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. [NBCNews.com]
(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. [Boston.com]

Have a magically propitious day.

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