Archive for October, 2018

October 31 Energy News

October 31, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Batteries, Hydro, Hydrogen: What are Australia’s Best Options for Renewable Storage?” • New analysis of energy storage technologies commissioned by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency suggests that the cost of storage is lower than most people might think. There is no one best technology, but several are cheaper than fossil fuels. [RenewEconomy]

Noor tower in Morocco

World:

¶ “New Renewables Cheaper than Old Coal in Southeast Asia” • Analysis from independent financial think tank Carbon Tracker has concluded that it would be cheaper to build new solar PV and onshore wind capacity than continue operating existing coal-fired power plants in large parts of Southeast Asia by the end of the next decade. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India’s 1.5 Million Electric Vehicles and Why You’ve Never Heard of Them” • in India has rickshaws by the thousands, and they are being converted to low cost electric vehicles by the thousands. Over 1.5 million electric rickshaws are already zipping silently around the country in an electric vehicle revolution you probably never heard of. [CleanTechnica]

Auto-rickshaw

¶ “SunPower Serves Oz Mega-Solar” • Solar panel maker and developer SunPower has teamed up with German partner Innogy and the latter’s subsidiary Belectric to deliver what could be Australia’s largest solar power plant. The 349-MW Limondale project, located near Balranald, New South Wales, will be operational in mid-2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Global Fossil Fuel Consumption Subsidies up above $300 Billion in 2017, IEA Reports” • With efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption subsidies, from 2012 to 2016 they were almost halved from a 2012 high of half a trillion dollars, but new data from the International Energy Agency shows that these subsidies crept up in 2017. [CleanTechnica]

Nodding donkey and wind turbines

¶ “With Green Mosques and Schools, Amman Pushes for Zero Emissions” • Amman, Jordan, is one of more than 70 cities worldwide that are aiming to become “carbon neutral” by 2050. This means that they will produce no more climate-changing emissions than they can offset, such as by planting trees to absorb carbon dioxide. [Voice of America]

¶ “NSW Launches Emerging Energy Program to Replace Coal Generation” • The New South Wales Coalition government launched one of the most significant energy transition projects in Australia. The Emerging Energy Program is designed to help replace most of the state’s ageing coal plants with wind, solar, and storage within 15 years. [RenewEconomy]

Nyngan solar power plant

UK:

¶ “EasyJet Plans Electric Planes by 2030” • EasyJet, the British-based budget airline, has pledged to develop a fleet of electric planes to cover short-haul routes by 2030, effectively reducing carbon emissions and noise from its operations. The no-frills carrier is in partnership with US-based manufacturer Wright Electric. [CNN]

¶ “UK Floating Wind Could Support 17,000 Jobs and Generate £33.6 Billion in Value by 2050” • A report from Crown Estate Scotland found that not only does floating offshore wind have an important role to play in the UK’s plans to generate 50 GW from offshore wind by 2050, it could also provide £33.6 billion ($42.9 billion) in added value. [CleanTechnica]

Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm

¶ “Scotland Aims to Lead Floating Revolution” • Scotland will continue to back floating offshore wind to avoid missing a slice of the action for what will be a global industry, the Floating Offshore Wind UK 2018 conference heard. Scotland’s Energy Minister told delegates that not supporting the industry would be a missed opportunity. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Swinerton Breaks Ground on 200-MW SoCal Solar Project” • Swinerton Renewable Energy, in partnership with New Energy Solar and DE Shaw Renewable Investments, broke ground on the 200-MW Mount Signal 2 in Southern California’s Imperial Valley. Completion of Mount Signal 2 is estimated for December 2019. [Commercial Property Executive]

Solar array

¶ “Feds Are ‘Trying to Silence’ the Kids Suing the Trump Administration over Global Warming” • The Supreme Court is considering the DOJ’s petition for writ of mandamus. Federal attorneys question whether the kids have a right to “a climate system capable of sustaining human life” under the Constitution or public trust doctrine. [CNN]

¶ “Pricing Pressure Hits GE Renewable Energy’s Q3 Profit” • GE Renewable Energy saw its third-quarter profit shrink by 72% year-on-year to $60 million (€52.8 million), even though its revenues improved. The company blamed the profit decrease on “continued pricing challenges” in the market and lower project repowering volumes. [Renewables Now]

GE wind turbines (Photo: General Electric)

¶ “Largest California Solar-Plus-Storage Project Agreement Signed ” • Recurrent Energy signed 15-year power purchase agreements with Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Monterey Bay Community Power for a 150-MW solar plant with 180 MWh of storage, the largest contracted solar-plus-storage project in California. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “New Renewables, Nuclear Bring Down US Electricity Emissions by ~13%” • Analysis by the DOE puts some numbers on how zero-carbon energy has brought down US power sector emissions. It is almost all wind, which went from 0.4% to 6.3% of generation from 2005 to 2017, and solar, which increased from about 0% to 1.9%. [pv magazine USA]

Have a magically dreamy day.

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October 30 Energy News

October 30, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Clean Energy is Cheap, Surging – and Headed for a Fall” • Australia’s Clean Energy Council lists 69 large-scale projects that have reached “financial close” and may be under construction. And rooftop solar panels are being installed at an astonishing rate. But with unclear policy, the picture is murkier than this suggests. [The Guardian]

Bungala Solar Farm (Photo: Che Chorley for the Guardian)

¶ “Can Illinois Handle a 2000% Jump in Solar Capacity? We’re About to Find Out” • A new state law requires utilities to increase their purchases of renewable energy, to get at least 25% of the state’s electricity from clean energy by 2025, much of it from solar. To ramp up by the deadline, the state needs two things: workers and projects. [InsideClimate News]

Science and Technology:

¶ “This is the ‘Last Generation’ That Can Save Nature, WWF Says” • Global wildlife populations have fallen by 60% in just over four decades, as accelerating pollution, deforestation, climate change, and other man-made factors have created a “mind-blowing” crisis, the World Wildlife Fund has warned in a damning new report. [CNN]

African elephant

¶ “Passive Radiative Cooling Moves out of the Lab and into the Real World” • In August of 2017, we brought you news of a new hybrid material that can lower the temperature of a building without the use of electricity, using a process known as passive radiative cooling. Now, it is being prepared to go to market in the real world. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bitcoin Predicted to be the Nail in the Coffin of Climate Change” • Bitcoin alone, with its insignificant utility, could push global temperatures over the 2°C catastrophic threshold by 2034, if the cryptocurrency gets adopted at the same pace as other broadly used technologies, says a report in the journal Nature Climate Change. [Forbes]

Representation of Bitcoin virtual money

World:

¶ “Scottish Power to Replace Gas, Hydro Projects with UK Offshore Wind” • Iberdrola subsidiary Scottish Power will use offshore wind power to replace the capacity of the gas and hydro power projects it is selling to Drax, with wind becoming its sole source of electricity production, Iberdrola’s director of Offshore told Reuters. [Reuters Africa]

¶ “More than 90% of World’s Children Breathe Toxic Air, Report Says, as India Prepares for Most Polluted Season” • Around 93% of the world’s children under 15 years of age, 1.8 billion children, breathe air so polluted that it puts their health and development at serious risk, according to a report published by the World Health Organization. [CNN]

Uncertain life with air pollution

¶ “South Korea to Build 4-GW Massive Renewable Energy Farm on Saemangeum” • South Korea will establish a 4-GW renewable energy production complex on Saemangeum, a vast tract of reclaimed land on the west coast. The central and provincial governments will build a 3-GW solar power farm on land and a 1-GW offshore wind farm near Gunsan. [Pulse News]

¶ “Climate Lawsuit Against German Government Mirrors Our Children’s Trust Suit in US” • Three German farmers and Greenpeace filed a lawsuit against the German government in the Berlin administrative court. The suit claims the government has failed to take the actions needed to meet the country’s climate protection goals for 2020. [CleanTechnica]

There is no Planet B (Credit: Frankfurter Allgemeine)

¶ “EDF Snaps Up Land as it Eyes New Reactors, Renewables” • EDF is looking to buy land around at least three of its nuclear power plants, potentially to build new reactors or expand its capacity of renewables. The land could be used “to develop new means of carbon-free energy production, whether from nuclear or renewables. [Montel]

¶ “UK Budget ‘Missed Opportunity’ for Clean Power” • The Chancellor’s Autumn budget is a missed opportunity for the UK government to back renewable energy and clean growth, trade groups say. The budget lacked clarity on several issues facing the renewable energy industry, according to the Renewable Energy Association. [reNEWS]

Parliament (Image: FreeImages)

US:

¶ “US Coal on Track for Record Capacity Decline, Closing 15.4 GW” • The closure of coal-fired power plants across the US is currently on track to set a new record this year, with at least 22 plants going dark, a 15.4-GW decline, according to a new report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Cinemark, AEP Strike 40-MW Wind PPA in Texas” • US movie theatre chain Cinemark USA Inc said it has signed a virtual power purchase agreement for up to 40 MW of AEP Energy Partners’ Trent Mesa wind farm in Texas. This will be enough electricity to meet the demand of 120 Cinemark theatres or nearly 14,000 homes. [Renewables Now]

Trent Mesa wind farm (Photo: Business Wire)

¶ “San Diego Zoo Selects EDF Renewables for 1-MW/4-MWh Battery Installation” • The San Diego Zoo chose EDF Renewables North America to install a new 1-MW/4-MWh battery at the facility to save money on its electrical bills through the battery’s peak shaving functionality. The zoo’s payments will depend on the savings delivered. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DC Moves Toward Getting Rid of Fossil Fuels Altogether” • Washington, DC, could adopt the nation’s first 100% renewable energy bill, in what supporters say would be the most aggressive, fastest-acting climate change legislation in the country. The bill being considered would move the district to 100% renewable electricity by 2032. [Washington Examiner]

Have an incredibly productive day.

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October 29 Energy News

October 29, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Energy Transitions are Nothing New but the One Underway is Unprecedented and Urgent” • As a historian who has studied the oil industry’s earliest years and petroleum’s role in world history, I believe that keeping the world habitable for future generations will depend on a swift transition to more sustainable energy sources. [Cosmos]

Horsepower, before an earlier transition

¶ “Renewable Energy Empowers Consumers to Take Charge of Their Energy Usage” • A quiet revolution is occurring in the dark corners of the grid. Advances in technology are reducing carbon emissions while empowering consumers to take more control of their energy usage. This is causing a seismic change in the role of public utilities. [The New Economy]

¶ “Power Prices and Carbon Emissions are Both Rising, but Could Lower Emissions Cut Your Bills?” • In the aftermath of last week’s disastrous Wentworth by-election, which recorded one of the biggest swings in a by-election in modern history, Coalition leaders have acted like a jilted lover whose attitude is: It’s not me, it’s you. [ABC News]

Hazelwood power station (Image: Greenpeace | AAP)

¶ “The Myth of Donald Trump’s ‘Beautiful Clean Coal’” • Trump made reviving what he calls “beautiful clean coal” a cornerstone of his legislative agenda, vowing to bring back jobs to the ailing industry. His administration has also argued that keeping coal plants provides a cheap and secure energy source. But it is a myth. [BloombergQuint]

World:

¶ “Origin Energy’s Pumped Hydro Expansion Plan Wins ARENA Backing” • Origin Energy’s bid to nearly double the capacity of its Shoalhaven Pumped Hydro Storage Scheme in New South Wales won federal government funding, as part of a significant new stage in the transition to a renewable energy dominated grid in Australia. [RenewEconomy]

Kangaroo Valley Pumping Station

¶ “World’s Ten Biggest Automakers and Their EV Plans” • Tesla has busted open the mainstream electric vehicle market, but it cannot electrify transportation by itself. We need a rapid shift to electric cars (and other clean technologies) or we’re massively screwed. Here is what the top ten car manufacturers are doing in a shift to EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “He’s Turning Lights On in War-Torn Rural Somalia, One Panel at a Time” • With a company backed by his own funds, along with those of friends and family, a man named Wiliq has brought electricity to 1,000 people so far by installing 70 kW of solar panels. A little electricity brings many other benefits, however, including information. [OZY]

Somali farmers riding Somali-made Solar EVs

¶ “SP Launches Platform for Households, Small Producers of Solar Energy to Sell ‘Green Credits'” • To link up small producers of solar energy in Singapore with buyers keen to offset their carbon footprint, SP Group launched a digital marketplace powered by blockchain technology, thus ensuring safe, transparent, and fast transactions. [The Straits Times]

¶ “Tasmanian First Wave Power Trial” • Tasmania’s first wave energy trial earmarked for ocean waters off King Island will be launched in 2019. The $8 million trial will see a wave energy converter unit installed in the ocean off King Island by its inventors, Wave Swell Energy, with the support of Hydro Tasmania and government. [The Advocate]

Artist impression of wave energy converter (Supplied image)

¶ “Hydroelectric Power Generating Capacity to Rise 150 MW by Next Summer” • Iran’s Energy Ministry plans to increase the capacity of the country’s hydropower plants by 150 MW by June 21, 2019, IRNA reported. Iran also plans to add 598 MW of new renewable power plants to the country’s current 650 MW by the same date. [Tehran Times]

¶ “French Public Opinion Growing Against Nuclear Power” • Over half (53%) of French people said they were now opposed to nuclear power, in the survey by pollster Odoxa. Five years ago, 67% said they were in favor. The change in opinion has been attributed to the growth and improvement in renewable energy sources. [The Connexion]

French nuclear plant (Max Pixel, CC0)

US:

¶ “Santa Monica Approves Cleaner Electric Utility Options” • The Santa Monica City Council approved 100% renewable energy as the default selection for all residential electricity customers from February of 2019. This will offer Santa Monica’s residents and businesses the ability to use electric utility options from cleaner sources. [LA Canyon News]

¶ “Smithfield Announces Plans to Cover Hog Lagoons, Produce Renewable Energy” • Smithfield Foods says it plans to cover most of its hog lagoons in North Carolina to generate renewable energy and to protect the waste pits from heavy rains. During Hurricane Florence’s rains the lagoons caused environmental problems. [North Carolina Health News]

Biogas generator

¶ “Ameren Cleared to Build 400-MW Wind Farm in Missouri” • Missouri’s Public Service Commission approved construction of the 400-MW High Prairie wind farm, which Ameren Missouri agreed to acquire earlier this year. The plant, in northeastern Missouri, is expected to be the largest in the state, once it is commissioned in 2020. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Nuclear Plant Continues to Invest in Alternative Energy” • Energy Northwest is building a 5-MW combined solar PV and battery storage facility in Washington State near Richland. Energy Northwest operates the Columbia nuclear plant, the White Bluffs Solar Station, the Nine Canyon Wind Project, and several hydro projects. [Forbes]

Have a fantastically good day.

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October 28 Energy News

October 28, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Where To for Australia’s Renewable Energy Sector?” • The Australian Government has no plans to revise the country’s renewable energy target “with anything” after 2020. It will reach its watered-down goal for 2026 anyway, so why bother? Some analysts expect this to cause a slowdown of renewable growth. Others see things differently. [CleanTechnica]

Australian wind farm (Wikipedia)

¶ “Why Canadian Tar Sands Oil may be Doomed” • At current prices, $19 per barrel, Canadian tar sands oil producers are losing money on every barrel of oil they dig out. Despite signs earlier this year the industry would “turn profitable in 2018,” a much more likely scenario at this point is a fourth straight year of losses. [NationofChange] (Thanks to Tad Montgomery)

¶ “What Mary Barra’s National EV Mandate Plan Says – and Doesn’t Say – about General Motors” • The public comment period on the federal government’s plan to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards will end soon. Just before the deadline, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, submitted her company’s position. [CleanTechnica]

The Wimpy approach (Credit: The Awl)

¶ “Some Minnesotans Find Ways to Take Action on Climate Change Challenges” • Many Minnesotans are rethinking their daily habits as evidence mounts on the perils of climate change. While the science suggests that individual actions by households cannot solve the problem alone, their action is needed to address the issue. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

¶ “Why a Democratic Candidate Opposing Offshore Drilling Is Getting Republican Support in Trump Country” • Ocean engineer Joe Cunningham is a scientist who turned Democratic candidate for Congress. He has always opposed offshore drilling, and if elected, he will “make sure we never do” drill along South Carolina’s coast. [Gizmodo]

Beach near Charleston (Photo: Getty)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change a Threat to Even the Most Tolerant Oysters” • Severe weather events associated with climate change may cause flooding that threatens the survival of the Olympia oyster, new research suggests. The findings will be presented today at a conference of the American Physiological Society in being held in New Orleans. [Science Codex]

¶ “Dry Lakes and Dust Storms: Dramatic Changes to Yukon Glaciers are Warning for Planet, Researchers Say” • The Yukon’s enormous glaciers are thinning very quickly, creating huge environmental changes. The dramatic changes are an early warning of what climate change could mean for the rest of the planet, researchers say. [CBC.ca]

Kaskawulsh glacier

World:

¶ “$658 Million Deal Signed to Supply Power to 210,000 Homes in South Africa” • Saudi company ACWA Power has announced plans to invest $658 million in South Africa. The company said it will build the 100-MW Redstone concentrated solar thermal power, which will supply enough power to meet the needs of 210,000 homes. [Arab News]

¶ “Spain Scraps Solar Tax in Energy Market Shakeup that Threatens Coal” • Spain is scrapping a tax widely criticised for undermining solar power, in the latest energy policy reversal by the country’s new socialist government. The move also dims the outlook for coal power. Details of the new law will be published next month. [Energy and Carbon]

Spanish rooftop solar array

¶ “Seventy of the Largest Wind Turbines Ever Seen in Africa Will Head for the Karoo” • Enel Green Power placed an order for 70 of massive turbines from Vestas, one of the world’s largest wind turbine makers. The turbines, each of 4.2 MW, are intended for wind projects in South Africa’s Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces. [Business Insider South Africa]

US:

¶ “Portland General Electric to Award 100 MW of Renewables” • Portland General Electric, a public utility in Oregon, is on track to award a number of 20-year contracts for a cumulative 100 MW of renewable energy generation by the end of this year, with short-list proposed projects including wind, solar, and battery storage. [CleanTechnica]

Lime wind farm (Photo: Bureau of Land Management)

¶ “Billionaire Brawl: Warren Buffett vs Sheldon Adelson in Nevada” • Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns NV Energy, a government-regulated monopoly that ranks as the state’s largest utility. And Adelson is bankrolling a campaign to break up the company and take control of where his power-hungry casinos buy electricity. [Politico]

¶ “SunPower to Install Solar Systems at 19 Walmart Stores and Two Distribution Centers” • Walmart announced an agreement with SunPower to install solar systems at 19 stores and two distribution centers in Illinois. The project will include rooftop and ground-mounted solar systems, with construction set to begin in 2019. [Business Chief]

Urban solar system

¶ “As Trump Slashes Environmental Regulations, the EPA Union Forms the Crux of an Internal Resistance” • The American Federation of Government Employees represents EPA workers, and as the Trump Administration works to hasten climate change, the union and the employees it represents have proven to be a source of resistence. [Salon]

¶ “As Trump Wavers on Yucca Mountain, Nuclear Waste, Costs Mount” • A remark by President Trump that he would not support development of the federal government’s politically embattled nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain may not have been his most noticed statement. But his inaction will have continuing high costs. [Madison.com]

Have a truly fabulous day.

