Archive for August 20th, 2019

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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