Archive for November, 2019

November 30 Energy News

November 30, 2019


¶ “Is The World Ready To End The Coal Era And Embrace Clean Energy?” • Despite the United Nations calling urgently for an end to fossil fuels, hundreds of coal-fired power stations are being built. Is the world ready for a new era of clean, cheap energy for all? The UN is ramping up pressure on countries to end their reliance on coal. [UN News]

Motorbikes in Hanoi

¶ “Climate Change: Everything New Zealand Needs To Do To Get To Zero Carbon” • New Zealand has signed the Zero Carbon Bill into law, setting ambitious targets for 2050. The law has two targets, one for natural gas and another for everything else. Joel MacManus explores what New Zealand needs to do in order to meet them. []

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Salmon Can Transform A Landscape” • Protecting salmon in coastal Canada could have benefits well beyond the water they swim in. Five species of eastern Pacific salmon spawn in British Columbia. All provide a vital food source that has been supporting ecosystems and First Nations’ cultures for at least 7,000 years. [BBC]

Mountain river (Getty Images)

¶ “SUVs Are Worse For The Climate Than You Ever Imagined” • According to a summary analysis of a report by the International Energy Agency that was released on November 13, SUVs are the second-biggest contributor to the rise in global carbon dioxide emissions during the past decade. Only the power sector is a bigger emitter. [WIRED]

¶ “InnVTek Can Build A Superhighway For Nanoparticles That Is Useful In Every Chemical And Battery Process” • Innovators at InnVTek have found a way to mix and pour materials that form into gyroids so that they make membranes. That has broad implications for a number of technical needs. One thing it can enable is better batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Gyroid of intersecting curves (US DOE image)


¶ “Mercedes-Benz Owner Daimler To Cut 10,000 Jobs Worldwide” • German carmaker Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, said it will shed at least 10,000 jobs worldwide as it seeks to fund the switch to electric cars. The move comes days after rival Audi said it would cut 9,500 of its 61,000 jobs in Germany for similar reasons. [BBC]

¶ “Ofgem’s Plan For Network Charges Triggers Renewables Sector Backlash” • Ofgem passed its long-awaited, controversial plan for network charges last week, despite earlier warnings against the move. The UK electricity market regulator’s Targeted Charging Review has provoked a backlash in the renewables sector. [pv magazine International]

Transmission tower (Image: analogicus | Pixabay)

Transmission tower (Image: analogicus | Pixabay)

¶ “National Grid Electricity Transmission Signs Strategic Deal With Smart Wires To Enable Greater Volumes Of Renewable Power” • NGET awarded a five-year framework agreement to Smart Wires, a power flow control technology company. This will help decarbonize the UK grid by enabling efficient transfer of more renewable power. [Energy Global]

¶ “German Climate Package ‘Lacks’ Clean Power Ambition” • German clean power groups criticized Germany’s climate legislation’s lack of ambition on renewable energy to meet the 65% goal by 2030. Renewable energy federation BEE re-iterated industry calls to expand targets for offshore wind and remove barriers to onshore wind development. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (NEAG image)

¶ “Solar Photovoltaic Power Capacity To Exceed 8,000 GW By 2050” • Global solar PV capacity is expected to exceed 8,000 GW by 2050, 18 times the current levels, according to an analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency. Solar PV could cover a quarter of global electricity needs by mid-century, second only to wind. []

¶ “300 MW Of New Solar For China’s 800-kV UHV Transmission Project” • Chinese PV manufacturer JinkoSolar announced its first agreement to supply its Tiger modules, which were unveiled in October. The company said it will provide 300 MW of the new panels for an ultra-high voltage demonstration plant in China’s Qinghai province. [pv magazine International]

Qinghai province (© Michel Royon | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Japan’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fall To Record Low In 2018/19” • Japan’s carbon emissions fell 3.6% to a record low in the year to March 2019, government figures show. This is due to growing renewable energy, restarts of nine nuclear reactors, and warmer winter. Emissions had surged after the 2011 nuclear disaster at Fukushima. [Financial Express]


¶ “Indianapolis Building Gets Highest ‘Green’ Building Certification Possible” • Indiana often falls behind in sustainable construction, but a new Indianapolis building just completed a $2.6 million effort toward certification as a top-tier “green” office space with LEED v4 Platinum certification. It is Guidon Designs’ redesign of an existing building. [Indianapolis Star]

Guidon Designs office (Photo: Guidon Designs)

¶ “How These Massachusetts Farmers Are Turning Manure And Food Waste Into Power” • According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, about 204 million pounds of turkey meat will be thrown away this Thanksgiving. NPR’s Allison Aubrey visits a state that is keeping its food waste out of landfills by sending it to farms to turn it into electricity. [PBS NewsHour]

¶ “US to Negotiate Carbon Trades Under Climate Pact Trump Shuns” • President Trump may be withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, but the US will still be a force in negotiations as international leaders gather in Madrid next week to map out rules for carbon trading as a way to limit global emissions of greenhouse gases. [Bloomberg Environment]

Have a thoroughly fabulous day.

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November 29 Energy News

November 29, 2019


¶ “Indigenous Communities Are At The Forefront Of Climate Resilience” • Indigenous land overlaps with areas that hold 80% of Earth’s biodiversity. Indigenous communities depend intimately on this ecological richness for their economic, social, and cultural well-being. And that makes them powerful actors in the fight against climate change. [Climate Home]

Fort William First Nation (Tony Webster | Flickr)


¶ “India Pollution Regulator Threatens To Shut Coal-Fired Utilities Around New Delhi” • India’s federal pollution regulator has warned coal-fired power plants around New Delhi that they could be shut down for failing to comply with deadlines to meet emissions standards, according to sources and a letter reviewed by Reuters. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Boris Johnson Replaced By Ice Sculpture After Dodging Election Debate On Climate Crisis” • Boris Johnson was criticized by party leaders and represented by a dripping ice sculpture after refusing to appear in a televised election debate focusing on climate change. His Conservative Party offered a replacement, but Channel 4 refused that. [CNN]

Channel 4 News Climate Debated (ITN News)

¶ “Enel Plugs 220 MW Of Solar Into Mexico Grid” • Enel as started operations at its 220-MW Magdalena 2 PV plant in Mexico. Magdalena 2, the first clean energy project in Tlaxcala, is the first solar farm in the country to sell its entire electricity output, around 640 GWh per year, to private offtakers on the country’s wholesale electricity market. [reNEWS]

¶ “Russia’s Taymyr Plan: Arctic Coal For India Risks Pollution” • In a decree last year President Putin ordered Russian firms to boost cargo traffic on the Northern Sea Route to an annual 80 million tonnes by 2024. Ambitious energy co-operation deals were signed with India in October, including deals for coking coal, used to make steel and aluminium. [BBC]

Russian ships on the Northern Sea Route (Getty Images)

¶ “UK Already Has The Tools To Achieve Net-Zero, Says CAT Report” • The UK could reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions using only proven technology, without relying on the promise of future developments, says a new report, Zero Carbon Britain: Rising to the Climate Emergency, from the Centre for Alternative Technology. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Ellen, World’s Largest Electric Ferry, Has Battery Equivalent To 50 Tesla Model S Batteries” • The 750-ton Ellen is the most powerful 100% electric ferry in the world. She can carry 30 vehicles and 250 passengers. She can charge at up to 4.4 MW, and battery size is 4.3 MWh, which is equivalent to about 50 Tesla Model S batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Ellen, 100% electric ferry (Photo via European Commission)

¶ “Regulator: Venting At Fukushima Reactor Failed” • Japan’s nuclear regulator says it believes that the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant failed to properly vent a vessel containing one of the plant’s reactors in the days after the March 2011 accident. It seems TEPCO had tried to vent the containment vessel of the No 2 reactor but failed. [NHK WORLD]

¶ “Croatia Aims To Boost Renewables To 36% By 2030” • Croatia is looking to increase its share of renewable energy to 36.4% by 2030. The consultancy GlobalData said the rise in renewable capacity from around 1% in 2008 to 17% in 2018 occurred because of revised targets under Zagreb’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan. [Energy Reporters]

Cres-Lošinj (Photo credit: NeedPix)


¶ “‘Not Something To Celebrate’: Drought And Flood Cause Drop In Emissions” • Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions flatlined due to the effects of the drought, which has caused a large drop in CO₂ from the agriculture sector. But that drop and the increasing use of renewables were almost entirely offset by growing use of liquified natural gas. [The Guardian]

¶ “Meet The Farmers Embracing Climate Change And Thriving” • To Jeff Burch, modern Australian farmers need to respond to climate change. “I’m not a science specialist on weather, I just know the facts are that we’re getting less rainfall, we’re getting more different weather patterns,” he said. Mr Burch reckons the naysayers “might have to get real.” [ABC News]

Jeff Burch (Caitlyn Gribbin | ABC News)

¶ “Record Year Delivers 1770 MW Of New Renewables For Victoria” • As Australia heads into what could be a new low in investor confidence for future renewables development, a booming Victorian market has delivered a bumper year for solar and wind power, with twelve new licences issued to generate renewable electricity. [RenewEconomy]


¶ “Utility To Close Coal-Fired Plant” • New Mexico’s largest electric provider says continued operation of a coal-fired power plant using carbon-capture technology wouldn’t be in the best interest of customers. Public Service Co of New Mexico made the declaration in testimony on the San Juan Generating Station’s pending closure. [KUNM]

San Juan Generating Station in New Mexico
(Steven Baltakatei Sandoval, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Dominion To Remove Virginia Plant From Its Renewable Energy Portfolio After Backlash” • Dominion, Virginia’s largest utility, finally allowed regulators to remove one of its power plants in South Virginia from its renewable energy portfolio after backlash it received after it was discovered by advocates and environmental scientists. [Public Wire]

¶ “Innergex Announces The Signature Of A Long-Term Power Purchase Agreement For The Hillcrest Solar Project In Ohio” • Innergex Renewable Energy, based in Québec, announced that it signed a long-term power purchase agreement with an unnamed US corporation for its 200-MW Hillcrest solar PV project in Brown County, Ohio. [Canada NewsWire]

Have a perfectly enjoyable day.

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November 28 Energy News

November 28, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Tipping Points – Too Risky To Bet Against” • When the IPCC introduced the idea of tipping points two decades ago, many of us have assumed that hitting them was unlikely. Now, evidence is mounting that these events could be more likely than was thought, potentially committing the world to long-term irreversible changes. [Nature]

Alaskan glacier (Frans Lanting | Nat Geo Image Collection)

¶ “Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists” • More than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now “active,” leading scientists have warned. Three of them, collapse of ice sheets in Greenland, West Antarctica, and part of East Antarctica, would commit the world to around ten meters of irreversible sea-level rise. [Science Daily]

¶ “India’s Rain Pattern Getting Affected By Global Climate Crisis” • Scientists have for the first time linked a specific phenomenon brought on by the climate crisis to reduced winter rain in India. It is a growing patch of warm seas in the Indo-Pacific ocean region that is causing droughts in some regions across the world and extreme floods in others. [Hindustan Times]

Rain in India (Satyabrata Tripathy | HT Photo)

¶ “Machine Learning Rapidly Improves Waste Sorting To Environmental And Economic Benefit” • AMP Robotics, based in Colorado is putting robots and machine learning, to work sorting trash to find recyclable materials. Where automated sorting machines have been failing, especially with the highest value waste, AMP is succeeding. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “How Old Cell Phones Are Spying On Illegal Loggers” • Through his non-profit Rainforest Connection, Topher White puts old Android smartphones in recycled plastic boxes fitted with extra microphones, battery packs, and solar panels. The devices, fastened to trees high up in the canopy, automatically alert rangers when they hear loggers. [CNN]

Installing Rainforest Connection devices (Rainforest Connection)

¶ “Renewable Energy Surge Could Power A New Industrial Australia” • In spite of the efforts of our government, Australia is going to overshoot 100% renewables, Oliver Yates, inaugural CEO of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, said. He pointed out that a 500% renewables capacity approach would “reindustrialize the country. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa To Equip 448-MW Scottish Offshore Wind Farm” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA has signed a deal with EDF Renewables to supply turbines for the 448-MW Neart Na Gaoithe offshore wind project in Scottish waters. The wind turbine manufacturer will supply 54 units of its SG 8.0-167 DD machines. [Renewables Now]

Siemens Gamesa 8-MW offshore turbine (Ørsted image)

¶ “Total Inaugurates New Caledonia Solar Power Plant” • Total Quadran, a Total subsidiary, brought online its Hélio Boulouparis 2, the second phase of the solar park, which is the most extensive solar program ever carried out in New Caledonia. It has a 16-MW capacity. The first tranche, Hélio Boulouparis 1, has been in operation since 2017. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Power And Gas ‘Coupling’ Seen As Key To EU’s Zero-Carbon Quest” • As Europe moves towards a goal of net-zero emissions, policymakers are looking at all available sources of energy. These include new low-carbon gases like hydrogen and bio-methane, which can be coupled with renewably generated electricity to decarbonize at least cost. [EURACTIV]

Offshore wind farm (Iberdrola via Flickr)


¶ “LG Chem And SK Innovation Are Locked In A Cage Fighting Match That Could Destroy Them Both” • South Korea’s two largest battery makers, LG Chem and SK Innovation, are in a legal battle in the US. Each is asking the US International Trade Commission to bar the other from supplying batteries to VW, GM, Ford, Jaguar, Audi, and KIA. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “It’s Time To Ditch Your Gas Car! Greater LA Region Targets 80% EV Market Share By 2028” • The Greater Los Angeles Region, home to almost half of all Californians, is aiming to meet pollution and carbon emission goals by targeting 80% EV market share by 2028. The goal is for 30% of the private vehicle fleet of around 15 million vehicles to be EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Volt (Image courtesy of Chevrolet)

¶ “City Of St Helena Signs Up For 100% Renewable Energy With Marin Clean Energy” • The city of St Helena, California, had been using a Marin Clean Energy portfolio of 60% renewable energy. Now, the city council has decided to enroll in the Deep Green program, Marin Clean Energy’s 100% renewable energy option. [Napa Valley Register]

¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E First Edition Sold Out, Rivian-Based Lincoln SUV Planned” • According to CNET Road Show, the First Edition of the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV introduced earlier this month is now sold out in the US. And Reuters is reporting a battery electric Lincoln based on a Rivian chassis is under development. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E

¶ “In Trump-Friendly Florida And Elsewhere, GOP Pressured Over Climate Change Inaction” • Since taking office in January, Florida’s Republican governor has appointed a science officer, established a climate change czar, and pledged to spend billions of dollars to restore the Everglades and combat pollution. Other GOP politicians are also getting active. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Persistent Outages Plaguing Grand Gulf Nuclear Plant Are Adding Millions To The Bills Of New Orleans Customers” • The 1,443-MW Grand Gulf nuclear plant is supposed to run almost every single day at full capacity, providing “base load” power to New Orleans. But its many outages cost New Orleans residents millions of dollars. [The Lens]

Have a contentedly full Thanksgiving Day.

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November 27 Energy News

November 27, 2019


¶ “Climate Change ‘Converts’ Reveal What Changed Their Minds” • In what feels like a former life, Jerry Taylor penned op-eds, appeared on cable news networks, and worked the “entire orbit of right-wing media,” arguing climate change was not a real problem. Now he is the head of a think-tank promoting a carbon tax. His change is not unique. [Deseret News]

Jerry Taylor (Cheryl Diaz Meyer, for the Deseret News)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Arctic To Be ‘Functionally Ice-Free’ In The Next 50 Years, Study Says” • A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change predicts that if the Earth continues at its current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, Arctic sea ice would regress to levels not high enough to perform its function of reflecting heat back, possibly as early as September 2044. []

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Kit Tackles Wake Impacts” • Siemens Gamesa unveiled new technology that adjusts the heading of individual offshore wind turbines to reduce production losses from wake effects. The ‘wake adapt’ feature shifts the direction of the turbine wake away from downstream machines allowing an increase in overall wind farm performance. [reNEWS]

Wake from turbines (Credit: Siemens Gamesa)


¶ “China Aims To Boost Revenue For Renewable Power Firms” • China plans to make power purchasers take fair returns into account when buying renewable electricity, according to a draft rule issued by the National Energy Administration aimed at improving revenues of renewable generators. The rule applies to non-hydro renewables. []

¶ “Volkswagen Motorsport Says Auf Wiedersehen To Internal Combustion Engines” • Volkswagen Motorsport, the arm of the company that coordinates all factory racing programs, says it will no longer use internal combustion engines in factory-sponsored automotive competitions. From now on, if a race car has a VW badge on it, it will be electric. [CleanTechnica]

VW race car (Volkswagen courtesy image)

¶ “Portugal: Galp Signs New Contract For Purchase Of Renewable Energy In Spain” • Galp, Portugal’s leading oil and gas company and a major generator of power, signed a twelve-year contract with Spain’s Grenergy Renovables to purchase 300 to 360 GWh per year of renewable energy, according to the Portuguese energy company. [Macau Business]

¶ “Over A Quarter Million EVs In India Have Received Subsidies, Reports Indian Government” • About 285,000 commercial EVs have been issued a total of $50 million in subsidies under India’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India program, India’s Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises said. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric bus (BYD image)

¶ “Macquarie Group Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity By 2025” • Australian investment bank Macquarie Group committed to purchasing all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The company has become the latest to join the RE100 initiative that encourages the world’s biggest companies to make the switch to renewables. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa 11-MW Giants Lined Up For HKZ” • Vattenfall will use Siemens Gamesa’s newly upgraded 11-MW DD-193 turbine for the 750-MW Hollandse Kust Zuid 1&2 offshore wind farm off the Dutch coast. Vattenfall said the Hollandse Kust Zuid zone is now planned to be fitted with approximately 140 machines. [reNEWS]

Siemens Gamesa wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa)

¶ “Enel To Build 14 GW Of Renewables By 2022 As Race to Decarbonize Heats Up” • European utility giant Enel committed half of its investment over the next few years to decarbonization, as part of a new strategic plan. Between 2020 and 2022, the Italian group will invest €11.5 billion ($12.6 billion) for 14.1 GW renewable capacity. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Nuclear Watchdog Approves Restart Of Onagawa Reactor In Miyagi Hit By 3/11 Tsunami” • The No 2 unit of Tohoku Electric Power Co’s Onagawa plant in Miyagi Prefecture received the green light after the addition of disaster prevention measures, including a 29 meter, ¥340 billion ($3.1 billion) seawall that is nearing completion. [The Japan Times]

Onagawa nuclear power plant (Kyodo)


¶ “Gov Mills Orders State Agencies To Step Up Maine’s Fight Against Climate Change” • Gov Janet Mills took another step to make Maine a leader in combating climate change. She signed an executive order directing agencies to develop and implement by February 2021 a sustainability plan to meet or exceed the state’s carbon reduction goals. [Press Herald]

¶ “Massachusetts Bill Would Block Logging, Let State Forests Keep Their Carbon” • Massachusetts lawmakers have proposed novel legislation that would enlist all state forest lands in the fight against climate change by protecting them from commercial logging. The law would affect roughly 600,000 acres of forest in the state. [Ars Technica]

Rehoboth State Forest (Kenneth C Zirkel, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “How Alternative Storage Solutions Are Breaking Into The Lithium-Ion-Dominated Market” • As the year 2017 ended, 708 MW of large-scale battery capacity were operating in the US. The market is growing fast, and Arizona Public Service intends  to add 850 MW of storage by 2025. But lithium-ion storage is not the only type of storage. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Duke Energy Florida Issues $700 Million Green Bond” • The Florida-based subsidiary of US utility Duke Energy has finalized the issuance of a $700 million (€636 million) green bond to fund renewable energy investments. The company will use proceeds to finance development, construction, and procurement of solar generation and battery storage. [Renewables Now]

Have an unabashedly cheerful day.

