November 19 Energy News

November 19, 2016


¶ “Environmentalists search for silver linings” • On November 15, the temperature in Salt Lake City reached 73°, the hottest temperature ever recorded for that date or later in the year. Park City Mountain Resort had already postponed its opening date from to November 26. Climate change, anyone? And yet, there is hope. [The Park Record]

No snow at Park City on November 18

No snow at Park City on November 18

¶ “How Trump Climate Denial Is Catalyzing the World” • During two weeks of meetings in Marrakech, top officials from almost 200 countries responded to climate science denial by reinforcing the December Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. They warned that president-elect Trump could isolate the US. [Bloomberg]

¶ “China Takes the Climate Spotlight as U.S. Heads for Exit” • The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has the world holding out for a climate hero, and parties at Marrakech are determined that it will be China. China is backing away from neither the challenge nor the Paris Agreement, as Trump vowed to do. [Scientific American]

Sailors of the Peoples Republic of China, USS Blueridge, LCC-19, in the background (Photo by Jiang, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

In a photograph taken in Yokosuka, Japan in 2000, sailors
of the Peoples Republic of China march past USS Blueridge,
 (Photo by Jiang, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ For what appears to be the first time since scientists began keeping track, sea ice in the Arctic and the Antarctic are hitting their record lows in mid-November. Temperatures in the Arctic have soared recently, and scientists are struggling to explain the implications. Air temperatures have been 35° F (20° C) above average. [CNN]

¶ Tesla officially became an energy company this week after a vote in favor of the automaker acquiring Solar City. But CEO Elon Musk had more to announce. Musk said that the brand’s new solar roof product will somehow cost less than a traditional shingled roof, and that’s even before factoring in the energy savings. [Huffington Post Canada]

Tuscan Glass Tile solar roof (Tesla photo)

Tuscan Glass Tile solar roof (Tesla photo)


¶ NTPC Ltd said the Delhi Pollution Control Committee has given directions to keep all its units in Badarpur Thermal Power Station closed untill January 31, 2017. NTPC has not disclosed the reason for the committee’s direction. However, the reason is likely to be concerns around poor air quality in Delhi. [Real Time News, India]

¶ Latin America has been making headlines over the last 18-months due to the huge solar PV projects that are being developed on the continent. The most recent one to get underway is Enel’s 180-MW plant in Peru, with construction starting on the site this week. The construction is expected to take more than a year. [pv magazine]

City of Moquegua (Photo by Dtarazona, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

City of Moquegua (Dtarazona, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The Quebec government has approved the 147.2MW Mont Sainte Marguerite wind farm, clearing the way for construction to begin on 1 December. Pattern Energy and RES Canada have partnered with the municipalities of St Sylvester, St Severin and Le Sacré-Coeur-de-Jesus in the project, about 50 miles south of Quebec City. [reNews]

¶ At UN climate talks in Marrakech, 47 countries of the Climate Vulnerable Forum set out an intention to go 100% renewable and carbon neutral. Members promised to update their national climate plans and produce mid-century strategies before 2020, in line with the aspirational 1.5° C global warming limit agreed last year in Paris. [Climate Home]

Bangladesh (Flickr / Nasif Ahmed / Bangladesh)

Homes in Bangladesh (Flickr / Nasif Ahmed / Bangladesh)

¶ A panel discussing reforms for TEPCO is increasingly seeing a need for the utility to merge the utility’s nuclear and power grid operations with those of other companies. Commissioned by the industry ministry, the panel has been discussing streamlining TEPCO’s operations to raise money for decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi plant. [The Japan Times]


¶ The Obama administration has introduced a ban on offshore oil drilling in the Arctic for at least five years. The move is a significant victory for environmentalists who have campaigned for years against drilling in the ecologically fragile region. But Donald Trump, who pledged to increase offshore drilling, could overturn the ban. [BBC]

Nearly 400 scientists signed a letter urging Mr Obama to eliminate Arctic offshore drilling. (AP photo)

Nearly 400 scientists signed a letter urging President
Obama to eliminate Arctic offshore drilling. (AP photo)

¶ US power company NRG Energy Inc has commissioned a 14.7-MW community solar farm in Spencer, Massachusetts. Featuring more than 61,000 PV panels, the project is NRG’s largest community solar facility in the US. The installation is 100% subscribed and will serve the electricity needs of more than 1,500 customers. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ EDF Renewable Energy and Otter Tail Power Company have announced an asset purchase agreement by which EDF RE will construct the 150-MW Merricourt Wind Project. In 2019, when the project is finished, it will provide electric power to about 65,000 homes in the Otter Tail Power Company service area. [Windpower Engineering]

North Dakota wind farm

North Dakota wind farm

¶ The Tennessee Valley Authority has completed Alabama’s biggest solar farm. NextEra Energy Resources, an affiliate company of Florida Power and Light, installed more than 300,000 solar panels on 645 acres of Alabama farmland to generate 75 MW of power, enough to supply 15,000 homes. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

¶ Last year Portland, Oregon passed a resolution to oppose expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. The next step was to develop draft rules that are legally enforceable. This has been done, and Council members have voted 3-0 to pass the resulting amendments. On December 8, the city council will make its final decision. [CleanTechnica]

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