July 31 Energy News

July 31, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ The American Psychological Association links air pollution to brain disorders and diminished cognitive abilities in a report that links air pollution to increased depression, educational troubles for children, and degenerative problems. “Now, the evidence is mounting that dirty air is bad for your brain as well,” it says. [CleanTechnica]

Neural Connections of the Brain via Flickr CC.

Neural Connections of the Brain via Flickr CC.

¶ Scientists may underestimate how quickly plants can change location in response to climate change, a study from the University of British Columbia says. The comfort zones of many plants and trees are easing north or into higher elevations, but the speed with which they move is being driven by evolutionary responses. [Windsor Star]

World:

¶ A study suggests that households in Pakistan waste 25% of their electricity due to inefficient appliances, contributing to the energy-crisis in Pakistan. It criticizes the dominant narrative on the energy crisis, that nothing can be done about electricity shortages unless the government installs more capacity. [Daily Times]

Pakistani households waste 25% of their electric supply.

Pakistani households waste 25% of their electric supply.

¶ Growing numbers of companies in the UAE are now starting to cater to businesses of all shapes and sizes who are looking to become a little greener. Switching to solar power can do more than helping businesses cut expenses and carbon footprints. It can also boost their reputation and earn the trust of the people around them. [Emirates 24|7]

¶ Taipei is building its first solar power plant using ground mounted solar panels at site that used to be a landfill. The project is part of the capital’s efforts to expand the use of renewable energy. The solar plant is expected to be completed by the end of this year and is to be able to generate up to 2 million kWh per year. [Taipei Times]

Taipei's Muzha Refuse Incineration Plant. Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons. 

Taipei’s Muzha Refuse Incineration Plant.
Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ In Ghana, mining companies will soon be using renewable energy sources to meet their energy needs as part a move to reduce burden on the national grid and reduce their cost of operation. The Energy Commission has impressed on mining companies to adopt renewable energy and reduce the pressure on the national grid. [GhanaWeb]

¶ Progress continues on the $500 million Coopers Gap wind farm near Kingaroy, Queensland, with the release of terms of reference for its environmental impact statement. AGL Energy Ltd proposes to build and operate a 115-turbine wind farm of 350 MW total capacity, enough to power about 180,000 households. [Toowoomba Chronicle]

Landscape at Kingaroy, Queensland. Photo by Rossrs, who released it in to the public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Landscape at Kingaroy, Queensland. Photo by Rossrs,
released by the author into the public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Eleven operators of Japanese nuclear power plants expect to spend more than ¥3 trillion ($32 billion) to safeguard their facilities, revealing the continuing skyrocketing costs. The overall costs will likely grow even further as many companies have not yet accounted for expenses to build centers to deal with a terrorist attack. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ Wind power is growing fast in Iowa. Just as Alliant Energy announced a $1 billion, 500-MW expansion of its 200-MW Whispering Willow Wind Farm in north-central Iowa, MidAmerican Energy announced that it had settled a rate agreement that would allow its Wind XI project, a $3.6 billion, 2,000-MW wind farm, to proceed. [TakePart]

Alliant Energy leases land from farmers for its 200-MW Whispering Willow Wind Farm. Alliant Energy photo.

Alliant Energy leases land from farmers for its
200-MW Whispering Willow Wind Farm. Alliant Energy photo.

¶ Sonoma Clean Power, which provides electricity for 88% of homes and businesses in Sonoma County, California, signed its first long-term in-state contract for wind power. The 20-year deal with Golden Hills North Wind Energy Center will buy power generated by wind turbines in the Altamont Pass area of Alameda County. [Sonoma Valley Sun]

¶ Indiana clean energy advocates launched a statewide ad campaign to compel Indiana-Michigan Power to close the coal-fired Rockport plant, the largest in the state, unveiling a new ad campaign to compel I&M to shut the plant down. The power company says it is already on track to convert to cleaner energy. [Indiana Public Media]

 

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