September 15 Energy News

September 15, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Climate change could potentially cause great distress to military operations, according to US military officials. In a statement by the Center for Climate and Security, they say climate change increases risks for international conflict, that it could pose strategic risks, and that inaction against the issue is not advisable. [Science World Report]

USS Chung-Hoon (Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class  Daniel Barker. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

USS Chung-Hoon (Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class
Daniel Barker. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons)

Electric Vehicles:

¶ Most of us were probably expecting the all-electric 2017 Chevy Bolt to have an EPA-estimated range nominally above the 200-mile mark, based on comments by GM reps, but it now appears that it is going to have a much greater range. The Chevy Bolt gets right around 238 miles per full charge according to the EPA. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The American electric bus company Proterra has unveiled the Catalyst E2 series of long-range buses with a nominal range of 194–350 miles per full-charge. Under test conditions, one E2 even managed to go over 600 miles in a single charge. The electric buses are outfitted with battery pack capacities of 440 to 660 kWh. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra bus.

Proterra bus.

World:

¶ According to a report from the independent financial think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative, renewable power generation costs are already lower on average worldwide than fossil fuels. It says clean energy plants will only become more cost-competitive by 2020. The findings are based on examination of the Levelized Costs of Electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Kangaroo Island, the iconic tourist attraction off the South Australian coast near Adelaide, would likely find it cheaper to go 100% renewable, with its own resources, rather than staying tied to the grid, a detailed study led by the Institute of Sustainable Futures found. The study examined wind, solar, and battery backup power. [RenewEconomy]

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island. The tourists are the ones who use electricity.

¶ An Iranian energy expert has warned that the policy pursued by Saudi Arabia-led OPEC might end in an environmental disaster. He says that if Saudi Arabia continues to pump crude at record levels, even a freeze won’t help with prices, and if prices remain low the reduction of CO2 emissions will become a real challenge for some countries. [Naija247news]

¶ The cost of producing electricity from wind power could fall by between 24% and 30% by 2030 and 35% and 41% by 2050 compared with 2014, according to a survey by the US Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The study summarizes a global survey of 163 wind energy experts to gain insight. [reNews]

Wind turbine (sxc image)

Wind turbine (sxc image)

¶ Theresa May has given the go-ahead to the Hinkley nuclear power project but with new security conditions on the £18 billion deal. Her decision is set to be officially announced in the House of Commons. But critics point out that the new terms do not address the extraordinarily high price for electricity from the plant. [The Independent]

¶ Global upstream oil and gas investments are expected to plummet 24% this year, with little signs of improvement for 2017, according to a report from the International Energy Agency. The report said this year’s dip will come on top of a 25% drop in spending in the sector recorded in 2015 with its total of $583 billion. [bnn.ca]

Oil (BNN)

Oil (BNN)

US:

¶ Republicans and Democrats have never been farther apart on climate change, according to an Oklahoma State University study. Both parties were essentially pro-environment in 1970, the study found. But today, 9 out of 10 Democrats, and only 3 in 10 Republicans, believe global warming is real and caused by human activity. [Public News Service]

¶ Green Mountain Power and SunCommon today announced a partnership allowing customers to store their solar power for security during power outages. The first of its kind program in Vermont partners a utility with a solar company to offer home storage that strengthens the grid and allows homes to power from solar during outages. [Vermont Biz]

SunCommon solar home in Caledonia County (Courtesy photo)

SunCommon solar home in Caledonia County (Courtesy photo)

¶ GM has vowed to use 100% renewable energy by 2050. The commitment extends to 350 individual operations spread across 59 countries. The company last year used nine terawatt hours of electricity in its factories, offices, warehouses and technical centers. The figure is comparable to nearly a million US households. [LeftLane News]

¶ Interior Department officials presented a plan to conserve California’s iconic desert landscapes while providing areas to develop renewable energy. It puts 9.2 million acres of federal land off limits to solar, wind and geothermal development, while steering renewable projects to less ecologically valuable areas on about 800,000 acres. [Los Angeles Times]

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