November 15 Energy News

November 15, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ The World Meteorological Organization said that 2016 will “very likely” be the hottest year on record and blamed climate change for the growing frequency of extreme weather events. The WMO’s report blamed climate change for melting Arctic glaciers and rising seas, just as the US’ president elect threatens to abandon climate efforts. [CNN]

Climate change, worsening droughts, increasing wildfire risks

Climate change, worsening droughts, increasing wildfire risks

Marrakesh:

¶ The top US negotiator told a packed COP22 news briefing that the passion and dedication displayed in the effort to deliver the Paris treaty was strong enough to withstand whatever impacts may come of a Trump presidency. He said, however, that he had no news on who might lead on climate change issues in a Trump administration. [BBC]

¶ Businesses reported $14 billion of losses in 2015 due to water scarcity, droughts, and tightening environmental regulations, a report released at the climate summit in Marrakech said. Of over 1,200 of the largest listed companies exposed to water risk, just about half responded, so the loss figure is clearly underreported badly. [The Guardian]

Typhoon waves breaking on anti-tsunami barriers near  Fukushima Daiichi (Photograph: Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

Typhoon waves breaking on anti-tsunami barriers near
Fukushima Daiichi (Photograph: Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

¶ Civil societies from across the globe converged at the UN’s COP22 conference, demanding that world leaders halt fossil fuel extraction and make an urgent just transition to a clean energy future to slow climate change. Experts say the reductions needed to limit warming to 1.5° C will require more reductions than have been pledged. [NorthEast Today]

World:

¶ It took “one of the most significant severe thunderstorm outbreaks in recent decades”, with seven tornadoes and wind speeds of 260 km/h (160 mph), to cause last September’s severe blackout in South Australia. Conservatives were quick to blame renewable energy, but it’s now clear that the entire network was at risk. [Gizmodo Australia]

Transmission lines (iStock image)

Transmission lines (iStock image)

¶ Atlantis, a global leader in the tidal power sector, announced that first power has been produced from the MeyGen project site in the Pentland Firth, Scotland. The turbine, supplied by Andritz Hydro Hammerfest, has been successfully installed and plugged into the pre-laid cable that connects it to the electric power grid. [Your Renewable News]

¶ A full 30% of the world’s electricity generation comes under the umbrella of just nine energy companies. They have just joined forces to ramp up technology investments for decarbonization. The global effort was announced by the companies’ nonprofit organization, the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership. [Triple Pundit]

Decarbonization (Photo: via gsep-ppp.org)

Decarbonization (Photo via gsep-ppp.org)

¶ The UK produced more than 50% of its electricity from low-carbon sources in the third quarter of 2016, a new report from Imperial College London and power firm Drax said. For the quarter, the contribution of nuclear, biomass, hydro, wind, solar and low-carbon electricity imports from France stood at 50.2%. [Bioenergy Insight Magazine]

¶ ExxonMobil’s Production Vice President said Norway should provide companies with fiscal incentives to continue producing at declining oil fields in the North Sea, to offset falling private investment funding. ExxonMobil seems to be requesting that the Norwegian government give tax incentives to some very wealthy oil corporations. [CleanTechnica]

North Sea oil platform  (Photo by Stan Shebs, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

North Sea oil platform
(Photo by Stan Shebs, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ President-elect Trump has pledged to boost the oil and gas sector and bring back coal, reversing President Obama’s efforts to encourage renewable energy and cut dependence on fossil fuels. But analysts say Trump’s policies could serve to worsen the global energy glut, reducing prices and doing little to save “Big Coal.” [Channel NewsAsia]

¶ Microsoft said its Cheyenne data center in Wyoming will now be powered entirely by 237 MW of wind energy. The company is buying 178 MW from the Bloom Wind Project in Kansas to help bring this new project online, along with an additional 59 MW from the Happy Jack and Silver Sage wind farms in Wyoming. [News18]

Wind turbines and buffalo  (Photo by CGP Grey, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Wind turbines and buffalo
(Photo by CGP Grey, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ In Vermont, the $80 million Searsburg wind project is now under way. The project will have 15 wind turbines, which will produce enough energy to power about 14,000 average Vermont households. It is expected to deliver at least $400,000 per year in local economic benefits and $300,000 per year for the state of Vermont. [Construction Equipment Guide]

¶ The dozens of buildings on the campus of St Olaf College, in Northfield, Minnesota, are now being powered entirely by wind energy, the liberal arts school and Xcel Energy announced. By choosing Xcel’s Windsource program for its electrical service, St Olaf has become the largest Windsource customer in the state. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Minnesota wind farm  (from Windtech at English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons)

Minnesota wind farm
(from Windtech at English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Microsoft, Walmart, Best Buy, Ikea, Staples, and Mars Inc are among a group of eighteen major corporations that have sent a letter to Virginia lawmakers and the Virginia State Corporation Commission calling for “an explicit legal framework” to expand access to renewable energy from utilities and third-party sellers. [Richmond.com]

¶ Four decades after construction began at the Bellefonte nuclear plant, Nuclear Development LLC offered to buy the unfinished plant from the Tennessee Valley Authority for $111 million. The company plans to invest up to $13 billion to complete the plant. Nuclear plants are struggling, however, and five have closed in five years. [BloombergQuint]

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