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November 26 Energy News

November 26, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why Slowing Down Ships Could Help Save The Planet” • Shipping is one of the world’s dirtiest industries. Emissions from ships account for 3% of global emissions. But a study shows that putting speed limits on ships could have broad environmental benefits. Cutting ship speeds by 20% could reduce CO₂ emissions from ships by 24%. [CNN]

Container ship (Ingo Wagner | DPA | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “NASA’s All-Electric X-57 Experimental Plane Debut With Interview” • Empirical Systems Aerospace delivered the first configuration of the X-57 to NASA. It has two 60-kw electric motors and high-performance batteries. The early model will allow NASA to start testing. In its final configuration, the plane will have 14 electric motors and propellers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar farm helps balance UK grid – at night” • Lightsource BP said that a trial using one of its solar plants in East Sussex had successfully provided night-time reactive power voltage support services to the electricity network – a first for a solar asset in the UK. An “inexpensive tweak” to inverters can send the grid power back at a slightly different voltage. [RenewEconomy]

Solar panels at night (Lightsource BP image)

¶ “Researchers Say Nanomaterials Are Key To Energy Storage” • According to Drexel University, a main focus of battery research is finding ways to store more electrons. Using “nanostructuring,” researchers introduce particles, tubes, flakes, and stacks of nanoscale materials into storage systems components, allowing more electrons to be stored. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “‘Bleak’ Outlook As Carbon Emissions Gap Grows” • Countries will have to increase their carbon-cutting ambitions five-fold if the world is to avoid warming by more than 1.5°C, the UN says. The annual emissions gap report shows that even if all current promises are met, the world will warm by more than double that amount by 2100. [BBC]

Australian bushfire (Getty Images)

¶ “ScotlandPower Plans Major Onshore Wind Initiative” • In 2015, then UK prime minister David Cameron blocked any government support for onshore wind farms, and construction fell 80%. Now, as political parties are supporting windpower, Scottish Power has begun planning for a major expansion of onshore wind projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ACWA Connects Saudi’s First Utility Scale Renewables Plant To The Grid” • ACWA Power announced that Saudi Arabia’s first renewable energy project, the Sakaka solar plant, was connected successfully to the national grid. Full commercial operation of the 300-MW project is to be achieved before the end of the year 2019. [Power Engineering International]

Solar plant

¶ “WindEurope Plots 450-GW EU Offshore Goal” • To achieve the European Commission’s target of 450 GW of offshore wind by 2050 requires annual installation rates to rise from 3 GW today to over 20 GW in 2030, a report from WindEurope says. The study suggests that the bulk, 212 GW, should be deployed in the North Sea. [reNEWS]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Unveils 11-MW Offshore Turbine” • Siemens Gamesa unveiled an offshore wind turbine that can reach top power of 11 MW. The German-Spanish manufacturer said the “DD Flex” machine relies on “constant digital observations” to drive the power to 11 MW. It showed the machine at WindEurope Offshore 2019 in Copenhagen. [reNEWS]

Siemens Gamesa wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa)

¶ “Most Consumers Want Companies To Target 100% Renewable Energy” • A poll commissioned by Greenpeace Australia Pacific shows that the corporate shift to renewable energy is driven not only by economics, but also public expectation. Nearly three out of four Australian consumers expect companies to target 100% renewable energy. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “Solar And Battery Microgrid Achieves 90% Renewables For WA Gas Hub” • Horizon Power’s poster child for the shift to a distributed renewable grid, the Western Australia Pilbara town of Onslow, says its solar and battery microgrid is already helping to deliver “more reliable” and cleaner power, at levels of up to 90% renewables. [One Step Off The Grid]

Dust storm and Onslow salt mine (Rob McGregor, Wikimedia)

¶ “Echoing Japanese Bishops, Pope Backs Abolition Of Nuclear Power” • Speaking to survivors of Japan’s 2011 “triple disaster,” when the country was hit by a devastating mega-earthquake, a tsunami, and an incident at a nuclear plant, Pope Francis called for the abolition of nuclear facilities, echoing the voice of the local bishops. [Angelus News]


¶ “Ohio Denies AEP Cost Recovery For 400 MW Of Proposed Solar, But Projects Expected To Proceed” • The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio denied American Electric Power’s request to charge customers for development of two solar projects, totaling 400 MW. It said the utility had not shown a need for the additional generation. [Utility Dive]

Solar array (Credit: Novo Nordisk)

¶ “Putting New York City’s Waterfront At The Heart Of A Renewable Energy Revolution” • Today, the East Coast looks to a pipeline of offshore wind energy projects, or ocean-based wind farms, that could generate more than 20 GW of power within 10 years. Offshore wind energy could power up to a million homes in New York within five years. [Next City]

¶ “80% Of US Accepts That There’s A Human Role In Climate Change” • Recent events, including fires, unusual temperatures, and destructive storms, may have increased public acceptance of climate change. A Pew Research Center poll says about 80% of the public accepts the evidence that human activities contribute to the changing climate. [Ars Technica]

Have an exuberantly jolly day.

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November 25 Energy News

November 25, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change: Greenhouse Gas Concentrations Again Break Records” • Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases once again reached new highs in 2018. The World Meteorological Organization says the increase in CO₂ was just above the average rise recorded over the last decade, along with other greenhouse gases. [BBC]

Pollution (Getty Images)


¶ “Coal: Is This The Beginning Of The End?” • This year looks set to see the largest fall in electricity production from coal on record, according to a report in the online journal Carbon Brief. It is projected to drop by 3% – which is a fall of 300 TWh, based on energy sector data from around the world for the first seven to 10 months of the year. [BBC]

¶ “Bangladesh To Assess Impact Of Integrating Renewables Into Grid” • With renewable energy taking root in Bangladesh, the government’s Power Division issued a request for expressions from interest from energy consultants to help it prepare the national grid for rising penetration from intermittent electricity generation. [pv magazine International]

Transmission system (Image: Nikhil Verma | Flickr)

¶ “Vestas Inks 118-MW EnVentus Deal At Finnish Farm” • Vestas has secured a deal to supply turbines from its EnVentus platform for the 118-MW Paskoonharju 2 wind farm in Finland. The Danish manufacturer will deliver 21 V150-5.6MW units to the EPV Energia project in the municipality of Teuva, which is being built on a merchant basis. [reNEWS]

¶ “Sweden Wind Power Park Points At Industry’s Shift Away From Subsidies” • Europe’s biggest onshore wind park is being built in a remote part of Sweden. Markbygden could be the clearest sign yet of the industry’s shift away from subsidies and towards relying on the markets that set returns for plants running on natural gas, coal or nuclear energy. [Business Day]

Wind turbines (Bob Strong | Reuters)

¶ “Statkraft Launches Wind And Solar Development Activities In Spain And Portugal” • Statkraft, Europe´s largest producer of renewable energy and leading provider of power purchase agreements, aims to develop onshore wind and solar projects in the Iberian Peninsula either in-house or through partnerships to co-develop projects. [GlobalNewswire]

¶ “Sierra Leone: Easy Solar Expands Energy Access To 300,000 People” • For more than three years, Easy Solar has been committed to expanding energy access to people without power in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone’s clean energy provider, Easy Solar, announced that it has reached a new milestone of 300,000 users nationwide. [ESI Africa]

Home solar system on a thatched roof

¶ “ARENA Commits $70 Million To ‘ Get Cracking’ On Renewable Hydrogen” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will provide up to $70 million to speed development of renewable hydrogen in Australia. The funding is expected to play a material role to support commercial-scale renewable hydrogen deployments. [EcoGeneration]

¶ “Ørsted Unveils 5-GW Energy Island Vision” • Ørsted plans to establish the island of Bornholm to deliver up to 5 GW of power. It will be Denmark’s first offshore wind cluster interconnecting with two to three neighbouring countries. The Danish company said the hub could potentially connect with Poland, Sweden and possibly Germany. [reNEWS]

Walney wind farm (Ørsted image)


¶ “Facing Backlash, Dominion Says It’s Willing To Have Coal Plant Removed From Green Energy Package” • Virginia’s largest utility said it would be willing to let regulators remove a hybrid power plant that relies almost entirely on coal from a renewable energy portfolio it wants to sell to environmentally conscious consumers. [Virginia Mercury]

¶ “Black Hills Seeks Nod For 200-MW Renewables Procurement Round” • Black Hills Corp said it is seeking regulatory clearance to add 200 MW of renewable capacity in Southern Colorado through a competitive solicitation. Subsidiary Colorado Electric, (aka Black Hills Energy) filed a proposal to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines in Colorado (Mortenson |

¶ “BMW Partners With Dairy Farms To Make Renewable Energy” • BMW and Straus Family Creamery are partnering to make electricity generated at the organic dairy farm available for BMW’s EV customers in California. The project was announced at an LA auto show. BMW claimed the project was the first of its kind in the auto industry. [MediaPost Communications]

¶ “Renewable Generation In US Is Set To Surpass Coal In 2021 For First Time” • It now seems likely that annual renewable energy generation in 2021 will surpass coal-fired output in the US for the first time. Coal has been rapidly declining, and renewables have been growing fast. It looks like they will be at least neck-and-neck for the year. [RenewEconomy]

Have a vastly happy day.

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November 24 Energy News

November 24, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Affecting Diversity In Some Of Australia’s Most Remote Areas, Despite Work Of Indigenous Rangers” • Three-quarters of all of Australia’s species that are currently known to be threatened occur in Indigenous tenures. And in Indigenous Protected Areas the land is protected by Indigenous Rangers.  [ABC News] (Lots of photos)

Karajarri ranger Kamahl Bangu (Ann Jones | ABC Science)

¶ “More Solar Power To Drive The All-Electric Economy Of The Sparkling Green Future” • Solar power is primarily associated with PV or thermal collection technology, but there is also a third wave of technology that mimics the process by which plants absorb and convert sunlight. It “splits” water to make hydrogen, which can be used for fuel.  [CleanTechnica]


¶ “From China To The Outback: Logistical Nightmare Behind Transport Of Gigantic Wind Turbines” • Workers are preparing to transport a new wind farm more than 630 km inland to power one of Australia’s biggest gold mines. Fifteen 66-meter blades came in from China by ship. They are to be moved to the Agnew gold mine in the northern Goldfields. [ABC News]

Blades at Geraldton Port, WA (Zachary Bruce | ABC News)

¶ “Tehran Says It’s Designing ‘Modern’ Uranium Fuel … Enriched Above Nuclear Deal’s Limitations” • Iran is “on the verge” of producing fuel made up of highly enriched uranium, Iran’s top nuclear power official said. While it hasn’t reached weapons-grade level, the new fuel might still cross a line set by the 2015 nuclear deal. [Stock Daily Dish]

¶ “Spain Boosts Renewables Subsidies” • Spain has offered incentives to renewable energy investors to get them to abandon almost €10 billion worth of lawsuits against the government, the acting environment minister said. A number of  investors sued after the previous right-wing administration reduced renewable subsidies in 2013. [Energy Reporters]

Solar array (Wikimedia)


¶ “Coal Knew, Too” • “Exxon knew.” Thanks to the work of activists and journalists, those two words have rocked the politics of climate change in recent years. Investigations have revealed the extent to which giants like Exxon Mobil and Shell were aware of the danger. But the coal industry knew, too, as early as 1966, as articles on the subject show. [HuffPost]

¶ “The Harvard-Yale Football Game Was Delayed After Students And Alumni Stormed The Field To Protest Climate Change” • The Harvard-Yale football game was delayed nearly 30 minutes after more than a hundred students and alumni flooded the field at halftime to protest against the schools’ endowments from fossil fuel companies. [CNN]

Harvard-Yale protest (@stevebene7 on Twitter)

¶ “Cornell Students, Profs Send Fossil Fuel Divestment Complaint To NY Attorney General” • Unable to persuade the Cornell Board of Trustees to divest from fossil fuels, student and faculty activists are taking the fight to the next level. The Cornell Daily Sun, says one group asked New York Attorney General Letitia James to investigate. [The College Fix]

¶ “Public Private Partnership Building Net Zero Homes For Low Income Families In Rhode Island” • In Rhode Island, a public private partnership is building five new homes for low income buyers that are designed to have no utility bills at all. The design was a project of the Rhode Island School of Design architecture program. [CleanTechnica]

Net-zero low income house (Sung Hyun Hong
and Diyi Zhang | RISD Department of Architecture)

¶ “Fracking Blows Up Investors Again: Phase 2 Of The Great American Shale Oil And Gas Bust” • The number of bankruptcy filings of oil and gas drillers since the beginning of 2015 has gone to over 200. Other drillers, such as Chesapeake Energy, whose shares closed on Friday at 59¢, are jostling for position at the filing counter. [Wolf Street]

¶ “Say What? $79 To $178 Monthly Lease For An Electric Car?” • Green Car Reports quotes numbers as low as $79 per month for the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric. That’s for a 36 month lease with $999 down and a 10,000-mile annual limit, but if we work the down payment into the monthly price, it would bring the change to about $107 per month. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Ioniq Electric ad

¶ “Ballot Initiative Aims To Increase Renewable Energy In Montana” • For the third time, a group of Montanans is working on a ballot initiative that would require 80% of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2034. Petition signatures are being collected for Initiative 87, which aims to revise energy and tax laws. [The Bozeman Daily Chronicle]

¶ “Newsom Halts Hundreds Of Fracking Permits” • California Gov Gavin Newsom halted approval of hundreds of fracking permits until independent scientists can review them. The state Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources announced it will not approve new wells that use high-pressure steam to extract oil from the underground. [Antelope Valley Press]

Have a demonstrably carefree day.

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November 23 Energy News

November 23, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “New And Strange Climate Pattern Includes More Violent El Niño Swings” • In the industrial age, El Niños have become more intense, standing to worsen storms, drought, and coral bleaching in El Niño years. A new study has found compelling evidence in the Pacific Ocean that the stronger El Niños are part of a climate pattern that is new and strange. [SciTechDaily]

Powerful El Niño events in 1997 and 2015 (NOAA)


¶ “Olivia Campbell Andersen: Renewable Energy Standard Needs Fixing, Now” • For young generations, clean energy is not an option, it’s an expectation. For seniors, health-impaired neighbors, and businesses, reliable and affordable electricity is a lifeblood necessity. We’ve heard scientists’ alarms, … and know time is running out to stop it. []


¶ “China Can Go Carbon Neutral By 2050 While Still Growing Its Economy: Report” • China won’t have to sacrifice prosperity to go carbon neutral in the next few decades, a report says. The report by the Energy Transitions Commission in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Institute said China could triple economic output per person. [CNN]

Sheep and cooling tower in China

¶ “Samoa Climate Change Resilience Challenges Western Perceptions” • The resilience of Samoan communities in the face of climate change provides a blueprint other nations can follow, a study says. Rather than despairing at the prospect, villagers have developed a pragmatic and positive approach to impending climate changes. [Science Daily]

¶ “Electric Tour Boats In Paris To Use Repurposed Renault EV Batteries” • The Seine Alliance, a river tourism developer in Paris, has partnered with Renault to utilize used EV batteries for powering its electric tour boats. They have no exhaust fumes. They’re quiet and inexpensive to run. And the boats will not require costly new batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Electric boat at the Paris Yacht Club (Image: The Seine Alliance)

¶ “Volkswagen Will Invest $4 Billion In China, Adds ID.3 Production To Dresden Factory” • Together with its Chinese partners, Volkswagen Group accounts for 19.5% of all cars sold in China, according to Stephan Wöllenstein CEO of Volkswagen Group China. Now, the company says it will invest $4 billion in its China operations in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Positive Result For Second Yorkshire Battery” • Harmony Energy has secured planning permission from East Riding of Yorkshire Council for the construction of a second battery storage scheme at a site in Yorkshire. The 49.5-MW facility will be the second built on a one hectare site next to a substation at Cottingham, near Hull. [reNEWS]

Battery storage plant (Image: Carter Jonas)

¶ “DEME, Engie Form Belgian Hydrogen Team” • DEME Group and Engie are among seven organisations in Belgium cooperating on ways to deliver the production, transport, and storage of hydrogen to help meet the country’s 80% by 2050 renewable energy goal. They noted that hydrogen is an important carrier for renewable energy. [reNEWS]

¶ “Sunrise Movement Goes Viral Without Twitter Ads, Yet Still Influences National Narrative” • Climate action momentum is building around the US and world, in good part due to Sunrise advocacy. The word has spread without such things as insidious Twitter ads. The Sunrise Movement is accomplishing a lot with little more than people power. [CleanTechnica]

Sunrise Movement protest (Vivianne Peckham via Sunrise)

¶ “Legal Suits Mounting Against Mexican Renewable Energy Change: Lobby” • Increasing numbers of lawsuits are being brought because of a rule change by the government of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The change reduced private sector incentives to develop renewable energy, a leading business association said. []


¶ “Solar Costs And Wind Costs So Low They’re Cheaper Than Existing Coal And Nuclear – Lazard LCOE Report” • Lazard’s latest LCOE report says cheap energy from solar and wind are competing with existing coal and nuclear plants. It can be cheaper to build new wind and solar farms than to keep existing coal and nuclear power plants going. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels at Disney World (Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Tesla Cybertruck Starts From $39,900! Better Value Than Ford F-150?” • The Tesla Cybertruck was unveiled last night. Compared with a similarly outfitted Ford F-150, its entry price of $39,900 is shockingly affordable. The F-150’s price, with similar features, would be considerably higher priced, and it would cost much more to maintain. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Federal Gulf Cod Fishery Likely To Close As Warming Waters Push Cod Numbers To Lowest On Record” • The latest Gulf of Alaska trawl survey shows the lowest cod numbers on record. That threatens to close the federal Gulf cod fishery which was slated to begin in less than two months. Cod have declined so badly that few fishermen go after them. [KTOO]

Fisherman Frank Miles (Kavitha George | Alaska’s Energy Desk)

¶ Facebook’s Newton Data Center Receives 100% Renewable Energy”” • A new solar project will have a new Facebook data center hub in Georgia 100% renewably powered. Walton Electric Membership Corporation has signed a contract with Silicon Ranch on behalf of Facebook for power from a new solar project in Newton County. [Capacity Media]

¶ “State Staff: Georgia Power Nuclear Timeline ‘significantly Challenged’” • Georgia Power’s nuclear expansion of Plant Vogtle is falling further behind schedule, according to a filing by Georgia Public Service Commission staff and consultants. The project is already years behind its original schedule and billions of dollars over budget. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Have an excitingly pleasant day.

