Archive for January, 2019

January 31 Energy News

January 31, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Key To Winning Victories Against Big Oil? Perseverance” • Vermont’s Middlebury College announced that it was divesting its fossil fuel holdings. That might not seem so newsworthy, as Middlebury is just one of many divesting colleges, but it is one of the first to reverse course. Six years ago the college flatly rejected divestment. [The Guardian]

Solar trackers in South Burlington (Photo: Toby Talbot | AP)

¶ “Those Damn Youngsters Won’t Shut Up About Climate Change. That’s A Good Thing.” • Young people are getting motivated. Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg said, “We need to hold the older generations accountable for the mess they have created, and expect us to live with. It is not fair that we have to pay for what they have caused.” [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘American Dying’ Cooled Earth’s Climate” • Colonisation of the Americas at the end of the 15th Century killed so many people, it disturbed Earth’s climate, scientists from University College London say. The disruption that followed European settlement led to agricultural land being replaced by forest, pulling CO₂ from the atmosphere. [BBC]

Ice core used to study historic CO₂ (Heidi Roop | NSF)

World:

¶ “UK Military Base To Go Green With 95% Renewable Energy” • Home to the frontline squadrons of the RAF’s elite Tornado Force, RAF Marham is set to become the first British military base to run nearly entirely on green energy. Over 95% of its electricity is to be fuelled by the anaerobic digestion of locally grown crops. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “1,600 EV Charge Points To Be Installed In Berlin” • An initiative called ‘Sofortprogramm Saubere Luft’ which translates roughly into ‘Immediate Clean Air Program,’ is working to install more than 1,600 EV charge points in the streets of the German capital. It is part of a larger effort to decrease pollution in German cities. [CleanTechnica]

Berlin

¶ “Saudi Arabia Unveils $1.5 Billion Renewable Energy Projects” • Saudi Arabia launched the second phase of its renewable energy program, including seven solar projects worth $1.5 billion, according to a report in Arab News. The total generating capacity will be 1.51 GW, which is enough to power 226,500 households, the report said. [Gulf Digital News]

¶ “Corporate Wind Energy PPAs Are Booming Say WindEurope” • Companies around Europe have now signed nearly 5 GW of power purchase agreements with wind farms, almost equivalent to Denmark’s total wind energy capacity. PPAs give industry long-term energy supply at fixed-prices. Most contracts are around 15 years. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind power in the Netherlands

¶ “Murray-Darling River Authority Accused Of ‘Ignoring Climate Science’ For Mass Fish Deaths” • A Royal Commission accused the authority that oversees Australia’s largest river system of “gross negligence,” “maladministration,” and ignoring climate science, as its water was covered with hundreds of thousands of dead fish. [Prothom Alo English]

¶ “Biggest Solar Project Yet Gets Half Billion In Funding” • The US-based Gideon Group announced its intention to invest $488 million in a 135-MW solar plant in Cambodia. Gideon Group’s president said the Kandal solar project is being developed by Inner Renewable Energy (Cambodia) with the support of the government. [Khmer Times]

Solar system (May Titthara | KT)

¶ “Europe’s Transition From Hard Coal To Renewables Accelerating: Report” • Renewable energy is on the increase in the EU, and the use of coal has fallen 30% from what it was in 2012, according to The European Power Sector in 2018 report. Lignite coal, however, is proving more difficult to phase out than hard coal. [Power Technology]

US:

¶ “EDF Signs Contract With NYSERDA For Morris Ridge Solar Project” • EDF Renewables North America signed an agreement with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for its Morris Ridge Solar Project. The 212-MW DC (170-MW AC) project also includes a 20-MW energy storage component. [Power Technology]

Solar panels (Credit: Zbynek Burival on Unsplash)

¶ “NextEra, Nebraska Farmers Aim To Build Largest Solar Farm In The Midwest” • NextEra Energy Resources is seeking an interconnection agreement for a solar project in Nebraska that is to be one of the country’s largest. The 423-MW project is in early stages of development and it depends largely on the cost of  grid connections. [Energy News Network]

¶ “GE ‘Created The Energy Industry’, Now Its Cementing A Place In Its Future” • GE is rebuilding its clean energy business by combining its renewables, energy storage, and grid infrastructure units. The reorganization that it is pursuing makes so much sense that one of the few questions the announcement raises is why did it take so long? [Forbes]

GE wind turbine (Taylor Weidman | © 2016 Bloomberg)

¶ “New Mexico’s New Governor Announces Climate Policy Commitments” • Gov Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-NM, has formally ordered New Mexico to join the US Climate Alliance, fully embracing the goals set by the 2015 Paris Agreement. She also ordered the creation of a New Mexico Climate Change Task Force. [North American Windpower]

¶ “VC Summer Project Officially Dead” • The project to build two additional nuclear reactors in South Carolina is finally dead, officially. The utility’s board had been looking for a new partner to keep the plant going. They voted unanimously to give up the license to build it. It has produced no electricity and has cost $9 billion. [106.3 WORD]

Have a perfectly fortunate day.

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January 30 Energy News

January 30, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Extreme Cold Gripping Midwest Does Not Debunk Global Warming, Experts Say” • President Trump may believe that a cold snap proves that climate change is not happening, but climate authorities, including those inside his government, said the record-setting cold does nothing to contradict the consensus on climate change. [NBC News]

Winter storm (NOAA image)

¶ “Germany Can End Coal Power Much Earlier Than 2038” • Setting an end date for coal is a welcome first step, and the proposal should quickly be made law. However, the switch away from coal has to be faster if Germany is to maximise its economic and social benefits and deliver its commitment for the Paris Agreement. [Climate Home]

¶ “Meeting The Goals Of The Paris Agreement Could Save A Million Lives Per Year” • Air pollution causes 7 million deaths worldwide every year and costs an estimated $5.11 trillion in welfare losses globally. In the 15 countries that emit the most greenhouse gas emissions, the health impacts of air pollution are estimated at over 4% of their GDP. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution

¶ “The State of Science in the Trump Era (2019)” • The Trump administration’s pattern of undermining science is damaging our health and safety. However, scientists and their allies are pushing back. A timeline highlights the relentless series of attacks on science by the Trump administration during its first two years in office. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Melting Glaciers In The Canadian Arctic Have Revealed Landscapes Not Seen In 40,000 Years” • Glaciers in the Canadian Arctic have melted enough to reveal land that was hidden for the last 40,000 years or more, researchers say. One researcher said the warming is so great that everything is melting everywhere now. [CNN]

Baffin Island in sunlight (Doc Searls, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Indian Railways Planning 4 GW Solar Power Capacity” • India’s push to promote domestic manufacturing in the solar power segment may soon get a boost, thanks to the Indian Railways. The world’s fourth-largest railway network is planning to replace almost its entire power supply of thermal power plants with new solar power plants. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Shine, Fossil Fuels Suffer As Australia Swelters In Record Heat” • In Australia’s most recent heat wave, fossil fuel powered generating plants failed to deliver. In Victoria, 1.8 GW of capacity was lost when two fossil fueled generating stations went off-line in the record heat. Solar, wind, and battery power kept losses to a minimum. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable power (Credit: PV Magazine Australia)

¶ “KEPCO Set To Continue Pushing Overseas Projects Including Saudi Arabia” • The state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation said it is currently making various efforts to penetrate deeper into overseas nuclear reactor markets, with the firm seeking to win a nuclear generating project in Saudi Arabia through a localized strategy. [Yonhap News Agency]

¶ “Corvus Energy Tapped To Power Five More Electric Ferries In Norway” • Corvus Energy has been selected by Norwegian ferry operator Fjord 1 to supply lithium-ion energy storage systems for five new all-electric ferries. The ships are being built by Havyard shipbuilders and are expected to enter service in January of 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Fjord 1 electric ferry

China:

¶ “China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rising, Undermining Xi’s Climate Push” • Chinese methane emissions are rising at an alarming rate despite recent government regulations aimed at curbing them, a study released in the journal Nature shows. The increased emissions come primarily from the country’s massive coal mining sector [CNN]

¶ “China Is Exporting Clean Energy With One Hand, Coal With The Other” • China is leading the world in exporting green environmental goods and services and building the globe’s largest renewable energy industry. But China is also funding over a quarter of the coal plants currently under development outside of the country. [CleanTechnica]

Coal trains

¶ “China Readying National Solar Subsidy Program” • Several reports this week have pointed to China’s National Energy Administration restarting its shuttered solar subsidy program for both utility-scale and distributed/residential solar sectors, with a source telling pv magazine that the agency is considering a quota of 3 GW for 2019. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Major Utility Implicated In More Than A Dozen Wildfires Files For Bankruptcy” • California utility Pacific Gas and Electric has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It faces billions of dollars in potential damages and fines stemming from liability in 2017 and 2018 wildfires. PG&E has secured $5.5 billion for operations while it restructures. [Ars Technica]

California wildfire (Karl Mondon | Digital First
Media | The Mercury News via Getty Images)

¶ “The Great Irony Of Climate Change Politics Is Red States Face More Pain” • Climate change will impose the greatest economic losses on Republican-leaning areas of the country that are almost uniformly resisting new efforts to combat it, a sweeping new study from the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program shows. [CNN]

¶ “FPL’s Solar Generation Surpasses 1,000 MW” • Florida Power & Light has fourteen solar plants in commercial operation today, and it has four more solar plants that are just days away from completion. During the early afternoon of Friday, January 25, output of FPL’s solar portfolio reached a record total with 1,000 MW generated. [Energy Digital]

Have a triumphantly joyous day.

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January 29 Energy News

January 29, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Eggshells May Power The Renewable Energy Revolution” • According to researchers in Western Australia, eggshells may be the key to abundant, inexpensive energy storage. Starting with eggs they bought in a local supermarket, they were easily able to make calcium oxide, which is the basis for their energy storage system. [CleanTechnica]

Eggshells (Credit: Wikipedia)

World:

¶ “India’s Adani Plans World’s Largest Solar-Wind Hybrid Park” • One of India’s leading renewable energy power generation companies, Adani Green Energy, has announced plans to set up the world’s largest solar-wind hybrid park in the country’s western state of Gujarat. The project is based on investment of ₹55,000 crore ($7.7 billion). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scotland Might Eliminate Climate Emissions By 2045” • Scotland could confidently end its climate emissions to reach net zero by 2045 according to a report that highlights the country’s abundant natural resources and existing ambition. The report was commissioned by WWF Scotland and conducted by Vivid Economics. [CleanTechnica]

Windfarm in Scotland

¶ “Indian State Of Maharashtra To Add 3.2 GW Of Solar In Next Two Years” • Maharashtra’s power minister recently announced that 3.2 GW of solar power capacity will be installed in the state over the next two years, though 1.4 GW of currently open and recently issued tenders by the state may have been included in the target. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Overtake Coal In Key European Markets” • Coal-based power generation was overtaken by wind and solar for the first time in five key European markets last year, according to research by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The five markets are Germany, France, Italy, Iberia (Spain & Portugal), and the UK. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Offshore wind turbines

¶ “Corporate Clean Power Purchases ‘Soar'” • Corporate clean energy purchases hit record levels last year, more than doubling to over 13 GW, according to research from BloombergNEF. BNEF said a total of 13.4 GW of corporate power purchase agreements were signed last year, a figure that is up from 6.2 GW in 2017. [reNEWS]

¶ “Offshore ‘Could Be Cheapest Clean Power In UK'” • Offshore wind could surpass the onshore as the cheapest source of renewable energy in the UK by 2028 without changes to planning regulations, new research from consultancy Cornwall Insight said. It used the current load factors of 58.4% for offshore wind and 38% for onshore. [reNEWS]

Dudgeon offshore wind farm (reNEWS image)

¶ “Malaysia Picks ‘Viable’ Renewable Energy Over Nuclear Energy” • Malaysia will eschew nuclear energy in favour of renewable energy, according to Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin. Yeo said price drops in renewable energy technology have made it a viable source of power. [The Malaysian Insight]

¶ “France Confirms Draft Clean Power Plans” • France has confirmed a draft energy plan that would see renewables capacity more than double to as much as 113 GW by 2028, compared with under 49 GW in 2017. The draft plans, now open for consultation, sees 74 GW of clean power installed by 2023 and between 102 GW and 113 GW by 2028. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ “Ben & Jerry’s Plans End To Plastic Straws, Spoons, & Cups” • Though it has been purchased by Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream has not forgotten its tree hugging roots. Now it is on a campaign to reduce the amount of plastic it uses in its 600 Scoop Shops. It is stepping through a series of changes from plastic to natural materials. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maine Governor Calling For More Renewables In State” • Maine’s new Democratic governor is taking steps to install solar panels on the governor’s mansion as she calls for the state to be more welcoming of renewable energy. Gov Mills had said in her inaugural address she would have solar panels installed on Blaine House. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Blaine House

¶ “Google Energy Boss Says Renewable PPAs Make Best Business Sense” • Google’s energy head said the company exceeded its overall goal of 100% renewable energy last year and is now looking to crack some of the toughest markets for renewables, whether they be in southeast Asia, red-state America, or elsewhere. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Virginia Committee Approves Bill Halting Construction Of Fossil Fuel Power Plants After 2020” • The House Commerce and Labor Committee approved a bill to halt construction of power plants that burn fossil fuels and the fuel pipelines after 2020. The bill requires a plan for switching to 100% renewable electricity by 2036. [Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine]

Coal-burning power plant

¶ “New Hampshire Legislators To Discuss Planning Major Renewable Energy Procurements” • State senators will take a first step toward bringing in large amounts of renewable energy to New Hampshire. The Senate Energy committee is holding a public hearing on a bill that could lead competitive bidding for energy. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶ “Lawmakers Pushing To Make Massachusetts 100% Powered By Renewable Energy” • A bill has been filed aiming to have Massachusetts powered by 100% clean and renewable energy by 2045. It is a proposal many lawmakers say is long overdue. House Bill 30-92 is designed to transform the state’s energy sector by using only clean energy. [WWLP.com]

Have an utterly delightful day.

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January 28 Energy News

January 28, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “What Would Australia Look Like Powered By 100% Renewable Energy?” • At least nine studies conducted during the decade show how Australia can move from an electricity system based on polluting coal and gas to one powered by the sun, wind, and waves. Each has a different pathway towards 100% renewable energy. [The Guardian]

Concentrating solar PVs (Steven David
Miller | Getty Images | Nature Picture Library)

Science and Technology:

¶ “To Fix Climate Change, Fix The Obesity And Starvation Epidemics, Reports Say” • The world needs to come up with solutions to fight three interrelated pandemics – obesity, starvation and climate change – and it needs to do it fast before the planet is “burning,” according to a report released Sunday in The Lancet. [CNN]

¶ “The Human Element And Our Changing World” • The Human Element satisfies our desire for heroes. While we watch and start to understand what human entanglement with fire has truly become, the film reveals the immense fortitude and courage of the firefighters and foresters dealing with some of the newfound challenges. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot from The Human Element

World:

¶ “World’s First 100% Solar Powered Airport – Cochin International Airport” • Cochin International Airport, in India, is the first airport in the world that operates 100% on solar power. The airport’s 12-MW solar power plant has 46,150 solar panels. They cover approximately forty-five acres near the airport’s cargo complex. [Market Business News]

¶ “Colombia Launching 1 GW Renewables Auction – An Opportunity For Geothermal?” • Colombia invited offers in a renewable energy tender, offering 10-year power purchase agreement. Selected projects will have to commence delivering power as from December 2022, with production of about 3,443 GWh per year. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Bogotá, Colombia (Tijs Zwinkels, flickr, creative commons)

¶ “China’s End-2018 Renewable Power Generation Capacity Up 12% From 2017” • China’s total renewable power generation capacity climbed to 728 GW in 2018, up 12% from the end of 2017, the country’s energy administration said. China connected 20.59 GW of wind power capacity and 44.3 GW of solar to its grid in 2018. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Iberdrola Launches Cavar Complex Project In Spain” • Iberdrola is launching the Cavar Complex project to boost its wind power in Spain in 2019. Consisting of four wind farms with a total installed capacity of 111 MW, this project is one of the largest wind farms developed in Spain by the energy supplier in recent years. [Energy Digital]

Iberdrola wind farm

¶ “Octopus, Edify Source $450 Million For Local Solar Plant” • Octopus Investments, the largest solar player in Europe, and Aussie renewables developer Edify Energy secured $450 million for what is set to be Australia’s largest solar power station. The Darlington Point solar farm is scheduled to operate from 2020. [Investment Magazine]

¶ “How Pakistan Should Meet Clean Energy Challenges” • Both wind and solar technologies produce electricity in ways that are intermittent with the former having a capacity factor in the range of 30% and the later 20%. Through installing wind/solar hybrid plants, however, the cumulative capacity factor can be increased up to 50%. [DAWN.com]

Solar plant in Pakistan

¶ “A Worrying New Report Has Revealed The Three Biggest Threats To The Global Population” • Obesity, malnutrition, and climate change are the three biggest threats to populations globally, a report by the Lancet Commission on Obesity said. Funding and strategies targeting food policy and production are needed urgently.  [NEWS.com.au]

¶ “TEPCO Unveils Device For Handling Nuclear Debris” • The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has unveiled a device that could become the first to directly handle fuel debris inside one of the facility’s crippled reactors. TEPCO showed the device to the media ahead of a survey scheduled for next month. [NHK WORLD]

TEPCO’s device

US:

¶ “Cricket Valley Power Plant On Track For 2020; Protesters Cite Health, Environmental Issues” • As progress continues on the $1.584 billion, 1,100-MW, natural-gas-fired Cricket Valley Energy Center in Dover, New York, local residents protested citing environmental and health concerns. The plant is to be completed in 2020. [Poughkeepsie Journal]

¶ “EPA Nominee Andrew Wheeler Downplays Climate Threat At Testy Confirmation Hearing” • Andrew Wheeler, the former coal lobbyist by President Trump to be the next EPA administrator, downplayed the threat of at his confirmation hearing. He said he believes the climate is changing, but he said he would not call it “the greatest crisis.” [Milbank Monitor]

Wheeler at confirmation hearing

¶ “In Florida, A New Governor Shifts Gears On Environment, And Maybe Climate Change” • Florida’s new Republican governor has moved quickly on several environmental priorities. He has not released a plan to cut greenhouse gas pollution, but even so, environmental advocates give him credit where they say it is due. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Montana Faith And Science Leaders Call For Moral Courage On Climate” • The first annual Faith, Science and Climate Action Conference, held late 2018, convened more than 200 people from Montana who are deeply concerned about the real and imminent threat from climate change to the earth’s life-sustaining systems. [Billings Gazette]

Have a prodigiously advantageous day.

