Archive for September, 2018

September 30 Energy News

September 30, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Gas leak: Government tries to release its greenhouse news on the quiet” • The Morrison government stands accused of trying to sneak-release the latest greenhouse gas emission figures by making them public on the eve of the football grand finals. In the year to March 2018, Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rose by 1.3%. [The New Daily]

Boy playing on a drought-struck family farm (Photo: Getty)

¶ “Tech Investments Are Powering Up Clean Energy” • Analysts at Bloomberg took a close look at capital expenditures by US tech companies. Since 2010, they have signed agreements to buy nearly 18,000 MW of clean power. Power purchase agreements are good for business. Long-term contracts with renewable generators have no variable costs. [Bloomberg]

¶ “UN report under review presents nations with tough choices on climate” • The world’s nations will gather at a UN conference in South Korea on Monday, October 1, to review and approve a 20-page bombshell, distilled from more than 6,000 scientific studies, laying out our narrowing options for staving off a climate catastrophe. [The Japan Times]

Floodwaters from Hurricane Florence

¶ “Report: Don’t bother to fight climate” • Deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous 7° F (4° C) by the end of this century. But the paper justifies reduced transportation fuel efficiency, saying acting will not help. [Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Creating Fuel From Thin Air” • Artificial photosynthesis has great technical promise for utilizing solar power to convert CO2 into fuel. Natural photosynthetic efficiency is very low, but it can result in huge accumulations of useful materials over time. Artificial photosynthesis would speed up the process, making hydrogen for fuel. [OilPrice.com]

Science in the laboratory

World:

¶ “Nigeria Doubles Down On Mini-Grids” • The development potential of Nigerian mini-grids supplying up to 1 MW of capacity from renewable sources, is valued at up to $20 billion, according to a report issued by private sector think tank Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the US-based sustainability NGO, Rocky Mountain Institute. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa announces new contracts as ETES construction nears completion” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has revealed that its electric thermal energy storage (ETES) facility in Germany is nearing completion. The facility can store 30 MWh of energy, a day’s supply for 1,500 German households. [Energy Digital]

Offshore wind farm (Getty Images)

¶ “Dasara to be powered by green energy sources” • This year, illumination for India’s Dasara festival is going green, powered largely by renewable energy sources. The festival’s lighting will be powered by over 538 MW from renewable sources, with 238 MW from solar sources and 300 MW from wind generation plants. [The New Indian Express]

¶ “Plan to extend power transmission lines by 36,870 km by 2041” • According to the Power Cell statistics, the total length of transmission lines in Bangladesh is 11,123 km. The government has planned to extend the transmission lines by 36,870 km across the country by 2041, when production of electricity is projected to reach 60,000 MW. [Dhaka Tribune]

Powering the nation (Bigstock)

¶ “Small islands shifting to renewables” • The International Renewable Energy Agency is stepping up its plans to help small island developing states (SIDS) shift to clean power. Leaders from both met at a side event held during the UN General Assembly. They agreed to move forward with the SIDS Lighthouses 2.0 initiative. [Innovators Magazine]

US:

¶ “Disaster could be a turning point in energy debate” • Arguing that money would be better spent shifting to renewable energy, environmentalists have been prodding Massachusetts for years to move away from natural gas. The recent gas fires and explosions in the Merrimack Valley have renewed debate over the use of natural gas. [Eagle-Tribune]

Massachusetts boy wearing a gas mask because of
smoke (Paul Bilodeau | Eagle-Tribune Staff photo)

¶ “Elon Musk Settles With SEC, Will Stay On As CEO But Step Aside As Chairman” • Reports say that Elon Musk and Tesla have settled the lawsuit the Securities & Exchange Commission brought alleging fraud because Musk said the words “funding secured” in a tweet about taking Tesla private. He did not admit fraud in the settlement. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Entergy seeks to re-license two nuclear plants, amid questions over performance in power emergency” • Entergy is seeking to renew licenses for the River Bend and Waterford 3 nuclear plants in Louisiana. They received favorable reviews from the EPA and the NRC. But recent emergencies have put electricity providers under scrutiny. [The Advocate]

Have a captivatingly sweet day.

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September 29 Energy News

September 29, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Forbes: Electric Cars = The Future, Gasmobile Killers” • Are the days of the gas guzzler numbered? Tom Raftery (via Forbes) says there are “seven reasons why the internal combustion engine is a dead man walking.” He explains, “…the move from ICE vehicles to electric will happen sooner and more quickly than most people suspect.” [CleanTechnica]

One reason the future is with EVs (Source: Forbes | Credit: Bloomberg) Please click on the image to enlarge it. 

¶ “The Inevitable Oil Supply Crunch” • “The warning signs are there – the industry isn’t finding enough oil.” That statement is the start of a new report from Wood Mackenzie, which concludes that a supply gap could emerge in the mid-2020s as demand rises at a time when too few new sources of supply are coming online. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Excitement builds about changes accelerating in energy systems” • Paonia, Colorado, used to be a coal town. In 2012, nearly 1,000 people were employed in the local mines, but by 2017, employment had fallen to just 220. Now, the town is pushing aggressively toward local renewable energy generation. And people are excited. [Mountain Town News]

Paonia, Colorado (Photo: Allen Best)

¶ “Jeremy Corbyn wants to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050. This is how he could actually do it” • Jeremy Corbyn packed a lot into his closing speech at the Labour Party conference. One thing he set out was a bold plan to reduce net carbon emissions by 60% by 2030. But to get there he will have to focus on more than just renewables. [Wired.co.uk]

Science and Technology:

¶ “NantEnergy Says Zinc-Air Battery Ideal For Grid Storage” • Compared to most lithium-ion batteries, NantEnergy’s zinc-air batteries offer lower cost and longer duration. The company says its batteries, which rely on abundant and inexpensive zinc, are already at the $100/kWh level, and that the price is expected to drop as production increases. [CleanTechnica]

NantEnergy battery (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

World:

¶ “America’s largest PV plant comes online in Mexico” • Italian energy company, Enel announced the completion of its 828-MW Villanueva project. It has also built an additional portion of the Don José solar plant, which has now reached 260 MW. The two projects have had 1,089 MW of capacity grid-connected in several phases. [pv magazine International]

¶ “New Zealand newest geothermal power plant enters commissioning stage” • New Zealand’s latest geothermal power plant entered the commissioning phase, adding a capacity of 25 MW to New Zealand’s geothermal power generation capacity. ThinkGeoEnergy’s records show NZ’s geothermal capacity now at 1005 MW. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Te Ahi O Maui geothermal power plant (source: Eastland)

¶ “Treated water at Fukushima plant far too unsafe to be dumped soon” • TEPCO acknowledged that about 80% of the water in giant storage tanks on the premises at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant exceeded government standards for radioactive materials. Some is by a factor of 20,000, even though it had already been processed.  [Asahi Shimbun]

¶ “Vestas to build 181-MW Aussie wind park” • Vestas Wind Systems A/S announced it will build the 181-MW Berrybank wind farm in the Australian state of Victoria for Global Power Generation. The 43 turbines for the wind farm are to be installed in time for a commissioning date scheduled for the second quarter of 2020. [Renewables Now]

Vestas turbines (Photo: DennisM2)

US:

¶ “Solar energy expansion gets final state approval” • The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program of the state’s Department of Energy Resources, is designed to expand solar power and lower rates. It has cleared its final regulatory hurdle, paving the way for what is hoped will be 1,600 MW of new solar installations. [Sentinel & Enterprise]

¶ “NYSERDA and the Danish Energy Ministry Announce Agreement to Enhance Cooperation Regarding Development of Offshore Wind Energy” • The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities, and Climate signed a Memorandum of Understanding on developing offshore windpower. [LongIsland.com]

Wind power (Photo: Detmold.jpg)

¶ “US solar production increases 25.4% in first half of 2018 over last year” • Non-hydro renewable energy sources (biofuels, biomass, geothermal, solar, wind) set new US records for both production and consumption in the first half of 2018, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of Energy Information Administration data. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Appalachia Could Get a Giant Solar Farm, If Ohio Regulators Approve” • Appalachian Ohio, a region hurt by the decline of coal, may become home to one of the largest solar projects east of the Rockies. American Electric Power submitted a plan to work with two developers to build 400 MW of solar in Highland County, Ohio. [InsideClimate News]

Solar panels (Credit: Kerry Sheridan | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Kelly promotes clean energy, takes on Sununu” • Using the backdrop of City Hall flanked by Dover, New Hampshire’s mayor, who had lobbied lawmakers to expand net metering in the state, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Molly Kelly chastised Gov Chris Sununu for not signing a bill to do so. Kelly is promoting green energy. [The Keene Sentinel]

¶ “Bloom Energy gets $100 million in financing for fuel cell deployments” • Key Equipment Finance will provide $100 million in project financing for new Bloom Energy commercial and industrial fuel cell deployments. Key has already provided Bloom $300 million in financing for earlier Bloom Energy fuel cell projects. [delawarebusinessnow.com]

Have an excitingly groovy day.

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September 28 Energy News

September 28, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Undersea Walls & Columns Could Slow Collapse Of Glaciers For 1000 Years” • Scientists at Beijing Normal University, the University of Lapland in Finland, and Princeton published a study in the journal of the European Geosciences Union. It argues that walls of sediment and rock could significantly slow glacial melting in Antarctica. [CleanTechnica]

Thwaites Glacier 2012

¶ “Chemical pollution could wipe out half of all killer whale populations” • Chemical pollutants banned more than 40 years ago are still having a devastating effect on marine life and could lead to the disappearance of half the world’s killer whales before the end of the century. That’s according to a study published in the journal Science. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Iron Mountain Hits Key Renewable Energy Milestones in Europe” • Iron Mountain Incorporated, a leader in storage and information management services, announced that its operations in Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands, and the UK have achieved their goal of sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewable energy. [Sustainable Brands]

Wind turbines

¶ “IEA Chief Predicts 200 GW Of Offshore Wind By 2040” • Speaking at the Global Wind Summit, Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, predicted that wind energy would play “a critical role” in the world’s energy mix over the coming decades, boosted in part by up to at least 200 GW of offshore wind. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables produces almost a third of UK power in Q2” • Between April and June, renewables provided a record 31.7% of the UK’s electricity generation. The low-carbon share fell slightly compared to the same period in 2017, to 53.4%, as a result of outages in nuclear power plants. Coal power also fell to a record low of just 1.6%. [Energy Voice]

Onshore wind farm (Photo: Colin Rennie)

¶ “World Bank Commits $1 Billion To Battery Storage In Developing Countries” • The World Bank Group announced a commitment of $1 billion for a new global program to accelerate the investment in battery storage for energy systems across developing and middle-income countries to accelerate use of renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar & Wind Energy Destined To Expand Faster Than Other Global Energy Sources” • Global market analyst DNV GL peeled back the layers of its recent forecast on global energy source evolution to show that solar and wind energy will grow, buoyed by offshore wind, to represent nearly 70% of global electricity production by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Vestas lands 225-MW turbine order in Argentina” • Danish wind turbine manufacture Vestas Wind Systems A/S said it has secured a 225-MW order for four wind farms in Argentina from local energy company Central Puerto SA. Two of the wind farms are in Buenos Aires province; the other two are in the Cordoba province. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Innogy breaks ground on 349-MW Australian Limondale solar farm” • Germany’s innogy SE, a subsidiary of RWE, confirmed it has taken the final investment decision for the Limondale solar farm in New South Wales. At 349 MW peak, the Limondale solar farm is expected to be Australia’s largest solar power plant once completed. [pv magazine International]

Solar farm of innogy subsidiary Belectric (Image: Belectric)

¶ “Terrible: Rising gas output lifts Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions” • Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have continued to climb, reaching the highest levels on a quarterly basis since 2010. They were led by a surge in gas production. For the 12 months to March 31 2018, emissions were up 1.3% from a year earlier. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Offgrid communities: using renewable energy to live independently” • According to CE Delft’s report, The Potential of Energy Cities in the European Union, by 2050 almost half of all European Union households could help to produce renewable energy, with off-grid communities contributing 37% of this amount. [Power Technology]

Turbines on the island of Eigg (Photo: WL Tarbert)

US:

¶ “SEC Files Suit Against Elon Musk” • (Updated) Probably the last thing anyone wants to hear three days before the end of Q3 is that the Securities & Exchange Commission has sued Elon Musk in federal court in Manhattan, accusing him of fraud with regard to a totally out-of-the-blue tweet on August 7 that rocked Wall Street. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Businesses Push California Toward Another Clean Economy Governor” • California business groups say it is critically important that the next governor endorse California’s ambitious new emissions-free electricity law and Governor Jerry Brown’s executive order that sets the goal of a carbon-neutral state economy by 2045. [CleanTechnica]

#CleanEconomyGovernor

¶ “New Jersey utility proposes $4 billion plan to advance state’s clean energy goals” • PSE&G, New Jersey’s largest regulated utility, has a $4 billion plan to make the Garden State greener and advance the state’s bid to become a clean energy leader. Its six-year plan, Clean Energy Future, aims to reduce both costs and emissions. [CNBC]

¶ “New York’s Nuclear Zero-Carbon Credits Pass Federal Court Challenge” • A federal court has upheld the legality of New York’s zero-carbon emissions program for nuclear power plants, the second decision this month bolstering the rights of states to set their own energy policies without overstepping federal authority. [Greentech Media]

Have an inspiringly wonderful day.

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September 27 Energy News

September 27, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Election 2018: Clean Energy’s Future Could Rise or Fall with 36 Governor’s Races” • Some of the most consequential elections for climate policy this fall could be the 36 governors races, where a blue wave could position clean energy advocates as a significant counterforce against the Trump administration’s fossil fuel agenda. [InsideClimate News]

Solar array in Vermont (Robert Nickelsberg | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “South Australia’s Tesla battery on track to make back a third of cost in a year” • The Tesla lithium-ion battery in South Australia is on track to make back a third of its construction costs in its first year of operation, new financial documents show. The capital cost of the 100-MW/129-MWh battery was A$90.6 million (€56 million, $65.8 million). [The Guardian]

¶ “Acciona to supply renewable power to Bosch’s Iberian centers” • Spanish infrastructure group Acciona SA announced that it will supply renewable power to all of industrial group Bosch’s centers in the Iberian Peninsula. The company will deliver electric power guaranteed to be 100% renewable to over 20 Bosch facilities in Portugal and Spain. [Renewables Now]

Acciona PV plant Portugal (Source: Acciona SA)

¶ “RE100 Adds 7 New Members, Including First Latin American & Turkish Companies” • Global 100% renewable electricity initiative RE100 announced at Climate Week NYC that it added seven new members, bringing the total number of companies up to 152, and introducing the first companies from Latin America and Turkey. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Wind Energy Council Forms Taskforce To Accelerate Offshore Deployment” • The Global Wind Energy Council announced that it will form the Offshore Wind Taskforce. The taskforce is dedicated to accelerating development of offshore wind technology in non-European markets such as Asia and North America. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore windpower (GWEC image)

¶ “Eighty five local firms implement solar energy projects in Egypt’s Benban” • Eighty five local companies in Egypt aim to implement the services of the solar energy feed-in tariff projects in Benban, Aswan. Of the 85 companies registered to implement the services in Hassan Allam, 33 are owned by the people of Benban. [Technical Review Middle East]

UK:

¶ “Labour conference: Corbyn Swansea tidal lagoon pledge” • Jeremy Corbyn has promised to back proposals for a tidal power lagoon in Swansea Bay if Labour wins power in the next election. Tory UK ministers rejected plans for the lagoon, but Labour’s leader backed them as part of a “green jobs revolution” at the Labour conference. [BBC News]

Tidal barrier (TLP image)

¶ “Labour pledge ‘seven-fold’ increase in offshore wind at conference” • Labour’s shadow business and energy secretary, Rebecca Long Bailey, pledged that her party would look to create a “seven-fold” increase in offshore wind. She said Labour plans to provide 60% of UK energy through renewables in just twelve years. [Energy Voice]

¶ “Increasing Number of Banks Say No to Financing Coal-Based Projects” • British multinational banking and financial services company Standard Chartered pulled the plug on any upcoming coal-fired power plants across the globe. Doing so, it has joined an ever-increasing list of banks that have shown a commitment towards the environment. [Mercom India]

Indian coal-burning power plant

US:

¶ “Utility Solar + Storage Accelerates Ahead Of Expectations” • The US utility market for energy storage this fall is warming ahead of expectations, with requests for proposals accelerating from a mild demand level earlier this year. The 2018 market was not expected by some storage system manufacturers for another two years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Building a Better Energy Future in Puerto Rico” • Even though the lights are finally back on throughout Puerto Rico, serious challenges remain. Restoring to conditions before Hurricane Maria is just making them as bad as they had been. But there is no need to accept that position, the electricity grid can be made better. [Center For American Progress]

San Juan during black-out (Alex Wroblewski | Getty)

¶ “Shell Partners With NREL On Clean Technology Incubator” • Multinational oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell announced that it launched the Shell GameChanger Accelerator, partnering with the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The new organization is to discover and advance emerging clean energy technologies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Virginia To Challenge For Top Offshore Wind Spot In US – 2 GW By 2028” • Hot on the heels of New Jersey’s decision to solicit 1.1 GW of offshore windpower capacity, southern cousin Virginia is positioning itself to become the South’s first offshore wind giant with a goal of installing at least 2,000 MW in the coming decade. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island offshore wind farm

¶ “Solar Suit Aims to Put Maine Back on Track” • With every technological advance, solar energy becomes less expensive and a more attractive as an investment. In Maine, however, the Public Utilities Commission has developed policy to fight progress. It will charge people who invest in solar systems for the power they produce. [Natural Resources Council of Maine]

¶ “Georgia Nuclear plant gets go-ahead despite budget overages” • The primary owners of the last nuclear power plant still under construction in the US, Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, said in a joint statement that they made an agreement that allows building Plant Vogtle to continue. [New Jersey Herald]

Have a fascinatingly splendid day.

