Archive for May, 2019

May 31 Energy News

May 31, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Much Can Painting A Roof White Reduce Its Tempera-ture?” • It has long been known that painting a building’s roof white reflects sunlight and reduces its temperature. But by how much and are there downsides to doing it? A cool roof can save air-conditioning costs by as much as 40%, but it keeps the roof cool in the winter also. [BBC]

Keeping cool with a white roof (Getty Images)

¶ “‘They Just Keep Washing In’: Scientists See Evidence Of Climate Change In Deaths Of Thousands Of Seabirds In The Bering Sea” • Starting in October 2016, thousands of carcasses of tufted puffins turned, up one after another, on the shores of St Paul Island, in the Bering Sea. A paper explains how their deaths are evidence of climate change. [National Post]

World:

¶ “India Allocates 720 MW In Second Solar-Wind Hybrid Auction” • Following the disappointing response of project developers to the Solar Energy Corporation of India’s second solar-wind hybrid tender, the financial bidding round of the tender was recently concluded. Bidders showed a lack of interest, but their prices were low. [CleanTechnica]

Hybrid plant, though probably not in India (Pexels image)

¶ “German Solar Association Calls For Removal Of Pending Subsidy Cap” • The German government has a 52-GW cap on its Feed-in Tariff for solar energy. The German solar capacity has skyrocketed, growing from 10 GW in 2009 to nearly 46 GW at the end of 2018, but growth is stalling, and the solar industry is calling for a continued tariff. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Spanish Floater Swings Into Action” • The W2Power multi-turbine floating offshore wind platform has started generating power at a shipyard in Gran Canaria, ahead of deployment at a test site in the Canary Islands. The platform has two 6MW turbines. Four companies involved are Ingeteam, EnerOcean, Ghenova, Tension Tech International. [reNEWS]

W2Power platform and turbines (Ghenova image)

¶ “Bill Gates Partners With EU To Launch New €100 Million Clean Energy Fund” • The European Commission, the European Investment Bank, and Breakthrough Energy Ventures chaired by Bill Gates, announced the establishment of a new €100 million fund to support clean energy investments in Europe across clean five energy sectors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Welsh Grant Minesto Tidal Cash” • The Welsh government awarded €14.9 million of EU funding to marine energy developer Minesto for the next phase of the company’s tidal power project in Wales. The grant is to support the continued development and operations of Minesto’s Holyhead Deep site six kilometers off the coast of Anglesey. [reNEWS]

Minesto tidal kite (Minesto image)

¶ “IEA Predicts 250 Million EVs On The Road By 2030” • Last year, the International Energy Agency predicted there would be 125 million EVs on the road worldwide by 2030. This year, it has doubled that prediction to 250 million EVs by 2030, assuming the 25 nations that are part of the EV30@30 program honor their commitments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Enercon, Enerjisa share 1-GW Turkish Onshore Spoils” • German company Enercon and local outfit Enerjisa have been successful in Turkey’s latest 1-GW onshore wind auction, according to the country’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. The winners were awarded 500 MW each, covering four 250-MW projects in the country. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Enercon image)

US:

¶ “Facebook Moving Closer To 100% Renewables By 2020” • According to its website, Facebook has contracted for over 3.5 GW of renewable electricity, which is 75% of what it uses. Now it is working on the last 25% by making direct investments, starting with the 379-MW Prospero Solar project in Andrews County, Texas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Gov Polis Signs Seven Bills On Renewable Energy, But What Does That Mean For Colorado’s Energy Future?” • Signing seven bills on renewable energy, Colorado Gov Jared Polis explained, means cleaner air; “green” jobs that can’t be outsourced; and lower electric rates, thanks to the decreasing costs of wind and solar power. [The Denver Post]

Girls waiting for the signing (Joe Amon | The Denver Post)

¶ “Utah Solar Project To Deliver Clean Energy To Facebook” • First Solar Inc has announced that its 122-MW Cove Mountain 2 solar plant will support Facebook’s Eagle Mountain Data Center in Utah through a power purchase agreement (PPA) with PacifiCorp’s Rocky Mountain Power, which is part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Utah Aims To Shatter Records With 1,000-MW Energy Storage Plant” • A one-of-a-kind facility in Utah would combine compressed air storage in salt caverns with hydrogen storage, large flow batteries and solid-oxide fuel cells. Utah’s electricity was 87% generated from coal in 2017, but its renewable energy sector is growing. [Greentech Media]

Salt Lake City (It’s down at the bottom.)

¶ “Vermont Public Power, Encore Renewable Complete Their First Solar Project As Partners” • Vermont Public Power Supply Authority and Encore Renewable Energy completed the 855-kW Trombley Hill Solar project, the first developed under their partnership formed last year. It is sited on property owned by Morrisville Water and Light. [Solar Builder]

¶ “After 46 Years, Pilgrim Nuclear Station Shutting Down” • The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, which weathered over four decades of nor’easters, protests, and lawsuits, in the end could not withstand energy market forces and the costs of operating an aging plant. It is undergoing its final shutdown today, May 31, 2019. [Cape Cod Times]

Have a fantastically cheery day.

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Month 30 Energy News

May 30, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “‘Stranded Costs’ Mount As Coal Vanishes From The Grid” • Milwaukee-based We Energies announced in 2017 that it would close the 1,210-MW Pleasant Prairie coal-fired plant to save both itself and its customers money. And so it will, despite the fact that the plant has not yet been paid down and will not be for another twenty years. [E&E News]

Pleasant Prairie plant (We Energies | MCT | Newscom)

¶ “Trump’s Bid To Weaken The Next Federal Climate Report Is Likely To Backfire” • As planet-warming gases reach record levels, the Trump administration’s bid to restrict the scope of the National Climate Assessment could backfire, becoming yet another loss for a president whose efforts often fail to meet even basic legal standards. [HuffPost]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Is Climate Change Fueling Tornadoes?” • The short answer: There is growing evidence that “a warming atmosphere, with more moisture and turbulent energy, favors increasingly large outbreaks of tornadoes, like the outbreak we’ve witnessed in the last few days,” said Penn State University climate researcher Michael Mann. [InsideClimate News]

Tornado outbreak in 2011 (Image: Jason Weingart |
Barcroft Images | Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Vestas Leads Record-Breaking First-Quarter Wind Turbine Order Intake” • Global wind turbine order intake increased by 7% in the first quarter of 2019 to 13.69 GW, eclipsing the previous record set a year earlier by 875 MW, said Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. Increasing numbers of orders came from China and the Americas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Reveals Floating Maglev Train With Max Speed Of 373 mph” • China unveiled a prototype maglev train with a top speed of 373 mph (600 km/h). The train was developed by the state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation, CNN reported. The train will go through further testing before scheduled production in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Maglev train (CRRC image)

¶ “Cost Of Renewable Power Dropped To A Record Low In 2018: Report” • Renewable power generation costs declined in 2018, an IRENA report says. Global costs declined 26% year-on-year for concentrated solar power, 14% for bioenergy, 13% for PVs and onshore wind, 12% for hydropower, and 1% for geothermal and offshore wind. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Britain Nears 12 Days Without Coal” • Great Britain is on its way to going 12 days without burning any coal for electricity. This smashes the record set only a few weeks ago and shows coal’s increasing irrelevance in the British energy mix. May is definitely a record setting month, with a total of over 600 coal-free hours (25 days). [CleanTechnica]

Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station (Credit: Alan Murray-Rust)

¶ “Microsoft Partners With Vattenfall On Sustainable Datacenters In Sweden” • Microsoft said two future data centers in Sweden are to be among the most sustainably designed and operated to date. Microsoft is working with Vattenfall to power the data centers with 100% renewable energy and to develop emissions reduction systems. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Enel Starts Spanish Wind Build” • Enel Green Power has started construction of the 12-MW Paradela wind farm in Spain, a six-turbine project  the province of Lugo. It is one of three wind farms the company is currently building in Galicia. The others are the 52-MW Serra das Penas and the 8-MW Pena Ventosa facilities. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “China Gears Up To Use Rare Earths As A Weapon In Trade War As Summit Approaches” • Chinese media reports, including an editorial in the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party, raised the prospect of Beijing cutting exports of the commodities that are critical in the US defense, energy, electronics, and automobile sectors. [Los Angeles Times]

US:

¶ “US Energy Officials Hail ‘Freedom Gas,’ ‘Molecules Of Freedom” • Two DOE officials referred to natural gas produced in the US as “freedom gas” and “molecules of US freedom” in a press release announcing the expansion of a natural gas facility in Texas. The expansion could double the output of the facility by 2020. [CNN]

Flaring natural gas (David McNew, Getty Images)

¶ “Washington State EV Tax Credit Reinstated” • In the state of Washington, EV tax incentives are being reinstated. They ended last year but were recently revived and will go into effect on August 1st of this year. Gov Jay Inslee was behind the revival. The goal in Washington is to get 50,000 of these kinds of vehicles on the roads by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “El Paso Seeks Greener New Mexico” • El Paso Electric has issued a request for proposals for renewable energy projects that can supply a minimum of 141,000 MWh of electricity a year from 2020 into the US state of New Mexico. The company said it will consider a single source or a combinations of solar and wind power with storage. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

¶ “State Bill Requires Public Schools To Teach Science of ‘Human-Induced’ Climate Change” • The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill that would make Connecticut the nation’s first state to mandate teaching “human-induced climate change.” The bill was hotly debated for nearly five hours before eventually passing 103-43. [Law & Crime]

¶ “Bill That Subsidizes Nuclear, Scraps Renewable Standards Passes Ohio House” • The Ohio House passed a sweeping energy bill, HB6, that would bail out the state’s two nuclear power plants but wipe out green energy standards. The vote was 53-43. Ten Democrats voted for the bill while seventeen Republicans voted against it. [The Statehouse News Bureau]

Have a totally hunky-dory day.

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May 29 Energy News

May 29, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Warming Arctic Produces Weather Extremes In Our Latitudes” • Atmospheric researchers have shown that rising temperatures in the stratosphere are causing the jet stream to falter and follow a wave-like course. And the weakening of the jet stream is spreading downward from the stratosphere, producing weather extremes in lower latitudes. [Science Daily]

Midnight sun in Greenland (Credit: © Hortigüela | Adobe Stock)

World:

¶ “BNP Paribas Cuts Ties With Polish Electricity Producers Over Coal Dependency” • French banking giant BNP Paribas has cut ties with electricity producers in Poland. The bank cited the producers’ continued dependence on the coal industry and absence of signs of a change in strategy towards renewable forms of energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Scouts For Wind Sites In Preparation For More Tenders” • Citing sources from India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, multiple media reports claim that Indian states that are rich in renewable energy potential have been asked to identify land to set up large-scale wind energy projects to prepare for more tenders. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Pexels image)

¶ “‘Startling’ Inaction On Climate Change Must End, Pope Says” • Pope Francis said that to win the fight against climate change, its leaders must stop profiting from fossil fuels that threaten the survival and well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. He was addressing a Vatican climate change conference for world finance ministers. [Crux: Covering all things Catholic]

Australia:

¶ “Vestas Strikes 227-MW Gold In Australia” • Vestas has secured an engineering, procurement and construction contract for Ratch-Australia Corporation’s 227MW Collector wind farm in the Australian state of New South Wales. The deal includes the supply of 54 Vestas V117-4.2MW turbines with an energy-based availability guarantee. [reNEWS]

Vestas wind turbines (Vestas image)

¶ “Australia On Track To Reach 50% Renewable Energy By 2030: RepuTex” • Australia is on track to achieve a 50% renewable electric energy target by 2030, regardless of federal policy intervention. This is due to the country meeting state renewable energy targets. That’s the finding of new modelling by energy analyst firm RepuTex. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Two New Solar Farms Connect To The Grid In Queensland” • Two solar farms have joined the grid in Queensland, including Adani Renewables’ Rugby Run project which finally sealed its connection some seven months after the project was built and mechanically complete. These are just two of several solar farms queued up to connect. [RenewEconomy]

Rugby Run project (Adani Renewables image)

US:

¶ “Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science” • Donald Trump and his political appointees are launching a new assault. Parts of the federal government will no longer fulfill what scientists say is one of the most urgent jobs of climate science studies: reporting on the future effects of a rapidly warming planet. [The New York TImes]

¶ “Carbon Pricing Reaches US House’s Main Tax-Writing Committee” • A coalition of business and environmental groups, with the support of some major oil companies, took a carbon pricing plan to the US House’s main tax-writing committee. It was the Ways and Means Committee’s first climate-related hearing in a dozen years. [InsideClimate News]

Capitol Power Plant (Credit: Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “BYD Goes Green With 2 MW Of Solar Plus 2 MWh Of Storage On Its California Factory” • BYD announced that it has partnered with Apparent, Inc to develop a 2-MW solar installation at its Lancaster, California Coach & Bus plant. The installation will be paired with a 2-MWh stationary energy storage battery to maximize solar usage. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “USPS Goes Driverless Between Phoenix And Dallas With TuSimple” • The US Postal Service has entered into a contract with self-driving truck startup TuSimple to haul mail between Dallas and Phoenix. TuSimple will complete five round trips over the next two weeks while a safety engineer and licensed driver ride along in the cab. [CleanTechnica]

TuSimple self-driving truck (Credit: TuSimple)

¶ “Dallas To Cut Electricity Costs With New Renewable Energy Contract” • The City of Dallas has entered into a new electricity contract with TXU Energy to power all city facilities with wind and solar energy for 10 years. The city will initially draw power and renewable energy credits from the Foard City Wind Farm in west Texas. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Rhode Island Confirms Revolution Power Play” • Ørsted and the utility Eversource have secured a power purchase agreement for their 400-MW Revolution wind farm off Rhode Island, with PUC approval, a tweet from the Danish developer said. A further 300 MW from the lease zone is to be delivered to neighboring Connecticut. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (Ørsted image)

¶ “US Partners Saddle Up 300-MW Solar ‘Ranch'” • First Solar and Capital Dynamics have started commercial operations at a 280-MW PV farm. The California Flats facility is on land of the Hearst-owned Jack Ranch near the borders of San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties, one of the largest cattle ranches in the country. [reNEWS]

¶ “Workers At Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Prep For Permanent Shutdown” • To prepare for final shutdown, workers simulated shutting down of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. On May 30, a team of workers will begin the process of reducing the plant’s power output from the current 40% of its capacity to zero, after 47 years of operation. [NBC10 Boston]

Have a wonderfully enjoyable day.

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May 28 Energy News

May 28, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “As Young People Lead On Climate Change, Adults Must Step Up!” • On Friday, May 24, over a million young people gathered in some 1,600 locations in 125 countries to plead for effective action on climate change. Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old who inspired them, made an appeal, “We ask you adults, give us a future!” [CleanTechnica]

Greta Thunberg speaking in 2018

¶ “How 1 GW Of Grid Batteries Could See Yallourn Coal Generator Close In 12 Months” • Victoria is getting a lot of renewables. So much so, that 1 GW of battery storage could mean it no longer needs the 45-year-old Yallourn brown coal power station next year. Batteries can magnify the benefit of the new wind and solar projects. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “100% Renewable Does Not Necessarily Mean Zero Carbon” • 160 major corporations have signed pledges saying they will power all of their activities using 100% renewables in the near future. That does not necessarily mean the electricity they consume will be 100% carbon free, however. The devil is in the details. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Credit: Stanford Earth)

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Swedish Cleantech Company Wants To Mass Produce Printable Organic Solar Cells” • Epishine, a Swedish cleantech company, has a solar technology that would make it possible to manufacture PVs on machines the size of newspaper presses, each printing solar cells at a rate equivalent to one nuclear reactor per month. [Forbes]

World:

¶ “India Plans $1.8 Billion Transmission Projects For Renewable Energy Projects” • India has shared the details of large power transmission projects dedicated to supporting renewable energy projects in the western parts of the country. The transmission projects are part of a program aimed to achieve new renewable energy targets. [CleanTechnica]

Transmission lines (Pexels image)

¶ “India Cuts Solar Capacity Addition Target By 23% For 2019-2020” • In the face of issues of land acquisition, uncertainty over taxes and import duties, and slowdown in overall economic growth, India reduced its solar power capacity addition target. The target for fiscal year 2019-2020 is 23% lower than for 2018-2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “52% Of Consumers Likely To Buy An Electrified Vehicle In Canada Within 5 Years” • In a Canadian survey, 36% said they had “seriously considered buying a more fuel efficient vehicle, such as a hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell vehicle.” Over half (52%) believe they are likely to buy such a vehicle in the next five years. [CleanTechnica]

Vancouver colored bike lanes

¶ “Spain Proposes EU Carbon Tax On Energy Imports” • In a letter to the European Commission, Spain’s newly elected government called on the EU to assess a potential carbon tax on power imports to protect the bloc’s interests and help it to pursue its environmental targets amid growing public concern over climate change. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “DHL And StreetScooter Trial Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Delivery Vans” • DHL and StreetScooter have been pioneers in zero emissions delivery vans. Originally intended for DHL’s own use, the StreetScooter concept has proven so popular, a second factory is under construction to service the demands of third party customers. [CleanTechnica]

DHL Streetscooter deliver van (DHN image)

¶ “Enel Commences Work On 140-MW Wind Park In South Africa” • The local renewables arm of Italian energy major Enel SpA  has started construction works on a 140-MW wind park in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. The European firm expects to invest a total of €180 million ($201.5 million) in the Oyster Bay project. [Renewables Now]

¶ “AEMO Says WA Grid At Risk If Regulations Fail To Keep Up With Renewable Transition” • The Australian Energy Market Operator warned that regulators and rule-makers need to act quickly for adoption of new technologies to deal with Western Australia’s rapid uptake of rooftop solar and other renewable energy technologies. [RenewEconomy]

Vestas wind turbines

¶ “By 2025, Developed Countries To Lose Quarter Of Their Nuclear Capacity” • Developed countries, which have been gradually reducing their nuclear power generation, may lose one quarter of their nuclear capacity by 2025, and two-thirds by 2040, the International Energy Agency said in a report. The IEA said this would damage security. [TASS]

US:

¶ “Renewable Energy Developer, Puerto Rico Utility Agree On Project Terms ” • Greenbriar Capital Corp said it had agreed with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority on terms allowing the Montalva solar project to proceed. Among other things, PREPA asked for a 45% increase in capacity from the original proposal (145 MW total). [Streetwise Reports]

Solar system in Puerto Rico

¶ “Vail To Purchase 100% Of Its Municipal Power From Renewable Sources” • In Colorado, the Vail Town Council has agreed in a six-to-one vote to become the latest Eagle County government to purchase 100% of its municipally-used electricity from renewable sources. Town officials say, however, that more needs to be done. [Vail Daily News]

¶ “A Small Company Sees Opportunity In Revolutionizing Colorado’s Energy Supply” • Guzman Energy is looking to follow the Kit Carson Electric Association in exiting a contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission. Kit Carson is on track to deliver solar power for all daytime needs at reduced power rates for customers. [Energy News Network]

Have an altogether excellent day.

