December 1 Energy News

December 1, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ New research from Ohio State University determined that a calving event creating an enormous iceberg in West Antarctica in 2015 was even more notable than first thought. It was the result of a deep, subsurface rift that formed approximately 20 miles inland. This implies that the glacier is deteriorating faster than thought. [CleanTechnica]

Rift in Antarctic glacier

Rift in Antarctic glacier

World:

¶ The European Commission unveiled a reform of Europe’s power grid after 2020 on Wednesday. The draft law, which still needs to be approved by member states and the European Parliament, sets a binding target to cut energy use by 30% by 2030 and for renewable energy to make up at least 27% of the bloc’s power mix by 2030. [Zawya]

¶ The recently completed Kamuthi Solar Power Plant in Tamil Nadu is the largest solar power plant in the world. Since Delhi, Mumbai, and many other Indian cities have chronic pollution problems, this news brings the much-needed respite for India. The Kamuthi power plant is will supply enough power for over 150,000 homes. [Northbridge Times]

Kamuthi solar power plant

Kamuthi solar power plant

¶ Nuclear energy and wind power remained the top two sources of electricity generation in Spain for the first 11 months of 2016, with shares of 23.1% and 19.9%, respectively. According to the provisional figures released today by grid operator Red Electrica de Espana, renewables accounted for 42.2% of total generation.
[SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The oil cartel OPEC has agreed its first supply cut in eight years, after more than two years of depressed oil prices because of a supply glut on the market. OPEC’s president said that a cut of 1.2 million barrels a day would start from January. The price of Brent crude jumped 10% to $51.94 a barrel, and US crude rose 9% to $49.53. [BBC News]

Oil prices since 2014

Oil prices since 2014

US:

¶ The frigid North Dakota cold hasn’t stopped thousands of protesters from camping outside, trying to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Now, leaders of “Veterans Stand for Standing Rock” said they’re ready to go to North Dakota to join them, even though it was 29° Fahrenheit there on Wednesday afternoon. [CNN]

¶ A survey by Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, conducted for the Conservative Energy Network, found that strong majorities supported increasing their states’ use of wind, solar, and hydropower, while a plurality supported the increased use of natural gas, and a majority opposed the increased use of coal. [Morning Consult]

Wind turbines (toddarbini iStock.com)

Wind turbines (toddarbini iStock.com)

¶ Michigan’s largest utility, DTE Energy, is moving ahead with efforts to phase out its use of coal and will not be swayed by any potential changes to federal energy policy. DTE Energy intends to embrace renewable energy more aggressively in the coming years regardless of what changes come from the recent election. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ American Electric Power is asking regulators for $52 million to build eight to ten microgrids in Columbus, Ohio. The microgrids are to be installed at critical facilities, such as hospitals, shelters, water plants, grocery stores and gas stations. AEP intends to let other nearby customers to connect to the on-site generation for a fee. [Greentech Media]

Columbus, Ohio (American Electric Power)

Columbus, Ohio (American Electric Power)

¶ Active Energy Group plc developed CoalSwitch, a biomass fuel that can be mixed at any ratio with coal as a drop-in fuel, or replace it altogether, in existing coal-burning powered plants. The company is building its first production facility in North America following recent testing and endorsement by Rocky Mountain Power. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority may become the first US state entity to participate in a federal auction for an offshore wind site. NYSERDA submitted documentation and a bid deposit to take part in an auction for a 79,350-acre Wind Energy Area 12 miles off the Long Island coast. [Windpower Engineering]

Offshore wind power

Offshore wind power

¶ The US EPA has published a proposed decision on the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) fuel efficiency standards. The CAFE standards were set by the current Obama Administration back in 2012. The proposed decision simply maintains the current standards for vehicles in model years 2012 through 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A Texan under consideration to lead the EPA wants to end subsidies for renewable energy and said it’s not clear how much human activity contributes to global warming. Kathleen Hartnett White, the head of a conservative Texas think tank, confirmed that she is being considered to lead the EPA after meeting with Donald Trump. [Sacramento Bee]

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