December 7 Energy News

December 7, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Texas is the Best. And Worst. #1 in both Wind Energy and Carbon Pollution.” • Texas is the number one producer of carbon pollution in the US. But these days, you can barely drive an hour without running into a new wind farm going up or a convoy of trucks carrying turbine blades. [The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists]

Oil extraction in a cotton field (Photo: Wikimedia)

Oil extraction in a cotton field (Photo: Wikimedia)

¶ “Turns Out That Breitbart Article the House Science Committee Tweeted Out is a Con Job” • Texas Republican Lamar Smith is the oxymoronic Chairman of the House Science Committee, whose official government Twitter account tweeted out, “Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists.” [eNews Park Forest]

¶ “Trump’s Lies Threaten Wind Techs: Fastest-Growing US Job” There are reasons why Trump’s vendetta against what he calls “the windmills” hurts his own voters. First, wind techs, the guys who climb the towers to do maintenance, are blue-collar workers from red states. And theirs is the fastest growing job in the US. [CleanTechnica]

(out of four Trump voters support clean energy)

(Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

Science and Technology:

¶ As global temperatures continue to rise, a huge chunk of polar sea ice covering an area about the size of India, or twice the size of Alaska, has melted, climate scientists said. The scientists said that the warm ocean temperatures, the warming atmosphere and wind patterns like El Niño, are preventing ice from forming. [Science World Report]

World:

¶ A $662 million wind farm in Victoria’s west has been approved by the State Government. The wind farm, which will include up to 116 turbines, is set be built in Murra Warra, north of Horsham, after no objections were raised by local residents. It will power about 252,000 homes and go some way to meeting the state’s renewable energy targets. [The Mercury]

The Woodlawn Wind Farm in New South Wales.

The Woodlawn Wind Farm in New South Wales.

¶ German energy suppliers can claim compensation over the country’s phasing out of nuclear power, a court has ruled. Judges did not agree with power plant operators that the shutdown, ordered after the Fukushima Disaster, was expropriation of their assets. But they ruled the government should compensate the firms. [BBC News]

¶ Off-grid solar could energize communities all across Myanmar. As traditional power sources like diesel generators are far too expensive for many people who live in poverty in the country, government-funded off-grid solar could offer cost-effective, clean electricity for more people. Non-profit organizations are also helping. [Inhabitat]

Solar Energy Myanmar Panasonic (Image via The Guardian)

Solar Energy Myanmar Panasonic (Image via The Guardian)

¶ Google has confirmed it will hit its target of offsetting 100% of the energy used at its data centres and offices against power from renewable sources. The firm first made the commitment in 2015 to go 100% renewable by 2017. In a blog, the company said it was now the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world. [BBC]

¶ Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall AB said today it has taken over Danish energy firm Vindstod.dk, which offers 100% wind power sourced locally to private customers in Denmark. Vattenfall has a strategy to set foot into new markets through small sales companies with an existing customer base, it said. [SeeNews Renewables]

Danish wind turbines (Author: Tambako The Jaguar, CC BY SA)

Danish wind turbines (Author: Tambako The Jaguar, CC BY SA)

¶ Donald Trump’s plan to erect a huge sea wall at his Irish golf course has been withdrawn in the light of stiff opposition from environmentalists. The original application cited rising sea levels as a result of climate change as a key reason for the protective barrier. A new plan with smaller wall is expected to be submitted shortly. [BBC News]

US:

¶ The sweet taste of victory has already begun to sour at the Oceti Sakowin Camp just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. When the US Army Corps of Engineers said it would seek alternative routes for the pipeline, protesters cheered. But as a winter squall descended and temperatures dropped, so too did the enthusiasm. [CNN]

White-out conditions near the camp

White-out conditions near the camp

¶ A survey of economists by the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University Law School finds that most think climate change will have a greater negative impact on the US economy than expected, and will have it sooner than expected. The IPI surveyed economists who had published papers relating to climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ As the first US offshore wind farm prepares to come online, the Energy Information Administration has released new statistics showing the continued expansion of offshore wind leasing. The DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that the US has 4,200 GW of potential offshore wind energy open for development. [WorkBoat]

Block Island installation (Deepwater Wind photo)

Block Island installation (Deepwater Wind photo)

¶ University of California, Irvine engineers have put up the first power-to-gas hydrogen pipeline injection project in the US, showing how excess clean electricity that would otherwise go to waste can be used. Surplus sustainable energy from solar panels or wind farms is into hydrogen, which is blended with natural gas for general use. [Newswise]

¶ The largest battery in New England – and once the world – was built 45 years ago and is still working. It’s hidden, on top and deep inside a mountain in north-central Massachusetts. Northfield Mountain is now undergoing re-licensing to run for another 50 years, providing grid load leveling for solar and wind power. [New England Public Radio]

 

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