Archive for December, 2018

December 31 Energy News

December 31, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The US Department of Energy Roots for Floating Solar Panels. Do You?” • Floating solar PVs on water seems to make sense, right? Well, maybe. Floating PVs on water add another wrinkle to maintaining them. So does finding suitable bodies of water. But as other countries move on floating PVs, the US DOE wants the US to play catch-up. [CleanTechnica]

Floating solar panels

¶ “Social Entrepreneurs Make It Easy for 2019 To Be Your First Carbon Neutral Year” • While debates rage about what should be done about climate change, some social entrepreneurs are doing something about it. Among other things, they’re making it easy for 2019 to your first carbon neutral year. One organization working on this is Drawdown. [Forbes]

¶ “Six Renewable Energy Trends to Watch in 2019” • 2019 promises to be an exciting year for clean tech. Increasingly, numbers of countries, companies, and regions are embracing sustainable energy generation and the landscape is rapidly evolving. Here are 6 renewable energy trends to watch in the coming year. [Forbes]

Renewable energy in China (Getty image)

¶ “Trump Administration Fiddled While California Burned” • 2018 brought chilling warnings about the growing dangers of climate change. As possible evidence of it, the Camp Fire killed over 80 people and destroyed the town of Paradise, California. Scientists blamed climate change, but Trump worked to bail out the coal industry. [RTO Insider]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Flood Defences: How Willow Proved to Be a Natural Defender” • Planting willow trees on farm land along a river to grow fuel for a biomass plant had an unexpected benefit for a farmer in Cumbria. As heavy rain produced a flood that washed gravel and debris onto exposed fields, the willow trees provided protection to the adjacent fields. [The Guardian]

Willow growing along the River Eden in Cumbria
(Photo: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian)

World:

¶ “35 Renewable Energy Projects Completed Costing $3.5 Billion” • Over the past year, Pakistan added just a bit more than 1,185 MW of wind capacity to its electric grid. Six solar projects with a total of 430 MW capacity have been brought online, and six sugar mills have new bagasse co-generation projects totalling 201 MW. [Technology Times Pakistan]

¶ “Home Solar Power Systems Shine in HCM City” • Hundreds of households in Ho Chi Minh City have been benefiting from homegrown solar power systems. The Ministry of Trade and Investment has encouraged citizens to produce solar power at home to cover their own electricity demand and contribute to the national power grid. [en.vietnamplus.vn]

Solar panels in HCM City (Source: tuoitre.vn)

¶ “Cyprus to See a New Wave of Subsidy-Free PV in 2019” • Cyprus has had several policy schemes supporting development of solar power over the years, but the most important is a plan now backing projects considered subsidy-free. There have been 86 PV projects submitted for plants with capacities ranging from 100 kW to 5 MW. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Solar Power Plant Set for 2019” • A solar power plant worth more than $58 million is under construction in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. Installation of 200,000 solar modules will start in January, and they are set to begin operating late next year, said PV supplier JinkoSolar Holding Co Ltd. The plant’s capacity will be 60 MW. [The Phnom Penh Post]

Solar plant in Mexico (Alfredo Estrella | AFP)

¶ “227 MW of Solar Green-Lit for Bangladesh” • The government of Bangladesh approved proposals for setting up five solar power plants, which will generate 227 MW of electricity in the power-hungry country. The cabinet committee on public procurement agreed to buy the plant’s electricity at about 11¢/kWh for 20 years. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Vestas Nails 328-MW Norwegian Nugget” • Vestas has landed a 328-MW order to supply and install turbines at several projects in Norway. The Danish manufacturer said that variants of 4-MW machines will be used in the projects, but did not immediately give further details of the number of units, the developers, or the projects themselves. [reNEWS]

Vestas turbine installation (Vestas image)

US:

¶ “DOE Stalls Clean Energy R&D, Risking Jobs and US Competitiveness” • The US DOE may be sitting on about $600 million in Fiscal Year 2018 funding for clean energy research and development, despite clear and strong congressional guidance to invest in new technologies and innovation to pave the way for America to lead in clean energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “House Climate Change Committee to Oppose Disastrous Trump Environmental Agenda” • As Democrats become the majority party in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, its new Speaker, announced a new special committee on climate change. The chair will be Karen Castor, a 7-term representative from Tampa, Florida. [CleanTechnica]

US Capitol Building (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Climate Report Author Takes on White House” • One of the authors of the latest federal climate assessment, which warns of severe consequences for the country’s economy, environment, and public health from global warming, pushed back against the White House press secretary’s statement that the findings were not based on facts. [Parker City News]

¶ “DOE Agreement Supports Power Generated from SMRs” • Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems plans development of a 12-module NuScale nuclear demonstration plant at a site at the Idaho National Laboratory, with operation expected by 2027. The DOE signed a memorandum of understanding on two of the modules. [World Nuclear News]

Have a sublimely tranquil day.

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December 30 Energy News

December 30, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “More Republicans Than You Think Support Action on Climate Change” • New polls suggest that Republicans’ views on global warming may be at a tipping point. While the media have been focusing on splits between Democrats and Republicans, the more important gap may now be between Republican voters and the leaders they elected. [New York Times]

Time to agree (Rose Wong)

¶ “China’s Climate Progress May Have Faltered in 2018, But It Seems to Be on the Right Path” • China is among the biggest drivers of the increase in world carbon emissions expected for 2018. It accounts for 27% of global carbon dioxide emissions. But based on my research on China’s climate change policies, I see grounds for optimism. [DeSmog]

¶ “Green New Deal: What Is the Progressive Plan, and Is It Technically Possible?” • A survey from the Yale Climate Change Communication program says that 81% of voters backed its description of a Green New Deal. It would move us rapidly to clean energy, and it is technologically possible, but it does not have support from politicians.  [The Guardian]

Advocates of the Green New Deal
(Michael Brochstein | Zuma Wire | Rex | Shutterstock)

¶ “China Will Still Go Massively Nuclear but Does Not Want Western Reactor Technology” • Chinese nuclear reactors are completed in four to five years and at a half or a third of the price of those in the US and Europe. Plans for American or European reactors were over budget and late in China, so it is investing in its own technology. [Next Big Future]

¶ “Climate Change Dominated This Year’s Maine Gardener” • It’s beginning to feel like I am as much an environmental writer as a gardening columnist. Almost half of my columns in the past year involved climate change to some extent or actions people could take to make the world a better place. That is not the way they used to be. [Press Herald]

Seedling

World:

¶ “Coal India Aims to Join Big League of Miners” • Coal India’s decision to reposition itself as a holistic energy entity and harness its strength in mining by diversifying into metals will place the government-owned major in the big league of global mining. The metals mining move will help it hedge against the impact of renewable energy. [Lakeland Observer]

¶ “24 Million Jobs Could Be Created from Meeting Paris Climate Agreement Targets” • To justify leaving the Paris Agreement, Trump has repeatedly said that it will eliminate millions of US jobs. But according to International Labor Office research, his position is unfounded, as most countries, including the US, will see a net gain in employment. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines

¶ “Clean Energy Leader Costa Rica Turns Attention to Electric Cars” • Costa Rica likes to advertise itself as an ecological paradise, with over 98% of its electricity coming from clean energy. But just 600 out of 1.4 million private vehicles run on electricity instead of gas or diesel. Experts believe that is about to change, however. [The Tico Times]

¶ “Two Solar Power Bases Launched in Northwestern China” • Two solar power bases in northwest China’s Qinghai Province, with a total installed power generating capacity of 1 GW, were launched and connected to the grid, Trend reported citing Xinhua. One of them is selling power at a rate below the going rate from coal-fired plants. [AzerNews]

Solar power plant

¶ “EU to Chop New Automobile Emissions by 37.5 % by 2030” • The EU forged ahead with plans to slash carbon dioxide emissions from new cars and vans by 2030 despite industry concerns that the targets could be unrealistic. They will require new cars sold in 2030 to emit 37.5% less carbon dioxide on average compared to 2021 levels. [Infosurhoy]

¶ “Zimbabwe Saves Fortune on Energy Bill” • Zimbabwe’s bill for energy imports dropped from at least $48 million to about $1.2 million monthly, as efforts to invest in local electricity generation to underpin economic growth begin to bear fruit. With new power projects, Zimbabwe is moving towards energy self-sufficiency. [Bulawayo24 News]

Kariba Dam, Zimbabwe (Rhys Jones, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “NV Energy Mulls Retiring 254-MW Coal Unit in Nevada Ahead of Schedule” • Reports indicate that the public utility firm NV Energy is planning to retire a 254-MW coal-fired generating unit, located in Nevada’s power constrained region, by the end of 2021. This would be four years ahead of the schedule for it to be closed down. [Global4Energy News]

¶ “Climate Change is Affecting Northeastern Pennsylvania” • The Fourth National Climate Assessment, completed last month, reinforced what scientists have long known: Climate change is already making its mark on Pennsylvania, and the state faces a future that will be warmer, wetter, and challenged by extremes that keep getting more extreme. [Tribune-Review]

Trail biking in winter (Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review)

¶ “Ørsted, with the Support of PSEG, Submits Bid to Build First NJ Offshore Wind Farm” • Ørsted submitted a bid to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to build its Ocean Wind project in response to the first offshore wind request for proposal under Governor Phil Murphy’s clean energy agenda, according to a release. [Cape May County Herald]

¶ “Construction Underway Near Cashton on Second Community Solar garden” • Xcel Energy announced that construction of the second Solar*Connect Community project is underway. The solar garden, part of Wisconsin’s largest community solar garden program, is being built by OneEnergy Renewables, a leading developer across the US. [La Crosse Tribune]

Have an impressively uplifting day.

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December 29 Energy News

December 29, 2018

Signs of Changing Times for Auto Makers:

¶ “WSJ Auto Columnist: Next Vehicle Will Be Electric, Gasmobiles Soon to Be Like Flip Phones” • Wall Street Journal auto columnist Dan Neil discussed his next car. It will be an EV. He said, “During the reasonable service life of any vehicle I buy today, I expect the demand for IC-powered vehicles will drop to practically zero. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla’s current lineup (Photo: Zach Shahan for CleanTechnica)

¶ “Bloomberg: To Catch Up to Tesla, Big Auto Needs ‘Tricky Financial Stunt'” • As Tesla gains market share, legacy automakers face tough decisions. Bloomberg warns, “The future of the auto industry is going to look like the history of the cell phone … some of today’s dominant car companies will share the fate of a few former titans of the smartphone. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EV Charging Rates for Commercial Electric Trucks, Buses, and Fast Chargers – Policies Forming” • Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric, two of the largest utilities in the nation, have developed an innovative suite of rates designed specifically for commercial EV charging, providing significant fuel cost savings. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a fleet of EVs

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bioplastic Breakthrough Promises Polymers Without Using Precious Land or Water Resources” • Researchers at Tel Aviv University say they made a polymer from microorganisms that feed on seaweed. The process produces no toxic waste. Better still, the resulting plastic is biodegradable and also creates nothing but organic waste. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “India Commits ₹4,500 Crore to Bhutan’s 12th Five-Year Plan” • India announced that it will contribute ₹4,500 crore ($676.4 million) to Bhutan’s 12th Five-Year Plan, after talks headed by the countries’ prime ministers. The two sides also reviewed the progress of various hydro-power projects in the Himalayan kingdom. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Hydro project

¶ “Vestas Celebrates 12 GW Order Record for 2018” • A flurry of end-year deals helped Vestas record over 12 GW of global orders for 2018. Over 350 MW of projects announced in Europe have helped the company beat its previous record last year, 11,178 MW. These include projects in Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Ukraine, and Poland. [reNEWS]

¶ “Turbine Giant Becomes 1-GW Wizard in Oz” • Vestas has signed a 184-MW engineering, procurement and construction contract for a wind project in Western Australia. The deal pushes the company’s Australian order intake for 2018 to 1 GW, the highest in one year since Vestas installed its first wind farm in Australia, 25 years ago. [reNEWS]

Vestas wind farm (Vestas image)

¶ “Eco revolution! Solar powered Jamia Millia Islamia to get green buildings too” • Jamia Millia Islamia, which now has the largest solar power plant among all central universities in India, is going green completely as it plans become emission-free and fully renewable energy-reliant by turning itself into a net source of electricity. [Times Now]

US:

¶ “EPA Proposes New Rule That Could Allow Fewer Restrictions on Toxins” • The Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is proposing new rules for the regulation of hazardous air pollutants, potentially making way for fewer restrictions on various pollutants in the future. A number of groups were quick to criticise the move. [CNN]

Brandon Shores power plant (Mark Wilson | Getty Images)

¶ “Powerhouse 3.0 Solar Shingles Head to The Roof” • The snail-slow solar shingle race is moving once again, as Real Goods Solar accepted the first of its $127 million worth of Powerhouse preorders on December 27. The company also announced plans to ramp up production every quarter during 2019 toward a 5-MW annual capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Massachusetts Reboots Its EV Incentive Program” • After January 1, the maximum rebate for EVs in Massachusetts will be reduced to $1,500 and only fully battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell cars will be eligible. Hybrids will not be given rebates. In addition, the sticker price of the car must be under $50,000 to qualify for the program. [CleanTechnica]

Chevrolet Bolt

¶ “Connecticut to Tap Power from Seabrook to Generate Clean Energy” • Nuclear power plants in Connecticut and New Hampshire were among electricity producers selected to provide the clean energy Connecticut needs to meet its goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nine solar project and one offshore wind farm were also chosen. [Concord Monitor]

¶ “CU Hits Goal of 40% Renewable Energy” • City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri, signed a deal that brings its renewable energy portfolio to a goal of more than 40%. CU announced that it is buying 100 MW of power from Enel Green Power’s new Diamond Vista wind farm near Salina, Kansas, according to a news release. [Springfield Business Journal]

Wind turbine (Photo provided by City Utilities of Springfield)

¶ “NREL Details Great Potential for Floating PV Systems” • In a paper that was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, researchers at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated that floating solar PVs on the more than 24,000 man-made US reservoirs could provide about 10% of the nation’s electricity. [POWER magazine]

¶ “Santee Cooper Sues Partner over Project” • South Carolina’s state-owned utility is suing its partner in a failed nuclear project, saying the privately owned South Carolina Electric & Gas had committed fraud and misconduct that caused billions of dollars to be wasted on the unfinished reactors. The two utilities spent over $9 billion on the project. [106.3 WORD]

Have a sweetly memorable day.

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December 28 Energy News

December 28, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The 35 Easiest Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint” • In the face of the recent  National Climate Assessment report on the threats of climate change, the Trump administration keeps on trying to roll back environmental policies. Individuals, can make a difference, however, by reducing personal greenhouse gas emissions. [State of the Planet]

Cycling (Photo: SFBicycleCoalition)

¶ “2018 Was Key to Australian Clean Energy Industry, 2019 Has to Continue That Growth” • It will be interesting, in a decade or so, to see how we rate this year for the role it played for clean technology around the world. Significant milestones were met and exceeded the world over, but also some tremendous failures. Australia saw both. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Volkswagen’s New Mobile EV Charging Solution” • VW is offering a glimpse of its mobile quick charging station. It works according to the principle of a power bank, to charge an EV’s battery from its own internal battery. It has quick charging technology, and can charge a car with suitable connections in 17 minutes. [CleanTechnica]

VW EV Charging Solution

¶ “Perovskite Solar Panels Edge Closer To Production As Prices Fall” • Perovskite PVs can be sprayed or painted on virtually any surface. The source materials are abundant and inexpensive, but Perovskites are nevertheless more efficient than silicon cells. Their one drawback is that they do not last long. That problem is being addressed. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Divestment Year in Review 2018” • Over 1000 institutions with managed investments worth almost $8 trillion have made commitments to divest from fossil fuels. Increasingly, managers are aware of the risks of climate breakdown and deciding of their own accord to divest from morally unsound and financially risky industries. [CleanTechnica]

Divestment demonstration

¶ “The Solar Tracker Global Growth Rate Is Stunning” • The multi-billion dollar demand for solar trackers is expected to continue for at least the next five years, a market forecast says. The global single-axis solar PV tracker market is expected to show a cumulative average growth rate of close to 28% during the period 2019-2023. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Making Big Battery Storage Push in 2019” • China is set to add a significant amount of both lithium-ion and flow batteries to its electric power grid next year. China’s renewable energy portfolio now stands at 706 GW according to Bloomberg, but 7.7% of the electricity from wind turbines is curtailed, as is 2.9% from solar panels. [CleanTechnica]

Inspecting a flow battery in China (Credit: VRB Energy)

¶ “IHS Predicts Global Solar Installations to Reach 123 Gigawatts in 2019” • Leading clean energy analysts IHS Markit has released a new solar PV installation forecast. It expects to see 2019 deliver the highest level of new solar capacity installed in a year, with total installations to increase by 18% and reach 123 GW across the world. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Governor-Elect Polis and Incoming Democrats Want Greener Pastures for Colorado Energy” • While outgoing Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper wrote an executive order to cut carbon emissions, there is palpable excitement over the prospect that Governor-elect Polis could go beyond that with his 100% renewable pledge. [Colorado Public Radio]

Colorado wind turbines (Hart Van Denburg | CPR News)

¶ “New Jersey BPU Releases Plan for New Solar Program After SREC Ends” • The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities staff has issued a straw proposal to assist in the transition from the current Solar Renewable Energy Certificate Program to a new system. The SREC program is set to be closed when PV growth criteria are met. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Enel Brings 620 MW of New US Wind Online” • Enel Green Power North America Inc has announced the start of operations of the 320-MW Rattlesnake Creek wind farm in Nebraska and the 300-MW Diamond Vista wind farm in Kansas. Combined, the two new projects will generate around 2,600 GWh of electricity each year. [North American Windpower]

Rattlesnake Creek wind farm

¶ “Coal-free El Paso Electric Adding Solar, Gas, and Energy Storage” • EPE announced plans to add multiple cleaner emitting sources for capacity needed to meet demands of the 2022-2023 summer peak season. The winning bids include 200 MW in solar, 100 MW of battery storage and a new 226-MW natural gas-fired combustion turbine. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ “Power Plant Explosion Casts New Light on New York’s Dirty Fuel Addiction” • A transformer explosion that illuminated the New York City skyline late Thursday night came from one of the state’s dirtiest plants, casting new light on the city’s dependence on antiquated oil-burning power stations and bolstering calls for cleaner electricity. [HuffPost]

Eerie light from the power plant explosion
(Jeenah Moon | Bloomberg Via Getty Images)

¶ “Cooper Says It Is Time to Fight Climate Change” • North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper gave cabinet secretaries their marching orders to fulfill his executive order calling for a 40% reduction in the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. He said there has been progress, but efforts for a cleaner, healthier North Carolina have stalled. [Coastal Review Online]

¶ “$15 Billion SCANA Deal Closer to Completion” • The $15 billion sale of the South Carolina-based SCANA, to Dominion Energy of Virginia appears to be on the way to completion. Earlier this year, Dominion pulled back on $1000 refunds to customers, who paid more than $2 billion for construction of two nuclear reactors that are now abandoned. [WFAE]

Have an appreciably hunky-dory day.

