Archive for October, 2019

October 31 Energy News

October 31, 2019


¶ “Renewable Energy Could Save Us Trillions In Health Costs” • If you’re worried about getting “windmill cancer,” we have some good news for you. According to a new study published this week in the journal Environmental Research Letters, installing more renewable energy could save the US trillions of dollars in health costs. [Inverse]

Renewable energy (Tony Webster | Flickr)

¶ “Why Thorium Nuclear Isn’t Featured on CleanTechnica Redux” • CleanTechnica is not covering thorium reactors. The Andrew Yang campaign is promising next generation reactors on the grid in eight years, but there is no empirical evidence to suggest that a 2027 time frame is remotely likely, and our top academics think it’s not helpful. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Company Turns Emissions Into Fuel” • Chicago-based LanzaTech has developed a way to turn emissions into ethanol, a renewable fuel that is commonly used in US gasoline. The key to the process is a gas-eating bacteria developed specifically for fermentation. The company says the bacteria feeds on the emissions to generate ethanol. [CNN]

First LanzaTech commercial plant in China (LanzaTech image)


¶ “Tesla Model 3 Breaks Records In Hot Market – Europe EV Sales Report” • The European passenger plug-in vehicle market scored some 59,000 registrations in September (+76% year over year), with fully electric vehicles reaching a record score of 41,001 units for three-digit growth (+109%). All of the top five plug-in cars were fully electric. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rising Sea Levels Threaten Hundreds Of Millions – And It’s Much Worse Than We Thought” • Hundreds of millions of people worldwide, nearly three times the number previously thought, are at risk of losing their homes as entire cities sink under rising seas over the next three decades, a paper published in the journal Nature Communications says. [CNN]

Greenland ice melt (Eric Rignot)

¶ “Record Renewable Energy Production Promises A Greener Future For UK” • A sustainable green future looks closer as record renewable energy production in UK shows rapid progress is possible. During the third quarter of 2019 renewable energy in UK provided more electricity to homes and business than fossil fuels did. [Power Technology]

¶ “Nuclear Power Corp Of India Says Detected Malware In Its Systems” • State-run Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd, which runs nuclear reactors across the country, said it had identified malware in one of its computers last month but its plant systems were unaffected. The NPCIL had earlier rejected media reports of the cyber attack. [Khabar India]

Nuclear power plant


¶ “Consortium Proposes 80-MW Solar Farm And Green Hydrogen Facility In Victoria” • A $160 million proposal for wind or solar powered hydrogen production in Victoria is seeking government support to undertake a formal feasibility study, with the potential to grow to a $1 billion investment opportunity in Australian renewable gas. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Renewable Energy Target Now Overshot By Nearly 1 GW, Says Regulator” • Australia has already overshot its 2020 renewable energy target by nearly 1 GW since accumulating enough completed and committed projects to meet the goal in late August, according to the latest data from the Clean Energy Regulator. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbine at Cattle Hill Farm

¶ “New Green-Energy Supplier Could Cut Power Bills By $70 A Year” • A state government-owned company co-ordinating Queensland’s renewable energy sources could reduce future household and business power bills by $70 per year, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said. CleanCo has just begun operating in the National Energy Market. [Brisbane Times]

¶ “Hydro Tasmania Pushes ‘Battery Of The Nation’ Plan, Will Unlock Wind And Solar ” • A major expansion of the undersea interconnector between the Tasmanian and Victorian grids could unlock thousands of megawatts of new clean energy capacity in the National Electricity Market, while keeping prices low and improving reliability, a report argues. [RenewEconomy]

Gordon Dam


¶ “California’s New Normal: How The Climate Crisis Is Fueling Wildfires And Changing Life In The Golden State” • More than a dozen wildfires displace hundreds of thousands of Californians. Millions are without power because of the fire threat. “This is only the beginning,” former California Gov Jerry Brown said. And it is because of climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Bill McKibben Fears Parts Of California Are Now Uninhabitable” • Today, forest fire season in California is months longer than it used to be, extending the period of fire risk greatly. When the rains do come, they are so intense that they often lead to life threatening mudslides. Bill McKibben has written about his fears for the state. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Tesla Is Selling Powerwalls Almost At Cost In California” • Tesla has reportedly been supply limited on the Powerwall, and economic thinking says the company shouldn’t be dropping prices on a supply-constrained product like that. But When it comes to people in need, Elon Musk often thinks with his heart and not his business head. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mayflower To Deliver Second Massachusetts Offshore Wind Farm” • The state of Massachusetts has chosen Mayflower Wind to develop an 804-MW offshore wind farm, following bid submissions filed in August. The project, located more than 20 miles south of Nantucket, is expected to start operations in 2025, according to the developer. [reNEWS]

Have a seriously lovely day.

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October 30 Energy News

October 30, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Carbon Capture: Bright Promise Or Senseless Boondoggle?” • Researchers at MIT say they have invented a new process that is effective at pulling CO₂ out of the atmosphere at concentrations as low as 400 parts per million. Stanford’s Professor Mark Jacobson, however, points out that there is more to the story than that. [CleanTechnica]

MIT carbon capture system (MIT image)

¶ “Sustainable Paper’s Best Kept Secret: Biogas” • Paper making is energy intensive. But a French paper maker, Rolland, has started to pipe methane from a landfill eight miles away to use it in its plant. This prevents escape of a powerful greenhouse gas and uses it to replace 93% of the natural gas that would have been used to operate the plant. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Seaplanes Get Electric With Magnix And Harbour Air” • Harbour Air, based in Vancouver, says it is on schedule in the conversion of the world’s first seaplane to e-plane. It is installing a 750 hp magniX motor and connecting it to the internal systems in preparation for its first flight. Harbour Air expects to complete the test by the end of the year. [CleanTechnica]

Harbour Air ePlane1 (Harbour Air image)

¶ “SP Group Launches First Zero-Emission Building In Southeast Asia Powered By Green Hydrogen” • A building in Singapore, at SP’s training center at Woodleigh Park, operates just like other buildings, but it is not grid tied. It is powered by 100% renewable energy and it is the first zero-emission building in Southeast Asia powered by green hydrogen. [CNA]

¶ “China Uses More Renewable Energy In First Nine Months” • China’s renewable energy generation rose 11% year on year, to the end of September, to 1.44 trillion kilowatt-hours, according to the National Energy Administration. Hydropower was up 7.9%, wind power was up 8.9%, and output of solar PVs rose 28.1% from a year ago. [Khmer Times]

Solar power in China (Cao Yang | Xinhua)

¶ “Audit Finds Failings At EDF Nuclear Plant” • After a report outlining the Flamanville 3 nuclear project’s failures was issued, the French government has told energy company Électricité de France to produce an urgent action plan. The plant is seven years behind schedule and billions of euros over budget. The French government is EDF’s majority shareholder. [KHL Group]


¶ “Victoria 50% By 2030 Renewable Energy Target Voted Into Law” • A bolstered Victorian Renewable Energy Target of 50% by 2030 is now written into law, after the Labor government’s Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Amendment Bill 2019 won the vote in state parliament. This fulfills a platform by Labor in last year’s election. [RenewEconomy]

Ararat Wind Farm

¶ “‘Dawn Of Battery Age’: AGL Inks Battery Deal In Time For Liddell Exit” • Four large batteries are to be built in New South Wales. Power giant AGL struck a deal to get them in time for the looming shutdown of its Liddell coal-fired generator. Each has a capacity of 50-MW/100-MWh. Together, they could power tens of thousands of homes. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Coalition Gives $1 Billion To CEFC For 24/7 Reliable Renewable Power” • After trying for years to abolish and hamstring the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Australia’s federal government has injected another $1 billion into it to underwrite renewables integration and grid stabilization technologies. [RenewEconomy]

Montague island (Binarysequence, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Why GM is backing Trump in his fight against California” • General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, and some other foreign car makers are seeking to become a parties to a legal battle the Trump Administration brought against the state of California and 13 other states that are following its lead over whether California can set its own auto emission rules. [CNN]

¶ “Getty Fire: Authorities Issue Extreme Red Flag Warning” • An “extreme red flag warning” was issued in southern California, marking the first such alert of its kind. The warning was issued by the Los Angeles weather service. The winds are expected to reach 80 mph (128 km/h) and there is concern they will help the fire spread. [BBC]

Getty Fire in the hills of Los Angeles (Reuters)

¶ “America’s Largest Private Coal Miner Files For Bankruptcy” • The slow death of the coal industry has forced Murray Energy, the country’s largest private coal miner, to file for bankruptcy protection. Murray Energy and its subsidiaries operate 17 active mines in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Utah, and West Virginia. They employ 7,000 workers. [CNN]

¶ “Green Energy Installations In Upper Midwest Offer Best Bang For Buck” • A Harvard study finds that installing wind turbines and solar power in the Upper Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions can help maximize improvements in both public health and the economy. Windpower’s economic benefits in the Upper Midwest could be $113/MWh. [Courthouse News Service]

Renewable energy

¶ “Dominion’s Green Energy Package Comes With A Catch: Coal. Businesses Aren’t Happy” • Dominion Energy’s newest plan for a renewable energy package that environmentally conscious customers can buy is causing some big businesses, including Walmart, to push back against what they call “an unattractive offering.” [Virginia Mercury]

¶ “Non-Hydro Renewables Produce 11.4% Of US Electricity In Eight Months Of 2019” • Renewable energy sources accounted for 18.49% of net domestic electrical generation during the first eight months of 2019, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of Energy Information Administration data. Non-hydro renewable sources produced 11.44%. [Renewables Now]

Have an outrageously relaxing day.

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October 29 Energy News

October 29, 2019


¶ “Huge Battery Investments Drop Energy-Storage Costs Faster Than Expected, Threatening Natural Gas” • The global energy transition is happening faster than the models predicted, according to a report released today by the Rocky Mountain Institute, thanks to massive investments in the advanced-battery technology ecosystem. [Forbes]

Solar plus batteries (Getty Images)

¶ “Courts And Scientists To Trump: Show Your Work On Vehicle Rules” • In its rush to roll back national vehicle emissions standards, the Trump administration is pushing science out of the process. The Union of Concerned Scientists, the scientific community, and the federal judiciary all call this an unacceptable way to make policy. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

¶ “If Facts Don’t Make You Prepare For A Hurricane, What Does?” • A study published in the journal Climatic Change looked at whether homeowners in one storm-damaged coastal county accepted climate science, and whether that made a difference in how they safeguarded their house against a future storm. The short answer: It didn’t. [Salon]

Floodwaters (Photo: Brian Blanco | AP)

Science and Technology:

¶ “No-Gold Perovskite Solar Cells Aim A Dagger At The Heart Of Fossil Fuels” • In a study published in in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, two researchers undertake an intensive review of perovskite PVs. They conclude that carbon-based materials could replace gold for the back electrode in perovskite solar cells. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “India Issues Tender For Round-The-Clock Renewable Energy Supply” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India recently issued its first tender for round-the-clock renewable energy supply, as India’s renewable energy sector evolves. SECI offered 400 MW of capacity to project developers under the tender. No tariff threshold has been specified. [CleanTechnica]

Solar PVs (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Secures Formosa 2 Turbine Deal” • Siemens Gamesa secured a contract for the supply and installation of its turbines for the 376-MW Formosa 2 offshore wind project off the coast of Taiwan. The agreement is for 47 units of the SG 8.0-167 DD turbine. Construction of Formosa 2 is expected to begin in 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Coalition Quietly Appoints Expert Panel To Salvage Emissions Policy” • In what some see as an admission that its main climate change policy is failing, the Australian government quietly appointed an expert panel to come up with new ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions and gave it less than a month to make recommendations. [The Guardian]

Bayswater power plant (Taras Vyshnya | Alamy Stock Photo)

¶ “Rwanda Joins Uganda, Egypt In Signing Nuclear Deals With Russia” • Rwanda is the latest African country to sign a nuclear deal with Russian state atomic company Rosatom. But the deals between Russia and several African countries are raising concerns from environmentalists who say nuclear energy is not always clean and does not come free. [The Observer]

¶ “Offshore Wind Costs ‘Drop 32%'” • Offshore wind costs have fallen 32% from just a year ago and 12% compared with the first half of 2019, according to new research from BloombergNEF. In its latest Levelized Cost of Electricity Update, BloombergNEF said its current global benchmark LCOE estimate for offshore wind is $78/MWh. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind support vessel (reNEWS image)


¶ “California Fires: Los Angeles Hit By New Blazes” • Thousands of Los Angeles residents were told to evacuate because of a fast-moving wildfire that started near the Getty Center arts complex. California’s governor has declared a state-wide emergency as wildfires rage in many other areas. Arnold Schwarzenegger was among those who had to evacuate. [BBC]

¶ “California Faces Huge Power Cuts As Wildfires Rage” • An estimated 1.5 million more people in California are set to lose power on Tuesday as Pacific Gas & Electric tries to stop damaged cables triggering wildfires. Earlier, PG&E had cut supplies to 970,000 customers. It has just added another 650,000 to that figure due to high winds. [BBC]

Fire in California (Reuters image)

¶ “As California Burns, Clean Energy Advocates Urge An End To Investor-Owned Utilities” • While the utility PG&E shuts down power in California during a crisis worsened by the climate crisis, National Grid and ConEd are raising rates to build more fossil fuel plants. Investor-owned utilities are failing us, and there are calls to do better. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s Largest Storage Battery – 2.5 GWh – To Replace Gas Peaker Plants In Queens” • A site in Queens, New York, once was home to sixteen gas powered peaker plants. Only two remain in operation today. Soon, all of them will be demolished to make room for a 316-MW/2528-MWh storage battery that will be the largest in the world. [CleanTechnica]

Site of proposed battery (Ravenswood Development image)

¶ “MHI Generates Renewable Energy Equivalent To The Consumption Of Its Entire US Operations” • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd has achieved annual energy output from the White Deer Wind Farm, a wind power facility it acquired one year ago, equivalent to the energy consumed across its business activities in the US. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “US Bill To Increase Investment In Wind Energy” • Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Wind Energy Research and Development Bill. The legislation would sustain and enhance the DOE’s Office of Wind Energy while also increasing investment and supporting jobs in the wind industry. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have a gloriously contented day.

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October 28 Energy News

October 28, 2019


¶ “Why Is Tesla Now The Most Valuable American Automaker?” • I cannot speak for the rest of the $58.78 billion market cap of Tesla, but from my perspective as a tiny shareholder who has covered Tesla professionally for several years, I’ve got a few thoughts on why it is Tesla has become the most valuable American automaker. [CleanTechnica]

Driving on Sunshine

¶ “Nuclear Power In France: Imagining The Industry’s Future” • The Flamanville reactor has raised crucial questions about the future of nuclear power. In 2007, final cost was estimated at €3.3 billion, and the plan was for the plant was to open in 2012. EDF has just annonced costs now estimated at €12.4 billion, with commissioning in 2022. []

Science and Technology:

¶ “Renewable Power Developers Discover More Energy Sources Make Better Projects” • Hybrid power projects that combine energy sources are a growing trend. Solar only works during the day and wind only when it is windy but by combining them, especially with battery storage or other backup, power can be more reliable and predictable. [CTV News]

Cows and windpower (Charlie Riedel | AP | The Canadian Press)


¶ “112 EV Charging Stations To Be Installed Around Iceland” • A grant of over ISK 30 million ($240,463) will help shift Iceland to EVs by increasing charging infrastructure. The grant will be used for installation of 110 charging stations. The project is part of the government’s action plan on climate change and infrastructure development. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BHE Canada Seeks Approval For 117.6-MW Zero-Subsidy Alberta Wind Project” • BHE Canada, a unit Berkshire Hathaway Energy, submitted its application for the construction and grid-connection of the 117.6-MW Rattlesnake Ridge wind project in Alberta. The C$200 million ($153.2 million) project is not seeking government subsidies. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm (Author: fantastklywell)

¶ “Up To 27 Coal-Burning Power Plants To Suspend Operation To Reduce Fine Dust” • The South Korean government decided to suspend operations of up to 27 coal-fired power plants during the period of December to March, when high-density fine dust usually blankets the country. The plan is also to ban old cars from the streets during the period. [NewsworldKorea]

¶ “Youth File Lawsuit Against Federal Government For Lack Of Climate Plan” • In a lawsuit filed Friday, fifteen young Canadians asked the Federal Court to compel the Canadian government to develop a climate recovery plan using the best available science. They claim that the effects of climate change are already giving them medical problems. [National Observer]

Parties to the lawsuit (Canadian Press photo)

¶ “Tesco Expands Its Solar Capacity With New 5 MW PPA With EDF” • EDF Renewables three new power purchase agreements with supermarket giant Tesco, to provide a total of 60 MW of power. A deal to build 17 roof mounted PV systems is included. The solar installations will be made up of 15,000 solar PV panels, with a capacity of 5 MW. [Solar Power Portal]


¶ “Crookwell 3 Wind Farm Blocked As NSW Seeks To Protect Coal Mine Developments” • The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission has blocked the proposed 102-MW Crookwell Stage 3 wind farm, refusing to give planning consent to the project while citing concerns about visual impacts. NSW is also planning to protect coal mines. [RenewEconomy]

Landscape with wind farm

¶ “NSW, Canberra Finally Wake Up To Grid Needs Ahead Of Liddell Coal Closure” •  The New South Wales and federal governments have finally seen the need for more transmission capacity. They announced funding for an upgrade to the link between NSW and Queensland to be completed before the Liddell coal station closes in 2023. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “A$73 Trillion Will Be Required To Stop Climate Change.” • According to the latest analysis by investment bank Morgan Stanley, halting climate change will require $50 trillion (A$73 trillion) of investment. It said five key areas will be required: renewable energy: EVs, clean hydrogen, biofuels and carbon capture and storage. [Business Insider Australia]

Offshore wind farm (Axel Schmidt | Getty Images)


¶ “Pressure From Hirono Leads To Investigation Into ‘Suppression Of Science’ At USDA” • An investigation is looking into “potential suppression and alteration of scientific reports, documents, and communications by political employees” at the USDA, Sen Mazie Hirono announced. Nineteen democratic senators requested the probe in June. [Maui Now]

¶ “The NBAA Pushes Electric Air Mobility In The Las Vegas Limelight” • At the National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas, the exhibition outdid itself this year. Electric urban air mobility was present with numerous players. What was different? This wasn’t the timid show of electric UAM shows of the past. [CleanTechnica]

Airbus Vahana eVTOL Display (Photo by Nicolas Zart)

¶ “How The Military Will Spark The Death Of Fossil Fuels” • While partisan debates continue to rage about climate change, carbon taxes, and Greta Thunberg, one of the world’s largest and most powerful organizations has quietly been leading the charge for new clean energy technologies. It is the US Department of Defense. []

¶ “Flirting With Disaster: Flood Zones Still Uninsured Years After Sandy” • Seven years after Superstorm Sandy deluged New York City, more than eight out of 10 properties in coastal areas the federal government deems extremely vulnerable to the next disaster are without flood insurance, an investigation by THE CITY found. [THE CITY]

Have a fantastically beneficial day.

