January 5 Energy News

January 5, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ 2016 was the hottest year on record globally. While the world
is still waiting for confirmation of just how high the record was, there’s a lot of data to digest from the US. Nearly every square inch of the country was dramatically warmer than normal, and 85% of extreme temperature records set in 2016 were record highs. [CleanTechnica]

Percentages of hot versus cold records

Percentages of temperature records set that were for hot weather

¶ Evidence the earth experienced a slowdown in global warming over the past couple of decades has been further eroded with a new US study confirming climate change continues unabated. NOAA found the oceans had warmed at the rate of 0.12° per decade since 2000, or nearly twice the previous estimate. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ One of the world’s largest ocean circulation systems may not be as stable as believed, according to a study in the journal Science Advances. In fact, changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation – the same deep-water ocean current featured in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” – could occur quite abruptly. [Science Daily]

A collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation system  would cool the Northern Atlantic Ocean. (Credit: © Mats / Fotolia)

A failing Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation would turn the Northern Atlantic Ocean colder. (Credit: © Mats / Fotolia)


¶ India will spend $10 billion annually on power transmission lines to satisfy growing demand in under-served areas, according to the country’s largest private power-grid operator. Its chief executive officer said the central government may spend about $6 billion annually, with the rest coming from the nation’s states. [Times of Oman]

¶ UK wind energy set records for half-hourly, daily and weekly supply during Christmas week, Renewable UK said. National Grid figures show wind supplied 41% of the UK’s electricity needs in a half-hour period on Christmas Day;the previous record was 34%. At that same time, 47% of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources. [reNews]

London array (Image: reNews)

London array (Image: reNews)

¶ Iberdrola has completed the excavation of a diversion tunnel
to feed the 118-MW Daivões hydro power station, which is part of the Tâmega project in Portugal. The 400-meter tunnel took less than 100 days to excavate and shore up. Daivões will consist of two turbines with combined power of 114 MW and a 4 MW machine. [reNews]

¶ China will invest ¥2.5 trillion ($361 billion) in renewable power by 2020 as the world’s largest energy market continues to shift away from dirty coal power and towards cleaner fuels, according to the country’s energy agency. The investment will create over 13 million jobs in the sector, the National Energy Administration said. [Huffington Post]

Power plant in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region  (China Stringer Network / Reuters)

Power plant in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region
(China Stringer Network / Reuters)

¶ Azure Power has commissioned a 150-MW solar plant in the state of Punjab in India. The project, which covers 713 acres of land, was commissioned ahead of schedule and will supply power to Punjab State Power Corp for 25 years. The company said the plant will help electrify the nearby areas leading to an estimated 1000 jobs. [reNews]

¶ Despite its sunny climate, Israel is behind much of the world on development of solar power. The country’s goal is to generate 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, up from the current 2.5%. Now, its solar industry is trying to make a leap forward with a large-scale project boasting the world’s tallest solar tower. [CTV News]

Solar tower in the Negev desert (AP / Oded Balilty)

Solar tower in the Negev desert (AP / Oded Balilty)

¶ More Australian businesses are investing in solar power than ever before. According to data from the solar consultancy firm Sunwiz, December 2016 was a record investment month, as Australian businesses invested a total of AUS$33 million (US$24 million). Households invested AUS$70 million in December, as well. [ABC Online]

¶ Del Monte Philippines Inc partnered with Global Water Engineering to turn pineapple waste water into renewable energy at its Cagayan de Oro canning plant in the Philippines. The wastewater treatment plant has achieved removal of 93% of organic pollution in its anaerobic reactors, which also power two 1.4-MW generators. [Fresh Fruit Portal]

Green Energy Generator

Green Energy Generator

¶ A government-led rescue of French nuclear group Areva and the wider atomic-energy industry may cost the state as much as €10 billion, but political support is almost certain, regardless of who wins the presidential election in May. Areva supplies three quarters of France’s electricity and employs 220,000 people. [The Globe and Mail]


¶ Enel Green Power North America, Inc, will begin 2017 with
the start of operations at the largest wind project in its portfolio, Cimarron Bend wind farm in Clark County, Kansas. When the 400-MW wind farm is fully operational, the company will manage 1,100 MW of renewable energy capacity in the state. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Cimarron Bend wind farm

Cimarron Bend wind farm

¶ ExxonMobil agreed to provide an investment package worth about $180 million to Rex Tillerson, letting him cash in on benefits that he would have been required to give up in order to serve as President-elect Trump’s top diplomat. The deal includes benefits that ExxonMobil has no legal obligation to provide. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Tesla has begun mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at the Gigafactory. The company said the cost of battery cells will significantly decline due to a number of inherent optimizations and economies of scale. These will enhance yield, lowering the capital investment per Wh of production. The Gigafactory is 35% complete. [CleanTechnica]

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