June 19 Energy News

June 19, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Reasons to be cheerful, despite Trump withdrawing from the Paris Agreement” • The US has abdicated responsibility from the Paris Climate Agreement. While this is a blow to the fight against climate change, a new “G3” – the EU, China and India – may fill the leadership vacuum, with help from the US private sector. [The Guardian]

Indian students (Photo: Jagadeesh Nv | EPA)

¶ “Why you’re about to pay through the nose for power” • Ever since Australia’s carbon tax was removed, power prices have only headed one way – upwards. Investment in renewable energy plummeted at just the time the power industry began to make good on its plans to mothball its antiquated coal-fired generators. Now, Australia has a supply shortage. [ABC Online]

¶ “Renewables and storage will crush coal way ahead of Finkel’s forecast” • The BNEF report has pointed to the inevitable decline in coal generation, as costs of wind and solar power plunge, making them significantly cheaper. Meanwhile, the Turnbull Government seeks to find a way to prolong the life of Australia’s coal fleet. [Independent Australia]

Cost effective power (Wind Energy via Flickr CC)

World:

¶ AP7, Sweden’s largest pension fund, has been at the forefront of the fossil fuel divestment movement for some time. A year ago, it sold off its holdings in 11 coal companies and 8 oil and gas production companies. Last week, AP7 announced that it is continuing divestment. It is selling its shares in ExxonMobil and TransCanada. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Leading researchers have condemned attempts to change the way carbon from trees will be counted in Europe. Trees are important carbon sinks as they soak up about 10% of Europe’s emissions every year. But some European countries want to cut more trees down in future without counting the resulting loss of carbon sequestration. [BBC]

European woodland (Getty images)

¶ The Delhi government’s power department has opened registration process for installation of rooftop solar power plants in the city, as it aims to tap 1 GW of green energy by the year 2020. Under the scheme, 30% central finance assistance will be given by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy on the cost of solar PV. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has taken the decision to suspend interstate transmission charges on solar power projects in an effort to make the energy source more competitive with thermal power. The costs for using interstate solar power would have been raised by ₹1.0/kWh to ₹2.5/kWh (1.6¢/kWh to 3.9¢/kWh). [pv magazine]

Delhi Metro (Photo: varunshiv, Wikipedia)

¶ Korean President Moon Jae-in declared an end to the country’s nuclear-oriented power generation plan and said the nation will pave the way for a nuclear-free era. Moon said the government will also seek to close the second-oldest Wolsong 1 reactor and hinted at halting the ongoing construction of two new nuclear reactors. [Korea Times]

¶ Fractured roads, shattered rail links, ruined wells, and broken power lines are facts of life for many communities in Asia and the Pacific, even as countries invest more than ever to improve infrastructure. Increasingly, climate change is the culprit. Its impacts include erosion, encroaching salinity, and increased natural disasters. [The Sunday Times Sri Lanka]

Working on the land after a flood

¶ The Government of Malaysia has introduced incentives and strategies to encourage the growth of the renewable energy sector. Sunshine is abundant, and demand for solar energy is expected to rise as consumers and businesses become more aware of its benefits, not just to the environment, but also to the economy. [The Star Online]

¶ A small underwater robot has been developed by Toshiba to roam through the submerged Unit 3 primary containment vessel of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, performing inspections. The deployment of the Toshiba ROV will greatly help in the decommissioning process of the Fukushima plant. [Interesting Engineering]

Toshiba ROV (Toshiba image)

¶ Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, said Pope Francis encouraged her to work to preserve the Paris Agreement on climate change, despite the US withdrawal from it. She said he shared her goal to “bring down walls” between countries, not build them. Merkel and Francis met for about 40 minutes in the Apostolic Palace. [Carbon Brief]

US:

¶ Bonneville Power Administration, which supplies power in the Northwest, has seen lower demand for power from public utilities and major industrial customers, which all have been working to increase energy conservation. While sale revenue has sagged, BPA operating costs have increased, so retail rates are expected to increase. [The Seattle Times]

BPA dam on the Columbia River (Alan Berner | The Seattle Times)

¶ According to data released today by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Walmart’s climate emissions continue to rise. This is after Walmart pledged to become more of an environmental leader. ILSR says the company scaled back its renewable power projects here in the US. Its clean energy projects fell 16% since 2013. (Video) [WHAG]

¶ The city of South Sioux City has approved an agreement to receive 15 MW of energy from a new wind farm in southern Nebraska.  The move is the latest by the northeast Nebraska city to diversify its energy portfolio as it pulls away from the Nebraska Public Power District, the state’s largest electrical utility. [Sioux City Journal]

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