Archive for January, 2020

January 31 Energy News

January 31, 2020


¶ “US Government Sees Renewables Passing Natural Gas In 20 Years” • For the first time, the EIA’s default projection places renewables as the largest single source of electricity generation, with renewables surpassing natural gas somewhere around 2040. But renewables’ prices seem to make the report’s projections obsolete already. [Ars Technica]

Block Island (University of Rhode Island)


¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Supply Cypress Wind Turbines For 132-MW Onshore Wind Farm In Finland” • GE Renewable Energy selected by OX2 to supply 24 Cypress onshore wind turbines units to the 132 MW Metsälamminkangas wind farm. The project is GE Renewable Energy’s first deal in Finland with its Cypress platform. [REVE]

¶ “Volvo Opens Preorders As The Fully Electric XC40 Recharge Nears Production” • Volvo is officially opening up preorders for its highly anticipated XC40 Recharge in the US and Europe on the heels of strong demand after the unveiling event in Los Angeles in October. According to the company, several thousand preorders already locked in. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo XC40 Recharge (Image courtesy of Volvo)

¶ “Japanese Turn To Crowdfunding To Pay For Public-Interest Lawsuits” • When a citizens group in Nagoya, calling for the decommissioning of an old nuclear power plant, kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to cover costs for ongoing litigation, it successfully raised about ¥3.7 million ($33,960), 1.5 times its goal, in about two months. [The Japan Times]

¶ “SSE Renewables Plans Subsidy Free First In Scotland” • SSE Renewables will build its first subsidy free onshore wind project in the Scottish Highlands, a 47-MW extension of its existing 70-MW Gordonbush project. The merchant project is one of only a handful to get the green light in the UK since the government halted supports for onshore wind in 2015. [reNEWS]

Hadyard Hill wind farm (SSE image)


¶ “NSW Strikes ‘Landmark’ Energy Deal With Federal Government, Greens Mp Calls It ‘Climate Criminality'” • An agreement between Autstralia’s federal government and New South Wales will see more than $2 billion invested into new gas-fueled energy. The deal has been slammed as “little more than climate criminality” by the Greens. [ABC News]

¶ “Canberra Residents Flee Their Homes As State Of Emergency Is Declared” • Out-of-control bushfires are forcing residents near Canberra, the capital of Australia, to flee their homes as a state of emergency was declared. Worsening “erratic” conditions have prompted authorities to release a series of urgent “Leave Now” alerts to people in affected areas. [Daily Mail]

Fire nearing Canberra (© Martin Ollman | MEGA)

¶ “Australian Research Council Members Condemn Lack Of Climate Action” • In the wake of Australia’s disastrous bushfire epidemic, which is still going on, 80 of the most prominent members of the ARC penned an open letter urging the Morrison government to take reasonable and realistic action to lower the country’s CO₂ emissions. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Building Projects In New Jersey Will Now Have To Account For Climate Change” • An executive order signed by Gov Phil Murphy requires that rising sea levels and other effects of climate change be considered in the permitting process for buildings and infrastructure. It also sets up requirements for monitoring and reduction of greenhouse gases. [CNN]

Flooding in New Jersey (NJ Dept of Environmental Protection)

¶ “US Wind Hits 9.1 GW In 2019” • The wind industry has experienced its third strongest growth year on record in 2019 with 9143 MW added to the grid, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Utilities and businesses also set a new record in 2019, announcing 8726 MW in new power purchase agreements. [reNEWS]

¶ “BYD Builds New Lithium-Powered Forklift Plant In Southern California” • BYD continues to sprint towards electrifying every type of vehicle. It is adding an electric forklift production facility in the Southern California city of Rancho Dominguez. The new 50,000 square foot facility will include warehouse, supporting offices, and demonstration space. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Forklift (Credit: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Lincoln Electric SUV Will Be Built On Rivian Skateboard” • Last August, Ford CEO Jim Hackett cautioned against assuming his company’s $500 million investment in Rivian meant the two would build an electric pickup truck together. Now, a press release says Ford’s Lincoln division is working with Rivian to develop an all-new SUV. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Evergy To Expand Wind Energy Portfolio By 660 MW” • US-based investor-owned utility Evergy has announced plans to add 660 MW of wind energy to its portfolio and reduce carbon emissions by 80% below 2005 levels by 2050. The new wind energy projects will extend direct access to renewable energy for Evergy customers. [Power Technology]

Wind turbines (Frederik Schönfeldt | Unsplash)

¶ “The Volvo XC90 And Its Battery Packs Will Be Assembled At Volvo’s South Carolina Plant” • The Volvo XC90 is on track to become the brand’s second fully electric vehicle behind the XC40 Recharge and this week the company announced that it will build the next generation XC90 at its only US plant, in Ridgeville, South Carolina. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Under Cuomo Mandate, White Plains Goes Solar In Massive Renewable Energy Project” • New York State is mandating a dramatic expansion of renewable energy over the next decade, and White Plains is a pioneering community. Its solar power plan will save hundreds of residents 10% off their electric bills, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reports. [CBS New York]

Have a thoroughly agreeable day.

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January 30 Energy News

January 30, 2020


¶ “Australia fires: NSW Inquiry To Probe Climate Change Impact” • The Australian state of New South Wales announced an independent inquiry into the ongoing bushfires, promising to “leave no stone unturned.” The six-month inquiry will examine the causes of the fires, as well as how the state prepared and responded to them. [BBC]

New South Wales fire (Getty Images)

¶ “Rolls-Royce Claims Its Latest Electric Airplane Battery Has The World’s Highest Energy Density” • Rolls-Royce is designing the fastest single seat electric airplane in the world, according to IEEE Spectrum. Its new airplane is expect to crack the 300 mph barrier this spring with a range of up to 200 miles (322 km) on a single charge. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bangladesh Set To Develop A 55-MW Solar Project in Chattogram” • The Government of Bangladesh awarded a 55-MW solar power project to a consortium led by Metito Group together with Jinko Power and AlJomaih Group. The project will be developed on a build-own-operate basis under a 20 years’ concession agreement. [Mercom India]

Solar farm (Image credit: Greenskies)

¶ “Ørsted Throws Down ‘Net Zero By 2025’ Gauntlet” • Ørsted has set a target to be carbon neutral by 2025, making it the first global energy company to reach net zero emissions in energy generation. According to the company, it has installed one third of all offshore wind turbines globally and has reduced its carbon emissions by 86% compared with 2006. [reNEWS]

¶ “Nordic Steel Giant To Use Renewable Hydrogen To Produce Fossil-Free Steel By 2026” • Momentum is growing towards the decarbonization of one of the world’s most energy intensive industries. Svenskt Stål AB is turning to renewable hydrogen to replace coal in the production of steel – nearly 10 years earlier than it thought possible. [RenewEconomy]

Making steel

¶ “Wind Capacity To ‘Grow By 627 GW By 2028′” • Almost 627 GW of new wind capacity is expected to be installed by 2028, according to analysis by Navigant Research. Its “Global Wind Energy Overview” report said the new capacity represents a market worth of more than $92 billion in 2019 and over $1 trillion during the period. [reNEWS]

¶ “EDF To Deliver For Royal Mail Car Fleet” • EDF is to deliver EV infrastructure to the Royal Mail Group in the UK. The three-year framework agreement will support Royal Mail Group’s commitment under the “Optimise Prime Project” – the world’s largest commercial EV project. EDF will provide charging points and related equipment. [reNEWS]

Royal Mail Group EV (EDF image)

¶ “UAE Nuclear Reactor Ready; Qatar Views It As A Threat” • Underscoring the risks inherent in Barakah’s design, Qatar says UAE`s power plant activities are a threat to Gulf stability and the environment. Last year Qatar urged the International Atomic Energy Agency to create a framework for regional nuclear security, Al Jazeera reported. [Middle East Monitor]


¶ “UPS Orders 10,000 Electric Delivery Vans From Arrival” • Arrival’s electric delivery vans are priced about the same as conventional delivery vans but have 50% lower operating costs. Arrival’s unique skateboard platforms allow the company to create vehicles in any weight, type, size, or shape to match customer requirements. [CleanTechnica]

UPS electric delivery vehicle (Courtesy of UPS)

¶ “108 Million Americans Live In Areas That Had 100+ Days Of Polluted Air In 2018” • One-third of all Americans live in areas that suffered through at least 100 days of poor air quality due to air pollution in 2018, according to a new report by Environment America Research & Policy Center, Frontier Group, and US PIRG Education Fund. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Hampshire To Get 6 New EV Fast-Charging Corridors” • New Hampshire has a $4.6 million plan to boost electric vehicle road trips across the state, with installations of EV fast chargers along 6 major routes in the geographically small state. The $4.6 million is courtesy of the Volkswagen Group, as settlement for the diesel emissions scandal. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Renewables Set To Overtake Natural Gas In US Power Mix, EIA Says” • The DOE’s Energy Information Administration has finally come around to the view that renewables will overtake natural gas in the country’s electricity mix. The EIA has long been known for its implausibly conservative predictions about renewable energy. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Amazon To Buy Power From 120-MWp Virginia Solar Park” • Inc will purchase almost 70% of the output of a 120-MWp solar PV park that Dominion Energy Inc will build in Virginia. The power generated from 31.7% of the capacity will be sold to the Commonwealth’s Arlington County under a separate power PPA, the utility said. [Renewables Now]

Whitehouse Solar (Image: Dominion Virginia Power)

¶ “Clarkson now powered by 100% renewable energy” • Clarkson University announced that it’s now getting all of its power from renewable electricity. Potsdam, New York, is buying almost half of its electricity from Brookfield Renewable. The rest of its electricity comes from a hydro power dam in the village, and a solar PV system. [North Country Public Radio]

¶ “Coal Plants Increasingly Operate As Cyclical, Load-Following Power, Leading To Inefficiencies, Costs” • Increasingly, Coal plants operate as cyclical or load-following generation units, as the power market becomes more saturated with intermittent resources, a whitepaper from the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners says. [Utility Dive]

Have a wonderfully worthwhile day.

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January 29 Energy News

January 29, 2020


¶ “Kathryn Murdoch: ‘We’re Really Excited To Back Whoever The Nominee Is’” • For Kathryn Murdoch, daughter-in-law of Rupert Murdoch, there comes a time when you have to speak out. She sees us in a “make or break” moment for both climate change and American democracy, two causes in which she’s investing $100 million of her own money. [Politico]

James and Kathryn Murdoch in 2015 (Scott Olson | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Even Short-Term Exposure To Low Levels Of Air Pollution Can Increase Risk Of Cardiac Arrest” • Short-term exposure to air pollution is linked to a higher risk of sudden heart problems, especially among the elderly, and even low levels of air pollution can increase the likelihood of cardiac arrest, according to a study published in the journal The Lancet. [CNN]

¶ “Composting For Climate Change: More Important Than You Might Think” • High-tech renewable technologies are moving us to a world beyond fossil fuels. This truly can’t come fast enough. And yet, there are some decidedly low-tech opportunities that can make a big difference for climate change, like compost and reducing food waste. [CleanTechnica]

Compost bin (Mussklprozz, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “New Record In Renewable Energy Purchase By Corporates Globally” • Worldwide, corporate organizations purchased a record 44% more renewable energy through power purchase agreements last year than they did in 2018 and more than three times what they did in 2017, according to a recent research by BloombergNEF. []

¶ “AGL To Buy Power From Vena’s 100-MW Battery In Queensland” • Australian utility AGL Energy Ltd will buy power from a 100-MW / 150-MWh battery Singapore’s Vena Energy plans to install in Queensland. Vena Energy Australia will build, own, and maintain the system, and AGL will have full operational dispatch rights. [Renewables Now]

Battery system (Michael Durham | Portland General Electric)

¶ “Victorian Hospitals Continue To Make The Move To Solar Energy” • Australian hospitals have continuously made positive decisions to cut down on electricity costs and influence their carbon footprint. In Victoria, this is even more of a focus, with the East Grampians Service joining the latest line of facilities to receive panel installations. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Britain’s Renewables Pipeline Tops 24.5 GW, Most Projects Pending Construction” • The renewable energy and storage pipeline of projects in England, Scotland and Wales presently amounts to 24.7 GW, including just over 15 GW of schemes “awaiting construction,” according to research and analysis provider Cornwall Insight. [Renewables Now]

Fraisthorpe wind farm

¶ “UAE’s Nuclear Power Plant Ready To Start Operation” • The United Arab Emirates’ nuclear power plant’s first reactor is ready to start operating, news agency WAM reported. The Barakah plant will be the world’s largest when it is completed, with four reactors and 5,600 MW of capacity. It is being built by Korea Electric Power Corporation. [Gulf Digital News]

¶ “KEPCO To Halt Two Nuclear Reactors After Missing Their Counterterrorism Deadline” • Kansai Electric Power Co said it will suspend operations at two nuclear reactors after missing the industry regulator’s deadline to build counterterrorism facilities. Nearly half of Japan’s working nuclear reactors will go offline for required security upgrades. [The Japan Times]

Takahama nuclear power station (Tomohiro Ohsumi | Bloomberg


¶ “Big US Utility Says ‘Near-Firm Renewables’ Soon To Be Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels” • The CEO of clean energy company NextEra Energy says wind and solar projects co-located with battery storage will be cheaper to operate than most fossil fuel-powered plants by 2025. He expects the LCOE from wind farms to be $20 to $30/MWh. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “General Motors Will Convert Hamtramck Factory To EV And Autonomous Vehicle Production” • GM says it will manufacture EVs and the Cruise Origin, an autonomous electric shuttle, at the Hamtramck Factory. Gerald Johnson, executive vice president of global manufacturing for GM sent a letter to factory workers telling them the news. [CleanTechnica]

Cruise Origin

¶ “GM’s Upcoming Electric Trucks And SUVs ‘Will Be Profitable From Day One'” • GM will invest a total of $2.2 billion to retool the Hamtramck plant, and $800 million in supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of new electric trucks. GM said truck production is scheduled to begin in late 2021, but did not say what brand it would be. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Over 55 Climate Scientists Call BS On Joe Biden’s Claim No Scientists Support Bernie Sanders’ Climate Plan” • Over 55 scientists signed an open letter rebuking Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for his claim that no climate scientist supports the plan of rival candidate Vermont Sen Bernie Sanders, the Green New Deal. [Gizmodo]

Biden and Sanders (Photo: Patrick Semansky | AP)

¶ “Texas Is The Center Of The Global Corporate Renewable Energy Market” • Texas accounted for more than a quarter of all corporate renewable energy deals signed worldwide last year. The global market for corporate renewable energy deals surged 40% in 2019, reaching 19.5 GW of new contracts. Texas’ share of this was 5.5 GW. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Amazon, IKEA, AT&T, DHL And Others Join Electric Vehicle Alliance” • The non-profit Ceres started the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance to support greater commercial EV adoption. So far, DHL, Amazon, AT&T, Clif Bar, Consumers Energy, Direct Energy, Genentech, IKEA North America, LeasePlan, Lime, and Siemens have joined. [CleanTechnica]

Have a salubriously uncomplicated day.

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January 28 Energy News

January 28, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Antarctica Melting: Journey To The ‘Doomsday’ Glacier” • It has been described by glaciologists as the “most important” in the world. Some call it the “doomsday” glacier. Roughly the size of Britain, Thwaites glacier already accounts for 4% of world sea level rise and it is melting increasingly rapidly. It holds enough water to raise sea levels over half a meter. [BBC]

View down a hole scientists made in
Thwaites glacier (British Antarctic Survey)


¶ “Despite Industry Lies And Bribes, Single-Use Plastics Are On The Wane” • Single-use plastics are getting hammered everywhere you look. China has decided to phase out all single-use plastics over the next few years. Now the movement away from such plastics is picking up speed elsewhere. Here are a few examples. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Generation Is Being Buffeted By Financial Headwinds That Are Killing Investment” • In the past five years Australia has seen a boom in renewable energy, both utility-scale and rooftop solar. But increased renewable capacity have caused the value of Large-scale Generation Certificates to plummet, and investment in large-scale solar have evaporated. [ABC News]

Solar construction (Supplied image: Power and Water)

¶ “Oil-Rich Gulf Turns To Renewable Energy” • The increased frequency of climate-induced weather extremes and public opinion are forcing even major fossil fuel exporting countries in West Asia to make a big push towards renewable energy. The UAE, the world’s 7th largest exporter of crude oil, is promoting itself as a low-carbon country. [Nepali times]

¶ “Weatherwatch: Nuclear Energy Now Surplus To Needs” • It is now is no longer true that baseload power is needed, and excess baseload power is becoming an embarrassment. Nuclear power, so inflexible that it cannot be turned down or off, is surplus to requirements when large quantities of cheaper renewable energy are available. [The Guardian]

Off the coast of Norfolk (Shaun Curry | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “New Tasmanian Premier To Take On Climate Change With Renewables” • Last week Peter Gutwein replaced Will Hodgman as the leader of the Liberal Party in Tasmania and sworn in as the state’s 46th Premier. Soon after, Gutwein announced that he would also become the first Tasmanian Liberal Minister for Climate Change. [pv magazine Australia]


¶ “Statkraft Plugs Daimler Into 100% Clean Energy Supply” • Statkraft is offering industrial energy consumers in Germany a 100% renewable power supply contract, signing up Daimler as the first major customer. The contract, implemented by Daimler’s energy provider Enovos, will deliver clean power to all of the carmaker’s sites in Germany. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Statkraft image)

¶ “German Study Finds Positive Wind Reception” • Most Germans are unperturbed by proximity of wind turbines, a new study by the Institute for German Business has found. Around 80% of respondents to a survey by the German government said they do not feel adversely affected by wind turbines in their surroundings. [reNEWS]

¶ “Trash Truck Is Next Electric Mercedes” • Electric garbage trucks make a lot of sense for a handful of reasons. Clearly defined range needs, low speed (good for range), a lot of torque (electric specialty), a lot of space on the bottom in which to pack batteries, and regenerative braking will help a lot. And Daimler is bringing one to market. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes eActros, similar to its garbage truck (Daimler image)


¶ “Massive Oil Refinery Leaks Toxic Chemical In The Middle Of Philadelphia” • Air monitors on the border of a huge oil refinery recorded high levels of benzene, a cancer-causing gas, even as all work wound down. In June, an explosive fire hit the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery. PES went bankrupt, and by now, the toxic site has been auctioned. []
(I had missed this. Thanks to Tad Montgomery for finding it)

¶ “The Pacific Ocean Is So Acidic That It’s Dissolving Dungeness Crabs’ Shells” • The Pacific Ocean is becoming more acidic, and that is taking its toll. The Dungeness crab is vital to commercial fisheries in the Pacific Northwest, but lower pH levels in its habitat are dissolving parts of its shell and damaging its sensory organs, a study found. [CNN]

Crabs (Theo Sten | NOAA)

¶ “LADWP Helps Launch New Organization To Focus On Green Hydrogen” • In most of the world renewable energy is the lowest cost source of electricity, and producing ‘green’ or ‘carbon-free’ hydrogen is possible. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power joined with others to found the Power Green Hydrogen Coalition. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Politics Overrule Science In At-Risk Coastal Residents’ Public Attitudes About Climate Change” • Despite scientific evidence that rising sea levels due to climate change threaten property and lives, science plays second fiddle to politics in public attitudes among coastal area residents most likely to be affected, according to researchers. [Georgia State University News]


¶ “Governor Unveils Energy Master Plan, Signs Executive Order to Reduce Emissions” • Gov Phil Murphy unveiled the state’s Energy Master Plan, which outlines key strategies to reach the Administration’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050. The master plan underpins Executive Order No 28, which he signed in May of 2018. [Cape May County Herald]

¶ “The Massachusetts Senate is slated to vote on the state’s ‘next generation climate policy.’ Here’s what to know” • The Senate of Massachusetts is poised to debate “next generation” climate legislation: a package of bills proposing new initiatives ranging from meeting a net-zero emissions target by 2050 to installing a carbon pricing system. []

Have a magically propitious day.