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September 26 Energy News

September 26, 2018

World:

¶ “Cities and Finance Combine To Strengthen Climate Change Investment In Africa, Asia, and Latin America” • The Global Climate City Challenge, will seek to address financing and technical preparation for cities across the world to strengthen investment in green projects and programs essential for climate change resilience. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels in Africa

¶ “World’s biggest baking company goes green” • Grupo Bimbo, the world’s biggest baking company, has committed to using 100% renewable electricity by the year 2025. Headquartered in Mexico City, Mexico, Grupo Bimbo also joined the RE100, a global initiative of companies committed to using 100% renewable electricity. [CNBC]

¶ “MHI Vestas enters 10-MW territory” • MHI Vestas kicked off sales of its much-anticipated 10-MW wind turbine. Commercial installations are to start from 2021. The Danish manufacturer officially broke the double-digit barrier with the V164 10-MW machine through a series of relatively small upgrades to the technology. [reNews]

MHI Vestas V164 (MHI Vestas image)

¶ “Statkraft to invest $1.2 billion a year in renewables until 2025” • Norwegian power firm Statkraft said it plans to invest around $1.2 billion a year in renewable energy from 2019 to 2025. The state-owned company plans to upgrade hydropower facilities and to reach capacities of 6,000 MW of onshore wind and 2,000 MW of solar power by 2025. [Reuters]

¶ “Renewables may account for 18% of total power generation by 2022” • The share of renewable energy in India’s electricity generation mix is likely to rise to around 18% by 2022, up from 7.8% at present, owing to the continuous focus on capacity addition from solar and wind, according to a report from Moody’s Investors Service. [News Nation]

Indian rooftop solar system

¶ “China steps up green energy push with revised renewable target of 35% by 2030” • China is aiming for renewables to account for at least 35% of electricity consumption by 2030, according to a revised draft plan seen by Bloomberg. Previously, the goal was for “non-fossil fuels” to make up 20% of energy use by 2030. [South China Morning Post]

¶ “EU tidal energy expertise arrives in Canada” • European offshore renewables expertise is being used in Canada with the installation of the PLAT-I floating tidal energy platform in Nova Scotia. The PLAT-I tidal energy system was developed by Sustainable Marine Energy. It is equipped with four Schottel Hydro SIT250 tidal turbines. [Maritime Journal]

PLAT-I (Photo: Sustainable Marine Energy Ltd)

¶ “Funding of two new coal IPPs in South Africa may be under threat” • International and local efforts to restrict funding for the construction of new coal-fired power plants appear to be gaining momentum, even possibly threatening the funding of the two new planned independent coal power producer projects in South Africa. [Fin24]

¶ “Norwegians outfit heavy lifter” • Norwegian outfit Kongsberg Maritime won a $13 million contract to supply a technology and electrical package for a new heavy lift crane vessel for use in the offshore wind industry. The vessel marks the entry of Norway’s Offshore Heavy Transport into the offshore windpower installation market. [reNews]

Heavy lift crane vessel (Image: Kongsberg Maritime)

¶ “Belgium Faces Winter Blackouts as Aging Reactors Falter” • Belgium is bracing for power shortages this winter as the nation grapples with extended outages at its aging fleet of nuclear reactors. Only one of the seven reactors in Belgium will be operational at start of November, and some electricity will have to be imported. [Bloomberg]

¶ “Berlin pressured on clean power sales” • Energy ministers of five states in northern Germany urged the federal government to auction extra onshore and offshore wind capacity in the short term and to expand the country’s power grid. They called on the federal government to offer a total of 9.5 GW of extra wind and solar capacity. [reNews]

Offshore wind power (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ “AEP to retire Oklaunion coal plant due to renewables, gas competition” • American Electric Power will retire its 680-MW Oklaunion coal plant in 2020 because it cannot compete with cheaper power from gas and renewables, the utility announced. The plant is located on the Texas side of that state’s border with Oklahoma. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Holyoke solar plant gets battery storage” • One of first states to enact an energy storage target, Massachusetts, received its largest utility-scale energy storage system when ENGIE and Holyoke Gas & Electric launched a 3-MW/6-MWh system connected to a solar farm at the site of the closed Mount Tom Power Station. [GazetteNET]

Solar plus storage system at Mount Tom

¶ “Alabama Power seeks renewable energy, including hydro” • Alabama Power said it is seeking proposals to meet future energy and reliability needs, including proposals for potential renewable energy projects. The company issued two requests for proposals. One of the requests is general, but the other is specifically for renewable energy resources. [HydroWorld]

¶ “America’s First SMR Makes Pivotal Advancement with Selection of Manufacturer” • NuScale Power selected Virginia-based BWX Technologies, Inc for engineering work to make its small modular reactor. NuScale’s nuclear technology is the only small modular reactor to undergo Design Certification review by the NRC. [Odessa American]

Have an astonishingly superior day.

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September 25 Energy News

September 25, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Global warming harms national parks more than rest of US, study finds” • According a climate study published by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin, areas that are chock-full of national parks, places like Alaska and the American Southwest, have already seen dramatic temperature hikes. [NBC News]

Alaska’s North Slope (Photo: Al Grillo | AP file)

World:

¶ “Plan put forward to dodge US sanctions” • The remaining members in the Iranian nuclear deal say they will set up a new payment system to maintain business with Iran and bypass US sanctions. The system would facilitate oil companies and businesses to continue trading, without relying on the US-led global market and dollar. [BBC]

¶ “Labour wants green energy to power most UK homes by 2030” • Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, will declare that the UK Labour Party is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Almost all of Britain’s homes and businesses would be powered by emissions-free power by 2030. [The Guardian]

Green Rigg Wind farm in Northumberland
(Photo: Murdo MacLeod for the Guardian)

¶ “RE100: Green companies outperform their peers” • Those companies that use renewable electricity outperform their rivals financially, according to a report released by RE100, The Climate Group’s initiative to encourage firms to commit to using 100% renewable power. The report compared 152 RE100 companies with rivals. [businessgreen.com]

¶ “Global oil production to rise over next five years” • An annual report from OPEC has predicted global oil production will rise to record highs over the next five years, predominantly due to increased demand from airlines and road vehicles. OPEC expects demand to rise from 100 million barrels today to 112 million by 2040. [Power Technology]

Plane wing (Photo: Raffaello Tesi)

¶ “Hiroshima High Court signs off on restart of reactor at Shikoku Electric’s Ikata nuclear power plant” • The Hiroshima High Court accepted an appeal by Shikoku Electric Power Co to allow it to restart a reactor at its Ikata nuclear power plant, saying worries over the possibility of a volcanic eruption damaging the plant are “groundless.” [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “Purely Green Program Connects Consumers Directly To Renewable Energy In Texas” • Renewable Power Direct, a Texas startup, has taken community solar and wind farms to the next level. RPD’s Purely Green program has several large companies working together to give small customers power from renewable sources. [CleanTechnica]

Green Mountain Wind Farm

¶ “Michigan utilities upgrade pumped storage plant ahead of renewable push” • The Ludington Pumped Storage Plant serves as 1900-MW battery for Michigan’s electric grid. The plant is getting an $800 million upgrade that will boost capacity and extend its life another 40 years, to store energy from solar and wind plants. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Vestas secures 144 MW order from Avangrid Renewables in the USA” • Vestas has received an order for 144 MW of its V136-3.45 MW turbines delivered in 3.6-MW Power Optimized Mode from Avangrid Renewables for the Otter Creek Wind Farm in Illinois. Turbine delivery will begin in the second quarter of 2019. [Renewable Energy Magazine ]

South Plains wind farm, Texas (Vestas image)

¶ “Local solar at the heart of Cleveland’s 100% renewable energy goal” • The city of Cleveland, Ohio, is looking to put community solar plants on vacant and contaminated land and to make it easier for residents and business to go solar. It will also employ community choice aggregation, according to its climate action plan. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Ground-breaking renewable fuel refinery announced” • NewEnergyBlue is about six months away from breaking ground on a ground-breaking renewable fuel refinery. New Energy Spirit Biomass Refinery is projected to turn 280,000 tons of North Dakota wheat straw into 16 million gallons per year of low-carbon auto fuel. [Feedstuffs]

New Energy Spirit Biomass Refinery

¶ “LG Enters US Home Energy Storage Business, Unveils State-Of-The-Art Systems” • LG Electronics USA Business Solutions is launching two advanced energy storage systems, along with an expandable battery pack for US homeowners. One system is for those who already have solar panels; the other is for new LG solar panel installations. [MarketWatch]

¶ “Iberdrola plans to boost US renewable power by about 50%” • Iberdrola SA, the world’s biggest wind power producer, plans to expand its renewable capacity in the US by about 50% over four years. The expansion is part of the Spanish electric utility’s global plan to reduce carbon emissions, Iberdrola’s chief executive told Reuters. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind farm

¶ “LePage’s secret wind commission falling apart” • A vocal critic of commercial wind energy in Maine has resigned from Gov Paul LePage’s secretive commission to study the industry, saying the group “lacks urgency, credibility, and focus.” Maine’s wind farms generate roughly 900 MW, more than all other New England states combined. [Lewiston Sun Journal]

¶ “Owners Vote to Continue Vogtle Nuclear Project” • Owners of the beleaguered Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project have voted, at least for now, to continue construction of two new AP1000 reactors at the site near Waynesboro, Georgia. One owner’s board said its vote was conditioned on an agreement to cap costs. [Power Magazine]

Have a profoundly enviable day.

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September 24 Energy News

September 24, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected” • Negotiations on the Electricity Market Design package will continue this fall with one aim of the package being to provide for a higher percentage of renewables in our energy. Yet we have no chance of meeting our goals if we neglect our energy infrastructure. [EUobserver]

Energy from the wind (Photo: European Community)

¶ “Power Outages During a Hurricane Can be Deadly. Solar Could Fix That.” • Maria, and the more recent storms like Hurricane Florence, tell a story about reliable power that’s quite different from what President Trump has claimed as he gives his usual support to fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are not secure, but the sun is reliable. [Mother Jones]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Jordan’s plans to turn the desert green” • According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation, food production needs to be increased by 50% by 2050. Food production accounts for about 70% of our freshwater consumption and emits 25% of greenhouse gases. While arable land is being lost to climate change, Jordan is farming in a desert. [BBC]

Greenhouse in a desert

¶ “GE unveils 5.3-MW onshore titan” • Turbine manufacturer GE has taken the wraps off a new 5-MW-plus onshore wind turbine featuring a novel two-piece blade design. The 5.3-158 is part of the Cypress platform to be unveiled at WindEnergy Hamburg 2018 this week. It offers a 50% power increase from GE’s 3-MW turbine. [reNews]

World:

¶ “Talk of coal-mining in Sabah draws objections across the board” • Non-governmental organisations and political parties from both sides of the divide have come out strongly to object to Government plans to allow coal mining in Sabah, in northern Borneo, Malaysia, as fears grow that the coal-rich Maliau Basin was a target. [The Star Online]

Mount Kinabalu, Sabah (Dcubillas, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Volkswagen Plans 16 New Electric Car Assembly Plants, One In North America” • Volkswagen plans to make as many as 10 million electric cars in the coming years. As part of that plan, the company expects to have 16 electric car assembly plants in operation by 2022, part of its $40 billion dollar EV investment strategy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scotland’s renewables masking ‘lack of progress’ on EVs and agriculture” • Scotland is outperforming the rest of the UK on emissions reduction and is on course to meet upcoming climate targets. But the Committee on Climate Change says strong progress is needed in such sectors as agriculture, transport, and heating. [businessgreen.com]

Edinburgh

¶ “More solar panels! Rooftop energy creation goes up in 2018, new players enter market” • Those who have bemoaned the slow pace of capacity addition of rooftop solar PVs in India have reason to cheer. As much as 805 MW capacity was added in the first half of 2018, nearly double the combined amount in 2015 and 2016. [Financial Express]

¶ “More renewable energy projects to be implemented in Russia” • Russia’s conventional energy reserves are among the world’s biggest, but the country has been also working on increasing the share of renewables. In addition to wind, solar, and hydro-electric projects, the government is stimulating the development of waste-to-energy. [Realnoe vremya]

Renewable energy (Photo: adege)

¶ “Tackling climate change to be key talking point at UN summit” • With global temperatures rising, superstorms taking their deadly toll and a year-end deadline to firm up the Paris climate deal, leaders at this year’s UN General Assembly are feeling a sense of urgency to keep up the momentum on combating climate change. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Ontario’s government preps for Green Energy Act repeal” • The newly-elected government of Ontario introduced legislation to scrap the Green Energy Act. The Green Energy Act had been introduced in the Ontario legislature back in 2009 in order to expand the use of renewables in the province and fight climate change. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines in Ontario (Image: CanWEA)

¶ “Arkona delivers first power” • Eon and Equinor have delivered electricity to the German grid for the first time from the 385-MW Arkona offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea. GeoSea jack-up A2Sea Sea Challenger has installed 44 of the 60 Siemens Gamesa 6.45-MW turbines at the project, Equinor said. Equinor was formerly known as Statoil. [reNews]

US:

¶ “Arkansas Electric Cooperative CEO says coal is ‘no longer king’, consumers are ‘next power plant’” • Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp CEO Duane Highley said energy efficiency has helped produce more power with existing assets, and in turn, is helping reduce the need for new billion-dollar power plants to be constructed. [talkbusiness.net]

Electric utility worker

¶ “Former federal energy regulators say it’s a ‘fertile time’ for energy choice, question renewable mandates” • Two former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members met with reporters to back an upcoming Nevada ballot measure and give their takes on the potential benefits of moving to a competitive retail market. [The Nevada Independent]

¶ “Leading Gold Dome Republicans grumble about rising cost of new nukes at Vogtle” • A group of Republican state legislators are now among those grumbling publicly about budget-busting costs as the Plant Vogtle expansion drags toward completion. They want owners to make certain that regular folks not pay too much of the bill. [SaportaReport]

Have a dazzlingly worthwhile day.

