Archive for November, 2018

November 30 Energy News

November 30, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Owls Roost at Scottish Wind Farm” • Planning conditions attached to the Crystal Rig wind farm’s consent required an ornithological monitoring plan, which specified the requirement for artificial nesting baskets for long-eared owls. Three pairs of nesting barn owls have successfully bred at the wind farm in the Scottish Borders, producing 12 hatchlings. [reNEWS]

Barn owl, still too young to fly (Natural Power image)

¶ “Kia Niro Electric Crossover Debuts in Los Angeles – 239 Mile Range” • A new, fully electric version of the Kia Niro is coming to North America early in 2019. The Niro EV will come with a 64-kWh lithium polymer battery and an EPA range rated at 239 miles. Just so you can see what is coming, here is a list of its basic specifications. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Australia On Track for 50% Renewables by 2030” • Australia would reach 50% renewable energy by 2030 even if installations were cut two-thirds, Green Energy Markets estimates. At current installation rates for windpower, solar farms, and rooftop solar, about 78% of Australia’s power will be from renewable energy by 2030. [The Australian Financial Review]

Wind farm

¶ “Australian School Children Defy Prime Minister with Climate Strike” • Thousands of Australian children skipped school in defiance of the prime minister to protest for greater action on climate change. Organizers estimated around 15,000 left their classrooms in 30 locations across the country, including Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. [CNN]

¶ “Taiwan Ponders Offshore FIT Cut” • Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs proposed a 13% cut to its offshore wind feed-in tariff. FIT rates set by the government are used to determine power purchase agreements between state utility Taipower and the developers of the 3,836 MW of projects awarded capacity in April in the FIT tender. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind power (Formosa image)

¶ “Ivory Coast Aims to Generate 150 MW of Solar Power by 2020” • Ivory Coast plans to generate 150 MW of solar power by 2020, a senior official said, to integrate more renewable energy into the power sector. Ivory Coast has West Africa’s largest economy, and it produces most of its 2,200 MW of power from oil and gas. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Belgian Nuclear Plant May Breach EU Law, Says Top Judge” • A European Court of Justice advocate-general has cast doubt on Belgium’s decision to extend the life of one of its ageing nuclear power plants, suggesting that environmental impact assessments may not have been carried out properly and that  EU rules “have been infringed.” [EURACTIV]

Doel nuclear power plant (RockerStocker | Shutterstock)

¶ “More than 40% of World Coal Plants Are Unprofitable” • Over 40% of coal plants are operating at a loss due to high fuel costs, and that could to rise to nearly 75% by 2040, according to a report by environmental think-tank Carbon Tracker. The risk of stranded assets has institutional investors increasingly divesting from fossil fuel companies. [Reuters]

US:

¶ “Nissan Using Vehicle-to-Grid Technology to Power US Operations” • Nissan is a major supporter of V2G technology. It recently won approval from German regulators to trial its V2G system in that country. Now it says it will use V2G to partially power its factory in Franklin, Tennessee and its design center in San Diego. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan V2G system

¶ “Panasonic Solar Builds Out National Residential Installer Network” • Panasonic Eco Solutions, home of the HIT solar panel, is aggressively building out its residential solar installer network on a national basis in the US, seeking to compete more evenly with the likes of Tesla, SunRun, SunPower, Vivint and others. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Hampshire Democrats Look to Override Governor on Clean Energy” • With election wins, New Hampshire Democrats are getting set to push a clean energy agenda. Proposals are coming on solar net metering, a renewable electricity standard of 50% by 2040, and bolstering small hydro, offshore wind and energy efficiency. [Energy News Network]

New Hampshire Statehouse

¶ “US Energy Industry Urges Congress to Fix ITC Eligibility for Energy Storage” • A broad coalition combining energy trade and advocacy organizations filed a letter to the US Senate and House leaderships this week, urging them to modify the tax code to include energy storage as an eligible technology for the country’s Investment Tax Credit. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maui’s First Two Large Scale Energy Projects Blessed” • Two large scale solar farms were blessed in separate ceremonies on Maui. The Ku’ia solar farm in Lahaina can offer up to 2.87 MW to Maui Electric’s grid at 11.06¢/kWh. The project on Haleakalā Ranch pasture land in South Maui also offer up to 2.87 MW at the same price. [Maui Now]

Ku’ia solar farm (Kamehameha Schools and Kenyon Energy)

¶ “US Solar Generation up by Over 30% in First Three-Quarters of 2018” • The Energy Information Administration’s “Electric Power Monthly” (with data through September 30, 2018) reveals that solar and wind both had strong growth with utility-scale solar expanding by 30.3% and wind by 14.5% compared to the first nine months of 2017. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Fight Brewing over Prospect of Nuclear Power Plant Shutdowns” • Pennsylvania lawmakers sympathetic to nuclear power plants are making a push for state action to rescue plants at risk of being shut down by their energy company owners. This is spurring a debate over why Pennsylvania ratepayers should foot the cost of rescuing nuclear plants. [Associated Press]

And Please Don’t forget about the VECAN Conference:

Kia Niro EV

¶ “At the VECAN Conference: an Afternoon Workshop” • “Transportation Efficiency & Electrification – New Tools, Programs and Funds” There is much buzz about leveraging the state’s VW settlement funds to expand EV use. Learn how to support and expand transportation choices. Here is more information and a link to register. [Green Energy Times]

Have a conspicuously gorgeous day.

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November 29 Energy News

November 29, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change: Last Four Years Are ‘World’s Hottest'” • The year 2018 is on course to be the fourth warmest on record, a report from the World Meteorological Organization says. The State of the Climate report says that the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the 2015-2018 making up the top four. [BBC News]

Sunset at a dried lake bed (Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Change Is Already Here, and Heat Waves Are Having the Biggest Effect, Report Says” • Climate change is already having effects on our health, with extreme heat in particular also having effects on productivity, disease transmission, and food supply, according to The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change report. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Twilight of the Taj” • Pollution has other effects in addition to being ruinous to public health. The damage it is doing Taj Mahal is becoming clear. A combination of pollution and neglect is threatening its existence. Sulphur dioxide, along with other pollutants, are combining with moisture in the atmosphere to cause acid rain. [BBC]

Cracks in the Taj Mahal

¶ “Hungary Plans to Ditch Coal by 2030 and Become Fully Reliant on Renewable Energy” • Following yet another hike in the European Union’s emissions trading system in its fight against climate change, Hungary has announced that it aims to phase out its use of coal and be fully reliant on renewable energy sources by 2030. [Open Access Government]

¶ “Ørsted Plans $30.2 Billion Investment in Renewables by 2025” • Danish energy group Ørsted A/S unveiled plans to pour some kr200 billion ($30.2 billion, €26.8 billion) gross into green energy projects by 2025, as it aims to grow its installed capacity by further expanding into the wind, solar, energy storage, and bioenergy markets. [Renewables Now]

Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind park (Matthias Ibeler, Ørsted)

¶ “India Is Now the Largest Renewable Energy Auctions Market in the World” • India has become the largest market globally for auction of new renewable energy generation projects and the second-largest destination attracting clean energy investments, according to the latest report by Bloomberg NEF, Climatescope 2018. [ELE Times]

¶ “Renewables Surpassed Fossil Fuels Capacity in Germany Last Year” • Germany’s Federal Network Agency and the Federal Cartel Office analyzed the figures for 2017 and found renewables capacity had grown to exceed that of conventional sources. Renewable sources are expected to supply 39% of the electric power this year. [pv magazine International]

Coal and solar plants (Image: Eifeler Presse Agentur)

¶ “Vattenfall Pilots High Temperature Steel with up to 48 Hours of Energy Storage Duration” • Technology now being trialled in Germany by Vattenfall can store energy in steel structures for up to 48 hours. The system will absorb power generated by local renewables plants and store it at a claimed cost of less than €0.02 per kWh. [Energy Storage News]

¶ “A Massive New Solar Power Station Has Come to Life in the South African Desert” • The 100-MW Kathu Solar Park is a massive 4.5 square kilometer concentrated solar power plant, with the ability to pump electricity into the national grid even when the sun isn’t out. It was sited in the Kalahari Desert near the town of Kathu. [Business Insider South Africa]

Kathu Solar Park (Image SENER and Acciona)

US:

¶ “Air Liquide to Build $150 Million Liquid Hydrogen Plant to Supply California Demand” • French-owned industrial gas producer Air Liquide announced plans to spend $150 million on the construction of a liquid hydrogen plant in California. The plant will produce liquid hydrogen for the fuel cells used to power electric vehicles. [Energy Digital]

¶ “DC Votes in Favor of the Nation’s Most Aggressive 100% Renewable Energy Target” • The city council of Washington, DC, voted to provide initial approval of the nation’s most aggressive renewable energy target. With final approval, the city’s utility would have to source 100% of the city’s electric power from renewables by 2032. [pv magazine USA]

Washington DC (Wikimedia)

¶ “Military’s Push for Solar Backup Power Loses Speed under Trump” • It is no longer clear that the Pentagon will be able to make use of all of the solar farms installed both to combat global warming and to enhance national security. President Donald Trump has all but eradicated the words “renewable energy” from the agenda. [Charlotte Observer]

¶ “Illinois Wind to Fuel Starbucks Brew” • Exelon company Constellation is to supply electricity to Starbucks stores in Illinois from Enel Green Power’s 185-MW Hill Topper wind farm. The deal have 340 Starbucks stores operating with 100% renewable energy. Constellation made a deal with Enel for 14 MW from the wind farm. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine on an abandoned farm (Enel image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Laggard ExxonMobil to Power Oil Exploration with Wind and Solar” • ExxonMobil will run its operations at a Texas oil field with power from wind and solar projects. The contracts for the Permian filed in West Texas will be fulfilled by Ørsted, a Danish state-run energy company that has divested itself of fossil fuel assets. [Forbes]

¶ “Data Shows Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Costs Falling” • A research group providing information to institutional investors said cost estimates to decommission US nuclear plants fell in 2017 for the first time in a decade. The Callan Institute report said decommissioning cost estimates dropped by 2.5% last year, to $88.8 billion. [POWER magazine]

And Please Don’t forget about the VECAN Conference:

SunGen Sharon Solar Farm in Sharon (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “A Morning Workshop at the Vecan Conference” • Municipal solar energy is an important cost- and carbon-saving option for many municipalities. This workshop will cover the current state policy framework and lay-of-the-land for municipal solar in Vermont, including an update on the state’s net metering rule and the state’s preferred siting criteria. [Green Energy Times]

Have a monumentally groovy day.

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November 28 Energy News

November 28, 2018

World:

¶ “Zambia Targets 200 MW of Solar Power to Reduce Hydro Dependency” • Zambia is seeking proposals from potential developers of solar power projects with a combined 200 MW capacity as it tries to diversify its energy mix away from hydroelectric power. The 200 MW is to be split into projects of less than 20 MW. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar system

¶ “Another Coal Myth Busted as Developing Nations Turn to Renewables” • A study put an end to the myth that the world’s developing nation’s are maintaining a dependence on coal. It showed that emerging economies are the renewable energy investment and development leaders and have reduced their new coal plant builds by nearly half. [Daddyhood]

Australia:

¶ “Sydney Storms: Hundreds Call for Help amid Flash-Flooding” • Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, had its average monthly rainfall within just two hours, meteorologists said. More than 500 people called for emergency assistance after the storm it the city and nearby regions, causing floods, power cuts, and flight delays. [BBC]

Flood (Reuters image)

¶ “Queensland Bushfires: Thousands Told to Flee ‘Catastrophic’ Threat” • More than 130 bushfires are burning in Queensland, fuelled by strong winds, a heat wave and dry vegetation. The state has raised its fire danger warning to “catastrophic,” the highest level, for the first time ever, and told thousands of people to evacuate. [BBC]

¶ “Australia Adds 351.8 MW of Small-Scale Renewables in Q3” • Australia has put on stream 351.8 MW of small-scale renewable energy capacity in the third quarter of 2018, with solar PV plants being on top of the list. Australia now has 3.1 million small-scale renewable power plants, with a cumulative capacity of 7.59 GW, government data show. [Renewables Now]

Solar array (Photo: h080)

France:

¶ “France Announces Cuts to Nuclear and Coal, Boost for Wind and Solar” • In a speech on ecology and energy, French President Macron promised support for renewable energy capacity additions. He made a promise to triple the amount of onshore wind by 2030 and to increase the country’s solar PV capacity by a factor of five. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “French Renewable Energy: €600 Million for Solar Innovation” • As President Macron makes a push for French renewable energy advances, the European Commission has approved €600 million to support solar power innovation in France. The funding will support innovative solar installations with capacities from 5 kW to 100 kW. [Government Europa]

Small solar array (iStock image)

¶ “France’s Macron Tries to Ease Popular Anger over Gas Prices” • French President Emmanuel Macron tried to defuse protests over rising fuel taxes by explaining in his speech what his plans were to wean the country off fossil fuels and promising to shift out of cheap nuclear energy more slowly. But the protests are expected to continue. [Yahoo News]

¶ “France Takes the Lead as Top G20 Market for Renewable Energy Investments” • For the third year, Allianz, Germanwatch and NewClimate Institute examined the investment climate and investments made for renewable energy in all G20 countries. France climbed two positions to the top, while Germany dropped to second place and the UK to third. [WebWire]

Wind farm

US:

¶ “Trump Administration Climate Change Report is Dead Wrong, Says Trump Administration” • After reading “some” of the National Climate Assessment Report, Trump said “I don’t believe it.” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders explained that it is “not based on facts,” adding, “We’d like to see something that is more data-driven.” [CNN]

¶ “California’s Community has Chosen 2 GW of Renewables” • Community choice aggregators in California have now signed over 2 GW of power purchase agreements for renewable energy projects. Of the 59 projects, 43 of them were solar power facilities totalling 1,360 MW and ranging in size from 60 kW through 200 MW. [pv magazine USA]

Solar installation (Swinerton Renewable Energy)

¶ “General Motors is Cutting 14,000 Jobs and Focusing on Self-Driving and Electric Vehicles” • GM is shuttering plants, but this is a step toward a new corporate focus on producing electric and autonomous vehicles. Its new motto is “Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, Zero Congestion,” as it increases spending on new-technology vehicle programs. [Vox]

¶ “World’s Largest Pork Company to Convert Pig Manure into Renewable Natural Gas” • Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy announced a joint venture partnership to trap methane from hog waste and convert it into power for heating homes and generating electricity. The gas will be sent to processing centers and converted into natural gas. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Natural gas worker (Getty Images)

¶ “New Jersey Hits Milestone for Installation of Solar Energy Projects” • New Jersey hit a milestone when the number of solar installations in the state hit 100,000. The growth of solar capacity has largely been due to a combination of net metering, a solar renewable portfolio standard, and a solar renewable energy credit market. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ “Senate Panel Votes to Advance McNamee to US FERC Despite Renewables Comments” • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted to advance the nomination of Bernard McNamee to the fifth slot at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, despite statements he had made last winter about renewable energy. [S&P Global Platts]

And Please Don’t forget about the VECAN Conference:

Solar Power at Scott Farm, Dummerston, Wikimedia Commons

One morning workshop addresses smart growth for land use as a cornerstone for decarbonizing our communities. At the center of climate friendly communities is the integration of good land use policies, the creation of transportation choices, the consideration of location efficiency and, importantly, housing, including affordable housing. [Green Energy Times]

Have a vastly superior day.

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November 27 Energy News

November 27, 2018

National Climate Assessment Report:

¶ “Donald Trump Buried a Climate Change Report Because ‘I Don’t Believe It'” • President Donald Trump dismissed a study, produced by his own administration, warning of the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change. Why, you ask? “I don’t believe it,” Trump told reporters on Monday, adding that he had read “some” of the report. [CNN]

California wildfire (Image: Joel Angel Juarez | ZUMA Wire)

¶ “Here’s How Climate Change Will Impact Your Part of the Country” • The lengthy National Climate Assessment includes detailed information about how specific regions of the US will be impacted. Here’s what else you need to know. For example, one of several effects in the Northeast is that we would see 650 excess deaths per year from heat. [CNN]

¶ “Climate Change Threatens Traditions of Indigenous People – National Climate Assessment” • The report states, “The impacts of climate change on water, land, coastal areas, and other natural resources, as well as infrastructure and related services, are expected to increasingly disrupt Indigenous peoples’ livelihoods and economies.” [CleanTechnica]

Walrus

Science and Technology:

¶ “Concentrated Photovoltaics Achieve Solar Conversion Efficiency Record of 41.4%” • Concentrated PV uses lenses or mirrors to concentrate sunlight on a special type of PV cell. A research consortium led by the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Research, announced that it had made a CPV with a solar conversion efficiency of 41.4%. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Poland Awards Nearly a Gigawatt of Wind Energy in Latest Renewable Energy Auction” • Poland’s Energy Regulatory Office announced last week that it has awarded nearly 1 GW of wind energy in a mixed renewable energy auction at prices so low experts believe the country could award a further 850 MW of capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in Poland

¶ “European Utilities Begin Investing In Energy Storage” • A report published by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, Europe Energy Storage Landscape 2018, highlights the recent trend among major European utilities which has seen them begin investing in the region’s relatively new energy storage market over the past two years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Greenpeace Energy Wants to Buy Germany’s RWE Coal Business, and to Replace It With 8.2 GW of Renewables” • The Hamburg-based green electricity provider wants to shut down RWE’s coal power plants and replace them with 8.2 GW of wind and solar power plants. Approximately €7 billion will be invested in the new facilities. [pv magazine International]

Coal-burning power plant in Germany (Greenpeace image)

¶ “Europe’s Power Could Be Carbon-Free by 2045 with Further Investment in Renewables” • The European power sector could be fully decarbonized ahead of the 2050 targets set in the Paris Agreement if enough effort is put into electrification and into deployment of renewable energy, according to a study from Eurelectric. [Offshore Wind Journal]

¶ “The Changing Coal Landscape” • The Integrated Resource Plan 2018, which recently concluded its 60-day window period for public comment, has laid out a clear path for reducing coal generation in South Africa from approximately 70%, to around 44.6% of the total energy mix within the span of only 12 short years. [Independent Online]

Renewable energy (IOL file photo)

¶ “France to Close 14 Nuclear Reactors by 2035: Macron” • President Emmanuel Macron said that France would shut down 14 of the country’s 58 nuclear reactors currently in operation by 2035, of which between four and six will be closed by 2030. He also said that France would close its remaining four coal plants by 2022. [Phys.Org]

¶ “Developing Nations Now Leading on Global Clean Energy” • Higher energy demand, lower technology costs, and innovative policy making allowed developing nations to seize the mantle of global clean energy leadership from wealthier nations, according to a comprehensive new study from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar trackers and sheep

US:

¶ “RIP: GM Will Close Five Assembly Plants in North America, Eliminate 15,000 Jobs, and Cease Production of Chevy Volt” • GM announced it will cease production at five assembly plants, four of which are in the US and one in Canada. Three of the plants build cars, and the other two make driveline components for passenger cars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Boulder and Pueblo Could Be the Next Cities to Create Their Own Utilities in Pursuit of 100% Renewable Energy” • Municipal utilities could lead the 100% renewable charge. Six communities, from Burlington, Vermont, to Kodiak, Alaska, have reached the 100% renewable electricity target. Five of those are municipal utilities. [The Colorado Sun]

Solar array

¶ “Change the Rules, Add Power Lines to Let Renewables Plus Storage Aim for 90% of the Grid” • Grid Strategies has published a report commissioned by the Wind Solar Alliance. The purpose of the report is to suggest refinement to the rules that govern the day-to-day electricity markets across the US to foster renewable energy and efficiency. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “SCANA Settles $2 Billion Lawsuit over VC Summer Project’s Failure” • SCANA Corp agreed to a $2 billion settlement with the South Carolina customers it charged for a failed nuclear plant. The settlement, however, is not a done deal, as it still requires approval from a judge and the South Carolina Public Service Commission. [Greenville News]

And one more thing, don’t forget the VECAN Conference:

People’s Climate March 2014 (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “At the VECAN Conference: an Afternoon Workshop” • Michael Shank’s workshop, “Communicating Beyond the Choir: Persuading Policy Makers and More People to Act,” offers a unique opportunity to get an in-depth training from a leading national communications expert about what works to inspire far more people to act. [Green Energy Times]

Have an intriguingly flawless day.

