May 29 Energy News

May 29, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Utilities’ Biggest Threat Is Not Solar + Storage, It’s Their Own Greed” • Energy utilities are fully aware of the existential threat to their current business models presented by new technologies, particularly solar, storage, and smart software. But a far greater risk that dovetails with that threat is their own short-term greed. [CleanTechnica]

Poles and wires – sticks and strings

¶ “Trump + Russia Chaos Is Tiny Preview Of Carbon Bubble Popping” • The Trump & Russian chaos – no matter how extensive it is and where it goes – is a tiny preview of the massive disruption coming as the global carbon bubble pops. The quick collapse of the oil, gas, and coal industries will have disruptive and far-reaching effects. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ When Cornell University competed in 2011 to develop an applied science and engineering campus in New York City, part of its pitch was that it would construct an academic building that would be close to net zero for energy. It won. Now, with work well underway, the Bloomberg Center building is expected to be finished by September. [New York Times]

Bloomberg Center (Photo: Vincent Tullo)

¶ Low cloud cover in India, which is largely responsible for a good monsoon, has declined in most parts of the country over 50 years, a first-of-its-kind study by the India Meteorological Department, Pune, revealed. Climate experts said as the monsoon contributes to 70% of the country’s annual rainfall, and the decrease is a cause for concern. [Hindustan Times]

World:

¶ Canadian company Innergex Renewable Energy has started commercial operations at the 36.1-MW Rougemont 1 and 38.9-MW Vaite wind farms in France. The projects, which are located in Bourgogne-France-Comte, comprise GE turbines rated at 2.78 MW. For the next 15 years, all the electricity from the projects will be sold EDF. [reNews]

GE wind turbines (GE image)

¶ Following a study saying renewable energy, particularly solar, dominates rural Tanzania, there are now plans to open a training center. The director of the Innovative Technology and Energy Centre announced plans to open a training center for renewable energy technology in Arusha, Tanzania this August to train 1000 students per year. [ESI Africa]

¶ Russia is pressing ahead with its biggest-ever auction for renewable energy, seeking to award contracts to purchase 1.9 GW of clean electricity as well as attracting foreign investment. The government tender has attracted the interest of Fortum Oyj, Finland’s largest energy company. Enel SpA of Italy may also participate. [Bloomberg]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ According to data from India’s Central Electricity Authority, solar contributed about 13.5 billion units of electricity in FY 2016-17 – an increase of 81% roughly 7.4 billion units generated in FY 2015-16. Solar still only accounts for just over 1% of total electricity generated in India, but it is the country’s fastest-growing new power source. [pv magazine]

¶ Three in four Australians understand that climate warming poses a “catastrophic risk,” even as the Australian government turns a blind eye. According to a survey for the Global Challenges Forum, 84% of 8000 people surveyed in eight countries consider climate change a “global catastrophic risk.” The Australian figure was 75%. [RenewEconomy]

Climate risk (AAP Image | Dean Lewins, File)

¶ More than 12,000 solar jobs were lost in the UK solar industry after the government, which wanted to put money into nuclear power, slashed support in 2015. But Solarcentury has survived by turning outward to target markets in Latin America and Europe. Now the firm has 85% of its revenues coming from international markets. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ Tribal lawmakers, federal agencies, and private industry are working to plan a future of Navajo Generating Station. A study commissioned by the coal supplier, Peabody Energy, says the plant would be economically viable through 2040. But separate reports by the plant’s owners and the Sierra Club and say that study is very wrong. [Arizona Daily Sun]

Navajo Generating Station (Associated Press photo)

¶ The coal-burning James River Power Station was built near water and railroads to provide power to Springfield, Missouri in 1953. Now, City Utilities took the first step in retiring the station. The power station’s oldest units have not been fired up since 2015 because they are inefficient, and the utility’s decision will shut the rest down. [Springfield News-Leader]

¶ A growing number of large Michigan businesses that want their electricity to come from renewable sources. Consumers Energy responded by filing a “Voluntary Large Customer Renewable Energy Pilot Program” with the Michigan Public Service Commission. The program is available to customers with a load of at least 1 MW. [MiBiz]

Powering sites like this Switch data center (Courtesy photo)

¶ 314 Action is a new organization working to promote pro-science issues in government and help science, technology, engineering, and mathematics professionals increase their numbers in politics. So far, 5,000 scientists across the country have responded and said they are willing to run for office, exceeding all expectations. [Voice of America]

¶ The Westinghouse Group filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on March 29, this year, and fabricators are watchful of the fallout. The Westinghouse bankruptcy has potentially disruptive effects on virtually all subcontractors working on nuclear power with which it does business, leaving them in doubt about their futures. [The Maritime Executive]

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