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October 27 Energy News

October 27, 2019


¶ “There May Be No Industry With More At Stake With An Elizabeth Warren Presidency Than Energy” • It’s been a tough market for energy stocks as global oversupply and falling oil prices have pressured companies’ bottom lines, and it could be about to get worse. Sen Elizabeth Warren’s energy plan is seemingly already having effects. [CNBC]

Elizabeth Warren in Aiken, SC (Sean Rayford | Getty Images)

¶ “Yes, Reversing The Climate Crisis Will Be Profitable” • Ibrahim AlHusseini, is the founder and CEO of the investment firm FullCycle Energy Fund, which aims to scout and back those companies most likely to solve the climate crisis. Sierra recently sat down with him to learn more about the private sector’s power to reverse the planetary crisis. [Sierra Magazine]

¶ “Rising Waters Bring Tough Choice: Fight Or Flight” • Fight or flight. That’s the dilemma people living at water’s edge face as a hotter climate pushes Puget Sound and nearby rivers higher. Fleeing to higher, drier ground can be wrenching, while digging in and trying to hold the waters back can be costly, or even dangerous. [KUOW News and Information]

Science in a salt marsh (Photo credit: John Ryan | KUOW)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Illinois Scientists Are Perfecting The Analysis Of Past Climate Change” • To understand how the climate will change in the future, a professor at the University of Illinois is developing understanding of how climate has changed in the past. He studies isotopes in the structure of ancient coral to see how they show effects of a changing climate. [Big Ten Network]


¶ “India Directs Government Companies To Buy Renewable Energy” • The Indian government has directed public sector companies to increase investment in renewable energy. The government-owned companies have been directed to either sign power purchase agreements to buy renewable energy or set up power projects on their own. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Image: Zach Shahan |

¶ “Total Targets 25 GW Renewable Energy Capacity By 2025” • The CEO of French oil major Total, said in an interview that by 2025 Total wants to have global installed capacity of 25 GW in renewable energy power. He said Total invests about $1.5-2 billion per year in low-carbon electricity, which is more than it invests in oil and gas exploration. []

¶ “Britain Pushes Towards Coal-Free Future As Old Power Plants Come Crashing Down” • This year, Britain has gone its longest stretch since the 1880s without using coal to keep the lights on. National Grid, which supplies electricity to England, Scotland and Wales, says coal is “quickly becoming an irrelevance” in Britain. [ABC News]

Coal mine (Phil Noble | Reuters)

¶ “Extinction Rebellion Bring Protest Groups Together Against Sizewell C Plans” • A protest planned to take place near the Sizewell nuclear plant was thwarted when EDF arranged for metal barriers and security staff to occupy an access road to the site. Undaunted but remaining peaceful, the protest was moved to a nearby location. [East Anglian Daily Times]


¶ “Kincade Fire: Mass Blackout Begins Amid California Wildfires” • In California, power cuts expected to affect more than two million people have begun as fires in that state continue to grow. Pacific Gas & Electric initiated the precautionary blackout due to forecasts of extreme winds. it is expected to be the largest in state’s history. [nbnews24]

Wildfire in California (AFP)

¶ “Hyundai To Begin Autonomous Electric Shuttle Service In Irvine, California Next Month” • Hyundai says it will invest $35 billion in autonomy and advanced vehicle technology by 2025. The South Korean automaker said it is partnering with and Via to offer an autonomous shuttle service called BotRide in Irvine, California. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Chuck Schumer Has A Plan To Boost Electric Car Sales: Massive Rebates” • Chuck Schumer has a plan to offer consumers large rebates if they switch from a gasoline powered car to an electric car. The catch is that the cars purchased have to be assembled in the US by American workers using predominantly US-made parts. [CleanTechnica]

Have an exuberantly joyful day.

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October 26 Energy News

October 26, 2019


¶ “‘It’s All Quite Devastating’: Documenting The Rapid Loss Of Arctic Sea Ice” • The Arctic is heating twice as fast as the global average. The effects of changes in the Arctic are playing out worldwide, however. CNN spoke to three photographers and filmmakers who have made it their mission to document an evolving Arctic landscape. [CNN]

Arctic Photographer Esther Horvath (Harold Jager)

¶ “Get Ready For A Rural America Wind Power Renaissance” • Rick Perry is retiring from the US DOE. While in office, Perry went out of his way to voice support for the President at every opportunity, but his cheerleading often seemed to coincide with a new renewable energy initiative or some other enthusiastic pronouncement on renewables. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Airbus Vahana Flies” • Airbus just completed the 100th test flight of the Vahana eVTOL demonstrator, its Alpha One full-size aircraft. This comes as Eduardo Dominquez-Puerto, Airbus Head of Urban Air Mobility, talked in an Airbus video about how the company is well placed to take full advantage of the eVTOL urban air mobility race. [CleanTechnica]

Changing out batteries (Vahana courtesy photo)

¶ “UN Scientists Say There Is A Way To Delay Climate Change For 20 Years For Pocket Change” • Rene Castro Salazar, of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, told Time that almost half of the 5 billion acres of land around the world that have been degraded could be restored for $300 billion, about two months of worldwide military spending. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New UAF Climate Report Highlights Rapidly Changing Alaska Ecosystems” • Alaska has broken so many climate records over the last five years, it suggests the state has crossed a threshold into increasingly rapid ecosystem changes, according to a report by scientists at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. [KTOO]

Port Heiden’s coast (Photo courtesy of Jaclyn Christensen)

¶ “Stanford Study Casts Doubt On Carbon Capture” • Research by Mark Z Jacobson at Stanford University, published in Energy and Environmental Science, suggests that carbon capture can cause more harm than good. Jacobson said carbon capture only reduces “a small fraction of carbon emissions, and it usually increases air pollution.” [Stanford University News]


¶ “Japanese Renewable Energy Company To Add 200 MW Of Solar Power To The [Zambian] Grid Next Year” • According to a Reuters report, Japanese renewable energy company Univergy Solar is to invest more than $200 million in two solar power projects in Zambia. They will add 200 MW to the country’s national grid next year. [Lusaka Times]

Solar power station (Lusaka Times image)

¶ “Centre Plans To Run Ladakh Completely On Renewable Energy” • India’s Union government plans to make Ladakh the first Indian union territory to run entirely on renewable energy. The government wants to add solar power units to the territory’s already installed hydro plants to meet all its power demand from renewable energy sources. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “Australia’s Pipeline Of Renewable Energy Projects Swells Over 130 GW” • Australia’s pipeline of grid-scale solar, wind and battery projects is growing at an unprecedented pace in 2019. According to Rystad Energy, a consulting company based in Norway, it now stands at 133 GW, up from 94 GW at the start of the year. [pv magazine Australia]

Renewable energy (Pixabay image)

¶ “Argentina Slouches Toward China Debt Bondage On Eve Of Election” • As Argentine voters go to the polls to elect their next president, surveys show the leftist, anti-American opposition camp with a comfortable lead. This could put the country into closer ties with China, which is already loaning billions to build a nuclear power station there. [Nikkei Asian Review]


¶ “Governor Calls Plains ‘Renewable Energy Corridor’” • Eastern Colorado’s plains offer “huge potential” for green energy, according to Colorado Gov Jared Polis. His assessment came after a recent visit to Yuma County where he and Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg toured wind turbines and livestock facilities. [Journal Advocate]

Wind turbines

¶ “Coal Miners, Including Those Who Protested In Kentucky, Receive Back Pay” • Around 1,700 Former Blackjewel coal miners, including some in Kentucky who blocked a coal train from moving, have finally been paid after a layoff and months of protests. Although their paychecks have been paid out, their benefits have not. [CNN]

¶ “Rio Tinto Starts Producing Lithium In California From Old Mining Waste” • Rio Tinto Group is starting pilot production of lithium in California, sifting through old mining waste instead of excavating new areas, as the electric car battery revolution fuels demand. The company has found lithium carbonate at an old boron mine. [Los Angeles Times]

Old Rio Tinto borax mine (David McNew | Getty Images)

¶ “House Democrats Set To Introduce First-Of-Its-Kind Climate Refugee Bill” • House Democrats are set to introduce the first major piece of legislation to establish protections for migrants displaced by climate change, ramping up a push for a long-overdue framework for how the US should respond to a crisis already unfolding on its shores. [Grist]

¶ “Mass Attorney General Healey Sues ExxonMobil For Misleading Consumers And Investors” • Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is suing ExxonMobil, alleging the oil giant is misleading consumers and investors about the role its products play in climate change. The lawsuit, alleges that the company’s “deception campaign” is ongoing. [WBUR]

Have a basically gorgeous day.

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October 25 Energy News

October 25, 2019


¶ “Nuclear Industry’s $23 Billion Bailout Request Shows Why It Should Have ‘No Role To Play’ In Solving Climate Crisis: Study” • A proposed bailout of the US nuclear power industry that could cost $23 billion over ten years shows clearly why the climate crisis needs solutions that focus on renewable resources, Friends of the Earth said. [Common Dreams]

Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant (Jeff Fusco | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Wheels Of Fortune? A New Age For Electric Motors” • Motors are about to get much more attention from the media, according to the head of technology trends at the Advanced Propulsion Centre, a joint venture of the automotive industry and the UK government, said. That is because they are key components of EVs and they are changing fast. [BBC]

¶ “The Problem Of Thinning Arctic Sea Ice” • After spending considerable time finding Arctic ice thick enough to be safe to work on, at 85° north latitude, Polarstern has finally moored to an ice flow. Over the coming days the team will begin setting up an ice camp around Polarstern, carefully putting out equipment that the ice can support. [BBC]

Polarstern (Credit: Sebastian Grote | AWI)


¶ “The UK Once Hoped For An American-Style Fracking Boom. It’s Not Happening” • The UK once hoped that fracking would unlock shale energy reserves, creating jobs and new tax revenues. That now looks unlikely to ever happen. The fracking industry faces big challenges, one of which is that the cost of renewable energy is falling fast. [CNN]

¶ “eHang Is About To Make Aviation History, With First eVTOL Service Coming In December” • eHang is readying the launch of the very first eVTOL urban air mobility service in Guangzhou, China, this December. eHang wants to become a full-stack UAM solution and will most likely be the first eVTOL aircraft operator in service. [CleanTechnica]

eHang AVV (Photo courtesy of eHang)

¶ “P&G Purchases 100% Renewable Electricity In US, Canada And Western Europe” • The Procter & Gamble Company announced that it reached its 2020 goal of purchasing 100% renewable electricity in the US and Canada. P&G exceeded its original goal by extending the purchase of 100% renewable electricity to Western Europe. [Business Wire India]

¶ “IMF Advocates For Carbon Assessments” • Climate change is an existential threat, and yet, there is a general paralysis about what to do to stop it. The International Monetary Fund released a report that resorts to classical economic theory to solve the problem by making polluters pay the costs imposed on society by their pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Carbon pricing (IMF image)

¶ “Offshore Wind Needs $1.2 Trillion To Hit Climate Goals, IEA Says” • Offshore wind farms around the world are set to draw $840 billion of investments adding 20 GW per year over the next two decades, the International Energy Agency said. But the IEA said meeting climage goals will require 40 GW per year and investments of $1.2 trillion. []

¶ “Offshore Wind ‘To Be $1 Trillion Industry'” • Global offshore wind capacity could increase 15-fold and attract $1 trillion of cumulative investment by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency. The EU 2040 tally could rise to 180 GW and become the region’s largest single source of electricity if it reaches its carbon-neutrality aims. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (ABB image)

¶ “Remote WA Community Taken Off Grid And Supplied With Renewable Energy” • A community in Western Australian has become the first in Australia to be taken off the grid and supplied renewable energy instead. Horizon Power is removing traditional poles and wires east of Esperance, after installing solar and batteries with diesel backup. [ABC News]

¶ “Offshore Wind Leads German Renewables Growth” • Offshore wind is the fastest growing renewable energy source in Germany, increasing output by 31% in the first three quarters of this year, compared with the same period of 2018. In this year’s first three quarters, 17 billion kWh of electricity were produced, compared to 12.9 billion kWh in 2018. [reNEWS]

Arkona wind farm (reNEWS image)


¶ “Boulder Starting Work To Bring Solar Panels To 14 Facilities” • Boulder, Colorado, is about to expand its renewable energy portfolio enough to power 600 homes. The city’s project will add solar panels to 14 city facilities to bring 2.5 MW of generation online, a news release said. It is expected to save $1.5 million over 30 years. [Boulder Daily Camera]

¶ “Kincade fire: Thousands evacuated as California wildfire rages” • About 2,000 people have been evacuated from their homes as a wildfire rages through California’s wine country. Nearly 180,000 homes are without power after Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power in 15 southern California counties to prevent the risk of any accidental fires. [BBC]

Fire in wine country (AFP image)

¶ “Port Houston To Start Using Renewable Energy” • The Port Houston Authority has approved a plan to buy electricity from renewable sources to meet its operational needs. The port will now start talks with retail electric providers MP2 Energy Texas, Constellation New Energy and NRG Business Solutions to buy renewable electricity. [Ship Technology]

¶ “Engie Aims To Green US SMEs” • Engie Resources is offering small and medium-sized enterprises renewable energy supply contracts under a new package. Its ‘portfolioRE’ program will supply physical clean power through traditional retail contracts along with renewable energy certificates, through customer aggregation. [reNEWS]

Have a honestly fabulous day.

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October 24 Energy News

October 24, 2019


¶ “From Wyoming To Australia, Coal’s Heartlands Are Retreating” • From the Rocky Mountains to the Rhineland and Australia’s Great Dividing Range, the tide of the coal industry is receding. Since 2010, when coal provided electricity cheaper than renewables, coal has declined 42%. Now electricty from coal is more expensive. [Bloomberg]

Sunset industry (Marius Becker | DPA | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Google Spends Millions On Climate Denial” • As a young company, Google had a motto: “Don’t be evil.” That was then. This is now. We find out the company that once wanted to do only good is a major contributor to organizations like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has aggressively pursued a denialist agenda. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “What Would Happen In An Apocalyptic Blackout?” • In our modern world, almost everything, from our financial systems to our communication networks, need electricity. Water supplies, sewer systems, and other critical infrastructure rely on electricity to run. With no power, transportation grinds to a halt, but that is just the beginning of the problems. [BBC]

Lights out

¶ “Let’s Not Bank On Natural Gas” • New Jersey no longer has to choose between policies that protect health, climate, and natural resources, and those that protect our pocketbooks. The state is drafting a new Energy Master Plan in a time when renewable energy is already cheap and reliable, the exact opposite of what many people assume. []


¶ “Toyota, Mazda, And Honda To Join The Electric Car Party” • Japanese automakers have been behind the curve when it comes to manufacturing electric cars since the EV revolution began nearly a decade ago. At first, they focused on hydrogen fuel cell technology instead of batteries. But EVs are developing, as fuel cell cars languish. [CleanTechnica]

Possible look of the future (Toyota image)

¶ “Amazon To Get 265 MW Of New Wind And Solar For Data Centers” • Inc unveiled plans for three new wind and solar projects in the US and the UK that will bring 265 MW of power generation capacity for its data centres. The plans are for 50 MW of windpower in Scotland and 215 MW of solar power from two US projects. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Australia’s Carbon Emissions Set To Peak Next Year As Wind And Solar Energy Soars” • Australia’s carbon emissions are set to peak as early as next year before dropping on the back of rapid wind and solar energy deployment, research from the Australian National University has predicted. But the researchers caution about needs for transmission and storage. [SBS]

Solar system in Australia (AAP image)

¶ “Colombia Awards 1.3 GW In Clean Power Auction” • Colombia has awarded renewables capacity to five wind farms and three solar plants totaling 1298 MW in an energy auction. The average price was the equivalent of about 2.8¢/kWh (€0.025/kWh), or about a third of the current average cost of generation in bilateral contracts. [reNEWS]

¶ “Labour Unveils Plans For Carbon-Neutral Energy System By 2030s” • The Labour Party is unveiling plans to create a carbon-neutral energy system by the 2030s. They would see insulation upgrades for every home in the UK and enough new solar panels to cover 22,000 football pitches. The current plans would see a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. [The Guardian]

Rebecca Long-Bailey (Michael Bowles | Rex | Shutterstock)

¶ “Russia’s Next Nuclear Power Play Is Underway” • Energy-rich Azerbaijan’s desire to pursue nuclear power has raised questions among some experts, but Russia’s stated readiness to participate in nuclear construction in Azerbaijan has attracted even more attention. The plant will cost Azerbaijan about $10 billion, but it comes with Russian presence. []


¶ “Air Quality In The US Is Getting Worse And Could Be Killing Thousands, Study Finds” • After improving for the better part of a decade, air quality in the US is getting worse again. And it could be associated with nearly 10,000 premature deaths and billions of dollars in damages, according to a working paper with new analysis of EPA data. [CNN]

Gas flare (David McNew | Getty Images)

¶ “Justice Department Sues California Over Air Pollution Agreement With Canada” • The US Justice Department sued California, claiming that an environmental agreement the state entered with the Canadian province of Quebec to combat air pollution was illegal because it amounted to a treaty or compact between a US state and a foreign power. [CNN]

¶ “Federal Science Panel Heavy With Business People” • After nearly three years, President Trump made his first appointments to the White House science advisory committee. Seven people were named to the panel, most with business backgrounds. Just one is a current academic, Birgitta Whaley, a chemistry professor at UC Berkeley. [Inside Higher Ed]

White House (Getty Images)

¶ “Ørsted And Equinor ink New York offshore power pacts” • Ørsted  and Equinor have signed power purchase agreements with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for the 880-MW Sunrise Wind and 816-MW Empire Wind projects, respectively. Siemens Gamesa 8-MW turbines are set to be used at the wind farms. [reNEWS]

¶ “Smithfield, Dominion Energy Double Investment In RNG Venture” • Smithfield Foods, Inc and Dominion Energy are doubling their investment in renewable natural gas projects across the US to $500 million through 2028. The joint venture had focused on projects in North Carolina, Virginia, and Utah, but will expand to other areas. [National Hog Farmer]

Have a respectably advantageous day.

