Archive for August, 2019

August 31 Energy News

August 31, 2019


¶ “The Global Rich May Not Be Able To Dodge Clear-Air Flight Turbulence Due To Climate Change” • Many impacts of global warming will disproportionately impact the world’s poor. But there’s one that even the global rich will have trouble dodging: clear-air turbulence while flying, bumpiness that happens far above clouds, in clear weather. [CleanTechnica]

Simulation of great circle routes (

¶ “Jalopnik’s Torch Is Right About Electric School Buses” • In a recent article at Jalopnik, Jason Torchinsky explained how degraded but functional EV batteries could work great for school buses. In short, he suggests using low-cost conversion kits and reusing discarded batteries from other EVs to repower school buses, at a low cost. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “‘Science Not Silence’: Greta Thunberg Takes Weekly Climate Strike To UN” • Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg took her weekly campaign for greater action on climate change to the gates of the UN, urging “everyone who cares about our future” to join her as world leaders gather in New York next month. She will address the UN on September  23. [SBS]

Greta Thunberg at UN protest (Image via Twitter)

¶ “Tesla Buyers In China Get 10% Discount As Tesla Is Granted Purchase Tax Exemption” • Tesla is getting another leg up in China, as the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology posted news on its website that it would grant a purchase tax exemption, equivalent to a 10% price reduction, to all of Tesla’s vehicles sold in the country. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Pushes Regions To Maximize Renewable Energy Usage” • China’s parliament will send inspection teams through the country to ensure regions are prioritizing renewable energy resources in a bid to cut waste and boost the sector’s profitability, Xinhua reported. Renewable generation is currently 38% of China’s capacity. [The Express Tribune]

Floating solar array (Reuters image)

¶ “Renewable Power Plants’ Output Tops 3.5 Billion kWh: Energy Minister” • Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said that the country’s renewable power plants have so far produced over 3.5 billion kWh (3,500 GWh) of electricity, preventing production of over 2.461 million tons of greenhouse gases. Iran is expanding its renewable capacity. [Tehran Times]

¶ “Montenegro Power Utility To Build Its First Wind Farm” • EPCG, the power utility of the European nation of Montenegro adopted a €58 million ($65 million) plan to build the company’s first wind farm and help diversify the country’s energy sources. The 50-MW Gvozd project is set to produce 140 GWh per year, starting 2022. []

Wind farm

¶ “Panasonic Sets Sights On 100% Renewable Electricity” • One of the largest consumer electronics companies, Panasonic, has announced that it has joined the Climate Group’s RE100, a program focused on bringing the biggest businesses in the world together to commit to 100% renewable electricity within their operations. [CSO Magazine]

¶ “Chile Taps ‘White Gold’ For Security Of Energy Supply” • In 2017, as he campaigned for office, President Sebastián Piñera pledged to power Chile’s national grid with 100% clean energy. This year, he promised to make Chile the first carbon-neutral developing country. Chile’s 10.3 million tons of lithium reserves will help with that. [pv magazine International]

AES Gener storage facility in Chile (Image: AES Gener)

¶ “Enel Seals 190 MW In Indian Wind Auction” • Enel Green Power has secured the rights to develop a 190-MW wind farm in India’s latest auction. EGP India won a 25-year energy supply contract in the tender, which was organized by the Solar Energy Corporation of India. The unnamed project is expected to start operations in the second half of 2021. [reNEWS]


¶ “Federal Energy Data: Coal In Death Spiral, Renewables Surge” • Data from the US DOE’s Energy Information Administration shows that the amount of electricity generated by coal fell by more than 13% in the first half of this year. Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the US coal sector’s rating from “stable” to “negative.” [Environmental Working Group]

Coal-burning power plant

¶ “Dominion Energy To Deploy Electric School Buses; Utility Exceeds 2018 Virginia Authorized ROE” • Dominion Energy plans to deploy 1,050 electric school buses by 2025 in its Virginia service territory and replace all diesel school buses with electric versions by 2030. The initial deployment would start with 50 buses in 2020. [S&P Global]

¶ “Good News, Florida May Turn Completely Clean-Energy Within The Next 30 Years” • This week brought some much-needed good news on the fight for clean energy, as Florida Rep Anna Eskami filed HB 97, resurrecting an older bill that puts Florida on the path to 100% clean energy by 2050. A shorter-term goal for the bill is to have 40% by 2030. [Narcity]

Solar farm (mrganso | Pixabay)

¶ “NV Energy Boss: 50% Renewables Will Be Achieved ‘Well Before 2030’” • The CEO of NV Energy, applauded the 2019 Nevada Legislature for passing a bill mandating that 50% of NV Energy’s power come from renewables by 2030, but he said the company is ahead of that schedule. Its its last coal-burning plant will close by 2025. [NN Business View]

¶ “Energy Industry Confident Of Its Resilience To Hurricane Dorian” • Hurricane Dorian, a Category 4 storm (with winds of 130 to 156 miles per hour), is likely to make a mess out of Florida. But the energy industry has been preparing for years. The US nuclear energy industry alone has spent $4 billion since 2011 to storm-proof its facilities. [Forbes]

Have an unprecedentedly flawless day.

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August 30 Energy News

August 30, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Shrimp, Fish, And Solar: A Recipe For Success” • Fraunhofer ISE is leading experiments that combine solar power with aquaculture along the Mekong River in Vietnam. Many shrimp and fish farms use greenhouse-like structures to keep the water free of contaminants, and Fraunhofer is using the structures for solar power. [CleanTechnica]

Shrimp and solar (Credit: Fraunhofer ISE)

¶ “Tesla Patents Hinged Solar Roof Tile Mounting Frame With Integrated Wiring” • Tesla keeps on innovating with its solar roof tile installation process. A newly granted patent covers a hinged frame with integrated wiring that could speed up the physical installation and significantly simplify the wiring required for solar roof tiles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Truth Of Climate Change Is Recorded By Centuries Of French Wine Harvests” • Newly published records of grape harvests over 6.5 centuries reveal recent changes to Western Europe’s climate are like nothing we have seen before. Vintners and merchants in Burgundy have been keeping records of the wine harvests for 664 years. [IFLScience]

Wine records (Thomas Labbe)


¶ “Coal’s Share Of UK Power Generation Drops To Record Low Of 0.7%” • The share of UK power generated by coal hit a record low of 0.7% between April and June, according to new figures published by the government. The data show that coal-fired generation is now a record 63% lower than during the same period in 2018. [Energy Live News]

¶ “World’s Largest All-Electric Ferry Enters Revenue Service In Denmark” • Ellen, the largest all-electric ferry in the world, completed sea trials, survived shakedown cruises, celebrated its maiden voyage, and has now entered revenue service on the 22-mile route between the cities of Søby and Fynshav, on islands in southern Denmark. [CleanTechnica]

Ellen (Credit: European Commission)

¶ “World Bank To Provide Bangladesh $185 Million For Renewable Energy” • The government of Bangladesh signed a $185 million financing agreement with the World Bank to build generating capacity for approximately 310 MW renewable energy in a bid to contribute to reliable, affordable electricity and cleaner air. [Dhaka Tribune]

¶ “Australian University Unveils New Renewable Power System” • The University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland has a new thermal energy storage system that promises to cut its energy usage 40%. Power from a 6,000 panel solar array chills 4.5 million liters water. The cold water is used to power the university’s air conditioners. [The University Network]

USC’s “water battery”

¶ “World Bank To Provide Bangladesh $185 Million For Renewable Energy” • The government of Bangladesh signed a $185 million financing agreement with the World Bank to build generating capacity for approximately 310 MW renewable energy in a bid to contribute to reliable, affordable electricity and cleaner air. [Dhaka Tribune]

¶ “Deutsche Bucht Nears The Finish Line” • Northland Power has completed installation of 31 MHI Vestas turbines on monopile foundations for the 269-MW Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. There are only two turbines still to be installed, the company said. First power was delivered from the project last month. [reNEWS]

Deutsche Bucht (Northland Power image)

¶ “WNA Report: Global Nuclear Energy Capacity Rises For Sixth Straight Year” • The World Nuclear Association says that global nuclear generation increased in 2018 for the sixth straight year. Reactors worldwide produced more than 2500 TWh of electric energy, about 10% of global demand. The increase was most dramatic in Asia. [Power Engineering Magazine]


¶ “Aptera Is Back, Baby! New, Improved Electric Car Will Have 1,000 Mile Range” • Aptera, which had a very innovative car design, went bankrupt in 2011. Now it is coming back, after changing the design to an EV. The company claims its new design will permit a driving range of 1,000 miles using a 100 kWh battery. [CleanTechnica]

Aptera concept (Aptera image)

¶ “EPA Proposes Rule Easing Regulation Of Methane Emissions” • The EPA announced a proposal to ease regulation of methane emissions, because it believes the Obama administration improperly regulated it. Methane is a particularly potent greenhouse gas believed to contribute significantly to climate change. [CNN]

¶ “100% Solar Power Is A Snap For Fifth Third Bank, So Where’s Everyone Else?” • Fifth Third is the first US bank and Fortune 500 company, and the first publicly traded company anywhere (on Earth, that is) to offset all of its carbon footprint by claiming the entire output from a single PV project through a power purchase agreement. [CleanTechnica]

Fifth Thirds’ renewables switch (screenshot via Fifth Third)

¶ “Xcel Energy’s Eastern New Mexico Wind Farm Going Into Service In 2020” • Xcel Energy announced construction of the 522-MW Sagamore Wind Project in New Mexico will begin this year and will be finished by the fourth quarter of 2020. The wind farm will generate enough electricity to supply annual power needs for 194,000 homes. [Carlsbad Current-Argus]

¶ “Green Mountain Power Partners With Sunrun To Expand BYOD Storage Program” • Green Mountain Power, which has 265,000 customers and is Vermont’s only investor-owned utility, is continuing to expand its bring-your-own-device (BYOD) battery storage program with the addition of Sunrun’s Brightbox home solar battery system. [Utility Dive]

Have a pleasantly exciting day.

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August 29 Energy News

August 29, 2019


¶ “It’s The Economics, Stupid! The Case For Carbon Fees” • Researchers at the Carnegie Institute For Science and the University of Waterloo found that putting a price on carbon would lead to greater innovation and energy efficiency. The results of their research have now been published in the scientific journal Joule. [CleanTechnica]

Shrink-wrapped money (Edward Betts, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Smart Charging Is Better Than Dumb Charging, German EV Study Finds” • Netze BW, the utility grid operator in Germany’s Baden-Württemberg region, studied the charging habits of EV drivers in its service area for 15 months. The report based on their data allays fears about simultaneously charging lots of electric cars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biochar’s Role In Mitigating Climate Change” • Carboculture has a patented technology that turns methane-spewing biomass wasted into high-carbon charcoal, in a carbon-neutral way. This allows a cleaner, more efficient way to make such charcoal products as biochar. And biochar can be important for further carbon sequestration. [CleanTechnica]

Biochar (Image © Carboculture)

¶ “Europe Warming Faster Than Expected Due To Climate Change” • Research in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters finds the number of summer days with extreme heat has tripled since 1950 and summers have become hotter overall, while the number of winter days with extreme cold decreased in frequency by at least half. [Newswise]


¶ “Greta Thunberg, Climate Change Activist, Sails Into New York City” • Greta Thunberg has arrived in New York after a 15-day, 3,000 mile (4,800 km) voyage across the Atlantic. She will participate in UN climate summits in New York City and Chile. The 16-year-old Swede traveled by sail boat to minimize her carbon footprint. [BBC]

Greta Thunberg arriving (Greta Thunberg via Twitter)

¶ “Nuclear Inquiry Told ‘Firmed Renewables’ Cheapest And Best Option For Future” • A mix of distributed renewable energy generation and firming technologies including battery storage and pumped hydro remains the best path forward for Australia’s future grid, experts have told the federal government’s inquiry into nuclear power. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Chinese Firm To Build Renewable Power Projects In Bangladesh” • Bangladesh has set up a $400 million joint venture with a Chinese company to build renewable energy projects to provide 500 MW of capacity by 2023, a government official said. The venture is the latest sign of Beijing’s growing involvement in Bangladesh’s energy sector. []

Solar farm

¶ “NSW Coal City, Newcastle, Sets Sights On 100% Renewables” • The New South Wales coal city of Newcastle is zeroing in on plans to take local government operations 100% renewable, after a feasibility study it commissioned earlier in the year estimated cost savings of up to $4.8 million to ratepayers by switching to renewable sources. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “Sunrise For Alberta’s Solar Industry: The Economics Of Commercial-Scale Projects Increasingly Make Sense” • Alberta’s renewable energy sector has long been dominated by wind, but industry experts say a massive, 300-MW solar farm proposed for southern Alberta is proof that a sun-powered revolution is now on its way. [Calgary Herald]

Solar PVs in Alberta (Christina Ryan | Calgary Herald Archives)

¶ “New Renewable Energy Power Plant Of Capacity 46,000 MW To Come Up In Gujarat” • Around 46,000 MW of renewable capacity is likely to be set up in the Indian state of Gujarat by 2030 taking the share of green energy in the state’s total capacity to 70%, a study from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says. [ELE Times]

¶ “TEPCO, Chubu Electric, Toshiba, And Hitachi To Discuss Four-Way Nuclear Business Alliance” • TEPCO, Chubu Electric Power, Toshiba Corp and Hitachi Ltd said they have agreed to discuss potential collaboration on nuclear power, as the industry faces a challenging business environment following the 2011 Fukushima crisis. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima Daiichi (Kyodo)


¶ “Energy Storage Technology Adoption In The US” • A report published by the US Energy Storage Association and Wood Mackenzie notes the US market has recorded a 232% year-over-year growth in terms of megawatts deployed in the first quarter of 2019. The US had 148.8 MW, 271.1 MWh, of energy storage deployed in the quarter. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Tesla Insurance Launches, Claims To Save Owners Up To 30% On Premiums” • Tesla launched its Tesla Insurance offering for owners in California with a promise to save owners up to 30% on premiums. Tesla is moving to provide the end-to-end vehicle purchase, service, fueling, and insurance services in a buildup for the Tesla Network. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Service Center (Tesla image)

¶ “NV Energy CEO Touts Progress On Renewables, Reliability And Cost Control” • The CEO of NV Energy told an audience at at the Northern Nevada Development Authority’s monthly meeting that the utility is on track to reach 50% renewables well ahead of schedule, with one of the nation’s most reliable electric services and stable pricing. [Nevada Appeal]

¶ “Bill Introduced To Allow Nuclear Power To Qualify As A Renewable Energy Source” • An amendment to California’s constitution would allow nuclear power to qualify as renewable under the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard. Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham says it would make the renewable energy market more fair. [KSBY San Luis Obispo News]

Have an unanticipatably fortunate day.

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August 28 Energy News

August 28, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “From Bio Waste To SCOBY Packaging” • MakeGrowLab has a material that can replace plastic packaging. Its SCOBY product is home-compostable, has a shelf life of 2 years, is a microbial and oxygen barrier, is insoluble in water and impermeable to water, and is 100% free from plastic and microplastic. And SCOBY is even edible! [CleanTechnica]

SCOBY packaging (MakeGrowLab image)

¶ “Why The Arctic Is Smoldering” • More than four million hectares of Siberian taiga forest have gone up in flames, the Russian military were deployed, people across the region were choked by the smoke, and the cloud spread to Alaska and beyond. Fires have also raged in the boreal forests of Greenland, Alaska, and Canada. [BBC]

¶ “New Electric Aircraft Motor Lab Aims For 1-MW Electric Airplane Motor” • You know a new industry is born when investments pour in and results encourage more spending. Now, a new lab, the Collins Electric Aircraft Lab, wants to offer urban air mobility and the general electric aviation world a 1-MW electric airplane motor. [CleanTechnica]

Hybrid Electric Aircraft (United Technologies image)

¶ “This New York Agency Cut Its Energy Usage By 40%, And So Can You” • At the office of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, the thermostats used to be set at 73°F, regardless of the season. By lowering them to 68°F during the winter and raising them to 78°F in the summer, the agency reduced its energy usage by 40%. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Heat From London Underground To Be Used To Warm Homes In Likely World First” • Londoners often complain about the stifling heat on certain Underground lines. In what is believed to be a world first, waste heat from the Northern Line is to be harnessed to heat homes and businesses in parts of London by the end of the year. [CNN]

Underground (Oli Scarff | Getty Images)

¶ “Payment Dues Of State DISCOMs Now Total ₹82 Billion to Solar, Wind, Hydro Power Producers” • Indian distribution companies have been defaulting on payments for renewable energy. Central Electricity Authority data shows that 472 renewable projects had unpaid dues totaling ₹82.3 billion (about $1.14 billion) as of July 31, 2019. [Mercom India]

¶ “Việt Nam To Have 2,000 MW Of Rooftop Solar Power Capacity In 2020” • Việt Nam’s total rooftop solar power capacity is expected to reach around 2,000 MW by the end of 2020, according to Việt Nam Electricity. More than 4,000 households have installed 200 MW of rooftop solar power systems during the past three months. [Viet Nam News]

Rooftop solar power in Việt Nam (Lê Đức Hoảnh | VNA/VNS)

¶ “Victorian Greens Continue Push For 100% Renewable Energy By 2030” • The Victorian Greens will move an amendment in State Parliament this week to boost the Victorian Renewable Energy Target for 2030 to 100%. A bill to take the state to 40% by 2025 to 50% by 2030 had been introduced by the Andrews Labor Government earlier. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Russia Pushing ‘Unsuitable’ Nuclear Power In Africa, Critics Claim” • Russia is attempting to gain influence in Africa, and earn billions, by selling developing nations nuclear technology that critics say is unsuitable and unlikely to benefit many people. Rosatom has approached the leaders of dozens of African countries in the past two years. [The Guardian]

Rosatom and Congo officials at signing (Mikhail Metzel | TASS)


¶ “CNN Announces Details For Climate Crisis Town Hall” • CNN announced the candidate lineup for its unprecedented prime-time event focused on the climate crisis. Ten Democratic presidential hopefuls will appear in New York at back-to-back town halls on Wednesday, September 4, taking audience questions about their climate plans. [CNN]

¶ “Teen Eco-Activist Greta Thunberg To Arrive In New York After 2-Week Sail” • Eco-activist Greta Thunberg is expected to arrive in New York City on Wednesday, two weeks after she set sail from the English coastline, as part of her campaign to pressure politicians to put climate change at the top of their agendas. [NBC New York]

Home sweet home for 14 days (Greta Thunberg via Twitter)

¶ “sonnen And Wasatch Group Launch Largest Residential Virtual Power Plant – 12.6 MWh” • A community of apartments in Utah is being built with 12.6 MWh of sonnen’s ecoLinx battery systems. It will have 600 of sonnen’s 20-kWh ecoLinx intelligent energy storage units installed across the community into a single virtual power plant. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “STracker’s Elevated PV Brings Community Solar To Ashland” • An elevated 34-kW community solar tracker installation was completed at ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum, kicking off Ashland Community Solar. ACS is founding a community solar co-op and developing ten 200-kW community solar systems in Ashland, Oregon. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Elevated solar system (Courtesy of STracker)

¶ “Wind Energy Retains Lead Over Hydropower, According To Latest EIA Report” • The latest issue of EIA’s “Electric Power Monthly” shows both solar and wind continued to grow. US wind generation increased by 0.9% to 7.8%, topping by hydropower by 0.4%. Solar power accounted for 2.7% of the nation’s total net generation. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Project To Give LA Record-Cheap Solar Power Stymied By DWP Labor Union Concerns” • Los Angeles has been sitting on a contract for record-cheap solar power for over a month. City officials have declined to approve it because the city-run utility’s labor union raised concerns. It is still fuming over a decision to shut down three gas-fired power plants. [KTLA]

Have an amazingly superlative day.

