January 29 Energy News

January 29, 2018


¶ “Renewable Energy Is Much Faster To Install & More Scalable Than Nuclear Power” • Myth: We need to build more nuclear power if we want to cut electricity emissions quickly and turn off coal and natural gas power plants. Short answer: Renewables can grow fast because they can be installed practically everywhere rapidly and simultaneously. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Photo: Tomasz Bazylinski | Unsplash)

¶ “Natural gas killed coal – now renewables and batteries are taking over” • Over the past decade, coal has been increasingly replaced by cheaper, cleaner energy sources. US coal power production has dropped by 44%. It has been replaced by natural gas, which is up 45%. But in the same time, renewables are up 260%. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ Tiny airborne particles can have a stronger influence on powerful storms than scientists previously predicted, a study published in the journal Science found. Scientists have known that aerosols may play an important role in shaping weather and climate, but the study shows that the smallest of particles have an outsized effect. [Daily News & Analysis]

Powerful storm

¶ Last year, 2017, was the hottest on record for the world’s oceans, according to a report published by a peer-reviewed journal. In the course of investigation, researchers noted that in 2017, a large amount of heat was deposited in the Atlantic Ocean. They calculated that the rise in heat gave way to a nearly 2 mm rise in sea levels. [teleSUR tv]


¶ Residents of a housing society in Mumbai have managed to cut their electricity bill by 83% by switching to solar energy. The Twin Star Co-operative Housing Society, with 56 flats, has installed a 20 kW rooftop solar system. Residents say this reduces the electricity bill from ₹31,000 ($487) to around ₹5,000 ($78.65). [Hindustan Times]

Twin Star Co-op solar array (Photo: Satish Bate | HT)

¶ More than 10,000 homes in Australia’s second most populous state were stuck without power as a surge in demand amid scorching heat overloaded the grid. The latest blackouts were caused by grid failures, rather than supply shortages, which had sparked a national debate over renewable energy versus coal-fired generation. [The Indian Express]

¶ The Indo-Asian News Service reported that electric vehicles powered with renewable energy can help save close to ₹40,000 ($630) in fuel cost annually, four times earlier estimates. The report, “Help Delhi Breathe,” by finance research firm Equitorials called for 100% electric vehicles by 2030 to be powered by renewable energy. [SteelGuru]

Reva NXG electric car (RevaNorge, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The renewable energy sector in India is heading toward consolidation. Sumant Sinha, chairman and CEO of ReNew Power, said, “With tariffs dipping and some uncertainty coming in on the policy front, project developers with a relatively lower appetite for growth or risk, are exiting the business at fair valuation of their assets.” [Economic Times]

¶ In an effort to reduce energy waste, Petroleum Development Oman invited bids for solutions to convert gases that are now being flared into power. Flaring is done at a number of stages of development and production of hydrocarbons, mostly to dispose wasteful gases that are either unusable or uneconomical to recover. [ZAWYA]

Oman petroleum development (Photo: Fahad Shadeed | Reuters)

¶ SolarReserve, a developer of large-scale solar power projects and solar thermal technology, opened two offices in South Australia. Its Australian headquarters will be in Adelaide, and a field office supporting the Aurora Solar Energy Project will be in Port Augusta. SolarReserve identified Australia as a priority market for the global organisation. [PACE Today]


¶ According to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, 48% of the air pollution in the Wasatch Front region comes from vehicles. In response, Rep Patrice Arent filed HB101, a bill that would require emissions testing on diesel vehicles in Utah. Diesel exhaust, though it is not a huge portion of emissions, is still significant. [Universe.byu.edu]

Air inversion at Salt Lake Valley (Photo: Steve Griffin | AP)

¶ North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper’s office announced that Dominion Power and Duke Energy, partners in the state’s newly approved pipeline, will spend $58 million on environmental initiatives such as expanding renewable energy. Funds can also be used to give access to the pipeline to businesses in communities along the pipeline’s path. [WWAY NewsChannel 3]

¶ The President has made it clear in numerous ways that the issue of climate change is not a priority for his administration. States and local governments have taken the issue up, however. The city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia have both stepped up with new climate initiatives to bring residents into a renewable energy age. [The Signal]

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