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December 27 Energy News

December 27, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change: Huge Costs of Warming Impacts in 2018” • Extreme weather events linked to climate change cost thousands of lives and caused huge damage throughout the world in 2018, says Christian Aid. The charity’s report identified ten events that cost more than $1 billion each, with four costing more than $7 billion each. [BBC]

Agricultural loss (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “PCRET Installs 562 Micro-Hydro Power Plants” • The Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies installed 562 micro-hydro power plants with a total capacity of 9.7 MW during the last five years, electrifying more than 80,000 houses. It installed 155 small wind turbines also, electrifying 1560 houses, and it installed 4016 biogas plants. [The Nation]

¶ “1.7 Million People Have Signed a Petition in Favor of Suing France over Climate-Change Inaction” • More than 1.7 million people have signed a petition in favor of suing the French government for inaction on climate change. Four NGOs have initiated legal proceedings saying France has defaulted on its environmental obligations. [Quartz]

Demonstration in France (Piroschka van de Wouw | Reuters)

¶ “Shell Set to Double Renewable Budget” • Royal Dutch Shell says it will double investment in low-carbon energy to $4 billion a year while it looks to spend $1-2 billion annually on renewable energy within the next 24 months. Shell has been subjected to activist shareholder pressure for years, especially from one Dutch investment group. [Energy Reporters]

¶ “Global Coal Demand Set to Remain Stable Through 2023 Despite 2018 Increase” • Global coal demand is expected to rise for a second year in a row in 2018. The International Energy Agency believes growth in India and Southeast Asia will be offset by declines in Europe and North America, leaving demand somewhat stable through 2023. [CleanTechnica]

Transporting coal in Indonesia

¶ “Chinese ‘Party Offshore'” • Chinese company State Power Investment Corp brought a 72-turbine offshore wind farm online off the coast of Jiangsu Province. The 302.4-MW Dafeng project is located 43 km from Yancheng City, according to local media reports. It took 202 days to build and will generate 870 GWh of electricity per year. [reNEWS]

¶ “Spain’s power 40% renewable in 2018” • In Spain, the share of renewables in power generation is estimated at 40% this year, up from 33.7% in 2017, thanks to wind farms and increased output from hydropower. Data from grid operator Red Electrica de Espana for 2018 showed that wind’s share was 19.8%, just behind nuclear’s 21.4%. [Renewables Now]

Spanish wind park (Santi Villamarín, CC-BY-2.0, NoDerivs)

¶ “China Starts Operating Most Powerful Single Nuclear Reactor” • China has completed and is now operating an advanced french designed EPR nuclear reactor with 1750 MW of power. This is the most energy from a single nuclear reactor. The main design objectives of the new EPR design are increased safety and competitiveness. [Next Big Future]

US:

¶ “Ørsted Receives 20-Year PPA Approval from Connecticut Regulators” • Ørsted US Offshore Wind announced last week that its 200-MW Revolution Wind Connecticut offshore wind farm, off the coast of that state, has received approval from State regulators for its 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with two state utilities. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island wind farm

¶ “Mercury Emissions From Power Plants Drop 81.7%” • Mercury emissions from power plants fell 81.7% from 2011 through 2017, after establishment of the EPA Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, data from the Center for American Progress shows. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is considering rolling back key standards elements. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ “Ultra-Fast Chargers Come to California” • The Porsche Taycan (formerly Mission E) cars will be arriving shortly. They will be able to take advantage of ultra-fast chargers now being installed in California. The new 350-kW charging equipment can provide a properly equipped electric car with 240 miles of driving range in just 30 minutes. [CleanTechnica]

EVgo 350 kW fast charge station

¶ “After Back-to-Back Hurricanes, North Carolina Reconsiders Climate Change” • After North Carolina was hit by two major hurricanes within two years and flooding rainfall from a third, the state that once spurned the science of sea level rise in its zoning rules is starting to take climate change more seriously. It also has a new governor. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Ormat Adopts Hybrid Solar+Geothermal Tech” • Ormat Technologies is adding solar energy to a geothermal plant to raise efficiency and to boost income from the energy off-taker, Southern California Public Power Authority. The 18-MW PV installation will cover the 24-MW geothermal plant’s operational energy consumption. [CleanTechnica]

Ormat Technologies geothermal plant

¶ “Minnesota Power Expands Wind Power Portfolio” • The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Minnesota Power’s 20-year purchase agreement with Tenaska Inc, for 250 MW of wind-generated electricity, tentatively from the Nobles 2 wind farm, expanding the utility’s wind portfolio to 870 MW capacity. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ “Where Does Your State Get Its Electricity? The NYTimes Knows.” • Using Energy Information Administration data, the New York Times created a graphic representation of how America generates electricity, comparing today’s energy mix to what it was in 2001. Graphs show the shift away from coal power and the rise of natural gas. [CleanTechnica]

Have a really nice day.

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December 26 Energy News

December 26, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Ho Hum. Air Pollution Is Harming Your Children. So What Else Is New?” • Thanks to the billions of dollars spent by fossil fuel companies, a significant portion of the population believes Al Gore is a raving lunatic, climate scientists are just hired guns with big salaries, and climate change is a Chinese hoax. But we know pollution hurts our children. [CleanTechnica]

Playing in smog

¶ “Looking for a Shred of Good News on Global Warming? Consider the Explosion of Cheaper Clean Energy” • It is clear that 2018 was a terrible year for Earth’s climate, with long lists of weather events and dire assessments. While it may seem there is nothing to be optimistic about, there is one very good reason for hope: renewable energy. [Common Dreams]

¶ “How Twelve Communities Are Fighting Climate Change and What’s Standing in Their Way” • Tiny Imperial Beach is suing Big Oil. College students are educating their generation and their elders. Regulators and business owners are finding new ways to expand clean energy, and states are starting to commit to 100% renewable energy. [InsideClimate News]

Exposed to rising sea levels – Imperial Beach,
California (Credit: David Hasemyer | ICN)

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘It’s Warm Water Now’: Climate Change Strands Sea Turtles on Cape Cod shores” • Every year, as ocean temperatures off Cape Cod drop below 10°C (50°F), dead and stricken sea turtles that failed to migrate south wash up on the shore. In the 1980s, the numbers averaged in the dozens. Today, the number has risen to well over a thousand. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “Fresh Capacity Addition in Thermal, Hydro Power Tanks 69% in April to November” • In India, additions of thermal and hydro capacity hydro power plunged 69% in the period of April to November, as renewables gained momentum. One industry source attributed the decline to fear of stranded assets and difficulty accessing finance. [Business Standard]

Emissions

¶ “Another First for East Africa as Round-the-Clock Hybrid Power Grids Start Operations” • Uganda is set to be East Africa’s first country to use hybrid solar and hydrogen technology to power areas not on a national grid. Tiger Power signed an agreement for a hybrid plant to power 3,000 households and businesses in three villages. [The East African]

¶ “Karnataka Now Number One in Renewable Energy Production” • With 12,640 MW in cumulative installed capacity of renewable energy, Karnataka this year became number one state in India in enhancing its renewable energy capacity. It is the only state in the country to have added over 5265 MW of installed solar capacity. [Deccan Chronicle]

Solar plant in Tumakuru district

¶ “Five-year Jail Terms Sought for Ex-TEPCO Execs over Nuclear Crisis” • Five-year prison terms were sought for three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc for their alleged failure to prevent the Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan. [Kyodo News Plus]

¶ “2018: The Year of Day Zero and the Mega-Drought” • In 2018, Cape Town, South Africa, one of the wealthiest cities in Africa, faced the prospect of running out of water. This city of four million people was counting down the days to “Day Zero,” when their taps would be dry. Conservation measures have put off reaching Day Zero, for now. [DeSmog]

A sign (Photo courtesy of the University of New South Wales)

US:

¶ “Solar Farm Approvals on Deck; BN Group-Buy Matches First” • McLean County, Illinois, is on track to have 18 solar farms considered for state approval this spring, after another group-buy program for small-scale solar development. County officials will consider four farms in January in addition to fourteen already approved. [Bloomington Pantagraph]

¶ “Local Group Pushes for 100 Percent Clean, Renewable Energy in Athens” • When it comes to climate change, if the federal government does nothing about it, then we must do it ourselves. A new group, 100% Athens, is pushing for Athens-Clarke County to get all of the electricity for Athens from renewable energy resources. [Flagpole Magazine]

Solar farm in Tennessee (Credit: Thomas R Machnitzki)

¶ “Report Sounds Cautionary Warning for Future of Navajo Generating Station” • A report from the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said the Navajo Transitional Energy Co can expect to lose about $170 million during the years of 2020-2027 because of its investment in the coal-burning Four Corners Power Plant. [Navajo-Hopi Observer]

¶ “Regulators Approve NV Energy Plan to Build Six New Solar Power Plants” • With little fanfare or discussion, Nevada regulators have unanimously approved a major energy supply plan that will result in construction of six major solar projects and conditionally retire one of the state’s two remaining coal-firing power plants by 2021. [Sparks Tribune]

Have a fabulously delightful day.

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December 25 Energy News

December 25, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Clean Energy Year in Review 2018: Reversing Trump Administration Rollbacks” • For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The Trump administration’s furious assault on pollution protections has, in turn, catalyzed a powerful and growing movement that is pushing back against these misguided rollback attempts. [CleanTechnica]

Solar and wind (Wind Solar Alliance)

¶ “Japan Must Ditch Nuclear Plant Exports for Global Trends in Renewable Energy” • Projects to export nuclear power plants, a pillar of the “growth strategy” promoted by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, appear to be crumbling. Nothing else can be said but that the export projects have effectively failed. [The Mainichi]

¶ “Big Oil Claims Higher Fuel Economy Standards Hurt Poor People the Most. That’s a Lie.” • To hear Big Oil tell it, rolling back fuel economy standards is a blessing for the poor. The logic is that more fuel-efficient cars cost more to make, so new cars have to be less fuel-efficient to be affordable for poor people who buy new cars. [CleanTechnica]

Affordable car (Credit: Wikimedia)

World:

¶ “6.3% Plug-In Vehicle Market Share in China!” • After two record-breaking months in China (September with 105,000 sales and October with 120,000), November plug-in vehicle sales kept on pushing forward. There were more than 140,000 registrations there last month, up 59% year over year. The previous record was beaten by 18%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renault Will Use Sails to Cut Emissions on Trans-Atlantic Routes” • 60% of the parts in Renault’s supply chain travel by sea at some point and many of its finished cars are transported by ships as well. To reduce its carbon footprint, it is partnering with Neoline to build two experimental roll-on/roll-off car carriers powered by sails. [CleanTechnica]

Renault Neoline sailing cargo ship

¶ “Poland’s Planned 1-GW Ostroleka C Coal Plant Gets 15-year Support” • The zł6.023 billion (€1.4 billion, $1.6 billion) 1-GW Ostroleka C coal-burning plant got 15 years of subsidies in a capacity auction, co-owner Energa said. Energy ministry officials said it will be Poland’s last large coal plant. ClientEarth is taking legal action. [S&P Global Platts]

¶ “Multilateral Banks Pile Onto Mexico Solar” • Mexico’s solar expansion over the last three years makes it one of the fastest growing solar nations. Much of this growth has been financed by a host of multilateral development banks, including several from the US. Four have just committed to an 80-MW project in the state of Chihuahua. [CleanTechnica]

Rendering of Aztec Sun Stone
(Photo: Manuel Vega Veláquez, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “India Revises Solar Auction Plans as Tariffs Beat Thermal Power Prices” • The Indian government has been forced to cancel 12 GW of solar power auctions due to a sharp decline in solar power tariff bids. This may seem counter-intuitive, but this capacity was to be supplied along with thermal power from coal-based power plants. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Beatrice Hits Halfway” • Swire Blue Ocean jack-up Pacific Orca has installed 42 of the 84 Siemens Gamesa turbines at SSE’s 588-MW Beatrice offshore wind farm off the coast of Scotland. The first 7-MW machine was installed in July, when the project also delivered first power. Full commissioning of Beatrice is planned for next year. [reNEWS]

Pacific Orca at Beatrice (Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Ltd)

¶ “Labour ‘Plots UK Offshore Revolution'” • A future UK Labour government would aim to increase offshore wind farm capacity sevenfold by 2030 to help meet the party’s renewable energy target of 60%. Labour views the challenge of climate change as an opportunity to bring skilled jobs and economic regeneration to disadvantaged communities. [reNEWS]

¶ “Horns Rev 3 Delivers First Power” • Vattenfall achieved first power from its 406-MW Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm off the west coast of Denmark. The first of the MHI Vestas V164 turbines started generating electricity on 23 December, according to a Vattenfall spokesman. The project will have 49 machines, each an output of 8.3 MW. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Vattenfall image)

US:

¶ “Black Hills Energy Says Wind Farm a Response to Customers” • Black Hills Corp is pursuing regulatory approval for a proposed $57 million, 40-MW wind farm west of Cheyenne, Wyoming, while it seeks commitments from South Dakota’s largest energy consumers interested in using the renewable energy. BHC is a leading coal producer. [Rapid City Journal]

¶ “Alaska Husky Racing Threatened by Receding Ice” • For now, the centuries-old tradition of husky racing is still alive and well in Alaska. But a changing climate means the competition season for these canine athletes is shrinking. The smooth, deep snow that is required for the dogs to run at full strength arrives a little later each year. [BBC]

Driver and sled dogs

¶ “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue to Decline in New England” • New England’s increased reliance on natural gas has taken the biggest bite out of greenhouse gas emissions, a report by ISO New England said. But it notes that efficiency initiatives and efforts for renewable resources should continue to decrease emissions. [theday.com]

¶ “Minnesota Set to See Second Consecutive Year of Strong Solar Energy Growth” • Minnesota is set for a second consecutive year of strong growth for solar energy, with a 23% increase in the size of the state’s community solar garden program. Developers in the state also are on track to add at least four larger “utility scale” solar arrays. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Have a lovely day and a wonderful holiday season.

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December 24 Energy News

December 24, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Optimistic Activists for a Green New Deal: Inside the Youth-Led Singing Sunrise Movement” • Founded last year by a dozen or so twenty-somethings, the Sunrise movement, began its campaign for the Green New Deal last month when two hundred activists occupied Nancy Pelosi’s office a week after the midterm elections. [The New Yorker]

Sunrise Movement activists (Michael Brochstein | SOPA | Getty)

¶ “A Year of Climate Change Evidence: Notes from a Science Reporter’s Journal” • Compelling new evidence shows we will speed past a dangerous climate-risk threshold as soon as 2030 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, which could trigger climate change on a scale presenting grave dangers for all of us. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Will Tesla Sales Plummet in 2019 with Loss of Tax Credit and Backlog Filled?” • Two things that put some wind under Tesla’s wings in 2018 are changing in 2019: tax credits and pre-orders. Will the 2019 US federal tax credit reduction reduce Tesla sales? Will the pre-orders be filled and demand dry up? Evidence suggests otherwise. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

Science and Technology:

¶ “Canada Battery Maker Says Flow Storage Costs to Tumble by Half” • CellCube Energy Storage Systems Inc, a Canada-listed maker of batteries that can last for as long as two decades, said the cost of its vanadium redox flow battery technology may halve within four years to $150/kWh, potentially giving it a market advantage. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “Full Steam Ahead For First Ever Diesel-Killing, High Speed Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ferry” • Last summer CleanTechnica took note of plans for a futuristic new fuel cell ferryboat slated to ply the waters of San Francisco Bay. Now the vessel is on track to launch (literally) next year according to its developer, Golden Gate Zero Emissions Marine. [CleanTechnica]

Hydrogen fuel-cell ferry

World:

¶ “Strong Financial Support for EVs in New Dutch Climate Accord” • A broadly supported “climate accord” presented to the Dutch government by civil society organizations envisions strong financial support for the purchase of EVs. It proposes a subsidy of €6,000 on EV purchases in 2021, to be lowered by €400 per year to €2,200 in 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Utilisation of Geothermal Energy in the Agricultural Sector of Greece” • While there is no geothermal power plant in Greece yet, maybe the time is ripe. Geothermal energy is widely used in the Greek agricultural sector to heat greenhouses for growing tomatoes, vegetables, and other plants. And it is used to dehydrate food. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Greek farmers’ market (Didier BIGAND, flickr)

¶ “6-kW to 7-kW Solar Power System Installations Up 135%” • In Australia, 193,960 small-scale solar PV installations, with a combined capacity of 1,337 MW, had been validated this year as of December 17, the Clean Energy Regulator said. It expects a final total of at least 1,600 MW of small-scale solar PV capacity for the year. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Shetland Council Eyeing Up What Would be UK’s Largest Renewable Hydrogen Project” • The idea of turning surplus energy from a wind farm in Shetland into hydrogen to use for heating and transport is being explored by a group led by the Shetland Island Council. Other local renewable operators may be encouraged to do the same. [Energy Voice]

Garth windfarm in Yell

¶ “Maharashtra Issues Tender to Procure 500 MW of Wind Power from Existing Projects” • Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited issued a tender to get 500 MW of wind power from projects in the state that are already operating or commissioned. MSEDCL has fixed ₹1.97/kWh (3¢/kWh) as the ceiling tariff. [Mercom India]

¶ “Ørsted Opens Battery Storage” • Ørsted’s Carnegie Road energy storage system in Liverpool is now operational. Carnegie Road is Ørsted’s first standalone, large-scale battery project at 20 MW. This project supports the 90-MW Burbo Bank offshore wind farm’s production scheduling, and it additionally provides some grid services. [4C Offshore]

Carnegie Road energy storage (Ørsted image)

US:

¶ “US Wind Energy Walks All Over Trump’s Coal Talk ” • For all of President* Trump’s coal-friendly rhetoric, the vast renewable energy resources of the US are ripe for the picking, and global energy companies are shaking the tree. A case in point is Italy’s Enel, which is capping its 2018 activities with some interesting news. (Interview) [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ohio Governor Asks Elon Musk to Save Lordstown Assembly Plant” • Ohio Gov John Kasich sent a tweet to Elon Musk asking him to consider taking over the 53 year old GM plant in Lordstown. He got a tweet back, “Thanks, will consider next year.” Tesla is working hard to make cars as fast as it can for the rest of this year. [CleanTechnica]

Lordstown Ohio Factory (GM image)

¶ “Greenfield Light & Power to Offer 100% Local Renewable Power” • Greenfield Light & Power can finally offer 100% local renewable power to its customers. The announcement was rolled into the release of a two-year contract for energy users in the Massachusetts town. The GL&P rate will be 10.565¢/kWh. The standard utility rate is 11.516¢/kWh. [The Recorder]

¶ “PSC Staff Concerned More Project Delays Ahead for Vogtle Nuclear Plant” • Staff and independent analysts for the Georgia Public Service Commission said the situation for the Vogtle nuclear power site is so dire that the agency should hire another outside consultant to protect consumer interests and ensure the project is not further delayed. [WSB Radio]

Have an excitingly excellent day.

