Archive for May 7th, 2017

May 7 Energy News

May 7, 2017


¶ “Long Island’s energy future may be blowin’ in the wind” • Earlier this year, final agreement was reached between the Long Island Power Authority and Deepwater Wind, which had developed the Block Island offshore wind farm, to provide power to Long Island’s South Fork. It is one more in a series of developments. [Newsday]

Block Island (Photo: AllIslandAerial | Kevin P Coughlin)

¶ “Noah Smith: Climate skeptics always assume risks are overhyped” • Bret Stephens of the New York Times made a splash with a column questioning the scientific consensus on climate change. He didn’t cite any skeptical research papers or alternative theories. His doubt was based purely on distrust of scientific consensus. []

Science and Technology:

¶ The amount of dissolved oxygen in the water of the world’s oceans, an important marker of overall oceanic biological health/livability, has been declining at a notable rate for more than 2 decades now, according to analysis from the Georgia Institute of Technology, which looked at historic data going back more than 5 decades. [CleanTechnica]

Linear trend of dissolved oxygen at 100 meters (Georgia Tech)

¶ To avert extinction within the next century, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has called on mankind to search aggressively for a new planet where we can live and thrive. Hawking warned that time is no longer on the side of humans as life on Earth could be decimated by asteroids, climate change, population growth, and epidemics. [Telegiz News]


¶ The UK government is currently considering implementing a “scrappage scheme” to get the oldest, most heavily polluting cars and vans off the country’s roads. It is also giving thought to implementing low-emissions zones in certain parts of the country, where drivers of some vehicles would be required to pay fees to use the roads. [CleanTechnica]

Old vehicles in London (Hideyuki Kamon, some rights reserved)

¶ The standard way of estimating air and climate pollution from Canada’s oil sands operations greatly understate the reality of the situation, according to a study from the Canadian government. The study found that actual air and climate pollution from Alberta’s oil sands operations may be up to 4.5 times higher than officially acknowledged. [CleanTechnica]

¶ SolarReserve is planning a series of solar power plants across Queensland, creating more than 20,000 construction jobs. The company is scouting sites for up to half a dozen solar thermal stations, each of which generate enough electricity for 90,000 homes. Their solar thermal system uses molten salt to store energy to use at night. [Courier Mail]

A SolarReserve project at Crescent Dunes in the US

¶ Sonnen GmbH, a German company developing home energy systems for private households and small businesses, is planning to use Blockchain technology to distribute renewable energy such as solar power in Germany. Earlier, Sonnen revealed a partnership with TenneT to use decentralized residential storage batteries in Germany. [CoinTelegraph]

¶ Battery makers are watching to see if Australia’s most wind power-dependent state can keep the lights on by installing grid-scale batteries this year. If batteries help solve South Australia’s electricity problems by storing surplus renewable electric power, countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, and Chile, may follow suit. [Ten Eyewitness News]

Australian wind farm

¶ Union minister Suresh Prabhu today said India Railways will save ₹41,000 crore ($6.16 billion) in the next 10 years on energy cost because of its thrust on solar power generation and electrification. The railway minister informed that only 42% of railway tracks across India have been electrified so far, but it has a target of 1,000 MW. []


¶ The reality coal miners face is that coal jobs have shrunk by 40% since 2011. What is growing is the number of jobs in renewables. Solar power accounts for just under 1.5% [actually, well over 2% – ghh] of electricity in the US, and yet, according to the DOE, there are more than twice as many jobs in solar as in coal. [Tri States Public Radio]

Millvale, Pennsylvania (Reid Frazier | The Allegheny Front)

¶ US representatives are in Bonn, Germany, this week for United Nations climate change meetings. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s advisers expect to meet Tuesday to discuss what to do about a global emissions-cutting deal, officials said. Trump is trying to determine whether to withdraw from the Paris agreement. [NWAOnline]

¶ Some communities in Massachusetts are boosting their use of renewable energy, bypassing basic electric service to negotiate contracts with third-party generators. Two of the programs are running, and eight more are under development. Those 10 communities’ plans could result in 17 MW of new wind turbines. [Wicked Local Brewster]

Gloucester, Massachusetts (Fletcher6, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The EPA has fired members of a scientific advisory board. The agency quietly forced out some members of the Board of Scientific Counselors just weeks after leaders told them their tenure would be renewed. The board is tasked with reviewing the work of EPA scientists, providing feedback that shapes future research. [Science Magazine]

¶ Seventeen Republican representatives sent a letter to the president asking that he include money for the DOE’s small modular reactors in his fiscal 2018 budget request to Congress. NuScale Power, an Oregon company, has a design under consideration for certification by the NRC. Review will take over three years. [Tri-City Herald]

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