November 6 Energy News

November 6, 2018


¶ “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)


¶ “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)


¶ “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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