Archive for June, 2019

June 30 Energy News

June 30, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “American Farmers Can’t Afford This Administration’s Climate Apathy” • If only American farmers had the luxury of sharing this administration’s indifference to climate change. While millions of farmers are reeling from damage by rapidly shifting weather patterns, Trump’s agriculture chief just advises them to check the weather forecast. [The Hill]

Agriculture

¶ “How James Murdoch Uses Philanthropy To Distance Himself From The Taint Of Fox News” • Unite America’s mission is to heal a political system “more divided and dysfunctional with each election cycle.” This may be an implied critique of Rupert Murdoch’s polarizing Fox News. It recently got a large donation from James and Kitty Murdoch. [The Intercept]

¶ “Why Is Floating Solar Emerging So Quickly, And Where Is It Going?” • For anyone with an interest in renewable energy, it’s hard to miss the rising interest in floating solar over the last couple of months. News about floating arrays pops up weekly, if not daily. Last week’s World Bank Market Report stated that we’ve reached 1.3 GW capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Floating solar array (Solarplaza image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Oceans Start To Slow Down On Carbon Dioxide Absorption” • Oceanographic researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara report that the ocean’s dynamic ability to act as a carbon sink is influenced by a number of factors, importantly including ocean circulation. This may explain why atmospheric CO₂ levels can rise faster than emissions. [Science Times]

World:

¶ “Europe’s Cities Dangerously Unprepared For Heat Wave Hell” • A scorching heat wave is now forcing Europe to realize how dangerously unprepared its cities are for climate emergencies. Climate change is making heat waves increasingly common and more severe, putting the lives of thousands of vulnerable people at risk. [CNN]

Fighting a wildfire in Spain

¶ “Theresa May Urges G20 Leaders To Tackle Climate Change As US Refuses” • Speaking after the two-day G20 summit, Prime Minister Theresa May told the other countries to “raise their ambition” to tackle climate change. A joint declaration to tackle climate change was only agreed upon after the US inserted an exemption cause. [City A.M.]

¶ “‘Madrid Central’ Protest: Thousands Oppose Suspension Of Anti-Pollution Plan” • In Madrid, thousands of protesters flooded the streets to oppose a new conservative mayor’s decision to reverse car pollution restrictions. The city government has provoked an outcry by suspending a ban on most petrol and diesel cars in Madrid’s center. [BBC]

Protesters in Madrid (Reuters image)

¶ “Lamu Coal Plant Not Even Economically And Commercially Viable, Says Chinese Envoy” • Chinese ambassador Wu Peng assured Kenya that his country will not force coal on Kenyans. Wu said China is committed to reducing coal usage in the world. He confirmed that a coal-burning plant set to be built is not economically and commercially viable. [K24 TV]

¶ “World’s Largest Single Solar Plant Starts Commercial Operations In Abu Dhabi” • Emirates Water and Electricity Company announced that the 1,177-MW “Noor Abu Dhabi,” the world’s largest single solar project, started commercial operation. The plant offsets natural gas use, reducing CO₂ emissions by a million metric tons per year. [Utilities Middle East]

Noor Abu Dhabi plant (EWEC image)

US:

¶ “An Oil Spill That Began 15 Years Ago Is Up To A Thousand Times Worse Than The Rig Owner’s Estimate, Study Finds” • A federal study estimates that each day, about 380 to 4,500 gallons of oil escape from a site damaged 15 years ago. The company’s estimate put the amount of oil flowing into the ocean at less than three gallons a day. [CNN]

¶ “With Any Midwestern Rainfall This Summer, The Missouri River Could Flood The Lower Basin Region” •  March storms in the Midwest caused significant damage to the levee system of the Missouri River and now any strong or frequent rainfall this summer could trigger flooding along the lower Missouri River, experts say. [CNN]

Missouri River at flood (Army Corps of Engineers)

¶ “TVA Turns To The Sun, Natural Gas To Replace Aging Coal Plants” • The Tennessee Valley Authority was created 86 years ago as a federal utility to harness the power of the Tennessee River. But now, the TVA will be looking to the sun for more of its power in the future as it continues to phase out its aging fleet of coal plants. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

¶ “US Senate Panel Takes Up What To Do With Nuclear Waste” • The Senate energy and natural resources committee is taking up the issue of nuclear waste. Committee chairwoman Sen Lisa Murkowski, said the failure of the federal government to move ahead is costing taxpayers more than $2 million a day, with costs only increasing. [New York Post]

Have an encouragingly relaxing day.

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June 29 Energy News

June 29, 2019

World:

¶ “France Hits Record Temperature Of 45.9°C” • France has hit its highest recorded temperature, 45.9°C (114.6°F), amid a heatwave in Europe that has claimed several lives. The new record was set in the southern village of Gallargues-le-Montueux. The previous record was 44.1°C during a 2003 heatwave that killed thousands of people. [BBC] (The record jumped 1.8°C, 3.24°F. – GHH)

Water vapor used in Strasbourg to cool people down (AFP)

¶ “French Police Pepper Spray Paris Climate Protesters” • French police pepper sprayed at close range climate activists blocking roads in the capital Paris, before removing them by force. The protesters were trying to draw government and media attention to climate change. During the protest, temperatures in Paris were around 33°C (91°F). [BBC]

¶ “India Has Just Five Years To Solve Its Water Crisis, Experts Fear” • The world’s second-most populous country is running out of water. About 100 million people in India are on the front lines of a nationwide water crisis, and hundreds of millions more are at risk. Major cities are poised to run out of groundwater next year. Some already have. [CNN]

Water crisis in India

¶ “UK Signs Net-Zero Emissions Requirement Into Law” • Two weeks after Theresa May, the UK’s outgoing Prime Minister, announced that she was introducing legislation to enshrine into law a net zero emissions by 2050 target, it was signed into law, making the UK the first major global economy to make such a target legally binding. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Offshore Wind To Reach 200 Gigawatts By 2030” • The Global Wind Energy Council published its inaugural Global Offshore Wind Report. The report shows that offshore wind grown at an average of 21% each year since 2013. Beyond that, it projects that the sector could install an additional 200 GW of capacity by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm (MHI Vestas image)

¶ “Driven By Storage – The Journey To Renewables In Australia” • The utility and commercial-level adoption of solar and storage in Australia is impressive, but current industry growth is more so. At present, a report says, around 2,000 people are employed in the energy storage sector, but over 35,000 are predicted to work in the industry by 2020. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Vestas Scores 281-MW Brazilian Hat-Trick” • Vestas has received a turbine order totaling 281 MW for three wind farms in Brazil. The contract, with an undisclosed client, includes the supply and installation of 67 V150-4.2MW machines. Delivery is expected to start in 2021, with commissioning planned by the end of the same year. [reNEWS]

Vestas wind turbine (Vestas image)

US:

¶ “Fracking Creates A Glut Of Fossil Fuels And A Mountain Of Debt” • Steve Schlotterbeck, former chief executive of EQT, one of the largest shale gas fracking companies in the US, shocked people at a petrochemicals conference in Pittsburgh recently by telling them that fracking has been an “unmitigated disaster” for investors in shale companies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Alaska’s Warming Ocean Is Putting Food And Jobs At Risk, Scientists Say” • The ice around Alaska is not just melting. It has gotten so low that the situation is endangering some residents’ food and jobs. Ocean temperatures in the Chukchi and North Bering seas are nearly 10°F (5°C) above normal, satellite data shows. [CNN]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Philadelphia Refinery Will Close After Fire, Could Become Renewable Energy Hub” • After a recent explosion at a refinery in South Philadelphia, the owner, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, announced that the facility will be closed and offered for sale. Some renewable energy advocates are pushing to make it a clean energy hub. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Board Of Local Energy Agency Unanimously Directs Staff To Pursue Agreement With Terra-Gen Wind Project” • In California, the board of the Redwood Coast Energy Authority unanimously directed staff to negotiate a power purchase agreement with renewable energy company Terra-Gen and two other renewable electricity producers. [Lost Coast Outpost]

Simulated view with proposed wind turbines on the ridge
(Draft Environmental Impact Report image)

¶ “Mondelēz And Enel Partner To Produce Greener Oreos” • Enel Green Power North America signed a 12-year PPA with food and beverage company Mondelēz International, whose brands include Oreo, Cadbury and others. Mondelēz will buy the energy from a 65-MW portion of EGPNA’s Roadrunner PV project in Texas. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “The Price Of A Fully Renewable US Grid: $4.5 Trillion” • The cost of shifting the US power grid to 100% renewable energy over the next 10 years is an estimated $4.5 trillion, according to a new Wood Mackenzie analysis. The price is for going entirely to renewables, replacing all nuclear and fossil fuels with renewable energy. [Greentech Media]

Oil and wind

¶ “Trump Plan For Southwestern Colorado Pushes Fossil Fuel Expansion, Undermines State’s Climate Law” • The Trump administration released a resource management plan for federal fossil fuel development in southwestern Colorado, threatening a growing organic agriculture hub and undermining the state’s new climate law. [Center for Biological Diversity]

¶ “Ohio Senate Nuke Subsidy Bill Drops Clean Air Pretense, But Keeps Diminished Renewable Standard” • The Ohio Senate rewrite of legislation subsidizing nuclear power drops the pretense of creating a “clean air program.” Instead, it would create an “Energy Generation Fund,” without any mention of combating CO₂ emissions. [Utility Dive]

Have an excitingly cool day.

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June 28 Energy News

June 28, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Will Russia Survive The Coming Energy Transition?” • A new global energy reality is emerging. Hydrocarbons have propelled mankind through the second stage of the industrial revolution, beyond coal and into outer space, but the age of hydrocarbons is drawing to a close. The stone age did not end because we ran out of stones. It is the same with oil and gas. [Forbes]

Pipeline (Pixabay image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Highview Launches Modular Storage Device” • Cryogenic energy storage developer Highview Power has produced a scalable version of its technology to unlock new demand. The CryoBattery, which it says can be located anywhere, can achieve a levelised cost of storage of $140/MWh for a 200-MW/2-GWh system. [reNEWS]

¶ “Alice, 9-Seat Electric Airplane, Gets Its 1st Buyer – Cape Air” • Eviation unveiled the first “fully operational” Alice, an electric airplane commuter, at the Paris Air Show. Eviation also received an order from Cape Air, its first customer. Cape Air began with flights between Boston and Provincetown in 1989, but now flies in many parts of the world. [CleanTechnica]

Alice (Eviation image)

World:

¶ “CATL Plans Massive Increase In European Battery Production” • Chinese battery cell maker CATL decided earlier this year to invest €240 million in a battery factory in Erfurt, Germany. Now, the company says it will increase its investment in battery production and research in Europe to €1.8 billion, according to a report by Electrive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BYD Joint Venture To Launch New Electric Bus Production Facility In India” • Olectra-BYD, the joint venture between BYD Auto and India’s Olectra Greentech, has announced plans to set up its second factory to manufacture electric buses. The factory is expected to be located in north India, and is expected to be set up by 2021. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric bus (Photo: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Renewables Driving ‘Fundamental Change’ As Victoria Leaves Coal Behind” • Just as the Australian Energy Market Operator report calls for new investment to support renewable energy zones, Victoria’s electricity market is undergoing a fundamental shift away from the coal-heavy Latrobe Valley region and toward distributed renewables. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “How Tasmania is transforming into a renewable energy powerhouse” • Two big projects are helping Tasmania become the “battery of the nation.” One is to double its renewable energy capacity over a 10-to-15-year period from 2,500 MW to around 5,000 MW. The other is to build another submarine link to Australia’s mainland. [create digital]

Hydro Tasmania dam

¶ “Scotland Producing Record Renewable Energy Output” • Scotland produced a record amount of renewable energy in the first quarter of 2019. A total of 8,877 GWh of green electricity were generated in the first quarter of this year, 17% more than Q1 of 2018. The bulk of this power, 5,792 GWh, came from onshore wind farms. [The National]

US:

¶ “New York City Declares A Climate Emergency, The First Us City With More Than A Million Residents To Do So” • In an effort to mobilize local and national responses to stall global warming, the New York City Council passed legislation declaring a climate emergency. It’s the largest city in the US, with over 8.62 million inhabitants. [CNN]

New York City (Hans Lienhart, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “New Report: Retire Coal, Choose Renewables To Save Billions In Colorado” • Independent analysis by energy consulting firm Strategen shows that Colorado’s coal-burning power plants are economically unviable, when they are compared to renewable resources. It says renewables could save the state’s customers millions of dollars. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “UCS Calls Curtailment Of Renewable Energy An Opportunity, Not A Problem” • Curtailment of electricity occurs when there is not enough demand for the available supply, so some generation has to be halted. The California Independent System Operator proposed eight strategies for putting excess renewable energy to work. [CleanTechnica]

Curtailments in California by month (CAISO image)

¶ “Report Shows More Than Half Of MidAmerican Energy Comes From Renewable Resources” • MidAmerican energy announced that 51.4% of their energy came from renewable resources last year. MidAmerican Energy expects it to continue increase its share of renewable energy, without seeking rate increases. [KCHA News]

¶ “It’s Official: Maine To Go 80% Renewable By 2030” • Maine Governor Janet Mills (D) signed a trifecta of bills to move the state towards a clean energy future, including adding 375 MW of distributed solar by mid-2024. Also, the state’s utilities are required to get 50% of their power from qualified renewable energy sources by 2030. [pv magazine]

Signing ceremony (Image: Office of Maine Governor Janet Mills)

¶ “Massachusetts Regulators Approve State’s Largest Clean Energy Procurement” • The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved contracts authorizing utilities to buy 9,554,940 MWh annually from Hydro-Quebec. The Sierra Club, however, questioned the wisdom of relying on Canadian hydropower to address the state’s climate goals. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Nuclear Bailout Bill Undercuts Green Power, Critics Say” • While a Senate proposal to save Ohio’s two nuclear power plants would keep a mandate for more renewable power, it would likely harm long-term green investment, critics argued. The revised bill would now require just 8.5% of the power be from renewable sources by 2025. [Toledo Blade]

Have a perfectly fantastic day.

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June 27 Energy News

June 27, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Recent Science Raises Oil Industry’s Climate Litigation Risk” • The fossil fuel industry defenses for its role in climate change are being chipped away. Earlier this year, the US Supreme Court denied a request from ExxonMobil to review a Massachusetts court decision that allowed the state’s attorney general to seek internal company documents. [Forbes]

Gas flare (Tim Evanson, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Study Calls For Monitoring Old Oil And Gas Wells For Air Emissions” • A study of hazardous gas emissions from the 2015 Aliso Canyon natural gas storage blowout found that along with methane, a group of other hazardous pollutants escaped into the air. The study calls for air monitoring at underground gas storage facilities nationwide. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “H55, Solar Impulse Spinoff, Introduces Electric 2-Seat Airplane” • A spinoff from Solar Impulse going by the short name of H55 flew a successful maiden flight with an electric two-seat airplane. Using an electric propulsion system made by BRM Aero, the Bristell Energic airplane is perfect for pilot training and flight schools. [CleanTechnica]

H55 Electric Flight Trainer (Anna Pizzolante | © H55)

World:

¶ “Air Pollution In Malaysia Forces 400 School Closures, Sickens More Than 100 Children” • More than 400 schools in Malaysia have closed this week after air pollution caused vomiting in dozens of students, authorities said. This week, 104 children have fallen ill in the southern state of Johor because of the pollution, mostly in the Pasir Gudang district. [CNN]

¶ “European Heatwave Sets New June Temperature Records” • The heatwave now affecting much of Europe is expected to intensify further. Some countries, including France and Spain expect temperatures above 40°C (104°F). Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic have seen their highest-ever temperatures for June. [BBC]

Heat wave in France (AFP)

¶ “Global Offshore Wind Market Grew 16% In Last 12 Months” • The global offshore wind market has grown by 16% over the last 12 months, according to new figures from the UK’s wind energy trade body, RenewableUK. The US accounts for nearly half of the rapid global growth, as it became the third largest market for the technology. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Croatians Roll Out Korlat Welcome Mat For Nordex” • HEP Group, a Croatian developer, selected Nordex to supply turbines to the 58-MW Korlat wind farm. The German manufacturer will deliver 18 N131/3600 machines to the site some 40 km from the port of Zadar near the town of Benkovac. Commercial operations are expected in 2020. [reNEWS]

View from a nacelle (Nordex image)

¶ “Greece Harnesses EU Funding To Push Towards Ambitious Renewables Plan” • The European Investment Bank announced that the National Bank of Greece is the first partner for its sustainable financing repository, the Infrastructure Fund of Funds, which aims to support environmentally-friendly projects throughout the EU. [South EU Summit]

¶ “First Generation Produced At Australia’s Largest Wind Farm” • The first electricity generation has been achieved at AGL’s Coopers Gap wind farm, north-west of Brisbane. The wind farm, which has 123 turbines and a total generation capacity of 453 MW, is set to be Australia’s largest wind farm when it is fully commissioned. [RenewEconomy]

Building the wind farm (Courtesy image)

¶ “European Solar To ‘Top 250 GW In 2024′” • Total installed solar capacity in Europe will reach 250GW by 2024, according to new research from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The ‘Europe Solar PV Market Outlook 2019’ report said 20 GW a year will be added over the next three years, with Germany adding the most. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “US Electricity Generation From Renewables Surpassed Coal In April” • In April 2019, US monthly electricity generation from renewable sources exceeded coal-fired generation for the first time according to data published in the EIA’s Electric Power Monthly. Renewable sources provided 23% of total electricity generation; coal provided 20%. [Renewables Now]

Please click on image to enlarge. (Image: Electric Power Monthly)

¶ “Exxon Continues To Fund ‘Science’ Group Steeped In Climate Denial And Delay” • ExxonMobil is funding a little-known nonprofit that calls itself a “pro-science advocacy organization,” but whose scientific advisory board includes several renowned climate deniers and has worked for decades to sow doubt about climate change. [Climate Liability News]

¶ “Ohio Senate Amends Energy Bill” • The Ohio Senate has amended the energy bill that could bail out Ohio’s nuclear power plants to restore renewable energy standards for now. It means a residential ratepayer would pay 80¢ a month on their electric bill, with higher rates for businesses, to give Ohio’s nuclear plants about $150 million. [WCBE 90.5 FM]

Perry Nuclear Power Plant (Ohio Public Radio image)

¶ “Introducing The Renewable Electricity Standard Act” • New Mexico Democratic Senator Tom Udall, along with others, has introduced the Renewable Electricity Standard Act of 2019. The bill would more than double the supply of renewable energy in the US, taking it from 18% of electricity generation in 2018 to at least 50% by 2035. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “EPA Air Chief Bill Wehrum Abruptly Departs Amid Ethics Probe” • Bill Wehrum, the EPA’s air pollution chief who oversaw key rollbacks of Obama-era climate regulations, is stepping down amid an ethics probe into his ties to former industry clients. The House Committee on Energy & Commerce had launched an investigation two months ago. [HuffPost]

Have a delightfully amusing day.