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January 27 Energy News

January 27, 2020


¶ “The Climate Change Solution That Climate Deniers Can Get Behind” • Republicans and Democrats generally disagree about climate change, but they are likely to agree on renewable and clean energy. Among Republicans, 77% agree with funding more research into renewable energy, and 79% are behind generating renewable energy. [VICE]

Renewable Energy (hpgruesen, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Gas Boilers Should Be Replaced With Renewable Heat Technologies – Starting Now” • Scotland’s tradespeople are on the brink of an enormous opportunity – and grasping it would help meet our tough climate change targets. More than half of the energy Scotland uses – and more than half of its emissions – comes from heat. [Inverness Courier]

Science and Technology:

¶ “200 Years Since Antarctica Was Discovered, The Continent Faces Irreversible Glacial Melting” • On January 27, the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica, glaciologists say the continent is approaching a tipping point. Pass it and nothing will prevent the glaciers from melting, even if we cut out all GHG emissions overnight. [Newsweek]

Antarctic glacier (Murray Foubister, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Mercedes And Geely Launch JV For smart Cars” • Geely, a Chinese company that owns Volvo, Lotus Cars, and Lynk & Co, has launched a joint venture with Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’ parent company, to co-develop and produce the next generation of autonomous electric city “smart” cars based on the smart Vision EQ concept. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Using Plastic Waste To Build Schools In The Ivory Coast” • The commercial capitol of the Ivory Coast is Abidjan. It has 300 tons of plastic are discarded every day. It also has a shortage of classrooms.  Conceptos Plásticos, a company that makes bricks out of plastic trash, is working with UNICEF to make bricks for nine new classrooms in Abidjan. [CleanTechnica]

School in Ivory Coast (Image: UNICEF via YouTube)

¶ “DEME Consortium Plans Ostend Green Hydrogen Drive” • A Belgian group is planning to construct a facility in the Port of Ostend by 2025 to produce green hydrogen from offshore wind-generated electricity. According to the three project partners, Hyport will cut CO₂ emissions in Flanders by around 500,000 to 1 million tonnes annually. [reNEWS]

¶ “Simec Atlantis Hails MeyGen Performance” • According to an update released by developer Simec Atlantis Energy, the 6-MW MeyGen tidal energy plant exported over 13.8 GWh of electricity to the grid in 2019. This is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of around 3800 typical UK homes. It generated a revenue of £3.9 million. [reNEWS]

MeyGen tidal generator (Atlantis image)

¶ “Eskom Pushes For Independent Power In Mines” • Increased use of renewable energy, combined with investments by private capital, could be what South Africa needs for its energy mix, according to Andre de Ruyter, CEO of Eskom, the country’s public utility. A report says he wants mines to produce their own electricity to reduce grid loads. [ITWeb]

¶ “Glenmorangie Wastewater Energy To Power Distillery” • Alpheus Environmental won a contract to provide wastewater services at Glenmorangie Distillery, with a system that will return renewable energy to the building. The firm will install an anaerobic digestion process that will generate electricity from the distillery’s wastewater by-products. []

Glenmorangie Distillery in Tain

¶ “Japan Begins Nation’s Second Removal Of Spent MOX Fuel From Nuclear Reactor” • Operations have begun to remove a rare type of spent fuel made of plutonium-uranium mixed oxide from the Takahama nuclear plant in central Japan, according to Kansai Electric Power Co, the plant’s operator. The plant is in Fukui Prefecture. [The Japan Times]


¶ “Rivian Says Lower Prices Are Coming For Its Electric Truck And Electric SUV Models” • Rivian brought prototypes of its electric truck and electric SUV to San Francisco at the end of January. The company has put the midrange vehicles at $69,000 and $72,000, but its CEO told Reuters that when final prices are revealed, they will be lower. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian electric truck

¶ “NextEra Energy Enjoys Busy Q4 But Posts Lower 2019 Net Profit” • Clean energy company NextEra Energy Inc more than doubled its fourth-quarter attributable net profit on a GAAP basis to $975 million (€884.1 million) but still faced a 43% year-on-year drop in earnings for the full 2019. Q4 net profits were up from $422 million 2018. [Renewables Now]

¶ “The Trump Administration Is Helping Nine States Prepare For Climate Change” • In 2018, Congress devised a plan to help disaster-ravaged states actually prepare for extreme weather for a change, and President Trump signed off on it. It’s the first time national legislation has designed block grants to help the states prepare for future disasters. [Grist]

Flood (Getty Images)

¶ “Groups Funded By Oil Industry Bash Plan To Reduce Northeast’s Dependence On Oil” • Last month Gov Chris Sununu announced that New Hampshire would not participate in the Transportation and Climate Initiative. The program just being developed, but groups tied to petroleum interests and the Koch empire are already fighting it. [DeSmog]

¶ “The 8-Year Project To Dismantle The San Onofre Nuclear Plant Is About To Begin” • Seven years after the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station officially went offline, the eight-year process of physically dismantling the plant and knocking down the domes that have loomed over the landscape for four decades is about to begin. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

Have an outstandingly winsome day.

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January 26 Energy News

January 26, 2020


¶ “What Should You Know Before Signing Up For A Tesla Solarglass Roof” • The Tesla Solarglass Roof finally makes solar beautiful and easy to look at for folks who don’t appreciate the look of conventional solar panels. I think the Solarglass roof tiles are more beautiful, more functional, and more durable than most traditional roofing surfaces. [CleanTechnica]

Components in a Tesla Solarglass Roof (Image courtesy of Tesla) (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ “How The End Of A Major Tax Incentive May Impact Wind Energy” • Wind energy in the US has more than doubled since 2011. It’s had a big boost from a federal incentive, the Production Tax Credit. But after nearly 30 years, that is set to begin phasing out. Karla Murthy reports from Texas on how the industry is approaching the end of incentives. [PBS NewsHour]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Birds And Oceans And Wildfires, Oh My! How Machine Learning Is Changing Climate Research” • Many researchers are driving programs that will benefit us and the environment using machine learning technologies. Here is a roundup of several research initiatives delivering value both large and small with neural nets. [CleanTechnica]

Neural network (mikemacmarketing, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Nissan LEAF And Uber Tag Team London” • Uber is getting a partner to help it electrify its fleet in the London area, and Nissan is getting a partner to help it sell a bunch of Nissan LEAFs. More specifically, 2,000 Nissan LEAFs will enter Uber’s London fleet. They will have 40 kWh batteries offering about 168 miles of range on a single charge. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Ferrari Plans Leaked In Patent Filing” • In 2016, Sergio Marchionne, then chairman of Ferrari, said, “With Ferrari, [an electric car] is almost an obscene concept,” adding, “You’d have to shoot me first.” Well, Sergio, times sure do change, don’t they? At least, that’s what plans for an electric Ferrari from a leaked patent filing seem to tell us! [CleanTechnica]

Ferrari 812 Superfast (Porsche Taycan EV Forum, via Motor 1)

¶ “Data Centers To Consume 8% Of World’s Electricity By 2030” • More and more, people rely on the internet and cloud. Old files, photos, and e-mails from years past sit there, awaiting a search. But it takes energy to store them. Today, data centers consume about 2% of the world’s electricity, but that’s expected to reach 8% by 2030. [TechCentral]

¶ “Ambitious Zero Emission Tokyo Plan Wins Praise, Begs For Action” • Late last year, Gov Yuriko Koike revealed the Zero Emission Tokyo Strategy, Tokyo’s long-awaited plan to transition to clean energy. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to spend over ¥74.6 billion ($683 million) to achieve a net-zero carbon emissions goal. [The Japan Times]

Tokyo (Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg)

¶ “Malta To Pay Estonia €2 Million In Return For Helping Island Reach Its Renewable Energy Targets” • Malta has agreed to pay Estonia a reported €2 million in return for renewable energy quotas that will help the island reach its EU-imposed targets. Malta’s Energy Minister said Malta was unable to meet this year’s carbon reduction deadline. [Lovin Malta]

¶ “Public And Private Sectors Unite On Need For More Renewables” • Current energy systems are falling short of supporting the transition to a renewables-based system, participants of the third Public-Private Dialogue agreed. The dialog was organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency’s Coalition for Action. [Modern Diplomacy]

Wind turbines

¶ “Hungary Vows To Be Carbon-Free By 2050, Remains Committed To Nuclear Power” • Hungary is developing a plan for emissions reduction. It includes a 90% reduction in carbon emissions 2030, mandating that from 2022 onwards only electric buses will be available in the cities, and a commitment to nuclear power. [International Business Times]


¶ “Trump’s Dismantling Of Environmental Regulations Unwinds 50 Years Of Protections” • In Trump’s first two years in office, the EPA put its efforts into reversing regulations. And in the third year, other agencies also took up environmental regulation rollbacks. This even extends to some protections established under the 50-year-old Clean Air Act. [CNN]

Polluted river (USGS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Sticker Shock: The Grid Is At Capacity For Solar Power In Parts Of Oregon” • When a PGE customer in Oregon wanted to put up a solar system, he got a report from the utility saying he couldn’t connect his 24.8 kW of solar power to the system until significant upgrades had been made to the grid. The cost of the upgrades was estimated at $539,038. [OPB News]

¶ “New Coal Mine Operator Behind On Federal, County Taxes” • The newest operator of three coal mines has fallen behind on federal and county mineral taxes, officials said. The Navajo Transitional Energy Company owes the federal government more than $10 million in unpaid taxes accrued in September and October. [Gillette News Record]

Have a clearly marvelous day.

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January 25 Energy News

January 25, 2020


¶ “Davos Ends With Disagreement On Climate And Greta Thunberg On The March” • The annual meeting at Davos of business and political leaders wrapped up with two of the world’s most powerful people disagreeing over the climate crisis and youth activists excoriating the international elite for failing to do enough about global warming. [CNN]

Lagarde and Mnuchin clash over climate crisis (CNN image)

¶ “British Cities To Get Buses That Suck Pollution From The Air” • Using public transport is often a greener alternative to driving a car, and now one company is taking its green ambitions a step further – by developing a pollution-sucking fleet of buses. Go-Ahead Group, a British transportation company, is rolling out 11 new buses that clean the air as they go. [CNN]

¶ “Swedish Player Plans 155-MW Local Wind Build” • Swedish developer Stena Renewable will start work in the spring on the 155-MW Aby-Alebo wind farm in southern Sweden. The Skr1.7 billion (€161 million, $180 million) project will feature 36 Vestas V150 turbines. It is expected to produce about 500 GWh per year of electricity, starting in 2022. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Stena Renewable image)

¶ “Spain Closes 2019 With Nearly Half Renewable Energy Mix” • According to data furnished by the Red Eléctrica de España, the operator of the Spanish electricity grid, installed non-polluting power capacity in Spain grew by 10% during 2019. Renewable energy now represents 49.3% of the total installed generation capacity in the country. [Saurenergy]

¶ “ADB Loan To Unlock Long-Term Financing For Solar Power In Viet Nam” • The Asian Development Bank signed a $37.8 million loan deal with TTC Energy Development Investment Joint Stock Company to provide long-term financing to develop and operate a 50-MW PV solar power plant in Tay Ninh Province in Viet Nam. [Modern Diplomacy]

Solar farm in Armenia

¶ “Chilean Copper Mines Will Need Over 1 GW Of New Power In 2019-2030” • To meet the copper mining industry’s growing demand for electricity, Chile will have to add 1,387 MW of power capacity by 2030. Copper mines in the region of Antofagasta are expected to remain the biggest power consumers, demanding an estimated 16.7 TWh in 2030. [Renewables Now]

¶ “50Hertz To Turn Wind Into Heat In Rostock” • Some wind energy generated in northern Germany can’t be consumed or transported south. 50Hertz Transmission is working with Stadtwerke Rostock to turn it into heat to be used by a utility. The two companies are building a 20-MW power-to-heat plant in Rostock’s Marienehe district. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Zbynek Buriva | Unsplash)

¶ “Rolls-Royce Plans ‘Mini’ Nuclear Power Plants By 2029 Delivered In Chunks Via Trucks” • ‘Mini’ nuclear reactors delivered in prefabricated chunks on the back of trucks and assembled cost effectively onsite could become a reality by 2029, according to Rolls-Royce. The company is leading a consortium aimed at achieving the goal. [Forbes]


¶ “The Kids’ Climate Lawsuit Isn’t Dead Yet” • Even though judges tossed out his big case last week, lawyer Phillip Gregory, who represents 21 youth in the climate lawsuit against the US government, was in a superb mood. The case is not allowed to go to trial, for now, but both Gregory and his young clients believe there will eventually be a ruling in their favor. [Mashable]

Climate plaintiffs (Robin Loznak | Our Children’s Trust)

¶ “Sneaky: Energy Department Pushes Electric Vehicles Under Trump’s Nose” • DOE dropped $133 million on a new round of funding for advanced vehicle technology, with the largest piece of the pie going to EVs, EV batteries, EV charging, and other EV things. This is part of the DOE’s Sustainable Transportation Research of almost $300 million. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NV Energy Seeks Proposals For Renewable Energy Projects” • NV Energy announced it is seeking proposals for biomass, biogas, solar, geothermal, and wind project that are compliant with the state’s renewable portfolio standards. Eligible projects must be at least 20 MW and allow for commercial operation by the end of 2025. [Biomass Magazine]

Transmission lines

¶ “UAlbany Research Says NY Goal Of 100% Renewable Energy By 2040 Possible” • Despite the challenges New York will face trying to meet the state’s move toward 100% renewable energy, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center researchers of the University at Albany say it’s possible. NY took the goal on as part of its Green New Deal. [NEWS10 ABC]

¶ “NextEra Looks To Add Batteries To Its Existing Solar Fleet” • NextEra Energy is combing through its base of existing solar facilities with an eye to retroactively adding batteries, as it adopts a more “aggressive” view of energy storage because of its falling costs. The company is expanding after experience it had with a system built in 2018. [Greentech Media]

Solar farm

¶ “2018’s Four Corners Drought Directly Linked To Human-Caused Climate Change” • Climate scientists from UC Santa Barbara’s geography department found that 60% to 80% of the Four Corners region’s increased potential for evaporation in 2018 stemmed from human-induced warming alone, which caused additional warming of 2°C. [Science Daily]

¶ “Dairyland Coal Plant At Genoa To Close By End Of Next Year” • Dairyland Power of La Crosse, Wisconsin, plans to shut down the coal-fired station near the Genoa lock and dam by the end of next year. Environmentalists have applauded the plan to shut down a coal-burning plant, but they’re not happy that natural gas could be used to replace it. [WIZM News]

Have a thrillingly comfortable day.

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January 24 Energy News

January 24, 2020


¶ “What The Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) Means For Clean Energy In PJM” • PJM, which coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and DC, submitted proposed MOPR values in its last filing as required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They will support fossil fuels and raise costs for customers. [Resources Magazine]

Transmission towers (Teerawut Bunsom | Shutterstock)

¶ “Climate Experts Agree: ‘Steve Mnuchin Should Go Back To College’ – Not Greta Thunberg” • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was criticized by scientists after he claimed that teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg should not criticize American fossil fuel investments until she studies economics in college. They say he is the one who needs education. [Salon]

¶ “‘Blatant Manipulation’: Trump Administration Exploited Wildfire Science To Promote Logging” • Political appointees at the Interior Department sought to play up climate pollution from California wildfires while downplaying emissions from fossil fuels as a way of promoting more logging in the nation’s forests, internal emails reveal. [The Guardian]

2018 Woolsey fire in California (David McNew | Getty Images)


¶ “Top Ten Countries With Highest Proportions Of Renewable Energy” • Compare the Market released the results of a study that looked at 21 countries to see which was using the highest and the least amounts of renewable energy. The study examined their investments in climate-friendly energy resources including wind, solar, hydropower and bioenergy. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Carbon-Neutral In 15 years? The Country With An Ambitious Plan” • Finland has pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2035. That is twice as fast as the UK government target. But to achieve this, it will have to make big changes, particularly in the peat industry, which currently provides energy, heating and jobs. That will make it a hard goal to achieve. [BBC]


¶ “‘Hypocrisy’: 90% Of UK-Africa Summit’s Energy Deals Were In Fossil Fuels” • More than 90% of the £2 billion in energy deals struck at this week’s UK-Africa investment summit were for fossil fuels, despite a government commitment to “support African countries in their transition to cleaner energy.” Just £161 million in deals related to clean energy. [The Guardian]

¶ “New Renewable Energy Platform O2 Power To Build 4 GW Of Solar And Wind Projects In India” • Singapore-based holdings company Temasek and Swedish firm EQT Infrastructure have announced the launch of O2 Power, a renewable energy platform in India. O2 Power aims to achieve 4 GW of installed solar and wind capacity in the country. [Mercom India]

Solar panels at sunset

¶ “Renewables Open Doors For Energy Solutions In Mining” • The year 2019 was the turning point for renewable energy projects at remote mines. More than a dozen projects were commissioned or announced. Mining companies have adopted solar and wind power to reduce their energy cost and carbon footprint in a rather lengthy process. [Mining Review]

¶ “Finnish Wind Farm Beds In For Ikea” • Swedish developer OX2 has commissioned and handed over the 30-MW Ponsivuori wind farm in Finland to owner Ikea. The project located in Kurikka in South Ostrobothnia consists of seven Nordex turbines with a 210-metre tip height. OX2 will continue to operate the Ponsivuori wind farm. [reNEWS]

Ponsivuori wind farm (OX2 image)

¶ “South Australia On Track To 100% Renewables, As Regulator Comes To Party” • South Australia’s plans to reach net 100% renewables within a decade, and help provide renewable power to New South Wales received a major boost as the Australian Energy Regulator green-lighted the business case for a major transmission line linking the two states. [RenewEconomy]


¶ “US Associations Say MORP To Hurt Clean Energy’s Access To Wholesale Markets” • Four US organisations that represent clean energy companies in the country filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for rehearing on its order for a Minimum Offer Price Rule in the PJM capacity market. [Renewables Now]

Solar panels in Massachusetts (liz west, Creative Commons)

¶ “Challenged Federal Rule Could Price Many Renewables Out Of PJM’s Capacity Market” • Motions filed this week are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to change a ruling that could price many renewables out of the PJM capacity market, while driving up prices for consumers and supporting fossil fuels. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Proposed Bill Would Include Large Hydro, Nuclear In California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard” • California GOP legislators introduced legislation to halt requirements of the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard program temporarily and redirect funds to ensure utilities improve their infrastructure and vegetation management programs. [Utility Dive]

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant (Credit: Wikimedia)

¶ “EPA Weakens Protections For Streams And Wetlands” • The Trump administration is removing some federal water protections, siding with requests from industry and farm groups over the advice of environmental experts and its own scientific advisers. It will no longer protect many smaller streams that flow seasonally or after rains, for example. [CNN]

¶ “NY PSC Approves Measure to Lower Costs for Clean Energy” • The Public Service Commission issued an order allowing the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to offer a new contracting mechanism. The takeaway is that this change will make it cheaper and easier for NY to meet its clean energy goals. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Have an entertainingly grand day.