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August 27 Energy News

August 27, 2019


¶ “Bernie Sanders’ New Climate Plan Asks Democrats: Do You Want A Revolution Or Not?” • The massive scope and cost of Bernie Sanders’ $16.3 trillion, 10-year “Green New Deal” plan to confront climate change encapsulates both the potential appeal and the limits of the Vermont senator’s uncompromising presidential campaign. [CNN]

Bernie Sanders, 2016 (Max Goldberg, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Tyrant Trump Terrorizes Car Company Execs With Emissions Rollback Threats” • Donald Trump, reportedly enraged at car companies that reached an agreement with the state of California on auto emissions, commanded their executives to come to the White House so he could bludgeon them into supporting his emissions cut roll-back. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Amazon Fires: Brazil To Reject G7 Offer Of $22 Million Aid” • The Brazilian government has said it will reject an offer of $22 million in aid from G7 countries to help tackle the Amazon rainforest fires. Brazilian officials gave no reason for turning down the money. But President Jair Bolsonaro accused France of treating Brazil like a colony. [BBC]

Burnt area of the Amazon (AFP image)

¶ “India’s NTPC Plans 5 GW Solar Power Park” • The Chairman and Managing Director of NTPC told the Press Trust of India that his company is scouting for locations to set up solar power parks in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The company is expected to set up a 5 GW solar power park Gujarat at a total investment of ₹20,000 crore ($2.8 billion). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India’s Largest Oil Refiner Plans $3.5 Billion Renewable Energy Investment” • According to media reports, Indian Oil Corp, the country’s largest refiner, plans to invest as much as ₹25,000 crore ($3.5 billion) over the next few years to set up wind, solar, and bio-fuel plants. Indian Oil now has an installed renewable energy capacity of 216 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels in India (Prashanthns, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Total makes 200-MW pipeline play in France” • French oil and gas company Total acquired developer Vents d’Oc and its pipeline of more than 200 MW of mainly wind projects. The deal was carried out by Total’s renewable electricity generation subsidiary in France Quadran, which operates a portfolio of more than 830 MW of solar, wind, and hydro. [reNEWS]

¶ “Russians release details on radiation after blast” • Russia’s state weather and environmental monitoring agency Rosgidromet said that the brief rise in radiation levels was caused by a cloud of radioactive gases containing isotopes of barium, strontium, and lanthanum that drifted across the area. The explosion killed six engineers. [NWAOnline]

Testing range entrance (File photo: Sergei Yakovlev | AP)


¶ “Wind And Solar Set New Generation Records Across Australia Grid In July” • Wind generation set new records across Australia’s main grid in July, helping the total output of “new renewables” (wind and solar) to reach a new peak for the month also. The record was noted in The Australia Institute’s monthly National Energy Emissions Audit. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “ACT Finalises Shift To 100% Renewables, Now Eyes Transition To Electric Vehicles” • The Australian Capital Territory’s plan to decarbonize its transportation sector is picking up pace and is set to take center stage as the territory is completing its shift to 100% electricity and the first phase of its goal of zero emissions by 2045. [The Driven]

ACT zero-emission vehicles

¶ “Nuclear Power Not The Answer As Renewables Continue To Boom In Australia, Report Finds” • Australia’s renewable energy boom means the development of nuclear power is not a viable option, a report from public policy think-tank the Australia Institute said. It concluded that new “baseload” power sources like nuclear are uneconomic. [ABC News]


¶ “Amazon Fires: Leonardo Dicaprio Gives $5 Million For Rainforest” • Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental organisation is putting $5 million (£4.1 million) towards helping the Amazon rainforest after the recent surge in fires there. Earth Alliance will give the money to local groups and indigenous communities as they work to protect the Amazon. [BBC]

Leonardo DiCaprio (Getty Images)

¶ “Trump Skips G-7 Climate Meeting, Slams Renewable Energy, But Insists ‘I’m An Environmentalist’” • After skipping a key meeting on climate change at the G-7 summit, Trump said he would not jeopardize oil, coal, and natural gas industry profits by promoting renewable energy. He also told reporters, “I’m an environmentalist.” [Environmental Working Group]

¶ “University Of Arizona Partners With Tucson Electric Power On 100% Clean Energy Project” • The University of Arizona agreed with Tucson Electric Power to have its campus power needs met by 100% renewable energy, including solar, wind, and storage. The agreement is subject to approval by the Arizona Corporation Commission. [Daily Energy Insider]

Solar rooftop (University of Arizona image)

¶ “Solar Power Could Replace All US Hydro Dams Using ‘Just 13% Of The Space’” • Banks of solar panels would be able to replace every electricity-producing dam in the US using just 13% of the space they take up, according to a study published in Nature Sustainability. The researchers commented that the figure is “surprisingly modest.” [Carbon Brief]

¶ “Hawaiian Electric Pursues Approximately 900 MW Of Renewables In Latest Procurement” • HECO has launched its largest renewable energy procurement, seeking approximately 900 MW between Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island, with the first projects coming online in 2022. Hawaii aims to supply 100% renewable energy by 2045. [Utility Dive]

Have a delightfully stimulating day.

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August 26 Energy News

August 26, 2019


¶ “What Are The Chances One Or More Legacy Automakers Will Fail?” • Sandy Munro is a veteran of Ford, who branched out on his own. His business is about optimizing production to increase quality, lowering costs, and solving the technical challenges to bringing products to market. His thoughts on legacy automakers are not very flattering. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla seat factory (CleanTechnica photo)

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Giant Raft Of Rock Floating In The Pacific Could Help Heal Australia’s Great Barrier Reef” • A massive floating sheet of volcanic rock was first spotted on August 9, days after an underwater volcano is believed to have erupted near the Pacific Island of Tonga. It could help hela the Great Barier Reef, if it floats that far. [CNN]


¶ “Scottish Government Backs 2-MW Tidal Turbine” • The Scottish Government is providing £3.4 million (€3.7 million, $4.16 million) in funding towards construction of the world’s most powerful floating tidal turbine. Orbital Marine Power will use the funding to deliver the next generation O2 2MW floating tidal energy turbine. [reNEWS]

O2 2-MW tidal turbine (Orbital Marine Power image)

¶ “Amazon Fires: G7 Leaders Close To Agreeing Plan To Help, Says Macron” • International leaders gathering at the G7 summit in the French town of Biarritz are reportedly nearing an agreement to help fight fires in the Amazon rainforest. French President Emmanuel Macron said a deal to provide “technical and financial help” was close. [BBC]

¶ “Borusan EnBW To Build Ten More Renewable Power Plants” • A major wind power plant investor, Borusan EnBW Energy is planning to build ten new renewable energy plants in Turkey, increasing its capacity in the country from 495 MW to 1,100 MW. Currently, Turkey generates more than 30% of its electricity from solar and wind power. [Daily Sabah]

Borusan EnBW wind plant

¶ “32 Leading Global Fashion And Textile Companies Make Commitments On Climate, Biodiversity And Oceans” • In a historic move, given the scale and importance of the coalition that has been created, 32 leading companies from the fashion and textile industry have given themselves a set of shared objectives in the form of a Fashion Pact. [Business Wire India]

¶ “GIG Acquires 47-MW Tysvaer Wind Project” • Macquarie’s Green Investment Group has purchased the 47-MW Tysvaer wind project in Norway from Spanish Power. Construction of the wind farm in the Tysvaer municipality, in southern Norway, is expected to start in early 2020. The Tysvaer wind farm will have 11 Siemens Gamesa 4.3-MW turbines. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “TEPCO May Consider Scrapping One Or More Reactors At Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Plant” • TEPCO said it may decommission one or more reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant within five years, after reactivating two idled reactors at the same plant. The utility is considering Units 1 through 5 for decommissioning. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Eighteen Nuclear Power Plants In The EU Are Operating Without A Valid License” • There are 18 active nuclear power plants currently operating without a valid license in the EU, according to a report seen by Business Insider. The report was put together by Germany’s Green Party member and nuclear expert Sylvia Kotting-Uhl. [Business Insider]

Nuclear power plant (Arnd Wiegmann, Reuters)


¶ “Sanders: Support Coal Country While Combating Climate Change” • Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders has told voters in coal-producing Kentucky that it is possible to be a friend of coal miners while also being a believer in climate change and the need for cleaner energy sources to combat it. [San Francisco Chronicle]

¶ “Detroit Zoo Plans To Be Powered By Renewable Energy By 2021” • Wind turbines and solar panels may soon be keeping the lights on in the Detroit Zoo. The zoo says it’s shifting to being powered entirely by renewable energy. It will use DTE’s MIGreenPower program to get electricity from renewable sources coming online in 2020. []

Detroit Zoo’s Arctic Ring of Life Exhibit

¶ “Energy Companies Spend Millions Lobbying Massachusetts State House” • Companies with a wide range of energy interests are pumping millions into lobbying efforts in Massachusetts. In 2018, as many as 70 energy groups reported spending at least $5.3 million pushing their messages on Beacon Hill, a review of public lobbying records shows. [Boston Herald]

¶ “Holy Cross, Guzman Energy Announce Wnd Farm Project” • A new wind-farm project in Colorado is expected to supply green power to Holy Cross Energy, a regional electric cooperative, starting in mid-2021, the company announced. Holy Cross said it will buy 100 MW of the Arriba Wind Farm’s output to cover about 30% of its needs. [Aspen Daily News]

Have a fascinatingly mirthful day.

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August 25 Energy News

August 25, 2019


¶ “Way To Dump All The Good News About Wind Power On A Friday Afternoon, DOE” • Friday afternoon is a time to release information you want everyone to ignore. Last Friday afternoon, the US DOE released three annual reports on the state of US wind power in 2018. Together, they track the rise of wind power, and the fall of coal. [CleanTechnica]

2018 Wind Technologies Market Report (screenshot)

¶ “Can We Reach 100% Renewable Energy in Time to Avert Climate Catastrophe?” • Mark Jacobson is less depressed than he was a decade ago, when he and Mark Delluci wrote a road map for becoming 100% reliant on energy generated by water, wind and sun by 2030. And this is despite the precarious position that climate change puts us in. [Truthout]

¶ “We Know How To Build An All-Renewable Electric Grid” • The main solution to climate change is well known: stop burning fossil fuels. The complexity is how to do this. As a scholar who does energy modeling, I and others see the outlines of a post-fossil-fuel future: We make electricity with renewable sources and electrify almost everything. [Fast Company]

Transmission system (Photo: Max Lederer | Unsplash)

¶ “Geoengineering: ‘Plan B’ For Earth Moves Center Stage” • Dismissed a decade ago as far-fetched and dangerous, schemes to tame global warming by engineering the climate have migrated from the margins of policy debates closer toward center stage. Reducing carbon pollution won’t be enough to keep Earth from overheating. [The Manila Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Design For Next Generation Organic Solar Cells Is A 2-For-1” • The next generation of low cost, high efficiency organic solar cells is close at hand, except for one stubborn problem that researchers have been hammering away at for years. Now, it looks like a team at Columbia University has finally come up with a solution. [CleanTechnica]

Excitons form and decay (A Asadpoor Darvish, McCamey Lab)


¶ “Greenpeace Study Reveals Highveld Is World’s Worst Sulphur Dioxide Hot Spot” • Greenpeace India released a study, using NASA satellite data, which found how the Kriel area of South Africa, with its high concentration of coal-fired power stations, ranks as the second-largest sulphur dioxide emission hotspot in the world. [Independent Online]

¶ “The US Says China Is Blocking $2.5 Trillion In South China Sea Oil And Gas” • China has been pushing its interests in the South China Sea, where there are large oil and natural gas reserves. This week the US State Department emphasized the value of the reserves, and the US’s interest in having its own oil companies develop them. [Quartz]

South China Sea (Maxim Shemetov | Reuters)


¶ “Amazon Rainforest Fires: Ten Readers’ Questions Answered” • Politicians and environmental activists are taking a stand against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, blaming the Amazon fires on his policies. It’s a complex story, and online discussion of it has been full of misinformation, misleading photos, and errors. Here are answers to readers’ questions. [BBC]

¶ “Brazilian Protesters Rail Against Bolsonaro As Amazon Fires Rage On” • As fires burned across the Amazon and a worsening international and domestic crisis raged around Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, protesters took to the streets of cities in Brazil and abroad. The world’s richest countries are discussing the crisis at the G7. [The Guardian]

Brazilian protest (André Penner | AP)

¶ “Amazon Fires: Fines For Environmental Crimes Drop Under Bolsonaro” • The 84% increase in fires in the Amazon rainforest coincides with a sharp drop in fines for environmental violations, BBC analysis found. The Brazilian government’s official data shows fines so far this year dropped almost a third compared with the same period last year. [BBC]


¶ “Parts Of California Are Too Wildfire-Prone To Insure” • Yet another real estate-related crisis has come up in California, but we’re not talking about its sky-high home prices. According to newly released data, it’s simply become too risky to insure houses in big swaths of the wildfire-prone state. So homeowners have to turn to the state. [Salon]

California wildfire (Jae C Hong | AP)

¶ “Democratic National Committee Votes Against Allowing 2020 Candidates To Participate In Climate Change Debate” • Members of the Democratic National Committee voted down a resolution that would have resulted in single-issue candidate debates. The issue of the climate crisis has been a focus of proposals for such a debate. [CNN]

¶ “Energy Storage Developer Buys Texas Windfarms With Major Battery Retrofit Planned” • GlidePath Energy, a US-based energy storage developer, bought a portfolio of eight North Texas wind farms totaling 149 MW of capacity. The company sees “a unique opportunity to optimize the performance of the wind farms through the addition of battery storage.” [Forbes]

Wind farm in Texas (Getty Images)

¶ “New Ad Campaign Part Of $2 Billion Effort To Promote Electric Cars” • Volkswagen has launched its Electrify America “Normal Now” ad campaign as part of a $2 billion investment to encourage the adoption of zero-emission vehicles. The campaign looks to normalize the ownership of electric cars in an attempt to increase EV adoption. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “White House Overhauls Launch Approval Process For Nuclear Spacecraft” • The White House has announced a new launch authorization process for spacecraft that use nuclear-powered systems, instituting a tiered framework that delegates decision-making for less risky missions and provides explicit guidance on acceptable risk levels. [FYI: Science Policy News]

Have a jubilantly carefree day.

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August 24 Energy News

August 24, 2019


¶ “Climate change: Should you fly, drive or take the train?” • A return flight from London to New York emits an estimated 0.67 tonnes of CO₂ per passenger, according to the calculator from the UN’s civil aviation body, the International Civil Aviation Organization. That’s equivalent to 11% of the average annual emissions for someone in the UK. [BBC]

Greta Thunberg sailing (Finnbarr Webster)

¶ “Parsing The 35 Page, $16 Trillion Green New Deal From Bernie Sanders” • Bernie’s plan is projected to cost $16 trillion over the next 15 years. But Sanders says it will pay for itself by eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, requiring fossil fuel companies to pay for the damage their products do, and adding tax benefits of adding 20 million new workers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “David Koch Was the Ultimate Climate Change Denier” • David Koch died at the age of 79. He is best known as a major funder of right-wing political causes from tax cuts to deregulation, an arts patron, and a man-about-town. But to his critics, his most lasting political legacy might very well be the rapidly warming world that he left behind. [The New York Times]

David Koch in 2015 (Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘100-Year’ Floods Will Happen Every 1 To 30 Years, According To New Flood Maps” • 100-Year floods should happen about every hundred years. But Princeton researchers developing maps that predict coastal flooding for every county on the Eastern and Gulf Coasts found 100-year floods could occur annually in New England’s future. [Science Daily]


¶ “Bolsonaro To Deploy Troops To Fight Amazon Rainforest Fires” • Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is deploying the army to tackle the wildfires in the Amazon rainforest. The troops will be deployed for the next month, according to a presidential decree obtained by CNN. Hundreds of temporary firefighters are also being hired. [CNN]

Burned forest (AFP Contributor | AFP | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Tesla Will Obtain Battery Cells From LG Chem For Chinese Model 3 Production” • Tesla has said all along it will work with multiple battery suppliers for the electric cars it makes in China, beginning with the Model 3 later this year. A Bloomberg report said Tesla has agreed to source at least some of those battery cells from LG Chem. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volvo Group Brings Electrification And Autonomy To Industry” • Volvo Group announced that it is partnering with NVIDIA on autonomous driving systems for public transport, freight transport, refuse and recycling collection, construction, mining, forestry, and more. The change increases efficiency while reducing CO₂ emissions. [CleanTechnica]

HX2 autonomous electric load carrier (Volvo Group image)

¶ “Share Of Renewable Energy To Be Increased: Nadeem Babar” • Pakistan’s government intends to increase the share of renewable energy by setting long-term targets, Prime Minister’s Task Force on Energy Chairman Nadeem Babar said. He said the absence of such targets has caused today’s power sector issues, Radio Pakistan reported. [ARY News]

¶ “UK Climate Investments Supports Clean Energy Projects In South Africa” • The UK Climate Investments Impact fund in partnership with H1 Holdings has announced an investment of about $17 million in wind energy projects across South Africa. The Round 4 projects with a total capacity of 254 MW and are to be finished by the end of 2020. [Pumps Africa]

Wind turbines (Kalle Pihlajasaari, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “India Declares Ocean Power As Renewable Energy” • The Government of India declared that tidal and wave power for generating electricity are renewable resources. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said this decision will boost the use of ocean energy in India as the government steps up efforts on climate change objectives. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Japanese Utilities Start Selling Uranium Fuel Into Depressed Market” • Japan’s nuclear operators are starting to sell some of their huge holdings of uranium fuel, as chances fade of restarting many more reactors eight years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The sales are likely to further depress the already weak uranium market. [Business Recorder]

Billet of uranium (US DOE, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “TEPCO To Submit Decommissioning Plan Regarding Five Reactors” • TEPCO will submit to a municipal official on Monday a plan regarding the decommissioning of five reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear station, the world’s biggest atomic plant, Jiji Press said. This means 26 Japanese nuclear units are to be decommissioned. [Japan Today]


¶ “Hawaiian Electric Seeks Bids For 900 MW Of ‘Dispatchable Renewables,’ Storage And Grid Services” • Hawaiian Electric issued a request for proposals for about 900 MW of renewable energy and energy storage projects. It’s the utility’s second major round of contracts in the past year combining solar and wind power with batteries. [Greentech Media]

Solar power in Hawaii

¶ “$107.4 Million Approved For Heavy & Medium-Duty EV Chargers In San Diego Area” • The California Public Utilities Commission approved San Diego Gas & Electric’s plan to add many more EV charging stations for medium and heavy-duty vehicles. In the next five years, $107 million will be invested in the charging infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DOE Releases Annual Wind Market Reports, Finding Robust Wind Power Installations And Falling Prices” • The DOE released annual market reports documenting data and trends in wind installations, technologies, costs, prices, and performance through the end of 2018 for three sectors: utility-scale land-based, offshore, and distributed wind. []

Have a thrillingly serene day.

