July 28 Energy News

July 28, 2017

World:

¶ Enormous quantities of toxic mercury are now accumulating in the Arctic tundra as a result of industrial activity and emissions in the temperate parts of the globe, according to a study from UMass Lowell. With the Arctic tundra warming, mercury that is accumulating there will increasingly make its way into the Arctic Ocean. [CleanTechnica]

Researcher in the Tundra

¶ Royal Dutch Shell is bracing for a peak in oil demand. Shell boss Ben Van Beurden said the oil major had changed its company mindset to a “lower forever” oil price environment and is focusing on being “fit for the forties,” in reference to the faltering oil price, which has struggled to remain above the $50 a barrel mark. [Telegraph.co.uk]

¶ A report from the Rocky Mountain Institute has concluded that a collection of factors have created a “groundbreaking” opportunity for decarbonizing the global mining industry by transitioning to renewable energy. The Sunshine for Mines program facilitates use of renewables for mines and aims to see 8 GW of capacity built by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

Levelized Cost of Energy: Gas Peaker and Diesel vs Solar
(Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ Mexico hit an installed PV capacity of around 389 MW as of the end of December 2016, according to a report published by the country’s energy department. New grid-connected PV systems installed in Mexico in 2016 totaled 219 MW. This result represents a 128% year-on-year growth, the largest ever for the Mexican solar sector. [pv magazine]

¶ The pioneer of floating solar power plants, French company Ciel & Terre International has collaborated with Portuguese energy firm EDP  Group to design and build the first floating solar project at an existing hydro-electric power station at a dam located at the mouth of Rabagão river in Montalegre, Portugal. [PV-Tech]

Floating PV system in Portugal

¶ The New South Wales minister for planning  said solar projects have been approved for development in four locations in central and northern parts of the state. Their total rated capacity is 275 MW. The four new large-scale solar projects bring the total number now approved by the NSW government to 16 across the state. [RenewEconomy]

¶ With climate change, water scarcity and warmth could begin impacting European electricity generation as soon as 2030, causing production to decrease or to stop altogether, according to a study, published in the journal Nature. It concludes that traditional generation sources such as coal, gas, and nuclear will be increasingly vulnerable. [CleanTechnica]

Coal power plant (Credit: iStockphoto ©Michael Utech)

US:

¶ Analysis of sediments and porewaters from a lake downstream from two facilities that treat fracking wastewater in Pennsylvania led to the detection of highly elevated levels of radium, alkaline earth metals, salts, and organic chemicals. Peak concentrations correlate with a local peak of fracking wastewater disposal 5 to 10 years ago. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Kansas is the fifth state to have at least 5000 MW of wind power capacity installed. The state is behind California, Oklahoma, Iowa and Texas, which has a capacity of a whopping 21,000 MW. Kansans get 30% of their power from wind and solar. The state now has enough wind power capacity to supply 1.5 million average homes. [KMUW]

Kansas wind farm (Sean Sandefur | KMUW File Photo)

¶ Marin Clean Energy set up Deep Green, California’s first community choice aggregation, program in 2010. Individual customers may opt out of the program, but can also “opt up” for more clean energy than standard – 100% renewable energy costs 1¢/kWh extra. Eleven communities have signed up with Deep Green in the last three months. [pv magazine USA]

¶ US wind-power projects under construction or in advanced development in the second quarter are up 40% from the same quarter last year, according to the American Wind Energy Association. In April through June, 29 wind projects, for a total capacity of 3,841 MW, either began construction or entered advanced development. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind turbines at sunrise

¶ In an op-ed essay in Crain’s, New York City council candidate Keith Powers argues that the city should follow the lead of international farmers, power companies, and businesses that put floating solar panels on bodies of water. “We can do the same,” Powers writes, “in Central Park and across our upstate network of reservoirs.” [Habitat magazine]

¶ Vermont Governor Phil Scott issued a statement in support of proposals to supply Massachusetts with 1,000 MW of clean power via the TDI New England Clean Power Link. The TDI project would run from the Canadian border and under Lake Champlain for nearly a hundred miles before connecting to the New England grid in Ludlow. [Vermont Biz]

Lake Champlain (Aaron danielg, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ National Grid is offering two proposals for increasing the supply of renewable energy in Massachusetts. One project would upgrade transmission lines in Vermont and New Hampshire to deliver wind power from Quebec. The other project would build new lines to carry 500 MW between Nassau, New York, and Hinsdale, Massachusetts. [wwlp.com]

¶ Central Maine Power has submitted several proposals for transmission line investments to deliver energy from hydro and other resources from Quebec to the New England electric grid. CMP took this action in response to the Massachusetts Request for Proposals for delivery of clean energy, according to a press release. [HydroWorld]

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