May 18 Energy News

May 18, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “After The Covid-19 Crisis, Will We Get A Greener World?” • The current Covid-19 crisis has revealed a sobering truth: the global economic shutdown has barely dented our carbon emissions. They may be down by 6% to 8%. They have to fall by 7.6%  of what they now are every year to 2050 in order to keep global warming below 1.5°C. [The Guardian]

Painting a new cycle path sign in Milan (Claudio Furlan | AP)

¶ “Time To Set A Course Away From Japan’s Troubled Nuclear Fuel Cycle” • The Rokkasho Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Facility being constructed in northern Japani cleared a safety inspection by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. Given the circumstances surrounding nuclear power, the value of the facility’s existence is no longer clear. [The Mainichi]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Plant-Based Bottles Could Degrade In One Year” • Virtually all plastics are derived from oil. Plastic bottles take decades or even centuries to decompose. They cost so much to recycle that it is cheaper to make new ones. Avantium is a Dutch company that has a solution to these problems. Its industrial products are not reliant on petroleum. [CleanTechnica]

Avantium laboratory (Avantium image)

¶ “Six Years In A Row, A Named Storm Forms Early In The Atlantic” • For the sixth year in a row, a tropical cyclone was named before the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season. Reportedly, there is even a debate going on at the National Hurricane Center in Miami over moving the hurricane season opening to some date in May. [WTSP.com]

World:

¶ “Lithium-Sulfur Batteries To Help Electrify Brazil’s Bus Fleets” • Oxis Energy makes lithium-sulfur batteries, which are getting competitive with lithium-ion batteries. It announced that it had negotiated a 15-year lease with Mercedes-Benz Brazil to use an idled production site in the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil for its new factory. [CleanTechnica]

Oxis Energy facility, circled (Image courtesy of Oxis Energy)

¶ “Nineteen Environmental Monitoring Requirements For Oil Sands Suspended By Alberta” • After the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers sent a long letter to the government of Canada, the Alberta Energy Regulator indefinitely suspended 19 environmental monitoring requirements for oil sands producers, citing the Covid-19 pandemic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar-Wind-Battery Microgrid Completed And Powering Remote WA Gold Mine” • A groundbreaking 56-MW solar, wind and battery project built to power a gold mine in remote Western Australia has been completed. It is the largest hybrid microgrid of its kind in Australia and the first in the country to use the wind to power a mine. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines at the Agnew Hybrid Renewable Project

¶ “The Renewable Energy Transition Is Finally Coming To Asia: IEEFA” • Despite the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the renewable energy transition is still well underway, and it is coming to Asia, according to a study by the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Renewable energy technology has become disruptive. [Saurenergy]

¶ “GE Selected For 52-Turbine Turkish Deal” • GE Renewable Energy has been selected by Fina Enerji to supply 52 of its 3-MW platform onshore wind turbines for four wind farms in Turkey. The wind farms, Baglama, Tayakadin, Yalova, and Pazarkoy, are to have a total capacity of 193 MW. The scope includes a 10-year servicing agreement. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Mexican Government Blames Covid-19 For Seizing Renewables Energy” • The Mexican government has cited the coronavirus pandemic as a justification for new rules that will reduce the role of renewable energy, including solar and wind power. The new rules grant a reprieve to the government’s own aging, fossil-fuel power plants. [Saurenergy]

US:

¶ “Electric Vehicles Are Cleaner Than Gasoline Vehicles (New Fact Sheet)” • EVs get their energy from grids that produce emissions. The Union of Concerned Scientists calculated the total emissions for electric vehicles and found that the average EV produces global warming pollution equal to a gasoline vehicle that gets 88 mpg. And that will improve. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (UCS image)

¶ “US Auto Sales Down 496,000 In First Quarter” • After falling in 2019 as a whole, the US auto industry has been slammed by the coronavirus in the first quarter of 2020. With few exceptions, sales of car brands are off badly from last year. One noteable exception to the trend is Tesla, whose sales have increased by 17% from Q1 of 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Linked To Decline Of Smallmouth Bass In Potomac” • Smallmouth bass are the most popular sport fish in the nontidal portion of the Potomac. But they’ve suffered from poor reproduction every year since 2007. State fishery managers are worried about the future of the recreational fishery, valued at $23 million a year. [The Chesapeake Bay Journal]

Biologists conducting a fish survey (Courtesy of John Mullican)

¶ “US Oil And Gas Rig Count Plunges To Record Low For 2nd Week – Baker Hughes” • The US rig count, an early indicator of future output, fell by 35 to a record low of 339 in the week to May 15, data from energy services firm Baker Hughes Co shows. The data goes back to 1940, and the previous record low of 374 was set last week. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ “DTE May Switch To Natural Gas At Four Coal-Fired Plants” • Michigan utility DTE must switch from coal to natural gas or install new anti-pollution equipment at four power plants under a proposed settlement with the EPA. The EPA had sued in 2010, alleging that DTE violated the New Source Review provisions of the US Clean Air Act. [Kallanish Energy]

Have a fantastically untroubled day.

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