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January 23 Energy News

January 23, 2020


¶ “How Four Top US Utilities Are Grappling With The Energy Transition (Or Not)” • Utilities will be front and center in efforts to combat global warming, reducing both their own carbon emissions and those of others. Today, no US utility can be said to be close to that vision, aside from a few like Vermont’s Green Mountain Power. [Greentech Media]

Transmission line worker

¶ “I Brought Socially Conscious Change To Volvo Without Hurting Profits. Other CEOs Can Do The Same” • Ever since the Business Roundtable issued a Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation last summer, recommending a shift to a stakeholder capitalism business model, it has become a popular topic of conversation. [CNN]

¶ “After A Decade Of Fracking, Billions Of Dollars Lost And A Climate In Crisis” • Today’s climate impacts have been shaped heavily by actions taken during the last 10 years, particularly in the US, where the climate benefits of retiring coal power plants were undermined by the rise of natural gas due to fracking, a powerful money loser. [NationofChange]

Storm damage (Image Credit: ©2012 Julie Dermansky)


¶ “Subaru Plans To Sell Only Electrified Vehicles – By 2035” • Going boldly where no Japanese auto company has gone before, Subaru announced this week it is planning on selling only electrified vehicles by 2035. How’s that for taking a strong stand? Subaru says it is developing a battery electric car with Toyota for introduction at some future date. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Prince Charles: We Need A New Economic Model Or The Planet Will Burn” • Only a revolution in the way the global economy and financial markets work can save the planet from the climate crisis and secure future prosperity, warned Prince Charles, a lifelong environmentalist. The heir to the British throne spoke in an interview with CNN. [CNN]

Prince Charles (CNN image)

¶ “Vestas Nabs 60-MW Polish Prize” • Vestas received a 60-MW turbine order from Eurowind Energy for the Janikowo wind project in Poland’s Kujawsko-Pomorskie province. The wind farm was awarded under the government’s wind-solar energy auction in December. Commissioning is planned for the fourth quarter of 2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “Botswana-Based Accite Holdings Brings Plant-Based Meat Revolution To Africa With Beyond Meat” • Infinite Foods, a subsidiary of Botswana-based Accite Holdings, plans to tackle Africa’s nutrition problem more sustainably by promoting plant-based food products across Sub-Saharan Africa. Meat and dairy demand is projected to grow there. [CleanTechnica]

Beyond Burger (Picture: Remeredzai Kuhudzai)

¶ “Endesa Guarantees 33% Renewables Share In Power Exports To Andorra” • Spanish utility Endesa SA guaranteed that 33% of the electricity imported by Andorra from Spain will come from renewable sources. The company has signed an agreement with Forces Electriques d’Andorra to supply 70 GWh of renewable electricity per year. [Renewables Now]

¶ “TEPCO Estimates It Will Take 44 Years To Decommission Fukushima Daiichi Plant” • TEPCO estimated it will take 44 years to decommission its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The company presented the outline of decommissioning plans to the municipal assembly of Tomioka, one of the two host towns of the nuclear plant. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (KYODO)


¶ “Top US Bankers Don’t Want To Lead The Climate Fight” • While professing deep concern about global warming, top executives at the World Economic Forum expressed reluctance to act as referees in financial markets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That, they said, is not their role, despite calls to stop funding carbon-intensive industries. [CNN]

¶ “APS Commits To 45% Renewables By 2030” • Conservation and consumer groups today welcomed Arizona Public Service’s announcement that will set the utility on a path toward 45% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% carbon-free electricity by midcentury. Currently, 13% of the utility’s electricity is generated from renewable sources.  [AZ Big Media]

APS Red Rock Solar Facility

¶ “Tesla Overtakes Volkswagen As Value Hits $100 Billion” • Tesla has displaced Volkswagen as the world’s second most valuable carmaker, after a dramatic rise in share price pushed its market value to more than $100 billion (£76.1 billion, €90 billion). Tesla shares rose 4% on Wednesday, making its valuation second only to Toyota. [BBC]

¶ “Union of Concerned Scientists: Inequitable Exposure to Air Pollution from Vehicles in the Northeast And Mid-Atlantic” • Asian American, African American, and Latino residents in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region are exposed to substantially more air pollution from cars, trucks, and buses than the other demographic groups. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Vanderbilt University Reaches Deal On Renewable Energy Push” • The Tennessee Valley Authority, Nashville Electric Service, and Silicon Ranch are partnering with Vanderbilt on a 20-year agreement to reduce Vanderbilt University’s annual indirect greenhouse gas emissions from purchased electricity by 70%, the university said. [Beloit Daily News]

¶ “Senate Committee Gives The Nod To Nuclear As Part Of Renewables Transition” • The Virginia Senate Commerce and Labor Committee signed off on updates to the Commonwealth Energy Policy, including proposals to classify nuclear energy as clean energy and to develop a strategic plan for how nuclear energy fits with renewable energy goals. [Virginia Mercury]

Have an awesomely commendable day.

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January 22 Energy News

January 22, 2020


¶ “Agrovoltaics Could Help Calm Fears About Renewables For Iowa Farmers” • Iowa utility companies want to install more solar power, and they insist that prime farm land will not be used. Farmers are afraid of that, but they should see the advantages of getting paid for land that is not used. And they should take a look at agrovoltaics. [CleanTechnica]

Tomatoes growing under PVs (Asurnipal, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “On Climate, Trump Is Guilty Of Willful Ignorance” • The Trump administration’s studied avoidance of the threat from climate change smacks of willful blindness or worse. The Federal Emergency Management Administration’s recently released National Preparedness Report is its latest affront. It fails even to mention of climate change. [CNN]


¶ “Greta Thunberg: ‘Nothing Has Been Done’ To Tackle The Climate Crisis” • Greta Thunberg took the stage at the World Economic Forum just hours before President Donald Trump’s appearance to admonish world leaders for doing “basically nothing” to reduce carbon emissions despite evidence of a looming climate catastrophe. [CNN]

Greta Thunberg (Michael Probst | AP)

¶ “Australia Fires: Malcolm Turnbull Accuses Scott Morrison Of ‘Misleading’ Nation” • Australian PM Scott Morrison has been accused of lacking leadership during the bushfire crisis by the man he replaced after a party room coup. Malcolm Turnbull, who was deposed in 2018, told the BBC that Mr Morrison had misled the country on global warming. [BBC]

¶ “Germany’s 50Hertz Power Grid Carried Record 60% Renewable Energy In 2019” • In Germany, 60% of the power carried by grid firm 50Hertz last year came from renewable sources, a record high, CEO Stefan Kapferer told Reuters. He said this shows the German goal of 65% by 2030 can be handled by transmission networks. []

Renewable energy

¶ “SA Energy Minister Praises Bonney Big Battery” • Dan van Holst Pellekaan, South Australia’s Minister for Energy and Mining, is pretty excited about Infigen Energy’s Lake Bonney big battery. The 25-MW / 52-MWh lithium-ion battery system of Tesla Powerpacks is part of the Lake Bonney Wind Farm, near Millicent in South Australia. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Scotland To Reach This Year 100% Renewable Energy Goal” • Scotland has been increasing the percentage of electricity it gets from renewables rapidly. It is to achieve a 100% renewables-based energy matrix this year, which would add Scotland to the list of other countries that achieved the same goal, such as the Congo, Iceland, and Paraguay. [ZME Science]

Wind farm in Scotland (Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

¶ “France Could Shut Next Two Nuclear Reactors Sooner Than Expected” • France could shut down two nuclear reactors in 2025 and 2026 if market conditions are right, earlier than expected, a government consultation document showed. It plans to close 14 reactors by 2035 as it reduces the amount of electricity it gets from nuclear power. [Devdiscourse]


¶ “People still want plastic bottles, says Coca-Cola” • Coca-Cola will not ditch single-use plastic bottles because consumers still want them, the firm’s head of sustainability has told the BBC. Customers like them because they reseal and are lightweight, said Bea Perez. The firm is one of the biggest producers of plastic waste but has pledged to recycle. [BBC]

Coca-cola’s head of sustainability Bea Perez (Getty Images)

¶ “WSJ Takes A Victory Lap For Elon Musk, Tesla” • Elon Musk has a track record of being late. But Tesla gets things done on time. Less than a year after construction began, the Shanghai Gigafactory is already churning out over 1,000 Model 3s per week. The Wall Street Journal’s John  Stoll says, “Tesla’s win is a win for the disruptor.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Cuts Prices Of Solar Systems To Counter Drop In Federal Rebate” • Ringing in 2020 brought many changes to the US solar industry, including a drop in the US federal incentive for residential solar systems. The tax credit fell from 30% of the solar system cost to 26% effective January 1st, 2020. Tesla responded by reducing prices. [CleanTechnica]

Solar installation (Image courtesy: Tesla)

¶ “A Trump Administration Ruling Could Squash Maryland’s Renewable Energy Efforts, Regulators Say In Appeal” • The Maryland Public Service Commission asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider a decision that effectively raises the cost of renewable energy that receives state subsidies, so fossil fuels can compete. [Baltimore Sun]

¶ “Does Illinois Have The Energy To Opt Out Of FERC?” • The ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to support fossil fuels could lead to spikes in energy bills. Illinois’ Citizens Utility Board, environmental groups, and legislators are putting forward a multifaceted package that includes a provision to opt out of FERC. [WTTW News]

Navajo coal-burning power station (Credit: Alan Stark | Flickr)

¶ “Proposed 2.2-GW Storage Project Plans To Use Navajo Coal Station Power-Lines” • A proposal for a 2.2-GW pumped hydro facility in Arizona moved a step closer to reality last week, as FERC accepted its application for a preliminary permit. The $3.6 billion project would rely on the transmission lines of the retired Navajo coal-burning generating station. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Bank Of America Reaches Green Power Goal” • Bank of America has met its 100% renewable energy target one year ahead of schedule. The bank said it had reached the renewables target through on-site solar capability at many facilities, power purchase agreements for wind and solar energy, and purchase of renewable energy credits. [reNEWS]

Have an unqualifiedly triumphant day.

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January 21 Energy News

January 21, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tokyo University of Science Working on Sustainable, Nontoxic, Potassium-Driven Rechargeable Batteries” • Tokyo University of Science researchers have been studying potassium-ion batteries. They say their performance is similar to lithium-ion batteries, or even better. Also, they are nontoxic and use plentiful materials. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Machine Learning Experts Issue Call To Arms For Climate Focus” • The global machine learning community isn’t just applying the technology in an ad hoc manner, they are calling for their community to pay attention to several major areas of high value for climate change. Machine learning can be used to find key climate change solutions. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Works Begin At Dogger Bank, The World’s Largest Off-Shore Wind Farm” • Construction is underway at the gigantic Dogger Bank off-shore wind farm being built off the UK. It will outsize all others. Currently, the 659-MW Walney wind farm is the world’s largest. Dogger Bank will have a capacity of 3.6 GW. It is expected to begin operating in 2023. [New Atlas]

GE Renewable’s Haliade-X turbines (GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “Coal Makes A Comeback In India, New Capacity Up 73% In 2019” • India witnessed a sharp rise in new coal-based power generation capacity last year, with dirty power plants accounting for 44% of the total new power generation capacity added in the country. The share is a huge increase from just 21% in 2017 and 25% in 2018. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Added 50 Gigawatts Of Renewable Energy Capacity In Last Five Years” • India added 50 GW of renewable energy capacity over the last five years. Government data shows that between March 2015 and December 2019, India added 98 GW of power generation capacity, 52% of which was based on renewable technologies. [CleanTechnica]

Vestas wind turbines (John Turp | Moment | Getty Images)

¶ “Wind Energy Powerhouse Vestas Announces Plans For ‘Zero-Waste’ Turbines” • Vestas said it is aiming to produce “zero-waste” wind turbines by the year 2040. The Danish company said that this would be accomplished through a “circular economy approach” in the design, production, service, and end-of-life parts of the value chain. [CNBC]

¶ “Romania To Exit Deal With Chinese Company For New Nuclear Reactors” • Romania’s Government will exit the deal with the Chinese partner for the construction of reactors 3 and 4 at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant, prime minister Ludovic Orban announced in an interview with He is looking for a new partner. []

Cernavoda nuclear plant (Photo:

¶ “Japan’s Resol Switches On 37-MW PV Plant In Fukushima” • Japanese company Resol Holdinds Co Ltd announced that commercial operations have started at a 37-MW PV plant in Fukushima Prefecture. With a total of 112,104 solar panels, Fukushima Ishikawa covers 72 hectares (177.9 acres) in the city of Ishikawa. [Renewables Now]


¶ “Most Australian Chief Executives Believe Climate Crisis A Threat To Business” • PwC’s annual survey of CEOs shows bosses are preparing to cut jobs and don’t think Australia is doing enough to deal with global heating. That dismal picture will doubtless get worse when the effects of the past month’s deadly bushfires take hold. [The Guardian]

Australian bushfire devastation (Dan Himbrechts | EPA)

¶ “A New Disaster In Australia: Toxic Water” • The recent rains have resulted in ash washing into streams and rivers, poisoning the fish. The result is massive fish kills on rivers that run through areas that burned. The ash from the burned landscape is not only toxic to fish; it kills other wildlife also. And of course, it is also toxic to human beings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Majority Of Electric Cars In Australia Are Charged With Renewable Power” • A whopping 75% of electric cars in Australia are charged almost exclusively with renewable power, according to an informal poll of 400 owners conducted by Future Smart Strategies managing director and electric vehicle advocate Prof Ray Wills. [The Driven]

Charging a Kona in New South Wales

¶ “Australian Renewables Sector Poised For New Records In 2020: Rystad” • Australia’s renewable energy market looks to another record year in 2020. Rystad Energy expects wind and PV projects totaling 3.6 GW to complete commissioning, up from 2.6 GW in 2019. The forecast comprises 1.96 GW of utility PVs and 1.57 GW of wind. [EcoGeneration]


¶ “Renewable Energy At Record Levels; Fossil Fuels Face Uncertainties” • Tensions in the Middle East and differences between California and the White House have left the energy sector staring at uncertainty. National and state officials seem diametrically opposed in their approach to addressing the issue of imported oil. [Long Beach Business Journal]

AES Alamitos Energy Center (Photo: Brandon Richardson)

¶ “New Jersey & New York Push EV Purchase & Charging Incentives” • The states of New Jersey and New York ramped up their support for the transition to electric vehicles. New Jersey Gov Phil Murphy signed a new incentive package into law, and New York Gov Andrew Cuomo announced new incentives for installing EV charging equipment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Energy Choice Falls Flat At Florida Supreme Court After Utility Offensive” • The Florida Supreme Court ruled on January 9 to keep the “Energy Choice” initiative off the Florida ballot in the upcoming general election. Doing this, they were siding with investor-owned utilities and quashing an effort to break up their electric monopolies. [Energy and Policy Institute]

Have a radically superior day.

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January 20 Energy News

January 20, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Fires Set Stage For Irreversible Forest Losses In Australia” • Before the wildfires, ecologists divided up Australia’s native vegetation into two categories: fire-adapted landscapes that burn periodically, and those that don’t burn. Now, that distinction lost meaning. Even rainforests and peat swamps caught fire, likely changing them forever. [The Denver Post]

After a fire (Sebastian Pfautsch via AP)

¶ “NASA And NOAA: 2010s Was The Hottest Decade Ever” • NASA and NOAA both found that the last decade was the hottest ever recorded. NOAA’s data shows global annual temperature increases at an average rate of 0.07°C per decade since 1880 and over twice that since 1981. NASA says every decade has warmer than the one before it. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Single-Use Plastic: China To Ban Bags And Other Items” • China unveiled a major plan to reduce single-use plastics across the country. Non-degradable bags will be banned in major cities by the end of 2020 and in all cities and towns by 2022. Also, the restaurant industry will be banned from using single-use straws by the end of 2020. [BBC]

Rubbish (Getty Images)

¶ “Oil And Gas Companies Will Only Survive The Climate Crisis If They Spend More Now” • The oil and gas industry needs to work harder and faster to tackle the climate crisis if it wants to remain profitable. Oil and gas companies cannot rely on fossil fuels to keep driving returns, the International Energy Agency said in a report. [CNN]

¶ “Hornsea One Will Power Millions of UK Homes” • Hornsea One, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, is almost complete and will power millions of homes in Britain. The farm will span an area of 407 square kilometers and has a capacity of 6 GW. It is also located farther out to see than any other wind farm, 120 km off the coast of England. [CleanTechnica]

Last Hornsea One turbine being installed (Ørsted image)

¶ “Could Renewable Energy, Wind Energy, Concentrated Solar Power And PV, Overcome Coal In China?” • A report released this week by Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables has heralded another energy milestone: China will soon be added to that list of countries in which coal energy is no longer more economical than renewable energy. [REVE]

¶ “Qatar To Build Solar Power Plant With Total And Marubeni” • Qatar has signed an agreement with France’s Total and Japan’s Marubeni to build a solar power project with capacity of about 800 MW, Qatar’s energy minister said. The cost of the project is about $467 million. It will reach full capacity by the first quarter of 2022. []

Renewable Energy


¶ “Dust Storms And Giant Hail Batter Bushfire-Weary Australia” • Thunderstorms and giant hail battered parts of Australia’s east coast on Monday after “apocalyptic” dust storms swept across drought-stricken areas, as extreme weather patterns collided in the bushfire-fatigued country. Violent hail storms pelted the Australian capital, Canberra. [RTL Today]

¶ “Climate Refugees Can’t Be Returned Home, Says Landmark UN Human Rights Ruling” • It is unlawful for governments to return people to countries where their lives might be threatened by the climate crisis, a landmark ruling by the UN human rights committee has found. The judgement is considered to be a legal “tipping point.” [The Guardian]

South Tarawa (Dmitry Malov | Alamy)


¶ “US Army Weighs Up Proposal For Gigantic Sea Wall To Defend NY From Future Floods” • Could a massive sea wall shield New York from the devastation of superstorm surges like Hurricane Sandy’s? The truth is, nobody knows for sure, but a giant sea wall is one serious proposal being investigated by the Army Corps of Engineers. [ScienceAlert]

¶ “Rhode Island Orders 100% Renewables Electricity By 2030” • The governor of Rhode Island, Gina M Raimondo, has signed an executive order that directs the state to source 100% of its power from renewable energy sources by 2030. While Rhode Island is not the first state to do so, it is the first state setting such a tight schedule. [Renewables Now]

Offshore wind farm (Beverley Goodwin, CC 2.0 Generic)

¶ “Conservation Groups Sue Trump Administration’s Plan To Frack California Lands” • Groups sued the Trump administration over its plan to allow oil drilling and fracking on over 1 million acres of public lands in Central California. They say the Bureau of Land Management illegally failed to consider the potential of fracking to cause harmful effects. [Santa Barbara Edhat]

¶ “Senate Hearing Evaluates Progress Of Nuclear Energy Innovation And Modernization Act” • The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on progress of the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act. It requires the NRC to develop a new licensing process for “commercial advanced nuclear reactors.” [The Depaulia]

Have a fabulously wonderful day.