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November 22 Energy News

November 22, 2019


¶ “Are We Doing Enough To Tackle Global Transport Emissions?” • According to the World Resources Institute, “72% of global transport emissions come from road vehicles, which accounted for 80% of the rise in emissions from 1970-2010.” And since 2012, emissions from the transportation sector have been increasing with increased traffic. [CleanTechnica]

Traffic in Hawaii (Anthony Quintano, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “US Shale Oil Boom May Be Winding Down. What Does That Mean For America And The World?” • A cloud has appeared over fracking, as the world price of oil trends downward. The fracking industry grew in 2018, but did not grow in 2019, Halliburton laid off 3,000 workers, and dozens of fracking companies have filed for bankruptcy. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Stanford Study Says Renewable Power Eliminates Argument For Using Carbon Capture With Fossil Fuels” • New research from Stanford University professor Mark Z Jacobson questions the climate and health benefits of carbon capture technology against simply switching to renewable energy sources like solar and windpower.  [DeSmog]

Power plant


¶ “This Is How You Do Climate: NSW Unveils Plans For A Renewable Energy Short-Cut” • New South Wales will rewrite electricity market rules to create a giant renewable energy zone, pour money into hydrogen, and spur consumers to offset CO₂ emissions in a policy that could shift the national debate over climate change. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “City Of Melbourne Leads Second ‘Bulk-Buy’ Renewables Auction” • Leading Melbourne universities and businesses have joined forces to buy 113 GWh per year of renewably generated electricity, in the second major bulk-buy renewables project to be led by the City of Melbourne. The details of the tender were released to a closed group. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm

¶ “Ofgem Charges Ahead With UK Grid Reforms” • UK energy regulator Ofgem is to press ahead with grid charge reforms that renewable trade associations say will undermine subsidy-free deployment. Fixed charges will be applied to all households and businesses to recuperate residual charges while some embedded benefits for generators will be scrapped. [reNEWS]

¶ “Asian Quartet ‘On Course For 19 GW Offshore'” • Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam are likely to install up to 19 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, research by Wood Mackenzie says. Taiwan leads the way with a policy framework already in place and over 5 GW of approved projects that will come online as early as 2025. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Swancor image)

¶ “Labour Confirms 52-GW UK Offshore Pledge” • Labour has reaffirmed the commitment in its General Election manifesto to have the UK installed offshore wind capacity at 52 GW by 2030. The opposition party document pledges to construct 7000 new offshore wind turbines as set out in the ‘People Power Plan’ it unveiled in September. [reNEWS]


¶ “As Coal Dwindles, Southwest Tribal Solar Farms Pump Out Power” • New, large-scale solar farms are bringing jobs to reservations and the first electricity to many families living on tribal lands in remote areas of the Southwest. The Navajo Tribal Utilities Authority brought online two solar projects with a total 55 MW capacity over the past year. []

Solar PVs (Courtesy of Navajo Tribal Utility Authority)

¶ “Facebook Likes Virginian Solar” • Facebook has signed a power purchase agreement with US solar developer Apex for most of output from the latter’s 80-MW Altavista project in Virginia. The social media company will offtake 61.6 MW from the PV farm, which is due online next year. Facebook is taking increasing amounts of renewable energy. [reNEWS]

¶ “Anbaric Proposes 16-GW New England Grid Link” • US transmission developer Anbaric has applied to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to develop the Southern New England OceanGrid, an offshore grid system off southern New England. It is designed to connect up to 16 GW of offshore wind capacity to the mainland. [reNEWS]

Marine workings (Image: Business Network for Offshore Wind)

¶ “Google To Become Largest Corporate Buyer Of Renewable Energy In South Carolina” • Google announced a collaboration with Central Electric Power Cooperative and Berkeley Electric Cooperative that will result in the construction of a new 75-MW solar farm in South Carolina. It will generate 180,000 MWh of electricity annually. [The Berkeley Observer]

¶ “Renewables Are Not Making Electricity Any More Expensive” • A report from the DOE suggests that renewables were actually lowering the price of electricity in the US. The report focused on wholesale costs in the period of 2008 to 2017, and does not detail the amount that costs of solar and wind power have continued to fall since the end of that time. [Ars Technica]

Long Island solar farm

¶ “Alabama Power Solar Fee Questioned In Public Hearing” • The Alabama Public Service Commission has heard testimony about a formal complaint filed over a fixed fee Alabama Power charges its residential solar customers. The utility says the $5 per kW fee is needed to cover the costs of having back-up power available for customers with PVs. []

¶ “EDF Will Bail On Three Nuclear Plants, Exelon Holds The Bag” • Exelon Generation said that EDF Group is exercising a put option to sell its 49.99% interest in the Calvert Cliffs, RE Ginna, and Nine Mile Point  nuclear energy facilities. The companies will now begin negotiations for Exelon to acquire full ownership of the plants. [POWER magazine]

Have a flawlessly fantastic day.

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November 21 Energy News

November 21, 2019


¶ “Massive Australian Blazes Will ‘Reframe Our Understanding Of Bushfire’” • Australia is on fire like it never has been before, and the “bushfire” season has barely begun. David Bowman, a fire ecologist and geographer, and the director of the Fire Centre at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, spoke with Science about the crisis. [Science Magazine]

Destroyed home (William West | AFP | Getty Images)


¶ “NRDC Report: EU Subsidies Lead to Forest Destruction” • A report from the Natural Resources Defense Council says European nations are wasting $7 billion a year on subsidies for burning wood for fuel for power or heat in ways that are notoriously dirty. The EU allows wood burning to be counted as clean energy. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ “Vanishing Ice Puts Mongolia’s Reindeer Herders At Risk” • Vanishing ice patches are jeopardizing the livelihoods of reindeer herders in Mongolia, new research found. Herders in the north of the country rely on what they call “eternal ice,” which remains intact even during the summer, for drinking water and to cool down the reindeer in the heat. [CNN]

Reindeer (Photo: Batchuluun)

¶ “Gold Fields Opens Australia’s Biggest Hybrid Renewable Microgrid At Agnew Mine Near Leinster” • The first stage of the $112 million microgrid at Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine has fired up, with the 23-MW power station commissioned. The station integrates PV solar with gas and diesel to provide power for the Agnew gold mine. [The West Australian]

¶ “A Third Of Tropical African Plants Face Extinction” • A third of tropical African plants are on the path to extinction, according to a new assessment. Much of western Africa, Ethiopia, and parts of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the hardest hit regions, standing to lose more than 40% of their richness of plants. [BBC]

Eastern Africa (Thomas LP Couvreur IRD)

¶ “Acciona To Supply 173 GWh Renewable Electricity To Vidrala In Portugal” • Acciona has signed a contract with the Vidrala group to supply electricity of renewable origin in 2020 to its two glass container plants in Portugal, for an estimated need for over 173 GWh. The contract avoids emissions of around 60,000 tonnes of CO₂. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Soaring Fossil Fuel Production Is On Track To Blow Past Climate Goals” • The world’s top 10 fossil fuel-producing countries are on track to extract far more oil, gas and coal by 2030 than scientists say the planet can handle without experiencing catastrophic warming, according to a report published Wednesday. [Mother Jones]

Tesoro Oil Refinery (Kevin Schafer | Getty)

¶ “Slowdown In Renewable Investment Should Be Highest Priority For COAG Energy Council, Says CEC” • The Clean Energy Council says addressing Australia’s dramatic slowdown in renewable energy investment is the industry’s highest priority. It is pushing the COAG Energy Council to act on the issue when it meets on November 22. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “South Korea Nuclear Regulator Wants Information On Radioactive Fukushima Water Release” • Japan’s reluctance to disclose information about the release of radioactive water from its damaged Fukushima nuclear plant is hampering neighboring countries’ efforts to minimize the impact, the head of South Korea’s nuclear safety agency said. [AsiaOne]

Geiger counter (Photo: Reuters)

¶ “China Slashes Renewable Subsidies” • China will cut the total size of its renewable power subsidies to $806.5 million next year, from $1.15 billion for this year, Reuters reports. Beijing said earlier it will only approve solar and wind power installations if they generate electricity as cheaply as that generated in coal-fired power plants. []


¶ “Municipal Power Companies In Florida Plan 223.5-MW Solar Power Plant” • Twelve municipal power companies in Florida, with cooperation with the Florida Municipal Power Association and Florida Renewable Partners, have banded together to build a massive 223.5-MW solar power plant with 900,000 panels to serve their customers. [CleanTechnica]

Tailem Bend (Leanne Davis, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Tesla And Rivian Join California’s Lawsuit Against Trump’s EPA And NHTSA” • The National Coalition for Advanced Transport, which includes makers of EVs and related products and utilities, supports the efforts of California’s Air Resources Board to reduce emissions. It is opposing Trump administration fuel economy roll-backs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Presidential Contenders Join Fellow Senators In Urging New England To Speed Clean Energy Transition” • Seven US senators from four New England states have urged the regional grid operator to speed the addition of clean energy resources and take a more active role in addressing climate change as well as accommodating state resource policies. [Utility Dive]

Capitol building (Credit: Creative Commons)

¶ “Wind-Energy Project Near Lompoc Approved By County Planning Commission” • In California, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the Strauss Wind Energy Project, proposed by an affiliate of BayWa re Global, a renewable energy firm based in Germany. The project will have 29 wind turbines. [Noozhawk]

¶ “Innergex Renewable Energy Commissions 250-MW PV Project In Texas” • Innergex Renewable Energy commissioned the 250-MW (AC) Phoebe PV project in Winkler County, Texas. Its average annual power generation is expected to be enough to power more than 50,000 Texan households. It is the largest solar farm Innergex has operating in Texas. [PV-Tech]

Have a tremendously positive day.

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November 20 Energy News

November 20, 2019


¶ “PURPA Is Undermining The Clean Energy Transition. Colorado Has A Better Way” • The Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act, passed over 40 years ago to address the oil embargo, incentivize renewable energy, and alleviate uncertainty in the energy market, has laudable goals, but it made renewable energy expensive. Colorado has a better way. [Utility Dive]

Solar array (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “How Climate Change Could Kill The Red Apple” • An apple has to have the right genetics to be red when it ripens, but that is not the whole story. For apples to be red, they have to be grown at the right temperatures. Anything above 40°C (104°F) will turn off their ability to turn the red color people look for when they choose apples to eat. [BBC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Good News, Bad News: Global Heating May Boost Wind Farm Output Due To Stronger Wind” • There’s good news and bad news for wind energy and a warming planet. According to The Guardian, scientists have found that the world’s shifting ocean circulation patterns may have triggered a rapid increase in wind speeds over the last 10 years. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in Austria (Kwerdenker, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Many Countries Pledged To Cut Emissions Of Heat-Trapping Gases. A Report Shows Most Are Still Investing In Fossil Fuels” • Many countries are on track to produce far more fossil fuels than what scientists say is allowed in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C or even 2°C, according to a major new UN analysis titled “The Production Gap.” [CNN]

¶ “China Has Saved Hundreds Of Thousands Of Lives By Reducing Air Pollution, Study Says” • China’s raft of clean air policies saved hundreds of thousands of lives in 2017 alone, a study shows. It was conducted by Chines scientists and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. [CNN]

Power plant (Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

¶ “EasyJet 1st Airline In World To Go Carbon Neutral, Starting Today” • EasyJet announced that from today all of its flights will be carbon neutral, the first airline to do so. From now, EasyJet’s 331 airplanes will have their carbon emissions balanced through carbon removal efforts. In the future, it will switch to sustainable fuels and electric aircraft. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia Fires: ‘Catastrophic’ Alerts In South Australia And Victoria” • Heat and winds are threatening to widen Australia’s bushfire crisis, with three states warned to expect their worst conditions of the season so far. In addition to South Australia and Victoria, South Australia issued a “catastrophic” alert, the highest danger rating. [BBC]

Fire in Australia (EPA image)

¶ “Billionaires Invest In Giant Australian Solar Farm To Supply Power To Singapore” • Sun Cable has received millions of dollars of investment from a group of billionaires. If successful, the development would include a 10-GW array of panels in Northern Territory, backed by about 22 GWh in battery storage, to supply power to Singapore. [The Guardian]

¶ “Patagonia’s Hidden World Of Ice” • Straddling the border of Chile and Argentina, the Southern Patagonian Ice Field is one of the largest non-polar glaciers in the world. It stretches along the spine of the Andes for more than 350 km (about 220 miles). Now, however, the warming climate is making it thin out at a rate that is alarming. [BBC]

Southern Patagonian Ice Field (Credit: Tom Garmeson)


¶ “Nikola Pushes Deeper Into Battery Electric Vehicles With Next Generation Battery Tech” • The Nikola Motor Company has news of a pending acquisition of a team that developed a next generation battery technology. It claims the battery has double the capacity of what is currently available, costs half as much, and has an acceptable lifespan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Homes To Sell Renewable Energy To Businesses In Vermont’s First Of A Kind Local Energy Marketplace” • Called Vermont Green, a pilot project by LO3 Energy also looks to solve some haunting industry issues, among them achieving 100% renewable energy, replacing net metering, and simplifying green energy purchases. [Microgrid Knowledge]

Eco-friendly house (anweber | Shutterstock)

¶ “Can America’s First Floating Wind Farm Help Open Deeper Water To Clean Energy?” • Maine may be the state with the greatest potential for offshore windpower. Now, the state could soon have turbines spinning off its coast. Aqua Ventus is a small pilot project, with two turbines, but it will be the first US floating wind farm. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Enel Turns Sod On 300-MW Aurora Wind Farm” • Enel Green Power North America has started construction of the 299-MW Aurora wind project in North Dakota. The $450 million (€406 million) wind farm is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2020. It is located near Enel’s 150-MW Lindahl wind farm, which began operations in 2017. [reNEWS]

Installing a wind turbine (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Alaska’s largest solar farm opens in Willow” • Renewable IPP officially opened Alaska’s largest solar farm last week. The 1.2-MW facility installed last year by the Renewable IPP group on a 17-acre property near Willow. It was expanded from a 140-kW pilot project, after that system showed that solar power was a viable option. [Anchorage Daily News]

¶ “New Jersey More Than Doubles Offshore Wind Target To 7.5 GW” • New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order backing a goal of 7.5 GW of offshore wind by 2035, more than doubling the state’s existing 3.5-GW target for 2030. At present, the state is heavily reliant on natural gas and nuclear power for its electricity. [Greentech Media]

Have a magnificently swell day.

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November 19 Energy News

November 19, 2019


¶ “Does Nuclear Power Slow Or Speed Climate Change?” • Most US nuclear power plants cost more to run than they earn. Spending money on building new reactors, or operating most existing ones, makes climate change worse compared with spending the same money on more-climate-effective ways to deliver the same energy services. [Forbes]

Cooling towers at a nuclear plant in France (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Israeli Startup UBQ Says It Has The Answer To Recycling And The Circular Economy” • UBQ Materials can make raw material for plastics from ordinary household refuse. Swiss consulting firm Quantis found that using a ton of UBQ’s pellets for the same amount of polypropylene saves the equivalent of about 15 tons of CO₂ emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Company Backed By Bill Gates Claims Solar Breakthrough, Looks To Replace Fossil Fuels In Industrial Plants” • Heliogen, a company backed by Bill Gates, says it has developed a way to create concentrated solar energy at temperatures hot enough to replace fossil fuels in industrial processes that make significant contributions to global CO₂ emissions. [GeekWire]

Heliogen commercial facility in California (Heliogen Photo)


¶ “Amazon Deforestation Rate Hits Highest Level In Over A Decade” • The rate of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has risen to its highest level in 11 years. About 9,762 square kilometers (3,769 square miles) of rainforest were lost for the 12 months through July 2019, according to the release from The National Institute for Space Research. [CNN]

¶ “Boris Johnson Promises 40 GW Of Offshore Wind For UK By 2030” • The UK’s current Prime Minister, ardent Brexiteer Boris Johnson, promised more offshore wind power if his Conservative Party return to power in election to be held December 12. He is promising to increase the 2030 offshore wind target from 30 GW to 40 GW. [CleanTechnica]

Hornsea One (Courtesy of Ørsted)

¶ “A Huge Red Flag? India Shutters Power Plants Citing Lack Of Demand” • Half of India’s power generation capacity using coal and nuclear power is being shut down because of lackluster demand, the Indian Express reports. It added that while some of the shutdowns have lasted just a few days, other power plants have been closed for months. []

¶ “Iberdrola Plans Over 400 New PV MW In Spain” • Iberdrola is increasing its commitment to clean energy with over 400 MW of new PVs in Spain. Two of the projects, of 50 MW each, will be built in the municipality of Cedillo in Cáceres. The company also plans a PV plant with a capacity of more than 300 MW in the same area. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Iberdrola PV system (Iberdrola image)

¶ “World’s Largest ‘Green’ Hydrogen Pilot Begins Operation In Austria” • The world’s largest pilot plant for the CO₂-neutral production of hydrogen successfully commenced operation at a facility in the Austrian city of Linz. Doing so, it simultaneously set an international milestone in the advancement of new energy supply options. [Power Engineering International]


¶ “Australia Fires: Sydney Blanketed By Smoke From New South Wales Bushfires” • People in Sydney woke up to a city shrouded in smoke, as scores of bushfires rage across the region. Strong winds overnight brought smoke from fires inland, pushing the air quality in Australia’s largest city to beyond “hazardous” levels at times. [BBC]

Sydney (Reuters image)

¶ “Neoen plans 50% expansion of South Australia’s Tesla Big Battery” • French renewable energy company Neoen confirmed it plans to increase the capacity of the Tesla Big Battery system in South Australia. The 100-MW/129-MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve will be expanded with an additional 50 MW/64.5 MWh of capacity by Tesla. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Tasmania Sees Renewable Hydrogen As Major Economic Opportunity For Island State” • Tasmania could draw its vast hydroelectric resources to emerge as a leader in the production of renewable hydrogen, with the state’s major electricity utility predicting it could deliver by far the cheapest supply of zero-emissions gas. [RenewEconomy]

Tarralea Power Station in Tasmania


¶ “More Claims Of Greenwashing At Major US Electric Utilities” • A survey shows greenwashing among major US investor-owned electric utilities, which have been accused of using images and language suggesting disproportionately high ratios of renewable versus fossil fuel, while at the same time helping block renewable energy policies. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Principle Power Wins US Grant For Deepwater Floater R&D” • A consortium led by Principle Power has been selected for a $850,000 grant for a project to develop new mooring systems for deepwater floating wind platforms. Principle Power’s research and development initiative will investigate a variety of mooring components. [reNEWS]

Floating offshore wind turbine (Principle Power image)

¶ “Florida Municipals Break Ground On PV Giant” • In Florida, work is underway on construction of a municipal solar facility of over 223 MW. The Florida Municipal Solar Project will have approximately 900,000 panels at two sites in Osceola County and at one site in Orange County. Construction of phase one will continue until mid-2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Announces 350-MW Order For Foard City Wind Project In Texas” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it has been selected by Innergex Renewable Energy Inc to supply 139 2.X-127 onshore wind turbines for Innergex’s Foard City Wind project. The project, of approximately 350 MW, is located in Foard County, Texas. [STL.News]

Have an especially charming day.