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October 27 Energy News

October 27, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Fate of the Ocean: Our Ocean Conference” • With much of the world’s attention now fixated on climate change, the Our Ocean conference on the island of Bali is a great opportunity to address the health of the oceans and garner commitments to save it from the scourges of pollution, overfishing, and transnational crime. [Council on Foreign Relations]

Ocean fish (David Loh | Reuters)

¶ “Trump Administration Toots Offshore Wind Horn, Blows Hot Air at Coal” • Trump swept into office on the promise of bringing back coal jobs, but so far the big winners are coal’s competition: oil, natural gas, and even renewable energy. Yes, renewables. The US Bureau of Ocean Management is promoting the US offshore wind industry. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “What Happens in the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic” • Many people find it hard to understand the global nature of climate change. What does a polar bear trapped on an iceberg in Prudhoe Bay have to do with pelicans in Pensacola, for instance? The folks at the Aspen Global Change Institute did a video to explain the connections. [CleanTechnica]

Polar bear (Credit: The Smithsonian)

World:

¶ “UK Renewable Energy Industry Urges Government to Allow Onshore Wind Auctions” • Fourteen major renewable energy companies sent a joint letter to the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, urging him to drop current restrictions on onshore wind that prevent its competing in Government power auctions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Asia Pacific to See 355 GW of Solar and Offshore Wind Boom in the Next Five Years” • The Asia Pacific region is expected to add a further 355 GW of new PV capacity over the next five years, despite expectations that installations will decline this year. And the region’s offshore wind industry is predicted to grow 20-fold over the next decade. [CleanTechnica]

Solar power in China

¶ “Adani Goes Green in Coal Country for its First Australian Project” • Adani Enterprises Ltd, best known in Australia for its stalled Carmichael coal project, is nearing completion of a solar power farm in a region of Queensland closely associated with coal mining. The first phase of Rugby Run will be commissioned this year. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “Waaree Energies Bags Contract for 60-MW Solar Power Project in Vietnam” • Solar PV module manufacturer Waaree Energies announced it has bagged a contract for a 60-MW ground-mounted solar power project in Vietnam. The country’s government has adopted a goal that will see installation of 12 GW of solar PVs. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar array

¶ “Japan Rejects UN Call to Stop Returns to Fukushima” • Japan’s government has rejected calls from a UN rights expert to halt the return of women and children to areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster over radiation fears. After the 2011 Fukushima Disaster, the government of Japan increased the acceptable level of radiation 20-fold. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “GM Plans to Supply Energy to its Arlington Assembly Plant Using Wind Power” • General Motors has been launching initiatives to make its business more sustainable and eco-friendly. GM recently announced that its assembly plant in Arlington, Texas, is set to be powered entirely by wind energy within the next few years. [The News Wheel]

Wind farm

¶ “Tesla Pushing out ‘Drive on Navigation’ Autopilot Feature Tonight” • Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted the news that the new Autopilot feature “Drive on Navigation” would be pushed out to the fleet of production vehicles. When similar news broke for the release of Tesla’s version 9.0, the release was spread out over nearly two weeks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Pushes National Electric Car Plan as Trump Tries to Roll Back Emissions Standards” • In response to an administration proposal to roll back fuel economy requirements, General Motors is calling for the federal government to start a nationwide program to put EVs on the road, modeled on California’s Zero Emission Vehicle program. [CNN]

Chevrolet Bolt EV

¶ “Amazon is Investing Millions to Keep Packaging out of Landfills” • Efforts to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills in the United States is attracting big-name investors. Amazon announced that it would invest $10 million in the Closed Loop Fund, joining such other companies as Walmart, PepsiCo, Unilever, Coca-Cola. [CNN]

¶ “Minnesota, New York Lead on Shared Renewables, California, Connecticut Fall Short” • The Interstate Renewable Energy Council released its annual scorecard grading states on their shared renewables programs, including community solar. Minnesota got an A. New York scored A-. California got a D, and Connecticut got a D-. [Utility Dive]

Solar array in New York (Lucas Braun, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Holland Wind Turbine Takes a Step Forward, but Path Ahead Still Uncertain” • Development of the Dairy Air Wind project Holland, Vermont, moved ahead a bit when the Public Utility Commission reversed a May ruling putting the project on hold while it determined how its power would impact the local electrical grid. [vtdigger.org]

¶ “No Release of Radiological Material at Hanford Nuclear Waste Site” • Employees at Washington state’s Hanford nuclear waste site were asked to “take cover” for several hours because steam was coming from a small building in one of the site’s tunnels, officials said. The DOE later said inspections confirmed there was no radiological release. [CNN]

Have a delightfully superior day.

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October 26 Energy News

October 26, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Five Cheap Ways to Remove CO2 from the Atmosphere” • An assessment done by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine highlights a number of technologies that are available to be used right now to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and sequester it. The costs to do this range from $20 to $100 per tonne. [BBC]

Planted and growing mangrove swamp (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Sodium-Ion Batteries to Pump Bondi Sewage in Test of Cheaper Li-Ion Alternative” • A project developed at the University of Wollongong is underway to test a comparable, low-cost alternative to lithium-ion battery storage. The sodium-ion battery packs are in use, after commissioning of the project this week. [RenewEconomy]

World:

¶ “Life in a City Without Cars” • In 1999, when Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores became the mayor of Pontevedra, Spain, it was a city in decline. He immediately set about to reduce pollution and congestion by stopping cars and motorbikes from using the downtown area. Partly because of this, Pontevedra is now thriving. [CleanTechnica]

Pontevedra (Credit: Luis Pereiro Gomez)

¶ “European Parliament Backs Single-Use Plastics Ban” • To curb ocean pollution, the European Parliament voted to ban a range of single-use plastics and ensure most bottles are recycled. Under the proposal, 10 single-use plastic products would be banned by 2021 and EU states obliged to recycle 90% of plastic bottles by 2025. [CNN]

¶ “Onshore Wind to See ‘Years of Growth’ in Eastern Europe” • The onshore wind industry is set for “years of growth” across Eastern Europe, according to a report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The company’s analysts predict 16 GW of onshore wind capacity will be installed in the region over the next 10 years. [CleanTechnica]

Ulyanovsk wind farm in Russia (Fortum)

¶ “Businesses Unite to Drive Uptake of Renewable Energy in Australia” • RE100, the global corporate leadership initiative, has had its first meeting with Australian businesses on renewable electricity, demonstrating the potential for corporate sourcing of renewables to help shift the energy market in Australia away from polluting coal. [The Climate Group]

¶ “European Renewable Firm Statkraft to Build Irish Wind Farm” • European renewable energy firm Statkraft is set to begin construction on a €31.5 million wind farm in south-west Ireland next month. The 23.1-MW Kilathmoy wind farm is Statkraft’s first in Ireland. The wind farm is expected to be operational late next year. [Irish Times]

Wind farm (iStock image)

¶ “CanWEA: Canada’s Wind Power Industry ‘Ready to Deliver’” • The Alberta and Saskatchewan governments expressed strong support for wind energy at the opening of the 34th CanWEA Conference and Exhibition in Calgary. Also, the Canadian Wind Energy Association presented its vision for the country’s wind industry. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Oil and Gas Majors Need to Invest $20 Billion Yearly to Dominate in Renewables” • Majors account for a 15% share of the global oil and gas market. If those majors want to capture the same market share in renewables, it would require them to collectively invest $200 billion, according to a new report from Wood Mackenzie. [Greentech Media]

Offshore wind farm (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

¶ “Low Tariffs Test Plans on Nuclear Power” • India’s plans to triple its nuclear power capacity from the current 6,780 MW to 22,480 MW by 2031 will face challenges. These include falling renewable energy tariffs, as low as ₹3/kWh (4.1¢/kWh), and high funding requirements, according to nuclear energy executives of the Nuclear Power Corporation. [Telegraph India]

US:

¶ “Science Group to Illinois: Close More Coal Plants, and do it Quickly” • A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that the projected growth in energy efficiency and renewable energy from the Future Energy Jobs Act can replace generation from Illinois coal plants while keeping the lights on across the state. [Energy News Network]

Pollution

¶ “More and More Democrats are Running on a Total Phaseout of Fossil Fuels” • More than 1,400 Democrat candidates running for every level of office this November have committed to some form of a goal to mandate 100% clean, zero-emissions electricity in their state by 2050, according to the League of Conservation Voters. [Washington Examiner]

¶ “City of Kent, Washington, Joins PSE’s Renewable Energy Program” • The City of Kent, Washington, signed an agreement to purchase nearly all of its power from local renewable energy resources through Puget Sound Energy’s Green Direct program. The program helps cities and organizations buy renewable power. [North American Windpower]

Wind farm (Photo: iStock)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Answers Kansas Call for Southern” • Almost 200 MW of wind turbines will be supplied by Siemens Gamesa for Southern Power’s Reading wind farm in Kansas. The order covers 62 turbines for the 198.5-MW wind project in Lyon and Osage counties. The company already has over 1 GW of wind turbines installed in Kansas. [reNEWS]

¶ “Spaniards Soak in Carolinas Sun” • Spanish renewables developer X-Elio has acquired the 103-MW Lily solar project in South Carolina. Construction of the project is already underway, with commercial operations expected by the end of 2019. A 20-year power purchase agreement is in place with South Carolina Electricity and Gas. [reNEWS]

Have a mystifyingly lovely day.

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October 25 Energy News

October 25, 2018

World:

¶ “Enel Clean Power Output Jumps 25%” • Enel renewables output rose almost 25% in the first nine months of 2018 to 74,572 GWh from 59,743 GWh in the same period last year. Hydro accounted for almost 50,000 GWh of the generation, with wind supplying 16,345 GWh. The remainder was made up of solar, geothermal and others. [reNEWS]

Rock Creek wind farm (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Thermal Power Capacity Addition to Fall by 60% in Five Years: Report” • Ratings agency Crisil, in a report given exclusively to Mint, expects only about 35 GW of new coal-fired power plants to be added to India’s power generation portfolio from FY19 to FY23. In contrast, India added 88 GW of capacity in the preceding five years. [Livemint]

¶ “South Africa is Investing in Batteries to Stop Frustrating Electricity Blackouts” • Eskom, the South African grid supplier, released a 19-page report outlining how it planned to implement its battery storage program. The two-phase program will start with an 800-MW distributed battery network. This first phase is due by December 2019. [Quartz]

Eskom infrastructure (Siphiwe Sibeko | Reuters)

¶ “Iran to Have 1.15 GW of Renewables by Summer 2019” • Iran’s total installed renewable power generation capacity totalled 650 MW at the end of September and is set to expand to 1,150 MW by next summer, according to the country’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization. Around 39% of the capacity is made up of PVs. [Renewables Now]

¶ “PV High Five for EDF in Israel” • EDF Renewables has put five solar farms in Israel’s Negev Desert into commission. The projects, which total 101 MW, are the 60-MW Mashabei Sadeh, 14-MW Pduyim, 13-MW Mefalsim, 7-MW Kfar Maimon, and 7-MW Bitha facilities. They are located on 130 hectares and are made up of 307,400 solar panels. [reNEWS]

EDF’s Catalina solar array in California (EDF image)

¶ “Vattenfall Makes 80-MW Local Gain” • Vattenfall has acquired the 80-MW Vargtrask wind farm in Sweden from Nordisk Vindkraft for an undisclosed price. The project, located in the Asele and Lycksele municipalities in Vasterbotten county, has a permit for up to 21 turbines and could be operational in 2021-2022, Vattenfall said. [reNEWS]

¶ “SaskPower Reveals Golden Wind Ticket” • The 200-MW Golden South wind farm is the successful project in SaskPower’s latest renewables procurement process. The project will consist of up to 60 turbines and built south of the town of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan. Developer Potentia Renewables expects it to be online by 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)

¶ “Tohoku Electric to Scrap Aging No 1 Unit at Onagawa Nuclear Plant” • Tohoku Electric Power Co said it will scrap the idled No 1 unit at its Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture, more than 30 years after it started operations. The company said additional safety measures would be difficult and the reactor would be unprofitable. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “Exxon ‘Systematically’ Misled Investors, NY AG Says” • For years ExxonMobil duped shareholders about the serious threat its fossil fuels empire faces from the global crackdown on carbon emissions, according to a lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General. The lawsuit alleges that Exxon executed a “longstanding fraudulent scheme.” [CNN]

Refinery (Getty Images)

¶ “Tesla Delivers ‘Historic’ $311 Million Profit” • Tesla reported a quarterly profit for the third time in its 15-year history. The electric car-maker made a record $311.5 million (£242 million, €273) in the three months to 30 September, as the pace of car deliveries accelerated. CEO Elon Musk had promised a profit to investors earlier this year. [BBC]

¶ “Dominion Makes 500-MW Green Call in Virginia” • Dominion Energy issued a request for proposals for 500 MW of onshore wind and solar generation for Virginia. The company plans to develop up to 3 GW of renewable power under the state’s Grid Transformation and Security Act. Dominion will issue an RFP each year until the target it met. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ “America Made Strong Gains With Clean Energy, Efficiency, and Carbon Cuts but Faces Climate “Crossroads”” • The US is far ahead of 10-year government projections for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon pollution cuts but must greatly accelerate clean energy progress to help avert climate disaster, a report says. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ “A Solar Project in Rural Alaska Takes Aim at Sky-High Electric Bills” • A renewable energy project in the Northwest Alaska village of Buckland aims to demonstrate solar and wind power’s potential to reduce the region’s sky-high utility costs. Three solar arrays will switch on this week, and a battery system is coming next year. [Alaska Public Radio Network]

Buckland solar arrays (Nathaniel Herz | Alaska’s Energy Desk)

¶ “SoCal Municipalities Select 100% Renewable Electricity Default” • The Ventura County, California, board of supervisors voted to set a default of 100% renewable electricity when the county launches service through the Clean Power Alliance in 2019, the Sierra Club has announced. It is the first county to set a default to 100% renewable. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Oil Spill Settlement Pays for Climate Curriculum in Gulf States” • The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is spending part of a $500 million oil spill settlement to provide climate change education at middle and high school levels in Gulf Coast communities vulnerable to sea-level rise and other climate threats. [Scientific American]

Have a totally magnificent day.

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October 24 Energy News

October 24, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “How your Local Elected Officials can Support Clean Energy” • Municipal elections often fall off the radar during national ones, but cities retain a surprising amount of power over their energy future. Here is a list of eleven resolutions, actions, and rules that can make your local city council or mayor a clean energy champion. [CleanTechnica]

Aspen, Colorado (Daniel Case, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Green Climate Fund Approves $1 Billion for Climate Action in Developing Countries” • The Green Climate Fund approved over $1 billion to nineteen new projects and programs aimed to support climate action across developing nations. The Fund’s total portfolio is now over $4.6 billion. It also launched its first replenishment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s Second Floating Offshore Wind Farm Takes Next Big Step Forward” • What may become the world’s second floating offshore wind farm has received a financial boost. The European Investment Bank announced its intention to give a €60 million loan to Portuguese company Windplus for a planned 25-MW demonstration project. [CleanTechnica]

Hywind Scotland floating offshore wind farm

¶ “Scott Morrison Escalates Threats to Energy Companies as Experts Dispute Price Claims” • Australian Energy retailers are being ordered by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to slash their prices from January 1 or face the prospect of drastic regulation, amid pressure for a royal commission into “dodgy” practices that hurt customers. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Shell Joins Global Wind Energy Council” • In what must be a sign of the End Times, the Global Wind Energy Council made it known that oil and gas megalith Shell joined as a board-level member. The move might have been unthinkable two decades ago. The company is expanding its wind business as part of its Shell New Energies Strategy. [CleanTechnica]

Shell headquarters in the Hague

¶ “South Africa’s Eskom Plans First Major Battery Storage Project” • South Africa’s state-run power firm Eskom said it is planning its first major battery storage project. A source at Eskom, told Reuters that the project would be rolled out in phases across 90 sites, with a tender for the first phase pencilled in for early next year. [Reuters Africa]

¶ “Swansea Seeks Private Backers for Tidal Lagoon” • Swansea Council has invited private backers to undertake the delivery of the proposed 320-MW Swansea Bay tidal lagoon after efforts to secure a Contract for Difference price support from the UK government came to naught. The project is expected to cost £1.3 billion. [reNEWS]

Swansea Bay tidal lagoon (Image: Tidal Lagoon Power)

¶ “Coalition Could Indemnify New Coal Projects Against Potential Carbon Price” • Australia’s energy minister, Angus Taylor, has signalled the country’s federal government could indemnify new power generation projects against the future risk of a carbon price, and says it could also support the retrofitting of existing coal plants. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “An Oil Spill You have Never Heard Of Could Become one of the Biggest Environmental Disasters in the US” • The Taylor oil spill is still surging since it started, six years before the tragedy at Deepwater Horizon in 2010. It may have dumped 30,000 gallons of oil each day since it began, and the environmental destruction just continues. [CNN]

Typical Gulf oil platform (Photo: Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg)

¶ “A utility in coal country doubles down on renewables” • In a political climate where the fight over propping up coal versus expanding renewable energy has split many into partisan camps, Delta-Montrose Electric Association reminds us that economic sensibilities are the driving force behind transitioning to a new energy economy. [High Country News]

¶ “US Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement Hits Record Levels” • So far this year (as of October 19) there have been 59 deals signed by US corporations for a total of 4.96 GW. This is already a new record over the previous high of 3.22 GW set in 2015. It also represents the greatest number of first-time buyers in a single year. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Image: Alveston 3Mills)

¶ “Trump Just Gave Renewable Energy a Long-Awaited Victory” • Trump signed a $6.1 billion spending bill that gives hydropower a big victory by establishing two government task forces to speed up construction of electricity-producing dams. It also boosts pumped storage plants that can help back up solar and wind resources. [Washington Examiner]

¶ “NextEra’s Clean Energy Ambitions Just Keep Getting Bigger” • With its third quarter 2018 results, NextEra announced it has completed its most successful quarter ever for renewable energy origination, adding 2.1 GW of renewable energy its backlog. This amount includes 447 MW of solar and 120 MW of battery storage projects. [pv magazine USA]

NextEra solar project (Image: ABC 31 | WAAY)

¶ “Youth Plaintiffs File Response with Supreme Court Pointing to the Government’s Serious Mischaracterization of Juliana v US” • Attorneys for youth plaintiffs in the landmark climate lawsuit, Juliana v US, filed their response with the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, requesting that the Court allow their trial to proceed. [NationofChange]

¶ “Exelon CEO: Carbon Price Preferable to ‘Band-Aid’ Nuke Subsidies” • Chris Crane, the CEO of the nation’s largest nuclear operator has renewed his call for a price on carbon emissions, saying it would be preferable to current state subsidies for nuclear plants or a federal plant bailout contemplated by the White House. [Utility Dive]

Have a decidedly untroubled day.

