April 3 Energy News

April 3, 2017


The Tenth Anniversary of Massachusetts v. EPA • On April 2, 2007, The Supreme Court forcefully rejected the Bush EPA’s “laundry list of reasons” not to address climate pollution. The high Court held that protection of human health and the environment from air pollution must be rooted in science, not expediency or politics. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Supreme court in 2006 (Steve Petteway, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will deliver a snub to Donald Trump over his stance on the environment today, signing a climate change pact with one of the US President’s bitter rivals. She will pose with California Governor Jerry Brown in a show of unity against the ditching of Obama-era policies tackling global warming. [The Scottish Sun]

¶ In Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, only 37% of households are electrified, compared with 67% nationwide. Help has come from private mini-grids from companies like OMC Power, which has 67 mini-grids of 10 to 500 kW in the state. A base home package from OMC Power costs ₹110 ($1.70) per month. [Reuters]

Solar power for a mini-grid
(Thomson Reuters Foundation / Rina Chandran / Files)

¶ India added a record 5,400 MW of wind power in 2016-17, exceeding its 4,000-MW target. Of about 50,018 MW of installed renewable power across the country, over 55% is wind power. India is the biggest greenhouse gas emitter after the US and China. About 16% of the 315,426 MW of installed capacity of is renewable. [Livemint]

¶ Infigen Energy announced it is proceeding with construction of the 113.2-MW Bodangora wind farm near Wellington, New South Wales. It will have 33 GE 3.43-MW turbines and will be built by a consortium including General Electric and civil-engineering construction company Civil & Allied Technical Construction. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Australian wind turbines

¶ Major European energy utilities are putting $14 billion of their earnings at risk by relying too heavily on fossil fuels, a CDP study found. Research by the non-profit organisation shows 14 major European utilities are set to exceed carbon targets by 1.3 billion tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to Japan’s entire annual emissions. [www.businessgreen.com]

¶ Just over 1 billion people, or approximately one in seven, still have no access to electricity, a figure that has barely improved in two years, while the number cooking with health-harming fuels rose slightly to just over 3 billion, according to a tracking report from the World Bank and the International Energy Agency. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Transmission lines

¶ Australian Senator Nick Xenophon expects the deal he struck on tax cuts should guarantee that construction begins on the first large-scale solar thermal plant in the country before the next election. He is getting the Coalition government to deliver on its pre-election promise of facilitating solar thermal construction. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The German Ambassador to Saudi Arabia has invited the Saudis to join Germany as it shifts to green energy from oil and uranium. He said the Kingdom is “blessed abundantly with sun and wind,” and commended the Saudi government for taking bold steps to introduce renewables to the local energy portfolio. [Al-Bawaba]

Blessed abundantly with sun and wind (AFP)


¶ The Natural Resources Defense Council has released a new analysis that shows that the federal tax credit extensions for wind and solar will add over 220,000 jobs and nearly $23 billion to the US economy in 2017. But the executive action to begin rolling back the Clean Power Plan is a clear threat to this progress. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ In a record quarter, Tesla delivered just over 25,000 cars in the first three months of the year. That was a 70% rise on the same period of 2016. It is also a rebound for the company after production problems resulted in a 9% fall in deliveries in the fourth quarter. The Model 3 is due to go on sale in the US this year priced at $35,000. [BBC News]

Tesla cars at a Tesla office (Getty Images)

¶ While President Trump’s executive order rolling back the Obama administration’s efforts to combat climate change are upsetting, many officials of regional transmission organizations shrug their shoulders and vow to continue on without the federal government as market forces and state policies continue decarbonizing their generation mixes. [RTO Insider]

¶ In Wyoming’s Rock Springs Sweetwater County Airport, and nearly half the electricity needed to run the new hangar and terminal will come from the sun. The airport’s solar facility was given a $94,000 grant from Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky customers, who support renewable energy projects in Wyoming. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

Solar panels on Jimmy Carter’s land in Georgia (AP)

¶ Energy efficiency and renewable energy company, Ameresco has opened a second municipal solar power generation facility in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The City contracted Ameresco to design and build the 2.91-MW facility on city land back in 2015. It is expected to generate more than 3 million kWh in its first year. [SmartCitiesWorld]

¶ Oblivious to the storm of fury it would arouse in Nevada, which has no commercial nuclear reactors of its own, President Trump has proposed spending $120 million to restart licensing Yucca Mountain to store spent nuclear fuel. He is restarting one of the most intractable political, legal and technical issues in modern US history. [The Recorder]

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