July 24 Energy News

July 24, 2016


¶ “The Switch: soon solar will be the cheapest power everywhere” • Solar is already the cheapest available power across large swathes of the tropics, writes Chris Goodall – its cost down 99.7% since the early 70s. Soon it will be the cheapest electricity everywhere, providing clean, secure, affordable energy for all. [The Ecologist]

10-MW Solar PV Power Plant in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, where solar is already the lowest cost form of electricity generation. Photo: Masdar Official via Flockr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Solar power plant in Abu Dhabi, where solar already provides the
least costly electricity. Photo: Masdar Official via Flockr (CC BY-NC-SA).

¶ “Are General Electric’s Nuclear Ambitions Doomed?” • Once heralded as a reliable and clean power source capable of expediting the shift away from fossil fuels, nuclear power faces an uncertain future. Several nations in the EU have announced plans to rid their grids of nuclear power entirely, and plants are closing in the US. [Motley Fool]

Science and Technology:

¶ According to the United Nations weather agency, global temperatures for the first six months of 2016 have been high enough to set this year up as the hottest year in recorded human history. Considering the heat waves we are in, the idea that we are currently in the midst of the hottest year in history isn’t too hard to believe. [The Inquisitr]

(NOAA Image)


¶ Negotiators in Vienna are working on a deal to ban hydrofluorocarbons, chemicals used in air conditioners and refrigerators. Although only small amounts are released, they can trap heat in the atmosphere at levels a thousand times higher than carbon dioxide can, according to published scientific studies. [Northwest Arkansas News]

¶ An aircraft powered by solar energy has left Egypt on the last leg of the first ever fuel-free flight around the world. Solar Impulse 2 climbed out of Cairo on Sunday in darkness, bound for Abu Dhabi. The journey should take between 48 and 72 hours. The carbon fibre plane set off on its epic challenge in March last year. [euronews]

Solar Impulse 2 taking off.

Solar Impulse 2 taking off.

¶ In the Philippines, Energy Development Co signed its first solar rooftop Power Purchase Agreement with Gaisano Capital. The 3400 solar panels to be installed on Gaisano Mall in Iloilo City will provide up to 50% of the mall’s daytime electric needs, offsetting 750 metric tons of Gaisano Capital’s CO2 emissions each year. [Manila Bulletin]

¶ Metrolinx and Toronto Hydro are seeking alternatives to a natural gas-powered backup facility for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. It would only be used occasionally, when Crosstown train cars are stalled in a tunnel. The initial proposal was for an 18-MW natural gas plant, but residents object to the pollution. [insideTORONTO.com]

Construction on an Eglinton Crosstown tunnel. Photo by Secondarywaltz. CC BY-SA 4.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Construction on an Eglinton Crosstown tunnel.
Photo by Secondarywaltz. CC BY-SA 4.0. Wikimedia Commons.


¶ Wind farm developer Greycliff Wind Prime said a proposed 25-MW wind project east of Big Timber, Montana, was likely dead following a rate action by the Public Service Commission. The PSC set the price Greycliff could charge the utility at $45.49/MWh, about 16% lower than the threshold for profitability. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶ Enough new hydroelectricity to power up to 320,000 homes will come online this year, with four new power plants are under construction at dams along the Ohio River in West Virginia and Kentucky. When the projects are complete, the generating capacity along the Ohio River will grow from 313 MW to 554 MW. [Wheeling Intelligencer]

The Ohio side of the Pike Island Locks and Dam is a popular summer fishing spot. Photo by Casey Junkins.

The Ohio side of the Pike Island Locks and Dam is
a popular summer fishing spot. Photo by Casey Junkins.

¶ Beginning next month, the manure of northern Missouri pigs will provide energy to far-flung power users connected to a national pipeline system for natural gas. The gas production facility poised to come online is only the start of what is intended to be a much broader marriage of renewable energy and agribusiness. [STLtoday.com]

¶ This spring, there has been a dramatic decline in the health of Eastern white pines across New England and Northeast Pennsylvania. Needles on trees have turned color and fallen from the trees. The severely affected trees decline further and die. The cause is not entirely known, but climate change may be part of the problem. [Scranton Times-Tribune]


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