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August 23 Energy News

August 23, 2019


¶ “Bill Gates Is Throwing Away Money On Ill-Advised Non-Solutions To Global Warming” • Bill Gates is not attending to the reality of the success of renewable energy, the unknowns of solar geoengineering, and the global failure of nuclear energy as a solution to global warming. His solutions funding would be vastly better spent in areas. [CleanTechnica]

Solar Geoengineering (NOAA Global Monitoring Division)

¶ “Fires Are Raging In The Amazon Forest. Here’s How You Can Help Slow All Rainforest Loss” • The Amazon draws down CO₂ and other greenhouse gases while slowing down the Earth’s rising temperatures. But it’s now burning at a record rate, with images from space showing the smoke covering much of Brazil. Each of us can help protect it. [CNN]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Future Of Food: Why Farming Is Moving Indoors” • Ten shipping containers dominate a corner of a Brooklyn parking area, each full of climate control tech, growing herbs that are distributed to local stores on bicycles. This is literally urban farming. Lighting, humidity, and temperature are all controlled in hydroponic indoor farming. [BBC]

Tobias Peggs at Square Roots farm (Square Roots image)

¶ “Ancient Tropical Plants Produce Cones In UK For First Time On Record” • Cycads have produced male and female cones outdoors in the UK for the first time in 60 million years, in an event that botanists say is a clear indication of climate change. The cycads are on the cliffs of a botanic garden on the Isle of Wight, off England’s south coast. [CNN]


¶ “Amazon Fires: ‘Our House Is Burning’, Macron Warns Ahead Of G7” • French President Emmanuel Macron has said the record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest is an “international crisis” that needs to top the agenda at this weekend’s G7 summit. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said Macron’s calls evoke “a misplaced colonialist mindset.” [BBC]

Fire in Brazil, 2011 (NASA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “India Plans Large Renewable Energy Projects With Public Sector Companies” • The Indian government reportedly plans to rope in public sector companies to set up large-scale renewable energy projects on the lines of the ultra mega power projects program launched a few years back. The projects have capacities of up to 1.8 GW each. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Russian Nuclear Accident: Medics Fear ‘Radioactive Patients'” • Russian medics who treated radiation victims after a military explosion in the Arctic had no protection and now fear they were irradiated themselves. Five nuclear engineers died on 8 August when an “isotope-fuel” engine blew up at the Nyonoksa test range, officials said. [BBC]

Russian hospital (archive pic) Getty Images

¶ “Russia Launches Floating Nuclear Reactor In Arctic Despite Warnings Of ‘Chernobyl On Ice'” • Russia is launching the world’s first floating nuclear reactor for a journey on the Arctic Ocean, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks. It will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 km journey to northeastern Siberia. [The Japan Times]


¶ “Works Begin To Bring Renewable Energy To Remote Indigenous Communities” • Works are underway to bring renewable energy to remote Indigenous communities in Queensland’s Far North, creating jobs and reducing costs and emissions. The state is delivering on an earlier commitment to bring them renewable energy. [Utility Magazine]

Solar array (Shutterstock image)

¶ “ARENA Backs Solar Hydrogen Plant In Brisbane As Electrolyser Costs Tipped To Plunge” • A $3.1 million pilot project to produce green hydrogen via electrolysis at an existing gas facility in Queensland has won $950,000 in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The 220-kW electrolyser will be powered by a solar array. [The Guardian]

¶ “Australian Thermal Coal Exporters Warned Of Falling Demand From India” • Thermal coal exporters face “significant risk” that demand from India will decline, a report from the office of Australia’s chief economist says. The Indian  market is considered a “great hope” by miners, but the report warns of its long-term uncertainties. [The Guardian]

Open pit mine ( | Alamy Stock Photo)


¶ “Consumers Energy Focusing On Renewable Energy, Asking Michiganders To Help” • Michigan utility Consumers Energy is on a mission to meet the state’s electricity needs by greater use of clean energy in the coming decades. The  company is on a  statewide campaign to encourage customers to use less energy to fight climate change. [WNEM Saginaw]

¶ “Bernie Sanders Unveils Comprehensive $16.3 Trillion Green New Deal Plan Amid Climate Crisis” • Sen Bernie Sanders added progressive meat to the bones of the Green New Deal with the release of a comprehensive $16.3 trillion climate change program ahead of a campaign stop in Paradise, California, the city leveled by a devastating 2018 wildfire. [CNN]

Bernie Sanders, 2016 (Phil Roeder, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Duke Energy Renewables Completes Nine Solar Projects In Conjunction With Georgia Power’s Renewable Energy Development Initiative” • Duke Energy Renewables announced that nine solar projects developed with SolAmerica Energy have begun commercial operations in central Georgia. The company’s solar capacity in Georgia is now 27.4 MW. [EnerCom Inc.]

¶ “Detroit Zoo To Be Powered By 100% Renewable Energy” • The Detroit Zoo will be powered by 100% renewable energy through DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program, a voluntary renewable energy offering that helps DTE electric customers reduce their carbon footprint and support the development of renewable energy in Michigan. [WSYM-TV]

Have a consummately peachy day.

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August 22 Energy News

August 22, 2019


¶ “Canada Subsidizes Fossil Fuels, Can’t Talk Climate Change In Election Year” • Canada continues to subsidize fossil fuels, and progress on eliminating subsidies for the sectors creating greenhouse gases depends on the results of the Canadian election. But if charities advertise that climate change is real, they will lose their charity status. [CleanTechnica]

Oil rig in Halifax, NS (Janisb, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Government Steps Up Renewable Energy Push For Bali Electricity Supply” • Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Minister said he wanted Bali to produce 350 MW of electricity from renewable energy sources in six years. The newly produced capacity would meet 17.5% of Bali’s total electricity projected consumption in 2025. [Jakarta Post]

¶ “China Looks Inland To Boost Renewable Energy Deployment” • China, which already accounts for 45% of all investments in renewables worldwide, will increase deployment of solar power schemes inland over the coming decade. Gansu and Xinjiang provinces will see the highest concentration of solar projects in the future. [Utilities Middle East]

Large solar array

¶ “Atlas Renewable Energy Begins Operation Of 156 MW Solar Plant In Brazil” • Atlas Renewable Energy, a leader in clean energy in Latin America, announced that its largest project in Brazil, the 156-MW Juazeiro Solar Plant, is fully operational. The plant has an installed capacity of 156 MW and will generate an estimated 357 GWh yearly. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Enel Turns Sod On 133-MW Sao Goncalo” • Enel Green Power has started building the 133-MW expansion of the Sao Goncalo solar park, in Brazil’s north-eastern state of Piaui. The expansion, in Sao Goncalo do Gurgueia, will bring the capacity of the Sao Goncalo solar farm to 608 MW. Enel is investing €100 million on the addition. [reNEWS]

Enel solar array (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Mining Giants Seek Huge Wind And Solar Projects To Justify CopperString 2.0” • A $1 billion plan to extend the National Electricity Market almost 1000 km across northern Queensland to a region with a world class minerals industry has set in motion what is being called the “largest industrial de-carbonization initiative” in Australia. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant Used To Mine Cryptocurrency, Putting State Secrets At Risk” • A person with access to restricted parts of a nuclear power plant in Ukraine was using it to mine cryptocurrency, a “power hungry” endeavor. This has potentially exposed the facility’s top secret security plans, according to a court case. [RT]

South Ukraine NPP (Вальдимар, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “India’s 1.8-GW Wind Energy Tender Undersubscribed By 1.2 GW” • The trend of poor response from project developers to India’s wind and solar power projects continued with the eighth national-level wind energy tender. The 1.8-GW tender attracted only two bids totaling 550 MW. Several economic problems can be blamed for the lack of interest. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “MNRE Begins Allocation of Renewable Capacities To States Under KUSUM Program For India’s Farmers” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued a memorandum for state-wise renewable energy capacity allocation under the KUSUM program for the country’s farmers. The program aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022. [Mercom India]

Small renewable systems (Pooja Jadhav, CC BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Why India’s Wind Turbine Makers Are Under Stress” • Indian feed-in tariffs for wind energy went to record lows in 2017. Earlier, wind power developers would set up projects at tariffs between ₹4/kWh (5.6¢/kWh) and ₹6/kWh. This changed in 2017 with the introduction of the auction regime, and power prices fell to ₹3.46/kWh. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “Indian Oil Corporation Plans To Invest ₹250 Billion In Renewable Energy Projects” • The Indian Oil Corporation Ltd plans to diversify its business and make significant investments to the tune of ₹250 billion ($3.48 billion) in clean energy projects. It aims to invest ₹2 trillion ($28 billion) in the next five to seven years for energy solutions. [Mercom India]

IOCL solar system (Image Credit: IOCL)


¶ “Duke Energy Spreads FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) About Renewables In North Carolina” • The Environmental Working Group is calling out Duke Energy for its outrageous claim that introducing more solar power into the state will cause a surge in emissions. Duke said emissions come from natural gas plants ramping up and down. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Middlebury College And Project Partners Celebrate Groundbreaking For Anaerobic Digester” • Representatives of Middlebury College, Vanguard Renewables, Vermont Gas, Goodrich Farm, and the State of Vermont gathered for the groundbreaking of the largest anaerobic digester east of the Mississippi River. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, Vermont

¶ “Vistra Energy To Close Four Illinois Power Plants” • Vistra Energy announced that four power plants will retire to meet the requirements of the recently approved revisions to the Multi-Pollutant Standard rule imposed by the Illinois Pollution Control Board. Without the rule change, the company’s entire downstate fleet was at risk of near imminent retirement. [Stockhouse]

¶ “Renewable Energy Providers Win Skirmish Against Dominion, But Larger War Drags On” • Two renewable energy providers won a victory against Dominion Energy, which had blocked them from signing up customers. The State Corporation Commission ordered Dominion to process the enrollments immediately. But the issue is not entirely over. [Virginia Mercury]

Have a quintessencially nifty day.

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August 21 Energy News

August 21, 2019


¶ “Big Oil Is Scared” • Here is a simple truth: The world cannot build more fossil fuel infrastructure and have a habitable climate. Science bears this out, and a growing number of people around the world are putting their bodies on the line in the service of said science and habitable climate as well as protecting other natural resources. [Gizmodo Australia]

Demonstration (Photo: AP)

¶ “US Subsidizes Fossil Fuels To The Tune Of $4.6, $27.4, Or $649 Billion Annually, Depending On Source” • Congressional research puts US annual fossil fuel subsidies at $4.6 billion. The NRDC G7 puts the number at $27.4 billion. The IMF includes negative externalities in health and climate, puts the cost at $649 billion annually. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “ZeroAvia Testing Hydrogen-Powered Electric Airplanes” • ZeroAvia, based in California, announced the it is developing electric airplanes powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The airplanes would carry 10 to 20 passengers on flights of no more than 500 miles. ZeroAvia claims they will be cheaper to make and operate than conventional aircraft. [CleanTechnica]

ZeroAvia prototype (ZeroAvia image)


¶ “Mercedes And Fiat Will Electrify A & B Class Cars For European Market” • Fiat CEO Olivier François tells the press his company’s electrification strategy will focus on small cars. The Fiat 500 and Panda account for nearly a third of all small car sales in Europe and the company intends to maintain its market share in that segment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Record Number Burning In Brazil Rainforest – Space Agency” • Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has seen a record number of fires this year, according to data from the country’s space research agency. According to the National Institute for Space Research, its own satellite data showed an 83% increase from the same period in 2018. [BBC]

Fire in the rainforest (Reuters)

¶ “Recycling And Renewable Energy Center Opens In Glasgow” • The Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre which will divert more than 200,000 tonnes of waste from landfill and generate enough power for more than 26,000 homes has been officially opened. The site will divert 90% of all the council waste it handles from landfill. []

¶ “Germany: 72% Of Power Needs To Be Met By Non-Hydro By 2030” • The share of renewables in Germany reached 53.4% of the country’s power mix in 2018 and is expected to reach 72.7% by 2030. Non-hydro renewable energy is expected to meet the country’s power demand after nuclear and coal is phased out, according to GlobalData. [ESI Africa]

Water over a dam (Featured image: Stock)

¶ “New Wind Farm Near Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, To Double Province’s Wind Energy Production” • Ground has been broken on a new wind farm in Saskatchewan. The $325-million Golden South Wind Energy Facility is expected to produce 200 MW of wind energy, nearly doubling the amount of wind energy the province produces. []

¶ “South Korea Calls In Japanese Diplomat Over Plans For Fukushima Water” • South Korea’s Foreign Ministry summoned the economy minister from the Japanese embassy in Seoul to discuss a reported plan that would see water contaminated from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown discharged into the Pacific Ocean. [Japan Today]

Water storage at Fukushima (Issei Kato | Reuters file image)


¶ “Ten Democratic Presidential Candidates Will Participate In CNN Climate Town Hall” • CNN is devoting the evening of Sept 4 to the climate crisis. Ten Democratic candidates for president have qualified for the Climate Crisis Town Hall. A CNN poll showed that 96% of Democrats favored taking aggressive action to slow the effects of climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Renewables To Reach 30% Of US Energy By 2030” • The contribution of renewable power to total installed capacity in the US is expected to double to 30% by 2030 from today, a study from GlobalData forecasts. The study also projects that  the share of coal-based capacity will decline from 27.2% in 2018 to 13.5% in 2030. [reNEWS]

California Solar array (Recurrent Energy image)

¶ “California Has More Clean Energy Jobs Than Fossil Fuel Jobs” • Clean energy jobs in California now outnumber jobs in the fossil fuel industry five to one, a study has found. More than 512,000 people are employed in jobs related to clean energy, from installing solar panels to building electric cars. This is one in seven such jobs in the US. [The Mercury News]

¶ “Appalachian Power Rolls Out 100% Renewable Option For VA Customers” • Wind Water & Sunlight, a service of Appalachian Power, will supply 100% renewable power to any customer in Virginia using renewable resources from AEP’s generation portfolio. It is the first such program approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. []

Wind farm (Courtesy: Appalachian Power)

¶ “Stony Brook, A Clean-Energy Leader, Tied To Fossil-Fuel Plant For Power” • As Stony Brook University, on Long Island, doubles down on measures to cut its energy use with a $79 million investment, the school has been working behind the scenes to renegotiate a power contract that ties it to a fossil-fuel plant for nearly all its energy needs. [Newsday]

¶ “North Carolina Clean Energy Plan Could Reduce Power Sector Emissions Up To 70% By 2030” • North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality released a draft Clean Energy Plan that calls for the state to reduce power sector greenhouse gas emissions between 60% and 70% by 2030, relative to the levels of 2005. [Utility Dive]

Have an incredibly beneficial day.

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August 20 Energy News

August 20, 2019


¶ “Volkswagen Has An Opportunity To Bankrupt Top Competitors” • Volkswagen Group may be getting serious about EVs, and that could disrupt other major automakers’ slow walk toward electric power. There are some signs that Volkswagen is prepping to get aggressive in the EV market, with a potential to land a lot of conquest sales. [CleanTechnica]

VW ID.3 Ionity

¶ “It’s Official: Wind Power Is Catching Up To Natural Gas” • If you blinked, you missed it. The US DOE has released a report indicating that the price of wind power is becoming competitive with natural gas for electricity generation in some markets. Good luck finding the press release, though. It’s a no-show on the DOE home page. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The False Promise Of Nuclear Power In An Age Of Climate Change” • The sobering reality of climate change has led some prominent observers to re-embrace nuclear energy and declare it clean, efficient, economical, and safe. In reality, it is expensive and poses grave dangers to our physical and psychological well-being. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

Watts Bar

Science and Technology:

¶ “Burger King Dared Me (And My Cat) To Taste Test The Impossible Whopper” • Impossible Foods analyzed animal-based foods at the molecular level and developed plant-based proteins to replicate their taste and texture. Now their patty is used in Burger King’s Impossible Whopper. It could be a step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “At The Bottom Of A Glacier In Greenland, Climate Scientists Find Troubling Signs” • Scientists in NASA’s OMG (Oceans Melting Greenland) program are investigating how ice is being attacked. They have found that the melt results not only by rising air temperatures but also by the warming ocean, which is eating away the ice from underneath. [CNN]

Greenland ice (Eric Rignot)


¶ “Canada Election: Charities Warned Against Climate Change Ads” • Canada’s election watchdog warned environmentalists that saying climate change is real could break the law. The issue arose because one party running in October’s election denies climate change is a threat, so paid advertisements about climate change could be considered partisan activity. [BBC]

¶ “Lightning Strike Linked To UK Blackout” • A lightning strike on the UK transmission system has been identified as a contributing factor in the loss of two large power generators, including an offshore wind farm, that led to a power blackout across large parts of the country. A report on the incident said such an event is “extremely rare.” [reNEWS]

Operating the grid (National Grid image)

¶ “Irish farmers who want to build solar projects left frustrated as Government drags its heels” • Four pioneering farmers have cleared a series of planning and other hurdles to establish solar farms on their land. But delays in the introduction of a new Government energy auction system are jeopardising their development. [Irish Times]


¶ “Coles Secures 10-Year Solar Power Agreement” • Australian retail giant Coles has secured a 10-year agreement with global renewable power generation company Metka EGN to build three new solar power plants. Coles has been moving quickly on renewable energy and will have solar panels on thirty stores by the end of 2019. [ChannelNews]

Coles store with a solar roof

¶ “Schwarzenegger-Backed Start-Up Helps Australia Wind Farms Duck Negative Prices” • A California start-up backed by Arnold Schwarzenegger launched what it calls the first energy trading software backed by AI. It is helping local wind and solar farms dodge negative prices and will deliver a lift in revenue for battery storage. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “NSW Manufacturer Shifts To 50% Renewables With Wind And Solar PPA” • The Australian arm of global industrial products manufacturer Molycorp has signed a renewable energy off-take deal with specialist retailer Flow Power to source more than half of its NSW electricity needs from locally generated solar and wind power. [RenewEconomy]

The Sapphire Wind farm

¶ “La Trobe University Unveils $75 Million Net Zero Emissions Plan” • Victoria’s La Trobe University has unveiled an ambitious $75 million plan to become Victoria’s first tertiary education facility to reach net zero emissions. It set a target date for 2029, which is one year ahead of rival Monash University’s own 2030 goal. [One Step Off The Grid]


¶ “Study: Offshore Wind Could Save California Ratepayers $1-2 Billion” • Castle Wind, a joint venture between Trident Winds and EnBW North America, released a study that indicates offshore wind off the coast of California with a capacity of 7 to 9 GW could save ratepayers $1-2 billion on a net present value basis by 2040. [The Maritime Executive]

Wind farm (Credit: Castle Wind)

¶ “CalChoice Enters PPA With Avangrid Renewables For California Wind Energy” • California Choice Energy Authority announced three new power purchase agreements for wind energy from Avangrid Renewables’ 22.44-MW Mountain View III Wind Farm in Palm Springs. CalChoice will buy the entire output starting in 2021. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “NEC Rolls Out 20-MW Storage In New England” • NEC Energy Solutions will install more than 20 MW of energy storage in six projects at municipal power plants in New England. The projects are in Madison, Maine, and Ashburnham, Templeton, Wakefield, Middleton, and Taunton, Massachusetts. The Taunton system will be one of the region’s largest. [reNEWS]

Have an inspiringly auspicious day.