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January 27 Energy News

January 27, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Britain’s Flawed Energy Strategy” • Only one nuclear plant is under construction in the UK, and it might be abandoned. The core problem is “nuclear power itself”, reckons Alistair Osborne in The Times. “Where else do you get such a heady mix of last millennium technology, radioactive upfront costs and a chronic clean-up bill? [MoneyWeek]

UK nuclear plant

¶ “The Burning Question: Climate Denialism Is (Almost) Dead, So What Do We Do Now?” • A sea change is underway in the politics of climate change. It turns out that in global warming, as in grief, denial was just a phase. It is a destructive phase, to be sure, but one now coming to an end. And a President in denial does not alter that. [New York Daily News]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electric Helicopters Are Coming – New Guinness World Record For Farthest Flight” • Tier 1 Engineering has been testing a helicopter it and LungBioTechnology converted to electricity. It recently flew 34.5 miles. When it did that, it set a Guinness World Record for the farthest any helicopter has flown powered by electricity. [CleanTechnica]

Tier 1 Engineering electric helicopter

World:

¶ “Here Comes The Sun, To Help Power Kazakhstan” • Operation of the largest solar power station in Central Asia has just been launched by Kazakhstan, in the central Karaganda Province, the heart of coal country. The 307,664 PV panels have the capacity to generate some 100 MW of power, providing some 145 million kWh annually. [RadioFreeEurope]

¶ “Capacity Of Generating Electricity From Renewables Hits 680 MW” • The capacity of generating electricity from Iranian renewable resources has reached 680 MW, the Energy Ministry announced. Power plants based on clean energy resources with the capacity of 445 MW are currently under construction in the Islamic Republic of Iran. [Tehran Times]

Renewable energy

¶ “Zali Steggall To Challenge Tony Abbott’s Warringah Seat At 2019 Federal Election” • Australia’s most successful alpine skier, Zali Steggall, announced she will stand as an independent against former prime minister Tony Abbott in the next federal election. She wants to address voters’ concerns about climate change and promote renewable energy. [ABC News]

¶ “Germany To Close All 84 Of Its Coal-Fired Power Plants, Will Rely Primarily On Renewable Energy” • Germany, one of the world’s biggest consumers of coal, will shut down all 84 of its coal-fired power plants over the next 19 years to meet its international commitments in the fight against climate change, a government commission said. [Hartford Courant]

Lignite-burning plant in Brandenburg (Patrick Pleul | AP)

¶ “German Climate And Energy Experts Praise Coal Exit Deal, Say Real Work Starts Now” • The agreement by Germany’s coal exit commission to end coal’s use by 2038 is welcomed by climate activists and energy industry representatives alike. But observers point out that the work of implementing the deal still lies ahead. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “The Era Of Ultra-Cheap Solar Panels Is Over” • Solar power developers and investors may have to brace for PV costs to start rising after a 30% plunge last year. The party is definitely over, the president of one of China’s largest PV makers, told Reuters. He said prices are expected to rise by 10% to 15% over the next two years. [OilPrice.com]

Solar array

US:

¶ “Solar PV Installer And Wind Turbine Tech Are Fastest Growing Occupations In US” • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fastest growing occupation in the US is solar PV installer, with a projected growth rate of 105% from 2016 to 2026. And the number two job for growth is wind turbine service technician. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Disasters Influence Thinking On Climate Change” • The poll by The Associated Press-National Opinion Research Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago finds 74% of Americans say extreme weather in the past five years has influenced their opinions about climate change. [Business Mirror]

Smog covering Salt Lake City (Ravell Call/The Deseret News via AP, File)

Salt Lake City (Ravell Call | The Deseret News via AP, File)

¶ “One Surprising Obstacle to Reaching America’s Climate Change Goals” • An analysis of the 16 largest utilities and power generators in the US, with half of the nation’s installed power capacity, shows the sector is on pace to blow away even the most ambitious decarbonization projections. One big obstacle is an accounting mechanism. [Motley Fool]

¶ “Hershey’s To Take Bite Out Of Climate Impacts” • Hershey’s has announced it will establish a new environmental policy, sign the UN Global Compact and join the Science Based Targets initiative. It says it will also launch a program to improve the well-being of cocoa farmers and strengthen economic and ecological resilience. [Energy Live News]

Have a fabulously amusing day.

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January 26 Energy News

January 26, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change: The More We Know, The Worse It Seems” • It should not be surprising that each new climate-related news headline seems to be worse than the last. The last time carbon dioxide levels were as high as they are now, sea levels were 30 meters higher. At that level all major coastal cities in the world would be drowned. [CNN]

Church (Jes Aznar | Getty Images | AsiaPac | Getty Images)

¶ “‘Feel The Fear:’ Climate Change Is Now The Talk Of Davos” • Has business finally woken up to the enormous challenges posed by climate change? Climate was a major theme at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where panel discussions on everything from global warming to ocean sustainability and biodiversity drew large crowds. [CNN]

¶ “UK And EU Continue Massive Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Claims Study” • A report from the European Commission claims the UK provides more subsidies to fossil fuel companies than any other country in Europe. The UK government hotly denies the charge. Who’s right and who’s wrong? It depends on how you define “subsidies.” [CleanTechnica]

Protest (Ashley Cooper | Images From A Warming Planet)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Boeing Is One Step Closer To Electric Air Taxi – Successful Passenger Air Vehicle Test Flight” • Boeing completed its first successful take-off and landing with its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi, also called a “personal air vehicle” (PAV). It tested the vehicle’s autonomous functions and ground control systems. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Canada Announces Funding For “Novel” Solar Farm In Alberta” • The Canadian government will provide funding for the 23-MW Suffield Solar Project. The project is intended to demonstrate the potential of two-sided solar panels. Energy is captured on both sides of the panels to increase energy efficiency by 10% to 15%. [Power Technology]

Solar farm (Credit: Green Energy Futures)

¶ “Caribbean Island Bonaire Balances Solar, Wind, And Diesel With Storage” • Caribbean island Bonaire is adding a 6-MW energy storage system to help balance its solar and wind assets with backup diesel generators, opening up the potential for greater renewable penetration. Additional solar will expand on a 2015 pilot project. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Germany To Stop Using Coal By End Of 2038: Commission” • A government commission has agreed that Germany should phase out all coal-fired power plants by the end of 2038. The government is already planning to shut down nuclear power plants over the next three years. The agreement came after talks lasting 21 hours. [Deutsche Welle]

Stop sign (© image photothek)

¶ “French Study Warns Against ‘Massive’ Reactor Extensions” • French plans to extend the lifespan of reactors on a “massive” scale may eventually force the government to introduce a subsidy mechanism to keep ageing units in service, a study warned. The move would also stunt the growth of renewables and harm the French economy. [Montel]

US:

¶ “Vermont Says Charging Stations Shouldn’t Face Same Rules As Utilities” • Vermont’s EV charging stations should not be regulated like electric utilities, state utility regulators concluded. The Vermont Public Utility Commission recommended that state law be clarified to allow charging station owners to set their own pricing. [Energy News Network]

Charging an EV

¶ “US Floating Solar Could Generate 10% Of Annual Electricity Production” • Installing floating solar PV projects on the more than 24,000 existing man-made US reservoirs could generate approximately 10% of the national annual electricity production, according to a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maryland Sea Level To Increase Dramatically, Report Says” • A report by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science warns that if emissions continue to rise, sea level in Maryland would likely increase 2.0 to 4.2 feet by 2100. There is even an outside chance the rise could exceed 5.2 feet, the report said. [MarylandReporter.com]

Why did the crab cross the road? Because it could.
(Bay Journal photo by Dave Harp)

¶ “Milwaukee Leaders Have Choice Words For Utility In Solar Standoff” • Since 2017, Milwaukee has sought to develop the 1-MW solar project through a third-party ownership agreement with solar developer Eagle Point. Utility We Energies told the city it would consider such an agreement as acting illegally as a public utility. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Here’s How Local Governments Are Replacing California’s Biggest Utilities” • Three wind turbines seventy miles north of downtown Los Angeles are at the heart of a revolution in California’s energy industry, which for millions of people, homes and businesses could mean an end to buying power from monopoly utilities. [Los Angeles Times]

Wind turbines (Brian van der Brug | Los Angeles Times)

¶ “Federal Regulator Sides With Power Suppliers In PG&E Contracts” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says it shares authority with a bankruptcy court over any requests to cancel or renegotiate power contracts by PG&E. FERC’s position is a win for companies that supply PG&E with solar and wind power. [Seeking Alpha]

¶ “Hundreds Of Pennsylvania Jobs On The Line As Bailout Deadline Looms For Struggling Nuclear Plants” • Pennsylvania lawmakers are expected to introduce legislation in the coming weeks that would provide financial support for nuclear power, paid for by every Pennsylvania electric customer. The cost is yet to be decided. [Philly.com]

Have a totally cool day.

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January 25 Energy News

January 25, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Renewable Energy: Will China Be The Superpower?” • Having led the International Renewable Energy Agency over the past eight years with an insider view of the energy transition, I have become convinced that a new geopolitical reality is taking shape. The result will be a fundamentally different map of energy geopolitics. [Newsweek]

PV system in Songxi, China (Feature China
| Barcroft Images | Barcroft Media | Getty)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Cigarette Filters Are The No.1 Plastic Pollutant … And Don’t Prevent Cancer” • Plastic straws and bags have received widespread attention as pollutants. But another, even bigger, plastic problem has been slipping under the radar – cigarette filters. Cigarette butts containing plastic filters are the most littered item in the world. [CNN]

¶ “Here’s How A 100% Renewable Energy Future Can Create Jobs And Even Save The Gas Industry” • Natural gas can be replaced increasingly with hydrogen and renewable methane produced with energy from solar power and wind turbines. Renewable forms of gas can play a significant role in the energy mix using existing gas power plants. [Phys.org]

Gas tanker (Credit: Shutterstock.com)

World:

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Lands 128-MW Brazil Prize” • Wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa won deal to provide turbines to the 128-MW Ventos da Serra do Mel 2 wind project in Brazil. French developer Voltalia in Rio Grande do Norte will use 36 turbines for the project, each with output of 3.55 MW, which is to be commissioned in 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Australia Shaping Up To Be World’s Largest Residential Energy Storage Market In 2019” • Australia is expected to be the world’s largest residential energy storage market in 2019, according to a note published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. It will account for 30% of global demand as household storage demand triples. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Big Oil Is More Talk Than Action On Renewables – Iberdrola” • The world’s largest wind-power producer, Iberdrola SA, brushed off Big Oil’s embrace of renewable energy as “more noise” than action. Major oil and gas firms are spending around 1% of their 2018 budgets on clean energy, a study by research firm CDP shows. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Coal Plants In Mix For Coalition’s Electricity Guarantee But Victoria Attacks New Bid” • A mix of coal power plants, pumped hydro, and gas-fired power was presented to the federal government as options for its program to underwrite new electricity generation. Included is $6 billion to build two new coal-fired power plants. [The Guardian]

Coal-fired power plant (Julian Smith | AAP)

US:

¶ “Polluters See Lowest Level Of EPA Fines, According To Washington Post Report” • Polluters pay historically low fines under the Trump administration, an analysis of the EPA’s civil penalties shows. It was performed by a former head of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance for the Washington Post. [CNN]

¶ “Ski Resorts Turn To Renewable Energy To Cut Carbon Emissions And Costs” • The ski industry is increasingly embracing new innovations in energy-efficient technology, combined with existing technologies such as wind and solar energy and LED lighting, to reduce its carbon footprint and improve its bottom line. [Axios]

Skiers on a lift (Photo: EyesWideOpen | Getty Images)

¶ “Low-Income Solar Is The Goal Of 225-MW New Jersey Community Solar Program” • New Jersey has firmly embraced the concept of solar for all with its new 225-MW community solar program, within which 40% of all capacity is earmarked for low- and moderate-income consumers. It is designed to serve up to 30,000 homes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bill Making Virginia Completely Reliable On Renewable Energy Advances” • An aggressive bill that would make Virginia completely reliant on renewable energy for its electricity has advanced in the General Assembly with bipartisan support. The bill would have Virginia power companies generate only clean electricity by 2036. [WTOP]

Solar panels at dawn (Pixelci | iStockphoto | Getty Images)

¶ “Quiet Clean Energy Revolution Scored Strong Growth In USA Last Year” • US public perception of US energy has shifted greatly. In a recent survey, 70% of respondents said America should get 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources; more than half thought renewables were a good idea even if they raise energy bills. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Consumers Energy Dedicates First Ever Solar, Battery Storage Systems On Grand Rapids’ West Side” • Consumers Energy dedicated Michigan’s first rooftop solar array with battery storage in Grand Rapids. Nearly 1,800 solar panels were installed with a 500-kW battery to make the energy both reliable and cost effective. [CSRwire.com]

Consumers Energy system in Grand Rapids

¶ “Coal Ash Standoff Could Make Coal Power Plants Hit Kill Switch” • Under Trump, US coal power plants have dropped like flies. Now it looks like those left standing could all wink out at the same time. A group of coal power stakeholders has threatened to turn off the lights, due to a regulatory clash over the storage of coal ash. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Decision Postponed On Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant Extension” • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission postponed its decision on a 20-year license extension for the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant following a request from New Hampshire’s congressional delegation to hold more public information sessions. [NH1 News]

Have a magically beautiful day.

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January 24 Energy News

January 24, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “US Taxpayers On The Hook For Insuring Farmers Against Growing Climate Risks” • The Federal Crop Insurance Program is flawed in many ways. It has a number of policies that discourage farmers from adopting practices that will help address climate change. And it keeps taxpayers on the hook for the ever-growing tab. [InsideClimate News] (Thanks to Bob Oeser.)

Flood (Staff Sgt Daniel J Martinez | US Air National Guard)

¶ “Now That UK Nuclear Power Plans Are In Tatters, It Is Vital To Double Down On Wind And Solar” • Now that Japanese giants Toshiba and Hitachi have walked away from UK nuclear power projects that had previously been abandoned by others, the government is forced to reassess the pro-nuclear bias of its energy policy. [Phys.Org]

¶ “An All-Renewable Grid Is Economically Superior To Mixed Generation” • One of the arguments that those forces opposed to dealing with climate change make is that transitioning the grid entirely to renewables and away from fossil fuels would be economically devastating. It would not, and it is worth examining the reasons why. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy

¶ “Why Excluding Nuclear, Fossils With Carbon Capture, And Biofuels From The Green New Deal Makes Financial And Climate Sense” • Here is why nuclear, fossils with CCS, and biofuels should be excluded. They raise costs, slow solutions to global warming and air pollution, and create risks that are not present with renewables. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Sweden Will Ban Sale Of Gasoline & Diesel Cars After 2030. Germany Lags Behind” • Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven announced a ban on the sale of cars powered by gasoline or diesel oil in his country after 2030. Sweden joins a growing list of countries with bans on cars with internal combustion engines by that date or earlier. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a Tesla in Sweden

¶ “World’s Greenest Companies Are Consistently Outperforming Their Non-Green Peers” • The greenest and most sustainable companies in the world were highlighted in two reports with the common thread. It showed the consistently superior economic performance of companies committed to addressing climate change and environmental issues. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “France And Spain Regulators Reject €3 Billion STEP Gas Pipeline” • Energy regulators in France and Spain announced they had rejected the controversial Franco-Spanish South Transit East Pyrenees natural gas pipeline, the first stage in the larger Midi-Catalonia gas pipeline, citing costs and that the pipeline was not necessary. [CleanTechnica]

French western Pyrénées (Credit: Nicolas Guionnet)

¶ “Google’s Clean Energy Project Expands To Asia” • Google signed a long-term renewable energy agreement in Taiwan, expanding its clean energy project in Asia, with the intention to “make clean power more accessible.” The long-term agreement was signed to purchase the output of a 10-MW solar array in Tainan City. [Innovation Enterprise]

¶ “Renewables Turn Emissions Tide And Rooftop Solar Shoulders Heatwave Load” • The Australia Institute’s first emissions audit of 2019 shows renewables pushing coal aside to reduce Australia’s emissions 20% below the peak recorded in 2008, and the load of January’s high temperatures has been mitigated by rooftop solar. [pv magazine Australia]

Rooftop solar in New South Wales (Image: Verdia)

US:

¶ “Wind-Powered Beer To Be The Toast Of Super Bowl LIII” • The virtues of renewable beer will be broadcast to more than 100 million viewers this coming Super Bowl, with US label Budweiser using its million-dollar advertising spot in the Big Game to promote its commitment to sustainable, wind-powered brewing. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “US Coal Retirements In 2019 To Hit At Least 6 GW” • The latest S&P Global Market Intelligence data shows that a total of 49 GW of new power generation capacity will be added in the US in 2019, but the year will also see the retirement of nearly 6 GW of coal. Over 14 GW were retired or converted to use natural gas in 2018. [CleanTechnica]

US coal-burning power plant

¶ “Wind Farms Proposed For Steuben, Schuyler, Chenango Counties” • One of 20 sustainable energy projects approved by New York state is a 290-MW wind project with 20 MW of energy storage. Invenergy will build the wind farm, which is large enough to supply about 50,000 homes depending on seasonal demand. [Press & Sun-Bulletin]

¶ “Landmark Offshore Wind Agreement Protects Right Whales” • Under an unprecedented agreement with three environmental groups, Vineyard Wind is to protect the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale during the construction and operation of an offshore wind farm it will build 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Right whale and calf (Credit: NOAA Fisheries | Christin Khan)

¶ “Forefront Power Completes 27 MW Of New York Community Solar” • ForeFront Power announced that the company’s first community solar projects in New York are now operational and providing electricity to subscribers across National Grid and Rochester Gas & Electric service territories. The nine projects have 27 MW of capacity. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Massachusetts City Hopes To Reinvest Energy Savings Into More Energy Savings” • Northampton is a college town with about 29,000 year-round residents. It plans to implement community choice aggregation, a model in which municipalities buy power for residents from a supplier other than the local utility company. [Energy News Network]

Have an excitingly satisfactory day.

