Archive for October 1st, 2017

October 1 Energy News

October 1, 2017


¶ “The US’s War on Coal Is Purported to Be Over – What About the Rest of the World?” • When it comes to coal, one can truly say as China goes, so goes the rest of the world. According to new data from the International Energy Agency, coal production fell sharply in China in 2016 by about 320 million metric tons, or 9%. [POWER magazine]

Coal train, coal power plant, coal pollution

¶ “Saving Puerto Rico with Renewable Energy, Debt Relief, and Democracy” • Following two horrible, climate-change-driven hurricanes Irma and Maria, Puerto Rico is facing a humanitarian crisis. Millions of people are without clean water, electricity, walls on some of their houses, passable roads, and many of the other basic essentials. [HuffPost]

Science and Technology:

¶ The US Department of Agriculture, the Joint Global Change Research Institute, and the US Department of Energy have just completed a study that shows the problem of methane emissions coming from cattle is worse than previously thought. There may be two possible solutions – feeding cows seaweed or stop eating beef. [CleanTechnica]

Belted Galloway (Amanda Slater, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ The environmentally hopeful results of a recent survey found that 51% of the 1,000 polled British motorists expect to be motoring in an electric vehicle soon. The poll was conducted to mark the launch of Total EV, a website for all things EV and hybrid. The results show amplified progress in the UK as EVs become mainstream. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Despite its close relationship with Panasonic, Tesla revealed that it will be using Samsung SDI lithium-ion battery cells at the facility that is now under construction in South Australia. Panasonic reportedly would not be able to meet demand for the project. Tesla’s offer to build the battery in 100 days is paying off as a PR bonus. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Powerpack installation

¶ Saint Lucia has launched construction of a 3-MW solar farm on the island, its first ever utility-scale renewable energy project. Diesel-powered generators currently account for over 99% of the island’s electricity generation. Both costs and resiliency are on people’s minds after hurricanes devastated neighboring islands. [St. Lucia Times Online News]


¶ A storm of scientific information about sea-level rise threatens the most lucrative, commission-boosting real estate properties along US coastlines. But some real estate lobbyists are teaming up with climate change skeptics to block public release of sea-level rise predictions and ensure that coastal planning is not based on science. [Houma Courier]

Flooding after Irma (Stephen M. Dowell | Orlando Sentinel | TNS)

¶ The range of the southern pine beetle could expand further north significantly within just a few decades as the result of increasingly warm winters, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The only thing limiting the range of southern pine beetles is the coldest winter temperatures, and they are rising significantly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico’s antiquated and bankrupt electrical system, leaving millions in the dark and utility crews scrambling to help. Now some politicians and renewable energy investors see a golden opportunity in the crisis to re-invent the US territory’s grid as a storm-resistant network that relies on renewable power. []

Solar array in Puerto Rico (US Army photo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Plug-in electric vehicle sales in New York State have surged 74% (year-on-year comparison) since the launch of the Drive Clean Rebate program there, a statement from the governor’s office has revealed. The program offers up to $2,000 in rebates for the purchase of new plug-in electric vehicles from participating dealerships. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The fossil fuel industry has cost the US around $240 billion per year over the last decade through the effects of extreme weather and air pollution, according to a new study from the non-profit Universal Ecological Fund. But that figure represents an average. This year, the bill for damage is estimated to be approaching $300 billion already. [CleanTechnica]

Hurricane Irma from space

¶ Researchers at the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed a unique large-scale power converter that can swiftly switch between multiple energy sources to help ensure an uninterrupted power supply. The “Consolidated Utility Base Energy” system is already being used at US Army forward operating bases. [POWER magazine]

¶ Executives of the state-owned Santee Cooper utility are the next ones called to testify before lawmakers investigating South Carolina’s botched nuclear reactor projection. Members of the South Carolina House’s “utility ratepayer protection“ committee will hear from Santee Cooper executives and board members at a hearing on Tuesday. [The State]

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