January 2 Energy News

January 2, 2017


¶ “Climate change in 2016: the good, the bad, and the ugly”
This past year had so many stories involving human-caused climate change. Here is a summary of some of the high points, from my perspective. By “high points” I don’t necessarily mean good. Some of these high points are bad and some are downright ugly. [The Guardian]

California wildfire made worse by drought  (Photograph: Noah Berger/AP)

California wildfire made worse by drought
(Photograph: Noah Berger/AP)

¶ “Failed energy?” • In 1973, President Richard Nixon pledged to make the US energy-independent by building 1,000 nuclear power plants – touted by proponents as a source of inexpensive clean energy – by the year 2000. Opposition leaders, such as Paul Gunter, mobilized organizations opposed to nuclear power. [Fairport-E.Rochester Post]

Science and Technology:

¶ Such extreme weather events as droughts, wildfires, heat waves, and intense rainstorms, all occur naturally. But climate change is now increasing their frequency and magnitude. Flooding in Paris and the Arctic heat wave are just two instances of the events of 2016 for which climate change contributed to extreme weather. [Scientific American]

Flood in Paris (Credit: Getty Images)

Flood in Paris (Credit: Getty Images)

¶ Despite the hype, batteries aren’t the cheapest way to store energy on the grid. Lithium-ion batteries are attractive as they operate effectively at small scales, are lightweight and have good round-trip efficiency, but they are still expensive per unit of storage capacity. We should include pumped hydro in our considerations. [Cosmos]


¶ India will generate as much as 56.5% of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2027, the government has estimated in a draft energy plan. Besides the coal-fired plants that are already being built, the country does not need to build new ones, it said. This puts India far ahead of its Paris commitment of 40% by 2030. [India Climate Dialogue]

Fast progress in India (Photo by Thomas Kohler)

Fast progress in India (Photo by Thomas Kohler)

¶ In Allahabad, a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, the district’s reserve police lines will run on solar power following a state government nod to the ‘Green Police Line’ project of the city police. The objective behind this initiative is to harness solar power and reduce the electricity bills. A total of 130 kW will be installed. [NYOOOZ]

¶ The fight for basic energy in Australia has taken a new twist with news from Scotland that they’ve increased local renewable power owned by communities, and they’ve already exceeded their 2020 target, too. In Australia, however, there is resistance based on a shiftless, outdated mindset, and some pretty lousy economics. [Digital Journal]

Renewable power in Scotland  (Photo: paul birrell, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons)

A wee bit of renewable power in Scotland
(Photo: paul birrell, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ The Brookings Institution reported that between 2000 and 2014, 33 states and the District of Columbia cut carbon emissions while expanding their economies. Some of the states are run by Republican legislatures, including Alaska, Georgia, Tennessee and West Virginia. The states may lead the country on climate change. [Ledger Independent]

¶ A solar farm that is slated to generate about 5% of the energy for the Hawaiian island of Kauai is set to power up early this year, according to representatives from the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. The solar farm, consisting of 55,000 solar panels, will have the capacity to generate up to 22,000 MWh of power. [Thegardenisland.com]

Solar farm in Koloa (Courtesy of SolarCity)

Solar farm in Koloa (Courtesy of SolarCity)

¶ The TVA has two programs to provide customers with clean power through sale of green power or renewable energy credits. The Green Power Switch program is designed primarily for residential customers. The Southeastern Renewable Energy Credit program is better suited for commercial and industrial customers. [Knoxville News Sentinel]

¶ A report from E2 says clean energy can be a huge economic opportunity for Nevada in 2017 if lawmakers make the sector a priority. Analysts from the nonpartisan business group, which supports the green economy, found that clean energy supports 2.5 million jobs nationwide, including many offered by Nevada employers. [Public News Service]

15,000 Nevadans work in clean energy. (MT Aero)

15,000 Nevadans work in clean energy. (MT Aero)

¶ Vega Biofuels, Inc, announced that following the successful evaluation of the company’s Bio-Coal product, completed by Western Research Institute, the Company has received requests for samples from power companies all over the world interested in performing their own independent testing prior to placing orders. [Military Technologies]

¶ Federal regulators are questioning elements of NextEra Energy Seabrook nuclear power plant’s plan for monitoring the concrete degradation condition known as alkali-silica reaction. The NRC’s approval of the monitoring program is part of the commission’s acceptance of NextEra’s aging management program at Seabrook Station. [Eagle-Tribune]


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