August 23 Energy News

August 23, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ According to a report by the New York Times, the coral reef on the floor of a remote island lagoon halfway between Hawaii and Fiji started to become a dead zone in the early 2000s. However, a team of biologists in 2015 was “stunned and overjoyed to find Coral Castles, genus Acropora, once again teeming with life.” [The Weather Channel]

AP Photo / Keith A. Ellenbogen

AP Photo / Keith A. Ellenbogen

¶ In a new study, scientists who study the largest ice mass on Earth, East Antarctica, have found that it is showing a surprising feature reminiscent of the fastest melting one: Greenland. The satellite-based study found that meltwater lakes have been forming, nearly 8,000 of them in summer between the year 2000 and 2013. [The Independent]

World:

¶ Navigating through the icy waters of the Arctic, a Greenpeace ship is delivering solar panels to the Inuit community of Clyde River, Nunavut. Delivering solar panels and a team to install the systems for the Clyde River community is Greenpeace’s way of offering a better solution to meet increasing demands for energy. [CleanTechnica]

Arctic Sunrise.

Arctic Sunrise.

¶ A strong national commitment to nuclear energy goes hand in hand with weak performance on climate change targets, researchers at the University of Sussex and the Vienna School of International Studies have found. Pro-nuclear countries have been slow to implement wind, solar, and hydropower technologies. [(e) Science News]

¶ Construction of the $750 million staged Hornsdale wind farm in South Australia’s mid-north is now fully secured with the ACT Government signing up to its third 20-year power purchase agreement with the owners. The power will be provided at a fixed 20-year rate of AUS$73/MWh (US$55.79/MWh). [The Advertiser]

A turbine at the Hornsdale project, near Jamestown.

A turbine at the Hornsdale project, near Jamestown.

¶ Residents in Kidal in northern Mali are finding it easier to work and study into the night thanks to a solar lighting project recently introduced to the area. About 1,500 households are now able to switch on their lights thanks to a $50,000 project funded by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali. [Business Insider]

¶ The Arkona offshore wind power project in the German Baltic Sea has moved from the planning to the construction phase. The cornerstone for the joint project being carried out by E.ON and Statoil was laid on August 18, 2017, in Sassnitz on the island of Rügen. The wind farm will have an installed capacity of 385 MW. [PennEnergy]

Arkona offshore wind power project.

Arkona offshore wind power project.

¶ A large-scale solar and battery storage project in north Queensland has drawn interest from the world’s biggest miner, BHP Billiton, which is looking at the technology for its remote and off-grid mine sites. The project will combine 10.4 MW of solar PV with 1.4 MW / 5.3 MWh of lithium-ion battery storage. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Russia will soon launch several projects to build mini-hydropower plants, in an attempt to resolve the problem of power supply to remote regions of the country. At the end of July 2016, the BRICS New Development Bank’s Board of Directors agreed to provide $ 100 million for hydropower generation. [Russia and India Report]

Local power generation from mini-hydropower plants is much more effective than central power. Source:Vicktor Vonog / TASS

Local power generation from mini-hydropower plants is much
more effective than central power. Source:Vicktor Vonog / TASS

¶ Cumulative utility-scale capacity reached 75 GW by the end of June and there’s a possibility the 100 GW mark could be attained by the end of this year. A report states figures at the end of June indicate 2016 will be the 6th consecutive record year for utility-scale solar, with 10 GW of new solar plants to that point. [Energy Matters]

US:

¶ Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz recently told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources recently that increased investment is needed in US energy emergency response. Moniz highlighted the need for response capabilities in the face of increasingly integrated energy systems and evolving threats. [Electric Light & Power]

Flooding is just one type of emergency the DOE needs to face.

Flooding is just one type of emergency the DOE needs to face.

¶ The Climate Investigations Center, a progressive group that monitors energy and environmental outliers, says the coal lobbying influence is waning. CIC released a survey this month of the lobbying spend and the influence of climate change on it. Banks and utilities are reducing support for the coal industry. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In a fast-developing industry teeming with technologies that promise to be the next big thing, energy storage appears to be the biggest. Its supporters not only sing its praises but also tout what they say is its inevitability. Growth in the next decade could multiply our storage capacity to ten times what it now is. [Techwire.net]

A pumped hydro storage facility. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A pumped hydro storage facility. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

¶ This year, the high power demands that come with hot Texas weather did not produce shortages that lead to soaring prices, partly because of renewable energy sources. Power generators didn’t earn their usual profits from the summer price spikes. Now they want regulators to essentially guarantee them those profits. [Houston Chronicle]

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