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January 19 Energy News

January 19, 2020


¶ “Behind The Smokescreen, The Coalition’s Stance On Climate Change Hasn’t Changed At All” • Conservatives have gone from assuring us climate change was not a problem, so we don’t need to worry about reducing emissions, to asserting that climate change is a problem, but we still don’t need to worry about reducing emissions. [The Guardian]

Covered up by smoke (Robert Cianflone | Getty Images)

¶ “Is This The Death Knell For Nuclear?” • Energy experts at Chatham House pointed out that despite continued industry enthusiasm and political support, nuclear power stations are not being built fast enough to replace those closing down. It looks like this is nuclear’s swan song, and we are now unequivocally entering the era of wind and solar power.  []

Science and Technology:

¶ “Australia Fires: Have Gum Trees Made The Bushfires Worse?” • Eucalyptus forests are some of the most flammable in the world. The trees, also known as gum trees, are fire resilient, but they can actually spread fires. Burning bark can break off and be carried in the wind. They can ignite new fires 30 km (18 miles) ahead of the main fire. [BBC]

Burning eucalyptus (Getty Images)


¶ “Gas Heating Is The Biggest Threat To Britain’s Climate Goal” • The UK made history last year when it became the first major economy to commit to pumping no more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than it removes by 2050. By far the biggest threat to the UK’s 2050 ambition comes from the way it heats its homes, schools and hospitals. [CNN]

¶ “Norway Says Its New Giant Oil Field Is Actually Good For The Environment. Critics Call It Climate Hypocrisy” • Norway claims the newly opened Johan Sverdrup oil field is helping to “reduce emissions” because it is powered entirely by renewable energy. Emissions are credited where fuel is burned, not where it is made, so they are not Norway’s problem. [CNN]

Oil field (Carina Johansen | NTB Scanpix | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “Trump Vs Thunberg: The Climate Crisis Could Dominate Davos” • President Donald Trump and activist Greta Thunberg are getting top billing at the Davos economic forum this year. Trump will deliver what the organizers describe as a special address on Tuesday. Two hours later, Thunberg will open debate on the question of “climate apocalypse.” [CNN]

¶ “Anheuser-Busch InBev’s South African Breweries Goes Electric With The Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter” • South African Breweries, part of the ABInBev family, launched its first electric commercial vehicle at its Chamdor Brewery in Krugersdorp, South Africa. Electrification of its fleet is part of ABInBev’s 2025 sustainability goals. [CleanTechnica]

Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter (Photo by Hideki Machida)

¶ “Fossil Vehicle Sales In Global Freefall – Down 4.7% In 2019! Electric Vehicle Sales Continue To Grow” • The world’s fossil fuel vehicle sales have continued to freefall in 2019, dropping by around 4.35 million, or some 4.7%, compared to 2018. Global electric vehicle sales meanwhile have continued to rise, reaching 4.7% in China and 3.8% in Europe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Environmental Group Takes Legal Action Against Shell” • A legal case being taken against oil company Shell has a potential to have dramatic consequences. The legal action, which is led by Friends of the Earth Netherlands on behalf of more than 30,000 people from 70 countries, aims to compel the company to “cease its destruction of the climate.” [The National]

Greenpeace protest against Shell

¶ “China Continues To Lead US In Race To Sustainability” • Investment in renewable energy capacity worldwide was $282.2 billion last year, according to new data from BloombergNEF increasing by 1% compared to 2018’s $280.2 billion. China, the world’s largest market, is slipping back, but China is still leading the US. [Power Engineering International]


¶ “The Unapologetic, Progressive Coal Miner’s Daughter Taking Another Run For US Senate” • Paula Jean Swearingen is a coal miner’s daughter and granddaughter. Mining diseases killed her father and her grandfather. She saw mountaintop removal take jobs away from coal miners and poison the water. She says, “We need to fight back.” [Beckley Register-Herald]

Paula Jean Swearingen (Rick Barbero | The Register-Herald)

¶ “Judge Orders Clean Energy Measures To Proceed” • After Oregon’s secretary of state blocked two ballot initiatives for clean energy, saying they violated a state requirement that legislative measures stick to one subject, a county judge ordered her to process them and bring them before voters in the November election.  [Lewiston Morning Tribune]

¶ “University At Albany Sets Out To Reduce Carbon Footprint” • The University at Albany is gearing up to chase net-zero carbon-neutral status. Last month, UAlbany received a $2 million grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to plan how to go net zero. It won’t be quick or easy, but it can be done. [The Daily Gazette]

Campus Center West (Patrick Dodson | University At Albany)

¶ “New Report Indicates Continued Decline In Gas Emissions” • Hawaii is making progress in mitigating the threats of climate change. According to recently reported data, the state is on target to meet the its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Hawaii has an energy goal is to achieve 100% clean energy by 2045. [Big Island Now]

¶ “First US Nuclear Power Plant To Be Removed From Fort Belvoir” • The first nuclear power facility providing electricity to the US power grid is nearing the final steps of dismantling. The SM-1 nuclear reactor was opened in 1957, and approximately 800 nuclear operators and technicians were trained there. It was decommissioned in 1973. [WTOP]

Have a seriously commendable day.

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January 18 Energy News

January 18, 2020


¶ “Oil And Gas Sector Told To Step Up Climate Game Or Lose Investment” • The oil and gas industry is on the verge of losing its “social license,” the goodwill needed for companies to attract investors and avoid public backlash, as a result of its inadequate response to climate change, according to the chairman of the UK Oil and Gas Authority. [Greentech Media]

Oil platform (Credit: Michal | Wachucik Equinor | Abermedia)

¶ “Five Clean Energy Trends To Watch In 2020” • At the start of 2020, analysts bravely stepped out on a limb to predict how the turbulent energy market and energy systems will evolve at the beginning of the new decade. Five experts are optimistic that the US is set to make important steps toward a cleaner energy mix this year. []

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Climate Change Influenced Australia’s Unprecedented Fires” • Despite widespread conspiracy theories about the fires, emerging science continues to find links between global warming and worsening wildfires. Global warming directly intensifies wildfires by drying out soil and vegetation, creating more fuel to burn farther and faster. [Yale Climate Connections]


¶ “Australia’s Heat And Bushfires Are Signs Of Fundamental Shifts In Its Climate” • It is the frequency and intensity of heat and drought conditions causing fires that is so concerning, says University of Melbourne scientist Linden Ashcroft. She says the trends are “exactly in line with what the [climate] science said 10 or 20 years ago.” [Yale Climate Connections]


¶ “Heavy Rains Hit Some Blaze-Hit Regions” • Heavy rains and thunderstorms have hit parts of Australia’s east coast, dousing some of its fires but bringing a new threat of flooding. Major roads were closed in Queensland, and power cuts were reported in parts of New South Wales as a result of the weather, but the rain is helping with fires. [BBC]

Rain in Sydney (EPA image)

¶ “India’s Renewable Energy Generation Registers Lowest Growth In Four Years” • India’s renewable energy generation grew at a dismal pace of 5.22% in the first eight months of the current financial year, the lowest rate of growth in the past four years since 2015-16, according to fresh data from the Central Electricity Authority. []

¶ “Trianel Takes A Flexible Approach” • Trianel, a German company, is starting an initiative aimed to deliver grid flexibility management to cover Germany’s growing share of renewable energy. The ‘FlexStore’ cooperation network will help municipal utilities and other project partners to identify opportunities for flexible grid management. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine construction (Trianel image)

¶ “Work Starts On World’s ‘Largest Offshore Wind Farm,’ Which Could Power 4.5 Million Homes” • Construction work for a huge offshore wind farm in the North Sea is underway. Energy firm SSE said that onshore work for the 3.6-GW Dogger Bank Wind Farms project had begun near Ulrome, a coastal village in the East Riding of Yorkshire. [CNBC]

¶ “Sustainable Investors Target Renewables” • The primary focus of real asset investors looking to boost returns from sustainable investments is renewables, according to a report by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. The ‘MIRA ESG (environmental, social and governance) Survey’ found 29% of ESG strategies by investors focused on clean power. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Abby Anaday | Unsplash)

¶ “Japanese Court Stops Nuclear Reactor From Resuming Operations Again, Cites Volcano And Earthquake Risks” • A Japanese nuclear reactor near a fault line must remain shut because of risks of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, a high court ruled. The Japanese public has largely turned against atomic power since the Fukushima Disaster. [News18]


¶ “Kids’ Climate Lawsuit Thrown Out By Appeals Court” • A federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit brought by a group of young people that had sought to compel the federal government to rein in the nation’s climate emissions. The court concluded that the youths lacked standing to sue the government over its actions. [InsideClimate News]

Youth suit over climate change (Robin Loznak)

¶ “More Americans Are Alarmed By Global Warming Than Ever Before, Survey Reveals” • The proportion of Americans who are “alarmed” by global warming is now at an all-time high, a survey shows. It was conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication. [CNN]

¶ “Eagle Joins Vail Valley Communities Spending More For Renewable Energy” • Eagle, Colorado will spend 10% more for electricity to buy it from renewable sources. In 2019 the town paid Holy Cross Energy $260,000 for electricity. Now, the town board voted to spend an extra $27,500 annually to get some of its electricity from renewable sources. [Vail Daily News]

Wind turbines in the mountains (High Plains Public Radio)

¶ “More Evidence Of A Republican Pivot On Climate” • The Republican Party has been locked to fossil fuel funding and Libertarian oligarchs. It has chosen for the past 20 years to use wedge politics to scoop up climate change denialists, along with other fringe groups. But things are changing, and in some ways surprisingly so. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “YouTube Still Promotes Climate Disinformation, Report Finds” • You don’t have to look far to find misinformation about climate science continuing to spread online through prominent social media channels like California-based YouTube. That’s despite the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are driving the climate crisis. [EcoWatch]

Have a superbly well-ordered day.

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January 17 Energy News

January 17, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Giant Jet Engines Aim To Make Our Flying Greener” • The aerospace industry is under pressure to reduce its environmental impact. Aircraft are getting more efficient, but airline traffic is growing even faster. Rolls-Royce has a solution, which involves building a much bigger, much more efficient jet engine. It is made largely of carbon fiber. [BBC]

Ultrafan engine (Rolls-Royce image)


¶ “Nestlé Is Spending Billions To Create A Market For Recycled Plastics” • Nestlé, the world’s biggest food company, said it would cut costs in other parts of its business to free up more than 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.6 billion) to buy 2 million metric tons of recycled plastic up to 2025. The company hopes to reduce its use of virgin plastics by a third. [CNN]

¶ “Volkswagen CEO: We Need To Move Faster On Electric Vehicles Or We Will Follow Nokia’s Fate” • Volkswagen’s CEO, Herbert Diess, reportedly expressed yet again the corporation’s internal struggles regarding the transition to EVs. According to Reuters, he noted that Volkswagen could end up going the route of Nokia if it moves too slowly. [CleanTechnica]

Angela Merkel at Zwickau (Volkswagen image)

¶ “Esperance To Receive Renewables Hub, Reduced Emissions Under 20-Year Power Deal” • In Western Australia, the town of Esperance is on track to reduce carbon emissions by close to 50% with a more efficient power station, battery storage system, and renewables hub for the region. The move is expected to reduce the price of electricity by 39%. [Esperance Express]

¶ “India Will Have 225 GW Of Renewable Energy Capacity By 2022, Including Large Hydro: MNRE Secy” • India will have an installed renewable energy generation capacity of 225 GW by 2022, including large hydro projects, according to Anand Kumar, Secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, speaking at an industry event. []

Coal and wind in Germany (Lukas Schulze | Getty Images)

¶ “Germany To Press Renewables Accelerator” • The German government is to accelerate renewables deployment in line with its 65% 2030 target, as it moves to phase out coal generation. In a bill launching this month, the country will commit to phasing out coal-fired power generation. The legislative process is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Germany Will Pay Billions To Speed Up Coal-Fired Power Plant Shutdowns” • Germany will pay utility companies billions of euros to speed up the shutdown of their coal-fired power plants as part of the country’s efforts to fight climate crisis, the government has said. The move is to cover losses for companies that depend on coal. [The Guardian]

New coal-burning plant in Germany (Friedemann Vogel | EPA)


¶ “Tri-State G&T To Boost Renewable Energy Goal To 50% By 2024” • Tri-State Generation & Transmission serves the needs of 43 electric cooperatives in four states. They have pushed it to go to renewables. According to the Denver Post, Tri-State intends to increase the amount of electricity it generates from renewable sources to 50% by 2024. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Toyota Invests In Joby Aviation Electric Air Taxi Service” • Toyota, the company that refuses to take battery electric cars seriously, has invested $394 million in Joby Aviation, an electric air taxi service based in California. The money was part of a $590 million Series C funding round, according to TechCrunch. It has raised a total of $720 million. [CleanTechnica]

Joby eVTOL (Image credit: Joby Aviation)

¶ “Microsoft Pledges To Go ‘Climate Negative,’ And Remove 45-Years Of Company Emissions” • American tech giant Microsoft made an ambitious pledge to effectively reverse the company’s historical contributions to climate change, and says it will remove the entirety of its carbon footprint made since the company’s founding 45 years ago. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Direct Energy Works With Sprint For 100% RE In Virginia Operations” • Sprint and Direct Energy Renewable Services have announced that all of the over 800 Virginia Spring locations will be served with 100% renewable energy. This agreement includes Sprint’s retail locations, cell phone towers, and Sprint’s east coast corporate office in Reston, Virginia. [Saurenergy]

Turbine in a wind farm (GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “Blackout On Renewable-Energy Study Called Politically Expedient” • Environmentalists filed suit to unearth a taxpayer-funded study on the electricity grid. The Center for Biological Diversity got no answer for a records request filed last October. The DOE had pulled back a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. [Courthouse News Service]

¶ “BPU Approves Partnership To Bring Solar And Wind Energy To Los Alamos” • New Mexico’s Department of Public Utilities has approved a Power Purchase Agreement for Uniper Global Commodities to get 15 MW of electricity from wind and solar projects in New Mexico. The PPA covers renewable electricity at night. [Los Alamos Daily Post]

Wind farm (Courtesy photo)

¶ “US Renewable Energy Investment Surges To Record As Investors Shrug Off Trump’s Views” • US investors don’t appear to share President Donald Trump’s doubts about renewable energy and climate change, pouring a record amount of cash into wind, solar and other clean power. Renewable sector spending in the US jumped 28% to $55.5 billion last year. [Karma]

¶ “Colorado Uranium Producer Lays Off Third Of Utah Workforce” • A Colorado energy company laid off a third of its workforce in southeast Utah, primarily at the last conventional uranium mill operating in the US. Energy Fuels Inc laid off 24 of its 79 employees, most of them at the White Mesa Mill, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. [Argus Press]

Have a creatively productive day.

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January 16 Energy News

January 16, 2020

Opinion and Interviews:

¶ “Sir David Attenborough Warns Of Climate ‘Crisis Moment'” • “The moment of crisis has come” in efforts to tackle climate change, Sir David Attenborough has warned. According to the renowned naturalist and broadcaster, “we have been putting things off for year after year.” Sir David’s comments came in a BBC News interview. [BBC]

Probably time to do something (Getty Images)

¶ “Exhibit 9,172 That Global Warming Is An Urgent Threat” • Not only did 2019 barely miss out on being the hottest year ever recorded on planet Earth, but it brought to a close the hottest decade ever, according to statistics provided by NASA and NOAA. The report from the two agencies notes that the past five years were the five hottest on record. [CNN]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Irrigation Keeps Things Cool In Extreme Heat” • A study in Nature Communications examined the influence of irrigation on extreme heat. The cooling effect of irrigation over regions studied partly or completely offset the effect of global warming contributing to more frequent and intense heat extremes by up to a factor of eight. [Futurity]

Watering (Getty Images)

¶ “Marine Heatwave Known As ‘The Blob’ Killed A Million US Seabirds” • A million seabirds that died along the US west coast were probably the victims of an unprecedented marine heatwave in the Pacific. Common murres have died en masse in the past, never like this. Such events are expected to become increasingly frequent due to climate change. [New Scientist]


¶ “BBC Launches New Climate Coverage” • The BBC announced plans for a year-long series of special programming and coverage on climate change. The Our Planet Matters project is to have news services and shows, including a new monthly Climate Check podcast from BBC Weather, and coverage of debates and events around the globe. [BBC]

Wildfire in Australia (Getty Images)

¶ “Coalition’s Axing Of Funding To Climate Change Adaptation Body Condemned” • The Australian Coalition government’s decision to axe funding to a climate change adaptation research body in 2017 has left the country “not well positioned” to deal with fires, the “silent killer” of drought, and other global heating impacts, its director has said. [The Guardian]

¶ “Volkswagen Will Be World’s Largest EV Manufacturer By 2030, Claims Report” • Wood Mackenzie says in a report that Volkswagen is on pace to be the largest manufacturer of electric cars by the end of this decade. Globally, it is currently in 10th place. The company says it expects to produce 22 million battery electric vehicles by 2028. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID Buzz (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Renewable energy’s advance drives Australia’s carbon emissions lower” • Record levels of renewable energy produced the first drop in Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions since 2015. But if the level of reduction is maintained the rate of decline would mean the country’s Paris pledge would be met 68 years late. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Citi Explains Why There’s An ‘Ultimate Cap’ On Oil Prices” • David Bailin, CIO of Citi Private Bank, said the cost of producing electricity from solar energy has been lower than that of fossil fuels for two years. That’s a “permanent change” that will limit how high oil prices can climb, he said. The global oil supply is currently running ahead of demand. [CNBC]

UK solar system (Andrew Aitchison | In Pictures | Getty Images)

¶ “Last Pickering Reactor To Be Shut By 2025” • The last reactor at the Pickering nuclear station will be shut down within five years, says Ontario Energy Minister Greg Rickford. After the Star revealed the 49-year-old Ontario Power Generation facility is getting its life extended, Rickford emphasized the power-plant will be slowly phased offline. []


¶ “Electric Aircraft Pilot Training Is Arriving” • Quantum Air and OSM Aviation Group announced an electric aircraft pilot training partnership. OSM Aviation Academy will conduct the Quantum-branded pilot training program according to FAA commercial standards. Electric urban air mobility is taking shape one step at a time. [CleanTechnica]

Bye Aerospace eFlyer (Photo courtesy of Bye Aerospace)

¶ “Visa Reaches 100% Renewable Electricity Goal” • Visa, based in Foster City, California, announced it has met its goal to use 100% renewable electricity by 2020, furthering its commitment to lead responsibly and sustainably across the company’s US and global operations, including 131 offices in 76 countries and four global processing centers. [SB News]

¶ “Harvard Law Students Protest Firm Representing Exxon In Climate Lawsuit” • Harvard law students disrupted a recruiting event for Paul Weiss, the law firm representing ExxonMobil in climate lawsuits over what it knew and what it said about climate change. The protesters hope to open a new climate activism front in the legal world. [The Guardian]

Harvard Law School (Photo: Steven Senne | AP)

¶ “Gov Raimondo Offers New Vision For Renewables And Transit” • Rhode Island Gov Gina Raimondo gave her State of the State address on Jan 14. Some of the loudest applause followed what she said about environmental issues. She said her vision was to see Rhode Island using 100% renewable electricity by the end if this decade. [ecoRI news]

¶ “Renewables Quench PepsiCo Thirst For Power” • PepsiCo plans to get all its electricity in the US from renewable energy by the end of this year. The company said the US is its largest market and accounts for nearly half of its total global electricity consumption. It said PPAs will finance the development of new wind and solar farms. [reNEWS]

Have a decidedly good day.

