Archive for April, 2020

April 30 Energy News

April 30, 2020


¶ “The World May Never Recover Its Thirst For Oil” • The world is learning to live with less oil. The coronavirus pandemic has destroyed demand for gasoline and jet fuel as billions of people stay home, and there’s no guarantee it will ever fully recover despite rock-bottom prices. The oil industry is bracing for the effects of the crisis to linger. [CNN]

Sun setting on a nodding donkey (Eric Gay | AP)

¶ “Fossil Industry Extracting From Another Source: Taxpayers” • While the world shelters in place, and policymakers must prioritize Covid-19 until the current crisis is in hand, polluting industries have, across the board, used this time to push for policy changes that would extract billions of dollars from American taxpayers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Are we witnessing the death of the car?” • Cities around the world are seeing dwindling numbers of fossil-fuel powered cars on their streets, and many are planning to keep it that way after lockdowns ease. Milan, the epicentre of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak, announced it would transform 35 km (21.7 miles) of its streets for cycling post-lockdown. [BBC]

Mayor Claudia López of Bogotá (Credit: Getty Images)

¶ “Trump’s Coronavirus Failures Offer Warnings And Lessons About Future Climate Change Challenges” • Some lessons of Covid-19 have been bitter. Here in the US, we have seen the cost of failed leadership. As he has done with climate change, Donald Trump failed early on to understand sound scientific consensus and act decisively. []

¶ “Climate Scientist Katharine Hayhoe’s ‘Global Weirding’ Videos” • If you have not been keeping up with Dr Katharine Hayhoe’s series of short videos called “Global Weirding,” it’s time to treat yourself to a good handful of those pieces. Even if you’re well-versed in climate change, you’ll enjoy them and learn from them. [Yale Climate Connections]

Katharine Hayhoe (Climate Models, “Global Weirding” video)


¶ “Wind Energy Overtakes Gas To Be The Leading Source Of Electricity In Ireland” • For the first time, wind energy became Ireland’s leading source of electricity for a full quarter. It beat out natural gas for the first three months of 2020, as it accounted for 43.8% of demand, an increase of 16.8% from the same quarter last year. Natural gas provided 41.8%. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Shannon, Obton To Spend €60 Million On Solar Farms” • Irish group Shannon Energy and Danish company Obton plan to kick off a €300 million investment in the Republic by spending €60 million on plants that will generate electricity from solar power. They plan to start by developing eleven solar farms with a total capacity of 105 MW. [The Irish Times]

Renewable energy (Photo: VCG)

¶ “Australia’s electricity grid could run with 75% renewables, market operator says” • Australia has the technical capacity to run a power grid in which 75% of the electricity comes from wind and solar. It should occasionally reach this level within five years, a study by the Australian Energy Market Operator says. But it must get regulations right. [The Guardian]

¶ “Renewable Energy Helps Utilities Survive Virus Slump” • Energy companies from Ørsted A/S to Iberdrola SA reported robust first quarter earnings in a period that has been bedeviled by a slump in energy demand and a collapse in gas prices. Large wind and solar portfolios have so far protected those companies from the worst effects of the crisis. []

Offshore wind farm (Phil Noble | Reuters)

¶ “Covid-19 Crisis Will Wipe Out Demand For Fossil Fuels, Says IEA” • The International Energy Agency said the outbreak of Covid-19 would wipe out demand for fossil fuels by prompting a collapse in energy demand seven times greater than the slump caused by the global financial crisis. It said renewable energy will continue to grow. [The Guardian]

¶ “Wooden Wind Tower Takes Root In Sweden” • Swedish design and engineering company Modvion has built a wooden wind turbine tower. The structure, which is carbon neutral and 30 meters tall, was installed on Bjorko island. It will be used for research by the Swedish Wind Power Technology Center at Chalmers. [reNEWS]

Building a wooden wind tower (Modvion image)


¶ “Tesla Q1 2020 Update Shares Unexpected Profits” • Tesla released its Q1 2020 update, and it’s filled with unexpected good news. When the pandemic temporarily closed all of its factories, many thought Tesla would be reporting losses in the quarter. Instead, Tesla has reported a $1.8 billion increase in its cash and cash equivalents. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “General Mills Turns To Biogas To Help Meet 100% Renewable Electricity Goal” • General Mills has set a goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2030 as a part of its commitment to the RE100 initiative. To achieve this, the company is investing in renewable energy. Examples are two large-scale wind farms and anaerobic digestion. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Biogas facility (Pixabay image)

¶ “Wärtsilä Delivering 70-MW Energy Storage System In California” • Wärtsilä is finalizing a 70-MW energy storage project in the California Independent System Operator energy market. The system will maximize efficiencies, and it will keep renewable power on the grid at times when it otherwise wouldn’t be available. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Indian Point 1-GW Nuclear Unit 2 Closing Permanently” • Tonight, April 30, with the push of a red button, one of the two operating nuclear reactors at the Indian Point Energy Center along the Hudson River north of New York City will shut down. The plant is 24 miles from Manhattan. Demolition is projected to cost $2.3 billion. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Have an invigoratingly copacetic day.

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April 29 Energy News

April 29, 2020


¶ “Clean Trucks Are Critical To Our Future” • Big polluters are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to attack vital environmental rules by pressuring government agencies for regulatory delays, rollbacks, or weaken enforcement. One target is the Advanced Clean Truck rulemaking, which would put zero-emission trucks on California roads starting in 2024. [CleanTechnica]

Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter (Photo by Hideki Machida)

¶ “Smog-Free Skies Should Be The New Normal” • Cleaner air is not just aesthetically pleasing. It could also greatly reduce the incidence of lung and heart disease, and quite possibly reduce the severity of future outbreaks of airborne diseases. People are coming increasingly to acknowledge that to have cleaner air, we just stop burning fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Michael Moore’s Latest Film Is Riddled With Errors – And Millions Are Watching” • “Planet of the Humans,” produced by Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs, is ostensibly about climate change. But Gibbs spends most of the so-called “documentary” railing against the problems of renewable energy and spinning out conspiracy theories. [Grist]

Michael Moore (Santiago Felipe | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Size Matters: Energy Storage Scales Up To Beat Down Fossil Fuels” • Everybody knows that coal is on the way out, but the latest electricity report from BloombergNEF is a shocker, casting a shadow of gloom over natural gas, too. Low-cost renewables are creeping into gas territory, helped along by the falling costs of energy storage. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Satellite Data Shows Amazon Rainforest Is Drier And Could Be At Risk For Fires” • New satellite data shows that the Amazon rainforest is drier than usual and could be at risk of fires again this year. The data shows regions of the Amazon basin that have severe negative changes in the soil’s moisture and groundwater, increasing danger of fire. [CleanTechnica]

Amazon wildfire (Mongabay via Twitter)


¶ “Queenslanders Support Renewable Energy Over Coal” • A QDOS Research poll of more than 1000 Queenslanders found overwhelming support for the state to invest in renewable energy. It found that 78% of respondents would be more likely to support state government spending on renewable energy than on new coal-fired power. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Manufacturing Units Of Swelect Energy, Inox Wind Resume Operation Amid Lockdown” • Swelect Energy Systems Limited, a solar PV module manufacturer, has resumed operations at its unit in Bangalore with effect from April 25, 2020. And Inox Wind Limited has resumed operations at three of its manufacturing units in India. [Mercom India]

Solar array under construction

¶ “Recipe for cheaper electricity? Try 90% renewables by 2040” • A report from energy market analysts Reputex finds that the faster the shift to a power market dominated by renewable energy – and the more aggressive the action on climate change – the greater the downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices in the future. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Five Renewable Start-Ups Getting Funding Despite The Coronavirus” • Despite the slowdown in renewable energy production caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, people are still investing in renewable energy projects, in particular start-ups. Power Technology takes a look at the top five projects being funded during the pandemic. [Power Technology]

Tulips and turbines (Martijn Baudoin | Unsplash)

¶ “Solar, Wind And Battery Storage Now Cheapest Energy Options Just About Everywhere” • Solar PV and onshore wind are the cheapest form of new energy capacity almost worldwide. Analysis looked at nearly 7,000 projects across 25 technologies (including types of coal, gas and nuclear generation as well as renewables), in 47 countries.  [RenewEconomy]


¶ “Planting Trees Could Help This City Prevent 400 Premature Deaths” • Philadelphia, America’s fifth-largest city, could help as many as 403 adults live longer each year if it meets its existing target for increasing tree cover from 20% to 30% within five years, according to a study published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health. [CNN]

Aerial view of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

¶ “RPI Receives Over $2.6 Million To Study Renewable Energy” • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York, received over $2.6 million in federal funding to help integrate renewable energy into New York State’s power grid. The funding came from a new program of the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. [News10 ABC]

¶ “As Energy Use Changes In The Great Lakes, So Too Does The World’s Largest Freshwater Port” • The Port of Duluth-Superior is one of the largest ports in the US. It has huge amounts of iron ore and coal going through it. But the country has been turning to renewable resources, and coal shipments have been declining since 2008. [Minnesota Public Radio News]

Coal and ore (Paul Walsh | MinnPost 2020)

¶ “Federal Solar Policy Challenge From Group With NH Ties Draws National Attention” • A conservative lobbying firm, the New England Ratepayers Association, is challenging a policy that benefits solar energy. It is seeking a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision that would invalidate the legal basis for net metering nationwide. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶ “Duke Doubles Renewable Goals While Staying Committed To Fossils” • Duke Energy now owns or purchases 8,000 MW of renewable generation, and it plans to double that mark by 2025. However, while the company eyes zero-carbon electricity by 2050, it maintains that natural gas will remain a crucial source to achieve this goal. [pv magazine USA]

Have a mightily healthy day.

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April 28 Energy News

April 28, 2020


¶ “The EPA’s Dirty Water: New Rule Discards Science, Ignores Importance of Wetlands And Tributaries” • In its latest act of abdication, the EPA published its Navigable Waters Protection Rule in the Federal Register on April 21. The EPA’s own Science Advisory Board said its formulation did not incorporate the “best available science.” [CleanTechnica]

Wetland (Krista Lundgren | USFWS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “As Pandemic Rages, Federal Nuclear Regulators Put Keeping Reactors Running Ahead Of Public Health And Safety” • How is the NRC responding to the coronavirus pandemic? By letting nuclear plants cut back workforces for social distancing, creating 84-hour work weeks, and by having the NRC inspectors work from home. [Environmental Working Group]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ice-Free Arctic Coming Soon To A Country Near You!” • The latest research suggests Arctic sea ice could disappear entirely in the summer sometime between now and 2050 even if the world is successful at substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, this development is predicted now by nearly all scientific models. [CleanTechnica]

Polar bear (Hannes Grobe, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “This Industry Is Four Times More Polluting Than Air Travel” • The construction industry’s emissions go from raw materials that need to be mined and smelted to the waste from demolished structures. HuffPost reports that construction produces 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is about four times those of the airline sector. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “China’s EV Incentive Changes For 2020–2023” • The Chinese plan was to remove NEV subsidies by the end of 2020, but with the post-Covid-19 recession, a decision was made to extend them. The revision now includes consumers who buy new EVs through 2022 and provides for tax exemptions on purchases for two years. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 in Hong Kong (Tesla via Twitter)

¶ “WPD Inks 600-MW Taiwan Development Deal” • WPD has signed an agreement to jointly develop a 600-MW offshore wind farm with Taiwan Green Power. The project, site No 28, is located off the coast of Changhua in an area with excellent conditions for windpower, said WPD. WPD has an offshore pipeline of 7,400 MW in six countries. [reNEWS]

¶ “Solar Surge Pushes Coal From UK Energy Mix” • Maximised levels of solar generation have delivered a record coal-free period for the UK grid. Clear skies and cool temperatures in recent weeks have provided optimal conditions for solar efficiency, which means coal power has been offline since midnight on Friday 10 April 2020. [reNEWS]

Solar PVs (Zbynek Burival | Unsplash)

¶ “Rural Electrification Is Key To Agricultural Transformation in Ethiopia” • The Rocky Mountain Institute released a report showing that rural electrification efforts can unlock billions of dollars in value for six agricultural processing or small business models in Ethiopia, as farmers switch to electricity from such expensive sources as diesel. [ESI Africa]

¶ “Poland Warns Of Drying Funds For Clean Energy Projects” • The economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic will make it “more difficult” for Poland to reach Europe’s long-term climate objectives, the country said in a paper circulated to other EU countries ahead of an informal video meeting of EU energy ministers. [Euractiv]

Wind farm in Poland (Fotokon | Shutterstock)

¶ “South Australia still leads the renewable energy race” • Always a rivaled contender for other states, South Australia is continuing to embrace renewable energy as it remains as a leader of wind and solar in 2020. It’s expected that by 2024, SA’s renewables could contribute up to 87% of its overall electricity generation. Its goal is 100% by 2030. [Energy Matters]


¶ “NJ Goes To Court To Fight Federal Order On Renewable Energy Sources” • New Jersey appealed a federal order that would raise the cost of energy from renewables, saying the measure exceeds federal authority and would slow the switch to clean energy. Advocacy groups in Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia joined in the action. [NJ Spotlight]

Solar farm in New Jersey (Credit: Samuel Faber | Pixabay)

¶ “Chicago City Council Votes For Equitable Access To EVs” • The City of Chicago is taking decisive steps to ensure it is a hub for EVs. The City Council passed an ordinance strengthening requirements for EV readiness at commercial and residential buildings, promoting more equitable access to this emerging technology throughout the city. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Royal DSM Backs RE100 Goals With 61-MW Solar VPPA With Origis” • Florida-based Origis Energy has signed an off-take deal with a Dutch company, Koninklijke DSM NV, for the output of a 61-MW solar project in Texas. The VPPA (virtual power purchase agreement) is tied to the Rockhound Solar C PV park, which is to be built by Origis Energy. [Renewables Now]

Another solar plant in Mississippi (Source: Origis Energy)

¶ “TVA Selects First Solar And Origis Energy For 212-MW Solar Development Pipeline” • The Tennessee Valley Authority chose First Solar and Origis Energy to develop 212 MW of solar power to fulfill a Knoxville Utilities Board commitment to renewable energy.  TVA has now contracted for a total of 404 MW of First Solar projects. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Indian Point Unit 2 Will Shut Down April 30” • One of the two remaining operating reactors at the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, New York, will close for good on April 30. The 1,020-MW Unit 2 will close. This will leave the 1,040-MW Unit 3 as the plant’s lone operating unit. Unit 3 is scheduled to close in April 2021. [POWER magazine]

Have a wisely organized day.
Eat slowly and chew your food well.

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April 27 Energy News

April 27, 2020


¶ “SoftBank-Backed SB Energy And EDEN Bag 900 MW Of Solar In India” • A 2-GW solar power tender received very a encouraging response amidst uncertainty of the Covid-19 outbreak. The government-owned power company NHPC set a maximum tariff bid of 2.78/kWh (3.64¢/kWh). It received bids for over 3.1 GW. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Sweden Shutters Last Coal-Fired Generating Plant 2 Years Early” • Swedish utility Stockholm Exergi announced some time ago it would shut down its KVV6 coal generating station in 2022. It actually took one of the facilities two boilers offline last fall. After a winter that was milder than expected, it decided to close the entire facility now. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Power Tender In India Oversubscribed” • A tender issued by Solar Energy Corporation of India for the supply of uninterrupted renewable energy was very much oversubscribed. The tender was for 400 MW of solar, wind, or hydro, with energy storage. Three companies have submitted bids, two for 400 MW each and one for 50 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Vattenfall green lights 240-MW South Kyle giant” • Vattenfall has given the green light to construction of the 240-MW South Kyle onshore wind farm in Scotland, after an agreement to sell the project to Greencoat UK Wind on completion. Construction of the project is set to go ahead once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. [reNEWS]

¶ “Simec Atlantis Tidal Kit Deployed In China” • Simec Atlantis Energy, in partnership with ITPEnergised, has worked with China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation and China Three Gorges to develop the latter’s first SG500kW tidal stream turbine. The turbine, with a rotor diameter of 18 meters, was installed in China’s Zhoushan archipelago. [reNEWS]

China Three Gorges tidal (Simec Atlantis Energy)

¶ “Huge Dundonnell Wind Farm Powers Past 100-MW Mark In Victoria” • Tilt Renewables’ massive Dundonnell wind farm in Victoria remains on track to deliver its full 336-MW capacity well before the end of 2020, after powering up to a generation output of 113 MW last week. The wind farm began sending power to the grid in March. [RenewEconomy]

¶ France Aiming For One-Third Renewable Energy Mix By 2030″” • France submitted its final 2030 National Energy and Climate Plan to the European Commission. The country will aim to have 33% renewable energy in its energy mix in 2030. This translates into 40% renewables in the power sector. Wind energy could deliver half of this. [Saurenergy]

WindEurope wind farm

¶ “Fukushima Daiichi Buildings Pose Safety Risks” • TEPCO reported results of a survey of about 580 buildings at Fukushima Daiichi to the Nuclear Regulation Authority. TEPCO plans to draw up safety measures for workers after finding that some of the buildings at the nuclear plant are in bad condition due to the 2011 accident. [NHK World]


¶ “Oil Tankers Lurk Off The Coast Of California” • The US Coast Guard is monitoring the “increased presence” of oil tankers that are hanging out in the seas near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. With the collapse in demand for crude oil, these tankers are being used pretty much as floating storage units for barrels of oil. [CleanTechnica]

Tankers (From a video by USCG PO3 Aidan Cooney)

¶ “Failed Federal Government Has States Considering Articles Of Confederacy” • Since the US government has failed its citizens utterly on its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts have formed an alliance to coordinate reopening. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Starlink Private Beta Testing To Begin In 3 Months, Public Beta Testing To Follow” • SpaceX has launched 422 low Earth orbit Starlink satellites, with more coming in May and June. Private beta testing of the Starlink network will start within the next three months, Elon Musk says. SpaceX has permission to launch 12,000 satellites. [CleanTechnica]

Starlink launch (Credit: SpaceX via Flickr)

¶ “US Renewables Provide More Electricity Than Coal In January-February” • Renewable energy sources produced 10.6% more electricity than coal during the first two months of 2020 and topped nuclear power in February, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of recently-released data from the US Energy Information Administration. [Renewables Now] (This will bring internet in areas that now have no grid power. GHH)

¶ “Michigan Switches On Its Largest Wind Park” • DTE Energy has turned on the Polaris wind park, the largest in Michigan. Polaris is expected to provide enough electricity to power over 64,000 homes. Its 68 turbines have a combined capacity of 168 MW and will help avoid more than 355,000 tonnes of CO₂ emissions each year. [Energy Live News]

Have an uninterruptedly exuberant day.

