January 8 Energy News

January 8, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ 2017 was the second hottest year on record with regard to global average temperatures, after only 2016, according to a report from the Copernicus Climate Change Service. It was a year of extremes, with many wildfires, very low sea ice extent, and lots of drought. Now, of the 17 hottest years on record, 16 were in this century. [CleanTechnica]

Hot spot

¶ The air pollution a mother is exposed to around the time of conception is linked with the risk of her baby being born with birth defects, according to a new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics. Babies born to women who breathe heavily polluted air in the month before and after conception are much more likely to have birth defects. [CleanTechnica]


¶ There are fears of an environmental disaster in the East China Sea as a tanker continues to leak oil two days after colliding with a cargo ship. Chinese officials have told state media the Sanchi is in danger of exploding and sinking. Rescuers attempting to reach the site were being beaten back by toxic clouds, according to the transportation ministry. [BBC]

Burning tanker (Reuters image)

¶ If the UK is to meet its climate change goals, then it will need to invest more in so-called clean energy and cleantech. That’s the takeaway of a new analysis and report from Carbon Brief, which was based on data provided by Imperial College London. This is despite the fact that most of the UK’s electricity came from “low carbon” sources. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The North Sea Wind Power Hub, an artificial island in the North Sea that could supply renewable energy to 80 million people in six European countries, is set to open in 2027. TenneT thinks the project could handle windfarms with a capacity of 30 GW, more than twice the amount of offshore wind power Europe currently has installed. [Digital Journal]

Offshore hub – click on the image to enlarge it. (TenneT image)

¶ China’s top economic planner said the country is planning several major coal-group mergers and acquisitions by 2020. The efforts aim for reducing excess coal capacity, improving resource allocation, upgrading technology, and improving production safety. There were 10,800 coal mines in China in 2015; now there are about 7,000. [China Economic Net]

¶ Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has announced that in December 2017 renewable energy provided 12.62% of the total national electricity supply, exceeding the 2017 state budget target of 11.96%. Hydropower produced the greatest share of the renewable energy, at 7.27%, followed by geothermal, which stood at 5%. [Jakarta Post]

Steam rising from geothermal plant (Tempo | Aris Andrianto)

¶ ACWA Power has reached financial close of the three solar PV projects worth $190 million under Round 2 of Egypt Feed-in-Tariff program II. They have a total capacity of 165.5 MWp. After starting operations in Q4 2018, the combined output of the projects is expected to power 80,000 houses and save of 156,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. [African Review]

¶ Orkney, a sparsely-populated archipelago 10 miles off the northern tip of mainland Scotland, is not an obvious place to go looking for the future. Yet the windswept islands have become a foremost center for innovation in renewable energy, including the use of hydrogen generated from wind and sea power as an alternative to fossil fuels. [Financial Times]

Scottrenewables energy converter (Scottrenewables image)

¶ The US State Department is taking steps toward signing a US-Saudi nuclear umbrella agreement required by United States law as a preliminary to selling the country nuclear power reactors. The White House is hinting it would not insist that Saudi Arabia promise not to reprocess irradiated fuel to extract plutonium or enrich uranium. [The Hill]

¶ French renewable energy company Neoen has a support agreement with the Victorian Government for an integrated wind farm and battery storage facility, the Bulgana Green Power Hub. The project includes a 204.4-MW wind farm with Siemens-Gamesa wind turbines and a 20-MW/34-MWh lithium-ion battery provided by Tesla. [EcoGeneration]

Neoen wind farm with Tesla batteries


¶ In Colorado, Longmont’s City Council would establish a citywide goal of having all of its residents’ and businesses’ electricity generated by carbon-free methods in the near future, under a resolution up for consideration Tuesday night. The resolution’s final goal is to have “a 100% clean, renewable energy supply by the year 2030.” [Longmont Times-Call]

¶ Anchorage has yet to see an official temperature below zero for this winter; this makes it the fourth latest date for that to occur. In the winter of 2000-2001, no below zero temperatures were recorded at all. Including that year, all of the five latest dates for sub-zero temperatures in Anchorage have happened since 2000. [KTUU.com]

Springtime Anchorage (Wikipedia)

¶ Some time ago, Ohio froze its renewable energy requirements and eased restrictions on the oil and gas industry. But the state has also closed coal-burning power plants, and its electric power sector cut its carbon pollution by 50 million metric tons a year from 2005 to 2015, the US Energy Information Administration said. [Crain’s Cleveland Business]

¶ In Maine, the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority and Diversified Communications are ready to dedicate a project that will produce 1.5 MW of solar energy. Officials say the system is designed to provide 13.3% of the electricity at Brunswick Landing business park from on-site renewable energy while cutting carbon emissions. [WMTW Portland]

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