November 26 Energy News

November 26, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ The people of Lusatia, an area on the eastern side of Germany scarred by years of lignite mining, have come up with a novel plan for what to do with them. Since 1990, with the reunification of Germany, 12 out of the 17 mines shut down, leaving huge open pits across the landscape. Now, many of the pits have become lakes. [BBC]

Old open-pit mine (Freya Najada)

Tourists visit an old open-pit mine (Freya Najada)

¶ WWF-Canada has developed a tool to build habitat protection into the renewable-energy development process, so conflicts with wildlife can be prevented before significant investments are considered. The digital tool helps identify areas where renewable potential is high and conflict with nature is comparatively low. [WWF-Canada Blog]

World:

¶ A collaboration between two Dutch co-operatives and four international companies has entered into a power purchase agreement to buy 350 GWh of electricity per year from the Windpark Krammer development for 15 years. So, they ensure the wind park’s viability while reaching their sustainability goals. [The Guardian]

Basis of a circular economy (Photo: Portland General Electric)

Basis of a circular economy (Photo: Portland General Electric)

¶ The Asian Development Bank approved a $325 million loan to help enhance Pakistan install clean energy sources and improve access to electricity for people in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. The ADB will also provide a $750,000 grant for technical assistance to support capacity development and improvement of performance monitoring. [The Nation]

¶ An additional £390 million in funding for the support of electric vehicle and self-driving tech adoption in the UK has been announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond, as part of the Autumn Statement. It also revealed that the government would be extending the current tax breaks for electric vehicle charge points. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging (POD Point image)

EV charging (POD Point image)

¶ Pakistan can save up to $3 billion per year if it taps into the full potential of alternative energy resources and implements energy reforms programs, a provincial minister said. He said that net metering will allow for savings and reduction in the load on the grid while reducing dependency on coal and natural gas. [The News International]

¶ South America faces some challenges with curbing energy emissions, including increased car ownership. But the region now manages to utilize its renewable energy sources, thanks to its partnership with Chinese energy firms, as reported by the Fifth Column News. Uruguay, for example, now is powered 100% by renewable energy. [Latin Post]

Eco power wind turbines (Photo: Maria Wachala)

Eco power wind turbines (Photo: Maria Wachala)

¶ Swiss voters will head to the polls on Sunday to decide whether to speed up phasing out Switzerland’s nuclear power plants. The Swiss have already vowed to close them, but a “yes” vote would force three of its five reactors to close next year. The Swiss Green Party wants to limit reactor lifetime to no more than 45 years. [The Local Switzerland]

US:

¶ In a quest to push development of up to 60 MW in power generation development, the Power Authority of Guam, a US island territory in the Philippine Sea, has narrowed down its list of bidders to seven that are considered qualified. One of the bidders proposed the development of a 10 MW geothermal project. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Island coast at Yona, Guam in Micronesia  (source: flickr/ Jonathan Miske, creative commons)

Island coast at Yona, Guam in Micronesia
(Photo: flickr / Jonathan Miske, creative commons)

¶ A new confrontation is brewing over the Dakota Access Pipeline. Protesters fighting pipeline construction must vacate federal property near the Cannonball River in North Dakota by December 5 or face arrest, the Army Corps of Engineers said. The demonstrators must a large campsite where they have been staying. [CNN]

¶ When the city of Georgetown, Texas had decided to go all green, it had little to do with the environment. It had a lot to do with the money. “We wanted the least risk, most cost effective option we could get for the community,” Georgetown’s utility chief said. Wind is now competitive with fossil fuels, and its costs don’t fluctuate. [KPBS]

Christmas in Georgetown  (Photo by Jerry Stratton, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Christmas in Georgetown
(Photo by Jerry Stratton, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The Kentucky Public Service Commission has allowed East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Inc to offer its customers the opportunity to use solar power without putting solar panels on their roofs, filling an unmet demand for renewable energy. The facility is just the second community solar project approved by the PSC. [KyForward.com]

¶ If all goes according to plan, construction will begin next year on one of the longest power transmission projects in the nation’s history, a 700-mile line from wind farms around the Oklahoma panhandle to Atlanta and other cities in the Southeast. Getting to this point has been a struggle requiring federal government action. [Houston Chronicle]

Wind power (Photo: esoxx - Fotolia)

Wind power (Photo: esoxx – Fotolia)

¶ While the world waits to see the political implications of the Trump presidency, S&P Global Ratings has released a new report exploring possible meanings for the energy sector and related project finance. The report covers its impacts on domestic energy regulation, renewables investment, and long-term credit quality. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

¶ President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to end the “war on coal,” but one Michigan utility’s said his company plans to phase out the fuel, regardless. The company has already shuttered three coal-fired units, and has plans to shelve another eight by 2030. Its CEO said the company is on the path to phasing out coal completely. [MLive.com]

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