Archive for February, 2019

February 28 Energy News

February 28, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Leahy Makes Urgent Call For Real Action On Climate Change” • “The time for delay is over. In fact, our time is running out. Let this renewed vigor in addressing climate change brought about by the bold proposed Green New Deal be the catalyst for real change. And let’s stand, as Senator Stafford and others did in 1986, and do it together.” [Vermont Biz]

Senator Patrick Leahy (Staff Sgt Michelle Gonzalez,
US Army National Guard, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy Beats Coal In Blazing Australian Summer: Energy Audit” • Renewable energy outperformed coal over Australia’s record-breaking summer of heat, The Australia Institute’s Climate and Energy Program audit shows. Large solar farms ran close to capacity in the heat while Victoria’s coal-fired power generators faltered. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Batteries Europe: New Platform Launched By European Commission” • The European Commission launched an initiative called Batteries Europe to drive battery innovation and research. The program was initiated by Dominique Ristori, the director general of Energy for the European Commission, and will be led by InnoEnergy. [CleanTechnica]

Traffic (Image via Pexels, CC0 License)

¶ “Alberta Outlines Long-Term Renewable Electricity Targets” • The Alberta government has unveiled the latest long-term targets for its Renewable Electricity Program, which aims for 30% renewable electricity in the province by 2030. The program will add 5,000 MW of green generation capacity, creating 7,000 jobs, by 2030. [Canadian Biomass]

¶ “2018 Saw 51.3 GW Of New Wind Added Globally” • The global wind industry added a total of 51.3 GW of new wind capacity in 2018 according to figures published by the Global Wind Energy Council. The figure represents an overall decrease of 3.6% from 2017, but there was some slight growth in the offshore wind market. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines

¶ “Global Oil Plows Billions Into Solar And Energy Storage” • Global oil companies are plowing billions of dollars per year into solar and into energy storage, as more nations seek to switch their energy sources away from fossil fuels. Just five out of 15 acquisition deals done in solar over the past two years, saw over $8 billion was spent. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “South Africa’s Outlook For Green Energy Getting ‘Better And Better’” • State-owned South African utility Eskom is in dire financial straits. It is straining to meet demand, unable even to maintain old coal-burning plants. So the government has turned to courting independent renewable energy producers to help power the economy. [Business Day]

Renewable energy (iStock image)

¶ “Canadian Utility Planning Hydrogen Power Generation Project” • Together, Florida-based Joi Scientific and New Brunswick Power will deploy Joi Scientific hydrogen production systems in New Brunswick. The plan is to generate hydrogen with wind turbines, hydro, and nuclear power for net-zero carbon operation. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ “Bosnia’s EPBiH Signs €69 Million Wind Turbine Deal With Siemens Gamesa” • Bosnia’s biggest power supplier EPBiH said it has signed a €69 million ($78.4 million) contract for supply of 15 wind turbines with a total capacity of 48 MW with Siemens Gamesa. The wind park will be built at Podvelezje, near the southern city of Mostar. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines (Image: PGE)

¶ “Vestas Unveils 4-MW Turbine For Severe Weather” • Vestas has launched a turbine within its 4-MW platform that is suitable for wind farms in regions with extreme climate conditions, including high wind speeds. Serial production of the V136-4.2MW Extreme Climate model is expected by mid-2021 and delivery later that year. [reNEWS]

¶ “Refinance Risk: Australia’s Green Power Profits May Be Under Threat” • The profitability of Australia’s first wave of renewable power projects may be threatened as lenders will likely push for some debt reductions when the projects come up for refinancing, according to the former chief risk assessor at the nation’s green bank. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Solar array (RCR image)

US:

¶ “eMotorWerks Looks To Save Colorado Utility Some Cash With New EV Charging Pilot” • eMotorWerks is getting into demand response with a new residential EV charging pilot in Colorado. Smart home chargers being deployed in a push to help a utility Platte River Power Authority avoid infrastructure upgrades. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Updated RPSs Will Lead To More Renewable Electricity Generation In US” • States with legally binding renewable portfolio standards accounted for 63% of electricity retail sales in the US in 2018. Although no additional states have adopted an RPS policy since 2015, several extended their existing targets in 2018 or early 2019. [Renewables Now]

Renewable power (welcomia | Shutterstock.com)

¶ “Bloomberg-Backed Accelerator Launches To Help Cities Achieve Renewable Energy Goals” • The American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator is working to help US cities reach their renewable energy goals. The program is backed by the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge and other organizations. [Energy Manager Today]

¶ “Manufacturing Giant 3M Commits To 100% Renewable Power For Global Operations” • Manufacturing and technology giant 3M has become the latest company to join RE100, the global leadership initiative bringing together companies committed to 100% renewable power, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. [The Climate Group]

Have an unabatedly charming day.

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February 27 Energy News

February 27, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Experts Are Horrified by the Military’s Portable Nuclear Reactor” • Project Dilithium, which the US Army announced last month, involves shipping small, portable nuclear reactors to military bases where they can provide electricity for stretches of about three years. The concept is making many nuclear power experts nervous. [Futurism]

Portable reactor – what could go wrong?

¶ “Green New Deal Is Feasible And Affordable ” • The Green New Deal combines ideas across several parts of the economy because the ultimate goal is sustainable development. That means an economy that delivers a package deal: good incomes, social fairness, and environmental sustainability. Fears that it is unachievable are wrong. [CNN]

World:

¶ “ScottishPower Targets £2 Billion Smarter UK Spend” • As it targets new sectors such as electric vehicle charging, smart grids and energy storage, ScottishPower is to spend up to £2 billion in the UK in 2019. The plans include a 50-MW battery storage project at its Whitelee wind farm in Scotland, the UK’s largest onshore project. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Credit: ScottishPower)

¶ “BYD Breaks Ground On Its New 20-GWh Battery Factory In Chongqing” • BYD has broken ground at its new Chongqing battery plant. The plant diversifies its battery cell production capacity beyond its older factories in Eastern China. The company is now turning the factory it announced last year into a reality. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EPC Decmil Breaks Ground On 255-MW Solar Farm In Australia, Energy Storage To Be Added” • Maoneng Australia said energy storage can improve the reliability of solar power and minimize the negative impacts of electric system modernization, as it broke ground on a 255-MW solar project in New South Wales. [Energy Storage News]

Breaking ground for a solar system (Maoneng Australia)

¶ “Decentralized Renewable Energy-Focused European Super Grid Is Least Cost Option” • Research from the Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland showed that a cross-border European super grid based on decentralized renewable energy supply is the least cost option to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Iberdrola To Invest €13.3 Billion In Renewables By 2022” • Spain’s Iberdrola will invest €34 billion ($39.6 billion) in global growth by 2022, with €13.3 billion of the amount allocated for renewable energy projects, according to the updated 2018-2022 plan. It will set aside €16 billion for networks and €3.8 billion for generation and supply. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in New Mexico (Iberdrola image)

¶ “Indian State Of Gujarat Gets Lowest Bid Of 3.59¢/kWh In 500-MW Solar Auction” • According to media reports, a subsidiary of US-based UPC Energy Limited quoted a tariff bid of ₹2.55/kWh (3.59¢/kWh) for 50 MW in an auction of 500 MW solar power capacity in Gujarat. It is one of the lowest bids ever offered in India. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Norther Delivers First Power” • First power has been delivered to the grid from MHI Vestas turbines at the 370-MW Norther offshore wind farm, which is off the coast Belgium. Of the 44 V164-8.4MW wind turbines to be installed at the wind farm, a total of 12 units have so far been erected, and four of these are already powered up. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine installation (Credit: Norther)

¶ “Indian State Tamil Nadu Eyes 9-GW Solar Capacity By 2023” • The government of Tamil Nadu, in its solar energy policy 2019 document, has specified an operational solar power capacity target of 9 GW by 2023. The government had previously set a goal of achieving 5 GW of operational solar power capacity by the same year. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “HECO Achieves 27% Renewable Mark Despite Loss Of Geothermal Due To Kilauea” • Despite the loss of geothermal power, the Hawaiian Electric Companies lost no ground in the effort to reach 100% renewable energy in 2045. The 2018 consolidated renewable portfolio standard remained the same percentage as it was in 2017, at 27%. [Big Island Now]

Lava flow near geothermal plant (Hawaii National Guard)

¶ “24M Ships First High Energy-Density Semi-Solid State Batteries” • The quest for a better battery for electric vehicle applications took a step forward this week as 24M, an innovative company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced it has shipped the first semi-solid state lithium-ion batteries to commercial customers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Partners With DTE Energy For Michigan Wind Energy” • As part of its commitment to increasing its renewable energy footprint globally and finding clean energy solutions located near its operations, General Motors Co has entered into an agreement with DTE Energy for 300,000 MWh of wind energy in the state of Michigan. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind farm in Michigan

¶ “Iron Mountain Announces Approved Science-Based Target” • Global data storage giant Iron Mountain Incorporated announced that it received formal approval from the Science Based Targets initiative of its 2025 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, one of only 150 or so companies which have received such approval. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Another Pennsylvania Township Commits To 100% Clean Energy” • Radnor Township Commissioners voted 6-1 to pass a “Ready for 100” resolution to transition to 100% clean energy by 2050. Radnor residents expressed their gratitude for the Commissioners’ leadership and forward-thinking, according to the Sierra Club. [Windpower Engineering]

Have an undeniably superb day.

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February 26 Energy News

February 26, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Listen To The Children: Political Miscalculations Pile Up Over The Green New Deal” • This week across the US, young people are visiting their Senators to plead for the Green New Deal. They tell personal stories about why the GND holds hope for their future, for a system of energy that is renewable, not rigged by fossil fuel billionaires. [CleanTechnica]

Bringing the protest to Senator Feinstein

Science and Technology:

¶ “Renewable Hydrogen ‘Already Cost Competitive,’ Say Researchers” • Hydrogen produced using renewable electricity is “already cost competitive” in niche applications, according to a paper published today in Nature Energy. This contrasts with other work on renewable hydrogen, which found it prohibitively expensive. [Carbon Brief]

¶ “How Artificially Brightened Clouds Could Stop Climate Change” • In June, 1991, Mount Pinatubo, in the Philippines, erupted. It sent 15 to 17 million tonnes of ash and sulfates into the atmosphere, reflecting some of the sunlight back into space. The result was that the average global temperature that year dropped by 0.6° C. [BBC]

Mount Pinatubo (Credit: Alamy)

World:

¶ “Siemens Enters Residential Storage Market With Junelight Smart Battery” • German industrial giant Siemens announced that it was entering the residential battery storage market with the introduction of its new Junelight Smart Battery, which is intended to meet the needs of private homes generating and storing their own energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “France Betting Big On Batteries With €700 Million Investment” • The French government sees a battery-powered future and is betting big on it with news that it will invest €700 million in the manufacturing of battery cells for electric vehicles over the next 5 years. The news came from French President Emmanuel Macron. [CleanTechnica]

Eiffel Tower

¶ “Germany Ditches Fossil Fuels And Looks To Renewable Energy” • Germany, one of the largest consumers of coal, has decided to shut down all its coal-fired plants by 2038. To make this a reality will require an investment of around $45 billion. Germany had earlier decided to shut down all its nuclear power plants by 2022. [Power Technology]

¶ “Total Eren Fills Argentine Wind Coffers” • French independent power producer Total Eren has closed $138 million financing for its 50-MW Malaspina wind farm in southern Argentina. Construction is scheduled for completion during the third quarter of 2019. The wind farm will have with 14 Senvion 3.6M114 wind turbines. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Senvion image)

¶ “South Africa’s Economy Attracts $15 Billion Through Renewable Energy” • According to Energy Minister Jeff Radebe, renewable energy procurements have created 38,701 jobs years for youth and women from the surrounding communities, and have attracted $15 billion in investment in the South African economy. [Political Analysis South Africa]

¶ “Government Funds Power Project That Relies On Massive Coal Plant Closures” • Australia’s Coalition government is backing a new power connection between Tasmania and the mainland that would be unviable unless a third of Australia’s coal-fired power capacity prematurely shuts down. Its capacity is to be 2,500 MW. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Coal-burning power plant (AP image)

¶ “Spain Targets 120 GW Of Renewable Energy Capacity In 2030” • Spain will aim at 120 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030, primarily wind and solar power. The Spanish government approved the national integrated energy and climate plan, which would have renewables provide 42% of energy consumption in 2030. [Renewables Now]

US:

¶ “Bernie Sanders Says Climate Change Is An ‘Existential Crisis'” • Democratic presidential candidate Sen Bernie Sanders said climate change is an existential crisis that will impact generations to come. He advocated for a complete overhaul of the US energy system away from fossil fuel. He said climate change is a human rights issue. [CNN]

Bernie Sanders (CNN screen shot)

¶ “New Report From Environmental Group Details Reduced Enforcement At EPA” • There has been a drastic drop in the enforcement of environmental regulations by the EPA under the Trump administration, according to a report the advocacy group Environmental Integrity Project will issue to the US Congress today. [CNN]

¶ “City Takes Big Step Towards Energy Independence, Possible Lower Rates” • San Diego’s City Council voted 7-2 to move forward with a bold plan for energy independence. They authorized the mayor to negotiate the creation of a public agency that would buy electrical power for city residents through community aggregation. [NBC 7 San Diego]

Solar farm (PSE&G image)

¶ “California’s $100 Million 2019 Low Income Solar Program Near Roll Out” • California’s investor-owned utilities are preparing to spend up to $100 million this year bringing solar to low income buildings. The Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing program is expected to launch this spring or summer, its administrator said. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Still Has No Place For Spent Nuclear Fuel, So Maine Yankee’s Owner Gets Millions” • For the fourth time since 1998, a federal judge has awarded the owners of the Maine Yankee, Connecticut Yankee, and Yankee Rowe nuclear power plants millions of dollars for the federal government’s failure to remove spent nuclear fuel. [Press Herald]

Have a quintessentially comfy day.

