August 8 Energy News

August 8, 2017


¶ “The red state with an energy blueprint” • Iowa didn’t become an energy powerhouse by accident. Back in the 1980s, the state enacted the nation’s first law incentivizing utilities that bought more renewable power. Last year, nearly 37% of Iowa’s power came from wind. It has given the state jobs and the country’s most reliable and inexpensive energy. [The Hill]

Wind turbines (Getty Images)

¶ “Censoring climate change won’t stop global warming” • The United States Department of Agriculture has decided to combat the threat of global warming by forbidding the use of the words. The terms “climate change” and “climate change adaptation,” are to be replaced by “weather extremes” and “resilience to weather extremes.” [The Guardian]


¶ Potent, climate warming gases are being emitted into the atmosphere but are not being recorded in official inventories, a BBC investigation has found. In just one example, Swiss air monitors detected large quantities of one gas coming from a location in Italy. However, the Italian submission to the UN records just a tiny amount. [BBC News]

Air monitoring station at Jungfraujoch

¶ Cumulative installed PV power has reached 237 MW in Brazil as of the end of June, according to provisional statistics provided by the country’s Minister of Mines and Energy. It said in the report it expects another 530.4 MW of PV plants awarded in the auctions to come online by the end of 2017 and 1.34 GW to be connected to the grid in 2018. [pv magazine]

¶ A German public works department, Stadtwerke Heidelberg, has broken ground on a new type of energy storage center. Solar and wind energy generated on site will be used to heat up the water inside the tower. The heat will then be sold. The heat storage center will also provide a sustainable energy knowledge hub to the community. [The Urban Developer]

Rendering of heat storage tank in Heidelberg

¶ The UK government has given the green light for an offshore wind farm that could meet the power needs of 890,000 homes. The 1.2-GW East Anglia Three offshore wind farm, 40 miles off the coast of Suffolk, will have up to 172 huge, wind turbines, of up to 12-MW each, bigger than any turbines currently available. [Aberdeen Evening Express]

¶ Lightsource, a UK-based solar energy developer, has applied to the Meath County Council in Ireland for planning permission to build a 70-MW solar farm. If granted, the plant would be by far the largest single solar array in Ireland, and also the largest in the British Isles. The expected investment cost is likely to reach €60 million. [pv magazine]

Castle in County Meath (Image: Andrew Parnell | Wikipedia)


¶ The average temperature in the US has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and Americans are feeling the effects, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration. Scientists say they fear that the administration could change or suppress the report. A draft of it is available. [New York Times]

¶ Farmers Electric Cooperative serves 605 households and businesses in Kalona, Iowa, and its surrounding villages. It generates 3,719 watts of solar power per subscriber, 76% more than any other utility. The cooperative offers a look at how community-minded thinking can shape energy policy and reinvent the local economy. [CleanTechnica]

Farmers Electric solar array (Farmers Electric photo)

¶ After taking in orders for the US wind industry worth 632 MW during the second quarter of this year, Vestas has in the past two weeks announced 348 MW worth of new wind turbine orders for the United States alone. This brings the total number of wind turbine orders from the United States for the year up to 1,776 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Alger Delta members in the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will soon receive even more of their electricity from cost-effective renewable energy. Alger Delta’s not-for-profit wholesale power supplier, WPPI Energy, entered an agreement with Invenergy, to purchase the output from a 132-MW wind energy center that Invenergy owns. []

Wind turbines at sunset

¶ Only a day after the EPA was sued by 16 Democratic state attorneys general, Scott Pruitt and the EPA announced that they would forego delaying the designation of areas currently impacted by high levels of ground-level ozone, also known as smog. A press release heralded the EPA’s willingness to work with states. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Software giant Salesforce, in San Francisco’s largest employer, is switching two of its high-rise office buildings in the City by the Bay to 100% renewable wind and solar energy through a local community choice aggregation program. The company is the largest business yet to opt into the SuperGreen level of the not-for-profit CleanPowerSF initiative. [GreenBiz]

San Francisco (Shutterstock image)

¶ Low-income customers in New York City and nearby areas will have access to solar starting in 2018. A plan for Consolidated Edison to put solar panels on its buildings and properties in the city has been approved. The initial installations, totaling 3 MW, will be installed on properties including in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. [pv magazine USA]

¶ An article in the Wall Street Journal says South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster is looking at ways to revive the abandoned project to build two new nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. One is the idea to sell the state-owned utility, Santee Cooper, or sell the Santee Cooper’s 45% ownership in the construction of the reactors. []

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