Archive for December 17th, 2018

December 17 Energy News

December 17, 2018


¶ “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]


¶ “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. []

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]


¶ “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)


¶ “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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