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August 19 Energy News

August 19, 2019

Electric Aircraft:

¶ “After The Hoversurf Bike Comes The eVTOL Hoversurf Formula” • Hoversurf Hoverbike is now working on another electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air vehicle, the Hoversurf Formula. From a flying electric bike to an air taxi, the Hoversurf Formula is a larger eVTOL aircraft matching others in the industry. [CleanTechnica]

Hoversurf Formula taxi (Screenshot)

¶ “Lilium Flirts With Biomimicry, Wins Red Dot Award” • Lilium is getting closer to fulfilling our urban air mobility dreams with a design for an eye-catching air taxi. It recently won a prestigious award from the Red Dot Design Award organization, in its 2019 “Design Concept” category for novel concepts and products not yet on the market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Embraer, Bell, Brazil, And Uber Elevate Are Shaping Our Urban Air Mobility Future” • The Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition is over and heads are spinning. Aviation startups are challenging our current air mobility system with urban air mobility. Embraer, Bell, Brazil, and Uber Elevate are a few of the innovators. [CleanTechnica]

EmbraerX eVTOL aircraft (Courtesy Embraer)


¶ “Finally, Australia Is About To Have A Plan To De-Carbonise The Grid” • The new Australian Energy Market Operator’s scenario planning for the future grid assumes the absence of a carbon price, because the political reality is that there probably will not be one. Nevertheless, it includes a scenario in keeping with a 1.5°C temperature rise. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Greta Thunberg: How Is Her Climate Mission Going?” • Teen activist Greta Thunberg is now five days into her boat journey across the Atlantic ocean, as she sails to attend two big climate change conferences in the US. The journey will take around two weeks on a high speed yacht, called the Malizia II. She said the food is good and she has not been seasick. [BBC]

Greta Thunberg at sea (@GretaThunberg, via Twitter)

¶ “Andhra Pradesh To Target Only Corrupt Green Projects” • Andhra Pradesh has shown a sign of changing its controversial stand that contracts with renewable energy companies should be renegotiated to bring down tariffs. A top-ranking official told ET that the state was only targeting projects where corruption was evident. [Economic Times]

¶ “Bac Lieu Promotes Use Of Renewable Energy In Shrimp Farming” • Specialists and scientists gathered at the Conference Promoting Renewable Energy Investment for Vietnamese Shrimp Industry in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu. They are promoting the use of renewable energy to develop shrimp farming sustainably. []

Shrimp harvesting in Bac Lieu province (Photo: VNA)

¶ “Indonesia Has The Potential To Generate 788,000 MW Of Power From Renewable Energy Sources” • Indonesia, which has a pollution problem, has a potential to generate 788,000 MW of power from renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar, tidal, and geothermal. This is more than 14 times the country’s current electricity consumption. [REVE]

¶ “Infracapital Scores Finnish Wind Double” • Infrastructure equity investment company Infracapital reached an agreement to acquire two Finnish wind projects from OX2. Together, the Kropuln and Storbacken wind farms will have 14 turbines. Construction will begin in autumn 2019 with commercial operations expected in late 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in Finland (OX2 image)

¶ “North Of Scotland To Bring Winds Of Change” • A group of companies joined together to forge an offshore wind industry in the North of Scotland that aims to provide 30% of UK energy production by 2030. The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership also seeks to that will take expertise from the north east around the globe. [Press and Journal]

¶ “World’s Longest Offshore Wind Turbine Blade Arrives In UK” • The world’s longest offshore wind turbine blade has arrived at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s testing facilities in Blyth, Northumberland. It is 107 meters (351 feet) long, a world record. It will help drive a Haliade-X 12 MW turbine built by GE Renewable Energy. [The Maritime Executive]

Longest turbine blade


¶ “Offshore Wind To Hit ‘193 GW By 2030’ Says NREL” • The global offshore wind market could reach a total installed capacity of 193 GW by 2030, a report from the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found. NREL is projecting accelerated growth in the next decade, with cumulative capacity ranging from 154 GW up to the 193 GW. [reNEWS]

¶ “Just What Are Ford And Rivian Up To?” • Ford has invested $500 million into Rivian, an electric vehicle startup that bought the former Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois. Rivian showed off two large electric vehicles at the Los Angeles auto show last year, a pickup truck and a utility vehicle. Both deliver nearly 200 horsepower to each wheel. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian utility vehicle (Rivian image)

¶ “MD’s New Clean-Energy Task Force Cuts Out Green Groups” • Maryland’s Republican Gov Larry Hogan signed an executive order establishing a task force to recommend where to site solar and wind projects. The new group includes key government, industry, and agricultural stakeholders, but no environmental groups. [Public News Service]

¶ “US Plans To Send Nuclear Reactors To Space” • While the nuclear energy industry is struggling to stay afloat in the US, bogged down by public and political mistrust, crushing nuclear waste-maintenance costs, and a market flooded by cheap natural gas, the country has grand plans for nuclear power on the Moon and Mars. [RT]

Have an entirely pleasurable day.

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August 18 Energy News

August 18, 2019


¶ “Seven Reasons Why Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Are A Bad Idea For Australia” • The motivation for the US to export the so far non-existent prefabricated small modular reactors is clear. The motivation of their Australian promoters is not so clear. Here are the main reasons why it would be a bad idea for Australia to import them. [Independent Australia]

Small modular nuclear reactor (Screenshot via YouTube)

¶ “How To Start With Sustainable Investing” • If you had told me three years ago that sustainable investing would be my newest passion, I would not have believed you. Now I spend weekend afternoons reading prospectuses and learning about the difference between market or limit buys with the customer service team at TD Ameritrade. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bye Aerospace And OXIS Energy To Commercialize Lithium-Sulfur Batteries For Urban Air Mobility ” • Bye Aerospace is a busy electric aviation company developing the future of our urban air mobility world. It has two electric airplanes along with development projects. It is working with Oxis Energy to commercialize lithium-sulfur battery. [CleanTechnica]

Bye Aerospace eFlyer (Image courtesy Bye Aerospace)

¶ “A Major Cyber Attack Could Be Just As Deadly As Nuclear Weapons, Says Scientist” • People around the world may be worried about nuclear tensions rising, but many miss the fact that a major cyberattack could be just as damaging. Hackers are already laying the groundwork, and they have made many successful intrusions in the past. [ScienceAlert]


¶ “Iceland’s Okjökull Glacier Commemorated With Plaque” • Mourners are gathering in Iceland to commemorate the loss of Okjökull, which has died at the age of about 700. The glacier was officially declared dead in 2014 when it was no longer thick enough to move. What once was glacier has been reduced to a small patch of ice atop a volcano. [BBC]

Okjökull sat atop the volcano Ok (Josh Okun)

¶ “Australia Set To Surpass Qatar Over LNG Exports” • The latest measures adopted by the Australian government, natural gas exploration, high LNG production capacity, and new projects in line to reach full capacity could make Australia gain the number one spot in the LNG space. Care is being taken to cover domestic needs. [Kalkine Media] (Pro natural gas)

¶ “Can Big Investors Save The World?” • While young people throng the streets demanding action on man-made climate change, older groups of big investors are also actively fighting a green campaign. Climate Action 100+ is one such group of more than 360 investors with more than $34 trillion (£28 trillion) in assets under management. [BBC]

Demonstrating against climate change (Google | Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Deniers Get More Media Play Than Scientists: Study” • Climate deniers have had far more media attention than prominent climate scientists, a report shows. “Climate change contrarians have successfully organized a strong voice within politics and science communication,” according to the report’s authors. [Japan Today]

¶ “China Storms Past US And Japan To Take Lead In Wind And Solar Power” • China has come to dominate worldwide solar and wind energy generation, in terms of both its own capacity and its companies’ share of global markets, leaving previous renewable market powerhouses, particularly the US and Japan, to play catch-up. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Renewable energy in China


¶ “UW Engineers Test Tidal Energy Turbines On Lake Washington” • Using a catamaran specially built for testing ocean instruments, engineers from the Applied Physics Lab lowered a cross-flow turbines into the waters of Seattle’s Lake Washington. They are testing the turbine’s performance, a step toward harvesting tidal energy. []

¶ “Unprecedented Heatwave ‘Kills Thousands Of Fish’ In Alaska” • Large numbers of salmon died prematurely in Alaskan rivers in July, local reports say, and scientists believe the cause could be the record heatwave. One biologist said, “Climate change is here in Alaska. We are seeing it. We are feeling it. And our salmon are dying because of it.” [The Independent]

Salmon (Barbara Jackson)

¶ “Colorado renewable energy: Debate rages over how to balance it with fossil fuel technology” • Those on both sides of Colorado’s energy divide, rich fossil fuels versus emerging renewables, agree on one major point: It is too early to tell if the sky is falling as trade-offs get made over cleaning up the atmosphere. [Colorado Springs Gazette]

¶ “Path To Paradise? Alaskan Village Hopes To Replace Fossil Fuel With Water Power” • Residents of Igiugig, a village far from roads and off the grid, is reducing its dependence on diesel for their electrical system. The village is moving ahead with hydroelectric power, as turbines have been anchored at the bottom of the swift Kvichak River. [Los Angeles Times]

Have an enjoyably adventageous day.

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August 17 Energy News

August 17, 2019


¶ “Nothing Succeeds Like Success – Tesla Virtual Power Plant In South Australia Could Expand To 50,000 Homes” • Now that the first and second phases of the VPP trial in South Australia are over, the data show that the people participating in the pilot program are paying about 20% less for their electricity than their neighbors. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop PVs (Australia Department of Energy and Mining)

¶ “In Trying To Gut Endangered Species Act, Trump Administration Puts Profits Ahead Of People” • New Endangered Species Act regulations sweep aside important protections for threatened and endangered species to benefit exploitative industries. Political motives are overruling science, and the intention of the act is being ignored. [CNN]

¶ “China And Japan See The Future, And It’s Not Coal: Why Australia Will Be Stranded” • Australia might only have a decade to wean itself off coal, if the latest international efforts to decarbonize are anything to go by. The demand for coal from some of Australia’s main thermal coal export markets is already in decline. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Solar PV panels in China’s Fujian province (AP photo)

¶ “Real Cost Of Scrapping Reactors” • TEPCO now faces an unprecedented job of scrapping 10 reactors at around the same time, an effort that is estimated to take more than 40 years. The cost of decommissioning Fukushima Daini, where there were no meltdowns, is expected to be upwards of ¥400 billion ($3.76 billion). [The Japan Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Warming Responsible For West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting” • Periodic changes in wind patterns above the West Antarctic Ice Sheet can bring warmer water to key glaciers in the area, speeding-up the rate of ice melting. New research shows that these changes in wind patterns are driven in large part by man-made climate warming. [ZME Science]

Ice (Pixabay image)


¶ “Royal Borough Pledges To Buy Clean Energy Only” • In the UK, electricity bought by the Royal Borough [of Windsor and Maidenhead] will come only from renewable sources following a cabinet decision. All electricity bought will now be generated by renewable technologies. The council had already pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050. [Windsor Observor]

¶ “The Volkswagen Triplets Are Going 100% Electric” • German car maker Volkswagen AG announced that it is replacing its inexpensive A-segment cars, which are powered by fossil fuels, with 100% electric vehicles. A-segment cars are the smallest under the European standard, and the VW vehicle will be the only full EV in its class. [CleanTechnica]

Škoda Citigoᵉ iV, made by VW (Image courtesy of Škoda)

¶ “Sembcorp Invests ₹521 Crore In Indian Renewable Business” • Sembcorp Industries, an energy and urban development firm based in Singapore, has made an equity infusion of ₹521 crore ($78.3 million) into its Indian arm, Sembcorp Energy India Ltd. The funds will be used to expand its renewable energy portfolio in India, a company official said. [Livemint]


¶ “And Now, The Really Big Coal Plants Begin To Close” • When the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona shuts down this year, it will be one of the largest carbon emitters to close in American history. Of all the coal plants to be retired in the US in recent years, none has emitted more. But it will not be alone. Other large plants are also closing. [Scientific American]

Navajo Generating Station (David Wall | Getty Images)

¶ “Large Solar Project Proposed In Southwest Colorado” • A Chicago-based renewable energy company has submitted a bid to build a $127 million solar project in southwest Colorado. The Cortez Journal reports Invenergy’s proposed project would sit on 1,100 acres of private land and would generate 127 MW, enough to power 32,000 homes. [CBS Local]

¶ “Tesla Makes Solar Affordable Again With New Monthly Rental Plans” • Tesla is making solar affordable again with a new solar rental program that lets homeowners simply rent a solar system for a flat monthly rate. To further sweeten the deal, there is no upfront installation cost at all and there is no long-term contract. Details will vary by state. [CleanTechnica]

Home with solar panes and Tesla Powerwall (Tesla image)

¶ “NC DEQ Releases Plan Ordered By Gov Cooper To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 70% By 2030” • North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality released  a plan that proposes reducing greenhouse gases from electricity production by 60% to 70% of 2005 levels by 2030, with a goal of getting to zero emissions by 2050. [Raleigh News & Observer]

¶ “California Community Choice Aggregator Sees Promise In Floating Offshore Wind” • Monterey Bay Community Power, a community choice aggregator,  signed a memorandum of understanding to explore buying the power from a 1,000-MW floating offshore wind farm. It calls for investigating a wind farm 30 miles off the California coast. [Greentech Media]

Surfing in California

¶ “Tesla Energy Storage Potential Given Boost At Company And Industry Levels” • Tesla’s Megapack battery announcement earlier this month may have gone somewhat under the radar. The new Megapack has 3 MWh of storage and an inverter capacity of 1.5 MW. It has a 60% increase in energy density over the Powerpack. [Seeking Alpha]

¶ “Dominion Energy And Smithfield Foods Break Ground On Largest Renewable Natural Gas Project In North Carolina” • Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods, Inc announced that they are breaking ground on North Carolina’s largest renewable natural gas project. It will generate enough energy to power more than 3,500 homes. [GroundBreak Carolinas]

Have an absolutely superb day.

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August 16 Energy News

August 16, 2019


¶ “How To Save A Sinking Island Nation” • Kiritimati has a dark past of British colonialism and nuclear weapons testing. It gained independence from the UK on 12 July 1979, when the Republic of Kiribati was established to govern a group of 33 islands that straddle the equator in the area. Now, it is facing the complex threat of climate change. [BBC]

Climate Refugee

¶ “Scott Morrison’s Betrayal Of The Pacific Was Immoral – And Completely Unnecessary” • As the Pacific Islands Forum comes to an end, Australia has yet again been shamed on a global stage for our inaction on climate change. The forum was held in Tuvalu, where a global commitment to limiting climate change to 1.5°C is literally a question of survival. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “July Was Earth’s Hottest Month On Record” • According to NOAA, Earth faced unprecedented heat in July, its hottest month on record. July’s temperature across land and ocean surfaces worldwide was 1.71°F above the 20th-century average of 60.4°. It was the highest for July since records began in 1880, besting the record set in 2016 by 0.05°. [CNN]

Boy in the heat (Str | AFP | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “New Research Points To Fracking As Cause Of Spikes In Atmospheric Methane” • Cornell researchers studying rising methane emissions found there is a way to tell where it is coming from. The percentage of carbon-13 is higher than normal in fracked methane, so they can show that the increased methane emissions are fracked. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Earth Stopped Getting Greener 20 Years Ago” • The world is gradually becoming less green, according to a study published in the journal, Science Advances. Since about 20 years ago, plant growth has been declining all over the planet, a phenomenon linked to decreasing moisture in the air, a consequence of climate change. [Scientific American]

Greening from increased CO₂ a thing of the past (Credit: NASA)


¶ “Solar Power Is Now Cheaper Than The Grid In Hundreds Of Chinese Cities” • Some 344 Chinese cities were found to have solar systems producing energy at lower prices than the grid, without any subsidies, research published in the journal Nature Energy says. According to the authors, that could encourage further investment in renewable energy. [CNN]

¶ “Pacific Forum Turns Into Row With Australia Over Climate Goals” • Regional leaders met at the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu this week, where smaller island-dominated states sought a consensus on climate goals. However Australia, the region’s largest emitter, did not endorse some calls – such as an end to coal mining. [BBC]

Children with climate change messages (EPA image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Projects Took 80% Of All Energy Financing In 2018” • In India, renewable energy projects took up a vast majority, nearly 80%, of the total energy financing last year, while financing for coal-fired power plants decreased by a staggering 90%, according to the report, “Coal versus Renewables Finance Analysis.” [Saurenergy]

¶ “Oman’s First Wind Farm Begins Generating Electricity” • Oman’s first wind farm, the 50-MW Dhofar Wind Farm, has produced its first electricity, marking a major milestone for the region. The project is fully funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and is expected to be in commercial operation by the end of this year. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind farm (Courtesy of Masdar)

¶ “Solar Panel Plant To Boost Turkey’s Role In Renewables” • A state-of-the-art solar panel production facility, built in the central province of Niğde with an investment of around $650 million, is promising to boost Turkey’s position and make it an ambitious player in the global renewable energy market. Production is to start in 2020. [Daily Sabah]

¶ “Atlas Renewable Energy Inks Solar PPA In Chile With Engie” • Atlas Renewable Energy entered into a fifteen year contract for the sale of power from a 230-MW solar park in Chile to the local unit of France’s Engie SA. The solar park is expected to begin operations in January 2022. Atlas’ contracted pipeline in Latin America exceeds 1,400 MW. [Renewables Now]

PV plant (Featured Image: Gilles Paire |


¶ “Austin Energy Wind Contract Increases Renewable Energy Sources” • Austin Energy will receive up to an additional 200 MW of Texas wind power from an agreement with E.ON Climate and Renewables. Together with other contracts, this means Austin Energy customer needs will be met with about 61% renewable resources. [Austin American-Statesman]

¶ “Renewable Energy Can Generate Billions Of Dollars In Health Benefits, Study Finds” • Ten states across the Midwest and Great Lakes region could see $4.7 billion in health benefits in 2030 if they stick with current renewable energy standards, according to a study from MIT. Building the renewable infrastructure would cost $3.5 billion. [The Verge]

Wind farm in Kansas (Drenaline, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Department Of Energy Announces $40 Million In Funding For 29 Projects To Advance H2@Scale” • The DOE announced approximately $40 million in FY 2019 funding for 29 projects to advance the H2@Scale concept. Its focus is to enable affordable and reliable large-scale hydrogen generation, transport, storage, and utilization in the US. []

¶ “Nuclear Plant Where US Flirted With Its Own Chernobyl To Close” • One reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania had a partial meltdown in 1979, and has been out of action since. It was a victim of human and mechanical failures. The other reactor at the plant will shut down in coming weeks, a victim of economics. [Claims Journal]

Have a thumpin’ good day.