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January 23 Energy News

January 23, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Free Markets Are Embracing Renewable Energy” • Instead of offering subsidies or incentives for renewable energy, Chile amended its laws to allow wind and solar technologies to compete in electricity capacity auctions. It let the market work, the cost of renewable power fell sharply, and fossil fuels could no longer compete. [Reaction]

Wind turbines in Chile (AdobeStock image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “No Alternative To 100% Renewables” • Transition to a world run entirely on clean energy, combined with implementing natural climate solutions, is the only way to halt climate change and keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C, according to yet another significant study. It is based on “most detailed energy model to date.” [pv magazine International]

¶ “Agrivoltaics: Solar Panels On Farms Could Be A Win-Win” • A dual-use solar installation is sometimes called agrivoltaics. The system uses a PV array raised far enough off the ground and spaced in such a way that some crops can still grow around and beneath the panels. It enables farmers diversify their income by generating renewable energy. [Civil Eats]

Agrivoltaic system (Photo courtesy of Hyperion Systems)

World:

¶ “Blockchain Goes Big: 55,000 Rooftops Eyeballed For Peer-To-Peer Solar Trading” • Japan has been restarting its nuclear fleet again after the Fukushima Disaster, but that might not last for long. A blockchain-enabled pilot project to link 100 solar rooftops in the country is planned to grow to include 55,000 rooftops within two years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Brazil’s Wind Generation Rises 30% In Early January” • Brazil’s wind power output in the first half of January has increased by 29.9% year-on-year to 5,826 MW average, show preliminary figures released by the Power Trading Chamber. Wind power’s share of electricity generation went up to 8.5%, from 7% in the previous year. [Renewables Now]

Osorio wind farm in Brazil (Photo: Elecnor)

¶ “China Becomes Major Backer Of Coal Power Plants In Overseas Markets” • China is a significant financial supporter of coal-fired power plants around the world, funding over 25% of all new facilities elsewhere despite its reducing use of polluting fuel at home, a study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says. [Power Technology]

¶ “Provinces Swap Coal For Renewable Energy” • Two of China’s most coal-rich provinces, Shanxi and Heilongjiang, are stepping up their development of new energy in a bid to reduce coal consumption and curb air pollution. The two provinces have enacted a series of measures to increase installed wind and solar power generating capacities. [ecns]

Solar plant workers (Feng Yongbin | China Daily)

¶ “German Minister Sketches Out Energy Transition Without Nuclear And Coal” • Germany is the only industrial country in the world that has decided to phase out of “both nuclear as well as coal power in parallel,” while increasing the share of renewable energy’s contribution, economy minister Peter Altmaier said at the Handelsblatt energy summit. [Xinhua]

¶ “Australian Energy Milestone: Renewable Energy Sources Displacing Black Coal” • Sources of renewable energy are displacing black coal power in Australia’s National Electricity Market, according to an emissions audit by the Australia Institute. It reports that the share of renewable electricity supplied to consumers rose to 21.4%. [Energy Matters]

Australian wind farm (Pacific Hydro image)

US:

¶ “8minutenergy Boasts Solar + Storage Pipeline In Excess Of 10 GW” • The largest US private solar and storage developer, 8minutenergy, announced last week that it has entered into a joint venture with JP Morgan Asset Management to support 8minutenergy’s current 10.7 GW pipeline of solar + storage projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Record Number Of Americans ‘Very Worried’ About Climate Change, Report Finds” • More Americans now say that climate change is a real threat to themselves and others. According to a climate report by researchers at Yale University and George Mason University, 29% are very worried, and 73% say they believe global warming is happening. [CNN]

Ghost forest created in Louisiana by salt intrusion
from rising sea levels (John Rubenstahl | CNN AIR)

¶ “Arizona Unlocks Solar Rooftop Regulations” • Arizona has finally begun loosening regulatory shackles from solar hopefuls, proposing new rules for installing solar, energy storage, and other clean energy systems. The Arizona Corporate Commission filed a draft rulemaking, after studying interconnection standards for 13 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Colorado Power Companies Bet Big On Net-Zero Emissions As State Debates 100% Renewable Energy Future” • Colorado Gov Jared Polis has a goal of 100% renewable energy on the grid by 2040. The utilities have opted for a net-zero carbon emissions goal instead. Platt River would achieve it by 2030, and Xcel Energy by 2050. [The Colorado Sun]

156-MW Comanche solar array, with the coal-burning Comanche electric plant behind (Mike Sweeney, Special to The Colorado Sun)

156-MW Comanche solar array and coal-burning Comanche electric plant (Mike Sweeney, Special to The Colorado Sun)

¶ “‘Science Is back’: New Governor Aims For Renewable Boom” • For eight years, renewable and environmental advocates in Wisconsin wrangled with Gov Scott Walker (R) in their efforts to accelerate the state’s energy transition and tackle climate change. Now there is a new governor, Tony Evers, who says, “Science is back in Wisconsin.” [E&E News]

¶ “New England Tries A New Way To Help The Grid Survive Winter” • This year, grid operator ISO New England is using a new method to ensure the system can work reliably through cold, snow and ice. “Pay for Performance” is a market system that rewards power generators for efficiency, and punishes them for poor execution. [Vermont Public Radio]

Have a surpassingly glad day.

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January 22 Energy News

January 22, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘The Only Thing We Can Do Is Adapt’: Greenland Ice Melt Reaching ‘Tipping Point,’ Study Finds” • Climate change is causing Greenland’s massive ice sheets to melt much faster than previously thought, a study found, and it may be “too late” to do anything about it. The findings could have dire implications for the planet’s low-lying islands and coastal cities. [CNN]

Tasiilaq, Greenland

¶ “New Carbon Capture Research Emphasizes Recycling, Not Sequestration” • Carbon capture and sequestration is much too expensive, but a team of researchers at South Korea’s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology could change that. They can add value with a new system that produces electricity and hydrogen from water. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rocks Off The UK Coast Could Be Used For Renewable Energy Storage” • Scientists from the Universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde developed a process for compressed air energy storage. They believe porous rocks off the UK coast could store about one and a half times the UK’s average electricity demand for January and February. [Earth.com]

Rocks off the coast

¶ “World To Miss 2020 Climate ‘Turning Point’, Analysis Shows” • Even as Earth is buffeted by superstorms, droughts and flooding made worse by rising seas, and as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise globally, an analysis by the World Resources Institute showed that current efforts to limit temperature increases are falling well short. [Malay Mail]

World:

¶ “The Battle On The Frontline Of Climate Change In Mali” • Mali is lurching between droughts and floods. They inflict a huge cost on crops and livestock, so farmers and nomadic herders, who are from different ethnic groups, face off over shrinking resources. Islamist groups are worsening the unrest by meddling in the situation. [BBC]

Mali (Getty Images)

¶ “74% Of India’s New Power Capacity Addition In 2018 Was Renewables” • India added a total (net) of 17.6 GW of power generation capacity in 2018, and a record 74% of that capacity was renewable, primarily solar power. The huge renewable capacity coming online made 2018 the greenest year so far, in terms of new capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Clean energy investment exceeded $300 billion in 2018” • Global clean energy investment reached a total of $332.1 billion in 2018, down 8% on 2017, but it was the fifth year in a row in which investment exceeded the $300 billion mark, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said. Solar saw record capacity additions on 24% less investment. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar system

¶ “Labor Promises To ‘supercharge’ Hydrogen Industry As Green Groups Say ‘No Role For Coal'” • Labor announced a plan to use A$1.1 billion ($784 million) to build Australia’s hydrogen industry. This has been welcomed by environmental groups, who add that they want to be sure the hydrogen is generated using renewable energy. [The Guardian]

¶ “Germany Needs ‘Urgent Action’ On Offshore” • Germany needs to take urgent action this year to boost offshore wind development, according to five industry organisations. BWE, BWO, Stiftung Offshore-Windenergie, VDMA Power Systems, and WAB called on the government to start by organising a special tender of at least 1.5 GW. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (reNEWS image)

¶ “Greenpeace Slams Japan’s Plan To Dump Radioactive Fukushima Water Into The Ocean” • Greenpeace slammed a plan by the Japanese government and TEPCO to release into the ocean highly radioactive water from the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, saying in a report the decision was “driven by short-term cost-cutting”. [Yahoo News]

US:

¶ “Massachusetts Bill Would Set New Emissions Requirements” • A bill filed at the Massachusetts Statehouse seeks to help speed the state’s transition to renewable forms of energy. The bill would update state emissions requirements: 50% below 1990 emissions levels by 2030, 75% below by 2040, and net zero emissions by 2050. [Electric Light & Power]

Back Bay neighborhood of Boston

¶ “Solar And Wind Are Booming, While Coal Keeps Shrinking” • The boom in solar and wind power in the US will deal a fresh blow to coal country in the next few years. Renewable energy, led by solar and wind, is projected to be the fastest-growing source of US electricity generation for at least the next two years, according to a DOE report. [CNN]

¶ “Report: Renewable Energy Could Replace Economic Loss From Closure Of San Juan Generating Station” • Closing the San Juan coal-fired power plant and mine does not have to doom the town of Waterflow, New Mexico, according to an economist’s report. The site is an excellent candidate to be redeveloped for green energy production. [KRWG]

Four Corners Power Plant (Courtesy of
Ecoflight and San Juan Citizens Alliance)

¶ “New York Governor’s Green New Deal Starts With 1 GW Of Large-Scale Solar” • New York state has awarded 1 GW of solar and 614 MW of wind. Three of the 20 renewable energy projects commissioned are paired with energy storage. Invenergy, EDF, and NextEra are each set to build solar projects with capacities greater than 100 MW. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Platte River Power Authority Plans For Zero Carbon Emissions By 2030” • The Platte River Power Authority board of directors passed a policy for zero carbon emissions by 2030, after Colorado State University, Fort Collins, and Longmont set goals of 100% renewable electricity by the same year. The policy has broad local support. [Rocky Mountain Collegian]

Have a highly valuable day.

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January 21 Energy News

January 21, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Orkney Leads The Way For Sustainable Energy” • Orkney’s community-owned wind turbines generate their power. Islanders drive nonpolluting EVs. It is a test site for devices that can turn the energy of the waves and the tides into electricity, and in the near future, Orkney’s ferries will be fuelled by hydrogen. The list goes on. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines (Michael Roper | Alamy Stock Photo)

¶ “Sexy Or Not, Here Comes Energy Efficiency For Buildings” • Energy efficiency technology may not provide the visceral thrill of a smooth zero emission ride in a next-generation EV, but if decarbonization is to proceed quickly then the low hanging fruit of the future’s low-carbon economy will be plucked at millions of today’s vintage buildings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ten Hot Trends Shaping Australian Clean Energy” • Between record levels of clean energy and businesses recognising the value of low-cost renewables to cut their operating costs, we are starting to see a whole-of-economy energy transformation taking place. It’s amazing and inspiring to watch the changes in real time. [RenewEconomy]

Tesla battery system at Hornsdale

¶ “‘Not Too Late’: Australians Develop Carbon Model With DiCaprio’s Help” • Renewable energy can supplant fossil fuels across the global economy, and Australia is one of three regions best placed to benefit because of its solar and wind resources, a study funded by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s One Earth project says. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

World:

¶ “Namibia: InnoSun Energy Inaugurates Phase One Of Ombepo’s Wind Farm” • The strong winds on the Namibian coast can be used as an advantage, and the Franco-Namibian company InnoSun Energy Holding did just that at a 5-MW wind farm. One major challenge was that the wind turbines had to stand up to strong winds. [AFRIK 21]

Wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Two Upcoming Mumbai Metro Lines To Tap Into Solar Energy” • The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, the Metro’s nodal authority, plans to install rooftop solar panels at the stations of two new Metro lines. The lines are to be operational next year, with 35% of their total power needs met by solar energy. [Hindustan Times]

¶ “Solar Project Has ‘Life Changing’ Impact In Rural Malawi” • Only 12% of Malawi’s 18 million population is connected to the main electricity grid. The figure drops to 2% in rural areas. A solar power project to connect villages in Malawi, led by Strathclyde University researchers, has had a “life-changing” impact for rural communities. [BBC News]

Business in Malawi (Strathclyde University image)

¶ “China Approves 24 Offshore Wind Projects” • The Chinese government approved 24 offshore wind projects off Jiangsu Province. Local media reports that the projects will have a total capacity of 6.7 GW and will involve an investment of around $18 billion. The wind farms are expected to be operational by the end of 2020. [The Maritime Executive]

¶ “EU Approves France’s Plan To Replace Nuclear Plant With 300 MW Of PV” • The European Commission gave the green light to a tender mechanism the French government conceived to enable the construction of solar plants with 300 MW of capacity at the Fessenheim nuclear power plant, the country’s oldest nuclear facility. [pv magazine International]

Fessenheim (Florival fr | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Tamil Nadu One Of The World’s Top 9 Green Power Markets” • A 2018 report lists the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as one of the top nine renewable energy markets in the world. Today, 14.3% of all the energy demand in the state is met by renewable energy, primarily solar and wind. But that is changing has stagnation has set in. [Down To Earth Magazine]

US:

¶ “Electric Co-op Sets Ambitious Goal To Cut Carbon By 50%” • La Plata Electric Association set ambitious goals last week to cut its carbon footprint by 50% and keep costs lower than 70% of its peer cooperatives in Colorado. LPEA gets 95% of its electricity from Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which is heavily dependent on coal. [The Durango Herald]

Installing a solar system (Durango Herald file photo)

¶ “Clean-Energy Agenda Sees Power Surge In Augusta” • After running as a Democrat and winning a House seat in November in a heavily Republican district that includes her hometown of Nobleboro, Chloe Maxmin is following her environmental convictions as the lead sponsor of a bill to create a Green New Deal in Maine. She is not alone. [Press Herald]

¶ “SF moves toward public power and a ‘local version of a green new deal’” • San Francisco’s push to move to a public power system after PG&E said it will file for bankruptcy is not the only big energy plan in the making. Supporters of the city’s renewable energy program are calling for the city’s own “local version of a green new deal.” [San Francisco Examiner]

Sunset Reservoir (Gil Riego Jr | Special to The SF Examiner)

¶ “Michigan Power Plant Owner Seeks Fuel-Burning Permit” • Convergen Energy, the owner of a Michigan power plant is seeking a long-term permit to use engineered fuel pellets made from paper and plastic waste, creosote railroad ties, and fuel derived from tires. The state considers the fuel renewable, but residents are concerned. [Hastings Tribune]

¶ “Wind Farm Expansion To Power Local Homes” • The wind in the western Massachusetts town of Hancock is bringing power to several communities in the central parts of the state. The Brodie Mountain Wind Power Project is starting phase two construction, adding two 2.3-MW turbines to the existing 10-turbine, 15-MW system. [Worcester Telegram]

Have an amazingly superior day.

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January 20 Energy News

January 20, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “A Local Blueberry Farmer’s Perspective On Climate Issues” • Farmers are accustomed to challenges … Organic growers like Jubilee Orchards must combat heat, insects, weeds and plant diseases without using pesticides or herbicides. But increasingly climate issues pose our biggest challenge and the deepest risk to our fruit. [Tallahassee.com]

Blueberry flowers (Rob Duval, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “It’s Up To California To Save Us From This Trump Rollback” • As President Donald Trump races to gut the auto mileage and emissions program of the Obama administration, the California Air Resources Board, an agency little known outside the state, could help protect us from the rollback. At stake are the health of the world and US competitiveness. [CNN]

¶ “The Observer View: The Hitachi Fiasco Confirms That Our Energy Policy Now Lies In Ruins” • Last week’s decision by Hitachi to stop building its £20 billion nuclear plant at Wylfa in Wales, soon after Toshiba withdrew from a nuclear project in Cumbria, was a major blow to Britain’s prospects for effective energy policy. [The Guardian]

Wylfa nuclear plant (Christopher Furlong | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Everything You Need To Know About The Tesla Powerwall 2 (2019 Edition)” • Tesla has created a Powerwall Overview and Welcome Guide, but many features of the Powerwall simply do not come through in a simple pamphlet. Digging deeper, the Tesla AC Powerwall Owner’s Manual provides significantly more information. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Addressing The Microgrid Stability Challenge With MVDC” • Microgrids are generally isolated from one another. As their numbers increase, the opportunity for them to be mutually supportive increases. Medium voltage direct current technology makes it possible to connect microgrids together with precise control. [Transmission and Distribution World]

Siemens microgrid

¶ “New Study Reveals Local Drivers Of Amplified Arctic Warming” • An international team of researchers, including Professor Sarah Kang and DoYeon Kim in the School of Urban and Environmental Engineering at UNIST, has shown that local greenhouse gas concentrations appear to be attributable to Arctic Amplification. [Science Codex]

World:

¶ “In 33 Years, India Struggled To Exploit Just 12% Of Its Wind Energy Potential” • The latest wind energy potential study carried out by Chennai-based National Institute of Wind Energy estimates 302 GW at 100 metre above ground level. India has only 35 GW of windpower installed, so the country has a sizable untapped potential. [Down To Earth Magazine]

Wind turbines (SuyogJoshiPhotography, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “ACT Leads The Way In Rooftop Solar Uptake, Doubling Capacity In 2018” • Rooftop solar for homes and businesses is growing faster in the Australian Capital Territory than in any other state or territory. The ACT added 22.8 MW of PVs last year. Data from Green Energy Trading shows that home installations grew 104.4% year-on-year. [The Canberra Times]

¶ “Iran To Construct 3000 New Small-Scale Solar Plants In Rural Areas” • Iran’s Deputy Energy Minister said 3000 new small-scale solar plants are going to be constructed in the country’s underprivileged and rural areas by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2019). He said this adds to 2000 plants already operating. [Al-Bawaba]

Small solar system (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Abu Dhabi’s Energy Summit Tackles Urgency Of Climate Change” • The aim in the UAE is to increase the amount of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25% to 50% by 2050, reduce the country’s carbon footprint of power generation 70%, increase consumption efficiency 40%, and save close to $190.6 billion over the next 30 years. [The Arab Weekly]

¶ “Frustration Over Feed-In Tariff Pushes Tasmanian Solar Producers Towards Batteries ” • There are about 28,500 Tasmanians with home PV systems. Over half of them installed their PVs before September 2013, when the feed-in tariff was about 28¢/kWh. Now that the FIT is dropping to 8.5¢/kWh, many are getting batteries. [ABC News]

Jeff Jennings, set for loss (Michael Brooks | ABC News)

¶ “China’s PV Power Capacity Up 34% In 2018” • China’s PV capacity grew by 34% year on year in 2018. The PV capacity surpassed 170 GW at the end of 2018, as 43 GW were added over the year, the China PV Industry Association said. PVs accounted for over 9% of the country’s power generation capacity over the course of 2018. [China.org.cn]

US:

¶ “Bringing Hydroelectric To Dams Like Newburgh Just Got Easier” • Last year, Rep Larry Buschon successfully guided legislation through Congress to make developing hydropower easier. He hopes it will renew interest in developing hydropower at the dams in Newburgh, Indiana, and Union Town, Kentucky, along with others. [Evansville Courier & Press]

Power plant at Barber Dam in Idaho

¶ “34% of Americans Expect to Buy an Electric Vehicle in Next 10 Years” • CarGurus recently published results of a survey of American adult consumers regarding their interest in electric vehicles. The main findings were that 15% said they were probably going to own an EV in the next 5 years, and 34% said it would probably be in 10 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Montana Debates Future Sources For Power Generation” • Renewable energy and fossil fuel advocates made their cases to Montana regulators for how to boost the state’s generating capacity to make up for expected drops in the region’s power supply. Area coal-fired plants with 3,500 MW in capacity are to shut down in coming years. [New Jersey Herald]

Have a simply perfect day.

