July 9 Energy News

July 9, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Sell Your Fossil Fuel Stocks” • For people who claim to support states’ rights and the free market, the support for fossil fuels is the height of hypocrisy and delusion. When Republicans say they want to run the government “like a business,” what they apparently mean is, “run government like a Trump casino headed straight for bankruptcy court.” [HuffPost]

Nodding donkey (Greg Goebel, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ The collapse and melting of the Eurasian ice sheet at the end of the last ice age led to chaos all across the European continent, according to a new study published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews. The collapse of the ice sheet led to serious changes to ecological systems and environments, and to the region’s human habitability. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A new analysis has been published by researchers involved with Climate Central’s World Weather Attribution program and partners. It concluded that climate warming from anthropogenic greenhouse gasses increased the intensity and frequency of extreme heat in the June 2017 heat wave in Europe by as much as a factor of 10. [CleanTechnica]

Prague Castle

¶ A study using complex computational models finds that smart solid-state transformers could be used to make a stable, reliable “smart grid.” This may help realize the idea, which has been around for years, that a smart grid could handle power flows not just from the power company to our homes, but also from our homes to the power company. [pvbuzz media]

World:

¶ Engineering giant IHI Corp unveiled an “ocean current power generator” prototype, which harnesses the energy in ocean currents. It will be tested in a demonstration project off the coast of Kagoshima Prefecture. A similar experiment with wave power was announced by Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co in April. [The Mainichi]

Prototype ocean current power generator (Mainichi)

¶ Negotiations over the wording of the final communiqué from the G20 meeting carried on late into Saturday morning. The sticking point? Disagreements over the US’s preferred phrasing for the group’s position on climate change and renewable energy. Bafflingly, the US wanted to state that it will help other nations with access to fossil fuels. [Gizmodo]

¶ Chile’s Santiago metro system will soon source as much as 60% of its energy requirement from renewable energy sources. The metro system, which serves 2.4 million people every day, will acquire 42% of its energy needs from a solar power project and 18% from a wind energy project. Both projects are located in the Atacama Desert. [CleanTechies]

Metro de Santiago (Credit: Ariel Cruz Pizarro | CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ The South African nation of Zimbabwe is planning a big push in the renewable energy sector with specific capacity targets and financial support to project developers, according to reports. A document reviewed by Bloomberg News says that Zimbabwe plans to have 1 GW of renewable energy capacity operational by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway agreed to pay $9 billion to buy the parent of Texas power transmission company Oncor Electric Delivery Co, as it pursues steady profits from utilities and infrastructure deals. Given federal and state approval, it will gain control of one of the largest US transmission companies. [The News International]

Transmission towers (From energy.gov, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ In the past six years, rooftop solar panel installations have grown explosively – as much as 900% by one estimate. But that growth is projected to be reversed, with a decline in new installations of 2%, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. This is due in part to well-funded lobbying campaigns in state capitals. [WatertownDailyTimes.com]

¶ Coal mines have actually been hiring in North Dakota in recent years, a sharp contrast to other coal regions. Utilities have been investing significant money in coal-powered plants. The state’s coal industry “isn’t immune to what’s occurring in the rest of the US, but it may be the last place where it hits,” one economist said. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Refurbishing a turbine (Richard Tsong-Taatarii)

¶ Southwestern New Hampshire is on its way to becoming a solar-power mecca. Keene, Chesterfield, Fitzwilliam, and Hinsdale have projects at various stages of capturing energy from the sun. The developer of the Fitzwilliam and Hinsdale projects has proposed approximately 30-MW, and up to 65-MW, systems, respectively. [The Keene Sentinel]

¶ While hackers working for a foreign government recently breached at least a dozen US power plants, including the Wolf Creek nuclear facility in Kansas, regional and local electric utilities say they have found no evidence that a recent wave of cyberattacks infiltrated any of their power plants and computer networks. [The Daily Nonpareil]

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