April 30 Energy News

April 30, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Yes, I am a climate alarmist. Global warming is a crime against humanity” • Most of us have wondered about the human context of past crimes against humanity: why didn’t more people intervene? How could so many pretend not to know? The principled condemnation of large scale atrocity is, too often, a luxury of hindsight. [The Guardian]

A pair of walruses (Dan Beecham | BBC)

¶ “Take cheap solar power seriously” • Two new nuclear reactors under construction in central South Carolina will cost state residents billions of dollars for years to come, even if they never get finished. But solar power has gotten so cheap that the state’s utilities could massively expand their renewable energy capacity and save money. [Charleston Post Courier]

¶ “Trump eyes a monumental land grab” • Beginning with Theodore Roosevelt, presidents have exercised their authority under the Antiquities Act to establish national monuments on some of America’s most scenic, historic and sensitive public lands. Before Trump, no president ever tried to overturn a predecessor’s decision. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument
(Photo: Ken Porter | The Press Democrat)

World:

¶ The Indian Government’s aim is to ensure power at ₹3 per unit (4.67¢/kWh) irrespective of source in the medium term, according to Piyush Goyal, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, and Mines, speaking at the 2017 Annual Session of the Confederation of Indian Industry. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ If geothermal power stations on the seabed become a reality in Iceland, the plan is to sell the power straight to Europe through an undersea cable. It is hoped that this direct sale, bypassing Iceland’s terrestrial electricity grid, would generate the best price possible for the electricity without forcing electric prices up in Iceland. [IcelandReview]

Geothermal platforms could look like oil rigs. (Photo: Wikipedia)

¶ Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said the country’s capacity to produce electricity from renewable energy resources would hit 7,500 MW in the next few years. The minister said that three years ago, diesel accounted for about 43% of fuels consumed in the country’s thermal power plants but the figure is down to 14% now. [Tasnim News Agency]

¶ India is one of the last bastions of coal, but construction of new coal-fired power plants is faltering. Around the world, construction of coal-burning plants is falling quickly. From January 2016 to January 2017, pre-construction activity dropped 48%, start of construction fell 62%, ongoing construction fell 19%, a report says. [Hindustan Times]

Workers clean PV panels in Gujarat. (File Photo)

¶ Norway and Australia are racing each other to show they can supply Japan with hydrogen, hoping to fulfill its ambition to become the first nation significantly fueled by the super clean energy source. Australia has planned to derive liquid hydrogen from brown coal, Norway could steal a march by producing the fuel using renewable energy. [The Japan Times]

¶ Nova Scotia Powers is making progress in reducing carbon and increasing renewable energy, with 28% of the electricity used in 2016 coming from renewable resources. Renewable energy generation in Cape Breton County has made a significant contribution to the success, with power coming from both hydro plants and wind turbines. [Cape Breton Post]

Nova Scotia wind farm (Dennis Jarvis, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ India is looking at having an all-electric car fleet by 2030 with an express objective of lowering the fuel import bill and running cost of vehicles. “We are going to introduce electric vehicles in a very big way. … The idea is that by 2030, not a single petrol or diesel car should be sold in the country,” said Piyush Goyal. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ Iowa’s largest utility is in the midst of a $3.6 billion investment in wind power with a goal of producing 100% of its energy from renewable sources. MidAmerican Energy plans to build 1,000 more turbines over the next couple of years on top of the more than 2,000 it already has around the state, the Des Moines Register reported. [Omaha World-Herald]

Old MidAmerican plant in Council Bluffs (Mark Davis)

¶ Thousands of people have assembled in Texas on President Donald Trump’s hundredth day in office to demand federal action on climate change. The Texas Department of Public Safety told the Austin American-Statesman that about 3,500 people participated in a rally in Austin alone, part of nationwide marches calling for climate action. [KTXS]

¶ Thousands of people, including members of the union representing EPA employees, marched in downtown Chicago and outside Trump Tower to demand action to prevent climate change and protect the environment. The rain-soaked march coincided with hundreds of similar events, marking Trump’s 100th day in office. [news9.com KWTV]

Climate demonstration (AP photo, | Nam Y Huh)

¶ Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders says climate marches taking place around the country are part of a fight for the future of the planet. The former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination addressed an adoring crowd of about 3,000 people who turned out for a rally at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier. [WCBI]

¶ The University of Iowa has been burning a grass, Miscanthus, in its power plant to reduce its reliance on coal. Burning an acre of Miscanthus, which looks a bit like sugar cane, can offset 4 tons of coal in the power plant. And a field of Miscanthus can grow for a decade or more without replanting, weeding, or spraying. [Omaha World-Herald]

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