September 17 Energy News

September 17, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Did the Hurricanes Change the Climate Debate?” • Strident denial is meeting vivid reality. Never before has the mainland United States been hit by such a powerful combination of hurricanes in the same season. Never before have we had an administration so loudly and unapologetically deny the reality of pollution-caused climate change. [HuffPost]

Hurricane Harvey’s landfall (NOAA image, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “We need net-zero buildings by 2050” • Earlier this summer, global banking giant JPMorgan Chase announced a commitment to source 100% of its energy from renewables by 2020. The strength of the business case for action on climate change is such that decisions like this are becoming more regular in a post-Paris Agreement world. [GreenBiz]

Science and Technology:

¶ A survey of 903 Canadian vertebrate species spanning over four decades has found that half are in serious population decline. Declining species lost a total of 83% of their numbers between 1970 and 2014, says the report from the World Wildlife Fund. Causes include pollution, climate change, habitat loss, and invasive species. [The Weather Channel]

St Lawrence beluga (Nick Caloyianis,
National Geographic Creative | WWF-Canada)

¶ Hydrogen has huge potential as a clean energy source, but so far we have not been able to make fuel cells cheaply or efficiently enough. Scientists are using quantum technology to explore how solar power could unlock all that potential. Photoelectrochemical cell technology could make hydrogen available for use at a low cost. [Gears Of Biz]

World:

¶ Dubai has officially launched the world’s largest single-site concentrated solar power project at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The project, which will be built at a total cost of $3.9 billion, was unveiled by the UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. [Gulf Business News]

Solar power in Dubai

¶ Premier Lai Ching-te reiterated the government’s resolve to move away from nuclear power and make Taiwan a nuclear-free homeland by 2025. Speaking at an energy forum held in Tainan, Lai said that to achieve the goal, the country will have to increase the proportion of electricity generated by green energy to 20% of the total. [Focus Taiwan News Channel]

¶ The recent submission of proposals for the construction of a new solar park project in Tunisia highlight the country’s potential as a location for renewable energy projects at a time when domestic demand for power is rising rapidly. UK company TuNur submitted a proposal to build the 4.5-GW solar park in the south of the country. [OilPrice.com]

Solar system

US:

¶ Following a meeting of environment ministers, the EU climate commissioner said Trump officials had indicated the US would either stay in the 2015 accord or review its terms. But the White House had insisted it will leave the Paris climate accord, and despite reports to the contrary, spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that its position was unchanged. [BBC]

¶ The book Solutionary Rail proposes a plan to solve two critical infrastructure challenges with a single effort. Electrifying the US rail system and installing electrical transmission lines that serve both to provide power to the rail system and to transport electricity from distributed generation sources to the destination of most rail traffic, urban centers. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines could supply power to a rail system.

¶ Several motions to dismiss or delay a proposed fossil-fuel power plant in Burrillville, Rhode Island, were denied by the Energy Facilities Siting Board. The town of Burrillville argued that Invenergy Thermal Development LLC failed to submit blueprints and renderings for 52 structures it wants to build on a 67-acre wooded site. [ecoRI news]

¶ On Thursday morning, Florida Power and Light tweeted that all substations and 1,000 main power lines have been restored in Florida in the wake of Irma. And the process of allowing people to return to homes was underway in most areas outside the storm-ravaged lower Florida Keys. FPL is working to fix over 12,000 cases of damage. [ExpressNewsline]

Miami during Irma

¶ Looking to increase its use of green energy and to significantly reduce emissions, Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, Massachusetts, has entered into three-year electricity and renewable energy credit contracts. According to the school, the purchase of renewable energy credits will offset 100% of its electricity use. [The Recorder]

¶ California lawmakers will go home for the year without voting on a landmark renewable energy bill. The bill would have required state regulators to chart a path to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045, though this could have included such energy sources as nuclear plants and gas-fired power plants that capture their carbon emissions. [The Desert Sun]

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