February 25 Energy News

February 25, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Trump’s draconian budget proposals will destroy US clean energy innovation” • Voters who expected Trump to prioritize revitalized manufacturing may be disappointed, as his opening budget proposals will stymie progress toward the critical jobs of the 21st century: developing, manufacturing, and installing renewable energy. [Quartz]

Hey Trump: Europe is beating you on clean  energy – bigly. (Reuters / Denis Balibouse)

Hey Trump: Europe is beating you on clean
energy – bigly. (Reuters / Denis Balibouse)

¶ “Here’s Why the US Nuclear Industry Is in Jeopardy” • The Spiraling construction costs at new facilities and planned closures of decades-old plants highlight why the nuclear industry in the United States remains in trouble, even as the quest for zero-carbon energy sources grows. Nuclear plants are facing financial meltdowns. [Seeker]

¶ “The Economist embraces renewables” • In this week’s cover story, The Economist thoughtfully argues for expanded use of renewable energy, noting, “It is no longer far-fetched to think that the world is entering an era of clean, unlimited and cheap power. About time, too.” But some issues require clarification. [Into the Wind – The AWEA Blog]

Rolling Hills (Credit: IA Ashley)

Rolling Hills wind turbines (Credit: IA Ashley)

Science and Technology:

¶ As the US basks in some of the warmest February weather it’s seen in decades, the US Geological Survey has been quick to point out that the early spring conditions are just another symptom of climate change. Analysis from the USA-National Phenology Network shows that an early spring is working its way across the country. [Chicago Tribune]

¶ Scientists at Duke University have used rhodium for a solar powered system that converts carbon dioxide into methane, which can be used as a replacement for natural gas. The idea could enable capturing waste gas from industrial operations and converting it to fuel. Rhodium is a rare element used in the jewelry trade. [CleanTechnica]

 Rhodium nanoparticles (Photo: Chad Scales)

Rhodium nanoparticles (Photo: Chad Scales)

World:

¶ The UN’s new climate chief says she’s worried about President Trump but confident that action to curb climate change cannot be stopped. Former Mexican diplomat Patricia Espinosa said China’s stated willingness to lead the world in curbing emissions might cause American diplomats to ponder the implications of giving up its leadership role. [BBC]

¶ According to WindEurope, Denmark generated a total of 70 GWh from onshore wind and another 27 GWh from offshore wind on February 22. This is enough wind energy to power the entire country’s electricity needs. By the end of 2015, Denmark had a total of just over 5 GW of wind energy installed, a number that increased during 2016. [CleanTechnica]

Horns Rev wind farm of Danish coast

Horns Rev wind farm of Danish coast

¶ ElecLink Limited has awarded Siemens an order to supply a link between the French and British power grids through the Channel Tunnel. The high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) link will enhance power supply reliability in both countries and promote the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid. [Environmental Expert]

US:

¶ GE Renewable Energy is to supply wind and solar components for the first US commercial integrated solar-wind hybrid project, a 4.6-MW community project set for Red Lake Falls, Minnesota. GE Renewable Energy has been contracted to supply two 2.3-116 onshore wind turbines and 1 MW of solar power conversion equipment. [CleanTechnica]

GE Renewable Energy 2-MW wind turbine

GE Renewable Energy 2-MW wind turbine

¶ A bill introduced to the Georgia House of Representatives promises to touch off a tug of war over renewable energy. If it is made law, the Public Service Commission could no longer recommend changes to the plan for the energy mix. One commissioner warned that it would shut down an ability to push for solar power. [Atlanta Business Chronicle]

¶ California utility San Diego Gas & Electric put into service the largest lithium-ion storage battery in the world, wrapping up a fast-track procurement process that began less than a year ago. The 30-MW, 120-MWh system is part of an expedited response by the state to the loss of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility last year. [POWER magazine]

San Diego Gas & Electric’s new 30-MW, 120-MWh  battery storage system (Source: POWER / Tom Overton)

San Diego Gas & Electric’s new 30-MW, 120-MWh
battery storage system (Source: POWER / Tom Overton)

¶ New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is again pushing for ExxonMobil to disclose how climate change will impact its corporate bottom line. He voice a concern that Exxon has not ensured its resilience in a lower carbon future. The state pension fund has investment in ExxonMobil valued at $973.6 million. [Albany Times Union]

¶ The union that once represented hundreds of employees at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant now represents a mere 13 workers. Even so, Local 300 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers wants to have a say in upcoming hearings about the proposed sale of Vermont Yankee to an industrial demolition company. [Recorder]

Vermont Yankee (Recorder File Photo)

Vermont Yankee (Recorder File Photo)

¶ The Florida Supreme Court on Friday turned down an appeal by Florida Power & Light in a case about whether the utility could be required to install underground transmission lines as part of a nuclear-power project in Miami-Dade County. The dispute relates to FPL’s proposal to build two new nuclear reactors at Turkey Point. [News Chief]

¶ Nuclear energy startup Transatomic Power has backed away from bold claims for its advanced reactor technology after an informal review by MIT professors highlighted serious errors in the company’s calculations, MIT Technology Review has learned. The company has admitted the error and is working to correct it. [MIT Technology Review]

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