December 1 Energy News

December 1, 2017


¶ “Burning wood under fire: Are forests going up our chimneys?” To meet the EU’s renewable energy target, countries have rediscovered wood as a fuel. But conservationists fear this new hunger for wood might have disastrous consequences for the forests, the people and the climate, as demand for wood drives deforestation. [Deutsche Welle]

Burning wood pellets

¶ “Denying the Truth Doesn’t Change the Facts” • Try as they may, clean energy innovation naysayers can’t change a simple truth: the cost of wind and solar power electrical power generation is plummeting and renewable energy is now cheaper than operating coal and nuclear power plants. It’s happening fast and there’s no stopping it. [HuffPost]


¶ The world’s leading oil exporting nations have agreed to extend production curbs by nine months. OPEC members were joined by non-members, led by Russia, in agreeing the output limits would continue until the end of 2018. The curbs have been in place for a year and have helped to push up the price of crude oil by about 30%. [BBC News]

Oil worker at a valve (Reuters image)

¶ Renewable energy will account for more than half of the UK’s electricity generation by 2025, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Driven in part by the falling cost of generating energy from wind and solar, the change will make balancing supply and demand increasingly important for the grid operators. [BCW]

¶ To support its ambitious plan to generate 40 GW of rooftop solar power by 2022, the Indian government is planning to launch a “rent a roof” policy, an Energy Ministry source said. Under the “rent a roof” policy, the developer will take rooftops on rent and will offer a lease to each household, and then feed the solar power to the grid. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar in Punjab

¶ There will be about $3.1 trillion worth of climate investment opportunities by 2030 in India, a report by the International Finance Corporation says. India’s ambitious plans to meet its climate targets will result in investment in renewable energy, green buildings, transport infrastructure, electric vehicles, and climate-smart agriculture. [New Kerala]

¶ A plan for zero tolerance of plastic pollution of the oceans may be agreed by nations at a UN summit on the environment. Governments are being asked to move towards a legal treaty banning plastic waste from entering the sea. Experts say ocean plastics are an obvious subject for a global treaty because plastics present a large-scale threat. [BBC News]

Plastic pollution

¶ The Asian Renewable Energy Hub is a proposal for a wind and solar hybrid power plant in Western Australia to send electric power to Indonesia via undersea high voltage DC transmission cables. It is being developed by a team including CWP Energy Asia, InterContinental Energy, and Vestas to provide up to 6 GW of power. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ A German court has ruled that it will hear a Peruvian farmer’s case against energy giant RWE over climate change damage in the Andes. The decision is labelled by campaigners as a “historic breakthrough.” Farmer Saul Luciano Lliuya’s case against RWE was “well-founded,” the court in the north-western city of Hamm said. [The Guardian]

Saul Luciano Lliuya (Photo: Anthony Kwan | Getty Images)

¶ Google is officially off-setting 100% of its energy usage with either wind or solar power. The company signed contracts on three wind power plants in recent days to bring them over 3 GW of production capacity. Google has invested over $3.5 billion in energy infrastructure globally, with about two-thirds of that being in the US. [Electrek]

¶ The Hornsdale Power Reserve, Tesla’s 100-MW/129-MWh Powerpack system, started delivering power to the grid a day early. It is connected to the Hornsdale Wind Farm, South Australia’s biggest renewable generator. The Powerpack project cost roughly around $50 million and can power around 30,000 homes for one hour. [Inhabitat]

Hornsdale Power Reserve

¶ An image taken by an underwater robot shows corroded tubes stuck in a hole created by melted nuclear fuel in the pressure vessel of the No 3 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi. The image offers clues on the extent of the damage caused when fuel rods in the reactor melted through the bottom of the pressure vessel in March 2011. [Asahi Shimbun]


¶ Travel between O’Hare airport and downtown Chicago is an expensive and daunting task fraught with delays and congestion. Chicago would like to change all of that, making it possible to travel the distance in “twenty minutes or less.” Elon Musk has tweeted that The Boring Company is interested in getting in on the action. [CleanTechnica]

Congestion from downtown Chicago to O’Hare (Sun-Times photo)

¶ Aera Energy, one of California’s largest oil and gas producers, will partner with GlassPoint Solar to build the State’s largest solar energy project at the Belridge oilfield. It is an 850-MW solar thermal facility to produce steam for oil extraction, combined with a 26.5 MW solar PV facility that will generate electric power. [CleanTechnica] (What?)

¶ Toyota of North America announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show that is it constructing the world’s first megawatt-scale carbonate fuel cell power generation plant with a hydrogen fueling station in Southern California. The Tri-Gen facility will use California-sourced agricultural waste to generate water, electricity, and hydrogen. [CleanTechnica]

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

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