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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