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November 26 Energy News

November 26, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “In Mount Everest Region, World’s Highest Glaciers Are Melting, Receding” • For many tourists, a trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, is an adventure of a lifetime. But what is stunning scenery to tourists is for climate scientists an apocalyptic sight. They see dramatic evidence all around of a rapidly warming atmosphere. (Photos) [InsideClimate News]

New glacial lake (Credit: Kunda Dixit | Nepali Times)

World:

¶ “Drier Summers and Wetter Winters Could be Coming to the UK” • Environment Secretary Michael Gove is warning that world-leading new science shows more extreme weather is ahead. In a speech in London, Mr Gove will say that the survival of the planet can only be safeguarded if scientific warnings are heeded more keenly. [Sky News]

¶ “Nigeria Loses $6 Billion from ‘Corrupt’ Oil Deal Linked to Fraud” • A court in Milan is considering corruption charges against Eni and Shell in a controversial oil deal that led to Nigeria losing an estimated $6 billion. Eni and Shell are accused of knowing the money they paid to Nigeria would be used for bribes. They deny any wrongdoing. [BBC]

Nigerian oil workers

¶ “Argentina Signs 161.5 MW of RenovAr 2 Contracts” • Argentina has signed contracts for 161.5 MW of green projects that were selected in the first stage of the country’s renewable energy auction program RenovAr Round 2. Power purchase agreements were signed for two wind, one biogas and one small hydropower plant. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Solarcentury Gets Go-Ahead for Four Solar Power Projects in Seville” • British solar power company Solarcentury has received the go ahead from the regional government in Andalucia to construct four solar parks. The projects, to be located in Alcala de Guadaira, Seville, Spain, will produce enough electricity to power 105,000 households. [Energy Digital]

PV system

¶ “UK’s Drax Starts Pilot of Europe’s First Bioenergy Carbon Capture Project” • Britain’s Drax said it has started a pilot project to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions at its biomass plant, the first of its kind in Europe. Emissions from the power plant will be captured and stored for industrial applications such as making drinks fizzy. [ETEnergyworld.com]
(Sorry, Drax, carbon capture for fizzy drinks will not help. GHH)

¶ “Robots Come to the Rescue After Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster” • Since the fuel melted in three reactors at Fukushima Daiichi, it burned through steel walls and concrete floors. No one even knows quite where it is. No human can go inside to look for it, so the Japanese company that owns the crippled plant has turned to robots. [CBS News]

Six-legged robot

Australia:

¶ “AGL Builds Its Own Solar Power Trading Market” • AGL is the latest Australian company to develop its own solar trading platform, so households can ensure their excess solar power is not wasted and their solar systems earn as much as they can. The system pays customers for excess power with tokens that can be traded. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Queensland Bushfires: Evacuations amid ‘Highly Unusual’ Conditions” • About 40 bushfires are burning in Queensland in weather conditions that are described as “unprecedented.” The largest fire is about 50 km (30 miles) long. Intense fire conditions are very unusual in Queensland in late November because it is the wet season. [BBC]

Queensland fires (Queensland Ambulance Service image)

¶ “Australian Vintage Signs Ground-Breaking Renewable Energy Deal” • Australian Vintage Limited has signed a large-scale hybrid Renewable Corporate Power Purchase Agreement, which will ensure that 90% of consumption at its largest site is met by solar and wind power. AVL’s Buronga Hill facility is the third largest winery in Australia. [The Shout]

US:

¶ “Despite Trump, The Shift from Coal to Renewables Continues Unabated” • If you were only paying attention to White House public statements, you would likely think that coal had seen a magnificent revival in the nearly two years since Donald Trump became President. In reality, what is happening in the country is completely different. [Triple Pundit]

Coal-fired power plant

¶ “Hawaiian Electric, Eurus Ink 46.8-MW Wind PPA” • Hawaiian Electric Co signed a power purchase agreement for the output of a 46.8-MW wind project on Oahu island, the electric utility said. The Palehua wind farm is planned to be built on the Waianae Range and use 13 turbines. It will supply enough power for about 25,000 homes. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Connecticut Likely to OK Millstone for Zero-Carbon RFP” • Dominion Energy is getting closer to the finish line in a two-year marathon to win subsidized energy contracts for its Millstone nuclear plant. Its near-term goal is special consideration in the Connecticut solicitation for up to 12 million MWh of zero-carbon electric power. [RTO Insider]

One more thing – Don’t forget the VECAN Conference:

Pollution (When this image was new, a Google search I did on it guessed it was Donald Trump. – GHH)

¶ “At the VECAN Conference: a Morning Workshop” • At one of the morning workshops you can learn about effective use of digital tools to attract new people to the cause. At GET, we think that the VECAN Conference is one of Vermont’s best renewable energy events. We recommend that everyone interested in the future consider attending. [Green Energy Times]

Have an invigoratingly exquisite day.

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November 25 Energy News

November 25, 2018

National Climate Assessment Report:

¶ “Climate Change is Already Hurting US Communities, Federal Report Says” • Climate change is already causing more frequent and severe weather across the US, and the country is poised to suffer massive damage to infrastructure, ecosystems, health, and the economy if it is allowed to continue, the 4th National Climate Assessment said. [WBFO]

Neighborhood in Paradise, California (Noah Berger | AP)

¶ “Climate Change Will Shrink US Economy and Kill Thousands, Government Report Warns” • The Fourth National Climate Assessment delivers a dire warning about climate change and its devastating impacts, saying the economy could lose hundreds of billions of dollars – in the worst-case scenario, more than 10% of its GDP – by the end of the century. [KNWA]

¶ “Al Gore Calls Out Trump for ‘Burying’ Climate Change Report by Releasing it on Black Friday” • Al Gore has lashed out at the Trump administration accusing it of seeking to ‘bury’ a US government report on climate change by releasing it on Black Friday, when people’s minds would be focused on sales starting the Christmas shopping season. [Daily Mail]

Flooded neighborhood

¶ “White House Says Dire Climate Report Based on ‘Extreme Scenario'” • The Trump administration is downplaying the 4th National Climate Assessment. It said the study was largely based on “the most extreme scenario” and does not account for innovations that could diminish carbon emissions and the effects of climate change. [Voice of America]

¶ “3 Big Takeaways from the Major New US Climate Report” • Climate change is here, it’s expensive, and it’s deadly, according to a dire new report. The risks are not just down the road. The report connects climate change to current issues from declining water levels in the Colorado River Basin to the spread of ticks carrying Lyme disease. [Vox]

Searching for human remains in California (Umair Irfan | Vox)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Superconducting Tape Could Lead to Lower-Cost Wind Power” • Wind turbines can need about a ton of rare earth metals each, and that is costly. But the EU-backed EcoSwing project upgraded a wind turbine in Denmark with superconducting tape that reduces the required amount of rare earth metals to as little as 1 kg (2.2 lbs). [Engadget]

World:

¶ “Amazon Rainforest Deforestation ‘Worst in 10 Years’, Says Brazil” • You would think that with all the warnings about deforestation and its impact on climate change, deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest would continue its decline. But according to the government of Brazil, it has grown much worse. And the outlook is not good. [Digital Journal]

Brazil’s Amazon rainforest and deforestation
(CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture | flickr)

¶ “Government Threatens to Cut Solar Power Subsidies” • The Japanese government is threatening to cut existing solar power project subsidies angering the power producers and investors that say the cuts will undermine their profitability and violate earlier agreements. Japan’s feed in tariffs are currently among the highest in the world. [Japan Today]

¶ “NKT, Boskalis Win Ostwind 2 Export Prize” • A consortium of NKT and Boskalis secured a €550-plus deal to supply and install the grid wire for the Ostwind 2 connection in the Baltic Sea. The Danish cable manufacturer will deliver 270 km of offshore and 8 km of onshore wires for the grid hub, which will connect two offshore wind farms to shore. [reNEWS]

NKT cable production in Sweden (NKT image)

¶ “Pro-Nuclear Activists Win Landslide Electoral Victory in Taiwan” • In a surprise victory, Taiwanese voters on Saturday decisively rejected the government’s phase-out of nuclear power, 59% to 41%. The referendum also required a vote with over five million in favor of its passing, and its support was well over that number. [Forbes]

US:

¶ “Mills Administration: Energy Policy to Change ‘180 Degrees'” • Eight years of Maine’s Gov Paul LePage and Republican allies working to encourage natural gas and transmission lines will end as a Democratic government shifts Maine’s energy policy to boost local, green-power development and blunt the impacts of a warming climate. [Lewiston Sun Journal]

Wind farm in Maine (Michael Surran, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Fayetteville Moves Toward 100% Renewable Energy, Saves $6 million in Future Energy Costs” • In Arkansas, the Fayetteville City Council unanimously voted to approve an agreement with Ozarks Electric Cooperative and Today’s Power Inc for the development, construction, and operation of Arkansas’s largest solar power system on municipal land. [KATV]

¶ “Attorneys to Drop Nuclear Lawsuit Against SCE&G if State OKs Latest Dominion Deal” • If state utility regulators approve Dominion Energy’s latest plan to buy South Carolina Electric & Gas, their decision would also wrap up a contentious class-action lawsuit demanding refunds for the power company’s customers, according to attorneys. [Charleston Post Courier]

One More Thing, Keep the VECAN Conferance in Mind:

Georgia Mountain wind farm (georgiamountain.com)

¶ “One Afternoon Workshop at the VECAN Conference, an Afternoon Workshop:” • “Beneficial Electrification: A Key Decarbonization Strategy” Beneficial electrification replacing direct fossil fuel use with clean electricity in a way that reduces overall emissions and energy costs, such as conversion to electric vehicles and heat pumps. [Green Energy Times]

Have a sublimely beautiful day.

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November 24 Energy News

November 24, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Scientists Prescribe a Healthy Dose of Sulphate Particles to Promote Global Cooling on the Cheap” • A report published in Environmental Research Letters claims we could solve global warming easily by geo-engineering. But some scientists and environmental groups consider such an action dangerous and unnecessary. [CleanTechnica]

Is cooling the Earth as volcanoes do a good idea? (USGS photo)

World:

¶ “Neoen Begins Full-Scale Operation of Largest Solar Farm in Australia” • Neoen, the leading French producer of renewable energy, announced that full-scale operation of its Coleambally Solar Farm has begun. The Coleambally facility, which is in New South Wales, is the largest fully operational PV installation in Australia. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Central Philippine Bishops all Fired Up Against Coal” • In the central Philippines,Catholic bishops have attacked proposals to build coal-fired power plants in their areas. Prelates from four dioceses in the island region urged Catholics to “safeguard the gains and successes” achieved so far in improving renewable energy sources. [UCA News]

Climate activists dressed as dinosaurs (Photo: Jimmy Domingo)

¶ “UK Regulator Reveals Power Companies Owe Almost £63 million to Renewable Energy Obligation Pots” • Ofgem named four major electricity suppliers that missed payment deadlines to meet renewable energy buying obligations. The suppliers will face penalties. Some small-scale generators also failed to meet payments. [pv magazine International]

¶ “NWT Hydro Communities to No Longer Receive Funding for Solar Panels” • The government of the Northwest Territories said it is phasing out funding to solar projects in communities that are connected to hydroelectricity. Instead, funding will be diverted solely to communities that rely on diesel generators for their electricity. [CBC.ca]

Solar panels in Canada’s Northwest Territories

¶ “Victoria Votes for Solar Power: Labor’s Election Win Unlocks New Rebates for Solar Panels and Batteries” • Labor’s Victorian State Election win is good news for Victorian citizens looking to install rooftop solar panels and home batteries. The Victorian election result means that the Victorian Solar Homes scheme will expand. [Energy Matters]

¶ “DEEP Begins Drilling at its Geothermal Power Plant in Saskatchewan” • DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp has begun drilling for a geothermal power facility located in southeastern Saskatchewan. This well will be part of a 5-MW power facility that will generate renewable baseload electric power from a hot (120˚C) aquifer. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Drilling in Saskatchewan (DEEP image)

¶ “Germany Greenlights 8 GW of Additional Onshore Wind and Solar Capacity” • Under an agreement reached by Germany’s Cabinet in early November, the federal government will hold auctions to procure 1 GW each for onshore wind and solar in 2019, increasing to 1.4 GW for each in 2020 and 1.6 GW for each in 2021. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Mauritius Opts for Floating PV” • Mauritius is planning to deploy a 2-MW floating solar power plant at its Tamarind Falls reservoir, which is 6.3 km long. A tender was issued by the UN Development Programme to select consultants for a feasibility study for the project. The deadline for submission of proposals is December 6. [pv magazine International]

Indian Ocean from Mauritius (Image: Ludovic Lubeigt | Flickr)

¶ “Poland Plans to Launch First Nuclear Power Plant in 2033 – Energy Ministry” • Poland plans to launch its first nuclear power plant in 2033 as part of the low-carbon energy policy, a white paper published by the Energy Ministry says. The ministry expects to build a new nuclear reactor every two years to reduce dependence on coal. [UrduPoint News]

US:

¶ “Climate Change: Report Warns of Growing Impact on US Life” • The US government’s 4th National Climate Assessment says climate change is “presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.” The warning is at odds with the Trump administration’s fossil fuels agenda. [BBC]

One report warning: more wildfires (EPA photo)

¶ “Salisbury to Roll Out Community Choice Electricity Program” • A new green energy program in Salisbury, Massachusetts, could save residents an average of 19% on their electric bills this winter. The Salisbury Community Choice Power Supply Program will buy the power from renewable sources. [The Daily News of Newburyport]

¶ “California Set to Build the World’s Largest Battery System” • The California Public Utilities Commission has approved a proposal from Pacific Gas & Electric to build a battery system that will be the world’s largest when it is completed. The system’s four separate energy storage projects will replace plants powered by natural gas. [Interesting Engineering]

Wind farm and Tesla batteries

¶ “GE Renewables Boss Calls for Storage Revolution” • GE renewable energy chief executive Jerome Pecresse said systems combining intermittent clean energy generation with storage are critical to future renewables growth. In a piece published on LinkedIn Pulse, he said renewable energy is a smart, profitable, long-term investment. [reNEWS]

¶ “Pilot Program Uses Solar Power to Reduce Energy Costs” • In Tahlequah, Oklahoma, a pilot program is using solar energy panels on several Cherokee Nation citizens’ homes to save on their monthly utility costs. So far, families living in the energy-efficient homes have saved an average of 50% on their monthly electric bills. [Muskogee Daily Phoenix]

One More Thing:

Vermont State House (Wikipedia)

¶ “At the VECAN Conference, a Morning Workshop: The 2019 Legislative Look Forward” • A morning work session on legislative activity will be presented by Senator Becca Balint, Senator Christopher Bray, and Lauren Hierl of the Vermont Conservation Voters. Early registration is still $40. On November 26th, it will increase to $50. [Green Energy Times]

Have an exquisitely comfortable day.

