September 1 Energy News

September 1, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “It’s not just Harvey: August marked by deadly floods around world” • Severe floods around the world are washing through cities and villages, sweeping away homes and leaving a deadly toll. Extensive flooding in Sierra Leone, Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, in addition to Texas, raising questions about what role climate change is playing. [CNN]

Flooding in Mumbai

¶ “The Week the Earth Stood Still” • When normally sober scientists start draining the barrel of awful superlatives to describe a summer day off the Gulf Coast, it’s time to pay attention. And today, the smartest military men count the global insecurity and chaos of climate change as an existential threat on a par with nuclear disaster. [New York Times]

World:

¶ Siem Offshore Contractors installation support vessel Siem Moxie has started work at Statoil’s 30-MW Hywind floating wind farm off Scotland.  The vessel arrived at the Buchan Deep site last week and is supporting ongoing commissioning work on the project’s five Siemens 6-MW Turbines, which are mounted on soar-buoy floating foundations. [reNews]

Siem Moxie

¶ According to the Oxfam-funded study conducted by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, solar-powered primary healthcare centres in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh admitted over 50% more patients and delivered almost twice the number of babies in one month as “power-deficit” health centres without solar systems. [Decentralized Energy]

¶ Volkswagen UK is offering customers discounts of up to £6,000 ($7,760) to trade in diesel vehicles when buying a new car. All the Volkswagen UK brands will participate, including Audi, Seat, Skoda, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. VW launched a more generous scheme in Germany in August in the wake of its diesel emissions scandal. [BBC]

Other makers are also offering discounts. (Getty Images)

¶ Taiwan’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy outlined its new policy goals to focus on clean energy production, as part of President Moon Jae-in’s nuclear phase out pledge. The phase out of coal-fired power stations and the improvement in efficiency are expected to cut emissions of pollution materials by half by 2030. [Climate Action Programme]

¶ Underwater turbines in the Pentland Firth have set a new world record, according to developer Atlantis Resources. Two tidal turbines generated enough electricity to power 2000 homes last month, they said. Atlantis intends to install 269 turbines, with a total capacity of 398 MW in the strait between Orkney and Caithness. [STV News]

Tidal turbine being installed (Atlantis Resources)

¶ Australia has experienced its hottest winter on record (for mean maximum temperatures), as a result of intensifying climate change. The Bureau of Meteorology released its seasonal update confirming Australia has seen the hottest and one of the driest winters on record, with temperatures reaching almost 2° C above average. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Enel Green Power Brasil Participações has started commercial operations at the 180-MW Delfina wind farm in the Brazilian state of Bahia. The $400 million project is located in the municipality of Campo Formoso and was financed by Enel and a loan from the Brazilian Development Bank. Delfina is Enel’s largest wind farm in Brazil. [reNews]

Enel wind farm in Brazil (Credit: Enel Green Power)

¶ The Queensland Labor government has removed a 5-kW cap on solar systems able to access feed-in tariffs in regional areas, announcing that systems up to 30-kW will now be able to access the 11¢/kWh tariff. The higher cap should encourage installations of solar systems, which reduce grid stress, and so may help lower bills. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ The White House says it will ask the Congress for emergency funding to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. President Donald Trump is expected to propose an initial $5.9 billion (£4.56 billion). The amount will be followed by other aid, though it is not known how quickly. Texas authorities say the state might need more than $125 billion. [BBC]

Flooded neighborhood (Getty Images)

¶ The price of the Tesla Model S or Model X equipped with a 100-kWh battery has dropped by $3,000. This is the second price cut for the Model X. Earlier this year, Tesla reduced the starting price for its SUV by $3,000 as well. Tesla said the drops reflect “cost efficiency improvements of approximately 3% in 100-kWh pack production.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Xcel Energy and Otter Tail Power Company completed the 70-mile (113-km) CapX2020 Big Stone South-Brookings County 345-kV transmission line in South Dakota. The $140 million line runs between the new Big Stone South substation near Big Stone City and the existing Brookings County substation about 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Brookings. [reNews]

Transmission power lines (credit: SXC)

¶ Hawaiian Electric Cos filed a final Grid Modernization Strategy with state regulators, laying out a plan to build a more resilient grid while meeting the state’s 100% renewables by 2045 mandate. The plan includes bringing on more renewable resources, both customer-sited and grid-sourced, increasing reliability, and giving customers more control. [Utility Dive]

¶ California is on the brink of approving a law to target 100% renewable electricity by 2045, in defiance of hostility to climate action from the Trump administration. The bill passed the senate in May and is set for a final assembly vote in coming days. It will make California the world’s largest test bed for creating an entirely clean power grid. [Climate Home]

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