March 9 Energy News

March 9, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “What ‘Fukushima 50’ Can Teach Us About Crises” • The film “Fukushima 50” shows graphically that Japan came terrifyingly close to nuclear apocalypse, narrowly averted by heroic efforts of frontline workers, as well as a decision by plant manager Masao Yoshida to ignore orders from officials at TEPCO to stop cooling the reactors with seawater. [The Japan Times]

Film scene (© 2020 “Fukushima 50” Film Partners)

¶ “Want To Stop Climate Change? Educate Girls” • Greta Thunberg, who famously missed school to protest climate change, recently met Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize fighting to make sure girls could get an education. The photo op quickly went viral. Quipped Yousafzai, “She’s the only friend I’d skip school for.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Myths Around Australia’s Horror Bushfire Season Debunked” • The bushfires that have ripped through Australia over this summer were the perfect storm, cultivated by bad drought, climate variability, and climate change. But even as they raged, a lot of misinformation was spread as to what caused them and why. [NEWS.com.au]

Firefighter observing the damage (Supplied)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Sacred Rivers Climate Project: Reducing Climate Impacts With Mycoremediation” • The Sacred Rivers Climate Project’s parent company, HiveMind, was founded in 2008 by senior students of mycologist Paul Stamets. Their goal was to find a natural way to increase drawdown of CO₂ and sequestration in soil from trees and plants. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Oil Prices Plunge As OPEC Countries Fail To Reach Agreement” • The nations that make up the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries met to craft a response to the coronavirus pandemic in hopes of keeping the price of oil for falling. They failed, largely because Russia refused to cut its production, CNBC reported. [CleanTechnica]

Pipeline and tanker (OPEC image)

¶ “Asian Stock Markets Tumble After Oil Prices Crash” • Markets are under a number of pressures, the largest of which may be threat of an oil price war between OPEC and Russia. With oil prices crashing by over 30%, the Japanese Nikkei 225 index fell more than 5%, and the Australian ASX 200 dropped 7.3%, its biggest daily drop since 2008. [BBC]

¶ “Japan Opens World’s Largest Green-Hydrogen Plant Near Fukushima Disaster Site” • What is claimed to be the world’s largest facility for green hydrogen production from renewables has been completed in Fukushima prefecture near the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster. The plant has a 10-MW electrolyzer and a 20-MW solar array. [Recharge]

Hydrogen facility in Fukushima prefecture

¶ “Carbon Emissions Fall As Electricity Producers Move Away From Coal” • Overall, power from coal plants fell by 3% last year, even as China’s reliance on coal plants climbed for another year to make up half the world’s coal generation for the first time. Coal generation in the US and Europe has been reduced by half since 2007. [The Guardian]

¶ “TenneT Inks €250 Million Dutch Grid Deal With EIB” • TenneT signed a €250 million loan agreement with the European Investment Bank to fund a key onshore grid project that will enable the transmission of increasing amounts of offshore wind power in the Netherlands. It is a 380-kV transmission line for the Zuidwest 380-kV project. [reNEWS]

TenneT substation (TenneT image)

¶ “Morrison Government To Stop Funding International Collaboration On Shift To Zero Emissions” • The government told researchers at two leading Australian universities it will break a commitment to fund a Australian-German collaboration, the Energy Transition Hub, researching what is required to shift to a zero emissions future. [The Guardian]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Supply Cypress Units For Turkish Wind Farm” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it has been selected by Sanko Enerji to provide 12 Cypress units and 2 units of 3 MW for the 70 MW Guney wind farm in Turkey. The wind farm will produce enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 71,000 homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

GE Cypress turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)

US:

¶ “Renewables Generated More Electricity Than Coal In The US Last Month” • In the dead of winter, renewable energy sources (solar, wind, and hydropower) generated more electricity than coal plants in the US in February, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. The EIA warns that the data is not final, however. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Wright Electric Begins Developing Propulsion System For Commercial Electric Plane” • Wright Electric, an electric plane startup based in Los Angeles, has begun developing the propulsion system for the Wright 1, an electric 186-passenger commercial aircraft. The propulsion system will reportedly have 10-14 electric motors. [CleanTechnica]

Wright 1 (Wright Electric image)

¶ “Energy Projects Could Speed Up Hurricane Recovery” • Grant mangers from the Interior US Department were on St Croix to inspect the planned Educational Complex site for an emergency shelter with a solar system and battery backup. It is one of two projects in the territory that could provide electricity after a major storm immediately. [St Thomas Source]

¶ “SEC’s SCANA Fraud Charges Could Be SC’s Biggest Scam Ever” • When the federal Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil fraud lawsuit against two former SCANA electric utility officials, it underscored that the $9 billion failure of the VC Summer nuclear project may be, if the charges are proven, South Carolina’s biggest financial fraud ever. [The State]

Have a magnificently idyllic day.

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