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January 15 Energy News

January 15, 2020


¶ “Oppenheimer: Tesla Is An ‘Existential Threat’ To Automakers” • On CNBC’s Power Lunch, Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch explained that Tesla has proven to be an existential threat for automakers. The idea that Tesla is an existential threat to other automakers just seems accurate. It is what CleanTechnica has been publishing for many years. [CleanTechnica]

Elon Musk (CNBC via Twitter)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Air Filters Used In LA Schools Linked To Higher Test Scores” • NYU Assistant Professor of Economics Michael Gilraine studied what happened when Los Angeles area schools had air filters installed during the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak. The air filters were linked to increases in test scores equivalent to two and a half months of extra learning. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Reconnecting With Nature ‘Triggers’ Eco-Actions” • People who have access to nature or urban green spaces are much more likely to behave in environmentally friendly ways, a study in the journal Environment International suggests. Researchers used a representative sample of 24,000 people in England for their study of green behavior. [BBC]

Green space


¶ “Rupert Murdoch’s Son Lashes Out Against Fox And His Father’s Other News Outlets For Climate Change Coverage” • Rupert Murdoch’s son, James Murdoch, and his wife are lashing out against his father’s sprawling media empire for how it covers the climate crisis, especially in light of the fires raging in the family’s native Australia. [CNN]

¶ “The Glitzy European City Going Green” • Monaco is the most densely populated country in the world. But it is where Jessica Sbaraglia, a 31-year-old Swiss native and former tennis pro and model, launched her urban agriculture business Terre de Monaco in 2016. Now she has five micro farms on Monaco’s rooftops, balconies, and hidden plots of land. [BBC]


¶ “BlackRock Is Changing Its Investment Strategy Because Of Climate Change” • BlackRock, the massive asset manager in charge of $7 trillion, will ditch investments that it considers a sustainability risk, including thermal coal producers – part of an effort to put sustainability at the center of its approach to investing. [CNN]

¶ “‘Must Run’ Status, No Power Curtailment For Renewable Energy Plants: Expert Panel” • An expert group reviewing the Indian Electricity Grid Code has asserted that renewable energy power plants shall be treated as “must run” and electricity from these plants shall not be curtailed for any commercial reasons. Several states now curtail them. [The Indian Express]

Wind farm in India

¶ “Transitioning To 100% Renewable Energy By 2050 Would Pay For Itself” • A global effort to eliminate the world’s greenhouse gas emissions implies a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. According to analysis, that would cost C$95 trillion ($72.7 trillion), but the investment would pay for itself in only seven years. [The Weather Network]

¶ “SECI Invites Solar, Wind Energy Generators To Supply Power Through Open Access” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India has invited Expression of Interest from renewable energy generators for the supply of power through open access. These are already commissioned renewable plants that have no active power purchase agreement. [Mercom India]

Renewable generation (Credit: Kenueone, CC0)

¶ “Australia’s Science Minister Calls For End To Debate Over Whether Climate Change Is Real” • Australia’s Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews has warned denying climate change is a waste of time that should instead be spent on the urgent need to implement steps for mitigation and adaptation. [SBS]

¶ “Nuclear Power ‘Cannot Rival Renewable Energy’” • Nuclear power is in terminal decline worldwide and will never make a serious contribution to tackling climate change, according to a group of energy experts. The nuclear power stations being built worldwide will not be enough to replace those closing down, as solar and wind power are increasing. [EcoWatch]

Nuclear plant (© Allard Schager | Moment | Getty Images)


¶ “Warmer Temperatures Linked To Increase In US Injury Deaths, Study Says” • A temperature increase of 1.5°C (2.7°F) would cause an additional 1,600 injury deaths every year in the US, according to a study published in the journal Nature Medicine. The majority of those deaths, 84%, would be among men, the study said. [CNN]

¶ “Replacing Coal With Renewables Could Save Energy Customers $8 Billion A Year, Financial Analysts Find” • Analysts at Morgan Stanley and Moody’s Investors Service expect electric utilities to accelerate their transition away from coal. Replacing coal with renewable energy could save electricity customers as much as $8 billion each year. [DeSmog]

Wind and coal (Credit: Andrew, Creative Commons)

¶ “New Plates In Kansas Will Emphasize Renewable Energy” • Kansas will begin issuing new personalized license plates that emphasize the state’s growing use of renewable energy. The “Powering the Future” plates feature wind turbines profiled against a sunrise. Windpower supplies Kansas with more than 36% of its electricity. [KCTV Kansas City]

¶ “Three-Quarters Of New US Generating Capacity In 2020 Will Be Renewable, EIA Says” • According to the latest EIA data, wind and solar will make up 32 GW of the 42 GW of new capacity additions expected to start commercial operation in 2020, respectively, dwarfing the 9.3 GW of natural-gas-fired plants to come online this year. [Greentech Media]

Have a gloriously gorgeous day.

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January 14 Energy News

January 14, 2020


¶ “Business Leaders Must Help Fight The Climate Crisis” • This is a make-or-break year. Global emissions have risen for three consecutive years when they should be dropping sharply, if the world is to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement. I’m an optimist, and I believe we can respond with material action. But we are running out of time. [CNN]

Moy Wind Farm, Scotland (Mars Incorporated)

¶ “Five 2020 Energy Predictions: Solar Surge, Coal Crash, Gas Exorcism, Clean Energy Incentives, Public Mobilization” • Five leading energy and climate policy experts shared predictions for the year and decade ahead. Among them are a record year for solar, federal incentives for clean energy, the end of coal, and the beginning of the end for natural gas. [Forbes]

¶ “It’s Clear Who’s To Blame for Australia’s Fires, And It’s Not Arsonists” • The Australian bushfires are due to the actions of a relatively small number of people, but they are not the several dozen arsonists that right-wing media outlets have attempted to blame. The true arsonists are the people who lead 90 of the world’s most polluting companies. [VICE]

Australian fire (Sam Mooy | /Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Oceans Are Warming At The Same Rate As If Five Hiroshima Bombs Were Dropped In Every Second” • A study showed that 2019 was another year of record ocean warming.The world’s oceans are now heating at the same rate as if five Hiroshima atomic bombs were dropped into the water every second, scientists have said.  [CNN]

¶ “Australia Fires Will Be ‘Normal’ In Warmer World” • UK scientists say the recent fires in Australia are a taste of what the world will experience as temperatures rise. Prof Richard Betts from the Met Office Hadley Centre said we are “seeing a sign of what would be normal conditions under a future warming world of 3°C.” [BBC]

Aftermath of a fire (Getty Images)


¶ “Germany Could Lose 410,000 Auto Industry Jobs By 2030, Claims New Report” • A report from Germany’s National Platform For The Future Of Mobility says the German auto industry could lose up to 410,000 jobs between now and 2030 due to changes in how people get from Point A to Point B in the future, particularly with more EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China 2019 Electric Vehicle Market Share Grows To 4.7% Despite Tighter Incentives” • In China, as sales of combustion vehicles fell 8.4%, EVs gained market share. Government officials expect fossil vehicles sales to fall again in 2020 but EV sales will remain relatively healthy. Tesla’s locally made vehicles are part of the reason for that. [CleanTechnica]

Shanghai (Courtesy of sdweathers from Pixabay)

¶ “Sadiq Khan And Octopus Energy Launch New Renewable Company” • Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced via Twitter the launch of accessible energy company London Power in partnership with Octopus Energy. They aim to combat fuel poverty in London, where the problem affects more than a million people. [Power Technology]

¶ “Ideol Hails Performance Of French Floater” • The 2-MW Floatgen floating wind turbine off western France exceeded production and availability expectations in the second half of 2019, according to its developer Ideol. The turbine more than doubled its power production in comparison with the first half, to reach an annual total of 6 GWh. [reNEWS]

Floatgen (Ideol image)

¶ “Brazil Okays 1.16 GW Of Renewable Supply From Oct 18 Auction” • Brazil’s power sector regulator Aneel approved 58 of the winning projects from the A-6 energy auction held on October 18, 2019, representing a combined capacity of 1,162 MW. Overall, 91 power plants relying on wind, biomass and hydro won contracts in the tender. [Renewables Now]

¶ “ADFD Allocates $105 Million to Fund Eight Renewable Energy Projects” • Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has allocated approximately $105 million for eight renewable energy projects under the seventh cycle of its partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency. The announcement made during the 10th IRENA Assembly. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Renewable power (IRENA image)

¶ “Parkwind Notches First Power At Northwester 2” • The 219-MW Northwester 2 offshore wind farm has begun delivering clean electricity to the Belgian grid, after its first turbine was commissioned. The wind farm, being developed by Parkwind, is expected to be fully operational by the summer. It is comprised of 23 MHI Vestas V164-9.5 MW turbines. [reNEWS]


¶ “Bill McKibben Organizing Protests Against Banks That Fund Fossil Fuel Industry” • Bill McKibben got arrested once again on January 10th as he and other climate protesters blocked an ATM at a Chase Bank in New York City. Since the Paris Agreement, the bank has loaned $195 billion  to fund fossil fuels. Other banks are not far behind. [CleanTechnica]

Image by Stop The Money Pipeline

¶ “National Community Solar Programs Tracker” • Individuals can subscribe to a portion of a community solar project and get credits on their energy bill for the electricity it produces. This way, people who cannot have solar PVs at home can benefit. A few states have laws that support community solar projects, and we track them here. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SC Law Makers Looking To Receive Proposals For Santee Cooper” • Further discussion on Santee Cooper is expected this week among South Carolina law makers. Santee Cooper is around $8 million in debt. After the VC Summer Disaster, the company abandoned its share in two nuclear reactors after 10 years of planning and construction. [WFXG]

Have an appreciably cheerful day.

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January 13 Energy News

January 13, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Can solar geoengineering mitigate both climate change and income inequality?” • Research from the University of California San Diego finds that solar geoengineering – the intentional reflection of sunlight away from the Earth’s surface – may reduce income inequality between countries. The study was published in Nature Communications. [EurekAlert]

Greenhouse Products in Mali (Anastasia Sogodogo | USAID)


¶ “EIB Backs PGE With €64 Million For 100-MW Klaster” • The European Investment Bank backed PGE Polska with funding of €64 million to support construction of three new wind farms on the Polish Baltic coast totalling 97 MW. The amount covers about 50% of the costs of the Klaster project, which is comprised of the Starza, Rybice, and Karnice 2 sites. [reNEWS]

¶ “Construction Crews On The Clock At Borssele 1&2” • Ørsted has kicked off offshore construction at its 752-MW Borssele 1&2 wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands. DEME Offshore hammered home the first of 94 monopile foundations. The first tubular will be the heaviest and tallest at the project, at 1188 tonnes and 76 meters. [reNEWS]

Ship working at Borssele 1&2 (Ørsted image)

¶ “Ørsted, Equinor Spearhead Global Offshore Coalition” • Ørsted and Equinor have joined forces to lead a new group to advance the deployment of offshore renewable energy to mitigate climate change. The international Ocean Renewable Action Coalition will champion offshore wind, floating solar, tidal and wave power. [reNEWS]

¶ “Community-Generated Green Electricity To Be Offered To All In UK” • Everywhere in the UK, homes will soon be able to plug into community wind and solar farms through the first energy tariff to offer clean electricity entirely from community projects. Co-op Energy will source the electricity from 90 local renewable power projects. [The Guardian]

Small windfarm in Scotland (Murdo Macleod | The Guardian)

¶ “IRENA: Renewable Energy Must Double In 10 Years” • The International Renewable Energy Agency said that to address climate change, renewable sources need to grow from the current 26% of global power to at least 57% by 2030. This will require annual investment in the sector to double from $330 billion to $750 billion. [Gulf News]

¶ “Georgia Green Light For 108-MW Wind Duo” • Georgia’s government has approved construction of two wind farms totaling 108 MW in the European country. The approval means Georgia Capital can now finalize power purchase agreements with the government. The two wind farms are expected to be commissioned in 2022. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Science in HD | Unsplash)

¶ “Austria Pledges To Fit 1 Million Roofs With Solar By 2030” • Austria’s new government promised a program to put PVs on a million roofs as part of its plan for climate neutrality by 2040. The governing coalition of the conservative Austrian People’s Party and the Green Party has pledged to source all its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. [Forbes]

¶ “Canada Nuclear Plant: Alert About Incident Sent In Error” • An emergency alert for an incident at Pickering Nuclear Generating Station near Toronto was sent to mobile phones in error, officials say. The warning said staff were responding to an incident at the plant, but then, almost two hours later, a second alert said the initial message was wrong. [BBC]

Pickering Nuclear Generating Station (Reuters)


¶ “‘Perfect Storm’: The Energy Industry Struggles To Keep The Lights On” • This summer began with parts of Victoria’s grid looking very frail. With scorching forecasts and multiple power plant units taken offline for unplanned repairs, over a million households were facing blackouts. Then bushfires brought down vital interstate links. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Australian Firefighters Say ‘Megablaze’ Near Sydney Is Under Control” • Exhausted firefighters said the largest “megablaze” is under control, as wet weather promised to deliver a respite that is much needed. The vast Gospers Mountain fire on Sydney’s northwestern outskirts has been burning out of control for nearly three months. [The Japan Times]

Wallaby eating a carrot (NSW DPIE handout, via Reuters)

¶ “‘Port Arthur Moment’: Business Urges PM To Lead On Climate Amid Bushfire Crisis” • Business leaders have described the unfolding bushfire crisis as a “Port Arthur moment”, urging the Morrison government to adopt a co-ordinated national strategy to address climate change and aggressively reduce carbon emissions. [The Sydney Morning Herald]


¶ “Largest Electric School Bus Program In United States Launching In Virginia” • Dominion Energy partnered with local Virginia school districts to begin replacing diesel buses with 100% electric school buses in phases. Thomas Built Buses Inc has been selected as the provider of all 50 of the initial electric school buses. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra Jouley Electric School Bus (Courtesy Proterra)

¶ “Natural Gas Provided False Promise, Deception – Severe Health Problems From ‘Natural’ Gas” • It is called natural gas, but hydraulic fracking makes the fuel source anything but natural. Some of the chemicals used but exempted from regulations have been proven to cause significant health problems, and they will be there for generations to come. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Holtec Pilgrim, LLC; Holtec Decommissioning International, LLC; Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station” • In response to a request from the licensee, the NRC issued an exemption to permit decommissioning companies to reduce the required level of primary offsite liability insurance for the Pilgrim nuclear plant from $450 million to $100 million. [Insurance News Net]

Have a downright delightful day.

