May 9 Energy News

May 9, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “US Energy Dept To Trump: Lalalalala We Can’t Hear You, Wind Power Rocks!” • Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been steadily undercutting the Trump Administration’s pro-coal messaging with a flood of press releases, tweets and articles touting clean tech and renewables. It’s almost like he’s laughing and pointing at the White House. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind study tweet

World:

¶ Emmanuel Macron, a centrist, pro-EU French presidential candidate, won two thirds of the vote in a run-off against the far right’s Marine Le Pen. He promised to promote international cooperation on climate change in his victory speech. He supports ending the use of coal, a carbon price, and trade sanctions on polluting countries. [Climate Home]

¶ The Netherlands has put the world’s second largest offshore wind farm online, with 150 turbines spinning in action in the North Sea, substantially reducing the country’s carbon footprint and enhancing its energy security. The Gemini wind farm has a capacity of 600 MW and was built at a cost of €2.8 billion ($3 billion). [Deutsche Welle]

Windpark Nordsee Ost

¶ Participants in UN climate talks have expressed reservations about making changes to the Paris climate agreement just to keep the US in the treaty. There have been suggestions that the US might stay in, if it was allowed to lower its carbon targets. But delegates at the talks say countries should raise not cut their commitments. [BBC]

¶ After trying to avoid releasing an air pollution plan prior to elections, the UK’s government has obeyed a court order to issue it. The new plan to cut levels of diesel fumes, nitrogen oxides, and particulates has been greeted with derision by climate advocates, who say it flouts the government’s obligation to protect public health. [CleanTechnica]

Measuring air quality

¶ Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator released a report detailing progress on the 2020 renewable energy target. It says a record high investment in renewables in 2016 was five times that of 2015, and it says, “Of the 98 new power plants accredited in 2016, 86 were solar, reflecting the rapidly declining cost and increased capacity of photovoltaics.” [PS News]

¶ Last August, it turned out to be challenging to install 27 solar panels on the community hall in Clyde River, Nunavut. And then the electrical inspection and approval came belatedly this spring. But the panels and their inverters are now converting sunlight into power. (Clyde River is on Baffin Island, well north if the Arctic Circle. – ghh) [Nunatsiaq News]

Niungvaliruluit, “pointer like a window,” Baffin Island
(Ansgar Walk, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ India’s solar power tariffs are set to fall below ₹3 per unit (4.66¢/kWh) in Rajasthan. State-run Solar Energy Corp of India, which is running the bid process for 750 MW of solar power capacity at two parks, has received price bids for the 250-MW Adani Renewable Energy Park Rajasthan Ltd, with the reserve price set at ₹3.01 a unit. [Livemint]

¶ Modernising small island power systems with renewable energy will supply cheaper, efficient, secure, cleaner power, a newly-released report says. The Philippines can save up to $200 million per year, and build a more reliable energy supply for millions of its residents, by replacing diesel generators with renewable sources. [en.vietnamplus.vn]

Wind turbines

US:

¶ The ongoing argument over the fate of the 2015 Paris climate accord has spilled into unusually public view as top advisers to the President near a decision on withdrawing from the landmark pact, which every nation except Syria and Nicaragua has signed onto. But a Tuesday strategy session was postponed due to a scheduling conflict. [CNN]

¶ The US added more than 11 GW of solar power last year, according to a report released by the Energy Information Administration. This means the US has nearly 50% more solar power than it did a year earlier. And the American Wind Energy Association says the wind industry had its best first quarter since 2009. [The Desert Sun]

Antelopes in Wyoming (Photo: Jay Calderon | The Desert Sun)

¶ More than two hundred institutional investors worth the tidy sum of $15 trillion have just put the Trump Administration on notice that climate change has put their assets at risk. The notice comes in the form of a newly published letter to the G7 group of seven industrialized nations and the G20 group of 20 major economies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed 11 bipartisan bills that promote the use of solar and other renewable energy options and aim to reduce energy consumption across the commonwealth. One bill allows localities to establish green development zones where businesses can receive special taxing and zoning treatment. [Fauquier Times]

Solar installation near Remington, Virginia

¶ The School for International Training, in Brattleboro, Vermont, received a $100,000 grant from Windham Regional Commission to install a solar energy system. Its benefits will include enhancing the curriculum at the SIT Graduate Institute. The project will be installed in partnership with Dynamic Organics, based in Putney, Vermont. [vtdigger.org]

¶ Construction of two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle is years behind schedule and billions over budget. The contractor, Westinghouse Electric, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month, and a temporary labor contract is about to expire. But come what may, Georgia Power will make a profit, and the customers will pay. [WJBF-TV]

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