May 8 Energy News

May 8, 2016

World:

¶ The failure of monsoon last year led to declining water levels at dams across the river Kali in the Indian state of Karnataka. If there is no rain by June, the reservoirs are likely to dry up, with effects on power generation at both hydro-electric and nuclear power plants. [Times of India]

Kali River in Karnataka. Photo by solarisgirl from pune, india. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Kali River in Karnataka. Photo by solarisgirl from pune, india.
CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Saudi Arabia’s veteran oil minister has been removed in a broad government overhaul. He has been replaced by former a health minister. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest crude exporter, but the country has unveiled major economic reforms aimed at ending its dependence on oil. [BBC]

¶ Zambian President Edgar Lungu has commissioned construction works for the $1.2 billion first ever solar power station plants in Lusaka. The two solar plants, which will have a capacity of 100 MW, are expected to supplying power before the end of the year, under a World Bank program. [ZNBC]

Zambian long term development in the Energy sector.

Zambian long term development in the Energy sector.

¶ Former US Energy Secretary Steven Chu commented on energy auctions in Mexico, which are unsubsidized. Mexico’s state utility got bids on solar, wind, hydro, cogeneration, combined-cycle gas, and geothermal energy. Solar and wind cost about 4¢/kWh, far below the costs of fossil fuels. [Forbes]

US:

¶ Iowa’s two largest energy providers, Mid-American and Aliant have both recently launched “pilot plans” meant to get the discussion started about building large scale solar arrays. Meanwhile a small, municipal utility in Cedar Falls is already harnessing energy from the sun. [Iowa Public Radio]

Simple Solar project in Cedar Falls. Cedar Falls Utilities photo.

Simple Solar project in Cedar Falls. Cedar Falls Utilities photo.

¶ While Republican lawmakers in Washington have fought to protect coal-fired power plants, opposing President Obama’s efforts to cut carbon emissions, data show their home states are often the ones benefiting most from the nation’s accelerating shift to renewable energy. [Kokomo Tribune]

¶ Chad Pregracke may be known as “The Rivers’ Garbageman,” having cleaned up America’s waterways for almost 20 years, but he also loves planting trees. In 2007, his nonprofit, Living Lands & Waters, set a new goal, to plant 1 million oak trees, and now, it has reached that goal. [CNN]

Chad Pregracke and his nonprofit surprised students by planting the group's millionth tree at their school.

Chad Pregracke and his nonprofit surprised students by planting the group’s millionth tree at their school.

¶ Philadelphia will experience the largest transit agency investment in zero-emission buses in the US Northeast, according to the director of the Sierra Club’s electric vehicles initiative. Philadelphia is a walkable city already, but cleaning up the buses will make that even better. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Motorists passing by six domed tanks near LaSalle, Colorado, might dismiss them as just more oil facilities. They are, however, part of the county’s rapidly growing renewable energy portfolio, the Heartland Biogas Project, the largest anaerobic digester in North America. [Greeley Tribune]

Trucks sit outside A1 Organic's facilities on Weld County Road 49. Eliott Foust | The Greeley Tribune

Trucks sit outside A1 Organic’s facilities on Weld County Road 49. Eliott Foust | The Greeley Tribune

¶ Year two of the California legislative cycle usually yields some bold policy ideas, and this year it looks like rethinking the state’s relationship with natural gas is on that track. A number of bills before the legislature arise from the major methane pollution event at Aliso Canyon. [Energy Collective]

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