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January 19 Energy News

January 19, 2019

World:

¶ “Blast At Leaking Mexico Pipeline Kills 21 And Injures Dozens” • An explosion at a leaking oil pipeline killed at least 21 people and injured 71 in Mexico. Local residents were scrambling to steal some of the leaking oil when they were engulfed in flames, Hidalgo’s state governor said. Dozens of people were taken to hospitals with burns. [BBC]

Pipeline fire (Getty Images)

¶ “China Flexes Its Muscle – Go BEV Or Go Home” • China is using a standard for new cars based on the zero emissions vehicle standard introduced in California. Different cars earn their makers credits, with the highest number going to battery electric vehicles (BEV). The system is pushing car makers toward electric cars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables, An Antidote Against Volatile Electricity Prices For The EU” • A European Commission report, Energy Prices and Costs in Europe, draws the conclusion, “Renewable energy growth also plays a direct role in mitigating and diminishing the negative impact of uncertain global fossil fuel prices and exchange-rate risks.” [pv magazine International]

Transmission tower (Image: analogicus | Pixabay)

¶ “Policy Headwinds Knock UK Onshore Activity” • In 2018, the UK onshore wind industry recorded its worst year for new installations in almost a decade, with 598 MW of new projects coming online in the 12 months, according to new figures from RenewableUK. RenewableUK blamed government policy changes for the poor results. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “San Diego Has Vast Solar Parking Lot Potential” • San Diego has an untapped 500-MW solar potential at commercial sites within the city, with parking lots representing three-quarters of the total, according to a new survey by the Clean Coalition. The San Diego Solar Siting Survey identified 120 sites that could host at least 1 MW of solar. [CleanTechnica]

San Diego Zoo parking (Credit Greentech Advocates)

¶ “Lawmakers Lambast Pentagon Climate Report” • The “Report on Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense” has important omissions that are just one reason lawmakers greeted the Congressionally mandated report with eviscerating criticism. The report even didn’t meet some basic requirements mandated by law. [CNN]

¶ “Energy Aggregation Brings Renewable Energy To More Companies” • Big companies can enter into power purchase agreements, reducing energy costs. Now smaller companies can do the same, with aggregation. LevelTen Energy, based in Seattle, provides this through what it calls “sort of like a matchmaking service.” [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (LevelTen Energy image)

¶ “Port Authority’s Community Solar Power Plan Advances With Approval Of New York Public Service Commission” • The New York State Public Service Commission approved the Port Authority’s request to proceed with renewable solar power projects at John F Kennedy International Airport. Low-income residents can benefit. [AviationPros.com]

¶ “Vermont’s Largest Solar Canopy Comes Online” • Vermont’s largest solar canopy, Encore Renewable Energy’s 156-kW solar carport in Burlington, has begun producing electricity at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. Built in 2003, the science and nature center was the first LEED-certified building in Vermont. [CleanTechnica]

ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain

¶ “DC Mayor Signs Historic Climate Legislation For 100% Renewables” • DC Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the “Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018,” which the DC Council had passed unanimously in December. The District is leading on climate action by requiring a 100% renewable electricity supply by 2032. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Tesla Semi Trucks, Powerpacks, And Solar To Be Used In New Near Zero-Emission Frito-Lay Facility” • Tesla is partnering with PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay to design a “near zero-emission” distribution facility. It will have a fleet of Tesla Semi electric trucks, other electric vehicles, a charging system, Tesla energy storage, and a solar array. [Electrek]

Screen shot of a Tesla Semi electric truck

¶ “Coal Ash Is Contaminating Groundwater In At Least 22 States, Utility Reports Show” • A clear picture of coal ash contamination in the US is emerging, as utilities report serious groundwater contamination in at least 22 states. In many cases, immediate environmental action has been required, and several states are moving on this. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Keene, NH, Commits To 100% Renewable Energy Goal” • The city council of Keene, NH, voted 14-1 to adopt a goal of moving to 100% renewable energy, the Sierra Club has announced. Keene joins four other New Hampshire communities, Concord, Cornish, Hanover, and Plainfield, that have established the 100% renewable goal. [North American Windpower]

Fall foliage

¶ “Idaho’s New Governor: ‘Climate Change Is Real’” • Idaho Gov Brad Little has broken with Republican Party leaders on climate change, declaring unequivocally that the phenomenon is real. He said, “I’m old enough that I remember feeding cows all winter long in deep snow … boy, back in the old days when I was a kid, we had winters.” [High Country News]

¶ “Trump Signs Another Bipartisan Law To Boost Advanced Nuclear” • President Donald Trump signed a bill into law aimed at accelerating development of a new generation of advanced nuclear reactors. The bill was passed with cooperation between the two parties, the second instance of cooperation on advanced nuclear in four months. [Greentech Media]

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January 18 Energy News

January 18, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “EPA: New Air Pollution Plan Worse Than Doing Nothing” • Andrew Wheeler, former coal industry lobbyist, will soon be the official head of the EPA, the agency charged with protecting the environment. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health suggests the plans Wheeler has proposed will be only make things worse. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution

World:

¶ “Melbourne Today Powered By 100% Renewable Energy” • The City of Melbourne is the first major city in Australia to be 100% powered by renewable energy. This comes of the construction of the 80 MW wind farm at Crowlands. Crowlands is a small agricultural community, also in Victoria, about 128 miles (206 km) from Melbourne. [Market Business News]

¶ “UK ‘Should Plug Nuclear Gap With Renewables’” • Various renewables organisations have urged the UK government to plug a 9-GW hole in its low-carbon energy policy with “shovel-ready” wind and solar capacity after Hitachi suspended its nuclear development program. Nuclear plants plans are being shelved because of high costs. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines in Scotland (reNEWS image)

¶ “Reason Australian Households Are Paying An Extra $200 A Year For Electricity” • Privatisation of the electricity industry has not delivered what it promised, a report has found. A report, from the Australia Institute, says customers now pay $100 to $200 per year extra to cover the costs of things like advertising, sales, and marketing. [NEWS.com.au]

¶ “Eight Ways China Is Encouraging Zero-Subsidy Renewables” • Amid speculation that subsidies will be phased out from the end of 2020, the Chinese National Energy Administration has released a package of enticements this month for developers willing to bet on subsidy-free solar and wind projects over the next two years. [Greentech Media]

Solar repair worker in China

¶ “RWE To Spend €1.5 Billion Annually On Renewables” • RWE AG intends to invest about €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) in renewables each year to grow an already imposing portfolio, to be formed through the pending merger of assets held by Innogy SE and E.ON SE. The portfolio already includes 8.6 GW of renewable capacity. [Renewables Now]

¶ “UK Signals Shift From Nuclear To Renewables” • The UK’s government has signalled a big shift away from nuclear energy and towards renewables after Hitachi announced it was scrapping work on a new reactor because of the plummeting costs of offshore wind and solar power. Only one nuclear plant is still being developed in the UK. [The Week UK]

Wind turbine (Christopher Furlong | Getty Images)

¶ “Ørsted, TEPCO Forge Alliance For Japan Offshore Push” • Ørsted and TEPCO formed a partnership to pursue offshore wind projects in Japan. The partnership comes after Japan’s government committed to passing laws to support large-scale offshore wind development. Tokyo has a 10-GW wind target, including onshore, for 2030. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Energy Dept Tackles Challenge Of Rooftop Solar & Income Inequality” • Economic justice advocates are taking note that rooftop solar power deployment in the US has a taken on a racial tinge, with significantly more penetration in predominantly white neighborhoods. The DOE is acting to take on part, though not all, of that issue. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar systems in a low-income neighborhood

¶ “Ford Says An Electric F-150 Is Coming” • Speaking to the press at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford’s president of global markets, said, “Here’s what’s going to happen next to future-proof that global juggernaut of commercial vehicles. We’re going to be electrifying the F-Series, both battery-electric and hybrid.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scout Lassos Cash For Ranchero” • Scout Clean Energy, part of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, closed construction financing on the 300-MW Ranchero wind farm in Crockett County, Texas. The project, developed from inception by Scout Clean Energy, will use 120 of the latest generation GE 2.5-MW wind turbines with 127 meter rotors. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ “AG Healey Endorses Version Of ‘Green New Deal’ – 100% ‘Renewable’ Energy” • Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey committed herself to an ambitious new clean energy goal as part of a broader plan included a promise to fight gun violence and reduce barriers to mental health treatment, among other issues. [NewBostonPost]

¶ “Prominent US Economists Call For Taxing Carbon Emissions” • A bipartisan group of prominent American economists has written a letter and op-ed appearing in the Wall Street Journal calling for a tax on carbon emissions. They are in favor of sharing the tax revenue with US households through recurring dividend checks. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Coal-burning power plant in Utah

¶ “Brown University Heads Toward 100% Solar And Wind” • As a major part of a campus-wide effort to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, Brown University in Providence, RI, has finalized agreements for two renewable energy projects that are expected to produce enough combined solar and wind power to offset all on-campus electricity use. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Bloomberg, Salesforce Among Companies To Form The Corporate Renewable Energy Aggregation Group” • The Corporate Renewable Energy Aggregation Group, formed by five companies, closed 42.5 MW of a 100-MW North Carolina solar project. The aggregated virtual power purchase agreement they signed is a first. [Energy Manager Today]

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January 17 Energy News

January 17, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “World’s Coffee Under Threat, Say Experts” • The first full assessment of risks to the world’s coffee plants shows that 60% of 124 known species are on the edge of extinction. Though only two species are used for the coffee we drink, scientists say the figure is “worrying”, because wild coffee is critical for sustaining the global coffee crop. [CNN]

Coffee harvest (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “250,000 Deaths A Year From Climate Change Is A ‘conservative Estimate,’ Research Says” • Grim analysis from one of the authors of a report in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests rising global temperatures could lead to many more deaths than the 250,000 a year the World Health Organization predicted just five years ago. [CNN]

¶ “Climate Is The Biggest Risk To Business (And The World)” • Companies and investors are waking up to the dangers of climate change. Business leaders and experts surveyed by the World Economic Forum said extreme weather, migration caused by climate change, and natural disasters are the three risks they are most likely to face in 2019. [CNN]

California wild-fire (David McNew | Getty Images)

¶ “World’s Largest Wind Turbine Prototype, GE’s 12-MW Haliade-X, To Be Installed In Rotterdam” • A prototype of the world’s largest announced wind turbine, GE Renewable Energy’s 12-MW Haliade-X, will be installed in Rotterdam during the middle of 2019 for five years of testing. It will be installed onshore for certification. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “What Do Companies Owe The Environment? Natural Capital Risk Assessment At Davos” • As the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos approaches, the Natural Capital Finance Alliance launched the world’s first step-by-step guide to conduct a rapid natural capital risk assessment, giving financial institutions a new perspective on risks. [CleanTechnica]

Ocean and cliffs

¶ “50Hertz Salutes New Wind High” • A new wind energy generation record of over 16 GW was set on 13 January in the area of Germany covered by transmission system operator 50Hertz. It said the 16 GW was theoretically enough to cover the whole of the TSO’s region (the former East Germany) and provide power for export elsewhere. [reNEWS]

¶ “Siemens, Gamesa Launches 10-MW Offshore Wind Turbine” • Siemens Renewable Energy Gamesa has launched its first offshore wind turbine with over 10 MW of capacity, the SG 10.0-193 DD, building on the experience of its previous generations of turbine. The new turbine has direct drive and a rotor diameter of 193 meters. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Offshore wind turbines (Photo: Walt Musial | NREL)

¶ “Renewables Now Most Competitive Form Of Power Generation In GCC Countries” • The most competitive forms of power generation in Gulf Cooperation Council countries (all Arab countries on the Persian Gulf except Iraq) are renewable, according to a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency. [Windpower Engineering]

US:

¶ “US Wind To Exceed Hydropower In 2019 For First Time” • The latest US government energy and electricity forecasts have predicted that wind energy will outperform hydropower for the first time in 2019. The DOE’s Energy Information Administration projections suggest 11 GW of windpower capacity will be added this year. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in Texas

¶ “EPA Nominee Calls Climate Change ‘A Huge Issue,’ But Not ‘The Greatest Crisis'” • Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the EPA and nominee to lead it, said he gives climate change an “eight or nine” on a one-to-ten scale of concern but thinks it is not the greatest crisis. He is still reviewing the EPA’s climate change report of two months ago. [CNN]

¶ “New York Governor Cuomo Announces Mammoth Offshore Wind And Distributed Solar Increases” • In his annual State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to significantly upgrade the state’s renewable energy targets, including quadrupling its offshore wind target to 9 GW by 2035. [CleanTechnica]

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Governor Andrew Cuomo)

¶ “Florida Utility Unveils Solar Surge” • Florida Power & Light has unveiled the ’30-by-30′ plan to install 30 million solar panels in the US state by 2030. The company said it has secured sites throughout Florida for the projects. FPL also said it has already has started pairing battery storage technology with solar PVs at its solar power plants. [reNEWS]

¶ “Pine Gate Renewables completes 57-MW Peony Solar project in South Carolina” • Pine Gate Renewables, a national utility-scale solar developer, owner, and operator, energized its Peony Solar project in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. Sitting on 334 acres, Peony is a 57-MW site and can generate more than 97,400 MWh per year. [Solar Power World]

Solar array (Pine Gate Renewables image)

¶ “Google’s New US Data Centers Will Run On 1.6 Million Solar Panels” • Google will amp up its expansion in the southeastern US with millions of solar panels. Google wants the electricity consumed by its new data centers in Yum Yum, Tennessee, and Hollywood, Alabama, to be “matched with 100% renewable energy from day one.” [CNET]

¶ “Former NRC Head Disagrees With Bill Gates, Says Nuclear Not A Safe Bet For Combating Climate Change” • In his latest book, Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator, Dr Gregory Jaczko says that we should be thinking more about the consequences of nuclear power, and we should be way more concerned about it than we are. [GeekWire]

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January 16 Energy News

January 16, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “One Simple – But Really Hard – Solution to Stop Climate Change” • The time to act on climate change and limit its human causes is now, as many studies have shown. A report in the journal Nature Communications maps out what it may take to get there. It is to phase out its “carbon-intensive infrastructure” at the end of its design lifetime. [CNN]

Carbon emissions on the rise (CNN)

¶ “Trump’s Nuclear Revival? It’s a ‘Black Box'” • More than a year after President Trump promised a “complete review” to revive the country’s domestic nuclear energy sector, the effort remains shrouded in mystery. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have said they know little, or even that they cannot get answers from the administration. [E&E News]

World:

¶ “Kenyan Electrification Plan Could Achieve Universal Access by 2022” • About 75% of Kenyans have access to electricity, the World Bank says, but its government wants to increase that to 100% by 2022. The Kenya National Electrification Strategy references mini-grids, independent solar power plants, and off-grid technology as options. [CleanTechnica]

Kenya (Image: Masai29, Wikipedia, Public domain)

¶ “Octopus, Edify Energy Provide Finance for 333-MW Darlington Point Solar Farm” • After being waved through by the News South Wales government mid-December, the Darlington Point solar+storage project has reached another milestone, as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac will jointly provide for finance. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Abu Dhabi Pumps $2.2 Billion into Renewable Energy Sector” • The total for investments by Abu Dhabi government in the renewable energy sector has surged to Dh8 billion ($2.17 billion), thus reflecting positively on the sustainability of the industry for future generations, according to a senior official of the UAE government. [ZAWYA]

Shams 1 power plant (Ben Job | Reuters)

¶ “Saudi Auction Secures Record-Low Price for Wind Energy” • A consortium of renewable energy developers EDF Renewables and Masdar won the tender to build the 400-MW Dumat Al Jandal wind farm at a record-low price of 2.13¢/kWh. The project will be Saudi Arabia’s first wind farm and the largest in the Middle East. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “WindFloat Atlantic Lifts Dutch Anchor Maker” • Netherlands-based Vryhof will supply mooring technology for the WindFloat Atlantic floating offshore wind project off the Portuguese coast. The EDP Renewables-led WindPlus consortium developing WindFloat Atlantic ordered three V164-8.4 MW turbines for the project from MHI Vestas. [reNEWS]

Vryhof vessel (Vryhof image)

US:

¶ “US Coal Retirements in 2018 Could Be as High as 15.4 GW” • A total of 16.9 GW of US power capacity was retired in 2018, including 11.8 GW worth of coal-fired power capacity, figures from S&P Global Market Intelligence say. But data from other analyst figures suggest US coal retirements in 2018 could have been as high as 15.4 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York Gov Launches ‘Green New Deal’ with Accelerated Clean Energy Targets” • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of a “Green New Deal” initiative. Cuomo’s 2019 Justice Agenda calls for a ramp-up in renewable energy deployments as New York seeks to have 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. [Greentech Media]