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February 25 Energy News

February 25, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Osborne Effect On The Auto Industry” • A perfect storm is brewing above the automotive industry, as three hardly grasped phenomena are working together. They are the Osborne effect of delayed demand, the downward curve of technology costs, and the S-curve that describes market acceptance of new technologies. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

¶ “Morrison Puts Lipstick On Tony Abbott’s Pig Of A Climate Policy” • Prime minister Scott Morrison has unveiled his climate policy. It is clearly intended to placate the core rump of climate deniers and ideologues, and to try to fool enough others that the Coalition is doing something to address a problem it barely admits exists. [RenewEconomy]

New Energy Vehicles in China:

¶ “China EV Forecast: 50% EV Market Share By 2025 – Part 1” • China is charging full speed ahead into electric vehicles, on track to sell over 2 million EVs this year, up from 1.1 million in 2018. The rapid growth has been driven partly by policy, but increasingly by consumer demand for superior technology, and better value. [CleanTechnica]

BAIC EX360

¶ “China EV Forecast: 50% EV Market Share By 2025 – Part 2, Consumer Demand” • At last count, the petite BYD Yuan had a waiting list of 40,000 customers. More folks are joining the queue, even as 10,000 units per month are being produced (and ramping up). New energy vehicles in China are in very high demand. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China EV Forecast: 50% EV Market Share By 2025 – Part 3, Ramping Production” • China’s manufacturing efforts can ramp fast. The growth in auto production went from 2.4 million in 2001 to 17 million in 2010. The EV market share of total light-duty vehicle sales is expected to increase from 4.1% in 2018 to 7.5% in 2019. [CleanTechnica]

BAIC Arcfox Lite

World:

¶ “Saudi Arabia, China Sign Renewable Energy Cooperation” • Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s National Energy Administration on renewable energy cooperation as part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the country. [Arabian Industry]

¶ “Sweden Expands Support For Off-Grid Renewable Energy In Sub-Saharan Africa” • The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency says it will expand the off-grid solar initiative it has run in Zambia to Burkina Faso, Liberia, and Mozambique. It is backing the expansion with an additional $50 million in funding. [CleanTechnica]

Buying off-grid power in Zambia (Jason J Mulikita | SIDA)

¶ “Life After Coal: Lincoln Gap Wind Farm Powers Up, Battery To Be Installed Soon” • In South Australia, the former coal town of Port Augusta continues its transformation into a major hub for renewable energy, as the 212-MW Lincoln Gap wind farm gets powered up. The state already gets over 50% of its demand from wind and solar. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “WA’s biggest wind farm from Alinta Energy to power 200,000 homes” • A $400 million wind farm generating enough power to run up to 200,000 homes will be built in Western Australia. Growing national power provider Alinta Energy announced it will build the state’s biggest wind farm about 175 km north of Perth by mid-2020. [The West Australian]

Western Australia (Edrabikau, Wikimedia Commons) 

US:

¶ “Speaker DeLeo Proposes $1 Billion For Energy Efficiency Grants” • Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo unveiled a plan to spend $1 billion over the next 10 years to help cities and towns adopt new technology designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen infrastructure projects, and reduce costs for municipalities. [New Jersey Herald]

¶ “Under Trump’s Tariffs, The US Lost 20,000 Solar Energy Jobs” • A report from the DOE in 2016 showed that solar energy was responsible for a much larger share of employment in the electric power sector (43%) than the whole of the fossil fuel industry combined (22%). It has declined since because of Trump’s trade tariffs. [Forbes]

US Solar Jobs by Year (SolarJobsCensus.org)

¶ “Arizona Utility Reveals Battery Deals That Give California A Run For Its Money” • Arizona Public Service announced that it would procure 850 MW of battery storage by 2025. Of that, 450 MW would be deployed by 2021. APS, which is the largest utility in the state, also said it would add at least 100 MW of new solar power by 2025. [Ars Technica]

¶ “‘Magic’ Military Microgrid Spells More Bad News For Diesel” • The latest development for forward operating bases comes from the microgrid company Go Electric. It is a “portable, modular, self-forming microgrid solution” that can withstand punishing conditions while maximizing fuel efficiently and improving reliability over diesel generators. [CleanTechnica]

Forward base

¶ “Snohomish County Makes Clean Energy Pledge” • In Washington state, the Snohomish County Council voted to move to a 100% renewable energy for government operations by 2045. To do this county plans to increase efficiency, switch to fuel-free alternatives, and install solar panels with storage capacity at county buildings. [The Daily Herald]

¶ “Old Florida Law Says Disney Can Build A Nuclear Power Plant. Legislators Could Change That.” • A 52-year-old state law says Disney can build a nuclear power plant on its property in Orlando. Disney does not intend to build one, but the law is an example of the resort’s political leverage it had in creating the Magic Kingdom in 1971. [Williams Review]

Have a wholly cheerful day.

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February 24 Energy News

February 24, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “We Can’t Wait For Washington’s Green New Deal. California Needs Just Transition Now” • As the deadliest wildfire in a century raged in Butte County last year, leaving 85 people dead and thousands without homes, hundreds of young people filled the halls of Congress to demand a Green New Deal. The sense of urgency is long overdue. [Sacramento Bee]

Pine Grove Mobile Home Park (Hector Amezcua)

¶ “Electric Cars Are About To Absolutely Demolish Gasmobiles” • As the technologies of EVs and batteries march on, as costs, energy density, and range improve, we are getting closer to a technological crossover point. It is a point where you have to be in a truly odd case to choose a gasoline or diesel car over an electric one. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “12-Year-Old American Boy Achieves Nuclear Fusion At Home” • A 12-year-old American boy claims to be the youngest person to achieve nuclear fusion. Jackson Oswalt of Memphis, Tennessee, bought $10,000 worth of equipment with help from his parents, and he converted an old playroom into a physics lab, Fox News reported. [The Times of Israel]

Jackson Oswalt and his fusion reactor (Fox News screenshot)

World:

¶ “‘Everyone Loves Solar’ – Climate Action Heats Up As NSW Election Issue” • Voters in New South Wales, including many conservatives, want the state government to act faster on climate change, including boosting renewable energy, two separate polling sets show. An earlier election in one district also showed voter concerns. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “AMADER Announces Four Electrification Projects Powered By Renewable Energies” • The Malian authorities will invest in renewable energies, through the launch of 4 electrification projects. This program should enable Mali to achieve electrical autonomy and also increase Mali’s electrification rate, which is estimated at 19%. [AFRIK 21]

Dam (Shutterstock image)

¶ “South Africa Committed To More Renewable Power, Radebe Says” • South Africa plans to expand use of renewable power as the coal-dependent nation expects traditional, centralized generation plants to “disappear,” its Energy Minister said. Renewable power from independent producers now accounts for less than 5% of production. [Bloomberg]

¶ “Navantia Gets Nod For Kincardine Floaters” • Spanish company Navantia has won a deal fabricate five floating foundations for the 48-MW second phase of the Kincardine project off the east coast of Scotland. The company will manufacture the Principle Power-designed substructures at the Fene yard, north-western Spain. [reNEWS]

Floating wind turbine (Principle Power image)

¶ “Kuwait Launches Phase One Of Shagaya Renewable Energy Park” • The government of Kuwait announced Phase One of the Shagaya Renewable Energy Park project. The first phase is expected to generate 70 MW of power. The next two phases are expected to generate 1,500 MW each, with the final phase at 1,000 MW. [MEConstructionNews.com]

¶ “Southeast Asia’s Solar Energy ‘Cubed'” • Vietnam had no renewable projects at all in 2016. That year, it saw coal, once an export commodity, begin to be imported. It shifted significant future capacity from coal to solar, and it now has a pipeline of 40 solar projects, with a combined capacity of 2.5 GW at various stages of development. [pv magazine Australia]

Ninh Thuan province (Nguyen Thanh Quang | Wikipedia)

US:

¶ “With A Bernie Sanders Candidacy, Clean Energy Technology Is Central To Policy Discussions” • Just 24 hours after announcing his presidential bid, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders raised $6 million from more than 225,000 donors. Part of his allure is his vision of achieving clean energy while saving money for our families. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “AES Building 100-MW Battery In Arizona To Fight The Duck Curve With Solar” • Arizona Public Service signed a contract with battery supplier AES to install 100 MW of stationary storage. The battery system will allow more renewable generation to be added to the grid, with its excess power used to charge the battery for later use. [CleanTechnica]

AES battery system

¶ “US Approves Chinese Electric Cars Imported From Kandi – Price For One Supposed To Be Below $20,000” • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved two of the cars made by Kandi, a Chinese company, for US sales. One, the subcompact K22, is expected to have a starting price of less than $20,000. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “MPSC Approves Changes To DTE Energy’s MI Green Power Plan” • The Michigan Public Service Commission has approved changes to DTE Energy’s MI Green Power plan, which gives customers a way to promote renewable energy. With the MI Green Power, customers can pay extra to support renewable energy projects. [Michigan Radio]

DTE Energy solar array (DTE Energy image)

¶ “Committee OKs Bill To Make New Mexico Carbon-Free” • The Energy Transition Act, SB 489, a bill aiming to make New Mexico’s electricity generation 100% carbon-free by 2045, made it through the Senate Conservation Committee on a 5-3 “do-pass” recommendation vote after senators voted to adopt several amendments. [Albuquerque Journal]

¶ “Trump Taps Donor With Deep Coal Ties For Top UN Position” • President Trump’s pick for ambassador to the UN, Kelly Knight Craft, is a major supporter who has argued that “both sides” of the climate science debate are equally valid. She has deep ties to the coal industry. Her husband is the CEO of the third largest coal company in the US. [ThinkProgress]

Have a heartily exultant day.

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February 23 Energy News

February 23, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Political Divide On Coal Vs Renewables Is Fake News” • New polls show that all sorts of Americans, whether Democrats, Republicans, or independents, want to close the book on our dirtiest fossil fuel. From a political standpoint, it is harder than ever to defend coal consumption. Coal is by far the dirtiest fossil fuel we have. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

The Timber Road II Wind Farm in Ohio (Doral
Chenoweth III | The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

¶ “Why switching To A Green New Deal May Not Make Your Electric Bill Spike” • It’s a nearly religious point among climate-change skeptics, not least among them President Donald Trump: If America moves quickly to reduce carbon emissions, electric bills will spike and business will suffer. But utilities are already doing it, showing it can work. [CNBC]

¶ “SB 489 Is The Clean Energy Catalyst New Mexico Needs” • SB 489, the Energy Transition Act, is a bold proposal to set a state that is mostly coal-fired down a clean energy path. It balances the urgent hunger for what could be – clear skies, bright futures, good jobs that are built to last – with the reality of dependence on coal. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Sunrise in New Mexico

¶ “Trump’s Flood Insurance Flub Could Cost Us Billions” • It is no secret that the National Flood Insurance Program has been in trouble for a while. The NFIP has been in uninterrupted debt to the US Treasury Department since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. By 2016, the program owed taxpayers a whopping $23 billion. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Hurricanes Create Natural Climate Change Labs In Puerto Rico” • The hurricanes that pounded Puerto Rico in 2017, blasting away most of its forest cover, may give scientists clues to how the world will respond to climate change and increasingly severe weather. Researchers have unique opportunities to see how rain forests recover. [Laboratory Equipment]

Power plant

¶ “Africa: Fitch Advises Mining Firms To Invest In Renewable Energy” • A report published by Fitch Solutions has indicated that due to the prevalence of off-grid remote mineral deposits in Sub-Saharan Africa, mining companies operating in the region should invest in renewable energy integrated into microgrid applications. [The North Africa Post]

¶ “Ørsted’s Hornsea Project Spawns Talk Of Offshore Wind Replacing Nuclear” • Danish developer Ørsted said its Hornsea One plant, a 1.2 GW installation that started delivering power to the grid this month, could help make up for a lack of planned nuclear generation in the UK, as plans for new reactors have fallen by the wayside. [Greentech Media]

Hornsea turbine (Credit: Ørsted)

US:

¶ “As PG&E Goes Up In Flames, Renewable Energy Steps In” • Community choice aggregation entitles groups of ratepayers to band together to get more renewable energy from their local utility. With Pacific Gas & Electric in bankruptcy, however, a group of seven CCAs in California is aiming actually to become the utility. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Disney’s New 270-Acre Solar Farm Can Power Two Of Its Theme Parks” • We had news that Disney would install a 50-MW solar farm to power its theme parks last year. We now have confirmation that it has brought the new 270-acre solar farm online in Florida. The solar farm is generating power, a company statement said. [CleanTechnica]

Disney solar park in Florida

¶ “Tallahassee Targets Renewables Future” • Florida’s capital city has become the 108th in America to commit to a future powered by 100% clean energy. A resolution adopted by the Tallahassee City Commission will see Tallahassee’s municipal operations complete the shift by 2035, with the whole community getting there by 2050. [Innovators Magazine]

¶ “Climate Change Is Here. Will Tampa Bay Finally Get ready?” • A group of officials is working to figure out how the 3.1 million people who live in the coastal plain that is the Tampa Bay area should grapple with a global crisis. It may be the first time local governments have come together in a meaningful way to plan for climate change. [Tampa Bay Times]

Tampa Bay (Luis Santana | Times)

¶ “Consumers Energy Plans Another Solar Project” • Consumers Energy announced plans to develop a solar power plant in Cadillac, Michigan. The Cadillac City Council approved an agreement to allow the Michigan energy company to place solar panels on a currently vacant site that had previously been used for manufacturing. [Solar Industry]

¶ “The White House Is Going To Keep Asking The Pentagon About The Threat From Climate Change Until It Gets An Answer It Likes” • The White House is preparing to assemble a panel of experts to evaluate the threat to US national security posed by climate change, reports say. It seems not to like the reports it gets from the Pentagon. [Business Insider]

Have a superlatively exhilarating day.

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February 22 Energy News

February 22, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Plugging The Hole: How Can Solar Fill UK Nuclear’s Void?” • The UK has had something of a rocky relationship with new nuclear in the past few years, but developments in January 2019 pushed it firmly into ‘it’s complicated’ territory. The country is now scrambling for alternatives, meaning some sort of renewable energy. [Solar Power Portal]

Nuclear power plant

Science and Technology:

¶ “IEC Report States Science Doesn’t Support Wind Turbine Sound Health Claims” • As the number of wind turbines continues to grow across Iowa, researchers find little scientific evidence to support claims of health problems caused by wind turbines, according to a report from the Iowa Environmental Council. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Supply Of Food Under Threat Due To Biodiversity Loss Across The Globe: UN Report” • According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, biodiversity in food and agriculture “is indispensable to food security and sustainable development.” But biodiversity is in decline due to shocks and stresses such as climate change. [CNN]

Arctic seed storage vault

World:

¶ “EU Installs Eight Gigawatts Of Solar In 2018, Up 36%” • SolarPower Europe has published its official estimates of 2018 new solar capacity figures. They show that the EU installed 8 GW of new solar capacity in 2018, an increase of 36% over the 5.9 GW of solar capacity installed and connected to the European grid in 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners Secures Power Deals For 900 MW In Taiwan” • CIP has signed 20-year power purchase agreements with state utility Taipower for projects totaling almost 900 MW in Taiwan. The Danish developer made deals for the 300-MW Chongneng, 542-MW Changfang, and 48-MW Xidao wind farms. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (MHI Vestas image)

¶ “Wind & Solar In China Generating 2× Nuclear Today, Will Be 4× By 2030” • The example of China provides clear proof that wind and solar are a better choice than nuclear generation for mitigating global warming. The rollout of nuclear power is slowing in China, largely because nuclear power is comparatively expensive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “1.5-GW Solar, 500-MWh Battery Project Breaks Ground In Queensland” • A project with 1.5 GW of solar PV and 500 MWh of energy storage broke ground 100 km north of Brisbane, becoming Australia’s largest solar development to enter the construction phase. The project is the first for its developer, Sunshine Energy Australia. [pv magazine Australia]

Sod-turning ceremony (Smart Energy Council via Twitter)

¶ “Oz Union Urges Action On 2-GW Offshore Giant” • Project development of Australia’s first offshore wind farm has stalled because the Energy Minister failed to sign off on an exploration license needed to assess the wind resource, the Maritime Union of Australia said. The union called on the government to award the license. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “APS Plans To Add Nearly 1 GW Of New Battery Storage And Solar Resources By 2025” • Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest investor-owned utility, announced that it will add 850 MW of battery storage and at least 100 MW of solar generation by 2025. That amounts to nearly 1 GW of new clean energy capacity. [Greentech Media]

APS battery storage (APS image)

¶ “Amazon Announces “Shipment Zero” Plan To Drive Net Zero Carbon Shipments” • Online retailer and internet megalith Amazon has announced plans to make all its shipments net zero carbon under the banner “Shipment Zero.” The Seattle-based company has an interim target of making 50% of all shipments net zero by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford To Procure Michigan Wind Power” • Ford Motor Co. has announced the procurement of 500,000 MWh of locally sourced Michigan wind energy through DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program. The electricity will be used to power Ford’s Dearborn truck plant, along with several new buildings on Ford campuses in Michigan. [North American Windpower]

Wind turbine in Michigan

¶ “Trump Ends Vehicle Emissions Negotiations Before They Begin” • According to a report by Reuters, EPA head Andrew Wheeler meet with Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, two weeks ago, but there were no substantive discussions at that time. And it is clear that there have been no actions on the EPA’s part since. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maine Governor Mills, Two Environmental Groups Back Controversial $1 Billion Transmission Project” • Maine Gov Janet Mills and two environmental groups are signing on to Central Maine Power’s bid to build the New England Clean Energy Connect, a controversial new transmission line through the state’s western forests. [WBUR]

Power lines (Jesse Costa | WBUR)

¶ “Virginia Co-op Signs Up For 300 MW Of Solar” • Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative announced that it has signed a contract for the output of 300 MW of solar that DE Shaw Renewable Investments plans to build in Virginia. DESRI said that the sites have not yet been chosen but will be in the eastern part of the state. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Feds Warn: Georgia Nuclear Project Threatened By Florida Company’s Case” • JEA, a utility based Jacksonville, Florida, no longer wants to be on the hook for costs or the energy the Vogtle nuclear plant will generate when it is completed. Plant Vogtle expansion is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Have an enthrallingly splendid day.

