June 24 Energy News

June 24, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Thirty Years Ago Today, Global Warming First Made Headline News” • On June 23, 1988, amid a host of environmental issues, global warming jumped from an esoteric news item to the front page. That day, NASA climate scientist James Hansen told a US Senate committee that human-produced greenhouse gases were measurably heating the climate. [NOVA Next]

Fire at Yellowstone National Park in 1988

¶ “How big corporations are – and aren’t – fighting global warming” • Major companies in the US and worldwide are increasingly acting to lower the carbon footprint of what they produce, how they ship goods, and the energy they buy. They are driven by market signals, government mandates, reputational interests, investor pressure, and other factors. [Axios]

¶ “Green energy feels the heat as subsidies go to fossil fuels” • The “big six” energy companies have raised their prices so that the average British household is paying £1,150 to £1,200 a year. Grassroots schemes can cut electricity bills in half, but with subsidy changes, the number that succeed dropped from 30 in 2016 to one last year. [The Guardian]

Bavarian village of Grossbardorf, fuelled by biogas from
its farms (Photo: Martin Siepmann | Rex | Shutterstock)

Science and Technology:

¶ North Dakota-based Weather Modification International uses planes to target clouds and draw out more rain from them. The concept, called cloud seeding, has been around for decades. But now, there is new urgency due to climate change and a rapidly growing global population, which have disrupted global water supplies. [CNN]

World:

¶ Talks over a 1,000 km (620 mile), 1,000-MW cable to carry electric power from geothermal plants in Iceland to the UK have been on the cards for decades. Iceland’s finance minister has called on the UK Government to offer a fixed energy price to enable plans for an undersea electricity cable between the two countries to move ahead. [Telegraph.co.uk]

Steam rising from a  geothermal power plant in
Iceland (Photo: Daniel Bosma | Moment Open)

¶ The Gujarat government announced a scheme under which farmers would be encouraged to generate electricity and sell their surplus to power distribution companies. The first phase of the ₹870 crore ($130.8 million) project would provide financial assistance to 12,400 farmers to generate an estimated 175 MW of power. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ Four renewable energy power plants with a total capacity of 120 MW will be put into operation in Mongolia’s southeast province of Dornogovi this year, the governor’s office said. They include three solar arrays with a combined capacity of 65 MW and a 55-MW wind farm. The country has more than 250 days of sunshine a year. [Pakistan Observer]

Small Mongolian PV system (Chinneeb, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ One of WWF Zimbabwe’s strategic objectives is to support renewable energy access and investments in the country. As part of achieving this objective, WWF Zimbabwe promoted biogas as a possible solution for reducing over-reliance on wood energy by households in two districts. Biogas makes people’s lives easier in a number of ways. [sundaymail.co.zw]

¶ While Japan’s government clings to atomic power even after the Fukushima nuclear crisis, its private sector is moving ahead with more use of renewables to power their operations amid growing international awareness of global warming. In parts of Japan, renewable power developers would supply much more than the grid can accept. [Japan Today]

Experimental turbine being towed in Japan (Kyodo image)

¶ India and Cuba have agreed to enhance cooperation in biotechnology, renewable energy, and medicine as President Ram Nath Kovind held wide-ranging talks with his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel to further cement their strong bilateral ties. Kovind arrived on the last leg of a tour including Greece and Suriname. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ A freight train from Alberta derailed in northwest Iowa, leaking crude oil into the flooded fields flanking the tracks and raising concerns about the possible contamination of residential water supplies downstream, according to officials. No information was immediately available on how much oil each of the tankers was carrying. [CBC.ca]

Derailed cars (Sioux County Sheriff’s Office via Associated Press)

¶ Between 2016 and 2017 the amount of solar power produced in Minnesota jumped from almost nothing to 1.2% of the state’s electricity, the Minnesota Department of Commerce said. Now, with falling costs and environmental concerns, several cities, including Minneapolis, are setting bold goals for 100% renewable power. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

¶ After months of furious rhetoric from lawmakers, time for action is running out as legislators return to Columbia for a special, two-day session. They plan to finalize the state’s 2018-19 budget and pass bills aimed at protecting SC residents who pay higher power bills because of the VC Summer nuclear plant fiasco. But success is not guaranteed. [The State]

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