July 15 Energy News

July 15, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Forest policy looms over Oregon’s climate change debate” • As lawmakers gear up to make another attempt to pass a climate change bill in 2019, new data suggests that the forest sector is not only a factor in Oregon’s carbon picture, it is THE factor and one of national and even international importance for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. [OregonLive.com]

Forest fire

¶ “India will weather Iran-fuelled oil price instability” • Energy prices in India have been going up for geopolitical reasons, especially the uncertainty over the supply of Iranian crude. The current turmoil stems from the Trump administration’s plan to impose sanctions on Iran, but India has secured oil sources from other parts of the world. [The Sunday Guardian]

¶ “Europe keeps setting clean-energy records” • This week, two of the biggest economies in Europe set new records for clean energy. And the pace of change is only expected to accelerate, as prices for renewable energy continue to decline rapidly. Now, the EU is tightening its emissions-trading scheme, which is raising the price of carbon. [Quartz]

Wind turbine’s reflection in solar panels

¶ “How Renewable Energy Is Making Our Military Bases More Resilient” • To make its domestic military bases more energy resilient, and more secure in the event of a natural disaster or manmade event, the Pentagon wants to move toward energy sources that do not rely on fuel or traditional supply chain methods that supply fuel. [MarketWatch]

Science and Technology:

¶ In a hurricane-proof lab in the Florida Keys, scientists coddle tiny pieces of coral from the moment they are spawned until they are hearty enough to be separated into specimens equipped to survive in the wild. Global warming is rapidly bringing the natural wonder to the brink of extermination, and the scientists hope for “assisted evolution.” [WatertownDailyTimes.com]

Coral nursery (Carolyn Cole | Los Angeles Times | TNS)

¶ Chemical reactor company INERATEC, a spinoff of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and the Spanish company Gas Natural Fenosa built a plant in Spain that produces synthetic natural gas from CO2 and renewable hydrogen. The hydrogen is produced by electrolysis using renewable power, and the CO2 comes from sewage sludge. [Green Car Congress]

¶ In a study published in the journal Nature Plants, a multinational team of scientists discussed how they sequenced genomes for tiny ferns Azolla filiculoides and Salvinia cucullata. The research has implications in fields ranging from agriculture to climate science. It turns out that the ferns may be important tools to fight global warming. [The Inquisitr]

Azolla

World:

¶ In an innovative effort to fight electricity crisis in forward areas, Gujarat Frontier of the Border Security Force will use solar energy for its out-posts in remote border areas where no electrification has been possible to date. Gujarat Frontier will soon set up a 5-MW PV plant and also separately electrify 20 border outposts by solar energy. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ Most electric mobility news is centered around EVs with wheels, and now also electric aircraft, but the electric maritime world is not left behind entirely. Monaco is putting on the Solar Boat Energy Challenge. The purpose is to encourage technological innovation and help the maritime industries to become more sustainable. [CleanTechnica]

Electric boat racing

¶ Uzbekistan said it reached an agreement with Russia to build a nuclear power plant, a development it says will help it economize on gas and coal. Opponents of the scheme, however, say the power station could pose a danger to the environment. And the vast costs attached to the project raise questions about how the funding is to be secured. [OilPrice.com]

¶ New Vietnamese policies encourage both local and international firms to invest in renewable energy there, according to authorities. The Prime Minister approved 15 wind projects in Ninh Thuan province, with investments on twelve of them coming to $1.2 billion. About 25 solar power projects were also added, bringing more investment. [en.vietnamplus.vn]

Dam Nai wind project in Ninh Thuan (Image: VNA)

US:

¶ ExxonMobil announced it will leave the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate lobby group bankrolled by the Koch brothers and known for its attempts to block climate action. Campaigners cautiously welcomed the decision, though they said Exxon had to do more to prove it was committed to addressing climate change. [NationofChange]

¶ Foley Power Solutions, a division of Foley Equipment, Wichita, Kansas, has completed the installation of a solar microgrid on the roof of the company’s Kansas City, Missouri, facility. The 172-kW solar microgrid will create energy at a cost savings of $23,000 in its first year with a planned savings of $1.25 million over the next 25 years. [Rental Pulse]

Foley Equipment solar facility

¶ Christine Todd Whitman was head of the EPA under President George W Bush back in 2001–2003. Working intimately with (and regulating) the energy industries, she witnessed efforts from the oil industry to undermine clean energy solutions. Recently, she appeared on CNBC to discuss the misguided “misinformation” efforts of Big Oil. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In September, the nonprofit Just Transition Fund will hold its first meeting focused specifically on the transition away from coal in the Midwest, with a particular focus on organized labor. The group will also expand its focus on Illinois, where the EcoJustice Collaborative has been working on transition plans with mining communities for years. [Rapid City Journal]

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