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February 21 Energy News

February 21, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “US Could Achieve 3X As Much CO₂ Savings With Renewables Instead Of Nuclear For Less Money” • Nuclear makes little sense economically or environmentally. It means that gas and coal are not being used, but we can go further faster with wind and solar. There is no rational explanation for any substantive investment in nuclear power. [CleanTechnica]

Crystal River nuclear plant (nadbasher, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Got Solutions? National Geographic And Sky Ocean Ventures Launch Competition For Alternatives To Single-Use Plastics” • A global competition looking for the best solutions to today’s single-use plastic crisis is underway, launched by National Geographic and Sky, a leading media and entertainment company in Europe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Record 29% Concentrating Solar Cell Aims At Low-Cost Manufacturing” • A combination of high-grade spacecraft solar cell material and light-concentrating lenses has yielded solar panels with a record 29% efficiency. They may become available for general rooftop use by 2022. Laboratory tests indicate further improvements may come. [CleanTechnica]

Concentrating solar cells (Insolight image)

World:

¶ “Glencore Will Cap Coal Production, But Some Climate Groups Say That Isn’t Good Enough” • Mining giant Glencore said it would cap its coal production at current levels after coming under pressure from investors in the group Climate Action 100+. The group has 300 investors with over $32 trillion in assets under management. [CNN]

¶ “Meygen Sets New Tidal Power Export Record” • Simec Atlantis Energy’s Meygen tidal array has exported more than 12 GWh of electricity to the Scottish grid, beating the previous world record held by SeaGen. The 6-MW MeyGen Phase 1A tidal array entered the 25-year operations stage in April last year in northern Scotland. [reNEWS]

Meygen tidal turbine (Simec Atlantis Energy image)

¶ “Asia Pacific Installed 25 GW Of Onshore Wind In 2018” • The Asia Pacific region installed a total of 24.9 GW of onshore wind in 2018, according to figures recently released by the Global Wind Energy Council. The new additions bring the region’s cumulative capacity up to an impressive 256 GW. The surge is expected to continue. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As Indonesia’s Oil Sector Is Less Profitable, It’s Time For Clean Energy: Experts” • The continuous decline in oil prices has led to a lower national revenues for Indonesia. This should be a wake-up call for the government to kick off fiscal reform that would speed up the use of renewable energy, experts in a discussion said. [Jakarta Post]

Indonesian geothermal plant (Antara | Puspa Perwitasari)

¶ “Court Orders Government, TEPCO To Pay Fukushima Evacuees Over Nuclear Disaster” • A Japanese court awarded ¥419.6 million in fresh damages to scores of residents forced to flee their homes after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. The court ordered the government and TEPCO to pay the money to 152 local residents. [Japan Today]

¶ “Wind Powers Ahead In EU Energy Mix” • Wind energy provided 14% of the EU’s electricity last year, up from 12% in 2017, despite an over 30% fall in deployment rates in 2018, according to data produced by WindEurope.  Europe’s wind power capacity rose by 11.3 GW in 2018, with 8.6 GW of onshore wind power and 2.65 GW of offshore. [reNEWS]

View from a wind turbine (WindEurope image)

US:

¶ “Washington Post: Climate Skeptic May Lead WH Panel To Study Climate Change And National Security” • William Happer compared “demonization” of CO₂ to the way Nazis treated Jews. Now, he may lead a committee proposed by the White House to study whether climate change poses a national security threat, a Washington Post report said. [CNN]

¶ “Renewable Energy Projects Power New England Away From Fossil Fuel Dependence” • New England is taking a lead in renewable energy, with a little help from the latest elections. With shared power sources and relationships that depend on interconnected infrastructures, the NE states are poised to move on carbon emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Turbines at Block Island

¶ “Solar Bill Of Rights Introduced In California” • New legislation in California would enshrine a customer’s right to generate and store electricity on their own property as well as connecting to the grid without undue burden and freedom from fees that could be discriminatory. It would also establish compensation for battery exports. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “California Puts Buildings In Energy Policy Spotlight” • The California Energy Commission’s latest policy report puts reducing the climate and air pollution from buildings front and center for the first time, representing a bold and necessary shift in energy priorities. This follows earlier introductions of aggressive policies. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

San Francisco (Unsplash image)

¶ “Offshore Wind Could Support More Than 17,500 New Jobs In California” • With some of the highest offshore wind speeds in the world, a floating offshore wind industry in California could dramatically increase in-state renewable energy generation and support more than 17,500 jobs in 2045, according to a new report. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Trump Appointees Promoted Nuclear Sales To Saudis Despite Objections, House Dems Say” • Key members of the Trump administration pushed a plan to sell nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia over objections from National Security Council members and some senior White House officials, a report from House Democrats said. [The Keene Sentinel]

Have a curiously comfortable day.

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February 20 Energy News

February 20, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bramble Cay Melomys: Climate Change-Ravaged Rodent Listed As Extinct” • When Queensland declared the Bramble Cay melomys extinct in 2016, it was said to be the first mammalian extinction caused by human-induced climate change. Now, Australia has made the extinction of the small brown rodent official. [BBC]

Bramble Cay melomys (Ian Bell | EHP)

¶ “IRENA Identifies Innovations For Cost-Effective Renewables” • An International Renewable Energy Agency report provides insights into how innovations can lower renewable energy costs. It outlines 30 key innovations and 11 solutions in development by companies that could make the power system more flexible and cost-effective. [Power Technology]

World:

¶ “Indian Railways Pushes Towards Goal Of Full Electrification By 2022 With ABB Deal” • ABB is making headway in India with a new train deal worth $42 million with Indian Railways. ABB will supply its traction equipment for the rail network to improve the efficiency of existing equipment and to improve the reliability of the Indian rail network. [CleanTechnica]

ABB electric train facility (Credit: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “China’s Passenger Electric Vehicle Sales Jumped To 91,000 In January, Suggesting 2 Million Total Sales In 2019” • The China EV sales count for January 2019 shows that 91,175 passenger EVs were sold. When commercial vehicles are added, the number of EVs sold is around 96,000. This comes as total vehicle sales are declining in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japanese Offshore Wind To Hit 4 GW In 2028” • Japan’s nascent offshore wind industry is set to increase dramatically over the next ten years, according to energy analysts Wood Mackenzie, who predict that by 2028 the island country will boast upwards of 4 GW of offshore capacity, a 62-fold increase on 2018 figures. [CleanTechnica]

Siemens Gamesa turbine

¶ “European Projects Amass 96% Of Chinese Renewables Investment, EY Report Claims” • Research shows that China was 2018’s largest outbound investor globally, with Germany, France, and the UK seeing the lion’s share of investment. Of the £26.2 billion ($34.13) invested last year by China, £25.1 billion went to Europe. [Energy Voice]

¶ “JinkoPower, Ardian, White Summit To Build 182.5-MW Solar Plant In Spain” • Chinese renewable energy company JinkoPower International has agreed with investment managers Ardian Infrastructure and White Summit Capital AG to build and operate a 182.5-MW solar PV plant jointly near the Spanish city of Seville. [Renewables Now]

Solar park in Spain (MilaCroft | Shutterstock.com)

¶ “New All-Time Record In Using Renewable Energies Set” • Israel set a new all-time record of generating electricity from renewable energies, the Israel Electric Company said. The IEC reported that the record was set February 13 when the peak production stood at 1295 MW, accounting for 16.4% of the total production of energy. [hamodia.com]

¶ “Institutional Investors Capitalise On Clean Power” • A study of institutional investors, which was commissioned by Aquila Capital, shows that respondents’ average portfolio exposure to clean energy has nearly doubled in two years. Investors expect increases in their investments to offshore wind, solar thermal, and onshore wind. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (SXC image)

US:

¶ “Hawkins’ Renewable Hydrogen Bill Approved By Senate” • Public Utility Districts in the state of Washington could soon have the authority to produce and sell renewably generated hydrogen under a Senate-approved bill introduced by 12th District state Senator Brad Hawkins. The Senate passed the bill on a 47-0 vote. [gasworld]

¶ “Corporate Neighbors In Pennsylvania Share Solar Power, Courtesy Of Blockchain” • A peer-to-peer network in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, uses technology developed by Australian startup Power Ledger. It allows two of American PowerNet’s corporate neighbors to buy excess power generated by its solar panels. [GreenBiz]

American PowerNet solar system (Power Ledger image)

¶ “City Of Buffalo Seeks 32 Solar Power Bids” • As part of a broader program between five local schools, the City of Buffalo, New York, has submitted a request for proposals for 32 sites around the city, to be online by December 31, 2020. Project owners will sell the electricity through 20 year power contracts with the city. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Developer Eyes World’s Largest Solar+Storage Facility For Texas” • Renewable energy developer Intersect Power floated plans to construct 459 MW of energy storage next to 459 MW of solar power in Borden County, Texas, according to the January generation interconnection status report from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. [Utility Dive]

Solar farm (Credit: Kauai Island Electric Cooperative)

¶ “Conservative Group Urges Wisconsin Lawmakers To Embrace Renewable Energy” • As the cost of wind and solar power continues to fall, a new organization is pushing the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature to embrace renewable energy and begin working on policies to address a rapidly changing marketplace. [Madison.com]

¶ “Lawsuit Aimed At Plant Vogtle Charges Gains Class-Action Status” • A Fulton County, Georgia, Superior Court judge has granted class-action status to a lawsuit challenging the charges Georgia Power Co collects from customers each month to help underwrite its costs in building the nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle. [Atlanta Business Chronicle]

Have a completely copacetic day.

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February 19 Energy News

February 19, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Should Lake Erie Have Legal Rights?” • On February 26, voters in Toledo, Ohio, will be asked to approve the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, a ballot initiative that would make it possible for citizens to sue those who pollute the lake for damages. The proposal is controversial, but passionately supported by environmental activists. [CleanTechnica]

Lake Erie Algal Bloom map

¶ “We Need A Fossil Fuel Primer Because The Media Isn’t Telling Us Enough About Climate Change” • Media outlets usually fail to report funding sources behind the information they present. One climate action you can do is to call out media outlets every time you see they are not fully transparent about funding sources. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Cultured Lab Meat May Make Climate Change Worse” • Researchers are looking for alternatives to traditional meat because farming animals acts to drive up global temperatures. However, meat grown in the lab can make matters worse. Researchers say it depends on how the energy to make the lab meat is produced. [BBC News]

Cultured meat (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Global Climate Targets Will Be Missed As Deforestation Rises, Study Says” • International targets to cut emissions and limit climate change will be missed due to rises in deforestation and delays in changing how humans use land, a new study warns. Deforestation and palm oil cultivation have contributed to the worsening situation. [CNN]

¶ “Germany Sees Solar Installations Spike To Nearly 3 GW In 2018” • Germany’s solar market witnessed its strongest growth in half a decade during 2018, adding almost 3 GW of capacity, according to industry figures. This is a 68% increase from the previous year. The total capacity of German solar power has grown to 46 GW. [Greentech Media]

German solar farm

¶ “Australia’s Drought Leading To ‘Suffering’ Of Children, UN Warns” • In Australia, children suffer growing psychological tolls from drought, said the UN’s children’s agency. One high school student told researchers: “Before the start of this year I’d never shot a lamb in my life, and I’ve done probably about 50 or so this year… it is just normal now.” [BBC]

¶ “How Renewable Energy Can Lower Power Cost” • Solar, geothermal, and wind energy investments in Kenya over the past decade are beginning to pay off. In one year, wind-generated electricity has grown from 2% to over 14% of total installed national capacity. Geothermal power is at 45% and hydro power is at 29.8%. [nation.co.ke]

Wind farm in Kenya (Nation Media Group file photo)

¶ “Power-To-Gas Crucial For Solar-Based Energy System” • German transmission system operator TenneT and Dutch natural gas infrastructure and transport company Gasunie have called on European policymakers to adopt new rules to enable strong integration of power and gas infrastructure and to support power-to-gas systems. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Renewables Need Urgent Investment To Ease Australia’s Transmission Bottlenecks, Experts Warn” • Renewable energy experts have called on Australia’s federal and state governments to invest in additional transmission infrastructure and storage, saying its emissions reduction targets will not be met without rapid policy action. [The Guardian]

Solar collectors (David Gray | Reuters)

¶ “Chinese Offshore Giant Receives First Foundations” • The first two of roughly 500 offshore wind turbine foundations have been designed and fabricated for Chinese developer State Power Investment Corporation. The company has secured permits for the installation of 3.2 GW of offshore wind energy off the Guangdong coast. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “21 New York Universities Form Renewable Energy Purchasing Consortium” • 21 universities in the state of New York banded together in the New York Campuses’ Aggregate Renewable Energy Solutions consortium, which seeks to lower financial barriers to renewable energy procurement through combined purchases. [CleanTechnica]

Cornell University (Cornell010, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Wallace Broecker, Climate Scientist Who Popularized Term ‘Global Warming,’ Dies At 87” • Climate scientist Wallace “Wally” Broecker died at the age of 87. Among other things, Broecker was known for bringing the term “global warming” to a mainstream audience, and he became known as the “Grandfather of Climate Science.” [The Weather Channel]

¶ “Giant Wind Power Transmission Project Could Spark New Wind Rush In Wind Belt” • The Grain Belt Express is one in a group of ambitious wind power transmission projects under the umbrella of the company Clean Line Energy. The massive project 700-mile wind has been stalled, but it looks like it might be restarted. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Huebner: Renewable Energy Could Soon Take Place Of Fossil Fuel Generation” • The Executive Director of a Wisconsin non-profit working to build the state’s renewable energy production disagrees with an assertion made that renewable energy is not economically feasible to meet state energy needs. He says that lobbyists use outdated numbers. [WXPR]

¶ “Study: Switch From TVA Power Could Save Up To $333 Million” • Memphis Light, Gas & Water could save $240 million to $333 million each year by switching away from the Tennessee Valley Authority for electricity, according to a report. Clean power is much cheaper than the power from nuclear reactors and coal-fired power plants. [Memphis Flyer]

Have an astonishingly great day.

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February 18 Energy News

February 18, 2019

World:

¶ “What Energy Deprivation Really Means In Refugee Camps” • There are few places in the world where energy poverty is more rife than in refugee camps. About 80% of those who live in camps have absolutely minimal access to energy for cooking and heating. About 90% have no access to electricity. But renewable energy offers hope. [CleanTechnica]

Life in a refugee camp

¶ “Namibia Keen On Renewable Energy To Deal With Power Deficit: Minister” • The Namibian Minister of Mines and Energy said his Government has will use renewable energy as a long term plan in dealing the country’s power deficit. He also said renewable energy provides a perfect platform to deal with short term energy needs. [Independent Online]

¶ “Google Is Building A Solar Power Project Above Fishing Ponds In Taiwan, Its First In Asia” • Google became the first company to make a buy power under the 2017 Taiwan Electricity Act, which allows non-utility companies to buy renewable energy. The 10-MW solar array will have solar panels above fish ponds, installed on poles. [CNBC]

Fish ponds in Taiwan (Google image)

¶ “India Will Miss 100 Gigawatt Solar Target For 2022, Says Report” • A report issued by research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie said India will miss out on its target to have 100 GW of solar power capacity operational by March 2022. It said India’s regulatory framework does not support the government’s short-term capacity target. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Set To Power Over Half Of Australia” • The Clean Energy Council’s policy directives for the upcoming Federal Election say that over half of Australia’s power should come from renewable energy sources by 2030. A national energy and climate policy is the missing link to allow a smooth transition. [Utility Magazine]

Birds and a wind turbine (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Shell Eyes Limit To How Clean Oil Output Can Be In Climate Push” • Europe’s biggest oil company has said it plans to reduce its net carbon footprint by half by 2050. It added last year, in a notable reversal after pressure from activist investors, that it would set short-term targets every year on the way to that ultimate goal. [Bloomberg]

¶ “NSW Labor To Add 7 GW Renewables By 2030, To Create State-Owned Generator” • The New South Wales Labor Party says it will commit to building an additional 7 GW of new large scale renewable energy capacity by 2030 if it is elected in March. It says it will acquire most of this through a series of reverse auctions. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm (Tilt Renewables)

¶ “India’s First Grid-Scale Battery Storage Project Comes Online” • India’s first grid-scale battery storage system has been brought online in Delhi by a triumvirate of heavy hitters including Indian electric utility Tata Power, global power company the AES Corporation, and global business enterprise Mitsubishi Corporation. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Ørsted, Total team up for Dunkirk battle” • Ørsted, along with French energy conglomerate Total and renewables player Elicio, has set up a consortium to bid for a wind project in the French Channel. A total of nine consortia are participating in the tender for the Dunkirk project, which will have a maximum capacity of 600 MW. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Ørsted image)

¶ “Probe Shows Challenges Posed By Melted Fuel At Fukushima Plant” • The probe TEPCO used to contact melted nuclear fuel at Fukushima Daichi was successful in some ways. But there were pieces of fuel it attempted to lift that were too smooth to grasp, and other pieces were enmeshed with equipment from which it could not be released. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ “Congressional Hearing On Energy, Climate Change Spotlights Colorado Business” • The outdoor recreation industry can help the nation’s efforts to break free from the polluting fuels that contribute to global warming, according to a Grand Junction business owner, who made the point in a congressional hearing on clean energy. [CleanTechnica]

Snowmass Challenge Course (Bonsai Design image)

¶ “Encore Renewable Energy Announces Completion Of Medical Center Solar Rooftop” • Encore Renewable Energy announced the commissioning of a 198-kW solar array on the roof of the UVM Medical Center on Holly Court in Williston, Vermont. The project began generating electricity in December 2018 and has a 25-year life term. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Uncertainty Shadows Pennsylvania’s Debate Over Nuclear Power” • Four decades ago, Three Mile Island became shorthand for America’s worst commercial nuclear power accident. Now, owners of nuclear plants in Pennsylvania are working to get government support for nuclear power plants that have become unprofitable. [Alton Telegraph]

Three Mile Island (Alton Telegraph file photo)

¶ “Scientist Who Resisted Censorship Of Climate Report Lost Her Job” • Climate scientist Maria Caffrey led a trailblazing study outlining the risks of rising seas at national parks. She resisted efforts by federal officials to remove all references to human causes of climate change in her scientific report, so she will soon be out of a job. [Grist]

¶ “Ameren Reports Strong Interest In Solar Energy ‘Subscription’ Program” • Less than two months after it started to sell “blocks” of solar energy that customers could subscribe to for an extra charge Ameren says that it sold out, and is now piling incoming orders on to a waitlist for future solar purchases. Ameren is based in St Louis. [STLtoday.com]

Have a superbly entertaining day.

