November 19 Energy News

November 19, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “The energy transition – A threat or an opportunity?” • South Africa’s long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan is to be released for public comment next week. But two facts are undisputable from the IRP 2016 update: A least cost scenario cannot include nuclear, and 27.5 GW of coal-fired power stations must be decommissioned by 2040. [Fin24]

Power plant near Capetown (Photo: Simisa, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ A cost-effective catalyst has been developed to recycle two of the main causes behind climate change – carbon dioxide and methane. In a study, published in the journal Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, scientists have described how they created an advanced nickel-based catalyst to create synthesis gas for fuel or chemical feedstock. [The Indian Express]

World:

¶ The Volkswagen board has just approved a plan to invest $40 billion by 2022 to develop electric cars, autonomous cars, and other mobility solutions. The new investments VW is planning will strengthen the company’s 10 factories in Germany. The company appears to be responding to pressures created by Elon Musk and the government of China. [Gas2]

VW e-Golf at a show (Photo: Mariordo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Daimler AG will be investing some ¥5 billion (~$755 million) as part of its push to manufacture plug-in electric vehicles and associated battery packs in China with its joint-venture partner there, BAIC Motor Corp. The investments are part of the company’s already announced €10 billion ($11.8 billion) global green car initiative. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD will be opening its first assembly facility in Canada next year in Ontario. This is in anticipation of surging demand for electric trucks in the country, the company has revealed. BYD chose to move into Canada because it has a friendlier environment for EVs than the US currently has. [CleanTechnica]

BYD bus being tested in New York City
(Photo: Marc A. Hermann | MTA New York City Transit)

¶ A UK-backed solar power project in Peru has officially been opened. Located at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters, it provides renewable electricity to one of the nation’s most remote regions of Ocoruro, Arequipa. The off-grid system has allowed the common areas of the community and 14 families to tap into solar power. [Energy Live News]

¶ Qantas today announced it will operate the world’s first bio-fuel flight between the US and Australia. The Los Angeles to Melbourne flight will take place early next year, in collaboration with World Fuel Services and Altair Fuels, and will see Qantas’ new Dreamliner being powered by carinata, a non-food type of mustard seed used in industry. [RusTourismNews]

Qantas airplane

¶ China and Ukraine have agreed to step up their cooperation in renewable energy, according to the Ukrainian government. The agreement was reached during the plenary meeting of the Chinese-Ukrainian Subcommittee on Trade and Economic Cooperation in Beijing, the Ukrainian government press service said in a statement. [Xinhua]

¶ The Hydrogen Council coalition launched its first quantified study of the role of hydrogen, developed with support from McKinsey and Company. It shows that hydrogen could generate $2.5 trillion worth of business, creating more than 30 million jobs by 2050, and it could account for almost 20% of final energy consumed by then. [The Peninsula Qatar]

Toyota Mirai, hydrogen powered vehicle, being refueled

¶ French nuclear group Areva announced the discovery that it delivered defective fuel rods for nuclear reactors. It said there was no safety risk, but Swiss media reported that a Swiss nuclear plant was closed due to problems with the rods. The company said fuel rods that were loaded in reactors can operate without any safety impairment. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ A study showed that Wisconsin ranked 9th in carbon dioxide releases due to farming practices. Converting unused land to produce crops for ethanol production releases a lot of carbon dioxide from the soil. The authors said most of the state’s new farm land had previously been pastures or forests, with some wetlands. [Wisconsin State Farmer]

Corn field and ethanol plant (Photo: Associated Press)

¶ The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would carry natural gas from West Virginia to North Carolina, has received approval from the US Forest Service. The pipeline would go through 21 miles of National Forest Service land. Environmental groups criticized the approval, and some plan to challenge it. [West Virginia Public Broadcasting]

¶ Empire District Electric Company has filed with Missouri state regulators a plan to move forward into wind-generated energy with the development of an additional 800 MW of wind energy by the end of 2020. According to a spokesperson for the electric utility, the project would save customers an average of $10 per month. [Cedar County Republican]

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