Archive for July 27th, 2017

July 27 Energy News

July 27, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ Coastal mangroves are among the most imperiled ecosystems on earth. Current estimates say up to 67% have been lost to date, according to the United Nations science wing. UNESCO highlighted their role in sequestering significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and ocean, which is crucial for mitigating climate change. [UN News Centre]

Planting mangrove on Tarawa (UN Photo | Eskinder Debebe)

¶ The weather has always been an unpredictable element of agriculture, but climate change is expected to make matters significantly worse. Determining how much worse has historically been a challenge. A new study, however, says climate-induced drought could hit several of the world’s major corn producing regions all at once. [BloombergQuint]

¶ A ship with renewable energy panels instead of sails is set for trials next year. The EnergySail, a rigid sail that sits on a pole and rotates to harness both wind and solar energy, could help lower toxic gas and carbon emissions. The EnergySail can also be used when a ship is at anchor or in port to help reduce fuel costs. It can withstand high winds. [Daily Mail]

Eco Marine Power system


¶ Moves including scrapping new diesel and petrol cars from 2040 and £255 million for councils to tackle air pollution locally have been welcomed. The UK Transport Secretary said the government was determined to deliver a “green revolution.” But environmental groups criticized the lack of a scrappage scheme and immediate clean air zones. [BBC]

¶ Highlands and Islands Enterprise has awarded £250,000 to a project aimed at providing power 24 hours a day on Fair Isle in Scotland. The £2.6 million project, which is being led by community group Fair Isle Electricity Company, plans to install three 60-kW wind turbines, a 50-kW solar farm and battery storage on the island. [reNews]

Fair Isle’s old turbine  (Wikimedia Commons | Dave Wheeler)

¶ Renewables and battery storage will replace gas as South Australia’s main source of electricity within eight years, according to industry analysts. The state’s energy transition could be a “leading case study on managing a power system in transition for other mature markets to follow”, says a report by Wood Mackenzie. [The Guardian]

¶ Around 3,516 MW of solar projects were selected in Spain’s renewable energy auction for large-scale solar and wind power plants held by the Spanish Ministry of Energy, Tourism, and the Digital Agenda. Provisional data provided by the spokeswoman of Spanish solar association UNEF, the share of wind power was just 720 MW. [pv magazine]

Sonnedix PV plant in Spain (Sonnedix image)

¶ A total of 6.1 GW of new wind power capacity was installed in Europe in the first half of 2017, according to WindEurope. Some 4.8 GW of onshore wind capacity was installed in the first six months of the year, with the majority in Germany, the UK, and France. A total of 1.3 GW of new offshore capacity was installed in 18 projects. [reNews]


¶ According to a new report by Environment America Research and Policy Center, the US generates nearly eight times as much electricity from the sun and the wind as it did in 2007. This is enough to power more than 25 million homes. The average American uses 10% less energy than he or she did 10 years ago. [North American Windpower]

Wind farm on the prairie

¶ Two California governors, a Republican and a Democrat, celebrated extending one of the state’s key global warming programs. Governor Jerry Brown signed a law extending the state’s cap-and-trade program, as former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger slammed the federal government for abandoning the climate fight. [Governing]

¶ The latest proposed roadmap for Connecticut’s energy future is out, and it is likely to spark debate in the coming months, much of it over the Millstone nuclear plant and solar energy. The release of the proposed 2017 Comprehensive Energy Strategy is the first step in a months-long process with several public hearings before it is approved. [New Haven Register]

Millstone nuclear plant (NRC photo)

¶ South Carolina Electric & Gas Co has announced its customers are producing 43 MW of electricity from their own solar generating systems. That is more than 1% of the five-year retail peak demand on SCE&G’s system, meaning it exceeds the goal set forth in South Carolina’s landmark solar legislation (Act 236) in 2014. [Solar Industry]

¶ Power development company Invenergy LLC and General Electric Co announced plans to build the largest wind farm in the United States in Oklahoma, part of a $4.5 billion project to provide electricity to 1.1 million utility customers in the region. The 2-GW Wind Catcher wind farm is scheduled to come online in 2020. []

Wind turbines in Oklahoma (USGS photo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ In a move that will probably surprise no one, recent reports indicate Donald Trump will nominate former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to serve as deputy administrator of the EPA. Wheeler was not only a key DC advocate for the coal industry, but also used to be an aide for everyone’s “favorite” climate-denying senator, James Inhofe. [HuffPost]

¶ A group representing several energy companies and ratepayers said it would appeal a federal judge’s ruling that upholds New York’s plan to subsidize nuclear power plants in the state. US District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan had ruled that federal law does not preempt use of zero-emissions credits to support nuclear power. [POWER magazine]

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