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May 27 Energy News

May 27, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “At Vancouver’s Clean Energy Summit, Nuclear Is Making a Play” • As we face massive environmental challenges, a transition is clearly needed. The problem is that one significant focus of the global forum “Clean Energy Ministerial” is to find ways of preserving the existing energy infrastructure while greenwashing it. [TheTyee.ca]

Cooling towers (Jiří Sedláček, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Turbines Arrive For Lekela’s 158-MW Wind Park In Senegal” • The first wind turbine components for the 158.7-MW Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye in Senegal have been delivered, according to developer Lekela. The wind park is West Africa’s first large wind farm. It will have 46 Vestas V126 machines, each of 3.45 MW capacity. [Renewables Now]

World:

¶ “As Wildfires Burn, Environment Minister Mckenna Blasts Provincial Tories For Scrapping Carbon Tax” • As Alberta Premier Jason Kenney pushes a plan to scrap the province’s carbon tax, federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says he shouldn’t ignore climate science, especially in the face of wildfires raging in the province. [CBC.ca]

After a wildfire in Alberta (Mrsramsey, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Greens surge as parties make strongest ever showing across Europe” • Green parties have swept to their strongest ever showing in European elections, boosting their tally of MEPs to a projected 71 compared with 52 last time. The result gives them every chance of becoming kingmakers in a newly fragmented parliament. [The Guardian]

¶ “Fortum Forms Norwegian Wind JV” • Finnish energy company Fortum has formed a joint venture with Norwegian wind farm operator Nordkraft to develop wind power projects in Norway. Fortum Nordkraft Vind builds on a partnership between the two companies in the wind market that has been in place since 2017. [reNEWS]

Fortum wind project

¶ “Quebec Provincial Leader Aims To Boost Use Of Hydro-electric Power” • Francois Legault, the premier of Canada’s hydroelectricity-reliant province of Quebec, said he has a sweeping plan to electrify public transport, along with heating and air conditioning, by the start of 2020. The plan will also expand subway lines. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Iran Undertakes Measures To Boost Green Energy” • Non-Aligned Movement has called upon the Member States to develop renewable energy and thereby boost green energy. Policy makers in Iran have realized that long-term investment in the renewables sector would lead to greater self-sufficiency and address climate change. [New Delhi Times]

Wind farm (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Photovoltaic Power Plants In Slovenia” • The first PV power plant in Slovenia was set up in 2001. At the end of 2017, 4,231 PV power plants had been installed in Slovenia with a total power capacity of 267 MW. Now the Parliament and Government are in the process of amending energy legislation related to renewable energy. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Australia:

¶ “Oil And Gas Majors Could Lead Australian Renewables Development By 2020” • Analysis is by independent oil and gas consultancy Rystad Energy says renewable energy investment in Australasia will overtake spending on upstream oil and gas projects as early as next year, in a shift led by the oil and gas industry itself. [RenewEconomy]

Pump jack

¶ “New Labor Leader Anthony Albanese Calls For End To Climate Wars” • Anthony Albanese has called for an end to the climate wars, saying he wants to work with Prime Minister Scott Morrison on an emissions reduction plan that benefits both the environment and the economy. “People want solutions, not arguments,” Albanese said. [The Guardian]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Gets Certified In Australia, Orders Should Open Soon” • Tesla has received notification from the Government of Australia that its application to sell Model 3’s in Australia was approved. Based on the applications, it seems Tesla has only applied for the 1726 kg and 1856 kg weights, which correspond to the long range models. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 charging

¶ “Queensland Looks To Extra Hydropower From Water Storage After Reboot Of Somerset Dam” • The Queensland government is exploring the potential to convert more of the state’s water storage dams into renewable energy generators, after returning to service a larger, restored version of its Somerset Dam and Hydro Electric Plant. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Nickel Ride Finds EVs Are So Affordable … They Can Give Rides For Free” • Nickel Ride, which operates in some Florida cities, found a way to use the advantages of electric vehicles for a competitive edge. Customers can download a Nickel Ride app to request free rides. The company uses advertising revenue to pay for the drivers and cars. [CleanTechnica]

Nickel Ride cars (Courtesy of Nickel Ride)

¶ “Upstate Coal Plants Set To Go In New Directions” • Two coal-powered plants in upstate New York are looking at new futures, according to recent reports in local newspapers. The plants, located in Lansing in the Finger Lakes and Somerset in Niagara County, are slated to become data centers powered by renewable energy. [Evening Observer]

¶ “Glenwood to go 100% renewable June 1” • Glenwood Springs, Colorado, will become the seventh city in the US powered entirely by renewable energy, and plans to sign the deal 7,100 feet in the sky this week. The city’s electricity will be generated by wind power and supplied by the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska. [Glenwood Springs Post Independent]

Have an entirely copacetic day.

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May 26 Energy News

May 26, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “State of Global Air 2019 – A Special Report On Global Exposure To Air Pollution And Its Disease Burden” • Scientists, doctors, lung associations, medical journals, and another recent report, State of Global Air 2019, have conducted tens of thousands of studies on such topics. At this point, the message is clear – we need stronger policy action. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot from The Human Element

¶ “The Dance of Nuclear, Coal, And Renewables in South Africa” • In 2010 South Africa planned to build 8 more nuclear reactors, in addition to two already running. Since then, there has been a shift in political positions, and amidst problems with finance and corruption, they have been cancelled. But the old reactors may stay for a while. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The First Tribal Climate Emergency Declaration Is Here, And It Won’t Be The Last” • In the Arctic, people don’t have time to wait around for others to take action to stop climate change. An indigenous community in Canada’s Yukon territory recently declared a climate emergency. They are just the first indigenous peoples to do so. [Gizmodo Australia]

Some rely on caribou to survive. (Photo: G MacRae, Flickr)

¶ “2020 Is Team Oil vs Team Climate Change. There’s No Middle.” • 96% of Democrat or Democratic-leaning voters polled by CNN in April want a candidate who will take aggressive action on climate change. While an NBC News poll in December found 71% of Democrats saying climate change required immediate action, only 15% of Republicans agreed. [CNN]

World:

¶ “BYD Delivers The First Fleet Of Electric Buses To Argentina” • A fleet of fully electric buses in Argentina was brought across the Chilean border and to its final destination in the City of Mendoza by manufacturer BYD after making a lengthy trek by freighter. The 12 new BYD K9 buses will be the first fleet of electric buses in Argentina. [CleanTechnica]

Three of the BYD buses delivered to San Antonio, Chile

¶ “Skyrocketing Tesla Sales Force Mercedes Dealer In Norway To Face A Kodak Moment” • With the Tesla Model 3 available in Norway since February, sales of competing brands have suffered. Mercedes dealer Bertel O Steen has seen its passenger car sales drop a full 33% in the first four months of the year, compared to the same period last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Adani Solar Aims At 50% Market Share In Two Years, Says Official” • With 80% of solar panels sold in India made in China, Adani Solar is making modules and panels cheaper and more durable, a company official told reporters. Adani Solar expects to get 50% market share in two years, the company’s business development chief said. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar power plant

¶ “True Energy Gets First License To Help Secure Green Future” • Danish start-up True Energy received a ‘peak shaving’ approval from the country’s authorities. The license enables homes and individuals in Denmark to help balance an increasingly green energy grid, thereby assisting the transformation towards a greener energy future. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Microsoft Announces A New Wind Energy Deal In The Netherlands” • Microsoft announced a wind energy deal in the Netherlands. As part of this deal, Microsoft will purchase 90 MW from a wind farm owned by developer Eneco. Microsoft will use this green energy to power its datacenters for 15 years starting in 2022. [MSPoweruser]

Green energy

¶ “Coal Reigns In Vietnam’s Booming Energy Sector But Interest Growing In Renewables” • Vietnam has become a hot spot for energy investors eyeing a spend of up to $150 billion over the coming decade to meet surging power demand. Coal is expected to dominate the sector despite signs of a government effort to go green. [The Japan News]

US:

¶ “ChargePoint And Chevron Partner To Bring More Fast Charging To More Gas Stations” • ChargePoint and Chevron partnered on DC Fast Charging stations along Interstate 5 in California to fill in key gaps in universal fast charging coverage. A California Energy Commission program will see 70 ChargePoint charging stations installed.  [CleanTechnica]

Two girls charging an EV (Credit: Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Four US States Scoring Under-the-Radar Clean Energy Wins” • Across the country, from South Carolina to Nevada, states are taking new measures to harness wind and solar power. Since January, more than 10 state legislatures have enacted policies that encourage new renewable energy development. Here are four examples. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal’s US Slide To Continue As Renewables, Gas Fill The Gap” • Demand for coal to generate electricity will continue its slide in coming months, despite Trump administration efforts to shore up the industry, the EIA said. Renewable energy, including wind, solar, and hydropower, are expected to fill much of the gap left by coal’s decline. [Mayfield Recorder]

Have a wildly successful day.

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May 25 Energy News

May 25, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Somebody Needs To Tell Ohio Farmers About Agro-photovoltaics” • Farmers in Ohio believe they are being forced to choose between the life style they know and the economic rewards of renewable energy. But the combination of farming and solar energy has been tested repeatedly. It works, and it creates greater opportunities. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (© Fraunhofer ISE)

¶ “Canada’s Amazing – And Invisible – Green Energy Sector” • We don’t hear much about the success story that is clean energy in Canada. But the clean energy sector is growing faster than the rest of the economy, and it is attracting billions of dollars of investment every year. In 2017 it employed nearly 300,000 people. [Macleans.ca]

Science and Technology:

¶ “For Nearly 20 Years, GRACE Has Helped Us Understand Climate Change” • In 2002, two satellites designed to take detailed measurements of the Earth were put into space. They provided detailed daily information on climate change for 15 years. Now, the GRACE Follow-On mission has been launched successfully to take their place. [CleanTechnica]

GRACE satellite system (Credit: JPL | NASA)

¶ “To Infinity And Beyond! The Boring Company Goes Plaid In New Demonstration” • Elon Musk’s Boring Company released a video demonstrating its proposed network of underground tunnels for electric vehicles. Two Teslas compete, one with its onboard Autopilot navigating a tunnel at a speed of up to 127 MPH, the other in LA traffic. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Solar The Key To Progress On Global Access To Electricity” • The report showing the world is still falling short of the global energy targets has some good news also. The number of people without access to electricity continues to shrink as deployment of off-grid power solutions gathers pace. The empowerment is led by solar. [pv magazine International]

Off-grid solar PV system (Image: NwComp Solar)

¶ “Book Titled Empowering Africa Unveiled, Aimed At Enabling Energy Access” • The IEA estimated that Africa has a potential of 300,000 GW of solar PVs 7,000 GW of windpower, but many of its people go without. Enel Foundation and others published Empowering Africa to address the problem of African energy poverty. [ESI Africa]

¶ “Wind Keeps The Wine Flowing In The UK” • Accolade Wines has installed a wind turbine to power its Avonmouth distribution center near Bristol. The 2.5-MW machine was installed with the help of renewable energy specialists CleanEarth and following agreement with the landlord, which sees the turbine as adding value to the property. [reNEWS]

Accolade Park wind turbine (CleanEarth image)

¶ “The Bus Wars Are Over. Electricity – And China – Won.” • The bus wars are over and electricity has won, thanks to a big boost from China. With China’s massive investment in and support for electric buses, electrics are now racing past a 50% share of new bus sales worldwide, according to a recent analysis by Bloomberg NEF. [ThinkProgress]

US:

¶ “US Offshore Wind At Risk Of Delays After ‘Redundant’ Defense And Interior Appropriations Language” • The American Wind Energy Association described language in the FY 2020 appropriations bills for the Defense and Interior Departments as threatening to delay development of the country’s offshore wind pipeline needlessly. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island wind farm (Ionna22, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Integrated Solar Roof Shingles From 3 IN 1 ROOF Up For UL Approval” • Solar roofing maverick 3 IN 1 ROOF is looking to leapfrog Tesla in its bid for UL approval for its solar roof shingle. The company, which is based in Fort Lauderdale, has submitted a plan for UL approval. It could come before Tesla’s solar shingle approval. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Freeport Brewery Launches Effort To Put More Clean Energy Into Its Beer” • Maine Beer Co wants to reduce the carbon footprint behind the beer it brews. The company already has a 50-kW solar PV system. It hopes to meet 60% to 70% of its energy needs by 2022 and to generate more clean energy than it uses by 2030. [Press Herald]

Working at Maine Beer Company (Brianna Soukup, PH Staff)

¶ “ComEd Customers Save $4 Billion Thanks To Energy Efficiency Offerings” • Customers of Commonwealth Edison Co, a unit of Exelon Corp, have saved a total of $4 billion on their electricity bills since it introduced its energy efficiency program in 2008. That’s the equivalent of about $84 per year for each customer. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Puerto Rico Adopts New Climate Law, With Goal Of 100% Renewable Energy By 2050” • Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló has signed into law a new climate change initiative that calls for the island commonwealth to reduce its carbon emissions 50% in the next five years and transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. [Yale Environment 360]

Governor Ricardo Rosselló at the signing ceremony (PRFAA)

¶ “FPL Starts Building 750 MW Of New Solar On Its Way To 2 GW By 2020” • FPL still gets most of its energy from gas-fired plants, but utility officials also say Florida will soon be “a world leader” in solar energy. FPL has broken ground on ten solar PV projects, each with a capacity of 74.5 MW. They will increase FPL’s solar capacity by 60%. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Three Mile Island Plant, Site Of Nuclear Accident, To Close” • Three Mile Island, site of the worst nuclear power crash in the US, will begin a planned shutdown beginning June 1 now that it is apparent that it will not get a fiscal rescue Exelon Corp said. It has been two years since Exelon first threatened to shut the plant unless it got a bailout. [Mayfield Recorder]

Have a precisely perfect day.

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May 24 Energy News

May 24, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Discover Sustainable Alternatives To Cement” • Cement manufacture is responsible for 8% of the global CO₂ emissions each year. Scientists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg say they have found environmentally friendly, low carbon alternatives to cement can be made from two types of industrial residues. [CleanTechnica]

Cement manufacturing plant

World:

¶ “EDF And Masdar Enter Morocco Solar Market With Massive 800-MW Win” • The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy has announced that it awarded 800-MW Noor Midelt I project to a consortium of EDF Renewables and Masdar Group. The project will host a combination of solar PV and concentrated solar power technologies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “School Students Walk Out In Global Climate Strike” • In New Zealand and Australia, students went on strike again, starting off a worldwide day of climate change protests. Organizers expect more than a million young people will participate in at least 110 countries, calling for politicians and businesses to take action to fight climate change. [BBC]

Climate protest in Melbourne (Reuters)

¶ “Elmed Interconnector Aims To Bring Solar Power From The Sahara To Europe” • It’s been a long-held European dream to get solar energy from North Africa. Italy and Tunesia have taken a first step to make this dream come true. They entered into an agreement for the development and joint construction of a 600-MW electricity link. [Deutsche Welle]

¶ “Montenegro moves to halt small hydro power plants” • Under pressure from environmental groups, Montenegro’s government has decided to stop issuing permits for the construction of small hydro-power plants. It will also reconsider those awarded so far, the economy minister said. A boom in dam construction has drawn protests. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Hydro dam

¶ “Senegal Imports Turbines For West Africa’s First Big Wind Farm Project” • Senegal started importing turbines for its first large-scale wind farm, the biggest such project in West Africa. It will supply nearly a sixth of the country’s power. Lekela, a British renewable power company, expects the wind farm to reach 158.7 MW by 2020. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Offshore Supply Chain Jobs ‘At Risk’ In Germany” • A lack of offshore wind auctions in Germany is putting jobs at risk in the country’s supply chain, according to WindEurope. The trade body said the last auction was in April 2018 and no more are scheduled until 2021. This means order books in the supply chain are “drying up.” [reNEWS]

Offshore wind power (WindEurope image)

¶ “LEGO Is Running 100% On Renewable Energy Three Years Ahead Of Schedule” • A few years ago, LEGO’s corporate side set an ambitious goal of making its production facilities run entirely on renewable energy. Their original plan was to reach that goal by 2022, but things went faster than they expected. They reached it three years early. [GOOD Magazine]

US:

¶ “Many States Squander VW Settlement Money, US PIRG Report Shows” • In its settlement with federal authorities over its diesel cheating scheme, VW agreed to provide nearly $3 billion to all 50 states. Nearly all states have reported what they will do with the funds, and US PIRG says many are failing to use the funds to do the most good. [CleanTechnica]

Electric school bus

¶ “$4,000 Used Plug-in Hybrid And EV Buyer Incentive Offered By Peninsula Clean Energy” • In San Mateo County, California, just south of San Francisco, Peninsula Clean Energy is offering a $4,000 incentive for qualifying residents who buy used plug-in hybrids and EVs. The incentive is part of a collaboration with Peninsula Family Service. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Providence, Rhode Island Trials Autonomous Shuttle From May Mobility” • Financed in part by money from the VW diesel cheating settlement, a fleet of 6 passenger autonomous shuttles supplied by May Mobility began operating this week on a 5.3-mile fixed route that connects downtown Providence with Olneyville Square. [CleanTechnica]

May Mobiity shuttle (May Mobility image)

¶ “Dairyland To Milk South Dakota Wind” • Dairyland Power Cooperative is to source 52 MW of electricity from Avangrid Renewables’ Tatanka Ridge wind farm in South Dakota. The 154.8-MW project will have 56 GE wind turbines. Construction is expected to start this year, with commercial operation starting by year-end 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “QTS Buying Wind Power For Two Data Centers” • Data center service provider QTS Realty Trust agreed to buy electricity from wind farms in Illinois and Texas to cover 100% of the expected demand of two data centers. It said the 10-year PPA will offset consumption of its data centers in Chicago and Piscataway, New Jersey. [Renewables Now]

Wind park in Texas (Rockin’Rita, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0)

¶ “Oregon Restricts Solar Development On Prime Farmland” • As Oregon’s climate policies steer the state toward renewable energy like solar, its land use laws are putting up roadblocks. The Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission approved new rules that restrict commercial solar development on high-value farmland. [OPB News]

¶ “Energy Negotiations Unravel At The Capitol, Leaving Little Accomplished” • Minnesota will not join the states that have laws aimed at having 100% clean energy by 2050, at least not this year. Negotiations between the House and Senate broke down over numerous issues, including lifting the state’s ban on new nuclear plants. [Minnesota Public Radio News]

Have a positively enchanting day.

