January 7 Energy News

January 7, 2018


¶ “The future of our technology and our planet depends on one thing: the battery” • With the coming era of the electric car and more advanced robotics, a need to swap to renewable energy, and an ever-increasing (and more mobile gadget-hungry) global population, humanity’s capability of storing energy is going to become critical. [TechRadar]

Tesla’s Gigafactory is in Nevada (Credit: Tesla)

¶ “Justice for Puerto Rico” • A good new year’s resolution for the US government would be to do justice to Puerto Rico and its three million American citizens as they suffer with the aftermath of two powerful hurricanes. In addition to facing rebuilding homes, businesses, and infrastructure, they are burdened with $74 billion debt. [Commonweal]

¶ “It will require concerted effort to achieve a sustainable future” • Concerted global efforts are needed to protect our planet from the impacts of global warming for a sustainable future. The UAE effectively contributes to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 and is at the forefront of support for sustainability. [The National]

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park
(Photo: Pawan Singh | The National)

¶ “‘Bomb cyclone’ appears to stymie Perry’s argument for coal” • The winter storm was just the type of scenario Energy Secretary Rick Perry cited as a reason to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants. But so far, the region’s electricity grid has responded with little disruption, aside from a shutdown of the Pilgrim nuclear plant. [The Keene Sentinel]

Science and Technology:

¶ Global warming is making the world’s oceans sicker, depleting them of oxygen and harming delicate coral reefs more often. In coastal water bodies, including estuaries and seas, low-oxygen sites have increased more than 10-fold since 1950. Scientists expect oxygen to continue dropping even outside these zones as Earth warms. [India Today]



¶ Solar modules worth more than $150 million are stuck at various Indian ports due to a dispute over their classification and the import tax. Customs officials want to classify some of them as “electric motors and generators”, attracting a 7.5% duty, not as “diodes, transistors and similar semi-conductor devices” with no duty. [The Daily Star]

¶ Electric vehicles are not all sexy next-generation roadsters or Chinese AI-linked car startups. The mundane backbone of the economy of logistics vehicles is also undergoing electrification. Tesla brought much rightful attention to its electric semi, but in China a large shift in medium- and short-range logistics vehicles is also happening. [CleanTechnica]

Electric delivery van

¶ Petroleum Development Oman has invited expressions of interest from companies to take part in a competitive tender for a 100-MW utility-scale solar PV project in southern Oman, a report said. The project is set to be PDO’s first renewable energy venture being developed as an independent power project, reported the Oman Observer. [Trade Arabia]

¶ It’s fair to say that China is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to pollution and climate change. Now China has announced a reforestation program that will plant enough trees in 2018 to cover an area the size of Ireland. Forests already cover 21.7% of the country. That figure is set to increase to 23% by 2020 and 26% by 2035. [CleanTechnica]

Forest (via Foter 1)

¶ A new cooperative is fighting back in the face of surging power prices and actively address Queensland’s energy crisis. The idea is a clean, community-owned solution using technology known as a central tower power plant to generate from between 100 and 200 MW of electricity to meet the energy demands of up to 50,000 homes. [Whitsunday Times]

¶ Three solar power plants started operations recently under the first round of Egypt’s feed-in tariff system. And 17 companies signed power purchase agreements with the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy under the second phase. The solar PV and wind projects will add 4,300 MW in capacity to the system by 2018. [Ahram Online]

Solar system in Egypt


¶ Duke Energy is sending more than 200 of its employees along with trucks, equipment and supplies to Puerto Rico to support the effort to rebuild the power grid and restore electric service to areas hit hard by storms. Personnel from Duke Energy operations in the Midwest, Carolinas and Florida will take part in the effort. [satPRnews]

¶ For Georgia Power customers, plugging into solar power no longer means having to add panels to your roof. The company is launching a community solar program that would allow customers to lease part of a large array. It is among the efforts that make Georgia one of the fastest growing states in adding solar power. [The Augusta Chronicle]

A 20-MW solar array in Hazelhurst, Georgia

¶ The news has been increasingly bleak for US nuclear power, with its failed projects and proposed bailouts. But in Minnesota nuclear power looks like it will be part of the state’s electric production until the 2030s. Xcel Energy believes nuclear energy is critical to meeting its carbon reduction goals as closes coal generators. [St. Cloud Times]

¶ If Dominion Energy buys South Carolina Electric & Gas, its customers will get a one-time shot of cash to make up for some of the years they spent financing an abandoned nuclear power plant. Then over the next two decades, SCE&G customers would pay about $2.2 billion for the project, plus a 10.3% return for investors. [Charleston Post Courier]

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