Archive for March 21st, 2018

March 21 Energy News

March 21, 2018


¶ “Puerto Rico went dark 6 months ago. Here’s how solar energy may speed the recovery” • Six months after Hurricane Maria, and whole towns in Puerto Rico still remain without power. Dozens of organizations work to provide renewable energy to create a resilient future, but there are also a monopoly and Congress to contend with. [PBS NewsHour]

Renewable power for Puerto Rico

¶ “Companies Showing Disconnect Between Climate Risk Awareness & Action” • A report from the CDP (formerly, Carbon Disclosure Project) and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board shows that more than 80% of companies oversee climate change at the board level, but only 1 in 10 give management incentives to act on climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lying Car Companies Would Rather Poison You With Emissions Than Build Cleaner Cars” • An Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers report offers reasons why the US government should weaken fuel economy and emissions standards put in place by the Obama administration. The report was written by fossil fuels shills. [CleanTechnica]

Traffic (Union of Concerned Scientists image)


¶ Swedish wave energy company Seabased said it has signed one of the first and largest commercial contracts in the wave energy sector, for the delivery of a 100-MW plant near Ada, Ghana. Ghanaian renewable energy company TC’s Energy will own and operate the wave plant, selling electricity under a power purchase agreement. [Renewables Now]

¶ Just yesterday we were talking about an innovative 3D printing company that is making an electric car that cost less than $10,000, largely because it uses only 57 parts compared to the thousands most ordinary cars require. Now, Siemens plans to build a $37 million 3D-printing manufacturing facility in the UK to build parts for cars and aircraft. [CleanTechnica]

Siemens 3D-printing plant

¶ Just minutes before his swearing-in, South Australia premier Steven Marshall commented that the Tesla virtual power plant, the biggest planned aggregated installation of solar and battery storage in the world, was not part of his agenda. The reaction by the public was powerful, and Marshall’s team is already reassuring the community. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The European Union’s scientific research centre has explored the idea of linking the power grids of Europe and China, in order to tap into the immense clean energy potential of the Middle Kingdom and the countries of Central Asia. A study by the EU’s Joint Research Centre into a super-grid link has mapped three potential routes. [EURACTIV]

Benefits and challenges (Shutterstock image)

¶ French renewable energy developer Neoen, the owner of the Tesla big battery in South Australia, has begun work on the Bulgana green power hub in Victoria, again combining a major wind farm with battery storage. The $350 million project will include a 194-MW wind farm and a 20-MW/34-MWh Tesla battery facility. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The UK is well on the way to a new era of subsidy-free renewable energy projects that will largely kill off prospects for new gas power stations, according to industry analysts. Falling costs of wind and solar projects combine with advances in battery technology to unlock about £20 billion of investment between now and 2030. [The Guardian]

UK wind farm (Photo: Alamy)

¶ Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, broke ground on the world’s biggest concentrated solar power project. The 700-MW project, with the world’s tallest solar tower, is the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. [Gulf Business News]


¶ US electric generation last year was down 1.5% from the year before, a drop of 105,000 GWh. But both coal and natural gas saw larger declines. Coal use was down by 2.5%, a smaller decline than it has seen recently. But coal’s decline will continue; no new coal plants were opened, and 6.3 GW of coal capacity were retired in 2017. [Ars Technica]

Wind turbines in Colorado (Getty Images)

¶ After reviewing the video recordings from the Uber self-driving car that struck and killed a pedestrian, the chief of police issued a statement saying “it’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how [the pedestrian] came from the shadows right into the roadway.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ McDonald’s, one of the planet’s most recognizable companies, has become the first restaurant chain in the world to set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. Its goal is to reduce emissions by 36% at all McDonald’s restaurants and offices by 2030 from a 2015 baseline. [CleanTechnica]


¶ A spokesman for Michigan utility Consumers Energy said, “By 2040, we’re going to stop burning coal here in Michigan to generate electricity, we’re also going to reduce our carbon footprint by 80 percent.” Consumers Energy says its goal was set because renewable sources are less expensive than burning fossil fuels. [Newburgh Gazette]

¶ Santee Cooper’s electric rates will rise sharply as the bills for its failed nuclear project come due, increasing the amount each customer makes puts into the unfinished reactors to $8 to $9 per month. That is the finding of a study of Santee Cooper’s future rates by a conservative think tank, and it is and the utility’s own estimate. [Charleston Post Courier]

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