August 6 Energy News

August 6, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Reality check: We can’t turn back time on Alberta’s climate policy” • The environment is not the partisan issue it’s often made out to be. Outside of a vocal minority who object to any action on climate change, leaders across the political spectrum recognize this is the critical economic and environmental challenge of our times. [Calgary Herald]

Oilsands extraction facility (Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “How SC lawmakers passed a 2007 law that failed SC power customers” • A 2007 law put SC power customers on the hook for financing nuclear reactors. The law, which was promoted as protecting South Carolina ratepayers, “basically allowed the utilities a blank check at the ratepayers’ expense,” according to one state lawmaker. [The State]

¶ “Dirty energy’s quiet war on solar panels” • With rooftop solar power, you can help address climate change, grow the renewable energy economy, create jobs, and save money. Win-win-win, right? Well, not if you’re in the fossil fuel industry – or one of the politicians who owe them favors. And that’s where things get messy. [The Hill]

Rooftop solar system (Infrogmation, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ Solar has become the world’s favorite type of new electricity generation. Global data show that more solar PV capacity is being installed than any other generation technology. Across the world, 73 GW of net new solar PV capacity was installed in 2016. Wind energy came in second place with 55 GW. Coal was third with 52 GW. [finder.com.au]

¶ Global movement toward clean energy sources is a boon for Canada’s mining industry, according to Mining for Clean Energy: Tracking the Energy Revolution 2017, a report from Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue. Solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, smart grids, and LEDs all require Canadian metals and minerals. [The Reminder]

Zoro Lithium Project

¶ An academic who is a critic of the cost of renewable power is to lead an independent review of the cost of energy amid concerns about rising bills in the UK. He was chosen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to carry out the inquiry which he said will “sort out the facts from the myths about the cost of energy.” [The Times]

¶ The tiny Orkney island of Eday is working on an initiative that could revolutionize the world of sea transport. With shipping under pressure for producing high levels of emissions, islanders are developing a project that could pave the way for pollution-free roll-on/roll-off vehicle ferries powered by locally produced hydrogen. [The Times]

Tidal power project (LCHAM | SIPA | Rex | Shutterstock)

US:

¶ President Donald Trump has made no secret of his desire to roll back environmental regulations and change the playing field for the fossil-fuel industry. His administration’s actions over its first six months have been following that lead, including what many scientists say is a full-fledged battle against research and facts. [CNN]

¶ Manufacturers choosing where to expand may see electricity costs as vitally important, but experts say last week’s decision to scrap construction of two new reactors at the VC Summer Nuclear Station due to high costs is not expected to have a long-term impact on statewide economic development efforts in South Carolina. [Charleston Post Courier]

Boeing 787 assembly plant (Charleston Post Courier file photo)

¶ The “flash drought” that came out of nowhere this summer in the US High Plains, afflicting Montana and the Dakotas worst, has already destroyed more than half of this year’s wheat crop, going by some recent field surveys. Flash droughts are expected to become more common over the coming decades as the climate continues warming. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Citing Appalachia’s need to compensate for losing thousands of megawatts worth of coal-fired power during the last few years, developer Pike Island Energy hopes to build a $200 million hydroelectric plant at the Pike Island Locks and Dam in the Ohio River. The 48-MW plant would generate enough electricity for about 22,000 homes. [The Review]

Pike Island Locks and Dam (US Army, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ News from Arizona is a mixed bag. As the shutdown of the 2,250-MW Navajo Generating Station is still moving forward, the 27.3-MW Kayenta Solar Project has gone online, and some of its power going to Navajo homes that have never had electricity before. But Arizona utilities are doing what they can to oppose rooftop solar power. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A growing opposition in the executive branch comes as the White House’s legislative agenda has stalled in Congress and Trump turns to his Cabinet agencies to change course in several policy areas. It is emanating from career staffers whose resistance to Trump has at times been rooted in deep opposition to the president’s agenda. [The Hill]

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