July 10 Energy News

July 10, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Rising sea levels and increased pollution linked to global warming are posing a huge threat to the future of the world’s peatland areas, new research shows. Peat bogs cover 3% of the Earth’s surface and play a crucial role in absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere, but climate change can alter their chemistry. [Scotsman]

A boggy plateau west of Carn a' Bhacain. Photo by Richard Webb. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

A boggy plateau west of Carn a’ Bhacain.
Photo by Richard Webb. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ The forward to a new report quotes National Grid’s head of energy insights as saying, “We are in the midst of an energy revolution.” Two years ago, National Grid expected solar capacity in the UK to be 8 to 17 GW by 2030. Today, they see 15 GW as a minimum, and believe capacity could be as much as 39 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Asserting that the Indian state of Tamil Nadu has already met its Renewable Purchase Obligation and was in a position to sell 1000 MW of wind power to other States, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speed up the process of establishing the inter-State Green Energy Corridor. [News Today]

Advancing monsoon clouds over wind turbines in Tamil Nadu. Photo by w:user:PlaneMad. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Advancing monsoon clouds over wind turbines in Tamil Nadu.
Photo by w:user:PlaneMad. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A subsidiary of Sorgent.e Hydro Canada signed a 40-year electricity purchase agreement for the Serpentine Creek Hydro project, which is 35 km north of Blue River, British Columbia. “When you bring the generation of electricity closer to the load it improves reliability,” says Lucas De Haro, CEO of Sorgent.e. [The Rocky Mountain Goat]

¶ Average Alberta electricity prices tumbled in the second quarter to their lowest point since 1996. Overall demand for electricity is down 2.1%, putting the province on pace for its first drop in consumption since 1992. Several factors are battering the market, but two are the coal phase-out, and getting renewables online. [Calgary Herald]

Magrath Wind Power Project in southern Alberta. Photo by Chuck Szmurlo. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Magrath Wind Power Project in southern Alberta.
Photo by Chuck Szmurlo. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

US:

¶ Bernie Sanders’ still-impassioned campaign electrified debate over the Democratic Party’s platform, winning concessions on climate change. Sanders supporters cheered when they won environmental amendments that included support for pricing greenhouse gases, prioritizing renewable energy, and limiting fracking. [SFGate]

¶ America’s warm, wild and costly weather broke another record with the hottest June, federal meteorologists say. They also say 2016 is flirting with the US record for most billion-dollar weather disasters. In the first half of the year, there have been eight of them; eight used to be average for a whole year. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

The center of Greensburg, Kansas, twelve days after it was hit by an F5 tornado in 2007. Photo by Greg Henshall/FEMA. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Center of Greensburg, Kansas, 12 days after an F5 tornado in 2007. Photo by Greg Henshall/FEMA. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ When big corporate customers demand renewable energy and threaten to take their business elsewhere if they don’t get it, the impact can be huge. In Nevada, when MGM Resorts recently said it would leave the grid, despite an exit fee of $87 million, it was saying it would take 4.9% of NV Energy’s demand with it. [Fox Business]

¶ The US Department of Defense is the second-largest buyer of renewable electricity, through deals meant to lock in long-term supply and provide incentives for wind and solar projects. This is according to a database of over 600 corporate power-purchase agreements tracked by Bloomberg. Google is the largest. [Stars and Stripes]

Solar power at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Photo by MC2 Daniel Barker/U.S. Navy. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons. 

Solar power at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Photo by 
MC2 Daniel Barker, USN. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The Santee Cooper Board of Directors voted to proceed with securing an option to fix costs to complete two new units at VC Summer nuclear plant in South Carolina. The option increases the utility’s budget for the project by about $1.1 billion, but provides cost certainty that could save customers hundreds of millions of dollars. [Berkeley Independent]

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