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November 18 Energy News

November 18, 2019


¶ “Metamorphosis In Fukushima – Installing 11 Solar Power Plants And 10 Wind Power Plants” • How does one renew an area devastated by nuclear waste? Kurosawa’s film Dreams deals with the issue. But in Fukushima Prefecture, it is real-life matter, with planning for 11 solar power plants and 10 wind power plants on land once considered lost. [CleanTechnica]

Tsunami damage (SPC3 Dylan McCord, US Navy)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Are We Really In A 6th Mass Extinction? Here’s The Science” • A mass extinction is usually defined as a loss of about three quarters of all species living across the entire Earth over a “short” geological period of time. “Short” is defined as anything less than 2.8 million years. And given current science, the 6th Extinction is already under way. [ScienceAlert]


¶ “Huge Flow Country Wildfire ‘Doubled Scotland’s Emissions'” • A massive wildfire on peatland in the far north in May doubled Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions for the six days it burnt, a study has estimated. About 22 sqare miles (5,700 hectares) of blanket bog in the Flow Country, which lies across Caithness and Sutherland, was affected. [BBC]

Wildfire in the Flow Country (Paul Turner)

¶ “Ukrainian Power Player Hits 1-GW Milestone” • After finishing installation of a 100-MW wind farm in the Zaporizhzhia region of its home market, Ukrainian developer DTEK reached 1 GW of online renewables capacity. The company said it has spent more than €1 billion in the country to meet the target, which it had set two years ago. [reNEWS]

¶ “Engie, EDPR Select MHI Vestas 10-MW Turbines For Lion Floater” • Engie and EDPR have selected MHI Vestas to supply three 10-MW turbines to the 30-MW Golfe du Lion floating offshore wind project 16 km off the coast of Mediterranean coast of Southern France. The companies plan to use Port La Nouvelle as the assembly harbor. [reNEWS]

MHI Vestas turbine (MHI Vestas image)

¶ “€6.9 Billion EIB Backing For Renewables, Sustainable Transport And Innovation” • The European Investment Bank’s board agreed to support €6.9 billion of new financing including for new investments around the world to improve renewable energy, sustainable transport, social housing, communication, and education infrastructure. [Saurenergy]

¶ “JLL Sees Investment Opportunities In ‘Surging Demand’ For Alternative Energy” • International real estate and investment management firm JLL released a report forecasting continued coal-fired station closures and rising renewables for Australia, despite the uncertainties about a gap federal policy and grid stability. [The Fifth Estate]

Wind turbines above fog

¶ “Coal-Addicted India’s Solar And Wind Farms Save More Lives Than Those In US And China” • China, the US, and India are the world’s top carbon dioxide emitters, but solar and wind energy reduce emissions more in India than in China or the US. And in India, they can save ten times as many lives as in North America and Europe, a study says. [Quartz]

¶ “Scientists And Climate Advisers Condemn Tory Environment Record” • The Conservative party record on tackling the climate crisis is condemned by leading scientists and former government advisers. The Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, warns that the upcoming election is the last chance to halt the escalating emergency. [The Guardian]

Air pollution in London (Kathy deWitt | Alamy)


¶ “US Solar Panel Prices Continue Dropping, Solar+Storage Increasing – Tracking The Sun Report” • Tracking the Sun is an annual report from Berkeley Lab on prices and trends among grid-connected, distributed solar PV systems in the US. It covers 1.6 million systems, representing 81% of all distributed PVs in the US through the end of 2018. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Suspends More Oil And Gas Leases Over What Could Be A Widespread Problem” • The Trump administration’s push to expand fossil fuel production on federal lands is hitting a snag: its own refusal to consider climate impacts. After advocacy groups sued, the Bureau of Land Management office in Utah voluntarily suspended 130 leases. [InsideClimate News]

Pump jacks (BLM image)

¶ “‘Ice Battery’ At Retreat Lowers Energy Costs” • An ice battery has been brougth back into service at the Brattleboro Retreat. At low demand times, cheap electricity can be used to freeze water in containers. Then when the day is warm, the ice is used to cool water, which is run to air handlers to cool air, avoiding the use of more costly electricity for AC. [Brattleboro Reformer]

¶ “$150 Million Calhoun County Solar Energy Center Gets Local Approval” • In Michigan, the River Fork Solar Energy Center had a conditional use permit unanimously approved by the Sheridan Township Planning Commission and Board. The $150-million project will produce 149 MW of power, enough energy for about 25,000 homes. [Battle Creek Enquirer]

Have an abundantly admirable day.

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November 17 Energy News

November 17, 2019


¶ “Power to the people: how suburban solar could become the Uber of the energy grid” • Australians are embracing the ‘virtual power plant’, which advocates say can protect the grid, save money and combat the climate crisis. The VPPs that have been implemented save participants quite a lot of money on their electricity bills. [The Guardian]

Alan Hedges with his Tesla Powerwall battery (Photo: Tesla)

¶ “‘What could I have done?’ The scientist who predicted the bushfire emergency four decades ago” • In 1986, Dr Tom Beer was working as a CSIRO meteorologist looking at bushfires when his boss asked him to find out what the greenhouse effect might mean for the future of fires. Unfortunately, what he projected was what happened. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Arctic Sea MIGHT Already Be Ice-Free By 2024” • A study by UCLA climate scientists discovered that human-caused climate change is on its way to make a functionally ice-free Arctic Ocean starting between 2044 and 2067. There is a wide range in modeling projections, however, and some suggest that the Arctic could be ice-free in 2026 [sic]. [Nature World News]

Arctic ice (Andrew Shiva | Wikipedia | CC BY-SA 4.0)


¶ “Saudi Aramco Flotation Values Oil Giant At $1.7 Trillion” • Saudi Arabia has placed a preliminary valuation on state oil company Aramco of between $1.6 trillion (£1.22 trillion) and $1.7 trillion. The company has published an updated prospectus for its initial public offering, seeking more than $25 billion for the sale of 1.5% of its shares. [BBC]

¶ “World’s Largest Floating Wind Turbine Launching Soon In Portugal” • Portugal is about to be the home of the largest floating wind turbine in the world, an 8.4-MW ABS-classed offshore wind turbine. This is continental Europe’s first large-scale floating wind farm. It is scheduled to go online by the end of 2019, a press release says. [CleanTechnica]

Floating wind turbine (Principle Power via Twitter)

¶ “FlixBus Plans Hydrogen Fuel Cell Test Fleet Of Electric Buses For Clean Long Distance Travel” • FlixBus operates long distance networks in France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, and Croatia, and also cross-border routes to Scandinavia, Spain, England, and Eastern Europe. It is moving to develop long-distance buses powered by fuel cells. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “One Year On, Most Oil-And-Gas Bailout Money Has Moved, Federal Government Says” • Canada’s $1.6-billion bailout for Alberta’s oil industry is well underway, but there is not much transparency about who is getting the money or why. Almost $1 billion of the support package has gone to companies, but the industry says it has not helped much. [Ponoka News]

Oil pump jack

¶ “KEPCO’s Gift Scandal Casts Shadow Over Kansai And 2025 Expo” • The KEPCO payoff scandal has anti-nuclear groups and renewable energy advocates hoping it will derail starting more nuclear reactors and force the company to turn to renewable energy sources or even natural gas. But at KEPCO, the worries center on political power. [The Japan Times]

¶ “China General Nuclear To Invest $2.5 Billion In Wind And Solar In Mongolia” • Inner Mongolia, with its abundant sunshine and steady breezes, lends itself naturally to wind and solar power. China General Nuclear Group announced it is investing almost $2.5 billion to build a 1-GW solar power plant there, as well as a 2-GW wind farm. [CleanTechnica]

CGN wind farm (CGN image)


¶ “$649 Million Fine For Uber In New Jersey As Gig Economy Faces Pushback From State And Local Governments” • The state of New Jersey sent a bill to Uber for $649 million in unpaid unemployment taxes from 2014 through 2018. That includes more than $100 million in interest. Uber says the workers are independent contractors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Two Of America’s Biggest Coal Plants Closed This Month” • This week, Arizona’s 2.25-GW Navajo Generating Station burned its last load of coal after no buyers turned up during a two-year search. And the bankrupt owner of Pennsylvania’s 2.7-GW Bruce Mansfield unit began its shutdown, almost two years ahead of schedule. [Quartz]

Navajo Generating Station (Charles Platiau | Reuters)

¶ “Trump Administration Fights Ban On Farming Pesticides, Sucks Up To Corporate Behemoths” • The Trump administration is doing everything it can to protect three pesticides from bans in other countries and continue their global distribution. Why? The pesticides generate enormous profits to big companies that are frequent donors to US politicians. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sprint Commits To 100% Renewables Across All Operations By 2025” • Adding to its sustainable business practices, Sprint announced new corporate environmental goals. Among them is a commitment to source 100% renewable electricity across its entire operations, including all retail stores, offices, call centers, and network sites, by 2025. [Solar Power World]

Have an undeniably awesome day.

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November 16 Energy News

November 16, 2019


¶ “Venice’s Devastating Floods Are The ‘Canary In A Coal Mine’ For Coastal Cities Worldwide” • With worldwide attention focusing on photos of people trudging through thigh-deep water, scientists, particularly those who call Venice home, say what’s happening to the Italian outpost should be a cautionary tale for coastal cities around the world. []

St Mark’s Square (Filippo Monteforte | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “We’ll Be Measuring Sea Level Rise In Feet, Not Inches” • For a long time, climate reports focused on moderate estimates of the effects. The Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Panel says water levels have increased by 7.8 inches since 1946. But it says the sea level on the Tampa Bay area could be 8½ feet higher in 2100 than it was in 2000.  [Tampa Bay Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Warming Winters May Lead To More Snow For Western New York” • Climate data going back to 1970 show that Buffalo’s average winter temperature has warmed 3.2°F. That means Lake Erie stays open much longer. And that means that more water vapor rises off the lake each year during winter, which increases the amount of snow for snowy Buffalo. []

Temperatures in Buffalo


¶ “Sindh Government, Denmark To Launch Renewable Energy Projects” • During a meeting between Danish Ambassador to Pakistan Rolf Michael Hay Perreira and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, they agreed to formalize a pact between the Sindh government and Denmark to launch renewable energy projects in the province. [The Nation]

¶ “Australia’s Magellan Power Delivers Renewable Stand-Alone Power Systems To A Power Project” • Australian manufacturer Magellan Power completed delivery of renewable Stand-Alone Power Systems to Western Power, in Western Australia. The 10-kW, 25-kWh systems are for remote sites such as homes and agricultural businesses. [Utilities Middle East]

Magellan Power system

¶ “Siemens Partners With Renewable Energy Developer For Microgrids In Mining” • Siemens has partnered with German renewable energy developer juwi to work on microgrids in the mining industry. They have  agreed on developing a control system that integrates renewable electricity with a mine’s off-grid power supply. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Germany Adopts Climate Protection Act” • The Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, has adopted the climate protection act enshrining in law plans to make the country greenhouse gas emission neutral by 2050. However, some renewable energy groups, including BEE, pointed out shortcomings in the law that need to be addressed. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (reNEWS image)

¶ “Pakistan Agrees To 560-MW Wind Push” • The government of Pakistan agreed to deals with project developers for eleven wind farms totaling 560 MW. The Alternative Energy Development Board, which was set up in 2003 to facilitate clean power growth in the country, entered into agreements with the independent power producers. [reNEWS]

¶ “Japan Nuclear Plant Safety Costs Increase Five-Fold Over Six Years To ¥5.4 Trillion” • The estimated cost of safety measures at nuclear power plants across Japan has increased five-fold over the past six years to just over ¥5.38 trillion ($49.5 billion), a Mainichi Shimbun survey has shown. The survey covered fifteen nuclear power plants. [The Mainichi]

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant (Yo Naito |  Mainichi)


¶ “3-GW Wind Power Project In Wyoming Moves Closer To Approval” • The Chokeberry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project is slated to have a capacity of 3 GW. If the huge Wyoming wind farm is completed, it will be the largest in the US. The Bureau of Land Management recently released a favorable environmental impact assessment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “State, Municipalities Push Back Against Solar Sprawl” • Large solar arrays may become less common in Rhode Island rural communities inundated with solar sprawl, as local and state efforts to address this simmering issue advance. One solar developer is shifting attention from large arrays to solar carports and canopies. [ecoRI news]

Clear-cutting for a solar facility in Hopkinton, Rhode Island
(Eric Bibler | Hopkinton Citizens for Responsible Planning)

¶ “Northern Virginia Operators Unite Against Dominion’s New Renewable Tariff” • Dominion has a plan for customers who opt for a premium green electricity tariff. A group including Equinix, QTS, Microsoft, and Salesforce has said the proposal is not truly renewable, and is designed to prevent competitors from offering real renewable tariffs. [DatacenterDynamics]

¶ “US Readies First Wind-Powered Steel Plant” • A $250 million Nucor Corp. “micro” mill taking shape in Sedalia, Missouri. It will be the first US steel production plant that will run on wind energy. A report last year from the group Mighty Earth noted that steel represented 7% of global carbon emissions worldwide in 2013. [E&E News]

“Micro” mill being built in Missouri (Nucor Sedalia via Facebook)

¶ “The Estée Lauder Companies Becomes First Prestige Beauty Company To Execute A Virtual Power Purchase Agreement For Renewable Energy” • The Estée Lauder Companies Inc has signed a virtual power purchase agreement for the Ponderosa wind farm in Beaver County, Oklahoma, adding renewable energy to the electricity grid. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Hunterdon County Towns Join In Renewable Energy Option” • Seven Hunterdon County municipal governments participating in the county’s electric power cooperative purchasing program chose to follow the county’s lead on the renewable energy option and save budget dollars, according to Freeholder Board Director Suzanne Lagay. [New Jersey Hills]

Have an absolutely glorious day.

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November 15 Energy News

November 15, 2019


¶ “How Long Will It Take To Replace Fossil Fuels With Renewable Sources Of Energy?” • The world is racing to replace fossil fuels with renewable sources and for good reason. People understandably ask, “How long will it take to replace fossil fuels?” The answer isn’t straightforward. But here’s some information that might help. [Mother Earth News]

Solar array (Andreas Gücklhorn, Unsplash)

¶ “There Is Bipartisan Hope Emerging On Climate Change” • Republican Sen Mike Braun of Indiana is teaming up with Delaware Democrat Chris Coons to form a bipartisan climate solutions group. Coons said, “Combating climate change will require all of us – Democrats and Republicans – to come together around bipartisan solutions.” [Fresno Bee]

¶ “When Will Renewables Flourish In Puerto Rico?” • Puerto Rico could be on the verge of a renewable energy boom that could lead the island to kick the fossil-fuel habit in the next three decades. But foot-dragging by the public utility monopolizing the production and sale of electricity on the island could shoot down these aspirations. [Caribbean Business]

Solar Brigades Take on Prepa (Screenshot)

Science and Technology:

¶ “There’s Now Evidence An Ancient ‘Political Superpower’ Failed Due To Climate Change” • At its height, the Assyrian state stretched from Egypt to western Iran. Then, in an astonishing reversal of fortune, the Neo-Assyrian Empire fell from its zenith to complete political collapse within the span of just decades. It looks like a result of climate change. [ScienceAlert]

¶ “Climate Change: Warming Signal Links Global Floods And Fires” • With homes under water in South Yorkshire, near record flooding in Venice, and burgeoning wildfires in Australia, many people are asking if and how climate change is connected to these extreme weather events. The Clausius-Clapeyron equation is part of the answer. [BBC News]

Soldiers helping out in Yorkshire (Getty Images)


¶ “Dutch Government Slashes Highway Speed Limit To Tackle Climate Change” • The Dutch government put forward a new climate change package. It includes a controversial proposal to lower the day-time speed limit on motorways to just 100 km/h (62 mph) from the current 130 km/h (80 mph). At night, the limit will stay the same. [CNN]

¶ “Italian Council Is Flooded Immediately After Rejecting Measures On Climate Change” • Veneto regional council was flooded for the first time in its history. “Ironically, the chamber was flooded two minutes after the majority League, Brothers of Italy, and Forza Italia parties rejected our amendments to tackle climate change,” a Council member said. [CNN]

Flood in Venice (Luca Bruno | AP)

¶ “Wind Sector To Invest $1.8 Billion In Colombia” • The wind industry will invest nearly $2 billion in Colombia following the award of 1077-MW of capacity in last month’s tender, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. The wind and solar projects will increase renewable capacity in Colombia from 1% today to 6%, said GWEC. [reNEWS]

¶ “As Deadly Australia Bushfires Rage, Sydney May Be Running Out Water” • Australia’s deadly bushfires are driven by the worst drought in decades, but fears are now growing that things could get worse. Sydney, home to more than 5 million people, faces a warning that dams could run dry by 2022, according to CNN affiliate 7News. [CNN]

New South Wales (Saed Khan | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “German State Leader To Visit Fukushima To See Recovery And Renewable Energy Efforts” • The Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia is set to pay a visit to Fukushima Prefecture in January. The state is looking at the prefecture’s efforts to use renewable energy as it endeavors to divest from nuclear and coal energy. [The Japan Times]

¶ “First Mono Bucket Sails To Deutsche Bucht” • The first of two mono bucket foundations left Bladt Industries yard in Denmark, for Northland Power’s 269-MW Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm in the North Sea. Seajacks jack-up Scylla is transporting the structure to the project site. The foundations will support two MHI Vestas V164-8.4MW turbines. [reNEWS]

Scylla setting out (Northland Power image)


¶ “California Utility Reports Savings For Ratepayers By Offering Renewable Energy” • California utility MCE released a report highlighting climate action in the four Bay Area counties it serves. Record numbers of local governments have switched to 100% renewable energy, and there has been steady growth of rooftop solar and EV adoption. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Los Angeles Places Largest Single Electric Bus Order In US History – 130 BYD K7M Buses” • The Los Angeles Department of Transportation and BYD announced the largest electric bus contract in US history. The company will build 130 of its K7M electric buses for the city’s public transportation system at its factory in Lancaster, California. [CleanTechnica]

BYD K7M electric bus (Image credit: BYD)

¶ “As Utilities Cut Carbon Emissions, Some Transition Faster To Renewables” • Major utilities in Wisconsin are moving forward with plans to increase solar and wind projects as they’ve set goals to drastically reduce carbon emissions over coming decades. But some are making the transition to renewable energy faster than others. [Wisconsin Public Radio News]

¶ “Gov Northam Signs Bill To Increase Renewable Energy Consumption” • Gov Ralph Northam signed state Executive Order 43, which sets goals for Virginia institutions, such as JMU, to have 30% of their energy consumption come from renewable sources by 2022. Additionally, it calls for the state to produce 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. [The Breeze]

Have a simply superlative day.

