November 1 Energy News

November 1, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ Scottish Association for Marine Science researchers predict that cod, herring and haddock could migrate out of the local ecosystem by 2100, most likely to colder waters further north, because of global warming. Waters off Scotland’s west coast are already nearing the highest temperatures cod and herring can tolerate. [Aberdeen Evening Express]

Fishing boat

¶ A record loss of global tree cover in 2016 – totaling around 297,000 square kilometers (114,672 square miles) – was driven partly by increasingly common wildfires worsened by rising temperatures and drought, according to the Global Forest Watch, based on data from the University of Maryland. The area was a rise of 51% on 2015. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ During the weekend starting October 28, so much energy was created by German windstorms, that it was being given away for free. Output equivalent to that of 40 nuclear power plants was generated during the storms, causing the wholesale prices to fall below zero. Output from windpower rose to as much as 39,409 MW. [Energy Digital]

Wind turbines in a storm (Getty Images)

¶ A report on the viability of a new coal-fired power station in north Queensland has found it would only return big profits if power prices remain high. Queensland’s premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, told Sky News the report said the plant was not viable. It had been commissioned by the Department of Energy and completed in February. [Sky News Australia]

¶ There is still a large gap between the pledges by governments to cut greenhouse gas emissions and the reductions scientists say are needed to avoid dangerous levels of climate change, the UN has said. Current pledges from across the world, would lead to temperature rises of as much as 3° C or more by the end of this century. [The Guardian]

Emissions in Paris (Philippe Wojazer | Reuters)

¶ Radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster is accumulating in sands and brackish groundwater beneath beaches up to 60 miles away from the nuclear power plant itself, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says. The material is radioactive cesium. [CleanTechnica]

¶ If South Africa’s National Energy Regulator grants Eskom the 19.9% tariff hike it has applied for, it will simply enhance the utility death spiral it faces where users move to renewable energy alternatives. This was the message from the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Nersa’s public hearings on the Eskom tariff hike application. [Fin24]

Khi Solar One, South Africa (Hp.Baumeler, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ There are now more than 50,990 public and private plug-in electric vehicle charging sites located throughout the US – up from 34,151 in 2015 – according to the newly released Electric Vehicle Charging Association’s 2017 State of the Charge report. In 2011, there were 5,070 charging sites in the US; there are currently 15,930 in California. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A deal calling for further cooperation in the offshore wind energy sector has been signed by the US and Denmark, recent reports say. The new agreement means that top Europe-based wind energy firms, such as DONG Energy and Vestas, should have an easier time developing projects and relationships within the US market. [CleanTechnica]

MHI Vestas offshore wind turbines

¶ Norway’s Statoil aims to sign a power purchase agreement with a US utility to develop an offshore wind power project off New York, a senior company official said. Statoil won a lease sale of 79,350 acres offshore New York, which could be used to develop a windpower site with up to 1 GW of capacity, by bidding $42.5 million. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ While nearly 70% of Puerto Rico remains without power six weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, eleven United Nations human rights experts have issued a joint statement decrying the “absence of adequate emergency response” by the US. The storm has put a spotlight on Puerto Rico’s colonial history with the US. [eNews Park Forest]

UN experts inspecting (Photo: Puerto Rico National Guard | Flickr)

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

¶ Efforts to restore electricity to Puerto Rico nearly six weeks after Hurricane Maria are shifting as Whitefish Energy, a tiny Montana contractor, was removed. The Army Corps of Engineers, which is leading the federal power restoration effort, said it planned to boost the size of a contract awarded to Fluor Corp by $600 million, to $840 million. [Nasdaq]

¶ Renewable energy has St Cloud, Minnesota, producing more power than it consumes, to the tune of some 40 million kWh. The city uses about 30 million kWh of energy across city buildings while producing 70 kWh from various renewable energy products. St Cloud’s Public Services Director says more solar energy projects are coming. [WJON News]

St Cloud hydro dam (Photo: Rebecca David | WJON.com)

¶ Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed a bill that could change the way the state’s only nuclear plant sells its energy. Dominion, which owns the Waterford-based plant, could compete against power from renewable sources, but only if state regulators say it is in the interest of ratepayers and the state’s long-term carbon goals. [WNPR News]

¶ Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy announced that it will supply 310 wind turbines of different types for five projects in the US. Together, these five onshore wind projects will have the potential to provide clean power to nearly 240,000 US homes. So far, the company has installed 17 GW of wind capacity in the US. [Gulf Digital News]

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