November 7 Energy News

November 7, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Swansea tidal lagoon: The environmental arguments” • The prospect of securing the world’s first tidal power station off the shores of Swansea Bay is seen by many green organisations as pretty momentous. It could supply Wales with 11% of its power, and similar projects are in the wings. The WWF urges caution for migrating birds. [BBC News]

Migrating birds that depend on the Severn Estuary

Migrating birds that depend on the Severn Estuary

Science and Technology:

¶ The hottest year on record globally in 2015 could be just another average year by 2025 if carbon emissions continue to rise at their current rate, according to new research published in the Bulletin of American Meteorological Society. And that “new normal” for global average temperatures is already locked in for no later than 2040. [Phys.Org]

¶ The UN Environment Program says the door will close on the 1.5° C warming limit unless countries raise their ambition before 2020. The Emissions Gap report was published one day before the Paris Agreement on climate change enters into force. It is the first to explicitly measure the so-called “ambition gap” for 1.5° C. [Carbon Brief]

Pollution in the wind (Credit: Zhan Tian)

Pollution in the wind (Credit: Zhan Tian)

World:

¶ Africa produces just 3.5% of the world’s fossil fuel emissions, despite having 16% of the population. The continent’s energy infrastructure is far less developed than that of other regions. The International Energy Agency says around 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity. But green energy is growing in Africa. [Deutsche Welle]

¶ Currently 40% of the energy generated in Finland comes from renewable sources, and power plants use waste as raw material in order to produce heat and electricity. Mexico could follow this lead because of its interest in energy reform and commitment to promote the use of clean energy. Finland has solutions to offer. [The Yucatan Times]

Wind power in Mexico

Wind power in Mexico

¶ Residents in a village in northern Scotland have launched an ambitious £400,000 green energy project, aimed at saving the tiny settlement. The Knockando Community Trust wants to sell electricity generated by a water turbine in the Knockando Burn, and use the cash to rescue the crumbling village hall they consider vital. [Press and Journal]

¶ Fresh air doesn’t exist in New Delhi at the moment. India’s capital is choking under heavy smog, with some parts of the city reporting levels almost five times the minimum level considered “unhealthy” by the US EPA. Measurements of the Air Quality Index taken at the US Embassy in Delhi were literally off the standard chart. [CNN]

Smog at the Jama Masjid Mosque

Smog at the Jama Masjid Mosque

¶ South Africa’s cabinet is to consider a proposal that a mooted nuclear power deal for the country be financed through the state-owned power utility Eskom. This is the latest twist in South Africa’s controversial efforts to expand its nuclear power capacity with a total of up to 9.6 GW of energy at six nuclear power stations. [eNCA]

¶ Mainstream will develop and operate the 800-MW Phu Cuong wind farm in Vietnam’s Soc Trang Province in partnership with GE Energy Financial Services and local company Phu Cuong Group. The wind project, Vietnam’s largest to date, will be developed in five phases for about $2 billion, according to Mainstream. [reNews]

A Mainstream wind farm (Credit Jeffreys Bay Wind farm)

A Mainstream wind farm (Credit Jeffreys Bay Wind farm)

¶ Vietnam may postpone the construction of nuclear power plants with the participation of Russia and Japan because of financial problems. The government is reconsidering plans for nuclear power plants, as allocating sufficient funding it would be “extremely difficult,” Japan’s Kyodo news agency said. [Russia Beyond the Headlines]

¶ Wind turbines in Scotland provided enough electricity to supply the average needs of 87% of all Scotland’s homes last month, according to a WWF report. Data from WeatherEnergy showed turbines generated 792,717 MWh of electricity to the National Grid in October, up more than a quarter on the same month last year. [Herald Scotland]

Wind turbines providing power in Scotland

Wind turbines providing power in Scotland

US:

¶ An earthquake of magnitude 5.0 shook central Oklahoma on Sunday, causing damage to a number of buildings. The epicenter of the quake struck the city of Cushing, about 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Oklahoma City. Tremors were felt as far away as Texas. The earthquake was one of 19 that have hit Oklahoma in the past week. [BBC]

¶ The Colorado River Research Group released a concise four-page paper explaining how climate change is affecting the river. It is a remarkably accessible summation of lots of complicated science. The conclusion is that we simply need to adapt to a future in which water scarcity is the norm. “Climate change is water change.” [News Deeply]

Steamboat on Lake Mead (Jae C. Hong, AP)

Steamboat on Lake Mead (Jae C. Hong, AP)

¶ The California Air Resources Board found another cheat device in Volkswagen Group cars. Like the earlier device the new one lowers a car’s CO2 emissions if the software detected that the car was on a test machine. However, the new cheat device was used on cars with automatic transmissions, both gasoline and diesel. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Arcadia Power has launched first nationwide community solar program. Available in all 50 states, Arcadia’s community solar product is for those who live in apartments, have shaded roofs, or don’t want to be locked down in a contract. Customers can purchase enough panels to bring their electricity bills to $0. [Your Renewable News]

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