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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