Archive for August, 2018

August 31 Energy News

August 31, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Low-cost, printable solar panels offer ray of hope amid energy gridlock” • An Australian physicist is leading a push to pioneer a new type of low-cost solar energy he believes could make signing up for energy accounts as simple as taking up a mobile phone plan. They can be produced for less than A$10 ($7.20) per square meter. [The Guardian]

Installing printed solar cells (Photo: Newcastle University)

¶ “Minesto Successfully ‘Flies’ Marine Energy Kite” • Swedish developer, Minesto, has successfully “flown” its marine energy kite in full subsea trajectories at the Holyhead Deep site 8 km off the coast of Holyhead, North West Wales. The Deep Green technology generates electricity from tidal streams and ocean currents. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

World:

¶ “The Growth & Challenges Of Distributed Solar PV In China” • Solar PV installations have boomed globally since 2010, with an annual growth rate of 40%. China is leading that growth. And China’s growth is especially high for distributed solar PV systems, which now account for 27.1% of China’s total solar PV installations. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “UK contributes to $500 million South African energy storage project” • As part of Prime Minister Theresa May’s African visit, the UK announced it will contribute $73 million (£56 million) to a $500 million South African energy storage fund. The fund will help secure renewable power in South Africa by developing battery technology. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Northern Europe and Germany have been the leaders in wind farms constructed offshore, but US and China are gaining ground” • According to report by Global Market Insights Inc, the offshore energy market will surpass $60 billion by 2024 because of a worldwide quest for more sustainable and cleaner energy sources. [OilVoice]

Offshore substation on a barge (kees torn, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Mexican wave: harnessing the Pacific’s blue rollers for green energy” • Energy from the ocean breakers that pound Mexico’s Pacific Coast could soon be turned into electricity by an Israeli joint venture. Eco Wave Power says it could prove an effective way to deliver power to coastal communities in countries with little access to electricity. [Reuters]

¶ “Summer heat wave see’s solar energy output increase” • According to research from Oxford University, the European heat wave of this summer was a result of climate change. It also negatively impacted the continent’s wind-power industry. But when wind power dropped below average, solar power was above average. [Open Access Government]

Solar system

US:

¶ “Climate change is going to cost California, and the bill will be staggering” • As California lawmakers struggled this week to address an apparent new normal of epic wildfires, there was an inescapable subtext: Climate change is going to be staggeringly expensive, and virtually every Californian is going to have to pay for it. [CALmatters]

¶ “Trump administration reconsiders rule on coal’s mercury pollution” • The EPA said it was reconsidering part of an Obama-era rule on emissions of mercury from coal-fired plants, its latest move to ease coal industry regulations. Mercury is dangerous to pregnant women and can put infants and children at risk of developmental problems. [Reuters]

Exhaust from burning coal (Brian Snyder | Reuters)

¶ “California energy storage subsidy extension passes Assembly” • After the passage of a California bill to mandate 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045, another bill which may contain one of the keys to making that happen has passed the Assembly. It will support the installation of nearly 3 GW of behind-the-meter storage. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Portland tidal energy startup entering rough investment waters” • Alternative energy startup Ocean Renewable Power Co, based in Portland, Maine, has developed a sustainable technology that allows underwater turbines to generate electricity from flowing rivers and shifting tides. It is seeking $12 million in new funding. [Press Herald]

RivGen Power System under tow to an Alaskan
village (Courtesy of Ocean Renewable Power Co)

¶ “Arizona Supreme Court: Voters will decide renewable-energy rules in November” • The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s voters will decide in November whether Arizona’s Constitution should require electric companies to get half their electricity from renewable sources such as solar PVs and windpower. [AZCentral.com]

¶ “Ohio business community backs 2.2 GW of Ohio solar” • Five prominent firms with operations in Ohio are endorsing a report advocating 2.2 GW of solar for Ohio by 2030. According to the report, reaching 2.2 GW of solar in Ohio would involve $3.6 billion in investment and boost the state’s GDP by $1 billion per year. [pv magazine USA]

Owens Corning plant in Toledo (Businesswire image)

¶ “FES to close all coal-fired & nuclear power plants” • The currently bankrupt FirstEnergy Solutions is planning to close all of its coal-fired and nuclear power plants in the coming years. It intends to close its last coal-fired power plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania in 2021-2022, unless the federal government bails it out. [Kallanish Energy]

¶ “Ohio PUC details utility reform roadmap in PowerForward initiative” • The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio released a roadmap to their PowerForward program to help guide the state to a regulatory environment where distributed power systems in a grid can thrive, providing benefits to customers at a reasonable cost. [Utility Dive]

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August 30 Energy News

August 30, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “New ‘Affordable Clean Energy’ Plan Lands With A Thud” • The Trump administration announced its new “Affordable Clean Energy” rules for power plants last week, and while coal stakeholders may be excited, the verdict is already in from utilities: meh. Then California set a goal to be 100% free of emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Image in Trump’s dreams

¶ “Can you turn a coal plant ‘green?'” • The owners of the coal-burning Drax power plant, the largest power plant in Western Europe, plan to have it stop burning coal entirely by 2023. It is a story repeated all over the world, including the US. But this leaves a big question: what do we do with all of those old power stations? [BBC]

World:

¶ “Before coal disappears from Germany, more villages will” • The village of Keyenberg is in a German region with a long history of coal mining and the heart of the country’s post-war industrial growth. It is ancient and atmospheric, with ruins dating from the Roman era. But it will be destroyed to extend an open-pit mine. [WBFO]

Garzweiler II mine, covering 48 km², or 18.5 mi² (Wikipedia)

¶ “Europeans Have Spent €150 Billion In Extra Fuel Costs Since 2000” • A study showed that Europeans have had to pay €149.6 billion ($174.9 billion) in extra fuel costs because car makers lied on efficiency tests, promising better performance than was in reality possible. German drivers have been hardest hit, wasting €36 billion since 2000. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Equinor plans to deploy floating offshore wind to power oil and gas fields” • Norwegian energy giant Equinor has revealed plans to build the first floating offshore wind turbine to supply green electricity to its oil fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. This is part of Equinor’s plans to cut emissions across its operations. [businessgreen.com]

Hywind floating offshore site in Scotland

¶ “GE To Supply Turbines & Facilitate €90 Million Financing For 100 MW Ukrainian Wind Farm” • GE Energy Finance Services said this week that it will facilitate €90 million in financing and supply the wind turbines for a 100-MW wind farm in Ukraine. GE’s onshore wind business won the contract to supply 25 wind turbines [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fukushima fisheries group opposes release of tritium-tainted water into sea” • Tepco has a system to remove most radioactive material from contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi, but not tritium. The suggestion that releasing the polluted water into the sea after it is diluted with fresh water is being opposed by the fishing industry. [The Japan Times]

Japanese fishing boats (Takanobu Shuji, Wikimedia Commons)

Australia:

¶ “Renewables forecast to halve wholesale energy prices over four years” • Australia’s Morrison government has identified lowering power prices as a key early priority, but analysis says wholesale prices will almost halve over the next four years because of renewables, technologies many conservatives in the government oppose. [The Guardian]

¶ “Tesla “Big Battery” Responds To “Power System Emergency” In Australia” • Lightning strikes caused power system emergency across the eastern Australian states. Lights barely flickered in South Australia, as the Hornsdale Power Reserve backed up the grid, and in Queensland, as home battery systems filled the gap there. [CleanTechnica]

Hornsdale Power Reserve

¶ “Queensland says wind, solar key to lower power bills, creates new renewables generation company” • Queensland created a government-owned power company focused on renewables. The state energy minister said CleanCo would help reduce wholesale prices by $7/MWh, which could cut household bills by $70 per year. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Los Angeles Wants to Use the Hoover Dam as a Giant Battery. The Hurdles Could Be More Historical than Technical” • Los Angeles is looking into whether it should spend an estimated $3 billion on a massive, 20-mile underground pumped hydropower storage system that would be connected to the iconic Hoover Dam. [Government Technology]

Hoover Dam

¶ “ForeFront Power To Install 3.7 Megawatts Of Solar At 13 California School Sites” • ForeFront Power has been selected by three California school districts to install 3.7 MW of solar PV capacity across 13 locations. Over 5 million kWh of electric energy is expected to be generated each year by the solar canopy installations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump donor buys California power plant, asks feds to change energy market” • Last year, a company tied to a Trump campaign donor took possession of a bankrupt power plant in California. They filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, arguing that the state’s policies are killing existing power plants. [San Francisco Chronicle]

La Paloma power plant (Photo: Gary Kazanjian)

¶ “Oklahoma coal plant’s future bleak amid cheaper power” • An independent coal-fired electricity generator and about 100 employees in eastern Oklahoma face an uncertain future as the power market becomes more competitive. The 360-MW AES Shady Point plant could close as soon as January, the Oklahoman reported. [San Francisco Chronicle]

¶ “Xcel to Replace Two Colorado Coal Units with Renewables and Storage” • The Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel subsidiary, will retire 660 MW of coal, and replace it with more than 1,800 MW of wind and solar. The renewable energy will be backed by 275 MW of storage. Xcel’s CEO said time is running out for coal. [Greentech Media]

Have an outstandingly wonderful day.

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August 29 Energy News

August 29, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “50% Of Industrial Climate Change Emissions Tied To Fossil Fuel Companies” • The Rocky Mountain Institute released a report saying that in 2015, half of the global industrial greenhouse gas emissions came from 50 companies working in fossil-fuel industries. It says many mining companies are among the top greenhouse gas emitters. [CleanTechnica]

Strip mining coal

¶ “Fakenomics: Coal lights the fires under climate science” • The coal industry in the United States was the first source of funding for climate denial during the late ‘80s and ‘90s. The industry knew that its survival depended on undermining climate change science and threw its considerable influence and power into funding climate denial. [The Ecologist]

World:

¶ “EU Could Move To Scrap Import Controls On Chinese Solar By September” • Reuters reported that the European Commission proposed to dismiss a request for an “expiry review” of existing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures, a move which has received backing from a majority of the European Union’s 28 Member States. [CleanTechnica]

First Solar manufacturing plant

¶ “In a posh Bangkok neighborhood, residents trade energy with blockchain” • Residents in a Bangkok neighborhood are trying out a renewable energy trading platform that allows them to buy and sell electricity among themselves, signalling the growing popularity of such systems as solar panels get cheaper. The system will begin operating next month. [Reuters]

¶ “Iran opens its largest wind farm in renewable push” • Iran has put its largest wind farm into operation, marking a turning point in its bid to procure electricity from renewable sources such as wind power, solar and hydropower. The 18-turbine wind farm in northern Iran has a nominal capacity of generating 61 MWh of power annually. [PRESSTV]

Turbines at the 60-MW wind farm in northern Iran

¶ “Facebook Pledges to Power Operations With 100% Renewable Energy Within Two Years” • Facebook announced that it has set a target of powering its global operations with 100% renewable energy by the end of 2020. In addition, it announced that it is committing to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 75% in the same timeframe. [Fortune]

¶ “European market for renewable energy continues to grow, with wind power surging ahead” • New data from the Association of Issuing Bodies comparing year-to-date supply and demand of Guarantees of Origin for 2018 and 2017 show that renewable energy supply has increased by 45 TWh, while demand is up by 34 TWh. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US National Wind Technology Center (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “‘NEG is dead’: States go it alone on energy policy” • Australia’s National Energy Guarantee seems to be gone with former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. State Labor governments now vow to go it alone on their own ambitious renewable energy schemes after the Coalition government left a “vacuum” in national energy policy. [The Australian Financial Review]

US:

¶ “Spokane, Washington, aims to be free of fossil fuels by 2030” • The city council of Spokane, Washington, adopted an ordinance that would make it the second city in the state to set the goal of being powered entirely with renewable energy by 2030. Spokane’s Sustainability Action Plan will include a specific climate action roadmap. [The Architect’s Newspaper]

Forest in Oregon (Jason Leem | Unsplash)

¶ “US Renewable Energy Sources Surpass Nuclear In First Half Of 2018” • According to the Energy Information Administration’s latest “Electric Power Monthly” report, renewable energy sources accounted for 19.867% of the country’s electrical generation during the first half of the year, while nuclear power accounted for 19.863%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Falling Renewables Prices Present ‘Unprecedented Opportunity’ For Western Co-ops” • The declines in prices for renewable energy are creating opportunities for the electric cooperatives in the Mountain West region to deliver cost-savings to their members, according to a new study from the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute. [North American Windpower]

Colorado countryside

¶ “After Settlement with Walmart, Duke Energy to Change its Clean Energy Program” • Duke Energy Corp. has agreed to change part of its Green Source Advantage clean-energy program in a settlement with Walmart Stores Inc. Walmart took a stand against the program, saying it was too expensive and would not add renewable energy. [Energy Manager Today]

¶ “California bill requiring 100% renewable power heads to Brown’s desk” • California took a giant leap toward its climate change goals with lawmakers voting to approve a bill that would require the state to get 100% of its electricity from carbon-free energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal by 2045. The bill has gone to the governor. [The Desert Sun]

Geothermal power plant in California (Photo: US DOE)

¶ “NYS renewable energy advocates want an easier to understand solar valuation policy” • Some solar developers estimate that over $800 million worth of community solar projects have been cancelled in New York state since the Value of Distributed Energy Resources Policy was implemented in 2017. Advocates called for the governor to review net metering. [WBFO]

¶ “Radioactive waste stranded as US shifts from nuclear energy” • The US appears to be witnessing the slow death of nuclear power. Nuclear plants are aging out and retiring, as cheaper, simpler, and less controversial sources are taking over the market. But the lack of a long-term repository leaves communities as de facto waste storage sites. [Chemical & Engineering News]

Have a wildly successful day.

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August 28 Energy News

August 28, 2018

World:

¶ “BNEF 2018 Report: Renewables Surge, China Dominates, Coal Loses, EVs Soar” • The Bloomberg New Energy Finance 2018 report peers into the future to predict how world energy markets will change between now and 2050. There is much good news. It says falling prices for renewables will propel them to a 50% market share by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

Solar energy

¶ “Fast-Growing User Base Suggests Evolutionary Growth Spurt in the Making for Developing-World Solar Mini-Grids” • Private utilities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are developing over 550 “green” mini-grids, over $550 million worth, according to the developer of a software platform that connects developers and investors. [Solar Magazine]

¶ “Jaguar to make an electric version of 1960s sports car the E-Type” • Jaguar announced it will upgrade original E-Type cars to full electric. The cars will have the same weight distribution as it did before, and with other parts unchanged, the car will handle and drive much as it did with a gasoline engine. It will, however, be somewhat quicker. [BBC]

Electric E-type Jaguar

¶ “Mexico is building Latin America’s largest solar installation” • While the US government squanders time and opportunity, pursuing short-term profit by imposing disruptive tariffs and curtailing sustainability-focused goals, Mexico is powering ahead. Its goal is to generate up to 35% of its energy from renewable sources by 2024. [The Architect’s Newspaper]

¶ “European Electric Car Sales Increased 42% In H1 2018 vs H1 2017” • EV data collection and analysis firm EV Volumes have just published European plug-in vehicle sales results for the first half of 2018. Most notably, there was a 42% market growth year over year, and the number of plug-in vehicles in Europe passed one million. [CleanTechnica]

Growth in European plug-in vehicles

¶ “Batteries cut Energiewende costs, spell utility trouble – researcher” • Germany’s boom in residential solar batteries can have profound effects on the Energiewende, according to the director of technical consulting at RWTH Aachen University. They can make expensive grid extensions unnecessary but will reduce utilities’ sales. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “From London To New York, 19 Cities Commit To Net-Zero Carbon Buildings By 2030” • Last week, 19 mayors from around the world, including Paris, London, and New York, signed a significant commitment to cut greenhouse gasses in their cities by ensuring that all new buildings will operate at net-zero carbon by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

London

¶ “Siemens Gamesa partners up on green ammonia production” • Gamesa signed an agreement with a Danish environmental group, Energifonden Skive, to study the clean production of ammonia for energy storage. They will do research on ecologically friendly ways to use ammonia to store surplus energy generated by wind turbines. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Atlas secures long-term financing for 130-MW Mexican PV project” • Atlas Renewable Energy said it has closed long-term financing for its 129.5-MW Guajiro solar project in the state of Hidalgo. The plant is expected to come online in the second quarter of 2019, generating enough electric power for about 120,000 homes. [Renewables Now]

Solar park in Mexico (Presidencia de la República Mexicana)

US:

¶ “Tesla Gigafactory To Be Powered 100% By “Tesla Solar” By End Of 2019” • Elon Musk shared on Twitter that Gigafactory 1 will be powered 100% by Tesla Solar by the end of 2019. This came after claims that the emissions footprint for building an electric vehicle are higher than those for building a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How to save Louisiana from drowning” • The salt marsh is also a landscape that is changing, fast. From 1932 to 2016 in Louisiana, on average, open water subsumed a chunk of wetlands the size of a football field every hour. Artificial reefs can slow or stop the loss. Reefs made of concrete are not as good for that as reefs made of oyster shells. [BBC]

Biloxi Marsh (Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)

¶ “Clean Heating & Cooling Systems – More Ways To Reduce GHG Emissions” • About 25% of our energy goes to heating and cooling. So the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced that the state will launch its first community campaigns designed to install clean heating and cooling systems. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “State Regulators Give OK To Xcel Energy’s $2.5 Billion Clean Power Plan” • The Colorado Public Utilities Commission gave its approval to a proposed $2.5 billion investment in solar, wind, and natural gas power in the state. The plan will add about 1,100 MW of wind power and 700 MW of solar power to Xcel’s grid by 2026. [KUNC]

Colorado solar farm (Rebecca Jacobson | Inside Energy)

¶ “Utilities Recommit to Clean Energy in the Wake of the Trump Administration’s Regulatory Rollback” • After Trump’s plan to replace the Clean Power Plan was unveiled, utilities welcomed increased regulatory roles for states, but they also affirmed their commitment to deploy clean energy and meet emissions reduction targets. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Judge rejects bid to knock renewable energy measure off Arizona ballot” • A Maricopa County Superior Court Judge rejected contentions that the Clean Energy for Healthy Arizona initiative is misleading because the proposal to require utilities generate 50% of their power from renewable source by 2030 excludes nuclear power. [Arizona Daily Star]

Have a thoroughly superior day.