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October 23 Energy News

October 23, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tiny Shell Fossils Reveal How Ocean Acidification Can Cause Mass Extinction” • Ocean acidification caused a mass extinction of marine life a little less than 66 million years ago, research into tiny shell fossils has shown. This could have implications for the current climate crisis, which is also making the oceans more acidic. [CNN]

Fish and healthy coral (Donald Miralle | Getty Images)

¶ “Replacing Coal With Gas Or Renewables Saves Billions Of Gallons Of Water” • The transition from coal to natural gas and renewables in the US electricity sector is dramatically reducing the industry’s water use, a new Duke University study finds. Natural gas uses far less water than coal, and renewables far less than that. [Duke Today]


¶ “Portugal’s Galp Ups Investment Plan, Seeks More Renewable Energy, Natural Gas” • Portugal’s oil company Galp Energia earmarked €1 billion ($1.11 billion) to €1.2 billion in annual investment until 2022 in an increase from up to €1 billion under a previous plan. It wants to expand its natural gas and renewable energy business. []

Solar array (Getty Images)

¶ “Turkish Firms Invited To Invest In Renewable Energy Sector” • Pakistan has invited Turkish companies to invest in its power sector as upcoming renewable energy policy is to pave way for incentive-driven investment in the country. A draft renewable energy policy aims to have 25% of capacity be renewable or alternative by 2025. [The News International]

¶ “Renewables Power 20% Of Italy’s Power Demand In 2019” • Non-hydropower renewables met around 21.7% of Italian electric demand for the period to date in 2019, statistics by power grid operator Terna SpA show. Over the same period in 2018, their share was 20.4%. In addition, hydro provided 34.82 GWh of the 241.94 GWh of demand. [Smart Energy]

Venice (Credit: Frederic Beccari | Unsplash)

¶ “City Of Sydney Council Signs Major Renewable Electricity Deal” • In March this year, City of Sydney committed to using 100% renewables to meet all its electricity needs. The city has now announced that it sealed a $60 million deal that will see all of the Council’s electricity supplied from wind and solar energy sources from July next year. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “EDF To Power UK Mega-Theme Park” • EDF Energy will be partnering with the London Resort to make it one of the most sustainable theme parks in the world. Under a 25-year concession to be signed on the grant of planning, EDF Energy will build, own and operate the onsite renewable energy generation and storage facilities for resort. [reNEWS]

London Resort site (Image: The London Resort)

¶ “UK To Use Finance Meant For Green Energy To Support Fracking In Argentina” • The UK plans to invest in Argentina’s controversial oil shale industry using a £1 billion export finance deal intended to support green energy, according to government documents seen by the Guardian. A memo spoke of Argentina’s “huge shale resources.” [The Guardian]

¶ “African Countries Mull Nuclear Energy As Russia Extends Offers” • African countries, with growing populations, will need much more energy. Russia, one of the main exporters of nuclear technology, is taking a lead in forming partnerships with African countries to develop it, says the World Nuclear Association’s Jonathan Cobb. [Deutsche Welle]

Nuclear power plant


¶ “EVs Take Center Stage At Solar Power International 2019” • At Solar Power International in Salt Lake City, a key theme was the integration of electric vehicle charging infrastructure into the fold of the solar-powered smart home. CleanTechnica kicked off SPI 2019 with a 5-hour session called EVs 101, hosted by Utah Clean Cities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Engie Wind On Walmart US Shopping List” • Engie US Wind is to supply electricity to Walmart from two under-construction wind farms in the US under virtual power purchase agreements totalling 366 MW. Walmart is buying 166 MW from the Prairie Hill project in Texas and 200 MW from the King Plains facility in Oklahoma. [reNEWS]

Installing a wind turbine (Engie image)

¶ “Historic Congressional Hearing Targets Big Oil’s Climate Denial” • The first ever congressional hearing on Big Oil’s history of climate denial aims to show that more than 40 years ago, oil industry research proved that burning fossil fuels harms the environment, but that oil companies misled the public about it to keep profits up. [Public News Service]

¶ “Storage Player Unveils US Battery Plant Plan” • US company Kore Power is planning to build a lithium-ion battery plant in its home country to support global growth efforts for its energy storage system. The 305,000-square-meter plant is expected to support up to 2000 jobs by providing batteries for the Mark 1TM storage system. [reNEWS]

Rendering of plant (Kore Power image)

¶ “Lawmakers Introduce Renewable Energy Bills” • Michigan representatives have introduced a series of bills to contribute to Michigan’s growing clean, renewable energy industry. They are looking forward to lifting the state’s cap on distributed electricity generation because of the impact it has made on the solar industry to date. [WLNS]

¶ “Third Ohio City Commits To 100% Renewable Energy” • The city council of the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, Ohio, passed a resolution establishing a goal of 100% clean, renewable energy. Lakewood joins Cleveland and Cincinnati as the third Ohio city, to make this commitment. It is also the state’s first suburban community to do so. [Solar Power World]

Have a way cool day.

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October 22 Energy News

October 22, 2019


¶ “How Much US Electricity Will Come From Renewables in 2030?” • NextEra Energy has made some of the most optimistic projections about the future of renewable energy. I wanted to check that and calculated for myself how much US electricity could come from renewables by 2030. I think we should all actually be much more optimistic. [Motley Fool]

Wind farm (Corey Coyle, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Storing Renewable Energy In Mineshaft Weights May Be Cheaper Than Using Batteries” • A system that stores excess renewable energy by using weights suspended above disused mineshafts could be cheaper than batteries according to a report by independent analysts at Imperial College London. A test system is being built. [E&T Magazine]

¶ “Boston Will Likely See A Warmer, Milder Winter This Year” • Boston is in for a warmer, milder winter this year, the NOAA 2019-2020 Winter Seasonal Outlook says. This matches a multi-year trend of warmer winters across the US. This year’s absence of an El Niño or La Niña season means the overall trend of global warming will be more visible. [Daily Free Press]

Charles River in February (Sophie Park | DFP file photo)


¶ “Renewable Energy Is Booming. But It’s Not Growing Fast Enough To Fight Climate Change” • Renewable power capacity is expected to surge by 50% globally in the next five years, the International Energy Agency says. But the growth of renewables will still be “well short” of what is required to meet aggressive climate change goals. [CNN]

¶ “ABB Supports Asia-Pacific Hydrogen Pilot” • ABB is to supply technology to a clean energy project in Australia that will deliver hydrogen to Japan. The Swiss company will provide automation, electrification, and instrumentation for the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain pilot project. Construction of the small-scale pilot facilities in Victoria started this year. [reNEWS]

Liquid hydrogen facility (ABB image)

¶ “BYD Rolls Into Busworld Europe With An End-To-End Transit Plus Clean Energy Solution” • BYD charged into Busworld Europe 2019 this week in Brussels touting its ability to deliver a “total transport solution.” It allows transit operators not only to electrify their fleet, but to power them with BYD technology as well. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “City Of Newcastle Becomes The First Council To Move To 100% Renewable Energy” • The City of Newcastle will be the first local government in New South Wales to have 100% renewable electricity, after signing a 10-year power purchase agreement with energy retailer Flow Power. The city is in a region already moving to low-carbon power. [Newcastle Herald]

Wallsend Library (Photo: City of Newcastle)

¶ “France May Yet Pursue 100% Renewable Power Strategy – Minister” • France has yet to decide whether to build new nuclear reactors and could yet pursue a long-term strategy of 100% renewable energy, Environment Minister Elisabeth Borne said. She disagrees with the CEO of EDF, who had said France is preparing to build new reactors. [Reuters UK]

¶ “UK Set For First Cryogenic Storage” • Highview Power is to construct the UK’s first commercial cryogenic energy storage facility at the site of a decommissioned thermal power station in England. The 50-MW plant uses liquid air as the storage medium and will be the first of a portfolio of projects that the company is planning in the UK. [reNEWS]

Cryogenic battery plant (Highview Power image)


¶ “Exxon Accused Of Misleading Investors On Climate Change” • An unprecedented climate change lawsuit against ExxonMobil is set to go ahead in New York State. The company is accused of misleading investors about the potential costs to its business of climate regulation. The case is at the forefront of a rising number of legal actions faced by oil and gas firms. [BBC]

¶ “Fossil Fuel Execs Lied To The Public About Climate Science For Years” • just days before ExxonMobil goes on trial in New York state for allegedly lying to its investors about the risks of climate change, a team of academic researchers released a report detailing the company’s decades-long campaign to mislead the wider public about climate crisis. [VICE]

Rex Tillerson (Brian Harkin | Getty Images)

¶ “PG&E Head Says To Expect Rolling Blackouts For The Next 10 Years” • Pacific Gas & Electric is shutting parts of the California grid down to prevent wildfires during periods of dry, windy weather. The CEO of PG&E told the California Public Utilities Commission that the state will likely see blackouts for another 10 years, NPR reported. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York Advances 316-MW Battery Charge” • The New York Public Service Commission has given approval to LS Power’s 316-MW Ravenswood energy storage project proposed for New York City. A Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity has been awarded to the project for the plant, which will be built at Long Island City. [reNEWS]

New York skyline (FreePhotos image)

¶ “Oil Majors Dump Millions Of Cubic Feet Of Methane Directly Into The Atmosphere” • A report by the New York Times and Greenpeace finds oil companies are releasing more natural gas into the atmosphere than ever – enough to meet the needs of Arizona or South Carolina. Despite its value, they find it cheaper to throw it away. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ex-Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen Introduces A Renewable Energy Firm” • A new business venture by former Tennessee Gov Phil Bredesen is to help companies fund PVs in communities with dirty electric grids. He will introduce Clearloop at a conference headlined by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. [Columbia Daily Herald]

Have a perfectly perfect day.

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October 21 Energy News

October 21, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “UK Man Invents Aluminum-Air Battery In His Garage” • Former Royal Navy officer Trevor Jackson began experimenting with aluminum air batteries at home in 2001. Now he says he has a new electrolyte that makes it possible for his battery to power an electric car for up to 1,500 miles. One hitch is that the battery is not recharged; it is replaced. [CleanTechnica]

Household materials (Chemicum via YouTube)


¶ “Thanks, Tesla – Porsche Taycan EV Outperforms Fossil Panamera Sibling” • The Porsche Taycan offers much higher performance, compared to its gas-powered Panamera sedan sibling, and is less expensive. This applies for other Porsche models as well. Surely some mistake by Porsche? Perhaps not; it has to compete with Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Commercial Rooftops Will Lead Renewables Growth In The Next Five Years” • The International Energy Agency is accused often of underrating the potential for renewables in the global energy mix. But the press release on the IEA’s Renewables 2019 report calls the potential for rooftop solar over the next five years “breathtaking.” [pv magazine International]

Installing rooftop solar (Image: CoCreatr | Flickr)

¶ “Brazil Awards 2.24 GW Of Renewables In Oct 18 Tender” • Brazil awarded renewable power supply contracts to projects with a combined capacity of around 2,245 MW in Friday’s tender, the Power Trading Chamber announced. Contracts were awarded for over 250,000 GWh at an average price of R$176.09/MWh ($42.81/MWh). [Renewables Now]

¶ “Greenpeace Urges Philippine Gov’t To Look Into Abundant Sources Of Clean, Safe, Renewable Energy” • Greenpeace called on the Philippine government to stop all plans to pursue nuclear energy, oil exploration, and coal expansion, and instead focus on maximizing the country’s abundant potential for clean, safe renewable energy. [Manila Bulletin]

Rainbow Warrior (Manila Bulletin File Photo | AFP)

¶ “Coal Miners See Future In Romania’s Renewable Energy Sector” • Like other mining areas across the world, almost all the mines in Romania’s Jiu Valley have closed. Miners are out of work, and the once thriving region is depressed. The Romanian Wind Energy Association is giving miners a chance to find work in wind power. [New Europe]

¶ “Renewable Energy To Expand By 50% In Next Five Years – Report” • Renewable electricity is growing faster globally than expected and could expand by 50% in the next five years, powered by solar energy. The International Energy Agency found that solar, wind, and hydropower projects are growing at their fastest rate in four years. [The Guardian]

Isle of May, Scotland (Mike Powles | FLPA | Rex | Shutterstock)

¶ “Trading Coal For Clean Energy, BHP Takes $1 Billion Hit At Chilean Mines” • Australia’s biggest miner, BHP, is replacing coal-fired power supplying its two copper-mining operations in Chile with renewables, cutting costs 20%. BHP said it would take a $780 million (A$1.14 billion) charge for the cancellation of its coal contracts. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “2,000 Would-Be Greta Thunbergs: London Summit Unites World’s Environment Prodigies” • The world’s largest global forum for young leaders is about to open, as over 2,000 young people from across the world converge on London. One Young World’s tenth annual summit will welcome young delegates from more than 190 countries. [The Guardian]

2018 Opening of OYW (Martyn Hicks | One Young World)

¶ “Vestas Scores 61-MW Taiwan Double” • Vestas has secured a 61-MW turbine order from WPD for the Chuangwei and Leadway wind farms in Taiwan. The Danish manufacturer will supply, transport, install and commission a total of 17 V117-3.45MW machines delivered in 3.6-MW power optimised mode. It also has a 15-year management agreement. [reNEWS]

¶ “Trade Barriers ‘Hitting Wind Industry'” • The Global Wind Energy Council is calling on world governments to refrain from putting up trade barriers that impact turbine equipment. It wants to ensure an open investment climate for companies financing the global energy transition, as dealing with climate change will need investments of $2.4 trillion per year. [reNEWS]

Installing a blade (GWEC image)

¶ “Japan Atomic Power To Get ¥350 Billion To Reboot Plant” • Japan Atomic Power Co, a wholesaler of electricity generated at its nuclear plants, is likely to receive about ¥350 billion ($3.22 billion) in funding from five major utility firms to help it resume operations at the Tokai No 2 nuclear station northeast of Tokyo, sources close to the matter say. [Japan Today]


¶ “Virginia Signs Blockbuster Renewable Energy Contract With Dominion. That’s The Good News” • The state of Virginia signed a deal with Dominion Energy that it calls the largest renewable energy agreement by any US state. What could be wrong with this picture? Dominion Energy has opposed renewable energy for years and may continue to do so. [CleanTechnica]

Solar farm at sunrise (Dominion Energy image)

¶ “President’s Windmill Hatred Is A Worry For Booming Industry” • Land-based turbines are rising by the thousands from the remote Texas plains to farm towns of Iowa. And the wind boom is expanding offshore, as big corporations plan to invest $70 billion on offshore wind farms. But President Donald Trump hates wind turbines. [FOX 61]

¶ “Coal Miners Facing Layoffs As Output Dips” • It is the clearest sign yet that America’s coal country is headed for widespread job cuts: The amount of coal being produced per US miner is at the lowest level in eight years. Despite actions by President Donald Trump, US production is expected to slide 10% this year, and jobs are at risk. [NWAOnline]

Have an exquisitely pleasant day.

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October 20 Energy News

October 20, 2019


¶ “The Dark Money Protecting The ‘Worst Energy Policy In The Country’” • Ohio is the first state to reverse its renewable energy standards and efficiency targets, all while funneling more money to coal. Leah Stokes, an environmental political science professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, called it the “worst energy policy in the country.” [Grist]

Pollution (Contributor | The Washington Post | Getty Images)

¶ “Decarbonizing Economy Requires Lot More Electricity” • With broad consensus that we must decarbonize our economy, the question is how. A Brattle Group report found that cutting emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050 means demand for electricity will actually need to grow to roughly twice its current levels. [CommonWealth magazine]

¶ “‘Killer Fog’ And Bringing Science Back To The EPA, Whether The EPA Wants It Or Not” • We have long known air pollution is a killer. It may be why Clara Ford wouldn’t drive a Model T, but drove an electric car instead. The Trump administration’s lack of concern for public health puts the matter on the public. Caring citizens are working on solutions. [CleanTechnica]

PM 2.5, tiny bits of soot (US EPA image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “New NOAA Weather Prediction System Improves Severe Weather Forecasts” • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its weather prediction system this June with a climate model that will include data from updated oceanic science, allowing for more accurate climate-change-related severe weather forecasting. [Medill Reports: Chicago]


¶ “Hungary Looking For A Renewable Spot In The Sun” • Hungary is rich in renewable energy potential as solar, wind, biomass and thermal energy are all easily accessible for the Central European country. Combined with the creation of smart cities, these factors can contribute to a greener and more pleasant future. [Budapest Business Journal]

PV system in Hungary (CivertanS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “30 GW Of Renewable Plants To Be Built Along Western Border In India” • India is thinking about building 30 GW of renewable power sources in a desert along its western border, individuals acquainted with the arrangement have indicated. The area, in Gujarat and Rajasthan, is known as a bright, breezy, and bone-dry region. [ELE Times]

¶ “Extreme Weather Linked To Greater Public Trust In Science, Survey Shows” • Auckland physics professor Shaun Hendy said people are seeing the evidence of climate change with their own eyes. Thirty years ago scientists would have struggled to have their climate change work noticed, but now it seems more and more people are taking note. []

Floodwaters in Nagano after Typhoon Hagibis

¶ “Chinese Technology Helps Cubans Shift To Solar Energy” • In the outskirts of the Cuban city of Pinar del Rio, some 150 km west from Havana, is a solar park with over 15,500 panels made by the Chinese solar energy company Yingli. Cuba has 65 solar parks operating, 15 others under construction, and plans for a total of 191. [Xinhua]


¶ “Investors Rejoice: US Renewables Could Top Coal by 2022” • According to the Energy Information Administration, coal-fired power plants will account for just 22% of the American electricity production in 2020. The EIA also says that renewable power sources will provide up to 19% of American electricity in 2020. That means investment opportunities. [Motley Fool]

Wind turbines (Getty Images)

¶ “Toxic Chemical In 99% Of Americans’ Blood” • PFOA is a synthetic chemical. It’s known as a ‘forever chemical’ because it doesn’t break down. It is known to cause six types of diseases, including two types of cancer. It spreads in groundwater, so it is in the blood of 99% of Americans. The good news is that we can treat the water for it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Jersey Reaches Renewable Energy Milestone With 3 GW Of Solar Installed In-State” • The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities announced that the state has surpassed 3 GW of solar power and 116,000 solar installations statewide. New Jersey ranks in the top ten in the number of residential and business solar installations among all states. [STL.News]

Inspecting a solar system

¶ “Rocky Mountain Power Parent Company Makes It Clear: Renewables Are About To Proliferate In The West” • Digging for finite resources is expensive, and we’re becoming awfully good at harnessing abundant and free fuel courtesy of sun and wind. PacifiCorp, the largest grid operator in the West, embodies that accelerating transition. [The Park Record]

¶ “In Monticello, A City At The Center Of The Nuclear Energy Debate” • Xcel Energy’s Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant’s license is set to expire in 2030.  Xcel plans to retire its two coal plants in the Upper Midwest, adding more natural gas, solar, and wind, but it wants to keep the nuclear plant operating until at least 2040. [Minnesota Public Radio News]

Have a conspicuously restful day.