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June 26 Energy News

June 26, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Swiss Scheme Demonstrates Successful Peer-To-Peer Trading Of Solar PV” • A project called Quartierstrom, “district power,” run by agroup at ETH Zurich, demonstrated a peer-to-peer system with a bottom-up grid tariff. Its traders, all downstream of a transformer, only pay a reasonable amount for using a local grid infrastructure but not the rest of it. [CleanTechnica]

Swiss rooftop solar panels (Roland zh, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Demand For Electricity To Climb As World Gets Hotter” • Research done at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis suggests that by 2050, climate change will increase the global demand for energy by 11% to 27% if there is a modest amount of warming, and 25% to 58% if there is a large amount of warming. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “BYD Adds Bus Manufacturing Capacity In North America With New Canadian Plant” • BYD is taking another step into the North American bus market. It announced a new 45,000-square-foot bus plant in Newmarket, Ontario. The new BYD facility represents another step forward into the electrified future of North America. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Coach & Bus Factory (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “G20 Nations Spending $63.9 Billion Annually On Coal Subsidies” • Days before representatives of the G20 meet in Japan, a report has been published by the Overseas Development Institute, which reveals these nations are spending at least $63.9 billion on coal annually. This includes $20.9 billion in new state-owned enterprise investments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BlackRock Unit Aims To Boost Asian Renewables To $5 Billion” • BlackRock Real Assets is aiming to boost its renewables power portfolio in Asia by as much as 10-fold as it seeks to keep pace with the world’s fastest-growing region for green energy. The increase will be from the current $500 million to up to $5 billion over three to five years. [Bloomberg]

Solar panels over water (Qilai Shen | Bloomberg)

¶ “European Super-Majors Shell, BP Leading The Charge To Electrification” • Responding to unprecedented transition in the global energy industry, two of Europe’s largest integrated oil and gas majors, BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, are investing in low or no-carbon energy and technologies to augment their businesses. [S&P Global Platts]

¶ “India Plans To Set Up 500 GW Of Renewable Energy Capacity By 2030” • At the 17th meeting of the International Renewables Energy Agency (IRENA) council in Abu Dhabi, Anand Kumar, India’s secretary of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy announced that India plans to set up 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. [REVE]

Gamesa wind turbines in India

¶ “Zurich Sets Renewable Energy Goal, Coal, Oil Sands Underwriting Limits” • Zurich Insurance Group Ltd pledged to use 100% renewable power in all global operations by the end of 2022 and to stop writing certain thermal coal and oil sands risks after two years as part of its commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris climate agreement. [Business Insurance]

¶ “The City Of Sydney Has Declared A Climate Emergency, Urges Urgent Action” • The Australian city of Sydney officially declared a climate emergency. The local council, led by Lord Mayor Clover Moore, voted to acknowledge that climate change poses a serious risk to the city, its inhabitants and to the rest of the country. [Interesting Engineering]

Sydney (kitkatty007 | Pixabay)

¶ “‘Record’ Six Months For Clean Power In Germany” • Renewable energy delivered a record 44% of the electricity consumed in Germany in the first half of 2019, up from 39% in the same period last year, according to data from research and industry organizations. Good weather conditions and industry growth account for the change. [reNEWS]

¶ “French Nuclear To Suffer After Exclusion From Eu’s Green Investment Label” • The European Commission has voted to determine what constitutes green energy for the EU. Fossil fuel and nuclear energy investments are no longer part of sustainable finance and hence kept away from the financing needs of the transition. [EURACTIV]

Cooling towers (Shutterstock image)

US:

¶ “8minute Solar And NV Energy Plan New Solar Power Plant With 540 MWh Of Battery Storage” • The Southern Bighorn Solar & Storage Center will include a 300-MW (AC) solar array with 540 MWh of lithium-ion battery storage. It will be built in Clark County on the Moapa River Indian Reservation about 30 miles north of Las Vegas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Reading, Pennsylvania Sets 100% Clean Energy Goal” • The Reading City Council in Pennsylvania has unanimously voted to adopt a resolution establishing a goal of powering the entire community with 100% renewable energy by 2050. The city will prioritize energy-efficient and low-cost solutions in order to benefit residents. [Windpower Engineering]

Pennsylvania (Pixabay image)

¶ “Vivint Solar Closes $100 Million Financing To Support 55-MW Residential Pipeline” • Vivint Solar, The second-largest US residential solar provider, announced that it has received new commitments for $100 million of tax equity financing to be used to support the rollout of over 55 MW of residential solar energy systems. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Calling for ‘Climate Emergency’ Declaration, Council Members Examine City’s Progress in Renewable Energy” • About 90 activists, including three council members, rallied in front of New York City Hall ahead of a committee hearing at which a resolution to declare a climate emergency in New York City was discussed. [Gotham Gazette]

Have a fabulously comfortable day.

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June 25 Energy News

June 25, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “From Smokestacks To Solar Panels: Asia Starts Embracing Renewables” • Many people associate the energy infrastructure in Asia with environmental devastation, routine brownouts, and pollution from coal power plants so thick it coats buildings, cars, and lungs. But momentum is building for the use of new green energy across the region. [strategy+business]

Solar panels in a city (Photo by aaaaimages)

¶ “How Should Electric Car Drivers Pay For Using Roads?” • America’s transportation infrastructure of roads, bridges, and tunnels costs a lot of money to build and maintain. Those costs were covered by state and federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel. This raises a question of how roads will be paid for when the cars use no fuel. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Refilling Lake Chad With Water From The Congo River Using Solar Power” • Lake Chad, once the size of New Jersey, has lost 95% of its area. After the Amazon River, the Congo River has the second highest discharge rate of any river in the world. Here is a proposal to use some of the Congo River water to restore Lake Chad, powered by solar energy. [CleanTechnica]

Lake Chad shrinking (GRID Arendal, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

World:

¶ “This Week’s Heat Wave In Europe Is A Preview Of What The Climate Crisis Has In Store” • “Potentially dangerous” heat is forecast for much of Europe this week. Forecast temperatures are nearly 20°C (36°F) above the average of 22°C (72°F). In Paris, it is expected to be nearly 40°C (104°F). But record breaking has become normal. [CNN]

¶ “GE’s 12-MW Haliade-X Turbine Tower And Blade Make First Appearances” • The component parts of GE Renewable Energy’s mammoth new 12-MW Haliade-X wind turbine prototype are arriving for installation in Rotterdam. The first turbine blade made its first appearance outside the company’s factory in Cherbourg, France. [CleanTechnica]

Haliade X tower in Rotterdam (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “G20 Coal Subsidies Rise Despite Climate Pledges” • Despite promising a decade ago to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, the world’s leading economies more than doubled subsidies to coal-fired power plants between 2014 and 2017, putting climate goals at risk, according to a report by the London-based Overseas Development Institute. [RTE.ie]

¶ “Turkey Touts Ambitious Renewable Energy Plans As It Awards 1 GW Of Wind Capacity” • Turkey aims to increase the share of domestic renewable energy sources in its electricity production to two-thirds by 2023, the Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Fatih Donmez, said at a recent G20 ministerial meeting in Japan. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

¶ “Four Dams To Get Floating Solar Power Plants In Maharashtra” • Maharashtra is all set to get floating solar power generation plants on the backwaters of four dams, state Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan told the Legislative Council. He said the floating solar panels were to be set up using the Swiss Challenge method. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “BC Lighthouses Go From Diesel To Renewable” • British Columbia’s 27 staffed lighthouses are shifting from diesel power to renewable energy, with several recently getting solar and wind turbines. Ten lighthouses are expected to make the changeover in about a year, while the other 17 will be retrofitted as the diesel generators age. [Daily Commercial News]

Lighthouse on Merry Island (Don Procter)

¶ “Solar Panel Systems Soar In Spain Thanks To Friendlier Regulation” • Last year, 235 MW of new photovoltaic power were added in Spain, and this year industry expects to see an installed capacity rise to 400 MW, says José Donoso, director general of the industry association. The growth is largely due to changes in regulation. [El País in English]

US:

¶ “How Georgia Became A Surprising Bright Spot In The US Solar Industry” • In a big move last year for Georgia, the city of Dalton added a new industry to its manufacturing mix: the largest solar panel assembly plant in the Western hemisphere, a $150 million investment. It adds to Georgia’s increasing progress with solar power. [Spokane Public Radio]

Solar farm Hazlehurst, Georgia (Silicon Ranch image)

¶ “US Senate Democrats And Clean Energy Industry Call For Tax Credit Extensions” • Twenty US Senate Democrats, including five presidential candidates, called for the extension of clean energy tax incentives and tax credits such as those for wind and solar energy. The call has been applauded and joined by the country’s clean energy associations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Small Iowa Town Pushes For Energy Independence” • A small town in Iowa with a population of about 2,600 people and aging homes, Bloomfield has its own electric and gas utilities. Town staff found “net zero” didn’t resonate with the community, but it found traction with “energy independence.” It will use renewable energy for that. [CleanTechnica]

Bloomfield stores, 2003 (John Margolies, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “NV Energy Announces Three New Solar Projects To Be Complete By 2023” • NV Energy is expanding its portfolio of renewable energy enterprises with three projects. The projects will contribute 1,190 MW of solar capacity to a portfolio of 57 renewable energy projects that are currently in service or under development. [KTNV Las Vegas]

¶ “How (Un)Profitable Are Ohio’s 2 Nuclear Plants? FirstEnergy Solutions Says It Can’t Tell The Public” • Lawmakers in Ohio will decide soon whether to bail out two nuclear power plants. But FirstEnergy Solutions says it can’t reveal how much money they are losing (if any), because the it is involved in bankruptcy proceedings. [cleveland.com]

Have a stupendously excellent day.

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June 24 Energy News

June 24, 2019

World:

¶ “Power Purchase Agreements For 1 GW Of Solar Projects Approved In Gujarat” • PPAs for 1 GW of grid-connected solar PV projects tendered and auctioned by the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited were approved by the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission. The tariffs ranged from ₹2.44/kWh (3.38¢/kWh) to ₹2.68/kWh (3.7¢/kWh). [Mercom India]

Solar array (First Solar image)

¶ “The Diesel Scandal Just Destroyed Profit Growth At Daimler, Maker Of Mercedes-Benz” • Daimler, the German auto company that makes Mercedes-Benz, reduced its 2019 profit expectations by hundreds of millions of euros. The financial downgrade is fallout from the diesel emissions scandal that has rocked the German auto industry. [CNN]

¶ “Limekiln Secures Scottish Assent” • Infinergy and Boralex have got the green light from Scottish ministers to build the Limekiln wind farm in Caithness. The Highlands project of up to 90 MW, located around three km south of the decommissioned Dounreay nuclear power station, will consist of 21 turbines with tip heights of 139 metres. [reNEWS]

Erecting a wind turbine (Infinergy image)

¶ “Indian Railways Issues 140-MW Solar-Wind Hybrid Tender” • Indian Railways issued its first tender to implement solar-wind hybrid projects. The Railway Energy Management Company Limited issued a tender to set up 140 MW of solar-wind hybrid capacity. Of the new capacity, 105 MW will be windpower, and the rest will be solar. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Adviser Says PM’s Plan Will Fail Unless It Is Dramatically Stepped Up” • The British government’s chief adviser on climate change has warned that the Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to eliminate Britain’s contribution to global warming will fail unless cuts to greenhouse gases are stepped up dramatically. [Sky News]

Wind farm in Wales (Nigel Brown, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Paradigm Shift as Swedes’ Support for Nuclear Power Soars” • In Sweden, support for nuclear power is back to its highest level, previously measured in 2010. A political science professor at the SOM Institute at Gothenburg University, attributed the change to a proposal to expand nuclear power that came from the Christian Democrats. [Sputnik International]

Australia:

¶ “ACT Looks Beyond 2020 Renewables Target, Seals Community Solar Off-Take Deal” • The Australian Capital Territory’s government took steps to re-affirm its commitment to maintaining its 100% renewable electricity target in perpetuity, at the same the territory locks-in a feed-in tariff rate for its first community solar farm. [RenewEconomy]

Sapphire wind farm

¶ “Flagship Megawatt-Scale Community Solar Farm Achieves Final Funding To Break Ground In August” • Renewable Energy developer CWP Renewables provided up to $800,000 in funding for SolarShare’s 1-MW community solar project, Mount Majura Solar Farm, to commence construction. It should be generating power this year. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Kogan Powers Up New Renewable Energy Offering” • Online electronics retailer Kogan is partnering with a New Zealand energy company to sell power and gas in Australia. Meridian Energy and its Australian retailer Powershop claim to be the only electricity and gas retailer certified 100% carbon neutral by the Australian government. [ChannelNews]

Wind farm (Pexels photo)

¶ “REST Secures WA’s Biggest Wind Farm” • Nearly half of all Western Australia’s renewable energy will now be owned by a superannuation fund. Industry super fund REST announced it had fully acquired the Collgar wind farm, 25 km south-east of Merredin in WA’s Wheatbelt. This happened when UBS sold its 60% share to REST. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

US:

¶ “VP Mike Pence Refuses To Directly Answer Whether Climate Change Is A Threat In Tapper Interview” • During an interview on CNN, Vice President Mike Pence said, “We will always follow the science.” But he repeatedly refused to give a direct answer when asked about his beliefs on climate change and whether it poses a threat to the planet. [Newsweek]

Mike Pence (Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “MECO Increases Renewable Power, Storage Amounts Sought In Next Procurement” • Maui Electric Co will be seeking 295 GWh per year of renewable energy and 58 GWh per year of power storage in its next round of requests for proposals, according to the utility and filings with the state Public Utilities Commission. [Maui News]

¶ “Finally, Major Movement On Governor’s Promises For Offshore Wind” • Ørsted’s Ocean Wind project established a first-year price of $98.10/MWh for the subsidy provided by ratepayers, the offshore renewable energy certificate. By way of comparison, the OREC offered in Maryland is priced at $170 for a wind project there. [NJ Spotlight]

Offshore wind farm (Zoltan Tasi | Unsplash)

¶ “Texas Cooperatives To Purchase 7 MW of Distribution-Scale Solar Energy” • Five electric distribution cooperatives in Texas have signed agreements to purchase 7 MW of distribution-scale solar generation, providing an increased supply of cost-effective and clean energy to their members while increasing local system resilience. [Transmission & Distribution World]

¶ “Central Washington Stepping Up To Produce Renewable Energy” • As Gov Jay Inslee pushes for carbon-free renewable energy in the state of Washington, several projects are either underway or already producing power in its central region. Wind turbines are generating power. And bio-waste and solar energy are being developed. [Yakima Herald-Republic]

Have a terrifically delightful day.

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June 23 Energy News

June 23, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Nuclear Power And Natural Gas Hit A Wall In US: Now What?” • Two US energy developments call the “clean energy” status of nuclear power and natural gas into question. Rhode Island officials rejected a proposed gas power plant and federal officials okayed the sale of New Jersey’s Oyster Creek nuclear plant for decommissioning. So, now what? [CleanTechnica]

Block Island wind farm (screenshot via energy.gov)

¶ “Major Investment Manager Drops ExxonMobil And Spam, McKibben Asks ‘Who’ll Be Last Out?'” • Legal and General Investment Management, the UK’s largest asset manager, with a £1 trillion portfolio, has sold its holdings in five companies it deems to be lagging behind in meeting the challenge of a warming planet. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “All Ploughed Out: The Rebel Farmers Fighting Climate Change” • A primitive form of “mob grazing” consists of moving cattle from one field to another daily. They always have fresh grass. It breaks disease cycles. It lets indigenous plants come through and the grass recovers between grazing periods. “They love it,” one farmer says. [HeraldScotland]

Friendly cow

World:

¶ “Electricity Demand In WA Set To Fall For First Time, AEMO Forecasts, As Solar Power Takes Over” • In a report on the south-west wholesale electricity market, the Australian Energy Market Operator says it does not expect the use of grid power to increase as Western Australia’s population grows. This is largely due to solar installations. [ABC News]

¶ “Climate Protesters Storm Garzweiler Coal Mine In Germany” • Hundreds of climate change activists ran through fields, broke through a police cordon and  stormed the Garzweiler open cast coal mine in western Germany to campaign against fossil fuels. Germany has vowed to be carbon neutral by 2050, but activists say 2050 is not soon enough. [BBC]

Protesters at the Garzweiler mine (AFP image)

¶ “Poland Eyes Green Energy Investments In Western Balkans” • Polish energy groups could invest in renewables in the Western Balkan countries that eye EU membership, Jadwiga Emilewicz, the Polish minister for entrepreneurship and technology, said. Poland has especially close trading ties with Serbia, among the countries in the region. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “China’s Silk Road Fund Acquires 49% Stake In Acwa Power’s Renewable Energy Unit” • China’s Silk Road Fund took a 49% stake in ACWA Power’s renewable energy platform. ACWA Power RenewCo will own 1668 MW of CSP, PV, and wind assets across the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco. [ArabianBusiness.com]

Concentrating solar system 

¶ “China Eyes Argentina In Global Nuclear Roll-Out” • In the midst of economic and political uncertainty, Argentina has doubled down on a major Chinese nuclear power deal. China is looking to ramp up its nuclear power exports, but concerns over the cost and safety of nuclear power continue to plague efforts to expand the industry. [Buenos Aires Times]

US:

¶ “70 People Were Arrested At A Climate Protest Outside The New York Times Offices” • Seventy people were arrested outside of The New York Times building in Manhattan, according to a New York Police Department spokesman, who said that charges are pending. They were protesting to call attention to the way news outlets cover the climate crisis. [CNN]

Protest signs and flags (Jacob Silverman | Twitter)

¶ “Bees, Butterflies, And Solar Panels Learn To Share The Land In Minnesota” • Connexus Energy of Minnesota and the National Renewable Energy Lab are working together in an experimental program that may boost both pollinators and the output of solar power plants. Connexus is planting prairie grasses and flowers at a site under and around solar panels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Personal Airline Exchange Orders 50 Ampaire EEL Hybrid Electric Commuter Airplanes” • Air service provider Personal Airline Exchange, to expand its on-demand charter service, placed an order for 50 Ampaire Electric EEL commuter planes. They have hybrid electric systems like those in cars, with both electric and combustion power. [CleanTechnica]

Ampaire Electric EEL airplane

¶ “Wyden Intros Bill To Promote Geothermal Energy” • Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada) introduced a  bill to promote the growth of geothermal energy. “Climate change is here, it’s happening now. America must invest in producing renewable energy if we’re going to truly kick our carbon habit,” Wyden said. [KTVZ]

¶ “Cornell Professor Offers Ag Fixes To ‘Complex, Severe’ Climate Change” • A Cornell plant science professor told a congressional committee in a hearing on agricultural resiliency that climate change impacts have been more complex and severe than scientists had forecast three decades ago. He called for technology solutions. [Lancaster Farming]

Have an enchantingly beautiful day.

