Archive for March 2nd, 2017

March 2 Energy News

March 2, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Will Autocracies Fall As The Oil Age Ends?” • The connection between reliance on a fossil fuel economy and corruption is well documented as the Resource Curse. Many of the petro-states have autocratic rule, with only Norway being democratic. With the failing profitability of fossil fuels, petro-chemical autocracies may also fail. [CleanTechnica]

Keep it in the ground. (Credit: Brylie, Wikimedia Commons)

Keep it in the ground. (Credit: Brylie, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Why coal companies want to be seen as clean-energy players even amid new support for fossil fuels” • The coal feels the need for more than a friendly administration in Washington to survive. Electric utilities continue to switch to lower-cost natural gas and renewable sources, so coal is looking for a new public image. [Christian Science Monitor]

Science and Technology:

¶ There’s no mistaking it now. Even though we don’t have the final numbers, it is abundantly clear that the sea ice ringing the Antarctic continent has fallen precipitously, reaching a record low just a few short years after it reached a record high. In 38 years of records, the sea ice lows seen this year are without precedent. [Washington Post]

Adelie penguins (Pauline Askin / Reuters)

Adelie penguins standing on ice (Pauline Askin / Reuters)

World:

¶ The Canadian Commercial Corporation and the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan have signed a memorandum of understanding to set up 1,000 MW of solar capacity. The capacity is expected to be installed over a period of three years, but size and location within the province has not yet been disclosed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Beijing has nearly 70,000 taxis. It also has an intractable problem with smog. While it has embarked on an aggressive program to encourage private citizens to buy low emissions cars, that push has not made much of an impact on its taxi fleet. Now it has announced a plan to replace all 67,000 fossil fueled taxis in the city with electric cars. [CleanTechnica]

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square

¶ Energy companies are bailing on Canadian tar sands oil. The latest to pull back is Royal Dutch Shell, which just let word slip that it will probably not expand its operations in Canada. ExxonMobil and Chevron recently went a step farther and wrote down their tar sands reserves, as did Norway’s Statoil last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Nova Innovation has been awarded a €4.4 million grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 R&D program to develop a direct drive power take-off subsystem for tidal turbines. It will build the subsystem and conduct accelerated onshore testing in Germany followed by in-sea testing in Scotland with third party validation. [reNews]

M100 tidal turbine (Nova Innovation image)

M100 tidal turbine (Nova Innovation image)

¶ Banks Renewables secured £210 million in finance to support construction of three UK wind farms totaling 151 MW. The projects are the 88-MW Kype Muir and 51-MW Middle Muir projects in South Lanarkshire and the 12-MW Moor House wind farm near Darlington in northeast England. All three will feature Senvion hardware. [reNews]

¶ The Mugga Lane solar farm, the third solar farm funded by the Australian Capital Territory, opened this week, bringing the ACT to 35% renewable energy. Wind accounts for the vast bulk of the ACT’s planned renewable energy, with 600 MW being built. The three solar farms between them have just 40 MW of capacity. [The Canberra Times]

Dancers at the opening of the Mugga Lane solar farm (Photo: Jay Cronan)

Solemnities opening Mugga Lane solar farm (Photo: Jay Cronan)

¶ Japan is set to add 300 MW of wind capacity – enough to power more than 100,000 average homes – in the 12 months through March, Japan’s Wind Power Association said in a study. Some 157 MW of wind power were installed in the previous year. The association has hopes of seeing 10 GW of wind capacity installed in the early 2020s. [Japan Today]

¶ A major renewable energy project near Kingaroy, Queensland, is a step closer after the co-ordinator-general approved its environmental impact statement. The State Development Minister said AGL proposed to construct and operate up to 115 wind turbines with agreements secured with all affected landowners. [Courier Mail]

Environmental Impact Statement approved (File picture)

Environmental Impact Statement approved (File picture)

¶ In March, housing subsidies run out for those who fled the Fukushima nuclear disaster from areas other than the government-designated evacuation zones. Many of these so-called voluntary evacuees are mothers concerned to avoid any risk to their children’s health, with the fathers remaining back in Fukushima Prefecture. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ Westar Energy’s new Western Plains Wind Farm in Spearville, Kansas, is in full operation. Westar, the state’s largest electric utility, can now boast it can now provide over half the annual electricity needs of its customers without carbon emissions. The 280-MW wind farm’s Siemens Wind turbines were made in Hutchinson. [Hutchinson News]

Spearville Wind Energy Facility in Kansas (Photo: Jennifer L. Sovanski, Wikimedia Commons)

Spearville Wind Energy Facility in Kansas
(Photo: Jennifer L. Sovanski, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Lancaster, California, has been requiring builders to install solar panels on all new homes since 2014. Its policies have served as a model for other California communities. Now, the city seeks to raise the bar by requiring each new home to have a rooftop solar system large enough to meet all of its energy needs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Florida Power & Light Company announced the names and locations of its 2017 and 2018 universal solar projects, consisting of eight new 74.5-MW solar power plants to be built over the next 12 months. The plants are cost-effective, and should save millions of dollars for customers over their operational lifetimes. [Your Renewable News]

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