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October 19 Energy News

October 19, 2019


¶ “Why We’re Rethinking The Images We Use For Our Climate Journalism” • After the Guardian‘s editors considered the language they use to cover environmental issues, they turned their attention to images. When it comes to images on climate change, people love pictures of polar bears, but they respond to pictures relating to their own lives. [The Guardian]

Air pollution in the UK (Steve Garvie, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Hostage-Taking New Tactic In Offshore Natural Gas Pipeline Wars” • National Grid claims that New York’s decision to nix a new natural gas pipeline resulted in a gas shortage, and they can’t provide gas hookups to hundreds of buildings in New York City and elsewhere. Now it looks like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called their bluff. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Croissant-Making Method Leads To Breakthrough In Sustainable Energy Storage” • Inspired by croissant-making techniques, researchers came up with improved energy storage, according to a study. Having pressed and folded a capacitor covered with a plastic film, researchers were able to increase energy storage by a factor of thirty. [iNews]

Croissant (Public Domain Pictures)

¶ “Researchers Announce A Battery That Runs On Lithium And Carbon Dioxide” • Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have published a paper in the journal Advanced Materials that says they have successfully designed a lithium-carbon dioxide battery that is fully rechargeable and remains stable for up to 500 charging cycles. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Swiss Election: Why Melting Alps Could Create A Green Wave” • Climate change has risen to the top of Switzerland’s political agenda and observers are eyeing a possible “green tsunami” in 20 October elections. Combined, the Greens and Green Liberals get 18% of the vote in opinion polls, putting them in second place among Swiss parties. [BBC]

Mourning the Pizol glacier (Getty Images)

¶ “Volvo To Introduce A New EV Each Year, Sell 50% BEVs By 2025” • Volvo is moving quickly to produce more EVs. “A Volvo built in 2025 will leave a carbon footprint that is 40% lower than a car we build today,” Volvo Cars CEO Samuelsson said. Volvo plans to achieve that number by selling 50% battery electric vehicles by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Porsche And Boeing Sign An Agreement To Work On ‘Premium’ eVTOL Aircraft” • Boeing and Porsche have signed a memorandum of understanding to look into the “premium” electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft market. The two companies will create an international team focusing on various aspects of urban air mobility. [CleanTechnica]

Kitty Hawk Heaviside (Courtesy Kitty Hawk Corp website)

¶ “Haven Power Lands Renewable Energy Contract With Ford” • Haven Power, based in Ipswich, secured a renewable electricity contract with automotive giant Ford to supply renewable electricity to three of its manufacturing plants in the UK. Haven Power will supply Ford with 250 MW of electricity, reducing its CO₂ emissions. [CSO Magazine]

¶ “UK CfD3 Winners Sign Contracts” • Offshore projects totaling 5500 MW have signed the Contracts for Difference offered in the UK’s third round allocation, the Low Carbon Contracts Company said. Four remote island wind farms with combined capacity of over 274 MW have also signed the contracts offered to them, LCCC said. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (SSE Image)

¶ “South Africa Plans 22-GW Renewables Surge” • South Africa plans to build more than 22 GW of new wind, solar and storage capacity up to 2030, the government’s 2019 integrated resource plan says. The plan, which maps out the energy mix for the next 10 years, envisages 14.4 GW of new wind, 6 GW of new solar and 2,088 MW of storage. [reNEWS]

¶ “India To Add 20,000 MW Of Nuclear Power Generation Capacity Over Next Decade” • India is set to add around 20,000 MW of nuclear power generation capacity over the next decade, KN Vyas, Secretary at the the Department of Atomic Energy and the Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission said at an industry event. []

Nuclear plant


¶ “The Single Biggest Threat To US Oil Jobs” • Reuters’ John Kemp reports, citing official data, that the oil and gas support segment had shed 14,000 jobs between October last year and August this year. That’s a 5% decline, and combined with other data from the industry, it does suggest that a slowdown is in motion. []

¶ “Facebook And Google: Utilities Must Take Lead On Grid Decarbonization” • Corporate procurement now ranks among the top drivers of large-scale US renewables purchases. But it’s not the long-term answer to clean energy deployment, the technology executives said at an event hosted by the American Council on Renewable Energy. [Greentech Media]

Data center (Credit: Google)

¶ “Commonwealth of VA Announces Largest Renewable Energy Contract in Nation” • The Commonwealth of Virginia announced a landmark agreement. It is the largest contract that any state has negotiated to buy renewable energy to power state government. Dominion Energy will supply the state with 420 MW of wind and solar power. [The Roanoke Star]

¶ “Scientific Integrity Act Passes House Committee” • Legislation to protect scientific integrity in US federal agencies was approved by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in a 25 to 6 vote that included bipartisan support. The bill would require federal science agencies to adopt and enforce a scientific integrity policy. [Eos]

Have a fabulously happy day.

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October 18 Energy News

October 18, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Planting A Trillion Trees Will Not Halt Climate Change” • A group of 46 scientists from around the world, led by Dr Joseph Veldman, urge caution about plans to address climate change through massive tree planting. They published a message of concern in the journal Science, urging that care be used not to plant trees in the wrong areas. [Newswise]

Savanna in Bolivia (JW Veldman, Texas A&M)

¶ “With 10% Penetration, EVs Could Shift All Residential Peak Load To Night, Analysis Of SoCal Ed Finds” • Electric vehicles have the potential to act as virtual power plants that can help utilities soak up midday renewable energy and discharge in the evenings to reduce peak load, according to a study from Jackson Associates. [Utility Dive]


¶ “Snowy 2.0: Australia’s Divisive Plan For A Vast Underground ‘Battery'” • The Snowy 2.0 project will carve tunnels through 27 km (17 miles) of rock to make a pipeline linking two reservoirs. The pumped storage project could cover 10% of the nation’s peak demand. But some opposing it say it is too expensive and will take too long to build. [BBC]

Snowy Hydro’s lower reservoir (Snowy Hydro image)

¶ “Fortescue Signs Up To Alinta Plans To Use Solar To Power Huge Iron Ore Mines” • Power utility Alinta Energy and mining giant Fortescue Metals have won federal government backing for their plans to help power the miner’s Pilbara iron ore operations solar and battery storage. A 60-MW PV plant will be sited near the mines. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Who Is Funding The Fossil Fuel Industry?” • Analysis by The Guardian shows that big banks have invested more than $700 billion in new coal, oil, and natural gas projects since the Paris climate accords of 2015. In all, 33 financial institutions provided about $1.9 trillion in funding to the fossil fuel sector in 2016 through 2018. [CleanTechnica]

Greenpeace action (Greenpeace image)

¶ “Aker Solutions And EDP Renewables To Develop Floating Wind Farm In Ulsan, South Korea” • WindPower Korea, EDP Renewables, and Aker Solutions formed a consortium, initially to develop a 500-MW floating wind farm off the coast of Ulsan, South Korea. The country is planning to have 13 GW of offshore windpower by 2030. [PRNewswire]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Scores 360-MW Chilean Treble” • Siemens Gamesa has signed three contracts to supply turbine orders worth 359 MW to customers in Chile. The agreements cover the installation and commissioning of 82 SG 4.5-145 turbines, with flexible power ratings. Installation of the turbines is scheduled for 2020. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Climate Crisis Will Not Be Discussed At G7 Next Year, Says Trump Official” • The climate crisis will not be formally discussed at the G7 summit in June next year, Donald Trump’s acting White House chief of staff told reporters. He announced that the G7 summit would take place at a golf resort owned by Donald Trump. [The Guardian]

¶ “Nuclear Power Doesn’t Stack Up Says The Australia Institute” • The Australia Institute rejected suggestions Australia should adopt nuclear power, saying it just doesn’t stack up. It released a report saying electricity from nuclear plants is too expensive, and the plants are “essentially uninsurable,” so risks would be borne by the public. []

NuScale small modular reactor (NuScale image)


¶ “US Energy Secretary Quits Amid Trump Inquiry” • Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who has been drawn into the Trump impeachment inquiry, will resign. President Trump confirmed the former Texas governor’s departure. Mr Perry’s exit had been rumored for months even before he became entangled in a controversy over Ukraine. [BBC]

¶ “Wells Fargo Enters Its Largest Solar Energy Deal” • Wells Fargo announced a 10-year structured renewable energy agreement with Reliant, an NRG Energy company, for nearly 62,000 MWh of solar energy annually for operations in Texas. The NRG Renewable Select plan will provide 100% of the bank’s electricity in the ERCOT region. [Saurenergy]

Texas solar project

¶ “MI Power Grid Program Aims To Help Michiganders With Transition to Renewable Power” • Michigan has a new program to help consumers adapt to the transition to renewable power. Gov Gretchen Whitmer announced the MI Power Grid program, which will provide information about clean energy and work to add it to the grid. [9&10 News]

¶ “NJ Transit’s Plans For A Power Plant Stink, Environmentalists Say” • Environmentalists braved a Nor’easter to protest NJ Transit plans to build a natural gas-fired power plant in Kearny. The TransitGrid project would build a 140-MW gas-fired power plant, funded by a $409 million grant from federal Superstorm Sandy resiliency funds. []

Protesters outside NJ Transit’s headquarters

¶ “Consumers Energy Unveils Clean Energy Plan” • Patti Poppe, CEO of Consumers Energy, a Michigan public utility, didn’t always believe in climate change. That has changed. “The evidence is there,” she said. “You can’t avoid it.” Now, the utility has a clean energy plan that will replace coal-burning plants with wind and solar. [Battle Creek Enquirer]

¶ “Missouri Commission Wants Legislators To Scrap Nuclear Plant Funding Law” • State legislators are being asked by the Missouri Air Conservation Commission to repeal a law passed by the state’s voters in 1976 that prohibits utility companies from charging customers to cover the cost of building nuclear plants until they are running. [St Louis Public Radio]

Have an abundantly propitious day.

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October 17 Energy News

October 17, 2019


¶ “‘UK Needs To Back’ Floating Wind, Says New Report” • Additional government support and continued trade links with Europe are needed to ensure the UK maintains its lead in deploying floating wind, a report from the University of Strathclyde advises. It reviewed 60 offshore projects and has five recommendations. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Equinor image)

¶ “Phase 2 Of Tesla Gigafactory 3 Will House Battery Manufacturing Facility” • A report by China’s Global Times says Tesla completed construction of the parts of its Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai that will produce automobiles. Now it has begun work on “phase 2” of the factory, which will house a battery making facility. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Zealand Edges Closer Towards Achieving Renewable Energy Target” • New Zealand has a target of 90% of electricity to be renewably sourced by 2025. Energy in New Zealand 2019 notes that renewable electricity’s share increased from 82% in 2017 to 84% in 2018. The country is getting 40% of total energy from renewables. [Solar Quotes]

New Zealand hydro dam (Seriocomic, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Russian Ministry Mulls Ban On Foreign-Led Renewables Projects” • Russia’s industry and trade ministry is considering banning foreign-led companies from designing and installing renewable energy plants, the newspaper Vedomosti said. It said future developments would probably sub-contract them to foreign partners, increasing costs. [Recharge]

¶ “Eden Project Secures Funding For Phase One Of Geothermal Plan” • The Eden Project and EGS Energy Limited, both located in Cornwall, announced funding has been secured to drill the first well for its pioneering geothermal heat and power project. With the £16.8 million in funding, they say they can start drilling next summer. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Eden Project (Jon, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Germany’s Largest Solar Farm Will Also Be Subsidy-Free” • German utility EnBW signed off on the investment for a 180-MW subsidy-free solar farm. It will be Germany’s largest solar farm, and EnBW says it will be the first major unsubsidized solar project in the country. The company expects commissioning to take place in 2020. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Haliade-X Prototype Stands Tall In Rotterdam” •  A 12-MW Haliade X wind turbine prototype has been installed in the Dutch Port of Rotterdam by GE Renewables. The 260-meter tall test turbine, which is next to Sif’s Maasvlakte yard, will be energised shortly. GE expects to complete type testing new platform by the end of next year. [reNEWS]

GE Haliade-X turbine (GE Renewables image)

¶ “Lithuania May Outlaw Purchasing Electricity From Belarus NPP” • Lithuania’s president presented the parliament with amendments to the laws preventing acquisition of electricity in countries with hazardous nuclear power plants. The Belarusian NPP being built had been declared a threat to national security, public health, and the environment. [Belsat]

¶ “Another Insurer To Withdraw Coverage From Oil Sands” • Starting next year, Axis Capital Holdings Ltd will stop writing new insurance and facultative reinsurance for oil sands extraction and pipeline projects. The insurance industry has been warning for years about the consequences of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. [Canadian Underwriter]



¶ “Solar+Storage Killer App From DR Microgrid” • Start-up DR Microgrid, of Santa Ana, CA recently showed a plug-and-play solar+storage+nanogrid system. It is a residential or commercial-scale microgrid designed for a single home or building, which typically do not involve more than 100 kW of renewable generation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Philadelphia Launches Regional Collaborative To Tackle Climate Change, Recycling, Renewable Energy” • The Climate Collaborative of Greater Philadelphia was to be a way for local organizations to coordinate efforts on climate change, energy, and recycling. The number of sign-ups was nearly double what was expected. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Solar arrays (Community Energy Solar)

¶ “Big Businesses Weigh In Against PGE Renewables” • A group of big businesses is objecting to a Portland General Electric plan to acquire new renewable energy resources, beyond a wind, solar, and energy-storage project already in the works, by 2023. AWEC includes major companies such as Boeing, Georgia Pacific, and Microsoft. [Portland Business Journal]

¶ “IEA Wins $67 Million Iowa Wind Contract To Power Up State Renewables” • Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives has won the construction of a new wind energy project, the 130-MW Richland Wind Farm in Iowa valued at about $67 million. Work on the Richland project is to begin in late October with full operation by September 2020. [Smart Energy]

Wind turbines in Aveyron (Image: Wikipedia)

¶ “Renewables Have Overtaken Fossil Fuels In The UK, But America Is ‘Headed In The Opposite Direction,’ According To Expert” • Renewable energy sources produced 40% of total energy consumed in Britain in the third quarter of 2019. In the US, by contrast, fossil fuels made up 80% of the total energy consumption for all sectors. [Newsweek]

¶ “Cubico Closes 162-MW Texas PV Cash” • Cubico Sustainable Investments has achieved financial close on the 162-MW Wagyu solar farm in Texas. The project has a 15-year corporate power purchase agreement with Starbucks and a 12-year physical hedge from BP. Wagyu is expected to become fully operational in the third quarter of 2020. [reNEWS]

Have a radically flawless day.

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October 16 Energy News

October 16, 2019


¶ “What happens when a city bans car from its streets?” • Many modern cities have been built around cars, with huge amounts of space set aside for roads and parking. Now, some cities are trying to design the car out of the urban landscape altogether. Both Oslo and Madrid have started work on plans to ban cars from their centers. [BBC]

Oslo (Getty Images)

¶ “Getting Real Serious About Renewable Hydrogen In Real America” • Renewable energy critics used to complain that wind and solar were unreliable because they were intermittent. Now that very characteristic has created an opportunity for renewable hydrogen production, using excess renewable energy to produce hydrogen, which can be stored. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “To Encourage Climate Action, Talk Up the Benefits Of Adaptation” • New studies indicate that the unwillingness of climate change believers to take basic protective steps suggests that policymakers trying to encourage climate action are better off talking about the benefits of mitigation than about the dangers of a warming planet. [Scientific American]

After Hurricane Florence (Credit: Sean Rayford Getty Images)

¶ “Argentina May Be the Hottest Renewable Energy Market You Haven’t Heard Of. Can It Spur a Global Boom?” • An innovative approach unlocked Argentina’s renewable energy market, making it “the most interesting in the world” in just three years. It could open the door to billions in renewable investment in developing nations worldwide. [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Extreme Snowfall Kept Most Plants And Animals In One Arctic Ecosystem From Reproducing” • Climate scientists predict that parts of the Arctic will see more precipitation and more extreme seasonal fluctuations, as the globe warms. Snowfalls in 2018 were so heavy in parts of Greenland that some species could not breed. [Science News]

Arctic sanderling (J Reneerkens)


¶ “Google Unveils $150 Million Investment To Power Manufacturing With Renewables” • Google committed to invest $150 million (£118 million) in helping its key manufacturers to source renewable power and decarbonized their grids. Google predicts that its initial investment will catalyze around $1.5 billion of investment in renewables globally. []

¶ “Record Melting Sees Swiss Glaciers Shrink 10% In Five Years” • Glaciers in Switzerland have shrunk 10% in the past five years, a rate that has never been seen before in over a century of observations, according to new research. The summer 2019 heatwave saw glacier melt rates break records, leading to huge losses in ice volume. [CNN]

Swiss glacier (Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Berkshire Hathaway Unveils 118-MW Alberta Wind Plan” • Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary BHE Canada is planning to build a 117.6-MW wind farm in Alberta. The company expects construction of the Rattlesnake Ridge to start next year, having signed a long-term power purchase agreement for most of the 475 GWh per year output. [reNEWS]

¶ “European Tidal Nets €47 Million Aye For TIGER” • The EU-funded Interreg program launched a €47 million tidal project to install up to 8 MW of capacity in and around the English Channel. The Tidal Stream Industry Energiser Project aims to boost the prospects for tidal stream in the UK and France through use of economies of scale. [reNEWS]

Tidal turbine (Image: Simec Atlantis)

¶ “Renewable Capacity Additions Exceed New Coal In India” • Coal power station capacity addition is seeing a declining trend in India. Between financial years 2012 and 2016, 10-20 GW of new coal-power station capacity was added every year to the grid. But, in the last three years, this dropped to 5 GW and is further declining. [Down To Earth Magazine]

¶ “Ofgem Offers To Reduce Costs Of Hinkley Point Transmission Link” • UK gas and electricity markets regulator Ofgem plans to offer £637 million to National Grid Electricity Transmission for construction of a transmission link for the new Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor. The offer is intended to save money for both investors and customers. [Power Technology]

Hinkley Point A and B (Credit: Richard Baker)


¶ “Notre Dame Embraces Renewable Energy, Cuts Coal-Fired Plant” • The University of Notre Dame is shuttering its coal-fired power plant a year ahead of schedule thanks to a sustainable energy plan that’s seen the campus embrace renewable energy. The university had set a goal to reduce emissions 50% by 2030, but it has achieved that already. [Miami Herald]

¶ “Trump Administration Proposes New Logging In Nation’s Largest National Forest” • The Trump administration is proposing opening more than 180,000 acres of the country’s largest national forest for logging. The Agriculture Department proposal would allow road construction to log the huge Tongass National Forest. [CNN]

Tongass National Forest

¶ “A Northern California Refinery Fire Has Been Contained After Sending Residents To Shelter In Place” • Two large ethanol tanks burned at a NuStar Energy facility in Crockett, according to a Contra Costa County Fire Department spokesman. The fire spread to nearby vegetation, but it was contained in less than seven hours. [CNN]

¶ “Green Cab Ditches Hybrids In Favor Of Teslas For Its Taxi Fleet” • The Green Cab taxi company in Madison, Wisconsin, announced that it is converting its fleet of taxis from hybrids to electric vehicles. When the move is completed, it will make Green Cab the first in the nation to operate a fleet of fully electric taxis. [CleanTechnica]

Have a uniquely worthwhile day.