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June 22 Energy News

June 22, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Why Climate Change Might Be Worse Than You Think” • If you are using today’s climate models to predict the frequency and severity of tomorrow’s severe weather, your estimates could be off, a convocation speaker at a major Canadian university suggested. That is important for the Canadian property and casualty insurance industry. [Canadian Underwriter]

Melting Arctic

¶ “Trump’s Impeachable Offense: Ignoring Climate Change” • If anything in the second decade of the 21st Century warrants impeachment of an American president, it should be ignoring science and climate change, and putting humanity at grave risk. It is a dangerous dereliction of duty that warrants a president’s removal from office. [Baltimore Sun]

World:

¶ “Costa Rica To Go 100% Plastic and Carbon-Free By 2021” • No country has made more environmental progress than Costa Rica. The country has got 99% of its energy from renewable sources since 2014. It has doubled the size of its forests, creating a huge carbon sink. Now, it plans to be free of plastic and fossil fuels by 2021. [The Rising]

Forest in Costa Rica (Victor Quirós, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Dubai 900-MW Solar PV Tender Attracts 64 Companies” • In Dubai, a tender for the fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park has attracted huge interest. According to Gulf Today, a total of 64 companies have expressed interest in the project. The companies now have up to 22 August to submit their final bids. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Olympics’ New Swiss HQ Is Both Eco-Friendly And Symbolic” • The new Swiss headquarters for the Olympic and Paralympic Games is finished, and the building, in the city of Lausanne, is the most sustainable in the world, the architects say. The building occupies a scenic spot on the shore of Lake Geneva, inside Louis Bourget Park. [CNN]

Olympics’ New Swiss headquarters (Adam Mørk | IOC)

¶ “Norway Announces Plan To Cut Emissions From Ships 50% By 2030” • In Norway, with its mountains and fjords, it is often faster and less expensive to deliver cargo to most communities by sea than by land, but its ships are powered by diesel and are heavy polluters. Its government has announced new measures to cut the pollution by half. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia’s Massive Contribution To Global PV, Battery Uptake Blemished By Grid Woes” • Australia tops the global charts in terms of solar PV and battery additions in 2018, according to a REN21 report. It is not all roses, however, with grid bottlenecks and wave developer Carnegie’s bankruptcy featured among the report’s critical highlights. [pv magazine Australia]

Solar array (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Spanish Floater Finds Its Home” • W2Power, a multi-turbine floating offshore wind platform, has been commissioned at the Plocan test site in the Canary Islands, according to Ingeteam, a project participant. The platform supports two 100-kW turbines on lateral tilting towers. It was built at the Astican shipyard in Las Palmas. [reNEWS]

¶ “National Grid Is Building A Giant Undersea Power Cable To Norway: Here’s What That Means” • Interconnectors have existed for quite some time, but right now the National Grid is working on one connecting the UK, at Tyneside, to Kvilldal, in Norway. It was started in 2015, and when it is finished, in 2021, it will be the longest in the world. [Gizmodo UK]

Laying a submarine cable (Screenshot)

US:

¶ “GE Will Shutter California Natural Gas Plant 20 Years Early” • GE notified the California Energy Commission it is shuttering the Inland Empire in Riverside, California, according to Reuters. The Inland Empire plant was only commissioned in 2009. GE invested roughly $1 billion in the plant, but operating it has become uneconomical. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A Fire At A Philadelphia Oil Refinery Sparked An Explosion Felt For Miles” • A large fire broke out at an oil refinery in Philadelphia, rattling the area with a booming explosion and lighting up the dark sky with huge balls of gas and flame. The explosion and fire came from a vat of butane at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery. [CNN]

Refinery fire (@1nicetownbeam via Twitter)

¶ “Ørsted Wins New Jersey Offshore Prize” • Officials in New Jersey have selected Ørsted as the winner in the state’s first offshore wind solicitation with the 1100MW Ocean Wind project. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities received 14 bids from three developers for the solicitation, which was issued in September 2018. [reNEWS]

¶ “Bay Area’s Electric Car Sales Have Nearly Doubled Thanks To Tesla Model 3” • Electric vehicle sales have nearly doubled in the Bay Area, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, and this is at least partly because of the Tesla Model 3. In 2018, EVs accounted for 13% of new passenger vehicle registrations in the Bay Area, up from 7% in 2017. [CleanTechnica]

Teslas charging (Photo: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica)

¶ “Day Of Reckoning Nears For Ohio Nuclear Bailout Bill” • An Ohio bill that  would bail out two of FirstEnergy Solutions’ nuclear plants and scrap the state’s energy-efficiency and renewable-energy standards must be acted on soon, because FirstEnergy Solutions has until June 30 to decide to order $52 million worth of nuclear fuel. [cleveland.com]

¶ “Environmental Group Says New Nuclear Power Plant Too Pricey For Utah’s Municipal Utilities” • The cost of power from small modular reactors is raising objections from the Healthy Environmental Alliance of Utah. A study found power from some SMRs would cost over $66/MWh, while wind and solar power would be just over $38. [KSL.com]

Have an abundantly fruitful day.

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June 21 Energy News

June 21, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Are We Heading For A New Tanker War?” • Tankers were blazing in the Gulf. We’ve been here before. America and Iran came to blows in the same waters 28 years ago. Ships were attacked, crew members killed and injured. Before it was over, an Iranian airliner had been shot out of the sky, by mistake. Could it happen again? [BBC]

Tanker burning in December, 1987 (Getty Images)

¶ “ExxonMobil’s CO₂ Sequestration Is Just A Tiny Fraction Of Its CO₂ Emissions” • ExxonMobil is spinning great PR hay out of its carbon straw. The company claims to be the global leader in getting rid of CO₂. Like almost everything else in the carbon capture and sequestration space, the claims do not hold up to the slightest scrutiny. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fooled Again: New “ACE” Power Plan Brings Back Nuclear Energy Jobs, Not Coal Jobs” • The Affordable Clean Energy plan was announced with great fanfare and coal miners in attendance. ACE replaces President Obama’s Clean Power Plan with one that stresses both affordable and clean. But that leaves coal still in its death spiral. [CleanTechnica]

Rendering of NuScale nuclear power plant
(US DOE via NuScale, Carbon Free Energy Project)

¶ “Yellow Light In US Auto Industry: Consumer Demand Problem Growing For Gas Cars” • A recent article in Forbes highlighted that JD Power and LMC Automotive have found “a growing backlog of unsold new cars and trucks” across the country. The reason? Sales are down. People are buying fewer and fewer gasoline-powered cars. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Fossil Fuels Produce Less Than Half Of UK Electricity For First Time” • This year will be the first that fossil fuels make up less than half of the electricity generated, according to National Grid. Instead, UK homes and businesses will rely more on clean electricity generated by wind farms, solar panels, hydro power and nuclear power reactors. [The Guardian]

Wind farm and pylons in Kent (Gareth Fuller | PA)

¶ “EU Fails To Set A Firm Deadline For Zero Carbon Emissions Goal” • After a group of eastern European countries blocked a proposal for net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the EU failed to set a firm deadline to end its contribution to climate change. Leadership agreed instead to start working on “a transition to a climate-neutral EU.” [CNN]

¶ “US-UK Tie-Up To Offer Zinc Hybrid Storage” • US energy storage company Eos is working with UK start-up Bryt Energy to develop a zinc hybrid battery. It will be tested under conditions in the UK before being targeted at universities for research purposes. It is expected that the first EU-certified system will be provided in the UK next year. [reNEWS]

Storage battery (Ads-Tec image)

Australia:

¶ “Atlassian Billionaire Cannon-Brookes Eyes Clean Energy Boom In The NT” • Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes’ private investment company is pursuing opportunities to develop renewable energy in Australia’s Northern Territory as it looks to tap the region’s abundant sunshine and proximity to key Asian markets. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Berrybank Wind Farm Begins Construction With Turbines Made Locally In Old Car Factory” • Construction has begun at the 180-MW Berrybank Wind Farm in Victoria. The wind farm will use Vestas wind turbines that were built in Victoria, at the Vestas Renewable Energy Hub in Geelong, repurposed from an old Ford factory. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbine

¶ “Miners See 50% Renewables As Standard, But Are Aiming For 100%” • The Australian mining industry has suddenly discovered that there is a cheaper, cleaner and smarter way to power their operations than operating diesel-powered generating plants. The sector is now emerging as the unlikely source of the next boom in renewables investment. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Self-Proclaimed ‘Queen Of [WORD] Robots’ Builds The First Tesla Truck” • Tesla’s pickup truck is set to be unveiled in just a few months, but one eager maker just had to go off and make one for herself. Simone Giertz, who has shown some seriously odd robot creations on her YouTube channel, built herself the world’s first Tesla pickup. [CleanTechnica]

Simone Giertz and Tesla Model 3 truck

¶ “Oregon Sends Police To Bring Back Republicans Who Left State Over Climate Bill” • Oregon Democratic Gov Kate Brown authorized state police to locate Senate Republicans and bring them back to the state Capitol after some left the state to block the chamber’s proceedings. To block a climate bill, they had left the Senate without a quorum. [CNN]

¶ “Duke Fires Up 150-MW California Solar Plant” • Duke Energy Renewables has brought online its 150-MW North Rosamond PV installation in California. The plant, in Kern County, is the largest solar project in Duke Energy Renewables’ fleet. Its electricity is being sold to Southern California Edison under a 15-year power purchase agreement. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Duke Energy image)

¶ “Retreat And Abandonment – The $400 Billion Problem Confronting US Coastal Communities” • The Center For Climate Integrity forecasts that protecting US coastal communities from rising sea levels could cost $400 billion over the next 20 years. This is not a worst-case scenario. CCI says, “In reality, the situation could be much worse.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Powerwalls Tapped For East Coast Utility’s New Virtual Power Plant” • East Coast utility National Grid has a new program that allows Tesla Powerwall owners to leverage their batteries to sell their stored power during peak demand periods. Centrally managed Tesla Powerwalls can offset the need to install more inefficient peaker plants. [CleanTechnica]

Have a mystifyingly fine day.

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June 20 Energy News

June 20, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The 10-GW Solar Vision That Could Turn Northern Territory Into Economic Powerhouse” • Australia’s Northern Territory has a multi-billion dollar opportunity to invest heavily in renewable energy, create a new industry exporting hydrogen, and produce thousands of jobs, rather than following the controversial path of fracking vast reserves of gas. [RenewEconomy]

Uluru or Ayers Rock (Ekistica image)

¶ “Trump Administration Weakens Climate Plan To Help Coal Plants Stay Open” • President Trump has thrown his latest lifeline to the ailing coal industry. The EPA released the final version of its Affordable Clean Energy rule. It’s supported by the coal industry, but it is not clear that it will be enough to stop coal-fired power plants from closing. [NPR]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Himalayan Glaciers Are Melting Twice As Fast As Last Century” • Climate change is eating away Himalayan glaciers at a dramatic rate, a study revealed. Spanning 2,000 kilometers and harboring some 600 billion tons of ice, Himalayan glaciers supply around 800 million people with water for irrigation, hydropower and drinking. [CNN]

Himalayan mountain (Neville Gillett)

¶ “Tesla At Least 4 To 5 Years Ahead Of Competition, According To German Auto Industry Expert” • In a review of the Tesla Model 3, Die Welt, a German newspaper, quotes auto industry expert Prof Ferdinand Dudenhöffer as saying, “The technical lead is easily four to five years. Range and driving pleasure are unmatched.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “India’s Sixth Biggest City Is Almost Entirely Out Of Water” • The floor of the Chembarambakkam reservoir is cracked open, dry and sun-baked. About 25 km (15.5 miles) away, in Chennai, India’s sixth largest city, millions of people are running out of water. All four of the reservoirs that are used to supplied Chennai are nearly dry. [CNN]

Reservoir measuring tower (Arun Sankar | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “India Issues 1 GW Solar Tender With Domestic Content Restrictions” • India’s largest power generation company, the government-owned NTPC Limited, issued a tender for 1 GW of solar PV capacity. Project developers are required to use only Indian-made solar cells and modules for the projects but may choose siting for the projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Xpeng Motors Rolls Off 10,000 Units Of Its Smart G3 EV” • Xpeng Motors continues its steady progress by completing another production milestone. It made the 10,000th unit of its G3 smart EV, just 188 days into its official launch, clenching the title of most EV sales from a new EV manufacturer/startup in China. [CleanTechnica]

Xpeng Motors – 10,000th car

¶ “Australia’s Biggest Manganese Metals Project May Go 90% Renewables” • The developers of what is expected to be Australia’s biggest manganese metals project are looking to source up to 90% renewables for the electricity supply of its operations. They believe it could achieve price parity with Chinese suppliers if it does. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Brussels Approves Italian Renewable Initiative” • A €5.4-billion Italian renewable energy initiative is permissible under the EU’s rules on state subsidies, the European Commission has ruled. Italy’s proposed aid scheme is set to run until 2021 and will extend financial support to renewable sources, including wind, solar and hydropower. [Energy Reporters]

The Dolomites (Wikipedia)

¶ “Norway Just Triggered An Offshore Wind Energy Boom” • Norway proposes to open two new areas in the North Sea with the potential to hold installed capacity of 3.5 GW of offshore windpower. Western Europe’s largest oil producer aims to use its offshore oil and gas expertise to boost the wind power exports of Norwegian companies. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ “EPA Rolls Back Obama-Era Plan Limiting Coal-Fired Power Plant Emissions” • The EPA said states can set their own carbon emissions standards for coal-fired power plants. The change is one that the agency itself says could result in 1,400 more premature deaths each year by 2030 than the Obama-era plan it will replace. [CNN]

Coal-fired power plant (George Frey | Getty Images)

¶ “Maine On The Cusp Of A Clean Energy Future” • The list of states committing to power themselves with 100% clean energy could soon include the Pine Tree State. In a bipartisan vote, the Maine Legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill that would increase the state’s renewable energy standard to 80% by 2030, and 100% by 2050. [Environment America]

¶ “Trump UN Pick Kelly Craft Breaks With White House On Climate Change” • President Donald Trump’s nominee for ambassador to the UN differs with him on climate change, saying it “poses real risks.” At her confirmation hearing, Kelly Craft told lawmakers she would “be an advocate for all countries to do their part in addressing climate change.” [BBC]

 

Kelly Craft (US Embassy Canada)

¶ “After Pilgrim Shutdown, New England Progresses On Renewable Electricity” • With Entergy pulling the plug on the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the New England region loses a significant electricity supplier. But several projects are to come online in coming years to offset Pilgrim’s closure. [West Hartford News]

¶ “Pennsylvania Governor Wants To Tie Nuclear Bailout To Joining RGGI” • Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf asked Republican lawmakers to authorize the state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative as part of a nuclear bailout deal, according to reports from local media and analysts. The governor’s office did not comment. [Investing.com]

Have an astonishingly fortuitous day.

