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. [theday.com]

¶ “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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