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. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “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. [nshoremag.com]

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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