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April 26 Energy News

April 26, 2020


¶ “Australian Government’s $94 Million Crude Oil Purchase Offers A Simple Economics Lesson” • Last week, Australia took advantage of record-low oil prices to buy crude oil it needed to maintain a fuel stockpile. This illustrates the difference between energy that must be stocked, such as oil, and energy that flows naturally, such as renewables. [ABC News]

Oil tankers (Hamad I Mohammed | Reuters)

¶ “NextEra’s Earnings Portend Well For Utilities And Renewable Energy” • Heading into Q1 earnings reporting season, the big question for electric utilities was how hard COVID-19 would hit demand for power. Now we have answers from NextEra Energy, and implications are bullish, especially for companies speeding adoption of wind and solar energy. [Forbes]

¶ “Why The Oil Industry Can No Longer Rely On China” • US shale oil, far too heavily reliant on Cushing storage, paid the price when WTI prices went negative as Cushing hit capacity. In their way, OPEC oil and gas producers are similar. They  invested heavily in China, and they are paying the price, as Chinese demand is hit by Covid-19. []

Enbridge tank farm (roy.luck, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Research Turns Old Soda Bottles Into Battery Electrodes In Microwave” • Researchers at Purdue University have devised a way to use microwaves to convert plastic waste into battery electrode material. The process applies to PET – polyethylene terephthalate – the most commonly used plastic for single-use water and soda bottles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As Extreme Weather Spurs Billions In Utility Resilience Spending, Regulators Struggle To Value Investments” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory tried to evaluate approaches to resilience to guide utility investing. It found there are too many factors to quantify easily. This moves regulators back to human judgment. [Utility Dive]



¶ “Bottling Australian Sunshine: South Korea Is Keen To Enter The Hydrogen Future” • A joint report between the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and South Korea’s prestigious National Academy of Engineering Korea has indicated that Australia could be a world-leading hydrogen exporter by 2030. [Stockhead]

¶ “KIA Teases 800 Volt 300 Mile EV With 25 Minute Recharge Time” • KIA and corporate cousin Hyundai are building efficient EVs that challenge industry leaders like Tesla. The Hyundai Kona EV and KIA Niro EV are world-class cars and are close to meeting Elon Musk’s plea to other manufacturers to build compelling electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai-45-Concept (Hyundai image)

¶ “Singapore’s EMA And Keppel Sign $10 Million MOU For Green Innovations In Marine Sector” • In Singapore, the Energy Market Authority and Keppel Offshore & Marine announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding  and entered into a $10 million partnership to develop energy solutions with green energy resources. [Mercom India]

¶ “Westminster Relaunches Plutonium Reactors Despite Earlier ‘Disastrous’ Experience” • Documents released by the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation under freedom of information law reveal that “advanced nuclear technologies” backed by UK ministers include fast reactors, which can burn and breed plutonium. Campaigners condemned the idea. [The National]

Dounreay plant in Caithness


¶ “Universal Community Solar Revolution Brewing Under COVID-19 Crisis” • The DOE is doubling down on a commitment to ensure that every household and business in the country has access to renewable energy by 2025. The key ingredients at the core of the effort are the community solar model, affordability, and jobs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In ‘Climate Refuge’ City Of Duluth, Fight Brews Over Utility” • Duluth has a growing environmental movement. But for those who want a carbon-free Duluth, their biggest roadblock may be a unique and influential hometown utility that also serves a stable of energy-hungry taconite mines and paper mills that support the region’s economy. []

Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge (Walker Orenstein | MinnPost)

¶ “Wisconsin Biogas Gas Producer Sees Potential In Thermal Renewable Credits” • US Gain, a Wisconsin company, was the first to sign up with the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System, which is designed to help monetize the environmental benefits of methane captured from dairy farms, landfills, and other sources. []

¶ “New Trump Nuclear Plan Favors Uranium Mining Bordering The Grand Canyon” • Mining companies want to dig up uranium in two areas on the edge of the Grand Canyon. In 2012, with local support, the US Congress imposed a 20-year mining ban in the areas to prevent pollution. But the Trump administration wants to mine uranium. [InsideClimate News]

Have an exhilarantly excellent day.

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April 25 Energy News

April 25, 2020


¶ “We Must Fix Our Food System To Withstand Disasters” • Just as this pandemic has shone a light on the fragility of our medical system, it has also shown that the US food system is broken. Our food supply comes largely from megacorporations across the globe; disruptions are widely felt and impossible to plan for in advance. [CleanTechnica]

Growing tomatoes (Gab997, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “$110 Trillion Renewables Stimulus Package Could Create 50 Million Jobs” • Economists are warning that we are witnessing the unraveling of something far grimmer than the 2008 financial crisis. We could spend $95 trillion to try to get things back to normal. Or we could invest in renewable energy and for massive economic gains. [Yahoo Finance Australia]

¶ “After The Pandemic, Kentucky Can Rebuild The Economy And Create Jobs By Investing In Clean Energy” • The pandemic will leave an urgent need to rebuild state economies. Kentucky has a huge potential for benefits from wind and solar power. But to get that, its state and federal leaders have to support solar and wind tax credits. [Environmental Working Group]

Solar energy

Science and Technology:

¶ “Researchers Say Thinning Forests Or Prescribed Fire Before Drought Reduced Tree Loss” • Thinning forests and conducting prescribed burns may help preserve trees in future droughts and bark beetle epidemics expected under climate change, a study from the University of California, Davis suggests. It appeared in the journal Ecological Applications. [Wildfire Today]


¶ “Coronavirus Recovery Plan ‘Must Tackle Climate Change'” • Tackling climate change must be woven into the solution to the Covid-19 economic crisis, the UK will tell governments next week. Environment ministers from 30 countries are meeting in a two-day online conference in a bid to make progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. [BBC]

Wind farm and sheep (Getty Images)

¶ “Virus Outbreak Raises Spectre Of Cash Injection For Indebted EDF” • Falling electricity demand and prices due to the Covid-19 pandemic could leave EDF in need of a capital injection by the end of 2020, a source close to the French firm said. EDF operates the world’s largest nuclear fleet and has €41.1 billion of debt already. [One America News Network]

¶ “Climeon’s First Installation In Japan Operational” • Climeon, based in Sweden, has successfully commissioned its first heat power module in a geothermal power plant in Japan and it is now producing electricity. Climeon’s Japanese subsidiary began with installation of two power plants and has a heat power module in operation. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Geothermal energy letting off steam (NREL image)

¶ “Climate Science Deniers At Forefront Of Downplaying Coronavirus Pandemic” • Fringe climate science deniers who spread online disinformation are now actively downplaying the Covid-19 pandemic, an analysis says. The executive director of DeSmog said that science and global cooperation see as threats to their ideology. [The Guardian]

¶ “Enel Green Power Inks 5-Year Hydro PPA In Guatemala” • Italian renewables business Enel Green Power SpA announced this week it had secured a five-year power purchase agreement with Empresa Electrica de Guatemala SA. The PPA will supply 42 GWh of renewable electricity annually to EEGSA’s 1.3 million customers. [Renewables Now]

Hydropower plant (Image: US Army Corps of Engineers)

¶ “Enercon Seals 310-MW Vietnamese Six Pack” • Enercon has secured new turbine orders totaling 310 MW for six wind farms in Vietnam. The contracts cover the supply of 74 E-138 EP3 E2/4.2MW machines scheduled to be installed by the end of next year. Enercon had announced completion of a 64-MW project in the country earlier this month. [reNEWS]

¶ “100% Renewable Europe: SolarPower Europe Report” • In the first study of its kind, SolarPower Europe and LUT University have modeled a cost-optimal energy transition strategy. Their finding is that a 100% transition to renewable energy is 6% lower in per-unit costs compared to inadequate policies that rely on fossil fuels. [Power Technology]

Offshore wind turbine (Credit: Grahame Jenkins)


¶ “US Supreme Court Decides Clean Water Act Applies To Groundwater” • This week, the Supreme Court made a ruling on a case involved the activities of a wastewater treatment plant on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Waste water was being pumped underground. But it was subsequently getting into the ocean, and the ruling says that is not permissible. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Air Taxi Service Set To Launch In California By 2021” • Quantum Air announced plans to launch what it’s calling a world’s first: an air taxi service using a fleet of 26 all-electric flying taxis to shuttle passengers between major points in the greater Los Angeles area. Quantum says its air taxi flights will be surprisingly affordable. [CleanTechnica]

Bye Aerospace Electric eFlyer (Courtesy Bye Aerospace)

¶ “Empire State Blows Past Offshore Wind Limit With 1,000 MW (Or More)” • In yet another indicator that COVID-19 will not stop the inevitable march of renewable energy into the sparkling green future, New York State just approved another 1,000 MW in offshore wind. And it could be much more, if all goes according to plan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Electric Vehicle Revolution Is Finally Hitting The US Army” • The US Army could start purchasing electric versions of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the Pentagon’s new replacement for the Humvee. The service cites both logistical and economic reasons why a JLTV-EV armored 4×4 utility vehicle might be in its future. [msnNOW]

Have an unreservedly glorious day.

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April 24 Energy News

April 24, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Number Of People Affected By Floods Will Double By 2030” • Flooding has already caused more than $1 trillion in losses globally since 1980, and the situation is poised to worsen: New analysis from World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Floods finds that the number of people affected by floods will double worldwide by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Flood (Photo: WRI via Twitter)

¶ “Google Unveils New Tool To Optimize Data Centers For Renewable Energy Use” • Google revealed a “carbon-intelligent computing platform” which optimizes compute tasks in its data centers for times when renewable energy is more plentiful. The tech giant says the new software will help it achieve its goal of “24×7 carbon free energy.” [Which-50]


¶ “Shell Registers 130-MW Solar Power Plan In Brazil” • Royal Dutch Shell Plc has submitted a plan for the development of 130 MW of solar PV projects to Brazil’s power sector regulator Aneel. Shell intends to build two PV parks of 50 MW each and one of 30 MW in Minas Gerais, at an investment of BRL 500 million ($91 million, €84.5 million). [Renewables Now]

Atlas Renewable Energy solar plant in Brazil

¶ “Enel Russia Signs Agreement For Development Of Renewable Energy Projects” • Enel Russia signed in absentia an agreement on cooperation aimed at the development of renewable energy projects in the Republic of Tatarstan. Enel Russia already has three wind farms under construction in Tatarstan, with a total capacity of 362 MW. [ESI Africa]

¶ “Newcastle Struts Its Solar Energy Stuff” • Newcastle, New South Wales, the world’s busiest coal port, has been actively working for a renewable future. A founding member of the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership, the city’s Council resolved to pursue sourcing 100% renewables for its operations. Now it is getting a solar array. [Solar Quotes]

Solar array for Newcastle

¶ “Ofgem Backs Shetland Subsea Power Cable Plans” • Energy regulator Ofgem approved plans for a subsea power cable which would take energy from Shetland to the Scottish mainland. The Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks plan for a 600-MW transmission link to export renewable electricity from Shetland to the rest of Britain. [BBC News]

¶ “JBIC Becomes Third Japanese Bank In A Month To Signal Move Away From Coal” • The governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation said the bank will no longer accept loan applications for new coal power projects. The statement comes as more Asian firms ditch coal, with the capital flight from the fossil fuel accelerating. [Eco-Business]

Polluting power plant (Image: Shutterstock)


¶ “GM And Ford Could Lose Billions As Used Car Prices Plummet” • The coronavirus is kicking the stuffing out of used car values. One of the largest US auction houses reports prices were down 11.8% in the first half of April. A JPMorgan analyst said GM Financial could lose $3 billion and Ford Credit $2.8 billion, if this continues through the quarter. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Cruise Becomes First Self Driving Car Company To Power Vehicles With 100% Renewable Energy” • GM subsidiary Cruise Automation is the first self-driving car company to run its cars on 100% renewable energy, the company said in a post. Cruise has been using solar PVs to power autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs in Southern California. [GM Authority]

Cruise Origin Driverless Car

¶ “General Mills Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity Globally By 2030” • General Mills set a goal to source 100% renewable electricity by 2030 as part of the RE100 global corporate initiative. To achieve this, the company is investing in renewable energy efforts to support its environmental objectives internationally. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Battered By Matthew And Florence, North Carolina Must Brace For More Intense Hurricanes” • Across the low-lying areas of coastal North Carolina, it’s not uncommon to see abandoned homes ruined by the floodwaters of Hurricane Florence, two years ago. Now, a report warns that climate change is to bring worse hurricanes and floods. [InsideClimate News]

Flood in North Carolina (Alex Edelman | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “8minute Swells US PV Pipeline By 3 GW” • US developer 8minute Solar Energy has added 3 GW of new PV capacity to its development pipeline in the last month, increasing the total to over 18 GW. The company has attracted corporate-level funding to develop the growing pipeline, the majority of which is solar PVs with battery energy storage. [reNEWS]

¶ “84-GW US Renewables+Storage Pipeline Has Developers Anxious For Market Integration Rules” • Counting projects of 1 MW or more, 4.6 GW of operating US renewables projects are co-located with batteries. The immediate development pipeline has 14.7 GW more. Behind those are 69 GW more. Developers want to know what the rules are. [Utility Dive]

Wind turbine and solar panels (GE Renewables image)

¶ “First Solar Sees Double For California Power Play” • First Solar signed two 15-year power purchase agreements with community choice aggregators Monterey Bay Community Power and Silicon Valley Clean Energy. The CCAs will buy electricity from First Solar’s 100-MW Rabbitbrush solar farm, which is expected to be completed, with storage, in 2022. [reNEWS]

¶ “NRC Delivers Briefing On Indian Point Decommissioning” • Earlier this week, the NRC held a briefing with reporters  about the upcoming decommissioning of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Westchester County-based plant is scheduled to permanently shut down Unit 2 next week, and Unit 3, one year later. [WAMC]

Have a thoroughly nifty day.

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April 23 Energy News

April 23, 2020


¶ “How The Coronavirus Has Impacted The Oil Industry – And The Future Of The Climate Crisis” • On Monday, oil prices fell to as low as minus $40 and eventually settling at minus $37.63 per barrel. Scared investors and negative oil prices leave the future of the industry on shaky ground. They may poise renewable energy options for a greener future. [The Hill]

Changing prices (Olivier Douliery | AFP via Getty Images)


¶ “Investing In Renewable Energy Could See A Return Of To Up To 800%” • Fossil fuels interests would like to tell us otherwise, but the International Renewable Energy Agency says investing in renewable energy and a green economy would create tens of millions of jobs worldwide and provide investment returns of up to 800% over time. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Clear Skies Over Germany Lead To Record Amount Of Solar Energy” • The efficiency of solar panels depends on a lot of things. Dust and dirt can degrade performance. So can excess heat. Aiming panels at the proper angle is crucial. But there is another factor that few people have thought much about until now – air pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Sunny day in Germany (Image credit: DWD)

¶ “Seoul Is Subsidizing 700 Electric Taxis” • South Korea’s capital, Seoul, is subsidizing purchases of 700 electric taxis. The subsidy is worth 18.2 million won ($14,800) per EV, far more than the 12.7 million won ($10,300) subsidy to buy an EV for personal use. Seoul is making foreign manufacturers, not only Korean brands, eligible for funding. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pivot Power Developing 52-MW Hybrid Battery” • Pivot Power is developing a hybrid 50-MW lithium-ion battery and 2-MW vanadium redox flow battery project in Oxford which it says will be the world’s largest. Invinity Energy Systems is to supply the batteries for the system which will share a grid connection with an EV charging network. [reNEWS]

Hybrid battery (Pivot Power image)

¶ “KHNP Spearheads New And Renewable Energy Initiatives” • Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co, the largest power generation company in Korea, plans to expand its new and renewable energy production facility capacity to 7.6 GW by 2030. The increase will bring KHNP’s new and renewable production capacity to 8.4 GW in that year. [NewsworldKorea]


¶ “Tesla: May The 4th Be With Gigafactory Nevada As It Reopens” • Tesla Gigafactory 1 in Nevada will be reopening on May the 4th. To do so, the company is taking an  approach very similar to what it did reopening the Gigafactory Shanghai. There will be several new rules introduced to returning employees to ensure safety. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y Unveiling

¶ “Digital Realty’s Texas Data Centers To Use Wind Power Under Citi Deal” • Data center operator Digital Realty will supply some of its Texas facilities with windpower under a renewable energy credit agreement with Citi. The electricity will be sourced from the 162-MW Bearkat 2 wind project, now under development in Glasscock County. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Verizon To Buy Power From 384 MW Of Solar, Wind Parks In US” • US telecoms giant Verizon Communications Inc has signed a number of virtual power purchase agreements that will help finance the construction of wind and solar parks with a combined capacity of 384 MW. Among them are two solar plants in Texas to be completed in 2023. [Renewables Now]

Santa Rita East wind farm in Texas (Invenergy image)

¶ “Origis Energy Constructing 61-MW Texas Solar Project” • Origis Energy arranged a virtual power purchase agreement with Royal DSM for renewable electricity from the Rockhound Solar C project, a planned 61-MW solar facility to be in Ector County, Texas. The solar farm’s Renewable Energy Credits will support DSM’s RE100 goals. [Solar Power World]

¶ “NextEra Energy Looks To Spend $1 Billion On Energy Storage In 2021” • Renewables developer NextEra reported its financial results for the first quarter, saying its renewables development unit has been unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has plans for massive investments in the near future, including spending $1 billion on battery projects. [Greentech Media]

Battery project at a wind farm (Credit: NextEra Energy)

¶ “Lightsource BP Inks Offtake Deal For US solar” • Lightsource BP has signed a long-term power contract for a pair of solar developments totaling 44 MW in Pennsylvania. The developer made on an agreement with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority for power from its Elk Hill 1 and 2 developments in Franklin County. [reNEWS]

¶ “Super-Polluting Methane Emissions Twice Federal Estimates in Permian Basin, Study Finds” • Methane emissions from the Permian basin, one of the largest oil-producing regions in the world, are more than two times higher than federal estimates, according to a study recently published in the journal Science Advances. [InsideClimate News]

Pumpjack in the Permian Basin (Spencer Platt | Getty Images)

¶ “Geronimo Energy And Cargill Announce Virtual Power Purchase Agreement For 200-MW MISO Illinois Solar Project” • Geronimo Energy, a National Grid company, and Cargill have announced execution of a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement  for the Prairie Wolf Solar Project in Illinois. The 200-MW project is to begin operations in 2021. [PRNewswire]

¶ “Navajo Power CEO Sees 10-GW Renewable Potential Across The Navajo Nation” • Navajo Power is preparing a bid to build 200 MW of solar power. Discussing the Navajo Nation’s potential for solar power in a pv magazine interview, Navajo Power CEO Brett Isaac said, “We believe you can go to 10 GW of renewable resources.” [pv magazine USA]

Have a entertainingly beneficial day.