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August 15 Energy News

August 15, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “An eVTOL Aircraft That Can Act As A Conventional Electric Airplane” • South African air mobility startup Pegasus Universal Aerospacehas an interesting electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft that can also operate as an electric conventional take-off and landing airplane. Its international debut was at the EBACE show in Geneva. [CleanTechnica]

Pegasus One business jet

¶ “‘It Is Raining Plastic’: Scientists Find Colorful Microplastic In Rain” • It’s raining plastic, a survey of rainfall in Denver and Boulder, Colorado, concluded. Scientists at the US Department of the Interior and US Geological Survey said they couldn’t see the plastic with their naked eyes, but found it using a binocular microscope fitted with a digital camera. [CNN]

¶ “Plastic Particles Falling Out Of Sky With Snow In Arctic” • Even in the Arctic, microscopic particles of plastic are falling out of the sky with snow, a study has found. The scientists said they were shocked by the sheer number of particles they found: more than 10,000 of them per liter in the Arctic. People are likely to be breathing in microplastics, even in the Arctic. [BBC]

Plastic fragments from Arctic seawater (Alice Trevail)


¶ “REN21 On Renewables: ‘Much Progress’ But World ‘Not On Track'” • In its latest annual renewable energy status report, REN21 said that renewables are increasingly preferred for new electricity generation. Of net installations in 2018, 64% were from renewable sources of energy. But the changeover is not being done fast enough. []

¶ “Greta Thunberg: Teenage Climate Change Activist Sets Sail On Zero-Carbon Journey Aboard Malizia II” • Greta Thunberg has set sail on a two-week journey by boat across the Atlantic ocean. She will be attending two big climate change conferences in the US. The journey will take around two-weeks on a high speed yacht, called the Malizia II. [BBC]

Malizia II (Xriss, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Discoms Owe Renewable Energy Companies Over ₹3,000 Crore: CEA” • Renewable energy generators have raised claims of ₹3,011.87 crore ($452.7 million) for power they supplied up until July 31, information received by the Central Electricity Authority shows. The highest claim of ₹336.96 crore was raised by Vena Energy Private Ltd. [The Hindu Business Line]

¶ “Energy Vault Closes Series B Funding With $110 Million Investment From Softbank Vision Fund” • Energy Vault, whose products use gravity to store energy, announced it has completed a $110 million Series B funding round. The investment for the round was made by SoftBank Vision Fund in its first investment in energy storage technology. [Business Wire]

Energy Vault storage with PV and wind (Business Wire photo)

¶ “Solar And Wind Energy To Lead Swedish Renewable Growth” • Renewable power (excluding hydro power) is expected to double its capacity from 14.8 GW in 2019 to reach 30.4 GW in 2030, increasing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 per cent, according to an updated Swedish power market outlook by GlobalData. [Power Technology]

¶ “Renewables To Account For 65% Of Ireland’s Capacity: Globaldata” • Independent analytics company GlobalData said Ireland is expected to attract massive investment as it’s targeting 65% of its power generation capacity to be from renewable energy sources by 2030. The country will  reach 9,600 MW, Kallanish Energy understands. [Kallanish Energy]

Turbine in Ireland (Jakub Michankow, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Vestas Profit Slumps Over Rising Costs, Lower Prices” • Net profit at Vestas fell 51% in the second quarter of 2019 to €90 million, down from €184 million in the same period last year. The fall in profitability was attributed to lower average project margins from orders that were secured during the “price decline” in 2017, the Danish manufacturer said. [reNEWS]


¶ “Montana Supreme Court To Decide Renewable Power Lawsuits Filed Against PSC” • Developers and backers of small, independent solar- and wind-power projects have won a trio of lawsuits against Montana’s Public Service Commission, and now the state Supreme Court will decide whether the PSC is illegally undermining these projects. [Missoula Current]

Montana wind turbines (Johanna Abzug, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Apprenticeship Program Trains Future Workforce In Renewable Energy” • The Power for America Training Trust Fund and Utility Workers Union of America announced a unique union apprenticeship program that provides world-class skills training and a path to employment for in-demand renewable energy jobs. [Transmission & Distribution World]

¶ “Maryland Gov Hogan Launches Task Force To Tackle Conflicts Over Solar, Wind Energy Projects” • Maryland Gov Larry Hogan announced that he would launch a task force to examine conflicts over renewable energy projects, weeks after Maryland’s highest court dealt a blow to residents concerned about the spread of solar and wind farms. [Baltimore Sun]

Solar pier in Maryland (Bob Bruninga, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “US Government Blacklists China’s Biggest Nuclear Company” • The US Department of Commerce announced it has placed China’s biggest state-owned nuclear company on its Entity List. The company and three of its affiliates are banned from buying parts and technologies from American firms without special US government approval. [The Epoch Times]

¶ “Bill Aims To Extend Tax Credits For Biomass, Other Renewables” • Reps Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced legislation that aims to extend tax credits for investments in several qualified renewable energy production technologies that have had have their credits expire over the past two years, since 2017. [Biomass Magazine]

Have a profoundly easy day.

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August 14 Energy News

August 14, 2019


¶ “China Is Leading The World To An Electric Future: Four Takeaways From My Recent Visit” • You don’t have to look far to see that China is leading the world’s electric car revolution. I had the opportunity to witness this while visiting China to attend the first annual Energy Internet Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summit in Chengdu. [CleanTechnica]

Charging an electric taxi (Courtesy of Heather Hochrein)

¶ “Trump Admin Sends A Love Letter To Coal, Straight From The Heart” • Under Trump’s watch the domestic coal industry has been withering away. In fact, the Trump administration is poised to give coal one last push into the dustbin of history. In the latest development, the DOE has been working on a new “grid of the future.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Power To The People – How Renewables And Batteries Are Reshaping The Utility Industry” • The old model is broken and it is time for some creative thinking. Monopoly status for utilities has social benefits but tends to short circuit innovation. Some, like Green Mountain Power, are rushing into the future; others look longingly at the past. [CleanTechnica]

Big wind turbines (Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica)

Transportation Technology:

¶ “GM, VW Say They Won’t Build Hybrids Or Plug-in Hybrids, Only Battery Electric Cars” • Other companies are still bringing plug-in hybrid models, but General Motors and Volkswagen now say they are going to leap frog over the whole PHEV/BEV discussion. Both companies will offer only full battery electric models in the future. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “eHang Wants To Start An eVTOL Service In Guangzhou Soon” • eHang will build a fleet of autonomous passenger air taxis and low-altitude freight aircraft, possibly making it the world’s first operational urban air mobility company. The government of China has sanctioned the company, and the city of Guangzhou is hosting the pilot program. [CleanTechnica]

eHang eVTOL (eHang courtesy image)

¶ “India Approves Subsidy For 5,595 Electric Buses Across 64 Cities” • The Department of Heavy Industries of the Indian government announced that it approved disbursal of subsidies for the deployment of 5,595 electric buses across 64 cities in the country, for inter-city transportation and last-mile connectivity for the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Heavy Duty Electric Trucks Aren’t Coming, They’re Already Here” • Tesla may rule the Twittersphere with its all-electric Semi, but BYD, Volvo, and Freightliner are not standing on the sidelines. They all have electric heavy duty trucks either in production or nearing production that are ready to replace the fossil fuel powered models of today. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric refuse truck (Credit: BYD)


¶ “A University Has Banned Beef To Help Fight Climate Change” • Goldsmiths University of London will ban all beef products from its campus, the institution’s new chief has announced, as it seeks to become carbon neutral by 2025. Students will also be handed a 10p (12¢) levy on bottled water and single use plastic cups. [CNN]

¶ “Soltec To Supply 220 MW Of SF7 Bifacial Trackers In Mexico” • Spanish company, Soltec, is supplying and installing its Soltec SF7 Bifacial trackers at a 220-MW project that the Enel Group’s renewable company Enel Green Power is building in Tlaxcala, Mexico. The site will have 548,772 bifacial modules mounted on the trackers. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Soltec trackers (Courtesy of Soltec)

¶ “Europe Has The Untapped Onshore Capacity To Meet Global Energy Demand” • Europe has the capacity to produce more than 100 times the amount of energy it currently produces through onshore windfarms, analysis from the University of Sussex and Aarhus University has revealed. In fact, it has more than enough to power the world. [EurekAlert]

¶ “Russia Calls, Then Cancels, Town’s Evacuation After Nuclear Mishap” • Radiation levels have spiked to sixteen times normal at the nearby town of Severodvinska, after last week’s explosion at a rocket testing site. First responders have been silenced, and the villagers were told to leave, but the evacuation order has since been canceled. [Deutsche Welle]

Russian law enforcement officers (A Vaganov | ©Reuters)


¶ “States Sue To Block EPA’s Coal Power Plant Emissions Rollback” • A coalition of states and cities will ask a federal court to block the Trump administration’s overhaul of regulations on emissions from coal-fired power plants. The so-called Affordable Clean Energy plan shifts regulatory authority to states and offers hope to the struggling US coal industry. [CNN]

¶ “A Wind Farm That Can Power 168,000 Homes Is Blowing Into Central Texas” • After a series of nearby wind developments in recent years, locals came to back plans to revive a shelved project near Eden, Texas. Construction of the Maverick Creek wind farm is set to begin in September, just as wind energy is on track to surpass coal energy in Texas. [Dallas News]

Texas wind farm (Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc)

¶ “Wyoming Wind Project Will Increase Output By 60%” • PacifiCorp acquired sole ownership of the Foote Creek I wind farm, a 41.4-MW project in Carbon County, Wyoming. The move will allow for the wind generation facility to be repowered with new turbine technology that will increase energy output of the entire facility by 60%. [East Oregonian]

¶ “SoCalGas and Electrochaea Announce Commissioning Of New Biomethanation Reactor System Pilot Project” • Southern California Gas Co and Electrochaea announced that they are commissioning the nation’s first scalable biomethanation reactor system at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Energy System Integration Facility. [PRNewswire]

Have a richly rewarding day.

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August 13 Energy News

August 13, 2019


¶ “Big Utilities Stall On Clean Energy Transition, Despite The Economics” • It seems clear to us that Australia’s gen-tailers, the utilities that dominate both electricity generation and retail, won’t decarbonize their portfolios any faster than policy makes them, despite the favorable economics. They have hit the pause button on development. [RenewEconomy]

Beryl solar farm

Science and Technology:

¶ “Greenhouse Gases Reach Record Levels, Report Finds” • The dominant greenhouse gases released into the Earth’s atmosphere reached record levels in 2018, and their global warming power is now 43% stronger than in 1990, according to a report released Monday by the American Meteorological Society, State of the Climate in 2018. [CNN]


¶ “India Eases Wind Energy Auction Guidelines” • The last two wind energy tenders in India were significantly undersubscribed and the government has quickly made some small but crucial changes to the conditions of wind energy tenders issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India. Land acquisition, penalties, and time lines were some issues. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica)

¶ “Japanese Consortium To Build World’s First Electric Tanker” • Four Japanese companies teamed up to build the world’s first zero emission tanker, a coastal tanker intended for use on Tokyo Bay, not traversing the Pacific Ocean. The tanker, powered by electric motors and a (really large) battery pack, is projected to enter service in about two years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Orbital Taps Texo To Build O2 Tidal Turbine” • Scottish company Texo Group has been awarded a “multi-million pound” contract by Orbital Marine Power to manufacture its 2-MW O2 tidal stream turbine. The machine will be made in Dundee for installation at the European Marine Energy Centrey in Orkney, Scotland. [reNEWS]

O2 tidal stream turbine (Orbital Marine Power)

¶ “Stepping Up Climate Resilience In The Pacific” • The Australian Government is stepping up its renewable energy investment and climate and disaster resilience support in the Pacific by partnering with its nearest neighbors. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia recognized the region’s climate change challenges. [Reliefweb]

¶ “Victoria Introduces Bill To Lock 50% Renewables Target Into Law” • Victoria’s Labor government has made good on its election promise to boost the state’s renewable energy target to 50 per cent by 2030, with the introduction of a bill into parliament that lock the target into law. It would build on earlier landmark legislation. [RenewEconomy]

Ararat wind farm

¶ “Saudi Arabia Wind Farm Claims World Record Low Energy Cost” • Saudi Arabia’s 400-MW Dumat Al Jandal onshore wind farm announced what it says is a world record-low onshore wind levelized cost of electricity of 1.99¢/kWh. The Dumat Al Jandal onshore wind farm will be the country’s first wind project and the largest in the Middle East. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Solar Now ‘Cheaper Than Grid Electricity’ In Every Chinese City, Study Finds” • Solar power has become cheaper than grid electricity across China, a development that could boost the prospects of industrial and commercial solar, according to a study. The report, published in Nature Energy, concludes that solar power is at grid parity in China. [Carbon Brief]

Installing panels (Imaginechina Limited | Alamy Stock Photo)

¶ “Small Nuclear Reactor Exploded In Failed Missile Test, Russian Officials Say” • The failed missile test that killed five scientists last week involved a small nuclear reactor, Russian officials said. They did not spell out exactly what the nuclear experts had been working on, but said the institute worked on nuclear energy sources. [Daily Sabah]

¶ “World’s Lowest Cost Solar P V Contract Awarded In Portugal” • Portugal is now the country with the world’s lowest-cost solar PV contract. The lowest tariff awarded in the country’s first solar PV auction, held in July, was just €14.76/MWh ($16.54/MWh, 1.654¢/kWh) at today’s exchange rates. This beats a $16.95/MWh contract awarded in Brazil. []

Solar array


¶ “Solar Power Is Playing A Growing Role To Save The Bees” • After the worse bee losses on record. The US Department of Agriculture announced that it will no longer track honeybee populations or collect data for its Honey Bee Colonies Report. However, Solar companies are increasingly stepping in to provide safe havens for bees. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Environmentalists Warn Trump Weakening Endangered Species Protections” • The US federal government announced an overhaul of the way it enforces the Endangered Species Act, a law credited with preventing countless extinctions. Environmental groups warn it will “crash a bulldozer” through the landmark 1973 legislation. [BBC]

Monarch butterflies (Reuters)

¶ “Wind Power Costs And Prices Driven To New Lows In US” • Wind power is enjoying a prime period in the United States, with record low technology costs spurring strong investment, as local production of the components helps projects avoid the worst impacts of Trump’s trade war with China that has hit the solar market hard. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Studies Delay Solar Development In Both RI And Mass” • In meetings this summer, National Grid and ISO New England told renewable-energy developers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island that application reviews for connecting to the grid would be extended while studies of regional power transmission systems are conducted. [ecoRI news]

Have a clearly superior day.