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October 23 Energy News

October 23, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Global Warming Still on Track for 4°C Despite Strong Carbon Prices, According to Schroders” • The cost of carbon in Europe has soared to its highest levels for almost a decade but it has not been enough to slow the pace of global warming, according to Schroders’ latest Climate Progress Dashboard update. It remains on track for 4°C. [CleanTechnica]

Power plant

World:

¶ “VW Looks to Tap into Lucrative Chinese Market with New Shanghai Factory” • Volkswagen is building its first full-scale electric vehicle factory just a few miles outside of Shanghai. The new factory will be dedicated to building fully electric vehicles for the entire VW group based on the company’s modular electric battery platform. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Air Quality In Bergen, Norway’s EV Capitol, Better Than At Any Time Since 2003” • Bergen is known for its scenic beauty but it is also known for something less pleasant: smog. Bergen’s temperature inversions trap all emissions from the cars and buildings. But Bergen’s smog is disappearing as the percentage of EVs grows. [CleanTechnica]

Bergen (Pssmidi Pål S Schaathun, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Renewable Energy Share in India’s Power Generation Reaches All-Time High in August 2018” • Renewable energy technologies contributed a record 13.4% to Indian energy generation in August 2018. The previous high was 13.3%, set in the preceding month. The year-on-year increase in renewable generation for August was a whopping 51%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Iran’s Operational PV Capacity Reaches 250 MW” • Numbers released by Iran’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization show the country’s renewable energy deployment reached a total of 650 MW, with solar having a 39% share of that. Iran is expected to reach 1 GW of renewable power capacity in 2019. [pv magazine International]

Blu Terra 2 solar plant (Image: Gruppo Maresca)

¶ “Enel Commences Construction of 475-MW Solar Park in Brazil” • The Brazilian green power unit of Italian energy major Enel SpA said it has started construction work on the 475-MW DC Sao Goncalo solar park in the northeastern state of Piaui. The total cost is expected to be about R$1.4 billion ($380 million, €331 million). [Renewables Now]

¶ “Battery project breaks new ground in Victoria” • Power network owner AusNet Services joined with EnergyAustralia, a retailer, to deliver Victoria’s first grid-scale electricity storage project. It is sited at a place in Victoria where an increasing amount of renewable energy has raised concerns about grid stability. [The Australian Financial Review]

Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia

¶ “Argentina Signs 300 MW of RenovAr Solar Power Contracts” • Argentina has signed contracts with three of the solar power projects that were selected in round 2 of the RenovAr renewable energy auction program. Each of the solar PV projects, La Pirka, Ullum X, and Verano Capital Solar One, has an installed capacity of 100 MW. [Renewables Now]

¶ “New 310-MW wind power project promises drop in electricity cost” • Kenyans could start paying lower electricity costs after the expected addition of 310 MW of cheaper renewable energy to the national grid. The project has 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 kW. The company said would all be on the grid by next week. [The Standard]

Lake Turkana Wind Power project (Kimamo Kabii, Standard)

¶ “Australia’s ‘Largest’ Solar Microgrid Set to Slash Power Costs in Victoria Coal Hub” • Victoria’s coal power hub, the Latrobe Valley, may soon host Australia’s “largest” renewable energy microgrid. A consortium of local companies announced that a $15 million solar and battery storage project won a $3 million state government grant. [One Step Off The Grid]

US:

¶ “The Northam Administration Wants a ‘Prominent Role’ for Virginia in Offshore Wind. Can They Pull it Off?” • Virginia is looking to assume a “prominent role” in the developing the East Coast offshore wind industry by collaborating with neighbouring states, according to the director of the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. [Virginia Mercury]

Offshore wind farm (CCO Creative Commons via Pixabay)

¶ “Tesla Powerwall Keeps a Remote Home Powered Through 42-Hour Utility Outage” • A Northern California man in PG&E’s electrical service territory had his electricity turned off by the utility for 42 hours for high wildfire risk yet was able to run his home on his Tesla Powerwall for the entire time. It had 9% charge remaining at the end. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Republicans Learn to Love Wind and Solar Jobs after Once Mocking Them” • Republicans used to deride so-called “green jobs” when former President Barack Obama promised to create millions of them. Now there are nearly 3.2 million clean energy jobs in America, and the industry has more jobs than fossil fuels in 42 states. [Washington Examiner]

Renewable energy (Ron Thomas | Getty Images)

¶ “Cape Cod Landing for Offshore Wind Cable Approved by Barnstable” • Barnstable officials agreed to grant Vineyard Wind a power cable easement at Covell Beach in the village of Centerville. The vote followed negotiation of a host community agreement that will pay the town up to $32 million over the next 25 years. [MassLive.com]

¶ “Judge expected to overturn law that forced customers to pay for failed SC nuclear project” • A South Carolina judge is expected to overturn the law that put electricity customers on the hook for a failed nuclear project. Such a ruling would upend a high-stakes fight over who pays for one of the biggest financial fiascos in state history. [Charleston Post Courier]

Have a perfectly exquisite day.

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October 22 Energy News

October 22, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Counting the Ways to Store Renewable Energy” • A mind-boggling array of energy storage technologies is being tested in labs and workshops across the globe. Among them are chemical, electro-chemical, mechanical, and thermal energy storage systems, all competing to get the attention of whoever whats to store energy. [Chemical & Engineering News]

Offshore wind power (Shutterstock image)

¶ “World’s First Successful Ammonia Synthesis Using Renewable Hydrogen” • JGC Corp and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology announced that a joint project used renewable energy to generated hydrogen and synthesize ammonia from the hydrogen, then used the ammonia to fuel a gas-powered generator. [ChemEngOnline]

¶ “Sunflare’s Lightweight Solar Lets Solar Go Where it Couldn’t Go Before” • Sunflare’s CIGS solar cells are manufactured with a proprietary technology that prints the cells onto a stainless steel backing. The sheet of stainless that they’re printed on is durable and flexible, and opens up new options for how and where solar panels are placed. [CleanTechnica]

Sunflare’s Solar Power International show display

World:

¶ “New trial launched to create ‘green’ gas from solar power” • Energy company Jemena has partnered with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency in a $15 million trial to convert excess solar and wind power into hydrogen gas. The hydrogen will be stored, distributed, and used in Jemena’s New South Wales gas network. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Suzhou Forum Calls for Faster Energy Transformation for Better Lives and Prosperity” • The Third International Forum on Energy Transitions met in Suzhou, China, aiming to identify solutions to scale up renewable energy innovations, accelerate power sector transformation, and increase renewable energy financing. [Modern Diplomacy]

IRENA director Adnan Amin in Suzhou

¶ “Taiwan triumph for Siemens Gamesa” • Ørsted has chosen Siemens Gamesa as the preferred supplier for the first 900-MW of the Greater Changhua offshore wind farms in Taiwan. Siemens Gamesa will deliver approximately 112 of its 8.0-167 machines for the project. The wind farm’s offshore construction planned to start in 2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “Atlantis makes Scots tidal splash” • Simec Atlantis Energy has redeployed two Andritz Hydro tidal turbines at its 6-MW MeyGen Phase 1A array in the Pentland Firth off Caithness in Scotland. The company said the two 1.5-MW machines had restarted generation at full capacity following maintenance at its Nigg Energy Park base in Easter Ross. [reNEWS]

Andritz turbine

¶ “SA’s renewable energy stance riles nuclear industry” • South Africa’s nuclear energy industry is unhappy with the country’s energy plans, which pave the way for the adoption of renewable energy. The Integrated Resource Plan covers coal, natural gas, windpower, solar, and hydropower, but does not even mention nuclear in the mix. [ITWeb]

US:

¶ “Walmart Will Buy Energy from New Randolph County Wind Farm” • Walmart has agreed to buy 60 MW of power from the Headwaters II wind farm, which is expected to begin operation in Randolph County, Indiana, sometime in 2020. The purchase is part of a larger agreement between the company and EDP Renewables. [Palladium-Item]

Randolph County wind farm

¶ “San Diego on Verge of Getting Electricity Choice” • The city of San Diego has adopted a Climate Action Plan that calls for a 50% cut in greenhouse emissions by 2035, as well as 100% renewable electric power generation in the same timeframe. Now, it has to work out the details of how it will do that, with or without its utility, SDG&E. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Duke Energy Florida Restores More Than 75,000 Customer Outages in the Panhandle Following Hurricane Michael; Rebuilding Efforts Continue” • Duke Energy Florida has restored power to more than 75,000 customers. Nearly 3,800 customers in Bay and Gulf counties, where systems were heavily damaged, still have no electricity. [Yahoo News]

Michael’s wreckage (Photo: Florida National Guard)

¶ “Portland-based Hopworks Urban Brewery Now Powered by 100% Renewable Energy Supplied by 3 Phases Renewables” • In Portland, Oregon, Hopworks Urban Brewery is having leading West Coast clean energy supplier 3 Phases Renewables supply their brewery and restaurant with 100% renewable energy. The deal saves HUB money. [New Kerala]

¶ “OPPD proposes goals of 50% renewables, 20% cut in ‘carbon intensity'” • The Omaha Public Power District board’s latest draft of Strategic Directive 7 sets a goal of providing at least 50% of its retail electricity from renewable resources while aiming to reduce the utility’s overall “carbon intensity” by 20% from 2010 to 2030. [Omaha World-Herald]

Have an ecstatically gleeful day.

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October 21 Energy News

October 21, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Is Climate Science Denial Leading to Human Rights Violations, Asks Philippines Commission” • As climate change liability increasingly lands in courtrooms around the globe, the Philippines Commission on Human Rights is taking a different and unique approach, investigating climate change impacts as a human rights infringement. [DeSmog]

Philippine boy (Asian Development Bank, Creative commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Warn Flooding to be More Common in Central Texas” • The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration changed the amount of rainfall it takes to qualify as a 100-year event in central Texas. This will have consequences for infrastructure design, flood plain development, and flood insurance. [Austin American-Statesman]

¶ “Are Extreme Weather Events Linked to Climate Change?” • Can a Single Extreme Weather Event be Attributed to Climate Change? Ten years ago the answer to this question was a solid “no.” But the science of identifying singular extreme weather events as results of human-caused climate change is changing fast. [Scientific American]

After Hurricane Michael (Hector Retamal | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “NEA Taps Toshiba to Pilot Hydrogen Power in Off-Grids” • The Philippines’ National Electrification Administration signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese firm Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corp to collaborate on developing self-sufficient hydrogen energy systems for off-grid areas in the country. [Philippine Star]

¶ “French Fund Eyes Investment in Brexit Britain’s Offshore Wind ” • Fresh from the listing of the €1.4 billion (£1.2 billion, $1.6 billion) renewable energy giant Neoen last year, Omnes Capital is plotting a major push into British wind next year. Unfazed by Brexit, it seems, Neoen plans to invest half a billion euros in UK windpower. [Telegraph.co.uk]

British offshore windpower (Simon Belcher | Alamy)

¶ “EDF Slammed over Flamanville Faults” • A source at the French nuclear watchdog, Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire, accused EDF, the state-run utility, of delaying the disclosure that at least 33 welds at the European pressurised reactor under construction in Flamanville were substandard and need to be repaired at a cost of around €400 million. [Energy Reporters]

Australia:

¶ “Josh Frydenberg Rules Out Stronger Climate Polices Despite Wentworth Debacle” • Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg continues to insist that the government’s climate policies are “settled” despite acknowledging the issue was a factor in the Wentworth by-election, where the government suffered a battering. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Hazelton Power Station (CSIRO, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Australia’s First Big Waste-to-Energy Treatment Plant to Transform Energy in the Peel Region” • Household, commercial, and industrial waste from a region of Western Australia will soon be diverted from landfill, part of a $675 million energy project to tackle the growing recycling crisis. It will be Australia’s first big waste-to-energy plant. [Mandurah Mail]

¶ “US City Empowers Australian Councils to Develop Solar as Lack of Federal Climate Policy Causes Concern” • Mayor Rex Parris of Lancaster, California, attributes an increase in jobs, new manufacturers moving to the city, and a reduction in crime to the city’s net-zero energy policy. He spoke with Australian council representatives. [ABC Local]

Solar system (Binarysequence, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Tesla Model S Still #1 Large Luxury Car in USA – By Far” • Rather than just beating the competition in the large luxury car class, the Model S seems to be demolishing it. Tesla Model S sales have remained steady, but its lead in sales has grown from previous quarters because of declining sales of competing luxury car models. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Prices for New Tesla Model 3 and Other Popular EVs Lower than Used Prices” • Over a year into its production run, the Tesla Model 3 is still selling at significantly higher prices on the used market than it sells for new. Is this a joke? No, it’s real, and it is actually the new normal for the best value EVs in several markets around the world. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 on the California Coast

¶ “In a Hyper-Partisan Era, Both Democrats and Republicans Agree on Renewable Energy” • Democrats and Republicans actually have some common ground in the area of renewable energy. The two parties apparently view renewable energy as a necessity for all Americans, a study in the journal Environmental Politics shows. [Citizen Truth]

¶ “ISO New England Learns Lessons from Deep Freeze Last Winter” • With lessons learned from the bitter cold snap that kept much of New England in the deep freeze during the holidays last winter, ISO New England, which manages the regional power grid, has changed its procedures and is looking for long-term solutions. [Valley News]

Have an undeniably auspicious day.

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October 20 Energy News

October 20, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Cow Methane Emissions Reduced by Swiss Company Agolin” • The Swiss company Agolin has developed feed additives from botanical compounds that reduce methane emissions from cows, and methane is one of the key greenhouse gases. Michael Roe, Agolin’s Commercial Director, answered some questions for CleanTechnica. [CleanTechnica]

Hereford bull

World:

¶ “India’s Largest Power Generator Issues 190-MW Solar-Wind Hybrid Tender” • India’s largest power generation company, NTPC Limited, has issued its first tender for a solar-wind hybrid power project. The tender, which is of a substantial capacity, is one of the three tenders that are currently open for bidding in the country. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ethiopia’s Massive new Dam Threatens Egypt’s Nile River” • Ethiopia is building its $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, near the border with Sudan. When completed, it will generate 6,000 MW of electricity. But the Blue Nile River supplies about 85% of the water entering Egypt, and the dam is seen as a threat. [CNN]

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

¶ “Vestas Wins 294 MW Order in South African Auction” • Vestas’ global partner Enel Green Power awarded Vestas an order for 294-MW of turbines for South African projects. The V136 4.2-MW turbines will be delivered in 4.2-MW Power Optimized Mode. Both of the projects are located in the country’s Western Cape region. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Chinese Dominate the Wind Dharts” • Chinese companies were responsible for almost two-thirds of the total wind power capacity added in 2017, according to a report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. “Global Wind Power Asset Ownership 2018,” found that 63% of capacity additions last year were made by 11 Chinese companies. [reNEWS]

Wind farm

¶ “Scottish Power to Invest in Solar Energy for the First Time” • Scottish Power said it will invest in solar power for the first time as part of its move away from fossil fuels. The big six firm sold off its last gas-fired power stations to Drax Group to focus its work exclusively on renewables. Until now that meant only onshore and offshore windfarms. [The Guardian]

¶ “New Microgrid Project to Help Yackandandah Reach 100% Renewables” • The Victorian Labor government is providing funding to a new microgrid project in Yackandandah, to help cut energy bills for local residents and help the community achieve their 100% renewable energy target. The project has a $932,879 price tag. [pv magazine Australia]

Australian rooftop system (Image: Lumencity)

¶ “Nuclear Plant in Armenia Poses Grave Risk to Population and Region” • At the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s October session, safety concerns were raised about rapidly ageing nuclear power facilities. A Soviet-era nuclear power plant in Armenia has become a particular focus of attention for the EU. [Caspian News]

US:

¶ “Trump Administration Opens California Coast to Wind Power Projects” • For the first time, the federal government is opening the door to offshore wind energy development on the California coast. The Trump administration is soliciting proposals for wind power projects in three areas totaling more than 1,000 square miles in federal waters. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

Floating wind turbine

¶ “Supreme Court Stalls Youth Climate Change Case” • The US Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a high-profile climate change lawsuit that 21 young activists brought against the federal government. The order freezes trial proceedings in US District Court in Oregon until lawyers for the young people provide a response. [New Jersey Herald]

¶ “Sunrun Ranked as Leading Residential Solar-Plus-Storage Vendor” • A new report published by Navigant Research has proclaimed US residential solar company Sunrun as the world’s leading solar-plus-storage vendor in a market. That market is expected to see nearly 40 GW of new capacity installed over the coming decade. [CleanTechnica]

Sunrun delivery

¶ “On Beyond EVs: How GM Charts a 100% Renewable Energy Path” • GM is a good example of how US companies are picking up the slack and pushing action on climate change. This is not just about a scattering of rooftop solar installations and on-site wind turbines. CleanTechnica interviewed GM’s global manager of renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Puget Sound Energy Launches Green Direct to Support 100% Renewable Goals” • Washington State energy provider Puget Sound Energy announced that the second round of its Green Direct program has been fully subscribed. It allows local councils and businesses to buy 100% of their energy from local renewable sources. [CleanTechnica]

Puget Sound Energy’s Wild Horse Wind Farm

¶ “New England Power Line Opposition Brings Together Unusual Alliance” • Groups that are more often on opposite sides of energy debates are making cases against the proposed $950 million, 1,200-MW transmission line, which would carry Canadian hydropower through northern and western Maine on its way to Massachusetts. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Colorado Utilities Turning on to Battery Power, Thanks to Dropping Prices, Advances in Technology” • Colorado’s largest utility, Xcel Energy Colorado, will add a total of 275 MW of large-scale battery storage to solar arrays in its newly approved Colorado Energy Plan. The batteries could cover 5% of its peak load. [The Denver Post]

Have a wonderfully happy day.

