January 6 Energy News

January 6, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Climate change may lead to a rise in floating architecture” • A serious question is posed by climate change: How will our cities cope with rising sea levels? Some architects believe that floating buildings offer the answer, and have come up with a wide variety of designs to prove it, from simple prefab homes to entirely amphibious neighborhoods. [CNN]

Prototype floating school in Nigeria (Design Museum image)

¶ “Is the White House declaring a policy war on California?” • It is Washington versus California on marijuana, climate change, offshore oil drilling, and immigration this week as bubbling disagreements between California and President Donald Trump’s administration all seemed to spill over at once. But the timing in Washington might be intentional. [CNN]

¶ “3 Questions Worth Answering in the Wake of Winter Storm Grayson” • My colleagues and I think about coastal flooding a lot, but the footage from yesterday had our brains buzzing with new unknowns and threats never considered. It is not simply how do we prepare for storms like this. It’s how do we prepare for a future. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Satellite image of Grayson

World:

¶ A new partnership between UK nonprofits aims to help local communities buy existing solar PV farms. Community business trust Power to Change and social investment firm Big Society Capital have joined forces to form Community-Owned Renewable Energy Partners, which aims to acquire six to eight solar farms. [Decentralized Energy]

¶ CleanTechnica has published a couple of articles recently on Shenzhen’s 16,000 electric buses. But those stories should not be taken to imply that this is an isolated case of Chinese electric bus leadership. To do so would miss the much bigger and broader story. Here is a roundup of two months of electric bus stories from China. [CleanTechnica]

Consignment of electric buses going to a customer

¶ Finnish development financier Finnfund has provided $15 million in loan funding for the construction of ten solar plants in El Salvador, expected to become operational in 2019. The power plants are now under development and will have a total capacity of 100 MW. The total funding for the projects is about $160 million. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ The UK Government confirmed that its 2015 pledge to phase out coal-fired power within a decade would move ahead under a new rule that limits the “carbon-intensity” of power plants. The limit will allow gas to act as back-up generation, but coal plants will be forced to close unless they are fitted with carbon capture technology. [Telegraph.co.uk]

Thermal power plant (Photo: Phil Noble | Reuters)

¶ Following Tesla’s successful deployment of the world’s largest battery in South Australia, another state in the land down under has lined up as Tesla Energy’s next customer. As noted in a recent report from the Sydney Morning Herald, Victoria has joined South Australia in its push towards a large-scale renewable energy system. [Teslarati]

¶ Germany crossed a symbolic milestone in its energy transition by briefly covering about 100% of electricity use with renewable energy sources for the first time ever on 1 January. In the whole of last year, the world’s fourth largest economy produced a record 36.1% of its total power needs with renewable energy sources. [Clean Energy Wire]

Wind turbine and the moon (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ In the latest issue of its “Energy Infrastructure Update,” with data through November 30, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission notes that proposed net additions to generating capacity by utility-scale wind and solar could total 115,984 MW by December 2020, effectively doubling their current installed capacity. [Solar Power World]

¶ The winter storm moved out from the Northeast, and the winter cold moved in. A combination of winds, high tide, and a super moon produced the highest tide the area around Boston has ever seen. But the Boston area wasn’t alone in the misery. Up and down the East Coast, tens of thousands spent a frigid night without power. [CBS News]

Wave crashing over a home in Scituate, Massachusetts
(Photo: Scott Eisen | Getty Images)

¶ Three months and 17 days after Hurricane Maria devastated the US territory of Puerto Rico, 45% of its residents, about 1.7 million people, are still without power. So Sunnova Energy Corporation, the island’s second largest residential solar installer, begged Congress yesterday to do something to help those people get power restored. [pv magazine USA]

¶ California Independent System Operator and the California Energy Commission separately released reports on renewable energy. The data from CAISO show that local renewables, including hydro power, met 38% of demand. The CEC report shows that California is already very close to reaching its RPS mandate for 2020. [pv magazine USA]

Solar Frontier Midway1 solar project

¶ If President Donald Trump is actually serious about bringing coal back, he has his work cut out for him. The President’s first year in office was marked by a slew of coal power plant closings, and his second year is already off to a bad start. Mepco Inc announced that it will close a Pennsylvania mine, eliminating 370 coal jobs. [Triple Pundit]

¶ Proposed legislation that would have provided $300 million per year to New Jersey nuclear plants facing premature closure has stalled in the state Assembly. Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto decided not to post the Assembly bill for a vote in the chamber, effectively preventing action on the proposal before the legislative session ends. [Platts]

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