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April 22 Energy News

April 22, 2020


¶ “A Decade After Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, We’re Going In The Wrong Direction” • The Deepwater Horizon disaster was ten years ago. It killed 11 people and injured 17. It went uncapped for 87 days, coating more than 1.300 miles of beaches and wetlands with oil, walloping the coastal economy. We could hope it might have changed things. It didn’t. [CleanTechnica]

Controlled burn to clean up oil (Justin Stumberg | US Navy)

¶ “Speculation, Hopes, Tweets, And Wishful Thinking: Negative Oil Prices Explained” • On April 20, the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate fell below $40 a barrel briefly, sending shock waves through the industry and leading to a 600 point drop on Wall Street. How can a barrel of oil be worth less than zero? Here is an explanation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dear Oil Executive, Is There A Lack Of Imagination?” • The price of oil dropped below the $0 line yesterday. For the first time in history, the price was negative. Bloomberg reports that the price reached minus $37.63 per barrel. Oil market volatility and low oil prices make me wonder if oil executives are missing a big opportunity. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Electricity Demand In 2020 To Decline By Most Since Great Recession” • Investors take note: The US Energy Information Administration issued its first projection of domestic energy market performance since the coronavirus pandemic started. It says 2020 will see the worst year-over-year decline in electricity demand since the Great Recession. [Motley Fool]


¶ “Himalayas Visible For The First Time In 30 Years In India” • The view from Pathankot, India, usually doesn’t include the Himalayas due to the high pollution levels there, but with the coronavirus lockdown, that has changed. Many residents in northern India can see the majestic Himalayas for the first time in 30 years. [CleanTechnica]

View of the mountains (Diksha Walia via Twitter)

¶ “Solar Window Technology Takes A Leap Forward In Australia” • A dream of clean energy advocates is turning every window into a solar panel. Australian researchers are hot on the trail of a new technology that could make solar windows a reality. They are working with semi-transparent perovskite solar cells that are about as efficient as ordinary PVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Covid-19: 150 GW Of Asia-Pacific Renewables ‘At Risk’” • Up to 150 GW of wind and solar projects in Asia and the Pacific could be delayed or cancelled over the next five years if a coronavirus-led recession extends beyond 2020, Wood Mackenzie analysis said. It predicted power demand disruptions this year depending on how the pandemic goes. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines in India (Vestas image)

¶ “Covid-19: TRIG Cuts Power Price Forecasts” • The Renewables Infrastructure Group is reducing its power price forecasts as a response to the near-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 is “having a materially adverse impact on wholesale power prices as a result of reduced economic activity,” the renewables asset owner said. [reNEWS]

¶ “Total Wins 136.6 MW Of Solar PV In France’s Latest Tenders” • Renewables developer Total Quadran won 136.6 MW of solar projects in the latest call for tenders in France, it announced. One award is for what will be Total’s largest ground-mounted solar plant in France, a 50-MW project to be built at a former refinery in Valenciennes. [Renewables Now]

Solar panels and wind turbines (Source: Total Quadran)

¶ “Wärtsilä Says Share Of Renewable Energy Up Rapidly Amid Covid-19” • Finnish ship technology and power-plant maker Wärtsilä said the coronavirus outbreak has caused the share of renewable energy in Europe’s power production to increase rapidly. As demand for electricity has fallen, a number of coal-fired power have shut down. []

¶ “South Australia Could Meet State Liberals’ 100% Renewables Target Five Years Early” • Pretty soon, South Australia might be providing the equivalent of close to 100% of the electricity it uses from variable renewables, even allowing for the times when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine. Its goal is to do that ten years from now. [RenewEconomy]

South Australia’s Snowtown wind farm

¶ “TEPCO Weighs Options Over Tsunami Threat To Fukushima Plant” • TEPCO is assessing a government report that highlights the threat of another tsunami overwhelming the seawall at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear station, the company said. The report suggests an 11-meter seawall planned by TEPCO might not be sufficiently tall. [Japan Today]


¶ “Ørsted, Dominion Primed For Coastal Virginia Build” • Dominion Energy and Ørsted are to begin construction shortly at the two-turbine Coastal Virginia offshore wind demo project, as key components are now on their journey from Europe. Two EEW-fabricated monopile foundations will be the first ever installed in US waters. [reNEWS]

Monopile foundations onboard a ship (EEW image)

¶ “Knoll Reaches 100% Renewable And Green Energy In North American Manufacturing Facilities” • Knoll, Inc, announced it has converted its North American operations to electricity generated by renewable sources. Now, its manufacturing and distribution facilities are 100% powered by green sources such as wind or low-impact hydro power. [EnerCom Inc]

¶ “US Renewable Energy Additions Completely Overwhelm Those By Natural Gas In First Months Of 2020” • A SUN DAY Campaign review of FERC data has found that solar, wind and hydropower provided 85.7% of new US electrical generating capacity during the first two months of 2020,  overwhelming additions of natural gas. [Solar Power World]

Have a delightfully peachy  day.

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April 21 Energy News

April 21, 2020


¶ “How Can The Oil Price Be Negative?” • Oil is the world’s most heavily traded physical commodity, but most of the trades are in the futures market, with the oil not actually changing hands until a contract matures. When that happens, the oil has to be stored. In the US, that usually means it goes to storage tanks in Cushing, Oklahoma, but the tanks are full. [ShareCafe]

Pump jacks (Shutterstock image)

¶ “The Story Of Plastics Is A Must-See Video For Earth Day” • Documentary film maker Deia Schlosberg has spent tree years creating a video that documents the scourge of plastics in exquisite detail. This Wednesday, on Earth Day, her video, “The Story Of Plastics,” will be featured on the Discovery Channel. Here’s the trailer. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “We Could Release Herds of Animals In The Arctic To Fight Climate Change, Says Study” • Herds of horses, reindeer, and bison could play a significant part in saving the world from an acceleration in global heating. That is the conclusion of a recent study showing how grazing herbivores can slow down the pace of thawing permafrost in the Arctic. [ScienceAlert]

Yakut horses (Spiridon Sleptsov | Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Change Undercuts Air Pollution Improvements” • An American Lung Association report warns that climate change is undercutting decades of regulatory progress that has reduced pollution from major sources, because more frequent and intense heat waves and wildfires are leading to more days with dangerously high levels pollution. [NPR]


¶ “MingYang Bags 400-MW China Deal” • MingYang Smart Energy has secured a contract to deliver 64 wind turbines for the Huizhou Gangkou Phase 1 and 2 offshore wind project. The Chinese turbine manufacturer won the contract from General Nuclear Power Corporation. Delivery will begin this year and be completed in August of 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (MingYang image)

¶ “Kenney Pleads For Significantly More From Feds As Oil Prices Crash” • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called for “significantly more action” as demand for crude collapses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Kenney made a series of Twitter posts that started with a screengrab of Western Canada Select quoted at a negative per barrel price. []

¶ “Tonga Signs More Solar/Storage Projects As It Aims For 70% Renewables” • A joint venture of New Zealand renewable energy company Infratec and sister-company NETcon signed a contract to deliver solar and storage projects in the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga. This follows a similarly sized deal Tonga signed only a few days ago. [RenewEconomy]

Solar panels (Angie Warren | Unsplash)

¶ “Macquarie University To Go 100% Renewable With Snowy Hydro” • The Macquarie University in Sydney will power its campus entirely with renewables under a deal with domestic power producer and retailer Snowy Hydro Ltd. The North Ryde campus will be able to lower its total greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 92%. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Clean Power Promises Brighter Future” • A study recently released International Renewable Energy Agency, “Global Renewables Outlook,” says the implementation of robust clean power commitments would create around 42 million jobs and add $98 trillion to expected ‘business-as-usual’ figures by the middle of the century. [Innovators Magazine]

Wind farm (Adam Śmigielski | Unsplash)

¶ “Renewables Overtake Coal-Fired Power Generation For First Time” • The International Energy Agency report on key electric power trends in the world’s developed economies, released last week, shows renewable energy overtaking coal as a source of electricity generation for the first time. In 2019, coal use was 13.4% lower than in 2018. []


¶ “500,000 More MWH In Renewable Energy For GM, 30,000 New Ventilators For Hospitals” • Even as General Motors makes a sharp U-turn into the medical supply area, it announced a clean power investment in 500,000 MWh of solar through Michigan utility DTE. GM facilities served by DTE are to be powered by renewable energy by 2023. [CleanTechnica]

GM worker making ventilators (AJ Mast for General Motors)

¶ “Anyone Who Thinks Oil Has Hit A Floor Is ‘Playing With Fire’ – Yes, Prices Can Go Lower” • An oil futures contract in the US made a historic plunge, with West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery falling below zero for the first time to settle at negative $37.63 per barrel. Oil demand crashed due to the pandemic, and storage facilities are full. [CNBC]

¶ “Citi Vows To Stop Working With Thermal Coal-Mining Companies” • By 2025, Citigroup won’t provide underwriting and advisory services to the thermal coal-mining industry and will cut its credit exposure in half, a Citigroup statement says. It plans to eliminate its exposure entirely by 2030, to help speed the shift away from fossil fuels. []

Coal mine in Kentucky (Adobe stock image)

¶ “Developers Pitch 16 GW Of Solar In Coal-Fueled Indiana” • Indiana’s utilities plan to close over two-thirds of the state’s coal-fired generating capacity in the next two decades. Lake County is exploring changes to its land-use rules that could pave the way for the first truly large-scale solar farms in the state and some of the largest in the Midwest. [S&P Global]

¶ “Solar Net Metering Threatened As Shadowy Group Demands Intervention In State Policies” • A New England nonprofit group filed a petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, asking it to declare “exclusive federal jurisdiction over wholesale energy sales from generation sources located on the customer side of the retail meter.” [Greentech Media]

Have an ecstatically happy day.

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April 20 Energy News

April 20, 2020


¶ “Covid-19 Could Be The End Of Globalization As We Know It” • The world we knew seems to have disappeared, only to be replaced by a strange new world where funerals and weddings occur virtually online. Work, if there is any, is done at home on a computer, people wear masks when they leave home, and time alone is the new normal. [CleanTechnica]

Maersk Container ship (Image credit: Maersk)

¶ “Climate crisis will deepen the pandemic. A green stimulus plan can tackle both” • The Covid-19 epidemic is ravaging both our healthcare system and our economy. We’re also facing the climate emergency. We need a Green Stimulus that creates jobs but also reduces carbon pollution, increase resiliency, and develops a just, modern economy. [The Guardian]


¶ “TenneT Launches 2-GW Cable Project” • TenneT contracted with an international group of cable suppliers to develop a new 2-GW submarine cable connection for offshore wind projects planned off the Dutch and German coasts. The project will deploy a 525-kV high-voltage distributed current extruded submarine cable system. [reNEWS]

Cable on a ship (Image: LS Cable)

¶ “Renewables To Provide A Fast Response To Covid-19 Says IRENA” • The African Union has partnered with the International Renewable Energy Agency to advance renewable energy and bolster Africa’s response to Covid-19. Adopting renewables faster will make it easier for communities and rural health centers to deal with health challenges. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Virus Leaves SA’s Green Energy Plans In Disarray” • South Africa’s independent energy producers were just starting to make headway on getting the government to revive long-stalled plans to buy more renewable power. Then they encountered a new obstacle: the coronavirus. They were to address rolling blackouts. Now there is no demand. []

Solar array (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Green Energy Investment Could Turbo-Charge Economic Growth Post-Covid, Expert Body Declares” • A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency says investment in renewable energy could turbo-charge economic growth in the aftermath of Covid-19, leaving populations richer, healthier, and safe from future climate risks. [iNews]

¶ “Tasman Powers On With Waimea Hydro Dam” • On New Zealand’s South Island, the district of Tasman is powering ahead with an idea to build a hydro electricity station on the Waimea Community Dam. It was one of several “shovel ready” projects that a collaboration of Nelson-Tasman hopes to fund to get the economy moving again. [RNZ]

Site of the Waimea Dam (Tracy Neal | RNZ)

¶ “How Uranium Has Surged 31% To Become The World’s Top Commodity Amid Shutdown” • While most commodities are getting hammered by the Covid-19 pandemic, uranium prices are climbing. The cost of the metal for nuclear fuel has gone up 31% this year, spurred by mine shutdowns while demand from power plants is relatively stable. [ThePrint]

¶ “Fossil Fuel Lobby To Use Covid-19 To Push For Weaker Climate Laws” • In findings published in the journal Regulation and Governance, Australian researchers warn that governments and powerful business lobby groups may use the Covid-19 crisis to water down environmental controls, to the advantage of the fossil fuel industry. [RenewEconomy]

Tender barge and rig


¶ “Ford Closes Some Plants “Indefinitely”” • Earlier this month, Ford plants that are closed due to Covid-19 were supposed to reopen on April 14. Ford has now announced that several of its North American production facilities are closed indefinitely. The one exception is a plant where United Auto Workers volunteers are making ventilators. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Oil Prices Drop To 21-Year Low As Demand Dries Up” • The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate dropped 14% to $15.65 in Asian trading, its lowest level since 1999. Earlier this month, OPEC and its allies had agreed a record deal to reduce global output by about 10%. But some analysts said the cut was not big enough to make a difference. [BBC]

Oil rig (Getty Images)

¶ “Cities Are Closing Streets To Cars During Stay-At-Home Orders” • Cities all over the US are closing down streets to traffic during the coronavirus pandemic to encourage people to stay home. In Oakland, California, 74 miles of streets are open only to pedestrians and cyclists. Boston, Minneapolis, and Louisville are also bringing car-free roads to life. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “sPower Raises Tax Equity For 620 MW Of Solar In Virginia” • Renewable power producer sPower has secured $350 million (€321.8 million) in tax equity for a 620-MW solar park that it is currently building in Virginia. The Spotsylvania Solar Energy Center will come online in stages, starting this year and ending in 2021. [Renewables Now]

Have an excitingly gorgeous day.

