December 31 Energy News

December 31, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “With Coal Under Fire, 2020 Could Be A Big Year For Wind Power In Japan” • One day, resource-deprived Japan may no longer have to import its energy, nor rely on nuclear power or coal, thanks to a renewable source with vast potential: offshore wind power. A law allowing offshore turbines to operate for up to 30 years may bring that day closer. [The Japan Times]

Formosa 1 Offshore Wind Project in Taiwan (JERA Co)

¶ “How Energy Storage Could Revolutionize Industries In The Next 10 Years” • Over the last ten years, a surge in lithium-ion battery production drove down prices to the point that for the first time in history electric vehicles became commercially viable from the standpoint of both cost and performance. Next comes utility-scale storage. [CNBC]

World:

¶ “Australian Wildfires Force Thousands To Flee To The Beach” • Thousands of people had to take refuge from wildfires on a beach in southeast Australia, as fires swept through the town. About 4,000 residents and visitors were forced to evacuate Mallacoota, Victoria, authorities said. Roads were cut off, and there was no way in or out of the town. [CNN]

Mallacoota, pitch dark at 10:00 AM (Jason Selmes)

¶ “Tesla Says Shanghai Gigafactory Already Producing 1,000 Model 3s Per Week” • Tesla China’s general manager said that 1,000 Model 3s are already being produced each week, with 280 units per day having been demonstrated. This production level comes less than 12 months since Tesla broke ground on the Shanghai Gigafactory site. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Atomic Waste Dump In Marshall Islands To Be Investigated” • Radioactive debris from dozens of US cold war atomic bomb tests in the Marshall Islands is stored in a concrete dome now threatened by rising sea levels. The defense bill just approved by President Trump requires an investigation by the US DOE of the dome’s condition.  [BBC]

Nuclear bomb test in the Marshall Islands, 1946 (Getty Images)

¶ “India Cold Wave: Delhi Reels From Coldest Day In More Than A Century” • India’s capital Delhi has recorded its chilliest day since 1901, when record tracking began. On 30 December, the maximum day temperature dropped to 9.4°C (49°F) and levels of pollution peaked in thick fog. The previous record, 9.8°C (49.6°F) was on 2 January 2013. [BBC]

¶ “Moscow Brings In Artificial Snow For New Year In Mild Winter” • In Moscow, authorities have dumped artificial snow in the city center for New Year festivities, as this is now the Russian capital’s warmest December since 1886. The mild Russian winter is seen as more evidence of global warming, though seeing snow delivered by truck amused residents. [BBC]

Artificial snow in Moscow (Getty Images)

¶ “India Has Installed 84 GW Of Renewable Energy Capacity So Far: MNRE” • India’s renewable energy capacity crossed 84-GW mark by the end of November this year, fresh data released by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy showed. To that date, slightly over 6 GW of renewable capacity had been installed in the country. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Endesa Asks To Close Coal-Fired Plants In Spain To Make Way For Renewables” • Endesa SA petitioned Spanish authorities to allow it to close two coal-fired power plants because they are no longer competitive. Analysis indicates that converting to biomass is not economically or environmentally acceptable. The plants are to be replaced by renewables. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in Spain (Endesa image)

¶ “Railway Land To Be Given For 500 MW Solar Power Plants To Meet Its Traction Needs” • The railways will offer its vacant land to install 500-MW of solar capacity to meet its energy needs, its board chairman said. This is in addition to installations of 500 MW of PVs and about 200 MW of windpower already being developed. [Economic Times]

US:

¶ “US DOE FAST Competition For Pumped Storage Picks Four Winners” • At a hydropower convention in April, the DOE announced a competition to reduce cost and time for building pumped storage. About 30 competitors put forward proposals and pitched them in October. Now, the DOE has announced the four winners. [CleanTechnica]

Water power reservoir (DOE via Shutterstock)

¶ “Clean Energy Goals, DER Strategies, EV Growth To Shape 2020 Utilities Industry Outlook: Deloitte” • Electric utilities will seize the opportunity to expand their role in leading the clean energy transition while improving the customer experience in 2020, Deloitte forecasts in its 2020 Power and Utilities Industry Outlook. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ “New Mexico Congresspeople To Improve Electrical Transmission, Amid Push For Renewable Energy” • New Mexico congresspeople introduced federal bills to improve transmission infrastructure, with hopes it can enable renewable energy. Sen Martin Heinrich (D) and Rep Deb Haaland (D) introduced a pair of companion bills. [Carlsbad Current-Argus]

Raising a transmission tower (Xcel Energy image)

¶ “Despite More Renewable Energy, Oregon’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue To Rise” • In 2020, Oregon’s electricity providers will be required to produce a record 20% of their energy from such renewable sources as solar and wind. Fossil fuels are being replaced by renewables. But total emissions in the state are still on the rise. [Jefferson Public Radio]

¶ “Is There More Trouble Ahead For Plant Vogtle Expansion? In Georgia, experts Testify That Serious Challenges Remain” • Expert witnesses made clear to the PSC that it will be extremely challenging for the two Toshiba-Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors to be completed by the scheduled dates, and costs may increase again. [Clean Energy News]

Have an astoundingly uncomplicated day.

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