July 26 Energy News

July 26, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Small nuclear power reactors: Future or folly?” • Nuclear energy companies are proposing small nuclear reactors as a safer and cheaper source of electricity. A physicist with nearly two decades of experience researching and writing on nuclear reactor designs believes that one should be skeptical of these claims. [CanadianManufacturing.com]

Unfinished Bellefonte nuclear plant (Photo: TVA)

¶ “‘Clean Coal’ Is A Political Myth, Says Coal Company Owner” • Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy, America’s largest privately owned coal-mining company, told the press at a conference on clean coal, “Carbon capture and sequestration does not work. It’s a pseudonym for ‘no coal.’ It is neither practical nor economic.” [CleanTechnica]

Science:

¶ Scientists are sucking carbon dioxide from the air with giant fans and preparing to release chemicals from a balloon to dim the sun’s rays as part of a climate engineering push to cool the planet. Backers say the risky, often expensive projects are urgently needed to find ways of meeting the goals of the Paris climate deal to curb global warming. [Reuters]

Facility to capture atmospheric CO2 (Arnd Wiegmann)

World:

¶ New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution, the government is set to announce. Ministers will also unveil a £255 million fund to help councils tackle emissions from diesel vehicles. A £3 billion package of spending on air quality responds to a High Court deadline. [BBC News]

¶ Toyota is not giving up on the hydrogen fuel cell technology that powers the Mirai, but is busy working in the background on an all-electric car with solid-state batteries that offer long range and fast recharging. The plan is to introduce the car, which will be built on an all new chassis, to the Japanese market in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

Toyota Concept-i

¶ Nordex, a German manufacturer, has signed a pair of contracts to supply turbines rated at 3.6 MW and 3.3 MW to EDF Energies Nouvelles projects in France. The 18-MW Espiers wind farm will feature five N117 3.6-MW turbines while the 17.7-MW Guilleville will feature four N117/3600s and a single N100 3.3-MW machine. [reNews]

¶ A slowing of jobs in the UK’s renewable energy sector can be blamed on inaction by lawmakers after a turbulent year of politics, according to a study. Just under 126,000 people were employed in the UK’s renewable energy industry in 2015/16. This is just a 2.5% increase compared to 2014/15, after two years with 8.8% growth in each. [CNBC]

Offshore wind farm (Christopher Furlong | Getty Images)

¶ Siemens Gamesa has entered into an agreement with the independent developer, Fuerza y Energía Limpia de Tizimín, to install 36 of the firm’s G114-2.1-MW turbines this year. The Tizimín wind farm, in the state of Yucatán, will have a total capacity of 76 MW. It is scheduled to be commissioned in 2018. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ SunPower and independent renewable power producer Tenergie announced that SunPower will supply 29.9 MW of its high-efficiency SunPower E-Series solar panels for projects Tenergie is developing in France. The panels will be installed at 157 rooftop projects totaling 26.8 MW and two ground-mounted systems totaling 3.1 MW. [PV-Tech]

SunPower solar system (SunPower image)

¶ The Mayor of Kashiwazaki said he will agree to the restart of two reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, but on the condition that TEPCO “presents a plan to decommission the remaining five in two years.” The demand was made in the mayor’s first meeting with TEPCO’s new president, along with other conditions for a restart. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ The California Department of Transportation, Caltrans, has already begun altering California’s roadways so as to better accommodate the rollout of self-driving vehicles. It is doing so mostly by better accommodating the way that many self-driving vehicles navigate. This news comes from recent comments from the director of Caltrans. [CleanTechnica]

Waymo Chrysler

¶ A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit to stop the state of New York from subsidizing struggling nuclear power plants. The judge said the subsidy program was “plainly related to a matter of legitimate state concern,” the production of clean energy, and reduction of emissions from other energy that could add to global warming. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ Documents released by the California-based Energy and Policy Institute show that a member of President Lyndon B Johnson’s administration warned the Edison Electric Institute industry group at its 1968 annual convention that carbon emissions from fossil fuels could change the climate and trigger “catastrophic effects.” [The Wire]

ConocoPhillips oil refinery (Credit: Reuters | Bret Hartman | Files)

¶ Connecticut Governor Dannel P Malloy ordered a study of the Millstone Power Station’s future economic viability. But a top official at Richmond-based Dominion Energy, which owns the nuclear power plant, said “the time for a study without action has passed,” and Dominion will make a “business decision” regardless of Connecticut’s study. [Richmond.com]

¶ A dairy farmer in northern California says he’s been working on a way to reduce dairy methane emissions for several years, and has succeeded in making his dairy operations carbon positive. Albert Straus, well known for sustainable agriculture practices, revealed what he says is the world’s first first full-scale electric truck powered by cow manure. [Triple Pundit]

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