January 15 Energy News

January 15, 2018


¶ “Global Warming Is Going To Demolish Economies and Societies” • It is not just Florida. Human beings have long settled close to seas, rivers, oceans, gulfs, and bays, and many of the world’s most populated and economically vital cities and regions will be physically harmed to one degree or another by the effects of climate change. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Natural gas is energy’s new king – but how long will it reign? California may offer some clues” • “King Gas” has its critics, especially among environmentalists, and California is an example of why the dominance of natural gas is far from secure. The state uses twice as much renewable power as it did just eight years ago. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

¶ “Could a renewable investment “boom” spell the end of Australia’s energy crisis?” • Economists claim a string of new renewable energy investments could be the beginning of the end of Australia’s energy crisis. After Elon Musk’s 100-MW battery installation in South Australia, more storage and renewable power is on the table. [ABC Online]

Tesla battery in South Australia


¶ London’s air quality is within legal limits in mid-January for the first time in 10 years, City Hall has said. The capital breached limits for nitrogen dioxide by 6 January every year for the last decade, Mayor Sadiq Khan said. So far this year, London’s NO2 has not exceeded limits, although it is likely to do so later this month, Mr Khan admitted. [BBC]

¶ Cape Town, home to Table Mountain, African penguins, sea, and sunshine, is a world-renowned tourist destination. But it could also become famous as the world’s first major city to run out of water. Most recent projections suggest that its water could run out as early as March, after three years of very low rainfall and increasing consumption. [BBC]

Cape Town, South Africa (Getty Images)

¶ The Middle East is expected to more than triple its share of renewable energy from 5.6% in 2016 to 20.6% in 2035, according to a new forecast from Siemens. The Siemens report, “Middle East Power: Outlook 2035,” notes that the region will acquire 483 GW of power generation in the same time frame, up from 277 GW. [ArabianBusiness.com]

¶ Alinta Energy wants at least one in five of its customers to be powered entirely by renewable energy by 2020. The company says it plans to bring a gigawatt of new renewable energy online following its acquisition of Victoria’s Loy Yang B brown coal-fired power station. The renewables will have the same capacity as the coal plant. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Wind farm (Photo: Erin Jonasson)

¶ The Northern Territory government has called for expressions of interest to build what could be the world’s second biggest big battery, a large-scale energy storage system of between 25 MW and 45 MW to support the grid in Darwin and Katherine. The grid is increasing its use of renewable power. It is currently 96% powered by diesel and gas. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The University of New South Wales announced that it had entered into a “tripartite arrangement” with Maoneng Australia and Origin Energy for an offsite solar PV corporate power purchase agreement. With the agreement, the university is set to achieve carbon neutrality for energy, with all of its energy needs met by solar PVs. [CNBC]

UNSW Campus (Oliver Strewe | Moment Mobile | Getty Images)

¶ The falling cost of renewable energy means nuclear power cannot compete with cheap solar power in developed countries, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency report for 2017. Global renewable energy costs are falling so fast they could be consistently cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020, IRENA says. [Energy Matters]


¶ Green Mountain Power suffered “several millions” of dollars of lost revenue over the past 18 months because the electric grid in northern Vermont is not robust enough, its director of power planning told the Public Utility Commission. The Washington Electric Co-op has experienced a similar setback for the same reason. [vtdigger.org]

GMP control room (Photo: John Herrick | VTDigger)

¶ An ambitious project to protect Florida’s Treasure Coast waterways from damaging algae faces critics who decry it as shortsighted and discriminatory against the Miccosukee Indian Tribe. The plan would feed fresh water to the Everglades, as nature had once done, but the water is loaded with agricultural nutrients now. [MyPalmBeachPost]

¶ The number of US power plants burning Montana coal is in steep decline, according to a report published this week by state legislative analysts. As many as 19 power plants that once burned Montana coal have closed since 2012. Another 18 of the power plants using its coal have published plans to close, or partially close, by 2030. [Billings Gazette]

Entrance of a coal mine (Janie Osborne, Associated Press)

¶ An energy development company in Idaho is asking federal authorities to declare state regulators in violation of a law intended to promote alternative energy. The Idaho regulators denied a 20-year contract for a $200-million battery project, and allowed only a 2-year contract, because the batteries would be charged by solar power. [The Daily Herald]

¶ Connecticut regulators are getting mixed signals from power industry participants as they near the deadline for issuing a report on the economic viability of the Millstone nuclear power plant. Some stakeholders say Millstone may be the most profitable US nuclear plant; others say the plant needs a state contract to operate. [RTO Insider]

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