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January 12 Energy News

January 12, 2020


¶ “Scott Morrison Can’t Afford To Waste The Bushfire Crisis When Australia Urgently Needs Its Own Green New Deal” • The lies of the climate deniers have to be rejected. This is a time for truth telling, not obfuscation and gaslighting, writes former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. He calls for a Green New Deal in Australia. [The Guardian]

Dunn Road fire (Sam Mooy | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Hyundai Debuts A Vertical Take-Off Air Taxi” • Carmaker Hyundai Motor Co revealed plans at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to make electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) tilt rotor aircraft to serve as air taxis for a planned Uber passenger service called Uber Elevate. The S-A1 has a cruising speed of 180 mph and a 60-mile range. [DesignNews]


¶ “Mercedes Vans Needs To Reach 50% BEV In 2020 To Escape EU Fines” • Under new EU fuel efficiency regulations, passenger cars and light vans are in different classes. Car manufacturers can’t compensate a surplus in one class to balance a deficit in the other.  To avoid fines, 50% of Mercedes vans have to be EVs this year. They were just introduced. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes eVito

¶ “London Launching A 100% Zero-Emissions Street” • London has indicated that Beech Street will soon be a zero-emissions street, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Beech Street will go emissions-free in the spring of this year, assuming the plan is approved by Transport for London. It is a pilot program that will run for 18 months. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power Plans $10 Billion Of Investments In 2020” • Saudi Arabian utility developer ACWA Power plans to invest about $10 billion in 2020 as it eyes new projects in some 10 countries, its chief executive said. The company, which builds power and desalinated water plants, has plans to build renewable energy plants in new markets. []

Transmission lines in a desert

¶ “Nuclear Safety Agency Approves Additional Spent Fuel Storage Facility” • South Korea’s nuclear safety agency said that it has approved the construction of seven additional spent fuel storage structures at the Wolsong nuclear power plant to allow for uninterrupted power generation. The state-owned utility is running out of storage space. [The Korea Bizwire]

¶ “Energy Transformation Can Create More Than 40 Million Jobs In Renewable Energy” • If renewable energy is used to its full potential, the field could employ more than 40 million people by 2050, under the International Renewable Energy Agency’s climate safe energy path, according to a report published by the agency during its 10th Assembly. [REVE]

Wind turbine blades ready for installation


¶ “Australia Fires: PM Admits Mistakes In Handling Of Crisis” • Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has expressed regret over his handling of the bushfire crisis ravaging the country. The PM has faced mounting criticism over his government’s response to the bushfires and its climate policy. He has been heckled severely on visits to fire-hit communities. [BBC]

¶ “Australian Megafire Engulfs Nearly 1.5 Million Acres” • Two wildfires in southeastern Australia have merged, creating one megafire that spans 2,300 square miles (6,000 square km – somewhat larger than the US state of Delaware). It is just one of at least 155 are burning in New South Wales, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. []

Air tanker fighting the fire (Image: © Brook Mitchell | Getty)

¶ “Scientists Paint Australia Fires As Red Alert On Climate Change” • Large swathes of Australia are battling wildfires that have killed 27 people and torched more than 10 million hectares (25 million acres) in the wake of the nation’s hottest and driest year on record. Not every year will be this bad, one scientist said, but future years could be much worse. [Reuters]

¶ “Australia Fires: Plants Photographed Regrowing In Ashes” • The unprecedented bushfires sweeping parts of Australia have devastated huge areas of the country’s natural environment. But in some recently-burned areas, signs of life are returning, as captured by local photographer Murray Lowe, as he investigated how fire had affected the bush. [BBC]

Three weeks after a fire (Murray Lowe)


¶ “Traffic On Monongahela River Slows Due To Slump In Coal Demand” • Pittsburgh’s three rivers have dropped from being the No 1 inland port in the US to fourth due to the slump in the demand for coal. Shipping on the rivers has dropped from nearly 52 million tons in the early part of this century to 27 million in 2017, an official report says. [Observer-Reporter]

¶ “Western States Face Huge Coal Mine Cleanup Liability, Study Says” • Wyoming has a colossal cleanup project on its hands. About 83,000 acres of land sit unreclaimed by coal companies in the state. It is by far the most acreage among its Western peers, according to a report by the Western Organization of Resource Councils. [Wyoming Tribune]

Eagle Butte coal mine (Carol M Highsmith, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Climate Change Could Stress Mind And Body, Modesto Audience Hears. But There’s Hope” • Experts spoke at Modesto Junior College about how climate change could affect health in California’s Central Valley. More smoke from wildfires, more mold in flooded homes, and psychological effects, including despair, may be seen. But there is hope. [Modesto Bee]

¶ “Bankrupt Coal Company Blackjewel Accuses CEO Of Fraud” • Attorneys for coal company Blackjewel LLC and its creditors asked a judge to let them examine the finances of former CEO Jeff Hoops, alleging that he took millions of dollars for personal gain. They said the company was “woefully insolvent” when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. [K2 Radio]

Have a faultlessly superlative day.

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January 11 Energy News

January 11, 2020


¶ “Australia Is Burning. The Arctic Is Melting. Yet Trump Keeps Gutting Climate Change Regulations.” • Increasingly, the world is feeling the dangerous impacts of climate change. But the Trump administration is steadfast in pursuit of one of its signature policy goals: gutting environmental regulations, including those aimed at curbing climate change. [CNN]

Smoke rising from wildfires in Australia (DELWP Gippsland | AP)

¶ “Trump Takes His War On ‘The Swamp’ To New Levels With NEPA Roll Back” • The Trump NEPA roll back will strip local residents of the power to have a say in what generating facilities, pipelines, refineries, and chemical plants are constructed in their communities, tipping the balance of power further in favor of corporations. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “ORNL Researches Create Geothermal Energy Storage System” • Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers created a geothermal energy storage system that could reduce peak power demand by up to 37% in homes while helping to balance grid operations. The system stores excess electricity from renewables as thermal energy. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

ORNL geothermal energy storage system (ORNL image)

¶ “The Amazon Is A Key Buffer Against Climate Change. A New Study Warns Wildfires Could Decimate It” • In 2019, record fires capped a decade that saw an area of the Amazon the size of 8.4 million soccer fields lost. But authors of a new study warn that as the climate becomes hotter and drier, future fires could be far more damaging. [CNN]


¶ “Fiat Chrysler Will Basically Fund Tesla’s Gigafactory 4” • Last year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles made a deal to pool its fleet with Tesla’s in order to comply with Europe’s stricter emissions rules. According to a US investment bank, the deal is worth $2 billion through 2023 and will basically provide funding for Tesla’s new German factory. [CleanTechnica]

Chrysler C7 Airstream coupe, very modern
in 1936 (sv1ambo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Chile Tenders Land For Use In Renewable Energy Projects” • To promote sustainable energy, Chile’s ministry of national assets is tendering concessions for ten plots of land for renewable projects. All plots are in northern Tarapacá and Antofagasta regions, which boast access to some of the best solar resources in the world. [BNamericas English]

¶ “Bristol Energy Launches 100% Green Products Powered By Local Generators” • In England, Bristol Energy has announced its new 100% green electricity and lower carbon gas portfolio of tariffs. They are largely powered by local wind and solar farms, as the city enters the 10 year countdown to its 2030 carbon neutral target. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Children play at a wind farm (Courtesy of Bristol Energy)

¶ “Fukushima Aims To Become 100% Renewable Energy Reliant, Nine Years After Nuclear Disaster” • The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power has been reported to have plans to be a renewable energy hub by 2040. Now, reports say that the local government has vowed to meet the area’s power needs by 100% renewable energy by 2040. [Republic World]

¶ “EDF Misses 2019 French Nuclear Power Production Target” • French state-controlled utility EDF said that its 2019 nuclear electricity generation in France fell 3.5% year on to 379.5 TWh, missing its revised production target of between 384 TWh and 388 TWh. EDF attributed the drop in nuclear power generation to a high number of nuclear reactor outages. [Reuters]

Fessenheim nuclear plant (Florival fr, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Tens Of Thousands Protest Australian P M’s Climate Policies Amid Bushfire Crisis” • Thousands of activists marched in several major cities across Australia, calling on the government to act on the climate crisis and do more to stop the bushfires that continue to ravage large swathes of the country. The protests had been organized in nine cities. [CNN]

¶ “Australia Fires: Vineyard Owner’s Grief And Determination” • Australia’s deadly wildfires have devastated huge swathes of territory and left thousands homeless. Among the numerous businesses destroyed were vineyards that have taken generations to grow. The head of lobby group Australian Grape and Wine said, “I wish the worst was behind us.” [BBC]

James Tilbrook at his vineyard (James Tilbrook)

¶ “Social Media Blames Australia’s Inferno On Arsonists” • Rather than acknowledge the obvious fact that alterations in the climate have led to hotter, drier weather and made fires more probable, social media in Australia is spreading lies suggesting the fires are the result of a determined core of left wing arsonists. Reportedly, they are spread by bots. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “California’s Renewable Energy Targets Slashed Carbon Pollution – Now There’s A Proposal To Pause Them” • Analysis shows California’s renewable energy targets helped drive a large drop in emissions and pushed the state past its 2020 climate goals early. Yet one California lawmaker wants to put a stop to the mandate, for now. [Lost Coast Outpost]

Wind turbines (Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)

¶ “Google, NV Energy Renewable Deal, One Of The Largest, Includes Rare Storage Component” • NV Energy has asked Nevada regulators for authority to procure 350 MW of solar generation and up to 280 MW of energy storage to serve a data center Google planned for Henderson. The facility is already under construction. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Climate Change Center Of Conversation At Broward Youth Summit” • At the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale, there were kids everywhere talking or learning about climate change. Nearly 800 middle and high school students attended the Broward Youth Climate Summit, and many were focused on environmental issues. [NBC 6 South Florida]

Have a spectacularly enjoyable day.

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January 10 Energy News

January 10, 2020


¶ “GM And LG Chem’s 30+ GWh Ohio Battery Gigafactory Highlights Rapid EV Industry Progress” • A month ago, GM and LG Chem announced a joint venture to build a 30+ GWh battery factory in Ohio, and drive down battery costs in the process. The announcement shows clearly how much and how quickly the EV industry has changed. [CleanTechnica]

Cadillac EV

¶ “New Coal-Killing Energy Storage Challenge Also Dings Natural Gas” • It’s no secret that the Trump Administration has presided over the collapse of the US coal industry, but do they have to rub it in? Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette announced an  initiative to push the energy storage envelope farther into coal-killing territory. It will ding gas too. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Enel Green Power Smashes 3-GW Annual Capacity Mark” • Enel Green Power installed more than 3 GW of renewables worldwide in 2019, reaching a total managed capacity of around 46 GW. The 3029 MW deployed last year was a record for the Italian developer, beating the previous best set in 2018 by around 190 MW. [reNEWS]

Enel GP wind farm (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “News Corp Employee Lashes Climate ‘Misinformation’ In Bushfire Coverage With Blistering Email” • A senior News Corp employee has accused the company of “misinformation” and diverting attention from climate change during the bushfire crisis in an explosive all-staff email addressed to executive chairman Michael Miller. [The Guardian]

¶ “Saudi Arabia Awaits Bids For 1.2 GW Of Solar In Third Renewables Round” • The Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office released a request for qualifications for 1.2 GW of solar capacity. The Kingdom’s goal is to have 27.3 GW of renewables capacity by 2024 and 58.7 GW by 2030. [Renewables Now]

Solar power plant in Saudi Arabia (ACWA Power image)

¶ “Mercedes/BMW Ride-Hailing Group “Free Now” Buys 60 Tesla Automobiles” • Free Now is a mobility service owned by Mercedes and BMW jointly. A Handlesblatt report says Free Now decided to expand its fleet of electric taxis in Germany and will begin by adding 60 Teslas to its fleet of cars in Hamburg, where Free Now has its headquarters. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ACWA Power Steps Into Azerbaijan With 240-MW Wind Project” • Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power has clinched a deal with the government of Azerbaijan to develop, build, and operate a 240-MW wind park in the former Soviet republic. Azerbaijan has a goal of diversifying its energy mix, reducing the its reliance on oil and gas. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbine (ACWA image)

¶ “Over 150 GW Of Renewable Energy Projects Installed Or In Pipeline” • India now has over 150 GW of renewable energy generation capacity either installed or in pipeline, data shared by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy shows. There are 84.40 GW of installed renewable capacity, 36.68 GW being built, and 29.58 GW tendered. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “France Will Not Decide On New Nuclear Reactors Before End Of 2022” • The French government, which has asked state-controlled utility EDF to look into the feasibility of building six reactors, said it would not decide whether to go ahead before the end of 2022. The Energy Minister said France will shut down 14 old nuclear reactors as planned. []

Nuclear power plant

¶ “Bill De Blasio And Sadiq Khan Want Your City To Dump Fossil Fuels” • The mayors of New York and London have an urgent message to the world’s cities: Ditch your fossil fuel investments now to avert a climate catastrophe. The leaders unveiled what amounted to how-to kits that would help mayors of other cities to divest from fossil fuel investments. [CNN]


¶ “Bogus Basin Pledges To Use Solely Renewable Energy In 2020” • Bogus Basin Ski Resort will be using renewable energy in 2020. The nonprofit ski resort, 20 miles north of Boise, will buy an estimated 3,592 MWh of renewably sourced energy from Idaho Power this year, a press release from the utility company and Bogus Basin says. [Idaho Press-Tribune]

Bogus Basin Ski Resort (Bogus Basin image)

¶ “Trump Announces Overhaul Of Landmark Environmental And Climate Rules” • President Donald Trump announced changes to National Environmental Policy Act rules, which requires federal agencies to assess the environmental impact of projects such as the construction of mines, highways, water infrastructure and gas pipelines. [CNN]

¶ “Under Fire For Use Of Coal, Tri-State To Accelerate Closure Of Plants, Mine In Colorado And New Mexico” • With growing pressure to reduce dependence on coal, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association plans to close two coal-fired power plants and a coal mine in Colorado and New Mexico. Critics say it is not enough. [Loveland Reporter-Herald]

Craig Station (Helen H Richardson | The Denver Post)

¶ “San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay Officially Switch To Renewable Energy Program” • Two cities on California’s Central Coast are switching to renewable energy. San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay are the first of the local municipalities joining Monterey Bay Community Power in January 2020. Other cities are expected to ‘flip the switch’ next year. [KEYT]

¶ “Renewable Energy Hits ‘Transmission’ Wall In The Midwest” • Several large renewable power projects have abandoned plans to go online in the Upper Midwest because the region’s electricity grid is too congested. With massive amounts of wind power waiting to come online at the same time as coal is going offline, it’s clear that action is needed. [Toolbox]

Have a perfectly pleasant day.

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January 9 Energy News

January 9, 2020


¶ “Pathways To Changing The Minds Of Climate Deniers” • Researchers at Stanford found that those who deny human causes for climate change can be swayed through conversations that appeal to their different identities, reframe solutions, or even embrace their climate views. They have four suggestions for breaking down barriers in conversation. [Phys.Org]

After a fire (C00 Public domain)

¶ “Trump Says America Doesn’t Need Middle East Oil. It’s Not That Simple” • President Donald Trump declared that the US no longer needs to rely on the Middle East for oil. There is no doubt that America’s historic oil boom has rewritten the rule book for the global energy industry, but the real story is much more complicated. [CNN]

Science and Technology:

¶ “It’s Official: 2019 Was The Second-Hottest Year On Record” • From France to Australia, from India to Alaska … if you stepped outside in almost any corner of the globe, you could feel it. 2019 was hot. Really hot. In fact, we just lived through the second-hottest year ever recorded, according to the European Union’s flagship climate monitoring organization. [CNN]

Cooling off in Melbourne (Saeed Khan | AFP via Getty Images)


¶ “Australia’s Kangaroo Island Is A Haven For Rare Wildlife. A Third Of It Has Burned In Bushfires” • Kangaroo Island is famous for its pristine wilderness. Its protected nature reserves teem with wildlife, including endangered species. NASA estimates that 155,000 hectares (600 square miles) of the island has burned, calling it “an ecological tragedy.” [CNN]

¶ “As The Ice Melts, Greenland Considers Its Future” • Greenland is not used to being the center of attention, but last year it made the front pages of newspapers around the world. President Trump wanted to buy it. China wants a presence there. The ice is melting, and this makes mining easier. Greenland is vast, and its mines could be rich. [BBC]

Greenland’s capital, Nuuk (Getty Images)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Shatters All Records in Historic Month And Year in the Netherlands” • December had an amazing 22,983 plug-in registrations in the Netherlands. This historic result translated into a Norway-like 54% plug-in EV share last month, pulling the 2019 plug-in share to 15% (compared to 6% in 2018). And 99% of those EVs were fully electric. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Budweiser Brewer Cheers European Power Play” • Budweiser brewer AB InBev has signed a power purchase agreement with BayWa re to cover 100% of its electricity demands in Europe. The beer giant will take 130-MW of power from two solar farms in a 10-year virtual off-take deal. BayWa says it is the largest solar deal in European history. [reNEWS]

Budweiser celebrating BayWa deal (BayWa image)

¶ “Chinese Internet Firms Falling Behind On Renewable Energy Goals: Greenpeace” • China’s internet firms have fallen behind global peers in sourcing energy from clean, renewable sources, with soaring use of internet data driving up both energy demand and carbon emissions, environmental group Greenpeace said in a report. [Reuters]

¶ “2019 Saw The Rise Of Wind Power And The Collapse Of Coal” • In 2010, Britain generated 75% of its electricity from coal and natural gas. But by the end of the decade these fossil fuels stood at just 40%. Coal generation collapsed from the decade’s peak of 41% in 2012 to under 2% in 2019. Wind energy set a new record of 26.5% for December. [The Independent]

Race Bank wind farm (PA)

¶ “Japan Studies Disposal Of Nuclear Plant Water” • Japan released a draft report on December 31 about how to dispose of treated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. It covers two methods: releasing the water into the ocean after diluting it, and releasing it through evaporation. A combination of both could be used. [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

¶ “First Large Battery In Republic Of Ireland Targets Super-Fast Grid Services” • The Republic of Ireland recently got its first grid-scale battery, which will help manage volatility as the island nation ramps up renewable power plants. The Kilathmoy battery packs 11 MW and 5.5 MWh. It sits alongside a 23-MW wind farm in County Kerry. [Greentech Media]

Kilathmoy battery


¶ “Tesla Is The Most Valuable Auto Company In The History Of America” • Barron’s noted on January 7th, 2020, that Tesla had become the most valuable auto company in US history. Let me repeat: Not just currently. We are talking about the most valuable American auto company in US history. Congratulations to Elon and Tesla! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Smithfield Foods Generates RNG From Wastewater To Power North Carolina Communities” • Smithfield Foods, Inc, working with Duke Energy and OptimaBio, is producing renewable natural gas from manure at a North Carolina pork processing facility. It will help power more than 2,000 local homes and businesses. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Smithfield Foods plant (Courtesy of Duke Energy)

¶ “Study Group Proposes Modest Goals For Maine Renewable Energy Storage” • A commission that studied the potential for projects to store excess renewable power generated in Maine has recommended that the state set a short-term goal of 100 MW of capacity by 2025. The goal would send an important signal to investors and developers. [Lewiston Sun Journal]

¶ “Maine Agency Signs Off On $1 Billion Hydropower Transmission Line” • The Maine Land Use Planning Commission, which handles zoning in unregulated territories, approved a proposed $1 billion transmission line to bring hydropower from Canada to the New England power grid. It determined that the project met zoning and land use standards. [WABI]

Have a totally fantastic day.