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December 23 Energy News

December 23, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “An Indian Perspective on the Poland Climate Meeting: Not Much Help for the World’s Poor and Vulnerable” • COP 24 ended with a deal that was vital, though limited. From my perspective as a social scientist focusing on conservation and development, however, the meeting failed to match the urgency of needed climate action. [PBS NewsHour]

Flood (Rupak De Chowdhuri | Reuters)

¶ “Here Is How Climate Science Will Be Affected by the Government Shutdown” • Among the bodies a shutdown will hit hardest are the National Science Foundation, NASA, and NOAA, which have been operating under temporary funding for most of the year. They are responsible for critical scientific research, including on climate change. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “How New Jersey (Almost) Missed the Boat on Offshore Wind” • The US offshore wind industry is roaring into life, though for New Jersey the change is bittersweet. In 2015, US Wind nailed down a lease off the New Jersey coast for just over $1 million. Last week, they turned around and sold the same lease to EDF Renewables for $215 million. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind ares off New Jersey and New York

Science and Technology:

¶ “Science Extra: IPCC Report Warns Earths’ Climate Is in Serious Trouble” • Australian Broadcasting Company online environment reporter Nick Kilvert discusses the year’s biggest environment stories with science editor Jonathan Webb. At the top of the list, the IPCC report warns that world must act now on climate change. [ABC News]

¶ “EVA Autonomous Air Taxi Has Extended Wings and Can Function as Search and Rescue Aircraft” • Electric air mobility startup EVA has a promising electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. The eVTOL is small, 100% autonomous, and ingeniously configured. EVA says it is months away from certifications and from flying the machine. [CleanTechnica]

EVA eVTOL

¶ “Climate Change Will Worsen India’s Farm Crisis and Increase Income Inequality, Find Studies” • Of the top 10 carbon polluters in the world, only India and Canada are making clear progress on dealing with climate change, analysis found. But India’s efforts will still not be enough to limit global warming, and the ongoing farm crisis in India will worsen. [Scroll.in]

World:

¶ “As Trains Cross the DMZ Between the Koreas, Hopes Rise for an Energy Supergrid” • Trains crossing the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea are carrying more than just hopes for peace. Also riding the track with them is a plan to connect the Korean peninsula to Eurasian transport and energy networks. [South China Morning Post]

Train about to cross the Korean DMZ (AP image)

¶ “Climate Commitments by over 9,000 Cities: UN Yearbook” • Commitments to climate actions have been made by more than 9,000 cities from 128 countries, around 240 states and regions from over 40 countries and more than 6,000 businesses in 120 countries, says a UN yearbook for 2018. Together, they represent $36 trillion. [Outlook India]

¶ “Masdar Signs $1.6 billion Refinancing Deal for Dudgeon Wind Farm” • Masdar, Equnior, and China Resources Group have signed a hybrid refinancing agreement worth $1.6 billion for the 402-MW Dudgeon wind farm JV. Dudgeon is off the coast of Norfolk. Both financing tranches were oversubscribed, Masdar said. [MEConstructionNews.com]

Offshore wind turbines (Andy Dingley, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Saudi Arabia ‘On Its Way to Become a Nuclear Power’” • Saudi Arabia plans to build two large nuclear power reactors as part of a program of delivering as many as 16 nuclear power plants over the next 20 to 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. It has projected 17 GW of nuclear capacity by 2032 to provide 15% of expected demand. [ZAWYA]

US:

Wind turbines

¶ “LG Electronics Enrolls Five Facilities in Purely Green Sustainability Program” • RPD Energy arranged the supply of wind energy and concurrent Renewable Energy Certificates for five LG Electronics USA facilities in Texas, Illinois, and New Jersey. The LG facilities are served under the Purely Green affinity program. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods Partner to Transform the Future of Sustainable Energy” • Smithfield Foods, Inc and Dominion Energy are forming a joint venture, Align Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)℠ with projects in North Carolina, Virginia, and Utah. It will capture methane emissions from hog farms and convert them into clean energy. [Hartsburg News]

¶ “Logan County’s Sugar Creek Wind Project Changes Owners, Scheduled for 2019 Construction” • Development of the Sugar Creek Wind project in Logan County, Illinois, will change hands as it was announced that project was sold to a subsidiary of Canada-based Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. Construction on the 202-MW will begin in 2019. [Herald & Review]

Have a decidedly superior day.

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December 22 Energy News

December 22, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Government Continues to Fail in Fight Against Climate Change, Free Market Steps-Up” • The Trump Administration’s environmental policy is as consistent as it is depressing. Time after time, on issue after issue, the White House and the executive branch officials have sided with big polluters and dirty energies. [American Legal News]

Wind farm (AdobeStock image)

¶ “The Climate Change Debate – An Insider’s Perspective” • For climate scientists, the idea that humans are altering our climate system is similar to gravity in that it is considered a fundamental concept on which all new geoscience research is based. Despite what deniers claim, Scientists stopped debating the idea a long time ago. [Rutland Herald]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Rabbit Gene Turns Houseplant into Air Detoxifier” • Scientists at the University of Washington made the golden pothos, a houseplant, remove toxic gases from the air by inserting a rabbit gene called CYP2E1 into its DNA. The plant’s DNA was altered by adding a gene from a rabbit, enabling the plant to break down volatile organic compounds. [CNN]

Golden pathos (Mark Stone | University of Washington)

¶ “Bill Gates-Led Fund Is Investing in a Startup to Build a Cheap Battery Using a ‘Refrigerator on Steroids'” • The Boston-based startup Malta thinks it has one answer for energy storage. At a time when lithium-ion battery packs cost, on average, $176/kWh, the Malta system could be as low as $12.7/kWh, though it does have much reduced efficiency. [Quartz]

World:

¶ “e.GO Plans to Boldly Go Where No EV Startup Has Gone Before” • Tiny e.GO Mobile, an electric car startup based in Aachen, Germany, says delivery of its Life no-frills EV will begin in April. The Life will have a range of 75 to 114 miles, a top speed of 72 to 94 miles per hour, and be priced between $18,000 and $22,500. [CleanTechnica]

e.GO Life

¶ “Volkswagen Must Sell 1.8 Million EVs a Year to Meet 2030 EU Emissions Goals” • Volkswagen head Herbert Diess told the press last week that to meet the EU’s stricter new emissions goal, his company will need to sell 1.8 million EVs a year in Europe by 2030. This is 600,000 more electric cars a year than it had been planning to sell. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind, Solar Cheaper than Coal, and Responsible for Falling Energy Price Outlook” • Major reports from Australia’s chief energy institutions point to the importance of the economic benefits of solar and wind power. A report from the energy market operator and the CSIRO finds that renewables are the cheapest new-built power. [pv magazine Australia]

Solar and wind power (Image: Pixabay | Public Domain)

¶ “Swedish Housing Block Powered 100% by Sun and Hydrogen” • The world’s first completely energy self-sufficient housing complex is located in Vårgårda, Sweden. The complex now runs entirely on solar energy and stored hydrogen as the result of a Danish-Swedish partnership between Better Energy and Nilsson Energy. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶ “Tucson Electric Power Turns to Sheep to Eliminate Unwanted Vegetation at Solar Facilities” • Tucson Electric Power’s large solar arrays need plenty of sun, so the weeds can’t grow too high. Weeds proliferate underneath the solar panels, so TEP keeps the crop under control by using sheep instead of lawn equipment or herbicides. [Inside Tucson Business]

Tucson Electric Power solar array (Courtesy photo)

¶ “Coal-Fired Power Plant Retirements Picked Up in 2018” • Utilities and organizations with onsite energy generating plants continued to phase out coal-fired plants in 2018. Announcements made thist the year included plans to switch to renewables. The organizations moving away from coal range from universities to businesses. [Energy Manager Today]

¶ “Ormat’s McGinness Hills Phase 3 Geothermal Plant Begins Operations” • Ormat Technologies has announced the start of commercial operations at a geothermal plant, McGinness Hills Phase 3, in Nevada. The combined capacity of the three units at the McGinness Hills geothermal plant is said to have increased to 138 MW. [Power Technology]

Geothermal power plant (Credit: Christopher Porter)

¶ “PUCN Approves Largest Clean Energy Investment in Nevada History” • The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved NV Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan. The plan will bring 1,001 MW of new renewable energy projects to Nevada, including, for the first time, 100 MW of battery storage capacity, according to NV Energy. [KRNV My News 4]

¶ “Wind Energy Capacity to More Than Double in Wyoming after Years of Stagnancy” • Seven projects that will more than double Wyoming’s windpower capacity are under way. Six other states are also on pace to double capacity, including Arkansas, New Mexico, and Maryland, according to the American Wind Energy Association. [Wyoming Public Media]

Wind turbines in Wyoming (CGP Grey, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “DOE Signs on to INL Small Reactor Project” • The DOE Office of Nuclear Energy announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to use an INL small modular reactor for national research in a new program called “JUMP,” a Joint Use Modular Plant. The research is focusing on integrated energy systems. [LocalNews8.com]

¶ “Public Meeting to Be Held on Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Decommissioning Plan” • Federal nuclear regulators will hold a public meeting in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to discuss the plan proposed for decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear station. The NRC scheduled a public meeting for January 15 and will accept comments until March 21. [Wicked Local]

Have a superbly edifying day.

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December 21 Energy News

December 21, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Farm Bureau: Big Oil’s Unnoticed Ally Fighting Climate Science and Policy” • While big oil and gas companies provided the cash for anti-regulation campaigns, the farm lobby offered up a sympathetic face: the American farmer. For more than three decades, the Farm Bureau has aligned agriculture closely with the fossil fuel agenda. [InsideClimate News]

Agriculture and fossil fuels

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘We Are at War’: New York’s Rat Crisis Made Worse by Climate Change” • City officials report an increasing number of calls from residents complaining about rats, and warn that milder winters help them feed and mate longer into the year. And as winters warm, more frequent outdoor activity by humans adds to the litter rats thrive upon. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “New Offshore Wind Farms Push UK Renewables to Record” • Almost a third of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources between July and September, as wind turbines and solar panels helped achieve a quarterly record for green energy. Renewables provided 33.1% of electricity for the quarter, up from 30% the year before. [The Guardian]

Offshore wind farm (Photo: Peter Byrne | PA)

¶ “Renewable Energy Meets over 70% of Scotland’s Needs” • The Scottish Government released data for 2017 showing that renewable electricity sources were able to meet 70.1% of Scotland’s energy demand, up from 54.4% in 2016. The rise is largely attributed to more wind being used to produce renewable electricity in 2017. [Energy Voice]

¶ “Power Bills Drop $28 a Year Thanks to Renewable Policy, Since Dumped by the Government” • A report by the Australian Energy Market Commission expects electricity prices generally to be stable or falling over the next two years due to a pipeline of new renewables. But the federal government is dumping emissions targets. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Wind farm (Photo: Joe Armao)

¶ “Brazil’s Wind Generation Rises 7.3% in Early Dec” • Brazil’s wind power output in the first half of December has increased by to 4,867 average MW, show preliminary figures released by the Power Trading Chamber. Wind power’s share went up to 7.3% from 6.8% a previous year, according to CCEE data published in the InfoMercado Semanal. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Australia to Miss 2030 Emissions Targets by Vast Margin, Coalition’s Projections Reveal” • According to data from the federal government, Australia will miss its 2030 emissions reduction targets, with an emissions reduction by 2030 of 7% from 2005 levels. Australia’s Paris agreement target calls for a 26% to 28% emissions reduction. [The Guardian]

Emissions (Dave Hunt | AAP)

¶ “Households Converting to Solar Power Now Exempt from Self-Produced Energy Tariffs under New European Union Renewable Energy Plans” • To achieve more aggressive targets following COP24, EU lawmakers have urged homeowners to switch from traditional grid-based energy sources to producing their own energy. [AltEnergyMag]

US:

¶ “New Jersey Moves to End Solar RECs, Take Next Steps Toward 100% Renewables” • The next phase of solar development in New Jersey will require a new initiative beyond SRECs, say officials, as part of the state’s goals of moving to 100% renewable energy. The state’s current renewable portfolio standard has a goal of 50% renewables by 2030. [Utility Dive]

Solar array

¶ “Connecticut Favors Revolution” • Connecticut regulators have approved a 20-year power purchase agreement for 200 MW of electricity from Ørsted’s Revolution offshore wind farm. Revolution, which will be located in federal waters between Long Island and Martha’s Vineyard, will also supply 400 MW of power to Rhode Island. [reNEWS]

¶ “LG Electronics Enrolls Five Facilities in Purely Green Sustainability Program” • RPD Energy arranged the supply of wind energy and concurrent Renewable Energy Certificates for five LG Electronics USA facilities in Texas, Illinois, and New Jersey. The LG facilities are served under the Purely Green affinity program. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind turbines

¶ “US Congress Support of Green New Deal Growing with Sunrise Movement Momentum” • With goals to reduce carbon emissions through massive, rapid deployment of zero-carbon generation, the Green New Deal is gaining momentum. Forty 40 members of Congress already signed on and every week more are committing to the effort. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Wins American Tall Order” • Vestas has received an order for an undisclosed 202 MW wind project in the US. The company will supply 56 of its V136-3.45MW turbines in a 3.6-MW power optimised mode. Delivery commences in the third quarter of 2019, followed by commissioning in the fourth quarter of next year. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “EPA Improves Process to Site Renewables at Formerly Hazardous Sites” • The EPA announced updates to a mapping tool under its RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, to help communities, developers, and other stakeholders site renewable energy on current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites. [North American Windpower]

¶ “SCANA to Offload Historic Charleston Office, Cayce Land to Pay for Customer Refunds” • Soon SCANA will give up a dozen pieces of property, including a plantation where its executives and directors hunted ducks and held retreats, to refund to its electric customers a fraction of what they paid for two unfinished nuclear reactors. [Anderson Independent Mail]

Have a magically propitious day.

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December 20 Energy News

December 20, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “NOAA’s 2017–2018 Arctic Report Card: Arctic Air Temperatures Warming at Twice Global Rate” • NOAA’s brilliant, visually beautiful, and timely Arctic Report Card for 2018 is an immensely telling work containing the research of over 80 scientists from 12 countries. Since 1900, average temperatures have increased 6.3° Fahrenheit. [CleanTechnica]

Wind-powered, unmanned Arctic Saildrone

World:

¶ “GE Kits Out 300-MW Indian Mega-Farm” • GE Renewable Energy will supply turbines for a 300-MW wind farm being developed by Indian independent power producer ReNew Power. The Gadhsisa project, in Gujarat, will be commissioned in stages, by the end of 2019. GE will supply 120 of its 2.5-132 model, to be made at its Pune factory. [reNEWS]

¶ “Home Solar Lighting Systems Come to Kenya From Azuri and Unilever” • Azuri Technologies and Unilever Kenya have joined together to bring a pay-as-you-go solar home system to off-grid homes in Kenya. The system has a 10-W solar panel, four LED lights, a rechargeable radio, a flashlight, and a USB port for mobile phone charging. [CleanTechnica]

Kenya

¶ “Significant Drop in Energy Use Pushes Down German Emissions in 2018” • Germany’s energy-related CO₂ emissions dropped by more than 6% year-on-year as the country consumed “significantly” less energy in 2018, but with a greater share of renewables than last year, said energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “UK Invests $126.62 Million for Renewable Energy Projects in Africa” • The UK government announced $126.62 million (£100 million) funding to build and develop electricity infrastructure for the people in sub-Saharan Africa. The new investment will support up to 40 more renewable energy projects over the next five years. [African Review]

Solar array (Image: Magharebia | Flickr)

¶ “BP Solar Arm to Brew Beer Using 100% Renewable Energy” • Lightsource BP and AB InBev have signed what they describe as the “largest unsubsidised solar energy deal in UK history” to brew Budweiser beer. Once the installation is completed, it will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 18,000 homes. [Energy Voice]

¶ “TenneT Maps Dutch Renewables Growth Spurt” • Renewable electricity generation in the Netherlands will increase from just over 7 GW today to more than 36 GW in 2033, an annual security of supply report by transmission system operator TenneT says. Two-thirds of the electric generating capacity will be solar, wind, or hydropower. [reNEWS]

Dutch offshore wind farm (Image: Eneco)

¶ “Renewable Energy Company Acciona Adopts Blockchain Traceability” • Acciona, a major Spanish renewable energy company, has announced plans to extend blockchain traceability to its renewable generation globally. The reason it decided to do this is so clients will be able to verify that the energy provided is clean. [Ledger Insights]

¶ “Climate Council Report Reveals 40,000 Australian Businesses Using Renewable Energy, Nectar Farms among Biggest” • A Climate Council report focuses on food and beverage companies that produce their goods using renewable energy. It showed that over 40,000 businesses around Australia have made the move to renewable energy. [Ararat Advertiser]

Nectar Farms design

US:

¶ “Stanford Maps 1.47 Million Solar Roofs in America” • Stanford University researchers created a map of almost every solar rooftop in America, extracting the information from satellite images. A total of 1.47 million solar rooftops were identified in the lower 48 states in the study. It is believed to have identified 93% of solar rooftops. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Wind Energy Could Already Power a Third of US Cars for a Year” • The wind generation already in operation in 2017 would power 75 million US cars for a full year if they were electric. The US wind generation installed in 2018 alone will power about 2 million US electric cars for a year. There are about 276.1 million cars in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Pexels photo)

¶ “Northampton Wins $75,000 Grant to Explore Community-Choice Energy Programs” • Northampton, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $75,000 grant to explore Community Choice Energy PLUS, in the hopes of creating a model for the promotion of local renewable energy that could be adopted nationwide. [GazetteNET]

¶ “Ecolab to Offset 100% of Its Electricity Demand in North America with Wind and Solar” • Ecolab Inc, a water and energy technologies provider, signed an agreement supporting a wind farm in Fisher County, Texas. Construction of Clearway Energy Group’s 419-MW Mesquite Star wind farm is to begin in the first half of 2019. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind turbines

¶ “EDF, Shell Swoop for New Jersey Offshore Acreage” • An alliance between EDF Renewables and Shell acquired a lease area off New Jersey that has the potential for a 2.5-GW offshore wind project. The partners have named the venture Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind. They said the site has “steady wind resources in relatively shallow water.” [reNEWS]

¶ “Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Plant Troubles ‘Happening Far Too Often,’ Mississippi official says” • An unplanned outage at Mississippi’s Grand Gulf nuclear plant is adding to regulators’ concerns over reliability problems at the country’s largest single-unit nuclear power plant. It is the plant’s sixth unplanned power decrease in 15 months. [Jackson Clarion Ledger]

Have a quintessentially nifty day.

