May 19 Energy News

May 19, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “There’s an Elephant in the Room, and It Smells Like Natural Gas” • All the commentary reiterating the inevitability of coal’s decline and cheering the strength of renewables’ rise was right in facts, but incomplete in message: Coal is closing. Renewables are rising. But we really need to be talking about natural gas. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Natural gas pipeline

Science and Technology:

¶ In a new perspective on carbon removal published in the journal Science, researchers at Stanford explain the risks of assuming carbon removal technologies can be deployed at a massive scale relatively quickly with low costs and limited side effects. They said the assumption is a gamble with the future of the planet at stake. [Stanford University News]

¶ Researchers in Antarctica have discovered rapidly growing banks of mosses on the ice continent’s northern peninsula, providing striking evidence of climate change in the coldest and most remote parts of the planet. Because of the warming of the last 50 years, they found two species of mosses growing at an accelerated pace. [ScienceAlert]

A green Antarctica – not a good sign (Photo: Matt Amesbury)

World:

¶ One of the world’s most beloved toy makers, the LEGO Group, announced that it had reached its 100% renewable energy goal three years ahead of schedule thanks to the completion and commissioning of the 258-MW Burbo Bank Extension Offshore Wind Farm. LEGO has not stopped, as it still has solar panels going up in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Egyptian government has decided to pour in billions for the development of solar and wind power plants across the country. The Egyptian aspiration is to increase the energy dependency of the country on renewable resources by up to 20% 2022, and increase it to 37% by 2035. Currently, Egypt gets 3% from renewables. [Edition Truth]

Renewable energy from wind

¶ Both China and India are outpacing the US and well on their way to meeting the goals established by the Paris Agreement, which calls on several countries to make significant cuts to emissions production. Analysis from Climate Action Tracker shows that policies in both China and India are helping these countries target emissions. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ GE is to supply turbines from its 3-MW range totaling 1.2 GW for wind farms in Spain to be developed by Forestalia Group. Forestalia, through the Sociedad Aragonesa Transeuropea de Energias Renovables, won the right to develop the projects in Spain’s latest renewable electricity auction, which took place on 17 May. [reNews]

GE wind turbine (GE image)

¶ A planned coal-fired 4,000-MW ultra-mega power project plant in India has been scrapped because the government wants to focus on green energy. Gujarati state officials had planned it, but the government decided the state was already sufficiently supplied with energy and focusing on renewables was a better longer term strategy. [malaysiandigest.com]

¶ Labour’s plan to take the National Grid back into public ownership would harm the UK’s switch to green energy, the electric power grid’s chief executive has said. He believes renationalization was “the last thing the industry needs” as it invests to accommodate more wind and solar power on the UK’s power grids. [The Guardian]

Power lines (Photo: Andrew Milligan | PA)

US:

¶ Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa is pushing back against an electric grid reliability study ordered by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, expressing concern that the Department of Energy has predetermined that wind energy is undermining the grid. Grassley questioned the premise of the DOE grid reliability review. [ThinkProgress]

¶ Most wind and hydroelectric power is produced in Northern and Western New York, where the supply of electricity exceeds demand. But two-thirds of all the state’s power is used in the New York City-Long Island region. Transmission lines between the two areas are already overburdened, according to the Power Trends report. [Syracuse.com]

Upstate wind turbines (Gary Walts)

¶ Investment manager Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners has acquired Scout Clean Energy, with a pipeline of wind energy projects totalling 1.6 GW. The projects, which are spread across nine US states, represent more than $1.7 billion in total capital investment. The majority of the projects will qualify for US production tax credits. [reNews]

¶ In a survey of 1,000 US adults, 54% believe “government regulations are necessary to encourage businesses and consumers to rely more on renewable energy sources.” Just 38% say “the private marketplace will ensure that businesses and consumers rely more on renewable energy sources, even without government regulations.” [Environment News Service]

Solar array in California (Photo by Steelmaster Buildings)

¶ Ameren Corp has completed an advanced utility-scale microgrid at Ameren’s Technology Applications Center, adjacent to the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, Illinois. The $5 million facility includes solar, wind, and natural gas generating capacity with battery storage, and can operate at between 4 kV and 34.5 kV. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ Ohio-based FirstEnergy’s plan for a rescue of its two uncompetitive Ohio nuclear plants took a nosedive May 17, as the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee suspended action on the company’s proposal to charge its customers a fee to subsidize the plants. The Environmental Defense Fund has been opposing the bailout plan. [POWER magazine]

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