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June 19 Energy News

June 19, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Renewables Are Winning The Economics Battle Against New Coal And Gas, Stunning Study Shows” • Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that renewables are now the cheapest form of new electricity generation across two thirds of the world. Five years ago, they were cheapest in only 1% of the world, according to BNEF. [ThinkProgress]

Solar panels and wind turbines in Palm Springs (Getty Images)

¶ “Extreme Temperatures Are Melting The Arctic” • If you live in the US or Canada, you may have noticed cool weather lately. Climate scientists say that this is because the mass of cold air usually over the Arctic has been displaced southward by air that is as much as 40°F higher than normal. There is a cause of this, but the effects are just starting. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Photo Of Sled Dogs Walking Through Water Shows Reality Of Greenland’s Melting Ice Sheet” • A photo of sled dogs ankle deep in a wide expanse of light blue water may be destined to join pictures of starving polar bears, shrunken glaciers, stranded walruses, and lakes turned bone dry in the images evidence of our ongoing climate catastrophe. [CNN]

Sled dogs in northwestern Greenland
(Steffen M Olsen, Denmark Meterorology)

¶ “Boaty McBoatface Makes Significant Climate Change Discovery On First Mission” • The British unmanned research submarine Boaty McBoatface has made an impressive debut in the scientific arena, discovering a significant link between Antarctic winds and rising sea temperatures on its 180 km (112 mile) maiden voyage. [CNN]

¶ “The Poisons Released By Melting Arctic Ice” • In a rapidly warming Arctic, the permafrost is thawing out and revealing its hidden secrets. Alongside Pleistocene fossils in land and soil that has been permanently frozen up to now, however, there are massive carbon and methane emissions, toxic mercury, and ancient diseases. [BBC]

Arctic “mega slump” (Credit: Sue Natali)

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy Investment In 2018 Hit $288.9 Billion” • According to data from BloombergNEF, global investment in renewable energy hit $288.9 billion in 2018. The amount is down by 11% from the previous year, partly due to falling technology costs in solar PVs. Investment in new capacity fired by coal or gas was $95 billion. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “Canada Approves $5.5 Billion Oil Pipeline Project” • Canada approved the Trans Mountain expansion project after a federal court sent it back for review last summer. PM Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals had taken the rare step last year of buying the pipeline for C$4.5 billion ($3.4 billion, £2.6 billion) to help ensure the project’s survival. [BBC]

Trans Mountain project construction site (Reuters)

¶ “India Auctions 1.2 GW Of Solar PVs At 3.66¢/kWh” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India issued the fourth national-level solar PV tender last February, and the technical bidding phase was completed in May. Media reports said that bids came in for 1.9 GW, with the lowest bid at ₹2.54/kWh (3.64¢/kWh). The cap was ₹2.65/kWh (3.80¢/kWh). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Greece Named Among Top 10 Countries Producing Renewable Energy” • Greece has been recognized as one of ten countries in the world that are producing over 20% of their total electric energy from solar and wind power, according to the Renewables 2019 Global Status Report, which was released this week. [Neos Kosmos]

Wind farm on Panachaiko mountain (Wikipedia)

¶ “South Korea Fires Up On Renewables, To Close More Coal Plants” • In South Korea, coal-fired generation has been the bedrock of the country’s electricity supply. The country is the world’s fourth-biggest coal importer, but it is expected to accelerate targets for green energy in an updated 15-year energy plan later this year. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ “The US Solar Power Is Booming This Year Despite Trump’s Tariffs” • A report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables found that the first quarter of 2019 was the strongest in the US solar industry’s history, with 2.7 GW of solar capacity added to the grid. The growth is expected to continue. [Gizmodo]

Solar PVs (Getty Images)

¶ “Power Company Agrees To Pay $1 Billion For Damage” • Pacific Gas & Electric Corp has agreed to pay $1 billion (£800 million, €893 million) to fourteen different local California authorities for wildfire damage blamed on the company. The claims stem from the 2015 Butte Fire, the 2017 North Bay Fires and the 2018 Camp Fire. [BBC]

¶ “Porsche Predicts Plug-In Paradise In Perpetuity” • In an op-ed published by USA Today, Klaus Zellmer, CEO of Porsche Cars North America, predicted that cars with tailpipes would soon be a thing of the past. He believes we are about to hit a turning point, with more Americans experiencing the instant power and sporty handling of EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Porsche Taycan charging

¶ “New York Set To Adopt Aggressive Emission Reduction Goals” • New York would adopt the nation’s most aggressive emission reduction goals under a proposal endorsed by the state Senate. New York would generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040 and reduce or offset all of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. [MyTwinTiers.com]

¶ “Decades Later, Maine Yankee Plant Stuck With Spent Nuclear Fuel As Feds Pick Up $10 Million Tab” • At a cost to the taxpayers of $10 million a year, the owners of the shuttered Maine Yankee nuclear power plant pay armed guards to watch 60 cement and steel canisters loaded with spent nuclear fuel, each weighing 150 tons. [The Journal News | LoHud.com]

Have an especially lovely day.

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June 18 Energy News

June 18, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “They Want To Create Floating Islands To Convert Sunlight Into Energy” • Researchers in Switzerland and Norway are trying to recycle carbon dioxide to make fuel. In a study published this month, the group proposes to use marine-based floating islands of solar cells to make hydrogen, extract CO₂ from sea water, and react them to make methanol. [CNN]

Solar system on water (Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

¶ “Flesh-Eating Bacteria In New Jersey Reveal One Possible Effect Of Climate Change, Study Says” • In the past two years, five cases of Vibrio vulnificus, a flesh-eating bacterial infection, have been tied to Delaware Bay. Water temperatures have been rising there in recent years, making favorable conditions for the bacteria, according to a study. [CNN]

¶ “Atlantic Ocean ‘Running Out Of Breath'” • A huge research program has been launched to assess the health of the Atlantic Ocean. The iAtlantic project is the biggest ever mounted in the planet’s second largest ocean. The international program has more than 30 partners and is funded by the EU. Edinburgh University will co-ordinate it. [BBC]

Remotely-operated underwater vehicle (Sid Frisby)

World:

¶ “Norway Updates: Subaru, Mazda, And Ford Sales Plummet, Hydrogen Car Sales Frozen, Tesla Sales Jump” • In Norway, Subaru sales are down 66% in 2019, Mazda sales are down 45% in the last three years, and Ford sales are down 50% over the last ten years. Automakers and dealers slow to electrify are suffering, as Teslas and other EVs sell. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Beijing Opens New Bicycle Expressway” • Beijing opened a bicycle expressway connecting the residential neighborhoods of Huilongguan in Changping District with the rapidly developing high tech industrial zone in the Haidian district just 6.5 km away, according to China Plus. It cuts a commute taking 90 minutes to one of 25 minutes. [CleanTechnica]

Beijing bicycle expressway

¶ “Climeworks Starts Paid Carbon Dioxide Removal” • A Swiss company, Climeworks, is now allowing anyone in the world to turn their travel emissions into stone. Climeworks is taking CO₂ from the atmosphere and sequestering it in stone. They also sell it to industries that use it. These include carbonated beverages, greenhouses, and chemicals. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sales Of Nissan e-NV200 Electric Vans Up 200% In UK” • For lots of business owners in the UK, the reduced costs to run the Nissan e-NV200 make it the perfect vehicle for their needs. Sales of the small delivery van, which is based on LEAF architecture, are up 200% year on year in the UK, according to a Nissan press release. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan e-NV200 (Nissan image)

¶ “Statkraft Forges UK Storage Links” • Norwegian utility Statkraft is partnering with battery developer Statera Energy to deliver 1 GW of flexible power supply. Under the 15-year strategic partnership, Statera will provide 50 MWh of storage capacity for a UK facility. High efficiency gas reciprocating engines will also be added. [reNEWS]

¶ “German PV Crew Delivers Egyptian Hat-Trick” • German developer Ib Vogt started commercial operations at three solar farms with a combined capacity of over 166 MW at the Benban complex in Egypt. The projects are the MMID 30, Phoenix 50, and BSEP 50. They were awarded under the second round of Egypt’s feed-in tariff program. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Ib Vogt image)

¶ “Ireland Commits To 70% Renewables With New Action Plan” • The Irish government released the country’s Climate Action Plan for 2019. It calls for a 70% renewables share in the total power mix by 2030. It almost triples the current 4.5 GW renewables capacity goal for 2030 as it calls for the installation of 13.2 GW of renewable capacity. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Erratic Policy ‘Stymying’ Renewables Growth” • Erratic policy is holding back renewable energy from its potential for cutting carbon emissions and meeting climate and development targets, according to a report by REN21. The report also said more clean power capacity was installed than fossil fuel and nuclear power combined for the fourth year in a row. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

¶ “Synthetic Fuels: Supporting Wärtsilä’s Vision Of A 100% Renewable Energy Future” • As Wärtsilä continues to pursue a 100% renewable energy future, one emerging technology that looks set to play a major part in the process is synthetic fuel production, which generates synthetic fuel from excess CO₂ emissions. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

US:

¶ “Sunrun Brings Brightbox To New Jersey, Expands In New York State” • Sunrun, the leading home solar and battery provider in the US, announced that it was expanding its offerings in two key markets. The company is bringing its Brightbox home solar and battery service to residents of New Jersey, and it is expanding its offerings in New York state. [CleanTechnica]

Sunrun Brightbox installation (Sunrun image)

¶ “Boulder-Based Scout Energy Developing 200-MW Wind Farm In Minnesota” • A renewable energy developer based in Boulder, Colorado, plans to construct a 200-MW wind farm in Minnesota in 2021. At a cost of about $220 million, the Three Waters Wind Farm will have 71 turbines of 2.82 MW each, spread over 45,000 acres. [Boulder Daily Camera]

¶ “After 12 Years, The Oregon House Passes Controversial Carbon-Reduction Bill” • After more than six hours of debate, the Oregon House passed House Bill 2020, a long-awaited effort to meet the state’s carbon emission reduction goals. The bill is called “Clean Energy Jobs Bill” to emphasize the new green energy jobs it may create. [Willamette Week]

Have a thoroughly awesome day.

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June 17 Energy News

June 17, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “EU Leaders Face Pressure To Deliver On Climate Change” • By keeping global warming in the public eye, protests helped Green parties in last month’s European elections. They won 74 seats in the European Parliament, up from 52 seats. Their surge, and the boost for liberal parties in the center, will change EU political dynamics. [BBC]

Climate rally in Paris (Getty Images)

¶ “Want To Fight Big Oil, Pollution, And Corrupt Pollution-Pushing Politicians? Do This One Thing” • The US government is unlikely to do anything significant to weaken and shrink the oil and gas industry, but you can. You can easily pull thousands of gallons of oil off the market by switching to an electric car and slam the oil industry as you do. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Indian Farmers Are Using The Sun To Help Water Their Crops” • Khethworks is trying to fix the problem of drought and heat in India by harnessing one of the causes. The company has developed a solar-powered irrigation system that allows farmers to water their crops without depending on seasonal rains or expensive fuel. [CNN]

Paddy in India (Meena Kadri, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Honda e Electric Car Details Emerge – 31,000 People Say They Want One” • The Honda e four-passenger urban electric car is scheduled to go on sale in early 2020, with full-production-spec versions to be on display at the Frankfurt auto show in September. Honda says it has already received more than 31,000 “expressions of interest.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kenya Slowly Warms to Solar As Two New Solar Projects Launch” • In November 2018, Kenya commissioned its first commercial-scale solar power plant, the 54.6-MW Garissa Solar Power Plant, which will supply about 2% of Kenya’s electricity. Its success led to a 40-MW project in Eldoret and a 50 MW project in Nandi County. [CleanTechnica]

Kenya’s first grid connected solar roof (Strathmore University)

¶ “Investors Remain Ready To Back Renewable Projects, Survey Finds” • Sydney-based MinterEllison released a wide-ranging international survey that found that renewable energy investors stand ready to increase their activities over the next two years. Australian renewable projects are attractive, especially with US investors. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Wins Formosa 2 Supply Deal” • Siemens Gamesa secured a conditional order to supply turbines for the 376-MW Formosa 2 offshore wind farm off Taiwan, a Macquarie and Swancor Renewables project. The German-Spanish turbine maker will delivery 47 8.0-167 machines for the project, which will enter construction in 2020. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “South Australia’s Stunning Aim To Be ‘Net’ 100% Renewables By 2030” • The South Australia Liberal government says it expects the state will achieve “net” 100% renewables by 2030. This contrasts with the conservative Liberal Party at the federal level, where the prevailing view is that renewables will kill the economy. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Hydrogen To Drive The Future Of Energy” • Dubai broke ground for what is expected to become the first solar-driven hydrogen electrolysis facility in the Middle East and North Africa. Research has found that hydrogen produced from renewables will become a fuel that can be stored and used for a wide variety of purposes. [Utilities Middle East]

Siemens hydrogen electrolysis unit

¶ “Major Companies Call For Ambitious 2030 Renewable Electricity Targets” • Twenty major companies called on the Japanese government to set an ambitious target of sourcing at least 50% of its electricity from renewables by 2030, more than double its current ambition. Among the companies were Sony, AEON, and Fujitsu. [Mirage News]

¶ “EU Needs More Wind And Solar Power” • A report by the European Court of Auditors says that although both wind and solar power have recorded strong growth since 2005, there has been a slowdown since 2014. It recommends that the European Commission take steps to encourage support for deployment of both technologies. [The Scottish Farmer]

Wind turbines in Germany

¶ “Chiefs Oppose Small Reactors On First Nations Territory” • Chiefs of the Anishinabek Nation, representing 40 Indigenous communities across Ontario, unanimously endorsed a grand council resolution stating their objection to the construction, operation, storage or disposal of small modular nuclear reactors anywhere on their lands. [The Sudbury Star]

US:

¶ “Co-op Elections Show Strengthening Interest In Electrical Transition” • Across mountain valleys of Colorado, from La Plata Electric in the Durango-Pagosa Springs area to Yampa Valley Electric, the co-op that serves the Steamboat Springs-Craig areas, elections of electrical co-op board members have had many real contests this year. [Mountain Town News]

San Luis Valley solar farm (Allen Best)

¶ “New Project To Power 100% Of Arkansas County’s Operations” • Continuing a string of solar project announcements, Scenic Hill Solar of North Little Rock has partnered with Ouachita County, Arkansas, and the city of Camden, the county seat, to provide enough sun energy to power 100% of municipal and county operations. [US News & World Report]

¶ “UC Solar Projects Create Lower Costs, Renewable Energy” • Three big University of California Solar projects are poised to be the next big breakthroughs in low-cost, accessible sustainable commercial and residential energy in California and far beyond. One technology being tested conducts heat away from the solar PV panels. [Merced County Times]

Have an immensely satisfying day.

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June 16 Energy News

June 16, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Now The Cheapest Option – Even Without Subsidies” • New data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) demonstrate that using renewable energy is increasingly cost-effective compared to other sources, even when it must compete with the heavily-subsidized fossil fuel industry. [Forbes]

Wind farm (Associated Press)

¶ “When Will Renewable Energy Prices Stop Dropping?” • Renewable energy prices have just kept falling for years, and some people wonder when they will stop. Their understanding is that prices are rather unpredictable. In some important ways, they are wrong. To a surprising degree, the price declines are predictable. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Curtailment Is The Easy Answer” • A recent article found that curtailment of renewables may be cheaper than grid scale energy storage. Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best solution. But with the complexity of electrical grids, we should look at all available solutions to make sure we are making the best choice for each application. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island wind farm

¶ “Tesla Now Offers Used Model 3’s – Should You Buy One?” • Maybe the management class in college is where the author learned to be able to argue any side of any issue. Or maybe it was politics. Regardless, a used Model 3 is either a great deal or a bad one. Both cases are presented, as either could be true, depending on your situation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Memories Of Chernobyl As Acclaimed HBO Series Puts Disaster Back In Focus” • The Chernobyl nuclear disaster has been in the headlines since May, thanks to a television series made by US network HBO. Euronews journalists from Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Iran and Hungary share their memories of the time. [Euronews English]

Abandoned amusement park (Gleb Garanich | Reuters)

World:

¶ “French EV Sales Up 34% In May 2019” • The French plug-in electric vehicle market scored 4,051 registrations in May, up 34% year over year, with fully electric cars (+36%) growing faster than plug-in hybrids (30%). All-electric cars represented 71% of all plug-in sales. This growth is happening as the overall automotive market is stagnating. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Heating To Inflict More Droughts On Africa As Well As Floods” • Global heating could bring many more bouts of both severe drought and increased flooding to Africa than previously had been forecast, scientists of the UK’s Met Office have warned. Alternating drought and flooding  could cripple agriculture in the continent. [The Guardian]

Flooding in Africa (Andrew Kasuku | AFP)

¶ “Volkswagen Will Invest €900 Million In Northvolt” • Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt and Volkswagen have agreed to a new joint venture. Volkswagen will invest €900 million. For that amount, it will own a 20% stake in Northvolt and have one seat on its board of directors. Volkswagen is not alone in taking interest in Northvolt. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mining Methane In Lake Kivu, Rwanda: An Unusual Source Of Renewable Energy” • KivuWatt, a 34-MW power plant in Rwanda, was devised to help reduce the risk of overpressure gas outbursts at Lake Kivu. Since then, the first-of-its-kind integrated methane gas extraction and production facility has become a critical local power producer. [CleanTechnica]

KivuWatt (Image via ContourGlobal)

¶ “G20 Environment And Energy Ministers Meet In Japan” • Environment and energy ministers from the G20 countries are meeting this weekend in the Japanese resort town of Karuizawa. The ministers will focus on energy security, low carbon energy sources, plastic waste, marine litter, and innovations going on in these areas. [Economic Times]

¶ “Tasmanian Wind Farm Plans Are Not All Hot Air, But How Will They Work?” • Tasmania is going into a new era of energy production, with millions of dollars worth of wind farms being constructed, and plans for billions of dollars of more projects in the pipeline. Renewable energy could make the state 95% self-sufficient by the year’s end. [ABC Local]

Winter at a Tasmanian wind farm (Goldwind Australia)

¶ “Bahrain Banking On Cheaper Renewable Energy” • The global weighted average cost of electricity from concentrated solar power declined by 26% last year, according to an IRENA report. Bahrain is banking on a downward renewable energy cost trend encouraging more people to adopt alternative power solutions in their homes. [ZAWYA]

US:

¶ “EPA Air Chief Gave Presentation At Fringe Climate Denier Event, New Emails Show” • A top EPA official gave a presentation last year at a gathering of some of the most zealous deniers of climate science, emails show. The event highlights the influence a small, fringe movement hawking crank theories now wields in Washington. [HuffPost]

Coal at work (The Washington Post Via Getty Images)

¶ “Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe Details Plans To Move Into Stationary Energy Storage” • Rivian Automotive, LLC is a specialist in sustainable transportation, designing and developing EVs. It has designed its batteries so that they can go from use in a vehicle to being used for stationary storage with no more alteration than flipping a switch. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘The Oceans Are Taking A Beating’: Seawater Temperatures On SLO’s Coast Keep Getting Higher” • Ocean temperatures are rising. Last year, buoys off southern California smashed their records. The Scripps Nearshore meters reached 81.3°, breaking the old record 80.4° set during the very strong El Niño event of 2015. [San Luis Obispo Tribune]

Have an exceptionally pleasing day.