New York City

¶ “Green Energy Could Be a Casualty as PG&E Enters Bankruptcy” • Gas and electricity consumers will see no changes right away when PG&E files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the face of liability problems from two historic fires. But both consumers and environmentalists might be in for rocky rides as PG&E tries to weather the storm. [UC Berkeley]

¶ “Volkswagen Chooses Chattanooga for EV Manufacturing, Looks to Ford for Light and Medium-Duty Trucks” • VW opened an assembly plant in Chattanooga in 2011. In September, VW said it was looking for a site for a US EV plant, and now, the company has announced it will invest $800 million to add an EV assembly line to the Tennessee plant. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen EV

¶ “Trump Flips – Changes His Mind on Electric Vehicles (for the Moment). Now EVs Are “A Big Win!”” • President Trump recently criticised GM for aiming to increase its focus on electric vehicles. But when VW announces plans to invest $800 million in EV production in Chattanooga, suddenly Trump is cheerleading the move as “A big win!” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Powers Up in New York” • EDF Renewables North America has commissioned the 80-MW Copenhagen Wind project in Lewis County and Jefferson County, New York. The wind farm will supply electricity to National Grid subsidiary Narragansett Electric Company. Vestas supplied the 40 turbines for the project. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Vestas image)

¶ “Tri-State Members Increasingly Unsatisfied as the Rise of Distributed Resources Upends the G&T Model” • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is the latest utility power supplier caught by changing power system economics. Buying and using new renewables now can cost less than running existing coal generation. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Regulators to Allow Seabrook Nuclear Plant to Run Through 2050” • The Seabrook nuclear plant is expected to get approval this month to continue operating through 2050, after regulators finished determining the facility is safe to remain open. Activists concerned about the facility’s safety say the decision is premature. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

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January 15 Energy News

January 15, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How to Convince a Conservative That Climate Change Is Real” • A newly published report by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication reveals that 8% of participants in three separate surveys said they had changed their mind on the topic over the previous year. Of those, 84% said their level of concern had been increased. [City Watch]

Lab bench

Science and Technology:

¶ “Antarctica Ice Melt Has Accelerated by 280% in the Last Four Decades” • A pair of studies, one published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the other in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience, share a same ominous message: Our planet’s ice is melting at an alarming rate, which is bad news for global sea levels. [CNN]

¶ “What Warmer Oceans Mean for the Planet” • Our oceans are much warmer and are heating up faster than we previously thought, driven by climate change caused by humans, according to a study published in the journal Science. Its authors said 2018 would be the warmest year on record for oceans. So what does that mean? [CNN]

Gas platform (David McNeil | Hilton Archive | Getty Images)

¶ “Researchers Create a 3-D Printing Process That Is 100 Times Faster than Normal” • If 3-D printing has one drawback today, it is that it is s..l..o..w. Researchers at the University of Michigan say they have created a new process that speeds things up by a factor of 100. Their entire report is available for free online at Science Advances. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As the World’s Oceans Warm, Their Waves Are Becoming More Powerful” • Scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz have revealed that as the surface of the world’s oceans continues to warm, there is a direct association with increased wave energy globally. Their study was published in the journal Nature Communications. [IFLScience]

Wave (irabel8 | Shutterstock)

¶ “Today’s Children Will Inherit a Climate-Changed Planet. Can They Handle It?” • We know a warming planet, left unchecked, will violently transform ecosystems and profoundly impact the physical and mental health of humans. But we know far less about how climate change will impact children’s inner landscapes or how professionals should help them. [Scienceline]

World:

¶ “Italy Plans 50 GW PV, 18.4 GW Wind to Meet 2030 Target” • Italy will aim to reach 50 GW of solar PV capacity by the end of 2030 under its new climate and energy plan. The target for wind is 18.4 GW. The Italian goal is to have renewable energy reach a 30% share in gross final consumption by 2030. In 2017, that share was 18.3%. [Renewables Now]

Solar panels in Italy (Image: TerniEnergia)

¶ “Tesla Proposes Microgrids with Solar and Batteries to Power Greek Islands” • Tesla has met with the Greek government to propose ways to modernize the electric grid of the country’s many Mediterranean islands with a combination of microgrids and renewable energy. This is to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and to save money. [Electrek]

¶ “Iberdrola Uses Blockchain to Track Renewable Energy Supply” • Iberdrola said it completed an experiment using blockchain to track renewable energy in real time. For the experiment, electricity from two wind farms and a hydropower plant was tracked to the point of use, so the customer could know where its energy came from. [Renewables Now]

Hydropower plant in Galicia (Iberdrola image)

US:

¶ “President Trump Can’t Stop US Coal Plants from Retiring” • Coal plants are still closing, despite Trump’s efforts. Generators said they plan to shut around 8,422 MW of coal-fired power and 1,500 MW of nuclear in 2019, while adding 10,900 MW of wind, 8,200 MW of solar and 7,500 MW of gas, according to Reuters and EIA data. [CNBC]

¶ “After a Boom Year for New Natural Gas Plants, Renewables Set to Retake the Lead” • In 2019, the majority of energy added to the grid will be renewable, according to estimates by the Energy Information Administration. That had been the trend between 2013 and 2017, though last year new natural gas-fired power plants outpaced renewables. [Ars Technica]

Wind turbines in Colorado (Getty Images)

¶ “How Low Cost Wind and Solar Push the Market for Renewable Hydrogen” • Wind and solar already beat natural gas on price in some parts of the US, a trend that is likely to spread. And renewable hydrogen could quickly replace natural gas in two other major markets, fuel and fertilizer production, with help from wind and solar power. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Buses Coming to Hawaii, New York City, and Estonia” • The Chinese city of Shenzhen, has converted its entire fleet of buses, more than 16,000 in all. And they are appearing in lesser numbers on the streets of London, Katowice, Brasilia, Jerusalem, and many other cities. Now, they are to be used in Hawaii and New York City. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra bus

¶ “Two Rural Electric Cooperatives Overcome Barriers to Clean, Local Energy” • During the 20th century, rural communities formed rural electric cooperatives as a way to get energy where no one else would provide it. In the 21st century, some cooperatives have found an additional economic benefit from pursuing local renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SC Regulators Change Course and Call Out SCANA for Withholding Info” • South Carolina’s utility regulators had a change of heart, altering an earlier order to condemn SCANA Corp officially for willfully withholding information about the VC Summer nuclear project as it failed. The order will not change customers’ bills. [Charleston Post Courier]

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January 14 Energy News

January 14, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “ScottishPower: the Journey to Renewables” • ScottishPower, one of the UK’s biggest utilities, announced it will switch to 100% renewable energy. The move is hailed as touchstone moment and a good example for any big utility seeking to shed its fossil fuel legacy, but does the move make economic sense, and if so will more utilities follow? [Power Technology]

Ardrossan, Scotland (Courtesy of Vincent van Zeijst)

¶ “Australia Could Hit 100% Renewables Sooner than Most People Think” • Not since the invention of the steam engine have we seen such fast change in energy systems around the world. In Australia our electricity system is changing rapidly, from new technologies and business models to changes in policy and perhaps even regulation. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Poses Threat to Sugarcane Crop” • Climate change is affecting production of sugarcane and there is dire need to develop such varieties as could have resistant against climate change, an environmental expert in Pakistan said. One problem is that farmers are not fully aware of the dangers posed by climate change. [The Nation]

Sugarcane crop

World:

¶ “Saudi to Produce 60 GW of Renewable Energy by 2030, Says Official” • Speaking to the UAE’s state news agency, WAM, Dr Khalid bin Saleh Al Sultan, president of the King Abdullah Atomic and Renewable Energy City, said Saudi Arabia is looking to generate 40 GW from solar energy, and 20 GW from wind and other sources by 2030. [Gulf Business News]

¶ “Suzlon Secures 50.4 MW Wind Power Order from Atria Power” • Suzlon Group announced its first order from Atria Power. It is for development of 50.4 MW wind farm in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Suzlon will install 24 wind turbines with rated capacity of 2.1 MW each. The project will be commissioned in two phases by H1, FY20. [REVE]

Suzlon Wind Turbine

¶ “Copenhagen Opposes Ørsted Divestment Plan” • The Danish Ministry of Finance has told Ørsted there “is no longer political support” for a plan to sell off a number of non-core businesses. The offshore wind giant said it is surprised by the decision but believes divesting them remain “in the best interest” of the stakeholders. [reNEWS]

¶ “Renewables Accounted for 93% of Installed Power Last Year” • Last year, Turkey added 4,025 MW of new power capacity, around 93% of which are renewables, according to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez. Solar power provided 40.8% of new capacity, hydroelectric provided 22.1%, and windpower provided 12.7. [Daily Sabah]

Wind farm

¶ “Hitachi to Decide on Fate of UK Nuclear Plant” • The UK’s nuclear policy is under renewed scrutiny as the firm behind a £20 billion reactor in Wales looks set to halt construction. Japanese media say Hitachi will suspend work on its Horizon division’s Wylfa Newydd plant this week. The company says there is no formal decision yet. [BBC]

US:

¶ “Wind Energy Companies Move to Protect Wildlife” • In a biannual meeting at Saint Paul, Minnesota in December, leading American wind energy companies announced a new Wind Wildlife Research Fund for research that will accelerate the development and deployment of innovative solutions to protect wildlife at wind sites. [Market Business News]

Block Island Offshore Wind Far (Image: awae.org)

¶ “SK Innovation Will Increase Investment in US Battery Manufacturing Plant to $5 Billion” • SK Innovation committed to spending $1.67 billion to construct a battery making facility in Georgia, just four weeks back, Now, a report says that its CEO, Jun Kim, has announced it is increasing its planned investment to $5 billion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar + Storage Half the Cost of Gas Peaker Plants” • Prices for electricity from solar-plus-storage plants have had a precipitous fall. As prices continue to drop, Wood Mackenzie has forecast that as the market for solar plus storage matures, it could put over 6,400 MW of new natural gas-fired peaking capacity in the US at risk by 2027. [CleanTechnica]

EDF battery storage units

¶ “All the Good News About Renewable Energy – From the US Department Of Energy” • Trump pledged to revive the US coal industry, but during his tenure its growth prospects flatlined. The latest outlook on electricity generation from the DOE has bad news for coal, good news about renewable energy, and some so-so news for natural gas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Invenergy Obtains Funds for Building 160-MW Solar Park in Georgia” • Chicago-based renewables developer Invenergy said it has secured the needed construction financing for the 160-MW Southern Oak solar park in Georgia, its largest PV project to date. The 160-MW solar park is expected to be operational by the end of this year. [Renewables Now]

Solar farm (Credit: Juwi Renewable Energies Limited)

¶ “Solana Beach to Enter Three-Year Energy Purchase Deal” • To reduce the risk from fluctuations in the energy market, the city of Solana Beach will enter into a three-year purchase agreement for hydroelectric power, under the city’s program. It allows residents to purchase electricity as an alternative to San Diego Gas & Electric. [Del Mar Times]

¶ “Colorado Co-op Amps Up Solar Generation” • Colorado-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, a group cited by analysts for its high wholesale power costs and its reliance on coal-fired units, announced that it will get power from a 100-MW project that will more than double the capacity of its solar power portfolio. [POWER magazine]

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January 13 Energy News

January 13, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change Is an Existential Crisis – It Should Be ​the Top Political Issue, Too” • Global warming is not a partisan issue – or it should not be. The many experts issuing dire warnings about climate disruption including those of the US Department of Defense, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and numerous others. [EcoWatch]

Vancouver (RonTech2000 | iStock | Getty Images Plus)

¶ “Will China Be the Superpower in a World Transformed by Renewable Energy?” • Nimble players have already seized the opportunity not only to secure their own future energy supplies but to become new energy leaders. Among the leaders, China has put itself in pole position to be the world’s renewable energy superpower. [Newsweek]

¶ “Putin Wants a ‘Dark OPEC’ to Control Global Oil and Gas Markets” • Russian President Vladimir Putin, unencumbered by an environmental vision of a carbon-free economy, is engaged in a global effort to unite authoritarian regimes with significant fossil fuel reserves. He envisions a kind of “Dark OPEC” that dictates oil prices. [The Hill]

Oil rig (Crescent Petroleum | Icethorn, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “‘Green New Deal’ Isn’t Radical. It’s a Natural for Texas’ Wind, Solar Energy” • A Green New Deal could expedite more solar and wind power usage, but first people need to know what a Green New Deal means. No state will be more impacted than Texas, with its rich oil and gas resources, and no city more than Houston. [Houston Chronicle]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Oceans Are Warming 40% Faster than Predicted” • News Flash! The oceans are warming 40% faster than predicted just a few years ago. That finding is contained in a new study published January 11 in the journal Science. As the oceans warm, they will absorb heat less efficiently, and that means that with time, the land will get hotter faster. [CleanTechnica]

Ocean waves

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy to Remodel World Dominance Patterns” • At its ninth annual General Assembly session, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released a report, A New World: The Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation. It says the patterns of world leadership are changing rapidly, with new winners and losers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “€70 Billion a Year in EU Health Damage Caused by Vehicle Emissions, Finds Report” • Recent air pollution research found that €70 billion in health damage is caused by traffic emissions every year in the EU. About 75% of the harm is caused by diesel emissions. The report was commissioned by the European Public Health Alliance. [CleanTechnica]

Berlin

¶ “Morocco Earmarks $14 Billion for Energy Projects” • The Moroccan Minister of Energy, Mines, and Sustainable Development, said at the IRENA meeting that Morocco has earmarked $14 billion of investment for the energy sector from 2017 to 2023. The projects are underway and concern mainly renewable energy. [Morocco World News]

¶ “New Victorian Windfarm Could Provide 10% of State’s Energy” • The managing director of a company that plans to construct Victoria’s largest windfarm says the project will supply enough power to replace up to a third of the generation of the decommissioned Hazelwood power plant at below A$50/MWh ($36.11/MWh). [The Guardian]

Wind farm (Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “Brenig Windfarm Generates Electricity for the First Time” • The first UK wind farm to be built from scratch by Chinese developer CGNEE has been completed and is generating its first electricity. Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK finished delivering balance of plant at the 16-turbine Brenig renewables site in Denbighshire. [Denbighshire Free Press]

¶ “Indian Railways to Move Towards Renewable Energy Sources” • India is one of the top most polluted countries in the world, but there is a nationwide effort underway to adopt renewable energy sources. The Indian government plans to obtain nearly 25% of the electricity it needs for railways from the renewable resources by 2025. [GREENandSAVE]

Solar system and train

¶ “Iran Takes First Steps to Design Upgraded 20% Reactor Fuel” • Iran’s nuclear chief said steps have been taken for the designing of an advanced version of 20% supplemented uranium fuel. The new fuel is more effective than what is now used in the Tehran nuclear reactor. The country has not been able to import fuel of that type. [MENAFN.COM]

US:

¶ “Democrats Looking to Finally Tackle Climate Impacts to Gulf of Maine” • After years of inaction under the old administration, Maine may finally deal with the impacts of climate change along the coast, including ocean acidification, a byproduct of the use of fossil fuels that represents a potentially catastrophic threat to Maine’s marine harvesters. [Press Herald]

Lobster fishing (Photo: Gregory Rec | Getty Images)

¶ “Illinois Eyeing California’s Goal of 100% Clean Energy” • It is less than four months since California committed to getting all of its electricity from climate-friendly sources by 2045. At least nine governors, including Illinois Gov Pritzker, have signed a League of Conservation Voters pledge to support 100% clean energy by 2050. [Quad-Cities Online]

¶ “Alliance Will Provide Clean, Competitive Energy” • Ventura County has become one of the largest communities in the nation to adopt 100% clean, renewable energy. With the arrival of the Clean Power Alliance, the county and many of its cities are dramatically reducing emissions in a simple and cost-effective way. [Ventura County Star]

Have an upliftingly brilliant day.

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January 12 Energy News

January 12, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Wind and Solar Are the Final Nails in Coal’s Coffin” • During the 2016 campaign and in various rallies since, President Trump promised to save America’s coal industry and put the nation’s coal miners “back to work.” Trump continues to labor under the delusion that he can accomplish that, but fortunately, that is just delusion. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Coal plant demolition (Nicki Kohl | Telegraph Herald | AP)

¶ “Trump Threatens Those Hurt by His Failure on Climate Change” • As the federal government shutdown and the rancorous border wall dispute consumes much of our attention, President Trump reiterated his threat to withhold essential wildfire response funds from California. He may try to divert the funds to pay for the wall. [The Hill]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Unlikely, Eccentric Inventor Turning Inedible Plant Life into Fuel” • A breakthrough can come from the least expected place. One 81-year-old eccentric toiled in isolation with no financial support for over a decade, focused on how to transform inedible plants cost-effectively into environmentally friendly fuels. [CBS News] (Thanks to Tad Montgomery.)

