April 13 Energy News

April 13, 2017


¶ “How a small tribe in Nevada shut down coal and built a solar farm” • President Donald Trump brags about bringing back coal jobs, but tends to gloss over the fuel’s negative health effects for workers and those who live nearby. The Moapa Band of Paiutes in Nevada know all about those harmful health effects. And they did something about it. [Inhabitat]

Solar project of the Moapa Band Of Paiutes

¶ “President Trump, it’s time we left coal behind” • In the wake of President Trump’s latest executive orders to undo Obama’s efforts on climate and energy, it has become clear that climate science denial isn’t the only blind spot of this administration. It also suffers from what Australian commentator Waleed Aly calls “commercial denialism.” [The Guardian]

¶ “Understanding Trump’s Energy Plan: Three things to know” • By way of an executive order, US President Donald Trump recently signed off on reviving the coal industry and taking the first steps toward his America First Energy Plan. Here are three things to know about a power plan that critics call a “colossal mistake.” [The Weather Network]

Wind turbines

Science and Technology:

¶ Manure-to-biogas, capturing methane gas from decomposing manure and using it as renewable fuel, is old news. But now, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has figured out a new high-tech twist that takes it up to the next level, converting it into an energy-rich substance that can be used as the basis for biofuels and specialty chemicals. [CleanTechnica]

¶ There will be a large increase in the number of large, high-intensity forest fires that occur in the coming years and decades, according to a study from the South Dakota State University. The findings are the result of an analysis of around 23,000 fires that occurred worldwide between 2002 and 2013, including 478 “large, high-intensity” fires. [CleanTechnica]

Wildfire (John McColgan, US DA)


¶ Transgrid, the owner and operator of the main transmission line in New South Wales, reports that is has received “enquiries” about more than 6,000 MW of large scale solar so far in 2017. The figure is more than a six fold increase over 2016. It shows a huge interest in solar as it matches wind on costs and beats new gas by a big margin. [CleanTechnica]

¶ India is shedding its reputation as an outlier in the fight against climate change. At the same time, President Trump is pledging support for the US coal industry and threatening to withdraw from the 2015 Paris agreement, which requires signatories to take steps to cut the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change. [Los Angeles Times]

Indian coal-fired power plant partly financed by the US
Export-Import Bank (Shashank Bengali | Los Angeles Times)

¶ The UK government could deliver 1 GW of new onshore wind capacity at no additional cost to consumers over and above the long-term wholesale price of power, according to a new report for Scottish Renewables. The report said delivery is dependent on mature renewables being able to bid in auctions for long-term contracts. [reNews]

¶ With a solar plant winning a contract to sell to the grid at the country’s lowest price ever, India’s power minister hailed a new clean energy record. A French company, Solairedirect, will to sell electricity from a 250-MW plant in Kadapah, Andhra Pradesh at ₹3.15/kWh (roughly 5¢) to India’s state power company, National Thermal Power Corporation. [Climate Home]

Kids in Dharnai village (Greenpeace image)

¶ No matter who is elected as South Korea’s new leader next month, it is clear that coal and nuclear power generation will likely be scaled back, with most of the candidates laying out plans to address public concerns over pollution and safety. The two leading candidates both plan to lower South Korea’s reliance on coal and nuclear power. [Asahi Shimbun]


¶ New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation rejected National Fuel Gas’ proposed Northern Access pipeline, a pipeline that would have moved gas from the Marcellus shale to markets in Western New York, the Midwest and Canada. The denial of a water quality certification drew a stern response from National Fuel. [Utility Dive]


¶ The Sierra Club, Earthjustice, and the Union for Concerned Scientists plan to file a motion jointly to intervene in a lawsuit filed by fossil fuel groups that asks the EPA to delay or reconsider a rule that places more regulations on chemical plants. The chemical plant regulations were a direct response to a fertilizer plant explosion in West Texas in 2013. [CNN]

¶ Lake Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume, yet it has the highest number of people living along its shores of all the Great Lakes. It provides drinking water for 12 million people. Trump’s latest EPA budget proposal would eliminate funding for programs that monitor water quality of the it, the other Great Lakes, and Chesapeake Bay. [CleanTechnica]

Lake Erie Algal Bloom (Credit: Great Lakes Now)

¶ The Northern Pass transmission project takes a critical step forward today, March 13, when a hearing begins on the $1.6 billion plan by Eversource to bring power from Canada to markets mostly in southern New England. New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee will determine whether it can be built. The hearing could last for months. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Maryland is the first US state to pass legislation that will provide tax credits to consumers and businesses that invest in energy storage systems. Senate Bill 758 will offer a 30% tax credit on the costs of installing an energy storage system. Installations done in 2018 through 2022 will net up to a $5,000 tax credit for a residential property. [Triple Pundit]

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