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November 23 Energy News

November 23, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Peak Oil and Drastic Oil Shortages Imminent, Says IEA” • With the current lack of new exploration, peak oil will be hit well before 2020, according to the International Energy Agency. This means that a collapse of oil supply to half of its current size within only six years simply cannot be compensated by new oil discoveries. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it

¶ “Trump Confuses Climate Change with Weather, Prompting Widespread Despair” • Donald Trump again confused weather with climate change, suggesting cold weather means global warming is not real. ‘I have never had a student dumb enough to make the kind of inference Trump is making,’ one professor and former Bush adviser says. [The Independent]
(Thanks to CC Reilly)

¶ “Foratom: ‘Balance of Power in the EU is Shifting Against Nuclear’” • Eastern EU countries have a positive opinion of nuclear energy while others like Belgium and Spain are shifting against, says Yves Desbazeille. The big question for the industry is whether Germany will turn even more anti-nuclear than it already is, he says in an interview. [EURACTIV]

Abandoned Satsop nuclear plant (sharkhats | Flickr)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Are Wind Farms the New Environmental Apex Predators?” • A study found that wind turbines and wind farms have the potential of acting as a new apex predator in a given ecosystem, but its authors are quick to point out that this is not an argument against wind energy, but rather an argument for more informed decision-making. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solid-State Airplane with No Moving Parts Takes Flight” • An airplane with no moving parts flew 60 meters. Is that a big deal? It is if you consider that in 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first airplane changed the world after it flew only 37 meters. What new ideas could an airplane with no jet or internal combustion engine lead to? [CleanTechnica]

Solid state airplane

¶ “Treatment for Climate Change Surprisingly Inexpensive, Study Finds” • A fleet of 100 planes making 4,000 worldwide missions per year, spraying tiny sulphate particulates, could help save the world from climate change. Also, it may be relatively cheap. Those are the conclusions of a peer-reviewed study in Environmental Research Letters. [CBS News]

¶ “Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Hit a New Record in 2017, UN Says” • The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit a new record last year with emissions showing no sign of slowing down, the UN World Meteorological Organization said. The annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin dashed hopes for a slowdown in emissions of CO2. [Reuters UK]

Smog in Beijing (Jason Lee | Reuters)

World:

¶ “Queensland Trial to Power a Remote Farm with Solar and Battery ‘Pod'” • A Belgian-made renewable power “pod” that combines solar, battery storage, and a generator will be installed on a farm in Queensland, as part of a bid backed by the state and local governments to offer cheaper and more reliable electricity for rural properties. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “China-Backed Coal Projects Prompt Climate Change Fears” • Environmental groups say China is not only building more coal-burning power plants but also backing dozens of coal projects far beyond its borders. Chinese-supported coal projects are under way or planned as far afield as South America, Africa, southeast Asia, and the Balkans. [BBC]

China-supported coal plant construction

¶ “Engie Doubles Pp with Latin America PPAs” • Engie signed two power purchase agreements in Mexico and Chile. With a solar farm set to be online at the end of 2019, Engie will exceed 1000 MW of renewable capacity running or under construction in Mexico. Engie also made a deal with the operator of the Santiago de Chile airport. [reNEWS]

¶ “Spanish Government Invests in Re-Skilling Miners for Clean Energy Jobs” • Spain’s future of 100% renewable electricity will end jobs for coal miners, but its government agreed with mining unions to divert €250 million to re-skilling coal workers in clean energy jobs, environmental restoration, and early retirement plans. [Open Access Government]

Solar installer (© Lisa F Young)

¶ “Business Council Excoriates Coalition’s ‘Ad Hoc and Extreme’ Energy Policies” • The renewable energy sector is not alone in opposing the Morrison government’s energy plan. The Business Council of Australia has blasted it, saying it will exacerbate risks, interfere with market outcomes, and discourage investment in critical infrastructure. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “‘Absolute Disgrace:’ When No One Looking, White House Plans to Dump Major Climate Report on Black Friday” • Environmental groups, journalists, and climate scientists are reacting to a White House decision to release a major climate report on Black Friday. Some call the move an effort to bury a science-packed assessment. [Common Dreams]

Camp Fire destruction (Justin Sullivan | Getty Images)

¶ “Colorado Joins California Low Emission Vehicle Program in Rebuke to Trump” • Under the Clean Air Act, only California got a waiver permitting it to impose stricter vehicle emissions rules than the federal standard, though other states are free to adopt the California rules if they wish to. Colorado is the thirteenth state to do so. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maryland Puts Value of Solar at $7 Billion over 10 Years” • As part of a broader investigation begun in 2016, the Public Service Commission of Maryland issued its final report on the benefits and costs of solar resources in Maryland. It found economic returns of over $7 billion over the coming decade, if new solar keeps up its growth drive. [CleanTechnica]

One more thing:

Michael Shank, PhD

¶ “At the VECAN Conference, Michael Shank, the afternoon keynote speaker will present ‘From Apathy to Action: Motivating the Masses on Climate'” • Dr. Michael Shank is Communications Director for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance. You can still register early for $40. On November 26th, registration will increase to $50. [Green Energy Times]

Have a wildly wonderful day.

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November 22 Energy News

November 22, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Great Oil Crash of 2018: What’s Really Happening” • In the span of mere weeks, crude prices went from a four-year high to a full-blown bear market. The oil crash – crude is down almost 30% from its recent peak – was triggered by a series of factors that combined to spook traders who once saw $100 oil on the horizon. [CNN]

Nodding donkey

¶ “Cascading Climate Change Events Could Resemble “A Terror Movie” by 2100” • Warmer global temperatures spawn stronger storms with higher winds and more rain, droughts, wildfires, rising ocean levels, scarcity of clean water, flooding, and heat waves. But we ain’t seen nothin’ yet, warns a study in the journal Nature Climate Change. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Has 20% Battery Cost Advantage on Competition, Says UBS Analyst” • According to a report by the Financial Times, UBS conducted an analysis of battery production costs for various manufacturers and found that Tesla, with batteries costing $111/kWh, has a 20% advantage over its closest competitor, LG Chem, at $148 per kWh. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla battery cell production

¶ “100% Renewables? No Problems” • Some Australian academics criticized studies that claim it will be possible to supply 100% of global power, or even all global energy needs, from renewables. Australian academics Mark Diesendorf and Ben Elliston have challenged their views in turn, presenting a strong case that 100% is possible. [physicsworld.com]

World:

¶ “Electrons on The High Seas – The Zero Emissions Maritime Report” • The zero emissions revolution in transportation is gradually spreading to boats and ships. From personal watercraft to the ferries and cargo ships that ply coastal waters, the change to electric motors instead of diesel engines is happening quite quickly. [CleanTechnica]

The passenger catamaran Legacy of the Fjords

¶ “Labor to Offer $2,000 Battery Rebates for Homes in Energy Plan” • Australia’s Labor opposition promised to help 100,000 householders buy batteries as part of an energy plan in major conflict with the Coalition on climate and energy policy. If elected, it will invest $200 million to subsidise the installation of home batteries on homes with solar panels. [SBS]

¶ “Endesa Aims at 8.4 GW of Renewables in 2021” • Spanish utility Endesa SA expects to add close to 2 GW of renewable energy generating capacity by 2021, bringing it to a total of 8.4 GW, according to a new presentation by the company. Wind and solar power will account for the entire 30%-plus increase in renewables over the period. [Renewables Now]

Spanish wind farm (petter palander, CC-BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

¶ “Bill Shorten Unveils $15 Billion Energy Plan to Help Tackle Climate ‘Disaster'” • Australia’s Labor Party leader Bill Shorten unveiled a $15 billion program to drive transforming Australia’s energy system to low-emissions sources, declaring climate change is no longer an emergency, “it’s a disaster.” He aims for 50% renewable electricity by 2030. [The Guardian]

UK:

¶ “Rugeley Coal Plant to Be Transformed into a Sustainable Village” • An old UK coal power station is set to be transformed into a “sustainable village” of 2,000 homes powered by solar panels. French firm Engie said it had decided against selling off the Rugeley site and would instead build super efficient houses on the 139-hectare site. [The Guardian]

Rugeley power plant (Photo: nagelestock.com | Alamy)

¶ “National Grid to Pull Plug on £2.8 Billion Electricity Connection Project Following Moorside Demise” • Controversial plans for a £2.8 billion electricity connection along Cumbria’s coast,erecting 50-meter pylons through swathes of the Cumbrian countryside, are to be scrapped because of the demise of the Moorside nuclear power station project. [in-cumbria]

¶ “UK “Energy Revolution” Could Result in Two-Tier Economy” • A study by the Imperial College London and E4Tech showed that businesses and families in London and Scotland are better placed to take advantage of the so-called “energy revolution” underway in the UK, but residents of parts of England and the East Midlands lag behind. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in Scotland

US:

¶ “Puerto Rico Pledges to Go All-Renewable by 2050” • Puerto Rico has ambitious plans to transform its hurricane-battered electric grid to rely entirely on renewable energy by 2050. The move is part of a program to reduce the US territory’s carbon footprint and make it more climate resilient, according to Gov Ricardo Rosselló. [Scientific American]

¶ “Video Shows FERC Nominee Bernard McNamee’s Bias Against Renewables” • Bernard McNamee said he would be “fair, objective, and impartial” in written testimony to the Senate, as it considers his nomination to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. But a newly resurfaced video confirms bias for fossil fuels. [pv magazine USA]

Sherco power plant (Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Juhl Energy, GE Build Solar-Wind Hybrid Project in Minnesota” • Juhl Energy, GE Renewable Energy and Bank of America are partnering for what they call the first commercial, integrated solar-wind hybrid power generation project in the US. The project will use one GE 2.0-116 wind turbine supported by 0.5 MW of solar PVs. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Keller: 100% Renewable Energy Goal in Sight” • Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller announced a plan that would move the city toward what he called 100% renewable, clean energy within four years. Part of the plan is to team with Public Service Company of New Mexico for a new solar generating station supporting city-owned facilities. [Albuquerque Journal]

One More Thing:

Bill McKibben

¶ “At the VECAN Conference, Keynote Speaker Bill McKibben Will Present ‘A Global Crisis: A State and Local Fight'” • Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’ He is one of the world’s best known climate activists. [Green Energy Times]

Have an exceptionally fine day, and a happy Thanksgiving.

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November 21 Energy News

November 21, 2018

World:

¶ “Swedish Mining Equipment Manufacturer Will Be 100% Electric in 5 Years” • After its first generation electric mining vehicles logged 60,000 hours, Swedish mining equipment manufacturer Epiroc launched its second generation. It said it will electrify its entire lineup in the next 5 years, including some of the planet’s largest EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Epiroc mining equipment

¶ “Google Invests $700 Million in Danish Data Center, Secures Green Energy” • Google will invest almost $700 million in a Danish data center powered by the abundant green energy of the Nordic region. Google said it would sign a power purchase agreement for the new Danish data center to ensure it is powered by renewable energy. [Reuters]

¶ “E.ON To Build One of Europe’s Biggest Onshore Wind Farms in Sweden” • German energy company E.ON announced that it is set to build one of the largest onshore wind farms in Europe, the 475-MW Nysäter project in Sweden. German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex will supply 114 wind turbines, each of 3.9 MW to 4.4 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Swedish wind farm

¶ “Blue Shark Takes to African Tide” • French outfit Blue Shark Power System sealed a deal to provide 495 240-kW tidal turbines with a total capacity of 120 MW for projects in Djibouti. The company is carrying out preliminary studies and will test a turbine in a river in Djibouti next year. The first delivery of 80 turbines is planned for 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Clean Power ‘Engine’ Driving Enel Growth” • Enel is planning to add 11.6 GW of new renewables capacity between 2019 and 2021, as clean power becomes the Italian company’s “engine for industrial growth.” Enel plans to invest about €10.6 billion, to see renewables account for 62% of the its output by 2021, up from 48% in 2018. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in France (Enel image)

¶ “Renewables Made Up 48% of Welsh energy Use in 2017” • Almost half of Wales’ electricity last year came from renewable sources, a report said. The equivalent of 48% of the electricity used in 2017 came from renewable sources, up 5% from 2016. The Welsh Government has a goal to get 70% of its electricity from renewables by 2030. [BBC News]

¶ “Islands Ditching Diesel in Favor of Renewables” • Residents on two of Scotland’s remotest islands are celebrating securing a sustainable, 24-hour electricity supply, after years of living with diesel generators that shut down every night. The 55 inhabitants of Fair Isle and 15 on Canna are running on wind, solar, and energy storage. [pv magazine International]

PV system on the Scottish isle of Canna (Image: Wind & Sun)

¶ “EU Parliament Approves New Rules to Meet 2030 Renewable Energy Target” • The European Parliament signed off on new renewables and energy efficiency regulations, including the approval of a renewable energy target of at least 32% for 2030. The renewables target would be binding throughout the European Union. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ “Closure Urged After 350 cracks Found in Nuclear Reactor” • More than 350 cracks have been discovered in an ageing nuclear power reactor at Hunterston in North Ayrshire, breaching an agreed safety limit and prompting calls for a permanent shutdown. Experts have warned that the cracks could lead to a “catastrophic accident.” [The Ferret]

Hunterston (Photo: Thomas Nugent)

US:

¶ “New Governors May Bring Gigawatts of Renewable Additions Across America” • Democrats took seven governorships from Republicans. The results of those elections may open a path for higher renewable portfolio standards and gigawatts of solar and wind deployments, analysis from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables says. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Zinke Rips ‘Radical Environmental Groups’ over California Fires” • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke put blame on “radical environmental groups” for the spreading California wildfires. He criticized “lawsuit after lawsuit by, yes, the radical environmental groups that would rather burn down the entire forest than cut a single tree or thin the forest.” [CNN]

California wildfire destruction

¶ “Boring Company Has a Breakthrough – Literally!” • On November 16, Elon Musk tweeted a video of the boring machine breaking through to the first station in a planned network of tunnels under Los Angeles. It is in a residential parking garage. The Boring Company plans to build a series of tunnels under Los Angeles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Goldman Shines for Engie in the US” • An investment by the Goldman Sachs’ Alternative Energy Investing Group will enable deployment of up to 75 MW of distributed solar-plus-battery systems across multiple US states. The deal also gives Engie a simplified way to raise long-term capital for future development of its US portfolio. [reNEWS]

Solar farm

¶ “Environmental Group Sues NorthWestern Energy, Regulators over Renewables” • A Montana environmental group is suing the state’s Public Service Commission and its largest utility company, claiming the PSC illegally gave NorthWestern Energy a pass on buying enough energy from Community Renewable Energy Projects. [MTPR]

¶ “Nuclear Subsidy Program Given Green Light by BPU” • The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved a Zero Emission Credit program for nuclear power plants that will close within three years without financial help. It also approved an application process for nuclear plant owners and immediately opened the application window. [Press of Atlantic City]

Have a mind-bogglingly delightful day.

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November 20 Energy News

November 20, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe.” • The tropical rain forests of Indonesia have large amounts of carbon trapped within their trees and soil. However, slashing and burning the existing forests to make way for oil-palm cultivation had a perverse effect: It released more carbon. [New York Times]

Remains of an Indonesian rain forest cleared for palm oil
(Photo: Ashley Gilbertson for The New York Times)

¶ “Penn State Research Could Double The Life of Lithium-Ion Batteries” • One of the persistent issues that bedevils lithium-ion battery cells is growth of dendrites, unwanted hairlike formations within the cells. Researchers at Penn State University say they may have found a solution, and it could double the lives of the batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Landscape of the US Could Be Part of Its Climate Solution” • This year, as storms battered the East and fires engulfed the West, the specter of climate change has grown impossible to ignore. Keeping it at bay will require a swift transition away from fossil fuels. But part of the solution also lies in the ground beneath our feet. [Los Angeles Times]

US farm land (Brian Maffly | Salt Lake Tribune)

World:

¶ “Wind, Solar Are Now the Cheapest Sources of Power Generation” • Thanks to falling costs, unsubsidized onshore wind and solar have become the cheapest sources of electricity generation in nearly all major economies in the world, including India and China, according to a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Importing Gas to Replace Domestic Supply Could Push Emissions Up 20%, AGL says” • Controversial plans would import liquefied natural gas into Australia to fill a shortfall as domestic gas is exported to Asia. AGL, which is proposing building import terminals, conceded that the plan would significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions. [The Guardian]

LNG tanker (Photo: Bloomberg | Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “Solar Triumphs in Berlin Clean Power Sale” • Solar energy projects have secured all the 201 MW of capacity on offer in Germany’s second combined onshore wind and PV tender. Winners were 36 solar projects with an average support price of €0.0527/kWh (6.02¢/kWh). Successful prices ranged upward from a low of €0.0465/kWh. [reNEWS]

¶ “Australia Accredits 3 GW Under Renewables Target in 10 Months” • Large-scale capacity accreditations under Australia’s Renewable Energy Target topped 3 GW in the first 10 months of 2018, the Clean Energy Regulator said. Australia is well on the way to treble RET capacity accreditations this year from the 2017 record of 1.09 GW. [Renewables Now]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Corporates Make EU PPA Plea” • Microsoft, Google, and other major corporations are calling on European governments to remove barriers for them to invest in renewable energy. Around 100 organisations called for improving investment conditions by removing regulatory and administrative restrictions on corporate clean power sourcing. [reNEWS]

¶ “France to Cut Nuclear Energy Reliance by 2035 – Minister” • France aims to reduce the share of electricity produced by nuclear reactors to 50% from 75% now by 2035, its Environment Minister said. The French government has long outlined plans to shrink the country’s reliance on nuclear energy to 50%, but had not set a date. [maltawinds.com]

Fessenheim nuclear plant ( Florival fr, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Exelon Opposes Trump Mercury Rule Rollback” • After the Trump administration proposed a plan to roll back a rule limiting the amount of mercury coal generating stations can release into the environment, Exelon, one of the country’s largest electricity generators, sent representatives to meet with EPA officials in opposition of the plan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “StorEn’s Vanadium Flow Battery Has Arrived at Stony Brook University” • A prototype StorEn Technologies vanadium flow battery will undergo extensive independent validation at the Advanced Energy Research & Technology Center at Stony Brook University in New York. StorEn raised funds through equity crowdfunding. [CleanTechnica]

StorEn’s vanadium flow battery

¶ “California Utility Proposes Subscription Model for Commercial EV Charging” • PG&E proposed a new set of rate plans to the California Public Utilities Commission that would offer a new subscription model for commercial electric vehicle charging. The new plans would offer tiered subscription pricing for charging for commercial EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Minnesota is on Track to Meet its Renewable Energy Goals” • Minnesota is on its way to hitting its renewable energy goals, at no extra cost to taxpayers. A study by MN Solar Pathways predicts that Minnesota will be able to produce 70% of its power from solar and wind by 2050 at costs comparable to natural gas generation. [Scientific American]

Minneapolis

¶ “Eleven Renewable Energy Suitors for Rhode Island” • Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s goal of 1 GW of renewables by the end of 2020 has taken a 400 MW step. The state’s 400 MW Request for Proposals received a total of 41 project bids from eleven developers. The projects were cumulatively 2.5 GW of capacity. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Report: Outdated Electricity Market Rules Prevent Full Renewable Energy Participation” • Record low costs and consumer demand are driving growth in American wind and solar energy, but outdated wholesale market rules are preventing the two technologies from further reducing prices for consumers, a report says. [AltEnergyMag]

Have an enchantingly lovely day.