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May 23 Energy News

May 23, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Republicans Aren’t Just Climate Deniers. They Deny The Extinction Crisis, Too” • In King Lear there is a famous line: “‘Tis the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind.” The words comment on the deadly consequences of greed, delusion, and folly, but they could serve just as well as a comment on today’s Republican Party. [The Guardian]

Endangered Mandarin duck (Yuri Smityuk | TASS)

¶ “Despite Coalition Victory, The Clean Energy Transition Will Continue” • With an inadequate renewable energy policy at the federal level, a significant amount of grassroots support for climate action and renewable energy development will be a main driver to stimulate new policy. And economics also support new renewable energy projects. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “State Efficiency Standards Are Good For Everyone” • The US federal government has been missing legal deadlines for energy efficiency standards for appliances, equipment, and electronics. Seventeen standards are aready overdue for review. Fortunately, more states are setting efficiency standards in the absence of federal action. [CleanTechnica]

Los Angeles (Henning Witzel | Unsplash)

¶ “Reality Check: Does Wind Energy Kill Birds And Cause Cancer?” • According to US Fish and Wildlife Service, wind turbines kill up to 300,000 birds a year. That’s low compared to other sources. Communication towers kill 40 million, power lines kill 140 million. Also, the American Cancer Society says it is unaware of links to cancer. [WCCO | CBS Minnesota]

¶ “World’s Fifth-Largest Bank Drops Stink Bomb On US Coal Industry” • Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc said that it will no longer finance the construction of new coal power plants. While this does not mean it will stop supporting projects already underway, it also indicates strong support will continue for renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy in Japan

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bosch Steps Into the Electric Air Taxi Industry To Help Cars Fly” • Bosch is getting into the electric vertical take-off and landing business with a sensor box for autonomy. According to the Boston Consulting Group, there will be 1 billion air taxi flights by 2030. Bosch sees a market for air taxis using its sensor technology for safe automated flights. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “BHP Sees Early End For Thermal Coal, Plugs In To Electric Future” • Just as the Coalition government ramps up efforts for the Adani coal mine and new investments in coal generation, Australia’s biggest mining group, BHP, said thermal coal is likely to exit quicker than most people expect. BHP is getting ready for a decarbonised economy. [RenewEconomy]

Heavy coal mining equipment

¶ “Nigeria’s 100% Renewable Electricity Achievable By 2050 – Report” • Nigeria is among countries whose electricity supply can be fully based on renewable energy sources and storage by 2050. It states that 100% renewable electricity systems would be 60% to 70% cheaper than nuclear power or fossil fuels with the carbon capture and storage. [Pumps Africa]

¶ “Tariff Bids Rise Further In Indian State’s Solar Power Auction” • Tariff bids by project developers continued to rise in Indian auctions, with several major developers avoiding large-scale auctions. A recent auction for 250 MW of PVs received only three bids, which ranged between ₹2.87/kWh (4.12¢/kWh) and ₹2.91/kWh. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels in Bhopal (Stefan Krasowski, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Twenty-five New Renewable Energy Facilities to Be Built in Zhambyl region” • Two wind power stations are being developed in the Zhambyl region of Kazakhstan and will be completed in the third quarter of 2019 and 2020. An additional 25 renewable energy facilities will be commissioned by 2023, with a total capacity of 1,392 MW. [Kazakh TV]

US:

¶ “Southern California Fleet Owners Learn How To Go Electric” • Southern California Edison has launched a program, Charge Ready Transport, that aims to install charging stations designed for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles at a minimum of 870 commercial sites within the utility’s 50,000 square-mile service area. [CleanTechnica]

Charging station (Credit: Penske Truck Leasing)

¶ “Maryland CEJA To Become Law Without Governor Signature” • Maryland’s Clean Energy Jobs Act, recently passed by the state’s General Assembly, is set to become law, but without the signature of governor Larry Hogan. He said in a letter that Senate Bill 516 is not clean and affordable enough and will not produce the anticipated jobs. [Offshore WIND]

¶ “US Wind Industry’s Response To Solar’s Rise: Embrace It” • Amid the changes going on in the renewable power industries, the American Wind Energy Association trade group announced that its flagship annual Windpower conference and exhibition will expand to include solar and storage, starting next year in Denver. [Greentech Media]

Wind turbines and horses in Wyoming (AWEA image)

¶ “Traverse City Switching To 100% Renewable Energy” • Traverse City is known for its beauty, and city officials want to protect that by switching to 100% green energy. Municipal buildings will be powered entirely by solar and wind energy by 2020. The local utility will use 40% renewables by 2025, and it will be completely green by 2040. [9&10 News]

¶ “Ohio House Lawmakers Amend Nuclear Plant Bailout Bill” • The Ohio House has dramatically changed the energy bill that would bailout the state’s nuclear power plants and repeal renewable energy standards. Under the changes neither wind nor solar power can qualify for “Clean Air Credits.” It seems the bill benefits only nuclear plants. [WCBE 90.5 FM]

Have a delightfully ducky day.

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May 22 Energy News

May 22, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “AOC! AOC! Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Lays It On The Line For Green New Deal” • One speech by AOC may well stand the test of time. In it, she rips feckless politicians of all political parties for selling out to fossil fuel interests and refusing to protect the American people from the pollution caused by burning oil, gas, and coal. [CleanTechnica]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Credit: C-Span on YouTube)

World:

¶ “African Solar PV Market Could See 29 GW Installed Annually In 2030” • A new study from German Solar Association and the Becquerel Institute has concluded that with the right policies and support, Africa could be adding as much as 29 GW of new annual solar capacity in 2030. The report looked at the solar market in ten countries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lilium Reveals Long-Awaited New Air Taxi And Celebrates Maiden Flight In The Same Swoop” • Lilium, based in Germany, says it is nearly ready to manufacture and operate the Lilium Jet and offer on-demand air taxi service around the world. It showed a new 5-seat electric air taxi prototype, whose maiden flight was earlier this month. [CleanTechnica]

Lilium

¶ “Countries falling short on providing electricity, renewable power” • According to a report produced by the World Bank, the International Energy Agency, and other international bodies, many countries around the world are failing to meet their goals to provide electricity for those without power and to reduce pollution and CO₂ emissions. [Devdiscourse]

¶ “China Approves 20.76 GW Of Subsidy-Free Solar, Wind Power Projects” • China has approved its first batch of subsidy-free wind and solar projects with a combined capacity of 20.76 GW, the country’s top planning agency said. China vowed in January to launch a series of unsubsidized renewable power projects this year. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable energy

¶ “Big Firms Join New Task Force Looking To ‘Make Best Use’ Of UK Wind Power” • Big energy companies agreed on a research project to “make best use” of UK wind resources. The Offshore Wind Industry Council said it will work to see that the UK’s low-carbon energy system is generating the most amount of power from renewable sources. [Energy Voice]

¶ “Ausgrid Seeks To Expand Virtual Power Plant To Cut Back On Network Costs” • New South Wales utility Ausgrid is seeking proposals to expand its virtual power plant, following a successful pilot project. It looked to co-ordinate battery storage systems to support network services and help avoid the need for further network investment. [RenewEconomy]

One part of a virtual power plant

¶ “Canada A Leader Among G20 For Plan To Phase Out Coal, Says Report” • Canada, France, Italy, and the UK lead the group of G20 countries when it comes to plans compatible with the Paris Agreement to phase out coal by 2030, according to a report from Climate Transparency. The agency is made up of 14 global environmental groups. [CBC.ca]

US:

¶ “Offshore Drilling Has Become A Liability For Republicans” • The issue of offshore drilling has created a schism between Republicans in states where constituents depend on fishing and beach tourism, like Florida and Georgia, and the White House, which wants virtually all US waters to be open for oil industry exploitation. [CleanTechnica]

Deepwater Horizon fire (US Coast Guard image)

¶ “Texas Cooperatives Agree to Purchase 7 MW of Distribution-Scale Solar Energy” • Five electric distribution cooperatives in Texas signed agreements to purchase 7 MW of distribution-scale solar generation. This is to provide increased supplies of cost-effective and clean energy to their members while increasing local system resilience. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “eMotorWerks’ New JuicePlan Rolls All EV Charging Costs Into One Simple Monthly Bill” • eMotorWerks, an Enel Group Company, is introducting a subscription-based home charging plan called the JuicePlan. The JuicePlan replaces what can be a steep up-front purchase price and installation with an easy to understand monthly bill. [CleanTechnica]

JuiceBox EV charger and Bolt

¶ “NASA To Provide $6 Million For Electric Aircraft Research At University Of Illinois” • NASA will pay $6 million dollars over the next three years to support electric aircraft research at the University of Illinois. The program will work on developing fuel cell and cryogenic liquid hydrogen energy storage technologies for completely electric aircraft. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Secures More Than 2 GW In US Onshore Wind Energy Orders Through May 2019” • GE said it had orders for more than 700 wind turbines in the first five months of the year, which is enough to power about 800,000 US households. GE’s 2-MW platform will have 15 GW installed by the end of 2019. [REVE]

Wind turbine

¶ “General Assembly Passes Bill To Promote Renewable Energy Projects For Universities” • The Illinois House of Representatives and Senate have voted to pass a bill to allow public universities and state agencies to enter into renewable energy contracts for up to 25 years. The House favored the bill by a vote of 108 to 8, and it is going to the governor. [CIproud.com]

¶ “Pressure Mounts On NC Lawmakers To Reject Duke Energy Rate Increase Bill” • Opposition is growing to legislation, written by Duke, that would allow it to use major storm costs to charge North Carolinians billions of dollars for unnecessary projects to continue its reliance on coal, fracked gas, and nuclear sources of energy. [Environmental Working Group]

Have an absolutely peachy day.

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May 21 Energy News

May 21, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “One-Quarter Of West Antarctic Ice Is Currently Unstable Due To Changing Climate” • In the last 25 years, warming oceans and changing climatic conditions have caused ice throughout West Antarctica to thin. A study published in Geophysical Research Letters says as much as 24% of West Antarctica’s glaciers are impacted. [IFLScience]

West Australian ice (Tarpan | Shutterstock)

¶ “Report: Cities Designed To Shape And Enable New Mobility” • Urban areas that are designed to shape and enable new mobility can lower emissions, enhance health, and improve equity. A report says experimentation is key to best realize the potential of new mobility while avoiding possible negative and unintended consequences. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Sea Level Rise Could Have ‘Profound Consequences'” • Scientists believe that global sea levels could rise far more than predicted, due to accelerating melting in Greenland and Antarctica. A study says the greater melt doubles the estimated maximum sea level rise during the 21st century, from one meter to two meters. [BBC]

Supply ship at an ice shelf (Jonathan Bamber)

World:

¶ “Ships Spend Hundreds Of Thousands Of Hours A Year Trawling In Europe’s Marine-Protected Areas” • Using data from Global Fishing Watch and the World Database of Protected Areas, we found that in 2016, fishing vessels spent over 930,000 hours trawling Marine Protected Areas off the coasts of the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ExxonMobil Eyes Clean Energy Partnership In India” • ExxonMobil is reportedly in talks with an Indian company to initiate a clean energy partnership. ExxonMobil seems to have been attracted by the clean energy policies in India and an increase interaction between Indian and American businesses over the last few years. [CleanTechnica]

Wind Energy (Pexels image)

¶ “French Retailer Boulanger To Source Renewable Power From Voltalia” • French specialised retailer Boulanger has entered into an exclusive partnership with Voltalia SA to source 100% of its energy from renewable sources. Under terms of the partnership, Boulanger will source 100% of its energy from renewable sources from July 1, 2019. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory – Main Structure Now Being Completed (Video Update)” • The latest aerial video from the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory site, courtesy of Jason Yang, shows the main structure of the factory very close to completion. Focus is now shifting to work on the loading bays and the factory’s internals. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai

¶ “Renewable Energy Now Accounts For 33% Of Global Power” • Data from the International Renewable Energy Agency shows 171 GW of renewable energy was added globally in 2018. That is two-thirds of the all generation capacity added for the year. This is in part because, for the first time, renewables generate at a lower price than fossil fuels. [ThomasNet News]
(Please NOTE: I believe the 33% report is not correct. – George)

¶ “Could The Notre Dame Be Reborn As An Energy-Positive Eco-Cathedral?” • Could the Notre Dame be reborn as an energy-positive cathedral? Paris-based Vincent Callebaut Architectures says that is exactly how it should be rebuilt. It has released new concept plans to repair the eight-century-old Notre-Dame cathedral after the fire. [Energy Live News]

Notre Dame design (Image: Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

¶ “How A Remote Togo Village Is Getting Transformed By Solar Power” • BBOXX, a UK-based power company, in partnership with France’s EDF Group, launched a program to power an entire village in southern Togo with solar PVs. Currently, all electricity in the village of Sikpe-Afidegnon comes from expensive and polluting fuel oil. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ “Chevron Dabbles In EV Charging, Installs EVgo Fast Chargers At Select Stations” • EVgo and Chevron have partnered to bring EV fast charging capability to a select set of Chevron fueling stations in California. Chevron has over a dozen EVgo fast charging stations in operation or under construction at five California stations. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model X at an EVgo charging station (EVgo image)

¶ “Salt Lake City Moves Up Goal To Be Entirely On 100% Renewable Energy To 2030” • Salt Lake City has moved up its goal to be on 100% renewable energy. In a recent interview with FOX 13, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said the original goal to have the entire city on renewable energy has changed from 2032 to 2030. [fox13now.com]

¶ “Xcel Energy Fast-Forwards Minnesota Coal Plant Closures But Extends Nuclear Window” • Xcel Energy plans to close its last two coal-fired power plants in Minnesota by 2030, a decade earlier than scheduled, while keeping its nuclear power plants running through at least 2040. It plans to have 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.  [Greentech Media]

Coal-burning power plant in Minnesota

¶ “New Hampshire Legislators Quintuple Net Metering Cap By Veto-Proof Margin” • As more states to meet their net metering caps, the legislature in New Hampshire has sought to encourage further adoption by increasing the maximum amount of distributed solar capacity that would receive credit for power sent to the grid. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Reactor Shut Down After Electrical Cable Fails At Plymouth Nuclear Plant” • A degraded electric cable led to a manual scram of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth on May 17. The NRC reported that operators shut down the reactor when a circulating-water pump lost power. Pilgrim is scheduled to close permanently on May 31. [Wicked Local Plymouth]

Have a perfectly auspicious day.

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May 20 Energy News

May 20, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Don’t despair about the climate emergency. Coal is not the future” • The Coalition government has been re-elected. But there are strong international pressures, most of the Australian business community does not want the economy stuck in the past, and the states will not accept a vacuum on climate and energy policy. [The Guardian]

Low-cost renewable energy (Tim Phillips Photos | Getty Images)

¶ “Unlocking The Economic Potential Of Adapting To Climate Realities – Jay Inslee Gets It” • Among Democrats running for president, Jay Inslee has distinguished himself with a bold zero-carbon climate plan. He says it will create 8 million clean tech jobs at a cost comparable to what has been spent on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Fear Impact Of Deep-Sea Mining On Search For New Medicines” • Scientists who view the deep ocean and its wealth of unique and undocumented species as a prospecting ground for new medicines, fear such potential will be lost in the rush to exploit the deep sea’s equally rich metal and mineral resources. [The Guardian]

Ocean life (Office of Ocean Exploration and Research)

¶ “‘Earthworm Dilemma’ Has Climate Scientists Racing To Keep Up” • Worms are wriggling into Earth’s northernmost forests, creating major unknowns for climate-change models. The forests have had no earthworms since the last ice age. Now the worms are invading, and scientists fear possible negative environmental effects. [The New York Times]

World:

¶ “Eskom Woes Pushing SA Business Toward Green Buildings” • As Eskom, South Africa’s public utility, keeps failing to meet demands for electric power, businesses are moving to produce their own. Property company Redefine recently noted that installing renewable energy interventions is an area with scope for growth. [TechCentral]

Modern buildings

¶ “China Invests In Renewable Energy In Cuba” • Cuba began investing in renewable energy back in 2014. Now China is ramping up its efforts in a push to make renewables Cuba’s principal source of electricity by 2030. According to Xinhua News, China is one of the leading investors in Cuba’s renewable energy program. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Sets Renewable Power Quotas For 2019 And 2020” • Reuters reported that China set mandatory renewable power quotas for each of its region for 2019 and 2020, based on their energy structure. The 2019 targets for local grid companies range from 10%, in the eastern province of Shandong, to 88%, in the southwestern province of Sichuan. [SteelGuru]

Solar panels over water (Reuters image)

¶ “Wärtsilä And Lut University To Collaborate On Research For 100% Renewable Energy Systems” • Technology group Wärtsilä and Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology have signed a research agreement on strategic power system modelling. Their aim is to  understand and develop paths towards 100% renewable energy systems. [Golden Casino News]

¶ “Japan’s Orix To Buy Seven 874 MW Wind Energy Plants Of IL&FS” • Debt-ridden IL&FS said Japan’s Orix Corporation, which owns 49% share each in its seven operating wind farms, expressed intent to buy the remaining stake in those assets. The plants are in 12 Indian states and have a total generation capacity of 874 MW. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind turbines

¶ “India Is Now Investing More in Solar than Coal, but Will Its Energy Shift Continue?” • Renewable energy investments in India are outpacing spending on fossil fuel power generation, a sign that the world’s second-most populous nation is making good on promises to shift toward cleaner power. But coal is still growing. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “The Gas-Addicted Scots Have Europe’s Worst Record On Renewable Heat” • New statistics reveal the country, despite an excellent record on clean electricity, remains dangerously dependent on burning climate-change-causing gas to stay warm. Only 6% of all heating in Scotland is sustainable, just a tenth of the proportion in Sweden. [HeraldScotland]

Gas terminal

US:

¶ “Repowering Old Mines With New Energies In The US  Southwest” • Across the US, there are swaths of mine lands that are now prime locations for renewable energy. Rocky Mountain Institute’s Sunshine for Mines Initiative has a goal of helping the mining industry shift from a paradigm of extraction to one of stewardship. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bolt Mobility Unveils $9,999 Electric Car Designed For Car-Sharing In Cities” • An electric car startup based in Florida called Bolt Mobility has unveiled its first car, the B-Nano, which it says it has been working on in secret for the past two years. The B-Nano is designed for car-sharing, and the base model will sell for a mere $9,999.  [CleanTechnica]

Usain Bolt showing off the B-Nano (Credit: Bolt Mobility)

¶ “Maine Solar Bill Would Expand Access And Increase Net Metering Cap” • A bipartisan bill making its way through the Maine Legislature would set the state on a path to develop 400 MW of distributed solar energy. The legislation would allow more people to participate in community solar projects and raise caps for net metering. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Ads Flood Airwaves As Debate Continues Over Nuclear Bailout Bill” • Ohioans are being bombarded by an ad campaign focused on an energy bill, House Bill 6, that is under debate in the state legislature. FirstEnergy Solutions is in bankruptcy proceedings and may need to shut two Ohio nuclear plants down for economic reasons. [WKSU News]

Have an appreciably rewarding day.

