June 21 Energy News

June 21, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Stars Have Aligned For Hydrogen Economy” • Hydrogen, for use as a carbon free fuel and as energy storage for renewables, is attracting unprecedented interest. And all of the factors that are required for the construction of a hydrogen economy are falling into place, the expert panel assembled for the PE Live 7 webcast agreed last week. [Petroleum Economist]

Hydrogen delivery truck (Dicklyon, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Expensive, Dirty And Dangerous: Why We Must Fight Miners’ Push To Fast-Track Uranium Mines” • Of all the elements on Earth, none is more strictly controlled under law than uranium. In Australia, it is regulated at both the federal and state levels. The Minerals Council of Australia wants to change this, putting it into the hands of the states. [EconoTimes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “For Green Hydrogen, Artificial Leaf Breathes Down Neck Of Electrolysis” • Hydrogen is a zero-emission fuel, but most H₂ is made from fossil gas. There is a lot going on in the field of electrolysis, in which H₂ pops out of plain water when you apply an electrical current. There is also an “artificial leaf” concept, and it may finally be catching on. [CleanTechnica]

Artifical leaf (Image by Jia Liang, Rice University)
(Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ “Researchers Report Significant Improvement In Fuel Cell Technology” • Scientists Vijay Ramani, Zhongyang Wang, and Shrihari Sankarasubramanian have been studying fuel cells that operate on NaBH₄, a liquid that does not need to be pressurized the way H₂ does. It eliminates one of the troublesome aspects of conventional fuel cells. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Argonne Researchers Use Deep Learning To Study Avian Interactions With Solar Panels” • The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory came up with a way to monitor avian interactions with solar infrastructure cost-effectively. It has been awarded $1.3 million to develop a technology to deal with birds and how they interact with the solar panels. [Mercom India]

Solar array with a bird – in the tiny red square on the right

World:

¶ “Fluence Announces 6th Generation Energy Storage Tech” • An announcement by Fluence gives a pretty good indication of where the energy storage market is heading. The company says it has commitments from Enel, LS Power, sPower, and Siemens to install 800 MW / 2300 MWh of battery storage using its 6th generation technology. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Electrifying Covid-19 Isolation Centers In Nigeria” • In Nigeria, the Covid-19 crisis came with declining oil revenue and stalled economic growth. This has hit the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry. Some of the mini grid companies innovated to provide essential support for electricity services at health care centers. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (@Cleantechhubng via Twitter)

¶ “Electricity Transmission Companies Are Learning To ‘Perform And Transform’ In Move To Low Carbon Future” • Transmission companies are deploying innovative ‘perform and transform’ strategies as part of the energy sector’s transition to a low carbon future, according to a report from PwC and the World Energy Council. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “Solar Power Is Making Huge Inroads Across Africa, But Coal Is Creating Headaches” • As PVs get ever cheaper, solar power will inevitably spread across Africa, as it is doing around the world. Recent announcements show that the technology-driven energy transition is unstoppable. Meanwhile, some of China’s coal plans on the continent face setbacks. [RenewEconomy]

100-MW Solar system Engie is building in South Africa

¶ “Energy Sector To Ramp Up Investment In Renewables” • The UK’s oil and gas sector, and one of the country’s ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers, have unveiled plans to invest more in renewables and sustainable energy. The news comes alongside positive reports that the European Union looks set to beat its 2030 renewable energy targets. [T3]

US:

¶ “Already Under Pressure, Virginia’s Coal Industry Sees Idled Mines And Furloughs Amid Covid-19 Pandemic” • Appalachian coal has declined for decades. Virginia had 10,662 coal mining jobs in 1990, and only 2,576 in 2019. With Covid-19, the Energy Information Administration forecast a 35% drop in Appalachian coal production this year. [Bristol Herald Courier]

Coal miner on break (AP photo)

¶ “Study: Air Pollution From Fracking Linked To Deaths In PA” • A study found a correlation between shale gas extraction with particulate matter pollution and mortality in areas where active fracking wells are sited. Researchers used NASA satellite data to pinpoint daily levels of particulate matter pollution from wells in Pennsylvania. [Binghamton University]

¶ “As Offshore Wind Projects Pile Up, Glimmers Of Progress On The State And Federal Level” • Since 2016, when its five offshore turbines started spinning, the Block Island Wind has been the only commercial wind farm in operation in US waters. Now, sixteen projects slated for the Eastern Seaboard from North Carolina to Massachusetts. [CT Examiner]

Have a beautifully heartwarming day.

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