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November 19 Energy News

November 19, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Doom of Fossil Fuel Investments” • There is very little time to get out of pure-play oil and gas company investments without substantial losses. It is already too late to get out of pure-play coal company investments without substantial losses. Utility companies with heavy reliance on fossil fuels are also in trouble. Here is why. [CleanTechnica]

Oil rig

¶ “More Nuclear Energy is Not the Solution to Our Climate Crisis” • With the threat of climate change, there are increasing calls to keep many nuclear plants going. Bailing out financially shaky old nuclear plants is a short-sighted response to a huge challenge that requires much bigger, much more transformative thinking. [WBUR]

¶ “Hope Is Rational – Germany’s Radical Shift to Renewables and Efficiency” • Fossil fuels lobbyists might deny it, but the world is now heading towards a complete decarbonization of the energy system. It might seem daunting or even impossible, but recent innovations and megatrends may make it possible to keep global warming below 2°C. [RenewEconomy]

Solar and wind energy

Science and Technology:

¶ “Carbon-Removal Projects Could Turn Back the Clock on Climate Change” • Even if we can reduce its carbon emissions significantly, future prospects for the planet’s health look bleak. Preventing climate change may now rely on the economic viability of carbon-removal projects. The good news is that they are becoming more affordable. [The New Economy]

World:

¶ “20,000 BAIC EC-Series Sold in Another Record China Electric Car Sales Month” • Last September set a record in China, with 104,900 plug-in EV sales. And the month of October has seen that record also broken, with close to 120,000 registrations, a 14% increase. Overall, October 2018 electric vehicle sales were up 85% year over year. [CleanTechnica]

BAIC EC180

¶ “Maharashtra to Give Solar Agri Pumps at Subsidised Rates: Bawankule” • The Maharashtra government plans to give 5 horsepower solar agricultural pumps worth ₹3.5 lakh ($400,000) at a subsidised rate of ₹20,000 ($280) and 3-HP pumps costing ₹1.5 lakh at ₹15,000 to farmers, according to Energy Minister Bawankule. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Loch Ness Hydro Plant Plans May Bring Hundreds of Jobs and Power Hundreds of Thousands of Homes” • Ambitious plans for an underground hydro plant at Loch Ness, opposite the iconic Urquhart Castle, are going to the Highland Council. The Red John Pumped Storage Hydro Project would have a generating capacity of 400 MW. [Press and Journal]

Urquhart Castle (Photo: Sandy McCook)

¶ “Labor Says It Can Lower Power Prices and Emissions” • Labor says with energy policy and falling costs of renewables, emissions can be cut and prices lowered at the same time. Australia’s shadow climate change and energy minster said asking people to choose between price and emissions reduction was an “utterly false choice”. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ “Netherlands: PV Projects Totaling 3.7 GW Submitted for Autumn Round of 2018 SDE+ Program” • The Dutch Ministry of Economy announced that PV projects with a combined capacity of 3,708 MW have been submitted for the autumn round of the 2018 SDE+ program for large-scale solar and renewable energy power projects. [pv magazine International]

Another Dutch wind turbine (Image: Flickr | Elvin)

¶ “Mitsubishi Backs Japanese Mega-Battery” • Mitsubishi Electric Corp is to provide an energy management system for a 240-MW energy storage project connected to over 500 MW of wind power in Japan. Mitsubishi’s Blender Re system will monitor and control the battery and power conditions at the Kita-Toyotomi substation. [reNEWS]

¶ “Fukushima Daiichi Control Room Opened, Untouched, to Journalists After Seven Years” • In the main control room for the crippled Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, time seems to have stood still. The control room’s interior is reported to have been left almost untouched since the disaster. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima control room (Kyodo image)

US:

¶ “States Lead the Way on Pivotal Shift Toward Renewable Energy After Midterms” • The shift in the political balance at the state level from the midterm elections will produce far more benefits for the renewable energy industry than the Democratic takeover of the US House of Representatives, according to clean energy experts. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “If You Live in Aurora, Colorado, You Can Buy a New Nissan LEAF This Month for $16,360” • Xcel Energy and Tynan’s Nissan in Aurora, Colorado, are partners in a campaign to encourage people to buy an electric car. Through the end of this month, residents can purchase a new Nissan LEAF SV and get more than 50% off the sticker price. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan LEAF lineup

¶ “BHP Introduces Mine Rehabilitation, Safety Efforts to Local Regions” • BHP, in making health and safety a priority, has joined forces with Rocky Mountain Institute and Pattern Development to repurpose closed mine sites for renewable energy production in New Mexico and Arizona. The sites are to be developed for PVs and energy storage. [SafeToWork]

¶ “How Ohio can Capture $25 Billion Worth of Clean Energy Growth” • Ohio risks missing out on roughly $25 billion in investments and 20,000 new jobs over the next two decades if state officials don’t take steps soon to expand clean energy, new analysis by Synapse Energy Economics of Cambridge, Massachusetts shows. [Energy News Network]

Have a fabulously fulfulling day.

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November 18 Energy News

November 18, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change and Wildfires – How Do We Know if There Is a Link?” • Global warming does not start wildfires. The proximate cause of wildfires may be human carelessness, or it may be a natural event, such as “dry lightning” from a storm that produces little rain. But global warming does increase the risk of wildfires and makes them worse. [WFAE]

The Camp fire in Northern California (Cal Fire)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Habitat Loss Threatens All Our Futures, World Leaders Warned” • Since 1970 humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles, according to the latest Living Planet Report by WWF, which has warned that the loss of wildlife was now an emergency that is threatening our civilisation. The decline in all life is calamitous. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “The Remote Arctic Town That Is Melting Away” • As the Arctic loses ice at dramatic rates, people in Qaanaaq, the northernmost town in Greenland, are finding their homes, livelihoods, customs and very survival at risk. The town is built on permafrost, which was stable in the past, but now the permafrost is melting. (Photo gallery) [BBC]

Qaanaaq, Greenland (© Anna Filipova, all rights reserved)

¶ “Queensland Battery Grants and Loans Scheme to Push Use of Renewable Energy” • Queenslanders are being urged to switch to renewable energy options, following the introduction of a grants and loans scheme for 1,500 people to apply for them to install batteries to store solar power. Interest-free loans are available for up to A$10,000. [Brisbane Times]

¶ “France Fuel Protest: One Dead in ‘Yellow Vest’ Blockades” • One protester has died and more than 200 were injured as more than a quarter of a million people took to the streets of France, angry at rising fuel prices. The price of diesel oil, the most commonly used fuel in French cars, has risen by around 23% over the past year. [BBC]

Driver getting past protesters in France (Reuters)

¶ “Malta Taking Concrete Steps to Achieve 2020 Renewable Power Targets: Official” • Malta will reach its pledged EU2020 renewable energy targets, its Energy Minister told the Maltese Parliament. He said that Malta will source its energy through solar, biomass, biofuel, and energy generated through waste, among others. [Infosurhoy]

¶ “Canna Harnesses Atlantic Gales to Generate Power” • One thing residents on one of the UK’s remotest islands are not short of is wind. In fact, the gales where they live, 23 miles out into the Atlantic, often cancel their ferry for days on end or even keep them housebound. But now, Canna’s 18 residents are getting electricity from those winds. [Press and Journal]

Canna’s wind turbines

¶ “Developer Pushes for Geothermal Development in Northwestern Argentina” • Geothermal development company Geotermia Andina is proposing a plant at Los Despoblados in the Province of San Juan near the Chilean border. They are planning to sell electric power to local mining companies and possibly to export it to Chile. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

US:

¶ “California Wildfires: Trump Visits State’s Deadliest Blaze” • President Donald Trump went to California to survey the most destructive and deadliest wildfire in the its history. He said it had not changed his point of view on climate change, adding, “I want great climate and we’re going to have that and we’re going to have forests that are very safe.” [BBC]

Donald Trump visits Paradise, California (AFP)

¶ “Blockchain’s Power Ledger Deploys Trading Platform In Pennsylvania” • Power Ledger, a decentralized energy trading platform and winner of Richard Branson’s 2018 Extreme Tech Challenge, deployed its peer-to-peer renewable energy trading platform at the headquarters of retail electric provider American PowerNet in Pennsylvania. [BlockTribune]

¶ “Going Green: Rock County Farmland May Soon Harvest Energy Instead of Crops” • A Minneapolis-based renewable energy development company is working with landowners in Rock County, Minnesota, on what could be the state’s largest solar farm. Geronimo Energy is proposing a solar system of 150 to 200 MW. [Daily Globe]

Geronimo Energy’s Pegasus Solar Project (Submitted photo)

¶ “Solar’s Future Brightens in Southern Ohio” • A number of solar farms are being developed in southern Ohio as a result of a settlement between AEP and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, through which AEP agreed to meet the need for at least 900 MW of renewable energy. Of that, 500 MW is windpower and 400 MW is solar. [Chillicothe Gazette]

¶ “US Announces Roadmap to Accelerate Offshore Wind” • The first federally funded public-private partnership focused on advancing offshore windpower in the US, the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, released its first Research and Development Roadmap. The state of New York also provided funding. [The Maritime Executive]

Offshore wind farm

¶ “Offshore Wind Energy Cable Base Planned for New England” • Subsea power provider JDR Cable Systems and McAllister Towing and Transportation Co, Inc are planning to develop a cable service base in the northeast US to serve the emerging offshore wind energy industry. The facility would include an integrated cable training center. [WorkBoat]

¶ “TVA Writes Off $750 Million Debt on Failed Nuclear Project” • Nearly a half century after starting to build a pair of nuclear reactors in Hollywood, Alabama, the Tennessee Valley Authority is moving to close the book at its costly, unfinished venture. A former Chattanooga developer is still trying to put the project together. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Have an excitingly nifty day.

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November 17 Energy News

November 17, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Oil Demand for Cars Is Already Falling” • The International Energy Agency published its World Energy Outlook this week. It is the IEA’s annual effort at revising assessments of future demand for and supply of fuels and electricity. It says oil use for cars will start to fall in the 2020s. But the fall has already begun in some world markets. [Bloomberg]

Chevy Bolt EV concept, 2015 (GabboT, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “China’s ‘Artificial Sun’ Galaxies Away from Solving Earth’s Energy Needs, Scientist Says” • Despite the achievements at the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak reactor in China, scientist Zhang Tiankan said it might still be some time before the country is able to tap the energy produced by the nuclear fusion process. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Orbital Marine Power Unveils Design for World’s Most Powerful Tidal Turbine” • Marine energy company Orbital Marine Power revealed the design of its commercial production tidal turbine, the Orbital O2 2-MW. Orbital Marine Power is to deploy the turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney in 2020. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Tidal turbine (Orbital Marine Power image)

¶ “Renewable Energy to Enhance Food Security Across World” • Adoption of renewable energy will help ensure food security across the globe, a top official of the International Renewable Energy Agency said. Many developing countries lose 30% to 40% of agricultural harvests due to lack of storage and processing facilities in rural areas. [gulfnews.com]

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Converting Zwickau Automotive Plant to Produce Electric Vehicles” • In a move that it believes is the first of its kind in the world for a major car factory, VW is converting its auto factory in Zwickau, Germany from internal combustion vehicle production to manufacture of electric vehicles. The plant makes 330,000 cars per year. [CleanTechnica]

Inside the VW Zwickau plant

¶ “82% of G20’s Energy Supply Still Comes from Fossil Fuels” • A report published in Climate Transparency showed that 82% of the G20’s energy supply is still sourced from fossil fuels and not one of the countries’ climate pledges is sufficient to keep global warming to as low as 1.5˚C. The current trend will see global warming of 3.2˚C. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canada Among Worst Offenders as World Falls Short of Climate-Change Targets” • A study published in the journal Nature Communications finds that if all other nations set similar to current emission reduction efforts in Canada, Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia, it would result in a 5.1°C warming of the planet by the end of this century. [CBC.ca]

Toronto skyline (Frank Gunn | Canadian Press)

US:

¶ “Due to Wildfires, California Now Has the Most Polluted Cities in the World” • With wildfires raging in Northern California, San Francisco, Stockton and Sacramento were the world’s three “most polluted cities” on Friday morning, according to Berkeley Earth, a nonprofit that aggregates data from air-quality monitoring sites. [CNN]

¶ “US Military Bases Using Solar, Wind, and Battery Storage for Energy Security” • Trump says America needs coal for grid security. The military proves otherwise. Military bases are using wind, solar, and battery storage to stay resilient in the face of extreme weather or attack. They are using renewables for the sake of security. [CleanTechnica]

Assembling a solar shade canopy (US Army photo)

¶ “Solar Energy Beats Coal on Critical Infrastructure Resilience, Says DOE” • The DOE is putting $46 million into solar energy to address the problem of supplying emergency power for key community facilities. Its perspective is that on-site energy generation is the most efficient way to ensure that the lights stay on at critical facilities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vail Resorts Will Be Net Zero by 2020, Thanks to VPPA” • In July, 2017, Vail Resorts announced its Epic Promise For A Zero Footprint campaign: net zero emissions, zero waste to landfills, and zero corporate impact on the forests and habitats, all by 2030. Its power purchase agreement with Ørsted will cut the emissions by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbine (Photo: Schneider Electric)

¶ “As Trump’s Tariffs Raise the Cost of Solar Installations, Elon Musk and Tesla Cut Their Prices” • Tesla, unmoved by tariffs, is reducing prices on its solar systems 10–20% in recognition of the progress it has made streamlining its solar sales process by integrating Tesla Energy products into its existing high-traffic storefronts. [Red, Green, and Blue]

¶ “Maryland Clean Energy Bill Could Triple Offshore Wind Investment” • The future of Maryland’s energy use looks a bit greener after the midterm election. With a roster of newly elected officials in the House of Delegates and Senate, legislation promising a larger commitment to renewable energy is likely to pass in the next session. [Delmarva Daily Times]

Wind farm (Tomasz Wyszoamirski | Getty Images | iStockphoto)

¶ “Trump Says He’ll Nominate Andrew Wheeler to Head the EPA” • President Trump said he intends to nominate Andrew R Wheeler to be EPA administrator. A former coal lobbyist, Wheeler has already been instrumental in major environmental policy rollbacks, including former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. [New York Times]

¶ “Entergy Arkansas Inks Deal with Sierra Club, Others to Shutter Aging Coal, Natural Gas Plants” • Entergy Arkansas signed a historic agreement with the Sierra Club and other environmental groups to shutter the utility’s old coal-fired plants and an aging natural gas facility, and replace them with cleaner power options. [talkbusiness.net]

Have a fascinatingly pleasing day.

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November 16 Energy News

November 16, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Warmer Planet Means Hurricanes Will Drop More Rain and Have Higher Winds” • A report published in the journal Nature, suggests that future hurricanes could drop up to 30% more rain and have winds as much as 33 miles per hour stronger than current storms if global warming reaches 2°C to 3°C, the rise that is currently expected. [CleanTechnica]

Hurricane Harvey from space

World:

¶ “Victorian Coalition Energy Policies to Drive Highest Power Prices and Pollution Levels of Major Parties: RepuTex Analysis” • A report by energy market analyst RepuTex modelled the impact of the energy policies of political parties. It was called a “confirmation that an electricity system driven by coal is the worst of all worlds.” [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “IHS Increases Its 2018 China Solar PV Outlook to 40 GW” • IHS Markit has revised its 2018 China solar PV forecast upwards to 40 GW in the wake of news that the country’s National Energy Administration is considering increasing its 2020 PV target to as much as 270 gigawatts GW. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar systems in China

¶ “Nine of 17 CPEC Power Plants to Be Run on Coal” • A deposit in Pakistan’s Thar Desert is believed to have 175 billion tonnes of coal. While coal is going out of vogue in most other parts of the world because of its environmental impact, it is expected to fuel nine of the 17 proposed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor power plants. [The Express Tribune]

¶ “Major Businesses Across 140 nations Shift to Renewables” • According to a report from RE100, a dramatic upsurge in demand for renewables is seeing multinational businesses moving away from fossil fuels in more than 140 markets around the world. Japan, Australia, Mexico, Turkey, and Taiwan are growth hotspots. [Energy Live News]

Wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Spain to Nix Nuclear and Coal Power by 2030” • Spain will close the last of its nuclear reactors and coal power plants before 2030, according to State Secretary for Energy José Dominguez. He made the announcement shortly after the government of Spain pledged to work towards a 100% renewably powered electricity system. [EURACTIV]

¶ “Innovator Tempus Energy Successfully Challenges Fossil Fuel Bias in UK Power Market” • A ruling by the European Court has decided that £5.6 billion in subsidies for fossil fuels, paid for by British taxpayers, is unlawful, in a case brought by cleantech innovation company Tempus Energy against the government of the UK. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Coal-burning power plant

US:

¶ “America’s Wind Farms Are Ready to Go It Alone” • For a quarter-century, the wind industry has been supported by federal tax credits that helped it attract investments of $250 billion. That support ends next year, but analysts and executives say the credits have done what they were supposed to do: make the industry competitive. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “SRP Plans 1,000 MW of New Solar Energy by 2025” • Salt River Project, an Arizona utility, announced plans to add 1,000 MW of solar energy to its system by the end of fiscal year 2025. The plan will increase both the pace and the total capacity of SRP’s solar energy resource goals by 700 MW, compared to the current resource plan. [Payson Roundup]

PV installation (Jeff Scheid, Las Vegas Review-Journal)

¶ “At UN Climate Talks, Trump Team Plans Sideshow on Coal” • The Trump administration is planning to set up a side-event promoting fossil fuels at the annual UN climate talks next month, repeating a strategy that infuriated global-warming activists during last year’s talks, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. [CNBC]

¶ “Shell Soaks in EDF California Sun” • EDF Renewables is to sell Shell Energy North America electricity from the Maverick 4 solar farm under a 15-year power purchase agreement. The 132-MW solar farm covers 1271 hectares (3,141 acres) of federal land and is part of the 500-MW Palen PV complex in California’s Mojave desert. [reNEWS]

EDF solar plant

¶ “US Energy Firm AES Commits to 70% Carbon Reduction in Climate Scenario Report” • AES, one of the world’s largest power companies, has released a report detailing the company’s moves to reduce carbon emissions 70% by 2030. The report also makes projections on the environmental and energy transition impacts of the move. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Developers Propose Adding Additional 350 MW of Offshore Wind Power” • Rhode Island has tripled the state’s supply of renewable energy in the last two years on the way to a 1,000-MW goal, according to Gov Gina Raimondo. Now, developers answering a call for proposals on offshore windpower have entered bids for as much as 350 MW. [newportri.com]

Block Island wind farm (Associated Press file photo)

¶ “Appalachian Power Seeks up to 200 MW of Solar” • American Electric Power subsidiary Appalachian Power issued a request for proposals for up to 200 MW of PV projects in Virginia. The company says it is looking to reduce customer costs and further diversify generating mix, which currently produces about 1,900 GWh/year of renewable energy. [Solar Industry]

¶ “DOE Considers Subsidies Modeled on Renewables for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors” • Incentives such as those used to spur widespread adoption of renewables technologies offer a promising model to address challenges to commercialize small modular reactors, says a report by the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy. [POWER magazine]

Have a prodigiously charming day.

