Archive for March 8th, 2017

March 8 Energy News

March 8, 2017


¶ “This Is Why Winter Is Important” • In normally cold regions, the record-setting heat  –  and the opportunity to wear shorts and drink iced tea in February – might seem like a blessing. But for the ecosystems we depend upon, the shortened winter threatens turmoil. Climate change is causing what is called “season creep.” [CleanTechnica]

Plants are regrowing leaves weeks ahead of schedule.
(Source: National Phenology Network)

¶ “Reasons for Japan to dump nuclear power more obvious now than ever” • It has been nearly six years since three reactors melted down at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The disaster has stolen so much from so many, and it is clear that real recovery will be a decades-long struggle with reconstruction and decommissioning. [The Mainichi]

¶ “Why US corporations are buying into home-grown wind power” • North Carolina first commercial-scale wind farm is just one example of a broader shift to wind power and clean energy across corporate America in recent years – including a host of leading companies that you’ve probably heard of before. [Windpower Engineering]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Trump’s Sisyphean Coal Revival Requires A Battle With The Free Market” • The US coal sector was in free fall when Donald Trump was elected president. Now he’s vowing to turn it around. Unfortunately for coal, government regulations have very little to do with coal’s problems. King Coal us up against natural gas and wind power. [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶ Permafrost, or frozen soil, is rapidly collapsing across a 52,000 square mile area in northwest Canada – about the size of the entire state of Alabama. New research from the Northwest Territories Geological Survey finds the permafrost thaw is intensifying, a dramatic disintegration that could speed up climate change. [Inhabitat]

Permafrost collapse

¶ Australia has seen one weather record broken after another over this summer. Now scientists have confirmed what anyone who lived through the heat knows to be true – climate change is driving hotter and longer summers. They are becoming “the new normal”, with worse to come unless tough decisions are made. [The Sydney Morning Herald]


Hornsdale wind farm

¶ French renewable energy firm Neon completed financing of the 109-MW Hornsdale 3 wind farm, now being built in South Australia. It signed an agreement last year with the Australian Capital Territory to provide electricity at $73/MWh for 20 years. The company has plans to install 1,000 MW of wind and solar facilities across Australia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Australian solar power is headed for a “huge year” in 2017, on the back of a boom in the large-scale market and a home solar and storage market, a report said. In fact, the market is expected to treble. The Climate Council’s State of Solar 2016 said solar is now the cheapest form of new large-scale power generation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ According to Carbon Brief, a UK-based site dedicated to covering climate science, climate policy, and energy policy, UK CO2 emissions fell by 5.8% in 2016, putting the country’s overall emissions around 36% below 1990 levels. The drop was partly due to a massive fall in coal use, which was down 52% in 2016 alone. [CleanTechnica]

Whitwell Colliery (Photo: Phil Sangwell, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The Australian government needs to put a price on carbon to unlock new investment in the electricity sector and drive an orderly transition to low-emissions power sources, according to the Investor Group on Climate Change. The group represents major institutional investors in Australia and New Zealand. [The Guardian]

¶ Pattern Energy Group has closed C$263 million in project financing for the 147-MW Mont Sainte-Marguerite wind farm in Quebec. The Mont Sainte-Marguerite wind farm, which is about 50 km south of Québec City in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, will consist of 46 Siemens 3.2-MW direct drive wind turbines. [reNews]

Meikle wind farm (Credit: Pattern Energy)


¶ A Bloomberg report says that, Consol Energy, a Pennsylvania-based energy producer that has billed itself as “one of the largest independent natural gas exploration, development, and production companies,” has hired advisers from Credit Suisse Group AG and Bank of America Corp in an effort to move ahead on divesting its coal business. [CleanTechnica]

Blue Creek Wind Farm in Van Wert, Ohio (Plain Dealer file)

¶ The Republican majority in the Ohio House is moving again to get rid of the state’s renewable energy rules. In a bill sponsored by a Cincinnati Republican, the House would make voluntary the mandates that now require power companies to generate or buy and sell a percentage of power from wind, solar and other renewable technologies. []

¶ State tax credits enacted in 2003 for renewable energy production have helped to create an industry in New Mexico, generating more than 11,000 jobs and $1.6 billion in economic activity, according to a new study. It says, “Taxpayers are getting a huge return on their investments …” The tax credits are set to expire in 2018. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

¶ The Arkansas congressional delegation introduced legislation that could effectively block construction of a new power line stretching from Oklahoma to Tennessee, potentially halting the $2 billion project. If approved, federal officials would need permission from state officials and Indian tribes to use eminent domain for transmission lines. [Arkansas Online]

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