March 26 Energy News

March 26, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Enough With The Lies – Electric Cars Are Far Greener Than Gas Cars #Basta” • The US EPA published data in February that the Union of Concerned Scientists used to compare greenhouse gas emissions from internal combustion machines with those of EVs in the US, considering everything from electric generation to production and use of gasoline. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Bolt and wind turbines

¶ “Farming the Earth to Death” • Pollution from Big Ag farms doesn’t produce dramatic photos like goo-covered seagulls or river otters. That makes it all the worse. The invisibility of the poisons already dumped into our environment by industrial farming cloaks the damage. And ethanol is the worst. It is just renewable pollution. [Omaha Reader]

World:

¶ The state-run Norwegian aviation firm Avinor, which runs 45 airports in Norway, is planning to embrace electric aircraft as soon as they hit the market, an exec has been quoted as saying. Because electric planes can accelerate quickly, they do not need long runways. This makes them ideal for Norway, with towns along mountain-flanked fjords. [CleanTechnica]

Alta Airport (Photo: HenrikJ, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Armech Africa Limited, a subsidiary of the Armech Group, is to construct a $300 million waste-to-energy power plant in Ghana to generate 60 MW of clean energy. Armech Group will pre-finance the project through the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China without any sovereign guarantee from the Government of Ghana. [Ghana Business News]

¶ Australian trash collection agency East Waste wants to explore the viability of harnessing solar and wind energy to run a fleet of electric-powered trucks for its member councils. A draft business plan said “rapid” technological advancements meant 100% electric trucks were a “real and potential” alternative to petrol-powered vehicles. [News.com.au]

Chinese-built electric garbage trucks (Image supplied)

¶ BP has released its most recent outlook study, BP’s 2018 Technology Outlook. It shows that renewable energy is cost-competitive with fossil fuels, even without subsidies. The same report suggests that technology alone won’t be enough to curtail climate change; policy changes, including carbon taxes, are also necessary. [Engineering.com]

¶ Geopolitical risks are weighing on oil prices as Saudi Arabia and Iran jockey for influence in the Middle East. These concerns escalated just over a week ago when Saudi Arabia’s young Prince Mohammed bin Salman said his country would acquire nuclear weapons if Iran developed them. Higher oil prices could bring an offshore oil boom. [OilPrice.com]

Offshore oil platform

¶ Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp is investing ¥650 billion ($6.2 billion) in offshore wind power projects in the UK and the Netherlands, as falling costs bolster high hopes for the field as a key energy source. The Japanese trading house reached deals on investments including a 33.4% stake in a 950-MW wind farm about 22 km off the Scottish coast. [Nikkei Asian Review]

¶ Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited’s tender for 500 MW of grid-connected solar projects has been oversubscribed three times, the Times of India reports. The tender attracted proposals from 11 companies. Next in the process is a reverse auction, to be held on March 28. GUVNL launched the 500-MW tender in February. [Renewables Now]

Azure Power Solar Power Plant (Photo: Business Wire)

¶ One of most aggressive campaigns to fight global warming is happening in Alberta. But it is the same place is also home to some of the dirtiest oil in the world. Alberta is boosting its use of renewable energy, closing coal-burning power plants, and increasing a tax on carbon emissions. But it is also increasing its tar sands oil output. [Bloomberg]

¶ New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a business audience in Wellington that gas was used as a “crutch” which slowed the move to renewable energy, attendants said. Ardern personally accepted a petition from Greenpeace calling for an end to exploration, and she said the Government was “actively considering” the issue. [Stuff.co.nz]

Drilling rig in New Zealand

US:

¶ Solar power projects throughout the United States may be put on the back burner as federal tariffs on imported solar panels could drive up the price to invest in them. Some already have been, but some utility experts hope that the costs will stabilize to an affordable rate that will benefit solar customers and domestic producers. [Farmington Daily Times]

¶ A New Jersey legislative panel has advanced a bill to allow a small pilot offshore wind farm off Atlantic City to move forward despite concerns from a couple of organizations that usually back such efforts. The bill would revive the Fishermen’s Energy proposal, a $210 million, 24-MW project three miles off the city’s coast. [NJ Spotlight]

Offshore windfarm dawn (Mat Fascione, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Three top generators in Maine have asked the state’s Public Utilities Commission to allow them to intervene late as full parties in the proceeding on New England Clean Energy Connect. It is a 1,200-MW transmission line proposed by Central Maine Power and Hydro-Quebec to run through 145 miles of northwestern Maine. [RTO Insider]

¶ During the 2017 session, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bill allowing Xcel Energy to negotiate a shutdown of three biomass plants. Xcel says the cost of biomass power is too high and customers should not have to pay higher rates when cheaper alternatives are available. But the forestry industry will suffer as plants close. [Duluth News Tribune]

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