November 24 Energy News

November 24, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ The world has been given a stark warning by some of its leading scientists: there is much worse climate change on the way. The warning came in a report introduced at COP 23, which had been prepared by the League with Future Earth. The report summarizes recent Earth-system science and economic research. [environmentalresearchweb]

Refugee shelters in Somalia (Image: DFID/UK Dept for
International Development via Wikimedia Commons)

¶ A study by scientists at the University of Bath shows that the fatty acids released into the air while frying food may help clouds that cool the atmosphere to form. Fatty molecules in the air form complex structures that endure longer than most molecules, allowing moisture to gather and form into clouds, which in turn cool the air. [Daily Sabah]


¶ According to ClimateWise, a global network of 28 insurance industry organizations, not only is 2017 likely to be the most expensive year on record due to natural disasters and extreme weather events all over the globe, but over the past decade only 30% of catastrophic losses were insured, leaving a climate risk protection gap of $1.7 trillion. [CleanTechnica]

Flooding in Houston

¶ Italy’s Enel SpA has launched the construction of an 8-MW solar park in Panama for Swiss food giant Nestle SA. About $8 million (€6.8 million) will be invested in the Estrella Solar project, which is expected to be commissioned by June of next year. The plant is estimated to produce around 12 GWh of electricity annually. [Renewables Now]

¶ A group of Melbourne businesses, universities, council groups, and cultural institutions are working to deliver an 80-MW wind farm Victoria. The planned wind farm will be owned and operated by Pacific Hydro. The group plans to purchase 88 GWh of energy, enough to power over 17,000 Melbourne households, each year. [Business Review Australia]

Australian wind farm

¶ The Council of Australian Governments Energy Council, made up of all state and territory energy ministers, voted to look further into the Federal Government’s National Energy Guarantee. By avoiding an all-out energy war with those states opposing the NEG, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull can now concentrate on its details. [Energy Matters]

¶ The Turnbull government’s goal of reducing emissions by 28% by 2030 only requires an additional 1.5 GW of new large-scale renewables, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimated. That target “could decimate large-scale wind and solar construction,” while a 45% reduction target advocated by the Labor party would “continue the current boom.” [Bloomberg]

Australian solar station (Richard Gifford, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ EV drivers are responding well to price signals suggesting there will be sufficient energy capacity, predominately renewable, to power New Zealand’s increasing uptake of EVs well into the future, according to Mercury Energy. With a 20% discount Mercury offers for overnight EV charging, a significant number of drivers changed charging hours. [Voxy]

¶ The Australian Renewable Energy Agency and TasNetworks will explore a more detailed feasibility and business case for a second Bass Strait interconnector connecting the Tasmanian grid with Victoria’s grid. It would provide Tasmania with a backup power supply and allow it to play a greater role in the National Electricity Market. [iTWire]

Cape Grim, Tasmania (Ian Cochrane, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ South Africa’s new Minister of Energy appears determined to push ahead with nuclear procurement at some future date. This is despite the Minister of Finance announcing categorically in the October Medium Term Budget Policy Statement that the country could not afford a nuclear program and does not have the money to fund one. []

¶ Enel’s subsidiary Enel Rinnovabile won tenders for the construction of four wind farms in Mexico, totalling 593 MW of capacity. The Italian energy company plans to invest a total of $700 million on their construction. The four plants will range in size from 100 MW to 244 MW, all in the northern parts of the country. [CleanTechnology News]

Mexican wind turbines (Photo: Steve Ralston |

¶ Nuclear industry specialists will set up a commission to find the source of origin of the radioactive ruthenium-106 detected by European and Russian environmental monitoring systems in the atmosphere, Russia’s civil nuclear power corporation Rosatom reported. Rosatom will provide all the necessary assistance to the commission. [TASS]


¶ A privately held real estate investor based in Missouri believes that the waterfront site of a former coal-fired thermal power station in Massachusetts could be turned into an offshore wind port. Commercial Development Company Inc said it intends to invest significant resources to reposition the Brayton Point facility for post-coal utilization. [Renewables Now]

Brayton Point (Commercial Development Company image)

¶ Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative installed its Bourne Tidal Test Site in the Cape Cod Canal. It is  ready for test engineers to assess tidal energy equipment performance and output. The next step in preparing the site for testing is to install data acquisition, processing and transmission systems on top of the platform. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ Michigan utility Consumer Energy is proposing a plan for renewable energy that will not raise customer’s rates. An order setting rates for renewable energy developers from Consumers Energy will create the certainty necessary to encourage new growth in solar energy while ensuring utility customers’ electricity rates do not increase. [WILX-TV]

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Sunnyside Solar’s crowdfunding website].

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