November 23 Energy News

November 23, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ Two glaciers on Pine Island Bay are the largest and fastest-melting in Antarctica. They act as a plug holding back enough ice to pour 11 feet of sea-level rise into the world’s oceans, enough to inundate every coastal city on the planet. Finding out when these glaciers will collapse is one of our most important scientific questions. [Mother Jones]

The Getz Ice Shelf (Photo: NASA | Jeremy Harbeck)

¶ With updated agricultural sector estimates, analysis from the UC Davis and Purdue University shows that the true “social cost of carbon” is 72% to 129% greater than had earlier been estimated. It also reveals that climate change has a net-negative effect on agriculture, with every ton of CO2 emitted causing up to $8.50 in agricultural costs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Nordex is offering upgrades for wind turbines at sites that are noise sensitive. The upgrade includes sound mode optimization and blade serrations. The serrations are components added to the trailing edges of the blades, which reduce the sound power level of the turbines by around 1.5 decibels, making the turbines considerably quieter. [reNews]

Wind turbines in Turkey (Nordex image)

World:

¶ New research from the Alternative Technology Association has shown that Australia could transition to a fully renewable energy electricity grid by 2030, and this would be cheaper and less risky than building new coal-fired power stations. If solar and wind installation continues at the 2017 rate Australia will be fully renewable by 2040. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Tesla has finished installing the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery in South Australia. Elon Musk had said the battery would be free if it was not installed within 100 days, but it will meet its December 1 deadline. The 100-MW battery is to provide grid security for the state. The power it stores would be enough for 30,000 homes for about an hour. [BBC]

Tesla Powerpack

¶ The Netherlands is seeing significant increase in the number of PV projects developed by energy cooperatives, according to a report. It shows that in the first ten months of this year, 100 new collective PV projects with a combined capacity of around 37 MW were built in the country. This represents a 53% increase from 2016. [pv magazine International]

¶ In India, imports of coal from North America have increased rapidly on the back of a regional ban on the use of petroleum coke and a domestic coal shortage, according to recent reports. Though other sources give lower figures, shipping data compiled by Thomson Reuters, suggest that India’s imports of coal from North America have tripled. [CleanTechnica]

Air pollution in Delhi

¶ Bloomberg New Energy Finance has some good news for us. Global electric car sales (including plug-in hybrids) surged 63% in the third quarter of this year and are up 23% since the second quarter. BNEF is now confident EV sales will top 1,000,000 units this year. But there is also bad news. China accounted for almost all of those increases. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Statoil and its partners in the 402-MW Dudgeon offshore wind farm, off the coast of Norfolk, are now opening the facility. The Norwegian oil and gas group is the operator of the wind farm and owns a 35% stake. Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar and Norwegian state-owned utility Statkraft own 35% and 30%, respectively. [Renewables Now]

Dudgeon wind farm (Jan Arne Wold – Woldcam | Statoil ASA)

¶ Costa Rica has charted another clean energy accolade. So far this year, the Central American country has run for 300 days with 100% of its power generation from renewable energy sources, setting a new record. This is according to the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity, citing figures from the National Center for Energy Control. [Common Dreams]

¶ A South Australian company has spent almost a decade developing its Thermal Energy Storage System to store electricity as thermal energy at a cost estimated to be up to 10 times cheaper than lithium batteries. 1414 Degrees has moved into a plant near Adelaide, where it will build its first 10-MWh TESS-IND system. [RenewEconomy]

Artist’s impression of a 1-GWh integrated system

¶ Earlier this month, the French nuclear safety institute released data showing that a cloud of radioactive pollution was over much of Europe, raising speculations of an accident at a nuclear facility in Russia or Kazakhstan. Now, the Russian meteorological service reports levels of ruthenium 106 in the Urals 1,000 times higher than normal. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ UPS is continuing to electrify its delivery vehicles. It recently announced an e-bike delivery vehicle in downtown Pittsburgh, as the latest example. In addition to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, the deployment of the electric delivery/cargo bike will also clearly reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and noise pollution. [CleanTechnica]

UPS electric delivery bike

¶ North Carolina has risen to become the country’s second-largest solar market. It now has over 3,500 MW of solar installed. The Solar Energy Industries Association projects the state will see 3,818 MW of growth in the next five years. According to GTM Research, the state has contracts in place for 2.4 GW. But there are still growing pains. [Greentech Media]

¶ South Dakota is one of only two states where wind power provides over 30% of in-state power generation. Wind power has contributed more than $2 billion in capital investment for the construction and maintenance of the state’s 14 operating wind farms. The South Dakotas wind industry supports nearly 2,000 well-paying jobs. [STL.News]

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

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