April 5 Energy News

April 5, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Donald Trump’s climate fantasies” • In less than 100 days, we have learned that Trump is a man living in a fantasy world. He issues decrees, barks orders, sends out midnight Tweets, but to no avail. The facts – real facts, not “alternative” ones – keep intervening. There is physics; there is law; and there are voters, who increasingly disapprove. [MENAFN.COM]

Deepwater Horizon oil spill

World:

¶ Solar PV is the favorite energy generation technology among the UK’s Conservative voters, a new study by right-leaning think tank Bright Blue has found. The report said Tory voters wanted the government to do more to encourage renewable energy deployment. Bright Blue surveyed nearly 2,000 Tory voters for the report. [Solar Power Portal]

¶ Following two years of trials of the world’s first electric car ferry, operators are making the transition from diesel to comply with new government requirements for all new ferry licensees to deliver low-emission alternatives. Ferry company Fjord1 ordered three fully electric ferries that are scheduled to enter active service in January 2018. [BBC]

Ferry on a fjord (Getty Images)

¶ Enel has commenced the construction of a 238-MW Don Jose capacity solar power plant in Mexico, with an investment of $220 million. The solar PV plant is in the State of Guanajuato. Enel is working with its Mexican subsidiary Enel Green Power México. The Don José solar facility is expected to be operational in 2018. [Energy Business Review]

¶ Anesco has grown its portfolio to over 100 sites in England alone after adding 28 new solar farms before the Renewable Obligation closed. The company’s 101 installations have total capacity of 481 MW, marking a significant milestone for the company as the UK ground-mount solar industry moves into a subsidy-free landscape. [Solar Power Portal]

Anesco solar farm

US:

¶ Reuters surveyed 32 utilities with operations in the 26 states that sued former President Barack Obama’s administration to block its Clean Power Plan. Most of them have no plans to alter their multi-billion dollar, years-long shift away from coal, suggesting demand for the fuel will keep falling despite Trump’s efforts. [Thomson Reuters Foundation]

¶ A sweeping piece of legislation that aims to improve forecasts for everything from Category 5 hurricanes to El Nino has passed both houses of Congress. The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017, HR 353, will become the first major weather legislation enacted since the early 1990s if signed by the president. [Washington Post]

Hurricane Andrew in 1992 (NASA)

¶ President Trump’s recent executive order to thwart the EPA’s climate-change plan will ultimately cut short thousands of American lives, according to the department chairman at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, who coauthored some of the most influential studies on air pollution. The plan would have reduced soot and smog. [CNN]

¶ The US Energy Information Agency just issued a report stating that coal production in 2016 fell to its lowest level since 1978. It cites several factors that are responsible for the decline, but it comes down to basic economics. There are other sources of energy, including natural gas, wind, and solar power, that are cheaper than coal. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it,

¶ The CEO of FedEx is also heavily involved with SAFE (Securing America’s Energy Future), a group whose primary mission is to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. As such, he is urging the Trump administration not to roll back the fuel economy standards set in place by the EPA of the Obama administration. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Wind energy is going big in Texas. In the town of Sweetwater, home to four of the state’s largest wind farms, the tax base has grown from $400 million to $3 billion since 2000. Republican ranchers may not care that much about CO2 emissions, but they likely will appreciate the 14.7 billion gallons of water saved. [GreenBiz]

Texas landscape (Shutterstock | Dallas Events Inc)

¶ Facebook announced that it will construct a data center in Papillion, Nebraska. The 970,000 square foot campus will generate 1,000 construction jobs and 100 positions within the center once it is online. A wind farm will be built to power the data center, making it powered through 100% renewable wind-generated electricity. [Silicon Prairie News]

¶ PacifiCorp, which now generates nearly 60% of its electricity from coal, is planning to make a big new commitment to wind power. The six-state utility released a long-range power plan that foresees building 1,100 MW of new wind power capacity while also retrofitting an additional 900 MW, all by the end of 2020. [Portland Business Journal]

Vestas turbines at PacifiCorp’s Marengo Wind Farm

¶ A report from the Environment America Research and Policy Center, shows that San Diego was at the top of US cities for installed solar in 2016, followed by Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Jose, Phoenix, and Indianapolis. Among the top 20 cities for solar installed per capita were Burlington, VT, New Orleans, and Newark. [Environment America]

¶ The Trump administration is so alarmed that Chinese investors may try to buy Westinghouse Electric Co’s nuclear business that it is trying to find an American or allied buyer for the company, two people familiar with the matter said. The issue is set to come up during President Donald Trump’s first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. [Bloomberg]

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