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October 15 Energy News

October 15, 2019


¶ “Rise Of Renewables May See Off Oil Firms Decades Earlier Than They Think” • The rising world reliance on fossil fuels may end decades earlier than the most polluting companies predict, offering early signs of hope on the climate crisis. Energy experts are adjusting their forecasts as clean energy develops far more quickly than expected. [The Guardian]

Windfarm in Northumberland (Murdo Macleod | The Guardian)

¶ “‘I’m Standing Here In The Middle Of Climate Change’: How USDA Is Failing Farmers” • American farmers are being slammed by climate change, but the Agriculture Department is doing practically nothing to help them adapt to it. Experts are predict that this is the new norm: increasingly extreme weather across much of the US. [Politico]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Exposure To Pollution Linked To ‘Silent Miscarriages'” • Pregnant women who have been exposed to high levels of pollution face an increased risk of “silent miscarriage” in the first trimester, according to a study. A “silent miscarriage” happens when a fetus hasn’t formed or has died, but the placenta and embryonic tissue remain. [CNN]

Los Angeles (Frederic J Brown | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Did The US Navy Solve Clean Energy With A Compact Fusion Reactor?” • In a patent application, Salvatore Pais, of the US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, claims to have invented a compact fusion reactor. The patent claims that a device 1 to 6.5 feet in size could generate between a gigawatt and a terawatt of electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “An Arctic Expedition On Thin Ice” • The icebreaker Polarstern and its crew reached 85 degrees north on their Arctic voyage only to make a worrying discovery that threatens the success of the expedition. The problem is that they need to find ice that will support their activities, including a runway for aircraft, and the ice they are finding is not thick enough. [BBC]

Polarstern on thin ice


¶ “Uniti Announces Pricing” • Uniti, an electric car startup from Sweden, announced pricing details for Uniti One, its 3-passenger city car. With the larger of the two available batteries, UK prices will start at £15,100 ($19,050), after a government incentive of £3,500 is deducted. With the larger battery, the Uniti One is said to have a range of 300 km (186 miles). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Irish Are Motoring Greener And Cleaner: Electric And Hybrid Vehicles Now Account For Over 10% Of Irish Auto Sales” • Green motoring is on the increase month by month in Northern Europe, as we’ve reported extensively. We are now happy to bring a report on the continuing growth of electric vehicles in Ireland. [CleanTechnica]

Free charging at a grocery (Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Wind Energy Could Supply One Third Of Global Power By 2040, Says Siemens” • Wind energy could supply more than one third of global electric power demand by 2040, and this could save up to four million lives a year, according to a new study commissioned by wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Equinor To Proceed With 88-MW Hywind Tampen Offshore Wind Farm” • Norwegian energy company Equinor confirmed Final Investment Decision on the 88-MW Hywind Tampen offshore wind farm, which is to supply power to oil and gas platforms in the Norwegian Sea, the first ever to be powered by a floating offshore wind farm. [CleanTechnica]

Illustration of the Hywind Tampen project (Equinor image)


¶ “Ban Air Miles To Combat Climate Crisis, UK Committee Recommends” • Air miles programs should be banned and a levy on frequent flyers put in place to reduce carbon emissions from aviation, the UK government’s climate advisory body said in a report. The measure is one of a number of recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change. [CNN]

¶ “Extinction Rebellion: Police Ban London Protests” • The Extinction Rebellion activists say they left London’s Trafalgar Square after police issued a ban on the group’s climate change protests. Demonstrators protesting in the capital after 21:00 BST could be arrested. The protests, which began last Monday, have seen more than 1,400 arrests. [BBC]

Police remove an Extinction Rebellion protester (PA Media)

¶ “The UK Company Turning Waste Plastic Into Fuel For Hydrogen Cars” • Britain produces about 5 million metric tons of plastic waste every year, but less than a third of that is recycled. Roughly half ends up in landfills. UK company Powerhouse Energy wants to use this plastic deluge and other waste to produce energy. [CNN]


¶ “Poll: Ohio Voters Support Renewable Energy And Oppose The State’s Recent Nuclear Subsidy” • More than six in 10 (63%) Ohioans think developing more renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, should be the most important priority for addressing Ohio’s energy needs. A majority (54%) oppose subsidizing nuclear and coal plants. [Solar Builder]

Voters in Ohio

¶ “Xcel Energy Plans To Close Two Of Its Coal Fired Plants In Pueblo To Make Way For A Greener Future” • Xcel Energy plans to close two of its coal-fired plants a decade early to make way for a greener future. The plants are in Pueblo, Colorado. The renewable energy industry is growing right next to retiring coal-burning plants. [The Denver Channel]

¶ “Legislation That Would Double Guam’s Renewable Energy Goal Receives Support” • A senate bill aimed at raising the amount of Guam’s electricity produced from the current goal of 25% to 50% by 2035 received general support during a public hearing. A question arose about whether a solar farm or rooftop solar is better. [The Guam Daily Post]

Have an exceptionally fortuitous day.

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October 14 Energy News

October 14, 2019


¶ “George P Shultz To Republicans: Climate Action Is An Insurance Policy Reagan Would Like” • When Ronald Reagan got behind the effort to save the ozone layer, there was much less scientific consensus than there is now on climate change, and  uncertainty was holding up action. Reagan pointed out a need for action as an insurance policy. [Forbes]

Reagan and Shultz (Bettmann Archive)

¶ “LBJ Warned Us On Climate 54 Years Ago” • As we careen toward the “tipping point” on climate change many of our fellow citizens wonder why someone didn’t warn us long ago so we could have done something. Someone did. And they did it a relatively long time ago. We were warned in 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson. [Blog for Iowa]


¶ “EDF Renewables Commissions 130 MW Of Solar Energy Capacity In Egypt” • EDF Renewables said it commissioned 130 MW of solar energy capacity in Egypt, as it steps up the pace of its development in North Africa. EDF said the latest plants moved it closer to meeting its goal of doubling its net renewable energy capacity worldwide. []

Solar farm (iStock image)

¶ “Iran Says It Discovered A Natural Gas Reserve That Could Create $40 Billion In Revenue” • Iran announced that it has discovered a natural gas reserve with the capacity to produce nearly 400 million barrels of gas condensate. It could generate a total of $40 billion. Iran has the world’s fourth largest reserves of hydrocarbons. [CNN]

¶ “For The First Time Renewables Overtake Fossil Fuels In UK Power Generation” • In the UK, renewable sources generated more electricity than fossil fuel power plants over the past three months. This year’s third quarter was the first since 1882 in which renewables outpaced fossil fuels, climate website Carbon Brief said. [The London Economic]

Solar farm (PA)

¶ “German Rail Operator Holds Europe-Wide PPA Tender For Green Power” • German railway operator Deutsche Bahn has launched a tender for 5% of its annual electricity supply from renewable sources for the next eight years, aiming to get nearer to its long-term target of 100% green power by 2038. The rail operator’s is already 57% green. [Reuters]

¶ “Queensland Green Lights New $350 Million Wind Farm” • The Queensland Government gave the green light for a A$350 million ($237 million) wind farm, south-west of Gladstone. The Banana Range wind farm will have a capacity of 180 MW, and it will boost the wind capacity of Queensland to 224 MW, enough to power a million homes. [Energy Magazine]

Wind farm and Milky Way (shutterstock image)

¶ “Great Britain Witnesses Soaring Battery Storage Exports To Distribution Networks” • Battery storage exports to the UK’s distribution networks have jumped to almost 49 GWh in 2018 from 50 MWh in 2014, according to a report released by the Renewable Energy Association and energy market data hub operator ElectraLink. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Extinction Rebellion: London Takes Deep Breath As Climate Activists Hold Nerve For Second Week Of Protests” • London is braced for another week of chaos as Extinction Rebellion plan to bring further disruption. Climate activists are holding their nerve despite the arrest toll from the last week of protests reaching more than 1,300. [iNews]

Doctors supporting Extinction Rebellion (Image: PA Wire)

¶ “Typhoon Hagibis Leaves As Many As 35 Dead As Japan Continues Rescue” • Typhoon Hagibis was the largest storm to hit Japan in decades. Nearly 6 million people were urged to evacuate, and 370,000 homes had no power. Floods washed away bags of soil contaminated by the Fukushima Disaster, and nuclear plants need inspection for damage. [The Indian Express]


¶ “Loon, Hermit Thrush Among Vermont Birds Threatened By Climate Change” • Some of Vermont’s most iconic native birds, including the common loon, white-throated sparrow and the hermit thrush – the state bird – are under threat from climate change, according to a new report from the National Audubon Society. []

Loon (Shirley Donald | Audubon Photography Awards)

¶ “Experts Axed By Trump’s EPA Are Preparing Their Own Pollution Report” • Twenty experts who had served on the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee but were canned as the Donald Trump administration stocked its panels with industry shills, met this week to continue their work independently, NBC News reported. [Gizmodo Australia]

¶ “Duke Professor Selected For ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ Initiative” • In a time of ecological crisis, one Duke professor has been tapped as part of a newly formed group to fight it. James Clark, Nicholas Professor of Environmental Science, is one of 43 scientists and social scientists working on the Make Our Planet Great Again Initiative. [Duke Chronicle]

Great planet (Jim Liu | The Chronicle)

¶ “North Carolina To Be 100% Renewable By 2050, But This Does Not Include Wood Fuel” • North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper recently issued an executive order calling for the Department of Environmental Quality to develop a plan to get the state to be carbon neutral by 2050. The DEQ deemed burning trees for fuels as not low-carbon or renewable. [EP Magazine]

¶ “Facing Climate Change, ExxonMobil Ramps Up Energy Research” • ExxonMobil has been creating partnerships with universities in recent years totaling at least $75 million, and it just inked another, unprecedented $100 million deal with the DOE. Environmentalists and some academic experts view these collaborations with deep skepticism. [Axios]

Have a superbly glorious day.

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October 13 Energy News

October 13, 2019


¶ “Australia’s tortured energy debate: what is the state of play?” • There are a lot of moving parts in Australia’s tortured energy debate – and many of the parts are moving in the wrong direction. With parliament set to resume next week, and with energy back on the agenda, it is timely to recap the state of play for energy. [The Guardian]

Liddell power station (Jonny Weeks | The Guardian)

¶ “The Executive Branch Must Stop Suppressing Science” • Our ability to keep the public safe and move the country forward economically rests, in large part, on government science and research. That foundational work is endangered by manipulation for political ends, and the ramifications are vast and should concern all Americans. [Scientific American]

¶ “Why The Shift Toward Renewable Energy Is Not Enough” • The climate and biodiversity crises reflect the stories that we have allowed to infiltrate the collective psyche of industrial civilization. It is high time to let go of these stories. Regain clarity. Make room for other stories that can help us reshape our ways of being in the world. [GreenBiz]

Protest (Alex Hsuan Tsui | Shutterstock)

¶ “The Harm From Worrying About Climate Change” • Worry about climate change is affecting more people as global warming becomes more apparent around the world. But there is a solution that can help improve this anxiety and slow climate breakdown at the same time. And it helps to recognize that climate anxiety isn’t a pathology. [BBC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Russian Scientists Say They’ve Found The Highest-Ever ‘Flares’ Of Methane In Arctic Waters” • Russian scientists doing research in Arctic waters found the most powerful ever methane jets shooting up from the seabed to the water’s surface, they said. Amounts of methane in the air over the East Siberian Sea were up to nine times the global average. [CNN]

Russian scientists aboard ship (Tomsk Polytechnic University)


¶ “Twenty Corporations Responsible For A Third Of All Carbon Emissions” • Climate Accountability published a report that tracks the CO₂ attributable to corporations since the Industrial Revolution began. It finds just 90 companies were responsible for two thirds of all CO₂ emissions, and a mere 20 of them are responsible for 30%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “StreetScooter Plans To Enter US And Chinese Markets With New Electric Delivery Trucks” • Deutsche Post purchased EV startup StreetScooter in 2014. Then it started to replace all 70,000 vehicles in its fleet with electric trucks, and to sell trucks to other companies. Now it is planning to build factories in the US and China. [CleanTechnica]

StreetScooter delivery truck (StreetScooter image)

¶ “Saudi Arabia’s Renewables Drive Remains In First Gear” • Saudi Arabia has promised to diversify its economy away from fossil fuels, but so far there has been limited evidence of large renewable energy projects. Fossil-fuel production has risen and Saudi delegates refuse to accept international climate reports presented to the UN. [Energy Reporters]

¶ “Scientists Endorse Mass Civil Disobedience To Force Climate Action” • Over 300 scientists from at least 20 countries, including climate scientists, physicists, biologists, and others, endorsed a civil disobedience campaign to force governments to act to tackle climate change. They warning that failure to do so could inflict “incalculable human suffering.” []

Extinction Rebellion demonstration in London (Reuters)


¶ “‘If They Don’t Do It, We Will’: Greta Thunberg Rallies Climate Strikers For Long Haul” • Young people must be prepared to strike for a long time for action on climate change and not back down, the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has told a rally in Denver. Thunberg said she and fellow youth activists would not beg. [The Guardian]

¶ “Loons Likely To Disappear From Minnesota Due To Climate Change, New Report Warns” • Minnesota could lose its beloved state bird in coming decades if humans don’t stall climate change and prevent the common loon from shifting north, a report by the National Audubon Society, Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink says. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Loon (David Joles | Star Tribune)

¶ “Renewable Energy Firm Doubles Down On Western Wind Projects” • Pattern Development, a California-based renewable energy developer, plans to increase its investments by seven-fold, with an economic impact of $1.2 billion, as it prepares to build more wind farms in New Mexico and West Texas over the next several years. [Longview News-Journal]

¶ “President Trump’s Support Of US Uranium Producers Awaits The Nuclear Fuel Working Group Report” • The Nuclear Fuel Working Group is due to release its report to President Trump in the next few days (by mid October) and a positive outcome is going to be needed to help re-establish the US domestic uranium supply chain. [InvestorIntel]

Have an entirely untroubled day.