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August 27 Energy News

August 27, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “100% Renewables Requires Less Land Footprint Than Reliance On Fossil Fuels In California – RealityCheck” • An opinion piece from a think tank funded by fossil fuels said taking California to 100% renewable energy would “wreck vast onshore and offshore territories with forests of wind turbines and sprawling solar projects.” It is not true. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines and solar panels

¶ “Connecting the Dots: A Firsthand Account of How The UKIP Surge Drove the Tories to Sabotage the Renewables Industry” • The UK’s Government has nearly killed vibrant solar PV and onshore wind industries, responding to powerful spinning from the UK Independence Party. It has links to Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, Trump, and Russia. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Rise Of The Electric Vehicle Conversion Shop” • Stripped down cars are increasingly being seen with new and improved powertrains and battery packs. These improvements replace clunky engines that burn things with new high-tech batteries, motors controllers, battery management systems, batteries, and laptops. [CleanTechnica]

Altered VW

¶ “Scientists Say Hotter Weather Worsens Wildfire in Western US” • The Associated Press has studied information on weather and wildfires from the last 35 years. The media group’s findings show that the years in which wildfires burned the highest number of hectares were also years with the hottest weather. Scientists agree. [Voice of America]

World:

¶ “China’s Electric Car Sales Up 64% In July – CleanTechnica Report” • The Chinese plug-in electric vehicle market is in summer-chill mode, up only 64%. This is a slowdown from the three-digit growth rates of previous months, which is explained by reduced subsidies for vehicles with full-charge driving range lower than 150 km. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Yuan PHEV

¶ “Cost of coal-fired power hits new record” • The cost of coal-fired power hit a new record in South Korea this year as supply dropped, newly released data showed. This is a cause of alarm for a country where coal is the biggest source of power generation. The average cost of power from coal is 10.5% higher than it was last year. [Yonhap News]

¶ “Radebe Releases Draft IRP, Nuclear Power Off Table for Now” • Releasing the long-awaited draft Integrated Resource Plan, South Africa’s Energy Minister announced that renewable energy will be the key focus over the next decade, instead of nuclear. The draft notes that electricity consumption is 30% less than projected in 2010. [Eyewitness News]

Wind turbines (Kalle Pihlajasaari, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Shell Took 16 Years to Warn Shareholders of Climate Risks, Despite Knowing in Private All Along” • It took oil company Shell over 16 years to warn its shareholders that climate policy posed a financial risk to the company’s business model. This is despite its knowing about the relationship between its products and climate change. [Truthout]

Australia:

¶ “Australia adds 514 MW of renewables under RET in a single month” • In July, large-scale renewable power plants with a combined capacity of 514 MW were accredited under Australia’s Renewable Energy Target. These add to the over 1.2 GW of assets accredited in the first half of the year. The 1,088 MW added last year was a record. [Renewables Now]

Dam in New South Wales (Knows, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Morrison will fight to stay in Paris climate deal” • Australia’s new Morrison government will resist any internal push to walk away from its commitment to the Paris climate change targets, despite dropping emissions reduction as a consideration of energy policy. There are considerable differences within the government. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ “Morrison names leading anti-wind campaigner as energy minister” • Australia’s new prime minister has ended combining the energy and environment portfolios. He appointed one of the country’s most prominent anti-wind campaigners as energy minister and a former mining industry lawyer as environment minister. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm in WA (Michaeldolphin, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Trouble in Paradise: TVA studies whether to close more coal plants” • The Tennessee Valley Authority, which has already shut down more than half of the 59 coal-fired plants it once operated, has decided to launch a new study to determine whether it also may close its Paradise and Bull Run coal plants in Kentucky and Tennessee. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

¶ “Solar is looking ‘bright’ for the Tennessee Valley Authority” • TVA officials say renewable energy is an important part of the public utility’s long-term business plan. In particular, solar power is becoming a major part of TVA’s sustainable energy strategy. A spokesperson also added that the TVA will not be going back to burning coal. [Johnson City Press]

Solar panels (TVA photo)

¶ “The Nevada Clean Energy Fund takes shape” • In 2017, Nevada passed a law that mandated the formation of an independent, nonprofit corporation called the Nevada Clean Energy Fund. Now Nevada is one of 15 states to have a “green bank,” as they are known. Now the green bank is being developed, modelled on similar projects in other states. [KNVC ]

¶ “The battle for cheap solar power heads to the sunny South – but utilities are fighting back” • Alabama Power, the state utility company, has set a policy that to stay connected to the power grid, a customer with solar panels that can supply power to the grid would have to pay connection fees amounting to an extra $25 to $30 a month. [Salon]

Have an enjoyably productive day.

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August 26 Energy News

August 26, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “How New Jersey can finance its bold new clean energy targets” • New Jersey had a major economic and environmental victory when Gov Phil Murphy signed a law that will soon make the Garden State an even greener. The Board of Public Utilities started work to establish a community solar pilot program within one year. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Community solar project (Robford15, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electric Vehicles Represent Near-Term Challenges and Long-Term Opportunities For Utilities” • Rapid transition to EVs will increase demand for electricity, and this will be concentrated in certain places. But the potential to tap into EV batteries as multifunctional energy storage units on wheels is getting some utilities interested. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Our ocean currents are changing, and scientists are searching for answers” • The North Icelandic Jet is an obscure ocean current in a remote part of the world, but what happens to it as the oceans warm could affect all our lives. To investigate it, one scientist is heading into the teeth of some of the worst weather imaginable. [The Week Magazine]

Alliance docked in Ísafjörður (Ari Daniel | Courtesy PRI)

World:

¶ “South Korea Doubles Down On Gas And Renewables” • Korea Gas has launched a new strategy designed to overhaul its business, worth a total investment of $9 billion (10 trillion won). The move comes as South Korean President Moon Jae-in is acting to replace nuclear and coal-fired thermal power plants with renewables. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Malcolm Turnbull Slams Troglodytes In His Own Party” • Malcolm Turnbull was ousted as prime minister of Australia by his own party because he supported a national energy plan with renewable energy goals. Later, he spoke of climate change policy as “very hard” because it is treated as an ideological matter with “bitterly entrenched” views. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla battery in South Australia (Credit: Tesla)

¶ “Iran, Russia resume talks to build new nuclear plant” • Iran’s Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian has said the country has restarted negotiations with Russia to build a new nuclear power plant with up to 3,000 MW of capacity. The move came after the US withdrew from a landmark Iran nuclear agreement and imposed sanctions. [The Nation]

¶ “Locals boycott thermal power projects as electricity shortages loom” • Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade warned about electricity shortages to come in five to seven years, making building more power plants a must. The biggest hindrance in developing power plants is environmental problems rather than any lack of capital. [VietNamNet Bridge]

Coal barge in Vietnam (Dennis Jarvis, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Electric utilities focus on power grid work over power plants” • Electric utilities are pouring billions of dollars into a race to prevent terrorists or enemy governments from shutting down the power grid. Russian hackers have targeted the nation’s energy grid, but so far they seem to be focused on reconnaissance rather than disruption. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ “California’s renewable energy limits hold back military base production” • The US military has extensive land and funding in California. Despite its willingness to take part in producing green energy, its potential is held back. California has maintained renewable energy limits that greatly restrict the US military in the state. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

Solar farm at sunset

¶ “California embraces renewables despite resistance from White House” • Growth in California’s solar power is projected to continue, keeping the state on track to meet its goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030. Currently, renewables of a broad range of technologies account for about 27% of the state’s energy usage. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “Invenergy plans solar farm east of Brewster” • A Chicago-based renewable energy company is finalizing landowner leases to construct a 125-MW solar farm on 900 acres in western Jackson County, Minnesota. The project could be completed in 2021. Once the solar farm is operational, it will generate enough energy to power 31,000 homes. [Daily Globe]

Invergy solar project (Courtesy Invenergy)

¶ “Microgrid adoption could accelerate in the US in coming years” • As microgrid technology advances, private companies, universities, and the military are increasingly looking to microgrids as a way to increase reliability. One industry expert expects the industry to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.7%. [S&P Global Platts]

¶ “Navajo Nation solar facility expansion expected to double power output” • A solar facility in Navajo Nation is expected to double the number of homes it can provide renewable energy to over the next year. Navajo Nation broke ground on the second phase of an expansion project that will provide a 28-MW addition to a solar facility in Arizona. [KTAR.com]

Navajo solar farm (Photo: Salt River Project)

¶ “Two of the very last Puerto Ricans got power today. Now, work to build a stronger grid must begin.” • José Saldaña’s power was finally restored, more than 11.5 months after it first went out and more than a week after the island’s power authority announced electricity had been fully restored across the island. Now, a second round of work begins. [90.5 WESA]

¶ “Where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain” • Kansas is a top producer of wind-generated energy, a DOE study found, confirming what leaders at Westar Energy have known for years. More than 35% of the state’s electricity comes from wind, which is the second-highest ranking in the nation, according to the report. [Hays Daily News]

Have an utterly splendid day.

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August 25 Energy News

August 25, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Why Trump’s coal reprieve is unlikely to revive the industry” • The Trump administration’s rollback of the Clean Power Plan will increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the air and cause 1,400 premature deaths every year. What it’s unlikely to do, economists say, is stop the coal industry’s precipitous economic decline. [CBS News]

Power plant in West Virginia, 1973 (Harry Schaefer, EPA)

¶ “Climate Change Impacts Are Already Here” • Nearly $1 billion in property value in Connecticut has vanished due to rising sea levels according to the non-profit First Street Foundation. The organization found that Milford was the hardest hit city or town in the state with $127 million in lost property value between 2005 and 2017. [NBC Connecticut]

¶ “Research Shows That A Low-Carbon Future Will Be A Renewable Future” • Almost all existing fossil fuel and nuclear generation assets are coming to end-of-life by 2050. Academic studies show clearly that renewables will replace them close to 100% of the time. With grid integration and diversification, even storage is not necessary. [CleanTechnica]

Transition graphic

Science and Technology:

¶ “India’s devastating rains match climate change forecasts” • Once-a-century rains that pounded the Indian state of Kerala and displaced 1.3 million people are in line with the projections of climate scientists, and they warn that worse is to come if global warming continues. There has been a 3-fold increase in extreme rains since 1950. [Phys.org]

World:

¶ “Climate change is melting the French Alps, say mountaineers” • The mountaineers who climb among the snowy Alpine peaks know that it is far from business as usual. Due to a warming climate, the familiar landscape is rapidly changing. Permafrost is evaporating, making rocks unstable and prone to collapse, making trails unsafe. [The Guardian]

Mount Blanc (Philippe Desmazes | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Sweden to reach its 2030 renewables target 12 years early!” • Bloomberg reports that Sweden about to show how fast the deployment of cost-effective renewables is progressing. By the end of this year, Sweden will have added enough capacity to reach its 2030 target of 18 TWh of new renewable energy output 12 years early. [Treehugger]

¶ “European Onshore Wind Industry To Be Driven By Policy Incentives” • New policy research has shown that policy-based incentives are expected to drive the expansion of the onshore wind sector in Northern and Western Europe over the next decade, with capacity in excess of 70 GW expected through the next ten years. [CleanTechnica]

English wind turbines

¶ “Solar Energy in Mexico Benefits the Impoverished Most” • Recent reforms in Mexican law have made solar energy not only viable, but economically optimal. Mexico’s promotion of solar energy will not only benefit the Mexican economy as a whole, but it will also help the impoverished, both in Mexico and around the world. [Borgen Project]

¶ “Bosch Takes Aim At Zero-Emission Cities With Electrified eCityTruck Powertrain” • Bosch has taken the wraps off of its new eCityTruck powertrains for light commercial vehicles. It was developed to provide electrification solutions for vehicles to operate in urban environments where combustion engines are restricted or banned. [CleanTechnica]

Bosch eCityTruck vehicle

US:

¶ “Trump Power: Industry Analysts Say New Rule Will Not Fuel Coal Comeback” • The president thinks his new rules are fueling a “coal comeback.” But industry experts and even the DOE’s own analysts see little evidence that the policy changes will alter the downward course for coal as it faces stiff competition in the energy market. [Ohio Valley ReSource]

¶ “Amid relaxed coal restrictions, NIPSCO keeps plan to retire plants” • A spokesman for Northern Indiana Public Service Co, the region’s largest supplier of electricity, said the utility does not anticipate altering its plans as a result of the Trump proposal. It plans to retire half of its coal-fired plants by 2030 and improve its environmental impact. [Chicago Tribune]

Coal plant at sunrise (Armando L Sanchez | Chicago Tribune)

¶ “Exxon Seeks Wind, Solar Power Delivery in Texas” •  Exxon Mobil Corp, the largest US oil company, has requested proposals for 12, 15, or 20 year contracts for solar or wind power, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg. Exxon, based in Texas, is seeking at least 100 MW and would consider proposals for more than 250 MW. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “Tesla Powerpack moves Samoa toward 100% renewable energy” • American Samoa has long been dependent on diesel power for electricity generation. Now the American Samoa Renewable Energy Committee has a goal of getting 50% of the territory’s energy from renewable energy resources by 2025 and 100% by 2040. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Samoa

¶ “California Passes Bill Requiring Diablo Canyon Plant to Be Replaced With Carbon-Free Resources” • A bill now headed to Gov Jerry Brown’s desk would fund worker retraining and ensure that the Diablo Canyon’s 2.2 GW of baseload nuclear power will be replaced by electricity from a portfolio of greenhouse-gas-free resources. [Greentech Media]

¶ “New York State Bridge Authority nears 50% renewable energy” • The New York State Bridge Authority is in the process of building a solar farm at the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge that will provide 26% of the electricity it uses. The authority has also switched to LED lighting, and the combination accounts for 48% of its electricity. [Mid-Hudson News]

Have a fabulously cool day.

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August 24 Energy News

August 24, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Trump’s coal plan – neither clean nor affordable” • The Affordable Clean Energy proposal does not disappoint coal executives: It lays out what the EPA appears to view as sufficient to meet statutory obligations set out in the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, which said the EPA had to regulate carbon dioxide. [The Conversation US]

Coal burner

¶ “Redirecting Trump’s Coal and Nuclear Bailout to Fund Economic Redevelopment” • State policymakers face hard choices to define a pragmatic approach to nuclear facilities, depending on how they value pollution. But there are no good reasons to believe coal will become competitive on cost or pollution anytime soon. [Greentech Media]

¶ “The US is on the verge of an offshore wind revolution” • There is no question the US is a latecomer to offshore wind. It has precisely five turbines, churning out 30 MW since late 2016. In the rest of the world offshore wind is 20 years old and now represents more than 18,800 MW. But the US is poised catch up, and quickly. [Yale Climate Connections]

Block Island wind farm (Ionna22, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Snubbing clean energy boom could cost Coalition billions” • Australian MPs turning their backs on billions of dollars worth of clean energy projects in the vain hope a new prime minister can bring coal investments back means snubbing thousands of construction jobs in their electorates to pursue obsolete coal technology. [The Australian Financial Review]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Battery Life Longer Than Anyone Expected” • Real-world experience has shown that concerns about battery life are overstated. Tesloop, a southern California intercity shuttle, put 400,000 miles on one Tesla in about three years. The original battery was replaced at 194,000 miles. The second replacement was at 324,000 miles. [CleanTechnica]

Tesloop’s Tesla

World:

¶ “Morrison vows action on power prices as conservative MPs maintain the rage” • Australia’s new Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, put lowering electricity prices at the top of the agenda of his new government, as conservative Liberal MPs vowed to continue to put the brakes on climate action and prop up coal-fired power. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Kalashnikov’s CV-1 electric car touted as Russia’s answer to Tesla” • Russian manufacturing firm Kalashnikov has wheeled out a retro-looking electric car it says will give Elon Musk’s Tesla a run for its money. The CV-1 was presented at an event near Moscow. Kalashnikov said the care was inspired by a Soviet hatchback created in the 1970s. [BBC]

Car to give Tesla a run for its money (AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “India Plans 25-GW Solar Power Park In Jammu and Kashmir” • The government of India has once again floated the idea of setting up a large solar power project in the Ladakh region of its northernmost state of Jammu & Kashmir to take advantage of its high solar radiation. The government will issue a single tender to set up a 25-GW solar park. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Hurricane Lane, Hawaii’s Biggest Threat In Decades, Gives Glimpse Of A Warmer World” • Hawaii faces its biggest weather threat in 26 years as Hurricane Lane, its third major storm since 1959, lashes the state with rain and fierce winds. Climate change may not be the direct cause a hurricane, but it certainly adds to its intensity. [Huffpost]

Stuck car (Mario Tama via Getty Images)

¶ “Coal miner: Trump’s ‘false promises’ will ‘only line the pockets’ of executives” • In a New York Times op-ed video, Nick Mullins, a ninth-generation Appalachian from Virginia, said that if Trump wants to help the Appalachian mining communities that support him, “lowering emission standards is not the way to do it.” [CNN]

¶ “Trump Maladministration Claims America No Longer Needs To Conserve Oil” • The US has so much oil, it doesn’t need to conserve it any more, according to a memo quietly released by the DOE in support of the EPA’s decision to cancel scheduled increases in fuel economy standards for automobiles and light trucks. [CleanTechnica]

Oil platform

¶ “Vivint Solar Introduces Solar Leasing In Florida” • A leading US residential solar provider, Vivint Solar, announced that it will begin making available solar leases to its customers in Florida. The Florida Public Service Commission issued a declaratory statement affirming that Vivint Solar’s solar leasing plans do not make it a utility. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US wind sector riding high” • The US installed 7 GW of wind in 2017 as the average price of long-term power deals for the sector dropped to 2¢/kWh. DOE figures released this week showed 89 GW of wind farms produced 6.3% of the nationwide energy mix in 2017 with 14 states hitting 10% and four of them getting over 30%. [reNews]

Wind farm (EDP image)

¶ “Boston Takes a Big Step Toward Community Choice Aggregation” • Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that the city will issue a request for qualifications to assist with the creation of a municipal electricity aggregation program. The city is committed to making renewable energy more accessible to its residents. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Tri-State could save $600 million by boosting renewable energy use, report says” • Tri-State Generation & Transmission is an electric power co-op based in Colorado. Its members have pushed for more use of renewable energy sources, and a report says it could save more than $600 million through 2030 by doing just that. [The Denver Post]

Have a perfectly peachy day.