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August 12 Energy News

August 12, 2019


¶ “Power Technology Too Expensive, Too Dangerous: The Accusations Tightening The Noose Around Nuclear Power” • For all the promises of nuclear power, its cost and its devastating accidents have made many sceptical of its benefits. JP Casey speaks to Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Germany. [Power Technology]

Greenpeace activists in Germany (Credit: Conxa Roda)


¶ “IFC, MIGA Ink Deal For 252-Mw Wind Farm In Egypt” • IFC and MIGA, World Bank Group members, signed an agreement to support the development of a 252-MW wind farm by Lekela in Egypt’s Red Sea governorate. In a statement, the IFC noted that it will provide $84 million in financing while MIGA will offer $122 million in financial guarantees. [ESI Africa]

¶ “Macquarie Buys $1.77 Billion Stake In Mammoth UK Offshore Wind Farm” • Australia’s Macquarie Bank made a £1 billion deal for a stake in what is to be one of the UK’s largest offshore wind farms, UK media reports. Information is scarce, but it appears that Macquarie will have just short of a controlling stake in the 714-MW East Anglia ONE development. [RenewEconomy]

Offshore wind farm under construction

¶ “Australia Coal Use Is ‘Existential Threat’ To Pacific Islands, Says Fiji PM” • The prime minister of Fiji has warned Australia to reduce its coal emissions and do more to combat climate change as regional leaders prepare to gather in Tuvalu ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum this week. He referred to the emissions as an “existential threat” facing Pacific nations. [The Guardian]

¶ “Vattenfall Builds Hybrid Renewables Plant” • Vattenfall is developing its first wind-solar-battery power plant in the Netherlands. The developer has decided to build a PV system and a battery at its Haringvliet onshore wind project site, in the Goeree-Overflakkee region of South Holland. The plant will be online in the second half of 2020. [reNEWS]

Solar and wind power (Vattenfall image)

¶ “TEPCO Toughens Stance Toward Nuclear Disaster Damages Settlement” • TEPCO has become significantly more reluctant since last year to accept a government body’s recommendations for a settlement of damages claims by people affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, government officials and lawyers involved said. [Japan Today]


¶ “Stunning Low Costs Inspire Alinta To Ramp Up Renewables Push, Flag Early Coal Exit” • Australian utility Alinta Energy is ramping up its push into renewables, citing stunning low costs that will enable dispatchable wind and solar to compete with existing fossil fuel plant. It is increasing its renewable target from 1,000 MW to 1,500 MW. [RenewEconomy]

Artist’s impression of Yandin wind farm (Image supplied)

¶ “State Backs Community Solar Plan To Take Victoria Town 100% Renewable” • A community-driven solar project that aims to make the western Victoria town of Natimuk 100% renewable powered won state government funding. The Andrews Labor government said it awarded a grant of $339,000 for the town’s 1.6-MW solar farm. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “Huge Bango wind farm gets underway, to provide cheap power to Snowy Hydro” • Renewable energy developer CWP Renewables announced the start of construction of the 244-MW Bango Wind Farm, to be built in the Southern Highlands region of NSW. It is the third NSW project in which CWP Renewables partnered with Partners Group. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines on a cattle farm


¶ “Tesla Model 3 Had 3% of US Car Sales in 1st Half of 2019” • The Tesla Model 3 accounted for 1% of all US vehicle sales. But that market includes everything from pickup trucks to buses, and cars are only about a third of the overall vehicle market. So the Tesla Model 3 took 3% of the US car market in the first half of the year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Over 50 Coal Power Plants Closing Each Year” • Power companies are forecasting to retire coal facilities that currently offer about 17 GW of capacity by 2025. Shuttering these plants is a complex, multi-year process that includes decommissioning, remediation, and redevelopment. Last year, 13 GW of coal-burning capacity was shut down. [ThomasNet News]

Coal-burning power plant (Credit: Kodda | Shutterstock)

¶ “Company: Coal Mine To Cease Production” • A Kentucky mine that employs about 200 people is slated to stop producing coal within a week. Alliance Resource Partners LP announced that Dotiki Mine will close starting August 16. The Oklahoma-based company said it’s focusing on production at lower-cost Illinois Basin mines. [messenger-inquirer]

¶ “‘Coal Is Over’: The Miners Rooting For The Green New Deal” • The coal industry in Appalachia is dying. It is something that people there know better than anyone. Some in this region are pinning their hopes on moving on to alternative solutions, including rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. [The Guardian]

Have an altogether excellent day.

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August 11 Energy News

August 11, 2019


¶ “Rumble In PA: Coal-Killing Natural Gas Has A Field Day In Top US Coal State” • The carnage in the US coal industry continued last week as yet another energy company in yet another leading coal producing state took steps to shut down yet another large coal power plant. But President Trump has not tweeted a peep. [CleanTechnica]

The 830-MW Bruce Mansfield power plant (Wikipedia)

¶ “The Shift Toward Renewable Energy Is Coming. Western States Aren’t Ready” • As the fortunes of the coal, oil, and gas industries rise and fall, Western states ride the boom-and-bust cycles of mineral dependence. But this fossil-fueled rollercoaster ride could come to a shuddering halt under recent climate action proposals. [Mother Jones]

¶ “Cost Of Driving A BMW i3 REx For 9 Months In Florida: $2.26” • Driving an EV in Sarasota is cheap. The charging stations are free. The BMW i3 REx has a small internal combustion engine as a backup, and even though it nearly never kicks on, it does need to run from time to time for maintenance purposes, so it can have a fuel cost. [CleanTechnica]

BMW i3 (CleanTechnica)

¶ “Why Some VC Summer Refund Checks Are ‘Not Worth The Postage'” • Since 2008, South Carolina household electricity customers have paid on average $1,565 extra to finance two reactors at the VC Summer Nuclear Station. They were not built, so the customers are getting refund checks. Some got checks for as little as $0.04. [Charlotte Observer]

¶ “Why Solar Activity And Cosmic Rays Can’t Explain Global Warming” • As a climate scientist, I hear my share of myths about what is causing climate change or why it is a “hoax.” I call them “zombie theories” because they just will not die. This week I heard of a variation of a myth about solar variations being to blame, but it does not explain climate change. [Forbes]

Sunset (Azwi, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “As The World Gets Hotter, Environmental Consequences Get Worse” • July was the 415th consecutive month of above-20th-century-average temperatures. The five warmest years on record were 2014-18, and this year is on track to be one. Things are heating up. As they do, the destruction to our environment and our economy only gets worse. [Charleston Post Courier]

¶ “Saildrone Completes 22,000 Kilometer Circumnavigation Of Antarctica” • The Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica is a dark and forbidding place where winds often exceed 80 miles per hour and towering waves as high as a 5-story building. Saildrone 1020 is an automated ocean vessel whose mission is to acquire data in dangerous waters. [CleanTechnica]

Saildrone (Photo courtesy of Saildrone)


¶ “Solar Energy Storage Market To Grow At Over 35%” • A research report published by the market research and strategy consulting firm, Global Market Insights, Inc, projects that the Solar Energy Storage Market will surpass an annual installation of 3 GW by 2025. One of the forces adding to the growth is the advent of EVs. [Smart Energy]

¶ “A Green Economy Grows In Denmark” • With its lively waterfront, tree-lined canal, and red-brick buildings topped by steep gunmetal-grey roofs, Aarhus looks like just another coastal city in Northern Europe. But get closer, and what comes into focus is a place central to the continent’s remarkable shift to renewable energy. [Free Malaysia Today]

Møllestien Street in Aarhus (Pixabay image)

¶ “Sontirat Revives Long-Shelved Grass-Growing Biofuel Project” • Thai Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said his ministry plans to promote biomethane-gas power projects from Napier grass and will encourage farming communities to grow it for power generation. He said the ministry is resuming a scheme that had stalled in 2012-13. [Bangkok Post]


¶ “Tesla Model 3 Has 67% Of US Electric Vehicle Sales In Second Quarter” • The story of the US electric vehicle in Q2 is all about unbalanced sales. There’s the Model 3, and there’s everything else. In fact, the Model 3 accounts for 67% of US electric vehicle sales, according to 2nd quarter sales data and estimates. Its sales nearly doubled from Q1 to Q2. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

¶ “Tesla Cars Is #1 In US Luxury Car Sales In Second Quarter Of 2019” • The Tesla Model 3 absolutely embarrassed the luxury car competition in the United States in the second quarter. Looking at the luxury car ranking, Tesla took the title in the second quarter, on the shoulders of the Model 3’s unprecedented domination of its class. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Dairy’s Quest For Clean Energy Spread Across Wisconsin” • The Butter Solar Project has 32 MW of PVs installed at ten locations feeding into 13 municipal utilities in three states. A who’s who of co-op food companies, including Organic Valley, Dr Bronner’s, and Clif Bar, have signed on to buy the renewable credits. So has the city of Madison. [Madison.Com]

Organic Valley office building in Cashton, Wisconsin
(Photo: Peter Thomson, La Crosse Tribune Archives)

¶ “Maine’s Renewable Energy Subsidy Program Seeks Supporters In South Portland” • Maine Green Power is seeking residents and business owners in the city of South Portland to help subsidize the expansion of renewable energy generation in the state through the South Portland Green Power District Challenge. [Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel]

¶ “Regulators Rip Xcel’s Proposed $650 Million Deal For Mankato Power Plant” • Xcel Energy’s proposed $650 million purchase of a gas-fired power plant in Mankato ran into strong opposition from two state agencies protecting ratepayers. The utility says the move will save ratepayers money. The regulators say that is not likely. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Have a totally perfect day.

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August 10 Energy News

August 10, 2019


¶ “Why A Mere 2.5 MW Of Solar Power Still Matters” • Moody Air Force Base in Georgia is getting 2.5 MW of solar power. The array is not big but it will help Moody achieve two important Department of Defense goals: mission critical resilience and energy independence. A press release says nuclear, coal, and natural gas don’t fit the bill. [CleanTechnica]

A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft (Image: Moody Air Force Base)

¶ “Is An Oil Price Crash Coming?” • Plunging prices for batteries and renewables are driving an EV revolution so rapidly that the economics of oil “are now in relentless and irreversible decline.” That is the startling conclusion of a detailed analysis produced by BNP Paribas, which is the world’s eighth-largest bank by total assets. [The National Interest Online]

Science and Technology:

¶ “From 1% To 30% Solar Power Without Losing Farmland – How Is That Possible?” • In an online paper published at Scientific Reports, Oregon State University researchers found that croplands, grasslands, and wetlands, continuing in their current roles, would provide more potential for optimizing solar power than barren land. [CleanTechnica]

Sheep and solar power (Mark Floyd, Oregon State University)

¶ “Old Oil Rigs Could Become CO₂ Storage Sites” • North Sea oil and gas rigs could be modified to pump CO₂ emissions into rocks below the seabed, locking away CO₂ produced by power stations, Edinburgh scientists have found. Refitting old platforms for storing CO₂ would be 10 times cheaper than decommissioning the structures. [BBC] (I think this is a really bad idea – George)

¶ “The Gulf Stream Is Slowing Down. That Could Mean Rising Seas And A Hotter Florida” • The Gulf Stream, the warm current that brings the east coast of Florida the mixed blessings of abundant swordfish, mild winters and stronger hurricanes, may be weakening because of climate change. It has reached its weakest point in 1,600 years. [Phys.Org]

Gulf of Mexico (Public domain image)

¶ “Marine Heatwaves Kill Coral Instantly” • Scientists studying coral after a heat event discovered that extreme temperature rises decayed reefs much more rapidly than previously thought. Increasingly frequent marine heatwaves can lead to the almost instant death of corals, scientists working on the Great Barrier Reef have found. [BBC]


¶ “Extinction Rebellion Protesters Block A38 In Birmingham” • UK Climate campaigners blocked one of the busiest roads in and out of Birmingham during rush hour. Up to forty protesters from Extinction Rebellion stopped traffic for seven minutes at a time on the A38 Bristol Street between 08:00 and 09:00 BST. Police said no one was arrested. [BBC]

Extinction Rebellion protesters stopping traffic

¶ “SECI’s Solar Tender Has Few Takers” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India found few takers for its latest 1,200-MW solar power tender. It got one bid of 450 MW and one of 150 MW. Many developers felt the tariff cap of ₹2.65/kWh (3.7¢/kWh) was unviable. Also, Andhra Pradesh’s move to renegitiate tariffs has increased risks. []

¶ “German MPs Want Higher Meat Tax” • German Green and Social Democrat politicians say the 7% sales tax rate on meat should be raised to 19% to help curb global warming and fund animal welfare improvements. The German agriculture minister objected. UN research says methane from livestock accounts for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions. [BBC]

Bone-in pork for sale in Germany (Getty Images)


¶ “Tesla Model 3 Outsold BMW, Mercedes, Audi, And Lexus Competitors In 2nd Quarter In USA – By A Landslide!” • No car in its category comes close to matching the Model 3 for sales. Tesla sold much more than three times as many Model 3s as the runner-up BMW 3 Series. Its sales were almost as great as all other top five cars put together. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EV Price Parity Coming Soon, Claims VW Executive” • The Center For Automotive Research hosts a conference for industry leaders each year in Michigan. This year, Reinhard Fischer, senior vice president for Volkswagen Group and head of strategy for VW in North America, commented on the costs of EVs, saying price parity is coming soon. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “First Energy To Close Last Coal-Fired Plant In Pennsylvania Earlier Than Expected” • First Energy is closing its last coal-fired energy plant two years earlier than expected. The plant in Beaver County will cease operations on November 7.  Representatives of First Energy say with competition from gas and renewables, the plant is not making much money. [CBS Pittsburgh]

¶ “Gap Signs Renewable Energy Agreement With Enel Green Power” • Global apparel retailer, Gap Inc, has signed a 12-year, 90-MW, virtual power purchase agreement for the Aurora Wind Project with Enel Green Power. Gap also announced that it has set a goal to get 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind turbines (NREL image)

¶ “PG&E Pledges To Keep All Power Purchase Agreements Despite Bankruptcy” • PG&E said it would honor all existing power purchase agreements in a forthcoming plan to reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy. Whether legacy power contracts would survive has been a hot topic in power industry circles since bankruptcy proceedings began. [Greentech Media]

¶ “NM Governor Wants Changes In Utility Regulation For More Renewables” • New Mexico Gov Michelle Lujan Grisham is questioning decisions recently made by a powerful regulatory commission as it weighs the pending closure of a major coal-fired power plant in a case that will test the state’s new energy transition law. [Electric Light & Power]

Have an exuberantly cheery day.

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August 9 Energy News

August 9, 2019


¶ “The Shipping Industry Must Go Carbon Neutral To Survive” • A report from Maritime Strategies International predicts the value of all the world’s oil tankers will enter a period of dramatic decline from 2025 onward due to a dramatic collapse in demand for oil and coal. Ships built in 2015 may not be worth more than scrap metal prices in just 10 years’ time. [CNN]

Supertanker (US Navy photo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Exxon Pressure Tactics On Potential Witnesses May Breach Ethical Boundaries” • A suit by the State from New York claims Exxon misled its investors on climate change to their financial detriment. Exxon wrote to several key investors to ask if they plan to testify. If the answer is yes, Exxon says it will serve them with subpoenas. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Change Food Production And Stop Abusing Land, Major Climate Report Warns” • Humans have damaged around a quarter of the ice-free land on Earth, a major report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned. It stressing that further degradation must be stopped to prevent catastrophic global warming. [CNN]

Industrial farming (Andre Penner | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Change Food Calculator: What’s Your Diet’s Carbon Footprint?” • Switching to a plant-based diet can help fight climate change, according to the report by the UN’s IPCC. It says the West’s high consumption of meat and dairy is fuelling global warming. To find out the climate impact of what you eat and drink, use our calculator. [BBC]


¶ “Expanded Shanghai Free Trade Zone Will Include Tesla Gigafactory 3” • Instead of bowing to Trump on the trade war, China elected to refocus its attention on expanding its business relationship with other countries to make up for diminished exports to the US. So it expanded Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone. And Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 is in it. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 in Shanghai (Jengtingchen, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “India Issues 1.2-GW Renewable Energy Storage Tender” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India has offered developers a new renewable energy tender for a capacity of 1.2 GW equipped with energy storage. According to tender conditions, developers can set up wind, solar, or hybrid projects for sizes ranging from 50 MW to 300 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Enel Fires Start Gun On Spanish Wind Build” • Enel Green Power has started construction of the Los Arcos wind farm in Spain. The €35.5 million project is located in Malaga, and is expected to be fully operational in the last quarter of 2019. Its ten turbines will each have about 3.5 MW of capacity, but details on the supplier were not given. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Image: Enel Green Power)

¶ “Japan’s TEPCO Establishes Separate Renewables Company” • Japanese electric utility TEPCO has announced its decision to establish a separate company to manage its renewable energy generation activities. TEPCO hopes to develop renewable energy projects with a total capacity of up to 7,000 MW in Japan and worldwide. [Kallanish Energy]

¶ “Chile To Reach 50% Renewable Energy By 2030” • Renewable energy is expected to comprise 50% of Chile’s power mix by 2030, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. In 2018, the share of non-hydro renewable power reached 19% of the power mix and is expected to exceed 50% of the power mix by 2030. [Electric Light & Power]

Wind farm

¶ “Power Purchase Agreements Sacrosanct, Can’t Be Reviewed” • The Union Minister of State for Power and New and Renewable Energy, RK Singh, said that PPAs are sacrosanct and that no such agreement can be reviewed. He spoke about the recent row over renewable power tariff renegotiations proposed by the Andhra Pradesh government. [The New Indian Express]

¶ “Japan To Resume Effort To Tackle Contaminated Water Problem At Fukushima” • Japan is resuming efforts to disperse a build-up of contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi, which is stalling progress on cleaning up the site. A panel of experts will meet for the first time in eight months to consider options to get rid of the water the government said. [Japan Today]

Fukushima Daiichi water tanks (Photo: Reuters)


¶ “Energy Innovation Report Claims Fuel Economy Rollback Will Cost Americans Big Bucks” • Energy Innovation studied the financial and environmental impacts of the Trump emissions rollback for automobiles. It concluded in a report that the administration’s plan will cost consumers billions while adding significantly to carbon emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Organic Valley Goes 100% Renewable Like Nobody Has Before” • Organic Valley joined the club of companies that committed to 100% renewable power, but with a difference. Instead of a rooftop installation or buying energy credits, it has entered into PPAs with ten Wisconsin community solar projects, totaling 32-MW. [pv magazine USA]

Renewable energy (Organic Valley image)

¶ “Study Shows How US Can Maximize Benefits Of Waste-Derived Fuels” • The US could produce enough energy each year by harnessing waste, largely bio-waste, to power the states of Oregon and Washington, all while cutting the equivalent of 37 million cars’ worth of carbon. That is according to research published in Nature Energy. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ “NY Wraps Up Offshore Transmission Study” • New York Power Authority has published a report based on lessons learned from European offshore wind transmission models. The report will help guide New York state as it achieves its 9-GW offshore wind target by 2035 and will also inform regional and national offshore wind development. [reNEWS]

Have a simply magnificent day.

