November 22 Energy News

November 22, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Everything I Learned About Renewable Energy Contracts By Talking To Developers” – Utilities put together their portfolio of renewable energy contracts so that they will be able to deliver the capacity needed for each time of day, combining wind and solar with baseload renewables: geothermal, hydro, and landfill gas. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy (Image Credit: Chauncey Davis)

Renewable energy (Image Credit: Chauncey Davis)

¶ “With Trump, China Emerges As Global Leader on Climate” How has China, the country that had been seen as the bad boy of climate policy, transformed itself into a potential global climate leader? And why do China’s leaders see their efforts on climate change as the key to the next phase of China’s growth? [Yale Environment 360]

Science and Technology:

¶ In recent years researchers have shown a correlation between oil and gas fracking and seismic activity, but not a direct causal link. Now, a study published in the journal Science, called “Fault activation by hydraulic fracturing in western Canada,” identifies and describes the mechanism of causality the first time. [CleanTechnica]

Illustration of fault  (cropped screenshot, University of Calgary)

Illustration of fault
(cropped screenshot, University of Calgary)

¶ Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology are working on an efficient and inexpensive method for the production of organic plastics. The “BioElectroPlast” process of microbial electro-synthesis opens up paths not only for the production of biofuel from CO2 and electricity, but also for such chemical products as plastics. [Nanowerk]

World:

¶ Gujarat was the first state in India to have a cooperative for solar pump irrigators, through which farmers sell surplus power to the distributor by connecting solar pumps to the grid. The farmers’ co-op provides irrigation as service at half the previous rate, so even small farmers without wells save on irrigation costs. [India Climate Dialogue]

Solar power for irrigation  (Photo by International Water Management Institute)

Solar power for irrigation
(Photo by International Water Management Institute)

¶ Research released by the International Council on Clean Transportation shows an average discrepancy between official vehicle fuel consumption figures and actual vehicle fuel use in the EU has risen to 42%. Most of the difference is explained by vehicle manufacturers exploiting loopholes in the current regulation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ SaskPower, the electric utility in Saskatchewan, plans to raise its renewable power supply to up to 50% by 2030. To do so, it needs to double the percentage of renewables in its supply mix. Wind power’s share is expected to reach 30% by 2030, and SaskPower intends to issue a request for proposals for wind power capacity early in 2017. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Author: Ville-Matti Kaartinen,  License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic)

Wind turbine (Author: Ville-Matti Kaartinen,
License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic)

¶ Sweden is set to ditch taxes on production of solar energy in 2017 in a bid to run entirely on renewable energy by 2040, the government said. Solar energy is currently marginal in the nation, accounting for less than 0.1% of electricity production. Sweden relies mostly on hydropower (39%) and nuclear power (36%). [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ South Africa’s government has delayed long-term nuclear power expansion plans, according to a draft energy blueprint. The plan would increase nuclear output 1,359 MW by 2037. Energy analysts said the previous 9.6-GW plan was overly ambitious and expensive. Utility Eskom has not changed its nuclear power plans. [Yahoo News]

Pylons near the Koeberg nuclear power plant  (Reuters / Mike Hutchings / File Photo)

Pylons near the Koeberg nuclear power plant
(Reuters / Mike Hutchings / File Photo)

US:

¶ In a unanimous decision, the New York State Court of Appeals Monday upheld a state agency’s right to review applications for renewal of federal licenses to operate two Indian Point nuclear power plants for another 20 years. This delivers a serious setback to the facilities’ owner, Mississippi-based Entergy Nuclear. [EcoWatch]

¶ EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy joined a chorus of voices saying the country is inevitably shifting from fossil fuels to renewables, regardless of what President-elect Donald Trump does with the Clean Power Plan. She also said that developing countries are “wondering if the US will turn its back on science and be left behind.” [Morning Consult]

Gina McCarthy (Rob Kunzig / Morning Consult)

Gina McCarthy (Rob Kunzig / Morning Consult)

¶ The head of E.ON, Germany’s largest power utility, believes investment in renewable energy in the US may be arrested by the Trump presidency. However, he pointed out that most jobs in the renewables industry were located in states dominated by the Republicans, and thought any change in legislation would happen very slowly. [PennEnergy]

¶ The clean energy economy is taking off, bringing opportunities for US businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, and consumers. Clean energy is putting Americans to work, and if President-elect Trump is serious about his promise to create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, he would push America toward a clean energy future. [Huffington Post]

Installing solar panels (Wikimedia Commons)

Installing solar panels (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The Louisiana Public Service Commission has rejected utility restrictions on solar power and sided with customers who want to install solar panels and get credit for the solar power they generate that goes to the grid. The state’s utility companies had used loopholes in regulations to put fees on or restrict customer solar installations. [KATC Lafayette News]

¶ November set a record as the greatest month for wind energy in Texas and the Plain states, according to the American Wind Energy Association. The main Texas grid operator, ERCOT, recorded an instantaneous peak wind output of 14.122 GW on November 17, up from a previous high of 14.023 GW set in February. [reNews]

 

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