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October 12 Energy News

October 12, 2019


¶ “Scottish Water Produces More Power From Renewables” • Solar panels in Speyside and wind turbines in Orkney are helping Scottish Water reap the benefits of renewables at its sites across the country. The utility firm says it has already hit its latest carbon-cutting and energy-efficiency targets, two years ahead of schedule. [Inverness Courier]

Scottish Water wind turbines

¶ “KPMG: Demand For Renewables ‘Insatiable'” • The renewables industry is in excellent health, but more policy work is needed to realize its full potential and avoid the worst effects of climate change, a KPMG study commissioned by Siemens Gamesa said. Debt market demand for sustainable energy increased from $5 billion in 2012 to $247 billion in 2018. [reNEWS]

¶ “The First 100% Electric Taxi In Spain” • In October, 2011, Roberto San José Mendiluce drove the first 100% electric taxi in Spain. He replaced the original 24-kWh battery in his Nissan LEAF after driving 354,000 km (220,000 miles). After 392,000 km with no emissions and no breakdowns, the car was hit by another vehicle and totaled. [CleanTechnica]

Electric taxi

¶ “Two New Coal Plants Cancelled In Botswana” • Two Japanese banks, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, have withdrawn their support to finance two new 150-MW coal plants in Botswana. The country has world-class solar potential, averaging 3,200 hours per year of sunshine. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Trio Pilot Temporary Power Solution” • Northern Powergrid is partnering with energy storage companies Offgrid Energy and Hyperdrive Innovation to trial a system that could provide temporary electricity in the UK during power cuts. The Silent Power solution will have electric vans with on-board energy storage systems. [reNEWS]

Mobile backup storage (Northern Powergrid image)

¶ “Hanergy’s Renewable Energy Center Bags LEED Zero certification” • Hanergy’s Renewable Energy Center received the LEED Zero certification, becoming the first building in the world certified to be Zero Carbon by the USGBC’s LEED certification authority. USGBC is promoting the “greening” process of the construction industry. [Greentech Lead]


¶ “Saddleridge Fire: One Dead In Blaze Raging Round Los Angeles” • At least one person is dead in a fast-moving wildfire that has razed 4,700 acres north of Los Angeles, California, forcing thousands of others to flee. The Saddleridge fire has led to a mandatory evacuation for 25,000 homes, some of which have been destroyed. [BBC]

Fire (Reuters image)

¶ “The Coal King Is Racing To Avoid Bankruptcy” • Coal baron Robert Murray, a forceful supporter of President Donald Trump, is fighting to save his mining empire from financial collapse. Murray Energy is America’s largest private coal miner. It recently failed to make payments to lenders, and S&P downgraded the company’s credit rating to “default.” [CNN]

¶ “OUC Commissioners Approve Plan To Add 149 MW Of Solar Power” • In Florida, the Orlando Utilities Commission approved a plan to add 149 MW of solar power to its generation portfolio, doubling the utility’s solar capacity. The solar resource would provide enough energy to power around 27,000 residential customers. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar trackers (Dennis Schroeder | NREL)

¶ “Wells Fargo And Other Climate Destroying Banks” • The Sierra Club is asking people to stop doing business with banks like Wells Fargo that fund fossil fuel activities. Anyone with an account at Wells Fargo, including credit card accounts, can walk in to any branch at their earliest convenience, close it, and make a point by telling them why. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vigor Completes Construction Of Massive Wave Energy Buoy” • Vigor Industrial of Portland, Oregon, has completed construction of an 826-ton energy buoy for Ocean Energy, an Irish company. The buoy is being moved to Oahu, Hawaii. It measures 125 x 59 feet with a draft of 31 feet and has capacity of 1.25 MW. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Energy buoy (Courtesy of Ocean Energy)

¶ “Sierra College Dedicates New Solar Array To Save Money, Increase Use Of Renewable Energy, And Shade Parking Spaces On Rocklin Campus” • Sierra College dedicated a 2-MW solar parking canopy at its campus in Rocklin, California. The system, which includes storage, is projected to save millions of dollars in long-term energy costs. [YubaNet]

¶ “The Midwest’s Solar Future Will Be Unlike Anything Seen Before” • Fitch Solutions Marco Research released a solar sector report, Midwest US Set To Experience Strong Growth In Solar Sector, which predicts that the Midwest will contribute heavily to a 100-GW increase in solar power capacity in the US over the next 10 years. [pv magazine USA]

PV installation in Iowa (Ideal Energy | prnewswire)

¶ “Louisiana kills net metering. Will other states roll back solar?” • Louisiana’s multiyear brawl over rooftop solar policy finally has a winner. Much to the dismay of US renewable energy advocates, the winner is the regulated utilities. A 3-2 vote by the Louisiana Public Service Commission will abandon net metering starting next year. [E&E News]

¶ “Cunningham To Introduce Bill Aimed At Keeping Diablo Canyon Power Plant Open” • California Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham says he plans to introduce a bill that could keep Diablo Canyon Power Plant operational. The bill would classify nuclear power as renewable under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. [KSBY San Luis Obispo News]

Have an astoundingly jolly day.

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October 11 Energy News

October 11, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Carlsberg Is Working On Beer Bottles Made Of Paper” • Carlsberg, the Danish beer company, is getting closer to its goal of selling beer in paper bottles. Fiber bottles are better for the environment than aluminum or glass because they are sourced in a sustainable way, and because paper has a “very low impact on production processes.” [CNN]

Carlsberg’s latest paper bottle prototype (Carlsberg image)


¶ “Dyson Abandons Electric Car Project” • After making plans and spending millions, Dyson has quit the car-making business. Going forward, the company will “concentrate on the formidable task of manufacturing solid-state batteries” as well as other “fundamental” technologies like vision systems, robotics, machine learning, and AI. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Danish Six Pack Forms Taiwan Offshore Cluster” • Six Danish companies are collaborating to provide services to the offshore wind sector in Taiwan. They are ProCon Wind Energy, A-leaf, All NRG, Comtech, Hytor and Site Solution Partners. The six companies will operate independently from each other from a shared office in Taiwan. [reNEWS]

Mast sections (Pro Con Wind Energy image)

¶ “Three Battery Researchers Share Nobel Prize In Chemistry” • Three people who are primarily responsible for creating the rechargeable lithium ion battery that has become the preferred power source for personal digital devices, energy storage, and electric car batteries today are sharing the Nobel Prize for chemistry. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Equinor To Invest Nearly $550 Million In Floating Windpower Off Norway” • Equinor will invest close to 5 billion Norwegian crowns ($549 million) to build floating turbines that will supply power to several North Sea oil and gas platforms, the first such project of its kind, the Norwegian firm said. The project will have a capacity of 88 MW. []

Offshore wind farm

¶ “Vietnam’s First, Southeast Asia’s Largest Floating Solar Project Secures Funding” • Da Mi Hydro Power signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank to fund development of Vietnam’s first large-scale floating PV solar energy facility. The 47.5-MW solar energy plant will be built at the utility’s existing 175-MW hydropower plant. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Union Demands Halt To New Wind And Solar Projects In Queensland, But It’s Already Happened” • The influential Electrical Trades Union has demanded that the Queensland government put an immediate halt to all large scale renewable and energy projects until it has put together a “just transition plan” and a detailed energy policy. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm in Queensland

¶ “Saskatchewan Launches Call To Build 300 MW Of Wind Power Capacity” • Saskatchewan is launching a new request for proposals to add up to 300 MW of wind power generation capacity. Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said the province could quadruple its wind power when a project or projects come online in late 2023 or 2024. [GuelphToday]

¶ “With Appeal Of TEPCO Acquittal, Thousands Hit By Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Seek Closure” • Plaintiffs appealed a ruling handed down by the Tokyo District Court in mid-September that found three former TEPCO executives not guilty of professional negligence. They had filed a  class action lawsuit against the executives. [The Japan Times]

Namie, evacuated (Steven L Herman, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Nearly 600 Ex-EPA Officials Want Congress To Investigate Agency Over ‘Inappropriate Threat Of Use’ Of Authority” • Nearly 600 former EPA officials are calling on Congress to investigate the Trump administration’s “inappropriate threat of use of EPA authority” against the state of California over recent environmental policies. [CNN]

¶ “California Governor Says ‘Greed’ To Blame For Power Outage As More Than 300,000 Remain In The Dark” • An angry Gov Gavin Newsom slammed California’s largest utility over its power shutoffs, saying they’re the result of years of greed and mismanagement. PG&E cut power to almost 800,000 customers Wednesday to avoid fires. [CNN]

Oakland, blacked out (Ray Chavez | San Jose Mercury via AP)

¶ “College To Build The Largest Private Solar Array In Iowa” • Thanks to a 20-year purchase agreement with Trusted Energy, Grinnell College will soon begin installing over 10,000 solar panels near campus. Starting in the spring of 2020, the College will be able to generate up to 30% of its power through solar energy. [Scarlet and Black]

¶ “Huffman Gets Bleak Input on Fisheries” • Fishing has long provided a livelihood in Northern California’s Humboldt Count, but when Rep Jared Huffman went on a listening tour, he found that is no longer true. Four important kinds of salmon have been declared overfished. This is not because of excessive fishing; it is because the climate is changing. [North Coast Journal]

Fishing boat

¶ “California, New England Will Miss 2050 Carbon Targets At Current Pace, Reports Find” • Although US cities, states, and corporations are becoming more aggressive in their aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, some of the most ambitious players are falling short of their goals, according to several recent reports. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Trump’s Push To Save Coal Is Failing. Coal Demand To Plunge To 42-Year Low” • President Donald Trump’s mission to revive America’s coal industry is failing. US power plants are expected to consume less coal next year than at any point since President Jimmy Carter was in office, according to forecasts by the DOE’s Energy Information Administration. [CNN]

Have an enchantingly beautiful day.

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October 10 Energy News

October 10, 2019


¶ “Breakdown Of Interdependency Between Big Auto And Big Oil” • Many automobile manufacturers now moving to supply power to their EV customers. The biggest competitors targeting those customers may be the oil companies. Here’s the question: Are we witnessing the end of the century-old relationship between Big Oil and Big Auto? [CleanTechnica]

EV charging

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Climate Change Primed California’s Power Shutdown” • Since the 1980s, the size and ferocity of the fires in California have trended upward: Fifteen of the 20 largest fires in California history have occurred since 2000. And since the 1970s, the amount of area burned in the state has increased by a factor of five. [National Geographic]

¶ “Bosch Claims Better Chips Can Increase EV Range” • Bosch, one of the largest suppliers of components for car makers in the world, is devoting more resources to designing specifically for EVs. It is building a factory in Germany to manufacture chips that it says are less expensive and sufficiently more efficient to extend ranges of EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Semiconductor (Bosch image)

¶ “Manatees And Key Deer Are Being Pushed To Extinction By Climate-Fueled Superstorms” • Manatees and Key deer are among 10 species that are particularly at risk of disappearing as intensifying hurricanes bring more rainfall, storm surge and winds that destroy coastal habitats, the Center for Biological Diversity said in a report. [Miami Herald]


¶ “MNRE Issues A Rebuttal On A Report Casting Doubt On Achievement Of The Renewable Energy Target” • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued a rebuttal on a recent report by rating agency CRISIL that had said India may not be able to achieve its renewable energy capacity addition target of 175 GW by 2022. []

Solar farm

¶ “Delhi Penalizes Three DISCOMs For Defaulting On Renewable Purchase Obligations” • The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission imposed penalties of ₹17.2 million ($240,000) to ₹28.8 million ($410,000) on three power distribution companies for defaulting on renewable energy purchase obligations. [Mercom India]

¶ “BHP Turns To Renewables To Power Huge Copper Mine In Chile” • Australian mining giant BHP says it expects to make significant cost savings when it replaces gas with renewables to provide most, if not all the power at the Escondida copper mine in Chile. The Escondida copper mine is the largest of its type in the world. [RenewEconomy]

Escondida mine

¶ “Lord Howe Island Finds Renewable Energy Solution With Solar And Battery Storage” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced that Lord Howe Island will soon be powered by a solar and battery system and reduce reliance on diesel. The remote island will have at least 1.2 MW of solar PVs and 3.2 MWh of battery capacity. [Mirage News]

¶ “Malampaya’s Finite Bounty Spurs Hectic Race For More Renewables, Other Oil-Gas Fields” • The Philippines continues to be confronted with energy supply challenges. But one that has to be dealt with immediately is the urgency to find and develop new energy sources to fill the void that will be left by depletion of the Malampaya gas field. [Business Mirror]

Malampaya gas platforms (Shell image)

¶ “SUEZ Signs New Organic Waste Treatment Contract” • French company SUEZ has contracted to design, build, operate, and maintain an organic waste treatment center in Montreal. The plant will process organic waste produced by nearly 1.5 million Montreal inhabitants into biomethane. Commissioning is expected in 2022. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Yukon Energy Axes Thermal Plant Plans” • Yukon Energy Corp is cancelling its plans to develop a thermal power plant in the Whitehorse area, bending to Yukoners’ concerns, including climate change, proximity to homes, and cost. The decision was also based on “technical, environmental, and socio-economic research.” [Yukon News]

Sign for green power (Alistair Maitland | Yukon News file)


¶ “Elizabeth Warren Unveils Environmental Justice Plan” • Sen Elizabeth Warren detailed a new environmental justice plan aimed at bolstering and protecting vulnerable communities on the front lines of the climate crisis. As president, she would use the powers of the office for a “just transition” toward a green energy economy. [CNN]

¶ “Wind Will Speed Holy Cross Energy To 70% Renewable Goal” • A year ago, Holy Cross Energy, which serves areas in western Colorado, announced a goal to have 70% of its electricity be carbon-free by 2030. Holy Cross recently announced that its 2030 goal would be met for sure by 2021. Now, it is considering a more ambitious goal. [Mountain Town News]

Colorado Green wind farm (Allen Best)

¶ “PacifiCorp Plan To Move Away From Coal Exposes Deep Divide Among Western States” • PacifiCorp’s 20-year plan to cut way back on coal-fired power and ramp up wind and solar, exposes a harsh reality: With more than half of its power still coming from coal, the utility is stuck in the middle of a regional tug of war over the future of coal. [OPB News]

¶ “US Nuclear Power And Uranium Mining Industries Hope For Trump Bailout” • A plea from uranium mining companies and nuclear power plant operators for tax breaks and other federal financial boosts is going before President Donald Trump, as his administration studies reviving the US uranium industry in the name of national security. [The Japan Times]

Have a thoroughly enjoyable day.

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October 9 Energy News

October 9, 2019


¶ “Upcoming Canadian Federal Election Is About Climate Change” • While US politics dominate the news, Canada is going to the polls. It’s likely that Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister, will be returning as leader of Canada. But there is a lot to say about the story of climate change in Canada and how it’s shaping this election cycle. [CleanTechnica]

Justin Trudeau and family (SrA Joshua RM Dewberry, USAF)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Buildings Account For 11% Of Global Emissions. Here Are Two Ways To Slash That Number” • The steel and concrete used in new buildings come with a high price, in terms of CO₂ emissions. There are ways to reduce those emissions, however. One is to use wood instead of steel, and the other is to use new methods for making cement. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hundreds Of Temperature Records Broken Over Summer” • Almost 400 all-time high temperatures were set in the northern hemisphere over the summer, analysis indicates. According to Dr Robert Rohde, Lead Scientist at Berkeley Earth, the increasing number of record high temperatures is a part of the long-term trend of global warming. [BBC]

Wildfire in France (Bonsai-ka, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “23,415 Solar Panels Installed In Luxembourg’s Largest Solar Park” • Luxembourg’s largest PV power station is made up of the RTL Group’s transmitter sites in Junglinster and Beidweiler, where 23,415 solar panels were installed at the beginning of September. The solar panels are scheduled to begin working as of mid-2020. [RTL Today]

¶ “NAIF May Fund Renewables-Powered Manganese Metals Project In WA” • The federal government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility agreed to conduct due diligence on a ground-breaking mining project in Western Australia. It could use a renewables-dominated power source for production of manganese metals. [RenewEconomy]

Wind and solar at Coober Pedy (Christian Sprogoe)

¶ “Power Retailers Facing Business Model Risk Amid Rise Of Renewables” • Kerry Schott, chair the national body overseeing energy security in Australia, castigated power retailers for treating consumers poorly and warned their business models are at risk as the energy market changes with the rise of renewable power. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “GE secures Cypress Brazilian debut” • GE Renewable Energy is to supply turbines of its Cypress platform to EDF Renewables for the over 132MW extension to the Ventos da Bahia wind farm in Brazil. It is GE’s first contract with the company in the South American country. The deal covers the supply of 25 GE 5.3-MW machines. [reNEWS]

Cypress wind turbine (GE image)

¶ “Financing Cost Accounts For The Largest Component Of Renewable Energy Tariffs In India” • Mobilizing finance for low-carbon energy solutions is a critical challenge for global energy transition, according to a policy brief by Council on Energy, Environment and Water, a non-governmental organisation based in Delhi. []

¶ “ABB Supplies Prefabricated Substation To Harness Geothermal Power” • ABB commissioned a geothermal power plant in a volcanic complex in a remote highland part of South Sumatra, far from the island’s main transmission system. The plant provides 220 MW of electricity – enough to power almost 500,000 local homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Sumatra (ABB image)

¶ “EDF Warns Flamanville Weld Repairs To Cost €1.5 Billion” • French utility EDF warned that its Flamanville nuclear project in France will cost €1.5 billion ($1.65 billion) more than previously expected as it counts the costs of weld repairs demanded by French nuclear watchdog ASN. Flamanville is running a decade behind schedule. [Reuters]

¶ “Partners Hail Turbine Triumph At Formosa 1” • Installation of turbines was completed at the 120-MW Formosa 1 phase two offshore wind farm off Taiwan. Taiwanese developer Swancor, which is one of the project partners, said commissioning of the Siemens Gamesa 6-MW hardware is ongoing but should be done by the end of the year. [reNEWS]

Formosa 1 Phase 2 (Swancor image)


¶ “Tribes, Environmental Groups Sue To Stop Mine In Alaskan Salmon Spawning Areas” • Five environmental, business, and native organizations sued the EPA over a proposed controversial Alaska gold and copper mine the Trump administration backed. The mine had been stopped due to environmental concerns during the Obama era. [CNN]

¶ “Northern California Braced For Mega Power Cut” • Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting electricity to around 800,000 customers in Northern California, in an attempt to prevent wildfires. Large swathes of the San Francisco Bay Area outside the city are expected to be affected. PG&E warned the shut down could last several days. [BBC]

Paradise, California, after last year’s wildfire (Getty Images)

¶ “Consumers Energy Gets Nod For 166-MW Wind Buy In Michigan” • Michigan regulators greenlighted an application by utility Consumers Energy to acquire a 166-MW wind park in Hillsdale County. Project development will be undertaken by Crescent Wind LLC. The power plant will be brought online by the end of this year. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Renewable Energy Firm Doubles Down On Western Wind Projects” • A California-based renewable energy developer plans to increase by seven-fold its investments as it prepares to build more wind farms in New Mexico over the next several years. It aims to serve customer demands in the state and export electricity to other markets. [RFD-TV]

Have an absolutely magical day.