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February 17 Energy News

February 17, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “In Alberta, Solar Energy Is At A Tipping Point” • In 2017, the paradigm for wind energy in Alberta shifted when the Alberta Electric System Operator contracted for wind energy for about C3.7¢/kWh (2.8¢/kWh), which is less than any residential fixed price retail electricity contract available in the province. Now it has shifted for solar power also. [Calgary Herald]

Solar panels (The Associated Press)

¶ “Debate Over Science Of Global Warming Is Shifting, Smartly, To Dialogue About Solutions” • For the first time in many years, there are real reasons for optimism in the journey to address the accelerating risks of climate change. The root causes for the changes we see today in the Congress likely stem from changes in the views of citizens. [Lewiston Sun Journal]

¶ “The Chernobyl Cover-Up” • A chilling book reveals how Soviets knew for 10 years that the reactor which blew a mile-high plume of radioactive dust across Europe was an accident waiting to happen. It says that in truth, the cataclysmic explosion and meltdown at Chernobyl was born of the planned economy and communist bureaucracy itself. [Daily Mail]

Chernobyl

Science and Technology:

¶ “Common Weed Killer Glyphosate Increases Cancer Risk By 41%, Study Says” • Glyphosate, an herbicide that remains the world’s most ubiquitous weed killer best known as the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, raises the cancer risk of those exposed to it by 41%, a new analysis from the University of Washington says. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Fossil Vehicle Sales Are Officially Now Decreasing In China, Europe, And US” • Sales of fossil fueled vehicles are now on the decline in the world’s three largest auto markets, and being replaced by EVs. While overall light vehicle sales have been flat or declining, the sales of EVs have been increasing rapidly in all three major markets. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model X in Hong Kong

¶ “Volkswagen Raises EV Sales Target 50%, Says ID Production Will Be Carbon Neutral” • Thomas Ulbrich, who oversees electric vehicles for VW, said in a statement, “Climate change is the greatest challenge of our times.” VW will manufacture cars using renewable energy, and if it cannot find enough it will invest in its own. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Plans First Ever 1-GW Offshore Wind Tender For Gujarat” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India plans to hold the country’s first ever 1-GW offshore wind energy auction for a project in the western state of Gujarat. The project would bring an estimated ₹15,000 crore ($2.1 billion) investment to the state of Gujarat. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore windpower

¶ “Canadian Solar Wins Three Solar Power Contracts With Alberta Government” • Canadian Solar Inc has won three solar power contracts with the Ministry of Infrastructure of Alberta, Canada. The power purchase agreements for the projects cover 94 MW, with an average contracted price of C$48.05 per MWh (3.63¢/kWh, US). [Market Business News]

¶ “Renewable Energy Grants Going Quickly For Installations” • Queenslanders are lining up for the state’s new solar and battery installation grants, and they are disappearing quickly. The Energy Minister said regional households and small businesses had made about a third of the 2150 loan and grant applications made to date. [Central Telegraph]

Rooftop solar installation (Contributed photo)

¶ “First Round Of Energy Partner Producers Announced In New SaskPower Program” • Saskatchewan’s power authority has announced the partners accepted to participate in the first round of a new initiative. Altogether, 38 applicants were approved to generate and sell them power through the Power Generation Partner Program. [620 CKRM.com]

US:

¶ “What Rising Seas Mean For Local Economies” • The evidence of climate change is not just present in the form of more frequent flooding. According to a study published in the journal Science Advances, it is also already revealed as a financial price for businesses. The study detailed losses for downtown Annapolis, Maryland. [Nature World News]

Flooding in Annapolis (Matt Rath | Chesapeake Bay Program)

¶ “Storm-Lashed South Carolina Reassesses Global Warming’s Role” • State officials in South Carolina are realizing that storm damage from climate change is only getting worse. Late last year, Republican Gov. Henry McMaster created the South Carolina Floodwater Commission to figure out how to better combat flooding. [US News & World Report]

¶ “New York Airport Installation Of Up To 13 MW Of Solar Panels At John F Kennedy International Airport” • The New York State Public Service Commission granted consent to a solar project on one of the most famous airports in the world. Up to 13 MW of solar panels will be installed at John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK). [CleanTechnica]

JFK Airport (Todd Van Hoosear, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Massachusetts Eyeing More Renewable Energy-Friendly Future” • With steps big and small, Massachusetts is moving toward a more environmentally friendly future relying on renewable energy. One step came when Gov Charlie Baker announced over $500,000 in funding for eight “early-stage clean energy companies.” [Worcester Telegram]

¶ “Gillibrand, Democrats Back Climate Literacy Bill” • US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced the reintroduction of the Climate Change Education Act, to create a grant program for local education agencies, higher education institutions, and professional associations to educate students and teachers on climate change. [Wellsville Daily Reporter]

Have an enjoyably productive day.

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February 16 Energy News

February 16, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Sunrise Movement Call Incites Supporters Of Green New Deal To Make Climate Crisis A Visible, Crucial Political Issue ” • Mitch McConnell decided to bring the Green New Deal to a quick vote in the Senate. The executive director of the Sunrise Movement told 800 listeners, “We have 2 weeks to make this something that Mitch McConnell regrets.” [CleanTechnica]

US Capitol Building

¶ “No, The Green New Deal Won’t Threaten The Grid” • Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler used an old trope about grid reliability to criticize the Green New Deal on ABC. Other officials cite reliability as a reason to bail out coal plants. But real-world evidence doesn’t support the claims of the defenders of fossil fuels. [Vox]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Plans For 1st Chinese Solar Power Station In Space Revealed” • Scientists in China revealed plans to build the first solar power station in space. A solar power station orbiting at 36,000 km could tap the energy of the sun’s rays without interference from the atmospheric, seasonal, or night-time loss of sunlight, Chinese media reported. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Sun (NASA image)

World:

¶ “Shell Is Taking On Tesla With Batteries For Homes” • Royal Dutch Shell is making a bet on home battery storage as it tries to boost its sustainable energy business. The oil giant announced Friday that it has purchased Sonnen, a German startup that makes residential battery systems that store energy generated from solar panels. [CNN]

¶ “Equinor, KNOC To Jointly Develop Floating Wind In Korea” • Norwegian energy major Equinor ASA signed a memorandum of understanding with state-owned Korea National Oil Corporation to explore opportunities for developing floating wind projects in South Korea. The country is looking to add 49 GW of renewable energy by 2030. [Renewables Now]

Floating wind farm (Oyvind Gravas | Woldcam – Statoil ASA)

¶ “BYD Sold Over 28,000 EVs In January – Will China See Over 50% Sales Growth Again This Year?” • China’s biggest EV maker, BYD, had strong EV sales in January of 2019. This points toward another breakout year of EV growth in the middle kingdom. Last year, sales of “new energy vehicles” grew 80% in China to over a million vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green Power Covered Almost A Third Of Electricity Demand In 2018” • Data from the Energy Exchange show about a third of Greece’s energy needs in 2018 were covered by environmentally friendly energy sources. Increased costs of carbon emissions led to a reduction in the use of lignite in favor of units powered by natural gas. [www.ekathimerini.com]

Wind turbines in Greece

¶ “Eskom Crisis: Why The Lights Keep Going Out In South Africa” • Scheduled blackouts, or load shedding, are not new in South Africa, but the latest round has been the most disruptive yet. As the heavily coal-dependent utility, Eskom, battles to meet demand, it has warned that it could run out of money by April, defaulting on its vast debt. [BBC News]

US:

¶ “The Nuclear City Goes 100% Renewable” • There are eleven nuclear reactors in operation in Illinois, but Chicago is moving to renewable energy. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled the Resilient Chicago plan, which commits the city to “transition to 100% clean, renewable energy in buildings community-wide by 2035”. [pv magazine USA]

Chicago (Photo: Roman Boed | Flickr)

¶ “House Republican Committee Leaders Begin Caving On Climate Science And Policies” • Ranking Republican members of two US House committees with the most jurisdiction over climate science and energy-rationing policies sent strong signals that they want to support “reasonable” measures to deal with climate change. [Competitive Enterprise Institute]

¶ “Sun Flyer 2 Successfully Accomplishes First Test Flight With Siemens Electric Motor” • The Sun Flyer 2, an electric airplane successfully accomplished its first test flight with the new Siemens electric motor. The e-plane uses a Siemens SP70D electric motor, which has a maximum power of 89.5 kW (120 HP) and weighs only 57 lbs. [CleanTechnica]

Sun Flyer 2

¶ “Janet Mills Lifts LePage Ban On New Wind Power Permits In Maine” • In her third executive order, Maine Gov Janet Mills ended a 2018 moratorium restricting the issuance of permits for wind turbine projects across the state. Former Gov. Paul LePage had imposed the moratorium, which resulted in lawsuits from environmental groups. [Bangor Daily News]

¶ “Vineyard Wind Proposes 1,200-MW ‘Liberty Wind’ Offshore Project For New York” • Vineyard Wind announced a new 1,200-MW offshore wind project proposal called “Liberty Wind.” This is in response to a solicitation of offshore wind project proposals by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island offshore wind farm

¶ “Amazon Leads $700 Million Investment In Rivian” • Amazon took the lead in a $700 million funding round in Rivian, an electric truck and SUV startup. Several other investors were also involved, including some current investors who are increasing their stake in the company. Rivian claims that its vehicles have ranges of 400 miles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Colorado Public Utilities Commission Asserts Jurisdiction Over Tri-State” • The Colorado Public Utilities Commission ruled that it has jurisdiction to determine how much Delta-Montrose Electric should pay to end its contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association so it can use more renewable energy. [Clean Cooperative]

Have a wildly successful day.

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February 15 Energy News

February 15, 2019

World:

¶ “Oil And Gas Execs Are Rewarded For Pursuing Stranded Assets That Will Burn Investors” • Even as oil and gas majors announce plans to tie company climate action to employee remuneration, they reward executives for pursuing growth of oil and gas. That will inevitably lead to stranded assets and financial loss for investors. [CleanTechnica]

Oil platform

¶ “Electric Cars Already Cheaper To Own In Europe Than Gas/Diesel Cars” • A report from the International Council for Clean Transportation says electric cars are already cheaper to own than conventional cars. They found the electric version of the VW Golf cost less to own than any model with an internal combustion engine. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Beijing Confirms It Will Implement Stage VI Emissions Rules In 2019” • Beijing will implement Stage VI rules, which will reduce CO₂ and NOX emissions 50% below those of the already strict Stage V level. The Stage VI regulations are based on the ULEV standard, which was put forth by the California Air Resources Board. [CleanTechnica]

Smog in Beijing (China Daily image)

¶ “Hornsea 1 Achieves First Power” • The first turbine installed at the 1218-MW Hornsea 1 offshore wind farm off the UK’s eastern seaboard has started delivering power to the grid. When it is fully commissioned at the end of this year, Hornsea 1 will be the largest wind farm in the world, with 174 Siemens Gamesa 7-MW turbines. [reNEWS]

¶ “Offshore Sun Rising For Orix Off Japan” • Orix, a Japanese conglomerate, is eyeing a push into the country’s nascent offshore wind market. The company already develops onshore projects. Now, it has kicked off a series of seabed acoustic surveys that will examine suitable sites for wind turbines off the coast of Choshi in Chiba prefecture. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (reNEWS image)

¶ “Renewables Will Be The Main Source Of Global Energy By 2040, BP Says” • BP says renewable energy will be the world’s main source of power within 20 years. “The pace at which renewable energy penetrates the global energy system is faster than for any fuel in history,” BP said in its latest annual Energy Outlook report. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

US:

¶ “California Leads In Net-Zero Homes As Costs Drop” • Half a dozen California cities are hosting enough net-zero homes to place the state in first place in a trend that is catching on rapidly across the nation. It is expected to accelerate over the coming decade, as the cost of adding net-zero features, including solar, drops by 50%. [CleanTechnica]

Net zero home in Arizona (Zero Energy Project image)

¶ “Renew Nukes? Utilities Use Nuclear Energy To Help Meet Renewable Energy Goals” • Vermont utilities are using nuclear energy to meet renewable energy standards. This is happening under a law meant to encourage conversion from things that use fossil fuel to ones that run on electricity, such as moving from traditional cars to EVs. [Vermont Public Radio]

¶ “Citi Banks On Wind For Texas Operations” • Global banking corporation Citi signed an agreement to use power from the 163-MW Midway wind project for its offices in San Patricio County, Texas. It is to achieve commercial operations in the first half of 2019. Citi will be acquiring 64% of the renewable energy credits generated by the project. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (SXC image)

¶ “The Home Depot Investing In More Wind And Solar Power” • CDP, an environmental impact non-profit, named The Home Depot to its Climate Change “A” List for its actions to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate risks. The Home Depot announced initiatives to procure 135 MW of alternative energy by the end of 2020. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Dandelion Energy Closes $16 Million Series A Round To Expand Geothermal Energy” • Dandelion Energy offers homeowners a clean and cost-effective geothermal heating and cooling solution. This week, the company announced the close of a $16 million Series A funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to $23 million. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. 

¶ “Five Companies Bid To Supply New York With Offshore Windpower” • Five companies, including Norway’s Equinor, Denmark’s Orsted, and France’s EDF have submitted bids to supply 800 MW of offshore wind power to the New York state. The state is planning to develop up to 2,400 MW of offshore wind power by 2030. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “National Grid To Distribute Energy From Offshore Wind Farm” • National Grid has a twenty-year contract to buy and distribute energy from Revolution Wind, which will become the largest offshore wind farm in Rhode Island. The 400-MW wind farm is expected to reduce electricity costs by $90 million over 20 years. [The Brown Daily Herald]

Offshore wind farm (Courtesy of Kim Hansen)

¶ “Thanks To Its New Democratic Governor, Wisconsin Becomes 20th State To Join US Climate Alliance” • With Wisconsin as the newest member, 40% of all states are part of the alliance to uphold the Paris climate agreement goals. The bipartisan coalition of 21 governors represents 49% of the US population and economies of over $10 trillion. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “Supporters Say Seabrook Nuke Protects Climate; Critics Want More Study Of Concrete Cracks” • Federal regulators still appear poised to re-license Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant, despite requests to delay. An NRC hearing on the issue was packed with industry workers and residents from New Hampshire and Massachusetts. [New England Public Radio]

Have a magnificently fun day.

