August 3 Energy News

August 3, 2016


¶ “Proof That Trump Cares More About Coal Money Than Coal Miners” • In a speech in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump suggested that he would bar government regulators from inspecting coal mines. The coal industry has been so battered by environmental protections, he said, that his mine-owning buddies “can’t eat.” [Huffington Post]

Perhaps we needed coal once, but that was before Trump's time. Government poster of circa 1942 or 1943. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Perhaps Trump wants to return to a time when coal was needed.
Government poster of circa 1942. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ “The Shift To Solar, Wind, & Electric Vehicles Is Too Monumental To Overstate” • Once upon a time, humans discovered fire. Since the discovery of fire, we have burned this and that, and we dug always deeper for more stuff to burn. All of a sudden, phase 2 of civilization is beginning. We are going beyond fire. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind Is Winning – Delivering America’s Clean Energy Future, Today” Growth in wind power is picking up speed. Wind, which accounts for 77% of US growth in non-polluting power generation in the past decade. Today, wind powers approximately 5% of America’s electricity and is on track to grow to 20% by 2030. [Huffington Post]

Wind turbines from the Pumping Station Reservoir. Photo by Jakec. CC BY-SA 4.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind turbines from the Pumping Station Reservoir.
Photo by Jakec. CC BY-SA 4.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Science and Technology:

¶ In the UK, a flywheel-based device invented by a student at Lancaster University could offer a better alternative to battery technology. The Flywheel Energy Store, designed by 21-year-old Abigail Carson, is about the size of a football, and does not require any additional controls, inputs or maintenance. [E&T magazine]

¶ A new windmill design is being tested in Vietnam. It is intended for mounting directly on boats in which poor people live. A windmill is made from a plastic bowl, connected to a motor of a broken printer. The energy is stored in an old motorcycle battery, which can power a lamp equivalent to a 45-Watt light bulb. []

Most of these boats have wind turbines mounted on them.

Most of these boats have wind turbines mounted on them. (Look closely.)


¶ The Ukrainian Government is exploring options to construct a 4-GW solar power plant in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Once completed, the plant would be the largest solar project in the world. Aside from guards and workers who manage roadblocks and barriers, the zone has been barren and uninhabited for 30 years. [Power Technology]

¶ Lightsource Renewable Energy said it has connected the UK’s first Contracts for Difference solar farm, the 11.94-MW Charity Farm installation in Shropshire. The Royal Bank of Scotland invested £8.7 million ($11.4 million), and the system was grid connected on June 30. It should power over 4,000 homes. [SeeNews Renewables]

Charity Farm installation. Source: Lightsource. License: All Rights Reserved.

Charity Farm installation. Source: Lightsource. License: All Rights Reserved.

¶ The University of the West of England has plans to increase the capacity of its roof-mounted solar array to 450-kW, which it says would make it the largest rooftop array in the UK’s University market. The existing system is to be quadrupled in size and is expected to generate more than 400 MWh of electricity each year. [Solar Power Portal]

¶ Vestas has confirmed an order to supply turbines to the 120-MW Khalladi wind farm in northern Morocco. The Danish manufacturer will install 40 of its 3-MW V90 units at the project near Tangiers developed by Acwa Power. Turbines will be delivered in the second quarter of next year and will start operating in the fourth. [reNews]

Vestas wind turbines. Vestas image.

Vestas wind turbines. Vestas image.

¶ The Polish government is reviving plans to build a nuclear power plant in a bid to diversify its power mix away from coal, which the country uses for most of its electricity. The project was first launched in 2009 but it hit numerous delays due to falling power prices and Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. [Power Engineering International]

¶ Nordex has produced a pair of 3.6-MW turbines designed to gather a 12% higher yield from low and moderate wind-speed sites. The German manufacturer will take the wraps off the two new models at the Windenergy Hamburg trade fair in September. Prototypes will be installed before the end of this year. [reNews]

Nordex N117 3-MW wind turbine. Credit Nordex.

Nordex N117 3-MW wind turbine. Credit Nordex.

¶ The US Energy Information Administration said renewables’ share of North America’s electricity mix will grow to 29% by 2025, while nuclear’s declines to 16%, so a total of 45% of the electricity supply will be carbon free. In 2015, 38% of the electricity was carbon free, 20% from renewables and 18% from nuclear. [SeeNews Renewables]


¶ Turbine installation has started at the 30-MW Block Island project off the coast of Rhode Island, the US’ first offshore wind farm. The developer, Deepwater Wind, said on Twitter that the first tower section has been put atop one of the foundations. The components for the rest of the turbines are all on hand. [SeeNews Renewables]

First tower section is lifted onto its foundation.

First tower section is lifted onto its foundation.

¶ Matt Dunne, Democratic candidate for Governor of Vermont, unveiled a plan to tackle climate change and secure the state’s clean energy future. “Climate change is the most significant threat to our planet and even in the short-term will fundamentally harm our economy. … Collectively, we can solve this problem.” [Vermont Biz]

¶ At a press conference at the Vermont Statehouse, Sue Minter was surrounded by environmental advocates to receive the endorsement of the Vermont Conservation Voters in her race for Governor. Minter reiterated her commitment to Vermont’s bold goal to reach 90% renewable energy by 2050 and deal with climate change. [Vermont Biz]

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