February 28 Energy News

February 28, 2017


¶ “Energy security from “clean coal”, CCS & CSG. What could possibly go wrong?” • Every few years the fossil fuel industry, via supporting politicians, have another go at forcing “clean coal”, carbon capture and storage, and more recently coal seam gas, on an increasingly sceptical community. What could go wrong? Pretty much everything. [RenewEconomy]

Coal Plant (AAP Image / Mick Tsikas)

Coal Plant (AAP Image / Mick Tsikas)

Science and Technology:

¶ Science educator Bill Nye and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders held a Facebook Live conversation on Monday morning about climate change. In the two hours after it aired, the interview has already been viewed about 2 million times, drawn about 100,000 “Reactions” and 52,000 “shares.” You can watch the video here. [EcoWatch]

¶ Oil giant Shell’s farsighted 1991 film, titled Climate of Concern, set out with crystal clarity how the world was warming and that serious consequences could well result. It said climate change was happening “at a rate faster than at any time since the end of the ice age – change too fast perhaps for life to adapt, without severe dislocation.” [The Guardian]

Severe dislocation in Bangladesh  (Photo: Mufti Munir / AFP/Getty Images)

Severe dislocation in a flood in Bangladesh
(Photo: Mufti Munir / AFP/Getty Images)


¶ Competitive power contract auctions around the world are helping to drive down the cost of wind power, according to a new report from Navigant Research. The report, “Global Wind Energy Policy and Market Risk Assessment,” examines the strengths and weaknesses of the policies promoting development of wind energy in 28 countries. [reNews]

¶ Russia has used oil dependence as a weapon to subvert democracies that border it. Estonia, however, has countered this. The country had been importing all of its natural gas for heating and hot water from Russia, but that ended last year. It has shifted its fossil fuel buying to Norway’s Statoil, and is developing offshore wind power. [CleanTechnica]

Baltic Sea off Estonia (Credit: Wikimedia)

Baltic Sea off Estonia (Credit: Wikimedia)

¶ A joint venture by JFE Engineering; Mitsui Oil Exploration; the government-backed Japan Oil, Gas, and Metals National Corp; and Japan Metals & Chemicals will break ground on a roughly 7-MW geothermal plant in Iwate Prefecture in March. The facility is expected to begin operation in 2018, at a cost ¥8.5 billion ($75.8 million). [ThinkGeoEnergy]

¶ Pattern Energy has completed the 184.6-MW Meikle wind farm in British Columbia. The project has 61 GE turbines in a mix of 3.2-MW and 2.75-MW machines. It has a 25-year power purchase agreement with BC Hydro. It is expected to generate $70 million in payments for property taxes and other benefits over its first 25 operating years. [reNews]

Meikle wind farm (Pattern Energy image)

Meikle wind farm (Pattern Energy image)

¶ Airex Energy has opened a biomass torrefaction plant in Bécancour, Quebec. It showcases the latest biomass torrefaction technology, CarbonFX™. The torrefaction process transforms biomass residues into biocoal pellets, a clean and renewable fuel that can replace coal and oil, without major changes to existing systems. [Your Renewable News]


¶ Minnesota’s renewable energy standard would increase to 50% by 2030 under a bipartisan plan unveiled Monday by Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith. The state’s current renewable energy standard, or RES, stands at 25% by 2025 for all utilities, with a more aggressive target for the state’s largest investor owned utility, Xcel Energy. [Midwest Energy News]

Minnesota wind turbines (photo: Michael Janke)

Minnesota wind turbines (photo: Michael Janke)

¶ Tesla will end up hiring around 54% more workers for the Gigafactory project than was initially supposed, according to the executive director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Initial estimates were that 6,500 jobs would be created by the Gigafactory project. Now, the forecast is for more than 10,000. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Tampa Tank Inc-Florida Structural Steel, a large industrial manufacturing facility in the Tampa bay area, flipped the switch last Friday on its new, 507-kilowatt solar system. As the largest industrial PV system of its kind in Hillsborough County, it will enable TTI-FSS to meet 60% of its on-site power needs with solar energy. [83degreesmedia]

Tampa solar facility

Tampa solar facility

¶ Legislation to require all California electricity providers to supply power generated 100% from renewable resources such as wind and solar by 2045 has been introduced by Senate President Kevin de Leon as Senate Bill 584. Current standards require 33% renewable power by 2020 and 50% by 2030. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ Pacific Gas & Electric announced modifications planned for the Diablo Canyon joint proposal, based on impute from energy industry stakeholders or parties, who participated in the California Public Utilities Commission review of the joint proposal. PG&E still plans to replace the plant with resources that are free of greenhouse gasses. [KEYT]

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant (file photo)

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant (file photo)

¶ Renewable energy company Soltage LLC and independent power producer Tenaska have completed a 3.68 MW ground-mounted solar project in Billerica, Massachusetts. The project is on a brownfield site and will generate 4,445 MWh annually for four school systems and one local government through virtual net-metering. [Solar Industry]

¶ Duke Energy Indiana has begun commercial service at its first large-scale solar power plant at Naval Support Activity Crane. The $41-million facility consists of about 76,000 solar panels and can generate up to 17 MW of power. The plant sits on about 145 acres of land leads to Duke Energy by the Department of the Navy. [Inside INdiana Business]

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