April 15 Energy News

April 15, 2017


¶ “Welcome to the post-apocalyptic National Parks” • National parks in the US are already seeing the effects of climate change. Glaciers are melting, whitebark pines are under attack by pests, and wildfires are eating away at acres of land across the US. What will happen to our treasured parks by 2050 if we don’t address climate change? [The Verge]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

Science and Technology:

¶ The Arctic sea ice death spiral is continuing to accelerate, with March 2017 setting new record lows (for the month) with regard to extent and thickness, according to data released by the National Snow and Ice Data Center. In March, there was an area of about 452,000 square miles of open ocean that would have been ice in past years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A study published in Nature Communications shows countries that have signed the Paris Climate Accord must reduce their carbon emissions much sooner than anticipated to reach the agreement’s goal. The authors, from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, show that the shift must come well before 2040. [ColorLines magazine]

Old windmill (Frazer Harrison | Getty Images for Stagecoach)


¶ The government of Punjab province in Pakistan has reiterated its commitment to install rooftop solar power systems on about 20,000 schools. The government-backed Khadam-e-Punjab Ujala Programme aims to set up rooftop solar power systems at schools, health centers, and higher education centers such as Bahawalpur University. [CleanTechnica]

¶ As Australia’s renewable energy industry awaits the outcome of the South Australian government’s inaugural large-scale energy storage auction, the CFO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has described two key competing technologies – large-scale battery systems and pumped hydro – as neck and neck on pricing. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla batteries at a sub-station

¶ ReNew Power Ventures Pvt Ltd, an Indian renewable energy independent power producer, commissioned a 143-MW solar farm in the village of Dichpally, Telangana. It is one of the first to use tracker technology at such a large scale. This increases electric generation by up to 20%. The project was finished three months ahead of the schedule. [Telangana Today]

¶ Australia’s energy debate seems to be focused on the ability of its generation fleet to meet peak demands next summer when the heat-waves are most intense. The lesson from the past summer is: Don’t count on fossil fuels keeping your air-con on when it is needed most. And unlike the sun and wind, fossil fuels’ failures are unpredictable. [CleanTechnica]

Australian coal-burning plant


¶ Responding to what they see as “an all-out assault on our environment by the Trump administration,” a coalition of green-energy advocates launched an effort calling for Massachusetts communities to commit to 100% renewable energy while pressing the Legislature to get all its energy from sources like wind and solar. [Recorder]

¶ The official numbers from the EPA are in and the Tesla Model S 100D range came in at 331.1 miles in city driving, alongside a highway range of 337.2 miles and a combined rating of 335 miles. MPGe ratings are impressive as well – 101 city, 102 highway, 102 combined. The lowest price of the Model S 100D is $92,500. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model S (Image: Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica.pics)

¶ The US DOE unveiled a new version of its PV System Toolkit, a complete package of development tools designed to make it easier for cooperative utility companies in rural areas to transition to renewable solar power. Because they are non-profit organizations, co-ops are not eligible for the sizable federal solar power incentives. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Central Arizona Project, which uses power to transport water to the desert areas of Arizona, will be turning away from coal plants, like the Navajo Generating Station, and looking towards a future of new energy solutions. Official decisions have not yet been made about how the Central Arizona Project will be powered. [Breaking Energy]

Arizona countryside (Photo by David Cannon | Getty Images)

¶ Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore) plans to introduce legislation outlining how the United States can completely wean itself off fossil fuels by 2050, his office said. The bill will be introduced during the week of April 24, shortly before the People’s Climate Movement. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) will co-sponsor the bill, called the “100 By ‘50 Act.” [Huffington Post]

¶ A lawsuit has been filed by a group of power suppliers saying that a deal reached to keep the Clinton nuclear power plant open is illegal. The lawsuit says the Zero Emissions Credits and the Future Energy Jobs Act aims to reverse wholesale energy markets, and that this new law would hurt the consumers, increasing their electricity rates. [WAND]

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