January 18 Energy News

January 18, 2018


¶ “Trump’s ‘America First’ Policy Could Cripple the US Solar Industry” • In the United States, 260,000 people work in the solar energy industry, and 88,000 of them may be at risk of losing their jobs. President Donald Trump is expected to decide by January 26 whether to “protect” two foreign-owned makers of solar cells in the US. [New Republic]

Michigan solar farm (Photo: Deb Nystrom, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is building a reactor that will make a renewable form of natural gas in a two-step process. First, supplies of cheap solar and wind-powered electricity will be used to split hydrogen from water. Then the hydrogen will be combined by microbes with carbon dioxide to make natural gas. [E&E News]


¶ An oil spill from an Iranian tanker that sank off China spread into four separate slicks covering an area of 100 sq km (39 sq miles), say Chinese authorities. The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tons of ultra-light crude oil when it collided with another vessel 260 km off Shanghai on 6 January. It burned for a week before exploding and sinking on Sunday. [BBC]

The tanker Sanchi burning (Reuters)

¶ As the founder and CEO of BlackRock, Laurence D Fink controls over $6 trillion in assets. On January 16, the chief executives of most of the major business corporations in the world received a letter from him telling them they have to develop a social conscience if they wish BlackRock to continue investing in their businesses. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Australia recorded its best ever clean energy investment year in 2017, according to new figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Its investments came to $9 billion in 2017, up 150% on 2016 and lifting Australia to 7th position in terms of global clean energy investment last year. Much of the boom is due to large-scale projects. [CleanTechnica]

Investment in Australia

¶ Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, a subsidiary of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, secured a 540-GWh hybrid project in Chile. It will generate energy using a combination of solar PVs and wind energy. It is Abdul Latif Jameel Energy’s first hybrid project and is expected to supply annual power needs for around 223,973 households. [Power Technology]

¶ China’s insatiable appetite for solar power led to a surprise increase in global clean-energy investment past year even as US President Donald Trump pushed to support coal. Overall global investment in the sector rose 3.0% to a total $333.5 billion, offsetting falls in Japan, Germany and Britain, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance study said. [Іnsіdеr Cаr Nеws]

Installing solar PVs in China

¶ Output from UK wind farms topped 10 GW for the first time in 2017, setting a new national record. Experts welcomed the news, saying it is evidence the UK is “poised to lead its peers in wind generation.” The record comes shortly after 2017 was declared the “greenest year ever” due to the number of renewable energy records broken. [The Independent]

¶ The UK Government has confirmed plans to cap the level of subsidies that power stations converted to biomass and co-firing generators can receive under the Renewables Obligation. Drax, the owner of the UK’s largest thermal plant, welcomed the news and said it would now convert another of its generators to burn biomass. [The Energyst]

Drax power station (Photo: Paul Glazzard | Creative Commons)

¶ Shell has signed a deal to buy all of the power from England’s largest solar park, the 69.8-MW Bradenstoke development, once RAF Lyneham, near Swindon. The deal follows Shell’s entrance into both business and domestic energy retail and represents another small but strategic step by a big oil company into clean energy. [The Energyst]

¶ Europe’s political leaders have supported calls for the continent to be more ambitious on renewable energy. Members of the European Parliament voted for a collective clean energy target of 35% by 2030, an 8% increase on the 2016 target set by the European Commission. Clean energy advocates welcomed the news. [Innovators Magazine]

Wind turbine (Abigail Lynn)


¶ Residents in 30 towns across Vermont, including Brattleboro, Dummerston, Londonderry, Marlboro, Newfane, Putney, and Weston, are petitioning to put climate change on their respective Town Meeting Day agendas and ballots. Vermont has a goal to power the state with 90% renewables by 2050, but is far from meeting this mark. [Commons]

¶ A clean energy group in Ohio has new data that they say can change the debate on clean energy during the 2018 campaign season. The Ohio Conservative Energy Forum is pointing to a poll that shows conservative voters are 36 percent more likely to vote for someone who supports energy efficiency and increases the use of renewables. [WOSU]

Solar farm in Shelby, Ohio (Photo: Thomas R Machnitzki)

¶ A boom in solar power could wipe out $1.4 billion a year of summertime revenue for Texas fossil-fuel generators. Almost 15 GW of solar power may be installed in the coming years, and every GW stands to reduce peak summer wholesale electricity prices by about $2.76/MWh, analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows. [BloombergQuint]

¶ Opponents and supporters of a request by Dominion Energy, the owner of the Millstone Nuclear Power Station, to gain access to Connecticut’s renewable energy marketplace are making last-ditch efforts to sway the opinion of state utility regulators. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority scheduled a final ruling for Feb 1. [Litchfield County Times]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

One Response to “January 18 Energy News”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: