August 30 Energy News

August 30, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ A Columbia University environmental economist published a paper examining the cost of dealing with climate change. He said it comes to $42 billion to $176 billion per year every year between now and 2050. That is about 33% more expensive than the war in Afghanistan, though spread over more than twice as much time. [Yahoo News]

Smoke billows from a controlled burn of spilled oil. Reuters / Sean Gardner.

Smoke billows from a controlled burn of spilled oil. Reuters / Sean Gardner.

¶ Researchers from the University of Waterloo have developed a long-lasting zinc-ion battery that’s 50% cheaper than current lithium-ion batteries, uses non-flammable, non-toxic materials, and a pH-neutral, and water-based salt electrolyte. One electrode is made of vanadium oxide, and the other is metallic zinc. [Electronics360]

World:

¶ The residents of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, a hamlet of about 1,400 people, welcomed 1,000 visitors as the giant cruise ship Crystal Serenity lay anchor off the shore. In the past, any ships that traveled through the region needed the help of ice breakers. However, now, with record sea ice loss in the Arctic, there isn’t the need. [Globalnews.ca]

Crystal Serenity in a Norwegian Fjord. Photo by Bundesstefan. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Crystal Serenity in a Norwegian Fjord. Photo by Bundesstefan.
CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change has 130 institutions, supporting $13 trillion worth of investment. They urged the G20 nations to ratify the Paris agreement, saying countries must ratify the Paris COP21 climate agreement soon to guarantee strong climate policy and attract renewable energy investment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Akuo Energy, a French independent renewable power producer, and San Diego-based Eurus Energy America Corp, the Toyota Tsusho Corp subsidiary responsible for renewable energy investment in the Americas, have commissioned Florida II, a 50-MW Uruguayan wind farm, with 15 Vestas V117 turbines. [North American Windpower]

Cow and wind turbines. Photo by Dirk Ingo Franke. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Cow and wind turbines. Photo by Dirk Ingo Franke.
CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ UK Prime Minister Theresa May will face tough questions over the delay to the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant when she flies to China this weekend for the G20 summit. There is a potential for awkward discussions between Mrs May and President Xi of China, who are scheduled for face to face talks. [Express.co.uk]

US:

¶ The Iowa Utilities Board has given MidAmerican Energy the green light for Wind XI, the utility’s planed $3.6 billion wind energy investment, the largest renewable energy project in the state. The project is part of Des Moines-based MidAmerican’s goal to reach 100 percent renewable energy for Iowa customers. [The Gazette]

MidAmerican personnel examine a wind turbine

MidAmerican personnel examine a wind turbine.
(Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

¶ The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is awarding $40 million for the design and construction of microgrids across the state for resilience and low-carbon energy. Microgrids can help communities keep the lights on during extreme weather, while providing cheaper and cleaner power. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Ever since 1999, when then-governor George W Bush signed a law deregulating the state’s power market, Texas has been building wind turbines like crazy. And what’s more, the boom isn’t likely to end anytime soon, thanks to a combination of federal subsidies and the falling cost of both wind and solar. [MIT Technology Review]

Wind turbines. Photograph by Michael Gil | Flickr

Wind turbines. Photograph by Michael Gil | Flickr

¶ E.ON began construction of its Twin Forks Wind Farm, the Chicago-based company’s the third wind farm in Illinois. The project is expected to be completed in 2017. Twin Forks’ 278 MW of generation will bring E.ON’s wind generating capacity in Illinois to 578 MW, enough to power more than 180,000 homes. [Your Project News]

¶ The US microgrid market is growing faster than expected, says a report released today by GTM Research. GTM now forecasts that US microgrid capacity will reach 4.3 GW by 2020, up from the research firm’s estimate last quarter of 3.71 GW. The US currently has about 160 microgrids with 1,649 MW of capacity. [Microgrid Knowledge]

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