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October 19 Energy News

October 19, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Trump’s Failure to Fight Climate Change is a Crime Against Humanity” • President Donald Trump, along with  others who oppose action to address human-induced climate change, should be held accountable for climate crimes against humanity. Their policies deny the rights to life, health, and property to their own citizens and people worldwide. [CNN]

Refugee shelters in Kenya (Pete Lewis, Department
for International Development, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Surprise to Analysts: Less CHP in Microgrids, More Solar” • Combined heat and power provides year-round baseload energy in microgrids, which renewable resources do not do. Yet solar PV now overshadows CHP in planned microgrid projects, according to a new microgrid database by consulting and technology services company ICF. [Microgrid Knowledge]

¶ “Study Shows Wind Farms May Reduce Precipitation from Hurricanes” • With the US suffering increasing damage from hurricanes, University of Delaware researcher Cristina Archer published a paper showing an unexpected benefit of large-scale offshore wind farms: they reduce precipitation from the devastating storms. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Offshore windfarm

World:

¶ “Switching to Clean Energy May Save 11 Million Life Years in India” • India could save an estimated 11 million life years each year by replacing coal-fired power plants with clean, renewable energy, according to a Harvard study. Burning coal is a major cause of air pollution, which is one of the largest contributors to death in both India and China. [NDTV]

¶ “Australian Renewable Energy Agency Invests in 5-GW Wind and Solar Push” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced this week that it will invest in the country’s first Business Renewables Centre which will aim to help businesses and local governments procure 1-GW of renewable energy by 2022 and 5 GW by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Australian wind turbines

¶ “Angela Merkel Put Heat On Automakers to Electrify Faster” • Angela Merkel has recently allowed the European Parliament to take more aggressive action on the climate. She also pointed out that the German auto industry has to act decisively, both to restore its reputation after the VW diesel scandal and to retain its lead in the age of EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Toshiba and IHI Drop Nuclear Venture in Shift to Renewable Energy” • Japan’s Toshiba and IHI are dissolving a joint venture that manufactures nuclear power plant equipment, scaling back operations in a field battered by global trends toward renewable energy. The joint venture was formed just two months before the Fukushima Disaster. [Nikkei Asian Review]

IHI-built nuclear containment vessel for Toshiba

US:

¶ “Justice Dept Asks Supreme Court to Put Climate Change Lawsuit on Hold” • The Justice Department filed an emergency petition asking the Supreme Court to put on hold a federal lawsuit by 21 minors youths who say the federal government failure to act to curb climate change is depriving them of rights to life, liberty and property. [CNN]

¶ “Washington State Agencies Make Big Commitment to Solar, Wind” • Gov Jay Inslee has announced that eight Washington state agencies will purchase over 100 million kWh of electricity by 2021 from in-state wind and solar projects. The purchase represents nearly a quarter of the electricity demand for state agency operations. [Solar Industry]

Scene in Washington State

¶ “New Michigan Bill Seeks 100% Renewables by 2050” • Michigan Rep Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, has introduced a new bill to reduce pollution and address climate change, requiring that all power from Michigan utilities come from renewable sources by 2050. The bill provides a series of new targets between 2019 and 2050. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Local Leaders Commission Rhode Island Landfill Solar Array” • Governor Gina Raimondo, along with business leaders and other elected officials, joined Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI to mark the completion of a 2.6-MW solar array. The former municipal landfill site is now producing clean energy for the town of North Providence. [Solar Power World]

Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI landfill project

¶ “December Date for Massachusetts Offshore Bonanza” • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold an auction on 13 December to lease 158,000 hectares off the Massachusetts coast for offshore wind development. Nineteen companies have qualified to participate in the auction for the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area. [reNEWS]

¶ “Fight over Prices, Renewable Energy Spurs a Second Rural Cooperative to Leave Tri-State Generation” • To move away from fossil fuels, Colorado co-op members voted to enable the Delta-Montrose Electric Association to use a limited stock issue to raise cash to pay Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association an exit fee. [The Colorado Sun]

Wind turbine (Dana Coffield, The Colorado Sun)

¶ “City of Austin Green-Lights Major Solar Deal” • By a 9-1 vote, the Austin, Texas, City Council approved a contract for 144 MW of solar power for Austin Energy. The 15-year power purchase agreement with East Blackland Solar Project 1 LLC is for the full output of electricity from a solar project located southeast of Pflugerville. [Solar Industry]

¶ “SEPTA Seeks RFPs for Electricity Generated by Renewable Energy Sources” • Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority released a request for proposals for power generated by wind, solar, or other renewable energy sources. Officials said SEPTA seeks to get 10% to 20% of its electricity from zero-carbon sources. [Railway Track & Structures]

Have an abundantly jolly day.

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October 18 Energy News

October 18, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “There is No Alternative to a World of 100% Renewables” • In a pv magazine interview, Christian Breyer, Professor of Solar Economy at Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology, explains a 100% renewables model is not only technically feasible, but also the cheapest and safest option for dealing with climate change. [pv magazine International]

Dawn at a wind farm (Image: Germanborrillo, flickr)

¶ “Ontario Faces an Electricity Shortage, and Doug Ford is Making it Worse” • Ontario will face electricity shortages in the coming years, as soon as 2023, as the loss of supply from a planned shutdown of a major nuclear power plant is made worse by the provincial government’s cancellation of renewable energy projects. [HuffPost Canada]

¶ “Trump’s Climate Denial Isn’t Just a War on Our Coastlines. It’s a War on Our Brains.” • Among Donald Trump’s long list of wild statements his slippery climate denial barely registers. After he asserted there are “scientists on both sides of the picture,” he was asked who said climate change is not happening. “People say, people say,” was his answer. [New York Magazine]

Pollution (Photo: Jed Share | Kaoru Share | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Indian Coal Mining Companies Plan $1.6 Billion Solar Investment” • The world’s largest coal mining company, Coal India Limited, and India’s largest lignite mining company, NLC India Limited, announced a joint venture to set up 3 GW of solar power capacity. They will also cooperate on setting up 2 GW of coal-based power capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Zealand Duo in Tune with Local Wind” • Genesis Energy and Tilt Renewables are to partner on the development of the 100-MW Waverley wind farm on New Zealand’s North Island. The wind farm will be located between Patea and Waverley in South Taranaki and will consist of 48 turbines across a 980 hectare site. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)

¶ “Tesla Seals the Deal for Gigafactory 3 in China” • It is official. Tesla has acquired just under 1300 acres of land in the Shanghai Lingang Equipment Industrial Zone for its Gigafactory 3. The factory is expected to cover about 1200 acres. The official signing ceremony for the transfer of land to Tesla took place in China on October 17. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rural Scots Voice Onshore Support” • Onshore wind is supported by two-thirds of Scots living in rural areas, according to a survey by Survation. The poll found even higher backing for solar and tidal energy (83% each) and offshore wind power (78%). Only 11% of people surveyed were opposed to onshore windpower. [reNEWS]

Scottish wind turbine (Craigdoogan, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “100 MW Power-to-Gas Project Planned in Germany” • Three German transmission system operators entered into concrete plans to build a 100-MW power-to-gas pilot plant in Lower Saxony, northwestern Germany. According to the companies, “Element One” should be the largest plant of its kind in Germany to date. [pv magazine International]

US:

¶ “ACORE Supports Claim that Coal/Nuke Bailout is on Hold” • The American Council on Renewable Energy said its talks with inside sources confirmed media reports that the Trump Administration has quietly killed a plan to force bailouts for uncompetitive coal and nuclear power plants. But it also said it is too early to declare victory. [pv magazine USA]

Coal-burning power plant (Greg Goebel, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “T-Mobile to Power US Headquarters with Renewable Energy” • T-Mobile US joined Puget Sound Energy’s Green Direct program to get power from the sun and wind. T-Mobile said the move would help it to save “millions of dollars in energy costs” and put it closer to its goal of using 100% renewable energy for the whole company by 2021. [CNBC]

¶ “NextEra Forges Iron Mountain High” • NextEra Energy Resources is to supply 145 MW to Iron Mountain from the Pretty Prairie wind farm in Kansas under a 15-year power purchase agreement. Pretty Prairie is expected to be operational by the end of next year. NextEra Energy Resources will build, own, and operate the project. [reNews]

Steel Flats wind farm

¶ “NV Energy Looking for Another 350 MW of Large-Scale Renewables” • Ballot initiatives would open Nevada’s electricity market to competition and require that NV Energy procure 50% of its power from renewable energy by 2030. The response of the Warren Buffett-owned utility has been to procure a large volume of renewables. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Ameren Program Aims to Make Solar Energy More Available” • Ameren Missouri customers can now benefit from of solar energy without installing their own PVs. Ameren Missouri is launching the Community Solar program for customers who want to get renewable energy but do not have the space available for solar panels. [Lakenewsonline.com]

Solar array

¶ “Bill Seeks 100% Renewable Energy Generation in Puerto Rico by 2050” • New legislation calls for Puerto Rico to generate power using only renewable energy by 2050 and would end the utility PREPA’s monopoly. It also establishes energy-saving requirements for all agencies. Hearings on the bill are slated to start October 26. [Caribbean Business]

¶ “US greenhouse emissions fell in 2017 as coal plants shut” • Greenhouse gases emissions from the largest U.S. industrial plants fell 2.7% in 2017, the EPA said, as coal plants shut and as the coal industry competes with cheap natural gas and renewable sources such as solar and wind. The drop was steeper than in 2016 when emissions fell 2%. [ETEnergyworld.com]

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October 17 Energy News

October 17, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Trump may not Know what’s Behind Warming, but Scientists Do” • Despite what Donald Trump says, scientists know that what is warming the planet. His own White House put out a science report saying “the likely range of the human contribution to the global mean temperature increase over the period 1951-2010 is 1.1 to 1.4 F (0.6 to 0.8 C).” [Samoa Observer]

Coal-burning power plant in Georgia (Photo: AP)

Coal-burning power plant in Georgia (Photo: John Amis, AP)

¶ “Florida Republicans Confronted with Climate Change as Midterms Loom” • Caught between an ongoing algae crisis and recovery from an unprecedented hurricane, Florida Republicans increasingly face pressure from constituents to address climate change as election day draws near. Many have found themselves floundering on the issue. [ThinkProgress]

World:

¶ “Iberdrola’s ScottishPower Ditches All Fossil Fuel Generation for Renewables” • ScottishPower is the first vertically integrated power company in the UK to renounce fossil-fuel generation. The company, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, said it is selling almost 2.6 GW of fossil-fuel and hydro capacity to Drax for £702 million ($926 million). [Greentech Media]

ScottishPower wind turbines (Photo: ScottishPower)

¶ “New Coal Stations will Raise Electricity Price” • The two coal plants that are being planned for Limpopo and Mpumalanga by independent power producers will unnecessarily raise electricity tariffs by an extra 1.9c/kWh (0.134¢/kWh) and cost South Africa an additional R23 billion ($1.622 billion) in electricity tariffs over their life span. [Business Day]

¶ “India Will Add 8.5-GW Renewable Energy in FY19, says ICRA” • India’s renewable energy sector has so far seen a robust bidding activity, providing a reasonably healthy visibility for solar and wind capacity addition in the next two fiscal years, according to experts from ICRA. They expect capacity addition of about 8-8.5 GW in FY19. [The Hindu BusinessLine]

Solar array (PTI)

¶ “Jamaica will Achieve 30% Renewable Energy by 2020, says Holness” • Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness claims that the island nation is on track to achieve 30% of its electricity from renewables within two years under the current National Energy Policy. Jamaica currently gets between 15% and 18% of its power from renewables. [WIC News]

¶ “Afghan Drought ‘Displacing More People than Taliban Conflict'” • A deadly drought in Afghanistan is causing a humanitarian crisis that has displaced more people this year than the war between the government and the Taliban. The UN is allocating $34.6 million to help the 2.2 million people estimated to have been affected by the drought. [BBC]

Displaced Afghans

¶ “Volkswagen’s Diesel Scandal Costs hit $33 billion with New Audi Penalty” • Volkswagen is once again counting the cost of cheating on diesel engine emissions tests. The German carmaker said that it had been hit with a new fine relating to failings at its Audi subsidiary, sending the total cost of the scandal to nearly $33 billion. [CNN]

¶ “Japan will Flush Unsafe Water from Fukushima Nuclear Plant into Sea” • Water the Japanese government is planning to release into the Pacific Ocean from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant contains radioactive material well above legally permitted levels, according TEPCO, to the plant’s operator. [Independent.ie]

Radiation check after the 2011 meltdowns

US:

¶ “Wind and Solar Account for At Least 20% of Electricity In Ten States” • Wind and solar electricity generation in 2017 provided at least 20% of total generation in 10 states, according to new figures published by the US government’s Energy Information Administration. In four states, wind energy provided over 30% of the electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump Administration to Drop its Emergency Coal, Nuclear Bailout Plan” • The Trump administration has shelved a plan to invoke wartime emergency powers to justify multibillion-dollar bailouts for economically struggling coal and nuclear plants, at least for now. Several sources say economic and security advisors objected to the plan. [Greentech Media]

Sun setting on a coal plant

¶ “EDF Renewables Names MHI Vestas as Preferred US Offshore Supplier” • EDF Renewables North America selected MHI Vestas Offshore Wind as preferred supplier for the Nautilus Offshore Wind project off the coast of New Jersey. The pioneering project has plans to feature three V164-8.3 MW turbines from MHI Vestas. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Microsoft Works to Make Buying Clean Energy Easier, for Itself and Other Companies” • To find a way to manage the risks associated with power purchase agreements for renewable energy, Microsoft teamed up such partners as REsurety, Nephila Climate and Allianz. They created a new risk-management tool called volume firming agreement. [OnMSFT]

Sun rising on wind farm (iStock image)

¶ “Walmart Procures 233-MW Wind-Energy PPA from EDP Renewables” • Retail giant Walmart signed a deal for 233 MW of wind power from EDP Renewables, the companies announced. The deal with Arkansas-based Walmart includes three of EDP Renewables’ wind farms, two of which are in Illinois and one in Indiana. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ “Xcel Energy Investing Big in Electric Vehicle Future” • Xcel Energy plans to invest more than $25 million to promote the use of electric vehicles. In a filing with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Xcel Energy has announced a range of innovative programs designed to expand upon its support for the growth of EVs. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

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October 16 Energy News

October 16, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The UN’s Devastating Climate Change Report was Too Optimistic” • While deniers claim the latest IPCC report is “too alarmist,” one former IPCC lead author said, “If anything it is the opposite. Once again, with their latest report, they have been overly conservative (ie, erring on the side of understating, underestimating the problem).” [Motherboard]

Dry countryside (Shutterstock image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Would You Eat Slaughter-Free Meat?” • A company in San Francisco is working on lab-grown cellular meat in an effort to stop the slaughter of animals and protect the environment from the degradation of industrial factory farming. They say they are solving the problem of how to feed a crowded earth without destroying the planet. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Crowdfunded Solar Panels Aim to Supercharge Business in Africa” • Many small-scale farmers in densely populated Kisii County in western Kenya depend on bananas, maize, a maybe a dairy cow for income. But now they have electricity from a crowdfunded solar micro-grid to power a hatchery and raise chickens for sale. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar array

¶ “Australia Should be ‘Exporting Sunshine, Not Coal’, Economist Jeffrey Sachs Tells Q&A” • Economist Jeffrey Sachs has criticised successive Australian governments for “defending a 19th or 20th century industry” rather than taking decisive action to address climate change. He said Australia should be “exporting sunshine, not coal.” [The Guardian]

¶ “Thai Wind Hits Operational Stride” • Gunkul Engineering company Korat Wind Energy has passed its three-month completion review at the 50-MW Mittraphap wind farm in Thailand. The project has 20 turbines in Nakhon Ratchasima and sells power to the Electrical Generating Authority of Thailand via a long-term deal. [reNEWS]

Thai wind turbines (Image: Mott Macdonald)

¶ “Australian Online Renewable Energy Marketplace to Help Cut Bills” • Australia looks set to copy its US counterparts by setting up a digital marketplace so organizations can buy renewable energy in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions and costs. The market should provide better access to inexpensive renewable energy. [TheBull.com.au]

UK:

¶ “Post IPCC 1.5°C Report, UK Government Seeks Advice on Net-Zero Emissions Target” • A week after the IPCC report warned that limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires unprecedented action, the government of the UK is seeking advice from its Committee on Climate Change on setting a date for a net-zero emissions target. [CleanTechnica]

