January 23 Energy News

January 23, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Coal Power: Are We Seeing The Beginning Of Its End?” • Shortly after announcing that they will be investing over $360 billion in renewable energy resources (namely hydro, nuclear, solar and wind) in the next five years, China suspended more than 100 coal power plant projects worth around $62 billion. [Wall Street Pit]

Power station

Power station

¶ “Trump Won’t Stop The Clean Energy Revolution” • The oil and gas industry has the most industry-friendly administration in recent memory. But even as the regulatory environment for oil and gas drilling may get easier, the inroads of clean energy and innovative emerging technologies will increasingly make them obsolete. [Yahoo Finance]

Science and Technology:

¶ Scientists at the University of Calgary in Canada developed a button-sized, garnet-based rechargeable battery that may power vehicles, electronics, and grids for storing renewable energy. They created a chemically stable, non-flammable lithium-ion battery, which can operate safely at a higher voltage than existing types. [The Indian Express]

Electric vehicles promise to revolutionize transportation but  they need safer, better-performing batteries. (Source: Reuters)

Electric vehicles promise to revolutionize transportation but
they need safer, better-performing batteries. (Source: Reuters)

World:

¶ The UK’s Government was accused of trying to bury a major report about the dangers of global warming. The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Report, which must by law be issued every five years, was released almost without notice. It speaks of deaths from heat waves doubling, increased flooding, and other dire problems. [The Independent]

¶ Renewable energy is now the cheapest option, on average, for new electricity capacity around the world, and this is true for developed countries like the US as well as developing countries like India, Nigeria, and Mexico. One of the biggest problems for dealing with climate change is just getting people to understand that fact. [CleanTechnica]

Renewables are now the cheapest option. (Data by Lazard, Chart by CleanTechnica | Zachary Shahan.)

Renewables are now the cheapest option available to us.
(Data by Lazard, Chart by CleanTechnica | Zachary Shahan.)

¶ A meteorologist, a climate science professor, and the Deputy Director of the Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute gave us their insights on the recent “unusual” tropical weather patterns appearing in South Australia, what exactly is causing the continual blackouts, and how renewables can help deal with the problem. [Gizmodo Australia]

¶ Leading energy industry experts have called on the Scottish Government to “grasp its opportunity to transform the country’s energy sector”, ahead of the publication of its energy strategy later this week. The Future Energy Taskforce says the Scottish Government will need to use all the powers it has to bring about the needed changes. [The National]

Cable landing (Photo: Chris James)

Cable landing (Photo: Chris James)

¶ Australia won’t be following Donald Trump’s lead on renewable energy policies, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says. His statement comes after calls from within the Coalition to scrap Australia’s renewable energy targets if the US President attempts to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement of 2015. [Northern Rivers Echo]

¶ British renewables firms are preparing to compete for a multi-million dollar windfall by snapping up contracts to develop wind, solar and power storage projects in Saudi Arabia through the kingdom’s $50-billion renewables drive. The Saudis are planning to shift to renewables to meet a demand for power growing at 8% per year. [Telegraph.co.uk]

Solar thermal collectors

Solar thermal collectors

¶ South Korea’s leading presidential candidate Moon Jae-In has pledged to reduce coal-fired power plants and phase out nuclear reactors in the country, while seeking to buy Russian natural gas and to increase investments in renewable power projects to meet power demand and combat climate change. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

US:

¶ In a report posted online, Wisconsin’s Division of Emergency Management devoted extensive attention to climate change and natural disasters it will cause, such as floods, drought and forest fires. The Public Service Commission and the Department of Natural Resources had removed all mentions of climate change from their websites. [The Sheboygan Press]

Road temporarily closed (Photo courtesy of Ready Wisconsin)

Road temporarily closed (Photo courtesy of Ready Wisconsin)

¶ Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, and Mohave Electric Cooperative announced the completion of a 13.8-MW solar project with single-axis trackers, in Fort Mohave, Arizona. Constellation owns the system, and Mohave Electric will buy its power through a 30-year power purchase agreement with purchase options. [pv magazine]

¶ In December, purchases of EVs – cars that require plugging
in for a charge – set a monthly US sales record, surpassing the previous mark by 45%. In all, some 25,000 EVs were sold last month nationwide. Nearly 160,000 EVs were bought or leased
in 2016, up 37% from 2015. New, more affordable EV models are introduced every year. [ecoRI news]

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