March 21 Energy News

March 21, 2020


¶ “How America Can Fight Back In The Oil War With Russia And Saudi Arabia” • America’s oil industry is getting crushed by the historic collapse in oil prices orchestrated by Saudi Arabia and Russia. Oil prices are in free-fall, crashing to 18-year lows this week. And President Donald Trump is torn about just how to react to the era of ultra-cheap oil. [CNN]

Refinery (David McNew | AFP | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Atom Switch Enables Intelligent EV Charging Without The EVSE” • Atom Power’s solid state Atom Switches can be described as circuit breakers, but their real potential goes much farther. One exciting application of the Atom Switch is to replace the electric vehicle service equipment, commonly called an electric vehicle charger. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Greenland Ice Melt Raised Ocean Level 2.2 Millimeters In Two Months” • NASA researchers found that during the exceptionally warm Arctic summer of 2019, Greenland experienced the loss of 600 billion tons of water from melting glaciers. That much water to the world’s oceans resulted in a rise in average ocean levels of 2.2 mm in just two months. [CleanTechnica]

Measuring ocean level change by satellite (NASA image)


¶ “Relief To Renewable Energy: MNRE Declares Coronavirus Force Majeure” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy announced that “delay on account of disruption of the supply chains due to spread of coronavirus” would be considered as a force majeure event. This means that certain delays will not be penalized. [Financial Express]

¶ “Organic Waste Has Huge Untapped Potential To Provide Clean Energy Around The World” • The world is only using a fraction of the potential to produce renewable gas from organic waste, which could cover around 20% of today’s global demand for natural gas, according to a report published by the International Energy Agency. [Modern Diplomacy]

Wastewater treatment weir

¶ “Iberdrola Takes Global Action In Virus fight” • Spanish energy company Iberdrola is taking global measures in response to the coronavirus in all of its markets. Iberdrola has an action plan with 65 initiatives in Spain alone. It has also implemented measures to protect its clients and a special plan in hospitals to ensure energy supplies. [reNEWS] (Other companies are acting also. ghh)

¶ “AfDB’s Facility For Energy Inclusion Attracts $160 Million In Commitments For Small-Scale Renewables” • The African Development Bank and other investors committed nearly $160 million to the first close of the FEI, a targeted, $400 million fund to improve energy access across Africa through small renewable energy and mini-grid projects. [Modern Diplomacy]

Array of solar trackers

¶ “ContourGlobal Abandons Coal In Kosovo And Switches To Renewables” • International power company ContourGlobal abandoned plans to build a new coal power plant in Kosovo one month after the new government was formed under Albin Kurti. The company announced a new focus will be put on alternative energy, including renewables. [Forbes]


¶ “Tesla Suspending Production At Fremont And Buffalo Factories, Initiates ‘Touchless Deliveries'” • Tesla will temporarily suspend production at its automobile factory in California and its solar factory in New York, it said in a press release. Tesla is also enabling deliveries that do not require direct contact between a customer and any other person. [CleanTechnica]

Workers in a Tesla factory (CleanTechnica image)

¶ “US Banks Continue To Fund Dirty Energy” • A report from a collection of leading NGOs takes a deep dive into how world banks are fueling the climate crisis. The four biggest fossil fuel financiers are JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America. Together, they have put $800 billion into fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Unemployment Poised To Skyrocket, Creating Urgent Need To Spur Renewables: Obama Veteran Of 2008 Financial Crisis” • Power sector leaders are pushing Congress to address hits to the industry in its stimulus package. A former Obama transition team member pointed out that clean energy buildouts could be the first to hire. [Utililty Dive]

US Capitol (Tim Evanson | Flickr)

¶ “Clean Energy Sector Sends Letter To Congress Seeking COVID-19 Relief” • In a letter delivered to US House and Senate leadership, the clean energy sector has called for the prompt repair and extension of critically important tax incentives to help renewable and clean grid industries surmount the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. [Solar Industry]

¶ “COVID-19: 25 GW Of US Wind Projects At Risk” • As much as 25 GW of US wind projects are being put to risk by COVID-19, according to analysis by the American Wind Energy Association. AWEA said 35,000 jobs could be jeopardy, as well as $43 billion in investments and payments to rural communities through taxes and leasing fees. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (AWEA image)

¶ “Utility Workers Prepare To Sleep At Work To Keep The Power Flowing” • The government judges electric power plants, nuclear reactors, and oil and gas infrastructure to be critically important. US power workers deemed essential for American electrical grid operations are being asked to live on site at control centers and power plants during the pandemic. [Salon]

¶ “NRC Gets First Combined License Application For Advanced Reactor” • The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission received its first combined license application for an advanced reactor, a step the developer calls a “milestone.” Oklo’s Aurora project would be an advanced fission power system that generates about 1.5 MW of nuclear energy. [S&P Global]

Have a blissfully marvelous day.

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