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June 15 Energy News

June 15, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “A Digital Solution For Plastic Waste” • It was once a shoreline buried by enough trash to render it invisible, warranting the unfortunate nickname “toilet bowl.” Now the Philippines’ Manila Bay beach is unrecognizably clean compared with a few months ago, a transformation so sudden and extreme that it brought tears to the eyes of residents. [BBC]

Clean-up workers (Credit: Nathan Beer)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Greenland Lost Two Billion Tons Of Ice Yesterday, Which Is Very Unusual” • Over 40% of Greenland experienced melting yesterday, with total ice loss estimated to be more than 2 gigatons. It is highly unusual for that much ice to be lost in the middle of June, and 2019 could once again set records for the amount of Greenland ice loss. [CNN]

¶ “Acid Test For Hydrogen Versus Battery Electric Transport” • The world’s first hydrogen powered ferry boat has been under construction in San Francisco, and there is also a battery powered ferry in the works for New York City. It’s a classic west coast/east coast matchup, and to add a little extra spice the same investor group is behind both vessels. [CleanTechnica]

Hydrogen-powered electric ferry (Image: SW/TCH Maritime)

¶ “New IEA Report Focuses on Hydrogen Use” • According to a report from the International Energy Agency, hydrogen has a vast potential to become a critical part of a more sustainable and secure energy future for the world. The study includes analysis of hydrogen’s current state of play and offers guidance on its development. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

World:

¶ “Alberta Taxpayers Will Get Stuck With $400 Billion+ Oil & Gas Cleanup Bill” • Rob Wadsworth, vice-president of closure and liability for the Alberta Energy Regulator told oil and gas officials privately last September that the cleanup bill for oil and gas wells in Alberta will be over $260 billion. Taxpayers were kept in the dark, however. [CleanTechnica]

Alberta oil wells (Credit: Real News via YouTube)

¶ “EU Approves Italy’s Auction Scheme For Renewables” • A €5.4 billion Italian program is expected to spur new growth in both large scale PVs and rooftop systems. The first technology-neutral clean energy auctions in Italy, which will also provide incentives for projects linked to EV charging, may be held in the months ahead. [pv magazine International]

¶ “France Awards 516 MW Of Onshore Wind And Launches 480-MW Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm” • In its third onshore wind tender, France’s Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition awarded a total of 516 MW to 21 projects. It has also launched development of the 480-MW Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm. [CleanTechnica]

Alstom wind energy project in France

¶ “Michael E Mann took climate change deniers to court. They apologized.” • In 2011, renowned scientist Michael E Mann sued a Canadian think tank that published an interview suggesting his work on climate change was fraud. Eight years later, the Frontier Center for Public Policy, which often promotes climate change denial, apologized. [Grist]

¶ “Pope Begs Climate Deniers To Listen To Science” • Pope Francis said that carbon pricing is “essential” to stem global warming. In an address to energy executives at a meeting, he also called for “open, transparent, science-based and standardized” reporting of climate risk and a “radical energy transition” away from carbon to save the planet. [The National]

Pope Francis at the two-day meeting (Reuters)

US:

¶ “NASA Pressured By Trump Official On Climate Change Stance, Emails Show” • Once a skeptic about climate change, Jim Bridenstine came around to the prevailing view of scientists before he took over as NASA administrator. That evolution did not sit well with a Trump environmental adviser, nor a think-tank analyst he was consulting, emails show. [NDTV]

¶ “84-Year Old Tesla Owner Perhaps First To Drive Electric Car To Arctic” • Many still believe electric cars are incapable of road trips due to a lack of EV charging infrastructure. An 84-year old Tesla owner proved the naysayers wrong when he became the first person to drive an electric car to the coastline of the Arctic Ocean. [CleanTechnica]

Seward Highway (Image: David Mark | Pixabay)

¶ “US Imposes Tariffs On Indian Solar Modules” • Expanding upon the trade policies enacted against other countries, the US administration recently announced the end of preferential trade treatment for India on account of its ‘developing country’ status. Indian solar module exports shall now attract a 25% safeguard duty. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Walmart Subscribing To 36 Community Solar Gardens” • Walmart has reached an agreement with the United States Solar Corp to subscribe to 36 of the latter’s community solar gardens in the state of Minnesota. The 1-MW community solar gardens will provide energy to Walmart locations in thirteen Minnesota counties. [Progressive Grocer]

US Solar community solar garden in Wrenshall, Minnesota

¶ “Allete Makes Oklahoma Power Play” • Allete Clean Energy is to supply Smithfield Foods with 75 MW of electricity for 12 years from the 300 MW Diamond Spring wind farm in Oklahoma. Construction on the wind farm will begin by early 2020. In 2016, Smithfield set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025. [reNEWS]

¶ “Congressman Hopes Taking DOE Out Of Yucca Process Will Bring Nevada To The Table” • The stalemate over building a national nuclear waste repository in Nevada could possibly be overcome if the DOE was no longer the lead federal agency on the project, experts and members of Congress suggested at a House hearing. [Nevada Independent]

Have an outstandingly pleasant day.

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June 14 Energy News

June 14, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why Tesla’s Solar Roof Is A Bargain, 53% Of The Price Of A Roof + Electricity” • I priced a new roof for my house, so the numbers are not hypothetical but a comparison of bids and realistic projections of two scenarios over 25 years. The Tesla Solar Roof is 52.7% of the cost of installing a comparable roof and buying power from the utility. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla roof, car, and storage

¶ “As Trump Touts Ethanol, Scientists Question The Fuel’s Climate Claims” • President Trump pushed ethanol in Iowa to show support for farmers. But scientists are questioning the administration’s evidence, and the Government Accountability Office questions whether ethanol mandates deliver any emissions reductions at all. [InsideClimate News]

World:

¶ “Global Renewables Jobs ‘Hit 11 Million'” • The renewable energy industry employed 11 million people around the world last year, according to analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency. IRENA said that 10.3 million people were employed in the sector in 2017, and the increase came in such key markets as China. [reNEWS]

Solar array (IRENA image)

¶ “Why Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Is Ditching Fossil Fuels” • Norway is the largest oil producer in Western Europe, and its economy depends on the oil industry. The parliament instructed its sovereign wealth fund to divest fossil fuel holdings to limit the exposure of its public finances to a sector that is challenged by climate concerns. [The Local Norway]

¶ “UK To Be Left With Five Coal Power Stations After Latest Closure” • The UK’s race to increase renewable energy sources has intensified with the announcement of plans to close another coal-fired power station. The news of the plant closing came as last winter was revealed to be the greenest yet for the country’s energy system. [The Guardian]

Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired power station (Photo: Alamy)

¶ “UK ‘Could Deploy 80 GW Of PV By 2030′” • The UK could install up to 80 GW of solar capacity by 2030, growing from the current 13 GW, a report said. Solarcentury, LUT University, and Energy Watch Group colaborated on the report, which said 80 GW would meet 20% of the country’s electricity demand and could create 200,000 ‘green’ jobs. [reNEWS]

¶ “Sendai Reactor To Stop Due To Delay In Anti-Terror Upgrade Work” • Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority decided to order power companies to suspend operations of their reactors unless anti-terror facilities are completed about a week before set deadlines. The deadline for the No 1 reactor at Sendai will be in March, 2020. [Asahi Shimbun]

Sendai plant (Kyushu Electric Co, Wikimedia Commons)

Australia:

¶ “Household Solar Surge Drives Down Power Sales” • The Australian Energy Market Operator said surging rooftop solar panel installations and improved efficiency will reduce the amount of power sold in South West for the first time since 2006. It predicts power sales will decrease an average 0.4% per year over the next decade. [The West Australian]

¶ “Western Australia power retailer Synergy forecast to lose $180 million over three years as dire finances revealed” • A Synergy spokeswoman admitted the utility’s profitability is threatened, citing a range of factors. Chief among them was the rapid uptake of rooftop solar power by households and businesses looking to reduce their power bills. [ABC Local]

Solar farm (Sarah Tallier | ABC News)

¶ “Australia’s Largest Solar And Battery Farm Opens In Kerang, Improves Energy Security” • Australia’s largest integrated battery and solar farm was officially opened in the north of Victoria. The 50-MW battery system just outside of Kerang stores 100% renewable energy and feeds directly into the state’s electricity grid. [ABC News]

US:

¶ “96% Of National Parks Negatively Impacted By Air Pollution” • The National Parks Conservation Association published a report that has a number of insights about the negative impacts of air pollution at US National Parks. One of these is, “96% of the 417 national parks assessed are plagued by significant air pollution problems.” [CleanTechnica]

Yosemite Valley

¶ “New Florida Law Just Legalized Driverless, Human-Less, Self-Driving Vehicles” • When will regulators approve self-driving vehicles? Well, in Florida, they already have. “More than a month after the Florida legislature passed a bill legalizing the use of autonomous vehicles, Gov Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law,” 10News reports. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Looking To Harness The Ocean Winds With British Help” • The federal government estimates that the coastal waters off of New Bedford, Massachusetts, are among the windiest in the nation. Some bad news is that the US doesn’t know much about building wind turbines, out in the ocean at least. But some good news is that the UK can help with that. [BBC]

Burbo Bank wind farm near New Brighton, UK (Reuters)

¶ “US Senate Introduces Offshore Wind Jobs And Opportunity Act” • A bipartisan senate bill is intended to grow offshore wind industry jobs. The Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act would create a system for federal grants to help institutions and businesses develop programs preparing workers for jobs in offshore wind. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “US Seeks Offshore Innovators” • The DOE’s National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium has issued a request for proposals to secure funding for research and development in several areas. One area is plant technology advancement, such as improving equipment and its efficiency. Another is developing better systems for installation and supply. [reNEWS]

Have a profoundly good day.

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June 13 Energy News

June 13, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Why networks think battery storage may be smarter choice than more poles and wires” • Transmission companies worldwide are increasingly considering energy storage to supplement a fundamental part of our electric power infrastructure: the poles and wires that carry high-voltage current from power plant to end-users. [RenewEconomy]

Energy storage

¶ “Confessions Of A Climate Activist: Don’t Blame Yourself, Go After The Criminals Who Sold Out Humanity For Profit” • Don’t blame yourself. Out of all the companies in the world, just one hundred have been responsible for 71% of the global emissions that cause global warming since 1998, according to the Carbon Majors Database. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Adani Mine: Australia Approves Controversial Coal Project” • Australia has given the final approval for construction to begin on a controversial coal mine to be built by Indian company Adani. The mine, in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, has been the subject of years of hold-ups over environmental approvals, but it has both state and federal approval. [BBC]

Coal export point (Getty Images)

¶ “India Invites Proposals For Gravity-Based Energy Storage Projects” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is looking beyond batteries to push energy storage in the grid balancing and support sector and for renewable energy. It has issued a document calling upon companies to submit proposals for gravity storage projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vietnam To See A Gigawatt Of Onshore Wind Installed By 2021” • The Global Wind Energy Council expects Vietnam to install 1 GW of onshore wind capacity by 2021, a move that could make the country a regional wind power leader. The Vietnamese government is said to be considering increasing a wind energy target to 6 GW by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Wind project in Vietnam (Credit: TSV Investment)

¶ Onshore Wind Farms In UK Could Cut £50 A Year Off Energy Bills” • Government ministers face calls to lift a block on onshore wind farms to help meet the UK’s ambitious climate targets and reduce home energy bills. Some of Europe’s largest energy investors have urged ending an effective ban on new onshore wind farms in England. [The Guardian]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Storage Rocks In Hamburg” • Siemens Gamesa has started operating an electric thermal energy storage system in Hamburg, Germany, that uses about 1000 tonnes of volcanic rock as a storage medium. The pilot project was developed in partnership with Hamburg Energie and Hamburg University of Technology. [reNEWS]

Storage in stone (Image: Siemens Gamesa)

¶ “Renewable Energy Jobs Move South And East, As Industry Shifts To Middle Income Economies” • Currently 39% of all renewable energy jobs are in China. Other important jobs markets include Brazil, the US and the EU, but the most notable trend is the emergence of renewable energy industries in more corners of east and southeast Asia. [Forbes]

¶ “Japan Sets Carbon-Neutral Goal By 2050” • Japan’s cabinet has adopted an new energy policy, which is intended to bring the country to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It aims to reduce reliance on nuclear energy while also tackling the “reduction of CO₂ emissions from thermal power generation” fired by fossil fuels like coal. [Japan Today]

Mount Fuji (AFP image)

US:

¶ “A Former EPA Chief Says The Trump Administration Is ‘Hamstringing Scientists'” • The Trump administration is “hamstringing scientists and their ability to do their work” to tackle climate change, according to Christine Todd Whitman. She was one of three Republican EPA chiefs who slammed Trump administration policies. [CNN]

¶ “Seven Top Takeaways From Tesla’s Shareholder Meeting” • At Tesla’s yearly shareholder meeting, Elon Musk delivered the company’s “state of the union” for 2019. A few takeaways include that Tesla will make vegan steering wheels and that Elon actually does have a submarine car (though he is not James Bond). But they are not in the top seven. [CleanTechnica]

Teslas (Photo: Megan Gale via Twitter)

¶ “New Jersey 100% Renewable Energy Plan: More Fiber, Less Fluff” • New Jersey has declared it will use only zero carbon energy by 2050. Lots of other states and many municipalities have announced similar goals. The difference, according to PV Magazine, is that New Jersey has an actual plan to make its 100% renewable energy goal a reality. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Up To $9,500 Incentive Offered For EVs Or Hybrid Vehicles In Bay Area” • The Clean Cars for All program is offering up to $9,500 for the purchase or lease of an EV or hybrid vehicle for Bay Area residents who qualify. The $9,500 option is available for certain residents who replace older vehicles (which are dismantled) with plug-in cars. [CleanTechnica]

Charging an EV (Screenshot)

¶ “Target Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity By 2030” • Target says it is taking a major step forward by committing to get 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The goal applies to all of Target’s domestic operations. It will help power Target’s stores, distribution centers, and offices more sustainably and responsibly. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Renewable Energy Vermont Becomes First SEIA Affiliate In New England” • Solar Energy Industries Association announced that Renewable Energy Vermont is an official affiliate, its 15th state affiliate, and the first in New England, growing a network of organizations committed to advancing solar markets around the country. [Solar Power World]

Have a particularly sweet day.

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June 12 Energy News

June 12, 2019

Media:

¶ “Leonardo DiCaprio Spotlights Urgency Of Climate Crisis In New Film” • Leonardo DiCaprio is weighing in on climate change this week with a documentary he co-produced, “Ice on Fire.” It is a better-than-most film on the topic that gets beyond the dire warnings to contemplating what can actually be done to help turn the tide. [CNN]

Ice on Fire image (Courtesy of HBO)

¶ “Chernobyl Survivors Assess Fact And Fiction In TV Series” • Engineer Oleksiy Breus was a member of staff at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and he was there on the morning of 26 April 1986. He knew and worked with people depicted in the HBO/Sky miniseries. Appraising it, he spoke about what was true and what was fiction. [BBC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “GE: Hydrogen Trumps CCS In Preserving Gas Turbines In A Carbon-Free Grid” • General Electric sees hydrogen as the key to natural gas’ participation in a 100% carbon-free electric grid, its chief marketing officer said. He said adding increasing amounts of hydrogen to the gas is a better solution than carbon capture and sequestration. [Utility Dive]

GE gas turbine (GE Power image)

World:

¶ “IEA Hails UK As Climate Leader” • The UK has made “major progress” in reducing its energy-related CO₂ emissions and introducing energy policies and reforms to promote sector decarbonization and clean energy technology, the International Energy Agency says. The IEA adds that the UK must now continue its global climate leadership. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Government To Commit To 2050 Target” • Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK will be cut to almost zero by 2050, under the terms of a new government plan to tackle climate change. Prime Minister Theresa May said reducing pollution would also benefit public health and cut National Health Service costs. The UK is the first country to adopt the goal. [BBC]

Cleaning solar panels (Getty Images)

¶ “Taking A Cue From EU, Canada Plans To Ban Some Single Use Plastics” • Plastic trash used to be a problem with a simple solution: Ship it to China. That worked well until China stopped taking plastic waste. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said his government is considering an alternative solution: Ban some single use plastics. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Stands Ready To Become Offshore Wind Powerhouse” • China’s offshore wind turbine manufacturers could grow to be some of the most dominant in the industry without ever having to succeed overseas, according to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. China’s offshore wind market could add 40 GW of capacity over the next decade. [CleanTechnica]

Project in Jiangsu, China (Goldwind image)

¶ “Queensland Budget Delivers $250 Million To Kick-Start CleanCo” • The Queensland Government has delivered on its promise to allocate $250 million to CleanCo. The new publicly owned electricity generation and trading company has a mandate to build, own and operate new commercial renewable energy generation in Queensland. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Cheap Solar And Wind Can Re-Boot Australia’s Economic Advantage” • Australia’s abundant wind and solar resources will reduce costs for electricity up to 30%, lead to the electrification of much of transport, building and industrial use, and re-position Australia as major manufacturing center, now with low cost and low carbon power. [RenewEconomy]

AGL wind farms

US:

¶ “Climate Change Poses Major Risks To Financial Markets, US Regulator Warns” • A top financial regulator is opening a public effort to highlight the risk that climate change poses to the nation’s financial markets, setting up a clash with a president who has mocked global warming and whose administration continues to suppress climate science. [Forbes India]

¶ “America’s Oil Boom Will Break More Records This Year” • US oil production is on track to spike to a record 13.4 million barrels per day by the end of 2019, according to a report by research firm Rystad Energy. Texas alone is expected to top 5 million barrels per day in oil production, more than any OPEC member other than Saudi Arabia. [CNN]

Pump jacks (Nick Onford | Reuters)

¶ “Electrify America And ChargePoint Enter Into Roaming Agreement” • In a joint press release, Electrify America and ChargePoint announced that they entered into a roaming agreement that will allow the customers of each company to use the other’s charging equipment seamlessly, with no membership or payment hassles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Are Old Midwest Coal Plants Pushing Renewables Offline?” • State utility commissions in Minnesota and Missouri are looking at the way companies run older coal plants, even when those units aren’t the cheapest option. By doing so, they may be squeezing out lower-carbon resources and raising costs for consumers. [E&E News]

Transmission lines (Ian Muttoo | Flickr)

¶ “Utility-Scale Wind Becoming Top Renewable Energy Resource This Year, EIA Says” • The annual power production from wind energy will surpass hydropower and become the top US clean energy resource for the first time this year, the DOE’s Energy Information Administration forecast in an outlook it released. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ “Solar-Fueled Oversupplies Drive Record Renewable Energy Waste In California” • As California increases renewable energy use, its primary power grid is wasting more. In this year’s first five months, the state’s ISO curtailed about 37% more available renewable energy than it did in all of 2018, S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis said. [S&P Global Platts]

Have an amazingly cheerful day.

