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]

World:

¶ “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)

US:

¶ “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. [EMS1.com]

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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