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]

Have an unprecedentedly easy day.

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