November 5 Energy News

November 5, 2015

Anniversary of Note:

¶ 50 years ago today, President Johnson’s Science Advisory Committee sent him a report, “Restoring the Quality of Our Environment,” which included a warning on carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. It was written by prominent climate scientists Roger Revelle, Wallace Broecker, Charles Keeling, Harmon Craig, and J Smagorisnky. [The Guardian]

Opinion:

¶ “How the World Is Saving Itself From Coal Even Without a UN Prod” • The energy industry is easing away from coal and will keep moving in that direction regardless of what happens at the United Nations climate talks in Paris next month. That’s the view of Michael Liebreich, the founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Bloomberg]

Emissions rise from a coal power station in Indiana. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Emissions rise from a coal power station in Indiana. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

World:

¶ Envision Energy, a leading smart energy providers, has acquired a 600 MW portfolio of wind projects in development stages in Mexico. Working with ViveEnergia, Envision Energy is committed to bringing the entire portfolio into a “ready to build” stage by the end of this year, and with construction starting in early 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Renewable energy in eight major economies will collectively more than double by 2030 due to new national climate and energy plans, according to a study by the World Resources Institute. Total clean energy supply from eight of the world’s 10 largest greenhouse gas emitters will jump to 20,000 TWh from around 9,000 TWh in 2009. [Yahoo News]

¶ Vancouver’s Renewable City Strategy has been released. The city currently obtains 31% of its energy from clean energy sources. The target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 1990 levels. This means 80% below the benchmark set by the Kyoto Accord. The city is already 7% below this benchmark. [CleanTechnica]

Vancouver. Photo by Kyla Duhamel via Flickr. CC BY SA, 2.0

Vancouver. Photo by Kyla Duhamel via Flickr. CC BY SA, 2.0

¶ Brookfield will test the case for taking entire suburbs off grid, in a $1.1 million study that could see a NSW development become Australia’s first off-grid suburb. The $1.1 million study is to determine whether renewables, battery storage and other enabling technologies can power suburbs reliably and cost effectively. [The Fifth Estate]

¶ Renewable energy is supplying power to South Africa at prices that are around 40% cheaper than electricity prices forecast for the Medupi and Kusile coal powered plants which are still under construction. The average price for wind energy in South Africa has come down R0.71/kWh (5¢/kWh) this year, a decrease of 50% from 2011. [Independent Online]

¶ The Iranian Ministry of Energy says it signed a $6 billion agreement with a European company to build 4,250 MW of capacity. The agreement envisages developing gas-powered plants for 3,250 MW and wind farms for 1,000 MW of electricity. Media sources suggest the company is Belgian UNIT International SA. [Press TV]

Iranian Government says it signed an agreement to generate 4,250 megawatts of electricity.

Iranian Government says it signed an agreement to generate 4,250 megawatts of electricity.

¶ Nearly six decades after it was first conceived, and after over ¥1 trillion has been poured into it, the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture has yet to supply electricity commercially. Now it has suffered a possibly fatal blow, as the Nuclear Regulation Authority called for it to have another operator. [The Japan Times]

¶ The operator of a nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture filed a formal request for nuclear regulators to conduct safety screening, despite expert opinion that it sits atop an active geological fault line. Japan Atomic Power Co filed the request with the Nuclear Regulation Authority for a reactor at the Tsuruga nuclear power plant. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ Work on Tesla’s Gigafactory is running ahead of schedule, with a production line for Powerpacks and Powerwalls even being moved from the Fremont facility to an automated assembly line at the Gigafactory early in Quarter 4, according to Tesla’s most recent shareholder letter. Production began at the Fremont facility in Quarter 3. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Gigafactory.

Tesla Gigafactory from the air.

¶ An 18-state coalition led by New York and California has begun taking on a block of 26 states including Texas and Florida in a court fight over the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The states defending the federal plan are joined by the District of Columbia, New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia in seeking intervener status. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

¶ Duke Energy said it will scale back its plans to convert its coal-fired Asheville, North Carolina, power plant to natural gas and scrap a bitterly fought transmission line. Instead the company will build two smaller 280-MW gas units and won’t need the new transmission line. A third, 190-MW gas unit may be added in 2023 or later. [WBTV]

¶ Arizona utility regulators are defending their decision to let a utility call burning garbage a “renewable resource” for electricity. The Arizona Corporation Commission urged the state Supreme Court to reject claims by the Sierra Club that a trash-burning incinerator does not qualify for the same legal status as solar and wind. [Sierra Vista Herald]

¶ A federal judge in Nevada has thrown out federal approval of what was to be the state’s largest wind power project, ruling that the Interior Department did not properly evaluate potential impacts to golden eagles and Mojave Desert tortoises. The ruling may be the first rejection of an environmental impact statement. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

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