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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