June 13 Energy News

June 13, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ The first leg of an Arctic climate change study in the Hudson Bay is being canceled because of climate change. Unusally abundant sea ice, loosened by global warming, has come from the High Arctic. So the research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen, scheduled to used by the expedition, had to be used instead for search and rescue operations. [Miami Herald]

CCGS Amundsen (Wikipedia Image)

¶ A highly combustible form of energy locked deep in the ocean finally can be harvested using a new technique, but experts say deploying that technique on a broad scale could spell trouble for the climate. The solid material, called methane hydrate, is a form of the hydrocarbon methane that is locked in cages of ice called clathrates. [Yahoo Singapore News]


¶ A five-year smart grid project in Shetland has been hailed a success. The £18 million Northern Isles New Energy Solutions project combined monitoring and control systems, domestic demand side management, and a 1-MW battery. Active Network Management enabled multiplying the renewable energy capacity by three. [Clean Energy News]

Shetland (Image: SSEN)

¶ EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index has the UK back in the top 10 most attractive countries, but the outlook remains cloudy amid a lingering lack of clarity around targets and subsidies. The RECAI says that the UK renewable investment environment is more settled than recent years, despite subsidy cuts. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶ Enel Green Power has completed turbine installation at the 90-MW Cristalândia wind farm in Brazil, consisting of 45 turbines. Cristalândia will generate about 350 GWh of electricity a year when operational. Enel is investing about $190 million in the wind farm, which will operate under 20-year power purchase agreements. [reNews]

Wind turbine installation (Image: Enel Green Power)

¶ More than a fifth of investment by the largest oil and gas companies could be in wind and solar power in just over a decade, according to research group Wood Mackenzie. Slowing demand for oil and forecasts of rapid growth in renewables pose both a threat and opportunity that BP, Shell, Total, and others cannot ignore. [The Guardian]

¶ Engie and eleQtra, a developer of power and transportation projects in sub-Saharan Africa, signed a Joint Development Agreement that defines the terms and the schedule for the development and construction of the 50-MW Ada Wind power project in Ghana. The project is expected to require an investment of about $120 million. [Myjoyonline.com]

Wind turbines

¶ Cameras using ultrasound technology found 72 previously unknown cracks in the high-pressure boiler of Belgium’s ageing Tihange 2 nuclear reactor. The new flaws were discovered by changing the positions of the devices. Activists and German politicians had long called for the plant to close, but it will run as usual. [International Business Times UK]


¶ Building officials in Portland, Oregon, have approved the construction of what will be the tallest wooden building in the US. Known as Framework, the building will be 11 stories tall. The architect says a wooden building can have a carbon footprint 75% lower than a comparable steel or concrete building, and that is just one of many advantages. [CleanTechnica]

The Framework Building to be built in Portland

¶ Donald Trump’s controversial decision to remove the United States from the Paris Agreement has not affected the ability of the wind power industry’s ability to create jobs for Americans. Trump’s belief that the agreement would produce “draconian” economic burdens has been proven false by new jobs for wind industry workers. [Science Times]

¶ When it comes to emerging energy technologies, many remote Alaska communities are on the cutting edge. US Senator Lisa Murkowski held a field hearing in Cordova of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, focusing on microgrids, which are a necessity for just about every Alaska community off the road system. [KTOO]

Cordova Harbor (Photo: jynxpup, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) and the New York Power Authority issued requests for proposals to renewable energy developers for up to 2.5 million MWh of large-scale renewable energy for New York state. The storage will help the state move to a goal of 50% renewable electricity by 2030. [North Country Now]

¶ Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that cities will take over web publication of the information on climate change that has been removed from EPA web sites. He was joined by a dozen mayors of other large cities. They are part of a group of 270 US mayors who pledged to honor the goals of the Paris climate accord. [InsideSources]

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