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November 15 Energy News

November 15, 2018

World:

¶ “One Ecuadorian City Is Converting Its Entire Bus Fleet to Electric by March 2019” • The transit operator in the Ecuadorian port city of Guayaquil, long known as the ‘Gateway to the Galapagos,’ has decided to convert its entire fleet of transit buses over to electric with the purchase of 20 of BYD’s 12-meter, 80 passenger buses. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric bus

¶ “Renewable Energy Market to Garner $2,152 Billion by 2025, Reveals Report” • According to a report published by Allied Market Research, renewables industries will very likely result in an impressive growth for the entire market. It projects the global renewable energy market is to reach in excess of $2,152 billion by 2025. [Interesting Engineering]

¶ “As Electricity Demand Increases, Iceland Gets More Serious about Wind Power” • Wind power in Iceland has been in the trial stages for the past few years. Now, with a growing population and increasing demand for electricity beginning to exceed supply, a report from the Ministry of Industry recommends raising more wind turbines to help. [Reykjavík Grapevine]

Wind turbines (Tom Corser | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “UK Told to Scrutinize Biomass Use by Power Industry” • The UK government should increase its scrutiny of where biomass is coming from and ensure it is not used where low-carbon energy alternatives are available, according to the influential Committee on Climate Change, a parliamentary panel advising on energy and environment policies. [Bloomberg]

¶ “India Aiming at 100% Renewable Energy in Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep: RK Singh” • India’s power and renewable energy minister R K Singh said that the government is aiming at meeting the complete power demand of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands through renewable energy sources. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable Energy

¶ “Remote Scottish Island Uses Ultracaps, Flywheels in Hybrid Microgrid to Go (Almost) 100% Renewable” • The remote Isle of Eigg, one of the Scottish Inner Hebrides, is now host to a hybrid microgrid which incorporates flywheels and ultracapacitors for high power functions as well as solar, batteries, wind, and diesel backup. [Energy Storage News]

¶ “Vestas Confirms Dundonnell Wind Order in Victoria” • Vestas Wind Systems, confirmed that it has received an order to build the 336-MW Dundonnell wind farm in Australia and said that the project should be completed in the third quarter of 2020. Vestas will supply, install, and commission the wind farm with 80 units of its largest turbines. [Renewables Now]

Vestas turbine (Vestas Wind Systems image)

¶ “NSW in Line for 4-GW Solar, Wind and Battery Hybrid Project” • Australian developers Energy Estate and MirusWind have proposed a massive renewable energy hub in New South Wales. It will combine wind and solar energy generation with pumped hydro and other storage options to provide up to 4 GW of power. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “All Turbines Firing at Riffgrund 2” • Ørsted has delivered power from all the turbines at its 450-MW Borkum Riffgrund 2 wind farm in the German North Sea. The project features 56 MHI Vestas V164-8.0 MW machines supported by 20 suction bucket jacket and 36 monopile foundations. Turbine installation was started in May. [reNEWS]

Installing Riffgrund 2’s last turbine (Fred Olsen Windcarrier)

US:

¶ “UCS Slams Auto Manufacturers’ Response to Fuel Economy Rollback Scheme” • The time for public comment on the roll-back of fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks has ended, and the auto industry has made its recommendations. Manufacturers, with one exception, seem to want to be allowed to make things worse. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BNEF Confirms US Coal on Track for Record Capacity Decline” • Energy research giant Bloomberg New Energy Finance confirmed that US coal plant retirements are nearing an all-time high, with at least 16 GW of coal-fired plants already retired in 2018, and a further 37 GW is expected to be retired in the US market by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “California Invests in ‘By Location’ Distributed Energy Resources” • California leads the US with several pilot projects to reward rooftop solar energy generators and other distributed energy resources in specific locations as an alternative to having utilities meet needs by investing in upgrading their electricity generation networks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Indiana Gets Approval for $150 Million, 130 MW Wind Farm” • Scout Clean Energy, a Colorado-based portfolio company of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners that develops renewable energy, announced successful completion of all local permitting approvals for the 130-MW Bitter Ridge Wind Farm in Jay County, Indiana. [Energy Manager Today]

Wind farm

¶ “CPUC Report Shows Utilities Are Ahead of Renewable Energy Goals” • The California Public Utilities Commission said that its Renewables Portfolio Standard program, one of the country’s most ambitious, is ahead of target and helping to drive down renewable contract prices. California’s target is 100% renewable power by 2045. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Southern California Wildfire Roars to Life in Wilderness” • There has been progress against the wildfire in Southern California. And state regulators said that initial testing found no elevated levels of radiation or hazardous compounds after the fire burned near the site of a 1959 partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor. [Santa Monica Daily Press]

Have an entirely enjoyable day.

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November 14 Energy News

November 14, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Gloomy Prospects in IEA’s Latest World Energy Outlook” • None of the scenarios in the latest International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook show renewables growing fast enough to meet global climate goals. Under current policies, said the IEA, the world would see major increases in energy-related carbon emissions. [Greentech Media]

Coal-burning power plant in China

¶ “Fossil Fuel Companies Spend Next to Nothing on Renewable Energy” • ExxonMobil ads tout their research in clean fuels. But like other fossil fuel companies, ExxonMobil wraps itself in a cloak of environmental activism while continuing to poison every man, woman, and child with the pollution created by its business activities. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Scottish Wind Delivers Equivalent of 98% of Country’s October Electricity Demand” • New figures publicized by WWF Scotland on Monday revealed that wind energy generated the equivalent of 98% of the country’s electricity demand in October, or enough electricity to power nearly 5 million homes across the country. [CleanTechnica]

Scottish wind turbines (Ruhrfisch, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Energy Storage Is a $1.2 Trillion Investment Opportunity Globally and Is Soaring in the UK” • Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that the world energy storage market will attract $1.2 trillion in investment and grow to 942 GW by 2040, while in the UK the current pipeline already sits at an impressive 6,874 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Claims It Will Build 50 Million Electric Cars Using Its MEB Chassis” • Volkswagen head Herbert Diess boasts that his company will build 50 million EVs in coming years and that some of them will cost half as much as Tesla’s. There is talk of VW planning to introduce a sub-compact SUV-style EV retailing for $21,000. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID Crozz

¶ “Commonwealth Bank Signs up to Be 100% Renewable by 2030” • Commonwealth Bank of Australia will get the majority of its power from renewables by next year and has pledged to go completely green by 2030, as part of a push towards embracing a low-carbon future. It will buy power from the Sapphire wind farm. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ “Big Oil Spent Only 1.3% of Capital Expenditure on Green Energy in 2018” • The world’s largest oil companies spent just 1.3% of their annual budgets on climate change initiatives, a report found. Environmental research charity CDP studied the top 24 publicly listed firms, including oil giants Royal Dutch Shell, Total and BP. [The New Economy]

Oil rig

¶ “EU Parliament Approves Energy Efficiency, Renewable Targets” • The European Parliament has approved new targets to increase the use of renewables and improve energy efficiency. At least 32% of the EU’s energy use must come from renewable sources by 2030, and energy efficiency must be increased by 32.5%. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Spain Targets 100% Renewable Power by 2050” • Spain’s government has published a new draft climate plan that targets a 100% renewable energy electricity system by 2050. Its goals outstrip those adopted by the EU. The plan includes a ban on new gas and oil exploration. An intermediate goal for 2030 is to have 70% renewable sources. [EURACTIV]

Spanish wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “IAEA Urges Rapid Decision on Treated Water at Fukushima” • A team of nuclear experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency urged Japan on Tuesday to make a rapid decision on what to do with treated water containing low toxicity radioactive tritium that is accumulating at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “Sunnova Launches Solar-Plus-Battery Storage Service in Texas” • One of the leading residential solar-plus-storage services in the US, Sunnova, announced that it was expanding its offerings in the Lone Star State, as it makes its SunSafe solar-plus-batter storage offering available to homeowners in its home state of Texas. [CleanTechnica]

Solar installation (Sunnova image)

¶ “Rising Seas Threaten Hundreds of Thousands of Homes as Building Continues in At-Risk Areas” • Some 386,000 US homes are likely to be at risk of regular flooding by 2050 because of sea-level rise from climate change, under a scenario of unchecked greenhouse gas emissions, according to analysis by Zillow and Climate Central. [MarketWatch]

¶ “Vail Resorts Taps Ørsted Onshore” • Ørsted subsidiary Lincoln Clean Energy is to supply leisure and hospitality company Vail Resorts with electricity from the 230-MW Plum Creek wind farm in Nebraska under a virtual power purchase agreement covering 12 years. The deal is for delivery of 310,000 MWh per year of electricity. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Lincoln Clean Energy image)

¶ “Solar Advocates Target Nevada Mines” • A trifecta of solar advocates, the Nature Conservancy, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and the Nevada Mining Association, is targeting Nevada’s closed mines for new solar projects or other renewables to help the state meet its new 50% renewable energy portfolio standard by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “MidAmerican Energy to Launch Energy Storage Pilot Project” • MidAmerican Energy Company announced plans to install a battery energy storage system in Knoxville, enabling a utility to store electricity for later use. It will have 4 MWh of storage capacity, enough to power about 900 average Iowa homes for four hours. [Windpower Engineering]

Have a victoriously jubilant day.

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November 13 Energy News

November 13, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Victoria Coalition’s Bizarre Plan to Support Coal and ’24/7′ Power Does Not Add Up” • The incumbent Labor government is pledging a transition to 50% renewables, but the Victorian Coalition has unveiled plans to extend the life of existing coal generators and underwrite the construction of a new 500-MW power plant. [RenewEconomy]

Yallourn power station

¶ “Whoo-Hoo! Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Version 12.0 Is Here!” • Way ahead of the time fossil fuels were to be stranded assets due to climate change, the plants that are using them are rapidly becoming stranded assets themselves, because of renewable competition. Fossil fuels will have no market. Neither will nuclear fuel. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “IEEFA Australia: Thermal Coal Export Sunset Looming Closer” • Since 2016, the coal-fired power plant pipeline in major Asian markets has experienced a cumulative 74% decline, with more contraction expected. But it is the doubling of thermal coal prices since 2016 that has really caught the Australian mining industry’s attention. [pv magazine Australia]

Glencore coal mine in New South Wales (Glencore image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Coal Dumped as IEA Turns to Wind and Solar to Solve Climate Challenge” • One of the most conservative energy institutions, the International Energy Agency, has effectively abandoned the thermal coal industry, saying coal generation has to be drastically scaled down for the world to have any hope of addressing climate change. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Clean Energy Is Surging, but Not Fast Enough to Solve Global Warming” • Over the next two decades, the world’s energy system will undergo a huge transformation. But there’s a catch: The global march toward clean energy still isn’t happening fast enough to avoid dangerous global warming, the International Energy Agency warns. [WRAL.com]

Pollution

¶ “Elon Musk Slams Climate Skeptics amid California Fires: ‘It Will Get Worse'” • Elon Musk criticized climate change skeptics on Twitter, as wildfires spreading across California led to outcry from scientists. He said in his tweets, “Betting that science is wrong & oil companies are right is the dumbest experiment in history by far.” [Inverse]

World:

¶ “India Records Highest Quarterly RE Share In Power Generation” • India may have recorded its highest renewable energy penetration ever, in overall energy generation in the quarter of July-September 2018. The quarter saw a record for the total amount of power generated, but renewable energy was a greater percentage of that. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “India Adds 6 GW of Solar in H1 2018, up 46%” • Government data shows that India added just under 6 GW of solar power capacity between January and June 2018. Around 1.4 GW of wind energy capacity was also added during this time. With other technologies, the total for renewable capacity added during the period was 8.5 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Victoria: Second Big Battery Commissioned ahead of Schedule, Gannawarra and Wemen Solar Farm Now Operating” • The 25-MW/50-MWh Gannawarra Battery Storage, co-located with the Gannawarra Solar Farm, was put up ahead of schedule. The 60-MW solar farm itself is operating, as is the 110-MW Wemen Solar Farm. [pv magazine Australia]

The Wemen Solar Farm (Image: Wirsol)

¶ “Hydrogen Trial Promises Australia a Lighter Energy Load” • Green hydrogen has been flagged as a future clean energy export, and a New South Wales distributor is set to test the technology on the domestic front. A $15 million trial will use hydrogen generated by renewables to supply households through the natural gas grid. [create digital]

¶ “Turkey Opens 1-GW Onshore Sale” • Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has launched a 1-GW onshore wind tender. The sale is split into four 250-MW tranches for development across four regions – Balıkesir, Canakkale, Aydın and Mugla. A price cap has been set at 5.5¢/kWh for a 15-year power purchase agreement. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ “10% of New Vehicles Purchased in California Are EVs” • In August, nearly 1 out of 10 new vehicles purchased in the state of California were EVs (PHEVs + BEVs), according to the latest numbers from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Advanced Technology Vehicle Sales Dashboard (information provided by IHS Market). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Realtor Eyes Offshore Hub” • US real estate developer Commercial Development Company wants to reposition a former Massachusetts coal-burning power plant as a logistics port, manufacturing hub and support centre for the offshore wind energy sector. It has been renamed as the Brayton Point Commerce Center. [reNEWS]

Brayton Point power station (CDC photo)

¶ “Nebraska Clean Energy Advocates Gain At Least Two Allies on Omaha Power Board” • Nebraska clean energy supporters have two new allies on Omaha’s public power utility board, and a third race that is still too close to call could give renewable and efficiency champions a clear majority on the eight-member board. [Energy News Network]

¶ “AEP Devotes $2.7 Billion To New Renewable Generation” • American Electric Power, based in Ohio, is increasing capital investment in regulated operations. Along with investments in transmission and distribution operations, AEP plans to put $2.7 billion in new renewable generation during the period from 2019 through 2023. [North American Windpower]

Have a positively enchanting day.

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November 12 Energy News

November 12, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Economic Truth of Coal Mines” • The hyper-partisan political debate around coal conceals the surprising economic truth that coal miners, and those worried about climate change, both benefit from the current high in world coal prices. High prices for coal benefit mining companies, but they make it harder to sell coal. [The Australian Financial Review]

Processing coal (BHP Billiton image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Solar Power: Largest Study to Date Discovers 25% Loss Across UK” • Researchers at the University of Huddersfield have undertaken the largest study to date into the effectiveness of solar panels across the UK. They discovered that parts of the country are suffering an overall power loss of up to 25% because of ‘hot spots’ in the panels. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ “ACWA Power Secures 250 MW of Solar PV at 2.4¢/kWh!” • ACWA Power, based in Saudi Arabia, has added another major project to its solar power portfolio. The project will be part of the iconic Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, UAE. Power from the new 250 MW of solar PV capacity will be sold at 2.4¢/kWh. [CleanTechnica]

Solar plant in Dubai

¶ “Plunging Battery Costs to Trigger Energy Storage Boom” • Bloomberg New Energy Finance has forecast a veritable boom in energy storage installations in coming years with investments hitting $1.2 trillion by 2040. Falling battery costs will drive this boom, and BNEF projects a 52% drop for utility-scale lithium-ion systems by 2030. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Singapore Launches Blockchain-Based Renewable Energy Marketplace” • A blockchain-based marketplace in renewable energy certificates was launched in Singapore. The platform was launched by SP Group, which owns and operates electricity and gas transmission and distribution businesses in Singapore and Australia. [pv magazine International]

Singapore (Image: Leonid laitskyi | Flickr)

¶ “Kenya Targets Green Energy Sufficiency by 2020, Says President Kenyatta” • Kenya is setting a target to attain a 100% transition to green energy by 2020 as it scales up investment in renewable energy to address the climate change challenge concretely, President Uhuru Kenyatta said. It is currently getting 70% of its power renewably. [Citizen TV]

¶ “Faroes to Fly Minesto Tidal Kite” • Swedish tidal developer Minesto secured an agreement to supply two 100-kW devices to Faroe Islands power utility SEV by 2020. Installation of the first DG100 unit is planned for late 2019 or early 2020, with the second device to be installed in 2020. SEV committed to buy the electricity generated. [reNEWS]

Minesto tidal kite

¶ “Container with Radioactive Waste Being Stored at Laem Chabang Port” • An unknown amount of radioactive waste has been detected inside an export container at the Laem Chabang Deep Seaport in Thailand. The Aftermath Stainless Steel and Metal Recycling Company owns the container, but the specific kind of waste is unknown. [The Thaiger]

Australia:

¶ “Smart Battery System Saves more than $2,000 a Year on Electricity Bills” • Power bills will fall by more than A$2,000 ($1,440) per year for owners of a new smart battery system. Systems like those from PowerPlay identify times of household off-peak electricity use. They can choose to store power or sell it to the grid. [Energy Matters]

PowerPlay ap in use

¶ “NSW Turbocharges Grid to Tap Wind and Solar Power Surge” • The government  of New South Wales wants to bring forward $2.5 billion worth of high voltage transmission projects to shore up the power grid and accommodate $23 billion of renewable energy investment that is currently held up by grid capacity problems. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ “Victorian Liberals Pledge New Power Station to Lower Electricity Bills” • A plan to build a new coal or gas plant would involve packaging-up power contracts from major energy users, like the state’s hospitals, schools and transport systems, totalling about 500 MW, and putting a 10-year contract out to tender to supply those needs. [ABC News]

Yallourn power station (Photo: Julian Smith | AAP)

¶ “Energy Generators Cool on Coalition Vow to Build New Power Plant” • Victoria’s biggest power providers warned against a Coalition promise to underwrite a large new power station, to be powered by coal or gas, arguing government intervention in the energy market could stifle private investment, with long-term consequences for customers. [The Age]

US:

¶ “Climate Change Helped Make California a Tinder Box for its Record-Setting Wildfires” • Camp Fire, which is devastating Sierra Nevada foothills, has become the most destructive wildfire in California’s history. By the evening of November 10, it had scorched 105,000 acres of land and killed 23 people, with more than 100 people still unaccounted for. [Quartz]

The Camp Fire (Noah Berger | AP)

¶ “TVA Facebook Contract Shows Solar Growth, but There is a Catch, Environmentalists Say” • The Tennessee Valley Authority unveiled a solar project split into two sites in Tennessee and Alabama. It will provide a new Facebook data center with over 300 MW of power. Environmentalists praise the move but say the TVA should do more. [WPLN]

¶ “Coal Loses Again as US Military Pushes Clean Power Envelope” • An Association of Defense Communities report provides evidence that cities and states can help US military facilities become more resilient and secure, simply by adopting stronger clean power policies that apply to the civilian world – in other words, by ditching coal. [CleanTechnica]

Have a delightfully gleeful day.