Marshall Medoff with correspondent Lesley Stahl

World:

¶ “China Is Set to Become the World’s Renewable Energy Superpower, According to New Report” • The continuing growth in renewable energy around the world is set to boost the power of China while undermining the influence of major oil exporters according to a report on the geopolitical implications of the changing energy landscape. [Forbes]

¶ “China Powers Up Electric Car Market” • For a decade, the Chinese government has coaxed buyers and manufacturers into the electric vehicle market through subsidies and incentives. The numbers suggest the strategy worked: the International Energy Agency says China buys more than half of the world’s new electric cars. [BBC]

EVs parked at Kandi Electric Vehicles (Getty Images)

¶ “Saudi Arabia Increases Solar Targets to 20 GW by 2023 and 40 GW by 2030” • Information given by the Renewable Energy Project Development Office of Saudi Arabia to pv magazine says the country is planning to tender 2,225 MW of solar in 2019 and has increased its solar targets to 20 GW by 2023 and 40 GW by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia Approves Construction of 900-MW Solar Farm in New South Wales” • Reach Solar Energy is developing the 900-MW Yarrabee Solar Project in the southwestern region of New South Wales. To be built in 300 MW phases, the Yarrabee Solar Project will include energy storage to assist connection to the grid. [CleanTechnica]

Bungala solar project (Enel image)

¶ “Acciona Concludes Assembly of 405-MW PV Plant in Mexico” • Spanish renewable company Acciona Energía has completed assembly of the Puerto Libertad PV plant in the Sonora desert. For this project, the Spanish firm installed 1,072,909 PV panels with a combined capacity of 356,02 MW. The project was built in two months. [Power Technology]

¶ “Ba Ria-Vung Tau Households Turn to Renewables” • Solar energy has been used by Vietnamese families living in floating villages or rural areas not connected with the national grid. Now it is being used by households in urban areas, and in some of them large numbers of households are using both grid power and solar energy. [VietNamNet Bridge]

Solar array in Vietnam (VNS File Photo)

¶ “Trudeau Announces Support for Canada’s First Geothermal Power Facility” • Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced support for a new geothermal power facility near Estevan in southeastern Saskatchewan. The energy project is the first of its kind in Canada and taps into a new renewable energy resource. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶ “Potential Supply Chain Bottlenecks Could Threaten Growing US Wind Energy Industry” • A rush of developers to take advantage of the US Production Tax Credit could lead to over 23 GW of new wind capacity in 2019 and 2020. But unforeseen supply chain bottlenecks could lead to project postponements and cancellations. [CleanTechnica]

Transporting a blade (Image: GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “GM Will Make Cadillac Its EV Standard Bearer” • General Motors thinks it has figured out how to compete with Tesla: Slap a Cadillac badge on every EV the company makes. Apparently the reason why there are so few electric cars from GM on the road is because they are all Chevrolets, except for the Cadillac ELR. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In Massachusetts, Momentum Builds for Carbon Pricing for Transportation” • As Massachusetts legislators start their new year, bills calling for carbon fees for transportation are gaining momentum, with many lawmakers and advocates optimistic that a measure could make it to the governor’s desk during the current session. [Energy News Network]

Traffic in Boston

¶ “US Energy Will Come from Renewable Sources in 2019” • The majority of America’s new energy capacity additions in 2019 will come from renewable energy sources, according to figures from the US Energy Information Administration. The EIA expects 23.7 GW of capacity to be added, with 64% of that from wind and solar power. [Power Technology]

¶ “Vermont Yankee Sale to NorthStar Completed” • Entergy Nuclear completed the sale of the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to NorthStar Group Services, an industrial demolition company, after a two-year review. Demolition of the nuclear plant will be undertaken decades ahead of Entergy’s original time frame. [Bennington Banner]

Have a radiantly gorgeous day.

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January 11 Energy News

January 11, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “California Set a Goal of 100% Clean Energy, and Now Other States May Follow Its Lead” • At least nine governors taking their oaths of office this month, from Nevada to Michigan to New York, campaigned on 100% clean energy, or have endorsed the target in the four months since it was enshrined in California law. Now they can act. [Los Angeles Times]

Home solar installation (Irfan Khan | Los Angeles Times)

World:

¶ “VW Commercial e-Crafter Electric Cargo Van Makes UK Debut” • The electric VW e-Crafter commercial van made its UK debut in December at the Milton Keynes EV Experience Centre. The 3.5 ton cargo van has 107 miles of range and uses a 35 kWh lithium-ion battery, and it can be charged to 80% in about 45 minutes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Oslo Booting Cars from City Center” • Oslo is one of the top cities in the world for electric vehicles. That already makes it a clear leader in clean transport and more enjoyable, healthier air for citizens, but the city is taking things a step further. Oslo is moving to restrict car use altogether within certain areas of the city. [CleanTechnica]

Walkway in Oslo

¶ “Saskatchewan Reaches Agreement with Ottawa to Cut Power-Generation Emissions” • The province and federal government have come to terms on an equivalency agreement, that will see Saskatchewan mostly move away from coal by 2030. Similar agreements have been reached with other provinces like Alberta and Nova Scotia. [Globalnews.ca]

¶ “Horns Rev 3 Nears Finish Line” • Fred Olsen Windcarrier is nearing completion of turbine installation at Vattenfall’s 406-MW Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm off the coast of Denmark. Jack-up vessel Brave Tern has loaded the last batch of the 49 MHI Vestas 8.3-MW machines that are to generate power in the wind farm. [reNEWS]

Brave Tern

¶ “Greenergy Solutions Develops 550-MW Solar Project in Nepal” • Greenergy Solutions Inc announced that it is to develop a 550-MW solar power project in Nepal. Greenergy Solutions’ Chairman and CEO Ruth P Briones said that company’s intention is to develop solar power plants in each of the seven states in Nepal. [Eco-Business]

¶ “Italy Looks to Block Oil, Gas Exploration Permits” • Italy plans to suspend the issuing of 36 pending oil and gas exploration permits, as the government finds upstream oil and gas activity not of strategic importance to the country. At the same time, the ruling coalition government is looking to significantly boost renewable energy. [OilPrice.com]

Italy

¶ “Hitachi to Halt Work on UK Nuclear Project” • Japanese conglomerate Hitachi Ltd will halt work on a nuclear power project in the UK and take a one-time charge of up to ¥300 billion ($2.8 billion), as negotiations with the British government over funding have stalled. On the news, Hitachi stock had its best rally in over two years. [Energy Voice]

¶ “EDF, Masdar Scoop Saudi Mega-Farm” • A consortium of EDF Renewables and Masdar has won a tender to build the 400-MW Dumat Al Jandal wind farm in Saudi Arabia. Dumat Al Jandal will be the first wind project in the country. It will supply electricity to a subsidiary of Saudi Electricity Company under a 20-year agreement. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (EDF image)

US:

¶ “‘As World Teeters on Brink of Climate Catastrophe,’ 600+ Groups Demand Congress Back Visionary Green New Deal” • On behalf of their millions of members and supporters, 626 environmental organizations demanded that US policymakers “pursue visionary and affirmative legislative action” such as a Green New Deal. [Common Dreams]

¶ “Six Paths to 100% Renewables for Los Angeles” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is evaluating six scenarios for the Los Angeles grid to reach 100% renewable or zero-carbon electricity by 2045 or sooner, with input from an advisory group. The results could illuminate paths for states to reach 100% zero-carbon targets. [pv magazine USA]

Los Angeles (Image: Webstep, Pixabay)

¶ “Colorado Energy Cooperative’s PPA Sparks Development of a 100-MW Wind Farm” • The agreement Holy Cross Energy announced with Colorado wholesale energy company Guzman Energy is an unusual power purchase agreement, a two-way swap that will allow the development of a new 100-MW wind farm to serve HCE’s members. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Appalachian Power Gets Approval to Sell 100% Renewable Energy to Customers. Hold the Champagne.” • The State Corporation Commission approved an Appalachian Power Company request to offer its half million Virginia customers the option of buying 100% renewable electricity. There is a catch that limits competition. [Virginia Mercury]

Wind farm (Creative Commons via Pixabay)

¶ “DSM Holds Grand Opening for Largest Net-Metered Solar Installation in New Jersey” • DSM North America opened its newly expanded solar field in Belvidere, New Jersey. The 20.2-MW solar project, located on 66 acres, is now the largest net-metered solar installation in New Jersey and the second largest on the East Coast. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Florida’s New Republican Governor Softly Nudges the State Forward on Climate Change” • Florida’s new Republican governor is making good on campaign promises, announcing plans to open a new resiliency office as part of an environmental rollout that includes an extra $1 billion for Everglades restoration and water cleanup. [Miami Herald]

Have a uniquely gratifying day.

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January 10 Energy News

January 10, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Green New Deal Builds a Bridge to the Future, Not a Wall Around the Past” • For the Earth, it’s all about carbon emissions. Nothing else matters: not class distinctions, not national pride, not wealth, and not religion. Carbon emissions must be tamed now, for us to have any hope of avoiding the destruction of most things that live on Earth. [CleanTechnica]

Earthrise

¶ “What They’re Saying About the Green New Deal: O’Rourke, Warren, Waxman” • How can we make climate change an urgent priority across the US? It starts with calling for 100% renewable energy and electing leaders who will stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people. Here is what three leaders for the future are saying. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How the Fossil Fuel Industry Got the Media to Think Climate Change Was Debatable” • Documents uncovered by journalists and activists over the past decade lay out a clear strategy of the fossil fuel industry: Push the media to report “uncertainties” in climate science, and push conservatives to believe climate change is a hoax. [Washington Post]

German coal-fired plant (Sascha Steinbach | EPA-EFE | REX)

World:

¶ “Renewables Grow to 20.8% Share in Chile’s Power Mix” • Chile has entered the new year with a 20.8% share of renewable energy in the country’s power mix, the Ministry of Energy said. That percentage is an increase from the 17.9% share recorded in 2017. In 2018, almost 92% of Chile’s new capacity came from renewable sources. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Vestas Becomes First Company to Install Over 100 GW of Wind Turbines” • The Danish wind turbine manufacturing giant Vestas Wind Systems A/S announced that, with the installation of a V110-2.0 MW turbine at MidAmerican Energy’s Wind XI project in late 2018, the company has become the first to install 100 GW of wind turbines. [CleanTechnica]

Beaver Creek, MidAmerican Energy

¶ “New Year Delight for Chinese Mega-Farm” • Chinese energy company State Power Investment Corp has received approval for the first phase of a wind farm of up to 6 GW at the region of Siziwangqi, in the China’s Inner Mongolia region. Costing over €5 billion ($5.77 billion), the wind farm would be the largest onshore project in the world. [reNEWS]

¶ “Spain Proposes Trading in Nuclear Permits for Others in Renewable Energy” • As an incentive to close nuclear plants, the Spanish Government proposed giving their owners advantages for developing renewable energy. Connection rights for nuclear plants would convert to renewable energy permits for the same amount of power. [The Corner Economic]

Garona Spanish nuclear station

US:

¶ “Fiat Chrysler to Pay Hundreds of Millions to Settle Emissions Charges in the US” • Fiat Chrysler will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and civil penalties to settle charges that its diesel vehicles sold in the US violated emissions rules. A person familiar with the details told CNN the total amount will be roughly $800 million [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Has the Highest Customer Loyalty of All Car Brands” • Last year, Consumer Reports found that Tesla has the highest rate of customer satisfaction of all car brands. Now, research conducted by Experian, shows that the high levels of satisfaction are translating into exceptionally high rates of customer loyalty as well. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla family (Image via Tesla)

¶ “Kauai Reaches Goal of 50% Renewable Power” • AES’s Lawai project, which will supply electricity to Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, will eliminate the need for about 3.7 million gallons of diesel annually and supply about 11% of Kauai’s electricity, making the island more than 50% powered by renewables, a KIUC statement said. [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

¶ “DOE Picks Winners in $25 Million Marine Energy R&D Program” • The DOE has selected 12 projects to get $25 million (€21.8 million) in financing in support of research aimed at cutting costs and accelerating the deployment of marine energy devices, as well as testing new concepts. Projects in three areas of research qualified. [Renewables Now]

Wave (Steve Corey, CC BY NoDerivs 2.0 Generic)

¶ “How Minnesota Could Economically Reach 70% Renewable Electricity” • A report from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, clean energy advocates, and all the state’s major utilities suggests that overbuilding wind and solar capacity would be more economical than using batteries and could supply 70% of its needs by 2050. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Capital Opens New Frontier in North Dakota” • Capital Power Corporation started commercial operations at its 99-MW New Frontier wind farm in North Dakota. CPC said the project was completed on time and below the original $145 million cost estimate. Capital Power said it will supply 87% of the electricity to one customer. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)

¶ “Another Utah City Commits to 100% Clean Energy” • A city in Salt Lake City County, Utah, Cottonwood Heights, committed to transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. The city council voted unanimously to adopt a goal of 100% clean, renewable electricity for city operations by 2022 and community-wide by 2032. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Panel Issues Vision for Diablo Canyon Decommissioning” • The Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel, which was created to develop a strategic vision for decommissioning of California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, wants the process to begin immediately after the facility reactors shut down in 2024 and 2025. [seattlepi.com]

Have a thoroughly congenial day.

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January 9 Energy News

January 9, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Colorado Could Save $2.5 Billion by Rapidly Shutting Down Its Coal Power Plants” • According to PacifiCorp, which owns 22 coal plants in Colorado, its own analysis shows 13 of the 22 plants are currently losing money. Analysis commissioned by the Sierra Club showed that it would be cheaper to replace 20 of the 22 plants with windpower. [Vox]

Coal-burning power plant (Shutterstock image)

¶ “The Economic Viability of Nuclear Power Is Only Going Down” • Last year the Trump administration’s DOE announced that it was launching a media campaign to counter what an official called “misinformation” about nuclear power. Since then, we have not noticed an upsurge in pro-nuclear news – because there is none to report. [Environmental Working Group]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Perovskite Solar Panel Tested on Sanska Building in Warsaw” • The first building-integrated field test of a perovskite solar panel, made by Saule Technologies, has begun in Warsaw, with a projected 5¢/kWh levelized cost of energy. The pilot was made by ink jet printing the PVs. Commercial scale production is hoped for by 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Screen shot of Saule event

World:

¶ “Solar Power in The Netherlands Grows 50% in 2018 – With More to Come” • The production of solar power grew by 50% in the Netherlands last year. The share of renewables in the country’s electricity use rose from 15% to 17% compared to the year before. The share of renewables in total energy use rose from 6.6% to 7.3%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Finished 2018 with Record Wind Turbine Orders over 12 GW” • Danish wind turbine manufacturing giant Vestas Wind Systems A/S made sixteen turbine order announcements between December 27, 2018 and January 1, 2019 for a grand total of 1,771 MW in six days. They bring the sales total for the year close to 13 GW. [CleanTechnica]

Prototype Vestas V164, with a capacity of up to 10 MW

¶ “UK Unveils Small-Scale RE Lifeline” • In its consultation, ‘The future for small-scale low-carbon generation,’ the UK energy department said its new Smart Export Guarantee would compensate small generators for the value of the electricity exported to the grid. Remuneration would be available to systems up to 5 MW in capacity. [reNEWS]

¶ “Solar to Push Gas out of Chile’s Top 3 Power Sources in 2019” • Solar PV power will reach a 9.4% share in Chile’s power mix in 2019, replacing natural gas as the third most important source of electricity in the country, behind coal and hydropower, Chilean nonprofit energy watchdog Coordinador Electrico Nacional has estimated. [Renewables Now]

CVE Chile 45-MW PV plant

¶ “More Cracks Found in Hunterston Nuclear ” • EDF Energy now estimates that there are 370 major cracks in the graphite core of reactor three of the Hunterston nuclear plant in North Ayrshire and 200 cracks in the core of reactor four. Both reactors are currently off line, and pressure is mounting to keep them from restarting. [The Ferret]

¶ “India’s Renewable Energy Capacity Addition to Grow 50% This Year on New Tenders” • Indian growth in renewable energy generation capacity, including solar and wind, is likely to increase by 50% to 15,860 MW in 2019, with improved tender activity. Solar capacity addition is expected to exceed 10,000 MW for the first time. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind farm

US:

¶ “Ambitious New York City Bill Aims to Replace Gas-Fired Power Plants with Renewables” • A top councilman for New York City is preparing to introduce a bill mandating that the city come up with a plan by the end of the year to phase out nearly two dozen gas-fired power plants and replace them with renewable sources of electricity. [HuffPost]

¶ “New Hampshire Eager to Join Northeast Offshore Wind Club” • New Hampshire Gov Sununu has requested that the federal government set up an intergovernmental offshore renewable energy task force for the state to facilitate coordination between federal, state and local governments regarding commercial leasing proposals. [Renewables Now]

Offshore wind farm (Beverley Goodwin, CC-BY 2.0 generic)

¶ “Duke Energy Florida Brings Massive Hamilton Solar Power Plant Online” • The 74.9-MW Hamilton Solar Power Plant in Jasper, Florida, is operating, Duke Energy said. The plant will produce enough power for over 20,000 homes at peak production. Duke is moving to install or acquire 700 MW of solar power in Florida through 2022. [Solar Builder]

¶ “AEP Plans 1.2-GW Wind Push” • AEP subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Company issued a request for proposals for 1,200 MW of wind projects. They must be at least 100 MW and be operating by 15 December 2021. Projects must also be located in the Southwest Power Pool regional grid in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, or Oklahoma. [reNEWS]

Farm and wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ “Land That Once Grew Sugar Cane Now Provides Renewable Energy for Kauai” • The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is halfway to reaching their renewable energy goals, thanks to a new 28-MW solar farm in Lawai with 100-MW/500-MWh of storage. It is the state’s largest solar-plus-utility-scale-storage power facility. [Hawaii News Now]

¶ “Wind Deal May Allow Holy Cross Energy to Reach Renewables Goal Early” • Colorado’s Holy Cross Energy may reach its goal of providing 70% renewable energy nine years ahead of schedule. In a deal with energy wholesaler Guzman Energy, HCE will develop a new wind farm that will bring it to nearly 70% renewables by summer of 2021. [Aspen Times]

Have a wholly copacetic day.