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January 8 Energy News

January 8, 2020


¶ “David Suzuki: A 2020 Vision For Climate Action” • Let’s hope 2020 marks the start of a year and decade when we finally take climate disruption as seriously as the evidence shows we must. We understand the problem and know how to deal with it. Many solutions exist and more are being developed, but failing to act decisively makes everything more difficult. []

Pipes for pipeline (Getty Images)

¶ “Why You Should Care About The National Climate Bank” • The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that an annual investment of $2.4 trillion is needed in the energy system alone until 2035 to limit temperature rise to below 1.5 °C from pre-industrial levels. This kind of climate cash needs transformative thinking. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Bushfires Aren’t Rocket Science, They’re Climate Science” • Global warming, and the changes in climate associated with it, is due to the fossil fuels we’re burning: oil, natural gas, and the biggest culprit of all, coal. That is not complicated. We need only to wake up and look out the window to see the ever more obvious changes in the climate. [Newsroom]


Science and Technology:

¶ “Perdue Farms’ New Meat-Packing Foam Dissolves In Your Sink” • Not all locations recycle foam, so it’s not a perfect solution to the packaging waste problem.Perdue Farms will start packaging some of its meat products in a more earth-friendly way with compostable foam made of cornstarch that dissolves in water or in a landfill. [CNN]

¶ “Study Shows Coal Kills People. Imagine That!” • A new study by Jennifer Burney of the University of California and published in the journal Nature Sustainability explores the relationship between coal plant emissions and human mortality both nearby and downstream from those facilities. It also looks at coal’s effects on crops. [CleanTechnica]

USDA inspector (USDA image)


¶ “Australia fires: How the world has responded to the crisis” • Bushfires in Australia, have left a trail of destruction in their wake. They have razed almost 2,000 homes, and killed at least 25 people and hundreds of millions of animals since they began in September. People in Australia and abroad have been eager to find ways to offer assistance and support. [BBC]

¶ “Iran Attack: Crude Oil Prices Rise After Iraq Missile Attacks” • Oil prices have risen further after two bases hosting US troops in Iraq were hit by ballistic missiles. Brent crude was up by 1.4% at $69.21 per barrel in the middle of the Asian trade, easing back from earlier gains. Global stock market prices were sent lower on concerns over the conflict. [BBC]

Flaring gas (Getty Images)

¶ “Burned Koalas Are Overflowing Australian Hospitals” • Thousands of koalas have been badly injured by the bush fires in Australia to the point where hospitals are overflowing. Artisans have mobilized to get creative when it comes to comforting these innocent victims of the fires. This article has links showing where and what to donate. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pakistan To Elon Musk: We Want A Tesla Factory” • Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry, has sent a message to Elon Musk: “Dear Elon Musk your next destination may be Pakistan where 68 percent of the world population lives within 3.5 hours flight radius from Islamabad,” he shared on Twitter. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory (Tesla image)

¶ “Belgian Clean Power Output Grows 17%” • Renewable energy generation in Belgium grew 17% in 2019, according to data from the country’s transmission system operator Elia. Wind and solar power rose from 9.82 TWh in 2018 to 11.52 TWh last year. The company said the majority of the electricity came from solar in the summer and wind in the winter. [reNEWS]

¶ “Danish Solar Power Firm To Invest €300 Million Here” • A Danish solar power company, together with its Irish partner, is announcing plans to invest €300 million in the sector in Ireland. Obton, a business specializing in solar PVs, and Shannon Energy will develop up to 500 MW of solar projects here over the next five years. []

Solar array

¶ “Japan Changes Fukushima Cleanup” • Japan has changed its plan for cleaning up the Fukushima nuclear plant. The change further delays the removal of used nuclear fuel that has remained in cooling pools since the 2011 disaster. The removal process is difficult, and TEPCO, is aiming to complete the task within 30 to 40 years. [VOA Learning English]


¶ “Dominion’s Planned US Offshore Wind Project Could Be World’s Largest At 2.64 GW” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy said that Dominion Energy named it the preferred supplier for what could be the largest offshore wind farm in the world, at 2.64 GW. Siemens said model and number of turbines remain to be determined. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Siemens Gamesa offshore wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa)

¶ “US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fell In 2019 Due To Less Coal Consumption, Data Shows” • After rising sharply in 2018, US greenhouse gas emissions fell an estimated 2.1% in 2019, analysis of preliminary figures published by the Rhodium Group shows. The fall is almost solely due to reduced use of coal for generating electricity. [CNN]

¶ “Sununu’s Net Metering Plan Tees Up Another Renewable Energy Clash in Concord” • New Hampshire Gov Chris Sununu has a new plan to expand renewable energy net metering for towns and businesses. It is an alternative to a plan he has blocked the past two years. But advocates of that earlier plan are not pleased. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

Have an enchantingly beautiful day.

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January 7 Energy News

January 7, 2020


¶ “How To Travel By Train – And Ditch The Plane” • A string of horrifying climate-related disasters brought an environmental theme to many people’s New Year resolutions. Many resolved to reduce their carbon footprints by flying less, or cutting planes out completely. Flygskam – Swedish for “flight-shame” – has become commonplace. [BBC]

Trans-Siberian Express (Getty Images)

¶ “How States Will Continue To Drive Climate Action In 2020” • Will the US make climate progress in 2020? If last year is any indication, the answer will emerge from states and cities where progress in tackling carbon pollution is accelerating, even in the face of the pro-polluter Trump administration’s efforts to turn back the clock. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ “Australia Fires: ‘I Lost My Home. The Shock Will Never Fully Set In'” • “There isn’t really any way to describe the intensity of the fires.” Gabriel Kam’s family home was recently destroyed by the bushfires sweeping across Australia. Since September at least 24 people have died and the fires have destroyed more than 1,500 homes in the country. [BBC]

Kangaroos escaping the flames (Getty Images)


¶ “Sony Shocks – Announces Electric Car” • There have been rumors for years about electric cars from Apple, Google, and Samsung (outside of the Samsung-Renault partnership in South Korea). I don’t recall any rumors about a Sony electric car. But Sony just unveiled an electric car concept at CES 2020, and it shocked the world. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Cornwall’s Keeping It Local With Green Energy Revolution” • Cornwall is one of the leading counties in Britain’s burgeoning green economy. It has up to 1600 hours of sunshine a year, giving it solar potential, and it has abundant coastline and advantageous conditions for windpower. But it also has premium potential for geothermal energy. [Energy Saving Trust]

Sea pinks on the coast of Cornwall (Getty Images)

¶ “EU Plans ‘Big Increase’ In Green Gas To Meet Climate Goals” • Production of biogas, biomethane, and “green” hydrogen will have to increase by at least 1,000% by 2050 to reach the EU’s climate neutrality objective for that year, an EU official has said. Renewable gases today already represent around 7% of gross inland energy consumption. [EURACTIV]

¶ “Renewables Beat Fossil Fuels On 137 Days In Greenest Year For UK Energy” • Energy produced by the UK’s renewable sector outpaced fossil fuel plants on a record 137 days in 2019 to help take the country to its greenest year. But growth of UK’s low-carbon electricity production was hampered in 2019 by outages at aging nuclear power plants. [The Guardian]

Solar array (Steve Parsons | PA)

¶ “India Becomes Second Largest Market For Corporate Renewable Power” • Indian corporates are increasingly adopting renewable power to operate, and the country has become the second largest growth market for corporate renewable power purchase agreements after the US. For the first half of 2019, India had a global share of 7.4%. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Drop In Spain As Power Plants Ditch Coal” • Spain has taken just one year to reach a goal that was expected to require a decade. The government had predicted that by 2030 coal would no longer be used in power plants to generate electricity, yet this objective was all but achieved last year. [EL PAÍS in English]

Closed coal mine in Asturias (Alvaro Fuente | Getty Images)


¶ “Las Vegas Taxi Company Orders Hundreds Of Teslas” • Kaptyn, which has 872 taxis among its total of 1,400 vehicles in Las Vegas, launched 30 Teslas in its taxi service in the city. That, however, is just a soft launch of its Tesla fleet. The number of electric vehicles in the fleet will be in the hundreds by sometime in February. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “200-MW Wind Power Project Goes Online In Starr County, Texas” • Duke Energy Renewables announced that its 200-MW Mesteño Windpower project in Starr County, Texas began commercial operation on December 31, 2019. It is Duke Energy’s fourth wind generation facility in Starr County and its eleventh in Texas. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ “Around 10,000 More US Deaths Last Year From This Silent Killer” • Air pollution killed nearly 10,000 Americans in 2018, and 2019 must have seen a similar total. It is an alarming fact that no one really seems to have paid much attention. We should all understand that thousands of Americans die prematurely each year due to rising air pollution. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “German Firm Powers Up Solar Farm In Heart Of Texas Oil Field” • German utility RWE has completed construction of a 100-MW solar farm in heart of the West Texas oil patch. The facility, southwest of Midland-Odessa in the Permian Basin, has a long-term contract with SK E&S, a South Korean natural gas and renewable power company. [Energy Voice]

Solar array

¶ “Renewable Electricity Generation Surpasses Coal For First Time” • Electricity generation from renewable sources exceeded coal-fired generation in April of last year, marking the first that has happened, the Energy Information Administration’s EIA’s Electric Power Monthly said. Renewables provided 23% of the electricity; coal provided 20%. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ “Growing Group Of States Backs Rhode Island’s Climate Suit Versus Big Oil” • Over a dozen states filed an amicus brief supporting Rhode Island’s climate lawsuit against fossil fuel companies. The coalition of states is weighing in to support Rhode Island as it seeks to hold big oil companies accountable for climate change impacts. [Climate Liability News]

Have a fascinatingly splendid day.

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January 6 Energy News

January 6, 2020


¶ “A History Of Climate Change Science And Denialism” • Reading recent media reports, you could be forgiven for thinking that climate change is a sudden crisis. Nevertheless, scientists have understood the greenhouse effect since the 19th century, and the potential for human-caused global warming for decades. Denialism has a history. [History News Network]

Global warming

Science and Technology:

¶ “Battery Recycling Will Be The New New Thing, And JB Straubel And Kore Power Are Leading The Way” • Nearly 11 million tons of lithium-ion batteries are expected to reach the end of their useful life by 2030. Elements in them, including nickel, lithium, cobalt, and others, won’t disappear, however, and they can be recovered. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Satellites Are Changing Climate Science” • Traveling around the planet at 15,660 mph, NASA’s ICESat-2 aims a six-beam, green-spectrum laser toward Earth’s surface, constantly measuring the glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice, oceans, and tree canopies far below. It is one of several new satellites giving us new insights into climate change. [Mother Jones]

Launch of ICESat-2, Sept 15, 2018, (Bill Ingalls | NASA | Getty)


¶ “Australia Fires: Rain Brings Relief But Huge Blazes Expected Ahead” • Sooty rain fell on Australia’s east coast, from Sydney to Melbourne, with “torrential” rain reported in some parts of New South Wales. But officials warned it would get hot again soon and huge fires in Victoria and NSW could meet to create a larger “mega blaze.” [BBC]

¶ “Denmark Passes Magic 50% In Renewable Electricity Generation Milestone” • 2019 was a record year for renewable electricity generation in Denmark. National media reports that half of Denmark’s electricity came from from renewables. The Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm went online in 2019, accounting for much of the increase. [CleanTechnica]

Hornsea One offshore wind farm (Courtesy of Ørsted)

¶ “Onsite Renewables Vital For Refugee Camps Says UN” • A report from the UN states that onsite renewables can supply refugee communities cost-effectively with reliable electricity. There are currently almost 26 million refugees in the world, and the study says that unreliable energy exposes them to additional risks. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Irish Voice Wind Energy Support” • More than three-quarters of Irish people are in favor of wind energy, according to a survey carried out by Interactions on behalf of the Irish Wind Energy Association. The poll found that 79% back wind power, with 52% strongly in favor of the technology. Only 4% oppose wind energy, with 2% strongly opposing it. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in Ireland (Energia image)

¶ “MGen Unit To Start Work On 50-MW Philippine Solar Project This Month” • A consortium led by Philippine power producer Meralco PowerGen Corporation expects to begin building works on a 50-MW solar park in Bulacan province this month, a top official said. The San Miguel solar park will sell its output to Meralco over 20 years. [Renewables Now]

¶ “JRE Commissions 44-MW Solar Park In Fukushima” • Japan Renewable Energy began commercial operation of a 44-MW solar park in Fukushima prefecture, according to information on the company’s website. The PV plant is expected to generate enough electricity to provide for the power needs of about 13,200 households. [Renewables Now]

Solar park in Japan (Minoru Karamatsu, Creative Commons)

¶ “Japan To Transform Fukushima Into Renewable Hub, But Activists Skeptical” • A project sponsored by the state-owned Development Bank of Japan and Mizuho Bank seeks to transform Fukushima Prefecture, where three nuclear reactors melted down in 2011, into a center that will power the region with 100% renewable energy by 2040. [Green Queen Media]


¶ “Police Department Adds 2020 Tesla Model 3 And Explains Why” • Asked why he chose the Model 3, Police Chief Koskinas says he “believes in being green.” However, the car’s unmatched performance for the money, its 5 star safety rating, its top-of-the-industry collision avoidance technology, and its low lifetime cost also were factors. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla police car for Westport, Connecticut (image via Twitter)

¶ “California Offers Up To $9,500 To Purchase Used Or New Electric Vehicle, Focus On Lower-Income Motorists” • New EV incentives help California residents with lower incomes improve air quality and fight climate change. They can now get $9,500 in EV incentives in certain regions, or even $14,000 under some specific circumstances. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “With New Democratic Leadership, General Assembly Faces Flood Of Energy Proposals” • The week after Democrats were swept to power in Virginia’s General Assembly, environment and clean energy activists struggled to get their sea legs in the new ocean of legislative possibilities that suddenly opened up before them. [Virginia Mercury]

Dominion Energy coal-fired power plant (Ryan Kelly)

¶ “Innovative New Orleans School Puts Focus On Environment, Climate Change” • A high school in New Orleans is preparing students for careers in coastal protection and restoration, anticipating a future with ongoing climate change and sea level rise. New Harmony High School opened in 2018 and has about 100 south Louisiana students. [WBRZ]

¶ “Energy Storage 2020: It’s Not Just About Lithium-Ion Batteries Any More” • The DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, or ARPA-E, is funding research by ten organizations with a goal of creating long term energy storage systems that cost 5¢/kWh or less. Five of them are scheduled for completion in 2020 and the rest in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Have a laudably fruitful day.

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January 5 Energy News

January 5, 2020


¶ “Ten Cool Solar Power Stories You May Have Missed” • Too much cleantech news is a good thing, but it sometimes means I need to stuff a bunch of big stories into one article. Here’s a roundup of some cleantech stories no one wanted to take and write full pieces about. This particular roundup is 100% focused on solar power. [CleanTechnica]

STEAG solar array (Photo: Aleks Velde, courtesy of STEAG)

¶ “Nuclear Power Is ‘Clean’ – If You Ignore All the Waste” • Nuclear power generates electricity without greenhouse gases or other air pollutants. But it hasn’t been extensively deployed to fight climate change because of safety fears, the high cost of construction and, perhaps most significantly, nuclear power’s hazardous waste. [Mother Jones]

¶ “Plan Your Plot For 2020: Think About Seeds And New Beds” • It may be the depths of winter, but spring is coming. Order seed this month to avoid missing out on more interesting varieties. Support small suppliers if you can; organic if possible. You can maybe start off hardier seed in a propagator, or sow late-winter leaves if you have a cold frame. [The Guardian]

Treviso-style chicory (Photo: Allan Jenkins | The Observer)

¶ “Australian Bushfires Point To An Ominous Pattern” • Scenes playing out across Australia are apocalyptic. Bushfires have burned millions of acres and ravaged more than 1,000 homes in New South Wales alone. The pictures may look like something out of a dystopic science fiction film – or even Dante’s Inferno – but this is now Australia’s reality. [CNN]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Has Two Of Australia’s Top Three Safest Cars Of 2019” • In the latest annual ranking from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program, two out of the top three safest cars in Australia were electric vehicles. ANCAP said the top 3 safest cars for 2019 were the Tesla Model X, Tesla Model 3, and Mercedes-Benz CLA, which ranked highest. [CleanTechnica]

Crash testing a Tesla (Photo courtesy IIHS)

¶ “Lithium For Tesla Battery Uses Less Water Than 11 Avocados” • Reportedly, 3,840 liters (1,104 gallons) of water are evaporated for a 64-kWh battery. According to the director of the Helmholtz Institute for Electrochemical Energy Storage, this is the amount of water used to producte in 250 grams of beef, 10 avocados, or 30 cups of coffee. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Australia Fires: A Visual Guide To The Bushfire Crisis” • Record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought have fueled a series of massive bushfires across Australia. The fires, burning since September, have intensified over the past week. High temperatures and strong winds are forecast for the weekend, creating further fire risk. [BBC]

How one fire can start another fire miles away

¶ “North Wales Town Set To Become The Greenest In The Country” • Corwen is building a ground-breaking energy project. The town already has its own community hydro-electric project fed by the Pen y Pigyn Reservoir. But now it wants to boost its energy output by signing up 60 local households that have their own generating capacity. [North Wales Live]

¶ “The World’s Largest Floating Wind Turbine Just Came Online” • The largest floating wind turbine to date went online off Portugal. One of the three platforms that will make up the WindFloat Atlantic off-shore wind farm was grid connected with a 20-km (12.4-mile) cable on New Year’s Eve. Together, the three will power about 60,000 homes. [ScienceAlert]

Floating wind turbine (Principle Power image)


¶ “Fifteen New Electric Articulated Buses Deployed In NYC – 500 Planned To Serve All Five Boroughs” • New York City’s MTA has deployed the first phase of its new all-electric articulated bus fleet. The 2020–2024 Capital Plan includes $1.1 billion to acquire 500 new electric buses to serve all 5 boroughs. This first phase includes 15 buses. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Avangrid Betting Big On Renewable Energy” • Avangrid is pushing forward with multi-billion-dollar initiatives to create two wind farms off the coast of Nantucket, about 30 miles south of Cape Cod. Together, they would add more power to the New England grid than the company’s controversial $1 billion Maine transmission project. [Lewiston Sun Journal]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Ten Puerto Rican Schools Receive Resilient Microgrids” • The Rocky Mountain Institute, Kinesis Foundation, and Save the Children have installed ten renewable microgrids in 10 schools in the mountainous region of Puerto Rico. Many of the schools that received microgrid systems were without power for six months after the hurricanes of 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rocky Mountain Power To Expand Amount Of Wind Power Serving Its Customers By End Of 2020” • Rocky Mountain Power, which is part of PacifiCorp, announced that it’s moving forward with its “Energy Vision 2020” initiative. To do so, by the end of this year it will significantly expand the amount of wind power serving its customers. [KUTV 2News]

Wind turbines (Screenshot: Rocky Mountain Power)

¶ “Native American Tribe Leads The Microgrid Revolution In California” • The tsunami of 2011, which led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, also flooded parts of California. It made the Blue Lake Rancheria Native American tribe realize how vulnerable they were to power outages, and the tribe has built a microgrid for its casino. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Target Has Installed 500 Solar Power Systems” • According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Target has been one of the top US corporate solar power installers for 5 straight years. In 2015, it committed to achieving 500 solar power installations by 2020. In December of 2019, Target announced that it reached its goal (a little bit ahead of schedule). [CleanTechnica]

Have an altogether elevating day.

