August 10 Energy News

August 10, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “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]

World:

¶ “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. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “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)

US:

¶ “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]

Volkswagen

¶ “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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