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)


¶ “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. []

¶ “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. []

Fessenheim nuclear plant ( Florival fr, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “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]


¶ “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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