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October 8 Energy News

October 8, 2019


¶ “Coal Finished As Renewable Costs Crash” • Bloomberg just published another stark reminder of the shifting landscape for energy generation. Fossil fuels have a limited time as viable sources of energy, because of economics. Solar+Batteries are the “killer app,” extremely scalable once they reach an acceptable cost, and we are reaching it. [MacroBusiness]

Please click on the image to enlarge it

¶ “Are Mortgage-Backed Securities Storm Proof?” • According to some investors, hurricanes and flooding pose a far larger threat than is being priced into mortgage securities. A key culprit may be outdated flood maps, meaning far fewer people are required to have flood insurance than are at risk, the investors and researchers say. []

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ghost Forests Are Visceral Examples Of The Advance of Climate Change” • Ghost forests can result from rising seas. Swaths of dead, white, trees are created when salty water moves into forested areas, first slowing, and eventually halting, the growth of new trees. That means that when old trees die, there aren’t replacements. [TIME]

Ghost forest in Maryland (Luke Piotrowski | Newsy)


¶ “Ben & Jerry’s Maker To Slash New Plastic Use By Nearly 400,000 Tons Per Year” • Consumer goods giant Unilever, maker of Ben & Jerry’s and Dove, committed to halving its use of new plastic by 2025. Its goal is to use no more than 350,000 tonnes (386,000 tons) of new plastic each year by 2025, down from around 700,000 tonnes in 2018. [CNN]

¶ “EVs To Revolutionize Postal Services, And More” • Parcel and Postal Expo, the largest event for courier services in Europe, is taking place in Amsterdam. This year, the Expo is putting a new emphasis on e-mobility, and this includes not only EVs, but also charging infrastructure. The new EVs range up from the smallest delivery vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Author on a Chinese electric delivery vehicle

¶ “A French City Introduces Free Public Transportation” • Now known as an industrial city, Dunkirk wants to change its image to one with a green future. Its leaders want it to have transportation powered by green electricity. One key is a free public transit system that will connect Dunkirk to its neighboring cities and towns. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Over €2 Billion Invested In Renewable Energy In Ukraine” • In January to September 2019, over €2 billion was invested in developing renewable energy in Ukraine, according to the State Agency for Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving. Renewable capacity rose from about 2,300 MW at the end of 2018 to about 5,000 MW as of October 1, 2019. [Ukrinform]

Solar array

¶ “‘Significant Uncertainty’ Over Wind Outlook” • According to WindEurope’s new ‘Wind Energy Outlook to 2023’ report, forecasting growth of Europe’s wind capacity is subject to “significant uncertainty.” The study has found that annual volumes of new wind capacity up to 2023 could range between 13 GW and 22 GW. [reNEWS]

¶ “Australia Could Aim For 700% Renewables, ARENA Boss” • Australia’s energy minister thinks having 20% of electricity come from solar and wind is too much. Labor wants to get to 50% by 2030. But Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel is suggesting a figure of 700%, a goal supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm for Western Australia

¶ “Total Turns Sod On 52 MW Of Solar In Japan” • Total has begun construction of a 52-MW PV plant in Japan. Total Solar International, the utility-scale solar business of the oil and gas player, is building the solar power plant in Osato, in the Miyagi prefecture. The facility is expected to start producing power in 2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “Solar Power Is The Red-Hot Growth Area In Oil-Rich Alberta” • Solar power is beating expectations in Alberta, where the renewable energy source is poised to expand dramatically in the coming years as international power companies invest in it. Fresh capital is being deployed in the Alberta’s electricity generation sector. [Financial Post]

Sunrise near Edmonton (Max Maudie | Postmedia)


¶ “Frito-Lay Ditches Diesel In Favor Of A Renewable-Powered Fleet At Its Modesto Facility” • PepsiCo is replacing the fleet of diesel freight vehicles that service its Frito-Lay plant in Modesto, California with zero-emission and near-zero emission vehicles. Frito-Lay is getting 15 Tesla class 8 trucks, 6 BYD class 6 trucks, a PV array, and a lot more. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Miami-Dade Locks In Order For 33 Electric Buses From Proterra” • Miami-Dade is taking a big first step to electrified transit with the purchase of 33 fully electric buses from Proterra. It is the largest purchase of electric buses to date on the US east coast. Each bus reduces CO₂ emissions by 230,000 pounds annually, compared to diesel. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus charging station (Proterra image)

¶ “Target To Achieve 25% Of Its Renewable Electricity Goal By End Of 2019” • Back in June, the Minneapolis-based retailer announced that it had set a 100% renewable electricity goal, which would see all its stores in the US running on clean power by 2030. By the end of this year, it will have accomplished 25% of this mission. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ “Five States Now Have Programs To Help Struggling Nuclear Power Plants” • The DOE’s Energy Information Administration reported that Ohio joined Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York in implementing programs to provide financial compensation and other assistance to struggling nuclear power plant operators. [Interesting Engineering]

Have an appropriately cheerful day.

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October 7 Energy News

October 7, 2019


¶ “In The Mountains, Climate Change Is Disrupting Everything, From How Water Flows To When Plants Flower” • Mountain snowpack is shrinking and melting earlier in the spring. Warmer and longer summers increase the threat of wildfires, and the fire season has lengthened by at least a month since 1979. The list of problems just goes on. [InsideClimate News]

Colorado farmland (Jutta Strohmaier)

¶ “The Paris Agreement Hinges On A European Hydrogen Economy” • Economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin predicted the rise of a hydrogen economy 17 years ago, but he had not foreseen fracking. Now, his words are proving true. Hydrogen has come back on the scene,  with significant implications for climate change and the global economy. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Who are Extinction Rebellion and what do they want?” • Environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion says it will start two-weeks of protest on Monday, October 7. Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and take immediate action to address climate change. [BBC]

Hourglass in a circle logo (Getty Images)

¶ “Oyster Creek, Three Mile Island: How The Power Grid Can Lose Two Nuclear Plants In A Year” • Three Mile Island closed almost exactly a year after Oyster Creek. More nuclear power plant retirements may be on the horizon, including the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear power plants in Ohio and Beaver Valley, in Pennsylvania. []


¶ “UK Universities In Landmark Deal To Buy Energy Direct From Windfarms” • Twenty of the UK’s leading universities have struck a £50 million deal to buy renewable energy directly from British windfarms for the first time. The collaborative clean energy deal will supply electricity from wind farms across Scotland and Wales. [The Guardian]

Wind farm (Murdo MacLeod | The Guardian)

¶ “Some $71 Billion Of Japanese Coal Assets At Risk From Cheaper Renewables” • As much as $71 billion of Japanese coal assets could be at risk as the economic viability of plants is undermined by cheaper renewable energy, research by the University of Tokyo, Carbon Tracker and the Carbon Disclosure Project showed. [The Business Times]

¶ “Queensland Celebrates 4-GW Solar Milestone: Three Panels For Every Person” • The Queensland state Labor government has celebrated reaching the milestone of 4 GW of solar PV capacity in the state. It says its solar capacity is now more than twice the capacity of the state’s biggest power station, the Gladstone coal generator. [RenewEconomy]

Rugby Run solar project (Adani Renewables)

¶ “‘We Need Support’: Pacific Islands Seek Help And Unity To Fight Climate Change” • Swedish activist Greta Thunberg scolded world leaders for “failing us.” But while one of the groups most vulnerable to climate change, the Pacific Islands, may have received fewer headlines, it was among those making the strongest calls for action. [WKMS]


¶ “California’s Clean Truck Rule: First Of Its Kind And Long Overdue” • California officials are gearing up to launch a momentous new rule to tackle one of the largest sources of pollution in the state: medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks. After years of deliberation and public input, the rule is the first of its kind and long overdue. [CleanTechnica]

Thor Trucks cab (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Has 24% of Small And Midsize Luxury Car Sales in USA” • The Tesla Model 3 has taken the US luxury car market by storm, with an estimated market share of 24% for the first three quarters of this year. The Model 3 was by far the best selling luxury car in the country in Q4 of last year, but sales have increased since then. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “State’s Largest Solar Power Project Proposed For Concord, Sardinia” • EDF Renewables has filed documents in Albany to begin the process of seeking a permit to put solar panels on 2,500 acres in the New York towns of Concord and Sardinia. One farmer hopes to earn about $1,000 an acre every year by leasing his property to EDF. [Buffalo News]

Solar panels in a field

¶ “Campus Sustainability Efforts Expanded Wind Energy Initiative” • Carnegie Mellon and ENGIE Resources announced energy agreements to 2024. Carnegie Mellon will buy its energy from Radford’s Run Wind Farm in Macon County, Illinois for its Pittsburgh campus. Eventually, the wind farm will serve all of the campus electricity needs. [CMU The Tartan Online]

¶ “From The Rooftops, Big Box Stores Are Embracing Solar” • At a time when the federal government is increasingly stepping away from addressing issues like sustainability and climate change, corporate America is stepping up. Retail and tech giants are taking action to respond because it’s good for business and good for corporate image. [The New York Times]

Have an astonishingly good day.

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October 6 Energy News

October 6, 2019


¶ “Wexit: Why Some Albertans Want To Separate From Canada” • As talk about climate change heats up and construction on pipelines grows cold, frustrated Albertans have breathed new life into old regional grudges and the western separatist movement. People in a province that is a major oil producer, are thinking to “Wexit Alberta.” [BBC]

Alberta oil field (The Washington Post via Getty Images)

¶ “Rachel Maddow On How Russia’s ‘Resource Curse’ Drove Putin To Election Interference” • In her new book, Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth, Maddow concludes that Russia is a victim of a “resource curse” that drove it to interfere in US elections. [KUAR]

¶ “The Tough Task Of Persuading A Climate Denier” • Some 84% of American adults believe that global warming is happening, according to research by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. But what’s going on with the other 16%? They can be moved. For example, cynics can have epiphanies when they talk to local EV owners. [CleanTechnica]

Child and Tulips (Carolyn Fortuna | CleanTechnica)

Science and Technology:

¶ “International Research Team Claims New Perovskite Solar Record: 18.1%” • Perovskite solar cells are inexpensive and easy to make, but have had low efficiency. An international team from China, Switzerland, and Japan claims its perovskite solar cells have an efficiency of 18.1%, with a new configuration based on cesium lead iodide. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Notre-Dame: How An Underwater Forest In Ghana Could Help Rebuild A Paris Icon” • A forest of massive trees has been submerged since Lake Volta was created for hydropower in1965. A Ghanaian company believes that using its wood to rebuild Notre-Dame is more environmentally friendly than cutting down new trees. [BBC]

Trees in Lake Volta (Dennis Ivers)

¶ “Global Shipping Is Making False Impressions About Circumventing Pollution – Billions Spent On ‘Cheat Devices'” • Will Crisp of The Independent follows the money: “More than $12 billion (£9.7 billion) has been spent on … open-loop scrubbers.” They capture sulfur from the exhaust, but they discharge it into the ocean. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Water Resources Minister ‘Totally’ Accepts Drought Linked To Climate Change” • David Littleproud, Australia’s drought and water resources minister, said he “totally” accepts that worsening droughts are linked to climate change. He signaled more support for regional communities was coming as Australia’s big dry “escalates.” [The Guardian]

Worsening droughts (Mick Tsikas | EPA)

¶ “Kansai Electric Gift Scandal Extends To Kyoto Branch” • Three former vice presidents of Kansai Electric’s Kyoto branch received cash and gift coupons from Eiji Moriyama, the late deputy mayor of Takahama, the home of a Kansai Electric nuclear plant. The scandal over gifts to utility officials, which is related to nuclear energy, is growing. [Japan Today]

¶ “Jordan: A Case Study In Expanding Renewable Energy” • Jordan has a highly indebted economy, heavily reliant on fossil fuel imports. To improve energy security and reduce economic burdens, Jordan implemented a phased removal of fuel and electricity subsidies in 2012. It has adopted aggressive renewable energy targets. [Roya News English]

Solar panels


¶ “‘Sunny Day Flooding’ And 90-Degree Days During South’s Endless Summer” • Atlanta has broken a record for 90-degree days this year; there have been 91 of them, wildly surpassing the average of 37 per year. Charleston has had 58 coastal flood events so far in 2019. These are effects of global warming, and this September was another record month. [CNN]

¶ “Greta Thunberg Leads Iowa Students In Pop-Up Climate Strike” • In Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa, 14-year-old high school student Massimo Biggers was planning the protest he has done every Friday since last spring, when he got a message from Greta Thunberg saying she would join him. Over 3,000 people showed up for that. [CleanTechnica]

Protest in Iowa (Credit: Greta Thunberg via Twitter)

¶ “Donald Trump’s attacks on science” • The president’s denial goes past climate, a report by US campaign group the National Task Force on Rule of Law and Democracy says. Compiled by ex-government officials, it says that the Trump administration commits “almost weekly violations” to the impartiality of scientific research. [The Guardian]

¶ “Utility Giant Sets Up Critical Test For Top 2020 Democrats On Nuclear Power” • Duke Energy, one of the largest US utilities, announced last month that it plans to request new licenses for eleven nuclear reactors. This sets up a critical new test for Democratic presidential candidates on how to achieve zero-carbon energy generation. [HuffPost]

Have an extraordinarily fine day.

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October 5 Energy News

October 5, 2019


¶ “Two Trends in Wind Power That Investors Need to Know About” • The production tax credit, which subsidizes electricity generated by wind farms in their first 10 years of production, will be phased out at the end of this year. This is reasonable because windpower has matured. But maturity brings both challenges and opportunities. [Motley Fool]

Wind farm (Getty Images)

¶ “Police Tracking Of Climate Protesters? It’s Worse Than You Could Possibly Imagine” • American taxpayer dollars are being used to subject law abiding citizens to surveillance and possible arrest if they dare raise their voices against any project that will transport liquid death through their communities. The land of the free? Hardly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Russia Signs Climate Accords And Putin Responds To Climate Change, But There’s A Catch” • Putin’s plan to address climate change is as enlightening about the Russia leader’s intentions as it is disturbing. It reveals the country’s strategy for the next 25 years, and it does not look like it will do much good. We can hope it is a start, however. [CleanTechnica]

St Basil’s Cathedral


¶ “Lilly Is On A Mission To End Thailand’s Plastic Addiction” • Lilly is a young student in Thailand who often skips school for an hour to clean up canals and streams. In a video, Lilly explains that she has learned more by cleaning up canals than she has by going to school. Inspired by Greta Thunberg, she is working to make a difference. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “$3.3 Million Grant For Fuel Cell/Electric Aviation Startup ZeroAvia” • The aviation startup ZeroAvia has received a £2.7 million ($3.3 million) grant from the government of the UK. The funds will be used to support the continued development of fuel cell/electric propulsion technology to reduce aviation carbon dioxide emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Hydrogen-powered airplane (Credit: ZeroAvia)

¶ “Argentina Invites Russia To Participate In Renewable Energy Projects – Diplomat” • Argentina is inviting Russia to participate in its renewable energy projects, the country’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs told Sputnik. He specifically mentioned a wind farm to be developed in the region of Patagonia where there are strong winds. [UrduPoint News]

¶ “Draining Lake Pedder Fifty Years On Gains Environmental Momentum” • When an ancient glacial lake in a remote and wild part of Tasmania was flooded in 1972, a movement was born. The flooding turned Lake Pedder from a 1,000 hectare (2470 acre) lake to a 24,200 hectare reservoir. The Restore Pedder campaign is working to restore the lake. [ABC News]

Lake Pedder, before it was inundated (Photo: Lindsay Hope)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa 4.X To Make 200-MW Chinese Debut” • Siemens Gamesa has secured a deal to supply 4.X turbines for a 200-MW wind farm in China, its first contract for the platform in the market. The German-Spanish manufacturer will deliver 42 units rated at 4.8 MW to independent power producer Xinjiang TBEA Group for the project. [reNEWS]


¶ “PA To Join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative” • Pennsylvania is taking a major step forward in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Gov Tom Wolf has set the wheels in motion for the Keystone State to join nine other northeastern states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Announcing the plan, he spoke of climate change. [Public News Service]

Flooding has become an issue (Rico Löb | Adobe Stock)

¶ “Virginia To Develop Four New Solar Energy Projects” • In Virginia, permits were issued for construction and operation of four new solar projects that are expected to offset carbon dioxide emissions in the state by 459 million pounds, the equivalent of driving more than 44,000 cars for a year. They have a combined capacity of 192 MW. [Associated Press]

¶ “Generac Pivots From Generators Into Residential Energy Storage And Solar At SPI 2019” • Generac is known for installing more than 2 million backup generator into homes. Earlier this year, however, Generac acquired the residential energy storage company Pika Energy. And with that, it is moving heavily into energy storage. [CleanTechnica]

Generac PWRcell (Generac image)

¶ “Dulles Airport Pilot Is One Of The Region’s Largest Solar Project” • Dominion Energy has partnered with Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority for a solar energy pilot project at Washington Dulles Airport. The 100-MW solar PV project is the Airports Authority’s first large scale renewable energy initiative of this kind. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Digital Realty Signs Renewable Solar PPA To Power Data Centers” • Digital Realty, based in San Francisco, signed a power purchase agreement for solar power from a 50-MW project for its data centers in Oregon and Northern Virginia. Digital Realty said that the new project is expected to come online later next year. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Digital Reality Data center (Digital Realty
Data Centers and Colocation on Facebook)

¶ “Hecate And Google Sign Solar Energy Agreement” • Hecate Energy, which is based in Chicago, Illinois, signed an agreement for Google to purchase 250 MW of renewable electricity from a 500-MW solar facility in Texas. Hecate will develop and operate the Texas solar project, which will require an estimated $275 million investment. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Final Major Module For Georgia Power’s Vogtle 3 & 4 Nuclear Project Arrives Onsite” • The final major module needed for the construction of the Vogtle 3 & 4 units arrived onsite. This means all 1,485 major modules required to complete construction have now been safely delivered. Modules have come from 25 suppliers around the globe. [POWER Magazine]

Have a ecstatically exuberant day.