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November 11 Energy News

November 11, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “What Changes Will Maine’s New Government Bring to Your Life?” • Swept to sizable majorities in last week’s elections, Maine’s Democrats will be in full control of state government for the first time since 2010. They are likely to look for ways to address a number of pressing issues, one of which is climate change. [Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel]

Maine State House (Joe Phelan, staff photo)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Solar Enables More Homes to Participate in Demand Response” • As more households and businesses install rooftop solar and begin tracking their energy production, an increasing number of solar hosts are diving into a variety demand response opportunities – some at the behest of the utilities – to reduce their electricity bills. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sustainable Architecture: The Beauty behind Energy-Efficient Buildings” • Creating buildings with the lowest possible carbon emissions, while still being aesthetically pleasing, is a challenge that is being addressed. Here are some of our favorite sustainable architectural projects, found in Shanghai, Paris, Dhaka, and Barcelona. [CleanTechnica]

Forêt Blanche, to be built near Paris

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy TNB’s Way to Tackle Escalating Cost” • In Malaysia, the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry is targeting the growth of non-hydro renewable energy’s proportion of the generating mix from the current 2% to 20% by 2025-2030. Fossil fuels currently supply 95% of the country’s power. [The Sun Daily]

¶ “Israel Will Ban Gasoline and Diesel Vehicles after 2030” • After December 31, all passenger cars sold in Israel will be electric and all trucks will be powered by electricity or compressed natural gas, if a proposal currently under consideration gets approved by the government. A final decision is expected by the end of this year. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus

¶ “Albania Picks Group Led by India Power for Solar Plant” • Albania’s government picked a group led by India Power Corporation Ltd to build the country’s first solar power station, the Energy Ministry said. The 100-MW solar project will cost €70 million euros ($79.34 million). About 90% of Albania’s power comes from hydro. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Triton Knoll Project Well Underway as Siemens Awards Contracts” • Siemens Transmission & Distribution Ltd has awarded its first major contracts for the UK-based Triton Knoll offshore wind farm. The Triton Knoll project is to have a capacity of 860 MW and will be able to power the equivalent of 800,000 UK households. [Energy Digital]

Offshore wind construction

¶ “100,000 Coal Jobs on the Line” • The predicted loss of about 100,000 jobs in the coal sector over the next decade due to the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy has raised the spectre of ghost towns and destroyed communities, in some parts of South Africa. Renewables will provide jobs, but not in the same parts of the country. [News24]

¶ “Jordan Inaugurates 50-MW Wind Farm” • Jordan’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources inaugurated a wind plant in Tafileh governorate, southwest of Amman, at a total cost of $102 million. He said Jordan is focusing on providing energy sources from local and eco-friendly resources to ensure energy security and independence. [REVE]

Gamesa wind turbines in Jordan

¶ “TEPCO Plans Tests to See How Much Melted Uranium Fuel Has Cooled in Damaged Reactors” • The owner of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami nearly eight years ago, says it plans to conduct tests early next year to see how much melted uranium fuel has cooled in the damaged reactors. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “Hurricane-Broken Air Power Base Has an Alternative to Rebuild for Resilience” • Rebuilding the hurricane-wrecked Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida will come with a massive price tag, but experts say it offers a chance to make the base more resilient to the effects of extreme weather. Hurricane Michael hit Tyndall as a Category 4 storm. [Infosurhoy]

Tyndall Air Force Base

¶ “New Wind May Be Cheaper than Old, Reliable Coal” • Wind farms have cost less to build and operate than coal-fired power plants for some time. The trend of lower costs for renewables has crossed a threshold: it is sometimes cheaper to build a brand new wind facility than keep an old coal plant burning, according to Lazard Ltd. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶ “Santa Rosa Council Considers Requirement for New Homes to be Independent of Natural Gas” • Santa Rosa may require that new homes be equipped to operate without natural gas, a shift city leaders hope could cut carbon emissions and accelerate the green building designs gaining favor after last year’s destructive wildfires. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

California wildfires (US DOD photo)

¶ “Public Service Commission Key to Tony Evers’ Climate Agenda” • Governor-elect Tony Evers has pledged to move Wisconsin toward entirely renewable energy by mid-century. It is not clear just how he might accomplish that without cooperation from the Legislature, which remains under Republican control. [Portage Daily Register]

¶ “Wins by Democratic Attorneys General Threaten to Multiply Climate Suits against Big Oil” • Democrats scored a string of state attorney general victories on election night, ousting some loyal oil and gas allies and threatening to add to mounting lawsuits against the industry over climate change. The party flipped four states. [HuffPost]

Have a stupendously excellent day.

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November 10 Energy News

November 10, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “America’s 10 Most Eco-Friendly Ski Resorts” • To find out which US ski resorts are leading environmentally, we asked sustainability experts from organizations like Protect Our Winters, the National Ski Areas Association, and Stoke Certified for their picks. Here are ten winter resorts that are truly making their impacts. [Outside Magazine]

Sugarbush (Sugarbush image)

¶ “Trump’s Keystone XL Tar Sands Oil Pipeline Promise, Unkept and Undone” • The federal judge for the District of Montana who overturned permit for the Keystone XL pipeline issued an order that all but guarantees the project will die another death by a thousand cuts. He ordered a complete do-over on economic and environmental impacts. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Amazon Forests Failing to Keep Up with Climate Change” • New research has assessed the impact of global warming on thousands of tree species across the Amazon to discover the winners and losers from 30 years of climate change. The analysis found adaptations are not quick enough to keep up with the changing environment. [Science Daily]

Research (Adriane Esquivel Muelbert, University of Leeds)

World:

¶ “Fluence Battery Ordered for 212-MW Australian Wind Farm” • Fluence, the energy storage specialist formed by Siemens AG and AES Corp, announced that it will provide a 10-MW battery storage system to be integrated with the 212-MW Lincoln Gap wind farm, currently under construction near Port Augusta in South Australia. [Renewables Now]

¶ “MHI Vestas to Provide its 9.5-MW Wind Turbines for Northwester 2 in Belgium” • MHI Vestas announced that it was selected by offshore wind developer and operator Parkwind to provide its 9.5-MW wind turbines for the 219-MW Northwester 2 Offshore Wind Power Plant to be built off the coast of Belgium in the North Sea. [CleanTechnica]

Northwester 2 Parkwind

¶ “Egypt: 2 GW of Solar Power Soon, and Country Achieves COP21 Goals” • Voltalia, based in France, announced the start of construction on a 32-MW solar power plant in Egypt. The electricity produced by the Ra Solar power plant will bring Egypt’s installed solar capacity to 2 GW. The country will thus achieve its COP 21 objectives. [AFRIK 21]

¶ “Labour Takes Aim at ‘Environmentally Reckless’ Policy as Government Defends Renewables Record” • The government of the UK is being “environmentally reckless” and not acting on the “tremendous economic opportunities” new technologies like tidal and floating wind turbines offer, according to a Labour shadow secretary. [Current News]

Installing floating wind turbine (Ørjan Richardsen | Equinor)

¶ “Denmark-Netherlands Subsea Power Cable Reaches Dutch Coast” • A subsea power line set to link the networks of Denmark and the Netherlands reached the Dutch coast. The 325 km (202 mile) long power line has a capacity of around 700 MW and is expected to become fully operational in the third quarter of 2019. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ “California Looks to Stationary Energy Storage as a Solution to Peaker Plants” • Central California electric utility Pacific Gas & Electric is planning to replace three old natural gas power plants in its network with stationary energy storage installations from Tesla. California is looking to add 1.3 GW of storage to its power grid by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Rising smoke (Photo: Pexels)

¶ “MidAmerican Energy Testing Storing Electricity in Utility-Scale Battery System” • MidAmerican Energy says it is installing a utility-scale battery storage system so it can bank electricity for later use. The battery system will enhance MidAmerican’s renewable energy reliability, so it can meet grid needs at peak demand times. [DesMoinesRegister.com]

¶ “Caltrain to Use Renewable Energy at San Jose Facilities” • Caltrain’s board has approved enrolling in the San Jose Clean Energy program to provide renewable energy to the railroad’s facilities in San Jose, California. The decision means that 100% of Caltrain’s power will come from renewable sources starting in 2019. [Progressive Rail Roading]

Caltrain in operation (Photo: Caltrain via Twitter)

¶ “State’s Largest Solar Farm Nearing Production” • Washington’s largest solar farm will begin commercial production next month in the Columbia Basin town of Lind. Nearly 82,000 solar panels have been installed. Sensors adjust the angle of the flat, blue panels throughout the day, allowing them to maximize the capture of solar rays. [The Daily World]

¶ “University of Texas Study Highlights Wind’s Low Cost” • Wind, solar and natural gas have the lowest levelized cost of electricity in the majority of counties across the United States, according to a new report from The University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute, part of a series of white papers on the Full Cost of Electricity. [Into the Wind]

Wind farm

¶ “Five New State Governors Aim for 100% Renewables” • Five governors-elect in Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Connecticut, and Maine, states with a combined population of 26 million, put forth campaign goals of 100% renewable electricity. Currently, only California and Hawaii have a deadline to move to 100% zero-carbon electricity. [pv magazine International]

¶ “SCANA CEO pleads ignorance amid pressure of federal probe into SC nuclear project” • The possibility of criminal charges against a South Carolina utility and its leaders for management of a failed nuclear project loomed over the seventh day of Public Service Commission hearings. The utility’s CEO continued to plead ignorance. [The State]

Have an impressively agreeable day.

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November 9 Energy News

November 9, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Big Auto Has a Problem: Evolve Too Slowly or Cannibalize Cash Cows” • Legacy automakers have a dilemma on their hands. Transitioning to electric cars is hard. To get some understanding, Seeking Alpha’s Scott Morton takes a look at GM’s vexing EV challenges as the company tries to face off with Elon Musk on Tesla’s turf. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Photo: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

World:

¶ “Enel to Build 220-MW Solar Plant in Mexico” • Enel Green Power is adding another 220 MW of solar generation to its clean energy portfolio in Mexico, with the Magdalena II solar park in the state of Tlaxcala. With 550,000 PV modules, the solar plant is expected to be in operation by the end of 2019, generating 600 GWh per year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Polish Government Plans 9 GW of Onshore and Offshore Wind” • The Polish Government announced plans to develop 8 GW of offshore wind by 2035, a move the country will sign into law. At the same time, the Government opened a 1-GW onshore wind energy auction that could yield prices from €43/MWh to 63/MWh. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines

¶ “Renewables Reach Record 20% Share of Q3 Supply in Australia’s NEM” • In the third quarter of 2018, renewables generation in Australia’s National Electricity Market passed a 20% share in the supply mix for the first time. Renewables increased with new wind and solar power capacity and high hydropower output. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Towering Gravity-Based ‘Batteries’ Are Coming to India” • A Swiss company with operations based in California, Energy Vault, announced that Indian power giant Tata is the first client for its gravity powered energy storage system. When there is excess power available, huge bricks are raised at a tower. When they are lowered, power is generated. [Popular Mechanics]

Rendering of Energy Vault system at a wind farm

¶ “Solar Cleans Up in French Tech-Neutral Renewable Auction” • Solar energy has won all 200 MW of capacity on offer in what is claimed to be France’s first technology-neutral renewables tender. The French Government published results showing 16 winners bid at an average of €54.94/MWh (£47.8 or $62.28/MWh) for the projects. [Energy Live News]

US:

¶ “Vivint Solar Reaches 1 GW of Rooftop Solar amidst Strong Q3 and California Expansion” • American residential solar provider Vivint Solar started the month of November with three big announcements. It surpassed the 1-GW milestone for rooftop solar systems, and it announced a strong third quarter and growth in California. [CleanTechnica]

Vivint installation

¶ “Federal Judge Halts Keystone XL Pipeline Construction” • A US District Judge found that the US government’s use of a 2014 environmental review to justify issuing a presidential permit for construction of the cross-border pipeline violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. [CNN]

¶ “Voters Raise Nevada Renewables Goal to 50%, NV Energy has $2 Billion Plans” • Nevada voters approved a measure to increase the renewable energy portfolio standard for state utilities from 15% in 2025 to 50% by 2030, a goal for which NV Energy is preparing with $2 billion worth of requests for proposals this year. [CleanTechnica]

Nevada solar array (Credit: Berkshire Hathaway Energy)

¶ “Nancy Pelosi Plans to Push for Revival of Climate Change Committee in New Congress” • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is poised to engage in setting up a committee focused on climate change in the new Congress. The panel would allow party members on Capitol Hill to draw attention to the threat posed by of global warming. [CNN]

¶ “Indiana Utility Says Replacing Coal with Renewables will Save Customers $4 Billion” • Coal is king in Indiana when it power generation, but not for much longer. Northern Indiana Public Service Co has found a mix of solar, wind, energy storage, and demand management will save its customers $4 billion over the next 30 years. [CleanTechnica]

Schahfer generating station

¶ “Tesla Plans to Spend up to $3 Billion a Year on Gigafactories over next 24 Months” • In its latest 10-Q filing with the SEC, Tesla says it is planning to spend big on upgrading Gigafactories 1, 2, and 3. In fact, it plans to spend up to $3 billion a year over the next two years. It also says it expects to pay for most of that from current earnings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canadians to Grow Entergy Sunflower” • Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy is joining with Entergy to develop the 100-MW Sunflower solar farm in Mississippi. Recurrent will build the project, which will be owned by Entergy Mississippi when operational. The solar farm is earmarked for completion no later than 2022. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Canadian Solar image)

¶ “New York Offers 800-MW Offshore Prize” • New York state launched an 800-MW offshore wind solicitation with bids due in February 2019. Awards for projects will come in spring 2019 in time to take advantage of federal tax credits. New York plans to host 2.4 GW of offshore wind to help meet its 50% green energy targets for 2030. [reNEWS]

¶ “Group Warns over a Third of US Nuclear Power Plants Could Retire” • More than a third of US nuclear power plants could shut for economic reasons over the next decade, according to a study released by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The UCS is a public policy group that focuses on environmental and energy issues. [CNBC]

Have an unrestrainedly amusing day.