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August 23 Energy News

August 23, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Are forgotten crops the future of food?” • Just four crops, wheat, maize, rice and soybean, provide two-thirds of the world’s food supply. Scientists in Malaysia are trying to change that by reviving crops that have been relegated to the sidelines. Crops For the Future researches crops  that are virtually unknown outside their home regions. [BBC]

Wheat, one of our four major crops (Credit: Alamy)

¶ “Why China, and not the US, is the leader in solar power” • The solar panel was invented in the US. So why is the US not its biggest proponent? Policy. China has deliberate, conscious, industrial development policies modelled on South Korea’s. In the US, policy supports whoever had the most financial clout to buy it. [Aljazeera.com]

World:

¶ “Australia is devastated by drought, yet it won’t budge on climate change” • Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull committed A$1.8 billion ($1.3 billion) in relief funds for farmers because of drought. The very next day, he announced he was dropping a national policy to cut carbon emissions from the energy sector. [CNN]

Coal terminal in Queensland

¶ “AIIM invests in 9 renewable energy projects” • African Infrastructure Investment Managers acquired majority stakes in nine renewable energy projects that will contribute 800 MW to the South African grid. The projects will fall under a government program seeking to add 2,300 MW of clean energy over the next five years. [Africa Oil & Power]

¶ “Norway’s plan for a fleet of electric planes” • Much of the Norway’s terrain is mountainous and there are many inhabited islands, which means there are a lot of short-haul flights. Avinor runs 46 airports. Norway has promised all of its short-haul flights will be on electric aircraft by 2040. It could revolutionise the airline industry. [BBC]

Pipistrel (Credit: Alamy)

¶ “India coal project cancellations snowballing” • Back in 2010, India’s coal pipeline stood at well over 600 GW, a number to have every coal supporter in Australia drooling. Sadly for them, times have changed. Since 2010, India’s coal-fired power station pipeline saw shelved and cancelled projects totalling a staggering 573 GW. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Leading UK Pension Funds At Risk Of Climate Change” • Global nonprofit ClientEarth has put the United Kingdom’s largest pension funds on notice over its failure to appropriately adapt to increasing climate risk. ClientEarth’s climate finance lawyers sent letters to 14 of the UK’s largest pension schemes about climate risks. [CleanTechnica]

Gathering storm clouds

¶ “Pacifico sun rises in Japan” • Pacifico Energy has started building two solar projects totalling 184 MW in Okayama and Hyogo prefectures in Japan. The 112-MW Bizen project in Wake and the 72-MW Yumesaki plant, in Himeji-city will both be built on the sites of golf courses, and both are expected to come online in 2020. [reNews]

¶ “Middle East & Africa To Install More Than 83 GW Of Solar By 2023” • New regional research by GTM Research focusing on the Middle East and Africa has forecast solar installations to increase by 170% this year and continue accelerating. The region could install more than 83 GW of new solar capacity between 2018 and 2023. [CleanTechnica]

Egypt’s Red Sea solar plant

¶ “Costs soaring to safeguard nuclear plants from terrorists” • Mandatory safety steps, including those to respond to possible terrorist attacks, will cost plant operators a total of at least ¥4.41 trillion ($40 billion), this year’s estimate says. This undermines a government claim that nuclear energy will be the cheapest power source in 2030. [Asahi Shimbun]

¶ “Hydro-Quebec signs initial PPA for 200-MW wind project” • Hydro-Quebec announced it has a preliminary power purchase agreement to buy the output of the 200-MW Apuiat wind power project in Quebec. The project is the first phase of a 400-MW scheme being developed by Canadian renewables developer Boralex Inc. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in Canada (Boralex image)

US:

¶ “Toolkit to aid municipalities in developing solar projects” • NYSERDA, New York State’s energy authority, announced the Municipal Solar Procurement Toolkit. The Toolkit provides guidance and resources for communities seeking to develop solar projects on underutilized properties such as brownfields and landfills. [Dansville-Genesee Country Express]

¶ “Nuclear plant measure passes. Are PG&E bills now going to go up?” • A bill to ease the impacts from the pending closure of California’s last nuclear power plant received final approval by the state Legislature with an overwhelming Assembly vote. The decision likely will increase monthly utility bills for PG&E customers. [Daily Democrat]

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant (Associated Press Archives)

¶ “PNM seeks to join Western states in ‘energy imbalance market’” • Public Service Company of New Mexico, the state’s largest electric utility, plans to join 12 other Western state utilities in what is known as an “energy imbalance market.” The market would allow members to buy and sell power more efficiently. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

¶ “Arcadia Power Closes $25 Million Investment Round and Commits To 120 MW Of Community Solar” • Arcadia Power announced that it closed a $25 million funding round and a 120 MW of community solar projects. Connecting customers with renewable sources, the company says it has had 500% member growth in the last 12 months. [CleanTechnica]

Have a magically perfect day.

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August 22 Energy News

August 22, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Victims of Climate Change Are Already Here” • Climate change is not a future problem. Climate change is a current problem. Despite this, the US has pulled back from a number of already-insufficient commitments to reversing emissions. NGOs and states have stepped forward but they still have a long way to go. [The Atlantic]

Workers and crops (Gosia Wozniacka | AP)

¶ “If Trump and GOP don’t understand climate change, they don’t deserve public office” • Trump’s proposed new EPA rules are not just vindictive, they are dangerous. The administration wants to allow coal-burning power plants to emit more deadly carbon and to give states greater leeway to allow big-money companies to pollute. [CNN]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Arctic’s strongest sea ice breaks up for first time on record” • The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer. This phenomenon, which has never been recorded before, has occurred twice this year due to warm winds during heat waves. [The Guardian]

Thinning ocean ice (Photo: Nick Cobbing | Greenpeace)

World:

¶ “TenTree Clothing Company Plants 10 Trees For Every Item It Sells” • The idea that a company could change the world just by selling clothing is a bit mind-bending. The fact that it is working to plant more than 1 billion trees by 2030 is impressive and humbling. To date, TenTree Clothing Company has planted over 21 million trees. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “CWP unveils plan for 800 MW of solar-plus-storage in New South Wales” • Australian developer CWP Renewables has unveiled plans for the Parkesbourne project, deploying a total of 800 MW of capacity in New South Wales. The project would have 600 MW of solar PV capacity and 200 MW of battery storage. [Renewables Now]

Solar panels (NSW Department of Planning and Environment)

¶ “Mercury Energy uses Tesla to power homes, businesses” • Mercury Energy launched New Zealand’s first grid-scale battery storage facility in Auckland. Using Tesla’s Powerpack battery, the direct grid-connected storage system is part of a project that will test direct integration of battery storage with New Zealand’s electricity grid. [New Zealand Herald]

¶ “Sydney Airport turns to wind energy for 75% of supply” • Sydney Airport has decided to turn to wind energy to reduce its electricity costs and lower emissions. It has signed a contract with Origin Energy that will result in three-quarters of its electricity supply coming from the Crudine Ridge wind farm in central west New South Wales. [RenewEconomy]

Sydney Airport Control Tower (Elisfkc, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Japanese firms in talks over alliance on nuclear power: sources” • Two major utilities and a pair of power plant manufacturers are considering a four-way alliance on nuclear power operations, according to sources. Companies in the nuclear energy industry are grappling with rising costs related to decommissioning and safety. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “Trump Moves To Let States Regulate Coal Plant Emissions” • The Trump administration has moved to formally replace the Clean Power Plan, an environmental regulation that former President Barack Obama once lauded as the most important step America has ever taken to fight climate change, with a plan of its own. [MTPR]

Coal-fired power plant in Wyoming (J David Ake | AP)

¶ “While Trump Touts Coal Revival, EPA Analysis Shows Mining Decline” • “It is really happening – we are back,” Trump told the cheering crowd, many of whom were sporting hard hats and carrying “Trump Digs Coal” signs. “The coal industry is back.” But the EPA projects that the amount of coal produced in the US will decrease. [West Virginia Public Broadcasting]

¶ “New Trump rule to aid coal-power plants unlikely to slow Northwest push for cleaner electricity” • The plan released by the EPA to scale back federal restrictions on coal-plant emissions is unlikely to have any significant impact in the Pacific Northwest and California, where a transition away from coal is well underway. [Seattle Times]

Colstrip coal-fired plant (Mike Siegel | The Seattle Times)

¶ “Trump’s Plan To Prop Up Coal Could Lead To More Deaths, Cost Billions” • EPA models estimate that under the Trump plan, 300 to 1,500 more people would die prematurely each year by 2030. And when health costs from air pollution are factored in, the new plan would cost the country $1.4 billion to $3.9 billion annually. [OPB News]

¶ “Trump EPA plan would prolong power plants, but Wisconsin utilities are moving away from coal” • Aging coal-fired power plants could get a new lease on life under an industry-friendly proposal by the Trump administration that would replace the Clean Power Plan. But Wisconsin’s two largest utilities still plan to burn less coal. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

Coal-fired plant in New Hampshire (Photo: Jim Cole | AP)

¶ “In Massachusetts, solar developers linger amid financial uncertainty” • In Massachusetts, solar developers and their potential customers are waiting to learn whether the final details of the new Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program will help advance the role of renewables in the state or put a damper on growth. [Energy News Network]

¶ “CleanChoice Energy launches community solar in Maryland” • CleanChoice Energy, a renewable energy company that provides wind and solar energy products to customers across the country, launched the CleanChoice Energy Community Solar project in Maryland with 21.4 MW of proposed community solar capacity available. [Your Renewable News]

Have a memorably beautiful day.

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August 21 Energy News

August 21, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Sea-Level Rise Is A Major Urban Economic Risk” • When we think of sea-level rise due to global warming, we tend to think of beaches eroding or perhaps tiny Pacific nations like the Maldives slowly disappearing. The reality, however, is that it will not be countries or country sides bearing the economic brunt of sea-level rise. It will be cities. [CleanTechnica]

Miami skyline (Daniel Christensen, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Why not wreck the planet? It could save your political skin” • There is a certain mindset in politics that distrusts expertise. That mindset is presently revealing itself in Australia, where this week a small group of conservative-minded members of parliament held the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, hostage over climate policy. [CNN]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Duke University Students Set World Record For Hydrogen Fuel Cell Fuel Economy – 14,573 Miles Per Gallon” • Guiness World Records confirmed that Duke University students set a new world fuel economy record for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. In an experimental vehicle, the students got a stunning 14,573 miles per gallon. [CleanTechnica]

Students and their experimental vehicle

¶ “Study: Climate change possible cause of bird species decline” • Climate change could be to blame for the collapse of bird populations in the desert along the Nevada-California border, Berkeley scientists said. The number of bird species has fallen by an average of 43% over the past century at survey sites over a wide area. [Yahoo News]

World:

¶ “Drax makes fourth bio switch” • Drax Power switched on its fourth biomass generating unit. The conversion of the Yorkshire facility Britain from coal to biomass was completed in just over two months. Drax previously upgraded three of its coal units to use biomass. It said it was on course to be off coal before the government’s 2025 deadline. [reNews]

Drax power station (Drax image)

¶ “Scots tidal hits milestone” • Scotrenewables, an Orkney tidal outfit, has notched 3 GWh of generation from its 2-MW floating turbine in the past 12 months. The Kirkwall company said the SR2000 tidal device installed at the European Marine Energy Centre’s Fall of Warness site has at times supplied 25% of Orkney power demand. [reNews]

¶ “DOC on Borkum 2.2 cable role” • Deutsche Offshore Consult is to start supervising the inner array cable installation works at Trianel’s 200-MW Borkum West 2.2 offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. DOC’s task will begin with cable loading and the necessary preparatory work for the cable pull-ins at the substation. [reNews]

Monopile installation (Image: Trianel | TWB II)

¶ “New microgrid program for Latrobe Valley boosts renewable energy development” • The Victorian government will fund a $3-million grant program to help grow the new energy technology sector in the Latrobe Valley. Minister for energy Lily D’ambrosia announced the Latrobe Valley microgrid grant program on August 21. [PACE Today]

¶ “Most British people want to install their own solar panels, survey reveals” • The majority of the British public would like to install solar panels and home energy storage schemes if greater government assistance was available, a new survey has revealed. In total 62% said they would like to fit solar panels and 60% would install an energy storage device. [The Independent]

Small solar project (Image: Rex)

US:

¶ “Acting EPA head signs Trump admin proposal that would release more CO2 into the air, WSJ reports” • The EPA will allow states to set their own emission standards for coal-fueled power plants, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Critics say the decision will result in much more carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. [KSHB]

¶ “Near-Zero-Emissions Heavy Duty Trucks Now Hauling Freight At Southern California Ports” • The South Coast Air Quality Management District, which includes the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, has a goal of zero emissions by 2035. Since its beginning, the CAAP has reduced particulate emissions by 85%. [CleanTechnica]

Near zero emissions drayage truck.

¶ “Ocean City’s solar plant will power the resort and beyond” • Ocean City, Maryland, has partnered with Constellation Energy, an Exelon company, to build a 10-MW solar energy project that will include more than 30,000 PV panels on 113 acres of land. The project is part of a commitment by the city to achieve green goals. [Delmarva Daily Times]

¶ “DTE Energy partners with Wisconsin dairy farm to create renewable natural gas” • DTE Energy recently launched a project with a Wisconsin dairy farm to create renewable natural gas from dairy cow waste. The initiative, a joint effort with Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, will create fuel to power compressed natural gas vehicles. [Daily Energy Insider]

Cows (Image: ©Shutterstock)

¶ “World-Renowned Scientists: California Must Operate on 100 Percent Clean Electricity” • In a summer of record-setting heat and wildfires worsened by climate change, 37 scientists signed a letter published in the Sacramento Bee, calling on California state legislators to pass the “100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018.” [Union of Concerned Scientists]

¶ “Jacksonville Utility wants out of Plant Vogtle purchase agreement” • One of the utilities that had agreed to buy power from the new nuclear reactors at Vogtle says it wants out. In a letter to a plant owner, Jacksonville Electric Authority wrote that a decision to continue the new reactors “cannot be justified on any rational basis.” [WSAV-TV]

Have a surprisingly pleasant day.

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August 20 Energy News

August 20, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Turnbull just showed what happens when ‘ideology and idiocy take charge of energy policy'” • Some parts of the government do not believe in climate change. Their ideological ties to the coal-based power systems built 40 to 50 years ago has scuttled every attempt to develop credible climate change energy policy over the past 10 years. [The Guardian]

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a Snowy Hydro
power station in 2017 (Photo: Alex Ellinghausen | AA)

¶ “The Liberal party is self-destructing over energy. Here’s what you need to know” • The Turnbull government has flipped and flopped its position on the national energy guarantee with a remarkable tempo, even by the lowly standards of current Australian parliament. So how on earth did we get here? We’ve compiled this handy explainer. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is The Most Efficient Electric Car On Highways” • New aggregated data from A Better Route Planner show that Tesla Model 3 efficiency is the highest of any production car at highway speeds. This outstanding efficiency, which is combined with great supercharging speeds, makes the Model 3 the best road tripping EV in production. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

World:

¶ “What to look out for in SA’s new energy plan” • The South African Ministry of Energy is to release an updated electricity plan this month. Analysts hope it will launch the country’s power sector into a modern sustainable, clean power future, and that outdated and financially unfeasible facets of previous plans will be laid to rest. [The South African]

¶ “CEA working on optimised power system cost for 2030” • India’s Central Electricity Authority has undertaken a study to ascertain the cheapest power mix in 2030, its Chairman Pankaj Batra said. According to estimates by the Ministry of Power, the share of renewable energy in India’s electricity mix is set to increase to around 55% by 2030. [News Nation]

Transmission lines (News Nation File Photo)

¶ “Swiss startup ‘storing’ renewable energy in concrete towers” • Borrowing from pumped hydro energy storage principles, a Swiss startup is building energy storage systems using cranes and blocks of concrete instead of water and dams. The towers require much more space than lithium batteries unit of energy, but they last longer and use no chemicals. [OODA Loop]

¶ “ALPS system at Fukushima No 1 plant failing to remove more than tritium from toxic cooling water” • The tritium-tainted water piling up at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been found to contain more radioactive substances than just tritium, defying the defunct plant’s special treatment system, Kyodo News has learned. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant (KYODO)

Australia:

¶ “Turnbull dumps emissions from NEG in final act of capitulation” • The Turnbull Coalition government has effectively dumped the emissions component from the proposed National Energy Guarantee, in what could be prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s final act of capitulation to the far right forces within the government parties. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “NEG is dead without emissions target, says ACT” • The Australian Capital Territory slammed the Turnbull government’s “complete capitulation” on the NEG’s emissions reduction pillar, saying it has killed off any hope the much maligned policy will do anything to address climate change – and any chance it might win the approval of the states. [RenewEconomy]

Yallourn W Power Station (Marcus Wong, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces Climate Change Fund money to reduce energy costs” • Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that $35 million would be given to about 250 manufacturing businesses to install energy efficient equipment and meters to track energy use. And $24.5 million will go to low-income renters for home efficiency. [ABC News]

¶ “Game changer for solar in Victoria” • The government of Victoria announced a $1.24 billion funding package to install solar on 650,000 Victorian homes over the next decade, adding about 2,000 MW of solar power. Environment Victoria, a leading charity, called the deal a game-changer and a breath of fresh air in the energy debate. [EcoGeneration]

Rooftop solar (Image: Shutterstock cc: OFC Pictures)

US:

¶ “Murray Energy Bankrolls Opposition To Lake Erie Icebreaker Wind Farm – #CleanTechnica Investigation” • We learned that Murray Energy, the largest privately owned US coal company, has bankrolled opposition to the 20.7-MW Icebreaker Wind project on Lake Erie. It may not be illegal, but it has been described by some involved as deceptive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mine cleanup funds at risk as coal power suppliers lose customers” • The defection of local electric cooperatives from a Colorado power wholesaler could imperil cleanup funds for coal mines, a complaint to federal regulators says. The funds, which are guaranteed by Tri-State Generation and Transmission, have no outside backing. [Energy News Network]

Part of a strip mine (Mark Olalde, Energy News Network)

¶ “Apple Agrees to Develop New Wind and Solar Energy Farms” • Apple, Akamai, Etsy, and Swiss Re announced an agreement to develop two new wind and solar energy farms in Illinois and Virginia. Spearheaded by Apple, the new projects will generate 290 MW and feed it into the PJM electric grid serving much of the Eastern US. [Chasing Markets]

¶ “GPA to sign contracts for 120 MW of solar power” • Guam Power Authority said its customers will save millions of dollars a year in fuel charges, as it gets ready to sign 25-year contracts with two companies to provide 120 MW of solar energy. The power agency is required to produce at least 25% of its power using renewable energy by 2035. [Pacific Daily News]

Have a gloriously happy day.

