December 5 Energy News

December 5, 2017


¶ “Senate Tax Bill Threatens Clean Energy & Public Health, Pays Fossil Fuel Industry To Wreak Environmental Havoc” • Senate Republicans passed their $1.5 trillion Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It is a hastily written that will increase the country’s deficit by as much as $1 trillion. It also threatens the country’s renewable energy industry. [CleanTechnica]

Creating environmental havoc

¶ “Three Reasons Why Renewable Energy Leaders Are Optimistic” • At Green Tech Media’s US Power and Renewables Summit, utility company executives, financiers, renewable energy developers, and regulators shared their research and different experiences of the rapidly evolving renewable energy industry. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Science and Technology:

¶ Dr Joanne Chory, a biologist from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and HHMI, created a type of plant infused with a compound called suberin that she says can cut CO2 in the atmosphere by 50% if just 5% of the planet’s cultivable ground planted them. Her study is on changing plants to modify the way they work. [International Business Times UK]

Farmland (Reuters image)


¶ A decision to build a natural gas generating plant in Norway created such an uproar that the government was forced to specify the use of carbon capture technology to placate the voters. It opened in 2007, but it was so uneconomical to run that by 2014 it was shut down. Now it is being dismantled, its $240 million investment wasted. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Berlin (Germany) and China are working with nature to create sponge cities that absorb rainwater and cool the city. Even without the challenges of climate change, cities would do well to consider the benefits of imitating natural ecosystems to cool down and store rainwater, a precious resource. With climate change, they are essential. [CleanTechnica]

Yanweizhou Park in Jinhua, eastern China (via Turenscape)

¶ French utilities company Engie will ditch natural gas as a power source by 2050, opting instead for biogas, and renewable hydrogen to fulfill its green goals, according to a new report by Reuters. Engie has 70 biogas projects around the world, with just over half of them in France. The company has more projects lined up for development. []

¶ A report from the UK development company Crown Agents concluded that 2018 will be the year solar hits its commercial tipping point, resulting in a dramatic drop-off in price and making the technology viable for a billion people. It would open the door to save developing countries up to 80% by switching to solar from diesel and petrol. [CleanTechnica]

Solar power in South Africa

¶ German renewable energy asset operator Capital Stage has acquired a pipeline of PV projects in the Netherlands. The two facilities are located in Melissant and Ooltgensplaat in the province of South Holland, and have an output of 10 MW and 37.6 MW respectively. They are expected to be connected to the grid in October 2018. [pv magazine International]

¶ Italy could see over 400 MW of new PV capacity installed this year, for its best PV growth in the past four years. During that time new PV additions ranged between 300 MW and 350 MW. So far this year, newly installed PV capacity was 352 MW, a result that represented 12% growth from the same period last year. [pv magazine International]

A residential PV system in Italy

¶ Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources Dr Yuval Steinitz spoke today at the Israel Energy and Business Convention at the Kfar Maccabiah Hotel in Ramat Gan, presenting his long-term vision for the energy sector in the country. “By 2030, Israel will no longer use any gasoline or coal,” he said. [Globes]


¶ California might be known the world over as a clean energy leader, but information from the US Energy Information Administration, highlighted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said the award for cleanest state in the country goes to Iowa, and they’ve done it without the aggressive clean energy policies California is famous for. [CleanTechnica]

US Clean Energy Mix (Please click on the image to enlarge it)

¶ A bill calling for a 2030 energy storage target in New York state was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Long Island Power Authority will administer the creation of the energy storage deployment program. The governor also called for more research on EVs. [Renewables Now]

¶ A survey of 600 Tennessee voters found 81% of respondents want Tennessee to increase its use of solar power, and 88% said they would use more solar energy if it was available at the same or lower price. By better than a 7-to-1 margin, the want to be able to buy power from other sources than the Tennessee Valley Authority. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Solar array (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

¶ The Cape Wind project is dead. It envisioned 130 turbines to be built off the Massachusetts coast and would have been the first US offshore wind farm. It would also have appeared in the views from the Kennedy family’s estate and that of the Democratic family’s billionaire neighbor, William Koch, owner of a nearby 26-acre estate. [Fox News]

¶ Georgia utility watchdogs want to pull the plug on a pair of nuclear reactors being built near Augusta, dealing a fresh blow to the future of the American nuclear industry. Georgia’s regulatory staff say two partially built reactors at Plant Vogtle could be canceled like the VC Summer expansion project in South Carolina. [Charleston Post Courier]

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