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November 14 Energy News

November 14, 2019


¶ “How To Cut US Carbon Pollution By Nearly 40% In 10 Years” • A study from economists at Columbia University found that a tax plan with broad support in Congress would reduce American carbon pollution by almost 40% within a decade. It would go well beyond the commitment the US made under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. [The Atlantic]

US Capitol Building (Jonathan Ernst | Reuters)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Stalled Weather Patterns Will Get Bigger Due To Climate Change” • Climate change will increase the size of stalled high-pressure weather systems called “blocking events” that have already produced some of the 21st century’s deadliest heat waves, according to a Rice University study. The events make extreme weather last longer. [Newswise]

¶ “The Climate Crisis Will Profoundly Affect The Health Of Every Child Alive Today, Report Says” • If the world continues to produce the same amount of CO₂ emissions, children born today live in a world 7.2°F (4°C) warmer by their 71st birthday, according to a report in the medical journal The Lancet. And that is really bad for their health. [CNN]

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


¶ “Greta Thunberg Hitches Ride Across The Atlantic On Australian YouTubers’ Sailing Boat” • Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg has found a ride back across the Atlantic to attend the COP25 environmental summit in Madrid, thanks to a pair of Australian vloggers. She will be leaving from Virginia on the 48-foot catamaran La Vagabonde. [CNN]

¶ “Venice Floods: Climate Change Behind Highest Tide In 50 Years, Says Mayor” • Severe flooding in Venice that has left much of the Italian city under water is a direct result of climate change, the mayor says. The highest water levels in the region in more than 50 years would leave “a permanent mark,” Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro tweeted. [BBC]

Flood at St Mark’s Square (Reuters)

¶ “Western Plastics ‘ Poisoning Indonesian Food Chain'” • The burning of plastic waste in Indonesia, much of which has been sent there by the West, is poisoning the food chain, the BBC has learned. Environmental group IPEN found, in one East Java village, dioxins in chicken eggs were 70 times the level allowed by European safety standards. [BBC]

¶ “Record European Electric Bus Order (157 Volvo Buses), And Volvo Trucks Launches Urban Electric Trucks” • Volvo is not widely known in North America for buses or trucks. However, in Europe, the company is quite a big producer of commercial vehicles. And it is now rolling out some big electric vehicle news in those industries. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo Electric Bus in Sweden

¶ “Tesla Secures Manufacturing License For Gigafactory 3. Let’s Roll!” • Tesla got its manufacturing license for Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai. With Tesla already showing Chinese produced Model 3s to the Chinese press, this step is seen as the last official hurdle before Tesla officially begins production and starts ramping up consumer cars “Made in China.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “IRSN Confirms Safety Doubts On Vessels At 30 French Reactors” • A branch of the French nuclear safety authority confirmed doubts about the safety of reactor vessels at 30 French reactors, representing almost half of the country’s 62 GW atomic generation capacity. “The tanks … are subject to ageing by irradiation,” the IRSN said. [Montel]

EDF’s Fessenheim nuclear plant (Photo:


¶ “Corporate Green Energy Adoption Flourishes” • Corporations have finally put their collective weight into a green energy rush this year. The average size of the renewable energy acquisition by US corporates rose from 85.6 MW during the third quarter of 2018 to a whopping 411.4 MW in the third quarter of this year, according to GreenBiz. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Santee Cooper To Close Winyah Generating Station As Part Of Shift To Renewable Energy” • Santee Cooper has nearly $3.5 billion of debt to this day because of the failed VC Summer nuclear project. It has a new plan that includes closing coal-burning power plants, such as the Winyah Generating Station, and switching to renewable energy. []

Smoke stack (WPDE photo)

¶ “Clorox To Achieve About 50% Of Its Renewable Electricity Goal” • The Clorox Company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Enel Green Power North America announced that they signed a 12-year, 70-MW virtual PPA for renewable energy beginning in 2021. This will cover about half of Clorox’s 100% renewable electricity goal for 2025. [Energy Global]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Announces 494-MW Wind Turbines Orders With ENGIE For Wind Energy Projects In Oklahoma And South Dakota” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it was selected by ENGIE North America to supply a total of 180 wind turbines for the King Plains wind project in Oklahoma and the Triple H Wind project in South Dakota. [REVE]

GE wind turbine

¶ “Black Hills Energy Selects Vestas To Partner On Wind Project” • South Dakota’s Black Hills Generation Group contracted with Denmark’s Vestas to supply and commission wind turbines for the 60-MW Busch Ranch II Wind Project. It will provide enough electricity for annual needs of about 28,000 homes in southern Colorado. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “US Electric Bus Demand Outpaces Production as Cities Add to Their Fleets” • Demand for e-buses is outpacing supplies in the US, leading to hundreds of backlogged orders, according to Fred Silver, vice president of CALSTART. BloombergNEF counts 650 e-buses in the US today, compared with hundreds of thousands in China. [InsideClimate News]

Have a clearly superior day.

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November 13 Energy News

November 13, 2019


¶ “Proposed New Rule Would Amp Up EPA War On Science” • A new rule proposed by the EPA would upend decades of scientific research – studies that have confirmed that air pollution leads to shortened life spans or that mercury impairs brain function in young children – by requiring all that confidential data be made public. [CleanTechnica]

West Virginia coal slurry pond (NASA Earth Observatory image)

¶ “The National Farmers’ Federation’s Drought Strategy Is Like Shuffling The Deck Chairs On The Titanic” • If you listen to the rhetoric from Canberra, it is apparent that the Australia’s relevant ministers would prefer to glibly talk up the farming industry potential and hope it will magically fix itself when it finally rains than to deal with what is needed. [The Guardian]


¶ “Australia Bushfires: Fresh Warnings In Queensland And New South Wales” • Australian authorities warn that massive bushfires will continue to pose a threat, despite “catastrophic” conditions easing. “We’ve got […] the worst of the season still ahead of us as we head into summer,” the New South Wales Rural Fire Services Commissioner said. [BBC]

Kookaburra in New South Wales (Adam Stevenson | Reuters)

¶ “Tesla To Build First European Factory In Berlin” • Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, said its first European factory will be in Berlin as the carmaker’s expansion plans power ahead. Mr Musk said the firm would also build an engineering and design center in the German capital. Tesla had earlier said that it aimed to start production in Europe in 2021. [BBC]

¶ “EV Conversions Go Mainstream in Kenya” • Based in Nairobi’s industrial area just off the famous Mombasa Road, Opibus is to begin mass EV conversions of Kenya’s minibuses and motorcycle taxis in Q1 2020. Estimates put the minibus and bus fleet at just over 100,000 vehicles, and there are about 600,000 commercial motorcycles in the country. [CleanTechnica]

Buses in Nairobi (Photo: Remeredzai Kuhudzai)

¶ “Latin America And Caribbean On The Verge Of Massive Solar Power Growth” • Latin America and the Caribbean could grow their installed solar capacity by a factor of 40 by 2050, an IRENA report shows. With investments of over $7 billion per year, the region’s PV capacity could rise from 7 GW today to over 280 GW in mid-century. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “World’s Most Powerful Wind Turbine Swoops Into UK For Testing” • The nacelle from GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X 12-MW offshore wind turbine arrived in the UK for testing at Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. The group will test the nacelle, which is the size of six double decker buses, at its facility in Blyth, Northumberland. [Energy Voice]

GE Renewable Energy turbine nacelle

¶ “Climate Change: Do More Now Or Risk Catastrophe, Warns Energy Agency” • The world’s existing climate policies will not be enough to end the upward march of record energy emissions rising beyond 2040 without a “grand coalition” of governments and investors, according to the International Energy Agency. In 2018, emissions set a record. [The Guardian]

¶ “Another Nail In Coal’s Coffin? German Steel Furnace Runs On Renewable Hydrogen In World First” • German manufacturing giant Thyssenkrupp has completed a successful, first-of-its-kind demonstration of running a steel furnace entirely on hydrogen, a development that is likely to further dent the future prospects for the global coal industry. [RenewEconomy]

Weg vom CO₂ (Photo courtesy of Thyssenkrupp)

¶ “E.ON And RWE Shake On Clean Power Deal” • E.ON and RWE Renewables have signed a power purchase agreement that will see the latter’s UK wind farms support E.ON’s drive to provide 100% renewable electricity in the UK. The 2.5-year PPA includes 20 UK wind farm assets, totaling 892 MW of wind power owned by RWE Renewables. [reNEWS]

¶ “Here’s Why North Korean Hackers Attacked India’s Nuclear Power Plant” • India’s nuclear power plant in Kudankulam, the largest nuclear power plant in the country, was infiltrated by North Korean hackers. They were not interested in damaging the plant so much as getting information about thorium reactor technology. [Business Insider India]

Kudankulam (, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Greta Thunberg Leaves US With Simple Climate Crisis Message: Vote” • As Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who ignited a youth movement with her Friday school strikes, departs the US to sail back across the Atlantic, she is leaving behind a simple message for those who care about the climate crisis: you must vote. [The Guardian]

¶ “DTE Established Renewables Arm” • Following prior commitments to triple its renewable energy capacity over the next decade and reach “net-zero” carbon emissions by 2050 for its electric utility, DTE has deemed its renewable energy future important and demanding enough to set up a renewables arm for all aspects of its clean power business. [pv magazine USA]

Lapeer Solar Park in Michigan (Image: DTE Energy)

¶ “Leading US Solar Panel Maker Stops Making Solar Panels (But Not In US)” • Barely a year ago, the leading PV maker SunPower added a US factory to its assets, but now the company is ditching the idea of making PVs in the US. This will enable SunPower to put its focus in the US on R&D, energy storage, and other clean tech sectors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dell Pledges To Make Greener Computers Over The Next Decade” • Dell is launching efforts to shrink its carbon footprint and cut down on e-waste. It will source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040. The sustainability targets were unveiled, alongside other initiatives on diversity, inclusion, and privacy, at a summit in Texas.  [The Verge]

Have a healthfully comfortable day.

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November 12 Energy News

November 12, 2019


¶ “Here’s Your Answer When Someone Asks ‘How Can It Be So Cold If There’s Global Warming?'” • The first significant cold snap of the season hits and some people wonder what happened to global warming. Parts of the US are indeed facing record cold temperatures. But, as cold as it is, all this talk of global warming is not overblown. [CNN]

Snow storm (Rich Hein | Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Renewable Energy Gives Farmers Another Reason To Love It” • As if the case for renewable energy needs any more making, along comes a new study showing that wind and solar power are good for the water table and they could help farmers survive periods of drought. Most other electric generation technologies compete with irrigation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Trends In Green Cargo Transport” • The International Chamber of Shipping’s 2019 Annual Review says a new era is upon the shipping industry due to “radical advances in communication and internet connectivity.” The organization sees the potential to enhance the efficiency, safety, and environmental performance dramatically. [CleanTechnica]

Estraden (Norsepower courtesy image)

¶ “The Most Destructive Hurricanes Are Hitting The US More Often” • Big, destructive hurricanes are hitting the US three times more frequently than they did a century ago, according to a study. Looking at 247 hurricanes that hit the US since 1900, the researchers found the top 10% of hurricanes are happening 3.3 times more frequently. []


¶ “Australia’s Deadly Bushfires Bring Threat Of ‘Long And Dangerous Day Ahead'” • Two Australian states are bracing for a day of “catastrophic” risk as firefighters battle over 100 deadly active bushfires. Clouds of smoke seen as far away as New Zealand. Queensland and New South Wales have declared a state of emergency. [CNN]

Fire in Australia (Tom Bannigan | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “Darling Downs Solar Farm Ramping Up Region’s Renewable Energy” • A $200 million solar farm at Kogan, Queensland, has joined the National Electricity Market, providing 110 MW, enough energy to power up to 36,000 homes. The Darling Downs Solar Farm, owned by APA Group, was officially opened, 45 km west of Dalby. [Queensland Country Life]

¶ “Formula 1 Launches A Plan To Become Carbon Neutral By 2030” • Formula 1 has launched a plan to become carbon neutral by 2030. The intention is to wipe out the carbon footprint of activity at race tracks, including road and air transport of staff and equipment to the events. F1 says it will offset any emissions that cannot be cut. [BBC]

Formula 1 racing (AFP)

¶ “For power utilities, demand slowdown is the worst in a decade” • Indian Thermal power generation dropped 2% in April-October this year, the first such fall in at least a decade, show data from Central Electricity Authority. Part of the fall can be attributed to healthy rainfall, which lowered the agriculture load and boosted hydro power generation. [Livemint]

¶ “Government Plans To Generate 8000 MW Of Renewable Energy By 2025” • Pakistan’s National Assembly was informed today that the government is planning to generate 8000 MW of electricity through renewable energy by 2025. The Minister for Power Division said eleven windpower projects were approved to generate affordable electricity. [Radio Pakestan]

Pakistan’s National Assembly

¶ “Mercury NZ Pours In $208 Million Extra On New Zealand’s Largest Wind Farm” • Mercury will spend another NZ$208 million ($132 million) building New Zealand’s largest wind farm near Palmerston North. It had resource consent to build up to 60 turbines, but initially erected only 33 in March. However, it will now add the remaining 27 turbines. [RNZ]

¶ “Canadian Solar Wins 191-MW Brazilian PV Double” • Canadian Solar has secured the rights to develop two PV projects in Brazil with a combined capacity of over 190 MW. The company will develop and build the 152.4-MW Gameleira project in the state of Ceara and the 38.1-MW Luiz Gonzaga plant, which is located in Pernambuco. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Canadian Solar image)

¶ “Uranium Traces Detected At Undeclared Site In Iran, Confirming Suspicions First Voiced By Israel” • The UN’s nuclear watchdog has detected uranium particles at an undeclared site in Iran, it said in its latest report on the country’s nuclear program. The report  also confirmed that Iran has ramped up uranium enrichment. [South China Morning Post]


¶ “Two Rural Colorado Utilities Take Tri-State Complaints To State Regulators” • La Plata Electric Association and United Power want to provide cleaner, lower cost electricity. But they are currently limited by their contract agreement with Tri-State to generate just 5% of renewable power locally. They asked state regulators to step in. [Colorado Public Radio]

Craig Station power plant (Nate Minor)

¶ “DTE Restructures To Support Growth Of Renewable Energy Portfolio” • Michigan utility DTE Energy has made three senior executive moves that the company says are aimed at accelerating its progress toward enhancing its renewable energy business. The company expects to more than double its renewable portfolio in the next five years. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Ford Electric Vehicle Chief Sees More Products, Sales Growth” • Ford global electric vehicle chief Ted Cannis says the market for EVs is sure to grow now that his company and other automakers are rolling out new vehicles. Ford Motor Co, General Motors Co, Volkswagen AG, Tesla Inc, and others are placing big bets on the technology. [ABC News]

Have a superlatively ideal day.

