October 20 Energy News

October 20, 2017

How can I help the people of Puerto Rico?
One way is to donate at [this crowdfunding website].

Opinion:

¶ “Pollution’s Annual Price Tag? $4.6 Trillion and 9 Million Dead” Pollution in all its forms killed 9 million people in 2015 and, by one measure, led to economic damage of $4.6 trillion, according to a new estimate by medical researchers who hope to put the health costs of toxic air, water and soil higher on the global agenda. [Yahoo News]

Inner Mongolian landscape (Photo: Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

¶ “There’s a Dangerous Bubble in the Fossil-Fuel Economy, and the Trump Administration Is Making It Worse” • Investors have increasingly recognized the long-term instability of high-carbon industries. We must limit our use of carbon, if we are to avoid destroying our civilization, and that means not using 80% of the reserves. [The New Yorker]

¶ “Turnbull’s energy plan a disaster for renewables, climate and prices” • Prime Minister Turnbull’s latest proposal may be the most ill-considered, poorly detailed, and potentially useless policy that anyone can remember – the work of Australia’s “energy mafia,” defending the power of commercial interests, an oligopoly, and their ideology. [Echonetdaily]

Offshore wind farm

World:

¶ More than a billion people still lack access to electricity, but that number is shrinking, according to an International Energy Agency special report on energy access. The role coal has played in this is set to decline “dramatically,” because renewables are becoming cheaper and can be used for people in the hardest-to-reach, remote areas. [RenewEconomy]

¶ A group of Portuguese children whose district was ravaged by deadly forest fires this summer is to sue 47 European nations, accusing them of failing to take action on climate change. The group’s legal fees in the landmark case are being paid through a crowdfunding campaign, which has already raised more than £20,000 (US $26,340). [CNN]

Wildfire in Portugal

¶ Assembly of the ITER reactor, a nuclear fusion project costing €20 billion ($24 billion), will begin in France in May of 2018. But with wind-farm developers starting to promise subsidy-free power by 2025 and electricity demand stagnating, even the project’s supporters are asking whether ITER will ever make sense. [The Edge Markets MY]

¶ Ireland’s state forestry group Coillte is seeking partners to advance 1 GW of wind projects as it seeks to develop the “exceptional potential” of its landbank for renewables. Coillte could include the sale of its existing 150 MW of wind interests as part of a strategy to fund future developments, the Irish group said. [Recharge]

Galway Wind park (Photo: SSE)

¶ A nuclear power plant in Switzerland is set to operate flexibly after a software upgrade. The 1010-MW Goesgen pressurized water reactor plant can vary its output between 50% and 100% per cent of its installed capacity, with power ramps of up to 30 MW per minute, responding to changing supply and demand. [Power Engineering International]

¶ An ambitious renewable energy target of 40% by 2025 has been given the green light by Victoria’s parliament. The legislation, which also locks in a 25% target by 2020, passed the state’s upper house on Friday afternoon. Government modelling shows the target will cut the average Victorian household power bill by $30 a year. [SBS]

Solar power in Victoria

¶ South Korea has chosen to finish construction of two nuclear reactors in a symbolic decision between stability and a drastic change in economy and environment. Construction of two Shin Kori nuclear reactors was suspended on June 27,  under the new Moon Jae-in administration’s nuclear phase-out drive, at 29.5% completion. [The Korea Herald]

¶ A world first renewable energy project has taken its first steps in Australia, with big-name companies Vestas, Tesla, and Windlab backed by Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation partnering on a $160 million, 60-MW hybrid wind, solar, and energy storage project at the Kennedy Energy Park in North Queensland. [CleanTechnica]

Kennedy Energy Park

US:

¶ Eight former members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, including five former chairmen, have filed a bluntly worded letter with the commission opposing Perry’s proposal that would give coal and nuclear plants credit for resilience to improve their chance of beating solar, wind and natural gas competitors. [The Columbian]

¶ Amazon Wind Farm Texas is now up and running. Built, owned and operated by Lincoln Clean Energy, the 253-MW facility is made up of 110 GE turbines capable of adding more than 1,000 GWh of clean energy to the grid each year. The project was christened by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos himself atop a turbine. [North American Windpower]

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos christening a turbine (Twitter)

¶ Green Mountain Power wants to build Vermont’s second commercial renewable energy storage battery near its solar array in Panton. The $3 million Tesla battery will store about 1 MW of power which will come off of the solar array nearby. The new battery will allow GMP to store renewable energy for helping meet peak grid demand. [Vermont Public Radio]

¶ Green Star Gasifiers LLC plans to begin construction of a $53 million renewable fuels power plant on a 17-acre tract in South Sioux City, Nebraska. The plant will be able to use multiple sources of fuel, including wood waste, municipal solid waste, construction and demolition waste, and agricultural waste, to make electricity. [Sioux City Journal]

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