Archive for August 16th, 2017

August 16 Energy News

August 16, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ A new study by the National Renewable Energy Lab tabulated data collected from Proterra electric buses and buses powered by compressed natural gas. When driven on the same route, average fuel economy for the CNG buses came to 2.1 miles per diesel gallon equivalent. By contrast, the Proterra electric buses had an observed MPDGe of 17.35. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra electric buses

¶ Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder claim they have invented a new passive cooling material that can reduce temperatures even in direct sunlight while using no energy and no water. The new metamaterial is a glass/polymer sheet that is 50 μm thick, just slightly thicker than a piece of household aluminum foil. [CleanTechnica]


¶ Soon plastic waste will no longer clog up Costa Rica’s landfills. The country announced it will have a ban on single-use plastics by 2021. Costa Rica wants to become the world’s first country to achieve a comprehensive national strategy to eliminate single-use plastics, a goal that coincides with a 2021 goal of being carbon neutral. [CleanTechnica]

Costa Rica (Photo:

¶ London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched plans to turn his city into the world’s first National Park City and one of the greenest cities on Earth. He will create a £9 million fund to increase the cities’ trees and green infrastructure, and proposed building more green roofs, walls, and rain gardens. The first goal is to protect London’s Green Belt. [CleanTechnica]

¶ As the world searches for clean fuels for cars, there may be a solution right under our noses. The first ‘poo-powered’ car has hit the streets of Australia. It gets power from every flush of a toilet. The electric vehicle from Queensland Urban Utilities is run on electricity generated by the city of Brisbane’s toilet waste. [International Business Times UK]

Australia’s first ‘poo powered’ car (Queensland Urban Utilities)

¶ Dutch Airports will run on 100% renewable energy generated in the country starting next year. Dutch airport owners Royal Schiphol Group made a deal with energy firm Eneco, which will provide 200 GWh of clean power annually for the next 15 years. Wind farms will be built to support the airports in the years ahead. [Innovators Magazine]

¶ French utility Engie has signed a £50-million contract with Voith Hydro to refurbish its Ffestiniog power station, part of the 2-GW First Hydro pumped storage operation in North Wales. Design, planning and component production are due to start immediately. The refurbishing is scheduled for completion by early 2020. [reNews]

Hydro facility (sxc image)

¶ The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Scotland has applied directly to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal against the recent decision by the Inner House of the Court of Session on its Firth of Forth offshore windfarm judicial review. The appeal relates to the wind energy projects with a total of 2,100 MW capacity. [Offshore Wind Journal]

¶ Coal India Ltd, which produces 84% of the country’s total output of the mineral, plans to invest ₹8,500 crore ($1.28 billion) as capital expenditure in 2017-18, its annual report said. The mining company also planned to invest ₹6,500 crore in various coal-related projects, ranging from research to acquisition of Indian coal blocks. [The New Indian Express]

Coal mine in India (Flickr image, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ China National Nuclear Power announced plans to build 20 floating nuclear power stations in a bid to reinforce its influence in the South China Sea. A new company is being setup in Shanghai for the purpose. China claims an area up to 1500 miles from its shores but the claim is contested by many other countries. [Power Engineering International]


¶ Duke Energy Carolinas wants to purchase up to 500 MW of wind power by 2022, reports say. The Duke Energy unit issued a request for proposals for new or existing wind farms to deliver power to the Duke transmission grid. Duke has 35 solar power projects in the region, but this would be the utility’s first use of wind power. [Electric Light & Power]

Wind project in Idaho (ELP image)

¶ Facebook will spend $750 million on a new data center in central Ohio, the company announced. The move marks another boost for the state’s growing technology sector. The 22-acre data center will be powered exclusively with renewable energy. It is expected to employ 100 people to start and to begin providing services in 2019. [Huntington Herald Dispatch]

¶ A year or so from now, electric customers of Rochester, New York, could have easy access to 100% renewable energy at a price lower than their current rates. The mayor is preparing legislation stating the city’s intent to pursue community choice aggregation, which would let the city negotiate an energy-supply contract. [Rochester City Newspaper]

Rochester, New York (Evilarry, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ A study from the University of California, Berkeley gives us more reason to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The study says the US wind and solar power boom has helped prevent the premature deaths of thousands of people and has saved the country billions of dollars in healthcare and climate-related costs in a single year. [AlterNet]

¶ Furthering his attack on Obama-era climate policies, President Donald Trump is expected to rescind a rule that requires federal, state and local agencies to account for rising sea levels caused by climate change and to construct buildings, highways and other infrastructure to withstand flooding, according to multiple media reports. [HuffPost]

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