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November 8 Energy News

November 8, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Even in a Carbon-Constrained World, FirstEnergy’s Nuclear Bailout Proposal in Ohio Must Be Rejected” • The threat of climate change is increasingly dire and the need to dramatically cut carbon emissions is even more urgent. But FirstEnergy’s bailout proposals for its struggling nuclear plants must be rejected. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Davis Besse nuclear plant

¶ “Floating Solar is Best Solution for Colorado Town’s High Electric Bills” • When a town has high electric bills and no available land for a solar farm, a floating solar plant on the pond of a waste water plant makes great sense. Walden, Colorado, population 750, elevation 8,000 feet plus, and land area of 0.34 square miles, is such a town. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Choppy Waters for Greek Shipping Sector” • As the US this week reinstated a global ban on Iranian oil exports, there are few countries outside of Iran that will be more affected by the move than Greece. This is because Greece’s merchant shipping fleet, the biggest in the world by tonnage, is also the largest carrier of Iranian oil. [BBC]

Loading Iranian oil on a tanker (Getty Images)

¶ “Enel Flush for Moroccan Wind Surge” • Enel Green Power and local partner Nareva have reached financial close on the 180-MW Midelt wind farm in Morocco, which will be the first stage of the 850-MW Projet Eolien Integre complex. Enel said construction of the €230 million Midelt project will take about two years to complete. [reNEWS]

¶ “Innovation Think Tank Says Tesla isn’t Disruptive, but Mini-EVs Are” • In China, EVs have been miniaturized. They can cost as little as $1,000, are made from stamped steel, have no safety features to speak of, have maximum speeds of 25 to 43 miles per hour, and do not require driver’s licenses. Millions are sold each year. [CleanTechnica]

Low speed electric car in China

¶ “Labor Dials Up its Renewable Energy Target To 50% by 2030” • Half of Victoria’s energy could come from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydro power within 12 years, if the Andrews government is re-elected. According to The Age, Labor will promise to raise Victoria’s renewable energy target from 40% to 50% by 2030. [The Canberra Times]

¶ “China, US Keep Top Positions on EY’s Renewables Index” • There is little movement in the top 10 of Ernst & Young’s latest Renewable energy country attractiveness index, as ongoing geopolitical instability is causing caution among leading renewable energy markets, EY said. China is still number one, and the US number two. [Renewables Now]

Co-located solar and wind parks (Photo: Istock)

¶ “Toshiba to Pull Out of UK Nuclear Power Project” • Plans for a new nuclear power station in Cumbria have been scrapped after the Japanese conglomerate Toshiba announced it was winding up the UK unit behind the project. Toshiba said it would take a ¥18.8 billion (£125 million, $170 million) hit from closing its subsidiary, NuGeneration. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “The Environmental Ballot Measures that Midterm Voters Backed or Rejected” • A number of  statewide measures on ballots in the midterm election related to climate change and the environment. Voters in 37 states considered whether they were for or against initiatives related to renewable energy, carbon emissions and offshore drilling. [CNN]

Voters lining up early in Oklahoma (Mike Simons | Tulsa World)

¶ “Voters Just Elected Six More Scientists to Congress” • The next Congress will have at least six newly elected scientists, including a nuclear engineer and a biochemist. Supporters say these scientist-legislators, all Democrats, will bring a fact-based approach to public policy and impact such issues as nuclear disarmament and climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Voters in Three US States Reject Initiatives to Curb Fossil Fuel Use” • Voters in the states of Colorado, Arizona, and Washington rejected ballot initiatives that sought to curb fossil fuels use by restricting drilling, putting a fee on carbon emissions and mandating wider use of renewable energy. The results were a win for the fossil fuels industry. [Raw Story]

Oil pumps (Shuttershock image)

¶ “Colorado Governor-Elect has US’ Most Ambitious Renewable Goal” • Jared Polis, a Democratic congressman from Colorado who was elected governor in Tuesday’s midterms, has promised the state will run only on renewable power by 2040. That would phase out fossil fuel generation in Colorado even faster than in California and Hawaii. [Climate Home]

¶ “Backers of Failed Prop 127 to Continue Push for Arizona Renewables” • Backers of a defeated ballot measure aimed at greatly increasing renewable energy in Arizona will continue to push for more wind and solar power. Proposition 127 failed by more than a 2-to-1 margin, after multi-million-dollar campaigns on both sides. [Public News Service]

Arizona solar array (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Wind, Solar Help Slash CO2 Power Emissions 28% Since 2005” • According to new findings from the DOE’s Energy Information Administration, US electric power sector CO2 emissions have declined 28% since 2005 because of slower electricity demand growth and changes in the mix of power sources used to generate electricity. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Power to Learn: Puerto Rico Schools Get the Microgrid Treatment” • Economics often decide the fate of a microgrid proposal, but sometimes the calculator should be set aside. Such is the case with a program launched by the Rocky Mountain Institute and Save the Children to build school microgrids in Puerto Rico. [One Step Off The Grid]

Have a breathtakingly gorgeous day.

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November 7 Energy News

November 7, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Reveal Strange Molecule that Can Store Sun’s Energy for 18 Years” • A Swedish research team believes it found a breakthrough for energy storage. A specialized solar thermal fluid can hold the sun’s energy for long periods of time and expel that energy on demand when activated by putting it through a catalytic process. [Forbes]

Solar heating system (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ “Wireless Charging at 120 kW by Electromagnetic Induction” • US DOE researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have now come up with an induction charging system capable of operating at a power of 120 kW, with up to a 6-inch gap between the primary and secondary coils, and at an efficiency of about 97%. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Global Wind Turbine Market Value to Hit $48 Billion by 2022, Led by APAC” • Led by the Asia Pacific region, the global wind turbine market is expected to continue to grow over the next few years, GlobalData figures show. Market value is projected to be $47.83 billion in 2022, up from $44.75 billion in 2017, driven largely by onshore development. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in Xinjiang China

¶ “China May Increase its 2020 Solar Target to 200 Gigawatts or Higher” • China’s National Energy Administration floated the idea that it might increase its 2020 solar target to at least 210 GW, and potentially as high as 270 GW, in a move that is expected to impact China’s annual capacity additions and PV manufacturing significantly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Non-Hydro Renewables to Replace Nuclear in Germany, Reaching 71.9% by 2030” • With Germany set to phase out its nuclear capacity by 2022, leading analysts GlobalData predicts that non-hydro renewables will almost exclusively fill the remaining capacity, and by 2030 will contribute over 70% to the country’s power mix. [CleanTechnica]

Saerbeck wind and solar

¶ “Western Australia Trials Tesla PowerBank Community Storage System” • Western Australia’s state-owned energy retailer Synergy and grid operator Western Power are experimenting with a community battery. For $1 dollar a day, families can store any excess electricity from their PV systems to a common battery for later use. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Renewables Capacity Overtakes Fossil Fuels for the First Time” • The UK’s energy industry set another record, with renewables capacity overtaking fossil fuel capacity for the first time. A report from Drax Electric Insights shows available UK renewables capacity stands at 42 GW, while fossil fuel capacity has fallen to 40.6 GW. [businessgreen.com]

Offshore wind farm

¶ “European Battery Manufacturing to Grow 20-Fold by 2025” • Europe is on track to increase its battery-making capacity by 20 times in the next seven years, hitting 90 GWh of manufacturing output per year by 2025. The figures, from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, show Europe gaining ground on Asian manufacturing. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Floating Nuclear Power Plant Starts first Reactor in Russia” • Russia’s floating nuclear power plant achieved a sustained chain reaction of one of the two reactors at its mooring in Murmansk harbour. The Akademik Lomonosov’s second reactor will be started up and tests carried out before the plant is towed to Pevek next year. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Akademik Lomonosov nuclear plant (Credit Rosatom)

US:

¶ “Renewables Reduced Wholesale Power Costs by $5.7 Billion in Texas” • The Economic Value of Renewable Energy to Texas, a report by the Wind Solar Alliance, is very revealing. In addition to job growth, reduced pollutants, and projected numbers for economic development, there are also figures for the economic benefits of leasing and local taxes. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Proterra and Daimler Team Up to Manufacture Electric School Buses” • At the 44th annual National Association of Pupil Transportation Conference, Proterra and Daimler introduced the latest Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner eC2 electric school bus powered by Proterra. Recharging takes about 3 hours using a 60-kW charging system. [CleanTechnica]

Electric school bus from Thomas

¶ “Clean Energy Mandate Proposition 127 Fails in Victory for Utility Company” • In Arizona, the clean energy constitutional amendment, Proposition 127, is on track to fail by a wide margin, as Arizona voters appear to have rejected a ballot measure that the state’s largest utility company claimed would raise electric power bills. [Phoenix New Times]

¶ “Insurance Company Ullico Invests in 1.3 GW of US Wind, Solar” • Ullico Inc, a labor-owned insurance and investment company based in Washington, DC, agreed to invest in a portfolio of over 70 solar and wind projects located across the US and owned by affiliates of Alberta Investment Management Corp and The AES Corp. [North American Windpower]

US wind farm

¶ “New Kansas Wind Farm to Provide 80% of Washburn University’s Power” • Washburn University, located in Topeka, Kansas, will be purchasing 4 MW of power from a new 300 MW wind farm to be constructed in northeast Kansas. The contract will cover about 80% of the energy needs of two Washburn campuses. [North American Windpower]

¶ “In Boost for Renewables, US Rep Polis Wins Colorado Governor’s Race” • Colorado has chosen Democrat Jared Polis to be governor, marking a win for the candidate’s goal of reaching 100% renewables by 2040. Campaigning, Polis had pointed to the low cost of utility-scale windpower and the benefits energy storage. [S&P Global Platts]

Have a uniquely worry-free day.

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November 6 Energy News

November 6, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “South Africa’s Complicated Coal Conundrum” • Coal supplies 77% of the South African electrical output, and coal mining operations employ hundreds of thousands of the country’s workers. But global trends, working against “dirty energy,” are threatening to tear South Africa’s already divided society further apart. [The South African]

Coal mine (The South African file photo)

¶ “Five Midterm Votes that Could Have an Outsize Impact on Climate Change” • This is the era of deregulation in the nation’s capital, as Trump is rolling back climate change regulations and withdrawing the US from the Paris climate agreement. At the state level, though, advocates and lawmakers around the country are fighting back. [Las Vegas Sun]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Large Hydropower Dams ‘Not Sustainable’ in the Developing World” • A study says large-scale hydropower projects in Europe and the US have been disastrous for the environment. The authors fear that the unsustainable nature of these projects has not been recognised in the developing world, where thousands of dams are being built. [BBC]

Overflow at Oroville dam in California (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “FRV Signs Power Purchase Agreement for its Sixth Solar Project in Australia” • Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, a global developer of renewable utility-scale projects, announced that it signed a power purchase agreement with Snowy Hydro for 67.8 MW of the Goonumbla Solar Farm project to be developed in New South Wales. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Campaign Group Slams Insurers of New Coal Power Plant” • The Unfriend Coal campaign, which in July promised to expose any insurer who underwrites the new 660-MW coal power plant in the Czech Republic, has kept its word. It singled out Generali, which has announced a climate plan, for hypocrisy as it insured a new coal plant. [Insurance Business]

Coal plant (iStock image)

¶ “UK Trial of Hydrogen Blended Gas to Kick Off” • A trial in the UK of blending up to 20% hydrogen into the gas supply has been given the green light by the Health and Safety Executive. The trial is due to start next year and will see up to 20% of hydrogen blended with the normal gas supply in part of Keele University’s gas network. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Bungala Solar Farm Goes Fully Online as Australia’s Biggest Solar Project to Date” • The second phase of the Bungala Solar Project, a 110 MW solar power plant, started feeding electricity into the grid last week, making Bungala the nation’s largest operating solar farm. The Bungala project now has a capacity of 220 MW. [pv magazine International]

The Bungala solar farm (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “No More Diesel: Largest Solar Farm in Seychelles Fully Powers a Remote Island” • The remote island of Alphonse is now completely powered by the largest PV farm in Seychelles. This means diesel fuel will no be longer needed to generate electric energy, according to a top official of the Islands Development Company. [Seychelles News Agency]

¶ “Drilling Gets Underway at United Downs for UK’s First Geothermal Energy Plant” • Drilling has started on the UK’s first geothermal electricity plant. Geothermal Engineering Ltd launched the drilling operations on site at United Downs, in Cornwall. The £18 million demonstration will supply up to 3 MW of electricity. [Cornwall Live]

United Downs Deep Geothermal Power (Image: GEL)

¶ “Canada, New England Talk Trade, Politics and Clean Energy” • Energy made up $130 billion of the $750 billion that changed hands last year between Canada and the US, the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world. On both sides of the border many question why the Trump administration would risk that relationship with tariffs. [RTO Insider]

¶ “Nuclear Energy’s Slow Return Hurts Japan’s Power Producers” • A new study shows that the Japanese nuclear industry is unlikely to reach a government target of providing at least 20% of the country’s energy by 2030. As few as six reactors might restart from the shutdown following the Fukushima Disaster over the next five years. [Voice of America]

Ikata nuclear plant (Mari Saito | Reuters)

US:

¶ “Climate Change may Increase Heat Waves, Coastal Damage, and Wildfires in California” • The California Natural Resources Agency recently released a statewide climate change assessment. The report says climate change impacts will get worse. With more heat waves, there might be 11,000 heat-related deaths each year by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Virginia Gives Nod to 12-MW Wind Demo off Virginia Beach” • The State Corporation Commission, Virginia’s regulatory agency, approved a 12-MW offshore wind demonstration project. The wind farm is being developed by Ørsted A/S and Dominion Energy. Its two 6-MW turbines will be about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. [Renewables Now]

Installing a 6-MW turbine (Siemens AG, All Rights Reserved)

¶ “Consumer Reports Survey Finds Most Americans Want More Renewable Energy” • A survey conducted for Consumer Reports finds the vast majority of Americans want less pollution and more renewable energy. Consumers Union submitted the results to the EPA as part of the public comment process on rolling back the Clean Power Plan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Large Solar Farm to be Installed in Alabama to Power Facebook Data Center” • A large solar plant is being built to power Facebook’s new data center in the Rocket City, Alabama. The Tennessee Valley Authority is contracted with First Solar, based in Tempe, Arizona, to install a 277-MW solar power farm in Colbert County. [Birmingham Business Journal]

Have an extraordinarily fortunate day.

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November 5 Energy News

November 5, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Ten Simple Changes to Help Save the Planet” • Climate change is real, and we are starting to see some of the ways that it affects us. It increases the likelihood of flooding in Miami and elsewhere, threatens the millions of people living along the Brahmaputra River, and disrupts reproduction of plants and animals. Here are things to do. [BBC]

Solar array on water

¶ “Why China Indirectly Controls EV Markets” • China produces about two thirds of the world’s supply of lithium-ion batteries, the type most commonly used in EVs. And these highly valuable batteries make up a staggering 40% of the cars’ value. Europe is far from being able to compete with China on EV battery production. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “The Power of Purpose: Abundance is the New Sustainability” • One thinker preaching a more optimistic worldview is Peter Diamandis, founder of the X-Prize Foundation and Singularity University. He and Peter Koettler wrote a book, “Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think.” It should be required reading for every CEO and CMO. [Forbes]

Abundance is the New Sustainability
(Jeremy Bishop | Unsplash)

¶ “Wanted: An Australian Energy Policy to Kickstart A$25 billion of Investment” • Years of energy policy flip-flops are holding up billions of dollars of investment even as Australia looks to prevent a repeat of blackouts suffered over the past two years. And the country pays some of the highest electricity costs in the industrialized world. [Business Insider]

World:

¶ “Delhi Panic over Toxic Air ahead of Indian Festival Diwali” • Panic gripped the Indian capital Delhi as residents woke up to a blanket of thick grey smog ahead of Diwali, the festival of lights. Pollution levels were 20 times the World Health Organisation’s recommended limit. The firecrackers used for the festival are expected to make the air even worse. [BBC]

Delhi smog

¶ “Australian Capital Territory Officially Opens 91-MW Wind Farm” • A wind farm of 91 MW has started feeding power into the grid of the ACT, according to transmission system operator TransGrid. The wind farm moves the ACT closer to achieving its goal of getting 100% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Kansai Electric Targets Solar Power Trading among Homes” • People who have PVs in areas served by Kansai Electric Power Co may soon be able to sell electricity to other households. KEPCO started a study with the University of Tokyo, MUFG Bank, and Nihon Unisys Ltd on a system to allow electricity sales among individuals. [Asahi Shimbun]

Saitama Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

¶ “ScottishPower Links with Car Dealership to Make Electric Vehicle Switch ‘Simpler’” • ScottishPower announced a new agreement with UK car dealership Arnold Clark to make the switch to EVs “simpler.” Consumers will be able to lease or buy EVs, have a charging point installed at home, and sign up to a 100% renewable energy tariff. [Energy Voice]

¶ “‘We Want to do Everything We Can’: NSW Readies for Renewables Surge” • New solar and wind farms being planned for New South Wales have twice the capacity of the state’s coal-fired power stations, prompting the state government to set aside $55 million to help smooth their introduction. There may be $27 billion in renewable investment. [The Canberra Times]

Moree solar farm

¶ “UK Batteries Charge towards 7 GW” • Average capacity for new battery storage projects has increased to 27 MW today from 10 MW in 2016, and more than 300 UK-based businesses are operating in the sector, R-UK said. An R-UK database will allow R-UK members to access information on nearly 400 UK energy storage projects. [reNEWS]

¶ “German Renewables Share Jumps to 38% for 2018, Nearly Catches Coal” • Germany is edging ever closer to its national target of 65% renewable energy by 2030. New data shows that wind and solar produced 38% of the electricity consumed in the country in the first nine months of 2018, reaching 43% in January, April and May. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines

¶ “Taiwan: Pursuing a New Green Energy Revolution in the East” • In a bid to strengthen its national energy security, the Taiwanese Government has set ambitious renewable energy targets for 2025. It is acting to attract foreign investment, and at the same time intends to phase out nuclear power by the same date. [Power Technology]

US:

¶ “National Right-Wing Media Outlets Bash Renewable Energy Ballot Initiative in Arizona” • National right-wing media outlets The Daily Caller and Washington Free Beacon have between them published two dozen articles criticizing Proposition 127, a clean energy ballot initiative in Arizona. The initiative calls for 50% renewable electricity by 2030. [Salon]

Solar array at sunset

¶ “A US City is Building Tiny Homes in People’s Back Gardens” • The Multnomah Idea Lab, a government agency in Multnomah County, Oregon, is tasked with finding innovative solutions in the county’s human services sector. It came up with a pilot program to house homeless families in tiny homes in the back gardens of willing homeowners. [BBC]

¶ “On Climate Change, Trump Disavows his own Scientists, Government” • The National Climate Assessment, the most complete and up-to-date report published by the federal government, concludes that there is no convincing alternative explanation for climate change other than human causes. Trump dismissed it without reading it. [Axios]

Have a thoroughly peachy day.