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April 19 Energy News

April 19, 2020


¶ “Designing An End To A Toxic American Obsession: The Lawn” • Lawns cover 2% of the US. Maintaining them produces more greenhouse gases than they absorb. They are biodiversity deserts that have contributed to vanishing insect populations. They require more irrigation than any agricultural crop grown in the country. But there are alternatives. [CNN]

Greenery (Credit: Jennifer Roper)

¶ “Norway And The A-ha Moment That Made Electric Cars The Answer” • In 1995, the lead singer of the 1980s band A-ha and the head of the Norwegian environmental group Bellona took off on a road trip in a converted electric Fiat Panda they had imported from Switzerland. Eventually, the car was impounded, but it started a movement. [The Guardian]

¶ “The World’s Energy Order Is Changing – And China Is Set To Reap The Strategic Benefits” • The production cap agreed on by OPEC+, the instability of the markets, the economic fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, and ongoing technological changes are playing out in a power shift. And it looks like China is set to be the main beneficiary. [ABC Science Online]

Solar farm in China (Brant Cumming | ABC News)

¶ “How Will Earth Day Celebrate Its 50th Birthday? Not As Planned” • Picture the biggest protest ever. Crowds stretch on for miles on streets normally bustling with cars. From a birds-eye view, the moving bodies form a glittering mosaic. The mass of chanting people brims with bright signs. That is not how Earth Day will be, because Covid-19 is here. [Grist]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Is Fungus The Answer To Climate Change? Student Who Grew A Mushroom Canoe Says Yes” • Catch a glimpse of Katy Ayers paddling her canoe on a Nebraska lake this summer and you might do a double take. Her 8-foot canoe seems much like any other until you look closely. Then you may see it is different; it is made out of mushrooms. [NBC News]

Katy Ayers in her canoe (Courtesy Katy Ayers)


¶ “120-MW Floating Solar Project Completed In China” • Phase 2 of a 320-MW floating solar project in China’s Zhejiang province has been completed, according to a PV Magazine report. Its 120 MW of new capacity complements the 200 MW installed in 2017. The panels are in Cixi, floating on the surface of the Changhe and Zhouxiang reservoirs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biking Provides Critical Lifeline During Coronavirus Crisis” • Worldwide, over 3.9 billion people are under lockdown orders due to the pandemic. Many public transportation systems have been halted. People have been turning to biking for essential transportation, and cities have been taking action to ease bike and pedestrian traffic. [CleanTechnica]

Bicycles in Groningen (Zachary Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Covid-19: India Woos Renewable Energy Equipment Makers” • India is eyeing renewable energy equipment manufacturers looking to move from China after the Covid-19 outbreak. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy set up a renewable energy Industry Facilitation and Promotion Board to facilitate investment. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “French Court Backs EDF In Dispute With Distributors Over Supply Contracts” • Electrical energy distributors in France cannot break contracts to purchase nuclear energy from EDF at pre-established costs, France’s highest court has dominated, after some argued that the coronavirus outbreak materially altered the state of affairs. [Sunriseread]

EDF nuclear plant


¶ “2019 Report Shows South Dakota Had Country’s Largest Percentage Increase In Wind Growth” • In 2019, 39% of new US capacity was wind power. Texas and Iowa led the country in wind power additions, but South Dakota had the largest percentage of growth, increasing its installed wind capacity by over 50%, with 506 MW of new windpower. []

¶ “Sea Turtles Are Thriving As Coronavirus Lockdown Empties Florida Beaches” • With the beaches in Florida closed in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, researchers are seeing less plastic and waste, fewer people and vehicles on the beach, and less disorientation for emerging hatchlings from artificial lights, the Sea Turtle Conservancy said. [CNN]

Hatching turtles (Sea Turtle Conservancy)

¶ “As Climate Changes, Midwest To Need More Electricity And Water” • By 2030, Indianapolis may need to generate up to from 12% to 20% more electricity in the summer months, researchers at Purdue University said in a report. They also forecast that water demand would grow by 5% to 8% every year, unless some action is taken. [The Herald Bulletin]

¶ “A Coal-Fired Power Plant Closed. Another Cleaned Up. What Happened Next To Asthma Attacks” • Researchers made use of a “natural experiment” brought on by the closure of one coal-fired power plant and the addition of new pollution controls at others to document how lowering air pollution improves the lives of asthma patients. [Courier Journal]

Have an irrepressibly comfortable day.

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April 18 Energy News

April 18, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Tiny 1,340 HP Electric Motor Driving The Hyperloop” • Reading the specs on HyperPower’s electric motor is a dizzying experience. At 18 inches by what looks like less than 4 inches, each motor reportedly delivers 1 MW of power, or 1,340 HP. HyperPower has developed the motor so units can be ganged in a compact common shaft engine. [CleanTechnica]

5000 HP electric dragster (HyperPower courtesy image)

¶ “Covid-19 Could Help Solve Climate Riddles” • As the world scrambles to contain Covid-19, many economic activities have ground to a halt, leading to marked reductions in air pollution. Researchers are getting an unprecedented chance to help answer one of climate science’s thorniest open questions: the impact of atmospheric aerosols. [Scientific American]

¶ “‘Bath Sponge’ Breakthrough Could Boost Cleaner Cars” • A material developed by scientists could give a significant boost to a new generation of hydrogen-powered cars. Like a bath sponge, the product is able to hold and release large quantities of the gas at lower pressure and cost, making it practical for travel without needing expensive tanks. [BBC]

Hydrogen fuel cell powered car (Getty Images)


¶ “Renewable Energy Way Up During Covid-19 Shutdowns” • The dramatic slowdown across Europe due to Coronavirus lockdowns has caused electricity demand to plumet by one-tenth in the first three months of 2020 – the biggest drop in demand since the Second World War. But fossil fuel generation is falling far more than renewable power. [Forbes]

¶ “Chernobyl Wildfire Blankets Kyiv In Thick Smog” • Acrid smoke from a wildfire near the defunct Chernobyl nuclear plant has blanketed the Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, making its air pollution among the worst in the world. The Ukraine’s health ministry says the radiation level remains normal and Chernobyl faces no immediate threat. [BBC]

Smoke in Kyiv (EPA photo)

¶ “The Next Big Push – India’s MNRE Unveils Moves To Push Manufacturing” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy announced steps to give a fillip to the Make in India initiative, when it comes to equipment for the renewable energy sector. The focus is on setting up new hubs for manufacturing renewable energy equipment in the country. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Falling Power Use Due To Coronavirus Risks System Overload And Blackouts, Experts Warn” • Falling demand for electricity caused by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could leave Western Australia’s main electricity system at risk of an overload from the region’s 300,000 household solar panels within months, experts have warned. [ABC News]

Powerlines at dusk (Shelley Lloyd | ABC News)

¶ “Wind Turbine Factories Struggle For Parts In Virus Lockdown” • Wind turbine makers, including Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and Vestas Wind Systems, are finding it increasingly difficult to get parts they need to build their machines, snarling progress on a global shift toward renewables at precisely the time scientists say it needs to speed up. []

¶ “Aldi Inks Deal For Power From 336-MW Australian Wind Farm” • Grocery retailer Aldi signed a 10-year power purchase agreement for around 6% of the output from the 336-MW Dundonnell Wind Farm, now under construction in the Western District of Victoria. The wind farm, with eighty turbines, is to be complete in 2021. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Dundonnell Wind Farm (Credit: Tilt Renewables)

¶ “Austria’s Last Coal Power Plant Shuts Down” • Austrian power provider Verbund has shut down its coal-fired district heating plant in the state of Styria as planned. This means that coal power generation in Austria is now history, paving the way for a switch to a 100% renewable power supply by 2030. The plant will be kept for backup. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Covid-19: UK Wind Farms Could Be Switched Off” • National Grid warned that it could ask UK power plants, including some wind farms, to switch off in order to avoid the network being overwhelmed with electricity as the Covid-19 pandemic hits demand. The UK network operator said there has been a 10% drop in power demand. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Rachel Cooper | Unsplash)


¶ “Used Car Sales Are Collapsing – What Happens Next?” • Used cars are going nowhere. With almost everyone sitting at home and tens of millions of people losing their jobs, used automobile sales in the USA were reportedly down 64% in the last week of March. Auction company Manheim expects that prices have been down about 10%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “200,000 Americans A Year Die From Air Pollution” • This is a reprint of a 2017 article, but worth review. As we now consider, perhaps more than ever, how much different things cause death in the USA, we should take note of the vast number of premature deaths that come as a result of air pollution – 200,000 a year in the United States. [CleanTechnica]

Air pollution, destroying our health (WHO via Twitter)

¶ “Few Realize How Big Texas’ Energy Miracle Really Is” • Few people seem to see the scope of Texas’ Energy Revolution. Since 1999, when Texas implemented voluntary renewable energy targets, the state has installed nearly 15,000 turbines, increasing its wind energy capacity from just 116 MW in 2000 to nearly 29,000 in 2018. [Galveston County Daily News]

¶ “New Xcel Energy Upper Midwest Wind Projects To Power Nearly 200,000 Homes” • Xcel Energy customers in the Upper Midwest are now receiving renewable energy from two new wind facilities, the 150-MW Foxtail Wind Project in southern North Dakota and the 200-MW Blazing Star 1 project in southwest Minnesota. [Transmission & Distribution World]

Have an overwhelmingly effortless day.

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April 17 Energy News

April 17, 2020


¶ “Coronavirus And The Fragility Of Auto-Centric Cities” • The coronavirus has exposed the ills of continued automobile-centric urban planning practices that adversely impact equity, health, and the climate. Some of us can work at home and conveniently make grocery runs in our automobiles. But many in this country are not so lucky. [CleanTechnica]

Downtown traffic (RMI via Twitter)

¶ “With German Renewables At Over 50%, Is 100% Renewables On The Horizon?” • Renewable energy provided around 52% of all German power consumption in Q1 2020, an all time high. The EU’s Green New Deal is under debate, a renewables goal of 100% by 2050 could be within reach, and the EU’s political movement seems to be fixed in that direction. [Forbes]


¶ “Volvo Upgrades Hybrid Bus Line for More Speed And Range” • Volvo has been building its S-Charge hybrid and electric buses for a few years now, reducing diesel emissions compared to their ICE counterparts. Volvo has taken another step towards reducing emissions by upgrading S-Charge buses with more electric-only speed and range. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo S-Charge (Image courtesy of Volvo Buses)

¶ “Honda Is Giving Batteries From Old EVs A Second Life” • Proper disposal of the high-voltage batteries in vehicles is very important for sustainability. Honda is expanding its partnership with European recycling specialists SNAM. Used batteries from Honda dealers in 22 countries will be collected to be used for storage for homes or businesses. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Algeria: Towards An Agreement With Germany To Join Desertec Project” • Algeria’s Energy Minister said Algeria will sign an agreement to join the German Desertec project. The project aims to supply North Africa and Europe with renewable energy by use of a several types of renewable power plants in the Sahara region. [AFRIK 21]

Desert solar array (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Coronavirus Has Accelerated Energy Transition By A Decade: Wärtsilä” • European responses to the coronavirus have moved the electricity system transition forward by a decade, proving systems can cope with high levels of renewable electricity generation, according to analysis released by Finnish power engineering firm Wärtsilä. [S&P Global]

¶ “African Union And IRENA To Advance Renewables In Response To COVID-19” • The African Union Commission and the International Renewable Energy Agency agreed to work closely to advance renewable energy across Africa to bolster the response to Covid-19. They will focus on innovative solutions for development of renewable energy. [Modern Ghana]

African solar system

¶ “Entura Supporting Tonga And Tuvalu With Renewable Energy” • Over the years, Entura, based in Tasmania, has built numerous renewable energy projects across remote islands including the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Samoa, and Micronesia. Now it is working on renewable energy in Tonga and Tuvalu. []


¶ “US Megadrought Already Under Way” • A drought, equal to the worst to have hit the western US in recorded history, is already under way, according to scientists. Researchers say the megadrought is a naturally occurring event that started in the year 2000 and is still ongoing. Climate change is having a major impact, making the drought more severe. [BBC]

Lake Mead (Getty Images)

¶ “Work Begins On GM/LG Chem GigaPower Battery Factory” • Tesla isn’t alone working toward an electric automobile future. Just one day after getting approval from the Army Corps of Engineers, work began to clear the land for what GM calls its “GigaPower factory,” a battery manufacturing facility on 158 acres in Mecca Township, Ohio. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “For First Time, Wind Energy Overtakes Coal In Kansas” • Wind energy has overtaken coal in Kansas for the first time. The American Wind Energy Association reports that wind accounted for the largest share of energy production in Kansas and Iowa in 2019. It is the first time that wind was the top source of electricity for any states. [Kansas City Star]

Wind turbines in Kansas (Chris Ochsner | The Star)

¶ “FERC Denies Rehearings On PJM Capacity Rulings, In A Blow To States’ Renewables Plans” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected requests to reconsider orders that will upend the $10-billion-per-year capacity market of mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM by forcing state-subsidized renewable energy resources to bid at higher prices. [Greentech Media]

¶ “US Passes 100-GW Wind Milestone” • The US now has more than 100 GW of wind installed after it connected some 9.1 GW of new projects to the grid last year. Total US capacity now stands at 105 GW, with 2019 additions representing 39% of all utility-scale power additions to the grid nationally, according to figures that were published by the AWEA. [reNEWS]

Farm and windfarm (Johanna Montoy | Unsplash)

¶ “Nuclear Watchdog Group Warns About NC Waste Storage During Crisis” • Nuclear power industry watchdog groups are concerned about the storage and transportation of radioactive waste from reactors that produce electricity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Potential staffing shortages during the health crisis may increase risks. [Carolina Public Press]

¶ “Coronavirus Forces Georgia Power To Cut Workforce On New Reactors” • Just a day after saying enhanced safety protocols were in place to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, Georgia Power Co announced it has reduced the workforce by 20% at the Plant Vogtle nuclear reactor construction site, where two reactors are being built. [Bond Buyer]

Have a remarkably productive day.

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April 16 Energy News

April 16, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Confirm Dramatic Melting Of Greenland Ice Sheet” • Greenland’s ice sheet melted dramatically in the summer of 2019, researchers confirmed. A study reveals the loss was largely down to a persistent zone of high pressure. If such high pressure zones become regular weather features, future melting could be twice as high as currently predicted. [The Guardian]

Meltwater canyon (Ian Joughin | University of Washington | PA)


¶ “Shell Makes Renewables Key To Net-Zero Vision” • Shell plans to make further investment in renewables generation as part of plans to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050. The company already has investments in renewables, but it said governments need to introduce long term policy to support the development of renewables. [reNEWS]

¶ “London’s ‘Pedal Me’ Starts Home Delivery Service As Stay-At-Home Orders Give E-Bike Delivery Firms A Boost” • It appears the social distancing practices will also give a much needed boost to firms using e-bikes in the last-mile/home delivery industry. London-based e-bike passenger and cargo service provider Pedal Me added home delivery services. [CleanTechnica]

Home delivery (Image: Pursuit Books via Twitter)

¶ “Federal Agency Encourages Commercialisation Of Renewable Hydrogen With $70 Million Funding Round” • A Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round worth A$70 million ($44 million) has opened, according to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, to help fast track the development of renewable hydrogen in Australia. [Prime Mover]

¶ “Renewable Energy Prices Rebounded 10% After Collapse In March” • Prices took a substantial hit at the beginning of March, falling between 15-30% across key markets compared to average prices in February. But they have largely recovered from March lows, according to Pexapark, a provider of advisory services for clean energy PPAs. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Sun flowers and wind turbines

¶ “Lockdown Until May 3rd, But Construction Of Renewable Projects To Resume From April 20th” • Under new guidelines that will be coming into effect from April 20, India’s Covid-19 lockdown will extend to May 3. In a respite to the renewable industry, construction of renewable energy projects will now be allowed from April 20th. [Mercom India]

¶ “Cables’ Greek Plants With Renewables” • Hellenic Cables, the cable production segment of Belgium’s Cenergy Holdings SA, will be meeting 100% of its power supply needs in Greece with renewables, it announced. The company has signed a deal with Enel Green Power, which will supply renewable power to all its Greek sites. [Renewables Now]

Monastiri wind farm (Enel Green Power, all rights reserved)

¶ “GE Inks Phuong Mai Supply Deal In Vietnam” • GE has signed a contract to supply turbines for a wind project in Vietnam. The US company will provide 11 2.4MW-116 units for the Phuong Mai 1 wind farm in Binh Dinh province. The wind farm is slated to begin producing power by the first half of 2021. Agribank Trang An is financing the project. [reNEWS]

¶ “EDF Cuts 2020 Nuclear Output Target By 20% To 300 TWh” • EDF announced that it cut its 2020 nuclear output target by up to 20% on previous forecasts to 300 TWh due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its reactor maintenance schedule. The firm warned it may have to shut down “a number of reactors” this summer and autumn. [Montel]

Cooling towers (Shutterstock image)


¶ “This Is Gonna Hurt: New Community Solar Power Plan Meets Biggest US Coal Power Plant” • The latest sign of big trouble for the fossil fuel industry comes from Florida, where the state’s biggest utility is still moving forward with a big plan to ramp up its solar power activity while disengaging itself from the biggest coal power plant in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Colorado Springs Utility Announces The Start Of Its Largest Solar Project” • Duke Energy Renewables and Colorado Springs Utilities announced the start of operation for the Palmer Solar generating project. The 60-MW project has more than 220,000 solar panels on about 700 acres of land southeast of Colorado Springs. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Solar panels (Pixabay image)

¶ “800 Utilities + 50 Million People = Renewable Energy Is Crushing It” • The National Rural Telecommunications Co-op and AutoGrid are teaming up to make energy management software available to as many as 50 million people across 48 states. The deal will help push renewables, EVs, and other clean tech goodies into the fast lane. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Penn Signs Power Purchase Agreement To Supply Campus With Solar Energy By 2023” • The University of Pennsylvania signed a Power Purchase Agreement for the construction of two new solar energy facilities, with the combined capacity of 220 MW, in central part of the state to supply campus with renewable energy. [The Daily Pennsylvanian]

University of Pennsylvania campus (Credit: Chase Sutton)

¶ “Joplin, Missouri Offers $1 Billion Incentive For Tesla Cybertruck Factory” • A month ago, Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla was looking for a location to build its Cybertruck factory, noting it would be located in the central US. Joplin, Missouri responded by putting together a package of incentives it says is worth $1 billion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “106,000 American Clean Energy Jobs Were Lost In March” • The Covid-19 pandemic has hit every sector of the US economy hard, and the renewable energy sector is no exception. BW Research released an analysis of unemployment data that shows more than 106,000 clean energy workers lost their jobs in the month of March. [pv magazine USA]

Have a way cool day.

