December 20 Energy News

December 20, 2019


¶ “This Century Is An Era Of Climate Retreat, Both Managed And Unmanaged” • Fifteen years after Hurricane Katrina, the population of New Orleans is down 100,000, an unmanaged retreat. An alternative is managed retreat. Communities are looking at ways to deal with the consequences of climate change. Moving the whole town is just one. [CleanTechnica]

New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (USGS image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Seven Challenges For Global Energy Transformation – Rocky Mountain Institute Report” • Rocky Mountain Institute has published its report Seven Challenges for Energy Transformation 2019. RMI states it succinctly: The world is badly off track. Change needs to come more rapidly than national governments can deliver it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biofuel Down, Not Out: The Rise Of The Zeolites” • Biofuels can be used to make replacements for fossil fuels. Historically, the process needed a lot of enegy. Scientists at the University of Manchester came up with a new zeolite catalyst that has a yield topping 99%, while requiring much less energy than conventional catalysts. [CleanTechnica]

Illustration of catalyst (Jill Hemman | ORNL)


¶ “The Huge Economic Cost Of Australia’s Bushfires” • Australia is facing a massive bill from fires that have burned an area bigger than Belgium. Insurance companies have received claims worth A$240 million (£126 million, $165 million) since October, and they expect the number will grow significantly. Bad air is driving medical bills that could go to hundreds of millions. [BBC]

¶ “Did Ethiopia Plant Four Billion Trees This Year?” • Ethiopia undertook a major national reforestation program this year, with the ambitious target of planting four billion trees. We may not know the actual numbers, there’s no doubt there has been a major effort on the part of the Ethiopian government to tackle very serious deforestation problems. [BBC]

Newly planted seedlings (Girmay Gebru, BBC)

¶ “Growth In India’s Renewable Energy Sector Has Slumped To A Five-Year Low” • In India, renewable energy generation grew at a rate of 5.7% in the seven months to October 2019. This is a sharp fall from 28.5% in the same period of last year and 25% in 2018-19, according to data provided by the country’s Central Electricity Authority. [Economic Times]

¶ “Greencoat UK Wind Snaps Up Scottish Duo” • Greencoat UK Wind is buying the Windy Rig and Twentyshilling subsidy-free wind farms in Scotland from Statkraft UK for £104 million. Construction of the 37.8-MW Twentyshilling and 43.2-MW Windy Rig, both located in Dumfries and Galloway, is due to start imminently. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Statkraft image)

¶ “World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine Begins Generating Power” • The world’s largest offshore wind turbine is beginning to generate power. The GE Renewable Energy 12-MW Haliade-X prototype installed at the Port of Maasvlakte-Rotterdam in the Netherlands is starting to generate and sell power to local utility Eneco. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Fossil Fuels Fall To Record Low Proportion Of UK Energy Mix” • The proportion of the UK’s power generation mix made up by fossil fuels has fallen to a record low. Government figures showed the UK relied on renewables for 38.9% of its electricity in the third quarter of this year, as gas-fired power made up 38.8% and coal provided 1%. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines in Scotland (Murdo MacLeod | The Guardian)

¶ “German Energy Sector Emissions Dive 16% This Year” • CO₂ emissions from Germany’s energy industry fell 16% in 2019 as the country has reduced use of coal, energy lobby BDEW said. Energy sector emissions dropped to 260 million tonnes, marking a 44% fall from 1990 levels. Under a new law, they must be lower than 280 million tonnes by 2020. [Montel]

¶ “Wind and Solar Farms Are Putting European Nuclear Out of Work” • Two nuclear reactors that have served homes and factories in Sweden and Germany for many decades will produce their last electricity by the end of this month. Their closing is another sign of how the surge in renewable energy has upended traditional energy economics. [Bloomberg]

Ringhals-2 (Bjorn Larsson Rosvall | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “Fukushima Daiichi No 1 Reactor To Be Covered” • TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, says it will install a giant cover over one of the reactors that underwent a nuclear meltdown, as part of its dismantling process. TEPCO says it aims to reduce the risk of radioactive dust spreading during the debris removal process. [NHK WORLD]


¶ “FERC Order Could Boost Coal Over Renewables, Raising Costs For Consumers” • Rules approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are designed to counteract state subsidies that support the growth of renewable energy and use of nuclear power. The change would require higher minimum bids for subsidized power plants. [InsideClimate News]

Coal train (Benjamin Lowy | Getty Images)

¶ “El Paso Electric Plans To Add First Ever Utility-Scale Battery Storage” • El Paso Electric plans to add battery storage to its energy portfolio. The move is a step to make its power portfolio cleaner and more sustainable by installing battery storage, expanding solar energy, and building a state-of-the-art natural gas generating unit. [KRWG]

¶ “Twenty Utah Communities Commit To 100% Renewable Energy By 2030” • Twenty Utah communities have committed to 100% renewable energy by 2030. Utah municipalities and counties that commit by year’s end and are serviced by Rocky Mountain Power will have support for a net-100% renewable energy portfolio by 2030. [Solar Power World]

Have an effortlessly stimulating day.

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