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August 19 Energy News

August 19, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “It’s the end of the Earth as we know it. Read all about it!” • It is hard to get ordinary people engaged, so hats off to the crack team of Earth scientists, led by climate change professor Will Steffen, whose peer-reviewed report on how emissions are driving the Earth into an irreversible hothouse state has been downloaded more than 270,000 times to date. [The Guardian]

Melting Arctic ice (MB Photography | Getty Images)

¶ “Trump’s Power Plant Proposal May Increase US Carbon Pollution” • Donald Trump is poised to replace former President Barack Obama’s plan to cut power plant emissions with one that could actually increase them. The move is one of a series of actions that represent significant retreats from the fight against climate change. [Bloomberg]

¶ “How hydrogen could shake up Canada’s energy sector” • The use of hydrogen is still in its infancy, but it is growing in Canada. It is the most abundant element in the universe and could change the country’s transportation, electricity, and energy sectors. The interest in hydrogen vehicles is largely because they are regarded as emission-free. [CBC.ca]

Hydrogen powered Toyota

Science and Technology:

¶ “Abrupt Thaw of Permafrost Beneath Lakes Could Significantly Affect Climate Change Models” • Methane released by thawing permafrost from some Arctic lakes could significantly accelerate climate change, a 12-year study led by the University of Alaska Fairbanks showed. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications. [Astrobiology Magazine]

World:

¶ “Tilos, Greece | Renewable Resort: Greek Island To Run On Wind, Solar Power” • When the blades start turning on its 800-kW wind turbine, the small Greek island of Tilos will become the first in the Mediterranean to run exclusively on wind and solar power. Though the winter population is 400, as many as 3,000 people visit in the summer. [STL.News]

Tilos (Nikos Laskaridis, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “With Brexit looming, energy sector builds new links to Europe” • The UK’s energy system is set to become much more dependent on the EU, despite Brexit. Today there are four cables linking the UK with other countries, providing around 6% of the UK’s power. But with eleven new connections, 20% of the electric power could be imported. [The Guardian]

¶ “Solar boom ‘bringing hundreds of jobs’ to Queensland’s Darling Downs” • A renewable energy boom across Queensland’s Darling Downs is bringing the region’s economy back to life after a downturn caused by coal seam gas development slowing earlier than expected. One council alone approved one wind farm and eleven solar projects worth $6 billion. [ABC News]

Queensland solar farm

US:

¶ “Ryan Zinke concedes that climate change is a factor in raging wildfires” • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recently said things that landed him squarely in a debate over how forests are managed. In one interview, he blamed “environmental terrorist groups” for the California wildfires. He later admitted a connection between the fires and climate change. [The Seattle Times]

¶ “The US Military Now Has The Money It Needs to Prepare For Climate Change” • President Trump signed into law the John S McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. The $716 billion military spending bill funds the military’s operations. Included in it are funds to help the military prepare for climate change. [ScienceAlert]

Waiting out a dust storm (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Solar power farm a first for Northeast Tennessee” • Officials with BrightRidge, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Silicon Ranch Corp, an energy company based in Nashville, broke ground on what they say is the first solar power plant in Northeast Tennessee. The 5-MW plant is set to be operational by the end of this year. [Johnson City Press]

¶ “News study warns fracking is destroying US water supply” • A study from Duke University puts into perspective the affects fracking has on the US water supply. The researchers, who published the peer-reviewed findings in Science Advances, used years of data to draw the conclusion that fracking is destroying the country’s water. [NationofChange]

Pump jack (Image Credit: Clean Water Action)

¶ “Trump to unveil plan for coal-fired power plants” • President Trump plans to unveil a proposal this week that would empower states to establish emission standards for coal-fired power plants rather than speeding their retirement. The proposal is part of a major overhaul of former President Obama’s signature climate policy. [Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette]

¶ “Board meeting for state-owned utility Santee Cooper cancelled, bonds downgraded” • South Carolina’s state-owned utility opted to postpone this month’s meeting without rescheduling, just as Moody’s downgraded its bonds. The state leaders continue to grapple with the fallout from a multibillion-dollar nuclear construction debacle. [ABC News 4]

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August 18 Energy News

August 18, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “When Fossil Fuel Money Talks, the DNC Listens” • Lately, the Democratic Party leadership faced a difficult decision relating to global climate change and money-in-politics. Unfortunately, it decided to pass a resolution expressing gratitude for donations from workers in the energy industry and their “employers’ political action committees.” [Sierra Magazine]

Donkey money

World:

¶ “Saudi Arabia & Iran Rekindle Oil Pricing War” • The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran is increasingly evident in the oil pricing policies of the two large producers. Both countries are reigniting the market share and pricing war ahead of the returning US sanctions on Iranian oil. Iran is cutting prices, and Saudi Arabia is boosting production. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Files Complaint With WTO Over US Solar Tariffs” • China has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization regarding the US import tariffs on solar PV products, which it believes violate WTO regulations. Since a 30% tariff on imported solar cells and modules was announced in January, the global solar industry has been in flux [CleanTechnica]

Solar manufacturing

¶ “Tesla Sues Ontario” • The new Ontario government has kneecapped a popular electric vehicle incentive program, and Tesla is now taking it to court. The complaint is not that policy changed. It is that the government worked out a special deal for people who had bought or ordered their cars before the policy change but excluded Tesla buyers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Berlin ‘could hit’ 2020 targets” • Berlin could meet 2020 climate targets by shutting down one third of Germany’s coal-fired power plants and offering an extra 9 GW of capacity for wind and solar projects, according to Greenpeace research. A study lists 14 older power stations with a combined capacity of 6.1 GW that would need to be shut down. [reNews]

Pollution (SXC image)

¶ “Indonesian court rejects bid to stop coal power plant expansion” • An Indonesian court rejected a legal challenge from local residents trying to halt expansion of a coal power plant on the holiday island of Bali, according to Greenpeace. Residents near the Celukan Bawang power plant had tried to stop the planned expansion due to pollution fears. [Reuters]

¶ “Key takeaways from the latest UK energy statistics release – including record renewable electricity use” • Coal is declining, more energy is being imported and renewable electricity has hit record figures. These are just some of the key takeaways of the latest data from the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. [Compelo]

Power transmission lines

¶ “European Commission approves Danish renewables support measures” • The European Commission approved three Danish schemes to support wind and solar power production under EU State Aid rules. Denmark aims to supply 50% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2030 and become free of fossil fuels by 2050. [S&P Global Platts]

¶ “CWP gets nod to create 470-MW renewables hub in New South Wales” • CWP Renewables announced that it has secured planning approval to add around 200 MW of solar and storage power capacity to its 270-MW Sapphire wind project in New South Wales. The Sapphire Renewable Energy Hub will be the largest one of its kind globally. [Renewables Now]

Wind and solar together (Photo: Gerry Machen)

¶ “Milestone: World’s First AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Reaches Full Power” • The world’s first AP1000 nuclear reactor – Sanmen 1 in China’s Zhejiang province – commenced 100% power operation for the first time, China National Nuclear Corp said. China now has a total of 38 nuclear plants with a total installed capacity of 36.9 GW. [EnerCom Inc]

US:

¶ “Wind energy potential dwarfs today’s electricity use, report says” • Winds blowing off the Atlantic coast could provide four times more electricity each year than the region currently uses, according to a report from Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center. Just two wind leases off the New Jersey coast could power 1.5 million homes. [Press of Atlantic City]

Block Island wind farm (provided)

¶ “Billion-Dollar Hydropower Plant Gets An “Invisible” Makeover” • Where can you drop a massive new 300-MW hydropower plant without anybody noticing? Finding new sites for hydropower has difficult technical, environmental, and political challenges. But we might take a look at Duke Energy’s latest hydropower project in South Carolina. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Michigan coal plant closures helping push small utility to clean energy” • Plans by Michigan’s two major utilities to close coal plants within the next 15 years are having a ripple effect on smaller companies that purchase power from them. Traverse City Light and Power is a case in point, as it has taken on the job of finding renewable resources. [Energy News Network]

Belle River Power Plant (Photo: Tom, Creative Commons)

¶ “Redundancy Failed at Reagan International Airport, Causing 90-minute Outage” • A 90-minute power outage at Reagan International Airport happened after redundancy built into the power system failed, a Dominion Energy spokesman said. Two utility feeds both failed. Dominion is investigating exactly what went wrong. [Microgrid Knowledge]

¶ “State Has 75,000 Clean Energy Jobs” • A report on clean energy say 2.5 percent of Wisconsin’s workforce has jobs that involve renewable energy or efficiency. The bulk of those jobs are in construction or manufacturing and are concentrated in Dane, Milwaukee, and Waukesha counties, but they are found in all of the state’s 72 counties. [urbanmilwaukee]

Have an engagingly delightful day.

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August 17 Energy News

August 17, 2018

World:

¶ “EU backs Norway and Germany power link” • A power grid link between Norway and Germany is being backed by the European Investment Bank. It signed a €100-million financing agreement with TenneT, one of Europe’s major electricity transmission system operators. The the 624-km, 1.4-GW interconnector will go under the North Sea. [Energy Reporters]

Sysen Dam in Norway

¶ “Wind power generation greatly increases in Azerbaijan” • Wind farms in Azerbaijan produced 14.1 million kWh of electricity in January to July 2018, which is 63.9% more than they did in the same period of last year. Also, solar power plants generated 23.4 million kWh hours of electricity, according to the State Statistics Committee, Trend reported. [AzerNews]

¶ “Solar irrigation leads move to low-carbon energy sourcing” • A World Bank report estimated in 2015 that there were 1.34 million diesel-fired irrigation pumps in Bangladesh. The government plans to replace at least 10,000 diesel-fired pumps with solar-powered ones by 2020 to reduce the use of fossil fuel to check against carbon emissions. [newagebd.net]

Solar power for irrigation (Sony Ramany)

¶ “Canada’s WindRiver gets green light for 75-MW pumped storage project” • The Alberta Utilities Commission has given the thumbs-up to a 75-MW pumped storage project by a WindRiver Power Corp subsidiary, it was announced. The Canyon Creek project will use existing infrastructure from a decommissioned open-pit coal mine. [Renewables Now]

¶ “UNSW wind power test lab will be an Australian first” • World-leading UNSW Sydney researcher Professor Joe Dong has secured more than $2 million in funding from Chinese wind power giant Goldwind for research projects including an Australian-first lab to test wind technology. Goldwind is the largest wind technology company in China. [UNSW Newsroom]

Wind turbines (iStock image)

¶ “‘No need for new coal:’ Sun Metals formally opens solar farm in ‘George’ town” • A 125-MW solar farm in north Queensland is the first large-scale solar farm to be built directly by a major energy user in Australia. It signalled the start of the shift of Australian heavy industry away from “baseload” coal power and to renewable energy. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “‘Tens of thousands’ of workers exposed to radiation risks in Fukushima cleanup, UN rights experts say” • Three UN human rights experts criticized the Japanese government for allegedly exploiting and putting at risk the lives of “tens of thousands” of people engaged in cleanup operations at and around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. [The Japan Times]

Decommissioning work (Kyodo image)

¶ “US firm pulls out of building Hitachi nuclear plant in Britain” • Bechtel Corp is to withdraw from its key role in building a UK nuclear power plant due to concerns over the profitability of the project, sources said. Costs estimated by Bechtel are higher than those of Hitachi, which is leading the project’, so they cannot agree on the price tag. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ “New 9.8-MW Solar Farm In Gallup, New Mexico, Will Save City $785,000 In First 8 Years” • By taking advantage of otherwise unusable land in a floodplain, and with financing provided by the solar company itself, Gallup, New Mexico, will benefit from a new 9.8-MW solar farm, saving an estimated $785,000 in energy costs in the first 8 years. [CleanTechnica]

Gallup’s solar array (Standard Solar image)

¶ “New Jersey Plans Path Toward 100% Clean Energy By 2050” • The New Jersey Energy Master Plan Committee will host a series of public meetings in September, launching a process to shape converting the state’s energy production profile to 100% clean energy sources by 2050, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities announced. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Arizona renewable energy referendum meets signature requirement” • Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona’s initiative to impose a 50% by 2030 renewable energy mandate passed another one of the hurdles standing between it and its place on the ballot in November. A review of petition signatures showed the number was sufficient to move on. [pv magazine USA]

Window Rock (Ben FrantzDale, Wikipedia Commons)

¶ “Engie flush for Texas wind” • Engie North America has secured a $320 million (€281 million) financing package and a power price hedge for the 200-MW Live Oak wind project in Texas. The utility raised the construction and tax equity funding through Bank of America Merrill Lynch, with BofAML Global Commodities providing the power hedge. [reNews]

¶ “Plan To Build 75 Wind Turbines Along Colorado-Wyoming Border Takes Shape” • A regional energy project entering final planning stages is set to become one of northern Colorado’s largest sources of wind power. When finished the Roundhouse Renewable Energy Project will deliver roughly 150 MW of energy to Colorado communities. [KUNC]

Turbines in a wind farm (Courtesy of NCAR/UCAR)

¶ “Offshore Wind Energy Market in the United States to hit $5 billion by 2024” • The US offshore wind power market is set to have annual installations of more than 1 GW by 2024, propelled by discovery of new potential sites and significant investment to scale up the supply chain. Investment valued at $60 billion by 2024 is predicted by a report. [REVE]

¶ “Tribal Communities Across The US Get Federal Funding For Wind, Solar” • The DOE announced nearly $9 million in funding for 15 tribal energy projects, including wind and solar facilities. The funding is designed to help Native American and Alaska Native communities harness their vast undeveloped energy resources. [North American Windpower]

Have a delightfully worthwhile day.

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August 16 Energy News

August 16, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The message of a scorching 2018: We’re not prepared for global warming” • This summer of fire and swelter looks a lot like the future that scientists are warning about for the era of climate change, and it is revealing in real time how unprepared much of the world remains for life on a hotter planet. The disruptions to everyday life have been devastating. [SBS]

Rhine River at Düsseldorf

¶ “Climate Change ‘Skepticism’: 6 Overlapping Drivers” • A burning question for most of the world is why do climate change deniers deny the so-strongly supported science. Here are six important reasons why people deny science. With them, however, is a glimmer of hope for those of us who understand the problem more objectively. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Boeing, Airbus, GE, & Aerospace Leaders Confirm Electric Flight Will Take Many Shapes & Forms” • Electric aviation is knocking at the door of every aerospace industry. But electric aircraft come in more shapes and forms than land-bound EVs. Electric air mobility is already getting off the ground, and much more is coming. [CleanTechnica]

eVTOL Volante

World:

¶ “Tesla wins contract for another massive battery system with Powerpacks” • It is estimated that Tesla’s 100-MW/129-MWh Powerpack project in South Australia reduced the grid service cost by 90%. Infigen Energy, wanting to duplicate that success, ordered a 25-MW/52-MWh energy storage system for the 278.5-MW Lake Bonney Wind Farm in the same state. [Electrek]

¶ “Juwi bags EPC deals for 250 MW of S African solar projects” • Juwi Renewable Energies, part of renewables developer Juwi Group, sealed ZAR 3 billion ($206 million, €181 million) worth of contracts to build, operate, and maintain 250 MW of solar parks in South Africa. The contracts are for three projects ranging from 78 MW to 86 MW. [Renewables Now]

Solar farm (Photo: Michele Lamberti, CC-BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

¶ “E.ON offers EV drivers ‘850 free miles’ with new energy tariff” • E.ON has become the latest energy supplier to launch a 100% renewable electricity tariff tailor-made for electric vehicle owners. The company is offering customers who sign up a cash incentive of £30 annually, which it says is the equivalent of 850 free driving miles per year. [businessgreen.com]

¶ “OPT adds spice to Chile wave” • US wave developer Ocean Power Technologies signed an agreement with Enel Green Power to develop a potential installation off the coast of Chile. OPT will evaluate a PB3 PowerBuoy deployment through a detailed feasibility study as an autonomous offshore platform hosting oceanographic sensor systems. [reNews]

PB3 PowerBuoy (OPT image)

¶ “US sanctions force British Quercus out of Iran’s energy sector” • The US sanctions on Tehran led British renewable energy investor Quercus to cancel a €500 million ($570 million) solar power plant in Iran, Iranian news reported. The US imposed santions after pulling out of a nuclear agreement achieved after two years of negotiations. [AzerNews]

US:

¶ “EPA Staff Claim Fuel Economy Rollback Based On Junk Science” • The EPA and the Transportation Department have taken the position that vehicle fuel economy standards put in place under President Obama should be relaxed. But the EPA’s own experts say that the new policy initiative is based on flawed assumptions. [CleanTechnica]

Traffic congestion

¶ “California’s Zero-Carbon Bill Aims To Set Climate Example” • California lawmakers want to prove that the state can wean its electric power sector off of fossil fuels, using a bill expected to receive a final vote before the end of August. If enacted, Senate Bill 100 would make California the second state to adopt a 100% renewables mandate. [Bloomberg BNA]

¶ “Wells Fargo backs 52-MW solar project in Florida” • US bank Wells Fargo & Co said it committed the capital in construction debt, as well as the tax-equity funding of $35 million (€31 million) for a 52-MW solar project in Florida. Solar company Origis Energy USA is the developer and will provide the balance of the project’s capital. [Renewables Now]

Georgetown University solar project (Origis Energy image)

¶ “Dominion buying 240 MW in Virginia solar power projects” • Dominion Energy is buying two planned Virginia solar farms totaling 240 MW. Work on both the 142-MW Colonial Trail West and 98-MW Spring Grove farms is scheduled to begin next year, with the former to be operational by December 2019 and the later by October 2020. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ “A coal company and Interior teamed up to save a power plant” • In September 2017, Peabody Energy Corp sent the Interior Department a game plan for keeping the coal-burning, 2,100-MW Navajo Generating Station in Arizona operating. A Peabody mine supplies coal to the plant. The plant is a symbol of Trump’s support for the coal industry. [E&E News]

Navajo Generating Station (Wolfgang Moroder | Wikipedia)

¶ “Solar Energy Becoming Increasingly Popular In Florida As Homeowners Save Money On Power Bills” • The US installed more solar energy than any other source of electricity in the first quarter of this year. And it’s becoming increasingly popular in Florida, where there’s no shortage of rays. For some people, going solar is a no-brainer. [CBS Miami]

¶ “Attorneys for SCE&G customers ask for all money collected since nuclear cancellation” • Attorneys suing South Carolina Electric & Gas say the utility should have to refund $452 million, everything it collected for its failed nuclear project in the past year. They say the law does not allow charges for plants that have been abandoned. [Charleston Post Courier]

Have an excitingly comfy day.