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September 23 Energy News

September 23, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “10 Years after 1st Car, Tesla Production Rate is 300,000 to 400,000 Cars a Year” • Critics have written for years that Tesla would never be able to produce cars in quantity. They still do. But the truth is, Tesla produced its first car in 2008 and is now hitting a production rates of between 300,000 and 400,000 cars per year just 10 years later. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

¶ “Utilities Look Toward a Clean Energy Future, Yet the Administration Keeps Looking Back” • Trump’s coal bailout is unlikely to work, partly because coal’s rapid decline has been driven primarily by market forces. But another key reason the bailout would fail is that utilities are setting goals to reduce CO2 emissions. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

¶ “Putting a dollar value on one of oil’s biggest subsidies: military protection” • Securing America’s Future Energy, a clean-energy advocacy group composed of retired military and business leaders, published a paper on the costs to the US military of defending oil supplies. They said the cost is at least $81 billion per year. [Vox]

Carrier operations (Anthony Flynn | US Navy via Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Government of Canada invests $30 Million in Halagonia Tidal Energy” • The government of Canada, through Natural Resources Canada’s Emerging Renewable Power Program, provided $29.8 million of funding to Halagonia Tidal Energy Ltd to support its $117-million tidal-power project at the Bay of Fundy. [Private Capital Journal]

¶ “The World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Train is Now On Track in Germany” • French train-building company Alstom delivered its first two hydrogen-powered trains to Germany. They are the first of many Alstom already has on order. Germany is lowering its emissions from the transportation sector, and diesel trains are to be phased out. [Jalopnik]

Hydrogen-powered train (Photo: René Frampe, Alstrom)

¶ “West Bengal to commission floating solar power plants next year” • The West Bengal government is developing two floating solar power plants to be commissioned by next year, the state minister for power and non-renewable energy said. The larger plant’s capacity would be 100 MW, and the smaller plant’s would be 5 MW. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Filling in for coal – the potential role of geothermal energy in Germany” • A recent article from Germany’s Geothermal Association highlights on how geothermal energy can make a significant contribution to planned exit from coal-fueled power and heat generation. The exit from coal is necessary to slow climate change. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

German open pit mine and power plant (gbohne | Flickr)

¶ “Portugal third in renewable energy production” • Portugal got 54.1% of its electricity from renewable resources in 2016, Eurostat reported. Portugal was one of only five EU countries that got more than half their electricity from renewable sources: 50%, Austria (72.6%), Sweden (64.9%), Portugal (54.1%), Denmark (53.7%) and Latvia (51.3%). [The Portugal News]

¶ “Enel Green Power España to build 84.7 MW solar PV farm in Spain” • Enel Green Power España, an Italian renewable-energy firm recently began constructing an 84.7 MW solar PV facility in the Spanish municipality of Totana. It will be the largest solar plant the company has ever built in Spain, with an investment of about €59 million. [CMFE Research]

Solar array in Spain

US:

¶ “Companies End Effort to Buy Navajo Generating Station” • The companies negotiating to purchase the largest coal-fired power plant in the southwestern US have broken off their pursuit of that goal. This means the 2,250-MW Navajo Generating Station near Page, Arizona, remains scheduled to close by year-end 2019. [Power magazine]

¶ “LPEA studies power alternatives to wholesale supplier” • La Plata Electric Association is exploring alternatives to purchasing power from its wholesale power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission. LPEA’s contract with Tri-State caps purchases from outside sources at 5%, limiting its ability to buy renewable power. [The Durango Herald]

Solar array (Durango Herald file photo)

¶ “Aeterna Energy adds solar+storage system to California movie theater” • The privately owned iconic Mary Pickford Theater hosted a ”Flip the Switch” event, showcasing a self-sustaining renewable energy plant housed on its own premises. Its newly installed 620-kW roof-mounted solar PV system is backed by a 1000-kWh battery. [Solar Power World]

¶ “217 scientists sign letter opposing logging as a response to wildfires” • The House version of the 2018 Farm Bill now being considered would expand logging on public lands in response to increases in wildfires. A group of 217 scientists, educators, and land managers signed an open letter calling on lawmakers to consider what they are doing. [Wildfire Today]

Bald Mountain Fire

¶ “Michigan utility unveils new battery at university” • A Michigan utility has unveiled a new battery to store renewable energy at Western Michigan University. The battery can store enough solar and wind energy to supply about 1,000 homes with an hour of power, according to Consumers Energy’s Project Manager. [Fox17]

¶ “Federal appeals court keeps rate cuts for failed nuke plants” • The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied requests from South Carolina Electric & Gas to stop the temporary rate cuts while it appeals and to speed up the case. The rate cuts were put in place by lawmakers who believed the loss should be covered by shareholders. [Plainview Daily Herald]

Have a superbly enjoyable day.

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September 22 Energy News

September 22, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Homeowners who live on the coast are sleepwalking toward climate catastrophe” • Sea levels are rising faster than predicted. Relative sea levels in vulnerable places like South Florida are roughly four inches higher now than in 1992; projections by the Army Corps of Engineers and others see rises in South Florida of 12 inches by 2030. [CNN]

Mar-a-Lago (Onasill Bill Badzo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Energy Deregulation Opening up Potential for Renewable Energy Future” • President Donald Trump made big promises about deregulating energy and has followed through on some of them. Most of his promises and efforts have been for fossil fuels, but deregulation could have a positive impact on the renewables market. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Decentralized micro-grids could be the next big thing for renewable energy” • A report funded by the Dutch government concludes that microgrids could make local economies based on the technology 90% self-sufficient, enabling a truly renewable society. Instead of fitting renewables onto conventional grids, it suggests building microgrids. [ZME Science]

Ecovillage (Credit: Metabolic)

World:

¶ “ING To Steer €500 Billion Portfolio Toward Paris Agreement Goals” • Dutch banking giant ING announced last week that it would begin to steer its €500 billion lending portfolio toward meeting the Paris Agreement well-below 2°C warming target, starting by committing to using science-based scenarios to direct its business strategy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Seeks To Achieve “Grid Price Parity” For Wind & Solar” • China is planning to increase efforts to ensure that the country’s wind and solar sectors can quickly compete without subsidies and achieve “grid price parity” with traditional energy sources like coal, according to new National Energy Administration draft guidelines. [CleanTechnica]

Solar system in China (Shutterstock image)

¶ “European Union & California Step Up Carbon Market Cooperation” • The European Union and the State of California announced last week at the Global Climate Action Summit held in San Francisco that they intend to strengthen their bilateral cooperation on carbon markets to maximize and leverage climate action. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renault Launches Second ‘Smart Island’ to Combine Electric Cars and Renewable Energy” • Electric cars and renewable energy can reinforce each other to produce a greater impact. In a project similar to one for the Portuguese island of Porto Santo, Renault plans to transition the island of Belle-Île-en-Mer to renewable energy. [The Drive]

Belle-Île-en-Mer

¶ “McGill University to partner with Xebec to develop Power-to Gas process for renewable energy storage” • McGill University announced it will work with Xebec Adsorption Inc to develop a prototype reactor to produce Renewable Natural Gas. The process uses electricity generated by renewable sources and CO2 from waste. [pv magazine International]

¶ “ACME commissions 200-MW solar power plant at Bhadla” • Independent power producer ACME Solar said it commissioned its 200-MW solar power plant at Bhadla in Rajasthan. ACME’s total operating capacity in solar power now stands at 2.4 GW and the company’s total portfolio of solar projects stands at over 5.5 GW, it said. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Rooftop solar system

¶ “Australia set to run on 100% renewable energy within 15 years” • The Australian renewables energy industry will install more than 10 GW of new solar and wind power before the end of 2019. If that rate is maintained, Australia would reach 50% of its renewables target in 2025, and it could reach a 100% target by the early 2030’s. [Small Caps]

US:

¶ “New Jersey Makes Way For 1.1-GW Offshore Wind” • The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to move forward with its expansive offshore wind development plans, opening an application window for 1,100 MW of offshore wind capacity, the largest single-state solicitation of offshore wind to date in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm

¶ “Calvin Klein brand owner to go 100% renewable by 2030” • PVH Corp, the apparel major that owns brands such as Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, joined the RE100 initiative. The company has committed to operate with 100% renewable electricity by 2030. It will source 50% of its electricity from renewables by 2025. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Cleveland Sets a Big Goal as It Sheds Its Fossil Fuel Past” • Cleveland, Ohio, which has worked for years to reinvent itself as it sheds its industrial past, has become the latest major city to announce plans to shift to 100% renewable electricity. The city announced that it will have 100% of its power from renewables by 2050. [InsideClimate News]

Cleveland (Chris Gent | CC-BY-SA-4.0)

¶ “TVA, environmental groups duel over the future of solar energy” • About 13% of the power generated by the Tennessee Valley Authority now comes from renewable sources, and only 3% from wind and solar, the TVA’s figures show. Environmental groups say the TVA could do much more, and they are suing to make that happen. [Knoxville News Sentinel]

¶ “Canceling Georgia nuclear plant could cost owners billions” • In a letter to the three owners of Plant Vogtle, the DOE said that if the construction project is canceled, the government is “prepared to move swiftly to fully enforce its rights under terms of the loan guarantee agreements, including the repayment provisions.” [KTAR.com]

Have an exceptionally lovely day.

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September 21 Energy News

September 21, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Solar Energy Largely Unscathed by Hurricane Florence’s Wind and Rain” • Faced with Hurricane Florence’s powerful winds and record rainfall, North Carolina’s solar farms held up with only minimal damage while other parts of the electricity system failed. The state’s nuclear and coal power plants had some problems. [InsideClimate News]

Storm damage (Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images)

¶ “Cheap Alternative To Lithium Could Be Used In Next Generation Of Batteries” • Researchers from Purdue University have found a way to produce efficient sodium-ion batteries that are as functional and cheaper than its lithium counterpart. Lithium is extremely rare and there are worries that its supply could be limited. [Tech Times]

¶ “Offshore mussels from Brussels” • Mussels were cultivated at an offshore wind farm in the Belgian North Sea as part of a test project of a Belgian consortium that includes DEME Group, other companies, and research institutions. They are researching the potential of offshore wind turbine foundations as a habitat to grow the seafood. [reNews]

Mussels from an offshore wind farm (DEME Group image)

World:

¶ “Corporate & Regional Leaders Launch Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment” • A group of 38 businesses, cities, states, and regions partnered with the World Green Building Council to launch the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. They intend to start a movement towards decarbonizing the built environment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “1,600 Volkswagen Electric Trucks For Brazil” • Volkswagen makes electric trucks? Well, yes, it does – or it will. Not only that, but Ambev Brewery in Brazil has ordered a whopping 1,600 of them. Oh, but just to be clear, the orders are to be fulfilled by 2023. Production, CleanTechnica was told, is expected to begin in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen e-Delivery electric truck

¶ “Toyota Motor to fund new renewable energy projects in Japan, including geothermal” • Toyota Motor Corp has announced that it is to invest $270 million into renewable energy fund to push development of new solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal power plants. Its goal is to power Toyota factories and dealerships in Japan. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

¶ “Permit issued for tidal power project in Nova Scotia” • Nova Scotia authorities have issued a marine renewable energy permit for a tidal electricity project in the Bay of Fundy. The permit was issued to Black Rock Tidal Power allowing the business to perform tests on a 280-kW floating platform over a period of up to six months. [CNBC]

Bay of Fundy (Mike Grandmaison |
All Canada Photos | Getty Images)

¶ “Ontario Tories seek to scrap Green Energy Act” • Months after cancelling hundreds of renewable energy contracts, the Ontario government introduced legislation to scrap a law that aimed to bolster the province’s green energy industry. Premier Doug Ford had made a campaign promise in the last election to repeal the Green Energy Act. [Niagarathisweek.com]

¶ “ADB lends $40 million for hybrid renewables project in Mongolia” • The Asian Development Bank said it will provide a $40 million (€33.9 million) loan to support a 41-MW distributed renewable energy project in Mongolia. The system will include solar and wind capacity, battery storage, and a 500-kW heat pump for public buildings. [Renewables Now]

Yurts

US:

¶ “Kentucky utilities to propose Green Energy tariff to drive renewable energy growth” • Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company have recently said that they will propose a Green Tariff to promote renewable energy growth and economic development in a rate review filing on September 28. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ “US Solar Installation Costs Declined In 2017, Little Progress So Far In 2018” • The eleventh edition of Berkeley Lab’s Tracking the Sun report published this week shows that the installed price of solar continued to fall across the country in 2017 but only saw small declines through the beginning of 2018. Tariffs on solar PVs may be to blame. [CleanTechnica]

Solar system in California

¶ “AEP Ohio Files For Huge Renewable Energy Increase” • American Electric Power has filed an amended Long-Term Forecast Report with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio that shows the need for at least 900 MW of new renewable generation resources in the state. This would more than double Ohio’s clean energy. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Colorado electric cooperative aims at 70% clean energy by 2030” • Holy Cross Energy, an electric cooperative in Colorado, set a target of sourcing at least 70% of the power provided to its members from clean and renewable energy by 2030, up from 39% now. Another goal is a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2014. [Renewables Now]

Colorado wind turbines

¶ “Northern Indiana utility ditching coal in favor of renewable energy in next 10 years” • The Northern Indiana Public Service Company announced that it will speed up the retirement of its coal-fired generation by as much as ten years – planning to replace the entire fleet with wind, solar, and batteries within ten years. [Indianapolis Star]

¶ “The last nuclear reactors under construction in the US are facing opposition” • The last two nuclear reactors under construction in the US are at the Vogtle power plant in Georgia. Now, the three major owners of the construction project are getting ready to vote in coming days on whether to keep it going or cut their losses. [Ars Technica]

Have a totally carefree day.

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September 20 Energy News

September 20, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Flood frequency of world’s largest river has increased fivefold, study finds” • Flooding on the Amazon River has increased fivefold over the last two or three decades, a new study has found. Analysis of more than 100 years of river level records from the Amazon showed that both floods and droughts had become more frequent. [The Independent]

Amazon flood (Photo: Jochen Schöngart,
National Institute for Amazon Research)

World:

¶ “Gujarat Solar Auction Yields India’s Lowest Bid” • Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited secured tariff bids for 500 MW of solar power capacity in the range of ₹2.44/kWh (3.37¢/kWh) and ₹2.88/kWh (3.98¢/kWh). The offer for 500 MW was met by bids from thirteen project developers willing to develop over 1,900 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SIMEC Atlantis Unveils World’s Largest Tidal Turbine” • Tidal turbine maker SIMEC Atlantis Energy unveiled designs for what may be the world’s largest single-rotor tidal turbine, the 2-MW AR2000. SIMEC Atlantis’s 1.5-MW turbines are used at the world’s largest tidal stream away, the 6-MW MeyGen array off the north of Scotland. [CleanTechnica]

SIMEC Atlantis turbine installed in MeyGen array

¶ “Nearly 400 Investors With $32 Trillion In Assets Step Up Climate Action To Support Paris Agreement” • Nearly 400 investors, with assets worth $32 trillion, announced The Investor Agenda, a first-of-its-kind global agenda aimed to accelerate and scale-up actions critical to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric For All Campaign From Volkswagen – 10 Million EVs Based On MEB Platform” • Volkswagen officially launched its “Electric For All” campaign this week with the official introduction of its MEB platform. The platform is where the powertrain, suspension, brakes, and other vital components all come together. [CleanTechnica]

VW MEB platform

¶ “Renewables reach 37-year high” • Strong hydro and wind generation saw 85% of the New Zealand’s electricity produced from renewables in the June quarter, government data shows. The country has a target to achieve 90% renewable power by 2025. The Labour-led coalition has suggested going to 100% 2035. [Newsroom]

¶ “Shell Announces Methane Emissions Target For Oil & Gas Of 0.02% By 2025” • Royal Dutch Shell, better known simply as Shell, announced a target to reduce and maintain its methane emissions intensity for all its oil and gas assets below 0.02% by 2025. To achieve the goal the company will implement a variety of programs. [CleanTechnica]

Floating LNG facility

¶ “Canadians fuel 164-MW Spanish sun” • Canadian Solar won a contract to supply 164 MW of modules for the 350-MW Escatron PV project in Spain being developed by Cobra Group. Over 481,900 MaxPower modules will be installed at the project, with shipments starting this month. Escatron is due to be online next year. [reNews]

¶ “Floatgen delivers first power” • Ideol’s 2-MW Floatgen floating wind turbine off the coast of Le Croisic in France has delivered power to the French grid for the first time. The developer said the milestone means Floatgen is now fully operational. The Floatgen system is made up of a Vestas V80 turbine and floating foundation. [reNews]

Floatgen turbine (Ideol image)

¶ “Buoyant gas industry may be blindsided by renewables” • The global gas industry, boosted by new projects to feed booming demand, claims to be in the best shape in five years. Not everybody is buying into the industry’s confidence. Analysts warn it is getting ahead of itself, pointing to renewable energy as a threat. [Reuters]

US:

¶ “Boise City Aims At 100% Renewable By 2030 For Municipal Operations” • The City of Boise has joined a growing list of cities across the country that have committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy sources. The Boise city facilities are already fueled by a combination of renewable and non-renewable sources. [Boise State Public Radio]

Solar installation (Tim Henshall | Flickr Creative Commons)

¶ “Renewable energy proposition draws millions of dollars in campaign spending” • Arizona Prop 127 is an initiative to amend the state constitution to require power utilities to get more of their electricity from renewable resources. Both supporters and opponents are currently engaged in a fierce and expensive media battle. [Tucson Local Media]

¶ “Adrian Dominican Sisters Commit To Michigan Renewable Energy” • A religious order with 600 Dominican sisters in Michigan committed to matching 100% of its electricity use with renewables. They are taking part in a green generation program that matches electricity use with clean energy generated in Michigan. [North American Windpower]

Wind turbine (iStock image)

¶ “Colorado Springs Utilities increases commitment to renewable energy with solar purchase agreement” • Colorado Springs Utilities will generate more than a fifth of its electricity with solar power when 150 MW are added to its portfolio. Eight companies have made proposals, and the utility will negotiate for the best deal. [Colorado Springs Gazette]

¶ “Jacksonville utility company wants federal regulators to intervene on Plant Vogtle dispute” • Jacksonville Electric Authority asked federal energy regulators to intervene in its dispute with a Georgia electric agency over an agreement requiring Jacksonville’s ratepayers to help build two nuclear reactors in Georgia. [Savannah Morning News]

Have an intensely pleasant day.