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December 19 Energy News

December 19, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Regenerative Cities: An Urban Concept Whose Time Has Come!” • What we need is a city that can serve as a role model, combining the social, economic, and ecological dimensions of sustainability. It should be a city that embeds a vivid cultural life and a culture of creativity in the way it operates. It should be a regenerative city. [CleanTechnica]

Radbahn, Berlin

Science and Technology:

¶ “Floating Device Created to Clean Up Plastic Waste in the Pacific Ocean Is not Doing Its Job” • The Ocean Cleanup System 001, a U-shaped floating barrier created by the organization The Ocean Cleanup, arrived in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in October. But the system has failed to retain plastic, according to the organization. [CNN]

¶ “Report: Incineration Is ‘Neither Clean Nor Renewable'” • While 23 states define municipal solid waste incineration as a renewable energy source, a report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance says burning trash is “neither clean nor renewable.” Advocacy groups are ramping up efforts to shut down local incineration facilities. [Waste Dive]

Incineration facility

World:

¶ “GE Primed for 102 MW Kenya Wind” • General Electric is to supply turbines with a combined capacity of 102 MW to the Kipeto wind farm in Kenya. The project, located in Kajiado south of Nairobi, will feature 60 GE 1.7-103 machines and is expected to come online in 2020. GE will also provide operations and maintenance for Kipeto. [reNEWS]

¶ “Santos to Power Oil Well Operations with Solar-Plus-Storage” • In what is billed as Australia’s first off-grid, 100% renewable energy project to support oil and gas sector operations, Santos will power 56 crude oil pumps with solar and battery storage. The project has won a grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. [pv magazine Australia]

Powering oil production with solar (Santos image)

¶ “BP to Explore Renewables in Oil Rich Azerbaijan” • BP announced that it signed an agreement to explore renewable energy opportunities in oil rich Azerbaijan. The memorandum of understanding between BP and the Republic of Azerbaijan follows the government’s development of a framework plan for renewables. [Energy Voice]

¶ “CEMEX to Use 100% Renewable Electricity in 2019” • ENGIE has been providing electricity to over 150 CEMEX UK sites for more than 10 years. Next year all of the electricity supplied to these sites will come from renewable energy sources, including wind power. CEMEX is in the energy-intensive business of making cement. [Agg-Net]

CEMEX plant

¶ “Solar Households Expected to Give Away Power to Energy Firms” • The government of the UK has confirmed that it expects households that install solar panels in the future will give away unused clean power for free to electric energy firms earning multimillion-pound profits, provoking outrage from green campaigners. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “The Boring Company Shows Off Its Functional Demo Tunnel in Hawthorne, California” • The Boring Company took the wraps off of its demonstration tunnel in Hawthorne, California. The event opened at the tunnel, which takes the concept up to full scale, working elevators and all. Some event guests rode a Tesla through the tunnel.  [CleanTechnica]

Tesla in a Boring tunnel

¶ “President’s Council Urges Solar and Microgrid Use for Energy Security” • One of the key recommendations in a recent President’s National Advisory Infrastructure Council report on cybersecurity and the grid is that microgrids based on solar power and other renewable energy resources be developed for emergency preparedness. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nuclear Negations Yield Renewable Energy Leverage” • As part of the recently approved settlement negotiations after the failed VC Summer Nuclear Plant expansion in South Carolina, renewable energy has gained both power purchase agreement access and market continuity. Solar developers were already using failed nuclear sites. [pv magazine USA]

Solar array at the abandoned Phipps Bend nuclear plant

¶ “DC Just Passed a Historic Bill Mandating 100% Renewable Power by 2032” • City lawmakers in the District of Columbia unanimously passed legislation mandating 100% renewable electricity in the capital by 2032. The act doubles Washington’s current goal, under which the city would get half its electricity from zero-emissions sources by 2032. [HuffPost]

¶ “Colorado’s Largest Battery Comes Online as the State Pivots to Cleaner Energy” • United Power Cooperative, based in Brighton, Colorado, unveiled the largest battery storage system in the state. The lithium-ion battery cost millions, and could take decades to pay off, but officials expect it to save customers $1 million per year. [Colorado Public Radio]

Tesla battery system in Colorado (Grace Hood | CPR News)

¶ “US Corporate Solar Procurement Knocks It Out of the Park in 2018” • It has been a banner year for US corporate renewable energy. According to the latest numbers from the Rocky Mountain Institute, corporations have signed deals for 6.4 GW of off-site renewable energy contracts this year. Of that, 2.8 GW was for solar power. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Philadelphia Signs Major Commitment to New Solar Energy Facility” • Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has signed legislation that will enter the city into a power purchase agreement with a renewable energy developer to construct the state’s largest solar facility. The city will purchase all of the electricity produced at the 70-MW site. [PhillyVoice.com]

Have a wonderfully fun day.

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December 18 Energy News

December 18, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “COP 24 Wrap-Up: Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back” • COP 24 was primarily designed to establish the technical rules that will allow the world community to accurately assess which nations are meeting the carbon reduction commitments they agreed to in Paris 3 years ago and which are not. As such, it can claim some success. [CleanTechnica]

COP 24

¶ “Green New Deal Has Overwhelming Bipartisan Support, Poll Finds – At Least, for Now” • When asked “how much do you support or oppose” the individual of policies in the Green New Deal, 81% of registered voters, including 57% of conservative Republicans, say they either “somewhat support” or “strongly support” them, a survey showed. [HuffPost]

Science and Technology:

¶ “John Deere Unveils an Autonomous, Electric Tractor – With a Really Long Extension Cord” • John Deere is leading the charge into electric tractors with another innovation in partnership with GridCON. For 2018, the company is bringing out a new, fully autonomous, corded electric tractor model. Its power line is a kilometer long. [CleanTechnica]

John Deere autonomous electric tractor

World:

¶ “Goats Cheese, Beer and Brioche Producers Plug-In to PV” • With regional food producers at the coalface of extreme climate conditions, and all Australian businesses impacted by rising electricity costs, many food and beverage companies are seeking future certainty and relief in low-cost renewable energies, a report says. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Vanuatu Threatens to Sue Biggest Carbon Energy Producers” • A tiny Pacific Island nation facing an existential threat due to climate change put the world’s biggest carbon energy producers on notice. Vanuatu’s top diplomat warned that producers of emissions might face lawsuits if they keep polluting. There is a growing trend of climate change litigation. [CNN]

Beach in Vanuatu (Phillip Capper, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Coalition Has an Energy Vision: No More Renewables, or Emission Cuts, Before 2030” • Australia’s Coalition government effectively confirmed what is already suspected – that it expects no further investment in large scale renewables, and no more significant emissions cuts, from 2022 all the way through to 2030 – should it stay in power. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Province Announces New Wind Energy Projects in Region” • The government of Alberta announced five windpower projects as part of the latest phase of the province’s renewable energy program. Their total capacity is 763 MW. One of the projects will be built near Medicine Hat, while two of the projects will be built near Brooks. [CHAT News Today]

Medicine Hat wind turbines (CHAT News Today File Photo)

¶ “Hopes Dwindle for Nuclear Plant Exports as Growth Strategy” • The Abe administration’s last hope of nuclear plant technology exports being a pillar of economic growth appears to be at a crossroads. And the signs are not good, considering Hitachi Ltd’s disclosure that it may have to ditch plans to build a nuclear reactor in Wales. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ “New York Officially Ups Its Energy Storage Goal: 3 GW by 2030” • An initiative to increase New York’s energy storage targets has been approved by the New York State Public Service Commission. The state is now on a trajectory to deploy 1.5 GW of energy storage by 2025, before doubling and reaching up to 3 GW by 2030. [pv magazine USA]

Niagara Falls (Pixabay image)

¶ “New York Governor Cuomo Calls for 100% Carbon-Neutral Electricity by 2040 via Green New Deal” • Not satisfied with launching the most ambitious initiative for whole scale overhaul of the utility sector through Reforming the Energy Vision, Gov Cuomo announced a carbon-neutral electricity supply by 2040 as one of his legislative priorities. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Solar on Schools Advances with Open Source Contracting” • School board members in Arlington, Virginia, found that putting solar PVs on rooftops did not negatively impact teacher salaries or getting textbooks? A solar power purchase agreement had no capital cost, and could save on operating costs, meeting any concerns people might have. [pv magazine USA]

Arlington school (Image: Arlington Public Schools)

¶ “Revenue-Neutral Carbon Fee Legislation Draws Bipartisan Support” • New legislation sponsored by three Democrats and two Republicans in Congress would create a revenue-neutral fee structure for carbon emissions. Mark Reynolds, executive director of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, calls the legislation a breakthrough. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Administration Sets Rules for NJ Rejoining Regional Initiative to Curb Pollution” • In New Jersey, the Murphy administration proposed new rules for rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to curb climate-changing pollution from power plants, a top priority that triggered much debate over how steep the cuts should be. [NJ Spotlight]

Power plant

¶ “Black Hills Energy Seeks to Build $57 Million Wind Farm in Wyoming” • Black Hills Energy submitted a proposal to South Dakota regulators seeking approval for a Renewable Ready Service Tariff to offer renewable energy resources. It would offer large customers a way to get 100% renewable energy through subscriptions. [Rapid City Journal]

¶ “Springs to Close Coal-Fired Plant” • Colorado Springs Utilities is joining the energy movement away from coal-fired power. The city-owned utility plans to shut down one of the two remaining turbines at its Martin Drake Power Plant. Some Colorado Springs utility board members now expect that to happen as soon as next year. [Bent County Democrat]

Have a consummately great day.

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December 17 Energy News

December 17, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Understanding the German Energy Transition: From Leader to Laggard” • Germany has come far but is now somewhat stuck in limbo. Its policy-makers are not pushing for ambitious energy policies even though the powerful business community and the country’s large utilities are calling for them to keep the energy transition going. [CleanTechnica]

Grazing under solar panels (Grüne Fraktion Bayern)

¶ “Do Local Weather Insurance Policies ‘Kill Jobs’?” • Climate change will hammer the US economy unless there is swift action to rein in greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels, according to the latest National Climate Assessment report. But President Donald Trump says actions to reduce the emissions are “job-killing.” [Infosurhoy]

¶ “The US Oil Industry’s Dirty Little Secret” • The oil industry engaged in a secret campaign to undermine US fuel economy standards, an investigative report in the New York Times said. A letter to members of Congress said, “With oil scarcity no longer a concern,” Americans should be given a “choice in vehicles that best fit their needs.” [RT]

Sailing past an oil platform

¶ “Future Is Dim for US Nuclear Power Plants” • Three Mile Island, best known for the biggest nuclear accident in US history, is months away from shutting down and throwing nearly 700 people out of work. The decision by Exelon, the owners, to decommission the plant is symptomatic of the broader crisis in the US nuclear power industry. [The National]

World:

¶ “Quebecers Critical of Alberta Oil but Buying More Gasoline, SUVs, Bigger Homes: Report” • Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western Canada in favour of hydro power, but new data indicate the province’s citizens are buying record amounts of gasoline and increasingly purchasing trucks and bigger homes. [Globalnews.ca]

SUVs on sale (Photo: Gene J Puskar | AP)

¶ “The Race Is On: Big Oil Rushes to Supply the 1 Billion Disconnected” • Supermajors are making more commitments to renewable energy, as they prepare for a less carbon-intensive future. Some are going a step further, with such humanist causes as providing green energy to some of the billion people who have no electricity. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “France’s First Tidal Energy Plant Gets Smarter with DataIintelligence Platform” • French tidal and ocean stream turbine developer Sabella partnered with software firm QOS Energy to improve performance monitoring at its Ushant tidal project. The first 1-MW tidal turbine has been installed at the plant off the west coast of France. [Envirotec]

Sabella turbine installation

¶ “Record Year for UK Offshore” • The UK installed more than 2 GW of new offshore wind capacity in 2018, a record-breaking volume, according to RenewableUK. R-UK said eight new offshore wind farms were opened this year adding 2121 MW of new capacity, which is almost double the previous record of 1154 MW set in 2012. [reNEWS]

Australia:

¶ “Current Growth in Wind and Solar PV Supports Zero Fossil Fuels by 2032” • In a presentation to the 2018 Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference, Prof Andrew Blakers of the Australian National University, pointed out that at current rates of growth for wind, solar PV, and electricity demand, fossil fuels could be redundant by 2032. [pv magazine Australia]

Ore processing facility (Image: Fortescue Metals Group Ltd)

¶ “University of Newcastle Inks Deal to Source 100% ‘Firmed’ Renewables” • In New South Wales, the University of Newcastle will meet its target of sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2020, after signing a seven-year supply contract for a mix of solar, wind and hydro power with the Snowy Hydro subsidiary, Red Energy. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “WA Names New Energy Minister, Primes Grid for 900-MW Renewables Rush” • Western Australia opened up its grid for just under 1 GW of new large-scale renewable energy projects, as it works to catch up with the rest of Australia in the transition to low-carbon energy. And it appointed a new energy minister to shepherd the process. [RenewEconomy]

WA windfarm (Terence Doust, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Trump Administration Statement at COP24 Doubles Down on Backwards Thinking” • The US’ National Statement to COP24 representatives made plain the path the US is planning to take. It reiterated Donald Trump’s intention of withdrawing from the Paris accord and reasserted intentions of including fossil fuels in its energy mix. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “When a Pipeline Threatened National Forests, a Federal Court Invoked Dr Seuss” • A panel of federal judges cited a Dr Seuss character to block construction of a gas pipeline. “We trust the United States Forest Service to ‘speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues,'” the panel’s ruling states, citing Seuss’ orange environmental ambassador. [CNN]

The Lorax, a Dr Seuss character (the little orange guy)

¶ “Sixth Largest US Coal Company Has Filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy” • Westmoreland Coal Co, America’s sixth largest coal company, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Denver Post reported the company had $1.4 billion in debt. It has mines in North Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana, and Canada. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Comed’s Green Energy Innovation Is Partnering with Historic Bronzeville” • Bronzeville, the home territory of Chicago’s Black Renaissance and the birthplace of Black History Month, hopes to launch its next Golden Age with support from a smart microgrid being installed by utility ComEd. The microgrid will run on green energy. [Medill Reports: Chicago]

Have an incomparably pleasant day.