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August 15 Energy News

August 15, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Claimed power price cuts from energy guarantee are ‘virtually meaningless'” • The Turnbull government is trumpeting power price reductions to result from its national energy guarantee, but analysis from the Australia Institute’s chief economist says that subsidies for coal-fired power stations will render those forecasts “virtually meaningless.” [The Guardian]

Liddell Power Station (Dan Himbrechts | AAP)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Rising Temperatures Could Cause Common Songbird Population To Collapse” • University of Missouri researchers said numbers of a common songbird, the Acadian flycatcher, could decline greatly within this century if the climate continues to warm. In fact, it is possible it could be driven into near extinction in just 90 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Farms Can Become Pollinator Habitats & Help Save the Bees!” • At the US DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, researchers are investigating ways to reinvigorate pollinator habitats at solar farms. They hope their work can help rehabilitate pollinator populations that play a crucial role in national and global agricultural industries. [CleanTechnica]

Bees at work

World:

¶ “Caribbean Nations Partner With Global Superstars & Corporate Giants For $1 Billion Climate Accelerator” • A coalition of 26 Caribbean nations, over 40 private sector giants, 8-time Olympic gold medal winner Usain Bolt, and global music superstar Sean Paul intend to make the Caribbean region the world’s first climate-smart zone. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Argentine water utility AySA seeks to procure renewable energy” • Argentine public water utility Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos SA is looking to procure renewable energy in line with a law that requires large users to cover a portion of their power consumption with renewables. AySA is seeking bids for 10 MW of power over 10 years. [Renewables Now]

Renewable energy (Gerry Machen, CC No Derivs 2.0)

¶ “Modus Group to embark on 35-MW solar project in Ukraine” • Lithuania’s Modus Group said it will invest €30 million ($34.2 million) building a 35-MW solar power plant in Ukraine. The group has a strategy to expand its renewables business in Europe and this is its first investment in Ukraine. The project will be built by two Modus business units. [Renewables Now]

¶ “New ‘Power Grid Action Plan’ to accelerate network development” • Technical fixes, better communication, and smoother planning procedures can accelerate Germany’s grid expansion, the energy minister said. He has a new plan for a modernised power grid, which he said is essential for the move to renewable energy. [Clean Energy Wire]

Power lines (Pixabay image)

¶ “Sanjeev Gupta unveils $1 billion SA energy plan” • Billionaire industrialist Sanjeev Gupta launched a $1 billion, 1-GW renewable energy plan based in South Australia’s mid-north. He says it will lead Australian industry’s transition to more competitive power. The project will feature 280 MW of solar power and a battery larger than Elon Musk’s. [InDaily]

¶ “Two in five London businesses consider renewable energy a ‘fad’” • Research from Haven Power, one of the UK’s largest business electricity suppliers, reveals that 40% of London business decision makers think renewable energy is a passing fad. They say cost as the biggest barrier preventing businesses from changing to sustainable practices. [London Loves Business]

Renewable energy

¶ “Germany’s RWE output, earnings hit by coal, lignite, nuclear plant closures, lower margins in H1” • Coal, lignite, and nuclear plant closures as well as falling generation margins hit RWE’s first half 2018 financial performance. Output from conventional plants in Germany declined 18% on year, mainly due to closing one coal plant and one nuclear reactor. [S&P Global Platts]

¶ “Hydro, wind and solar output rises as gas generation slumps” • The latest quarterly report from the Australian Energy Market Operator shows that Australia experienced a significant jump in output from hydro power, and wind and solar farms in the second quarter of 2018, mostly at the expense of gas generation and some black coal output. [RenewEconomy]

Acciona wind farm

US:

¶ “Sunrun Installs 91 MW In Mixed Second Quarter” • In its second-quarter earnings report, US residential solar company Sunrun confirmed itself as the country’s leading solar installer for the quarter by installing a total of 91 MW of new capacity. It was Sunrun’s best ever quarter, despite earnings that were well below expectations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maryland launches a community solar power pilot program” • A new community solar power pilot program has been launched in Maryland. About 200 MW in community solar projects have been authorized so far by the General Assembly, over three years. This amount of power is about equal to providing electricity to about 40,000 homes. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

Community solar project

¶ “Traverse City Light & Power Board Votes To Use 100 Percent Renewable Energy By 2040” • Traverse City, Michigan, is now one step closer to running on 100% renewable energy. In a five to one vote, The Traverse City Light & Power board voted to accept a three-step plan with an end goal of getting 100% of their energy from renewable sources by 2040. [9&10 News]

¶ “Kit Carson’s new solar farm a step on the path toward 100% renewables” • Another 4,000 solar panels have been erected in the service territory of Taos-based Kit Carson Electric Cooperative. Kit Carson now has 10 MW of solar capacity, enough to supply 25% of the daytime load of the coop members. And it says more is coming. [Mountain Town News]

Have a fabulously worthwhile day.

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August 14 Energy News

August 14, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Minesto to fly Wales kite” • Minesto, a Swedish company, is poised to start subsea testing of its 500-kW tidal kite off the coast of Wales after completing initial commissioning sea trials. The company said the DG500 will undergo “flying” full subsea trajectories off Holyhead as part of the next phase of tests, which cover power take-off and generation. [reNews]

DG500 tidal kite (Minesto image)

¶ “New ‘flow battery’ could charge electric vehicles in seconds, say researchers” • A new type of energy storage system could revolutionise energy storage and drop the charging time of electric cars from hours to seconds, claim its creators. Electric cars based on the flow battery could be charged in seconds, as the electrolyte is a pumpable liquid. [Envirotec]

¶ “Renewable Energy Could “Effectively Be Free” by 2030, Says UBS Analyst” • A research analyst at Swiss investment bank UBS believes the cost of energy renewables could be so near to zero by 2030 “it will effectively be free.” Renewables could soon be less expensive than all other energy sources, and that this “is great news for the planet.” [Inverse]

Wind turbines

World:

¶ “National Energy Guarantee endorsed by Coalition party room despite backbench concern” • Australia’s Coalition party room approved the plan for the NEG after debate, in which former prime minister Tony Abbott expressed strong concerns. The NEG aims to cut emissions in the electricity sector by 26%, decrease energy bills, and ensure reliability. [ABC News]

¶ “731.5 Megawatt Borssele III & IV Offshore Wind Farms Reach Financial Close” • The Blauwwind Consortium announced that it had reached financial close on the Borssele III/IV wind farms set to be constructed in the Dutch North Sea with a total installed capacity of 731.5 MW. Commercial power production is expected to begin in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Gwynt y Mor wind farm

¶ “62% Of Capacity Added In Q2 2018 In India Came From Solar” • According to latest data released by various agencies of the Indian government, India added more solar power capacity in Q2 2018 than in any second quarter. A total of 1,372 MW of solar power capacity was added during the quarter. That was 62% of capacity change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Female Solar Engineers Bring Hope To Farmers In Togo” • In Agome-Sevah, a village in the southeast of Togo, farmers are now smiling and hope to rise out of poverty due to solar electricity installed in the entire village by four illiterate women. One maize farmer said his wife would no longer have to walk miles to have corn ground. [CleanTechnica]

Installing a solar system (Photo: Lar Bolands)

¶ “India Cancels 2.4 GW of Solar Capacity Awarded In Largest Tender” • In a shocking decision by the Solar Energy Corporation of India, five major solar developers lost 2.4 GW of capacity they had secured last month in the. The reason given for the action was that the spread of price bids was too wide, and that the tariff bids quoted were high. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ratch’s 42.5-MW solar project in Queensland delivers first power” • The 42.5-MW Collinsville solar project in Queensland has started to generate electricity, according to developer Ratch Australia Corp. The project is undergoing a staged testing and commissioning process and is expected to reach full commercial operation in September. [Renewables Now]

Collinsville Solar PV Project (collinsvillesolar.com.au)

¶ “First virtual power plant enters UK Balancing Mechanism” • Energy technology innovator Limejump entered the Balancing Mechanism with the first virtual power plant admitted into the market. UK regulator Ofgem allowed the move after Limejump built a portfolio of renewable generators, batteries, and demand response assets. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Renewables step into the breach to counteract power plant problems during Europe’s heat wave” • Europe’s summer heat wave has had a significant impact on power plants, with nuclear and coal plants either reducing their output or closing down temporarily. Renewables compensated for serious shutdowns and curtailments over the summer months. [REVE]

Wind turbine in a desert

¶ “Blow for coal power as EU carbon emissions price hits 10-year high” • The amount polluters pay for emitting carbon in the EU has hit a 10-year high, in a blow for coal power station owners and a boost for renewable energy. The price of carbon in the bloc’s emissions trading scheme reached €18 (£16, $20.55) per tonne, triple the level of a year ago. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Of New Power Generation, How Much is on the Roof? Quarterly Update – 2018 Q1” • Over the past year, distributed generation, which is electricity produced locally from rooftop solar on homes and businesses or in nearby community solar gardens, has provided on average 18.5% of the electric power that came from new capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “EIA Data Undermines Trump’s Love Affair With Coal and Nuclear” • Reports published over recent weeks by the Energy Information Administration and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission show that coal and nuclear continue their decline across the country. Meanwhile installations of renewable energy continue to increase. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens to help California city save millions through solar energy” • An energy savings performance contract with Siemens will allow the city of Wasco to use energy savings to fund a solar project situated on a former burn dump. The renewable energy produced will help offset approximately 60% of the city’s current energy usage. [pv magazine USA]

Have a thoroughly copacetic day.

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August 13 Energy News

August 13, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “People are not the worst – they are the only hope for the planet” • If we attribute the ruination of the planet to human nature, we are essentially giving up. If we blame everyone, we let the real culprits of the hook, seeing the multinational that pumps pollutants into the atmosphere as like to the pensioner who has forgotten his recycled bag. [The Guardian]

Pro-Earth (Photo: Etienne Laurent | EPA)

¶ “Consumers are not the big winners out of National Energy Guarantee” • As with any policy change, it is worth asking who benefits from the NEG. The answers include Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, and the big three energy companies – AGL, Origin and Energy Australia. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

World:

¶ “Electric Car Growth Produces Battery Shortages, Carmakers Cannot Match Production With Demand” • The rapidly increasing demand for successful, fairly affordable, long-range EVs has taken both battery manufacturers and car companies by surprise. For car makers, demand exceeded expectations, and battery shortages are evident. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes EQA Concept

¶ “Five-Fold Growth In Solar Panels On Commercial Buildings” • A “perfect storm” of rising energy prices, improved technology, and cheaper prices has led to a five-fold growth in the number of Australian commercial premises now installing alternative sources of energy such as solar panels. The increase has come to 400% in three years. [Commercial Real Estate News]

¶ “Weather alarms highlight need to accelerate low-carbon economy” • India is seeing its weather patterns changing, and researchers believe climate change may not only challenge the country’s development pathways but also pose a serious threat to its economy. A World Bank report said climate change could cost India 2.8% of its GDP. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Pollution

¶ “Barking: Coalition back-benchers promised a world of coal” • Reports in the Daily Telegraph and the Australian Financial Review said the Turnbull government was committing to “underwrite” multi billion dollar investments to build new coal-fired generators as way of getting the National Energy Guarantee past Coalition back-benchers. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Amid Kerala floods, IMD issues heavy rain warning for Uttarakhand” • Even as Kerala battled floods, state-run weather forecaster India Meteorological Department has issued very-heavy rain warning for Uttrakhand as well, raising concerns over India’s vulnerability to extreme rainfall events which have recorded a steady rise over recent years. [Livemint]

Uttrakhand flash floods in 2013 (Photo: PTI)

¶ “China sets up International Investment Alliance for Renewable Energy” • Although the Chinese government has recently scaled back solar energy development, it has created a new, large alliance to reach more foreign markets. In addition to focusing on the shipment of PV modules, it will also address financing, EPC, and O&M services. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Iran Responds to Trump Sanctions by Importing Uranium” • Days after President Trump signed an executive order reinstating economic sanctions, Iran announced they will bring back the second batch of uranium that was transferred to Russia as part of the nuclear deal. Iran reopened a nuclear power plant that had been idle for nine years. [Breaking Israel News]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaking at the Bushehr
Nuclear Plant (Hossein Heidarpour, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “UH Mānoa launches ambitious renewable energy project” • Several rooftop PV systems at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, including a large PV canopy on the top deck of the main parking structure, will generate about 2 MW of electricity. The PVs are part of a new effort to move the campus toward its goal of net-zero electricity use. [UH System Current News]

¶ “Many Hoped for a Rebound in Kentucky Coal Jobs Under Trump; It Has Not Happened” • The number of coal jobs edged downward in Kentucky between April and the end of June, illustrating the continued struggles the industry has faced despite President Donald Trum’s campaign promise to “put our miners back to work.” [hamodia.com]

Coal mining, largely without miners

¶ “Maryland opens solar-power subscriptions to all” • Solar developers, offering discounted electric rates, are looking for hundreds of subscribers for six Maryland power projects. The General Assembly authorized the pilot program in 2015, but local opposition and concerns about the loss of agricultural land have slowed progress. [Washington Post]

¶ “Utility companies may soon provide loans for energy upgrades” • Alaskan utility companies are looking at offering loans for energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy systems to be paid back through “on-bill financing” on monthly utility bills. Loans can be for solar panels, heating systems, or high-efficiency appliances. [KTUU.com]

Have an enjoyably worthwhile day,

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August 12 Energy News

August 12, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Airbus Zephyr Solar Powered Plane Sets New Record, Stays Aloft For 26 Days” • An Airbus Zephyr S solar-powered plane took off from Arizona on July 11 and stayed aloft for 25 days, 23 hours, and 57 minutes. The plane has a wingspan of 82 feet and weighs a feather-light 165 pounds. Its two propellers were powered by solar panels and batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Airbus Zephyr S

¶ “Black Widow Spiders Are Heading North Due To Climate Change” • As the climate change warms, black widow spiders are moving north. Canadian researchers published a report saying that over the past 60 years the northernmost point black widow spiders live has moved north, into southern Canada. They believe this is due to climate change. [Newsweek]

¶ “Mountain Goats Influenced By Climate Change” • US wildlife scientists are studying mountain goats, which they believe could reveal important information not only about climate change, but how it affects wildlife. Observing wild animals in their natural environments is no small task, as a fair amount of treacherous terrain must be tackled. [Gaming Post]

Mountain goats in the Yukon

World:

¶ “Shanghai Government Opens Arms To Tesla Gigafactory 3” • According to an official Shanghai government video, Tesla’s Chinese gigafactory will be in “Lingang.”  This would seem to be Nanhui New City, a planned urban area that is a bit infamous as a ghost city. The population of the city may begin with the large number of Tesla employees. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Surge in number of community-owned renewable energy projects in Scotland” • The Community Empowerment Act and the Local Energy Challenge Fund are among efforts that have helped communities develop their own low-carbon energy. Now 456 Scottish communities benefit from wind, solar, hydro, heat pump, and biomass projects. [The National]

Westruther, Scotland (Renata, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Israel to stop using coal by 2025-2030” • Israel will stop using coal between 2025 and 2030, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said. The governmental decided to close four out of eight coal units at Israel’s power stations by the summer of 2022. The four coal units produce a quarter of Israel’s air pollution, according to the ministry. [SundiataPost]

¶ “Mexico’s largest wind farm to be inaugurated Monday” • A new wind farm that will be Mexico’s largest and one of the biggest in Latin America is being inaugurated in Reynosa, Tamaulipas. The $600-million Reynosa I project will have the capacity to produce 424 MW of energy, which is enough to supply the annual power needs of 900,000 people. [Mexico News Daily]

Reynosa I wind farm in Tamaulipas

¶ “Vestas to deliver 112 MW turnkey solution for Palisade’s Granville Harbour Wind Farm, will power more than 46,000 Tasmanian households” • Palisade Investment Partners Limited ordered 112 MW of Vestas wind turbines for a wind farm in Tasmania. The wind farm will provide power for over 46,000 local homes. [Bay City Observer]

¶ “Russia on an international offensive to sell its nuclear plants” • Russia is stepping up its overseas sales of nuclear power plants, with state-run nuclear energy company Rosatom agreeing in July to cooperate in building a plant in the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan and reaching an accord with China to build a plant in that country. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Installing a reactor dome (Getty Images)

US:

¶ “Xcel Energy wants Pueblo City Council’s support on energy plan” • Xcel Energy’s area manager for Southern Colorado wants the Pueblo City Council’s support for the utility’s Colorado Energy Plan. It calls for decommissioning two coal-fired units at its Comanche Station south of Pueblo and replacing them with solar and wind power. [Pueblo West View]

¶ “California’s Climate Goals May Go Up in Smoke Because of Recent Wildfires” • California blazes are spewing enough carbon into the air to undo some of the good done by the state’s climate policies. What is even worse is that climate-warming compounds will continue to be released by the charred forests long after the fires are extinguished. [Times of San Diego]

Fire in Orange County (Courtesy Cleveland National Forest)

¶ “Green groups to protest Canadian, New England leaders’ meeting in Stowe” • Vermont environmental groups will protest at the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers conference in Stowe, starting August 12. The 350Vermont and the Sierra Club are among those saying regional leaders have done little to stem climate change. [vtdigger.org]

¶ “Protecting the power grid: TVA beefs up security as cyber threats grow” • Within the Tennessee Valley Authority’s new cybersecurity center, where two dozen computer technology specialists stare at their terminals to scan email messages, twitter feeds, and network activity looking to spot any signs of cyber threats. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

TVA cybersecurity center

¶ “SunCrate© and Leading Technology Providers Deliver Critical Power Support to Puerto Rico School Children” • Eleven months after Hurricane Maria, 140 students in the picturesque Yabucoa district have reliable power for their school. Electricity is provided by an innovative module pioneered by SunCrate Energy with Black & Veatch support. [The Bakersfield Californian]

¶ “Monsanto ordered to pay $289 million as jury rules weed-killer caused man’s cancer” • A jury ruled that Monsanto was liable for a terminally ill man’s cancer, awarding $289 million in damages. The jury found that the company had “fought science” and had neglected to warn him of the dangers of its product, Roundup. Monsanto said it will appeal. [The Guardian]

Have a stunningly lovely day.

