September 10 Energy News

September 10, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Irma takes aim at America’s most vulnerable, unprepared city: Tampa” • Hurricane Irma appears to have Tampa in its cross-hairs, potentially hitting the city as a Category 3 storm Monday morning. Unfortunately, Tampa is unprepared. Climate science denial has thwarted efforts to plan for rising seas and worsening storms. [ThinkProgress]

Tampa in 2003 (Christopher Hollis, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “People power: how households can help the energy crisis” • With rising electricity prices and dire predictions about summertime blackouts and brownouts, Australia is widely understood to be in grip of an energy crisis. But as politicians argue about what to do next, people are quietly making their own difference. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “President Trump’s War on Science” • From Day 1, the White House and its lackeys in certain federal agencies have been waging what amounts to a war on science. In nearly every case the principal motive for decisions seemed the same: to serve commercial interests whose profitability could be affected by health and safety rules. [New York Times]

White House matches (Image: Celia Jacobs)

World:

¶ Plans to build the £8 billion Cardiff tidal lagoon, which would be the UK’s largest ever renewable energy project creating and sustaining 8,000 manufacturing jobs, has been boosted with a National Grid connection agreement. The agreement ensures that if the project gets the go-ahead then electricity generated would flow into the grid connection. [WalesOnline]

¶ The government of the Netherlands has been ordered by a court in the country to take immediate action to reduce air pollution levels. In some parts of the country, air pollution is in breach of legal European Union particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide levels, according to recent reports. The order is a victory for environmentalists. [CleanTechnica]

Oudezijds Voorburgwal

¶ India may produce surplus power in the current financial year but sporadic outages continue to plague the country and 24% households are yet to be electrified, according to Fitch Ratings. Distribution utilities are shying away from signing new long-term power purchase agreements for both thermal and wind capacity. [Business Standard]

¶ Indian renewable energy firm ReNew Power Ventures targets to double its generation capacity to 5 GW in the next two years, a top company official said. The company has planned to add 1 GW capacity this fiscal. The company invested ₹6,700 crore ($1 billion) to add 430 MW of solar and 626 MW of wind capacity in 2016-17. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable energy

¶ The New England area of New South Wales is in a renewable energy boom. And it is not just big companies building huge solar and wind farms; everyday residents are getting in on it by the droves. Farming the Sun, a local charity helping people get discounted solar panels, has dished out 1.5 MW since it started in 2008. [The Northern Daily Leader]

¶ Offshore wind power may emerge as a major post-Brexit success for the UK economy as technology costs plummet and the weaker pound increases its export potential. The technology is likely to be the major winner in the Government’s renewable support auction, which will award £295 million to low-carbon power schemes. [Telegraph.co.uk]

Offshore wind farm

¶ The International Atomic Energy Agency has issued its International Status and Prospects for Nuclear Power 2017 report. It sees high potential for nuclear power in the long term, but expansion is projected be slow for some years, due to early retirements and lack of interest in extending the life of nuclear power plants in some countries. [The National]

US:

¶ Helicopters will start flying this month between a Schoharie County electrical facility and the Capital Region as part of a $1 billion smart grid plan by the New York Power Authority. They will help ground crews install fiber optic lines connecting the Blenheim-Gilboa Storage Power Project to a new command center in White Plains. [Albany Times Union]

Schoharie Valley (Photo: Will Waldron/Times Union)

¶ JP Morgan Cazenove has joined the ranks of those who believe the electric vehicle revolution will happen sooner rather than later. JP Morgan noted that the price differential between legacy vehicles and EVs is gradually narrowing as battery prices fall, but that once a certain tipping point is reached, things could start happening quickly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Virtual power purchase agreements are gaining steam around the country, with companies such as General Mills, Yahoo, Target and T-Mobile jumping into long contracts with solar farms, wind farms and hydro-electric projects. For Indiana, that could mean a significant boost to wind farms, perhaps adding hundreds of new turbines. [The Republic]

Meadow Lake Wind Farm

¶ South Carolina’s Clemson Area Transit agency placed an order for 10 all-electric 40′ Proterra Catalyst E2 buses, along with all the charging equipment they require, a press release revealed. The 10 all-electric Proterra buses will be manufactured at the firm’s East Coast Manufacturing Facility near Greenville, South Carolina, it is reported. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Nebraska State Board of Education approved new science standards that challenge kids to think and act like scientists. Under the new standards, students will “analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate and scale of global or regional climate changes.” [Omaha World-Herald]

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