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January 4 Energy News

January 4, 2020


¶ “Oil And Petrochemical Companies Want YOU To Pay To Protect Them From Climate Change!” • Not content with ruining the Earth with billions of tons of CO₂ and plastic waste, oil and petrochemical companies want the federal government to build enclaves to protect their refining facilities from rising sea levels and more powerful storms. [CleanTechnica]

Motiva refinery Port Arthur, Texas (Motiva image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “NTU Scientists Have Discovered A Method To Break Down Plastic Waste Using Sunlight” • According to a press release, a research team led by an assistant professor at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University found a way to harness light energy to convert dissolved plastic into formic acid, a chemical with many uses. [SAYS]

¶ “Groundbreaking Study Finds ‘Fingerprint’ Of Human-Caused Climate Change In Global Daily Weather” • Scientists can now detect the “fingerprint” of human-caused climate change in a global perspective of daily weather patterns, according to a groundbreaking analysis published in the journal Nature Climate Change. [Common Dreams]

After Hurricane Maria (Photo: Mario Tama | Getty Images)


¶ “Adani Green Switches On 75-MW Wind Park In Gujarat” • India’s Adani Green Energy Ltd put a 75-MW wind farm online in the state of Gujarat, it said in a bourse filing. The plant will sell electricity to state-owned utility Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd for ₹2.85/kWh (€0.0356/kWh, 3.97¢/kWh) under a power purchase agreement. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Boost To Renewable Energy: MNRE Proposes ‘Bundling’ Scheme” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is working out a way to supply round-the-clock power from wind and solar plants. It would to sell renewable energy and thermal power together in a ‘bundle’ to deliver renewable energy in an uninterrupted electricity supply. [EnergyInfraPost]

Solar panels (Bart Speelman | Flickr)

¶ “Japan Nuclear Regulator Effectively Made Safety Measure Decision Behind Closed Doors” • After Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority met behind closed doors with KEPCO, experts argue that such hearings are in effect a decision-making process of the NRA, violating the Public Records and Archives Management Act. [The Mainichi]

¶ “Turkey Hits New Renewable And Hydro Output Records In 2019” • Turkey’s Solar Energy Investors Association said that Turkey generated around 44% of its electricity from renewable sources last year. Turkey set new annual renewable electricity and hydroelectricity generation records in 2019 according to an industry leader. [Daily Sabah]

Wind turbines (AA photo)


¶ “Mallacoota: How people survived in the fire-hit beach town” • Most people who were in Mallacoota or from areas around the town hunkered down on the beach. Some stayed at their homes, wetting them down and checking for embers. As the fire drew nearer, “it sounded like a jet engine, a far-away plane over the hill that we were on,” one man said. [BBC]

¶ “Australia Fires: Troops Called To Tackle Fires” • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced 3,000 reserve troops will be deployed to help tackle raging bushfires across the country. Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Mr Morrison told reporters, “We have seen this disaster escalate to an entirely new level.” [BBC]

Hot tinder countryside (AFP image)

¶ “Australia’s Fires Could Change The Country Forever” • The natural rhythms of Australia’s environment include wildfires, but scientists haven’t seen anything like this before. At least 12 million acres of land have already been scorched and more than a hundred blazes are still active, but the fire season has yet to reach its peak. []

¶ “Australia Fires: How Do We Know How Many Animals Have Died?” • There is a widely-reported estimate that almost half a billion animals have been killed by the bush fires in Australia. The figure came from an expert on Australian biodiversity at the University of Sydney, who released a statement explaining how he had reached it. [BBC]

Emergency worker and koala (Reuters image)


¶ “Tesla Hits 2019 Guidance – Delivers 367,500 Vehicles, Grows 50% Over 2018” • Tesla released its Q4 2019 vehicle production and deliveries results, delivering about 112,000 vehicles in Q4 and about 367,500 vehicles in 2019 overall, which is a 50% increase over 2018 deliveries. Tesla’s annual guidance was for 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “120 GW Of Energy Storage By 2050: We Got This!” • Low cost energy storage is true gamechanger. About 15 years ago, experts with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory were looking at an ambitious scenario of 20% penetration. Today they’re saying that 80% or more renewable energy is doable, and even 100% is conceivable. [CleanTechnica]
Massive solar plus energy storage project in Hawaii

¶ “Albuquerque Lays Out 2020 Renewable Energy Plan” • Just a few days into the new year and Albuquerque’s 2020 resolution is clear: Go green. First, it was the ban on plastic bags that began January 1. Now the city, which averages 280 sunny days a year, is also taking advantage its climate by a number of moves toward solar power. [KRQE News 13]

¶ “Hawaii Electric, PGV New Agreement Could Lower Electric Bills” • An agreement between Hawaiian Electric and Puna Geothermal Venture will lower electric bills on the Island of Hawaii and increase its renewable energy. PGV was shut down in May 2018 due to the Kilauea eruption, but it could resume operations this year if all goes well. [Big Island Now]

Have a graciously evolving day.

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January 3 Energy News

January 3, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Belching In A Good Way: How Livestock Could Learn From Orkney Sheep” • One of the Orkney islands, North Ronaldsay, is home to 50 people and 2,000 sheep. In the 19th Century, the islanders built a stone wall to confine the flock to the shoreline, where it survived on seaweed. That special diet could hold the key more climate-friendly livestock farming. [BBC]

Fat sheep living on seaweed (Fionn McArthur, Start Point Media)

¶ “Did Climate Change Cause Australian Bushfires? Scientists Answer Questions Around Devastating Disaster” • Australia’s unprecedented wildfires are supercharged thanks to climate change, the type of trees catching fire, and weather, experts say. Lightning starts some, and these fires are so extreme that they trigger their own thunderstorms. [TVNZ]


¶ “Enel Chile Shuts Down 158-MW Coal Unit As Planned” • Enel Generacion Chile SA disconnected its 158-MW coal-fired unit at the Tarapaca power plant on December 31 in line with a schedule authorized by the Chilean Energy Commission. The now-closed plant represented 25% of Enel’s total coal-fired power generating capacity in Chile. [Renewables Now]

Tarapaca power plant (Enel Chile image)

¶ “Fossil Fuels Vs Renewable Energy: EIB Takes Sides” • Since the Paris Agreement, Canadian, Chinese, European, Japanese, and US banks have all continued to fund fossil fuels. Over the last three years, they have lent the industry $1.9 trillion. But the world’s largest public lender, the European Investment Bank, has set a date to stop. [Investment U]

¶ “MNRE To Invest ₹4 Lakh Crore To Meet 175-GW Renewable Energy Target” • Power and Renewable Energy Minister RK Sing said India’s renewable energy target of 175 GW would require an investment of ₹4,14,581 crore ($62.3 billion), and a non-banking financial institute under the Ministry of Renewable Energy will see this is financed. [Elets]

Solar panels in India (Prashanthns, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “India Identifies Offshore Wind Energy Potential Of 70,000 MW Along Gujarat, Tamil Nadu Coasts” • India’s offshore wind potential is estimated at 70,000 MW, most of which is in coastal Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said. MNRE has plans to develop its first offshore wind farm in Gujarat. []

¶ “Global Wind Power Players See Japan As Next Money-Spinner” • Multinational wind energy companies are quickly putting down stakes around Japan. Nuclear power has become almost anathema since the earthquake-triggered disaster in 2011, but the government also wants to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels from the Middle East. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Wind turbines in Japan (Kansai explorer, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Australia Solar And Storage News – In Your Face, ScoMo!” • While the Australian government under Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues to paddle furiously backwards when it comes to promoting renewable energy and addressing climate change, the transition to zero emission electricity is gathering speed throughout the nation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Residents Vent Fury At Australian PM Amid Wildfires” (Video) • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison faced heat from people living in the middle of the bushfire danger zone in New South Wales. After vacationing in Hawaii while the fires raged, he finally visited one of the areas of devastation. He heard people rage, and he left without saying anything. [CNN]

Furious at the Prime Minister (Nine Network Australia)

¶ “Australia Fires: Navy Rescues People From Fire-Hit Mallacoota” • The Australian navy has evacuated around 1,000 tourists and residents who were trapped in the fire-ravaged town of Mallacoota on the Victoria coast. The evacuees will be taken to Western Port, the navy said, around 16 hours’ voyage down the coast. [BBC]


¶ “Amazon ‘Threatens To Fire’ Climate Change Activists” • A group of Amazon employees said the company threatened to fire some of them for speaking out on environmental issues. They had called for the e-commerce giant to do more to tackle climate change. Amazon said its policy about employees making public comments is not new. [BBC]

Walkout by Amazon Employees for Climate Justice at
its headquarters in Seattle in September (Getty Images)

¶ “PSC Approves Mon Power Proposal To Terminate Contract With Morgantown Plant” • West Virginia’s Public Service Commission approved a plan to allow Mon Power to pay a Morgantown power plant operator $60 million to terminate an agreement to purchase electricity from a coal-burning power plant through 2027. [West Virginia MetroNews]

¶ “Arcadia Brings Affordable Clean Energy To Methuen” • Clean energy company Arcadia launched its first community solar project for Massachusetts in Methuen. Teaming up with Madison Energy Investments, Arcadia is building a solar array on Aegean Dr for residents who aren’t able to install solar panels on their own homes. []

Solar array (Photo: Kat Carney)

¶ “Trump Administration Plans 2020 Approvals For Major Projects” • The Trump administration is poised this year to do what congressional Democrats and other critics of the president’s “energy dominance” campaign have been demanding for a long time: Advance large-scale renewable energy projects on federal lands. [E&E News]

¶ “Two Large Enel Renewable Energy Plants In The US Start Operations” • Enel Green Power North America said operations have started at two of the company’s US renewable energy plants. One is the 252-MW first phase of the Roadrunner solar project in Texas; the other is the 66-MW Whitney Hill wind project in Illinois. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Have an unimaginably superb day.

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January 2 Energy News

January 2, 2020


¶ “Politicians Stand In The Way Of A Green Energy Revolution” • Renewable energy is now so cheap that installation worldwide is happening faster than governments have allowed for in their national plans for action, the International Renewable Energy Agency said. IRENA says the barrier to tackling climate change is political, not technical. [Truthdig]

Wind farm (Ian Sane, CC BY 2.0)

¶ “Want To Ban New Gas And Diesel Cars? Look To Sweden To See How It’s Done” • What would it take for a country to ban new gasoline and diesel cars? Look no farther than the government of Sweden, which is in the midst of a study to offer proposals on just such a topic. Details are emerging in a report is to be presented by 1 February 2021. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Australia Fires: New South Wales Declares Week-Long State Of Emergency” • The premier of New South Wales has declared a week-long state of emergency in response to the escalating bushfire threat. High temperatures and strong winds are forecast for the weekend, leading to “widespread extreme fire danger” in the eastern Australian state. [BBC]

Police delivering supplies at Mallacoota (Victoria Police)

¶ “Sebastian Kurz-Led Conservatives To Form Coalition Government With Greens In Austria” • Austria’s conservatives led by Sebastian Kurz agreed to form an unprecedented coalition government with the Greens, capping almost three months of negotiations. It will mark the first time the Green party has been in power. [WION]

¶ “Jakarta Floods: ‘Not Ordinary Rain’, Say Officials” • At least 21 people have died in flooding in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, after the city had its most intense rainfall since the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency began supplying records in 1996. The agency measured 377 mm (14.84 in) of rainfall in one day at an airport in East Jakarta. [BBC]

Rescuing an infant (Muhammad Iqbal | Antara Foto via Reuters)

¶ “Obrador Administration Rolling Back Energy Reform In Mexico” • Mexican President Obrador, who came to office late in 2018, wants state-owned energy companies to have more control over the country’s power projects. He rolled back moves from the previous administration, which had opened Mexico’s energy markets to competition. [POWER magazine]

¶ “Danish Wind Delivers Record Year” • With new wind farms and average winds, wind power delivered almost 47% of last year’s electricity in Denmark, beating the previous record of over 43% in 2017, according to industry association Wind Denmark. Total output from Danish wind farms was 16.0 TWh last year, up from 13.9 TWh in 2018 and 14.8 TWh in 2017. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (Vattenfall image)

¶ “₹1,228 Crore Dues To Renewable Power Firms Cleared In December” • Andhra Pradesh distribution companies (discoms) are making all-out efforts to clear the dues of renewable power developers. Energy Department said out of ₹2,255.97 crore ($339 million) owed, the discoms cleared ₹1212.28 crore ($182 million) in December. [The New Indian Express]

¶ “German Solar Grows 30% In 2019” • The solar market grew by about 30% in 2019 with almost 4 GW of new projects installed, nitial analysis by the German solar industry association BSW said. The association said falling PV prices with increased power prices, intensifying climate debate, and growing electromobility were the main reasons for growth. [reNEWS]

Solar array (APPA | Unsplash)

¶ “2019 Was Australia’s Hottest Year On Record – 1.5°C Above Average Temperature” • The year 2019 was the hottest on record for Australia with the temperature reaching 1.52°C above the long-term average, latest data from the Bureau of Meteorology confirms. It was a year of crippling drought, record heatwaves, and devastating bushfires. [The Guardian]

¶ “Prince William Unveils ‘Earthshot Prize’ To Tackle Climate Crisis” • Prince William announced what Sir David Attenborough called “the most prestigious environment prize in history” to encourage climate crisis solutions. The “Earthshot prize” will be awarded to five people with answers for climate problems every year over the next decade. [The Guardian]

Sir David Attenborough commenting (Reuters)


¶ “Trump Administration Says It Will Approve Largest Solar Farm In US” • Federal officials plan to approve a massive, 690-MW solar farm with energy storage in the desert outside Las Vegas, paving the way for a $1-billion project that will provide electricity to Nevada residents served by billionaire Warren Buffett’s NV Energy. [Bryan-College Station Eagle]

¶ “Kansas’ Embrace Of Wind Energy Helps It Reduce CO₂ Emissions” • Kansas has been able to reduce its CO₂ emissions for a 10th straight year, largely due to the rapid adoption of wind energy and a slow move away from coal powered electricity. The Kansas News Service reports that about 36% of all electricity produced in Kansas is from wind. [KSHB]

Smoky Hills Wind Farm (Drenaline, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Shiloh Industries To Power Technical Center, Two Stamping Plants With 100% Renewable Energy” • Shiloh Industries has joined DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program, committing to power three facilities with 100% Michigan-made clean energy. The move will offset the equivalent of nearly 4,000 metric tons of CO₂ emissions. []

¶ “Controversy Continues To Swirl Around Uranium Enrichment Contract” • The chairs and ranking members of two House Science, Space, and Technology subcommittees asked the DOE to justify an award of a $115 million contract to Centrus Energy to demonstrate technology for producing a specialized nuclear fuel for advanced reactors. [Physics Today]

Have an unambiguously jolly day.

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January 1 Energy News

January 1, 2020


¶ “Australia’s Angry Summer: This Is What Climate Change Looks Like” • Summer used to be something we yearned for: long, lazy days spent by the beach or pool, backyard barbecues, and games of cricket with family and friends. But summer has become a time of fear, with heatwaves, fires, and evacuations. Australia has a changed climate. [Scientific American]

Fire fighting helicopter (David Gray | Getty Images)

¶ “Twenty Reasons Why 2019 Gave Us Climate Hope” • For all of the unfortunate events that happened this year, we also saw an equal (and growing) opposite reaction. People all around the world stepped up for the climate like never before.Technology and economics are making the solutions to the crisis more feasible than ever. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “We Know This Disaster Is Unprecedented – No Amount Of Scott Morrison Spin Can Hide It” • There is a message carefully woven into everything Australia’s prime minister says about the fires. It is that they are not extraordinary, not unprecedented. But we know that this fire disaster is unprecedented, and no amount of spin can hide it. [The Guardian]

Fire wreckage (Sean Davey | AFP via Getty Images)


¶ “Australia Is Burning And Tesla Owners Are Trying To Help” • Australia is burning and thousands are facing burning fires that ravage their communities and leave behind apocalyptic scenes. Tesla’s Starlink technology is not ready to help restore Australia’s communications yet, but Tesla owners, and others, ares stepping up to the job. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Singapore’s Clean Power Growth May Beat Expectations: Report” • Thanks to government efforts to promote the sector, growth in Singapore’s clean power may beat expectations in the long run, Fitch Solutions Macro Research said in a report. But the pace is slow for now, with a lack of private sector enthusiasm and slowing power consumption. [The Straits Times]

Rooftop solar system in Singapore (ST file photo)

¶ “Zero-Carbon Energy Outstrips Fossil Fuels In Britain Across 2019” • With a dramatic decline in coal-fired power and a rise in renewable and low-carbon energy, 2019 was Britain’s cleanest energy year on record, according to National Grid, which owns and operates the transmission network in England and Wales, and runs the Scottish networks. [The Guardian]

¶ “Australia Now Has Its First State Run On 100% Renewable Electricity” • From 1 January 2020, the Australian Capital Territory achieves something no other Australian state or territory has. “The ACT will officially be powered by 100% renewable electricity,” the territory’s climate change minister Shane Rattenbury told SBS News. [SBS]

Solar farm in ACT (SBS News image)

¶ “Second WindFloat Atlantic Platform Sets Sail” • The second of three platforms of the Windplus consortium’s 25-MW WindFloat Atlantic floating project off Portugal has set off from the Port of Ferrol in Galicia. Upon arrival at its final destination 20 km off the coast, it will be installed next to the first floating platform, which was deployed in October. [reNEWS]

¶ “From Red Seaweed To Climate-Smart Cows: New Zealand Leads The Fight Against Methane” • For Dr Suzanne Rowe, who is breeding strains of sheep that emit less methane, there is no more important work. She says, “New Zealand has really become a global leader in this space and there’s a lot of buzz around at the moment – it’s hugely exciting.” [The Guardian]

Thoughtful cow (William West | AFP | Getty Images)


¶ “The Largest Passive House In North America: 154 Low-Income Housing Units (46 For Formerly Homeless)” • The largest US residential building built to the Passive House US standard and the largest passive house building in North America came about at the end of 2019, with units for low-income tenants. The design even addresses storm resiliency. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In Mississippi, The Costs Of Coastal Flooding Are Adding Up” • First Street Foundation research found that between 2005 and 2017, flooding erased nearly $16 billion of real estate appreciation in coastal areas from Maine to Texas. Researchers did not even calculate losses in Louisiana due to the complexity of issues in that state. [CleanTechnica]

House built to code for floods and hurricanes (Nexus Media)

¶ “Enel Will Bring Almost 1 GW Of Clean Electricity Online In US During 2020” • Enel brought two wind projects online in the US during 2019, totaling 318 MW. The Italian energy company is not resting on its laurels, however. Enel Green Power has six wind farms under construction, which will bring installations for the US in 2020 to nearly 1 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A Peak Inside the Unisphere, One of the World’s Largest Net-Zero Buildings” • The head of United Therapeutics, Martine Rothblatt, would not yield on the company’s new headquarters. When designers warned that building a net-zero building in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland would be a formidable task, she replied, “I don’t care. Figure it out.” [CleanTechnica]

The Unisphere (United Therapeutics image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Could Top Natural Gas In New Capacity Added In US In 2019” • According to the SUN DAY Campaign, data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Energy Information Administration for the first ten months of 2019 show renewable energy sources are on track to place first for new US generating capacity in 2019. [Solar Builder]

¶ “Push For US Uranium Production Opposed Near Grand Canyon” • The Trump administration wants to encourage US production of uranium. That could affect a temporary ban now in place on uranium mining in and around Grand Canyon. A bill to make that ban permanent passed the House and was introduced before the Senate. []

Have an enjoyably productive day.

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