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August 8 Energy News

August 8, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Cheap Renewable Energy: Cracking The Photosynthetic Process That Enables Plants To Split Water” • Scientists have identified an important photosynthetic process that enables plants to split water and powers all plant life on Earth. The process could make possible a limitless supply of cheap renewable fuel. [Phys.Org]

Hydrogen (Australian National University image)

¶ “Inside The ‘Living Laboratory,’ A Neighborhood Of Smart Homes In Alabama” • Reynolds Landing is a neighborhood of 62 smart homes developed by Alabama Power near Birmingham. The utility company is experimenting to imagine how homes will look in 2040, with predicted growth of microgrids and the internet of things. [CNN]


¶ “Global Renewable Energy Market 2018 By Top Manufactures With Production And Forecast To 2025” • The Global Renewable Energy Market is projected to reach $2,152.9 billion by 2025 and is expected to grow at 4.90% during forecast period 2018 through 2025, according to a report recently produced by Big Market Research. [Innovative Reports]

Renewable energy

¶ “EU Cash Backs 547-MW Spanish Wind Build” • The European Investment Bank is to provide up to €385 million for 21 wind farms in Spain totaling 547 MW.  They are being built by Alfanar, which is based in Saudi Arabia. The projects, which are located across Spain and will generate approximately 1.491 GWh of electricity per year. [reNEWS]

¶ “Argentina Auctions 259 MW Of Clean Power” • A total of 38 renewables projects, totaling 259 MW, won in Argentina’s latest auction. Ten wind projects were awarded 128.7 MW and 13 solar plants won for a total capacity of 96.75 MW. For wind farms, the average weighted price was $58.04/MWh, while for solar the price was $57.59/MWh. [reNEWS]

Working on a wind turbine (ALE image)

¶ “A Global Drinks Giant Is Spending Over $200 Million To Build ‘Green’ Breweries In Africa” • Diageo, the British owner of iconic brands including Guinness and Johnny Walker, is going green at brewing sites across Africa with an ambitious investment drive worth $218 million. It will install solar power, biomass boilers, and water recovery equipment. [Quartz]

¶ “TEPCO Taps Peer, Toshiba, And Hitachi To Resume Nuclear Project” • TEPCO is in talks with Toshiba, Hitachi, and Chubu Electric Power on a joint venture to resume a stalled nuclear plant project in northern Japan, Nikkei has learned. They would form a company to build, operate, and maintain the Higashidori nuclear plant. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Nuclear plant in Japan (Mugu-shisai, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Oz Regulator Sues Wind Farm Operators” • The Australian Energy Regulator started proceedings in federal court against four wind farm operators in South Australia for alleged breaches of the National Electricity Rules in 2016. Proceedings concern events arising from severe weather conditions that damaged transmission lines. [reNEWS]

¶ “Winds Of Change For Renewable Energy Future” • Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has officially opened one of Queensland’s largest wind farms, another major step towards a cleaner future for the state powered by renewable energy. She said the $400 million 53-turbine project was part of the renewable energy boom in Queensland. [Mirage News]

Windy Hill Wind Farm in Queensland
(Carole Mackinney, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Investors Interest In Renewable Energy Assets And Corporate PPAs Remain, Allens Says” • There is continued investor interest in both renewable energy assets and corporate power-purchase agreements, according to the multinational law firm Allens. It confirmed another PPA matter with a deal linked to cereal maker Kellogg’s. [Australasian Lawyer]


¶ “Smithfield Foods Completes ‘Manure-To-Energy’ Project In US” • US pork processor Smithfield Foods completed a major ‘manure-to-energy’ project in Missouri. The firm has built a pipeline from one of its pig farms in the state to the natural gas mainline. It sends low-pressure natural gas to the pipeline for the city of Milan. [Bioenergy Insight Magazine]

Pigs at a farm

¶ “New Mexico Ranked Third In The Nation For Wind Energy Development” • According to the AWEA’s Q2 market report, New Mexico has 2,774 MW of windpower under construction or development, trailing Wyoming’s 4,831 MW and Texas’ 9,015 MW. It is ahead of Iowa, with 2,623 MW, and South Dakota, with 2,183 MW. [Carlsbad Current-Argus]

¶ “Dominion Energy Plans To Build Four Storage Pilots And Study Them For Five Years” • Virginia utility Dominion Energy asked regulators for permission to build four battery storage facilities as pilots to test the technology’s functionality. After expected completion in 2020, Dominion will study the pilot operations for five years. [Greentech Media]

Dominion Energy solar array

¶ “Regional Water Authority To Be Completely Powered By Green Energy” • In South Central Connecticut, the Regional Water Authority announced that it has signed a contract allowing it to be completely powered by renewable energy, starting in December 2019. The contract will not increase energy costs over what it pays today. [Milford Mirror]

¶ “Ormat Commences Operation of First Geothermal Solar Hybrid Power Plant” • Ormat Technologies, based in Nevada, has commenced commercial operation of its first geothermal and solar hybrid project. The project is a 7-MW AC solar expansion of its Tungsten Mountain geothermal project in Churchill County, Nevada. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have a superlatively exhilarating day.

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August 7 Energy News

August 7, 2019


¶ “How Shorter Workweeks Could Save Earth” • There can be no doubt that we are living unsustainably, but there’s a novel idea that could turn this around: we work less, thus slowing down the global economy and curbing our seemingly endless appetite to consume more stuff. Is that feasible? And would it really save the world? It could at least help. [BBC]

Flooding (Photo: Joe Raedle | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Antineutrino Detection Could Help Remotely Monitor Nuclear Reactors” • Technology to measure subatomic particles known as antineutrinos as they flow from nuclear reactors could allow continuous remote monitoring designed to detect fueling changes that might indicate the diversion of nuclear materials, even of a single fuel assembly. [Newswise]

¶ “How Vaccines Could Fix Our Problem With Cow Burps” • Livestock may be responsible for up to 14% of all greenhouse emissions from human activities. But scientists at AgResearch hope a vaccine targeting methane making microbes could make it possible to reduce the contribution livestock farming is making to global warming. [BBC]

Cows grazing (Credit: AgResearch)


¶ “Indian EVs Become Cheaper After Tax Rate Cut” • To promote the sale of EVs, the Goods and Services Tax Council, a committee of finance ministers of all states of India headed by the finance minister of the country, have agreed to reduce the GST rate on electric cars from 12% to 5% and the rate on electric chargers from 18% to 5%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Car Sales In UK Falter As BEV Sales Soar” • The Society of Motor Manufacturing and Traders says that in July, UK new car sales were down by a whopping 4.1%. And diesel sales, which have trended downward for 28 months, were off by a further 22%. Sales of new fully electric cars, however, were up 158% in July compared with a year ago. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging station (Photo: Zachary Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Don’t Reduce Purchase Of Green Power: High Court” • The Andhra Pradesh High Court has ordered the state’s power transmission company to refrain from arbitrarily reducing the power it transmits from renewable projects, giving a breather to developers who have set up more than 7,500 MW of solar and wind energy capacity. [Economic Times]

¶ “Report Puts North Queensland At The Frontline Of Climate Change” • A Climate Council report shows North Queensland is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change but is also leading the renewable energy charge. It outlines the threats facing Queensland as well as the economic opportunities for the state. [TropicNow]

Wetland in Queensland (Photo: Wt Tropics Waterways)

¶ “Finley Solar Farm Starts Sending Power To NSW Grid” • Just days after the 70-MW West Wyalong solar and battery project got the all-clear to connect to the grid in the New South Wales Riverina region, the nearby 175-MW DC (133-MW AC) Finley Solar Farm is starting to show signs of activity on the National Electricity Market. [RenewEconomy]


¶ “Proterra Launches Proterra Powered To Help” • Electric bus company Proterra has a new vehicle electrification offering called Proterra Powered. It makes the same technology Proterra has used in its vehicles for years available to other manufacturers to use in theirs. Most recently, Proterra electrified Thomas Built Buses’ Jouley school bus. [CleanTechnica]

School bus powered by Proterra (Proterra image)

¶ “Illinois Starbucks Now Powered With 100% Wind Energy” • It’s official. More than 340 Illinois Starbucks-operated stores are now powered with 100% renewable energy from wind power generated by the HillTopper wind farm in Logan County, Illinois. This will include the Starbucks Chicago Roastery, which is set to open later this year. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Dominion Energy Calls 500-MW Solar RFP In Virginia” • Dominion Energy Virginia issued a solicitation for up to 500 MW of solar capacity to be operating in 2021 and 2022. Projects are required to be larger than 5 MW. Dominion Energy’s goal is to have 3 GW of solar and wind energy in operation or under development in Virginia by 2022. [Renewables Now]

Dominion Energy solar array (Dominion Energy image)

¶ “US Installs 736 MW Of New Wind As Pipeline Grows To Record Highs” • The US wind energy sector saw record wind capacity under construction or in advanced development in the second quarter of 2019, with its pipeline reaching nearly 42 GW, and 736 MW of capacity commissioned. One factor is demand by Fortune 500 companies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Preps 300-MW Nebraska Giant For Construction” • EDF Renewables North America is preparing to start construction of its 300-MW Milligan 1 wind project in Nebraska. Milligan 1, to be located in Saline County in south-eastern Nebraska, will use a combination of Vestas V110 turbines as well as turbines supplied by Siemens Gamesa. [reNEWS]

EDF wind farm (EDF image)

¶ “South Dakota Green Light For 200-MW Sweetland” • Scout Clean Energy has secured construction permit approval from the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission for its 200-MW Sweetland wind farm. The project, which will comprise up to 71 GE 2.82 MW series turbines. The approval means Scout now can take the power to market. [reNEWS]

¶ “EDPR Makes California PV-Storage Power Play” • EDP Renewables North America is to sell 110 MW of electricity from the Sonrisa solar farm and battery storage facility to California community choice aggregator San Jose Clean Energy. The 20-year power purchase agreement covers 100 MW of solar energy and 10 MW of storage capacity. [reNEWS]

Have a wonderfully happy day.

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August 6 Energy News

August 6, 2019


¶ “Shout It From The Rooftops: Solar Delivers Far More Than Renewable Energy” • A new study from Environment America Research and Policy Center and Frontier Group lays out benefits that rooftop solar panels deliver beyond those their owner gets. Solar power benefits all grid energy customers and society as a whole. [Greentech Media]

Installing rooftop solar panels

Science and Technology:

¶ “July Confirmed As Hottest Month Recorded” • July 2019 has replaced July 2016 as the hottest month on record. This July’s global temperatures marginally exceeded the previous record, according to meteorologists of the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Programme, which analyzes temperature data from around the planet. [CNN]


¶ “Extinction Rebellion: Ex-Government Adviser Fined Over Climate Protest” • A former government adviser has been fined for his part in the Extinction Rebellion protests which brought parts of London to a standstill. Dr Steven Melia, 57, broke down as he told a court that his actions were a justified response to a “catastrophic” climate emergency. [BBC]

Extinction Rebellion protest (Getty Images)

¶ “Protests Come To Coal Country In Germany And Kentucky” • It’s a tough time to be in the coal business. Though they are doing so for different reasons, protesters in Kentucky and the Mannheim region of Germany are blocking coal plants. The Block 9 coal plant, at less than two years old, is said to be the dirtiest coal facility in Germany. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Utility Giants Urge Government To Establish New Onshore Wind Strategy” • Utility giants, including EDF Renewables UK, SSE Renewables, and Siemens Gamesa, are calling on the UK’s government to establish a new onshore windpower strategy. They say it is needed so the UK can meet a 2050 net zero goal at the least cost to consumers. [Energy Live News]

Onshore wind turbine (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Canadian Solar Fires Up 100-MW Cafayate” • Canadian Solar has started commercial operation of the 100-MW Cafayate PV facility in Argentina, the country’s largest solar farm. The PV plant is located in the Salta province and comprises over 289,000 of Canadian Solar’s high efficiency modules. It will generate over 216 GWh of electricity annually. [reNEWS]

¶ “Geothermal Energy To Power Factories Of Food Giant Nestlé In The Philippines” • Food giant Nestlé has reportedly signed a power purchase agreement with AboitizPower for 17 MW of electric power from the MakBan geothermal plant. Nestlé Philippines has a goal of minimizing its environmental impact by using renewable energy. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Geothermal plant (Mike Gonzalez, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “EU Makes A New Bet On Green Hydrogen” • The European Commission has awarded a contract for the construction of one of the world’s largest electrolysis plants for producing green hydrogen. The project partners will work and conduct research to develop an innovative hydrogen demonstration plant in Linz, Austria. [Transmission & Distribution World]

¶ “Europe’s Record Heat Melted Swiss Glaciers” • According to initial findings from the Swiss Glacier Monitoring Network, Swiss glaciers experienced unusually high melt rates during the last two heat waves, which occurred in June and July. The network’s head tweeted that Swiss glaciers lost about 800 million metric tons of ice. [Science Magazine]

Aletsch Glacier (Sam Rayner | Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


¶ “Little Rhody Hits The Climate Change Litigation Big Time” • After Rhode Island filed a lawsuit against oil companies on climate change, the defendants tried hard to move the case to federal court, where they hope any final appeal would favor them. But a Republican-appointed federal judge has moved the case back to the state’s legal system. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Voices Of 100%: Cleveland Commits To Clean And Equitable Energy” • Cleveland was once a center for oil refining and the environmental pollution that accompanied it. But the city has committed itself to 100% renewable energy. Now, as the city celebrates the 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River fire, ILSR takes a look at its history. [CleanTechnica]

Cuyahoga River and Cleveland (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “How Nevada Is Leading The Renewable Energy And Battery Storage Charge ” • Lawmakers throughout the US debated new energy policies during the 2019 legislative session. Nevada is among the states leading the way forward. Several new laws were passed in the state that will affect both power companies and consumers for years to come. [POWER magazine]

¶ “As Climate Reckoning Arrives Over Agriculture, USDA’s Scientists Face Censorship” • A government climate scientist, who says the Trump administration buried a groundbreaking report he authored, has left the US Department of Agriculture in protest over the “political views” top officials allegedly imposed on his work. [ThinkProgress]

Agriculture (Matthias Bein | Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

¶ “Dominion’s 100% Renewables Tariff Could Kill Virginia’s Retail Choice Ambitions” • Dominion Energy filed an application with Virginia’s State Corporation Commission in May for approval of its 100% renewable energy tariff. That tariff offering would keep other retail electricity providers from competing with 100% renewable options. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Energy Dept Plans Nuclear Test ‘Fast’ Reactor” • A new nuclear test reactor is needed as part of an effort to revamp the nation’s fading nuclear power industry by developing safer fuel and power plants, according to the DOE. The agency will prepare an environmental impact statement on building the test reactor in Idaho or Tennessee by the end of 2025. [KTVZ]

Have a thoroughly charming day.

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August 5 Energy News

August 5, 2019


¶ “Overlapping Crisis Of Climate Change Cause Of Ecological Land Grab” • The crises of climate change, unsustainable food systems, and mass species extinction are on a course towards what might best be called an ecological land grab. Experts who once touted “win-win” scenarios for the environment now talk about “trade-offs.” [Deccan Chronicle]

Tropical forest (Photo: AFP)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bigger Is Not Always Better: How Small Scale Wind Turbines Could Save The Sector” • Halo Energy has developed a shrouded wind turbine that brings efficient energy production to small-scale turbines. The shroud doubles the output of electricity. It could improve the performance of US wind and address the imbalances in the sector. [Power Technology]

¶ “The Animals That Will Survive Climate Change” • With one in every four species facing extinction, which animals are the best equipped to survive the climate crisis? American bullfrogs might benefit from climate change, but some scientists say we humans, even with our extraordinary capacity for innovation and ability to adapt, probably won’t survive. [BBC]

American bullfrog (DrStew82, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Elizabeth May Weighs In On Whether Elected Officials Could Be Criminally Liable For Their Climate Policies” • Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party of Canada, warned other politicians that they could face legal consequences in their lifetimes if they fail to take the climate crisis seriously. Some people are calling for trials for crimes against humanity. []

¶ “Stop Abusing Land, Scientists Warn” • Scientists and officials on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are meeting in Geneva to finalizing a document on the climate. It will deliver a stark condemnation of the damage we are wreaking on the land surface of the planet with farming and land use that cause CO₂ emissions. [BBC]

Clearing forest for palm oil plantations (EPA image)

¶ “Wood Mackenzie Report Claims World Will Still Get 85% Of Its Energy From Fossil Fuels In 2040” • According to Wood Mackenzie, renewable energy provides 8% of global electricity, a figure that will triple by 2040. But by then, growth in developing countries is expected to increase the demand for energy in all sectors by 25%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Construction Starts At Yandin Wind Farm, Set To Be WA’s Biggest” • Alinta Energy has announced that construction has commenced at the Yandin wind farm, which is set to become Western Australia’s largest wind project, with some of Australia’s best wind resources. The 214-MW wind farm is expected to have a capacity factor of 50%. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines (Alinta Energy)

¶ “Indigo Council Declares Climate Emergency, Aims For 100% Renewables” • Victoria’s Indigo Shire Council voted to declare a climate emergency and is now looking to reduce emissions and energy costs with a renewables PPA. Doing so, it joins such other councils across Australia as the cities of Darwin, Sydney, and Melbourne. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Fears Of ‘Chernobyl On Ice’ As Russia Prepares Floating Nuclear Plant” • Russia is planning to dispatch its first floating nuclear power station, on a 4,000-mile journey on the Northern Sea Route. It is a milestone for the country’s growing use of nuclear power and its plans for Arctic expansion. Greenpeace has fears of a “floating Chernobyl.” [The Guardian]

Akademik Lomonosov nuclear station (Peter Kovalev | Tass)


¶ “Power Struggle Hindering US Growth Of Renewable Energy, Experts Say” • As more consumer options emerge in the US for greener technologies, there is a power struggle raging for control of the electricity market. It is between customers and vendors of solar power, on the one hand, and utilities that sell and deliver energy to the masses, on the other. []

¶ “US Businesses Are Benefiting From Ambitious Environmental Goals” • A study led by Deloitte shows that while businesses are still driven to manage their resources with a view to economics, they have also become more engaged in pursuing sustainable development. Environmental considerations have become a more serious talking point. [Forbes]

Solar panels on a rooftop (Photo: Chuttersnap | Unsplash)

¶ “Al Gore And The Climate Reality Project Visit Minneapolis” • Former Vice President Al Gore led a Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Minneapolis, giving climate activists, leaders, and organizers an opportunity to further their knowledge about the science surrounding climate change and solutions to prevent further harm to the planet. [Mpls St Paul Magazine]

¶ “Voters Really Want Presidential Candidates To Talk More About Science” • A survey in Iowa found that 74% of Iowans say it is important for the presidential candidates to tell us how science and scientific research will affect their policymaking decisions, but only 22% recall them discussing science issues during the past two months. [Lab Manager Magazine]

Have a flawlessly satisfying day.

