March 4 Energy News

March 4, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ Scientists have installed ocean acidity sensors in Alaska, in the Kachemak Bay. Ocean water acidification is due to high levels of carbon dioxide that are absorbed by the water and this leads to lowering the pH levels in addition to climate change. Lower pH levels of the seawater have been proved to negatively impact marine animals. [Health Thoroughfare]

Kachemak Bay

¶ Researchers at Concordia University in Montreal have found a way to significantly reduce carbon emissions produced by both residential and non-residential buildings, while also cutting costs. They found that by prioritizing reducing carbon emissions rather than costs, they could cut costs by 75% while also reducing emissions by 59%. [Infosurhoy]

World:

¶ In four burglaries, 600 bitcoin mining computers, valued at nearly $2 million, were stolen in Iceland. Authorities have already arrested 11 people, but have not recovered the machines. Reportedly, police are monitoring electric usage throughout the country, as the computers will use a lot of electricity when they are turned on. [CryptoGlobe]

Bitcoin miners (Shutterstock image)

¶ The CEO of Volkswagen reportedly said that while company execs are not “against” the retrofitting of old diesel car exhaust systems to make them cleaner, the company cannot afford to pay for such a course of action. The comment follows court ruling to allow German city authorities to ban diesel cars due to air pollution concerns. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The government of Egypt has revised up its 2018 economic growth forecast to between 5.3% and 5.5%, and nowhere is investor enthusiasm more evident than in the energy sector. Egypt’s Zohr gas field, the largest in the Mediterranean, will make it a net exporter. But renewables are the latest interest of the Egyptian government. [Arab News]

Zohr gas field (AFP image)

¶ The Islamic Republic of Iran and Italy have clinched a contract on the construction of a solar power station. The agreement was signed between Iran’s Industrial Development and Renovation Organization and the Italian Carlo Mascar Company in Tehran. The 100-MW plant is to be built about 90 km east of Tehran, the Iranian capital. [IFP News]

¶ A geothermal energy park, about 50 miles from Nairobi, sits over the East African Rift, a huge fracture in the earth’s crust that also cuts through Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and other countries. Steam from the area helped generate 47% of Kenya’s electricity in 2015, with hydropower, at nearly 35%, generating much of the rest. [The Independent]

KenGen Olkaria power plant (Getty Images)

¶ BBVA, a major bank based in Spain, pledged to help mobilize $122.7 billion (€100 billion) in sustainable infrastructures, green finance, social entrepreneurship, and financial inclusion through 2025 under its Pledge 2025 program. BBVA also promised that 70% of its energy consumption will be from renewable sources by 2025. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ More than $200 million worth of materials are expected to arrive in Puerto Rico this month to help the Army Corps of Engineers hit its goal of 95% power restoration goal by the end of the month. Over 7,000 poles and nearly 400 miles of conductor wire are expected in the next two weeks, the Corps district commander said. [CNN]

Linemen at work in Puerto Rico

¶ The Lawai Solar and Energy Project will install a 28-MW solar PV system and a 100 MWh, five-hour duration energy storage system on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Samsung SDI will be providing about 13,000 battery modules for the system. Energy storage systems combined with solar and wind power can reduce dependency on fossil fuels. [The Korea Herald]

¶ While large-scale commercial solar projects have been controversial in Kittitas County, Washington, residential solar is a different story. A county moratorium on commercial solar facilities does not apply to residential solar, and there is lots of interest in solar power among people who want to install solar panels on their homes. [Daily Record-News]

Kittitas County solar power (Brian Myrick | Daily Record)

¶ Scientists have found dramatically declining snowpack across the American West over the past six decades that will likely cause water shortages in the region that cannot be managed by building new reservoirs, according to a study led by researchers from Oregon State University and the University of California, Los Angeles. [The Register-Guard]

¶ The CEO of Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems said his company partnered with NuScale Power to create what he called the county’s first nuclear production company. The company plans to create a small modular nuclear reactor at Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls, with an expected completion date of January 2026. [The Herald Journal]

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