Archive for January 19th, 2020

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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