Archive for March 10th, 2017

March 10 Energy News

March 10, 2017


¶ “What Is Wrong In Washington?” • Under the Donald Trump administration, the United States is like a train, running at high speed down a track, against a signal, on a collision course on climate change. The person at the throttle, blinded by incompetent arrogance of his advisers, is making every indication of increasing speed. [CleanTechnica]

Train wreck (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Toshiba US nuclear power unit liquidation may flare into diplomatic dustup” • Toshiba is considering bankruptcy protection for Westinghouse in an apparent bid to eliminate risks of losses by canceling unfavorable contracts. But the US government guaranteed $8.3 billion in loans for Westinghouse reactors at Vogtle. [The Mainichi]

Science and Technology:

¶ Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is seeing an unprecedented second straight year of mass coral bleaching, scientists said March 10, warning many species would struggle to fully recover. The 2,300-km (1,400-mile) reef suffered its most severe bleaching on record last year due to warming seas during March and April. [Rappler]

Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef (File photo: Ray
Berkelmans / Australian Institute of Marine Science / AFP)


¶ After a series of blackouts in South Australia, Elon Musk said Tesla can help solve the state’s power crisis within 100 days. Asked on Twitter how serious he was about the offer, Mr Musk responded, “Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?” [BBC News]

¶ Hundreds of radioactive wild boars moved into deserted towns after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Now they scour the empty streets and overgrown backyards of the Namie town for food, an unexpected nuisance for those returning home from evacuation shelter six years after the meltdown. The boars have been known to attack people. [Voice of America]

Wild boar in Namie (Reuters image)

¶ Indian solar power generation costs are set to dip further during third and fourth quarter of 2017-18, helped by expected softening of interest rates and a drop in solar panel prices due to a supply glut in the market, analysts say. Average solar power prices are expected to become significantly lower than thermal power. []

¶ A growing number of studies point to renewables as the most affordable and secure, in addition to environmentally-friendly, options for energy in Australia. One says wind and solar would contribute an estimated 90% of Australia’s total electricity demand, with hydroelectricity and biomass supplementing for the remaining 10%. [Climate Action Programme]

Renewable power in Australia

¶ All of Japan’s nuclear power plants were shut down for safety checks after the Fukushima Disaster. Six years later, only three of 45 operable reactors are online: Kyushu Electric’s Sendai 1 and 2, and Shikoku Electric Power Co’s Ikata 3. Two of Kansai Electric’s reactors were restarted but were idled by a court injunction. [POWER magazine]

¶ The Kincardine Offshore Windfarm, which will feature eight floating turbines, will support the creation of about 110 jobs during assembly, installation and maintenance, and could power over 50,000 homes. Planning consent for the development was granted and announced by Holyrood’s minister for business, innovation and energy. [Energy Voice]

Kincardine Offshore Windfarm from the north-east coast (If you click on the image to enlarge it, you can see the turbines.)


¶ EPA chief Scott Pruitt has said he “would not agree” carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. He told CNBC that measuring human impact on the climate was “very challenging” and there was “tremendous disagreement” about the issue, contradicting his own agency’s findings on greenhouse gas emissions. [BBC News]

¶ The Hawaiian island of Kauai is now home to the largest integrated solar and battery facility in the world. The 52-MWh Tesla Powerpack plus SolarCity solar farm is the first utility scale solar-plus-battery storage system of its kind. It will bring Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s renewable energy generation to more than 40%. []

Commissioning ceremony at a Hawaiian solar farm
(Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island)

¶ Vermont state regulators have proposed new sound limits for wind turbines. Some renewable energy proponents say they would effectively ban most new wind turbines and may preventing the state from reaching its renewable energy goals. The rules say turbines could produce no more than 35 decibels at night, measured outside nearby homes. []

¶ According to new figures published today by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, the US solar market installed a total of 14,762 MW of solar PV in 2016, nearly doubling the 7,501 MW installed in 2015. This set the stage for what analysts expect could be a tripling over the next five years. [CleanTechnica]

Colorado Court Affordable Housing, Santa Monica, California
(Photo: CalderOliver, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association told legislators that Nevada more than doubled its solar capacity over the course of 2016. The Nevada Legislature is considering increasing the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 50% by 2030 and 80% by 2040. [Elko Daily Free Press]

¶ The US will meet its climate agreement goals, UN special envoy for climate change Michael Bloomberg said in Paris. President Trump’s team is reportedly divided over whether the US should withdraw from the Paris climate accord, negotiated under Barack Obama. Bloomberg said he hopes Trump will be a leader on the issue. [Rappler]

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