April 1 Energy News

April 1, 2018


¶ “The Small Fishing Town Providing Japan’s Nuclear Litmus Test” • In the sleepy coastal town of Kaminoseki, with about 3,000 residents, one of Japan’s most divisive political debates, the future of nuclear power, is being played out in microcosm. On one small island, the population is unanimously opposed to nuclear power. [South China Morning Post]

Kaminoseki (Photo: Takehiro Masutomo)

¶ “US Energy Providers Reach for Electric Cars to Increase Flatlining Energy Needs” • Electricity demand is not growing in the US, and utility providers are challenged by falling costs of renewable energy. Some utility companies are teaming up with automakers to offer customer rebates. Can EVs possibly save the grid utilities? [The Drive]

Science and Technology:

¶ Vincent Callebaut Architectures submitted a proposal for a competition for the French city of Angers in a collaboration with Bouygues Immobilier group. The designs focus is on ecology and hospitality. Though the living environment did not win in the competition, the Callebaut scheme succeeded in winning the public vote. [ArchDaily]



¶ China’s environment ministry has conducted a nationwide survey aimed at identifying pollution threats and ascertaining the amount of environmental damage done by 30 years of rapid growth. In the course of it, the ministry revealed that the number of pollution sources in the country has increased by over half in just the last 8 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ According to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, China invested $133 billion in renewable energy last year. Over half of that was in solar energy. The new solar capacity of 53 GW in 2017 is more than half of the world installations. With its policy of growth, China has clearly replaced Germany and Europe today as a leader in renewable energy. [Devdiscourse]

Rooftop solar (Pixabay image)

¶ Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has contracted small but strategic acquisitions in an area of electrical power. Over the past few months, the British-Dutch oil giant has bought an electric vehicle charging company, as well as stake in a solar power company, as it aims to link its huge oil and gas production to futuristic energy business. [Finance Appraise]


¶ There are now over 5,000 schools across the US with solar installations, according to The Solar Foundation. The increased number of solar projects on school campuses came about primarily because of the financial benefits to electric bills, educating students about clean energy, and ensuring a brighter future for the next generation. [CleanTechnica]

High school solar array (SayCheeeeeese, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ A power generator that pleaded for the Trump administration’s help in bailing out struggling coal and nuclear plants has filed for bankruptcy. FirstEnergy Solutions Corp, its subsidiaries and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co filed for Chapter 11 protection in Federal Court in Akron, Ohio, according to a March 31 press release. [Bloomberg]

¶ South Carolina Electric & Gas has operated the Lake Monticello pumped-storage facility for nearly forty years. Federal regulators are taking a fresh look at the hydroelectric project before its license runs out in the summer of 2020. That is because solar energy is making up more and more of the utility’s electric generation base. [Charleston Post Courier]

Lake Monticello pumped-storage facility (Provided | High Flyer)

¶ The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected the County of Maui’s petition for the full court to rehear an appeals panel’s ruling. The panel found that the County has been violating the US Clean Water Act at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility by injecting waste water into wells that discharge into the ocean. [Common Dreams]

¶ A federal judge in New York dismissed a case launched by ExxonMobil Corp seeking to block investigations by the states of New York and Massachusetts into the company’s research and public statements on the veracity of climate change. Exxon’s suit was an effort to kill “duly authorized investigations,” the judge wrote. [24/7 Wall St.]

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