Archive for April 29th, 2018

April 29 Energy News

April 29, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ With increased long-distance shipping of fresh food has come the long-distance shipping of dangerous insect pests and plant pathogens. Now climate change has allowed some of these to proliferate rapidly in regions where they either previously were not present or were unable to maintain more than the barest population levels. [CleanTechnica]

World fruits

¶ As the ice sheets of the world melt, an enormous amount of pressure will be lifted off of the continental crusts that play host to them, as well as the surrounding oceanic basins. Something similar is broadly true, but to a much lesser degree, of the world’s remaining large glaciers. With changes in pressure, there will be seismic activity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A great number of technologies related to renewable energy and passive building design have been in use historically in many parts of the world. Some are not well known in the modern western world, but are nevertheless worth examining. Here is an article that focuses on Yakhchāls, Āb Anbārs, and wind catchers of various kinds. [CleanTechnica]

Āb Anbārs, “water reservoirs” (Image: Zereshk, CC BY-SA 3.0)

¶ Solar walls, glazed solar collectors, and Trombe walls are different passive solar heating technologies based around the use of materials to absorb solar radiation and store it in thermal mass. The end goal is to provide space heating, and often ventilation as well. With them, we can provide thermal control for buildings passively. [CleanTechnica]


¶ The Green School in Bali is aimed to transform education through several significant deviations from traditional brick and mortar schools. It has an unconventional, progressive educational curriculum. Sustainable construction materials and techniques were used prolifically for construction. And it is powered with renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

The Green School in Bali

¶ Saudi Arabia’s first solar-powered gas station has just been opened in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. The inauguration comes on the heels of the Kingdom’s switching on its drive towards solar power, kicked of in February with the Ministry of Energy’s announcement of a solar power plant in the city of Sakaka in the country’s north. [ZAWYA]

¶ All villages in India have been electrified, data on a government website shows. Three years ago, 18,452 villages had no access to power. Apart from those classified as grazing reserves, all that are inhabited now have power. A village is said to be electrified if at least 10% of its households, as well as public places, have access to power. []

Electrification in India

¶ The Japanese government plans to set a target of making renewable energy, including solar and wind power, the country’s main power source, when it updates its basic energy plan as early as this summer. The government will continue restarting some nuclear power reactors but will reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear energy. [The Japan News]

¶ Russia launched a floating nuclear power plant from a shipyard in St Petersburg. The Akademik Lomonsov was towed out to sea for the start of a long journey from the port in the former capital, where it had been constructed. Environmentalists slammed the mobile maritime reactors as dangerous, calling it the “floating Chernobyl.” [Deutsche Welle]

Akademik Lomonsov


¶ Minneapolis officials announced new targets moving the city to 100% renewable electricity. The goal is for municipal facilities and operations to reach that level by 2022, with the rest of the city fully complying by 2030. The effort will be reflected by a shift to electricity sources such as wind and solar, instead of fossil fuels. [Twin Cities Business Magazine]

¶ More than a thousand low-lying tropical islands are at risk of becoming “uninhabitable” before the middle of the century because of rising sea levels, according to startling new research. As seas rise, increasingly large waves that crash farther onto the shore will contaminate water supplies. This endangers key US military assets. [The Guam Daily Post]

Roi-Namur Atoll (Peter Swarzenski, US Geological Survey)

¶ As part of a decision that sets rates for customers of American Electric Power in Ohio, the state’s public utilities commission approved a 50¢ per month surcharge to put $10 million toward EV charging infrastructure over the next 4 years. The plan calls for 300 Level 2 public chargers and 75 Level 3 fast chargers in the AEP service area. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Five environmental organizations have sued to challenge the Interior Department’s leases on more than 45,000 acres of land for natural gas production by fracking in Mesa County, Colorado. The Bureau of Land Management had rejected the organizations’ protests. They contend that no adequate environmental analysis has been done. [Craig Daily Press]

Natural gas processing plant (Brian Ray)

¶ The threat by the owner of a huge gas-fired power plant near Boston to shut down unless it can make more money selling its power has added more urgency to a long debate about how to maintain the stability of the region’s power grid during winter, and how to get the six New England states to share in that expense. [Valley News]

¶ Nuclear power plants typically run either at full capacity or not at all, though they have the technical ability to adjust to the changing demand for power. Researchers from the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been exploring the benefits of doing just that. [pvbuzz media]

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