January 1 Energy News

January 1, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “New GOP Tax Bill Is A Huge Win For Oil & Gas Companies” • Trump’s allies in the GOP Congress gave an incredible end-of-the-year gift to energy companies, especially to fossil fuel companies. Critics say it will lessen renewable energy at the expense of the environment by unleashing further fossil fuel exploration. [ETF Daily News]

Oil Well

¶ “Trump Or No Trump, “Capitalist Tool” Shares Love For Renewables, Lumps For Coal & Natural Gas” • Renewables are making big moves into US electricity generation, and Forbes, the self-described “capitalist tool,” is not shy about toting up the damages. One piece describes how solar is gunning for both coal and natural gas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Alberta achieved Canada’s lowest renewable-electricity prices” • Alberta has the lowest priced renewable electricity in Canada, according to Premier Rachel Notley. The province achieved rock-bottom prices by establishing a competitive auction process to award renewable electricity contracts to low bidders. [The Globe and Mail]

Wind turbines in Alberta (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Denying climate science” • After spreading misinformation about greenhouse gas emissions’ role as a driver of climate change for decades, the deceptive tactics of the fossil fuel industry are slowly beginning to backfire. General Electric’s major cuts to its fossil-fuel-heavy power department is just one example. [The News International]

¶ “The Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Continues Unabated” • Dr Helen Caldicott explains recent photos of Fukushima’s Daiichi nuclear reactors: radiation levels have not peaked, but have continued to spill toxic waste into the Pacific Ocean. It is only now that robots have been able to photograph the damage. [Center for Research on Globalization]

Fukushima Daiichi, co clean before the meltdown (Twitter)

World:

¶ More Indian states are switching to solar power from thermal power due to the cost benefits. The state of Punjab is considering setting up a huge solar power project at the land where currently a 460-MW coal-based power plant stands. The power plant, spread over an area of 2,000 acres, is set to be retired on the first of January 2018. [CleanTechnica]

¶ When 13-year-old Autumn Peltier came face-to-face with Justin Trudeau, she scolded him. She said, “I am very unhappy with the choices you’ve made,” referring to his support for pipeline projects. Next spring, Autumn Peltier will address the UN for the declaration of the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development. [BBC]

Autumn Peltier meeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

¶ The Indian government is planning to revamp its incentive program for rooftop solar power systems in an attempt to expedite implementation of the capacity across various segments of power consumers. The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has proposed financial support worth ₹23,450 crore ($3.7 billion) from the government. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Pakistan will begin 2018 with expensive energy prices and breakeven supplies. While the year is estimated to conclude with a bit of electricity surplus after 13 years, gas shortages are unlikely to end by December 2018. The decade of darkness is likely to come to an end during the year, though at a cost in higher prices. [DAWN.com]

Feeding the pot

¶ Bowing to pressure from shareholders and the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, Royal Dutch Shell pledged to increase its investment in renewable fuels and to cut its carbon emissions in half by 2050. Shell and other oil companies have moved sporadically over the last decade toward greater production of wind and solar energy. [Luxora Leader]

¶ The Cyprus government has repeatedly stated that it has a national energy plan that guides the development of its energy sector. So far, however, the plan is shrouded in mystery as it has not gone through any public consultation, despite the fact that the European Commission expected such draft plans to be submitted by January 1, 2018. [Cyprus Mail]

Mosque and turbines, Cyprus (A.Savin, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ In the UK, electricity from offshore wind is cheaper to generate than energy from nuclear power stations. For contracts to generate power in 2021–22, the price has fallen to £74.75 per MWh. Contracts to produce power in 2022–23 rates are as low as £57.60. To contrast, EDF Energy got contracts to build Hinkley C at £92.50. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ One of America’s biggest wind energy projects is now stuck. Environmentalists blame the Tennessee Valley Authority for the failure of Clean Energy Partners’ $2.5 billion effort to bring more renewable energy into the Tennessee Valley. The TVA was not moved by its offer of cheaper and cleaner power. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Wind farm (Photo: Clean Energy Partners)

¶ The News-Gazette reports that the University of Illinois South Farms has been idle since October with electrical system issues, but it is scheduled to resume operations soon. University officials are considering expanding the 21-acre solar farm to help meet renewable-energy goals outlined in the Illinois Climate Action Plan. [WJBD Online]

¶ In his Senate confirmation hearing, Barry Myers, President Trump’s choice to run the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said he agrees humans are the primary driver of recent climate change. Myers’ unambiguous acceptance of the human role in climate change marks a clean break from the Trump administration. [Kaplan Herald]

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