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December 16 Energy News

December 16, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “UK’s Dream Is Now its Nuclear Nightmare” • A project presented to the world in the 1990s by the UK government as a £2.85 billion triumph of British engineering, capable of recycling thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel into reusable uranium and plutonium, is shutting down. Proposed to reprocess spent fuel, it is “an asset of zero value.” [Eco-Business]

Sellafield (Image: Simon Ledingham, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Trump Administration Continues its Insane Assault on the Environment” • Donald Trump is responsible for appointing all sorts of lunatics to positions of authority in his government. Many of them act to threaten the health of ordinary Americans directly. Are they guilty of criminal behavior? Here are two recent examples – you decide. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Porsche Commissions MAN Electric eTruck for Green Logistics at Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen” • Porsche commissioned a fully electric MAN eTGM for logistics operations at a factory in Germany. The vehicle is the first of this kind to go into series production in Germany. Both Porsche and MAN are members of the Volkswagen Group. [Green Car Congress]

MAN eTGM

¶ “COP24 Climate Change Deal to Bring Pact to Life” • In Poland, Negotiators finally secured agreement on a range of measures that will make the Paris climate pact operational in 2020. Rows over carbon markets delayed the end of the conference by a day. And some observers say it is not sufficiently strong, given the urgency of the climate problem. [BBC]

¶ “Erstwhile Powerless Palawan Communities Lit Up for the First Time” • Around 16 million people in the Philippines live in communities without electricity. But now, the Access to Energy program of Pilipinas Shell Foundation is bringing renewable energy to people of one of the most stunningly beautiful places in the world. [Business Mirror]

Hut in Palawan (Torox, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Greens Push Labor to Quit Fossil Fuels” • Bill Shorten, leader of Australia’s Labor Party, promised to make half of the country’s power renewable. But the Greens say Labor will not give up on fossil fuels due to the donations it gets. Data shows gas, oil, and coal companies have given Labor A$1.62 million ($1.16 million) over the past five years. [SBS]

¶ “Aboitiz Power to Build $28 Million Battery Storage” • SN Aboitiz Power Group, a joint venture of SN Power of Norway and Aboitiz Power Corp, plans to build a $28-million battery energy storage system at its Magat hydro-electric power plant on the Philippine island of Luzon. Construction is to begin in 2020, with operations to begin in 2022. [Philippine Star]

Philippine hydro plant (becomingfilipino FB page)

¶ “Solar Could Power Up in 2019” • Work on large scale solar power farms in southeast Alberta could move ahead in 2019, according to developers and industry observers. Reduced capital costs and rising power prices have many considering making final commitments. They may even be ready to forgo stable prices to feed the grid. [Medicine Hat News]

¶ “Taishan Nuclear Power Plant Starts Operations” • One of the reactors of the Taishan nuclear plant in Guangdong province is now operating, its developers announced. The Taishan nuclear plant is the first to use its third-generation Evolutionary Power Reactor. It is about 70 km (43.5 miles) from Macau and 142 km from Hong Kong. [Macau Business]

Taishan nuclear plant

US:

¶ “California Says All City Buses Must Be Emission Free by 2040” • A dire government report about the devastating impacts of climate change has motivated cities and states to act. California is the first state to mandate that mass transit agencies buy fully electric buses only starting in 2029 and have fully electric fleets by 2040. [TechCrunch]

¶ “Fortune 500 Companies Betting on Kansas Wind” • Earlier building surges sprung from tax breaks and from pressure on utilities to wean themselves off fossil fuels. But now, Fortune 500 companies that are new to the electricity business are risking their own money on the straight-up profit potential of prairie breezes. [The Hutchinson News]

Wind turbines (Brian Grimmett | Kansas News Service)

¶ “California Commission Finds PG&E Falsified Records for Years” • The California Public Utilities Commission may penalize Pacific Gas & Electric Co after an investigation found it had been falsifying records for five years. The commission claims PG&E violated California law by failing to locate and mark their natural gas pipelines in a timely manner. [CNN]

¶ “New 12-Acre Solar Garden Promises Big Savings for Western Slope” • Come January, a 12-acre (5-ha) solar garden in Palisade, Colorado, will go online and fully offset electricity costs for the town, saving the it an estimated $1.2 million over the next 20 years. The 2-MW solar array will also provide power for nearby communities. [The Denver Post]

Solar Array (Chancey Bush, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

¶ “Renewables in 2018” • Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is celebrating successes in 2018, with a boost in use of renewable energy resources and enhancements to member services. Electricity rates have fallen, and KIUC’s CEO said renewables and favorable purchase power agreement pricing have also helped stabilize them. [Thegardenisland.com]

¶ “HELCO Requests 3.4% Rate Increase” • Hawai‘i Electric Light Company proposed an increase of Hawai‘i Island base rates to help pay for rising operating costs, including the use of new tools to modernize the grid and a comprehensive plan for vegetation management to reduce outages. HELCO gets about half of its electricity from renewables. [Hawaii 24/7]

Have a totally awesome day.

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December 15 Energy News

December 15, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Is Renewable Energy a Path to Peace for the Korean Peninsula?” • South Korea needs more renewable energy to meet its goal of phasing out coal and nuclear power – but has little available land for solar farms and wind turbines. North Korea needs any kind of energy it can get but has sites for big clean energy plants. [Thomson Reuters Foundation]

North Korea

COP24:

¶ “Countries Increase Climate Financing at COP24” • Countries attending COP24, have made new climate finance commitments, increasing existing commitments to the World Bank Group’s Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund. The World Bank Group’s Adaptation Fund got new commitments from nine contributor governments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UN Climate Talks Extended Due to Sticking Points in Poland” • Climate talks in Poland have continued through the night as negotiators try to agree on the next steps forward for the Paris climate agreement. Thousands of delegates worked well past the official deadline for reaching a deal but key some sticking points remain. [BBC]

COP24 (Getty Images)

¶ “15 Leading International Organizations Announce Joint Climate Neutrality Commitment at COP24” • At the COP24, 15 international organizations committed to carbon neutrality by promising to measure their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce them where possible, and compensate the unavoidable ones with credible carbon credits. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EU, Canada, New Zealand, and Developing Countries Vow to Keep Up the Fight” • The EU and scores of developing countries pledged to toughen their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to enable the world to stay within a 1.5°C rise in global warming. The promise follows increasingly dire scientific warnings. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

Desert (Image courtesy of cocoparisienne | Pixabay)

World:

¶ “More Than 1,000 Institutions Are Now Divesting from Fossil Fuels” • The global divestment movement has celebrated an important milestone this week as it now boasts more than 1,000 institutions around the world worth almost $8 trillion which have committed to divesting from fossil fuels, according to climate movement 350.org. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BYD Electrifies Chile with 100 Bus Fleet for Santiago” • Chile is leading the charge towards sustainable transportation in South America, having taken delivery of the largest pure electric bus fleet in South America. The delivery of the 100 fully electric BYD K9FE buses was marked by a ceremony in the capital city of Santiago. [CleanTechnica]

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and Minister
of Transportation Gloria Hutt on a BYD bus. (BYD)

US:

¶ “US-Based Corporations View Climate Change as Risk to Bottom Line and Reputation” • Environmental non-profit and investment research provider CDP published a report based on responses from 2,000 US companies on climate change. Growing numbers view it as a risk both to profits and reputation among consumers and investors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Potential Largest Offshore Wind Farm in the World Auctioned off for Record Price” • The rights to establish wind farms off the Massachusetts coast sold for a record-setting $405 million total, according to federal officials. The area auctioned could generate up to 4.1 GW, enough electricity to potentially power nearly 1.5 million homes. [CNN]

Block Island Wind Farm (Don Emmert | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Shell and EDP Renewables Joint Venture Wins Offshore Wind Auction” • Mayflower Wind Energy LLC is provisional winner of block 0521 in the offshore wind auction hosted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Mayflower is a 50/50 joint venture between EDPR Offshore North America LLC and Shell New Energies US LLC. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “After California Fires, PG&E Proposes Raising Electricity Bills to Bolster Precautions” • Pacific Gas & Electric submitted a proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission, asking for $1.1 billion in new revenue in 2020. This includes $576 million for the Community Wildfire Safety Program, $273 million for liability insurance. [CNN]

Camp Fire (Josh Edelson | Getty Images)

¶ “New York Power Authority to Invest $250 Million in Electric Grid for Better Access to Renewables” • NYPA will invest $250 million to upgrade the electric grid to give residents greater access to renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar power. The $250 million investment will add up to 150 MW of grid flexibility projects. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ “US Utilities Test Distributed Energy Management” • At least 23 US utilities have tested the ability of distributed energy management systems to capture the value to the grid of solar and storage systems. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory selected five utility-led projects to profile, all incorporating PV and storage. [pv magazine USA]

Transmission lines (Flickr image)

¶ “Regulators Approve $255 Million Wind Farm for Alliant Energy” • Wisconsin regulators gave Alliant Energy approval to build a 150-MW wind farm in northern Iowa that the utility says will help meet its renewable energy goals while saving customers money. The Kossuth Wind Project is expected to help save money and stabilize electric bills. [Madison.com]

¶ “The CalETC Prove It! Campaign Puts Influencers into Plug-In Vehicles and Films Their Reactions” • To raise awareness of electric vehicles, the California Electric Transportation Coalition ran a campaign called ‘Prove It!’ that set up week-long plug-in vehicle loaners for influencers in the greater Los Angeles area, filming their reactions. [CleanTechnica]

Have an amazingly satisfying day.

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December 14 Energy News

December 14, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Two US Electric Utilities Have Promised to Go 100% Carbon-Free – and They Admit It Is Cheaper” • Two US electric utilities recently declared something remarkable: It’s cheaper to tear down their coal plants and build renewable-energy plants than to keep the old boilers running. Get ready for more, as economics and politics come to a consensus. [Quartz]

Renewable energy (Christian Hartmann | Reuters)

World:

¶ “COP24 Draws to an Ignominious Close Amidst Multiple ‘Calls to Action'” • COP24 is drawing to an ignominious close in Katowice, Poland. And despite the attempts of the European Union and other major nations, the fortnight of negotiations is likely to be remembered more for its controversies than for any lasting impact. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World Bank Calls on Poland to Scale Up Renewable Energy Sources” • Scaling up renewable energy sources in Poland would benefit the economy, reduce serious environmental problems, and improve people’s health, says a new World Bank report. It suggests Poland could have renewable energy provide 50% of its power generation by 2030. [Emerging Europe]

Coal-fired power plant (bigstock)

¶ “German Renewables Share Hits 38%” • Renewable energy is expected to have accounted for 38% of all electricity consumed in Germany in 2018, up two percentage points on-year, according to the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry. The country is still set to miss its 65% by 2030 renewables goal unless it increases construction. [reNEWS]

Australia:

¶ “Sydney and Melbourne Vow to Ditch Coal Power” • Australia’s two largest cities committed to phasing out coal in a move at odds with the aggressively pro-coal national government. The cities of Sydney and Melbourne joined an international coalition of states, regions, cities, and businesses committed to ending coal power generation. [Climate Home]

Sydney (Photo: Pavel)

¶ “Enbala to Enable World’s Biggest Residential Solar-Plus-Storage Virtual Power Plant” • Enbala, a start-up based in Denver, Colorado, announced it will provide the “cloud-based control and optimization platform” for AGL’s virtual power plant in South Australia. The 5-MW/12-MWh VPP will have 1,000 home storage systems. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Coalition Tells CEFC to Focus Funding on ‘More Reliable 24/7’ Power” • Australia’s federal government made what may be the most significant change to the investment mandate for the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation to date, instructing it to focus on “more reliable 24/7 power” rather than just wind and solar farms. [RenewEconomy]

Solar farm with a Tesla battery system

US:

¶ “US CO2 Emissions Increase by 3% in 2018, Says Trump’s Own Administration” • The Energy Information Administration published new numbers this week showing energy-related CO2 emissions for 2018 will increase by 3%, undermining its own fragile attempts to highlight the drop in CO2 emissions that happened in 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bidding Underway for Massachusetts Offshore Prize” • After 24 rounds of bidding by eleven companies for three new Massachusetts offshore windpower lease areas currently priced at a combined $285 million, just four companies are still in the bidding. The offshore wind areas could supply up to 4 GW of power to the grid. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (reNEWS image)

¶ “US Q3 Solar Installations Hit by Tariffs as Utility-Scale Falls Below 1 GW” • Quarterly US utility-scale solar PV installations fell below 1 GW in the third quarter for the first time since 2015 due to the impact of the Section 201 tariffs imposed at the beginning of the year and the uncertainty which surrounded their potential introduction. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Bringing Good Jobs to the Midwest. Is Anyone in Washington Paying Attention?” • A report by the Natural Resources Defense Council lays out how clean jobs are more numerous than those of fossil fuels just about everywhere in the Midwest. Renewable energy jobs are growing while fossil fuel jobs fall. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy on the farm

¶ “Climate Change Comes to America’s Heartland, Putting Farmers at Risk” • Farmers see climate change happening. Climate change is having an impact on farming areas all across America and its effects are threatening to disrupt the way farmers earn their living, according to a research study by scientists at Cornell University. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Congress Passes Farm Bill with Renewables Funding Intact” • The House and Senate have passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, keeping intact funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in agriculture. The legislation has maintained the Rural Energy for America Program at $50 million per year. [North American Windpower]

Texas farmland

¶ “35 Members of Congress Support 100% Renewable Energy, Green New Deal” • The idea of a Green New Deal, a massive program to reduce emissions, is taking hold since a sit-in at the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). In early December, 18 house members supported for the movement. That number is now 35. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Sticker Shock at Santee Cooper as Legal Bills Hit $9 Million” • Lawsuits and investigations tied to the failed VC Summer nuclear project fueled a spike in legal bills at Santee Cooper this year, forcing the utility to cover the shortfall to shore up its budget. A call for contingency funds was made at the board meeting this week. [Charleston Post Courier]

Have an ecstatically joyful day.

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December 13 Energy News

December 13, 2018

World:

¶ “Denmark, UK, and Canada Lead in Using Technologies to Limit Climate Change” • Denmark, the UK, and Canada lead the world on implementing measures to mitigate climate change, according to research published at the COP24 conference, which assessed 25 countries that account for 80% of the world’s population. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm

¶ “Current Climate Targets Put Us on Track for 3.0˚C of Warming by 2100” • The current state of global climate policies has the world on a path to 3.0˚C of warming by 2100, twice the 1.5˚C limit agreed upon in Paris three years ago, according to the Climate Action Tracker’s annual update which was published at the COP24 talks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia’s NSW Plans 24 Pumped Hydro Projects Totaling 7 GW” • The government of New South Wales has launched its ambitious pumped hydro roadmap designed to back renewable energy. Meanwhile, the board of Snowy Hydro has given the green light to its landmark $4 billion pumped hydro expansion project, Snowy 2.0. [pv magazine International]

Shoalhaven pumped hydro power system (Image: ARENA)

¶ “India Has Renewable Energy Projects of 46,500 MW Capacity in the Pipeline” • Economic Times reported that India currently has renewable energy projects of 46,500 MW capacity in the pipeline for capacity addition. This includes projects which are currently under construction and those likely to be offered for bidding soon. [SteelGuru]

¶ “EBRD Approves New Strategy Focused on Decarbonization of Energy Systems” • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said its board of directors approved an energy sector strategy that rules out financing coal-fired power projects, confirming that the EBRD will not finance thermal coal mining or coal-fired generation. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines (EBRD photo)

¶ “Machinery Company Signs 2-Year Geothermal Electricity PPA with EDC, Philippines” • The Philippines’ Energy Development Corp signed a two-year agreement to supply Citizen Machinery Philippines, Inc with geothermal energy for the latter’s facilities in Tanauan City, Batangas province. The term of the contract begins this month. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

¶ “TV Network Asahi Claims that Hitachi Could be Prepared to Pull the Plug on Their Investment in a Nuclear Project” • TV network Asahi said plans for the £12 billion nuclear project on Anglesey could be scrapped. Funding is believed to be the biggest hurdle, as Hitachi wants additional investors to share the project’s costs and risks. [North Wales Chronicle]

Artist’s concept of the Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant

US:

¶ “Here Is New York’s Plan for $250 Million in Energy Storage Funding” • The New York Power Authority announced a new commitment to invest $250 million between now and 2025 to accelerate the flexibility of the electric grid to give New Yorkers greater access to renewable energy resources such as wind and solar power. [Solar Builder]

¶ “Airport Switches to Green Power” • Jackson Hole Airport will shift to sustainable energy starting this winter and become the largest organization in the region to go green. With all of its electricity coming from Lower Valley Energy, the airport’s commitment is equivalent to the energy use of 300 average Jackson homes. [Jackson Hole News&Guide]

Jackson Hole Airport (Bradly J Boner | News&Guide file)

¶ “Gov Baker Energy Plan Hinges on Changes in Transportation and Buildings” • Massachusetts’ first energy plan said the state must step up its efforts for energy efficiency in transportation along with heating and cooling if the state is to be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower costs for ratepayers, and ensure energy reliability. [WBUR]

¶ “Maine Regulators Reverse Gross Metering Decision for Mid-Sized, Large Customers” • Maine’s Public Utilities Commission, which was appointed by Governor LePage, has undone a regressive solar policy it had for a portion of customers, after being confronted with evidence that it was imposing costs on all ratepayers. [pv magazine USA]

Rooftop solar system (Image: Maine Solar Solutions)

¶ “Evanston is First Illinois Municipality to Commit to 100% Renewables” • The Evanston City Council approved its new Climate Action and Resilience Plan unanimously, including a commitment to achieve 100% renewable electricity supply community-wide by 2030. The plan calls for carbon neutrality by 2050. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Smart Grid Upgrades Offer Less Risk, More Flexibility than Power Lines” • An industry report that suggests so-called non-wires alternatives – combinations of storage and distributed generation that do not depend on long-distance transmission – offer a less risky and more flexible option to help utilities avoid overbuilding capacity. [Energy News Network]

Transmission lines

¶ “Solar and Green Jobs are Rising around Chicago’s ‘Toxic Doughnut’” • After years of community demands for investment, green jobs and development are finally coming to one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago. The city plans to build ground-mounted solar farms on 30 acres of brownfield land across the city. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Enel Green Power Sells Power from 185-MW Illinois Wind Farm to Corporate Customers” • Enel Green Power North America has begun operation of the 185-MW HillTopper wind farm, its first wind facility in Illinois. HillTopper, which is located in Logan County, is supported by three long-term power purchase agreements. [Windpower Engineering]

Have a fantastically pleasing day.

