May 19 Energy News

May 19, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Solar and wind are coming. And the power sector isn’t ready.” • The US electricity system is at an extremely uncertain juncture. Increasingly, indicators point toward a future in which wind and solar power play a large role. Things will look different when we have lots of variable renewable energy, a study from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab says. [Vox]

Times change (USFWS Mountain-Prairie, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ Research into the decline in carbon dioxide emissions in the US between 2007 and 2013 shows that it is actually more complex than thought. Most experts attributed the decline to a drop in energy demand and increasing use of natural gas in the energy mix. But they have failed to understand the importance of renewables. [Science Trends]

¶ Could renewable sources meet 100 percent of our energy demand? Yes, according to new research which scrutinises the arguments against. “There are no roadblocks on the way to a 100% renewable future,” the research states, while pointing out that existing research already holds the answers to the common objections raised. [New Atlas]

Crescent Dunes (Murray Foubister, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Mysterious, ghostlike “whistler waves” that are normally created by lightning could protect nuclear fusion reactors from runaway electrons, new research suggests. These whistler waves are naturally found high above ground in the ionosphere, a layer of Earth’s atmosphere at altitudes of about 50 to 600 miles (80 to 1000 km). [Live Science]

¶ In the last 15 years, polar bear hunters in eastern Greenland have had to adapt their hunting practices because of climate change, according to a new survey published this week in the journal Frontiers in Maritime Science. Hunters said that since 2006, the region has had increasing numbers of polar bears coming into towns. [CBC.ca]

Polar bear with cub (Elisha Dacey | CBC)

World:

¶ Moldova, a small country in eastern Europe, imports three-quarters of its energy and has seen its energy prices rise by more than half in the past five years. But that could soon change, the UN Development Program said. It plans to launch an innovative effort to power a Moldovan university with cryptocurrency-funded solar energy. [Saudi Gazette]

¶ The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is organizing a loan together with the Clean Technology Fund and the Asian Development Bank to fund construction of a 50-MW solar power plant in central Kazakhstan. It is to be the first joint internationally financed project for Kazakhstan’s renewable energy. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar array construction in Kazakhstan (EBRD image)

¶ Renewable energy costs are falling worldwide, but there are few signs that the Philippines are moving away from coal, despite its ratifying the Paris Agreement to curb climate change and passing laws pushing for a shift to renewable energy. A 400% tax hike on imported coal may signal a shift in the government’s attitude towards the fossil fuel. [Reuters]

¶ After the evacuation of 2,000 residents at risk from floodwaters in northwestern Colombia, tens of thousands more were put on alert as engineers struggled to contain the damage at a giant hydroelectric dam project that its owners admitted is in danger of collapse. The dam is under construction, and is threatened by premature water rise. [Toronto Star]

Landslide at dam (Joaquin Sarmiento | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ India’s renewable energy sector, including the solar and wind power generation segments, could create between 2 million and 4.5 million new job opportunities over the next 25 years, according to a new detailed study of the country’s energy sector. Green energy sectors are clearly better investment opportunities than fossil fuels. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ The city of San Francisco and its Municipal Transportation Agency announced that all public buses operating in the city will be electric no later than 2035. To achieve that goal, new buses purchased in 2025 and thereafter will be battery operated. Reaching that goal will require a significant expansion of SFMTA’s charging infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

San Francisco (Lili Popper, unsplash.com)

¶ The National Park Service released a report showing risks to national parks from sea level rise and storms. Report drafts obtained earlier by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting showed officials had deleted every mention of humans causing climate change. But after a long delay, the report was published with the references restored. [Reveal]

¶ Consumers Energy and DTE Energy announced new goals in Michigan of 50% clean energy by 2030. The aim is to achieve this target through a combination of renewable investments (of at least 25%) and energy efficiency. They will be retiring coal-burning power plants, replacing them with of wind and solar generating facilities. [Windpower Engineering]

Lake Michigan lighthouse

¶ CleanChoice Energy, a renewable energy company providing 100% clean electricity to customers, has been chosen by the City of Takoma Park, Maryland, to supply residents and businesses with renewable energy on an opt-in basis. The new partnership reflects Takoma Park’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions citywide. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ A report from Microsoft Corp shows significant energy and carbon emissions reduction potential from use of the Microsoft Cloud, compared with on-premises datacenters. These gains can be as much as 93% for energy efficiency and 98% for carbon efficiency. They are partly due to Microsoft’s use of renewable energy. [Global Banking And Finance Review]

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