June 10 Energy News

June 10, 2018

Opinion:

¶ The G7 summit, summed up in one photo” • Hundreds, or even thousands, of photos taken at the G7 summit, a two-day gathering of leaders from member states to discuss everything from climate change to international trade policy. But one in particular stood out after it was published and raced around the internet. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

G7 Leaders (Adam Scotti | Prime Minister’s Office via Reuters)

¶ “‘Baseload Is Poison’ And 5 Other Lessons From Germany’s Energy Transition” • Germany has achieved some moments in its Energiewende when renewables met 100% of demand without the aid of baseload power or batteries. Germany was able to do that, a government energy official pointed out, because of its system’s flexibility. [Forbes]

¶ “Is the Trans Mountain Pipeline (and Other Fossil Fuel Investments) a Future Stranded Asset?” • Some major economies rely heavily on fossil fuel production and exports. But renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency improvements, and climate emission policies are certain to substantially reduce the global demand for fossil fuels. [DeSmog]

Dakota Access Oil Pipeline (Tony Webster, Creative Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ One of the more interesting revelations to come out of the 2018 Tesla Shareholder Meeting was updated information about Tesla’s current battery costs and projected reductions over the next 2 years. Elon Musk said “We think at the cell level probably we can do better than $100/kWh maybe later this year…” The ongoing cost drop is good news. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Heavy rainfall from storms has increased in the US since the 1950s and will only get worse in the coming years, thanks to global warming, scientists say. The EPA noted that heavy rainfall events increased by 70% in the Pacific Northwest, where the increases are worst, but increases are also seen in the Midwest and Upper Plains. [The Weather Channel]

Washington State (Scott Terrell | Skagit Valley Herald via AP)

¶ Cobalt prices are soaring and ethical questions about artisanal mining continue. Panasonic announced it is developing cobalt-free EV batteries. Panasonic, the world’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturer for cars and Tesla’s exclusive battery cell supplier for the Model 3 sedan, produces the cells at the joint Gigafactory 1 in Nevada. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ Pope Francis told senior oil company executives that the world must convert to renewable alternatives to prevent humanity being destroyed by climate change. Speaking to the high-profile group at the end of a two-day conference at the Vatican, the pontiff warned: “Civilisation requires energy but energy use must not destroy civilisation.” [The Independent]

Pope Francis (AFP image)

¶ This week, dozens of activists descended on the capital of Kenya in what campaigners described as the “first anti-coal demonstration in Nairobi.” The coalition of advocacy groups is protesting the building of a coal-fired energy plant on the island of Lamu, a major tourist attraction, and a UNESCO heritage site, and coal mining in eastern Kenya. [Quartz]

¶ A $300 million project has been approved by the Zimbabwe Investment Authority for Victoria Falls to produce electricity. The power plant will be able to supply the country’s national grid and sell excess power to such other countries as Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. The plant is expected to produce 125 MW of electricity. [Devdiscourse]

Victoria Falls (Pixabay image)

¶ The growing adoption of EVs is expected to cost Germany’s key auto industry about 75,000 jobs by 2030, a study shows, with parts suppliers set to suffer the most. Germany’s car industry currently employs about 840,000 people, with 210,000 of them working on powertrain production, the sub-sector set to be the worst hit. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ The municipal electric utility for Garden City, Kansas, now has over 30% of its power from renewable energy resources. The city is getting power Buckeye Wind Energy Center in Ellis County. Garden City is a member of the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency, which has a contract with Invenergy, owner of the Buckeye Center. [The Topeka Capital-Journal]

Buckeye Wind Farm (Hays Daily News photo)

¶ As West Virginians continue to see their utility bills rise, the regional electric grid serving the state is among those warning that attempts by the Trump administration to keep coal and nuclear power plants from closing will lead to higher electricity prices. Coal produced 94% of West Virginia’s net electricity generation in 2016. [Charleston Gazette-Mail]

¶ A Trump administration plan that would spend billions of dollars to subsidize aging coal-fired and nuclear power plants may not be much of a boon for Wyoming coal, according to one of the state’s leading economists. And the cost of the subsidy, which could be from $3 billion to $30 billion, would fall on the consumers. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

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