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February 14 Energy News

February 14, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Myth Of The 24/7/365 Power Plant” • The polar vortex caused a nuclear reactor to shut down, drove many coal plants offline, and contributed to a fire at a natural gas facility. Ironically, owners of coal and nuclear plants are arguing for a government bailout because of their supposed resilience in times of extreme weather. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Start of a snowstorm (Osman Rana, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “China And India Are Making The Planet Greener, NASA Says” • The Earth is facing a climate crisis, but it’s also getting greener and leafier. According to new research by NASA, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, the rise is largely courtesy of China and India, and it is largely the result of increased agriculture and tree planting. [CNN]

¶ “How Climate Will Change In Cities Across The US” • If global greenhouse gas emissions do not decline soon, the climate in Washington, DC, could more closely resemble that of today’s Greenwood, Mississippi, according research by scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and North Carolina State University. [Scientific American]

Cherry blossoms in Washington
(Wendy Harman, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “CaixaBank Partners With EIB To Finance Climate Change Projects” • Spanish banking giant CaixaBank is partnering with the European Investment Bank to launch its first credit line to finance climate action-focused projects. It has launched a new credit line of up to €30 million to promote projects that help to combat climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Wind Turbine Supply Chain Valued At $540 Billion Over Next Decade” • The global wind turbine supply chain could be worth as much as $540 billion over the next decade, according to new figures published by research firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables in its Global wind turbine technology market report 2018. [CleanTechnica]

GE Haliade wind turbine

¶ “UK Onshore Wind Jobs Plummeted 37% In 2017” • Onshore wind employment figures plummeted by 37% between 2016 and 2017 in the UK as the government locked onshore wind projects out from competing in the energy market. This is according to data published by the UK Government’s Office for National Statistics. CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘Every Conceivable’ Renewables Record Fell In 2018, But Drax Warns It Is Not Enough” • The UK is at growing risk of missing legally binding climate targets after the pace of decarbonization slowed last year, new analysis concluded. The warnings come despite the UK seeing “every conceivable” non-hydro renewable energy record broken. [Current News]

Offshore wind turbines (Getty Images) 

¶ “Largest Solar Installation In Baltic States Is Now Operational” • The largest solar panel rooftop installation in the Baltic States opened on the rooftop of a factory in Lentvaris, around 10 km from the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. The installation’s capacity is 1.4 MW. Lithuania has already met its renewable energy goal for 2020. [Energy Manager Today]

¶ “Spain To Phase Out Nuclear Power Generators By 2035” • In a bid to generate all electricity from renewable resources by 2050, government officials in Spain announced this week that the country’s nuclear power plants would begin shutting down in 2025. The process would continue through a period ending in 2035. [Sputnik International]

Spanish nuclear plant (Gustau Nacarino | © Reuters)

¶ “TEPCO Makes First Contact With Nuclear Debris Inside Fukushima Plant” • TEPCO said it has made first contact with deposits believed to be nuclear fuel debris, a mixture of melted nuclear fuel and parts of the reactor, inside the No 2 reactor containment vessel at Fukushima Daiichi. TEPCO is trying to decide how to remove the fuel. [The Japan News]

US:

¶ “Mayor Of Los Angeles Credits Green New Deal For Decision To Cancel Three Gas-Fired Generating Stations” • Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke about the decision to cancel new gas-fired plants. He said, “Now is the time to start the beginning of the end of natural gas. This is the Green New Deal, not in concept, not in the future, but now.” [CleanTechnica]

Los Angeles

¶ “US Clean Power ‘Rises 19.5 GW'” • Almost 20 GW of new renewable energy capacity was added in the US last year, according to BloombergNEF. In its 2019 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, BloombergNEF said 19.5 GW was installed in 2018. The figure included  11.6 GW of solar and 7.5 GW of windpower. [reNEWS]

¶ “NextEra Team Unveils 400-MW Hybrid Gant” • NextEra Energy Resources and Portland General Electric Company are developing a wind, solar, and energy storage hybrid project in Oregon. The Wheatridge renewable energy facility in eastern Oregon will include 300 MW of wind and 50 MW each of solar and storage capacity. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (NextEra image)

¶ “Ohio Survey Shows Strong Conservative Support For Renewables” • According to a new poll released by the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum, conservative voters throughout the state overwhelmingly support public policies that encourage greater production of renewable energy. The poll was conducted in January. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Amazon Responds To Greenpeace Report – Remains Committed To 100% Renewables ” • After Greenpeace USA released a report saying Amazon and other cloud computing giants in Virginia’s “Data Center Alley” were failing to meet commitments to 100% renewable energy, Amazon said the report was wrong. [Windpower Engineering]

Have a mystifyingly gorgeous day.

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February 13 Energy News

February 13, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Teenage Girls Defied Skeptics To Build A New Global Climate Movement” • Greta Thunberg’s climate activism got her invited from her native Sweden to Davos, Switzerland, where she excoriated a room full of executives, telling them they were to blame for the climate crisis. She is not alone. Young women are rising in many countries. [CNN]

Greta Thunberg, world leader

¶ “Fighting Climate Change May Be Easier Than We Think” • Given the research and the rhetoric, it can be hard to feel at all positive about current efforts to address climate change. But there is good news. We can generate all the electric power we need without fossil fuels. And it may cost less than staying on our current path. [CNN]

¶ “Extinction Rebellion Is Calling You To Join The Nonviolent Civil Disobedience” • Extinction Rebellion is a new movement aligned with the same energy that is powering people led activism around the world, from children taking part in school strikes to young people holding their political elite to account on Capitol Hill. [CleanTechnica]

Extinction Rebellion

World:

¶ “Renewables Make Up 73.6% Of Guatemala’s Power Mix In Week 6” • Renewables accounted for 73.6% of Guatemala’s power mix in the sixth week of 2019, according to the country’s state power regulator Comision Nacional de Energia Electrica. In the first weeks of 2018, the share of renewables dropped below 70% just once. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Iberdrola Selects MHI Vestas As Preferred Supplier For 476-MW Baltic Eagle Offshore Wind Farm” • Spanish electric utility Iberdrola selected offshore wind manufacturing giant MHI Vestas as preferred supplier to supply its 9.5-MW wind turbines for the 476-MW Baltic Eagle project set to be built in German waters of the Baltic Sea. [CleanTechnica]

MHI Vestas 9 MW turbines

¶ “Eleven EU States Already Met 2020 Renewable Energy Target: Eurostat” • Eleven of the European Union’s 28 members have already achieved a 2020 goal of 20% or more of power needs coming from renewable resources, the latest data released by Eurostat show. The 2020 target is a stepping stone to the goal of 32% in 2030. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Clean Power Nears 75 GW In India” • India has installed just shy of 75 GW of renewables capacity, figures from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy show. The country’s renewables capacity reached 74.79 GW at the end of 2018, including 35.14 GW of wind, 25.21 GW of solar, 9.92 GW of bioenergy, and 4.52 GW of small hydro. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in India (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Networks Unveil New Plan That Signals Rapid Decline Of Coal And Gas” • Transmission network companies ElectraNet and Transgrid delivered their final report into their proposal to build a A$1.5 billion link between Robertstown in South Australia and Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. The link will facilitate closing NSW coal plants. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Tonga On Track To Reach Renewable Energy Target” • Tonga’s aim to reach 50% of renewable energy by 2020 is on track, said Tonga Power Ltd CEO, Seti Chen. The 50% target relates to Tonga’s electricity production, to transition the country from imported diesel fuel to renewable sources. The transition will drive cost declines. [Matangi Tonga]

Dancers in Tonga (Tauʻolunga, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Kyushu Electric Power To Scrap No 2 Reactor At Genkai Nuclear Plant” • Kyushu Electric Power Co said it has decided to scrap its aging No 2 reactor at its Genkai nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture. The utility abandoned a plan to restart the unit, which has an output of 559 MW, in the face of the huge costs of safety enhancements. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “TVA Tells Trump And McConnell To Take A Hike” • Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell both castigated the Tennessee Valley Authority for its move to close two coal-fired generating stations. But the TVA said retiring both plants in the next 3 to 5 years will “facilitate TVA’s statutory mission to provide reliable power at the lowest system cost.” [CleanTechnica]

Paradise coal plant (TVA Web Team, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “ISO New England Interconnection Queue Has More Offshore Wind Than Gas” • Currently, according to ISO New England’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Vamsi Chadalavada, there are over 20,000 MW of resources seeking interconnection to the system including approximately 10,000 MW of offshore wind. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDPR Makes 104 MW Colorado Power Play” • Energy provider EDP Renewables will sell electricity from the 104-MW Crossing Trails wind farm in Colorado to Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association under a 15-year power purchase agreement, enabling the project to proceed. It is expected to come online in 2020. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (EDPR image)

¶ “Ørsted Partners With Eversource On Northeast Offshore Wind” • Ørsted announced that it is entering into a partnership with New England’s largest energy company, Eversource, to develop key offshore wind assets in the US Northeast, including two named offshore wind farms and two undeveloped New England lease areas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “From Kaiser To Vail Ski Resorts, Companies Doubled Their Wind And Solar In 2018” • Across the nation, companies doubled the amount of wind and solar purchase agreements in 2018. One driver was federal tax credits, which are to expire soon. The key driver, however, is investor and customer preference for green energy. [Colorado Public Radio]

Have a resoundingly up-beat day.

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February 12 Energy News

February 12, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Wall Street Journal Editorial Board’s Anti-Wind Diatribe Is A Swing And A Miss” • The WSJ Editorial Board published an op-ed piece based on experience and numbers from two improperly installed wind turbines. After a review of the two wind turbines’ problems, they concluded, “This green new deal was a bad deal all around.” [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in Texas

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Climate Change May Affect Winter ‘Weather Whiplash'” • “Weather whiplash” is a sudden shift from one set of weather conditions to another, for example from bone-chilling cold to unseasonably warm. And now, experts are questioning whether the changing climate may affect some kinds of winter whiplash events. [Scientific American]

World:

¶ “Maldives Or Mauritius? No Dilemma For Solar” • In Mauritius, a 16-MW grid-tied solar power plant aimed at reducing coal and oil consumption was commissioned, while in the Maldives the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program is supporting efforts to commit to clean and inexpensive energies through a 5-MW solar tender. [pv magazine International]

Maldives (PK Niyogi, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “UK Wind Power Hits Record High” • UK wind energy generation hit a new high of over 15 GW on Friday 8 February, according to RenewableUK citing National Grid data. Some 15.32 GW was generated by wind power between 12:15 pm and 1:45 pm, providing 36% of Britain’s electricity demand. The previous record was 15.04 GW. [reNEWS]

¶ “EnergyAustralia To Turn Charities Into Mini-Power Plants” • Electricity company EnergyAustralia is launching a $15 million program to help charities reduce their power bills by installing free solar panels and battery systems, turning them into mini-power plants. It will link the individual systems to form a virtual power plant. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Installing a solar system (Glenn Hunt)

¶ “German Energy Grids Say Plans Ready For 100-MW Hydrogen Plant” • German power and gas grid firms Amprion and Open Grid Europe said they would shortly apply to build the country’s first large hydrogen plant that can convert windpower to alternative fuels that are easier to store and transport. It will have a 100-MW capacity. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “New Zealand Identifies 11 GW Solar Potential” • New Zealand already uses renewable energy for almost 90% of its electricity demand, according to live transmission data on Transpower’s website, but PV is not even listed among the clean energy technologies in operation. A report says the potential for solar power is huge. [pv magazine International]

New Zealand (Image: Ketan Kumawat | pexels)

¶ “TEPCO To Deploy Robot For First Contact With Melted Fuel From Fukushima No 1 Nuclear Disaster” • TEPCO will use a robot to make contact with material believed to contain melted fuel from a reactor at Fukushima Daiichi. It is to determine whether the melted fuel stays intact or crumbles, so plans can be made to remove it. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Investors ‘Rising To Renewables'” • A report from Octopus Group surveyed global institutional investors with a collective $6.8 trillion of assets under management. It concluded that institutional investors plan to almost double portfolio allocations to renewable energy with almost $210 billion to flow into the sector over the next five years. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ “Los Angeles Ditches Plan To Invest Billions In Fossil Fuels, Mayor Eric Garcetti Says” • Los Angeles is abandoning a plan to spend billions of dollars rebuilding three natural gas power plants along the coast, Mayor Eric Garcetti said. The city is moving toward a goal of 100% renewable energy and to improve air quality. [Los Angeles Times]

¶ “The Feds Are Spending $48 Million To Move His Village. But He Doesn’t Want To Go.” • Because of rising seas, subsidence, and erosion, 98% of Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, is gone. The federal government is moving the remaining population, twenty or so families, at a cost of $45 million. It is just the first of such moves. [CNN]

Children of Isle de Jean Charles (Bill Weir | CNN)

¶ “The Latest News From The Tesla Gigafactory 2 In Buffalo Isn’t Good” • Tesla is building Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York, to make solar panels and roof tiles. Now it appears to be a disaster waiting to happen. The state ponied up $750 million to refurbish and equip the factory for Tesla, but former workers say there has not been much progress since. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Putting The Sun In Sunshine State? Florida’s About-Face On Solar Power” • Despite being the Sunshine State, Florida has long lagged when it comes to tapping into the sun’s abundant rays. But now that is changing as utility companies in the state have begun to recognize solar power as a vital component of a diverse energy future. [Christian Science Monitor]

Solar farm in Florida (Alfredo Sosa, CSM staff)

¶ “Look What A Whopping 50,000 Solar Panels Will Do For PATCO Rail Line And Its Commuters” • Solar canopies are to be installed over 10,000 parking spaces at four rail stations in southern New Jersey. They will protect cars from the elements, and they will save the PATCO rail system an estimated $600,000 per year. [Cherry Hill Courier Post]

¶ “Long-Delayed Vogtle Nuclear Plants Want To Delay Reporting How Much Longer They’ll Be Delayed” • Georgia Power started building two Vogtle nuclear reactors in 2009, to be completed in 2016. They were delayed to 2021 and 2022. Now Georgia Power is asking to delay reporting on whether they will be delayed again. [CleanTechnica]

Have an abundantly rewarding day.