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April 15 Energy News

April 15, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Stronger Action On Climate Change Would Benefit The Economy, Study Finds” • One main argument against taking action on climate change has always been that it’s too expensive. But research published in the journal Nature finds the opposite is true. The net global economic benefit would range between $127 trillion and $616 trillion by 2100. [CBS News]

Solar test facility in Widderstall, Germany
(Dr Eugen Lehle, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Ugandan Floating Island Causes National Power Cut” • A huge floating island in Lake Victoria triggered a nationwide blackout in Uganda after clogging a turbine in a hydroelectric power station. An official told the BBC that it was at least two acres in size. Lake Victoria has for decades had problems with growths of invasive water hyacinth. [BBC]

¶ “Renault Halts Gas And Diesel Car Sales In China, Will Focus On EVs” • Renault has sold internal combustion vehicles in China for years through a joint-venture with Dongfeng Motor Group. That partnership is to end, however, as Renault said it has no plans to continue selling such vehicles in the country. Instead, it will focus on EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Renault in China (Courtesy of Renault)

¶ “Sweden, Spain Have Europe’s Lowest Prices For Corporate PPAs” • Bloomberg New Energy Finance released the results of a survey to of EU corporate power purchase agreements. Sweden has the cheapest onshore wind energy prices for corporates at €30.50/MWh (3.35¢/kWh). Spain has the cheapest for solar PV at €35.50/MWh (3.9¢/kWh). [Smart Energy]

¶ “Indonesia Won’t ‘Sacrifice Economy’ For Deeper Emissions Cuts” • Indonesia will not target reduced emissions to counter increasingly dire climate change projections, saying it wants to focus instead on its economic growth. It is committed to a 29% reduction in carbon emissions. That commitment worldwide would lead to warming of 3.2°C. [Eco-Business]

Fighting a peatland fire (CIFOR | Flickr)

¶ “Europe Can Become Climate-Neutral Before 2050 With 100% Renewables” • Europe could become climate neutral even before 2050, a report by the industry federation SolarPower Europe together with Finland’s LUT University has found. The study presents three different transition pathways with varying degrees of ambition. [Recharge]

¶ “Triton Knoll Installs First Offshore Substation” • Installation of the first of two substation platforms connecting the 857-MW Triton Knoll offshore wind farm, owned by Innogy, to the UK grid has been completed. Subsea 7’s heavy lift vessel Seaway Strashnov installed the structure, fabricated by Smulders in partnership with Fabricom. [reNEWS]

Triton Knoll OSP West substation (Innogy image)

¶ “No Open Fire In Chernobyl Nuclear Zone After Rain, Says Ukraine” •  Ukraine said only small fires remained in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, after rain come to the rescue. The fire broke out 10 days ago at the scene of the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986. It reached just 1.5 km from the ruined reactor, Greenpeace Russia said. [NDTV]


¶ “NASA Fights Campaign To Remove 97% Climate-Change Claim As ‘Consensus’ Challenged” • Nothing sends climate skeptics into orbit faster than seeing NASA repeat the 97% climate-consensus claim, but the effort to have the Obama-era declaration removed from the government website is suffering from a failure to launch. [Washington Times]

Earth (Nasa via AP)

¶ “The Impact Of The Coronavirus On The Renewable Energy Industry” • A Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis finds that the Trump administration’s policies led to the loss or suppression of over 600,000 renewable energy sector jobs. But the analysis does not account for the significant disruptions of Covid-19 pandemic. [Center For American Progress]

¶ “GE’s LM Wind To Shut Doors Of Arkansas Blade Factory” • LM Wind Power will shut down its blade production plant at Little Rock, Arkansas, later this year, the Arkansas Business reports. The reason for the move is not connected to the global coronavirus pandemic but to a drop in demand. GE is cutting costs and streamlining operations. [Renewables Now]

LM Wind Power blades manufacturing (General Electric image)

¶ “Wood Clinches $100 Million In US Wind Contracts” • The engineering consultancy Wood has secured onshore wind engineering, procurement, and construction agreements in the US worth a combined $100 million (€90 million). Flat Ridge 3, with 62 turbines, is an extension of the Flat Ridge 1 and 2 facilities in Kansas. [reNEWS]

¶ “New Cascadilla Solar Farm Sustainability Powers 10% Of Cornell University’s Annual Electricity Usage” • Cornell celebrated the opening of its sixth, and largest, major solar project on March 1. The newly minted 18-MW Cascadilla Community Solar Farm will be responsible for generating 10% of Cornell’s energy. [The Cornell Daily Sun]

Cascadilla solar farm (Courtesy of Sarah Zemanick)

¶ “Mississippi Commission Gives Approval For 100-MW/1000 Acre Solar Farm” • The Mississippi Delta will have the largest utility-owned solar farm in the state, with approval of the Public Service Commission. Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar, will build the project for the utility Entergy Mississippi, LLC. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Coalition Calls For ‘All Hands On Deck’ To Reduce Climate Pollution In Ohio” • A new coalition is inviting communities to join an effort to create a healthier and more prosperous Ohio for generations to come. Power a Clean Future Ohio is comprised of environmental, clean energy, and other organizations working to reduce climate pollution. []

Have an absolutely ideal day.

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April 14 Energy News

April 14, 2020


¶ “Five Visible Signs Of Climate Change In Antarctica” • Clearly Antarctica itself is not disappearing, but the Antarctica we know, and the life that depends on its glaciers and snowy mountains, is being transformed. There are visible signs of this transformation. Here are a few that present a troubling picture of a warming world. [CleanTechnica]

Penguin in a green land  (Photo by Kelly Levin | WRI)

¶ “The Fossil Fuel/Renewable Energy Inflection Point: Three Perspectives” • The world is struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, but even the darkest of clouds can have a silver lining. Years from now, when historians look back and try to pinpoint exactly when renewables surged and fossil fuels contracted, this pandemic may what they focus on. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tackling Climate Change Is Vital For The Strongest Economic Recovery After Coronavirus” • Recovery from coronavirus must reckon with climate change. The current and urgent focus properly needs to be flattening the curve and saving lives. But governments need to be thinking about how to support the strongest possible recovery. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines under the moon (Guillaume Horcajuelo | EPA)

¶ “Why 30 Million Solar Rooftops Should Be In The Next Relief Bill” • Over one in three home or business rooftops in America is suitable for solar. By investing $450 billion in rooftop solar, the federal government could reduce energy bills for Americans, cut air pollution, and create over 3.7 million jobs. The government could also get paid back. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Low Can Energy Storage Go? Lots And Lots Lower!” • Flow batteries are already working their way into the energy marketplace. Researchers are working on ways to keep flow battery costs down while reducing the use of toxic chemicals. Much of the attention has been focused on organic compounds for redox flow batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Flow battery (Image by USC via Eurekalert)

¶ “What Does Air Pollution Have To Do With Covid-19?” • A recent study from researchers at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health, which is still awaiting peer review, estimates a 15% increased death rate from Covid-19 with a small increase of 1 μg/m³ of air in PM2.5 particulates. PM2.5 is associated with burning fossil fuels and other material. [CNN]

¶ “Scientists Set New Solar Power Efficiency Record At Almost 50%” • Scientists at the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have set a new world record solar energy conversion efficiency, producing an innovative “six-junction” solar cell with 140 layers of semiconductor materials. It converts light into electricity at 47.1% efficiency. [RenewEconomy]

Scientists John Geisz and Ryan France (Dennis Schroeder | NREL)

¶ “ITM Power, Ørsted Unveil Wind Turbine Electrolyser Concept” • Ørsted A/S and ITM Power Plc revealed a design concept for bulk hydrogen production through an electrolyser installed in the tower of an offshore wind turbine. The hydrogen will be transported to the shore through an underwater or underground pipe network. [Renewables Now]


¶ “Covid-19 Gives Breathing Space To Greek Renewable Energy Projects” • With the new realities of the fight to stop the spread of Covid-19, the Greek government has extended the deadlines for renewable energy projects. The move comes in recognition of the fact that public services may be unavailable and delays in construction are to be expected. [Neos Kosmos]

Wind turbines in Greece (Jason Blackeye | Wikkicommons)

¶ “Portugal Okays 30 MW Of Small Renewables To Start Operations” • Portugal allowed 30 MW of small renewable electricity systems to commence production immediately as a provisional measure due to the coronavirus pandemic. The move benefits self-consumption and small producers with renewable system capacities below 1 MW. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Chernobyl Guides Say Worst Wildfires In Area’s History Are Out Of Control” • Guides who offer tours of Chernobyl have warned that wildfires close to the former nuclear power station are out of control. They accused Ukrainian authorities of concealing the scale of the problem, which they said threatens to destroy many of the sites in the area. [ABC News]

Fires on April 12 (Volodymyr Shuvayev | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “Tanzania’s First Ever Wind Farm Nearing Completion” • Tanzania’s first ever wind farm to reach financial close and start construction is nearing completion with a $1.2 million loan from the Renewable Energy Performance Platform. It will add 2.4 MW to a rural electric grid that is powered by 4 MW of hydropower currently. [Renewable Energy Magazine]


¶ “Engie North America Launches Financing Plan For Renewable Projects” • Engie North America initiated a major tax equity financing plan for its renewable energy portfolio. The company has secured financing through tax equity commitments of up to $1.6 billion on various renewable projects through the Bank of America and HSBC. [Daily Energy Insider]

Wind turbines (© Shutterstock)

¶ “Salt River Project, Seattle City Light Now Can Dispatch Into CAISO’s Energy Imbalance Market” • The Western Energy Imbalance Market added two more utilities to its sub-hourly market of electricity generation and dispatching resources. Salt River Project, based in Phoenix, and Seattle City Light joined the EIM this month. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ “‘No Existing Playbook’: Covid-19 Forcing NV Energy, NYPA And Other Utilities To Get Creative” • The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing utilities to determine in real time how to keep capital projects on track and provide critical services as unprecedented numbers of employees are forced to work from home, utility executives said in a panel discussion. [Utility Dive]

Have an especially good day.

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April 13 Energy News

April 13, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “3D-Printed Coral Mimics Nature” • Researchers at the University of Cambridge and UC San Diego say they have found a way to 3D-print a bionic coral that supports the photosynthesis capabilities of algae like those found in coral. The process uses the most abundant natural plastic, cellulose, to provide an artificial coral replacement. [CleanTechnica]

Artificial coral with algae (Credit: University of Cambridge)


¶ “Bail Out The American Public, Not Big Oil” • With over $2 trillion allocated to help with the pandemic in the US, some of the most reliable servants of the fossil fuel industry in the House and Senate sent letters to Interior Secretary Bernhardt asking him to grant royalty relief, lease extensions, and other favors to the oil, gas, and coal industries. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Record Deal To Cut Oil Output Ends Price War” • Opec and its allies agreed on a record oil deal that will reduce global output by about 10%, after a slump in demand caused by coronavirus lockdowns. The deal, made via video conference, is the largest agreed cut in oil production ever. Opec+ had announced plans for the deal on 9 April. [BBC]

Pump jack (Tass | Getty Images)

¶ “Italian EV Sales Stay Afloat In Catastrophic March For Car Industry” • Italy was the first country in the West to adopt a very strict nationwide coronavirus lockdown. Industry data show total car sales down 85.4% in the country compared to the same month last year. Though EV sales were down from February, they were still up 50% from last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China’s EV Sales Show Signs Of Recovering From Coronavirus Pandemic” • With the coronavirus lockdown, February car sales fell in China. They are starting to recover for EVs now. BYD only sold 2,533 electric cars and 206 plug-in hybrids in February. But it sold 10,433 electric cars and 1,330 PHEVs in March. That is still down from last year, however. [CleanTechnica]

NIO EV (NIO image)

¶ “Covid-19 Lockdown: India Moves To Ensure Renewable Projects Remain Unaffected” • As India endures a coronavirus lockdown, the government has taken measures to insulate the renewable energy sector as much as possible. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy reiterated the must-run status of renewable energy projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australian Renewables Hit 50% Of Main Grid’s Net Demand On Easter Saturday” • Renewable energy hit what may be a record level of renewable energy on grid demand in the early afternoon on Easter Saturday, when the combined output of rooftop solar, large-scale solar, wind, and hydro power accounted for 50.4% of net load. [RenewEconomy]

Murra Warra wind farm in Victoria

¶ “SECI Invites Global Bids For 2.5 GW Of Solar Projects In Karnataka” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India has invited global bids for setting up an aggregate 2500 MW of interstate transmission system connected solar projects at Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Power Park in the Koppal District of the state of Karanataka. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “Cambodia’s Grid-Connected PV Capacity Grows To 150 MW – Report” • Cambodia’s installed solar capacity increased by 60 MW as a new PV park was tied to the national grid, the Phnom Penh Post reports, citing a government official. The project is owned by SchneiTec Renewable Co Ltd, a joint venture of Chinese and local companies. [Renewables Now]

Sun in Cambodia (Author: nonuou)

¶ “Raging Forest Infernos Still Burning In Chernobyl Exclusion Zone” • Wildfires burning through radioactive forests in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are getting ever closer to the exploded nuclear reactor. Firefighters are rushing to build firebreaks around the sarcophagus covering the ruined plant in Ukraine amid swirling winds. [Daily Mail]


¶ “US Car Dealers Embrace Online Sales As Coronavirus Shuts Down Showrooms” • The pandemic is making it clear the internet can provide a substitute for many of the things we used to think of as normal – like going to a dealership to shop for a car. The virtual world will make everything different, but it remains to be seen what recovery will be like. [CleanTechnica]

Dealership (Library of Congress – see article for full credit)

¶ “Audubon Looking At How To Build Environmentally Friendly Energy Projects Without Harming Wildlife” • How do you know where to build environmentally friendly energy projects so they won’t have a harmful impact on wildlife? That is a question that Sarah Haggerty and the Maine Audubon Society have been trying to answer. [Bangor Daily News]

¶ “Virginia Signs 21-GW Renewables Targets Into Law” • Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law targets for over 21 GW of renewable capacity and more than 3 GW of energy storage as part of new measures that will require electricity to come from 100% renewable sources. The act establishes a 5.2-GW offshore wind target. [reNEWS]

Governor Ralph Northam (Image: Governor of Virginia)

¶ “Coronavirus And Flooding Set to Collide in USA – New Union of Concerned Scientists Analysis” • For communities already strained from dealing with the coronavirus, NOAA’s flooding forecast paints a grave picture in which they must somehow meet the intertwined challenges that severe flooding and a pandemic present them. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “COVID-19 Scales Back Work On Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant Refueling” • After a two-week delay and cutbacks in the scope of maintenance to be done, workers at the Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant began a refueling outage this weekend under new safety procedures adopted to limit the spread of any coronavirus. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Have an astonishingly delightful day.

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April 12 Energy News

April 12, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Coronavirus Puts Arctic Climate Change Research On Ice” • Every year, 150 climate scientists of the EastGRIP project fly to Greenland to bore deep into its largest glacier and measure ice streams beneath it. The ice streams empty into the ocean, rising sea levels. This year the ice streams will go unmeasured because of the coronavirus. [Taiwan News]

Research station (©EastGRIP)

¶ “Fraunhofer ISE Testing Vehicle-Integrated Solar Systems” • Four trucking companies are partnering with Fraunhofer ISE and Fraunhofer Institute for Transport and Infrastructure Systems to test vehicle-integrated solar systems. Their research suggests PVs on typical cargo trailers could provide power for 5,000 km of driving each year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NASA Satellite Ends 17-Year Mission Measuring The Sun’s Impact On Climate” • A spacecraft measuring the amount of solar energy entering Earth’s atmosphere was shut down after 17 years. NASA says that greenhouse gas emissions from human activity have over 50 times the influence of changes in solar energy on global warming. [Spaceflight Now]

Spacecraft launch preparations (NASA image)

¶ “New Harvard Study Links COVID Deaths And Air Pollution – Interview With Dr Francesca Dominici” • A study sheds light on the connection of COVID-19 health impacts with air pollution.  It found that a one unit increase in long-term average exposure to fine particulate matter is associated with a 15% increase in the COVID-19 mortality rate. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Look Out! Floating Offshore Wind Turbines Are Coming For Your Natural Gas” • Equinor’s Hywind Tampen floating wind farm was proposed last year and just got the green light from Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum. Its eleven 8-MW turbines will support oil platforms, but they can be exemplars for future offshore wind development. [CleanTechnica]

Hywind Tampen Illustration (©Equinor courtesy image)

¶ “India’s Adani Green Energy Achieves 2.5 GW Of Renewable Energy Capacity” • Adani Green Energy, a leading renewable energy company in India, reported an impressive 30% increase in installed capacity between April 2019 and March 2020. The company announced that it added 587 MW of solar and wind energy capacity in 2019-20. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind Energy Farms Are Losing Out On Tens Of Millions Of Revenue Because Of Constraints In Ireland’s Transmission System, A New Study Shows” • Wind farms lost €75.5 million in revenues in 2019 because grid operator EirGrid made them stop or reduce  power output at certain times, a report from the Irish Wind Energy Association says. []

Wind turbines (Pascal Rossignol | Reuters)

¶ “The UK’s Biggest Battery Is Housed Inside A Beautiful Welsh Mountain” • It is easy to see why Dinorwig energy station has grow to be generally known as the Electrical Mountain. The titanic hydroelectric energy scheme is housed deep inside Elidir Fawr in Snowdonia Nationwide Park and is actually breathtaking in scale. [Scoop Square24]

¶ “Firms From China, US, Turkey To Build Pumped-Storage Hydropower Plant In Isparta” •  Turkish, Chinese, and American firms are partnering to build a 1000-MW pumped-storage plant in Turkey’s Isparta province, in the western Anatolian region, according to the general manager of GE’s Hydroelectricity Department in Turkey. [Daily Sabah]

Isparta’s Eğirdir Lake (DHA Photo)


¶ “EPA Rolls Back Air Regulations For Waste Coal Plants In Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia” • The EPA says it will create a new category for plants that burn waste coal from mining, with with relaxed regulations. It is relaxing air pollution regulations for three small power plants in Western Pennsylvania and one in West Virginia. [WHYY]

¶ “California Looks For Long-Duration Renewable Energy Storage Contracts For 2026” • An optimal power portfolio for California to drive the world’s fifth largest economy towards greenhouse gas reduction goals for 2030 and then to zero carbon by 2040, includes 1 GW of long duration energy storage, one analyst has said. [SolarPACES]

Molten salt thermal energy storage (Abengoa image)

¶ “Green Groups Sue Over Expired Power Plant Permits” • In Alabama, environmental groups Sierra Club and GASP have filed a lawsuit against the state, claiming that Alabama Power’s Barry Electric Generating Plant in Mobile County is operating under old air and water pollution emission limits set in permits that expired long ago. []

¶ “Does Coronavirus Jeopardize Atomic Power Plants?” • The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown America’s nuclear industry into chaos, making a major disaster even more likely. Reports from workers at a Pennsylvania reactor indicate that vital precautions needed to protect them may not even be possible. Fatigue is increased, and that affects safety. [LA Progressive]

Have a wonderfully fulfilling day.

