January 7 Energy News

January 7, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “China is going all in on clean energy while Trump waffles. How is that making America great again?” • China announced that in the next three years it will invest $361 billion in renewable power, creating 13 million jobs. But the Trump administration talks about renewing an outdated love affair with coal and oil. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Wind farm in Guazhou (Photo: Popolon, Wikimedia Commons)

Wind farm in Guazhou (Photo: Popolon, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ For the first time ever, the UK generated more electricity from wind than coal in a calendar year, and this led carbon emissions from the sector to drop 20%. Wind generated 11.5% of the UK’s electricity last year, whereas coal contributed just 9.2%, down 59% from the year before, an analysis by the Carbon Brief found. [City A.M.]

¶ China has made low-carbon transport a priority in dealing with climate change. As part of their effort to develop low-emission vehicles, the Chinese government has given significant support to national electric car manufacturers. Even so, their sales are dwarfed by those of a pint-sized competitor: the low-speed electric vehicle. [CleanTechnica]

Low-speed electric vehicle (Image: Dennis Zuev)

Low-speed electric vehicle (Image: Dennis Zuev)

¶ London breached its annual air pollution limits five days into the new year, its mayor said. An air monitoring site at Brixton Road in south London began recording levels of nitrogen dioxide above the threshold early Thursday and continued to do so beyond the 18-hour legal limit, according to data from King’s College London. [CNN]

¶ The Spanish government has announced plans to hold a new renewable energy project auction with a capacity of up to 3 GW, in 2017. The Energy Minister said the 3-GW auction is needed so Spain can meet its binding EU target for 2020, that 20% of final energy consumption be sourced from renewable sources. [Climate Action Programme]

Wind turbine

Wind turbine

¶ Having been slow to encourage solar deployment actively, compared to other major South American markets, Argentina has now declared 2017 as a “Year of Renewable Energy,” under an official decree. The nation is targeting 20% renewables in its energy mix by 31 December 2025. Auctions of last year alone provided 6%. [PV-Tech]

¶ Grafton Asset Management Inc, which had brought foreign investment into Canada’s oil and gas industry, is looking to add alternative energy to its portfolio for the first time, as it positions itself for the decline of fossil fuels. The company’s CEO worries about the industry’s future, saying, “I do look at it as a sun-setting business.” [Financial Post]

Sun setting on an oil pump (Eric Healey / Postmedia Network)

Oil pump at sunset (Eric Healey / Postmedia Network)

¶ The shift towards renewable energy in Europe, particularly wind, is gathering momentum and could soon reach a tipping point. The EU, in partnership with both industry and national governments, is looking to scale-up a number of technologies that could lead to the commercial development of very large offshore windfarms. [Power Technology]

US:

¶ The state of Hawaii could derive more than half of all its electricity from geothermal resources, with the most realistic resource potentials on the Big Island of Hawaii and on Maui. Geothermal could fuel the whole demand of the island of Maui, according to the annual report of the state’s Energy Resources Coordinator. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Honolulu (source: flickr/ snowpeak, creative commons)

Honolulu (source: flickr/ snowpeak, creative commons)

¶ The DOE says that the US electricity system “faces imminent danger” from cyber-attacks and warned that a widespread power outage could be caused by a cyber-attack, undermining “critical defense infrastructure” as well as much of the economy and the health of its people. Grid operators say they are already on top of the problem. [Tyler Morning Telegraph]

¶ The aging Indian Point nuclear power plant just north of New York City would close within four years under a deal being made with Governor Andrew Cuomo. Plant owner Entergy Corp would shut both reactors at the Westchester County facility by April 2021, according to a source familiar with the deal’s details. [Albany Times Union]

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