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June 11 Energy News

June 11, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Plant Extinction ‘Bad News For All Species'” • Almost 600 plant species have been lost from the wild in the last 250 years, according to a comprehensive study. The number is based on actual extinctions rather than estimates. Scientists say plant extinction is occurring up to 500 times faster than what would be expected naturally. [BBC]

Extinct St Helena Olive (Rebecca Cairn Wicks)

¶ “Trina Tests Half-Frame Solar Panels To Trim Cost By 2%” • Trina Solar is now field testing a half-frame solar panel for use with solar trackers. The company hopes to lower the cost per watt for solar by one cent or about 2% overall, according to Steven Zhu, the president of the company’s America Region, who was speaking in an interview. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Electric Cars And Renewable Energy Could Drive New Outback Mining Boom” • Electric cars and wind turbines could be pivotal to fueling the next outback mining boom. Elements such as lithium, for the batteries in EVs and grid storage, and dysprosium, for the magnets in wind turbines, are becoming the objects of new mining activity. [ABC News]

Lithium ore (Photo supplied by Tawana Resources)

¶ “In A First, Indian Developer Seeks Buyers For 1 GW Of Solar Power Through Auction” • India’s largest power generation company, NTPC Limited, has issued a tender inviting consumers to purchase solar power. This is a first, as to date only consumers or their representatives have issued tenders inviting developers to set up projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Costa Rica’s Renewables Produce 99.99% Of Power In May” • Costa Rica obtained 99.99% of its electricity from renewable sources in May, according to the country’s power utility Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.  Five renewable sources were responsible for the production of 984.02 GWh. Other producers provided 0.17 GWh. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in Costa Rica (Christian Haugen, CC BY 2.0 Generic)

¶ “MP Power Management Invites Bids For 500 MW Of Grid-Scale Energy Storage” • The MP Power Management Company has invited expressions of interest from private firms for setting up 500 MW with 8 hours of continuous discharge of grid-scale energy storage service and a storage facility in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. [LiveMint]

¶ “NSW Quietly Cancels 200-MW Virtual Power Plant, Redirects Funds To Solar Loans” • The government of New South Wales has quietly cancelled a $50 million program to establish a 200-MW virtual power plant, to cover the costs of an election promise to provide interest-free loans to households for solar and batteries. [RenewEconomy]

New South Wales (Grahamec, Wikimedia Commons)

UK:

¶ “Barclays Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity, Joins RE100” • Barclays, one of the UK’s four “Big Banks,” committed to use 100% renewable electricity for global operations by 2030, with an interim goal of 90% by 2025, and a reduction to its global emissions of 80% by 2025. Barclays has recently been under fire for financing fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK MPs Call For End To Support For Overseas Fossil Fuel Projects By 2021” • UK Members of Parliament called on the government to stop financing fossil fuel projects in developing countries by 2021. Fossil fuels only serve to lock countries into dependency and make achieving global warming temperature reductions more difficult. [CleanTechnica]

Air pollution (Getty Images)

¶ “Scotland Will Build A Massive Battery To Store Excess Wind Power” • UK energy supplier Scottish Power plans to launch a massive battery-storage system to capture renewable power from its 214 wind turbines. The 50-MW  lithium-ion battery will allow Scottish Power to store energy when wind speeds are high and release it when they’re low. [Engadget]

US:

¶ “BLP Replaces Canceled Wind Investment With Lower-Cost Solar” • In Grand Haven, Michigan, the Board of Light & Power is banking on renewable energy. When a wind project to which the BLP had committed, was recently canceled. Instead of wind, the local utility will be getting increased solar power. It is the BLP’s second solar project. [Grand Haven Tribune]

JB Sims plant, closing next year (Alexander Sinn | Tribune photo)

¶ “A Vision For Midwest Zero-Carbon Power Starts To Take Shape” • The Midwest’s energy landscape has changed a lot over the last 10 years. Market dynamics have been pushing coal-fired power offline and low-cost utility-scale wind and solar projects are being developed. Also, there has been a surge of consumer interest in PVs. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ “US Renewable Energy Generating Capacity Has Now Surpassed Coal” • According to an analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign, using newly published data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, US electrical generating capacity of renewable energy sources is now – for the first time – greater that of coal. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind farm

¶ “Puerto Rico’s Latest IRP Increases Solar And Storage Targets” • The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has filed the latest edition of its 2019-2038 integrated resource plan. It calls for higher deployment of solar and storage, which already rivaled some of the most ambitious plans for the mainland, and more flexibility on natural-gas. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Murphy’s Clean Energy Goals Include Nuclear In Long-Awaited Master Plan” • New Jersey Gov Phil Murphy unveiled his long-awaited energy master plan for the state, calling for more investment in renewable energy, such as solar and wind, and throwing support behind nuclear energy to lower New Jersey’s contribution to global warming. [NorthJersey.com]

Have a manageably glorious day.

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June 10 Energy News

June 10, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Beyond Renewables: How To Reduce Energy-Related Emissions By Measuring What Matters” • Despite the uptick in renewable energy usage, global emissions have grown steadily. John Woolard, of the World Resources Institute, argues that commitments to 100% renewables will not alone curb the worst impacts of climate change. [Eco-Business]

Albany Wind Farm in Western Australia
(Image: Juan Alberto Garcia Rivera, CC BY 2.0)

¶ “Conservatives Should Change How They Think About Global Warming. I Did.” • I worked at a libertarian thinktank for 23 years, arguing against climate action. But my views have changed. I now embrace decarbonization. Why? For one thing, I’ve come to better understand risk management. We need to hedge our bets on climate change. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Sea-Based Renewable Hydrogen Storage Project Could Fuel Ships” • A renewable hydrogen storage project, known as the Deep Purple project, aims to convert electricity generated from wind into hydrogen. This hydrogen would then be stored on the seabed and supplied to offshore facilities located on Norway’s continental shelf. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

Ocean floor

¶ “Jet Fuel From Plastic Bottles? It’s Possible, Say Washington State University Researchers” • Landfills in the US take in about 28 million tons of plastic waste each year, the EPA says. It could take centuries to decompose. Now, Researchers at Washington State University claim they have created a way to make jet fuel from plastic waste. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Alberta Wildfires Linked To Climate Change, Scientist Says” • Recent fires were connected to climate change in two research papers published by scientists with Environment and Climate Change Canada. Fires like the one near Fort McMurray in May 2016, which forced more than 80,000 people to flee, are much more likely with climate change. [CBC.ca]

Wildfire (Rodney Schmidt)

¶ “Industrial Methane Emissions Far Higher Than Expected” • Methane emissions from US industrial operations have been thought to be just under 9,000 tons. But when researchers from Cornell University and the Environmental Defense Fund decided to do some real world testing, they found their measurements showed much greater amounts. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “How Countries Can Learn From Jordan’s Renewable Energy Pivot” • Jordan, with a total generation capacity of about 4,000 MW, has 285 MW of wind and 771 MW of solar power. It wants to have 2,000 MW of renewable capacity by 2021. Its move toward renewables, started in 2015, is impelled by both economic and humanitarian pressures. [The National]

Jordan’s sunny and windy Wadi Rum

¶ “Hurdles Cleared For 480-MW Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Project” • The Conseil d’Etat, the French supreme administrative court, turned down an appeal against the  480-MW Saint-Nazaire wind farm, which EDF Renewables and Enbridge plan for French waters, moving the long-delayed project forward. The permit had been granted in 2016. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Korean Firms Eye Investment In Renewable Energy In Vietnam” • Korean investors hope to work on renewable energy in Vietnam because of the country’s potential and incentives, an official said. Vietnam plans to cooperate with the Korea to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change, and protect its environment. [en.vietnamplus.vn]

Installing PVs in Quang Ngai province (Photo: VNA)

¶ “900 GW Of Coal To Be Repaced By Renewable Energy – IRENA” • A report from IRENA convincingly concludes that by 2020 the entire world will be able to install renewable energy for considerably less cost than existing fossil fuel plants. Renewable energy has fallen in cost faster than even IRENA had forecast, and the cost keeps declining. [Utilities Middle East]

¶ “Welsh Farming Was Paralyzed For 26 Years After Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Disaster” • The Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in 1986 released deadly radioactive clouds to drift across Europe contaminating land and livestock. It left Welsh farming paralysed for 26 years with sheep remaining radioactive for years after the explosion. [Kent Live]

Sheep grazing in Wales (Eirian Evans, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Ex-Governor Strickland Frustrated To See Ohio Dumping Renewable Energy Goals” • In 2008, Ohio Gov Ted Strickland signed into law a bill pushing the coal-dependent state toward renewable electricity. The Republican controlled legislature had passed the bill with one negative vote. Now, that law is being undone, and he is not happy. [Toledo Blade]

¶ “Walt Disney World Solar Panels Now Span 270 Acres” • At 50 MW, the Walt Disney World solar array is one of the biggest in Florida, and it generates enough renewable energy to operate two of Disney’s four Florida theme parks. The Walt Disney Company has a 2020 goal to reduce emissions by 50% compared to 2012. [CleanTechnica]

Walt Disney World solar array (Image: Cynthia Shahan)

¶ “Renewable Energy Microgrid To Power Oakland Conference” • The VERGE 19 conference and expo, Oct 22-24 in Oakland, is a platform for companies, cities and communities accelerating the clean economy. The conference will be powered by a renewably powered, fully functional microgrid, a demonstration of radical efficiency and resilience. [GreenBiz]

¶ “Climate Change Causing Lake Michigan To Experience Rapid Shifts Between High And Low Water Levels” • New high water level records were set on Lakes Erie and Superior, and there has been widespread flooding across Lake Ontario for the second time in three years. Only a few years ago, water levels were at a low point. [Milwaukee Independent]

Have a marvelously productive day.

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June 9 Energy News

June 9, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Arctic Melt: Threat Beneath The Ice” • The Arctic is heating up twice as fast as the global average, causing massive melting of sea ice. While we know climate change is warming the Arctic air, there is a lot more happening under the ice that we don’t fully understand. We have known the ice was melting, but the effects on microflora may be far-reaching. [CNN]

Arctic ice (Brice Laine | CNN)

¶ “Cautioned Urged Over Modular Nuclear Reactors” • Energy heavyweights are urging caution over the idea that small modular reactors can replace cancelled and decommissioned UK nuclear power projects. National Infrastructure Commission chief economist James Richardson sited the industry’s past failures to deliver on technology promises. [New Civil Engineer]

¶ “New Delivery Drone Focuses on Efficiency, Stability, And Safety” • The latest Prime Air drone can do vertical takeoffs and landings like a helicopter. It can fly with an airplane’s efficiency. As a hybrid, it transitions easily between the two modes, from vertical mode, to airplane mode in sustained forward flight, and back to vertical mode. [CleanTechnica]

Prime Air drone

World:

¶ “Tesla Outsold Porsche And Jaguar Globally In First Quarter” • In the first quarter of 2019, for the third quarter in a row, Tesla outsold Porsche and Jaguar globally. Jaguar and Porsche sell several more models than Tesla, but as Tesla expands its vehicle lineup, its sales consistently grow. The lower-cost Tesla Model 3 exploded Tesla’s sales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Village Considers The Unfathomable: Tearing Itself Down Before Nature Does” • Fairbourne, a village in northwest Wales, was built on a natural flood plain. The reinforced embankment that protects it from flooding was upgraded after a flood 2014 at a cost of £6.8 million ($8.7 million), but it will only hold for so long, as the sea keeps rising. [CNN]

Fairbourne, northwest Wales (CNN image)

¶ “India Offers $360 Million Subsidy For 5,000 Electric Buses” • The Indian government plans to incentivize cities to include electric buses to their public transport fleet through financial subsidies. It will offer subsidies worth ₹2,500 crore ($360 million) for the deployment of 5,000 electric buses in a total of 40 large cities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EnBW pumps up Austrian hydro” • EnBW and Vorarlberger Illwerke have opened the 360-MW Obervermunt 2 pumped hydro storage plant in Austria. The project in Montafon took four and a half years to build and has two turbines and two pumps. Obervermunt 2 uses existing water reservoirs, Lake Silvretta and Lake Vermunt. [reNEWS]

Obervermunt 2 (Image: Vorarlberger Illwerke)

¶ “Renewable Energy Capacity Target Of 175 GW Will Be Achieved: Power Minister R K Singh” • Indian Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister Raj Kumar Singh has expressed confidence that the renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022 will be achieved. He said 80 GW is already in place and another 24 GW is being installed. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “New Rules Give Households Right To Sell Solar Power Back To Energy Firms” • Britain’s biggest energy companies will have to buy renewable energy from customers under new laws to be introduced this week. Homeowners who install new rooftop solar panels from 1 January 2020 will be able to sell the energy they do not need to their supplier. [The Guardian]

Solar installation (Photo: David Pearson | Alamy)

¶ “Russia Wants An Alternative Ending To HBO’s Show On The Nuclear Accident Of Ukraine” • The Hollywood Reporter reports that the Russian state TV network NTV is developing its own, more pro-Russia version of the 1986 nuclear disaster. The NTV drama will reportedly alter history to claim that the CIA was involved in the disaster. [News Nation]

US:

¶ “Volkswagen Does Something No Other Manufacturer Is Doing – Advertise Electric Cars” • Volkswagen of America kicked off an ad campaign designed to promote electric cars and rehabilitate the company’s image. It will be featured during the NBA playoffs. It is the first time a car company promoted in EV in the US. But some people aren’t buying it. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen Lemons and Lemonade (Volkswagen image)

¶ “US Automakers Warn Of Dire Consequences If Trump Takes A Sledgehammer To Emissions Rules” • The Trump administration is getting set to release less restrictive exhaust emission rules, but California and the 13 other states that subscribe to stricter rules are not about to relax their standards. That puts the car makers in a real bind. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘We All Owe Al Gore An Apology’: More People See Climate Change In Record Flooding” • A string of natural disasters has hit the central US in recent weeks, from tornadoes to heavy rainfall that floods fields, inundates homes and threatens levees. For many people, there is a clear connection between new weather patterns and climate change. [WAMU 88.5]

Floodwaters in Arkansas (Nathan Rott | NPR)

¶ “White House Blocks Testimony Calling Climate Change ‘Possibly Catastrophic’ Because It Didn’t ‘Jibe’ With Trump Administration Views” • The reason written testimony from an intelligence staffer was barred from being submitted to congress was that it didn’t “jibe” with Trump administration views, news reports say. [Newsweek]

¶ “Bankruptcy Court Asserts Sole Authority Over PG&E Power Contracts” • In a sharply worded ruling, a federal judge scolded a federal regulator for its “power play,” without statutory or Supreme Court authority, to claim jurisdiction over Pacific Gas and Electric’s power supply contracts after the embattled utility declared bankruptcy. [Courthouse News Service]

Have an utterly charming day.

