August 24 Energy News

August 24, 2017


¶ “Exxon Dared Critics to Prove It Misled the Public. These Researchers Just Called the Company’s Bluff.” • Science historian Naomi Oreskes and Harvard researcher Geoffrey Supran have published the first peer-reviewed, comprehensive analysis of Exxon Mobil’s climate communications. It adds heft to charges of deceptive climate denial. [Mother Jones]
(Thanks to Tad Montgomery.)

Exxon plant (Matt Brown | AP)

¶ “Trump officials rewrite Energy Dept study to make renewables look bad, fail anyway” • Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s long-awaited grid study is finally out. Trump officials clearly rewrote the previously leaked staff draft to make it look like renewable energy is a threat to baseload power and grid resilience, but they mostly botched the job. [ThinkProgress]


¶ An economic survey released by the Indian government states that by 2026 installed capacity in the renewable energy sector will match that in the thermal power sector, and it will continue to grow more important thereafter. Currently, India’s total capacity is 327 GW, of which 55% is thermal and 18% is renewable energy sources. [CleanTechnica]

Indian home solar array

¶ Electricity and water rates in Kuwait have been revised upward by 500% to encourage consumers to rationalize consumption, a spokesman for the ministry of electricity and water said in a statement. The new rates are five fils (nearly $0.16) per kWh for electricity and two dinars ($6.63) per 1,000 imperial gallons of water. [Khaleej Times]

¶ Solar PV capacity will soon match and even overtake nuclear energy’s global capacity, according to new US research. By the end of 2017, solar power plants around the world are predicted to have an installed capacity of 390 GW, according to estimates by Greentech Media. That is just shy of the 391.5 GW of nuclear capacity currently in operation. [EURACTIV]

Sunset for a nuclear plant (Shutterstock image)

¶ Canada’s National Energy Board has agreed for the first time in its history to consider upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions while reviewing a major pipeline project. The federal regulator will consider “indirect” heat-trapping pollution in upcoming hearings for a proposed TransCanada Energy East pipeline. [National Observer]


¶ Monday’s solar eclipse offered the power sector an entirely predictable opportunity for experiments, as over 12,000 MW of solar power supplies to dropped off their systems. Many companies used the event to test software, plants, and markets that are being made ready for a time when renewable energy will become dominant. [CMFE News]

Coal-fired power plant

¶ The nine northeastern states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have tightened greenhouse gas emission limits on electric power plants. The group announced that the plants will face a 30% cut on maximum total emissions allowed starting in 2020. By 2030, power industry greenhouse gas emissions will be cut 65% from 2009 levels. [Albany Times Union]

¶ Grid operators and traders thought they were totally prepped for the historic US solar eclipse. But they failed to factor in human behavior. While power stations ramped up to replace lost solar power, millions of people were outdoors ogling the eclipse instead of cranking up the A/C. Spot power prices in California fell to negative levels. [Bloomberg]

Grid monitoring for the eclipse (David Paul Morris | Bloomberg)

¶ Under a settlement agreement announced by the Sierra Club, the Lansing Board of Water and Light will stop burning fossil fuels at the coal-fired Erickson Generating Station in Michigan by December 2025 and commit to specific investments in clean energy. The Sierra Club said this settles claims of Clean Air Act violations at the plant. [Solar Industry]

¶ The DOE issued a long-anticipated report stressing a need to protect the “resilience” of the nation’s power grid by valuing dependable resources such as coal and nuclear more in power markets, according to the head of a coal trade group. There is considerable controversy about the need for subsidies to protect coal and nuclear generators. [Houston Chronicle]

Cooling towers at Watts Bar nuclear plant

¶ A research team led by Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford University published a paper, “100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight All-Sector Energy Roadmaps for 139 Countries of the World.” It provides pathways for each of 139 countries to having economies entirely free of use of fossil fuels, nuclear power, and biomass. [Green Energy Times]

¶ California could solidify its position as a global leader on the issue of climate change in the coming weeks, when the state Legislature considers a bill that would push for the state to obtain all its electricity from renewable sources by 2045. Hawaii is the only other state in America to have committed to that ambitious goal, and it is much smaller. []

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