Parliament (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Fracking Row Continues as UK Shale Gas Drilling Recommences” • Exploratory shale gas drilling is starting in the UK for the first time in seven years, after a court ruled to permit it. Protesters are already organizing to prevent Cuadrilla, a shale gas firm, from recommencing fracking at a site in Lancashire, England. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Jaguar Mulls Transition to Fully Electric Lineup” • According a report by Autocar, Jaguar is contemplating changing over its entire lineup to electric only vehicles. No hybrids, no plug-in hybrids, just battery electric. This will make it the second car company in Europe or America to make battery electric cars exclusively, after Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

Electric Jaguar concept (Credit: Autocar)

¶ “UK’s Largest Companies Pledge Hundreds of Millions of Pounds to Tackle Climate Change” • Around thirty of the top businesses across the UK have announced significant pledges, worth hundreds of millions of pounds, to tackle climate change. The pledges mark the government’s first ever Green GB & NI Week. [GOV.UK]

US:

¶ “Washington Governor Slams Plan to Use West Coast Military Bases to Ship Coal, Natural Gas” • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spoke with the Associated Press about a proposal to use West Coast military bases and federal properties to ship coal and natural gas to Asia. Washington state Gov Jay Inslee called the plan “reckless” and “harebrained.” [CNN]

Coal (Photo by Spencer Platt | Getty Images)

¶ “Energy Storage Market in US to hit $4 billion by 2024: Global Market Insights, Inc” • A study by Global Market Insights, Inc, says the US energy storage market is expected to surpass $4 billion by 2024. Growing regulatory focus toward minimizing carbon emissions while increasing the share of renewables will be the market driver. [GlobeNewswire]

¶ “Puerto Rico Groups Call for 100% Renewables by 2050” • Puerto Rico’s Chamber of Commerce and Association of Mayors have endorsed a report calling for 100% renewable electricity by 2050. So have twelve industry associations, academic institutes, and nonprofits. PREPA, Puerto Rico’s troubled electric utility, plans to use fossil fuels. [pv magazine USA]

Aguadilla, Puerto Rico (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “US Corporations Break 4-GW Renewable Energy Record” • Large US companies are acting on renewable energy goals at a record pace. During the course of this year, through August, they have already procured nearly 4 GW of utility-scale wind and solar capacity, breaking the previous full-year record, set in 2015, by nearly 750 MW. [Solar Power World]

¶ “A Lot of SC Power Customers Don’t Know They’re Paying for $9 Billion Nuclear Debacle” • Over a year after the VC Summer expansion project was abandoned, many South Carolina residents are unfamiliar with the project that could cost them billions. Of ratepayers surveyed, 40% were not familiar with the project’s collapse. [Greenville News]

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October 15 Energy News

October 15, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Message from Hurricanes Michael and Maria: Renewable Energy Makes More Sense than Ever” • To face the growing threat of climate change, we can no longer rely on old energy systems. We must develop new ones that can withstand more frequent hazards. We can build infrastructure in a smarter, more sustainable way. [USA TODAY]

PVs in Puerto Rico (Lester Jimenez | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “It’s Time for the Adults to Take Charge – 100 Corporations Responsible for 71% of Carbon Emissions” • The 6th IPCC Climate Assessment Report makes it crystal clear: Human society is facing a life or death. The only way to save ourselves is to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere drastically, dramatically, and deliberately. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ten Facts from the World’s Most Terrifying Climate Change Report” • The IPCC report is not messing around. It has 91 expert authors, a mind-melting 6,000 scientific references and comments from 42,000 experts. They all agree. We need to reduce our carbon emissions substantially, right now, or we’re screwed. Here are ten chilling facts. [Techly]

Ghost forest

World:

¶ “AC Energy Inks $83-Million EPC Contract for Development of Solar Farms in Vietnam” • AC Energy, Inc and a Vietnamese partner have signed contracts for the engineering, procurement and construction covering a total of 80 MW of solar plants in Vietnam, valued at an estimated $83 million, according to the company’s president. [BusinessWorld Online]

¶ “Germany: Tendered PV Projects Need No Public Subsidy in August” • No public incentive was paid in August for PV installations up to 10 MW and selected under the country’s tender mechanism. This was because market prices were higher than the price including the feed-in premium tariff, awarded in the tender. [pv magazine International]

Solar system (Image: Enerparc)

¶ “Palau Signs PPA with Engie EPS for 100-MW Microgrid” • The Republic of Palau has signed a power purchase agreement with Engie Electro Power Systems for a 100-MW microgrid project. The project, called Armonia, is supply power from solar PVs and energy storage in addition to the island’s already existing diesel generators. [Power Technology]

¶ “Nuclear Power Continues its Decline as Renewable Alternatives Steam Ahead” • Nuclear bailouts and bankruptcy were noted in the 2017 World Nuclear Industry Status Report. In its forward, the report asserted that the debate on nuclear power is over. “Nuclear power has been eclipsed by the sun and the wind,” it said. [World Finance]

Abandoned nuclear project

Australia:

¶ “ARENA, Monash University, Indra Team to Trial Monash Transition to Full Renewable Energy Grid” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Monash University, and technology partner Indra Australia are teaming up to trial a microgrid on Monash’s Clayton campus in Victoria. The campus is to be powered by renewable energy. [iTWire]

¶ “Australia Heading for a ‘Battle Royale’ on Solar Power” • The sharply rising levels of rooftop and grid-level solar power will force tough discussions as Australia reaches a solar peak, energy chiefs say. With an average of six new rooftop solar installations every minute, the generation and distribution systems need to change. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Storage batteries

¶ “Coalition’s Climate Change Stance will ‘Kill People’, say Greens” • A former Australian Coalition Deputy Prime Minister said money for a pumped storage scheme would be better spent to fund new coal-fired power stations. Greens MP Adam Bandt warned the Coalition’s views on climate change and renewable energy will “kill people.” [SBS]

¶ “Landmark Renewable Energy Deal to Slash Emissions” • Major agreement will see 18 New South Wales councils secure more than a third of their retail energy from a renewable energy generator. The deal, touted as the first in the state, will see Moree Solar Farm provide 440,000 MWh of energy over the next 12 years to 18 councils. [Government News]

Moree Solar Farm

US:

¶ “Trump: Climate Change Scientists Have ‘Political Agenda'” • US President Donald Trump accused climate change scientists of having a “political agenda,” as he cast doubt on whether humans were responsible for the earth’s rising temperatures. He said he does not believe climate change is a hoax, but he has doubts about a human cause of the change. [BBC]

¶ “New Energy Solar Starts Building 200-MW Solar Park in California” • Australian investment company New Energy Solar Ltd said it has begun construction of its 200-MW Mount Signal 2 solar project in California’s Imperial County. The solar park has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison. [Renewables Now]

Mount Signal 2 (New Energy Solar image)

¶ “Tesla deploys new Powerpack project that could save Colorado ratepayers $1 million per year” • Tesla’s energy division is deploying a new Powerpack project in Weld County, Colorado, where it could save ratepayers and the local utility as much as $1 million per year. The project consists of 80 Powerpacks to stabilize the grid. [Electrek]

¶ “Can a city’s water infrastructure produce hydropower?” • Micro-hydropower technologies are beginning to harvest the energy from municipal water systems using specially designed in-pipe turbines. Lucid Energy, based in Portland, Oregon, is generating power in several US cities using its own system, called LucidPipes. [Power Technology]

Have an empoweringly satisfying day.

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October 14 Energy News

October 14, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Investors Won’t Want to Miss This $10 Trillion Opportunity” • In the last five years, global enterprises have invested a stunning $1.5 trillion in renewable power. But the opportunity that lies ahead is monumental, with one estimate pegging the number at more than $10 trillion to replace the current carbon-based power systems. [Motley Fool]

Renewable power (Getty Images)

¶ “To Chart NH’s Energy Future, Learn from our Conservative Past” • At the turn of the 20th century, unregulated clear cutting wiped out most of New Hampshire’s forests. In response, environmentalists, businessmen, and elected officials, led by Republicans, set out to save the state’s natural resources for future generations.  [Nashua Telegraph]

¶ “Switch to Green Energy – and Save £250 on Your Bill” • The UN could not have been any clearer. If you are worried about climate change, you’ve got to do your bit and reduce harmful emissions. Fortunately, there is no longer any excuse not to switch to a green electricity (and in some cases, gas) supplier. It is easy and saves money. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines of Kentish Flats offshore windfarm
(Chris Laurens | Getty Images | VisitBritain RM)

¶ “Climate Change Provided High Octane Fuel for Hurricane Michael” • Sometimes connecting climate change to a specific weather event is difficult. With Hurricane Michael, it is not. Earth’s waters are getting warmer due to an increasing global temperature, and warmer waters fuel hurricanes. They were 3°F to 5°F higher in the Gulf. [CBS News]

World:

¶ “Pioneer Turbine Sets New Benchmark For Tidal Renewable Energy” • In its first year of testing, the world’s most powerful floating tidal turbine has generated 3 GWh of electricity. The SR2000 FloTEC project from ScotRenewables has shown it can provide low-cost, low-risk and reliable energy to the European power grid very predictably. [Phys.Org]

Wave (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Plug-in Cars = 60% of New Car Sales in Norway in September” • Exponential electric vehicle adoption has been at play in Norway for several years. Fully electric cars are up to 45% market share in Norway, and if you throw in another 15% for the plug-in hybrids, plug-in vehicles have grown to a whopping 60% market share. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Blue Agave Crop Grown in Far North Queensland to be Burned at Sugar Mill for Power Generation” • Blue agave, the basic ingredient for tequila, is grown on a commercial scale in Mexico, but Queensland’s MSF Sugar plans to plant 4,000 hectares of it. After the sugar is extracted, fibers will be burned to produce electric power. [ABC News]

Blue agave plants (Photo: Courtney Wilson | ABC News)

¶ “Saskatchewan NDP rolls out key element of climate change plan at convention” • A loan program that would enable people, businesses, and farms to switch over to more energy-efficient options and renewable energy was presented at the convention of Saskatchewan’s New Democratic Party as key element of the climate change plan. [Circleville Herald]

¶ “Offshore Wind Technology Takes Off” • Compared to other renewable energy technologies, offshore wind still makes up a small part of global power generation. Today, there is slightly less than 19 GW of installed offshore capacity. Costs have been falling rapidly and installed capacity is expected to grow to 128 GW by the year 2030. [Utilities Middle East]

Offshore wind farm

¶ “TEPCO Apologizes for Still-Radioactive Water at Fukushima Plant” • TEPCO admitted that water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant still contains radioactive materials, which it has insisted for years had been removed. The utility apologized to a government committee which is looking into ways to dispose of the water. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “5.7-MW Solar Project Now Producing Energy on Former Landfill in Vermont” • A 5.7-MW solar project on a former landfill in Brattleboro, Vermont, is now online. The project was jointly developed by Sky Solar and Encore Renewable Energy. The solar array sits on land owned by the Windham Solid Waste Management District. [Solar Power World]

Brattleboro landfill solar array

¶ “‘It’s a Big Deal for Us’: The Magic Kingdom is Going Green” • By the end of 2018, Disney will flip the switch on a sprawling 50-MW solar power facility with more than a half-million solar panels, just outside Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney plans to reduce its net greenhouse-gas emissions 50% worldwide by 2020, compared to 2012. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “A Scientist And Clean Energy Advocate Is Gaining Ground in Chicago’s ‘Hottest Congressional Race'” • Sean Casten, who holds degrees in molecular biology and biochemical engineering, has been working to profitably reduce greenhouse gas emissions for more than a decade. Now he is in a congressional race that is too close to call. [ScienceAlert]

Have a magnificently joyful day.

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October 13 Energy News

October 13, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Wisconsin Hydrogen Breakthroughs May Be Steps toward Cleaner Energy” • Scientists at the University of Wisconsin made two breakthroughs that may help hydrogen become a bigger player in renewable energy production and storage. Their work may be a step toward the “hydrogen economy” some analysts have predicted for nearly 20 years. [WUWM]

Fuel cell research lab at UW-Madison (Chuck Quirmbach)

¶ “How Climate Change Will Affect Your Health” • The IPCC report warns of dire consequences if governments don’t make “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to stem global warming. The planet isn’t the only thing at risk as temperatures rise, however. Your health might be in danger, too. [CNN]

¶ “Wind and Solar Farms can Make Their own Weather” • Some forms of renewable energy could change the climate more directly than had previously been thought. If wind turbines and solar panels were deployed across the Sahara, more rain would fall and more plants would grow, according to research in the journal Science.  [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

The Sahara (Terri Colby | Chicago Tribune – TNS)

World:

¶ “40% of China’s Coal Plants Are Losing Money, Reports Carbon Tracker” • Carbon Tracker unveiled technology that uses satellite imagery and machine learning to identify risks from fossil fuel plants. It shows that about 40% of all Chinese coal plants are losing money and their owners could save $390 billion by closing them down. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japan to Add 17 GW of New Solar by End of 2020” • Growth in Japan’s solar power sector is predicted to slow over the coming decade, according to an analysis from Fitch Solutions Macro Research, a part of the Fitch Group. But first, from the end of 2017 through the end of 2020 the industry will add 17 GW of new solar capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Japanese floating solar array

¶ “Gas from Paper Production Waste to Power Natural Gas Vehicles in Sweden” • Under an agreement between energy company Gasum and paper company Stora Enso, biomethane will be from waste waters at the latter’s Nymölla Mill in southern Sweden. The plant will turn the mill’s waste water effluent into liquid biogas. [NGV Global]

¶ “China to be Leader in Consuming Renewable Energy by 2023” • China is fighting with air pollution and exploring alternatives to reduce coal use. Their increasing initiatives are expected to make the country world’s largest renewable energy user within the next few years, according to information from the International Energy Agency. [Transparency Journal]

Renewable energy

¶ “SSE Installs Final Vestas Turbines at 228-MW Scottish Onshore Wind Farm” • SSE has installed the last of its turbines at the Stronelairg onshore wind farm in Scotland as the project nears completion. The 228-MW facility, situated in the Great Glen, is made up of Vestas turbines, 53 V117 and 12 V112 machines with a capacity of 3.45 MW. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Ras Ghareb Windfarm” • Ras Ghareb windfarm is a 262.5-MW near-shore wind project being developed near the Gulf of Suez, approximately 30 km north-west of Ras Ghareb, Egypt. It is Egypt’s first project by an independent power producer. It is expected to supply power to about 500,000 households, starting in 2019. [Power Technology]

Ras Ghareb windfarm

¶ “‘Cheap as Chips’ Flexibility Poses ‘Huge Threat’ to Nuclear” • Cheap flexibility from storage, demand-side response, and distributed generation pose a “huge threat” to the nuclear industry, former UK energy secretary Ed Davey said. The falling costs of such technologies raise “serious questions” about the pursuit of new nuclear plants. [Utility Week]

US:

¶ “Nevada Explores Blockchain To Track Renewable Energy” • Nevada state regulations require that 25% of electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2025, the state has an energy credit trading system. The Nevada Public Utilities Commission announced plans to consider blockchain as a replacement for the current system. [Ledger Insights]

Hoover Dam

¶ “Tesla Powerwall To Get New Features, Higher Prices” • Tesla has increased the prices of the popular Powerwall system, to account for new features it has added over the course of 2018 and additional features and hardware the company will bring to market in 2019. The new systems improve management and reliability. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Xcel Proposes New Wind, Solar Plan” • Xcel Energy plans to offer a program that would allow its Wisconsin customers the choice to get all their energy from wind and solar sources. The company submitted a proposal for the program in a filing with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, hoping to launch it next year. [Leader-Telegram]

Solar array

¶ “Sony Accelerates Shift to Renewable Power in the US” • RE100 member Sony has brought forward its target year for reaching 100% renewable electricity in the US to 2030. Sony joined RE100 in September with a goal of going 100% renewable globally by 2040, but the tech giant is showing it is possible to go further and faster. [The Climate Group]

¶ “New York State Invests $40 Million in Solar Energy and Storage Projects” • New York Gov Andrew Cuomo announced that $40 million will be available in early November to support solar projects with integrated energy storage. This investment aims to help the state reach its energy storage target of 1,500 MW by 2025. [Energy Manager Today]

Have a quintessentially grand day.