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May 19 Energy News

May 19, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change: One Man’s Fight To Save A California Tree” • After a huge wildfire killed a forest in San Diego, California, in 2002, Cody Petterson set his heart on replanting the trees. He planted hundreds of Bigcone Douglas-firs, but they are being killed by heat and drought. Their only habitat is California, where climate change is killing them. [BBC]

Cody Petterson (Photo: Cody Petterson)

¶ “One Size Doesn’t Fit All: How Commercial Electric Vehicles Present Unique Challenges For Charging Infrastructure” • In the climate crisis, reducing emissions requires an all-hands-on-deck approach to goods and services, including how they are designed, produced, sourced, and transported. Transportation is the biggest source of emissions in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The heat is on over the climate crisis. Only radical measures will work” • Drowned cities; stagnant seas; intolerable heatwaves; entire nations uninhabitable. A four-degree-warmer world is the stuff of nightmares and yet that’s where we’re heading in just decades. Meeting our emissions targets may seem hard. It will be far harder for our children if we don’t. [The Guardian]

As permafrost melts, grave markers tumble.
(Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “ABB Unveils Blockchain Inverter Pilot As Tech Emerges From Buzzword Status” • Inverter manufacturer ABB has launched a blockchain pilot to examine how the technology could boost the role of solar in peer-to-peer energy trading and smart grids. If successful, the firm intends to ensure that all inverters in the same class are blockchain ready. [PV-Tech]

¶ “New Report On Plastics And Climate – The Hidden Costs Of A Plastic Planet” • The Center for International Environmental Law published Plastic & Climate The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet. It says that greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic “threaten the ability of the global community to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C.” [CleanTechnica]

CIEL report

World:

¶ “Australia Poll Result Divides The Nation” • The result of yesterday’s election in Australia triggered rage and disgust for those hoping for a change of government deemed fairer and kinder to the environment. Many took to social media to express dismay after an election in which climate change was a major issue. [The Straits Times]

¶ “Climate Change Concerns Sour Germany’s Love For Cars” • In car-loving Germany, climate change has become a leading – but divisive – issue for voters going into European elections. A new Deutschland Trend poll by national broadcaster ARD, shows that 48% of respondents listed climate change as their biggest concern. [CNN]

Protest (Christoph Soeder | DPA | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “India: Share Of Non-Fossil Fuel Generation Tops 22% In 2018–2019” • Data released by India’s Central Electricity Authority and analyzed by CleanTechnica shows that the share of non-fossil fuel generation, including renewable energy, nuclear power, and large hydropower, topped 22.2% in the financial year 2018-19 (April 2018 to March 2019). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Energy Ministry To Support Private Renewable Power Plants For Electricity Exports” • The Iranian Energy Minister, Reza Ardakanian, said the country’s renewable power plants operated by the private sector will be provided with necessary facilities to export electricity to the neighboring countries, Tasnim news agency reported. [Tehran Times]

Solar power system in Iran

¶ “UN Urges Universities To Be Catalysers Of Sustainability” • Young people are driving a global wake-up call on climate change and the need to reduce our carbon footprint. Many universities struggle with the concept of ‘greening,’ however, and their achievements to date have been “scattered and unsystematic”, UN Environment warned. [University World News]

¶ “Seven Solar Energy Projects Worth $1.5 Billion Unveiled In Saudi Arabia” • In Saudi Arabia, as part of its Vision 2030 economic diversification push, seven PV solar power projects with a combined capacity of 1.52 GW and worth $1.51 billion were launched on the side-lines of the recently concluded Saudi Elenex exhibition. [Utilities Middle East]

Large solar system

¶ “Guardian Drops Neutrality In Climate Crisis Reporting” • The Guardian updated its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe environmental crises. “Climate emergency, crisis, or breakdown,” are preferred to “global warming,” and “global heating” is favoured over “global warming.” The original terms are not banned. [Outside the Beltway]

US:

¶ “Children Of The Sun Solar Initiative Rises Out Of Devastating Fire” • The 2016 Cayuse Mountain Fire burned over 18,000 acres, destroyed 14 tribal homes on the Spokane Indian Reservation, and burned transmission lines for buildings and wells. The tribe has a solar system designed to foster resilience, autonomy, and sustainability. [CleanTechnica]

Solar installation

¶ “Republican Justin Amash Calls For Trump Impeachment” • Rep Justin Amash is the first Republican congressman to call for impeachment of Pres Donald Trump. He accused AG William Barr of misleading the public about the Mueller report, which found 10 instances where Mr Trump possibly attempted to impede the investigation. [BBC]

¶ “Nonprofits Using Community Solar To Help Veterans, Families” • Community solar usually comes with barriers such as credit score checks that can put it out of reach for some of those who have the most to potentially gain, but several Minnesota nonprofit organizations are turning to community solar as a tool to fight poverty. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Have a triumphantly agreeable day.

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May 18 Energy News

May 18, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Who’s Behind The War On Electric Cars?” • According to two attendees at a closed-door meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, here was a contentious discussion between utility companies, which stand to benefit financially from sales of electricity for electric cars, and the fuel companies, which stand to lose. [CleanTechnica]

VW e-Golf Envoys

¶ “Cities Hold The Keys To Greener, More Efficient Homes” • Our homes may be a source of safety, comfort, and stability, but they also represent a considerable slice of our country’s carbon emissions, estimated by the Energy Information Administration to be 20%. Addressing this piece of our energy system is essential to achieving our climate goals. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Stalling Renewables Growth Raises Concern About Global Decarbonization Efforts” • In 2018, for the first time this century, global growth rate of new renewable energy capacity did not show a year-to-year increase. This leveling off has raised concern that efforts to advance a low-carbon energy transition may be stalling at just the wrong time. [Forbes]

Wind Farm (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Air Pollution Is Slowly Killing Us All, New Global Study Claims” • A comprehensive global study by the International Respiratory Society’s Environmental Committee appeared in the official publication of the American College of Chest Physicians. It says that air pollution may damage every organ in the human body. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Another Electric Vehicle Benefit: No Carbon Monoxide Poisoning” • Several hundred Americans die each year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, and far more are made sick. A number of the deaths occur in gas-powered vehicles where CO can build up without the occupants knowing, because the gas is colorless and odorless. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan LEAF

World:

¶ “German Brands Recover Ground In German Electric Car Market – April EV Sales Report” • The German plug-in electric vehicle market continued on the right track in April, having scored 7,771 registrations. Fully electric vehicles grew at 50% year over year, and plug-in hybrids grew at 14%. The overall market was stagnant and fell 3%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In A First, India’s Quarterly Solar Generation Exceeds 10 TWh” • According to data reported by the Central Electricity Authority, India generated 11.3 TWh of solar power during the quarter of January-March 2019. This marks a 16.5% increase from the previous quarter and a huge 57% jump from the same quarter last year. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “NB Green Party Makes Progress In Bill That Promotes Municipality-Based Renewables” • New Brunswick’s Green Party is pushing to increase the amount of renewable energy for municipal governments and First Nations. The plan is to allow local governments and First Nations to partner with local renewable energy producers. [Huddle Today]

¶ “BYD Lands Deal For 15 Electric Buses In Madrid” • BYD has taken another step forward in electrifying mass transit in Spain, as the company has landed a deal with EMT Madrid for 15 BYD 12-meter buses. The new order marks the first order of fully electric buses from BYD for EMT Madrid, the city’s primary public surface transit operator. [CleanTechnica]

BYD 12-meter bus in Santiago, Chile (BYD image)

¶ “It Just Became Much Easier For Businesses To Move Off Eskom’s Grid – Here’s Why” • Business Day reported that South Africa’s Minister of Energy gave the country’s energy regulator leave to licence 500 MW for small-scale embedded generation projects, sized between 1 MW and 10 MW, without his signing off on them. [Business Insider South Africa]

¶ “OPT PowerBuoy Passes MWh Milestone” • Ocean Power Technologies PB3 PowerBuoy system has delivered more than 1 MWh of electricity since deployment in the Adriatic Sea in November. The company said the wave device has operated “continuously and error-free” while being controlled remotely from its New Jersey facility. [reNEWS]

OPT PowerBuoy (Ocean Power Technologies image)

US:

¶ “Deadly Flooding Is Rocking Texas. Scientists Say This Is Our Future Under Climate Change.” • Across the US, trends indicate that flooding is becoming the new normal. Climate scientists say it is a challenge to connect isolated events to climate change, but they have linked the wider trend uptick in rain and disasters to global warming. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “White Cloud To Deliver For Enel In Missouri” • Enel Green Power is to supply electricity to Associated Electrive Cooperative from the White Cloud wind farm in Missouri under a long-term power purchase agreement. The White Cloud wind farm will have a capacity of over 236 MW and is expected to be operational by the end of 2020. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “New York Updates Price Signals To Recognize Full Value, Spur Distributed Energy Resources” • New York regulators continue to hone the state’s rates and policies to expand the use of clean, distributed energy resources. Commissioners want distributed energy resources to increase on the grid, but also must ensure customer bills are fairly assessed. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Plant Vogtle Update: Further Behind Schedule, Still Billions Over Budget” • The Georgia Public Service Commission has been reviewing the status of the Vogtle nuclear expansion project this week after receiving a required update from Georgia Power. The update shows each reactor is now one more month behind schedule.  [Georgia Public Broadcasting]

Have a fabulously fine day.

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May 17 Energy News

May 17, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Five Reason’s Why HB 6, Ohio’s Nuclear Plant Subsidy Proposal, Should Be Rejected” • By giving a blatant handout to the nuclear and fossil fuel industries at the expense of renewable energy and energy efficiency, the latest proposal for a “Clean Air Program” in Ohio is bad for consumers, the economy, and the environment. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Davis Besse power plant

¶ “Australia’s climate election: Where do parties stand on renewables?” • Australia’s 2019 federal election has been dubbed “the climate election” for a reason. The nation has just had its hottest summer on record, and greenhouse gas emissions rise without federal regulation. Many voters are concerned about climate change. [pv magazine International]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Instability Spreading In West Antarctic Ice Sheet” • Almost a quarter of the West Antarctic ice sheet is now affected by ice thinning, according to a study. It found that the ice sheet has thinned by as much as 122 meters in some places, and thinning has left glaciers unstable, according to scientists at the University of Leeds in England. [CNN]

Antarctic glacier melt (Andrew Shepherd)

¶ “414 Million Pieces Of Plastic Found On Remote Australian Islands: Study” • A study published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that Australia’s remote island territory of Cocos was littered with 238 tonnes of plastic. The group of 27 islands, home to about 500 people, is marketed to tourists as “Australia’s last unspoilt paradise.” [CNN]

World:

¶ “Engie Wins 200 MW Of Wind In India’s Latest Auction” • Due to undersubscription, the Solar Energy Corporation of India decided to auction just 480 MW of capacity, the smallest amount in its windpower auction history. Engie made a 200-MW bid at ₹2.79/kWh (3.98¢/kWh), matching its highest-ever win in India’s wind energy auctions. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Pexel image)

¶ “Vattenfall And GE Renewable Energy To Co-operate On Next-Generation Turbine” • Offshore wind developer Vattenfall and GE Renewable Energy are joining forces to deploy GE’s new offshore wind turbine, the Haliade-X. With a capacity of 12 MW, the Haliade-X is the largest offshore wind turbine currently being marketed. [Offshore Wind Journal]

¶ “Tilt Makes 130-MW New Zealand Power Play” • Australian renewables developer Tilt Renewables is to sell electricity to Genesis Energy from the 130-MW Waverley wind farm in New Zealand. Their 20-year power purchase agreement will allow Tilt to complete the remaining development activities. The project is to be online in September, 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind project construction (Tilt Renewables image)

¶ “2K MW Of Solar, Wind Energy Added To Egypt’s National Network” • The total amount of electricity generated from renewable energy in Egypt has reached 6,000 MW. The country had adopted the strategy of incorporating renewable energy in the mix a few years ago to reduce the reliance on traditional energy resources. [Egypttoday]

¶ “BC Renewable Energy Efforts Extend To Its Costal Lighthouses” • British Columbia is working on powering its lighthouses with green energy. After getting experience with renewable energy, the Canadian province wants to transition its 27 staffed lighthouses from diesel power to renewably sourced sustainable energy. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

Lighthouse

¶ “UK Solar Output Hits Record Peak Of 9.55 GW” • According to the Solar Trade Association, the UK’s solar fleet broke its peak output record on May 13, when it hit 9.47 GW. This was followed a day later by yet another announcement of yet another record, after peak solar output reached 9.55 GW at around 12:30 pm on May 14. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canberra Will Be First Australian City To Run On 100% Renewable Energy From October” • Canberra will be effectively powered by renewable energy from October 1, with completion of the third stage of the Hornsdale wind farm. It will be the first Australian jurisdiction to do so, the Australian Capital Territory’s Climate Change Minister said. [ABC News]

Solar panels (Jake Evans | ABC News)

US:

¶ “Inslee Releases $3 Trillion Jobs Plan Centered On Clean Energy, Green Infrastructure” • Washington Gov Jay Inslee has unveiled his presidential campaign’s jobs plan, providing details of a proposal that has a laser-like focus on combating climate change. The proposal projects the creation of 8 million jobs over the next 10 years. [CNN]

¶ “Jay Inslee Calls Out Joe Biden On Combating Climate Change: ‘We Have To Live In The Real World Here'” • Washington Gov Jay Inslee repeatedly called out Joe Biden for his approach on climate, suggesting that the former vice president is naive about working with Republicans on the issue. Biden said critics are not looking at his record. [CNN]

CNN Town Hall with Jay Inslee (Karen Ducey | Getty Images)

¶ “Clearway Cash Rich For 419-MW Texas Titan” • US company Clearway Energy Group has closed financing of the 419-MW Mesquite Star wind farm in Texas and has started construction. Mesquite Star will have a total of 118 Siemens Gamesa turbines. It is being built by Blattner Energy, and commercial operations are to begin in early 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Hawaii Court Halts Biomass Plant Over Climate Concerns” • The Hawaii Supreme Court stopped plans by a biomass company to burn locally grown eucalyptus trees to provide energy to the state’s largest utility. The court ruled that the state Public Utility Commission approved the plant without considering Hawaii’s emissions goals. [Climate Liability News]

Have a stunningly lovely day.

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May 16 Energy News

May 16, 2019

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Continues To Ramp Up Its Electric Car Push” • VW’s board of supervisors announced that it is prepared to invest €1 billion in a battery cell factory. The preferred site is Salzgitter in Lower Saxony, where pilot production of battery cells is to begin later this year. The new factory siting is contingent on negotiations with the government. [CleanTechnica]

VW Scania truck (Image: Scania)

¶ “Project Developers Continue To Avoid Renewable Energy Auctions In India” • Project developers in India are unwilling to bid for large-scale solar and wind energy tenders, sounding alarms across government circles. The western state of Gujarat witnessed significant under-subscription of solar and wind energy tenders last week. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ireland Failing To Meet EU Energy Targets – Report” • Ireland will fall short of 2020 EU renewable energy targets, according to a report from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. The report predicts that 13% of the country’s energy will be derived from renewable sources next year. Ireland’s European target is 16%. [RTE.ie]

Wind turbines and a colorful sky

¶ “India’s Largest Power Company Shifts Away From Coal” • Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power company, announced that it will build no new coal-fired plants. In India, over 40 GW of coal-fired power plants are financially stressed, and new additions are coming to a near halt. Peak coal capacity may be closer than anticipated. [Sierra Magazine]

¶ “Scottish Renewables Firms Exporting To More Than 70 Countries” • Industry body Scottish Renewables found that businesses have exported renewable energy goods or services to a total of 72 countries. The most popular export destination was the US. Nine of the 15 Scottish businesses that responded to the survey export to the US. [Energy Voice]

Scotrenewables SR2000 deployment (Scotrenewables image)

¶ “Labour Reveals Plans To Fit Solar Panels To 1.75 Million Homes” • The UK Labour Party announced plans to fit solar panels to 1.75 million homes of socially housed or low-income households as part of its promised “green industrial revolution” to try to combat climate change and boost jobs. Another goal is free energy for needy people. [The Guardian]

¶ “Floating Wind ‘Buoys’ RE Investment In France” • While China and the US have maintained the top two places, in that order, in the EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, France has moved up two notches into third place on the back of developments in floating offshore wind and bigger onshore targets. [reNEWS]

Floating offshore windpower (Image: Naval Energies)

¶ “ACT Declares Climate Change Emergency – Slams Federal Government Failure To Act” • The Australian Capital Territory has become the first state or territory in the country to make a formal declaration of a climate change emergency. The passage of the motion follows similar declarations made in the UK and Ireland. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “2-GW Offshore Bill Advances In Connecticut” • Connecticut’s House of Representatives voted 134 to 10 in favor of legislation that would see the state buy or develop up to 2 GW of offshore wind power. The proposed legislation now goes to the state’s Senate for consideration. Connecticut Gov Ned Lamont is in favor of the measure. [reNEWS]

London Array (reNEWS image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Capacity In Texas REC Program Grew By Almost 10% In 2018” • For Texas’ voluntary Renewable Energy Credit program, including areas not in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the total capacity increased by about 2.6 GW, almost 10%, between 2017 and 2018. Analysts differ over whether the growth can continue. [S&P Global Platts]

¶ “Florida PSC Deems TECO Shared Solar Program ‘In The Public Interest’” • The Florida Public Service Commission has approved Tampa Electric Co’s optional solar energy tariff. This permits electric service customers to purchase energy from a designated TECO solar energy resource to replace all or part of their monthly energy consumption. [Solar Industry]

Tampa, Florida

¶ “Colorado Town Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity By 2035” • The Frisco Town Council unanimously voted to approve a resolution committing the community to shift away from fossil fuels and transition to 100% clean, renewable electricity by 2035. Eleven Colorado cities have made clean energy commitments since 2017. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Icebreaker Inches Towards Construction” • The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation has reached an agreement with the staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board about the 21-MW Icebreaker offshore wind project. The next step is to get formal board approval. The company is “optimistic that the permit will be issued later this year.” [reNEWS]

Icebreaker test installation (LEEDCo image)

¶ “More Renewable And Clean Energy Is Coming To The Northland” • Minnesota Power and parent company Allete have announced more investments in clean energy. It recently sold a water company in the Twin Cities area for nearly $300 million, and some of those funds will allow them to invest in more solar and wind energy. [FOX 21 Online]

¶ “Santee Cooper Sues VC Summer Contractor Westinghouse Over Abandoned Nuclear Equipment” • Santee Cooper sued the lead contractor of its failed VC Summer nuclear plant project. The lawsuit is the latest swing in a fight over who owns the abandoned equipment and parts left at the massive construction site in South Carolina. [Greenville News]

Have a charmingly pleasant day.

