March 24 Energy News

March 24, 2020


¶ “Iconic Plant’s End Spells Doom For Struggling Coal Industry” • Despite the best efforts of Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell to make good on a campaign promise to save the beleaguered coal industry, the Tennessee Valley Authority power plant at Paradise burned its last load of coal last month. The closing is emblematic of the fall of coal. [Associated Press]

Paradise coal plant (Dylan Lovan | AP file photo)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Largest Ecosystems On The Planet Could Collapse In A Single Lifetime, Study Finds” • Large ecosystems such as the Amazon rainforest and Caribbean coral reefs could collapse within a lifetime, a study found. If these critical ecosystems collapse, they could spark a chain of events that could lead to widespread ecological failure. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Thawing Permafrost Is Giving Scientists The Chance To Study Long-Dead Diseases (Prepare For The Next Pandemic)” • As the permafrost thaws, it could reveal the origins of many diseases, such as scarlet fever or smallpox, helping scientists understand past outbreaks and cope with new ones. That could lead to life-saving discoveries. [CleanTechnica]

Drunken forest on Alaskan peatland (Courtesy USGS)

¶ “Solar Project With Thermal Hydro Storage Lands In Australia” • RayGen, a start-up based in Melbourne, says it has developed a ‘world-first’ renewable energy facility in northwestern Victoria. The power plant uses tower-mounted heliostats and solar cells to generate power. The heat produced as a by-product is captured and stored in water. [Energy Live News]


¶ “Parliament Pension Fund Cuts Fossil Fuel Investments” • The pension fund for members of the UK Parliament has cut its exposure to fossil fuel companies and made record investments in renewable energy. Almost a third of the £700 million pension fund is being put into environmentally sustainable and low carbon investments. [The Guardian]

Houses of Parliament (Aaron Chown | PA)

¶ “Twenty Popular Electric Vehicles Tested In Norwegian Winter Conditions” • The Norwegian Automobile Federation tested the range and the battery charge time of the top 20 currently favored electric vehicles in winter conditions. The challenge went to the very end, as the 20 vehicles were driven until they shut down. No guessing needed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Eco Wave Power Installs A Combined Wave And Solar System In Gibraltar” • After the completion of the testing phase of the combined wave and solar power station in their R&D power station in Jaffa, Israel, Eco Wave Power decided to expand the testing to its largest grid connected wave energy facility to date, in Gibraltar. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Eco Wave Power power station (Eco Wave Power image)

¶ “India: Funding For New Coal Power Projects Dries Up” • In contradiction to Environment Ministry claims, a new briefing note published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says India’s coal-fired power project pipeline is rapidly shrinking. There have been 46 GW of cancellations in the last twelve months. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Nordex Nails 400-MW Norwegian Deal” • Nordex Group has received a turbine order totaling 400 MW for the Oyfjellet wind farm in Norway from an unnamed German investor. Nordex, a German manufacturer, said the contract is for the supply and installation of 72 N149/5.X machines with an anti-icing system on 105-meter steel towers. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Nordex image)

¶ “Uranium Week: Taking Its Toll” • World governments consider the nuclear industry vital and are taking steps to keep plants going. In the spot uranium market, however, sentiment has taken on a bearish tone due to the virus. Fear has now spread from equity markets into credit markets. Despite interest rates that are at historic lows, uncertainty prevails. [ShareCafe]


¶ “Navigant Research Report Shows Offshore Wind Is Expanding To New Markets As Technology Prices Decline And Renewable Energy Becomes More Attractive” • Improved technology and rapidly declining costs have combined to move the offshore wind market forward, according to a report released by Navigant Research. []

Offshore wind (Gary Norton, US DOE, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Volkswagen Settlement Funds To Purchase Electric Buses In New York” • The state of New York will receive more than $127 million from the Volkswagen settlement, but the money is made available over a number of years. New York authorities said $24 million is now available, of which $18 million will be used to fund the purchase of electric buses. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Developers Launch Lobbying Effort To Curb COVID-19 Impacts, Advance Remote Permitting” • The Solar Energy Industries Association rallied its members to reach out to their federal legislators in support of policy that will help the sector weather the novel coronavirus pandemic and global economic downturn. [Utility Dive]

Solar installer (Flickr user 10 10)

¶ “NRDC Sues US EPA For Continuing To Allow Use Of Toxic Weed Killer Glyphosate” • The Trump administration has reapproved the use of glyphosate. In doing so, it puts both public health and the environment at risk, once again ignoring the science. NRDC and the Pesticide Action Network have sued the EPA over the reapproval. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Texas Retail Choice Design Bests 13 Other States In Driving Solar Power” • NRG Energy signed 1,300 MW of solar PPAs in Texas last summer, thanks to state retail competition policies that create favorable conditions, the NRG vice president of regulatory affairs said. Those conditions are missing in the 13 other states that have retail competition. [pv magazine USA]

Have a verifiably perfect day.

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