May 27 Energy News

May 27, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Silence of the Bugs” • Fifty-six years after Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” warned of bird die-offs from pesticides, a new biocrisis may be emerging. A study published last fall, showing a 76% decline in the total seasonal biomass of flying insects netted at 63 locations in Germany over the last three decades, tells only part of the story. [The New York Times]

Artwork by Enzo Pérès-Labourdette

¶ “Climate Change Canaries and Our Changing Climate” • While some disagree over its causes, the reality of climate change is an incontrovertible fact. The planet is warming, affecting our weather and our oceans. Our growing seasons are affected, in turn having effects on our food. Crops fail, causing shortages and price hikes. [The Market Oracle]

¶ “Electric Buses A Crucial Portion Of Our Mobility Needs” • So far, the electric news limelight has been around electric sedans and SUVs. But vehicles for industrial use, fleets, and true utility services are alive and well. The e-bus market grew beyond expectation between 2016 and 2017, and we expect more of the same in 2018. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra 35-foot Catalyst bus

World:

¶ Saudi Arabia and Russia are discussing raising OPEC and non-OPEC oil production by about 1 million barrels a day, sources said, weeks after US President Donald Trump complained about artificially high prices. Raising production would ease 17 months of strict supply curbs as oil hits its highest price since late 2014 at $80.50 a barrel. [Voice of America]

¶ In three years, 20% of electricity consumed by Jordan’s water sector will be generated with renewable energy, under the Water and Irrigation Ministry’s new “self-reliance” approach, according to government officials. The ministry is currently developing five large renewable energy projects, both of solar and windpower, to reach this goal. [Jordan Times]

Solar project in Jordan (Jordan Times file photo)

¶ The recently unveiled National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy will help India meet its target of 175-GW renewable energy capacity by 2022, which has been increased from 69 GW. Analysts say the generation costs can be cut by a quarter. By combining the technologies, both connection costs and variability of output are decreased. [Financial Express]

¶ Chile has become a model country for its advances in non-conventional energy. Now it is debating whether citizens who individually or as a group generate electricity can profit from the sale of the surplus from their self-consumption. The question will be decisive for encouraging their contribution to the energy supply. [Inter Press Service]

Rooftop solar array in Chile (Photo: Orlando Milesi | IPS)

¶ Finland and China are collaborating on open international test platforms to demonstrate flexible and clean energy systems. Finland’s Åland Islands will host a flexible energy system, based on smart grids and 100% renewable energy production. In China, the Zhangjiakou Demonstration Zone will show renewable microgrids. [Energy Live News]

¶ A deluge of investments are pouring into Nigeria’s off-grid electricity initiative, targeting key economic clusters across the country. The initiative may free a national grid system that has been unreliable even after the monopolistic National Electric Power Authority was unbundled and the power sector partly privatised in 2013. [Leadership Newspaper]

Transmission towers

¶ The ministry of New and Renewable Energy has appointed Solar Energy Corporation of India as the nodal agency for setting up 2,500 MW of inter-state transmission system-connected power projects on a build, own, operate basis across the country. This paves the way for the nodal agency to float bids for such projects. [Devdiscourse]

¶ The Taiwan Strait, the narrow sea channel between the island of Taiwan and mainland China, has become an offshore wind farms investment hotspot. But heightened geopolitical tensions in the area have raised concerns on the adequacy of insurance coverage for the sector, according to an insurer with a focus on renewable energy. [South China Morning Post]

Offshore wind turbines

US:

¶ Valley Clean Energy is a new locally governed not-for-profit electricity program that was established to deliver clean, reliable, and cost-competitive electricity to customers in three counties in central California. VCE will use higher levels of renewable energy than PG&E to deliver power at a 2.5% lower generation rate. [The People’s Vanguard of Davis]

¶ Arizona Public Service is looking for new proposals that would use the small trees and branches gathered from Arizona forests to generate up to 60 MW of power, a small portion of the energy the utility sends to customers around the state. In the forests, the fuel is a fire hazard. But the forest service has not yet moved on contracts. [Arizona Daily Sun]

Forest thinning (Jake Bacon, Arizona Daily Sun)

¶ State records show a Detroit solid-waste incinerator exceeded pollution emission rules more than 750 times over the last five years with a variety of harmful chemicals. In more than 50 instances, Detroit Renewable Power did not meet standards after investigations of complaints of odors or there were independent odor reviews. [Fairfield Citizen]

¶ The US is leading a drive to promote nuclear power worldwide, showcasing the Trump administration’s understanding of nuclear technology as a crucial source of zero-carbon electricity. Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette launched an initiative that aims to “highlight the value of nuclear energy as a clean reliable energy source.” [The Western Journal]

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