November 21 Energy News

November 21, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “At least 40% of the world’s power will come from renewable sources by 2040” • With falling costs of solar and wind power, the International Energy Agency predicts that renewable energy will provide approximately 40% of global power generation by 2040. Renewables worldwide are set to grow faster than any other source. [Business Insider UK]

Abengoa solar plant (Photo: Reuters | Marcelo del Pozo)

¶ “The International Energy Agency Is Steering The World To Climate Disaster” • Governments and investors routinely use the WEO as a guide to make decisions. Power plants, pipelines, and other infrastructure get built based on the IEA’s projections of future demand. But the IEA spends its resources promoting fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ MIT and Lamborghini have partnered to develop an electric car. The Terzo Millenio is powered using supercapacitors instead of traditional batteries, allowing it to charge faster and hold more power. The vehicle can induce its own health check, and if any damage is detected the car can fill in cracks with nanotubes. [Energy Digital]

Lamborghini Terzo Millenio

World:

¶ Every hour, Chinese workers install an array of solar panels at least the size of a soccer field. Already home to the world’s largest solar plant and floating solar installation, over half of the world’s current construction on solar power installations is taking place in China. Meanwhile others, including the US, are increasingly falling behind. [HuffPost]

¶ In a move to diversify, Chemicals giant Ineos is making a move into deep water oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, buying a majority stake in two exploration licenses in areas far to the north of Shetland. It recently bought the motorcycle wear brand Belstaff, and it also bought Swiss football club Lausanne-Sport earlier this month. [BBC News]

Oil rigs in Cromarty Firth (Getty Images)

¶ A university in New South Wales has installed what it says is Australia’s largest rooftop solar power system. Charles Sturt University switched on a 6,000-panel system at its Wagga Wagga campus. It cost A$3.2 million ($2.4 million), and produces 1.77 MW of power, enough to provide for approximately 400 typical Australian households. [ABC Online]

¶ The Azores’ government inaugurated a 3.5-MW geothermal plant in the Terceira island, news agency Lusa reported. The Pico Alto plant should help the Portuguese island region source about 10% of its electricity needs from geothermal in 2018. Production from renewable sources will increase from 22% in 2016 to almost 40% next year. [Renewables Now]

Geothermal plant (Photo: gamene, CC BY SA 2.0)

¶ Footage gathered by a robot shows a large hole at the bottom of Fukushima Daiichi’s Unit 3 reactor, with objects “like icicles” around the control rod mechanism. These were confirmed to be uranium. Up until now, no one knew the state of the nuclear material, but the images give more confidence about a clean-up. [International Business Times UK]

¶ Last week BMW announced that it has an audacious plan to make sure all the energy used for its manufacturing needs will come from renewable sources. BMW will have to resort to unusual sources to meet its CO2 emissions reductions goals for its plants. They include use of manure and landfill gas, along with solar power. [BMWBLOG]

BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina

US:

¶ Whitefish Energy is stopping its work to restore Puerto Rico’s electricity grid because it is owed more than $83 million by the island’s power authority, the company says. The Whitefish CEO told CNN that repeated requests for agreed payments were not met. The company’s contract had already been cancelled and is under investigation. [MyHighPlains]

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

¶ Nebraska officials voted to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to cross the state, a key step toward the completion of the Keystone Pipeline network. The state’s Public Service Commission voted 3-2 in favor of the expansion pipeline, days after the existing Keystone Pipeline spilled 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota. [Houston Chronicle]

Pipeline construction (Houston Chronicle photo)

¶ Middlebury College will significantly reduce its carbon footprint thanks to an innovative partnership with Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, Vermont, Vanguard Renewables of Wellesley, Massachusetts, and Vermont Gas. A facility at Goodrich Family Farm will combine cow manure and food waste to produce Renewable Natural Gas. [vtdigger.org]

¶ As the world’s single largest consumer of petroleum the US Department of Defense is expected to double-down on deploying military microgrids to sustain its operations. The annual microgrid implementation spending is expected to reach $1.4 billion in 2026, according to a new deep-dive by Navigant Research. [CleanTechnica]

US military field microgrid

¶ Electricity generator Luminant is cutting about 600 jobs as it closes three coal-fired power plants and a mine in Texas. Luminant plans to make the layoffs in January. The company had already announced the power plant closings earlier, due to competition from cheap natural gas and renewable generation. [CanadianManufacturing.com]

¶ Ford has just unveiled the country’s newest plug-in hybrid targeted for the police force and government fleets. Technically speaking, the new Ford will have a modest 7.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack for up to 21 miles of range on electric mode. The car is a modified Ford Fusion Energi, which has the same specifications. [CleanTechnica]

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