March 4 Energy News

March 4, 2017


¶ “California’s Wild Climate Will Only Get More Volatile As Temperatures Rise” • The record rains soaking California this winter seemed an impossible reprieve: The state’s driest years on record was followed by a possible record amount of rain and snow. But that precipitation may just be the beginning of new water woes. [Huffington Post]

Lake Oroville went from drought in 2014, to overflow  in 2016. (California Department of Water Resources)

Lake Oroville went from drought in 2014, to overflow
in 2016. (California Department of Water Resources)

Science and Technology:

¶ The University of Leicester’s College of Medicine has done research indicating that common forms of air pollution directly increase the potential for bacterial respiratory infection and alter the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment. Outdoor air pollution causes loss of 7 million lives each year and costs $500 billion per year in the US alone. [CleanTechnica]


¶ Businesses in the Scottish renewable energy sector expect a sixth of their workforce to be lost within a year, an industry survey showed. The Director of Policy at Scottish Renewables said, “Onshore wind and solar are the two cheapest forms of electricity, but ministers are refusing to allow them to access long term contracts for power …” [Your Project News]

PNE Wind offshore project (PNE Wind image)

PNE Wind offshore project (PNE Wind image)

¶ Australia is set to become the first country in the world to offer its citizens a chance to participate in a program providing a network of “virtual” power stations. The Distributed Energy Exchange will create an open marketplace for trading the value of energy generated by solar panels and stored in battery pack. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ Australia is following the crowdsourcing trend, pioneering the movement into a new industry: solar energy. Beginning this week, approximately 10,000 Australian homeowners can engage in a program testing an open market designed to monetize rooftop renewable energy and storage – the first program of its type in the world. [Breaking Energy]

Concentrating solar system (Photo: Dennis Schroeder)

Concentrating solar system (Photo: Dennis Schroeder)

¶ A tanker docking in the UK is transporting a controversial cargo of gas from the Peruvian Amazon. It is thought to be the first shipment to the UK from the Camisea project in rainforest 60 miles from Machu Picchu. The gas project at Camisea field has been hugely contentious for reasons including effects on previously uncontacted tribes. [BBC News]

¶ Jack-up vessel MPI Enterprise has departed the Dutch port of Eemshaven to start turbine installation at the 332-MW Nordsee 1 wind farm in the German North Sea. The project, which is being developed by Innogy and Northland Power, will feature 54 Senvion 6.2M126 machines. Rotor stars are pre-assembled at a facility on land. [reNews]

MPI Enterprise (MPI image)

MPI Enterprise (MPI image)


¶ New York State Governor Andrew M Cuomo has announced that three New York ski resorts have pledged to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2030. The three state-owned ski areas are joining the I AM PRO SNOW 100% Committed campaign of The Climate Reality Project founded by former Vice President and climate activist Al Gore. [First Tracks]

¶ The EIA’s Electric Power Monthly shows that the portion of electricity that the nation gets from solar grew nearly 40% in 2016, from around 1% of total generation to 1.4%. Wind is likewise growing, with the share of electricity from wind rising from 4.7% in 2015 to 5.5%. Renewable energy provided 15.3% of US electricity. [pv magazine]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ Lexington, Massachusetts could be in line to get all its power from renewable sources in the coming years. The Board of Selectmen approved a plan to pursue a contract with energy producers allowing all of Lexington’s energy to be sourced from renewable sources under Community Choice Aggregation. [Wicked Local Lexington]

¶ As one of her first official acts as Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao has pulled the rug out from under a proposal to fund electrification of the rail line between San Jose and San Francisco. The decision also puts the kibosh on California’s plan to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco. [CleanTechnica]

High speed rail (Photo: ZF Chen / Shutterstock)

High speed rail (Photo: ZF Chen / Shutterstock)

¶ As his first move as administrator of the EPA, Scott Pruitt has ended an Obama-era request for oil and gas companies to provide the agency with information on greenhouse gas emissions. Pruitt said that he would assess the need for gathering such information, but the Information Collection Request would be withdrawn immediately. [Oil & Gas 360]

¶ Georgia Power is suspending its study of a site near Columbus for a new nuclear power plant. In a letter to the Georgia Public Service Commission, the utility told officials that the proposed nuclear plant in Stewart County would not be needed as soon as previously expected. There is also uncertainty about other Georgia nuclear projects. [WABE 90.1 FM]

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