Archive for March 16th, 2017

March 16 Energy News

March 16, 2017


¶ “Clean Energy Is Seeing Monumental Job Growth” • Multiple news outlets reported that the budget President Donald Trump plans to submit to Congress will gut or even eliminate two principal DOE research efforts fueling a renewable energy revolution in the United States. That would be an enormous mistake. [US News & World Report]

Wind energy – an economic driver (Getty Images)

¶ “Now there are air-pollution deniers, too” • There are very few people who believe air pollution – specifically “fine particulate” pollution, or PM2.5 – doesn’t cause death. But those who do are getting louder and gaining influence in conservative political circles and inside President Donald Trump’s administration. [Grist]

¶ “Turnbull drives stake through heart of fossil fuel industry” Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced his desire to spend $2 billion on a 2-GW pumped hydro scheme in the Snowy Mountains, in a move that will potentially drive a stake through the heart of the fossil fuel generation industry in Australia.[RenewEconomy]

Generating station in the Snowy River Scheme
(Cmh at English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ Britain’s low carbon energy revolution is actually saving money for households, according to a report from the Committee on Climate Change, with households saving £11 a month. The analysis shows that subsidies to wind and solar are adding £9 a month to the average bill, but that rules promoting energy efficiency save £20 a month. [BBC]

¶ An 18th century watermill in North Yorkshire has generated 1,000,000 kilowatt-hours of green power through a combination of traditional and new technology. Howsham Mill, which is run by the charitable Renewable Heritage Trust, has been generating hydroelectric energy, and exporting it to the National Grid, since the mid-2000s. [Gazette & Herald]

Howsham Mill (Picture: David Harrison)

¶ The South Australian Government has opened a two-week Expression of Interest period to attract companies interested in building Australia’s largest grid-scale battery. The project will seek to have bidders provide a battery that must have a capacity of approximately 100 MW and be operational in time for next summer. [iTWire]

¶ The Australian Federal Government could fund a $2 billion expansion of the Snowy Mountains hydro scheme alone, if the New South Wales and Victorian state governments did not want to invest. The Turnbull Government is planning to increase the 4,000 MW output by 50%, by building a 27 km tunnel and power stations. [ABC Online]

Snowy River (David Claughton, ABC Rural)

¶ Northern Ireland Electricity, which owns the country’s power transmission network, said 299 MW of renewable energy capacity was connected to the national grid in 2016, bringing the total to over 1 GW. Having reached that goal, renewables now generate over 25% of the electric power consumed in Northern Ireland. [Climate Action Programme]

¶ A multi-million pound EU funded project is set to provide the UK’s Isles of Scilly with a new smart energy system, using software to manage supply and demand through renewables, energy storage,and electric vehicles. Hitachi Europe will use the Smart Energy Islands project as a test-bed for developing smart grid technology. [Energy Storage News]

Isles of Scilly

¶ Energy company AGL just made a giant leap forward in the future of how energy is gathered and shared. It built the world’s largest residential virtual power plant in Adelaide, and now it has switched it on. The scheme connects multiple homes, generating power and storing it in onsite batteries, then sharing it on a network. [Business Insider Australia]


¶ US President Donald Trump may have called climate change a hoax, but the GOP is not necessarily united on this issue. Though climate science programs have been a top administration target, 17 Republicans in the US House of Representatives expressed their commitment to “conservative environmental stewardship.” [Triple Pundit]

A solar installation at a Navy base in Hawaii

¶ According to a report from Bloomberg, reporting on sources familiar with the administration’s plan, President Donald Trump is intending to drastically reduce the role climate change plays in decision making across a range of government branches, and is designed to roll back the Obama-era fight on climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The battery technology and manufacturing firm Aquion Energy, well known for its Aqueous Hybrid Ion energy storage and battery systems, has filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court of the District of Delaware, according to recent reports. [CleanTechnica]

Aquion battery

¶ Environmental advocates and members of a nearby Indian tribe are hailing the closure of a coal-fired NV Energy power plant, the Reid Gardner Generating Station. The plant was near Moapa, Nevada, 40 miles north of Las Vegas. Its closure leaves just one coal-fired generating station in Nevada, which is due to shut down by 2025. [Argus Press]

¶ The Trump administration’s budget proposal would cut spending at the DOE overall by $1.7 billion, or 5.6% from current levels, to $28 billion. But the money is redistributed. The National Nuclear Security Administration budget would grow 11.3% while the rest of the Energy Department’s programs would be cut by 17.9%. [Washington Post]

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