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October 12 Energy News

October 12, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “What Tiny Bhutan Can Teach the World about Being Carbon Negative” • High up in the Eastern Himalayas is one of the greenest countries in the world. While many nations are struggling to reduce their carbon emissions, the Kingdom of Bhutan is already carbon negative: it takes more greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere than it emits. [CNN]

Bhutan

¶ “Building Equitable Circular Societies” • A Circular Economy is a regenerative system in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible, with maximum value recirculated. Products and materials are offered as a service so they can be recovered and regenerated at the end of each service life. Instead of cradle to grave, it is cradle to cradle. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “That $3 Trillion-a-Year Clean Energy Transformation? It’s Already Underway” • To keep global warming in check, the world will have to invest an average of around $3 trillion a year over the next three decades in transforming its energy supply systems, a the IPCC report says. It will not be cheap, but it is already underway. [InsideClimate News]

Building a wind turbine (Photo: Dennis Schroeder | NREL)

World:

¶ “Micro and Mini-Grids to Bring Power to Indonesia’s Off-Grid Communities” • The government of Indonesia and the Asian Development Bank will implement a program for micro-grids and mini-grids for less electrified areas. The ADB said around 10 million people, 15% of the Indonesian population, had no access to electricity in 2016. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Falling Lithium-Ion Prices will Help EU to Reach Renewable Energy Target, Expert Predicts” • Lithium-ion technology, a major factor in renewable energy deployment, has been costly, but the cost of lithium-ion batteries is falling far faster than previously predicted. “The rate of change is phenomenal,” one Smart Energy Council member said. [Verdict]

Renewable energy (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Trial to Run Monash University on 100% Renewables Backed by ARENA” • A ground-breaking microgrid trial that aims to run Victoria’s Monash University on 100% renewable energy won grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The electric power for the university would be generated and stored on-site. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “Fortum JV Bolsters Russian Regional Ties” • Finnish energy company Fortum and Russian partner Rusnano have signed a cooperation agreement with the government of Kalmykia to build up to 450 MW of wind power in Russia. Fortum’s 50:50 joint venture with Rusnano has won the right to develop almost 2 GW of wind power in Russia. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in Sweden (Fortum image)

¶ “Fair Isle Reaps Renewable Reward” • The Scottish island of Fair Isle is benefiting from 24-hour electricity provision for the first time thanks to a new renewable energy system with three wind turbines, a ground-mounted solar facility, and battery storage system. Previously the island’s 55 people only had power 16 hours per day. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Wisconsin’s Solar Energy will Increase by 33% under New Public-Private Partnership” • When ten Wisconsin communities purchase power through the new solar energy partnership with Organic Valley, the 31-MW solar array installed by the farmer cooperative’s initiative will increase the state’s solar capacity by 33%. [Wisconsin Public Radio News]

Wisconsin solar farm (Photo: of Prairie Restorations, Inc)

¶ “Bill Nelson Says Global Warming Led to Hurricane Michael’s Strength: ‘Listen to the scientists’” • Florida Sen Bill Nelson bluntly assigned blame for how an October tropical storm swiftly grew into the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the Florida Panhandle: It is global warming. He said “Florida is ground zero” on climate change. [TBO.com]

¶ “SDG&E Gets the Ball Rolling on Community Solar” • A new solar plant is providing clean energy to customers signed up for San Diego Gas & Electric’s EcoChoice and EcoShare community solar programs. The project and two more under development will deliver a combined 42.4 MW of renewable energy to the San Diego region. [Solar Industry]

Scene in California

¶ “Southern Power to Build 200-MW Wind Farm in Kansas after Deal with Royal Caribbean” • After a deal with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Southern Power will build a 200-MW wind farm in Kansas. The Reading wind facility is expected to generate enough clean energy to offset 10%-12% of Royal Caribbean’s annual carbon emissions. [Renewables Now]

¶ “New DC Renewable Energy Goal – 100% Renewable Adoption by 2032” • The IPCC report said quick action is needed on climate change. The DC council met to consider major climate legislation, and came up with an aggressive plan to cut carbon emissions. The new goal would be 100% clean electricity by 2032, up from 50%. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

Capitol Building

¶ “Peninsula Clean Energy Goes Big Time with 200 MW-AC Solar Project” • Following a groundbreaking day, construction contractor Clēnera is officially beginning work on the 200-MW Wright Solar Park, which occupies 1,200 acres of former grazing land in the rolling plains of Merced County, in California’s Central Valley. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Westinghouse Could Be Hurt by New US Curbs on Nuclear Exports” • The Trump administration announced new limits on sharing civilian nuclear power technology with China. US officials said they were warranted in response to theft of American nuclear technology and intellectual property for military and other purposes. [BloombergQuint]

Have an astoundingly propitious day.

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October 11 Energy News

October 11, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Freakishly Warm Ocean Water is a Major Reason why Hurricane Michael Became the Strongest Storm in Decades” • Based on its low central pressure, Michael is the most powerful hurricane the US has weathered in nearly 50 years. It grew from a tropical depression in just 72 hours over waters that were 4°F to 7°F (2.2°C to 3.8°C) normal. [Business Insider]

Wreckage from Hurricane Michael (Photo: Gerald Herbert | AP)

World:

¶ “Science Needs to Fix Climate Change – and FAST Warns Astronomer Royal after IPCC Report” • Britain’s Astronomer Royal has called for a worldwide redoubling of research and development into renewable energy to avert ecological catastrophe. He sees solving the climate problem as a “win-win situation. [Express.co.uk]

¶ “Norwegians Float with SeaTwirl” • Swedish outfit SeaTwirl is to sell electricity to Norwegian power company Haugaland Kraft from its S2 floating wind turbine, if the project is built at a site near Haugesund in Norway. SeaTwirl said that the Haugesund site is one of the main alternatives for the installation of the 1-MW S2. [reNEWS]

Impression of SeaTwirl (SeaTwirl image)

¶ “Denmark is Banning Non-Renewable Energy Power Vehicles to Combat Climate Change” • Denmark becomes the latest country in the entire world to ban the new sale of vehicles powered entirely by fossil fuels in order to fully transition to clean power, non-polluting vehicles on the road such as EVs or hybrids. [College Media Network]

¶ “The Philippines Seeking to Rev Up Geothermal Development Again” • The Philippines is looking at revamping geothermal development again, following its drop behind Indonesia in global rankings of geothermal countries earlier this year. In recent years, the Philippines has been basing its economic growth on fossil fuels. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Makban geothermal plant (ThinkGeoEnergy, creative commons)

¶ “Fossil Fuel Power Drops to New Low in UK” • A report by energy market analyst EnAppSys shows that coal and gas-fired power stations in the UK produced 26.71 TWh in the three months to September 30 – just 41% of Britain’s overall power mix. Five years ago, the level for Q3 was 60%, and in 2010 it was 74%. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Governments Must Change Tack to Contain Global Warming, Says Big Oil” • To contain global warming at 1.5°C, the IPCC said manmade global net CO2 emissions need to fall by about 45% by 2030 from 2010 levels. Governments, not energy firms, need to take the lead to reach that target, several of the big oil and gas companies indicated. [Business Insider]

Cars in Berlin (Thomas Reuters image)

¶ “World Bank Dumps Kosovo Plant, Ending Support for Coal Worldwide” • The World Bank has abandoned the last coal project on its books, with its president publicly dumping the Kosova e Re plant in Kosovo. The coal-burning power plant could not compete with renewables on price, according to bank president Jim Yong Kim. [businessgreen.com]

¶ “Belgium’s Creaky Nuclear Reactors Raise Risk of Winter Power Outages” • Five of Belgium’s seven nuclear reactors have been taken offline for repairs in recent months, with another set to follow, after the discovery of shoddy concrete, leaky pipelines and poorly constructed steel supports. Belgium plans to close all the plants by 2025. [Taiwan News]

Nuclear Plant in the back yard of a windmill

US:

¶ “Why Exxon is Spending $1 Million to Push for a Carbon Tax” • ExxonMobil, long accused of downplaying the threat of climate change, announced plans to donate $1 million to a group urging Washington to enact a tax on carbon. It is the first donation Americans for Carbon Dividends has got from an American oil and gas supermajor. [CNN]

¶ “Ørsted Acquires Deepwater Wind to Build US Offshore Wind Platform” Danish offshore wind energy giant Ørsted signed an agreement to acquire Deepwater Wind, the developer of the 30-MW Block Island wind farm off Rhode Island, in a move set to be worth $510 million. This will result in the creation of an offshore wind platform for the US. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island wind farm

¶ “Tesla May Double Size of Gigafactory 1 and Triple its Workforce, if Infrastructure Permits” • Elon said he can foresee doubling the size of Gigafactory 1 and tripling the workforce of 7,000 to over 20,000, a Reno Review Journal report said. “The biggest constraint on growth here is housing and infrastructure,” Musk said. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hawaii’s March to 100% Adds 260 MW Solar + 1 GWh Storage” • Hawaiian Electric Industries reports that it is in negotiations on long term power purchase agreements with developers of seven projects on three islands. The developments, on O‘ahu, Maui, and the island of Hawai‘i, are for solar power with battery backup, at a 1:4 capacity ratio. [pv magazine USA]

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative solar plus storage plant

¶ “Pika Energy Storage Unveils its Upgradable Residential Energy Storage Solution” • Pika Energy has rolled out two new residential energy storage products that bring a new capability to allow Pika’s Smart Batteries to be integrated into existing solar systems. The system is one of the first designed to work with existing systems. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Duke Energy Plans $500 Million Investment in Energy Storage” • Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, has outlined plans for $500 million of energy storage projects to be carried out in the Carolinas over the next 15 years. The systems are expected to have a capacity of approximately 300 MW. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have an energizingly encouraging day.

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October 10 Energy News

October 10, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Why You Have (Probably) Already Bought Your Last Car” • You may be scoffing in disbelief at this article’s title, but bear with me. A growing number of tech analysts are predicting that in under 20 years we will all have stopped owning cars, and the internal combustion engine will have been consigned to the dustbin of history. [BBC]

Driverless taxi (Getty Images)

¶ “There Is Only One Energy Future: Firmed Renewables” • Even if we put climate change imperative to one side, we would still have a profound energy transition. The cheapest and cleanest technology for replacing old electric power plants is renewable energy, even when it is coupled with necessary firming technologies. [The Australian Financial Review]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Diverse Forests Can Absorb More Carbon Than Single Species Forests, Study Finds” • A study comparing forests was published in the journal, Science. Its authors estimate that for every additional species of tree found in a forest, there is an additional 6% increase in carbon storage – up to a tree stand of 20 different species. [Science Trends]

Forest (Photo: eliasfalla via Pixabay, CC0)

World:

¶ “These Companies Are Leading The Fight Against Climate Change” • A report published by the UN IPCC said that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are needed to avoid disastrous levels of global warming. While often seen as culprits, some businesses are setting a positive example. [CNN]

¶ “Denmark Discusses Labeling Food For Climate Impact” • The Danish government began discussing proposals to oblige food manufacturers and supermarkets to put labels on their products that would rate their impact on the environment and climate. The move is being supported by the Danish Agriculture and Food Council. [CNN]

Danish supermarket (Francis Dean | Corbis via Getty Images)

¶ “Egypt Could Meet More Than 50% Of Its Electricity Demand With Renewable Energy” • Egypt could generate up to 53% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency says. Renewables could reduce the country’s energy bill by up to $900 million annually in 2030. [Utilities Middle East]

¶ “IKEA Plans Emissions-Free Deliveries In Five Cities” • IKEA is well-known for using solar power at some of its stores, and for offering solar panels for sale in some as well. The company just added a new green wrinkle. It will have emissions-free delivery in five cities, New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and Shanghai, by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

IKEA Concept Center

¶ “GE Wins Contract For Egypt’s First Nuclear Power Plant” • GE won a contract to supply equipment and services to Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, the company announced. The contract includes the supply of four nuclear turbine generators. The plant is to be built in cooperation with Russian state-run nuclear firm Rosatom. [The National]

¶ “Three Spanish Wind Farms Totaling 128 MW Set To Open In 2019” • Enel Green Power España started construction of three wind farms in Spain. The facilities are the 46.8-MW Muniesa, 41.4-MW Farlán and 39.9-MW San Pedro de Alacón, all in the region of Aragon. The total investment will be around €130 million ($149.1 million). [CNBC]

Wind farm in Spain (Enel Green Power)

¶ “Australia’s Top Scientist Calls For Hydrogen Revolution To Replace Fossil Fuels” • The federal government’s top scientist Alan Finkel says Australia could slash global carbon emissions and create a multi-billion dollar export industry by developing hydrogen as an energy source to replace fossil fuels for vehicles, homes, and industry. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Suzlon Savours 250-MW Local Success” • The 250-MW Chandragiri wind farm in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu has been completed by Suzlon and Sembcorp Energy India. The project, which features 119 Suzlon 2.1-MW S111 120-meter turbines, will sell electricity to Power Trading Corporation under a long-term agreement. [reNEWS]

Suzlon wind turbine (Suzlon image)

US:

¶ “Flint Schools Are Getting Safe Water Fountains Thanks To Elon Musk” • Schools in Flint, Michigan, are finally getting the help they need to provide safe water fountains for their students, four years after high levels of lead were found in Flint’s water. Billionaire Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation donated the money to install filters. [CNN]

¶ “Kansas City Utility Packages Clean Energy With Federal Tax Savings” • Kansas City Power & Light has a rate case before the Missouri Public Service Commission that would return federal tax savings to customers. It also has measures to reduce energy usage, and it encourages renewable energy purchases and community solar. [Energy News Network]

Kansas City Missouri

¶ “Trump Says He Will Review UN Climate Change Report” • President Trump said he will “absolutely” review a new dire report on climate change from the UN, though he expressed some skepticism about its authors. “It was given to me and I want to look at who drew it, which group drew it,” Trump told reporters at the White House. [The Hill]

¶ “Lobby Group Forms To Save Davis-Besse, Perry Nuclear Plants” • The Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Alliance was created to lobby to keep open the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants. The group is supported by power plant owner FirstEnergy Solutions Inc. It is made up of government, business and labor leaders, an announcement said. [Akron Beacon Journal]

Have a fabulously fruitful day.

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October 9 Energy News

October 9, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “UN Climate Change Report Contrasts With Recent EPA Policy Changes” • The IPCC report  warning consequences could be drastic if “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes” are not made to mitigate global warming contrasts starkly with Trump administration policies decreasing federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. [CNN]

Pollution (When I did a Google search on this 
image, Google said that it was Donald Trump.)

¶ “Five Things We Have Learned From The IPCC Report” • BBC environment correspondent Matt McGrath outlines five key takeaways from the report on rising temperatures issued by the IPCC. An author said, “I wouldn’t want to be too optimistic as it will require huge changes, but if we don’t do it, that will also require huge changes.” [BBC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Power flies from Minesto kite” • Swedish marine energy developer Minesto generated first power from its commercial-scale Deep Green 500-kW tidal kite off the coast of north Wales. The company said initial generation was achieved during the second commissioning phase for the device, which is located at a site in Holyhead Deep. [reNEWS]

Deep Green tidal kite (Minesto image)

¶ “NREL: Geothermal Technologies Could Push Energy Storage Beyond Batteries” • Compressed-air storage in old gas wells, geothermal-solar hybrid technology, and geothermal energy in cold-climate communities could offer new options for energy storage, according to the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

World:

¶ “Tesla’s Battery In South Australia Breaks Stranglehold Of Natural Gas Industry” • The 129-kWh Tesla Powerpack installation in South Australia is already having a strong impact on the region’s electricity markets, saving grid operator Neoen and customers an estimated $25 million, ⅓ of its purchase price, in its first year. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla’s Hornsdale Power Reserve

¶ “Renewables Are Now The Cheapest Source Of Energy, Says EBRD” • Due to significant cost reductions, renewables are now often the cheapest source of energy, according to a statement from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The bank has issued a statement calling for a “step change” in investments. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Renewables To Provide 30% Of World Electricity By 2023, IEA Report Claims” • Renewables will provide almost a third (30%) of the world’s electricity in five years’ time, a report from the International Energy Agency said. Renewables’ share of all energy, including power, heating, and transport, will rise to 12.4% in 2023. [Energy Voice]

Dudgeon wind farm (Jan Arne Wold | Woldcam | Statoil ASA)

¶ “Northern Territory Signs PPA With 25-MW Solar Farm, As Grid Reforms Take Shape” • Plans for the largest yet PV farm in Australia’s Northern Territory moved ahead, as the 25-MW project sealed a solar off-take deal with Jacana Energy. The project had already gained development approval from the territory’s government. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Clean Power Plan Or Not, Coal Caught In Corporate Death Squeeze (CleanTechnica Interview)” • Former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan gets a lot of heat for killing US coal jobs, but the funny thing is, it never went into effect. US coal power plants keep closing. And for miners, the news is about to get much, much worse. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbine in the back yard

¶ “We Want Sun: A 100% Renewable Puerto Rico?” • US energy researchers and a group of energy, public policy and labor interests in Puerto Rico last week issued a plan to put the island on a path towards 100% renewable energy. With power costs at 23¢/kWh, the plan, “Queremos Sol (We Want Sun),” makes economic sense. [Microgrid Knowledge]

¶ “Solar, Wind Helping To Cut CO2 Emissions, Government Says” • Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions decreased nearly 1% last year as the nation shifted further away from coal-fired power generation and more toward cleaner sources of electricity, including natural gas and renewable energy sources like wind and solar. [Houston Chronicle]

Getting more power from renewable sources

¶ “SCE Proposes Five New Green Energy Programs To Replace Aging GTSR Program” • Southern California Edison proposed five new Green Programs to the California Public Utilities Commission in an attempt to give customers options to tap into and support renewable electricity through their monthly electricity payments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “General Motors will soon use wind power to build pickups and SUVs” • GM’s largest gas-burners, pickups and full-size SUVs, will soon be built at plants powered by wind, not fuel. GM wants to power all its global facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2050. GM will be at 20% of that goal by year-end, the automaker said. [Detroit Free Press]

Wind power (Photo: Billy Brown)

¶ “Apollo To Buy $1 Billion Of Energy Investments From GE Capital” • General Electric Co agreed to sell a portfolio of about 20 equity investments, worth roughly $1 billion, to Apollo Global Management as the downtrodden manufacturer extends a push to slim down and shed finance assets following a surprise CEO change. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Public Service Commission candidates on Vogtle, renewable energy” • The Georgia Public Service Commission is not usually front-of-mind for most voters. But one issue is drawing more eyes to the PSC. The Vogtle nuclear power plant, the only one under construction in the US, is years behind schedule and billions over budget. [MDJOnline.com]

Have a downright gratifying day.

