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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