September 28 Energy News

September 28, 2016


¶ “China: Six little known facts about the country’s solar and wind boom” • China is installing one wind turbine an hour. This year is likely to be the third in a row in which its use of coal declined. About 370,000 people died from air pollution in 2013. Possibly we all knew those things, but here are a few more items worth knowing. [RenewEconomy]

A 100 kW stand-alone PV plant at 14,500 feet in the Himalaya powers a clinic, a school, and 347 houses, for about five hours each day.

A 100-kW stand-alone PV plant at 14,500 feet in the Himalaya
powers a clinic, a school, and 347 houses, for five hours daily.

¶ “AWEA: Clean Power Plan stands on firm legal ground, would continue trend of clean energy cutting carbon pollution reliably and cost-effectively” • As the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit hears oral arguments today about the merits of the Clean Power Plan, the American Wind Energy Association published its position. [AltEnergyMag]

Science and Technology:

¶ Siemens and two partners are developing a thermal storage system for wind energy that involves a rock-filled insulated container. The so-called Future Energy Solution converts excess wind energy into heat in insulated rocks. When it is needed, a steam turbine can be used to convert the heat energy back to power. [reNews]

Steam turbine (Siemens image)

Steam turbine (Siemens image)

¶ Almost all of us on Earth, 92% of the world’s people, now breathe polluted air, the World Health Organization says. An interactive map, based on global air pollution data, shows places where outdoor air quality fails to meet WHO guidelines. About 3 million deaths each year can be linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution. [CNN]


¶ A controversial $36 billion liquefied natural gas project proposed for the northern coast of British Columbia just got a conditional green light from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government. The shipping terminal and its associated pipeline will be one of the most carbon-intensive resource projects in Canada’s history. []

Lax Kw'alaams (Photo via Flickr user A.Davey)

Lax Kw’alaams (Photo via Flickr user A.Davey)

¶ A $7.5 million microgrid on Garden Island, in Western Australia will be the first in the world to include wave energy. It will involve the construction and integration of 2 MW of PV solar capacity and a 2-MW/0.5-MWh battery storage system, coupled with Carnegie’s CETO6 off-shore wave energy generation technology. [EcoGeneration]

¶ In October of 2015, representatives from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed to a 2020 renewable energy target of 23%. Currently, however, the region is only on track to reach 17% renewable energy by 2020. Even so, the International Renewable Energy Agency believes the goal is still within reach. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels in Thailand (Credit: IRENA)

Solar panels in Thailand (Credit: IRENA)

¶ Ontario’s Liberal government took steps to take some pressure off of rising electricity rates, cancelling plans to sign contracts for up to 1,000 MW of power from solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. The move is expected to keep about $2.45 a month from being added to bills for homeowners and small businesses. [CTV News]

¶ The outlook for the UK offshore wind industry remains strong, despite uncertainties after the British vote to leave the European Union. The chief executive of WindEurope has said that the UK’s government remains committed to the offshore wind industry, with about 1 GW a year of offshore wind added over the coming years. [reNews]

Humber Gateway offshore wind farm in the UK (E.ON image)

Humber Gateway offshore wind farm in the UK (E.ON image)

¶ The International Atomic Energy Agency has released a study showing the upward trend in nuclear power capacity continues, though at a reduced rate. The sector, facing completion from low fossil fuel prices and renewable energy sources, will grow at a lesser rate than previous IAEA reports had projected. [Power Engineering International]

¶ Local fisheries are cleaning up debris near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant for the first time since the tsunami-triggered nuclear disaster in 2011, in which three reactors melted down. However a plan to start trial fishing next year may face a setback as a nearly-completed ice wall is failing to contain contaminated water. [RT]

© Toru Yamanaka / AFP

© Toru Yamanaka / AFP


¶ US presidential candidate Donald Trump has trash-talked his own country’s up-and-coming wind energy industry all through the 2016 campaign, but it doesn’t look like the gigantic energy services company Xcel got the memo. Last week Xcel announced that it is looking for an additional 1,500 MW in new wind energy capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ New York City is set to be increasingly challenged by sea level rises caused by melting glaciers and thermal expansion of the ocean as the planet warms. By 2100, sea levels could be up to 50 inches higher than today in New York, a scenario that has prompted the city to pledge billions of dollars for flood defenses and adaptation. [The Guardian]

Solar panels on a Rockefeller Center rooftop in midtown Manhattan in New York. (Photograph: Mark Lennihan / AP)

Solar panels on a Rockefeller Center rooftop in midtown
Manhattan in New York. (Photograph: Mark Lennihan / AP)

¶ Twelve minutes into the first face-to-face encounter between the candidates, Clinton raised the issue of climate change by pointing to Trump’s past claims that question the science behind rising temperatures and assertion that climate change was a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. “I did not,” Trump said. “I do not say that.” [Scientific American]

¶ Vermont’s Department of Public Service released a public review draft of the energy planning determination standards and recommendations. The Department is due to issue final standards and recommendations by November 1. The public is encouraged to comment on the draft through October 20. []

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