October 9 Energy News

October 9, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Solar Power and Water for Puerto Rico” • Here is a chance to help people stand up to a president who makes light of disaster by throwing out paper towels, a moment right up there with “Let them eat cake.” We are all in this together, and together, we can make things better. Please help Joseph, Rosemary, and their family. [Green Energy Times]

Puerto Rico National Guard delivering supplies (Sgt Jose Diaz-Ramos, Puerto Rico National Guard, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “New Orleans is the canary in the coal mine for coastal cities” • There were at least three “1,000-year” storm events in 2016. Now New Orleans is coping with Hurricane Nate. It and other flooding cities are signposts for countless communities that face the specter of their own natural hazards made unfathomable by climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Energy industry will be unrecognisable within a decade” • Whether we like it or not, Australia is transitioning to a low-carbon environment. Such is the scale and pace of change, our existing power model could be unrecognisable within a decade. Change and disruption will open the door to a new breed of energy utility. [The Australian Financial Review]

Accelerating transition (AP)

¶ “Rising Costs Slow The Growth Of Nuclear Power” • The troubled history of Britain’s Hinckley Point C nuclear power station illustrates the blind alley in which nuclear power finds itself. Eight years behind schedule, it should have come on stream by the end of this year, but is not now likely before 2025, and costs keep climbing. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ Hurricane Nate, which pummeled the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama at Category 1 status early Sunday, has made the 2017 hurricane season one of the worst on record since 1893 and possibly earlier, just in terms of numbers of hurricanes. And US territories have never before been hit by three category 4 storms in one season. [Gizmodo]

Hurricane damage (AP photo)

World:

¶ Brazil’s wind power output increased by 39.7% year-on-year to an average of 6,915 MW September, according to figures released by the Power Trading Chamber. Wind power share also went up to 11.1% from 8% in the country’s electricity generation mix. Biomass and solar power also were increased over the period, though hydropower output fell. [Renewables Now]

¶ As costs of renewable energy fall, the Turnbull government is rethinking the need to adopt a clean energy target. In the keynote address to The Australian Financial Review National Energy Summit, Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will stress that emissions reduction cannot come at the expense of reliability and affordability. [The Australian Financial Review]

Falling costs of renewable energy (Photo: Eddie Seal)

¶ Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is pledging to create Renewable Energy Zones to drive cost-effective renewable projects. In a speech to be delivered to the Australian Financial Review’s National Energy Summit, he will also reiterate Labor’s willingness to negotiate with the Turnbull government a “fair dinkum” clean energy target. [Brisbane Times]

¶ Some 1.2 billion people around the world have no access to electric power. In Rwanda, for example, less than 20% of the population live in homes that enjoy electricity, a fact that stymies development and reinforces poverty. It is a huge problem, but to some people, it is a statistic that rings not of hopelessness, but of opportunity. [BBC News]

Installing a large system in Rwanda (Credit: BBOXX)

¶ Britain’s first industrial-scale battery plant will come online in Sheffield this week to help the grid cope with the rapidly growing amount of renewable power. E.ON said the facility, which is next to an existing power plant, marked a milestone in its efforts to develop storage for power from wind farms, nuclear reactors and gas power stations. [The Guardian]

¶ Microsoft signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with GE for all the electricity generated by the 37-MW Tullahennel wind farm in county Kerry, Ireland. The electricity will support Microsoft’s growing cloud services in Ireland, the company said. The PPA builds on Microsoft’s strategic partnership with GE, which was announced last year. [reNews]

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ Finland will have to add another five months to the decade-long wait to start production at a nuclear reactor once billed as the world’s biggest. Plagued by cost overruns and legal tangles, the delay is the latest setback for the 1,600-MW reactor meant to provide cheap power. Finland is seeking to reduce reliance on imported power. [Bloomberg]

US:

¶ The Kankakee Valley REMC, a membership cooperative that delivers electricity to more than 18,000 customers in rural areas of seven Indiana counties, began offering a new Co-Op Solar Program this month. It allows members to buy up to half of the electricity they use from solar energy sources without having to install solar panels. [nwitimes.com]

Kankakee Valley REMC solar array (Photo provided)

¶ Like many other frivolous things in Puerto Rico these days, the shiny motorcycles at the Planet Honda showroom have been pushed to the side. In their place are dozens of folding chairs, and on Thursday morning, they were all filled with people waiting to buy portable generators, to light their powerless homes. [Standard Republic]

¶ Dominion Energy will develop a series of PV projects to help serve a new data center that Facebook plans to develop outside Richmond, Virginia. This will be Facebook’s eighth data center in the US, and it comes with an innovative new renewable rate option that could also benefit other large companies looking to use renewable power. [PV-Tech]

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