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April 11 Energy News

April 11, 2020


¶ “Record Oil Production Cut Hangs In The Balance As G20 Meeting Concludes With No Specifics” • After OPEC decided to cut oil production, the issue hangs in the balance for energy ministers of the Group of 20 major economies. They agreed that market stabilization is needed, but stopped short of discussing specific production numbers. [CNBC]

Nodding donkey (Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images)

¶ “India Moves On New Renewable Energy Transmission Projects” • India’s mega plans to expand its transmission grid to support upcoming renewable energy projects continue to take shape. A government-owned transmission company approved setting up seven transmission projects to support renewable energy parks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Netherlands Considers The Hyperloop – Amsterdam To Paris In 90 Minutes” • The Dutch company Hardt Hyperloop is touting a new study that says connecting Amsterdam with Brussels, Paris, and several German cities would boost the GDP of the North Holland area by €275 billion by 2040 and greatly reduce carbon emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Fast transit (Image credit: Hardt Global)

¶ “Giant Wind Park Starting Up Is Another Blow To Nuclear Industry” • When Vasa Vind AB’s Askalen wind farm started commercial output on April 1,  it increased supplies in a market with a massive energy surplus generation. A day later, two units at Vattenfall AB’s Forsmark nuclear plant curbed output by about 50% because of low power prices. [Independent Online]

¶ “Six Missing Following Ash Leak From Indian Power Plant” • A breach was reported in the dyke wall surrounding an artificial pond that contains toxic residues, by-products of burning coal at a power plant. Authorities in the Madhya Pradesh state of India said that six villagers have gone missing following the leak as the ash spread in the area. [MENAFN.COM]

Energy production

¶ “Serbia Doubles Renewable Energy Production In 2019” • Total electric energy production under Serbia’s subsidy scheme for privileged power producers, mainly from renewables, doubled last year from 638 GWh to 1,361 GWh. Windpower produced 982 GWh. The energy mix changed last year, with three wind farms commissioned. [Balkan Green Energy News]

¶ “Green Groups Target South Korea’s Bailout Of Coal Power Plant Builder” • Environmental groups are seeking an injunction against a move by South Korea to provide an $825 million bailout to a builder of coal-fired power plants. They say the rescue package goes against the country’s climate and public health commitments. []

Coal-burning power plant (© Ulet Ifansasti | Greenpeace)

¶ “Russia, China Willing To Fund Nuclear Projects As Several African Countries Explore Controversial Power Source” • With power shortfalls, demands for greener energy, and drought threats to hydropower, several African countries are considering nuclear energy. It is very expensive, but Russia and China are showing interest in financing projects. [News24]

¶ “Teck Under Fire For Keeping Kootenay Coal Mines Open” • Teck Resources is facing allegations of putting workers at risk of contracting COVID-19 and spreading the virus into the nearby communities by keeping coal operations open in the east Kootenay region of British Columbia, according to a report in The Globe and Mail. []

Teck coal operation in British Columbia (Credit: Teck Resources)


¶ “Trump Administration Is Rushing To Gut Environmental Protections” • While our nation reels from the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration is accelerating a harmful agenda. It is increasing rollbacks that dismantle critical health and environmental protections. And that will surely deepen the climate crisis. [CNN]

¶ “Coal Companies Want YOU To Pay Their Debts” • The coal industry, what’s left of it, wants American taxpayers to cover more of the cost of treating black lung disease and cleaning up abandoned mines, The Washington Post reports. This is precisely the kind of corporate money grab that some apologists of the so-called free market celebrate. [CleanTechnica]

DOE graphic supporting coal (Credit: US DOE)

¶ “Los Angeles County Will Construct 400-MWh Lithium Battery To Aid In Closing Gas-Powered Plants” • Southern California electricity provider Clean Power Alliance signed its first Energy Storage Agreement. The 100-MW Luna Storage battery project is the largest ESA deal for a Community Choice Aggregator in California. [Solar Power World]

¶ “338-MW Wind Farm Comes Online In Texas Amid Pandemic” • The 338-MW Sage Draw wind farm in West Texas has reached commercial operation even as the covid-19 crisis was escalating. Developer Ørsted has entered into an agreement to supply 250 MW of wind power from the facility to ExxonMobil, which will use it to produce oil. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Sage Draw wind farm (Photo Credit: Ørsted)

¶ “California Sets Goal To Double Clean Energy By 2030” • California adopted an emissions target for its electric sector that would double its clean energy capacity over the next decade and stop development of new natural gas plants. The target is a 56% reduction in CO₂ emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Some environmentalists say that is not enough. [Reuters]

¶ “Baltimore, Rhode Island Argue They’re Suing Fossil Fuel Companies Over Climate Deception” • At a time when fossil fuel companies are using a public health crisis to demand financial and regulatory support, the governments of Baltimore and Rhode Island are calling out a “decades-long campaign of deception” by these companies. [DeSmog]

Have a serenely restorative day.

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April 10 Energy News

April 10, 2020


¶ “Staying On Course: Renewable Energy In The Time Of COVID-19” • Decisions on addressing the social and economic impacts of the pandemic come at a time of profound uncertainty about long-term effects of the crisis on the world’s societies. The response must accomplish more than just to bail out the existing socio-economic structures. [Modern Diplomacy]

Francesco La Camera, IRENA Director-General (Image: IRENA)

¶ “It Is The Best Of Times, It Is The Worst Of Times: EV Sales Predictions Are All Over The Place” • EV sales are going to plummet in 2020. EV sales are going to surge in 2020. It all depends on who is doing the talking. Wood Mackenzie predicts EV sales will drop 40% this year, mostly due to the coronavirus. But they might be wrong. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Here Comes More And Better Farming With Solar Panels” • Solar panels are sprouting up on farmland like mushrooms after the rain. Farmers are starting to learn how to do their farming within solar arrays. In a new green twofer, solar arrays could actually help push the regenerative agriculture movement into the mainstream. [CleanTechnica]

PVs on the farm (Dennis Schroeder | NREL)

¶ “Sun-Powered Nanotechnology Could Supply Clean Water And Renewable Energy” • The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a paper by Arizona State University researchers detailing investigations into using sunlight as the photocatalytic spark to generate hydrogen peroxide from water and oxygen. [ASU Now]


¶ “Oil Producers Agree To Cut Production By A Tenth” • Opec producers and allies have agreed to cut output by around 10% to counter the slump in demand caused by coronavirus lockdowns. The group said it would cut output in May and June by 10 million barrels to help prop up prices. The cuts will then be gradually eased until April 2022. [BCC]

Back yard pump jack (Getty Images)

¶ “Energy Storage In Emerging Markets To Increase By Over 40% Every Year Until 2025: IRENA” • Battery storage systems are emerging as a potential solution for integrating solar and wind renewables in power systems across the globe. The systems have the unique capability to absorb quickly, hold, and then reinject electricity. [Mercom India]

¶ “Cities Struggling To Boost Urban Tree Cover” • More than half of the world’s population now live in urban areas, and this is forecast to grow to 68% by the middle of the 21st Century. Many cities around the globe are struggling to reconcile ambitious environmental targets with development pressures, an Australian study suggested. [BBC]

Urban trees (a.canvas.of.light | Flickr)

¶ “Berlin Backs Key Green Grid Link” • German authorities have approved the final route of a large section of the SuedOstLink, key grid infrastructure to deliver wind and solar power from the north to the south of the country. The section is the first of several that will eventually run between Saxony-Anhalt in the North and Bavaria in the south. [reNEWS]

¶ “World’s First: Zero Emission Electric Construction Site” • Authorities in Oslo enacted laws that say all new public buildings must be built with “fossil-free” construction machinery. A video shows a ZE85 battery-powered electric excavator from Suncar HK working on what may be the world’s first zero-emission, all-electric jobsite of its kind. [CleanTechnica]

Suncar electric excavator in Oslo (Image via Suncar HK)

¶ “Green Hydrogen Pipeline Surges On A Wave Of Announced Mega-Projects” • The pipeline of electrolyzers to produce hydrogen from renewable energy has nearly tripled in just five months, Wood Mackenzie said. It updated green hydrogen data in a report published last October, following an avalanche of new project announcements. [Greentech Media]

¶ “‘Europe’s Largest’ Solar Power Facility Comes Online As The Industry Faces Coronavirus Challenges” • A 500-MW PV plant, described by Spanish utility Iberdrola as “Europe’s largest,” is sending energy to the grid, a welcome bright spot for an industry that in the months ahead could experience difficulties brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. [CNBC]

Building a solar farm (Iberdrola image)

¶ “Chinese Firms Struggle To Fund Renewables Projects Overseas” • Chinese renewable energy firms are booming at home but not overseas. Particularly in countries covered by the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s renewables investments are just getting started, and lagging far behind the country’s extensive coal power projects. [chinadialogue]


¶ “Study Suggests Economic Boom From Renewable Energy” • “Opportunities for Meeting Commercial and Industrial Demand for Renewable Energy in Indiana,” a Wood Mackenzie report, says Indiana could see more than $5 billion in investment and nearly 25,000 new jobs if additional renewable energy options were available. [Inside INdiana Business]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

¶ “Seven Transmission Projects That Could Unlock a Renewable Energy Bounty” • Transmission developers have long said that if only a few big renewable-linked projects could get built, the path would open to others once the benefits were clearly manifested. Here are seven projects that could prove that idea true in the decade ahead. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Indian Point’s Unit 2 Reactor Prepares To Shut Down For Good, Ending Nuclear Optimism Era” • Indian Point’s Unit 2 reactor was built on the shore of the Hudson River in the late 1960s at a time of great optimism for nuclear power in the US. But on April 30, the 46-year-old reactor will power down for good in different times. [The Journal News]

Have an incomparably exquisite day.

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April 9 Energy News

April 9, 2020


¶ “Why Australia Needs To Aim For At Least 75% Renewables By 2030” • A report from independent think tank ClimateWorks maps out how Australia can reach net zero emissions across its entire economy well before 2050. “Decarbonisation of electricity generation is a precondition for decarbonisation throughout other sectors,” it says. [RenewEconomy]

Haughton solar farm (Image via Facebook)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Middle Eastern Corals That Could Survive Climate Change” • With climate change, massive coral bleaching events are getting more common. In 2014 through 2017, about 75% of the planet’s tropical coral reefs suffered heat-induced bleaching. But coral reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba appear to be “content” with the increasing temperatures. [BBC]

¶ “Wildlife Destruction ‘Not A Slippery Slope But A Series Of Cliff Edges'” • Wildlife species will die out and natural ecosystems collapse in the near future if the climate crisis goes unchecked, scientists have warned. New research shows that the natural world is at far greater risk from climate breakdown than previously thought. [The Guardian]

Black squirrel monkey (Pedro Nassar | AFP | Getty)


¶ “Belgium Hits 9% Electric Vehicle Market Share In March” • Auto sales may be down globally, but EVs are bucking the trend. In March, overall auto sales in Belgium were down a whopping 48%. Nonetheless, plug-in vehicle sales were up 39%! In the first quarter of the year, plug-in vehicle sales were up 91%. No rounding error. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Millions Of Barrels Of Oil Nobody Wants Are Floating In The Ocean” • Oil demand is in freefall, thanks to green technology and a pandemic. Oil is at its lowest price in decades, but that hasn’t stopped production. There are now millions and millions of barrels of crude stuck on massive oil tankers, waiting for things to go back to normal. [CleanTechnica]

Oil tanker (Cloudapple, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “MHI Vestas To Supply Akita Yurihonjo” • MHI Vestas has been chosen to provide turbines for the 700-MW Akita Yurihonjo offshore wind farm off the coast of Japan. The project is being developed by a consortium that includes Renova and Tohoku Electric Power. It will be one of the Japan’s largest offshore wind farms when operational. [reNEWS]

¶ “No Covid-19 Delay To Offshore Wind Power Auction Delivery, UK Gov Says” • The UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced that the consultation deadline for its Contracts for Difference auction will not be affected beyond its current deadline. A UK trade body said it provided “certainty” for the UK renewable energy sector. [Energy Voice]

Beatrice turbine being fitted next to Skandi support vessel

¶ “Elecnor’s 50-MW Wind Farm Gets Valencian Government Nod To Start Operations” • The 50-MW Cofrentes wind farm in Spain’s Valencian Community got its permit to start operations, the region’s ministry for sustainable economy announced. The project developer, Elecnor SA, has estimated the cost at €53 million ($57.6 million). [Renewables Now]


¶ “Tesla Virtual Power Plant In South Australia Outperforms Expectations” • Last year, Tesla, with cooperation of the South Australian government, created a virtual power plant based on 1,000 rooftop solar systems and Powerwall batteries. The system worked better than expected, making the entire grid more stable. Now, Tesla wants to expand it. [CleanTechnica]

Two energy events (Image: Australia Energy Market Operator)

¶ “Renewable Energy Jobs In Australia Surge To Record Levels” • Employment in Australia’s renewable energy sector surged nearly 30% to its highest-ever level, in a boom in wind and solar power construction activity in 2018 to 2019. Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed jobs in renewable energy rose in every state and territory. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Australia’s Clean Energy Transition Delayed Due To Outdated Electricity Market Design” • Australian wind and solar farms have faced obstacles such as curtailed output, reduced revenue from energy delivered, and delayed grid connections. A discussion paper found the cause is the design of the electricity market, created in the 1990’s. [RenewEconomy]

Transmission lines (Gareth Fuller | PA Wire)


¶ “KIA And Electrify America Team Up For Fast Charging” • KIA and Electrify America are teaming up to provide owners of the KIA Niro EV with a simple, easy to use charging experience when away from home. Called KIA Select, it gives immediate access to Electrify America’s DC fast charging network for one flat rate charge of 35¢ per minute. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Despite Trump’s Big Talk, US Coal Production Falls To Lowest Levels Since 1981” • Based on weekly production estimates, S&P Global Market Intelligence has said that US coal production through the first quarter of 2020 fell to its lowest level since 1981, with production estimates suggesting only 151 million tonnes of coal were produced. [RenewEconomy]

Wyoming coal-fired plant (Greg Goebel, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Cornell Joins Global Research University Climate Alliance” • Cornell University has a long-standing commitment to help lead the fight against climate change, and it has become a founding member of the International Universities Climate Alliance. The alliance includes 41 universities on six continents that share research insights. [Cornell Chronicle]

¶ “Seabrook Nuclear Plant Undergoes Refueling During The Pandemic” • NextEra Energy Seabrook nuclear power plant is undergoing its regular refueling, though the COVID-19 crisis is offering unforeseen limitations, according to the NRC. Social distancing guidelines must be followed during both refueling work and inspections. []

Have a really neat day.

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April 8 Energy News

April 8, 2020


¶ “Rock Bottom: How COVID-19 Has Shattered The Oil Industry” • The spread of Covid-19 poses a significant threat to the global oil and gas industry. The increasingly drastic action taken to reduce the spread of the virus interferes with many of the sector’s key processes, and the uncertainty of the pandemic only worsens market difficulties. [Offshore Technology]

Pump jack in Oklahoma (Image: Gina Dittmer)

¶ “Oil Companies Are Collapsing, But Wind And Solar Energy Keep Growing” • A few years ago, the kind of double-digit drop in oil and gas prices the world is experiencing now because of the pandemic might have increased the use of fossil fuels and hurt renewable energy sources like wind and solar farms. But that is not what is happening. [Salt Lake Tribune]

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Winning Over Oil And Gas In A Post-Coronavirus World” • With the rapid spread of the coronavirus wreaking social and economic havoc across the globe, it may seem that climate change has dropped off the radar screen. The coronavirus will end, however, and before it does, it is likely to change the market dynamics. [Arab News]

Wind farm (Shutterstock image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Synthetic Gas Instead Of Fossil Energy” • There is one major challenge in converting our energy system to purely renewable energy sources: the winter supply gap. The conversion of surplus summer electricity into synthetic gas offers a way of ensuring that renewable energy could be available in sufficient quantities during the winter months. []

¶ “Behold The Potassium And Proton Batteries Of The Future!” • With hundreds of labs around the world working to find cheaper, safer batteries, reports of breakthroughs are common. Here are two that were announced recently. One uses potassium, instead of lithium. The other is an organic battery based on hydrogen ions or protons. [CleanTechnica]

Proton battery (Image credit: Uppsala University)


¶ “Tesla Model 3 Jumps To Number 1 Among All Autos In The Netherlands” • Despite the coronavirus-related slowdown in the second half of March, the Dutch plug-in EV market had a positive sales month, with 5,102 plug-in registrations, up 8% year over year. By contrast, the overall market was down 25% YoY. The EVs were led by the Tesla Model 3. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “It’s Happening: Airspeeder Flying Car Company Gets Cash Infusion” • Alauda’s Airspeeder flying cars are going to happen. What’s more, they’re going to happen somewhat sooner than later thanks to a seven-figure round of fundraising. Alauda’s basic premise that racing improves the breed, so it started with a flying car that can compete in races. [CleanTechnica]

Alauda’s Airspeeder taking off (Alauda image)

¶ “Switzerland Renews Support For Renewables” • The Swiss government has decided to extend its incentives for renewable energy projects, while it is also adjusting them to promote greater competitiveness. In addition, it plans to replace feed-in tariffs for large-scale solar installations with a new auction mechanism. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Spain Targets Huge New Wind And Solar Additions As Part Of Stunning Renewables Plan” • Spain has set goals of a stunning 74% of its electricity and 42% of its total energy from renewables by 2030, in its new National Energy & Climate Plan. The plan, which it has submitted to the EU, calls for annual additions of 2 GW of wind and 3 GW of solar capacity. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Siemens And Uniper Set Their Sights On Green Hydrogen Opportunity” • Uniper and Siemens Gas and Power have signed a cooperation agreement to develop projects that decarbonize power generation across the portfolio of the German energy producer. A key aspect of the companies’ planned cooperation is production and use of green hydrogen. [reNEWS]


¶ “ICON 3D Printed Homes For The Homeless Now Available In Austin” • ICON has created a unique 3D printer that can create an entire home in about 24 hours using a patented material. Now the company, in cooperation with local nonprofit Mobil Loaves & Fishes, is building an entire community for homeless people in the Austin area. [CleanTechnica]

ICON 3D printed homes (ICON image)

¶ “Danish Pension Funds Buy 50% In 594 MW Of Longroad PV Projects” • Longroad Energy secured the funding it needed to start building its 215-MW Little Bear Solar complex in California. It sold a 50% of the equity interests in the Little Bear project and the Prospero I project, which is under-construction in Texas, to two Danish pension funds. [Renewables Now]

¶ “IEA Breaks Ground On 25 MW Solar Construction Project In Georgia” • Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives announced it has begun construction on the 25-MW Appling Solar Farm, which Silicon Ranch Corporation is developing in southeastern Georgia. To avoid pandemic exposure, job applications will be taken online. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar farm (Courtesy of Silicon Ranch)

¶ “BayWa Secures US Tax Backing For 250-MW Amadeus” • BayWa Wind has secured a tax equity commitment for its 250-MW Amadeus wind project from a consortium led by GE Energy Financial Services, according to Rubicon Capital Advisors. The project is under construction, and completion is expected in the fourth quarter of 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “TVA Signs Nuclear Research MOU With University Of Tennessee On Advanced SMR Technologies” • In its latest move toward possibly embracing next-generation nuclear technology, the Tennessee Valley Authority has signed a memorandum of understanding with the state’s largest university to study it together. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Have a grandly proceeding day.

