February 15 Energy News

February 15, 2020


¶ “How To Sell Climate Action To Your Rural Conservative Neighbors” • “What is the most important thing we can do to contribute to climate action? Open our mouths and talk about it!” Cognitive scientist John Cook told that me as I researched the subject. “This is the key to building the social momentum that is the foundation of political action.” [Gen]

Wind turbines in North Dakota (Ken Cedeno | Getty Images)

¶ “A Third Of Fossil Fuel Assets May Soon Be Stranded” • Fossil fuel companies hold vast oil, gas and coal riches that they frequently tout to the investing universe to help elevate their market values. Few, if any, have ever told investors that a large chunk of these assets could be doomed to forever remain buried in the ground. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why The Vegan Diet Is Not Always Green” •  Having a vegan smoothie to start your day may be packed with nutrients and will do wonders for your health. But it may be doing far less good for the planet. Anyone looking to adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet for environmental reasons may also want to consider the heavy price that comes with some vegan food. [BBC]


¶ “Wildfire Smoke May Cause Life-Long Harm” • Smoke from wildfires may have long-term health effects, US research on juvenile monkeys shows. Analysis shows their immune systems were lower than normal, twelve years after they were naturally exposed to wildfire smoke. There are indications that the animals passed on the defect to their offspring. [BBC]


¶ “No More Money For Polish Coal” • Polish power producers Enea SA and Energa SA have revealed that they will suspend financing for Ostrołęka C, the last coal power plant to be built in northeastern Poland. They said they had decided to suspend financing for the project largely due to difficulty of obtaining external financing. [pv magazine international]

Bełchatów Power Station (Image: Fotopolska.eu, Wikipedia)

¶ “Coastal Erosion: The Homes Lost To The Sea” (Video) • As sea level rise, a senior figure in the UK Environment Agency says he wants the country to start “difficult conversations” about which areas should be protected and which should not. Science editor David Shukman has been investigating the dilemma of where to save and where to retreat. [BBC]

¶ “A plague of locusts has descended on East Africa. Climate change may be to blame” • A plague of locusts is spreading across East Africa, threatening the food supply of tens of millions of people. Desert locusts thrive following periods of heavy rainfall that trigger blooms of vegetation. There has been a series of cyclones in the last two years. [National Geographic]

Desert locust swarm (Magnus Ullman, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Power Bills To Fall In Next Two Years As Political Stoush Over Coal Continues” • Australia’s national grid is getting so much solar power that some areas are now experiencing daytime periods of negative prices for power. On the question of a new coal-burning power plant, one business expert said “It would be daft in every sense of the word.” [ABC News]

¶ “Australia Weather: How Much Rain Did It Take To Put Out NSW Fires?” • Since July there have been fires – sometimes hundreds at once – burning across New South Wales. Things finally changed though when rain arrived in NSW last weekend. It was a massive dump of water – more than 400 mm (15.7 in) in some places. [BBC]

Relief from fire (NSW Rural Fire Service)

¶ “Climate Skeptic Asset Managers Face Pressure To Reveal Donations” • Principles for Responsible Investment, a United Nations-backed framework, is now considering requiring asset managers to disclose information about their own executives. This would include their outside roles and donations to groups that seek to influence government policy. [Yahoo Finance]


¶ “Portland General Electric And Avangrid Renewables Announce Major Solar Facility In Oregon” • Portland General Electric and Avangrid Renewables have announced an agreement to purchase power from a new 162-MW solar generation facility – the largest in the state – to be developed and built in eastern Oregon.  [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Copper Crossing Solar Farm in Arizona (Avangrid)

¶ “Pacific Power: ‘Green’ Energy Move Will Trim 2021 Rate Hike” • West Coast utility Pacific Power asked Oregon energy regulators for a 2021 rate hike, expected to raise the average homeowner’s bill by 1.6%, or $4.03 monthly. But it said a recent major shift toward renewable energy sources trimmed the potential rate increase considerably. [KTVZ]

¶ “US Doubled Renewables Capacity Since 2010: Factbook” • Power-generating capacity from renewable energy – including solar, wind and utility-scale hydropower – has doubled in the US since 2010, while generation has jumped 77% in that time, a report from BloombergNEF and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy shows. [Smart Cities Dive]

Wind farm (Credit: Dominion Energy)

¶ “Rural Renewable Energy Alliance Partners To Bring Solar Energy To Disabled Vets” • The Rural Renewable Energy Alliance partnered with Minnesota Power and Tri-County Community Action Partnership to bring community solar to ten low-income, disabled veterans. They installed a community solar array in Little Falls. [Brainerd Dispatch]

¶ “US Nuclear Regulators: Fuel Loading At Vogtle Unit 3 Could Begin In November” • Georgia Power announced this week that workers had completed the final concrete placement inside Vogtle Unit 3’s containment vessel, which houses the reactor. Work also is proceeding on Unit 4 as part of the overall $25 billion project. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Have a distinctly excellent day.

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