December 26 Energy News

December 26, 2019


¶ “Statistic Of The Decade: The Massive Deforestation Of The Amazon” • The Royal Statistical Society’s International Statistic of the Decade is meant to capture the zeitgeist of this decade. On December 23, the winner was announced: There were 8.4 million soccer fields of land deforested in the Amazon basin over the past decade. [Down To Earth Magazine]

Amazon rain forest

¶ “As Fracking Companies Face Bankruptcy, US Regulators Enable Firms to Duck Cleanup Costs” • In over their heads with debt, US shale oil and gas firms are now moving from a boom in fracking to a boom in bankruptcies. This trend could put the US taxpayers on the hook for paying to shut them down properly and clean up the drilling sites. [EcoWatch]

¶ “Oil Sector May Be Entering Final Decade Of Growth” • The decade coming to a close will be remembered for a shale drilling revolution that transformed the United States into the world’s biggest oil producer. But the oncoming 2020s may well go down in history as the decade when the world’s demand for crude oil peaked for good. [Houston Chronicle]

Oil pump jack (Jonah M Kessel | STF | NYT)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Fracking Industry’s Methane Problem Is A Climate Problem” • While CO₂ gets a bad rap when it comes to climate change, about 40% of global warming actually can be attributed to the powerful greenhouse gas methane, according to the 2013 IPCC report. A new report links increasing amounts of methane in the atmosphere with fracking. [NationofChange]

¶ “The Last Battery Breakthrough Story Of 2019” • The latest battery breakthrough announcement comes from researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne. A research team developed a solid polymer-based electrolyte that can heal itself if it is damaged. It can also be recycled without the use of harsh chemicals or high temperatures. [CleanTechnica]

University of Illinois polymer battery (JACS image)


¶ “NTPC to invest ₹50,000 crore to add 10 GW solar energy capacity by 2022” • India’s state-owned power giant NTPC is planning to add 10 GW of solar energy generation capacity by 2022. This entails an investment of around ₹50,000 crore ($7.5 billion), which is to be funded mainly by green bonds, a source has said. [Business Today]

¶ “Record High Temperatures Cast Gloom Over Festive Season In Moscow” • Russia’s capital saw record high temperatures in December, and snow is not predicted until the end of the month. Moscow hit 6.2°C (43.2°) on Dec 24, the warmest temperature recorded for that date. Lack of snow put streets under a gloomy pall, despite holiday decorations. [CNN]

Moscow (Alexander Zemlianichenko | AP)

¶ “Fuel Supply By Coal India To Power Sector Drops 9% To 291 MT In April-November” • The supply of coal by state-owned Coal India to the power sector registered a decline of 8.9% to 291.4 million tonnes in April through November. A government official recently blamed the extended monsoon for the loss of coal output for some months. [Times Now]

¶ “Typhoon Phanfone: Philippines Counts Cost Of Deadly Storm” • Typhoon Phanfone has killed at least 10 people in the Philippines, leaving a trail of devastation through the center of the country. The storm, also known as Ursula, carried gusts of close to 190km/h (118 mph) and made landfall several times across various islands, officials say. [BCC]

Ormoc, Leyte province (AFP photo)

¶ “Fukushima Water Plan Sparks Fears Over Safety” • Concerns have been expressed in China and South Korea over a Japanese proposal to dump massive amounts of radioactive water from the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. Experts have called for greater transparency on the plan from the Japanese government. [ecns]

¶ “India Set To Cross 100-GW Renewable Energy Capacity Mark In 2020” • India is all set to cross the 100-GW renewable energy capacity mark in 2020 and can make rapid strides towards the ambitious 175-GW clean energy target. To achieve this by 2022, the government must keep a close eye on key issues and deal with those well in time. [Financial Express]

Renewable energy


¶ “NorthWestern Says It’s Running Short On Power; Climate Activists Say We’re Running Out Of Time” • At a cramped meeting before the Montana Public Service Commission, a crowd of climate activists radiated suspicion as an energy planner for NorthWestern Energy presented a plan that would increase use of gas. [The Bozeman Daily Chronicle]

¶ “After A Rough Year, Farmers And Congress Are Talking About Climate Solutions” • The Midwest floods of 2019 revealed another benefit of sustainable agriculture: fields farmed with conservation practices recovered faster from flooding. Farmers saw the difference, and now they are taking their new knowledge to congress. [InsideClimate News]

No-till field with cover crops on the left, conventional
farming on the right (Rob Myers | University of Missouri)

¶ “Fairfax Solar Plan Could Spur Change To Virginia Law Meant To Shield Dominion Energy From Competitors” • Fairfax County is moving to buy energy from contractors who would install solar panels on over 100 county buildings. It is part of a growing effort to undo Dominion Energy’s protections against competition. [Washington Post]

¶ “Colorado Springs Utilities Joining Energy Pact That Will Save Millions, Increase Renewables” • Colorado Springs Utilities this spring will join a power provider pact that is expected to save millions of dollars annually, help reduce customers’ bills, and increase use of renewable energy. The pact will reduce the curtailment of renewables. [Colorado Springs Gazette]

Have a certifiably merry day.

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