Archive for May 4th, 2018

May 4 Energy News

May 4, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ Carbon dioxide, the No 1 greenhouse gas leading to man-made global warming, has reached a dubious new milestone. The level of the gas in the atmosphere, as measured by instruments on top of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory, topped 410 parts per million for the month of April. Scientists say this is the highest level in 800,000 years. [CNN]

Sunset from above the clouds, Mauna Loa Observatory
(LCDR Eric Johnson, NOAA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ NASA officials announced the results of the Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY) experiment. They said it demonstrated that the system can create electricity with fission power and is also stable and safe regardless of the environment. The demonstration took place after NASA conducted extensive tests. [R & D Magazine]

¶ Electric motors are the beating heart of any electric vehicle, and thanks to a startup in Belgium, your next EV’s motor could be stronger, smaller, and more efficient. Magnax is hard at work developing new axial flux motors for use in EVs, even including aircraft, and a number of other applications that require powerful yet lightweight motors. [Electrek]

New axial flux electric motor

New axial flux electric motor


¶ The Plan to Repower Australia, released by environmental activist Bill McKibben, provides a blueprint for the country to reach an entirely fossil fuel free power system by 2030. The plan attempts to transform Australia’s electricity system in a rapid and ambitious way; it envisions achieving that goal in just over ten years. [Climate Action]

¶ UK-based water company, Northumbrian Water has entered into a partnership with Lightsource BP for the development of 10 new solar farms at its sites. They are expected to generate 10 GWh of clean electricity each year to help power its operations. The electricity would be enough to power more than 3,000 homes. [pv magazine International]

Lightsource BP solar farm (Photo: Lightsource BP)

¶ A pilot-scale geothermal plant with a capacity of 1.2 MW is being blamed for setting off the worst earthquake in South Korea since seismic records began over 100 years ago. A report by Scientists at Korea and Busan universities said there was a strong link between the quake last November and the operations of the Pohang plant. [Your Renewable News]

¶ French utility EDF Renewables has bought the 450-MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm from Mainstream Renewable Power following a competitive bidding process. The project, which will be located in the Firth of Forth, is expected to require an investment of £1.8 billion. Commissioning is planned for 2023, EDF said. [reNews]

Teesside offshore wind farm (Credit: EDF)

¶ The consortium behind a plan to create an Asian Renewable Energy Hub in the Pilbara region of Western Australia has unveiled plans to add another 3 GW of wind and solar to the project to help meet domestic as well as international needs. Their plan envisages exporting renewable electricity to Asia via subsea cables. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The biggest wind farm in the southern hemisphere will be built about 130 km west of Melbourne, powering an estimated half a million homes a year by 2025, if the government of Victoria gives the project the green light. The proposed wind farm would have 228 wind turbines, each 230 meters tall at their highest point. [The Age]

Wind Farm in Victoria (Changyang1230, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ Energy Secretary Rick Perry was in Kodiak, Alaska, recently to learn more about how the island manages its renewable energy microgrid, according to KTUU News in Anchorage. The visit was arranged by Senator Lisa Murkowski. Kodiak Island gets 98% of its electricity from renewables. It has diesel backup generators, but rarely uses them. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Buried down toward the bottom of Tesla’s Q1 earnings letter, the company reiterated its goal of tripling its energy storage business in 2018. The first use of the 129-MWh South Australia battery project came when a coal plant suddenly went offline; the response time was 140 milliseconds. Utilities value that kind of performance highly. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Powerpack and solar on Kauai

¶ A new study from the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that the “market value” of offshore wind varies significantly along the US East Coast and generally exceeds that of land-based wind in the region. The study considered the values of energy, capacity, and renewable energy certificates, by location. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ Iowa energy provider MidAmerican Energy has announced plans this week to build two new wind farms with a combined capacity of 550 MW in Adair County. They will be a part of the company’s previously-announced 2 GW Wind XI project. The Wind XI project is the largest economic development venture in Iowa’s history. [CleanTechnica]

Beaver Creek Wind Farm (Image: Mortenson Construction)

¶ Wind, solar, and other renewable sources accounted for almost 95% of all new US electrical generation placed into service in the first quarter of 2018, data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shows. 3,149 MW of solar and wind power came online, compared to 79 MW of natural gas and 4 MW from a nuclear power uprate. [Solar Power World]

¶ Hydrogen-powered semi truck startup Nikola Motor Company announced that Anheuser-Busch has placed an order for “up to” 800 of its zero-emission big rigs. Nikola says it will start delivering the trucks to the beer distributor in 2020, and that it will show off a final production version of the truck at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. [The Verge]

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