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. [NEWS.com.au]

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. [NJ.com]

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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