Archive for March 20th, 2017

March 20 Energy News

March 20, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (as measured by NOAA at the Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory) rose at a rate of three parts per million for the second straight year in 2016, according to NOAA data. That brought atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (the average for 2016) up to 405.1 parts per million. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.


¶ A joint venture of Qatar Electricity and Water Company and Qatar Petroleum is to build the largest solar power project in the country. According to media reports, construction of a 200-MW solar power project will begin next June, and it is expected to be fully operational by 2020. The project can be expanded to a capacity of 500 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Vietnam Energy Association issued a report showing a huge potential from biomass and waste in Vietnam, according to This could amount to up to 1 billion kWh in 2020 and 6 billion kWh in 2050 from waste, with a total amount from biomass and waste of up to 9 billion kWh in 2020 and 80 kWh in 2050. [Renewable Energy Magazine]


¶ The second phase of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park has been opened. It has a capacity of 200 MW, enough to supply annual power needs for 50,000 homes. The solar park is one of the major projects of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and is the world’s largest single-site solar park. []

¶ Beijing has closed the Huaneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant, its last big coal-fired power station, which had dominated the skyline of the city’s outskirts for 18 years. Beijing is the first coal-free city for electricity and heating in China. Environmental groups hope China will maintain momentum on its clean energy targets. []

Coal plant near Beijing (Photo: Jason Lee)

¶ A report commissioned by the German government says that stopping global warming won’t just keep the planet habitable. It would also boost the global economy by $19 trillion, as the investment in renewable power and energy efficiency to keeping warming below 2° C (3.6° F) will increase the global economy around 0.8% by 2050. [Bloomberg]

¶ Carnegie Clean Energy has plans to build large-scale solar and battery storage plants around Australia. The company is starting with a 10-MW solar farm in Northam, Western Australia. The project is a joint venture between Carnegie’s subsidiary, Energy Made Clean, and the Australian property group Lendlease. [RenewEconomy]

Australian solar array

¶ Japan’s atomic power establishment is in shock following the court ruling that found the state and the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant liable for failing to take preventive measures against the tsunami that crippled the facility. The ruling has implications for a Japanese nuclear power industry trying to restart reactors. [Asia Times]


¶ With the Trump administration rolling back federal programs on climate change, leaders of labor six unions sent a letter to the governor of New York asking him to incorporate principles of the Climate and Community Protection Act in the 2017-2018 state budget. They want the state to have 100% renewable electric sources by 2050. [Public News Service]

Renewable power (Kenueone/

¶ The signs are that renewable energy has all green lights ahead, despite the current White House’s emphasis on the expansion of traditional fossil fuels. Governors from 20 states and much of corporate America are going all-in to support sustainable fuels. Their reasoning is grounded in economics. And rural America is benefiting. [Forbes]

¶ The River Bend solar farm, the largest in Alabama history, is now online and contributing about 75 MW of clean renewable energy to the electrical grid maintained by the Tennessee Valley Authority. There are about 300,000 solar panels in the 640 acre site. The TVA service area includes 9 million customers in seven southern states. [CleanTechnica]

River Bend solar farm (TVA photo)

¶ California’s power-grid operators are dealing with a glut of daytime electricity produced by household, government, business, and industrial solar installations. This makes electricity prices on state’s real-time marketplace plummet, so some power plants shut down until demand catches up with supply later in the day. [Daily Democrat]

¶ The latest shining example of South Sioux City’s increasing effort to reduce its carbon footprint is a 21-acre solar park south of the city with more than 1,200 solar panels. The yet-to-be-named solar park has a capacity of 2.3 MW, enough to meet 5% of the northeast Nebraska town’s total electrical needs. Operation began in January. [Sioux City Journal]

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