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August 11 Energy News

August 11, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “5 GW of renewable plans hang in the balance following re-enaction of Iranian sanctions” • President Trump re-imposed sanctions on Iran while many solar companies were actively developing massive project pipelines. These are now in jeopardy, even with the recently imposed EU blocking statute designed to protect them. [pv magazine International]

Solar array (Image: Gruppo Maresca)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Smoke Alert: Thick plume triggers weekend air alert for all of Minnesota” • A huge smoke plume is pushing across Minnesota. Rising from wildfires in western Canada, it covers much of North America. We may not be able to blame climate change for an individual smoke event, but we can blame it for their increased frequency. [Minnesota Public Radio News]

World:

¶ “Africa’s mini grid sector preparing to take off” •  Universal access to electricity by 2030 may require investments in mini-grids of $187 billion, with sub-Saharan Africa the most important region. The Africa Mini-grid Developers Association was launched last April with a fund for results-based financing promoting mini-grids as one of its objectives. [Renewables Now]

Rural Ethiopia (Photo: Ninara)

¶ “Algeria seeks to have schools run on renewable energy” • The Algerian Minister of Interior, the Minister of Interior and Local Government, and local authorities said the government plans to equip all primary schools in the country with renewable energy in the next three years. Nationwide, 500 schools are already solar powered. [The North Africa Post]

¶ “Wello set to ride Scots wave” • Finnish wave developer Wello is on track to install the second of three 1-MW Penguin devices at the European Marine Energy Centre off Orkney by the year-end. The device, with improved power, is being constructed at the Netaman shipyard in the Estonian capital Tallinn is expected to be completed in the autumn. [reNews]

Penguin wave device (Wello image)

¶ “Peak Power Deploying Energy Storage to Target Rising Global Adjustment Charges” • Peak Power, headquartered in Toronto, has signed an agreement with Starlight Investments, to install up to 2350 kW of energy storage systems that can deliver 4700 kWh of energy in Toronto. The project could save up to 25% on electric bills. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Prime Minister Chastanet, President Clinton, And President Figueres Open Historic 3-MW Solar Farm In Saint Lucia” • Pres Bill Clinton, Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, former President Figueres of Costa Rica, and Rocky Mountain Institute’s trustees officially opened a 3-MW solar farm of the St Lucia Electricity Services Limited. [STL.News]

Solar array

US:

¶ “California wildfires: Thousands evacuated as Lake Elsinore threatened” • More than 21,000 people have been evacuated from the path of a fast-moving wildfire in Southern California. The blaze, called the Holy fire, threatened homes around Lake Elsinore in Orange County. The fire is just one of at least 18 wildfires raging across California. [BBC]

¶ “Electric Flight Dominates Air Mobility News At The 2018 International EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Event” • This year’s 2018 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh was well worth the travel to get there, as it aimed to show a clearer picture of our near future mobility. Electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, air taxis, and electric planes are getting popular. [CleanTechnica]

The Black Fly, a personal air mobility vehicle

¶ “At America First Energy Conference, solar power is dumb, climate change is fake” • Messages from the America First Energy Conference included that pumping out carbon dioxide makes the planet greener, the UN puts out fake science about climate change to control the global energy market, and wind and solar energy are simply “dumb.” [New York Post]

¶ “Renewable energy employment in Indiana surges” • More than 83,000 Indiana residents work at clean energy jobs according to Clean Energy Trust analysis. That is more than all the waiters and waitresses, computer programmers, lawyers, and web developers in Indiana combined, according to data from the Department of Labor Employment Statistics. [Country 103.9 WRBI]

Clean energy

¶ “Two Wisconsin utilities are increasing solar and wind power as they dramatically cut coal use to combat climate change” • The two largest public utilities in Wisconsin are making bigger stakes in renewable energy and pledge far deeper cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases than previously predicted. They are reducing their use of coal. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

¶ “Rural electric cooperatives look at cutting the cord” • More Colorado electric co-ops are looking for ways divorce themselves from wholesale provider Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. Several have complained about Tri-State’s power costs and the wholesaler-imposed limits on developing local renewable energy. [The Durango Herald]

Solar array (Courtesy of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative)

¶ “Tucson Power Plant Switching From Coal To Natural Gas” • A Tucson power plant will replace two coal-fired generators with ten natural-gas engines. The old units were installed in the 1950s, and the move to natural gas will lead to lower emissions overall. But the change will mean more nitrogen oxide pollution which leads to higher ozone levels. [KJZZ]

¶ “US nuclear units shut as low power prices threaten more retirements” • When Exelon’s Oyster Creek nuclear plant is taken off the grid at the end of September and permanently shuts down, it will mark the start of a busy period of US nuclear power plant closures driven by low power prices that are placing dozens more units at risk. [S&P Global Platts]

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August 10 Energy News

August 10, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The NEG’s failure to factor in climate change will cost our Pacific neighbours dearly” • As political leaders from across the country meet to determine the fate of the embattled National Energy Guarantee, they must be under no illusion as to how Australia’s backwardness on climate change is perceived by our Pacific island neighbours. [ABC News]

Children and the sea (Photo: Darren James)

World:

¶ “Ontario’s provincial power company buys US renewable energy firm for $388 Million” • Ontario’s government-owned power company is making its first foray outside the province. It made a deal to buy Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, based in New Jersey, for $388 million. Eagle Creek’s 63 small hydropower facilities have a total 216 MW of capacity. [National Observer]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Norway joy” • Siemens Gamesa is to supply 51 wind turbines totalling 208 MW to the Engie’s Tonstad wind farm in Norway. The order covers the turbines well as a long-term service agreement. Electricity from the project will be sold to a subsidiary of Norwegian aluminium producer Hydro under a 25-year power purchase agreement. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Image: Siemens Gamesa)

¶ “Mainstream Aurora rises in Chile” • Mainstream Renewable Power has installed the first of 43 turbines at its 129-MW Aurora wind farm in Chile. The $210 million project will comprise Senvion 3-MW machines with heights of 180 metres and rotor diameters of 122 metres. The project is located in the Los Lagos region of southern Chile. [reNews]

¶ “Portugal Announces Extensive Solar Power Plans During Record-Breaking Heat Wave” • After getting 103% of its national electricity needs in March from renewables, the country proved that it is indeed becoming a green energy leader. Hydro supplies 55% of Portugal’s renewable energy, and 42% is from wind; now it is turning to solar power. [South EU Summit]

Hydropower project in Portugal (Wikimedia Commons)

Australia:

¶ “Energy plan shuts out WA and risks $2 billion in renewables investment, McGowan government says” • Western Australia says the NEG excluded it in a move that creates investment uncertainty and threatens $2 billion worth of renewable energy projects. The head of the board that drafted the policy, described the concerns as “silly.” [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “States give conditional support to National Energy Guarantee, but more talks to come” • The Turnbull Government is a step closer to settling a national policy on electricity and emissions. The Federal Government released a draft of the energy bill and the states will now wait to see what happens in Coalition party discusses of the policy next week. [ABC News]

Mt Miller wind farm

¶ “National Energy Guarantee to next be discussed on Tuesday” • Energy ministers agreed in-principle to support the NEG. If a Coalition party room meeting agrees and energy ministers give it final approval, a draft legislation on changes to current law will be released for public consultation over a four-week period before Parliament considers it. [Tasmania Examiner]

¶ “Flow Power contract to underpin Windlab’s new Queensland wind farm” • Flow Power, a rapidly expanding business-focused retailer, has signed another contract with a new renewable energy project, the Lakeland wind farm, adding to the growing portfolio of wind and solar projects it is using to deliver cheaper electricity to corporate customers. [RenewEconomy]

Musselroe wind farm

US:

¶ “US Renewables Are Closing In on Nuclear Generation” • The US nuclear industry has been stalled for decades. Now cheap wind and solar deployments are taking a lead over it. In the first five months of 2018, renewables produced 20.17% of US electricity and nuclear produced 20.14%, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Danish Firm Moving big into U.S. Wind Energy Development” • Danish offshore wind farm developer Ørsted is making a big move onshore by acquiring a major renewable energy company in the US. Ørsted announced it is buying 100% of Lincoln Clean Energy for about $580 million (€500 million ) from I Squared Capital. [Electric Light & Power]

Parts waiting to be assembled into a wind turbine

¶ “Richard Branson-Owned Clean Energy Firm Buys Solar Plant Damaged By Hurricane Maria” • BMR Energy, a clean energy company owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, has stepped in to acquire a 4-MW solar plant on St Croix which was damaged by Hurricane Maria and has been running below 45% capacity ever since. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Missouri’s clean energy industry is growing but some employers say hiring is not easy” • Clean energy companies in Missouri are finding it difficult to hire qualified workers, even as the number of residents in the state working in energy efficiency, electric transportation, and renewable energy grows. The shortage of job seekers could take its toll. [KBIA]

Solar array in Missouri (Maria Altman | St Louis Public Radio)

¶ “NY examines offshore links” • The New York Power Authority is leading a study into European offshore wind transmission models to help guide development of the sector. The study will assess best practices for connecting offshore wind projects to mainland grids and examine ways costs have been reduced, focusing on physical design. [reNews]

¶ “Walmart Releases Global Responsibility Report, Inches Closer to 100% Renewable Energy Goal” • Walmart released a summary of its eleventh annual Global Responsibility Report, highlighting the company’s progress in fiscal year 2018 to increase economic opportunity, strengthen local communities, and enhance supply chain sustainability. [Energy Manager Today]

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August 9 Energy News

August 9, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “You probably have no idea just how much water is needed to produce electricity” • Despite the growth of renewable-energy, most electricity is still generated by fossil fuel or nuclear fuel. The trouble is that thermal electricity generation, a category that includes coal, natural gas, and nuclear power, does not just require fuel, but also a lot of water. [Quartz]

Thermal power plant (Photo: Yves Herman | Reuters)

¶ “What Are Coastal Nuclear Power Plants Doing to Address Climate Threats?” • By the time the $25 billion Hinkley Point C nuclear station is finished, possibly in 2028, the concrete seawall will be enough, the UK regulator and French engineers say, to withstand the strongest storm surge, the greatest tsunami and the highest sea-level rise. But will it? [Ensia]

¶ “US Wind Industry ‘Full Steam Ahead’ Despite Wind Catcher Cancellation” • It’s American Wind Week, and the U.S. wind industry has a lot to celebrate. Wind power has become the country’s largest source of renewable energy capacity. Today, the industry employs more than 105,000 U.S. workers and is building more power than ever before. [Greentech Media]

Invenergy wind farm (Photo:Invenergy)

World:

¶ “$20 Billion Pledged For Middle Eastern Energy Projects By Chinese President” • Loans of $20 billion and $1.6 billion in financial aid was recently pledged by Chinese President Xi Jinping to countries in the Middle East to help boost economic growth. The aid will be used for projects involving oil and gas, nuclear power, and clean energy.

 [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Newest Solar Tenders In Egypt Come In Under 3 Cents Per kWh” • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is leading a campaign to bring 1.4 GW of solar power to Egypt. One of the 16 proposed projects is the 200-MW Kom Ombo. The bid from Fotowatio Renewable Ventures was the lowest, at just under 2.8¢/kWh. [CleanTechnica]

Egyptian solar array (Credit: Complete Energy Solutions)

¶ “TRIG profit surges 51%” • The Renewables Infrastructure Group saw its pre-tax profit increase 51% to £47.3 million in the first half of 2018, up from £31.3 million in the same period of last year. The company said its results were boosted by higher than expected power prices and increased output, which helped offset slower wind speeds. [reNews]

¶ “Eon green earnings grow” • Eon reported adjusted earnings from renewables up 15% to €236 million in the first six months of 2018, from €205 million last year. The German company said the growth was due to increased output came despite unfavourable wind conditions, as a result of newly commissioned onshore and offshore wind farms. [reNews]

Humber Gateway offshore wind farm (Eon image)

¶ “UK government to review role of wind, solar, links in capacity market” • The UK government has opened a review of the Capacity Market to ensure the policy remains fit for purpose five years after introduction. Participation of wind and solar could increase competition, auction liquidity and value for money for consumers. [S&P Global Platts]

¶ “Dairy giant to power cheese plant with 100% renewable energy” • Dairy manufacturer Dale Farm, based in Northern Ireland, has announced that it is now running one of its cheese manufacturing plants with 100% renewable energy after bringing its own solar farm online earlier this month. The 5-MW solar plant is co-located with a cheese plant. [edie.net]

Solar farm at the cheese facility (Photo: Brian Morrison)

US:

¶ “If You Blinked, You Missed The Big Offshore Wind News – Almost!” • The mighty offshore wind energy beast of the USA is finally beginning to stir, just in time to celebrate American Wind Week. The White House has been notably silent on American Wind Week so far, but the DOE has been filling in the gaps with some vigorous shout-outs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Illinois solar program continues to develop, solar job numbers begin to grow” • The Illinois Power Agency made more moves toward full operation of solar programs under the Future Energy Jobs Act by launching the Adjustable Block Program website for potential vendors of PV systems. The site will be open for vendor registration in November. [pv magazine USA]

Solar installation (Photo: Cadmus Group)

¶ “Solar With Storage Surges as Gas Falls” • Solar-with-storage projects are surging in many states by beating gas plants on economics and reliability. By 2026, the US is expected to add storage capacity equal to 35 nuclear plants, generating $4 billion in annual savings. Some big utilities are already replacing gas facilities with batteries. [Common Dreams]

¶ “Largo, Florida, Commits To 100% Clean Energy” • The city commission of Largo, Florida, approved the city’s commitment to transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. Largo, which is located in the Tampa Bay Area, represents the fourth city in Florida and the 75th in the U.S. to establish this goal, according to the Sierra Club. [Solar Industry]

Trees in Florida

¶ “Kewaunee farm breaks ground on renewable energy project” • A dairy farm in Wisconsin is turning waste into energy. Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy broke ground on a project that will create renewable natural gas from dairy cow manure. It is the second anaerobic digester in the country whose product will refined to fuel vehicles. [Fox11online.com]

¶ “Costs For Vogtle Nuclear Expansion Jump By $1.1 Billion” • The expansion at the Vogtle nuclear plant, already years late and billions over budget, will cost an additional $1.1 billion. In their second quarter 2018 earnings call, company officials told investors the estimated cost to complete the project increased from $7.3 billion to $8.4 billion. [WABE 90.1 FM]

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August 8 Energy News

August 8, 2018

World:

¶ “China’s Qinghai province runs on renewables for 216 hours” • Qinghai province reached a milestone for renewable energy by running on renewables for a full 216-hour period. The province was powered entirely by wind, solar and hydropower for nine days at the end of June, according to wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind. [Energy Digital]

Qinghai

¶ “Polish Government Approves Amendment To Support More Renewable Energy” • An amendment was approved by the upper house of the Polish parliament to support more investment in green energy. This might be a step in the right direction for a country which relies heavily on coal, but it still needs to receive the President’s signature. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ireland Approves Renewable Energy Support Scheme, Aiming For 2019 Auction” • In late July, the Irish Government approved its long-awaited Renewable Electricity Support Scheme. The first RESS auction is set to take place next year and is designed to deliver “shovel ready” projects to get Ireland back on track to meet EU emissions goals. [CleanTechnica]

Irish wind farm

¶ “Dominican Republic to add 240 MW of wind, solar in coming months” • A Dominican Republic Electrical Industry Association announcement said that 240.3 MW of wind and solar projects will be connected to its grid in the coming months. Five large-scale renewable energy projects include 182.3 MW of wind power and 58 MW of solar capacity. [Renewables Now]

