September 14 Energy News

September 14, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Harrowing Storms May Move Climate Debate, if Not GOP Leaders” • For years, climate change activists have faced a dilemma: how to persuade people to care about a grave but seemingly far-off problem and win their support for policies that might cost them in utility bills and at the pump. Now, people can see the problem for themselves. [New York Times]

Sailboat in Georgia (Credit: Luke Sharrett | The New York Times)

¶ “Nuclear industry jeopardized” • Nuclear power financing is embroiled in a global bankruptcy with two top reactor makers in financial debacles. After Toshiba-Westinghouse went bankrupt, its French equivalent, the state-owned AREVA went technically bankrupt after losing $12.3 billion over six years. The whole industry is facing repercussions. [Millennium Post]

¶ “Will Hurricane Harvey Launch a New Kind of Climate Lawsuit?” • Scientists can now link “acts of God” to climate change. Researchers are getting good at determining how much humans have weighted the dice. The field of “extreme event attribution” could give victims the power to hold someone accountable, say lawyers. [Inside Science News Service]

Tropical Storm Harvey (Image: Randy Bresnik | NASA)

Science and Technology:

¶ The bristlecone pine tree, famous for its wind-beaten, gnarly limbs and having the longest lifespan on Earth, is losing a race to the top of mountains throughout the Western United States, putting future generations in peril, researchers said. Climate change is warming its territory, giving a competitive edge to another species. [The Columbian]

World:

¶ Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has launched work to build India’s first high-speed train. Mostly funded by a $17 billion loan from Japan, the bullet train will run between Ahmedabad city and Mumbai. When the service starts operating in five years, the time needed for the 500-km (310-mile) journey is expected to be cut from the current eight hours to three. [BBC]

Japanese high-speed rail transport (AFP)

¶ The 2016 Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks’ Climate Finance was published this week. It represents data from the world’s six largest multilateral development banks. The report says that a total of $27.4 billion was invested into climate financing in developing and emerging countries, up from $25 billion in 2015. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The European Marine Energy Centre has produced hydrogen gas using electricity generated from tidal energy in Orkney, Scotland. This is the first time that hydrogen has been created from tidal energy. Tidal turbines fed power into an electrolyzer, which used the electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. [The Maritime Executive]

Tocardo tidal turbine (Credit: Colin Keldie)

¶ A new study concludes that there is no economic or strategic case for coal-to-biomass conversion in the United Kingdom. With new economic modeling, it shows not only that solar and wind can reliably meet the United Kingdom’s new electricity needs, but that they can do so more cheaply than new biomass. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ The work to install 67 Siemens 6-MW turbines at the Dudgeon offshore windfarm has been completed. One operator calls the project its toughest to date. Denmark’s A2SEA completed the work using its Sea Challenger vessel at the 202-MW windfarm on behalf of Statoil, Masdar, and Statkraft. It will provide power for over 400,000 UK homes. [Maritime Journal]

A2SEA’s Sea Challenger

¶ Enel and Chilean outfit ENAP have inaugurated the 48-MW Cerro Pabellón geothermal plant in Chile. The facility consists of two 24-MW units and is the first geothermal plant in South America, Enel said. Cerro Pabellón, which cost $320 million to build, will deliver 340 GWh of electricity a year. It is located in the Antofagasta region. [reNews]

¶ Tidal developer Scotrenewables provided nearly 7% of Orkney’s electricity demand from a single 2-MW floating SR2000 device during a week-long period of continuous generation The Kirkwall outfit said its tidal turbine, which was installed at the European Marine Energy Center’s Fall of Warness site off Eday, produced more than 116 MWh over a seven-day period. [reNews]

2-MW SR2000 tidal device (Scotrenewables)

US:

¶ A coalition of environmentalists, clergy and solar and wind energy companies launched a campaign calling for half of Maryland’s electricity to come from renewable sources. A policy adopted last year requires that renewable energy account for 25% of the state’s electricity portfolio by 2020. The new campaign calls for 50% by 2030. [Baltimore Sun]

¶ Enel Green Power and Anheuser-Busch announced an agreement under which Anheuser-Busch will purchase more than half the energy capacity of the Thunder Ranch wind farm, currently under construction in Oklahoma. Anheuser-Busch will purchase 152.5 MW of power from the 298-MW facility once it’s operational. [Enid News & Eagle]

Thunder Ranch wind farm (Photo provided)

¶ California lawmakers are running out of time to decide on Senate Bill 100, which commits the state to using 100% renewable or carbon neutral energy by 2045. If the bill is approved, California would be the second state to set the 100% carbon neutral energy goal. But the fossil fuel industry and two investor-owned utilities oppose it. [KPBS]

¶ The Fort Custer Training Center near Battle Creek Michigan will be the site of a project aimed at reducing costs for reliable energy among military facilities. Go Electric Inc announced that it will be implementing the demonstration project to show how microgrids can maintain power resources during extended outages. [MLive.com]

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