December 10 Energy News

December 10, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Utahns won’t benefit from more oil and gas production – just the companies that operate here” • The Trump administration’s retrograde policies to increase fossil fuel subsidies will damage our air, land, water and public health. Trump’s Energy, EPA, and Interior directors are moving to further privilege coal, gas and oil with taxpayer money. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Oil well on public land (Josh Ewing | Friends of Cedar Mesa)

¶ “India faces painful move to cleaner energy” • Hundreds of millions of people in India are forced to live with the fallout of the dirtiest fuels. It is not just air pollution that is killing people and animals. Coal waste is getting into fields and causing underground fires. The government blames a lack of funds to pay for greener power. [The Straits Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ The worst-case predictions regarding the effects of global warming are the most likely to be true, a new study published in Nature has warned. It said that if emissions follow a commonly used business-as-usual scenario, there is a 93% per cent chance that global warming will exceed 4°C by the end of this century. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Pollution (AP Photo | Andy Wong, File | for the AJC)

¶ A bio-battery powered by bacteria could one day be used for wearable electronics, and your sweat could power it. Researchers from Binghamton University, State University of New York have developed a textile-based, bacteria-powered bio-battery, that stretches and twists like a piece of fabric, so it could be worn as part of clothes. [Newsweek]

World:

¶ India’s ultra-mega solar project will be up for discussion at the One Planet Summit in France this week, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has said. The ultra-mega solar power projects, also known as ultra mega solar parks, are a series of solar power projects planned by India to increase its capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW. [The Hans India]

Ultra-mega solar project

¶ Renewable energy developer Maoneng Australia said it has landed the biggest ever power purchase agreement for solar power in Australia, as part of AGL’s plans to replace the ageing Liddell coal generator with renewables and storage in 2022. It signed a 15-year PPA with AGL for 800,000 MWh of renewable energy per year. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The renewable energy sectors of Ivory Coast and Morocco have received boosts to further develop their planned projects. The African Development Bank approved $324 million in loans to support renewable energy projects in these two countries, which are expected to increase power supplies significantly and keep economic growth on track. [ESI Africa]

Noor phase 1 solar thermal plant (AfDB image)

¶ Laos can build hydroelectric dams, but will not do so without foreign investment. Vietnam is currently the only neighboring country which has high demand for electricity and is a potential importer. There are problems with the arrangement, however, as Vietnamese officials are reluctant to have dams installed on the Mekong River. [VietNamNet Bridge]

¶ Japan is reviewing future energy sources as climate advocates call on the government to enable easier access to the grid for the renewables sector. Renewables, including solar and hydropower, are projected to make up between 22% and 24% of the energy mix in 2030, an official blueprint says, and that needs to be increased, according to the advocates. [MENAFN.COM]

Signs on a wall

¶ With the energy increasingly a key factor in the geopolitical relation, the US Federal Electricity Regulatory Commission expressed its interest in updating a 2009 agreement with India on enhancing energy cooperation. The agreement identifies energy-related issues and agendas for exchange of information and regulatory practices. [Economic Times]

US:

¶ Devastating wildfires fueled by climate change are “the new normal,” California Governor Jerry Brown said. He continued, “We’re facing a new reality in this state,” and said they could happen “every year or every few years.” He made the comments after surveying damage from a 180-square mile fire in Ventura County, north of Los Angeles. [BBC News]

Thomas fire in Ventura County (Photo: AFP | Getty Images)

¶ Energy Secretary Rick Perry proposed subsidizing coal-fired and nuclear power plants to compensate them for the reliable energy they provide to the nation’s grid. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which Perry directed to study the issue, is scheduled to deliver a decision on the proposed rule on Monday, but asked for more time. [Financial Tribune]

¶ Colorado Springs’ Martin Drake power plant is the least efficient coal plant in the state, according to a study conducted by the Applied Economic Clinic at Tufts University, but the plant has also seen its energy output drop significantly in the past decade. One issue cited by the study was the lack of information from the owners. [KRDO]

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