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May 15 Energy News

May 15, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Donald Trump Can’t Stop America From Going Green” • Despite Donald Trump’s vows to save coal, American oil companies (!) are investing in cleaner technology, according to a report from two World Bank economists. And state governments are filling the regulatory breach left by the do-nothing regime occupying Washington. [WBUR]

Coal mine in Wyoming (US BLM image, public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Army Research Lab Water-Based Battery Is Lighter, Uses No Cobalt Or Nickel” • Researchers at the Army Research Lab in Adelphi, Maryland report they have created lighter batteries with high energy density that use no flammable electrolyte and operate without cobalt or nickel in their chemistry. The concept needs to be field-proven. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “187 Nations Signed UN Plastics Waste Protocol, But The US Was Not One Of Them” • After China stopped importing waste, delegates from 187 countries met in Geneva to figure how to deal with plastic refuse. They agreed that waste may not be shipped to a country, if it refuses its permission. The US did not sign the protocol. [CleanTechnica]

Plastic waste (Image: CC0, Public Domain)

¶ “Germany’s SCHMID Plans Saudi Energy Storage JV With GW-Scale Production” • German technology group SCHMID and two Saudi investors plan to form a joint venture in Saudi Arabia to develop and manufacture vanadium redox flow batteries. They plan a GW-scale manufacturing facility in the kingdom to enter production in 2020. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Ørsted Divests Danish Coal Station And Transit Harbor” • Ørsted announced that it had signed an agreement with Danish consortium Stigsnæs Industripark A/S for the sale of a coal-burning power, transit harbor, and coal terminal, near Skælskør, in Denmark. The buyer has experience in demolition and cleanup. It will develop the site. [CleanTechnica]

Stigsnæs Transit Harbour (Ørsted image)

¶ “China Still Most Attractive Renewables Market Despite Subsidy Cuts – EY” • China is the most attractive market for investment in renewable energy for the fourth year in a row and growth there is set to continue despite the country’s efforts to trim subsidies, a report by UK accountancy firm Ernst & Young showed. The US is number two. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Aussie Businesses Take Renewable Energy To The Next Level” • A customer-owned bank has become the first Australian bank to switch to 100% renewable electricity amid a growing push for clean energy in the business sector. Bank Australia joins Westpac and tech company Atlassian as recent Australian companies to join RE100. [Pro Bono Australia]

Wind farm

UK:

¶ “UK Solar Soars To Record High” • Solar generation records were broken in the UK on 13 May on the back of clear and bright weather conditions, according to the Solar Trade Association. STA said a generation peak of 9.47GW was achieved, surpassing the previous record of 9.38GW set in May 2017. Another  new record may be set today. [reNEWS]

¶ “Glasgow Aims To Be The UK’s First ‘Net-Zero’ City” • Plans unveiled by Glasgow would make it the first UK city to reduce its greenhouse emissions to net-zero. The city wants to reach the target before 2045, beating the Scotland-wide ambition of the Scottish government. Glasgow’s plan includes mass EV charging stations. [BBC News]

Glasgow at night (Barnabas Csomor, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Scots To Reap £2 Billion Pumped Hydro Benefits” • Scottish companies are set to benefit from £2 billion investment in three pumped hydro schemes in Scotland, according to ILI Group chief executive Mark Wilson. Speaking on the eve of the All-Energy 2019 trade fair in Glasgow, he said the projects will create thousands of jobs. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Teachers Grapple With Climate Change: ‘A Pretty Scary Topic'” • The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network reviewed more than 30,000 free online resources and found only 700 acceptable for use in schools. The rest include materials from climate change doubters, the oil industry, and others with misleading information. [NBC 10 Philadelphia]

Teaching science (Sarah Blake Morgan | AP)

¶ “Boulder City Looks To Make More Than $1.6 Million Per Year With New Renewable Energy Plant” • Nevada has the best solar power potential in the nation, the US EIA says. Boulder City, which sits between Las Vegas and Lake Mead, is looking to capitalize on a renewable energy push that Nevada is particularly ripe for. [News3LV]

¶ “Students press Portland school board to adopt climate curriculum promised 3 years ago” • Dozens of students packed the auditorium at Portland school district headquarters to demand a science and social studies curriculum that addresses climate change. The school board passed a resolution three years ago promising just that. [OregonLive.com]

Students attending
(Eder Campuzano)

¶ “Springtime Showers Brings State Legislation In The US Friendly To Solar And Wind Energy” • In the months of March and April alone, eight states in the US passed legislation in an attempt to either make the permitting process easier for solar and wind power or to commit to the use of renewable power by a certain date. [The National Law Review]

¶ “A Strong Bipartisan Vote For Wind Power In Connecticut” • Connecticut’s House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for a bipartisan measure that proponents say would make Connecticut a reliable customer of electricity produced by offshore wind turbines, a step to match the output of the aging Millstone nuclear power station. [The CT Mirror]

Have a thoroughly delightful day.

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May 14 Energy News

May 14, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “China, Japan, And South Korea Lie To Themselves (And Us) About Renewable Energy Intentions” • There are about 67 GW of new coal plants scheduled to receive foreign funding in countries around the world. According to EndCoal.org, more than 80% of them are being financed by China, Japan, and South Korea. [CleanTechnica]

Mountaintop removal coal mining

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Say They Have Created An Environmentally Friendly Alternative To Styrofoam” • From an environmental perspective, styrofoam is a disaster. Scientists at Washington State University say they have developed an environmentally friendly material derived from plants that works better than Styrofoam for insulation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Deepest Ever Dive Finds Plastic Bag At Bottom Of Mariana Trench” • An American undersea explorer, Victor Vescovo, has completed what is claimed to be the deepest manned sea dive ever recorded, 10,927 meters (35,853 feet). He returning to the surface with the depressing news that there’s plastic trash down there. [CNN]

Victor Vescovo piloting (Discovery | Five Deeps Expedition)

¶ “Cement Giant Heidelberg Pledges Carbon Neutral Concrete By 2050” • The world’s fourth largest cement manufacturing company, Heidelberg Cement, pledged to bring its emission reduction targets in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, in a first for the industry. The cement sector accounts for around 7% of CO₂ emissions. [Climate Home]

¶ “New Breakthroughs In Fuel Cell Technology Announced” • Scientists at the University of Waterloo announced that they have succeeded in making fuel cells that last ten times longer than the ones commercially available today. They have the potential to make electric cars that cost no more than cars powered by fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Fuel Cell and Green Energy Lab, University of Waterloo

World:

¶ “Gupta’s Cultana Solar Farm Gets Green Light” • The first solar farm in Sanjeev Gupta’s ambitious plans for Whyalla received planning approval from the South Australian government. The Cultana project will see the construction of a 280-MW solar farm he wants to develop to support steel manufacturing plants in the region. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “43 Cities Score ‘A’ Grade In CDP Climate Change Ranking” • A total of 43 cities, including Barcelona, London, Paris, Cape Town, and Hong Kong, populate a new “A List” ranking cities’ action to cut emissions and set climate strategies published this week by environmental impact non-profit CDP to celebrate the start of EU Green Week. [CleanTechnica]

London

¶ “Business, Homes Urged To Turn To Renewable Energy” • Industrialists have called on the business sector and individuals in Zimbabwe to adopt renewable energy sources as a long-term solution to the country’s power shortages. The call came after utility Zesa Holdings started a load-shedding regime due to low water levels in Kariba Dam. [NewsDay]

¶ “‘Step-Change’ In Energy Investment Needed To Meet Climate Goals: IEA” • The world must double spending on renewable power and slash investment in oil and coal by 2030 to keep the Paris climate treaty temperature targets in play, the International Energy Agency said. That would mean reversing the energy trends of 2018. [Phys.Org]

Solar farm in China

¶ “French Watchdog Investigates Potential Nuclear Safety Fraud” • French nuclear regulator ASN said it was looking into possible fraud and falsification regarding nuclear safety, after receiving several warnings from whistleblowers. The ASN said since November it had received 22 warnings and passed four of them to criminal courts. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ “US Offshore Wind Industry Sucking Up Talent From Oil And Gas” • The US oil and gas industry is facing a workforce crisis in the next five years or so, and now here comes the red-hot US wind industry to add fuel to the fire. It seems that the offshore wind industry is beginning to steal talent from its offshore oil and gas competition. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind industry at work at Block Island

¶ “Jury Returns $2 Billion Verdict Against Monsanto For Couple With Cancer” • A jury awarded $2.055 billion to a couple who blamed Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup for their cancers, their attorneys said. They spoke of a “mountain of evidence showing Monsanto’s manipulation of science, the media and regulatory agencies to forward their own agenda.” [CNN]

¶ “Renewable Energy Center Coming To Brayton Point” • The former Brayton Point power station has become the Anbaric Renewable Energy Center, with a 1,200-MW HVDC converter. Commercial Development Company also plans to develop a 400-MW battery storage facility at the site, which is in Somerset, Massachusetts. [newportri.com]

Anbaric Renewable Energy Center (AREC image)

¶ “‘No Middle Ground’: Ocasio-Cortez And Activists Take Aim At Biden At Green New Deal Rally” • Sen Bernie Sanders and Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made the case for radical action to combat climate change at a rally in Washington. “There is no ‘middle ground’ when it comes to climate policy,” Sanders tweeted. [KRTV Great Falls News]

¶ “Venetian Resort Las Vegas, NV Energy Reach Long-Term Agreement” • The Venetian hotel-casino and Nevada utility NV Energy announced that they have reached a long-term energy supply agreement committing to a partnership that advances renewable energy. The resort had considered leaving NV Energy over the issue. [KTNV Las Vegas]

Have a terrifically rewarding day.

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May 13 Energy News

May 13, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “These Days, It’s Not About the Polar Bears” • Social-science investigators have found that the most effective tools for engaging the public in the subject of climate change are those that appeal to core human tendencies. For example, people tend to focus on personal and local problems that are happening right now. [The New York Times]

Children protest (Chris J Ratcliffe | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “There Is More CO₂ In The Atmosphere Today Than Any Point Since The Evolution Of Humans” • According to data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, the concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere is over 415 ppm, far higher than at any point in the last 800,000 years, since before the evolution of the species Homo sapiens. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Yes, The International Monetary Fund Is Waking Up To Financial Risks Of The Climate Crisis” • The IMF is exploring ways in which it can help address the climate crisis. It is working to reflect climate resilience, assess the fiscal impacts of climate policy choices, and evaluate climate risks in its assessments of countries. [CleanTechnica]

Extraction machine at a coal mine (Max Pixel)

¶ “Elonroad EV Charging System To Get First Trial In Sweden” • After eight years of research by the University of Lund, with funding from the Swedish government, the city of Lund is about to begin installing the first kilometer of Elonroad track along a heavily used bus route to recharge electric bus batteries as they drive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Climate Corps Fellows Unearth Energy Savings For BYD” • As a leader in not only plug-in vehicles, but also in stationary energy storage, and grid scale solar, BYD is always looking for ways to reduce its carbon footprint. It reached out to the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps program for external expertise. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Electric Truck factory (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Australian Islanders To Lodge Landmark UN Complaint On Climate Change” • According to lawyers involved in the action. a group of indigenous people is filing an unprecedented legal complaint against the government of Australia, accusing it of breaching their human rights by falling short on its Paris climate accord pledges. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Climate And Energy Goals Can Be Met Without Sacrificing Rivers: WWF” • A report from the Nature Conservancy and the WWF showed that the renewable energy transition can solve the world’s climate and energy challenges without sacrificing its remaining free-flowing rivers and the benefits they provide to people and nature. [Saurenergy]

Renewable energy and river

¶ “Renewables MMI: World Bank Launches Fund For Sustainable Mining Practices” • As the world increasingly moves toward having its energy needs met by renewables, the environmental impact of the metal mining needed for renewable energy has come into focus. So the World Bank launched a Climate-Smart Mining Facility. [MetalMiner]

¶ “German Onshore Wind ‘Collapse’ Jeopardises EU Renewable Energy Goals” • The “collapse” in the growth of onshore wind energy in Germany is jeopardising renewable energy targets, Trade body WindEurope says. Only 134 MW of German onshore wind capacity was installed in Q1 of 2019. It was the worst first quarter since 2000. [Energy Live News]

Onshore wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “UN Chief: Climate Change ‘Running Faster Than We Are'” • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “Climate change is running faster than what we are.” He pointed out that Countries are not living up to their commitments under the 2016 Paris Agreement, even though the last four years have been the hottest in history. [Aljazeera.com]

¶ “TEPCO tests halting water injection into crippled reactor at Fukushima No 1 nuclear power plant” • The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant conducted a test, temporarily halting the water injection into one of the reactors that suffered a core meltdown in 2011. The test will provide core temperature data. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima Daiichi (Kyodo image)

US:

¶ “Tech Giants Get Antsy In Northern Virginia: Give Us Renewable Power, There’s A Planet To Save… And PR To Harvest” • A letter signed by Apple, Microsoft, and several other businesses demands that “energy providers” in Virginia – which basically means Dominion – offer more solar and wind power to data center operators. [The Register]

¶ “On Climate, Washington State Back In The Lead” • The state of Washington closed out its 2019 legislative session with some big wins for the climate. The legislature passed a 100% clean electricity standard, new efficiency policies, and regulation of super-pollutants. But there is more to do, especially in regards to transportation emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Charging station (Washington State Dept of Transportation)

¶ “Minnesota Power Offers Renewable Energy Programs” • Some energy resources are more environmentally friendly than others. Minnesota Power has rolled out several different options for home and business owners to use clean energy sources with its EnergyForward program for customers looking to turn to clean energy. [KBJR 6]

¶ “Tucson Electric To Save $13 Million Through Partnership With ‘Real-Time’ Wholesale Power Market” • Tucson Electric Power Co announced that it will join the Western Energy Imbalance Market, a move it says will save $13 million a year. It signed with the California Independent System Operator to participate starting in April 2022. [Arizona Daily Star]

Have a transcendentally gleeful day.

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May 12 Energy News

May 12, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Life As We Know It” • Species of plants and animals are disappearing faster than at any time in human history. We know who is to blame. Our planet has suffered five mass extinctions, with the last about 66 million years ago, probably because of an asteroid hit the Earth. Now, the sixth extinction is here, and the asteroid is us. [The New York Times]

Threatening extinctions (Yann Kebbi)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Google Supports WattTime Power Plant Emissions Tracking Project” • WattTime intends to create a public database that will track carbon emissions from all the world’s large power plants using artificial intelligence, using AI and satellite technology in combination. The project will receive $1.7 million in funding from Google.org. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Elaphe Debuts New High-Torque In-Wheel Hub Motor” • Elaphe, a Tier One auto industry supplier, is a leader in designing in-wheel motors, with products for everything from small passenger cars to light trucks. At the Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo in Stuttgart, the company unveiled its new L1500 gearless in-wheel motor. [CleanTechnica]

Elaphe L1500 high-performance in-wheel motor

¶ “Just Add Water: Salt Battery Could Help Renewable Energy Use” • Vattenfall and Swedish start-up SaltX are working on a thermal battery. When calcium oxide reacts with water to make calcium hydroxide, it releases a lot of heat. When the water is removed, the material changes back into calcium oxide. The thermal battery stores heat. [Japan Today]

World:

¶ “Tesla Model 3’s March Tsunami In Europe – CleanTechnica EV Sales Report” • The European passenger plug-in vehicle market had a record 60,000 registrations in March, with growth of 38% compared to the same period last year. Considering the 4% drop  in the stagnating mainstream market, this was really good performance. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 in Germany

¶ “China: BAIC EU-Series Hit 13,000 Sales In March, Tesla Model 3 Scored 5,000 – CleanTechnica EV Sales Report” • March saw the Chinese plug-in EV market surpass 110,000 units, up 86% year over year. Meanwhile, the mainstream market was down 7% in March, allowing the March plug-in vehicle share to reach 5.8% of total sales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Aswan Solar Power Park Highlights Egypt’s Renewable Energy Strategy” • Egypt is preparing to open a huge solar PV park at the southern city of Aswan. The 1,600-MW Benban Solar Park has been under construction since 2017 by nearly two dozen major renewable energy companies. It will be fully operational later this year. [The Arab Weekly]

A cheaper alternative (AFP photo)

¶ “Proportion Of Renewable Energy Reaches A Record High Of 7% Of Total Power Generation In Q1” • In the first quarter this year, renewable energy made up a record-high proportion of South Korea’s total power generation at 7.5%, up from 5.5% the year before. Coal was at 40%, down 5%, and LNG was down 3% to 26% of the total. [Arirang News]

¶ “Rack ’em Up: Another Riverina Solar Farm Approved” • A large-scale ESCO Pacific-championed solar project received New South Wales Government approval, bringing to 26 the number of solar farms given the green light by the State since 2017. That’s another 100 MW towards the NSW goal of more than 10 GW of renewables by 2021. [pv magazine Australia]

Sunraysia Solar Farm (Maoneng image)

¶ “The UN Push On Climate Change Is Shaping Up Amid Geopolitical Shifts” • A major UN push for progress on climate change kicks off next week when UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Guterres travels to New Zealand and several Pacific islands, where rising sea levels are threatening the very existence of small countries. [The Asian Age]

¶ “Fukushima’s Mothers Became Radiation Experts To Protect Their Children After Nuclear Meltdown” • Inside a laboratory in Fukushima, sophisticated equipment clicks, beeps, and buzzes, tended by women in lab coats. But the lab workers are not typical scientists. They are ordinary mums who have built their own extraordinary laboratory. [ABC News]

Checking for radiation (Yumi Asada | ABC News)

US:

¶ “Joe Biden looks to revive Obama’s climate plan. Scientists say that’s not good enough.” • Presidential candidate Joe Biden favors reinstating Obama-era regulations on emissions. “There may have been a chance for modest, ‘all of the above,’ ‘middle ground’ climate strategies 20 years ago but we’ve passed that point now,” said one climate scientist. [Grist]

¶ “Mount Diablo State Park Could Be Opened For Drilling Under Federal Proposal” • The Trump administration has proposed opening new stretches of San Francisco Bay Area land to oil and gas exploration. The Bureau of Land Management areas that could be opened to drilling includes land in and near Mount Diablo State Park. [KCBS]

Mount Diablo (Getty Images)

¶ “GOP Candidate Weld Talks Trump At Valley News-Sponsored Forum” • Former Massachusetts Gov Bill Weld, campaigning in the Republican primary against Pres Trump, visited towns in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire. Among the Trump’s positions he attacked were climate change, fossil fuels, and renewable energy. [Valley News]

¶ “Sanders To Join Ocasio-Cortez In Headlining Green New Deal Rally Monday” • Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) will be joining Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in headlining a rally on May 5 at Howard University in Washington, DC, to support the Green New Deal resolution, which calls for sweeping reforms to combat climate change. [The Hill]

Have a vastly contented day.