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February 11 Energy News

February 11, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Win To Stop The Rocky Hill Coalmine Happened In The Right Place And Just In Time” • As Tasmanian forests burn, Queensland is flooded, and New South Wales suffers drought, the chief judge of an Australian court of superior jurisdiction has found, for the first time, that a coalmine ought to be refused for its impact on climate change. [The Guardian]

Valley saved (David Angel | Alamy Stock Photo)

¶ “The Repression Of Environmental Activists Fuels Climate Change” • Coal enthusiast Poland hosted COP24. The outcomes of the summit were widely criticised for being too little too late. But Poland’s actions also drew attention to another alarming global trend: the repression of environmental and climate defenders. [Eco-Business]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Study Says Massive Insect Decline Could Have ‘Catastrophic’ Environmental Impact” • Insect populations are declining precipitously worldwide due to pesticide use and other factors, with a potentially “catastrophic” effect on the planet, a study has warned. Insect biomass is declining by a staggering 2.5% per year worldwide. [CNN]

Spraying pesticides in the Negev Desert
(Menahem Kanaha | AFP | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Government Subsidies For Coal Nearly 400 Times More Than Environment Ministry Budget” • Indian government subsidies for fossil fuels, including oil and gas, have decreased by 76% over the three years to 2017. Nevertheless, subsidies for the coal industry have remained stable over the same period, a study has found. [IndiaSpend]

¶ “ETA To Supply Subsea Hub For Scots Tidal” • Subsea engineering specialists ETA is to supply a connection system for tidal turbines of Simec Atlantis’ Project Stroma in the Pentland Firth off northern Scotland. The subsea hub will allow multiple turbines to be connected to a single power export cable, which will significantly reduce the costs. [reNEWS]

Installing MeyGen water turbines (Simec Atlantis Energy)

¶ “Rooftop Solar, Batteries Early Winners In NSW Election Race” • Both of the major political parties in New South Wales have answered calls to get serious about renewable energy and climate policy in the state. The two most important parties both unveiled plans over the weekend aimed at boosting solar and battery storage uptake. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Energy From Coal To Shrink At 1.25 GW Every Year, Says S&P Global” • Energy from coal will shrink at 1.25 GW every year as solar would continue to expand with the deployment forecast of 20 GW every year, according to the International Energy Agency’s Sustainable Development Scenario, S&P Global Platts Analytics said in a recent report. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Coal loader

¶ “Renewables Generate 42% Of Iberdrola’s Electricity In 2018” • Iberdrola produced a total of 61,754 GWh of electricity from renewables sources in 2018, equivalent to 42% of its output, according to the Spanish utility’s provisional data. While overall generation increased by 5.9%, renewable power generation grew by 21.7% year-on-year. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Russia, China Back Nuclear As A Clean-Power Fix For Africa” • South Africa is the only country on its continent to operate a nuclear power plant. In recent years, however, at least seven other sub-Saharan African states have signed agreements to deploy nuclear power with backing from Russia, despite numerous inherent risks. [Arabian Industry]

Nuclear power plant

US:

¶ “Duke Energy Renewables Buys 100-MW Texas Solar Farm Project” • 7X Energy, Inc sold the 100-MW Lapetus Solar Energy Project in Andrews County, Texas, to Duke Energy Renewables. Construction is expected to begin before the end of March. Duke Energy Renewables will continue development and manage construction. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ “A Toxic Crisis In America’s Coal Country” • At some of America’s most controversial coal mines, companies use huge amounts of explosives to blow the tops off mountains. Isolated communities say this poisons their water, and now people must decide if they will fight back against an industry they have relied upon for generations. [BBC]

Removing tops of Appalachian Mountains (Getty Images)

¶ “Puerto Rico Renewable Energy Plan Calls For Solar, Storage, And “Midi” Grids” • Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Maria, which obliterated its aging and poorly maintained electrical grid. A draft of a plan by the local utility would replace the old grid with new mid-sized power grids. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green New Deal Backers Rally Outside US Rep Antonio Delgado’s Kingston Office” • Activists gathered at Rep Antonio Degaldo’s office in Kingston, NY, to urge him to support moves to counter climate change. They want work ended on all new fossil fuel projects, 100% renewable electricity by 2035, and a renewable energy economy. [The Daily Freeman]

Have an enchantingly agreeable day.

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February 10 Energy News

February 10, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Lessons About The Contemporary State Of Fossil Fuels – Venezuela-Style” • Let’s look at Venezuela, which is in trouble despite vast oil resources, and try to understand why it’s suddenly unable to extract them. The lesson from one country may be instructive to other oil-producing countries around the world – like the US. [CleanTechnica]

Oil tanker (Pixabay image)

Electric Aviation:

¶ “Electric Airplane Maker Pipistrel Teams Up With Honeywell To Give Us An Autonomous eVTOL” • Honeywell says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Pipistrel and the companies will together develop urban air mobility solutions. They will combine their resources to develop an autonomous Pipistrel eVTOL. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “eVTOL Aircraft Are Getting Closer To Flying You Than You Can Imagine” • We are witnessing one of the most incredible moments in the history of transportation as we move away from fossil fuels to electricity, increasing our freedom to innovate for greater mobility. Air taxis are being tested now, and eVTOLs are coming to market. [CleanTechnica]

Rolls Royce flying taxi

¶ “Welcome To The Era Of Electric Airplane Racing – Airbus Becomes Official Founding Partner Of Air Race E” • Airbus is the official founding partner of Air Race E, the new e-plane race that sets to be the Formula E of the air by 2020. Airbus will use the racing series as a test bed for betterment of electric propulsion technology. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Power Plant That Turns Green Waste Into Energy Could Solve Power Reliability In Regions” • The Rainbow Bee Eater group designed and built a power plant in Western Australia that uses biomass to create clean burning fuel gas or electricity in a single step. Developers say it does not need government subsidies or grants to be cost effective. [ABC News]

Kalannie, Western Australia (ABC: Chris Lewis)

¶ “Capturing CO₂ From Wood-Burning Underway At UK’s Drax Power Station” • The UK’s biggest renewable power generator, Drax Power Station, has begun a world-first trial of capturing carbon dioxide from wood-burning at its facility. The bioenergy carbon capture and storage pilot project captures one tonne of CO₂ a day. [Market Business News]

¶ “Scottish Government Launches £10 Million Saltire Fund” • A £10 million prize for the development of technology to harness tidal power has been relaunched in Scotland. The Scottish government said the Saltire Fund will help commercialize clean energy and lower operating costs. An earlier competition ended without anyone claiming a prize. [BBC News]

Pelamis wave energy device

¶ “Don’t Blame Renewables For Blackouts, Energy Experts Say” • A Grattan Institute report says fears that rising levels of renewables will cause blackouts in Austalia are misplaced. It said the conversation on reliable power should focus on correcting network reliability problems and incentivizing investment in generation. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Morocco On Track To Generate 42% Of Its Electricity From Renewable Energies By 2020: CNN” • Morocco is well on track to generate 42% of its electricity from renewable energies by 2020, US TV channel CNN pointed out in an article published on its website. Morocco already gets 35% of its electricity from renewables. [Morocco World News]

Solar plant of Ouarzazate Morocco

¶ “Fire Extinguisher System At Nuclear Plant Freezes” • A fire extinguisher system has broken down at a nuclear power plant in northern Japan due to a record cold weather. Hokkaido Electric Power Company says a worker discovered the problem at its Tomari nuclear plant. The plant’s reactors have been offline since the Fukushima Disaster. [NHK WORLD]

¶ “Insect Pests On Conifers In Eastern Canadian Forests Are Moving North” • The spruce budworm, the main defoliator of conifer trees in Eastern North American boreal forests, is spreading northwards, and climatic factors seem to trigger and synchronize major outbreaks. These results are revealed by analyses in Quebec. [ScienceBlog.com]

Trees killed by infestation (Miguel Montoro Girona)

US:

¶ “House Climate Panel Democrats Steeped In Energy Industry Cash” • Democrats named to a newly revived House committee on climate change received more than $238,000 in contributions from the oil, gas, and utility industries, campaign finance data show. The Republican committee members have not been named yet. [Bloomberg]

¶ “Renewables Gain Traction In Wisconsin And Illinois” • Two years ago, the Midwest was a place where Donald Trump banged the drum for coal power. Today, his words sound ridiculous as, one after another, the US states with the highest concentration of coal-fired generating stations are rushing to embrace renewable electric power. [CleanTechnica]

Wind energy in the Midwest

¶ “Department Of Energy Unveils 12 Power Management Projects Worth $35 Million” • The DOE confirmed that it is making $35 million in awards for twelve power projects aimed at finding new ways of harnessing medium voltage electricity for transportation, industry, on the grid, and a number of other applications. [Global4Energy News]

¶ “LVCVA To Consider leaving NV Energy” • The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is considering leaving NV Energy, potentially taking its 3.2 million-square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center out of the utility’s service. The board wants to find an alternative provider to save money and use more renewable resources. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

Have a thoroughly happy day.

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February 9 Energy News

February 9, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “America’s Green New Deal Is Going To Happen At State, Not Federal Level” • While US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey introduced a resolution for a clean energy package at the federal level, legislation has been tabled in six states aiming to implement 80-100% clean energy by 2050 or earlier. [pv magazine Australia]

Green New Deal (Senate Democrats, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Another Way To Power Electric Cars: ‘Refillable Technology'” • Researchers at Purdue University say they have a new way of powering electric cars, which they call “refillable technology.” It uses one liquid electrolytes and a sacrificial anode that is replaced at 3,000 mile intervals. The technology has been tested and is being commercialized. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pace Of Global Warming Slows, Says Schroders Climate Progress Dashboard” • Global asset manager Schroders has published the latest update of its Climate Progress Dashboard. It concluded that the pace of global warming has slowed marginally thanks to higher carbon prices and increased political ambition to tackle climate change. [CleanTechnica]

Cloud and sunbeams

¶ “2018 Was One Of The Hottest Years On Record And This Year Could Be Even Hotter” • All five of the hottest years on record have occurred in the last five years, global temperature data released by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows. And signs are that 2019 will fit with that trend. [Phys.Org]

World:

¶ “Drones, Seeds, And Fires: How DroneSeed Plants Trees From The Sky” • DroneSeed is on a mission to “make reforestation scalable,” and it is making progress on the goal. The company has signed a contract with The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest land conservation organization, to work on rangeland restoration. [CleanTechnica]

Working on a seed-planting drone (DroneSeed image)

¶ “IAEA Urges Patience For Fukushima Nuclear Cleanup” • The International Atomic Energy Agency completed its fourth review of Japan’s efforts in decommissioning and cleaning up the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station since the meltdowns there. It has urged patience and public transparency as nuclear fuel debris is removed. [CleanTechnica]

Australia:

¶ “Grid-Scale Solar Power Tripled In Australia In 2018 As Renewables Met 20% Of Energy Output” • The December, 2018 Renewable Energy Index report from Green Energy Markets is out. It says large scale solar farms in Australia “really jumped out of the blocks in 2018, with generation leaping up by almost 300% on the prior year.” [CleanTechnica]

Concentrating solar (Richard Gifford, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Labor Announces Plan For 500,000 Households To Get Rooftop Solar” • New South Wales Labor announced support for a program to help 500,000 households to install rooftop solar. Owner-occupied households in NSW with a combined income of A$180,000 or less would be eligible for rebates capped at A$2,200 each. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Australia On Track For 50% Renewables By 2024, At “Zero Net Cost”” • Findings published by the Australian National University say Australia is on track to hit 50% renewable electricity in 2024 and 100% in 2032, at a net cost close to zero. The Clean Energy Council warned that federal government policy could squander the opportunity. [pv magazine International]

Wind farm in Tasmania (Ian Cochrane, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Sunrun Wins Milestone Solar, Storage Contract In ISO New England Auction” • Sunrun Inc has won a bid to deliver home solar and batteries as a source of energy capacity to grid operator ISO New England. It is the first time that home solar and battery storage has participated directly in a US wholesale capacity market, the company claims. [Solar Industry]

¶ “The USPS Takes Delivery Of First Electric Step Van From Motiv Power Systems” • California-based Motiv Power Systems has delivered the first of seven fully electric mid-sized delivery vans to the US Postal Service as part of a California Air Resources Board-funded program. The new rigs are based on Ford’s E-450 platform. [CleanTechnica]

USPS E-450

¶ “Vermont Electric Reports Energy Successes” • The Vermont Electric Cooperative reports it has successfully met, and in some cases exceeded, the first round of statewide renewable energy and fossil fuel reduction requirements under Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard, which sets targets for reducing use of fossil fuels. [Stowe Today]

¶ “Kids Climate Case Plaintiffs Ask Court To Halt New Federal Fossil Fuel Leases” • The Climate Kids, twenty-one young Americans suing the US government for knowingly exacerbating climate change, have filed a motion to stop the government from leasing out federal land and offshore areas for oil, gas, and coal extraction. [Climate Liability News]

Demonstration (Win McNamee | Getty Images)

¶ “MPSC Approves More Wind For Consumers’ Renewable Energy Plan” • The Michigan Public Service Commission approved a proposal by Consumers Energy Co to add up to 525 MW of new wind facilities to its power production portfolio. Two proposed 175-MW wind projects would begin operation this year and next. [mitechnews.com]

¶ “Grand Valley Power Sets Goal Of 60% Clean Energy By 2030” • Grand Valley Power, a not-for-profit electric cooperative in Western Colorado, has adopted one of the most aggressive environmental targets of any electric cooperative in the nation. They want to deliver a 60% clean energy mix to for its 18,000 customers by 2030. [KKCO-TV]

Have an incredibly good day.

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February 8 Energy News

February 8, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Coal Under The Bus, State Of The Union Edition” • There was a total omission of the US coal industry from President Trump’s State of the Union address. Adding insult to injury, he took the opportunity to wax enthusiastic over productivity in the US oil and gas industries. It’s almost like he wanted all those miners to feel the burn. [CleanTechnica]

Open-pit coal mine in Wyoming

¶ “Bill Gates’ Quixotic Quest To Revive Nuclear Power” • Bill Gates has been lobbying Congress to secure federal financial support for nuclear power and for a nuclear company in which he is a large investor. This plea for federal largesse from a deca-billionaire illustrates why further nuclear subsidies make no sense. [GreenBiz]

World:

¶ “Acciona Wraps Up South African Solar Gig” • The 100-MW Kathu concentrated solar plant constructed by Acciona Industrial and Sener in South Africa has started commercial operations. Kathu uses Sener’s parabolic trough collectors and a molten salt storage system, so electricity can be generated during times of the night. [reNEWS]

Kathu solar plant (Acciona Industrial image)

¶ “Hanergy Is Launching The First $1 Billion Solar Industrial Park In The Middle East” • Hanergy Thin Film Power Group has signed an Memorandum of Understanding with Ajlan & Bros to launch the first solar thin-film industrial park in the Middle East with a $1 billion investment. It is to help transform the region into a global leader. [Energy Digital]

¶ “China’s Largest Renewables Hybrid Project Adds 100-MWh Battery” • Chinese li-ion battery manufacturer CATL has delivered a 100-MWh battery storage system to the country’s largest mixed renewables plant. The plant features 400 MW of wind energy, 200 MW of PVs, and a 50-MW concentrating solar system. [pv magazine International]

Solar and wind power (Image: Naturstrom AG)

Australia:

¶ “Australia Will Fall Short Of 2030 Emissions Target, Says OECD” • A report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that despite some progress, Australia remains one of its most carbon-intensive countries and one of the few where greenhouse gas emissions increased over the past decade. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia Can Meet Paris Targets If Government Doesn’t Hinder Progress, Report Claims” • An Australian National University report finds Australia is installing renewable energy faster than any other country, a trend that will have country meet its economy-wide Paris targets five years ahead of schedule, unless politics derail the trend. [The Guardian]

Rooftop solar (Dan Himbrechts | AAP)

¶ “South Australian Zinc Mine To Be Converted Into Australia’s First Compressed Air Facility For Renewable Energy Storage” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced $6 million in funding to Hydrostor Australia Pty Ltd for Australia’s first compressed air energy storage project. It is to have a 5-MW/10-MWh capacity. [Mirage News]

US:

¶ “Ocasio-Cortez And Markey Unveil Green New Deal Resolution” • Two Democrats, Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sen Ed Markey of Massachusetts, unveiled their “Green New Deal” resolution, which outlines the definition of the massive piece of legislation they hope will tackle issues related to the US’ role in climate change. [CNN]

Rep Ocasio-Cortez with Sen Markey (Photo: Alex
Wong | Getty Images North America | Getty Images)

¶ “Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal: What’s In It” • While calling for the elimination of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, and construction, the resolution contains no mention of bans or regulation, as other plans have described. Instead, it focuses on a range of green investments. [CNN]

¶ “A Small New York Town Plans A Profitable, 100% Renewable Energy Future” • With advances in technology, the pathways to 100% renewable energy are becoming clear. For the Town of Marbletown, New York, that problem is solving itself. The town’s advantages are a community choice aggregation policy and a lack of natural gas. [Greentech Media]

Hudson River at Marbletown (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

¶ “Cli-Fi On The Big Screen Changes Minds About Real Climate Change” • Rather than lobby naysayers with more facts, perhaps climate scientists should send them to the movies about a new genre, climate change fiction, or cli-fi. Apple TV will run a series called “Losing Earth” this year, and TNT will turn the movie “Snowpiercer” into a TV series. [CNN]

¶ “Driverless, On-Demand Vehicles Will Bring The Grocery Store To You” • Stop & Shop, a supermarket company with more than 400 locations in several states, announced plans to launch autonomous grocery vehicles in the greater Boston area this spring. It is collaborating with Robomart, a startup that creates self-driving stores in vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Autonomous grocery vehicle (Stop & Shop image)

¶ “Vineyard Wind Fails To Qualify For Bidding In New England Power Auction” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission took no action on Vineyard Wind LLC’s requests for a waiver and emergency motion to put off New England’s annual power-capacity auction. The developer has failed to qualify in time for the competition. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Duke Energy Carolinas Launching Solar Enrollment Program” • Duke Energy Carolinas is providing another renewable energy option for its South Carolina customers that will let them see real savings in their monthly bills from the output of two new solar facilities in the state. Enrollment will be on a first-come, first served basis. [Solar Power World]

Have an exceptionally fine day.

