December 4 Energy News

December 4, 2018


¶ “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 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)


¶ “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. []

¶ “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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