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January 8 Energy News

January 8, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Mining Industry Pro on Trump’s Promises To Bring Back Coal: ‘He’s Lying’” • Art Sullivan has worked as a coal miner, mine manager and industry consultant in the US and around the world. When CNN asked him about President Trump’s promises to miners that he will save their jobs, Sullivan was blunt: “He’s lying to them.” [Environmental Working Group]

Trump Digs Coal

¶ “Jaitapur: A Risky and Expensive Project” • Électricité de France’s “techno-commercial proposal” to the government of India for the Jaitapur nuclear power project in Maharashtra will certainly be controversial. The first year tariffs from the project would be around ₹15/kWh (21¢/kWh). But the cost of the project is just a start of its problems. [The Hindu]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Drones, Automation, and Reforestation: How DroneSeed is Keeping Forests Healthy Post-Wildfire” • DroneSeed uses drones in post-fire environments to combat the spread of wildfires and keep affected areas healthy. Using automation, it seeks to make the revitalization of our forests faster, cheaper, and more efficient. [CleanTechnica]

Forest

¶ “Rising Oregon Temperatures Turn Annual Snowfall to Rainfall” • Oregonians are seeing changes in winter temperatures and precipitation distribution. Oregon State researchers analyze the impacts of longer wildfire seasons and rising temperatures on local forests and wildlife, finding a potential for lasting negative impacts. [The Daily Barometer]

World:

¶ “Before They Disappear: Treasured UNESCO Sites at Risk from Climate Change” • From the sinking city of Venice to the mass bleaching of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, climate change is drastically impacting some of the world’s most treasured heritage sites. Here is a set of many photos of UNESCO sites threatened by a changing climate. [CNN]

For Yellowstone: shorter winters, less snowfall, warmer rivers, shrinking lakes, and more fires (Wyoming Office of Tourism)

¶ “Vestas Bags 101 MW EPC Order for Wind Energy Project in Gujarat” • Vestas announced it has bagged an Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract for setting up a 101-MW project in Gujarat. The project is designed to sell power to commercial and industrial consumers through Power Purchase Agreements. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Daimler and BMW Collaborating on Large Joint Urban Mobility Company” • Daimler and the BMW are collaborating on a joint urban mobility company to create a sustainable, multi-modal, readily accessible urban transportation system. It will include ride hailing, car-sharing, charging, and parking in urban centers. [CleanTechnica]

BMW ReachNow

¶ “India Will Tender 500 GW Renewable Capacity by 2028” • To achieve its goal of generating 40% of electricity from non-fossil fuels by 2030, India would have to install 500 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2028, Anand Kumar, Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said at a business summit. [pv magazine India]

¶ “Germany’s 2025 Renewables Share Goal “within Reach” – Think Tank” • The share of renewables in Germany’s gross power consumption climbed to 38.2% in 2018, according to a press release from Agora Energiewende. This meant that Germany’s target of 40% to 45% by 2025, as set in the Renewable Energy Act, is “within reach.” [Clean Energy Wire]

Wind turbines in Germany (Smaack, Wikimedia Commons) 

US:

¶ “Supreme Court Blocks ExxonMobil’s Effort to Conceal Decades of Documents in Probe of Oil Giant’s Climate Deception” • The Supreme Court rejected ExxonMobil’s attempt to block Massachusetts’s demand for documents related to its investigation into allegations that it deceived the public and investors for decades about global warming. [DeSmog]

¶ “PG&E Stock Tumbles 21% on Bankruptcy Concerns” • PG&E could be on the hook for tens of billions of dollars for its potential role in California’s devastating Camp Fire last year — the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. The company has indicated it does not have the cash or assets to pay anything close to that amount. [CNN]

After the Camp Fire (Justin Sullivan | Getty Images)

¶ “Guess what? US Carbon Emissions Popped Back Up in a Big Way” • A report by the Rhodium Group, a research institution that analyzes global economic and environmental trends, found that in 2018 CO2 emissions rose 3.4% from the prior year. It is the second largest gain in two decades, and it comes after three straight years of decline. [Yahoo News]

¶ “DC and Nine States Collaborating on Carbon Emissions Reduction Policy” • The District of Columbia, Virginia, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont are working together to formulate a policy proposal to reduce transportation carbon emissions and air pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Washington, DC

¶ “Rooftop Solar Curtailment to Ease with Refocused Hawaii Energy Contracts” • Hawaiian electric utilities have been acting to de-link residential rooftop solar generators at peak hours for several years, but the installation-discouraging practice may fade as refocused utility-scale solar+storage contracts come into effect.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tough Texas Market Conditions Defied as 42-MWh Battery System Comes Online” • Market opportunities for energy storage in Texas are considered limited, but the largest battery project in the state, a 42-MWh system, has come online, after Vistra Energy found niche opportunities to use batteries for integrating solar energy. [Energy Storage News]

Have an enchantingly agreeable day.

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January 7 Energy News

January 7, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Hydrogen May Have a Future on the Rails” • Perhaps, finally, hydrogen’s moment has arrived. Electricity from renewable sources can be used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen through electrolysis. That “green hydrogen” can then be used in fuel cells to generate electricity. It can also be used to power rail transportation. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Hydrogen powered train (Photo: R Frampe | Alstom)

¶ “The Ugly Face America Shows the World: How Its Climate Policies Undercut Global Goals” • America, the globe’s biggest CO2 contributor, has chosen withdraw from the Paris Agreement and instead tries to buttress its sinking coal sector. Its policies undercut global goals even as its own energy markets move away from fossil fuels. [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Silvopasture Can Mitigate Climate Change. Will US Farmers Take it Seriously?” • Trees absorb and sequester large amounts of carbon over time. The sequestering process is rendered even more powerful when they are used together with grazing and planted on “marginal” land that is not great for growing crops, such as woodland edges. [Civil Eats]

Cattle grazing in a silvopasture forest in Georgia 
(Photo: USDA National Agroforestry Center)

¶ “The End of Coffee: Could Australia Save the World’s Beans?” • Demand for coffee is expected to double by 2050, but climate change is expected to render more than half of the land used for growing coffee unsuitable in that time. So scientists at Australia’s Southern Cross University are testing twenty “climate-resistant” varieties. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “New Solar Farm Expected to Save Seychelles $1 Million per Year” • Seychelles is expected to save over $1 million annually once the construction of a solar farm on Romainville Island, off the main island of Mahe, is completed later this year, said a top official. The 5-MW solar PV system will be installed by the Public Utilities Company. [Seychelles News Agency]

Seychelles wind farm (Patrick Joubert, CC BY 4.0)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Production Could Start in China This Year. And Model Y?” • Tesla is aiming to start Model 3 production in China by the end of the year. Production would ramp up slowly, so Elon doesn’t anticipate high-volume production will start until 2020. Nonetheless, that is about 1,000 years sooner than Tesla critics expected. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japan Plans to Build Biggest Offshore Wind Power Plant” • TEPCO is considering building one of the Japan’s biggest offshore wind farm, it has been learned. The plant’s generating capacity is expected to be over 1,000 MW, the equivalent of the power produced by a nuclear power reactor. One potential location is Chiba Prefecture. [REVE]

Floating wind turbine at Fukushima

¶ “French Firm to Build 40-MW Solar Plant in Eldoret” • French solar firm Alten Africa, based in Kenya, has picked compatriot renewable energy firm Voltalia to build its 40-MW solar plant in Eldoret, a city in the western part of the country. Alten said Voltalia has already started construction at the Uasin Gishu project. [Daily Nation]

US:

¶ “Years of Shoddy Safety Policies Leave Pacific Gas and Electric Facing Bankruptcy” • After being suspected a culprit of the last devastating Californian wildfires, PG&E is reportedly facing bankruptcy. The utility is not only facing severe criticism over its recurring lack of security prevention in recent years, but also gigantic lawsuits. [CleanTechnica]

Camp Fire

¶ “Researchers Say Solar and Wind Energy Could Be the End of Coal in Texas” • Texas is a renowned producer of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, but researchers at Houston’s Rice University claim that increased solar and wind energy adoption could be all Texas needs to quit coal for good. Texas does not even need batteries for such a transformation. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ “Cuomo Calls Elon: Can Tesla Put NYC Subway System Back on Track?” • The MTA, which operates the New York City subway and bus system, is under the control of the governor, not the city. The system used to be one of the best in the world, but today it need help, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo asked for it from Elon Musk.  [CleanTechnica]

New York subway station

¶ “Texas Cities Leading Transition to Renewables” • In 2018, Georgetown became the first city in Texas to get 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. Now conservationists are pushing Austin, Bryan, Garland, San Antonio, and others to join 100 cities nationwide that have committed to transition away from fossil fuels. [Public News Service]

¶ “We Are All in This Together: California, Puerto Rico Officials Join in Climate Fight” • In the wake of mudslides, wildfires and hurricanes, elected officials from Southern California joined Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital city, promising to support each other in responding to climate emergencies. [USA TODAY]

Have an entertainingly productive day.

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January 6 Energy News

January 6, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Meet Clean Energy Pioneers Hoping to Change the World” • Empowering rural women in the field of clean energy and providing electricity to more than 675,000 underprivileged people are just some of the feats achieved finalists for the Zayed Sustainability Prize. Winners will be announced during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. [gulfnews.com]

Women from Maduma village in Tanzania
supported by Solar Sister (Supplied image)

¶ “The PRC Bets on Climate Diplomacy in the Caribbean” • China is bidding to brand itself as the world leader on climate change. Beijing has put up billions to fund initiatives aimed at reducing carbon, supporting green energy, and promoting climate resilience worldwide. One target of Chinese attention is the Caribbean. [The Jamestown Foundation]

¶ “Melting Arctic Sends a Message: Climate Change is Here in a Big Way” • Scientists are trained to be skeptics, but for those of us who study the Arctic, it is clear that a radical transformation is underway. The question is not whether the Arctic is warming, but how drastically it will change, and what the changes mean for the planet. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Warming erosion at  Drew Point, Alaska (USGS image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Gigafactory Tour Shows Where Tesla Continuously Drives Down Battery Costs” • Even Tesla’s detractors concede that the carmaker has a lead of at least a couple of years in battery technology. Its President of Automotive said, “There [are] more batteries produced here for electric vehicles than in the rest of the planet combined.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “China’s Population ‘To Peak’ in 2029 at 1.44 Billion” • China’s population will peak in 2029 at 1.44 billion before beginning a period of “unstoppable” decline, a government report says. The China Academy of Social Sciences study says the country must implement policies to handle a smaller workforce and an older population. [BBC]

Theme park in Shenzhen (Dmpendse, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Wind Energy Tenders Back in India, 1.2 GW Offered” • After technical concerns limited the size of tenders, the Solar Energy Corporation of India has one that will allow a single bidder to bid for as much as 600 MW, which is double the previously allowed maximum. The maximum tariff bid has been set at ₹2.85/kWh (4.11¢/kWh). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Announces 7.5 GW Solar Tenders in Jammu and Kashmir” • After a wait of around five years, the government of India has issued tenders to set up 7.5 GW of solar power capacity in the country’s northern-most state of Jammu and Kashmir. The plans to set up large-scale solar power projects were first floated in 2014. [CleanTechnica]

Solar plant in India (Sreejithk2000, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Senate Crossbench Gave Renewables $23 Billion Boost by Thwarting Abbott’s Plan” • The Senate’s decisions to stop Tony Abbott abolishing clean energy agencies between 2013 and 2015 helped create renewable energy projects worth A$23.4 billion ($16.67 billion), according to a report published by the Australia Institute. [The Guardian]

¶ “Dutch EV Sales: Tripled in 2018, 30% Market Share in December, Tesla Model S Took #1 Spot” • In 2018, 24,024 fully electric vehicles were sold in the Netherlands, three times as many as were sold in 2017, according to figures from industry associations. In December, 30.4% of cars sold in the country were fully electric cars. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla taxis arriving in Amsterdam

US:

¶ “Progress on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, but Not Quite What Minnesota Hoped ” • Minnesota has cut its greenhouse gas emissions steadily in recent years as its electric utilities reduced use of coal. But the state still lags a set of long-term climate change goals it set in 2007, and that is largely because of car and truck traffic. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

¶ “Ramping Up Renewable Energy Remains Lawmakers’ Focus in 2019” • Connecticut Gov Dannel Malloy and lawmakers moved in 2018 to get contracts for over 1,000 MW from Millstone nuclear plant and to procure 300 MW of offshore wind power. But clean energy advocates are pushing lawmakers for more renewable energy in 2019. [theday.com]

Rendering of a port in New London proposed to
support offshore wind power (Connecticut Port Authority)

¶ “Jackson’s Shared Solar Farm Operating ” • Jackson, Wyoming’s new shared solar farm is online, and officials hope the state-of-the-art system will catch on elsewhere. It uses virtual net metering, a growing trend throughout the country that gives users access to renewable energy without installing their own solar panels. [Gillette News Record]

¶ “Confidence Grows that Proposed Burrillville Power Plant will be Denied” • Rhode Island’s Energy Facility Siting Board has much to ponder as the hearings on the proposed Burrillville gas-powered plant enter their fourth year. The leading opposition attorney is “reasonably confident” that the EFSB will vote to deny the $1 billion project. [ecoRI news]

Have a demonstrably peachy day.

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January 5 Energy News

January 5, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “We Should Not Have to Pay for Gas Company’s Lobbying” • When your gas bill arrives, you probably think you are paying to warm your home and light your stove. Though that is largely true, families in some parts of California are footing the bill for a multi-million dollar lobbying effort to stop California’s clean energy progress. [Earthjustice]

Site of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak
(Photo by Scott L, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “You Cannot Separate Health and Wellness from Climate Change” • People seem to be less concerned about climate change, carbon emissions, and resilience than they are about health and wellness, as evidenced by the booming of the Well Standard and the KB Home pivot to wellness. Climate change, however, is a threat to health. [Treehugger]

World:

¶ “BYD Wins Contract to Supply 64 Electric Buses for Medellín, Colombia” • New energy powerhouse BYD won a contract to supply 64 of its electric buses to the Colombian city of Medellín. The new contract represents the second-largest Latin American electric bus fleet, behind 100 buses in Santiago, Chile, which BYD delivered late last year. [CleanTechnica]

BYD bus, Medellín

¶ “Iran to Build 1,000 MW Solar Farm in Markazi” • Iran is set to build its largest-ever solar farm with a capacity as much as 1,000 MW in Markazi province, central Iran, a senior official said. He said the project, which is to be built on 2000 hectares of land near the city of Saveh, has been funded by a UK-based Iranian investor. [Mehr News Agency]

¶ “Great Wall ORA R1 – An Electric Car With ~140 Miles of Range for Less Than $10,000” • Chinese automaker Great Wall is set to introduce its ORA R1 electric car. The R1 can travel almost 200 miles on a single charge according to The Express. The company says the cost is between $8,680 and $11,293, after the Chinese EV subsidies. [CleanTechnica]

Great Wall ORA R1, $10,000 electric car

¶ “China’s Three Gorges Dam Generates Record Amount of Power” • The electricity generated by the Three Gorges Dam, which is on the Yangtze River in Hubei province, has exceeded 100 billion kWh, setting a record for a single hydropower plant in China. It also outperformed the dam’s 2018 production target of 92.3 billion kWh. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Indian State of Andhra Pradesh Targets 5 GW of Solar Under New Policy” • Andhra Pradesh aims to install 18 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2021-22, which would comprise 10% of the country’s overall target. The government said it will start with 4 GW of solar parks, mostly in manufacturing zones, but also R&D and training centers. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar farm in Andhra Pradesh (Image: Greenko Group)

¶ “Solar Energy Investment Predicted to Grow in 2019” • The removal of tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels plus a shift in attitude towards renewables are set to give the EU a 12% share of the global solar module market. Industry experts say Europe’s solar capacity is set to jump from 9.5 GW to 13.5 GW (42.1%) during 2019. [Open Access Government]

¶ “Endesa to Supply Catalan Railways with 100% Renewable Power” • Endesa, Spain’s largest utility, will supply the Catalan Government Railways with electricity from 100% renewable sources this year, local media have reported. Endesa will supply about 300 km of the railways systems’ metropolitan lines and mountain stations. [Renewables Now]

Solar park (Som Energia Cooperativa, CC-BY-2.0 Generic)

US:

¶ “ASLA Warns Landscape Architects Could Be Liable for Climate Impacts on Projects” • During the 2018 annual meeting of the American Society of Landscape Architects, it was determined that landscape architects could potentially face liability due to climate impacts of their projects. This follows a Texas class-action lawsuit. [Total Landscape Care]

¶ “Minnesota-Vermont Partnership Will Offer Solar to Low-Income Families” • A Minnesota nonprofit has a community solar model they think could go national. The Rural Renewable Energy Alliance and Southeastern Vermont Community Action are partnering to get solar power to 50 low-income households in Windham and Windsor counties. [CleanTechnica]

RREAL crew installing a solar system in Minnesota

¶ “Duke Energy Reopens North Carolina Solar Rebate Program” • More than 1,300 of Duke Energy’s North Carolina customers installed solar systems last year under a 4-year, $62 million program. The company paid out $6 million in solar rebates to those customers. Now, it has opened up the window for new applications for 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Enel Starts Construction on Its Largest US Wind Farm to Date” • Enel’s US renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power North America, began construction on the High Lonesome wind farm in  Texas. High Lonesome, with a capacity of about 450 MW, will be the largest wind farm in Enel’s global renewables portfolio when completed. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind farm in Texas

¶ “PUC Nod Sought for 262 MW of Solar Capacity with Storage in Hawaii” • Hawaiian Electric Companies is seeking the state Public Utilities Commission’s approval of contracts for a total of 262 MW of PVs with 1,048 MWh of storage in seven projects on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island. The cost for two of the seven is as low as 8¢/kWh. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Judge Denies Expedited Hearing on Sale of Bellefonte Plant” • A federal judge turned down a request for an expedited hearing on a challenge to a Tennessee Valley Authority decision not to sell its unfinished Bellefonte nuclear power plant to Chattanooga developer Franklin L. Haney. The decision gives TVA more time to respond. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Have an extremely happy day.