¶ “City of Strasbourg pushing a green revolution with geothermal as large part of it” • A few km north of Strasbourg, a well drilled to a depth of 4,680 m can get water at 220° C, the hottest well of France at this depth. The site will eventually supply a hot water and heating network for public institutions, businesses, and over 20,000 housing units. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Strasbourg (Valentin R | flickr, creative commons)

¶ “France approves 720 MW of new solar power” • The French government gave the go ahead to 103 new solar power projects. The Ministry of Ecology and Solidary Transition said they represent an estimated 720 MW of power capacity. France has a target set by the ministry to tender 2,450 MW of new solar energy each year. [Climate Action Programme]

¶ “British Virgin Islands Turn To Renewable Energy After Hurricane Irma” • With winds of 185 miles per hour, Irma left the British Virgin Islands with 400 miles of uprooted electrical cables. Like most small islands, BVI depended on traditional energy sources, but post-Irma they have found new opportunities with renewable energy. [Green Matters]

Cruz Bay St Johns

Australia:

¶ “Victoria toughens negotiating stance on national energy guarantee” • The state of Victoria made four demands for its approval of Australia’s NEG. Emissions reduction targets must increase over time; future targets will need to be set by regulation; the targets will need to be set every three years; and the emissions registry must be fully transparent. [The Guardian]

¶ “Blockchain enables Australia’s peer-to-peer power trading kick-off” • Cheap solar electricity will be traded among neighboring residents in apartment blocks in Western Australia, in a project supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The trading scheme uses Power Ledger, a computer technology based on blockchain. [Energy Storage News]

Solar powered homes in Western Australia
(Smart Energy Council | Yolk Property Group)

¶ “Energy minister rejects Victorian demand” • Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has torpedoed a list of demands from Victoria that could have secured the state’s support for the Turnbull government’s energy policy. State and territory energy ministers will meet with Mr Frydenberg in Sydney on Friday to discuss the design of the National Energy Guarantee. [SBS]

US:

¶ “Gulf Of Mexico Dead Zone Is 3 Times Larger Than Long-Term Targets” • NOAA predicts that the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and other marine life, will be about average in dimension by the end of the summer. Unfortunately, that means the dead zone is three times larger than long-term established targets. [CleanTechnica]

Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin (EPA image)

¶ “Study Finds California Can Close 28 Natural Gas Plants Immediately Without Affecting Electricity Reliability” • California can retire at least 28 of its natural gas plants because they are not needed to meet its electricity needs and do not help for carbon emissions goals, analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists said. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

¶ “Raimondo vows emission curbs in energy plan” • Gov Gina Raimondo called for mandatory emissions restrictions in Rhode Island as part of her plan to remake the state’s energy system and increase investments in clean power sources. She announced her energy plan in the offices of Deepwater Wind, builder of the first US offshore wind farm. [newportri.com]

Block Island Wind Farm (Ionna22, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Partnership grow local renewable energy” • The Vermont Public Power Supply Authority and Encore Renewable Energy announced a partnership to pursue development of about 10 MW of solar capacity on behalf of VPPSA’s Member municipal utilities. Encore will lead design, development, financing, and construction of solar projects. [Vermont Biz]

¶ “NJ Politics Digest: Feds Might Quash State Plan to Have Residents Bail Out Nuke Plant” • Earlier this year, New Jersey adopted legislation forcing ratepayers to pay subsidies to help bail out a nuclear power plant. But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that state subsidies of nuclear and renewable energy are “unjust and unreasonable.” [Observer]

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August 7 Energy News

August 7, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Electric power sector reduces emissions with shift from coal” • While the President of the US has repeatedly signaled an interest in propping up the coal industry, the market has spoken to the contrary. Coal is being displaced by natural gas and renewable energy resources, this has led to a reduction in air pollutant from electricity generation. [Energy News Network]

Solar panels and a wind turbine

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘Hothouse Earth’ risks even if CO2 emissions slashed” • We could soon cross a threshold leading to boiling hot temperatures and towering seas in the centuries to come, researchers believe. Even if countries succeed in meeting their CO2 targets, we could still set off  irreversible changes. Their study shows this could happen if global warming is only 2° C. [BBC]

¶ “Climate change driven by humans made heat wave ‘twice as likely'” • Climate change caused by human activities made the current European heat wave more than twice as likely to occur, say scientists. Their preliminary report found that the “signal of climate change is unambiguous,” in this summer’s heat. The heat wave in the Arctic is unprecedented. [BBC]

Reservoir in the UK (Getty Image)

World:

¶ “Pope urges action on clean energy” • Pope Francis has said climate change is a challenge of “epochal proportions” and that the world must convert to clean fuel. “Civilisation requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilisation,” he said. He was speaking to a group of oil company executives at the end of a two-day conference in the Vatican. [BBC]

¶ “China Installs 24.3 Gigawatts In First Half Of 2018” • China’s National Energy Administration announced last week that the country installed a total of 24.3 GW worth of new solar capacity throughout the first half of the year, made up of only 12.6 GW worth of utility-scale solar but an impressive 12.24 GW worth of distributed solar. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array over water

¶ “Senvion signs 205 MW wind energy project in Chile” • Senvion signed a conditional contract with GPG and Grupo Ibereólica Renovables to supply 89 wind turbines with a total wind power capacity of 204.7 MW for the Cabo Leones II wind farm in the Atacama region in Chile. It is Senvion’s largest project in the country. Installation will start in 2020. [REVE]

¶ “Scots bed down at Riffgrund 2” • Attollo Offshore, a Scottish outfit, deployed an accommodation vessel at Orsted’s 450-MW Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. The vessel will provide accommodation and construction support for connecting and commissioning the project’s high voltage substation, Attollo said. [reNews]

Jack-up vessel (Image: Attollo Offshore)

¶ “Enel signs deal to build €1.2 billion wind farms in South Africa” • Enel has reached financial close on a fleet of new South African wind farms. The wind farms will provide South Africa with 700 MW of renewable energy capacity. Enel put up €230 million of its own money and secured €950 million in financing in a deal with Absa and Nedbank. [Climate Action Programme]

¶ “Germany Bulldozes Old Villages For Coal Despite Lower Emissions Goals” • Germany enjoys a reputation as a pioneer of clean energy. But centuries-old villages across the country are being bulldozed to make way to mine brown coal. Protestors are trying to save the 800-year-old village of Pödelwitz, with its medieval timber-framed buildings. [NPR]

Bulldozing medieval villages for this (Martin Meissner | AP)

US:

¶ “GTM Research Predicts More Battery Storage, Lower Prices For Residential Solar” • A study from GTM Research predicts that in five years, 90% of residential solar systems will include battery storage. In its most recent industry analysis, it goes on to predict the cost of residential solar will continue to drop from $2.95 per watt to $2.00 per watt by 2023. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “California wildfire declared ‘largest in state’s history'” • The Mendocino Complex Fire has grown to become the largest active wildfire in the history of California, officials said. The fires have spread rapidly in recent days to burn 283,800 acres. Governor Jerry Brown has spoken of devastating wildfires fuelled by climate change as “the new normal.” [BBC]

California firefighters (Reuters image)

¶ “Kona Brewing Company Signs PPA for Solar-Plus-Battery Storage” • Kona Brewing Co signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with EnSync, Inc and a subsidiary to build a solar-plus-battery system for a new brewery being built in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The system is expected to meet a quarter of the brewery’s electricity needs. [Energy Manager Today]

¶ “How Wyoming Wind Farms Help Idaho Replace Coal” • Idaho is in a bit of a pickle when it comes to energy security, but a new development hints at a way out. State regulators approved a $2 billion, 1,150-MW group of four new wind farms that can take Idaho out of its wind energy doldrums and help stabilize weaknesses in its electricity plan. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm

¶ “Maui Electric Establishes Local Partnerships to Stabilize Grid” • Maui Electric Company, along with commercial and industrial customers, filled the current capacity of its expanded Fast Demand Response program this month. The program is set up to help businesses save on their electric bills and maintain grid stability with renewable resources. [Maui Now]

¶ “SC electric rates to drop Tuesday after judge denies SCE&G bid to block 15-percent cut” • A federal judge allowed a temporary rate cut opposed by utility SCE&G to take effect in South Carolina. The legal issue started when SCE&G abandoned construction of two new nuclear reactors after collecting ratepayer money to build the reactors. [The State]

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August 6 Energy News

August 6, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “What should be India’s priority: Energy security or ‘America first’?” • Speculation is rife that oil imports from Iran could slow down from August when some US sanctions against Tehran take effect. However, for now, there is reason to cheer for those who want to see India stand its ground and refuse to buckle under the US pressure. [Modern Diplomacy]

Oil pump jacks

¶ “Sub-zero power prices: traditional power plants battle a problem South Africans will envy” • Wind and solar farms are sprouting up in more areas, pushing power prices to zero or even below more often in more places. That is adding to headaches for generators from NRG Energy in California to RWE in Germany and Origin Energy in Australia. [Business Day]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Fusion start-ups hope to revolutionize energy in the coming decades” • A group of start-up companies hopes to capitalize on nuclear fusion to turn abundant fuels into carbon-neutral energy. They want to commercialize fusion by the 2030s to sell energy and address climate change. [Chemical & Engineering News] (Half of the fuel is tritium, a synthetic isotope. GHH)

General Fusion’s main reactor (General Fusion image)

World:

¶ “LGUs going green, rejecting coal projects” • More Philippine local government units (LGUs) are likely to turn their backs on coal with environmental and climate-justice advocates predicting a shift toward renewable energy and sustainable development. Over P1 trillion ($19 billion) of coal plants in the pipeline could become stranded assets. [Business Mirror]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa, Van Oord awarded €500 million Dutch wind farm contract” • Spanish wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa was awarded a €500 million contract in the Netherlands, in partnership with Dutch marine contractor Van Oord. The 380-MW wind farm is to be built on Ijselmeer lake. It is expected to power around 30,000 households. [Energy Digital]

Offshore wind at sunset

¶ “World’s first thermal battery plant to be unveiled in Andhra Pradesh today” • The world’s first-ever facility to create thermal batteries is being inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh, ANI reported. The thermal batteries will be manufactured by Bharat Energy Storage Technology Private Limited. They are expected to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. [The Indian Express]

¶ “World now has 1 TW of wind and solar capacity, 2 TW expected in 2023” • The global wind and solar power capacity has reached 1 TW at the end of June and is expected to double in five years, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said. The 1,013 GW of currently installed capacity is almost equally divided between wind and solar. [Renewables Now]

Wind and solar together (Photo: Gerry Machen)

¶ “Clean power surges recast energy mix” • State Grid, China’s main power supplier that runs the majority of the nation’s electricity distribution networks, saw its new-energy power generation reach 187.1 billion kWh during the first five months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 41%. This comes as China is reducing greenhouse gas emissions. [China.org.cn]

Australia:

¶ “Australia’s Turnbull: ‘Now we are the land of droughts'” • Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull warned that Australia has become a “land of drought.” It is still winter, but 99% of New South Wales, which is Australia’s most populous state and provides around a quarter of the country’s agricultural output, is currently going through a drought. [BBC]

New South Wales (Reuters)

¶ “Energy stalemate deepens as governments dig in over climate action” • The Australian government says the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) will cut both costs and emissions. Critics say it will drive up power prices, stymie investment in renewables, and do little for the climate. The energy ministers must be unanimous to adopt it. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Global wind energy giants blast weak emissions target in national plan” • Two of the world’s biggest wind turbine makers, GE and Goldwind, have weighed in against the NEG. They are calling for a more ambitious target because it may leave the electricity sector contributing only a tiny portion of Australia’s Paris climate goal. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Australian wind turbine (Ben Cordia, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Most Australians want more renewables to help lower power prices – poll” • Over 70% of Australians want the government to set a high renewable energy target to put downward pressure on power prices, a ReachTel poll said. The poll was released as environmentalists are pressuring state governments to reject the NEG. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Facebook data center in Oregon to be supported by renewable energy” • A Facebook data center in Oregon is to be supported by 100% solar power under a new partnership with Pacific Power. The collaboration will see 437 MW of new solar power developments, including two projects in the Prineville area, Pacific Power said in a statement. [Parker City News]

Prineville (Ryoga-2003, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Facebook likes clean energy as corporate purchasing sets record” • Still trying to recover from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is the world’s biggest corporate buyer of renewable energy for 2018. BNEF figures show the company has already secured 1.1 GW of green power this year, leading record corporate purchases. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Renewable Jobs Goal in Doubt as Solar Jobs Decline” • Rhode Island’s green-energy industry is slowing down. Jobs grew 3.6% in 2017, after an increase of 11% in 2016 and 40% in 2015. The 561-job increase casts doubt on Gov Gina Raimondo’s goal of achieving 20,000 “clean-tech” jobs by 2020. As of the end of 2017, the sector had 15,866 jobs. [ecoRI news]

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August 5 Energy News

August 5, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Our climate plans are in pieces as killer summer shreds records” • Deadly fires have scorched swaths of the Northern Hemisphere this summer, from California to Arctic Sweden and down to Greece on the sunny Mediterranean. Drought in Europe has turned verdant land barren, while people in Japan and Korea are dying from record-breaking heat. [CNN]

California wildfire

¶ “A high-stakes debate looms on wildfire costs” • A raging debate is emerging over who should pay for the damage of California wildfires. PG&E and other utilities say it is unfair to make them pay for damage caused by power equipment, unless they were negligent. Under the present rules, utilities are on the hook regardless of fault. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

World:

¶ “How Investment in Renewable Energy Can Reduce Poverty in Zambia” • In the past, 98% of Zambia’s electricity came from hydro plants, but with a continuing drought, energy industry experts advise hydroelectric-reliant countries like Zambia to invest in alternative energy. The Zambian government has responded to the crisis with a number of initiatives. [Borgen Project]

Rooftop solar system in Zambia

¶ “India’s Renewable Investments Near $20 Billion” • For the first time in history, investing in India’s renewable energy sector surpassed that of traditional fossil fuel-based power production. India achieved this feat in 2017, according to the recent numbers released in the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Investment 2018 report. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Conservative MPs who called for onshore wind ban out of step with constituents, poll reveals” • Three years ago, 79 Conservative MPs signed an open letter in which they called for a block on new onshore developments in England. New polling for 10:10 Climate Action suggests that nearly 75% of their constituents disagree with them. [The Independent]

Wind farm (Adrian Dennis | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “New efforts at Edmonton Heritage Festival aim to make it more eco-friendly” • Thousands of people are expected to pass through Edmonton’s Heritage Festival this weekend and organizers are stepping up efforts to reduce the event’s carbon footprint. A large solar array with 42 modules was set up to power the newcomers tent at the festival. [Globalnews.ca]

¶ “Hot weather forces 4 French nuclear reactors to shut down” • Four French nuclear reactors in three power plants near the Rhine and the Rhone Rivers have had to be temporarily shut down. EDF said this was done to avoid overheating the rivers. Nuclear power plants use water from the rivers to cool their reactors, but this heats the rivers. [WTNH.com]

Fessenheim nuclear plant (Florival fr, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “11 GW of Texas solar would complement existing wind power” • A study by UT-Austin finds that 11 GW of solar power would be the optimal capacity to complement existing wind generation in meeting electricity demand of Texas throughout the year. While the results reflect a carbon price scenario, they may still provide near-term guidance. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Alliant Energy will eliminate coal from energy mix by 2050” • Alliant Energy says it will eliminate coal from its energy mix by 2050. The company also has a goal to cut carbon emissions by 80%. While the Paris Accord calls for reducing carbon 32% below 2005 levels by 2030, Alliant Energy’s plans enable a 40% reduction by that time. [REVE]

Power lines

¶ “AG Sides with Power-Plant Opponents in Water Case” • Rhode Island’s attorney general is supporting a court case that challenges the proposed Burrillville power plant. He filed an amicus brief, or letter of support, saying the town of Johnston is not allowed to sell water it buys from Providence to the proposed Clear River Energy Center. [ecoRI news]

¶ “Solar powering major portion of Ogden Rescue Mission” • In Utah, officials at the Ogden Rescue Mission say a PV system there will free up money to help Ogden’s homeless better. Work has been completed on a 131-panel rooftop solar array at the mission. Officials say it will help the organization save more than $6,000 a year on energy costs. [Standard-Examiner]

Ogden Rescue Mission PVs (Matt Herp | Standard-Examiner)

¶ “New solar farm to locate in Edgecombe” • Invenergy, which is based in Chicago, will be constructing a $100-million-plus solar farm in North Carolina. Reportedly, development and permitting are ongoing for the 600-acres Edgecombe Solar Farm. It is expected to bring $2.5 million in new tax revenue to Edgecombe County. [Rocky Mount Telegram]

¶ “Developer Franklin L. Haney reportedly offered $10 million to Trump attorney to help secure federal loan for Bellefonte” • The president’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was offered $10 million to secure $5 billion in federal loan guarantees for development of a former TVA nuclear plant, The Wall Street Journal reported. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

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August 4 Energy News

August 4, 2018

World:

¶ “Europe heat wave: Side effects felt by zoo animals, sprout farmers and more” • Europe could break an all-time temperature record in the next few days. And parts of southern Spain and Portugal are forecast to go above 47° C (116.6° F), surpassing national records. Here are photos of some of the things the heat wave has caused in Europe. [BBC]

Kebnekaise glacier, no longer the highest point in Sweden (AFP)

¶ “Germany’s power system weathers heat wave despite fossil plant curbs” • As Germany is in an extended heat wave and drought, with temperatures rising up to 40° C, some of its coal and nuclear power stations struggle to keep operations running because of cooling problems. But wind and solar power are meeting demand. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “Lloyds Banking Group Moves To Cease Financing New Coal-Fired Power” • Lloyds Banking Group announced new policies to solidify its support for the transition to a low-carbon economy by ceasing new funding for coal-fired power stations or thermal coal mines. This is a continuation of climate policies Lloyds already has in place. [CleanTechnica]