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October 4 Energy News

October 4, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Students, Teachers: Drift Along With An Epic Arctic Climate Expedition” • K-12 students around the world can now be a part of one of the largest Arctic climate research expeditions ever conducted. In September, the RV Polarstern icebreaker set out to freeze itself in Arctic sea ice. For the next year it will drift across the Arctic ocean. [CU Boulder Today]

RV Polarstern frozen in the ice (Stefan Hendricks | AWI)


¶ “Greta Thunberg Just Sassed Putin With Her Classic Clapback Style” • Greta Thunberg is a teenager who knows what it’s like to be criticized by leaders of the world’s most powerful countries, but she doesn’t seem to be short on comebacks. Her Twitter bio used to mock criticism of her by Donald Trump. Now it mocks one from Vladimir Putin. [HuffPost UK]

¶ “Shipping Is One Of The Dirtiest Industries. Now It’s Trying To Clean Up Its Act” • The shipping industry was excluded from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement because its emissions are hard to allocate to individual countries. But the international community has started to act, and some shipping businesses are taking up the challenge. [CNN]

Hybrid cruse ship King Harald (CNN image)

¶ “The Netherlands Surpasses Wildest Predictions For Tesla Model 3 Sales” • Sales of the Tesla Model 3 have jumped in the Netherlands. For the January to September period, the Tesla Model 3 accounted for 4.1% of Dutch auto sales. In the month of September, the Model 3 suddenly accounted for 15.1% of new registrations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Meghan Spotlights Ethical Fashion Brands During Southern Africa Tour” • Fashion choices made by the Duchess of Sussex frequently sell out after being identified online. She appears to be using this attention to powerful ends by highlighting ethical brands and consumption habits during the tour she took with Prince Harry of southern Africa. [CNN]

Dancing in Cape Town (Courtney Africa | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Pubs clinch state-wide renewable energy deal to cut electricity bills” • A deal between a brewing giant and one of the world’s biggest energy generators is to slash energy costs for up to 300 pubs across New South Wales. It is the world’s first industry-scale aggregated power purchase agreement, and its electricity is from solar PVs. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Climate Activists Spray UK Finance Ministry With Fake Blood” • Environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion used a fire engine to spray 1,800 liters of fake blood (water colored with red food dye) at Britain’s finance ministry in London. It is protesting what it calls the UK’s contradictory stance on tackling climate change. [CNN]

Fire engine and fake blood (Simon Dawson | Reuters)

¶ “Statkraft Awoops On 200-MW Shetland Giant” • Statkraft has acquired the Energy Isles consortium’s proposed wind farm in Yell on the North Isles of Shetland in Scotland. The scheme of up to 200-MW consists of 29 turbines and is under development. The Energy Isles consortium planning application has the project earmarked for operations by 2026. [reNEWS]

¶ “Hurtigruten Introduces Battery-Powered Snowmobiles” • Hurtigruten is a Norwegian cruise, ferry, and cargo operator. Its land-based adventure travel company, Hurtigruten Svalbard, and a Finnish startup company, Aurora Powertrains, made a deal on what may be the beginning of a silent and emissions-free era of snowmobiling. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Electric snowmobile (Courtesy of Aurora Powertrains)

¶ “Kyushu Electric To Halt Reactors Over Delay In Anti-Terror Plans” • In a blow to its financial situation, Kyushu Electric Power Co said it will suspend operations of its Sendai nuclear power plant after falling behind schedule on establishing mandatory anti-terrorism measures. The reactors will be offline for eight to nine months next year. [Asahi Shimbun]


¶ “Tesla 3rd Quarter Sales Grew 1664% In 6 Years, 271% In 2 Years” • Many of us who believed that Elon Musk’s aggressive forecasts could come to pass weren’t super confident they actually would be. We were perhaps more hopeful than convinced. Nevertheless, Tesla is currently on track to nail Elon Musk’s 2014 forecast for 2020 sales. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla’s Tampa delivery center (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “National Task Force On Rule Of Law And Democracy Report Slams Trump For War On Science” • The new report warns that the Trump administration is creating a crisis of confidence in America’s institutions because of its policy of installing industry shills in positions of authority and relentlessly attacking scientists who do not toe the party line. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “PacifiCorp To Add 7 GW Clean Power By 2025” • PacifiCorp, a utility serving the Northwest, has published a 20-year blueprint setting out a plan to add around 7 GW of new renewables and storage capacity by 2025. The plan includes more than 3.5 GW of new wind capacity, 3 GW of solar, and 600 MW of storage by the middle of the next decade. [reNEWS]

Windpower on the farm (pixabay image)

¶ “Portland-Based PacifiCorp Releases Plan To Cut Coal Power And Add Renewables” • PacifiCorp’s 20-year power plan cuts back on coal as it adds renewable wind and solar energy. Right now, more than half of PacifiCorp’s power comes from coal, but it plans to shutter more than 75% of its coal fleet, about 4,500 MW, by 2038. [KLCC FM Public Radio]

¶ “Experts Urge “Full Speed Ahead” On Climate Action” • In the first of six symposia planned at MIT this academic year on the subject of climate change, panels of specialists on the science of global climate described the state of knowledge on the subject today. They also discussed what kinds of actions are urgently needed. [MIT News]

Have a beautifully composed day.

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October 3 Energy News

October 3, 2019


¶ “How The US Could Have An All-Renewable Energy Grid” • There is debate about whether fully renewable electricity systems are feasible. My research and that of others shows fully renewable electric grids are feasible with current technology at current prices. The barriers are more political and cultural than technological or economic. [Discover Magazine]

Transmission lines (Russ Allison Loar | flickr, CC BY-NC-ND)

¶ “Do Negative Spot Electricity Prices Spell End Of Renewable Transition?” • In September, a transmission outage dropped Queensland’s spot price to the regulated floor of minus $1,000 per MWh. Based on headlines, you could think we are on the brink of a wholesale electricity price disaster. But the market is easily misunderstood. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Big Oil Faces A Formidable Foe In Fight Against EVs” • Electric utilities are keen on EVs, seeing them as a future revenue source. They are developing programs to encourage the buildout of the charging infrastructure needed for this. But millions of dollars are being put into campaigns around the country to try to put a stop EV infrastructure projects. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Bolt in utility FPL wrap (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Floating Device Created To Clean Up Plastic From The Ocean Is Finally Doing Its Job, Organizers Say” • The Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit based in the Netherlands, says its latest prototype was able to capture and hold debris ranging in size from huge, abandoned fishing gear, known as “ghost nets,” to tiny microplastics as small as 1 millimeter. [CNN]


¶ “Online Marketplace Sun Exchange Powers Solar Projects In South Africa” • Sun Exchange sells solar cells (the parts which make up a solar panel) to online buyers around the world and leases them to schools and businesses in South Africa. The buyers then receive monthly payments based on how much electricity is used. [CNN]

Roof of Protea Heights Academy in Cape Town (Sun Exchange)

¶ “Energy Transformation Delivers Renewable Solution To Regions” • Horizon Power will install solar PVs, batteries, and back-up diesel generators for 17 standalone power systems in Australia’s Esperance region. It will be the country’s first utility to remove poles and wires of a network and replace them with off-grid renewable energy systems. [Mirage News]

¶ “Tropical Forest Success Story Under Threat In Guatemala” • Though the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala is a hotspot of deforestation, there is a large swathe of it where the rate of loss has been near zero since 2000. But the program that has led to this success, community concessions for forest management, is under threat. [BBC]

Maya Biosphere Reserve (Photo: Sergio Izquierdo)

¶ “EU Will Provide €530 Million In Funding Towards Irish-French Power Line” • The EU will contribute €530 million to the Celtic Interconnector project, to connect the Irish electric grid to France. The project will cost €1 billion. It will link Ireland’s electricity network to France via an underwater connection. It is to be complete by 2026. []

¶ “Queensland Conservatives Emerge As Voice Of Reason In Nuclear Debate. Seriously!” • The state Liberal National Party of Queensland dropped a bomb on the federal inquiry into nuclear power. Arguing against leaders of its federal counterpart, the state Liberals seek to retain a federal ban on nuclear power in favor of renewable energy. [RenewEconomy]

Renewable energy at Cooper Pedy

¶ “Giant Greenhouses To Grow 20 Tonnes Of Tomatoes A Day” • One of the UK’s largest clean energy funds revealed plans to invest £120 million in a pair of low-carbon greenhouses in eastern England. The giant greenhouses will be used to grow up to 20 tonnes of tomatoes a day using the heat from Anglian Water’s water treatment facilities. [The Guardian]

¶ “Cottam Coal-Fired Power Station Turned Off For Final Time” • Cottam power station, commissioned in 1968, was capable of generating enough electricity for 3.7 million homes. The plant was originally designed to be operational for 30 years, but its life was extended until 30 September 2019. Now, decommissioning has begun. [BBC]

Cottam coal-fired power plant (BBC image)


¶ “4th Circuit Rules Suit By Baltimore Against Oil Companies Can Go Forward In State Court” • The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that proceedings may proceed in a Maryland state court in the case of Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v BP et al. The oil companies have appealed the ruling to the US Supreme Court. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Anheuser-Busch And BYD Launch North America’s Largest Electric Class 8 Fleet” • Anheuser-Busch is dipping its toes into electrifying its fleets with the purchase of 21 fully electric Class 8 trucks from BYD. The BYD 8TT Class 8 trucks will be put to use at four of Anheuser-Busch’s Southern California distribution facilities. [CleanTechnica]

Anheuser-Busch electric Class 8 truck by BYD

¶ “New Coalition To Steer The Future Of California’s Offshore Wind” • Wind industry leaders including Equinor, Magellan Wind, Mainstream Renewable Power, Northland Power, Ørsted, and others, announced a coalition, Offshore Wind California. OWC is urging California to set a goal of reaching at least 10 GW of offshore wind by 2040. [Smart Energy]

¶ “NYC Picks Nine Buildings For ‘Deep Energy Retrofits'” • The City of New York will start deep energy retrofits on nine city facilities, with the goal to reduce energy usage by at least 50%. Another 28 facilities will be audited for future retrofits. The nine projects selected by the city are expected to be completed by 2025. [Utility Dive]

Have an extremely rewarding day.

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October 2 Energy News

October 2, 2019


¶ “The Koch Brothers And Protest In America” • Documentary filmmaker and journalist Deia Schlosberg was arrested and charged with felonies carrying a maximum sentence of up to 45 years in prison for reporting on the Indigenous protests against fossil fuel infrastructure, Common Dreams tells us. What about the  First Amendment? [CleanTechnica]

Deia Schlosberg (Image from Edward Snowden, via Twitter)

¶ “Elizabeth Warren’s Climate Plan Is Much Stronger With Addition Of Inslee-Related Commitments” • Elizabeth Warren announced changes to her climate plan inspired by elements of Jay Inslee’s, possibly a gold standard. Warren is nearly tied with Biden in key states and could turn out to be the Democratic candidate in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Illinois Must Take Immediate Action On The Clean Energy Jobs Act” • The Clean Energy Jobs Act is one of Illinois’ biggest opportunities to become a national clean energy leader. But with the fall veto session almost here, its future could be in jeopardy if legislators don’t understand what’s at stake. Its many benefits are just a start. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Renewable energy

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Kite Could Harness More Of The World’s Wind Energy” • California-based Makani is using power from the strongest winds, which are typically found in spots where it’s a challenge to install traditional wind turbines. To do this, it uses turbines mounted on a kite. Makani is owned by Alphabet, the parent company of Google. [CNN]

¶ “Tractebel Eyes Green Hydrogen Offshore” • Two Engie businesses, Tractebel Engineering and Tractebel Overdick, are working on an offshore platform that could produce ‘green’ hydrogen from offshore wind power. The companies said the platform would incorporate all the technical components needed for hydrogen production. [reNEWS]

Tractebel offshore hydrogen platform (Tractebel image)

¶ “They’re Making Paper Out Of Stone – And Saving Lots Of Trees” • Karst Stone Paper produces paper without using timber, water, or harsh chemicals. Instead, they use stone waste mined from construction sites and other industrial waste dumps. The stone is pulverized and mixed with a compostible plastic to make paper. [CNN]


¶ “Brazil Okays 401 MW Of Renewable Supply From June 28 Auction” • Brazil’s power sector regulator announced the winner list from its auction of June 28, 2019. The approved projects have a total capacity of 401.6 MW and should generate nearly 17.5 million MWh per year at an average price of R$140.33 per MWh ($42.1/MWh). [Renewables Now]

Solar farm

¶ “Kansai Electric Admits Execs’ Acceptance Of Gifts; President Won’t Resign” • Kansai Electric Power Co said two executives responsible for its nuclear business both received more than ¥100 million ($930,000) as gifts from a former official of a town hosting one of its nuclear plants, as the utility disclosed more information on the money scandal. [Japan Today]

¶ “World’s Largest Wind Turbines To Be Built Off Yorkshire Coast” • The Dogger Bank project, to be built from next year in a joint venture between SSE and Norway’s Equinor, will be the largest windfarm in the world once it begins generating power in 2023. It will have GE wind turbines 220 meters tall, with blades over 100 meters long. [The Guardian]

Artist’s impression of the Dogger Bank windfarm (PR image)

¶ “‘Massive Appetite’ For Caribbean Renewable Energy Investments” • MPC Renewable Energies sees rising local private investments in Carribbean clean power. “There is a massive and growing appetite for renewable energy investments in the Caribbean from local investors,” managing director Martin Vogt told BNamericas. [BNamericas English]


“Feds Seek To Gut Law Boosting Small-Scale Renewables” • Since 1978, the Public Utilities Regulatory Act has boosted renewables by requiring big utilities to buy some power from small solar and wind companies. Now federal regulators are proposing changes that would hurt both the smaller companies and consumers. [Environmental Working Group]

Coal Emissions

¶ “UMass Boston Partners With Enel X For Renewable Energy, Storage, And EV Chargers” • UMass Boston is working with Enel X, the advanced energy services division of Enel Group, to bring renewable energy plus storage to its urban campus. Also, the partnership will see 11 smart chargers from Enel’s eMotorWerks installed on the campus. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US University Taps Engie For Wind” • Engie signed deals with Carnegie Mellon University to power its Pittsburgh campus  with wind-generated electricity through 2024. Engie Resources and Amerex Energy Services jointly designed a structure to procure energy from the Radford’s Run wind farm in Illinois to serve all of the campus electricity needs. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Engie image)

¶ “Americans Really Want The US To Adopt Renewable Energy Like Wind And Solar Power, While Rejecting Fossil Fuels Like Coal” • The latest Insider poll shows that both self-identified Democrats and Republicans support the transitioning towards renewable sources of energy. They favor wind and solar, and they rank coal last. [Business Insider]

¶ “Evangelicals See The Light On Climate Change” • At a time when American business and military leaders are becoming increasingly vocal on the urgent need to reduce US reliance on fossil fuels, an evangelical campaign could alienate Republican lawmakers from another core constituency, conservative Christians. [Houston Chronicle]

Have a pragmatically auspicious day.

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October 1 Energy News

October 1, 2019


¶ “A Formula For Catastrophe In The Arctic” • The White House views the Arctic as a key arena for great-power competition, with the ultimate prize being a great trove of resources, including oil, natural gas, uranium, zinc, iron ore, gold, diamonds, and rare earth minerals. It is possible because of climate change. It will worsen climate change. [CleanTechnica]

Arctic ice (NOAA image)

¶ “Bad Ancestors: Does The Climate Crisis Violate The Rights Of Those Yet To Be Born?” • What if climate change is a violation of the rights of people who are yet to be born? Finally, this urgent question seems to be getting the attention it deserves. Part of this is happening with student strikes. Part is because of young people suing for a right to life. [The Guardian]

¶ “Conservatives’ ‘Nuclear Fusion By 2040’ Pledge Is Wishful Thinking” • The UK’s governing Conservative Party announced new climate policies that include £220 million for research into nuclear fusion reactors to provide clean energy “by 2040.” As a fusion researcher, I welcome the funding. But it isn’t an effective response to climate change. [Big News Network]

Fusion reactor

Science and Technology:

¶ “Jet Fuel From Thin Air: Aviation’s Hope Or Hype?” • Several companies are working on making jet fuel from CO₂ captured from the air and H₂ split from water, powering the operations with solar PVs. They say it could be a future fuel for aviation. Environmental organizations are skeptical, and make plain that we should fly less than we do. [BBC]


¶ “ACT Has ‘100% Renewable’ Electricity From Today. But What Does That Mean?” • The last stage of South Australia’s Hornsdale wind farm is coming online, and the Australian Capital Territory is “officially” powered by 100% renewable electricity. That means that for every watt of power the ACT consumes, it provides one through its renewable investments. [ABC News]

Hornsdale Wind Farm (Nick Harmsen | ABC News)

¶ “Saudi Crown Prince Warns Of Threat To Global Oil Supply” • Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the BBC that if Iran and Saudi Arabia go to war, oil prices could rise up to “unimaginably high numbers.” He says this is possible if the world doesn’t try to deter Iran, and that escalation will threaten the world’s interests. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NSW Reveals Grants Shortlist For Nearly 3 GW Of Renewables And Storage Capacity” • The government of New South Wales shortlisted 21 renewable energy and energy storage projects for grant funding under the state’s Emerging Energy program. The aim is to support up to 700 MW of dispatchable generation in the state. [RenewEconomy]

Blaney wind farm in NSW (Bren Barnes, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Ocean Holds Key To Ireland’s Renewable Energy Targets, Says Bruton” • Ireland’s ocean resources are crucial to delivering on the target of generating 70% its electricity renewable energy by 2030, Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton said. He confirmed 3.5 GW of Irish power would come from offshore wind in the coming decade. [Irish Times]

¶ “Vestas V150 Secures Greek Debut” • Vestas has won a turbine order totalling 16 MW from Iberdrola for the Pyrgari wind farm, which is to be built in Viotia, Greece. The contract includes the supply and installation of four V150-4.2MW machines delivered in 4.0 MW operating mode. Delivery is planned for the first quarter of 2020. [reNEWS]

Mt Dirfys, Viotia (Chavakismanolis, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “EDF Submits Application To Shut Down Fessenheim Nuclear Power Plant” • EDF submitted an application seeking approval for the termination of operations and permanent shutdown of both reactors at Fessenheim nuclear plant. One reactor is planned to be closed on 22 February 2020, and the other on 30 June in the same year. [Power Technology]


¶ “Arnold Schwarzenegger Lends Greta Thunberg A Tesla” • When you can count Arnold Schwarzenegger among your fans, you’ve definitely achieved high levels of public recognition! After meeting her in May (and saying he was a bit star-struck) Arnold has now made sure Gretta has a Tesla Model 3 for the rest of her trip through North America. [CleanTechnica]

Greta Thunberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger (From Twitter)

¶ “New Campaign Launched On 30 Campuses Urges Colleges And Universities To Shift To 100% Clean Renewable Power” • Environment America Research & Policy Center is launching 30 campaigns in 11 states, pressing colleges and universities to get 100% of their energy from renewables. Their goal is to get 150 to sign on by 2021. [Environment America]

¶ “Chapel Hill Sets 100% Renewable Energy Goal” • The town council of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has unanimously passed a resolution establishing a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. The resolution also set an interim goal of 80% clean, renewable energy by 2030. The issue was brought before the council by two petitions. [North American Windpower]

Downtown Chapel Hill (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “For Murray Power, Here Comes The Sun” • The City Council of Murray, Utah, unanimously authorized Murray Power to engage in a 25-year contract with Navajo Tribal Utility Authority for 5 MW of solar energy, starting at $23.15/MWh (2.35¢/kWh) and escalating by 2% yearly. The source is a 66-MW array in San Juan County, Utah. [Murray Journal]

¶ “Renewable Energy Will Provide Discount To Thousands” • Imperial Irrigation District and Citizens Energy Corporation just completed the largest low-income solar project in the country. There are more than 100,000 solar panels in the solar array in Calipatria, California. It will generate 30 MW of power and serve over 12,000 customers. [NBC Palm Springs]

Have a congenially entertaining day.

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