Archive for March 18th, 2017

March 18 Energy News

March 18, 2017


¶ “Trump’s budget sabotages America’s best chance to add millions of high-wage jobs” • President Trump’s budget slashes investment in clean energy ,  the world’s biggest new source of sustainable high-wage jobs. Meanwhile, China’s five-year energy budget invests $360 billion in renewable generation by 2020, creating 13 million jobs. [ThinkProgress]

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Science and Technology:

¶ Wind and solar can provide power at or below the cost of traditional sources in a growing number of countries, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. This makes renewables more appealing for countries seeking to meet growing electricity demand while decarbonizing their energy systems. [Energy Live News]

¶ The biofuel industry has had its ups and downs, so the latest news from NASA should warm a few hearts. The US aerospace agency has just released the results of a new study demonstrating that biofuels used in jet engines shave a good 50 to 75% off particle emissions. The biofuel in question was derived from the camelina plant. [CleanTechnica]

Camelina (Image via USDA)


¶ The fight to tackle climate change in the UK continues apace, but recent good news shows that household energy bills have actually decreased alongside efforts which have successfully reduced the country’s emissions, according to a new study from the Committee on Climate Change, the country’s climate advisory body. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Scottish government approved Hexicon’s plan for the two-turbine, 12-MW Dounreay Tri floating wind farm demonstrator off the Caithness coast, about 6 km from Dounreay. It is the third floating wind farm approved in the country, following the Kincardine and Hywind Scotland projects. Its construction will create about 100 jobs. [reNews]

Floating wind farm for Dounreay (Hexicon image)

¶ Global carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector held stable for the third straight year in 2016 despite continuing growth of the global economy, the International Energy Agency said. The factors include growing renewable power generation, switches from coal to natural gas, and improvements in energy efficiency. [Prothom Alo]

¶ A coal-mine that powered German industry for almost half a century will get a new lease on life when it’s turned into a giant battery that stores excess solar and wind energy. North-Rhine Westphalia is set to turn its Prosper-Haniel hard coal mine into a 200 MW pumped-storage reservoir, enough to power more than 400,000 homes. [Bloomberg]

View from a slag heap near the Prosper-Haniel mine
(Photo: Arnoldius, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Solar Philippines has kicked off the construction of its 150-MW solar farm with battery storage, its largest solar power project to-date. The whole solar farm will start operating as a merchant plant in the third quarter of the year, providing the energy requirements for the province of Tarlac, in six months time, a top official said. [Philippine Star]

¶ Italian energy giant Enel plans to add 6.7 GW of renewable capacity over the next three years, adding to the 36 GW the company has worldwide. Enel said it plans to pursue a business model that will “allow the group to capitalize on its renewable pipeline more quickly, decrease the overall risk profile and crystallise value creation earlier.” [reNews]

Coulonges wind farm (Credit: Enel)


¶ President Donald Trump promised in his election campaign to put American coal miners back to work. Now, he has proposed eliminating funding for economic development programs supporting laid-off coal miners and others in Appalachia, stirring fears in a region that supported him of another letdown, just as the coal industry collapses. [Reuters]

¶ Elected officials and tribal leaders helped power up a solar array that was the first utility-scale power production plant approved by the Interior Department on Indian land. The 250 MW generated at the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, north of Las Vegas, will go to Los Angeles. It could power 111,000 homes. [Marshalltown Times Republican]

Solar power in Nevada (AP Photo / John Locher, file)

¶ Ikea continues to grow its US renewable energy portfolio, with a goal of being energy independent by 2020. The retailer has completed installation of its fifth biogas-powered fuel cell system in California, at its East Palo Alto location in the San Francisco Bay area. Ikea is on track to generate 1.5 MW in total of energy via fuel cells. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ Republican Senator James Inhofe is alarmed at what he accurately called the “unprecedented” wildfires which have burned more than 2 million acres in the grasslands of Oklahoma, Kansas, and the Texas panhandle. He and other climate change deniers remain eerily silent on the context: drought worsened by climate change. [Mother Jones]

Firefighters near Protection, Kansas
(Bo Rader / The Wichita Eagle via AP)

¶ SDG&E is partnering with Sumitomo Electric, based in Japan, to develop a 2-MW energy storage pilot project in California. The four-year scheme will see SDG&E research integrating Sumitomo’s vanadium redox flow battery system with renewable resources, testing voltage frequency, power outage support and shifting energy demand. [reNews]

¶ Nearly 70% of the electricity Pacific Gas and Electric Co (PG&E) delivered to customers in 2016 came from greenhouse-gas-free resources, the company announced. PG&E says it delivered an average of 32.8% of its electricity from renewable resources. Most of the rest came from the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. [North American Windpower]

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