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December 12 Energy News

December 12, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Trump’s Losing, Lonely Fight to Save Coal” • President Trump has stood by coal whenever he could. He appointed a former coal lobbyist to the Federal Energy Management Commission. His administration promoted coal at COP 24. And yet the industry has not yet benefited from having an energetic booster in the Oval Office. Nor is it likely to. [Yahoo News]

Xcel Energy project (Joe Amon | Denver Post via Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Unparalleled Warmth Is Changing the Arctic and Affecting Weather in US, Europe” • A peer-reviewed report from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says human-caused climate change is transforming the Arctic. The report highlighted weather of the past year to show how Arctic warming can influence day-to-day weather. [CNN]

¶ “Arctic Reindeer Numbers Crash by Half” • The population of wild reindeer, or caribou, in the Arctic has crashed by more than half in the last two decades, according to a report released at a meeting of the American Geophysical Research Union. Weather patterns and vegetation changes are making the Arctic tundra much less hospitable for reindeer. [BBC]

Reindeer (Kaj R. Svensson | Science Photo Library)

¶ “Wind to Become Bigger and Better under New Technology Investment” • In an effort to continue the downward trend of wind prices around the world, new technology investment will focus on building bigger and better wind turbines, according to new research published last week by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Signs Wind Turbine Supply Contract for 249-MW Mexican Wind Project” • Siemens Gamesa announced that it had signed a contract with Enel Green Power to supply sixty of its new SG 4.5-145 wind turbines with a flexible power rating of 4.2 MW for two projects in the northern State of Coahuila, Mexico. [CleanTechnica]

Siemens-Gamesa 4X wind turbine

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Signs Second Order with Enel for Russian Wind Farm” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy secured a second order in Russia from Enel Russia, an independent power producer in that country, to supply 201 MW of wind turbines. The order is for 57 wind turbines for a wind farm in Murmansk region. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Energy Giants Issue Offshore Power-to-X Plea” • Shell, Siemens, and TenneT called on the German government to tender for extra offshore wind power capacity specifically tied to hydrogen production. A study they commissioned found 900 MW of power-to-gas projects driven by offshore wind could be built between 2026 and 2030. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (reNEWS image)

¶ “Vestas Wins 52-MW Jordan Jewel” • European turbine supplier Vestas has signed an engineering, procurement and construction agreement with Abour Energy Company PSC for the 52-MW Abour wind park in Tafileh, Jordan. Turbine delivery is planned for the third quarter of 2019 and commissioning is expected by the first quarter of 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Replacing Nuclear with Renewables Would Save France $44.5 Billion” • The French government just announced a plan to power 95% of the country with solar and wind energy by 2060. And by doing so, the government would spend about $44.5 billion (€39 billion) less than it would if it maintained its current energy infrastructure. [Futurism]

Wind farm (Narcisa Aciko | Victor Tangermann)

¶ “Ofgem Clarification Removes Barrier to Battery Storage for 900,000 Solar Homes” • Updated technical guidance by Ofgem on home batter storage has been released. It clarifies the treatment of existing payments for homes that currently export solar power to the grid and that want to install battery storage and smart meters. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶ “Zero Hour Nears for Massachusetts Offshore Bonanza” • Nineteen companies will have the opportunity to compete in an auction for three lease areas to develop over 4 GW of offshore wind off the coast of Massachusetts. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will host the auction for the 158,000 hectares of ocean leasing areas. [reNEWS]

Block Island wind farm (Deepwater Wind image)

¶ “Colorado Public Utilities Commission Orders Tri-State to ‘Satisfy or Answer’ Exit Charge Complaint from Delta Montrose Electric” • Delta-Montrose Electric Association formally asked the PUC to adjudicate its exit from Tri-State contracts so it could increase its use of renewable energy. Now, the PUC has ordered Tri-State to respond. [Clean Cooperative]

¶ “Dunedin Joins Renewables Revolution” • There are now 101 American cities committed to shifting to 100% clean power, after the Dunedin, Florida, City Commission voted unanimously to achieve the goal. The resolution will see municipal operations running on renewable energy by 2035, and the community as a whole by 2050. [Innovators Magazine]

Downtown Dunedin (Ebyabe, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Georgia Power Issues RFP for Renewable Energy Projects” • Georgia Power Co has issued a request for proposals for up to 540 MW of utility-scale renewable energy projects. The RFP will fulfill a commitment the Atlanta-based utility made more than two years ago to procure an additional 1,200 MW of renewable power. [Atlanta Business Chronicle]

¶ “City of Cheyenne OKs NextEra Wind Expansion” • According the Wyoming Tribute Eagle, Cheyenne’s city council has voted unanimously to expand a 30-year lease agreement with NextEra from 12,000 to 16,700 acres of land. In total, the wind farm would be situated on 30,000 acres of public and private land in Laramie County. [North American Windpower]

Have an outstandingly bountiful day.

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December 11 Energy News

December 11, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Australia Only Nation to Join US at Pro-Coal Event at COP24 Climate Talks” • Australia reaffirmed its commitment to coal by appearing at a US government-run event promoting the use of fossil fuels at the US climate talks in Poland. Patrick Suckling, Australia’s ambassador for the environment, spoke on the panel. His nameplate bore a US flag. [CNN]

Event protesters (Photo: Łukasz Kalinowski | Rex | Shutterstock)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Is Not Only Influencing Extreme Weather Events, It Is Causing Them” • Extreme weather events that spanned the globe in 2017 have been directly linked to – and in some cases were even caused by – continued warming of the planet by human influence, according to a report from the American Meteorological Society. [CNN]

¶ “East Antarctica’s Glaciers Are Stirring” • Nasa says it has detected the first signs of significant melting in a swathe of glaciers in East Antarctica. The region has long been considered stable. But satellites have now shown that ice streams have thinned and sped up. If this trend continues, it has consequences for future sea levels. [BBC]

Glacier in East Antarctica (Michael Studinger | NASA | Icebridge)

World:

¶ “US Undermining ‘Last Chance’ Climate Talks, Experts Charge” • The nations of the world are meeting here to hash out a “rulebook” to help ensure the viability of humanity – preventing runaway global warming from causing even greater calamity. The American delegation came to promote coal. And the kids laughed in their faces. [CNN]

¶ “Luxembourg Makes All Public Transportation Free” • The government of Luxembourg says beginning in 2020 it will make public transportation free for all. The move is expected to reduce congestion in Luxembourg City, which is said to be among the worst in Europe. It will have the additional benefit of reducing air pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Congestion in Luxembourg (Credit: Luxembourg Times)

¶ “EU Forces German Network Operator TenneT to Open the Floodgates for Danish Wind Energy” • Denmark has massive physical grid capacity to export power to Germany, but it is limited to a maximum of 11% usage due to self-imposed rules at the German operator TenneT. But the EU has threatened huge fines over the matter. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Offshore helping ‘Drive 680 GW Global Wind Growth'” • Over 680 GW of new wind power capacity will come online in the next 10 years, with the offshore market accounting for nearly 40% of global generating installations at the end of that time, according to a new report from consultancy Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Credit: reNEWS)

¶ “Construction Underway on West Africa’s ‘First Utility-Scale Wind Farm'” • Ground has been broken on the development of West Africa’s “first utility-scale wind power project,” located in Senegal. The 158.7-MW Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye is set to be completed in 2020. It will have 46 turbines made by the  Danish company Vestas. [CNBC]

¶ “Costa Rica Is Already 300 Days of Living on Renewable Energy” • Costa Rica broke its own record for running entirely on renewable energy in 2017, when the country managed to hold on to environmentally friendly electricity 299 days. In 2018, that record has been broken, as Costa Rica has run 300 days without using fossil fuels. [The Bobr Times]

San José, Costa Rica

¶ “Building New Nuclear Plants in France Uneconomical: Environment Agency” • Building new nuclear reactors in France would not be economical, state environment agency ADEME said in a study. The position contradicts the government’s long-term energy strategy as well as investment plans of EDF, the state-owned utility. [CNBC]

¶ “Australia’s Renewables Sector Doubles Output in Boom Year” • Australia’s renewables sector has doubled its output over the past 12 months, with more than A$20 billion ($14.4 billion) of projects now under construction, but the current boom will not last without policy certainty, according to the Clean Energy Council. [The Guardian]

Rooftop solar installation (Lucy Hughes Jones | AAP)

US:

¶ “Voices of 100%: Abita Springs Fights for Community Solar in Louisiana” • Abita Springs has claimed the title of the first community in Louisiana and among a select number of towns its size nationwide committed to a 100% renewable energy future. Located in St. Tammany Parish, the community is home to only a few thousand people. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ohio Trucking Terminal Installs a Renewable Energy Microgrid” • Regional trucking and logistics company Pitt Ohio is deploying a renewable energy microgrid at a trucking terminal in Parma, Ohio. The microgrid uses solar, wind power, and a energy storage in a lithium-ion battery to optimize on-site power and distribution. [Microgrid Knowledge]

Trucking terminal with WindStax turbines (courtesy of WindStax)

¶ “Rhode Island Looks to Spare Green Space with Brownfield Solar Projects” • Rhode Island has a new state incentive that offers money to developers who build solar projects on polluted properties instead of forests or farmland. The program could help balance the state’s need for solar power and concerns for preserving green space. [Energy News Network]

¶ “US Must Start From Scratch with a New Nuclear Waste Strategy, a Stanford-Led Panel Says” • The government has worked for decades and spent tens of billions of dollars in search of a permanent resting place for nuclear waste. A study led by Stanford University recommends that the US reset its nuclear waste program and start over. [YubaNet]

Have a significantly marvelous day.

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December 10 Energy News

December 10, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait Torpedo COP 24 Climate Conference in Poland” • Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the US gave notice that they do not intend to lift a finger to prevent Earth’s destruction. Guided by a denier and fossil fuels financing, the US even had the chutzpah to stage a pro-coal exhibit at the COP 24 conference. [CleanTechnica]

Climate change protest

¶ “Want to Solve Climate Problem? Nuclear Isn’t the Answer” • In keynote remarks a COP 24 event, Poland’s Minister of Energy said, “It is nuclear power that will be the main tool to reduce emissions.” There is more than a little irony in that statement. The event was organized by the only country withdrawing from the Paris accord. [Down To Earth Magazine]

¶ “The Technology, and New Thinking, Needed for 100% Renewable Grid” • For much of this decade Ivor Frischknecht was CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. With a unique perspective on Australia’s inevitable clean energy transition, he says it is not so much what renewable technologies dominate, but how we use them. [RenewEconomy]

Infigen Energy’s Lake Bonney wind farm

World:

¶ “Trump Coal Event Overshadowed at COP24” • An event endorsed by the White House is promoting use of fossil fuels at COP 24. But green campaigners are likely be cheered by news that 415 investors managing assets of around $32 trillion are calling for greater action on climate change and an end to coal as a source of energy. [BBC]

¶ “‘Exciting’ North-East Renewables Period Causes Spike in AREG Membership” • Jean Morrison, chairwoman of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, said big energy projects, including a surge in north-east based wave and tidal projects, have put north-east renewables on the map, sparking fresh membership over the last twelve months. [Energy Voice]

Aberdeen bay wind farm

¶ “Iran’s Renewable Energy Industry Growing Rapidly: Official” • Speaking at a press conference, the director of Iran’s Renewable Energy and Electrical Energy Efficiency Organization said even the “cruel sanctions” could not slow down the growth of the renewable energy industry in Iran, as local investment has now outstripped foreign. [Tasnim News Agency]

¶ “‘Historic’ Month as Wind Power Meets 109% of Energy Demands” • November has been hailed as a “historic month” after over 100% of Scotland’s electricity demands were met by wind power for the first time. Wind production last month broke previous records by generating enough energy for nearly six million homes. [STV News]

Wind turbines (STV image)

¶ “In Mauritius, Sugarcane Means Renewable Energy” • Far out into the Indian Ocean where it is forced to be self-reliant, the island nation of Mauritius is weaning itself off fossil fuels by turning to its main cash-crop sugarcane, for electricity. The sugarcane production waste is burned to reduce the nation’s reliance on coal and oil. [The Tribune]

¶ “Huge Desert Solar Initiative to Make Africa a Renewables Power-House” • Solar projects stretching across the Sahel region are expected to connect 250 million people with electricity by using the region’s abundant solar resource. The details of the “Desert to Power Initiative” have been outlined at climate change talks at COP24. [Brandspurng]

Solar system

¶ “Australia’s Silence During Climate Change Debate Shocks COP24 Delegates” • As four of the world’s largest oil and gas producers blocked UN climate talks from “welcoming” a key scientific report on global warming, Australia’s silence is being viewed as tacit support for the four oil allies: the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Kuwait. [The Guardian]

¶ “Strathclyde Experts Call for Government Action on Energy Storage” • Academics at Strathclyde University launched a discussion paper on pumped storage. Advocates believe that government policy design support – not subsidy – is necessary to put it on a par with other solutions to storing energy from renewables. [The National]

Loch Awe

¶ “Looking Beyond Oil” • Petronas is joining a number of large global oil and gas firms looking into renewables, including BP, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total, all of which are raising investment in cleaner energy. With low oil prices, Petronas has expressed interest over the last year to diversify into renewables, especially solar. [New Straits Times Online]

US:

¶ “Exxon Knows Renewables Are Cheaper, Even if Trump Doesn’t” • At Cop 24, the Trump administration may be touting coal and gas as the energy of the future, but leading US energy companies are doubling down on renewable energy. One large corporate buyer embracing the benefits of renewables is oil major ExxonMobil. [Climate Home]

Wind farm in Texas (Drew Kolb | Flickr)

¶ “Renewable Energy Now Key Component of Development” • As officials from the city of Hastings, Nebraska, have discussed a community solar project to diversify the local energy generation profile, one of the considerations most often talked about is how renewables may enhance economic development prospects and attract new businesses. [Hastings Tribune]

¶ “Falling Renewable Costs Wreaking Havoc on Tri-State” • Tri-State Generation and Transmission, a wholesale electric co-op serving areas of Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nebraska, is torn by demand for power from renewable sources. Montrose Electric Association wants to pull out, and United Power wants to change the bylaws. [Journal Advocate]

Have a positively rewarding day.

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December 9 Energy News

December 9, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Xcel’s Pledge to Be Carbon-Free by 2050 Makes Good Business Sense” • Xcel Energy put out a pledge to be carbon-free by 2050. This is not just because Colorado and Minnesota lean to the left. It is something Fortune 500 companies favor also. And providing what people want is fundamental to what a successful business does. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Xcel Energy wind project (Matthew Staver | Bloomberg)

COP 24:

¶ “Coal for Christmas at the UN Climate Conference” • At the COP24 convention pavilions, delegates found mounds of coal displayed behind glass, like objets d’art, and arrangements of coal-based cosmetics and coal-encrusted jewelry. For some, the coal-stuffed climate summit is completely absurd. One put it “beyond parody.” [The New Yorker]

¶ “Protesters Demand Tougher Action on Global Warming During UN Climate Talks” • Thousands of people from around the world marched through Katowice, the Polish city hosting this year’s UN climate talks, demanding tougher action to curb global warming. Among the protesters were farmers, environmentalists, and students from many countries. [NBCNews.com]

Climate protest (Martyn Aim | Getty Images)

¶ “COP24 Fails to Adopt Key Scientific Report” • When it was released in October, the IPCC report impacts of temperature rises of 1.5°C had a significant impact. Scientists and many COP24 delegates were shocked as the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait objected to the meeting “welcoming” the report and reference to it was dropped. [BBC]

¶ “Thai Farmers Feeling the Heat of Climate Debate” • Many Thai farmers have reported losing crops to irregular weather patterns and unexpected disasters such as drought and flooding. Some even fall into debt due to their income losses. Thailand is to introduce a new climate plan at the COP24 conference in the Polish city of Katowice. [Bangkok Post]

Thai rice farms (Flora-Victoria, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Lithium Werks Announces Construction of a Battery Gigafactory in China – 8 GWh to Start” • Lithium Werks, a lithium-ion battery manufacturer based in the Netherlands, announced that construction of a battery gigafactory in China is set to start in 2019 and that the factory will have “an initial annual production capacity of 8 GWh.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hanergy Inks $18 Million Deal to Bring HanWall to Australia” • Hong Kong-based Hanergy Thin Film Power Group signed a deal with Australia’s Environmental Technology Solutions to bring HanWall to the Australian market. HanWall is claimed to be the world’s first commercial system for solar PVs into building wall components. [Energy Digital]

City in the sun

¶ “China’s Green Finance Market to Maintain Fast Expansion: JPMorgan Chase” • US financial giant JPMorgan Chase said the fast expansion of China’s green finance market would continue as the government strengthens environmental protection. The market is expected to grow strongly as the government has made environmental protection a top priority. [ecns]

¶ “Australian School Kids Lead Mass Coal Mine Protests” • Australian schoolchildren led thousands of demonstrators in nationwide rallies calling for a suspension of plans by Indian mining company Adani to construct a controversial coal mine in the country’s north-east. The rallies followed student climate change protests of last month. [The Straits Times]

Schoolchildren protesting (Photo: EPA-EFE)

US:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Completely Crushing US Luxury Car Competition – 10 CleanTechnica Charts” • No one outside of Tesla knows Tesla’s monthly sales figures. For both global and US sales, they can only be estimated. Nonetheless, one thing is obvious: Tesla is completely crushing the competition in the midsize luxury car segment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump’s Great American Forest Liquidation Sale” • Logging Alaska’s mature stands could exacerbate climate change. It could cripple Southeast Alaska’s recreation, tourism, and salmon fishing industries. But the state’s governor petitioned the US Forest Service to remove protection from Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. [Truthout]

Bear and bald eagle (Photo: USDA | Flickr)

¶ “PRPA Board Unanimously Endorses 100% Non-Carbon Electricity by 2030” • The Platte River Power Authority has officially made a renewable energy future part of its guiding documents. It unanimously approved a policy that calls for Platte River to pursue a 100% non-carbon energy portfolio and to reach that goal by 2030. [Loveland Reporter-Herald]

¶ “SC ratepayers still vulnerable to next billion-dollar disaster” • Another multi-billion dollar disaster could be coming for South Carolina, after the $9 billion fallout from abandoning two nuclear reactors that were being built at the VC Summer site. SCE&G and Santee Cooper customers could end up paying for that debacle for decades. [Charleston Post Courier]

Have a simply magnificent day.

