October 23 Energy News

October 23, 2017


¶ “How to Keep the Lights On After a Hurricane” • More than a month after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, nearly 80% of the island remains without power, and food and water can be tough to find. As we rally to help the survivors and look to rebuild, we owe it to the victims to build more resilient infrastructure. [New York Times]

A resident of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, trying to repair his
electrical lines. (Credit: Ramon Espinosa | Associated Press)

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

¶ “UN Officials Urge the World to Ignore Trump on Climate” • In a deliberate denial of mainstream science, Donald Trump’s administration has issued a strategic four-year plan for the US EPA that does not once mention “greenhouse gas emissions”, “carbon dioxide” or “climate change” in its 48 pages. Clearly, this was not an oversight. [Truthdig]

Science and Technology:

¶ All sea life will be affected because carbon dioxide emissions are making the oceans more acidic, a major new report will say. The eight-year study from more than 250 scientists finds that infant sea creatures will be especially harmed. The number of baby cod growing to adulthood could fall to a quarter or less of what it is today. [BBC News]

Mesocosms for acidification research (Maike Nicolai | Geomar)

¶ Scientists at MIT say they devised a cost-effective way to capture wasted methane and turn it into fuel or chemical feed stocks. Instead of venting it into the air, the process could allow companies to turn that wasted gas into money. Fossil fuel companies that are deaf to the plight of the earth can hear a dollar bill crinkling at 40 paces. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Hurricane Ophelia paid a visit to Ireland earlier this month with sustained winds of 119 miles per hour. Do you remember any other hurricanes hitting Ireland? Probably not. Ophelia was what is commonly known as an outlier. It was the most powerful hurricane in the eastern Atlantic ocean ever recorded and way beyond the norm. [CleanTechnica]

Ophelia in red, with major hurricane tracks (Credit: Spillo)


¶ Solar power costs will fall by another 60% over the next decade giving an already booming market another boost, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency said. Irena expects 80 to 90 GW of new solar capacity, enough to power more than 8 billion LED light bulbs, to be added globally each year over the next 5 to 6 years. [Times LIVE]

¶ Chongqing Changan Automobile, based in China, is one of the first auto manufacturers operating in the country to commit publicly to a total shift away from manufacture and sale of vehicles that burn fossil fuels. It was also announced that the company will invest over ¥100 billion ($15.10 billion) by 2025 into its “new energy strategy.” [CleanTechnica]

Changan Benni EV

¶ In July 2017, the share of renewable energy generation among India’s total electricity generation and imports touched 13.2%, the highest percentage in the country’s history. Total electricity generation and imports in India during July 2017 came to 98.1 billion kWh, while total renewable energy generation was 12.9 billion kWh. [CleanTechnica]

¶ An initiative to install 10,000 solar panels on the roof of the world’s second-biggest indoor snow center (by surface area) is now underway. The installation process at SnowWorld Landgraaf in the Netherlands should be complete by the end of the year, by which time the system should be able to generate 3.2 MWp of electric power. [InTheSnow]

Officials installing solar panels

¶ The environmental group Greenpeace issued a report giving technology titans, including Samsung Electronics, Amazon, and Huawei, low marks for their environmental impact. “Tech companies claim to be at the forefront of innovation, but their supply chains are stuck in the Industrial Age,” a Greenpeace USA statement said. [Business Mirror]

¶ Ireland’s largest wind farm, which is expected to generate enough renewable energy to power more than 140,000 homes, has entered commercial operation. Galway Wind Park was developed by SSE and Coillte as a €280 million ($328.8 million) joint venture. It has 58 Siemens 3-MW wind turbines, for a total capacity of 169 MW. [Irish Times]

Galway Wind Park

¶ There are no plans for an electricity rate hike in Taiwan even though the nation is transitioning to renewable energy, the Cabinet said yesterday, as the premier inspected a new solar power system in Kinmen County. The cabinet anticipates that the cost of renewable energy will continue to drop as technology advances. [Taipei Times]


¶ Maryland issued a conditional utility permit to Elon Musk’s Boring Company to dig a 10.3 mile tunnel beneath a state-owned parkway its governor’s office said. The tunnel could be part of a Hyperloop system Musk says will carry passengers from New York City to Washington in 29 minutes, with stops along the way in Philadelphia and Baltimore. [CleanTechnica]

Boring Company tunneling machine (to put it objectively)

¶ The EPA canceled the speaking appearance of three agency scientists who were scheduled to discuss climate change at a conference today in Rhode Island, an EPA spokesman said, giving no further explanation. Scientists involved in the program said that much of the discussion at the event centers on climate change. [Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette]

¶ Over two years, the Connecticut Senate has voted three times for measures to change the rules for how Dominion sells electricity from the Millstone nuclear power plant, whose profits have eroded. The Senate voted 23-8 for a new version of the bill in special session five weeks ago, and it may come up for a vote in the House soon. [The CT Mirror]

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