June 12 Energy News

June 12, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Solar Impulse 2, the largest solar-powered aircraft in the world, landed early Saturday in New York City. It is the 14th stop and the final US destination in its year-old trek around the world. It flew past the Statue of Liberty before landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport. [CNN]

Solar Impulse 2 flies above the Statue of Liberty.

Solar Impulse 2 flies above the Statue of Liberty.

World:

¶ The heat of the sun is already scorching the era of oil and coal in the Philippine energy sector. A host of factors, including reduced prices of solar panels, new government policy, and growing reliability of solar power plants, is leading the increasing shift to renewable energy. [The Standard]

¶ Vast rainforests, which once covered more than half of Panama’s land surface, are shrinking, eaten away by development. In response, seven indigenous tribes, whose members live in autonomous zones, have begun using drones to keep an eye on their forests. [Christian Science Monitor]

Rainforest in Brazil. Alexander Lees/Reuters / File

Rainforest in Brazil. Alexander Lees/Reuters / File

¶ The government of Bangladesh has planned to set up 50 solar mini-grids in remote off-grid areas of the country, mainly in islands, by 2018. Seven have already been installed, 11 are under the installation process, and the remaining 32 are at the planning stage, official sources said. [The Daily Star]

¶ Christian and other faith communities around the world are hosting 120 events in 35 countries, all calling for governments, businesses and individuals to do more to reduce global warming. The event, “Sacred Earth, Sacred Trust,” is urging world nations to make 1.5° a legally binding limit. [Premier]

To stop climate change.

Stopping climate change requires action.

¶ Saudi Arabia’s state electricity utility is seeking bids from international developers to build two solar-power plants in the kingdom’s northern region. The plants will each generate as much as 50 MW using PV technology. The announcement was posted at Saudi Electricity Company’s website. [The National]

¶ An international team of scientists provided calculations on recent floods in France. They found that global warming increased the chances for the Loire river basin flooding by 90% and the Seine river basin by 80%. That’s compared to a world with no man-made climate change. [Tulsa World]

Flood in Paris on June 4. Photo by  Thesupermat. CC BY-SA 4.0 international. Wikimedia Commons. 

Flood in Paris on June 4. Photo by  Thesupermat.
CC BY-SA 4.0 international. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The Indian power tariff is likely to increase by 8% to 10% after Coal India decided to hike the commodity’s prices, according to Tata Power’s CEO and Managing Director. He also warned against early exuberance over a government revival scheme and claims of electricity surplus. [Financial Express]

¶ There have been some efforts to deal with marine carbon emissions, but ship owners feel little need to green their fleets, as those hiring the vessels pay the fuel costs. When the price of bunker fuel (the sludgiest oil left over from refining) drops, as it has, ecological resolve disappears. [The Guardian]

Dirty business: cargo ships in the English Channel. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Dirty business: cargo ships in the English Channel.
Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

¶ The announcement by India and the US to begin planning construction of six nuclear reactors has led to considerable unease among those likely to be affected. After Gujarat rejected them, their siting was shifted to Andhra Pradesh, but they are finding opposition there. [domain-B]

US:

¶ A French company, DCNS Group, has joined Aqua Ventus, a consortium the University of Maine, to develop a floating offshore wind farm. It will help develop the project, is one of three offshore wind proposals eligible for nearly $40 million in funding from the DOE. [Press Herald]

The prototype Volturn US generates power off Castine in 2013. Bukaty / 2013 Associated Press file.

The prototype Volturn US generates power off Castine in 2013. Bukaty / 2013 Associated Press file.

¶ When Hurricane Sandy blacked out most of the city, New York University continued to buzz and glow throughout the night. NYU runs on a microgrid, a semi-independent energy system able to generate and store its own power. Now the state is supporting microgrid developments. [Business Insider]

¶ Traverse City Light & Power will buy 5% of the output of a Huron County wind farm that could be online by 2018, about 3.6 MW. It is one of 18 Michigan Public Power Agency members buying a share of the output. There will be no appreciable rate increase. [Traverse City Record Eagle]

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