Archive for May 11th, 2018

May 11 Energy News

May 11, 2018


¶ “How Relying on Oil Makes Us More Vulnerable to Cyberattacks” • What’s the difference between a major American city and a war-torn country? One difference is unobstructed access to resources. An American city could become like a war zone quicker than you might imagine. All it would take is a successfully hacked electrical grid. [Fortune]

Transmission lines (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “We Will Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change!!” • Of late, I feel increasingly confident that environmentalists will be able to make that claim soon. A few experts, like Tony Seba and Ramez Naam, are starting to make the claim. I had been wary of the idea, but increasingly I think they are right because of the exponential growth of renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Can Slime Help The Self-Driving Electric Car Industry?” • A characteristic of slime mold could help facilitate the design of our future electric mobility. It adapts to its environment with a non-centralized system. Though it has no brain, it can even learn and be trained. Researchers are studying slime to improve the algorithms of self-driving vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Slime mold


¶ Gas and electricity supplier Npower is raising energy bills by an average of £64 a year for a million customers. The average 5.3% dual fuel price hike comes into effect on 17 June and follows earlier rises announced last month by its “Big Six” rivals. British Gas is increasing prices by 5.5% from 29 May, while EDF is raising electricity prices by 2.7%. [BBC]

¶ Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator said 8 GW of renewable capacity has been built since January 2016, is being built now, or has power purchase agreements and is expected to be under construction by year’s end. That is 1,600 MW more than what is needed to meet the Renewable Energy Target of 33,000 GW by 2020. [The Australian Financial Review]

Wind farm in New South Wales (Photo: Andrew Taylor)

¶ GE Renewable Energy has announced its first wind energy project in Chile under a partnership with Arroyo Energy Compañía de Energías Renovables Limitada. GE will supply six 3.6-MW turbines with 137-meter rotors, to be installed at the El Maitén and El Nogal wind sites in the south of the country, for a total of 21.8 MW. [North American Windpower]

¶ Carlos Alvarado, the new president of Costa Rica, announced the country’s “titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in our economy to make way for the use of clean and renewable energies.” He made the remarks at his inauguration speech in front of a crowd of thousands, according to a report in the Independent. [EcoWatch]

Costa Rica

¶ The British government has proposed to arrange all ¥2 trillion ($18.2 billion) in lending that Hitachi says is needed to build a nuclear power plant in Wales, as the Japanese side seeks to reduce its risk and encourage UK investment. The plan also calls for a total investment of ¥900 billion, with guarantees for corporate loans. [Nikkei Asian Review]

¶ UPS is serious about reducing its carbon footprint, and if this also reduces operating costs, so much the better. Since 2009, it has invested $750 million into high-tech and alternative-fuel vehicles. Soon, in London and Paris, UPS will begin testing a fleet of electric delivery vans from Arrival, a UK-based specialist in lightweight electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

UPS electric vans


¶ President Donald Trump’s administration has quietly axed the monitoring system NASA runs to keep track of greenhouse gas levels, the US journal Science revealed. The Carbon Monitoring System, a project costing $10 million (£7 million) per year, which remotely tracks the world’s flow of carbon dioxide, is to lose funding. [BBC]

¶ Since FirstEnergy Solutions asked the DOE for bailout of nuclear and coal plants, opposition has submitted concerns to the DOE that this would mean subsidizing uneconomic old power plants that would otherwise retire. The opposition is an unlikely coalition of renewable energy, natural gas, energy efficiency, and oil industry associations. [CleanTechnica]

Coal-burning power plant

¶ Voters in Newport, New Hampshire, approved a 2.2-MW solar energy project capable of providing the entire annual energy needs for Newport town and school facilities. The vote was 652 to 235. The solar installation will be the largest municipal project in New Hampshire and one of the state’s largest solar projects overall. [Green Energy Times]

¶ The Arkansas Public Service Commission found that the Wind Catcher Energy Connection project is in the public interest. The $4.5 billion project includes a 2,000-MW wind farm in the Oklahoma Panhandle, and construction of a dedicated power line about 350 miles long that will carry the wind energy to the Tulsa area. [Transmission and Distribution World]

Transmission lines under wind turbines

¶ Pacific Gas and Electric Co and ForeFront Power signed the first community solar project agreement under PG&E’s Regional Renewable Choice program. It allows all customers, including renters and those who cannot install solar, to use solar power for up to 100% of their electricity without having to install private rooftop solar panels. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ EDP Renewables North America has secured two power purchase agreements to sell 150 MW of electricity from the Broadlands wind farm in Illinois. One deal will see the Wabash Valley Power Association buy 100 MW from EDPR under a 20-year deal, with Commercial & Industrial securing 50 MW over 15 years for the other contract. [reNews]

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