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June 8 Energy News

June 8, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Faster, Better, Cheaper – Fraunhofer Dry Film Battery Electrode Process Revealed” • Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Materials and Beam Technology IWS developed a way to make lithium-ion batteries using a dry film. It is a better, cheaper battery that is kinder to the environment. And it is already in small scale production! [CleanTechnica]

Dry film battery electrode (Credit: Fraunhofer Institute)

World:

¶ “After The Sun, Delhi Metro To Source Power From Waste” • Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is India’s largest subway system and one of the world’s largest. DMRC is the first metro project in India to source power from a waste-based power plant. It also uses a large-scale solar power project in Madhya Pradesh and 28 MW of rooftop PV systems. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GreenWay Reaches 100 EV Fast Chargers In Poland!” • The Slovakian EV fast charging leader, GreenWay, has populated the country of Poland quickly with 100 EV fast chargers. GreenWay opened its first Polish fast charger in December of 2016. Its hundredth charging station in Poland is at a large shopping mall in Warsaw. [CleanTechnica]

Charging EVs in Poland

¶ “Grenergy Closes Financing On Two Wind Farms In Peru” • Grenergy, a Spanish renewable energy company, signed a financing agreement of $40 million (about €35.5 million) for the construction and development of two wind farms in Peru. The Duna and Huambos wind farms will have an installed capacity of 36.8 MW. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Santiago (Chile) Adding 200 Electric Buses In 2019” • This summer, 183 more BYD electric buses will arrive in Santiago, Chile, the Minister of Transport and Telecommunications said. They will join the 100 electric buses that BYD and local partner Enel brought to the capital last December. And 25 more will arrive in the fourth quarter. [CleanTechnica]

BYD buses in Santiago in 2018 (BYD image)

¶ “German States Say Renewables Roll-Out Need Not Wait On Grid Expansion” • Germany’s federal state premiers agreed to push ahead with the renewables roll-out without waiting for grid improvements, an article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitungreport said. Green power can be used locally to produce hydrogen, synthetic fuels, or heat. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “Japan Plans Carbon Emission Cuts, More Nuclear Energy” • Japan is calling for further efforts to cut its carbon emissions by promoting renewable energy while also pushing nuclear power despite its 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. An energy policy paper adopted by the cabinet sited an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions. [Japan Today]

Unit 4 reactor building at Fukushima Daiichi (AP file photo)

¶ “Glasgow And Edinburgh Could Be Contaminated With Radiation If EDF Decides To Reopen Two Nuclear Reactors With 400 Cracks In The Core Walls, Experts Warn” • Dr Ian Fairlie, an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment, and Dr David Toke, of the University of Aberdeen, both warn against attempts to reopen the reactors. [Daily Mail]

US:

¶ “White House Blocked Intelligence Aide’s Written Testimony On Climate Change” • White House officials barred a State Department intelligence staffer from submitting written testimony this week to the House Intelligence Committee warning that human-caused climate change could be “possibly catastrophic.” [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Melting ice (Rodrigo ABD | AP, file)

¶ “Automakers, Fearing Prolonged Regulatory Uncertainty, Tell Trump To Cut A Deal With California On Emissions” • A group of 17 world automakers wrote to President Trump asking him to abandon his plans to scrap the emissions standards. Instead, they want a compromise with California and the other states that use its tougher standards. [CNN]

¶ “Hot! Tesla Opens First Public 250-kW Supercharging Station In Fremont, California” • Tesla opened up its first public 250-kW Supercharging V3 with the addition of 8 V3 stalls at its Fremont, California, factory. The V3 stalls were opened to the public just 3 short months after Tesla’s first announcement of the 250-kW charging standard. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Fremont factory

¶ “Campaigns Go Public With Anger At Democratic National Committee As First Debate Looms” • The Democratic National Committee’s rules on debates have made some presidential candidates angry enough to complain publicly. Qualification for debates is an issue, but some candidates are angry that there will be no debate on climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Hydropower Project – Carson Dives Into Water-Generated Energy” • In Colorado, leaders at Fort Carson signed to purchase water-powered electricity starting in May 2019, increasing the installation’s commitment to investing in renewable energy. The electricity is generated at a new 7.5-MW power facility at Pueblo Dam. [fortcarsonmountaineer.com]

Power plant at Pueblo Dam (Photo courtesy of Chris Woodka)

¶ “Consumers Energy Starts New Era For Renewable Energy In Michigan with Approval Of Clean Energy Plan” • Consumers Energy received approval from state regulators for its Clean Energy Plan. It puts Consumers Energy on a path to eliminate coal and reduce carbon emissions over 90% by 2040 through use of clean energy resources. [EnerCom Inc]

¶ “Crown Chooses Wind Power In Long-Term Renewable Energy Initiative” • Crown Holdings, Inc signed a 15-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement with Longroad Energy to use wind power in all of its US and Canadian beverage can plants, starting July 1, 2020. The electricity will come from a wind farm in Knox County, Texas. [Windpower Engineering]

Have a dazzlingly brilliant day.

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June 7 Energy News

June 7, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Large Ebola Outbreaks New Normal, Says WHO” • The world is entering “a new phase” in which large outbreaks of deadly diseases like Ebola are a “new normal,” according to the World Health Organization. Climate change, rainforest exploitation, emerging diseases, population pressures are among the issues making outbreaks worse. [BBC]

Grave of an Ebola victim (Getty Images)

¶ “Global Aquaculture Poses Serious Risks To The Environment” • Global aquaculture, one of the fastest growing food sectors on the planet, is putting lots of seafood on our plates these days. Scenarios of change require that the aquaculture industry design effective and efficient use and protection of the oceans if it is to be sustainable. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “France Among Members Putting EU 2020 Renewables Target At Risk” • France is one of six EU nations unlikely to hit their 2020 renewable energy targets, putting the EU’s 20% goal at risk, a report from the European Court of Auditors says. The French goal is to source 23% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable energy

¶ “All New British Columbia Light-Duty Vehicles Will Be Zero Emissions By 2040” • The government of British Columbia passed the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act, requiring all new light-duty vehicles like cars and trucks sold there be zero emissions vehicles by 2040. A BC Energy, Mines and Petroleum division representative answered questions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Atlassian Is First Australian Tech Company To Join RE100 Initiative” • Atlassian, an enterprise software company, is the first Australian tech company to join RE100, a global corporate initiative bringing together businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity. Its new goal is to be 100% renewably powered by 2025. [Architecture and Design]

Interior of Atlassian Sydney office

¶ “Europe’s Second Hybrid Renewable Power Park Opens On Off-Grid Greek Island” • Greece’s Public Power Corp launched Europe’s second hybrid renewable energy park, combining wind and hydroelectric power, on the Aegean island of Ikaria. The 6.9-MW project will replace part of the power now produced by an oil-fired station. [ETEnergyworld.com]

UK:

¶ “Renewables Offer UK ‘Nuclear Gap’ Insurance” • Increasing renewable energy capacity would provide an insurance policy against a possible ‘nuclear gap’ in the UK’s low-carbon power pipeline caused by early closure of ageing reactors, according to a new report, “Cracks in the System,” by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (reNEWS image)

¶ “Fossil Fuel Pain Increases For Auto Makers As Ford Shutters Bridgend Engine Factory” • Nothing shows the approaching disaster for traditional automakers more clearly than having to close an engine making facility due to lack of demand for internal combustion engines. And lack of demand is why Ford is closing an engine factory in Wales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Northern Ireland On Brink Of Meeting 40% Green Energy Target” • Northern Ireland is closing in on a target of generating 40% of all electricity from renewable sources by next year. Data from the Department for the Economy indicate that 38.6% of the country’s electricity came from homegrown green sources over the 2018-19 fiscal year. [Belfast Telegraph]

Wind turbines (Giuseppe Milo, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “GM Claims It Can Sell Affordable Electric Cars That Are Profitable” • GM president Mark Ruess told an audience at the UBS Global Industrials and Transportation Conference that GM will soon be able to sell electric cars at “very average transaction prices.” He said GM’s EVs are being engineered to make money at low cost. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Bet On Fossil Fuels, Lost Nearly $200 Billion Misjudging Renewable Energy Transition, Study Says” • General Electric’s profitability collapse over the past few years can be largely attributed to the company’s inability to judge the accelerating pace of the global energy transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewables, a study claims. [Electrek]

GE Haliade-X turbine

¶ “Michael Bloomberg Promises $500 Million To Help End Coal” • Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, will donate $500 million to a new campaign to close every coal-fired power plant in the United States and halt the growth of natural gas, his foundation said. The campaign will focus on state and local governments. [The New York Times]

¶ “US Offshore Wind Race Heats Up, Now Connecticut In The Mix” • All that lies between The Constitution State and 2,000 MW of clean electricity is Governor Ned Lamont’s signature, and it looks like he’ll sign the state onto offshore wind just in time to knock Connecticut’s Millstone nuclear power plant out of the picture. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island wind farm (Photo, cropped, via Ørsted)

¶ “Navajo Tribal Utility Authority To Receive $94 Million Loan Supporting Renewable Energy” • The Navajo Generating Station is expected to close in December 2019, and the Four Corners region is transitioning from coal to renewables. A $94 million loan from USDA to build a solar farm should help the transition. [Utah Public Radio]

¶ “US Senators Collins, King Announce $200,000 in Grant to Ocean Renewable Power Company” • Susan Collins (R) and Angus King (I), the US Senators from Maine, announced a $200,000 DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy grant to the Ocean Renewable Power Company, based in Portland. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have a magically superb day.

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June 6 Energy News

June 6, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Engie’s HomeBiogas Turns Household Waste Into Renewable Natural Gas With Ease” • Engie invested in HomeBiogas in the middle of last year and is now working with its team to grow the business. HomeBiogas sells its products directly to consumers, so Engie’s global reach and significant capital represent huge opportunities. [CleanTechnica]

Homebiogas unit

World:

¶ “Low Margins, Cheaper Modules Make India Lowest-Cost Producer Of Solar PV” • IRENA issued a report, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018, comparing costs of solar installations in 19 countries. The report finds India as the country with lowest cost. The cost of installations in India was $793/kW, compared to $1,427/kW in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sydney Opera House Has Star Ambitions With Renewable Energy PPA And Sustainability” • The Sydney Opera House might have “sustainability in its DNA” but there is still a huge energy bill to take care of every year. Now with a new power purchase agreement (PPA), that energy bill will be both stabilized and renewable. [The Fifth Estate]

Sydney Opera House

¶ “Spain’s Iberdrola Seeks To Build Europe’s Largest Solar Farm” • Iberdrola SA is working to build what it says will be Europe’s largest solar farm at a cost of €300 million ($337 million). The Spanish utility said it has started the process with the country’s Ecological Transition ministry to build a 590-MW farm in the Western region of Extremadura. [Bloomberg]

¶ “Jaguar Land Rover And BMW Will Collaborate On Electric Car Powertrains” • Driven by the need to develop efficient, affordable electric car powertrains, convergence in the auto industry continues. Jaguar Land Rover and BMW are the latest companies to say they will work together to create EV technologies that both will share. [CleanTechnica]

Jaguar i-PACE

¶ “Nation’s top solar university commits to 100% renewable energy” • Australia’s top solar university research hub, the University of New South Wales, has announced it will switch to 100% renewable energy by 2020. The university underpinned the goal with a 15-year PPA with the Sunraysia solar farm in western NSW. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Household Energy Bills ‘Subsidizing’ Scotland’s Nuclear Submarines” • The cost of energy in the UK is inflated partly because it subsidizes nuclear submarines, academic research suggested. Experts told MPs the UK government remains committed to civilian nuclear power as it cross-subsidises the country’s nuclear deterrent. [The Scotsman]

Nuclear submarine at the Firth of Clyde

¶ “African Wnd Pipeline ‘Hits 18 GW'” • Africa’s wind project pipeline stood at 18 GW at the end of the first quarter of 2019, according to a report by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. Some 6.5 GW is at an advanced stage of development, although the report noted that the project realization rate remains low in the region. [reNEWS]

¶ “Home Solar Panel Installations Fall By 94% As Subsidies Cut” • The UK’s Labour party has accused the government of “actively dismantling” the solar power industry after new installations by households collapsed by 94% last month. The accusation is that the government is prioritizing fracking over household costs, jobs, and emissions cuts. [The Guardian]

Installation (Ashley Cooper | Global Warming Images | Alamy)

US:

¶ “Inslee Unveils Plan To Combat Climate Change Through Foreign Policy” • Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee released a plan that looks to reimagine American foreign policy to combat climate change. The plan is the third policy roll out from Inslee’s campaign that aims to link a range of issues to climate change. [CNN]

¶ “US Energy Storage Market Grows 232% In First Quarter” • The US deployed a total of 148.8 MW of energy storage in the first quarter of 2019, making it the strongest quarter ever for energy storage. It broke the previous record, set in the previous quarter, by 6% and grew 232% over the amount deployed in the first quarter of 2018. [CleanTechnica]

Energy storage (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Value Of Solar Debate Accelerates In Minnesota” • The total value of residential solar installations for utilities consists of two parts: the value of generated electricity to the grid, and the value of avoided infrastructure costs. That second part is difficult to assess, but the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is trying to learn what it is. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Anheuser-Busch Signs 310-MW PPA With Recurrent Energy To Secure 100% Goal By 2021” • Anheuser-Busch signed a PPA for the electric output of a 310-MW solar farm to be built in West Texas. The Maplewood solar project is to be operational by 2021, at which point 100% of Anheuser-Busch’s electricity will be from renewable energy sources. [CleanTechnica]

Anheuser-Busch graphic (Anheuser-Busch image)

¶ “Madison-Backed Rural Solar Energy Projects To Begin Operations” • The first of five new rural solar energy projects getting financial support from the city of Madison, Wisconsin, will begin operations in Argyle by mid-June, city officials said. The city is investing $1.4 million to support the five new solar PV systems. [Madison.com]

¶ “Solar Park Of 340 MW To Power Pegasus’ Arizona Data Center” • Pegasus Group Holdings, a renewable energy project and technology infrastructure developer, plans to build a 340-MW solar park in Arizona to power a new data center in Mohave County. The solar-powered data center is touted as the largest facility of its kind globally. [Renewables Now]

Have a remarkably exhilarating day.

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June 5 Energy News

June 5, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Utility Schemes Make Customers Pay $1 Billion A Year To Bail Out Dying Coal Plants” • Big electric utilities are cooking their books to get customers to bail out old plants, as they push to keep operating costly, dirty, and dangerous coal, nuclear, and natural gas plants instead of using less costly clean renewable energy. [Environmental Working Group]

Coal-burning power plant

Science and Technology:

¶ “Global Carbon Dioxide Measurements Spike To Record High” • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced that global carbon dioxide concentrations measured last month were the highest since it started recording them more than half a century ago. CO₂ peaked at 414.7 parts per million in May. [HuffPost]

¶ “Climate Change Is Seriously Threatening Human Health” • Climate change poses a major threat to human health and is already having global impact by spreading infectious diseases and exacerbating mental health problems, a report warned. Extreme heat and more frequent floods increase the risk of diseases and injuries. [CNN]

Children playing (Yasuyoshi Chiea | AFP | AFP | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Climate Change Will Cost Companies $1 Trillion. It Also Means Huge Opportunities” • A CDP study says that climate change is likely to cost the world’s largest public companies nearly $1 trillion over the next five years. But the opportunities for new products and services to reduce environmental damage could be worth much more. [CNN]

¶ “Row Over Chinese Coal Plant Near Kenya World Heritage Site Of Lamu” • Kenyan campaigners who fear their country is turning its back on its green goals hope to stop construction of a coal plant that would increase Kenya’s greenhouse gas emissions by 700%. The coal-fired plant they are protesting would be the country’s first. [BBC]

Lamu, proposed site of coal-burning plant (Getty Images)

¶ “Chile’s Cheap Power – Sign Of A Solar Future?” • In Chile, Spain’s Solarpack Corp Tecnologica has begun installing the solar panels at its Granja Sola plant. The plant is due to be online by the end of this year. When it is, it will become the cheapest generator of electricity anywhere in the world, at $29.10/MWh, or 2.91¢/kWh. [Forbes]

¶ “Swedish Electric Autonomous Truck Now In Operation Through 2020” • T-Pod, a fully autonomous electric truck, is operating on Swedish roads, with approval from government authorities. German logistics company DB Schneker and Swedish transport company Einride, a specialist in self-driving vehicles, are behind the project. [CleanTechnica]

T-Pod autonomous truck (Photo courtesy of Einride)

¶ “Concentrated Solar Power Costs Fell 46% From 2010 To 2018” • According to IRENA, the weighted average levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of CSP projects in 2018 was 18.6¢/kWh, down 26% from 2017 and 46% lower than in 2010. IRENA said the main reason behind the decline in the LCOE is improved supply chain in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Hydrogen Getting Cheaper, Australia Could Lead Global Market” • Some of Australia’s leading energy experts say that renewable hydrogen is beginning to reach cost parity with some fossil fuel equivalents. Hydrogen could emerge as a high potential export industry for Australia, worth tens of billions of dollars. [RenewEconomy]

Hydrogen plant

¶ “Chile To Close Eight Coal-Fired Power Stations Amid Renewables Push” • Chile announced it would close eight coal-fired power stations over the next five years as part of a plan to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2040. Chile had been increasing reliance on coal, as imports of natural gas from Argentina stopped. [Buenos Aires Times]

¶ “Wind To Help Drive Finnish Carbon Neutral Plan” • Finland is planning to cut taxes on wind turbines as part of a national plan to go carbon neutral by 2035. Policy measures would include reducing property tax on wind turbines and eliminating double taxation of electric energy for both pumped storage and smaller batteries. [reNEWS]

Ajos wind farm in Finland (OX2 image)

US:

¶ “Wall Street Issues ‘Peak Car’ Warning” • A number of Wall Street cognoscenti have begun warning that the world has reached the “peak car” point. Last week, John Murphy, managing director of Bank of America, told a conference, “The industry is right now staring down the barrel of what we think is going to be a significant downturn.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Judges Give Both Sides A Grilling In Youth Climate Case Against The Government” • In the case of Juliana v United States, three federal judges heard arguments about whether young people have a constitutional right to be protected from climate change. They pushed skeptically on the arguments of both sides of the issue. [The New York Times]

Lead plaintiff Kelsey Juliana greeting supporters outside the Portland Oregon courthouse (Andrew Selsky | Associated Press)

¶ “Warren Kicks Off Midwest Swing With Plan For What ‘Green New Deal’ Might Look Like” • Sen Elizabeth Warren rolled out a multifaceted plan that offers new insight into how she would implement the Green New Deal, ahead of a two-day Midwest presidential campaign swing aimed at repudiating President Trump’s economic policies. [CNN]

¶ “Arizona’s Salt River Project Utility Challenged On High Rooftop Solar Rates” • The Center for Biological Diversity took legal action in Arizona federal court this week to challenge the Salt River Project, an Arizona utility, for ongoing discrimination against residential solar customers who had their rates bumped up 60% in 2015. [CleanTechnica]

Have a comfortably glorious day.