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December 8 Energy News

December 8, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Monumental Disaster at the Department of the Interior” • This is a tough time to be a scientist in the federal government. The Trump administration is clamping down on science, denying dangerous climate change, and hollowing out the workforces of the agencies charged with protecting American health, safety, and natural resources. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Scenic area no longer protected

¶ “Renewables, Energy Storage, and Managing the Utility Grid of the Future” • A decade ago, people began saying that one day electricity would be too cheap to meter. That day may come soon. Utilities can use “non-wires alternatives,” to manage energy demand without building new generating facilities and stringing new utility lines. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Envision Energy Says EV Battery Cell Costs Will Fall Below $50/kWh by 2025” • At the Stanford Global Energy Forum Lei Zhang, founder and CEO of Shanghai-based Envision Energy, made an extraordinary pronouncement. He said the cost of manufacturing EV battery cells would fall below $100/kWh, a disruptive price, by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Battery cells (Image via Morgan Stanley)

¶ “MIT ‘Sun in a Box’ Uses White-Hot Silicon for Energy Storage” • Engineers at MIT have developed a grid-scale energy storage concept known as the “sun in a box,” which they claim would be half the cost of pumped hydro storage. Light from white-hot silicon is captured by highly efficient multi-junction solar cells to generate power. [The Engineer]

¶ “Simple Steps to Climate-Proof Farms Have Big Potential Upside for Tropical Farmers” • Climate-smart agriculture boosts yields, mitigates extreme weather impact and reduces emissions of greenhouse gases. A study by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture shows profitable opportunities for farmers and the environment. [Science Daily]

Drought and salinity-resistant rice at a research site in Vietnam
(Georgina Smith | International Center for Tropical Agriculture)

¶ “Wello Launch Penguin WEC2 for H2020 CEFOW Array” • Finnish wave energy developer Wello Oy launched their newest Penguin wave energy converter model in Estonia, as part of the Clean Energy From Ocean Waves project. Penguin WEC2 will be towed to Orkney for testing at the European Marine Energy Centre. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

World:

¶ “ENGIE Signs Deal to Develop Net-Zero City in Northern Australia” • French multinational electric utility ENGIE signed a 50-year strategic alliance with the city of Greater Springfield in Queensland, Australia, it announced. This will help transition the city to being a zero net energy city by 2038. Greater Springfield bills itself as Australia’s newest city. [CleanTechnica]

Greater Springfield

¶ “Solar Overtakes Fossil Fuels for the First Time” • Data indicate that renewable energy production is growing faster than fossil fuels, and multiple studies predict that this trend will continue to grow. Renewable energy investments grew to $297 billion in 2016, while only $143 billion was spent on fossil fuels and nuclear power. [Digital Journal]

¶ “World’s Largest Distributed Energy Management System to Be Deployed in Western Australia” • Horizon Power, a public utility that supplies electricity in remote regions of Western Australia, contracted with California-based PXiSE Energy for a software solution to manage grid operations and distributed energy resources. [pv magazine Australia]

PVs in Western Australia (Image: Horizon Power)

US:

¶ “EPA Rolls Back Coal Rule Despite Climate Change Warnings” • The Trump administration will reverse an Obama-era coal emissions rule as part of its effort to loosen restrictions on the coal industry, just days after a US government report warned that aggressive action is needed to curb greenhouse gases and ease the impact of global warming. [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Gigafactory Pays Big Dividends for Nevada” • The deal Tesla made with Nevada in 2014 to build the Gigafactory required the company to meet certain performance guarantees. A report from the Nevada Office of Economic Development is out and it gives Tesla high marks for exceeding almost every aspect of the agreement. [CleanTechnica]

Gigafactory

¶ “US Energy Storage Project Pipeline Doubles to Nearly 33 Gigawatts in 2018” • The US energy storage project pipeline has doubled in 2018, reaching an impressive 32.9 GW, according to the latest US Energy Storage Monitor published by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Energy Storage Association. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Colorado Co-op Seeks Exit from Coal-Heavy Tri-State to Pursue Renewables” • The Delta Montrose Electric Association asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to adjudicate a fair exit price to end its generation contracts with the Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, which provides power largely from fossil fuels. [Utility Dive]

Colorado power plant

¶ “As Coal Declines, Solar Offers Possible Path for Reclaiming Old Mining Sites” • As US coal use keeps declining, there is growing acceptance that more mine closures are inevitable and that the system meant to help clean up and repurpose the sites is underfunded. Renewable energy provides a ray of hope for reclaiming the sites. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Competitive Procurement for Renewable Energy Yields 3,900 MW in Solar RFPs for the Carolinas” • Duke Energy sought 680 MW of solar capacity for the Carolinas through a Competitive Procurement for Renewable Energy. A total of 78 projects responded with bids, and they represented more than 3,900 MW of renewable energy. [Solar Power World]

Have a thoroughly worthwhile day.

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December 7 Energy News

December 7, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “ExxonMobil’s Renewable Energy Commitments Are in the News – Should We Cheer?” • Media outlets have celebrated ExxonMobil’s renewable energy commitments, which now include an agreement with Denmark’s Ørsted A/S to buy 500 MW of wind and solar power. Should we cheer when fossil fuels are renewably extracted? [CleanTechnica]

ExxonMobil oil rig

¶ “Global Climate Financing as High as $530 Billion in 2017, but Is It Enough?” • Global climate financing has increased over recent years, Climate Policy Initiative research says. It may have reached as much as $510 billion to $530 billion in 2017. Though this is relatively good news, investment in climate action is falling short in key areas. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Human-Induced Climate Change Makes Heatwaves Thirty Times More Likely” • Human-induced climate change has made the UK’s record-breaking 2018 summer heat wave around 30 times more likely than under normal conditions, country’s meteorological body has said. The summer of 2018 was the UK’s hottest on record. [CNN]

Reservoir in northwest England in the summer of 2018

World:

¶ “MHI Vestas to Supply 100 Turbines for Huge Offshore Wind Farm in Scotland” • MHI Vestas announced that it would supply 100 turbines for the Moray East Offshore Wind Farm, a 950-MW offshore wind farm in waters off the northeast coast of Scotland. The “firm turbine supply order” includes a 15-year service agreement. [CNBC]

¶ “Cost Cutting Delivers Turbine Growth Spurt” • Wind turbines will become even bigger and better in order to maintain a downward trend in the levelized cost of electricity, according to a report by consultancy Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The report expects further innovation up to 2027 that will reduce the LCOE. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa to Supply SeaMade Offshore Wind Power Project in Belgium” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy received the order for the 487-MW SeaMade offshore wind power project in Belgium from customer SeaMade NV. The order includes supply and commissioning of 58 SG 8.0-167 DD wind turbines. [Intelligent CIO ME]

¶ “Lekela Crosses Start Line in Senegal” • Lekela has broken ground on the Taiba N’Diaye wind farm in the west African country of Senegal. The 158.7-MW project will feature 46 Vestas V126 3.45-MW turbines. It is scheduled to come online in 2020. Among other benefits, it will generate about 400 jobs during construction. [reNEWS]

Taiba N’Diaye wind farm (Lekela image)

US:

¶ “SK Innovation Commits to Battery Manufacturing Plant in Georgia” • Korean battery company SK Innovation announced it will build a factory to make lithium-ion battery cells for electric cars northeast of Atlanta. The projected cost of the factory is $1.67 billion. The company hopes to sell batteries to VW and other car companies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump’s Environmental Rollback Rolls On” • The Trump administration rollback continues to target rules. The Interior Department unveiled plans to allow oil drilling on millions of acres that have been off-limits to protect the greater sage grouse. And the EPA said it would end rules limiting carbon emissions on new coal plants. [BBC]

Greater sage grouse (Getty Images)

¶ “One Hundred US Cities Are Committed to 100% Clean, Renewable Energy” • Cincinnati, Ohio, is the 100th city in the US to set a 100% renewable goal, the Sierra Club said. Cincinnati’s City Council approved a resolution to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2035. The states of California and Hawaii have made similar commitments. [Insurance News Net]

¶ “Miami People Mover – Autonomous, Electric, and Free” • The Miami Metromover covers 4.4 miles without a driver, runs on electricity every day from 5:00 am to midnight, and lets people ride for free. The cars are small, but they run very frequently, so there’s a constant flow of riders. Tens of thousands of passengers ride it each month. [CleanTechnica]

Miami Metromover (Ed Webster, Wikipedia CC BY 2.0)

¶ “Senate Narrowly Confirms Climate-Denying Nominee to Federal Energy Regulator” • The Senate approved the president’s nominee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, despite evidence that the nominee strongly favors fossil fuels and rejects the overwhelming scientific evidence that human activity causes climate change. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “Facebook Closes Record 200-MW Solar Deal with Georgia Co-Op” • Walton Electric Membership Corporation revealed contract details this week for three solar projects that will supply a Facebook data center in the state with 202.5 MW of capacity. Silicon Ranch will supply 102.5 MW and Strata Solar will build the other 100 MW. [Greentech Media]

Large solar system (Shutterstock image)

¶ “California Gives Final OK to Require Solar Panels on New Houses” • Solar panels will be a required feature on new houses in California, after the state’s Building Standards Commission gave final approval to a housing rule that is the first of its kind in the US. The new standard includes incentives for batteries and is set to take effect in 2020. [NPR]

¶ “Vermont Public Utility Commission OKs Vermont Yankee Sale” • The Vermont PUC approved the proposed sale of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee to subsidiaries of NorthStar Group Services for decommissioning the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station site. The NRC had already approved the transfer of operating licenses. [The Recorder]

Have an exhilaratingly agreeable day.

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December 6 Energy News

December 6, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “How Energy Companies Will Survive when Renewable Energy Is Free” • Founder and CEO Lei Zhang of Shanghai-based Envision Energy was worried that the cost of renewable energy will continue to drop until it is almost free. With a hard look at the situation, he saw energy companies can find opportunities by managing grid stability. [Forbes]

Shanghai (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “India’s Wind Power Potential Declining Due to Global Warming: Study” • The warming of the Indian Ocean due to global climate change may be causing a slow decline in India’s wind power potential. A study published in the journal Science Advances found that the Indian monsoon is weakening as a result of warming ocean waters. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Greenland Ice Sheet Melt ‘Off the Charts’ Compared with Past Four Centuries” • The journal Nature published a study that provides new evidence of the impacts of climate change on Arctic melting and global sea level rise. “From a historical perspective, today’s melt rates are off the charts,” said one of the study’s co-authors. [Science Daily]

Rivers of meltwater on Greenland’s surface (Credit:
Sarah Das, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

¶ “Burn notice” • The National Climate Assessment’s newest report predicts continued climate change will impede economic growth, decrease water availability, spread diseases, and increase air pollution. The new report, “Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States,” examines climate change topics in ten US regions. [Tucson Weekly]

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Phasing Out Conventional Vehicles, May Build Cars at Ford Factories in US” • At an industry conference in Germany, Volkswagen said it is working on the last generation of conventional cars with internal combustion engines. It also hinted it may manufacture some cars jointly with Ford in that company’s US factories. [CleanTechnica]

VW ID Crozz

¶ “OECD, UNEP, and World Bank Call for “Radical Shift” in Climate Financing” • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the UN Environmental Program, and the World Bank Group called for a radical shift of investment into low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure to limit the impact of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Secures 750 Megawatts of Orders Across Europe” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy published two announcements in one week saying that it has been contracted to supply a total of 750 MW of wind turbines to a total of six wind farms across Northern Europe and Turkey and an offshore wind project in Belgium. [CleanTechnica]

SGRE wind farm

¶ “A Little Good News About Climate Change for Once” • The good news from climate scientists is that global economies are growing much faster than their greenhouse gas emissions. The Global Carbon Project said that 19 countries, including the US and the UK, have seen a decade of economic growth and lower carbon dioxide emissions. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “Increasing Fossil Fuel Use Push Carbon Emissions to Record High” • Increasing coal, oil and gas use are pushing global carbon emissions to an all-time high, climate scientists have told the UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland. They said a projected rise in global emissions of more than 2% has due to growth in coal use and use of fossil fuels. [Irish Times]

Sheep grazing near a coal-burning power plant

Australia:

¶ “‘No Trilemma’: Study Finds Increased Renewables Push Down Power Prices” • Renewable energy drives down wholesale power prices well in excess of subsidy costs and a further expansion of wind and solar would likely push them lower still, according to a study of Australian and European markets by the Victoria Energy Policy Centre. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “South Australia’s Big Battery Slashes $40 million from Grid Control Costs in First Year” • South Australia’s big battery outperformed expectations for its first year, saving almost $40 million in grid stabilisation costs, helping prevent blackouts, and generally restoring confidence in energy supply, project backer Neoen said. [The Australian Financial Review]

Hornsdale battery (Supplied photo)

¶ “Gas Not Renewables to Blame for SA Power Price Surge” • A report from the Victoria Centre for Energy Policy found that the closure of two coal-fired power plants raised wholesale prices in South Australia by A$23/MWh in 2018 from what they would have been. Wind and solar energy, however, reduced prices by A$38/MWh. [The Australian Financial Review]

US:

¶ “Leading US Wind Companies Announce New Wind Wildlife Research Fund” • A group of over two dozen wind energy companies involved in the US announced that they were signing up to back a new fund which will facilitate research speeding the development and deployment of innovative solutions related to wind and wildlife. [CleanTechnica]

Amazon wind farm in Texas

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is the Number Six Top Selling Car in USA in November (Possibly)” • CleanTechnica estimates that 18,000 Tesla Model 3 cars were sold in the US during the month of November. That estimate makes it the 6th best selling car in the country, in terms of units sold. It also makes it the best selling car by a US manufacturer. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Developer Sues TVA After It Halts Nuke Site Sale” • The completion of a nuclear unit at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s unfinished 1,260-MW Bellefonte plant is in limbo after the TVA refused to complete its sale to Nuclear Development LLC. Nuclear Development filed a breach of contract complaint in federal district court. [Engineering News-Record]

Have a famously cheerful day.

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December 5 Energy News

December 5, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Why This Republican Mayor Spoke at Bernie Sanders’s Climate Town Hall” • Georgetown, Texas, went solidly for Trump in 2016, and for Romney in 2012. But last year, the Austin exurb became one of the greenest places in the state: It was the first Texan city to convert to 100% renewable energy to power its grid, and the largest in the US so far. [CityLab]

Oil derrick and wind turbines (Lucas Jackson | Reuters)

¶ “Why Puerto Rico Needs a Green New Deal” • A Green New Deal could radically change the daily lives of Puerto Ricans and the outlook for the island, according to San Juan’s mayor, one of several speaking out. At The Sanders Institute’s inaugural conference, Carmen Yulín Cruz described the island’s desire for a Green Energy Deal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Is Both the Best and Worst Hope for Clean Energy” • The US, led by a president who does not believe in climate change or the scientists who study it, will take a back seat at the COP24 climate summit this month. China, with its massive economy and growing green energy sector, has become the world’s climate leader. [WIRED]

Coal power in China (Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Cost of Carbon Capture Plummets Thanks to Two New Techniques” • There are two kinds of carbon capture. One kind captures the carbon dioxide going up the smokestacks. The other removes some of the carbon dioxide that is already in the air. Advances in both technologies promise a dramatic decrease in the cost of each. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Kenya to Achieve Full Transition to Renewable Energy by 2020, Says President Kenyatta” • Speaking at the inaugural ceremony for an 83.3-MW unit of a geothermal power plant, Kenya’s president said the country will achieve a full transition to renewable power by 2020. Kenya has also stepped up efforts on other forms of renewable energy. [Citizen TV]

Rising steam at the Olkaria Geothermal plant (Courtesy photo)

¶ “Rising Energy Consumption Behind Slowing EU Progress on Renewables and Energy Efficiency” • In the EU, progress on renewable energy and energy efficiency is slowing, according to data from the European Environment Agency. This is due to increasing energy consumption eating away at any gains being made elsewhere. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Portugal aims for 100% renewables by 2050” • Portugal’s Minister of Environment and the Energy Transition João Pedro Matos Fernandes has presented the country’s new plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The government envisages Portugal covering 100% of its total power demand with renewable energy by 2050. [pv magazine International]

Hydroelectric dam in Portugal (Mea, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “50% in Nuclear Industry: Energy Plan for 2030 is ‘Unrealistic’” • Half of the companies in the nuclear industry doubt Japan can have 20% to 22% of its energy supply from nuclear plants by fiscal 2030, according to a survey. Their skepticism relates mainly to difficulties restarting or building reactors under post-Fukushima safety measures. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ “Batteries Bolster Solar in a First for Minnesota” • The revolution underway in clean energy is taking a big step forward this month as Connexus Energy switches on Minnesota’s first major project pairing solar panels with battery storage. The 10-MW PV system has 15-MW of lithium iron phosphate battery storage nearby. [Finance and Commerce]

Solar plus battery system (Photo: Connexus Energy)

¶ “Xcel Energy Vows 100% Carbon Reduction by 2050” • Colorado’s largest utility announced ambitious new carbon reduction goals beyond their current target of 60% reduction in the state by 2026. Xcel Energy now plans for a carbon reduction goal of 100% by 2050, across the eight states where it provides electric power. [Colorado Public Radio]

¶ “With New State Leadership, a Renewed Vision for Clean Energy in Maine” • A wide-ranging coalition of Maine businesses, nonprofits, clean energy developers, and others are gearing up for the next legislative session with an aim of promoting policies intended to lower emissions and drive down costs of renewable energy. [Energy News Network]

The Maine Statehouse in Augusta

¶ “US Coal Consumption Drops to Lowest Level Since 1979” • Americans are consuming less coal in 2018 than at any time since Jimmy Carter’s presidency, according to an Energy Information Administration report, as cheap natural gas and other sources of energy frustrate the Trump administration’s pledges to revive the US coal industry. [Associated Press]

¶ “Solar Farm in Rhode Island Expected to Save Johnston, Providence Millions” • A solar farm is now up and running in Johnston. The farm is built on top of what was a 32-acre private landfill, which had been capped and closed more than 25 years ago, according to a press release from Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI. [Turn to 10]

Solar farm in Johnston (Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI)

¶ “Natural Gas Prices Fall Below Zero in Texas” • Surging US oil production in the Permian basin has helped crash oil prices. But the Permian is also home to skyrocketing natural gas production, and output is growing so fast that drillers are trying to give it away for free. When they cannot do that, they just burn it off into the atmosphere. [Baystreet.ca]

¶ “How Rural Northern Wisconsin Logged a Record-Setting Solar Group Buy” • While group buys are often arranged by such municipalities as Milwaukee, the all-volunteer citizens nonprofit group Cheq Bay Renewables led a rural effort and worked with Next Energy Solution to arrange a buy with 78 installations totaling 470 kW. [Energy News Network]

Have a fantastically favorable day.

