September 23 Energy News

September 23, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “US Solar Industry Could Be Devastated By Today’s Tariffs Ruling – May Lead To Crushing Tariffs” • The US International Trade Commission granted a petition for relief from cheaper imported solar panels by two bankrupt US manufacturers. But the remedy will likely mean tariffs that are job-crushing for solar installers. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array

¶ “Are Hurricanes Winds of Change for Insurers’ Climate Risk?” • The insurance industry faces a long-term challenge as climate change makes natural disasters more severe. The Trump administration’s push to ax some of the tools insurers need to prepare for disasters could force companies to take a more public position on climate change. [Bloomberg BNA]

¶ “Taking back full control of your home energy needs” • Eaton, a maker of power management solutions, recently partnered with Manchester City Football Club on a research project. They found that 10% of football fans have had power cuts during a major match. Energy storage can prevent fix that as it enables renewable technology. [Information Age]

Manchester City FC (Werner100359, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “What’s next for offshore wind in the US?” • US offshore wind farms could potentially generate more than 2,000,000 MW, about twice as much as Americans currently consume. But so far, only the 30-MW Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island is operating. What’s holding us back, and why is there reason to hope for a better future? [Phys.org]

Science and Technology:

¶ Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of decline in kidney function and kidney disease, study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology says. It found that effects of particulate matter exposure on the kidneys are seen starting at fairly low levels, and rise linearly with exposure to rising levels of particulate air pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Air pollution

¶ A professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State, has developed a solution for about half the plastic waste that goes to American landfills. After 10 years of research, he says he has found a biodegradable material that can be used in place of the plastic used to wrap and preserve food. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ MPI Offshore jack-up vessel MPI Enterprise has completed installation of 54 Senvion 6.2M-126 turbines at the 332-MW Nordsee 1 offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. Turbine installation had kicked off in early March. All 54 monopile foundations and all of the offshore substation and infield cables were installed last year. [reNews]

Nordsee 1 wind farm (Image: Nordsee 1 GmbH)

¶ According to a new report from independent analyst firm Verdantix, on-site energy generation could help UK businesses save around £33 billion and significantly cut their carbon emissions in the process. It can also give business greater control over their electricity costs, as it acts as an effective hedge against unpredictable power prices. [Telegraph.co.uk]

¶ In the wake of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, Japanese communities have quietly built systems that help them function without grid electricity, rather than relying on large power stations. Japan’s National Resilience Program offers ¥3.72 trillion ($33.32 billion) each fiscal year to rebuild and increase local resilience. [My Modern Met]

Scene in Japan

US:

¶ Novato, California, has pledged to help its residents and businesses transition to 100% clean energy by 2050. The city opted to join “Mayors for 100 Percent Clean Energy,” an initiative of the Sierra Club. The enterprise calls on mayors across the nation to support wind, solar and other clean energy approaches. [Marin Independent Journal]

¶ Arizona’s rural electric cooperatives have dedicated a new, 20-MW solar farm near the Apache Generating Station in Cochise County. Initial interest among member co-ops was higher than expected, and the project grew from a proposed maximum size of 14 MW to 20 MW by February, before site clearing work began in March. [Arizona Daily Star]

Apache Solar Project (Arizona G&T Cooperatives photo)

¶ New York City hopes to use innovative technology to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2050 by installing 100 MWh of energy storage. This may also allow the city’s consumers to avoid buying dirtier power – something that could save electricity customers there millions each year, according to a new study. [Forbes]

¶ Imports of solar panels have harmed US manufacturers, the US International Trade Commission ruled. The decision was a win for the two US-based producers who said their business had been hurt by a flood of foreign products, but US firms that install and assemble panels worry that more expensive products could slow the industry’s growth. [BBC]

Installing solar panels (Getty Images)

¶ Public Service Co of New Mexico submitted its 2018 renewable energy plan to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. It calls for 50 MW more of solar energy, and increased use of current wind and geothermal resources. The state has a goal of getting 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. [Albuquerque Journal]

¶ According to experts who spoke at the Texas Renewable Energy Summit in Austin, power surpluses are driving electricity prices in Texas so low that most of the state’s coal-fired power plants are losing money, nuclear power is struggling, and new wind farms may be hard to finance when tax credits expire in 2020. [Houston Chronicle]

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