April 21 Energy News

April 21, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “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]

World:

¶ “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. [BNNBloomberg.ca]

¶ “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. [MINING.com]

US:

¶ “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. [MINING.com]

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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