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April 7 Energy News

April 7, 2020


¶ “How The Renewable Energy Sector Will Grow Despite Waning Tax Credits” • The renewable energy industry has had to stop relying on federal tax benefits. But the industry’s companies are finding secure funding for the lifespan of their assets without the federal government’s assistance or with assistance that is heavily reduced. [Windpower Engineering]

Great Western Wind Project (Google)

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘Special Vessel’ Tackles Carbon Emissions From Cement-Making” • The cement industry emits a lot of carbon. In fact, its numbers are right up there with China and the US. There are two pathways for reducing carbon emissions. One is cleaning up the energy used in cement making, and the other is cleaning up the chemistry. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Carbon Emissions Are Falling Sharply Due To Coronavirus. But Not For Long” • One stark indicator of the pandemic’s far-reaching impact is its effect on fossil fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions. If preliminary data from some of the world’s biggest economies is any indicator, emissions are in for a sharp decline. But it is only temporarily. [National Geographic UK]

Not much traffic (David McNew | Getty Images)


¶ “UK First: Renewables Overtook [Fossil Fuels] In Q1 2020, Partly Thanks To COVID-19” • Renewables generated more electricity for the UK than any other main power source in the first three months of the year, and the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 looks to have helped, according to a report from industry analysts EnAppSys. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Green Building Would Add 30,000 Plants And Trees To Cityscape” • The Rainbow Tree Residential Tower is stunning green architecture designed to be built in the Philippine city of Cebu. Its architect claims that, once (if?) built, the 377-foot timber tower would bring more than 30,000 new plants, shrubs, and trees to the city skyline. [CleanTechnica]

Rainbow Tree Residential Tower (Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

¶ “Alfen Bags 20-MW Swedish Atorage” • The Swedish power company Vattenfall selected Alfen to deliver a 20-MW battery energy storage system. The system will be set up in Uppsala, a university town in Sweden and the fourth largest city in the country. This is the third large-scale energy storage system Alfen will deliver to Vattenfall. [reNEWS]

¶ “Nordex Inks 30-MW Konttisuo Supply Deal” • The Nordex Group received an order from German wind power developer Energiequelle to supply and install seven N149/4.0-4.5 turbines in Finland. The 29.96-MW Konttisuo wind farm will feature the turbines with a maximum operation mode of 4.28 MW. It will be built near the municipality of Soini. [reNEWS]

Nordex wind turbine (Nordex image)

¶ “Australian Renewable Energy Jobs Surged To New Record Levels In 2018-19” • Renewable energy jobs figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics highlight the massive growth in Australian clean energy jobs in the last financial year. The sector set new records for the total number of full-time workers engaged in the industry. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “New Zealand Looks To Add 6.5 GW Of Solar As It Heads To 100% Renewables” • Power system operator Transpower believes about 95% of New Zealand’s power capacity will be renewable by 2035. For 2050, it sees capacity levels being 24.8% hydropower, 19.6% wind power, 12.5% geothermal, 9.3% solar, and 3.8% other renewable sources. [RenewEconomy]

New Zealand wind farm

¶ “Neoen, Mondo Plan Massive 600-MW Victoria Big Battery Near Geelong” • With its experience with the Hornsdale Power Reserve, French developer Neoen plans a bigger battery near Geelong, Victoria. Called the “Victoria big battery” will be up to four times the size of the original “Tesla big battery” in South Australia. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Surging Renewables Give ‘Glimpse Of The Future’ As Prices Tumble Over Sunny Weekend” • On Sunday, April 5, electricity prices in the UK dropped below negative £66 as strong wind and solar generation came on the grid. This allowed platforms such as Octopus Agile to offer negative prices for five hours and a half hours. [Current News]

Transmission lines on a sunny day (Pxfuel)


¶ “New Power Generation Quarterly: Annual Update For 2019” • Federal agencies track new power plant construction, but they have overlooked rooftop solar capacity. So, the ILSR publishes annual and quarterly reports that compile data from the Energy Information Administration and the Solar Energy Industries Association. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal Production Falls Again” • Coal production across Wyoming continued to tumble over the start of the new year, with first quarter output setting a two-decade low, data released by the US Energy Information Administration shows. Wyoming coal mines produced 54.6 million tons, a drop of 10.8 million tons from last year. [Laramie Boomerang]

Eagle Butte mine (Mead Gruver | AP | File)

¶ “NY Legislation Creates New Siting Process For Renewables” • The Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act will create the first Office of Renewable Energy Siting in the US. It is to streamline the process for environmentally responsible and cost-effective siting of large-scale renewable energy projects. [North American Windpower]

¶ “One Vogtle Worker Has Coronavirus” • Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols confirmed that one worker at the Plant Vogtle nuclear power facility in Burke County has tested positive for coronavirus. Echols, a Republican from Jefferson, says the Georgia Power Company is continuing work on two new nuclear reactors. [WGAU]

Have an awesomely encouraging day.

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April 6 Energy News

April 6, 2020


¶ “Renewable Energy Vital To Reducing Inequalities In Asia-Pacific” • For people in hard-to-reach villages of the Himalayas or isolated islands of Indonesia, fossil fuels are scarce and expensive. For millions of people, the most feasible option is to construct off-grid or mini-grid power systems using locally available renewable resources. [The Phnom Penh Post]

Wind turbines in central Indonesia (Image: AFP)

¶ “COVID-19 Lockdown Illustrates Connection Between People, The Earth, And Pollution” • If there is any good news that could flow from the economy being subjugated by a virus, it is this. People are noticing the world around them in a new way, which could lead to a new understanding of how human activities can damage the environment. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Renewables Surge By 176 GW In 2019” • The renewable energy sector added 176 GW of generating capacity globally in 2019, slightly lower than the 179 GW added in 2018, according to a report. However, new renewable power accounted for 72% of all power expansion last year, according to International Renewable Energy Agency data. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Abby Anaday | Unsplash)

¶ “Buffalo Coal Puts Mining Operations On Lockdown” • Buffalo Coal, one of the South African area’s biggest employers, ceased operations to comply with a national 21-day lockdown imposed by President Cyril Ramaphosa on March 26. The President’s decision was made in a bid to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in the country. [Northern Natal Courier]

¶ “Curtailment And Queueing To End: SMA Helps Soothe West Murray Woes” • Inverter company SMA may have found a way to allow five severely curtailed solar farms in Western Australia to resume normal operations. They have been curtailed by 50% for six months. This has implications for other areas where the grid is weak. [pv magazine Australia]

SMA service vehicle (SMA image)

¶ “RWE’s New Data Center Solution Offers UPS Batteries Dual Use As Grid-Balancing Asset” • German electric utility company RWE has begun marketing a tech solution through which data centers, which already integrate batteries for uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, can use their UPS to “help stabilize the grid”. [Energy Storage News]

¶ “Scotland’s Wind Power Growth At A Standstill” • Scotland’s drive to build up windpower completely stalled in the second half of last year. Scottish wind turbines have a key role in the UK’s green energy, but Scottish Government figures show that no new net capacity was added in the country between last June and December. [HeraldScotland]

Wind turbines near the coast of Scotland

¶ “Guinea Bissau Awards Contract For Gardete Solar Power Plant Project” • Guinea Bissau awarded the contract for construction of Gardete solar project to Sinohydro Corporation, a state-owned Chinese company, paving way for work to begin. The 20-MW project received $42.9 million in financing from the West African Development Bank. [Construction Review]

¶ “Prices Fall In Greece’s Renewables Tender With 503 MW Awarded” • Greece awarded 502.94 MW of wind and solar power capacity in its latest mixed renewables tender, with bids hitting as low as €49.11/MWh ($53.06/MWh). The weighted average of the winning projects amounted to €51.59/MWh; last year it was €57.03/MWh. [Renewables Now]

Solar farm in Greece (Photo: Recom)

¶ “Coal mine explosion kills 11 miners in colombia” • An explosion at a coal mine in Colombia’s central Cundinamarca department has claimed the lives of at least 11 miners. According to the Governor of Cundinamarca, Nicolas Garcia, the explosion was due to the accumulation of gases where 22 miners were working. [Mining Technology]

¶ “Clean Energy Can Drive Post-COVID-19 Economies, Business Groups Say” • Renewable energy proponents from some of Europe’s major business sectors are pushing the European Union not to abandon ambitious plans to become carbon neutral by 2050 in the post-COVID-19 drive to rebuild pandemic-battered regional economies. [Engineering News-Record]

Walney offshore wind project (Photo: Ørsted)

¶ “Ukraine: Radiation Spike As Forest Fire Hits Chernobyl Nuclear Zone” • Ukrainian authorities reported a spike in radiation levels in the restricted zone around Chernobyl, scene of the world’s worst nuclear accident, caused by a forest fire. The post included a video with a Geiger counter showing radiation at 16 times above normal. [Times Now]


¶ “And So It Begins: World’s 11th-Biggest Economy Pitches Renewable Energy For COVID-19 Recovery” • New York State would, which by some measures, be the world’s 11th-largest economy if it was an independent country. On Friday, April 3, New York announced the passage of enabling legislation for its new clean power plans. [CleanTechnica]

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (

¶ “Tesla Is Making Ventilators From Tesla Model 3 Car Parts” • Tesla’s engineering team released an update on Tesla’s progress making ventilators, something that hospitals desperately need to fight COVID-19. Engineers explain that they have been working on developing their own ventilators based on Tesla car parts, which they have in supply. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is 6th Best Selling Car in USA” • The Tesla Model 3 isn’t done with the headlines. Tesla has climbed the rankings of the top selling cars in the USA and placed the Model 3 on the 6th rung. That’s up from 9th in 2019 as a whole, up from 13th in the 1st quarter of 2019, and up from 7th in the 4th quarter of 2019. [CleanTechnica]

Have an enthrallingly fabulous day.

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April 5 Energy News

April 5, 2020


¶ “Germany Hits Record 9.2% EV Market Share In March, Tesla Model 3 #1” • Europe’s largest auto market, Germany, hit another all-time record plug-in electric vehicle market share in March, reaching 9.2%. The Tesla Model 3 was the best selling full electric model, with an estimated 1490 sales. Overall auto market volume fell 38% year on year. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Tesla image)

¶ “Exploring Blockchain For Renewable Energy Management in Canada” • With global warming, the need for renewable energy has never been higher. In Canada, a local conservation authority is turning to blockchain to facilitate management of renewable energy. It is partnering with blockchain technology firm Insolar on the initiative. [CoinGeek]

¶ “Western Australia Puts Community Batteries At Top Of New Energy Roadmap” • WA’s Labor government unveiled an energy roadmap that puts community battery storage at the top of its proposals. It aims for a wholesale switch to such energy sources as rooftop solar panels, EVs, household and community batteries, and microgrids. [RenewEconomy]

Rooftops in Perth

¶ “Andhra Pradesh Holds Renewable Energy Payments Citing Coronavirus Force Majeure” • Andhra Pradesh has informed renewable power producers that its electricity distribution companies (discoms) will not be able to pay renewable energy producers as they face a reduction of collections due to the coronavirus lockdown. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “NT Just Approved Procurement Of Grid-Scale Batteries And $6000 Battery Grants For Home Owners” • The government of Australia’s Northern Territory announced two programs to help achieve 50% renewables by 2030. The first relates to grid-scale battery storage, while the second is a great incentive for home owners to invest in batteries. [techAU]

Tesla PowerPack batteries

¶ “Record £745 Million Of Wind Power Exported By Scotland” • Scotland exported a record £745 million worth electricity last year as wind power increasing becomes the country’s second North Sea Oil. New official statistics show more than 17,000 GWh was transmitted to England and Wales in 2019, more than ever before. [HeraldScotland]

¶ “Spain Finally Sends 2030 Climate Plan To Brussels” • The Spanish government has submitted its energy and climate plan for 2030 to the European Commission, three months after the deadline. Spain will cut use of coal in half by 2025 and stop it completely by 2030. The country will continue its use of nuclear power for the time being. [Eurasia Review]

Wind farm


¶ “Trump Tries To Reassure Oil Company Executives” • Oil CEOs got President assurances of better times and coronavirus tests from President Trump at a White House summit. But there were no firm proposals for help, as the coronavirus pandemic and plunging petroleum prices threaten years-long fracking boom in America. [Mohave Valley News]

¶ “King Plains Turbine Project Coming Together In Oklahoma” • The King Plains wind turbine project is well underway in Garfield and Noble counties, Oklahoma. GE Renewable Energy is to put up 88 of its 2-MW turbines for ENGIE North America. King Plains is one piece of a two-part project  that will also have 92 turbines in South Dakota. [Enid News & Eagle]

Construction at King Plains (Billy Hefton | Enid News & Eagle)

¶ “In West Virginia, Experts Say Coal Mines Could Be Massive Spreading Ground For COVID-19” • In West Virginia, coal mines are operating as usual through a pandemic. Now, there is alarm they could become home to super-spreading clusters in the state. Some experts say mining conditions produce a “problem waiting to happen.” [Times-West Virginian]

¶ “Appalachian Coal Communities Brace For Coronavirus: It’s Going ‘To Wipe Us Out’” • At least one in 10 underground miners has black lung, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but experts say the actual number could be much higher. The thought of adding coronavirus to their problems is terrifying to these workers. [HuffPost]

Mining infrastructure (Andrew Lichtenstein | Getty Images)

¶ “Oil Prices Set To Crater As Russia, Saudi Arabia Meeting Delayed Amid Tension” • The virtual meeting between OPEC and its allies scheduled for Monday was postponed as tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia mount, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC. One analyst said oil prices are “probably going to crater.” [NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth]

¶ “Heartland Institute Warns Renewables Will Damage The Environment And Harm People” • The Heartland Institute ran a story about how mining for minerals used in EV batteries is environmentally dirty and can cause health issues for workers. The Heartland Institute is supported by Koch Industries and other fossil fuels companies. [CleanTechnica]

Have a fundamentally superior day.