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August 4 Energy News

August 4, 2019


¶ “Big Auto’s Existential Problem: Cannibalize Cash Cows Or Evolve Too Slowly” • Legacy automakers have a dilemma on their hands. Transitioning to electric cars is hard. A few German automakers have calmly voiced their concerns. Others have resorted to all-out whining. So what about Big Auto in America? Here is a look. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Photo Credit: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electrify America And Stable Partner On Robochargers For Autonomous Vehicles” • Autonomous electric cars will have to be capable of being charged without human operation. Electrify America partnered with Stable Auto, an EV fleet charging company based in San Francisco, to deploy a handful of robotic EV chargers. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Saudi Arabia Invites Bids For Six Solar Energy Projects” • Saudi Arabia has invited sixty companies to submit bids for six solar energy projects with a combined capacity of 1.5 GW. The Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources expects the projects to attract about 5.2 billion Saudi riyals ($1.4 billion) of private-sector investment. [The National]

PVs in Saudi Arabia (Photo: Reuters)

¶ “Scientist who called out Bolsonaro on Amazon deforestation is fired” • Ricardo Galvão, the director of Brazil’s National Space and Research Institute, said he was terminated after defending satellite data that showed deforestation was 88% higher in June compared to a year ago. Brazilian President Bolsonaro called the findings “lies.” [CNN]

¶ “Renewable Energy Sources To Be Introduced In Libya” • Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the presidential council of the Libyan Government of National Accord, met in Tripoli with Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi to discuss the general situation of Libya, with a focus on introducing renewable energy in the country and Eni’s activities there. [Technical Review Middle East]

Wind turbines at sunrise

¶ “Five International Developers Bid To Establish First Solar Power Project In Qatar” • Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation has received five bids for the first solar power project in Qatar. The West Doha Solar Power Plant is to have a capacity of at least 700 MW, with 350 MW to be grid connected in the first quarter of 2021. [The Peninsula Qatar]

¶ “Nervous Power Networks Look Beyond The UK” • In the political changes in the UK, it is the companies behind the gas pipes and electricity wires which have emerged as the easiest political targets. After greater regulation pushing down profits, Labour has pledged to bring the energy companies back under public control. [The Guardian]

Pylons and turbines in Kent (Photo: Gareth Fuller | PA)

¶ “Germany Hopes To Replace Coal With Hydrogen” • Germany is increasingly looking to hydrogen as an alternative to gas to end the dependence on coal. Last month the Economy Ministry announced funding for 20 hydrogen research labs, and natural gas pipeline owners asked for rule changes to allow hydrogen to be added to the mix. [Energy Reporters]

¶ “Nuclear Power In Australia To Be Examined By Multi-Party Parliamentary Inquiry” • The potential for nuclear power in Australia is set to be examined by a parliamentary inquiry, as requested by Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor. He insisted Australia’s moratorium on nuclear energy would remain in place during the inquiry. [ABC News]

EDF nuclear plant in France (Benoit Tessier | Reuters)


¶ “Solar Power On The Rise In Susquehanna Valley” • Nine separate utility-grade solar energy projects are proposed to be built in Montour, Northumberland and Snyder counties, a database for the PJM electric grid shows. If constructed, each would tie into PJM, which serves 65 million people across 13 states and Washington, DC. [Sunbury Daily Item]

¶ “Colstrip Owner’s Losses Mount As Hunt For Cheaper Coal Continues” • With two of its four units shutting down this year, Colstrip Power Plant is still struggling to find cheap coal and retain employees, plant operator Talen Energy told Montana lawmakers. The company abruptly announced in June it would close two units three years early. [Billings Gazette]

Colstrip power plant (Adam Fondren, Billings Gazette file photo)

¶ “MECO Makes Next Big Push For Renewables” • Maui Electric Co had a goal of 30% renewable energy by 2020. It is already at 37%, according to its website, and it is on track to reach the state’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. A second phase in growth is to take it to 80% renewable energy, or maybe even close to 100%. [Maui News]

¶ “Is Diablo Canyon Safe During Fire Season?” • After high winds caused deadly fires at electric lines, PG&E and SoCal Edison plan to shut off parts of their grid during high wind events. The Diablo Canyon nuclear power station relies on the grid to power its own nuclear reactors. So what does that mean if a sudden blackout happens? (Podcast) [KCRW]

Have an excitingly outstanding day.

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August 3 Energy News

August 3, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “We May Have A Future Without Joshua Trees Thanks To Climate Change, Study Says” • Can you imagine a world without Joshua trees? A study by University of California-Riverside scientists says that could be the new reality, thanks to climate change. It says the hearty American desert trees could be driven to extinction by a drier climate. [CNN]

Joshua trees (National Park Service image)

¶ “Climate Change Made Europe’s July Heat Wave Up To 3°C Hotter, Scientists Say” • The scorching heat wave that broke records across Europe last month was made a hundred times more likely, more intense, and up to 3°C hotter by climate change, according to a study from an international alliance of meteorological researchers. [CNN]

¶ “Amid Historic Heat, Greenland Ice Sheet Loses 11 Billion Tons Of Water In One Day Of Melting” • Greenland, home to the world’s second largest ice sheet, is melting at such an alarming rate that scientists are warning it’s on track with worst-case scenario models for the year 2070. On July 31 alone, the island lost 11 billion tons of ice. [Sand Hills Express]

Greenland’s melting ice (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)


¶ “Arctic Wildfires: How Bad Are They And What Caused Them?” • Wildfires are ravaging parts of the Arctic, with areas of Siberia, Alaska, Greenland, and Canada engulfed in flames and smoke. While wildfires are common at this time of year, record-breaking summer temperatures and strong winds have made this year’s fires particularly bad. [BBC]

¶ “Amazon To Develop Second Wind Farm In Ireland” • Amazon is to develop a second wind farm in Ireland. Once operational, the new Amazon Wind Farm will provide 23.2 MW of renewable capacity, with expected generation of 68,000 MWh of electricity annually. Amazon’s earlier Irish wind project was announced in March of this year. [Big News Network]

Wind farm

¶ “Share of Fossil Fuel In Indian Power Mix Drops For 14th Consecutive Quarter” • According to CleanTechnica Research, the share of fossil fuel-based capacity in India’s total installed capacity declined for a 14th consecutive quarter at the end of June 2019. From 69.60% in Q2 2015, use of fossil fuels fell to 63.05% in Q2 of 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘Bolder Action Needed’ To Meet Paris Climate Goals” • Without bolder action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions the world will not meet the Paris climate accord’s goals, according to a report by Wood Mackenzie. The report shows that the world is on a trajectory for global warming above pre-industrial levels of 3°C rather than the target of 2°C. [reNEWS]

Coal-burning power plant (Pixabay image)

¶ “Falling Renewable Prices To Aid India Achieve Its Clean Energy Target, Says Amitabh Kant” • India will easily meet its goal of installing 175 GW of renewable capacity by 2022 given the rate at which clean energy tariffs, especially solar tariffs, are falling, according to NITI Aayog’s Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “Hohe See Nears The Finish Line” • Fred Olsen Windcarrier jack-up Blue Tern is in Esbjerg for its final load of turbines for EnBW’s 497-MW Hohe See offshore wind farm in the German North Sea, with sister vessel Brave Tern soon to arrive in the port for its final load. Hohe See will feature 87 Siemens Gamesa 7-MW turbines. [reNEWS]

Offshore installation (EnBW image)

¶ “Ottawa To Buy Back Renewable Energy To Power Federal Facilities In Nova Scotia” • An agreement between the province and Ottawa will see more renewable energy added to Nova Scotia’s power grid to help the federal government meet its targets. The agreement is for supplying federally-owned facilities in Nova Scotia. []

¶ “Low River Levels To Affect French Nuclear Power Generation From August 8” • French utility EDF may curb power generation at its 3,000-MW Chooz nuclear reactor in the north of France due to the low flow rate of the Meuse river which it uses to cool the two reactors at the plant. This summer’s heat waves have caused other closings. [Reuters]

Chooz nuclear plant (MOSSOT, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Disposable Plastic Water Bottles Banned From San Francisco Airport” • Gone are the days of buying a last-minute pre-flight plastic bottle of water at San Francisco International Airport. In an effort to make SFO more environmentally friendly, the airport is adding plastic water bottles to its list of restricted food service items starting August 20. [CNN]

¶ “Amazon Announces Renewable Energy Project In Virginia” • Amazon announced a new renewable energy project in Virginia, its seventh solar farm in the state. The project will produce clean energy starting in 2020 in support of the company’s long-term goal to power 100% of its global operations with renewable energy. [WSLS 10]

Solar array (Copyright 2019 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved)

¶ “Organic Valley Reaches 100% Renewable Energy Goal With Completion Of Three Community Solar Projects” • Organic Valley, the farmer-owned organic dairy and produce cooperative headquartered in La Farge, Wisconsin, announced that it has reached its 100% renewable energy target set in 2017 as three solar projects are completed. [La Crosse Tribune]

¶ “California Farmers Are Planting Solar Panels As Water Supplies Dry Up” • Solar projects could replace some of the jobs and tax revenues that may be lost as constrained water supplies force California’s agriculture industry to scale back. In the San Joaquin Valley alone, farmers may need to take more than half a million acres out of production. [Seattle Times]

Have a spectacularly successful day.

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August 2 Energy News

August 2, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Aerosol Emissions May Not Cool The Planet As Much As We Thought” • While humans have been overheating our planet for the last couple of centuries, other forms of our pollution have been quietly offsetting a bit of the damage, helping to cool the climate. But the extent of the cooling provided by aerosols isn’t thoroughly understood. [Ars Technica]

Cloud rising from a fire near Yosemite National Park

¶ “This Irish Teenager May Have A Solution For A Plastic-Free Ocean” • A teenager from Ireland may have found a solution for plastic pollution in the ocean. Ferrofluids, nontoxic magnetic liquids made up of oil and magnetite, attract the microplastics because of similar properties. The microplastics can the be removed with magnets. [CNN]


¶ “UK’s 10 Warmest Years All Occurred Since 2002” • The top 10 warmest years on record in the UK have all occurred since 2002, analysis from the Met Office says. When it comes to the coldest years, the most recent in the top 10 was in 1963. The patterns of warm and cold years in Britain are a clear signal of climate change, say scientists. [BBC News]

UK train in shimmering heat (Photo: PA Media)

¶ “Just 10% Of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Cash ‘Could Pay For Green Transition'” • Fossil fuels get over $370 billion (£305 billion) a year in support, while renewables get only $100 billion, a report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development found. Just 10% to 30% of the fossil fuel subsidies would pay for a global transition to clean energy, it said. [The Guardian]

¶ “Portugal Bags Lowest-Cost Solar Bid In The World” • The Portuguese energy secretariat received bids on 1.15 GW of solar power at an average cost of €20.33/MWh ($22.53/MWh). One of the bids was made at €14.76/MWh ($16.44/MWh or 1.644¢/kWh), probably a new world record. The bids represent investments of about €800 million ($887 million). [CleanTechnica]

Solar plant in Portugal by Acciona (Acciona courtesy image)

¶ “German Utilities Firm RWE To Close Its Last UK Coal Plant In 2020” • The German utility giant RWE will close its last UK coal plant after the coming winter, leaving only four remaining coal plants in Britain.The Aberthaw B power station in south Wales will close at the end of March 2020, after generating electricity from coal for half a century. [The Guardian]

¶ “Hamburg, Germany, Has Its First Autonomous Shuttle Bus” • Hamburg’s first autonomous shuttle bus starts its trial run next month. By mid 2020, it should start carrying passengers. There is room in it for up to ten passengers. By the time the ITS World Congress opens in October 2021, the bus should be operating autonomously. [CleanTechnica]

Autonomous bus presentation (Courtesy of Hamburg Marketing)


¶ “Yellow Cab Getting 10 Tesla Model 3s In Columbus, Ohio” • The Yellow Cab taxi fleet in Columbus, Ohio, is getting a boost this week with the news that it is adding 10 Tesla Model 3s to its fleet. The move comes as part of the fleet’s transition to cleaner alternatives and a desire to put the current generation of electric cars to the test as taxis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Blackjewel Miners Block Railroad To Demand Pay From Bankrupt Coal Company” • Some coal miners left without pay by the bankruptcy of coal company Blackjewel LLC are protesting by blocking a coal train in eastern Kentucky. The stand-off began when five miners blocked the train from leaving the plant, which is in Cumberland, Kentucky. [WMKY]

Protesting miners (Sydney Boles | Ohio Valley Resource)

¶ “Deadly Blast On Major Natural Gas Pipeline Spurs US Probe” • A deadly explosion on an Enbridge Inc natural gas pipeline killed one woman and burned several structures in central Kentucky, including nearby homes. The blast prompted a local evacuation. Flames shot up over 300 feet (91 meters) and were visible from up to 70 miles away. [Bloomberg]

¶ “37 Injured In Texas Exxon Mobil Refinery Explosion And Fire” • An explosion and fire at an Exxon Mobil oil refinery in Texas left 37 people with minor injuries. It is the latest of a series of petrochemical industry blazes this year in the Houston area. The fire began after an explosion at about 11:07 am at an Exxon Mobil plant in Baytown. []

Exxon Mobil plant fire (Yi-Chin Lee | Houston Chronicle via AP)

¶ “On The Road To Renewables: New Energy Storage Facility Slated For Chateaugay” • New York Power Authority announced it’s spending nearly $30 million on an energy storage facility in Chateaugay, in Franklin County, on the state’s northern border. The investment is part of the state’s effort to increase reliance on renewable energy. [North Country Public Radio]

¶ “US Boasts ‘Record’ Wind Activity” • Total US wind capacity reached 97,960 MW in the second quarter of 2019, with a further record 41,801 MW under construction or at an advanced stage of development, according to data from the American Wind Energy Association. Work on more than 200 wind farms is underway across 33 states. [reNEWS]

Worker on a turbine blade (AWEA image)

¶ “Enel On 302-MW Double Time In The US” • Enel Green Power North America has started construction of two wind farms in the US with a combined capacity over 302 MW. The 66-MW Whitney Hill wind project is in Logan County, Illinois, and The 236.5-MW White Cloud wind project is in Nodaway County, Missouri. [reNEWS]

¶ “Exelon Could Shut Plants, Take Other Actions To Address US Power Market Challenges” • Exelon is prepared to meet power market headwinds by shutting uneconomic power plants if necessary, executives said during the company’s second-quarter 2019 earnings call. One plant it will close is the Three Mile Island nuclear plant. [S&P Global]

Have an extraordinarily jolly day.

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August 1 Energy News

August 1, 2019


¶ “Jay Inslee: I’ve witnessed the devastation climate change can cause” • Businesses flooded out in Davenport, Iowa; homes burned to ashes in Agoura Hills, California; families breathe in toxic fumes in south Philadelphia. American communities are paying the price for American politicians who refuse to confront the fossil fuel industry. [CNN]

Jay Inslee (Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Charged With Fraud Over Diesel Scandal” • German prosecutors have charged former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler with fraud in connection with the 2015 diesel emissions scandal that rocked the Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen has admitted that it rigged millions of diesel engines to cheat on emissions tests. [CNN]

¶ “LEVC Says Electric Taxis Have Saved £3.5 Million In Fuel Costs For London Cabbies” • The London Electric Vehicle Company says London taxi cab operators have saved £3.5 million in fuel costs since it introduced its PHEV electric cab last year. The electrified black cab has a range of 80 miles and an onboard range extender gasoline engine. [CleanTechnica]

Electric Taxi (Courtesy LEVC)

¶ “Russian Army Ordered To Tackle Massive Wildfires” • Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian army to help fight massive wildfires raging in the east. The decision was taken after Mr Putin was briefed on the growing crisis by the head of the emergencies ministry. About 3 million hectares (7.4 million acres) have been affected. [BBC]

¶ “Clean Energy Set To Provide 35% Of Australia’s Electricity Within Two Years” • Analysts say clean energy will be providing 35% of Australia’s total electricity needs within two years, as data provided by a report from consultants Green Energy Markets underlines the pace at which solar power is transforming the national energy market. [The Guardian]

Rooftop solar systems in Australia (Dan Himbrechts | AAP)

¶ “Queensland – Australia’s Greatest Fan Of Renewable Energy” • Australia’s soon-to-be largest wind farm is already generating power in Queensland. All 123 planned turbines will be up and running early next year. The state has more than 2400 MW of large‑scale renewable energy capacity operating already and 900 MW more have been financed. [Mirage News]

¶ “Second Wind For GE” • GE India is making a bold bet on wind power, disruptive technology, and a new business model. The company has patented a hybrid technology to make renewable power available to a grid 24×7 through different combinations of solar, wind, hydro, and storage, managed by intelligent control systems. [Fortune India]

GE manufacturing facility in Pune (Image: Sanjay Rawat)

¶ “Energy Storage To ‘Top 1 TW By 2040′” • Energy storage will grow to 1095 GW in 2040, compared with 9 GW last year, boosted by cheaper lithium-ion battery technology, according to new research by BloombergNEF. The 122-fold boom will require $662 billion of investment, said BNEF in the ‘Energy Storage Outlook 2019’ report. [reNEWS]

¶ “Fukushima Governor Accepts TEPCO Plan To Scrap No 2 Nuclear Plant And Store Spent Fuel On Site” • Fukushima Gov Masao Uchibori said his prefecture will accept a decision by TEPCO to scrap the Fukushima No 2 nuclear complex. The Fukushima No 2 plant is located near the No 1 plant crippled in the March 2011 disaster. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima No 2 (IAEA Imagebank, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Colorado Comes To Terms With All Major Automakers On Emissions And ZEV Mandates” • Just after Jared Polis took office as governor of Colorado in January, he announced that his state would join 11 other states to implement California’s auto emissions policies. Now, like California, Colorado has made a deal to move ahead on that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Southwest Monsoons Getting More Frequent And Intense” • Scientists studying monsoon storms in the Southwest found that, compared to 1970, storms are now producing 6-11% more rain per storm, while the time the storms last hasn’t changed. This means each storm is not only dumping more water, but is more intense. [CleanTechnica]

Monsoon storm (Photo by Jennifer Sensiba)

¶ “Entergy Says It Plans To Invest Big In Renewable Energy Over The Next Decade” • Entergy Corp said Wednesday that it plans to add substantially to its renewable energy capacity over the next decade, riding a trend of technological advances and lower costs, as well as bowing to political pressure to move away from fossil fuels. []

¶ “Microsoft’s Planned Arizona Data Centers Will Run On 100% Renewables” • Microsoft’s upcoming data center campuses in El Mirage and Goodyear, Arizona, will be powered by 100% renewable energy. The cloud company is partnering with First Solar and will be getting electricity from its 150-MW Sun Streams 2 PV solar plant. [DatacenterDynamics]

Horses and Solar panels (Sebastian Moss)

¶ “US Consumers Expect Changes In Energy Supplies, Autos In 10 Years: Survey” • US consumers expect that in the next 10 years they will be able to switch to new forms of energy with a lower impact on the environment once the price has dropped an affordable level, according to a survey by accountants Ernst & Young LLP. []

¶ “Georgia Power Orders Fuel For Plant Vogtle Unit 3” • Georgia Power has ordered the first nuclear fuel load for Unit 3 at Plant Vogtle, which is under construction. It is the first such order for a new reactor in the US in decades. The order comprises 157 fuel assemblies, each 14 feet tall, to be loaded into the Unit 3 reactor vessel for startup. [Aiken Standard]

Have a fabulously exquisite day.

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