May 15 Energy News

May 15, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Florida Sea Level Rise & Unchecked Coastal Developments” • With climate change and sea level rise, coastal developments make no sense – and yet, day by day, month by month, large coastal luxury buildings shoot sky-high, with almost no sidewalk to spare on one side and sand that will soon be underwater on the other. [CleanTechnica]

St Petersburg (Image: Cynthia Shahan | Cleantechnica.com)

¶ “Are Solar and Wind Really Killing Coal, Nuclear, and Grid Reliability?” • Are wind and solar killing coal and nuclear? Yes, but not by themselves and not for the reasons most people think. Are wind and solar killing grid reliability? No, where the grid’s technology and regulations have been modernized, the grid’s operation has improved. [DeSmog]

Science and Technology:

¶ Final trials of printed PVs on sheets of plastic are underway at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales. Conventional printing technology is used to print electronic ink on clear plastic sheets. The finished product is very lightweight. Printed PVs are expected to be available commercially in about three years. [ABC Online]

Prof Paul Dastoor and printed PVs (ABC News | Kerrin Thomas)

¶ Nearly one-third of all trees in urban forests around the southwest shore of Lake Michigan are of species that are highly vulnerable to climate change, says a new study by the US Forest Service. The health and numbers of at least 85 species evaluated in the study are expected to decline over the next several decades. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

¶ New research finds that global average temperatures may rise 1.5° C over pre-industrial temperatures by as early as 2026, if the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation has in fact now moved into a positive phase, as is now suspected. The new research comes from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science. [CleanTechnica]

Global warming – please click on the image to enlarge it

World:

¶ Toshiba has missed a Tokyo Stock Exchange deadline to file its annual results, but warned it was likely to report a loss of ¥950 billion ($8.4 billion; £6.5 billion). Problems, starting with an accounting scandal, came to a head again in January this year, when it became clear its US nuclear unit, Westinghouse, was in financial trouble. [BBC]

¶ Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered a temporary shutdown of outdated coal-fired plants, aged 30 years or over, as part of an emergency measure to combat fine dust. Under the plans, 10 out of 59 coal-fired plants will stop operating for a month in June. He has also pledged to close nuclear plants and increase renewable generation. [The Korea Herald]

Seoul’s polluted air (Yonhap)

¶ Vietnam’s north-central province of Thanh Hoa will build a new 30-MW solar energy plant, financed by domestic sources with total investment of ₫800 billion ($35 million). The solar plant is a joint venture of two companies, which will provide 30% of the financing. The remainder will come from commercial banks. [VnExpress International]

¶ The new energy strategy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg aims to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix from around 6% currently to 70% by 2050. About 4.8 GW of new renewable energy power generation capacity is expected to be installed in order to reach this target, and to reduce dependence from power imports. [pv magazine]

Luxembourg has 117 MW of solar power now. (Wolfgang Staudt)

¶ The South African government is still trying to come to terms with a court judgement that has stopped nuclear procurement in its tracks, and other technologies are being affected. No new date has been set for the signing of 37 outstanding power purchase agreements, as the procurement process suffers from the same defects. [Moneyweb.co.za]

¶ Western Australia network operator Horizon Power announced plans to take more remote regional customers off grid, offering stand-alone solar plus battery storage systems and back-up diesel generators as a cheaper and more reliable alternative to poles and wires. Five test systems installed last year were successful. [One Step Off The Grid]

Battery storage (Horizon Power image)

US:

¶ President Trump has reportedly picked a conservative talk show radio host and climate change denier to be the “chief scientist” of the USDA’s research division. The 2008 Farm Bill says the position is to be filled by “distinguished scientists with specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.” [Mashable]

¶ PepsiCo confirmed that its new target for greenhouse gas emission reduction has been verified and approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative as in line with what is necessary to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius. The company will work to reduce GHG emissions across its value chain by at least 20% by 2030. [PotatoPro]

Farming emissions are included in the value chain. (PepsiCo)

¶ A key argument against a proposed Burrillville, Rhode Island, fossil-fuel power plant has derailed a similar natural-gas project in nearby Killingly, Connecticut. Opponents argue that the electricity generated would be redundant. Energy efficiency and renewable energy reduce electric demand, and they say the proposed facility is not needed. [ecoRI news]

¶ A state-of-the-art biodigester facility in Newaygo County, Michigan, is getting a second life from one of the nation’s leading clean energy investors, after closing abruptly two years ago. San Francisco-based Generate Capital has purchased the facility after the former owner, NOVI Energy failed to cover its upfront costs. [MiBiz]

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