December 25 Energy News

December 25, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Struggle To Save Vital Seagrasses From Coastal Pollution” • Seagrasses grow along coastlines nearly everywhere around the world, and they can store twice as much carbon in a given area as temperate and tropical forests. But the over 70 species of seagrasses in coastal habitats are among the most poorly protected. [The Weather Channel]

Lobster (Tay Evans | MA Division of Marine Fisheries via AP)

¶ “Want To Fight Climate Change? Plant Mango Trees” • Love mangoes? If you do, you have reason to celebrate. A study by scientists of the Indian Council for Agriculture Research found that mango orchards in the country have sequestrated 2.85 lakh tonnes (285,000 metric tons, 314,000 tons) of carbon from the atmosphere. [The New Indian Express]

World:

¶ “With Most Electricity From Renewables, South Australia Has Lowest Utility Cost” • The latest monthly report on emissions from the Australia Institute shows that over the past two months, South Australia got 65% of its electricity from wind and solar, more than any other state. Customer utility bills will average $65 lower this year than in other states. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Australian Councils Are Piling On The Climate Emergency Bandwagon” • At least eight councils across Australia declared climate emergencies in December. The declarations vary, but most acknowledge the major threat posed to communities and the urgent action required by all levels of government with commitments to local action. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “CCP Seeks Ban On Use Of Wheat Straw As Fuel” • The Competition Commission of Pakistan has recommended that provincial governments ban burning wheat straw in fields and for fuel. Wheat straw is the main raw material in the production of pulp and paper and constitutes approximately 85% of the total cost of low-quality paper. [The Express Tribune]

Wheat (Reuters image)

¶ “In Indonesia’s Provinces, Ditching Coal For Renewables Would Cut Carbon And Costs: Study” • In Indonesia, a major producer and consumer of coal, politicians often argue that continued reliance on the highly polluting fossil fuel remains an economic necessity. A recent analysis of four Indonesian provinces refutes this view. [Mongabay.com]

¶ “Law Enforcement Boosts Renewable Energy Utilization In China” • Effective enforcement of China’s renewable energy law facilitated rapid development of the sector, a report says. The power generated by renewable energy amounted to nearly 1.87 trillion kWh in 2018, accounting for 26.7% of China’s total power output in the year. [ecns]

Wind farm in Xinjiang (Photo: Xinhua)

¶ “Hokkaido Electric Miscalculated Radioactive Materials for 31 Yrs” • Hokkaido Electric Power Co erroneously calculated the amounts of radioactive substances contained in the gas released from a facility at its Tomari nuclear power plant for 31 years. The actual amounts of such substances were about two times larger than reported. [Nippon.com]

US:

¶ “Washington State Ferries, Second-Largest Ferry Network, Switching From Diesel To Batteries” • Washington State Ferries is the second-largest ferry system in the world. Now, it is switching that system from diesel to batteries. Three Jumbo Mark II ferries, which together use 5 million gallons of fuel per year, will be upgraded first. [CleanTechnica]

Puget sound ferries (Grace from Seattle, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Ohio Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Nuclear Bailout Law Referendum Case” • The Ohio Supreme Court has voted 4-0 to hear the case filed by Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts. OACB wanted to overturn the law that subsidizes Ohio’s two nuclear power plants and two coal fired plants, but says its petition circulators were followed and blocked. [WHSO]

¶ “Rivian Raises $1.3 Billion In Latest Funding Round” • Rivian has not even begun building pre-production versions of its RiT electric truck and R1S electric SUV, but it raised almost $3 billion in 2019, capped by its most recent funding round, which added $1.3 billion. This latest round was led by T Rowe Price, a major investor in Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian electric truck (Photo courtesy of Rivian)

¶ “Another Oil Major Bails On Marcellus Shale” • Beginning in 2019, signs of weakness in parts of the shale oil business began to take shape in the massive retrenchment of the service industry that powered shale growth. This trend became even more clear when Chevron said it would write down and put on the auction block its Marcellus shale assets. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “New Regulations Announced For Peak-Use Power Plants” • Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new regulations to reduce emissions in peak-use power plants Monday in a press release. The new regulations will lower the threshold for NOx emissions. Peak-use power plants have until 2023 to 2025 to find cleaner energy sources. [NEWS10 ABC]

Albany at peak-use time

¶ “Judge: DTE Energy’s Long-Term Plan Is Flawed” • DTE Energy missed the mark on proposed long-term energy plan, an administrative law judge ruled. A number of groups intervened in the case, pointing to what they call DTE’s use of bad data and flawed modeling to produce results that understate the benefits of renewable energy. [Michigan Radio]

¶ “ACUA, Pleasantville To Build One Of State’s First Community Solar Projects” • The Atlantic County Utilities Authority and the Pleasantville Housing Authority plan to build one of New Jersey’s first community solar projects on a landfill in Egg Harbor Twp. The 2-MW project got its approval through a Board of Public Utilities pilot program. [Press of Atlantic City]

Have an ordinary, good old-fashioned, perfect day.

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