February 20 Energy News

February 20, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Easy as Two Plus Two: How to Regain our Democracy” • We can get our democracy back, and improve our lives as we do. If those who disapprove of the Washington establishment we have turn down residential thermostats by 2° F and drive two miles fewer per day, it will cost those who bought this government $10 billion per year. [Green Energy Times]

¶ “Expect to see more emergencies like Oroville Dam in a hotter world” • Like many extreme events, the Oroville emergency is a combination of natural weather likely intensified by climate change. California regularly sees “atmospheric rivers” that deluge the state with rainfall, but a hotter world will make them worse, scientists say. [The Guardian]

¶ “Jobs and Prosperity Are in Clean Energy, Not Destroying the Planet” • The Republican Party is almost entirely united in their claims that defunding, crushing, and abolishing the EPA as well as other regulatory measures will benefit the American people and the prosperity of the country overall. This could not be further from the truth. [Paste Magazine]

Destroying the planet

Destroying the planet

World:

¶ Africa will see a “solar revolution” comparable in scale to the rapid surge in mobile phone use there two decades ago, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency predicts. Fast-dropping costs, plenty of sun, and a huge need for electricity where many are still without it, means solar has huge potential in Africa. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ Local Aboriginal tribes – the Ngadjuri and Nukunu – have both recognized and celebrated the abundance of South Australian wind and solar power resources. They added huge artworks to the base of two of the 105 massive wind turbines that will form the Hornsdale wind project outside Jamestown, near Port Pirie. [Aboriginal Art Directory News]

Celebrating wind power

Celebrating wind power

¶ The number of applications for large-scale solar power projects to be connected to the Irish grid before 2020 has doubled over the last five months, as market confidence that the government is poised to subsidize the industry continues to grow. The projects range in size between 25 MW and 95 MW and now total almost 1.2 GW in capacity. [ICIS]

¶ One of the Australia’s biggest and most recent wind farms will conduct a major trail in South Australia in June to try to dispel one of the biggest myths about wind energy – that wind farms are unable to add to energy security. The intention is to show that wind farms can provide frequency control and ancillary services. [RenewEconomy]

Hornsdale wind farm

Hornsdale wind farm

¶ Three PV power plants with a combined capacity of 320 MW have begun construction in the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. A joint venture between Overland Sun Farming and the UK’s Island Green Power is behind the A$500 million ($384 million) project, which is going ahead despite the its not having yet signed PPAs. [pv magazine]

US:

¶ Hundreds of scientists, some in lab coats, held a rally in Boston Sunday to draw attention to their concerns about the Trump administration’s policies. Speakers and signs criticized those in the administration who deny that climate change is real, who question the collection and distribution of data on science, and other policies. [Inside Higher Ed]

Scientists Protest

Scientists Protest

¶ The Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition, a bipartisan group of the country’s governors, currently representing twenty states, sent an open letter to President Donald Trump, calling on him to support development of wind and solar energy. The letter was written by the governors of Rhode Island and Kansas, on behalf of the Coalition. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ Conservation advocates are celebrating Presidents Day at rallies in Las Vegas and in Carson City. They’re calling on the Nevada Legislature to pass Assembly Bill 206. The bill would raise the renewable portfolio standard to require utilities to generate 50% of their power from renewables by the year 2030, and 80% by 2040. [Public News Service]

Nevada wind and solar (adamkaz / iStockphoto)

Nevada wind and solar (adamkaz / iStockphoto)

¶ Nebraska’s Net Metering laws are currently very restrictive. As they stand, the laws only allow for the development of 25 kW of solar and place a cap on each respective utility at 1% for the amount of renewables that can be developed. Senator Carol Blood hopes to address this issue with LB 87 and raise the net metering limit. [1011now]

¶ Business is booming for solar companies in Maryland, as sun-sourced energy becomes more affordable and accessible. The state added 1,160 solar jobs in 2016. This is a 27% jump from the previous year, bringing the industry’s employment to more than 5,400, according to an annual solar jobs census by the Solar Foundation. [Baltimore Sun]

Installing solar panels (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Installing solar panels (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

¶ Nevada lawmakers will debate a number of energy-related issues soon, including the state’s renewable portfolio standards and efficiency programs. NV Energy, a major utility in the area, is asking regulators to boost incentives for rooftop solar customers, arguing that it would make solar economically advantageous for customers. [Las Vegas Sun]

¶ Toshiba had been contracted to build the third and fourth reactors for US utility NRG Energy’s South Texas Project, taking the Japanese manufacturer’s advanced boiling water reactors abroad for the first time. Toshiba looks to pull out of the project, and will decide later what to do with its developing stake in the joint venture. [Nikkei Asian Review]

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