May 27 Energy News

May 27, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Cutting edge progress in flow battery technology is taking place in such areas as nanotechnology, membrane improvements and membrane-less systems. A more mundane energy storage breakthrough, from a research team at MIT, focuses on a way to eliminate the pumps. [CleanTechnica]

MIT gravity flow battery. Image courtesy of the research team.

MIT gravity flow battery. Image courtesy of the research team.

World:

¶ More than 10 diving sites in Thailand’s national marine parks have closed due to widespread coral bleaching, amid the country’s continued efforts to protect the environment. At its worst in over six years, coral bleach has spread widely between 40% to 80% of the Thai reefs. [CNN]

¶ All references to the impact of climate change on Australian World Heritage sites have been removed from a UN report. The country’s Department of the Environment requested they be removed because of an expected impact on tourism. They included a chapter on the Great Barrier Reef. [BBC]

Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory was also mentioned in the draft report. Getty Images.

Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory was
also mentioned in the draft report. Getty Images.

¶ India energy group Adani has identified 650 MW of large-scale Australian solar projects it wants to develop as it seeks to become one of the biggest renewable energy developers in the country. Even so, it insists it still wants to push ahead with the controversial Carmichael mega coal mine. [RenewEconomy]

¶ A Danish joint venture opened the Brigg Renewable Energy Plant, a 40-MW straw-fired biomass project in North Lincolnshire. The plant was delivered ahead of time and within budget. It has sufficient capacity to power about 70,000 households, and is fuel comes from local farmers. [SeeNews Renewables]

Straw storage. Source: PensionDanmark A/S. License: All Rights Reserved.

Straw storage. Source: PensionDanmark A/S. All Rights Reserved.

¶ According to the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association, poor Asian and African households saved $3.4 billion because of solar lighting. This means off-grid lighting products impact approximately 71.6 million people, who previously depended on lamps fueled by kerosene or batteries. [PanetSave]

¶ Ikea plans to be a net exporter of renewable energy within four years. It already produces 53% of its energy from renewable sources. It is 100% renewable in some countries. It operates 314 wind turbines and has installed 700,000 solar panels on its stores and distribution centers. [The Guardian]

Ikea operates 314 wind turbines and produces 53% of its energy from renewable sources. Photograph: Keith Arkins/PR

Ikea operates 314 wind turbines and produces 53% of its
energy from renewable sources. Photograph: Keith Arkins/PR

¶ Opposition from French unions has cast fresh doubt over the future of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. Key French workers’ unions continue to oppose the £18-billion project despite repeated attempts by EDF, which would build the reactors, to win their backing. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ A 40-acre cargo terminal at the Port of Los Angeles will begin moving to renewable energy sources this summer. It will be the first in the world to generate all of its own energy needs from renewables, and it will be able operate completely off the grid if necessary. [Long Beach Press Telegram]

Cargo ships wait off the coast of the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Chuck Bennett / Staff Photographer

Cargo ships wait off the coast of the Port of Los Angeles
and Long Beach. Chuck Bennett / Staff Photographer

¶ Donald Trump pledged to make the US energy independent by reducing dependence on foreign oil and rolling back environmental regulations restricting oil and natural gas exploration. He vowed to cancel the Paris climate agreement and cut off all US funding for UN climate change initiatives. [CNN]

¶ Wyoming is the only state with a generation tax. A proposal to raise the tax for wind-generation could disrupt plans to build the massive 3-GW Chokecherry and Sierra Madre project. The proposal would put the wind tax at $3.91/MWh, while coal and gas plants pay $1.77 to $3.49/MWh. [reNews]

Wyoming. Credit: sxc.

In Wyoming, the wind would be taxed more than coal. Credit: sxc.

¶ Exxon Mobil stockholders passed a proposal to nominate outside candidates to the board with 62% support. The move could affect the company’s decisions on climate change. The New York City Comptroller, fiduciary for five pension funds, filed the proxy access resolution. [Scientific American]

¶ Offshore Wind: Massachusetts, a broad coalition dedicated to the establishment of an offshore wind industry, says the recent House energy bill “marks the beginning of a new era for offshore wind.” Members range from manufacturers to environmental organizations. [Offshore Wind Journal]

Offshore Wind: Massachusetts hopes the state will become preeminent as a developed of offshore wind energy

Offshore Wind: Massachusetts hopes the state will become preeminent as a developed of offshore wind energy

¶ Solar Power now has more employees than either the Oil & Gas or Coal Extraction industries in the United States. The solar industry employed approximately 208,000 individuals at the end of 2015 versus more than 185,000 in oil and gas, or 190,000 in coal extraction. [Electrek]

¶ A dozen New York lawmakers have introduced a bill aimed at codifying Governor Cuomo’s climate change goals. Under the bill, the state would have to cut GHG emissions 25% below 1990 levels by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 80% by 2045, on the way to a complete phase-out by 2050. [Utility Dive]

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