February 22 Energy News

February 22, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ A study found that the methane escaping from oil and gas industry sites in Pennsylvania “causes the same near-term climate pollution as 11 coal-fired power plants.” And that is “five times higher than what oil and gas companies report” to the state, according to Environmental Defense Fund analysis based on 16 peer-reviewed studies. [ThinkProgress]

Flaring gas (Photo: Carolyn Cole | LA Times via Getty Images)


¶ The High Court in London ruled the UK government’s current stance on air pollution is “unlawful.” It is the third court case the UK government has lost to ClientEarth, an organization of environmental activist lawyers. According to the Royal College of Physicians, air pollution contributes to nearly 40,000 deaths in the UK each year. [Futurism]

¶ The British government pushed to weaken EU controls on biomass energy, even though the technology will undermine efforts to contain global warming, researchers found. The UK successfully rewrote a proposal to almost quadruple the potential size of wood burning plants before they had to meet efficiency criteria. [DeSmog UK]

Drax and Eggborough power stations (Photo: Alan Murray Rust)

¶ According to Autocar, Porsche has stopped installing diesel engines in any of its vehicles, effective immediately. The move is certainly tied to recent developments that have tarnished the once glittering reputation of diesel. German regulators ordered Audi to recall 127,000 cars fitted with the latest Euro 6 spec diesel engines last month. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Indian renewable energy company Avaada Power Pvt Ltd said it signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Uttar Pradesh to develop 1.6 GW of solar projects in the state. The company will invest $1.55 billion (€1.26 billion) to develop the projects, which will be located across four of the state’s districts. [Renewables Now]

Welspun solar park (Photo: Welspun Renewables)

¶ Germany’s Senvion has been awarded a 101.2-MW project from India’s ReNew Power to deliver the Bhuwad Wind Project in Gujarat. The project will comprise 44 Senvion 2.3M120 turbines. They are expected to produce enough clean energy to supply the power needs of almost 100,000 Indian homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ The Scottish Government has awarded a development team funding to carry out a feasibility study into developing a hydrogen-powered ferry service to some of Scotland’s remote island communities. Point and Sandwick Trust is leading the project. The hydrogen would be manufactured using local community-owned wind power. [reNews]

Wind power (Pixabay image)

¶ ReNew Power Ventures said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Uttar Pradesh government to invest ₹8,000 crore ($1.2 billion) for 1,200 MW of renewable energy capacity, a move which can create 12,000 jobs in the state. The projects include 1,000 MW of solar and 200 MW of waste-to-energy projects. [ETEnergyworld.com]


¶ A high estimate of the number of birds killed by collisions with US wind turbines and their towers each year is 573,000, though researchers said the actual number is probably between 140,000 and 328,000. Even the highest of those numbers is very small compared to the number killed generating the same amount of power from fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines

¶ First Solar has planned an enormous 200-MW solar project, using its new Series 6 modules, for Central Georgia. A 30-year power contract for the project has been approved by Georgia regulators. It is one of several projects awarded under Georgia Power’s latest solicitation through its Renewable Energy Development Initiative. [pv magazine USA]

¶ A new solar farm is to be constructed to provide Walt Disney World in Florida with more renewable energy. Disney World already receives 5 MW of energy from the 9-hectare Hidden Mickey solar farm. The new solar complex will be made up of 518,000 solar panel modules across 110 hectares, providing a much greater energy output. [Blooloop]

Solar array

¶ A group looking to promote solar in Arizona will seek to amend the state’s constitution to get a huge uptick in the amount of renewable energy required to be produced by state utilities. They are promoting a ballot initiative so the voters could decide to have the state get 50% of its power from renewable sources by 2030. [Phoenix Business Journal]

¶ California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co, part of PG&E Corporation, announced that it has achieved its home state’s 2020 renewable energy goal three years ahead of schedule. The company said that 33% of its electricity in 2017 came from renewables such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and small hydroelectric sources. [Renewables Now]

Solar panels in California (Photo: Walmart Corp)

¶ The New Orleans City Council’s utility committee approved a proposal on February 21 to build a $210 million gas-fired peaking power plant in the city. This is over the objections of opponents that included affordable energy advocates and environmental and social justice groups. Entergy New Orleans has long pushed for the plant. [NOLA.com]

¶ The NRC proposed a $145,000 fine for safety violations at Plant Vogtle, saying investigators found at least 13 system operators at the plant who on multiple occasions neglected to perform required rounds, then made false log entries saying the checks were completed. The civil penalty was filed against Southern Nuclear Co. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

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