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November 11 Energy News

November 11, 2019


¶ “As Climate Change Threatens Midwest’s Cultural Identity, Cities Test Ways to Adapt” • Think of a Minnesota with almost no ice fishing, Missouri as hot and dry as Texas, and communities on rivers where catastrophic floods happen almost every year rather than every few generations. This, scientists warn, is the future if emissions continue as they are. [InsideClimate News]

Flood in Missouri (Scott Olson | Getty Images)

¶ “Is Climate Change To Blame For Australia’s Bushfires?” • In Australia, bushfires are a regular feature of the calendar, but the blazes in New South Wales and Queensland have not previously occurred on such a scale and so early in the fire season, officials say. This has led many Australians to ask how closely the fires can be linked to climate change. [BBC]

¶ “Rising Seas, Melting Ice, Raging Fires – Why Didn’t Anybody Warn Us?” • In a recent New York Times op-ed, Eugene Linden suggests reasons why scientists have been too conservative on climate change. There have been scientists who showed that rapid changes have happened in the past and can again, but they were regarded as on the fringe. [CleanTechnica]

Melting ice (NASA image)


¶ “Kenya: Counties Critical In Upscaling Renewable Energy” • In Kenya, nine million households have access to off-grid energy, shows a Ministry of Energy survey, as renewable energy accounts for about 70% of Kenya’s installed capacity compared to the global average of 24%. The counties are critical for the country’s energy supply. []

¶ “Airlines Accused Of Hypocrisy Over ‘fuel-tankering'” • A British Airways whistleblower revealed an industry-wide practice that deliberately adds weight to flights, increasing greenhouse gas emissions. “Fuel tankering” sees planes filled with extra fuel, usually to avoid paying higher prices for refuelling at their destination airports. [BBC]


¶ “Fukushima’s Radioactive Farmland To Become Clean-Energy Hub, Powering The Region And Tokyo Metropolitan Area” • Fukushima Prefecture, site of the nuclear disaster, is now set to have its first solar farm working in January. It is part of a $2.7 billion clean energy project that includes 600 MW of solar and wind power to be completed by March 2024. [RT]

¶ “Iran And Russia Launch New Phase Of Nuclear Power Reactor Construction” • Tehran and Moscow inaugurated a new phase of construction for a second reactor at Iran’s sole nuclear power plant in Bushehr on the Gulf coast. Officials from both countries’ nuclear programs launched the new stage at a ceremony where concrete was poured. [The Japan Times]

Pouring concrete (AFP | JIJI)


¶ “Australia’s Climate Response Among The Worst In The G20, Report Finds” • Australia’s response to climate change is one of the worst in the G20 with a lack of policy, reliance on fossil fuels and rising emissions leaving the country exposed “economically, politically and environmentally,” according to an international report. [The Guardian]

¶ “Australia Fires: Nation Braces For ‘Most Dangerous Bushfire Week Ever Seen'” • Fire chiefs in Australia have warned of “the most dangerous bushfire week this nation has ever seen”, saying New South Wales, the country’s most populous state, faces an unprecedented “catastrophic” fire day. NSW has 60 fires, 40 of which are out of control. [The Guardian]

Fire fighting (Dan Peled | EPA)

¶ “Renewables Sector Slams New Network Pricing Proposals” • The renewable energy industry slammed the Australian Energy Market Commission’s proposed approach to transmission investment, saying it would increase the cost and complexity of connecting vital projects to the NEM, undermine investor certainty, and halt new projects. [RenewEconomy]


¶ “Teslas Account For 77.7% of US Electric Vehicle Sales” • Tesla as a whole accounted for 75% of US EV sales in October and 77.7% in January through October. Aside from Tesla’s offerings, there may be only two fully electric models available at dealers in all 50 states, the Chevy Bolt and Nissan LEAF. A number of models are only sold regionally. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Bolt charging

¶ “Renewable Energy Proposals Top 75” • The Hawaiian Electric Companies’ public call for additional renewable energy resources has been answered with more than 75 proposals, as the utilities move toward fossil fuel reduction. The proposals are for projects on Hawai‘i Island, Maui and O‘ahu and include grid services such projects as for rooftop solar. [Big Island Now]

¶ “McDonald’s Unveils Two New Sustainability Initiatives That Could Power 2,500 Stores” • The sustainability plans McDonald’s announced last week, including power purchase agreements with Apex Clean Energy and Ares Management for solar and wind energy in Texas, are expected to be able to power over two thousand stores. [The Rising]

Have a gracefully prosperous day.

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November 10 Energy News

November 10, 2019


¶ “India Doesn’t Need To Choose Between Clean Air And Growth” • In India, air pollution causes over a million deaths annually. It increases healthcare costs and leads to the loss of productivity as people take sick days, leading to a $55 billion loss in 2013. Some people believe dealing with pollution will be bad for business. That, however, is not the case. [CNN]

New Delhi (Manish Swarup | AP)

¶ “Can States And Cities Do Enough To Fight Climate Change?” • Even though President Trump has made good on his pledge to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, there’s still a lot the US can do to help the world live up to the goals of the agreement. Cities, states, businesses and other organizations have committed to reducing emissions. [Press Herald]

¶ “Toll Of Climate Change On Greenland’s Icebergs Unnerving” • The tallest icebergs in the world were towering in front of me, pristine and glistening in the Arctic sunshine. It felt unnerving to be near them, however. The tallest of the icebergs in front of us was around 80 metres high, and the icebergs of Disko Bay were once double that height. []

Iceberg (Ansgar Walk, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Has Climate News Coverage Finally Turned a Corner?” • Here is some good news, for a change, about climate change: When hundreds of newsrooms focus their attention on the climate crisis, all at the same time, the public conversation about the problem gets better: more prominent, more informative, more urgent. [DeSmog]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Thirsty Future Ahead As Climate Change Explodes Plant Growth” • By the end of the century plants could consume substantially more water, leaving less for people across North America, Europe, and Central Asia, even if it rains and snows more, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience. [National Geographic]

Forest and fresh water


¶ “Testing Begins For First Offshore Wind Farm In Australia” • Scientific testing is beginning for Australia’s first proposed offshore wind farm. The Star of the South wind farm is to provide up to 2000 MW, about 18% of the state’s power demand and enough for over 1.2 million homes. The cost is to be between A$8 billion ($5.5 billion) and A$10 billion. [The Age]

¶ “Volkswagen Announces Pre-Production At Chinese Electric Vehicle factory” • Volkswagen announced that it has started pre-production of the Volkswagen ID at its first purely EV-focused factory in China. China has an EV mandate that requires car makers to produce new energy vehicles or buy credits from those that do. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen EVs in California (CleanTechnica image)

¶ “Novel Attempt To Create Awareness Among Children On Energy Conservation” • A novel attempt to create awareness among children on energy conservation that had its roots in Tirupati is now a hit across India. What’s the result? Nearly five lakh (500,000) families have successfully reduced their electric power bills. [The Hindu]

¶ “AP Photos: Indian Coal Mines Still Burning After A Century” • The fires started in 1916. More than a century later, coal pits in Jharia, in a remote corner of India’s eastern Jharkhand state, continue to spew flames and clouds of poisonous fumes into the air. Coal has contributed to economic growth in India, but that came at a cost. [Daily Inter Lake]

Flames from underground (Photo: Aijaz Rahi | AP)

¶ “France’s EDF Expects Six New Nuclear Reactors To Cost €46 Billion – Le Monde” • French power utility EDF estimates it would cost at least €46 billion ($51 billion) to build six of its latest generation EPR nuclear reactors if the government decides to build them, French newspaper Le Monde reported, citing a confidential EDF document. [Douglas Daily]


¶ “‘We’re Fighting For Our Lives’ – US Apple Farmers Endure Major Crop And Profit Losses As Climate Changes” • Fruit growers like Elizabeth Ryan are trying to find ways to cope with warmer winters and unprecedented heat, rain and drought. But climate change has become an impossible financial burden for many farmers. [CNBC]

Elizabeth Ryan, orchard owner (Emma Newburger | CNBC)

¶ “Changing Energy Landscape Shakes Up Rural Co-Ops” • Kit Carson Electric Cooperative in Taos is pioneering a radical new strategy to power all of its daytime electric needs entirely with solar energy by 2022. “We expect to hit our 100% daytime solar goal by 2021, a year ahead of our original schedule,” Kit Carson’s CEO said. [Albuquerque Journal]

¶ “Lake Erie’s Green Monster: Climate Change Adds Pressure To Prevent Toxic Algal Blooms” • The multi-million-dollar battle to contain Lake Erie’s green algae has gone on for decades. Now, a new urgency involves a race with the climatological clock in the algae-enhancing impact of global warming’s greater rainfall and higher temperatures. []

Toledo water intake crib (Marvin Fong | The Plain Dealer)

¶ “Even Trump Can’t Keep Coal Companies From Declaring Bankruptcy” • The US Energy Information Administration or EIA’s data says, “between 2010 and the first quarter of 2019, US power companies announced the retirement of more than 546 coal-fired power units, totaling about 102 gigawatts of generating capacity.” [Forbes]

¶ “Did Exxon Mislead Investors About Climate-Related Risks? It’s Now Up to a Judge to Decide” • Lawyers for New York State and ExxonMobil wrapped up a landmark climate fraud trial, shaping a tangle of testimony and evidence into competing narratives on whether the oil company misled investors about the risks it faces from climate regulation. [InsideClimate News]

Have a blissfully marvelous day.

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November 9 Energy News

November 9, 2019

US Federal Reserve Bank on Climate Change:

¶ “Fed Sees Climate Change Shaping Economy, Policy” • Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said the Fed will need to look at how to keep banks and the financial system resilient amid risks from extreme weather, higher temperatures, rising sea levels, and other effects of increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. [Reuters UK]

Fed Governor Lael Brainard (Brian Snyder | Reuters file photo)

¶ “Fed: $500 Billion In Losses Show Economic Threat of Climate Change” • A Fed official warned risk managers not to ignore climate change. “The US economy has experienced more than $500 billion in direct losses over the last five years due to climate and weather-related events,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York Executive Vice President Kevin Stiroh said. [Newsmax]

¶ “Climate Change Could End Mortgages As We Know Them” • Unless we address climate change, it could punch a hole through the financial system by making 30-year home mortgages effectively unobtainable in entire regions across parts of the US. That’s according to the latest research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. [msnNOW]

Farm in Vermont (Magicpiano, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Global Leaders Are Facing One Of The Scariest Years Of Climate Change Yet” • Scientists have warned about severe global impacts from climate change for over three decades. Over the past 12 months those warnings have intensified. Reports detailing the massive consequences of global warming have come at a fast and furious pace. [Quartz]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Airships Could Return To Our Crowded Skies” • The Airlander was created by Hybrid Air Vehicles, founded in 2007. Hybrid airships emit a fraction of the pollution of conventional aircraft. Now, HAV has been given over £1 million ($1.3 million) by the UK government and industry to develop all-electric propulsion producing zero pollution. [BBC]

HAV’s Airlander (Credit: HAV)

¶ “Water Is Really Hard And Expensive To Split. These Guys Might Have A Solution” • Scientists from Trinity College Dublin teamed up to solve a problem facing clean hydrogen production. They’ve been studying ways to better catalyze splitting water, the most abundant compound in the universe, into energy-ready hydrogen. [Popular Mechanics]


¶ “Australia Bushfires: Two Dead In New South Wales Blazes” • At least two people are dead and seven others missing in Australian bushfires that are called “unprecedented.” Thousands of people were evacuated, and there are reports of people trapped in their homes in several places, with rescue crews unable to reach them through the fires. [BBC]

Water-bombing helicopter (Reuters)

¶ “Europe ‘On Track’ For 53% Renewable Power By 2030 Despite Country Gaps” • A mix of policy and economics puts Europe in a solid position to source more than half of its power supply from renewables by 2030, even though not all countries will reach their targets equally as fast, according to analysis from Wood Mackenzie. [PV-Tech]

¶ “Volkswagen Has An E-Mobility Plan: Make Electric Cars For Millions, Not Millionaires” • A VW factory in Zwickau used to build Golf models. One of two production lines has been shut down and converted to electric car production. The other is scheduled to shut down next year, when it will also be converted to electric car production. [CleanTechnica]

VW evolution

¶ “Niigata Prefecture Holds First Nuclear Disaster Drill In Five Years” • The Niigata prefectural government and others held a disaster drill on the assumption of an earthquake-triggered severe accident at TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear station. It was the first nuclear disaster drill held by the prefecture government in five years. []

¶ “EU Finance Ministers Call For End To Fossil Fuel Funding” • The EU’s finance ministers urged the European Investment Bank and other international lending institutions, to halt their funding for oil, gas, and coal projects in a push to address climate change. It is the first time European finance ministers have taken such a stand. [Taiwan News]

Fossils fueling climate change


¶ “Legislators Revisit Landmark Energy Law For New Mexico” • Leading legislators lashed out at the utility regulators of New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission and rallied around a landmark energy law that would divest the state’s main investor-owned utility from a coal-fired plant and guide new investments in renewable energy. [Las Cruces Sun-News]

¶ “The Permian Paradox: Texas Shale Players Go Green To Drill More” • As the thirst for electricity to power drilling rigs in West Texas drives the state’s energy needs to new highs, oil and gas companies are increasingly relying on wind and solar power to ensure that the shale boom continues. Occidental Petroleum Corp is an example. [Reuters]

Permian Basin wind turbines (Nick Oxford | Reuters file photo)

¶ “Navy In Europe Aims To Boost Renewable Power, Secure Energy Sources From Threats” • The US Navy’s three biggest bases in Europe are undergoing a multimillion dollar retrofit to boost energy efficiency and create alternative power sources in case the main grid is disabled by an adversary, natural disaster or storm. [Stars and Stripes]

¶ “In Napa Valley, Winemakers Fight Climate Change On All Fronts” • Every wine region has had to deal with some effect of climate change, but few outside Napa Valley have had to deal with as many devastating consequences. Climate change is blamed for extreme summer heat, an untimely cold snap, wildfires, and drought. [Forbes India]

Have spectacularly splendid day.

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November 8 Energy News

November 8, 2019


¶ “Colorado’s Cleanest Energy Options Are Also Its Cheapest” • Of all the states in the US, Colorado may be the best prepared for a genuine, large-scale energy transition. Colorado has enormous potential for renewable energy, most of which is as yet untapped. Gov Jared Polis campaigned on a promise to target 100% clean electricity by 2040. [Vox]

Wind turbines in Colorado (US DOE image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Go With The Flow: Scientists Design Better Batteries For A Renewable Energy Grid” • Berkeley Lab researchers developed a versatile yet affordable polymer flow battery membrane that can be used to make possible long-lasting and low-cost grid batteries based solely on readily available materials such as zinc, iron, and water. [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory]

¶ “Safran’s New Aviation Electric Motors – CleanTechnica Interview” • Safran SA recently introduced a portfolio of aviation electric motors called ENGINeUS. It was introduced at NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas, where I spoke with Hervé Blanc, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Electrical Systems and Motors Division. [CleanTechnica]

Safran display at NBAA-BACE 2019 (Photo: Nicolas Zart)


¶ “Toyota And BYD Form Joint Venture To Manufacture Electric Cars In China” • Toyota and BYD have formed a new jointly owned company to develop battery electric vehicles for the Chinese market. According to a joint press release, the new enterprise will be owned 50–50 by both companies and is set to begin operations next year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind And Solar Kill Coal And Nuclear On Costs, Says Latest Lazard Report” • The cost of wind and solar continue to decline and are now at the point where they beat, or at least match, even the marginal costs of coal-fired generation and nuclear power, according to the 13th and latest edition of Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis. [RenewEconomy]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Australia Bushfires: Record Number Of Emergencies In New South Wales” • Australian authorities say an “unprecedented” number of emergency-level bushfires have threatened the state of New South Wales. More than 90 blazes were raging across the state, and these are exacerbated by gusty winds and up to 35°C (95°F) heat. [BBC]

¶ “Africa Poised To Lead Way In Global Green Revolution, Says Report” • Africa is poised to lead the world’s cleanest economic revolution by using renewable energy to power a massive spread of urbanisation, says an IEA report. The report forecasts that Africa’s appetite for energy will grow at double the rate of the global average. [The Guardian]

Solar system in Eritrea (Sfm Gm World | Alamy Stock Photo)

¶ “Renewable Arm Of Tata Power Receives The LOA To Develop A 150-MW Solar Project” • Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power, has received the Letter of Award from Tata Power-Distribution to develop a 150-MW solar project in Maharashtra. Tata Power’s renewable portfolio is currently 2,628 MW. [Mercom India]

¶ “Haliade-X Starts Spinning” • GE Renewable Energy’s 12-MW Haliade-X offshore wind turbine has started turning to generate its first power. The turbine, installed in Rotterdam-Maasvlakte, will now progress to the testing phase, said the manufacturer. During testing will be carried out to obtain a type certificate for the Haliade-X in 2020. [reNEWS]

Haliade-X spinning (GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “Nuclear Regulator Says Cost-Cutting Culture Creating Mistakes, Delays At Fukushima Plant” • In response to safety and cost issues, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority is carrying out a survey into whether the operator has sufficient staff working on the project, and is seeking to have TEPCO’s board improve its preparations. [The Mainichi]


¶ “McDonald’s Loving Texas Wind” • Global fast food giant McDonald’s has negotiated a virtual power purchase agreement with Apex Clean Energy and Ares Management Corporation for part of the output from the Aviator wind farm in Texas. The deal covers 220 MW from Aviator Wind West, which will have total capacity of 525 MW. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Apex Clean Energy image)

¶ “Rocky Mountain Institute Claims New Gas Generating Stations And Pipelines Are Tomorrow’s Stranded Assets” • Rocky Mountain Institute issued a report titled “A Bridge Backward?” It  says investment in new natural gas plants and distribution facilities will become an albatross around the neck of investors sooner rather than later. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Engie Breaks Ground On Texas Mega-Solar” • Engie North America has started construction of the 225-MW Long Draw solar farm in Texas. The project, which is located in Borden County, is slated to come online in the summer of 2020. It has a 15-year power purchase agreement with four Texas communities for 100% of its power. [reNEWS]
Engie solar system (Engie image)

¶ “US Energy Dept Has A Solar Power Message For Coal: Get Lost!” • Coal has been dying during Secretary Perry’s tenure, thanks in part to his agency’s promotion of renewable energy. Perry will resign later this year, but after the DOE pushes out another round of R&D funding aimed at pushing the cost of solar power far below the cost of coal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In Honolulu, An Ambitious Plastics Reduction Bill Is Moving Through City Council” • Currently there is a little bill with big impact making its way through the Honolulu City Council, and it’s set to make history. Bill 40, which has already passed two readings in the Council, is set to be one of the most ambitious plastic bills in the country. [CleanTechnica]

Have a magically magnificent day.

