August 27 Energy News

August 27, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Why Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google Are Flocking to Iowa” • Apple is the fourth tech giant to build a data center in Iowa, following Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. Apple CEO Tim Cook said at an event in Waukee that one of the important attractions for business is Iowa’s “world-class power grid,” which is powered 36% by wind. [TheStreet.com]

Wind power in Iowa (Voice of American, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “National energy plan needs a major review” • Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has begun a review of the government’s Basic Energy Plan, three years after its last update. The current plan calls for reducing the nation’s dependence on nuclear power, but also calls nuclear an “important baseload power source.” [The Japan Times]

¶ “Did global warming cause Hurricane Harvey?” • Our future may actually be one of fewer hurricanes, but they would be much stronger. Fewer hurricanes mean a lower chance that one hits the US coastline. But a hurricane that does form and heads toward the US will likely be stronger, with a more severe storm surge and higher winds. [WDIV Detroit]

Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christi

Science and Technology:

¶ The Power to Ammonia project, a study looking at the potential of CO2-free ammonia, shows that the electrochemical production of ammonia from renewable energy is a potentially attractive alternative to current technology and that it offers a very promising solution for large-scale seasonal storage and import of renewable energy. [Advanced Science News]

World:

¶ There is no greater threat to Pakistan than climate change, Punjab’s top judge has warned, adding the South Asia country is second most vulnerable to impacts of climate changes although it is not much responsible for global warming. He advised that judicial officers should take a grip on environmental cases with a strong link to science. [Daily Pakistan]

Flooding in Pakistan

¶ An ambitious plan to build one of Australia’s first waste-to-energy incineration plants in Canberra’s south is facing hurdles, with air quality concerns and questions around receiving tariffs for feeding excess energy into the grid. Additionally, the local government has already contracted for 100% of the power it needs from solar and wind plants. [ABC Online]

¶ Western Australia’s Curtin University has shed light on the province’s energy provision, revealing that a quarter of citizens live in energy poverty. Many people are turning to solar power as the price of gas is rising. But even though solar provides cheap power, the upfront cost of installing panels is out of the reach of many Western Australians. [Business Review Australia]

Solar power in Western Australia

¶ India’s wind energy program has nearly halted as distribution companies are signing very few power purchase agreements. Many states and regulators are reluctant to sign for projects agreed upon when tariffs and costs were higher. India added 5,400 MW of wind capacity last year. So far this year, it has added less than 230 MW. [Indiainfoline]

¶ Coal-fired power has slumped to its lowest level in the UK for 135 years, according to Aurora Research analysts. In 2015 it accounted for 23% of electricity generation. From this point it dropped to 9% in 2016. This year, in July, it contributed just 2% of the total power generated, and the average could drop an even lower in August. [The Independent]

UK Coal plant

¶ Philippine retail giant SM Supermalls continues its partnership with Solar Philippines as it puts up more solar rooftops in its malls. It will end 2017 with 8.9 MW total capacity. The mall operator said it will have approximately 33,000 solar panels capable of producing that much electricity by the end of its current installation phase. [Philippine Star]

US:

¶ Apart from physical damage to facilities, hurricanes affect the energy industry due to flooding, power cuts, evacuation of workers and disruptions to the loading or unloading of tankers. Crude oil prices have actually fallen on the news, while petrol prices are up, with traders expecting refineries to be affected more than oilfields. [The National]

Hurricane Harvey (Jack Fischer | NASA via AP)

¶ Utility customers in Westby, Wisconsin, will soon receive more of their electricity from renewable energy thanks to an agreement between Westby Utilities’ not-for-profit wholesale power supplier, WPPI Energy, and Invenergy. WPPI Energy will purchase the output from Invenergy’s 132-MW Bishop Hill III Wind Energy Center. [The Westby Times]

Coventry wind farm (Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources)

¶ Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo said that she is committed to increasing renewable resources to 1,000 MW by 2020. Block Island Wind Farm developer Deepwater Wind is pursuing a wind farm with a 1,000 MW capacity in an offshore leased siting area. Alternative energy sources currently generate 100 MW for Rhode Island. [Block Island Times]

¶ Most owners of brownfield sites would like to make them productive. At capped landfills, the environmental and physical risks remain too high to let them be used for housing, shopping centers or industrial facilities. But even the worst contaminated sites can often be used productively by converting them for solar installations. [The Keene Sentinel]

¶ Two South Carolina power customers charge in a lawsuit that South Carolina’s state-owned utility Santee Cooper hiked rates unconstitutionally to pay for a failed nuclear power plant project. The utility and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co decided to scrap a project at the VC Summer Nuclear Station after spending nearly $10 billion on it. [Patch.com]

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