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February 7 Energy News

February 7, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “2018: The Year Fossil Fuels Began Their Inexorable Decline” • 2018 will likely go down as the year that fossil fuels in Australian electricity generation began an inexorable decline, with renewable energy making significant in-roads. These will continue into 2019 and 2020, and almost certainly they will go beyond that. [RenewEconomy]

Coal

World:

¶ “CDP Report: World’s Biggest Businesses Cut 633 Million Metric Tonnes Of CO₂ From Supply Chains” • With greenhouse gas emissions in supply chains on average 5.5 times those of company’s direct operations, a CDP report shows a step-change in corporate action on environmental impacts in supply chains in the last decade. [Energy Digital]

¶ “UN Warns World On Track To Breach 3°C Rise By 2100” • The UN report said the world was on track to have average global temperatures rise to 3°C by 2100, as record levels of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, is trapping more heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. The increase is considered clearly dangerous. [ABC News]

Sydney skyline (Mary Lloyd | ABC News)

¶ “Nike Makes New Wind Deal With Iberdrola” • Iberdrola and Nike have entered into their third renewable power purchase agreement in three years, setting their sights on Europe for the first time. In total, on both sides of the Atlantic, the global sporting brand now benefits from the supply of over 200 MW of wind power. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Taiwan Finally Announces 2019 Feed-in Tariff” • Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs has finally announced the 2019 Feed-in Tariff for offshore wind projects revealing new numbers. While the FIT is not what the industry would have preferred and poses some production problems, it is nevertheless not as bad as was originally feared. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind turbines

¶ “Enel Turns Sod On 716-MW Brazilian Giant” • Renewables developer Enel has started construction of a 716-MW wind farm in Brazil, the biggest project of its kind in South America. Enel will invest over €700 million in the Lagoa dos Ventos project in the north-east state of Piaui. The wind farm is expected to enter operation in 2021. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Portland Riders Say No Thank You To Buying Cars When They Have Electric Scooters, Detroit Frowns!” • Carmakers did not expect it, but it turns out that, in the end, city dwellers prefer hopping on an e-scooter they can rent by the minute over spending tens of thousands of dollars on a car. Who would have ever thought? [CleanTechnica]

Lime escooters (Pixabay image)

¶ “On Capitol Hill, New Calls For Rapid Action On Climate Change” • President Donald Trump did not mention climate change or environmental work in his State of the Union address. But on the following day, the US House Natural Resources Committee had its first hearing in eight years that focused on climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Florida Public Service Commission Opens The Floodgates For Solar Leases” • Florida residents have a new option for green electricity as the Florida Public Service Commission approved Tesla’s SolarLease option. A sticking point had been whether the program was actually selling electricity to consumers, which is not allowed. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar system in Florida

¶ “University Of Delaware Sets Up Courses To Train Offshore Wind Professionals” • The University of Delaware is now giving classes in a new curriculum to train people for wind energy industry jobs. It is the first offshore wind skills training program in the US to focus on professionals and managers seeking to enter the industry. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “LG&E In Kentucky Wants Renewable Energy Proposals” • Kentucky’s largest electric utility is seeking proposals for renewable energy. Louisville Gas and Electric cites growing interest and declining costs for renewable energy. The company is engaging in a formal review and issued a request for proposals from suppliers. [Electric Light & Power]

Wind farm (ELP image)

¶ “Maine Wind Farm Looks To Contribute 250 MW Of Renewable Energy To RI” • EDP Renewables proposed to provide Rhode Island with energy from its Number Nine Wind Farm in Maine. The company says the wind farm could produce up to 250 MW, enough to power about 109,000 average Rhode Island homes. [GoLocalProv]

¶ “100% Renewable Energy Plan For Illinois Tabled Including 6 GW Of Solar” • Illinois State Rep Will Davis announced the “Path to 100 Act,” introducing legislation that would bring the state to a 100% clean energy mix. It builds on the efforts of the Future Energy Jobs Act to spur renewable energy deployment across the state. [PV-Tech]

Chicago (Image: Roman Boed | Flickr)

¶ “Here’s How Corporate US Is Driving The Renewable Revolution” • A Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables report highlights a 22% share of US renewables power-purchase agreements being made by corporates. It affirms findings that accredit large corporations with driving both the solar and wind industries forward in 2018. [Smart Energy]

¶ “FirstEnergy Preparing To Close Ohio Nuclear Power Plant” • FirstEnergy’s nuclear power unit submitted paperwork to the NRC to proceed with closing its Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Ohio by May 31, 2020. Applications were filed to prepare for the permanent removal of nuclear fuel from the reactor and for reduced staffing. [Kallanish Energy]

Have a gloriously lovely day.

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February 6 Energy News

February 6, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Why Oil Companies Have Suddenly Gone Missing In The Bond Market” • The US shale oil revolution was built on cheap capital from the bond markets. Frackers used tons of borrowed money to make enormous technological advances in drilling, and that sent oil output skyrocketing. But that trend has broken down in recent months. [CNN]

Pumpjack (Photo: Daniel Acker | Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “Ten Mind-Numbing Figures That Define PG&E’s Bankruptcy” • The Pacific Gas and Electric process could take years, with the costs to the company, its consumers, and ancillary industries being almost mind-numbing. It could cost up to $150 billion for PG&E just to comply with court orders, and that’s only one outrageous figure. [Motley Fool]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Does The Climate Shape Social Change?” • Locked inside the wood of Japan’s hinoki trees is an unprecedented 2,600 year-long record of rainfall patterns that are helping to piece together how weather shapes society. By studying ratios of isotopes of oxygen in the cellulose of the logs, scientists can correlate changes in climate and society. [BBC]

Cedar logs

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Continues To Spend Most Of Its R&D Budget On Fossil Fuel Transportation” • While it is exciting that the Volkswagen Group plans to have 50 electrified models in its lineup by 2030, that has to be balanced against another statistic. Over 300 models are under the VW group umbrella, and 250 will not be not electric. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japanese Energy Companies Scrap 2-GW Coal Project” • Three Japanese energy companies announced that they have decided to scrap plans to build a 2-GW coal-fired power station in the Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo, saying that the project would not be economically feasible. It is the second coal plant scrapped recently. [CleanTechnica]

Coal plant (Credit: Joel Abroad, via Flickr)

¶ “Granny Smith Gold Mine To Install Renewable Energy Microgrid Onsite” • Gold Fields’ Granny Smith gold mine is set to install one of the world’s largest renewable energy microgrids. It is to be powered by more than 20,000 solar panels, with a total capacity of 8 MW, and backed up by a 2-MW/1-MWh battery system. [Global Mining Review]

¶ “Researchers At University Of Liege Claim Greenland Wind Power Could Help Power Europe” • Researchers at the University of Liège in Belgium say their computer models show wind turbines in southern Greenland could create an abundance of wind energy and feed it into the European grid using HVDC transmission lines. [CleanTechnica]

Katabatic wind in Antarctica (Wikipedia)

¶ “SA’s Big Banks Pull Out Of Funding New Coal Projects” • Reportedly, three of South Africa’s biggest commercial banks have pulled out of funding new coal-fired power projects. This is according to energy expert Chris Yelland, who has reported on the status of these independent power projects over the past several weeks. [BusinessTech]

US:

¶ “WattTime Brings Automatic Emissions Reduction To EV Drivers” • Nonprofit WattTime has automated emissions reduction algorithms that will permit utilities and electricity consumers, including EV drivers, to reduce emissions by shifting flexible power usage to avoid periods when the grid is relying on high emissions sources. [CleanTechnica]

At work (Credit: WattTime)

¶ “ReVision Energy Merger Expands Its Reach In NH And Vermont” • ReVision Energy announced that it plans to merge with Energy Emporium of Enfield, NH. The merger positions ReVision Energy, which completed a number of solar projects in the Upper Valley in New Hampshire and Vermont, for further growth in the region. [Mainebiz]

¶ “Vineyard Passes Muster With Massachusetts” • The 800-MW Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm off the US east coast has passed the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act review process, enabling it to proceed with state, regional and local permitting. The review process allowed the company to hear the concerns of stakeholders. [reNEWS]

Block Island wind project (Deepwater Wind image)

¶ “Penn State: Powered By The Sun” • Lightsource BP and Penn State announced development of a 70-MW offsite solar system to support the University’s Strategic Plan, which cites stewardship of the planet’s resources as a key priority. The project will provide 25% of Penn State’s state-wide electricity requirements. [Penn State News]

¶ “Lawmakers Seek Support For Nuclear Bailout Bill” • Two Pennsylvania representatives circulated co-sponsorship memos asking their colleagues to join them in supporting forthcoming legislation to amend Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard so it will include nuclear energy as an alternative source. [StateImpact Pennsylvania]

Three Mile Island

¶ “A Draft Plan From Puerto Rico’s Utility Reveals A Huge Shift Towards Solar Power” • A draft version of the 2019 integrated resource plan from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority shows renewable energy is increasingly appealing for the island. The IRP lays out a proposal for Puerto Rico’s electrical grid over the next twenty years. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “A Look Inside Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Before Its Reactor Goes Quiet” • Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts, is one of the worst performing power plants in the country. It is scheduled to shut down permanently in four months. For security reasons, only a few people besides employees have been inside. [WCAI]

Have a rollickingly mirthful day.

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February 5 Energy News

February 5, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Taxpayers Should Not Fund Bill Gates’ Nuclear Albatross” • Even Bill Gates cannot make the numbers work for nuclear power. It is so uneconomical that existing US nuclear power plants are bleeding cash, and in many places it’s now cheaper to build and run new wind or solar farms than to run an existing nuclear power plant. [ThinkProgress]

German nuclear plant (Photo: Sean Gallup | Getty Images)

¶ “Why Disney World Is Betting On Clean Energy” • Climate change is bad for business. But companies that invest in clean energy, engage customers in sustainability efforts and leverage their influence to drive smart policies can turn a downside risk into tangible cost-savings, customer retention and global leadership. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Earth’s Oceans Are Routinely Breaking Heat Records” • Two recently published peer-reviewed studies make clear that the planet’s oceans are continuing to set hottest-yet temperature records nearly every year and, secondly, that the rate of ocean warming is in virtual lockstep with what modern climate models have projected. [Yale Climate Connections]

Argo float measuring ocean conditions (Photo: NASA)

¶ “Climate Change Will Shift The Oceans’ Colors” • By 2100, the ocean as we know it is likely to change color, said a study in the journal Nature Communications that modeled how phytoplankton will change as oceans warm. Unless climate change is addressed, subtropical oceans will be bluer, and oceans in colder regions will be greener. [National Geographic]

¶ “Climate Change Will Melt Vast Parts Of The Himalayas, Study Says” • At least a third of the ice in the Hindu Kush Himalaya region, an area that includes Mount Everest and K2, could melt by the end of this century, a study said. That is even if there is aggressive action to curb greenhouse gases and meet the Paris climate agreement goals. [CNN]

Nepal (Neville Gillette)

World:

¶ “EDF Renewables And SITAC Group Sign Pact For 300 MW Wind Energy Project In India” • EDF Renewables, based in North America, announced its Indian arm signed an agreement to develop 300 MW of wind project along with the UK-based SITAC Group. The agreement arose from a competitive tender process. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Global Offshore Wind Capacity To Increase Sixfold, Predicts WoodMac” • Global offshore wind power capacity is expected to increase almost sixfold over the next decade according to a report from Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables, growing from being deployed in only 7 countries at the end of 2017 to 18 countries by 2027. [CleanTechnica]

London array

¶ “Acciona Dials Up Green Power In Spain” • Renewables developer Acciona agreed to supply Spain’s Telefonica with 345 GWh of clean power in 2019. This is equal to 23% of the telecom giant’s total electricity consumption. According to the contract Acciona will supply 72 points located in Telefonica facilities in the country. [reNEWS]

¶ “Elliott Green Power Opens Susan River Solar Farm, Two More Being Built” • Elliott Green Power has opened its 95-MW Susan River solar farm in Queensland, and the company has two mores solar farms coming this year. Two years ago, the state had only rooftop solar systems and one large renewable project; now it has twenty large projects. [RenewEconomy]

Susan River solar farm (Photo: Supplied)

¶ “UK Turns Away From Nuclear As Poland Prepares To Embrace It” • Nuclear power is touted by many as a clean alternative to coal and natural gas for a world that must dramatically reduce carbon emissions quickly or face the consequences of a warming environment. The history of nuclear power in the UK suggests it will not do. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Volkswagen’s Electrify America To Install Hundreds Of New Tesla Powerpacks” • Electrify America, a Volkswagen subsidiary created as part of the “dieselgate” settlement, announced plans to fit more than 100 of its electric car charging stations with Tesla Powerpack batteries over the course of this year to avoid overloading the grid. [Inverse]

Tesla Powerpack and Electrify America charge point

¶ “New York Power Authority Makes Its First Transaction In Large-Scale Renewables” • The New York Power Authority has awarded a power purchase agreement for a 290-MW wind project to be constructed in Steuben County to procure and accelerate renewable energy and advance New York’s clean energy goals. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Michigan’s New Governor Puts Climate Change at Heart of Government” • Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan signed orders to revamp the state’s environmental policy apparatus, becoming the latest newly elected Democratic leader in an industrial swing state to pick up the reins of action on climate change. [InsideClimate News]

Wind turbines in Michigan (NOAA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “City Of Warwick Debuts Its Second Solar Array, Via Southern Sky Renewable Energy” • Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI and the City of Warwick, Rhode Island, recently flipped the switch on the City’s second solar array. The array on West Shore Road hosts 2,628 panels that are now producing 1 MW of electricity. [Solar Builder]

¶ “Green New Deal Won’t Call For End To Fossil Fuels” • Legislative text being crafted by Democrats calls for “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” but does not explicitly call for phasing out oil, gas and coal. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen Ed Markey are expected to introduce a resolution outlining elements of the plan within days. [Politico]

Have an exultantly gleeful day.