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September 19 Energy News

September 19, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Q&A: Why Offshore Wind is the Future” • Energy company Ørsted has abandoned the oil and gas business it began with for renewables. Now it has eleven offshore wind farms in the UK, including the world’s biggest, Walney Extension. Matthew Wright, Ørsted UK managing director, explains the thinking behind the move. [Raconteur]

Ørsted offshore wind farm

¶ “Russia Wins 2016 Election, Loses Energy Race” • Russia’s interest in US politics looked like a win, when Donald J. Trump took occupancy of the Oval Office in 2016. But now the US DOE says the US is leading the rest of globe in oil production and ramping up its natural gas exports – at the expense of Russia, of course. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Giant towers proposed to clean Delhi’s toxic smog” • During one bad spell in 2017, air quality in Delhi was so poor breathing it was equivalent to smoking 44 cigarettes per day. The Smog Project,” designed by Dubai-based architecture firm Znera Space, is an ambitious proposal to clean the air in one of the world’s most-polluted cities. [CNN]

Giant smog filtering towers (Znera Space and R-Code)

¶ “Is air pollution tied to higher dementia risk?” • A study published in the medical journal BMJ Open found that among older adults in London, those living in areas with the highest concentration of air pollution annually were at a subsequent higher risk of dementia compared with those living in areas with the lowest amount. [CNN]

¶ “Ocean Plastic Cleanup Project Is Better News Than You Might Think” • There are plainly evident risks and potential downsides for the Ocean Cleanup Project. There are still failure points that will be tested, and it’s clear that cleanup is only part of a solution. But the problems appear to have been considered fairly carefully and mostly avoided. [CleanTechnica]

Ocean Cleanup Project barrier

World:

¶ “European Nations Plan to Use More Hydrogen for Energy Needs” • Dozens of European countries are backing a plan to increase the use of hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels to cut the continent’s carbon emissions. Energy officials from 25 countries pledged to increase research into hydrogen technology and accelerate its everyday use to power factories, drive cars, and heat homes. [Voice of America]

¶ “More Than 130 Companies Have Made Science-Based Targets This Year Alone” • Since the beginning of the year, more than 130 companies have joined the Science Based Targets initiative, pushing the total number of companies close to 500 and representative of about one-eighth of total global market capitalization. [CleanTechnica]

Mexico City

¶ “Sarawak to expand renewable energy use” • Sarawak Energy Bhd aims to expand the coverage of renewable energy to rural communities in the Malaysian state of Sarawak by 2025. SEB’s CEO said he expects to maintain more than 60% hydro in the power mix but wants to add more alternative energy such as solar and biomass. [New Straits Times Online]

¶ “Renewable energy law in the works to speed up development” • Myanmar’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy is drafting a renewable energy law to develop the sector, according to the chief engineer of the Department of Renewable Energy and Hydropower Plants. The goal is for 8% renewable energy in 2021 and 12% in 2025. [Myanmar Times]

Wind turbines in Turkey (EPA photo)

US:

¶ “Trump administration rewrites Obama-era rule for potent greenhouse gas” • The Trump administration has finished rewriting an Obama administration rule on methane pollution from oil and gas wells on public lands. The new rule eliminates regulations for the companies that operate on federal land some call complicated and expensive. [CNN]

¶ “Miami’s Existence Is Threatened With As Little As 18″ Of Sea Level Rise” • Miami is very vulnerable to the effects of climate change. It sees sunny day flooding as regularly as clockwork. It has the third-tallest skyline in the US, but most of the buildings are close are sea level. It is built on porous sandstone, so even a seawall will not work. [CleanTechnica]

Miami area (Hoberman Collection | UIG via Getty Images)

¶ “Xcel Energy opens huge, billion-dollar wind farm on Colorado’s Eastern Plains” • With a plan to get the majority of its power from renewable energy by 2026, Xcel Energy Colorado celebrated completing the 600-MW, 300-turbine Rush Creek Wind Project. It sprawls across nearly 100,000 acres in five counties on the Eastern Plains. [The Denver Post]

¶ “University Announces Massive Wind Power Purchase” • For 15 years beginning in 2020, Boston University will be buying wind power, a major step in the University’s Climate Action Plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions. BU will buy the power from a South Dakota wind farm, resell it in the Midwest, and keep the renewable energy certificates. [BU Today]

Midwest wind farm (NREL image)

¶ “Rhode Island Orders Up More Renewable Energy” • Rhode Island continues to push for more renewable energy, with a call for 400 MW of power from new energy projects developed in and outside Rhode Island. The request for proposals is separate from the 400 MW of offshore wind power awarded earlier to Deepwater Wind. [ecoRI news]

¶ “Indian Point Relicensed – Closing Still Set” • The NRC has approved license extensions for the Indian Point nuclear reactor units 2 and 3 to 2024 and 2025, respectively. Entergy, however, agreed with New York State to cease operations at Indian Point 2 by April 30, 2020 and Indian Point 3 by April 30, 2021, unless some emergency develops. [Patch.com]

Have a gloriously enviable day.

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September 18 Energy News

September 18, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Public Wants Renewable Energy and They Want It Now!” • Utility companies, like automakers, would like to party like it’s 1999 forever, but consumers are beginning to realize their future lies with zero emissions vehicles and renewable energy. The transition has begun. If the people will lead, their leaders will follow. Spread the word! [CleanTechnica]

Floating wind turbine

World:

¶ “Germany embarks on quest for methane fuel” • A research project is exploring the potential use of methane fuel from renewable sources in the German energy, transport and shipping industries. The government-funded lead project will aim to develop and study technologies to enable methane-based fuels from renewables. [The Motorship]

¶ “Renewable energy storage and the future of smart cities” • From Singapore to San Francisco, organisations, government officials, and city planners have made great efforts to support the development of intelligent communities. A recent report by IHS Technology said there will be at least 88 smart cities all over the world by 2025. [Information Age]

City in the haze

¶ “Germany launches second wind-solar auction” • Germany’s Federal Network Agency opened its second mixed auction for large-scale onshore wind and solar power projects. About 200 MW of renewable energy capacity will be assigned. Bids for the auction can be submitted until November 2nd, 2018, according to the agency. [pv magazine International]

¶ “UK wind ‘tops 20 GW'” • Installed wind capacity in the UK has reached the 20-GW milestone, following the commissioning of Ørsted’s 659-MW Walney 3 offshore wind farm, according to industry group RenewableUK. The total operational capacity of onshore and offshore wind in the UK is currently 20,128 MW, the group said. [reNews]

Walney 3 (Ørsted image)

¶ “Rentel finishes installing North Sea turbines” • Rentel finished installing its last two of 42 turbines at its new wind farm in the Belgian North Sea. During the summer, marine engineering expert DEME’s jack-up vessel “Sea Installer” put all of the wind turbines in place in the Belgian North Sea, about 40 km from the coast of Ostend. [Maritime Journal]

Australia

¶ “S&P Global: Coal-fired power stations are a poor investment” • Private investment in coal-fired power plants is highly unlikely due to poor investment returns, S&P Global said. Its analysis shows renewable energy backed by battery storage or gas offers the most prudent investment, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald. [Energy Matters]

Coal-fired power station (Pixabay image)

¶ “Coalition will not replace renewables target after it winds down in 2020” • The energy minister, Angus Taylor, said the Morrison government will not replace the renewable energy target “with anything” after it winds down in 2020. He said, “We know we will reach the 26% emission reduction target without additional intervention.” [The Guardian]

¶ “Clean Energy Regulator counts 9 GW in big solar and wind pipeline” • Australia looks certain to sail past its 2020 large-scale renewable energy target of 33,000 GWh, with the latest data showing the combined capacity of large-scale wind and solar energy projects in the development pipeline is now nudging a massive 9 GW. [RenewEconomy]

Solar array (Image via Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Lyft goes carbon-neutral and 100% renewable” • Lyft, the ride-hailing industry’s second-leading company, announced an extension on the company’s carbon offset program that now makes their platform entirely carbon-neutral, soon to be entirely powered through renewable energy. The move is outlined in a blog post. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “California state universities commit to 100% clean energy by 2025” • The University of California, which is made up of 10 campuses and additional facilities, set sustainability and clean energy goals, including a pledge to not use natural gas for space and water heating in new buildings or major renovations after June 2019. [Utility Dive]

University of California campus

¶ “SoCalGas to Offer Renewable Natural Gas at its Fueling Stations for the First Time” • Southern California Gas Co announced it will soon begin using renewable natural gas at the 25 utility-owned natural gas vehicle fueling stations across its service territory, as well as at six fueling stations in the San Diego area. [Markets Insider]

¶ “Nuclear, Wind Companies Competing To Sell Connecticut ‘Zero Carbon’ Energy” • In response to a request by the state of Connecticut for solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear facilities for its “Zero Carbon” program, it received more than 100 submissions for solar, wind hydro and nuclear facilities. The state is now reviewing them. [Hartford Courant]

Millstone nuclear plant (Stephen Dunn | Hartford Courant)

¶ “Oldest US nuclear plant shuts down after nearly 49 years” • America’s oldest nuclear power plant has shut down as planned. Officials at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township, New Jersey, say the plant went offline at noon on September 17. There are now 98 operational nuclear power plants in the US. [Sacramento Bee]

¶ “Duke Energy’s Brunswick nuclear plant inaccessible due to flooding, workers stranded” • Duke Energy’s Brunswick nuclear plant, about 30 miles south of Wilmington, North Carolina, has declared a state of emergency as the 1,200-acre complex remains cut off by flood waters of Hurricane Florence and is inaccessible to outside personnel. [Insurance News Net]

Have an exuberantly merry day.

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September 17 Energy News

September 17, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “How design of cities must change to withstand ‘category 6’ mega storms” • With winds of 173 kph (107 mph) and gusts of up to 223 kph (138 mph) reported, Typhoon Mangkhut, the world’s strongest storm this year, tore into parts of Hong Kong’s dense fabric. City design needs to be based on the storms to come, not those in the past. [CNN]

Hong Kong (Philippe Lopez | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Nature Roars. Washington Hears Nothing.” • As if this past summer of merciless heat waves, droughts, and megafires were not warning enough, in the past several days the elements sounded another alarm about global warming caused by burning fossil fuels. Meanwhile, the EPA proposed weakening the rules on methane. [New York Times]

World:

¶ “Egypt to build a solar park in Kom Ombo, Aswan” • The Egyptian New and Renewable Energy Authority signed a €20 million deal with Spanish energy company TSK Grupo to build a 26-MW solar park in Kom Ombo, Aswan, MENA reported. The project will have a €40 million soft loan from the French Agency for Development. [Egypt Independent]

Solar array (Reuters | Alvin Baez)

¶ “100% railway electrification to double power demand by 2022” • India’s union cabinet has approved the complete electrification of broad-gauge railway tracks by 2022. This means that Indian Railways electric power demand is set to double in the next four years, as at least 2,000 MW of addition power is required to achieve the goal. [Livemint]

¶ “Over 80% of South Koreans Back Renewable Energy Expansion: Poll” • According to the survey of 1,003 South Koreans, 86.2% of respondents said they are in favor of the expansion of renewable energy, such as solar and wind power. Slightly over 11% answered that they are against such a policy, and the rest had no opinion. [The Korea Bizwire]

Rooftop solar panels on the Seoul City Hall
(Image: Seoul Metropolitan Government)

¶ “India’s solar energy capacity is growing” • India’s electricity sector is transforming rapidly. A 50% decline in wind and solar tariffs since 2016 means renewable energy is now the lowest cost source of new generation. This has turned the established order in India on its head. Unsurprisingly, capital for new coal has dried up. [pv magazine India]

Australia:

¶ “Taylor launches extraordinary and ill-informed attack against wind and solar” • New energy minister Angus Taylor launched an extraordinary attack against wind and solar, saying they cause “de-industrialisation” and claiming that Labor’s 45% emissions reduction target would send a “wrecking ball” through the Australian economy. [RenewEconomy]

Running past wind turbines

¶ “New solar and wind the ‘only thing’ pushing down power prices” • As the federal Coalition’s new energy minister launches an extraordinary attack on wind and solar power, a report by The Australia Institute found that the “only thing” currently helping to reduce electricity prices in Australia is the increasing use of renewable energy. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “S&P says Australia’s uncertain energy policy is undermining investor confidence” • Uncertainty in Australia’s energy policy holds back investment vital to ensure reliability and capacity, ratings agency S&P said. One analyst said regulatory intervention could be credit-negative for the sector over the medium to longer term. [Business Insider Australia]

Wind farm in Australia (Rolandg, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “‘Tsunami’ of new wind and solar projects drives renewables output to a record” • Clean energy’s share of total Australian grid supply for the 12 months to August was a record 16.1%. When rooftop solar is added, the 12-month share rose to 19.7%. This is just shy of the 2020 Renewable Energy Target set for large-scale renewables. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

US:

¶ “US Congress passes bill to help advanced nuclear power” • Last week, the House passed a bipartisan bill called the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (S 97). The bill, which originated in the Senate, would will allow the private sector to partner with US National Laboratories to vet advanced nuclear technologies. [Ars Technica]

Virgil C Summer Nuclear Station

¶ “Oyster Creek shutting down for good today: 5 things you need to know” • The aging nuclear reactor at Oyster Creek is closing after a half-century run. The station has been a local icon since its construction in the 1960s. It has also been the source of concern for local people, who will continue to worry about safety during decommissioning. [Asbury Park Press]

¶ “Colorado rolls with climate shift, grappling with low river flows and a complicated debate over reservoirs” • Colorado’s ongoing shift toward a hotter and drier climate is spurring such quick adaptations as allowing taller stacks of hay on trucks rolling into the state. But it is also forcing a scramble to examine climate change. [Canon City Daily Record]

Sunrise at a low reservoir (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)

¶ “Two large-scale renewable energy projects planned in West Michigan” • Two large renewable energy projects are moving forward in Muskegon County. One, at Muskegon County’s Wastewater Management System, will be the largest solar project in Michigan. The other will be the first major wind project in the region since 2012. [MiBiz]

¶ “Tetra Pak moving to 100% renewable energy by early 2019” • Tetra Pak is set to be the first manufacturing company in Denton, Texas, to operate with 100% renewable energy. Work is underway to install 1,862 solar panels at its manufacturing plant and the headquarters office building for the company’s US and Canadian operations. [Denton Record Chronicle]

Have an amazingly preferable day.

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September 16 Energy News

September 16, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Optimism trumps despair at San Francisco climate summit” • Mayors, governors, entrepreneurs, chief executives, investors, and celebrities delivered a double-edged message at the close of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco: Global warming is making the planet unlivable – but we know how to fix it. [The Japan Times]

Woman dressed as a tree (AFP-JIJI)

Hurricane Florence:

¶ “Hurricane Florence Is 50 Miles Larger, with 50% More Rain, Thanks to Climate Change” • For the first time, researchers have calculated the impact of climate change on a hurricane as it was active. Hurricane Florence, they found, was about 50 miles (80 km) larger and dumped 50% more rain than it would have had without climate change. [Infosurhoy]

¶ “Record rainfall from Tropical Storm Florence plagues the Carolinas” • Portions of the Carolinas have been inundated by the heaviest amount of rain on record for this region, and torrential rain is still falling. Over the weekend, there could be another foot of rain or more in parts of northeastern South Carolina and southern North Carolina. [Axios]

Flooding (Photo: Mark Wilson | Getty Images)

¶ “Hurricane Florence Threatens Many Homes That Already Cost the Government Millions” • As Hurricane Florence made landfall on the coast of North Carolina, there is renewed scrutiny of legislation that bars state agencies from crafting policies based on scientific understanding of sea level rise from human-caused global warming. [Common Dreams]

¶ “Hurricane Florence downgraded to a tropical storm with flash floods predicted” • The National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham has expressed fears of flash floods. The Brunswick nuclear plant in North Carolina has suspended its operations as a precautionary measure, as is normal when hurricane-force winds are expected. [Blasting News]

Stranded boat (Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images)

¶ “As Florence weakens to tropical depression, serious threat remains” • Though now downgraded to a tropical depression, Florence is still dangerous. It has been blamed for at least 14 deaths. There were more than 658,000 power outages across North Carolina as of 11:15 pm Saturday the state Department of Public Safety said. [NBCNews.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Siemens Launches Frequency Stabilizer to Support Power Grids in Milliseconds” • With its SVC Plus Frequency Stabilizer, Siemens is the world’s first supplier to combine reactive power compensation capability with the use of a supercapacitor. In less than 50 milliseconds, it can provide power needed for stable grid operation. [Transmission and Distribution World]

Frequency Stabilizer (Siemens image)

World:

¶ “Largest Electric Bus Order In Canada – New Flyer Wins Contract For 40 Electric Buses In Montréal & Laval” • Société de transport de Montréal, which provides public transportation in Montréal, placed an order for 40 electric buses from New Flyer, a Canadian bus maker. New Flyer is the largest transit bus maker in North America. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “100% Electric Autonomous Shuttle Project For Quebec” • A 100% electric autonomous shuttle will be used on roads in Candiac, Quebec, in a long-term demonstration project. The project is a collaboration between the shuttle’s manufacturer, NAVYA, Keolis Canada, the Quebec government, and Propulsion Quebec. [CleanTechnica]

NAVYA Shuttle (CNW Group | Ville de Candiac)

¶ “China demolishes high emission power plants with installed capacity two times more than Britain’s total” • Britain’s total installed power plant capacity is about 70,000 MW, but the gross installed capacity of the power plants demolished in China was 170,000 MW, a Chinese senior official said at the Global Climate Action Summit. [ecns]

¶ “Marubeni’s shock exit from coal” • Japanese energy giant Marubeni Corp is getting out of coal and accelerating its shift into renewable energy dramatically, according to a story in Nikkei. If the story is true, it will send shockwaves around the energy world and confirm that renewable energy is not just cleaner, but more economic than coal. [Michael West News]

Strip mine (Photo: Dominik Vanyi | Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Moving Beyond Coal at the Global Climate Action Summit” • America will meet its Paris Climate Agreement targets, the director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign said. Over 200 new coal plants stopped construction, over half of US coal plants closed (273 and counting), and coal cannot compete with renewable power. [Red, Green, and Blue]

¶ “Offshore Wind Energy Project Inches Forward on the North Coast” • Efforts to build a wind energy farm off California’s North Coast took a step forward this week. The Redwood Coast Energy Authority and a consortium of private companies submitted a lease application to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. [North Coast Journal]

Floating turbine demo, Karmøy, Norway (Statoil image)

¶ “NYPA Uses Digital Simulation of the New York Power System to Test Advanced Grid Technologies” • The New York Power Authority, the largest state public power organization in the nation, will model, develop, and test innovative solutions for energy systems at its Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy. [Transmission and Distribution World]

¶ “Regulations Removed from Rhode Island’s Coastal Rulebook” • The latest meeting of the Coastal Resources Management Council was dominated by wind facilities and an overhaul of coastal regulations. Altogether, 55 rule changes and updates to CRMC regulations have been proposed. The public has until September 17 to comment. [ecoRI news]

Have an enthrallingly gorgeous day.

