’s finance ministry. While no timeline has been set for most projects, which are expected to add 3,580 MW to the country’s electricity capacity, a planned sewage plant will commence by the year 2020. [Construction Week Online]

¶ Opponents of onshore wind farm developments across Lincolnshire have expressed surprise at the results of a survey which has claimed that only 8% of people are against turbines on farmland. The Good Energy poll also found just 4% of the public opposed solar farms, and 7% were against biomass plants. For the poll, 2,000 people were asked their views on renewables. [Lincolnshire Echo]

¶ Asked for fact checking, the Saudi agency responsible for developing renewable energy, with a budget of $109 billion, confirmed the kingdom’s plan of 41 GW solar power by 2032 and added it would be composed of 25 GW of solar thermal and 16 GW of photovoltaics, starting from almost nothing in 2012. But it has also announced the plan’s target date may be 2040. [gulfnews.com]

¶ The transportation sector accounts for 29% of the Uruguay’s energy use, according to the Industry, Energy and Mining Minister. She said studies by her portfolio indicate that by 2030, 40% of the public-transport fleet, and 60% of taxis, will be powered by renewable energy sources. The change has already started, and the first four electric cars have been added to the capital’s taxi fleet. [La prensa]

¶ Residents near the Japan’s Sakurajima volcano evacuated to safer places after the government raised its alert level to 4 on a 5-point scale, indicating a major eruption could be imminent. The Sendai nuclear power plant, which is the first to restart under tighter safety rules adopted in the wake of the Fukushima Disaster, is just 50 km from the volcano. [South China Morning Post]

An aerial view shows Mt. Sakurajima in Kagoshima, southwestern Japan. Photo: Kyodo

An aerial view shows Mt. Sakurajima in Kagoshima, southwestern Japan. Photo: Kyodo

¶ Cochin International Airport is set to become the first airport in India to be operating on solar power. This will make the airport ‘absolutely power neutral’ in terms of energy consumption. A 12-MW solar power project will be inaugurated August 18. Photovoltaic cells have been laid across 45 acres. Electricity from the solar power plant will be used for airport operations. [Skymet Weather]

¶ Australia’s federal government has been marked down on climate change in a new poll that shows most voters believe it has done too little to address the problem. The poll comes as the government’s official climate change policy adviser accuses the Tony Abbott-led government of shirking its part of the collective global task of avoiding dangerous climate change. [The Australian Financial Review]

US:

¶ The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan requires the nation to use a lot more renewable energy by 2030, and a lot less coal. And right on time, two new reports published last week by the Department of Energy find that one key renewable sector, wind, is booming, a development that can only help matters when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. [Memphis Commercial Appeal]

¶ As wildfires burn throughout California, there the latest forecast says there will be an unusually strong El Niño, which typically brings heavy winter rainfall to California. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Service released data late last week that showed surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean off South America to be nearly 4° Fahrenheit above normal. [Times of San Diego]

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