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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