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September 15 Energy News

September 15, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Texas electric grid did just fine without coal-fired power plants” • A hot summer, during which critics said the Electric Reliability Council of Texas would fail because it relied too much on wind energy, instead proved grids can close uneconomical coal plants, rely on renewable energy, and still provide reliability and reasonable prices. [Houston Chronicle]

Wind turbines in Texas (Leaflet, Wikimedia Commons)

Hurricane Florence:

¶ “Hurricane Florence Is Part Of What Al Gore Got Right In An Inconvenient Truth” • This was supposed to be a lighter-than-usual season due to the El Niño cycle, but due to climate change, lighter does not mean what it used to. In context of this, it’s worth revisiting the predictions made in Al Gore’s film to assess their quality. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Worsening storms are the price of greed” • The necessary and terrifyingly overdue efforts to combat climate change at the source of worsening storms are simply not being made in the US. Instead, even small victories, such as reducing pollution from coal and US participation in the Paris Climate Accord, are being walked back. [CNN]

A boat wedged between trees by Hurricane Florence

¶ “Hurricane Florence is the latest setback to struggling flood insurance program” • Hurricane Florence will bring flooding and destruction to thousands of homes in the Carolinas and Virginia. It is another blow to the federal program providing insurance against flood damage that has already had $16 billion in debt forgiven by congress. [CNN]

Science and Technology:

¶ “ICESat: Space laser to get unprecedented view of Earth’s ice” • The American space agency is about to put a laser in orbit to measure the condition of Earth’s ice cover. The new satellite mission, called ICESat-2, should provide more precise information on how these frozen surfaces are being affected by global warming. [BBC]

ICESat (NASA image)

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy Prices Set To Fall Further: Deloitte” • Renewable energy sources, notably solar and wind, are reaching price and performance parity globally and, as technologies continue to advance their deployment, prices will likely continue to fall, according to a study by accounting and consultancy firm Deloitte. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “MHI Vestas Opens Innovative Offshore Wind Farm & Signs Floating Wind Order” • MHI Vestas announced two landmark achievements recently. It opened its European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre in Aberdeen and finalized an order for the world’s most powerful turbines for a floating offshore wind farm in Northern Portugal. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm

¶ “SSE plans to spend up to €2 billion on Irish offshore wind” • SSE plans to spend as much as €2 billion to expand its small Arklow Bank offshore wind farm. It says the project will be able to power half a million homes when usable wind energy is being generated. Currently, Arklow Bank has just seven turbines in operation. [Independent.ie]

¶ “Rapid Electrification Together With Wind & Solar Will Drive Massive Grid Expansion” • Ongoing and rapid electrification of global energy demand and the increase of wind and solar sources in the energy mix is expected to lead to massive growth of the world’s electricity transmission and distribution systems, DNV GL’s report said. [CleanTechnica]

Transmission lines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “EESL to help commission 500,000 solar water pumping systems in ISA member countries” • Energy Efficiency Services Limited, a joint venture of public sector undertakings under the power ministry, has been selected by the International Solar Alliance to facilitate the implementation of 500,000 solar water pumping systems. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Serbia’s first large-scale wind farm to start in October” • Belgian renewable energy firm Elicio NV said its 42-MW Alibunar wind farm in northern Serbia will start operating in October and help the Balkan country diversify its energy mix and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The wind farm has 21 Senvion wind turbines. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind farm

¶ “Chinese major launches rooftop solar energy solutions in India” • Trina Solar launched solar energy kits under the brand Trinahome to cater to the renewable energy needs of household and small and medium enterprises sector in India. Trinahome will come in three sizes, 3 kW, 5 kW and 10 kW, and will include all components needed. [ELE Times]

US:

¶ “Nuclear subsidies triumph over legal challenges” • The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals gave the nuclear power industry victory and finding that Illinois’ zero-emission credit program does not exceed state authority. Environmentalists see good in the ruling as it also validates broad powers to set climate-friendly energy policies. [E&E News]

Byron Generating Station (Photo: Exelon)

¶ “Gov Brown says California to Launch Satellite to Track Pollutants Causing Climate Change” • Gov Jerry Brown said California will launch a satellite to monitor pollutants that contribute to climate change. The governor announced the project during the closing of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. [USA Herald]

¶ “Virginia companies ask for better access to renewable power” • Virginia needs easier access to greener energy sources, according to a letter to the state Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. The letter, signed by a group of businesses, universities, and healthcare institutions, said Virginia’s competitiveness is at stake. [Energy News Network]

Have an overwhelmingly positive day.

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September 14 Energy News

September 14, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “A Million Climate Deniers Flee Hurricane Florence, Never Stop To Ask Why” • As Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolinas and Virginia, a million climate deniers are rushing to escape the brunt of the storm without ever stopping to ask why they are in the path of one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the Atlantic coast. [CleanTechnica]

Hurricane from space

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘Golden Sandwich’ Photoelectrode Harvests 85% Of Sunlight” • Scientists at the Research Institute for Electronic Science at Hokkaido University created a photoelectrode that captures 85% of sunlight and uses it to create hydrogen. The “golden sandwich photoelectrode” is still experimental, but the implications are potentially enormous. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “DNV GL Predicts Global Energy Demand To Peak In 2035” • The world’s energy demand is expected to decline from 2035 onward, according to global risk management and quality assurance company DNV GL. It published a report predicting that the demand decline will result in a reshaping of energy investment trends. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm

¶ “All GE Haliade turbines installed at 396-MW Merkur offshore wind farm” • The last GE Haliade 150-6MW turbine is in place at the 396-MW Merkur offshore wind farm in the German North Sea, GE Renewable Energy said on Twitter. Commissioning of the 66 Haliade turbines will continue until through the end of the year. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Europe keeping dirty fuels alive; will spend $68 billion in hidden subsidies by 2040” • Europe will spend almost €58 billion ($68 billion) by 2040 to scale up coal, gas and nuclear plants, according to the analysis and data gathered by Greenpeace. Of these subsidies, 98% will be spent on capacity mechanisms to ensure supply. [Down To Earth Magazine]

Thermal power plant (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Construction begins on Sweden’s largest PV plant” • Swedish-Swiss engineering multinational ABB has started construction on a 5.5-MW solar project in Säve, near Gothenburg. The company is providing a substation with switchgear, relays, and distribution transformers, together with all of the control equipment and inverters. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Facebook’s €300 million Irish data center site is 100% powered by renewable energy” • Facebook’s new €300 million data center park in Clonee, County Meath, is powered 100% by renewable energy, the company said. Every detail for sustainability and renewable energy at the site was considered, even down to a plan for saving the bees. [Siliconrepublic.com]

Managers at the new site (Image: Robbie Reynolds, Facebook)

¶ “Wind and solar power are unstoppable, even without government support: Deloitte report” • Australian wind and solar power are booming despite the Australian government’s retreat on carbon emissions and energy policy, a Deloitte report claims. The report also says Australia enjoys the lowest global cost for solar panels. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Leading businesses team up with London Mayor to go green” • A group of 11 leading businesses, including Tesco, Sky, and Siemens, have joined forces with the Mayor of London to make it the world’s greenest city. The business group will work with Sadiq Khan to cut levels of pollution and emissions “far in excess of government targets.” [Energy Live News]

London (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Gambia moves forward with first large-scale PV project” • The World Bank has issued a request for expressions of interest to select consultancy providers for a PV project of 10-20 MW in Gambia. The utility National Water and Electricity Company Ltd is planning to develop the project in the western part of the country. [pv magazine International]

US:

¶ “Gas-related explosions set fire to homes near Boston” • At least one person has been killed and others injured in 60 to 80 incidents thought to be gas explosions and fires in towns north of Boston. A fire chief said investigators suspect the fires were caused by “over-pressurisation of a gas main” belonging to Columbia Gas lines. [BBC]

Damaged house (Getty Images)

¶ “NY To Phase Out Hydrofluorocarbons, Thumbs Nose At Trump Administration” • Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that his administration will phase out the use of HFCs, one of the most powerful climate pollutants on earth. This contravenes Trump administration federal mandates not to regulate HFCs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Bringing 3 New ‘Grohmann Machines’ Online to Reach 8,000 Battery Packs per Week” • After a tour of Gigafactory 1, a team at Worm Capital shared some of the things they saw. They said that the existing production assets at GF-1 should allow it to achieve a sustainable rate of 6,000 Model 3 battery packs per week. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Powerwall production

¶ “Legislators Narrowly Override Sununu’s Biomass Veto, But Fall Short On Net Metering” • New Hampshire’s timber industry scored a major victory as legislators narrowly voted to overturn the governor’s veto of a bill subsidizing biomass plants. But they fell just short of overturning a veto of a bill subsidizing net metering. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶ “US climate change pledges: What America’s states are doing without Trump” • When Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the worldwide effort to halt global warming was put at risk. Now local governments are subverting their leader by working individually to fulfill the US climate change pledges. [Compelo]

Have a triumphantly effective day.

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September 13 Energy News

September 13, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Clean energy can provide 100% of electricity” • A report by the Centre for Alternative Technology says clean energy could meet all our electricity needs, using only existing technology, at all times of the day, and all year round. It draws on “scenarios” designed to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement, developed at various scales. [Eco-Business]

Barack Obama and Joe Biden at a solar site in
Denver (White House photo, Wikimedia Commons)

Hurricane Florence:

¶ “EPA assessing vulnerability of at least nine toxic sites in Florence’s projected path” • Hurricane Florence, with its strong winds and massive storm surge, is threatening to release toxic chemicals from hazardous waste sites the EPA has designated contaminated Superfund sites. The agency said it is monitoring nine of them. [CNN]

¶ “North Carolina didn’t like science on sea levels … so passed a law against it” • In 2012, North Carolina reacted to a prediction by its Coastal Resources Commission that sea levels could rise by 39 inches over the next century by passing a law banning policies based on such forecasts. Now it is in the path of Hurricane Florence. [The Guardian]

Hurricane Irene in North Carolina, 2011 (Jim Lo Scalzo | EPA)

¶ “Nuclear plants in Florence’s path prepare to weather storm” • As Hurricane Florence churns its way towards the Carolinas, at least 8 nuclear power plants stand in its way. North Carolina’s Brunswick Nuclear Plant, and South Carolina’s Robinson and Vogtle Nuclear Stations are in areas that will likely see the worst impacts. [The Weather Network]

World:

¶ “Engie ties up with STOA to set up 2 GW wind plants in India” • Engie said it partnered with STOA, a French infrastructure equity investor, to build a 50-50 joint venture platform to set up more than 2,000 MW of wind power projects in India within five years. Industry estimates are that over $1.8 billion of investment will be required. [Financial Express]

Wind turbines and cattle

¶ “EU Plan to Rely on Wood for Energy Will Increase Emissions” • A plan that the EU says will almost double its use of renewable energy by 2030 through increased use of wood products will also significantly increase both deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications. [US News & World Report]

¶ “Google Signs Wind Farm Deals To Power Finnish Data Center” • Google announced that it has signed 10-year power purchase agreements to buy power from three unsubsidized new wind farms in Finland. The three wind farms, with a total capacity of 190 MW, are to be built by France’s Neoen and Germany’s CPC and WPD. [Silicon UK]

Google’s data center in Finland (Credit: Google)

¶ “American company to invest $ 1.2 billion in renewable energy in Uzbekistan” • An American company, Headwall LLC, intends to invest $ 1.2 billion in renewable energy in Uzbekistan, a regional administration press service reported. The project envisages the installation of solar panels with a capacity from 300 MW to 1 GW. [AzerNews]

¶ “Climate change saps WA’s native forestry industry” • Western Australia’s ailing native timber industry appears to be hanging by a thread, as loggers are unable to meet quotas. A report on the management of WA’s forests has painted a bleak picture of the associated timber industry as it struggles with the ravages of climate change. [The West Australian]

Forest in Western Australia

US:

¶ “US Solar Market Experiences Slight Turnaround In Q2” • US solar saw something of a turnaround in the second quarter, with utility-scale solar procurement soaring and the residential installations stabilizing, according to new research from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “United Renewable Energy completes first installment of Georgia Power’s community solar program” • United Renewable Energy has announced the completion of a 2-MW solar facility as the first installment of Georgia Power’s Community Solar program. URE said this is a win for all Georgia Power residential customers. [Solar Power World]

Community Solar Array (Georgia Power image)

¶ “Renewable Natural Gas Leaders to Share Expertise on Developing Biogas Projects at ‘Power of Waste’ Conference” • Renewable natural gas industry leaders will gather in Los Angeles to share the keys to successful biomethane development on October 2. Two California utilities and the nonprofit Energy Vision will be hosts. [PR Newswire]

¶ “Minnesota’s clean energy industry grows to more than 57,000 jobs” • Clean Energy Economy Minnesota has released a report from Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs that finds that Minnesota has 57,351 total clean energy jobs. It said that over the last 12 months, Minnesota’s clean energy industry has grown by 5.3%. [Windpower Engineering]

Minnesota wind farm (Windtech, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Annapolis officials tout bright future for solar panel plant, even on a cloudy day” • A sprawling new field of solar panels draped atop an 80-acre, capped Annapolis landfill has started generating both clean energy and fresh income for the city, officials said at the plant’s ceremonial opening. It is one of the largest capped landfills in the US. [CapitalGazette.com]

¶ “JEA sues, and is sued, over fate of expensive nuclear project” • Jacksonville’s electric utility and City Hall filed a lawsuit seeking to void a decade-old agreement requiring local ratepayers to help build and eventually buy power from two planned nuclear reactors in Georgia, the only active nuclear power project in the country. [The Augusta Chronicle]

Have an extraordinarily refreshing day.

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September 12 Energy News

September 12, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Global Climate Summit: Thank Goodness for Clean Energy State Champs” • Given the actions of the Trump administration, the world community can reasonably question our national commitment on climate change. We have a state champions to be proud of, from California to North Carolina, from Texas to Massachusetts.  [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Offshore wind farm

Science and Technology:

¶ “Fossil Fuel Demand Set To Peak In The 2020s” • The rapid growth of clean technologies is expected to cause fossil fuel demand to peak in the 2020s, according to a new report from Carbon Tracker, serving to put at risk trillions for investors ignorant of or unwilling to participate in the transition to a low-carbon economy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Airbus SeaWing Kite Sails To Cut Fuel Costs For Cargo Ships 20%” • Last year, some Airbus engineers formed a company called AirSeas to develop wind power technology for ocean-going cargo ships. Airbus will use prototype kite sails on cargo ships that move parts for aircraft between its locations in Europe and the US. [CleanTechnica]

SeaWing kite sail

World:

¶ “Court Rules Frankfurt Must Implement Diesel Ban” • An administrative court of Wiesbaden announced a decision that Frankfurt must implement driving bans, as early as February of 2019. This ruling has come following one of several lawsuits filed against the government by the environmental protection group Deutsche Umwelthilfe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EBRD backs Turkey’s Akfen Renewables with loans of over $100 million” • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said it is providing a financing package of up to $102 million to the Turkish conglomerate Akfen Holding. The Bank said the funds will be used for 327 MW of wind and solar plant capacity. [Hurriyet Daily News]

Wind farm

¶ “Global Divestment Movement Reaches $6.24 Trillion, Aims For $10 Trillion By 2020” • The fossil fuel divestment movement has influenced the global economic and energy sectors over the past five years. It has hit a new milestone, with $6.24 trillion in assets committed to divestment, up from only $52 billion four years ago. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Victoria’s renewable push is getting a positive response from industry” • The Australian Industry Group welcomed the Victorian government’s decision to increase the state’s renewable power generation targets after the state announced that winning bids for its first renewable energy auction will generate more than 900 MW. [Manufacturers’ Monthly]

Clean Energy

¶ “Renewables bring 33.8% of Spain’s power in August” • Sources of renewable energy accounted for 33.8% of Spain’s power generation in August, up 14.4% from the previous August. Wind farms were the top renewable source at 14.5% of the country’s total power. At 24.4%, nuclear plants were Spain’s leading power source. [Renewables Now]

¶ “South Africa double time for Nordex” • Nordex secured a deal for 80 AW125/3150 turbines for two wind farms totalling 252 MW in South Africa. Enel Green Power ordered 46 machines for the Garob project, while Elawan booked 34 turbines for the Copperton facility. The deals include delivery, installation, and service. [reNews]

Wind turbines (Nordex image)

¶ “Toshiba’s NuGen slashes headcount at British nuclear project” • Toshiba’s NuGen has cut the team working on its Moorside nuclear project, to fewer than 40 people from over 100 as a sale of the project is taking longer than expected. The plant has had several setbacks after Toshiba’s nuclear arm Westinghouse went bankrupt. [Nasdaq]

US:

¶ “Trump Administration Wants to Make It Easier to Release Methane Into Air” • The Trump administration is about to take its third major step this year to roll back federal efforts to fight climate change. It is preparing to make it significantly easier for energy companies to release methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. [New York Times]

Flaring (Credit: Orjan F Ellingvag | Corbis, via Getty Images)

¶ “US Energy Efficiency Industry Employs 2.25 Million People” • The US energy efficiency industry added more new jobs than any other industry in the country’s entire energy sector in 2017. Energy efficiency now employs nearly 2.25 million people, according to new figures from E4TheFuture and Environmental Entrepreneurs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Enel drives California storage” • eMotorWerks, a subsidiary of Enel X,  has deployed a 30-MW virtual battery storage project in California. It consists of over 6000 eMotorWerks residential JuiceBox and other JuiceNet-enabled EV chargers distributed across the state. The company is aggregating and bidding EV loads at the wholesale level. [reNews]

EV charging (eMotorWerks image)

¶ “Xcel Resource Planning Executive: We Can Buy New Renewables Cheaper Than Existing Fossil Fuels” • Xcel Energy has long been a leader in renewable energy, investing in wind and solar even when they were not the cheapest alternatives. But today, new wind and solar are often cheaper than existing coal generation. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Kaiser to power 27 of its 39 hospitals with renewable energy” • Kaiser Permanente, based in Oakland, California, signed a power purchase agreement for 180 MW of energy from solar and wind farms, along with the nation’s largest battery storage system. The deal provides Kaiser with enough renewable energy to power 27 of its 39 hospitals. [Becker’s Hospital Review]

Have an unforgettably fortunate day.

