January 20 Energy News

January 20, 2017


¶ “Donald Trump sees the future in coal. China sees the future in renewables. Who’s making the safer bet?” • In Donald Trump’s vision of America, the flagging coal industry is revived. China is meanwhile moving sharply in the opposite direction, with huge new investments in renewable energy, creating 13 million new jobs. [PRI]

Coal plant with wind turbines in the background (Photo: Bert Kaufmann, from Roermond, Netherlands, Wikimedia Commons)

Coal plant with wind turbines in the background (Photo: Bert Kaufmann from Roermond, Netherlands, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Shift to ‘base-cost’ renewables: 10 predictions for 2017” • At the start of 2017, it is once again easy to list the potential storms that might disrupt the smooth sailing of the good ship clean energy. First and foremost are the potentially tempestuous consequences of Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House. [RenewEconomy]


¶ Emerging energy markets are expected to add nearly 81 GW of stationary energy storage capacity by 2025 to today’s 1.9 GW of non-hydro energy storage installations, according to Navigant Research. An amount coming to 52.3 GW, about 65% of the new energy storage capacity, will be deployed in East Asia and the Pacific. [SeeNews Renewables]

Storage battery (Photo: Portland General Electric, CC BY-SA)

Storage battery (Photo: Portland General Electric, CC BY-SA)

¶ India’s Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal, made a powerful statement for all nations in the wake of Donald Trump’s rise to power in the United States. India is not going to pull back its efforts even if another country (like the USA) falls behind. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Germany added 818 MW of new offshore wind capacity in 2016 bringing the total to over 4.1 GW, according to research provided by Deutsche WindGuard. Some 156 turbines were connected to the grid last year, bringing the total to 947 machines, and there are 21 more, totaling 123 MW, that were built but still waiting to be grid-tied. [reNews]

Riffgat offshore wind farm (Credit: EWE)

Riffgat offshore wind farm (Credit: EWE)

¶ Moixa, Northern Powergrid, and Energise Barnsley in the UK plan to demonstrate how clusters of home batteries could add capacity on the electricity network and enable more homes to install solar panels. In a £250,000 trial, Moixa lithium-ion batteries would be installed in 40 homes and linked in a virtual power plant. [domain-B]

¶ The Scottish Government has targeted a 66% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2032, achieved through boosting low carbon heat generation, an increase in the number of low emissions cars, and a push to restore peatland. The plan would decarbonize the electricity sector, and 80% of domestic heat would be low-carbon. [Holyrood.com]

Wind turbines - credit: Fotolia

Wind turbines – credit: Fotolia

¶ A village in southern Sweden is set to become the first energy self-sufficient settlement in the country thanks to a trial of a new local energy system. A combination of wind power and solar cells already present in the area will be added to with a battery and renewable-powered reserve generator provided by energy company Eon. [The Local Sweden]


¶ Representatives of Vermont’s solar industry are for the most part looking to the future with cautious optimism, hoping that the established nature of the no-longer-novel industry will serve as a bulwark against policies that the administration of President Donald Trump, with its skeptical view of renewable energy, might impose. [Vermont Biz]

Norwich-based Solaflect solar project (Solaflect photo)

Norwich-based Solaflect solar project (Solaflect photo)

¶ The California Air Resources Board released a soup-to-nuts review of its Advanced Clean Car program today. The 658-page report confirms that the popular program, which establishes smog-forming and carbon pollution limits for new cars and trucks, can be met on time, with known technologies, and at reasonable cost. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The US transport sector is emitting more carbon dioxide than power generation for the first time since the 1970s, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. A shift away from burning coal to cleaner natural gas and renewable sources has seen power sector emissions trend downwards since 2007. [Climate Home]

(Source: US EIA, Monthly Energy Review)

Please click on the image to enlarge it (Source: US EIA)

¶ The President-elect’s nominee to head up the EPA, Scott Pruitt, faced some tough questioning in his senate confirmation hearing but remained staunchly intent on restricting and minimizing the role of the EPA. Mr Pruitt has been an outspoken critic of the agency and has out-and-out denied that climate change is even happening. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and several co-petitioners filed in Supreme Court a challenge to the recently enacted mandatory 12-year nuclear subsidy in New York. It is expected to cost the state’s ratepayers over $7 billion. They argue that the PSC did not follow the law when it enacted the nuclear subsidy and that the amount was unjustified. [Mid-Hudson News]

Soon to be closed Indian Point (Photo from the Clearwater)

Soon to be closed Indian Point (Photo from the Clearwater)

¶ North Carolina state legislative leaders have asked the Trump administration to either kill or require major changes to a nearly completed wind farm, which they said will interfere with the operation of a military radar installation. The Pentagon disagrees and says the project does not pose a threat to national security. [Journal Gazette and Times-Courier]

¶ At his confirmation hearing, Energy secretary nominee Rick Perry fiercely defended the mission of the DOE and said he now believes in human-caused climate change. Perry has previously been steadfast in his support of the fossil fuels industry, and until the hearing, expressed doubts about established climate science. [Climate Central]


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