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May 11 Energy News

May 11, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Weekend Read: Drivers Of Energy Convergence” • The risks posed by the energy transition to the stability of electricity networks appear to have been misrepresented. With Germany’s Energiewende, electricity network stability has increased as penetrations of solar PV and wind generation continue to creep higher. [pv magazine International]

Intersolar Europe trade fair

Science and Technology:

¶ “Seeing Energy From Space: 5 Tools Using Remote Sensing To Improve Life On Earth” • Tracking changes in the electricity sector has massive implications for how countries develop, and how we can tackle climate change. Several organizations are gathering data on the changes using geospatial data and satellite imagery. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dual Axis Solar Tracker Field Performance Yields 27.7% ROI” • The slow adoption of new technology in the US solar industry allows time to establish performance data. In the case of large-format dual axis trackers, the latest numbers are eye-catching: a 27.73% return on investment, or a payback period of only three years. [CleanTechnica]

Large format dual axis trackers (Credit: Charles W Thurston)

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Books 10,000 Online Reservations For ID.3 Electric Car In First 24 Hours” • Volkswagen announced that it will build just 30,000 units of its special edition ID.3 electric hatchback. Within 24 hours, more than 10,000 people ponied up €1,000 to reserve theirs. The VW ID.3 is scheduled to go into production this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Report: MENA Renewable Capacity Growth Accelerates In 2018” • Renewable capacity expansion sped up during 2018 in many developing countries in the Middle East and North Africa region along with parts of Asia. This is driven by rapidly falling costs for wind and solar PVs, an International Energy Agency report says. [Al-Bawaba]

Sun and solar PVs (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Ireland Goes 25 Days Without Using Coal To Generate Electricity” • The island of Ireland has gone a record length of time without using coal-fired electricity generation on its power system, according to Eirgrid. The Irish all-island grid operated without coal between April 11th and May 7th, a total of 25 days, Eirgrid confirmed. [Irish Times]

¶ “Powering Up Clean Energy On Semakau” • Semakau Island might be known for being Singapore’s only landfill site, but it also produces 100% clean energy to power a fish farm there. The island’s solar panels and wind turbine have a combined 1.5-MW peak capacity. Using it, Barramundi Asia runs its fish farm on 100% clean energy. [The Straits Times]

Solar panels on Semakau Island (Mark Cheong | Straits Times)

¶ “TEPCO To Slice Dangerous Chimney At Fukushima Plant” • TEPCO plans to start work on May 20 to dismantle a 120-meter-tall, highly contaminated chimney that could collapse at the crippled Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant. It will be the first highly radiated facility at the plant to be taken apart, the company said. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ “NREL And ExxonMobil Team Up For Renewable Energy Research” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has teamed up with ExxonMobil to “pursue new breakthroughs in low-emission energy technologies,” the Denver Post says. The oil giant will invest $100 million over the next decade in the NREL’s research programs. [CleanTechnica]

NREL research lab (Credit: NREL)

¶ “Sanders Says Biden’s ‘Middle Ground’ Approach to Climate Crisis Would ‘Doom Future Generations'” • “There is no ‘middle ground’ when it comes to climate policy,” the Vermont senator tweeted, quoting from a Reuters report on Biden’s efforts to develop a climate plan that would leave the door open to so-called “fossil fuel options.” [Common Dreams]

¶ “Duke CEO Threatens Action Against South Carolina Customers After Officials Vote Down Steep Rate Hike” • The head of Duke Energy, the largest US utility, threatened to pull back future investments in customer services in South Carolina after state regulators voted to cut the steep rate hike proposed by the utility. [Environmental Working Group]

Home PV system

¶ “Avant-Garde Ag: Idaho Farmers Embrace Technology” • The recent Census of Agriculture shows Idaho farmers are embracing modern technology, from renewable energy systems to the internet. The Census of Agriculture, which is produced by the Department of Agriculture, collects data every five years from farms and ranches. [Idaho State Journal]

¶ “California’s Mid-Day Solar Power Glut Has Become Obvious” • California’s Independent System Operator, or CAISO, has long cautioned that renewable power production would eventually grow to a point where supply exceeds demand on pleasant spring and autumn days. This could produce economic headwinds for solar companies. [Seeking Alpha]

CAISO power production

¶ “The Fight Over Green Jobs In Coal Country: ‘We Can Become Important Again'” • For much of coal country, alternative energy is almost a bad word. The coal industry, which sustained families for generations, is regularly lambasted by environmentalists. There were near-record coal plant closures in 2018. But there are jobs with renewables. [CBS News]

¶ “Ameren Missouri Plans Third In-State Wind Generation Facility” • Ameren Missouri announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a third wind generation facility in Missouri after it is built. The 300-MW facility, developed by Tradewind Energy, an Enel Green Power company, will be in Atchison County. [EnerCom Inc]

Have a gloriously cheerful day.

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May 10 Energy News

May 10, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “These Scientists Did More Than Tell Us We Were Doomed” • In the past few days, a series of apocalyptic headlines appeared, telling us that a million species were threatened with extinction, based on an IPBES report. It is important to remember that the report didn’t just talk about doom. The committee also offered solutions. [Sierra Magazine]

Mangrove forest (Photo: The X File Photo | Istock)

¶ “Climate Change Finally The Most Important Issue To US Democratic Voters. Will It Last Until Election Day?” • In past US presidential elections, candidates steered clear of climate change. But according to two polls of registered Democratic voters, those who are lining up to take on Donald Trump in 2020 will ignore it at their peril. [Bellona]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Weeds Help Fight Climate Change” • Most people see weeds as a problem. But one farmer has found they can help make dry, damaged land lush again, and they also absorb carbon from the atmosphere. His observations of the flow of water from high to low places inspired what is called natural sequence farming. [BBC]

Re-establishing vegetation on parched land (Getty Images)

¶ “Fully Recyclable Plastics Breakthrough! This Could Change Everything” • Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created a recyclable plastic that can be disassembled into its constituent parts at the molecular level. It can then be reassembled repeatedly into a different forms without loss of quality. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Simple, Yet Elusive, Key To Fighting The Climate Crisis” • Unsustainable human behaviors over-consuming and depleting environmental resources are becoming a threat to human health and prosperity. Preserving and restoring forests is an effective step toward mitigating climate change. And it comes with a host of other benefits. [CleanTechnica]

Fishing in Benin, Western Africa (Pixabay image)

World:

¶ “WindEurope Launches EU Election Campaign” • WindEurope launched a campaign to mobilize the 300,000 people who work in European wind energy to be sure to vote in the European elections on 23-26 May. The campaign aims to encourage voter turnout to ensure Europe remains on the right track in terms of its climate ambition. [reNEWS]

¶ “Solar Energy Is On The Rise, As Coal-Fired Power Stations Age And Gas Prices Rise – But Is The Grid Ready?” • Last year, the amount of electricity generated by Australian solar panels and wind turbines rose by almost a third from 9.8% to 12.6% of total generation. The rate of installations is increasing, and the grid has to be prepared. [ABC News]

Solar array (Jane Cowan | ABC News)

¶ “Top Scientists Call For A Halt To Nuclear Power Generation” • For the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement, a paper published in the India Forum provided a biting criticism. The deal’s goals have not been realized, but its threats to India’s economics, democracy, and safety have become clear. [Kashmir Times]

¶ “Ofgem Grid Changes ‘To Hit UK Renewables’” • UK regulator Ofgem’s targeted charging review proposals will lead to a 6-GW reduction in onshore wind and solar installations by 2035, energy consultancy Aurora said. The findings are in contrast to Ofgem’s impact assessment, which assumed renewables deployment would remain unchanged. [reNEWS]

Penyrheollas solar farm (BayWa image)

US:

¶ “US Residential Solar Installs Hit 2 Million In Q2” • The US now has over 2 million solar systems installed, and forecasts are that the number will double by 2023, according to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The first million installations took 40 years, but the second took just three. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Feeds Wyoming Whoppers” • Vestas has secured a turbine order totalling 459 MW from PacifiCorp for two wind farms in Wyoming. The deals for the TB Flats 1 and 2 projects are for V136 machines, each of 4.3-MW capacity. With previously purchased turbines, the wind farms will have a total capacity of 503 MW, Vestas said. [reNEWS]

Installing a blade (Vestas image)

¶ “Sunrun Nearly Doubles Tesla Solar Installations In Middling First Quarter” • The largest residential solar, storage, and energy services provider in the US, Sunrun, installed 86 MW in the first quarter of 2019, which could be described middling. Doing so, it trounced former US residential solar leader Tesla, which installed only 47 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “200+ Groups Demand Senate Kill Bill That Would Pour ‘Fuel On Fire of Climate Crisis'” • Over 200 national climate action groups demanded that the Senate reject a bill that would help keep both Europe and the US dependent on fossil fuels for decades to come, providing billions of dollars for natural gas infrastructure projects. [Common Dreams]

Fracking in Wyoming (Photo: Wendy
Shattil, Bob Rozinksi, Creative Commons)

¶ “Coal’s Slide To Continue In US As Renewables Fill The Gap” • US demand for coal to generate electricity will continue its slide in coming months, federal officials said, despite efforts by the Trump administration to shore up the struggling industry. Wind, solar, and hydropower are expected to fill much of the gap left by coal’s decline. [Great Falls Tribune]

¶ “New Report Finds It’s A Buyer’s Market: Wind And Solar Costs Are Down” • LevelTen Energy’s latest quarterly report shows significant declines in the cost of electricity from wind and solar sources. Across markets, an evenly weighted index of wind and solar prices decreased $0.39/MWh, which is 2.3% quarter-over-quarter. [Windpower Engineering]

Have an enthrallingly pleasing day.

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May 9 Energy News

May 9, 2019

World:

¶ “Sweden Looks To More Solar To Reach 100% Renewables By 2045” •  Sweden is currently eyeing plans to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2045. And though the country is often without any sunlight during winter, the country’s energy agency is still considering the role of solar PV in its plans. [RenewEconomy]

Sweden

¶ “Renewable Energy Overpowers Coal In Germany” • According to Fraunhofer Institute evaluations, Germany’s renewable power sector pulled bigger production numbers than coal in 2018 for the first time ever, with 40% of the country’s electricity coming from wind, biomass, solar, and hydroelectric sources compared to 38% from coal. [ThomasNet News]

¶ “Solar Power Generation In India Increased By 34% Year-Over-Year In Q1 2019” • According to the data released by the Central Electricity Authority, solar power accounted for over 11.4 billion kWh of electricity produced in Q1 2019. This marks a growth of 34% year-over-year from the 8.5 billion kWh generated in the Q1 2018. [Mercom India]

Solar array

¶ “India To Exceed Climate Compliance Under Paris Agreement: Moody’s” • India will exceed the compliance of its commitment made to address climate change under the Paris agreement, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Non-fossil-based fuel sources are likely likely to increase to 45% of Indian capacity by 2022. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Britain Records First Coal-Free Week Since The Victorian Era, Thanks To Gas, Nuclear Power And Renewables” • Britain has now gone seven days without using any electricity generated from coal, for the first time since the Victorian era. Ten years ago, coal produced about a third of the Britain’s electricity. Since May 2, the country has been powered by natural gas and nuclear energy, and renewables. [ABC News]

Walney Extension wind farm (Reuters: Phil Noble)

¶ “Europe’s First Gigafactory For Battery Storage Systems” • Europe’s first gigafactory for battery storage systems is being put into operation in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany. Battery maker Tesvolt is working to establish new production facilities for lithium storage systems with an annual production capacity of over 1 GWh. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Beatrice Nears Finish Line” • The last batch of the Siemens Gamesa 7-MW turbines for the 588-MW Beatrice offshore wind farm have been loaded onto Swire Blue Ocean jack-up Pacific Orca for installation off the coast of Scotland. Beatrice will have 84 turbines and is scheduled to be fully commissioned later this year. [reNEWS]

Offshore installation (Swire Blue Ocean image)

US:

¶ “FERC Report Indicates Shining Days For Renewable Energy Sector” • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report said solar, wind, and hydropower accounted for 59.6% of new capacity added to the US electricity generation mix during the first quarter of 2019. Renewables now account for 21.49% of our installed capacity. [Greentech Lead]

¶ “Renewables Secured: EVgo Contracts 100% Renewables For Customer Charging” • EVgo is the first EV charging network in the US to contract 100% of the energy needed to power its customers with renewable energy. EVgo is responding to customers asking to have 100% of the electricity for EV charging sourced from renewables. [CleanTechnica]

EVgo Fast Charging station in California (EVgo image)

¶ “Walmart Signs 46 Solar Deals With C2 Energy Capital” • C2 Energy Capital LLC has executed 46 power purchase agreements and leases with Walmart Inc to provide solar electric power at the retailer’s operations in five states. The projects are expected to supply approximately 10%-60% of each store’s overall electricity consumption. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Block Island Offshore Wind Farm Improves Fishing And Tourism” • Researchers at the University of Rhode Island studied the effects the Block Island wind farm had on local fishing and tourism. They found recreational fishing was increased, though feeling were mixed among those who fish commercially, and tourism improved. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island wind farm (Deepwater Wind image)

¶ “Solar Energy Legislation That Could Lower Power Bills Wins Senate Approval” • With just a day left in the legislative session, the South Carolina Senate approved a solar energy bill that boosters said will keep the state’s rooftop solar industry in business and help homeowners use sun panels to save money on power bills. [The State]

¶ “Renewable Energy Firm Heads To Maine’s High Court To Fight CMP’s $1 Billion Transmission Line” • NextEra Energy Resources is appealing the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s granting of an important certificate for Central Maine Power’s proposed hydropower corridor from Canada through western Maine. [Bangor Daily News]

Transmission lines (Courtesy of Central Maine Power)

¶ “South Miami Commits To Running On 100% Renewable Energy By 2040” • After succeeding on his own off-grid trial, South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard is taking the entire city with him. The South Miami City Commission unanimously passed a resolution saying the city will transition to 100% clean, renewable energy by the year 2040. [Miami New Times]

¶ “Exelon To Shut Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant” • Exelon Corp says it’s moving forward with plans to close the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania after a bid to bail out struggling reactors failed to advance in the state legislature. Exelon had hoped to get $500 million per year in subsidies to keep the plant open. [Bloomberg]

Have an amazingly fun day.