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November 7 Energy News

November 7, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Another Energy Tech Breakthrough Involving Jellyfish” • Jellyfish may very well have the power to save the planet. The marine creatures have long been studied for their potential to help combat major diseases from cancer to Alzheimer’s, but now they can help us with something that affects everyone on the planet: energy. []

Jellyfish (Dan90266, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Italy To Become First Country To Make Learning About Climate Change Compulsory For School Students” • From next year, Italian school students in every grade will be required to study climate change and sustainability. The lessons will be built into existing civics classes. Italy would like to make itself a world leader in environmental education. [CNN]

¶ “Order To Ban Extinction Rebellion Protests In London Unlawful, Court Rules” • London’s Metropolitan Police imposed the four-day ban on October 14, prohibiting any assembly of more than two people linked to the Extinction Rebellion protests called the “Autumn Uprising.” London’s high court has ruled that the order was unlawful. [CNN]

Extinction Rebellion demonstration

¶ “Investors Are Dumping Oil. So Why Would Anyone Buy Saudi Aramco?” • Demand growth for crude is slowing, which is an inconvenient truth for bankers pitching the Saudi Aramco IPO at a valuation of up to $2 trillion. Institutional investors are under growing pressure to ditch the oil assets they already own, and the investment case for Aramco seems weak. [CNN]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Powers Google In Sweden” • Siemens Gamesa has secured an order to supply its turbines for a 254-MW wind farm that will power Google’s data center in Sweden. The Stavro wind farm, in north Sweden, will use 62 turbines rated at 4.1-MW to supply Google and other customers. It is expected online by the end of 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Engie To Invest In 2 GW Of Australian Renewable Energy Projects” • Engie, based in France, is developing an investment fund in Australia to support 2,000 MW of solar and wind projects over the next 10 years, Reuters reported. Augustin Honorat, CEO of Engie Australia and New Zealand, said that investors appear to have particular interest. [EnerCom Inc]

¶ “Battery Supply Constraints On The World Market And Electricity Blackouts Spur South African Battery Assembly” • After the Powerwall’s launch, problems soon arose from the seemingly insatiable demand. There were not enough of the batteries for America, let alone Africa. Three startups intend to keep the lights on in South Africa. [CleanTechnica]

Freedomwon 5 kWh LiFePO₄ battery (Remeredzai Kuhudzai)

¶ “Japan Accused Of Trying To Justify Nuclear Dump” • Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace, said a Japanese government claim that it will soon run out of room at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power to store contaminated water plant is not true, and is simply an attempt to justify discharging polluted water into the Pacific Ocean. [Taipei Times]

¶ “GE Inaugurates Cherbourg Blade Plant” • GE Renewable Energy has officially inaugurated the LM Wind Power blade factory in Cherbourg, France. The facility will combine the manufacture of 107-meter long blades for the Haliade-X 12-MW offshore wind turbine and other blade models for its customers in France and abroad. [reNEWS]

Cherbourg Blade Plant (GE image)


¶ “Walmart Is Re-Energizing Tesla Solar Systems After Settling Lawsuit With Tesla” • Reuters reported that Walmart and Tesla have settled a lawsuit Walmart filed in July, claiming that Tesla solar panels caught fire on the roof of seven stores in the US. In a court filing, Walmart voluntarily discontinued without prejudice, dropping the lawsuit. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Massive Wind Turbine Blade Arrives In Massachusetts For Testing” • A 107-meter-long wind turbine blade was moved to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Wind Technology Testing Center for testing. The blade, designed to be used on GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X 12MW offshore wind turbine, is to be subjected to a series of fatigue tests. [CNBC]

Turbine blade (Aram Boghosian | GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “Electric Moped Startup Revel Secures $27.6 Million In New Funding” • Electric moped startup Revel, based in New York, recently secured $27.6 million in new funding. The EV sharing startup already has more than 1,400 electric mopeds operating in its Brooklyn, Queens, Washington, DC, and Austin, Texas service areas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Natural Gas Fracking Boom Turns Bust For Big Fracker” • Chesapeake Energy was among the first to take advantage of the natural gas fracking free-for-all sparked last year, when the Trump* administration opened up more public lands for drilling. Now Chesapeake is blaming the supply glut for its current predicament, which is pretty bad. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “EDP Renewables, Shell Energy North America Sign 200 MW Solar Project” • EDP Renewables SA, through its fully owned subsidiary EDP Renewables North America LLC, and Shell Energy North America, have closed on a 15-year power purchase agreement for 200 MW that will bring the Sandrini Solar Park to Kern County, California. [ESI Africa]

¶ “AES And Google Form Clean Power Team” • AES Corporation is entering into a 10-year strategic alliance with Google to accelerate the growth and adoption of clean energy. They will leverage Google Cloud technology to pioneer innovation in the sector an to develop and implement solutions that enable broad adoption of clean energy. [reNEWS]

Have an awesomely orderly day.

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November 6 Energy News

November 6, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Last Month Was The Warmest October On Record Globally. Here’s What It Means For Climate Change” • The Copernicus Climate Change Service, which analyzes temperature data from around the planet, said October 2019 was 0.69°C (1.24°F) warmer globally than the average of all the Octobers in the 30-year span from 1981-2010. [CNN]

Warm October in New York (Spencer Platt | Getty Images) 

¶ “11,000 Scientists Warn Of ‘Untold Suffering’ Caused By Climate Change” • More than 11,000 researchers from around the world issued a grim warning of the “untold suffering” that will be caused by climate change if humanity doesn’t change its ways. The group said that as scientists, they have the “moral obligation to tell it like it is.” [CNN]

¶ “Nuclear Fusion Is ‘A Question Of When, Not If'” • Prospects for developing nuclear fusion as a feasible source of energy have significantly improved, say experts. And the UK government has recently announced an investment of £200 million to deliver electricity from a fusion reactor by 2040. But critics say huge hurdles remain. [BBC News]

Natural nuclear fusion energy source (Getty Images)


¶ “Turkey Generates 46% Of Electricity From Renewable Resources” • Renewable energy resources have accounted for 46% of Turkey’s electricity generation so far this year, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said. Officials said that the proportion of wind power is too low, however, and they want to increase it. [Daily Sabah]

¶ “Transitioning India’s Economy To Clean Energy” • While the Trump Administration officially started the process to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement, India is making strong progress toward its Paris commitments. While much more work is needed, India is one of the few countries that are compatible with a 2°C goal. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Mainstream Raises $580 Million For Chile Wind And Solar Projects” • Mainstream Renewable Power, the emerging markets-focused green energy company founded by entrepreneur Eddie O’Connor, has raised $580 million (€522 million) of debt for key Chilean wind and solar projects under the company’s biggest financing deal. [Irish Times]

¶ “BayWa re Builds Netherland’s Largest Floating Solar Farm” • BayWa re and Dutch partner GroenLeven, have successfully built a floating solar park in the record time of only six weeks. The Sekdoorn project in the Netherlands, near the city of Zwolle, has a capacity of 14.5 MWp, enough to power almost 4,000 local households. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Floating solar farm (BayWa re image)

¶ “GE To supply 715-MW Chinese Mega-Farm” • GE Renewable Energy and China Huaneng Group are to build a 715-MW wind farm at Puyang in Henan province, China. The deal, which is GE’s largest-ever wind order in Asia, is for 286 of the company’s 2.5-132 turbines with 130-meter soft steel towers. The developer is China Huaneng. [reNEWS]


¶ “Answer To Renewable Power’s Top Problem Emerges In The Outback” • Early next year, one of the first power projects that combine solar and wind generation with battery storage is planned to start up in Queensland. The Kennedy Energy Park will combine 43 MW of wind and 20 MW of solar with a 2-MW Tesla battery. [Yahoo Canada Finance]


¶ “L’oréal Australia Taps South Australia Wind Farm To Go 100% Renewable” • The Australian arm of French cosmetics giant L’Oréal signed a deal with the French-owned Engie Australia and New Zealand. The five-year deal will see L’Oréal Australia buy certificates and power from Engie’s 119-MW Willogoleche Wind Farm in South Australia. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “Australia’s Main Grid Reaches 50% Renewables For First Time” • On National Electricity Market, the combined output of rooftop solar, large-scale wind, and large-scale solar reached 50.2% of the near 25 GW being produced during one trading period. The NEM supplies Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. [RenewEconomy]

Meralli Solar’s Baroota solar farm


¶ “Trouble Ahead for Natural Gas?” • FERC’s figures for proposed new capacity indicates a decrease of about 20% per year during August 2017 to August 2019. Extrapolating the data suggests that proposed new additions could drop to the point that they no longer exceed retirements by 2025. And market pressure could make this happen. [Green Energy Times]

¶ “eBay Teams Up With Apple, Samsung Austin Semiconductor And Sprint On A Renewable Energy Project” • eBay announced an agreement to purchase renewable energy with Apple, Sprint, and Samsung. The joint virtual power purchase agreement will buy 75 MW from Apex Clean Energy’s White Mesa Wind Project in Crockett County, Texas. []

Apex Clean Energy wind farm (Apex Clean Energy)

¶ “Rochester Wants Renewable Power For The People” • Mayor Lovely Warren submitted legislation authorizing a community choice aggregation program to City Council of Rochester, New York. The program should save residents and small businesses money on power bills while also moving to a climate-friendly electricity supply. [Rochester City Newspaper]

¶ “Maine Floater Secures PPA Approval” • The Maine Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a power purchase agreement for the 12-MW Aqua Ventus 1 floating offshore wind farm. The two-turbine Aqua Ventus 1, which is being developed by the University of Maine, will be the first US commercial-scale floating offshore wind farm. [reNEWS]

Have an utterly superb day.

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November 5 Energy News

November 5, 2019


¶ “Fact-Checking Trump’s California Wildfire Criticism” • As wildfires swept across California, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to criticize the state’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, for the way his administration has handled the crises. Here’s a breakdown of the President’s most recent accusations and the facts behind them. [CNN]

House on fire (Noah Berger | AP)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Oil And Gas Majors Must Cut Output 35% By 2040 To Reach Paris Targets” • A report from independent financial think tank Carbon Tracker concluded that the world’s seven leading oil and gas majors must cut production by an average of 35% by 2040 if global emissions are to be kept “well below” 2°C, in accordance with the Paris Agreement. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Satellites Are Key To Monitoring Ocean Carbon” • We need to know how much CO₂ stays in the atmosphere and how much becomes stored in the oceans or on land. The oceans in particular have helped to slow climate change as they absorb and then store the carbon for thousands of years. We can monitor changes in CO₂ with satellites. [Newswise]

Tonga (Copernicus Sentinel data processed by ESA)


¶ “Citroën Commits To Fully Electric Light Commercial Vehicle Lineup By 2025” • Citroën has led in the light commercial space for years and is kicking off an effort to convert 100% of its light commercial vehicles and their passenger vehicle counterparts to electric. The company sees electric vehicles as “an important driver for Citroën’s growth.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DTEK Delivers 100 MW Ukrainian Second Helping” • Ukraine energy company DTEK has commissioned the second 100-MW phase of Prymorska wind farm, bringing total operational capacity at the facility to 200 MW, according to the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association. The project features 52 GE wind turbines. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine in the Ukraine (UWEA image)

¶ “Karusa And Soetwater Wind Farms Start Construction” • Enel, through its renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA, has started construction of the Karusa and Soetwater wind farms, with an installed capacity of 140 MW each. The plants are located in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. They are expected to be completed by the end of 2021. [ESI Africa]

¶ “South Australia’s Stunning Renewable Energy Transition, And What Comes Next” • South Australia dumped coal and sources more than half its generation from wind and solar. It is now a net exporter rather than an importer of electricity. It plans to have “net 100%” renewable energy in a decade, and a multiple of that in the future. [RenewEconomy]

Tesla battery at the Hornsdale wind farm


¶ “Supreme Court Calls Chief Secretaries Of 3 States, Says People Can’t Be Left To Die” • At a marathon hearing on air pollution, India’s Supreme Court passed a slew of directions on the air pollution plaguing the country. It threatened to penalize officials at all levels and said, “You can postpone the Assembly; people cannot be left to die.” [The Hans India]

¶ “The Perfect Storm Fueling New Delhi’s Deadly Pollution” • A potent combination of pollutants, agricultural practices, weather conditions, and geography has shrouded India’s capital in a toxic, throat-searing cloud of brown smog. This type of severe seasonal increase in smog has become all too familiar over the past few years. [CNN]

Cyclist in New Delhi (Adnan Abidi | Reuters)

¶ “Tata Power And Partner Create World’s Largest Microgrid Firm” • In India, Tata Power has partnered with the Rockfeller Foundation to launch what is called the world’s largest microgrid developer. TP Renewable Microgrid will partner with local organizations to address the lack of access to affordable, reliable, clean energy among Indians. [Smart Energy]


¶ “Google Workers Pen Open Letter To Company Demanding Climate Action” • In an open letter addressed to Google CFO Ruth Porat, over 1,100 of the company’s workers are asking for a climate plan. The plan incorporates specific requests that have similarly been set by workers at other tech companies, including Amazon and Microsoft. [CNN]

Google workers (Dina Litovsky | CNN)

¶ “US Begins Formal Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord” • The Trump administration announced that it will begin formally withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accord, the first step in a year-long process to back out of the agreement to reduce emissions of planet-warming gases. Trump is working to reduce federal regulations on pollution. [CNN]

¶ “More Solar Panels For DOD, One More Stab In The Back For Coal” • It looks like the Kentucky Air National Guard is tired of waiting around for the local utility to ditch coal. The 123rd Airlift Wing proudly announced plans for new rooftop solar panels, aimed at reducing its reliance on fossil fuels. The new project is a money-saver, too. [CleanTechnica]

PVs planned for the 123rd Airlift Wing (Philip Speck | DOD)

¶ “Southern Florida Among Spots At Greater Risk Due To Sea Level Rise, Finds New Machine Learning Study” • We have a very high confidence that we’ll see 8-12 inches of sea level rise by 2050. But elevations along coast lines were not really well understood, a study shows. And some places, such as southern Florida, are facing problems. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Feds Exempt Shuttered Pilgrim From Emergency Requirements” • Federal regulators have signed off on a request to exempt the now-closed Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station from certain emergency planning and preparedness requirements, the NRC announced. US Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) called the move “shocking.” [WBUR]

Have an exceedingly delightful day.

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November 4 Energy News

November 4, 2019


¶ “How Fossil Fuel Industry Misled Americans Deliberately About Climate Change” • For decades, the fossil fuel industry has subjected Americans to a well-funded disinformation campaign about the reality and severity of human-caused climate change. The purpose of this is to delay climate action and thereby protect fossil fuel business interests. [ThePrint]

Cooling towers (Flickr image)

¶ “As EU Debate Over Role Of Gas Builds, Methane Emerges As Europe’s Climate Blind Spot” • The EU is ignoring an urgent climate issue in its natural gas supply chain, a new policy brief by Environmental Defense Fund says. The problem is methane, a climate pollutant over 84 times as powerful as CO₂ over a 20-year timespan. [Environmental Defense Fund]


¶ “Electric Aviation Company Scylax Forms Joint Venture With German Regional Airline” • Scylax GmbH, based in Munich, has entered into a joint venture with the East Frisian FLN airline for electric aircraft. The idea is to replace the airline’s current fleet of gas-powered BN-2 Norman Britten Islanders with the all-electric Scylax E10s. [CleanTechnica]

Scylax airplane (Credit: Scylax)

¶ “GCC To Create $76 Billion In Cost Savings From Renewable Energy Adoption By 2030” • The Gulf Cooperation Council is rapidly adopting renewable energy and has plans to continue to do so. A report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency predicts that the GCC could see savings of $76 billion by 2030 because of this. [Utilities Middle East]

¶ “Egypt: PPA Signed For A 200-MW Kom Ombo PV Plant” • Saudi Arabian energy company ACWA Power has signed a power purchase agreement  with the government of Egypt to develop, finance, construct and operate the Kom Ombo PV plant. The plant will have a capacity of 200 MW, which is enough to power about 130,000 households. [ESI Africa]

Solar array

¶ “EU’s New List Of Energy Projects Includes 32 Gas Facilities” • The EU says it wants to get out of fossil fuels and become climate neutral as soon as possible. But the European Commission’s latest list of energy projects eligible for EU funding includes 32 gas projects, including the construction of new LNG terminals, EURACTIV Germany reports. [EURACTIV]


¶ “Delhi Air Quality: Severe Pollution Prompts Car Rationing” • The Indian capital, Delhi, has launched a car rationing system as it battles hazardous levels of pollution. However, cars are not believed to be the main cause of Delhi’s toxic air, and experts point instead to crop burning by farmers in neighbouring states to clear fields. [BBC]

Woman with a mask

¶ “Flights Diverted As New Delhi Chokes On Heavy Pollution” • Flights were delayed in and out of New Delhi’s international airport because of pollution that left the Indian capital blanketed with heavy smog. Visibility was so poor that 37 flights were diverted to other airports. Delhi’s Chief Minister called the pollution “unbearable.” [CNN]

¶ “OPIC Has Invested $350 Million In Renewable Sources In India: US State Department” • Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which is a development finance institution of the US government, has invested $350 million in six new solar and wind-power generation facilities in India, according to the US Department of State. []

Solar park in India


¶ “US Renewable Energy Generating Capacity To Grow By 47 GW – FERC Data” • According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data just released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, we are to see net decreases in generating capacities of fossil fuels and nuclear in the next three years. Renewables are expected to grow by 47 GW, however. [pvbuzz media]

¶ “California Fires: Trump Threatens To Pull Federal Aid” • President Donald Trump has threatened to cut federal funding for the wildfires sweeping California, in a Twitter spat with the state’s governor. Nearly 100,000 acres have been destroyed by wildfires in recent weeks, and thousands have been forced from their homes. [BBC]

Fire in California (AFP)

¶ “US Annual Wind Operations And Maintenance Spending To Reach $7.5 Billion” • The US is expected to increase its annual spending on the operations and maintenance of wind energy infrastructure by 50% between 2018 and 2030, according to IHS Markit. This would put the amount at $7.5 billion by the end of that time. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Trump Now Has Opening To Pull US Out Of Paris Climate Pact” • The terms of the Paris Climate Pact say no country can withdraw in the first three years. Today, the Trump actually start the withdrawal process, which begins with a letter to the UN. It would not be official for another year, which ends the day after the next US election. [ABC 57 News]

Have a wonderfully merry day.

