September 15 Energy News

September 15, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Is Oil Industry Threatened By More Than Electric Vehicles?” • Execs at a number of top fossil fuel companies have suggested that even after demand for oil and natural gas peaks, demand for petrochemical feedstocks for plastics, fertilizers, and other chemicals will stay strong. But plastics pose serious problems that have to be addressed. [CleanTechnica]

Oil and agriculture

World:

¶ Emerging markets including India and China could be the best bets for investors hoping to fight climate change and boost returns, according to a report by Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing and The Economist Intelligence Unit. If the planet is allowed to heat up by 5° C (9° F), it may mean $7 trillion in losses for investors. [Livemint]

¶ Renewable microgrids are cropping up all around the world as developing and developed countries alike turn to them for their increased resiliency and flexibility. The speed with which they can bring electricity to the unelectrified makes them decisive for countries with lower electrification rates. Kenya provides one example. [CleanTechnica]

Lake Victoria

¶ The Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, announced that single-use plastic bags would be banned in the territory, effective July 1, 2018. South Australia had banned them in 2009, and both the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory banned them in 2011. So now, the bags have been banned in much of Australia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Australian renewables firm Windlab bagged a 10-year power purchase agreement with CS Energy to offtake power from a major hybrid 60.5-MW solar, storage and wind park in northern Queensland. The Kennedy Energy Park Phase I includes 43.5 MW of wind, 15 MW of solar and 2 MW/4 MWh of lithium-ion battery storage. [Energy Storage News]

German wind and solar installation (Image: Kuebi | Wikimedia)

¶ Danish offshore wind energy giant DONG Energy is moving beyond the seas where it has worked. It has signed a Letter of Intent with the Canadian NaiKun Wind Energy Group for exclusive rights to the Haida Energy Field Offshore Wind Project in British Columbia, an offshore wind location with up to 2 GW of potential capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Renewable energy is continuing its record-breaking surge. On September 11, 19.8% of European electricity demand was met by wind energy. Over the entire day, onshore wind produced 1,360 GWh of electricity and offshore wind produced 251 GWh. The amount of electricity produced was rather steady over the course of the day. [ZME Science]

Romanian wind farm (Credit: Sandri Alexandra | Wikipedia)

¶ Climeon AB, based in Sweden, announced that it received a conditional order valued at up to €30 million ($36 million) to produce distributed geothermal electricity in Iceland. Modules will be installed at 10 to 15 sites over a period of 30 months. The total installed capacity, 15 MW, will provide power for 2,500 households. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

¶ Drax, a UK power company, announced that it is seeking planning permission to install a 200-MW battery onsite. If approved and commissioned, the storage facility would be the biggest in the world, dwarfing the 129-MW lithium-ion battery project that is currently being built in Australia by Tesla and Neoen. [RenewEconomy]

Drax power plant (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ Donald Trump has indicated that Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have not changed his view on climate change. When a reporter asked for his thoughts on the hurricanes and climate change, he said, “We’ve had bigger storms than this.” But he had earlier said of Hurricane Harvey, “There’s probably never been anything like this.” [Independent.ie]

¶ A federal appeals court granted the Trump regime’s request to stop implementation of an Obama era EPA plan requiring new pollution controls at two coal-fired power plants in Utah. The underlying rule, dating back to 1999, is an attempt to reduce visible pollution at US national parks, national monuments, and wilderness areas. [CleanTechnica]

Haze at Canyonlands National Park (NPS photo)

¶ Kimberly-Clark entered into long-term power purchase agreements to take 120 MW of electricity to be generated by the Rock Falls Wind project, under development by EDF Renewables in Oklahoma, and 125 MW of the electricity to be generated by the Santa Rita Wind Energy Center, being built by Invenergy in Texas. [North American Windpower]

¶ A US district judge cited tribal sovereignty in dismissing a lawsuit aimed at shutting down a coal-fired power plant and adjacent mine near the Arizona-New Mexico border. The lawsuit targeted the 2015 approval by the US government of a lease extension for the Navajo Mine and the Four Corners Power Plant. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Four Corners power plant

¶ Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority signed off on power purchase contracts between the Connecticut’s two utilities and developers of 28 renewable energy generation projects, selected by bid. In all, the projects are expected to generate just over 700 GWh of electricity per year for the state, PURA documents say. [Hartford Business]

¶ Workers are setting the groundwork at Three Mile Island for a refueling outage this month. But TMI’s biennial refueling outage has a tinge of melancholy this year. It could be the last time fuel is ever loaded into Unit 1, whose neighboring twin reactor shut down in 1979 after the nation’s worst commercial nuclear accident. [Philly.com]

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