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November 4 Energy News

November 4, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Putting Speed Bumps in Hurricane Alley” • New research suggests that massive installations of wind turbines could lessen the deluge when powerful hurricanes bring devastating amounts of rain onto land. During such recent storms as Harvey and Florence this could have meant less destruction and fewer deaths. [EcoWatch]

Wind farm

¶ “Fish and Plants Already Affected by Climate Change in South Africa’s Oceans” • Scientists researching climate change in South African have found evidence that it is affecting fish and plants in the ocean. South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries said evidence shows species are moving based on rising temperatures. [MyBroadband]

¶ “Tides and Technology for Future Electricity Supply” • There is hope that new marine renewable technologies can increase Australia’s power supply by capturing the energy in waves and tides. Wave Swell Energy, is working with Tasmanian scientists at the Australian Maritime College on projects to see this goal achieved. [Tasmania Examiner]

Tidal turbine (Supplied photo)

World:

¶ “China Has Record Electric Car Sales Month” • After a few months threatening to break the all-time record (102,635 units, set last December), the Chinese plug-in electric vehicle market finally hit a new high, with some 104,900 plug-in vehicles being registered in September. This is up 66% and in line with previous months’ growth rates. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Southeast Asia’s Renewables Held Back by Policy Inaction: Irena” • Southeast Asia is a potential hotspot for renewable energy, yet the region has not met expectations because it lacks policy frameworks that would encourage investment, the International Renewable Energy Agency’s general director told Reuters in an interview. [Jakarta Globe]

Coal shipment (Beawiharta | File Photo | Reuters)

¶ “Energy Sector Has Lion’s Share of Schneider Electric’s Investments in Egypt: Sheta” • Egypt aspires to have its energy sector meet development requirements, maximize efficient use of traditional and renewable resources contributing to economic growth and competitiveness, achieve social justice, and preserve the environment. [Daily News Egypt]

¶ “Moroccan Wind Farm Certified ‘Green’ by Dubai Carbon” • Morocco is a renewable energy leader in the Arab world, with 3.6 GW of renewable energy plants already supplying its power grid and 3.6 GW more in development. The country is committed to having 52% of its power capacity be from renewable resources by 2030. [Technical Review Middle East]

Wind power (Unsplash image)

¶ “Offshore Wind Projects Hasten Asia’s Renewable Shift from Solar” • China is starting to build its largest offshore wind-power facility as part of an accelerating shift in Asia away from solar to wind and other renewable resources. Wood Mackenzie sees windpower capacity in Asia growing by a factor of 20 over the next decade. [Nikkei Asian Review]

US:

¶ “NH Missing from State Coalition Opposing Clean Power Plan Rollback” • The EPA wants to replace the Obama-era plan with a rule that loosens CO2 emissions standards. When the attorneys general of 26 states, cities, and counties laid out their strong opposition, New Hampshire is the only New England state not among them. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

Coal-burning power plant in New Hampshire (PSNH image)

¶ “Dominion Energy Moving Swiftly toward Renewable Energy Goal” • In 2015, when Dominion Energy’s solar portfolio was just over 1 MW, it set a goal of 400 MW under development in Virginia by 2020. It now has 824 MW in operation or under development in the state. It is also adding both onshore and offshore windpower. [REVE]

¶ “For the Puerto Rican Island of Vieques, Rebuilding Seems like a Never-Ending Task” • Families living on the island of Vieques have waited for electric power ever since Maria hit. There is no plan to restore the underwater cable that once transmitted electricity from the Puerto Rico mainland. The power authority aims to build microgrids. [NBCNews.com]

Still living in a tent (Brock Stoneham | NBC News)

¶ “Republican Senator Proposes Taking Away US EV Tax Credit” • US Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) proposed killing off the federal EV tax credit via a bill he has introduced in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the “Fairness for Every Driver Act.” He claims the EV tax credit is a benefit largely for the wealthy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vogtle Reactors Move Forward, Despite Co-Owner Concerns” • After a debate on a “go or no go” vote, the co-owners of Plant Vogtle, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, Oglethorpe Power, and Dalton Utilities, decided to continue construction on the nuclear reactors Units 3 and 4, despite never-ending cost overruns. [Atlanta Progressive News]

Have an indubitably superb day.

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November 3 Energy News

November 3, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Six Environmental Ballot Measures Attract Massive Out-of-State and Industry Cash” • Voters in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, and Washington will head to the polls on November 6 with the chance to decide on hotly contested environmental regulations. A lot of industry cash is being spent to influence the vote. [Center for Public Integrity]

Colorado view of mountains and a
Nodding donkey (David Zalubowski | AP)

¶ “Access to Electricity Is Growing Rapidly Around the World – Except in Africa” • For the first time ever, there are fewer than a billion people without electricity globally, new data from the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2018 shows. But most of the half billion people who have got electric power since 2011 are in Asia. [Quartz]

¶ “Coal’s Last Gasp Is a Win-Win for the Economy and Public Health” • Coal plants are shutting down at a record pace because the power they produce is too costly. But the biggest economic benefit of replacing coal plants with renewables is not in the ratepayers’ monthly electric bills. It is the savings that will come with cleaner air. [Environmental Working Group]

Pollution, a major health issue

World:

¶ “UK Weather More Extreme Due to Climate Change, Says Met Office” • Climate change has led to an increase of extreme weather events in the UK, according to the country’s weather service. The coldest days in the past decade were 1.7°C warmer than between 1961 and 1990, while the warmest days were 0.8° hotter. [CNN]

¶ “UK Pushing Pure Electric Cars … By Cutting Support for Plug-in Hybrids” • The UK is 10th in Europe for the percentage of new cars that are plug-ins, and the large majority of those plug-ins have been hybrids. The UK is aiming to change that. It is trying to stimulate more pure-electric car sales and phase out the plug-in hybrids. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan LEAF UK

¶ “Experts Back Mike Cannon-Brookes: Australia can be Clean Energy Superpower” • Energy experts backed billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes’ claim that Australia can become a clean energy superpower by using wind, solar, and pumped hydro to deliver some of the world’s cheapest electricity, forcing coal out of the power system. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ “Germany Plans 20% FIT Cut for Commercial and Industrial Solar” • The ruling coalition released a draft bill by the Federal Ministry of Economics with a proposal for a 20% FIT reduction for solar systems ranging from 40 kW to 750 kW. The thought is that with the decline in the cost of PVs, the feed-in tariff should also decline. [pv magazine International]

Large rooftop solar system

¶ “Japanese Sodium-Sulfur and Lithium Batteries Used in German Grid Demonstrator Project” • A ceremony was held in Niedersachsen, Germany, to mark commencement of operations at a ‘hybrid’ energy storage plant. The project uses 4 MW / 20 MWh of sodium-sulfur with 7.5 MW / 2.5 MWh of lithium-ion batteries. [Energy Storage News]

US:

¶ “Tesla and Panasonic Producing ~60% of World’s EV Batteries, and Tesla Service Coming Soon to a Continent Near You!” • In response to an article by Teslarati, Elon tweeted that Tesla and Panasonic are together the world’s largest EV battery producer. Musk indicated that they are producing about 60% of the world’s EV batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 manufacture

¶ “Supreme Court Won’t Block Children’s Climate Change Lawsuit” • The Supreme Court rejected the request by the Trump administration to stop a lawsuit brought by youths who are seeking to hold the government accountable for failing to do enough to fight climate change. The lawsuit could be stopped in a different court or later, however. [CNN]

¶ “New Solar Projects to Supply SV Clean Energy” • Silicon Valley Clean Energy has signed two long-term agreements with EDF for the largest solar-plus-storage projects to be built in California. It will be used to serve Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and Hollister. The two projects will provide 153 MW of solar and 47 MW of storage. [Morgan Hill Times]

Power lines on San Benito farmland

¶ “$1 Billion Palen Solar Project Gains Fed Approval for 500 MW PV, Side-Steps California Energy Commission” • The decade-old 500 MW Palen Solar Project has finally won decisive federal approval to go ahead as an estimated $1 billion PV project in the California desert, covering up to 3,140 acres of land, after years of controversy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Avangrid Plans 2 GW of – Including Offshore Wind – and Thousands of Jobs” • Avangrid CEO James P Torgerson, speaking at a conference, said his company has plans to inject a combined 2 GW of renewable energy into the New England power grid, create thousands of jobs. Much of the new capacity would be offshore windpower. [Windpower Engineering]

Offshore windpower

¶ “Tampa Electric Solar Plan Blazes with Another 260 MW” • Tampa Electric won state approval to add 260 MW of solar to its generation fleet by January and to recover the cost. The five separate projects are the second phase of the utility’s solar program, which will involve an $850 million investment and add 600 MW of solar capacity by 2021. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SCE&G Lied to Regulators to Keep VC Summer Project Alive” • On at least two occasions, SCE&G intentionally buried damaging reports that could have prompted the South Carolina Public Service Commission to scrutinize or cancel the Cayce-based utility’s $9 billion nuclear construction project, the commissioners were told. [The State]

Have a totally copacetic day.

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November 2 Energy News

November 2, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “These Red and Blue States are Tackling Climate Change Since Trump Won’t” • If you have been focused on reports of climate disaster, or on the Trump administration’s relentless attacks on environmental safeguards and climate science, you are likely to worry that we are not making progress at all. But look a little closer. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Colorado wind farm (Jeffrey Beall, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Why Hiroshima and Nagasaki are Safe, but Chernobyl Isn’t” • Over 1.6 million people live and seem thrive in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where nuclear bombs were dropped. The Chernobyl exclusion zone, however, a 30 square kilometer area surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power disaster, remains very largely uninhabited. [We Are The Mighty]

World:

¶ “Germany Headed for Largest Emissions Drop Since 2009 Recession” • Strong renewable power production and warm temperatures lowered Germany’s CO2 emissions by around 7% in the first nine months of 2018, AG Energiebilanzen calculated. If the decrease is sustained, it would be the sharpest decline since the 2009 recession. [Clean Energy Wire]

Lignite plant Niederaussem (Photo: Rolfcosar, Wikipedia)

¶ “Billionaire Tackles Government ‘Dishonesty’ on Renewables” • Australian software billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of being dishonest when he blamed renewables for rising power bills. Cannon-Brookes called on clean energy supporters to back his “Fair Dinkum Power” movement. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Snowy Hydro Smashes Price Benchmarks for ‘Fair Dinkum’ Wind and Solar” • The Australian federal government-owned utility Snowy Hydro announced stunning new prices for “firm” (dispatchable) wind and solar power after awarding contracts to eight wind and solar projects. The result is power costing below current wholesale. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines (Image: RawFilm, Unsplash)

¶ “Italy Adds 42.3 MW of Solar in September” • Newly installed PV capacity for the first nine months of this year has reached 300.9 MW. September was the month with the largest growth this year. Italy has now almost reached the 20 GW milestone, with approximately 19,983 MW of installed PV systems in the country. [pv magazine International]

¶ “UK ‘Needs 133 GW’ Clean Power to Hit Climate Goals” • The UK will need to have 133 GW of low-carbon power by 2050 if it is to hit legally-binding carbon targets of the Climate Change Act, an Aurora Energy Research report said. It found an 80% cut in carbon emissions would require an additional 93 GW of capacity, up from 40 GW now. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ “The North Carolina Governor’s Ambitious Climate Goal” • North Carolina would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2025 under a statewide goal set by Gov Roy Cooper. With Cooper’s executive order, North Carolina has joined states like Colorado, California, and others that have set ambitious climate change goals. [Governing]

¶ “In Iowa Farm Country, These Candidates are Taking on Climate Deniers” • This election will test how long Iowa is willing to tolerate elected leaders who deny one of the greatest risks to the farming industry. “One thing about climate change – farmers care about that,” a political science professor at the University of Iowa said. [InsideClimate News]

Flooding in Iowa (Tony Webster, CC-BY-2.0)

¶ “Allete Advances North Dakota Wind” • Allete Clean Energy has started construction of the 106-MW Glen Ullin wind farm in North Dakota. Glen Ullin has been under development since 2011 and will feature 43 GE turbines, which will be a mix of 2.3-MW and 2.5-MW hardware, Allete said. It will supply electricity to Xcel Energy. [reNEWS]

¶ “San Diego Selects New Flyer for 6 Long Range Fully Electric Buses” • The race into fully electric long range buses is heating up as San Diego puts in an order for six of New Flyer’s new 40-foot buses. The buses will be equipped with 480-kWh batteries, which will support the longer range routes being explored by the pilot. [CleanTechnica]

New Flyer’s Xcelsior CHARGE bus

¶ “Philadelphia Plans a Massive Solar Plant in Adams County” • Philadelphia’s plan to cut its carbon emissions now includes a proposal to purchase energy from a massive solar farm, with a capacity of 70 MW, in south central Pennsylvania. The proposal is part of the city’s plan to use renewable energy for all city operations by 2030. [witf.org]

¶ “Local Utilities Shun Coal, Promote Renewable Energy” • Coal has become a dirty word to the four electric utilities that serve the pristine Grand Traverse region. Traverse City Light & Power, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Consumers Energy, and Great Lakes Energy Cooperative all have plans to reduce their carbon emissions. [Traverse City Business News]

Michigan’s first community solar project

¶ “Smart Grid Study Predicts More Growth in Energy Sector Jobs” • Clean energy jobs are booming, especially in Minnesota. Employment in Minnesota’s energy sector could increase by 300%, according to a recent study conducted by the McKnight Foundation. It is an estimated 14,000 winds jobs and 36,000 solar jobs by 2050. [Workday Minnesota]

¶ “Indiana’s NIPSCO Plots Coal Phaseout, Transition to Renewables” • Northern Indiana Public Service Co LLC has unveiled an initiative designed to transition customers to a more affordable and sustainable energy mix. The company laid out a blueprint to transition northern Indiana’s energy generation away from coal. [North American Windpower]

Have an outrageously comfortable day.

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November 1 Energy News

November 1, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “World’s Oceans have Absorbed 60% More Heat than Previously Thought, Study Finds” • Research published in the journal Nature suggests that the Earth is more sensitive to fossil fuel emissions than experts thought, as oceans absorb heat much faster than was understood. The implications for the fight against climate change are serious. [CNN]

Great Barrier Reef (CNN image)

World:

¶ “Double Time for Siemens Gamesa in India” • Siemens Gamesa has won an order from ReNew Power for two wind farms with a combined capacity of 177-MW in two Indian states. The wind turbine manufacturer will build a 100.8-MW project in the Kutch district of Gujarat, and a 76-MW project in the Osmanabad district of Maharashtra. [reNEWS]

¶ “EasyJet to Test Nine-Passenger Electric Airplane in 2019” • EasyJet, a low cost airline specializing in short flights in Europe and the UK, is working with US startup Wright Electric to build an electric airplane that it can use to carry passengers. The two companies intend to begin testing a nine-passenger electric airplane in 2019. [CleanTechnica]

Wright Electric airplane

¶ “German Battery Charges UK Council” • German storage specialist Tesvolt has supplied a 4-MW battery storage facility connected to a 7-MW solar park in southern England. The project, which sits on a 35-hectare former landfill site, stabilizes the power network, and it will earn West Sussex county council grid balancing revenues. [reNEWS]

¶ “MHI Vestas Continues to Expand Local Taiwanese Footprint” • Offshore wind energy giant MHI Vestas announced that it had signed a contract for the manufacture of wind turbine towers in Taiwan with CS Wind/Chin Fong as the company continues to build up its footprint in the next global offshore wind energy hub. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm in a squall (Image not by JMW Turner)

¶ “Berlin Offers 4-GW Fillip for Onshore, Solar” • Berlin has agreed to offer 4 GW of new onshore wind and solar PV capacity over the next three years. According to a draft agreement hammered out by German ruling parties CDU and SPD, some 1000 MW will be put to tender next year, followed by 1400 MW in 2020 and 1600 MW in 2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “Tesla Battery Storage Successfully Integrated with Tidal Energy Array” • A Scottish cleantech company, Nova Innovation, has integrated an existing tidal energy array with energy storage in a Tesla Powerpack. Nova Innovation’s successfully integrated power plant is the world’s first grid-connected ‘baseload’ tidal power station. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Tidal turbine (Nova Innovation image)

¶ “Share of Solar Rises to 7.46% of India’s Total Installed Power Capacity” • Renewable energy capacity additions continue to increase in India, accounting for approximately 21.41% of India’s capacity mix at the end of September 2018. In June 30, 2018, renewable energy sources accounted for 20.93% of total installed capacity. [Mercom India]

¶ “Coal Report Says Australian Exports have Peaked and are in ‘Terminal Long-Term Decline'” • Australian coal exports have entered a “terminal long-term decline,” says a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. It says high prices have pushed global energy markets towards cheaper and cleaner alternatives. [The Guardian]

Coal machinery (William West | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Fire Dies Down at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Plant” • TEPCO says power cables caught fire at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant on the Sea of Japan coast, but the fire has died down. TEPCO reported the fire at around 6:28 AM. Firefighters later confirmed the fire had died down. All 7 nuclear reactors at the plant are now offline. [NHK World]

¶ “SA’s Energy Future Unpacked” • South Africa’s energy blueprint, the draft integrated resource plan, takes nuclear off the table, but opinion is divided over the inclusion of coal in the mix. The plan envisages renewable energy making up 26% of the installed power supply in 2030; the largest allocations will be 15% for wind and 10% for solar. [Financial Mail]

Wind turbines (Photo: William Campbell-Corbis | Getty Images)

US:

¶ “EPA Quietly Telling States they can Pollute More” • The Environmental Protection Agency has quietly signaled it may allow states to release more ozone air pollution, commonly known as smog, dirtying the air in those states and neighboring ones, though the agency had not reviewed the health impact of such a move. [CNN]

¶ “Seven US States Set to Double their Wind Capacity” • The US wind industry installed 612 MW of capacity in the third quarter, the American Wind Energy Association said. Arkansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and South Dakota have enough wind energy under construction to double their capacities. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm

¶ “Gas Companies Face Californian Wipe-Out, Say S&P, Moody’s” • Ratings agencies cay California gas companies face credit downgrades, after the state pledged to get all of its power from renewable sources by 2045. Though there is no immediate threat to most gas generators, on the long term, the stability of the industry is questionable. [Climate Home]

¶ “Engie Opens Second Front in Kansas” • Engie North America has started construction of the 196-MW East Fork wind farm in Kansas. The new wind installation is the second phase of the 276-MW Solomon Forks development. The $228 million East Fork project is located near the city of Colby in the northwestern part of the state. [reNEWS]

Have a gloriously happy day.

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