April 8 Energy News

April 8, 2017


¶ “US Coal Companies Think Trump Plan To Pull Out Of Paris Accord Is A Dumb Idea” • Donald Trump said he would pull the US out of the Paris climate accords, but US coal companies are begging the administration to rethink that position. They want a seat at the table as world leaders debate how to implement the agreement. [CleanTechnica]

Coal worker in China

Science and Technology:

¶ Three startup companies, Carbon Engineering, Climeworks, and Global Thermostat, are touting carbon removal technology that can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. What they need now is a way to make that technology carbon removal technology commercially viable, but first, they need practical business models. [CleanTechnica]


¶ After months of public consultation, the City of Sydney has fast-tracked the adoption of an action plan that will help it get to net zero emissions by 2050, tackle waste and water usage, and scale up renewable energy use. The plan is to run the city entirely on renewable energy and gas from renewable sources, such as biogas. [eco-business.com]

City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore with the City’s
sustainability director Chris Derksema (Image: City of Sydney)

¶ E.ON has begun installing a 10-MW lithium-ion battery at a biomass combined heat and power plant at Blackburn Meadows near Sheffield, South Yorkshire. The new energy storage project will help keep power supplies stable and balance the range of power generation sources feeding into the UK’s national grid. [Decentralized Energy]

¶ To promote renewable energy, the West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency has undertaken a project to install solar water heater systems in 89 buildings across the state. The solar water heating systems would be installed at various hostels, schools, government buildings, and even in homes of destitute people. [Millennium Post]

Solar hot water system in India

¶ EDF’s board of directors voted against the imminent closure of the Fessenheim nuclear power as demanded by the current government. President Francois Hollande pledged in the 2012 election to limit nuclear’s share of French generation at 50% by 2025 and to close Fessenheim by the end of his term in May, 2017. [World Nuclear News]

¶ The boss of Australia’s fifth-largest electricity distributor hinted that residential solar-plus-storage could help prevent blackouts like the one in South Australia last September. The CEO of SA Power Networks predicted that 50% of his company’s customers would have home battery storage by 2035, and 30% would have electric vehicles. [Greentech Media]

Sunverge home battery system


¶ The Senate, dominated by Republicans, is engaging in the rather dramatic maneuver of having a field hearing on climate change right in President Trump’s own backyard. West Palm Beach has agreed to host a hearing on climate change for the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation this coming Monday. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The coast of Florida is flooding worse and more often as time goes by, and the change is happening more and more quickly. Just down the coast from Donald Trump’s weekend retreat, the residents and businesses of southern Florida are experiencing regular episodes of water in the streets and flooding in basement parking lots. [BBC]

Canals in a Fort Lauderdale neighborhood (Credit: Alamy)

¶ A partnership between Minnesota Power and the Minnesota National Guard has produced a solar array at Camp Ripley in Morrison County. It boosts clean energy production for Minnesota Power customers and provides energy security for Camp Ripley. The $25 million, 10-MW solar farm covers more than 60 acres. [Brainerd Dispatch]

¶ Ohio regulators need more information about the 20.7-MW Icebreaker offshore wind project in Lake Erie before going ahead with a permit application. The state Power Siting Board said the proponent must submit information to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for project impacts on birds, bats, fisheries and other aquatic resources. [reNews]

Icebreaker offshore wind test installation (Leedco image)

¶ More than 900 government buildings in Chicago will shift their electricity use to “100 percent renewable energy” by 2025 under an ambitious mayoral plan that contrasts sharply with President Donald Trump’s retreat on environmental issues. All together, they consume 8% of all the electricity used in Chicago, nearly 1.8 billion kWh. [Chicago Sun-Times]

¶ In the desolate quiet of West Texas, miles from any post office or gas station, sits an ocean of glass and silicon pointed skyward. The new solar plant, a half-hour’s drive east of Fort Stockton, is Austin’s latest salvo in its years-long push to combat climate change by transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy generation. [MyStatesman.com]

1,000 acres of solar panels at the East Pecos Solar Facility

¶ A proposal to subsidize two FirstEnergy Corp nuclear plants is shaping up to be the latest divisive Ohio policy battle. A drawn out fight to subsidize coal plants is over but the Statehouse is still squabbling over attempts to cut renewable energy standards. Here’s a roundup of what stakeholders are saying about Senate Bill 128. [Columbus Business First]

¶ Federal officials are considering approving a plan to truck about 200,000 gallons of low-level radioactive waste water from the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to Idaho. The NRC said an environmental assessment found no significant impact in storing the radioactive waste about 40 miles south of Boise. [Bonner County Daily Bee]

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