December 2 Energy News

December 2, 2015


¶ The bosses have come and gone, and many negotiators will have breathed a big sigh of relief. Everyone said the right things. The prospects of a deal, haven’t been harmed, even if they weren’t hugely advanced. On Tuesday the more regular routines of COP life kicked in. The day started with a plenary session of the parties. [BBC]

Deforestation and forest degradation

Deforestation and forest degradation

¶ The impacts of climate change on forests and agriculture were in the spotlight on Tuesday at COP21, as new alliances among organizations and stakeholders were announced aiming to eliminate natural deforestation and forest degradation, and to prevent threats to sustainable farming and people’s livelihoods. [Sify News]

¶ President Barack Obama said that parts of the global warming deal being negotiated in Paris should be legally binding on the countries that sign on, setting up a potential fight with Republicans at home. Obama’s stand won praise at the COP21 conference from those who want a strong agreement to reduce carbon emissions. [Leader-Telegram]

¶ UK-based activist group Brandalism has peppered the streets of Paris with 600 fake outdoor ads meant to expose the hypocrisy of COP21 Climate Conference corporate sponsors. The fake, unauthorized outdoor ads were strategically placed around Paris this past weekend, and were made to look nearly identical to the originals. [Gizmodo Australia]

Credit: Brandalism

Credit: Brandalism

Science and Technology:

¶ Stanford engineers have created underwater solar cells that could play a key role in fighting climate change. They provided design principles to build energy efficient, corrosion-protected solar cells. The impacts of this research are far-reaching for the solar industry and the battle against climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In a paper in the November 27 online edition of the journal Science Advances scientists in Singapore say they have developed new redox flow lithium batteries whose energy densities match those of their lithium-ion counterparts. This means they are about eight to 10 times as high as conventional redox flow batteries. [IEEE Spectrum]

¶ The first sodium-ion (Na-ion) battery in an 18650 format was recently developed by researchers in France. The prototype possesses an energy density of 90 Wh/kilogram, putting it on roughly equal ground with early lithium-ion batteries. It has a lifespan of over 2,000 charge-discharge cycles. [CleanTechnica]

sodium-ion battery © Vincent GUILLY/CEA

sodium-ion battery © Vincent GUILLY/CEA


¶ SaskPower, Saskatchewan’s public utility, has said it has set a goal to generate 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Installing about 60 MW of utility-scale solar power will help achieve it, but the overall strategy will include geothermal, wind, hydropower, and biomass. [CleanTechnica]

¶ With the serious business of negotiation beginning at COP21, Oxfam has published a report showing that, despite the rich causing most of the global warming, it is the poor that must bear the brunt of the consequences. The richest 1% of the world’s population produces 175 times as much CO2 per person as the bottom 10%. [The Independent]

¶ The postal service of Norway, the Posten, will soon possess an electric vehicle fleet enriched by the purchase of an additional 240 new Renault Kangoo Maxi ZEs, according to recent reports. The Norwegian postal service already possesses a fleet of 900 electric vehicles, including electric cars as well as bikes, quadricycles, etc. [CleanTechnica]

Renault Kangoo Maxi ZEs

Renault Kangoo Maxi ZEs

¶ Wylfa nuclear power plant, in northern Wales, will shutdown at the end of this month. After 44 years producing electricity the plant on Anglesey will start to be decommissioned in the New Year. There will be a 100-day “cool down” period before full decommissioning gets underway and the nuclear fuel is removed. [Daily Post North Wales]


¶ Justin Farrell, assistant professor of sociology at Yale University, writes in Nature Climate Change that semantic analysis and statistical techniques can identify “organizational power” within the contrarian network that has somehow persuaded US voters that scientists are “divided” on the issue of climate change. []

¶ Hours after President Barack Obama pushed for an international agreement to combat climate change, the GOP-led US House of Representatives voted to demonstrate a lack of support. The House passed two resolutions, largely along party lines, to prevent the EPA from implementing the Clean Energy Plan. [CNN]

Climate change is real.

Climate change is real.

¶ EDF Renewable Energy has closed structured equity financing for its 175-MW Pilot Hill wind project in Illinois, from two American firms, General Electric and Metlife. The project, situated in Kankakee and Iroquois counties, features 91 of GE’s 1.7-100 turbine models, along with 12 of GE 1.85-87 wind turbines. [Power Technology]

¶ DC Water’s Blue Plains plant treats 370 million gallons of dirty water from more than two million households, purging it with micro-organisms that ingest carbon and transform nitrates into nitrogen gas. The water is clean enough to be released without disrupting fragile ecosystems. Solids yield 10 MW of electricity and compost. [Phys.Org]

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