December 11 Energy News

December 11, 2015


¶ France and nine other partners renewed commitment to mobilize a cumulative $10 billion between 2015 and 2020 to boost access to energy in Africa. The costs are to be offset by repealing all subsidies for fossil fuels and ending the tax breaks that encourage corporate inversions. [The Election Central]

Wind farm in Tunisia. Photo by Citizen59. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind farm in Tunisia. Photo by Citizen59. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ With the deadline for a climate deal at COP21 closing fast, business leaders from around the world have called for a long-term emissions goal. Organized by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, members of the We Mean Business coalition sent a joint letter to governments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ British Columbia’s Environment Minister announced at COP21 it has become the 14th jurisdiction to sign on to the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance. Members of the alliance will strive to make all new passenger vehicles in their jurisdictions ZEVs by no later than 2050. []

¶ Negotiators at COP21 aim to wrap up a global agreement to curb global warming on Saturday, a day later than expected. “Things are moving in the right direction,” said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is chairing the summit. But more compromise is needed if an agreement is to be reached. [BBC]

The Marshall Islands, where residents say they must move due to climate change. AFP

Climate change will make residents of the Marshall Islands move. AFP

Science and Technology:

¶ In a set of graphics, we can see the increases in the Earth’s temperature over the years, and we can compare it through the years with the seasonal increases in carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. We can see the changes in the Arctic ice cap over the years and projections for the future of the planet. [BBC]


¶ Air pollution is the single largest environmental health risk in Europe, contributing to heart disease, respiratory problems and cancer. A report from the European Environment Agency estimates that it is responsible for more than 430,000 premature deaths in Europe each year. [Galway Independent]

¶ Oil fell below $37 a barrel, after new data showed OPEC is still pumping like there is no tomorrow. The mighty oil cartel produced 31.7 million barrels a day in November, which has produced a glut. Saudi Arabia, the most powerful member of the cartel, refuses to cut output in order to defend its market share. [CNN]

Commercial oil tanker AbQaiq readies itself to receive oil. US Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Andrew M. Meyers. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Oil tanker AbQaiq readies to receive oil. US Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Andrew M. Meyers. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ With a population of 3.4 million, Uruguay has been cheered for efforts to decarbonize its economy by such organizations as the World Bank and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. The WWF named Uruguay among its “Green Energy Leaders.” Its energy is 95% green. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The UK has committed to having 0% emissions from vehicles by 2050. Similar commitments come from the US states of California, New York, Connecticut, Oregon, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont; as well as from the Canadian province of Quebec. [CleanTechnica]


¶ The first utility scale solar plant in Utah was commissioned on Thursday. The Utah Red Hills Renewable Park operated by Scatec Solar will produce enough power for 18,500 homes. At a cost of $188 million, the 104-MW plant will help get the state to 25% from renewables by 2025. [Deseret News]

Utah’s first utility-scale solar plant. (Mike Saemisch, Scatec)

Utah’s first utility-scale solar plant. (Mike Saemisch, Scatec)

¶ The fourth quarter of 2015 is shaping up to be the United States solar market’s biggest quarter on record, according to a new projection. The current utility-scale solar PV pipeline stands at 18.7 GW. This is greater than all US solar PV installations brought online through to the end of 2014. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Northern Power Systems, based in Barre, Vermont, announced that technology-driven improvements to its flagship Northern Power 100-kW wind turbine have been shown to decrease the delivered Levelized Cost of Energy of wind power produced by its turbines materially, making it very competitive. [Vermont Biz]

¶ Enel Green Power has brought online the 200-MW Goodwell wind farm in Texas County, Oklahoma. The $310 million wind farm is supported by a 20-year power purchase agreement. It is the fifth wind farm EGP has brought into operation since entering the Oklahoma market in 2012. [reNews]

Image: sxc

Image: sxc

¶ General Motors will use renewable energy to manufacture about 125,000 trucks per year. GM will use wind energy to power its truck production operations at Arlington assembly plant in Texas. EDP will supply around 30 MW from its planned 250-MW Hidalgo wind farm in Edinburg. [CleanTechnology News]

¶ Work to add two nuclear reactors to Plant Vogtle is growing further behind schedule, according to experts. A nuclear engineer testified at a hearing that efforts to catch up have failed. Instead delays have gotten worse despite assurances from Georgia Power executives. [Savannah Morning News]

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