Archive for March 17th, 2017

March17 Energy News

March 17, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ About 10 years ago, researchers noticed a close correspondence between the fluctuations in CO2 levels and in temperature over the last million years. When Earth is at its coldest, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is also at its lowest. Now, a study of deep-sea corals reveals why atmospheric carbon was reduced during colder time periods, providing new insights into climate change. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ France’s anti-fraud and consumer protection agency, DGCCRF, has released a new report that alleges that Renault has been (may have been?) falsifying vehicle emissions test data for the last 25 years. The report, very notably, claims that all of the company’s top executives, including CEO Carlos Ghosn, have most likely known of this. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Italy reached its 17.5% carbon emission target by the end of 2015, Eurostat said. Italy is one of 11 member states that have already reached their EU carbon emission targets, with Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Finland, and Sweden also achieving the feat. [The Local Italy]

Wind turbines in Sicily, near Palermo
(Photo: Marcello Paternostro / AFP)

¶ New figures from the European Commission show that the share of renewable energy in the European Union’s energy consumption has continued to grow, nearing its target of 20% by 2020, reaching 16.7% in 2015. The figures come from a new data article published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The world’s longest undersea power cable, 450 km long, from Kvilldal, Norway, to Blyth, in Northumberland, will take years to build, but when it is completed, the UK could import 1,400 MW of electricity, enough to power more than 750,000 homes. It will also allow Britain to export surplus wind energy back to Norway. [The Guardian]

Coast near Blyth (Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA)

¶ A court in Japan ruled that negligence by the state contributed to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011 and awarded significant damages to evacuees. The official claims were that the size and destructive power of the earthquake and tsunami were impossible to foresee, but the court said the nuclear meltdown could have been prevented. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ President Donald Trump released a $1.1 trillion budget outline that makes good on a series of campaign promises, including cutting EPA by about one-third. Asked about the cuts to climate change-related programs, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said those programs are “a waste of your money.” [CNN]

Damage after Hurricane Irene
(US Fish and Wildlife photo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Under the president’s 2018 budget blueprint, the program that put recovery money into local hands after Hurricanes Sandy, Katrina, Rita and Wilma would be zeroed-out, raising questions about how readily the cash would be available when the next disaster strikes and what oversight would be in place to ensure it is not misused. [CNN]

¶ EDF Renewable Energy has commissioned a new business unit focused on Distributed Electricity and Storage that will focus on distributed solar and storage projects up to 30 MW. As one of the largest renewable energy companies in North America, the team has vast expertise in wind, solar, bioenergy, and storage projects. [CleanTechnica]

Wind and solar (Credit: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ Thirty cities are responding to the dangerous Trump policies that ignore the potentials of climate change by announcing interest in a $10 billion electric vehicle purchase. Bringing joint bargaining power to the table, they have been in talks with automakers to jointly purchase approximately 114,000 electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Florida Power & Light Company has selected Blattner Energy and Black & Veatch to build eight solar projects with a combined capacity of 596 MW. Blattner Energy will build four 74.5-MW plants scheduled for completion by the end of this year. Four plants of the same size will be completed by Black & Veatch by 1 March 2018. [reNews]

Solar in Florida (Image: Florida Power & Light Company)

¶ The Public Service Company of New Mexico is considering shutting down the remaining coal-burning units at its San Juan Generating Station near Farmington in 2022, a move that was applauded by renewable energy advocates. The utility said early analysis shows a shutdown could provide long-term benefits to customers. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

¶ Avangrid Renewables has won the 1.5-GW Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, offshore wind lease auction with a bid of $9,066,650. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has raised more than $58 million in six competitive lease sales so far, including a record-breaking $42.5 million paid by Statoil for the 1-GW New York lease area. [reNews]

Offshore wind (Credit: Sif)

¶ Pacific Gas & Electric Co expects to lose about 7.3% of its electric load this year, and possibly 21% by 2020, to community choice aggregators, according to Moody’s Investors Service. The same shift may also eventually account for 40% of the total load at San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison. [BloombergQuint]

¶ Xcel Energy Inc will build its largest Upper Midwest wind project ever in eastern South Dakota, the latest phase of a huge new wind power investment in Minnesota and the Dakotas. The Minneapolis-based utility unveiled details of three wind new projects, one each in Minnesota, South Dakota and western North Dakota. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

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