February 5 Energy News

February 5, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “The West’s Largest Coal Plant Could Soon Go Dark” • It’s big. It’s coal-fired. And it’s about to go bye-bye. The West’s largest coal-fired power plant, the Navajo Generating Station, is facing closure because burning coal is no longer a cost-effective method of generating energy. A changing administration could mean it gets saved. [Care2.com]

Navajo Generating Station (Photo: Bill Morrow)

Navajo Generating Station (Photo: Bill Morrow)

¶ “The Wind Blows, the Sun Shines, and Coal Struggles” • We may not want to admit it, but the problem of energy has always come down to one thing: money. Renewable energy used to be an exorbitant cost for companies and virtually impossible for residential use. But over the last 10 years things have flipped upside down. [Energy and Capital]

Science and Technology:

¶ An article in the Mail on Sunday stunningly claims, “World leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data.” It accuses the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of manipulating data. However, a fact check by independent researchers validates the data that NOAA published. [Carbon Brief]

Clouds over the Atlantic Ocean (Credit: Tiago Fioreze, Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Clouds over the Atlantic Ocean
(Credit: Tiago Fioreze, Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)

World:

¶ The Saudi Arabian minister of energy, industry, and mineral resources announced that the country will invite international and domestic firms to bid for renewable energy projects this April. He said contracts for the projects, including two new solar and wind power plants with a 700-MW capacity, would likely be awarded in September. [Al-Bawaba]

¶ Australia’s resources minister said the federal government
is considering providing public funds for building “clean coal” power stations in the country’s north, according to a report in The Australian. He said some of the A$5 billion ($3.84 billion) Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund could be used to help build them. [Jakarta Globe]

Coal is Clean. War is peace. Freedom is slavery…

Coal is Clean. War is peace. Freedom is slavery…

¶ The Australian Labor Party will oppose the Coalition’s embrace of so-called clean coal for power generation, calling the policy shift a cynical exercise designed to keep Tony Abbott at bay. Shadow environment minister Mark Butler said the Opposition would not allow itself to be wedged over the politics of coal. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ Urgent action is needed to prevent salt intrusion causing severe damage to rice production and loss of drinking water in Vietnam and Bangladesh, according to reports by the World Bank and the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research. The reports say sea level rise threatens large areas of land that is currently highly productive. [The Daily Star]

Ninh Binh Province (Dinkum, Wikimedia Commons)

Paddy fields, Ninh Binh Province (Dinkum, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ US electric car sales continue to climb to new heights in 2017. Growing 59% year over year, about 12,000 electric cars were sold across the country in January, accounting for roughly 1% of US auto sales. Models from Tesla and GM’s Chevy Bolt are pulling the market forward. Toyota’s Prius Prime shows impressive sales growth. [CleanTechnica]

¶ While Republican President Donald Trump has said his focus will be on reviving the long-struggling coal industry by stripping federal environmental regulations, many states have their sights set elsewhere. Energy analysts say they expect states to continue to advance initiatives that reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels. [SouthCoastToday.com]

Wyoming's Black Thunder mine (AP photo / Matthew Brown / File)

Wyoming’s Black Thunder mine (AP / Matthew Brown / File)

¶ The town of Montague, Massachusetts has approved plans for
a 23-acre solar power farm. The project with more than 18,000 solar panels is scheduled to be built on land already owned by electric utility Eversource. It will be constructed 200 feet from the road with trees creating a visual barrier a between the road and the panels. [wwlp.com]

¶ A group of Republican lawmakers is touting an advancing
clean energy legislative package that will, though critics say
only modestly, crack open the door for more renewable energy options in Virginia. Solar industry groups and big corporations have called for easier access to increased options for renewable energy. [Roanoke Times]

Solar power in Virginia (Richmond Times-Dispatch | File 2016)

Solar power in Virginia (Richmond Times-Dispatch | File 2016)

¶ The Trump administration’s strict restrictions on immigration, declarations about climate change, reported overtures to an anti-vaccine activist, and pledge to repeal of the Affordable Care Act have turned some in the science community into militants. They will march in Washington, and perhaps in other cities, on April 22, Earth Day. [NBCNews.com]

¶ A bill considered crucial to the future of the Millstone Power Station in Waterford, Connecticut, and one that is among the most noteworthy of the state Legislature’s current session, will be taken up in what is expected to be the first of two Energy and Technology Committee public hearings on it. A sponsor says it would not subsidize the plant. [theday.com]

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