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April 4 Energy News

April 4, 2020


¶ “Gas Stations Face Bankruptcy As Demand Plummets” • With falling oil prices, followed by loss of demand in a lockdown, lack of profits may force a number of gas stations and convenience stores to close, especially in rural areas or markets dependent on commuters. And, like it or not, that presents a big problem for everyone. [CleanTechnica]

Convenience store (Ted Eytan, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Virus Or Not, US States Foment 100% Renewable Energy Rebellion” • If fossil fuel stakeholders hoped for the pandemic to give them a little breathing room, they may feel let down. The US DOE introduced the Grid Modernization Initiative, and a coalition of economically powerful US states introduced the 100% Clean Energy Collaborative. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia’s Path To Net-Zero Emissions Lies In Taking Rapid, Stimulus-Friendly Steps” • Nearly two years ago, ClimateWorks Australia set out to test whether  cutting emissions of greenhouse gases to “net zero” by 2050 was still possible in Australia. They weren’t certain it would be. They were pleasantly surprised by the result. [The Guardian]

Solar panels (Photo: Lisa Maree Williams | Getty Images)


¶ “BYD Wants To Supply Electric Car Components To Others, Partners With Toyota” • According to Power Technology, BYD is to offer a full range of EV components to its competitors and to newly formed auto manufacturers. It plans to make electric car batteries, powertrains, lights, and other components available to other companies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM And Honda Deepen Their Electric Car Collaboration” • Honda and General Motors announced they will work together to develop two all new EVs for Honda. Honda will design the exteriors and interiors, and the cars will be built on GM’s global EV platform to be powered by Ultium batteries. They will be manufactured in GM factories. [CleanTechnica]

GM EV platform (GM image)

¶ “Severn Trent Green Power Awarded Peterborough Food Waste Contract” • Severn Trent Green Power won a five-year contract with Peterborough City Council to manage the city’s food waste and convert it into renewable energy. It will be treated at Severn Trent Green Powers North London anaerobic digestion facility. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Toyota, Chubu Electric To Form Renewable Power Venture” • Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corp is to create a green energy unit to acquire and manage renewable energy plants and supply it with power. The company entered into an agreement with local utility Chubu Electric Power Co Inc to set up Toyota Green Energy LLP. [Renewables Now]

SB Energy, Mitsubishi Kotooka wind farm

¶ “Russia’s Leading Climate Change Expert Gives Sober Prognosis” • Russia’s top climate scientist, Dr Vladimir Kattsov, is confident that serious environmental changes lie in store this century. He said there has already been a noticeable increase in extreme weather events in Russia since he first joined the field in the 1980s. [The Moscow Times]


¶ “Victory For Renewable Energy At Kansas Supreme Court” • The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that utilities may not charge customers who generate their own power more than others. Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, and Vote Solar had challenged a 2018 Kansas Corporation Commission decision approving extra fees on residential solar customers. [Earthjustice]

Solar panels (Guenter Guni | iStock)

¶ “Contura Energy To Idle Coal Operations For 30 Days” • Contura Energy, which has about 4,300 employees at operations in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, announced that it will idle most of its coal operations for 30 days in response to market conditions in the wake of the pandemic. The decision is effective immediately. [Bristol Herald Courier]

¶ “Minnesota Renewable Energy Output Grows As Pollution From Electric Generation Declines” • Minnesota’s renewable energy industry grew in 2019 and coal burning and carbon emissions declined, according to data released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Nearly half of the state’s electricity came from zero carbon sources. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Wind turbines near Sauk Center (File photo)

¶ “US Coal Likely To Be Spared as Demand Dims in 2020, Analyst Says” • Coal producers’ revenue will be largely spared this year, despite the coronavirus reducing consumption. The Coal companies have supply contracts, and utilities are still buying the fuel even if they don’t need to burn it. But prospects for 2021 look far more dire. [Bloomberg Environment]

¶ “New York State Codifies Fracking Ban In Budget” • The New York State legislature permanently banned fracking in its Fiscal Year 2021 Budget, as one of several budget items that prioritize the health of New York’s people and environment. Codifying the ban on fracking makes it permanent, protecting generations to come. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Fracking protest (R Friedman)

¶ “White House Convenes Oil CEOs As Bust Threatens Boom” • Petroleum CEOs and other oil-patch loyalists to President Trump sought White House help in calming roiling global oil markets amid threats to America’s years-long fracking boom and the global pandemic. They had a wide array of suggestions about things the country could do. [Hot Springs Sentinel]

¶ “Limerick Nuclear Plant Worker Tests Positive, Raising Coronavirus Fears During Refueling Outage” • One of about 1,400 contract workers refueling the Limerick nuclear power plant tested positive for COVID-19. Local officials had already been concerned about the large numbers of workers coming into the area. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Have an amusingly magical day.

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April 3 Energy News

April 3, 2020


¶ “COVID-19 Is The Catalyst We Need To Push Renewable Energy Forward” • Business is far from usual in America or around the world as the COVID-19 pandemic decimates industry after industry. We are at a crossroads. We can choose to pedal backward furiously or we can choose to boldly go where human civilization has never gone before. [CleanTechnica]

Rebuilding a beach (Carolyn Fortuna | CleanTechnica)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Conifer Is Top Tree In Urban Sound Absorption Test” • Scientists say trees have a role to play in combating noise pollution in urban environments and have identified the best species for the job. The larch was found to be the most effective tree when it comes to absorbing noise with its bark. The findings may help urban planners use trees for noise control. [BBC]

¶ “Marine Life In The World’s Oceans Can Recover To Healthy Levels By 2050, Researchers Say” • Researchers found that in spite of marine biodiversity losses during the 20th century, the population losses have slowed and in some cases have even seen a resurgence during the 21st century. Scientists nodded to a series of successful interventions. [CNN]

Coral reef fish (Manu San Felix | National Geographic)


¶ “Equinor Parts Company With IPAA Over Policy Differences, Continues To Work With API And APPEA” • Norwegian energy company Equinor pledged to review membership in oil industry trade groups and to leave those not following through with the climate commitments made at the Paris climate conference in 2015. Now it is fulfilling its pledge. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Norway EV Market Share Breaks All Records – 75% Of All Vehicles Sold Have Plugs!” • Norway’s electric vehicle revolution broke new ground in March 2020, with plug-in vehicles now representing over 75% of vehicle sales in the country. Of the remaining quarter share, plug-less hybrids took 7.1%, diesel had 10%, and petrol was at 7.7%. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Kona EV (Hyundai image)

¶ “NSW Pumped Hydro Plant Could Unlock New England Renewable Energy Zone” • Pumped hydro is a step closer to helping resolve constraints in the New England Renewable Energy Zone of New South Wales, as the Australian Renewable Energy Agency provides $951,000 to Oven Mountain Pumped Storage for analysis. [EcoGeneration]

¶ “Torqeedo’s Milestone 100,000th Electric Drive Goes To Spirit Yachts” • The new, 34-meter Spirit 111 is one of the largest sailing yachts with electric propulsion. The yacht has a Torqeedo Deep Blue 100i system with four 40-kWh Deep Blue batteries. The system can drive the boat at eight knots up to 40 nautical miles, emission-free. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Launch of Spirit 111 (Ian Roman | Waterline Media)

¶ “France Moves To Support Renewables During Pandemic” • In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the French ecology minister green-lighted about 300 solar and wind projects in that country, while also approving extensions to the commissioning deadlines for several projects where construction is under threat by the coronavirus pandemic. [POWER magazine]

¶ “Spain’s Renewables Share Hits 50% In March” • Renewables generated 50% of Spain’s electricity in March and 44.7% in the first three months of the year, according to the latest estimates by Spanish grid operator Red Electrica de Espana. Spain has been under a stay-at-home lockdown since March 15 to slow spreading coronavirus infections. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines in Spain (petter palander, CC 2.0 Generic)


¶ “Tesla Has Best Ever 1st Quarter – 102,672 Vehicles Produced, 88,400 Delivered” • Tesla has yet again broken some records. It produced 102,672 vehicles and delivered 88,400. This is despite COVID-19. Tesla’s Fremont factory and its Shanghai Gigafactory were both shut down for periods of time last quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NY Budget Bill Advances Clean Energy” • Clean energy advocates in New York say the budget passed this week includes reforms needed to ensure the state can reach its clean energy goals. Reportedly, over 60 renewable energy projects already have contracts and could start construction, but are in permitting and review stages. [Public News Service]

Solar array (kessudap | Adobe Stock)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Retool US Factories For COVID-19 Mask Shields” • GE Renewable Energy is retooling assembly lines in several US factories to start manufacturing 3D-printed mask shields. The shields were designed in-house to extend the lifes of the N95 masks worn by front-line healthcare workers in the battle against coronavirus. [Recharge]

¶ “US Is Allowing Longer Shifts At Nuclear Plants During The Pandemic” • US nuclear plants will be allowed to keep workers on longer shifts to deal with staffing problems in the coronavirus pandemic, raising worries among watchdogs and some families living near reactors that employee exhaustion will increase the risks of accidents. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Nuclear plant workers (AP file photo)

¶ “Capstone Turbine Is To Help A California Facility Produce Renewable Energy” • Capstone Turbine Corp, a microturbine system maker, announced receipt pf an order for an 800-kW Signature Series microturbine to upgrade the City of Roseville, California, wastewater treatment plant. The turbine will run on gas from a bio-digester. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ “CESA Organizes Collaborative To Help States Attain 100% Clean Energy Goals” • The nonprofit Clean Energy States Alliance launched the 100% Clean Energy Collaborative to provide critical information sharing and knowledge transfer among states that have established 100% clean energy goals for their electricity sectors. [Solar Power World]

Have a comfortably composed day.

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April 2 Energy News

April 2, 2020


¶ “The World Could Soon Run Out Of Space To Store Oil. That May Push Prices Below Zero” • The unprecedented collapse in oil demand has sent crude to 18-year lows, and yet a trade war between Saudi Arabia and Russia keeps the oil coming. With all that supply and little demand, The world will soon run out of room to store all the unneeded oil. [CNN]

Neighborhood pump jack (David McNew | AFP | Getty Images)


¶ “Coronavirus Forces Postponement Of COP26 Meeting In Glasgow” • A key climate summit in Glasgow will be delayed until next year due to disruption caused by the coronavirus. The announcement was made in a joint statement from the UK and UN. The COP26 gathering was set to begin in Glasgow this year on November 9. [BBC]

¶ “Liebherr Releases First All-Electric Cement Mixer” • Swiss construction firm Liebherr recently announced an all-electric first for heavy-duty construction sites. Meet the ETM – a five-axle semi truck mixer based on the new 670 HP all-electric Volvo FM. It’s the world’s first mixer that is 100% electric, and it’s 100% awesome. [CleanTechnica]

Liebherr electric cement mixer (Liebherr, via Motorpasión)

¶ “Oil Prices Rise On Hopes Of A Price War Truce” • Global oil prices have risen after Donald Trump said he expected Saudi Arabia and Russia to reach a deal soon to end their price war. He said he expected them to “work it out over the next few days” after he spoke to both countries’ leaders. US oil has just seen its worst quarter on record. [BBC]

¶ “50% of Volkswagen up! Buyers Now Buy e-up! in Germany” • The Volkswagen e-up! is one of the cheapest electric vehicles on the market. Throw in the usual operational savings of an electric car and you end up with a compelling total cost of ownership. Volkswagen reports that about 50% of up! sales in Germany are now e-up! sales. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen e-up! (Volkswagen courtesy photo)

¶ “Last Coal-Fired Generating Plants Closing In UK And New York” • The end of burning coal to generate electricity is continuing. In the UK, two large coal-fired facilities, with a combined capacity of 3,560 MW have been closed recently. And in the next few weeks, the last coal-fired generating plant in the state of New York, is scheduled to close also. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Power Ledger To Give French Customers Their Choice Of Energy” • Power Ledger, a peer-to-peer energy trading pioneer from Western Australia, unveiled a project that will allow French customers to customize their energy mix. Green energy retailer eKWateur is partnering with Power Ledger on the project, which is the largest of its type. [pv magazine Australia]

Solar array in France (Power Ledger image)

¶ “GIG Swoops For 80-MW Buheii In Norway” • Macquarie’s Green Investment Group has acquired the 80-MW Buheii wind farm in Norway from RES. The wind farm in Kvinesdal in southern Norway will provide Eramet Norway’s smelters with power via a 17-year power purchase agreement. The project will use 19 Vestas V150 turbines. [reNEWS]

¶ “Renewables Make Up Over Half Of Germany’s Power Mix” • Germany’s target for renewables to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seems on track, with 52% of its electricity coming from renewables in 2020’s first quarter. Renewable energy advocates warn the trend is imperiled by construction slowdowns, however. [Deutsche Welle]

Solar panels in Germany (© S Hoppe | dpa | picture-alliance)

¶ “Cheap Energy Just Shut Down A Nuclear Reactor” • Vattenfall AB’s 44-year-old Ringhals-1 facility will be kept off until at least the end of September, the operator said. It was already down for maintenance, but low electricity prices make it uneconomical to run. The reactor was scheduled to be shut down permanently by the end of December. [Regina Leader-Post]

¶ “Belgians Smash National Offshore Wind Record” • Offshore wind energy met 9% of Belgium’s total electricity demand between November 2019 and March 2020. That is a 50% increase on the annual average in 2019. The figures, which were compiled by the Belgium Offshore Platform, recorded an average monthly production of 639 GWh. [reNEWS]

Vestas V164 wind turbine (Norther image)


¶ “Hawaiian Electric Plans Nearly 1 GWh Of Battery Storage, Mostly From Tesla Megapacks” • Hawaiian Electric, the utility supplying electricity to 95% of Hawaii residents, says it is looking at installing up to 1 GWh of battery storage. The state of Hawaii has set a goal of getting 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2045. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Brayton Open For US Offshore Wind Business” • Brayton Point Commerce Center in Massachusetts is open for business for the offshore wind industry. It completed upgrades to support heavy-lift port operations and receive deep-draft vessels at the site. The site will include 1200-MW high voltage direct current converter and 400 MW of battery storage. [reNEWS]

Brayton Point (Commercial Development Company image)

¶ “With Coronavirus, Disruptions To US Energy Storage Supply Chain Come Home” • In the early months of the coronavirus outbreak, the energy storage industry saw production delays in China and South Korea, but as manufacturing restarts there, social distancing and work restrictions in the US have prompted delays of their own. [Morning Consult]

¶ “New Mexico Panel OKs Abandonment Of Coal-Fired Power Plant” • New Mexico regulators approved an application by the state’s largest electric utility, Public Service Co of New Mexico, to abandon its interest in the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. The state is working toward emission-free mandates and more renewable energy. [US News & World Report]

Have a reliably cheerful day.

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April 1 Energy News

April 1, 2020


¶ “Silver Linings Playbook: Coronavirus Edition” • With the pandemic, we’re in the middle of a global wakeup call. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to look forward and see what we’ll gain by waking up. Some things will be minor compared to the damage inflected by COVID-19, but some will be major. What are the silver linings? [CleanTechnica]

Empty beach (NASA image)

¶ “Trump’s Fuel Efficiency Reduction Would Be Largest Anti-Climate Rollback Ever” • Deep in the 2,000-page final rule rescinding greenhouse gas standards for passenger vehicles, the Trump administration makes a striking admission: Less efficient cars will mean a future of about 10,000 fewer auto industry jobs per year. [InsideClimate News]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Warming Clips The Nightingale’s Wings” • One of the world’s favorite songbirds may be undergoing some profound physical impacts as temperatures rise. Researchers in Spain found that over a 20-year period, nightingales had been growing to have smaller wingspans. The scientists say this is linked to a changing climate in the region. [BBC]

Nightingale (Photo: Javier de la Puente)

¶ “Renewable Hydrogen Sneak Attack On ‘Toughest Third’ Of Global CO₂ Emissions” • A report from BloombergNEF outlines the prospects for renewable hydrogen in various sectors. It argues that renewables alone can’t carry the full weight of global decarbonization as direct sources of electricity, but they can with renewable hydrogen. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Australia Could Be 3rd Largest Market For Tesla Cybertruck” • You may think the US is crazy for SUVs and pickup trucks, but one nation outdoes America in its passion for big, bold, brawny vehicles, and that is Australia. According to The Driven, Australia has the third largest number of reservation holders for the Tesla Cybertruck. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla pickup truck (Tesla image)

¶ “Brazil’s Oi Kicks Off Renewable Energy Project To Cut Costs By $77 Million Per Year ” • Brazil’s largest fixed-line carrier, Oi SA, kicked off a renewable energy project that could cut its operating costs by $77.09 million per year, the company said. The initiative is part an effort to gain efficiency after filing for bankruptcy protection in 2016. [Economic Times]

¶ “Minesto Clears Permits For Faroe Island Tidal” • Marine energy developer Minesto has secured all necessary permits and consents for a tidal kite power generation project off the coast of the Faroe Islands. Minesto, in collaboration with Faroese electric utility SEV, will install two grid-connected DG100 tidal kite systems in Vestmannasund. [reNEWS]

DG100 tidal kite (Warren Cardwell | Minesto)

¶ “Northland Power Completes Deutsche Bucht” • Northland Power has achieved full completion of the 252-MW Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. The Canadian company said all 31 MHI Vestas 8.4-MW turbines on monopile foundations have been generating power since the end of September 2019. [reNEWS]

¶ “Vestas Nets China Deals Totalling 301 MW” • Vestas has secured multiple turbine orders in China totaling 301 MW. One order was for an undisclosed project that includes supply of 56 V136-3.45MW turbines delivered in 3.6-MW power optimized mode. Vestas also got orders for two projects totaling 99 MW in Jiangsu Province. [reNEWS]

Vestas wind turbines (Vestas image)

¶ “World Bank Approves $700 Million To Help Pakistan Generate Renewable Energy” • The World Bank approved $700 million more financing to help Pakistan generate low cost, renewable energy. The financing will be used to complete the first phase of the Dasu Hydropower project. It will install 2,160 MW of capacity on the Indus River. [The Express Tribune]

¶ “New Problem At Fukushima Site; Sandbags Found To Be Radioactive” • TEPCO is struggling to find ways to safely remove 26 tons of sandbags in the basements of two buildings near the No 1 to No 3 reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. They were packed with a mineral called zeolite to absorb radioactive cesium. Now they are highly radioactive. [Asahi Shimbun]

Sandbags at Fukushima (TEPCO image)


¶ “Trump Cuts Fuel Efficiency Standards, Chastises ‘Foolish’ Auto Executives On Twitter” • The Trump administration cut fuel standards and ushered in a plan calling for significantly lower annual increases in fuel efficiency. But not all auto makers were happy. He had some words for the car industry’s leadership and called them “Foolish executives!” [Benzinga]

¶ “US Students Take On KidWind Renewables Challenge” • Last weekend, students from Wisconsin and Kansas competed in the KidWind Challenge by handcrafting small-scale wind turbines or solar structures to harness energy. KidWind is an organisation that focuses on helping educators and students learn about renewable energy. [reNEWS]

KidWind Challenge (KidWind image)

¶ “Energy Department Announces Up To $22 Million For Marine Energy Foundational R&D And Testing Infrastructure Upgrades” • The DOE Water Power Technologies Office announced a $22 million funding opportunity for non-federal research institutions to support foundational R&D and testing capacity to advance marine energy. []

¶ “Montgomery County Officials Question Social Distancing At Limerick Nuclear Plant” • A major dispute is brewing between Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and the Exelon Corporation. It all has to do with keeping the coronavirus from spreading at the Limerick nuclear power plant, as Exelon brings 1,800 workers into the area for refueling. []

Have a relaxingly unstressful day.

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