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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