April 4 Energy News

April 4, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “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)

World:

¶ “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]

US:

¶ “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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