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October 8 Energy News

October 8, 2018

IPCC Report:

¶ “Climate Report: Scientists Urge Deep Rapid Change To Limit Warming” • After three years of research and a week of haggling between scientists and government officials at a meeting in South Korea, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a special report on the impact of global warming of 1.5°C. [BBC News]

Renewable electricity generation

¶ “Eight Things You Need To Know About The IPCC 1.5°C Report” • While all countries committed under the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C-2°C (2.7°F-3.6°F), major questions remained: How can the world achieve this temperature goal? And what happens if it doesn’t? Here are eight things to know. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “The IPCC Global Warming Report Spares Politicians The Worst Details” • The IPCC report’s summary paints a sobering picture of the impacts of a global mean surface temperature rise of 2°C. The summary was approved by all governments, the US, Australia, and Saudi Arabia included. It does not even mention some of the content’s worst projections. [The Guardian]

Changing monsoon patterns not mentioned (Stringer | Reuters)

¶ “Morrison Vows No Money For Climate Conferences And ‘All That Nonsense'” • Australia’s prime minister responded to the latest IPCC report by declaring that he had no intention of spending money on climate conferences and “all that sort of nonsense.” He indicated Australia would resume a disruptive role in world climate talks. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “UN Climate Report Warning: Act Now, It’s A Life Or Death Situation” • Earth’s surface has warmed 1°C, which has been enough to lift oceans and unleash a crescendo of deadly storms, floods and droughts. It is on track toward an unlivable 3°C or 4°C rise. At current emissions levels, we could pass the 1.5°C marker as early as 2030. [The National]

Hanna Lake, Pakistan (AFP)

¶ “Climate Crisis Spurs UN Call For $2.4 Trillion Fossil Fuel Shift” • The world must invest $2.4 trillion in clean energy every year through 2035 and cut the use of coal-fired power to almost nothing by 2050 to avoid catastrophic damage from climate change, according to the scientists convened by the United Nation’s IPCC. [Yahoo News]

World:

¶ “Hambach Forest Clearance Halted By German Court” • A German court on temporarily blocked mining company RWE from razing further sections of an ancient forest to mine coal. The open-pit mine run by RWE currently covers 33 square miles. Only 10% still remains of the 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest. [CNN]

Small parts of the Hambach Forest and the Hambach Mine
(Photo: Federico Gambarini | picture alliance via Getty Images)

¶ “World To Install Over One Trillion Watts Of Clean Energy By 2023” • The world could install over 1,000 GW of renewable power, more than the EU’s entire generating capacity, over the next five years. One scenario the International Energy Agency has in its latest annual report on renewables forecasts up to an extra 1.3 TW by 2023. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “Tesla Speeding Up Chinese Factory Due To Trump Trade War” • China is putting a 40% tariff on cars imported from the US, and according to Tesla, it costs 55–60% more to manufacture a car in the US than it does to produce the same car in China. So Tesla is accelerating the construction of its new production facility near Shanghai. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla in China

¶ “Pilbara Wind And Solar Plans Jump To 11 GW As Macquarie Provides Capital” • Plans for the Asia Renewable Energy Hub, a huge wind solar hybrid project in north-western Australia, jumped from 9 GW to 11 GW. This follows Macquarie Group providing development capital and new analysis of wind speeds in the area. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Victorian solar farm approved while three other ‘controversial’ projects deferred” • The Victorian government has given the green light to the Congupna project, a solar farm in northern Victoria that could produce enough power for more than 20,000 homes. The state has a goal of getting 40% of its power from renewables by 2040. [ABC News]

Location of the Congupna project

¶ “India Signs Agreement For Six Nuclear Power Units With Russia” • On the sideline of the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit, the countries signed a deal for cooperation on developing a new nuclear power project in India. The nuclear project will have six power units with latest Generation 3+ VVER 1200 reactors. [Energy Bangla]

US:

¶ “2018 Nobel In Economics Awarded To William Nordhaus And Paul Romer” • The Nobel Prize in economic science went to two Americans. William D Nordhaus was cited for his work on the implications of environmental factors, including climate change. Paul M Romer was cited for work he has done on the importance of technological change. [New York Times]

Nordhaus and Romer (Credit: Niklas Elmehed)

¶ “TVA Solar Lags As Power Companies Across Southeast Embrace Renewable Energy” • The nation’s largest public utility continues to lag behind much of the Southeast in solar growth, and the gap is getting wider. Critics claim the Tennessee Valley Authority is stunting solar growth as it avoids downsizing its infrastructure. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

¶ “Q&A With Joel Clement: Interior Department Whistleblower Discusses Climate Change In The Trump Era” • “I don’t think we’ve ever seen an administration try to undercut science so blatantly as this one,” Joel Clement told a group of students and professors at the Indiana University Robert H McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. [Indianapolis Star]

Have an utterly charming day.

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October 7 Energy News

October 7, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Serious About Climate Means Serious About Carbon” • This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release a report on the feasibility of stabilizing global warming at 1.5° C warming, an ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement. Spoiler alert: It ain’t pretty. Most scholars give us five to eight years before we reach it. [The Hill]

Melting ice

¶ “Big Auto Keeps Complaining About How Hard Going Electric Is For Them” • Legacy automakers have been hyping a future where they’ll finally electrify their fleet. Now, however, it appears they’re a bit reticent to do so. VW’s CEO said the cost will be higher than expected, because “competitors have been making more progress.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind Power Does Not Cause Global Warming” • Two Harvard researchers published a paper on wind power that was widely commented on. Many reporters interpreted the paper to say that the researchers had shown that wind turbines somehow cause climate change. That is not what the authors say. It is not what they imply. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm

¶ “Nuclear Power Play Keeps Vogtle Project Alive” • Late last year, the Georgia Public Service Commission fended off pressure from ratepayers and anti-nuclear advocates and voted to back Georgia Power’s request to continue the work. But now, after supporting an enterprise with no limits for years, some are fed up enough to say no. [Gainesville Times]

World:

¶ “Funding Secured For UK’s First Hydrogen Injection System On A Ferry” • Innovate UK has granted £430,332 ($565,000) in funding to design and integrate a hydrogen diesel dual fuel injection system on a commercial ferry. The hydrogen to be used in the project will be produced in Orkney, from renewable energy sources. [The Maritime Executive]

Shapinsay vessel (David Hibbert, Orkney Islands Council)

¶ “New Car Sales In Free Fall In UK And Europe Thanks To WLTP Fuel Economy Standard” • All new cars sold in the EU and the UK must be certified using the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) standard as of September 1. After deep discounts in August for cars meeting the old standard, the car market is hurting. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As US Sanctions Approach, Iran Promotes Investments in Renewable Energy” • The head of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization of Iran, a state-owned entity also known as Satba, announced that the Energy Ministry is ready to attract foreign investors in the country’s renewable energy sector. [Al-Bawaba]

Wind turbines in northern Iran (Shutterstock)

¶ “One-Third Of Companies In The UK Have Installed On-Site Battery Storage” • A Haven Power survey found that a third of UK companies have invested in on-site battery storage projects. Over half of British companies questioned would consider energy usage in their top three priorities, with many wishing to sell power to the grid. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Ivory Coast: First Solar Power Plant Of 37.5 MW, Will Be Located In Boundiali” • Germany and the European Union have both committed to finance the construction of Ivory Coast’s first solar power plant. Located in the northern part of the country, it will have a capacity of 37.5 MW, which will be enough to supply 30,000 households. [AFRIK 21]

Solar array (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Danish Conservative Prime Minister Thinks Climate Council Is Too Conservative, Doubles Electric Vehicle Goal” • The Danish Council on Climate Change recommended a goal of 500,000 electric cars by 2030 as a step to making Denmark fossil fuel free by 2050. The Danish Prime Minister wants that the goal would be a million. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “City Of Aspen, Colorado, Tries Transportation Alternatives” • The city of Aspen, Colorado, is employing a city mobility lab to study traffic patterns and trial a new app. Its goal is decreasing the number of cars coming into the town each day by 800. The mobility lab’s project director answered some questions for CleanTechnica. [CleanTechnica]

Aspen, Colorado

¶ “eMotorWerks Puts EV Chargers To Work As 30-MW Virtual Energy Storage Battery” • eMotorWerks, an Enel Group Company, has successfully deployed a 30-MW/70-MWh virtual energy storage battery load comprised of distributed electric vehicle charging loads on the California Independent System Operator markets. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Utility-Scale Solar Project Powers Up In West Maui” • Maui’s second utility-scale solar project, Ku’ia Solar in West Maui, is online and supplying power to Maui Electric Co, the utility said. The project can supply up to 2.87 MW of power. MECO is paying 11.06¢/kWh for its energy, compared to 17¢/kWh for energy from fossil fuels. [Maui News]

Ku‘ia Solar project (Maui Electric Co photo)

¶ “The 2,900 Home sonnenCommunity Demonstrates The Potential Of Neighborhood Solar+Storage” • sonnen is partnering with Mandalay Homes and Arizona Eco-Development on a disruptive new community in which a mind-boggling 2,900 homes will receive a sonnen energy storage solution and a rooftop solar installation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Solar Tariffs To Cost Customers $236.5 Million” • Solar import tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration in January are expected to cost the average residential customer $960 per solar system, adding up to what is essentially a $236.5 million tax imposed on American solar customers, a report published by EnergySage said. [CleanTechnica]

Have a superbly snug day.

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October 6 Energy News

October 6, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Energy Transition: The Greatest Switch Capital Markets Have Ever Seen” • If we make the right changes to investment, market, and business models, the total cost of the clean energy system will be significantly lower than the current fossil fuel driven energy system. The alternative could leave us with a bill that far exceeds current costs. [CleanTechnica]

Sunflowers and windpower (Photo: Gustavo Quepón)

¶ “Shocker: Perry Releases Study Supporting Coal Subsidies” • Trump’s DOE put together a bogus study to justify a proposal to prop up polluting coal-fired power plants and financially failing nuclear plants. Keeping uneconomic power plants open for just two more years could cost $34 billion to offset the operating shortfalls. [The National Memo]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Carbon Engineering Claims Direct Air Capture of Carbon Costs Less Than $100 Per Ton” • Carbon Engineering, based in Canada, built a demonstration facility for its direct air capture technology. Based on its experience to date, it claims the cost of removing carbon directly from the atmosphere can be as low as $94 a ton. [CleanTechnica]

Carbon Engineering pilot plant

World:

¶ “ABB is Building the Distributed, Resilient Grid of the Future, One Business at a Time” • One of the key trends ABB sees in the market is that renewables have brought the democratization of electricity with them. This can easily be seen in the residential rooftop solar revolution. Now it is moving to commercial and industrial customers also. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BorWin Gamma Nears Finish Line” • The 900-MW BorWin Gamma platform is set to reach the installation site in a German North Sea  wind farm on schedule. In early September, Dubai shipyard Drydocks World shipped out the 18,000-tonne topside that will be installed some 130 km off the German coast in water depths of about 40 meters. [reNEWS]

Gamma at the Suez Canal (Ulrich Wirrwa | TenneT | Siemens)

¶ “Innogy, Shell, Stiesdal Partner on Floating Wind Demo” • The companies will invest about €18 million ($20.7 million) in the demonstration project. It will use a 3.6-MW Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA direct drive offshore wind turbine. It will be located at the test site of the Marine Energy Test Centre near Stavanger, Norway. [Renewables Now]

¶ “MPUVN rooftop solar gets lowest ever tariff of ₹1.38 per unit” • Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam announced that it has achieved historic low tariff of ₹1.38 per unit (1.9¢/kWh) for Indian central government buildings in its RESCO II rooftop solar tender, an official statement said. The rate will increase by 3% annually. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar array

¶ “Renewable energies generated 41.8% of electricity from January to September in Spain” • Renewable energies generated 41.8% of electricity from January to September in Spain: wind energy provided 19.4%, concentrated solar power thermal generated 2.2%, and PVs share was 3.3%. Hydropower generation was at 15.2%. [REVE]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Wins its First Russian Wind Farm Order” • Siemens Gamesa has secured its first order in Russia from Enel Russia, one of the country’s independent power producers, for the supply of 90 MW of wind turbines. The agreement includes delivery, installation and service for 26 turbines at a wind farm in southern Russia. [Electric Light & Power]

Wind farm

¶ “Spain scraps ‘sun tax’ in measures to cool electricity prices” • In a move to reduce electricity prices, the Spanish government will scrap a controversial levy on solar power affecting small businesses and households, Energy and Environment Minister Teresa Ribera said. This will make it easier for consumers to erect panels for their own use. [Reuters]

¶ “Three decades after nuclear disaster, Chernobyl goes solar” • Ukraine unveiled a solar plant in Chernobyl, just across from where a power station, now encased in a giant sarcophagus, caused the world’s worst nuclear disaster three decades ago. The solar plant was built in a contaminated area, which remains largely uninhabitable. [The Express Tribune]

Razor wire and solar panels at Chernobyl

US:

¶ “New Mexico Approves Pattern Energy’s 2.2 Gigawatt Corona Wind Projects Plan” • The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has opened the door for Pattern Energy to begin construction on its Corona Wind Projects. The project will have an estimated 950 wind turbines, which will boast a total capacity of 2,200 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Millions of Texas Oil Dollars Flowing into Carbon Fee Fight in Washington State” • Texas oil companies are pouring millions of dollars into Washington state to fight a ballot measure that, if passed, would create the nation’s first carbon fee, raising the cost of gasoline and other fossil fuels and likely hurting demand for petroleum products. [Energy Voice]

Citgo oil refinery in Texas (Photo: Eddie Seal | Bloomberg)

¶ “NJ Sees Big Improvement in Energy Efficiency, New Report” • The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy issued its State Energy Efficiency Scorecard for 2018. It ranks New Jersey as the state with the most improvement, ranking at 18th overall. New Jersey had been ranked 7th in 2010, but a change in policy pushed it to 24th. [InsiderNJ]

¶ “PSEG Seeks Nuclear Support on the Tail of $4.1 Billion Clean Energy Proposal” • New Jersey’s Public Service Enterprise Group this week doubled down on claims that only state subsidies can save its three nuclear power plants. A week ago, the group’s electric and gas utility presented a plan to invest $4.1 billion in clean energy. [GreenTech Media]

Have a wholly hunky-dory day.

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October 5 Energy News

October 5, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Clean Energy is Coming. What’s Exxon Waiting For?” • Unlike their European rivals, ExxonMobil  and Chevron have not yet made large-scale investments in solar, wind, electric cars, or energy storage. Their more cautious approach raises their risk of being left behind if the energy revolution arrives faster than they anticipate. [CNN]

ExxonMobil oil refinery (WClarke, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Large-scale Wind Power Would Require More Land and Cause More Environmental Impact than Previously Thought” • “Wind beats coal by any environmental measure, but that does not mean that its impacts are negligible.” Wind turbines cannot be extensively installed without atmospheric impacts that need to be considered. [Harvard Gazette]

World:

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Awards First Local Taiwan Offshore Wind Supply Contracts” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has announced its first local supply agreements for offshore wind projects in Taiwan, heralding the next key step in the growth of what is expected to be the world’s next big offshore wind energy hub. [CleanTechnica]

Construction of Formosa 1 Phase 1 (Swancor image)

¶ “‘Not One Country’ On Track to Limit Global Warming to 2°C” • Consultancy giant PwC has published its latest Low Carbon Economy Index for 2018 which shows that not only are emissions on the rise again, but that not even one G20 country is achieving the necessary decarbonization rate to limit global warming to the necessary 2°C. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Industry Hails Crown for ‘Significant Progress'” • The UK offshore wind industry has welcomed the Crown Estate’s move to accept eight extension projects for assessment. Trade body RenewableUK led the reaction after the seabed landlord said up to 3.4 GW of wind farms will progress to the next round of the process. [reNEWS]

Making a turbine blade (Siemens image)

¶ “ESB Goes Mega in North-east Scotland” • ESB, an Irish utility developer, filed to build the 26-turbine Glendye wind farm in north-east Scotland. The project will feature hardware of up to 149.9 metres, clearing the way for top power of more than 100 MW. Glendye will be around 2 km from Fettercairn on the southern edge of Aberdeenshire. [reNEWS]

¶ “Australia Set for More Records in Annual RET Accreditations” • The Clean Energy Regulator in Australia said it expects more than 3.4 GW of large-scale renewable power plants to get accredited under the Renewable Energy Target this year, and up to 4.3 GW to follow in 2019. In 2017, there were 1.7 GW of plants accredited. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in Australia (Photo: AGL Energy)

¶ “21 IORA Countries Adopt the Delhi Declaration on Renewable Energy” • The 21 member states in the Indian Ocean Rim Association adopted the Delhi Declaration on Renewable Energy, which calls for collaboration among IORA member states in meeting the growing demand for renewable energy in the Indian Ocean Littoral. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Mexico Could Cut Electricity Prices By 40% With Renewables” • Mexico could see electricity prices drop by as much as 40% by deploying more renewable energy generating capacity. This is the conclusion of a study carried out by the Mexican Business Coordination Council, quoted by commodity information provider S&P Global Platts. [OilPrice.com]

Solar farm

¶ “Private PPAs for Solar are Proliferating in Latin America” • Although auctions for big renewable energy projects are still in place in Latin America, increasing numbers of deals show the private PPA segment is gaining ground in most of the regional markets, and projects under this regime are becoming viable as an option. [pv magazine International]

¶ “France’s oldest nuclear plant Fessenheim to close by 2022” • France’s Ecology Minister Francois de Rugy said Fessenheim’s two 900-MW reactors will be shut down by 2022. Previously the closure had been tied to the start-up of the new generation EPR Flamanville 3 reactor on the northwest French coast, which was to open next year. [Deutsche Welle]

Fessenheim nuclear plant

US:

¶ “Lake Erie Icebreaker Wind Project Receives Federal Approval” • A federal review led by the DOE of the proposed Icebreaker Lake Erie wind project found no significant environmental impacts. The report, which was based on over two years of study, states that the project would not significantly affect migratory birds. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “US Residential Flexibility Potential to Reach 88 GW by 2023” • A report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables predicted that the US could likely boast 88 GW worth of residential flexibility potential by 2023, with nearly 30 million distributed generation and grid-connected devices already installed across the country. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar system

¶ “LePage’s Secretive Wind Energy Panel, Thought to be Near Death, Meets for the First Time” • The Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission is charged with examining the potential economic impact of wind power development on tourism in western and coastal Maine and recommending changes to the state’s permitting system. [Press Herald]

¶ “US Indicts Russians In Conspiracy To Hack Nuclear Energy Company, Doping Watchdogs” • The US charged seven Russian intelligence officers with conspiring to hack computers and steal data from the nuclear energy company Westinghouse Electric Co, an international agency probing the use of chemical weapons, and other organizations. [HuffPost]

Have a marvelously delightful day.

