October 15 Energy News

October 15, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Clean energy provides jobs boom in state” • Clean Energy Economy Minnesota released an analysis showing that Minnesota gained 2892 clean energy jobs over the last year, a growth rate almost four times faster than the rest of the economy. The clean energy sector now employs over 57,000 people across the state. [St. Cloud Times]

Solar array in Ramsey, Minnesota seeded with a pollinator
habitat by Prairie Restorations, Inc (Photo: Courtesy of PRI)

¶ “Balance of power: Shift toward renewable energy appears to be picking up steam” • Japan introduced a feed-in tariff system after meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Now, despite the power of the political and economic “nuclear village,” people in government and industry are increasingly embracing renewable energy. [The Japan Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ Scientists constantly research materials that might catalyze a revolution in renewable energy harvesting and storage. One candidate appears to be metal-organic frameworks, very small, flexible, ultra-thin, super-porous crystalline structures. Now, researchers have discovered some important secrets about their conductivity. [ScienceBlog.com]

Metal-organic framework

World:

¶ Few people ever venture into data centers, places with massive series of servers kept in buildings like giant warehouses. But in Stockholm, anyone who goes inside one of these information labyrinths will discover that they’re not just housing data. All the heat they give off is helping to warm homes in the city of over 900,000 people. [BBC]

¶ Oman has been encouraging development of new energy sources, especially solar and wind power. A wind resource assessment campaign will be conducted by Oman Power and Water Procurement Company. For conducting the campaign, OPWP has floated a tender seeking proposals from bidders to carry out the campaign. [OPWP]

Wind turbines (Bloomberg file photo)

¶ Queensland’s Energy Minister declared the state’s electricity network to be “summer-ready,” after the release of an Energy Security Taskforce plan. But serious test of Queensland’s energy security could come as soon as next month. A mothballed gas-fired power plant coming back online to avert a shortfall will not be ready until January. [Courier Mail]

¶ A futuristic car that not only uses the sun as power but supplies energy back to the grid has been hailed as “the future” as the annual World Solar Challenge wrapped up in Australia. The Dutch entrant, Nuna 9, won the race for the third-straight time, crossing the finish line after travelling at an average speed of 81.2 kmh (55.5 mph). [The Guardian]

The Nuna 9 solar car (Photo: David Mariuz | AAP)

US:

¶ EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s move to roll back the Clean Power Plan will have little impact in Oregon. The economics of power generation left coal behind some time ago. Consumer demand for cleaner sources of power, and government insistence on them, are pushing utilities to investment more in renewable power sources. [Bend Bulletin]

¶ “Zombie oil” that ought to stay in the ground is kept alive thanks to federal and state governments feeding it billions of dollars, a study shows. The subsidies are not cash handouts. They’re a mix of tax breaks, tax credits, and regulations that forego government revenue, transfer liability, or provide services at below-market rates. [Motherboard en_us]

Oil pump (Image: Bureau of Land Management | Flickr)

¶ US Representative Elise Stefanik, a Republican from Willsboro, New York, does not support the Clean Power Plan. According to her spokesman, she thinks Congress should do something to rein in pollution from coal-fired plants, both because she believes it exacerbates global climate change and because it harms the Adirondacks. [WatertownDailyTimes.com]

¶ Puget Sound Energy wants the Trump administration to keep regulating greenhouse-gas emissions even after the repeal of the federal Clean Power Plan. But according to a white paper from a coalition of PSE and a dozen other utilities, any new effort should be more narrowly focused and offer states more time to come into compliance. [Seattle Times]

Colstrip power plant (Alan Berner | The Seattle Times)

¶ A Springfield City Utilities official says the Missouri company will continue to focus on alternative energy despite the Trump administration’s plans to repeal a federal law designed to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. Repealing the Clean Power Plan would only affect the utility if it significantly reduces the cost of coal. [KTTS]

¶ Summit County’s elected officials agreed last week to help the community completely transition to renewable electric energy by the year 2032 as part of the county’s ongoing effort to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. The Summit County Council joined only three other confirmed counties in the country that have made similar declarations. [Sky Hi News]

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