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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