August 20 Energy News

August 20, 2017


¶ “President Trump Has An Oil Problem” • After six months of regulatory rollback, Trump has done almost nothing that will create jobs on oil fields or offshore rigs. That’s because low oil prices, not environmental protections, are stunting job growth, and Trump’s push to nix federal regulations only makes oil cheaper. [CleanTechnica]

(Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ “Montana’s fly fishing industry calls for action on climate change” • Washington politicians may deny science, but the effects of climate change can be clearly seen in Montana. The state has some of the best fly fishing in the country, but the industry already sees negative impacts from climate change on cold water fishing. [Great Falls Tribune]

Science and Technology:

“Roadkill” (The Economist)

¶ The most recent cover story in The Economist announces, “The death of the internal combustion engine… it had a good run. But the end is in sight.” The Economist reports that the end of the internal combustion engine is in sight and its days are numbered. Rapid gains in battery technology favor electric motors over internal combustion.” [CleanTechnica]


¶ According to a report by the UN Development Programme and the Asian Development Bank, Sri Lanka’s electricity capacity will need to increase from the current 3,700 MW to about 34,000 MW. Of this, 15,000 MW will be wind energy and about 16,000 MW will be solar energy. Balance capacity is expected to be met by other renewable sources. [Colombo Page]

¶ Masdar, a renewable energy company based in Abu Dhabi, signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract with a group of companies that include GE and Spain TSK to build a wind farm in Oman. It will be the first large scale project of its kind in the Gulf. The 50-MW Dhofar Wind Power Project will power 16,000 homes. [The National]

Offshore wind farm (AFP | Scott Eisen)

¶ Nova Scotia Power plans to install 12 fast charging stations for electric cars across the province as part of a pilot project. NSP hopes Nova Scotians will soon be able to drive electric vehicles from Sydney to Yarmouth without having to worry about where they can charge their batteries. The pilot project will be ready for use in the spring of 2018. [The Register/Advertiser]

¶ Abengoa has achieved practical completion for Xina Solar One, its third solar thermal plant in South Africa. Xina Solar One is a 100-MW plant using parabolic through technology to generate renewable and dispatchable power from the sun. The plant has a thermal energy storage system sufficient to supply power for 5.5 hours after dark. [Independent Online]

Solar thermal power plant (IOL file image)

¶ Sales of Chinese solar panels to North Koreans have soared in the past two years. It is one of the border businesses still thriving despite growing US pressure on China to limit commerce with the Stalinist regime. Last year, China exported 466,248 solar panels across the border, according to official figures from Beijing. []

¶ Some day over the next two weeks, an AP1000 nuclear power plant in China’s Zhejiang Province will start loading more than 100 fuel assemblies into the honeycomb core of its AP1000 reactor with a pair of robotic arms. It is the first Westinghouse AP1000 to be finished. It is a design claimed to be meltdown-proof. [South China Morning Post]

AP1000 in Zhejiang Province


¶ Increasingly, solar companies work with farmers to install solar panels on their land. In North Carolina, solar companies pay rents up to $1,400 an acre, far more than what most farmers could earn from planting crops or raising livestock. But PV arrays are low-impact, so farmers can raise livestock or grow crops on land covered with PVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ As Monday’s total solar eclipse sweeps from Oregon to South Carolina, US electric power and grid operators will be glued to their monitoring systems in what may represent the biggest test yet of the renewable energy era. Utilities and grid operators have been planning for the event for years and have lined up standby power sources. []

Eclipse of 2012, partly obscured by clouds
(Abby182000, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ When President Trump announced his intention to pull the US out of the landmark Paris Agreement, one thing he said stuck out to us: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” But Pittsburgh, as well as the rest of the Mid-Atlantic region, is feeling the negative effects of the climate crisis right now. [CleanTechnica]

¶ While President Donald Trump continues to dismantle Obama-era climate policies, an unlikely surge of Republican lawmakers has begun distancing themselves from the GOP’s hard line on climate change. The House Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan backwater when it formed early last year, has more than tripled in size since January. [Politico]

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