May 8 Energy News

May 8, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Planting Trees Is No Panacea For Climate Change, Says Ecologist” • In a commentary that appears in Science, an ecologist at the University of California Santa Cruz and a forestry scientist at the University of São Paulo endorse the benefits of trees but caution against a simplistic view of tree-planting as a panacea for environmental degradation. [UC Santa Cruz]

Planting trees (Photo by Pedro Brancalion)

¶ “How Climate Change Is Contributing to Skyrocketing Rates of Infectious Disease” • Scientists who study how diseases emerge in a changing environment knew that a pandemic was coming. Climate change is making outbreaks of disease more common and more dangerous, and the number of emerging infectious diseases has been rising fast. [TPM]

World:

¶ “This Aircraft Is Powered With Electricity, And It Is Already Heading For The Skies” • Here is a look at some of the other decarbonization developments going on in the world of flight as the aviation industry crawls out of its COVID-19 hole.  First up is a newly unveiled family of low carbon aircraft called Cassio, from the startup VoltAero. [CleanTechnica]

VoltAero Cassio hybrid aircraft (courtesy of VoltAero)

¶ “Capital Dynamics Swoops On 133 MW Of Spanish Solar” • Asset manager Capital Dynamics has completed the acquisition of a 100% equity stake in the 133-MW Puerto Real 1 PV project in Cadiz in southern Spain. Puerto Real 1 is slated to start operating commercially in the first quarter of 2021, and it has a long-term power offtake agreement. [reNEWS]

¶ “IRENA And ESCAP Step Up Joint Efforts To Support Asia-Pacific’s Crisis Response” • The International Renewable Energy Agency and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific will make recommendations to governments in the Asia-Pacific region to make the energy transition an integral part of recovery efforts. [Modern Diplomacy]

Solar power

¶ “Global Trade In Soy Has Major Implications For Climate” • The extent of the contribution of the Brazilian soy sector to climate change depends largely on the location where soybeans are grown, a study says. In some municipalities, CO₂ emissions resulting from the export of soybean and derivatives are 200 times higher than in others. [Science Daily]

¶ “Mexico’s President Is Betting Big Against Renewables” • Mexico’s National Energy Control Center announced it would suspend grid connections of new solar and wind farms until further notice. Mexico’s president is dismissive of the value of renewable power generation, but the business community is angry at the suspension. [OilPrice.com]

Solar array

Australia:

¶ “Switching To Renewables Could Cut Industry Energy Costs By Almost A Quarter” • Australia’s major industrial energy users could cut their energy costs by almost a quarter by switching to renewable supplies and could be key to a revival in Australian manufacturing, a research report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work shows. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Coffee-Table-Sized Units To Power New Gas Plant Near Roma” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is providing $1 million in funding to give authorities the chance to assess the benefits of using an electrolyzer powered by solar panels to extract hydrogen from the atmosphere. The hydrogen can be used to make renewable methane. [ABC News]

Rendering of the gas plant (Supplied: Southern Green Gas)

¶ “ARENA Funds Feasibility Study Into Renewable Hydrogen-To-Ammonia Plant” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will fund a feasibility study for a renewable production facility for hydrogen and ammonia. The project, powered by renewable energy, will produce hydrogen and use the hydrogen to make ammonia. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Dominion Energy Remains On Schedule To Build Largest Offshore Wind Project In United States” • Dominion Energy and its contractors are on track to ensure that the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project stays on schedule. They implemented processes to deal with the workplace issues arising out of the pandemic. [Transmission & Distribution World]

MV Sarah Bordelon (PR photo)

¶ “Long Duration Breakthrough? Form Energy’s First Project Tries Pushing Storage to 150 Hours” • Form Energy made a deal for its new energy storage technology with Minnesota utility Great River Energy. The battery is competitive on price relative to power output (kW), but it provides an enormous amount of electricity (kWh) at that price. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Minnesota’s Great River Energy Closing Coal Plant, Switching To Two-Thirds Wind Power” • Great River Energy will shutter a 1,151-MW coal-fired power plant several years early, a move that underscores the decline of coal power in electricity production. The Coal Creek Station will be replaced to a great extent with new wind farms. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Coal Creek Power Station (Richard Tsong-Taatarii | Star Tribune)

¶ “Study: As Climate Changes, Midwest Will Need More Water And Electricity” • By 2030, Indianapolis may need to generate up to 20% more electricity in the summer months based on a worst-case global warming scenario, researchers said in a recent report. The study used a modeling tool that was developed at Purdue University. [Terre Haute Tribune Star]

¶ “Pandemic Concerns Interrupt Michigan Nuclear Plant Outage” • Activities for a refueling and maintenance outage at the Fermi-2 nuclear reactor in Michigan were interrupted by a “stand-down” due to the coronavirus pandemic. Stephen Tait, a DTE Energy spokesman, said some work has resumed, but refueling will take longer than scheduled. [S&P Global]

Have an especially enjoyable day.

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