February 16 Energy News

February 16, 2019


¶ “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)


¶ “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]


¶ “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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