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September 11 Energy News

September 11, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Hurricane Florence: Four Things You Should Know That Your Meteorologist is Truly Too Busy to Tell You” • Florence has an unusual path and conditions are making it powerful. We should keep that in mind as we look at the climate dynamics that make Florence stand out from others in the history of Atlantic hurricanes. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Atlantic hurricane (NASA image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Best Way To Capture Carbon Emissions? Don’t Create Them In The First Place” • Researchers at Michigan Technological University studied how many plants like switchgrass or trees it would take to capture all the carbon emissions from coal-fired generating plants in the US. The answer is 62% of all the arable land in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Plan to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is getting underway” • An ambitious project to clean up the ocean’s plastic pollution got underway over the weekend as members of  The Ocean Cleanup project began towing their system out to sea. It is being taken 240 nautical miles off shore for a two-week test in the open ocean. [CNN]

Ocean Cleanup System 001 leaving San Francisco

World:

¶ “UN chief Guterres calls on world leaders to prevent ‘runaway climate change’” • Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the world is facing an existential threat and must shift from dependence on fossil fuels by 2020 to prevent “runaway climate change.” He called the crisis urgent and decried a lack of global leadership. [France 24]

¶ “Renewable energy on a roll in Jamaica” • At a forum at The University of the West Indies, Professor Anthony Chen, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said that solar, wind and hydro generation already account for between 15% and 20% of the energy supply in Jamaica. Islanders are concerned about rising seas. [Jamaica Observer]

Wind farm in Jamaica

¶ “Sony, McKinsey, and RBS Join RE100 In Commitment To 100% Renewable Energy” • Global corporate leadership initiative RE100 announced that several big-name companies had joined in commitment to securing 100% of their energy needs from renewable sources. Entertainment and electronics giant Sony Corporation is just one of them. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nuclear power is being left behind, industry experts say” • The 2018 edition of the Nuclear Industry Status Report says that solar and wind saw its share in the global power mix increase by 35% and 17% respectively in 2017, while the growth of nuclear power was of only 1% last year. Only four reactors became operational in 2017. [pv magazine International]

Workers at Fukushima Daiichi (Image: Flickr | IAEA Imagebank)

Australia:

¶ “More Renewable Energy To Drive Down Power Prices” • The first renewable energy auction in Victoria was initially expected to deliver at least 650 MW of renewable energy. That goal has been smashed, with the auction instead delivering 928 MW of renewable energy, almost 45% more power than originally anticipated. [Mirage News]

¶ “Victorian Government promises half-price solar batteries if re-elected” • The Victorian Government committed to provide half-price solar batteries for 10,000 homes if it wins the election in November. This follows the Labor Government’s $1.3-billion pledge to pay half the cost of installing solar panels on 650,000 homes over the next 10 years. [ABC Local]

Solar panels (Photo: Murray Green)

¶ “Tony Abbott targets renewables subsidies in latest energy intervention” • Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reignited his push to scrap subsidies for renewable energy, taking on the new energy minister, Angus Taylor, at his first meeting of the Australian government’s backbench energy and environment committee. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Natural gas line explosion leads to evacuations in western Pennsylvania town” • Dozens of people were evacuated after a natural gas line explosion in a small western Pennsylvania community. There were no injuries as a result of the blast shortly before 5 a.m. ET in Center Township in Beaver County, police Chief Barry Kramer said. [CNN]

Gas explosion in Pennsylvania

¶ “California governor signs law for clean energy by 2045” • California now has a law committing the state to exclusively carbon-free electricity sources by 2045. This is a very big step. If California were it an independent country, it would have the fifth largest economy in the world, trailing only Germany, Japan, China, and the US. [BBC]

¶ “Otis Microgrid: Cape Cod Military Base To Run Fully On Renewable Energy” • The Department of Defense’s first wind-powered microgrid is nearly ready at Otis Air National Guard Base on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The “grid-connected microgrid” will serve as a model for similar Air National Guard and DOD projects. [CleanTechnica]

Otis microgrid wind turbine (Image courtesy of DVIDS)

¶ “‘Million Solar Roofs of Energy Storage’ Bill Approved By California Legislature” • The California legislature approved a bill that will provide up to $830 million in incentives for behind-the-meter storage for residential and small business solar systems. Backers hope to boost such distributed battery storage in the state to 3,000 MW by 2026. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Infrastructure Partners Company Acquires 4.7-GW SunPower Solar Pipeline” • Clearway Energy Group, a company formed out of the sale of NRG Energy to Global Infrastructure Partners and one of the largest US clean energy companies, acquired a 4.7-GW pipeline of utility-scale solar development projects from SunPower. [CleanTechnica]

Have a fascinatingly agreeable day.

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September 10 Energy News

September 10, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Air pollution: know your enemy” • Sometimes you can’t even see it, but air pollution is everywhere. Perhaps you think that air pollution does not affect you because you live in a place with no smog. If so, you are most likely wrong. Nine out of ten people worldwide are exposed to air pollutant levels the WHO considers unsafe. [UN Environment]

Beijing (Photo: Reuters)

¶ “Tesla Energy is quietly setting its sights on peaker plants” • Tesla’s energy storage solutions are starting become more and more accepted by utility companies. This is particularly true, since battery technology has reached a point where it now has the potential to replace inefficient and dirty “Peaker” power plants. [Teslarati]

World:

¶ “Green power set to surge while fossil fuels decline: report” • Electricity is set to dominate energy demand by 2050, as cars, buildings and manufacturers shift away from fossil fuels, a global energy transition report says. But the anticipated surge falls well short of meeting the Paris Agreement’s goals for limiting climate change. [Climate Home]

Charging an EV (Photo: Deposit Photos)

Charging an EV (Photo: Deposit Photos)

¶ “India readies a slew of power sector reforms” • The Indian government has readied a raft of power sector reforms, including implementing the direct benefit transfer scheme for better targeting of subsidies, freeing renewable energy from licensing requirement for generation and supply, and promoting retail competition. [Livemint]

¶ “Plans to generate 10,000 MW solar power in Andhra Pradesh by 2022” • The government of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has outlined plans to add 10,000 MW solar power by 2022, to help bring down costs and give the state a power surplus. The government has already taken up 4,000 MW ultra solar power projects. [The Hindu]

Solar power project

¶ “Australia could be 100% renewable by 2030s, meet Paris targets by 2025” • Australia could reach the equivalent of 100% renewables for its electricity by the early 2030s by merely maintaining the current pace of wind and solar development, according to a report from Australian National University researchers. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Six new solar, wind farms to be built in Victoria to help meet renewable energy target” • After a reverse auction, new solar and wind farms to be built in Victoria will generate enough energy to power 640,000 homes. The Victorian Renewable Energy Target sets the generation from renewables to 25% by 2020, and 40% by 2025. [ABC News]

Renewable energy (Photo: Master Wen | Unsplash)

¶ “Heavy hitters on climate change converge on San Francisco for Global Climate Action Summit” • The Global Climate Action Summit is a hybrid of any number of high-level international meetings in which political figures discuss what can be done to address climate change, sign declarations, adjourn, and get set to meet again. [Santa Cruz Sentinel]

¶ “Bolivia commissions 60 MW solar park” • The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, officially inaugurated the 60-MW Uyuni Photovoltaic Solar Plant. The project will cover half of the electricity demand in the Potosí region, and is the largest PV installation in the country. The project had an investment of $62 million. [pv magazine International]

Uyuni solar plant (Evo Morales’ Twitter account)

US:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 = #1 Best Selling Car In The US (In Revenue)” • In August, Tesla’s Model 3 became a top 5 best-selling car in the US in terms of units sold. But it cost twice as much as the cars by Toyota and Honda that sold greater numbers. In terms of the revenues from the cars sold, the Tesla Model 3 was the number one car. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tucson utility joins fight against initiative to increase solar, renewable use” • Tucson’s largest utility is joining the fight against a November ballot initiative that seeks to increase the use of renewable power in Arizona. Proposition 127 would require public utilities to get 50% of their power from clean energy sources by 2030. [Phoenix Business Journal]

Solar array in the desert

¶ “Texas Leads The Country In Wind Power Capacity” • With at least 12,750 turbines, Texas ranks first in the US for installed windpower. The state’s capacity was measured at over 23,200 MW in 2017. The renewable resource provided between 14% and 17% of all in-state energy production last year, and more capacity is being added. [Texas Public Radio]

¶ “Salesforce Announces New Virtual Power Agreement” • Salesforce, which is committed to reaching 100% renewable energy by 2022, announced its third and largest virtual power purchase agreement to date. The 15-year VPPA will support 80 MW of wind energy from the Bright Stalk wind project in Mclean County, Illinois. [Triple Pundit]

Have an emphatically fun day.

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September 9 Energy News

September 9, 2018

World:

¶ “Climate change: Protests held ahead of California summit” • Organised by New York-based group 350.org, environmentalists held protests around the world demanding stepped up action on climate change, ahead of a summit in California. Thousands took part in Paris, days after France’s environment minister quit over perceived policy failures. [BBC]

Demonstration in Sydney harbor

¶ “Dirty Reality Catching Up With Fossil Fuel Vehicles” • The new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure has been put into force in the EU from 1st of September 2018. With it and the Real Driving Emissions test, OEMs whose cars have always been highly polluting, and are finding that they are now running out of road. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Companies want blockchain technology for Europe’s electricity market” • A growing number of companies want blockchain technology to become a core feature of Europe’s electricity market. With blockchain, traders can do business with no centralized intermediary, such as an exchange, and the system is considered more resilient. [Market Business News]

Electricity market based on blockchain technology

¶ “Kenya Being Duped Into The Coal Power Plant, Experts Say” • Environmental experts and civil society members have called on the government of Kenya to suspend the construction of a proposed coal power plant in Lamu County. They put a focus on dire health and environmental consequences associated with coal energy. [kenyanews.go.ke]

¶ “Sony to source all its energy from renewables by 2040” • Sony plans to have all the energy it uses come from renewable sources by 2040, up from the current level of 7%. Sony has already gone fully to green energy in Europe, but it has 111 business sites around the world, and 80% of the group’s energy consumption is in Japan. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Solar array (© Reuters)

¶ “‘Disappointed’: Josh Frydenberg sorry to see NEG dumped” • Former Australian Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg says he is disappointed the National Energy Guarantee is now dead. He says the Coalition’s message at the next federal election will be that both the major parties have failed to land durable emissions policies. [The Guardian]

¶ “30,000 Zambian households gain access to energy” • Over the course of a period of nine months, 30,000 Zambian households have gained access to energy for the first time. The increased access was achieved through the collaborative efforts between renewable energy company Fenix International and telecom firm MTN. [Lusaka Times]

Solar panels and a thatched roof

¶ “First Minister suggests trip to north-east turbines might change Trump’s mind” • As she officially opened the European Offshore Wind Deployment Center, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said US President Trump might “change his mind” if he paid a visit to the wind farm off Aberdeen he has famously opposed. [Aberdeen Evening Express]

¶ “Coal sector in crisis” • A study revealed South Africa’s coal sector is in a state of crisis, including both coal mining and coal-fired electricity. Rising costs of coal mining, complicated procurement procedures, and energy insecurity have made coal increasingly less competitive. The crisis could place thousands of jobs at risk. [eNCA]

Coal

¶ “World Nuclear Association Calls For Abandoning Fossil Fuels To Achieve Green Future” • Agneta Rising, the director general of the World Nuclear Association, called on the global community to boost efforts to decarbonize economies and increase the use of nuclear power in order to achieve a clean energy future. [UrduPoint News]

US:

¶ “Scenes From San Francisco’s #RiseforClimate” • In San Francisco, political and business leaders are gathering for the Global Climate Action Summit. On Saturday, so were 30,000 people, who came to make it clear that the stakes for dawdling on replacing fossil fuels with a just transition to clean energy are very, very high. [Sierra Magazine]

Young Aztec dancer (Photo: Sam Murphy)

¶ “Tesla’s battery business is booming amid Model 3 struggles” • For the past year, Tesla watchers have been obsessively focused on its struggles to build its Model 3 electric sedan. But another element of Tesla’s business has been booming. Deployment of Tesla’s stationary batteries surged 450% during the first half of 2018. [San Francisco Chronicle]

¶ “Wisconsin professor cycles around the Midwest for solar” • On Jim Tinjum’s #bikethewind tour last year, he often saw turbines towering gracefully in the distance from miles away. On his recent #bikethesun tour of about 1,200 miles of the Upper Midwest, he had to search for solar destinations nestled into the countryside. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Solar system in North Dakota (US Fish and Wildlife Service)

¶ “Maine regulators to hold hearings in towns eyed for CMP hydropower project” • The Maine Public Utilities Commission said it will hold public witness hearings in Farmington and The Forks Plantation on September 14 to let citizens comment on a proposed hydroelectric transmission line that will run from Canada to Lewiston. [Bangor Daily News]

¶ “A Crack In Co-Owner Support For Vogtle, As Costs Skyrocket” • Georgia Power’s announcement last month of an unexpected increase of $2.3 billion more to complete Vogtle units 3 and 4 triggered confusion and the requirement for a vote by each of the co-owners on whether to continue participating in the project this month. [Atlanta Progressive News]

Have a thumpin’ good day.