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January 4 Energy News

January 4, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Can Trump’s New Science Adviser Convince Him that Climate Change Is Real?” • As one of its last acts of the term, the Senate confirmed meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier, to be director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, “science adviser” to the president. Trump, however, has a history of ignoring his own experts. [CNN]

Collapsing polar ice

World:

¶ “EV Subsidies Going Up in Italy, Down in China” • EV subsidies are a hot topic. In Norway, 30% of all new cars sold in 2018 were battery electrics thanks to aggressive incentives. Tesla and GM are losing US subsidies as they reached quotas. A number of countries, including the US, are considering whether to cancel or expand EV subsidies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Delhi Policy Draft Calls for 25% EVs by 2023” • A study found that Delhi’s polluted air contributed to almost 15,000 premature deaths in 2016. To reduce toxic air pollution in the city, Delhi’s government created a draft policy calling for 25% of new vehicle registrations to be EVs by 2023. About two-thirds of vehicles are motorcycles or scooters. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution (Credit: Sumitmpsd, via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Germany Says Hallo to Renewables as Clean Power Overtakes Coal” • Research from the Fraunhofer research organisation suggests output from solar, wind, biomass, and hydroelectric generation units produced more than 40% of German electricity, where coal provided around 38%. German renewables passed coal for the first time. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Canada-US Team Strikes Gold in Oz” • Canadian Solar and Signal Energy are partnering to give engineering, procurement, and construction services on a 175-MW PV project in New South Wales. Construction of the Finley solar farm, which is being developed by ESCO Pacific, began in December 2018 and will be completed in October 2019. [reNEWS]

Finley solar farm (Canadian Solar image)

¶ “Government to Give Up Plan to Export Nuclear Power Reactors to Turkey” • Japan is expected to effectively withdraw its plans to build a nuclear power plant in Turkey by asking Ankara to provide significantly more funding amid ballooning safety costs. Turkey is likely to reject the request, according to people familiar with the decision. [The Mainichi]

¶ “Renewables Account for 52% of Portugal’s Consumption in 2018” • Non-hydro renewables generated 29.5% of Portugal’s electricity in 2018, utility data shows. Wind power contributed 23%, followed by biomass  at 5% and PVs at 1.5%. Taking into account hydro sources, the renewable power generation made up 52% of the total. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm

US:

¶ “Electric Vehicle Sales up 130% in 2018, 210% in Q4 2018 – US Electric Car Sales Report” • EV sales growth has been uneven. Aside from the new models (Jaguar I-PACE and Honda Clarity EV), the only models that saw growth were the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, and Nissan LEAF. But those models certainly grew a lot . [CleanTechnica]

¶ “More Coal Plants Shut Down in Trump’s First Two Years than in Obama’s Entire First Term” • Despite campaigning on a pledge to save the dirtiest of fossil fuels, President Donald Trump has presided over a faster rate of coal plant retirements in his first two years than President Barack Obama saw in his entire first term in office. [ThinkProgress]

Dismantling a coal-fired plant (George Frey | Getty Images)

¶ “New York’s Solar for All Program Will Award No-Cost Community Solar to 10,000 Low Income Residents” • In a bid to reduce the energy costs for low income New York households and to help increase access to renewable energy for both renters and homeowners alike, New York is enabling no-cost community solar for up to 10,000 residents. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “143 MW of Distributed Solar Goes Online in VA, DC, MD, DE” • While large utility-scale projects grab the headlines, installation firms in the region racked up 7400 small-scale (under 1 MW) PV installations in 2018. While Maryland had the most installations by far, Delaware held second place in terms of new solar capacity per capita. [pv magazine USA]

Distributed solar (Image: Sun Tribe Solar)

¶ “GM Passed 200,000 EV Milestone in Q4” • The $7,500 federal EV tax credit will drop to $3,750 for General Motors on March 31, 2019, because GM recorded more than 200,000 EV sales in the 4th quarter of last year. The credit will be at $3,750 the following 2 quarters. Then it will drop to $1,875 for the next two quarters. And then, it will end. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Denver and Boulder Have Big Goals to Fight Climate Change. But There Is an Obstacle: Cannabis” • With lights on 18 hours each day, growing cannabis in a greenhouse uses a lot of energy. Colorado gets a lot of power from coal-fired plants, so marijuana grown indoors is far more carbon intensive as that grown in California or Oregon. [The Colorado Sun]

Cannabis growing (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is the #1 Best Selling Car in USA From an American Car Company” • Comparing sales numbers from top car companies, we can see how the 5 top-selling cars in the US were for December and the 4th quarter of 2018. The Tesla Model 3 was the only car from an American car company that was in the top 5 on either list. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Research: Texas Could Ditch Coal Entirely for Wind and Solar” • Fossil fuel may comprise a large part of the Texas economy, but new research shows that the state has the natural resources to ditch coal entirely and still meet its electricity needs. The report was published in the journal Renewables: Wind, Water, and Solar. [Futurism]

Have a restfully cheery day.

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January 3 Energy News

January 3, 2019

World:

¶ “Financing Indigenous-Partnered Renewables in Alberta” • Promoting the full inclusion of Indigenous peoples in Alberta’s renewable energy market is a key facet of the Alberta Climate Leadership Program. The province allocated CA$151 million ($111 million) to support Indigenous community participation over the next three years. [pv magazine International]

Alberta legislature building (Image: Wikipedia | Zeitlupe)

¶ “Alberta Companies, First Nations to Build $1.2-Billion Worth of Wind Projects” • Several different firms are partnering with First Nations across Alberta on five renewable energy projects collectively worth about CA$1.2 billion. In total the projects will generate 760 MW of renewable electricity, enough to power 300,000 homes. [Daily Commercial News]

¶ “German Wind ‘Close to 15-TWh in December'” • Onshore and offshore wind farms in Germany generated 14,830 GWh of electricity in December, according to the energy and water industry trade association BDEW. However, BDEW added that there is a need for new energy storage facilities to use volatile renewable power efficiently. [reNEWS]

Arkona wind farm (Credit: renews)

¶ “Rolls Royce and Finferries Put To Sea in an Autonomous Ferry” • Rolls-Royce and Finferries, the state-owned ferry line of Finland, demonstrated of the world’s first fully autonomous ferry in the archipelago south of the city of Turku. The 178-foot long double-ended ferry Falco took a group of 80 dignitaries for a demonstration run. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ukraine Almost Triples Pace of Installing Renewable Energy Facilities in 2018, to 740 MW” • A total of 742.5 MW of new renewable energy generating facilities were installed in Ukraine in 2018. This is 2.8 times more than last year, a report of the National Commission for Energy, Housing and Utilities Services Regulation said. [Interfax-Ukraine]

Wind turbines in the Ukraine (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Energy Company Rapped by Advertising Regulator for ‘Zero CO2’ Claim” • UK renewable energy provider Good Energy was found to be in breach of advertising regulations. It claimed the electricity it supplies produces no carbon dioxide, but 18% of Good Energy’s fuel mix coming from bio-generation, which produces CO2 when burned. [Compelo]

¶ “UK Power Stations’ Electricity Output Lowest Since 1994” • The output of British power stations fell this year to levels last seen almost a quarter of a century ago, while renewables got a record share of the UK electricity supply. Electricity generation in 2018 was the lowest since 1994, when Tony Blair became the leader of the Labour party. [The Guardian]

Gas-fired power station in Teesside (Photo: Alamy)

US:

¶ “Tesla Crushes Records, Wall Street Expects More – Miracles?” • Tesla crushed 2017’s numbers, solidly passed the 2018’s 3rd quarter numbers in the 4th quarter, and showed what was probably the most dramatic growth in the history of the auto industry. But Wall Street decided it wasn’t enough and the stock price declined. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Zero Emissions Rules for Public Transportation and Shuttles in California” • Every bus used for public transportation in California will be a zero emissions vehicle by 2040 as the result of a new initiative approved by the Air Resources Board. Transportation accounts for 40% of CO2 emissions and up to 90% of smog-causing pollutants. [CleanTechnica]

BYD bus built in California (Nate Pitkin, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Utility Scale Solar Power Plus Lithium-Ion Storage Cost Breakdown” • The US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory released an inaugural report highlighting utility scale energy storage costs with various methods of tying it to solar power: co-located or not, and DC vs AC coupling. One system is running, and more are coming. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “$2,000 Price Cuts on Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3 for US Buyers” • Tesla rung in the new year by dropping the price on all of its Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles by $2,000 in the US. With its EV sales success, Tesla is the first auto maker to see its EV tax credit drop from $7,500 to $3,750, which happened on January 1. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3, in a class by itself

¶ “Two Wind Facilities in Northeast South Dakota Moving Forward Quickly” • Two wind facility proposals in South Dakota are in the fast lane for approval from state regulators, as no one applied to intervene. One is a 10.4-mile transmission line. The other is the Dakota Range III wind farm with 42 turbines and eight miles of transmission line. [Keloland TV]

¶ “PacifiCorp Study Prompts Review of Coal-Fired Power Plants in Six States, Including Utah” • PacifiCorp’s own analysis shows 60% of its coal-fired power plant units are more costly to run than shutter. A report to the Oregon Public Service Commission shows closing some of its coal-fired units could save hundreds of millions of dollars. [Deseret News]

Huntington power plant (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

¶ “Massachusetts Activists and Legislators Call for Action in Environmental Policy” • Massachusetts has been a leader when it comes to environmental legislation, but after a federal report came out detailing impacts of climate change, local activists say that there is more to be done, and more voters are getting concerned about the climate. [GazetteNET]

¶ “Dominion Completes Buyout of SCANA After 17-Month Nuclear Fiasco” • Nearly 730,000 electric customers in South Carolina are getting a new power company. Virginia-based Dominion Energy finalized its buyout of SCANA Corp, the power company that lost $5 billion and its independence to a failed nuclear construction project. [SCNow]

Have an altogether enjoyable day.

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January 2 Energy News

January 2, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “A Clean Energy Revolution Is Rising in the Midwest, with Utilities in the Vanguard” • Midwestern utilities are abandoning fossil fuels. First Xcel Energy of Minnesota said it would go to zero carbon emissions. Next came Consumers Energy in Michigan and NIPSCO in Indiana. They made 2018 the fulcrum year in the energy transition. [InsideClimate News]

Wind turbines (Joe Amon | The Denver Post via Getty Images)

¶ “As Trump’s Political Clout Teeters, His Energy Policies Are Becoming Irrelevant” • While political uncertainty fills the New Year, energy security is not an issue. The US is shedding coal-fired power plants and replacing them with natural gas and renewable resources. And this is being done despite the efforts of the president. [Forbes]

¶ “Here’s What’s on the Radar for Climate Change in 2019” • The science of human-caused climate change is unequivocal. We know what the science tells us will happen to our planet if we don’t make drastic changes fast enough. Here are some factors that will shape climate change coverage over the next 12 months and beyond. [CBC.ca]

Wildfire in British Columbia (Darryl Dyck | Canadian Press)

¶ “Debate Continues: Can New Technology Save Nuclear Power?” • Nuclear power provides carbon-free electricity for a warming world. But is its use still practical, can it still be economic, is its promise still achievable, and is nuclear a key to combating climate change? So far, nuclear power has fallen short of those goals, and that might not change. [POWER magazine]

¶ “2018 Showed Why Import Duties Can’t Save India’s Solar-Panel Makers” • A boom in solar installation in India was fuelled by low-cost solar panels, 85% of which came from China. Then, in August, the government imposed a 25% duty on foreign-made PV cells and panels. It did not help Indian manufacturers, and it hurt solar installers. [Quartz]

Sun for the roses, sun for the thorns

World:

¶ “Innovative Microgrid Will Power Finnish Distribution Center” • A distribution center in Finland is installing what is being called the country’s largest industrial microgrid, a system that will use 100% renewable energy. The system is being built by Schneider Electric in Järvenpää. It will be used by Lidl, a grocery store chain based in Germany. [POWER magazine]

¶ “RWTH Working to Bring Electric Delivery Vans to Market” • The Production Technology for Electromobility Components sector of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, Germany’s largest technical school, introduced what it calls a “primotype” of a new modular electric delivery van. The LiVe 1 has a 7.5 ton capacity. [CleanTechnica]

LiVe 1

¶ “Solar Slashes Peak Electricity Demand on New Year’s Eve” • EnergyAustralia has claimed that solar power costs ratepayers $45 per year. But the Australia Institute said rooftop solar cut peak electricity demand in New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia enough to save ordinary customers possibly $1 billion in just three days. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Ballarat Community Power Hub Gives Communities Control of Their Own Power” • In Victoria, a proposal to put 225 kW of PVs on the roof of the Eastern Grampians Health Service’s Ararat and Willaura campuses was selected as the Ballarat Community Power Hub’s flagship project. It should save the health service $1.65 million over 25 years. [Ballarat Courier]

East Grampians Health Service

¶ “Renewables Posted Record Share of UK Power in Q3 2018” • Renewables provided almost one-third of the UK’s total power output in Q3 2018, a record high for that period of the year, boosted by the summer’s heatwave and high wind speeds. It was the second successive quarter that the country’s renewables output set a new record. [Current News]

¶ “Sembcorp to Commission Singapore’s Largest Rooftop Solar Farm” • Sembcorp Industries and Cache Logistics Trust said they have signed an agreement covering installation and operation of rooftop solar farms at three logistics warehouses in Singapore owned by Cache. The systems will have a total capacity of around 7.9 MW. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar PVs covering a parking lot

US:

¶ “Rooftop Solar Tax Relief Bills Vetoed by Michigan Governor” • Both chambers of the Michigan legislature passed bills to allow solar systems to be free of being taxed as real estate. Just before the he left office, Governor Rick Snyder, the man who refused to lift a finger to help the citizens of Flint solve their water crisis, vetoed the measures. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Advocate to Use 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2030” • In Illinois, Advocate Aurora Health officials announced they will power its 27 hospitals and 500-plus outpatient facilities on 100% renewable energy by 2030. They will increase wind, solar, and geothermal infrastructure at its existing buildings and only buy power from renewable sources. [Chicago Daily Herald]

Advocate Sherman Hospital (Courtesy Advocate Aurora Health)

¶ “Bill McKibben Has a New Year’s Message About Climate Change – Act Quickly” • Have we waited too long to take bold action on climate change? McKibben argues there is still a slim chance that a total collapse of the Earth’s ecosphere is still mathematically possible. “Win soon,” he said, “or suffer the consequences.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dakota Access Pipeline Developer Misses Year-End Deadline to Plant Trees” • The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline missed a year-end deadline to plant thousands of trees along the pipeline corridor in North Dakota. The company said it was still complying with a settlement of allegations it violated state rules during construction. [The Guardian]

Have an unimaginably pleasurable day.

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January 1 Energy News

January 1, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “In 2018 the Australian Government Chased its Energy Tail. Here’s a More Hopeful Story” • While Australia’s government trashed its international reputation by reaffirming allegiance to coal, lying about climate progress, and dismissing the landmark IPCC report, the transformation in Australia’s electricity sector tells a hopeful story. [The Guardian]

Renewable energy (jjnogueron | Getty Images | iStockphoto)

¶ “2018: A Year of Stalled Progress and Unprecedented Ambition on Climate” • In 2018, US efforts on climate change were set back, as carbon emissions rose 3% after declining for three years. But in 2018, pioneers at the federal, state, and corporate levels announced ambitious new goals, and technologies emerged to make them attainable. [The Hill]

World:

¶ “Electra Meccanica Ramping Up Production at New Zongshen Factory” • The Electra Meccanica proposes a different solution to moving people around with its three-wheeled electric car, the SOLO. The SOLO is built as the ultimate single person people mover, on the premise that the vast majority of trips we take are with a single person in the car. [CleanTechnica]

Electra Meccanica SOLO

¶ “Big Oil and Renewable Energy: Progress, but ‘Follow This’ (and CleanTechnica) Want More” • Supermajors are taking on more renewable energy commitments lately as they prepare for a less carbon-intensive future. Some are going a step further, coupling these green commitments with such causes as bringing power to those without it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Saint Kitts and Nevis to Run on 100% Renewable Energy” • Thermal Energy Partners LLC of Texas has contracted to provide for construction of a 10-MW geothermal power plant on Saint Kitts and Nevis. The geothermal plant will allow the island to become 100% reliant on renewable electric power with zero emissions. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Source of energy

¶ “Danes Revel in 270-MW Chinese New Year Party” • Vestas has secured a flurry of end-year orders in China for three projects totalling over 270 MW. The Danish firm has won an order to supply 200 MW of 2-MW turbines to Hanas for one project. The pair have a long-term relationship that has now seen 1.4 GW of contracts between them. [reNEWS]

¶ “2018: A Bumpy Indian Solar Ride” • The Indian solar industry started 2018 positively, with the government allocating ₹5,020 crore ($790 million) for expanding renewable energy in financial year 2018-2019. But challenges remain. Land acquisition is still a major hurdle, and high duties on Chinese panels have slowed growth. [pv magazine India]

Indian solar system (Image: IBC Solar)

¶ “China’s Big Push for Solar Energy” • Emerging markets are frontrunners in solar energy production and consumption. By overtaking the developed countries, emerging economies like China and India have become important players in the solar market. And China has emerged as the leader in renewable energy. [Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis]

¶ “SECI Invites Bids for 2,400 MW of Renewable Energy Generation Plants” • The state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India has invited bids for setting up wind and solar plants of 1,200 MW each. The FY19 renewable capacity addition target had been set at 15,600 MW, including 10,000 MW of wind and 4,000 MW of solar. [EnergyInfraPost]

Solar and wind system

¶ “Board Maps Out Kenya Nuclear Plant Sites” • Kenya finished the process of analysis and selection of potential nuclear sites. The process is the first of the three stages to be carried out by the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board, which is mandated to fast-track implementation and establish additional 1,000-MW plants in the next eight years. [Business Daily]

US:

¶ “Four New Electric Cars with Long Range Are Coming to US Showrooms in 2019” • Seven years after the Tesla Model S first went on sale, American drivers still have few battery EVs with more than 200 miles of range to choose from. That will change in 2019 as new models from Jaguar, Audi, Hyundai, and Kia find their way into US showrooms. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Kona Electric, $36,450, 258-mile range

¶ “Texas’ MMEX Resources Makes Solar Moves” • Texas-based MMEX Resources Corp, which focuses on oil, gas, refining, and electric power projects in Texas and Latin America, announced its new membership in the Texas Solar Power Association. It had announced formation of its subsidiary MMEX Solar Resources LLC in July. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Three Firms Show Interest in Building Wind Energy Turbines off New Jersey’s Coast” • Three companies have shown interest in building offshore wind-energy projects along the New Jersey coast, the Associated Press reported. New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities said it received three bids from interested firms, but did not identify them. [PhillyVoice.com]

Wind turbines (PA Images | SIPA USA)

¶ “Renewable Energy Efforts Made Big Gains in Wisconsin in 2018, Advocate Says” • Each year, RENEW Wisconsin outlines the state’s efforts on renewable energy. Its executive director said the numbers of community wind and solar projects are growing, but some of the biggest renewable news came from the largest utilities. [Wisconsin Public Radio News]

¶ “Ocasio-Cortez Slams Democrats for Deeming Climate Goals ‘Too Controversial'” • Rep-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is ripping her fellow Democrats for failing to take up her proposed special climate change committee for a Green New Deal because it was deemed “too controversial.” Its aim is to have 100% of grid energy be renewably generated. [The Hill]

Have a plainly glorious day.

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