Archive for December 22nd, 2018

December 22 Energy News

December 22, 2018


¶ “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]


¶ “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]


¶ “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. []

¶ “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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