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December 4 Energy News

December 4, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Should We Subsidize Nuclear Power to Fight Climate Change?” • Nuclear power plants are associated with significantly less carbon dioxide emitted per unit of electricity produced than fossil fuel plants. But building new nuclear plants does not make economic sense, especially since less costly renewable energy is available. [Scientific American]

Nuclear power plant (Getty Images)

¶ “COP24 off to a Rocky Start as Previous Leaders Call for ‘Unequivocal Message'” • COP24 got underway to a bit of a rocky start, even as previous COP Presidents called for it to “send an unequivocal message for enhanced ambition by 2020 that puts the world on a trajectory compatible with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal Is on the Way Out – Natural Gas Is Next” • As I looked at data on carbon dioxide emissions, I wondered how long it will take for the natural gas industry to follow coal’s steep decline into its own. The answer to this question may be becoming clear, and rather quickly, with a series of developments currently going on in California. [CleanTechnica]

Metcalf Energy Center (Wikipedia)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists in Sweden Say Iron Could Replace Noble Metals as Catalyst, Reducing Costs” • A report published in the journal Science by Swedish scientists says they created new molecules based on iron that can perform the same catalytic functions as more costly “noble” metals. There are important implications for energy. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “World Bank Commits $200 Billion over Five Years for Climate Action” • One of the largest sources of funding for developing countries, the World Bank Group, announced that it would increase its current five-year investments to around $200 billion, with a particular focus on projects for climate adaptation and resilience. [CleanTechnica]

Rays of sunlight from behind a cloud

¶ “Shell is First Energy Company to Link Executive Pay and Carbon Emissions” • Royal Dutch Shell said it will establish short-term carbon emissions targets starting in 2020. It plans to link executive pay to hitting the targets. Shell was pressured by investors. Climate Action 100+, with over $32 trillion in assets under management supports the plan. [CNN]

¶ “A Vision of Carbon Neutral Power Around the Globe by 2050” • A scenario in which no additional oil, coal, or nuclear capacity is built and renewables grow at 3% to 4%, would see solar comprise 69% of the global electricity system by 2050. According to an EU think-tank, this would boost manufacturing, creating jobs and prosperity. [pv magazine International]

German solar systems (Markus Braun, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Schneider Electric Deepens Carbon Neutral Commitment at COP24” • Leading global power company Schneider Electric announced it is accelerating its contribution to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The announcement was made to coincide with COP24, a UN sustainability event taking place in Poland. [Energy Digital]

¶ “India to Achieve Emissions Control Targets Well Ahead of Time” • According to its Environment Minister, India will surpass its commitments on greenhouse gas emission checks and energy transition to renewables made under the 2015 Paris climate pact 10 years ahead of time, making it a world-wide leader in climate action. [India Climate Dialogue]

Renewable energy (Pixabay image)

¶ “Japan to Scrap Turkey Nuclear Project” • A Japan-led public-private consortium is set to abandon a Turkish nuclear power project, Nikkei has learned. The project’s construction costs have ballooned to around ¥5 trillion ($44 billion), nearly double the original estimate, making it difficult to continue with the plans for development. [Nikkei Asian Review]

¶ “Thermal Power Plants Have Now Lost Their Cost Advantage to Renewable Energy” • Up to 62% of the existing coal capacity in India is now running at a cost higher than that of building new solar and wind capacity, according to a world-wide study of 6,685 coal plants by Carbon Tracker Initiative, a think tank based in London. [Quartz]

Waling by a power plant (Jayanta Shaw | Reuters)

US:

¶ “Trump’s Pick for EPA Already Rolling Back Climate Change Protections” • President Trump said he plans to nominate Andrew Wheeler to be EPA administrator. Wheeler is already acting administrator. He had been a coal lobbyist and has been called a “driving force” behind the agenda of Sen Inhofe, who called climate change a “hoax.” [CNN]

¶ “Vestas Secures 220-MW US Order to Surpass 10 GW In 2018” • Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S announced this week that it had received an order to supply 220 MW of wind turbines to a wind project in the US. With the order, Vestas has passed the 10 GW mark for US sales for the third year in a row. [CleanTechnica]

Vestas wind turbines

¶ “US to End Subsidies for Electric Cars, Renewables: White House” • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the US will end subsidies for electric cars and renewable energy sources. Asked about GM’s announced plant closings and layoffs, he said he expected subsidies for electric cars will end in 2020 or 2021. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Stanford to Go 100% Solar by 2021” • Stanford University announced that it will have a new 88-MW solar generating plant in central California. Together with an earlier plant, it will enable the university to use 100% renewable electricity in three years, more than two decades ahead of California’s goal of a carbon-free grid by 2045. [Stanford University News]

Have a spectacularly splendid day.

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December 3 Energy News

December 3, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Air Pollution Has a Devastating Impact on Children’s Health” • A report from the World Health Organization says 600,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air in 2016. About 93% of all children under the age of 15 breathe air so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk. [CleanTechnica]

Children in Vietnam (Larm Rmah)

¶ “Yet Another Benefit of Renewable Energy: It Uses Practically No Water Compared to Fossil Fuels” • One benefit of using renewable energy sources to produce electricity is that they require “almost no water.” Traditional thermoelectric power generation, which includes nuclear, coal, and gas, is the leading consumer of water in America. [DeSmog]

World:

¶ “Trump Alone on Climate Change as G20 Find Common Ground on Trade, Migration” • A joint statement signed by all twenty member nations said nineteen of them reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris climate accord. The US, which plans to withdraw from the pact under President Donald Trump, is the lone holdout. [Business Insider]

Closing out the G20 summit (Kevin Lamarque | Reuters)

¶ “Climate Talks Kick Off in Poland With Boost from G-20 Summit” • Negotiators from around the world are meeting in the Polish city of Katowice for talks on curbing climate change, three years after sealing a landmark deal in Paris that set a goal of keeping global warming well below 2°C (3.6°F). The UN meeting runs to December 14. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Qatar Pulls Out of OPEC Oil Producers’ Cartel” • Qatar announced it is pulling out of OPEC, just days before the group meets in Vienna. Qatar is the world’s biggest exporter of liquified natural gas, has been boycotted by some Arab neighbours over allegations that it funds terrorism. OPEC is expected to cut oil supply at this week’s meeting. [BBC]

Nodding donkeys (Spencer Platt | Getty Images)

¶ “Disneyland Paris Hopes to Get Glow from Solar Power” • Disneyland Paris has revealed that it is considering building a massive solar power plant which would supply 15% of the electricity at its sprawling site on the outskirts of Paris. This follows the recent opening of a similar facility at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. [Forbes]

¶ “Dutch Delight at Budel Solar” • The 44-MW Budel solar farm near Eindhoven in the Netherlands has started commercial operations. It was developed by the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant, the commune of Cranendonck, and UK company Solarcentury on land that had previously been used by the Nyrstar zinc smelter. [reNEWS]

Budel solar park (Solarcentury image)

¶ “India Could Generate All of Its Power from Renewables by 2050” • An entirely renewable energy system is technically possible and economically viable for India in 2050, a report says. One scenario has the levelized cost of electricity falling from the current €58/MWh (₹4,626/MWh, $68.72/MWh) to €52. Another has it go to €46. [pv magazine India]

Australia:

¶ “Green Light for 800-MW Oz Giant” • The federal government has given planning approval to the 800-MW Clarke Creek wind farm in Queensland. Developer Lacour Energy is partnering with Goldwind on the A$1.5 billion ($1.11 billion) project, which will be integrated with a solar and battery storage facility 150 km north-west of Rockhampton. [reNEWS]

Goldwind turbines at a wind farm (Goldwind image)

¶ “Two Million Australian Households Now Have Rooftop Solar – and They Vote” • One of Australia’s hottest renewable energy sectors, residential solar, has hit another major milestone, with the number of households to have installed rooftop PV passing the two million-mark, according to a Clean Energy Council announcement. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “Pernod Ricard Winemakers Going 100% Renewable Energy” • By the middle of 2019, Pernod Ricard Winemakers will be sourcing all of its electricity from renewable sources, largely with a power purchase agreement, though its own 2.8-MW solar installation project will be the largest combined winery solar installation in Australia.  [Foodprocessing]

Grapes and wine (AdobeStock image)

US:

¶ “Trump Denial of Climate Science Product of Decades-Long Lobbying and Grooming, Report Claims” • Where does Donald Trump’s denial of climate science come from? According to a new Axios report, “a small but influential set of organizations and people have been pushing misinformation for years, and Trump has been listening.” [The Inquisitr]

¶ “‘We Gave No Choice'” • At a Maui Electric Co forum on energy resilience, Prof Chip Fletcher of the University of Hawaii and vice chairman of the Honolulu Climate Change Commission told the audience that new data indicate we have “less time than previously thought” to prepare for climate impacts. And the signs of that are already here. [Maui News]

Kaheawa Wind Power (Photo: Matthew Thayer | The Maui News)

¶ “An Audacious Goal for Leelanau County” • Northport Energy was founded a decade ago with a singular mission: to make the tip of Leelanau County, Michigan, completely green. Upon their 10th anniversary, they embarked on an even more ambitious goal: Power all of Leelanau County with 100% renewable energy within a decade. [Traverse City Ticker]

¶ “Solar Congress Helps South Florida Homeowners Figure Out How to Harvest Clean Energy” • A movement to take advantage of solar power is building in Florida, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava said it is at a tipping point. “We are the sunshine state, and we’ve been a little in the clouds,” Cava laughed. “It’s time to come out.” [WLRN]

Have a charmingly agreeable day.

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December 2 Energy News

December 2, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Portrait of a Planet on the Verge of Climate Catastrophe” • As politicians gather for the annual UN climate conference, climate catastrophe looks inevitable. We have simply left it too late to hold rising global temperatures to under 1.5°C and so prevent a future of drowned coasts, ruined coral reefs, spreading deserts, and melted glaciers. [The Guardian]

South Beach, Miami, if temperatures rise by 2°C (Image:
Nickolay Lamm | Climate Central | sealevel.climatecentral.org)

¶ “Build a Bridge, Not a Wall: US Companies Have Renewable Energy Opportunities in Mexico” • Mexico has a renewable energy goal of 35% nationally within 5 years and 50% by 2050. That means a lot of renewable energy construction contracts will be awarded south of the border. And US companies are welcome to participate. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “APS May Have Won This Fight, but the Clean Energy War Is Not Over, Tom Steyer Says” • You would be hard pressed to find a utility company more hostile to clean energy, more politically connected, or more brazen in wielding those connections than Arizona Public Service. Well, that’s exactly why we chose to get involved in Arizona. [AZCentral.com]

Power from the sun and wind

¶ “Backstory: Macron to Close Multiple Nuclear Reactors, but Why Now?” • Wind, solar, a continent-scale grid, and open economic borders all contributed to the death of the French nuclear dream. It became time for France to wake up and join the future, and it has. It voted in a politician who promised to reduce France’s nuclear fleet. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Houston Cannot Afford to Accept Trump’s View of Climate Change” • It may serve President Donald Trump politically to ignore science, but his willful ignorance comes with a price that others will be left to pay. Ignoring climate change means ignoring the role it played in the severity of Hurricane Harvey and other violent storms. [Houston Chronicle]

Flooding after Hurricane Harvey

World:

¶ “New Report Outlines Investor Risk of Supporting Coal Power” • In the US, coal sputtered when nuclear energy came on the scene, and then cheap natural gas and renewable energy have been bumping coal to the curb. Now a new report shows that in the rest of the world, coal is also slipping down the same slide of doom. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump Administration Plans COP24 Coal Sideshow” • According to Reuters, “three people familiar with the matter” had told them that the Trump Administration is planning to set up a side event (read: sideshow) promoting the use of fossil fuels at the upcoming COP24 UN climate talks to be held in Katowice, Poland. [CleanTechnica]

Coal trains

¶ “NZ Makes Solar Power Accessible to All” • Solar power is now available to all New Zealanders through online subscriptions. The Climate Change Minister is backing the worlds first virtual solar power plant. SolarCity is connecting communities to a national solar power grid while cutting electricity costs and reducing carbon emissions. [Māori Television]

¶ “Green Energy Financing Blooms as Investors Look Beyond Profits” • Environment-friendly finance is blooming thanks to investors willing to weigh profits against ecology, but decisions about meaningful investments can be complex. Debate rages over which technologies are worthy of green investor money, and which are not. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Offshore wind turbines

¶ “India to Float Its Largest Solar Tender by 15 December for 23,000 MW Ultra Mega Solar Projects in Leh, Ladakh” • As part of initiatives under the National Solar Mission, India’s renewable energy ministry launched an ambitious plan to implement 23 GW of solar projects in the Leh and Ladakh regions of Jammu and Kashmir, The Hindu reported. [Swarajya]

US:

¶ “Climate Change Clobbers Colorado and the West, Unfurling Fire, Drought, Insects, and Heat” • The impacts of global warming, wildfires, invasive species, declining snowpacks, and drought intensifying across Colorado and the West with costs in the billions, have happened precisely as scientists have been predicting. [The Denver Post]

Home rebuilt after a fire (Helen H Richardson | The Denver Post)

¶ “Exxon Will Use Wind, Solar Power to Produce Crude Oil in Texas” • Under 12-year agreements with Denmark’s Orsted A/S, Exxon will buy 500 MW of wind and solar power in the Permian Basin, the fastest growing US oil field. It is the largest ever renewable power contract signed by an oil company, according to Bloomberg NEF. [Independent Online]

¶ “Connecticut Preps for Weather Extremes, Flooding Highlighted in Climate Report” • One ecologist focused on Connecticut’s coastal habitats hopes students learn at least two basic lessons: Before buying a property, find out if it’s in a flood zone; and don’t get Lyme disease. But preparations for climate change go far beyond that. [theday.com]

Have a comfortably cozy day.

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December 1 Energy News

December 1, 2018

World:

¶ “Polluters in the Room: Big Energy ‘Undermining’ UN Climate Talks” • Oil and coal giants are exploiting a lack of conflict-of-interest protection at UN climate talks to push for continued fossil fuel use, several sources have told AFP. Just days before COP 24, host country Poland announced three state-run coal giants would sponsor it. [Yahoo News]

Coal-burning power plant

¶ “Renewables Power Ahead, but Emissions Still Rising” • In Australia’s National Energy Market, renewable generation set its fifth consecutive monthly record high in November, having new solar farms online, an audit shows. However, evidence coming from the Federal Government reveals a continuing upward trend in emissions since 2013. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “State and Regional Governments Responding to Climate Change Faster than National Governments” • A report by The Climate Group and others shows that leading states and regions worldwide are committed to emissions reductions of 6.2% per year, 3.2% faster than G20 governments and just short of the rate needed for a 2°C pathway. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm

¶ “EGPE Begins Construction of Three New Spanish Solar Plants” • Enel Green Power España, a renewable energy division of utility company Endesa, has begun construction of three Spanish solar plants with a combined capacity of around 127 MW. The three solar facilities will be built with an investment of nearly €100 million. [Power Technology]

¶ “Germany to Increase Wind and Solar Power Production” • Germany intends to increase energy production from wind and solar farms by a further 8 GW over the next three years as the government tries to compensate for its decision to abandon strict emissions targets. This is in addition to the 5 GW Germany is adding each year. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable energy

¶ “Japan Approves Offshore Plans” • Japan’s parliament approved a new law to promote offshore wind projects, according to the Japanese Wind Power Association. The association said the law should come into effect next spring, following three months for “fixing detail ordinances”, with the first auction in the spring or summer next year. [reNEWS]

UK:

¶ “Party Time at Rampion” • EON has officially opened the 400-MW Rampion offshore wind farm off the south coast of England. The project features 116 MHI Vestas V112 3.45-MW turbines located between 13 km and 20 km off the coast of Sussex. Rampion has taken three years to construct, with 750 people working on the project at peak times. [reNEWS]

Rampion turbines (Photo: EON)

¶ “BT Rings Up Renewables to 94% of the Business” • BT, a telecommunications giant in the UK, signed two deals enabling 96% of its global operations to be powered entirely by clean sources of electricity. Mobile network EE, which is part of BT, is now powered by 100% certified renewable sources such as wind farms and solar plants. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Windy Weather Carries Britain to Renewable Energy Record” • Storm Diana brought strong winds that helped set a renewable energy record. Wind farms supplied about a third of the UK’s electricity from 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm, peak demand time, on November 28. Output hit a high of 14.9 GW, beating a previous record of 14.5 GW. [The Guardian]

EON’s Rampion windfarm (Darren Cool | EON | PA)

US:

¶ “More Americans and Most Republicans Now Believe in Climate Change” • A growing number of Americans believe that climate change is happening, a shift in public opinion from three years ago. About 8 in 10 Americans, including two-thirds of the Republicans, believe the climate is changing, causing extreme weather. [CNN]

¶ “The US Could Cut Emissions by 80% for Less than the 2018 Federal Budget” • As President Trump continues to dismiss the all-but-irrefutable scientific consensus on climate change, multiple federal reports make it clear that failing to rein in greenhouse gas emissions will cost the US far more in the long run than tackling the crisis head-on. [HuffPost]

Mendocino fire (Noah Berger | Associated Press)

¶ “Renewables Account for 18% of US Electricity Generation” • The Energy Information Administration published data showing that renewable energy sources provided nearly 18% of the country’s electrical generation through the first nine months of the year, while solar and wind grew substantially from the same time a year ago. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A Solar Bonus is the Latest Clean Energy Incentive for Massachusetts Farmers” • A solar incentive launched this week in Massachusetts is the state’s latest effort to make it easier for farmers to adopt renewable power and become more energy efficient. The incentive promotes PV projects that coexist with agricultural uses. [Energy News Network]

Harvesting hay in Montague, Massachusetts

¶ “Coal Boss Who Pushed for Industry Bailout Doubts Trump Will Deliver” • Bob Murray, CEO of Murray Energy, who pushed the Trump administration for a coal bailout that would have cost consumers billions of dollars a year, has admitted the president probably won’t be able to keep his campaign pledge to save the dying industry. [Common Dreams]

¶ “TVA Scraps Bellefonte Sale to Haney” • Franklin L Haney said he is ready to complete a $111 million purchase of the unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant. The Tennessee Valley Authority, however, says it cannot complete the sale because Haney did not get a necessary NRC approval to transfer the plant’s construction permits. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Have a perfectly fabulous day.

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