May 8 Energy News

May 8, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Electric Aviation Is The Next Big Thing” • Greg Bowles, vice president of global innovation and policy at the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, explained the current situation of combustion aircraft engines as yesteryear’s dial-up, wired telephones, as battery technology has improved about 3% to 5% every year for 20 years. [CleanTechnica]

Bye Aerospace’s electric two-seat Sun Flyer

¶ “NRC Cherry-Picking in the Post-Fukushima Era: A Case Study” • In the late 1960s, the Atomic Energy Commission, the forerunner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, paid General Electric and Westinghouse, the very companies that designed nuclear reactors, to test the efficacy of their own emergency cooling systems. [All Things Nuclear]

Science and Technology:

¶ Global tourism accounts for 8% of total worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, four times more than previously had been believed, according to new research. The increasing carbon footprint of global tourism between 2009 and 2013 represents a 3% annual growth in emissions, according to researchers at the University of Sydney. [CNN]

Cherry blossoms in Tokyo

Cherry blossoms in Tokyo (Photo: Carl Court | Getty Images)

World:

¶ Australian rooftop solar hit a new record in April by achieving sevens month in a row of over 100 MW of new solar installed. Installations in April reached 109 MW, which was down from the 127 MW installed in March, but this is enough energy to power more than 36,700 homes, according to data from Green Energy Markets. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ Off the coast of Western Australia, a battle between mega-giants is unfolding. The combatants involve the world’s biggest semi-submersible platform, the longest subsea pipeline in the southern hemisphere, and the largest floating facility ever built. They are all there for natural gas, and they are hoping to start drawing it up this month. [BBC]

Prelude, the largest sea-faring vessel ever (Shell image)

¶ The Japanese government has created a new research entity to develop lithium-ion battery technology. It is working in the research together with major Japanese manufacturers, including Toyota, Honda, Panasonic, and Yuasa, on a mission is to push forward with research into solid state batteries that will cost less and have extended range. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The renewable energy industry created over 500,000 new jobs globally in 2017, a 5.3% rise on the previous year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. IRENA’s latest edition of “Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review” says there are 10.3 million people employed in renewables worldwide, the first time the figure was over 10 million. [reNews]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ At the 2018 ACT Expo green transport conference in Long Beach, California, representatives from UPS, Navistar, and Cummins joined with speakers from Honda and the California Air Resources Board to express support for the fuel economy standards put in place by the Obama administration. Much of the reason was economic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Professional actors were paid to support Entergy’s proposal of a gas plant at New Orleans City Council meetings, according to some participants. “They paid us to sit through the meeting and clap every time someone said something against wind and solar power,” said one actor, who heard about the opportunity through a friend. [The Lens]

Entergy supporters in orange shirts (Michael Stein | The Lens)

¶ Iowa Gov Kim Reynolds signed a bill that critics say could largely evaporate utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs in the state. The law caps program spending at substantially lower levels than utilities now maintain. It also allows municipal utilities to discriminate against customers who generate their own power. [Energy News Network]

¶ Texas electric utility Luminant has signed a 300-MW power purchase agreement for electricity from the Foard City wind farm, developer Innergex Renewable Energy Inc said. A full notice to proceed with construction is expected for the final quarter of this year, with commercial operation to start in the third quarter of 2019. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines (Author: Jaime Rey)

¶ Iowa-based Ideal Energy is constructing a 1.1-MW power plant at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, using the NEXTracker NX Flow integrated solar-plus-storage system. The project will be built on University land and is projected to be one of the largest solar-plus-storage power plants in the state. [Solar Builder]

¶ Kenyon Energy, in partnership with Maui Electric Co, flipped the switch on a new 2.87-MW solar farm. The 11.3-acre project, which is located on land owned and managed by Haleakala Ranch Co, is producing electricity for MECO’s nearly 70,000 customers on Maui, Molokai and Lanai at 11.06¢/kWh, according to a news release. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

South Maui renewable power (Maui Electric Company image)

¶ After months of acrimonious wrangling over a new energy policy already delayed by more than a year, the Connecticut Senate overwhelming passed a plan that will fundamentally reimagine how the state values the solar energy people generate on their roofs. Environmental and solar groups opposed the bill to no avail. [The CT Mirror]

¶ Environmental groups are pushing back against a bill that outlaws building solar facilities and other renewable-energy projects on forestland. It was introduced to address cutting trees to build large solar-energy projects. The bill prohibits the building of renewable-energy systems in, or connected to, a wooded area of 250 acres or larger. [ecoRI news]

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