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)

World:

¶ “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. [physicsworld.com]

¶ “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]

US:

¶ “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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