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September 8 Energy News

September 8, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Department of Energy Walks Into a Fight About Subsidies” • A fight over power plant costs could threaten grid reliability, and it is not as simple as people have been hearing. By throwing three issues together, each to cost billions, policymakers are putting into jeopardy the electric grid reliability they say they are trying to protect. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Block Island wind farm

¶ “Japan’s power supply system a weak link in times of disaster” • The blackout across the entire northern island of Hokkaido after a powerful earthquake struck showed the weak link in Japan’s ultra-modern system of technology. The earthquake put the country in mind of the 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. [The Japan Times]

World:

¶ “LG Chem’s 2020 Battery Production Target Raised 29% To 90 GWh” • LG Chem is one of a handful of EV battery companies that dominate global EV battery production. It is a major supplier of EV batteries. Recent news indicates that LG Chem increased its 2020 production target from 70 GWh to 90 GWh, approximately 29%. [CleanTechnica]

LG Chem battery production

¶ “Engie, J-Power to collaborate on offshore wind” • Engie SA and Japanese utility Electric Power Development Co (J-Power) will work together on power projects, especially large-scale offshore wind, J-Power announced. Engie wants to get into the Japanese market, and J-Power is involved in an offshore wind project of up to 220 MW. [Renewables Now]

¶ “UK Set To Have Thousands More Electric Vans” • An initiative led by Global Action Plan, with the UK Clean Van Commitment and Engie as partners, is aiming to get 2,400 new electric vans in operation by 2020, and for 18,000 new electric vans to replace diesel vans by 2028. Sixteen UK van fleet operators are taking part in the initiative. [CleanTechnica]

Renault Kangaroo

¶ “India’s NTPC Awards 1.2 GW in its First-Ever Wind Energy Auction” • The first national level wind energy auction organized by NTPC Limited, India’s largest power generation company, saw increases over 10% in the lowest tariff bid. NTPC offered 1.2 GW of capacity and developers were free to set up projects at sites of their choosing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ryan Zinke brushes past threatened islands’ most pressing demand during visit” • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has spent his week traveling through a series of tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean, part of an effort meant to strengthen strategic and security-based alliances. But he is ignoring their need to deal with climate change. [ThinkProgress]

Living between the breakers and the wet place
(Credit: Fiona Goodall | Getty Images For Lumix)

¶ “BBC issues internal guidance on how to report climate change” • The BBC, one of the world’s largest and most respected news organisations, has issued formal guidance to its journalists on how to report climate change. The BBC has faced repeated criticism over the past decade for enabling “false balance” on the topic. [Carbon Brief]

¶ “EDF Renewables awarded 276 MW of wind energy projects in Brazil” • At the last federal competitive tender held by the Brazilian regulator, EDF Renewables was awarded two wind power projects located in Bahia State, totaling 276 MW. The company won nearly a quarter of the 1200 MW capacity awarded at the auction. [REVE]

Wind turbines in Brazil

US:

¶ “Federal Policy Vacuum Spurs Surge of State Environmental Ballot Measures” • At least 11 states will get a chance to vote this fall on a variety of environmental ballot measures, in a surge of activity that could foreshadow policies of a future Democratic administration. The measures run a gamut of environmental policies. [Scientific American]

¶ “Bombshell: Tesla Announcement Implies HUGE Quarter 3” • The latest Company Update from Tesla had a statement buried in it that really stands out when it is allowed to sink in. “We are about to have the most amazing quarter in our history, building and delivering more than twice as many cars as we did last quarter.” [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model X

¶ “Sunrise Solar Solutions is proposing a pollinator-friendly community solar project in New York” • Sunrise Solar Solutions is proposing the development of a solar energy system on 4 acres at the rear of Oakwood Cemetery in Mount Kisco, New York. A key aspect of the project is the creation of a “pollinator-friendly” habitat. [Solar Power World]

¶ “US House Committee passes Offshore Wind for Territories Act” • The House Committee on Natural Resources passed the Offshore Wind for Territories Act unanimously to amend federal law to authorize offshore wind development at American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. [Windpower Engineering]

Offshore windpower

¶ “Western Kentucky to soak up the sun with state’s largest solar farm” • An 800 acre of solar system is planned for Lyon County, Kentucky. It will have a capacity of 86 MW, and the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency, a group of eleven city-owned utilities, have agreed to purchase the majority of its power, starting in late 2022. [Courier Journal]

¶ “Californian Ski Area to be Run on 100% Solar Energy From This Winter” • In California, the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski area has announced that all of its electricity will be purchased from Liberty Utilities’ nearby solar generation plant in Luning, Nevada. This will make the resort’s electric power supply 100% renewable. [InTheSnow]

Have a surprisingly rewarding day.

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September 7 Energy News

September 7, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Drones & AI Used To Quickly Inspect Wind Turbines” • The French drone software startup Sterblue’s technology employs drones and AI to inspect such industrial infrastructure as power lines, power towers, and wind turbines. Drones get up close to wind turbines and record high-quality images, which are then analyzed using AI. [CleanTechnica]

Drone inspecting a wind turbine

¶ “Research Breakthrough Reduces the Cost of Solar Cell Production by 10%” • Researchers at Aalto University in Finland and Michigan Technical University, working with a dry etching process for PVs that captures more of the sunlight that hits it, say the manufacturing cost of their solar cells is 10% less than for conventional cells. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Big wind, solar farms could boost rain in Sahara: study” • A study in the journal Science used computer modeling to simulate the effect of covering 20% of the Sahara Desert with solar panels and installing three million wind turbines there. In addition to slowing global warming, it would also give a small but beneficial boost to rain. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind turbines reflected on the water

World:

¶ “August the ‘cleanest energy month of the year in modern times’ in UK” • Fossil fuel generation in the UK fell to record lows last month, while renewables provided a quarter of all electricity, making August “the cleanest calendar month of the year in modern times” energy experts at consultancy EnAppSys said. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “‘Bold’ Climate Action Could Deliver $26 Trillion In Economic Benefits Through 2030” • A report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate shows that benefits of climate-smart growth are “significantly” underestimated. It says “bold climate action” could drive at least $26 trillion in economic benefits through 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Studying under an electric light

¶ “Facebook to build $1 billion Singapore data center, first in Asia” • Facebook said it will invest over $1 billion to build a data center in Singapore, powered by renewable energy and adapted to the tropical climate. The center, its first in Asia, is expected to be operational around 2022, hosting Facebook servers and IT operations. [The Borneo Post]

¶ “Aberdeen Bay ready to party” • Vattenfall officially opened its 93.2-MW Aberdeen Bay offshore wind farm, also known as the European Offshore Wind Deployment Center, off the coast of Scotland. The project has two MHI Vestas V164 8.8-MW turbines and nine 8.4-MW machines. Swire Blue Ocean jack-up Pacific Orca installed the turbines. [reNews]

Aberdeen Bay wind turbines (Vattenfall image)

¶ “Wind turbines could cover 40% of the current electricity consumption in Germany” • Windpower, along with solar, hydropower and biomass, should cover 65% of German electric power needs by 2030, according to the German government. Optimal distribution of the plants on the German mainland by the operators is a prerequisite. [Phys.org]

¶ “Three new solar farms and battery storage system to power NT airports” • Three solar farms and a large-scale battery storage system will be built in the Northern Territory as part of $300 million expansion of airport facilities. The project is co-funded by the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund of the federal government. [One Step Off The Grid]

Darwin Airport

¶ “Japan acknowledges first radiation-linked death out of Fukushima” • Japan‘s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare admitted that a man employed at the Fukushima nuclear power plant died of lung cancer linked to radiation exposure. Three reactors melted down in March 2011 when a tsunami hit the Fukushima area. [Preston Business Review]

¶ “No future: Even existing coal to be beaten by renewables and storage on costs” • A new report authored by Australian and international researchers suggests there is no prospect for a new coal generator in Australia, and even existing coal generators are going to be challenged by the falling costs of renewables and storage. [RenewEconomy]

Liddell coal-burning power plant

US:

¶ “US Energy Storage Deployments Increase 200% Year-Over-Year” • Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables published its US Energy Storage Monitor, collaborating with the Energy Storage Association. It showed that 156.5 MWh of energy storage were deployed in the second quarter of 2018, up 200% over Q2 ’17 (which was particularly low). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Statehouse Rally Marks Final Week Of Energy Veto Override Campaign” • Hundreds of people from the timber and renewable energy industries rallied at the New Hampshire State House for legislators to overturn two of Governor Sununu’s vetoes. The people say the vetoes were wrong and could put them out of business. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

Rally in Concord (Annie Ropeik | NHPR)

¶ “NextEra Energy establishes carbon dioxide emissions rate reduction target as part of its commitment to creating a sustainable energy future” • NextEra Energy, Inc announced a new CO2 emissions target. It already reduced its CO2 emissions rate by 52% since 2001, and it plans to reduce the rate more than 65% by 2021. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Augusta commission endorses 100% green energy goal” • Solar power has a place in Augusta, Georgia. Augusta Commissioners approved a resolution support a goal of 100% clean energy by 2050. The resolution wants Augusta to hit 80% renewable energy us by 2030. This is to protect the earth and to avoid a climate catastrophe. [WJBF-TV]

Have a wonderfully merry day.

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September 6 Energy News

September 6, 2018

World:

¶ “Lower Costs, Incentives Drive Electric Bus Adoption” • A senior research analyst for Navigant Research said the adoption of electric buses is gaining speed but not as fast as some might hope for. China is adding about 95,000 electric buses each year, but Navigant predicts electric buses will account for only 15% of the US market by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra electric bus

¶ “Origin to develop 5 MW virtual power plant in Victoria” • With a grant from the Victorian government, Origin Energy is gearing up to connect solar and battery systems of up to 650 residential and commercial properties across the state. It is to be Origin’s first virtual power plant and the largest one in Victoria to date. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Global Electricity Demand To Increase By 57% By 2050, BNEF Forecasts” • Global electricity demand is expected to reach approximately 38,700 TWh by 2050 according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, up from 25,000 TWh in 2017. The increase will drive significant new investment in world power generating capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Transmission lines

¶ “Decentralized renewable energy is an over $100 billion opportunity” • The investment potential for decentralized renewable energy in India may be as high as over $100 billion, analysis says. These solutions need to be larger parts of national and state energy systems if India is to truly to achieve quality 24/7 power for all. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Socially just energy transition for coal workers no pie in the sky, study finds” • As the UN’s climate chief called for more “urgency” from negotiators at the Bangkok climate talks, a report found that a socially just transition is already feasible for coal workers and communities, while coal production is expected to decline globally. [EURACTIV]

Open pit coal mine (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Lock ‘Em Up? Bavarian Judges Propose Jail Time For Politicians Who Ignore Air Pollution” • When politicians don’t enforce measures to protect the public from pollution, should they be punished? And if so, then how severely? Bavarian judges are putting this question to the European Court of Justice, seeking legal guidance. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s largest offshore wind farm launches off English coast” • The Walney Extension project opened off Cumbria, in the northwest of England, with a capacity of 659 MW. This makes it the world’s biggest offshore wind park in operation, overtaking the London Array off England’s east cost with a capacity of 630 MW. [Deutsche Welle]

Offshore wind project

¶ “Clean tech transition could generate 65 million jobs, save $26 trillion – study” • Two reports point at economic advantages of clean tech transitions. Carbon pricing schemes could reap global sales of around $2.8 billion. Opportunities for storage and electric heating could further save UK homes around $258 per year. [pv magazine International]

¶ “80% of local heads in nuke disaster areas say they can’t meet population goals: poll” • About 80% of 45 administrative district heads in six Fukushima Prefecture municipalities with areas that are difficult to live because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster said it is not possible to meet goals for returning people, a Mainichi Shimbun survey found. [The Mainichi]

Abandoned Fukushima gas station (Mainichi image)

US:

¶ “US Distributed Wind Surpasses the 1 GW Mark” • The market for distributed wind energy crept over the 1 GW mark in 2017 according to the 2017 Distributed Wind Market Report, which was published by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Nearly 100 MW was added last year, bringing the total to 1,076 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Court Upholds Massachusetts’ Authority to Cap Power Plant CO2 Emissions” • Massachusetts’ highest court resoundingly upheld the state’s power to impose limits on carbon emissions from power plants. It is an example of states establishing their authority to fill the regulatory void the Trump administration is creating. [InsideClimate News]

Gloucester (Don Emmert | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Advocates: Trump’s coal-friendly power plan will hurt Ohio’s health” • Ohioans likely face more early deaths, more asthma attacks, and higher electric bills under the Trump administration proposal to replace the Clean Power Plan, say environmental groups. Those conclusions come from the EPA ’s own analysis of the proposal. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Average Atlantic Coast Offshore Wind Farm Could Add Billions To Economy & Thousands Of Jobs” • A report shows that an average-sized offshore wind farm located off the Atlantic Coast of the US could result in billions in economic benefits and yield thousands of jobs. Such wind farms could be put up in any of several states. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island Wind Farm

¶ “New Jersey board starts review of Nautilus offshore wind application” • The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities formally accepted the application for the up to 25-MW Nautilus pilot offshore wind project in state waters, it was announced. The plan is to erect three wind turbines about 2.8 miles east of the coast at Atlantic City. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Rhode Island’s solar-powered move: Conti signs 35 MW EPC agreement with Southern Sky” • Conti Solar and Southern Sky Solar Rhode Island signed an agreement for five PV projects, totaling 35 MW. They are just a small part of Rhode Island’s development queue, which aims for 1 GW of renewable energy in 2020. [pv magazine USA]

Have a mystifying groovy day.

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September 5 Energy News

September 5, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Next Financial Crisis Lurks Underground” • Some of fracking’s biggest skeptics are on Wall Street. They argue that the industry’s financial foundation is unstable: It has not proven that it can make money. “The industry has a very bad history of money going into it and never coming out,” says one hedge fund manager. [New York Times] (Thanks to Tad Montgomery.)

Fracking and where it is going (Image: Zak Tebbal)

¶ “5 Stats About Offshore Wind Power That’ll Blow You Away” • Countries and companies are turning to offshore wind power as a critical source of renewable energy. From the skyscraper-sized turbines developed by GE to the impressive resource potential of the US, here are five incredible stats about offshore wind power. [Motley Fool]

¶ “Politicians lagging on renewables will soon be fossils” • Many politicians seem not to realise that there have been incredible technological advancements in renewable energy, as well as batteries, that have led to dramatic improvements in their ability to convert wind and sun into large quantities of electricity at an affordable cost. [Courier Mail]

Queensland transmission lines

Science and Technology:

¶ “Arctic Expedition Makes Climate Change Up Front and Personal” • Students on Ice, an organization that educates the world’s youth about the importance of the Polar Regions, brought 130 students and over 80 staff from 20 countries to western Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic during the summer of 2018. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Refurbishing Baseload Power Stations To Backup Renewables” • Stories have popped up in the news recently about turning traditional hydroelectric stations, which generate power by using water captured from a flowing river, into pumped storage facilities, which cycle the water, using more energy to do so than they produce. [CleanTechnica]

Lake Mead at reduced water levels

¶ “Semi-Artificial Photosynthesis Could Harness Solar Power” • Researchers from St John’s College and Cambridge University found new ways to produce and store solar energy using semi-artificial photosynthesis, by combining biological components with man-made technologies to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen. [R & D Magazine]

World:

¶ “EU Removes Trade Barriers On Chinese Solar Imports” • Following reports last week that the EU was considering scrapping import controls on solar panels and cells from China, the European Commission has announced that it will remove trade duties on solar panels and cells imported from China, Taiwan, and Malaysia. [CleanTechnica]

Manufacturing solar panels

¶ “South Australia commits $180 million to batteries, storage and virtual power plants” • The South Australia Liberal government is about to finally roll out its Home Battery Scheme after it confirmed allocating $180 million for installing battery storage in 40,000 homes, large batteries, demand management, and virtual power plants. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Vestas to enter Senegal with 46 turbines” • Vestas has announced it will enter the Senegalese market by providing wind turbines for the African nation’s Parc Eolian Taia N’Diaye wind power project. The 159-MW wind park is the first large wind energy project in Senegal and is also set to be the largest wind project in West Africa. [Energy Digital]

Vestas wind turbine (Getty Images)

¶ “Japan Program for Reuse of Nuclear MOX Fuel in Doubt” • The Japanese government has pushed for the reuse of mixed-oxide fuel in the country’s nuclear reactors, but utilities that finance the reprocessing have not funded those operations since fiscal year 2016, according to financial reports released by the power companies. [Power magazine]

¶ “Farmers to flock to solar and battery storage, as power costs bite” • A report from Commonwealth Bank of Australia suggests the shift to solar and battery storage in the nation’s expansive agribusiness sector has only just begun. It says a staggering 76% of all farmers, nationwide, are planning to tap solar and battery storage. [One Step Off The Grid]

Australian dairy farm (Mattinbgn, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Trump to name climate change skeptic as adviser on emerging technologies” • William Happer, a retired Princeton atomic physicist and prominent skeptic questioning whether humans are causing rapid climate change, is joining the National Security Council as senior director for emerging technologies, according to NSC officials. [CNN]

¶ “The sinking islands of the Southern US” • The pejorative perception of the Gullah Geechee being uneducated or backcountry has shifted to one in which the identity is celebrated, both by academics and those who grew up in the culture. Yet the Gullah Geechee ways are slipping away, as their islands are lost to climate change. [BBC]

Gullah Geechee fisherman (Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc | Alamy)

¶ “Young conservatives flock to Washington in support of clean energy” • This week, hundreds on young conservatives from across the country will be visiting the nation’s capital with a message. And the message these young men and women have is simple: they support clean energy, and they want to power more of America with it. [The Hill]

¶ “UC system to get 100% renewable power in less than 10 years” • The University of California system set a goal of powering all its campuses and medical centers with 100% renewable energy by 2025, as part of its efforts to fight climate change. The university system has already committed to making its daily operations carbon-neutral. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Have an astoundingly fruitful day.

