August 17 Energy News

August 17, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “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)

World:

¶ “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]

US:

¶ “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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