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February 4 Energy News

February 4, 2019

World:

¶ “Energy Storage: Next Game Changer” • Everybody agrees that storage is turning into big business, and soon, but exactly how big and how soon? According to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance the global energy-storage market will surge to a cumulative 942 GW by 2040 requiring a hefty investment of $620 billion. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Powerwall installation

¶ “8% Plug-In Electric Vehicle Market Share In China!” • After a 3 month streak of record-breaking sales, plug-in electric vehicles in December just kept on pushing forward. China registered over 180,000 PEVs in December, making it the 4th record month in a row and achieving 70% year-over-year growth. Over 1 million EVs were sold in China in 2018. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sodium Sulfur Battery In Abu Dhabi Is World’s Largest Storage Device” • Abu Dhabi now boasts the world’s largest storage battery, a 108-MW/648-MWh behemoth that has five times the capacity of the Hornsdale battery installed in Australia by Tesla a year ago. And the battery system in Abu Dhabi does not depend on lithium. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array in Abu Dhabi (MASDAR image)

¶ “South Australia’s Second Big Solar Farm Gets Generation Licence, To Start Production” • The second big solar farm in the already renewables-rich South Australia has won its generation licence from the state’s regulator, and the developers plan to start putting the project into commission, with full production set for mid April. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Canada Adds 566 MW Of Wind In 2018, On Track For 1000 MW In 2019” • Annual wind power capacity additions in Canada totalled 566 MW in 2018 and are expected to be around 1,000 MW this year, the Canadian Wind Energy Association says. Canada’s total installed wind capacity was 12,816 MW at the end of the year. [Renewables Now]

Cartier wind facility (TransCanada Corp image)

¶ “Solar’s Share In India’s Total Installed Capacity Rises To 7.9% At The End Of 2018” • Renewable energy capacity additions continue to increase at a significant pace in India, accounting for approximately 22% of India’s power capacity mix at the end of December 2018. Solar capacity stood at 7.91% of the total at the end of the year. [Mercom India]

¶ “Tokyo Gas Invests Further In Solar And Creates JV For Storage” • The acquisition of a 4.8 MW solar plant in the Kyoto prefecture and creation of a joint venture with Japanese storage specialist Exergy are part of the group’s 2020 plan to diversify its business into renewables. The company plans to acquire 1 GW of renewable capacity. [pv magazine International]

Tokyo sunset (Image: kwkd | Flickr)

UK:

¶ “Mynydd Y Gwair Wind Farm Starts Generating” • Mynydd y Gwair Wind Farm has started generating energy. The 16-turbine wind farm in South Wales is expected to produce amounts of renewable electricity equivalent to what is needed to power about 22,600 average Welsh homes, when it is fully operational later this year. [South Wales Guardian]

¶ “Orkney’s Sustainability Revolution” • Orkney used to be a study in how to use energy unsustainably. The archipelago off the northern tip of Scotland bought and imported all its power from coal and gas plants on the Scottish mainland. These days it generates more electricity than it needs from wind turbines and tidal energy. [Noted]

Kirkwall, Orkney (RNZ | AFP)

¶ “Fate Of UK’s Nuclear Plants In Doubt Over Ageing Infrastructure” • Britain’s nuclear power stations recorded a 12% decline in their contributions to the country’s energy system over the past month, as outages at two out of eight plants raised concerns over how long the ageing plants will be able to keep operating. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Army To Dismantle Historic Nuclear Reactor In Virginia” • The world’s first nuclear plant to supply energy to a power grid has been defunct for years. SM-1, for stationary medium power plant No 1, was dedicated in 1957. Now, the Army is preparing to break it up, check it for lingering radiation and haul it away piece by piece. [Stars and Stripes]

SM-1 control room (Calla Kessler | The Washington Post)

¶ “EPA’s Wheeler Continues Frequent Meetings With Industry His Agency Regulates” • EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler has kept his predecessor’s custom of meeting with many more industry representatives than nonprofit groups. For over 50 meetings with industry reps, he met with three nonprofit environmental groups. [CNN]

¶ “In Budweiser’s “Wind Never Felt Better” Super Bowl Commercial, Renewable Energy Takes Center Stage” • With renewable energy constantly in the news, is it any surprise that Budweiser is joining the trend? Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser appealed to a green audience in its Super Bowl LIII ad, titled “Wind Never Felt Better.” [CleanTechnica]

US wind power

¶ “First Draft Of Concord’s Renewable Energy Plan Focuses Big On Efficiency, Electricity” • In New Hampshire, the Concord Energy and Environment Committee has a plan that would have the city’s municipal energy generated locally, houses would be built with rooftop solar in mind, and public transportation would be electric. [Concord Monitor]

¶ “PG&E Renewable Energy Contracts Tied Up In Bankruptcy Battle” • As it begins the long process of reorganizing under bankruptcy protection, Pacific Gas and Electric Co is locked in a related legal fight over possible cancellation of renewable power contracts that involves some of the biggest names in the energy industry. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Have an unmitigatedly enjoyable day.

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February 3 Energy News

February 3, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How To Change The Minds Of Climate Deniers” • Recent polls have found the number of people who believe climate change is real has increased considerably. What convinced them? To learn more about climate change converts, researchers at Yale and George Mason crunched the numbers from a blend of responses to surveys. [The Guardian]

Converted by experience (Massimo Rumi | Barcroft Images)

¶ “Why NextEra Energy Continues To Bet Big On Renewables” • For NextEra Energy, renewables have long been a source of profitable growth. The company’s early focus on renewables has enabled it to expand its earnings at nearly triple the rate of its peers, which has helped it consistently generate market-beating returns. [Motley Fool]

World:

¶ “BYD Kicks Off European Electric Truck Campaign In Spain” • BYD intends to be a major player in the market for heavy-duty electric vehicles in Europe. Already a leader in the production of electric buses on the Continent, with one factory in France and second factory in Hungary, it now says it is ready to move into electric trucks. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric vehicles

¶ “Kazakhstan To Launch Sixteen Renewable Energy Facilities In 2019” • Sixteen renewable energy facilities will be launched in Kazakhstan in 2019, the Minister of Energy announced at the reporting meeting with the Community Council under the Ministry, Kazinform reports. The renewable energy sector is attracting investment. [inform.kz]

¶ “Renewables Turning Into A Steady Movement In Iran” • Renewables are steadily gaining traction in Iran. The quest for a cleaner, greener and more self-sustaining future is now turning out to be quite a movement, though needing a harder push. The government is seeking to increase the renewable capacity to 5,000 MW by 2022. [Mehr News Agency]

Renewable energy in Iran

¶ “Utility May Introduce AI For Safety Of Reactors” • A Japanese electric power company is considering introducing artificial intelligence to detect signs of problems at nuclear reactors. The AI-based system is expected to be a solution for the shortage of experienced operators that has developed since plants were closed after the Fukushima Disaster. [NHK WORLD]

US:

¶ “Indiana Is A Top 10 Coal State – And It’s Waving Helloooo There! To Renewable Energy” • Indiana ranks among the top 10 in the US for coal production. Coal also factors heavily into energy consumption in Indiana. That has begun to change since Trump took office. Now, utilities, businesses, and customers are switching to renewables. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in corn country

¶ “Opposition To Tri-State Brews Among Electric Cooperatives” • In a first-of-its-kind meeting, over fifty member-owners, trustees, and activists from New Mexico and Colorado rural electric cooperatives discussed renewable energy and their co-ops’ working relationship with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. [Rio Grande Sun]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is Most Loved Car In USA – New Consumer Reports Owner Survey” • Each year, Consumer Reports conducts surveys of car owners. A key metric it uncovers is how satisfied owners are with their cars. The latest of these owner surveys shows that the Tesla Model 3 is now the most loved car in the USA. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model X

¶ “Glidepath Changes Plans From Fossil Fuel Generators To Battery-Only For Town Of Ulster Project” • GlidePath Development submitted a modified plan for a proposed grid support center in the Town of Ulster, New York. It switches from a hybrid configuration using natural gas and utility-scale batteries to using batteries only. [Mid-Hudson News]

¶ “Climate Misinformation Researchers Throw Support Behind California Communities Suing Fossil Fuel Companies” • Six researchers studying climate misinformation filed one of eight friend-of-the-court briefs in a case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of communities suing fossil fuel companies for climate damages. [DeSmog]

Rally for science (DeSmog image)

¶ “Wind Powers Employment, Education In West Texas” • West Texas is no stranger to the energy industry; for nearly 100 years, West Texas has been leading the way in oil and gas. Now it has a new opportunity to lead the country. In the West Texas region, few industries are more clearly a crucial player in that future than wind energy. [ReporterNews.com]

¶ “Brown Offsetting All Electric Usage With Solar, Wind Power” • Brown University has finalized agreements with two developers that will produce enough wind and solar power to offset all of the electric usage on its Providence campus. The pair of projects being developed in Rhode Island and Texas will be operating by 2020. [The Providence Journal]

Have a consummately cheery day.

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February 2 Energy News

February 2, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “PA Needs Clean Energy. Why Are Legislators Stuck On Nuclear?” • Reports say Pennsylvania state legislators will soon introduce bills to provide financial support to the state’s nuclear power plants. The NRDC urges the General Assembly to adopt a real clean energy transition policy and reject nuclear plant subsidizes. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Pennsylvania Capitol (Gov Tom Wolf, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Portland Students Are Rising Up On Behalf Of Solar Energy” • Kids are used to adults not listening to them. Sometimes that leads to conflict over things that are silly. But kids sometimes fight for something that extends far beyond their own lives: their planet. So listen up. It is time to adopt solar power for Portland schools. [Natural Resources Council of Maine]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Zap&Go’s Carbon-Ion Battery Delivers Ultra-Fast Charging & Zero Degradation” • Zap&Go’s new Carbon-Ion battery combines the fast charging benefits of supercapacitors with the energy storage characteristics of a battery. The carbon-based battery does not use any rare earth metals or toxic chemicals, and it can last thirty years. [CleanTechnica]

Zap&Go’s second generation cells (Zap&Go image)

World:

¶ “Ukraine To Hold First Auctions For Wind And Solar Next Year” • The Ukrainian parliament approved at first reading legislation with provisions to help the country move towards a more efficient renewable energy market. The draft document has first auctions to be held for large-scale solar and wind projects next year. [pv magazine International]

¶ “BP Will Link Bonuses For 36,000 Workers To Climate Targets” • BP has pledged to align its business more closely with global climate goals and link the bonuses of 36,000 employees to greenhouse gas reduction targets. The company said that it would support a resolution from the activist investor group Climate Action 100+. [CNN]

Offshore oil rig

¶ “Mining Companies Benefit From A Significant Cost Reduction Potential From Deployment Of Renewables” • In the last few years, more and more mining companies have adopted wind and solar systems to reduce their energy costs at remote off-grid mines. They use a variety of microgrid configurations, as suited to the site. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Monsoon Rains Cause Floods In Queensland” • Exceptional monsoon rains have caused severe flooding in parts of Australia’s north-eastern state of Queensland. The area normally has monsoon rains from December to April, but such flooding is rare. Meanwhile, parts of southern Australian are in the grip of a severe drought. [BBC]

Flooding in Queensland (Reuters image)

¶ “Hanergy To Set Up The Region’s First Thin-Film Solar Power Industrial Park In Middle East” • Hanergy Thin Film Power Group signed a memorandum of understanding Ajlan & Bros for the first solar thin-film industrial park in the Middle East region. The project’s investment will be over $1 billion, and the capacity will be 1 GW. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ “Chinese Manufacturer Opens Danish Door” • Chinese wind turbine manufacturer CRRC Wind Power Shandong opened a research and development office in Copenhagen. It will serve as a hub for advanced product development and as a base for cooperation with local partners, such as universities, and wind projects in Europe. [reNEWS]

Copenhagen (Guillaume Baviere | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “CATL Ready With 100-MWh Battery For ‘Multi-Mixed’ Energy Demo” • Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd has connected to the grid an energy storage system of 100 MWh as part of a power complex in Qinghai Provence. The complex also contains 400 MW of wind and 250 MW of solar capacity. [Renewables Now]

US:

¶ “Indiana Utility Plans 802-MW Wind Drive” • Northern Indiana Public Service Company is planning to source electricity from three wind farms totalling 802 MW. The move is part of the energy provider’s plans to be coal-free by 2028. Its ‘Your Energy, Your Future’ initiative focuses on delivering a more affordable and sustainable energy mix. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (NextEra image)

¶ “Georgia Power Plots 1-GW Renewables Push” • Georgia Power has filed a resource plan with the Georgia Public Service Commission that includes a request to approve up to 1 GW of new renewable energy resources. If the plan is approved, the company’s renewables capacity would account for 18% of its portfolio by 2024. [reNEWS]

Budweiser Clydesdales (Paul Keleher, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Super Bowl Organizers, Partners Expand Bid To Run Clean Energy Show” • Sunday’s US Super Bowl will score on the clean energy front, with an environmental group and a beer maker for the first time offering to offset greenhouse gas emissions linked to fans’ travel and the host city of Atlanta, according to the organizers. [Reuters]

¶ “Industria Engineering To Install 4-MW/8.2-MWh Solar+Storage Project In Massachusetts” • Massachusetts-based solar installation company Industria Engineering has placed an order for 3.5-MW/8.2-MWh of battery energy storage systems from Storage Power Systems for a solar-plus-storage project in Grafton, Massachusetts. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Nuclear Waste Burial Fund Grows To $43 Billion, But DOE Has Not Buried An Ounce Of Spent Fuel” • A DOE fund to pay for the eventual disposal of nuclear waste has been earning $1.5 billion in interest each year and hit a whopping $43.4 billion in 2018. But millions of pounds of radioactive waste still need a permanent home. [OCRegister]

Have an astoundingly admirable day.

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February 1 Energy News

February 1, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “If The Earth Is Warming, Why Is It So Cold In Chicago?” • The record cold temperatures have prompted the alleged leader of the free world to tweet America could use some good old-fashioned “global waming.” The thing The Donald is incapable of comprehending is that weather and climate are two separate and distinct things. [CleanTechnica]

Temperatures and the polar vortex (NASA image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Solar Power Research Study Investigates Rapidly Declining Costs” • MIT researchers published a paper on the steady decrease in solar PV module costs over the last several decades in the journal Energy Policy. They confirmed, “PV module costs fell by about 20% with every doubling of cumulative capacity since the 1970s.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “$5,000 Electric Pickup Truck Coming To Europe And US” • China’s Kaiyun Motors says it will bring its Pickman electric pickup truck to Europe and the US this year. The diminutive vehicle is not a gargantuan Rivian and it probably won’t scare the folks at Tesla, but it has something those others don’t – a price tag of just $5,000. [CleanTechnica]

Pickman electric pickup truck

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Scores 567-MW Order From ReNew Power In India” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy will supply 270 wind turbines totalling 567 MW for two Indian turnkey projects by local independent power producer ReNew Power, it was announced. The turbines will be installed in the states of Gujarat and Karnataka. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Taiwan’s Government Affirms Commitment To Abolish Nuclear By 2025” • Taiwan will maintain its goal of abolishing nuclear power by May 2025, despite the vote in last November’s referendum, which required the removal of an article of legislation calling for all six nuclear reactors on the island to be shuttered. [The News Lens International]

Protest (Credit: Travis Wise | CC BY 2.0)

¶ “Kudankulam: Nuclear Power Utility Struggles To Repay Russia For Supplies” • Inadequate budgetary support for nuclear energy over the last two financial years squeezed funds for the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited. This resulted in its slipping on its repayment obligations to the Russians for equipment supplies. [The Indian Express]

Australia:

¶ “Australia Is Sweltering Through Record-Breaking Heat. And The Worst Is Yet To Come” • As the US suffers from record cold, with temperatures plummeting below -32° C (-27° F), Australia is sweltering through an extreme heat wave. Scientists link increasingly hot dry weather to climate change, which they say will bring even worse weather. [CNN]

Making firebreaks (Heath Holden | Getty Images)

¶ “Australian Senate Report Urges EV Push” • The Australian Senate Select Committee on Electric Vehicles report calls for a major initiative to bring electric vehicles to the country. It says Australia could miss out on the environmental benefits a transition to electric vehicles can bring, benefits that include better health for its citizens. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Powering The World’s Largest Telescope” • The Square Kilometre Array’s thousands of dishes and million antennas in the deserts of Australia and Africa will revolutionize radio astronomy, as long as they can be supplied with electricity. Renewable resources offer a way to provide that power inexpensively. [Physics Today]

Radio astronomy dishes (Credit: SKA South Africa)

UK:

¶ “UK Government Awards Funding To Carbon-Cutting Rail Projects” • Five projects are to receive £350,000 each from government to adapt their schemes for the rail network. They were chosen for development funding that focuses on innovative schemes that can cut the carbon footprint of the UK’s railway systems. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Renewable Energy Now Accounts For 36% Of North’s Electricity Demand ” • Renewable energy accounted for a record 36% of electricity used in Northern Ireland in 2018 (up from 31% the year before), according to analysis from the System Operator for Northern Ireland. The country is on track to hit its target of 40% in 2020. [The Irish News]

The SONI control center in Belfast

¶ “Flow Battery Tie-Up Targets UK Renewables” • Canadian flow battery provider CellCube has joined forces with local energy storage consultancy Immersa to target opportunities in the UK. According to CellCube president Stefan Schauss, the UK’s capacity driven market, with its solar and wind farms, provide business opportunities. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Louisiana’s Cleco Power Plots 1 GW Of Wind” • Louisiana-based Cleco Power announced a proposed integrated resource plan that would reduce the operation of the company’s oldest coal-burning power plant and add up to 1.4 GW of clean energy, the Sierra Club said. The coal plant may be uneconomical to run at all. [North American Windpower]

Sunset at a power plant

¶ “These Dozen States Could Move To 100% Renewable Electricity” • Last year, California set the most ambitious energy goal in the nation: reaching 100% renewable energy in just over 25 years. This year, as many as 13 other states are rearing to join it. The states are signalling they will not wait for the federal government to change course. [CBS News]

¶ “US DOD Wants A Small Mobile Nuclear Reactor That Fits In A C-17 Airlifter” • The Department of Defense wants a portable nuclear reactor the size of a main battle tank that is capable of being lifted to overseas hot spots. The reactor would provide megawatts of power for US forces, making them less reliant on diesel fuel. [Army Recognition]

Have a memorably pleasant day.

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