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November 3 Energy News

November 3, 2019


¶ “Trump Stymies California Climate Efforts Even As State Burns” • Wildfires are burning across California, and scientists say they have been made worse by a changing climate. “We’re waging war against the most destructive fires in our state’s history, and Trump is conducting a full-on assault against the antidote,” Gov Gavin Newsom said. [msnNOW]

Kincade fire (© Eric Thayer for The New York Times)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Joi Scientific’s Perpetual Hydrogen Illusion Comes Tumbling Down” • Over the past few years, a company based out of Florida, Joi Scientific, has gained millions in investment and headlines for its perpetual motion hydrogen claims. This week, the company reportedly admitted to investors that its technology doesn’t work at all. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hong Kong Oysters Served Up As Natural Defence Against Flooding Caused By Climate Change” • Environmentalists believe oysters could play a key role in protecting Hong Kong’s coastlines from the effects of climate change, including the rise in sea levels and increasingly damaging flooding brought about by extreme storms. [Yahoo Singapore News]

Joe Cheung Ho-yi, conservation education manager
at The Nature Conservancy (Photo: Jonathan Wong)


¶ “Asia ‘Coal Addiction’ Must End, UN Chief Warns” • The chief of the United Nations has warned Asia to quit its “addiction” to coal in a bid to tackle climate change. UN Secretary General António Guterres said countries in the region were among the most vulnerable to global warming and should be on the “front line” of efforts to stop it. [BBC]

¶ “UK Halts All Fracking Operations In The Country” • The UK government issued an order halting all fracking operations in the country effective immediately. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland already had measures against fracking. UK Government ministers also warned shale gas companies that it will not support future fracking projects. [CleanTechnica]

Fracking (Nicholas A. Tonelli | Flickr)

¶ “19 Renewable Energy Power Plants To Be Commissioned In Iran” • By the end of this Iranian year (which began March 21, 2019), 19 renewable energy power plants will be commissioned in ten Iranian provinces, according to a spokesperson for Iran’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization, Trend reports via IRNA. [EnerCom Inc]

¶ “Vietnam Needs To Act In Mekong Delta As Land Sinking, Seas Rising: Experts” • The Mekong Delta, which spreads over 40,577 square kilometers (15,670 square miles), has been a rice bowl and aquaculture hub. The latest reports say that while the sea is rising, the delta is subsiding, and it will disappear sooner than expected. [VnExpress International]

Makeshift embankment (Photo: Thanh Nguyen | VnExpress)

¶ “Analyst Discusses Reporting Hack Of Computer System At Indian Nuclear Reactor” • A report of hackers gaining access to an Indian nuclear power plant’s computer network led to alarm, confusion, and denial before officials admitted it happened. The threat analyst who reported the issue was at a unique vantage point in the news cycle. [Security Boulevard]


¶ “Triumph And Jaunt Partner To Design, Develop, Certify, And Build Full-Scale Demonstrator” • Jaunt Air Mobility and the Triumph Group announced at the 2019 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition that they would cooperate to design, build, and certify a full-scale demonstrator aircraft. They have a very unusual aircraft design. [CleanTechnica]

Jaunt Air Mobility display (Photo: Nicolas Zart)

¶ “Utility Adds 2.5 MW Of Demand Response Capabilities With Very Unusual ‘Batteries'” • Hawaiian Electric added 2.5 MW of grid services, allowing it to store energy during peak solar and wind production periods. This required no traditional batteries, flywheels, or pumped hydro, using hardware that is already in place in every residential grid. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Cranberry Farmers See Solar Promise” • Falling cranberry prices and ongoing trade wars have America’s cranberry industry eyeing a possible new savior: solar power. Some of the cranberry farmers in Massachusetts, the nation’s second-largest grower after Wisconsin, propose to install solar PVs above the bogs they harvest each fall. [Arkansas Online]

Dick Ward of Carver, Mass, at his cranberry bog

¶ “All Eyes On New Community Solar Power Program In Wappingers Falls, New York” • Ratepayers of Wappingers Falls, New York, have an opportunity to save up to 10% on their utility bills thanks to a new community solar power program. However, even with the savings, getting ratepayers to opt into a renewable energy plan can be challenging. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nebraska Has Bright Renewable Energy Future, Leaders Say” • Nebraska has lagged in wind power, but that is changing. The state tied Rhode Island last year for the biggest year-over-year percentage gain in wind power capacity (39%) and ranked fifth for overall installation growth with more than 500 MW added during the year. [KPVI News 6]

Wind turbine and farmstead (Tim Hynds | Sioux City Journal)

¶ “Critics Dispute Benefits Of Danskammer Upgrades” • A new natural-gas fired power plant has been proposed for Newburgh, New York. Danskammer Energy claims the plant will off-set air pollution from older power generators. Environmentalists look at the situation differently, saying the move goes in exactly the wrong direction. [Times Herald-Record]

¶ “Activists At PG&E Rally Call On State Leaders To Invest In Renewable Energy” • Dozens of activists rallied outside the PG&E office in San Francisco, calling on state leaders to take action against climate change. They want Gov Gavin Newsom to divest from the fossil fuel industry and support clean energy programs and grid resiliency. [SFGate]

Have a surprisingly amusing day.

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November 2 Energy News

November 2, 2019


¶ “Katherine Hayhoe Explains The Strange Disconnect Between Evangelical Christians And Climate Science” • Katherine Hayhoe is both an evangelical Christian and co-director of the Climate Center at Texas Tech University. She explained in an opionion piece how to resolve the conflict in America between climate science and evangelical Christians. [CleanTechnica]

Katherine Hayhoe (Credit: YouTube)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Penn State Researchers Say A 10-Minute EV Recharge Is Possible With New Battery Technology” • Researchers at Penn State claim they found a way to recharge an EV in ten minutes and are targeting five minute recharging times in the near future. The trick is to heat the battery rapidly and then cool it back down quickly. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Millions Of Masks Distributed To Students In ‘Gas Chamber’ Delhi” • Five million masks are being distributed at schools in India’s capital, Delhi, after pollution made the air so toxic officials were forced to declare a public health emergency. A Supreme Court-mandated panel imposed restrictions, as air quality deteriorated to “severe” levels. [BBC]

Hospital patients in Gurgaon (Getty Images)

¶ “Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Says Company May Purchase Technology From Tesla” • FCA CEO Michael Manley announced that his company would consider buying a skateboard or rolling chassis from Tesla to serve as the basis for electric cars from a new alliance between FCA and PSA Group, parent company of Peugeot and Citroen. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind Powers Heerema Crane Vessels” • Heerema is involved in a project in the Dutch port of Rotterdam to use electricity generated by wind turbines in place of diesel generators for the power needs of its moored crane vessels. The aim of the project is to establish the feasibility of supplying shore-based clean electricity to large seagoing vessels. [reNEWS]

Heerema crane vessels (Heerema image)

¶ “Solar Electricity Can Retail For $0.027 To $0.036/kWh As Renewables Close In On Global Grid Parity” • The levelized cost of energy for solar and wind power continues to decline and has already reached parity with wholesale power prices in California, China, and parts of Europe, according to the latest report from BloombergNEF. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Diesel Vehicles Cancelled Out Cuts From Renewable Energy” • In Australia, greenhouse gas emissions from diesel-powered cars, utes (utility cars), and vans have risen sharply since 2011, effectively cancelling out the cut in pollution from new renewable energy that are replacing some coal-burning plants. [The Guardian]

Traffic (Photo: Dave Hunt | AAP)

¶ “Russia’s State-Owned Nuclear Giant Is Targeting Africa for its Growth” • Rosatom Corp is eyeing Africa as a priority regions to build more nuclear reactors and expand its business. Russia has signed over a dozen intergovernmental agreements on the continent in recent years and Rosatom is cooperating with more than 20 African countries. [Bloomberg]

¶ “China Is Bankrolling Green Energy Projects Around the World” • Not only is China today the world’s largest producer of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and electric vehicles, but it has also been the top investor in clean energy for nine out of the last ten years, according to the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. [Time]

Geothermal power station in Kenya
(Michael Gottschalk | Photothek | Getty Images)


¶ “NASA And Uber Working On Our Urban Air Mobility Future” • NASA and Uber are working on urban air mobility needs. The focus is on the future for city transport for both people and packages transported by air. NASA is partnering with Uber on unmanned aircraft systems traffic management systems Uber would use for ride shares. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Great Lakes Offshore Wind: Possibility Or Pipe Dream?” • The end of a regulatory odyssey to get approval for what would be the first US freshwater offshore wind farm is now within sight for developers. Final approval is needed from the Ohio Power Siting Board for the 20.7-MW Icebreaker project, about 8 miles from downtown Cleveland in Lake Erie. [E&E News]

Ice-hardened wind farm in Finland (@Hyotytuuli, Facebook)

¶ “Nervous And Scared: Coal Workers Fear For Pensions After Murray Energy Bankruptcy” • Murray Energy’s bankruptcy puts an exclamation point on the stunning downfall of America’s coal industry. The last major company making contributions to the United Mine Workers of America’s pension plan, the company says pensions have to be dialed back. [CNN]

¶ “Native American Leaders Turn To Solar To Power Their Communities” • Over 40% of the people living in the Pine Ridge reservation have no access to electricity. And it’s hard for many Native Americans in the region to afford heating and cooling. Local renewable energy is one solution. It is also an answer to the problem of climate change. []

Demonstrating for the Earth (Jared Murphy | 90.5 WESA)

¶ “Solar, Energy Efficiency To Drive Drops In Load And Peak Demand Over Next Ten Years, ISO-NE Says” • ISO New England expects declining annual load and summer peak demand through 2028, largely due to solar and energy efficiency additions, its ten year system outlook says. But grid modernization efforts will be necessary, as well. [Utility Dive]

¶ “EDF Sues Interior, NOAA, NASA For Failure To Release Public Records Of Trump Administration Attacks On Climate Science” • EDF is suing to obtain public records of Trump administration efforts to undermine climate science. Three federal agencies failed to make the records available as required by the Freedom of Information Act. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Have a luxuriously brilliant day.

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January 1 Energy News

November 1, 2019


¶ “Divestment Year In Review 2020 From CleanTechnica” • After decades of warnings that climate change endangers the planet, asset managers are seeing threats to the bottom line. The fossil fuel divestment campaign has captured global attention, with many high-profile institutional investors shedding investments in fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Sixteen billion-dollar weather disasters (NOAA image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “It Wasn’t Just The Pandemic: Oil’s Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Year” • It is not a surprise that the oil industry had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. Oil powers the vast majority of the global transportation system, and the pandemic froze most of the world’s population in place. But oil has a lot more wrong, and a vaccine won’t fix it. [NPR]

¶ “Why 2021 Could Be Turning Point For Tackling Climate Change” • Countries only have only a limited time in which to act if the world is to stave off the worst effects of climate change. 2021 will certainly be a crunch year for tackling the problem. Here are five reasons why 2021 could be a crucial year in the fight against global warming. [BBC]

Iceberg (Long Ma, Unsplash)

¶ “Signs of Hope for US Federal Climate Action in 2021” • As we enthusiastically bid 2020 farewell, 2021 is starting to feel like a year to be hopeful. Congress has passed what may be the most ambitious energy legislation in several years. Two other bills introduced tackle vastly different aspects of climate change and energy transition. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “21 Best E-Bikes And Electric Motorcycles You Can Buy in 2021” • If you’re one of the lucky few who don’t really need that money to, you know – survive – you get to help stimulate the economy by buying a brand-new e-bike, and 2021 has more offerings available than ever before! Here are 21 to consider trying out in ’21. [CleanTechnica]

Ducati Scrambler SCR-E Folding e-bike (Ducati image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘Bomb Cyclone’ Is Bringing Big Waves To Central Coast. What Caused This Weather Phenomenon?” • 2020 ends with another weather record. On New Year’s Eve, a storm with record-breaking low pressure formed near the Aleutian Islands. Its development is what meteorologists call bombogenesis. And it is what they call a “bomb cyclone.” [San Luis Obispo Tribune]


¶ “Volkswagen Expands Charging Infrastructure And Previews Mobile Charger” • Volkswagen is committed to transforming itself from a maker of conventional cars to a manufacturer of EVs. The company is introducing a number of new chargers, covering fast charging station networks, mobile chargers, and chargers for the home. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen’s mobile charging robot (Volkswagen image)

¶ “Greece Approves 2.8 GW Of Renewable Energy Projects” • The Greek government has approved four investments into new renewable energy projects totaling 2.8 GW of wind and solar power capacity. More than €2 billion will be spent on the four investment projects, including over €1,300 million on 2.33 GW of solar PV parks. [Greek City Times]

¶ “Bogota Gets 470 New Electric Buses, Berlin Gets 90” • Electric bus adoption shows no signs of slowing down. We regularly share stories of transit authorities buying another batch of electric buses, and it’s happening all over the world. Most recently, we got some big orders. Berlin, Germany, added 90 electric buses and Bogota, Colombia, added 470. [CleanTechnica]

Solaris Urbino electric bus in Berlin (Solaris image)

¶ “Decarbonization Will Make US-Japan Alliance Stronger, Says Koizumi” • Japan will work more closely with the US on cutting carbon dioxide emissions under President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, according to Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi. He described what he called a new bond between the allies. [Nikkei Asia]

¶ “UK Green-Lights Ørsted’s Hornsea Three Offshore Wind Giant” • Alok Sharma, the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has granted planning consent to Orsted’s 2400-MW Hornsea Three project. Ørsted plans to install up to 231 turbines, with rotors up to 265 meters in diameter, in the North Sea, off Yorkshire. [reNEWS]

Offshore installation (Ørsted image)

¶ “Güriş Installs 50-MW Geothermal Power Plant In Turkey In Record Time” • Ali Karaduman, CEO of Mogan Enerji Yatırım Holding, said a subsidiary of Güriş Holding broke the world record by installing a 50 MW geothermal power facility in just 38 days. The plant is the eighth and final part of the 260 MW Efeler complex. [Balkan Green Energy News]


¶ “US Renewable Energy Consumption Surpasses Coal For First Time In Over 130 Years” • US annual energy consumption from renewable sources exceeded coal consumption in 2019, for the first time since before 1885, according to the Energy Information Administration’s Monthly Energy Review. In 2019, Coal was down nearly 15% from 2018. [CleanTechnica]

Coal vs renewables (US EIA, “Monthly Energy Review”)

¶ “Ameren Purchases Wind Farm In Northeastern Missouri” • Ameren Missouri said that it bought its first wind farm and plans to make a “transformational advancement” in renewable energy. The company said the 400-MW project in rural northeastern Missouri is the first of two planned investments in Missouri wind power generation. [Agri News]

¶ “Scandal-Battered Utility Now Faces Specter Of Pricy Lawsuits” • Ohio’s largest electric utility has been hit by more than a dozen lawsuits filed by angry shareholders. FirstEnergy, which operates in six states, is accused of funding a $60 million bribery scheme aimed at winning a $1 billion legislative bailout in 2019 for two Ohio nuclear plants. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Have a joyously happy day.

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November 1 Energy News

November 1, 2019


¶ “How Utilities Wield Bad Science To Stunt Clean Energy” • The climate crisis is already negatively affecting the lives of millions of Americans. Renewable energy has been growing across the US in response, but it is being opposed by big utilities that are pulling out all the stops to block a transformational shift to planet-friendly power. [Utility Dive]

Renewable energy

¶ “Polls Vs Trolls: How Koch Industries Distorts EV Incentive Debate” • The American Energy Alliance did a poll it said was designed to determine the level of support among voters for EV incentives. It asked such questions as “How much you would be willing to pay each year to support the purchase of electric vehicles by other consumers.” [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Coal Power Is Bleeding Cold, Hard Cash (Thank You, Captain Obvious)” • Carbon Tracker looked at the viability of the EU’s coal fleet in a report it called Apocalypse Now. It says 79% of the EU’s coal power plants are losing money. Carbon Tracker concludes that without significant subsidies, there will be no hard coal or lignite power in the EU by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

E.ON power plant (Marcusroos, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Stronger Renewable Energy Target For Victoria” • Legislation to boost Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target, help put more energy into the grid, and drive down energy prices has passed in the Victorian Parliament. Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target has been boosted to 50% by 2030, building on an existing target of 40% by 2025. [Energy Magazine]

¶ “Rising Emissions Boosting Geothermal Drilling Market” • With rising levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, the geothermal drilling market is expected to grow. Geothermal power generation is expected to post a CAGR of almost 9% during 2019-2023, according to the latest market research report by Technavio. [Power Engineering International]

Geothermal plant (Steam, not smoke)

¶ “ReNew Power To Commission 3,000 MW Capacity In 18 Months ” • Indian clean energy firm ReNew Power will add 3,000 MW of generation capacity in the next 18 months, a top company official said. A 250-MW plant was commissioned at Bikaner on October 27, taking the total generation capacity of Renew Power to 5,000 MW. [Economic Times]

¶ “Cheaper Solar Power Gains Ground In Southeast Asia” • In Southeast Asia, numerous countries are accelerating plans to harness energy from the sun in coming years. The cost of generating electricity from some solar power projects has dropped to become more affordable than gas-fired plants, officials and analysts said. [Reuters]

Solar system in Vietnam (TammyLe, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “California Fires: Goats Help Save Ronald Reagan Presidential Library” • A hungry herd of 500 goats helped save the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library from the California wildfires. In May, the library hired the goats to clear flammable scrub surrounding the complex as a preventative measure. The goats ate the brush, creating a fire break. [BBC]

¶ “Keystone Pipeline Leaks 383,000 Gallons Of Oil In North Dakota” • Part of the Keystone 1 Pipeline in North Dakota was shut down after a leak of about 9,120 barrels (383,040 gallons) of oil was discovered, TC Energy company said in a statement. A drop in pressure was detected, and the pipeline was immediately shut down, the company said. [CNN]

Oil Spill (TC Energy image)

¶ “Save The Snow: As Bridger Bowl Goes Solar, State Grapples With Renewable Energy Development” • Montana hasn’t kept up with solar growth. Its policymaking caps benefits to solar use and challenges in integrating solar energy into the state’s electrical grid. Bridger Bowl Ski Area is one place working to navigate the barriers. [The Bozeman Daily Chronicle]

¶ “Alliant Energy To Increase Solar Panel Usage Across State” • Alliant Energy announced a plan to build 1,000 MW of solar capacity in Wisconsin by 2023, enough to power about 260,000 homes. Part of their “Powering What’s Next Plan,” the company plans to break ground on their first “Community Solar” site in Fond du Lac County in 2020. [The Daily Cardinal]

Solar array (Pixabay image)

¶ “Salt Lake County Calls For 100% Renewable Energy By 2030” • Officials of Salt Lake County passed a resolution to transition the county to 100% net use of renewables by 2030. The county joins a slew of other Utah communities that have committed to similar goals, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Summit County and the city of Moab. [KUER 90.1]

¶ “Senators OK 50% Renewable Energy Goal By 2035” • The Guam Legislature passed a measure to require the Guam Power Authority to have 50% renewable energy in its portfolio by 2035 and 100% renewable energy by 2045. The bill passed with bipartisan support and will go to the governor’s desk for her signature. [The Guam Daily Post]

Solar farm on Guam (Dontana Keraskes | The Guam Daily Post)

¶ “River Falls Prepares To Be First In The State To Power City Buildings Using 100% Renewable Energy” • The City Council of River Falls acted to make their city Wisconsin’s first municipality to power city public buildings with 100% renewable energy. Beginning January 1, 2020, River Falls’ city buildings will run on 100% renewable energy. [RiverTowns]

¶ “Vogtle Opponents Get New Chance To Press Case In Court As Plant Manager Reprimanded For Firing Whistleblower” • Groups opposed to the first new nuclear reactors to receive a license in the US in decades have received another chance to get their concerns heard in court, even as construction on the project continues. [Utility Dive]

Have an impressively agreeable day.

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