Archive for March 30th, 2017

March 30 Energy News

March 30, 2017

Opinion:

A Path To Prosperity That We Can All Embrace • Now, as President Trump charges through his first 100 days, there is a risky theme being pushed that a prosperous America comes with a choice between environmental protection and economic growth. This concept is not only false, but dangerous and short-sighted. [Forbes]

Shadow of a Montana wind turbine (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg)

Undoing the Clean Power Plan Will Be a Legal Nightmare • When it comes to the Clean Power Plan, Trump’s words are “legally not all that relevant,” according to a senior attorney at the National Resources Defense Council. That’s because the EPA is legally required to regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants under the Clean Air Act. [New Republic]

Trump’s Pro-Coal Orders Are Doomed to Fail • Between the cuts to the EPA budget, the executive order, and the Administration’s sweeping deregulatory agenda, it appears that the White House is trying to revive fossil fuels. But while the Administration could do a lot of damage to our health and businesses, its policies are doomed to fail. [Time]

Strip mining on Native American burial grounds by
Peabody Coal in 1972 (EPA photo, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ Climate change is stirring life in the Arctic Ocean as thinning sea ice lets in more sunlight, allowing microscopic algae to bloom there, scientists said. The micro-algae may now be able to grow under the ice across almost 30% of the Arctic Ocean at the peak of the brief summer in July, up from about 5% thirty years ago. [The News International]

¶ The rapid growth of solar arrays and wind farms is a win for the environment, but storing energy from them efficiently for the grid remains a challenge. EU scientists are turning to a cheap and plentiful natural resource for the answer: air, using surplus electricity to compress air, which is then stored in a cavern or abandoned mine. [New Atlas]

Old mine (Credit: svedoliver / Depositphotos)

World:

¶ While China has become a world leader in the fight against global warming, its severe winter air pollution has worsened. This is likely as a result of changing atmospheric circulation, resulting from decreasing Arctic ice and increasing snowfall caused by climate change, according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Vestas has secured three contracts to supply turbines to wind farms in China. One deal is to deliver 22 V110 2-MW machines power optimised to 2.2 MW for an unnamed customer for a 48-MW project in Shandon province. The turbines will have hub heights of 137 meters and the order also includes a two-year service contract. [reNews]

Vestas V110 wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ Vattenfall plans to invest around $1.94 billion in wind power during 2017 to 2018. The Swedish state-owned utility said wind power will account for 60% of an investment program displaying a strategic shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Most of the rest of the funds will go on solar power and distribution. [Power Engineering International]

¶ In 2008, the Scottish island of Eigg became the world’s first community to launch an off-grid electric system powered by wind, water, and solar. Today, Eigg continues to set an example of how societies could meet their energy needs without grid access. Getting electricity without a grid is a challenge that affects nearly one-fifth of the world’s population. [BBC]

Cleadale church, Eigg (Credit: Alamy)

US:

¶ Vermont State regulators have approved a massive Windsor County solar array that will be four times the size of any such project built in Vermont so far. The Coolidge Solar project, to be built in Ludlow and Cavendish, will have a capacity of 20 MW. The largest existing array in Vermont is just under 5 MW, state officials said. [Valley News]

¶ Energy companies could pay the US government higher royalties for oil, gas and other resources extracted from public land, under a review Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke authorized. The two-year review is designed to determine whether Americans are getting a fair return for those natural resources, he said in an interview. [Chicago Tribune]

Drilling on public lands (Ed Andrieski / AP)

¶ As Trump was signing the order to roll back environmental protections, American Electric Power Company, based in Columbus, Ohio, focused foremost not on the boost for the coal industry but its “important transition to support a cleaner energy economy.” AEP was once one of the largest coal plant operators in the country. [Columbus Business First]

¶ A private Nebraska-based energy firm is proposing to build a wind farm with 70 to 150 wind turbines in Nodaway County, Missouri. The facility would have a capacity of 200 to 300 MW, and would be built at a cost of $200 million to $300 million. Construction would start in 2019 and be completed in 2020. [News-Press Now]

Wind and corn (File photo)

¶ Colorado will push ahead on development of more affordable renewable energy despite President Donald Trump’s order eliminating many restrictions on fossil fuels production, Governor John Hickenlooper said. He said, Colorado has already met its carbon pollution goals under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. [Hastings Tribune]

¶ Southwest Michigan residents can tell state officials how they feel about the proposed closure of Palisades Nuclear Power Plant when the Michigan Public Services Commission hosts several public meetings in May. The meetings will be presided over by an administrative law judge. There will be a court reporter to record the proceedings. [Herald Palladium]

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