March 30 Energy News

March 30, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Is It the Death Knell For Dominion’s Pipeline?” • The fracking boom is over. Oil and gas prices have been hit by a perfect storm. There’s the coronavirus pandemic, a trade war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, fracking is enormously expensive, and wells don’t last long. All that has huge implications for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. [Bacon’s Rebellion]

ACP protest (Sturmvogel 66, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “COVID-19 Will Reshape Politics In The USA, And Our Climate Will Benefit” • Fifty years of increasing right-wing science denial has reached a tipping point in the United States. Dr Anthony Fauci predicted 100,000 to 200,000 deaths in the country. Those deaths are hitting liberal areas now, but will switch to impact red states soon. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “BYD Unveils New Fire-Resistant And Explosion-Resistant Blade Battery” • BYD announced its new Blade Battery. The company says it can withstand all sorts of punishments that cause ordinary lithium battery cells to burn or explode. These are things like being punctured by a nail, crushed, bent, heated to 300°C, or overcharged by 260%. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Blade Battery (Image credit: BYD)

¶ “Plastic-Eating Bacteria Could Be Small Step Toward Tackling World’s Pollution Crisis” • When products are made out of polyurethane, a synthetic chemical compound, they typically end up being buried in a landfill. Now, scientists have discovered a strain of bacteria that can degrade the harmful compounds in polyurethane. [CNN]

World:

¶ “No One Is Buying Canada’s Oil: A Preview Of The Near Future New Normal” • As Saudi Arabia and Russia engage in a price war, lower grades of oil get hard to sell. One result is that Alberta’s crude oil is selling for less than it costs to ship it. Western Canada Select, the domestic heavy oil benchmark, has come in at $4.58 (US) per barrel. [CleanTechnica]

Alberta tar sands (Howl Arts Collective, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Volkswagen Is Optimistic About Its Electric Car Future” • Volkswagen is bullish on the future of its electric cars. On its company blog, it has published a number of new posts recently. Much of it is happy talk intended to burnish the company’s luster in public, but there are some bits of information our readers may find of particular interest. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fontavis, OX2 Complete 33-MW Orrberget” • Fontavis, based in Switzerland, and Stockholm-based OX2 have commissioned the 33-MW Orrberget onshore wind farm in Sweden. The wind farm, sited north west of Stockholm, features nine Nordex N117 turbines each with a capacity of 3.7 MW. The expected annual production is 96 GWh. [reNEWS]

Orrberget wind farm (OX2 image)

¶ “Hungary Allocates 131.4 MW Of PV In Renewables Auction” • The Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority selected 72 projects in its first technology-neutral renewable energy auction. Of these, 71 are PVs, with a combined capacity of 131.4 MW. The other one is a 500-MW landfill gas plant based on biomass. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Giant Rotors To Debut In Sweden” • Turbine maker Siemens Gamesa has secured its first order for machines with 170-meter rotors from Eurowind Energy for the 46-MW Knostad onshore wind farm in Sweden. The deal is for eight 5.8-170 machines with 115-meter hub heights, which will operate at a capacity of up to 6.2 MW. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in Sweden (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Japan’s Kansai Electric Vows To Improve Governance After Bribery Scandal” • Kansai Electric Power Co pledged to improve its corporate governance in the wake of a scandal in which the former deputy mayor of a town hosting one of its nuclear plants was found to have bribed company executives. Its chairman resigned over the scandal. [The Mainichi]

¶ “Eureka Moment For Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project” • Genex Power’s Kidston Clean Energy Hub, which will turn two massive abandoned gold-mining pits in Far North Queensland into a pumped storage facility, signed a binding agreement under which EnergyAustralia will operate the 250-MW facility for up to 30 years. [pv magazine Australia]

Pits of the Kidston gold mine (Genex Power image)

US:

¶ “Tesla Cuts Jobs In Nevada, Sends Ventilators To New York” • Tesla notified Nevada officials that it is cutting the Gigafactory 1 workforce by 75% because of the coronavirus, CNBC reported. Also, Elon Musk said he had bought 1,255 ventilators from China and had them air shipped to the US. Los Angeles will get 1,000, and 255 are going to New York City. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal Miner’s Coronavirus Calamity” • Troubled Pan-Pacific coal miner Coronado Global Resources had to idle its Central Appalachian thermal and metallurgical coal mines. It blamed the COVID-19 induced economic downturn in much of the world. All hourly employees will be laid off. Essential salaried workers will keep working. [mining-journal.com]

Coronado Global Resources workers

¶ “Law Could Extend Coal Plants’ Lives” • Legislation that has the potential to extend the life of Indiana’s coal-fired power plants has been signed into law over objections of environmentalists. The new law requires the state’s utilities to notify the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission if they plan to close an energy-producing plant. [pharostribune.com]

¶ “US Rig Count Crashes As Oil War Takes Hold” • The oil price war and impact of COVID-19 has hit the US fracking sector like a sledgehammer las the number of active oil rigs slumped by 40 or 8% in just one week. That is 8% of the total. The fall was one of the largest ever recorded and followed a week in which the number fell by 19. [ShareCafe]

Have a greatly appreciated day.

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