January 7 Energy News

January 7, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “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)

World:

¶ “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)

US:

¶ “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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