June 29 Energy News

June 29, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “The Trump White House thinks if you stop measuring climate change it isn’t happening – that’s wrong and dangerous” • With each passing year, measurements tell us that the climate system is far more sensitive than we thought only a decade ago. It is prudent risk management take significant steps to mitigate the worst risks of climate change. [The Independent]

Changing the climate

World:

¶ Some Australian states and electric power companies are rolling out a new weapon against fossil fuels. Increasingly, states are requiring large batteries to be used to help expand wind and solar power. The trend is catching on quickly as at least three states have created energy storage targets or incentives so far this year. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Scientists are concerned about an unknown cause of a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide. In one of the most hopeful signs since the global climate crisis became widely known, the amount of carbon dioxide that people are pumping into the air seems to have stabilized. Nevertheless, the amount in the air is still increasing. [New York Times] Thanks to CC Reilly

Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station in Tasmania. (Credit:
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization)

¶ Navigant Research’s latest Microgrid Deployment Tracker highlights remote projects leading all microgrid segments in terms of capacity and in number of projects. According to Navigant Research, as of the second quarter of 2017, there are 1,842 microgrid projects lodged in its Tracker, representing a total of 19,279 MW of capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Dutch company Alfen has built a 3-MW energy storage system using BMW car batteries at Nuon’s Prinses Alexia wind farm in the Netherlands. The companies said that they plan to expand the system to 12 MW “over the coming period”. It is Alfen’s second energy storage project linked to a wind farm; the first was a 1-MW system at Giessenwind. [reNews]

Alfen battery system (Alfen image)

¶ Dong Energy has concluded agreements for the conversion of the Asnæs power station to bio energy that will help phase out coal-fired generation in Denmark by 2023. The plant will be fueled with wood chips, which will come from primarily from by-products, such as branches, twigs and thinning trees from sustainable forestry projects. [reNews]

¶ Three companies, SSAB, LKAB, and Vattenfall, announced that they have formed a joint venture company to continue to drive the HYBRIT initiative. The three companies will each own one third of the company, which will seek to develop a steelmaking process that uses no fossil fuels and emits water instead of carbon dioxide. [Automotive World]

Steel without fossil fuels (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ In the UK, household energy bills and carbon emissions will rise unless ministers devise new policies to save power, a report says. The Committee on Climate Change confirms that bills and emissions have been forced down since 2008 by EU energy efficiency rules. The CCC says the UK must adopt new policies much more swiftly. [BBC]

US:

¶ Mississippi Power and DE Shaw Renewable Investments, LLC have announced that the 52-MW solar generating facility near Sumrall, the largest solar power plant in the state of Mississippi, is operating and providing energy to the Mississippi Power grid. The facility, with about 220,000 panels on 600 acres, can power approximately 8,000 homes. [Hattiesburg American]

Sumrall solar facility (Photo: Mississippi Power)

¶ Mississippi Power Co, faced with an ultimatum from state regulators, said it will suspend efforts to build a coal-fueled power plant with carbon capture. The cost of the plant ballooned from $2.9 billion to $7.5 billion and it is three years behind schedule. Instead of running on so-called “clean coal,” it will run on natural gas. [FederalNewsRadio.com]

¶ The Navajo Nation Council approved a lease extension to allow the coal-fired power Navajo Generating Station to continue operating through December 2019. The 18-4 Council vote came Monday night after about eight hours of debate. It means at least 700 jobs at the plant and the coal mine that supplies it will not be lost immediately. [PennEnergy]

Navajo Generating Station

¶ The clean energy organization The Sun Day Campaign has picked apart the latest data from the US Energy Information Agency, and the news may be ominous for nuclear energy. So far low cost natural gas has been the primary driver of coal power plant closings, but renewables are beginning to play a larger role. [Triple Pundit]

¶ The nation’s electricity grid operators are increasingly turning to more flexible resources and low-cost renewable energy options like wind and solar, rendering outdated the notion that “baseload” generating plants are required to reliably power America’s homes and businesses, according to a new report by The Brattle Group. [Solar Industry]

Transmitting baseload power (iStock-5028143391)

¶ Rock Art Brewery became the first Vermont brewery to fully offset its electricity needs with solar. SunCommon, of Waterbury, helped the 20-year-old, family-owned brewery realize a longstanding goal to go solar by installing a 200-panel, 67 kW array on the brewery’s rooftop in Morrisville. The brewery released a special ale to celebrate. [Vermont Biz]

¶ Greater Cincinnati Waterworks will transition from coal-powered energy to solar, Mayor John Cranley announced. The solar array is estimated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25,000 tons annually. Cranley also joined ‘Mayors for 100 percent Clean Energy’ committing Cincinnati city government to move to 100% renewable energy by 2035. [WXIX]

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