January 25 Energy News

January 25, 2017



¶ “Trump has a great opportunity to save our environment” • Donald Trump is rolling back EPA rules. But the nonpartisan federal Office of Management and Budget calculated that the rules imposed by the EPA over the decade ending 2012 yielded benefits 10 times their costs, the best ratio of all federal agencies they reviewed. [Huffington Post]

Acadia National Park (Ymblanter, Wikimedia Commons)

Acadia National Park (Ymblanter, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Solar energy: the alternative” • The need for renewable energy is no longer linked only with climate change and clean air. It is also properly linked to: 1) economic prosperity, 2) preventing structural violence against the least well off, 3) prevention of conflict, and 4) a solution to energy shortages in a world of finite resources. [The Nation]

¶ “Renewables = Over 50% New Electricity Capacity But 16% Of Energy Investment” • The wide gap in investment figures versus new capacity figures is striking. Cheap renewables dominate new power plant installations, but polluting fossil fuels dominate the energy investments. Why? Partly because of the cost to transport fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Rail cars burn near the Columbia River Gorge, June 3, 2016. (Photo: Coast Guard PFC Levi Read, Public domain)

Rail cars burn near the Columbia River Gorge, June 3, 2016.
(Photo: Coast Guard PFC Levi Read, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ Researchers know that more storms, and more dangerous storms, come with a warming climate. A team of scientists say they found an underlying explanation, using satellite data gathered over a 35-year period. They reported on their studies of long-term variations of the Lorenz energy cycle in the journal Nature Communications. [Science Daily]

¶ The Hemlock woolly adelgid is just one in an expanding army of insects draining the life out of forests from New England to the West Coast. Aided by global trade, a warming climate and drought-weakened trees, the invaders have become one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the United States. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Damage from emerald ash beetles (Photo: Doug Strickland / Times Free Press)

Damage from emerald ash beetles
(Photo: Doug Strickland / Times Free Press)


¶ Ghana-based Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology unveiled a project to develop a simple, efficient, and sustainable electric generating technology for rural and urban communities. It focuses on using microbial fuel cell technology to generate electricity and to support wastewater treatment. [Bioenergy Insight Magazine]

¶ Ministers in Scotland unveiled plans to ensure that 50% of the nation’s energy needs are supplied by low-carbon or zero-carbon renewable sources, by 2030. The move represents a significant shift for the Scottish National Party, after decades of support for North Sea oil production, which supplies about 47% of Scotland’s petroleum. [The Westside Story]

View of Ailsa Craig (John R., Wikimedia Commons)

View of Ailsa Craig (John R., Wikimedia Commons)

¶ France took an important step towards shutting down its oldest nuclear power station, a campaign promise of President Francois Hollande, just months before he leaves office. The board of state-owned electricity utility EDF approved a compensation package worth at least €400 million for the shutdown of the Fessenheim nuclear plant. [News24]


¶ President Donald Trump signed executive actions to advance approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. The decision to advance the pipelines cast aside efforts by the Obama administration to block construction of the pipelines, while making good on one of the campaign promises Trump
had made. [CNN]

Dakota Access Pipeline (Photo: Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

Dakota Access Pipeline (Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ President Donald Trump’s administration has ordered a freeze on some EPA grants and contracts to states. An administration “wish list” for the EPA takes aim at regulations such as carbon emission rules that limit the amount of greenhouse gases that
are allowed from power plants, and cutting $193 million from climate programs. [CNN]

¶ The University of California Irvine is acquiring 20 electric buses from BYD for $15 million to electrify its campus shuttle service, the Anteater Express. The UCI bus system is student funded, and the students, who ride for free, made the decision to pay $40 extra per student per quarter to cover the bus purchase and startup costs. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus

Electric bus

¶ Innogy, Germany’s largest energy group, sees no reason to scrap plans to enter the US onshore wind market, its chief executive said, unimpressed by worries over future support of renewables in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency. “We do it because wind is a competitive technology in the United States,” he said. [StreetInsider.com]

¶ A new energy plant is coming to Sherman, Texas. It will be able to power about 1,500 homes, all through renewable energy and without any emissions. The planning and zoning commission just approved the site plans for a 70-acre solar farm. The cost will be about $15 less per month than what one major electric co-op charges. [KXII-TV]

Solar farm near Austin (The tdog, Wikimedia Commons)

Solar farm near Austin (The tdog, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Canadian Solar Inc and solar project developer Recurrent Energy today announced a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement for 60 MWac of solar power with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. SMUD will get electricity from the Tranquillity
8 Verde solar PV project, which is in Fresno County, California. [Your Renewable News]

¶ The City Council of Grand Island, Nebraska, approved a public power agreement with Prairie Hills Wind at a regular meeting. The vote was unanimous, 9-0. The city had previously invested in a project near Albion, which had been completed in fall 2015. The agreement with Prairie Hills Wind is for another project, near Callaway. [Grand Island Independent]

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