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June 4 Energy News

June 4, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “UK And Trump Miles Apart On Climate Change” • The British parliament declared a ‘climate emergency’ in May, and a day later the government’s chief advisory committee on climate change recommended cutting the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Meanwhile, Trump mocks science and promotes fossil fuels. [CNN]

Protest (Chris J Ratcliffe | Getty Images Europe | Getty Images)

¶ “500 Gas Car Fires Per Day – Can We Please Get Serious About Electric Car Battery Fires?” • A recent FEMA report said that in the US fires in conventional vehicles give us an “annual average of 345 deaths; 1,300 injuries; and $1.1 billion in property loss.” But the headlines we read and the news we hear focus on the few fires that happen in EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Environment Insurance Risk Assessment In The Face Of Climate Change” • The last few years have seen increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Adverse atmospheric events are poignant reminders of how vulnerable our society is across a broad range of threats posed by extreme environmental events. [Advanced Science News]

Storm

World:

¶ “Greenko Raises $495 Million In Equity Funding For 2.4 GW Of Storage Projects” • Renwable energy company Greenko Energy Holdings secured Equity Commitment for two Storage Projects, each with a capacity of 1.2 GW. The projects are expected to be constructed and operational in 2022, with a capital outlay of $2 billion. [The Hindu BusinessLine]

¶ “Electric Vehicle Sales Up 70% In Europe” • The European passenger plug-in vehicle market saw 37,000 registrations in April, growing 30% compared to the same period last year. It was a good performance considering that the overall market is still in the red (-1% in April). And April’s fully electric vehicles jumped 70% year over year. [CleanTechnica]

Renault ZOE

¶ “70% Of India’s Top 100 Corporates Are Moving Towards Renewable Energy” • A new WWF-India report, ‘Renewable Energy Demand in India: Corporate Buyers’ Perspective’, says corporates constitute over 50% of India’s electricity demand. And about 70% of the top 100 companies on the NSE are already procuring renewable energy. [India Today]

¶ “The Winds Of Change Blow For Japan’s Energy Mix” • Japan was once thought of as a nuclear pioneer. Then the Fukushima Disaster made it scramble to import fossil fuels. Now, the fossil fuels are being replaced with renewable energy. A recent report produced by Wood Mackenzie says offshore wind could increase 62-fold over the next decade. [Power Technology]

Wind farm (Credit: Σ64)

¶ “Gupta Secures China EPC Contract For $350 Million Cultana Solar Farm” • Sanjeev Gupta’s 280-MW Cultana solar farm, near his Whyalla Steelworks in South Australia, is a step closer to construction. His majority-owned Simec Energy Australia signed a partnership agreement with Shanghai Electric to build and complete the plant. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “South Korea Confirms Plans To Step Up Shift To Renewable Power” • Asia’s fourth-largest economy is shifting towards clean energy amid growing criticism of its air quality. South Korea’s energy ministry said it finalized plans to raise the share of the country’s power output generated from renewable sources to as much as 35% by 2040. [The Indian Express]

Air pollution

¶ “Germany Goes 47% Renewable So Far This Year” • So far this year, renewables have produced 47% of all electricity supplied to the public grid in Germany, according the Fraunhofer Institute’s Head of Department New Devices and Technologies. This is significantly above last year’s clean energy’s share, which was 40.6% of generation. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Coal And Defence Leaders Demand ‘Drastic’ Climate Action” • The end of human civilization could come as soon as 2050, a report warns. It was written by David Spratt, a Research Director at the Melbourne center, and Ian Dunlop, former chairman of the Australian Coal Association and an international oil, gas and coal industry executive. [The Mandarin]

Climate change (Getty Images)

US:

¶ “Joe Biden Unveils ‘Middle-Ground’ Climate Plan With 2050 Target, Room For Fossil Fuels” • Joe Biden promised to reverse the Trump administration’s deregulatory effort and set the US on course to hit net-zero emissions by 2050 with a plan he released as an alternative to the Green New Deal. His plan is short on details, however. [HuffPost]

¶ “Wisconsin Solar Dispute Goes To Court After Regulators Punt” • Five years after a victory on a similar issue in Iowa, Barry Shear, the owner Iowa-based Eagle Point Solar LLC, sued We Energies and the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. The utility had refused to let solar arrays on Milwaukee city buildings connect to its power grid. [E&E News]

Solar energy system (Eagle Point Solar image)

¶ “Teen Activists Face US Government In Crucial Hearing Over Climate Trial” • Youth activists are facing off with the US federal government in an Oregon courthouse, where their attorneys will petition a panel of judges to let their climate case go to trial. Until it does, their attorneys will argue, fossil fuel development should be halted on public lands. [The Guardian]

¶ “Three Waters To Flow For Minnesota Agency” • Scout Clean Energy is to supply electricity to the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency from the 200-MW Three Waters wind farm in Jackson County. The project will feature up to 71 GE 2.82-MW turbines spread across about 18,200 hectares. Construction is slated for 2021. [reNEWS]

Have a simply magnificent day.

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June 3 Energy News

June 3, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “China Is Eating Our Lunch, And What We Can Do About It” • Solar, wind, batteries, and their industrial mass production use common raw materials and processes that are available in most countries. There is nothing in them that is exclusive to China. And rare earth metals are not all that rare. But we cannot afford to be complacent. [CleanTechnica]

Clean resources (NRDC courtesy photo)

¶ “Ohio Utilities May Do Politics Better Than Electricity” • Ohio electric companies seem to spend as much time on politics as on electricity. Consider House Bill 6, which the Ohio House passed 53-43. It’s a ratepayer-funded bailout of two nuclear plants, pushed by electric companies that only recently had panted for “deregulation.” [cleveland.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Some Of Pennsylvania’s Iconic Tree Species Might Not Survive Climate Change” • Thousands of acres of the mountain maple, American beech, balsam fir, paper birch, and quaking aspen that produce some of Pennsylvania’s most vibrant spring, summer, and fall scenes are at risk because of climate change, a state agency said. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Trees in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry)

World:

¶ “China Electric Vehicle Sales Up To 5.4% Market Share” • After a first quarter with surging sales, April saw the Chinese plug-in EV market cool down a little, to some 100,000 registrations. That means it was up only 34% year over year. With the mainstream market still in the red, the April plug-in EV share reached an amazing 6.2%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “PM To Challenge Trump’s Approach On Climate” • Theresa May will raise the issue of climate change with Donald Trump during his upcoming visit to the UK, Downing Street has told BBC News. The confirmation coincides with UK climate researchers asking the prime minister to “robustly challenge” President Trump on the topic. [BBC]

Protest (Jim West | Science Photo Library)

¶ “MNRE Invites Preliminary Proposals For Gravity-Based Storage Project” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy requested proposals for projects that store energy by gravity or  that make hydrogen from seawater by use of PVs. The ministry believes that with growing renewable generation, more energy storage will be needed. [Mercom India]

¶ “Vena Commissions 95-MW Solar Park In South Australia, Plans Extension, Storage” • Vena Energy Australia said it has opened its 95-MW Tailem Bend solar park in South Australia. It is working on a similar-sized second phase project and a battery storage plan. The PV park is expected to supply enough for about 40,000 homes. [Renewables Now]

Solar park (Image: Equis Pte Ltd)

¶ “Total Inaugurates 2nd Solar Power Plant In Japan” • Natural gas and low-carbon electricity provider Total started up commercial operation of its second solar power plant in Japan. The 25-MW solar power plant in Iwate Prefecture on Japan’s Honshu Island, will generate enough energy to serve over 8,000 typical Japanese households. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Energy Prices Drop In Europe As Cheaper Renewable Energy Fights For Market Share” • Gas and coal prices are plunging in Europe, hurt by the relentless threat of ever-cheaper clean energy that’s gaining market share and pushing out the fossil fuels in the process. [The National]

Burbo Bank wind farm (Reuters)

US:

¶ “Lyft Offers Portland Drivers Free EV Charging” • Until Lyft and Uber can replace all of their traditional cars with robotaxis, both are encouraging drivers to use plug-in hybrid or battery electric cars. According to Mashable, Lyft drivers in Portland, Oregon, will be able to recharge their plug-in hybrid or fully electric cars for free, starting in July. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Massachusetts Officials Recommend Another 1.6 GW of Offshore Wind” • Massachusetts officials have recommended that the state double down on its offshore wind program and sign contracts for another 1,600 MW of capacity in two solicitations to be held in the early 2020s. They were encouraged by low bids in recent auctions. [Greentech Media]

Building the Block Island wind farm

¶ “Illinois Solar Energy Association Announces 2019 Tesla Model X Raffle” • The Illinois Solar Energy Association has been hosting annual fundraising raffles to win a Tesla for the past six years. This year, anyone in the US can help support the ISEA’s solar advocacy and enter for a chance to win a Tesla Model X by visiting the ISEA store. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Irish Solar Energy Developer BNRG Strikes Financing Deal For Us Projects” • Irish solar energy developer BNRG renewables has struck a financing deal for the first projects in a US portfolio which it predicts will grow to a total value of $375 million (€336m). The first $40 million investment is for development of a 33 MW of US projects. [Irish Times]

Have an irrefutably gorgeous day.

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June 2 Energy News

June 2, 2019

Seventh Anniversary Post!

Opinion:

¶ “Trump War On Climate Science Will Cost American Lives” • Because of Trump maladministration policies, Americans will have more health issues and die sooner. It is truly amazing how many people are okay with killing their friends, family members, and even themselves, with fossil fuel pollution for the sake of gaining political power. [CleanTechnica]

Pump jack

¶ “No Joke: We Should Build More Solar & Wind Than Needed – It’s Cheaper” • One entrenched, and very prevalent, idea is that all the power generated by renewable resources must be sold as it is generated. This old idea ignores a fundamental proposition: oversizing and proactively curtailing wind and solar when the demand is low.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Midwestern GOP: We Voted For Trump, But We’re Not Out To Wreck The Environment” • The reality of floods and the warnings from respected local university scientists make a difference with Midwestern Republican suburban-exurban voters. They assess climate change differently when they see risks to the Great Lakes and clean water. [The Hill]

Pigs in a flood (© Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Change: Australia’s Election Has Far-Reaching Consequences” • Despite being condemned by both the UN and the IPCC for continued inaction, newly re-elected, pro-coal Prime Minister Scott Morrison has repeatedly told Australian media outlets that the country is set to reach their emissions reduction targets “in a canter.” [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “El Niño Is Back. Is It To Blame For Our Severe Weather Woes?” • After a spring that soaked parts of California and saw destructive tornadoes rip through towns stretching from Texas to Pennsylvania, scientists are paying close attention to how much of the country’s recent severe weather is due to the return of El Niño. [NBCNews.com]

Arkansas flood (Yell County Sheriff’s Department via AP | AP)

¶ “NASA To Bore Beneath Europa With Nuclear-Powered ‘Tunnelbot’ In Alien Life Search” • The planet Jupiter has many moons. One of them, Europa, has liquid water ocean beneath its thick icy shell. NASA is planning for a nuclear-powered drone to drill through Europa’s icy shell in an attempt to find alien life in its oceans. [Express.co.uk]

¶ “Rising Temperatures Cause Epic Flood” • Storms have become much stronger than they ever were and the people who live in the central US have recently experienced one of those fierce storms that were currently in the news. The storms break the record of the wettest 12 months in the US since they began recording rain in 1895. [Science Times]

Cows on a temporary island (Photo: werner22brigitte)

¶ “Rise In Methane Emissions Threatens Paris Agreements” • The levels of methane in the atmosphere are rising with rapid and unexpected rates. According to the latest report by the UN climate science panel, one tonne of the gas is considered to have 28 times the global warming potential of one tonne of carbon dioxide. [The Green Optimistic]

World:

¶ “Hyundai Debuts Electric Double Decker Bus With 186 Mile Range” • At the Land, Infrastructure, and Transport Technology Fair in South Korea last week, Hyundai unveiled a 70-passenger double decker electric bus. With a 384-kWh water cooled polymer battery, its range is 186 miles on one charge, and it can be recharged in just 72 minutes. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai double decker electric bus

¶ “Chinese Tesla Model 3 Price Crushes BMW 3 Series And Mercedes C-Class Prices” • Tesla launched ordering for the Tesla Model 3 made in the Shanghai Gigafactory. The 328,000 RMB ($47,475) price for the Standard Range Plus is before local incentives, and crushes the fossil rivals in the same class that are made in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nigeria’s Unreliable Electricity Costs Its Economy $29 Billion A Year – Solar Power Would Save Billions” • Lengthy power cuts are pretty much a daily experience in Nigeria. The country’s epileptic power supply has been identified by businesses as the second biggest obstacle to doing business in the country, after a lack of access to finance. [Quartz]

Cleaning solar panels (Noel Kokou Tadegnon | Reuters)

¶ “IRENA Says Falling Renewable Energy Costs Will Drive Global Climate Action” • Lower cost of production and cheaper rates of power will strengthen the business case and solidify the role of renewables as the engine of transformation for global energy, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said in its latest report. [Arabian Industry]

US:

¶ “Coal Industry’s Survival In Question As Companies Go Green” • In May, at the Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance’s 40th Annual Conference, a lobbyist for Dominion Energy, the industry’s best local customer, gave the keynote speech. In it, he highlighted the company’s agreement with Smithfield Foods to use hog waste to generate electricity. [Voice of America]

Dominon Energy coal-burning power plant (AP photo)

¶ “US Farmers Hit By Triple Whammy – Torrential Rain, Tornadoes, And Trump” • Farming is one of the toughest ways to make a living. Despite fancy new technology, government price supports, and advances in science, it is still a hard struggle fraught with challenge from weather. And then there is the pressure put upon farmers by politicians. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Saturday Marks Start Of Glenwood Springs Being 7th US City To Use 100% Renewable Energy” • Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is now the seventh US city powered 100% by renewable energy. The city now gets 6.8% of its electric power from hydroelectric  generation, with the remainder being supplied by wind power sources. [Summit Daily News]

Have an extraordinarily positive day.

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June 1 Energy News

June 1, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “A Huge Energy Storage Deal Raises Major Doubts” • After a Japanese maker of gas turbines and a US owner of salt caverns teamed up to develop a massive energy storage project, based on hydrogen and compressed air, doubts have come up. Neither technology has a track record. Neither customers nor funding have been identified. [MIT Technology Review]

Wind turbines (Louis Moncouyoux, Unsplash)

¶ “Wood Mackenzie Highlights China’s Solar Dominance In New Stunning Visualization” • In a global solar PV market outlook, leading energy market intelligence firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables published a stunning visualization that displays China’s rapid rise to dominance of the solar industry, starting in 2011. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Microbe-Grown Electronics: An Alternative To Plastic” • Our cellphones, laptops, headphones, and watches are all objects that we depend on, that we use constantly, and that are filled with plastic. And while electronics are often thought of as inevitably reliant on plastic, there are natural alternatives. A company called Aivan is demonstrating them. [CleanTechnica]

Headphones (Photos via Aivan)

¶ “Climate Change Is Already Affecting Global Food Production – Unequally” • The world’s top 10 crops – barley, cassava, maize, oil palm, rapeseed, rice, sorghum, soybean, sugarcane, and wheat – supply in total 83% of all calories grown on cropland. Research shows climate change is affecting production of these key resources. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ “UK Goes Two Weeks Without Coal Power” • The UK has gone two weeks without any power generated from coal-fired sources, setting a new record, according to the National Grid Electricity System Operator. The last coal generation came off the system at 3.12pm on 17 May, it said. The previous record was eight days, one hour and 25 minutes, set on 9 May. [reNEWS]

Polluting coal generation (Pixabay image)

¶ “1.5X Oversubscription In India’s Latest Solar Tender” • Finally, a ray of hope for the Indian renewable energy market with the latest and fourth national-level solar power tender issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India oversubscribed. Recently, a slew of state and central-level tenders had been unsubscribed by project developers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Communities Around Australia Are Taking Clean Energy Into Their Own Hands, The Indi Win Built On That” • The rural Victorian electorate of Indi is making history with the election of Independent Dr Helen Haines, after another Independent, Cathy McGowan, retired. She won partly because of a climate platform based on energy democracy. [The Guardian]

Dr Helen Haines (Supplied photo)

¶ “Breaking! Tesla Model 3 Blasts Into Asia Pacific Region As Configurator Opens For Six More Countries” • Tesla opened up the Tesla Model 3 vehicle configurator to a handful of new countries in the greater Asia Pacific region today as the electric car company began stretching its wings beyond its initial Asian beachhead in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Confirms Yunlin Job” • Siemens Gamesa has been confirmed as turbine supplier for WPD’s 640-MW Yunlin offshore wind farm in Taiwan. The project will feature 80 of the 8.0-167 model, with the manufacturer also providing a 15-year long-term service agreement. Construction is expected to start in 2019. [reNEWS]

Siemens Gamesa turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Food markets in Madrid to be powered with renewables in 2019” • Spanish renewable power marketer Gesternova SA has won a contract to supply electricity to food markets in Madrid throughout 2019, the company announced. The customer is MercaMadrid SA, a food wholesaler and manager of produce markets in Madrid. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Hungary Plans €1 Billion Greenhouse City Powered By Renewable Energy” • Hungary has revealed plans to build a new carbon-neutral greenhouse-filled farming city to be powered by renewable energy sources. The €1 billion agricultural center is proposed for the border between Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. It will cover 330 hectares. [Dezeen]

Greenhouse (Pixabay image)

¶ “UK Clean Power Jobs ‘Fall 30%'” • UK jobs in the renewable energy sector have fallen by about 30% since 2015, according to a report from Prospect, a trade union for professionals. It said direct employment across offshore and onshore wind, solar, bioenergy and other renewables was about 26,200 in 2017, down from 36,700 in 2014. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Duke Energy Acquires 60-MW Solar Project In Colorado” • Duke Energy Renewables, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, has acquired the 60-MW Palmer solar project in El Paso County, Colorado, south of Colorado Springs. With more than 200,000 solar panels, the project will supply enough energy for 19,000 households. [Compelo]

Solar project (Photo courtesy of Duke Energy Corporation)

¶ “Ohio’s Nuclear Bailout Plan Balloons To Embrace Coal” • While other states embrace renewable energy, Ohio is heading backward. A bill passed this week by the Ohio House would subsidize nuclear and coal power while cutting state support for renewable energy and energy efficiency. And utility customers will foot the bill. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Pilgrim’s Shutdown Ends Nuclear Power Era In Massachusetts” • It took about five hours for the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth to shut down permanently after 47 years of generating electricity. Technicians reduced Pilgrim’s power output gradually before launching the final step of inserting control rods at 5:28 pm. [Valley News]

Have an enjoyably easy day.

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