November 10 Energy News

November 10, 2017


¶ “Cities Stand United on Paris Agreement at COP23” • Cities face a new reality of monster storms, unprecedented flooding, dangerous and record-breaking heat and drought, wildfires, and other challenges. More than 350 US “Climate Mayors” have pledged to commit to reduce emissions 80% by 2050, as laid out in Paris. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Bonn, site of COP23 (Pixabay image)

Science and Technology:

¶ Self-driving systems don’t have to be perfect to save tens of thousands of lives, the RAND Corporation says in a report, The Enemy of Good: Estimating the Cost of Waiting for Nearly Perfect. If autonomous vehicles systems drive only slightly better than humans, they could prevent hundreds of thousands of fatalities worldwide over the next 30 years. [CleanTechnica]


¶ A report by the International Energy Agency underscores the important implications of the recent rapid cost reductions in solar PVs and wind power. One of the report’s main findings is that greening the industry may be achieved either directly from electricity or through the production of hydrogen-rich fuels and chemicals. [pv magazine International]

Solar array (Duke Energy image)

¶ South America’s biggest facility, now being built in Brazil’s south-east, aims to give the country its place in the sun. The plant in the state of Minas Gerais, has 1.2 million solar panels, covering the equivalent of more than 1,200 soccer fields. The first of three phases began producing power in September, and the second is now going online. [Phys.Org]

¶ In one of the biggest demolitions every undertaken, explosions have brought down the main section of the Northern Power Station at Port Augusta, South Australia. Alinta Energy closed the coal-fired power station 18 months ago. The two 80-meter tall boilers, with 10,000 tonnes of steel in each, were brought down by a series of explosive charges. [ABC Online]

Northern Power Station’s end (Supplied: McMahon Services)

¶ The failure of wealthy nations to deliver on short-term climate commitments could hinder the rollout of a landmark treaty, a bloc of 134 developing countries, including India and China, warned Thursday at UN negotiations in Bonn. The diplomatic spat has underscored the difficulty of reaching a consensus at the 196-nation talks. [Phys.Org]

¶ The world’s first floating wind farm, launched by Statoil off the coast of Scotland in October, will generate 30 MW of energy, enough to power 20,000 homes. In France, the 2-MW Floatgen facility was launched on the Atlantic Coast. Now commercial floating wind farms are planned to be commissioned in the UK, Ireland, France, and Portugal. [Energy Digital]

Towing floating turbines to sea (Getty Images)


¶ Apple signed a deal to power to a Nevada data center with one of the cheapest contracted starting prices for solar power in the US. The deal was signed with NV Energy, owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. The start price is 3.099¢/kWh with a 2% a year escalator, making it very inexpensive energy. The project has a capacity of 50 MW. [Electrek]

¶ The federal government is ignoring threats to life presented by climate change, according to a claim of a lawsuit against Trump administration officials. The suit was filed in federal court in Philadelphia, on behalf of two Pennsylvania children and the Clean Air Council. Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, and Rick Perry are named as defendants. [Public News Service]

Protecting future generations (Photo: Pezibear | Pixabay)

¶ As demand for electricity on Nantucket has grown, National Grid considered adding a new undersea power cable or buying two new generators. Instead, it invested some of its money in a grid-scale battery system. Tesla will install 200 Powerpack batteries on the island, for a total storage capacity of 48 MWh, in place of one of the new generators. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The US car industry will be wrecked if President Trump relaxes emissions standards, California Governor Jerry Brown said. He said China would dominate car manufacture because it was heavily promoting the electric vehicles that would dominate the future. He said President Trump and US car-makers had not understood the scale of the challenge. [BBC]

Assembly line (Getty images)

¶ The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded $35.2 million to 18 dairy digester projects. The projects are part of the Dairy Digester Research and Development program and aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manure at California dairy farms, helping to address the problem of climate change. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ The owners of StuyTown, a rental apartment complex comprising Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in Manhattan, have announced plans to make the property home to the largest private multifamily residential rooftop solar project in the US. The 3.8 MW-DC solar project will triple Manhattan’s installed PV capacity. [Solar Industry]

StuyTown apartments in Manhattan

¶ Madison Gas & Electric, based in Wisconsin, has the green light from state regulators to build a wind farm in northeastern Iowa in 2018 to serve its customers. The $107 million Saratoga wind farm is to be built near Saratoga, Iowa, about 200 miles west of Madison. It won unanimous approval from the three-member state Public Service Commission. []

¶ SCANA may fully abandon two unfinished nuclear reactors at VC Summer station in South Carolina by the end of the year in order to apply for a roughly $2 billion tax deduction. The  proposed federal tax write-off could be equal to 40% of the $4.9 billion that SCANA paid for its share of the Westinghouse-designed reactors since 2009. [Charleston Post Courier]

Joseph Mangum, of Sunnyside Solar, is helping people in Puerto Rico. How can you help the people of Puerto Rico? One way is to donate at [Sunnyside Solar’s crowdfunding website].

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