July 2 Energy News

July 2, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “1,800 tons of radioactive waste has an ocean view and nowhere to go” • The closed San Onofre nuclear power plant will loom for a long time as a landmark, its 1,800 tons of lethal radioactive waste stored on the edge of the Pacific. And like the other 79,000 tons of spent fuel in the US, San Onofre’s nuclear waste has nowhere to go. [Los Angeles Times]

San Onofre nuclear plant, seen from Camp Pendleton
(Photo: Allen J. Schaben | Los Angeles Times)

¶ “Utility Spends $7.5 Billion To Prove Clean Coal Is A Cruel Hoax” • In 2010, Southern Company began construction of a “clean coal” generating facility in Mississippi. Working on a $3.5 billion budget, its mission was to prove that the technology worked. Now, 3 years overdue and $4 billion over budget, the company has given up. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ When China halted plans for more than 100 new coal-fired power plants this year, even as President Trump vowed to “bring back coal,” the contrast seemed to confirm Beijing’s leadership in the fight against climate change. But China’s energy companies are building or planning to build more than 700 new coal plants worldwide. [New York Times]

Construction at a Chinese-owned coal-burning power
plant in Pakistan (Credit: Asad Zaidi | Bloomberg)

¶ The Indian state of Telangana is have over 5000 MW of solar power generation capacity by 2019, up from 1300 MW of capacity now. This is because the state adopted a distributed development model. Under this system, solar project developers are offered opportunities to develop projects based on demand. [Times of India]

¶ Botswana’s rural electrification currently stands at 80%, and the country is targeting to connect the remaining 20% of rural households to electricity by 2020, the energy minister said. Botswana’s production capacity will be augmented by renewable initiatives that the government is putting in place with the help of private players. [Xinhua]

Reservoir at Gaborone Dam (Athena Lao, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Four green technologies are growing fast enough that with a little help they can do their part in a zero-carbon-emissions world by mid-century, an International Energy Agency official said this week in Chicago. The technologies are electric vehicles, energy storage, solar PV, and wind power. All have rapidly falling costs. [Forbes]

US:

¶ The University of Oklahoma has long been known for weather and climate research, but a high-ranking administrator says an eight-year, $161 million project that has just formally begun puts OU in an entirely new orbit. The contract involves  development, deployment and operation of the Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory. [Tulsa World]

Bizzell Library, University of Oklahoma
(Photo: tylerphotos, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ During a four-day period from May 4 to May 7, electricity pricing for some wholesale buyers in New England reached negative levels, as wind farms and solar arrays were producing large amounts of electricity and demand was low. A 2014 change in the energy market rules aimed at market flexibility made negative pricing possible. [The Union Leader]

¶ Climate change will aggravate economic inequality in the United States, essentially transferring wealth from poor counties in the Southeast and the Midwest to well-off communities in the Northeast and on the coasts, according to the most detailed economic assessment of the phenomenon ever conducted. The study was published in Science. [CityLab]

Effects of climate change (Tony Gutierrez | AP)

¶ Concord, New Hampshire, might be in line for a solar-power boom now that solar panels will no longer be subject to property tax assessments, especially after state regulators decided not to greatly change payments for electricity production. The city council unanimously voted to create a tax exemption for most solar installations. [Concord Monitor]

¶ New York and Massachusetts have joined a growing number of states that are setting targets for energy storage as wind, solar and other renewable energy sources are supplying increasing amounts of power to their electric grids. It is not a new idea. The first large scale storage facility in the US was built in Connecticut in 1929. [Digital Journal]

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