September 16 Energy News

September 16, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Donald Trump’s new economic policy plan would be devastating to the climate” • It’s a laundry list of climate activists’ worst nightmares. It would eliminate the Clean Power Plan, end major protections for clean drinking water, increase allowable levels of pollutants causing asthma, put controls on methane in peril, and much more. [ThinkProgress]

(Credit: AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump (Credit: AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

¶ “Hinkley Point will be obsolete before it even starts, but Theresa May had no choice” • The £18bn Hinkley Point nuclear plant will be overtaken by a host of cheaper technologies before it is even opened in the late 2020s, and risks degenerating into an epic white elephant as we pay fat subsidies into the second half of the 21st Century. [Telegraph.co.uk]

Science and Technology:

¶ In what has become a common refrain this year, last month ranked as the hottest August on record, according to NASA data. The month tied July as the hottest month the world has seen in the last 136 years. August came in at 1.76˚F (0.98˚C) above the average from 1951-1980, and 0.16˚C above August 2014. [CleanTechnica]

August 2016 temperature anomaly

August 2016 temperature anomaly

World:

¶ Asset manager Blackrock and a group of institutional shareholders are to sue car maker Volkswagen for €2 billion ($2.25 billion) over its emissions scandal, claiming that VW failed to disclose its use of software defeat devices on diesel cars in a timely way. The shareholders lost 28% of their investment as a result of the scandal. [BBC]

¶ A survey, published by energy management company Energy Action, said 23% of Australian businesses generate some portion of their electricity supply using solar PV, up from just 14% just two years ago. Another 37% said they had “implemented solar PV measures in their business,” a figure up from 23% in 2014. [RenewEconomy]

Australian commercial rooftop solar power

Australian commercial rooftop solar power

¶ Stadtwerke München, Germany’s biggest city-owned electric utility, has augmented its revenues by providing various public services, mainly in Munich. The power company is also actively promoting renewable energy and investing in floating wind farms despite its supply area being in a landlocked location. [Nikkei Asian Review]

¶ Last month, the UK’s Crown Estate pointed out that offshore wind farms can be built at lower cost than a nuclear project. An unpublished report by the Energy Department also forecast low costs for wind power. Regardless, Hinkley has received the green light, just as offshore wind hits a new record low price outside of the UK. [Energy Digital]

Vattenfall set a new record for low offshore costs.

Vattenfall set a new record for low offshore costs.

¶ Alberta has unveiled plans to install 5 GW of wind, hydro and solar energy capacity to meet a new renewable energy target of 30% by 2030. To reach the target, Alberta estimates at least C$10.5 billion (US$7.98 billion) in new investment will flow into the provincial economy by 2030 and more than 7200 new jobs will be created. [reNews]

¶ Valemount, British Columbia is a natural geothermal village. It is located along the Canadian Rocky Mountains and features the Canoe Reach hot springs. The hot springs are among the warmest surface hot springs in the country. So the town has decided to make some renewable energy plans for this natural resource. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

British Columbia's Rocky Mountains

British Columbia’s Rocky Mountains

US:

¶ Tesla has won a bid to supply grid-scale power in Southern California to help prevent electricity shortages following the biggest natural gas leak in US history. The battery system will provide 20 MW of power, with energy sufficient for 2,500 homes for a full day. A 2-MW system costs $2.9 million, but larger systems are negotiated. [SCNow]

¶ The High Technology Development Corporation announced that its Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies program just awarded a $1.5 million contract to design a series of six interconnected microgrids at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Each microgrid is to be supplied by its own renewable energy. [Microgrid Media]

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

¶ The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley Lab has taken on the task of doing an annual evaluation the state of US solar and wind power. Wind installations have returned to levels last seen in 2012, but that’s tame compared to solar, where 2016 is on track to see more than double the previous record for utility-scale installations. [Ars Technica]

¶ Amazon.com is rapidly growing its footprint in Texas. It is not only building more warehouse distribution hubs, known as “fulfillment centers,” but also announced that it would fund a massive wind farm in West Texas just as it opens the first of its “Amazon Pop-Up” retail stores in the Houston area this week. [Houston Chronicle]

Amazon is investing in a massive Texas wind farm.

Amazon is investing in a massive Texas wind farm.

¶ Facebook has chosen a village near Albuquerque for its new data center, costing $250 million. PNM will provide power, starting at 30 MW. A PNM subsidiary will build solar arrays adding wind power later. PNM also will provide backup power, should renewable energy be insufficient to meet the demands of the center. [Government Technology]

¶ NextEra Energy Resources is erecting 120 GE turbines at the 250-MW Rush Springs wind project in Oklahoma. A NextEra spokesman said the project is well under way. The total cost of the Rush Springs wind farm, located in Grady and Stephens counties in central Oklahoma, is estimated at $400 million. [reNews]

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