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September 4 Energy News

September 4, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “We need to respond to climate change immediately” • It is time for elected officials to stop pandering to the interests of well-moneyed corporations whose positions fly in the face of facts and overwhelming scientific consensus. It is time for them to legislate and govern in a manner that adheres to scientific recommendations. [Washington Post]

Mendocino Complex fire (Justin Sullivan | Getty Images)

¶ “Will Farmers Bring The World To Its Senses About Climate Change?” • In Germany, 10,000 farmers are facing bankruptcy after a summer of record high heat and record low rainfall, according to a report by NPR. Dairy farmers are slaughtering their cows because there is not enough grain available to feed them. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Emissions From Huge Vessels Are About To Get Slashed With The Use Of Rotor Sails – Large Scale Testing Begins” • Two 30-meter tall rotor sails have been installed onboard the product tanker vessel Maersk Pelican, targeting a reduction in fuel cost and associated emissions on typical global shipping routes of 7% to 10%. [CleanTechnica]

Rotor sails (Credit: Maersk Tankers)

¶ “Nuclear Has to Use Climate Crisis to Justify High Cost, MIT Says” • Nuclear energy cannot compete on cost with cheap natural gas or renewables and therefore needs the help of policy makers who are willing to promote its low-emission power generation as a way to fight climate change, a landmark new study says. [Bloomberg]

World:

¶ “How China’s giant solar farms are transforming world energy” • China has more solar energy capacity than any other country in the world, at a gargantuan 130 GW. Unsurprisingly, China is the home of many sizeable solar farms. The largest solar plant in the world at the moment is in China’s Tengger Desert, which has a capacity of over 1,500 MW. [BBC]

Solar farm in Datong County

¶ “Rolls Royce Electric Debuts SAVe Energy Battery Propulsion System For Ships” • Rolls Royce Energy, based in Norway, is introducing its proprietary SAVe Energy battery propulsion and energy management system for commercial ferries and ships. They are modular, which means they can be sized to the needs of any ship. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “TenneT starts NordLink subsea cable laying in German section” • Dutch transmission system operator TenneT, which also operates in Germany, announced that it has started laying its subsea cable section in the German North Sea for the 1.4-GW NordLink. NordLink is the first interconnection between Norway and Germany. [Renewables Now]

Cable laying (Source: TenneT Holding BV )

¶ “Queensland could be 90% renewable by 2030 – with right policy settings” • Coal-dependent Queensland could meet almost 100% of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2030, a new report has found, if all of the state’s almost 15,000-MW pipeline of large-scale wind and solar projects went ahead. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Modern Energy Management to take part in 130-MW PV project in Myanmar” • Thailand-based renewable energy consultancy Modern Energy Management has joined hands with an unnamed partner to develop a 130-MW solar PV project in Myanmar. They expect to bring the project online in the last quarter of next year. [Renewables Now]

Solar farm (Image: Business Wire)

¶ “Japan’s nuclear reboot gathers pace, set to curtail LNG demand” • Japan’s liquefied natural gas consumption is falling as the country’s nuclear reactors restart, and output from atomic power set for its highest since the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster. Each reactor cuts LNG demand by a million tonnes per year. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

US:

¶ “EDPR backs 200-MW wind project in Illinois with new PPA” • EDP Renewables North America announced that it struck a power purchase agreement for 50 MW of its Broadlands wind project in Illinois. The deal came from an unnamed energy company and lifts the contracted capacity for the project to 200 MW. [Renewables Now]

Maple Ridge wind farm (Image: EDPR, all rights reserved)

¶ “Utilities are reluctant to invest in coal plants, even after Trump tries to save them” • No utilities contacted by the Washington Examiner said they would commit to improving their coal plants or re-evaluate planned retirements because of the EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy rule. And none of them have plans to build new coal plants. [Washington Examiner]

¶ “Navy now considering plans for ocean wind farms – and Morro Bay is a top prospect” • Efforts to build fields of floating wind turbines off the coast of California are gaining momentum, and Morro Bay might be at the front of the line. Despite a lack of publicity, activity on the West Coast’s offshore windpower is moving along. [The San Luis Obispo Tribune]

European offshore wind turbine (Courtesy photo)

¶ “‘It sort of exploded’: the rapid rise of solar energy in North Carolina” • Solar energy growth in North Carolina is among the fastest in the country, according to an Environment North Carolina report, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Between 2008 and 2017, the state’s solar production rose from 7 GWh to 5,783 GWh. [The Daily Tar Heel]

¶ “Commercial solar is about to become a reality in Alaska” • A 408-panel solar PV array is weeks away from completion on a plot of land along the Glenn Highway in Willow, Alaska. When it’s switched on next month it will be the largest solar power project in Alaska. A larger array, however, is already being built near Fairbanks. [Anchorage Daily News]

Have a fantastically cool day.

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September 3 Energy News

September 3, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Automakers Try Hard To NOT Sell Electric Cars” • Automaker executives from Ford, GM, Nissan, and Toyota are fond of saying that few consumers want electric cars. They sometimes claim they could produce many more electric cars, but customers are not asking for them. But they are pushing gasmobiles, and putting no effort into EVs. [CleanTechnica]

New Nissan LEAFs

¶ “The reality is new coal power is not the answer for cheaper electricity bills” • The tipping point has been reached: renewable energy is now a cheaper source of power for Australia’s future electricity needs than coal. The cold, hard numbers show it, and no less an authority than the Australian Energy Market Operator agrees. [ABC News]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Australia unveils starfish-killing robot to protect Barrier Reef” • Scientists at Queensland University of Technology announced that they have built a robot called the RangerBot, developed with a grant from Google, that could be able to serve as a “robo reef protector” for the vast World Heritage site off Australia’s northeastern coast. [Daily News & Analysis]

Barrier Reef

¶ “Yes, There Will Be Plenty Of Lithium For Energy Storage” • Concerns about the global supply chain for lithium could soon be moot. The California-based startup Lilac Solutions has an innovative, low-impact method for extracting lithium from abundant brines around the globe. And it has just received a major financial boost. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “China Doubled Its Battery Storage Capacity In Just Six Months” • Thanks to a central government policy boost, and to some regional storage policies, China added nearly as much battery storage capacity in the first half of 2018 as it had in total at the end of 2017, according to data by the China Energy Storage Alliance. [OilPrice.com]

Charging an electric car in China

¶ “IRENA: Renewable Energy Costs Falling Rapidly” • A report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency indicates that the cost of renewables is falling at such a rapid rate that it will be a consistently cheaper electricity source than traditional fuels in only a few years’ time, posing a mounting threat to the fossil fuel industry. [Financial Tribune]

¶ “Solar power installations in India down 52% in April-June 2018” • Solar installations in India were reduced 52%, to 1,599 MW, during the second quarter of 2018. This was mainly due to uncertainties around trade cases and module price fluctuations, according to Mercom India Research’s “Q2 2018 India Solar Market Update.” [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar array

¶ “India Now Third Largest Electricity Producer In The World, Beats Out Russia And Japan” • According to a report in the Business Standard, India has overtaken Russia and Japan in terms of electricity production and currently ranks as the third highest producer and consumer in the world after China and the United States of America. [Swarajya]

¶ “Tunisia plans 1.7-GW solar complex” • Tunisia is set to build the solar park across three phases. It will be located in Tunisia’s southernmost region of Remana, in the Sahara Desert. The project was conceived by the Tunisian Government to support organic farming and improve security at the border with Libya. [pv magazine International]

Tunisia (Image: Julien | Flickr)

¶ “Solar energy can reduce gas reliance of Australian industry” • Solar energy can help Australian industry cut energy costs by reducing reliance on gas, a publication of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and associated groups says. Major efficiency improvements are achievable by “fuel shifting” from gas to clean technology. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Business gives up on Coalition, turns to Labor and states on energy, climate” • Business has all but given up on the Coalition’s energy and climate policy. There is now no expectation of any meaningful moves on policy from the Coalition government between now and the next election, which must be held by the end of next May. [RenewEconomy]

Solar farm

¶ “Japanese utilities ended funding for nuclear fuel reprocessing in 2016, putting MOX program in doubt” • Utilities that operate nuclear power plants stopped funding the reprocessing of nuclear fuel in fiscal 2016, their financial reports showed, a step that may affect resource-scarce Japan’s nuclear fuel recycling policy. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “Driven by climate change, fire reshapes US West” • Wildfires in the US have charred more than 10,000 square miles this year, with large fires still burning in every Western state including many that are not fully contained. Whether sparked by lightning or humans, fire has long been a force shaping the landscape of the West. [Phys.Org]

Wildfire (Kent Porter | The Press Democrat via AP, File)

¶ “Can Miami’s Aquifer Survive Climate Change?” • Climate change is endangering drinking water resources in Miami-Dade County. The geography of the Miami area makes it particularly difficult to protect drinking water resources. Officials are puzzling over how Miami can keep its water safe and what that will cost, as sea levels rise. [Water Online]

¶ “GOP Climate Denier Seeks To Chair House Science Committee” • Rep Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) dismissed climate change research as “junk science.” Now, he is angling to chair the House Science, Space and Technology Committee if Republicans maintain control of Congress after November, according to Roll Call. [The National Memo]

Have an absolutely joyful day.

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September 2 Energy News

September 2, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Market speeds coal’s demise” • FirstEnergy Corp announced that it will close Pennsylvania’s largest coal-fueled power plant by 2021, along with three smaller plants in Ohio. FirstEnergy tried to blame federal energy policy. But policy makers should note that coal has become uncompetitive, and its economics will not improve. [Scranton Times-Tribune]

Coal-burning power plant (Photo: J David Ake | AP)

World:

¶ “Cerro Pabellón: Taking Geothermal Power to New Heights” • South America’s first and only geothermal power plant, the 48-MW Cerro Pabellón project, sits at an elevation of 4,500 meters above sea level in Chile’s harsh and remote Atacama Desert. Building and operating a plant in these extreme site conditions was no easy task. [POWER magazine]

¶ “Solar panels are worth considering, say energy experts” • While a decade ago solar energy provided virtually no power, around 840,000 homes in the UK now have solar panels. Solar panel installations have slowed because the incentives for home installations have been reduced. But there are still reasons to install them. [The Westmorland Gazette]

Lighthouse with solar panels (Pixabay image)

¶ “China-backed solar-power plant settles atop remote mountain peak in Argentina” • Atop a remote mountain peak near the borders of Chile and Bolivia, in the remote northern-most region of Argentina, workers with the Shanghai Electric Power Construction Company built a Chinese-financed solar project 4,000 meters above sea level. [Xinhua]

¶ “Award-Winning Pumped-Storage Hydro Facility a Modern Marvel” • The Frades II pumped-storage project in Portugal took advantage of existing dams for a scheme that includes the largest variable-speed reversible units ever installed in Europe. The facility provides a versatile option for managing wind and solar power fluctuations. [POWER magazine]

Frades II

¶ “Australia will honour Paris climate agreement, Simon Birmingham says” • After the Coalition government removed the emissions reduction component from its national energy guarantee, the trade minister claimed Australia will honour its Paris climate agreement commitments. He did not say how that would be done. [The Guardian]

¶ “Champagne region struggles to adapt to climate change” • Temperatures have risen 1.2° C (2.16° F) in 30 years, and pickers are scrambling to bring in yet another early harvest. The spectre of climate change is haunting the vineyards of France, and its creeping effects, including chaotic weather, are becoming the new normal. [CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News]

French grapes (Photo: Virginia Mayo | AP)

US:

¶ “Repeal of the Clean Power Plan could mean more pollution for PA” • The Trump administration’s expected replacement of the Clean Power Plan is unlikely to reduce harmful greenhouse gases by much at all, and it could end up making air quality in parts of Pennsylvania worse, according to several analyses and experts. [StateImpact Pennsylvania]

¶ “Companies Have Bought More Clean Energy Than Ever This Year, and It’s Only August” • According to the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center, increased corporate procurements of renewable energy have already made this year a record breaker, with four months still to go. There are nearly sixty companies leading the way. [Gizmodo UK]

Wind turbines at night

¶ “Salesforce funds wind energy project, expands business in Chicago” • Salesforce, a cloud computing mammoth based in San Francisco, has made plans to support a wind farm construction project in central Illinois, reports say. This is to enhance its reach in the Chicago region. The project represents an investment of $300 million. [CMFE Research]

¶ “Renewed Vision Shines Light on Dormant Nuclear Site” • An abandoned nuclear project, with the framework of a cooling tower and weathered concrete walls with empty windows, sits in rural Tennessee. The remains of what might have been provide the backdrop for what is: a solar farm that is boosting economic development. [POWER magazine]

Abandoned nuclear project with new solar array

¶ “Andrew Cuomo Faces An Environmental Revolt” • There was a time when New York Gov Andrew Cuomo fashioned himself as the nation’s most aggressive governor on climate change. But many environmentalists say Cuomo’s climate policies amount to half measures he maintains along with lucrative ties to donors in the fossil fuel industry. [HuffPost]

¶ “Cynthia Nixon Promises to Convert Cayuga Power Plant Into a Renewable Energy Facility, Vows Plant Will ‘Never’ Run on Fracked Gas” • Cynthia Nixon, a candidate for the Democratic party nomination for governor of New York, announced her intent to convert the Cayuga Power Plant into a renewable energy facility. [The Cornell Daily Sun]

Have an excitingly rewarding day.

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September 1 Energy News

September 1, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Toward A More Democratized Energy World” (Interview) • Next Kraftwerke aggregates and sells electricity from almost 5,000 independent renewable energy generators all over Europe as a virtual power plant. CEO and co-founder Jochen Schwill spoke of the vision he and co-founder Hendrik Sämisch had and how it was realized. [CleanTechnica]

Virtual power plant

¶ “US Electricity Generation By Renewables Edges Out Nuclear” (Interview) • A SUN DAY analysis of Energy Information Administration data showed that renewables generated slightly more than what nuclear power produced in the first half of 2018. Ken Bossong, the Executive Director of the SUN DAY explained the importance of this. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Nearly Every Ecosystem on the Planet Will Be Transformed by Climate Change” • If nations fail to rein in their greenhouse gas emissions, nearly every terrestrial ecosystem on the planet will undergo “major transformations” that will completely change the world’s biomes, warn a team of 42 scientists in the journal Science. [Yale Environment 360]

Ghost trees (PeterRintels | Flickr)

World:

¶ “Canadian Appeals Court Rules Against Trans Mountain Pipeline” • The Canadian federal appeals court ruled that the Trans Mountain Pipeline’s application process was legally flawed. One flaw noted in the unanimous decision was a failure to engage in meaningful consultations with the indigenous people affected if the pipeline is built. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK onshore growth ‘at risk'” • The future growth of the UK onshore wind industry is at risk unless there is a change in government policy, RenewableUK has warned. It said current policy blocking onshore wind from competing for Contracts for Difference means the industry faces a steep drop off in new investment. [reNews]

Wind farm (R-UK image)

¶ “Triton nails financial close” • Innogy and partners have reached financial close on the 860-MW Triton Knoll offshore wind farm off the east coast of England. The company has entered into a number of contracts for the project, including one with MHI Vestas which will supply 90 V164-9.5MW turbines, with pre-assembly in Teeside. [reNews]

¶ “Tidal energy: the silent giants of the Pentland Firth” • In the waters between the Orkney Islands and mainland Scotland, four MeyGen 1.5-MW turbines convert tidal energy into electricity. The turbines, now operational, supply enough electricity for 2,600 Scottish homes. Plans are afoot to potentially deploy 265 more of them. [Geographical]

Installing a MeyGen turbine (Image: SIMEC Atlantis)

¶ “India gets solar, wind, storage hybrid power plant” • A 41-MW solar photovoltaic, wind, and battery storage hybrid plant is being built in Andhra Pradesh by IL&FS Energy Development Company Limited. The project will include 25 MW of solar PV and 16 MW of windpower coupled to an optimized energy storage system. [Electric Light & Power]

US:

¶ “The Oil and Gas Industry Wants Us to Protect It From Climate Change” • The state of Texas is pursuing a $12 billion, mostly taxpayer-funded project to erect a 60-mile-long barrier made up of concrete sea walls, steel levees, and the like to keep rising waters from destroying all that is to be found along the Gulf coastline. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Petrochemical facilities (David J Phillip | AP)

¶ “Inspector general to review whether politics influences EPA’s science” • The EPA inspector general’s office announced that it will review the “extent and type of employee concerns, if any, with scientific integrity.” The review is significant because of the Trump administration’s focus on how the EPA and other offices conduct and use science. [CNN]

¶ “CIP starts construction on 298 MW of US solar projects” • Danish fund manager Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has announced construction has begun on its two US solar farm projects which will have a total capacity of almost 300 MW. These are to be located in Texas and Utah. Both are expected to be operational in 2019. [Energy Digital]

Solar system (Getty Image)

¶ “Lawmakers approve bill that makes PG&E, ratepayers share wildfire costs” • PG&E will be allowed to have ratepayers shoulder some of the multibillion-dollar cost of last year’s wildfires under a bill approved by both houses of California’s Legislature. But PG&E must open its books for an examination by regulators. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

¶ “$1 Billion Program Aims To Put Solar On Low Income Multifamily Housing In California” • The Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing Program will be administered by a group of established solar and housing organizations. For ten years, the California Public Utilities Commission will provide $100 million annually. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar panel systems (Via Panasonic)

¶ “Distributed solar saved ISO-NE consumers $20 Million during July heat wave, report says” • During peak hours for electricity demand, distributed solar can reduce load on the New England grid by more than 1 GW, the report found, helping to reduce system-wide costs. The analysis was done by Synapse Energy Economics. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Legislative effort to reorganize California’s electricity grid dies” • A California bill that would have created an organization to run electricity grids across the West died in the legislative session’s last hours, despite strong support from Gov Jerry Brown. Some lawmakers feared sharing control with coal-dependent states. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Have an enchantingly pleasant day.

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