May 2 Energy News

May 2, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “If we walk away from the Clean Power Plan, we’re walking away from the future” • Of all the damage that the Trump administration has wreaked on America, from tearing apart our social fabric to trampling all over the rule of law, none is more dangerous than walking away from the Clean Power Plan. It is an attempt to save the future. [PennLive.com]

Power lines

Science and Technology:

¶ A team from the University of Exeter in the UK developed a new technique to make hydrogen from sunlight to create a clean, cheap, and widely available fuel. The research centers on use of a photo-electrode made from nanoparticles of lanthanum, iron, and oxygen, which the researchers believe will be inexpensive to produce. [gasworld]

¶ Researchers at Stanford have developed a new battery that may better harness the intermittent power of renewable energy. In a study reported in Nature Energy, the small prototype water-based battery, which generates about as much energy as an LED flashlight, has the potential to be built to an industrial scale and last for a decade. [Innovators Magazine]

Wind turbines (Unsplash image)

World:

¶ Siemens launched an energy storage system called BlueVault for offshore and marine deployment. The system is based on lithium-ion batteries and Siemens plans to manufacture it in a robotized factory in Norway. Siemens has already signed several contracts for the storage system and expects to deliver the first one in the summer. [reNews]

¶ Nearly 7,000 independent renewable energy projects across the UK are now generating enough clean power to supply 8.4 million homes, according to SmartestEnergy’s latest annual report. It says that more than £227 million ($309 million) was invested in 400 independent renewable energy projects in the UK last year alone. [Energy Live News]

Renewable energy in the countryside (Shutterstock image)

¶ AT&T Inc and Walmart Inc are just two of the 36 businesses, government agencies, and universities that have agreed to buy 3.3 GW of wind and solar power so far this year. That amount is on track to shatter the previous high of 4.8 GW of the deals disclosed last year, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Bloomberg]

¶ Cambodia has been proactive in transforming their electricity supply, reducing their diesel and heavy fuel oil use from 89% to just 9% in the past five years. As technologies like solar generators and lithium-ion batteries become more easily available, the choice to go green is a practical alternative to traditional energy sources. [Innovation & Tech Today]

Cambodia

¶ Neoen says coal is “technically and economically dead,” with falling renewable energy costs. According to Franck Woitiez, the managing director of Neoen’s Australian arm, the company is aiming to increase its clean energy capacity in the country from 1 GW built or approved for construction to as much as 3 GW by 2022. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ Construction has begun on the Thalkirchen geothermal heating project in the German city of Munich. With a planned 50 MW of thermal generation, when the plant is ready it will not be only the largest geothermal heating plant in Munich, but also in all Germany. It is planned to supply up to 80,000 Munich residents with geothermal heat. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Munich (Photo: flickr | Achim Lammerts, creative commons)

¶ The Australian Capital Territory announced that the Sapphire wind farm in northern New South Wales has 28 turbines in place and operating. The territory’s minister for climate change and sustainability said the ACT-supported part of the wind farm will provide 12% of the ACT’s renewable electricity target and power about 48,000 of its homes. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ The National Weather Service reported nearly 50 inches of rain fell in 24 hours on Kauai, the oldest and northernmost island in Hawaii. It is the most severe rain event in the history of the state. People should get used to it, says Chip Fletcher, a leading expert on the impact of climate change on the Pacific’s island communities. [CleanTechnica]

Flood on Kauai (Image: USCG Officer 3rd Class Brandon)

¶ It is not easy for most Minnesota homeowners to throw solar panels onto their roof, nor can renters easily convince their landlords to do it. Community solar may be an alternative. CleanChoice Energy and Cypress Choice Renewals announced they were adding 42 MW of community solar capacity, accessible in over 35 Minnesota counties. [City Pages]

¶ Air temperature increases from climate change will make New Hampshire’s streams warmer, according to Dartmouth-led research published in Freshwater Biology. The study examined the warming of stream waters, which has implications for freshwater ecosystems, in which many species depend on cold water to survive. [Science Daily]

Stream in New Hampshire (Photo: Lauren Culler)

¶ The Iowa Senate approved legislation making energy-policy changes that will alter energy efficiency programs and reshape the Iowa Utility Board’s regulatory role and sent it to the governor. Sponsors say the move will save consumers money, and critics warn it will kill jobs and “gut” programs that make Iowa a “green” energy leader. [Quad City Times]

¶ NuScale Power, based in Oregon, aims to build the country’s first house-sized nuclear reactor to provide grid power. It cleared a hurdle with the federal government, passing part of a safety review by the NRC. Small modular reactors are basically scaled-down nuclear plants that can be combined to provide a plant of whatever size is needed. [OPB News]

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