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October 4 Energy News

October 4, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Pairing Wind and Solar for 24-Hour Renewable Energy” • Invenergy is starting with a 175-MW wind farm. Within that, it plans to build a 150-MW solar farm. They will produce enough electricity together for about 175,000 homes. The wind and solar energy complement each other, because they hit their peaks at different times. [InsideClimate News]

Invenergy’s Grand Ridge project in Illinois (Invenergy)

¶ “The cost of carbon capture: is it worth incorporating into the energy mix?” • The high cost of carbon capture and storage has thus far kept the technology from entering mainstream use, though it is held as one of the few means of keeping fossil fuels in the global energy mix without inciting further environmental damage. [Power Technology]

World:

¶ “Alberta Government issues RFP for 135,000 MWh of solar” • The Government of Alberta has said it is committed to buying renewable energy certificates equivalent to 135,000 MWh of solar electricity over the next 20 years. This is enough to power around 18,750 homes and equivalent to 55% of the government’s electricity needs. [pv magazine International]

Alberta legislature building (Image: Zeitlupe, Wikipedia)

¶ “SoftBank CEO Offers Free Solar Power to ISA Countries After the End of 25-Year PPA” • Talking at the Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son announced, “I will give free power from solar power projects after 25 years of PPA to all [International Solar Alliance] member countries.” [Mercom India]

¶ “Modi fires starting gun on India’s National Energy Storage Mission” • India’s prime minister Narendra Modi made an official commitment towards the launch of the country’s first National Energy Storage Mission. He said India could see clean energy business opportunities worth $70 billion to $80 billion in the next four years. [Energy Storage News]

Solar array (Image: Tata Solar)

¶ “Group calls for 70% target for renewable electricity by 2030” • A report from energy and utilities analysts Baringa concludes it is technically possible and cost neutral to the consumer to use renewable energy to supply 70% of Ireland’s electricity needs by 2030. A group representing renewable energy providers is now calling for that goal. [Irish Times]

¶ “Siemens, AES puts store in England” • Fluence, a Siemens and AES joint venture, is to provide battery systems totalling 60 MW to the second phase of UK Power Reserve’s 120-MW energy storage portfolio in England. The contract builds on a previous deal for the 60-MW first phase of the portfolio, which is under construction. [reNEWS]

Battery storage (AES image)

¶ “Australia installed solar capacity to double to 18 GW by 2020” • Australia’s installed capacity of solar is expected to double to 18 GW in the next two years as a wave of new large scale projects are completed and customers continue to turn to solar to reduce their electricity bills. One analyst expects up to 4 GW installed this year. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Finnish main course for Nordex titan” • German turbine manufacturer Nordex has secured its first large-scale order for the N149/4.0-4.5 series unit for the 81-MW Hedet wind farm in Finland. A total of 18 machines with 135-meter towers will be delivered and installed at the site under a turnkey deal with developer Neoen. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Nordex image)

¶ “Britvic moves to 100% renewable electricity in its British business” • Britvic now powers all of its British operations from 100% renewable electricity, the UK-based beverage maker has announced, after securing a four-year deal with energy provider E.ON. It will save the equivalent of over 17,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. [FoodBev.com]

¶ “Areva’s Finnish reactor may face further delays” • Finland’s proposed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant, which is already more than a decade behind schedule, may face further postponements, according to plant operator Teollisuuden Voima. After repeated delays and soaring costs, TVO said the final testing phase is now running late. [Reuters]

Olkiluoto 3 (Jussi Rosendahl | Reuters | File Photo)

¶ “Hinkley Point builder feels heat for French reactor failings” • The company building the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant has been rebuked by French safety regulators for failings in the construction of a prototype reactor in Normandy. The reactor EDF is building at Flamanville has the same design that it plans to use at Hinkley Point. [The Times]

US:

¶ “Organic Valley to Become 100% Renewably Powered in 2019” • Organic Valley, a cooperative of organic farmers, announced the details of its community solar partnership. The project enables Organic Valley to share the benefits of solar energy with its rural neighbors and become the largest food company to be 100% renewably powered. [waste360]

Organic Valley solar and wind

¶ “Trump names pro-fossil ideologue to fill vacant FERC seat” • Trump appointed Bernard McNamee to fill the seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that was vacated when Robert Powelson stepped down. McNamee has been a champion of a coal and nuclear bailout and has written about benefits of fossil fuels. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Drift and Budweiser Partner to Increase Renewable Energy Use” • Drift, a new power company that uses high-frequency trading and AI to provide 100% renewable, low-cost, local power, and Budweiser, which is moving to 100% renewable energy, are partnering to help power customers get low-cost local 100% renewable power. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have a thoroughly amusing day.

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October 3 Energy News

October 3, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “How to show Trump you care about climate change” • Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington: While Donald Trump is blowing smoke on climate change, we here in the West have been choking on it this summer. And if we don’t start electing people – from city council to governor – who are willing to confront climate change, we’re all going to pay dearly. [CNN]

Warming Arctic

World:

¶ “India: 40% electricity generation from non-fossils by 2030, up to $80 billion for PV manufacturing” • Prime Minister Narendra Modi confirmed that India will achieve the goal of 175 GW by 2022 on time. He announced that now the target is to meet 40% of India’s total energy requirements in 2030 with non fossil fuel-based sources. [pv magazine International]

¶ “wpd Moves Into Taiwan After Securing 1 GW Offshore Wind Tender” • New energy developer wpd cleaned house in Taiwan’s offshore wind tenders last year, locking in 990 MW of new contracts. Now it is at work to implement that order by 2025. YD Chang shared the excitement of the new rush into Taiwan in an interview. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Kyle Field)

¶ “Frost & Sullivan forecasts strong 2018 for solar, despite China’s policy setback” • A report from business consultants Frost & Sullivan expects around 90 GW of new solar installations by the end of 2018, in line with the predictions of other leading analysts. It further notes that PV remains the world leader in renewable energy capacity. [pv magazine International]

¶ “James Fisher lets Welsh tidal kite fly” • James Fisher Marine Services has completed its project scope for tidal kite developer Minesto’s Holyhead Deep scheme off the coast of north Wales. All the components and systems needed for power delivery are now in place to start power generation. The tidal kite has a capacity of 500 kW. [reNEWS]

Deep Green tidal kite (Minesto image)

¶ “Japan transfers excess renewable power between regions for first time” • Excess renewable energy was moved between two of Japan’s electricity regions for the first time since a major shakeup of its power sector, the country’s grid monitor said. Solar power from the island of Kyushu was transmitted to Japan’s main island of Honshu. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Origin says solar cheaper than coal, moving on from base-load” • Origin Energy says the cost of wind and solar farms has fallen so far it is now cheaper than the marginal cost of coal generation. The Australian company is moving on from the concept of “24/7 base-load,” according to its head of energy trading and operations. [RenewEconomy]

Australian wind farm

US:

¶ “Yep, Tesla Is Gobbling USA Luxury Car Market – 8 Charts & Graphs” • Tesla increased its deliveries by more than 100% in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, its previous best quarter in history. In 6 years, its Q3 sales jumped from 321 to 83,500. The cars it is most directly competing in are the luxury classes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Offshore Wind Could Spur Economic & Employment Boom In South Carolina” • A report, The South Carolina Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Offshore Wind, outlined how South Carolina could tap into the growing offshore wind manufacturing and development pipeline to drive economic growth through to 2035. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island wind farm

¶ “Rattlesnake stirs in Texas” • Goldwind Americas has received undisclosed tax equity financing from BHE Renewables and Citi for the 160-MW Rattlesnake wind farm in Texas, which has also reached commercial operation. The project, in McCulloch County, features 64 Goldwind 2.5-MW permanent magnet direct-drive turbines. [reNEWS]

¶ “Climate Change Will Devastate National Parks, Impact Electrical Grids, & Spur Mass Migration In The US” • For a Chinese hoax, climate change is having some very real impacts on the United States and its people. As the evidence grows that the Earth will continue to get warmer, the US government continues to ignore the obvious. [CleanTechnica]

Joshua Tree National Park

¶ “Fort Collins aims for 100% renewable electricity by 2030” • It is official: Fort Collins wants 100% renewable electricity by 2030. The City Council voted 6-1 to support a resolution to that effect, joining eight other Colorado cities aiming to be fossil-free. Renewable energy installations already underway will bring the city to the 50% level. [The Coloradoan]

¶ “Tesla Crushes Quarterly Delivery Record With 83,500 Deliveries In Q3” • Tesla has released its preliminary delivery and production numbers for Q3 2018. In the quarter, a total of 83,500 vehicles delivered to customers. This amounts to an increase of more than 100% versus the next highest quarter in history … which was Q2 2018. [CleanTechnica]

Delivery of Teslas (Photo by Iain Thomson)

¶ “Gov Northam’s energy plan pushes renewables, efficiency, modernizing the electric grid” • Gov Ralph Northam released his 2018 Virginia Energy Plan. It is heavy on renewables, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and modernizing the electric grid. He said the 10-year plan could bolster the state’s economy and energy security. [Daily Press]

¶ “Nuclear, wind energy a growing part of energy mix, Xcel says” • Xcel Energy plans for its Prairie Island and Monticello nuclear plants to continue to provide at least a quarter of its generating mix through 2030 as renewable energy replaces coal and natural gas plants. The goal is to reach 85% carbon-free generation by 2030. [INFORUM]

Have a stuningly agreeable day.

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October 2 Energy News

October 2, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The problems at GE’s troubled power unit can’t be fixed quickly” • General Electric’s board ousted CEO John Flannery, but the problems at the heart of its power business defy a quick solution. At the core of the problems is its failure to forecast a downturn in demand for its turbines amid booming demand for renewable energy. [CNBC]

GE assembly line (Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images)

¶ “Despite Trump Roadblocks, Full Steam Ahead for Clean Energy Transition” • President Trump desperately wants to reverse progress on moving to a low-carbon economy. But his schemes continue to flop thanks largely to the ongoing actions of states, utilities, and corporations that are adopting clean energy technologies. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

World:

¶ “Victoria’s renewable energy boom set to create thousands of jobs” • The renewable energy construction boom in Victoria is on track to create more than 6,000 annual jobs, according to a new analysis. Victoria has 26 operational large-scale wind and solar projects, 12 under construction, and 28 with planning approval. [The Guardian]

Wind turbine (Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “Cellcube selected by E.ON as large-scale long duration energy storage solution for project in Sweden” • The village of Simris, in southern Sweden, gets 100% of its electric power from  locally produced renewable energy, on an annual basis. E.ON chose a CellCube vanadium redox flow battery for the village’s storage technology. [pv magazine International]

¶ “This Car Maker Is About To Launch Europe’s Largest Energy Storage Project” • Renault is launching the biggest energy stationary storage system from EV batteries in Europe. The French company has introduced Advanced Battery Storage, a stationary storage system for energy developed exclusively from EV batteries. [OilPrice.com]

Battery pack plant

¶ “France awards 230 MW in rooftop solar tender, prices down 5%” • France’s fifth tender for rooftop solar power capacity has awarded 230 MW at an average price of €76.8/MWh (8.9¢/kWh). The price is 5% less than in the previous such tender. The larger systems provided a new record low of €72.2/MWh for solar power. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Shell offers springboard to success” • Shell has opened applications for the Shell Springboard 2019 program that awards £350,000 funding to support cutting-edge, low-carbon small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK. The Springboard is seeking SMEs that reduce carbon emissions and are innovative and viable economically, Shell said. [reNEWS]

Technician at work

¶ “Tesla battery proves a leading source of dispatchable power, AEMO says” • Australia’s Resources Minister Matt Canavan reportedly dismissed the big battery as “the Kim Kardashian of the energy world: it’s famous for being famous [but] doesn’t do very much.” But no less an authority than the Australian Energy Market Operator disagrees. [ABC News]

¶ “EDP keeps investing in off-grid solar” • Portugal’s state-owned power provider, EDP ​​has agreed to acquire a minority stake in SolarWorks, a Mozambique-based start-up specializing in the commercialization of decentralized solar energy solutions to domestic and business customers without connection to national grid. [pv magazine International]

Solar installation (EDP image)

¶ “Renewables investment in 2018 seen at $228 billion, slow growth due to China” • Investments in renewable energy capacity globally will reach $228.3 billion (€197 billion) this year, up by just 0.7% on 2017 as China’s decision to limit solar capacity additions has hit year-on-year growth, according to Frost & Sullivan. [Renewables Now]

US:

¶ “Tesla Is 2 Years Ahead Of Schedule On Gigafactory 1” • Tesla is often criticized for slipping on targets. But Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada is solidly on track to achieve a battery production volume of 35 GWh per year by the end of 2018. This is two years ahead of the original 2020 target date that was set for achieving such volumes. [CleanTechnica]

Car production in the Tesla Gigafactory

¶ “10 Year Extension To US EV Tax Credit Proposed” • Several Democratic Senators and Representatives have introduced legislation to extend the US federal tax credit for zero-emissions vehicles by 10 years. The bill also proposes a tax credit extension on EV charging infrastructure and sales of other alternative fuel vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “First California Public Floating Solar Power System Delivered By Ciel & Terre” • Ciel & Terre USA announced completion of a 252-kW floating PV power system for the Lake County Special Districts, on behalf of Kelseyville County Waterworks District #3. Over 700 floating solar panels and SolarEdge solar optimizers were used for the system. [CleanTechnica]

Floating PV system (Ciel & Terre image)

¶ “Consumers Energy energizes drive to electric cars and renewables” • Michigan utility Consumers Energy is stepping on the pedal in its move toward more EVs and increased renewable energy in the birthplace of the automobile. The company is teaming up with General Motors to speed a shift to EVs in their home state. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ “Trump Signs Legislation to Promote Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technology” • President Trump signed the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act. The bill is intended to speed up development of advanced reactors by eliminating several of the financial and technological barriers standing in the way of nuclear innovation. [Greentech Media]

Have a triumphantly flawless day.

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October 1 Energy News

October 1, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Q & A: Why Switching to Renewable Energy Sources is No Longer a Matter of Morality, But of Economics” • When the Global Green Growth Institute was founded eight years ago, most people thought renewable energies would never replace oil and coal. Today, the tables have turned. Dr Frank Rijsberman answers questions. [Inter Press Service]

Philippine wind farm (Credit: Kara Santos | IPS)

¶ “Natural Gas Swings, Misses Inexorable March To The All-Electric Future” • Natural gas used to be considered a clean alternative, but evidence is building that leaks contribute to global warming. That’s on top of local impacts from air pollution, water contamination and other water resource issues, and yes, earthquakes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why the #MeToo movement gives me hope we can fix climate change” • There are signs of something happening that might bring the faster shifts in popular attitude and behavior that are needed to meet vital climate targets. A mixture of new social movements and social media now seem capable of transforming shifts. [The Guardian]

Glacier in Greenland (SpecialistStoc | Rex | Shutterstock)

¶ “The many faces of climate denial” • While North Carolina’s state legislature mandated a wholesale denial of the problem of climate change, Massachusetts’s state government adopted a different form of climate denial that is arguably just as pernicious and even more widespread: denying that the problem is as grave as it is. [CommonWealth magazine]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The people building a greener future” • Constructing new environmentally-friendly buildings is expected to generate more than 6.5 million jobs by 2030, according to predictions by the International Labor Organization. Following energy, building will be the second fastest growing sector for green jobs in the coming decades. [BBC]

Planeta-DeAgostini head office in Barcelona (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Chart: Global Shifts In EV Battery Chemistry (And Electric Car Sales Grow 66%)” • EV Volumes released another report on electric car sales and trends. Electric car sales grew strongly yet again. Globally, plug-in car sales were up 66% in the first half of 2018 versus the first half of 2017. One chart on battery chemistry stands out. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Denmark launches first mixed wind and solar tender worth 140 MW” • The Danish Energy Agency, Energystyrelsen, has launched a mixed source tender worth 140 MW of renewable energy. The tender has a price cap of €17.42/MW (2.02¢/kWh). It is Denmark’s first ever technology-neutral renewable energy tender. [Energy Digital]

Solar array

¶ “Wind and Solar Powering Greek Island” • The Greek island of Tilos may provide the model for a renaissance of renewable energy across the EU. This summer, technicians tested a system that will allow the island to produce and run on its own power, thanks to a battery system charged by an 800-kW wind turbine and a solar park. [Power Magazine]

¶ “End climate war, pleads Synergy chairman Robert Cole” • The chairman of Western Australia’s state-owned power provider called for an end to the debilitating wars over energy and climate policy, saying the uncertainty hampers investment decisions. He expressed frustration over the federal government’s inability to meet carbon targets. [The West Australian]

Albany Wind Farm (Getty Images | iStockphoto)

¶ “Japan takes a major step toward a hydrogen-based economy” • A Japanese consortium started construction of the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field, which is said to be the world’s largest hydrogen-based energy system, in Fukushima Prefecture. The move is considered a major step towards a hydrogen-based economy. [ChemEngOnline]

¶ “New Queensland abattoir to be powered by solar and hydrogen storage” •  A new high-tech abattoir to be built in Queensland has joined the industrial shift to renewable energy. Plans were announced for the plant to be partly powered by a 78-MW solar farm, with a 33-MW solar-powered hydrogen facility to service its boiler. [RenewEconomy]

Solar-powered abattoir

¶ “Intense Summer Heatwaves Rattle World’s Power Plants” • The scorching heat of the summer of 2018 forced a swathe of power plants across the world to reduce power or shut down temporarily, owing to warmer-than-usual cooling water and other general heat-related issues. France had to shut down several nuclear reactors. [Power Magazine]

US:

¶ “Here’s how the University of Richmond will match 100% of its electricity needs with solar power” • It would not have been possible just five years ago, but a gradual decrease in cost for solar panels paired with an increase in government incentives has enabled the university to produce heaps of sustainable energy soon. [wtkr.com]

Solar array

¶ “Vermont’s energy efficiency utilities under inspection in new investigation” • Almost 20 years after Vermont became the first state in the country to start a separate energy efficiency utility, with the creation of Efficiency Vermont, members of a state board are now re-examining how energy efficiency utilities operate. [vtdigger.org]

¶ “AEP plans two solar facilities in Ohio” • American Electric Power Ohio wants to build two solar facilities in southwest Ohio, Kallanish Energy reports. The utility filed a proposal with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to build 400 MW of solar power in Highland County. One of the two plants would be the largest in Ohio, at 300 MW. [Kallanish Energy]

Have a stimulatingly appealing day.

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