Lloyds Bank

¶ “Corporate Giants Are Buying so Much Clean Power This Year They Already Broke 2017’s Record” • Non-utility companies and agencies, acting to curb climate change have agreed to buy 7.2 GW of clean energy worldwide so far this year, already shattering the record of 5.4 GW for all of 2017, according to a report from Bloomberg NEF. [Bloomberg]

¶ “IFC-GAIA Partnership To Boost Africa’s Renewable Energy Development” • According to reports, the International Finance Corporation announced its partnership with Gaia Energy. The new platform will begin with a pipeline of 22 projects in nine countries in Africa and is expected to generate more than 3 GW of clean energy. [Technology Magazine]

Solar array

¶ “Subsidy-Free Solar Plant Inaugurated in Portugal” • A WElink Energy’s solar plant in Portugal has been inaugurated. The plant’s construction began in July 2017, and it has been in operation since last June. It is the first solar plant on the Iberian Peninsula, and one of the largest in Europe, to be developed without any public subsidies. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Enel and Carnegie Clean Energy to Collaborate on Wave Energy Generator Development” • Australian developer Carnegie Clean Energy Limited and Enel Green Power signed an agreement for developing CCE’s CETO 6 wave energy generator. They will work together to identify and develop opportunities for the CETO 6 system. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wave energy system

¶ “UK power market transition: Big Six under pressure” • The UK’s Big Six energy firms’ market share of domestic customers is dwindling and fell to a record low in 2017, as smaller rivals lured customers away with cheaper deals. The six largest electricity suppliers’ market share dropped to 78% at the end of 2017 from 85% a year earlier. [Power Technology]

¶ “Drought-hit Queensland community welcomes ground-breaking renewable energy park” • A hybrid wind, solar, and battery storage facility, the first of its kind in Australia, is being built in Queensland. The Kennedy Energy Park will combine 12 wind turbines, 55,000 solar panels and 4 MWh of battery storage, to deliver an average of 50 MW. [ABC News]

Wind turbine blade (Nathalie Fernbach | ABC North Queensland)

US:

¶ “New York deals setback to $900M power plant in Joe Percoco corruption case” • New York’s environmental regulators dealt a setback to a controversial $900 million power plant set to open within weeks. The Department of Environmental Conservation denied a key air-quality permit renewal application for the gas-powered plant. [The Journal News | LoHud.com]

¶ “California’s EV Growth Benefits Outweigh Energy System Costs, Report Says” • Next 10, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, took a close look at how California’s grid might be challenged or helped by the rise of EVs. It found that with rapid EV growth, the energy system will require upgrades, but the costs are likely to be lower than the benefits. [Energy Manager Today]

Charging station (Jimmy Baikovicius | Flickr Creative Commons)

¶ “Cactus Flats Wind Facility in Texas is Operational” • Southern Power announced that the 148-MW Cactus Flats Wind Facility in Concho County, Texas is operational. The electric energy and associated renewable energy credits are being sold under two separate power purchase agreements with General Mills and General Motors. [PR Newswire]

¶ “Northam announces Coastal Virginia offshore wind energy demonstration project” • Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that Dominion Energy is filing for State Corporation Commission approval to build an offshore wind demonstration project. Dominion Energy is partnering with Ørsted on the two-turbine project. [REVE]

Offshore windpower

¶ “Coal piles up at power plant as cheap natural gas wrecks Eastern Kentucky’s economy” • Kentucky Power’s Mitchell plant could not generate electricity as cheaply as facilities fueled by natural gas, so the regional grid manager has ordered power from it less often. It has a long-term contract to buy coal, which it wants to sell. [Lexington Herald Leader]

¶ “Construction in full swing at 221-MW wind project of Pattern Dev” • Pattern Development said today that construction on the 221-MW Grady Wind project in Curry County, New Mexico is getting fully underway. Grady Wind is expected to generate enough electricity to provide for the annual needs of almost 90,000 New Mexico homes. [Renewables Now]

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August 3 Energy News

August 3, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Reconciling energy and Indigenous rights” •  In 2007, Canada was one of four countries to vote against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It signed in 2010, but has made little progress on the issue. Because it prioritizes oil sands, mining, fracking, and pipelines over indigenous rights, all its people suffer consequences. [Pique Newsmagazine]

Canadian pipeline (Shutterstock image)

¶ “More Signs That Renewable Energy Is Winning” • As the US administration rolls back environmental regulations, many observers have predicted that the trend to clean power would nevertheless continue. They were right. States are supporting clean power, corporate buyers are moving to wind and solar, and political bias is beginning to wilt. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “More than 5,500 British churches to convert to renewable energy” • Over 5,500 British churches have decided to convert to renewable energy to fight climate change, as the greatest challenge of the time. They are not only Church of England congregations, but also many of the UK’s Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Quaker, and Salvation Army. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Salisbury Cathedral (Courtesy of Andrew Dunn)

¶ “Brett Martin sources power from 6.42-MWp Lightsource BP solar farm” • Specialist plastic products provider Brett Martin, based in Northern Ireland, said it is sourcing its power from a 6.42-MW solar system funded and developed by Lightsource BP. The installation is hard-wired directly into Brett Martin’s facility located nearby. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Westinghouse purchase pulls it out of bankruptcy” • Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management finalised its acquisition of nuclear contractor Westinghouse Electric Company from Toshiba. The move marks a financial revival from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for Westinghouse, as a restructured company. [Power Technology]

Westinghouse sign in New York (Credit: Richard Huppertz)

¶ “Canada Envisions Small Nuclear Reactors Producing Power And Hydrogen In Remote Towns” • The federally owned Canadian Nuclear Laboratories hopes to prove the viability of small modular reactors by 2026 and use them not only to produce power, but to produce hydrogen that can decarbonize Canada’s transportation sector. [Forbes]

US:

¶ “Trump Administration Unveils Its Plan to Relax Car Pollution Rules” • The Trump administration put forth its long-awaited proposal to freeze antipollution and fuel-efficiency standards for cars, significantly weakening one of President Barack Obama’s signature policies to combat global warming. The change is a challenge to states’ rights. [New York Times]

Sacramento (Rich Pedroncelli | AP)

¶ “These States Are Going to War Over Trump Eliminating Car Emissions Rules” • After the proposal to cut Obama-era fuel economy standards, twenty state attorneys general vowed to act. A joint statement says, “The Administration’s proposal to weaken these rules will cause the American people to breathe dirtier air and pay higher prices at the pump.” [Mother Jones]

¶ “Invenergy dishes out Texas dose” • Novartis is to supply 100 MW of electricity from its Santa Rita East wind farm in Texas to pharmaceutical company Novartis under a 12-year virtual power purchase agreement. The agreement will see the power delivered to Electric Reliability Council of Texas and help reduce Novartis’s greenhouse gas emissions. [reNews]

Wind farm (Invenergy image)

¶ “CleanChoice Offers New Wind Program In New York, Illinois” • CleanChoice Energy, a renewable energy company that offers clean electricity to customers across the country, has launched a new plan that allows residents and businesses of New York and Illinois to purchase 100% of their energy from in-state wind projects. [North American Windpower]

¶ “PUC Signs Off On Molokai Renewable Energy Project” • The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission cleared the way for a large-scare renewable energy project on Molokai. It approved a power purchase agreement for the island’s first grid-scale solar and battery energy storage project, a move that should reduce customer power rates. [Honolulu Civil Beat]

Molokai (Cory Lum | Civil Beat)

¶ “Tesla Energy – Rapid Growth In Solar Roof & Energy Storage Demand Outstripping Supply” • Tesla’s shareholder letter and conference call spoke to the status of Tesla energy products. As utilities, energy companies, commercial entities, and homeowners quickly realize the benefits of battery storage, the picture will look increasingly brighter. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Alternative Energy Program Could Help State’s Utilities Meet Renewable Goals 10 Years Early” • A report from researchers at UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation studied how community choice aggregation impacts California’s power grid. It found that at the current rate of adoption, community choice could serve a majority of consumers within a decade. [KPBS]

Ivanpah solar station (Credit: Associated Press)

¶ “New wind farm in Randolph County will help power Facebook data center in Ohio” • A wind farm in eastern Indiana is expected to be used by Facebook for power at its Midwest data center. More than 50 turbines are to be built and installed in Randolph County by alternative energy company EDP Renewables North America. [Palladium-Item]

¶ “Judge keeps rate cuts for failed South Carolina nuclear project in limbo” • A federal judge refused to end a lawsuit by South Carolina Electric Gas that seeks to stop a temporary rate cut for customers who continue to pay for the utility’s abandoned nuclear reactor project. The 15% rate cut was set to begin appearing on SCE&G bills. [Charleston Post Courier]

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August 2 Energy News

August 2, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “NY Times Magazine Devotes Entire Issue To One Devastating Story On Climate Change” • This Sunday’s NY Times Magazine is entirely devoted to a single devastating story by Nathaniel Rich called “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change.” Now available online, it is another profoundly upsetting reminder of what is going wrong. [Gothamist]

California wildfire (John G Mabanglo | EPA-EFE | Shutterstock)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate change-driven droughts are getting hotter, study finds” • Dry months are getting hotter in large parts of the US. In a study, researchers report that temperatures during droughts have been rising faster than in average climates in recent decades, and they point to concurrent changes in atmospheric water vapor as a driver of the surge. [Science Daily]

¶ “Grim report card for planet ranks 2017 one of hottest years in recorded history” • Last year was one of the hottest in recorded history, according to a new study released by the American Meteorological Society. The State of the Climate in 2017 report is compelling evidence that our planet is warming faster than at any point in modern history. [CNN]

Violent winter storm

World:

¶ “Italy’s Enel expects to exceed 2020 renewable addition target” • Italy’s largest power company Enel said it expects to beat its own renewable addition targets by 2020, as it pivots its generating model away from coal and grows its renewable footprint. Enel’s CEO said 90% of its 7.8-GW target of new additions for 2020 is already secured. [S&P Global Platts]

¶ “First English AD plant certified under ADCS performance scheme” • Bore Hill Farm Biodigester is the first English anaerobic digestion plant to receive a new certification recognising good operational, environmental, and health and safety performance. The plant processes food waste to create fertiliser, heat, and electricity. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

AD plant (Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association image)

¶ “NRA OKs plan to bury radioactive waste from nuke plant decommissioning for 100,000 years” • Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority plans to require that highly radioactive waste from nuclear reactor decommissioning be buried underground at least 70 meters deep for about 100,000 years until the waste becomes no longer hazardous. [The Mainichi]

¶ “India just pushed its booming solar industry into chaos” • The Indian government notified a 25% safeguard duty on imported solar panels for two years. The duty is meant to protect domestic manufacturers. It is now bound to hike solar power tariffs in India since around 90% of panels the sector uses are made in China and Malaysia. [Quartz]

Indian Solar array

US:

¶ “Renewable energy provides more electricity than nuclear power in over half of US states” • Analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of state-by-state data in the EIA’s “Electric Power Monthly” report reveals that renewable sources now provide more electric power than nuclear reactors in over half the states and more electricity than coal in a third. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Plum deal for US food giant” • Lincoln Clean Energy is to sell electricity to US food company JM Smucker from the 230-MW Plum Creek wind farm in Nebraska. Under the terms of the long-term power purchase agreement, JM Smucker will buy 60 MW from the project starting in 2020. The deal will provide for about 50% of the company’s power. [reNews]

Wind power on a farm (Pixabay image)

¶ “Trump’s Pro-Science Pick To Lead White House Science Office” • After a long delay, President Trump announced his nomination for the top White House science advisor, meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier. Droegemeier is an expert in extreme weather events and has served on the faculty at the University of Oklahoma in Norman for 33 years. [Forbes]

¶ “Supreme Court Says Kids Can Sue Trump Over Climate Change” • The Supreme Court rejected a Trump administration effort to stop a climate change lawsuit filed by 21 youth plaintiffs, who argue that the US government violated their constitutional rights by allowing fossil fuel production to continue, despite knowing its effects on the planet. [HuffPost]

Youth plaintiffs (Robin Loznak | Our Childrens Trust)

¶ “DC Circuit tosses challenge to ISO-NE renewable energy market rules” • The DC Circuit Court of Appeals upheld ISO-New England market rules that enhance renewable energy, rebuking a challenge from natural gas generators. The ruling is a win for state policies that seek to influence the generation mix in wholesale power markets. [Utility DIve]

¶ “How can the US reach the cutting edge of offshore wind R&D? DOE seeks input” • The DOE is seeking input on how to put the nation at the cutting edge of wind power development, according to two Requests for Information published in the Federal Register. This comes despite the president’s apparent aversion to wind energy development. [Utility Dive]

Offshore wind turbines

¶ “Offshore wind prices look competitive” • Vineyard Wind, the developer of the first major offshore wind farm is promising to deliver wholesale power to Massachusetts at prices that are far below what Cape Wind was offering nearly a decade ago and not much more expensive than hydro-electricity just procured from Canada. [CommonWealth magazine]

¶ “Entergy to sell Pilgrim, Palisades to JV decommissioning company” • Entergy’s Pilgrim nuclear reactor in Massachusetts and Palisades nuclear reactor in Michigan will be bought and decommissioned decades sooner than previously planned by a joint venture of Holtec International and SNC-Lavalin, a joint statement said. [S&P Global Platts]

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August 1 Energy News

August 1, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Clearly, the climate crisis is upon us” • This summer’s sizzling temperatures, savage droughts, raging wildfires, floods and acute water shortages – from Japan to the Arctic Circle, California to Greece – are surely evidence beyond any reasonable doubt that the climate crisis is upon us now. This is the new normal – until it gets worse. [CNN]

Fighting a wildfire

¶ “Rising seas could knock out the internet – and sooner than scientists thought” • From severe coastal flooding to unusually destructive hurricanes, climate change-related sea level rise is being blamed for some big environmental ills. Now comes a new worry: Rising seas could flood the underground cables that carry the internet. [NBCNews.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Demand For Biodegradable Plastics Expected To Surge” • Biodegradable plastics is a double-digit growth industry coming into its own from increased regulations and bans against plastic bags and other single-use plastic items. Concerns about plastic waste in the environment are contributing to worldwide demand for biodegradable plastics. [CleanTechnica]

Biodegradable plastic tableware

¶ “Cobalt-Free Battery Technology Under Development By Conamix” • The world could face cobalt shortages in several years, according to Bloomberg. Also, there are numerous ethical issues with cobalt. But cobalt is in the lithium batteries, and has been important. Conamix, a New York startup, is developing cobalt-free batteries. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “UK Clean Electricity Surpassed 50% In 2017 As Renewables Soar” • The latest figures published by the UK Government show that renewable and clean energy sources continue to skyrocket, hitting 29.3% and 50.1% respectively, and led by another strong year for wind energy generation. Clean energy is defined as renewables plus nuclear. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore windpower

¶ “Africa To Add 30 GW Of Wind By 2027” • A report published by Market Analyst Sohaib Malik from MAKE Consulting focusing on the African wind energy sector forecasts capacity additions worth 30 GW between 2018 and 2027, led by South Africa, Egypt, and Morocco, which will account for more than two-thirds of the new capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Set To Exceed 210 Gigawatt Wind Power Target By 2020” • China’s recently-announced switch from a Feed-in Tariff scheme to a competitive auction mechanism is expected to help the country surpass its national cumulative wind power target of 210 GW by 2020 and install more than 20 GW per year on average over the next 10 years. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in China

¶ “Record-Breaking Solar and Wind Farms Are Emerging from the Sands of Egypt” • The Egyptian government wants to get 42% of its energy sector powered by renewables by 2025. One project is by a local startup. Once it’s completed, the Benban Solar Park will be the largest solar plant in the world, according to the Los Angeles Times. [Inverse]

¶ “Island crofters lay CfD marker” • Crofters on Stornoway are planning to bid four community-owned island wind farms, ranging from 5 MW to 40 MW, into the UK’s upcoming Contracts for Difference auction. Four townships in the Outer Hebrides will seek capacity under the remote island wind element of the CfD round due before next May. [reNews]

Croft in the Hebrides (Credit: Mi9)

¶ “ESB full modelling shows wind and solar at standstill from 2022 with NEG” • The modelling to be released to support Australia’s National Energy Guarantee will show that the Energy Security Board assumes that the construction of wind and solar projects will come to a complete standstill from 2022 due to the low emissions reduction target. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Massachusetts passes compromise clean energy bill” • A compromise clean energy bill was passed by Massachusetts lawmakers, though it is less ambitious than the bill the state Senate passed in June. The legislation, which is now going to the governor’s desk, “falls far short” of the Senate’s version,  the Sierra Club said.  [Renewables Now]

Roadside solar power (MassDOT, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “California, Hawaii Lead Surge In Residential Battery Storage In Q1” • A report from Greentech Media and the Energy Storage Association finds residential battery storage in the US surged in Q1 of 2018. In total, 36 MWh of behind the meter residential storage were installed, equal to the amount installed in the previous three quarters combined. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Large Solar-Plus-Storage Projects Planned Near Las Vegas” • Two planned solar projects in Nevada would be the first in that state to include battery storage, part of an increasing trend. The proposed Gemini Solar Project is for 690 MW of PV capacity and up to 200 MW of storage. Yellow Pine Solar Project is to have capacities totalling 500 MW. [Power magazine]

Solar array in Nevada (Photo: USAF, Airman 1st
Class Nadine Y. Barclay, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Judge rebuffs utility, won’t throw out all clean-energy-drive petitions” • Arizonans cannot be blocked from voting on a renewable energy proposal solely because organizers might have violated state election law, a judge ruled. But the state’s largest electric company may still try to block the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative. [Arizona Daily Star]

¶ “Nuclear Operators Scramble To Make Reactors Flexible Enough For New Energy Economy” • Nuclear operators are trying to figure out how to deal with the inflexible nature of nuclear reactors, which are optimized to run at maximum capacity. Some are considering using excess power to desalinate brackish water or to make hydrogen. [Forbes]

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