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May 8 Energy News

May 8, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “We’ll Soon Know The Exact Air Pollution From Every Power Plant In The World. That’s Huge.” • A nonprofit AI firm called WattTime will use satellite imagery to track the air pollution (including carbon emissions) coming out of every single power plant in the world precisely, in real time. And it’s going to make the data public. [Vox]

Keeping an eye on the polluters (Shutterstock)

¶ “How To Overcome Obstacles To Microgrid Financing” • Microgrid financing is still evolving. This is due in part to the complexity of microgrids, which use numerous technologies and are deployed using many different models, including utility, community, and remote options. The complexity can make it difficult to find financing. [Microgrid Knowledge]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Is Helping Spread A Fungus That Attacks Bananas” • A fungal plant disease from Asia has been spreading across banana-growing areas of Latin America and the Caribbean since the 1960s. New research indicatess that the changing climate is aiding the spread of this highly destructive plant infection. [CNN]

Bananas (Helene Valenzuela | AFP | AFP | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Australian Mayors Want More Ambition On Climate Change, 100% Renewables” • Ahead of Australia’s Federal Election, a group of mayors from across the country has called for Federal leaders to prioritize climate action and commit to phasing out fossil fuels. They want the government to lock in 100% renewable energy targets. [Sask News Now]

¶ “Germany Is Opening Its First Electric Highway For Trucks” • One answer to the problem of pollution from diesel trucks is using overhead lines to power big rigs. A system that allows trucks to draw electric power from overhead cables went into operation on 10 km (6.2 miles) of the Autobahn, according to the German government. [CNN]

Trucks equipped to operate on electric power
(Silas Stein | Picture Alliance | Getty Images)

¶ “Iran Nuclear Deal: Tehran May Increase Uranium Enrichment” • Iran pulled out of key commitments of the 2015 international nuclear deal, a year after it was abandoned by the US. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave the deal’s remaining signatories 60 days to choose between meeting their commitments to the deal or following US sanctions. [BBC]

¶ “Age Of Cheap Coal Power Is Over For Australia, Says BNEF” • The era of cheap coal power in Australia is over, brought to an abrupt end by ever cheaper solar and wind power generation, and by rising coal prices, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Kobad Bhavnagri. The change happened more quickly than anyone had predicted. [RenewEconomy]

Scott Morrison, now prime minister, extolling
the virtues of coal (Image: Lukas Coch | AAP)

¶ “Siemens Spins Off Struggling Gas And Power In Smart Digital Shift” • Siemens is spinning off its gas and power business, which has dragged on the German engineering firm’s performance as the rise of renewable power hits demand for gas turbines. The gas and power unit’s 2018 profit had fallen by 75% as revenue dropped 19%. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Swedish Partners Target 1 GW Of Wind” • Swedish pulp and paper producer SCA is working with OX2 to develop up to 1000 MW of new wind power on its land within five years. To start, SCA and OX2 have identified a small number of areas that are suitable for wind power in Norrland county and have begun to develop four projects. [reNEWS]

Installing a wind turbine (Joachim Lagercrantz | OX2)

US:

¶ “1 In 5 Americans Now Live In Places Committed To 100% Clean Power” • With Washington state, Nevada, New Mexico, California, Hawaii, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico, all committed to goals of 100% renewable energy, one in five Americans lives in places with such a goal. Seven more states have bills to meet the same goal. [Grist]

¶ “Fossil Fuel Complicity No Longer Hidden Behind ‘Fiduciary Duty’” • One argument against divestment of fossil fuel holdings is breach of fiduciary duty to invest for the highest financial returns. That argument is failing as the world turns ever more to renewables, for reasons relating to the environment, economics, and security. [CleanTechnica]

Polluting plant (Pixabay image)

¶ “Massachusetts’ Multipronged Policy Approach Spurs Distributed Energy Storage” • Massachusetts is a leader in the deployment of distributed energy storage in America, due to forward-thinking legislative approaches and other measures aimed at unlocking the full potential of the resource, analysts told Utility Dive. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Montana Solar Farm Deal Would Provide Power To 4,900 Homes” • A utility and a solar energy company in Montana agreed to launch a solar farm large enough to power 4,900 homes. The 20-MW, $18 million system would be developed as a Community Renewable Energy Project. It is expected to come online in 2021. [Great Falls Tribune]

NorthWestern Energy solar pilot (Photo: NorthWestern Energy)

¶ “Bipartisan Group Of Legislators Reintroduces Bills To Get PA 100% Powered By Renewable Energy” • A bipartisan group of state legislators is re-introducing a pair of bills aimed at getting Pennsylvania to have 100% renewable energy by 2050. Sen Tom Killion (R-Chester) said “It’s not just about the environment. It’s about jobs.” [WHYY]

¶ “Illinois Weighs Novel Approach To Quitting Coal” • NRG Energy Inc, Illinois’ second-largest coal plant owner, wants coal units to be eligible for payments by converting to natural gas or even shutting down under a broader utility plan to help reduce carbon emissions. The measure faces long odds, joining a crowded field of complex energy bills. [E&E News]

Have an unquestionably magnificent day.

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May 7 Energy News

May 7, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Warren Buffett Is Betting On Solar: Should You?” • In his annual shareholder meeting, Warren Buffett reiterated his interest in the renewable energy sector, saying that company was prepared to spend tremendous amounts of money to deploy more renewable solutions moving forward. Investors should not overlook the opportunity. [The Motley Fool Canada]

Solar and wind (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Find Human Link To Drought As Early As 1900” • In the study “Twentieth-century hydroclimate changes consistent with human influence,” published in the journal Nature, scientists claim they detected evidence that human activity was already contributing to drought conditions in many parts of the world in the early 1900s. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Arctic Permafrost Is Melting So Fast It’s Damaging The Equipment Scientists Use To Measure It” • Permafrost is the Arctic region’s bedrock. A study says it is melting so fast that it’s not just ripping up the landscape; it is wrecking the scientific equipment used to measure it. And it is making climate change even worse for all of us. [CNN]

Disko Bay (Education images | Getty Images)

¶ “Global Health Benefits Of Climate Action Offset Costs” • The price for cutting global emissions rapidly may appear to be high, but a study published in Nature Communications shows that immediate, dramatic cuts in carbon emissions to meet the Paris Agreement are economically sound when human health benefits are factored in. [EurekAlert]

World:

¶ “Mercedes-Benz ‘Flips The Switch’ On EQC Production At Its Bremen Factory” • Mercedes-Benz announced the start of production for its electric EQC, starting at €59,900 euros ($67,132). Board chairman Dieter Zetsche called the move “the dawn of a new era at Mercedes.” Later this year, the EQC will also be made in China. [CleanTechnica]

Showing a Daimler Accumotive battery

¶ “Renewable Power Capacity Stalls For First Time Since Turn Of Millennium” • After nearly two decades of strong annual growth, renewables added as much net capacity globally in 2018 as they did in 2017, an unexpected flattening of growth trends that raises concerns about meeting long-term climate goals, according to the IEA. [Portfolio English Edition]

¶ “Daintree Rainforest Solar To Hydrogen Microgrid An Australian First” • A test-run for Australia’s first solar-to-hydrogen microgrid is great news for the ecologically sensitive Daintree Rainforest. Energy from rooftop solar power systems will go into a reticulated microgrid. There, energy can be used to create hydrogen for fuel. [Energy Matters]

Daintree Rainforest

¶ “Britain Goes Coal-Free For 100 Hours, Setting New Record For Energy Use” • Britain was powered by sources other than coal for over 100 hours at the weekend, setting a record. The National Grid says coal is less impartant as renewable energy sources are more reliable and the public is installing more solar panels. [Telegraph.co.uk]

¶ “Rising Coal And Gas Costs Push Australia Electricity Prices To Record Highs” • Electricity prices across much of Australia’s main grid rose to record highs in the first quarter of 2019, the Australian Energy Market Operator said. It blames the record heatwave, rising coal and gas costs, and the rising cost of hydro power because of the drought. [RenewEconomy]

Installing solar power

US:

¶ “Renewables Outproduced Coal Power In The US For The First Time Ever” • Last month, for the first time, renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydro outpaced coal generation, according to data from the Energy Information Administration and an analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. [Popular Mechanics]

¶ “ABB Electrifies The Niagara Falls’ Iconic Maid Of The Mist Ferries” • ABB announced that its zero emission technology will power the next generation fully electric ferries for the iconic Maid of the Mist tour. The two new vessels will go into service next year, powered completely by high-capacity battery packs, according to ABB. [CleanTechnica]

ABB Maid of the Mist electric ferries (ABB)

¶ “Los Angeles Green New Deal Will Change City’s Car Culture” • LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is proposing his own version of a Green New Deal. If he gets his way, the impact on personal vehicles will be profound. Among other things, Garcetti’s plan calls for 80% of the vehicles in LA to be powered by electricity or zero emissions fuels by 2035. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “C2 Energy Capital To Build Up C&I Solar Portfolio To 400 MW” • C2 Energy Capital, based in New York, plans to increase the size of its commercial and industrial-focused solar portfolio by a factor of four, to 400 MW, within two years, a co-founder and managing member of the company said. C2 owns over 100 solar projects in 9 US states. [CleanTechnica]

Napa County solar array (Credit: Far Niente Winery)

¶ “Akamai To Power Its Dallas Data Center With Wind Energy” • Texas’ Seymour Hills Wind project is complete and expected to become commercially operational in the coming weeks. The project is an investment of Akamai Technologies, a content delivery network and cloud service provider that invested in the wind farm. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Conservatives Criticize FirstEnergy Nuclear Bailout Bill As ‘Corporate Welfare’” • The Ohio Republicans pushing a bill to subsidize two nuclear plants are finding themselves at odds with conservative groups in the state. The bill would make customers pay over $300 million to keep the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear power plants going. [Energy News Network]

Have an abundantly fruitful day.

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May 6 Energy News

May 6, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Coal’s Future Is In The Hands Of The People, Not Banks” • Climate change is at the top of many American voters’ minds, as evidenced by a CNN poll last week. And elsewhere, even while some governments continue to promote coal to generate power, surveys show the people want to use renewable power and to breathe clean air. [Bloomberg]

Coal and wind (Ina Fassbender | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Why Climate ‘Paralysis’ Looms Over Australia’s Election” • In an ABC poll of over 100,000 Australian voters, it’s clear the environment has become the number one issue. It was rated as the matter of biggest concern by 29% voters, up from just 9% in the 2016 election. Australia has many climate deniers in office, and they may lose their jobs. [BBC]

¶ “How Global Warming Has Made The Rich Richer” • Global temperatures may be rising, but not all of us feel the impact in the same way. The gap between the world’s poorest and richest countries is about 25% larger today than it would have been without global warming, according to researchers at Stanford University in California. [BBC]

Life in Nigeria (Luis Tato | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Trump Is Dissing Green Energy But China Is Financing Its Growth With Its Belt And Road Initiative” • With its Belt and Road Initiative, China is seizing on an international opportunity that the Trump administration has forsaken, helping other countries expand their domestic infrastructures, potentially with green power plants. [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Targeting Agricultural Pests Without Pesticides” • According to Science Daily, Dr Konstantin Blyuss, a mathematician at the University of Sussex, has developed a chemical-free way to target precisely a parasitic worm that destroys wheat crops. It works with the plant’s own genes to kill nematodes without harming insects, birds, or mammals. [CleanTechnica]

Agriculture

¶ “New Research Touts Benefits Of Solar Power For Schools” • Data collected by researchers at Stanford University showed that taking advantage of all viable space for solar panels could allow schools to meet up to 75% of their electricity needs and reduce the education sector’s carbon footprint by as much as 28%, according to Science Daily. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Carbon Farming Can Help Stop Climate Change In Its Tracks” • Photosynthesis produces sugar and atmospheric oxygen. “Everything that grows here starts with sugar. Soil microbes eat sugar.” And feeding these soil microbes builds soil and sequesters atmospheric carbon in the ground “at a rate previously thought impossible.” [The Nation]

Soil to sequester carbon

¶ “Climate Change Threatens One Million Species With Extinction: Scientists” • Relentless pursuit of economic growth and the impact of climate change, have put an “unprecedented” one million species at risk of extinction, scientists said in a landmark report on the damage done by modern civilization to the natural world. [Insurance Journal]

World:

¶ “Wind And Solar Projects Poised To Lead Hunter’s Clean Energy Transition” • Two projects slated for New South Wales are spearheading the Upper Hunter region’s transition away from coal to a low-carbon economy. Proposals for a 250-MW wind farm and a 25-MW solar farm would provide power to more than 100,000 homes. [Newcastle Herald]

Wind farm

¶ “Battery Storage Market Will Be Worth $13 Billion By 2023” • A report from analyst Globaldata says falling system prices, the need for more resilient grids, and favorable policies, continue to fire the energy storage industry around the globe. It says the Asia-Pacific region is likely to remain the biggest market for energy storage. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Energy Storage Scheme ‘Vital’ In Climate Change Emergency” • ILI Group has more than 2 GW of pumped storage schemes in the pipeline with their first 450-MW development currently in planning and further two projects to be submitted for approval later this year. It plans to support Scotland’s switch to renewable energy. [The National]

Hydro power in Scotland

US:

¶ “Bernie Mocks Trump ‘Profound Scientist’ for Wind Energy Quip” • At a rally at Iowa State University, Sen Bernie Sanders touched on wind energy. It is an issue of importance in Iowa, which leads the country. He reminded the audience of Trump’s claim that wind turbines cause cancer, calling him a “profound scientist.” They laughed. [Newsmax]

¶ “There Were 137 Oil Spills In The US In 2018 – See Where They Happened” • Oil spills don’t make the news very often unless they are big like the Deepwater Horizon spill, which may have released 205 million gallons into the Gulf of Mexico. But oil spills happen frequently. According to data from NOAA, there were 137 in 2018. [CleanTechnica]

Spill in American Samoa (NOAA image)

¶ “With Or Without Green New Deal, Kentucky’s Energy Future Is Heading Away From Coal” • Over the past five years, Kentucky has shifted significantly shift away from coal power, thanks to cheaper natural gas. Now, the Green New Deal is pushing conversations about Kentucky’s energy future further into the political arena. [Courier Journal]

¶ “Powering Down: Iowa’s Only Nuclear Plant Nears End” • After 45 years of operation, Iowa’s only nuclear power plant is slated to close. Its Florida-based owner, NextEra Energy, announced last summer that Duane Arnold would end energy production by the end of 2020. The old nuclear plant can no longer compete with cheaper sources of energy. [The Gazette]

Have an astonishingly splendid day.

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May 5 Energy News

May 5, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Can Microgrids Really Bring Power To The Last Billion?” • After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico turned to microgrids for resiliency. Puerto Rico’s embrace of microgrids hints at a different energy future. Some of the 1 billion people around the world without electricity may finally get it without ever needing a central power grid. [Quartz]

Line workers (Amit Dave | Reuters)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Groovy New Solar Technology May Be Future Of Renewable Energy” • An innovative 3D solar-cell design with a radically different architecture, which drives down the costs of cell manufacture, may define the future of renewable energy as it potentially reduces optical losses within a device, according to UK scientists. [ETEnergyworld.com]

World:

¶ “Civil Society Organizations Are Learning To Track Climate Adaptation Spending To Ensure It Reaches The Communities That Need It Most” • Countries on the frontlines of climate change are already using their own scarce domestic resources for adaptation to supplement international flows. CSOs have been learning to help. [CleanTechnica]

Flooding in Manila (Photo: EU Civil Protection
and Humanitarian Aid Operations | Flickr)

¶ “Energy Consultants Urge East Lancashire Firms To Put Faith In Wind Power” • Businesswise Solutions, an energy consultant in East Lancashire, is urging firms to play their small part in climate change by switching to greener alternatives. It is helping businesses switch to a 100% wind-based energy option by pooling resources. [Lancashire Telegraph]

¶ “Oman Goes Big On Solar Power” • A consortium composed of ACWA Power, Gulf Investment Corporation, and Alternative Energy Projects Co has executed the project agreements to develop first utility scale solar power project in Oman. The project will use Solar PV technology to yield 500 MW (AC) of power. [Al-Bawaba]

PV panels (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Sabang Renewable Showcases Off-Grid Electrification Projects” • The Philippine Department of Energy expects the hybrid mini-grid project of the Sabang Renewable Energy Corp to showcase off-grid electrification projects that supports the government’s thrust of total electrification once it is completed this month. [Philippine Star]

¶ “Kuwait To Cooperate With South Korea On Renewable Energy” • Kuwait is looking to expand cooperation with South Korea on renewable energy. This follows a visit to Kuwait by South Korea’s Deputy Minister for Trade, who visited a test complex for layered solar power generation run by a consortium from the two countries. [Utilities Middle East]

Solar array (Getty images)

¶ “Siemens Weighs Carving Out Gas And Power Unit” • German industrial conglomerate Siemens is weighing options for its Gas and Power unit, possibly to spin it off, two people close to the matter said. The Gas and Power unit’s gas turbines business has seen orders slump as utilities shift towards renewable energy sources. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Ocean Waves An Alternative Source Of Power” • A Universiti Malaysia Terengganu school of ocean engineering associate professor, Dr Mohd Zamri Ibrahim, said an initiative by the government of Malaysia to use solar PV panels to generate renewable energy was a good move, but there are other sources of renewable energy. [New Straits Times Online]

Wave hitting a breakwater

¶ “Iran To Keep Enriching Uranium Despite US Move: Parliament Speaker” • Iran will continue with low-level uranium enrichment in line with its deal with world powers, parliament speaker Ali Larijani was quoted as saying. The US is trying to force Iran to stop producing low-enriched uranium and expanding its only nuclear power plant. [Himalayan Times]

US:

¶ “PG&E Corp Unable To Strike Deal Over Renewable Power Contracts” • PG&E Corp was unable to reach a deal with NextEra Energy Inc and other companies with which it has billions of dollars in power contracts. The matter will be decided in the next several weeks by the judge overseeing PG&E’s bankruptcy, court documents said. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable energy

¶ “Jay Inslee Promised Serious Climate Policy And He Is Delivering” • Washington governor and presidential contender Jay Inslee released the first of what he says will be a series of proposals on climate policy. Together they will form what he calls his Climate Mission agenda. He is already delivering in Washington what he promises in the US. [Vox]

¶ “Legislature Tries Again To Save Biomass Plants” • Six months after the New Hampshire legislature overrode a veto to pass a law to save biomass plants, Eversource has still not negotiated contracts for the energy because of an appeal to federal authorities. A bi-partisan group of senators has a bill to end the impasse. [The Union Leader]

DG Whitefield biomass plant (John Koziol | Union Leader)

¶ “Erie’s Climate Is Changing” • In recent decades, temperatures in Erie, Pennsylvania have increased between 1.6° and 4.06°, studies show. With higher temperatures there is less winter ice coverage on the Great Lakes, and more moisture can feed lake-effect snowstorms, like the ones that dumped over 156 inches of snow on Erie two winters ago. [GoErie.com]

¶ “Wall Street Gobbles Up Tesla Securities” • Tesla short sellers bet the price of Tesla stock will go down and love any bad news for the company. When Tesla went to raise $2 billion in new capital, they promoted the news as a sign of bad times. But the price of Tesla stock increased anyway, and investors bought the offerings all up quickly. [CleanTechnica]

Have a jubilantly restful day.

