February 18 Energy News

February 18, 2018


¶ “With the US pursuing fossil fuels, alternative, renewable forms of energy could be an even bigger boon to China” • While President Donald Trump’s administration has moved to cut the US government’s clean energy budgets by up to 70%, China has been steadily moving in the opposite direction by exploring alternatives. [Jefferson Public Radio]

Goldwind wind farm (Photo: Pzavislak, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ Australia currently mines the majority of the world’s lithium and also mines all of the minerals needed to make batteries on its home soil, but a report by Future Smart Strategies warns that a failure to look beyond this natural advantage, to opportunities that lie further down the supply chain, could cost the nation dearly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Rojava, a Syrian enclave famed for its olives, has been bombed and water-starved for years, as jihadists and armies fought. Now Kurdish-led ecological committees and like-minded activists worldwide are working to plant tens of thousands of trees and are working with local farmers to build co-operative ecological structures. [New Statesman]

First tree in a Syrian planting effort

¶  Mobile phone tower company edotco Bangladesh has begun using renewable energy in remote areas, its officials said. The company has already installed around 672 mobile network sites that use renewable energy through its 8000 towers. The use of renewable energy cuts their carbon footprint up to 20%, they said. [Prothom Alo English]

¶ An evaluation by Asian Development Bank for Pakistan showed that about 10 GW of generation capacity will be commissioned before 2019. The report warns that diminishing natural gas reserves and sluggish hydropower development will result in increased reliance on coal and oil, exacerbating climate change in Pakistan. [The News on Sunday]

Dependence on fossil fuels

¶ The founders of a major clean energy fund have shrugged off Donald Trump’s shift away from renewable power, saying the global industry is too advanced for him to halt. The technical director of Glennmont Partners said the renewable energy sector has cut loose from state-backed subsidies and is attracting private investment. [Daily Mail]

¶ The Indian wind and solar energy sectors have been upgraded to a stable outlook by rating agencies. The environment for the two sectors is considered favorable, as bids are being driven by Central Government agencies, and power purchase agreements are becoming favourable to developers in terms of curtailment and termination issues. [EnergyInfraPost]

Indian wind farm

¶ With the continued power outages across the country, poor Malawians could find hope in solar power, which is both reliable and affordable, the director of the Fortuner Group of Companies said. He told Nyasa Times that solar panels in poor villages and neighbourhoods could be the solution for Malawians without access to electricity. [Nyasa Times]

¶ So far, Japan’s geothermal power does little more than provide the water for the country’s countless “onsen” hot springs. But the nation sits atop a treasure trove of renewable geothermal energy that can provide much more than bath water. And the Japanese government is getting serious about pursuit of geothermal power generation. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Open-air hot spring resort (Photo: © Reuters)


¶ Orange & Rockland Utilities, a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, New York state’s largest utility company, filed a proposal with the state’s Public Utilities Commission to test whether adding Tesla Powerpack grid storage batteries “can provide a range of services with costs and benefits shared by multiple stakeholders.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ After Massachusetts chose a $950 million project headed by Maine utility Central Maine Power as its backup option to bring Canadian power to their state, Maine Gov Paul LePage’s energy czar said his boss would “push this right through” the rest of the permitting process that is handled by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. [Maine Public]

Power lines (Photo: Colin Perkel | The Canadian Press via AP)

¶ Pacific Power is to install “smart meters” in about 15,000 homes in Oregon’s Santiam region. The upgrades are part of a statewide effort to replace 590,000 meters by fall 2019. Pacific Power sources said the new meters will afford electricity consumers more current and detailed monitoring of their usage, right down to the hour. [Statesman Journal]

¶ With state officials eyeing $56 billion of wind farm projects off the American coastline, developers are worried the turbines will need to be stamped with a big “Made in the USA.” Most are made in Europe, but the states in the Northeast that are jumping into wind power are betting they can create their own wind turbine industry. [WatertownDailyTimes.com]

Block Island Wind Farm (Bloomberg photo)

¶ EPA chief Scott Pruitt staged a quiet visit to Massachusetts, along Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Neal Chaterjee. The two toured the Northfield Mountain Generating Station pumped storage facility in Northfield. The visit was one day before FERC finalized new rules to benefit energy storage facilities. [MassLive.com]

¶ In Ohio, Lake County Commissioner Jerry Cirino told a crowd of 300 residents he is expecting bad news about the future of the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in the next several weeks. Two of the state’s uncompetitive nuclear plants are currently under strategic review, as the owner, FirstEnergy, determines a course for their futures. [fox8.com]

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