March 31 Energy News

March 31, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Versus Coronavirus: Why Massive Stimulus Plans Could Represent Missed Opportunities” • When a $2 trillion economic-stimulus plan was passed by the US Congress, $25 billion in economic aid for passenger airlines was just a small piece of it. But for environmentalists and their Washington DC allies, it was a setback. [Nature.com]

London City Airport closed by pandemic
(Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images)

¶ “Trump Steers Toward Climate Catastrophe By Rolling Back Vehicle Standards” • In the midst of a public health crisis, the Trump administration is set to issue a final rule to roll back vehicle emissions and efficiency standards. This is a failure for consumers and the climate, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

¶ “We Ignored Science As Coronavirus Threat Grew. Will We Ignore It For Global Warming?” • There are many lessons we are learning from the coronavirus pandemic. A crucial one is that we should listen to experts who have been spending their lives studying the sciences. We failed to do that, and the US was appallingly unprepared. [Capital Gazette]

Drawdown by trees

Science and Technology:

¶ “Green Hydrogen Could Cut Industry Emissions By 34%” • The falling cost of making hydrogen that is created by using wind and solar power could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 34% in sectors of the economy dependent on fossil fuels, according to research by BloombergNEF. These sectors include steel, heavy-duty vehicles, shipping, and cement. [reNEWS]

¶ “This Company Wants To Turn Your Windows Into Solar Panels” • What if every window could generate electricity? MIT spin-off Ubiquitous Energy has developed transparent solar cells. Its ClearView Power windows are “solar glass” that turn sunlight into energy without the blue-grey opaque panels we generally associate with solar energy. [CNN]

Solar cell (Natalia V Osipova)

World:

¶ “GCL Plans To Invest $2.5 Billion In World’s Largest Solar Panel Factory” • A report published by Power Technology says China’s GCL Systems Integration Technology plans to invest more than $2.5 billion to build the world’s largest solar panel factory. It will reportedly be able to produce enough solar panels to meet half of global demand. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Big Oil Likely To Spend Less On Renewable Energy, Not More: Report” • Low oil prices have been exacerbates for the oil and gas industry by low demand because of COVID 19. It is likely to spend less on renewable energy. But a report from Wood Mackenzie says that won’t likely slow the overall investment in renewables. [National Observer]

Pipeline in Alberta (Jason Franson | The Canadian Press)

¶ “2.2 Gigawatt Solar Park In India’s Rajasthan State Now Fully Operational” • One of India’s leading private renewable energy companies, Hero Future Energies, commissioned a 300-MW solar power project at Bhadla solar power park in Rajasthan. With this project, the solar park is now complete. It has an installed capacity of 2,245 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Northland Makes Canadian Offshore Move” • Northland Power, a Canadian company,  is to buy an early-stage offshore wind development from NaiKun Wind Energy Group off British Columbia, Canada. The deal, which is expected to close in mid-2020, will see Northland take 100% ownership of the NaiKun offshore wind farm. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Northland Power image)

¶ “Brazil Postpones All 2020 Energy, Transmission Auctions” • Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy has announced that it rescheduled indefinitely its energy and transmission auctions, previously planned for the following months. The decree is a response to the international public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Orbital Marine Power To Install First Floating Tidal Farm At EMEC” • Tidal energy developer Orbital Marine Power, based in Scotland, is now manufacturing its first commercial 2-MW O2 turbine. The O2 will be the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, capable of meeting the annual electricity demand of over 1,700 UK homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Orbital Marine Power machine (OMP image)

¶ “Some Countries Are Panic Buying Solar Panels” • Australians are stocking up on renewable energy storage in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In a new press release, Smart Energy, a solar firm in New South Wales, has reported a 400% increase in customer inquiries in the last two weeks, reflecting public panic over shortages. [Popular Mechanics]

US:

¶ “Coronavirus And The States: Plastic Bag Bans On Hold; Nuclear Plants Run Low On Gloves, Masks, Wipes” • Several states have put their plastic bag bans on hold or banned the use of reusable bags to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Plastic Industry Association called bag bans “a public safety risk.” Greenpeace disagreed. [Missoula Current]

Plastic bags blown from a landfill by a storm
(Laura Lundquist | Missoula Current)

¶ “States Quietly Pass Laws Criminalizing Fossil Fuel Protests Amid Coronavirus Chaos” • At least three states, Kentucky, South Dakota, and West Virginia, have passed laws putting new criminal penalties on protests against fossil fuel infrastructure. The laws were passed in just the past two weeks amid the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic. [HuffPost]

¶ “Nuke Workers Flock To US Small Towns For Can’t-Wait Refueling” • In the US, 32 nuclear power plants are scheduled to have fuel rods replaced this spring, pandemic or not. Installing new rods is a huge undertaking, sometimes involving crews of 1,000 or more descending on a site for a month or so. Spreading COVID 19 is a concern. [Bloomberg Environment]

Have a surprisingly amusing day,

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