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May 4 Energy News

May 4, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Will Gompertz Reviews Chernobyl Starring Emily Watson And Jared Harris On Sky Atlantic ★★★★★” • The catastrophic disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine on 26 April 1986, is graphically played out over the course of five one-hour episodes. This is TV that doesn’t just get you thinking, it stops you sleeping. [BBC]

Review of Chernobyl

¶ “Brain-Dead Zuckerberg Hires Daily Caller Group To Fact Check Climate News” • Thanks to Joe Romm at ThinkProgress, we learned that Facebook has hired CheckYourFact.com to fact check information on climate change. CheckYourFact.com, Romm says, is “an arm of the conservative, anti-science media site The Daily Caller.” [CleanTechnica]
(Note: I have fact checked The Daily Caller a number of times to find out how it could publish information so different from what such financial advisers as Lazard provide. The Daily Caller seems to back its positions consistently with obsolete data. Following the money, I arrive at Koch Industries. GHH)

¶ “India Election 2019: The Killer Air No One’s Talking About” • Pollution killed at least 1.2 million people in India in 2017, but as the country votes in a general election, is fixing the bad air any party or politician’s priority? Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other political candidates visited Kanpur to campaign. Not one of them mentioned pollution. [BBC]

Exhaust (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Talks Mineral Shortages, Europe Plans New Battery Factory” • Tesla has concerns about having access to enough nickel, copper, and lithium for its future needs. It is also working aggressively to lower the amount of cobalt used in its batteries, because much of today’s cobalt mining relies on abusive child labor practices. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Eliminating Household Fuels Could Dramatically Lower Air Pollution In India” • Wood, cow dung, coal, and kerosene are the primary sources of heat and cooking for about half of India’s 1.4 billion people. In a recent study, researchers show that mitigating the use of these household fuels in India could save 270,000 lives per year. [CleanTechnica]

Wood fire (Pixabay image)

¶ “Amsterdam Is Using Freebies To Help Ban Polluting Cars By 2030” • Amsterdam is handing out perks including free charging stations to residents who help rid the city’s streets of polluting cars. It announced that it will gradually expand a crackdown on dirty vehicles that will culminate in a ban on cars powered by gasoline and diesel oil in 2030. [CNN]

¶ “Winds Of Change As Mars Goes 100% Renewable In Mexico” • RE100 member Mars, Inc has arranged to be powered by 100% renewable electricity for its Mexican operations, as the company signs a new power purchase agreement for energy from a wind farm in Yucatán. Mars was the one of the first members of RE100. [The Climate Group]

Wind turbines (The Climate Group)

¶ “World Bank Invests ‘Three Times More’ In Oil And Gas Than Renewables, Report Finds” • A report by Urgewald, a German NGO, said the World Bank Group plowed investments of £16 billion into the oil and gas sector between 2014 to 2018. This is triple the £5.3 billion that it put up for renewable energy projects over those years. [Energy Voice]

¶ “GE To Build Kosovo’s New 500-MW Coal Power Plant” • Kosovo and London-listed power firm ContourGlobal said they have chosen a consortium of General Electric subsidiaries to build and equip a new 500-MW coal-fired power plant in the Balkan country. Kosovo has 14 billion tonnes of proven lignite reserves. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Lignite-fired plant in Kosovo (Lograsset, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “US House Passes First Climate Bill In A Decade” • The US House of Representatives passed its first climate-change bill in a decade, voting 231-190 to require that Trump administration keep the US as a party to the Paris Climate Agreement. It would require the administration to set climate goals in accord with the agreement. [Reuters]

¶ “‘Shale Is Not Superman.’ Geopolitical Chaos Is Testing The Limits Of America’s Oil Boom” • America’s new role as the world’s leading oil producer made it easier for President Donald Trump to crack down on Venezuela and Iran with punishing sanctions. But don’t be fooled. The US cannot rely solely on domestic oil. [CNN]

Pump jacks (David McNeil | Getty Images)

¶ “ComEd Loses Bid To Bar Local Utilities From Selling Credits On Renewable Energy Market” • A three-justice panel of the Illinois Second District Appellate Court said ComEd cannot block local utilities from participating in the renewable energy credit market, affirming an Illinois Commerce Commission ruling. [Cook County Record]

¶ “As Nuclear Costs Soar, Sides Split Over Energy Source’s Future” • Activists in Monroe, Michigan held a “funeral” for nuclear energy, represented by an old power industry mascot, Reddy Kilowatt. They were celebrating the nuclear industry’s financial struggles, which forced several reactors to close while others seek bailouts. [Detroit Free Press]

Reddy Kilowatt’s funeral (Photo: JC Reindl)

¶ “Michigan Regulators Reject DTE System-Access Charge For Renewables” • The Michigan Public Service Commission denied DTE Electric Co’s request to assess a special access charge for customers who have renewable energy systems. The MPSC found that DTE’s proposed charge is not based on customer usage and is not equitable. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Scott Pruitt Fails To Stop Indiana’s Move To Renewable Energy” • Indiana’s third-largest utility analyzed the economics of its power plants and decided to shift from coal-fired power plants to renewable sources. Coal companies hired former EPA chief Scott Pruitt to fight back. Pruitt failed, according to a post at Utility Dive. [Digital Journal]

Have an enthrallingly exquisite day.

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May 3 Energy News

May 3, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Six Signs Of Hope For The Ocean” • It is easy to lose sight of good news amid the barrage of negative stories about the threats facing the ocean. We see everything from growing plastic pollution to dying coral reefs. Increasingly, however, there is a lot to celebrate when you look more closely at ocean-related developments. [CleanTechnica]

Coral reef (US Fish and Wildlife Service | Flickr)

¶ “100% Clean Energy: The New Normal” • Nevada and Washington state joined a growing number of states and local jurisdictions taking action to build an equitable 100% clean energy economy, further propelling a national movement of climate and clean energy leadership that has emerged despite Trump Administration policies. [Sierra Magazine]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Could High-Flying Drones Power Your Home One Day?” • A growing number of companies believe using tethered kites and drones provide a viable way to harness the stronger and more consistent high-altitude winds that just keep blowing. Could this tech release wind power’s full potential, or will it always remain a niche solution? [BBC News]

Makani’s tethered generating drone (Makani image)

¶ “Study Shows Value Of Sharing Energy – Including Wind And Solar – Across America’s Grids” • A visualization tool prepared by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory models what could happen if a “macrogrid” of major transmission lines connected the country’s two largest power grids. It shows a large payback. [Iowa State University News Service]

¶ “Electric Cars, Buses, And Trucks Could Charge While Driving On eHighways – Will Soon In Sweden” • An eHighway is a part of a road with a conductive charging pad along a lane. Trucks, buses, and cars can recharge as they drive for what could be limitless miles, as long as the cars ride on inductive pads and have the necessary hardware. [CleanTechnica]

Electric car in Sweden

World:

¶ “Scottish Government Commits To Net-Zero By 2045” • Just hours after a UK Committee on Climate Change report came out, Scotland’s government announced it had lodged amendments to its Climate Change Bill to set a legally binding target for Scotland to be carbon neutral by 2040 and have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Launches International e-Mobility Marketing Campaign” • At the start of the pre-booking phase for its new full-electric ID in Europe on 8th May, Volkswagen is launching a broad-based international e-mobility marketing campaign. The media budget for the campaign will run well into the double-digit million range. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

VW SUV ID Crozz [Is that a name or random characters?]

¶ “Port Augusta Leads The Way In Renewable Revolution” • Leaders from across Australia congregated in Port Augusta to see why the city carries the crown of Australia’s renewable energy capital. Port Augusta’s coal to clean energy transformation has been at the forefront of discussion since its power station closed in 2016. [The Transcontinental]

¶ “Tata Power Added 200 MW Renewables In FY 2018-19, Another 400 MW In Pipeline” • Integrated power company Tata Power Group identified renewables, transmission and distribution, and value-added businesses such as rooftop solar, smart metering, EV charging stations, and micro-grids in rural areas as key growth areas. [pv magazine India]

Solar canopy over parking (Image: Tata Power Solar)

¶ “Solar Energy Production In Great Britain Hits Record-High; Plateau Seen Ahead” • Solar energy generation reached a Q1 record-high in Great Britain in 2019’s first quarter. Solar energy systems produced 2.7 TWh of emissions-free electricity. Solar and wind incentives have been phased out, however, and a plateau may be reached. [Solar Magazine]

¶ “Sweden Set For 2.3-GW Wind Rush In 2019” • Final investment decisions were made on 1225 MW of Swedish wind projects in the period from January to March, up from 550 MW on-year. This is according to the Swedish Wind Energy Association, which expects 2329 MW of new capacity to be added in the 2019 calendar year. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine in Sweden (Arise image)

US:

¶ “Trump Administration Loosens Protections Created After BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster” • The Trump administration is eliminating parts of a rule meant to protect the environment and worker safety that was passed following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Environmentalists have criticized the move. [CNN]

¶ “As Ohio Nuclear Bill Advances, Democrats Seek To Raise Renewable Standard” • A second version of legislation in Ohio designed to subsidize the operation of two nuclear power plants appears to have the same limitations on renewable energy development as the first version. Democrats have produced an alternative bill. [Energy News Network]

Cooling tower at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant

¶ “Bill Introduced To Overhaul Renewable Fuel, Energy Tax Credits” • Sen Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and 25 colleagues introduced legislation to overhaul the federal tax code and consolidate the current 44 energy incentives into three technology-neutral provisions that encourage clean energy and energy efficiency. [Ethanol Producer Magazine]

¶ “New Mexico Utility PNM To Buy Renewable-Linked Transmission Project From Pattern” • Plans to link New Mexico’s abundant wind energy resource to bigger markets in California continue to come together, with utility group PNM Resources announcing it will buy Pattern Development’s 800-MW Western Spirit transmission project. [Greentech Media]

Have a totally triumphant day.

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May 2 Energy News

May 2, 2019

World:

¶ “UK Parliament Declares Climate Change Emergency” • Members of Parliament of the UK have approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency. This proposal, which demonstrates the will of the Commons on the issue but does not legally compel the government to act, was approved without a vote. [BBC]

Climate protesters reacting to parliament’s declaration (Reuters)

¶ “UK Should Slash Emissions To Net Zero By 2050, Say Climate Change Advisers” • The UK should aim to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, a report from the government’s Committee on Climate Change says. If adopted, the target would be the most ambitious emissions reduction goal set by any large economy. [CNN]

¶ “German Wind Energy, Solar Power Capacity Grows 448 MW In March” • German onshore wind farm installations dropped by 87% in the first quarter of 2019. Data from regulator BNA showed that Germany’s solar energy capacity grew by 350 MW in March, while wind power growth amounted to 98 MW, of which 42 MW were offshore wind energy. [REVE]

Wind turbines in Germany

¶ “JinkoSolar Has Already Secured More Than 10.7 GW In Orders In 2019” • Chinese solar PV manufacturing giant JinkoSolar has continued its strong recent performance, announcing that it had already secured over 10.7 GW in orders over the first third of the year. The company shipped 11.4 GW of solar in the full year of 2018. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Green Mountain Power Plans 100% Renewables By 2030 With Help From Tesla” • Green Mountain Power says it wants to speed up its move to 100% renewable energy and it has developed a plan to get to zero emissions no later than 2030. The plan calls for achieving 100% carbon free energy by 2025 and to be 100% renewable by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Powerwall in a home (GMP image)

¶ “California Aggregators To Seek 10 GW Of Clean Power By 2030” • California’s Community Choice Aggregators are slowly assuming the traditional utility role of acquiring renewable energy generation for customers. The CCAs are now faced with the massive task of securing 9 to 10 GW of new clean energy by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Environmentalists Call Duke Energy ‘Public Energy Enemy No 1′” • Duke Energy is holding the US back from a fast transition to renewable energy, a report from the Environmental Working Group says. It says Duke has focused on coal, natural gas, and nuclear power, while neglecting to add many renewable energy sources. [Northeast Indiana Public Radio]

Duke substation (Patrick Finnegan | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Mary Barra Says GM Will Build An Electric Pickup Truck” • During a conference call with investors, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said “We intend to create an all-electric future that includes a complete range of EVs, including full-size pickups.” She said details about an electric pickup truck from GM would be forthcoming. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Marijuana Prices Have Collapsed, Forcing Growers To Focus On Energy Efficiency” • As marijuana growing becomes more mainstream, an increasing number of utilities are seeing growers set up shop in their service territories, at times creating distribution system issues, and in general bringing significant new demand. [Utility Dive]

Growing cannabis under lights

¶ “Keystone State Goes Full Climate Change With New Action Plan” • In the latest climate action development, Pennsylvania has just cast off the fossil fuel mantle of the past and taken up the sparkling green sword of the future, by signing on to the US Climate Alliance. The alliance now counts 23 states and Puerto Rico among its members. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Blueprint To Battle Bay Area Sea-Level Rise Focuses On Natural Solutions” • A blueprint outlining how San Francisco Bay communities should combat sea-level rise was released by ecosystem scientists and urban planners who envision a ring of man-made reefs, rocky beaches, and graded marshlands around Bay Area. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Marsh in the Bay Area (Jessica Christian | The Chronicle)

¶ “Peck Electric Completed Seven Solar Projects In Q4 2018” • Peck Electric Co, a leading commercial solar engineering, procurement and construction company based in Burlington, Vermont, announced completion of seven solar projects in the fourth quarter of 2018. They range from a 7-MW utility-scale array down to 20.6-kW on a rooftop. [Vermont Biz]

¶ “US Renewable Energy Just Set An Historic Record” • In a historic first, renewable energy may have generated more electricity than coal in the entire US for the month of April. Coal has long been the backbone of the country’s electric grid. In the 2000s, coal accounted for over half of electricity generation. But it does no longer. [OilPrice.com]

Solar array in Colorado (Photo: Scott Ely, US DOE)

¶ “End Of An Era: Power Plant Closure Expected To Reduce Salt Lake Valley Pollution” • After 75 years of operation, a coal-fired power plant in Utah  is shutting down for good. State officials and clean air advocates hailed the move after Rio Tinto Kennecott announced the retirement of the plant following regulatory approval. [Deseret News]

¶ “Colorado Communities And State Energy Office Urge Public Utilities Commission Oversight Of Tri-State” • The Colorado Energy Office and some municipalities are urging the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to oversee Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s resource planning, just as it does with investor-owned utilities. [Clean Cooperative]

Have a fascinatingly beautiful day.

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May 1 Energy News

May 1, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Vicious Climate-Wildfire Cycle” • While wildfire risk has increased with forest management and human development, climate change has exacerbated the trend of large fires and made the fire season longer. In some places wildfires are a year-round phenomenon. In the past 35 years, the area burned has nearly doubled. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Alaska wildfire (BLM | Alaska Fire Service)

World:

¶ “Roundup Cancer Cases Could Cost Germany’s Bayer Billions” • Bayer is in the grip of a huge shareholder revolt after its $63 billion purchase of Roundup’s owner, Monsanto, put the German company at risk from thousands of US cancer lawsuits tied to the weed-killer. Bayer’s stock is down about 40% since it purchased Monsanto. [CNN]

¶ “VW Is Creating An Electric Future. This Is What It Looks Like” • The Volkswagen Group is pursuing a strategy to move strongly into electric vehicles. Over the next decade, the Volkswagen Group, the VW car brand’s parent company, intends to release seventy different electric models, including the Audi E-Tron and Porsche Taycan. [CNN]

The ID Roomz, a big SUV unveiled in Shanghai (VW image)

¶ “Battery Storage To Surpass $13 Billion By 2023” • The global battery energy storage market is forecast to grow to over $13 billion by 2023 according to new research by GlobalData. The report found that the Asia-Pacific will continue to be the largest market reaching over $6 billion in 2023. Demand is driven by falling prices of renewables. [reNEWS]

¶ “South Australian Pilot Program Uses Human Waste Biogas To Deliver Renewable Energy” • A pilot program in South Australia will use biogas from human waste to store and deliver clean energy. Biogas from a wastewater treatment plant will be used to heat silicon to 1,414°C, and the energy will be delivered back as heat or power. [ABC Local]

Wastewater treatment plant (Supplied: Peter Barnes)

¶ “100% Renewable Energy To Power Cutting-Edge Infill Estate” • East Village Knutsford, in Western Australia, will become an innovation hub for sustainable living; residents will use their own micro grid and battery storage to generate power. Energy bills will be cut by about 50%, and each home will be wired for electric vehicle chargers. [pv magazine Australia]

US:

¶ “Autonomous Drone Delivers Human Kidney Successfully” • In a first of its kind event, an unmanned aircraft delivered a human kidney to an operating room for a transplant to save a person’s life. An organ transplant requires rapid transportation between the donor and the recipient. The faster the journey, the higher the chance of success. [CleanTechnica]

Unmanned aircraft delivers kidney (See article for credit)

¶ “Governor’s Bill Moves Maine Toward 100% Renewable Energy By 2050” • Maine would take an ambitious turn to fight climate change with a new bill announced by Gov Janet Mills. The bill’s goals are to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 45% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. And by 2050, 100% of electricity will come from renewable sources. [Public News Service]

¶ “Tesla Plans To Boost Solar Business By Slashing Costs” • The average cost of a residential rooftop solar system today is about $2.85 per watt, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Sanjay Shah, the head of Tesla’s solar business, says Tesla expects to cut costs down to between $1.75 and $1.99 per watt. [CleanTechnica]

SolarCity PV installation

¶ “Pennsylvania Democrats Back Renewables Subsidy Expansion” • Pennsylvania Democrats want to nearly quadruple subsidies for renewable resources in the first tier of the state’s 2004 Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards mandate, hoping the expansion will push the state closer to its looming carbon-reduction goals. [RTO Insider]

¶ “Geothermal Making Inroads As Baseload Power” • The Earth can be its own sustainable and environmentally friendly source of energy. In some areas, geothermal systems can be easy; the recently restarted Puna Geothermal Venture supplies about 30% of the electricity on the island of Hawaii. But geothermal can be used in many places. [POWER Magazine]

Geothermal plant in Iceland (Courtesy: Gretar Ívarsson)

¶ “LA Announces A Green New Deal For The City, Including A 100% Renewable Electricity Goal” • As part of LA’s Green New Deal, Mayor Garcetti pledges to use carbon-free energy sources for the city’s electricity, buildings, and transportation by 2050. The plan makes LA the the biggest US city to set a goal of 100% renewable electricity. [Green Matters]

¶ “Eagle County Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity At All Facilities, Operations” • In Colorado, the Eagle County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution committing to 100% renewable electricity for all county operations. The county could reach this goal through Holy Cross Energy’s Renewable Energy Purchase Program. [Vail Daily News]

Wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “NH House Committee Backs Suite Of Renewable Energy, Efficiency Reforms” • A set of renewable energy bills got bipartisan support in a state legislative committee. The House energy committee voted to advance bills expanding net energy metering in the state and setting a goal of 60% renewable energy by 2040. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶ “Nuclear Waste Piles Up, And Private Companies Want In On Storing It” • As the waste from nuclear power plants piles up, private companies are stepping in with their own solutions for the nation’s radioactive spent fuel. One is proposing a temporary storage site in New Mexico, and another is seeking a license for a site in Texas. [KQED]

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