August 26 Energy News

August 26, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “The hydrogen economy is much nearer than we think” • Hydrogen made from renewable electricity is already fueling vehicles at affordable prices. But now the ‘green’ fuel is set to go from niche to mainstream – powering not just cars, trucks and buses, but storing surplus renewable energy to supply the grid with power. [The Ecologist]

Hydrogen produced from renewable energy is already finding a market as a 'green' fuel for cars. Photo: University of Nottingham via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Hydrogen made with renewable energy is already finding a market as a ‘green’ fuel. Photo: University of Nottingham via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Science and Technology:

¶ A CNN meteorologist is speaking out about going from questioning climate change to siding with the 97% of scientists who acknowledge human activities are warming the planet beyond repair. “As I tell my 11-year old, It’s OK to be wrong as long as you learn from your mistakes,” Chad Myers wrote this week. [Huffington Post]

¶ In central Texas, a crew is repurposing an abandoned oil and gas well. They are developing a way to turn oil and gas wells into vaults for storing electricity, pumping water into the earth to be heated and pressurized. When it is released, it races through a turbine-generator above ground, generating electricity. [The Guardian]

A new startup is proposing turning abandoned oil and gas wells into energy storage vaults. Photo: Jurgen Vogt / Alamy / Alamy

A new startup is proposing turning abandoned oil and gas wells
into energy storage vaults. Photo: Jurgen Vogt / Alamy / Alamy

World:

¶ More than 150 Australian experts have signed an open letter to the country’s prime minister urging for legislation and action on climate issues. In it, they say the Australian federal government should make “meaningful reductions of Australia’s peak carbon emissions and coal exports, while there is still time.” [ZME Science]

¶ One of the UK’s leading 100% green energy suppliers, Good Energy, is rolling out a system for peer-to-peer trading of local, renewable energy between businesses and local clean energy generators. The idea behind this initiative is to create greater transparency and autonomy in how renewable energy is priced and sold. [Treehugger]

Wind farm. CC BY 2.0 Tony Webster

Wind farm. CC BY 2.0 Tony Webster

¶ Advocates of geothermal energy say British Columbia’s losses due to low oil prices and closing oil wells, which have caused job losses, represent a massive window of opportunity for the province. They say the province should retrofit old oil and gas wells to capture geothermal energy to generate power. [DeSmog Canada]

¶ Power Africa announced a partnership with the government of Japan, focused on energy poverty reduction and growing access to sustainable energy in sub-Saharan Africa. The Memorandum of Cooperation with the US and Japan includes commitments to share strengths, expertise and resource. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Olkaria geothermal plant, Naivasha, Kenya Source: Lydur Skulason, creative commons

Olkaria geothermal plant, Naivasha, Kenya
Source: Lydur Skulason, creative commons

¶ A local Japanese governor, who was elected governor of Kagoshima prefecture last month on an anti-nuclear platform, asked Kyushu Electric Power to temporarily suspend the Sendai nuclear plant, one of two operating in the nation, further clouding efforts by the government and utilities to restart more idled reactors. [swissinfo.ch]

US:

¶ Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners said it has acquired Offshore MW LLC, a company eligible to bid in Massachusetts’s tenders for offshore wind, the first of which is expected next year. It bought 100% of the US company, which holds an offshore wind energy lease for an area of 166,886 acres (675 sq km). [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind turbines at sea. Author: Harvey Barrison. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Wind turbines at sea. Photo by Harvey Barrison.
Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

¶ Continuing to defy projections, wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources have set a series of records for domestic electrical generation during the first half of 2016, says a report from the US Energy Information Administration. Renewable generation was up 14.5%, natural gas rose by 7.7%, and coal declined 20.1%. [Greentech Lead]

¶ Across California, tens of millions of trees are dead, intense wildfires burn, and orchard and forest waste piles up, as more power plants that use wood waste to generated electricity close due to expiring contracts. The plants’ power-purchase contracts were not renewed because renewable-energy alternatives were cheaper. [Sierra Sun Times]

Tree Mortality in California. Photo Credit: CAL FIRE

Tree Mortality in California. Photo Credit: CAL FIRE

¶ The Vermont Green Line says it has entered into a partnership with Citizens Energy Corp to give low-income Vermont residents access to large quantities of renewable energy. Citizens Energy will finance its share of the Vermont Green Line and use its profits to help those in need in Vermont. [North American Windpower]

¶ During Superstorm Sandy, flooding knocked out three power substations in Hoboken and left residents without electricity for more than two weeks. The city’s mayor decided it needed a backup to keep the lights on and elevators working for essential facilities; it needed a microgrid, with self-sustaining power generation. [CityLab]

Floodwaters in Hoboken on October 31, 2012. (Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

Floodwaters in Hoboken on October 31, 2012. (Gary Hershorn / Reuters)

¶ Lawmakers in California voted to extend the state’s climate change law by 10 years, resisting the opposition of the fossil fuel industry and other business groups. The law’s provisions range from restricting the carbon content on gasoline to taxing pollution, and it is the most aggressive of its kind in US. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ Bowling Green’s commitment to renewable energy will surge with construction of a 20-MW solar field that is to be completed in December. The project would bring that Ohio city’s mix of energy from renewable sources to 38.16% when completed, a large increase from its current level of 12.04%. [Toledo Blade]

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